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American woman who assumes naturalism. My gmail address is philophiling.

in the past hour Philophile commented on Savage Love.
TDTBW - When you want to be with someone, you attempt to start or maintain a relationship. When you don't want to be with someone, you attempt to end the relationship. And when you like someone a lot, but you don't see much long term potential, you try to close-bus them.. like taking a bus that will go closer to your destination but not quite there.. date them casually while dating others because at least you are happier than being single.

You've said some things that make zero sense to me...
I feel too guilty to break up with him.
You don't owe people sex or relationships. Your exes were not patient with you for your benefit. They were patient with you for their own benefit.
He really cares about me, and he didn't do anything wrong.
You don't maintain a relationship just because someone else tells you to. You don't break up with someone to punish them.
We've dated for four months, and I don't know if I'm giving up too soon.
Four months is long enough to see if you can grow happier together, or if conflict will remain. If it is not getting better, the present is as good as it gets, and you need to decide if YOU WANT to settle for it. If you really want to break up with him, then do it. But I think you're writing because you want to close-bus him. Careful not to skew his expectations then; tell him you don't plan to be monogamous in the long term etc. And if you're hesitating because you want to change him to be perfect.. haha good luck.

PEGGED - The owner gets to control what happens to it. Can you co-own with this girlfriend by setting up ownership rules (type, usage, who buys out who if you break up) that you are both happy with? Sounds easier to just buy what you want.

TC - Yeah assholes belong together. But shouldn't a good advisor encourage people to grow up instead of stay an asshole and stay together with another asshole? If she can't solve her asshole habits (which doesn't include this often refusing handjobs complaint) then dump her. And if you need to be an manipulative asshole to be with her then she should dump you. But she'll probably just cheat on you again. People are weird.

A smart guy would encourage her to do what you like by exploring what she likes in bed, and rewarding good sex favors (or even baby steps towards them) with that stuff. Y'know, if you get sick of being assholes to each other some day.
Aug 20 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
Lava@49 I'm not a man, so it's all in my head not my body.
Er... when women come we need a lot of blood flow to the genitals too, for our own swelling and contractions to happen. I didn't think the blood flow requirement was very different between penises and clitorises. And that doesn't have anything to do with being in a sexy headspace..

I would like to keep track of the best kind of activities for a natural erection in my partner, though, so I'm not too fond of the medication idea. I imagine I'll be able to suck enough blood to the area for a long time yet, at the very least. Variety doesn't require a hard penis to be fun for both either.

Aug 20 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
UMW - You sound well matched. She doesn't listen to your need for sex and you don't listen to her need to fulfill social commitments. When you both start listening to each other maybe you can find ways to both get what you need. And, if I want more sex from a guy, I don't beg for favors. Inspiring by showing them a good time works better for me. But I don't respect beggars. I respect awesome lovers a hell of a lot though.

AGHN - Well, you could cheat. That's probably what you're going to do if you're writing in. But that is a temporary fix that will lead to a nastier breakup than would happen if you simply stopped beating the dead horse and looked for someone who wanted the same major things you do.

HTP - Question for a doctor. And _inform him of the problem_. It's probably hygiene. But maybe you need drugs or condoms with this guy, talk about a gameplan with your gyno.

Aug 20 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
PFFT - I know it's not always going to be crazy passion, but how can I sustain amazing sex in a relationship?
I know that when you're tired, stressed, forced apart for awhile, etc... it can be rough on a sex life. Maybe not always crazy passionate, ok. But this boredom you describe sounds pretty extreme to me, that it happens with every relationship, and it sounds like it happens fairly quickly for you. I would conclude that you're hooking up with guys who can't give you what you need, and that's down to your own choices in men... do you communicate what feels good and insist that you get it (or you're not putting out for them either)? In my experience, sex grows BETTER (not more boring) when you hook up with someone who can 1) listen to what you want and 2) has basic sex interests in common; similar thirst for PIV, for oral, for kink, etc.

Trying new stuff helps but the bread and butter is in the growing a great feeling sex life I think. Plus you need to reward good behavior and show intolerance toward bad behavior and communicate your needs... the basic social skills too. It might take some creativity to fit the forbidden factor into a good relationship.. first thoughts are to explicitly, verbally give permission to your partner to push certain boundaries that you have, then give feedback about their attempts. Or you could try to push their boundaries.. it's harder to do the pushing without hurting your partner though so be respectful about it.

TOP - HPV does not cause all warts. The major risk is cervical cancer iirc. Stick to dudes and disclose your history if you hook up with women and you're ethically ok I think.

PORN - Generous lovers aren't your style, are they? I hope you're getting something out of the sex too lol. Maybe you'll get an MMF out of this development. PS there's a difference between bi and gay.
Aug 4 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
You don't have to break in the engine with a used car. A scratch doesn't depreciate the value by hundreds or thousands with a used car. And, by the time you are a used car yourself, you should be able to handle general maintenance without bugging the dealer all the time.

