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It’s Tuesday and the anonymous mailbag is here to solve all your life’s problems.
You can send your anonymous mailbag questions to email@example.com, anonymity guaranteed.
And, as always, the quality of the anonymous mailbag has a great deal to do with the quality of your questions. So keep firing away.
Here we go:
“Clay, can you please apply some judgement to a disagreement among friends? Several drinks into a barbecue, one of my best friends casually mentioned that he is an avid reader of online “literotica” which is user-written erotic fiction. He says that he uses is EXCLUSIVELY for his masturbatory needs, to the extent that he doesn’t even view pornographic photos any more. There were three of us in the conversation, including him. We’re all late-thirties, middle-to-upperish-class dudes, all married with a child or two each. Normal guys, albeit more frat-boy-ish than we’d like to admit.
When he told us about the erotic literature in lieu of photos, the two of us started ribbing him pretty hard. He got extremely defensive and said that it’s totally normal and no different than jerking off to regular photos. We told him it was aberrant and weird. It got extremely heated to the point where he started accusing us of having lesser degrees of intelligence because our brains (and wangs) needed to be spoon-fed by photos, instead of processing the more complex linguistic stuff. His wife wandered over to us in the middle of the argument, and he totally clammed up, which leads me to believe she does not know about his predilections. This was a few weeks ago, we’ve been all together twice since but nobody has revisited the discussion.
But I am extremely curious on your take on this… Is it normal for a dude to give up pornography in favor of racy graffiti? Or is that a bit odd? Or is it a “whatever floats your boat” kind of thing that I shouldn’t really care about?”
I do think, in general, that men who are aroused by erotic literature are probably more intelligent, on average, than men who are aroused by porno photographs or videos because the erotic literature requires reading comprehension as opposed to just using your eyes and ears. But your buddy’s defensiveness here makes me think he’s definitely insecure about his choices. Which is why I think instead of immediately ridiculing him you should have found out which kind of literotica he’s reading.
I mean, how was that not your first question? It would be mine.
Is your buddy reading Harry Potter and Twilight fan fiction erotica, fifty shades of grey style erotica, or what? He probably has a literotica “type,” just like your average guy watching videos has a “type.” So there’s a wide variety of answers here that would help to elucidate this further. You blew it by ridiculing him before understanding the full scope of his interests.
How is your first question not what he reads? Then I have further questions. Does he have favorite authors? Does he pay for literotica? How does he find it online? Does he only read it online or has he purchased physical copies before? I mean, I’m truly intrigued by your buddy’s plans here. But, in general, as long as he’s behaving legally, why would you judge him for this?
I don’t know this for sure, but I’d also bet a ton of money that women vastly outnumber men when it comes to reading literotica. I mean, just look at the number of romance novels out there. So you could have some fun with this. For instance, does your buddy also seriously like romance novels? Is he covertly buying Fabio covered books in used bookstores?
Also, wouldn’t you think it was super hot if your wife did this? Like if you came home one day and found her masturbating while reading literotica would you think she was weird? Or would it be the hottest thing you’d ever caught your wife doing?
Full disclosure: back in the day I used to occasionally purchase — this was before internet pornography really took off — Penthouse Letters, which was a collection of the hottest “letters” that straight dudes pretending to be women could ever write. Now it had naked photos too — generally of super hot women to make you think these super hot women were actually the writers — but I would imagine these were mostly men buying those magazines too. So I don’t think your buddy’s predilections are that peculiar.
(Although when you realize that the first person confessional about a woman experiencing a hot night of random sex is actually being written by a fat 52 year old man pretending to be a woman, it really kills the thrill.)
As for clamming up when his wife arrived in the conversation, does this really surprise you? How many married men loudly proclaim their love of pornography and solo masturbation with their wives there? If anything, I’d think most women would prefer their husbands be aroused by reading something as opposed to looking at other women.
You need to investigate your buddy’s interests more fully, but should refrain from judging him. As long as it’s legal, it’s fair game.
“My brother-in-law died six years ago at the age of 32 from a fentanyl drug overdose. He left behind a wife and two daughters. My nieces are currently the same age as my two daughters 9 and 12. These girls have been told by my wife’s family that he died of a heart attack back when he passed away, I suppose because they were all so young at the time of his passing. All the adults in the family know the real cause of his death. My question is what do you believe the proper age/timing/process should be for his daughters and mine to know the truth? I would never think it’s my place to be the one to explain to the kids (neither his, nor mine) what really happened to him.”
I don’t think you can tell the oldest daughter the cause of death until you think the younger daughter can also process what’s being told because you have to presume the older daughter might tell the younger daughter at some point. Even if the older daughter promises not to do so, it’s hard to keep this kind of a secret. (In a much less serious example, how often do older siblings manage to keep Santa Claus a secret from their younger brothers or sisters? Kids like to tell secrets. And you don’t want this secret being told from one sister to another.)
