Xtreme discomfort

Megaphone

Hey Megaphone,

So I did the thing you’re never supposed to do. I was fooling around on Xtube, and I thought I spotted someone familiar. Very familiar. It’s my roommate. Some of his stuff was shot at home, but a lot of it was clearly filmed in our room. A lot of it is also … pretty weird. I can’t look this dude in the eye any more. I’m not sure whether I should tell him what I found or not. I am morbidly fascinated with it because I know him. I’m not interested in him; it’s just super bizarre, and I can’t look away. Like a train wreck. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Troubled Watching and Waiting

You hit it on the head when you said you have done the thing you’re never supposed to do, TWAT. What is seen cannot be unseen.

That said, this is not the end of the world. You didn’t read his diary. You didn’t steal a bunch of his socks to masturbate with (I get stranger letters than yours; don’t worry). You didn’t necro his Instagram and creepily like everything at 3 a.m. (not subtle, by the way). You didn’t invade your roomie’s privacy; he put this stuff out there. It was bound to happen.

You don’t have to tell him. You have no obligation to have what will likely be a very uncomfortable conversation with this dude. He will, however, probably notice that you can’t make eye contact, that you burst out laughing when he brings home bananas or that you start weighing your lotion bottle every night. If you feel weird, it’s really hard not to act weird.

My advice is that you do tell him. He’s probably not very conservative about sex if he’s posting himself in a recognizable way on the Internet. If you’re closely watching those corners of the Internet, then I’m guessing you aren’t, either. Wait until a time when you’re both in a good space: not hungry, not tired, not studying for a final. See to it that you won’t be interrupted. Approach it lightly and in a way that lets him know that you’re not judging him. This is not a good time for either of you to judge the other, TWAT. No matter what you saw or how weird it was, if it didn’t cause lasting damage to himself or someone else, there’s no need for you to worry. Birds do it. Bees do it. Dudes experimenting with their sexual expression while in college do it, obviously.

Here’s how you do it:

Hey Prince of Roommates! You got a second? Awesome. Listen, I am a viewer of amateur pornography much like yourself, and it would seem that we even frequent the same sites. Recently, I found a video of you wrapping ham around your penis/inflating your scrotum/humping a SpongeBob balloon/whatever. I was a little surprised to see that you were identifiable in the video and that you were someone I knew. We’re both adults, and you’re free to do what you do. I’m going to try to not think about what I saw and continue to live with you like a sane and respectful human being, but I just needed to confess that I’ve seen it. Isn’t honesty the best thing ever?

Remember that this is news to him, and he may need to get over a little shock of his own. Or he might be really excited to know he has fans. In any event, you will have gained a level of intimacy with this person you may never have wanted. Be as kind and respectful as you would want someone to be with you about your weirdest and most personal habits.

Congrats on leveling up as a human,

Megaphone

 

P.S. DO NOT be wrong about this. Be very sure that you actually saw your roomie before you have this conversation. That is a whole other sphere of awkward.

Submit a question or comment to the Megaphone at [email protected] or follow Meg Elison on Twitter: @paganmeghan.