Ask a Famous Man: “Am I Being Selfish to Want Sex?”

This is a monthly column transcribed by Emma Smith-Stevens, a conduit for the unerring wisdom of famous men—those inhabiting this earth as well as the hereafter. She is also a fiction writer whose stories have appeared in Subtropics, Conjunctions, Wigleaf, and elsewhere.


Dear Famous Man,

I’ve been going out with this girl for almost two years. She’s 25 and I’m 23. Anyway, we haven’t had sex for over 7 weeks, and for the life of me don’t know why! We don’t argue, we get along great, everything is awesome apart from this issue. Every time I try and start, she bats me away claiming she’s tired, doesn’t feel well, time of the month, not in the mood, etc.

I know she’s not cheating on me because she’s always where she says she’s going to be and she stays in contact with me wherever she goes. We are currently looking for an apartment together, so obviously she sees a future with me. I just don’t understand! Am I being selfish?

— Frustrated in Ocean City, NJ


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Dear Frustrated,

Rejection is painful. Pain is real. Boom. Pain is there. It sits on you like a cat. It can make you despise the woman who rejects you. You might say to yourself, “This is not a good woman.” Let me tell you something. Don’t wait for the good woman. She doesn’t exist.

In the heat of your rage, you might want to push your woman away. You might feel compelled to say to her some bullshit like, “I don’t want to fuck you over. I’m not always good to women.”

To which she would reply, “I told you I love you.”

“Don’t do it,” you would say. “Don’t love me.”

“All right,” she’d say, “I won’t love you, I’ll almost love you. Will that be all right?”

“It’s much better than the other,” you’d say.

Are you broke? I assume yes. Listen. There is nothing worse than being broke and having a woman leave you. You’d be a damn fool to let this one go.

I’ve got a story for you. I’m your age, a kid. I meet a sculptress named Sheila at a dinner party. She pours a glass of wine. It is a good wine. I like her. She takes a liking to me — though perhaps it is pity, or morbid curiosity. Who am I to care? She decides to sculpt my head. She permits me to bed her. Again and again I bed her. When I was drunk and Sheila was insane we were nearly an equal match. We split up at least once a week — “Forever” — but always managed to make up, somehow. So, she finishes sculpting my head and gives it to me. The next time we split, I put the head in my car next to me on the front seat, drive it over to her place and leave it outside her door on the porch. Then I go to a phone booth, ring her up and say, “Your goddamned head is outside the door!” That head went back and forth.

As should now be obvious, your dilemma has a simple solution: have your woman sculpt your head. Clay, marble, wood, papier-mâché — who gives a fuck. That isn’t the point. You’ll see. Let me know how that goes.

In the meantime, you may be frustrated, but don’t let your wandering eye give you any false hopes. You look around, you see another couple — let’s call them Frank and Jenny. Jenny looks great. You ask yourself, “How does one get a Jenny?” The dogs of this world never end up with a Jenny. Dogs end up with dogs.


Charles Bukowski


If you would like guidance from a famous man regarding a personal or professional dilemma, please send your inquiry to emmasmithstevens (at) gmail (dot) com.

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