CVIndependent

Fri07192019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

I’ve been with my boyfriend for a few months. Prior to dating, I was clear with him that I would need to open our relationship at some point. He initially hesitated to respond, but then agreed we could do that when the time came. That time has come much quicker than I anticipated, but I feel like he’ll renege on his end of things because of many comments he’s made recently—comments like not understanding or liking nonmonogamy, and how “his woman” sleeping around is a deal-breaker. Is this a DTMFA situation?

Specified Open Relationship Early

Early on, you let your boyfriend know that openness “at some point” was your price of admission—the price he’d have to pay to be with you—and now he’s letting you know that monogamy is his price of admission. What’s going on here? Well, sometimes Person A tells Person B what Person A knows Person B wants to hear regarding Topic X in the hopes that Person B will feel differently about Topic X after the passage of time or after Person B has made a large emotional investment in Person A. In many cases, Person A has the best intentions—by which I mean Person A isn’t being consciously manipulative, but rather Person A sincerely hopes Person B will come to feel differently about Topic X, or that they, Person A themselves, will. But considering how little time has passed, SORE—it hasn’t even been three months, and he’s saying shitty/judgy things to you about nonmonogamy and sexist/controlling things about “his woman”—it seems clear that your boyfriend wasn’t being sincere; he was being manipulative. DTMFA.


This is another request for a kinky neologism. How about those of us who like the idea of our significant other having sex with somebody else, but who aren’t into full-on cuckold-style humiliation? “Cuckold” implies a level of subordination that just isn’t my thing, and “hotwifing,” besides sounding incredibly sleazy, assumes that it’s a couple that is opposite-sex and married, and the guy is only interested in watching. Can you or the hive mind solve this problem?

Cuck In Name Only

I don’t think the term “hotwifing” is inherently heterosexist, as there are gay men and straight women out there into “hothusbanding.” (They get off on sharing their hot spouses with others, aren’t necessarily interested in getting with anyone else themselves, and don’t, à la cuckolds, get off on humiliation.) But if that term doesn’t appeal to you, CINO, there’s already an alternative: stags (a man who may or may not be dominant who likes to share his partner and may or may not participate) and vixens (a woman who may or may not be submissive who enjoys having sex with others in front of her partner and may or may not share them with others, too).


I’ve experienced anal itching in the past, and I’m not ashamed to say I enjoyed it. It felt so insanely good to satisfy that itching inside. I can find lots of information about relieving anal itching, but I can’t find anything about inducing it for pleasure.

Into Tormenting Clean Heinie

According to the Mayo Clinic, keeping your ass too clean or letting it get too dirty can induce anal itching, as can pinworms, diabetes and anal tumors. Seeing as you probably don’t want diabetes or rectal cancer, and since pinworms aren’t for sale at your local bait shop, ITCH, you could try scrubbing your ass with harsh soaps, which is what the Mayo Clinic urges people who don’t want itchy anuses to avoid. (I reversed engineered their advice for you. You’re welcome.) Good luck, and please don’t write back to let us know how you’re progressing, OK?


I am a 24-year-old pansexual trans woman, and I feel sexually broken. Hormones have made it nearly impossible for me to top a partner. I’m able to do it once in a while, but not as much or as reliably as I would like. Additionally, hormones have messed up my digestive system and made bottoming difficult. I’m also relatively sexually inexperienced, which means I’m enthusiastic about oral but not very good at it. This leaves me feeling like I bring nothing to the table.

Horny But Sex Is Thorny

Getting good at oral—like getting good at anything—takes a little practice. Let your prospective partners know you’re relatively inexperienced, and you’ll be far likelier to wind up in bed with patient and supportive people who will let you practice on them. As for bottoming, hopefully your guts will settle down in time. As for topping, well, lots of women use strap-on dildos for penetration. Having a strap-on at the ready and actively seeking out partners who don’t regard strap-on sex as a consolation prize (or a fail) will allow you to experiment with penetration without the pressure of having to produce or sustain an erection. You can switch back and forth between your dick and the dildo as needed, and being able to make it happen for your lover—using whatever tools you need—will build your confidence.

And you’re not broken, HBSIT. You are, like all of us, a work in progress. Good luck.


I’m a college professor. Several female students have confided in me they’re having trouble finding guys. (They’re not hitting on me—and even if they were, no way am I dating a student.) These girls are smart, nice, interesting, and usually obese. You and I both know that in this imperfect world, many (most?) people place importance on looks. But how do I tell them that? A straight, single, male professor telling a female student, even gently, that dropping 20 pounds might help her dating prospects is extremely risky.

Professionally Risky Observation Flummoxes

Oh my god. Keep your mouth shut. First, because it’s an asshole thing to say—never mind the professional risk—and second, because it’s not true. (Welcome to America, PROF, where most people are overweight or obese, and most people are partnered or married.)

The likelier culprit here (besides a skewed sample size and confirmation bias) is the scarcity of available male partners. Women now significantly outnumber men on college campuses: “Where men once went to college in proportions far higher than women—58 percent to 42 percent as recently as the 1970s—the ratio has now almost exactly reversed,” Jon Marcus wrote in the Atlantic. Graduating will probably do more to improve their romantic prospects than dropping 20 pounds.


I recently broke up with a girl because she didn’t know what plate tectonics was. We dated for three months. Great sex! Loved cooking together! Enjoyed spending time with her! But she was raised Mormon—and more important than that, she was simply NOT CURIOUS about science and the world. In all honesty, I think she’s a little dumb, although she doesn’t come off that way.

Science! Politics! Philosophy! All of these things are important in my life! Am I wrong for breaking up with her?

Date Tectonics

No! You did her a favor! I knew nothing about classical music before I fell in love with someone who’s passionate about classical music. I know a lot about it now, and I actually enjoy it—but I didn’t get there in three months. My husband didn’t follow the news closely until he fell in love with a news junkie. Now he’s a daily reader of The New York Times and The Washington Post—but he didn’t get there in three months. The more time we spent together, the more interest we took in each other’s interests.

There’s a lesson in here for you somewhere, DT, but I’m going to let you tease it out—because you’re CURIOUS and SMART, right?

On the Lovecast, Dan interviews sociologist and author Nicholas A. Christakis: savagelovecast.com.

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Savage Love Live stormed into Revolution Hall in Portland, Ore. Comedian Corina Lucas absolutely killed it before our sold-out crowd; singer-songwriter Elisabeth Pixley-Fink performed an amazing set; and two lovely couples competed in our first (and most likely last) Mama Bird Cupcake Eating Contest.

I wasn’t able to get to all of the audience-submitted questions, so I’m going to power through as many as I can in this week’s column.

How do you handle it if your partner constantly apologizes during sex? “Sorry, sorry, sorry …”

With sensitivity tact, and compassion—and if none of that shit works, try duct tape.

Should I continue to have casual sex with someone I’m in love with?

If it’s casual for them and not casual for you, and they’ve made it clear it will never be anything other than casual for them, you’re going to get hurt—which I suspect you know. Now, if you think the pain of going without sex with them will be greater than the pain you’ll feel when they inevitably meet someone else and move on, by all means, keep fucking them. (Spoiler: the pain of the latter > the pain of the former.)

Best tricks for a quick female orgasm and how to keep yourself from overthinking it?

My female friends swear by a little legal weed, where available (or a little illegal weed, where necessary), and a nice, big, powerful vibrator.

