We’re Cheating, We’re Having Our Period, and We Hate Your Clothes

by A Dude

What do you think about a girl who’s cheating WITH you? Like, you know she has a boyfriend, and you pursued her anyway, but now are you like, ‘Damn, I wish this girl was MY girlfriend, gotta make that happen’, or ‘Hmmm, maybe I don’t want to be involved with this person ’cause she’s a cheater’?

This one is so context-dependent I don’t even know. I guess you start with the basics: no one really likes a cheater, unless they do, in which case you pretend the cheating never happened until the once-illicit relationship goes to shit. More particularly, it depends on the relationship between the cheater and both her boyfriend and the other dude. Two illustrations. First: I once wanted to date this girl who had a boyfriend but their relationship was pretty terrible and, in my then-opinion, she and I made more sense. So I pursued her, etc., and we finally hooked up, and I can’t remember if she was cheating then but, at best, the corpse of her relationship was really, really warm. Good news, though (I guess?) — we were together for, like, two years and the cheating thing was definitely not our biggest problem. Second: a friend and I had some weird emotional thing, but she had a boyfriend, more or less. We hooked up (again, more or less). But, I definitely didn’t want to date her in a serious way because I was pretty sure she would have been the world’s worst girlfriend, at least partially because of how she treated the boyfriend.

Which is all to say that there are times, I think, when cheating, at least as an immediate precursor to a breakup, makes sense for the people involved, even if it’s still a shitty thing to do. And so when the cheating arises from a strong, mutual interest, and the old relationship isn’t something great, I think it can maybe all work out? But not for everyone, obviously, because that other dude is still getting fucked.

If there’s someone you have a crush on but he’s in a serious relationship — but you just found out HE once had a crush on you while YOU were in a serious relationship — is there any way to do anything about it without being a total asshole? Just wait it out? Or forget about it? Or send him friendly/”benign” emails/whatevers every so often in case they make him realize he needs to break up with his girlfriend because he’s secretly madly in love with you? I mean, I think I know the answer to this. : (

I’d treat this pretty similarly to the above: how serious, how many feelings, how big of an asshole are you comfortable being, etc.? If the answers look something like not very, a lot, and pretty big, I’d say go for it. If the answers look different, give it some thought, but weigh the factors as you see fit. “Serious,” as a descriptor of relationships, frequently means “long” and not a great deal more. It doesn’t necessarily say anything about the depth of people’s feelings, and it says even less about the contentedness of a relationship’s members. Even though you’ll inevitably look like a giant dick to a lot of people, I’d feel not a lot of internal, ethical discomfort in being the cause of the breakup when that breakup presumably made one of the parties happier. People need to be paying more attention to the world around them anyway, right?

So, again, sending emails, flirting, and all of that are probably not classy things to do; nor, in this context, are they things to be proud of. But they are things we do, and they don’t always turn out badly.

If we’re friends who have been having sex on and off for years, have you told all of our mutual guy friends about it, both in a bragging way and a ‘don’t hit on her because I call dibs indefinitely’ way?

Yes, or, alternatively, no, but then they asked and he said yes. This is obvious enough, but people who know you well, and who you see frequently, know more about you than you tell them. This is true even among dudes. In the context of sex, and who is having it with whom, it’s especially true when the guy friends are mutual. I can think of zero times when secret couples I’ve known, myself included, have been successfully secret for long. In most cases, the friends noticed that something was up, they guessed what was happening, and then they gave their friend shit for long enough that he gave it up. Or he didn’t, but they know anyway.

As for whether it’s bragging or dibs, it’s not always going to be one or the other. Some dudes brag about sex, but some don’t, and, then, some love to brag but have also had sex with people who they aren’t, like, that excited for everyone to know about, so then no bragging. So who knows, maybe. And also, there isn’t, honestly, that much bragging that can be done about sex. You do it, and then that’s pretty cool, and you tell your friends, and they say, good job, but after that, when you continue to have sex with that same person, what are you going to brag about?

