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No Pressure

February 22, 2012

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I am a straight 24-year-old female who has known my fiancé since freshman year of college. He has a fetish where he likes to watch women use the bathroom. I knew this, having seen some of his porn early on, and I accepted it. We all have kinks. But while peeing in front of someone isn't that big of a deal, shitting in front of someone is hard.

So we had a lovely night going, when I had to poop. We went into the bathroom together. He got very horny, but I couldn't go. I said I was sorry, maybe I'll be more relaxed later, and he goes, "Well, let's fuck in here in case you have to go." He wanted to do it sitting on the toilet with me on top. No go. Too hard, so we went in my room and had amazing sex and smoked a joint. I wanted to have sex again, but he wanted to wait to see if I could go. He said, "Drink some coffee! Smoke a cigarette!" I love him and want to be GGG, but the pressure turned me off.

1. Is this my fault for bringing it up?

2. Was his pressuring me wrong?

3. How should I approach this situation without sounding like a bitch?

Pressured Over Observable Performance

1. You didn't do anything wrong when you brought it up, POOP, and he didn't do anything wrong when he got excited about the possibility of having his fantasy realized.

2. Yes. However excited your fiancé was about finally realizing his watch-my-girl-take-a-shit fantasy, he shouldn't have pressured you to perform once it became clear that it wasn't gonna happen. (And he shouldn't encourage you to smoke cigarettes; those things will kill you.) Shitting in front of someone—and here's hoping that's as far as his interest in poop goes—isn't easy, POOP, and badgering you won't help. Your fiancé, if he knows what's good for him, will hang back, let you set the pace, and thank his lucky fucking stars that he found someone who is willing to even try and will get there eventually.

3. "I know you're excited, honey, and it excites me to see you so excited. But dial it back a bit, okay? Next time I feel like I can give it a try, I will definitely let you know. But all of this pressure is making me feel constipated. And you don't want that, right?"


I'm an 18-year-old male. After three years of silence, my ex-girlfriend texted me out of the blue. She was my first love, and part of my heart still aches for her. I feel like the smart thing to do is to stop talking to her right now, but my heart says if I keep at it, I might be able to win her back. Most of her messages sound flirtatious, but it could just be me being optimistic. She even said, "I don't think of you as more than a friend. But I would be open to a relationship if I started having feelings for you again." Is this a lost cause? Or do I need to give it more time and see how it develops?

Love And Memories Enflamed

Forgive me, LAME, for what I'm about to type.

You're being used. Your ex-girlfriend sent that out-of-the-blue text because she wanted to feel wanted. Maybe she got dumped recently, or maybe she's in the midst of a dry spell, or maybe she's just selfish and cruel. But all she's after here—most likely—are the ego boosts your texts provide. And to keep those boosts coming, LAME, she's dangling a little false hope in front of you: She told you the truth so she wouldn't have to admit to herself that she's a manipulative liar (she only thinks of you as a friend) and then tacked on some meaningless, impossible-to-disprove crap (a relationship might be possible if she starts to have feelings for you again) to keep you textin'.

You dated her three years ago... when you were 15. You're not in love with her, LAME, you're in love with the way she made you feel. There are other girls out there who can make you feel that way. Go find one.


I'm a 35-year-old GGG married male with a 33-year-old not-so-GGG wife. We've been together 17 years and married four months. She was a virgin when we met and she's never been too sexual a person. I am a very sexual person, but she kept me satisfied with oral, dress-up, sex in different places—things like that. Things really started to fall off sexually around our 10th year together. When I mentioned it, she said that she felt I was never going to marry her, so why should she give me 100 percent? I enjoy oral and watching women masturbate, and she wouldn't do either and blamed it on the marriage thing. Five years later, I gave her the big wedding she wanted. I actually enjoy being married. Now, here's my dilemma: She won't do anything besides traditional sex—and only when she's awake enough to actually have sex, and I always have to initiate. When I mention things like oral or toys or masturbation, she says she feels uncomfortable doing things like that. If she would have told me this before, my decision to get married might have been different. I don't want her to do anything that makes her feel uncomfortable or degraded. But in my opinion, what I'm asking for is not "kinky," certainly when compared to some of the things I could be into.

We've had this discussion consistently throughout our short marriage, with no sign of her even trying. Am I doomed to a bad marriage, or is there something I can do? Because talking isn't working. I feel she lied to me to get me to marry her, and now I don't know what to do. Any advice is appreciated.

Lots Of Sexual Tension

All your options are bad, LOST.

Stay married, stay faithful, and stew in your own frustration and resentment until you die; stay married, cheat with cause, and hope you don't get caught; inform your spouse that you're not going to ask her to do things she's not comfortable with but you're also not going to ask for her permission to do those things with other women, and be cast as the villain when she files for divorce; or initiate the divorce yourself, find a new partner, and make sure your new partner both enjoys sex and enjoys the kinds of sex you do before you marry her. (Hint: If she likes sex, and likes the stuff you like, she'll want to do that stuff whether you're married to her or not.)

Sorry, LOST, but that's all I got.


HEY, EVERYBODY: You know how Mormons "baptize" dead people who weren't Mormons—including Holocaust victims—because Mormons believe they have a right to choose Mormonism for the deceased? And you know how the Mormon Church says that being gay is a choice? The same church that doesn't think you should have a choice about being posthumously baptized? Well, now you can choose homosexuality for dead Mormons! Just go to www.AllDeadMormonsAreNowGay.com, enter the name of a deceased Mormon or ask the site to find a dead Mormon for you, and—presto!—that dead Mormon gets to have a gay afterlife!


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Comments (284) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
XiaoGui17 1
All dead Mormons are now gay. Awesome.

Mormons are also known for performing posthumous marriages--marrying popes to nuns, and stuff like that, because in order to get into the Celestial Kingdom, you have to be MARRIED: part of the Mormon conspiracy to make as many Mormon babies as possible.

Perhaps we should gay-marry some dead Mormons? Let's come up with a flamboyant husband for Brigham Young! How about a cute little boy toy for Joseph Smith?
Posted by XiaoGui17 on February 21, 2012 at 5:34 PM · Report this
2
I like this gayification of dead Mormons. Can we gayify Prop. 8?
Posted by CW in LA on February 21, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this
3
Thanks Dan. Nailed it for me with multiple letters today.
Posted by quinntheeskimo on February 21, 2012 at 5:52 PM · Report this
4
Why are all the Choose-a-Mormons guys? Surely there are many dead Mormon gals who have also missed out on the joys of homosexuality.
Posted by jfmamjjasond on February 21, 2012 at 6:54 PM · Report this
Stiny 5
@1: I'll attend the Young-Smith wedding in my hilarious, probably booze-soaked afterlife.
Posted by Stiny on February 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM · Report this
long-time reader 6
Wow, 17 years of waiting. LOST is nothing, if not patient. I think at this point an ultimatum (along with its likely consequence of ending the relationship) is his least bad option.
Posted by long-time reader on February 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM · Report this
venomlash 7
You may want to fix the link, but that's a hilarious little gambit.
Posted by venomlash on February 21, 2012 at 7:13 PM · Report this
Lilliable 8
Waiting for someone to mention this week's Joe Newton illustration.
Posted by Lilliable on February 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM · Report this
9
LOST could be any one of a dozen or more men that I know. Pretty much always the same story: more willing to do 'those things'/more likely to initiate sex/ more willing to HAVE sex at all before the wedding, then poof, no more thaan the bare minimum effort after the big white dress comes off. Sex picks up significantly when she decides it's time for a baby, then poof, gone again. Poor dumb bastard is blindsided, no clue this was coming. A few years later, it's time for baby #2, sex life picks up again, it's like a gift from god, until conception, then gone again. LOST is ahead of the curve, it's only been 4 months, and he's figured out that what he's bought is not what was advertised.

I gotta say, I don't get it.
Posted by catballou on February 21, 2012 at 7:23 PM · Report this
10
Laura Robinson is now a lesbian. You're welcome, Laura. Pussy is divine!
Posted by Papayas on February 21, 2012 at 7:25 PM · Report this
11
LW #3 and his wife got together too young. A lot of young women romanticize having only one partner for a lifetime but they don't realize when they're young that this means never finding out what really turns them on. Then when they're older they're too invested in the relationship to leave and their options also diminish with time. I know I wouldn't continue to be attracted to anyone I was with at 16.
Posted by Mary Mary Why You Buggin on February 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
12
There is just something SO WRONG about taking people who died for their religious beliefs and posthumously undoing it all. I'm not even religious, but damn.

And jumping jesus on a pogo stick, some people are just dumb enough to deserve each other. Woman who wanted to get married at year 10 but moped around 7 more years and man who thought sex would pick up with marriage after dropping off at year 10 - you kinda deserve each other.
Posted by chi_type on February 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM · Report this
13
So, LOST, she told you she slacked off on the sex because figured she didn't have to put out 100% because you weren't marrying her. But then when you married her, her response was to put out EVEN LESS?

First, she has turned sex into a transaction (I'll have sex with you, in exchange for a wedding ring). Last time I checked husband and wife were supposed to have sex because they loved and desired one another, not as a quid pro quo. You know what they call people who trade sex, right?

Having set up the transaction, however, she then reneged on it! If it were any other sort of transaction she would be liable for breach of contract.

Get some do-it-yourself divorce papers, in the section for "Cause" put "False Advertising." Then present them. When she gets over the shock, have the serious talk where you explain exactly what she did, and what complete bullshit it is, and offer her the opportunity to turn things around.

Gotta say, though, if it took five years from the point of her first complaint for you to turn around your end of the bargain, you have a fair amount of apologizing to do yourself.
Posted by avast2006 on February 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM · Report this
14
Like LOST, I hoped that sex would become more frequent with marriage. Silly me! Cut your losses because you've been served a bill of goods instead of the real deal. Don't make the mistake I did and wait three decades before coming to your senses.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on February 21, 2012 at 8:21 PM · Report this
mydriasis 15
No question about it, no-sex-wife is a bitch.... but dating a woman for 10 years and not proposing unless you think it will get you laid more often? He's not exactly a catch either.

Re: mr. poop. At least he suggested cigarettes and not cocaine?
Posted by mydriasis on February 21, 2012 at 8:24 PM · Report this
16
Woohoo! "undefined Anderson" is now officially gay!

(Methinks they need to bug-check the coding for their database queries.)
Posted by Slartibartfast on February 21, 2012 at 8:28 PM · Report this
17
@15: That's what I was trying to get at- the man who strings someone along for several decades and then caves in hopes of more sex and the woman who uses the (pretty unbelievable) promise of more sex to lure him in kinda deserve each other.
Posted by chi_type on February 21, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this
18
I feel bad that POOP is worried about sounding like a bitch, when "approaching" the issue of boyfriend pressuring her to poop on demand! Hon, you're doing fine. Is your boyfriend worried about sounding like a bitch?

Dan's advice to LAME is so right, poor fella. And just think, if you stay with the girlfriend you loved at 15, you might end up something like LOST, trapped in his sexually unhappy marriage! I knew the minute I read that letter, the comments would be chockablock with hate for the sex-denyin', false-advertisin' wifey!

But look, these two have been together for literally half their lives, since ages 16 and 18! How much if any sexual experience do they have outside of this relationship? Does this woman even have a clue what excites her, personally, given that she never initiates or asks for anything she wants? This is a woman who was willing to wait around for, what, sixteen years to get a proposal from the man of her life? Her whole adult life. Neither of these people is particularly good with initiative, or, I'm willing to guess, clear communication.

There is an obvious solution to their problems that may seem pretty milquetoast and Ann Landers, but: counseling! Sex-positive sex counseling for this couple, immediately. If she won't go, he needs to spell out that the marriage is directly threatened by the issue. Then, he needs to accept that the only problem in this room is not going to be "she stopped putting out"--there is definitely some story on the other side of those 17 years, but she needs to be encouraged to tell it before they can move beyond and start having sex they both want.
Posted by Suzy on February 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM · Report this
19
LAME - "Win her back"? What is this - Wimbledon?

No. Just - no. Lose that mindset and then come back and ask a real question.
Posted by vennominon on February 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM · Report this
20
i always found it a bit interesting how mormon and moron are somewhat similar in text. to the girl with the bf who wants to watch you poop, DTMF.
Sexual pressure is a prelude to him pulling a chris brown on your ass. to the dude married to the dud. DTMF! life is too short to be married to prude. to the dude gettin text from the lost girl friend...dan is right but did not give you all the advice you needed. if you can handle it, you should start texting her back but come off real mean, you know, like chris brown..."whats up bitch" smack smack...i swear you will get more poontang off that than you have ever seen! once your turn that stuff inside out, drop her ass like she dropped you. you will have instant poontang for the rest of your life.
Posted by rayray on February 21, 2012 at 8:46 PM · Report this
21
@LOST
There are actually some decent sex and relationship therapists out there. I don't think either of you sound competent enough to handle what an ultimatum means - but I do think it's time for your wife to have to face how she's using sex (yep, a transaction) and for you to figure out how to communicate more effectively. Sounds like you've been fighting for the past four months... get yourselves to some group or couples sessions and try to put it in perspective. Divorce seems likely, but there are steps you can take first.
Posted by manitestdestiny on February 21, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
22
Hey, why is LOST's wife a bitch, exactly? Because after spending her entire youth--well, ten years of it, from 16-26--with LOST, he STILL wouldn't propose? What did HE do to string HER along that whole time, and then even for another 6 years before finally getting married? Did he happen to make clear to his girlfriend of 16 years that he was proposing primarily so that she would return to giving him better sex, and that if she did not, he would be very unhappy? Or did she just think that he finally came to his senses / gave in / gave up and handed her a ring?

He says talking doesn't work, but what exactly are they saying in these conversations? Pardon me if I don't trust that the people who couldn't figure this out despite spending their entire lives together are probably incredibly poor "talkers". They need help with the talking, and help reaching each other sexually. What do you think the odds are that LOST's wife is sexually satisfied? I'd say low, so why aren't we worried about them both rather than blaming her and pitying LOST, as if his only fault was not escaping from her earlier?
Posted by Suzy on February 21, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
23
It's actually http://alldeadmormonsarenowgay.com/
Posted by newtonGOT on February 21, 2012 at 8:51 PM · Report this
24
@18: I think so far we've been pretty "chockablock with hate" for both of them.
Posted by chi_type on February 21, 2012 at 8:52 PM · Report this
25
@20
There is almost literally no way that you have ever seen or touched a vulva if the word you'd use for it would be "poontang."

Posted by manitestdestiny on February 21, 2012 at 8:53 PM · Report this
26
@22: How is exempted from this? Her loser bf won't commit? So FIND SOMEONE ELSE. How is tricking him into marrying you w/ false promises of sex a good solution?
Posted by chi_type on February 21, 2012 at 8:56 PM · Report this
27
Sorry- How is *she
Posted by chi_type on February 21, 2012 at 8:57 PM · Report this
nocutename 28
@25: I have a vulva, and the word "poontang" always makes me smile. Plus, my spellcheck doesn't recognize it, which is always a good sign/
Posted by nocutename on February 21, 2012 at 8:58 PM · Report this
29
@25 it always makes my wife giggle. of course she doesn't have set requirements on how i need to act or behave. you remind me of rick santorum with your passive agressive weak ass controlling nature. eat this bitch: POONTANG! POONTANG! POONTANG!
dude with the texting manipulating biotch...see how its done? i wouldn't be surprised if #25 was related to her.
Posted by rayray on February 21, 2012 at 9:08 PM · Report this
30
right on #28. you get me. and no #25 #28 is not my wife!
Posted by rayray on February 21, 2012 at 9:10 PM · Report this
31
okay i have done the research. hate to burst your bubble #25 but the fact that poontang doesn't make you giggle is proof that you are really not gay or trans. sorry. now go back to your wife and kids! they are getting lonely in nebraska!
Posted by rayray on February 21, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
32
LAME is getting a standard Dan Savage gem. Teenage romances are starter relationships. My prepubescent children are already aware that the first few relationships are for practice only, even if they feel like "true love".
Posted by Funky Monkey on February 21, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
33
Dan~

Thanks for posting the site to convert dead Mormons to gay. The Mormon practice of converting dead people is so despicable and sickening, and I liked being able to do some posthumous conversions of my own.

Keep up the great work, my dear. Love ya Dan!!
Posted by CA Mom on February 21, 2012 at 9:51 PM · Report this
34
@15 mydriasis: Well said!
@29: I haven't heard the word "poontang" mentioned since Caddyshack!

Dan, I know that this is WAY off topic from the subject content of the letters in your column, but WHY are there ads---in The Stranger, of all places--- to sign petitions to overturn Roe vs. Wade??? Ads for Republican candidates?? "Good Christian podcasts?!? WTF??
This has absolutely fucking NOTHING to do with "protecting the unborn", and EVERYTHING to do with keeping women and girls pregnant, barefoot, helpless, voiceless, and in the kitchen!

Dan....don't you support Planned Parenthood? Really--what's up?

Thank you all for letting me get this off my chest.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 21, 2012 at 10:20 PM · Report this
nocutename 35
I just retroactively married Joseph Smith to Liberace--Woo hoo!
Can someone start a site where we concert dead Catholic saints to Islam?

Does a site exist that makes dead Jews like mayonnaise in the afterlife? Or wait, wait: could I get Menachem Schneerson to eat a bacon cheeseburger--ooh!

The possibilities are endless . . .
Posted by nocutename on February 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM · Report this
nocutename 36
@25: In that model of political correctness, "The Vagina Monologues," my favorite synonym is "coochie-snorcher." I defy you to pronounce it with a straight face.
Posted by nocutename on February 21, 2012 at 10:30 PM · Report this
37
Dan, if I had the power I'd nominate you for a Pulitzer for your answer to LOST. Dude, sex is not some reward women are supposed to dangle in front of men. Dan pointed out what should be obvious - you need someone who likes what you like. Since sex is obviously very important to you and not to her, you should probably divorce her before you bring a kid into the mix and really fuck everything up.
Posted by GG1000 on February 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM · Report this
38
Okay, so LOST and his wife got together at 18 and 16. Ten years after that, the sex falls off, and she says something like she's feeling a lack of commitment from him and that affects her sex drive/willingness to be intimate with him. Then 5-7 years go by before they get married? What happened in that time?

Also, I'm a little confused about the oral issue; at first, he says that she kept him 'satisfied' with oral and other things. Then he says that she wouldn't do oral or other things and this has not improved since the wedding. Did she stop giving blow jobs? Not want him to go down on her?

Furthermore, there's this line--'only when she's awake enough to actually have sex'. Is she narcoleptic? Start sex earlier in the evening! That's what DVR is for!

They need to have a conversation. "I miss the fun sexy things we used to do, such as . . . I would like to get back to that. You used to do them, or at least some of them, but now you say you're uncomfortable with it. What gives?"

He never says he loves her.
Posted by clashfan on February 21, 2012 at 11:06 PM · Report this
hexalm 39
Just for the record, I can tell you that the proxy baptisms for dead people are not actually supposed to make the victims--I mean corpses--Mormon. It's more like a one-time offer to join their eternal pyramid scheme from the afterlife, which can be accepted or rejected by that person.

You see, Mormons believe there is a sort of holding stage when you die, and nobody's soul gets to its final destination until judgment day. In the meantime, proselytizing continues in "spirit prison", where bad or non Mormon people go to await judgment.

Sounds rather needlessly bureaucratic for an omnipotent god's setup, but if you swallow that, the technicality that this post-mortem process is an imposition on dead folks probably won't occur to you, much as the imposition of door-to-door proselytizing would be lost on you, if you accepted the Mormon worldview.

So naturally, we have such amusing reactions as "all dead mormons are gay"! People like Mormons, who believe that being gay is a choice, probably won't think it's reasonable, but then if it's actions that count rather than attractions, I suppose dead Mormons don't have to accept a gay afterlife if they don't want to!

Fortunately for me, as an ex-Mormon I have nothing to worry about in this regard, as I have firmly rejected the one true church and gospel of Christ on this earth in life. No takesy-backsies.
Posted by hexalm on February 21, 2012 at 11:18 PM · Report this
40
There are tons of fucked up women like LOST's wife out there. The ultimate solution is to liberalize more and the next step after marijuana decriminilization are legally designated red light districts where men like lost can dump a huge chunk of his pay check and then go home and show his dead beat spouse where all the money went, to women who earned it!
Posted by scorpio of Id. on February 22, 2012 at 4:48 AM · Report this
Robin8 41
@chi_type: See, I'm Jewish and I don't let posthumous baptism bother me, because I know it doesn't work. They're just spinning their wheels. They're doing it not for me but for themselves. What a surprise when they die and find out they didn't earn any Jesus points for all their efforts.

As for LOST, having been there, I suggest going extracurricular or ending the marriage. Nothing good will come out of staying married to such a manipulative person.
Posted by Robin8 http://shutyoureverlovingpiehole.wordpress.com on February 22, 2012 at 6:31 AM · Report this
AFinch 42
@20 i always found it a bit interesting how mormon and moron are somewhat similar in text.

How about the book of Moroni?

And yeah, LOST is pathetic - you know, you'd think he'd have learned after all that time to speak up for what he wanted. What's with the five year gap between having the "I'll trade you sex for a ring" conversation and closing the deal? Sounds like you and she both have real doubts about one another and aren't really into each other at all. Definitely, man up and just file for no-fault now.
Posted by AFinch on February 22, 2012 at 6:44 AM · Report this
43
ooh, I got to convert Roger Reed! Only I was thinking "Life of Brian" and I read it as "Woger Weed." Double giggles!

Yeah, LOST, standard advice-column advice is that you can't marry someone expecting him or her to change post-vows. It's just more of the same as before the vows. That goes for her too, though. If she really didn't want to sleep with you, she shouldn't have assumed marrying you would make you want to sleep with her less.

