The Naked Advice

Model & Writer Liz LaPoint answers your questions about dating, sex, and relationships

Cody wrote: I’m really into this girl I’ve been seeing for a few weeks but I’ve got this one problem with her and I don’t know if I’m being selfish or not. She has 2 cats that she allows to sleep on her bed and I’m allergic to cats. When I first spent the night with her I woke up barely able to breathe so I asked her the next time I was over if she could keep the cats off the bed and she said they are her babies. She told me to take Benadryl. A friend said someone’s pets are a package deal so get used to it. Am I rude to ask her to keep her bed fur-free for me?”

Liz says:  I don’t think it was rude for you to ask her to accommodate your allergy issue. On the contrary, I think she’s rude for expecting you to suffer. I think she’s sending a very clear message that you are not important to her.

Your request was a very simple answer to this problem. Not only is she refusing to be inconvenienced in any way for your health (and really, is it much of an inconvenience to keep a bedroom door shut?) but she expects you to take medicine (and deal with its side effects) because it’s your problem, right? This is not the behavior of a considerate person who sees a future with you.

I’m guessing that spending the night at your place and avoiding her place isn’t an option, otherwise that would be another simple solution. But even if you could do that, it doesn’t behoove you to ignore a Red Flag that she’s a selfish person who won’t consider your needs more important than Fluffy’s need to nap on her bed. I’m a cat lover, so I understand why she lets her cats nap on her bed, but I also understand that if she was into you she would prioritize your needs in this situation.

Waking up “barely able to breathe” is serious enough that if I were you, I would find someone who doesn’t have any cats.

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S.S. wrote: “What’s your take on fur fetish? I personally don’t like real fur per se, but the idea I suppose of the femininity of it. Any ideas?”

Liz says: I’m happy to hear you don’t like real fur, because the methods used to steal the fur are ghastly and barbaric and should be illegal. But I don’t understand the association with femininity. What’s feminine about animal fur? In most cultures, thick body hair is considered masculine and smooth shaved skin is considered feminine. And fur coats on women often makes them appear larger and more masculine.

Anyway, I suspect that part of the appeal is tactile; the sensation of the hair tickling the skin. People have been using feather ticklers forever, I imagine fur does the same thing.

I’ve only heard of this as more of a kink than an actual paraphilia, although I won’t claim that doesn’t exist.

For me, real fur is associated with ugliness because I think it’s disgusting that people will torture and kill animals for money. But culturally fur is associated with wealth and success, so perhaps that plays a role in having a sexually arousing response to it. We tend to associate wealth with power, so a person in fur appears powerful and that can be very arousing for many people.

So that’s my take!

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Episode 1 just went live! Please follow this link to listen:

Reasonable Buzzkill, Episode 1

Jon, Terry, and I discuss what inspired us to create Reasonable Buzzkill, how we became atheists, the “Dine and Dash Dater”, Sweden vs the U.S, and much more.

Thank you for listening and if you enjoyed our discussions and debates, please follow us on Twitter and share the link!

Love,

Liz

S.B. wrote: “Hey Liz, hope you’re doing great. Before I got married I used to write in a journal. I’m not great at expressing myself and am often insecure about sharing my thoughts with others so I found it a helpful outlet. Since I’ve been married, 6 years (I’m 26 if that matters) I have neglected this practice. Lately I’ve been very stressed balancing my tough job and family matters and have felt the desire to revisit my journal but I feel bad about it, like, is it okay to express feelings (in writing) that I am not sharing with my wife? Aren’t I too old to be using, lets call it what it is, a diary? As much as I’d like to do it it feels silly.

Unrelatedly, have you seen the movie Her? If not I highly recommend.”

Liz says: Being married doesn’t mean you never get to be alone with your thoughts. Sometimes we don’t feel like turning to our best friends and partners when we are struggling with something, sometimes quiet introspection is what we need. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it doesn’t become the only coping skill you use. Never turning to friends or your spouse can isolate you, making you feel all alone and can lead to depression. Keeping a journal or diary can be hugely beneficial, though, and has been shown to improve emotional health.

This study, for one, published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Experimental Psychology shows results that highlight these emotional and mental health benefits.

Don’t feel silly about journaling, many adults do it and who knows, maybe it will turn into a best-selling memoir one day! Check out these famous people who all kept diaries.

***No I haven’t seen the movie “Her” yet! I will soon now that you recommend it.

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Chad wrote: “Hey Liz, so there is something that I have no idea why but it’s bothering me way too much and it is extremely petty. My girlfriend decided to get a small tattoo of her cousin’s name (he just recently passed away this week). I know she is getting the tattoo for a good reason but I do not want her to get one. I know it sounds petty of me but I am getting mad at myself for not wanting her to get the tattoo. The more I think about her getting it the more upset I get, but then I have to realize it’s her body and her choice and it’s for a good reason and then I get even more upset at myself for not wanting her to get it. My frustration over this has gotten to the point where I am ignoring her calls and texts and now I’m asking for advice.”

