CVIndependent

Sun08092020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

I have a question. I’m a gay man in a relationship, and we’re both really happy since we met a year ago. We’re “open” in the sense that he wants the option to be intimate with someone else if a connection happens, and in turn, he said he would be supportive of me being involved in my kinks. But I haven’t done anything yet out of fear. I’m not afraid of my kinks; I’m worried that if I ask to go do something kinky, it will ruin our relationship.

I don’t think he was bluffing when he said it was OK for me to explore my kinks with other guys, but it worries me. I tend to repress the kink part of my sexuality, and I’m worried that him knowing I want to act on it will cause issues. My boyfriend and I are so balanced, but in the kink aspects of my life, I’m a submissive and need to engage in power exchange with someone. I miss being able to express these things, and it feels like there’s a void in my life. That might sound silly, but it’s true. I think repressing them is actually taking a toll on my mental health. Any advice?

Guy’s Abandoned Yearnings Subtly Undermining Bond

If your boyfriend is bluffing, GAYSUB, you wanna know that sooner rather than later.

Your still-relatively new-ish boyfriend gave you permission to act on your kinks at the same time he asked your permission to fuck someone else. You gave him your OK, and I assume you meant it, GAYSUB; you meant it when you told him he could, if and when “a connection happens,” go ahead and fuck the dude. Seeing as he took your “yes” for an answer where his “connections” are concerned, GAYSUB, I think you should take his “yes” for an answer where your kinks are concerned. So go find some hot Dom you wanna submit to, and let your boyfriend know you’re gonna get your kink on. If it turns out your boyfriend was lying to you—if he’s one of those people who wants to be free to play with others (which is why he got your OK) but doesn’t want his partner playing with others (and the OK he gave you was insincere)—it’s better to find that out 12 short months into this relationship than to find it out 10 years, a mortgage, one kid and two dogs into this relationship.

And what you describe about the void you feel is understandable to anyone with kinks, GAYSUB, and even vanilla people can understand if they think about it for even a moment. (That vanilla stuff you enjoy, vanilla people? Imagine never being able to any of it. See?) Your kinks are an intrinsic aspect of your sexuality, and repressing them—not having any way to explore or express them—does take an emotional toll. It can also breed resentment if your partner is the reason you can’t explore or express them. Which means if your boyfriend wants you to be happy and wants you to be a good boyfriend to him, then you need to have the freedom to be who you are. For some kinky people, porn is enough of an outlet, GAYSUB, but most kinky people want actual experiences.

A vanilla partner is often willing and able to meet a kinky partner’s needs, and that’s great. But sometimes a vanilla partner can’t do it or is incapable of faking it or does it poorly on purpose so they won’t be asked to do it again. And for some kinksters, the awareness you’re being indulged makes it impossible to get into the right subby headspace. If either is the case, you’ll have to outsource these desires to fill that void.

If your boyfriend gives you the OK and has a little breakdown after you get home—if it dredges up some unexpected feelings (and you should expect that it will dredge up some unexpected feelings, so expect those unexpected feelings)—and needs some reassurance, that’s fine. Answer any questions he has, and let him know you’re not going anywhere; indeed, the fact that you don’t have to choose between him and your kinks makes you far less likely to end this relationship. (Sometimes people who weren’t even in the dungeon during the scene need a little aftercare, too.) But if you're careful not to neglect your boyfriend sexually or emotionally, and your kinky dates are just an occasional thing, and your boyfriend keeps having great, big, dramatic meltdowns, GAYSUB, then that’s a bad sign. If he punishes you with drama every time he gives you his OK to play with someone else, then he’s hoping you’ll decide to stop seeking these experiences out, because the emotional price is too great. You won’t be able to remain in this relationship if that’s what winds up happening, GAYSUB, so you’re going to wanna act on your kinks at least a half-dozen times before you get a dog or a mortgage.


My new boyfriend just opened up to me about his kinks. Nothing crazy; just bondage and humiliation. While he usually meets and dates guys off kinky dating sites, we met “the old fashioned way” a few months before COVID-19 slammed us here in Chicago—at a potluck dinner party thrown by a mutual straight lady friend. Your name came up during the conversation about his interests; he told me he was taking your advice and “laying his kink cards on the table” before I had made too much of an emotional commitment.

What’s interesting to me, Dan, is how often this happens. My boyfriend is easily the fourth guy I’ve dated in the last few years who laid down the exact same kink cards: wants to be tied up, wants to be called names, wants to be hurt. I’m learning to tie knots and getting better at calling him names when we have sex, and I actually really enjoying spanking him. But I was talking with a friend—our straight lady mutual (with the boyfriend’s OK!)—and she told me she’s never had a straight guy open up to her about wanting to be tied up and abused. Are gay guys just kinkier?

Talking Over Perversions

I have a theory …

When we’re boys … before we’re ready to come out … we’re suddenly attracted to other boys. And that’s something we usually feel pretty panicked about. It would be nice if that first same-sex crush was something a boy could experience without feelings of dread or terror, TOP, but that’s not how it works for most of us. We’re keenly aware that should the object of our desire realize our desire—if the boy we’re attracted to realizes what we’re feeling—the odds of that boy reacting badly or even violently are high. Even if you think the boy might not react violently, even if you suspect the boy you’re crushing on might be gay himself, the stakes are too high to risk making any sort of move. So we stew with feelings of lust and fear.

Sexual desire can make anyone feel fearful and powerless—we’re literally powerless to control these feelings (while we can and must control how we act on these feelings)—but desire and fear are stirred together for us gay boys to much a greater degree than they are for straight boys. We fear being found out; we fear being called names; we fear being outed; we fear being physically hurt. And the person we fear most is the person on which we have a crush. A significant number of gay guys wind up imprinting on that heady and very confusing mix of desire and fear. The erotic imaginations of guys like your boyfriend seize on those fears and eroticize them. And then, in adulthood, your boyfriend wants to re-experience those feelings—that heady mix of desire and fear—with a loving partner he trusts. The gay boy who feared being hurt by the person he was attracted to becomes the gay man who wants to be hurt—in a limited, controlled, consensual and safe way—by the man he’s with.

On the Savage Lovecast: Would you choose to live in … Kansas? Check it out at www.savagelovecast.com.

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I’m committed to my male partner, and he’s committed to me. (I’m a woman.) But we both understand we need to flirt and that we will both want to sleep with someone else at some point. We live together; we have a dog; and neither of us believes in marriage. We plan to purchase a house in the coming months.

Here’s the issue: He met a woman at work. He’s not sexually attracted to her at all. She, however, would love to blow him. She’s in an unhappy marriage and has no friends. They exchanged numbers when my partner was transferred, and now she texts him constantly. It doesn’t totally bother me. But not only does she text him at all hours of the day and night; she continuously tells him he’s the hottest man she’s ever met. She sends him nudes, which I’ve seen, and wants to suck his “huge dick.” (It is huge.) But even though I know he’s not sexually attracted to her, I’m still feeling threatened. I have extremely low self-esteem right now, and I’m struggling with depression. I’m speaking with a therapist, and I’m on meds, but the meds have made me gain about 50 pounds, which doesn’t help with the depression.

I get the need and desire to flirt. But right now, I’m not confident enough to be OK with him being sexual with another person, even if it’s just texts. And I feel this way knowing he has no plans to be with her! He continues to tell me he has no desire to spend his life with anyone else but me, yet he’s suddenly hesitant to buy a house. I guess I’m asking: WTF should I do?

Dinging Phone Really Exacerbating Semi-Serious Depression

You say it doesn’t bother you—it doesn’t totally bother you—that this woman texts your partner day and night, DPRESSD, which strikes me as odd. Because that shit would drive me up the wall. Blowing up someone’s phone at all hours of the day and night screams, “I HAVE NO BOUNDARIES! I AM INCAPABLE OF BEING CONSIDERATE! I HAVE NO SELF CONTROL!” Even if you were in a place where you felt better about your partner getting some attention elsewhere, the shit this woman is pulling would still be annoying, unsettling and totally bothersome.

