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Ask Hua Li #2: The Ins and Outs of Spooning and Graduate Student Dating

Posted by Hua_Li / December 4, 2013

Ask hua liHua Li is Midnight Poutine's sex writer. Ask her an anonymous question in the box at the bottom of this post and she'll answer it in this column, appearing every other Hump Day (aka, Wednesday).

Hi Hua Li,
I'm a grad student and quite busy. I don't have a bf (btw, I'm a woman) and neither an f-buddy. I used to be quite wild back few years ago but since I came to Montreal my sex life seems to have vanished away. I sometimes wonder if it's me, or it's the city. Is there any place, like a bar or club or whatever, to meet some people for casual dating at least? I find guys so shy here and I think they're sort of afraid to approach girls. I heard it's because they find Quebecois girls so aggressive. Don't know how much it is true but I've heard it from several people. Anyways, can you tell me where I should go? What should I do? I feel so odd asking this!
Artemis

I'd like to start by saying, in the kindest way possible, that it's definitely not Montreal. I'm not saying that it's you, either, dear Artemis, but, well, let's talk for a minute about what I think makes Montreal an especially unique place: it's a hugely transient city. It's a university town, it's an artist haven, it's freezing cold in the winters and the best place in the world in the summers, and that all adds up to a huge number of people that come and go. Anyone I know that's lived in Montreal for a few years has had to say their fair share of goodbyes, and so I think one of the marks of a true Montrealer is the ability to understand that as the best people in your life come and go, so do all the best things in life. It's that particular Montreal joie de vivre that I think gives way to a general sense of openness and acceptance that's necessary for an environment where non-traditional relationship models are embraced and explored and hook-up culture ain't no thang.

One thing I hope to avoid in this column is the proliferation of "dating techniques;" I don't believe there is any consistently successful way to meet people you're interested in sexing up. I was talking to an associate of #BenettonMob, whom we affectionately refer to as The Sex Shaman, about pick-up artists the other day and he sagely said, "I don't see how trying to follow the instructions in a book is easier than just being yourself." I like to think of meeting people as an exercise in risk-taking. It's much easier to assess the risks in something physically tangible, like giving a blowjob without using a condom (and people take that risk all the time, like throat gonorrhea doesn't even exist!), but it seems to be a lot more difficult for us to evaluate emotional risks, like coming onto someone and being rejected (which people hate, but is likely much less unpleasant than throat gonorrhea). I'm not going to tell you which bars in the city are the best for hook ups, or which iPhone apps will help you find the hottest people, but I will tell you that if you're feeling like you're not getting the sort of attention you want from people you want to hook up with, maybe you should give them some attention first and see how they respond. Maybe you'll ask to go out for a drink another night and they'll totally blow you off, and maybe you'll be hurt for a while. But I mean, that dude was a stranger anyway, so how bad is it really?

In all my years in Montreal, I've heard a lot of people complain about the men in our city. While I've never heard of aggressiveness in Quebecois women being cited as a complaint (which, for the record, I think is a strange, truth-less generalization), I think mostly people say that because there is a 2-1 ratio of women to men in this city, guys get to have the first pick. This population statistic is so widely quoted, that I don't think anyone has ever bothered to confirm its authenticity. (According to the 2006 Census men are at 48% of the population with women at 51%.) Beyond it's general falsity, I think this statistical superstition we Montrealers have is a problem because it allows us to generalize about the people we are going to be potentially hooking up with. Just like how I hate it when guys tell me that they love Asian girls like I'm definitely going to fulfill their racial fetish because I have pretty slanty eyes, I imagine the men you're interested in don't necessarily want to be assumed as too shy, or too overwhelmed by selection to approach you. I think the most important thing to remember when you're going out and meeting new people is to keep an open mind about them and get to know them as a individual without any preconceived assumptions you might have about them based on gender or what they're wearing or where you meet them. Having a friendly, confident and accepting energy about you when you're out in the world is pretty attractive, and I hope you'll find that if you can go about your day with the openness of meeting interesting people, you'll find that you'll start meeting them everywhere.

Dear Hua Li,
I live with my boyfriend, and lately, because we always sleep spooning, he's been putting his penis inside me and we fall asleep that way every night, even if we don't have sex. Is that really weird? Is it unhealthy?
Sleepless in Montreal

Well, SIM, let me tell you a little personal story. I love cuddling. I used to think I might be a sex addict, but when I took a look at my life and the number of times I had great sex that was motivated by a desire to cuddle and say silly-dopamine-oxytocin-brain-flooded-things to my partner, I had to consider that maybe my sex addiction was a cuddling addiction. Naturally, anytime I have a committed partner in my life there needs to be great cuddling chemistry which allows for all night cuddles where even when you're asleep you somehow adjust to each other and keep on cuddling so that when you wake up you can jump right into lucid cuddling or morning sex. Of course, just like sex, sometimes you need to spice up your cuddling life, so there came a point in my time with one of my exes that when we were too tired to have sex, sometimes he'd put his penis in my vajayjay and we'd fall asleep that way. I'd feel his erection slowly softening inside me and think about the cool cuddle our genitals were having. So, in answer to your questions; is it weird? Maybe, I guess it depends on whom you're asking. Some people would say that sharing intimate details about how I think genital cuddling is a thing people can do is pretty weird. Ultimately, if you and your partner are happy with your sleep-routine, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks unless you're enlisting them to sleep-time-genital-cuddle with you guys. And is it unhealthy? I don't see why it would be, since penises are totally made to go inside vaginas. (But I'm just a rapper, not a doctor.) I would say that if you're worried, just make sure you both keep your bits clean so that any scary UTI (or similar) causing bacteria are less likely to go on Spring Break party binge in your warm, cozy genital cuddle.

Ask Hua Li a sex question in the box below. The form will retain nothing of your identity and any text you enter will not be displayed here.

Discussion

13 Comments

Nh / December 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm
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The claim about 2:1 female:male ratio is more plausible if you consider who tends to make it: college-age folk in a university town. The 2:1 gender ratio closely resembles a similar imbalance in undergraduate populations. Would that both be equalized.
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