Staggravation

Stag parties, skin problems, and live sex shows


Dear Sasha,

I have been put in the (dis)honourable position of organizing the entertainment for a friend’s stag party. Many of those involved are interested in engaging the services of some ladies of the evening, and the man of the hour doesn’t seem against the idea himself.

I am on the fence about this. While I believe the night should involve some indecent tomfoolery, I wonder if hookers are taking it a little far. This guy has to get married not two weeks later, and I don’t know if I can stand in his line of grooms and with good conscience look at his wife and keep quiet when the priest asks, “If anyone here has any reason why these two should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.” I would like your thoughts on this (in)delicate matter.

Stag Drag

I can’t say I don’t have mixed feelings about this shit myself. On the one hand, I support hookers working without criminalization, and moral quandaries should not limit their right to do so.

On the other hand, infidelity? Not a fan. But your friend is a grown man who’ll conduct himself however he sees fit, and if that includes banging hookers two weeks before he’s going to get hitched, well, that’s his decision to make.

Are you going to keep your eye on his intimate behaviour throughout his entire marriage? Probably not, and I’d guess that if a person has no compunction about pre-nuptial hooker banging, he’s not going to have much of a problem with it in the years following the big day.

This doesn’t mean you have to facilitate the transaction. If all the other fellows are so anxious to employ the services of sex professionals for the event, let them do it.

Own the Skin You’re In

Dear Sasha,

I consider myself an attractive, kind and intelligent woman. I’m happy with myself except for the fact that I suffer from psoriasis, an ugly, uncomfortable and alienating chronic skin condition that covers a lot of my body. I do a good job of covering it up with carefully chosen clothing and don’t involve myself in activities where there’s a chance of exposing myself any further. As you can imagine, intimacy with a new partner is a major hurdle for me.

My inability to deal properly with this issue has resulted in some bad relationship choices in the past. However, I am newly single and have an opportunity to do better this time around. I could use some advice and how to go about it. When is an appropriate time to broach the subject of psoriasis with a potential partner, and what’s the best way to approach it? And how can I work on becoming more comfortable in my own (severely flawed) skin?

In Hiding

My friend Bernie has eczema all over his body. His skin’s texture and appearance is quite zoomorphic – more like an elephant’s hide than a human’s. He is also someone who has no trouble attracting interesting and attentive partners. I will modestly include myself in that group but admit that yelling, “Holy fuck! You look like an X Man!” when I first saw him naked might not have been the most tactful thing. Luckily, he likes comics and was cool with it.

This is what Bernie has to say: “I marvel that people make so little fuss about it, but I also cut people off pretty quick if they make me feel self-conscious. I’m quite capable of beating the shit outta myself, thank you very much. Aren’t we all?”

Though Bernie offers no pat strategies, he does say that your letter reveals some things about your state of mind.

“I’ve definitely pulled myself out of the dating pool, ostensibly due to the condition of my skin. But looking back, the condition of my skin has had little to do with how much I got laid. It had everything to do with my state of mind. And if I had a big nose, I’d get bummed and blame it on that. If I had chronic halitosis, I’d find myself depressed and say, ‘Wow, I know I’d be happy if it weren’t for my breath.’ Of course, when you stress, your eczema/psoriasis will get worse, too – a nice self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Though single now, Bernie says he’s fine and happy with it.

“Quite literally, the question is, how can I be happy in my own skin? And that’s not limited to those with skin conditions. I’ve reached a point where being in a relationship is not a goal I’m chasing. I don’t need anyone to validate the skin I’m in. As to the question of broaching it with potential bedmates, I don’t. They’ll find out. If someone says, ‘Eww… what the fuck?’ – not that it’s ever happened – they’d be out on their ass quick-fast!

“Body image stuff is generally what we let it make of us,” he says. “And how can we expect someone else to enjoy these ‘flawed’ parts of us if we’re making such a big stink about them all the time. If she feels the need to cover up, I understand. But she also needs to let it all hang out. After all, who isn’t jumping at the chance to date a kind, attractive, intelligent woman?”

As Bernie also points out, “There are lots of email lists on the Internerd where folks with skin conditions go to share strategies and commiserate.”

Go search out some groups to get more input.

On the Look Out

Dear Sasha,

I was just wondering if you know of any areas in Toronto that have live sex shows?

BA

In any of the on-premises sex clubs in the city (Wicked and Goodhandy’s for example), people will be fucking. While they are not live sex shows per se, they often involve participants who enjoy being watched. Etiquette? Ask before you lurk, loom and tug.

These are also places where you’ll meet people who host their own private play parties. If you seem like a cool, sexy and interesting guy, you might just get lucky and be invited to one of these, as well.[rssbreak]

Ask Sasha: sasha@nowtoronto.com

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