Liz says: So let me get this straight: you’re upset with yourself for being petty so you’re punishing your girlfriend by ignoring her?

You mention you have “no idea why” you have a problem with it, but there is a reason. Nobody has an emotional response like this from nothing. Do you hate tattoos in general? Does it make you jealous that another person’s name will be on her body instead of yours? Are you concerned that you’ll be reminded of something tragic every time you look at that part of her body? Whatever the reasons are, you need to acknowledge them in order to move past it.

You said yourself it’s her body, her choice, and it’s “for a good reason” (which doesn’t really matter, nobody has to give you a good reason for adorning their body with whatever art they want), so you have reflected upon your feelings enough to recognize you just need to accept her decision. So do it! You have the power here to simply work through your feelings and accept you can’t control her decision in this.

Stop ignoring her, too. Just tell her how you feel about it, instead of avoiding the conversation. Then you both can work through it and move on. Being honest here is way better than this passive-aggressive nonsense you’re doing. Own how you feel and you’ll both feel better after talking it out.

Good luck!

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Megan wrote: “Hi Liz! I’d like to know what you think about public cross-dressing. If the crossdresser derives any sense of erotic excitement from being seen in public, does that throw up any ethical red flags? If the person is not exclusively motivated by sexual excitement but experiences some, does this mean they are involving others unwittingly in a fetish?

Though I’ve generally passed as a heteronormative guy, I’m quite bi-curious and I’ve long desired to feel girly and explore my feminine side.

I enjoy presenting feminine in public and going on girly outings like bra fittings and salon makeup appointments. The totally platonic interaction with women is really exciting in a wholesome way. Knowing they see me as one of the girls and hanging out without any sexual subtext is so refreshing! But I sometimes feel arousal, likely due to breaking taboos and feeling more fluid about my sexuality.

I hate to think that this makes what I’m doing unfair to others and I want a safe and healthy avenue to explore these interests. What do you think?”

Liz says: Does the employee actually fit you for a bra? Or do you ask for the measuring tape and go into a fitting room for privacy? I’m just curious how that works out!

Anyway, I don’t think what you’re enjoying is unfair or unethical. You’re not intentionally misleading anyone for the purpose of breaking their heart or sexually assaulting them. You’re not “unwittingly involving others in a fetish” that’s crossing illegal or unethical boundaries, like the guys who snap up-skirting videos of strangers in public. You’re just hanging out with friends and you happen to have a secret. Who cares? You be you.

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Sergio wrote: “Hi Liz, I often get compliments on the way I look, dress, and work out, but I’m still not confident about myself. That’s because I’m still a virgin. I’m a 21-year-old guy now, and I sometimes really feel the need to have sex. I kinda feel ashamed when I mention the topic of sex with my friends. Sometimes I really have had enough of waiting. What can I do?”

Liz says: Your twenties are for a lot of things: dating, “finding” yourself, learning a trade or getting a college degree, and having fun before bigger responsibilities come along. When you focus on these things instead of focusing on getting laid, getting laid will happen naturally because people find you more attractive when you’re just enjoying life and working to get ahead.

Enriching your life through education, work, and hobbies makes you more appealing than someone who might be giving off the scent of desperation, which most people can smell a mile away. In other words, who cares that you’re “still” a virgin? Have fun with your friends, join a meet up group in your area, and just enjoy your life. You’ll find someone soon enough.

**I want to add a note about your use of the phrase “enough of waiting”, because it implies that you feel as if you are owed sex and you’re frustrated that women are withholding it from you. If that’s not the case, then great, but if it does then you need to understand nobody owes you anything. As an example, imagine if someone said “I’m still unmarried and I’ve had enough of waiting”. Or “I haven’t been hired for a job and I’ve had enough of waiting”. Nobody owes you a job, nobody owes you their life as your spouse, and nobody owes you sex. Those are things you work for, through self-improvement, or education, or learning social skills.

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J.O. wrote: “Hey Liz, so I have a shrinking fetish and I told my girlfriend about it but she does not like acknowledging it. She says it’s weird and she doesn’t like it. I have brought up my shrinking fetish to some other friends that are girls and they actually talk about it with me. They like to talk to me about how life would be like and how our current relationship as friends would change. I sometimes feel weird doing this because I feel like I’m low key cheating on my girlfriend, but besides just talking there are no actions being taken on actually cheating. What should I do about this?”

Liz says: When you say your female friends talk about how your “current relationship as friends would change” when they discuss it with you, do you mean they talk about wanting to participate in activities that incorporate your shrinking fetish? If not, then keep in mind it’s easy for friends to discuss something they aren’t expected to partake in like a girlfriend would be expected to.

