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Sex & Love

Eugeneans weigh in on their own love lives

Emily Aguilera, 26, single

What is the best part about being single?

Not having to answer to anybody but yourself.

What is the worst part about being single?

Nobody to split dinner with, half and half. Share portions, get that variety when you go out to eat; you’re stuck to that one dish.

Have you ever been cheated on?

Not to my knowledge.

Have you ever cheated on someone?

Once. It was with one of my coworkers, and he lived in the same apartment complex as me. And I felt so bad. I ended up admitting it right after to my boyfriend, and we tried to make it work after that. But it didn’t, so we broke up. But we dated for another year and have been best friends since then.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

It was actually last Valentine’s Day. It was my first Valentine’s Day being single. I got to just play tennis with my closest friends, go to school, go sit in a park and hang out during our breaks. It was beautiful; there was no expectation for that day.

Have you ever walked in on someone?

Besides my parents …

 

Michael Berge, 53, currently separated

What’s the best part about being separated?

That’s a hard one. Probably a little more freedom to find companionship.

What’s the worst part about being separated?

Probably not being around her all the time.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

Probably about three years ago, on the beach around the fire with a girlfriend.

Have you ever walked in on someone?

Nope.

Have you ever been walked in on?

Yep. It didn’t go very well — it kind of ruined the moment.

Do you know what polyamory is? 

No.

Can you take a guess?

Probably multiple partners?

 

Mel McDougle (with his son, Michael McDougle, 39), lonely

What’s the best part about being alone?

Well, being lonely isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, like old age.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

Probably before my wife died, we had a church Valentine’s supper and they served some lousy spaghetti and charged ten bucks a plate. But I remember it well because it was colorful and my wife was with me — lots of people I love were there.

Have you ever walked in on someone?

Nope. But I’m about as loose as a homophobic bastard can get. I’ve always been a person that if I thought it was necessary, I did it. I got five children. Obviously I was busy.

Have you ever been walked in on?

I don’t think anybody’s ever walked in on me having sex. I’m a cautious fellow. I always locked the door. I always liked privacy. I’m kind of a private fellow. I’m kind of old-fashioned that way. 

Do you have plans this Valentine’s Day?

Absolutely not. Without a girlfriend, Valentine’s Day is better put off until Easter. It’s a cold month. If I had me a [insert inappropriate ethnic term here], maybe things would be different. 

Do you know what polyamory is?

That has something to do with the Greek word poly, and it isn’t plastic, like polymer. I think it has to do with a group activity — group sex? Am I close?

 

Tiffany Trinidad, 32, married for 14 years

What’s the best part about being married?

How do I put it? Not comfortable, but — you know, the security.

What’s the worst part about being married?

Well, we get along pretty well but I guess disagreeing on stuff, on parenting. Usually I win.

Have you ever been cheated on?

Oh yeah. One time. We worked through it.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

I think the one when we got together, because when we first got together it was on Valentine’s Day in 1997. I don’t remember what we did — I know he got me flowers, but I don’t remember. We hung out. 

Do you have plans this Valentine’s Day?

I told him I want to go out. We haven’t done that in a long time. Just getting out of the house for 24 hours, even if it’s just a hotel here in town. 

Do you know what polyamory is?

No. 

Can you guess?

It sounds like a lube.

 

Sarah Koski, 30, single

What is your relationship status?

I’m single. I went to college. I was president of Presidential Scholars, Honors College girl, just made terrible poor decisions, didn’t know how to get out of it and some church youth group came up and asked me if I wanted to turn to Christ and that’s when it happened. I stopped drinking, stopped partying, stopped having sex. 

What’s the best part about being single?

The freedom to enjoy your own personal choices. I’ve really gotten to know me. Before, I became whoever I dated and now I’ve really gotten to know me.

What’s the worst part about being single?

I’ve almost become a cat lady because there’s no one to cuddle up to at night.

Have you ever been cheated on?

Oh yes. It’s really interesting because we learned in Bible study that it’s not the fact when you’re cheated on that hurts the most, but when you turn around and cheat on that other person — the retaliation. So what I did was when that happened, I decided to cheat back on that person and that just opened the floodgates. 

Did you ever discuss that openly?

No. It was just a life of big secrets. I really didn’t know me because I didn’t know what was the lie that I could pose to cover up something or what really was me. And that’s why it’s so nice to be single now, because the only person that I’m accountable to now is God and myself.

Is that what ended your relationship?

My relationship ended when I got saved. When I started making better choices, the friend set that I had at that time was really an enabler so I had to start from the bottom up.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

It was in high school. My boyfriend at the time wrote out Pablo Neruda poems and put them all over school, put rosebuds in my locker and had a rose waiting for me in each class. It was memorable because it was romantic — and the poetry. It’s all about the poetry.

Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day?

