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Destructive Criticism

July 18, 2012

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I am desperately in need of your help. After eight years of marriage, it turns out that the blowjobs I give are "good but not great" and are now getting "boring." My husband is unable to tell me anything specific that he wants me to do, just that I should "be creative." I've done everything I can think of over the years, so I have no idea where to go from here! My husband is my first partner, so I have no past experience to draw from, and porn hardly seems the proper inspiration: visually exciting (for a guy) but no visible technique other than some rather extreme deep-throating, which I am incapable of, as I have an annoyingly sensitive gag reflex. Is there anything nonstandard but fun that you could suggest? I'm not exactly vanilla, so I'm willing to try pretty much anything at this point.

Thought I Was Doing It Well

Seeing as I think saying, "You're doing it wrong, do it better, but don't ask me how I want it done," is an asshole move, TIWDIW, I'm tempted to give asshole advice. Something along the lines of "take a swig of Tabasco sauce immediately before popping his dick in your mouth."

You seem like a good sex partner, TIWDIW, GGG and open to constructive criticism. But "Your blowjobs bore me—do something about it!" isn't constructive criticism. It's destructive criticism, the kind of feedback that can leave a sex partner feeling inadequate and self-conscious. To be constructively critical, your husband needs to come through with some suggestions and direction—something more helpful than "surprise me." (I bet he'd find that mouthful of Tabasco sauce surprising.)

Now, maybe your husband has no clue what he wants. But that's still no excuse for "Your blowjobs bore me. Fix it! Creatively!" Your husband should've tossed out some suggestions, invited you to do the same, and you two should've given 'em all a whirl until you found a few new tricks that worked.

Minor unfairnesses slosh around relationships like water in the bottom of a canoe, of course, but "Be creative!" in this context isn't just unfair, it's paralyzing. Putting all the responsibility for busting out new tricks on the shoulders of the person whose blowjob/assfucking/bondage skills have been criticized rarely results in the criticized person busting out new and mind-blowing blowjob/assfucking/bondage moves. A destructively criticized sex partner is apt to shut down. So your husband isn't just guilty of unfair behavior here, TIWDIW, he's guilty of self-defeating behavior. Meaning, you may be able to give better head—we all have room for improvement—but this is not the way to go about getting better head from you.

Finally, TIWDIW, you mention that your husband was your first partner. Can I ask how many women he's been with? If the answer is "not many," then I would respectfully suggest to your husband that his frame of reference may not be large enough to craft a truly informed critique of your blowjob technique. For all he knows, you give amazing head. (Cue the straight men who'll tell your husband that he should be happy he's getting blowjobs at all, that you wouldn't catch them complaining if they were getting regular and enthusiastic blowjobs eight years into their marriages, etc.) But routine can make even the best blowjobs seem boring. So it may not be the how of your blowjobs that bores him, TIWDIW, but the when and the where. Give him the same old head in a new and exciting place (outside?) or in a new and exciting circumstance (his hands tied behind him?), and see if that doesn't make your blowjobs exciting again.

And while we're on the subject of oral sex: How are your husband's cunnilingus skills these days? If they're not all they could be, now's the time to tell him.

I'm a straight guy into intense bondage—extended scenes, sensory deprivation, whole-body casting—and the only people who have the gear and are willing to do it for free are gay guys. I "laid my kink cards on the table" at three months, per your instructions, and told my girlfriend that I sometimes get tied up by guys. She understood. It turns out that she's been reading your column since she was 15. She's not worried that I'm gay; she didn't ask me to stop. Just writing to say thanks.

Only Gay For Bondage

You're welcome, OGFB. Give my regards to the girlfriend.

I was upset by the letter in last week's column about the devotee who posted pictures of her disabled girlfriend's body and wheelchair online without permission. I cannot speak for all devotees, but I was disgusted by the behavior of GIMP's girlfriend. I do not date people solely for their bodies and would never post pictures of them online. As a devotee, I do find particular disabled bodies more attractive and sexually appealing than most "able" bodies. But physical attraction is only a starting point. In order for a relationship to move forward, there must be attraction on other levels and compatibility on an interpersonal level, and there must always be mutual respect. I wanted to put this perspective out there for people who, like GIMP, are wary of devotees. I'm sorry this happened to her. In any "group," there will be people who are perverted and disrespectful. But when a devotee acts up, it contributes negatively to an already largely misunderstood attraction.

