Dear Ken & Ariel: My boyfriend’s a crier. Sad movies, sunsets, babies, everything seems to set him off. I love his sensitive side but some other things have worn on me, especially his penchant for crying after lovemaking. Any way I can tell him to snap out of it without feeling awful or causing a scene … or more tears?
KEN SAYS: I’ve been known to drop a tear or two at a most inopportune time. So I can’t bust your guy’s balls for that.
Men are wound up so tight trying to keep our emotions in check that occasionally the fabric rips and we end up losing our shit during an episode of “Full House.”
Or when the supermarket’s out of pork sausage. Or when we have that horrible, horrible dream where we just can’t save a friendly metal bird who needs our help. Hell, my Uncle Bruno had to be committed after suffering a full emotional collapse when they stopped making root beer-flavored Life Savers.
I wouldn’t knock your man for wearing his feelings on his sleeve. But the crying after sex? That’s kind of a red flag. Sure, I’ve woken up to my share of women lying next to me, sobbing uncontrollably, but that was mainly because they’d realize they’d hit rock bottom. Or that I wasn’t really Robin Williams’s personal assistant, which is a favorite last call maneuver of mine. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
My first question would be, is he somehow in pain? Are you unknowingly sitting on his balls (in a not-so-good way)? Is he one of those guys who, thanks to a few too many Taiwanese hookers, experiences severe burning in every fiber of his body each time he ejaculates (not that I know first hand)?
Do you charge him 75 bucks a blowjob?
These are the sort of things that make a guy misty.
If not, it could mean that he’s made such a bizarre psychological connection with you that every time he feels a rush of emotions (such as, let’s say, right after sex), he is reduced to a child-like state of literally crying for his mother.
Or, maybe he just really, really likes fucking.
That last one sounds a lot less creepy. Let’s just go with that. Either way, I’d ask him to knock that shit off.
ARIEL SAYS: What kind of crying, exactly? Tears of joy? Tears of horror and impotent rage? I think gender roles may have little to do with this crying jag; if I burst into tears every time after having sex, my guy would be putting my shrink on speed dial.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cry. The shitty breakup, the veteran coming home to surprise his wife/kid/dog (I totally lose my shit watching those vids),
or when the Pats lost the Superbowl to the Giants. AGAIN. AGAIN! Are you FUCKING kidding me?!
Anyway, I remember that I once completely lost it after a particularly intense bout of wall-shaking, sheet-soiling baby-makin’. It went on for so long and was so consuming that my legs went numb, I had convulsions (I’m not making this up) and experienced such a shuddering release (or maybe major organ failure) that I just sobbed like a baby.
I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t in pain, I was just … shot through. That’s the only way I know how to describe it.
If your man is indeed having this type of emotional release, I say well done ma’am. And by all means, carry on.
But if it’s just business time and he’s using up your Kleenex and toilet paper supply, you need to get to the bottom of it.
Instead of saying, “Walk it off, pussy!” try a little tenderness.
Ask him why this keeps happening. Try to figure out what sets him off. Explain that you get concerned at times and want to know if there’s something going on behind the scenes that he might want to discuss. If it’s something that’s never going to change, you need to decide if it’s a deal breaker.
Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt to check his insurance for mental health coverage.
Need wildly impractical sex advice? From English majors? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kenandariel.com. If we answer yours, Ariel might just show up at your place with a bottle of cheap booze. And her lawyer.