And this shit should be disqualifying—meaning, your partner should’ve shut this woman down already. He should’ve told this woman to knock it off, and if she didn’t knock it off, he should’ve told her to fuck the fuck off and blocked her number. If he tried to shut her down and she kept texting him, DPRESSD, then I have to wonder why he hasn’t blocked her number already. Assuming he’s telling you the truth about not being attracted to her—and it sounds like he is—he may have allowed this to go on, because he enjoys feeling desirable, and/or he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. If it’s the former, make it clear to your partner that you wouldn’t have a problem with him finding someone else to swap flirty sext messages with, so long as it’s someone who can sext in moderation and at appropriate times. If it’s the latter, DPRESSD, make it clear to your partner that this shit is hurting your feelings, and as his partner, you expect him to prioritize your feelings over his former co-worker’s feelings.

All that said, DPRESSD, even if the thought of your partner going off to play with another woman didn’t make you feel insecure, you wouldn’t want your partner getting blown by this particular woman. Even if your partner has never said, “Don’t text me at all hours of the day and night,” that’s no excuse. No one wants their phone or their partner’s phone blowing up at 3 a.m.; that’s not a boundary anyone should have to articulate to set, and articulated or not, no one with any common sense would do that. (And, holy crap, if this is how this woman behaves in pursuit of your partner’s big cock, how is she gonna behave after she gets a taste?)

As for the house issue, DPRESSD, press your partner to clarify his sudden hesitancy. It may have nothing to do with your relationship; it’s entirely possible that he’s freaked out by the state of the world—because, my God, who isn’t?—and he’s having second thoughts about sinking his savings into a house. Depression often puts the worst possible spin on things; it can lead us to reject a calming truth someone is telling us in favor of an alarming lie we’re telling ourselves. Don’t fall into that trap.

And finally, DPRESSD, please talk to your doctor about switching out your meds. If weight gain is a side effect of the ones you’re on now, and weight gain is making you more depressed, then it doesn’t make sense to keep treating your depression with the meds you’re on now. A different med might give you the same benefits without this particular side effect.


I met someone I connected with during quarantine. We’ve all but committed to screwing our brains out after we’re given the all-clear. But she recently suffered a devastating loss. We will meet, on her terms, most likely very soon. I know I should follow her lead, but should I avoid sex even if she wants to have sex? I don’t know if sex will help or hurt. Is being chaste and supportive the right move? Can sex help in a time of loss? I just don’t want to be the asshole someone winds up writing to you for advice about.

Looking Over Sexual Timing

Follow her lead—that’s a good impulse—and if she wants to have sex after you’ve met in person and after you’ve made it clear to her that there’s no rush, LOST, and if you want to have sex after you’ve met her in person, go ahead and have sex. Some people find sex after a devastating loss to be healing and affirming, and the last thing that person needs is for someone else to decide they shouldn’t be having sex or even wanting to have sex.

As for the all-clear you’re waiting for, well, that could be a long time off, seeing as COVID-19 rates are spiking all over the country. If you decide you can’t wait for the all-clear, please consult the New York Health Department’s safer-sex/harm-reduction recommendations for people who want to have sex during this pandemic. (Google “New York Health,” “coronavirus,” and “sex.”) To quickly summarize: You can minimize your risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 by wearing a mask, not eating ass, using condoms, and using a glory hole.


I’m a woman who has been dating someone long-distance for seven months. I’ve been transparent about my need for an open relationship. Recently, this gentleman asked me to tell him if I slept with someone else. I agreed, because I’m not sleeping with anyone at the moment due to COVID-19. But since March, I’ve been having phone sex with a long-term booty call who lives across the country. Neither knows about the other, and neither one knows I’m bisexual. No big deal, right? I’m a first responder in a male-dominated field, and I put up with enough bullshit without the men in my life knowing I eat pussy. How much of an asshole am I for not disclosing what I don’t need to?

Not Banging (Other) Dudes

You’re being an asshole—to yourself. Hiding your bisexuality from the men you’re dating increases your odds of winding up in a relationship with someone who judges, shames or hates you for being bisexual, NBOD, and why on earth would you want to do that to yourself? Disclosing your bisexuality ups your odds of attracting a guy who fetishizes your bisexuality, of course, but it’s easier to weed those guys out early than it is to leave (or divorce) some guy who reveals himself to be biphobic after you’ve made a huge emotional investment in him.

As for the phone sex … you should disclose that, too. If Mr. Seven Months can’t handle you having phone sex, NBOD, he certainly won’t be able to handle you sleeping with someone else. And if he can’t handle that, he’s not the right guy for a woman who wants/needs/requires an open relationship.

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I am a super-queer-presenting female who recently accepted that I have desires for men. My partner of two years is bisexual and understands the desires, but has personally dealt with those desires via masturbation—while my desires include acting. Her perspective is that the grass is greener where you water it, and that my desire to act is immature and selfish, and has an unrealistic end game. What gives when you don’t feel fulfilled sexually in a monogamous relationship?

Open Or Over?

Something definitely gives when a person doesn’t feel fulfilled in a monogamous relationship. Sometimes it’s an ultimatum that’s given; sometimes it’s a one-time-only hall pass that’s given; sometimes it’s an agreement to open the relationship that’s given. But the relationship sometimes gives, e.g., the relationship collapses under the weight of competing and mutually exclusive needs and desires. If you want to open things up (if allowed), and she wants to keep things closed (no allowance), OOO, it’s ultimately your willpower—your commitment to honoring the commitment you’ve made—that’s likely to give.

I have a close friend who’s cheating on her girlfriend. It has been going on for more than a year. At first, I actually supported the exploration, because my friend has a really unsupportive girlfriend who has done really crappy things to her over the course of their relationship. I kept pushing for her to make a decision and use this affair as a way for her to free herself, but she is just coasting along with her girlfriend and her lover. She’s under a lot of stress, and she’s turned into a major liar—and it’s creeping me out. I’m considering either telling her girlfriend myself (though I promised my friend I wouldn’t), or maybe I just need to end this friendship. My friend’s double life upsets me. It’s just been going on too long.

Is My Friend An Asshole?

If your friend—the one leading the double life—is asking you to run interference for her, if she’s asking you to lie to her girlfriend, or if she’s asked you to compromise your integrity in some way, she’s an asshole, and you’re a sap; tell your friend you’re done covering for her and that you won’t be able to see her again until the deceit or the pandemic is over, whichever comes first. If the issue is that your friend expects you to ooze sympathy while she goes on and on about the mess she’s made of her life, IMFAA, simply refuse to discuss the mess that is her love life. Remind her that she already knows what you think needs to do—she needs to break the fuck up with her shitty girlfriend—and then change the subject.

I’m a cis het woman who loves men and loves dicks. I love dicks so much that I fantasize about having one. Nothing brings me to orgasm more quickly or reliably than closing my eyes and imagining my own dick, or imagining myself as my partner, and what they’re feeling through their dick. I love being a woman, and I’m afraid to bring this up with any partner(s) of mine. Is this super-weird? Am I secretly trans somehow? Am I overthinking this?

Perfect Minus Penis

It’s not that weird; some people are trans, and you could be one of them (but fantasizing about having a dick ≠ being a male); and you’re overthinking what you should be enjoying. Buy a strap-on; tell your partners about your fantasies; and enjoy having the dick you can have.