My five-year relationship ended abruptly. Is there a time frame for getting over it?

Studies vary. Some have found it takes the average person 11 weeks; some have found it takes half the length of the relationship itself; some have found it takes longer if it was a marriage that ended. But don’t wait until you’re completely over it to get out there—because getting out there can help you get over it.

Besides a fiber-rich diet, what are your tips for a newbie to anal play? Size is a BIG factor, and it’s creating a HUGE mental block whenever anything goes near my hole.

Start small, e.g., lubed-up fingers and small toys. And don’t graduate from tongues/fingers/toys to someone’s big ol’ dick in a single session. Start small, and stay small until your hole’s dread at the thought of taking something HUGE is replaced by a sincerely held, quasi-religious belief in the absolute necessity of taking something huge.

What is the formula for getting comfortable farting in front of a partner?

Same as comedy: tragedy + time.

In the era of online dating, how do you navigate the people who think the grass will always be greener and have difficulty committing to truly building a relationship?

The expression “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” has its roots in a Latin proverb first translated into English in 1545—which means the sentiment predates dating apps by, oh, roughly half a millennium. But the “paradox of choice,” or the idea that people have a hard time choosing when presented with too many options, has certainly complicated modern dating. But too many options beats too few, in my opinion, and it certainly beats no options at all, e.g., deserted islands, compulsory heterosexuality, unhappy arranged marriages, etc.

Any advice for a 22-year-old woman who meets only sad boys who need a mom?

Your handwriting is such that I thought you wrote “sub boys,” and I was going to respond, “Enjoy.” But then I reread your question: sad boys, not sub boys. OK, if you’re meeting only one type of person, or all the people you’re meeting have a certain character flaw, either you’re seeking that type of person out—consciously or subconsciously—or you’re projecting your own shit onto that person. This is a case where the best people to ask for a gut/reality check are your actual friends, not your friendly sex-advice columnist.

How good are cock rings? I tried a stretch-rubber one, and it was just uncomfortable. Is it worth more time and research?

Cock rings are made from all sorts of different materials, and it’s important to find the material (rubber, metal, leather) and fit (snug but not too tight) that works for you. I definitely think you should experiment a bit before giving up—cock rings are great. And, hey, did you know there’s a Wiki page with a lot of good info about cock rings?

Will you be my sperm donor?

Well, that depends. Are you male, between the ages of 25 and 55, and (my entirely subjective notion about what is) hot? Then sure!

My partner wants me to move in with him and have kids. He also wants an open relationship and to be able to father children for other women if they choose to be single moms. I’m not comfortable with that. How can I express this without blocking him from getting what he wants?

By not moving in with him, by not having kids with him, and by not continuing to partner with him.

Why wasn’t semen designed to stay in a woman’s vagina? It always makes a terrible mess. I hate waiting for it to leak out of me.

I wasn’t around when semen and vaginas were designed—I’m old, but not that old—and I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a designer. I’m also guessing leakage wasn’t a problem until our ancestors began walking upright about 4 million years ago.

My mother-in-law had episodes of amnesia after orgasm in her 50s. Have you heard of this? WILL IT HAPPEN TO ME?

I have not! I HAVE NO IDEA! I have also googled this for you, and—holy shit—it’s a thing, and it has a name: transient global amnesia (TGA). Apparently, any form of strenuous exercise can trigger TGA. So don’t fuck; don’t run; don’t bike! Just sit still and you’ll be fine!

What do you think is the most needed focus of left activism in the United States today?

Most needed: defeating Trump and combating climate change. Most prevalent: relitigating the 2016 Democratic primary.

My mom finishes every call with, “God bless you.” I’m not a believer, but it’s not something we could ever talk about. I usually ignore it; sometimes I say it back; but it’s always awkward. What should I do?

You should sneeze.

Thanks to everyone who came out to Savage Love Live in Portland! Savage Love Live is coming to Seattle, Denver, San Francisco (with Stormy Daniels!), Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis (also with Stormy Daniels!), Toronto and Somerville. For more info and tickets, go to savagelovecast.com/events.

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with comedian Kate Willett: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 40-year-old guy with a 30-year-old girlfriend. We’ve been together a year, and I can see a future with her. But there are problems. This girl comes after two minutes of stimulation, be it manual, oral or penile. As someone who takes pride in my foreplay/pussy-eating abilities, this is a bummer. She gets wet to the point where all friction is lost during PIV, and my boners don’t last. It’s like fucking a bowlful of jelly.

Part of me is flattered that I get her off, but damn it, I miss a tight fit! (Her oral skills aren’t great, either, so that’s not an option, and anal is a no-go.) I love to fuck hard, and that’s difficult when I’m sticking my dick into a frictionless void. Is there a way to decrease wetness? Help, please.

Can’t Last Inside Tonight

First things first: She’s not doing anything wrong, CLIT, and neither are you—at least you’re not doing anything wrong during sex. (When you sit down to write letters to advice columnists, on the other hand … .) She can’t help how much vaginal mucus she produces or how much vaginal sweating your foreplay/pussy-eating skills induce, any more than you can help how much pre-ejaculate you pump out. (Her wetness is a combo of vaginal mucus and vaginal sweating—the latter is not a derogatory expression; that’s just the term for it.) And all that moisture is there for a good reason: It preps the vagina for penetration. In its absence, PIV can be extremely painful for the fuckee. So the last thing you want to do is dry your girlfriend up somehow.

Now here’s something you are doing wrong: “It’s like fucking a bowlful of jelly,” “I miss a tight fit,” “Her oral skills aren’t great, either,” “I’m sticking my dick into a frictionless void.” You’re going to need to have a conversation with your girlfriend about this, CLIT. You’ll need to use your words, but you can’t have that conversation—not a constructive one—until you can find some less denigrating, resentful, shame-heaping words.

Again, she’s doing nothing wrong. She gets very wet when she’s turned on. That’s just how her body works. Too much lubrication makes it harder for you to get off. That’s how your body works. And this presents a problem that you two need to work on together, but insults like “bowlful of jelly” and “frictionless void” are going to shut the conversation down and/or end the relationship. So try this instead: “I love how turned on you get, honey, and I love how wet you get. But it can make it difficult for me to come during PIV.”

If you don’t put her on the defensive—if you don’t make her feel like shit about her pussy—you might be able to have a constructive conversation and come up with some possible PIV hacks. If there’s a move (clitoral stimulation) or an event (her first orgasm) that really opens up the tap, CLIT, save that move or delay that event until after you’ve climaxed or until after you’ve reached the point of orgasmic inevitability—if PIV isn’t painful for her when she’s a little less wet.

You can also experiment with different positions to find one that provides you with a little more friction and doesn’t hit her clit just so—perhaps doggy style—and then shift into a position that engages her clit when you’re going to come. And there’s no shame in pulling out and stroking yourself during intercourse before diving back in.

Be constructive; get creative; and never again speak of her pussy like it’s a defective home appliance, CLIT, and you might be able to solve this (pretty good) problem (to have).


I’m a woman in an open relationship of four years. I adore my partner. When we were first dating, it was casual, and there were no ground rules. During that time, I slept with a guy without condoms after he cornered me in a motel room. One of the biggest rules in my current relationship is to use condoms with other partners. My current partner has made it clear that he would consider exchanging fluids with someone else cheating. I’m worried he’ll somehow find out about that night in the motel room, and I feel bad keeping it a secret. If I tell him, there’s a chance that our relationship will end, and I’ll be living in my car. What should I do?

