Q: I don’t consider myself a messy or unorganized person, but my boyfriend finds it necessary to pick up after me. All the time! If I leave a glass on the counter, he immediately washes it. Clothes on the floor from last night are put away while I sleep. I can’t even leave the seat up in my own house! Some might find this live-in housekeeper ideal, but it drives me crazy! How can I get him to stop “mothering” me and let my stuff be? David F. in Seattle, WA
A: What we have here is a classic clash of control issues. If you don’t address this ASAP, it could easily escalate from resentment to rage. You’ll find yourself dropping the poo-poo undies in the living room just to piss him off, and he will launder, iron, fold, box them up and mail them to you just to make his point. That’s not a relationship. That’s a ticking time bomb. You know someone is eventually going to crack and go postal. So have the sit-down talk now. Be prepared to offer compromises, though, because this is not about winning or being right. It’s about both of you being honest about your needs—his need to be Mr. Clean and your need to be a lighter version of Pigpen. Every relationship needs these communication and negotiation skills, whether they are used to work out neatnik issues, vacation destinations or outside sex, so you may as well start learning and using them now. Keep having the discussion until each person feels heard, respected and agrees to abide by the outcome to see if it works—with the understanding that if it doesn’t, you can always renegotiate. Just remember, David you’re in this together, so don’t try to stake out the moral high ground. As the saying goes, you can either be right or you can have a relationship.
“I DO,” BUT WHEN? Q: When are we going to get marriage equality in this country? State by state is not the way to do it. How do we get the leaders of this country to make this happen sooner? I ain’t getting any younger, and I have to find me a hubby! B.V. in Henderson, NV
A: Why are you waiting for federal permission to throw down with someone you love? Three words: fuck that shit. No one can predict when it will finally be done, although I’m absolutely certain it’s just a matter of time. In the meantime, I invite you to join the many thousands of gay men who are living the future here and now by going into and forward with relationships as if we already had marriage equality. Along the way, we model gay marriage in our everyday lives, thus dispelling the fear and ignorance of those who oppose it. Then the politicians will follow. Be the change you want to see in the world, especially in front of frightened straight people. Gandhi said that. Well, close.
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SHARE THE HAIR Q: The last time I checked, being a man meant having some kind of hair on your body. What’s with all these trends to lop it all off? Shouldn’t we be embracing our manliness instead of chopping it off? I happen to think hair is hot all over a man. What’s the deal? “Beary Confused” via instinctmagazine.com
A: Beary, while I’m totally in agreement with you, I don’t feel I have the right to dictate what other people should do with their bodies. Those telling people they have to be smooth are already doing that. But as Instinct’s advice guy, I do feel I have the obligation to ask my dear readers who shave, tweeze, wax or otherwise depilate this question: Why? If it’s because it feels good (hey, even I think everyone should try shaved balls once!) or genuinely makes you happy, then pluck away. But…if it’s so you’ll fit in with the crowd or because all the “pretty boys” in the media look that way or because somebody tried to shame you for looking the way you naturally do, then I don’t think that’s a healthy reason. If someone is only going to like you because you’ve hidden or eliminated something that’s a natural part of yourself, is that the kind of person you really want to be with? (And doesn’t that sound an awful lot like what homophobes want us to do with our sexuality? Hello! Parallels, anyone?) Maybe that “excess” hair is acting as a filter, screening out all the shallow people who won’t accept you as you are. Don’t get me wrong, my stubbly students: If you want to buzz it off, it’s your choice. I just want you to really consider—and own—your reasons for doing it. As for you, Beary, let your fur flag fly!
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