Jane Helpern

Jane Helpern


Writer & Over-sharer. @janeohelp jane@cultistzine.com

A few days ago Yasi insinuated that she was tired of hearing about my personal problems (Ed note: NOT TRUE WEIRDO), so I took her advice and asked some guy instead. My very own guy, actually. I am an avid proponent of open communication, and luckily so is he. (Also I cornered him and left him little choice and would have accused him of being unsupportive and selfish had he refused). So I asked my darling boyfriend a few questions, and he gave me a few “honest” answers. (I still think this is all a big ploy to get me to have a three-way). Enjoy. And if any of this pertains to you, you’re welcome!

I’m bisexual, but I’m happy in a monogamous relationship with a man who I love. He knows I have been with women before, and it even turns him on a little bit. He enjoys watching girl-on-girl porn, but says he doesn’t want to have a threesome. Can this be true? I thought all guys had secret fantasies about watching their girlfriends hook up with other girls.

I think girl on girl porn is great. I love it. Do I like watching my girlfriend watch girl-on-girl porn? Yeah, that’s great too. However, I also know, as a nearly 40 year old man, that when you fuck with other people, it fucks your life up and it fucks your relationship up. I’ve had friends that had open relationships in the past, and it was great in the beginning. But, someone always ends up getting hurt, or jealous, or wanting more, or wanting less, and I think it just causes a problem. And I’m a big fan of not causing problems. I’d rather just stick with the fantasies.

I really want my boyfriend to quit smoking cigarettes, but I don’t want to come off as controlling or needy. Do you have any tips for how I can get him to quit without seeming pushy?

Not to sound tough or rebellious, but I’m going to answer this while I’m having a cigarette. However, I like to smoke. I do believe that positive influence and positive reinforcement are good ways of approaching it. But, at the end of the day, no one is going to stop doing what he or she wants to do until they actually WANT to stop doing it. So I would just say stick with it, and try not to be naggy. Don’t do the, “Ew that’s gross” thing because you used to smoke, remember? I hate it when ex-smokers are like, “Oh that’s so gross.” I like to smoke. You used to smoke. I cut back. I’m cutting back. I don’t know if I want to smoke forever, but right now I enjoy it. Just stay positive. I think it might happen one day.

My boyfriend is a professional photographer, and sometimes he takes naked pictures of girls for work. I totally trust him, and I don’t really get jealous, but he always wants me to be around when he’s working. Frankly, I have no interest in watching him photograph nude models. How do I excuse myself from his photo shoots without seeming unsupportive or jealous?

Well, in the beginning, of course I was a little apprehensive of how you would react to me shooting nude photos of people. I though it might have made you uncomfortable or jealous. Some people can get that way. But, I think it was also to let you know how I work. To help you realize that when I’m shooting photos, whatever they may be, that I’m doing it professionally always. I’m not trying to get my jollies off. (Ed note: HAHA at “jollies off”). I have a girlfriend. A beautiful girlfriend. I love her; I don’t need to go elsewhere for that kind of thing. Especially while working and shooting photos. So, how do you excuse yourself? Well, now that a few years have passed, I understand that you just don’t really want to stand around and be there anymore. You’re probably bored more than anything at this point. So, just say, “I don’t want to be here, I’m going to go do something else.” That’s cool. But you need to know you’re always welcome and that your input and creativity is always good. When you’re on set and working with me, you have different perspectives, so sometimes that’s why I ask you to stay around. But if you don’t want to be there it’s all good. Sometimes I don’t want to be there either.

This is my first time living with my significant other. Most of the time I really love it, but sometimes I feel PMS-y and ugly and grumpy and I don’t want to be touched. Do you ever feel that way? (Obviously not the PMS part). What are your suggestions for finding your own space in a place where there really isn’t any of your own space?

Living with someone is not always a bed of roses. Sometimes there are fights and you go through shit. But I think it’s important to just communicate and talk to one another and let the other person know how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling like you want to be alone and be in your own space, then I think it’s important to do that in a positive and delicate way that doesn’t offend the other person. I think it boils down to who you’re living with. If you have good open communication, and your partner is receptive and understanding, and they know you as well as you know them, then it shouldn’t pose a problem.

In the beginning when you say you need your space, and that you need a minute to watch TV or read a book, it might be weird for a second, but the other person should be mature and adult enough to respect your needs. It’s not that they can’t stand you, it’s not personal, and it’s not that big a deal. A lot of people love to twist stuff into more drama than it needs to be. Just listen to each other. You’ll end up knowing one another’s mood swings and body language. I think a lot of bullshit can be avoided just by communicating. I know that sometimes when I want to be myself I say I just want to go work on something, and you’re always pretty receptive, and I think that’s pretty cool. And I would just suggest that for everybody.

Jane Helpern

About Jane Helpern

Writer & Over-sharer. @janeohelp jane@cultistzine.com