KSK Mailbag – Video Games Make For A Bummer of a Sex Life

06.26.14 3 years ago 95 Comments

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Hello! The mailbag ran a little long today since I got a-rambling in the responses. So less intro, more reading about [REDACTED], video games ruining a couple’s sex life and what to do when you need to tell your casual hook-up you’re going exclusive with someone that is not them. 

Update: The mailbag is now a bit shorter because someone who wrote in with a lengthly letter has now kindly asked us not to use it. Best of luck out there, friend. Hope you are doing well.  


Dear KSK,
Long time reader, first time writer. Have to say, I really appreciate this blog, in season and in the off season.

On behalf of everyone, thank you for the appreciation.

Fantasy: Last year was my second year playing, I lost in the championship to a dude in a previously all dude league. I feel good about that.

You should, all-male league or not. Second year playing and in the championship? That’s awesome.

However, I started and deleted many a post asking for help (deleted after finding answers here or in Keepers). The issue at hand is this: did I lose due to tinkering or is that bullshit? I would set and re-set my line every day, including scouring the waivers (10 man league, relative desert), and setting before Thursday, again before Sunday and again on Monday if applicable and I sat some guys and left some guys playing that screwed me. Am I overthinking?

You’re over-thinking how you came in second. One of the more bullshit things about fantasy sports is how random some outcomes are, how one or two points can decide the season, and sometimes those precious points are lost by normally reliable players and there was very little you could have done to finish in first and not second. Sounds like you are an active, responsible fantasy player and if everyone was like you, the whole thing would be much more fun.

Sex(ish): So there was a post last week that somewhat inspired me to write in. I believe the issue was that the writer wanted to play video games but couldn’t get enough time to himself to do so. In our house (my boyfriend of three years and I live together happily other than what I’m writing about here), I use Madden to distract him when I need to cook and clean, things I do to calm down and relax, and don’t want him in my kitchen.

I completely understand. My kitchen is also my relaxing space and I don’t like other people mucking it up by stirring things incorrectly or putting measuring cups in the wrong drawer.

However, he gets REALLY into Madden, so much so that when he’s messing up (I don’t mean losing, I mean not winning by more than 21) he’s angry and on edge. I’ve come to terms with the fact that if our jointly loved team loses, we will go to bed angry no matter what but on the offseason I’m not ready for that level of tension. Do I just not get video games? I played my fair share of Killer Instinct, Banjo Kazooie (there’s no way Word will ever recognize that one as a word), Mario Kart and Rock Band, but I just don’t understand the anger that’s still there after the COMPLETELY FICTIONAL game ends (I know the caps seem douche-y, but that’s where I’m hung up).

Oh, yeah this relates to sex in that I’m used to not getting any when our team loses but at least I know when that’s coming and I’m in no mood either, when it’s Madden related, it could happen any time, and it kills the mood, hard.
-Madden-ing (clever is beyond my current capacity).

Oddly enough, your boyfriend sounds much like my husband in this regard. In the past I have made him go outside and listen to the end of the game in the car on Sirius/XM because he is so upset he’s completely ruining just watching the game — which even if they lose, is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime — so I don’t have to deal with his stress and negativity. Being so upset over sports it upsets the people around you is not fair, nor is it a really healthy way to watch the games. If there is anything I have learned about being a sports fan it’s that the whole thing is a lot more fun if you don’t actually get mad — disappointed, sure, but never angry or mad. Positive the entire game. Losses roll off easier this way, you keep your sanity and sports can continue to be a release valve from the rest of life. It took me a long time to get to this point, but it honestly has made me a better sports fan in general. You see the game a lot more clearly and don’t get wrapped up in all the negativity that some fans seem to really enjoy wallowing in.  

Because it took me a long time to become the always positive fan (and some of this comes with just age and generally mellowing out because this is all bullshit and we’re all going to die anyway, so why be upset over one more thing we cannot control), I don’t expect my husband to get to this point overnight, but I do expect him to get there eventually. You should work on this with your boyfriend together. Tell him when you find his anger upsetting and stressful when watching sports, that your shared home should feel safe to you no matter what and his anger, even if it is not direct at you, still creates tension. Figure out something stupid that you both can do to let of steam after a loss that is a shared thing just for the two of you. It’s easier for two people to be upset together if they’re on the same level of upset after a defeat, not one person calming down the other one.

(This isn’t always easy. My husband was very upset when the US lost last weekend, and I had to spend the next ten minutes running through all the scenarios where the team could move ahead to the next round and then let him have a good mope for about thirty more minutes.)  