I wish I could change my own air filter. I guess humans are a BIT different from used cars.
Aug 4 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
Major point of contention this week:
Human beings aren't used cars—we aren't obligated to disclose every ditch we drove ourselves into before we resell ourselves
I think that dating after teenage years is pretty much the same as buying and selling used cars. You actually don't disclose every ditch you drove through when you sell your car. You try to be generally honest about its condition, if you're a generally honest person. And you're an idiot to purchase a car without a thorough inspection or even a test drive, with only the seller's word to go by. Only an idiot expects a used car to function as a new one, too.

PGMN - I find it less useful to assign "fault", and more useful to identify who is unhappy and why, and what can be done to fix it.. to get back to happy. As much as emotions seem inefficient and objectively unimportant, they are the reason humans do anything.

He is unhappy that you are interfering with his interests. You are unhappy at the lack of attention, and worried that he is following the cliche of trading you in for a younger model.

Follow Dan's advice and let him do his thing without protest for awhile without you, and he should have no reason to complain. But that won't solve your unhappiness. You could find a younger model yourself, for company with your own interests. It seems that he's not willing to show you that you have higher priority than his friend, by carving out more time for you or even offering reassuring words... so he may well be looking to trade in. You can't control how others feel, he's allowed to fall out of love with you. But if you're truly a great person, someone else will probably fall in love with you instead. If you're a great person, you'll probably upgrade by trading in anyway. But I'm sorry for your pain. I'm sure you'll fix it eventually.

NCA - Disclosing your weaknesses and vulnerabilities requires some reasonable amount of trust. I'd look for the type of trust that comes from a history of a partner handling disappointing disclosures well. I wouldn't tell someone who freaks out at any imperfection, even though new infatuation can make it seem like a good idea to open up about everything. Baby steps. The other option.. hooking up with someone who has the same problem, to try to work through it together... like people hooking up in AA.. Since it was premarital, and did not factor into the reasons for your current separation, I think it would distract from more pressing problems that you should address. Like.. why are you separated (or divorcing)?

USA!USA! - Has this couple really twisted your brain enough for you to forget what every 3 year old knows? "She kept touching me even though I said no and THAT IS WRONG!" It really has nothing to do with sex or a particular sex act. Facials have always seemed worse than red wings to me because it's like a squirt gun, and you've gotta wonder about a guy who wants to do that more than have you suck it out. Just what are they getting off on? Shooting you in the face I guess. Or wishing for porn to be real or something. Stop caring if assholes like you.. it's actually better for your happiness if assholes DON'T like you, I think.

FLAGS - It's not against the law to fantasize, but his fantasies seem kinda gross. Er.. are you laughing at these "jokes"? (wtf knock it off) Or acting uncomfortable about them, yet they continue? It might not be about underage kids, but about crossing boundaries with you. It's not something that requires cops so much as the self control to quit seeing him.

The common variable in all your relationships is you. Guys are not all jerks. But the guys you date seem to be. I'd say try to keep from dating until you are attracted to someone who proves to be a decent guy... before the hookup.
Jul 30 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
INTER - Is it unethical of me to not disclose my intersex-ness to him?
Yes, if he's the kind of person who won't use it against you. I think self protection can be a good reason for deceit.

Some default dating assumptions are: cis, het, vanilla, sane, monogamous, interested in children someday. While these assumptions are often wrong, in reality they are probably accurate, so people use them, and rely on their partner to disclose differences from the common expectation.

Now that you know this, if you let your partner linger under mistaken assumptions, you are being deceptive. I'd say that Dan's disclose, downplay, drop advice would work well for you. The dumbest people try to hurt those who don't fit norms because they can't handle human differences, and if you're in high school you might be worried about bullying. Look out for yourself first. But also don't shield your uniqueness behind norms; give your partner a heads up instead of letting him figure out a surprise like (different- working genitals, infertility).

Figuring out when to trust them with your private information.. that's tougher. Before they get surprised, figure it out themselves, and resent you. Sooner is better so you don't look like a user or coward..

PORN - I know you're married, but everything your husband does is not your business. Your business with him involves your agreements and his behavior towards you. His porn use doesn't seem to be causing any problems with his behavior toward you and it's not violating any agreements. It's like you just don't like how he works. Then why'd you marry him?

FFQ - To prop a door open? To reach that last bit of peanut butter at the bottom of the jar?

GNAT - It would be nice to die with someone during sex. I wouldn't like to surprise my partner by dying during sex. Hard to see a nicer way though. I liked that Xfiles episode about death by autoerotic asphyxiation.
Jul 25 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
Capri @67 - Sweet empathy exercise for BIL. A couple possibilities occured to me.. maybe he really does carry some deepseated resentments, like hatred, toward his sister.. maybe she tried to wash her baby brother with the washing machine or her parents believed her lies about her nasty older brother or otherwise acted like a normal sociopathic kid without enough parental supervision. Or... he could be responding to a weird family dynamic where his sister might get off sharing her husband with him, maybe building up to some incestuous triad.. stranger things have happened..