Good Dev In Canada

A programming note: People typically write to me when someone has done them wrong or when they've done someone wrong. When the bad actor in a particular situation is someone like a devotee—the kind of person who is unlikely to be out to friends and family members about their deeply stigmatized sexual identity and/or interest—my readers can't weigh what they're learning about this one particular devotee against what they know about the other devotees they know and love... because the other devotees they know and love aren't out to them about being devotees. It's something to bear in mind, gentle readers, when someone with a rare or deeply stigmatized sexual interest makes an appearance in the column. Remember: GIMP's girlfriend doesn't represent all devotees any more than TIWDIW's husband represents all straight men.

With that said...

GIMP's letter appears to have been a fake. There's a disturbed person lurking on the web who pretends to be a woman in a wheelchair, as a number of readers wrote to inform me, and this person has peddled the exact same story before. A fake letter is going to make its way into the column from time to time—there's no way to verify every letter—and as all questions that make the column are just good hypotheticals to every Savage Love reader save one, I try not to get too worked up about the odd fake. But it is a problem when a fake question contributes to the negative public perception of a group of people whose sexual desires are already so stigmatized.

So while the news that GIMP's letter is fake will come as a comfort to everyone who thought my advice for GIMP sucked, it's cold comfort for all the good and decent devotees out there who had to see yet another story about a shitty—and, in this case, completely fictitious—devotee make it into print. My apologies.

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at

@fakedansavage on Twitter


Comments (295) RSS

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Posted by not a real user on July 17, 2012 at 6:34 PM · Report this
I'm pretty sure there are instructional books and videos on how to give good head. Just a thought.
Posted by fool4surf on July 17, 2012 at 6:42 PM · Report this
I've only enjoyed receiving fellatio from one of my female partners - I'm 30 and have had my fair share. However, I've never really enjoyed fellatio with anyone else, and I am completely clueless as to how her technique differed than the approaches taken by my other partners.

So, although the guy from the first inquiry is indeed a total asshole, I can understand how difficult it would be for a non-asshole to try and give constructive criticism.
Posted by 2DIE4 on July 17, 2012 at 7:44 PM · Report this
From a woman who has had only one sexual partner and gives amazing head: read a damn book already. But part of giving really good head is really enjoying giving head. And my husband's cunnilingus skills are indeed lacking, but I like giving more than I like getting.
Posted by catballou on July 17, 2012 at 7:47 PM · Report this
Maybe if *the husband* does something mutual for her while getting the bj it might make things more exciting for the both of them.
Posted by whiteorchid1 on July 17, 2012 at 7:49 PM · Report this
@4-how about some type of *specific* helpful suggestion, since you are so great and all?
Posted by whiteorchid1 on July 17, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
Does it really require a whole book to describe good technique?

I'm inclined to suggest to the husband that he gets himself nicely lubed up with spit (not lube; he needs to approximate the real act, and lube performs differently), and spend a little while with his own fingers, finding the places that feel the wildest when stimulated. (And when I say fingers, I mean individual fingers -- stay well away from stereotypical Death Grip of Doom, which I would bet good money he uses most of the time.) Then tell his wife to concentrate on those areas. Anywhere that feels great when a wet finger is applied lightly is going to really love a tongue.
Posted by avast2006 on July 17, 2012 at 8:29 PM · Report this
Am I the only one who really badly wants a "Savage brand sauce" t-shirt? Seriously, Stranger peeps, get on turning that illo into a shirt RIGHT NOW.
Posted by Scribbles on July 17, 2012 at 8:31 PM · Report this
@6, probably because what feels great to her husband may not be all that hot to some other guy.
Posted by clashfan on July 17, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
Vice magazine had some good advice on giving head a few years back. Don't feel like googling it right now but I can tell you my man appreciated it.
Posted by chi_type on July 17, 2012 at 9:10 PM · Report this
For TIWDIW, I recommend sticking a finger in his ass while you blow him. If you are not already doing that this can be a simple fix.

