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Devoteeeeze

July 11, 2012

I'm a smart, professional woman in my mid-30s who dates the same. I also happen to use a wheelchair; I was diagnosed shortly after my first birthday with a motor neuron disease. I have about as much physical strength as a quadriplegic but I have full sensation. (Boy howdy, do I!) I am careful about who I date because of my physical dependence on the people around me. I am also wary of folks who call themselves "devotees." These are individuals with disability-related fetishes. They gravitate toward amputees, but some are attracted to women in chairs. I'm not sure what about this bothers me so much; I suppose it feels reductionist, and I've spent my adult life becoming more than a girl in a chair.

I'm sure you can see where this is going. I started dating a lovely, successful, witty, beautiful woman a little more than a year ago. As time progressed, it became clear that we were sexually compatible. Things have been great. At the eight-month point, I told my BFF that this might be "the one." At the nine-month point, she confessed to being a devotee. I was crushed. But I trusted her, as I had gotten no icky feelings from her. Then she said that she wanted to try using my chair during sex—except with our roles reversed. Because I try to be GGG, I consented, as long as she agreed to couples therapy, which she did. In therapy, she said she had no idea I was in a chair before we met—which is plausible, as it was a blind date—and she just felt lucky when I showed up in a chair and then didn't know how to tell me. So... we've been working it out.

Until last night. We were out with friends, she asked me to take a picture on her phone, and I found pics of me, from the neck down (clothed, thank god), and pics of my chair. I quickly sent them to myself and then, later, checked them on Google Images. My fears were confirmed: She's been posting these photos, without my consent, to "devotee" websites. I feel sick and heartbroken. I haven't confronted her yet.

What do I do, Dan? In every other way, this woman's a catch, and I really care about her. At the same time, I feel like my trust has been horribly violated. Is it time to DTMFA?

Girl In Massive Pain

Yes, GIMP, it's time to DTMFA.

And you gotta dump the motherfucker like you mean it. You can't be a lesbian about this. No "taking a break," no "putting things on hold," no "scheduling an appointment" with your couples counselor. You're dumping her. The end.

Your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend needs to understand that, as a direct result of her unbelievably selfish actions, she was promptly and unambiguously dumped. It's the only way this motherfucker will ever be able to wrap her head around just how thoroughly she violated you. (It doesn't help that she lies to you—I mean, excuse me, but who sets a friend up on a blind date with someone in a wheelchair without mentioning that fact?) And now, thanks to her, pictures of you are floating around fetish websites. Your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend destroyed your sense of sexual safety and shat all over the trust that had been placed in her by her dream girl. (That would be you, GIMP.) And for what? A cheap thrill? Bragging rights?

Dump the motherfucker already.

And then, GIMP, after your ex has had some time to wallow in regret (you were the girl of her dreams!) and self-recrimination (how could she have been so fucking stupid!), give her a call. Depending on what you hear—and hopefully you'll hear an extended apology and that she's in therapy—you can make up your mind about whether you wanna TTMFB: "take the motherfucker back."

It sounds like your girlfriend has many good qualities, GIMP, and it sounds like you two clicked. Maybe your girlfriend can be salvaged. Maybe losing you will be the shock she needs to get help. If it is—if she went and got help of her own accord, not because she thought it would win you back (because that wasn't on the table)—then bizarro DTMFA ("date the motherfucker again") might be an option. But you two should start seeing a counselor together if you TTMFB, you should take things four times as slowly this time, and she should get a phone that doesn't have a camera.


I'm a straight 32-year-old woman who has been in a monogamous relationship with a guy for two years. Recently, we took the plunge and moved in. Before moving in, we had experimented with some kinky stuff. (I have never come so hard or fast as the first time I fucked him in the ass with a strap-on.) Then he told me, after moving in, that he had given some thought to poly relationships before committing to me. Now I am feeling insecure about the viability of this relationship. Although he claims no desire to be in a poly situation now, I can't help but feel that I alone will ultimately not be able to fulfill him entirely. He is a soul mate who I can see growing with over time. But I worry this relationship is doomed.

Fem Fetish Frosh

This probably isn't what you want to hear, FFF, but here goes: You alone will ultimately never be able to fulfill your boyfriend entirely... just as he alone will never be able to fulfill you entirely. One person simply can't be all things to another person—sexually or otherwise—and unmet needs, unfulfilled desires, and unexplored possibilities are prices we pay to be in LTRs. Monogamous, polyamorous, Femdom, or whatever: All coupled people walk around feeling a little unfulfilled. (Single people, too.) Because no one gets everything they want.

So, FFF, while some aspects of the polyamorous lifestyle appeal to your boyfriend, he has decided that he prefers the kind of relationship he's in now, with its perks and drawbacks, to the hypothetical polyamorous scenarios he used to contemplate, which would've had their own perks and drawbacks. I'd say your relationship is only doomed if you can't bring yourself to take his "yes"—yes to you, yes to monoamory—for an answer.


My husband and I have been together for three years and we're not having as much sex as we used to. A big part of the problem: In the time we've been together, he's put on a lot of weight. I'm not looking to blame his weight gain for my libido issues. I just need to shut up and put out more, and I'm working on that. But I'm wondering if it's ethical to suggest incentivizing his weight loss with more sex. Sex every time he drops three pounds followed by sex once a week once he hits his target weight? I don't think losing the beer belly will make me want to drop my pants all the time, but it couldn't hurt, right?

Like Boys Slimmer

If you think your husband would respond positively to the challenge—if he's not weepily sensitive about his weight, if he likes set goals and specific rewards—then I think you should toss this proposal on the table right next to that bag of Doritos. Of course, I couldn't give you the same advice if the genders were reversed because... well, it looks like we're out of room. So we'll have to leave the gendered politics of fat for a future column.


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Comments (268) RSS

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long-time reader 1
That was an astounding violation of trust. GIMP definitely needs to dump her, and I don't really think the relationship has a chance of being salvaged.
Posted by long-time reader on July 10, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
2
GIMP-- Dump her. Consider that she let you find the photos on the phone on purpose because she wanted you to dump her or because she was having trouble being honest any other way. It's hard for me to believe she was just that stupid.

When you consider taking her back, weigh, on the one hand what it would be like to stay in a relationship with someone you can never entirely trust against, on the other hand, the possibility of never finding anyone you click with so well. I'm inclined to recommend letting her stay dumped, but we're in different situations. As I'm straight and not in a wheelchair, my chances of finding someone are greater, and I'm in no position to know how you see it.
Posted by Crinoline on July 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
3
FFF-- I agree with Dan and would add: Let's say that at some point down the road your worst fears come true and your boyfriend says that he'd like to pursue some aspect of his polyamoury dreams. Is that really so bad? A lot of things can happen between now and then. You may grow to like the idea. There may be something you'd like to request of him that he wasn't initially into but he's willing to consider for your sake. You could work a trade.

There's also the possibility that it doesn't happen. Be glad he was able to be honest with you and share his thoughts. What you don't want is for him to up and leave because you're suddenly "not enough." That would be a hideous betrayal, but he's given no indication that he's the sort who would do that, right? So relax. It sounds terrific.
Posted by Crinoline on July 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM · Report this
4
LBS-- Terrible idea. I can see all sorts of things going wrong with it. For one thing, he might lose the weight, and you might not feel like having sex with him for some health or emotional reason of you own. For another, he might not lose the weight, and you might feel like you want to have sex with him anyway.

But more than that, weight loss is a complex issue that has to do with a lot more than mere incentives. If losing weight were a matter of wanting to enough, there wouldn't be a fat person on the planet. EVERY fat person wants to lose. The question is how. (Someone is going to quibble. O.K. maybe there are people out there who want to be fat, but if desire to lose worked, fat shaming in the media would work. Look around; it doesn't.) If you want him to lose, if he wants to lose, he's going to need:

-Advice from a medical doctor.
-Help following the advice in terms of the right meals made available at the right times.
-Help following the advice in terms of help getting exercise: a gym membership, time put into the schedule for exercise.
-Advice from a psychologist who can screen him for depression.
-Advice from a better doctor who can look into thyroid or other endocrine issues.
Posted by Crinoline on July 10, 2012 at 5:51 PM · Report this
5
I'm a woman, and if my husband were holding out on me and then offered me more sex if I did something he really wanted... well, if that something were losing weight, then I would blame my fatness for his loss of desire for me.

And then I would lose weight.

But if his desire for me didn't come back with my slender figure, that would be a problem. That would be true if it seemed like he wasn't really into it, too, and was just doing it out of obligation.

So, LBS, watch out. If he gets fit and attractive and you're still rejecting him, it will be that much easier for him to find women who will want him!

As far as using sex as an incentive, in general... sounds less than romantic, but if it works for you guys, it works!
Posted by LiveAndLet on July 10, 2012 at 6:02 PM · Report this
6
I'm a woman, and if my husband were holding out on me and then offered me more sex if I did something he really wanted... well, if that something were losing weight, then I would blame my fatness for his loss of desire for me.

And then I would lose weight.

But if his desire for me didn't come back with my slender figure, that would be a problem. That would be true if it seemed like he wasn't really into it, too, and was just doing it out of obligation.

So, LBS, watch out. If he gets fitter, more conventionally attractive and more confident and you're still rejecting him, it will be that much easier for him to find women who will want him!

As far as using sex as an incentive, in general... sounds less than romantic, but if it works for you guys (if it doesn't hurt his feelings), great!
Posted by LiveAndLet on July 10, 2012 at 6:08 PM · Report this
7
"Sex every time he drops three pounds followed by sex once a week once he hits his target weight?"

Gee, if he were only skinny enough, you'd be having sex a full, count 'em, four times a month! As an incentive to keep those pounds off, of course. Not because you're all, you know, hot for him or something.

Face it, lady, you're just asexual.
Posted by avast2006 on July 10, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
mydriasis 8
I'm glad Dan gave me the go-ahead to use bribery if I'm ever in a similar situation. *saves web page*
Posted by mydriasis on July 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM · Report this
mydriasis 9
* avast is right though once a week is "incentive"? Please.
Posted by mydriasis on July 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM · Report this
10
thank you, avast2006, for confirming for me that I was getting the math right. If sex once a week is an increase in the amount of sex that they're having, no wonder the poor bastard is consoling himself with food. I only want to have sex with you if you're thin, but even then not really? Um, no.

Posted by catballou on July 10, 2012 at 6:23 PM · Report this
11
I agree wholeheartedly with Crinoline. Both weight loss and libido are very complicated things, with possible shamefests lurking around every corner. Also, it's up to the guy, but if I were a man who was offered a pity fuck for losing three pounds, I'd find it both patronizing and icky. Plus most people's weights fluctuate at least that much. (On the bright side, that means he could keep "losing" the same three pounds over and over ...)

Maybe they should both take up a pleasant form of exercise they could do together, and combine that with working on their relationship? Like, I dunno, walk around Green Lake (or the equivalent wherever they live) and make a point of smooching under a tree at least three times along the way? (This is just a hokey example off the top of my head, not necessarily a prescription.) The point would be to have something concrete to do that would be rewarding in itself.
Posted by Eirene on July 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
12
GIMP - I'm married to my best friend, beloved partner, person I am joyfully committed to spending the rest of my life with. He would never, fucking NEVER, even consider betraying my trust like that. Our total trust is one of the best parts of our relationship. Could you ever have that with your violator?

I think Dan's advice to you would have been absolutely perfect if he'd sent it to you privately. But now...well, are you absolutely sure your soon-to-be-ex never reads his stuff and doesn't know anyone who does? Because "oh, yes, honey, I've been missing you so bad and I got into therapy to try to straighten myself out - of my own accord, not because I thought it would win you back" - well, if I heard that from someone who had already proven herself massively untrustworthy once, and I knew she could easily have read Dan's "how to get back your dream girl that you screwed over" advice...I'd have trouble trusting.

Maybe I'm being paranoid. But if I'd been violated and taken advantage of the way you have, I think a little paranoia would be justified.

Best of luck. You're worth someone who would never violate your trust like that, so dump her post haste and don't even think about taking her back unless you can somehow satisfy yourself that she's really earned the trust you deserve to be able to give.
Posted by Innominate on July 10, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 13
FFF - Unless you are about to have children (no mention of them in the letter) with the bent over boyfriend, why fret about the future? Isn't the benefit of being child-free being able to walk away from relationships that no longer work?

More importantly, I can't visualize how the strap-on-wearer was able to come from being only the penetrator. Vibrations on the strap-on?
Posted by Tim Horton on July 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 14
And you gotta dump the motherfucker like you mean it. You can't be a lesbian about this.


(snicker)
Posted by saxfanatic on July 10, 2012 at 7:17 PM · Report this
mydriasis 15
@ Tim Horton

Really? Most adult women worry about the future. Child-free or not...

I've never used a strap-on since I'm not big on sex toys but anything that hits against your clitoris repeatedly can get a sensitive girl off.
Posted by mydriasis on July 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM · Report this
16
I've reread LBS's letter. "I just need to shut up and put out more, and I'm working on that."

In what universe is that an okay statement? I'm trying to imagine those words in someone else's mouth or in another situation. I can't think of one where it makes sense. How did something like that get internalized? Did he convince you that this was true? You talk less and have sex more, and then what happens? You suddenly become happy? He suddenly becomes happy? Your relationship improves? I don't have a lot to go on, but something about that reads like he's threatening you. This is so wrong on so many levels.
Posted by Crinoline on July 10, 2012 at 7:23 PM · Report this
17
Sorry LBS, but sex once a week is not an incentive for anything [Whoopie, I'm getting sex from my partner once per week!]. It sounds like you two are having sex once per month, in which case I would recommend to him: DTMFA.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on July 10, 2012 at 7:39 PM · Report this
18
Crinoline@16: it sounded to me as if she was paraphrasing something Dan's said before (which doesn't necessarily make her statement any less creepy).
Posted by Eirene on July 10, 2012 at 7:46 PM · Report this
19
Oh, and @7 avast2006: duck, kiddo, 'cause a shitstorm is a comin' your way!
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on July 10, 2012 at 7:50 PM · Report this
20
I notice that Mr. Savage--rightly--doesn't say "snooping is always wrong." In this case, it was right.

One more thing, when you dump someone, no matter how justified it is, don't count on them being available for a get-back-together at any later date. It's not impossible, but it's unwise to count on it.

As for gendered politics, the ideas of women, men, sex and weight might not be fair, but they are what they are. Why shouldn't we use that to our safe, sane and healthy advantage while we can?
Posted by DRF on July 10, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
sanguisuga 21
@13 - check out the Feeldoe, or maybe the Share and you'll see...
Posted by sanguisuga on July 10, 2012 at 8:30 PM · Report this
mtnlion 22
avast, she's not asexual. She says they're having less sex, and that a "big part" of that is his weight gain. Following that logic, if she enacts this system and sticks to it, it's totally possible that his weight loss would make her want to fuck him more.

It all depends on if this guy can actually and practically say that he will find sex to be an effective reward to weight loss and not get his feelings hurt. And if she actually follows through.

DTMFA to GIMP, as prescribed.
FFF: That's life, that's relationships, total satisfaction is an endpoint no one will ever reach, and expecting it from your SO is a recipe for disappointment.
Posted by mtnlion http://radicalish.wordpress.com on July 10, 2012 at 8:38 PM · Report this
23
GIMP - It may well be tempting to take her future ex back at some point, but what Mr Savage omits is that the nonunringable bell will forever create a power dynamic in the relationship that will probably corrupt one or both of them. I shan't say "dump and stay dumped" but it is a definite factor on the Con side. It's like the reason Hercule Poirot disapproves of murder, not because he disbelieves that some people deserve to be murdered, but because committing murder has an adverse effect on the character of a murderer.

FFF - What a very nearly Prudielike thing for Mr Savage to say - [he has decided that he prefers the kind of relationship he's in now, with its perks and drawbacks, to the hypothetical polyamorous scenarios he used to contemplate, which would've had their own perks and drawbacks]. He just stays on the right side of the edge (Ms Prudie usually advises lines that are so patenly Meaningless Twaddle to Utter in Tricky Situations that anyone over the age of four will correctly feel patronized and resent the condescension), but I can finally see why he calls himself a fan of hers. Good, because I was losing sleep over that.

LBS - I award Ms Eirene a mulligan on the clunky advice; that one sliced right into the pond. "Let's take up some physical activity together" has rapidly shot to the top of the Prudie-worthy chart. It's done about as well as possible here, but I think that particular try just reads too clearly as You're Too Fat. However, Ms Eirene is generally a person of reasonable thoughts, hence the mulligan.

Ms F's last paragraph @20 has a sort of chic to it, but whay safe, sane and healthy advantage does she think exists for women in this situation? I know it really isn't my place to comment on heterosexual relationships, but so much of last week's thread was so adversarial, and now here perhaps it's just going to escalate. If I were in Recruit Bisexuals Mode, I'd be quite content to impersonate Geoffrey Plantagenet (of the Lion in Winter version) watching Henry and Eleanor go picnicking off each other.
More...
Posted by vennominon on July 10, 2012 at 9:09 PM · Report this
24
@16: I read "I just need to shut up and put out more" as a wry acknowledgment that she realizes that on some level she is making excuses. Not that he is threatening or otherwise controlling her. If he actually was threatening her to force sex more often, how is it that the frequency is still somewhere well below four times a month?

@19: I know. I don't care. It was a calculated rude remark. If people can't take an offhand crack, let them eat dropped canned ham.

@22: She also says that if he loses the weight, she intends their sex frequency to _increase_ to once a week. Meaning that currently it's well below that rate. If she isn't asexual, she's fucking deprived. Either that or she is masturbating a lot, in which case she has plenty of libido but is punishing him by withholding. No brownie points from me for that, if that's what's happening. Additionally, she says she doesn't really believe that losing the belly will make her particularly hot for him. She is not coming at this situation with anything that speaks of actual desire for her partner, thwarted or otherwise.

Frankly, from here it sounds like she is intending to make the quantities she quoted for incentivizing the weight loss the pretext for setting an upper limit of once a week. I hope the poor bastard loses all the weight, gains a six-pack and some biceps, and then finds some other woman who actually thinks he's hot stuff and can't wait to rip his clothes off the other six days a week. (Okay, I don't actually believe that. But I do intend it as a cold splash of wake-the-fuck-up.)

Letter Writer is of course free to chime in with additional comments telling exactly why my interpretation is full of shit.
Posted by avast2006 on July 10, 2012 at 9:15 PM · Report this
shurenka 25
@7 and @10

It's perfectly normal to lose attraction if your partner changes their weight significantly. I'm not attracted to fat people, I wouldn't date a fat person, and yes if my previously thin partner became overweight, I wouldn't want to have sex with him. At all. It's not a matter of her being too shallow, it's about him not bothering to maintain a minimal level of physical attraction.
Posted by shurenka on July 10, 2012 at 9:22 PM · Report this
26
I am polyamorous but have never actually been involved in the polyfidelity relationship I've always fantasized about. Instead I've been involved in several long term, multi-year monogamous relationships. None of them have ended because of my polyamorous desires; the current one has been going for 4 years and the last was that long, too. Sure, I can fall in love with more than one person at a time, but if a girl I want tells me that she only wants monogamy--and I really want her--I don't even consider that a sacrifice. I consider it my good fortune to find people so wonderful that I would rather be with them than some hypothetical love triangle.
Posted by falconswan on July 10, 2012 at 9:29 PM · Report this
27
As a person with a disability, I've run into devotees a bit. . .

In my experience, a lot of people drawn to disabilities are actually drawn to perceived weakness. They want to be in control (tho they may think of it as being caring and protective), and they often don't treat us as equals, as GIMP's lady certainly did not.

The problem as I see it, is GIMP's lady friend didn't trust her judgement. She could have been honest at the outset, or three dates in, anyway; and asked for a chance to prove that she was different. (trust me, it'd be refreshing.) She could have asked GIMP to pose, and they could decide together how far to let those pics spread. But no, she didn't treat GIMP as an adult capable of making such decisions. This lack of respect plus a decided aptitude for deceit would scare me off. And break my heart. Mine goes out to you, girl.
Posted by KDru on July 10, 2012 at 10:04 PM · Report this
28
@24 Okay, here's one very good reason why your interpretation is full of shit. I am a young, balanced, sex-positive female dating the partner I've been most attracted to in my life. I also cannot imagine having sex every day, or every other day. I have other actual interests than sex. I don't need it like oxygen or food. THIS DOESN'T MAKE ME ASEXUAL OR ABNORMAL. It makes me me. Back the fuck off.
Posted by apples on July 10, 2012 at 10:04 PM · Report this
29
@25: Yes, I agree with you, but that wasn't my point.

