| Chicago Reader

Savage Love 

After dating this woman for a couple of months, I began to suspect that she was a bed wetter. There was the occasional smell of urine in her bedroom, and she was reluctant to spoon with me. After changing my sheets the other day I noticed an unwelcome stain on my bed. She was obviously embarrassed by the situation, and being sensitive to that I said nothing. Is adult bed-wetting more common than one would imagine? Would it be morally shallow of me not to want to sleep with her again? --Perhaps I Shouldn't Show Our Friend Favor

Hundreds of big-ass Internet companies have gone under in the last two years, including stars like Pets.com, Kozmo.com, eToys.com, and Homegrocer.com. So I must say I was shocked to find that MyBladder.com--that's right, MyBladder.com--is still open for business.

MyBladder.com is "a unique on-line community dedicated to encouraging people with bladder control problems to seek help rather than suffer in silence." I'll say it's unique. According to the site, 12 million American adults have bladder control problems. Does that make adult bed-wetting a more common problem than one would imagine? That depends, I guess, on how many bed wetters the average person imagines there are, assuming, of course, that the average person spends much if any time at all contemplating such things. (Going out on a limb, I would guess that the number of people out there wetting beds is significantly higher than the number of people out there contemplating the number of people wetting beds.)

But you're dating a bed wetter, so you don't have much choice but to think about it. Would it be "morally shallow" not to sleep with the woman again? Yes, I think so. You liked this woman well enough to sleep with her before you found out she had a medical problem; if you drop her cold now you'll not only contribute to her feelings of shame (something bed wetters suffer from, according to MyBladder.com), but you'll rack up some serious bad karma. Drop this woman for wetting the bed and God will give you bladder control problems of your own.

Instead of dumping this woman, why don't you try to help her? According to MyBladder.com (how I love typing that!), only one in five people with bladder control problems seeks medical help. But of those who do, "80% can be cured or can achieve substantial improvement." To get her to seek medical attention, though, you're going to have to broach the subject. She was no doubt embarrassed when she wet your bed, but saying nothing wasn't necessarily the most sensitive thing you could do. A truly sensitive guy would spend some time on MyBladder.com (before it goes tits up), learn about bladder control problems and treatments, and then have a heart-to-heart with the leaky miss.

If she denies she has a problem, or refuses to get help, you can either dump her or invest in plastic sheets.

When guys poop, do they hold their balls out of the way? I've asked all my friends, but no one knows, and they don't want to ask their boyfriends.

--Wonder Woman

I shared your letter with a straight male friend. He read it, looked hurt, and then asked, "Why would a woman think a man's scrotum was in the way during a poop?" We pondered this for a moment--like bed-wetting, this wasn't a subject I'd previously given much thought--and then I slapped my forehead. Of course! The only time a woman sees a man's scrotum up close is when she's giving him a blow job. Since men typically receive blow jobs lying flat on their backs, she's probably seen a scrotum or two draped over the owner's anus. The shit-on-the-balls question is relevant, of course, because most men want women to kiss and lick their balls, which isn't very appealing if they're dirty.

But men don't take dumps lying flat on their backs, WW; they take dumps sitting upright on the can. And when people, male or female, sit upright, our assholes point away from our bodies, which is why turds hit the back of the toilet. Balls, on the other hand, hang straight down, dangling over the toilet water at the front of the bowl. There's no need for guys to hold them out of the way--they're out of the way already.

Does this mean all men's balls are clean after taking a dump? Not necessarily. What should concern you isn't the possibility of feces coming into contact with the scrotum, but the horror of the splashback. Sometimes a large piece of crap will hit the water with such force that it has a cannonball effect, sending a small plume of water, germs, and god only knows what up toward the ass cheeks and balls and, most horrifying of all, directly onto the exposed, vulnerable asshole. (I assume this happens to women as well.) My friend Brad calls it the poor man's bidet.

So when a man asks you to take his balls in your mouth (sometimes known as teabagging), don't worry about poop, which would be stinky and obvious. Instead, worry about splashback residue, which is not quite as stinky but almost as revolting. Since splashback residue is undetectable, it's not unreasonable to ask a man to shower off before you get it on.

Dan, the letter from the woman whose sister was alarmed by her father's passion for porn was a heartbreaker. Many women seem to feel that the progression from passive voyeur to criminal molester is a slippery slope. But most men have fail-safe circuit breakers in their hearts and souls that draw huge distinctions between model vs. sister, actress vs. daughter, and private fantasy vs. flesh-and-blood niece.

And why is it that people who would never think of rifling through a friend's or relative's pockets, closet, or desk drawers seem to have no problem when it comes to rifling through their computer?

--Sad for Dad & Private Eyes

People who don't want anyone else to read their diaries are told not to leave them out where others can find them. Why? Because diaries are irresistible reading material, and if you leave them out in the open you can't really blame someone for succumbing to temptation. In a way a computer is like a diary--it stores little facts about us--but it's also an appliance, like a dishwasher or a toaster, that everyone in the house feels they have a right to use.

If my dad left a list of the porn sites he visited tucked into the toaster, I'd be tempted to read it--wouldn't you? Hell, I wouldn't be able to stop myself. Likewise, someone who leaves a list of the porn sites they've visited on a computer is asking for trouble. The solution? A house computer for general use and a laptop computer for personal use.

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