My boyfriend keeps Tweeting about our sex life. His account isn't locked or anything — for all I know, my mom could be following him. Is it fair for me to ask him to stop?
Oh, Twitter. How we love writing about Twitter! We in the media! Which I sort of am, I guess! Tweet tweet, let's pretend that this method of communication, which is exactly the same as a million billion other social networking thingies except for character limits, is somehow revolutionary and confusing!
Look, ok, everyone. And this is not just for you, question-asker, this is for everyone, especially those of you who are the perky, white-toothed hosts of morning television programs: TWITTER IS JUST THE SAME AS EVERYTHING ELSE. The rules are the same. The etiquette is the same. The way people use it is the same. It is like a status update. Like a tiny blog. Like any number of analogues in technology that involve people sharing the stupid minutia of their daily lives with both friends and strangers.
So here's how to solve any confusion. Substitute "tweet" with something more familiar. Would you feel comfortable asking your boyfriend to quit "blogging" about your sex life? Would you feel comfortable asking your boyfriend to quit "texting people" about your sex life? Would you feel comfortable asking your boyfriend to quit "telling strangers with his mouth" about your sex life? Yes? Ok! Question answered.
If a partner is telling people about your shared sex life and you don't want them to, you are always allowed to ask them to quit it. And if they don't, there is an easy solution: quit having sex with that person.
My girlfriend is an artist working in photography, video and performance. Her art is about, you know, womenship and bodies and whatnot, so she's often naked. On camera. Which is fine. But sometimes it tends toward being... explicit, especially lately, as her work progresses, and it's starting to be a bit much for me. The last thing I want to do is interfere with her art, but it's hard for me to see her do this stuff in front of everyone. What should I do?
Well, the thing about that, and I'm pretty sure you already know this, is that she's allowed to do whatever she wants with her body, even if it kind of freaks you out.
But also, like the Twitter chick, you're completely within your rights to break up with her if the whole thing starts to be more than you can handle. The situation is tricky, you know? It would be sad for both of you if it came to that, but it's not fair for you to be unhappy all the time, either.
I do think it's totally fair for you to say, "Hey, it makes me feel uncomfortable when you finger yourself on camera. I respect your right to do it but FYI."
Ultimately, you're just going to have to decide for yourself if you can hang with a girlfriend who is, as you say, explicit on film. If you decide no, you're probably going to feel shitty when you tell her, but the thing is that everyone gets to decide for themselves what they are comfortable with, sexually. That means that everyone can be as explicit as they want, and everyone can be as private as they want. And if two people cannot reconcile their comfort levels, well, that is what we call being sexually incompatible. •