My point was that offering an increase all the way up to, gosh, once a week is a) a pretty pathetic "incentive," and b) indicates a current sexual drought bordering on sexless.

Posted by avast2006 on July 10, 2012 at 10:39 PM · Report this
30
GIMP, leave her!!!! She DOESN'T deserve you!!!
I'm really sorry that happened to you. I hope
you can find someone who is GGG and worthy
of a LTR with you.

@7: avast2006: Here's a nice, big Santorum cream pie from Auntie Grizelda: Asinine comments like yours are largely why I'm happily asexual. Hey, don't bitch back at me or anyone else, avast! You're getting hit with your own bag of shit, so you'd better close your eyes. You might want to close your mouth, too.
@19 Approaching 40 in LA and @28 apples: You beat me to it: right on.
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM · Report this
31
@28: And how much of the rest of my analysis of the Letter Writer applies to you? Are you the Letter Writer? Are you treating the Letter Writer the way she is treating her husband? If not, then you are not a very good example to illustrate the point. I was talking about Letter Writer, and the overall impression that SHE presented: her apparent situation, her apparent attitudes, her stated offers, all in unique combination. Not about all women in generalities, and certainly not about you in specific. Back the fuck off yourself.
Posted by avast2006 on July 10, 2012 at 10:59 PM · Report this
32
Um...avast2006: Maybe you should change your blog name to bombast2006?
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 10, 2012 at 11:05 PM · Report this
33
@30 For those who have been reading Savage Love and SLOG for less than a few years: I'm actually on avast's side in this debate.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on July 10, 2012 at 11:12 PM · Report this
34
@30: Wow, I can say stupid things on the Internet and cause you to be asexual? I feel so powerful. (I'm going to blame it all on the cough medicine, and go to bed now.)

One last thing: GIMP, don't give her a call. I don't know whether you can consider reconciling, but don't initiate it. She will take that as an unreasonably large capacity for forgiveness on your part, or think that she is the one with the upper hand in the relationship -- since you were the one making overtures after being the one to dump her, it tends to indicate you regret dumping her -- and the next transgression(s) will be worse. (Obviously that's the last time you will let her take a photo of you, but I have no doubt she will get creative in order to feed her "devotion.") She needs a hard, sharp lesson, and hopefully will take it to heart with her next relationship. Me, I wouldn't take her back, and I hope you find someone better soon.
Posted by avast2006 on July 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM · Report this
35
Drat. in 31 I meant to reply to @27. Sorry, 28!
Posted by avast2006 on July 10, 2012 at 11:36 PM · Report this
36
GIMP, I don't hit women, but your bitch girlfriend makes me want to make an exception and slap her face so hard they'd be able to get my fingerprints off her driver's license photo in a decade. I disagree with Dan here--I'd dump her and everyone who has anything to do with her.
Posted by NT on July 10, 2012 at 11:54 PM · Report this
37
This would be an embarrassing question if this weren't an anonymous forum:

Is there something particularly lesbian about breaking up with someone in an ambiguous way?
Posted by Crinoline on July 11, 2012 at 2:01 AM · Report this
38
Myd,

I'd ... shiv you in the testicles.

Is that the best you've got?

Grow up.
Posted by Hunter78 on July 11, 2012 at 2:02 AM · Report this
sissoucat 39
GIMP : I don't have a visible disability, but I'm vulnerable too, and I did marry a manipulative liar. I lost 10+ years of my life and I came very close to suicide several times. I'm out of it now.

Please DTMFA. And don't take her back.

Vulnerable people are better alone than with a manipulative people. A manipulative POS will make you feel like she's "the one", because everything will be so great, so perfect, so exactly how you've dreamt it to be. All fake.

Such people give you the time of your life, they transform themselves, they bend over to please you, not because they care about you, but as a way to get you hooked on them - because they have so little self esteem that they need someone to seem to need them in order to exist, and they specifically target vulnerable people.

Do a simple check : who were the previous SO of your girlfriend ? Are they still friendly ? If not, big red flag. Run.

Once you're hooked, once manipulative people know you're going nowhere - then the abuse starts. Love doesn't exist in the heart of people who want others to be dependent from them. They need you to feel whole but once you're theirs, they find that they've not become whole. And then they resent you.

They start experimenting with treating you badly and see how far they can go and get away with. Out of boredom, they make your life a hell, just for thrills. They end up hating you, because they've invested so much efforts in conquering you, and yet posessing you doesn't fulfill them.

You got lucky in finding pictures now - clothed ones for now. But there will be naked ones. Do you want to never ever be able to sleep in peace ? Dump her hard and now. And never call her back. Manipulative POS don't change - therapy doesn't work on them.
More...
Posted by sissoucat on July 11, 2012 at 2:13 AM · Report this
sissoucat 40
@29 avast2006

Setting an ideal goal of once a week did seem on the low side to me too... but who knows, maybe it's exactly what the husband has been pleading for ? We have no info on their actual sex drives. As for deeming it as bordering on asexual, you've exagerated a bit - which is perfectly fine with me, I like a laugh - the lady did say she had libido issues, and is working on them.

I would advise LBS to actually promise less sex than what she's comfortable with. That way, her husband will be pleasantly surprised if the "once a week" she's promised turns out to be more - and not disappointed if it's only once a week. But then, she'll have to give the "once a week", or let the husband know that it's time to move on. And... please LBS don't have kids while your marriage has not resolved this issue.
Posted by sissoucat on July 11, 2012 at 2:31 AM · Report this
41
I don't understand why people are offended by Avast's comments...If you have to work your way up to having sex a few times a month, there is some sort of issue. If the letter writer is asexual, or very close to it, she may be happier if she were to recognize this fact and work her marriage around it. If she experiences desire, just not for her husband, and is interested in sex, just not with him, I can see where the assumption of asexuality may be offensive, but honestly, I didn't see anything in the letter to suggest this scenario.
Posted by tachycardia on July 11, 2012 at 2:34 AM · Report this
sissoucat 42
@FFF People change. Wanting to fufill someone may look noble, but it's not realistic. LTR are about being able to stand each other long-term, being there for each other as a companion, not about being everything for the other - that's already hard enough to achieve.

Who will you be, 20 years from now ? Who will he be ? Maybe he'll have a dry spell, and you'll be very frustrated with his loss of sex drive, and then what ? Will you end a perfectly fine relationship after 20 years, just because you're sexually frustrated, and it poisons your everyday life ?

Or will you want to have a talk with him, and tell him that despite dearly loving him, you now need more sex or different sex, and you'd like to have a FWB on the side, because then the whole sexual tension thing that's eating away at your relationship would be resolved, and you could go on in enjoying life together peacefully ?

A relationship is about trust. If there's already jealousy, forget it. If you know you can trust him to bring the "should we transition into monogamish" talk before he actually does it behind your back, go for it. For all you know now, you could be the one needing first to transition into monogamish, or polyamoury.
Posted by sissoucat on July 11, 2012 at 3:23 AM · Report this
43
Avast is right that increasing to sex once a week is pretty pathetic, but from the letter it sounds as though she just has a really low libido. If her libido has been waning to the point that she can't envision herself fucking her husband more than once a week even if he returns to his ideal weight, she should see a doctor just to get her various hormones checked, maybe change hormonal birth control methods, etc. But if she's had a higher libido in the past, she's not asexual (at least not in my understanding of the term...aren't asexuals people who have never had any interest in sex?) But she for damn sure has a serious problem, and her little weight loss plan will be like putting a band-aid on sucking chest wound--not only devising a pitifully weak solution, but refusing to acknowledge what the real problem is. Fat or not, her husband deserves better.

@7 If she sees sex once a week as a serious chore, I'd bet that she's the sort who won't fuck while she has her period. So the husband's best case scenario might be only three times a month.
Posted by chicago girl on July 11, 2012 at 3:50 AM · Report this
44
I think GIMP should DTMFA, but I don't think she should consider taking the bitch back. The violation was simply too great. I can barely wrap my mind around it, frankly. The self-centeredness is just astounding.
Posted by JrzWrld on July 11, 2012 at 4:54 AM · Report this
45
Dan, I wonder if it's a good idea to recommend deceit to GIMP, and then publish that advice. It's fairly likely that some devotees read here, and that this column will be discussed on their sites.
Posted by Howlin' Jed on July 11, 2012 at 5:09 AM · Report this
46
Dan, I'm thoroughly surprised that:

a) you'd even hint that GIMP might TTMFB

b) you seem to be unaware that you can't get a cellphone without some sort of camera in it these days.
Posted by Frustrated_my_nick_is_unavailable on July 11, 2012 at 5:28 AM · Report this
47
@37 Stereotypically lesbians rarely break up without alot of trying to stay together and tears and then eventually they become friends.
Posted by CrazyCanuck on July 11, 2012 at 5:55 AM · Report this
mydriasis 48
@ Hunter

Well that was quite the Fox News cut of what I said! The "rather than" part was kind of important.

"I'd rather have my eyes gouged out than go to the dentist"

Hunter's cut: "I'd.... have my eyes gouged out"

No, that's not how inserting elipses into quoted text works.

Run along!
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 6:09 AM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 49
Tangent, but: On what planet is once-a-week sex asexual? It's low-normal, which means it's too low for a lot of people, but there's nothing abnormal about it. I know we all want to prove how hot-and-ready we are, but really, the judge-y shit has got to go.
I wouldn't want to be the LW or her chubby hubby, though: getting obligation fucks sounds just about as appealing as giving them.
Posted by Aurora Erratic http://www.finemesspottery.com on July 11, 2012 at 6:29 AM · Report this
mtnlion 50
I agree with you avast, it's just that your first comment with the blanket term "asexual" was vague and overreaching. I believe you have sufficiently (and thensome) explained yourself.

@Countless people: what is "normal" for their relationship is not for you to judge. Once a week may be low to you, but if that's a standard number for them, why must we jump to conclusions about issues and whatnot? I think most men would prefer to have sex more than once a week, (and so for her weight loss plan to succeed, she'll probably need to up the reward to at least twice a week), but judging them on their libidos and their normalcy and saying that their frequency is just all wrong and low isn't helpful. Note that she only states "we're not having as much sex as we used to." Maybe their high *was* once or twice a week.

You know, there are couples who have far less sex than that and are capable of happiness.
Posted by mtnlion http://radicalish.wordpress.com on July 11, 2012 at 7:07 AM · Report this
51
Rarely do letters on here hit me as hard as GIMP's did. It's just abhorrent that someone would take advantage of someone's vulnerability. I'm so sorry and I wish you the best in finding someone who truly is "the one."
Posted by daphne24 http://www.ohiosmart.org on July 11, 2012 at 7:08 AM · Report this
52
Avast is doing the work of the angels here. Keep it up.

"But I'm wondering if it's ethical to suggest incentivizing his weight loss with more sex."

It is not an issue of ethics, but rather effectiveness and manners. I think most guys would find that pretty insulting---hey, for every few pounds, I will give you a pity-fuck!. (How would YOU feel about that?)

But everyone has different turn-ons, so if he lights up at the idea and hisses a slitty-eyed, "Oh, yesss.....that would be so hot" at the very idea, I would say you have found a great idea. Chances are he is not into the idea, though, so you should present it only in a fairly positive, upbeat manner in a "Would this help you?" sort of way.

"I don't think losing the beer belly will make me want to drop my pants all the time, but it couldn't hurt, right?"

Honestly, as others noted, it sounds like your real issue is low libido. If so, woman up and face that fact. And that fact is something you need to address BEFORE you start telling this guy that it is his weight, the dirty dishes, the long hours at work, or whatever other of the 984 excuses women (it is typically women, folks) give rather than simply copping to a lower sex drive than the partner.*

Finally, people, don't get fat and expect your partners to lust for you the same way they did when you were thin. It doesn't work that way, and quit pretending it should.

(* Please, no triumphant reply posts saying, in essence, "I have a higer sex drive than my male partner, so *there*, I have negated your general observation that men have higher sex drives than women." A 5'10" woman does not negate the fact that on average men are taller.)
Posted by Snowguy on July 11, 2012 at 7:14 AM · Report this
53
I don't suppose she asked the question, but I wish Dan would have commented on the whole idea of devotees. It's not quite like a fetish where a specific action or object is involved... or just something someone prefers to have done to THEM. It's about a view of a group of people. I'm disabled and I certainly know they are out there but I really am mixed up about how I feel about the whole thing.
Posted by Vivic on July 11, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
54
I'm with you, @49 and @50.

Many men (and many WOMEN) want sex more than once a week. Many think once a week is just fine. As long as all members of the relationship are satisfied, who are we to judge what is "normal"?

I had a long-term marriage where it was obligation fucking. And I came to think that I had a low libido. Turns out, once I DTMFA and found a man who didn't just treat me like a hole to be stuffed once a week, life got a lot more interesting!
Posted by Firefly on July 11, 2012 at 8:05 AM · Report this
55
@crinoline

Jeezus, WTF? Go see two Dr's and weight loss is a hugely complicated issue and they need to get their glands and hormones checked so they have fallback excuses before they even try. STFU! Maybe he simply stopped working out and started upsizing every meal. Most people can lose weight if they apply themselves. It's not always some hugely complex medical issue, in fact it rarely is.

The LW's husband should write a letter and sign it "Likes Wife Hornier". He got fat, she lost her libido. Are the two connected? Maybe, maybe not. I feel for him more than her though. He should lose the weight and when she continues to be a no-libido having, excuse-making, conniving bitch, then he should DTMFA!
Posted by TriLam on July 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
mydriasis 56
@ 53

"It's about a view of a group of people."

Unfortunately this isn't the only fetish of it's kind. Think about it - people do this with race, body type, nationality, profession and more.

To be clear, I think it's sketchy (ethically) but I just wanted to point out that disability fetishes are not stand-alone in this sense.
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
57
@50: I'm hearing you, but I don't think the average guy (I'm not so sure about the female side of that) is really happy with once per week. So, if a couple is doing it once per week, I would bet that one of the partners (could be either one) is living with some resentment.

Over the years on Savage Love and SLOG we have heard from numerous people complaining about the infrequency of sex in their marriage, and Dan has stated that he purposefully does not post and reply to such letters because they would drown out everything else. It seems LBS falls squarely into this pattern even though he chose the letter for other purposes.

On my part, I view twice per week as maintenance sex and notice that if I'm having sex once per week then I build up enough tension that I become grouchy, sullen and stressed; not healthy for me or my family. Yet, I would consider myself pretty average in that regard, for a guy. If I were the husband in LBS's letter I would DTMFA if we couldn't work out a much higher frequency [and it's not just an issue of sex, but of overall level of intimacy].

From my perspective, LBS may as well be asexual. Having to ask for sex and having sex put off indefinitely really destroys a marriage...we've heard this enough from people over the years. The intimacy and connection that once was there is lost in people who develop differences in libidos. So, to me, if the sex (an overall indication of the level of intimacy and connection) is less than once per week, then fuck it. The partner's libido is low enough that I'm happy slapping an asexual label on it.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on July 11, 2012 at 8:38 AM · Report this
58
Letting oneself go once one is in a marriage or LTR is, in my opinion, breach of contract. Nobody is obligated to "shut up and put out" in such a situation.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 11, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
59
@53 I wish there were a way for a disabled person like GIMP to take pleasure from a relationship with an open devotee (not a secret one, like GIMP's asshole girlfriend).

I loved this line: "I have full sensation. (Boy howdy, do I!)" Perhaps if both people understood that it was a fuckbuddy situation, not romance, they could both get something out of it, without the disabled person becoming so to vulnerable to manipulation...
Posted by EricaP on July 11, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
60
55-- Normally I'd agree with you. Weight loss is first a matter of trying to lose with the standard advice out there: Eat less; exercise more. That's for the person who has gained a few pounds a year since college, is now 40 years old, 40 pounds overweight, and unaware of how the desk job and the doughnuts at 10 o'clock have added up. For that person, I recommend weight watchers, no doctors needed.

But look at what's been described. LBS's husband has put on so much weight in 3 years that she's no longer attracted to him. I suppose we could say that he's put on all of 10 pounds, and she's using that as an excuse for her non-attraction. (Isn't there a difference between having a low libido and being asexual, more than a difference in scale?) But it sounds like something more is at work besides the normal way middle aged people gain. I don't know what it is so I suggested doctors-- with the full knowledge that the first doctor would suggest exercising more and eating less. Then, when that was tried, and if that didn't work, another doctor to do a more complete work-up.
Posted by Crinoline on July 11, 2012 at 8:48 AM · Report this
61
@Approaching 40 in LA and others, I find it disturbing that the wife is being blamed here for the lack of sex. Aren't you blaming the victim here? The husband is the one who chose to get fat and unattractive.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 11, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
62
When I was just out of high school, I dated someone who gained 80 pounds during our relationship. I never admitted to him that the weight gain bothered me, but in fact I found it a huge turnoff; I went on having sex with him because that was expected of me, but forcing myself to have sex with him made me wonder if I was asexual because I started to hate the thought of sex. Feeling obligated to have sex with a partner I wasn't attracted to damaged that relationship a lot, and eventually I broke up with him because I would rather have never had sex again than had sex with him. So I come down on the side of addressing the weight gain.
However, LBS' plan for incentivizing the weight loss with sex is dangling a carrot, and with that carrot comes a big ol' problematic stick: what happens if he fails to lose the weight? LBS might feel justified in withholding sex in that situation, because LBS is already not interested in sex--increasing the lack of sex and introducing a new "Well you didn't do this for me so I'm not doing that for you" dynamic to the problem.
Wouldn't a "let's get fit together" approach work better? LBS can go to the gym with him, they eliminate junk food from their home, they make healthy lifestyle choices together. Exercise may even improve LBS' libido, as it has for many people I know. And because LBS and the husband are making similar sacrifices for his weight loss, the husband won't feel like there's an unreasonable demand (i.e. one LBS wouldn't meet if their positions were reversed) in play.
Posted by Hapaxlegomenon on July 11, 2012 at 9:07 AM · Report this
63
61, if she approaches him and says, "Look, that extra 40 pounds you have there, it is squicking me out, and we need to get that gone", that is perfectly fair.

But her letter is kind of giving away the real game at the end: she is not really that fired up about the prospect of him being a hard-body either. Asking her to face the possible to likely truth that her proposed sex schedule (once a week, as a treat!) is an indication of relatively low libido makes sense here. If only because hubby might lose the weight, and she will simply continue on blissfully with her once-a-fiscal quarter stuff (my fact, not hers), wondering why a now slim-hubby seems increasingly distant and spending so much time at that gym...
Posted by Snowguy on July 11, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Helix 64
Please tell me I'm not the only one who's brain saw "Devoteeeeze" and immediately went "devodeeeeeez nutz."
Posted by Helix on July 11, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
65
Maybe she just can't conceive of sex, until she sees a guy that turns her on. Why are we postulating here? They'll sort it out!

I liked the column this week Dan, well done.
Posted by Emalie on July 11, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
66
@64, I totes thought it'd be a column about Devo.
Posted by Emalie on July 11, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
67
@33: Huh. Your post from @19 really fooled me.
@34: You're not powerful. You're a trolling fool.
Take your cough syrup and go back to bed.
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
68
@23 By "safe, sane and healthy advantage," I mean that if LBS's husband thinks that celebrating weight loss milestones with sex is motivating, they should got he f#$@ck for it, even if the underlying social ideas about sex, weight loss, and male and female ideals are unfair.

"Lose weight and I'll pity-fuck you" is depressing, but "You lost weight? I know how HARD it is to DO that. Wanna do something else, hot stuff?" can be motivating.

Basically, LBS is writing about her husband, not overweight people in general. If they're married, then we can expect that she knows him well enough to know whether he'll see this as a celebration, a pity move or a copout.

As for whether LBS is creating this problem with their low libido, who knows? (Answer: her husband.) Yes, sex once a week sounds a little rare, but some couples find that to be plenty. Maybe these guys are one of them.
Posted by DRF on July 11, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
debug 69
Am I the only one here who thinks GIMP should be contacting the police about her invasion of privacy? Sure seems like a law was broken when someone takes intimate photos of you and posts them online for others to jerk-off to. What GIMP's partner did is worse than cheating in my opinion.