I wonder if you might be able to put a label on this sex act: It has to do with overstimulation, in this case of a penis (mine). After receiving a wonderful hand job, the giver kept stroking me purposefully. My penis was in a heightened, super-sensitive state. It was almost like being tickled, if you’re ticklish. I was being forcefully held down (consensually), and just as I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, I had a second amazing orgasm. I didn’t ejaculate again; it was more of a body orgasm. It came in waves, and everything was warm. It was mind-blowing, spiritual, galactic, unique and very similar to how I’ve heard women describe their orgasms. Ever hear of anything like this? Is this some sort of Japanese underground kink thing?

Witty Hilarious Overzealous Amateur

The act you’re describing already has a name, WHOA, and an entry on Urban Dictionary: apple-polishing. Most men find the sensation of having the head of their cock worked so overwhelming that their bodies involuntarily recoil, which makes it difficult to polish someone’s apple if the “victim” isn’t restrained in some way. But it’s not painful—it’s like being tickled; indeed, the victim usually reacts with desperate laughter and gasping pleas for it to stop. (Don’t ask me how I know.) That all-over feeling of euphoria you experienced when your apple got polished was most likely a wave of endorphins—like a runner who pushes herself past her physical limits and experiences a full-body “runner’s high.” You were pushed past your physical limits, WHOA, and experienced the same sort of high.

I’m a 35-year-old straight guy. I recently started seeing an amazing 34-year-old girl. We love being around each other, but during sex, neither of us can come. It’s infuriating, to say the least. She has no trouble when she masturbates, and I know I have no trouble when I masturbate, so why can’t we come together?

Can’t Understand Matter

If you can come when you masturbate, and she can come when she masturbates, CUM, masturbate together, and you’ll be coming together. Mutual masturbation isn’t a sad consolation prize—mutual masturbation is sex, and it can be great sex. And the more often you come together through mutual masturbation, CUM, the likelier it gets that you’ll be able to come together while enjoying other things.

I have a weird and terrible problem. I’ve been seeing someone new, and I have just discovered that I get diarrhea every time I swallow his come—like debilitating pee poops an hour after, every time. I know the solution to the problem would be to stop swallowing, but I was wondering if you had ever heard of this before or knew why this was.

My Sad Asshole

I have heard of this before, MSA, and superstar Savage Love guest expert Dr. Debby Herbenick unpacked the cause for another reader a few years back: “Prostaglandins are substances made by the body and that the body is sensitive to. Semen contains prostaglandins—and prostaglandins can have a laxative effect on people. Related: If you’ve ever felt a little loosey-goosey right before getting your period, that’s also thanks to prostaglandins (which spike just before your period, because the prostaglandins get the uterine muscles to contract, which then helps to shed the lining of the uterus, resulting in a menstrual period). So why don’t more semen-swallowers find themselves running to the bathroom post-blowjob? I don’t know why most people aren’t extra-sensitive to prostaglandins, but fortunately, most of us aren’t, or there would probably be a lot less swallowing in the world.”

So, MSA, you’ll have to stop swallowing your boyfriend’s come, or only swallow when you have immediate access to a toilet in a restroom with a powerful fan.

Listen to the Savage Lovecast, this week with Erin Gibson: www.savagelovecast.com.

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My husband and I got married in August 2019, and we were together for more than five years before getting married. I’m very happy and love him with all my heart. I want to have his kids and support his entrepreneurial efforts as he supports mine. We don’t fight; we just have some tiffs here and there. The kicker is that I have a tough time feeling him during sex, and he doesn’t last as long as I would like him to.

We’re adventurous enough to try different things, i.e. toys and different positions, but I find myself sexually unfulfilled. He also isn’t very willing/interested in going down on me; in fact, he has not once gone down on me. I’m also finding myself attracted to and fantasizing about other men. In addition to being honest with my husband, I don’t know what the solution is. I’m not opposed opening up a marriage, but I worry that I’m just being selfish and that it’s too soon to try or even discuss it at any length. I did bring up a crush I have on a co-worker, and my husband said, “There’s nothing wrong with having a snack.” What did he mean by that? Do you have any other insights or suggestions on what to do?

I hope you, your family and your friends are holding up OK during this pandemic. It’s a scary time, so I hope you’re all OK.

Married Not Dead

I shared your letter with Tristan Taormino, author of Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. Through her books, lectures and podcasts (“Sex Out Loud Radio”), Taormino has helped countless couples navigate the transition from monogamy to non-monogamy. But before we dive into the specifics of your situation, MND, there’s something Taormino and I want to make clear to all.

“In this time of a global pandemic, thinking and talking about non-monogamy is all you can do right now,” said Taormino. “This goes for everyone: No new sex partners until public health experts say we can go back to standing closer than six feet apart. Even then, we’re going to have to proceed with caution.”

Listen up, people: the woman who literally wrote the book on open relationships says open and poly relationships are cancelled for the time being. “Yup, cancelled,” said Taormino, “unless every one of your partners lives with you.”

While COVID-19 isn’t classified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), having sex with someone who has coronavirus would almost certainly result in transmission. And since people who get infected typically don’t show symptoms for up to two weeks, the fact that someone appears to be healthy doesn’t mean they are corona-free. Someone can look and feel great and be both infected and infectious. So for the time being, we should only be having sex with a sex partner we live with. If you have more than one sex partner, and you’re all staying in the same place, great! Poly isn’t cancelled for you and your partners. But we shouldn’t be hooking up with new partners in person or going to see established partners we don’t live with. That goes double for meeting up with non-cohabitating partners who have other partners and whose other partners have other partners of their own. But the good news is that sext messages and dirty video chats are both allowed and encouraged, kids, so we can get off online with new people, as well as established partners who live on the other side of town or the other side of the world. Hell, get the whole polycule together on Zoom—just don’t actually get together (or get under) anyone you don’t live with.

OK! With that out of the way, MND, we’re going to answer your question. But bear in mind that some of our advice—our advice about opening up your marriage—won’t be fully actionable until after COVID-19 is brought under control.

“I’m glad MND is being honest with her husband about her desires, but let’s take that further with even more specific talk about what’s missing in her sex life,” said Taormino. “In her letter, I heard: pussy-eating, intense-enough sensation from intercourse, and longer sex sessions. I’ll translate that: She’s missing pleasure, reciprocation and orgasms for her. She is NOT being selfish for wanting these things. They are pretty fundamental aspects of a sexual relationship, and she needs to address them with her husband first.”

Backing way the hell up: Assuming you knew about my column five years ago, MND, it’s telling you didn’t ask for my advice back when you realized your new boyfriend was never going to eat your pussy. (Spoiler: I would’ve told you to dump him.) Since you chose not to break up with your boyfriend over the lack cunnilingus back then, and you don’t want to divorce your husband over it now, MND, it would seem that going without oral—or at least going without at home—is the price of admission you’re willing to pay to be with this guy.

As for your other issues about your sex life with your husband—you don’t “feel him” during penis-in-vagina (PIV) intercourse, and it’s over too quickly—the right toys could certainly help. But if your husband ruled out penetration toys that were bigger than his cock, MND, or if you didn’t order any that were bigger than his cock to avoid hurting his feelings, you’re gonna have to broach the subject of buying some larger toys, MND—ones you can really feel. And since experimenting with new positions didn’t help your husband last longer, you should try alternating between toys and his cock during PIV, which will make both the sex (and the husband) last longer.

“If MND’s husband is really in this relationship, he should be open and willing to give most anything a try,” said Taormino. “MND really needs to see that he’s as interested in her pleasure and satisfaction as he is in his own. And if there’s something she wants to try or something that really turns her on and gets her off that her husband doesn’t know about, now is the time to share the juicy details.”

