Dear Veronica, Am I Too Empowered?
I am a woman. An empowered woman. Who has empowered sex. What worries me is that this sex is TOO empowered — that is, it’s too loud and my housemates hate me. When I’m Riding the Waves (as I like to call it), I’m not really thinking about the girl next door Writing the Paper. I don’t want them to start resenting me though. I want them to tell me if I’ve made their living situations harder (hah) than it has to be. How can I bring up the topic in a way that’s not as painfully awkward as the sex I’m having (which I’ll ask you about at a later time)?
- Next Door Yay-bor (or Sweet-mate?)
I know it’s idealistic of me, but I really believe that if someone has a real problem with you and doesn’t say anything, you don’t have any obligation to fix it. The reality, though, is that most people don’t deal with their emotions that well. They’re much more likely to complain to their friends, or even, in the worst case, to your friends, before addressing you. So you’re probably wise to anticipate this conflict in advance.
The relevant literature (okay, the Wiktionary definition) suggests that “awkward,” used as an adjective, means:
1. Not easily managed or effected; embarrassing
That was an extremely awkward moment. Everyone was watching.
2. Lacking social skills, or uncomfortable with social interaction
I’m very awkward at parties.
I’m going to take stab in the dark here. Based on your letter, you sound pretty uninhibited. While everyone is uncomfortable, to some extent, with social interaction, you don’t sound like the type that’s awkward at parties. I could be wrong, in which case, don’t listen to me. But here’s my advice: it takes two to tango, and it takes two make something awkward. If you have it in you, just bulldoze ahead. Just walk into the kitchen or lounge when everyone’s hanging out and say, “Man, my sex life has been great lately. Hey, can you guys, like, hear us?” It won’t be awkward unless it’s “not easily managed or effected” and makes you feel “embarass[ed].” Both of those things are under your control.
I recommend going Method for this experiment. The French have no word for awkward, only maladroit and misanthropique. So go French for a day. Pretend you’ve never heard of awkwardness. In the end, it’d be much more awkward if your housemates bring it up. This way, they’ll never be able to accuse you of inconsiderateness. And if they can’t hear you, it’ll be worth the conversation to find out — one less thing to worry about during the act. I know you have it in you. Prenez le taureau par les cornes!
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