Mourn the relationship, get a divorce, find someone who actually wants to have sex with you regularly.
Posted by Action Kate on February 22, 2012 at 6:44 AM · Report this
44
Posthumous marriage is fine, but leave those dead Popes out of it! They have earned the right to be just as gay in the afterlife.
Posted by Texans on February 22, 2012 at 6:45 AM · Report this
mydriasis 45
@17

I agree completely. :)
Posted by mydriasis on February 22, 2012 at 6:47 AM · Report this
46
How any rational person can look at all the buggy claptrap and snake oil that virtually all religions put out there and then believe their religion is the really rilly rilly cross my heart and hope to die TRUE one is a mystery to me. Humans! What are ya gonna do with 'em?
Posted by gonzo on February 22, 2012 at 6:48 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 47
@13, @21 - Maybe I am on a pessimist streak but I think long term married hetero sex is quite a bit more transactional than we want to believe. Of course, in an ideal world, both spouses want to be passionate with each other for passion/sex sake. I assume almost every good relationship starts off very sex-centric, i.e. tons of sex, mutually initiated.

To put my own situation out there, I would have sex almost every night. If I left the scheduling to Mrs. Horton, not sure it would happen more than a couple times per month. We both enjoy sex, but her desire for "gotta have it" left with the placenta. The compromise comes with her "giving" me sex on the in between days. There is definitely a correlation between the amount of choreplay, attention, free time, etc. she has and the sex I get.

If I over-analyze the situation, it is very transactional at times. And depressing. Instead, I try to think of the "giving of sex" as a gift Mrs. Horton does for me, similar to if I bought her tickets to a concert, sent her to the spa, etc. Don't get me wrong, I would give my left timbit to go back to the days where we threw dinner plates on the floor to fuck on the table.

At the risk of gender norms, I imagine this scenario is more common than Ed Hardy t-shirts at the Blue Martini. Seems like Dan Savage could assemble a ten volume collection of letters from men who complain their wives don't like sex as much as they used to before marriage/kids" only he would probably re-name it "The cure for insomnia"
Posted by Tim Horton on February 22, 2012 at 6:51 AM · Report this
48
@22: I really agree with your comments. I think there's more to what is going on between LOST and his wife, than can merely be found his letter. For ten years, she was willing to do oral, dress-up, sex in different places, etc. Then, all of a sudden it drops off. Why?

She says it's because she wants to get married. It takes five more years for them to get married. Is she feeling frustrated with him? Is her unwillingness to initiate sex and do all the fun things she knows he likes, a way of showing her anger? Has he been doing things that make her angry for some time?

Or is it because her interest in sex has waned (perhaps because of a life event or change of birth control pills, etc.)?

Or perhaps LOST has been doing something differently - maybe he's gained weight, or his hygiene has become worse, or he's eating something that makes his cum taste bad?

Or maybe, her circle of friends have become more conservative/religious/sex-negative and she is starting to believe their strictures on sex and being sexually adventurous?

I think these guys need to go to couple's therapy....it might or might not work...
Posted by Neep on February 22, 2012 at 7:03 AM · Report this
echizen_kurage 49
Assuming LOST's marriage isn't completely beyond hope -- and I'm none too confident that this is the case, but hey, miracles can happen -- perhaps he should try asking her what gets her off. Or, to put it more bluntly, he should ask her if she's getting off at all.

(At this point, a disclaimer might be in order. I am absolutely not implying that any given woman's disinterest in sex is necessarily the fault of her male partner, and that all the lower-libido straight women out there would falling all over themselves to have frantic lemur sex with their higher-libido husbands/boyfriends . . . if only their husbands/boyfriends weren't so unromantic or selfish or flat-out sexually incompetent. This may be the case sometimes. It may even be the case with LOST, who doesn't exactly come across as the world's most enlightened man. But this is obviously not the one, true etiological model of m>f libido mismatches, and I'm not claiming that it is. And now back to our regularly scheduled comment.)

Somewhere in a past thread, Erica mentioned that whenever yet another "my wife/girlfriend never wants sex" letter appears in SL, she can't help but wonder if the wife/girlfriend in question isn't having orgasms at all. I also wonder the same thing, particularly in the case of LOST's wife, because it sounds like her sexual experience is quite limited. It makes sense that she wouldn't have much interest in sex if she's never had an orgasm -- and if she's a woman on the less-orgasmic end of the spectrum who isn't willing to put in some effort and experiment, this is entirely possible.

Of course, we have no way of knowing if LOST's wife is pre-orgasmic. There are any number of other explanations for her disinterest in sex, although this one seems plausible enough to merit exploration, particularly because it's something they might actually be able to address.
More...
Posted by echizen_kurage on February 22, 2012 at 7:08 AM · Report this
50
I think there's more to what is going on between LOST and his wife, than can merely be found his letter. For ten years, she was willing to do oral, dress-up, sex in different places, etc. Then, all of a sudden it drops off. Why?

She says it's because she wants to get married. It takes five more years for them to get married. Is she feeling frustrated with him? Is her unwillingness to initiate sex and do all the fun things she knows he likes, a way of showing her anger? Has he been doing things that make her angry for some time?

Or is it because her interest in sex has waned (perhaps because of a life event or change of birth control pills, etc.)?

Or perhaps LOST has been doing something differently - maybe he's gained weight, or his hygiene has become worse, or he's eating something that makes his cum taste bad?

Or maybe, her circle of friends have become more conservative/religious/sex-negative and she is starting to believe their strictures on sex and being sexually adventurous?

I think these guys need to go to couple's therapy....it might or might not work...
Posted by Neep on February 22, 2012 at 7:09 AM · Report this
51
If LOST doesn't have any kids he should have gotten a divorce yesterday. If everything he says is true, he is dealing with a grade A greedy woman that doesn't deserve to have a husband.
Posted by AbeF on February 22, 2012 at 7:46 AM · Report this
Fortunate 52
@41 - "See, I'm Jewish and I don't let posthumous baptism bother me, because I know it doesn't work."

That's not the point. I seriously doubt that any of the people who get pissed off by this practice by the Morons believe it works. Their voodoo is no different than any of the other voodoo done by any other of the live action fantasy role playing games we call religions.

People get pissed off about it even though it is all bullshit because the intent behind the action is so utterly disrespectful and arrogant. It's no different than pissing on someone's grave. The corps in the ground really doesn't care cause it isn't animate anymore, but the act itself is still an insult to that deceased person's memory.
Posted by Fortunate on February 22, 2012 at 7:57 AM · Report this
53
@34 autnie grizelda, those ads are fed based on the content of the page you're looking at, and the content of the pages you have recently looked at. Use "Mormon" or "Christian" often enough, and you get ads like that. If that kind of content shows up on a bunch of pages you go to, no matter why, you'll get ads like that.
Posted by Howlin' Jed on February 22, 2012 at 8:01 AM · Report this
54
For someone who tries fights against hate speech, I find that website about Mormons incredibly hateful. The Mormons who did baptize were doing so against policy and do not represent the entirety of the religion, they were breaking rules.

I think Mormons are weird, but a website mocking their practices because a few people made mistakes seems again, incredibly hateful.

As for their views on homosexuality, their official policy is that it is NOT a choice, but that acting on homosexual impulses is wrong. I'm not saying that's really forward-thinking or anything (I certainly disagree with it), but if you're going to hate, at least get your facts right. There are dozens of churches with similar policies/doctrines.

http://mormonsformarriage.com/
Posted by LivesNearLotsofMormons on February 22, 2012 at 8:08 AM · Report this
55
I see LOST as a lost case, indeed. It doesn't sound like the relationship was ever very satisfying for him sexually (he doesn't mention other aspects of it), and it doesn't sound like it was all that satisfying for her either.

Oftentimes people dream that others will magically change if they wait long enough or send enough signals. We see this person we're with, and we keep imagining another person, doing other things, behaving differently, that we'd love to have instead, and we imagine him/her morphing into this other person as time goes by.

It seems to me both LOST and his girlfriend did that. He thought she would become more sexually active and interested, she thought he would propose. Both were fooling themselves; they apparently never thought deeply about their priorities -- what they really wanted -- and whether or not they were getting closer to those priorities as time went by.

I hope they can still have some serious conversations about what exactly they want and how they should go about getting it. I hope they find out that the only thing that kept them together was not these imagined scenarios in which the other person would morph into their desired partner. I hope, but I admit it's not what I expect. They probably should divorce and split up, and give each other's life another chance.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 22, 2012 at 8:44 AM · Report this
56
@49(echizen_kurage), indeed a good point. The LW mentions himself as GGG, which may (or may not) imply he's tried to find out what gets her off and has worked to make it happen; but all the rest of the letter suggests he didn't give that question much thought. They could try that.

'Frantic lemur sex'? Are lemurs renowned for sexual prowess?
Posted by ankylosaur on February 22, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
57
@22 She is responsible for staying in a relationship that she didn't think was going where she wanted.

But it gets worse. Instead of saying, "I want to get married," or, better yet "I want to get married soon, do you see us getting married in 2 years or so? Because if not, I need to move on," she said, "you're not going to marry me, so I'm not giving this relationship 100%" which effectively meant, to her, "I'm withholding affection from you, that's what you deserve, but I accept no responsibility for this relationship." That is beyond simple bitchiness.

LOST's wife sounds like a coward who either thinks very little of men or thinks very little of herself. LOST is a fool for thinking marriage would make things better. They both got what they ordered.
Posted by Margaretta on February 22, 2012 at 8:52 AM · Report this
58
"Your Mormon is: Catherine Hayes. That's all there is to it! Happy trails Catherine Hayes!"
Posted by Nom de Plume on February 22, 2012 at 8:59 AM · Report this
59
Hm, if she was doing a lot of the same stuff he was into for ten years, then that's a pretty good indicator that she was at least somewhat into it herself. The question should be why that changed.
Posted by DRF on February 22, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
60
I'm surprised Dan didn't pick up on LOST's wife's question about not giving 100% of her romantic energy to a committed partner of 12 years. That sounds like a dealbreaker to me!

LOST sounds a bit gullible to buy into the deal, thinking that a ring would change things after 17 years. But if the deal was made, he has a right to ask her to live up to her agreement or make some concessions.

And LOST, I hope and assume this woman is very very special in other ways to make up for these shortcomings.
Posted by druiddude on February 22, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
61
Why not make LOST and his wife prehumous Mormons? That way he doesn't have to divorce her, he can just marry someone else, too.
Posted by abbacassian@gmail.com on February 22, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
62
I agree with Dan that all of LOST's options suck, but I have to wonder why this couple is together in the first place.

To pout and deny your SO sex to get him to marry you is really stupid - why would you want to marry someone you had to blackmail into it, rather than finding someone who actually wanted to marry you? And to say straight-up that you're not giving the relationship your all, you're admitting that you're in an unfulfilling relationship ... for what? To prove a point? Instead of walking away and finding someone that will actually make you happy?

And then for LOST to hang around 7 more years, still not having satisfying sex? Again, for what? And for her to go on the record as wanting marriage and then wait 7 more years for it, instead of saying around year two, "Look, I want to get married. It seems clear that that's not what you want, so I need to move on"? It seems to me that the relationship should have ended at year 10 ("well, you won't marry me, so no sex for you!" is bullshit, and I wouldn't want to be with someone who viewed sex that way) or year 11 or 12 (realizing marriage isn't in the cards).

And people who think "it'll be different when we're married!" are nearly always wrong. People are who they are, and a wedding doesn't change that. LOST, propose counseling, and if she won't go (or if it doesn't work, but I suspect she won't go), get a divorce. It sounds like straight-up incompatibility to me.
Posted by KK Holiday on February 22, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
63
I think in the above letter from POOP, being GGG doesn't require you do everything your partner wants. Give it a try (Game) not be judgemental (Good) not immediately ruling it out (Giving) but...it's not like she has to keep flogging away at something she doesn't want to do just because he wants it. It seems clear to me, she's not into it. He should be amazed and grateful he found a woman who didn't immediately tell him to screw off when he asked about poop play. I just don't see GGG as meaning "do everything he asks."
Posted by Gretch on February 22, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
64
Just converted four dead Mormons. Two women and two men. Enjoy the LGBTQIA lifestyle folks. I may not be gay but I know some dead Mormons who aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrreeeeee!!!!!!
Posted by muckaluck on February 22, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
65
Am I seriously the only one offended by everyone categorizing LOST's wife as a bitch? The woman stuck around for 17 years not being given what she wanted, now she's not giving him after 4 MONTHS what he wants and she's a bitch? Maybe it just takes some warming up. Give her 17 years, maybe she'll come around. And if this guy seriously only married the woman he'd been with for 17 years to pick up their sex life, well then shame on him. They deserve each other. People think homosexual marriage will ruin the institute, well if that's a heterosexual marriage I'd say it's got nothing to fear. Geez.
Posted by SimoriahTyler on February 22, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
mydriasis 66
@63

The impression I got from the letter is that she IS okay with it, she's just a little shy.

Personally I'd tell the guy to fuck off. But that's me. She seems open to the idea. There's things that are outside my comfort zone that I'd be willing to do with the right guy - but it might take a little working in for it to happen. That seems like what's going on with her.
Posted by mydriasis on February 22, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
67
LOST and his wife should become Mormons. Another marriage, no divorce...
Posted by abbacassian@gmail.com on February 22, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
echizen_kurage 68
@ankylosaur:

I was going to go with the more standard phrase "frantic monkey sex," but on a whim, I decided to mix things up and substitute a different primate. As it turns out, my choice of "lemur" may have been cruelly ironic. According to this article:

The vagina of mouse lemurs is sealed year-round except for a few days around mating and parturition, and females are sexually receptive for only a few hours during one night per year.


Apparently, this is standard practice for most lemur species. So, LOST, if you're reading this: cheer up, it could be worse!

(On the other hand, who wouldn't want to pledge eternal devotion to this? AWWW, LOOK AT THAT LITTLE FACE.)
Posted by echizen_kurage on February 22, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
69
re: LOST, am I the only one who finds the most troubling line in his letter, "here's my dilemma: She won't do anything besides traditional sex—*******and only when she's awake enough to actually have sex*******" so is he/was he trying to have sex with her when she was still asleep then? Definitely appreciate how hot transitioning from sleep to sex can be/is **when both parties are into it**, but from how we wrote it it sounds like he's verging on non-consensual sex (or at least was in the past)

@ 20's on crack if (s)he thinks that "Sexual pressure is a prelude to him pulling a chris brown on your ass.". Asking your partner to take a shit in front of you and beating the shit out of them are world's apart (disclaimer - not a scat person at all myself)..
Posted by freshnycman on February 22, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
John Horstman 70
@22: Because an expectation of marriage without a specific discussion, even if it is the cultural norm, is unreasonable these days. I dislike the use of gendered epithets, so I wouldn't say LOST's wife is a "bitch", but if LOST's wife wanted to be married all those years, then the reasonable thing for her to do was to ask LOST to marry her. If he said, "No," then she could have evaluated whether she wanted to continue an unmarried relationship or break up. Instead, she disingenuously used the possibility of more/different sex as a bargaining chip to secure a legal contract, which is all sorts of unethical. Don't misunderstand me: LOST could have been a total asshole here too; we only have his side of the story with which to work, so we can't really be sure. Either way, though, LOST's wife seems primarily responsible for taking a dysfunctional situation from which it would have been relatively easy to walk away and vastly complicating it with a far-reaching legal contract.

LOST is the one asking the question, so we're biased toward his perspective; if his wife wrote in asking a question, the advice to her may very well also be DTMFA.
Posted by John Horstman on February 22, 2012 at 10:49 AM · Report this
71
@ LOST. Stop & Think. Even if you are good at something it still takes work. By work I mean that you have to have the desire keep it moving. Just like a car, you have to have your foot on the pedal to keep it going. Next take control of your life. Get to a counselor, with or without her, and work this out. Do not take NO for an answer. If she is not interested than she is already out of the marriage. If she does go, the worst that can happen is that she dumps you there. Either way you know where things are headed. Do it now......really.....right now. You deserve to be happy. What are you waiting for....you'll feel much better down the line with whatever happens.
Posted by Bondsman51 on February 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
72
The one thing that is clear about LOST's situation is that his wife isn't in it for the sex, and probably never will be. At very best, she will agree to live up to her end of the bargain. But somehow I doubt that she will ever work up anything resembling actual desire for her husband. Over the long term, that will tend to wear on his self-esteem.

They need to determine what is the actual glue that holds the relationship together (apparently it isn't sex; hopefully it isn't inertia). That probably will require the help of counselors. Probably they will also need to reach some sort of accommodation, if she can't manage any actual enthusiam. Given her apparent attitudes on sex and marriage, I don't see that as very likely.
Posted by avast2006 on February 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
73
@echizen_kurage, indeed it's a lovely little face. (My country doesn't have lemurs, but it has these, which are also quite well-valued in the aaawww department.)
Posted by ankylosaur on February 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
hexalm 74
@54: Someone who is Mormon with a non-hereto orientation is expected to behave exactly like a straight person, or else to be celibate. Marriage of the straight variety would still be considered necessary to reach the celestial kingdom.

The stance that people can choose to refrain from homosexual acts despite their orientation is virtually indistinguishable from the stance that they can choose to be straight (or non-sexual); it's a choice of behavior, not directly a choice of orientation, because actions are what count, right? Therefore Mormons effectively believe homosexuality is a matter of choice.
(This is what I was referencing, btw--dead Mormons can choose to act on their offered homosexual orientation or not.)

And I doubt if Mormon authorities are serious about any rule against baptizing any old dead person--I think that's purely for the sake of PR, a cleanup job to avoid criticism from a world that doesn't understand their esoteric practices (ask a Mormon--or Google--about 'milk before meat').

Granted, there isn't much they can do as they clearly have a wide open policy on submitting names. But just as they want to offer their religion to everyone alive, they believe they need to offer it to everyone dead to save them. So they do want all dead people to be baptized, including every holocaust victims. To them it's only an offer, anyway.

Btw, according to Mormon belief, people removed from their list of dead people's names are still technically baptized/offered their religion in the afterlife. So removing them after the fact only impacts how the church is perceived. What's more, they never remove any names. They still have my ex-Mormon name for example, just flagged as "not a member"/"apostate" or whatever. I'm sure they have all the holocaust victims who've been baptized in a database somewhere marked as "removed" or some such for "temporal" (earthly) purposes, but probably still marked as people who have been 'offered the gospel' in the spirit world. I don't think they consider all of the baptized deaders Mormon though, for what that's worth.

PS, never expect Mormons to be frank and forthright about this stuff. It's sacred temple stuff (sacred, not secret) that they don't want to have to explain unless you've already bought into their religion.
More...
Posted by hexalm on February 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
75
@22 if she only wanted marriage and thought he wasn't going to ever propose, why didn't she end it? Unless he kept saying he was going to "get around to it" it isn't stringing her along (and even if he did, she still could end it if it was taking too long). I definitely think there are things LOST isn't saying in the letter, but if he said he didn't want to marry her (or at least, implied it by not proposing for fifteen years after she told him what she wanted at ten), then saying marriage would mean more sex and then not following through it stringing him along. Granted, he should have ended it sooner too when it became obvious there wasn't going to be more sex, but he wasn't "stringing her along" any more than she was stringing him, and we know ultimately he gave in to what she wanted and she did not give him what he wanted.
Posted by DJames on February 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
76
Seventeen not fifteen. Still, both were the problem. And they're basically still in the free trial, so it shouldn't be that hard (from an emotional perspective) given that neither seems to be happy.
Posted by DJames on February 22, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
77
A couple of other points for LOST:
1. Is she even the least bit frustrated about her low sex drive? If so, she ought to be willing to talk with her obgyn to see if there is an underlying medical condition that is affecting her.

2. Couples counseling could help here. He could express his feelings of frustration and rejection in a safe environment, and a good therapist could probably help wife find the right words to convey what she's feeling.

3. I apologize for yelling, but DO NOT HAVE A CHILD WITH THIS WOMAN UNTIL THIS IS RESOLVED. And by resolved, I mean her genuinely wanting to have sex with you regularly, and for its own sake. And by "not have a child" I mean use a barrier method of birth control in addition to chemical. You never know when she might conveniently "forget" to take her pill.
Posted by lorcha on February 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
78
To 26, 70, or anyone who would characterize LOST's marriage this way: "How is tricking him into marrying you w/ false promises of sex a good solution?" I missed where she promised him that things would pick up again once they married, and I also missed where he ran out and proposed after that. What I read says that after ten years the sex went bad, and he found out it was because she wasn't investing 100% in a relationship that wasn't leading to marriage. Then he waited for several more years before proposing, and who knows why he imagined that this would magically make the sex better. Again, was that what she promised? Where's the "trick"?

Like 65 says (and no, you're not the only one bothered by how quickly she alone is identified as the bitch in this relationship), give the woman 17 more years and maybe she'll come around! It's ludicrous to think of marriage as some kind of gift a man gives to a woman in exchange for a gift of better sex. If you think of it that way, everything is already screwy. No wonder people are disappointed! This guy seems puzzled that his wife needs sleep. But since he's happy being married, I say, go to a counselor, quickly! There is some reason these two are still together; why not preserve that, and try to break down the dam of totally failed communication that is keeping BOTH of them from having a happy sex life?
Posted by Suzy on February 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
lewlew 79
I converted Joseph Smith himself. There will be hella lotta cocksuckin' in heaven today!
Posted by lewlew on February 22, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
80
I converted Nicolette Grant from Big Love to homosexuality, because I have had the biggest crush on Chloe Sevigny since her debut in Kids. But there is a huge a problem. I am a gay man, and thanks to baptising her into homosexuality, Nicolette now likes women. Before, even though I am gay, I had hope and I had a chance -- maybe I could be 1% bisexual, you know? Now, my crush is a lesbian. Thanks for fucking up my entire week, Dan!
Posted by Chloe Is My Daddybear on February 22, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
81
@69: You're not alone--I found that line totally bizarre too. Awake enough to have sex? As opposed to what, letting him have at you when you're not awake? He's put out by that?

