Jan 19, 2015 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
I disagree that she lied about the blow job. She told him, in essence "met a guy, got to third, want to go all the way, are you okay with that? We agreed we'd talk first." Failing to give him a blow by blow of each first, second, and third base move doesn't constitute lying. Saying "Of course I didn't blow him! Okay, okay, I did..." would be lying.

E, you seem to see a crystal clear line where "okay sleeping with other people if we discussed it beforehand" meant "before going out or flirting with anyone," which is how he applies it later. But her calling to say the guy went down on her and could she sleep with him later, she wanted to strongly implies that she thought she was within their agreement: she wanted to get off third base with this guy, was it alright?

Conditional consent is problematic if the conditions are vague, as "taking each other's feelings into account" is. If 'before sex' could mean 'before you need a condom' OR 'before you consider flirting with anyone' then this comes down to poor communication.

It's totally possible that she is crazy, that she violates boundaries all the time, that she chose the most drama generating scenario, etc. But from what's in the letter, I think accusing her of "lying" about the blow job is way off base, and they had lousy communication about what talking "before" meant.

FWIW, flip the genders and I'd still think their problem was lousy communication of expectations, vagaries about feelings rather than specific "if you're interested in someone--before you kiss them, before you flirt with them--I need you to call me and tell me this might happen and we can talk about it" vs "if you fool around with someone and want to take things further, then we talk first." Both of which are incorporated within the vagaries "take each other's feelings into account" and "discuss sleeping with other people beforehand." But with reversed genders I'd read the naiveté of "we have great chemistry, we had sex twice before I left, I'm astonished they acted on my offer of an open weekend pass" with a touch more disbelief.
Jan 17, 2015 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
@46: But is she's a liar, why wouldn't she just lie about 'I'm thinking of meeting up with this guy tonight--he's really nice, you'd like him--and I'm thinking something might happen' when it actually already had 12 hours earlier? It's unlikely he's going to get a precis of precise naked activities from the guy that he can use to cross-check her timelines.

Maybe she's addicted to the most dramatic version possible. Maybe he's the latest guy shocked to discover that 'we're free to hook-up with randoms during this long weekend in different cities' meant she found instant action. (Both in the 'easier for women' sense and in the 'wait she actually is so into this idea she'd act on it--it's not just hypothetically two-way?' sense. That last part really matches the tone of the letter--why does their being highly sexually compatible and having sex twice on the last day together matter? (Beyond the 'open when things are good, not awful' rule, but that doesn't seem to be how he's applying it.)

I suspect the discussion had a lot about philosophical beliefs around the importance of taking each other's feelings into account (which is important) without getting into concrete details of whether the time for getting the absent person's blessing was before shaking hands or before locating a condom.
Jan 17, 2015 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: Violating New Rules.
Honestly, as a few people have mentioned, a lot of straight people consider manual and oral to fall under foreplay. Reading that second paragraph again, it sounds like the girlfriend thought exactly this and believed that she was following the rules about asking permission before she and dude she met got all the way to 'real sex'--that you don't drag your partner into this until it reaches that line. Whereas he seems to have put the 'call first' line at checking in before they get to any handholding. Seems like poor communication of what the amorphous 'taking each other's feelings into account first' translated to, combined with a lack of imagination. (If she chose a guy on CraigsList she could call bf before they met in real life; if she met a cute guy in a bar she probably wasn't going to pause to call and ask whether it was okay if she flirted back at him.)

To ease of finding partners: This was clearly a hall-pass-to-hook-up-on-business-trip type of open for both, not arranging another long-term partner in the city where they live.
Jan 16, 2015 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: New Dad's Urge Surge.
Damn. @67 s.b. @106 re 67. Which was re 65 on figuring out how to be a parent to his child.
Jan 16, 2015 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: New Dad's Urge Surge.
@67: Dan actually has really strong opinions on being a good father. It would be naive to write to him expecting the whole 'leaving my partner and our infant' thing to not really register.

