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just now nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: PrEP and Prejudice.
This is not to say that people shouldn't be tactful and cool-headed in their rejection. And it was very nice of the man to help the lw decide to get on PrEP.
a few minutes ago nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: PrEP and Prejudice.
I have herpes. I take medication that suppresses outbreaks and helps to keep me from shedding the virus. I insist on condom use at least until such time as a partner and I, getting tested and knowing each other's full history, decide to fluid bond. If I feel like an outbreak may be coming on I don't have any genital contact with any part of anyone else's body for 2 weeks, even if it turns out not to have been a visible outbreak. As a straight woman, if I were to pass the virus to a partner, the worst that would happen is that he'd be subject to some discomfort and inconvenience occasionally, because the biggest threat with herpes is to newborn's eyes as they're coming through the birth canal if the mother has an outbreak at birth. That isn't going to happen.

I cannot begin to tell you how badly people react. I have a lot of anxiety about disclosing because of the response and the stigma. I've had men act like I've got full-blown AIDS or the Bubonic Plague. I've heard so many herpes "jokes" from people who don't know I have it. I've heard it talked about like the worst thing ever. If I try to say it's at worst an inconvenience, not a life-threatening illness or one that ravages your reproductive system, people contradict me or accuse me of trying to take a cavalier attitude so I can infect people at will. Heck, I'm a more active sufferer than many people, and it really isn't the end of my life.

I've tried not disclosing, telling myself that the odds are high that the guy already has it or has been exposed, and that between the condoms, my lack of symptoms, and the medication, I'm not contagious, but I felt bad and then read another essay about disclosing, so I do, emphasizing that they may already have it or have been exposed and all the precautions I'm taking if the man doesn't reciprocally disclose. Lately, the men I've dated either have HSV-2, too, or are aware of the risks and decide that they're okay with it. I haven't had to educate anyone lately. But it's nerve-wracking every time I have to disclose and I hate hearing how people who don't are pieces of shit--I know exactly why someone today wouldn't disclose and it's not for the same reason as the guy who gave it to me didn't.

I've heard Dan say that when you disclose something like your HSV-2 or HIV status you're telling someone one thing about you and their response tells you everything about them; Dan's had guest doctors on his podcast who, after talking about what a non-issue herpes is, still tell people they should always disclose. Why is a guy who's HIV positive any different?

I'm sorry it's going to reduce his chances to get laid. But as I said a while ago in reaction to a married man who had permission from his wife to get laid but who didn't feel it necessary to disclose his marital status when he picked a woman up to have sex with her, if you feel as if you have to lie about some aspect of yourself to get laid, that seems to me to be precisely the thing you should disclose. People should be allowed to make informed decisions.
in the past hour nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Supporting Your Kids (& Their Cam Businesses).
@21: Harriet_by_the_bulrushes: If I had a son who wanted to play football, I would use every single tool in my bag of tricks to stop him. Not only are the big concussions dangerous, but multiple, repeated small concussions that are shrugged off and "played through" also lead to permanent and sometimes quite severe brain damage. Sometimes that brain damage doesn't show up in a measurable way until years later, but that means that every time a player steps onto the field, whether in a game or at practice, he's putting himself in a potentially risky situation. It's a very dangerous sport and I don't think it's worth it, even at the professional level, where the pay is so high.

Three differences between being a cam girl and a college football player which I think render the comparison useless:
1) Virtually any woman can be a cam girl. It takes no special skill or training, and you can set up the operation out of your home. All you need is your phone and an internet connection. However, the vast majority of boys who want to play college football can't. That is, not too many young men can just decide they want to be a football player and become one.

2) While camming might make a woman decent money, it's not going to make anyone rich. As someone upthread notes, you have to keep and increase your fickle client stream and there's constant competition. You can't charge too much at once, so it's a steady trickle of money, not a giant waterfall, and you need to pay your bills, run your errands, and get your own healthcare while you're doing that, as you would with any other job. It's true that college football doesn't pay directly, but college football players receive free education and room and board from famous universities, which is a definite investment in their futures, and worth far more than most cam girls can make in four years. The cost of four years of education at a prestigious school, plus room and board, plus books, tutors, healthcare, personal trainers, and athletic gear is somewhere around $300,000, none of it paid for even by those players who sit on the bench for 3 of the 4 years they're on the team. The perks of being on a college football team are many, and include having access to a private gym, a chef, and not having do do so much as your own laundry (I know; I have a friend whose son is a college football player). With that degree from that university and the ability to mention that they were on its football team, many job opportunities open to people who aren't even necessarily qualified for them. And if those football players turn pro and join the NFL afterwards, which is the dream of all college football players, they stand to make obscene amounts of money.

3) You are dead right about the hypocrisy. Not only is there no stigma attached to men using their bodies as battering rams and tanks, but football players are celebrated and turned into celebrities. No one ever lost a job or a boyfriend/girlfriend when their past as a football player was revealed. No one has ever been blackmailed by someone threatening to reveal the information that he was a college football player. Parents of football players are always aware of their son's athletic career and are proud of it, often boastful. Given that there is such a discrepancy in society's response to any sort of sex worker and college or professional athlete, I don't think there's any validity to the analogy.