Burdensome Unbearable Guilt Sucks

This thing happened—or this thing was done to you—before you made a commitment to your current partner, BUGS, and before ground rules were established. I’m assuming you got tested at some point over the last four years; failing that, I’m assuming neither of you has developed symptoms of an STI over the last four years. (And condoms don’t protect us from all the STIs out there, so even if you did come down with something, your partner could have passed it to you.) So cut yourself some slack, BUGS: You had unprotected sex under a sadly common form of duress. Fearing something much worse, you “agreed” to unprotected sex—you agreed, but didn’t freely consent to unprotected sex. Too many men don’t understand that kind of fear or the de-escalation techniques women are forced to employ when they find themselves cornered by threatening men—de-escalation techniques that can include “agreeing” to but not freely consenting to sex, unprotected or otherwise.

You’re under no obligation to tell your current partner about that night, as it took place before you established your ground rules, so it’s not really any of his fucking business. And if homelessness is a potential consequence of telling your partner how you were pressured into sex you did not want, then you’re lying to him now for the same reason you went bare with that asshole back then: duress.


I’m a man in love with a woman half my age. We met shortly after I had to leave the city I was living in to escape a toxic relationship. I know this girl has feelings for me. My gut screams it. We also share a strange connection. It’s something I know she feels. She simply can’t help being tied to the energy I’m feeling.

A while back, I hurt her—unintentionally, but it hurt just the same. I was still not over my ex and very leery of ever experiencing that kind of pain in my heart again. The problem now is that this young woman won’t acknowledge her feelings for me. She swears she never had feelings for me. We found ourselves alone one day, and her actions were clearly indicating that she wanted to have sex with me, but her words prevented me from taking the opportunity.

How can I reach this girl? She knows I love her. I know I’m not wrong. She wants what I want. This love is not something I chose, and I’m beginning to resent it.

In Lasting Love

You are wrong. She does not want what you want. Your gut is lying to you. She is not in love with you. You do not share a connection. You need to listen to her words. She is not tied to the “energy” you are feeling. You have got to stop thinking with your dick. She was probably scared out of her wits when you managed to “find” her alone. You cannot reach this woman. She can sense your resentment, and she’s afraid of you. In all honesty, ILL, I’m afraid of you. Just as this poor woman most likely fears becoming one of the many women murdered every year by men they’ve rejected, I fear being the messenger who got shot. But you asked for my advice, ILL, and here it is: Get into therapy. You need help. And my advice for her, if she sees this, is to do whatever you must to protect yourself—up to and including moving away.

On the Lovecast, who are furries, and what do they want?: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 40-year-old married straight woman. I gave birth to our first kid in 2015 and our second earlier this year. My perineum tore and was stitched both times. I have not been able to have sex with penetration since having our second child.

My OB/GYN said I’m “a little tighter now” due to the way the stitching was performed. My husband is very well-endowed, and I can’t imagine how on earth I’m ever going to get that thing back in me, let alone enjoy it. We have a history of pretty hot sex, and I really miss it.

I’ve been searching online for some sex toys to help me. I’ve never used sex toys before. I’ve always been able to have thrilling orgasms easily without any devices. I still can with manual stimulation, but I want to have sex with my husband. I’m confused, and I just don’t know what I need to help me open back up and get through the pain. Please help!

Thanks In Advance

“Unfortunately, this situation is very common—but luckily, there are options to help her get her groove back,” said Dr. Rachel Gelman, a pelvic floor physical therapist at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Also sadly common: OB/GYNs shrugging off concerns like yours, TIA.

“I see that all the time,” said Dr. Gelman. “Part of the problem is that the pelvic floor/muscles aren’t on most doctors’ radar. That’s due to many factors—cough, cough, insurance companies, cough, our dysfunctional health care system, cough—but to water it down, it’s the OB/GYN’s job to get someone through pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. And when that’s accomplished, the feeling is their job is done.”

But so long as you’re not able to have and enjoy PIV sex with your hung husband, TIA, there’s still work to do.

“TIA needs to see a pelvic floor physical therapist,” said Dr. Gelman. “A good PT would be able to assess and treat any pelvic floor dysfunction, which is often the primary cause or a contributing factor for anyone experiencing pain with sex, especially after childbirth.”

At this point, Dr. Gelman began to explain that pushing a living, breathing, screaming human being out of your body is an intense experience, and I explained to Dr. Gelman that I’ve had to push a few living, breathing, screaming human beings out of my body, thank you very much. Dr. Gelman clarified that she was talking about “the trauma of labor and delivery,” something with which I have no experience.

“Labor and delivery can have a significant impact on the pelvic floor muscles which can cause a myriad of symptoms,” said Dr. Gelman. Pain during PIV sex sits high on the list of those symptoms.

“The fact that TIA had tearing with the deliveries means she most likely has scar tissue, and a PT would again be able to treat the scar to help decrease any hypomobility and hypersensitivity,” said Dr. Gelman. “A pelvic floor specialist can also instruct her in a home program which may include stretches, relaxation techniques and dilators—dilators are graduated cylinders that are inserted vaginally to help stretch the vaginal opening and promote relaxation of the pelvic floor.”

A set of “graduated cylinders” is essentially “a bouquet of dildos,” TIA. You start with the smallest dilator/dildo, inserting it every day until you can insert it without any pain or discomfort, and then you “graduate” (nudge, nudge) to the next “cylinder” (wink, wink). You can order a set of dilators online, TIA, but Dr. Gelman wants you to find a doc that specializes in sexual medicine first.

“There are some good medical associations that she can check out for resources and to help locate a provider in her area,” said Dr. Gelman. “The websites of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) and the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS) are where she should start.”

Follow Dr. Gelman on Instagram, @pelvichealthsf.


I’m a 30-year-old woman, and about a year ago, I started taking improv classes to help combat my social anxiety. I met a lot of awesome people in my class, but I took a particular shine to this one guy. He was a gentle soul, very sweet, and really funny. We quickly became friends. Eventually, I developed feelings for him and asked him out. He appreciated the offer but told me that he was gay. I was shocked and disappointed, but I wanted to keep our friendship, so I tried to get over my feelings.

But not only haven’t these feelings gone away; I’m actually falling in love with him. He recently confessed to me that he’s still semi-closeted and dealing with a bad breakup, so I really don’t want to add to his problems. This is such a mess. I found this wonderful guy who I care about, and yet nothing will ever happen because I was born the wrong gender. What can I do?!?

Introvert Makes Pass, Regrets Overture Very Seriously

Nothing.

You can’t make that gay guy fall in love with you, IMPROVS, any more than I could make Hasan Minhaj fall in love with me. Getting over him is your only option, and that’s gonna take some time and most likely some space, too. (I’d recommend seeing less of your crush after this class ends.)

But give yourself some credit for doing something proactive about your social anxiety, for taking a risk, and for asking your classmate out. You didn’t take that improv class to find love, right? You took it to combat your social anxiety—and it sounds like you won a few battles, IMPROVS, if not the war. The takeaway here isn’t, “It didn’t work with him, so why should I bother ever trying again with someone else?” It’s: “I did it—I made a connection, I asked someone out—and I’m going do it again, and hopefully, it’ll work out next time.”


