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Premarital Counseling

April 11, 2012

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My fiancé and I have been together for six years. We're both 27. About a year ago, he admitted to me that he is bi—which I was surprised about. I told him that I was bi-curious. We have had talks about meeting with other couples. I am very insecure. I have been with very few men and no women (beyond kissing). Today, he told me that a few weeks ago he signed us up on a personals website and posted a picture of me naked from the waist down on the site. I was shocked and upset. I have NEVER posted nude pics of myself anywhere! I felt this was a violation of my privacy. He says that I wasn't actively doing anything about getting outside partners, so he wanted to show me that I'm attractive and that other people thought so. He got angry when I tried to explain why I was upset. He said that if this is how I'm going to react, he'd take the whole thing down. When I tried again to explain that I was hurt that he didn't talk to me first and I actually did want to see the responses, he said, "Fuck it," he was giving up, and he refused to show me the responses.

1. Is it that ludicrous to be upset about naked pics of me being posted on the internet without my knowledge?

2. Do I deserve time to think about the naked-pic situation before he gives up?

3. Does he have a right to feel angry with me for being initially upset?

What Should I Do?

1. No.

2. Yes, you deserve some time to think about the naked-pic situation. You might also want to carve out a little time to think about the whole engaged-to-a-manipulative-and-petulant-piece-of-shit situation.

3. No, he does not. Your reaction was not only understandable, WSID, it was one he should've anticipated. Maybe he thought it would be easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, and maybe he thought it wasn't a big deal because it wasn't a face pic, and maybe he hoped positive responses would heal your insecurities and prompt you to retroactively approve of his actions. He was wrong. But instead of apologizing for his thoughtlessness—instead of taking responsibility for his actions—your fiancé attempted to shift the blame onto you. (You weren't actively seeking out sex partners so, like, what other choice did he have?) He's the one who fucked up, and yet you're the one who's in trouble. If he can't apologize, WSID, if he can't stop trying to blame you for his own stupidity, if he doesn't stop withholding those responses from you, per your request, you really should rethink your plans to marry this man. Bi and sexually adventurous are great traits in a mate, dishonest and emotionally abusive are not.

I have been with my fiancé for four years. We are happy together and very much in love. When I met him, he was a bit boring, and I brought him out of his shell. But now I'm starting to feel like I've created a monster. He has discovered that he is REALLY into some things. For example: trans porn, wearing my lingerie, being on the "receiving end" of my strap-on, etc. All of these things are fine—once in a while. But it makes me feel like less of a woman when all he wants to do is BE THE WOMAN EVERY SINGLE TIME! We have talked about it, and he has cut back, but I can't help but wonder... is he less satisfied in bed now? I have noticed a drop in how often we have sex after we had the "talk." I'm getting bored and worried!

Created A Monster

You two may be experiencing—and you may be misinterpreting—a normal four-years-in decrease in the frequency of sex, CAM, or this could be one of those lulls that even couples in LTRs that don't see a drop in frequency sometimes experience. That the amount of sex you and your fiancé are having fell off steeply in the immediate wake of the "talk" may just be a coincidence.

Only time will tell, CAM, so... you'll have to give it time.

But you were right to communicate with your fiancé about your unhappiness. You get a gold star for drawing him out of his shell, sexually speaking, and he may have gotten so excited about you being up for watching trans porn, putting him in your lingerie, and pegging his ass that he lost sight of your needs, wants, and desires. It's possible that he's less interested in sex now that it's not all about transgender porn and gender transgression, CAM, but it's also possible that he's embarrassed for being such a thoughtless panty-wearing clod and is having a hard time getting things back in gear. You may need to draw him out yet again.

I'm getting married in a few months, and I wouldn't be so blissfully in love if it weren't for your advice. Before dating my fiancé, I was dating another guy. One night, we were watching South Park and a joke was made about golden showers. My boyfriend made a half-joking remark, and I instantly thought of a column of yours in which you said men sometimes bring up their fetishes jokingly to gauge their partner's reaction. It came out that he loved being peed on. I'm GGG, so I mulled it over and decided that I am not comfortable with that. I was able to explain that regardless of how sanitary it may be (one of his selling points!), I am not down and he deserves to be with someone who is. Couple weeks later, I started talking to my future husband, who has the same kinks as me. Thanks for teaching me that being GGG does not mean doing whatever your partner wants but to always be respectful, even if it eeks you out.

Soon To Wed

I'm glad you met the love of your life, STW, and here's hoping your new man doesn't have a secret kink that's as bad or worse—or identical to—your previous man's rather harmless kink. Yes, yes, being into golden showers, or getting off on being pissed on, is pretty kinky, as kinks go. But after a few beers, piss is just so much hot water. I'm not saying you should've gone there for your ex, if pissing on him was something you absolutely, positively couldn't bring yourself to do. All I'm saying is that most people who give piss a chance quickly realize that golden showers aren't nearly as gross and disgusting—or even golden—as they were led to believe by people who lump piss in with shit when discussing and/or freaking out about other people's kinks.

That was a great response you gave to the woman who was concerned about her boyfriend stroking his dick and the cat at the same time. I mean, sometimes I'll start absentmindedly jerking off while watching TV, and it has absolutely nothing to do with what's on the screen. What if someone walked in and saw me beating off and Geraldo was on the screen? The two things are completely unconnected, and any reasonable person would realize that!

Not Geraldo Tonight

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Comments (111) RSS

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Thanks Dan for the great work throughout the years.
Posted by lovefear on April 10, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
Dan, thanks for all of the great work over the years.
Posted by lovefear on April 10, 2012 at 5:44 PM · Report this
Santorum sinks! Thanks, Dan.
Posted by spoon on April 10, 2012 at 6:10 PM · Report this
Yo, WSID, seek out and destroy all of the "harmless" naked pics your fiance has of you. If your relationship doesn't last, he'll probably be a dick and spread them around.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on April 10, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
A quick note with regards to "What should I do?"'s letter (and Dan's response to it)

I just got a book called "In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People" by George Simon Jr. And it's the best book I've ever read about other people's bullshit. Because you have every right to be mad about your partner posting naked pics of you on the internet, and when he got mad back at you - that's Manipulation.

Read the book, I can't recommend it highly enough.
Posted by scrappy_girlie on April 10, 2012 at 6:59 PM · Report this
What to do when Santorum drops out? Use a but plug, OBVIOUSLY! :-D
And WSID? DMTFA, obviously.
Posted by danfan on April 10, 2012 at 7:01 PM · Report this
I just got a book called "In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People" by George Simon Jr.

"What should I do?" should read this book. Also, good call Dan for pointing out his manipulation.
Posted by scrappy_girlie on April 10, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this
Lance Thrustwell 8
I'm sorry, call me narrow-minded, but peeing on somebody (or gettting peed on) is just yucky and not erotic at all. There. I said it and I feel better now.
Posted by Lance Thrustwell on April 10, 2012 at 7:05 PM · Report this
How is it that posting nekkid pictures of someone else online without their consent is not a criminal act? Seriously. And how can that woman not value herself enough to be vigorously and vocally angry with him for doing that? What a prick bastard son of a bitch.

Maybe CAM should try a Feeldoe, then she'll get a little something out of the strap on sexy time. I also think it's offensive that she correlates his kinks to him wanting to be the woman. Why must it be what she wants or what he wants, with a distinct separation between the 2? Isn't compromise a big part of any relationship?
Posted by catballou on April 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM · Report this

I'm with #4 (approaching 40), first go on a search and destroy mission. If he wigs out, remind him that even if you're married, he doesn't own you (or your images). Did you agree to any of the photos being taken (obviously of you nude or grossly inappropriate)?

