Knowing My Limits

When can I start demanding a sleep-over drawer from my new boyfriend? I'm tired of bringing a night bag over to his place already.


Silly Marianne, one does not "demand" a drawer! Are you trying to scare the boner right outta this new boyfriend? Do what every other woman in your position does and just start leaving your shit there, one panty at a time. One day you abandon a tube of mascara on the sink, the next visit you "forget" to bring home your blow-dryer (buy an extra). And so on.

And yeah, this whole plan sounds vaguely manipulative (and I suppose it is), but men get so hinky about this kind of crap that a girl really has no choice other than to finesse things a tad.

Once you've accumulated a weird little collection of odds and ends, ask him if there's somewhere in his house that you can use to store it all together, if that's what you want. Don't make a big deal out of it, and for Christ's sake, don't expect an entire drawer. The guy I'm seeing has been leaving stuff at my place from jump and it's scattered all over the joint, which is kind of better than having it all contained to one area. This way, when I look at my desk, I notice his hat sitting on top of a pile of papers to be filed. Inexplicably, seeing that hat makes me think dirty thoughts about him. Opening my closet, I note the pretty blue shirt I bought him and recall how cute he looks in it. On my way to the bathroom, I trip over his size-13 Converse sneaks and, OK, well, that kind of pisses me off. Until I remind myself that having a boyfriend with large feet has certain advantages.

I'm dating a woman who seems to like me, and honestly, I think she is special. We've been together for two months, and the sex is fantastic. She's been honest about a number of things. She was married for 10 years, and then her husband cheated on her. She has been hurt bad.

She doesn't trust men at all. I'm 34 and have never been married. I told her it was because I grew up in an abusive household and I wanted to make sure I was a good man before I committed to a relationship.

This is true, but during my preteen years I was raped by a pedophile. Throughout my 20s, I could not have sex without thinking about the bad times. My fear of intimate contact almost always overrode my desire for sex. Basically, I have been able to have four one-night stands in the past 10 years, and then she came into my life. I am no longer afraid to explore my sexuality, but should I tell her what happened to me? She presses me on my past sometimes. She wants to know about past girlfriends. How do I tell her that there are no past girlfriends? Does she have a right to know?

Hurting in Tacoma

This isn't a Dategirl question! Nooooo!!! You ask me questions like, "Don't you think my boyfriend should go down on me even though I have my period?" Or, "Is it still considered cheating if it's with a farm animal?" This is a tough one! A question that demands sensitivity, insight, and several advanced degrees! If you're not seeing one already, please make an appointment to see a licensed professional immediately.

There is absolutely no reason that a rape in your childhood should preclude you from having a happy and healthy sex life. Don't get me wrong—I'm not dismissing what you went through, but the key to any tragedy like this is dealing with it so that what was an isolated act (or acts) does not ruin the rest of your life! It is a tragic fact that most women I know (myself included) have been physically and/or sexually abused, which is why I think your girlfriend will probably be more compassionate about your disclosure than you might think. But in any case, please don't do anything without discussing your situ­ation with a real doctor (not just someone who plays one in the paper). Good luck.

Open up: Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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