Considering the number of questions lately rolling in on this topic, I couldn’t help but get down and dirty. But let’s keep it fairly clean, people.

I cheated on my boyfriend once. I feel really guilty, and it is something I would never do again. However, I haven’t told him. Should I let him know what I’ve done, despite the fact that I don’t want to ruin the relationship?

-Once bitten, twice shy

So you’ve had the forbidden fruit, and now you feel guilty. Should you admit to your sins?

Trust is so important to any relationship that you should tell him, regardless of the consequences. That will keep him from finding out about it from a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, which he’ll turn into a she-hid-it-from-me-how-could-she kind of argument. (I like hyphens, by the way.) He’ll brood over it, let the anger bubble up, and then it’s an all out war.

If you tell him, it will give you a fighting chance. Being honest will still make him angry, but there’s at least a chance you’ll get him into the mindset that you did it, you are guilty, VERY sorry (emphasis necessary), and that you had to tell him because you wanted to be honest and not have him be hurt even more later. You could very well get a second chance, but you’ll have to rebuild either way.

More importantly though, you have to figure out why you did it in the first place. If, for example, you did it under the influence of alcohol, you should consider what kind of concessions you’ll have to make to ensure it won’t happen again if you truly mean it. Otherwise, it’s an empty promise with as much meaning as the Anna Nicole show.

My boyfriend is moving too slowly in terms of what we’re doing sexually. We’ve been together for quite some time, and while I respect his intention to wait until marriage for sex (that’s not my problem), I think that we could move a little further. What should I say to talk to him about it?

-Let’s talk about sex, baby

So you’re not doing it all for the nookie, but you’d like your cookie.

A nice, honest discussion about it would be the best way to approach it. Depending on what you’ve done, and how long you’ve been doing it, you might be able to get a little more of a somethin’ somethin’. Keep in mind though that if he wants to wait for marriage to have sex, you should consider that he’s probably nervous about moving forward. Chances are he’s probably rarely been to that point in a relationship, or maybe not at all. For some people, just getting to make out with a new person can be a bit nerve-wracking – not everyone’s a lip slut.

Ultimately, keep in mind his position and make him comfortable. There can and will be a common ground – you just have to find it. Good luck.

My boyfriend wants to take dirty pictures of me. I’m game – I’m comfortable with myself. But is there a way to do it tastefully?

-Nice body, nice pictures?

My, my – someone’s photogenic.

Well, if you’re going to do this, set a mood and a location that will both make you comfortable. Don’t do anything that will make you uncomfortable just to turn him on – boyfriends should acknowledge that you have personal limits and there’re just some things you don’t want to do.

Tasteful or not, a bad breakup virtually guarantees a “shrine” to your naked pics on the Internet or strategically placed flyers that somehow end up on your bedroom door, your classroom doors, your friends’ doors, etc. So be careful. But if you’re into it, and you’re in the mood, have fun with it, and just remember that the picture could be worth a thousand words to him now, and a thousand jokes to others later if he decides to use it for revenge. And you can be sure you’ll NEVER get them back… watching a few dozen episodes of Judge Judy will resolve any doubts about that.

Have a question you want answered? E-mail and he may answer your question in a future A Word of Advice. Questions are answered online every Monday and Thursday. All questions answered in the column were submitted by college-age students and may have been edited for length and/or content.

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