As for opening up the relationship, MND, I wouldn’t advise most people to initiate that convo at this moment. Because if the conversation goes badly—and they often do at first—that could mean sheltering in place with an angry person. But based on your husband’s reaction when you confessed having a crush on a co-worker, MND, I think you could risk discussing opening up while you’re locked down. Your husband didn’t say there was nothing wrong with fantasizing about a snack, MND; he said there’s nothing wrong with having a snack. Make no mistake: That’s not a green light to immediately outsource getting your pussy eaten. But his calm, matter-of-fact reaction when you confided in him about your crush is good sign.

But first things first: You need to work with your husband on improving your sex life at home, and you should have a convo about that—and a convo about ordering some new sex toys—before you make plans to open up the relationship and start getting your pussy eaten elsewhere.

“Exploring non-monogamy is one way to address sexual incompatibilities and expand our capacity for love and intimacy,” said Taormino. “But the stuff between the two of them needs to gets talked about first. Otherwise, you’re glossing over the issues with something new and shiny.”

Follow Tristan Taormino on Twitter @TristanTaormino.

I’ve been in love with a close friend for years. Social distancing has thrown major life “regrets” into high relief, and I would be crushed if something happened to him. We’ve both been distancing for two weeks, and neither of us have symptoms. Can I have him come over to hang out? What if we ended up making out or hooking up? He has housemates, and I don’t, so he’s around more people than I am, but everyone at his house has been distancing, too. I see so many questions about hooking up with randos, and that seems like a clear no-no. But what about hooking up with someone you know?

No Regrets

Also a no-no, NR. We’re not supposed to come within six feet of anyone we don’t live with, NR, which means you can’t invite this guy over to play cribbage and/or fuck you senseless. If you wanted to invite this guy over to stay, you could shack up and wait out the lockdown together. But you can’t invite him over just to play. Instead of inviting him over and hoping for something to happen, NR, you should give this guy a call and tell him how you feel. He might feel the same way and want to be your quarantine buddy. But if he doesn’t feel the same way, at least you’ll know. Rejections we can get over, NR, but regrets are for life.

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DEAR READERS: I live in Seattle, the first U.S. epicenter of the novel coronavirus epidemic, with my family. A lot of my readers wrote this week to wish us well. We are fine—scared, but fine—washing our hands compulsively and staying close to home.

I’m going to keep churning out the column and recording my podcast, while being careful to maintain a safe social distance from the tech-savvy, at-risk youth. I’m hoping the column and podcast are welcome distractions.

Please take care of yourselves; take care of the people around you; and wash your damn hands.

I’m wondering if you know of a word that describes the fetish of getting off from talking dirty. I’ve searched a lot, and I can’t find a label for this kink or fetish. While googling around, I did learn some new terms, like “katoptronophilia” (being aroused by having sex in front of mirrors) and “pubephilia” (being aroused by pubic hair), but I can’t seem to find one that describes my kink.

Dirty Talker

I’m old enough to remember when people who needed to feel a strong emotional connection before they wanted to fuck someone got by without a word or a pride flag of their very own. They just said, “I’m someone who needs to feel a strong emotional connection before wanting to fuck someone.” But now they can say, “I’m a demisexual,” a five-syllable, vaguely scientific-sounding term that first popped up in an online forum in 2006. Unfortunately, when someone says, “I’m a demisexual,” the usual response is, “What’s that?” And then the demisexual has to say, “I’m someone who needs to feel a strong emotional connection before wanting to fuck someone.” So leading with “I’m a demisexual” seems like a waste of time to me. But it does extend the amount of time the speaker gets to talk about him/her/themselves … and who doesn’t love talking about themselves?

Anyway, DT, you’re someone who enjoys dirty talk. There isn’t a special term (or pride flag) for you that I could find—I did a little half-hearted googling myself—and I don’t think you need one. You can get by with: “I’m someone who enjoys dirty talk.”

My wife and I have been married for a little more than two years. We both have demanding jobs, but she admits to being a workaholic and spends almost every night on the couch answering e-mails and binge-watching Bravo. I’ve resorted to getting high most nights to cover up for the fact that I’m very unhappy. Despite being overworked, she’s started a side hustle selling skin-care products to her friends, most of whom she rarely sees in person.

Bottom line: I didn’t sign up for this. I’m beyond bored and want to travel and explore. But she refuses to give up the side hustle and dial back her work or her drinking. We both earn comfortable salaries, and we don’t need the extra income.

Would I be justified in leaving because of her newfound hobby?

Basically Over Redundant Enrichment

Side hustle or no, BORE, you aren’t happy, and that’s reason enough to leave. And while you won’t (or shouldn’t) be doing much traveling anytime soon, you can find a lawyer; search for a new apartment; and initiate divorce proceedings while your wife sits on the couch answering work e-mails and pushing skin-care products to her friends. I would typically encourage someone in your shoes to risk telling the truth before walking out—you’re unhappy; you’re bored; you don’t want to live like this anymore—but it sounds like your mind is made up. So use your time at home over the next couple of weeks to make your escape plan.

I’m a young white woman, and my last boyfriend, a black man, left me two weeks ago. Ever since, I have been masturbating only while thinking about black guys.

My question is: Do I have a “thing” for black guys now? I’ve accepted that our relationship is over, but it was really intense. I feel disgusting after I masturbate, because it feels gross and not respectful toward my ex somehow. What do you think?

Desperately Horny For Black Men

Masturbate about whatever the fuck turns you on, DHFBM, and if you’re worried someone would find your masturbatory fantasies disrespectful … don’t tell that person about your masturbatory fantasies.

I suppose it’s possible you have a “thing” for black guys now. (What’s that thing they say? Actually, let’s not say it.) Unless you are treating black guys as objects and not people, or you fetishize blackness in a way that makes black sex partners feel degraded (in unsexy, nonconsensual ways) or used (in ways they don’t wish to be used), don’t waste your time worrying about your fantasies. Worry about your actions.

I’m a 35-year-old woman in a long-term cohabitating relationship with a man. We opened our relationship about six months ago, and it’s going very well; we both have FWBs.

My primary partner and I are going to be getting engaged soon, and I’m wondering what my responsibility is to my FWB of five months. Do I make a special effort to tell him about the engagement—on the phone or in person, like I plan to tell family members and close friends? Or is it OK if he finds out via social media like other people I’ve known for only five months or less would? My getting engaged (or married) won’t prevent me from remaining his FWB.

Wanna Be Ethical

Golden rule this shit, WBE: If your FWB got engaged, would you want to find out via social media, or would you want him to tell you personally? I’m guessing you’d rather hear it from him.

You’ve known your FWB for only five months, it’s true, and other five-months-or-less friends don’t rate hearing it from you personally. But you aren’t fucking your other five-months-or-less friends. A little more consideration for your feelings is—or should be—one of the benefits.

I used to live in a college town. I’m a guy, and while there, I hooked up with a gorgeous guy. He had an amazing smile, a nice body, and the most perfect natural dick I’ve ever seen. (Can we please stop saying “uncut”? It’s so disgustingly plastic surgery-ish.) We hooked up a couple of times, and he was so much fun.

A couple of years later, in another town, he showed up out of the blue at my new job. It was awkward at first, but it got better over the couple of years we worked together. I always wanted to just sneak him into the bathroom and give him another blowjob.

He still lives in the same town, and I want to message him to see if he’s up for some more fun. We haven’t spoken in years—and last I heard, he was still not out. I want to message him, but I’m wondering whether there’s a time limit to reconnecting with someone. Fuck, man, he was so hot, and his natural, big, veiny dick was maybe the most perfect cock I’ve ever seen.

Big Ol’ Dick

Seeing as you haven’t spoken to this man in years, BOD, I’m going to assume you no longer work together. And seeing as you hooked up more than once back in that college town, I’m going to assume he liked your blowjobs. And seeing as there’s a worldwide pandemic on, and seeing as life is short, and seeing as dick is delicious, I’m going to give you the OK to send this guy a message.