If GIMP didn't have a disability would the whole "maybe get back together with her someday" even come up in discussion? I get that GIMP's pool of prospective partners is lowered because of her disability but the advice still feels a bit off to me.
Posted by debug on July 11, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
El Bruce 70
Regarding GIMP, I do wish it had been mentioned that just because somebody is a fan of a characteristic you have (disabled devotee, Asian fetishist, chubby chaser) that doesn't mean they should automatically be distrusted or disqualified from dating the object of their interest. Most everybody hooks up with people who have specific qualities that they find attractive. Whether it's big tits, rippling abs, red hair, or whatever. I can't imagine someone saying "I found out from his porn that he likes women who are thin and young. I'm thin and young, that means he must not be interested in me as a person." Similarly, if they're attracted to an outlying characteristic that you have (and are therefore weirdos) that just means they're physically attracted to you. Which is not a bad thing.
Posted by El Bruce on July 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
71
Projecting from my own experience here, but is it possible he put on the weight because she stopped fucking him? I used to have a ripped physique while my girlfriend was about 40lbs overweight when I met her. Even as she lost weight, the sex dropped off dramatically and I soon found myself feeling resentful and eating more and exercising less to compensate. Sure, if I helped out around the house more, lost weight, wooed her more...THEN there would be more sex. So I lost weight, started doing more chores (even though I had a full time job and she had none), did more things to show she was appreciated and surprise surprise, even less sex (I know, couldn't have seen that one coming).

So, yeah. Whatever the problem LBS has, it's likely in her head. I don't think she needs a doctor, I think she needs to be radically honest with herself and decide whether she truly is attracted to this guy or not. And if the answer is "not" she needs to quit torturing this guy and move on to someone she is attracted to.
Posted by CNNicholby on July 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
72
LBS, vigorous sex can burn a lot of calories, you know. Just sayin'.
Posted by lorcha on July 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Auragasm 73
Don't allow fattening food in your house, LBS. It's fairly easy to avoid the ice cream, chip, and soda aisles once you get used to it.

You should encourage your man to exercise WITH you and give him lots of positive reinforcement. It will reduce stress, help you sleep, and most importantly make you both look healthier. These are good things for the libido. Give more thought to your bodies and your minds will follow, or at least mine did. I'm not particularly athletic, but we love yoga and biking together.
Posted by Auragasm on July 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
74
Second letter got me humming the finale of Avenue Q. "Everyone's a little bit unsatisfied. Everyone goes 'round a little empty inside. Take a breath, look around, swallow your pride, for now, for now..."
Posted by Dragonrose36 on July 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
75
--Why I Agree With Dan That GIMP Might Consider Taking Her Girlfriend Back Some Day--

Any one who is in a relationship at some point has to weigh the advantages of putting up with what we've got against the chances of finding someone better or ending up alone. That's all of us whether we're able bodied, dumb, employed, gay, in a wheelchair, old, poor, pretty, rich, smart, straight, ugly, unemployed, or young. Some of us, depending on which of the above categories we fit into will have an easier time attracting someone we like. Then add finding someone we're attracted to back, and the chances of finding a good match go up or down accordingly.

For example, if a straight, good looking 22 year old man with a good education and a great job complained that his girlfriend liked sex but not as much as he did and was sometimes sloppy around the house, I'd tell him to keep looking. He'll likely find someone he's more compatible with down the road. If a divorced 65 year old woman with a lot of debts found a guy who adored her, was willing to accept her as she is, but didn't like sex as much as she did and was terrible about putting his laundry into the hamper, I'd tell her consider him a gem and accept his marriage proposal. Reverse the sexes in my examples, and I get the same answers.

Now look at GIMP. She knows she's in categories that mean far lower chances of finding someone she clicks with and who clicks back with her. She's lesbian, in a wheelchair, and isn't interested in anyone who's attracted to her because of the wheelchair. Right there, her chances are pretty low. (But they go up with the fact that she's professional and smart.) She's got a woman who, on the plus side, she's very compatible with, someone she feels deeply about, someone who gives her orgasms, and is someone she thinks might be The One. On the minus side, the woman lied about being a devotee and betrayed her terribly with the posted photographs bit. It's easy for me to say to dump her, but I've never faced the very real possibility that GIMP has that she may end up alone or at least with someone she's not half so compatible with.

Note that GIMP's girlfriend is unacceptable for 2 reasons. The betrayal with the photographs is something she can make amends for in time. People have done worse things and overcome them. I'm not sure about the devotee thing. Generally fetishes don't go away, do they, even with counseling and a desire to make them disappear?
More...
Posted by Crinoline on July 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
76
Let me get this right, GIMP. Just because someone is attracted to people in wheelchairs disqualifies that person from dating you if you are in a wheelchair? I just don't get it. It's like saying just because a gay guy likes bears should disqualify him from dating bears.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 11, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
mydriasis 77
@ cocky

People aren't criticizing her for being less attracted to him if he puts on weight (I sympathize) people are critizicing the fact that she's implying the most sex her husband could possibly get is once a week. If that was the most sex I could ever have for the rest of my life I'd be reaching for the Haagen Dazs too!
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 1:10 PM · Report this
78
@70 "just because somebody is a fan of a characteristic you have (disabled devotee, Asian fetishist, chubby chaser)..."

If a guy is interested in a transwoman, it's hard for him to accept that she intends to be a woman, in the end. Their goals are at odds. Similarly with a feeder: if her fetish is to feed her guy and see him get larger, while his goal is to slim down, then they're incompatible.

On the other hand, if you love being Asian, and your guy loves Asians -- I'd see that as a win/win and no one else's business.

The problem with people who fetishize a disability is when they are interested in you because they see you as weak. If you in fact want to be strong (in whatever ways you are able to be strong), and they constantly undermine you... then you are incompatible.

@75 "GIMP isn't interested in anyone who's attracted to her because of the wheelchair."

That's not true. GIMP is wary of those people, but she didn't dump her girlfriend for being a devotee. When she dumps her, it will be for being a disrespectful bitch. And right she is.
Posted by EricaP on July 11, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
mydriasis 79
@cocky

It's one thing to be attracted to someone and another thing to be fetishized. Do you have any friends that are Asian women?
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
80
@70, but GIMP didn't discount this woman because she was a devotee. She continued to date her because of all the wonderful things they'd learned about each other in those eight months. She's dumping the devotee (we hope) because said devotee took unauthorized pictures of her for lascivious purposes and put them on the Internet. You don't have to be a kinkster of any sort to merit a dumping for that.
Posted by DRF on July 11, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
81
GIMP, I don't think you should get back together with her, once bitten twice shy and all that. Just knowing she has the capacity to do that will erase any trust I would have in her.

"You can't be a lesbian about this." lqtm. We lesbians don't have a very good name when it comes to break ups.
As for using sex as an incentive...it could work but it sounds like a bit more is wrong with your relationship than low libido and weight gain.
Posted by Novia on July 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
82
@mydriasis: "It's one thing to be attracted to someone and another thing to be fetishized."

What's the difference. Many men have what amounts to a fetish for women's breasts of a certain size, except it's not usually called a fetish because it is common, as opposed to rare. Most guys are pretty much exclusively attracted to women of their own race, which is as much a "fetish" as being attracted to a woman of a different race, except the latter is considered a minefield given the fucked-up North American racial hangups. So is it that having a common fetish doesn't disqualify you from dating someone who fits that fetish but having a rare one does?
Posted by cockyballsup on July 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
83
I admit I used the word "asexual" to be provocative (to the Letter Writer), but there were reasons behind it:

1) I'm guessing her current sexual frequency is once a month or less, and she doesn't seem to mind. Folks, once a month or less is the clinical definition of "sexless marriage." You can get angry about that if you want, but that's what a family counselor will tell you.

2) She is talking about increasing the sex frequency during the weight loss period to somewhere between once a week to once every three weeks, depending on how aggressively he loses or fails to lose the weight (that's how I calculated once-a-month sex in #1), and she views that as an upgrade.

3) She sets a target goal of once a week if he maintains his weight. No talk about more than that. I can only conclude that's her best offer. Whether he is fine with once a week is between her and him, and he probably thinks it's a huge improvement if it's going up from once a month, but one half hour out of the 168 available in any given week can hardly be objectively called "constantly."

4) She states right out that she doesn't want to blame his weight for the libido drop, and also doesn't really think his losing the weight is going to magically make her horny for him, and yet she is setting up a system in which his weight loss is central to how she is expected to respond. This strikes me that the weight loss is a false flag draped over the real problem.

She may not be literally asexual, but she pretty obviously doesn't actually desire the man that she is about to put through the weight-loss regimen. She doesn't ever talk about how god, she used to not be able to wait to rip his clothes off, but now she is repulsed, and she can't wait to have the old him back. It's all about setting up a system that's about some sort of fair return for him for his efforts. That does not speak to me of desire, it speaks of setting up a distraction and frankly, a whole system of excuses not to have sex. Didn't make your three pounds yet? Sorry, no sex. Try again in a day or so. Maintaining your weight? Good boy, here's your once a week. What? No, it's only Wednesday. You got yours on Saturday already. You added a few on that cruise? No sex this Saturday. Drop three of them, though, and you get a treat. Yeah, I bet that will make him feel seventeen brands of attractive over the long haul.

So if the question is, "is it okay to incentivize his weight loss with sex?" my take is that the approach you suggest will ultimately come across as manipulative, and over the long run will make him resent you even more, unless you can generate and demonstrate some genuine enthusiasm over and above your relatively meager numbers. Your system is not going to be the solution itself. It may help things along, but if you are not very sensitive to how you handle yourself and him, it may make things worse.
More...
Posted by avast2006 on July 11, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
mydriasis 84
@ 82

Um, I'm no expert but the "fucked up racial hangups" you mention are kind of a big deal? I think when it's a trait you've faced discimination for it's a little different than having small or big tits.

And again, I'm no expert, but if people are only attracted to their own race that's more likely to be due to racism than a fetish. The thing is, most racial fetishes are racist. That's the rub, they're based on racist notions turned sexual and that's why people don't enjoy being targeted. At least I've never met anyone who did.

So for example. I'm petite. Some guys borderline fetishize that. It doesn't bother me. Wyh? Because my body type has never adversely affected my life chances. A good friend of mine is Asian and says there's a huge difference for him between a girl that's attracted to him in general and some small town girl who thinks he's "exotic".

I don't think there's anything wrong about tending towards a certain race or races - we all have our own aesthetics. But that's not the same as fetishizing.
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 2:30 PM · Report this
mydriasis 85
@avast

I'm with you.
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
86
@82 - What's the difference?

The boob-lovers treat my breasts as the cherry on top of the fabulous cake that is me.

The fetishists can't actually see me - to them I am nothing more than a great rack dragging a woman behind it.
Posted by thisisnotadrill on July 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
mydriasis 87
@ or cocky

Let me put it this way instead.

If you like big butts and you cannot lie then it's totally kosher if you happen to find yourself attracted to black women more often than, say, white women. On the other hand, if you have some bullshit racist idea that being with that woman will somehow be fundimentally different than being with other races of women and that's why you find her attractive - then that's fetishizing race. And it's not okay.

Is that clearer?
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Posted by Eirene on July 11, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
Noadi 89
@83 Asexuality is a sexual orientation, using it as a negative descriptor to be provocative is being an asshole. That is why people are taking issue with it.

What we seem to have here instead if a woman who has lost the previous interest she had in sex. I think they need a marriage counselor to determine why, chances are the weight gain is part of it but not all. Maybe the reason is because she's never had enjoyable sex with him so now that the initial hot and heavy period is over it's a chore. Maybe they had kids and she's stressed a lot. Maybe work is leaving her exhausted by the time she gets home. Incentivizing weight loss with sex though is certainly not the answer, I agree with you on that.
Posted by Noadi http://noadi.net on July 11, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
90
@mydriasis, how about if a guy finds himself more physically attracted to black women because he quite innocently finds black skin particularly beautiful and arousing. Are you saying that is fine if the guy in question is black but racist (or fetishist) if he is white?
Posted by cockyballsup on July 11, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
mydriasis 91
@ 90

That last sentence was a tongue twister! Um... if I'm understanding it right, the answer is "no".

Again, not pretending to be an authority on the subject but finding skin tone in itself to be pretty or appealing is no more racist (to my mind) than finding eye or hair colour appealing.

Like there's a difference between finding the physical qualities common to an ethnicity attractive and having racist notions about that ethinicity like "oh wow, she's gonna love me long time".

Here's an example of some writing on the topic.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/annals/online-da…
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
92
Avast@83 or anyone else - what's considered average frequency for couples in relationships greater than 10 years?
Posted by Mthrfckr on July 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
93
@mydriasis, I am caucasian of mostly Northern European descent (though an immigrant to the states) but I have to say that these days I tend to enjoy meeting latino guys more (even after having dated an Irish-American for 10 years). Let me explain why. It started mainly because I found anglos in the Northeast to be on average very stuck up and with lots of psychological and family problems, whereas latinos (at least the ones who approach me) tend to be more down to earth, easier to talk to, more articulate about their emotions (it helps that I am fluent in Spanish), tend to have normal loving families, and with some of them I have the immigrant experience in common. It is not a power thing (they tend to have for the most part comparable or greater incomes) and it is not a racial thing, since some are darker and others are even lighter than I am. With some of them I also have the immigrant experience in common. Sure, it is based on ethnic stereotypes, but for the most part these stereotypes are true. So, on average I tend to like latinos more, but there are good reasons for that other than racism or fetishism. Yet you wouldn't believe the nasty comments some bitter queens make when they see a latino dating a white guy.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 11, 2012 at 4:40 PM · Report this
94
Oh, and I have had latino guys tell me they liked caucasian men, and it didn't bother me. Again I wonder if this kind of thing tends to bother women more, as in the objectification discussion that came up in last week's column, or like that case of the woman horrified that her husband dared to like her feet in a sexual way, something that would never bother a man if the shoe were on the other foot. :)
Posted by cockyballsup on July 11, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
95
@52 (Snowguy): Thank you. You wrote everything I was thinking, and did so succinctly and without using inflammatory language.
Posted by My Name Here on July 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM · Report this
mydriasis 96
@cocky

Haha, I think both men and women find racism kind of offensive. I don't really think it's a chick thing.

For example: the straight man I mentioned.

How you described yourself? That's not fetishism. The stuff in the article I gave you (did you read it? very different than what you mentioned) is fetishism.

Personally I tend to end up with guys who are mixed. It's not a conscious thing and there's no specific mix that I gravitate towards although they're typically part caucasian (boyfriends and ongoing FWBs have been native/caucaisan, egyptian/lebanese/scottish, japanese/colombian/german, black/white, whatever etc). I don't think I have a 'fetish' for it, especially because it's not a conscious thing - it just ends up that way.
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 5:14 PM · Report this
nocutename 97
@93,94 (cockyballsup): I am really loath to turn this into a "(all) straight women feel this way; gay men (all) feel that way" definition. I don't think that people's responses to fetishization or objectification falls out along gender/orientation lines as much as all that. I think that different people will react differently: some people are far more sensitive to what they perceive as being objectified or fetishized than others, who don't even notice it. Some will notice and not mind; some will be flattered.

It seems safe to say (though undoubtedly someone will argue this) that fetishization is at the extreme end of the objectification scale, or that they're related, different more in degree than in kind.

I wouldn't call your preference for Latinos either a fetish (which suggests a NEED which is out of the realm of "normal" or "typical," or necessarily define it as objectification. If you happen to note a preference for Latinos, but are capable of seeing each man as distinct and unique and as possessing qualities apart from just being "Latino," whatever that connotes to you, I don't think it is objectification. They're men who happen to share the same ethic identity.

If you are capable of dating or getting sexual satisfaction from non-Latinos, I don't think this constitutes a fetish. Also, having a racial/ethnic preference, since it falls within the realm of "normal" doesn't qualify as a fetish.

I have been overtly objectified once or twice--men who made a point of explicitly letting me know that it was one very specific body part of mine that they were attracted to, to the point where I got annoyed because they didn't seem to notice or much care about the rest of the human attached. It was a totally different feeling than I have when someone makes it clear that he thinks I have a beautiful smile or gorgeous pair of breasts, or beautiful eyes or a great ass. I've heard all those things and heard them with a range from pleasure to irritation, depending on how interested I am in the man uttering them. I like the idea that a body part I was born with and can't do much to change--my large, round ass--is attractive to men I find attractive, and I will admit in total honesty that I rather enjoy knowing that even men I'm not interested in find it attractive. That doesn't offend me at all. But I have had men approach me telling me that they thought a great ass--and then acting as if that was all that they saw me as: The Girl With The Amazing Ass. Or more likely, The Amazing Ass that happened to be attached to that girl. And that is offensive. I can't explain it any better than that. Maybe you have never experienced that level of objectification before.

I have had a man tell me he liked me because of my hair color, because he "likes blondes." The way he said it made it sound like I could be Attila the Hun but it wouldn't matter as long as my hair was yellow. It also made it sound as though if I were still the same person, but no longer blonde, he wouldn't be interested. No doubt he was entitled to his preferences, and he prefers blondes, but there was something about the way he said it, that made me feel as though to him, the color of my hair was the most compelling thing about me. I may be drawn to a particular ethnic group or hair color or body type (actually, I don't have a particular "look" I'm attracted to, but I understand the concept), but ultimately I want to date more than a head of hair or some eyes or whatever. I can admire some feature of a man, but see it as a *feature* of the man.

More...
Posted by nocutename on July 11, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this
98
For the love of god, do not use sex as a bribe for your partner to lose weight. Are you going to do weekly weigh-ins where you stand over him and give him a big gold blowjob star for every pound he loses and check-minus and a bottle of jergens for all the pounds he gains? That will make both you and him feel like you are his mommy and Jenny Craig counselor. Sure sounds like a recipe for hot sex to me. Ick.

I don't see anywhere in the letter where you have talked to him like a human being about this situation. I would try that. Honest, direct, compassionate, frank. He needs and deserves to hear what you are thinking and you need and deserve to get it off your chest and out in the open. If you think you can support any efforts he may want to make towards healthy eating and exercise, do it! Just don't make it all about micromanaging his process and don't feel like you have to make a production out of it and don't own it. Put in what you can deal with and no more. It's his job to take the right steps.

At any rate, I have been in a relationship during which I lost a lot of weight and my SOs low libido didn't change, so don't think his weight loss will magically fix your sex life. Maybe, but it's not guaranteed.
Posted by conversation not bribes on July 11, 2012 at 5:48 PM · Report this
nocutename 99
Sorry for all the errors in post #97--this is why you should always proofread!
Posted by nocutename on July 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
100
@92...there is surprisingly little scientific research into this area. A 1995 study of married and cohabiting couples found an average coital frequency of less than 7 times per month and these couples were mostly young and had been together just over two years on average. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/77380…

The sexuality group at Indiana University published the results of a big survey not too long ago...I will see whether they have more recent data. Most of the press around their study related to condom use and specific behaviors that people engaged in...I don't remember anything about frequency.

Research on sexual behavior is fraught with challenges due to "social desirability bias" in other words people sometimes give the "right" answer even if it is not true (of course I use condoms with casual partners!) Computerized rather than face-to-face interviews tend to yield more accurate results.

My suspicion is that many people overestimate the average. Lots of people here are dissing weekly sex, but I suspect that once a week is typical or even frequent for a great many couples, especially those in their second or third decade together and those with young kids in the house.

Keep in mind...Savage Love readers are not a representative sample!
Posted by KN on July 11, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this
101
Ms Crinoline @75 - It's certainly plausible, but I'd definitely advise anyone in GIMP's position to reenter such a takeback with as full a knowledge as possible of how Having forgiven So Huge a Betrayal would play out between them. There are people for whom having such automatic claim to the moral high ground would prove an irresistible temptation to a very slippery slope, likely regardless of the quality of the rebuilding relationship.
Posted by vennominon on July 11, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
102
Avast,

I join the crowd applauding your "asexual". Powerful.

I still think "microsexual" is more accurate.

Posted by Hunter78 on July 11, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
103
KN@100: yes, absolutely, and how many people even really KNOW? I sure can't keep track.
Posted by Eirene on July 11, 2012 at 6:49 PM · Report this
104
GIMP,

You've been horribly, multiply betrayed. But even marriages have survived worse. Consider the advantages of living this relationship. You can look around while you're enduring.

Posted by Hunter78 on July 11, 2012 at 6:51 PM · Report this
105
I must be in Cynical Mode - I suspect that Mr Balls' post @93 would bother people if he were being so harsh about the less privileged race, but doesn't bother people as it stands because he's only taking empowered people down a peg.

