Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
The other day I was visiting a friend’s house. She was very insistent
on showing me new piece of art in her bedroom. It was impressive and
expensive, from an artist I also admire but cannot afford. While she
was adjusting the lighting, I saw something poking out from under the
bed that I don’t think she’d be very happy I saw. Her husband’s
probably aware of this “marital aide,” but unless she’s contemplating a
major switch in our friendship (not really my thing), it’s really none of
my business what she does for recreation. That said, simply seeing it
has set off curiosity, and a little envy of her sensual creativity. Is this
something I can ask about or should I just erase my memory?
Dear Not Snooping
Social science researchers have a notoriously difficult time getting
good data on nutrition and sexuality. People tend to underestimate
what they put in their mouths and overestimate what they do in their
bedrooms. Sex is simply a subject where having a good and honest
conversation is far less likely than others.
You can bring up sex, repeat sex not what you saw, in a conversation
and see if she takes the bait. She can tell you what she chooses to,
but if you want to stay friends, don’t be tempted to tell her what you
saw. You can express curiosity about exploration. You can lead the
witness as TV lawyers try to do. But if you start telling her you saw her
marital secrets she’s more likely to clam up than be honest. In the
unlikely event she wants to get much more personal, this also is a
chance for her to ask and you to decline.
When she went back to her room she may have seen what you did and
wondered if you saw anything. So once you’re talking about expanding
sensual horizons, assuming she feels safe, she may ask you. Then you
can say you saw there was something there but not what.
Remember YourJFG’s Commandment 7: Say what needs to be said. In this case,
not more, and maybe even a little less.