Ask Howard

Posted on 12 Oct 2012 at 10:45am

_Howard-Russell-logoHow to do what’s wrong right

HOWARD LEWIS RUSSELL  | Special Contributor
askhoward@dallasvoice.com

Dear Howard,
I just acquired my 50th friend on Facebook, which has only taken me six weeks to do, but I feel so inadequate that I could almost scream! I know there are less fortunate people out there, who are lonely and have fewer substantive friendships than I, but who also have hundreds of Facebook friends; additionally, I know there are people out there who have boyfriends, but aren’t even on Facebook at all. Heck, Howie, I have friends who have been in rock-solid relationships since before even this social media networking stuff began! So, why can’t I find a man? — Tilt-A-Whirl

Dear Whirligig,
Friends, friends everywhere, and not a man to think: How many of your Facebook Fifty could you actually call were you, say, stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire and no spare? How many of them would, oh, send condolences were one of your parents to pass away? Who among them would donate a kidney toward saving your life? Whirly, you might want to look the word “substantive” up in a dictionary; moreover, you need to quit confusing Facebook “friends” with friendships. Substantive relationships don’t require vacuous competition. Oh, and the name’s Howard, not Howie.

Dear Howard,
I recently served three years in prison. I was “non-voluntarily” introduced to sex with fellow males while there. Let’s just say I found it not to be unpleasant, necessarily, and even became a consenting partner on several occasions. Now that I’m back in the free world again, I’m having sex again with only women. I don’t wish to seek out guys, but might accept a come-on by a man. Am I gay, bisexual or just a horny bastard?
— Curious George

Dear Georgie,
Door No. 3 (where the lovely Carole Merrill is standing) is your answer: horny bastard. Curious, why don’t you hit your local library (a place where books can be acquired, and read, for free) and pick up a copy of The Kinsey Report. You’ll discover that it is as rare for a man to be 100 percent heterosexual as it is for a man to be 100 percent homosexual. Human sexuality runs a spectrum, almost daily, like mercury in a thermometer: So, big deal, you enjoyed sex with men during your prison stint, and found out you’re not opposed to the raw allure of your own gender. Sexual attraction, after all, is about the individual, not the individual’s genitalia.

Dear Howard,
I recently found out through the grapevine that the so-called “boyfriend” of my closest friend has been seen with someone else — and not just once, but several times — while my friend has been away traveling on business. Do I tell my closest friend that his boyfriend has been cheating on him when he’s been out of town? — Vince

Dear Gladys Kravitz,
I take it that there is no love lost between you and your “closest” friend’s unfaithful spouse versus sheer hearsay? Nosy is as nosy does: Unless your closest friend has the IQ of Forrest Gump, he is quite well aware of what his partner does privately when he’s away; not only is your closest friend’s private-life business none of yours whatsoever, Vincent, but you risk losing a dear friendship via gossip and meddling.
Do you have a question — about etiquette, love, life or work — that needs an answer? Send your problem to AskHoward@Dallasvoice.com and he may answer it in our new regular feature.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 5, 2012.

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