Dear Ty

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Dear Di,

I met my girlfriend’s extended family for the first time at her grandmother’s birthday party last week. After my girl introduced me to one of her cousins, she told me she had “a crazy story to tell me about him.” When my lady was driving me home later that night, she told me she had sex with her cousin three years ago when they were both 19. She laughed when she told me the story and made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal at all, but it actually made me feel a little sick. When my girlfriend saw my reaction, she got angry and told me I was being overly dramatic because “it’s pretty normal to fool around with your cousins.” I really don’t think she’s right and now I’m grossed out. What should I do? 

—Keep it Out of the Family, Please

Dear KOFP,

Sure, it’s pretty normal to fool around with your cousins… if you’re a member of the Royal Family circa the reign of Queen Victoria. Is it normal for those of us living in 2012 without blue blood flowing through our veins? Not so much.

While I don’t necessarily believe your cutie’s cousinly confession should be a deal-breaker for you, I do think you have the right to be concerned and a little creeped out. In the western world, it’s generally accepted that blood relatives as closely connected as cousins do not copulate, but there are exceptions to every rule. You happen to be dating one such exception, and it’s up to you to decide if that’s something you can live with or not.
I think the obvious solution here is to talk to your girlfriend. From what you’ve told me, she seems pretty defensive about the situation, so bring it up gently. Let her know you’re curious and a little uneasy about what happened and you’d like to discuss it with her. If you approach the conversation from a place of concern and not of accusation, your woman will likely be more willing to talk.

Assuming you’re able to openly communicate with your girl, you’ll then have to evaluate her responses and make a decision. In all honesty, I’m guessing there’s a good chance whatever she says about the night in question won’t do much to quell your qualms. Cousin-loving is a taboo many people wouldn’t be able to overlook in a partner’s past, so don’t beat yourself up too much if this is the case. Remaining in a relationship with someone whose sexual history you can’t come to terms with isn’t fair to either party involved.

Although my suspicions tell me otherwise, I should mention there’s a chance that what happened between your girl and her cousin was not consensual. If it turns out this is the case, you should encourage her to seek counselling, perhaps at the University of Ottawa’s Counselling and Coaching Service (100 Marie-Curie St.).


Dear Di,

Is it possible to masturbate too much? I usually use my vibrator two or three times on any given day and I’m really worried there’s something wrong with me.

—Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough


Rest easy, dear reader. If your self-love sessions aren’t negatively affecting your day-to-day life or relationships, I think it’s safe to say you have nothing to be concerned about. Sure, some people would be shocked to learn you buzz the bean two or three times in a 24-hour period, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It sounds to me like you have a particularly robust sexual appetite, which is nothing to be ashamed of.

However, if you find yourself skipping out on class or hangouts with friends in favour of fingering your fortress, you might want to consider cutting back. You should also be aware that excessive or overly vigorous masturbation can sometimes lead to physical trauma, so if you’re getting down and dirty with yourself on a daily basis, make sure you’re gentle on your genitals so not to cause injury.

If you’re struggling to develop healthy masturbatory habits, consider making an appointment with a doctor or mental health professional. Otherwise, keep on keeping on—masturbation can help you relieve stress and become more familiar with your body and what turns it on. Most importantly, it’s a damn good time. Go forth and fuck yourself, my friend!