And with regard to the dibs thing, there’s certainly a well established norm among groups of male friends that when someone has an interest/relationship with a girl, everyone backs off, and that norm works pretty well, at least when no one else is interested. However, experience suggests that it can be forgotten quickly if anyone else decides that he (1) has an interest in the girl after all and (2) might have a shot with her.

If a girl pooped in your apartment and forgot to flush it before she left and you had already left before her so the door to the apartment was locked, would you rather her break into your house and flush it, call you before you went home to warn you, or just fake her own death? (My friend ___’s boyfriend pooped in her house and forgot to flush the morning after their 2nd date.)

I guess fake her own death? It’s overkill, sure, but given the choice between that and having some girl break into my house, I think I’ll take the girl whose total insanity involves only herself. Permitted to go beyond those choices, I’d say probably don’t worry about it. I mean, be mortified and never bring it up, but I think that a guy’s likely response is to not care that much — he may think it’s gross, but if it’s enough to make him lose interest, he was really, really not that into you.

Generally, the dudes I’ve known have been weirdly willing to talk about shit and shitting — excited, even. But maybe this only applies to male shitting, and when it’s a girl, the whole pelvic area is so thoroughly sexualized in the guy’s mind that the thought of her defecating is really horrible. This could be a thing, I don’t know. What is not a thing is the idea that visual evidence that a girl shits will make a guy lose sexual interest in that girl. He just may not want to talk about it. He also might really want to talk about it, in which case she should probably just go ahead and fake her own death.

What if a guy is super into his style and it’s kind of lame? Like he LOVES his clothes and thinks he looks AMAZING. HOW ON EARTH do you fix it, if at all?

More than anything else, I want to know what this guy wears that produces such dissonance. I live in a place where it’s apparently appropriate for men well out of college to wear baggy, too-long, bootcut jeans with flip-flops. All year. Which is to say that most American dudes are so embarrassingly apathetic when it comes to their clothes that I tend to think that almost anyone who does end up making an effort is probably, at worst, vastly outperforming the majority of his peers. I’ve known plenty of guys who are deeply attached to their unfortunate wardrobe decisions, but this is almost always due to laziness or a fear of change/trying. It sounds like this guy arrived at his sense of style by way of some thought process, though, and I don’t have a lot of experience with what to do when that goes horribly wrong. Your best bet is probably to give him counterexamples — things that you think look good — and try to engage him in a dialogue about those. He has strong feelings on the issue, so changing his mind will be tough. On the other hand, he at least apparently thinks about clothes, so maybe he can, at some point, look objectively at his apparently lame style.

I’ve also heard that people who date for a long time begin, eventually, to look like one another. Maybe, then, you can dress like you want him to look and one day you’ll both arrive at some happy middle.

Do we approach you or wait for you to approach us about doing it on our period?

Dudes know girls have periods, but they also seem sometimes reluctant to acknowledge that fact with words. My sense is that, typically, guys aren’t going to bring up the subject of period sex, for various reasons, and so if a girl wants it, she’ll probably need to be the one to bring it up. I tend to be of the opinion that if you can’t talk comfortably about this stuff with the person you’re having sex with, maybe y’all shouldn’t really be having sex — so ideally this shouldn’t be that hard. Some dudes are going to be reluctant, because I think that society teaches us to be afraid of menstruation. Plus I think a lot of dudes think periods=blowjobs, and they aren’t going to give up the dream on their own. But when you ask, it becomes something that must be considered and acknowledged — not ignored — and talking about it can perhaps eliminate irrational resistance. Bottom line, and I think this applies generally to a person’s sex life: tell your partner, with words, what you want, what you like, what you don’t like, etc. I think this is probably the only good advice I have.

Previously: Will you pay for my Brazilian wax?

A Dude is one of several rotating dudes who know everything. Do you have any questions for A Dude?