Talk is cheap, but talking is priceless

Life is full of hard conversations: ending a failed relationship, confronting a friend about an addiction, ‘fessing up to bad behavior, telling your kid that Santa isn’t real; the list goes on. Whatever we do to lighten or sweeten them, some topics are just uncomfortable to discuss. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss them. In fact, the tough conversations are usually the ones we most need to have.

Hello Davy,

I met a great guy about a month ago and we hit it off right away. We talked for hours on our first date (and all dates after). He was in no hurry to jump into bed – I thought it a little strange to be honest, but I respected what he was thinking and feeling and was content to wait. Then the big night came. We had no lights on; it was pitch black. He didn’t seem to want me to touch him, but we did have intercourse. I did eventually touch his penis, and it was strange to say the least. He had no testicles except a small lump, and his penis was strangely hard and small (though size doesn’t matter to me as long as one knows how to use it).

I was surprised and a little uncomfortable, but I couldn’t see what was going on since it was so dark. I don’t know how to ask him about it, but I definitely have questions. I really care for him and I’m wondering how to broach the matter. Any ideas?

Thank you,

That is a tough subject to bring up.He’s understandably sensitive about it, and judging from his behavior, he is embarrassed and even ashamed of it as well.Keep in mind that the source of his discomfort lies in the past – he may have endured physical pain or ridicule over this issue – so you need to distinguish your relationship in the present from his previous experiences.You also need to maintain perspective; ensuring that he feels safe and loved is more important than uncovering his mystery, so don’t apply too much pressure lest you further upset him.

I see two ways that you can approach this.The first approach is to harness all of your tact and tenderness and wait for the right circumstances.Don’t ask him about it when you’re having sex; wait for a private and comfortable occasion when you’re not being physically intimate.Ask him about it gently but directly; tip-toeing around your questions will indicate that you’re uneasy about the subject, which will make him uneasy in turn.A moment like this offers an amazing opportunity to bring you closer together, and you should present it as such. Once he’s confident that your curiosity is benevolent, I think he will respond.

The second approach is to defer your questions and instead simply invite him to share whatever and whenever he feels safe doing so. Express your interest in his condition and your willingness to accept him as he is, but avoid interrogating him. Let him dictate when the time is right to open up. I know I just said that tough conversations are often the most pressing, but this seems to be an exception. How immediate is your need to know? If you were on the brink of wedding vows and lil’ shorties (or even less weighty commitments like transitioning from dating to a monogamous relationship), then yes, I’d agree that the conversation was urgent. As it stands, I think you could be patient and give him the opportunity to tell you on his own terms.

About Author:

Davy Rothbart has gained much wisdom from his years and years of romantic misfires. So while his heart might be an idiot, he can likely help you if your heart is acting like a jerk. His aritlces will dish love and relationship advice, reflect on the latest sex studies and meditate on the complicated nature of human interactions as they are illustrated in popular culture.