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October 5, 2014 | by  | in Opinion The Bone Zone | [ssba]

The Bone Zone

Hey Cupie. I’ve been on a few outings with a nice young lady, and I don’t know what our relationship is. Are we dating? Are we friends? What would you recommend I do? Do I straight up ask her?

Spring is upon us, and with it, the first wee buds of young love have blossomed! Or have they? While the first few weeks of a new relationship can be the most exhilarating ones, they can also be the most confusing. Especially when you’re not even sure what you are yet. You are both dipping your toes in each other’s pools at the moment, and while the desire to know when you’ll be able to dive in can be overwhelming, a part of you isn’t sure if you even want to get wet.

Metaphors aside, I fortunately have some more concrete advice for dealing with your present conundrum. First things first, do you know what you would ideally like from the relationship? Seeing as you’ve contacted Salient’s resident sexpert about the matter, I’m going to put my money on romance, but regardless, having some idea of what you’re looking for (dating, casual, friends with benefits, long-term etc) will come in handy if you do start asking the big questions down the line. That said, I do think that a lot of people place far too much importance on labels – especially in the early stages of the relationship. If you’re both having fun at the moment, what’s the rush? The best relationships, in my experience, develop of their own accord – the fact that it has a label is never the maker or breaker.

Before resorting to ‘straight up asking’, look to the relationship for clues: What kinds of ‘outings’ are you going on – classic date vibes or group hangouts? How often do you talk to her, and what tone does she use with you – all day everyday blowy-kiss-emoji-filled, or more along the lines of how you’d chat with your other friends? Do you know if she’s seeing or interested in other people? Does she even swing your way? If it’s still unclear after all of that, chances are she just might not be sure how she feels about you yet, in which case there’s no harm in just enjoying each other’s company and seeing where things end up.

That said, as a female with a lot of male friends, when I was single and thus without the ‘boyfriend buffer’, I found making the boundaries of my intentions clear to some guys quite a challenge. On the one hand, it feels presumptuous to explicitly state it; on the other, it felt unfair to leave the matter unaddressed if they were bargaining for something more. Instead, I resorted to calling them ‘pal’ or ‘bud’ at every available opportunity until they got the message. In hindsight, it would have been a lot easier if they had just asked if I was keen, rather than me having to sound like I was impersonating a Little League coach from a feel-good ’90s film for weeks on end.
If you do end up asking her outright, be chill about it, and graciously accept her answer. Even if you want something more from the relationship, don’t make it a weird ultimatum-type situation; her friendship is not a consolation prize. If the ‘worst’ outcome is that she just wants to be friends, that sounds like a win–win you’ve got on your hands.

Take it easy, bud!
Cupie xx

Is there any advice you can give me on how to keep the sexual intimacy alive in a long distant relationship?

With the end of semester breathing down our necks, it’s that time of year when hearts will inevitably be broken as we all leave Wellington for brighter futures… or just to live rent-free with our parents over summer. If you’re thinking of doing long-distance, or long-D, as I fondly call it, you’re gonna have to find new ways to stoke the fire when you’re miles apart.

This is where technology can be both your friend and foe. As the likes of Vanessa Hudgens and J-Law have taught us, sexy pixxx can go very wrong very quick. Sure, there are the Kim Kardashians of this world who manage to turn leaks into a lucrative lifestyle, but they are the exception, not the rule. That being the case, if you’re going to send nudes, nip- or dick-picks, be smart about it. Keep them limited to Snapchat, and have a ‘No Screenshots No Excuses’ rule.

But unless you’re someone who really gets off to static images, nudie snaps aren’t that much fun anyway. If you want to more accurately reenact your intimate moments, phone or Skype sex is going to be your best bet. It can be hard to get used to talking dirty when you’re used to just getting on and doing it, but the premise is the same. Start by describing the same things you would be doing if you were together – little kisses on their neck, rubbing your hands all over their body – rather than jumping straight into the hot and heavy. This way both of you can get more comfortable with dirty talk as you get more turned on.

Light that fire,
Cupie xx

Tip of the Week:
So here we are, in the penultimate week of the year, and just like sex with a nervous dude, the end has come way faster than I was expecting it to. As next week is Salient’s annual Opinion issue, I’ll be too busy dropping some high-concentrate sex-positive real talk to produce a regular column, so this is it for hard-and-fast sex advice in the pages of Salient this year. Fortunately for you, however, I’ll still be active on ye olde over summer. I’ve got a backlog of questions to attend to once I’m done with uni for the year, and am always open to more, so whether it’s big or small, love or sexetera related – hit me up: xx

Sexual Connections:
Got a burning question for Cupie? Ask her about all matters of the heart… and other romantic organs, anonymously, at

Got a burning sensation in your nether regions? Give Student Health a call on 463 5308, or pop in to their clinics at Kelburn and Pipitea.


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