Also, you don't mention whether you swallow the payload. I find that just the idea that my partner is going to swallow my truth serum makes the whole BJ experience that much more intense.

Finally, I have to admit that I personally don't enjoy a BJ as much if the women can't take a significant amount of my wang in her mouth. Having said that, if you can take a significant portion of it in your mouth, perhaps try to let him face fuck you. Some of my most satisfying sexual experiences have been firing my white stock in a woman's mouth at the end of a good face fuck.
Posted by slidebone on July 17, 2012 at 9:34 PM · Report this
Regarding blow jobs, there used to be a great blog The Over Educated Nympho and she had a 4 part series. I was searching for a link.

Sadly I cannot find it.
Posted by albeit on July 17, 2012 at 10:26 PM · Report this
Emily Nagoski has a short book on the subject:… . See also her blog at . No connection, just like reading her stuff.
Posted by Eirene on July 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM · Report this
Simple 14
Finger massage on the b-hole feels good, slip the head of the cock under your tongue and move your tongue quickly that slippery side is a real pleasure, take that whole load in your beautiful mouth and them give that fucker a massive snowball he will either love you forever or never complain about your technique again. I love the snowball, let a little drain out of your mouth so your face is all cummy. Dirty fun.
Posted by Simple on July 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM · Report this
For those who didn't read this as a SLLOTD, some people posted suggestions there:…

Mine are @11 in that thread.

@53 in that thread made a great suggestion, that one try to orgasm while giving a BJ. Sixty-nining never gets me there, but with 53's encouragement I've gotten out the vibrator, for me. I've gotten so close, the feeling is amazing for both him and me. We're still trying :-)
Posted by EricaP on July 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM · Report this
Good grief, Charlie Brown!! TIWDIW's letter sounds like she unfortunately married my ex!!

TIWDIW: If your husband of 8 years is bored, have you tried biting him?
That ought to wake him up!
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM · Report this
No harm, no sweat, no foul, Dan, over GIMP's letter from last week being fake. You didn't know until after the fact. It happens.
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 17, 2012 at 10:53 PM · Report this
xjuan 18
Show him that you are really enjoying it. Do it with sincere and hot expressions (noises, faces, wetness, words, deep throating or pertending it, et al.) Being at the receiving side of a BJ is many times better when the giving person shows how much s/he's loving it. The mental connection is perhaps more important than the technique itself. Same goes for cunnilingus.
Posted by xjuan on July 17, 2012 at 11:33 PM · Report this
rex everything 19
Jeez, the best head is the same as the best cunnilingus. Enjoy it. If you can't enjoy it, do something else. It has little to do with technique and far more to do with enthusiasm...
Posted by rex everything http:// on July 18, 2012 at 1:00 AM · Report this
"Minor unfairnesses slosh around relationships like water in the bottom of a canoe..."

I found that to be exceedingly clever, nice job
Posted by Amanda47 on July 18, 2012 at 1:40 AM · Report this
In my experience, the frenulum is really sensitive. Rub your tongue on it like you would his nipples. Try resting the head against the roof of your mouth, and using the same kind of motion you would use to suck on a piece of candy. You can use your hand with your mouth for extra stimulation in place of deep throating, or to take up slack in the skin and change up the sensation a bit. Depending on his size, try angling your head so he rubs the inside of your cheek, instead of your throat to avoid the whole gag thing. Cover your teeth with your lips, and do it like sucking through a straw. You can use varying amounts of pressure, speed, etc. with any technique. And do go back and read Erica P's tips:)
Posted by tachycardia on July 18, 2012 at 1:50 AM · Report this
In my experiance the best BJ's I have ever got have nothing to do with deep throating. Grab his cock with one hand with a light grip (after you have lubed his dick with spit/saliva) put your mouth around his dick and put your mouth against the top of your hand. By doing this you have just extended your mouth. Aditionally you can gyrate your hand as your hand and mouth move up and down in unison. For more advanced techniques or fun; stuff a lubed finger up his asshole right before he cums but expect he will either be irate or blow a load through the back of your head. I'm the latter of the two. Good luck TIWDIW
Posted by cruzerglx on July 18, 2012 at 3:21 AM · Report this
The only thing that matters for giving head is genuine cock-hunger
Posted by Doot on July 18, 2012 at 4:43 AM · Report this
The odds are that TIWDIW's partner wants her to do something he is not comfortable verbalizing.