What day is it? Friday? I got Bible study!

Have you ever walked in on someone?

It wouldn’t surprise me — I’d say yes.

Have you ever been walked in on?

No, I was sneaky. I went out of town. I went to Portland. Everybody says there’s not a sin you can do in Eugene … Portland is twice as bad. 

 

Daniel Gustus, 28, single

What’s the best part about being single?

Not having someone control my life.

What’s the worst part about being single?

I don’t know … nothing?

Have you ever cheated on somebody?

Yeah.

How’d that go?

Well, it depends on which time. 

Have you ever been cheated on?

Yeah. I’ve usually gotten a lot more angry than her.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

I took my girlfriend out, bought her a bunch of teddy bears, flowers, a nice card.

Why did that relationship end?

Infidelity. I recently looked it up about the cheating gene and I think that I have it. I think our society has a lot of pressure towards monogamy and it doesn’t always work out.

Do you have any plans for this Valentine’s Day?

No. I might be trying to pick up vulnerable women. 

 

V. Starr, 68, single, a widower since 2009

What’s the best part about being single? 

I guess I miss the company most of all.

What’s the worst part about being a widower?

I realized I’m a changed man. I used to be an old hippie and now I’m not. I’m a gentleman.

Have you ever cheated on somebody?

No.

Have you ever been cheated on?

Once. She told me, and I forgave her. 

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

None. 

Do you have any plans for this Valentine’s Day?

I don’t even know when it is. I don’t do holidays anymore because I don’t have any family left. I guess I’ll pick myself up something.

Have you ever walked in on someone?

Not in a long time. But it was OK.

Have you ever been walked in on?

Never. 

Do you know what polyamory is?

No.

Can you guess?

Some new kind of plastic. 

 

Roxann Tiller, 48, single

What’s the best part about being single?

Nothing. I guess I don’t have to answer to anybody.

What’s the worst part about being single?

No sex. 

Have you ever cheated on somebody?

Never. 

Have you ever been cheated on?

Yes. And I ain’t with him no more. It broke my heart. I was in love with him. Still am. 

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

My husband cooked me breakfast in bed, and when I got home from work he had a little trail of flowers going into the bathroom and it had candles and I had a bubble bath. He bathed me.

Have you ever walked in on someone?

Yes. It was my ex-boss and her husband. I rent a room from my ex-boss and I just went “la-la-la, SORRY!” and closed the door. It was open! 

Have you ever been walked in on?

Yes. And I went, “Dad! Go away!” It changed the mood entirely. 

Do you know what polyamory is?

I have not a clue.

Can you guess?

Having sex so you don’t get pregnant?

 

Elissa P., 50, single

What’s the best part about being single?

Selection — you can pick anybody you want.

What’s the worst part about being single?

Being single. Being alone.

Have you ever been cheated on?

Yes. Dropped him like a rock. Well, he didn’t know I was dropping him, but he figured it out.

How did you find out?

She took a shower in his apartment, and I could smell it. 

Have you ever cheated on somebody?

Yes. And I felt like hell. Some way, something happened, and I broke up with him and I think he figured it out.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

Going to the beach in Delaware with the guy I was going out with at the time. I was in my late 20s and he made it memorable with a really thoughtful comment. He told me I would probably get more beautiful as I got older. And he made me dinner.

Have you ever walked in on someone?

No. No. No … Wait, yes! I tried to get my coat at a party and someone had already figured it out because the door was locked, but …

Have you ever been walked in on?

No. Wait, actually — yes, I have. I was in the kitchen and a friend of mine walked in on me.

Do you know what polyamory is?

No, I don’t.

Can you guess?

It’s probably either latex or a new condom or something like K-Y Jelly.

 

Beverly Sternkopf, 69, married

What is the best part about being married?

Best part I think is having somebody to rely on to take care of each other.

What is the worst part about being married?

Sharing a small house. He lives on a studio on the land and I live in the house. And it works.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days? 

My husband sends me a card on every holiday, and he does a lot of artwork, and he always plasters hearts over everything. 

Have you ever cheated on someone or been cheated on before?

Both — but not in this relationship. 

Have you ever walked in on someone having sex or have you ever been walked in on?

No.

Do you know what polyamory is? 

Lots of loves. Poly means many and amor means love. 

 

Laazarus Eden, 30, not single 

What is the best part about being “not single”?

The best part is feeling the companionship and caring of someone else feeling the same way I do. 

What’s the worst part?

There isn’t a worst part right now.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

I don’t know; I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. 

Have you ever cheated on someone or been cheated on? 

I have been cheated on, yes. Do I feel like I cheated? No. Would someone else tell you that I did? Probably. 

Have you ever walked in on someone having sex or been walked in on?

Both, yes.

Do you know what polyamory is? 

Polyamory is believing that there’s not one person for any one person. 