I'm sorry, but the incident you relate would be a deal breaker if I tried such a thing with my wife. As in, her saying "I don't want to know you". We don't get to hear your SO's positive attributes, so I hope there is some balance to fight the DTMFAs you'll get.

Posted by Married in MA on April 10, 2012 at 7:26 PM · Report this
@9, I think CAM says he's being the woman because that's how they're talking about it in bed -- he wants to feel like a sexy woman.

She could try giving him a few alternate kinks to work with. Preferably, something that really turns her on, to avoid reinforcing the opposition between "hot/dirty/forbidden" sex games for him, and "boring/normal/vanilla" sex for her.

STW: She's happy she has found someone she loves and with whom she has compatible kinks – so why does Dan warn her about hidden kinks and say she should have tried harder with her ex? He's her ex for a reason... the golden showers probably weren't the only reason they broke up.
Posted by EricaP on April 10, 2012 at 7:39 PM · Report this
mydriasis 12
re: naked pics

Your man's a douchenozzle! Dump that shit!
Three people on the face of this planet have naked pics of me. One is a good friend and a professional photog who knows better than to ship them around. One of them a solid dude. And one of them would go to jail if he tried to share them. So I'm not worried. She, on the other hand, should be. As other people mentioned.

re: the peg-me boyfriend

That man is basically my worst nightmare of kinks. Good luck with all that.

re: golden showers

That's something I would only do in the context of really loving that person since it doesn't get me off whatsoever or appeal to me. But I'm desensitized to urine/blood/feces/etc, so I don't find urine "icky" either. I'd have no problem doing it in the right context and for the right person.
Posted by mydriasis on April 10, 2012 at 7:40 PM · Report this
STW's letter and your response are great for reiterating what GGG really means, Dan. That was a great article!
Posted by gromm on April 10, 2012 at 7:41 PM · Report this
mydriasis 14

It's called gaslighting.
I'mma resist being sexist but I think we know how this usually works.
Anyway, one partner gets upset about something and then the other person in the relationship reacts as if the first person is "crazy" and "overreacting", they do this with such confidence that the first person is taken aback. Most people will (at least a little) question if they are in fact crazy, and overreacting.

Yeah I noticed that too, I think it was meant to be more for the benefit of readers than the LW. But I agree with you completely.
Posted by mydriasis on April 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM · Report this
In top form this week Dan!
WSID's fiance sounds like a manipulative asshole. I wonder if he is the root of WSID's insecurity, and he feeds off her insecurity to fulfill his petty need to be superior and in control.
Posted by Dynomite on April 10, 2012 at 7:45 PM · Report this
Congrats on sinking Santorum, Dan. Now can we stop using his name to describe excrement?
Posted by Hate him on April 10, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
Gaslighting, totally. Get away from him and get away from him now. You do NOT want to be married to someone like that. They don't get better. They only get worse. And this is how he is before you're married or have kids? Get out now! The only pause I'd suggest in your flight is to delete any and all pictures he has of you, but even that should be secondary to getting out. The pain of a few nude pics spread around is nothing compared to the mind-fuck of dealing with a guy like this.

Abusive spouses will cook you like a frog, slowly turning up the heat until you're boiled. I've had one and I was left questioning my sanity so much that at times I wasn't sure if I'd even said the words to him that I thought I'd just said, because he would repeat back to me something totally different, with complete confidence, and claim that's what I'd said. He got to where he would assert things that were patently not true as a routine thing - I'd seen such and such movie, I'd dropped our son on his head as an infant and couldn't be trusted with the kids, I'd tried to kill him ...

Yes, it can get that insane. Get out now. Even though I have trouble believing there are sane people out there now, given what happened to me, I can tell you that being single (and a single parent!) is a huge relief.

And perhaps it is my long experience with a highly manipulative person, but I read CAM's situation and can't help but see the guy as passive aggressively complaining that he's not getting the sex he wants. He wants it to be all about him, all the time, and now that it's not, he's sulking.

Posted by Gamebird on April 10, 2012 at 8:31 PM · Report this
@11 I thinks he's hinting that while her partner is on the same page as her right now that may not always be the case and in light of the fact they're getting married soon, she should probably raise her hypothetical kink bar a little higher for the possible decades to come.
Posted by mygash on April 10, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
Ms Erica - Also, that was how STW framed it. It reads as if she was looking for a reason on which to hang the dump and make it look magnanimous. To go right from I'll Mull That Over to I'm Not Up For That to You Deserve Someone Who Is to Buh-Bye and all because she's just SO GGG and Ever So Respectful and Can She Please Have A Cookie?

If I were in RomCom mode, I'd hope that the fiance dumps her at the altar.
Posted by vennominon on April 10, 2012 at 9:02 PM · Report this
nocutename 20
Ah, Mr. Ven:
When you're hot, you're hot!
Thank you for causing me to spit wine at the screen. That's some mighty fine form you're showing right there.
Posted by nocutename on April 10, 2012 at 9:53 PM · Report this
Is Geraldo still on? I haven't seen that guy in ages.
Posted by Eff Tee Vee on April 10, 2012 at 9:59 PM · Report this
If he is talking or posting to the world at large about what you reasonably believe to be private -- ditch him. Now. Or you could have a "serious discussion" -- but real poor odds it might help.
That's no way to work a relationship.
I'm bi and not very horny -- but when the man I love now needs a woman -- he tells me, he says "I found this gal" and then I back off for a week, a month, forever perhaps. I never stop loving him. I care about whoever he needs at the time. I sure as hell don't go posting stuff on the web. Creepy.
Posted by not.zorg on April 10, 2012 at 11:04 PM · Report this
@18/19 Thanks for explaining; makes sense now.
Posted by EricaP on April 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM · Report this
The first letter got to me, as I have been living a version of this dynamic for two years and am finally ready to break it off. Partner crosses boundaries, you tell them that it hurt you, they respond with anger. You are entitled to be angry here What Should I Do! If you can identify other instances of this pattern, and it is a recurring dynamic that face this bravely and get out.
Posted by slt_savagefan on April 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM · Report this
This first letter got to me. I have been living a version of this dynamic for two years and am finally ready to break it off. Partner crosses boundaries, you tell them that it hurts you, they respond with anger (withdrawal, blame). If you can recognize this pattern as a recurring dynamic and have tried to discuss this dynamic without fruitful outcomes, then bravely face it and DTMFA.

Thanks for posting this letter, it came at the right time for me.
Posted by slt_savagefan on April 10, 2012 at 11:58 PM · Report this
@24 --
If your partner responds with anger once or twice -- live with it.
If anger is habitual -- run, run, run.
Posted by not.zorg on April 11, 2012 at 12:44 AM · Report this
@18 mygash,

OTOH, some people can go for decades and never raise the bar. While being GGG, knowing your partner's comfort level is crucial (and yes, I'm the sort that will always take someone at their word).


PS: Besides, as a male you can always piss on yourself if you need to.
Posted by Married in MA on April 11, 2012 at 5:44 AM · Report this
Oh yeah, NGT,

Mustache porn!

(Though personally I prefer bearded clams.)

Jousts he == autocorrect of Moustache...
Posted by Married in MA on April 11, 2012 at 5:51 AM · Report this
AFinch 29
Great advice on all counts, and @19 FTW!

I completely agree STW isn't as GGG as she thinks she is. She dumped him over his kink and sure, a gentle, respectful dump is better than a harsh one, but her letter didn't end with him meeting someone who was willing to engage his kink. He wasn't even pushing his kink - she drew it out of him. Definitely sounds like she was searching for a reason. I guess, after reading my own comment back to myself, I realize: he probably is better of without a chick who does this.

I also think CAM has a whiff of 'blame the victim' here - she got him to open up to something new and then is unhappy with the results? Dan's right, at least give him a chance to find his inner cave-man again.

