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2 Mar 2006

ask alvin about breaking up, bland sex and fake pictures

Welcome to Fridae's monthly advice column where Alvin dispenses his own unique brand of advice for those who need it oh-so-badly.

Hi Alvin,

I have been with my boyfriend for eight months now. He's 35 and I'm 23. We met through a gay dating site. He is an expat in another country and since he didn't want a long distance relationship, he helped me with my visa and we are living together now.

How to break up: Decide on a date and break up face-to-face and not via emails, telephone calls or sms-es; keep it simple and spare him/her the details.
When we met, I just graduated and things went so smoothly for us that I decided to start a new life with him - leaving behind the people I knew and even lying to my parents that I'm working abroad. At first, everything was ok. I lived a good life with him taking care of me. But things started to change when I realised how boring his life is and how boring he is, especially in bed.

Since I started living with him, my sex life has been terrible. He is lazy when it comes to sex, all he wants is to lie down and I have to do all the work. Because of that, I enjoy having sex with other guys but I have to be very careful since I don't want him to find out. I know I'm cheating on him but I am young and I have my needs too! Moreover, my boyfriend only wants to have sex with me if he feels like it and often when I want it, he will tell me to go to sleep. It's so frustrating!

He is also getting possessive and tells me what time I should be home, when I can go out with friends and sometimes even what to do with my life. He dislikes me going out on weekends to gay places. I don't even enjoy my life now and it's depressing. Sometimes I think I'm his boy toy and he wants me to be his Stepford Fag.

Friends told me to leave him and just go back home, but the thing is I can't right now because I don't know how to break up with someone. I somehow feel stupid about my decision to come and live with him in a foreign place.


My dear Darkchild,

It would appear that the real reason you find yourself unable to break up with your expat boyfriend lies not in the claim that you "don't know how to break up with someone" but rather in the fact that you are unwilling to give up the "good life" provided by your boyfriend. However, as my therapist advises, we should always focus on helping others and assume that you're really clueless about breaking up with your expat boyfriend.

Before you initiate the breakup, make sure that you have all your travel documents (whether or not you plan to return home) as well as the means to survive on your own (should you plan not to return home). When breaking up, your boyfriend should always be the first to know. Never tell your friends that you're going to end it before telling him it's over. Use your judgment to decide when would be the best time to break the news. I would suggest a Friday so that he'll have the weekend to drown his sorrows or go gallivanting to celebrate his newfound singleton status.

Once you decide on a date, you should break up face-to-face and not via emails, telephone calls or sms-es. When breaking the news that you've lost that loving feeling, keep it simple - there's no need to go into details about how terrible he is in bed or say things like "I was never really attracted to you. You were just a ticket out of (insert your country of origin)." Instead, you could just quote Heidi Klum on Project Runway and explain: "One week you're in, the next you're out. Auf Wiedersehen."

Ending a relationship is never easy and you should be prepared for a lot of Celine Dion type chest-thumping and wailing. However, once you have reached a decision, don't change your mind and be sure to stick to your guns. Having the courage to follow through with your decision will, in the long run, make the both of you happier - especially when the relationship is so obviously past its use-by date.

Your Expert Heart-Breaker,
Alvin Tan
Dear Alvin,

Geez, I really need some advice here. I have been with my second girlfriend for almost two years. Sex with her is nothing compared to what I used to have with my previous girlfriend.

Actually, after my first girlfriend left me, my sexual appetite dropped a lot. So my current girlfriend, who is extremely shy, hasn't even gotten past my panties. She also doesn't approve of masturbation, so I often go to bed either frustrated or secretly doing it myself.

I really love my girlfriend a lot, but I find myself lusting after other girls more and more. I also feel myself distancing from her nowadays. I don't see any point of asking her to be more adventurous and rough with me because it's just not her.

I think my friends will slap me if they know I want to leave my perfect girlfriend because of my insatiable sexual appetite. What should I do?


Dear Frustrated,

There are more important things in a relationship than sex - wait-a-second - did I just say that there are more important things than sex? Oh dear - my sex-addiction medication must really be affecting my mind again. Let us take this from the top once more.

In any relationship, sexual compatibility is extremely important. Differing levels of libido, indulgence in fetishes or the importance of sex to either partner should never be overlooked. Otherwise, one of you (in this case, it's YOU) would be tempted to stray, or worse, you may start fighting over the little things due to growing frustration.