Either way, your girlfriend’s attitude is what really matters here. It appears you have two choices: accepting that your lady finds something about you weird and won’t be satisfying any fantasies you have in that department, or deciding it’s important to be with someone who doesn’t find it weird and will be more open-minded about it. Which way you go depends on whether this is an actual fetish for you or simply a kink you’re aroused by, and how much you love your girlfriend and how solid your relationship is with each other in every other aspect.

I will say this though: Oftentimes it’s when we’re around other people that we recognize what’s missing in our current relationships. Your friends are serving you the realization that there are openminded women out there who won’t call you weird and refuse to acknowledge your desire. Listen to your instincts.

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A.S. wrote: “Hi Liz, I am a big fan of yours, I love the videos you used to make. The best part was the occasional laughs you had while reading something weird. It really turned me on ’cause it looked like you were humiliating those guys. Anyway, coming on to my question: I like watching CEI and JOI videos, but at the end of the CEI videos, I am never able to eat it up. I always end up throwing it away. I really want to eat it, but I can’t seem to get the courage. What should I do so that I can at least follow all the instructions through to the end in CEI video?”

Liz says: Thanks for watching my channel. I’m a big fan of yours, too, because my fans are awesome!

So you can’t follow the instructions to eat your own semen when some random stranger tells you to in an effort to make you feel humiliated? Sounds healthy to me.

Look, if being humiliated turns you on sexually, there are myriad ways to be humiliated that don’t involve ejaculate. Listening to your own instincts is a good thing. So don’t do anything you don’t actually want to do. I’m guessing that simply being told to do it is enough to be arousing for you, actually following through is an unnecessary step anyway. Sometimes the idea of something is enough.

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S.C. wrote: “So happy your back! I hope all has been well. My wife and I are relatively young (both 26), married for 6 years with two young children. We argue on occasion but for the most part we have a loving and trusting marriage… but the romance department isnt great. Basically, we will have sex once a week and it’s great, but it feels very routine, almost obligatory. It’s like, “Okay it’s the second friday night of the week, here we go”, utilizing one of the two basic positions we use with no or little foreplay and no romantic activity in between this bi-monthly sex. I almost miss the days before we got married and started having sex, where we were doing hand/mouth stuff spontaneously while watching tv, and I’m struggling with how to address it and bring it back. When we are doing the deed my wife is into it, but outside those “sessions” she doesn’t seem to be interested in much, giving or receiving. Help?”

Liz says: Almost every married couple with and without kids is hardcore relating to your issue right now. It’s so common, there are hundreds of books and websites littered with advice on “How To Get The Spark Back Into Your Marriage!”

In other words, don’t buy into the nonsense that it must mean there’s something wrong in the marriage if you two aren’t pawing each other every chance you get anymore. You haven’t written anything that indicates you’re interpreting it this way, but it’s worth mentioning anyway (if not for you, then for my readers).

Humans have a need for novelty. It’s one of the driving forces behind exploration, innovation, and our tendency to desire multiple lovers over our lifetime. Humans get bored easily, it’s one of the side effects of being more intelligent animals. That’s why you don’t see squirrels getting bored eating acorns all day and creating Acorn Ragout.

Plus, humans tend to appreciate more what we can’t easily have. Psychologically, we subconsciously become more likely to take for granted the people who are always around, and in a marriage that can affect your sex drive or attraction to your partner.

Not to mention, other priorities take the lead. When you first meet, if you don’t have kids or careers, you have more time for spontaneous sex. But as soon as we master “Adulting” we give priority to the assortment of new responsibilities, like office meetings and your kid’s dental appointments. With more on our plate, spontaneous sex and frequent sex tend to take a backseat.

The answer to all this isn’t that humans should never get married or have kids, of course. Here are my tips:

  1. Understand that this is typical/common. After the rush of first love wears off, couples enter into what experts call Companionate Love. It’s romantic love without the obsessive thinking of each other and hard-to-control lust. Can you imagine if love never evolved past this stage? We’d never get anything done in society. Recognizing that this is a healthy stage is good because people who don’t are more likely to cheat on their partner or resent their partner because they assume their lack of frequent sex is a sign of something wrong in the relationship.
  2. Become a more egalitarian couple. Studies show that in relationships where both mates equally help around the home with the kids and chores, they rate their sex lives as more satisfying and they have more sex on average. This is most likely because if one spouse is more burdened by chores and children, they’re more stressed and tired (which lowers sex drive) and more resentful of the spouse who’s not putting in their part.
  3. Try something new. This could be something you both have discussed trying outside the bedroom or inside the bedroom. Doing something fun and novel can create a renewed sense of excitement in the relationship, even when it’s not sexual. For example, have you guys talked about an interest in skydiving? Or learning French together? Or trying sex in the shower? Anything new that gets us out of a rut stimulates parts of the brain that can be invigorating to the relationship.

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