I think in general I'll agree with Ms Cute's post @97, though it strikes me as reasonable at least to examine the possibility of a general tendency breaking along certain lines. I envy you, though - my only good feature is that I have tennis legs, but nobody ever sees them; I have quite forgotten what it feels like physically to attract people.

Ms Driasis, although Mr Balls didn't mind and I don't think you were trying deliberately to erase, it would help me in a similar situation, given my war with the therapeutic professions, if a post you might ever address to me making a point similar to #87 used the pronoun "one" instead of "you".
Posted by vennominon on July 11, 2012 at 7:05 PM · Report this
nocutename 106
Mr. Ven, You might be surprised that a feature of yours you don't especially admire would turn out to be one that other people find attractive. You may not ever know it because your admirer might be either off your radar or not overt in his/her admiration.

For every man who has expressed admiration for my ass, there are doubtless 10 that don't like big butts--usually, it's one of those 10 that I'm interested in! Not to mention, finding a well-fitting pair of pants is nothing short of a miracle.

Also, I don't know about you, but people I like become more attractive to me. I realize that this isn't objectively true, necessarily, but all my friends are gorgeous. Men I have been involved with got better looking as I got more emotionally involved, and eventually, my non-involved preferences were changed by past positive associations. Thus, though it was once a feature of some men that grew on me as I grew to love them, I now find big noses attractive for their own sake!
Posted by nocutename on July 11, 2012 at 7:21 PM · Report this
107
@72, you win the whole jar of marbles.

I disagree with Dan: GIMP needs to dump her and never look back!

Regarding LBS, sex should never be used as a tool to manipulate someone else's behavior that way, particularly when it's an issue as sensitive and personal as weight gain. I predict that if LBS tries to implement her plan, it will be disastrous for her marriage on several levels, and it will be entirely her fault.

The only time it would be okay to use sex as an incentive or reward in that way would be when it is actually part of some sexual or romantic game you're playing. Otherwise, it's just plain mean and shitty, and if you'd be willing to do that to your spouse, the relationship has more serious problems.
Posted by Suzy on July 11, 2012 at 9:25 PM · Report this
108
Ms Cute - I appreciate that phenomenon, though I don't get it instinctively - largely, I suppose, because I have so few and so weak physical preferences myself. It's not that I'd particularly want to experience anything, but it would be nice not to have to guess how certain things would feel.

As for the specific you mention, at least you have an unassailable reason for supporting Serena Williams should you feel so inclined.
Posted by vennominon on July 11, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
109
@89 Noadi: Thank you so much for expressing what I meant to say, better than I did!!! This is the point I was trying to get across to avast2006 in earlier posts. I felt that he was advising to LBS to play asexual as a form of negative punishment, and I think that's a pretty cruel and shitty way to get sex---from anyone.

And I agree with your other well stated concerns, too. Additional stress from work, kids, and/or no longer attracted to one's spouse/mate/partner/BF/GF, etc. can contribute to major time-to-see-a-marriage-counselor deal-breaking issues.
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 11, 2012 at 10:28 PM · Report this
110
@avast: Please see my comment to @89 Noadi. Using asexuality like some weirdly negative reinforcement was what I was peeved about, rather than @19's predicted upcoming frothy shit storm your way. The "Santorun cream pie" remark was an attempt at humor, by the way.

I had a lot of sun today.
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 11, 2012 at 10:38 PM · Report this
mydriasis 111
@ ven

I think my default is "you" with the inteneded meaning of "one". But I will try to remember that!

2. Erase? You mean because you think you would take the 'you' literally and be offended that I was implying you were straight? Or did I miss something.

3. In any case.... what does that have to do with therapy?
Posted by mydriasis on July 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM · Report this
112
For what it's worth, I was dating a disabled woman for 6 months until a month ago, and she lived with me for months 4-5.

Her disability was incidental, as she has a degenerative condition and we have known each other for 6.5 years and she was originally healthy looking when we met (she was in a lot pain, though).

I was totally happy to date a disabled chick, not that it's been any fantasy of mine- I just liked it when I got there. I've thought about it and decided that it was because it made me feel helpful and it was a little erotic to be in her service. (She really honestly needs 24 home health care workers, frankly, so I really was waiting on her hand and foot while she was living with me.)

I don't know what devotees attraction is. Are they control freaks, or helpful, or maybe enjoy the role of serving another (I thought it was kind of hot to be waiting on her hand and foot)? I'd really be interested to know.

The whole taking and posting of photos is just so beyond the scope of what I could imagine. How does someone wind up there? If it was private use, I could understand more though still object to it, but the whole uploading thing is a major violation and hard to understand the motives of for me. Maybe it was money or bragging rights? Anyway, it does lead me to believe that there is a definite difference between us.
Posted by sweet g on July 12, 2012 at 1:10 AM · Report this
113
@105 Mr. Ven, I agree with Cute. You have at least one feature you may not have considered that other people find attractive: your mind. Although I have not seen your tennis legs, I find I am quite attracted to your persona here.
Posted by tachycardia on July 12, 2012 at 2:33 AM · Report this
114
Ms Driasis - Holed out in one. When one has involuntarily heard repeated litanies of variations on the theme, "You are straight," from highly regarded Social Engineers, one reacts instinctively even to seeing such an erroneous implication in print. Please note that, out of respect for your opinion of the F-word, I have refrained from using the T-word.

I thank you for your understanding and good faith.
Posted by vennominon on July 12, 2012 at 6:26 AM · Report this
115
M(?) Cardia - Very kind of you. It's just irritating feeling at such a remove from so many common experiences. If I was ever objectified, it was for having solved the mystery of Emma.
Posted by vennominon on July 12, 2012 at 6:36 AM · Report this
116
196- Nocute-- Agreed with what you said about people we like becoming more attractive as the affection grows, but this gets to the heart of what we mean by attractive. I'm straight. I have a best (female) friend. I think she's attractive, beautiful. I'm always glad to see her. I love her. But even if I loved her 3 times as much, I can't ever imagine being attracted to her in a sexual sense. See the bit about being straight.

With men, I might not be attracted to a guy until I get to know him, and I certainly know the phenomenon of being attracted to a guy until I get to know him. I'm turned off by jerks. Nothing unusual there. The part I'm interested in is how attractive can turn into attraction and under what circumstances unattractive can turn into attraction. Obviously there are limits as with my best girlfriend example and also probably with a man who was just too far out there in terms of deviating from my norm. In other words, I normally go for tall ectomorphic men. I have dated men shorter than I am and liked them, but I can't imagine being attracted to someone 4 feet tall no matter how brilliant and funny. The same goes Stephen Hawking. I can admire him but don't want to have sex with him.

The flip side must be being so attracted to one trait that the rest of the attached human doesn't matter. I can't imagine anyone wanting to be sought after only for a physical attribute, and when one does, they're usually considered as shallow as the person who only seeks one physical attribute.

With that in mind, this is as much for you as for Mr. Ven:

"Only God, my dear, could love you for yourself alone and not your yellow hair."
Posted by Crinoline on July 12, 2012 at 6:45 AM · Report this
mydriasis 117
@ ven

If I'm still following correctly... you're saying that those 'social engineers' tried to make you straight??

Not. Okay. Ever.
I'm sorry to hear that.

* Also, because I'm going off SNs and not little pictures (which often helps me remember better) I find it hard to keep people's genders let alone orientations straight. So it's not like I go "ahh yes - it's this person who is male, therefore likes women" it's more like "I'm going to mention a hypothetical target of either gender in a general way" but I understand/respect your aversion to my use of the word 'you' and I'll try to remember it next time.
Posted by mydriasis on July 12, 2012 at 7:07 AM · Report this
AFinch 118
So, I'm with @52 (and @95) on LBS: it really does sound like lowered libido mostly - honestly, I wouldn't want the pity fuck, certainly no more than I'd want the Obligation "put out more". I don't really want sex with/from someone who isn't interested in having sex with me...no matter how you slice it, that's demeaning. Now, if I had a partner who was into sex with me and approached me with the idea of more/bigger reward while I was struggling with some unpleasant self-improvement, then fine, great...but that's not the dynamic here.

And, I have to say, this may be more a result of lower attraction not libido, for a variety of reasons, not just the weight. I agree with the take that LBS sounds more like she's looking for excuses, but in all fairness to her, I have to say, my ex, a trim, attractive 120 when we met, blew up in short order to like 165 and frankly, I kind of lost my attraction to her. It did not kill my libido, but it killed my attraction to her.

@GIMP & many: I don't want to be objectified either. This is sooo subjective and a bright line rule is really difficult. I think, in this case, the pooch is screwed and I don't think there's any unscrewing it, but definitely, let her make the first repentant moves. Having said that, two things: first, as others have said, there is nothing really wrong (aside from the creepy co-dependency/control vibe in the case of a disability) with her being attracted to some physical attribute of yours - maybe she is a devotee...so what? I'm a devotee of blondes. Secondly, while you quite reasonably feel deeply violated, just as any woman whose juvenile boyfriend posted her nude pics without permission might, her motives (like those of the juvenile boyfriends) might be less about exploiting you than about bragging. And there is a world of difference...most of which is made up of respect and admiration...which are the things which differentiate being objectified versus appreciated.
More...
Posted by AFinch on July 12, 2012 at 8:17 AM · Report this
119
Let me get this right, GIMP. Just because someone is attracted to people in wheelchairs disqualifies that person from dating you if you are in a wheelchair?

A fetish - as others have said - is different from an attraction.

I'm 6' tall. I've been with a number of guys who said they liked this. And then there was that one guy I made out with who kept saying "you're...so...tall..." and just flat-out staring at me with his mouth hanging open. Whole different vibe there.

And whoever pointed out that liking a disability is really damn different from liking a particular bodily feature is bang on. I would never want to be with someone who was attracted to me because they thought I was weak or helpless. Just ewww.
Posted by perversecowgirl on July 12, 2012 at 8:42 AM · Report this
John Horstman 120
Hmm, GIMP should DTMFA and not take her back; the lying and especially the distributing photos without consent are deal-breakers.

FFF should take "yes" for an answer and not go creating problems where there aren't any (if her partner DOES cheat at some point, deal with it then, but we don't serve ourselves by eliminating the possibility of dating or moving in with any and all people who might cheat, as we then can't date).

I advise against LBS using sex that she doesn't seem particularly enthusiastic about to incentivize weight loss. The possibilities of backfires (she's not attracted to him even once he loses the weight, she feels pressured to have sex she doesn't want to have to hold up her end of the bargain while he's losing the weight, he gets into a shame spiral if he doesn't lose the weight because he's also blaming himself for his wife's lack of attraction, etc.) outweigh the possible gain from the incentivizing (which we don't know will necessarily be effective).
Posted by John Horstman on July 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
121
Secondly, while you [GIMP] quite reasonably feel deeply violated, just as any woman whose juvenile boyfriend posted her nude pics without permission might, her motives (like those of the juvenile boyfriends) might be less about exploiting you than about bragging. And there is a world of difference...most of which is made up of respect and admiration...which are the things which differentiate being objectified versus appreciated.

Um, no. I'm afraid posting a person's pics without asking permission (in fact knowing that they don't want you to!) is still objectification, even if you're doing it to brag. A person who sees their partner as a person would respect their opinions, preferences, etc. instead of just going ahead and posting pics online the same way they'd post pics of their shiny new car or iPhone.
Posted by perversecowgirl on July 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 122
@94 cocky - what you said, completely.

Seriously, I would LOVE to be objectified - a girl who was dying to fuck me because my height, hair color, forearms, shape of my nose, length of my tongue? I might start quoting Lou Gehrig and declare myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. Men usually get objectified for their money. Can I trade?

Avast - I am not religious but I have found myself saying "Amen" after reading your posts.
Posted by Tim Horton on July 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM · Report this
123
It bothers me that if he loses some weight, she'd consider a once-a-week fuck a reward. I think their relationship sounds terribly one-sided. It's more likely he'll lose the weight and go find someone else with a higher libido using his new svelt body.
Posted by Mr. Ed on July 12, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this
124
Ms Driasis - My thanks. At least most of the time I can look back on the period in question and regard it primarily as a victory.
Posted by vennominon on July 12, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
125
C'mon, people, it's perfectly natural for his weight gain to impact her attraction. How many letters does Dan get from men who are no longer attracted to their wives after they gain weight, with whom he sympathizes? Huge double standard here. This letter makes it sound like women need to stay thin so their husbands will want to fuck them, but the opposite doesn't hold true. I'm a woman who is normally as horny as a 15 year old boy, but when my ex gained 50 pounds I lost all interest in sex with him. He was constantly moaning about how he was chubby and needed to lose weight, expecting sympathy and validation from me, and then would go scarf a cheeseburger and throw back a 6 pack. Then he had the audacity to tell me that this shouldn't matter to me because "women don't care about looks." His attitude was as much of a turnoff as the weight. Even when he lost weight it was too late-I was simply no longer attracted to him and had to force myself to have sex with him-once a week seemed extravagant to me. I was afraid my libido was permanently broken until my first date after we broke up. Then I realized it was just him and that I was back in business. Now I'm with a fit guy who drives me out of my mind and we fuck like bunnies. So geez, people, give the woman a break--she's not attracted to her husband anymore because he got fat, and she's come up with this proposal because nothing else has worked and she's desperate.
Posted by Tekmessa on July 12, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
126
@125, Tekmessa, I agree, it is hard to recover an attraction to someone once you have lost it, even if they change their ways.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
mydriasis 127
@ Tim Horton

Um, again (for the zillionth time), there's a difference!

I love being objectified! It's not the same as some racist fuck thinking that your ethnicity makes you desirable because of some notion they have about what sex with you will be (based soley on your colour).

Did you not read the example I gave of a straight male who doesn't appreciate being fetishized for his race? Am I wrong to assume you're white?
Posted by mydriasis on July 12, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
AFinch 128
@119&121 -

I'm afraid posting a person's pics without asking permission (in fact knowing that they don't want you to!) is still objectification,

I just don't agree - it's immaturity (assholery, as I said, and clearly a dumping offense), and in retrospect, I should not have said that 'respect' was part of the difference, because posting a pic in knowing violation is definitely not being respectful. However, I think objectification implies exploitation - using someone solely for the particular attribute - without any other regard for the rest of the person, and I just don't think that's a fair reading in this case.

I'm 6' tall. I've been with a number of guys who said they liked this.

I'm 5'11" and I'm one of those guys...I have been blown away by tall women (most recently, a married woman at a social function) and while I might have had that inward initial powerful reaction, my point is that maturity is what distinguishes those of us who know not to act that way towards someone (married or not) and acting like a boor.

Both malice and immaturity can lead to cruelty, but the intent is generally only present in the first case and intent does make a difference. That was my point.
Posted by AFinch on July 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 129
@127 Mydriasis - I am a mutt, but would be considered white by all non-Nazi definitions.

I didn't mean to invalidate why a black woman may feel objectified by a white man preferring their skin color. I get that. I was merely saying "hell yes" to Cocky's observation that being objectified would be totally cool by me, and probably for many (white? privileged? well-hung?) males.

Now if someone only wanted me for my citizenship and access to TimBits, then I might feel victimized.
Posted by Tim Horton on July 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
130
(from Wikipedia)

Objectification is the process by which an abstract concept is made as objective as possible in the purest sense of the term. It is also treated as if it is a concrete thing or physical object. In this sense the term is a synonym to reification.

This term is also used to describe the treatment of a human being as a thing, disregarding his/her personality or sentience. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum[1] has argued that something is objectified if any of the following factors is present:

Instrumentality – if the thing is treated as a tool for one's own purposes;
Denial of autonomy – if the thing is treated as if lacking in agency or self-determination;
Inertness – if the thing is treated as if lacking in agency;
Ownership – if the thing is treated as if owned by another;
Fungibility – if the thing is treated as if interchangeable;
Violability – if the thing is treated as if permissible to damage or destroy;
Denial of subjectivity – if the thing is treated as if there is no need to show concern for the 'object's' feelings and experiences.
Posted by Eirene on July 12, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
131
I can actually completely sympathize with "I just need to shut up and put out more, and I'm working on that." Those of you taking offense to that statement probably don't get it.

After our first kid, the hormonal change made me not desire sex, which was a HUGE change for me who normally was the instigator in our relationship. While it wasn't anything my beloved had done wrong, I still felt that way. I hoped eventually the desire would return and I knew for sure it wouldn't if I just avoided sex. So I often said things like the above or referenced the idea of taking one for the team.

This by no means meant that I was being taken advantage of by my beloved or being cajoled or berated into unwilling sex, it means that I knew I still held desire there somewhere and while the physical part of it wasn't obvious I was hoping it would reawaken.

I don't know about the actual issue of weight, that goes deeper, I was just referring to the single statement.
Posted by prin on July 12, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
132
I don't know anything about devotees, and can't google it because I'm at work. I empathize with how GIMP does not want her condition to define her. But, I see a similar vibe in GIMP's attitude toward said devotees as I've seen in some of my straight female friends' attitudes toward men with BBW fetishes. Assuming the two groups are similar (again, can't research, but hey! the internet's full of un-informed opinions) then I'm confused as to why a disabled or fat person wouldn't want to date someone who had a fetish for them. I feel that that attitude is anti-fetish, portraying those who do have the fetish in question as undesirable freaks.

I'm a straight, 'smaller' BBW, and if I find out a guy likes heavy girls, I'm stoked- because I don't have to worry as much about being passed over for a skinny girl, or wonder if he likes my body type. I know the stakes are different for BBW/ SSBBWs and people with disabilities, but I still find the attitude perplexing. Why wouldn't you want someone who wanted you, especially if you have a trait that puts you outside the mainstream? Many people don't want to be objectified, and I understand that (I genuinely like it, but I realize that puts me into the minority) and of course, no one should ever violate their significant other's privacy in the way GIMP's girlfriend did. But, that being said, what's so wrong about someone who likes people who use wheelchairs dating a person who uses a wheelchair?

People with fetishes are often thought of as sex-obsessed freaks, and to be fair, I'm sure some of them are just that. But, I'm also sure that there are some perfectly reasonable people who happen to be strongly sexually attracted to someone because they're fat, or use a wheelchair, or a gigantic variety of other reasons. I personally love being desired, and I think most Savage subscribers would agree that sexual desire and compatibility are very important components of romantic relationships.

I think what it often comes down to is that people want to be loved for who they are, not just sexually desired for a certain trait. While I do understand that, is it so bad to let a person who is initially attracted to that one trait get to know you better, to see if there's a connection? While GIMP is of course welcome to date whomever she chooses, I just thought this was interesting food for thought. Would love to hear what others think about this. (here ends the longest.comment.ever!)
More...
Posted by rosietheriveting on July 12, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this
133
I don't know anything about devotees, and can't google it because I'm at work. I empathize with how GIMP does not want her condition to define her. But, I see a similar vibe in GIMP's attitude toward said devotees as I've seen in some of my straight female friends' attitudes toward men with BBW fetishes. Assuming the two groups are similar (again, can't research, but hey! the internet's full of un-informed opinions) then I'm confused as to why a disabled or fat person wouldn't want to date someone who had a fetish for them. I feel that that attitude is anti-fetish, portraying those who do have the fetish in question as undesirable freaks.

I'm a straight, 'smaller' BBW, and if I find out a guy likes heavy girls, I'm stoked- because I don't have to worry as much about being passed over for a skinny girl, or wonder if he likes my body type. I know the stakes are different for BBW/ SSBBWs and people with disabilities, but I still find the attitude perplexing. Why wouldn't you want someone who wanted you, especially if you have a trait that puts you outside the mainstream? Many people don't want to be objectified, and I understand that (I genuinely like it, but I realize that puts me into the minority) and of course, no one should ever violate their significant other's privacy in the way GIMP's girlfriend did. But, that being said, what's so wrong about someone who likes people who use wheelchairs dating a person who uses a wheelchair?

People with fetishes are often thought of as sex-obsessed freaks, and to be fair, I'm sure some of them are just that. But, I'm also sure that there are some perfectly reasonable people who happen to be strongly sexually attracted to someone because they're fat, or use a wheelchair, or a gigantic variety of other reasons. I personally love being desired, and I think most Savage subscribers would agree that sexual desire and compatibility are very important components of romantic relationships.

