By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Hey, everybody: If you missed last week's column, I'm taking a week off because, well, go read last week's column if you care to know. Here's an old column—from May 24, 1995—to tide you over until my return next week. It not only features my mother, but also my boyfriend's very first mention in the column. And as you'll see, last week wasn't the first time I gave Mom the credit for my very curious career. —Dan
Q. You recently wrote something about people who "are only attracted to amputees." Well, I personally have been attracted to female amputees for as long as I can remember. Have other people written you about this amputee-attraction phenomenon? I get very excited when I come across a single-legged girl crutching along or encounter a pretty young woman with an empty sleeve dangling where an arm should be. Do you know of any clubs or organizations that cater to such an interest? Are there many others with this attraction, and where can I meet amputees? —AMP Fan
A. My dear old Catholic ma came to visit me from Chicago recently—for a whole week. Mom stayed with me at my new apartment, where she got to meet my new boyfriend, which went something like this: "Isn't he a little young?" "He's 24." "Well, he doesn't look 24." "You got me, Mom. He's 12 years old. I'm the president of NAMBLA. I met him at Baskin-Robbins. I'm going to jail for this. But before I do, I'll sponsor him at his confirmation, OK?"
I bring up my mother not because she's an amputee—just for the record, Mom still runs around on all fours—but because it was my mom who taught me everything I know about giving advice. During my formative years, I spent countless hours listening to my mother tell her sisters, her friends, and ladies from the parish to get their shit together. They came to her, she told them what she thought, and I drank it in. So, in honor of Mother's Day, I let the ol' gal have a go at this sex-advice thang. AMP Fan, here's Mom's advice for you:
"Go and do some volunteer work at a hospital. Work in a rehabilitation institute for people who've lost a limb in a car wreck or something." Sounds like Ma's on your side. Did she really mean to say people attracted to amputees should lurk around hospitals? "Well, no, of course not. I just thought he could meet an amputee that way. I guess he'd be volunteering for the wrong reasons, like a pedophile working for the Boy Scouts." "Or going into the priesthood?" [Icy silence.] "Maybe he should go see a shrink and find out why he's into this."
Sound advice. If I may put in my own two cents: Amputee fetishism, while not as common as, say, leather fetishism, isn't exactly unheard of. While I don't personally have any knowledge of organizations for amputees and the folks who love 'em, perhaps someone reading this does and will write in. Meanwhile, what's to stop you from taking out a personal ad seeking like-minded pervs and starting an organization of your own?
I'm mooning over this guy who works in a store up the street from my house. I gave him my number one day, hoping he'd get the message and call me, but—you guessed it—he hasn't. He always smiles at me when I come into the store and looks interested, but nothing so far. I fell for this guy because he reminded me of this married guy I've been seeing who I think has fallen back in love with his wife. I'm about to give up and become a nun or something. What should I do? I am attractive, confident, and have been told more than once that I'm the fantasy girl of every lover's dreams.—Miserable in Belltown
"Women who date married men are just being used—by men every bit as screwed up as they are," says Mom. "And that man was probably never out of love with his wife.
"I'm heavily into marital fidelity; I'm supportive of marital fidelity," Mom continued, sounding like an unannounced Republican presidential hopeful. "I do think it's possible to have a sexual relationship with a married man and not get hurt," said Mom, suddenly sounding like a Democratic president, "but you have to know in advance that it's not going to be anything more than sex. And most healthy people aren't willing to settle for that."
As for the boy in the store: "He's smiling at you to be polite; if he were interested, he would've called by now. Stop wasting your time being interested in people who aren't interested in you."
I have been living with my boyfriend now for two years. We have known each other for 17 years, but since we started living together things have escalated from serious to very serious. I love him, this is for sure. He is wonderful, honest, kind, and all that. This guy does not have a mean bone in his body. I even had an affair recently, told him, and he forgave me.
The problem? I must be one of those people who has a constant wandering eye, and right now I think I am in love/lust with another man. It's occurred to me recently that if it isn't one love interest on the side, it's another. I don't want to lose my lover, but I know being honest would finish us off this time around, so what am I to do about this other guy? I guess there is a simple solution—confess and move on—but all I want is just to have sex with this other guy. Besides lying or telling the truth or talking about opening our bedroom, which my boyfriend has already objected to, what should I do? —On Fire
"I think you should be monogamous," says Mom. "I think everyone should be monogamous." Why? "I don't think we were meant to be promiscuous." Why? "Because we're supposed to find someone we like and settle down with that person." Why? "Because that's what mothers want their kids to do, that's why. It brings order to the world. Stability. So, in my opinion, you shouldn't act on your feelings for this man who is not your boyfriend. Not all decisions should be based on how you feel."
As for your lover: "He sounds very nice and forgiving. Maybe too nice and too forgiving. Forgiveness is important—I'm a forgiving mom—but it sounds like he's being a doormat. If monogamy is important to him and you can't control yourself, then maybe you two aren't a match."
What is the medical explanation for the fact that the skin of the penis is often darker than skin that is not exposed to sunlight? Does the bacteria a penis encounters while fucking have anything to do with this phenomenon? —Ken H
"Ask a doctor," Ma sez. "That's what I would do. Or better yet, don't worry about things like this and, you know, have a life."