Dear John: Boyfriend’s Sexy Talk A Total Turnoff


A guy saying suggestive things in front of her son, a coworker who got mailed pot, and a couple on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

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Dear John,

Hi. I’m in my early 40s, divorced with two kids and a boyfriend I’ve been together with for a year or so. I don’t have too many complaints except for one thing he does that really bugs me. He says suggestive things to me in front of my thirteen-year-old son that really embarrass me. It’s nothing too extreme, he’s just really extroverted and open about our sex life, but I’ve never felt that way. I’m very shy, especially about sex. This is the best way I can describe it. Did you ever go to the movies with your parents when you were a kid and something sexual came on and you wanted to crawl under your seat? That is exactly how I feel when he talks about sex in front of my son! I really can’t stand it. And I’ve asked him to stop doing it, but he says he will, then he doesn’t. He just justifies it by saying it’s important for “the boy” to see a loving, affectionate couple and to know his mom is loved. I think that makes sense, but I think there are other ways he could go about it without embarrassing me. What do you make of all this?

Blushing And Cringing

Dear Blushing And Cringing

I think there’s some kind of none-too-subtle Oedipal battle going on between your boyfriend and your son, but I think the specifics of it are beside the point. What IS the point is that your boyfriend is doing something that upsets you, you’ve asked him to stop, and he’s pretty much said, “I’m not going to stop, and here’s why.” Not good. I would explain to him one more time that his comments in front of your son make you very uncomfortable, and it’s very important to you that he stop, period. If he won’t, then no matter what slippery justifications he comes up with, I’d think long and hard about being with a man who so stubbornly dismisses your feelings.

Dear John,

DearJohnImage22A friend of mine I work with did something that has me LIVID and she refuses or can’t see what I’m so mad about. I don’t want to tell anyone about it, so I’d like your opinion. She was on a trip for work and she bought some pot and had some left over that she didn’t want to throw out or take on the plane so she sent it to ME at WORK! Her reasoning was that I was supposed to be out of the office the week she figured it would come so I wouldn’t care and she could just grab it out of my mailbox. When I asked her why she didn’t send it to herself if she wanted to send it to someone, she repeated it seemed fine because I wasn’t even supposed to be in so no harm done. I’m sure what she meant was I was never supposed to find out. But my trip was cancelled, I was in and I did. Before this, we were pretty close, but I have been so mad since then, we’re barely speaking. She has half-apologized but insists she doesn’t know what I’m so bent out of shape about. I will admit I am against marijuana smoking, but that’s not really the point, right? What do you say – is my anger justified?

That’s Not Smoke, It’s Steam

Dear That’s Not Smoke,

Uh, yeah. Completely. She can’t possibly be serious when she says she doesn’t get what you’re so mad about. What she did would have been reckless had she sent the package to herself; sending it to you was inexcusable. She used you because she didn’t think you’d ever find out. Some friend. I don’t buy all the media clichés about drugs making you do dumb things, but they sure did this time.

Dear John,

What do you think the long-term prospects are for a couple on opposite ends of the political spectrum? A mutual friend recently introduced me to a man whom I am very attracted to physically, mentally…everything except politically. Do these relationships ever work? I am quite engaged in political issues, and I have noticed that the couples I know who are happiest tend to see eye to eye on these things, so I’m trying not to get carried away here. Thoughts?

Blue Stater

Dear Blue Stater,

It’s not so much your divergent views that could be a problem; it’s more a question of how you handle disagreements. If either of you is the kind of person who can’t imagine someone disagreeing with you without being misinformed, stupid, or evil, then you will definitely have problems. But if you’re open to the possibility that smart people can be well informed and still have differences of opinion, then sure, it can work. It could even lead to some interesting conversations. For now, though, as you say, try not to get too far ahead of yourself. Take it one date at a time, and see where it leads.

You may also enjoy: Dear John: He Thinks It’s Hot, I Think It’s Not

Photo credit: Flickr / “it was 3 a.m.”

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About John Simpson,

John is a middle-aged family man from Providence. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. His column runs regularly on


  1. Joe Carver says:

    Opposite political views are the norm in my experience.

    My grandparents are my favorite old couple. He is a conservative farmer, she is a liberal flower child. They are complete political opposites and I think that opposing views make healthy disagreement more attainable through practice.

    My girlfriend is opposite on the political spectrum and I love to have civil disagreements on politics, wouldn’t have it any other way.

  2. Comments to Blushing:

    This sounds a bit incesteous to me.

    For me this would be a deal breaker,when he will not respect your boundaries.


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