Social media has made it possible for people to reach out to first loves, exes and old hookups. And so long as the reacher outer is respectful, has reason to believe their message won’t tear open old wounds, and instantly takes “no” for an answer (and no response means “no”), there’s nothing wrong with reaching out. And while social-distancing protocols will prevent you from sucking that gorgeous natural dick anytime soon, BOD, who doesn’t need something to look forward to right now?

On the Lovecast, love drugs! How therapeutic are they? Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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I started reading your column when I was a 20-year-old kid. Now I’m an old married lady with 20 years of (more or less) blissful married monogamy behind me.

My oldest daughter, who is 23, just came out to me as a sex worker. She’s been making a slim living as a cam girl. She recently graduated with a marketable degree, but she hasn’t been searching for a job in her field, because, as she puts it, “It’s hard to want to apply for a minimum-wage job when I make the same working from home.”

I’m finding this very hard to process on a number of levels. First—and I hope you will believe most importantly—it’s very hard for me to see her giving up what used to be her dreams. But that’s not the part I think you can help me with. I used to be a sex worker. For three years in the early ’90s, I was a dancer at the Lusty Lady on First Avenue in Seattle. That was before the internet really existed, but I think the job is actually fairly analogous to cam work: nudity and masturbation for the pleasure of others, with no actual physical contact. I found sex work to be corrosive to my personal goals. As a heterosexual woman, I hoped to fall in love with a man and have a family, and for me, the longer I did that type of work, the more impossible those goals seemed. I saw men at their worst 40 hours a week. As time went by, I felt myself withdrawing more and more from the possibility of any kind of affectionate relationship with a man. Quitting for me was an act of self-preservation.

I did my best to react non-judgmentally when my daughter confided in me, but truthfully, I’m really unhappy about it. I worry about the effect sex work will have on her future—both her intimate relationships and her professional goals—and while there are people working to reduce the stigma attached to sex work, that stigma still exists. I worry that she will become mired in poverty, barely getting by, and I worry that she will not be able to find loving relationships with men who value her worth.

What do I do, Dan? Do I stand back and love her? Do I try to give her the benefit of my experience, even if that seems shame-y? Is this even any of my business, given that she’s older now than I was when I gave birth to her?

The Cam Girl’s Mom

Your daughter made this your business when she shared it with you, TCGM. So my advice would be to lean in (not stand back); love your daughter; and share your own experiences with her. But the goal shouldn’t be to get your daughter to stop doing sex work—that’s not the “benefit” you’re after—but rather to open the lines of communication and keep them open.

Zooming out for a second … The kind of sex work you did decades ago at the Lusty Lady was different in important ways. (I visited the Lusty Lady a few times in the early ’90s, TCGM, which makes you one of the few letter-writers that I might’ve seen naked who didn’t enclose photos.)

The women who danced at the Lusty Lady were behind Plexiglas walls; men pumped quarters into slots to lift partitions that allowed them to see the women; and there were private booths for solo shows. But while you saw men “at their worst” (men can and have done worse), your daughter doesn’t have to look at the men for whom she’s performing. Her clients—her fans, if she has a following—aren’t on camera themselves. They may send her messages, and she may interact with them via DM, but she doesn’t have to watch them jack off. And unlike a performer in a peep show, your daughter can block guys who give her the creeps or who are in any way pushy or disrespectful.

But while she doesn’t have to see men leering at her or watch come drip down Plexiglass walls, she does have to worry that someone out there might be recording her sessions and posting them online. And unlike the Lusty Lady (R.I.P.), the internet is forever.

But the stigma around sex work is decreasing—Elizabeth Warren recently said she’s “open to decriminalizing” sex work (a tiny step in the right direction)—and with people of all ages furiously sexting each other, we’re quickly reaching the stage where everyone has nudes out there somewhere. Pretty soon, it won’t be in anyone’s interest to punish or harass people whose pics or videos go big or viral, because you could be next.

Something else to bear in mind: You worry that doing this kind of sex work—roughly the same kind you did—may make it impossible for your daughter to fall in love, create a family, pursue her professional goals, or even make a decent living. But you fell in love, created a family, and presumably make a good living yourself. And while it’s possible that doing this kind of work delayed achieving those goals, TCGM, you weren’t derailed or destroyed by it, and your daughter doesn’t have to be, either. (And is less likely to be with her mom in her corner.) Also, your daughter may not want the same things you did. Not everyone wants one committed, long-term partner, and not everyone wants kids. While you’re understandably distressed that she isn’t doing anything with her degree at the moment, it’s possible your daughter’s ideas about what she wants to do with her life have changed since she picked a major. Working as a cam girl may give her the time and space she needs to figure out a new dream for herself. And as crazy as it sounds to some … there are women and men out there whose dream job is sex work.

Your daughter opened a door when she shared this with you, and there must be a reason she shared it with you. Hell, it’s possible she may want to be talked out of doing it. So don’t hesitate to share your experiences and perspective with her. It’s not shaming to tell her you did this kind of work and found it dehumanizing and corrosive. That’s the truth of your experience. But after you share your perspective, TCGM, listen to hers with an open mind. As all parents of adult children know or soon learn, TCGM, your kid gets to make their own choices and quite possibly their own mistakes. And sometimes what looks like a mistake to a concerned parent turns out to be the right choice for the adult child.


I am a heterosexual male. My wife has been dating other men for the past year. When she started dating her first boyfriend, she told me she wasn’t ready for me to date other people, but would process through it, and then we could open up the relationship for me, too.

After about six months, her first relationship ended, and we both started looking for other partners. She found another guy pretty much right away, and it took a few months before I started dating. I had a couple of dates with this woman and then kissed her at the end of our second date. When I told my wife what happened, she got jealous and angry. A day later, my wife stole my phone and sent a message to the woman I’d been dating, ending our relationship; then my wife blocked the woman from my social-media accounts and deleted her number from my phone.

She broke up with her boyfriend and is insisting that our relationship is closed now. I love my wife, but I feel violated in so many different ways, and I’m unsure what to do.

Married A Dictator

Your wife should’ve married a cuckold—a man who wants to remain faithful to a woman who fucks around on him and dates other men—and you should’ve married a woman who isn’t a controlling, manipulative, unhinged hypocrite.

Luckily for you both, MAD, a divorce that would allow each of you to find a new partner—a cuck for her, a sane person for you—is still an option.

On the Lovecast—Talking to boys about sex with Peggy Orenstein: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 33-year-old woman in a relationship with a 43-year-old man. My boyfriend’s fantasy is to have a threesome with another man. He enjoys watching me have sex with other men and then intermittently fucking me—but he mostly likes to watch me get fucked. For a long time, my boyfriend would send nudes or videos of him fucking me to men we met on dating apps. We would talk dirty about it during sex. Recently, we met up with a man for the first time. I don’t think it went well.

My boyfriend and I have had conversations about my fear of contracting an STI. So before the threesome started, I explained to my boyfriend and the other guy that condoms were required. They both agreed. This guy was really nervous, and when he put a condom on, he went flaccid. He would try to fuck me with his flaccid, condom-covered penis, but it just didn’t work. He would take the condom off, jerk off, get semi-hard, put a condom back on, and go completely soft again. Even when I sucked the guy’s dick: nothing. (He actually told me to stop trying!) So my boyfriend, who was observing and jerking off, suggested we forget the condoms in the hopes this guy could stay hard. I said no and restated my boundary. The guy still couldn’t get it up, hopped out of bed and started getting dressed. My boyfriend offered to let the guy cream-pie me if he would stay. I said fuck no, and the guy left. He didn’t even say bye.

I don’t know why the guy couldn’t get hard. But I certainly don’t think my boundary should be compromised because a stranger can’t get it up.

