From Soft to Hardcore 

Dear Audrey,
My friend claims her boyfriend (who has problems with erectile dysfunction) came even though he was soft. This goes against everything I understand about how penises work. Can that happen? Or did he just pee in her or something?

If you cannot tell the difference between jizz and pee, the penises you encounter have a dysfunction far surpassing the erectile. And yes, weirdly, what your friend describes can happen. Actually it’s kind of common, since dudes with ED are usually feeling kind of stressed about getting it over with, so they both come really quickly AND fail to get hard.

And now a PSA: if you have problems getting it up, don’t get all freaked out about it. Go see your doctor if it’s an ongoing issue, but there’s a lot tied up, emotionally, in boners, not to even mention all the medical stuff, so you know, it’s not worth getting all upset about. Guys and their dicks, man. I don’t know how the stereotype is that women are the nutball, controlled-by-their-chemicals ones, given how weird boys get about their wieners.

Dear Audrey,
I have a friend who is always telling me all these crazy sex stories, like hooking up with totally inappropriate people or having unprotected sex with strangers while drunk and weeping or any number of nutty things. On the one hand, she is someone who is prone to exaggerating things and likes to see herself as an unfettered wild child; on the other hand, she does make bad decisions a lot, and can be kind of unbalanced. At what point is it my responsibility to say something to her?

Hmm. That is a puzzler. I know this is kind of a cop-out, but it depends on the situation. Ultimately, no matter how much you love someone, their body is their body and they are allowed to do what they want with it, even if it is ultimately harmful. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try and convince her not to do stuff you think might be hurting her.

I mean, I guess for me the important distinction is between her doing things that you think are distasteful to your morals or “slutty” or bad for her reputation or whatever and things that you think are actually putting her in harm’s way.

If it were me, I’d tell someone that I don’t think they should be having unprotected sex. This is a legitimately bad idea. And I think if I got the sense that my friend was operating from a place of not being totally emotionally/mentally stable, I might just check in in general, like, “Are you doing ok? You seem a little depressed/manic/whatever lately.”

But if she’s just someone who tells wild stories to get attention, then I dunno. I definitely know people who take stuff they heard happened to someone else or straight-up “hotdog stuck in a vadge”-level urban legends and pretend it happened to them or someone they’re fucking, so there’s that.

Sorry this is such a noncommittal answer. It’s kind of a hard question, which is I guess why you asked. I would say trust your instincts. If you really think she is being dangerous, tell her you’re worried about her. And when she’s telling you her fuckin’ stories, maybe don’t laugh at the parts about barebacking and instead look worried.

I know people who are total drama queens that I ignored and later found out had serious problems, and other people who I worried about who were fine and just going through a crazy phase. I suppose the most important thing is to make sure that you’re seeing clearly, guided by concern for her safety and happiness, and not being judgey or just uncomfortable with a sexuality that is more open-ended than yours. Good luck


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