It's fine to point out hypocrisy, but I don't want to sacrifice my children on the altar of of "rightness." The fact is that many young women think that being a cam girl will be fun and easy and while it is for some, it's not for a lot of others, and the pay is not as good as they'd imagined it; the window of opportunity to make money in the field is relatively short; and the potential for it to come back in ways both professionally and personally and do damage is significant. My daughters, like everyone else's, are going to do what they're going to do whether I approve or not, and I will love them and support them no matter what they do, but if one of them asked what I thought about being a cam girl at age 18 or 20, I'd tell them exactly why I discourage it. I don't have sons, but if I did, I wouldn't allow him to play little kid football or high school football, which would probably leave him ineligible for college or pro football. I would consider that doing my duty as a parent.
10:00 PM yesterday nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@Ricardo (46): I can understand why he did what he did and I can empathize with him, too, more than you might know).
But he's lying in a way that permanently compromise someone's health and life so he can get laid, and no, I couldn't and wouldn't forgive that.
8:57 PM yesterday nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@4, 42: Ricardo, I'm glad that you stayed negative and sad that you became so understandably negative.
What a horrible piece of garbage!

I don't think that what that guy did to DADT is a forgivable offense.
7:20 AM yesterday nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Supporting Your Kids (& Their Cam Businesses).
I see doing any kind of sex work as work which doesn't have the potential to last and make for a long and productive professional life, yet can easily interfere with attempts to switch to other kinds of work. The fact is that it is stigmatized. I've read about too many cases of simple artistic photographs coming back to haunt someone. As a parent, I want my kids to have as many opportunities as possible and I would discourage doing something that has the potential to negatively affect the number of possibilities, so I would try to convey that attitude to my kid should he or she ask for my opinion on the subject.

I only have a few acquaintances who do sex work (as far as I know), and I've seen it have some other negative consequences, particularly as they got older, so I am more wary than might be warranted. And they aren't cam performers, but interact in real life with their clients, which of course leaves them open to assault--which has happened to all of them, and more than once.
Mar 28 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: She Needs Help! NOW!.
@clancy (51 and 52): I'm glad you're out of the "horrible abusive shitty relationship" even if you weren't the one to end it. I hope you're doing better now.
Mar 28 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: She Needs Help! NOW!.
In the specific case of NOW, it's impossible to tell how much her children know this man or how much a part of their lives he has been. She's known him for 5 years, so theoretically he has been a part of their lives for a large percentage of them, but considering that they sometimes go a month between seeing each other, it's easy to assume that the kids and the man have a pretty minimal relationship. If he was a stepfather or had been living with them, or the bf and the kids had had a strong relationship of their own, that's different. "My children adore this man (when they get to see him)" could simply mean that he takes them out for ice cream and buys them a present. If she met him when her kids were quite young and he saw them rarely, they're still young and they may have relatively few meaningful experiences or memories of him. If he came into their lives when they were 8-12 years old and stays at their house for a week at a time, going out and doing family-type things, they may feel much closer to him. We can't tell from the letter as written.

In general I think the bf or gf meeting their partner's kids matters more depending on how young the kids are and whether that bf or gf is assuming a parental role. My last bf met my kids within two weeks of my dating him, because my ex dropped by the house with the kids unexpectedly, and the new bf was there (fortunately, we weren't doing anything that the kids couldn't see). But they were older, and he wasn't moving in or acting like a parent; he was acting like Mom's friend. While I don't think my kids disliked him, they mostly only liked him insofar as they knew he made me happy. When we amicably broke up, they didn't seem to care either way, except to be supportive of me if I seemed sad. Not all "my kids and my partner" situations are equal.
Mar 27 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: She Needs Help! NOW!.
No one deliberately introduces someone that they think is an asshat or abuser into their children's lives. Sometimes it takes quite a while for an asshat to reveal him or herself. I never understand the point of piling on with the "why did you introduce him to your kids before you were sure?" accusations. DonnyKlicious, I'm glad that the woman you knew was a keeper at 6 months when you introduced her to your kids has proved to still be one 7 years later. Many people get married thinking that their spouse is "a keeper" and that marriage is over 7 years later.

I once waited 6 months to introduce my kids to the man I was dating, quite deliberately because I wanted to make sure that he was a real and lasting thing (and it wasn't just a timeline with a six month point marked off I was waiting for, but a more formal and durable thing which was revealing itself) and he broke up with me several days later. Maybe the nature of the relationship implied by that introduction spooked him. Who knows? The kids knew of his existence beforehand anyway, knew how much I obviously liked him, as I had talked about him, and had no attachments to him after a single meeting. Of course, they were teenagers, not little kids, and he wasn't acting in a parent-like capacity. That is where I think the more tricky part comes in: I don't think it's a good idea to move in with your lover (or move your lover in) if you have young kids living at home unless you are really sure that this is going to be a lasting thing. But again, most people get married or move in together when kids aren't involved thinking it's going to be a lasting thing, and it so often isn't.

Parents who are single and dating have to make a lot of choices about when to introduce their kids to their partners, and I think they often weigh factors and make what seems to them to be the right choice at the time. And indeed, only time will prove that decision to be the correct one. Unless we're talking about the parent who moves the obviously asshatty partner in after a three-weeks' acquaintance, I think we should cut this woman and other single parents a little slack.
Mar 26 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: She Needs Help! NOW!.
Fichu, I have to agree with those saying that the technique you suggest @22 is classic passive-aggression. It also seems unnecessary.
What the lw should do--but won't, because they never do, and she sounds thoroughly brainwashed--is to break up with this guy. She could simply say that the relationship is no longer working for her, which is true.
If he were to come out, she doesn't have to put him up at her house and she doesn't even have to see him, though breaking up in a public place might be an option.