My boyfriend keeps suggesting we meet up with this guy again so he can “get closure.” He really wants to watch this guy at least come on me. My boyfriend and this guy have since texted about him fucking me again. I’m all for being GGG, but ... what the fuck? I thought this guy was kind of an asshole. My boyfriend was definitely an asshole.

My questions are: If I’m uncomfortable during a threesome, how do I politely call it off? I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but this went on for two hours, and the guy never got it up. How do I terminate a threesome without sounding like a bitch?

Threesome Obviously Dried Up My Pussy

To politely call off a threesome, TODUMP, all you gotta say is, “Hey, this isn’t working for me—let’s take a rain check.” Say it while pulling up your pants and use your “final answer” voice.

The “rain check” thing doesn’t have to be sincere. It can be, of course, if you’re interested in trying again sometime, but it doesn’t have to be. The “rain check” thing is mostly a nice, polite, face-saving, ego-sparing way to ease someone out of your pants/bed/playroom/apartment/whatever. And if anyone starts arguing with you—if your third or your primary partner starts arguing with you—don’t worry about being polite, TODUMP. Go ahead and be a bitch: “This is over; you/they need to go; rain check rescinded, asshole/assholes.”

While we’re on the subject of terminating things with assholes, TODUMP, you need dump your incredibly shitty fucking boyfriend immediately—and there’s no need to be polite about it. Fuck him. Your boyfriend tried to coerce you into having sex without condoms when he knew you didn’t want to; you consented to having a threesome on the condition that condoms be used. Attempting to reopen negotiations about your stated boundaries once the threesome was underway was a violation of your consent. And your boyfriend knew you wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone and maliciously attempted to weaponize your consideration for other people’s feelings against you! Can’t you see that? He was hoping you wouldn’t embarrass him by refusing to have sex without condoms after he “offered” to let this guy cream-pie you (come inside you) to get him to stay! He was hoping you’d rather risk an STI than risk embarrassing or contradicting him! And on top of that, he spoke to this guy like it was up to him—up to them—what happened next, like you were a Fleshlight or tube sock or something!

Now your asshole boyfriend is pressuring you to get back together with a guy who couldn’t get it up with a condom on when he knows you don’t want to have sex without condoms? A guy who couldn’t be bothered to say goodbye after you sucked his fucking dick? And your boyfriend is claiming you owe him (or them) closure?

WTF?

This relationship should have been over the moment your boyfriend made it clear some stranger’s dick was more important to him than your health, safety and boundaries. In that moment—that moment he attempted to barter away your boundaries—he proved he can’t be trusted, and that you aren’t safe with him, TODUMP, alone or with a third.

DTMFA.

This is every woman’s nightmare scenario when it comes to cuckolding or hotwifing—that her boyfriend or husband will pressure her to do things she doesn’t want to do during a sexual encounter with another man. Guys like your boyfriend not only don’t deserve to have GGG girlfriends or their fantasies fulfilled; they ruin things for other wannabe cucks, stags and hot husbands. He not only deserves to be alone forever, TODUMP; he deserves to be kicked in the balls forever.


One of my closest friends kissed me while very drunk and then told his female partner; now he’s not allowed to see me anymore, even in group settings. (I am also female.) I understand that cutting off contact is the universally recommended first step after someone cheats, but considering how close we are as friends, it is heartbreaking to think I might lose him over this one incident.

We are former co-workers, and we’ve been close friends and regular drinking buddies for 12 years. Nothing has EVER happened between us before this one very drunk night. We ended up making out on the sidewalk outside of a bar and exchanged a few semi-dirty text messages later that night, which—unfortunately for all of us—his partner saw. He thinks we just need to be patient, and one day, we’ll be able to pick up our friendship where we left off. While I know he needs to prioritize his partner now, I’m scared that we actually won’t be able to stay friends after this.

Do I just swallow my sadness about the likelihood of losing a best friend over a relatively minor infidelity? Or is there anything I can do to help the situation? FWIW: I’m in a happy open marriage and have never once tried to initiate anything with him. I’ve never been attracted to him before and wouldn’t want anything to happen between us again, anyway—even if the kiss was hot. Complicating matters, my friend wanted to re-raise the possibility of opening up his relationship with his partner, which he insists has nothing to do with me. (My friend is male, and his partner and I are both female.)

Friend With No Benefits

Hmm … I have a hunch you were something of a sore subject before this incident, FWNB, however isolated. If the text messages your friend’s partner saw confirmed fears she’d already been told were irrational, your exile is likely to last as long as their relationship does.

But take heart: If your friend decides to reopen discussions about opening up their relationship in the wake of this incident, your friend will likely be single again soon. If they do manage to stay together, FWNB, the only way to get back into her good graces—and back in your friend’s life—is to gracefully accept your exile. (Going to her and saying, “It only happened because we were so drunk!” isn’t quite the slam-dunk you think it is, seeing as you and her boyfriend are drinking buddies.) It’s a paradox, I realize, but if she sees that her boyfriend is willing to cut off all contact with you to set her mind at ease, FWNB, she may be willing to give your friendship her blessing down the road.

On the Lovecast—Raising children in a happy, poly home: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a mid-20s cis straight man. After my girlfriend and I finished college, she moved overseas to start her job. We’ve broken up twice and gotten back together twice.

We are interested in opening up our relationship, but I have reservations. She wants the freedom to throw herself into her new world without the constraint of having to shut down non-platonic sparks. Also: My girlfriend has brought up marriage several times. While she admits she doesn’t have a good track record with monogamy, she insists marriage will change that.

Another concern: The last time she was in an open relationship, she cheated on her then-boyfriend with me. “No exes” was one of their rules, and I was her ex at the time. (I didn’t know she was with someone else.) Another wrinkle: When I confided in her recently that I had developed romantic feelings for another person, she asked me to choose between her and them, so I aborted this burgeoning connection. That felt unfair, seeing as she wants her freedom. She is also bisexual and wants to have experiences with women. I would be fine with her hooking up with women, but it makes me sick to my stomach to think about her with other men. She would be willing to put her desire for experiences with other women to the side in order to be with me, she says, once we are married.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these things: (1) Whether we should open our relationship. (2) My male/female hookup distinction. (3) How to move forward if your partner is unsure whether they are built for monogamy, but nonetheless wants to settle down in a married, monogamous relationship.

Onto Processing Entirely New Situation

1. Don’t open it. End it. It’s time to put this dumb, messy, past-its-expiration-date shitshow of a relationship behind you. Would knowing your girlfriend is already fucking other people help you do that? Because your girlfriend is almost certainly fucking other people. Already. Because when someone with a shitty track record where monogamy and nonmonogamy are concerned asks their partner for an open relationship while at the same time demanding their partner “abort” any potential “non-platonic” friendships they might have … yeah, that motherfucker is already fucking other people. They just don’t want to give their partner the same freedom they’ve already seized for themselves.

2. It seems like a silly distinction to me, OPENS—one that comes from a place of insecurity. (And a “no other dick” rule would make most gay open relationships impossible.) But sometimes, working with your partner’s insecurities—accepting them, not fighting them—is the key to a successful open relationship. And since many bisexuals in monogamous opposite-sex relationships often ask to open the relationship, because they want to act on their same-sex attractions (or, indeed, have their first same-sex encounter), keeping outside sex same-sex—at least at first—isn’t an entirely unreasonable request. But this is irrelevant in your case, since your girlfriend is already fucking anyone she wants.

3. Your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend is hilarious. People who are bad at monogamy don’t get better at it once they’re married. If anything, people who were good at monogamy tend to get worse at it the longer they’re married. If your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend isn’t bullshitting, if she isn’t bringing up marriage and monogamy to complicate and extend your conversations about opening up this doomed relationship, then she’s deluded. And if your girlfriend cheats because she gets off on risk, danger or deception, getting married—which would obviously make cheating riskier and more dangerous—could make cheating more appealing to her, not less.


