Is it normal for your boyfriend to have so many wet dreams, in this week’s Dear Prudie extra.

Help! Why Does My Boyfriend Have So Many Wet Dreams?

Help! Why Does My Boyfriend Have So Many Wet Dreams?

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April 3 2017 3:10 PM
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Help! Why Does My Boyfriend Have So Many Wet Dreams?

Dear Prudence answers more of your questions—only for Slate Plus members.

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Every week, Mallory Ortberg answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.

Q. Are wet dreams a red flag?: I have been dating a great guy for a couple months, but it seems like once or twice a week he gets up because he had a wet dream. He said this is normal, but I can’t help to feel self-conscious about not being enough for him.

We have talked about it, and he says I am doing great, but recently I totally pumped him dry and was still jarred awake at 5:30 a.m. by him having to get out of bed and clean up. I am at my wits’ end and think there must be something more than meets the eye in this. Am I crazy? Should I give him the benefit of the doubt and try harder? Or is this just normal?

A: I mean, is your goal that this guy be completely semenless 24/7? Because that is well above and beyond the call of relationship duty.

Don’t make this trickier than it needs to be. Your boyfriend says he’s happy; you two are having regular sex; and sometimes when he is unconscious, he involuntarily ejaculates. It’s not unheard of for adults, even sexually active ones, to still experience the occasional wet dream. He’s not locking himself in the bathroom and avoiding your touch. This has nothing to do with you.

I’m worried if you “try harder” after “pumping him dry,” one or both of you will experience a fatal case of chafing. You’re doing great! Your boyfriend is doing great! Everything is fine. Next time you wake up because he’s getting up to change clothes in the middle of the night, just go back to sleep.

Q. How can I advise a friend on manners/appearance without hurting them?: I’m a gay man whose good friend “Jen” is unhappily single. Guys she meets online become uninterested after the first meeting, and she finds it baffling and hurtful.

Jen’s a lovely, professional woman in her mid-30s—intelligent, creative, thoughtful, sweet. But I suspect that some superficial attributes may be interfering with first impressions. For example, Jen has trouble being calm around strangers, making odd jokes and laughing loudly at weird times (she never acts this way when it’s just us). She eats with her fingers, talks with her mouth full, and smacks as she chews. She needs braces and could use a guiding hand in how she dresses, does her hair, etc.

I think Jen is beautiful, inside and out, and these qualities have never impacted our friendship. That said, after years of hearing her lament about rarely getting to a second date—and stories about being left out of social gatherings at work—I’m tempted to make some gentle suggestions. I’m also afraid this would mortify her.

I’ve never been the “queer eye” to any of my friends; I’m just not that stereotype. But Jen could make simple changes that could improve the perceptions of people meeting her for the first time. What does a close friend do here? Is it possible to point these things out without harming our friendship?

A: If Jen frequently complains about her inability to get a second date, and you have information that might help her, about easy-to-change behaviors, I think you should go ahead and gently point them out. I’d recommend leaving the braces-and-new-wardrobe conversation out, since that’s really a matter of subjective taste, but the messy eating and talking with her mouth full are easy to fix and have probably put off a lot of first dates.

Tell her you’ve heard her talk about how frustrated she’s become over not getting a second date, and ask if you can share something you think might help. If she seems receptive, proceed; if not, back off. Be gentle, but not so gentle that you find yourself not saying anything at all: “I’ve noticed that when you eat, you often speak with your mouth full, chew loudly, or pick up your food with your fingers in ways that are noticeable and distracting. I think it would really help make a better first impression if you slowed down and made sure not to speak when you eat.”

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