That is cool, if he cannot say it, she should not be expected to guess. I must say that is a gender switch from the typical issue between men and women.
Posted by Kylere on July 18, 2012 at 5:51 AM · Report this
Is it horribly protectionist to wish that there were a tariff system in place? I can't quite warm to OGFB, but he has given me the idea that "Straights Helped By Dan Savage" should be a regular contingency at Pride parades. And just imagine how far along we'd be if everyone in that category were to perform a certain amount of Unstraight-Community Service. (Or would the Gallagher-Brown conglomerate manufacture an opposing group to claim that Mr Savage's advice ruined their marriages, or could such a tactic even work?)

I'd better stop here before I get interested enough to invent a whole system.
Posted by vennominon on July 18, 2012 at 6:24 AM · Report this
TIWDIW-- He's not bored with your blow jobs; he's bored with you. It's either that, or he's bored and dissatisfied with himself and his life in general. This is how he's introducing the idea that he'd like a break or a threesome or a divorce or to cheat on you. Never mind that that won't make him happy either. He's chasing after the elusive Something Else so he won't have to think about his own inadequacies. So think about what will make YOU happy, and pursue that. A different job? Vacation time with or without him? Devotion to the arts? Go follow your bliss. Good luck.
Posted by Crinoline on July 18, 2012 at 6:31 AM · Report this
@11 wang? payload? white stock?!? truth serum!?! I love the act you describe, but your terminology makes me go 'ewww!' You get women to sleep with you when you manage to make it sound so unappealing? No problem with the advice, but the way you described it turned my stomach enough to make me need to say, sorry..

oh, for the LW, lick and suck gently on his balls whilst your hand works on his cock. Also I find deep throat easier from underneath whilst in 69, every other way I hit the gag reflex but that way I find the closer I get to coming the less it affects me, and it turns me on massively too to the point that when I'm about to come I actively encourage him to fuck my face..

Not saying that'll work for everyone (and you need to trust your partner to not get carried away too quickly) but I did once read that being aroused can switch off the gag reflex so it might be worth an experiment..?
Posted by UK girlie on July 18, 2012 at 6:47 AM · Report this
First off, I TOTALLY agree that the guy's a bit of a jerk for just giving unhelpful criticism, but since TIWDIW seems to honestly want to improve, I believe Doot, the person that mentioned "hunger," has got a good idea. Hubby may need more aural/brainal sex. Let him hear how much you enjoy/want his cock in your mouth. All those energetic "mmmm's" and "mm-hmmm's" can often spark the ego/pleasure center connection in a way that the physical contact alone doesn't.

Oh, and the vibrations from those sounds might also feel good. If I remember correctly, the act used to be called a "hummer" right?
Posted by sonicmonkey on July 18, 2012 at 7:13 AM · Report this
First off, I TOTALLY agree that the guy's a bit of a jerk for just giving unhelpful criticism, but since TIWDIW seems to honestly want to improve, I believe Doot, the person that mentioned "hunger," has got a good idea. Hubby may need more aural/brainal sex. Let him hear how much you enjoy/want his cock in your mouth. All those energetic "mmmm's" and "mm-hmmm's" can often spark the ego/pleasure center connection in a way that the physical contact alone doesn't.

Oh, and the vibrations from those sounds might also feel good. If I remember correctly, the act used to be called a "hummer" right?
Posted by sonicmonkey on July 18, 2012 at 7:17 AM · Report this
For How-To on blowjobs and deep throating, I really enjoyed Pretty Dumb Things. Chelsea is a smart and funny writer working at a strip club in NYC while working on her dissertation. She knows of what she speaks.…
Posted by albeit on July 18, 2012 at 7:38 AM · Report this
@27: Oh, I would never use terms like "wang, payload, white stock, or truth serum" when I'm courting a woman. Obviously no self-respecting woman would put up with that crap.

I generally use that language when I'm with my buddies to describe things I'd like to do to various women, or when I'm on the internet talking to strangers. There is great truth in the saying: "For all things there is an occasion."