I just can't understand the way these comment threads go. People are so taken with the idea that women owe sex to men, and that if the sex drops off in frequency or quality, especially after an event like marriage or children, well, that frigid, selfish female is to blame! Never you mind that this woman was a virgin when she met LOST and presumably has never known anything other than the attentions of a man who takes 17 years to propose, and is dismayed because his wife is... too sleepy for sex? Why is she so tired, anyway?
Posted by Suzy on February 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
82
Dan, I went to http://alldeadmormonsarenowgay.com/ and converted Nicolette Grant from Big Love to homosexuality, because I have had the biggest crush on Chloe Sevigny since her debut in Kids. But there is a huge a problem. I am a gay man, and thanks to baptising her into homosexuality, Nicolette now likes women. Before, even though I am gay, I had hope and I had a chance -- maybe I could be 1% bisexual, you know? Now, my crush is a lesbian, and I am crushed. Thanks for fucking up my entire week, you asshole!
Posted by Chloe Is My Daddybear on February 22, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
hexalm 83
lol @ Chloe Is my Daddybear

I think I'm going to convert Joseph Smith's (first?) wife, Emma. She always seemed pretty awesome--supposedly Joseph wanted to 'marry' some girl he fancied in addition to her, and even concocted a way to make it a command from God that Emma should consent to this. Allegedly, she then told him to stuff it. 8)

That story isn't 100% apocryphal, either, though it is one piece of contested evidence that Joe himself started in with the polygamy. Which would of course have been in line with God's will, just not the mores of the land! So it seems a fairly credible claim, in light of the fact that his successor went whole hog with it out west.
Posted by hexalm on February 22, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
84
Someone needs to tell POOP to go get an enema kit.

It's relatively easy and painless*, and when you've gotta go after that, there's no stopping it. Sure, it'll be poo-juice rather than the solid stuff, but unless there's something really wrong with her it's a guaranteed performance.

Bonus: The ones they sell at Fred Meyer double as hot-water bottles!

*Unless you use the wrong temperature, fill too fast, or over-fill. Hellooo cramps!
Posted by vinegrrl on February 22, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
85
I feel a little sorry for LOST's wife. I'm not suggesting that she's not a manipulative bitch, but I doubt she sat down and thought "Hmm, I hate sex. Now let me think how I can make sure I live with a miserable man for the rest of my life. I know! I'll promise him sex if he marries me, then pull out of the deal!"

I think it's more likely that she had high expectations for the sex she'd heard about, believed that being in love would assure great sex, tried it, was disappointed that there wasn't more to it, and didn't know what to do next. If she'd written the letter, I'd have advised her to try other lovers, advised her not to stop with the boy she lost her virginity to. But she didn't write the letter; LOST did. My advice to him follows.
Posted by Crinoline on February 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
86
@ LOST. Dude, I was in the EXACT same situation when I was 35yrs old! Here's what happened. After ignoring my requests for more sex, I started to see her get a little more flirtatious whenever we hung around this other couple that we were good friends with. One night while hanging out with our friends drinking and playing board games, she and the other girl started acting all horny. Not for each other but for swapping guys! I couldn't believe what I was seeing/hearing. While nothing happened that night, on two other occassions, she decided to go "hang out" with them while I was out traveling for work. Eventually - I found out that she had slept with them both. Did I mention that we had 2 kids and so did they? Anyway - we divorced in '06 and she's now married to some idiot amateur film maker who seems to be "in the closet". Meanwhile - I am engaged to a supercool, sexier, sweeter, younger and more fun girl who my 2 kids adore. My advice to you LOST - dump that wife of yours ASAP and go live your life.
Posted by Alive&WellPostDivorce on February 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM · Report this
87
Sometimes I sing the lemurs song from Madagascar as

I like to Do it, Do it, I like to DO IT!!
We like to Do it, Do it, We like to DO IT!!

So yeah, frantic Lemur sex made total sense to me, lol

Posted by Sunshine J on February 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM · Report this
88
So, LOST, you go to your wife, and you say (without a hint of sarcasm) "Honey, I love you, and I want you to be happy. I want us to be happy. I want this marriage to work. I'd do anything to make you happy, but I don't know what you want. Help me. What would you like?" (Keep it open. This discussion is not about sex-- yet.)

She says some stuff about a new living room set and a vacation to see her parents. You're open to her suggestions and seriously consider how to make them happen. You communicate this to her. Then you say "that's it? That's all you want? Is there anything I can do to make you happy sexually?" Now she sighs and starts to get defensive. She tells you once again how the things you want make her uncomfortable. You cut her off and say "I know I've pressured you in the past, and I'm sorry. I don't want to do that again. This isn't about me this time. I want to make you happy."

She insists that there's nothing she could have sexually that would make her happy except less sex. Next you bring up a doctor. You tell her gently that while you know that there's a wide range in what can be considered a normal sex drive, you'd like her to be checked by a doctor. Explain that you're worried there might be something wrong as it's unusual to lose all sex drive at age 26. Bring up possibilities as to hormonal imbalance. Make sure you let her know that this is all about her happiness. Reiterate that you want to make her happy. Bring up wanting to make her come. Let her know that you want her to want sex, not just put up with it for your sake.

Then ... ask her if she's been having an affair. She'll become defensive and accusative. How could you think such a thing? Tell her that "it's just that you used to enjoy sex, but around 10 years ago, you lost interest. I was wondering if there's someone else out there who attracts you, someone who's making you happy in a way that I'm not. I just want you to know that I'm okay with this. I want you to know sexual satisfaction whether I'm the one providing it or not."

She'll continue to deny, but now you've planted some very positive seeds. (There's some slim possibility that she really did start an affair 10 years ago, maybe an affair with someone she doesn't consider husband material. She could be aloof because of some complicated guilt, but let's assume that's not the case.) Let the subject drop with her denials, but bring up the joint visit to the GYN or the marriage counselor again. She'll be kind of stuck. How could she choose not to go when it's either that or leaving you with the idea that she's cheating on you?

Next step. You go to the doctors, and she insists, to the doctor, that she's fine, that you're the sick crazy one, and that her unenthusiastically allowing you to have sex with her now and then is a perfectly fine state of affairs. Except you get to tell the doctor how much you want her to be happy and how you want to make her come, and how you'd like your wife to desire you.

(Of course, the hormone idea might work, and you can stop here. It could really be that a change in birth control is all that's needed. And while we're on that subject, insist on using condoms this whole time. You don't want a unilaterally planned pregnancy complicating matters. If she wonders about the condoms, say that you're glad to take responsibility for birth control. This is about making her happy, after all.)

That's all the groundwork. If/when the trips to the doctors don't work, you can bring up YOUR wanting to sleep with someone else or a mutually wanted divorce because you're not right for each other, but now YOU'RE NOT THE BAD GUY! Now, you've tried everything, and she has to face the possibility (reality) that promising sex after marriage was a bitchy manipulative shitty thing to do. !! Go for it.
More...
Posted by Crinoline on February 22, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
RubyMadden 89
LOST is a class A MORON (not mormon). Dan was being kind & we all know it.
Posted by RubyMadden http://rubymadden.blogspot.com/ on February 22, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
90
I have to laugh in the case of POOP,

When you share a bathroom for 20+ years, it's a given I've seen my wife poop. There's just no way she'd let me watch it actually exiting her body, however.

Maybe you should ask him to help see if you're a squirter. Given the choice, squirting is a lot more interesting to watch and way less on the ick meter. (Drifts off, daydreaming: "Mmmm, juicy poontang*")

Peace.

* Well, I used it. Still, it doesn't roll off my lips like "pussy" does. Reminds me too much of the time I mispronounced tampon as "tampoon" in middle school.
Posted by Married in MA on February 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
91
well done, @crinoline. that IS the perfect and detailed answer to his duh-lemma.
Posted by ellarosa on February 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
muzyqman 92
Hey, Dan -
Another great column. The bit about "choosing" homosexuality for a dead Mormon made me laugh out loud. Thanks for that. I really needed a laugh today.
Posted by muzyqman on February 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
93
Poop,

Give up this goof.

Posted by Hunter78 on February 22, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
94
Does anyone feel like LOST brought it on himself - particularly since he strung his wife along for 17 years, the same woman who told him "why should I bother if you're not going to marry me" at the ten year mark? I feel bad for her, I don't know what hold he has on her, and I don't see how he's been particularly GGG - what sexual demands has she made that he's met? He's casting himself as the wounded saint, and her as the lying, manipulative villain, and perhaps I don't have enough information to contradict that, but I don't feel like we have enough information to believe his claims either. My vote? Divorce her - finally free the both of them from a relationship where neither of them ever really got what they wanted.
Posted by Mehdi on February 22, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
95
I find it interesting that so many posters are piling on LOST's wife for viewing sex as a transaction when it's clear that LOST does so every bit as much, or he wouldn't have gone through with the whole plan. If the wife is a prostitute, as one poster implied, than how is LOST not a john? Doesn't anybody find it problematic that HE saw sex as his payment for a wedding ring? I get that people negotiate around differences in sex drives, or that sometimes, one partner indulges a kink that they don't particularly love for their partner's sake, but, for the most part, I think most people want to think of sex as being something for BOTH (all?) PARTNERS, not just for one. I know I would be bothered by the idea of being the only one who enjoys sex, while my partner just gave it to me because he wants something from me. LOST apparently wasn't, so big surprise he's in this situation. It's the old narrative where sex is something that men want and women put up with in hope that the men will give them shiny things. They both bought into it equally. If you basically view women as prostitutes, don't be surprised when that's what you get. LOST deserves equal criticism as the wife, as far as I'm concerned.
Posted by Petticoat Philosopher on February 22, 2012 at 6:06 PM · Report this
gueralinda 96
I'm so bored of Dan writing 100% from the male perspective. As usual, Dan takes the position that ONLY gratifying physical sexual desires counts as being GGG, totally ignoring the fact that LOST has been ignoring his wife's emotional needs for most of the time they've been together. I know Dan either doesn't understand or actively dislikes female sexuality, but the truth of the matter is that women in a long term relationship - for the most part - can NOT get hot and bothered when they are angry or upset with their partner. Some women - perhaps most, including me - can get excited with a stranger for whom they feel nothing, but that same stranger ten years later as a husband has to show love and affection for the woman to get aroused. That is female physiology, and no matter how inconvenient, it isn't subject to change by male consensus. Sorry Dan - keep on demonizing women who don't "put out" at every freaking opportunity, but you are not going to change anything. Women need love, and we are not ever going to be happy about giving unlimited amounts of sex to men who don't show us an iota of affection or appreciation.
Posted by gueralinda on February 22, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
mydriasis 97
@95

Actually, petticoat, if you look 83 posts above yours, you'll see the first of several people who have pointed this out, including myself.
Posted by mydriasis on February 22, 2012 at 6:59 PM · Report this
98
@96 I agree,

LOST, since you are a newlywed, how often do you go on dates? If you're saving money for a vacation, have you planned a picnic/outing at a museum or taken her to a concert? What, you haven't planned your next getaway? Well then, how about get togethers with her/your friends? What have you done to make your (both) life fun?

If you can't have fun together, end the relationship. Work on being friendly!

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on February 22, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
99
96: "....totally ignoring the fact that LOST has been ignoring his wife's emotional needs for most of the time they've been together."

Awesome when you find out Slogees can read minds of people who are married to letter writers, isn't it? Who knew Slogees were so talented? Tell me, gueralinda, what color socks is my employer wearing right now, and was my work satisfactory today?
Posted by Snowguy on February 22, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this
mydriasis 100
@99

Blue. And it wasn't your best. :)
Posted by mydriasis on February 22, 2012 at 7:26 PM · Report this
101
@82. I have a crush on Chloe, too. I'm a girl though, so thanks!
Posted by Mary Mary Why You Buggin on February 22, 2012 at 8:11 PM · Report this
102
Yeah, I think Dan missed the boat here. LOST isn't lost. There's additional certainly additional roads to explore:

There are medical reasons that could explain issues with a flat libido.

Also, I know a number of gals who grew up in very conservative families and somehow think that kinky stuff is great pre-marriage but marriage is only about missionary-style sex. (Kindof like how all the Catholic girls who think sticking a dick in every hole BUT their vagina makes them a virgin). There may be some unresolved guilt issues floating around.

I definitely think finding a sex positive therapist or even just trying to have very non-pressuring conversations about sex to try and explore her feelings on it (not explain your wants and needs for the 119th time) might yield something.

Posted by LOTRGandalf86 on February 22, 2012 at 8:11 PM · Report this
103
@96 I wasn't aware that Mrs. LOST's desire for marriage was an emotional need. LOST barely mentions Mrs. LOST in his note - I'm afraid that the woeful tale of unfilled emotional needs, spousal neglect, and oddly retrograde notions about what does and doesn't turn on women (but not men, because, of course, men aren't human beings) comes from you.

Seriously. If you want to walk a mile in someone's shoes, try LOST's. He's been with Mrs. LOST for his entire adult life. He loves her, wants her. But he is no longer having regular sex with Mrs. LOST. Mrs. LOST reveals that sex with him - at least some of the time - makes her uncomfortable. And LOST is confused, rejected, upset, probably a little humiliated by the fact that he has married this woman who may not actually feel the same way about him as he does about her.

What we forget, up here in the cheap seats, is that we can play advice columnist because the stakes are so low. It's easy to pronounce harsh judgement and make outrageous assumptions when you have no skin in the game, no name to protect or reputation to build. It's easy to be right all the time if nobody cares whether you are or not.
Posted by TokenCanadian on February 22, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this
Firemonkey 104
He needs to learn how to really please the woman, she has never had an orgasim!
Posted by Firemonkey on February 22, 2012 at 8:38 PM · Report this
105
@81: Are you seriously saying that "When I mentioned it, she said that she felt I was never going to marry her, so why should she give me 100 percent?" doesn't imply that things would get better if he proposed?
@95: That's why they deserve each other. Who better for a john than a prostitute?
Posted by chi_type on February 22, 2012 at 8:54 PM · Report this
106
@53 howlin' jed: O........kaaaaaaayyyy....?
I'm just surprised by these ads. Dan and a good majority of staff members of The Stranger would NEVER support garbage like that. Or at least, that's been the longtime impression I got.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Report this
107
Mr Married - "Newlywed" hardly apllies when the walk down the aisle took so long, surely? In fact, the term really ought to make a graceful exit from the dictionary. In the spirit of Mr Ank, one might suggest that, as its original implications have almost entirely become null even if there is still some kernel of technical meaning, the term could be altered to apply to couples who have only recently acquired the right to legalize the partnership. But, as I've never liked the word, I'd rather see it go.
Posted by vennominon on February 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Report this
108
@107 vennominion,

OK, I should've used quotes around newlywed, but my premise was to point out what his attitude should be, about the most important relationship in his life. If it isn't close to my putative state, then the whole relationship is a drudge that should be recycled into something happier.

Sex isn't the only aspect of a successful relationship. This site tends to focus upon the question of one person's ability to get their partner to the orgasmic state, and not be concerned with other trivialities like making their day to day life fun and enjoyable. If you consider how memorable a day to day fuck is in comparison to a good shared meal, or a joke, there is a lot of room outside the bedroom to work on making improvements in a couple's shared life. Not surprisingly, making the outside the bedroom part better carries back into the bedroom as well.

Overstating the obvious,

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on February 22, 2012 at 9:55 PM · Report this
109
Oh man, Willard Cox!
You are DEFINITELY going to be happier in gay mormonland, with a name like that.
You're welcome!
Posted by Caralain on February 23, 2012 at 12:32 AM · Report this
110
To Poop, If you want to ease your way into making your mans fantasy come true, go into it slowly. Have him right outside the closed bathroom door while you poop, talking to you and maybe beating off if he likes. Then, when that scene is no big deal, have the door open a crack, but don't let him look in..still talking staying relaxed and all. When that's cool, keep him outside the barely open door and let him take little peeks inside...you can keep your eyes closed or open, your choice. Then you get to a point where the door can be wide open, but he has to stay outside the bathroom. Then you can invite him in, but he has to keep his back to you.....talking, flirting, watch him play with himself. Then let him take peeks....before you know it you'll be ok with him watching you and he will be so driven crazy by the lead up that you will both be happy with the results. The important thing is for you to be able to stay relaxed, any tension and you won't be able to perform. So figure out your course of action and don't move on to the next step until you are fully comfortable with the step you are on. It may take a year before he gets to watch you the way he craves, but it should be worth it to him and maybe even fun to get you there. Good luck and have fun!
Posted by ema629 on February 23, 2012 at 1:00 AM · Report this
111
@103(TokenCanadian), it's not simply that it's easy to play advice columnist when one has no skin in the game; it's that, given that most (all?) letters don't give you sufficient information (the world is complicated, many things could be happening that we can't exclude without further information, letters must not be too long -- we don't want to read a whole book --, etc).

So what happens is most of us here fill in the blanks, usually projecting their own favorite takes (or pet peeves) on the relationship described by the LW.

I don't think this is bad in itself -- it means we're all talking about hypotheticals (and as Dan says all letters are hypotheticals to everybody except at most one person). We don't know for a fact that LOST's wife has been 'bad' to him -- we know what he wrote, but as the team defending LOST's wife above says, he didn't give her view on it and he didn't mention much about how she was feeling (and he didn't even say he loves her); maybe she's suffering and he's not caring. And we don't know for a fact that she hasn't been 'bad' to him -- he certainly is suffering and makes that clear in his letter, he does mention a number of talks about the topic with her that led to no changes, so apparently she isn't paying that much attention to his suffering either.

So you can take one viewpoint or the other (and, despite some comments above claiming that the other viewpoint is the favorite one here, I frankly see just as many comments defending/attacking one of the two parterns as I see defending/attacking the other; plus a few comments apparently against both). If the LW were to add a few comments and answer a few questions, we might (I stress: might) be able to eliminate one of the viewpoints, but this hasn't happened, so we can't. (Which is why my own comment above was that both are not really in touch with each other, and that, unless this changes, they should divorce.)

That people will project their own preferences in what the LW doesn't say is to be expected, and reveals more about what these people think (or don't think), about what they remember (or forget), and so gives us some insight into the views of other people. All in all, not a bad thing. It's good to learn more about how others think, what assumptions they make, what their gut feelings tell them. It's good to learn more about people. It's in itself even better than simply being right or wrong.
More...
Posted by ankylosaur on February 23, 2012 at 2:18 AM · Report this
112
By the way, I've just converted Brigham Young and Catherine King to homosexuality. That was fun!
Posted by ankylosaur on February 23, 2012 at 2:21 AM · Report this
113
The posthumous gay Moron site is problematic, for me.

On the one hand:
1) It appeals to my inner asshole.
2) Fuck the LDS!

But, on the other hand:
1) Using dead people's names is kind of a dick move.

I guess I'll have to stay away from that site. As funny as the idea of gayfying the entire Mormon afterlife is, the moral dissonance is a little too much for me.
Posted by Valhar2000 on February 23, 2012 at 2:28 AM · Report this
114
@108 (Married in MA), quite so. I think Dan's column concentrates so much on sex because this is, even in this day and age, the most delicate topic in many a relationship -- with people often willingly repressing their desires or making assumptions about those of others in the belief that everything will get better later on (something they would not do if the topic was something else).

The most positive aspect of the Savagean take on relationships is that we should be open about our desires and discuss them the same way we discuss our agreements and disagreements in other areas -- religious or political orientation, living arrangements, career prospects and expectations, etc. There still is an insidious tendency to think that 'the sex thing' will resolve itself without us having to do much about it -- LOST providing a good example of how such things can happen.

Which is why most of the (increasingly relationship) advice that is sent to Dan is about sexual problems, not religious incompatibility or different child-rearing philosophies.

Of course, the flip side is that Dan may well forget that relationships involve more than happy consensual sex. Which is what you quite correctly point out in your comment. I will only say that this is probably unavoidable given the focus he chose for his advice column -- the area of relationships in which negotiation is most often neglected.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 23, 2012 at 3:38 AM · Report this
115
Following up on my comments in 85 and 86-- I should stress that my advice is not so LOST can race towards putting the blame on his wife and not being the bad guy. Nor is it so he can get to divorce quicker. (I expressed myself badly in the last 2 sentences of my 88 comment.) My carefully laid out scheme has many stopping points where things can get better and the LOST marriage can become a sexually fulfilling one. That's the 5th possibility that Dan missed in his list: Take steps that have the potential to make you both happier.

Note the contradiction in LOST's letter. He says he actually enjoys being married, then asks if he's doomed to a bad marriage. I am a ridiculous romantic and optimist. When faced with that contradiction, I put all the emphasis on the idea that LOST likes being married. If I were LOST's marriage counselor, I'd encourage them both to consider their chances of finding someone else they get along with half so well. They're in their early 30s. They might divorce and find the perfect partner out there. Mr. LOST might find someone into the oral, toys, and masturbation he's into, and Mrs. LOST might find the guy who only wants traditional like she does. But then again, they might not. They might be better off where they are. If I were LOST's marriage counselor, I'd spend a lot of time on what's right with their marriage (they could have tons in common) before moving on to that single sexual point where they disagree.

Also note that a lot of people would say that LOST doesn't have it so bad. He's got a wife who's up for traditional sex whenever he initiates. A lot of guys would pant and drool for that sort of wife.

This brings me back to 88 above. Maybe if LOST put some attention and emphasis on making his wife happy, and do it seriously and without pressure, she'd respond in kind. Maybe if he gently suggested that hormones play a part, that would be an answer. (Not just birth control. Ask about testosterone.) Maybe if he suggested that a partner outside of the marriage for HER benefit, not jumping to his, she'd get the idea that sex can be a pleasurable thing.
More...
Posted by Crinoline on February 23, 2012 at 5:03 AM · Report this
116
Mr Married - I quite agree. I'm just pointing out that Newlywed used to have meaning because it indicated a great many changes in the relationship, and I'd probably put sex in much the same place you would regarding importance. To use a classic example, I'm quite sure my parents had never spent two days running in the same house before the wedding. How many couples take that sort of leap these days? For most, my guess is that it's more of a stretched step to cross a puddle than a superpowered bound over the sea.

Besides, the word has a lot of heterocentric baggage. It ought to be retired.
Posted by vennominon on February 23, 2012 at 6:22 AM · Report this
117
Number 1 is a pure genius.
Posted by Xam on February 23, 2012 at 8:02 AM · Report this
118
The tone of LOST's letter creeps me the fuck out. She "kept him satisfied" - not "we used to enjoy sex." He "gave her the big wedding she wanted" not "we had a great wedding." They were dating from high school and fifteen years later they're getting married? What made him not want to marry her all that time?

I don't see anything here that sounds like he wants to be with this woman, or be married to her - it sounds like what he wants is a reliable source of sex-on-demand. I think it sounds like he's the one for whom sex is a transaction.