 

Tahaia Johnson, 59, happily single

What is the best part about being single?

First time in my life I’ve been single and I really, really love it. I work like crazy, I built my house, I built my life — I have purpose. 

What is the worst part about being single?

If I fell and broke myself, how long would it take for somebody to find me? 

Have you ever cheated on someone or been cheated on?

No. I have been cheated on, but I have never cheated on anyone. 

Have you ever walked in on anyone having sex or have you been walked in on?

Yeah, probably when I was younger because everything was open. But when you have children you tend to be careful about that sort of stuff. 

Do you know what polyamory is? 

Yes, my friend is actually a polyamorist. I actually wanted to do that. But, as it turned out, my husband decided he wanted it to be exclusive. Separate relationships. I always figured if I love a man and he loves someone, then I’m gonna love that person too. 

 

Devin Hinshaw, 23, in a relationship

What is the best part about being in a relationship? 

You can do things together.

What is the worst part?

That you can’t do things with other people. 

Can you define “things” for me?

Ask me other questions first and maybe I’ll warm up to it. 

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because I don’t celebrate any consumer holiday and most American holidays are consumer holidays. Every day should be love day. 

Have you ever cheated on someone or been cheated on?

Yes. I don’t want to go further. 

Have you ever walked in on someone having sex or been walked in on?

Oh yeah, that’s a funny story. Well, I’ve definitely walked in on a group session. My roommates, all of them, high on drugs rolling around naked on the floor. 

How did it start? 

Yeah, they took some designer drug and got them really in the mood, I guess. 

Do you know what polyamory is? 

Polyamory is when you can have multiple people, or being open enough to communicate with multiple people to have sex with multiple people. 

So, can you go back to defining “things” for me?

You can’t be in the moment with people.  

 

Michael, 55, single 

Hi sir, can I ask you a few questions? We’re from Eugene Wee...

Eugene, let me tell you about Eugene. Once I saw this guy in the shower get out and pour Tabasco sauce on himself and start rubbing it in and then take syrup and pour it here and here and then put his jeans back on. 

Then you got the guy down at the bus station with the pink tutu ...

OK, what is the best part about being single? 

Freedom. I’m an alcoholic, I drink heavily — I’ve been drinking 35 years. A woman always seems to want you to give up something. If you love somebody enough you’ll put up with it. I drink a fifth of vodka a day, but that’s just me!

What’s the worst part?

Being lonely and missing the sex. ‘Round here you can find someone and pay them.  

What’s one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

That’s a hard question because I don’t know. To me, it’s just another day. I haven’t had a Valentine’s Day with a woman for years. 

Have you ever cheated on someone or been cheated on?

Not really cheated. No, no — every one of my relationships has been honest enough to say, “All right, I’m tired of you,” or “I’m interested in someone else.” But to sneak around? No, I haven’t. I sleep at a campsite and have a storage … It’s really hard to have a relationship when you don’t have stability.

Have you ever walked in on someone having sex or been walked in on? 

Yeah, yeah. College. That’s a good one. Walk in, walk out and “Excuse me, bye.”

Do you know what polyamory is?

Nope. 

Can you guess?

Like polygamy or something? I don’t know.

 

Sabra Marcroft, 47, engaged

What is the best part about being engaged? 

Sharing my commitment with my partner with the community.

What is the worst part?

Not everybody has the freedom to marry yet.

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days? 

When my friends and I all made gifts for each other. That was about 10 years ago. 

Have you ever cheated on someone or been cheated on?

Other partners made choices that I didn’t agree with, but I wouldn’t say that they cheated because they didn’t have a commitment of monogamy to me. Have I felt heartbroken? Yes. 

Have you ever walked in on someone having sex or been walked in on?

Yes.

How did it feel?

Embarrassing and uncomfortable. 

Do you know what polyamory is?

Polyamory is people who love more than one person at the same time in a romantic and/or sexual way.

 

Walt Pangburn, 25, single 

What is the best part about being single?

Being free from the problems that come with any relationship. Every relationship has problems and no relationship is free from those problems. 

What is the worst part?

Wanting to have a relationship status with somebody who doesn’t want one with you, cuz that’s a problem all its own. 

What is one of your most memorable Valentine’s Days?

I’ve never been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day. Maybe this year! I’m working on it, to say the least. 

Have you ever cheated on someone or been cheated on?

No.

Have you ever walked in on someone having sex or been walked in on? 

Yes. I’ve walked in on my friend in college fooling around with a girl and I had my sister walk in on me.

Do you know what polyamory is?

Yes. I have multiple friends in this area that are polyamorous and live the polyamorous lifestyle. There might have been a point when I would have chosen the polyamorous lifestyle, but that time has passed. I’m looking for a monogamous relationship with a woman to ultimately make a family with.