I’m a bisexual man married to the most beautiful trans woman. I can’t keep my hands off her. But why can’t I fuck her anally like we both want? I can’t seem to push past the gates, which sends a signal to my brain that I’m doing something wrong, which makes me Mr. Softee. Every other thing we do in bed is smooth as silk. Help!

Limp Isn’t My Preference

I’d have to see video to guess at what might be wrong—not an ask, LIMP; don’t send video—but it never hurts to use more lube, engage in more anal foreplay, and sometimes do butt stuff without even attempting anal intercourse. And when you do go for it, maybe instead of you trying to fuck her/push past the gates, LIMP, you could lie still and let her take charge. In other words: Don’t fuck her with your dick; let her fuck herself with your dick.


I’m a 20-something bi man in a loving relationship of three years with a straight woman. Last year, we opened up our relationship. At the beginning, we set some ground rules. One of her rules was that I could get together only with women, no men. It bothered me at the time, but it was the only way she would be OK opening up, so I didn’t press her on it.

Fast-forward to a couple days ago, when I brought it up again. She eventually admitted she’s afraid I will leave her for a man, and that’s why the idea of me being with other men makes her uncomfortable. She knows these are stereotypes, but she says she can’t get over it.

I ended that night angry and hurt. Now I don’t know what to do. To be honest, if we weren’t in an open relationship, I wouldn’t be bothered by the fact that I can’t be sexual with men. But now that I know she is not OK with me doing so because of these bi stereotypes, it drives me nuts. I’m not going to end our relationship over this, but how can I get her to understand my bisexuality is not a threat?

Bye-Bye Bisexuality?

“BBB obviously isn’t going to leave his girlfriend for the first man he sleeps with,” said Zachary Zane, a “bisexual influencer” and a sex writer for Men’s Health. “All bisexual men are not secretly gay. But this is a lie—a vicious stereotype—that BBB’s girlfriend has heard countless times. So even though she knows this logically, she still can’t shake that concern. Fear often isn’t rational, and it can override logic. She’s simply insecure.”

And while accommodating a partner’s irrational insecurity is sometimes the price we have to pay to make an open relationship work, accommodating your partner’s insecurity—one so clearly rooted in biphobia—isn’t going to be sustainable over time. You’re already angry and hurt, BBB, and you’re going to get more upset with every dick you have to pass up. So what do you do?

“The key to helping BBB’s girlfriend understand that his bisexuality isn’t a threat is for him to reassure her often that he’s not going to leave her for a man,” said Zane, “and to tell her and show her how much he loves her. He might also ask if there’s a way she’d feel more comfortable allowing him to be sexual with a man. Maybe they have a threesome. Maybe she prefers that it be someone she knows, or someone she doesn’t know. There’s a lot to discuss.”

But eventually, for your own sanity, you’re going to need to insist that your girlfriend get over her biphobia. She can’t just throw up her hands and say, “I can’t help it!”

“Perhaps I’m giving BBB’s girlfriend too much credit, but it sounds to me like she’ll come around in time,” said Zane. “And while BBB is angry—and validly so—the anger shouldn’t be placed on his girlfriend. It should be placed on a society that has ingrained in her the belief that bisexuality isn’t valid, and that bi men will always leave their wives/girlfriends for another man if given the opportunity.”

And if she never comes around, BBB, then you can show her how silly and irrational her fears were by leaving her for another woman.

Follow Zachary Zane on Twitter @ZacharyZane_.

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I am a 60-year-old heterosexual man, and I am being told that I’m normal. I have been to several urologists, and they say I have no medical issues. But I’m having a hard time buying it, because for the last six months, my ejaculate has been extremely bloody. This is embarrassing, especially since oral sex—giving and receiving—has always been my favorite.

The urologists’ explanation is that as you get older, there are blood vessels within the penis that can break during an erection. They gave me some pills to ensure there was no infection, but then they told me that I’ll probably need to use condoms for the rest of my life. My partner doesn’t need contraceptives, so we haven’t used condoms for decades. If I were bleeding out of any other orifice, there would be a team of doctors helping me. Is there really no hope?

Tell Me It Ain’t So

“Hematospermia—blood in the ejaculate—is usually not considered a big deal, in the sense that the vast majority of the time, it’s not a sign of cancer,” said Dr. Ashley Winter, a board-certified urologist, the co-host of The Full Release podcast, and my go-to expert on all blood-in-spunk-related matters. “I’d want to know how much he’s actually bleeding and what they’ve done to check him out. But that said, sometimes a guy with a large prostate will bleed with orgasm.”

For everyone out there panicking because they saw blood in their semen one time a decade ago, Dr. Winter says a one-off bloody load isn’t something to worry about. But if you saw blood in your semen that one time and you have health insurance and you’re a hypochondriac like me, Dr. Winter recommends a visit to a doc for a short consultation and a quick physical exam.

“But in a case like TMIAS’, where the issue is ongoing and the subject is over 55,” said Dr. Winter, “a typical evaluation would include a PSA blood test (a prostate cancer screening test), as well as testing for STIs (such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes), along with a urinalysis to check for blood in the urine and urinary infections. If those tests were not revealing, I would consider doing an ultrasound or MRI of the prostate and surrounding organs, as well as putting a camera up the urethra (called cystoscopy) to check out the plumbing.”

Assuming you’ve had all those tests, and your prostate was present on photo day, and the doctors found no sign of cancer or infection, TMIAS, then what the hell is going on?

“Typically, the cause would be something such as dilated blood vessels along the ejaculate exit route,” aka the urethra. Quickly: The urethra is a tube that connects the outside world (and all those piss bottoms) to your bladder; it’s the tube we all piss through. In males, the urethra pulls double duty: Men also ejaculate through it (and some women do, too!)—it runs through the prostate gland, a gland that produces about a third of the seminal fluid. An enlarged prostate squeezes the urethra, which can make urination difficult and uncomfortable, and can also result in—you guessed it—blood in the semen.

One possible “fix” for an enlarged prostate is a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), which basically amounts to “a ‘roto-rootering’ of the prostate,” as Dr. Winter so vividly put it. A doctor shoves something called a resectoscope up your urethra and slices away chunks of prostate tissue.

“The problem with these procedures is that they can cause a person to stop ejaculating at all,” said Dr. Winter. “So if TMIAS has already had a fairly robust evaluation, then either using condoms or just having his sex partner adapt to the presence of blood may be the best solution. And in the absence of an infection, shooting a bloody load into your partner is not dangerous. Couples have intercourse during menstruation without harm, and plenty of F-F couples have sex during menstruation as well.”

But hold on and back up and wait just a goddamned minute: Didn’t your doctors say everything looked normal? Doesn’t that mean your prostate isn’t enlarged?

“A ‘normal’ prostate generally means that it is not cancerous and is normal in size for your age,” said Dr. Winter. “As you get older, your prostate gets bigger. So it’s highly probable that what TMIAS has is a big-ass-but-normal-for-his-age prostate. And bigger prostates tend to have larger blood vessels lining the urethra and are therefore more likely to bleed when he experiences those lovely contractions associated with orgasm. When TMIAS was told that ‘there are blood vessels within the penis that can break,’ I suspect his doc was referring to this and was trying to simplify the explanation.”

While the presence of blood in your ejaculate may not be normal or ideal, TMIAS, it’s likely your normal, and there’s nothing your doctor—or a team of them—can do about it.

“Sometimes a lack of a ‘fix’ is not dismissiveness; it’s just an admittance that a lot of things medical folks do/offer aren’t perfect,” said Dr. Winter.

Follow Dr. Ashley Winter on Twitter @AshleyGWinter, and check out The Full Release podcast, which she cohosts with comedian Mo Mandel, at thefullreleasepod.com.