I think what it often comes down to is that people want to be loved for who they are, not just sexually desired for a certain trait. While I do understand that, is it so bad to let a person who is initially attracted to that one trait get to know you better, to see if there's a connection? While GIMP is of course welcome to date whomever she chooses, I just thought this was interesting food for thought. Would love to hear what others think about this. (here ends the longest.comment.ever!)
More...
Posted by rosietheriveting on July 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
mydriasis 134
@ rosie

TBH, I think that the BBW "fetish" is a weird phenom where a simple personal preference is deemed a fetish just because our culture is so damn fat phobic! I think there are guys who legitimately fetishize that body type but the impression I'm under is that most just find it attractive in the same way one might like big breasts or small breasts or blonde hair or whatever else.

In another era my body type would be seen as really unappealing "she doesn't eat enough!" (yes, I do). And I'm sure the same people who naturally find me attractive now would be considered "fetishists" without actually fetishizing my body type.

Am I way off base here?
Posted by mydriasis on July 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
Lose-Lose 135
FFF: I can't believe a 32 year old woman in this day and age is surprised, let alone becomes insecure in learning that her boyfriend 'once' thought about poly relationships? What else? Are you insulted every time he looks at another woman, or feel threatened by his porn collection? WAKE UP!
Posted by Lose-Lose on July 12, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
136
How has this not come up yet? GIMP's soon-to-be-ex, in addition to being a giant asshole, also does a disservice to people with fetishes. I understand it can be hard to disclose and a lot of hurt can happen along the way (like my partner pointing out the other women on the street who had what he fetishized in an attempt to get the message across-- ugh). But outright betrayal is really really scummy. And has absolutely nothing to do with having a fetish.
Posted by wxPDX on July 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
137
@125: I totally agree with you that it's reasonable to assume that she lost her desire for her husband as a result of him putting on a bunch of weight. I have some doubts as to the general level of her libido independent of the weight issue, but I certainly don't take issue with the idea of losing desire for someone who lets himself go.

My main objection is that sex as a reward for weight loss is not the same thing as sex as an expression of desire. It's a systematized form of begging for sex from someone who patently doesn't want sex with you for its own sake. Who on earth wants sex from a person who doesn't desire them? How depressing. Over time, he will come to deeply internalize that she doesn't in fact desire him, even once he does manage to shed the outer layer, if all she does is stick to the proposed reward system. Then when someone else displays some genuine interest in his restored physique, he's going to jump at the offer, and either divorce her or cheat on her.

Those are the risks as I see them. My advice to Letter Writer: Try out the system if you think it will get him off his ass, but I suggest you go out of your way to find every opportunity to demonstrate that you adore the shit out of him in other ways, during the whole process.
Posted by avast2006 on July 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM · Report this
nocutename 138
@137 (avast2006): Exactly.
Posted by nocutename on July 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
139
I dated a disabled guy. We were together for a few years. Best sex of my life. And yeah, I've always been into guys with disabilities, and I can't really tell you why - did it have to do with giving control voluntarily to someone who can't control me by force (he had to tell me where he wanted to touch me, and I'd put his hand there)? Is it a fetish for people who are in some physical way extraordinary (I like lefties and the colorblind, too)? It's probably a tangled mash of things.

I have given this a lot of thought, because in the first year or so of our relationship I spent a lot of time agonizing over my guilt that I was objectifying him. He seriously did not care, was just happy were having such great sex. Eventually I just accepted that his disability was inextricable from his life experiences and who he was, and I was into the entire package, so to speak, and stopped worrying as much. I just was into him and that was that.

That said, I don't hang out with devotees. Because devotees are, frankly, creepers. It's the community, I think, that makes it creepy. It's one thing to be attracted to some detail about someone, and another thing entirely to hang out with other people obsessing about it. Things get especially weird when the quality obsessed over is a quality that makes the person hugely marginized in society and/or public policy (race, weight, disability all fall into this category.)

As for GIMP's gf - what she did wasn't just a violation of privacy, it was a violation of sexual autonomy. She offered up GIMP's body for other parties to beat off on, without GIMP's knowledge or permission. Essentially, she involved GIMP in a sexual act against her will. Unforgivable doesn't cover it.
Posted by immune on July 12, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
140

One more thing: people who say that GIMP's chances of finding a good partner are low b/c she's a lesbian in a chair are overstating it. We all have things that handicap us when it comes to finding partners, and being in a chair is SO MUCH LESS of a handicap than being an asshole is, or being boring, or being shy.

Being a gimp can even be an advantage. First of all, you stand out. People are gonna notice you; you're never gonna be the anonymous person in the back of the room that no one notices. Second of all, the chair is a great asshole filter (though not, as GIMP has discovered to her grief, a perfect one).

But in general, someone who has never before considered dating a girl in a wheelchair can be brought around if you're awesome. Someone who is able-bodied will have the running start, it's true, but if they're not as awesome as you, you're gonna win that race every time.

I really think that in the long run, our chances are pretty much even.
Posted by ghat on July 12, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
141
What the f is wrong with SL? All other weeks fetishes are exalted! This week they're castigated. How mainstream. How disappointing.

Of course, everything under the sun was definable as a fetish. "She has a fetish for men who like who work hard" or similar crap.

I like the old-fashioned paraphilic definitions, especially involving objects (not "objectification"-- totally political, totally boring.), like the classic shoe fetish. BDSM always qualified, if only by the hardware.
Posted by Hunter78 on July 12, 2012 at 3:47 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 142
@137: Let's just bring it all together here. What about people who fetishize having sex with people who don't want to have sex with them?

Oh, and it seems like GIMP's fetishist saw her as more than a fetish, or the relationship would have been obviously one-dimensional. Still an asshole, but it seems like it's not all bad to be the object of a fetish, as long as you're also seen as a human being, too. And no other bullshit, like posting pics, is going on.

@134: For a while there (maybe still?), natural breasts were a fetish category in mainstream het-porn. Which seems profoundly sad to me.
Posted by aureolaborealis on July 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM · Report this
Posted by aureolaborealis on July 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM · Report this
144
I got to about #60 and started skimming, but I'm shocked that up to that point nobody had mentioned this to LBS:

ARE YOU ON BIRTH CONTROL???

If you are, there's more you might want to consider than just having your hub lose weight. Ask your doctor about the potential side effects of the birth control you're on, because some of them can cause loss of libido. Changing your prescription can do wonders.

Dan's said before that partners have an obligation to keep themselves relatively attractive to their mates, so your husband isn't off the hook for this--but if your own loss of libido is an issue, I would check on your birth control and any other prescription meds (if applicable) and get yourself screened for depression.

And guess what? You and your husband could very well share the same prescription: "Honey, I'm just not feeling it. You're overweight and that's an issue, but completely separate from that, it's not clicking in my head. But you know what, jogging is good exercise and exercise helps your mood, so--wanna throw on some shoes and go out with me?" Two birds with one stone: your hub loses weight and you raise your serotonin and endorphin levels, which are important chemicals in your overall feeling of well-being. It may not be a magic cure, but it might help (and can't hurt).
Posted by Ninalyn on July 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
145
I got to about #60 and started skimming, but I'm shocked that up to that point nobody had mentioned this to LBS:

ARE YOU ON BIRTH CONTROL???

If you are, there's more you might want to consider than just having your hub lose weight. Ask your doctor about the potential side effects of the birth control you're on, because some of them can cause loss of libido. Changing your prescription can do wonders.

Dan's said before that partners have an obligation to keep themselves relatively attractive to their mates, so your husband isn't off the hook for this--but if your own loss of libido is an issue, I would check on your birth control and any other prescription meds (if applicable) and get yourself screened for depression.

And guess what? You and your husband could very well share the same prescription: "Honey, I'm just not feeling it. You're overweight and that's an issue, but completely separate from that, it's not clicking in my head. But you know what, jogging is good exercise and exercise helps your mood, so--wanna throw on some shoes and go out with me?" Two birds with one stone: your hub loses weight and you raise your serotonin and endorphin levels, which are important chemicals in your overall feeling of well-being. It may not be a magic cure, but it might help (and can't hurt).
Posted by Ninalyn on July 12, 2012 at 5:03 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 146
Thank you Eirene @130.

Sex is complicated for women with disabilities. Sure. But I’m appalled at the unquestioned assumptions here that GIMP is afraid that if she stands up for herself in this relationship that she’ll never date again.

This is clearly not true. She’s used to dating and used to being picky. She is totally datable and knows it. Assuming that she needs to feel grateful for scraps and advising her to tolerate this level of abuse, manipulation and whatever because she’s a GIMP and can’t expect better is horrible.

It’s not ok. Nobody needs to tolerate abuse. GIMP can expect better and she knows it.

I expected better from at least some in this crowd.
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on July 12, 2012 at 5:31 PM · Report this
147
My problem with the "sex as incentive" plan is (as I believe some others may have pointed out): What if he doesn't lose three pounds for several weeks in a row? Will you then withhold all sex from him for weeks and weeks? That's a bad plan.

Sex is (or should be) a given in a relationship. It shouldn't be withheld on a whim. Especially if you've been trying to make your possibly-only-recently-low libido come back into play, too.

What you might try instead is holding out on some particular sex act or toy or scenario that he likes, though, and using that as a reward. (Blowjobs, anal, bondage, buying a naughty outfit, watching porn together, etc.) That way, you don't have an excuse to not have sex (or a reason to hold back if you just happen to feel frisky some night), but you do have an interesting and motivating reward. Yes?
Posted by SilverChimera on July 12, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this
148
LBS, google women loses 100lbs having sex. Your husband could burn 200 calories in a 30 minute sex session. As a women I have issues with lobido as well.I find that I think I'm not in the mood But not wanting to disapoint my husband I do it any way and it turns out I was in the mood I just had so much other stuff on my mind I didn't realize it. There are lots of great books and products out there to enhance your sex life. One of my favorite places because of their great prices is WWW.XTCTOOLS.COM
Posted by happilymarried on July 12, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
149
LBS, admit it, he's not good in bed. He doesn't get you off, he smells wrong, you're just not into him. You used to be hot for him, but that was because you wer into HIM not his penis or his sex techniques. Now that the New Relationship Energy has worn off, well, he has to have more than a nice ass to keep your interest and it just isn't happening.

When you meet someone with whom you're actually sexually compatible, you don't have to fall in love with them first for it to be hot.

And GIMP got hooked up with a fucked up person. I wouldn't use the term "abuse" exactly because abuse requires a certain amount of hatred and maliciousness. But GIMP, your lover is fucked in the head and needs to get her shit together. The best favour you can give her is to get out of her way so she can do it. DTMF indeed.

FFF? He told you he thought about polyamory, and then moved in with you. Which means he decided against it. Relax. And yes, for some of us, poly would be a deal breaker. I've had enough experiences with it to know it's not for me. If you have time and energy to spend on another lover, you're not giving me enough. Fuck that.
Posted by wendykh on July 12, 2012 at 7:47 PM · Report this
mydriasis 150
@ 149

I wouldn't use the term "abuse" exactly because abuse requires a certain amount of hatred and maliciousness.

Not to get needlessly inflammatory but tell that to everyone who was molested by a pedophile who thought they were just "loving" the child. Also, tell that to every person who got beaten up by a partner who "didn't mean to do it".

I don't know if I'd call posting (headless) pictures of a person as abuse, but it's callous and disrespectful as fuck.

I'm 100% with you on the polyamoury tip though. I will never understand how bewildered people here are by the notion that nonmonogamy could be a dealbreaker.
Posted by mydriasis on July 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM · Report this
LadyLaurel 151
I think the sex-as-weight-loss-incentive thing should be restricted to oral sex (or similar "I am pleasuring you" activities. Oral sex seems more like a "reward" for goals completed, whereas intercourse and other "mutual" activities as reward for weight gaining can seem way too much like, "I will fuck you now that you're less unattractive to me."

On top of that, I would say give oral sex as a reward for keeping to goals and plans in diet/exercise as opposed to losing the actual pounds. You can also couch it as, "Hey, honey, you know, I think it would be a lot easier for you to have the willpower to be self-denying in weight loss if you got more sexual satisfaction." Which is true.

Sound like a good plan for any gender?
Posted by LadyLaurel http://https://twitter.com/#!/XXLadyLaurelXX on July 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM · Report this
LadyLaurel 152
"If you have time and energy to spend on another lover, you're not giving me enough. Fuck that."

What about dating someone who puts a lot of time and energy into work? Or a very important hobby? Or a family member who requires a lot of care? Or has CHILDREN?

I don't think the "time and energy" argument holds water, as such.
Posted by LadyLaurel http://https://twitter.com/#!/XXLadyLaurelXX on July 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 153
@150 - well, this is a pretty kink-positive group, & Dan's promoted the concept of nonmonogamy/monogamishness, so it makes sense that this would be one of the few discussion groups going where people are more vocal in that camp than usual. & is that really so bad? ;) Monogamous folks get all the societal support & Validation there is. Surely one alt-weekly in the Seattle area is an acceptable haven for deviants.

Being poly OR being monogamous can be a deal-breaker; I wish more people would talk about what they really wanted, *before* getting married, or *before* moving in together. Would save a lotta heartache in the long run.

GIMP: Total violation of trust. I'm not bugged that your soon-to-be-ex is a devotee; it IS super disturbing that she would share a photograph of you with others, behind your back. IDK if you should get back together with her, either. That's a huge hurdle to overcome.
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on July 12, 2012 at 9:59 PM · Report this
154
@150: Yes, only in the bizarro land of SL do asexuals have sex every week and monogamous couples feel persecuted for their lifestyle choice. Gotta love it.
Posted by chi_type on July 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM · Report this
mydriasis 155
@ 152

Um.... you realize that strengthens the argument right?

If you're in a relationship with someone who has all of those responsibilities and then wants to split the small remainder of their time between you and another person (or people) then there isn't going to be much left over for you.

Plus you realize there's a difference between "a family member is in failing health" (not a choice) and "I'm fucking some other girl when I could be fucking you instead." (definitely a choice!).
Posted by mydriasis on July 13, 2012 at 4:50 AM · Report this
156
Crinoline @16:
"I just need to shut up and put out more, and I'm working on that."

In what universe is that an okay statement?
Forgive me if this has already been said, but it might be that she realizes that she over-processes things. Fact is, some women (and it's almost always women) want to verbally chew a problem over and over and over and over and over and over and over rather than solve it; they'd rather talk about the problem than solve the problem. When I was stupid enough to do divorces I used to see it all the time: there were women who wanted to address (for example) that the couple didn't have enough time together or didn't have time for sex. Ok, well and good. But they'd make time for three hours in the middle of the day for the therapy but wouldn't make an hour for a coffee or movie together, or a quickie with the husband. There was a certain subset of women who liked to endlessly process that they weren't fucking enough faaaaar more than they liked fucking. (Sex in the City did a lovely parody of the type.)
Posted by seeker6079 on July 13, 2012 at 6:21 AM · Report this
157
Somebody mentioned "minisexual" as a better alternative to asexual for describing people who weren't asexual but who could get by with a level of sex many other people would find far too low. "Minisexual" has a joke definition in urban dictionary as somebody obsessed with much smaller people. Perhaps we could take the good idea and change it to "minimasexual"?
Posted by seeker6079 on July 13, 2012 at 7:53 AM · Report this
158
156-Seeker-- I definitely know the type and agree that LBS could be one of them. I just didn't get that from the letter she wrote. As with so many letters to Savage Love, we get hints and have to work with what we get.
Posted by Crinoline on July 13, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
159
It still surprises me that there is an assumption, even among many women posters, that if only LBS had more libido, she would want to have more sex with her obese husband. Basically, the only thing that could be wrong in this relationship is that she must be frigid, isn't it? Of course his obesity can't have anything to do with it, can it?
Posted by cockyballsup on July 13, 2012 at 8:53 AM · Report this
160
I would like to second the issue of birth control. I never knew how much it affected my libido, I was on it for a decade+, basically from 18 to when I had my first kid at 31. After the kid, I knew I didn't want the pill anymore, my husband didn't have insurance that paid for him to get snipped, so I got an iud, the copper one with no hormones. I have noticed a big difference. Also came to the realization that I needed a vibrator during sex. These two things were kind of a revolution to my sex life
Posted by Zbot on July 13, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
sissoucat 161
@mydriasis and wendykh - on your comments on non-monogamy being a deal-breaker. I'm curious. Would you care to explain what feelings would non-monogamy from your partner elicit in you ?

Please understand this is not a judgemental question, but one out of genuine interest. We seem to be different and I would like to understand that difference - maybe to understand myself better.

And also understand that I'm not talking about someone promising not to do something and then doing it on the sly - I meant, supposing that both had agreed on non-monogamy for both, beforehand ; no lying.

I've been cheated on by my husband. The sex part of it was actually the only thing that didn't hurt - I pitied the mistress for going through with such a bad lover as my husband, and I seriously questionned her good taste (the husband's attractiveness has steadily gone downhill since our marriage). The betrayal of the vows, the discovery that he had not the moral backbone he had pretented to have all those years, and most of it the danger to the family unit (understand : the children's wellbeing) were very painful. Him constantly shoving his affair in my face was very humiliating.

I've been since with a lover, older and very good at sex. I don't feel like I own him. I feel like it would do other unhappy women, such as I was, a world of good to have some great fucks with him. I wouldn't mind sharing him with whomever would need a good sex experience as a confidence booster.

I didn't go into this relationship (3 years now) with a LTR in mind. But the fact is that we're very well-suited on some points, and incompatible on others - like my way of raising my kids. Even though we're very compatible on sex, if I fall in lust with anybody else, I won't want to miss on that kind of sex because I already love someone else.

It's like a meal. If a little diversity comes my way, I don't want to be guilted into not giving it a bite.

Besides, as a mother of 3, I feel I have the experience of deeply loving more than one person at the same time - each of my children has both a share of my love, and all my love.
More...
Posted by sissoucat on July 13, 2012 at 9:29 AM · Report this
162
Putting on forty pounds in three years is kind of a big deal and I'm guessing there is some metabolic or other medical issue. It also could be that work has taken away his exercise time and time to eat healthy. The OP didn't say, maybe it's a hundred pounds, maybe it's twenty. But let's call it forty. Nice round number. You're not going to lose that with a romantic stroll in the park every day or ordering the small fries. The only way to lose that is with strenuous aerobic exercise for an hour or more every day coupled with a very uncomfortable reduction in food intake. Probably giving up practically all meat, sugar, complex carbohydrates, and baked goods. Even then you're looking at probably a minimum of six months and most likely closer to a year. Early on there will be some dramatic weight loss but after a couple of months it will be a pound or two a week, and that's with starving yourself and busting your ass exercising. And you'll have to do that forever or the weight will come right back. Your mileage may vary but if that's the price of admission for sex once a week, I don't think it's worth it.
Posted by marmer on July 13, 2012 at 9:41 AM · Report this
163
I agree with 162, if there is significant weight to loose, general "diet and exercise" make it up as you go along is not going to be effective. If they can afford it, I would suggest a personal trainer for 1 year. Even if they have to sacrifice financially for awhile. He will lose the weight, and she will gain a libido or not, but they will both be better off, even if they come to realization that the relationship has to end.
Posted by Zbot on July 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
164
cockyballsup@159: It still surprises me that there is an assumption, even among many women posters, that if only LBS had more libido, she would want to have more sex with her obese husband.

Even among many women posters?! You forget that a whole lot of women posters have the perspective of having been through pregnancy, which causes some pretty extreme body changes, some of them permanent. If my husband said yeah, I know it's because you had our kids, but I can't deal with your wrinkly belly any longer, he'd be one hateful POS. Fortunately he's not. That's one place my perspective is coming from -- a long-term relationship where we actually have dealt with many physical changes over the years. (We met something like 25 years ago -- show me someone who doesn't change in 25 years.)

As for "obese" -- feh. You have no proof he's obese, and you certainly have no proof that obese people can't be sexy to their chosen partners (it's not like the guy wants to have sex with you anyway). Just look around you any day, you'll see fat people walking around holding hands and gazing into each other's eyes like anyone else.
Posted by Eirene on July 13, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Rubykelp 165
I'm fat. My husband is fat. We have fluctuated with weight for the time we have been together. The one thing that has always been there is the attraction we feel for each other. That has not wavered. I was attracted to him in the beginning when he was 60 pounds over weight. Because HE TURNS ME ON. As for sex? 2 times a day almost every day with dirty texting, phone calls, hot quick fondling, surprise passionate kissing in between.
If you aren't attracted to him because he needs to lose weight, you were really never attracted to him in the first place. He was just convenient.
Posted by Rubykelp on July 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
166
@Eirene and Rubykelp, in this case the husband put on a lot of weight in only 3 years (not 25), without the excuse of pregnancy, and it is not okay with the wife, which is what matters, not that you may find fat people sexy. It is unreasonable for you to expect LBS to share your taste, especially since that was not what she signed up for. You also make it sound as if she could just make herself want the fat version of him - that's actually the vibe I get from many of the women here, and maybe it is true for some women, but is it universally true that women can do that? Certainly, most men couldn't.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 13, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
167
LBS - what the fuck? Your grand price to your hubby for hitting his weight goal is ONCE A WEEK?