....and to @24 and WSID: as someone who's been gaslit and dealt with the crazy-making and emotional abuse of a manipulative partner, please, DTMFA, now, for your own well being.
Posted by AFinch on April 11, 2012 at 6:05 AM · Report this
I'm with all of you re LW 1. When Dan called the sneaky picture poster, manipulative-and-petulant, I recognized my estranged spouse. It doesn't get better, trust me. You will lose your voice in an effort to placate an emotional leotard. You're allowed to get mad and he ought to feel remorse for making you mad. "Humor them, they might be dangerous" is a shitty way to live.
Posted by phuni44 on April 11, 2012 at 6:17 AM · Report this
AFinch 31
@12 - Maybe CAM is your nightmare scenario but then the odds are good you wouldn't have introduced your partner to wearing your lingerie and being on the receiving end in the first place.

@17 - I completely agree with your advice to WSID, but I think your dirty lens is interfering with CAM - I don't think he's being sulky or manipulative. I don't think CAM is really being manipulative either, but she's taken him in one pretty intense direction and now wants him to shift gears again back in the opposite direction.
Posted by AFinch on April 11, 2012 at 6:20 AM · Report this
velvetpaws 32
LW1 should heed the DTMFA cries. But from my own experience when you are in the thick of an abusive relationship you really cannot see the way out. Abusers are charming and when they are focusing positive attention on you it can feel like being bathed in love. Do not marry him. You are so young now and can start over. Much harder, though still worthwhile, to start over at forty or fifty when you've stepped out of the work force to take care of children at his insistence. Take care of yourself.
Posted by velvetpaws on April 11, 2012 at 6:29 AM · Report this
John Horstman 33
Posting naked pictures of someone else without their consent is a really serious violation, and it suggests that WSID's fiance doesn't really consider or possibly even recognize her agency. It's extremely objectifying - treating her as an object that he owns and can therefore display however he likes without her input. Bolt, after stealing his laptop/phone/tablet (whatever he used for the pictures), using it to take the pictures down (assuming he saves his passwords for automatic log-in), and wiping the hard drive. If he complains, tell him he's lucky to not be facing criminal charges. Then go see about filing criminal charges.

@9: "How is it that posting nekkid pictures of someone else online without their consent is not a criminal act? Seriously."

It might be; there's a good case to be made that it constitutes sexual assault in some jurisdictions, and technically most internet porn is illegal by state or federal statute (though the anti-porn laws are pretty much only ever enforced in cases of abuse/exploitation, as with unwilling participants - like, potentially, you - or minors).
Posted by John Horstman on April 11, 2012 at 6:58 AM · Report this
John Horstman 34
Bah, not "like, potentially, you" as in #9, but as in WSID.
Posted by John Horstman on April 11, 2012 at 6:59 AM · Report this
mydriasis 35

I got the impression those were his kinks, not her suggestions and it came out as a result of her being GGG, which I try to be as well. I don't tend to attract super kinky guys though, I find.
Posted by mydriasis on April 11, 2012 at 7:01 AM · Report this
Here's something else for WSID to think about. If this is how he treats her when he has plenty of time to think about what he's doing, how would he treat her when they were in the moment and he was sexually excited? As upset as she is about the photo, she should imagine how she would feel after an actual threesome with this guy. Would he be capable of doing any aftercare if she felt jealous or needed reassurance? Probably not. He's not capable of caring for her feelings before the threesome, so after he's gotten what he wanted he'll be even less capable of caring about her feelings. Once he's gotten what he wants, he'll be an even bigger asshole than he was about the photo. If he's not responsible or respectful enough to correctly handle a nude picture, then he's probably not going to be capable of handling outside partners in a sexual situation. DTMFA. Any adult with half a brain should know that naked pictures are confidential unless permission is given to share them. He's a manipulative piece of shit who doesn't care about WSID's feelings at all.
Posted by dump him on April 11, 2012 at 7:06 AM · Report this
AFinch 37
@35 this is what makes me think LW started the ball rolling:

When I met him, he was a bit boring, and I brought him out of his shell. But now I'm starting to feel like I've created a monster. He has discovered that he is REALLY into some things.

She brought him out...he has discovered.

I suppose it's entirely possible he knew he liked butt-play and had secretly looked at tranny porn long before he met her, and when she went there decided he had hit the jackpot and went overboard, taking advantage of her GGG nature. But, I went for the simplest reading of the situation.
Posted by AFinch on April 11, 2012 at 7:48 AM · Report this
@those saying STW isn't as GGG as she thinks:

GGG does NOT mean doing whatever the partner wants. She consiered it, decided she's not into it, and probably didn't make her ex feel like a perverse creepoid for even having such thoughts.

So, she qualifies.
Posted by blah on April 11, 2012 at 8:16 AM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 39
Let me add to the chorus of DTMFA for the first letter-writer. Posting naked pictures without consent is a dumping offense. His reaction only seals the deal.

WSID, if he doesn't apologize and make it up to you when he's so clearly in the wrong, when will he ever take your feelings into consideration?

Also: thanks to those who mentioned gaslighting. I learned a new word today.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on April 11, 2012 at 8:34 AM · Report this
@37 "He has discovered that he is REALLY into some things."

Sounds to me like she proposed a bunch of different activities, as per sex advice books - try fur-lined hand-cuffs! try ice cubes! try role-play! And she was happy that he liked some of it, and indeed it "spiced up their sex life," until that became all he was interested in.

Is it important to you that she be seen as the cause of her situation? Can't we get away from blame? She likes sex, just not the kind her guy is offering -- do you have suggestions for her?
Posted by EricaP on April 11, 2012 at 8:50 AM · Report this
@39 Screen Names,

FYI the term gaslighting comes from the 1944 (and 1940 and the play they're based upon) movie that included the screen debut of Angela Lansbury.

Posted by Married in MA on April 11, 2012 at 8:56 AM · Report this
Addendum to #41,

The movie(s and play) name is "Gaslight".

Posted by Married in MA on April 11, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
Although she didn't state it explicitly, it could be that STW wasn't just turned off by peeing in general but rather that it indicates a submissiveness in her ex that she wasn't into. I, for example, have enjoyed getting peed on in the past but would be the opposite of turned on if a man wanted me to pee on him, that power shift just doesn't work for me. She said she found a guy with her same kinks, maybe he's more dominant and she's more submissive? I do think if two people are staunchly on either side (or one switches but the other can't) then that's not gonna work in the long run.
Posted by ladida on April 11, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
Not that I'm an expert, but I've been hanging out in the crossdressing community for a while now, and I've seen CAM's situation happen over and over again. It's called "pink fog" and my advice to her is to temporarily open up the relationship, or take a hiatus if she is uncomfortable with that. And also it's good that they are not yet married, more flexibility. Her fiance needs to (and will) go all out in exploring this side of himself, and will do it behind her back if she doesn't give him permission.

Once he HAS experienced the limited world of the crossdresser, he will both be thanking his lucky stars that he knows a tolerant and accepting GGG cis woman and kicking himself heartily for risking such a treasure. But he won't know that until he gets out there and has some bisexual action with other crossdressers and trans. That is, assuming that he's mostly straight underneath--if he's more on the gay end, also better to know now before tying the knot.

There is no one more delusional than a crossdresser in his first pink fog. He probably has a vision of transforming himself into a 110% passable, Victoria's Secret supermodel vision of loveliness, hotly pursued by equally passable trans women. At the very least he will drive you crazy by wanting to post pix of himself in lingerie online to get comments from horny tranny chasers.