I’m a woman with a dating profile on OkCupid that states I’m nonmonogamous and only looking for the same. Recently, I had two great dates with a guy who described himself as monogamous on his profile. However, after our first date and a lot of messaging, I intuited that he hadn’t actually read the fine print on my profile. Usually guys bring that up when they’ve read it, and he hadn’t mentioned it once. So I brought it up at the end of our second date when we were having post-dinner drinks at a bar. In retrospect, I should have set up a time to seriously discuss this, not spring it on him while we were drinking, but I felt like the longer it went unsaid, the more “betrayed” he might feel. And boy, did he have a reaction.

He went from, “This is not a deal breaker,” to, “Oh my god, I can’t do this, I should just go,” in 20 minutes, and then rushed out of the bar. We cleared the air the next day, and he apologized for being a jerk and bailing. But clearly, we’re not going to be dating going forward. Maybe this was always how a guy like him was going to react, but when is the right time to bring nonmonogamy up if you meet someone in real life first? Or if it’s clear someone didn’t read the damn fine print on your profile before jumping straight to infatuation? He claimed his meltdown was an emotional response to the conflict he was feeling between (a) the expectation that serious relationships need to lead to monogamy and (b) the great time he was having with someone who turned out to be (gasp) nonmonogamous.

Was there a better way to have shared this information? A time sooner or later? We were really clicking, so his freak-out was a huge surprise.

Read The Fine Print

Dude should have read the fine print on your profile. He should have done his screw diligence—but you should have done yours, too. Or followed through with yours.

You read the fine print on his profile, RTFP; you knew he described himself as monogamous, but you went on a date with him anyway—you went on two dates and swapped a lot of messages—without stopping to ask him the dreaded direct question (DDQ): “My profile says I’m nonmonogamous and only looking for the same, and yours says you’re monogamous. Are you making an exception for me because I’m amazing or did you not read my whole profile?” You should have asked this guy the DDQ—not to spare him the horror of your company and avoid wasting his time, RTFP, but to spare yourself that stupid scene in the bar and avoid wasting your time.

On the Lovecast, Erika Moen’s sex toy gift recs! Listen at savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

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We brought Savage Love Live to the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, and the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, over three nights. As is always the case, the crowds had more questions than I could possibly answer. So in this week’s column, I’m going to tear through some of the questions I wasn’t able to get to.

How do you feel about relationships that have a time frame or defined end point? For example, one person is going away for school or a new job?

I’m fine with relationships with seemingly set end points, as relationships don’t have to be open to being long-term or become long-term in order to be a success. (Did you meet a nice person? Did you have some good sex? Did you part on good terms? Success!) And the world is filled with couples that met at a time in their lives when school or work commitments meant they couldn’t be together—and yet, years or even decades later, they’re still together. You never know.

If you use food for vaginal play, is there any type you should definitely avoid?

Lasagna makes for a lousy insertion toy. (Food doesn’t belong in vaginas; there could be bacteria on the food, even after washing, that results in a nasty infection. #FuckFirst #EatAfter)

Is it OK that I always seem to hate my partners’ mothers? Is this normal?

It isn’t, and it’s not. When you’re the common denominator in a lot of high-stress, high-conflict relationships, you’re most likely the problem.

Why do straight guys like anal so much?

Superhero movies, bottled beer, watching sports—there are lots of things straight guys like that I just don’t get. But I get why they like anal: Done right, anal feels amazing. And not just for the person doing the penetrating. When it’s done right, it is also great for the person being penetrated. And sometimes the person being penetrated is a straight guy.

After a year of dating, my boyfriend told me he is polyamorous. I don’t know how to proceed. Any tips?

If he meant, “Polyamory is my sexual orientation, and you have to allow me to date other people, and you can’t break up with me over this because that would amount to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” that’s bullshit, and this relationship is over. But if he meant, “Polyamory is a better relationship model for me than monogamy,” that’s not bullshit, and the conversation is just getting started. If you prefer monogamy, but you’re willing to consider polyamory to be with him, i.e., if that’s a price of admission you’re willing to pay, it could work out. But if you aren’t open to polyamory, and monogamy isn’t a price he’s willing to pay to be with you, it won’t work out.

I work in secondary education, and I’m in an open marriage. My job is awesome, but I’m so afraid of a student or a parent seeing me when I’m out with a different partner. What should I do?

You could continue to make out in public with your other partners—or whatever it is you’re doing in public that makes it clear you’re fucking/dating someone who isn’t your spouse—or you could be discreet. Since antidiscrimination statutes don’t offer protections to people in open relationships, and since people regularly freak out about teachers having sex at all, you really have no other choices besides discretion (when out with others) or shouldering the risk (of losing your job).

My poly friend has started bringing her flavor-of-the-week partners to social events instead of her awesome wife. How do I tell her I’d rather hang out with her and her wife than her and her (usually boring, always temporary) new fling?

Maybe your poly friend’s wife doesn’t want to hang out with you. Wait, I can say that in a nicer way: Maybe your poly friend’s wife is an introvert who would rather stay home, and she’s only too delighted that the flavor-of-the-week is willing to escort her wife to the box social. But if you miss your friend’s wife, maybe give her a call and invite her to lunch?

My former lover cheated on his current live-in girlfriend with me. She has no idea. Should I tell her what a narcissistic cheater her boyfriend is?

Vengeful former affair partners don’t have much more credibility than narcissistic cheaters—indeed, people view both with similar contempt. But you do you.

My husband and I are swingers. For him, it’s who he is. For me, it’s something I do (and like!). We argue over how often we go out or have sex with other couples. Any suggestions for finding a happy medium?

More often than you’d like, and less often than he’d like—call it the bittersweet spot.

What tips do you have for lesbians in long-term relationships who want to keep sex fun and interesting?

My advice for lesbians who want to keep their LTRs hot is the same as my advice for gays, straights, bis, etc., who want to keep theirs hot. At the start of the relationship, you were the adventure they were on, and they were the adventure you were on. That’s why it was so effortlessly hot at the start. But once you’re not each other’s sexy new adventure anymore—once you’re an established couple—you have to go find sexy adventures together to keep it hot. And that requires making a conscious effort. Explore your kinks; buy some sex toys; have sex someplace other than your bedroom; invite very special guest stars, etc.

How do I create a sexier bedroom for even better sex?

Bedrooms are overrated, if you ask me (which you did), whereas basements, office stairwells, clean single-seat restrooms in upscale restaurants, dark corners of public parks, the space underneath banquet tables in hotel ballrooms, etc., are all underutilized.

Can you explain why male chastity is such a popular kink? I’m not offended by it, just curious about its sudden widespread popularity.

“I think a big factor is that people are enjoying the heightened mental connections that tend to develop with chastity play,” said Christopher of Steelwerks Extreme, makers of the Rolls-Royce of male-chastity devices. “Frequent business travel and long-distance relationships also make chastity an increasingly popular kink, as the cage-wearer and key-holder can maintain a playful dynamic without needing to be in the same room.”

I’m 99.975 percent sure I don’t want kids. My boyfriend of almost four years has a vasectomy scheduled for the end of the year. Should we go through with it? My boyfriend is really fucking sexy, hence the .025 percent doubt.

Vasectomies, like pregnancies, are reversible. Your boyfriend could also go to a sperm bank and put a load or three on ice.

Female, 32, straight, and very pregnant. I’m about to pop! Do you have any postpartum sex advice?

Explore outercourse for a while, and try to have (or try to fake) a positive attitude about it.

Your thoughts on transmasculine folks who don’t necessarily identify as men using the word “faggot”?

Fine, so long as they put the emphasis on the second syllable.

Thanks to everyone who came to our live shows!

On the Lovecast, love your curvy body, with Elle Chase: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

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