BTW, your BJ technique sounds super-hot!
Posted by slidebone on July 18, 2012 at 8:10 AM · Report this
Excuse yourself mid BJ, and go to the bathroom and fill your mouth with hot water, not hot sauce!
Posted by Thatsmeinthecorner on July 18, 2012 at 9:09 AM · Report this
@sonicmonkey-I often wonder what tune Monica was humming- "Hail To The Chief" perhaps?
Posted by Thatsmeinthecorner on July 18, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
Can someone tell me what TIWDIW means? I know what GGG is, but TIWDIW is one I'm not familiar with.
Posted by red1982 on July 18, 2012 at 9:34 AM · Report this
AbbySomething 35
I've got a creative idea for blow jobs...…
Posted by AbbySomething on July 18, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
34-- It's the way the first letter writer signed her name: TIWDIW is Thought I Was Doing It Well.
Posted by Crinoline on July 18, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
ScienceNerd 37
@34 It's the first letter of the LW's signature. Thought I was doing it well...
Posted by ScienceNerd on July 18, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
AbbySomething 38
I've got a creative idea for a blow job...…

Maybe he'll learn to express himself more clearly.

Posted by AbbySomething on July 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
I need to send this column to my EX husband with a note.

It's not me, it's YOU.

Dan's advice played out exactly as written, and it took me several years messing around with guys half my age for me to figure it out. It wasn't me.
Posted by IvyK on July 18, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
AFinch 40
I didn't really comment on the SLLOTTD but I will here - mainly because the SLLOTTD adivce was great - the husband seems to be the problem himself.

However, on giving good blow jobs:

- many/most men are most sensitive just under the frenulum on the 'bottom' (urethra) side of their dick - start by making sure you give a good amount of attention there.

- pay attention to his responses to each specific area! The worst BlowJobs I've ever had were from women who had some porn picture of a blowjob in their head and were oblivious to what my actual reactions were. To the point of (physically painful) parody. His hot spot might not be the one I mention above, so pay attention to how he responds to each spot.

- SUCTION. FRICTION. In general, women don't seem to get this...and again, maybe the hubby and his own death grip are the problem can't hurt for you to up your game in this area. Just because you ladies might like to be tickled with a feathery touch does not mean that guys want this as much. Don't project: tune into your partner.

- Be enthusiastic! Don't just go through the motions! don't act enthusiastic, be enthusiastic. The best blow jobs I ever had - and I had one EX who outdid anyone else I've ever been with by a couple of orders of magnitude - was a woman who wanted to give me a blow job and wanted me to cum and wanted to swallow. I came my head off every time and my ears would ring afterwards I came so hard. 70%+ of my partners have been unable to get me to achieve orgasm from oral, but she did every single time. If you don't really like swallowing Jizz, find some fantasy tape you can play in your head that does genuinely turn you on and make a groove in your own erotic brain that leads to your own arousal and play that on the rarer times you do give him a blowjob - and swallow fast, just like eating some yucky vegetable you hated when you were a kid.

- the prostate stimulation is a great idea - it is "the oldest trick in the book" after all - but you might not go for penetration right can ease into it with pressure on the perineum, and see how he takes it.

There is nothing, I mean nothing, more annoying than having someone insist on rubbing a spot just half an inch away from your sensitive spot. It's like having an itch on your back and the scratcher insists on scratching everywhere but the itch. Ladies: you know how you always complain that guys are clueless and can't find the man in the boat? Well: same deal with blowjobs. There are big expanses of dick that just aren't that sensitive. Just like not every clit and clit-owner is the same, not every penis is the same, so the most important way to figure out your partner is to closely pay attention to their physical response.

