Smokin? It. Strokin? It. 

Dear Audrey,
I hope this one isn’t too weird for you. I just started dating this guy, and we’ve fooled around a few times. But then last night he sort of stopped partway through and asked if I wanted a cigarette. I mean, I smoke, so it wasn’t entirely off base. But it quickly got weird. He wanted to keep messing around, passing the cigarette back and forth. Have you heard of this fetish? I hadn’t. And, to be honest, I had a good time. But I wouldn’t want it to be an every-time thing. So my question is: should I tell him this outright or wait for it to come up and risk ruining the mood?

Readers, I will be honest with you, I thought this one was a fakesy. But I checked back with the guy and he swears it is a real question, albeit from his friend. I had never heard of the smoking-while-having-sex fetish either, though if the internet has taught us anything, it is that absolutely any activity, mundane or exotic, is fetishized by somebody somewhere.

Frankly, my first thought on reading the description of what transpired wasn’t “fetish” but rather that maybe it was time for someone to get those nicotine patches, because if you can’t even go the time it takes to fuck your new boyfriend without a smoke, it’s time to cut back.

Regardless, I think with smoke-fucking fetishes, as with all fetishes, the important thing is to convey to your partner that you are supportive of their fetish but perhaps don’t share it, and so they’re going to have to meet you halfway. Which in this case is probably as simple as, when the guy stops and asks if you want a cigarette, huskily saying something to the effect of, “I liked it with the cigarette last time, but can we try it this time without?”
And if that ruins the mood, then maybe it’s time to let this one go, unless you’re willing to have your sex life inextricably tied to your smoking habit. Which is fine, but can we just make it so that the commercials with the tragic tracheotomy man are removed from my TV and only beamed into yours? Because those are really killing my enjoyment of Top Chef.

Dear Audrey,
I caught my 13-year-old son looking at porn on the computer the other day. I know it’s natural and that he’s going to be a horny little guy for a couple of years, but I also worry because I’ve read that kids exposed to so much internet porn have weird expectations about sex and how women look and that sort of thing. I don’t want my son to turn out a misogynist or be sexually unsatisfied as an adult. Should I worry?

Well first let me say thank you for not being a total prude and shaming your son for looking at porn. That is pretty right-on, and your concerns about raising your kid to be a feminist (or least not a misogynist) are good ones. But even though I grew up sans internet, I think we both know that since the dawn of time, all teenagers will look at as much dirty stuff as they can get their paws on.

I mean, are the old Hustlers your cousins found in the woods any less potentially damaging? Obviously the internet makes it way easier to watch  a shitload of porn, and there’s no way to tell what effect, if any, that might have on someone. But what’s the alternative? Putting on one of those net nannies? Scolding? Providing feminist-produced porn as a counterpoint?

I think you just have to trust that he’ll be smart enough to sort out fantasy images from reality. And not think about how many times a day your kid is upstairs whacking it.


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