It is a Pandora's box, and the initial strength of it can be overwhelming for those men who have been suppressing it all their lives, sometimes subconsciously. Just give him time, maybe a year or so, and in the meantime maybe try a little polyamory on your end too to stay sane, if that's your thing. But don't underestimate the ultimate power you will have over him, if he is indeed mostly straight. You will own him far more than you could any drab guy.
Posted by Marrena on April 11, 2012 at 9:29 AM · Report this
mydriasis 45

"She brought him out...he has discovered.

I suppose it's entirely possible he knew he liked butt-play and had secretly looked at tranny porn long before he met her, and when she went there decided he had hit the jackpot and went overboard, taking advantage of her GGG nature. But, I went for the simplest reading of the situation. "

I don't think he knew, I got more the impression that she was like "hey, check out this website/book/mag/other resource (I don't know, I'm not kinky)" (or introduced him to kink in some other similar, broad-spectrum way) and he came across tranny stuff and a light went off in his head. He went to his GGG girlfriend knowing she would be accepting and nonjudgemental and got to experiment.

Now granted, I'd never take that route since I'm not kinky (unless "often" counts as a kink), I'm more apt to have a "just so you know, anything you're into, you can let me know. You don't have to be shy, I want to make you happy" etc. But still.
Posted by mydriasis on April 11, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
Geraldo? Well men who claim that teenaged boys deserve to be shot for wearing hoodies can be extremely sexy. [/except not]
Posted by DRF on April 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Ms Blah - I wasn't saying she wasn't GGG. I'm saying she played the GGG card inappropriately.

She did at least a little mild digging to unearth the kink. Fine.

She mulled it over. For purposes of discussion, I'll allow that she gave the idea a reasonably fair consideration.

She decided Sorry, No. Nothing wrong with that.

She then immediately leapt to making the unilateral decision for him that "he deserved" someone willing to participate. Wait; what?

An important part of the GGG process is surely working together on discrepancies. If I may tease Ms Erica ever so slightly, only in her ideal world does Revelation of Kink lead automatically to Development of Equal Kink in the GGG Partner. While in many cases the GGG partner may deserve the bulk of whatever consideration is on offer, the GGG partner does not get to make unilateral decisions on the indulged or unindulged partner's behalf.

I could accept any true motivation ranging from the kink just giving her an easy out of a relationship that she'd already cashiered mentally to the kink being, as suggested as possible by Ms La, a total dealbreaker, and that does not invalidate the GGG portion of the conversation. But one owns a dealbreaker, accepts responsibility for it, and does not frame it as a sacrifice made for the other's good.

And this matters because the whole letter is framed as her saying how Good she was and how she was Rewarded for her "selfless" action. To these tired old eyes, that's Misplaying the GGG card.

We could have another fascinating discussion on its own about the Ideal Correlation of Kinks.

Posted by vennominon on April 11, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
In my mind, posting any kind of pictures of anyone without their consent, is some form of violation of their privacy. I know it can be a fun time for everyone to see candid pix, but I've rarely felt comfortable doing it. That's a big issue I have with social networking in general. Posting anything personal about another person is a form of privacy violation.
Posted by nunn on April 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
GymGoth 49
Don't think CAMs advice was very good. If your partner is now into acting like a woman sexually and prefers to be pegged over being the "top" in penetrative sex, it is unlikely that he is going to ever change.

He sounds comparable to in the gay world (excluding the narrowest of truly "versatile") where often self-proclaimed tops discover they like to bottom and then seldom are that interested in topping again.
Posted by GymGoth on April 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
WSID: DTMFA. Everyone else already pointed out how wrong what he did was. But here's another good reason. If you find yourself asking these questions (at 27 years old), ***someone has been messing with your mind****

"Is it that ludicrous to be upset about naked pics of me being posted on the internet without my knowledge?

Do I deserve time to think about the naked-pic situation before he gives up?

Does he have a right to feel angry with me for being initially upset?"

Do I deserve [x reasonable thing that adults routinely deserve]? Yes. Take a good look at yourself and what made you question it in the first place... and then break up with it.
Posted by KittyWrangler on April 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Re: masturbation
I just saw some religious "freedom from masturbation" web site (…) that recommended specific anti-monkey-spanking prayers to recite and the advice to "pray intermittently in tongues as the Lord leads you."

I would be soooo much less disturbed by walking in on some guy jacking off than some guy NOT jacking off while sporting a huge hard-on and speaking in tongues, but that's just me.

Posted by inbed on April 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
@51 inbed,

So this is the part where masturbating makes you go blind (by praying not to do it?).

Posted by Married in MA on April 11, 2012 at 5:12 PM · Report this
@52 I was reading a story by Jocelyn Elders where she told about an older woman who had grown up terrified--seriously terrified--that she would go blind from her secret habit. She wasted years being scared of this (not to mention fear of possible "dropsy" and other threatened ailments.) Madness!
Posted by inbed on April 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM · Report this
I stop masturbating by having more sex. Mmm. Sex.

GGG may not get to make unilateral decisions for her partner, but she certainly gets to for herself. For me, I couldn't be involved with a partner who had a serious kink that I did not feel comfortable indulging. It would make me feel like he "settled" and I'd always worry he'd find someone who could indulge him and I don't want to ever put myself in that situation. This is because of my firm belief we all deserve/should go for a partner who suits us as close to perfectly sexually as possible. I'd want him to have that as well if I actually liked a guy. I'd find it sad to see him settle. It wouldn't be a situation I'd be comfortable being involved with.

I had a former lover in a "pink fog" as a poster above put it... It DID destroy our relationship. I was just totally uninterested in "being the man" so to speak. The two way dildo didn't help either. The stuff I get off on in sex just wasn't possible while he was acting in a less than gender normative fashion. If I wanted to fuck a chick, I'd fuck a chick, not a guy who wanted me to fuck him like he was a chick. I totally lost my girl woody for the guy and ended up in a relationship with a woman for the next year I was to turned off.

And here's the thing, doing it a few times was fun.... doing it over and over and over, every.single.fucking.time was absolutely HORRIBLE. Just No.

After we broke up guess what he did? He went all out into his pink fog and had some gay/bi/trans sex experiences....

and came to decide he's fine just being a dude and being heteronormative after all. It was just like a craving he had to satisfy. And then one day he woke up and "meh" he was over it. But man he was so immersed in it for a while there was simply no room for *me*. Because a girl acting like a guy in bed (again pardon the gendernormativity here, I'm trying to keep it simple. I am well aware men and women can behave however they wish!) is just not who I am.
Posted by wendykh on April 11, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
Wow, if the naked pictures lady is mad now, wait til she finds out isn't even a personals site for swingers...

But really, the guy is a prick for posting naked photos without her consent (and then getting mad about it!), and she sounds like a piece of work too for needing an advice columnist to explain why that shit is wrong. I predict a long and happy marriage for these two.

@ cross dressing lady -

While I can see some erotic potential in dressing a guy up in lingerie and doing him with a strap-on, it would get mighty boring doing that every. single. time. Why? Because that isn't my kink. This sounds like a side dish for you, while it's a main course (or even the whole damn meal) for him. I don't think having "the talk" just once will fix things here, there needs to be an ongoing dialogue. You must make it clear how LUCKY he is to be with a woman who's GGG enough to indulge his kinks regularly (really, how many closeted cross dressers dream of that scenario?) and also let him know that you have sexual needs too. I only see this situation working if both of you compromise. Otherwise, he can line up with all the other CDs looking for the magical unicorn woman who gets off on indulging his kinks 100% of the time.
Posted by the_spiral on April 11, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this
@54 wendy,

It kind of reminds me of college freshmen experiencing their first alcohol parties.  Once you're past the novelty, it gets old (or sad).  But that is part of the growing up process; you just hope to not damage yourself permanently (and hope for the protection supposedly afforded drunkards and fools).

