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Questions & Answers


Here, Ask EROS has anonymously published questions and answers from or "Ask EROS Program" and "Ask EROS-online." Asked by your fellow students, these questions were answered by our very own counselor(s).

» Why is it hard to tell my boyfriend that I love him?
» How much is too much when dressing for a date?
» I've had sex, my boyfriend has not...
» Can I find information on the EROS clitoral therapy device?
» How does someone get therapy if they're concerned they
   may abuse someone?
» I love him, but he's got a girlfriend...

Dear EROS, Why is it difficult to me to say to my boyfriend that I love you? Signed, Tongue tied

Dear Tongue Tied, You are not alone in this predicament. Love makes us vulnerable, open to incredible pain as well as incredible joy. Many people are afraid to express that kind of deep emotional feeling because they are afraid of the consequences: that they won't be loved equally in return, that they'll get hurt, that they can't muster that kind of trust, that dealing with feelings doesn't come easy to them in the first place, that we tend to think of love as a forever concept, and it's really hard to commit to that at a young age, not knowing what the future will bring.

We recommend taking your time, making sure it really is love, that you can weather adversity together, argue together, share similar values before you voice that incredible vulnerability.

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Dear EROS, I want to know, in a serious world, when dealing with date rape and suggestive dressing and all the other things that go along with dating in your 20s, and in the West Coast attitude, how much is too much? How nice can a woman really be without being a tease?? How provocative before she is a slut? And also, has society had an impact on how women are subjected in the real world? Do men really take us seriously? or do they want to see us naked instead? Do music videos and pop culture have a major influence in how women are perceived? Sorry about the question but I am doing a paper and there isn't too much information on what is the going trend for women in the 90s. Thanks, Melissa

Dear Melisa, Wow! You've asked some whoppers! We don't know if we have any answers, just our opinions, and we certainly don't want to write your paper for you. We have enough of our own! We'll offer you our take on these one at a time.

1) How much is too much? How nice can a woman really be without being a tease?? We think very nice. We think this is a function of good communication skills. We were trained using the CORE model, that's used in business, and found it has many applications in the dating world as well.
C= Clarify your intentions (this is not always easy)
O= Explore your options
R= Reach an agreement (This may be agreeing to disagree)
E= Enjoy or exit (If there is no meeting of the minds, you exit)

2) How provocative before she is a slut? Slut is a loaded term for us. But we understand what you're asking (we think). There's an old saying that you only have one chance to make a first impression. If you're dressing like you want sex, but the words that come out of your mouth are things like "I'm saving my virginity till I'm married," then you are clearly giving a mixed message to a potential date or partner.

3) has society had an impact on how women are subjected in the real world? Do men really take us seriously? Yes, of course society has had an impact on how women are seen in the world. A patriarchal system for the last few hundred years certainly has made women seem like second class citizens. The advertising industry has definitely had an impact. We'd recommend you see a film called Killing Us Softly, for how women are viewed in the media. As for men taking us seriously--that's a sweeping generalization. Some do. Some don't. It's as simple as that.

4) or do they want to see us naked instead? Most of the straight ones probably do, whether or not they take us seriously.

5) Do music videos and pop culture have a major influence in how women are perceived? Yes, see answer to #3.

Good luck with your paper.

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Dear EROS, I am 19 and my boyfriend is 25. I just recently broke up with my fiancé to date my new boyfriend. Things are going great, but there is one problem. I have had sex and my boyfriend hasn't. I love him to death and want to share that experience with him, but I also want to be respectful to him. What should I do? We have talked about it and I told him it was his decision, but I also want it to happen sometime soon. Can you please give me some advice. Please respond by e-mail please. Thank you, Confused

Dear Confused, Slow down girlfriend! There's a lot in your letter that just screams to put the brakes on. Allow us to elaborate:

First: You recently broke up with a fiancé, so you could date a new boyfriend. Being engaged implies imminent marriage and a lifetime commitment, not to mention monogamy. You just got out of a serious relationship, and into a new one. Perhaps you are not sure of yourself in a relationship?

Second: You "love him to death and want to share that experience with him, but also want to be respectful to him." How do you know you "love him to death" already? You just broke up with someone you thought you were going to marry!

Third: You've had sex, he hasn't. You'd like to again, soon. It sounds like you are feeling a little frustrated at the turn of events: Sexy new boyfriend who is not ready to commit to you sexually.

