Arts & Entertainment
By Jody Valley
Originally printed 3/2/2006 (Issue 1409 - Between The Lines News)
Dodging the camera
Q: I am at loss as what to do, so I decided to write to you and see if you can come up with a solution. My problem - or I guess I should say our problem - is that my partner doesn't want her picture taken. Not only doesn't she want it, but also she refuses to have it taken. Recently, I set up a photographer to come into our home to take a family portrait, I told "Sarah" (my love) that she would have the final say as to what pictures we would have printed, and we would do anything else she needed to make her feel more comfortable. I feel I am being reasonable, as I want a picture of our family - Sarah, me and our two beautiful daughters. She made me cancel the home picture portrait thing and was upset with me that I had even scheduled it without first asking her. (I scheduled it hoping she'd go along with it, given I had scheduled it. I did it for two weeks from the date of telling her so that she could opt out, hoping of course that she wouldn't.)
I don't know what Sarah's problem is around this whole picture thing. She has no problem taking pictures of me or our kids; in fact, we have albums full of those pictures. She just refuses to have her picture taken. When I ask her why, she says she doesn't know; she says that she just can't. I've ask her if anything happened as a child to make her feel this way and she says no. (By the way, Sarah is a beautiful woman with a great body, so I don't think that that is the problem. She'd photograph very well!) What do you suggest I do to change her so I can have family pictures?
Family Pictures, Minus One
A. My first question would be: does Sarah want to change this? Also, does she know how important this is to you? If you haven't already let her know how important it is to you, I would find a quiet, relaxed place and time to tell her how you are feeling, and why. Ask her if there is anything that would make her more comfortable or at least tolerable to her. If she already knows how important this is to you and doesn't want to change, there is really nothing you can do. She needs to want to change before any change will happen.
Too much of a good thing
Q. I recently met a guy that seems perfect for me in every way but one. It is a problem that I need to tell you embarrasses me greatly, and I don't know what to do. Joe, not his real name, wants sex far more than I think is natural - or that I can handle. He never seems to get enough. He wants it, actually demands it, two or three times a day in order to "satisfy" his "needs," and be "happy," as he says. He even asks me to tell my employer that I am ill and take the day off so that we can have a night and day of non-stop sex! I actually have done that three times since I met him two months ago. I just can't keep doing that just because he wants it that day!
When we first got together, I was flattered that I turned him on so much, but I just don't even want to touch him for fear he will want to jump into bed. I know that people will think how lucky I am, but believe me it is exhausting, and I have other things to do in life besides take care of his excessive sexual demands and needs.
Victim, Too Much Sex
A: The fact that Joe "demands" sex is a problem, and a red flag! I would also be concerned that he needs this sex schedule in order to be "happy." Then there is the fact that he wants you to "call in sick to work for sex" (does he work?) and possibly jeopardize your job - not that I don't see that as a viable thing to do, once in a while. It is just that the whole picture doesn't look good. I'm hoping that the fact that you have recently met and are, hopefully, not that emotionally involved, will help you run - as fast as you can - from Joe.Have a problem? Send your letters to: "Dear Jody," C/O Between The Lines, 20793 Farmington Road, Suite 25, Farmington, MI 48336. Or, e-mail: DearJodyValley@hotmail.com (Jody Valley spent 12 years as a clinical social worker. She worked with the LGBT community both as a counselor and a workshop leader in the areas of coming out, self-esteem and relationship issues. The "Dear Jody" column appears weekly.)