This raises an interesting question. The one option Dan didn't mention was for LOST to learn to enjoy the marriage he has. Is that impossible? Being GGG mean being up for satisfying your partner's desires - why doesn't the desire for less sex count?
Posted by Overt on February 23, 2012 at 8:43 AM · Report this
nocutename 119
Mr. Ven,
Good point about the term "newlywed" losing a good deal of its meaning when the recently-married couple in question has been together for close to 20 years! It also seems to suggest a level of "getting to know each other" that for many couples these days, happened long before the wedding, particularly if they lived together beforehand. Maybe it should be used sparingly.

But I don't agree that just because it has "heterocentric baggage" it should be thrown out. There are a lot of words with that same baggage ("marriage" is one of them), and the solutions to disentangling that baggage would either be to coin a new word and replace the old with something meaning essentially the same thing, but without old connotations, or to establish a sort of separate-but-equal vocabulary (as in "civil union"), which I think leads to a tiered or hierarchical concept of legitimacy or preferablity--something I want to avoid.

I see the point or value of throwing out the old and starting fresh, but I wonder if the subtle difference of attitude in the broadening of a long-established meaning to a word might not be in some ways even better.
Posted by nocutename on February 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
120
"As for their views on homosexuality...it is NOT a choice, but acting on homosexual impulses is wrong. I'm not saying that's really forward-thinking (I certainly disagree with it), but if you're going to hate, at least get your facts right. There are dozens of churches with similar policies/doctrines."

Yes, and they're all spinning the same transparent thread of Jabberwocky theology. Disagree with it? Try calling "Bullshit." This is the sort of foundational creed one rejects for the conniving illogical distortions it tries to pass off as merely paradoxical. Bull. Shit. As stated, it's messy semantics at best that uses Solomon efficiency to reconcile the sinner and the sinnin'. Followed to it's unnatural conclusion, I call "Bullshit," because, in order for you to have your theological druthers, I'd really rather you didn't receive a pass that requires parsing my dick.
Posted by amugsgame on February 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM · Report this
121
Not at all related to your column, but since you've mentioned on your podcast you do read these comments I thought you'd get a kick out of this.

http://unicornbooty.com/blog/2012/02/21/…
Posted by Mary-Jane on February 23, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
122
Oh, and, I should have contexted: @54.

I do get that you're not necessarily defending their stance, yet, to paraphrase, "But y'are, Blanche, y'are."
Posted by amugsgame on February 23, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
123
As a straight alpha male, turning a straight female gay is not good for the ego. Be she dead or not. But I believe in equal rights for all so Susan Hill, you are now a lesbian!
Posted by Darin on February 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
124
I really, really don't have any experience with what POOP is going through, but I have a suggestion. Maybe she could practice by videotaping herself pooping while she's home alone. No big deal, just the camera on the edge of the sink, without even putting her face in the frame?
Maybe if that went alright, she could let her boyfriend have the tape? With the condition that she doesn't have to watch it with him, but is waiting in the other room to have super hot sex and experience his enthusiasm, thereby easing her comfort level with future pooping?
Posted by SmallTownMainer on February 23, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
125
Uh, according to the letter Mrs. LOST never struck a bargain with LOST. He asked her why less sex, she said because he never bothered to ask her to marry him--i.e. she feels HE DOESN'T VALUE HER. LOST was the only one who framed it as a transaction or "if [A] then [sex]." She expressed that she didn't feel valued and his response was to try to extrapolate more sex from her. I mean, I wonder why she didn't feel valued in the first place? He's nagging her about sex, apparently views it as something she does to "satisfy" him and he complains about how not-GGG she is b/c *all she does* is traditional sex, just as he complained when all she did was oral, sex in unusual places, and dress up?

"But in my opinion, what I'm asking for is not "kinky," certainly when compared to some of the things I could be into." Newsflash to LOST: it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks is kinky, it matters what SHE enjoys because you're having sex with HER.
Posted by KittyWrangler on February 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
126
Karen Romney and Martha Smith have been converted to homosexuality. Its no Brigham Young, but I felt obligated to welcome them out of their drab closets, er.. coffins.
Posted by iuqcajann on February 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
127
Is it just me or is the illustration for this week's SL a photo of a concert, maybe even Sasquatch?
Posted by Eh on February 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
128
How on Earth did Dan let this go by without mentioning Tim Minchin and his "let me video you while you pee" song.

LOST's wife should be ashamed of herself for being such a stereotype - bobbing for diamonds, in this day and age? LOST on the other hand is going to end up, if he already isn't, a twisted embittered member of the Men's Rights movement, and another one of those arseholes is the last thing we need. I know, I was in a similar position and it was way too easy to generalise to all women are frigid bitches etc etc. Fortunately I realised I was being a leotard about the same time as I met a wonderful sex-positive girl.
Posted by Optimal Cynic on February 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
129
LOST

I didn't read all the comments but your wife clearly has resentment towards you for not marrying her sooner. I don't blame her (though she could have left you). You should consider going to counseling so you can communicate clearly about these things. I know Dan always says the answer he gave you and maybe he's right but it sounds like things were good once. Perhaps if you stop thinking about how you're getting off and start thinking about her a bit more and why she's shut you out you may have more success than Dan's bleak options. Maybe.
Posted by Afar on February 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM · Report this
130
Constipated. That was hilarious. I had a Lucille Ball - Jackie Gleason fofl on that.
Posted by lhbbcp on February 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
131
LOST makes a great case against virginity. I'm familiar with a few cases where young man is flattered by the "specialness" his gf bestows on him when she finally gives it up on the wedding night. Soon after, he discovers why she was a virgin all those years. She's not into sex!
Posted by Spokalou on February 23, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Noadi 132
Okay, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being together for years and not getting married if both partner want it that way. However if you know your partner wants to get married and you keep her on the hook for over 10 years so she has to promise more sex to get you to marry her (another 5 years after that) then you had issues to begin with. If LOST didn't want to marry her before he should have cut her loose a long time ago so they could have both found someone who was a better fit for them. They are both to blame for staying in a relationship that wasn't what they really wanted or needed and now they're going to have the cost of a divorce to deal with.
Posted by Noadi http://noadi.net on February 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
133
@39 hexalm, Join our ex-Mormon group! www.meetup.com/Seattle-Area-Ex-Mormons/
Posted by Libby Blue on February 23, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
134
Every time I come on here, I leave laughing. That is a high compliment, Dan, because I don't really laugh a lot. This time, however, it wasn't because of you. (sorry!) It was because there was an "elect Rick Santorum for president" ad RIGHT next to your article.
Really?
Posted by FreedomLover020 on February 23, 2012 at 1:15 PM · Report this
135
POOP needs to take a nice, big SANTORUM!!!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 23, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
136
Speaking of Santorum jokes, I've got one for the guy who wants to post classic headlines (although mine isn't a real one, but I'd LOVE it if it was):

Rick Santorum goes into a bar hosting a Republican caucus and starts talking to a clean cut, well dressed guy who appears to be a big supporter. Turns out the "supporter" was actually a progressive planted among the crowd, deliberately trying to freak the right-wing whackos and woman-haters the fuck out. He succeeds--a little too well when asking for Rick's phone number while fluttering his eyelashes, and POW!!!!---Santorum punches the poor guy in the face, resulting in an ugly bar-room brawl.
Headline in the next morning's paper? "All Hell Breaks Loose When Santorum Hits the Fan".
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
137
LAME, not sure if this will help but you might be stuck in a negative feedback loop. Here's what happened with me. I'm a gay guy and have been with my partner for 10 years. I'm a traditional horn dog but he's more of a it's special/I want romance kind of guy. Anyway we got stuck in this loop for awhile where he withheld sex so I withheld affection so he withheld sex etc. Finally we both realized it was fucking up the relationship so we compromised and alternate between romance/massages etc and quickies/pure dirty sex. When I lost the mindset of "why isn't he a horn dog like most guys" and just accepted him for who he was and worked within that framework things got a lot better for us.

As for what people will and won't do there are always some things people don't feel comfortable doing. Unless that's your main fetish you've got to consider if it's a deal breaker or not. However, oral is pretty standard so thats a no brainier.
Posted by sfguy on February 23, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
138
It does sound as if Lost is in a marriage that is unlikely to succeed due to sexual incompatibility. A marriage counselor who specializes in sex therapy may be of help, but if not then I do think divorce or asking his wife for an open marriage are options.

However, I am bothered by the fact that Lost finds it unacceptable that his wife wants to "be awake enough to have sex". Everyone should be awake enough to have sex when they have sex. Otherwise they can't give real consent. I hope that one of Lost's kinks isn't making love to unconscious women, unless he can find a woman who wants to have sex while she is asleep and is unaware of having it. There may be someone out there who shares that kink, I really don't know, but unless it is mutually agreed upon, having sex with someone who isn't awake is creepy and possibly illegal.
Posted by percysowner on February 23, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
bago40 139
You were dead on with the ex-girlfriend, Same happened to me except it was ex-boyfriend. The poop thing - sorry just completely unhealthy - physically and mentally. The guy who's new wife doesn't want to play - Duh, should've found that out within the first year or two at the most, seems like something missing there.
Posted by bago40 on February 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
140
@percysowner "but unless it is mutually agreed upon, having sex with someone who isn't awake is creepy and possibly illegal."

Yeah, that would be rape. Which is illegal. Glad you pointed out that that was disturbing, but I read the "not awake enough" bit as "she's always giving me the 'Honey I'm Too Tired' brush-off." Hopefully that's what he meant.
Posted by KittyWrangler on February 23, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
141
I hope LAME reads LOST's letter, because that will be him in 14 years if he "wins back" his high school girlfriend. Your teen romances are rarely, if ever, with anyone you'll find compatible as an adult. Move on, like LOST should have 16.5 years ago!

The gay dead Mormon site is pretty funny. Mormon baptism-by-proxy, though, is not as simple as clicking a button. They actually have volunteers who are dunked in a pool of water on behalf of the baptizee. The equivalent, I think, would involve having volunteers to convert them by having gay sex on their behalf. So, next time you're in the throes of ecstasy with a same-sex partner, try screaming "Brigham! Brigham! Brigham!" That should do it. ;)
Posted by BeingABear on February 23, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
142
@116 vennominion,

Oh come on, I'm dying to use "newlyweds" on my retiring congressman and his fiancee. Sometime in the not too distant future Barnett Frank and Jim Ready will be getting married, and earn the right to be called newlyweds. I'd really like to see a closeup of the custom ring Mr. Ready made for Rep. Frank.

If newlywed seems heterocentric to you, then it is time to redefine the word to your liking.

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on February 23, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
143
Lost,

Sorry, but you're not a well-illuminated couple.

You're a teen-aged couple struggling to stay together in your mid-30s. She was never really hot for you. She wanted to get married, you didn't.

Your math doesn't add.

You're sexually incompatible.

"Only when she's awake enough to actually have sex," sounds odd. Is that her language?

You've spent half your lives together. I'm not optimistic, but counseling is a minimum to save the marriage. But is it worth it?

Posted by Hunter78 on February 23, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
144
LOST - Show your selfish spouse today's column and tell her that you're the author of one of the letters. If she figures out which one you wrote tell her she's not holding up her end of the marriage vows; if she can't figure out which you wrote move out and then call a divorce lawyer.
Posted by MD man on February 23, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
145
Great advice, people. (Especially@110 on how to ease into the poop thing.) I'll just add that my advice to men with low-libido wives is not just to check in regarding their orgasms and fantasies, but also to try to find some kind of physical attention that they crave (neck rubs, back scratches, foot massages, whatever...) and be generous in that area, so they look forward to your touch. Won't fix everything, but it's a place tostart. Also, give them very specific sexy compliments: I love your butt in those pants; or 'could you wear your hair up tonight? That drives me wild.'
Posted by EricaP on February 23, 2012 at 7:07 PM · Report this
mydriasis 146
@Erica

Honestly - "give compliments, make your compliments specific" is probably some of the most useful relationship advice you can give to a man in a relationship with a woman.

Personally, I'm an absolute sucker for compliments.
Posted by mydriasis on February 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM · Report this
147
Mr Married - Well, I did speculate earlier that it might be interesting to reapply it to those who have not long had the right. The couple you instance would suit.
Posted by vennominon on February 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM · Report this
148
Ms Driasis - Ooh, you're perilously near reminding me of Dr Schwyzer and his mantra that Traditional Gender Roles are Dangerous and Evil Except For the Ones He Likes (Which Means Every Decent Human Being Enacts Them).

But thank you for providing such a splashable example.
Posted by vennominon on February 23, 2012 at 8:11 PM · Report this
mydriasis 149
@ven

I would never even begin to pretend that I don't enjoy quite a few traditional gender roles. Traditional roles are lovely and wonderful (except the ones I don't like). :P

I have a friend who identifies as a feminist (I typically don't, although twist my arm and I'll admit that I technically am) and we chat about this a lot. I'm not threatened by the existence of traditional gender roles (this applies equally to the ones that I do and do not conform to) while she is. I think taking the power from gender roles is a better goal than focusing on their arbitrariness in hopes of removing them.
Posted by mydriasis on February 23, 2012 at 9:29 PM · Report this
150
@140,

Given a major caveat: Verbal acceptance given first, some people like to be woken up by their partners having sex with them. Sometimes that isn't more involved than a mumbled "OK". Personally, "I wanna sleep" is a pretty easy message to understand.

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on February 24, 2012 at 2:52 AM · Report this
151
Ms Driasis - Now that nearly reminds me of parents who claim they're working to change the Boy Scouts from inside instead of pulling their sons out of an abhorrent organization when really they're just sending their boys on camping trips. Perhaps, though, I should not mention BSA here.

By all means choose your choice. While I cannot speak with authority, I'm sure it would indicate more involvement with TGRs to avoid them all than to follow some and not others. But why universalize one and thereby impose it on others (which was what recalled to mind He Who Must Be Shunned)?

Then again, as a natural giver of specific compliments, I'll take a brief to oppose the advice on the merits. People who need that advice won't be any good in the implementation of it. They will be reminiscent of Mr Collins assiduously flattering Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Were the advice changed to telling people to cultivate the art to the best of their abilities, I'd be fine with it. I just don't like the inference that people think anybody can just become a Master Complimenter at will.

It's similar to the self-knowledge that I am not really a good person. I know how good people act, and I can impersonate one, but I know I'm not seriously fooling anybody of discernment.
Posted by vennominon on February 24, 2012 at 4:28 AM · Report this
152
151, if you think the Boy Scouts are "abhorrent", you need to get out more and buy a new dictionary while you are out, because yours is broken.

European gangs pimping foreign women in sexual trafficking? Abhorrent. Boy Scouts? Not abhorrent.
Posted by Snowguy on February 24, 2012 at 5:25 AM · Report this
153
#1 - Is it possible that I could make Aristotle Onassis posthumously gay and then posthumously marry him? Cuz I could really use the money. I guess it would depend on what state I live in . . .

LAME - Dan is 100% correct. "Thanks, but no thanks".

LOST - Dan is 110% right. You were duped by a classic marriage bait-and-switch. She got what she wanted (a husband) and you didn't get what she promised you (the taste of pussy). DTMFA and be done with it. And take Dan's hint to heart next time around - people don't change once they get a wedding ring on their finger.
Posted by Clicker on February 24, 2012 at 6:23 AM · Report this
154
@145 EricaP
Those things need not be a "fix" but rather can be a delightful end in themselves, especially if they don't result in anything being fixed.
Posted by Mr. J on February 24, 2012 at 6:33 AM · Report this
sb53 155
@145 re LOST
I am weel into 30+ yrs with my H.S. bride and can tell you that ANY compliment from Hubby is viewed as sexually motivated, and used as evidence of an over -active male libido.
He will hear "act your age" "men are pigs" etc. etc.
The only remedy is to sneak and become a CPOS in this columns vernacular.
T.
Posted by sb53 http://www.werneropticalcenter.com on February 24, 2012 at 6:55 AM · Report this
156
@128(Optimal Cynic), yours seems to have been an interesting journey -- to the MRA and back. They are indeed a strange bunch to argue with. You make me feel curious; hopefully someday you'll describe your experience in more detail.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 24, 2012 at 7:23 AM · Report this
157
@149(mydriasis), that's exactly the attitude I have (and that's part of the reason why I don't identify as a feminist either, even though, if forced, I supposed I'd have to say I am).

It is interesting that a subset of those fighting against gender roles seem to inflate said gender roles into boogeyman-proportions rather than actually weaken them with all their 'fighting'. Like those who fight against words instead of fighting against people: the final result is often the opposite of what they wanted.

Laughing and gender roles, or better yet: not really caring about them (which includes not caring to make sure you're the exact opposite of them) seems to me the best way to weaken their grip.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 24, 2012 at 7:33 AM · Report this
158
@147(Mr Ven), this is part of the reason why I'm more in favor of not 'fighting' against words, but actually using them. A word is more like a tool than like a cause, and, like all tools, it can be used to support the Cause. Unlike people (and ultimately hearts and minds and opinions), who, in some cases, can only be fought against.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 24, 2012 at 7:43 AM · Report this
159
@155, Don't try to pretend it's not sexually motivated. Try to get her to understand that her rejection is emotionally painful. And try to get her feeling sexual again, through welcome touch and your-best-effort at sincere, specific compliments. But if she honestly doesn't care about your pain, and dismisses your massages and your compliments, then I'm not sure why you'd stay married.
Posted by EricaP on February 24, 2012 at 8:28 AM · Report this
160
@159 emotionally painful to you, that is.
Posted by EricaP on February 24, 2012 at 8:30 AM · Report this
161
@36- I can't even READ that with a straight face!
Posted by Liz93 on February 24, 2012 at 9:18 AM · Report this
mydriasis 162
@151

I actually didn't recognize the name drop.
A few weeks ago I explained my opinion of "TGR" as you said (comparing them to left and right handedness or sexual orientation) and if you like I could maybe go back and find my little speech and copy-paste. It wasn't that riviting, just a personal opinion.

The boy scout analogy doesn't fit with how I view it, but I'd have trouble explaining why without giving the whole speech.

Finally - though I typically balk at men tailoring their behaviour to fit what women want (such a turnoff for a TGR person such as myself :P) a small adjustment in compliment format is hardly analagous to simulating the behaviour of a completely different person.
Posted by mydriasis on February 24, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
163
Ok I was married for 23 years to a cold fish. We met in the Army got married I was 20 she was 18. Our pe-marrage sex was great we did everything!! The first sex night of the marrage I was ready to put it in her rear again, as we had done on many accusations before. She said no! "no more anal". That was the start of being trapped. Sex then went to every couple months to going with out for 2 1/2 years. 23 years of this god awful cold fish of a woman; it was awful. Don't waist your life Lost you only live once man!!!
Posted by k.pascoe on February 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
164
@155, this is apparently an American phenomenon (I was surprised to see there women who really thought that a compliment was an implicit attempt to 'objectify' or somehow harm them; I remember having talks with Brazilian female friends of mine who were similarly bewildered). It's part of the 'sex is bad' (+ 'men want sex' so 'men are bad') part of the ambiguous relation America has with sex.

EricaP's advice above is, I think, very good: if you make her understand that this implicit accusation actually hurts your feelings without any reason for that (since sex is not in itself offensive), and if you try to make her feel sexual with welcome touch, things may get better.

Perhaps the 'fear of objectification' is, for some women, more a fear of not being good at sex. Maybe she fears how you'd judge her. Or maybe it's because she doesn't want sex, either in general or with you. Either way, a sincere and open conversation about what she wants, what you want, and how to satisfy both might help.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
165
re LOST: I don't understand why more people aren't jumping on Mrs. LOST for her (apparent) desire for being married. You know, the cultural artifact that makes so many women (and some men) want to be married just for the sake of *being married*.

Many people are quick to change their attitudes regarding sex, gender roles, etc. but to me as a never-been-married person it seems even progressives are slow to relax their grip on the traditional institution of marriage.

In my opinion Mrs. LOST shouldn't be criticized for false advertising or a low libido, but for objectifying the marriage thing.
Posted by repete on February 24, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
166
...continued from 165: Mr. & Mrs. LOST seem immature, as if they haven't developed much beyond where they were when they met. Regardless, they're both screwed up and it sounds like they were not in the right place to have married each other.
Posted by repete on February 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
167
@155: What your wife deserves is for you to tell her, "Fine, have it your way. Since you think my compliments just show what a pig I am, I will demonstrate my respect for you by refraining from complimenting you." Then let it go about two months with no compliments whatsoever. After that time is up, start giving some other women (really inocuous) compliments in your wife's presence, and see how quickly she decides that gee, maybe she would like a few for herself after all.

Sometimes people need to be hit in the face with a bucket of cold logic.
Posted by avast2006 on February 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
168
re: 167: I have to amend that. It's possible your wife thinks that's her version of being coquettish or bantering; or that the acceptance of compliments indicates vanity on her part, so it's her duty to wave them off. The honest approach that EricaP talks about is a better place to start. Telling her how it makes you feel (like she is repulsed by you) might come as a revelation to her, and she might change her ways voluntarily.

I just had been thinking that if she is silly enough to think that getting compliments is bad, she ought to find out just how bad _not_ getting them is.
Posted by avast2006 on February 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
169
118 & 125, you're so right. LOST is the one who's talking about sex with his wife like it was a transaction they bargained on, so he feels like an unsatisfied customer.
Posted by Suzy on February 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
170
The life of someone like William—who responded to a posting I placed on Craigslist identifying myself as a writer trying to understand the psyche of a still-closeted man—seems at the very least anachronistic. Typically, the “closet” brings to mind small towns, intensely religious communities, and, at the most cosmopolitan level, the lives of Jim McGreevey and Mark Foley: gay men operating in a world so inherently duplicitous that their choosing to lead a shadow life follows, sadly, a certain logic. And yet the thing about desire—frustratingly, thrillingly—is that few things are so resistant to reason and categorization. “I used to think I was bi, but now I really believe that I am gay and just was not in the right situation,” William wrote to me in an early message. “I think I like a particular kind of guy and when I went out looking I never found him, so I gravitated toward women. I found what I liked on the Internet, but I was already married.”

It's a green grass end to a cruel cold day. Say Goodbye.
Posted by gge, saying goodbye on February 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
171
Problem:

Is loving somebody that much in the first place and having them walk right over the top of you time and time again ever even worth it? My experience with this has taught me 'no'. Some people can give, some people just take.