I’m an early 30s hetero-flexible man in an open marriage with a bi woman, though both of us have been too chicken to actually go through on acting on the “open” part. Neither of us are hung up on jealousy, so that’s not a factor here.

I recently confessed to my wife that I have had a long-standing desire to sleep with a trans woman. Yes, I know that it’s immature to not have disclosed all my kink cards prior to marriage, but I have my reasons, and thankfully, my wonderful wife let me off the hook and was very supportive. I expressed to her that I have considered seeing a professional trans escort rather than trying for a “hook up” situation. Her reaction was highly negative, as she has the impression that anyone in the sex trade industry is—by definition—a victim.

Where do I go from here? I am uncomfortable with the idea of putting myself out there to meet a trans woman in my city (especially since I’m not looking for a relationship), but I don’t want to violate my wife’s trust and see an escort.

Don’t Know What To Do

Put yourself on a dating and/or hookup app; say that you’re partnered and only looking for something casual—and add that you welcome responses from trans women.

Some trans women are rightly annoyed by all the cis men out there who only wanna hook up, DKWTD, and never date or be seen in public with them. But trans folks are just like other folks—some are taken; some are looking; some are taken and looking. If you get grief from a trans woman who’s annoyed that you aren’t open to dating women like her, DKWTD, let her vent—her frustrations are perfectly legitimate—while you wait for a response from a trans woman looking to buy what you’re selling.

By the way: The trans escorts I know—women who freely chose their jobs—will be surprised to learn that they’re victims, at least according to your highly opinionated and woefully misinformed wife.

On the Lovecast, Is there a urologist in the house? Yes, yes there is: savagelovecast.com.

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Hi, Dan: I am a homosexual young adult seeking advice about kitten play. I find it very intriguing, and I’m wondering where to start. It’s a turn-on when someone calls me kitten, but I’m not sure how to express my kink or desire for kink play to the person or persons I am into. Any advice would be appreciated.

Constructive Advice Thoughtfully Sought

Hi, CATS: I am a homosexual not-so-young adult without much advice to offer where kitten play is concerned. I’ve encountered plenty of gay puppies in the wild—at various leather/fetish events—but I’ve seen only one fetish kitty in my lifetime, and she was a queen. (A female cat is called a queen; a male cat is called a tom; and a group of cats is called a glare. #TheMoreYouKnow!)

But Amp Somers, who hosts the kink-friendly sex-ed show Watts the Safeword, assures me that gay kitties are definitely a thing.

“Kitten play is a subcategory of the ‘animal role-play’ or ‘pet play’ kink,” said Somers. “It is a form of domination and submission in which someone gets into the head space of an animal they are role-playing and takes on its characteristics—be it with gear (masks, tails, collars) or by acting out the mannerisms of their animal. Most importantly, and this goes for all proper pet players, there are no actual animals involved in this play.”

Puppy play is the most common form of pet play—by far—and it’s very popular among younger gay kinksters. (Please don’t confuse gay pups or kitties with gay bears or otters. The former is about role-play and fetish; the latter is about body type, affirmation and community.) But what accounts for the popularity of pet play among younger kinksters?

“This sort of play allows someone to get into kink easily with or without a partner, and in a playful manner,” said Somers. “Pet play allows players to get their feet wet in the BDSM world without having to visit a dark dungeon, get tied up or engage in anything a newer kinkster might find intimidating. It’s a great entry-level kink.”

As for expressing your kink, CATS, that’s something you’re going to have to work out on your own.

“I imagine CATS already has an image of what kitten play looks like to them, and I bet it differs from what I might imagine my own pet play would look like or even from what readers imagine a kitten player to look like,” said Somers. “Is CATS a domesticated lazy kitten who lies in the sun? A curious, well-trained, docile cat responsive to cuddles and treats? Or are they a rambunctious, bratty, independent stray?”

To find your way into the kink scene, Somers recommends getting online.

“That’s how I first found pet play,” he said. “Sites like kitten-play.com offer in-depth written pieces by players, links to resources, and forums where people like CATS can educate themselves. Other sites like FetLife or Facebook provide more private groups to ‘meet’ others, ask more in depth questions, find local get-togethers, and make friends to socialize with. Or if they prefer video content, YouTube has a number of creators (like ‘Scream Kiwi’) who talk about their kinks in a fun, educational and personal way. And once CATS feels comfortable in their own identity and has defined what they want out of this play, they will be able to really communicate to their partner(s) what they’re into and what they want out of kitten play.”

Check out Amp Somers’ show—Watts the Safeword—at youtube.com/WattsTheSafeword, and follow him on Twitter @Pup_Amp.


I’m a gay male, and one of my good friends has put me in a strange position. The friend has been married to his husband for 15 years, and they are allowed to “play.” I have no desire to be in an open relationship, and I don’t think my boyfriend does, either.

I occasionally go over to this friend’s house right after work to buy weed, and he’s always alone when I come by. He joked about answering the door naked and then did it. (He told me he was going to, but I honestly didn’t think he would do it.) I was extremely uncomfortable, and he knew it. The last time I went over, he was naked again—and this time, he jerked off to completion in front of me. He asked me to join in, and I told him I couldn’t, because I hadn’t discussed anything like this with my boyfriend.

I’m supposed to go over again tomorrow, and he asked me to come by early, because his husband would be getting home from work early that day. This leads me to believe that the husband would not be OK with this. I haven’t said anything to his husband or my boyfriend, because I don’t want this to become a huge mess, and I hoped my palpable discomfort would put an end to it.

Any thoughts on how I should handle this nicely to make it stop without hurting his feelings?

Undressed Naked Friend Really Is Engineering Needless Drama

Your “good friend” is an asshole, UNFRIEND. He’s violating a whole bunch of social norms—chiefly the don’t-jerk-off-to-completion-in-front-of-other-people-without-their-enthusiastic-consent norm (aka the Louis C.K. Career in Comedy Memorial Norm)—and relying on your adherence to other social norms (avoid being rude; defuse don’t confront; spare others’ feelings) to get away with violating you as well. This asshole is sexually harassing you, and you haven’t told him to stop in unambiguous language.

The only reason you’ve given him for not whipping it out yourself is that you haven’t “discussed anything like this with (your) boyfriend.” He has self-servingly interpreted your reason for not joining in like this: “He wants to, and maybe he will after he has a ‘discussion’ with his boyfriend.” I’m sorry, UNFRIEND, but you’re going to have to be blunt: “You have to knock this shit off. It’s disrespectful; it’s nonconsensual; and it’s pissing me off.” Don’t worry about hurting his feelings—he obviously doesn’t care about your feelings—and find a new weed dealer.


I have a follow-up question on your advice for JACKS, the gay manager who ran into an employee at a JO party. Alison “Ask a Manager” Green told him he couldn’t go to these parties anymore. A distinction was made between sexual-situation encounters between bosses and those they manage in “private clubs” (the JO club) or at “public events” (Folsom Street Fair). My question is about Grindr/Scruff/Growlr/etc. Are these more like “private clubs” or “public events”?

In part, my question stems from being a professor and having seen students and colleagues on these apps. I feel like I should not be reading the profiles of students in my department (who are mostly graduate students). I am also troubled by my colleagues appearing on these apps—from the perspective that this seems to be a sexually oriented space, and there is the power differential between faculty and students.

