Sex with the ex and issues with teeth

Dear Ms. Behavior:

My girlfriend Roxy and I broke up a couple of months ago and we’re doing well with the friendship thing. I know that Roxy and I are not meant to be together; more specifically, I initiated the break-up talk. However, I would never — given the current situation of neither of us dating anyone else — say no to sex with her. While I realize that we have “big-issue” problems between us, this knowledge has not made her ass any less fine or her mouth any less desirable. So, here’s my question: How can Roxy want to stay connected to me, cook me dinner and call me — but not want to fuck me? I mean, how about at least a couple times a month just to stay in practice and remind ourselves that we are women? What the F? — Confused Soft Butch

Dear Confused Soft Butch:

Roxy needs to protect herself emotionally. By breaking up with her, you broke the magic thread that runs from the heart to the clit, and you can’t just glue it back together with saliva.

You knew that Roxy’s ass was fine and that her mouth was desirable on the day that you and she broke up. Did you really expect her to trade being your girlfriend for being your fuck buddy? Since you’re still “connected” to each other, still eating together, still talking on the phone, maybe the only factor that defines you as friends instead of lovers is the fact that you’re not having sex. You want to blur those lines; after all, if you’re not hooking up with anyone else at the moment, why not do the nasty with your ex? But you can’t have it both ways. Boundaries are an important emotional protection, particularly to the person who didn’t want to break up.

Whatever the problem between you and Roxy, defining yourselves as a couple didn’t work. But it’s difficult to convert an intimate, romantic relationship to a casual-sex arrangement. It’s hard to know what to do with the love and resentment.

Like many “confused butches,” you assume that sex and love can be teased apart, like an errant pubic hair from your happy tongue. But in most cases (between women), it can’t. Does this mean that you can’t have sex without love? No. But even when two women agree in advance that they both want raucous naked fun, it rarely remains “just sex” if it continues for more than two weeks.

Dear Ms. Behavior:

I met a guy recently that I’m very attracted to; he also has a nice personality but he has very messed-up teeth. I am not shallow but I do not understand why he hasn’t fixed his teeth. I want to ask him but I am afraid to hurt his feelings. I had messed-up teeth from sucking my thumb but my mother fixed my teeth when I was a child. Even if she hadn’t, I would have gotten braces. They are expensive but doctors allow you to make payments slowly.

The true problem is that I get distracted every time he opens his mouth or smiles. I keep finding myself looking at his teeth. And he’s caught me a few times. Then, when I try to avoid looking, it makes me feel awkward because I can’t look at him in his face while he’s talking. What should I do? I like him and would like to continue dating him. Should I ask him to get braces?

Thanks in advance for whatever advice you can give. — Toothy’s Date

Dear Toothy’s Date:

Surely “Toothy” hasn’t gone through his whole life without noticing that his teeth are messed up. But it sounds like it’s too soon for you to start suggesting cosmetic improvements. (A good rule of thumb might be waiting three months before mentioning orthodonture, six months for rhinoplasty or facelifts, and a year for penis enhancement.)

As you get to know Toothy, try to figure out if his messed-up teeth begin to recede from your attention or if they perhaps begin to seem cute. If they continue to seem huge and frightening — especially to your johnson — you’ll have to share your former experience as a thumbsucker and your recommendation for his dental transformation. The real question is whether or not you’d be willing to be with him even if he decides never to get braces.

Meryl Cohn is the author of “‘Do What I Say’: Ms. Behavior’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette” (Houghton Mifflin). E-mail her at [email protected] or visit

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