I don't think it is the issue of being outed as much as this guy seems to want to have his cake and eat it too.

For all you know, he is married to a woman, has children but is not happy and would like to have a relationship with a man. Those are really difficult decisions to make in our society. They can be made if the person has the strength, commitment and honesty to make them.

Don't let this person do this to you. Get out and find somebody worthy of loving you and receiving love from you in return.

Good Luck.

Posted by Please Take Care on February 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
172
It makes all of the difference too when you have options, looks, connections and money. The temptation to follow your own heart becomes diluted when others are enticed by what you have that most people don't have.

All I ever had was the integrity and courage of the ability to be honest. I never have had a way through life like you have. It tugs at my heart because --even though I can't help but to care on a human level-- I also know that you are divorced from that on account of your need for cover.

I care, and I want to see you happy, and healthy.
I hope you are. Sadly, I am not happy right now.
I don't think it's healthy for either of us to reach out to the other in any way anymore. The chasm is too wide and cannot be bridged as long as one of the two decides to remain closeted.

I need to go now. Please take care, William.....

gge
Posted by it won't be easy to mourn you, but i know that I have to on February 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
173
rip19952012@itreallyistheend.com
Posted by Empathy Without Relation on February 24, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
174
@169: Did you not notice the part where LOST's wife was the first one to say, "Why should I give you 100% when you aren't giving me what I want?" That's a whole hell of a lot more transaction-like than his basic "Why did you lose interest in me?"

From his perspective it's more like she's the one who wanted a transaction, and even though he's given her the transaction that she wanted, she still isn't happy.

Not to rag entirely on one side, though. Personally, I've never understood wanting to be with someone for all intents and purposes permanently (17 years? SEVENTEEN YEARS?!?) and still be unwilling to marry them. There comes a point where you realize that this isn't just casual, that you have built a life together, and you frankly owe each other the legal protections that come with solemnizing the commitment. Example: you die suddenly and your legal next-of-kin decide to try to take your estate, doing her out of what should be joint property. Doesn't one's life partner deserve protection against that sort of thing?

She's probably pretty mad that it took ten years for her to get fed up enough to start getting passive-aggressive with the sex, then two more years to complain about it, then five more years after that (!) to remedy the situation.
Posted by avast2006 on February 24, 2012 at 1:10 PM · Report this
175
"She's probably pretty mad that it took ten years for her to get fed up enough to start getting passive-aggressive with the sex, then two more years to complain about it, then five more years after that (!) to remedy the situation."

Seventeen years is a long time, but it's worse to never figure it out at all.

Best To All.

Posted by compassionate yet firm on February 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
176
Dear Dan,

I love your column. But alldeadmormonsarenowgay.com?! Really? I get the humor, I get the sarcasm, I get the shocking juxtaposition. But you're better than that, and so are we! Your readers, I flatter myself to believe, are people who believe in choice. I don't care who's gay, who's mormon, or who likes mayonnaise (ew!). Not my life. And even when we're joking, the people we're joking about have families and loved ones just like holocaust victims. Rise above! Keep naming excretions, and be the bigger man.

Peace,
ams
Posted by mellamoanna on February 24, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
177
Ms Driasis - I did say nearly. I could go much deeper into the complimenting thing, but it would be like the South in the Civil War invading Massachusetts - Not My Territory. But, if you were a natural giver of compliments instead of a natural receiver, I'm sure you'd see my point.

I shall spare the assembled company a lecture on Pride and Prejudice.
Posted by vennominon on February 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM · Report this
178
Mr Ank - But the Straight White Men will always, like Humpty Dumpty, control the dictionary. I despair.
Posted by vennominon on February 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
179
To the BSA defender: A prominent organization proclaims that two particular classes of young people (who are are already prone to being on the receiving end of negative discrimination through no fault of their own) to be inherently incapable of meeting a not overly rigourous minimum standard of moral virtue, while trying to maintain a cloak of non-bigotry. That meets my standard for abhorrence. You are free to have quite a different standard of your own.
Posted by vennominon on February 24, 2012 at 4:48 PM · Report this
180
@137 sfguy: love the perspective. As a more hetero than not woman married for a decade to a man who's into less sex and more vanilla sex than am I, I always appreciate a little real world complexity spitting in the eye of simplistic, men like sex and women don't, bullshit. These kinds of stereotypes certainly don't fit my reality. More importantly, though, they can too often become obstacles in the quest for better sex as disappointment/frustration/hurt become in part about the distance between stereotype driven expectation and reality as much as distance between your individual desires (or lack thereof).
Posted by lwl on February 24, 2012 at 6:08 PM · Report this
181
a lot of commenters are saying that Mrs.LOST gave Mr.LOST an ultimatum "marry me, and i'll satisfy you more". after re reading the letter, I don't see where that was ever said. He never said she said "marry me and i'll be comfortable with masturbation and blowies"....I think she stopped doing those things because he wouldn't marry her after 10 years, he was just stupid enough to think marrying her (5 years later??!!) would suddenly reverse her waning attraction to him. She is to blame also, for accepting the marriage proposal. In my experience, you can't fake attraction to someone. I'm surprised nobody has discussed why it is that women stop having sex with their spouse (not saying this is true in every situation, just generalizing). I believe it is because the focus stops being about the woman's pleasure, and the man stops doing things to please her. It's all about the guy wanting to just fuck and cum. Just one theory I have. I would be interested to see what other womens reasons are as to why they stop being interested in sex.
Posted by spark99 on February 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM · Report this
ASX 182
Let me get this straight...Mr. LOST is with a woman who has "never been too sexual a person" but she gave enough to keep him around for the first 10 years. Then after things fell off not only stayed another 7, but married her. It would seem logical to assume he knew what he was in for for the last 7 years and married her anyway. If sex is that important to him, he should have bailed a long time ago. I'm also confused as to why she stayed with someone all that time who didn't seem to be inclined to marry her. If being married was a priority for her, why didn't she DTMF instead of staying around feeling bitter not giving 100%?

"We've had this discussion consistently throughout our short marriage, with no sign of her even trying" They never had these discussions for the 17 years they were together before getting married? He expects her to change? He feels like he was hoodwinked into marriage? I'm totally dumbfounded by his attitude. Why should she? She knows he's obviously doesn't have the nerve to leave. Normally when I hear these stories when men have relationships with women who play bait and switch with sex/marriage I sympathize with the man, however, since they were together for such a long time prior to the wedding he knew what he was getting. Sorry, no sympathy from me. IMHO, no one is a victim in this marriage and it sounds like they deserve each other.

If he's that unhappy not getting enough sex, he needs to get out of that marriage now before they have kids and is trapped.
Posted by ASX on February 24, 2012 at 6:20 PM · Report this
183
@170-173, I'm guessing that you're posting here because part of you doesn't want to hurt yourself, and part of you does. If that's right, I hope you will take the time, right now, to call a crisis hotline and let them know you are thinking about hurting yourself:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Thinking about you...
Posted by EricaP on February 24, 2012 at 7:55 PM · Report this
184
@63, re POOP, wrote "Give it a try (Game) not be judgmental (Good) not immediately ruling it out (Giving)."

That's not how I understand the components of GGG. For me:

Game = Give it a try AND don't be judgmental.

Good = Learn how to perform the sex acts your partner enjoys with skill and enthusiasm. And keep trying to improve - don't settle for halfway decent.

Giving = Be generous with your partner and don't keep score of how often you each get your favorite sex act.
Posted by EricaP on February 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM · Report this
mydriasis 185
@177

Is tendancy to give compliments like eye colour now? When did that happen?

I give compliments constantly. I don't consider it 'unnatural' to do so...
Posted by mydriasis on February 24, 2012 at 9:39 PM · Report this
186
My,

I have often observed your compliments-- of yourself.

Posted by Hunter78 on February 25, 2012 at 12:04 AM · Report this
187
@178, no, they won't, Mr V -- because words are tools for everybody, and there's no need to submit to the dictionary. (In practice, nobody does, actually.)

Umberto Eco once created the concept of "semiological guerrilla", which he defined as the (deliberate or not) re-interpretation of the message to mean something other than what its sender had intended.

One is also reminded of the famous army logo "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent," which I translate as "you don't have to buy into the meaning someone wants to transmit with a certain word."

All in all it's always about concrete situations, isn't it? What I do now, when someone is trying to offend me (and make me feel inferior) with some word? Do I laugh? Do I throw other offensive words back at the person? Do I dissect the person's intention in front of him? Do I stay silent? Do I attempt physical aggression? Do I ignore them? Do I call the police?

What is the correct course of action when one is being offended? What will work? What has any chance of changing something? What will feel more cathartic?

Anger is a powerful source of motivation.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 25, 2012 at 2:58 AM · Report this
188
@185, I keep thinking there's something funny with the way American culture handles compliments, especially by men to women, but sometimes even in other directions and contexts. It's as if any compliment were always conceived as having a second or third intention, as if any compliment were always and only an attempt at flattery, to influence someone, to exploit or get something out of someone.

Weird, isn't it?
Posted by ankylosaur on February 25, 2012 at 3:07 AM · Report this
189
@184
EricaP, I'm in love with you!
Posted by gggman on February 25, 2012 at 4:11 AM · Report this
190
@188 ankylosaur
Why is this issue so hard to understand? We have a history of oppressing women that many of us are trying to rise above. The compliment used as a power-nullifying putdown is a well established phenomenon. Stick to complimenting women with whom you have an established, non-professional relationship who you are certain will receive a compliment from you (you specifically) as a welcome gesture.
Posted by Mr. J on February 25, 2012 at 5:34 AM · Report this
mydriasis 191
@Hunter

You're pathetic.

@Mr. J

See, this is why women like me can't stand feminists most of the time.
Posted by mydriasis on February 25, 2012 at 6:18 AM · Report this
192
@191 mydriasis
No, I don't see. Will you please elaborate?
Posted by Mr. J on February 25, 2012 at 8:20 AM · Report this
nocutename 193
Mr. J and mydriasis,
I never understand why a woman wouldn't consider herself a feminist. Don't you believe that women should have the same opportunities as men, get equal pay for the same work, not be discriminated against because of gender?
Posted by nocutename on February 25, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
194
@193 nocutename
I'm not sure why you're asking me that. Of course I believe all those things. I'm just surprised when people don't get how compliments are and have been used to belittle. People are more than their sex. There's a right time, place, and audience for compliments.
Posted by Mr. J on February 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM · Report this
nocutename 195
Compliments are wonderful when they're sincere.
And welcomed, I think, when they're not being used as an opening gambit for something that the complimentor wants from the complimentee. If the person being complimented sense that the compliment is either a bargaining chip or a precursor to a favor (which is what I think Mr. Ven, with his reference to "Pride and Prejudice" was referring to), the compliment is not welcomed. And if a compliment seems to imply a limitation, like a woman in the workplace being complimented by her male colleague on her hairstyle, if she feels that that is all he thinks is valuable about her or that he only regards her in terms of her attractiveness (which might be what Mr. J meant), that is likewise not appreciated. And it does seem to be true that unless you're really close with someone, the compliments tend often to be appearance- based.

But, like mydriasis, I hand out sincere compliments every day, and often to total strangers ("I love your shoes"), and I get compliments all the time (again, often from strangers) and it's dang nice.

When my former bf used to see me and say in this sincere, enthusiastic voice, "you look great!" I'd love it.

I think that frequently, compliments tend to fade away except for special occasions over the course of long-term relationships, and no doubt, many men use them as a precursor to initiating sex--though the compliment might be genuine and heartfelt, and spark the desire to have sex or stem from the desire to have sex with a woman the man thinks is attractive (kind of a loop here).

I suppose it is the woman who feels generally unappreciated by her partner, who sees the compliment as an insincere and basically cheap way to "buy" her favor so he can get what he wants (sex) and which she is reluctant to "give" (sex) who has a problem with compliments in the personal realm. But that dynamic seems to stem from a much larger interpersonal problem that would need to be addressed.
More...
Posted by nocutename on February 25, 2012 at 9:01 AM · Report this
nocutename 196
Mr. J--I was asking rhetorically, and my question was addressed more to mydri and others--especially women--like her who don't identify as feminsit, than to you. I was trying to take your side re: feminism. As far as compliments go, I agree with time, place, relationship, form of compliment, etc.
Posted by nocutename on February 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
mydriasis 197
Do I want those things? Yes, I do, but other (in my mind, painfully trivial) issues unfortunately get folded into that.

If I wanted to get really precise: I don't go out of my way to call myself a feminist but when pressed, the expression I use is "third world feminist". I care a great deal about feminist issues in "third world" countries (I include the US in that catagory because although they are a wealthy country, their human rights politics are abysmal) but not so much those that get brought up here (compliments are objectification! beer ads are sexist! I make slightly less money!).

I just can't bring myself to care about a couple less cents on the dollar when there are women that can't vote, women that aren't allowed to go to school, women that are legally bound to marry their rapists. How could anyone?

By the dictionary definition of feminism, I am a feminist, yes. But there are a lot of feminist ideas I really don't support and unfortunately those are the ones I hear about constantly. Such as the suggestion that men shouldn't compliment women for fear of offending them for some ridiculous contrived reason.

I just don't feel that the current state of 'feminism' represents me or my opinions at all. It's similar to how before if you were religious you would say 'I'm religious' but now some people insist on identifying as 'spiritual, not religious' because they don't feel 'religious' represents them correctly anymore based on other people who identify that way.

Does that make sense?
Posted by mydriasis on February 25, 2012 at 9:07 AM · Report this
198
@191: Even though not all compliments are sexual harassment, compliments used as sexual harassment are a serious thing and I don't think they should be taken lightly. If the female employees are constantly being checked out & complimented on their bodies and/or manner of dress that shows off their body and the men aren't being treated the same way, then that workplace can become extremely uncomfortable for the women. The whole reason compliments originally became a sexual harassment problem in the workplace is the fact that many women were being treated as romantic objects in the workplace and weren't being taken seriously as businesspeople.
Posted by alguna_rubia on February 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
199
@mydriasis, you are of course welcome to your priorities. And of course it's worse for women to be unable to testify against their rapists, and have to marry them, than it is for women to hear "nice ass" in the workplace.

But: our ability to change third world cultures is very limited.

Workplace compliments like "great job!" can and should be given to women as well as men. The problem comes from sexualized compliments, and Mr. J. is wise to suggest limiting them to women with whom you have an "established, non-professional relationship."

I love when my husband tells me "nice ass" -- but if a colleague said that, he'd be out of line. Make sense?
Posted by EricaP on February 25, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this
nocutename 200
@mydriasis: I agree that there are a hierarchy of issues facing women today, and that in many ways, American women don't face the same discrimination (though in the far right's attempt to control our sexuality as is demonstrated in a variety of legislation, attempted/proposed legislation and campaign rhetoric, this is an arguable claim) as women in some other countries/cultures often do.

But I get irked when all feminism is conflated to mean "uptight bitch with no sense of humor, offended far too easily," which is what many people seem to do. If enough people who aren't that extreme self identified as feminists (and publicly), then there would be a much broader and more truly representative view of what feminism means and who feminists are.
Posted by nocutename on February 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
nocutename 201
More on compliments.

There is a word, "disinterested," which is being misused a lot today as a synonym for "uninterested," but which actually means that the disinterested person has nothing to gain, and wants nothing (from someone or some situation). There is no self-interest.

So a disinterested compliment is one that stems from the giver's honest and genuine appreciation of someone or something, without any sense that giving said compliment is an act of ass-kissing. There is nothing to be gained for him when a stranger tells me that he likes my earrings, or I compliment someone on her shoes, nor is there when I tell a colleague that I thought her presentation was wonderful, or a friend that his homemade tonic made the best gin and tonic I've ever tasted. I don't want to get anything as a result of those compliments; I just want to express my admiration.

Contrast this to Mr. Ven's example of Mr. Collins' toadying to Lady Catherine de Bourgh by paying her compliments which are the opposite of disinterested. Every sycophantic compliment he issues is intended to butter her up and to result (hopefully) in her preferment--and in reaping the financial and social rewards of that preferment.

This is one kind of compliment people may object to, as it doesn't feel genuine, or as they sense self-interest behind it.

And the other kind of unappreciated compliment is the kind that is inappropriate, as Mr. J and EricaP pointed out: "nice ass" in the workplace, though I can't believe that would actually be uttered much these days with people's awareness of the consequences of sexual harassment. It's probably more like, "you look hot today" (which, in the funniest example of the inappropriate compliment, was exactly what my cousin said to me--on my wedding day!).

If a wife (or husband, or boyfriend or girlfriend) gets upset at a personal compliment from an intimate partner, it seems that the objection comes from assuming it was payed out of self-interest; if a person gets offended at a compliment from someone with whom he or she isn't intimate, it is likely that it's of the inappropriate variety.
More...
Posted by nocutename on February 25, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
202
@201 this stuff still happens, though at least in this case the manager was promptly fired (due to the corporation's policies on sexual harassment):

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-…
Posted by EricaP on February 25, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
mydriasis 203
@Erica/cute

I've had a lot worse than 'nice ass' in the workplace and it pretty much rolled off my back. I assume I'll have a different attitude once I get a real job (I'm a student) but for the time being I guess that argument doesn't really jive with my real life experience.

Look, though 'feminist' itself is a diverse and all inclusive term - in practice it's still essentially a movement in that there are people actively engaged in it (bloggers and writers, etc) and people watching (me). And I do watch. One of my closest friends cares a lot about these things and she's a bright, reasonable person (not an uptight bitch). It's just that a lot of the issues that come up in the context of Canada (not America*, like I said, you guys have some serious problems) are either petty/trivial or I legitimately don't even agree with the feminist viewpoint on that issue.

That's why I don't typically identify as feminist.

*If you look at what I posted, I actually did suggest that legitimate feminist struggles are alive and well in America. My condolences.
Posted by mydriasis on February 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
204
mydriasis, do you think it's good or bad or neutral that the manager in the link I posted @202 got fired? It's not a test, I'm just curious.

Also, I'm curious why you don't identify as a feminist who disagrees with some specific tactics other feminists use.

I think people involved in the civil rights movement, or the peace movement, or any movement, have all had differences of opinion about the movements' tactics, strategies & priorities. Movements don't move in lock-step; why not present yourself as a voice for change within the feminist movement?
Posted by EricaP on February 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
nocutename 205
@202: I guess my point is that most people know not to say "nice ass" because they will be fired, and they are! I realize that it still happens.

@203: You can let comments in the workplace like "nice ass" or worse roll off your back (you can even be flattered), and still recognize that they're inappropriate and obtuse at best and intentionally demeaning at worst. Can't you?

*I did see that you recognized that feminist struggles are alive and well in America; I was trying to concede your point that there are places where women have harder and more basic struggles.
Posted by nocutename on February 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
206
@190(Mr J), I don't mean "funny" or "weird" as in "difficult to understand": of course the fear of compliments has a historical explanation in American society, just like wearing the veil has a historical explanation in Islamic societies. "Weird" in this context simply means "didn't have to be like that," "there are other possibilities," etc. Perhaps in the future, when the slightly traumatic origin you mention recedes in time, Americans will feel differently about compliments. (Or maybe not; maybe it'll be forever part of American culture, who knows.)

I learned fairly quickly not to compliment women who I wasn't close to in America, just as female Brazilian friends also learned that the fact they weren't getting compliments didn't imply Americans thought they were unattractive. One does adapt to other cultures.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
207
@195 (nocutename), precisely.

But I understand compliments have a history in American society, so I can also understand that some people have ambivalent feelings, or then cannot really tell if a compliment is sincerely meant or is just part of some manipulative game or a way to belittle others. Many people will, when in doubt, assume the worst. Which is I think the tendency that led to this (in average) compliment-unfriendly atmosphere.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
208
@203-204, I myself don't identify as a feminist (and I know a number of women who don't even), despite agreeing with nocutename's basic points in her previous post, simply because 'feminism', especially in academic circles, tends to mean many different things, things that go way beyond simple equality of rights and duties/opportunities for both sexes.

Just as racial equality has basically gone mainstream in that most people assume most people agree with it (at least in public speech or in theory -- it's "right" or "better than the opposite"), so is gender equality. I don't think anybody, feminist or not, can really reasonably argue (meaning by this that s/he thinks s/he can win the discussion on logical grounds alone) against equality, and anyone who might try would be seen as wrong by default (just as anyone who would argue for the intrinsic superiority of some race would also be seen as wrong by default).

So it seems "feminism" and "feminist" these days mean more than simply the belief in equality of rights and duties/opportunities. A lot more goes into it -- social stereotypes and their influences, traditional gender roles, specific social issues, ideas about how society should evolve in the future, what level of responsibility all involved parties have in the current situation... and some viewpoints defended in these discussions are to me completely wrong. (In fact, sometimes I think there are so many competing viewpoints and definitions of feminism, that the word itself -- as happened previously to the word 'socialism' -- loses much of its meaning.)

Furthermore, many of the factions in the discussions (especially in the feminist blogosphere, but often also outside of it) tend to claim that others "aren't (true) feminists", implicitly believing they have the power to decide who is or isn't a true feminist -- clearly conceding that a firm belief in equality of rights and duties/opportunities for all genders is no longer enough.

Given these problems, rather than find a niche for myself in the discussion, I prefer to say that, since I only believe in equality of rights and duties/opportunities (and not much else), I am not really a feminist. Of course, if you take said belief to be the definition of a feminist, as it used to be, then of course I am one; but -- and that's my point -- to many people this is no longer the case.
More...
Posted by ankylosaur on February 25, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
209
'....who don't even' -> '...who don't either'. Sigh!...
Posted by ankylosaur on February 25, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
210
As for compliments... I basically agree with nocutename above. With the following caveat: what makes a certain compliment appropriate or not is clearly culturally determined. It's not because "nice ass!" refers to a body part that it has to be an implicit attemt to belittle or to objectify someone. "Nice ass!" could in principle be every bit as disinterested a compliment as "nice shoes!" But in American culture it is assumed (and in my experience it is basically true) that someone who makes this compliment is not disinterested, but does actually have other (usually bad) intentions.