Our advice: You've put the ball in his court and told him it was his decision, whenever he was ready, etc. So now, sit back and relax and be respectful of him as you said you wanted to be. Also, you're pretty young to be making lifetime commitments. We're not saying they never happen at your age, just that it's harder. Adults go through huge changes in emotional maturity between 18 and 25. So at 19, you still have a ways to go. We would advise you to slow down, date your new boyfriend, enjoy his company, and when and if you are both ready to engage in a sexual relationship, make sure you are protected against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. There's a lot out there that could hurt you. We'd like you to stay safe and healthy and happy. Good luck.

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Dear EROS, Where can I find information on the EROS clitoral therapy device? What company makes and sells the product? Inquiring Mind

Dear Inquiring Mind, We have not heard of any such device. We are a student-counseling group. You may want to check with SIECUS, a nationally known sex information and education group based in New York.

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Dear EROS, How can someone go about getting counseling if that person feels that he/she may abuse someone? Also, would any kind of reprimand be made against this person? Worried

Dear Worried, We applaud your courage in even asking this question. Domestic violence is certainly on the increase. Just check the newspaper any day of the week. We asked Judy Schmidt-Levy at University Counseling Services (UCS) for help with this question, and this is her reply: "Your first question, about getting counseling is easy. UCS is available to see any enrolled student without fee. You can call 885-2366 to make an appointment. If you feel your situation is an emergency, you can walk in between 8 am to 5 pm to meet with a counselor immediately. UCS is in the Park apartments, Bldg 14, on the 4th floor. If you or your partner are not enrolled at CSUN, we'll give you confidential low-cost referrals to outside counselors.

"The question about possible reprimand is more difficult, because there are several things to consider. If the abuse involves a child or an elderly or disabled individual, then yes, counselors are required by law to report the incident to the Dept. of Social Services. If the abuse is between two adults, then counselors are not required to report it, and will keep it confidential. You were not specific as to whether the abuse has already occurred or may be in danger of occurring, and this is important because it raises another possibility. If in a counseling session you mention that you intend to harm someone, counselors are required to inform the intended victim that you wish to do them harm.

"We admire your willingness to admit that you may abuse someone. We hope you will take advantage of our services and let us help you start improving your situation."

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Dear EROS, I am an 18 year old male and I have a question concerning my penis. I have noticed pubic hair growing on the surface of my penis and I don't know why. I can understand it growing on my balls, but not "on" my penis itself. It almost looks like a rash of some type too, however I haven't been sleeping with anyone, so I know it is not some kind of a disease or anything, but I am too embarrassed to ask a doctor or family. I was wondering if you knew what this strange occurance is and what I should do about it. Thanks for listening and being available for these questions. Signed, Bee

Dear Bee, You stumped us on this one, so we checked with Lynne Landeta, a nurse practitioner here at the student health center, and this is her answer: Pubic hair on the penile surface may be a developmental change and may go away over time (you say you are only 18). We are concerned there may also be a rash. It is best to see a provider through the Student Health Center for an exam. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. Your clinic visit is private and confidential.

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Dear EROS, I am a freshman in college in downtown Pittsburgh, PA. I met this guy I have fallen in love with. We have a great friendship, but one night we had sex. The sex was great and he knew that I was a virgin. I am having problems with my emotions towards him now. I really do love him and it is not because we had sex. It is the friendship we have. He has another girlfriend in Maryland that he would drop anyone for but I still love him. I want him all to myself even if there is another girl in Maryland. I would do anything for him. I know a lot about his past that no one else knows, and he trusts me with that. I don't know what to do. Should I just try to be friends with him even though I still love him? or should I play his game and see other people but also see him? Sincerely, Hooked in Pittsburgh

Dear Hooked, Thanks for writing. Your situation sounds like one of those classic "Will sex ruin this relationship?" conundrums.There are a few things we think you should pay attention to:

1) he has another girlfriend in Maryland.
2) he would drop anyone for her.
3) in a good relationship, monogamy (in heart and body) is a real asset.

You appear to have neither at the moment.We hope you protected yourself against pregnancy and STDs when you had sex. Losing your virginity is not a good time to also get pregnant and/or an STD. We recommend a fall back and "wait and see" approach. If you had a good friendship, see if you can get back to it, without the sex. One of the reasons you may know things about him that no one else knows is precisely because you had a good friendship and he could trust you with that information, not because you were sexually intimate. We also recommend you have an open discussion with him about both your feelings.

Ask him what his intentions are. Does he want to play the field? Have a casual relationship with you and a deeper one with the woman in Maryland? Are there others besides the two of you? If there are, you may be exposing yourself to a variety of infections and risking your health. Is that ok with you? or is it going to make you crazy? Lastly, we recommend a preventive health visit to your University's Counseling Center. Some clarity on the nature of relationships and what you have a right to expect of one, how much your own self-esteem is worth, and how to communicate with a partner will move you along the road toward healthy relationships. We wish you well on your journey.

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