Your Call: In a Casual Relationship, What’s the Diff Btwn Honesty & TMI?

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below. 

So, I have been having a casual sexual realtionship with this guy.  I really like hanging out with him but neither of us are looking for a relationship so it’s basically just friends with benefits.  We see each other more or less once a week.  Recently, I have had some health issues (a cyst) that have prevented me from having sex.  All told, I’ll probably be out of the saddle for about 3 weeks total.  Well, I’ve been kind of making excuses about why I can’t have sex with this guy, (I have my period, I’m sick, etc) but he is starting to think I’m avoiding him.  I’m just embaressed to tell him about this gross cyst but I don’t know what to tell him. How much info should I give him?  I don’t want him to be turned off by TMI but also don’t want him to think I’m blowing him off!  Help!


  1. Thanks for the advice everyone! I did tell him the truth and you were right. He was very understanding and had actually had an ex go through something similar.

  2. This is nothing you need to be embarrassed about! Even in a casual, FWB relationship, it is important to be honest about your pleasure and sexual health. If you’re not comfortable mentioning to him the real reason you’ve been avoiding sex, then you should consider whether this is the right person to have sex with.

    When I was 19, I had several ovarian cysts, one of which needed to be surgically removed. I was embarrassed and worried that my FWB would think it was gross or be turned off, but when I got up the nerve to explain what was going on, he was super understanding and just wanted to make things good for me. He said he’d been worried that he’d done something to piss me off since I was acting distant, and he was actually relieved to know what was really going on!

    Tell him! Good luck!

  3. You’ve gotta tell him. If a woman I were seeing dodged sex for 3 weeks, I’d think she was avoiding me too.

    This is a medical issue. Nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t have to say it’s a cyst. Just say the following:

    “I was embarrassed to mention this earlier, but just so you don’t think I’m avoiding you: I had to have a medical procedure of a feminine nature. Don’t worry, I don’t have an STD or anything like that. It’s nothing you can catch – the doctor assured me. So, sorry, but I can’t have sex for a little while.”

    Don’t be surprised if he reacts with understanding, like, “oh, come on, just tell me what it is. No big deal.”

  4. Be honest. Nothing concerning your health or pleasure is TMI – if he can’t handle hearing it he’s not mature enough to be FWB material. And frankly, if you can’t handle saying it, neither are you.

    No more lying.

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