107: (Note that I am heavily in favor of anyone who wants no kids not having them, so long as they are not willfully naive about the correlation to PiV sex to their sudden appearance.) You mentioned upthread about 48 hrs/wk of childcare on top of work and sleep leaving nothing else and, yes, that is pretty accurate. In that way it's like a lot of highly demanding new jobs, or time preparing for high-stakes tests like the bar and medical boards, where people disappear into the bare minimum of non-preparatory/work obligations for a time. The stage doesn't last forever, but it exists.

Someone wrote that healthy families (nuclear or extended) organize themselves around their most vulnerable members: the children, from youngest up. Or someone in failing health. Adding an infant to a family reorganizes who is most vulnerable and requires the most time and attention, rather drastically.
Jan 15, 2015 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: New Dad's Urge Surge.
@69: "I wasn't cruel, just thoughtless and stupid," is cold comfort. Even moreso offered to a child by a parent, describing behavior they kept repeating. (And as noted elsewhere, he doesn't say anything about the kind of parent he wants to be.)

It's entirely possible he's slamming his hand down on the self-destruct button of his family (over and over, as she stayed the first time he told her about the cruising Craigslist for guys thing) because he's depressed or otherwise drastically not himself. The correct response (from him: he's the one who wrote in, he's the only one who can make himself do anything unless someone has mind-control invented) is some sort of "Whoa I am fucking up my life, and more important my kid's life, and my beloved and supportive partner's life, and I need to get myself to a professional post-haste and deal with this." It's not to ponder over the existential nature of where exactly he wants to stick his dick.

And you mentioned upthread re controlling urges: that's something people do all the time. I'm not one to fling around "we'd all look like an Abercrombie and Fitch ad if we just used self-control," but self-control is something people use all the time because the result of giving in to an urge would be negative. They don't scratch their incredibly itchy genitals because they're in a business meeting, or trying to attract a hot potential date who probably won't find that sexy. They distance themselves from an attractive and interested person because that would screw up their work or relationship. People ignore urges--strong urges--all the time, or they're deemed unfit to care for themselves. If creating a secret e-mail account and cruising sex ads and exchanging naked photos with actual individuals, all of which you believe to be hurting several people you love (his wife and baby, in this case) is really an uncontrollable urge that you can't do anything but give in to, you should be seeing that professional.
Jan 15, 2015 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: New Dad's Urge Surge.
@65: He doesn't express any concern about how to be a good father, though. He expresses concern about figuring out his sexual identity. He expresses concern about determining how to move forward with his life.

Yes, humans are resilient, but I'm with LavaGirl that if you can avoid throwing a lot of chaos at a child, you should--assuming the baby is now wherever its grandparents live, he really doesn't appear to be doing anything toward either caring for the child himself or trying to make the child's other caregiver feel stable and supported.

Also, there's a huge difference between having thoughts in your head (Men! Kinda sexy after all!) or emotions (New baby! Stress!) and what actions you take. (And before I knew it, somehow I had a secret e-mail account! And then I tripped and landed right on a Craigslist posting, and--I have no idea how this happened--it turned out that I had sent him an e-mail! And then we exchanged some sexy photos. And this kept happening, like the world is a mysterious mass of M4M postings that I keep accidentally e-mailing! So I told my tired and stressed wife so that she could support me in the fascinating question of what exactly my sexuality is and how we could figure that out. And she didn't leave, so then I did it some more, and after a few more rounds she finally moved out with the baby.)

I don't give people credit for nobly sharing with their spouse every thought that passes through their head: they should stop and think whether whether their partner needs to know this, and needs to know it right this second. Some things--like how hot you find the barista--can just exist in your head. And some things--what a reawakened interest in other people might mean--can be things you try to work through on your own, and if you eventually decide it's something you need to work through with a spouse (aware that they can't unhear this), tell them at a time other than the most emotionally fraught possible--new baby, mom just started chemo. As someone notes upthread, it does come across as a way to drag the family focus back to Him.
Jan 14, 2015 IPJ commented on SL Letter of the Day: New Dad's Urge Surge.
Re 32/40: Alan and Finch bring out a good point: his actual problem is acting on impulsiveness, followed by guilt and confession. (Rather than doing something different, he focuses on the dishonesty and confesses that he's been doing whatever Hurtful Thing is.) So he impulsively does something he know will hurt his wife, feels guilty, and then chooses between a) cut it out, or b) confess all so the problem can be about his being honest rather than unkind. Having opted for b, he then does it some more. All this presumably when the baby is about 1 month old, since she left him after he continued to post, felt guilty about it, and presumably confessed some more.