Which reminds me: never chug a drink someone hands you if you don't know exactly what went into it.  (Though a couple of times when people did that to me they found out I could do projectile vomiting reeaal good!)

Posted by Married in MA on April 11, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
Dan--- perfect advice for WSID. Her fiance sounds like he needs some serious growing up before ever getting married. Thank you, danfan (@6) for beating me to it.

Now if we can only get rid of Rush Lardbutt and Mitt Happens Romney.
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 11, 2012 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Sandiai 58
@39. "Also: thanks to those who mentioned gaslighting. I learned a new word today."

Hopefully, armed with this idea, a person can better be on the lookout for gas-lighters.
Posted by Sandiai on April 11, 2012 at 7:33 PM · Report this
nocutename 59
I went and checked out that website, expecting to laugh. Instead, I almost cried.
Posted by nocutename on April 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM · Report this
re naked pics:

it is a violation, for sure, but ... other than her personally knowing there was a picture of her naked on the internet, what harm really came from the situation?

if i were in her position, i'd be pissed too. but: it was her waste and bellow, without her face. who could possibly know it was her? as far as anyone else is concerned, it's just another anonymous picture of a vag on the internet.

would it have been better if it was a non-nude picture with her face? personally, i'd be more upset if that were the case.

anyway, her boyfriend's reaction was terrible, so i agree that you should dump him.
Posted by aoeustnh on April 11, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Report this
nocutename 61
@60: "Waste and Bellow" sounds like an English pub.
Posted by nocutename on April 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM · Report this
ok, i'm bad at speling, whaetver.
Posted by aoeustnh on April 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM · Report this
Neptune 63
I haven't even finished reading yet, but I have to say A+ GOLD STAR to the response on the first letter. When she was describing his behavior, I was shaking my head and ready to tell her to dtmfa!

"You might also want to carve out a little time to think about the whole engaged-to-a-manipulative-and-petulant-piece-of-shit situation," says it better than I ever could have. Perfection! Petulant is a fitting adjective for my ex, and letters like hers make me remember how glad I am that he's my ex.
Posted by Neptune on April 11, 2012 at 10:45 PM · Report this
Confluence 64

Agreed. Sounds like *Dan* is into getting peed on though. His response reeks of someone who's now into golden showers as a result of a partner's kinks.

Posted by Confluence on April 12, 2012 at 12:03 AM · Report this
@ 62: Hahahahaha!
Posted by Chase on April 12, 2012 at 1:13 AM · Report this
AFinch 66
Is it important to you that she be seen as the cause of her situation?

Not at all, actually...

Can't we get away from blame?

...fine by me - I was really reaction to the assertion @17 that he was being passive aggressive and sulking.

That seemed like a bit of blame game to me, and I was trying to balance it out. Clearly, it takes two to tango.

She likes sex, just not the kind her guy is offering -- do you have suggestions for her?

I really don't - not more than what she says she's already done herself: tell him she wants to be the girl sometimes and that they need to take turns. She needs to tell him what some of her kinks/fantasies are and insist they receive equal time. If he decides he would rather remain the pink fog, then she ought to find someone new.

I really like your advice @11.

@44 - Whoa, wow. I am not very experienced with the transvestite community, and I'm kind of blown away by the 'pink fog' comments. I hope these folks pull out of this groove.
Posted by AFinch on April 12, 2012 at 8:35 AM · Report this
@55 funny, I don't feel like a magical unicorn woman (great phrase, thanks)

@66 not all CD's react like that, but CAM's boyfriend does have some of the telltale signs.
Posted by Marrena on April 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Toast 68
It is almost too bad that Rick Santorum is sinking. (Correction, sunk.)

No, I'm not for him. I'm a democrat.
But there used to be a republican party in this country, one that could function and tend the needs of the country.

They are now in the control of their most radical members.

Milt facing Obama won't solve anything. That extreme will see Romney losing as confirmation of their demand of a more pure republican party.

We are going to face another four years of a congress devoted to the destruction of this country because they think that will get them in office in 2016.

It would have been better if Santorum had to face the people and got his frothy ass kicked. Then the republicans would see they have to take back their party and get their act together like the democrats had to after Reagan.
I remember things being pretty good under Bill.
Posted by Toast on April 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
@66 thanks!

@67 Do you know many straight couples who have found a good groove, where they both enjoy switching, aka taking turns being "the girl"? Or do husband and wife generally prefer to be the girl, but they'll tolerate being the guy to please their spouse?
Posted by EricaP on April 12, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
WSID- Ive had that exact conversation, and if that boundary doesnt get respected, it doesn't get worse. You do start questioning if you have that right, if its ok for you to get mad, and end up apologizing and comforting him just to make it ok. No one has the right to treat those pictures-given in trust-without your explicit consent
Posted by Canada-eh on April 12, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
People here seem to be very good at projecting the details of their own failed relationships onto the letter writers, relationships wherein they were always the put upon party. Real life people make mistakes and first person accounts are not always accurate. Dan gets payed to make snap judgements about these things in an amusing manner, which he does well. Most of the rest of ya just sound like know it all jerks.
Posted by drjones on April 12, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
WSID's problem is so common! I've done the same thing--by which I don't mean anything to do with photographs, but only reacting similarly when accused of something I'd done wrong. I had to learn to recognise it (and other things) in myself. It's part of growing up. When does it start? Around the time we start to go to school? Coincidence?

When do we learn not to blame victims? How can we facilitate the learning process? Wouldn't it be lovely if we had school classes on Becoming A Good Person or something?

Religion used to try to do this (with spectacularly low success rates--perhaps because religions tend to be founded on victim-blaming (You were killed by lightning? Your people died in a flood? Your species doesn't live in the Garden of Eden? I wonder why...)).

Where do we learn to be good people? How do we teach everyone? Would Dan be sad if that put him out of a job?
Posted by something on April 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
@71 I've got a big mouth, you do have a point. I'm probably just projecting. I'll shut up now! :)
Posted by Marrena on April 12, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this

While I agree that context is not always provided, I have racked my mind to provide context that would excuse the first letter and I've not come up with any. Seriously. Can you think of anything that would make the guy in the first letter *not* a monster?

He's less of a jerk if she was misunderstanding his attempts to defend himself, and he's not trying to blame her or tell her she has no right to be angry, but trying to explain what he was thinking. It's possible he's been saying "I'm sorry! I was wrong!" during the whole time, and she left that out.

But even if that's the case, only a monster and an idiot would do something like that! It's such a gross violation! It shows a complete lack of respect.

A few years back my 13-year-old BIL and I were watching a trashy talk show and a woman was explaining that she dumped her boyfriend because he showed a sex tape they made to all of his friends.

My 13-year old BIL didn't understand why she wouldn't forgive him. "It's not like he cheated on her or anything."

And that, in a nutshell, is why I tend to believe her version of events. Because now that he's an adult, I have no difficulty imagining my BIL doing this to his wife. He was adopted out of a very bad situation, so he's not exactly respectful of other people.

BIL's never hurt me. He's always been nice to me because I've never been in a situation where he had power over me. I've never been in an abusive relationship period--my husband is a saint. But I do know that it's entirely possible for people to act like that, and it *is* a common attitude for abusive people.

Someone who is willing to post a naked picture without the photographed person's permission is probably very capable of that. They failed one test, and they will likely fail other ones.
Posted by DianeLGD on April 12, 2012 at 7:06 PM · Report this
@74 "BIL's never hurt me. He's always been nice to me because I've never been in a situation where he had power over me. I've never been in an abusive relationship period--my husband is a saint. But I do know that it's entirely possible for people to act like that, and it *is* a common attitude for abusive people."