Posted by AFinch on July 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
AFinch 41
@19 & @23 - you said it before me and much more succinctly, but both of you are full of win. Enthusiasm is more important than anything else.
Posted by AFinch on July 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM · Report this
As a gay man I've given head countless times, with high ratings from my partners (more than 100) - those are my 'bonifides'. Anyway, I find there are a few basic things that make all head 'better' and I try to use all of them. 1) Suction, many people leave this part out thinking that just getting the lips around the shaft and going up and down is enough, it's called sucking cock for a reason, add some suction particularly when you're near the top/head of the penis. 2) All penises are not created equal, uncut guys like to be 'rimmed' around the shaft with the tongue between the foreskin and the penis around the edge of the head, with their greater sensitivity there it seems to really turn them on, use suction (above) for similar effect with cut guys. 3) No teeth unless they're the kind of guy who likes teeth (and a VERY few do, even then be gentle) 4) Deep throating, yes, I know you have a gag reflex, I do too, a pretty strong one, it can be suppressed with enough will power or even used creatively if you have nothing in your stomach to 'gag up'. The round throat muscles produce a sensation akin to an ass or a pussy and gagging or tightening them is one of those added sensations that really get guys off. Plus guys love the idea of the having their hole shaft in your throat, essentially choking you with their dicks, it's a power thing -whatever. The trick here is the rhythm, you need to guide them into a rhythm that a) lets you breathe and b) isn't so fast that you're choking/gagging and c) lets them enjoy the face-fucking. I know, it's hard work, that why it's called a blow JOB. 5) Rhythm, yes I know I just talked about it but this part is different, you need to be aware of the hardening of the shaft and softening it, some guys like it hard and fast, others slow, others a combo or slow at the beginning and hard and fast at the end, be conscious of your partners non-verbal clues, in fact encourage them to moan, speak out, talk dirty whatever to help you have more clues to go by 6) Swallow, it's hot and sexy and relatively safe unless you've just had mouth surgery (note: no one who's just had mouth surgery needs to be giving blow-jobs until they're fully healed), for extra-credit lick the sensitive shaft and head clean afterwards, it'll be that sort of good painful/too intense (cause I just blew my load) sensation that keeps 'em coming back.

Hope that helps,
Good Gay Gobbler
Posted by LAN8 on July 18, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
TIWDIW: He sounds like he is trying to control you by putting you down. My ex said I was the only one who could get him off orally, but I wasn't doing anything unusual. I'm just super hot! :) You might take a minute to reflect on any other ways he is trying to control you and make you feel like you must please him or he will get rid of you and you will suffer without his wonderful presence. Or you could just take a vacation by yourself.
Posted by marilynsue on July 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
regarding bj advice, foreplay down there can go a long way as well-- breathing on it, tonguing it through underwear, talking about how good it's going to / it is feeling in your mouth, uncovering it slowly breathing on it from the tip to the base without touching, opening your mouth around it and breathing without touching, slowly tracing your tongue up and down the underside, around the base of the mushroom, drooling on it, spitting on it. also, and this may be counterintuitive to some, but laying upright and asking him to just feed it you with you barely responding at all- just pursing your lips open and allowing him to slide it over your lips, slowly into your mouth, feel your hot breath and drool welling up, pulling out, sliding it over your lips that start to get wet, slap against your cheeks, slide it back in - when fucking someone's mouth can drive me crazy to do this to someone, asking them to stay still as long as they can stand it. I also agree with a lot of the other tips here so mix and match and see what works

but yeah, the husband sounds like he very well could be a complete wanker and undeserving of you and your blow jobs...
Posted by freshnycman on July 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
The most important thing to remember when giving head to most guys is to rub and massage the dick with your tongue and cheeks when you have it in your mouth. Just moving the lips up and down as they do in porn movies just doesn't do it. Some of the hottest head I have had was from someone who would not move up and down so much as do amazing things with his tongue.

As for deep throating, it is overrated. It can be quite painful to the guy getting head because the penis is usually straightish and a throat is bendy - to me it usually feels like they are trying to break my penis, yet I feel bad complaining when someone is that enthusiastic.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 18, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
By the way, let me clear up a myth. Gay guys are just as clueless as to how to give a good blowjob. Maybe one in ten has the technique that will curl your toes. The rest are mediocre to bad. The worst are the salami slicers - seriously, you have a dick and still you don't know that it doesn't combine well with teeth?
Posted by cockyballsup on July 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Hey Dan,
Keep up the good work. The world, like a supertanker, turns slowly.
Voter in Canada.
Posted by Voter in Canada on July 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
OGFB, FYI is recruiting models (and apparently starting a training program) for a variety of their sites, which I'm assuming you're familiar with. Better than free, they pay you (check with your GGG girlfriend first, obviously).
Posted by usagi on July 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
For TIWDIW, we all have individual preferences. Enthusiasm, adjusting what you do based on feedback (in the heat of the moment and later) and curiosity are great ingredients.