Solutions include reevaluating parental responsibility in the first case, or talking to sis first to arrange a closer relationship to her marriage.. aboveboard.
Jul 21 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
HELPME - Should I stay and wait for Peter to get better even if it hurts to know he's in love with someone other than me?
I don't think that people spontaneously change.
Or should I leave him as so many others have and hurt him?
Rejection hurts. But you're going to hurt a lot of people as you live. You might hurt someone by walking down the road, because you look like their funny uncle. The key is to not cause others unreasonable pain. Failing to do what he wants you to do.. stay with him in unending patience with your own discomfort.. this is not causing him unreasonable pain. It sounds like it is causing you a lot of pain to save him a bit of pain. I think what you need to learn to do is to plan to avoid situations that cause you pain a little better. For instance, it's not unreasonable in my opinion to ask him to quit discussing his exes with you. If he brings up an ex.. you can walk away.. But also.. he is not causing you unreasonable pain by unwillingness to commit. His failure to do what you want is something you have to learn to live with too. Just as he is being crappy by talking a lot about his feelings for his exes, you're being crappy by pressuring him to live differently than he wants. In order for anything to change, you have to be willing to walk away, and see a possible happy future alone. What is so wrong with taking a break? Why do you seem to need this guy? Is this pain that is keeping you from getting up for days on end really worse than living single?

BIL - I'm pretty sure Peter wants to suck my dick, and I'm tempted to let him.... This is torture.
If you value your relationship with your sister, please find someone who will suck your dick without simultaneously destroying your family. If you can't keep things platonic with him.. (platonic doesn't include trying to turn him on with tales of your sex life) then keep your distance.

RECONS - even though I think this guy is good-looking, I would never sleep with him because of the social situation.
Interesting way to put it. If you aren't tempted, then why can't you drop the subject?

If you do want to sleep with him, see if your partner might be cool with it first.
Jul 16 Philophile commented on Savage Love.
What an amazing column this week. My favorite might have been the intoxicating & ephemeral thought.

NCA - I'm not sure if you are having a problem figuring out what you want, or if the problem is that you have no idea how to form a healthy happy relationship. No one can tell you what you want, part of life is figuring that out. Practice can help develop skills to promote healthy happy relationships. Part of this practice might involve planning a mutually acceptable marriage with someone, getting engaged&married, then trying to follow through with the plan.

BRUISE - Dan covered this really well. I'd add that it's about you both being happy. So she needs to know how to make sure you're happy too.. even if it requires some more effort toward discretion. I was worried by your impulse to "get over it" or tolerate or ignore your own unhappiness, like you consider her happiness more important... that kind of self sacrifice kills relationships ime. I think that partners should respect each other a lot, but ensure their own well-being first.

TPC - Nice descriptive public service announcement.

MAPIP - Wow, you care a lot whether other people cheat. I think you're too angry and morally proscriptive to see how Dan's advice made sense. Some people can manage to be monogamous, even when an open relationship might work better for them. The deceit was the bad part.

I don't like Dan's answer here either, though. You can feel attraction and love for people, which involves some commitment to keeping them sexually satisfied (attraction), or happy in general (love) if that emotion is to survive. You should commit to 20 years of responsibilities if you adopt or have a child... But people commit to behavior, people commit to plans.. people don't commit to emotional responses, because emotional responses are involuntary. It's almost like Dan is taking things back pre-divorce, when you were forced to be with who you married forevermore, regardless of desire or likelihood of getting killed by them or raising someone else's kids or whatever.

Re preferences: I guess people are talking about Maslow with this hierarchy of preferences. I think that Maslow's hierarchy is a useful tool for individuals, it's healthier to take care of survival and social and reproductive needs before, say, a need to climb Mt Everest or revolutionize the field of robotics or something. You can accomplish more with a strong foundation of happiness I think. But it's not a rule. Some people are loners, some people are asexual, some people are strongly drawn to health risks, or to self-destructive behaviors.. in some people the general survival instinct can be dismantled and they'll commit suicide.. Maslow's hierarchy may be healthy to long term survival, but it is not some universal descriptor of human nature.

When I hear someone call a certain preference "hardwired"... like other preferences are fundamentally different... it just sounds like snobbery to me. Re orientation discrimination: I prefer the approach "my orientation isn't hurting anyone unreasonably. I don't deserve some brainwashing attempt to change my preference. And it's not like people choose what they like. So fuck off." Instead of making orientation into some sacred type of preference. All preferences are sacred to me. And some people don't give a shit what others care about.