If I were him I'd rather stroke it and be fat than put up with your hyper-proscriptive attitude about sex.
Posted by fetish on July 13, 2012 at 1:58 PM · Report this
168
@GIMP: That was an awful betrayal of trust, she doesn't deserve you. I think it's an important distinction to make that this is something that happens in all kinds of relationships, not just those between a devotee and a person with a disability; I'd liken it to posting nude pictures of one's partner online.

Most devotees don't objectify their partners, and the attraction to the disability is just a small part of an otherwise healthy relationship. It's stories like this one, though, that give devotees the undeserved reputation as fetishizing stalkers.
Posted by JD101 on July 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
mydriasis 169
@ sissou
First you say...

"Would you care to explain what feelings would non-monogamy from your partner elicit in you ?"

And I think, "Oh. Cheating. I'd dump him."
But then you say...

"And also understand that I'm not talking about someone promising not to do something and then doing it on the sly - I meant, supposing that both had agreed on non-monogamy for both, beforehand ; no lying."

I wouldn't agree to it.
It's no an acceptable option for me whatsoever. I realize that's probably not very helpful but feel free to ask anything else on the subject that you can think of?
Posted by mydriasis on July 13, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
mydriasis 170
@cocky

"You also make it sound as if she could just make herself want the fat version of him - that's actually the vibe I get from many of the women here, and maybe it is true for some women, but is it universally true that women can do that?"

NO.

I hate the reputation my gender gives me sometimes.
Posted by mydriasis on July 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM · Report this
mydriasis 171
@165

"If you aren't attracted to him because he needs to lose weight, you were really never attracted to him in the first place. He was just convenient. "

Haha! Bullshit.
Not everyone finds obesity sexy.
Posted by mydriasis on July 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM · Report this
172
is it universally true that women can do that? Certainly, most men couldn't.

Most people, male or female, do, in my experience. That is, they don't have to make a huge effort, they just don't STOP being attracted to the person they married because of something superficial changing. Naturally that doesn't necessarily hold for short-term relationships, and I wouldn't expect it to, but if you're planning on being in for the long haul (not everyone is cut out for that, I'm sure), you've got to be prepared to roll with your own and the other person's inevitable body changes.
Posted by Eirene on July 13, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 173
JD101 @101: “Most devotees don't objectify their partners.”

I thought that was the definition of a devotee.

Eirene @172: “Most people, male or female, do, in my experience. That is, they don't have to make a huge effort, they just don't STOP being attracted to the person they married because of something superficial changing.”

Like you say, I think that’s something that happens when you’ve been together a long time. When you look at a person you see not just the person they are today, but also the cute nineteen-year-old you had such a crush on back in the day. The two images are superimposed in a way. I remember my aunt and my grandmother arguing with me about my father’s hair colour. I said it was black, they said it was light brown — which it probably had been, thirty years earlier. Even after he walked into the room they couldn’t see that his hair had darkened.
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on July 13, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Rubykelp 174
@171 -"Not everyone finds obesity sexy."

I'm not saying that. I am pointing out the superficiality of the writer's letter. If your relationship is based on surface physicality then the chances are small that that relationship will last. Bodies change, people gain/lose weight due to a million things. If that genuine attraction isn't there, it really won't be there when that person gains/loses weight.
Posted by Rubykelp on July 13, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
mydriasis 175
@ Eirene

For some people attraction is more physical and for some people attraction has more to do with love. You can love a person very much but I think most people have a point where their partner's appearance (or smell, or etc) becomes so repulsive that no matter how much they still love them, they aren't attracted to them.

I think that people run the gamut from attraction being more love based to being more visually based but I don't think that has any bearing on whether the person is "cut out" for monogamy. Luckily I've never lost attraction to someone I was in a relationship with but if he was covered in horrible burns all over his body I might not feel attraction to him (burn wounds can be distracting!) even though I still love him very much.

Not that anyone cares but IMHO it's not shallow to base attraction on appearance. What's shallow is letting appearance-based attraction determine love. As long as love is independent of appearance then I think we're fine.

/rant
Posted by mydriasis on July 13, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
mydriasis 176
@ Ruby

I understood your premise but I don't really agree with it. (See my post above)

The idea that "true" attraction is impervious to any influence from what the person actually looks like is some serious Disney nonsense.
Posted by mydriasis on July 13, 2012 at 3:33 PM · Report this
177
@38 This white girl appropriation of street/gang/prison slang and mannerisms has to stop ! I don't think you could make a shiv out of a knife... As for the letter, I feel horribly for gimp, but she already has something most of us don't. She's very honest with herself and she's n
Posted by Chimo on July 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Rubykelp 178
@mydraisis

Maybe I should use a different word instead, like value. Value takes the form of respect, admiration, lots of attention. Overall it appears she does not value him and willing to withhold sex (punishment/reward system) is a totally asshole move.
Posted by Rubykelp on July 13, 2012 at 5:22 PM · Report this
mydriasis 179
@ Ruby

Um, I can see where you're coming from there.

I don't know if that's the case with her, I'd imagine it's more like "I'm not attracted to him but if I force myself to have sex with him despite this will I be able to convince him that it's worthwhile to get back to the way he looked before?" * and thefore we will have willing/exciting sex again.

Personally I can't force myself to have sex with someone I don't find physically attractive. I'd have a very different career if I could.

In any case I think using sex as a 'reward' is kind of tacky in the context of a loving LTR so I think we're essentially on the same page.
Posted by mydriasis on July 13, 2012 at 5:36 PM · Report this
180
The idea that "true" attraction is impervious to any influence from what the person actually looks like is some serious Disney nonsense.

Oh, not absolutely impervious, of course not. But I think it's just as silly to see it all the other way and say that it's a "breach of contract" to "let yourself go," as cockyballsup put it. In real life, this kind of thing happens all the time, and most people actually adapt fine to typical body changes in their partners. Being totally used to people insulates you from that kind of thing. Heck, with people I'm very familiar with, it's not so often that I step back and really see them anyway. One of my relatives is in her late eighties, and it's only very recently that I really saw her as "old." Someone who'd just met her five or ten years ago would likely have a very different view.
Posted by Eirene on July 13, 2012 at 7:07 PM · Report this
181
Ms Driasis - Willing, presumably, but it would be easy to make a case doubting it was ever exciting.

#175 seems almost a parallel to the transition story of last month in which the author's husband became her wife.

Mr Balls - I think it's been established that we can't say definitively which is the cart and which is the horse.

Posted by vennominon on July 13, 2012 at 8:15 PM · Report this
sissoucat 182
@169 mydriasis

Yeah, your answer was not really helpful. Let me try again : why wouldn't you agree to non-cheating non-monogamy, I mean, the real reasons deep down ? Is it principles, then which ones ? Is it feelings, then which ones ? What kind of bad events would you expect to happen out of it ? Have you ever experienced anything that you didn't like, linked to something even remotely similar to sharing a sex partner (like when someone has dated one of your exes), or are you talking from theory more than from practice ?

I mean, I would have answered like you before being cheated on - but the actual experience was nothing like what I expected. My pro-monogamy stance was not very well thought out, it was just coherent with how I had been raised (people thought of as property, sex only for procreation or as a cement in a procreative relationship, sex not supposed to be ever enjoyable for me as a survivor, sex never considered for its enjoyment value only, but always in relation with building a relationship).

So, since you're a pretty articulate woman who seems to know her own mind, I'd love to know the grounds for your (and any other female posters', feel free to join in) pro-monogamy stance - since I can't use the stupidities of my raising as valid grounds against monogamishy.
Posted by sissoucat on July 14, 2012 at 1:50 AM · Report this
183
Sissou,

And also understand that I'm not talking about someone promising not to do something and then doing it on the sly - I meant, supposing that both had agreed on non-monogamy for both, beforehand ; no lying.

I've been cheated on by my husband.


How'd he do that? Was he secretly faithful?
Posted by Hunter78 on July 14, 2012 at 4:21 AM · Report this
mydriasis 184
@ Sissou

Okay, that's easier to work with.

Hm. Okay, let me start off by saying it's not a matter of principle. I don't think poly vs. mono is an ethical issue inherently - which is to say I don't think that poly relationships are inherently wrong or bad, they're just not for me. So everyone who's poly and wants to jump all over me for "attacking" poly relationships or whatever, keep in mind that I'm answering a direct question about why I'm not interested in them.

So why am I personally monogamous? There's many reasons, so I'll break them down (in no particular order)

1. Feelings

I consider myself somewhat naturally inclined to monogamy. When I'm in a relationship I tend to not even register other guys. I have no interest in pursuing others. On top of that I'm a pretty jealous person. I've never had a friend date an ex but I tend to dislike the girls my exes date beyond what's rational (even if I have absolutely NO interest in that ex). I've never been cheated on. So in terms of direct experience it's based on theory but it's an educated guess. I'm also a very competitive person. In the context of casual sex I don't care if the person I'm sleeping with is also sleeping with others (I'm very black and white about relationships v. casual sex) but I wouldn't want them getting with a friend of mine because of that competitiveness. I've also never been in a relationship with a guy who didn't express some degree of jealousness.

2. Pragmatics

One day I want to do the whole "get married, have kids" thing. Our culture isn't really optimally set up to accomodate that in a poly context.

In the context of my life now? There are (to my mind) two basic groups of poly relationships. The first is being in a monogamish relationship with the freedom of being single on the side and the second is a full on "multiple girlfriends/boyfriends" situation.

The former doesn't make any sense whatsoever for me and my needs. In my book, being single is a lot of fucking work. It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I'm very picky and so finding someone I'm even remotely attracted to involves endless sifting. It's not fun. If I'm in a relationship with someone I find attractive and I know is good in bed, why would I take a step back down to singledom and deal with all that bullshit again? Why would I (even for one night) choose a 99.9% chance of garbage over a 100% chance of being with someone worthwhile? Doesn't make sense.

Then there's the latter. No. Just no. Again, I'm lucky if I meet someone worthwhile every couple years let alone multiple people at once. Then there's the whole issue of balance (three people seems unfair in a hetero context). Plus, again, if I want to go on to have a stable "settled down" relationship I don't want to have to deal with that clusterfuck of legality/paternity/living situation etc. It's just so so needless for no discernable payoff to my mind.

3. Health!

Yes, that's right. Poly relationships up the chance of STIs (another experience I'm glad to say I've never had to deal with). Again, for what payoff?

4. Life experience

Number of healthy monogamous relationships I've seen: some.

Number of healthy poly relationships I've seen: none.

Oh sure, strangers on the internet (people who write in to Dan, people in the comments section) can go on about how it's so great. But what they describe sounds utterly unappealing to me and I'm getting their version. I don't know how their partner feels, I don't see how the relationship works, so it doesn't really hold much weight in my books.

What I have seen many times in real life is one partner who gives less of a shit than the other and decides to 'open up' the relationship. The other one doesn't want to lose them so he/she puts up with it despite the fact that it's painful. Sometimes the relationships fall apart quickly, sometimes they fall apart much later but they've always fallen apart (in my experience).

Obviously that's anecdotal and doesn't prove anything but when you haven't physically seen even one non-shitty example of something it doesn't really encourage you to try it. Especially when your gut, your logic, your partner, and your concern for your sexual health all say "NO" to poly.

That's for me. That's for my life and my experience. I have zero interest in "converting" people and if they want to do things that way it's their business and I'm sure it does work for some people and that's great.
More...
Posted by mydriasis on July 14, 2012 at 6:35 AM · Report this
185
If you believe in evolution and psychology, then you must accept that each is true from perspective of the other. Evo-psych.

Psychology is notoriously unmetric. And we know much too little of the operation and interoperation of genes to know much about how they affect our behavior. But the synthesis, if you hold both valid, should provide room for description, analysis, and perhaps judgement. But this doesn't rule out lousy evo-psych.

But look at last week. All the posters were saying confidence is important for a man to be attractive to women. No one was saying it the other way around. Nor would it be true-- men don't care how confident that waitress he's ogling is.

So what's the explanation? Was this attitude the product of men beating it into women? Ludicrous. The EP can jump up and say, "The woman is looking for a provider-protector. The confident man is more likely to succeed." True? Can't tell. But it beats alternate explanations and none.
Posted by Hunter78 on July 14, 2012 at 6:58 AM · Report this
186
185-Hunter--

I do like evolutionary psychology in general. I agree that it's subject to misinterpretation as there are people who learn only a little about it and race to all sorts of unwarranted conclusions. Just like there are armchair doctors and armchair everythings.

I don't agree that no one would advise an insecure pimply faced young woman to act confident. No one did because she didn't write to Dan, but if she had, that would have been on my list.

In fact, confidence is what's behind almost every bit of advice given to women. Take, for example, whether she should wear make-up. I've heard the advice that women should wear make-up, not because it makes them look better, but because it bespeaks confidence. It's her way of saying that she's confident in herself, that she's not afraid of attracting attention. Conversely, I've heard the advice that women shouldn't wear make-up because going without looks more confident. It's her way of saying that she's positive she looks great just the way she is.
Posted by Crinoline on July 14, 2012 at 7:22 AM · Report this
187
Myd,

Glad to see you're talking about yourself as monogamous.

So how many times have you been monogamous? For how long?

Posted by Hunter78 on July 14, 2012 at 7:46 AM · Report this
188
Crin,

Confidence is important for women. But it's not what guys are looking for.

In fact, a timid woman may look appealing. Submissive.
Posted by Hunter78 on July 14, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
sissoucat 189
@Hunter troll - you must really be bored out of your mind... so what's your job, then ? Are you 78 as born in 1978, or as Austin, TX ?
Posted by sissoucat on July 14, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
190
@185:

"If you believe in evolution and psychology, then you must accept that each is true from perspective of the other. Evo-psych."

This is true, but misleading.

You can believe in both, yet believe that the connections people draw between them are wrong (or at least that they're no more than guesses).
Posted by James Hutchings on July 14, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
mydriasis 191
@ James

Thank you.

Measurement is real. The skull is real. If you understand both, you must believe in phrenology.

Hunter's really showing his ignorance here.
Posted by mydriasis on July 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
sissoucat 192
@mydriasis

Thanks a lot for the long reply.

Point 1 doesn't apply to me, but I'm very interested in your link between competitivity and jealousy. I happen to be totally non-competitive, although I usually do try to be the best I can be. I keep my efforts mostly private, to avoid competition, since I get no extra pleasure from being the best, and I hate being the worst. It's the efforts that give me joy, not the results. Perhaps my curious absence of jealousy stems from my personal distaste of competition ? Not to say there's anything wrong with being healthily competitive or jealous.

I've already covered point 2 in my life, and badly, though monogamously ; a very valid point. I happen to think now that monogamish relationships would be better to raise the kids, but it's all theory and no practice. Point 3 is very valid too - hopefully condoms should help. I have no data on point 4 : nobody in my age group has ever admitted to me to being polyamourous. Polygamy doesn't count, since the wives are not allowed to have more than one partner ; polygamy is a horror story that I've seen up close.

The payoff of being monogamish is : having very hot sex with other(s) guy(s) without causing any pain to my main lover whatsoever, since he agrees with it. And I'm pretty sure he does agree with all his heart. We don't live together. He's older and he likes to come and go as he wishes. You could call that a casual sex situation with friendship. But in fact it's more than that, our form of attachment runs very deep.

On my side, I'm not getting any younger and my ability to still interest guys whom I like (I'm picky too) is short-limited. And, while not ugly, I've never been that physically attractive to begin with. I don't want to miss out on that.
More...
Posted by sissoucat on July 14, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
mydriasis 193
@ Sissou

I don't think competitiveness and jealousy always go hand in hand. I think I would be a jealous type either way but the competitiveness definitely amps it up. So the whole "okay but I'm also prettier than her, right?" thing adds to it. I don't like being competitive. It mostly puts me at risk of feeling insecure which I don't like.

Re: condoms - Yeah outside of a relationship I'm religious about condom use - but they aren't perfect. They can break and leak and they don't effectively protect against HPV or herpes. I'm vaccinated against the most common forms of the former but still. The more people you involve, the greater risk you are at catching STIs (all other things kept equal).

Yeah, as for your situation it sounds like a very noncomittal relationship (he comes and goes as he pleases) to me I would consider that more as an FWB than poly? I've had FWBs where it wasn't one on one but that's not a relationship to my mind. And I had zero romantic feelings towards that person.

As for hot sex with other people? *shrug*
Honestly I've been with enough people to not have any curiousity anymore. If you're with someone who's top tier, chances are anyone else you could have sex with would be a step down. With a LOT of effort put in to even find someone who looks appealing. Lots of work, little payoff, needless risk, complicated, etc.

Doesn't appeal!
Posted by mydriasis on July 14, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
194
Major Austensplaining:

(Mr)Ms (Darcy)Driasis - I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six (accomplished women)attractive men. I now rather wonder at your knowing any.

Sorry, I couldn't resist that one, and there's a decent chance that Ms Cute will not be alone in appreciating it. (I hope Mr J is still among us, poor dear; he might derive the greatest enjoyment of anyone.) In truth, I could echo a good deal of post 184, the biggest differences being that I'm not particularly jealous and that I ought to receive a government stipend for refusing on principle to reproduce(not that I faced much demand). True, my perspective is backwards; during my period of activity it took me two or three years to find anyone who could at all see the point of me, while Ms Driasis is the other way around, but it comes out remarkably similar.

Just for fun, though, there was one short sentence in #184 that illustrated beautifully why Ms Driasis struck me as having the capcity to resemble Sister Mary Ignatius. Would anyone care to venture a guess?
Posted by vennominon on July 14, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
195
176: "The idea that "true" attraction is impervious to any influence from what the person actually looks like is some serious Disney nonsense."

You had better hope you are wrong, or your own future is mighty bleak. Nobody, and I mean nobody, looks the same at 50 -- hell, even 35 -- as they did at 23. If being able to overlook the ravages of time were a Disney fairy tale, there wouldn't be a married set of parents in the world, let alone grandparents. Everyone whose kids had reached 18 or who had otherwise hit 40 would be divorced, bitter, and lonely, while at the same time rejecting every potential mate of their own age. (And probably, foolishly, hitting on the likes of you -- a prospect that I already know makes you recoil in disgust -- because that's the standard of what constitutes "attractive").

Sure, I'm overstating the case, but so are you with the word "impervious." No, people aren't rendered blind by age, or by love. But they make allowances.

And so is "letting oneself go" a rather cruel overstatement in the majority of cases. Metabolisms slow, injuries and maladies accumulate, it becomes harder to maintain what was effortless in youth. Try keeping up that thrice-weekly 5K run with a good case of sciatica or plantar fasciitis, or when you're up four times a night with a fussy baby. People undergo difficult periods that cause them to put on weight (pregnancy, stress, medication) and then those fat cells are there for the rest of one's life; they never disappear, only deflate, waiting for the next restaurant meal to store away whatever excess calories they can grab.

You too, myd, are one day going to be old and ugly, just like the rest of us. Nobody escapes it. Best hope Disney had nothing to do with being able to see past it.
More...
Posted by avast2006 on July 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
mydriasis 196
@ Ven

They say it costs over $100 000 over 18 years to raise a child. To raise a child. Let alone multiple children. :p

I think not having children is a wonderfully noble thing and should be rewarded. But financially speaking, not having children is its own reward.

Anyway, now to the good part. Was it the sentence where I offered to break it down? Perhaps I should become a nun...
Posted by mydriasis on July 14, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
mydriasis 197
@ avast

Sigh.

Read my other posts. I'm not in the mood to recondense and synthesize them so you can see that I actually don't disagree with anything you said.
Posted by mydriasis on July 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
nocutename 198
Thank you, avast2006, for #195.

The truth is that it is possible for people's attractions to each other wax and wane and they may disappear or be dramatically diminished forever, but that the reasons for the loss of attraction is not necessarily because of a change in looks or weight gain or loss.