Which gets us to video games, which yes, like your boyfriend my husband also gets upset over. Much like with sports, I also don’t put up with the temper that can come along with playing a game THAT IS TOTALLY NOT REAL THERE IS NO REASON TO THROW A $100 CONTROLLER BECAUSE YOU COULDN’T FINISH A HELICOPTER MISSION BECAUSE YOU DO NOT LIKE THE BUTTON SETUP. (Like you, caps needed because I don’t see it either, and I love video games.) It comes down to the both of them being frustrated by something they feel like they have complete control over — sort of like watching sports — and expecting the outcome to always be glorious. And sometimes it’s some sort of misdirected thing; turns out he had a tough meeting at work, some dick head almost hit his car driving home, whatever. Much like with sports you have to tell him how much his temper with the game, even though it’s not directed at you, really makes the home a tense place to be. If he really needs to be upset, he can go take it out walking the dog, at the gym or anywhere that is not your home, your safe place.

Since you like it when he’s around playing games while you cook and clean, have you considered maybe pointing him to games that have a much more zen-like response? Katamari Damacy (yes, everyone knows this is my favorite game of all time aside of GTA, don’t care), Journey, Shadow of the Colossus, Skyrim/Elder Scrolls games? Minecraft? I’m sure the gamers in the comments can maybe recommend some better games, but something that will disengage the competitive side and engage the creative side might help you both out loads.

It’s hard living with another human being and it’s even harder to live with someone you love. Too many people fall into a trap where they think that once they live with someone, all bets are off and they can act any way they want to once the front door closes. Conversely, partners will allow these people to continually misbehave under the misguided belief they have to accept the bad behavior because they think they’re just letting the other person “be themselves” at home. That’s no way to live and it’s wrecking your sex life. Unless he knows how much it upsets you, it’s not going to get better going forward.


Dear KSK,
Fantasy: After a crushing first round playoff loss (“There’s no way Josh McCown puts up 40 points against the Bills tonight, right?”), I find myself with a mid-round pick this year. I can keep Shady with the 6th overall pick, but I’m wondering if I can get better value out of any of the following: Jordan Cameron (3rd), Stafford (6th), DeSean Jackson (7th), or RGIII (11th). I’m starting to warm to the idea of keeping RGIII now that he has DeSean and trying to grab a top RB with my first rounder.

Normally I’d be tempted to say stick with having LeSean McCoy because I don’t think you’re going to do much better than him this year, and I do think he’s going to have another great season — he’s young, he’s consistent (now that he’s healthy) but I worry how many touches he’s going to lose this season with the addition of Sproles to the Eagles. Running by committee, great for football but terrible for fantasy. It is interesting to see what will happen with RGIII and Jackson, but not sure if it’s worth gambling on a pair that is unproven together. (Sorry I’m hedging my bets here PK-style, I’m typing myself through my own logic. Stick with me.)  Dismissing Cameron because of the Factory of Sadness factor, Stafford is going to be throwing to Golden Tate who hopefully doesn’t catch the rest of the dropsies the rest of the Lions receiving corps had. Tough call, but the more I think about it, I’d stick with Shady. 

Women: I just started dating this girl who is really great. We had been friends for about a year and apparently both had big, secret crushes on each other, but never acted upon them because of the potential awkwardness with our group of friends. A few days ago everything just kind of came out and I immediately knew I didn’t want to be with anyone else but her.

Aww, that’s great. Nothing better than finding out someone you like actually had a crush on you back. 

There was another girl who I was good friends with and had been casually dating (a couple dates, late night makeout sessions after bars, but no sex). I feel like I owe her an explanation now about my situation. We have some mutual friends and live close to each other, so we will see each other in group settings on weekends still. I know I just need to let her know that I’m off the market and we can’t keep up the drunk makeout charade. She had started to develop some more serious feelings towards me recently, so I’m wondering what the best way to tell her all this is. Is it too cruel to mention the other girl?
Thank you for your help,
Red Rocket

Well, is this the same group of friends? New Girl from one circle of friends and Casual Girl from another? Either way, you need to tell Casual Girl right away — immediately — this cannot go any further because you are seeing someone else and you want to only see that person. (Odds are, if it is the same circle of friends, she might know something is up already and it’s better to hear it from you.) It’s not too cruel. If it wasn’t serious and you hadn’t had the big talk about only seeing each other exclusively, hearing the truth is better than you flitting away never to be heard of again, until she see you at a party two weeks from now and wonders why you’re hiding behind a ficus to avoid her. You don’t have to give her the full explanation of  your year-long crush, that would be cruel, you just need to say since you were not exclusive you’ve been seeing other people and now you want to make that other person exclusive. 

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