I Can’t Twit You

07/08/2009 4:00 AM |

Dear Audrey,

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

Dear Audrey,

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. •

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