Basics Of Sexual Spaces

Dating apps are the new gay bars—more than 75 percent of same-sex couples met online—so telling gay bosses or college profs they can’t go on dating apps because their gay male students or underlings might be on them means condemning gay bosses and profs to celibacy. Bosses and profs shouldn’t flirt with their students and underlings, of course, and it might be a good idea to block ’em when you spot ’em—so you won’t be tempted by their profiles/torsos, and they won’t be tempted by yours—but gay bosses and profs are free to look for dick on dating apps.

On the Lovecast, where do kinks come from? Dr. Justin Lehmiller on the science of desire: savagelovecast.com.

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I have a secret: For the past three months, I’ve been attending a local jacks club (a men-only masturbation event). As someone recovering from sexual abuse, I find the party to be safe, therapeutic and just sexy fun. I feel like I need this!

Unfortunately, I spotted one of my employees at last week’s event. Although I’m openly gay at my workplace, being naked, erect and sexual in the same room as my employee felt wrong. I freaked out, packed up and departed without him seeing me (I hope). I’m his manager at work, and I feel that being sexual around him could damage our professional relationship. It could even have dangerous HR consequences.

I realize he has every right to attend jacks, as much right as me, but I wish he weren’t there. I want to continue attending jacks, but what if he’s there again? Frankly, I’m terrified to discuss the topic with him. Help!

Just A Cock Kraving Safety

“I hate to say it, but now that JACKS knows his employee attends these events, he really has to stop going,” said Alison Green, the management consultant behind the popular Ask a Manager advice column (askamanager.org) and the author of Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work.

And why do you have to stop going to your beloved JO club?

“In an employment relationship where he’s in a position of power,” said Green, “JACKS has a responsibility to avoid any remotely sexual situation with an employee.”

Green also strongly advises against pulling your employee aside and working out some sort of shared-custody agreement—you get jacks to yourself every other week—because initiating a conversation with a subordinate about when and where he likes to jack off would be a bad idea. She also doesn’t think you can just keep going in the hopes that your employee won’t be back.

“If he continues to attend, and it got back to anyone at their workplace, it would be really damaging to his reputation—not the fact that he was at the event to begin with, but the fact that he continued to attend knowing an employee was also participating,” said Green. “It would call his professional judgment into question, and it’s highly likely that HR would freak out about the potential legal liability that arises when you have a manager and a subordinate in a sexual context together.”

It seems crazy unfair to me that you should have to stop going to parties you not only enjoy, JACKS, but that have aided in your recovery. And Green agrees—it isn’t fair—but with great power (management) comes great responsibility (avoiding places where your employees are known to jack off).

“It’s never going to feel fair to have to drop out of a private, out-of-work activity just because of your job,” said Green. “I’m hoping it’s possible for JACKS to find a different club in a neighboring town. Or he could start his own club and offer a safe haven for other managers hiding out from potential run-ins with employees—Jacks for Middle Managers or something!”

While I had Green’s attention, I asked her about other sorts of gay social events that might toss a manager and an employee into a sexual context—think of the thousands of men who attended the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco last month. Gay men (and others) walk around in various states of undress or dress up, and a lot of flirting, groping and more goes down. Should gay men in management have to skip events like Folsom, lest they run into men they supervise?

“Public events are different from private clubs,” said Green. “A private club is more intimate, and a public event is, well, public. And it’s not reasonable or practical to expect managers to entirely curtail their social lives or never attend a public event. But a private club that’s organized specifically and primarily for sexual activity is in a different category.”

However, gay managers who run into employees at events like Folsom or circuit parties shouldn’t ogle, hit on or photograph their employees.

“If someone who reports to you is in a sexual situation,” said Green, “you should keep moving and give them as much space as you reasonably can.”

I’m going to give myself the last word here: You’ve been attending that JO club for months and saw your employee there only once, JACKS, so I think you can risk going back at least one more time. I would hate to see you deprived of release (and see your recovery set back!) if your employee was there only that one time.

Follow Alison Green on Twitter @AskAManager.


My husband and I are visiting Italy right now. We decided to try out the local hospitality and have had two bad hookups. Both of us knew early on in the encounters that we weren’t enjoying it, but we didn’t know how to extricate ourselves.

What is the proper way to end a failed hookup with minimum insult/hurt to the third person?

Texans Seeking Amore

1. The unvarnished truth: “We’re sorry, but we aren’t really feeling it.”

2. The little white lie: “Oh, my goodness. I think the clams we ate earlier were off. I’m so sorry; we’re going to have to call it a night.”


My wife recently came out as bisexual after spending time with a woman who awakened her feelings. I suspected for a long time that my wife was probably bisexual, so I had no issues telling her to explore this side of her sexuality. My only caveat for opening our marriage was that I wasn’t comfortable with her entering into a relationship with another man. This pissed my wife off; she told me I was being irrational; we fought about it, blah blah blah.

Fast-forward a few weeks. My wife swiped right on a guy on Tinder and then checked in with me to see if the boundaries had shifted. I have a hotwife-type fetish, so I gave her the OK to swap sexy texts, and we agreed on a possible threesome. It didn’t pan out; my wife was bummed; we moved on.

She has started chatting up other guys on Tinder. Nothing has happened yet between them, but I feel like I’m being pulled ahead of where I’m comfortable in exploring an open marriage. I’m not opposed to simple hookups, but a separate relationship with a man? The intimacy and affection parts bug me.

How do you acclimate to this kind of adjustment? Or do I throw the brakes on and reverse?

Personally Feeling Fearful Today

So you gave your wife permission to explore her bisexuality—with other women—and she jumped on Tinder and started swiping right on men? Even though you’d told her that wasn’t something you were comfortable with? And it now appears that your wife doesn’t just want to have sexual experiences with women and men (but mostly with men), but relationships with other women and men (but mostly with men)? And she only checks in with you about your boundaries to see if they’ve crumbled yet?

This isn’t how someone opens up a marriage, PFFT, unless that someone isn’t interested in staying married. So you’re going to need to hit the brakes and get some clarity from your wife. You’re willing to open your marriage up to allow for outside sexual experiences, preferably ones you get to take part in (hot-wifing scenes, threesomes), but you’re not interested in polyamory—that is, you don’t want your wife to have a boyfriend. If a boyfriend is what she wants, and she’s unwilling to compromise and can’t negotiate with you in good faith, you don’t want to be her husband.

On the Lovecast, cartoonist Ellen Forney on dating with bipolar disorder: savagelovecast.com.

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This woman has gone down on me (I’m a man) more than a half-dozen times in the last three months. Each time seems to be better than the previous! She does not want reciprocation. She has also turned down all my offers for intercourse. As far as I know, she is heterosexual just like me.

What’s with that? I am getting a bit frustrated. Also, without going all the way, am I considered a friend with benefits?

Just Chilling

You’re benefiting here—think of all those blowjobs—and if she’s a friend, you can certainly regard yourself as a friend with benefits. As for why she won’t allow you to eat her pussy or put your dick in her pussy, JC, well, a few things spring to mind. She could be one of those women who love to give head, and that’s all she wants from a casual partner. Or she could have body-image issues. Or she could have a sexually transmitted infection, and she’d rather blow than disclose. Or she might be unwilling to risk pregnancy. Or she could be intersex or trans and not ready to open up.

If you enjoy those blowjobs—if you’re enjoying the benefits—focus on what you are getting instead of what you’re not.