You sound smart :)
Posted by KittyWrangler on April 12, 2012 at 8:30 PM · Report this
@72 something
I appreciate what you're saying. I think that we all have to figure out how to be good people on our own (with varying degrees of interest and success). I think it's one of the purposes of Dan's column and discussion forums like this - learning from other people's experiences to debate and figure out how best to conduct ourselves.
Posted by LiveAndLet on April 12, 2012 at 9:57 PM · Report this
seandr 77
Wait, secretly posting naked pics of your girl online is wrong??
Posted by seandr on April 12, 2012 at 11:15 PM · Report this
AFinch 78
@68 - While I also mourn the sinking of Santorum, I don't see a (hopeful) Romney loss as a bad thing. These whackadoodles - true radicals - who have captured the GOP will indeed make another attempt, which pretty well guarantees that we get another Santorum in 2016 and eventually start to push a national realignment. That's not a bad thing. It is a shame that the Senate gives such a grossly disproportionate veto (filibuster) on national policy, since it empowers the Rotten Burroughs which are the fly-over, no-population "red states" like AK, ND, SD, ID, KS, WY, MT, UT - that's 16 Senators more or less completely locked up by a slice of the population which is NOT representative of the whole country, by a long shot. There are more like this - ME, LA, NM, WV - some of which might lean blue or be a little more balanced, but the pro-right-wing slant of states which are more or less owned by large energy interests and can be bought by corporate America is pretty disconcerting.

We desperately need a re-alignment, and that is underway with a demographic shift in age and ethnicity (heh, back OT!) that defangs the gay-marriage issue and simultaneously undercuts the power of white males. Still, it won't hurt that these folks get more crazy radical and make more non-radical Americans realize that the "left" is really the sane center anymore.
Posted by AFinch on April 13, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
WSID, run far far away! He posted nude pics of you without your permission AND blamed you for the whole thing. Either one of those behaviors is abusive in itself.

This guy needs to be dumped immediately. Preferably out a window head-first.

Posted by Ashley Amber on April 13, 2012 at 7:49 AM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 80
Quote @79: "This guy needs to be dumped immediately. Preferably out a window head-first."

DTMFA = Defenestrate the motherfucker already.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on April 13, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Sorry but I’m lumping piss in with those other gross things. I thought the point of it as a kink was that its so unacceptable anyway. Thats what makes it work. If you’re in to degradation its gotta actually be degrading, that sort of thing.
Posted by Karey on April 13, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Love that, "bi & adventurous are great traits in a mate.. not dishonest & emotionally abusive"... I feel in the same boat w/ this woman... I get the "fuck it, i tried cuz u weren't" all the time and now I know why it pisses me off. He is a liar & emotionally hurtful! Thanks Dan for the consistent clarity!
Posted by wonderwoman on April 13, 2012 at 4:20 PM · Report this
Dan, it would have been helpful to acknowledge the possibility that CAM's fiancé(e) is a trans woman, and may be reaching a point where putting on a male gender role is becoming painful or impossible.

If CAM really needs her partner to convincingly project a masculine affect in order to feel like a woman, their relationship may be headed for trouble, but I think it would be helpful for her to consider that her partner's gender doesn't necessarily determine her own. They can both be women; there doesn't just have to be one "the woman" in the relationship.

I'd encourage them to explore means of expressing intimacy that don't require CAM's partner to assert an explicitly masculine persona (which apparently makes them so uncomfortable that they would rather not have sex at all), but still meet CAM's needs - oral sex can be particularly great for doing this, as can fisting or g-spot massages. CAM's fiancée might even try wearing the strap-on instead of using their built-in equipment. There are a lot of options to explore
Posted by ril on April 13, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
If CAM doesn't want him, I'll take him!

He into genderless people?
Posted by Membrain on April 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM · Report this
ALWAYS Clear Your Cache!!! 85
@80 I LOVE the word defenestration.


What do you mean by "admitted"? Did he just come to terms with being bi, or did he hide it from you?

I agree with all the rest. This is as good as it will ever get with him. Understand, that if he is cavalier with your body, he will have no compunction about being cavalier with his.

He'll cheat. Can you live like that?
Posted by ALWAYS Clear Your Cache!!! on April 13, 2012 at 8:10 PM · Report this
To WSID get the fuck out now while you still have your sanity. This type of personality does not change.

To STW while I agree you did not have to agree to his request for golden shower. Dumping him over that would not make him in the future be more forthcoming to other partners
Posted by Rob douglas. on April 14, 2012 at 1:13 AM · Report this

Not smart--lucky. I know plenty of smart women and men who get into abusive relationships. Usually they feel so "stupid" because they trusted the abuser, that they try to convince themselves that it's not really all that bad.

Abusers are really good at hiding it until they think you won't leave. I know one situation where an abuser waited until his girlfriend was pregnant to start. Another where he waited until they were married. Both girls felt trapped, and tried very hard to make it work.

Now I can pretend that I was wise because I recognized a good person when I saw one, but I know that's not the case. Sure, I felt something off with the second guy, but the first guy? I was as blown away as everyone else when it came out what he was doing.

I'm lucky. I like to think I'd leave, but I don't know for sure.
Posted by DianeLGD on April 14, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this
@87/DianeLGD Your comments here re: abusive relationships are spot-on.

It's refreshing to read so much wise feedback in response to WSID's letter.

WSID - I hope you take the feedback here to heart. Having been in your shoes, I know how hard it can be to accept that the person you love is a manipulative, selfish, gaslighting, entitled jerk unworthy of your love. In my case, the process of accepting that my ex was an a*hat was heart-wrenching, but I'm a much stronger and happier person for having ended that relationship and spent some time learning about boundaries and what constitutes abuse. If you're feeling confused and unsure, a great way to gain some clarity very quickly is to read Lundy Bancroft's book, "Why Does He Do That?" Good luck to you!
Posted by righteousgiraffe on April 14, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
@87/DianeLGD Your comments here re: abusive relationships are spot-on.

It's refreshing to read so much wise feedback in response to WSID's letter.

WSID - I hope you take the feedback here to heart. Having been in your shoes, I know how hard it can be to accept that the person you love is a manipulative, selfish, gaslighting, entitled jerk unworthy of your love. In my case, the process of accepting that my ex was an a*hat was heart-wrenching, but I'm a much stronger and happier person for having ended that relationship and spent some time learning about boundaries and what constitutes abuse. If you're feeling confused and unsure, a great way to gain some clarity very quickly is to read Lundy Bancroft's book, "Why Does He Do That?" Good luck to you!
Posted by righteousgiraffe on April 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
17 & 87-- Are you suggesting that abusers plan it ahead of time, that they think "I like hitting women or just making them miserable, but no one will answer a personal ad if I put that in it, so I'll pretend to be a great guy for years and start slow. That way they won't notice because they'll think they have nowhere to go and love me too much to leave"? They write the master plan in their diaries?

I'm not trying to defend them, but I don't believe it's a plot.
Posted by Crinoline on April 14, 2012 at 8:16 PM · Report this
♪ ♫ All we are saying...

♫ ♪ is give piss a chance...
Posted by Asterix on April 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM · Report this
mydriasis 92

I agree with you.
Pretty sure most abusive partners lack empathy and/or impulse control and/or emotional regulation. Plus usually have trust issues and/or a sense of entitlement.

They aren't good boyfriends (or girlfriends) and they usually aren't the best people either. But the behaviour isn't planned IMHO.

As people become more emotionally involved, worse parts of their personality come out (hopefully better parts too!). Even in healthy relationships with well adjusted people you see some degree of that. We're more comfortable showing all sides of ourselves with someone we're close to. They're also more likely to elicit strong feelings in us if we're more attached.
Posted by mydriasis on April 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM · Report this
Have you seen Sexocasting Web Site ???
Posted by sasha1990 on April 15, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
92- Mydriasis-- What you say is so true, and that's what makes it scary.

