Swallowing More Than Pride, Happy Old (Possibly Gay) Bachelor, & The Musky Allure of Being Aloof


Dear Delphi,

I keep asking all my friends, but I cannot get a straight answer: Is it OK if I do not swallow? I am 42 and married to a man of 40. We have two small children and everything is going just fine. I was at a play date for my oldest the other day when the topic came up again, and I always feel like a fool. Do I have to swallow? I feel like an idiot, but somehow I still don’t know what is right or what is OK.

—Spit or Swallow in Des Moines

Dear Spit or Swallow in Des Moines,

“There is nothing more unattractive than an overzealous man.”

I hope no one ever asks me this question again. The real problem is not whether you spit or swallow; it’s why at 42 with two kids and a husband you are worried about it and talking about it openly. You should have sorted out the spit/swallow conundrum by the age of 16, or at the very latest 20. Why do you care, and why do you think others care? Nobody—and I mean nobody—wants to know about how you and your husband exchange bodily fluids. Trust me, they will judge you more because you brought it up than they would ever judge you for what you do behind closed doors—that’s why the doors are closed. If you are still feeling insecure, the only person to discuss it with is your husband. Since he’s the, eh, “donor” of what you choose to spit or swallow, he’s the only one with a vested interest. Do whatever you want and stop bothering people about it! Ew!



Dear Delphi,

My 58-year-old brother, once wed, once divorced, no children, has been on the market for years, but he can’t seem to get it done. By “get it done,” I mean, “remarry and have children.” He is attractive and young for his age, both in personality and in looks. What can I do to help him find a wife and hopefully have children?

—Concerned Sis in San Francisco

Dear Concerned Sis in San Francisco,

If your brother has two pennies to rub together and is not working two jobs, you can only assume that he is doing exactly as he pleases. After 58 years of being attractive, it is highly unlikely he’s been desperately seeking to get married but is failing. If he wanted to marry, he would have. If he wanted children he would already have them, with or without the perfect wife. Maybe he does not want the things you want for him. Maybe he loves his single status and stress-free life. Maybe he is gay. Everybody can find somebody, so either he really does not want what you want or he is way too picky. If you can’t accept that, keep inviting him over for dinner and have a blind date on hand at all times. Sooner or later he will become so irritated by your persistence that he will be forced to tell you he is a proud, dress-wearing gay man or he will take a wife merely to shut you up. Either that, or he’ll keep playing the field and start avoiding your dinner dates.



Dear Delphi,

I am 45 and my entire life I have had the same problem. I find a girl I like, then I do everything I can to court her properly—phone calls, texting, flowers—everything you could think of to be a nice, caring guy. Every time, they tell me they just want to be friends and I end up heartbroken. Help! There is nothing I want more than to start a family, but even though everybody says women are desperate to marry and have kids, I can’t seem to find the one desperate enough to take me seriously. What is going on?

—Always a Friend in Mobile

Dear Always a Friend in Mobile,

It sounds like you are coming on too strong. There is nothing more unattractive than an overzealous man. You need to start playing hard to get. You have to make her want you and be willing to fight for your attention. The best way to explain how you can do this is to think about her as if she were a dog or a small child. You need to establish a reward-and-punishment system as guidelines. You never reward her with phone calls, texting, or flowers unless she has done something to deserve it. If she texts you, wait until she texts you again, then text her back. If you have called twice and she has not returned your call, drop it and never call her again. It is tit for tat—actually, two tits for your tat—and if you do not realize that’s the way it works and instead rush toward her like Hurricane Irene, you will blow any chance of sexual tension and are doomed to forever being a friend. Everybody wants what they don’t have. You lived in the city thinking you wanted a country house, then you move to the country and all of a sudden you yearn to move back to the city. Until you have assured yourself a position in her bed and in her heart, I suggest you remain aloof.


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