My husband and I occasionally go to swingers clubs. I don’t want to inadvertently fuck any Trump supporters, but I hate the idea of bringing up politics and killing everyone’s collective boner. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Occasionally Swinging

At the risk of killing your boner forever, OS, the organized swinging scene “leans right,” as pollster Charlie Cook would put it if Charlie Cook polled swingers. Easily half of the couples I met at a big swingers convention I attended in Las Vegas told me they were Republicans. One man—a swinger from Texas—told me he was a “traditional values” type of guy, and that’s why he opposed same-sex marriage. Fun fact: His wife was off fucking someone else’s husband while we were chitchatting in the hotel bar. Good times.


I’m a happily married 35-year-old mom. I have a loving and devoted husband. Recently, I started a job to get out of the house more and interact with more people.

Well, it turns out my new boss is a real hottie. I have a crush on him and often find myself fantasizing about him. While I know these feelings can be normal, I tend to fixate/obsess. I’m basically looking for advice on how to move past this crush or maybe find a more productive outlet.

Newbie Fantasizing

Here’s a more productive outlet: Turn out the lights; climb on top of your husband; get him hard; then sink your pussy down on his cock and ride him while you fantasize about your boss. (Perhaps this is better described as a more productive inlet?) Bonus points if you and your husband are both secure enough in your marriage and cognizant enough of reality to regard crushes on others as normal and, so long as they remain crushes, not a threat to your marriage or commitment. Because then you can talk dirty with your husband about your boss—he can even pretend to be your boss—while you ride your husband’s cock.


The other night while my wife and I were watching porn and masturbating together, I suggested we masturbate in front of DirtyRoulette. I briefly explained what the site is about. She asked me if that’s what I do—if I get on DR when I masturbate. I replied yes, sometimes—and she was so taken aback that she ended our masturbation session to process it. We’re fine now, but do you think this is “cheating”?

Dirty Rouletting

I don’t think it’s cheating, DR, but you aren’t married to me. In other words, if your wife regards you masturbating with strangers on the internet as cheating, then it’s cheating. There are, of course, some people out there who regard too many things as cheating—fantasizing about others, looking at porn, even non-webcam-or-porn-enhanced masturbation. People who think this way usually regard cheating as unforgivable and, consequently, their relationships are doomed to failure.


I’m a gay woman in an open marriage. I have met some women I am interested in who are bi and have husbands or male lovers. While I’m into being with these women, I have a concern: I know that sperm can’t live outside of the body very long, but it can still be alive and kicking inside a woman for several days. If a woman fucks a man, and hours or days later, I fuck that woman with fingers or toys that are later inside of me, can I accidentally get pregnant?

Actively Looking

No.


I’m deep in the grips of a run-of-the-mill midlife crisis. My marriage is in a slump, and I’ve been sexless longer than at any time since I was a teenager. My wife has granted me the DADT “hall pass,” but I have no idea how to go about using it. My life is work, children, activities related to the children, and a few solo hobbies to keep myself fit and sane. I rarely meet new people, except at work, and I can’t start a relationship with anyone I meet there. In fact, my career means I am subject to a fair amount of social scrutiny, and discretion is paramount.

Do you have any suggestions?

Hall Passing

Remember Ashley Madison? The hookup site for married people looking for affair partners? The site that did a terrible job of protecting its user data? The site that got hacked? A hack that outed millions of adulterers and ruined lives? Well, according to a story at the Outline, Ashley Madison is back, baby, and lots of women—real women, not the bots that plagued the site pre-hack—are using it. “Once the dust had settled and other scandals entered the headlines, many people largely forgot about Ashley Madison,” Stephanie Russell-Kraft reports. “This might explain why Ashley Madison’s user numbers have shot up in recent years.”


Any etiquette tips or best practices for introducing my husband to my boyfriend?

Poly Processing

Keep it casual and keep it brief, PP. A quick drink before you and your husband head to a sold-out show for which you have only two tickets. If your husband has an unexpectedly emotional reaction to meeting your boyfriend in the flesh—if it dredges up jealousy issues—you won’t be putting him in a situation where he has to bottle that up for hours or, worse yet, for a weekend.


Hey, Dan, you missed an opportunity in your response to Afraid To Bleed. She wrote that she bleeds whenever she has sex, and she was concerned about her partner’s aversion to blood, which you did address. But women should not bleed after vaginal intercourse. There are many reasons why they might—so it needs to be investigated. Please encourage ATB to visit a doctor.

Concerned Reader

Big oversight on my part; thank you for writing in!

On the Lovecast: Finally! A sex-advice/rabbit-care podcast mash-up! savagelovecast.com.

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I’ve been enjoying consensual nonmonogamy for the past two years, in part thanks to your column and podcast. I have a delightful young lover, and our connection has evolved into a kind of Master/slave relationship. I “allow” her to fuck other men and women, and she delights in asking my permission and recounting the details of her other trysts to me.

We are curious how much of this she needs to disclose to her other lovers. They know she isn’t monogamous, and they are aware of her relationship with me, but so far, she has chosen not to tell them the extent to which I “own” her and have jurisdiction over her body and actions. Of course, it’s just an elaborate role-playing game—but is it wrong to be using these people as pawns in our game without their knowledge and consent? If so, when should she tell them? Before she sleeps with them even once? Or after she’s developed a more intimate rapport with them? There’s a perverse thrill in her other lovers being totally oblivious to it, but we want to be ethical in our polyamorous ways.

Masochists And Sadists Tackling Ethical Relations

This falls under the header of permissible secret perving (PSP), MASTER, and I will allow it—with one caveat.

My go-to example of PSP is the foot fetishist who works in a shoe store. So long as he’s good at his job and his secret perving is undetectable—no bulges, no heavy breathing, no creepy comments—no harm done. And if he goes home and jacks off about all the sexy, sexy feet he saw and, yes, handled during his shift, he’s not hurting anyone or doing anything unethical. It’s important, however, to note that the foot fetishist salesclerk’s perceptions aren’t the ones that matter. If he thinks he’s playing it cool—he thinks his perving is secret—but his customers or co-workers are creeped out by his behavior, demeanor, heavy breathing, etc., then his perving isn’t secret and is therefore impermissible.

The secret perving you’re doing—the girlfriend has to beg for your permission to fuck other people and report back to you afterward—is small, and it’s a bank shot. The other people she’s fucking provide mental fodder for your D/s role-playing games, MASTER; you aren’t directly involving them. Your role-playing games take place before she fucks someone else (when she asks your permission) and after she fucks someone else (when she recounts her experience). And what turns you on about your girlfriend sleeping with other people—and how you and your girlfriend talk to each other about it—is no one’s business but yours.

Now for the caveat: If one of your girlfriend’s lovers strongly objects to Dom/sub sex, relationships or role-playing games, and your girlfriend is aware they object, and you two want to be exquisitely ethical, MASTER, then either your girlfriend shouldn’t fuck that person, or she should disclose your Master/slave dynamics to that person and allow them to decide whether they want to fuck her anyway.

Zooming out for a second: Some people in open relationships don’t want to know what their partners get up to, and these couples usually have “don’t ask, don’t tell” agreements about sex outside the relationship. But many more people in open relationships do want to hear about their partners’ adventures because it turns them on. Someone who doesn’t want to risk being fodder for a couple’s dirty talk or even their D/s role-playing games shouldn’t be sleeping with people who are partnered and in open relationships. There are things we have a right to ask the people with whom we have casual sex—like whether they’re practicing ethical nonmonogamy, if they have an STI, what kind of birth control they’re using, whether they’re on PrEP, etc.—but a casual fuck isn’t entitled to details about your relationship.


