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Hey Woody!

My boyfriend told me I’m not very ‘erotic.’ I asked what he meant but he says he can’t explain it—”it’s just a thing you either have or don’t have.” I’m pissed off at him for being so hurtful, but then again, I’m the one who insisted on being honest with each other. So how do I become more ‘erotic?’

– Honesty sucks


Hey Woody!

My boyfriend told me I’m not very ‘erotic.’ I asked what he meant but he says he can’t explain it—”it’s just a thing you either have or don’t have.” I’m pissed off at him for being so hurtful, but then again, I’m the one who insisted on being honest with each other. So how do I become more ‘erotic?’

– Honesty sucks

Dear Honesty:

I wouldn’t be mad at your boyfriend for being honest; I’d be mad at him for being such a prick. I mean, what the hell kind of thing is that to say to your partner—”You’re not very erotic.”

First lesson in constructive sex talk: Never make judgmental statements. Yes, I know, they’re very funny to make (“Honey, your breath is so bad I can see the words coming out of you”) but hard to recover from. The way you say things is more important than what you say.

Second lesson: Never ask for less of what you don’t want; ask for more of what you do want. In other words, stay positive. If you tell someone they’re rubbish at giving head but great at everything else they won’t hear a word past the first part of the sentence. People become fixated on what’s wrong, not on what’s right.

Let’s pretend he said you suck in the sack in a constructive way. Here’s what he probably means:

1. You’re lying so still in bed he can’t decide if you died or his watch stopped. Think of ‘erotic’ as another word for energy. Move around in bed. Go right, fake left, keep him guessing. Two good rules: Never do anything for longer than a minute or two, and never end up where you started. That goes for positions, acts and even rooms! He could also be turned off by your clothing, but doesn’t know how to say it or solve it.

2. You’re Wearing Shape-Shifting Potato Sacks. I’m not going to give you fashion tips because real men don’t look at what you’re wearing and think, “Wow, what a beautiful shirt!” They think “Wow! When’s that coming off!” Still, talk to your friends and get an honest appraisal: Do you look like a stud about to blow or a librarian about to read? Ask them for help in picking out clothes that show off your body.

3. You Have The Imagination of a Post Office. Jump-start your imagination with a “bed picnic.” Buy a bunch of erotic picture books and magazines, some wine and nibble-friendly food (grapes, chocolate-dipped strawberries). Then go through the books together, pick out a couple of positions and say, “You see this? That’s what I want to try with you.”

Hey Woody,

I’m REALLY conservative when it comes to safe sex. I mean, to the point that I won’t have sex unless I see the medical records of my partner’s status–not just HIV but everything else. What’s the best way to ask my potential partner to show me documentation that he’s “clean?”

– Phobic

You’ve got a bigger problem than knowing people’s status—your obsession about avoiding an STD. There’s a difference between a healthy concern and a desperate compulsion. Concern will lead you to safety; compulsion will lead you to isolation. By your standards you’ll never have sex again. Do you honestly expect guys to take weekly STD tests? And even if they did, so what? By the time they get the test back they could get infected. I say stick to having safe sex.

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Sweating Too Much

Hey Woody,

I read your answer to “smelly” (how to tell your new boyfriend his crotch smells like a grease-encrusted vomit bucket). Loved your answer but wanted to add a different dimension to the problem. I’m one of those guys who smell down there because I sweat so much. It’s very embarrassing. It doesn’t take much to soak my shirt. I could be in a mildly warm bar and sweat like I’m a whore in church. Any advice for people like me?

– Spikot

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