Brazilians have different standards for what would count as appropriate or inappropriate in the workplace. (I remember bewildered comments by some of my compatriots at the time when Americans were discussing whether or not Obama calling that reporter "sweetie" during his campaign was appropriate.)
Posted by ankylosaur on February 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
211
Ms Cute - I didn't mean so much that Mr Collins is the ultimate upsucker whose compliments are all patently directed towards securing his own advantage, though that's a good chunk of it, as that he dissects the compliment to death. Recall his discussion with Mr Bennet on his introductory visit to Longbourn in which he acknowledges that he considers it part of his duty to provide such compliments as will always be agreeable to ladies. He then goes on to discuss how he occasionally amuses himself by contriving conversational openings for prepared compliments, but owns that they usually derive from what is passing at the moment, and he contrives to give them as unstudied an air as possible.

Ms Driasis - I just hold that complimenting is not something you can just tell someone to do and walk off thinking Problem Solved. But if you want to maintain that quarter-baked compliments work in heterosexual relationships, then I have no interest whatsoever in contradicting you.
Posted by vennominon on February 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
212
Ms Erica - Are you perhaps setting the bar a bit high on Good? Do you mean enthusiasm for the act itself or for pleasing one's partner?

I have two cautionary examples. One is a woman I met once whose daughter I knew slightly. When her daughter came out, Mrs X got very involved in PFLAG almost at once and became virtually a professional POL, when really her daughter, a staunch conservative, just wanted to bring a female companion to holiday dinners.

The other is from Muriel Spark's novel The Bachelors. Ronald Bridges, who had considered the priesthood before his epilepsy became apparent, settled into a career as a handwriting expert. His girlfriend Hildegarde, who embodied the epitome of GGG, took to studying the subject in order to assist him, and quickly became alarmingly knowledgeable. In the end, she took over so much of his life with so much competence that he broke off in alarm.
Posted by vennominon on February 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
213
Mr. Ven, I believe when one is good at something, and one has an appreciative audience, then it is (relatively) easy to enjoy oneself.

But it's not GGG to do the act (blowjob, anal, pooping-in-front-of-one's-partner, phone sex, whatever) with an audible sigh of resignation. Be a good sport, or don't say you're GGG.
Posted by EricaP on February 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM · Report this
214
Your advice about extremes is valid -- when one person introduces a kink, they sometimes think it will stay at their level. But once someone like POOP learns to eroticize poop, she may end up wanting to take it further than her partner. This often happens with threesomes...a guy thinks it's just about fulfilling his fantasy, but the women may learn more about their own interests, and no longer want him in the room...
Posted by EricaP on February 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
215
@199 & @200 EricaP & nocutename: I agree with what you're both saying.
Posted by auntie grizelda on February 25, 2012 at 3:29 PM · Report this
216
@ankylosaur
I think I may have to learn Portuguese.

What is feminism anyway? Look at the conservatives argue about what conservatism is or what a christian is. If I have an interest in talking to you then I'm happy to say I'm a feminist or a vegetarian and then get into all the qualifiers from there. These labels are merely top level categories.
Posted by Mr. J on February 25, 2012 at 4:06 PM · Report this
Roma 217
In the history of the world, has there ever been a woman turned on by watching a man take a shit?
Posted by Roma on February 25, 2012 at 4:07 PM · Report this
218
@Roma, if that question is for me @214... Probably yes, but I got grossed out reading the FetLife groups about scat before I found any such examples.

But there are lots of women in the FetLife groups who like to take a shit on men. That's what I meant: POOP's fiancé might be upset if POOP ends up wanting to use him as a toilet. When you introduce someone to a kink, they may reject it, they may tolerate it, they may like it, and they may love it even more than you do. Always an adventure :-)
Posted by EricaP on February 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM · Report this
219
The conversation about LOST's dilemma centers around whether Mrs. LOST started the transactional approach to sex and marriage or whether Mr. LOST did, and who bought into it first and whether they deserve each other.

I propose a different way of framing the question. What if LOST's letter looked like this:

Somewhere along the way I ended up in a marriage where sex is more of a bargaining chip than something wonderful we do for and with each other. At the very least, if sex is going to be bargaining chip, I want the better end of the deal, but I'm not even getting that. I'm so used to seeing sex in those terms that I'm not thinking well. I know I've made a lot of mistakes along the way. Still, help me out of this mess!

And that's where I propose that the way to turn sex from something practically monetary in the relationship to something priceless is for him to go first, for him to say "I'll give you anything you want. This is all about you." And take it from there.
Posted by Crinoline on February 25, 2012 at 6:57 PM · Report this
220
My--

Super-complimenter!
Posted by Hunter78 on February 26, 2012 at 6:07 AM · Report this
221
Mr Ven, whoever thinks that it is possible to "just tell someone a compliment and walk off thinking Problem Solved" doesn't really understand what compliments are. A person who does that is simply trying to achieve some other end -- manipulate, provide social glue, 'be nice' by obligation, influence, obtain something, etc. -- not making a disinterested compliment.

A disinterest compliment is its own reward. It is merely a spoken recognition of the fact that someone else, by virtue of being / doing whatever s/he is being / doing, has made our day a little better.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 6:59 AM · Report this
mydriasis 222
@204

In the case you posted? It's a good thing.

As for why I don't identify as a feminist, @208 is pretty on the money

@205

Yes, I recognize that but I'm more inclined to think it's the former than the latter which again, I think seperates me from most people who identify as feminists.

@208
Thank you! You articulated that much better than I ever could have.

@211 Joke is, I tend to agree with you, personally. I am very very turned off by the concept of my relationships/sex life being contrived. And saying "can you compliment me this way?" would never happen - I prefer a 'natural' complimenter, as you said.

But most people (oh who am I kidding, I mean women, because I'm sexist) are not disinclined towards tweaking their partners behaviour. And that's sort of more how I took Erica's comment. Not for someone to go from never complimenting their partner, but to go from general compliments 'you're so pretty/hot/sexy' to more specific ones. I think that's at least an upgrade to 'half-baked' - don't you?

@220 You're welcome.
Posted by mydriasis on February 26, 2012 at 7:31 AM · Report this
223
@216, precisely. And not only top-level labels, but labels (at least for feminism) that have already been pretty much incorporated by the culture, so that nobody would actually argue against them (just as nobody would argue that we should abandon democracy and go back to absolute monarchy).

But in the discourse around issues, you often find name-calling and label-refusing. Indeed, conservatives will argue about who is a "real" conservative, liberals about who is a "real" liberal, and only god knows these days what a "socialist" is supposed to be, in the national debate. Likewise with feminism.

People tend to be more easy-going with compliments in Brazil, indeed, and in many circumstances women expect strangers to make compliments. But I wouldn't say that there are no problems in this area, no misunderstandings, no hurt feelings. There are. There is no paradise anywhere, just different kinds of mixed realities. As an American friend who has lived in Brazil for over twenty years now told me, it is at first quite liberating to be able to make compliments more freely to women, but pretty soon you get used to it and everything starts looking the same way: people, some good and some bad, and their relationships to each other.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 7:40 AM · Report this
224
@218, indeed, it's always an adventure! But I note this is not a property of sex or kink in itself, but of most things in life. How many people can really say they now what the next 5-10 years in their current relationship are going to bring?

Just as you said for kink, any change in a couple's life -- moving to a new place, taking on a new job, having a child, etc. -- can have unforeseen consequences, including that the one partner who wanted it the most may be surprised by seeing the other partner end up liking it much more and even taking the lead.

I find it amusing that people are often surprised to see that sex works like everything else in life. I hope more and more people will notice that -- so that sex will some day stop being this 'thing that is different' (because it's oh so fundamental, or oh so deep) and will be accepted as 'merely'(!) one of the facets of being human.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 8:06 AM · Report this
225
@222, you're welcome! Feminism and its dilemmas is a topic I've given considerable (free time, non-specialist) attention.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 8:10 AM · Report this
226
Ms Erica - "Good sport" is a fair standard.

Mr Ank - Thank you for letting me know never to visit Brazil. Is Argentina safe (or should one not mention that country to a Brazilian because of futbol protocol; I know what to avoid with natives of various UK area, but am not up on South America)?

Ms Driasis - Fair enough; as they say - choose your choice and wear the label; heat your soup and set the table.
Posted by vennominon on February 26, 2012 at 8:37 AM · Report this
mydriasis 227
Also, @Erica

Funny, but true: in my work environment, the objectification of women is done most freely and avidly by gay men. As in "hey M, can you go drop these drinks off at my table for me? It's a bunch of guys. And make sure you bend way over to show off your titties." No word of a lie.

The gay guys do all kinds of things that some straight men would kill to be able to get away with.
Posted by mydriasis on February 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
nocutename 228
@ankylosaur:
It's interesting that you mention the cultural differences vis a vis compliments, and how much more they are given and perhaps expected in Brazil.

I give compliments constantly to my female friends and acquaintances, and much less frequently to my male friends and acquaintances. And I receive many more compliments from women than I do men, with two exceptions (I use a purse that is very unusual and a conversation starter, and it attracts the compliments of men as much as or more than of women, and if I am romantically involved with a man I am likely to receive more compliments from him, though often of a different nature).

Most of the compliments I get from women are either about a specific item I'm wearing (I love your shoes) or, and only if the woman and I are actually friends, about my general appearance ("you look gorgeous!") I've never had the "you look gorgeous" compliment given to me by a woman I didn't know, and I've occasionally heard it from a man I don't know. When that has happened I have felt a mixture of embarrassment and flattery--I tend to laugh. That kind of compliment, under those circumstances seems to be to signal sexual interest (and it doesn't always happen in a club or when I'm all dressed up--I just heard it on a weekend morning, when I dashed out of the house to pick up bagels for the kids--but it did signal sexual interest, as it was followed by "can I get your phone number; would you like to go out sometime?")

Because I associate the "you look beautiful" kind of compliment coming from a stranger or on a day I'm not particularly dressed up with a signal of sexual interest, I'd feel uncomfortable hearing it said casually by people I barely know or don't know at all. Or so I think.

I have a few Latin American acquaintances, and they are much more effusive than Americans, as a rule. Since I don't consider these people to really be friends, I discount their compliments and endearments and tend to see them as social lubricant. But like all lubricants, they feel somewhat greasy and slippery to me--insincere and not worth giving any weight to. And then those compliments are meaningless, just so much formulaic niceties that have to be performed, like the custom of kissing hello or goodbye a prescribed number of times on each cheek, or a handshake or quick, sideways hug. None of these things necessarily indicates true affection, yet all of them can be used to indicate true affection.

Whereas the thing I like about what I consider to be true compliments (that is, those that aren't culturally expected as so much social lubricant) is the fact that there was no need to give them, so they must be genuinely felt.

As far as the specific vs. general compliment that EricaP, Mr. Vennominon and mydriasis are comparing, as long as I think it was sincere, I don't care whether it's general or specific!
More...
Posted by nocutename on February 26, 2012 at 9:28 AM · Report this
nocutename 229
@227: I forgot about that! You're right: gay men give compliments to women in a way that straight men don't, probably because there is an understanding that they aren't conveying sexual interest. So I do hear "you look gorgeous" from gay men, and probably more so than from my female friends.
Posted by nocutename on February 26, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
230
@226, unless you're using irony, I don't see why what I said implies you shouldn't visit Brazil. It's a country full of good people, and it's usually not difficult to make friends there (though I might avoid the upper North regions; they're a bit weird there ;-).

Argentinians and Brazilians are supposed to be 'mortal enemies', but if that were true we wouldn't both have been among the founding members of Mercosur... And then again it's not only Brazilians: most of South America agrees Argentinians are weird. (A joke a Colombian once told me: what's an "ego"? It's a little Argentinian we all have inside of ourselves...)
Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 9:39 AM · Report this
231
@gay men: my gay friends are oddly fascinated by breasts. They joke about them (as @227) as if they're mocking straight men's obsession, but I think they're (subconsciously, perhaps) a little more personally intrigued than they let on. Who knows.

@specific compliments: the idea is that when a wife enters a low libido zone, especially the very common unsexy-motherhood zone, she only hears general compliments as pleasant niceties. As part of an effort to re-awaken her sex drive, it helps to alert her to her specific body parts driving her husband wild with desire. That helps her feel desired, which is (usually) also what the husband would like to feel. Specific compliments won't change her attitude by themselves, but in combination with more non-sexual, affectionate touch, and some therapy if sex is off the table completely, it's at least a good-faith place to start.
Posted by EricaP on February 26, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
nocutename 232
@gay men and breasts: Yes, I have found that my gay male friends are also fascinated by breasts (well, for that matter, I am as straight as can be, and I am also fascinated by breasts: they're just beautiful). I was once approached by a few gay friends to act as "bait" for a shower installation that they were planning on doing at Burning Man. The idea was for me to solicit men, while wearing an extremely low-cut shirt, to take a shower in their 360 degree view-shower. I suggested that perhaps the men I succeeded in luring wouldn't be all that interested in being watched by gay men, and they said, "oh, honey, gay men are every bit as interested in tits as straight ones." I thought it was funny. The shower installation never came to pass, nor have I ever been to Burning Man, by the way.
Posted by nocutename on February 26, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
233
@nocutename, your quite insightful description agrees with my own personal observations in America, and all in all I can understand your interpretations of compliments against the framework of (what I understand as) American culture, within which your attitudes and interpretations make perfect sense.

One thing I actually quite like in American culture is that it is often more interested in sincerity than Latin American (and I'd say, especially Brazilian) culture. Many, if not most dialogues I had with Brazilians who weren't friends or acquaintances had the touch and feel of choreographed performances of pretended interest in each other's lifes plus false invitations that we both knew would actually never materialize -- what you call 'social lubricant.' Whereas with American near-strangers (from cab drivers to people who happened to be in the same hotel) I managed surprisingly often to have real exchanges of ideas and thoughts, sometimes about delicate topics. Brazilians love to pretend that there are no problems, that everything is OK, that we're all good friends, we're all just having fun, there's no reason to worry, tomorrow will take care of itself, everything ends up in pizza, etc. (I'm actually very critical of Brazilians and their habits; I'm an atypical Latin American in many respects.)

Yet... there are also features in American society that seem odd or cause negative interpretations in Brazilians (not unlike your impression that Latin American "social lubricant" feels a little greasy and slippery). The absence of compliments is one: Brazilians who expect the effusiveness that you pointed out react to its lack in America as something that needs an explanation. So, Brazilian women tend to expect men to pay attention to their physical attributes, by turning their heads to look at them, or making compliments, or by engaging in a mock-seduction game involving looks, smiles, eyebrow raising, etc. from both parties involved (There's a word for it in Portuguese: paquera.) Now, when they suddenly are in an environment in which this is almost entirely absent, Brazilian women may feel strange. I remember talking to surprised female Brazilians in their first year in the US (in those parties the nearest Brazilian consulate periodically throws so we can pretend we're still in contact with the Home Country -- come drink guaraná and eat coxinhas with us!) who speculated whether (a) American men were all asexual or had nervous traumas and couldn't really talk to women, or (b) were so uptight and religious (even when they pretended to be liberal) that they could never relax about sex. The most curious opinion I heard was that of a woman who was from my own home town, and who thought this attitude reflected some repressed racism: she thought that, since she was a mulata (half-white, half-black, like Obama), the lack of the kind of male attention she was used to in Brazil was due to American men seeing her as 'Black' and therefore undesirable.

Of course they were all wrong: Americans simply have a different scale for what is appropriate or inappropriate when giving compliments or engaging in social games. It's interesting, nocutename, that you yourself pointed out that a compliment like "you look gorgeous!" coming from a stranger would seem sexual and therefore cause discomfort. A Brazilian woman (I presume) would agree with you that the compliment was sexual, but she wouldn't feel discomfort: in fact, she would feel it was her due tribute, since she expects men to feel sexual in her presence ('hey, I am hot; of course this has to have some effect!') and would be sad if this never happened. Furthermore, because this is a common social situation, she knows exactly what to do: smile if she likes the guy and give him a compliment too ('so do you, gorgeous!'), or then give a mock-offended look and say something mock-offensive ('você não se enxerga?' = 'who do you think you are?' is a cliché one in this situation). Either way, both parties would not expect anything else to happen: both the woman and the man would expect the other to go on taking care of their own business, perhaps with a little smile signaling a successful exchange.

In other words, it seems Americans are more afraid of open displays of sexual interest in other people -- either because they're afraid of what the guy would do ('sex turns men into beasts!'), or because they feel that any show of sexual interest in a stranger implies belittling this person, i.e. it is a claim that this person is only sexually interesting and nothing else. Brazilians in general don't jump to this conclusion (or at least it isn't part of the Brazilian social script the way it is in America); they actually expect people to show sexual interest in strangers, within culturally accepted limits.

(Which in a sense is again insincere -- there is something again 'choreographic' about the way this happens in Brazil, something a little insincere...)

Now, I point out that there also are often displays of choreographed "social lubrication" in America, and again one that Brazilians can misinterpret. Here is one example: in my first week in Texas, I for some reason needed to go to the dean's office in my university. When I got there, his secretary was talking on the phone. When she finished, she looked at me with a sudden bright smile and said "hi! how aaare you?" with such suprising cheerfulness that I thought she was talking to someone else. I looked around, saw nobody, and then realized she meant me -- and felt weird, because I had never seen her and didn't expect such a warm welcome; while she felt weird because I didn't react to what had simply been an attempt to make a new student, a new face, feel welcome.

I encountered a number of other examples of this "exaggerated cheerfulness" from other Americans at the university in the next months. And then finally I ended up thinking that... to use your term, "social lubricant" feels a little greasy and slippery. But mostly when it's a social lubricant that we're not used to. The social lubricant from our own society (barring atypical cases like me) tends to feel, well, "appropriate": it's how people expect "normal people" to behave. The social lubricant of other societies, in contrast, because it is unexpected and has to be consciously translated (like a foreign language) in our mind, tends to feel more slippery and greasy.

I hope this quite long and obviously unplanned disquisition makes sense to you. :-)
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Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
234
@nocutename, your quite insightful description agrees with my own personal observations in America, and all in all I can understand your interpretations of compliments against the framework of (what I understand as) American culture, within which your attitudes and interpretations make perfect sense.

One thing I actually quite like in American culture is that it is often more interested in sincerity than Latin American (and I'd say, especially Brazilian) culture. Many, if not most dialogues I had with Brazilians who weren't friends or acquaintances had the touch and feel of choreographed performances of pretended interest in each other's lifes plus false invitations that we both knew would actually never materialize -- what you call 'social lubricant.' Whereas with American near-strangers (from cab drivers to people who happened to be in the same hotel) I managed surprisingly often to have real exchanges of ideas and thoughts, sometimes about delicate topics. Brazilians love to pretend that there are no problems, that everything is OK, that we're all good friends, we're all just having fun, there's no reason to worry, tomorrow will take care of itself, everything ends up in pizza, etc. (I'm actually very critical of Brazilians and their habits; I'm an atypical Latin American in many respects.)

Yet... there are also features in American society that seem odd or cause negative interpretations in Brazilians (not unlike your impression that Latin American "social lubricant" feels a little greasy and slippery). The absence of compliments is one: Brazilians who expect the effusiveness that you pointed out react to its lack in America as something that needs an explanation. So, Brazilian women tend to expect men to pay attention to their physical attributes, by turning their heads to look at them, or making compliments, or by engaging in a mock-seduction game involving looks, smiles, eyebrow raising, etc. from both parties involved (There's a word for it in Portuguese: paquera.) Now, when they suddenly are in an environment in which this is almost entirely absent, Brazilian women may feel strange. I remember talking to surprised female Brazilians in their first year in the US (in those parties the nearest Brazilian consulate periodically throws so we can pretend we're still in contact with the Home Country -- come drink guaraná and eat coxinhas with us!) who speculated whether (a) American men were all asexual or had nervous traumas and couldn't really talk to women, or (b) were so uptight and religious (even when they pretended to be liberal) that they could never relax about sex. The most curious opinion I heard was that of a woman who was from my own home town, and who thought this attitude reflected some repressed racism: she thought that, since she was a mulata (half-white, half-black, like Obama), the lack of the kind of male attention she was used to in Brazil was due to American men seeing her as 'Black' and therefore undesirable.

Of course they were all wrong: Americans simply have a different scale for what is appropriate or inappropriate when giving compliments or engaging in social games. It's interesting, nocutename, that you yourself pointed out that a compliment like "you look gorgeous!" coming from a stranger would seem sexual and therefore cause discomfort. A Brazilian woman (I presume) would agree with you that the compliment was sexual, but she wouldn't feel discomfort: in fact, she would feel it was her due tribute, since she expects men to feel sexual in her presence ('hey, I am hot; of course this has to have some effect!') and would be sad if this never happened. Furthermore, because this is a common social situation, she knows exactly what to do: smile if she likes the guy and give him a compliment too ('so do you, gorgeous!'), or then give a mock-offended look and say something mock-offensive ('você não se enxerga?' = 'who do you think you are?' is a cliché one in this situation). Either way, both parties would not expect anything else to happen: both the woman and the man would expect the other to go on taking care of their own business, perhaps with a little smile signaling a successful exchange.

In other words, it seems Americans are more afraid of open displays of sexual interest in other people -- either because they're afraid of what the guy would do ('sex turns men into beasts!'), or because they feel that any show of sexual interest in a stranger implies belittling this person, i.e. it is a claim that this person is only sexually interesting and nothing else. Brazilians in general don't jump to this conclusion (or at least it isn't part of the Brazilian social script the way it is in America); they actually expect people to show sexual interest in strangers, within culturally accepted limits.

(Which in a sense is again insincere -- there is something again 'choreographic' about the way this happens in Brazil, something a little insincere...)

Now, I point out that there also are often displays of choreographed "social lubrication" in America, and again one that Brazilians can misinterpret. Here is one example: in my first week in Texas, I for some reason needed to go to the dean's office in my university. When I got there, his secretary was talking on the phone. When she finished, she looked at me with a sudden bright smile and said "hi! how aaare you?" with such suprising cheerfulness that I thought she was talking to someone else. I looked around, saw nobody, and then realized she meant me -- and felt weird, because I had never seen her and didn't expect such a warm welcome; while she felt weird because I didn't react to what had simply been an attempt to make a new student, a new face, feel welcome.