My boyfriend of one year has refused to delete photos from his Instagram account that show him with his ex-girlfriend. They were together for three years and briefly engaged, and they broke up two years before we met. They aren’t in contact in any way, so I don’t have any worries there, but I think making photos of him with someone else available to his friends and family—and now my friends, too, as many are now following him—is incredibly disrespectful.

We’ve had numerous arguments about this, and his “solution” is for me to “stop thinking about it.” He also insists that no one is looking at 5-year-old pictures on his Instagram account. If that’s true, why not delete them? He refuses to discuss this issue, even as I lose sleep over it. I’ve tried calmly discussing this with him; I’ve tried crying; I’ve tried screaming my head off—nothing works.

Personal Insult Causing Stress

There’s definitely something your boyfriend should delete, PICS, but it’s not old photos of his ex.


The man I’m going to marry has a huge boot fetish. He has about 200 pairs of boots in his size. His size also happens to be my size—and I’m half convinced he wouldn’t have proposed if we didn’t have the same size feet and I couldn’t wear his boots.

I want to surprise him with a very special bachelor party (that we’ll both attend): It would be all guys with the same size feet as us, and everyone will be wearing different pairs of boots from his collection. I’m picturing a big group of guys doing for him what I do for him: stand on him, let him lick my (actually, his) boots, make him crawl and grovel.

His feet aren’t an uncommon size (11.5), and I’m guessing enough of our mutual friends would fit into his boots that I could actually make this happen. He’s the only fetishist I’ve ever been with—all my other boyfriends were vanilla—and I’m wondering how he would react if he walked into a room and found a bunch of his friends wearing his boots, and then I ordered him to start licking. I think it would be way better than going to a strip club or a drag show.

By the way: He’s not really “out” about his kink.

Boyfriend Obsesses Over Tall Shoes

Wow, BOOTS, you saved the most salient detail for the end: Your boyfriend isn’t out to his friends about his kink. So unless you’re talking about a small subset of his friends—only old friends that once had benefits—do not out your boyfriend as a boot fetishist to all his friends with size 11.5 feet.

If your fiancé has fantasized about some sort of group boot-worshipping session, and he’s shared that fantasy with you, and you want to help him realize it, that’s great. But he needs to be involved in determining where, when, how and with whom he’d like to make this fantasy a reality.


My bi girlfriend and I are getting married in a month. We’re in a cuckold relationship—she sleeps with other men and women, while I am completely monogamous to her—and “my” best man is one of her regular male sex partners, and her maid of honor is one her girlfriends-with-benefits.

No one else at our big traditional church wedding (that her mother is paying for) will know. But I wanted to let you know, Dan, since reading your column is what inspired me to be open about my kinks, and our relationship—the best I’ve ever been in—wouldn’t exist without you.

The Happy Couple

Permissible secret perving at its finest/hottest, THC. Thanks for sharing, and be sure to send me a photo of the wedding party for my records.

On the Lovecast, a sex toy expert’s husband’s favorite sex toy: savagelovecast.com.

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When I started dating my husband, he told me he had a low libido. I said I could deal with that. We waited several months before having sex, and then after we started, it was infrequent and impersonal. There was some slow improvement over the three years we dated. Then we got married, and suddenly he had no libido at all. He blamed health problems and assured me he was trying to address them. Despite being diagnosed and successfully treated for multiple physical and mental health issues over time, things only got worse.

After four years of marriage, the relationship has become strictly platonic. I can’t even start a conversation about intimacy without him getting irritated. After we married, he also decided he no longer wanted children, and I eventually convinced myself it was probably for the best, given his health. We built our dream home, adopted a pet and built an outwardly successful life together. I was, if not happy, at least complacent—until I ran into an ex-boyfriend at a party.

We split many years ago on good terms. We ended up talking about how important it is to him to have a biological child—something we talked about a lot when we were dating—and we got physically close, and that got me thinking about how much I missed sex with him. Ever since, I’ve been thinking about him. I think he was hinting that he wants me back, and right now, that sounds like the answer to all my problems. But if not, I don’t want to leave my hubby and lose the decent life we built together. Plus, my leaving would hurt my husband’s feelings, his health and his finances. I also worry that people would blame me, because it will look like I left because things were tough.

Can I follow up and clarify with my ex before I break it off with my husband, or is that too much like cheating? Is it selfish of me to even consider leaving at this point? I’m a 30-year-old woman, so I don’t have a lot of time left to decide about children.

Indecisively Married Dame On Nearing Exit

Here’s something I’ve never seen in my inbox: a letter from someone explaining how sex with their partner was infrequent, impersonal, uninspired, unimaginative, etc. at first but—holy moly—the sex got a fuck of a lot better after the wedding! Now, maybe that happens—maybe that happened for you, dear reader (if so, please write in)—but I can’t imagine it happens often. So, boys and girls and enbies, if the sex isn’t good at or very near the beginning, the passage of time and/or muttering of vows isn’t going to fix it. If sex is important to you—if you wouldn’t be content in a companionate marriage and/or don’t want to wind up in divorce court one day—hold out for someone with whom you click sexually.

OK, IMDONE, either your husband married you under false pretenses—putting out/in just enough to convince you to marry him and only pretending to want kids—or his good-faith efforts to resolve his health issues didn’t help (at least where sex is concerned), and he changed his mind about being a dad (perhaps because he doesn’t feel healthy enough to do the work of parenting). Either way, you’re free to go. Even if the sex was good, and your husband wanted 30 kids, you’d still be free to go.

Whether or not you stay, IMDONE, you should explore your options before making up your mind. So go ahead and call your ex, and ask him if he’d like to get coffee with you—in a public place and shortly before an appointment you can’t cancel. Your ex may have been hinting about wanting to get back together, or he may not want to get back together and was engaged in what he thought was a little harmless/nostalgic flirtation—harmless, because he knows you’re married and presumably unavailable. There’s only one way to find out what your ex wants or doesn’t want, and that’s by asking your ex. So ask.

While that convo could be regarded as pre-cheating or cheating-prep or even cheating-adjacent, it isn’t cheating. You married someone who unilaterally changed the terms and conditions of your marriage—no sex, no kids—and you have an absolute right to think through your options. And a husband who won’t even discuss intimacy with you can’t ask you to refrain from contemplating or even discussing intimacy with one of those options.

Whether you have that convo with your ex or not, IMDONE, you need to ask yourself if you want to stay in this marriage. You’re only 30, and you wanted and still want kids. Ex-boyfriend or no ex-boyfriend, you can leave your husband—and you can leave him without abandoning him. You can still be there for him emotionally; you can offer what help you can financially; and you can help him secure health insurance.

Finally, IMDONE, you frame your choice as the husband or the ex—one or the other—but there is another option. It’s the longest of long shots, I realize, but I’m going to toss it out there anyway: one or the other or both. Your husband would have to agree to an open relationship, and your ex-boyfriend––if, again, he’s interested at all—would have to agree to it, too.

Good luck.


You ran a letter about a gay man (“Sam”) who has been sucking off his straight friend. Sam said he’s never done this before and isn’t turned on by the idea of “servicing straight guys.” I am a gay man who enjoys sucking off straight guys, and I wanted to share my perspective.

