Dear E. Jean: I’ve started dating a wonderful man. He has a great job, a wicked sense of humor, and a cute smile, and he treats me with respect and dignity. We met through a mutual friend and have been going strong for a month. We haven’t been intimate yet, but while we were cuddling in his bed the other night, we started discussing our sexual histories. All of a sudden, he pulls up a chain with handcuffs on my side of the bed and says: “I have to tell you—I love being tied up.”
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If we didn’t have the lights off, he would have been able to see the shock on my face. Handcuffs—they were just so…there. I’m not a prude. But I’m not in a place right now to escape my sexual comfort zone. Do I continue the relationship if this makes me feel so uncomfortable? —Not Ready for 50 Shades
Not Ready, My Rhododendron: Though the eminent members of the Advice Columnist Whips & Chains Committee will conceive the vilest opinion of me—I mean, have you ever read an advice column that didn’t urge a correspondent to “experiment”?—I say to hell with it. If you don’t want to handcuff the chap, don’t do it. He seems to be a good man, patient and respectful. So tell him if he promises not to pester you, you may come around in time and go so far as to allow him to escort you to a screening of the Leonardo DiCaprio handcuff scene in Titanic.