Advice on manners and morals.

Advice on manners and morals.

Advice on manners and morals.

Advice on manners and morals.
Nov. 23 2005 6:41 AM

He So Porny

Do sex videos of my new guy mean he's less than perfect?

9_dearprudence_01

Get "Dear Prudence" delivered to your inbox each week; click here to sign up. Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com. (Questions may be edited.)

Dear Prudence,
I am a 27-year-old woman who's been dating this guy for a month. I can say he is the perfect man I've always wanted in a relationship. It has been wonderful since we started dating. But a few days ago, I saw some very disturbing videos on his PC. It is him in sex videos with different women. I can't imagine he actually recorded and kept these videos. It is horrible to see someone I like so much having sex with some other girls. And now I can't stop thinking about it. It has started to disturb me a lot, and might cause me to end this relationship. What should I do? A friend told me that I should get over it, since everyone has their own past and surely I can't find a virgin male at this age anymore.

—Eunice

Dear Eun,
It is true, my dear, that we all have a past, but most of us do not have movies of it. The things you need to determine are whether or not these, um, home movies were agreed to by the female participants ... and if you have been immortalized on video without your knowledge. There actually are a number of "alarm clocks" and "smoke detectors" that are just fake housing for hidden video cams that take advantage of night-vision technology. (If you're wondering how Prudie would know of such things, she didn't; her favorite techie genius, Andy Ihnatko, clued her in.) And just to be clear, videos of what's-his-name and "different women" are a far cry from not being a "virgin male." Prudie's advice is to bring up the subject and see where it goes. Romeo's responses will surely give you the guidance you need as to whether or not to get over it, or get over him.

Advertisement

—Prudie, suspiciously

Dear Prudie,
Please help settle a debate I am having with my boyfriend. Friends of ours are getting married at a small wedding in their backyard, with immediate family only. After the ceremony, they are inviting friends over for a big informal BBQ to celebrate. They sent out an invitation that stated gifts were not expected, but listed their registries for those who were interested. The invitation also stated that they would have a tip jar out to raise money for a down payment on a house. I think a tip jar at a wedding is tacky. My boyfriend thinks it's no different than the Polish bridal dance (a tradition where guests make a donation to dance a final dance with the bride). Prudie, please help me to explain the difference.

—Critical of the Tip Jar

Dear Crit,
A tip jar? At a wedding? One wonders what service they will be performing for which they expect tips. "Tacky" doesn't say it, honey. At least this Polish bridal dance you speak of has a tradition tied to it, though Prudie has never heard of it. So tell your boyfriend that the difference between his example and a "tip jar" is that, at least at the Polish wedding, one pays to dance with the bride by custom. You might also point out that it would have to be some big jar, with a lot of wealthy (and willing) guests, to make the down payment on a house. And there's a list of registries, yet. Prudie is appalled.

Advertisement

—Prudie, dazedly

Dear Prudie,
My neighbors decided to go on vacation and asked me to bring in the mail and feed their dog. This sounded fine to me, because they were only supposed to be gone for a few days. But after they were gone for a little while, they started to ask me to do other things. They insisted that I start sleeping over to watch the dog because the dog couldn't be alone. I was supposed to be able to leave the dog outside during the day, but then the dog kept jumping over the fence, and if she was tied up she barked and wouldn't stop until you untied her. This became a problem for the neighbors, so I called the owners and asked what I should do. (Oh, yes, by this time a few days had turned into a week and a half.) They told me to take the dog with me wherever I went! This was ridiculous and I said so, because I couldn't take the dog with me to work. Then I left the dog inside for a few hours and she ripped up everything and made the house a mess. The neighbors insisted I clean it up even though it wasn't my fault and they'd been gone a lot longer than what was originally planned. They were supposed to come back today so I thought the nightmare would be over, but now they are saying that they don't know when they are coming back! A few days have turned into nearly three weeks! Prudie, I am fed up with this dog and all the attention it needs. I was only supposed to do this for three days—and then only to feed it, but the whole thing has turned into a life-consuming activity! I don't know what to do. Help!

—Frustrated Neighbor

Dear Frus,
Prudie is simply stunned by the loony neighbors so cavalierly taking advantage of your good heart and cannot help but think of the adage, "No good deed goes unpunished." And what do you mean, they insisted? You are a neighbor, not an indentured servant. You have without a doubt been a good schnook for too long, and here's what you should do: Call these nuts and tell them they have two days to return home or the dog is going to an animal shelter. They broke their word to you with the "only gone a few days" business, breaching an oral contract, if you will. As for the demands (i.e., sleeping there!) it is too bad you didn't tell the neighbors to take a flying leap ... or words to that effect.

Advertisement

—Prudie, harrumphingly

Dear Prudence,
My husband and I are hoping you can settle a dispute we're having. We will be going on an adults-only trip with our museum group next month. We'll be gone for 10 days, and our two sons, ages 13 and 15, are begging us not to move a grown-up into the house as a sitter. They promise they'll follow all the rules just as if we were home. They say they are responsible kids and they'll look after each other. (They are pretty good kids.) Their father thinks this might be OK; I do not. What say you?

—Skittish Mom

Dear Skit,
To quote that sage Betty Bowers, "Nature … abhors a vacuum. Paris Hilton notwithstanding." Two young teenagers, in Prudie's opinion, do not belong home alone without supervision. There is no reason to cave in to the kids' wishes. You would just spend the trip worrying about what they were getting in to or up to. (At ages 16 and 18 … maybe.) Tell the boys that you do find them responsible, but you and their father feel they're not quite at an age where they can be on their own, and you would feel irresponsible if there were no grown up in charge. And do show a united front on this, or the sitter's life will be hell. Have a lovely trip.

—Prudie, conscientiously