I’m not trying to “convert” them. I simply find that straight guys have less emotional baggage than most gay guys. A guy’s dick is his proudest possession. They like to have them admired, especially the straight guys who don’t often get much feedback about their dicks from women. I’m very skilled, so it’s a thrill for me to give a guy a lot of pleasure. I like doing things that make other folks happy, and sucking dick is something that’s appreciated.

I’ve known one guy for about 20 years, and after many years apart, he is wanting to see me again. I don’t want a relationship; I don’t want to have to think about two people and have to adjust my plans. It’s hard enough to plan for just me. I prefer the friendship and the occasional dick-sucking. They can always trust me to be straightforward with them. I will never take advantage of them, even when they get drunk. I like pleasing them and having their trust. And for the big question everybody asks: “Do you get lonely?” No, I don’t. I have all kinds of friends and lots of interests and hobbies. And from time to time, I get to suck a guy’s dick.

Whatever Acronym Works

Like most gay guys, WAW, you’ve got some baggage there of your own. You don’t want a relationship—and, hey, that’s fine! Not everyone wants to pair or triple or quad off, and not everyone has to want that. But you’re seeking out straight guys not because they have less baggage on average than gay guys (they don’t), but because straight guys won’t be interested in you romantically, and consequently won’t demand a commitment from you or ask you to prioritize their needs and feelings the way a boyfriend would. So it’s not that you and all the straight guys you’re sucking off are baggage-free, WAW; it’s that your baggage fits so neatly inside theirs that you can momentarily forget you’ve got any at all.

On the Lovecast, is porn getting more and more violent?: savagelovecast.com.

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Without snooping, I came across texts between my wife, “Mary,” and a guy, “Jeremy,” of a very sexual nature. While I would be OK if she were doing this and I knew about it, this has been going on since before we met. (We’ve been together 10 years.) She says she has never met him in person (despite communicating with him for more than a decade!), and this was the only thing she was doing that she thought would have been out of bounds. Again, if I had known, it would have been fine. I’m not OK with her being with other guys, but I know harmless flirting can be a release. Still, I have issues with anxiety and depression, and this is definitely triggering me.

I do not want to snoop, and I want to trust her, but I am having a hard time with both. Prior to this, it never occurred to me that Mary would do anything that had a whiff of dishonesty about it. But her having kept this from me for as long as I have known her has made me question that. I don’t want to keep bringing this up to her, but I am struggling with it. What do you think I should do?

Upset In The Midwest

I think you should get over it, UITM.

Easier said than done, I realize, particularly with the twin burdens of anxiety and depression. But if you would have been fine with this had you known—if there was no reason for Mary to hide this LTR-of-sorts from you—the best way to prove that to her is by giving it your retroactive blessing.

You’re right, UITM: Mary shouldn’t have hidden this from you. But she assumed—incorrectly, as it turned out—you would have a problem with those texts. It was a reasonable assumption on her part, since swapping flirty texts with a stranger is regarded as “out of bounds” by most. While this makes Mary’s failure to disclose look a little worse, we live in a culture that defines absolutely everything as cheating—don’t get me started on the idiocy that is “micro-infidelities” and the idiots pushing that toxic concept—and as a consequence, people not only lack perspective (oh, to live in a world where everyone regarded harmless flirtation as no big deal!) but also the language to honestly discuss our need for a little harmless erotic affirmation from someone who isn’t obligated to find us attractive, i.e., not a spouse or partner.

Put yourself in Mary’s shoes for a moment. When should she have told you about Jeremy? What would you have done if, on the third or fourth date, she looked up from her menu and said, “I’ve been swapping flirty texts with this guy for, oh, the last several years. I have no interest in him in real life; we’ve actually never even met in person, but I enjoy his texts and would like to keep swapping texts with him. I hope that’s not a problem.” You would have dumped her on the spot, right? She didn’t want to stop; she didn’t know how to talk about it; she hesitated; and … a decade went by.

If there’s nothing else—if no other shoes drop—give this your retroactive blessing.


I have an unusual situation. I met a girl I am crazy about. She didn’t really have any interest in me except for the occasional drink; she just wanted to be friends. A few months later, I saw her at a bar. We drank a bit more than we could handle and slept together, and I thought we would start dating. A few weeks went by, and she always had an excuse as to why we couldn’t hang out. Then one night, she texted to say she wanted to see me, but I could tell she was tipsy. We went out for a few more drinks and then slept together again. A week later, the same thing happened.

When I contact her during the day, she never seems interested. But I run over like a starved dog when she calls at night. (Sadly, due to stress and overwork, I usually can’t get hard when I go over. That’s become a big issue.) She’s very attractive, and I’m surprised she has any interest in me at all, but it’s only when she’s drunk. Besides her looks, I’m attracted by her personality and intelligence. I don’t know what attracts her to me except maybe I’m her booty call, but recently, I have been terrible at it. The last time we hooked up, she told me she’s quitting drinking. Maybe she won’t contact me anymore.

My question: Is it worth pursuing this if I get my ED situation fixed? Or should I just move on, and if she does contact me one night, I just say, “Sorry, not interested”? It’s obvious she’s using me. But we actually have good conversations despite us both being drunk, and it kinda seems like a date of some sort. What do you think?

Summoned With A Text

She’s interested in you for only one thing (sex) and at only one time (when she’s drunk, horny and out of other options) … and she can summon you with a single drunken late-night text. It’s actually not an unusual situation, SWAT—millions of people have received similar summonses. So long as the summoned person doesn’t want anything more than sex from the person issuing the summons, Yahtzee: Everybody gets laid; nobody gets hurt. But if the person being summoned wants more—if the summonee has unrequited feelings for the summoner—the summoned person is going to get hurt. Because what the summoner is essentially saying is this: “I want sex; I don’t want you.” Even if the sex is good, the rejection that comes bundled in that summons stings, and the hurt grows over time.

So, yeah, stop answering that drunk girl’s summonses. Let her know you want more than sex, and if she’s not interested in something more, you’re not interested in her. As for those erectile issues, SWAT: Try having sex sober, earlier in the evening, and with someone who doesn’t regard your dick as a consolation prize. I bet they clear right up.


I am a transgender man, and my girlfriend is a transgender woman, and we have hit a plateau. Intimate time is rare; communication is minimal; and although I care for her deeply, I do not like her as a person and no longer want to get married. I have considered asking if we could open up the relationship, but I doubt that is the solution.

How does one end a long-term relationship?

Help Relationship Transition

Whatever you do, HRT, please—please—don’t ask to open up your relationship when what you really want is out. A lot of people who want out do this, and it’s why so many people believe all requests to open a relationship are a sign the relationship is doomed. People who want out but ask for open inevitably get out in the end. People who want open and ask for open and get it tend to stay. But since most couples in open relationships aren’t public about it (most are more comfortable being perceived as monogamous), people hear about the insincere requests that preceded a breakup and conclude all requests are insincere.

Anyway, HRT, how does one end a long-term relationship? One uses one’s words. If “I love you” are the three magic words, then “I’m leaving you” are the three tragic words. Seeing as intimacy is rare and communication is minimal, it shouldn’t come as a shock to your soon-to-be-ex fiancée.

On the Lovecast, come hang out with the lesbians of the Lez Hang Out podcast: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter. Read the Savage Love Letter of the Day at thestranger.com/slog.

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