I think one reason he's getting so much lambasting is that the baby--the very small new baby--has (presumably) left his life and this pops up in the last paragraph as he wonders how they can figure out his various sexual attractions and what they all mean. His focus is the wrong direction--not on the baby, not on his wife who has just been through the physical and emotional wringer that is childbirth--which is probably a large part of why he's in this fix.

Dec 26, 2014 IPJ commented on SL Letters of the Day: Suggested Language.
@46: There's nothing in the letter about public displays of affection. Where again, I'd imagine that the Mormon house rules are not "no coffee for unmarried couples who live in sin elsewhere" but "no coffee for anyone." Appropriate levels of PDA, like appropriate levels of profanity, are one of those things that vary by household. (She mentions no R-rated movies. This really shouldn't matter a bit. Especially if they stay in a hotel with cable, so they can go back to their room and watch R-rated movies while sharing a bottle of wine. But if not, no one has ever been undone by having to forego watching R-rated movies for a weekend. Or week.) And I imagine the 50 year old from the Cincinnatti office would be shown to separate bedrooms for the weekend, and since they wished to have a civil business relationship going forward would shrug and slip giggling into each other's rooms.

My sister-in-law's parents, who are unreligious, had that ban on unmarried couples sleeping together. Applied to myself and my husband (dating, he lived with them during an internship). Applied to their daughters and the men they wound up marrying. (One openly lived together beforehand, just not while staying at their house; one secretly lived together with comical amounts of forwarded calls and re-aarranged subletters when mom and dad visit.) Everyone just shrugged and rolled with it and gets along quite well now, 30 years later. This is one of those family quirks that can function at the level of "yeah, never mention polar bears until Uncle Bob's gone to bed" or "Uncle Bob crushes my polar bear discussing opportunities."

Mormon mom has baggage; she's probably not going to put it down. Daughter can put down her own baggage (the side of this that's within her control) and treat this as "Yeah, we had to sneak into each other's rooms. For two nights! It was like high school, except I never got to do that stuff in high school."

As for judging people's relationship:

"We're in a relationship equivalent to marriage!"

"So why not just get married?"

(Insert lengthy list of reasons Dan gives for legalizing same-sex marriage, which includes the very real social distinction afforded "spouses" over "person I'm dating, like really seriously" along with all the things like not trying to argue that you are so next-of-kin when your partner lies dying in a hospital.)

If your reason to not get married is not that it's legally forbidden in your state or one of you has a spouse with dementia who hasn't recognized them in years or some similar pressing outside reason, then don't waste time arguing that your relationship is akin to marriage sometimes, but not akin to marriage at other times, and you can switch up which times those are.
Dec 24, 2014 IPJ commented on SL Letters of the Day: Suggested Language.
I also disagree that any imposition of house rules on guests is some vile crushing of their soul. People can maintain a home in which guests do not wander around nude, or smoke, or drink to the point of vomiting on everyone's shoes, or loudly explain that affirmations are stupid when the host says their daily affirmation about dental hygiene, and will be made uncomfortable if their general level of profanity is far outside of the household norm (in either direction). That's why you have your own home, where you get to make the rules for yourselves and the guidelines under which you'll entertain visitors.

If the house rules of acquaintances are too taxing, you don't visit. If the house rules of people important to you are taxing, you limit your visits. (Either number, or staying in a hotel.) You don't need to climb onto the coffee table and deliver an impassioned pean to Irish coffee.