Nana: Girlfriends and best friends

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Problem? Let Nana fix it

Ask Nana will be appearing bi-weekly on watchmagazine.ca. King’s students, and anyone, really, are able to ask Nana questions that they might need an outside opinion on. To ask a question, email it to [email protected]

Hi nana,

My girlfriend and I have been dating for about 5 months and yesterday when we were cuddling she whispered in my ear that she wanted to try pegging. When I voiced my hesitation she told me if I ever wanted to do anal again then I would have to let her peg me. Nana what should I do? I don’t want to peg but I love anal!

Best,

An anxious asshole

Dearest Anxious,

It’s nice that as a couple you are comfortable discussing sexual exploration together. The key to happiness in a relationship is communication. While I don’t encourage bargaining in the bedroom, especially if the terms make you uncomfortable, perhaps this can open up a serious conversation between you and your girlfriend about sexual boundaries. You shouldn’t perform any sex acts without making sure both of you are totally comfortable with the situation, and it’s unfortunate that you feel as though you have been offered an ultimatum.

Ask her why she brought up this deal in the first place. Is it because she has a fantasy about male penetration, or, possibly, is it because anal penetration makes her uncomfortable? If the true reason is she isn’t enjoying herself while you perform anal on her, then this conversation becomes a totally different one. Make sure you ask for enthusiastic consent from your partner before exploring any new sexual activity and continue to ask for consent throughout your interactions.

You must also consider your own sexual boundaries in this moment, and think about whether your boundaries are being respected. You don’t have to agree to anything that makes you uncomfortable. While you feel like you may be losing out on something you love to do, you shouldn’t agree to any sexual act that takes you out of your comfort zone. Let your girlfriend know that you are uncomfortable and that you feel like your boundaries are being pushed. You deserve equal respect in the bedroom, and you shouldn’t be afraid to express your concerns to your partner.

Here’s a video from the University of Oregon’s Health Centre about negotiating sexual boundaries that might help you out when you’re entering this conversation.

If exploring the details of how to approach pegging and anal sex safely would make you feel more comfortable, Venus Envy is holding a workshop on anal sex in February, and they also carry books specifically about anal sex.

That being said, if you do decide you are comfortable with pegging, remember to research the process beforehand, and think about what kind of strap-on would work best for you. And, as always, lube up.

Best of luck,

Nana

Dear Nana, 

I love my best friend, but I’m scared I’m losing them. We were best friends before coming to university and then lived in the same bay. We stayed best friends through first and second year but now we’re in third year and I think we’re not as close as we used to be. 

We have new friends and I like them all a lot, but I don’t think they like me as much as they like my friend. It’s hard when we go out on the weekends and they run across the room to the bar without me or plan to get ready at someone’s house and only tell me last-minute. It’s like I’m the shitty sample size of moisturizer that comes with drugstore face wash. 

I want to keep my best friend, and even though it feels like they’re pulling away I think they still want to be friends with me too. 

How do you think I could talk about this with them? Should I talk to the group? Just my main friend? Should I give up and ditch them to try to find new friends? 

Sincerely, 

All Out of Whack

Dearest Out of Whack,

I’m sorry that you feel like you are losing your friends. Rest assured, you are not the shitty sample size moisturizer. You are a full sized moisturizer with amazing hydrating qualities, and your friend is a great face wash. You can complement each other perfectly or can be applied separately. What I’m trying to say here is that you and your friend are individuals with your own unique and special qualities.

University is an interesting time for friendships. You grow up and change so much during the time that you are here. For many, it’s the first time they are away from home, and this means freedom, personal exploration and new experiences. Perhaps you are simply going through a phase where you and your friends are out of sync in your process of self-exploration.

Rather than full-on confronting your friend, I would try to make plans for just the two of you, so you can try to bond again. Maybe the two of you had an activity that you enjoyed to do together in high school, like playing a sport, baking or just going out to eat together. Try to foster the connection you had then, and use this time to chat about the people you are becoming, and celebrate your newfound differences.

As for the rest of your friend group, I would suggest much of the same approach. Make plans for them to get ready for a night out at your apartment, or take them to a new bar that you’ve always wanted to try. Here’s a list of fun bars that serve great beer in Halifax, or another list of things to do in Halifax in the winter. Talk to your friends one-on-one, and find common ground with each of them as individuals. You became friends for a reason, try to remember that.

You could also try to make some new friends without totally ditching this old friend group. Join a society, take up a hobby or reach out to someone in your classes. You could sign up for the This Week at King’s newsletter to get an idea of what’s happening on campus, or check out this list of societies at Dal. Meet some new people who have similar interests to you, and let yourself branch out. That’s what these years are for! Maybe, you’ll find a new friend who your old friends will also love, and then your circle has only expanded.

Never lose faith in yourself. You are worth knowing.

Nana