I was married to a man whose looks didn't noticeably change for 25 years, beyond the normal changes of aging: his body at 28 (which is how old he was when I met him), remains virtually identical to his body at 56. He is average weight and body type, and hasn't lost or gained more than maybe five pounds in all that time, nor has he started or stopped working out in a greater degree than he has done his entire adult life. He never sprouted wiry bushes of hair out of his nose or eyebrows, and he never "let himself go." His hair loss remained constant, but I've never found baldness or near-baldness unattractive. He is consistently taken for being 5-8 years younger than he is. Yet I lost all sexual attraction for him by the time he was 40. This, to me, was less about the way he looked than the sexual dynamic we had in place.

I have had two boyfriends whom I can not imagine I would ever be one jot less attracted to, despite any changes their bodies underwent as time has its cruel way with them. The attraction was almost in spite of their looks, if that makes sense.

Mr. Ven, @194: Your Austensplaning was dead-on, although that is an Elizabethan, rather than Darcynian utterance. As far as the Sr. Mary Ignatius reference, I am afraid I am unfamiliar with the text.
Posted by nocutename on July 14, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
199
In all the frequency of sex discussions that happen in the comments section, I don't think anyone has ever addressed how changeable and dynamic libido is, over time.
In my nearly 20 year relationship, frequency has ranged from once a month to twice a day-- It is entirely normal for the sex drive to disappear entirely for substantial amount of time after the birth of a child (this might range from 3 months to 2 years duration). Libido is also greatly influenced by other demands on time-- if you have three young children you probably don't have the same sex drive as you will have ten years later when those children require less moment to moment energy.
Now that I am in my mid forties, I find the libido has amped way up from my thirties--Why? Free time, more energy, more self knowledge, etc.

Also, in reference to the letter from the woman wanting her hubby to slim down.....I don't think weight is really the problem. And, if it is-- if some extra poundage on a man she truly loves has killed her libido--that doesn't bode well for a lifetime relationship with anyone, does it?
After all, no one stays the hot, young person we originally fell for-- we all age (some more gracefully than others). In my definition, love creates and includes attraction. If I compare a picture of my 49 year old husband to the 29 year old young man I first met, I suppose the the former would be, objectively speaking, less physically attractive. But, I find my husband hot, in the here and now. And that feeling on my part is probably only slightly related to his current "looks"-- it is instead, a layering of all the feelings of attraction I have had toward him for all these years.....
Posted by DeirdresTours on July 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
200
In all the frequency of sex discussions that happen in the comments section, I don't think anyone has ever addressed how changeable and dynamic libido is, over time.
In my nearly 20 year relationship, frequency has ranged from once a month to twice a day--

It is entirely normal for the sex drive to disappear entirely for substantial amount of time after the birth of a child (this might range from 3 months to 2 years duration). Libido is also greatly influenced by other demands on time-- if you have three young children you probably don't have the same sex drive as you will have ten years later when those children require less moment to moment energy. For periods of time, either mine or my spouse's drive has been influenced (both positively and negatively) by prescription meds or illnesses. There have been periods of time when my husband was seriously unsatisfied with the lack of frequency AND periods of time when I was left wanting more frequency.
Now that I am in my mid forties, I find the libido has amped way up from my thirties--Why? Free time, more energy, more self knowledge, etc. Alas, as my husband enters midlife, he no longer is focused on daily sex. Over the years, we have both settled for less than we really wanted AND put in effort to give more than we really wanted. How else could two people live together for a lifetime??

Also, in reference to the letter from the woman wanting her hubby to slim down.....I don't think weight is really the problem. And, if it is-- if some extra poundage on a man she truly loves has killed her libido--that doesn't bode well for a lifetime relationship with anyone, does it?
After all, no one stays the hot, young person we originally fell for-- we all age (some more gracefully than others). In my definition, love creates and includes attraction. If I compare a picture of my 49 year old husband to the 29 year old young man I first met, I suppose the the former would be, objectively speaking, less physically attractive. But, I find my husband every bit as hot, in the here and now as I did then. And that feeling on my part is probably only slightly related to his current "looks"-- it is instead, a layering of all the feelings of attraction I have had toward him for all these years.....
More...
Posted by DeirdresTours on July 14, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
nocutename 201
@199/200 (Deridres Tours),
From time to time people have had long conversations about just that phenomenon here, but you did a nice job of covering it. Your final paragraph was particularly well-put.

Mr. Ven, sorry, I misspelled: I meant, of course, Austensplaining.

Posted by nocutename on July 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
202
Austensplaining is always a plus (okay, unless you start attacking traveling on Sundays or something).
Posted by Eirene on July 14, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
203
@avast: "Nobody, and I mean nobody, looks the same at 50 -- hell, even 35 -- as they did at 23."
@DeirdresTours: "I don't think weight is really the problem." and variants of it.

We are not talking about 20 years or more here, with a gradually growing belly or hair loss. This appears to be a rather drastic change over only 3 years. No extenuating circumstances (e.g., babies) are mentioned. To me this means the husband does not particularly like sex (or he would keep himself in sexy shape) and he does not have much respect or consideration for his wife, given that he couldn't be bothered keeping himself nice for her. So your implicit assumption that the women must be at fault for her loss of attraction here still really bothers me. Would you be as hard on a husband who married a chic wife who then suddenly started wearing only pyjamas and curlers and stopped going to the dentist as soon as she got married.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
204
LBS- why don't you suggest eating better, joining a gym together, running a 5k together. I think if you approach the weight loss positively you will have better results. By telling him you will "reward" him with sex it sends a negative message. It might make him withdraw and gain more weight.
Posted by Drlove on July 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM · Report this
205
To me this means the husband does not particularly like sex (or he would keep himself in sexy shape)

You do realize this is just not a connection everyone makes? I go to the gym and what not for my general health. Sure, that's related to sexuality in a very, very general sort of way, but I've never personally made a big connection between exercising and maintaining/enhancing sexiness.
Posted by Eirene on July 14, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
206
I thought the column title was some kind of homage for Woody Guthrie's centennial.
Posted by danfan on July 14, 2012 at 5:25 PM · Report this
207
Speaking for myself, the sex became less frequent in my marriage because after awhile orgasm was only a 50/50 prospect for a given night. Enter the vibrator. It took him some getting used to, but Tuesday night, two year old finnaly to sleep and work on the morning for both of us, and now I can fuck with no trepidation at all. Why this had not occurred to me before, I don't know. Thank you Dan
Posted by Zbot on July 14, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
208
Mr Balls - Couldn't you write a letter from his point of view spelling out that her constant rejection of his advances led him to seek comfort in the company of a large quantity of Double Stuf Oreos? (Or, alternatively, that the actualy weight gain is ten pounds - there are plenty of possible variations.) Cart-horse; horse-cart. If it makes you feel any better, I'll Carrollsplain and call them all very unpleasant people. You seem very invested for a heterosexual problem.
Posted by vennominon on July 15, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
209
Ms Eirene - Ah, yes, Sunday-traveling, the one thing that always hinted to me that Miss Austen herself saw Anne Elliot as being something along the line of a seasoned Fanny Price.

Ms Cute - I thought I'd made it clear that I was addressing Ms Driasis just as Miss E. Bennet addressed Mr Darcy, but there was certainly possibility for confusion.
Posted by vennominon on July 15, 2012 at 9:58 AM · Report this
210
@ #203 "We are not talking about 20 years or more here, with a gradually growing belly or hair loss. This appears to be a rather drastic change over only 3 years. No extenuating circumstances (e.g., babies) are mentioned"

I didn't mean to imply that only extenuating circumstances affect libido-- I only meant to list some of the larger things that can affect it. My experience is that libido is constantly changing--for many different or even, no apparent reasons.
The letter writer didn't seem at all confident that weight loss would make her husband more attractive to her-- not did she specify how extreme the gain might have been. Are we talking 10 pounds or 100? It is difficult to tell. She says "beer belly", not "morbidly obese" so I am guessing she means maybe 20-30 lbs. My own weight has fluctuated FAR more in marriage without seeming to affect my husbands view of me. And his has had a 60 pound range with no affect on my view of his attractiveness (although it did prompt some nagging about his long term health).
Even aside from the letter writer's distaste for her spouse's body-- I find the use of sex as a manipulative reward a big turn off (oddly, spontaneous use of sex as a reward seems totally ok to me-- like discovering the hubby has done some nasty house chore neither of us wanted to do might result in an immediate and joyfully delivered blowjob).

Posted by DeirdresTours on July 15, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
211
Ms Driasis - The Sisterlike sentence was, "I've never been cheated on." It had authority, a nunlike merging of faith and fact, and, most Sisterlike of all, perhaps likely to raise an eyebrow or two amongst the audience.

As far as the government stipend, I meant it much more personally. One of me is quite enough for the world and then some besides. A new and improved version might wreak total havoc on the poor planet.
Posted by vennominon on July 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
mydriasis 212
@211

Oh I feel like the "that I know of" is pretty much a tautology in that case so I omit it.

As for your second point... sometimes that apple falls quite far from the tree. But in any case I have a lot of love for people who choose not to have kids.
Posted by mydriasis on July 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
nocutename 213
@209 (Mr.Ven): Of course! Right you are. My idiocy.
Interesting casting: you as Elizabeth Bennet and mydriasis as Mr. Darcy.
Posted by nocutename on July 15, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
sissoucat 214
@mydriasis

Thanks for your input. I agree that my current relationship could be considered as FWB, although enjoying life together once in a while, and deeply caring for each other seems more than that to me. What "romantic feelings" means I've never been very sure of, like many people who didn't have a normal childhood. Lust, caring I feel, romance no.

@vennominon

Of course the choice of reproducing is yours, and more power to you, but from reading your comments on The Stranger for a bit of time already, I fail to see how you could be that bad of a human being... you seem pretty decent to me.
Posted by sissoucat on July 16, 2012 at 3:33 AM · Report this
215
Ms Sissou - Although my most conscious role model is Miss Marple, I probably more resemble Cordelia Flyte or Cassandra. It's not the evil people the world can't take but the misfits.
Posted by vennominon on July 16, 2012 at 5:51 AM · Report this
216
Ms Cute/Ms Eirene - Passing quickly onto more profitable speculation, has either of you an opinion as to a more exact amount of Mrs Elton's fortune than "so many thousands as would always be called ten" or "as near ten thousand pounds as makes no difference"? Personally, I've always thought those two estimates contradict each other as to whether it's more or less than nine thousand, five hundred.
Posted by vennominon on July 16, 2012 at 6:05 AM · Report this
nocutename 217
@216: Well, it's obviously rounded up and I'd guess that it was somewhere above 8.5 or closer to 9 and a bit. I never saw a contradiction in those descriptions. The real question is, who's saying it? Both Mrs. Elton and her Caro Sposo would be given to inflation; Mr. Knightly, Mr. Weston, Emma, et. al. would politely not make a correction. But they'd think it.
Posted by nocutename on July 16, 2012 at 7:16 AM · Report this
218 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
219
Actually I've asked my husband to encourage me to diet with the promise of sex. However I've been thinner before and he still didn't want it then so I kind of feel like going through the deprivation won't be worth it. A glass of wine or a nice dinner is much needed when you don't get any.
But if he promised he would actually fuck me if I got down to a size 8 (a 6 in the US) I'd be down the gym all day and avoiding carbs like nobody's business! *sighs*
Posted by Grigio on July 16, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
220
@Grigio, do it for yourself, not for him. It sounds as if you are eating and drinking out of depression, and that kind of cycle only ever gets worse. Exercising will be good for your own health and confidence. You will feel that at least you have other options if your current relationship is as sexually on the rocks as it sounds.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM · Report this
221
Hi, this is 28 back again. I began with a long post about what exactly is wrong with being a devotee in the first place, but deleted it for being kind of pedantic and kind of beside the point to GIMP's actual problem, I.E. being in love with with a lying piece of shit who doesn't give her the respect she deserves as a smart, professional person who has overcome a good deal in life.

But it seems that a lot of people are puzzled about this whole objectification issue. So, here goes. I'll try not to be annoying.

Most of us have physical trait related ideas of beauty. That's fine. Say someone likes blondes. That's great, and if s/he can find happiness with one, so much the better. Nothing is wrong with finding someone you think is beautiful, or with being found beautiful, for whatever reason.

Now say someone likes blondes because they've internalized every dumb blonde joke on the planet and being with someone who is intellectually inferior turns them on because they like to be in a position of superiority. THAT CRAP IS NOT OK.

I believe my current romance owes its beginning to my enormous breasts. I'm fine with this because my ladyfriend (also a member of a highly fetishized subset of the population) respects me and is kind and generous and amusing and we enjoy eachother immensely. If I find out that my physical abnormalities had a hand in her attraction for me, this will all still be true and it won't matter. Our fetishizable traits have not impeded our ability to see one another as people.

I've also dated people who needed the ego boost they got from feeling that they had to take care of me. I've also been seen as a "project". For comparison, I've known BBWs who have dated people who got off on the idea that that woman was all theirs because nobody else would want her. Any of these things is disrespectful and dehumanizing. The devotee community is, in my experience, full of similar viewpoints.

In conclusion, it is not impossible to lust after someone with a disability because of that disability and still be an OK human being. Maybe they just think the resulting physical traits are hot, or are drawn to the strength of character necessary to live a productive life despite such differences. It just isn't common for someone who identifies as a devotee to think like that. Most of us with physical disadvantages avoid people who identify as devotees because a common DEFENSE is "but I just want to nurture and care for you."

That is creepy and not at all indicative of an equitable relationship.
More...
Posted by KDru on July 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM · Report this
222
Ms Cute - I'm sure you mean Mrs Weston, not Mr Weston, who, after all, invited the Eltons to Box Hill (in honour of which little jaunt I have long wanted to write something with the title Three Things Very Dull Indeed).

Personally, I've always felt the two descriptions to have rather different flavours. Always being called ten suggests a round up from nine, perhaps give or take a couple of hundred. But to make no difference, I'd be inclined, although Mrs E herself doesn't seem all that more thrifty than Mrs Bennet, to think the income within twenty pounds, which, given the Austenian Interest Rate of 5%, would put the fortune at 9,600. At any rate, clearly the Eltons will not at any time soon be acquiring that most status-conferring of objects, the Barouche-Landau.
Posted by vennominon on July 16, 2012 at 8:16 PM · Report this
mydriasis 223
@KDru

Thank you!
I also tried to explain towards the end of last week but your post does a better job of it.
Posted by mydriasis on July 16, 2012 at 8:19 PM · Report this
nocutename 224
@222: I did mean Mrs. Weston. I would have to reread to see who the narrator's voice is next to in those two examples, but if it is either of the Eltons, then I'd assume that it is only so "near as to make no difference" to the way they wish to be seen.

@221 (KDru): I echo mydriasis. Thank you for your eloquence, and I'm glad you found a girlfriend who's not a devotee.
Posted by nocutename on July 16, 2012 at 8:34 PM · Report this
mydriasis 225
@ Sissou

I'm reminded of my mother, again. I tried explaining to her what I'm about to explain to you and I think she just thought it was crazy.

In a romantic relationship (or a romantic relationship worth having) my feeling about it is that there's three dimensions. The first one is sexual. Sometimes I have one dimensional relationships where that's all there is.

Sometimes I also like the person as a friend, say, I may even love them as a friend (although this is rare) but this is still a distinctly different experience for me than a complete relationship. It's quite clearly two-dimensional.

The third dimension, I'd hesitate to call 'romance' because the word is associated with so many petty, superficial, insincere things. The third dimension is a connection, it's like chemistry but not like sexual chemistry. Like soul chemistry. Hard to explain.

Anyway some people think the third dimension is just a synthesis of the two. Like purple coming from red and blue. But it's definitely not. Not for me anyway. Having both height and width is not the same as having depth. Depth doesn't spring forth every time height and width combine.

Anyway that's just how I see it.

I guess I could also euphemistically say that I didn't have a normal childhood. It certain affected me, sexually, in certain textbook ways but I was lucky in other ways. Being able to experience the third dimension is one of those ways. I'm beyond thankful for it. I know for some people that ability was not left intact.
Posted by mydriasis on July 16, 2012 at 8:36 PM · Report this
226
Completely agree with avast2006: using sex as a reward for weight loss is going to cause the husband to deeply internalize that wife is not really attracted to him. What a horrible thing to do to someone you love.
Posted by Suzy on July 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM · Report this
227
Sissou's question was: "why wouldn't you agree to non-cheating non-monogamy".

Answer: First, I like to have the full and undivided attention of the partner. I was an only child--maybe that's the deeper psychological reason. I would become frustrated, bored, and resentful if I had to wait around for a man who was spending any of his energies on someone else. Work and other life responsibilities already take us further away from our partners than we'd like to be; why add anything else to that mix, especially something as potentially distracting and volatile as an extra lover?

Second, STDs. Yes, I have heard of condoms, and while they are helpful and better than nothing at preventing STDs, if you really, really don't want to get one they are meaningless. Periodic testing is meaningless.

Third, the connection and experiences I have with a long term monogamous partner are more intense, fascinating, and fulfillng, so non-monogamy would likely make me feel as if I was settling for second best.

These are the reasons why I wouldn't want a non-monogamous relationship with anyone at my age. When I was younger I would have been glad to be in one--indeed, I tried and failed to arrange this on multiple occasions. I have many more reasons for wanting to be monogamous with my particular husband, an extensive and highly personal list of reasons I wouldn't share, but these are generic reasons why I am no longer interested in non-monogamy. I have no problem with other people choosing it, of course--what they prefer is their business.
Posted by Suzy on July 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM · Report this
228
@110: Actually, I think Shitt Romney needs to be decked with a Santorum cream pie!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 17, 2012 at 12:58 AM · Report this
sissoucat 229
@216 and @217 The narrator is saying the first one. The two estimates already cited do seem to contradict themselves - but is the second one an actual quote ? On chapter IV, the narrator describes the future Mrs Elton as having "so many thousands as would always be called ten" and being "a woman of £10,000 or thereabouts". I didn't find any mention of the second quote in this chapter - I'm too lazy to browse the entire novel right now.

@225 When I reflect on myself, I don't seem to find this third dimension you describe - but I know my intimate friends and family see me as a loving and affectionate person, so whether I'm able to love in all three ways and blind to it, or I'm not and I very well pass off without even trying, is a moot point... And as far as feelings go, I think it's foolish to judge someone according to one's own standards, as your mother seems to do. She seems an overbearing person.
Posted by sissoucat on July 17, 2012 at 1:55 AM · Report this
sissoucat 230
@vennominon Being myself some kind of a misfit, I have a great deal of time for them... and misfits may sometimes change the world for the better. Think musicians.

@Suzy thanks for joining in the thread. I'm glad you're happy as you are. Very interesting points. But I think you wouldn't have to wait around for your SO if you had lovers, more than he would have to wait around for you - Don't you have nights outs with your friends sometimes, without your husband ? Doesn't he, too, with his buddies ? Not everybody ever goes out separately of course.

I'm in a peculiar situation and for me, the bigger threat to my now stabilized life of a single mother with three kids, would be to try to include any partner in the mix. I'd rather deal with my own relationships with partners on the side, when my kids are not at home, than have them to have to accomodate to their mother's fancies (right now, a single lover of 3 years, I'm not that whimsical). And I do cherish the alone time I get from not having a constant partner in the house. I sexually bore easily too, with people I know too well.
Posted by sissoucat on July 17, 2012 at 2:29 AM · Report this
mydriasis 231
@Sissou

Being a parent is a very different thing. Ideally I'd like to have a traditional setup if ever had children but if I were single with kids, what's best for me would take a backseat to what's best for them.

As for the third dimension? I think that some people are capable of loving without truly feeling the love that is returned to them. I think it's possible to be close to someone without experiencing that closeness in it's fullness. I've definitely been there.

Or maybe you just look at things differently than I do. Which is also very possible!
Posted by mydriasis on July 17, 2012 at 5:22 AM · Report this
232
Thanks in return, Mydriasis and Nocutename.

I saw many attempts to explain in the comments, but then someone would say something that would cause me to flash back to This Is Spinal Tap. . . "What's wrong with being sexy?" I have no guarantee that my explanation will help any better but I had to try. :)
Posted by KDru on July 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
233
Way late to the party and I'm not gonna read the 300 replies, but weight loss isn't usually a big huge deal; you really DO just have to *want* it bad enough. The vast majority of us (me, too!) who are fat are fat because the desire to eat too much / do too little outweighs the desire to be thin. It's as simple as burn more calories than you eat; it's never been more complicated than that, and we are in total, complete control of how much we eat, what we eat, and how often we exercise. IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE us fat people. NO MORE EXCUSES; I don't care if you were abused as a youngun or never learned to cook or are bad at math, if you put in more calories than you spend you will gain weight.
Posted by sanotehu on July 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
mydriasis 234
@233

but weight loss isn't usually a big huge deal; you really DO just have to *want* it bad enough.... it's never been more complicated than that, and we are in total, complete control of how much we eat, what we eat, and how often we exercise. IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE us fat people.