I encountered a number of other examples of this "exaggerated cheerfulness" from other Americans at the university in the next months. And then finally I ended up thinking that... to use your term, "social lubricant" feels a little greasy and slippery. But mostly when it's a social lubricant that we're not used to. The social lubricant from our own society (barring atypical cases like me) tends to feel, well, "appropriate": it's how people expect "normal people" to behave. The social lubricant of other societies, in contrast, because it is unexpected and has to be consciously translated (like a foreign language) in our mind, tends to feel more slippery and greasy.

I hope this quite long and obviously unplanned disquisition makes sense to you. :-)
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Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
235
Coming from the (hetero) male side of things, the term "feminist" has changed meaning with time.  When my stepmother was working for a small company in the 1950s and early 1960s, she was the secretary for a department head.  After she had been working in that position for some time her boss died suddenly, leaving her managing the department.  The owner of the company put a know nothing male into the position of dept. head; one where my mom was still doing all the work, and spoon feeding her "boss" all his information.  Ultimately she complained to the owner of the company, and walked when told the figurehead had to stay.  At the time to state that the best qualified and trained person should hold a position, despite their sex, would have qualified as being a feminist.  

I was taught to respect a person because of their capabilities, and to not hold preconceived notions due to their gender (or race, religion, shoe size, etc...).  As a result I have come to hold bigots of any type in disdain, but especially those that try to whine about injustice when they are complaining about someone else gaining privilege at no cost to their own.  The latter group encompasses a lot of the anti-feminists.  A lot of the "uptight bitch with no sense of humor" mentality really comes from "she won't let me get away with my power trip moves".  In addition I would argue that I am a feminist despite believing that the small subset of women that try to get away with their power trip "Well I deserve it because I'm a woman" thing should be denied, simply because they could persevere if they tried.  In short, feminism, to me, is the belief that women are as competent as males, and deserve equality (I am more than willing to state their superiority under many circumstances as well) and respect.

Peace.
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Posted by Married in MA on February 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
nocutename 236
@ ankylosaur,
Thanks for the very interesting gloss on Brazilian social complimnets, which made perfect sense to me, especially in your observation that social lubricants feel less greasy in their home environments and when they're directed to and received by people from the same culture or even micro culture.

Two things I wanted to elaborate on:
1) Many of us Americans are somewhat dismayed by the big insincere "Hello! How ARE you? Have a great day!" that seems to be the common currency of non-intimate social interactions, but this doesn't mean we don't also participate in the ritual. In other words, and I think this came up in the "merry Christmas" discussion some time ago, I recognize the essential foolishness and non-genuine-ness of giving the big greeting, but I also recognize the sentiment behind it: that of being friendly and welcoming. So I respond in kind when it's extended to me, though I don't necessarily tend to initiate it. I do, however, make casual, friendly overtures to total strangers all the time, and have friendly exchanges in the aisles of grocery stores, etc. A few years ago, a German student who was staying with me, remarked that that was a major difference she perceived between Americans and Germans--the friendly chit-chat between strangers. I don't know that it is tied to a specific culture or nationality so much as it is a function of some people's personality. For example, my mother and sister behave the same way, but a lot of people I know do not--my ex-husband was always amazed at the number of people I had friendly exchanges with, but don't really know, on a daily basis. He would never initiate a small-talkish conversation with a stranger.

So just as you are critical of the effusiveness of Latin American culture, but know what your role in it is supposed to be and therefore play your part accordingly when necessary, many of us are the same way about American-style friendly greetings/partings, but likewise do our part.

2) You said "it seems Americans are more afraid of open displays of sexual interest in other people -- either because they're afraid of what the guy would do ('sex turns men into beasts!'), or because they feel that any show of sexual interest in a stranger implies belittling this person, i.e. it is a claim that this person is only sexually interesting and nothing else. " I don't think this is the reason that people are uncomfortable with the open display of sexual interest--or at least neither of these explanations comes close to my feelings/reactions. For what it's worth, there have been times when I've been feeling just wonderful, happy, sexy, beautiful, whatever, and a strange man has said "you look gorgeous," and I've flashed a brilliant smile back at him and said, "So do you!" and we both smiled and went our way, me feeling "ain't life grand," and assuming he did, too--a general sense of goodwill. But generally, I take that compliment to signal an interest, and then I need to react. Like, let him know his interest is welcomed and might be reciprocated, or that his interest is appreciated but not reciprocated, or that his interest is neither appreciated nor has the possibility of being reciprocated. In any of these cases, I know what to do--I know my role and the script. And I'm comfortable enough with it, although if my reaction is that the sexual interest isn't welcome, it can be a bit awkward and uncomfortable. It's when I get the sense that the compliment isn't really meant, that I start to feel particularly uncomfortable, because I am unsure of what is really meant, and what the proper reaction should be. Do I just ignore the compliment, assuming it wasn't real and any reaction would be an over-reaction? Do I try to laugh it off (my usual response)? Do I seriously address it?

I think you are right that American culture values sincerity. I tend to take all compliments as sincerely--though not necessarily disinterestedly--given, and therefore assume I should respond sincerely. That can lead to discomfort.

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Posted by nocutename on February 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
237
@233 Ank,

Keeping in mind I am coming from the repressed, "spice means either salt or pepper" Yankee upbringing, I find a lot of social pleasantries less lubricant than facade.  While we aren't so socially honest as to tell people what we are really thinking (like the Israelis), there isn't the inclination to give praise that is unearned.  Nor is there an inclination to comment upon physical attributes in polite society, though comments upon attire will pass the smell test.  

What that means, in part, is that a man doesn't have to pay undue attention to a woman when he really isn't interested.  Brazilian women should realize that it isn't as if all the (hetero) males have gone dead below the waist, but that we're on a deadline that doesn't necessarily include mañana.  (Or at least that is the party line.)  On the other hand what attention that is given, should be done in sincerity.  Or something like that (did I mention the repressed part?).

It comes back to facade, and the rules of the game are merely more subtle.  The players are just as duplicitous, and the goals just the same.

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on February 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
Roma 238
Eric, my question wasn't in response to anything you had written, but thanks for your response anyway.

But there are lots of women in the FetLife groups who like to take a shit on men.

Do they say that the men like this too? Do they, in turn, like to have the men take a shit on them? I think it's disgusting either way but I can see someone wanting to be the "giver" a lot more than being the recipient.

Posted by Roma on February 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
239
@238(Married in MA),

indeed you can say that about all social lubricants, American or otherwise (the game of paquera in Brazil can sometimes feel quite insincere, too; it's not always because a guy complimented a girl on her body that he really thinks she's hot or attractive, he may simply have felt compelled by the situation to say so). And usually the rules aren't so hard to figure out. A female Brazilian friend of mine (also my first girlfriend, alas! the one who broke my heart) is now married to an American, and has now gained much more experience with American customs and has changed significantly her original naive opinions. One does learn.

Just as Americans who go to Brazil also learn that no evil is meant by the game of paquera, and that Brazilians who invite you over to their house next Friday may not exactly expect you to show up there on Friday -- not because they're evil, or wanted to play a prank, but because these things have a different meaning there.

It is always a façade, to a large extent; in that respect no culture is really better than the others. They differ in their rules; but, as you say, the goals are the same.

I will say, in favor of most individual Americans, that I have much more often met individuals who, like you and nocutename, are aware of the insicerities and little exaggerations of American social interactions, than I have met Brazilians who are aware of theirs. Americans (at least in the university environments I know best) often have a (to me) heart-warmingly open attitude to their own society and its shortcomings, something Brazilians often lack. (Yes, I am a somewhat harsh critic of Brazilian society and its shortcomings...)

And in the end that is the best part: when you go beyond the social interactions and actually get to meet the people.
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Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
240
@ nocutename,

Indeed, it often happens that people who are aware of (and not always really happy with) the default mechanics of social interaction will also go along with it -- and there is, I think, a very good reason: namely, "social lubricants" in general are not really a bad thing, but a good, I'd even say necessary, one. They signal that the participants are engaged in a normal interaction: there is no danger, no strangeness, you can relax, we're just normal people following the accepted script for an interaction between strangers. And that is good. It would be much worse if we didn't know what to expect every time we had to interact with a new person... So, I will also engage with Brazilians in their own default way ('what's your favorite soccer team? oh boy, do I miss soccer in America!') even if I don't feel like it (I actually don't care at all about soccer), because it is simpler, easier, and gets a connection going from which more meaningful interactions may follow.

That's why, I think, every culture has some form of social lubricant. At least in the first few moments, it's not bad to have a recipe to follow.

As for why Americans are less comfortable with open displays of sexual interest in strangers... it's interesting that you point out you've had the same exchange-of-sexual-validation experience I've described for Brazilians. I think the basic difference with respect to a Brazilian environment is that, if you were Brazilian, you'd be expected (within reasonable, socially accepted limits) to react with a "so do you!" and smile even if you didn't feel all that wonderful, happy, sexy and beautiful; in fact, you might even not feel so sexy, be worrying about personal problems, and be more indifferent than happy, but (again within acceptable social limits) you'd be expected to react positively to a guy offering you sexual validation (more or less like people in America are expected to say 'thank you' to someone who keeps the door open for them even if they are a bit annoyed by it). Not that bad things don't happen -- Brazilian men can also make sexual comments that are bad, belittling, sexist, or otherwise inappropriate; but, if this is not the case, then it wouldn't be... 'appropriate' is not quite the word, but it will have to do... for you not to smile and play your part in the game of mutual sexual validation despite your true internal feelings.

As a result of that, I'd even be willing that the situation you lived has a higher chance of being fully sincere and disinterested (a 'random act of sexual kindness' if you will) than many a similar situation lived by Brazilian men and women -- in which sometimes they are, well, playing their parts to some extent.

The flip side of that is that in America an overt compliment is usually interpreted not merely as sexual, but (I'd say) as sexually aggressive: I want something, do you want it too or not? In other words, sexual propositions (which compliments are often taken to imply) are serious: you have to offer a serious reaction; positive, negative, or indifferent, but serious. They aren't a joke, or play, or a game; they aren't for laughs, as scripted behavior often is. Brazilian men can say, "that was just paquera, nothing serious" with a good chance of being believed; but if an American man compliments an unknown woman's legs and then claims it was just a joke, or that he meant it well, he probably won't be believed (and there's a good chance he's lying).

Which is why I end up thinking that socially speaking the idea is that 'sex is serious', 'sex isn't a joke' and that 'sex isn't something to be deployed in first encounters' (except in certain environments, like singles' bars). Which only makes sense to me if sex is supposed to be dangerous (what will the men do? isn't he belittling/objectifying me?).

Which is of course not to say that everyone experiments the rules the same way. The above idea is more about how these rules came to be established; you, as an individual, can relate to them differently, and re-interpret them in ways that suit your own personality. You don't have to be sex-negative or buy into the idea that 'sex is dangerous' or 'men are beasts' and whatnot to feel uncomfortable when you don't have the support of the social scripts to tell you that you're dealing with a light-minded situation, not a 'serious sexual proposition' -- you feel that way because, well, that's the society you grew up in, that's the language they speak here. So if you wanted to sign light-minded sexuality (which Americans also can and often do), it would be in some other way (say, with a sexy Halloween costume?), not by making slightly sexy comments about a man's body parts.

Indeed, the problem with having to deal with something outside of the social script -- sexual or not -- is exactly, as you said, that you don't really know 'what is meant' anymore. Which is why different cultures feel awkward. Americans don't clearly know what a Brazilian means by his kind-of sexy compliment; Brazilians don't clearly know what Americans mean when they seem to ignore their bodies. This feeling of not knowing what is meant is not inherent to a sexual compliment: it is inherent to a non-socially-scripted situation. It means that sex-related interactions between strangers are not scripted in America in the way they are in Brazil.

It's not about sex and/or possible propositions, it's about how scripted (predictable/unpredictable, what-is-the-real-meaning-of-this) it is. Or so it seems to me.

I do indeed think that American culture values sincerity a lot, and since it happens to agree with my own personality, I actually like it. (I'm very thankful that many of my most important life years were spent in your country. I grew a lot as a person because of my interactions with Americans.) Brazilians, in contrast, value happiness/harmony or the appearance thereof. While Americans are worried about "expressing their true selves and their true feelings", Brazilians are more worried about "I'm OK, you're OK, we're all OK" -- maybe there's domestic violence in your house, maybe you're having horrible health problems, maybe you've lost your job or your daughter has an unwanted pregnancy, but hey, we're drinking beer, watching soccer, eating pizza, and we'll go out and watch movie -- all in all, life is great and everything is juuust fiiine...

(I'll hasten to add this is my personal experience/opinion. Other Brazilians might think I'm too critical; some of them have told me that already. So, to be fair to them, I'll ask you to take my criticism of Brazilians with a grain of salt.)
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Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
241
@238, I haven't studied this, but here's a guess:
A = # men into watching someone shit
B = # men into being toilets
C = # men into shitting on someone
D = # women into being watched
E = # women into shitting on someone
F = # women into being toilets

A > B > C > D > E > F

I don't know how strongly people feel about the gender of their toilet/shitter. Maybe a lot of men hook up with other men to scratch this itch. But I bet a woman into shitting on someone wouldn't have to look that hard to find a man who'd enjoy being her toilet.

And just to be clear: I think the dirtiness of it is the point of the kink. But different people are able to scratch that itch with different levels of dirtiness. (Me, I like being called a 'dirty girl,' but that's about as far as it goes :-) Well that and some peeing in the shower...
Posted by EricaP on February 26, 2012 at 5:52 PM · Report this
242
Lost sounds like somewhat like my ex. There was a little more to the story in my case, if I asked for/indicated that I wanted sex then I was a nympho/whore (only men can initiate sex you know and heave forbid that I should try and talk to him about sex). If I dared to say I was too tired for sex I was a frigid bitch (even if I said I'm too tired right now, let me get some sleep and we'll have some fun later). Didn't take long for me not to want to have anything to do with him and I couldn't wait to DTMFA.
Posted by MarieK on February 26, 2012 at 7:56 PM · Report this
243
LOST: what have you done to please her? Everything you write about is about you: her giving you oral, her pleasing you with toys, her dressing up for you. What is SHE into? What are you doing to please her, to get her interested? "I've very sexual" is all about you. I'm not convinced you are GGG at all.
Posted by cyioxdce on February 26, 2012 at 8:18 PM · Report this
244
@241, as far as I can tell (since I have a little of a scat fetish myself), the important part of the fetish is not so much the dirtiness as the sense of being used as a tool. Or, to put it differently, I don't think that a man (or woman) who enjoys being a toilet (which I would, to a certain extent) enjoys that because s/he likes the taste, or things dirty smelly things are fun (I'll bet s/he wouldn't enjoy it outside of the sexy context, just as someone into pain wouldn't enjoy pain from an accident).

I once (during a prolonged trip) had a conversation with a guy who had a 'messy'n'fun' fetish (mud, pie-throwing, ketchup, etc.). Indeed he found it sexy to cover the object of his affections with all kinds of gooey things. But whether or not said gooey things were 'tasty' (like cream) or 'dirty' (like mud) was less important than the utter feeling of 'inappropriateness' that surrounded it. My instinct is that the same 'inappropriateness' is also present in toilet and scat fetishes; plus also the feeling of humiliation (one is being used as a tool) and the paradoxical resulting feeling of intimate connection.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 26, 2012 at 11:44 PM · Report this
245
@244, no argument; I was responding to Roma's statement that: >> I can see someone wanting to be the "giver" a lot more than being the recipient.>>

I was trying to explain that the stuff that bothers Roma about the fetish -- the dirtiness, the humiliation, the inappropriateness, the messiness -- all that is the point, at least for some.
Posted by EricaP on February 27, 2012 at 8:11 AM · Report this
246
Mesdames Cute, Driasis and Erica know a LOT of gay creeps, which perhaps explain why we disagree so often. And I suggest that Ms Erica's friends in particular are primarily gay-bi and rounding up. I have not known half a dozen gay men in my entire life who act like any of the people you describe.

Avoiding the temptation to feel libeled, I shall instead speculate that it may reflect some difference between people who socialize in a mainly straight environment and those in a mainly non-straight.

It's very odd, as I would expect posts 227, 231 and 232 to come from an alien planet. If I weren't so bewildered, I'd probably feel erased.
Posted by vennominon on February 27, 2012 at 8:55 AM · Report this
nocutename 247
Mr. Ven, While you might find my friends creepy, I can assure you that in the context in which this comment was made, it didn't seem disrespectful or creepy in any way that I define that term.

I have a lot of friends, male and female, straight and gay, and when the alcohol flows, all of us get a bit raunchy.

I wasn't trying to libel anyone, and indeed, since the comment I repeated here was taken as a compliment, as was silly, to boot, I don't think it could be considered libelous to acknowledge that women's breasts are sometimes the objects of attention. If the circles in which you run are so thoroughly gayly populated, the topic may well not come up, but I don't see how noticing and referring to a good friend's breasts when she is wearing a low-cut blouse, makes people creeps. In fact, I could go so far as to say that calling my friends creeps is verging on libel!

Posted by nocutename on February 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM · Report this
248
Dan I agree with your advice to the boy who loves the girl who texts him after 3 years. He should look at his life, to see if he likes the damsel in distress, if he is a fixer, then he will always fix women’s problems, and when the problem is gone, they will leave. I dated a woman for 6 years, she left and came back numerous times, seven I think, and always when the other relationship didn’t work. At some point in there I asked her to marry me, THANK GOD she never did! To this day 20 years later she still shows up and professes what a mistake she made! I get the feeling that she would dump her husband at the blink of an eye, if I would “help her get it together”. I hope this guy listens, it is a tough nut to crack, but she will be back, and back and back, if he lets her walk all over him. The best thing he can do is find a different girl and tell this one to f off.
Posted by carolanusa on February 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
249
@246, I agree with Ms. Cute, these people are my friends -- I don't see them as creeps!

But presumably, Mr. Ven, you select for different kinds of gay friends than I do. My friends obviously like hanging out with a raunchy middle-aged woman and maybe that's correlated with why they like talking about breasts? One of them I'll agree is probably gay-bi and rounding up. Another one purports to be terrified of my "vajeene." Okay, I'll admit that one's kind of a creep, even though I love him to death.
Posted by EricaP on February 27, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
nocutename 250
@246, 249: I don't know what percentage of my friends socialize in a "mainly straight" or "mainly gay" environment. The party at which this incident occurred had about 25-30 people at it, of which 3 were straight women. I know that there was at least 1 straight man there--he was the date of one of the other two women--but I think, based on my acquaintance with the rest of the guests that I knew, that most of the rest were gay men. Of course, some of those men I didn't know may have been straight or bi, and it's possible that some I know only as gay are actually bi.

My point is that I was a significant minority as a straight woman in this party, and always am in this crowd of friends, who, I'm sure, have other straight friends, but who sure seem to do a lot of their socializing primarily with other gay men.

And yet they never make me feel unwelcome or uncomfortable.
Posted by nocutename on February 27, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
251
Ms Cute - Well, I should not have lumped the three of you all together. Ms Driasis' work acquaintances I think definitely count as objective creeps. I can't tell from this one description what I might make of Ms Cute's and Ms Erica's friends objectively, although subjectively I'd probably put them in that category. Not Ms Cute's friends who compliment her with particular freedom, which seemed an interesting line worth following up, but the ones who made raunchy overgeneralizations. I tend to give vulgar people the SC label where others might not. I suppose it's just possible that I'm the only person here who would call people who use the T-word creeps. (Mr Married, please take note.)

I hope you will both appreciate that it was much less withering than the post that wanted to be written. It was rather upsetting seeing a group of women agreeing with each other about gay men being obsessed with women's breasts, especially when it was completely contradictory to not only my own experience but that of the vast majority of people I've known. Obviously you're all credible people and I would not challenge any of your testimony, but even my friends who were partial to alcoholic excess were not given to talking about people's body parts. I've only had one friend who used to pay me compliments (as a reliable authority) on a certain statistic of mine that apparently was a considerable improvement over the average.

I'll admit the posts also fed into a theory of mine that one reason support for same-sex causes is so much softer than it seems to the optimists is that I think there is a female version of the set of mind exemplified by the straight man who'd be happy to tell you What Lesbians Really Need (no hint required). I'd characterize the straight or straightish female version of this as being generally supportive, and getting lesbians completely, but having about a 2%-5% pocket of inner resistance that, whatever the brain says, just can't completely believe in male homosexuality as both entirely real and not a statement of being anti-woman. There was an inference from Ms Erica's post that compulsory bisexuality wouldn't be all that difficult for gay men to perform. Even though I assume Ms Erica did not deliberately choose to imply so, I have known women who can easily be swayed into supporting anti-same-sex causes when it isn't a straightforward choice (and occasionally when it is).

We could call this a Kitty Dukakis moment. If one buys into the idea that the final nail in the coffin of her husband's presidential campaign was his calm reception of a question concerning his wife's hypothetical rape and murder, then really, the idea being floated that gay men are obsessed with women's breasts called for a rebuttal of some force and spirit, even if I didn't particularly take exception to the posts. Especially now that I have given up actively practising, I have perhaps become a bit more conscientious about standing up for my kind (except, of course, for the creeps), especially when outsider appear to be presuming to speak with authority.

Mr Ank will side against me, I fear, but I am used to that. I can imagine that alcohol might have a good deal to do with this, as I have not known a great many regular drinkers. Or it could be that, in a milieu that is predominantly straight, gay men act more like straight men (I want MAJOR brownie points for refraining from invoking LMB here), which makes some sense, particularly for the homosocial.

I did tell you all I'm practically an alien. To convince you, the one time I had a large evening party and invited some 40-50 guests, I don't recall that a drop of alcohol was consumed. It was about the one form of refreshment I didn't provide (I had baked for days), and I don't remember anyone importing any bottles.
More...
Posted by vennominon on February 27, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
252
@251, Mr. Ven, I referenced "my gay friends." That is, the ones I know in person -- a relatively small sample. I don't think you or most gay men are obsessed with women's breasts, and I'm not proposing that all gay men are secretly bi.
Posted by EricaP on February 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM · Report this
253
Ms Erica - Accepted, but somebody had to stop the steamroller and nobody else was volunteering.
Posted by vennominon on February 27, 2012 at 3:13 PM · Report this
nocutename 254
@251: Further and more extensive clarifications: To echo EricaP, it's only my friends that I was speaking of, and it's not as though they spend much of their time talking about breasts at all. This happened to be a particularly animated, raucus, and alcohol-fueled party, and my top was shockingly low, and I have fairly bodacious ta-tas.

