Monday, April 02, 2007

sexual health for teddy bears

Let me tell you a story about a friend of a friend...

My friend Jackie has two roommates, let's call them Anne and Esther. Anne is a friend of Jackie's, and Esther is a friend of a friend who happened to be looking for a new place when they were looking for a roommate. Esther, despite being in her early 20's, often speaks in a high-pitched baby voice and has a collection of teddy bears. Her favorite bear is Prayer Bear, and she brings him everywhere with her.

One day she comes home from her boyfriend's house, Prayer Bear tucked under her arm and hands on her hips, and says with a pout, "I'm so mad! Brent threw Prayer Bear in the trash!"

Jackie and Anne do their best to hide their rolling eyes and ask politely, "Esther, why did Brent throw Prayer Bear in the trash?"

"Because I put signs up asking him to stop masturbating in front of me."

Anne and Jackie practically choke on their food, and, as they are now much more interested in what Esther has to say, ask her to continue.

"He masturbates in front of me all the time and he won't stop. It's not like we're even making out when he does it. Like, I'll be sitting doing my homework and he's sitting next to me masturbating, or we're watching TV and he's over there masturbating, or we're taking a shower together and he's off in a corner masturbating!"

I want to pause here to say that I don't believe this is, by any stretch of the imagination, normal. A guy's in a shower with his wet, soapy, and naked girlfriend, and he's off in a corner masturbating, completely disinterested in her. What's even funnier to me, however, is that homegirl retaliated by putting post-it notes all over his apartment asking him not to masturbate in front of her anymore, and he got back at her by throwing her teddy bear in the trash.

Anytime I start to think that my interpersonal relationships are dysfunctional, I think I should remember this story and be reassured that it could, in fact, be worse.

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