I'm a bit of a slob, but when a man comes to the apartment for the first time, he's sees a neat and tidy place. Only after he's known me for a while does he get to see that I don't mind dishes lift in the sink. For the first several months, it's okay if a man doesn't know that I ever fart. After that, farting is fine.

Abusers must see it the same way. They're on their best behavior at first. Then, as the relationship develops, if he loses his temper and bloodies her nose, or if he makes the gross miscalculation and thinks that posting nude pictures of her is alright, he thinks it's the same as the time he got diarrhea in the hotel room on vacation: unpleasant for her, but forgivable with someone you've known for a long time and have a history with, and certainly not something he planned, more of something that just happened-- no different from the way I'm always swearing I'll be better about making my bed every morning-- before falling short.

I'd even differ from Dan when he says that an apology is in order. The cycle with abusers is usually a horrible crime (like hitting her) followed by an extravagant apology (like a hospital room full of flowers). It's gotten to where I'm suspicious of over-the-top gestures. They make me think something is more terribly the matter, not less.
Posted by Crinoline on April 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Dude, you are Da Man if you can maintain an erection with Geraldo on the screen!
Posted by GG1000 on April 15, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
LW#1. Geez, here we go again. Another "my boyfriend's an @sshole, what should I do?" letter. Sing it out with me children!

Posted by GG1000 on April 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
sissoucat 97
@90, 92, 94 - of course the abuse is not planned as in "this year I'll go as far as this, and this year I'll go as far as that".

But it's not a totally random situation either. What is foremost on an abuser's mind is how to further push their partner's boundaries - they want to know what they can get away with, and they won't settle for what they've already "achieved". They always need to get away with more.

If you react too strongly to being harmed, you'll get tantrums to make you back down. They'll only apologize if they fear that you'll leave - so that they'll still have you handy, next time they'll dare to further experiment on you. And they always do, eventually.

So before any of their "games" they'll make damn sure that you're going nowhere : they'll be in a hurry to marry you and to have kids with you, they'll keep you from your friends and your family, or they'll lecture you on marital solidarity : you're not to tell your friends or your family anything bad about them, and they won't tell their family anything bad about you.

An abuser wouldn't stop at waiting several months to fart within a new relationship. As soon as farting had been accepted, an abuser would work onto something further pushing your boundaries, e.g. shitting in bed and expecting the you to clean up - not out of kink, but out of need to see you submit to being abused. And every further abuse raises the stakes on what is next to come.

An abuser never stops ; an abuser's partner has to constantly fight to prevent the abuse from escalating. It's exhausting.

Abusers don't love their partners. They need them, to have a living doll to experiment on.
Posted by sissoucat on April 15, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
sissoucat 98
@94 I spent 10 years married with an abuser and there were never extravagant apologies. There were barely any apologies. In the end I wouldn't even get birthday presents "because we men are bad at having gift ideas".

Of course, with our 3 kids, there was never any question of me leaving... The first hint of verbal abuse only came when I was 6 months pregnant with the eldest.
Posted by sissoucat on April 15, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
mydriasis 99

I personally don't believe that to be true in the majority of cases. (I think there are some psychopaths out there, for sure, but I don't think they account for the bulk of abusive partners)

A very close friend of mine in highschool had an extremely abusive boyfriend. He treated her horribly. From an outside view it looked as if he was systemically trying to isolate her. And that's the narrative we're taught. It looked like he was trying to manipulate her in a calculated way by mixing kind and abusive behaviour, etc.

But based on what I know about how the mind actually works... that's just not true. He cut me out first, because I warned her about him. He didn't deliberately think "oh, she's a threat to my control". He (like most abusive men) had the reasoning of a five year old. I was out to get him. I was "bad". I was trying to ruin his life. So he didn't want her seeing me. Same deal with her parents later, other friends once they wised up, etc etc etc. But I don't think it was deliberate. He's not that smart or insightful. It's all in-the-moment, impulsive, gut reactions. They only seem deliberately manipulative because of the reactions they gain.

He was insecure, he wanted to feel loved, he controlled her because that made him feel less insecure, less anxious. He saw other people as threats to the relationship he was desperately clinging to. None of it was calculated.

But let me be very very clear. He hurt someone I love. He was horrible to her. And none of these facts make me forgive him. I know all of these things intellectually, but I would not be sad if he died. In fact, I would be happy. I would feel that the world was made a better place (this is also based on other things, not included in my story).

So don't think I'm apologizing for abusers, I'm not. It's just that when it comes to people with pathological psychology, people with normal/healthy mental states often read them quite wrong.
Posted by mydriasis on April 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
@sissoucat / @mydriasis&Crinoline,

You two may be talking about different kinds of people.

There are indeed people who are manipulative in a quite calculated way, including the 'this year I'll go this far and that year I'll go that far', ten-step plan to acquire complete control of their partners' happiness. But they are rather rare, and I'd call them people with psychopathic or sociopathic tendencies rather than simply abusers, precisely because of the overall efficient planning.

But, at least in my experience, the people we usually what we call 'abusers' are more like the people Crinoline describes: they don't have a plan, they really think they're OK, that their partner is to blame; their level of empathy and understanding for the problems of others is low or impaired (often as a consequence of having themselves been abused, they may look on others who weren't abused as having been 'unfairly favored' by chance and thus rationalize anger and/or lack of empathy towards them).

Of course, as sissoucat mentions, their actions are not random; but neither are the actions of any specific personality type. This is different from being 'evil'. I believe the usual, low-empathy, possibly-abused run-of-the-mill abuser does indeed try to marry his/her partner as soon as possible and have children, but not simply because s/he wants someone around 'to abuse', but, for example, because s/he is afraid of being alone, and thinks having a family will be good; his/her fantasies will be happy and harmonious like everybody else's. When they start fighting or throwing tantrums, they think the partner is entirely to blame; and if things escalate, they will rationalize (and sincerely believe) that they're being 'forced' to these actions because their partner(s) is/are not 'being fair'. (The fact that they believe, even "feel" deep inside themselves that this is what is happening, helps to me explain why their partners so often actually pity and/or identify with them and believe that solving this "bad behavior" is easy.)

I think it's precisely the fact that run-of-the-mill abusers, unlike psycho/sociopaths, actually don't set out to be abusers, and may derive their abusive behavior from issues such as having themselves been abuse victims, that does make it possible to reach them and make them evolve and change (whereas for psycho/sociopaths this is apparently much more difficult, if at all possible). It is not as easy as their partners often mistakenly think, but it can happen. It doesn't always, though, and it takes effort and a desire on the part of the abuser to address the real issues (say, previous abuse). It may fail.
Posted by ankylosaur on April 15, 2012 at 8:36 PM · Report this
@99(mydriasis), I have seen behavior like the one you describe in other people, and I even often liken it to other mildly manipulative/controlling personalities (like the "Jewish mother" types) who also have issues of control and fear and seem to be plotting the unhappiness of others when in fact they're trying to cling to some sort of security that their behavior brings them.

My mother-in-law, for instance, seems to think she has to solve every problem around her -- everything that could go wrong, if it does, will be 'her fault', which means she's constantly telling others what to do, jumping into action to solve their problems for them, often sacrificing herself physically to do things others should in principle be doing, etc. This means that, to outsiders, she often looks like she's reducing everybody else to children who can't take care of themselves without her help. The truth, however, has more to do with trying to be 'perfect' so as to 'deserve' her father's love (who was a submarine captain in the Soviet Navy during WW II, in which he lost one eye and one arm, and always imposed strict order at home). When you probe deeper into her, it's almost sad how she seems to think she'll only be worthy of love if she solves all problems, does all things right, keeps everything under control... and it's even sadder to see how many bad consequences this has for everyone she loves, everyone who loves her.