I also don't think that most gay men are really bi, nor do I think that gay men are necessarily anti-women (though I don't think that gay men are some sort of 'almost-women,' either. Some love women, some are indifferent to women, some don't have much use or sympathy for women; some like some women and not others . . . in short, I don't think it is possible to try and come up with a "gay men's reaction to women," as each man, gay or straight, has a different reaction to women as a group, and to distinct women as individuals.

As to the boorishness of the behavior, well, I agree that Mydriasis' co-workers seemed more obnoxious and creepy, but in the context of their working relationship/possible friendship, it may have had a different feel. Perhaps the waitstaff had just been commenting on the fact that tips are often proportional to the amount of skin shown, and they were trying to help share the wealth.

Lastly, although my friends and I tend to drink in copious amounts and to swear with abandon, we would never turn our noses up at delicious home-baked goods and could probably clean up our language if there was a strong enough incentive (pie, say).
Posted by nocutename on February 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
mydriasis 255
@251

"a group of women agreeing with each other about gay men being obsessed with women's breasts"

No no no, not at all!

The context wasn't that he liked, or had any interest in breasts - it was that he was serving a table of straight men who were probably grumbling amongst themselves that they managed to land themselves a male server when they came with the intent of ogling women. I have never heard a gay coworker mention an interest in breasts other than their ability to pull in extra tip money.

I can't stress this enough: I do not think gay men are secretely bi and/or attracted to women and/or our parts. No.
Posted by mydriasis on February 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
256
@253, I'm sorry you felt threatened. I wish it could say that it won't happen again, but since I disagree with you about the ominousness of 3 straight women honestly sharing their experiences online, I fear that I am likely to make this mistake again. I mean you (and gay people in general) no disrespect.
Posted by EricaP on February 27, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
257
I don't think Dan got enough kudos for his answer to LAME. It's hard to see through the bullshit and go straight to the point like he did. If this young woman wanted friendship, she'd be talking like a friend, not flirting. So here's some added advice that can help LAME let go more easily: Wait another 10 years. Let her be a facebook friend in the mean time, the sort where you can keep up with her address but share nothing personal. Look forward to seeing her at your 10th highschool reunion. At that point, hopefully you both will have had better and more serious relationships. Then you can meet up with her and give her a wan smile. It's very satisfying. Trust me.
Posted by Crinoline on February 27, 2012 at 7:29 PM · Report this
258
@257 Crinoline,

What is most satisfying is finding out that everyone is alive and well (@10th reunion). Not something, unfortunately, that is guaranteed.

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on February 27, 2012 at 9:06 PM · Report this
259
Hey Dan,

Just a heads up that the site isn't really pulling in any names from a Genealogical Index..

Actually they just created an array (list) of names and run a random number generator to put them together to make a name. It's funny but I felt misled.

I want to make REAL mormons gay in the afterlife, not fake ones (it's not like they are using fake names that happen to also belong to real people).

firstnames":{ "1":"Abraham", "2":"Amanda", "3":"Amy", "4":"Andrew", "5":"Angela", "6":"Ann", "7":"Anna", "8":"Anthony", "9":"Arthur", "10":"Barbara", "11":"Betty", "12":"Biff", "13":"Brenda", "14":"Brian", "15":"Carl", "16":"Carol", "17":"Carolyn", "18":"Catherine", "19":"Charles", "20":"Christine", "21":"Christopher", "22":"Cynthia", "23":"Daniel", "24":"David", "25":"Deborah", "26":"Debra", "27":"Dennis", "28":"Diane", "29":"Donald", "30":"Donna", "31":"Dorothy", "32":"Douglas", "33":"Edward", "34":"Elizabeth", "35":"Eric", "36":"Frances", "37":"Frank", "38":"Gary", "39":"George", "40":"Gregory", "41":"Harold", "42":"Helen", "43":"Henry", "44":"James", "45":"Janet", "46":"Jason", "47":"Jeffrey", "48":"Jennifer", "49":"Jerry", "50":"Jessica", "51":"John", "52":"Jose", "53":"Joseph", "54":"Joshua", "55":"Joyce", "56":"Karen", "57":"Kathleen", "58":"Kenneth", "59":"Kevin", "60":"Kimberly", "61":"Larry", "62":"Laura", "63":"Linda", "64":"Lisa", "65":"Margaret", "66":"Maria", "67":"Marie", "68":"Mark", "69":"Martha", "70":"Mary", "71":"Matthew", "72":"Melissa", "73":"Michael", "74":"Michelle", "75":"Nancy", "76":"Pamela", "77":"Patricia", "78":"Patrick", "79":"Paul", "80":"Peter", "81":"Raymond", "82":"Rebecca", "83":"Richard", "84":"Robert", "85":"Roger", "86":"Ronald", "87":"Ruth", "88":"Ryan", "89":"Sandra", "90":"Sarah", "91":"Scott", "92":"Sharon", "93":"Shirley", "94":"Stephanie", "95":"Stephen", "96":"Steven", "97":"Susan", "98":"Thomas", "99":"Timothy", "100":"Virginia", "101":"Walter", "102":"William", "103":"Mitt","104":"Willard" },

"lastnames":{ "1":"Adams", "2":"Alexander", "3":"Allen", "4":"Anderson", "5":"Bailey", "6":"Baker", "7":"Barnes", "8":"Bell", "9":"Bennett", "10":"Brooks", "11":"Brown", "12":"Bryant", "13":"Butler", "14":"Campbell", "15":"Carter", "16":"Clark", "17":"Coleman", "18":"Collins", "19":"Cook", "20":"Cooper", "21":"Cox", "22":"Davis", "23":"Diaz", "24":"Edwards", "25":"Evans", "26":"Flores", "27":"Foster", "28":"Garcia", "29":"Gonzales", "30":"Gonzalez", "31":"Gray", "32":"Green", "33":"Griffin", "34":"Hall", "35":"Harris", "36":"Hayes", "37":"Henderson", "38":"Hernandez", "39":"Hill", "40":"Howard", "41":"Hughes", "42":"Jackson", "43":"James", "44":"Jenkins", "45":"Johnson", "46":"Jones", "47":"Kelly", "48":"King", "49":"Lee", "50":"Lewis", "51":"Lincoln", "52":"Long", "53":"Lopez", "54":"Martin", "55":"Martinez", "56":"Mcfly", "57":"Miller", "58":"Mitchell", "59":"Moore", "60":"Morgan", "61":"Morris", "62":"Murphy", "63":"Nelson", "64":"Parker", "65":"Patterson", "66":"Perez", "67":"Perry", "68":"Peterson", "69":"Phillips", "70":"Powell", "71":"Price", "72":"Ramirez", "73":"Reed", "74":"Richardson", "75":"Rivera", "76":"Roberts", "77":"Robinson", "78":"Rodriguez", "79":"Rogers", "80":"Ross", "81":"Russell", "82":"Sanchez", "83":"Sanders", "84":"Scott", "85":"Simmons", "86":"Smith", "87":"Stewart", "88":"Taylor", "89":"Thomas", "90":"Thompson", "91":"Torres", "92":"Turner", "93":"Walker", "94":"Ward", "95":"Washington", "96":"Watson", "97":"White", "98":"Williams", "99":"Wilson", "100":"Wood", "101":"Wright", "102":"Young","103":"Romney","104":"Palin" }}');
More...
Posted by adamjp on February 27, 2012 at 9:59 PM · Report this
260
@Mr Ven, the gays I know are hardly different from straights in outward behavior: respectful, hard-working, serious people, not really like stereotypes. I didn't notice any big interest in women, or any big aversions against women; they mostly behave like everybody else I know.

Since they are Dutch, this may mean that local culture preempts stereotypes in terms of gay/lesbian behavior. Or maybe gays in academic research positions are more easily seen as academics than as gays. (I notice the straight people among them aren't also very 'stereotypically' straight either.)

I suppose there are all kinds of people, gay and straight, and their behavior varies in many ways. Some people make being gay part of their 'personal culture' to varying degrees, others less so.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 27, 2012 at 11:15 PM · Report this
261
To clarify, I was not issuing a charge against anybody here. I'd presume that almost any woman who held such views would have them knocked out of her after spending any length of time here. The original posts just evoked the sorts of thoughts that would fuel such a woman. I'm sure each of the mesdames was quite internally clear that the conduct in question was just something demonstrated by a small sample of people of her acquaintance.

Just to provide some sort of parallel, I could post from my own experience that about 3/4 to 4/5 of the F/F couples I've known have looked quite a bit alike. I even know one couple who are often taken for twins, and even have the same first name. But, for any F/F couples or halves thereof who may be reading this, I take this as just some unusual coincidence and don't think it at all indicative of any particular characteristic of F/F relationships.
Posted by vennominon on February 28, 2012 at 5:40 AM · Report this
262
@261, interesting... I'd heard that about pets & their owners, but not lesbians (no offense intended to pet owners or lesbians!)
Posted by EricaP on February 28, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
sb53 263
@164
Thank you E.P.
I used to share some interesting stories from this weekly column as a discussion starter. The last time I did this she rolled her eyes, sighed too deep for words, and stalked off. (Later denied doing this). I cannot mention to her that I read this column anymore without a negative response. She has not only become "sex negative" to me but thinks the whole world is too "sexual".
This from a woman who is so loud when she cums that I must be sure the windows are closed. Once every 4 weeks is all she wants, and always the exact same thing.
Last year I was making my last remaining "move" that works and she mumbled "Oh, I thought I didn't need this anymore..." I wanted so badly to stop and have some sort of discussion about adults and sex, but decided to listen to my "little head" instead.
Why do I keep trying?.
Lets see:
G- kids,
inertia,
and she owns half of my business,
half of my (small) 401-K.
You give good advice BTW
sb
Posted by sb53 http://www.werneropticalcenter.com on February 28, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
nocutename 264
@263:
You say you two were high school sweethearts. Did her lack of interest occur gradually or did it appear over a seemingly short time? Has she already gone through menopause, and did that change things, or did this sex negativity start when she became a mother?

The phenomenon of women losing interest in sex, at least temporarily, once the children are born has been discussed a lot on this site, but I think there can be more to it than the exhaustion, the lack of time and opportunity, the weight gain, or the feeling that everywhere she turns there is someone who wants something physical and emotional from her.

I think that our culture of parenting tends to see sex as this *problem* that will afflict our children ("predators are after them;" "they are exposed to constant media messages to pressure them into having sex;" etc.). If a woman's own libido never fully returns, and the only way she's hearing about/thinking about sex is insofar that it is a threat to her children (particularly daughters) from which they must be "protected," and her friends are constantly complaining about the demands their husbands are making on them, and she has this idea that somehow sex is something that by rights belongs to young--but not too young--people (possibly single, but better if they're young, childless, marrieds), and she has a list of complaints about her husband, to boot (all the little or not-so-little irritants that build up over the years), and if truly she experiences the only times he is affectionate being a prelude to him initiating sex, she may come to see sex as a disagreeable thing, even if when she actually experiences it, it is enjoyable.

I'm sorry things have gotten this bad, but if they're that bad already, what have you got to lose by having a real, honest conversation with her?
More...
Posted by nocutename on February 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
265
@263, nocutename offers solid advice. I would just add that if you are essentially co-parents and business partners, you might consider ending sexual intercourse altogether with her. That frees you up to have an independent sex life with someone else.

I think Dan recommends dropping hints like "I won't bother you any more, but you should be aware that I will be taking care of my needs elsewhere." In a sense, as your wife she ought to know what's going on with your sex life. But I'm happy to give non-cheater cards out to people who no longer have any sex with their spouse. (Particularly if you have a vasectomy or use condoms to avoid the complications of an outside pregnancy.)
Posted by EricaP on February 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
266
I've noticed that whenever this topic comes up, people assume it's because women just aren't as interested in sex. You rarely see people suggesting that maybe the guy is just not good in bed. So I'm just throwing that out there as a possiblity. I have found that so many guys are really clueless about what they're doing. My desires have increased or decreased depending on the abilities of the guy.

My friend and I were talking about this yesterday and she said the same thing happens for her. And honestly, I know all people are different, but it's hard for me to believe that a woman who is having orgasms during sex isn't going to want it as much as any guy.
Posted by Just a thought on February 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
267
@266 The problem is that it's the high libido person writing in to ask for help. Telling them "get better at the sex thing" doesn't seem to help them improve much. I do think the very first step with a low-libido woman should be to make sure she has a vibrator and that the man is comfortable using it on her.
Posted by EricaP on February 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
sb53 268
@ NCN and E.P.
I think that the first real decline began when the first child left for college, and then again when our last child left home.
In the last 6 years she started taking hormones to stop the "menopause sweats."
I can see that if things keep going the way they are, there is probably no avoiding "The talk" as NCN states.
I will have to be ready for some anger though. Maybe by then she will be ready for a creative solution where we stay together but she allows some sort of openness in our marriage. WE have had fights in the last year, as two of our similarly long - time married couples have split up. She really fears abandonment. I have asked for counselling help 3 times and that is never acceptable. sb
Posted by sb53 http://www.werneropticalcenter.com on February 28, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
nocutename 269
@266:
I agree that a lot of women's dissatisfaction with sex equals a dissatisfaction with their husbands' or boyfriends' or girlfriends' performance.

But for some people, like #263's wife, the sex negativity goes deeper than that. She seems to be disgusted/dismayed by the whole idea of sex, even though he says that when they do have sex, she orgasms.

There are different causes. I don't think that a low libido equals a disdain for the very topic of sex; I also don't think that a woman who is just not being fulfilled becomes anti-sex in her attitudes. Throughout my marriage, I was with a man who was a poor lover and I am currently partnerless and therefore unsatisfied by another person, yet I don't roll my eyes and make disgusted noises when the topic of sex comes up; I don't write off all those on this blog and its comment thread as a bunch of juvenile perverts (as I know some readers' wives do). Just because I'm not being satisfied by someone else doesn't mean I have no interest in sex. I think that in Mr. 263's case, there's something else going on.
Posted by nocutename on February 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
nocutename 270
@268:
It might be a bad fight, but I think you owe it to yourself, to her, and to your relationship to have a talk.

Tell her that you love her and that you miss the sex you used to have (if you do; if it was ever good). Remind her of how much fun you two used to have and how close it used to make you feel to each other, and ask her why she doesn't want to try and recapture that.

I don't know if all nonsexual cuddling has also stopped, but if it has, try to bring just that back, so that you start re-establishing some sense of closeness and intimacy and skin/body pleasure with each other.

Since you say she has abandonment fears, let her know that there are three choices for the two of you: actively trying to re-establish a physically intimate relationship, ultimately including more sex (and hopefully more fun, playful, novel, exciting sex), opening up the marriage (and both of you should be aware that opening up the marriage is a wild card that can have any number of currently unforeseen consequences, such as you falling in love with and leaving her for the woman you start sharing yourself with sexually), or splitting up, which includes splitting those assets you don't want to part with (but which shouldn't be the reason for staying together), and both of you experiencing a diminished lifestyle as a result, not to mention all the other changes divorce entails.

Good luck.
Posted by nocutename on February 28, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
271
@268, sometimes the anger comes from one's own expectations. Someone who thinks the world is "too sexual" may actually harbor some doubts about herself, or even some guilt, about not measuring up to the standards of this "too sexual world." You say she gets angry. Anger often means we feel threatened, i.e., that we're afraid of something. What is she afraid of? Is she afraid that you're implicitly threatening to leave her if she doesn't satisfy you?

Sometimes it works to put things on a personal perspective; not the old 'normal' vs. 'abnormal', 'who is to blame for this "problem"' kind of approach, but a simpler discussion of honest needs. A discussion in which the other reasons why you are together (other than sex) also play a role, so that she doesn't feel that she'll simply be abandoned if "horny hubby" isn't satisfied.

Do you ever think about your wife's sexual needs, and if so, do you discuss them with her? Does she say she doesn't have any? How does she feel about her own needs? Is she ashamed to talk about them? Does she ever masturbate, fantasize?

What does she think about your sexual needs? General "male horniness", or something that is part of the man she loves? Does she think you should be able to 'do without' or that what she wants should also be 'enough for you'?

Usually people who are angry (and afraid) need some reassurance that whatever it is they fear isn't going to materialize in the next five minutes; that the world is not going to come to an end if a real honest adult discussion takes place.

Be careful. Be nice. Be confident. Don't hurt her. Don't hurt yourself.

Good luck.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
sb53 272
@ 267
Yes I even bought a lockable suitcase that fits under the bed to secure our toys.
The only way she wants to orgasm is with me holding the vibrator, using it in an, ah, "external" mode.
sb
Posted by sb53 http://www.werneropticalcenter.com on February 28, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
nocutename 273
@272:
Is this the only way she "wants" to orgasm, or the only way she can?
Or is it the only way that takes under an hour?

She can prefer to have her orgasms this way and you two still can have a vibrant sex life. Are you not okay with this being the only way she reaches orgasm? If so, why is that?

Ankylosaur asks some good questions @ 271.

Posted by nocutename on February 28, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
274
@272 - that's the way I reach orgasm, most of the time. Nothing wrong with clitoral stimulation if that's what works. If your children are out of the house, why does the suitcase need to lock?

Have you thought about changing your sex routines, like having sex at times of day when she feels least stressed?
Posted by EricaP on February 28, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
275
@263, the others above (nocutename, EricaP) give some good, solid advice. I'll add my own personal take on it, but all in all I basically agree with them.

You mention that she gets angry. Anger usually means that we feel threatened by something, that we're afraid of something. What is she afraid of? Is it perhaps that, in this "too sexual" world, she feels inferior or 'less good'? Or is it, as you suggest, that you'll abandon her if she doesn't satisfy you? Maybe last year's fights weigh heavy on her head, too. Maybe she fears at some level that you simply don't love her.

Give her some reassurance. You do love her, don't you? Make her see that, make her feel that this is not a big existential threat about everything falling apart in a big earthquake.

Make it be about certain needs that have remained unfulfilled. Perhaps even hers, too? How often do you think about your wife's sexual needs? Does she masturbate, fantasize, etc.? Does she ever talk about what she likes or doesn't, what she wants or doesn't, or is she ashamed of talking about that? And do you -- who love her -- care about that?

And what does she think about your needs? Are they just "generic male horniness", or can she see them as something pertaining to the man she loves? Something that makes him suffer? Is it important to her that you be sexually happy, or does she wish you would be just like her? If so, why?

Be reassuring. Be nice. Be self-confident. Don't hurt her. Don't hurt yourself. If you -- and she -- can talk without fear of "big emotional earthquakes", then there is a chance of reaching an agreement good for both of you.

Good luck.
Posted by ankylosaur on February 28, 2012 at 1:58 PM · Report this
276
Oops, I thought my post had been lost, so I rewrote it and submitted it again. My bad. Apologies to @263!
Posted by ankylosaur on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
277
@272 sb,

Just out of curiosity, how well do things go when you go somewhere on vacation?

I strongly empathize on the sweats. OTOH if she has one while you're inside her, the sensation can be amazing.

Pretty much by definition her hormones, and the kids leaving the house, are going to leave her body and mind in chaos. Around our house cuddling on the sofa watching a shared interest program ("Downton Abby", "Man, Woman, Wild", etc.) goes a long way in the "tea and sympathy" school of helping the inferno bearable.

Peace.
Posted by Married in MA on February 28, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
278
I feel I must point out, being Mormon (though more open minded than most of those idiots) that baptism for the dead is merely giving someone who is dead the choice to be Mormon. It's like since they never got te opportunity to have two nice but annoying boys with name tags knock on their door, they're getting it now. Only since missionaries don't talk to dead people they just baptize them and give the dead guys the choice to accept it in the afterlife. So in all fairness the site should be giving them the option to be gay, rather than forcing it on them. Still highly amusing though, even if I am irritated by the ignorance of it all.
Posted by Foxytrumpeter on March 1, 2012 at 10:52 PM · Report this
geoz 279
This is one rich post! And so many comments. What a great day to read Savage.

@25... sorry poontang lives.

I feel bad for the too little sex letter, but like others, I see that it reads like he doesn't love her. Time to go.

Love the conversion site. I've sent that one around. Very fun. I hope the press picks it up. I also hope it makes a few Mormons angry. I don't usually pray for angry Mormons.. I don't know what's wrong with me today.
Posted by geoz on March 2, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
280
For whatever reason, LOST and his wife stuck together for a long time without either one getting what they really want. She wanted to feel wanted. She wanted him to want to marry her. He finally did but as some sort of quid pro quo arrangement. How very sexy.
She is probably seething with anger at the self-centered weasel so the last thing she wants to do is make love to him. Some therapy might help them resolve this or at least make things better.
Posted by Upstate on March 3, 2012 at 9:18 AM · Report this
281
Thank you Dan Savage for bringing joy to the world. all dead mormons would be lucky if they were gay.
Posted by mrnovember on March 5, 2012 at 7:15 AM · Report this
282
Just converted my mormon great grandparents, kinds makes me wish there was an afterlife so they could thank me...
Posted by exmissionaryposition on March 11, 2012 at 4:42 AM · Report this
283
Though Mitt Romney is not dead, I figured I'd give him a head start (no pun intended).
Posted by Steve I. on March 12, 2012 at 5:39 PM · Report this
Cynara 284
@234 "A Brazilian woman (I presume) would agree with you that the compliment was sexual, but she wouldn't feel discomfort: in fact, she would feel it was her due tribute. .... It seems Americans are more afraid of open displays of sexual interest in other people."

It's interesting that the comments here cover both this topic and feminism--I believe they're related. Both my mom and a friend's mom who both were young ladies growing up in small town America during the '40s had in the past commented to me along the lines, "If you went out one day and no men whistled or commented on how nice you looked, you found a mirror to see if something was wrong with you."

It's interesting that the times were more sexually repressed, but this interaction seemed so much more acceptable. Also, men at that time would dance and even pay women for "taxi dances". Then in the '60s the sexual revolution and feminism came in, and men were told in no uncertain terms that women should not be "harassed" by whistling at them. But it also became more accepted to have sex before marriage, and men decided that partner dancing was unmanly, I guess after that became not the only socially acceptable way to casually touch women.

Funny how things change.
Posted by Cynara on December 6, 2013 at 7:38 AM · Report this

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