Given that the younger daughter is just nine years old, I think you probably wait until she’s 13 and the older daughter is 16. But I think it would also be fine to wait until 15 and 18. This feels like, to me, the kind of story that a kid would need to be a teenager to truly process.
But I’d want to err on the side of telling them as soon as they are old enough to understand the full story. As is, 32 is really young to die of a heart attack so they may start to question that story, just naturally based on their understanding of illnesses and ages. It’s very, very uncommon for a 32 year old to die of a heart attack and I think many kids, particularly as they learn about genetics in school, might wonder if they are also susceptible to heart attacks. I know I’d be wondering that if my own dad had died of a heart attack that young. The truth may, far from traumatizing them, actually provide some comfort to them in terms of how it might impact them.
But ultimately this is not your decision, this is his wife’s decision. And you certainly can’t tell your daughters the truth until his daughter’s know. If your sister refuses to tell the girls and they reach 18 without knowing, I definitely think they should know then and you could consider telling them yourself.
Because addiction issues can be genetic too. These girls should understand the danger that can come from drug use and also be told about their own, potential, issues with drugs in the future. I would think knowing what happened to their dad would make them far less likely to ever use drugs themselves. In the same way that many kids of alcoholics grow up knowing that alcohol may be more dangerous to them than others, this could, and should, apply for the girls too. I’d make it part of my discussion with them.
Personally, I think if you wait much longer than 16 and 13 that the girls could become angry at their mom for not sharing the truth with them. But, again, I don’t think you can tell one girl without telling the other girl the same thing at the same time. And if you’re really concerned about this you should have a conversation with their mom, your own sister, to discuss her thought process since you have girls the same age as hers and want to one day tell the truth to them as well.
“I was talking with a buddy and I argued a strip club depending on your self control is usually no different than a sports bar. He argued married people shouldn’t be in strips clubs and I argued that keeping in mind it’s just a “fantasy” it’s not reality and that perspective is aside from insecurities nothing wrong. This topic was also brought up initially because our single friend is the fall in love with a stripper (or bartender, Hooters waitress, insert attractive customer service female here) type which I argued was much worse and more annoying than married folks in strip clubs. What say you?”
A sports bar and a strip club are VERY different. I don’t even think you believe this argument. Just about every wife or girlfriend in America would be fine with their husbands or boyfriends in a sports bar, many would be upset if their husbands or boyfriends were in strip clubs. Heck, I can take my kids to pretty much any sports bar in the country. If I took my kids to a strip club, I’d get arrested for child delinquency.
So, yeah, these are not similar establishments.
I do, however, agree with you that married people being in strip clubs shouldn’t be forbidden. In fact, I’ve argued for years that married guys are probably likely to get in less trouble in strip clubs than in many regular bars. Why? Because if you’re worried about him being faithful, it’s harder for a married guy to pick up a stripper than it is for him to pick up a random girl at a regular bar.
Which is why I’ve always argued that fiancee’s who worry about strip clubs on bachelor party trips aren’t aware of what the bigger risks are. That is, lots of girls are happy to get picked up by a group on a bachelor party in a standard bar. Whereas most strippers just want to take your cash and leave by themselves. Strippers get hit on all the time by desperate guys so they’re more adept at rejecting advances. Plus, the ratio of men to strippers is usually pretty high whereas a regular bar could have much more of a 50-50 male to female ratio.
As for the guy who falls in love with every attractive woman who waits on him in any establishment, this guy is typically harmless and just desperately in need of female attention. Most girls realize this, especially if they work in places where they are getting hit on all the time and make money off tips. Just remind him that when his cash runs out, the interest from the girl he’s talking to will probably vanish in a hurry too.
“The restrooms in my department are single person restrooms. There is one toilet and you lock the door when you enter. Several times I have entered and someone before me had a major poop explosion such that poop streaks and remnants were left all on the bowl where when you flush it was not removed.
So I go ahead and used the bathroom and flushed but the explosion remnants from the previous person still remained in the bowl. Then I exit the bathroom and someone was waiting. I almost felt like I should have explained that the condition of the toilet bowl was not my fault. But in both cases I did not and thus the person after me probably thought I was to blame.
What would you do in such a situation?”
One easy solution, you can say, “Just so you know, it was already a mess when I got in there. Look out!”
If someone said this to me right before I went in, I would expect for it to be a complete disaster inside. So the poop streaks would be the least of my concerns. In fact, I’d probably think you’d valiantly been scrubbing and cleaning the bathroom to help with the poop catastrophe you encountered when you entered.
So not only would things be better than I expected, I would probably view you in a more favorable light for the gallant work I’d mistakenly have believed you undertook.
This is the clear play if you truly are worried what others think. But, be careful, you can’t play this card on a regular basis with the same people. Because eventually they’ll decide you’re the one destroying the toilet.
Okay, I’m off to do the Clay and Buck Show. Then I’ve got Outkick the Show at three eastern, Fox Bet Live at five eastern and Fox News with Jesse Watters tonight at seven eastern.
Buckle up, you’ll be seeing me everywhere.