DEAR AMY: I’ve been divorced for several years. I have dated a few gals, but nothing serious . . . until recently. A lady friend and I are seeing more of each other, but, in old-fashioned terms, “taking it slow.” Regardless, I’m sure we’ll soon end up being intimate. For about the past 20 years or so, I’ve worn ladies’ underwear, mostly panties and camisoles, but, on occasion, bras and nighties. I’m not a cross-dresser in that I don’t wear any outer womenswear, don’t wear makeup, have never worn heels, or otherwise had an interest in passing as a female. I just find lingerie to be more comfortable, a secret thrill, and, quite honestly, fun. My ex-wife knew of and, while not thrilled, didn’t have a problem with it, as long as I didn’t wear hers. I want to be honest with my friend, but don’t want to scare her away. Nor do I wish to hide this part of me or wear boring, uncomfortable men’s undies. What are your thoughts on when and how I should tell her?
Not Quite Crossing
DEAR CROSSING: I can completely understand how wearing women’s panties might be more comfortable for you, but I fail to see how wearing a bra could be a matter of comfort. Most women I know can hardly stand wearing them.
This practice is honestly something you just enjoy and find fulfilling. You don’t need any reason other than this to justify your choice.
One of the most intimate things you can do is to talk about your sexuality, sexual preferences, practices and turn-ons before you become sexually involved.
You should not wait to surprise this person in the bedroom, but you should disclose this — just as you have here — forthrightly and honestly. She may need to think about this and ask questions. I think there is a high likelihood that she will adjust to the idea and accept it, but you should give her the opportunity in advance.
DEAR AMY: I ended a two-year relationship in October with a man I promised I would always be friends with, even if it didn’t work out romantically. After the breakup I realized how naive I was to promise this, and the reality began to settle in with just how twisted the relationship was. I now feel like a shadow of the person I used to be before the relationship, and have virtually no confidence anymore. I’m constantly emotionally triggered by everyone I interact with now, and feel ashamed of how easily I get upset these days. Since the breakup, I’ve managed to push everyone away and have sold off almost everything I own so that I can run away from the city I currently live in. I don’t want to hurt the people I’m close to by being an emotionally unstable person. I want to explore and figure out who I am now and travel seems like a good option, but am I kidding myself? Am I just making my trauma worse by avoiding my problems and leaving, or am I doing something healthy by moving on?
DEAR RUNNER: You are exhibiting classic a “fight or flight” response, and while this is your body’s healthy response to extreme stress, I am very worried about you. Your instinct to leave will take you away from your sources of support. This could make things harder for you. Unless you plan to head to an area where you know people and will receive support, please don’t plan to leave right now.
You say you have isolated yourself from people who love you because you don’t want them to see you in your current unstable state. Please understand that it is the highest calling of friendship for people to be there for you when you need them. Reach out right away. Say you are hurting, and ask for help.
I’m worried that you might hurt yourself. If you feel like hurting yourself, please text Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Keep this in your “contacts” list on your phone (I have it in mine).
You can feel better, but you need time to grieve, to relieve your stress and you definitely need compassionate support from friends and (also) a professional counselor.
DEAR AMY: “Cringing Bride” described her mother as bigoted toward her fiancee, who is from another ethnic group from her. Thank you for bluntly suggesting elopement as one way to cope with this sort of wedding stress.
Eloped, No Regrets
DEAR NO REGRETS: Elopement is one way for a couple to maintain control over their own wedding.