From what you have written, it would appear that you are the Annabel Chong type while your current girlfriend is the sort who would throw you out of the bedroom if you so much touch her G-spot. Having said that, you should not presume that she's a cold fish just because she's "extremely shy" and disapprove of masturbation. Has it ever occurred to you that your girlfriend may disapprove of your masturbating because she would rather you get it on with her?

If you really value your relationship, you should try to make the first move in the bedroom and pay attention to how your girlfriend responds. You should also be able to take cues from comments she makes about other girls or her reactions when watching movies (especially lesbian porn). For all you know, she could be a voracious vixen trapped in an outwardly pious body.

My advice would be to do your best to reach an understanding with your girlfriend regarding sex which could mean either less sex for you or more sex for her. Think about it: In a relationship, you have to agree on what you foresee for the future and the kind of relationship you want to have going forward. Ditto for sex.

In the course of establishing a compromise, refrain from pointing accusatory dildos at each other and saying things like: "If I don't get fingered on a daily basis, I will go pussy hunting elsewhere!" And should a compromise not materialise, you may just have to risk being on the receiving end of slaps from your friends and find yourself another girlfriend.

Your Bedroom Sexpert,
Alvin Tan
Dear Alvin,

It's me again, the late bloomer ding-a-ling (click to read letter). My problem with my Indonesian girlfriend has been resolved - by her and not by me. She dumped me. On X'mas day. I didn't get any presents - only heartbreak. Now can I curse all her ancestors like you mentioned?

I intend to venture all out into the gay world in 2006. However, I made a terrible mistake. Not my fault actually. I borrowed a Taiwanese chap's face and put up his picture in my profile because I don't have any in my computer. And he so resembles me.

Out of the blue, a guy from Hong Kong decided to visit me in Singapore. I thought just talk, talk and no action but no! He came all the way to my MRT station and I brought him home. I told him now that I was not really the one in the picture - just maybe about 85 percent similar. I made him my best Oolong tea, invited him to try out my new iDesire massage chair and then accompanied him back to his hotel.

The next day, there was no phone call from him. Then suddenly he was back in Hong Kong. He msn-ed me and told me how upset he was that I was not the person in my profile picture. I was shocked. I thought we had a good time.

Now he's whining about how I am not the person in my picture! I told him that if I had put a picture of a flower in my profile, does it mean that I should be an orange daisy?

Are all gays that shallow? Do they go for the face, then the body and then the dick? Are they lusting after flesh? Please Fairy Godmother, you gotta help this late bloomer. I just lost my girlfriend of six years. I don't think I can handle another heartbreak. I await your zaniest advice.

Crossroads Again

Dear Crossroads Again,

I completely understand where you're coming from. Like yourself, I'm guilty of trying to pass off shots of Christy Turlington for yours truly. Unlike yourself, I have been told that I look exactly like the supermodel-turned-yoga-entrepreneur when I appear in person (see christy.turlington.com for proof).

On a more serious note, unless you happen to be an exact replica of the "Taiwanese chap" whose picture you used (and there's no such thing as "85 percent similar"), I would advise you to be perfectly honest about how you really look. Despite the rampant online use of fake pictures these days, the truth will always be exposed sooner or later.

Trying to pass off as someone you're not is the surest way to ruin what could have been a beautiful friendship or relationship. If you continue to use someone else's pictures, you may actually miss the chance of finding that gay man (or men) who wants to know the real you. Be honest and allow others to make informed decisions about whether they would or would not like to know you better.

And try not to hold a grudge against your Hong Kong guy. From what you've written, it would appear that he's been the perfect gentleman throughout your date - despite your act of misrepresentation. Imagine how YOU would feel if he sends you a picture of Nicholas Tse and shows up looking like Patrick Tse.

Now for some future dating tips: When you invite a guy to your apartment, serving Oolong tea and subjecting him to a full-body massage on your iDesire massage chair do not an enjoyable first date make - unless they serve as a prelude to some sexciting session. If you persist in using your current "seduction" techniques, you will undoubtedly find the value of your mizuage sinking faster than the Titanic.

Your Fairy God-Mamasan,
Alvin "Mameha" Tan

Do you seek deliverance from your problems with your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ one-night stand? Do you spend sleepless nights wrestling with your sexuality or sex partner? Then email your queries to Ask Alvin at editor@fridae.com and have your burdens lifted by Alvin. We regret that we're unable to respond to letters personally.

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