In a quite paradoxical way, her suffering leads her to do things she thinks will keep suffering away, and this results in her making her loved ones suffer.

Humans can be quite tragic creatures.
Posted by ankylosaur on April 15, 2012 at 8:49 PM · Report this
gregok 102
@14 - thanks for the term 'Gaslighting' its a good one.
@41 & 42 - I thought Angela Lansbury's debut was in "Picture of Dorian Grey" - can anyone confirm?
Posted by gregok on April 15, 2012 at 9:00 PM · Report this
@17 "Abusive spouses will cook you like a frog, slowly turning up the heat until you're boiled."

Indeed. I call it "the zap" - the stockholm syndrome thing that happens to the mind in these kinds of situations. Similar to what can happen in an interrogation that generates a false confession.…

WSID - You know you've got the zap when **you start to believe** that there's something wrong with you for even thinking about asserting the most basic of boundaries.

But the spell is broken, no?

So please call your local domestic violence hotline - they usually run 24/7 - they'll confirm that this could be a dangerous time for you. They can help you with safety-planning, and finding counseling and other resources in your community.

Or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)
Posted by twitt on April 15, 2012 at 9:10 PM · Report this
@102 gregok,

Gaslight (1944 film).

Ms. Lansbury received an Oscar nomination for her role in "Gaslight", and another nomination for her role in "The Picture of Dorian Grey" the following year(!).

Posted by Married in MA on April 16, 2012 at 3:21 AM · Report this
I think there is some calculation involved, at least for the abusers I have familiarity with.

Most abusers are really good at pretending that they "lost control" but they are actually pretty careful to only hit a woman when they won't get caught. When a woman is likely to go to work the next day, they'll hit her in places where it won't show. Or they'll wait until a woman has a three day weekend and hit her on a Friday.

Or, if they know she has a lot of pride, and they don't want her to do something, they'll cover her with bruises so she'll make an excuse and stay home. Problem solved.

Many (not all, but many) will have complete control over themselves in situations where there are real consequences. At work, they behave themselves in front of their bosses, but somehow only lose control with subordinates.

I don't know if it's something that they "plan" out, so much as they fight to keep it in harder when they know there are consequences for losing their temper.

And several times I've seen one "get help" and "turn over a new leaf", but six months into the relationship, start to abuse again. He waited until he thought she wouldn't leave again. She did. Eventually she grew wise to him. Most women I've spoken to who have left abusive situations recognize that pattern.

If an abuser were abusive all the time, they wouldn't have been sucked in. Abusers are really good at turning on the charm, and lulling people into a false sense of security.

And yes, I act like men are the abusers and women are the victims. I know this is not always the case--this is just what I have experience with.
Posted by DianeLGD on April 17, 2012 at 12:21 AM · Report this
gregok 106
@104 thanks MiMA

I've always loved the Dorian flick but now I need to track down Gaslight too!

Posted by gregok on April 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
sissoucat 107

I have only one experience of marital abuse - so I can't tell. Abusers come with all levels of intelligence I guess. This one was very calculative, and openly bragged about it : he used to tell me he was "an expert on knowing exactly where to stop not to go too far". He was never as happy as when he had said or done something very offensive to someone and not been called upon it (being rude in public to his boss - getting into his mistress's house without being thrown out by her husband). On such occasions he seemed very satisfied of himself, like a child who as done a good prank and hasn't got caught.


You're quite right on abusers being very careful on the timing of their abuse. And also on being utterly charming at first sight. People with low self-esteem easily fall for it : meeting someone who really listens to you, who is always supporting no matter what, who is so perfectly suited to your own preferences - that's very charming, for many.

But it's only a trick. They target you, learn all there is to learn about you, so they can impersonate what you want, to get you. Once you've fallen for it, and you can't get out, you discover that the person you married has, in fact, none of your values.
Posted by sissoucat on April 17, 2012 at 4:24 PM · Report this
sissoucat, I don't know if you were reading this in my last post, but I'd appreciate it if you'd e-mail me. the curious kitten at gmail dot com. My mother and I wanted to offer you some help.
Posted by DianeLGD on April 18, 2012 at 7:00 AM · Report this
I'm surprised how many people think CAM's situation is so dire that it's doomed to fail. She doesn't seem to dislike pegging her fiance; she just wants more variety in their sex life. And her fiance doesn't seem determined to always get pegged; he's just a little too hooked on a good thing right now.

Having been in exactly the same situation myself, I can relate to how it can make you feel less attractive as a woman. In my case, I eventually had to have "The Talk" with my boyfriend and explain to him that sometimes I want to get fucked, too. He explained that he never meant to make me feel insecure, that he still found me attractive as a woman, he'd just been particularly craving pegging lately. We made an agreement to try to vary our sexual activities; just like positions, sex loses it's interest if you always do the same thing every time.

My boyfriend also pointed out something I hadn't realized; in our experience with pegging, I'd picked up foreplay habits that tended to put him more in a pegging mood. More aggressive dirty talk, a wayward finger slipped in during oral; all were almost unconscious to me, but to him they were Pavlovian signals that put him in his girlboy mentality. Then suddenly I'd throw out that I wanted to be the one getting penetrated, forcing him to switch gears at top speed, often leaving him frustrated and confused.

I'm not saying this is necessarily the case with CAM, or that issue is simply a case of mis-communication. I'm just saying it's possible he's so wrapped up in a good thing that everything else has temporarily slipped his mind. He just needs to be reminded how much fun things can be from the other end, too.

Don't settle for sacrificing your needs just to please him, CAM. If he's worth it, he'll rediscover what attracted him to you as a woman in the first place. And don't regret helping him come out of his shell; this should be an ego booster, not an ego blow. Obviously you are so incredibly good with your strap-on that you've got him addicted. Many people never learn to be fantastic at any one sexual role, and you're a master at both! Enjoy them both with pride!
Posted by Donyana on April 18, 2012 at 6:23 PM · Report this
"He's the one who fucked up, and yet you're the one who's in trouble."

Absolutely yes to that. I'm married and if my husband did this, it would be a huge marital-level crisis of trust-betrayal. If he blamed me for it, we would be in counseling, no doubt. A boyfriend? Sorry, I'd just dump the jerk and not look back. And as others said, be sure to delete all your pictures before you do that, if you do.
Posted by Suzy on April 20, 2012 at 8:51 PM · Report this
WSID definitely needs to get out ASAP.
Do not marry that man girl.
Probably a little insecure when you met and he's been feeding off that and fostering the insecurities your entire relationship. That's what people like that do. It will only get worse and it can get much much worse then a few unidentifiable pictures on the net I know all too well first hand. Always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to manipulators and emotional blackmailers. It starts subtle often they act like they're doing you a favor as they make you feel worse and worse about yourself and your every action. There's a reason you haven't married him after 6 years of dating and it's not any of the reasons you tell yourself or he tells you. You know there's something wrong - don't wait another 6 years. If he hasn't already completely isolated you there's a good chance he will. If you have a child with him your child will become another pawn in his game of control. While they don't always end up spiraling deeper towards extremes your very life could be at risk one day with a person like that. Being allowed no more then an hour or two of sleep a night for several years and having to keep one eye open even then for fear of waking to a knife at your throat is a nightmare no one should ever have to go through. The longer you wait to leave the harder it will be. DTMFA and do it now! Alone is better then being with someone like that and you won't end up alone.
Posted by blehnonamesplz on April 21, 2012 at 1:56 AM · Report this

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