Ugh. No. Wrong.

When people drown themselves they tie themselves up with rocks. Why? Because they know something you clearly don't.

No matter how much a person wants something, there are times where more primal parts of their body (specifically the brain) take over. A person may want to die but if they try to force themselves to stop breathing an instinct stronger than conscious thought kicks in. The brain is MUCH more complex than just "oh I want x more than y therefore z" No. No no no. Bad.

Oh and this whole "I don't care if you were abused as a youngin" thing? Reprehensible.

Do you have any idea what abuse does to the brain? What it physically does to the brain? I'm talking permanent, here. If a person had a brain tumour and they couldn't walk anymore would you call them lazy and tell them to suck it up? Their muscles are fine, after all!

Oh and lest you think this is in my own interest, it's not. I'm a skinny girl, myself with a ferocious BMR. This kind of "whatever seems to be true must be true" garbage has GOT to fucking stop. Do you also believe the sun goes around the earth?
Posted by mydriasis on July 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
235
Best new voice award: KDru.

Posted by Hunter78 on July 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
236
Most relationships are unequal. Often one partner loves the other more than the other.

Posted by Hunter78 on July 17, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
237
@234 Thank you for once again being a voice of sanity. If weight loss was that simple, the United States would not have an obesity epidemic, and dietitians, exercise physiologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists, and public health specialists would not be working so hard to understand how food is used in the body and the vast interplay between the various factors that affect BMR. That is strictly medical, without even considering the psychosocial factors that may influence things, like depression or access to healthy food.
Posted by tachycardia on July 17, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
238
@233: Sure, it's a simple as burn more calories than you eat, but the problem is that different bodies burn calories differently.

A few years back I read about a study where they took different kinds of people and fed them different diets to calibrate their metabolism. Some of the skinny folks needed to be fed ten thousand calories a day in order to induce weight gain; some of the fat people had to be reduced to six hundred (bear in mind, the staple diet at Auschwitz was estimated at around eleven hundred, and that is considered starvation) in order to induce weight loss. Then they put both groups back on the "standard" 2000 calorie a day diet. The skinnies promptly shed all the weight they had put on for the study, while the fatties shot back up to their baseline weights on that same 2000, all the while complaining of severe hunger. Their fat storage mechanisms were literally starving their bodies of nutrients, while frantically storing calories as if winter was coming on. This, on what was supposed to have been a reasonable calorie load, one that their skinny study compatriots were losing weight on.

So yes, it's that simple, but no, it's not that simple at all.
Posted by avast2006 on July 17, 2012 at 5:54 PM · Report this
mydriasis 239
@238

Oui oui.

This is why some people think that the body has a weight 'set point' (though this is challenged). I think it's at least partly true. Fat actually produces a hormone which drops when fat stores drop. What does this hormone do? Makes you hungry. It tells your brain "I'm hungry!!". That's on top of the hunger you're already getting from the low blood sugar and empty stomach your calorie restricted diet has given you. The low blood sugar is also going to cause lower levels of serotonin in your brain (say goodbye to that sense of wellbeing) and it can also impair your decision making abilities.

Interesting article, here: www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-y…

When I was taking a nutrition class I had to enter in my stats and diet into a program. The program promptly yelled at me for eating too many calories for my size and activity level. But I'm a skinny girl and I haven't ever put on significant weight since I stopped growing. People who act like body weight is some kind of meritocracy are so far off the mark.
Posted by mydriasis on July 17, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this
240
hmmm... just going to add my two cents re poly / mono-amory... i tried (when i was very young) to be mono, because i guess that was the norm i was conditioned with. however i found two problems: the first is that the dynamic is destructive - i can only have that deep soul connection in a poly-dynamic relationship, because the closed circuit nature of the mono dynamic leads to a loss of self, and psychological enmeshment which decreases individual actuation and therefore actual meaningful intimacy. the second problem is that it bases the relationship on sexual exclusivity, which is finite. while i am open to communication with friends on any level, including sex, i am not interested in a 'deep relationship' which is set up to be short-term. i definitely see mono relationships as inherently short-lived. i have had numerous relationships, with different dynamics, many with the same people :-) and i am absolutely not willing to give up my psychological/emotional well-being for the sake of 'simpler' relationship politics.
none of this is about sex, or wanting other partners. that's a whole different discussion.... however, i have two people who i have a deep soul connection with, one of whom i haven't had regular sex with for about 10 years. we have been family for about 18 years. no-one controls my sex-life / vetoes my lovers, except me. i always have someone to go 'home' to. and i am always loved.
Posted by sappho on July 17, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this
mydriasis 241
@ 240

Umm.. don't take this the wrong way but the loss of self you describe typically doesn't happen in people who have an healthy sense of self to begin with. (The terminology you used suggests that you know this but just sayin')

Power to you and knowing what works and doesn't work for you but what you describe isn't inherent to monogamy.

I don't know what you mean about sexual exclusivity being 'finite'?
Posted by mydriasis on July 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM · Report this
mydriasis 242
@ tachycardia

Thank you!
One of my big pet peeves is folks who want things to be simpler than reality so they just pretend that they are.
Posted by mydriasis on July 17, 2012 at 6:54 PM · Report this
243
I agree with the set point idea. I have always been lean no matter how much I ate. Eating more just seems to rev up my metabolism so I burn more calories. It is true that if calories in > calories out, you will put on weight, but people forget that calories out depends on individual resting metabolism, which differs between individuals. I think it is pretty well established that hormones, including but not restricted to thyroid hormones, determine metabolic rate and thus how easily someone will put on weight, independent of how much calories they take in.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 17, 2012 at 7:13 PM · Report this
244
@sissoucat, I am not sure I know the difference between romantic love and the feeling of being IN love. I'm not sure that there is a difference. At least not one I can articulate at this moment.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 17, 2012 at 7:15 PM · Report this
245
@241 by finite i mean it doesn't last for ever. and i don't think '20 years, and then it's over' actually counts for much. i think that it's naive to think that someone will only be with you, and never look at anyone else, forever and always.... if you're onto your second lover, it's time to forget that nonsense.
back to the loss of self... yes yes, i do know. and i do have a specific background that means i do need my autonomy. but i have also observed that there is a tendency for people(in general) to seek a partner to do all those things for them (self-esteem, social status, sexual well-being, mental and physical health maintenance, etc) that they really should be doing for themselves. i think there is a cultural construct around 'romantic love' and 'real relationships', which is actually fostering co-dependence and lack of self-responsibility. or even growing up. and that this means that those relationships are based on roles and expectations, rather than any real connection or commitment to another person. someone wants 'a boyfriend' rather than finding this specific person endearing/special enough to include them in their life / plans / household. from this perspective, i suspect that many 'mono' relationships, and almost all 'conventional' ones are superficial at best.
of course, the moment one is consciously challenging assumptions and negotiating ones relationships, they are no longer 'conventional'....
Posted by sappho on July 17, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
246
*sigh* You can talk all you want about how different people burn calories at different rates, it does *not* change the fact that A) I am in control of what I eat, and B) I am in control of what I do. The weight "crisis" in the states today is a recent phenomenon. What changed? People became more sedentary (watch TV, play video games, argue on the internet), our diets went to hell with all the masses of processed fatty and sugary (high-calorie) foods, we have more disposable income to spend on eating this garbage instead of growing our own vegetables, and we consume much more (and much, much more insidious) advertising of said products. There has NOT been a dramatic increase in the number of traumatized youth, or whatever other nonsense psychologists want us to blame our lack of self control on.

Maybe I overplayed it a little, but for the VAST MAJORITY of overweight people, this is simply a self control / personal responsibility issue. Of course all the big pharmas are chasing chemical reasons; there is a HUGE market for a pill to control weight and they stand to make billions if they can fix it with a pill. When you go to university and take nutrition courses, this is what they teach because big pharmas fund the research that your professors depend upon. The real answer has never changed: eat less, eat healther, exercise more, get your calories out above your calories in, and you WILL lose weight.

Playing the blame game and finding excuses why each individual isn't responsible for themselves isn't doing anyone any good (well, except the psychotherapists and drug companies who sell us pills to "fix" ourselves).
Posted by sanotehu on July 17, 2012 at 9:36 PM · Report this
247
Hmmmm.....and in the July 18th column of Savage Love, it turns out that GIMP's letter is a fake...?
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 17, 2012 at 10:51 PM · Report this
248
@246 I am majoring in exercise physiology, where it is ALL about what you do, the lifestyle choices you make, the areas you can control. The fact that you have a thyroid problem, an adrenal problem, diabetes, PCOS, or any other condition doesn't mean you shouldn't eat healthier, eat an appropriate amount, exercise, and live a generally healthy lifestyle (stay hydrated, sleep, manage stress, don't smoke, limit the alcohol, etc.), but it does mean that you may do all this and not necessarily become thin. I think that is what keeps grinding my nerves, this idea that people would be thin if they just had more self-control, when in my experience, that just isn't true. Most people don't even know what a calorie is. It's a unit determined in a lab, by blowing up food in a special machine called a bomb calorimeter and measuring the energy given off as heat. Guess what: when food hits your stomach, it doesn't explode. So maybe calories aren't even a very accurate way to talk about energy metabolism in the body, just the best we have right now. Instead of some one size fits all standard of size, we should be looking at helping everyone live the healthiest lifestyle possible. Whether that's encouraging a 110lb woman to strength train so she doesn't develop osteoporosis, a 230lb person running a marathon, or a person with fybromyalgia doing what doesn't even look like exercise but maintains their ability to perform ADLs (activities of daily living).
Posted by tachycardia on July 18, 2012 at 1:16 AM · Report this
mydriasis 249
@ sappho

Just because something unhealthy is common doesn't mean it's universal. I have also noticed that a lot of people seek out relationships that way - doesn't mean that it's impossible to develop beyond that.

and i don't think '20 years, and then it's over' actually counts for much. i think that it's naive to think that someone will only be with you, and never look at anyone else, forever and always

I'm sorry, what?
Is it naive to think that someone will never look at anyone else? Yes.

Is it naive to think that there exist human beings that are able to be in long term or even lifelong relationships without fucking someone else? Um, no dude. Honestly for some people monogamy isn't that much of a riduclous challenge. It's called having a partner you actually like and find attractive.
Posted by mydriasis on July 18, 2012 at 6:48 AM · Report this
250
Again, the commonly held idea that moderate exercise is helpful for weight loss is somewhat destructive. Weight loss requires sustained, strenuous exercise to the point of extreme fatigue. Period. If you don't have the physical capacity for that, you cannot lose weight, probably not even with surgery. It also requires, not eating in moderation, but practically starvation. Starvation responses occur in different people at different calorie levels, but the effect is the same. That's too much to glibly expect from someone, especially someone who is extremely obese.
And sustained maintenance of greatly reduced weight is very, very rare.

I've long felt that the best way to reduce obesity in our society would be to re-define obesity to a considerably fatter level.

And while I'm spouting unpopular opinions, am I the only one who thinks that GIMP has a right to be angry, but dumping her GF is going too far? I read GIMP's letter several times trying to see what I was missing. The offense that GIMP's GF committed was posting non-nude, no-face pics to fetish websites. We don't know whether her name was used, but probably not since she didn't mention it. Is the chair more significant than I think it is? It seems fairly common to me that people want to "show off" the partners which they are proud of, and if someone oversteps their partner's bounds in that regard it leads to a fight and a demand to remove the pics, not an automatic breakup. And it's difficult for me to see any real harm that would come to anyone from non-nude, non-identified, non-face pictures.
Posted by marmer on July 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM · Report this
251
LBS, apparently, if your husband loses wight his penis will become larger, I read that a while back. Overweight men lose penis size because it is stuck behind inches of fat, as he loses the wight more, of the shaft will be exposed and thus making him have a much larger and enjoyable member!! Incentive I say.
Posted by Dhmm on July 18, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
mydriasis 252
@ marmer

TFS about weightloss!

As for the other part, read 221 for a good explaination about what makes this so skeevy above and beyond a simple 'my girlfriend is attractive and I'm proud of her'
Posted by mydriasis on July 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
253
@250 How does that account for the dramatic increase in obesity rates over the past 20 years? Human physiology hasn't changed; our bodies store and burn calories in the same way they did 20 years ago. People ~were~ able to maintain healthy weights in much larger numbers than they are doing now. If changes in our diets and exercise isn't the primary cause of the increased obesity, what is?
Posted by sanotehu on July 18, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
254
The new ubiquity of high-fructose corn syrup likely plays a role. http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archi… "A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same."
Posted by Eirene on July 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
255
@mydriasis: we can talk about your and my relationships, both of which are probably highly functional(i'm making assumptions about your ability to negotiate relationships based on your intelligence and articulation) or we can talk about cultural convention and social norm's - but it's unlikely that there is much cross-over :-)
as previously stated, my objections to monogamy as a (non-negotiated) relationship form have nothing much to do with who fucks who, and everything to do with the inherent dynamic -the geometry, if you like- of the relationships themselves. the sexual autonomy is more of a litmus test than an issue in and of itself. i might have only one or two lovers over four or five years, but the point is that i can have others if/when i want to, without jeopardising the relationships i have. it's not that i don't have fantastic lovers, or that i wouldn't walk across broken glass for them. it's that the bond is not based on sexual exclusivity. or even based on sex at all. it's important, but it's not the foundation. it also means that each person is responsible for their own sexual fulfillment, rather than wanting someone else to do or be things that they are not. this means greater appreciation for who and what your partner does have to offer.
in terms of monogamy being a challenge or not... i don't see it as a challenge. i see it (for most people, present thinking-type company excepted) as a cop-out.
Posted by sappho on July 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM · Report this
256
@254, that would be "diet". Stop consuming high-fructose corn syrup products.
Posted by sanotehu on July 18, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
257
@252 mydriasis:

Thank you for your kind words. I did read KDru @221 several times as well as the original post from GIMP. I agree that KDru is intelligent and articulate. But I'm still confused. GIMP didn't want to be seen as "just" "a girl in a chair." Fair enough. Take the chair out of the equation. Say that GIMP had big breasts instead, and GIMP's GF posted her clothed, non-face-showing breasts on a breast fetish website. Dumb move, sure. But a pic like that could have even been posted on Facebook and someone might get off on it. (I've seen similar things on FB) Also, the reality is that GIMP is going to be physically dependent on her romantic partner for some things, period, no matter what. She needs to own that. The devotee or objectification issue seems like an unnecessary disqualifier, particularly since GIMP gave no account of being actually uncomfortable in her physical or verbal interactions with her GF, only being upset about the pictures. If people who are overly sensitive and people who obliviously do stupid things can't be together, I have very little hope for the future of male-female relationships ;-)

@253 sanotehu: I have no idea. Forty years ago there was no such thing as exercise, it was called "sports" or "hobbies." The whole "exercise for exercise's sake" as some kind of necessary component for life is a very, very modern idea. Why a big jump twenty years ago, when "exercise" was relatively popular? HFCS, portion sizes, security concerns about children walking or biking alone, video games, the Internet, reduced PE in schools, cheap fast food, genetic mutations in the latest couple of generations, who knows? Probably some of all of that, maybe other things we haven't even thought of. People who were truly "maintaining" probably weren't putting anywhere close to as much effort into it as we seem to blithely expect people to do today. There has also been twenty years of very mixed messages in the public consciousness about nutrition. Don't eat meat. Don't eat sugar. Don't eat flour. Don't eat starch. Clean your plate. Don't waste food, etc. "Responsibility" is a red herring, especially in today's charged political climate. One of the fun things about being an adult is being "responsible" for things you can't really control.
More...
Posted by marmer on July 18, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Report this
258
@257 marmer: Ain't that the truth!
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
259
Every fat person wants to lose weight? ...that is the most biased and ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Did you know that not everyone shares the common view of fatphobic BS?

Geez, have you read this column much?
Posted by People have positive body image on July 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
260
This might as well just be over and done, but I just thought of another reason why people have gotten fatter in the last twenty years: the dramatic decline in tobacco smoking. Perhaps the ubiquity of cigarettes was artificially keeping appetites for food low back when smoking was socially acceptable.
Posted by marmer on July 19, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
261
According to my epidemiology textbook, smoking increases your risk of chronic disease 400%. If you could only change one thing, and you were a smoker, quitting smoking would be the most beneficial. Generally speaking, it is better to be a little overweight than to smoke. We are talking a matter of degrees here, I am not saying obesity is healthy. Just that 10-15lbs should not discourage people from quitting smoking.
Posted by tachycardia on July 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
mydriasis 262
@ sappho

oh yeah to me there's a difference between you saying "in general monogamy is less likely to work for the average person than poly" (which may or may not be true, I honestly don't claim to know) and saying "monogamy NEVER works and it's naive to think it ever will"

as long as you're not claiming the latter, we're essentially on the same page :)

@ marmer

I'm not a sensitive person when it comes to objectification (look at my post last week where I'm like 'what do I care, it's a compliment in my books') but when someone objectifies an aspect of you that has often been a source of pain/teasing/rudeness/ostracism/etc (race, weight, disability) then it can elicit mixed feelings when someone focuses on that aspect of you, even in a positive way. I think it can bring up mixed or negative feelings and I don't think it's a matter of oversensitivity.

@ 259

Oh please. The vast majority of overweight (and most average weight) American women want to lose weight. You can comment on how valid/right/fair/healthy/good that is (I would argue it isn't) but don't pretend it isn't so.
Posted by mydriasis on July 19, 2012 at 6:29 PM · Report this
sissoucat 263
@sappho, I'm a bit late on this thread, but I have the same feeling against relationships based on sexual exclusivity. In my mind, sex is not such a big threatening activity that it has to be restricted to one person only, and therefore to equate a relationship. Having sex is one of the basic pleasures of life, along with eating. Sure, selecting someone with whom to have sex needs a lot more work than selecting someone with whom to have dinner, but putting the focus on exclusivity makes me think of owners/owned and I don't like that.

Not to say that I have anything against people who are truly monogamous, out of choice, not out of social contraint. But I agree with you that many do it just because it's the social norm. Although in a world where birthing a child means an acute risk of poverty, monogamy does help mother and children.
Posted by sissoucat on July 20, 2012 at 3:45 AM · Report this
264
Nice answer to the third question, Dan.
Posted by jay5 on July 20, 2012 at 3:47 AM · Report this
sissoucat 265
@244 cockyballsup Oh, I do know the feeling of being in love, shivers down my spine, all around lust. Alas, it lasts one year at most within a new relationship for me. When I'm used to someone, I don't feel "in love" nor "in lust" with him anymore. Sad but true.
Posted by sissoucat on July 20, 2012 at 3:50 AM · Report this
mydriasis 266
@ sissou

Exclusivity isn't about sex itself being "big" or "threatening" (not sure how those words popped in). To me I find that when I feel romantically attached to a person (which is exceedingly rare) I feel differently about them than someone I'm just fucking. And I feel differently about the idea of them having sex with someone else (it bothers me) and I feel differently about me having sex with someone else (it doesn't appeal to me). They feel the same way. And on top of that, for some people, sexual exclusivity enhances existing intimacy which IS a big deal to me. Like a joke you just have with your one friend, or a place you like to go with them, sexual exclusivity has an appeal on that level.
Posted by mydriasis on July 20, 2012 at 6:32 AM · Report this
mydriasis 267
@ sissou

This: Oh, I do know the feeling of being in love, shivers down my spine, all around lust. Alas, it lasts one year at most within a new relationship for me. When I'm used to someone, I don't feel "in love" nor "in lust" with him anymore

Is not love. It's limerence. IMHO
Posted by mydriasis on July 20, 2012 at 6:34 AM · Report this
268
@sanotehu In the past 20 years, a majority of the workforce sit in chairs for most of their day. Do you consider yourself a consistently hard-worker? Do you have a lot of free time to walk around at your leisure? Do you have any anxieties? Do you have a nice, stable, vanilla life? I'm in the mental health field and not a prescriber of medication but after reading your comments, I had to remark that you take a lot of pride in figuring things out but don't have much compassion for others who haven't.
Posted by DBTpraxis on July 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this

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