Even though your husband's approach was not very effective, negative feedback is usually better than no feedback at all. Now, you may be able to change the dynamic, so he becomes more able to articulate his particular preferences and listen to you. Try to make it playful and safe to make suggestions (even unusual ones) and provide feedback as you go.

And as Crimoline #26 points out. He may not be happy with himself or the relationship (seven year itch...). And I agree work at be happy yourself and be clear about what you want and will do for yourself. This applies always! AND makes you a better partner. And keep improving your communication, so you both work through this in a positive manner.

Back to oral advice, as other have said there are specific suggestions on the web. Two pieces of advices I found particularly inspiring was on OKCupid's forum under Alternative Lifestyle - Oral sex - what does men want? posted by abeno, on February 22 2010 and by frogomatic on April 17 2009. Together it’s about 10 pages of advice. You may Google it to find the link and it may require that you sign up with OKCupid (it’s free). For full disclosure I'm just a user of that site - not promoting it in general - only these postings.
Posted by traveller on July 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
rock bottom 50
So I googled "How to give good head." Well, guess what......?
Posted by rock bottom on July 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
seandr 51
The exciting thing about getting head from a woman with awesome sexual instincts and intelligence is the fact that she's running the show and she *knows* how good she's making you feel. Quite different experience than when you have to give step by step instructions and clarifications because she just doesn't seem to get it.

Anyway, here are some ideas.

* Start out with light teasing tongue flicks up and down his balls and shaft
* let your hair graze against his dick, balls, stomach, and thighs
* on all fours a 90-degree angle, graze your nipples over his dick and surrounding area
* Slap his cock against your tongue, lips, face, and tits.
* Take it as deep as you can, hold it, and swirl/flicker your tongue on the sensitive underside
* Stare into his eyes with his dick as deep in your mouth as it will go
* Very slowly and deliberately engulf his dick, repeatedly, making sexy moaning sounds on the way down.
* Shake and/or twist your head as you bob up and down
* Grab the base of his dick and lightly shake it while it's deep in your mouth.
* Approaching from the side, run your lips and tongue up and down his dick like it's corn on the cob
* slowly lick his dick from bottom to top, sticking your whole tongue out and firmly pressing his cock against it
* lick his ass and/or taint while jerking his dick with your hand, with him on his back or on all fours (google rusty trombone)
* every time you switch techniques, tell him what exactly you are going to do next, e.g., "Now I'm going to take your cock as deep as I can and hold it while swishing my tongue around. I might moan a bit, as well. "
* Switch up positions. One of my favorites - get on all fours on the bed while he's standing by the bed with dick at your face level. Or, as he's laying on the bed, slowly crawl over his head towards his feet, kissing him and grazing your breasts along the way, and then stop in 69 position with your pussy planted right in his face.
* Wear a sexy outfit
* Act like you are confident and know exactly what you are doing and know exactly how good you are making him feel
* Video record it.
* Roll play. One of the best bjs I've ever had was making a "how to give a bj" video, with her giving the "lecture".
* Watch porn movies featuring Belladonna or Annette Schwartz. You may not be able to do everything they can, but if you can adopt their attitude, you won't need to.

Posted by seandr on July 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Enthusiasm and being cock-hungry do not make a good cocksucker. Nobody wants cock more than your average gay guy, yet as I mentioned already, the average gay guy sucks ass at sucking dick.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
balderdash 53
Seriously, though, how fucking hard would it be for TIWDIW's asshole husband to whip out the Google and do five minutes' worth of research so he can offer some enthusiastic suggestions instead of just apathetically saying "You suck at oral?"

What a douchebag. I think the solution to her situation involved no more oral for him, period, until he makes this up to her, and THEN does his homework and asks nicely for what he wants.
Posted by balderdash on July 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 54
How is "only gay for bondage" not gay or at least bi? He actively pursues and gets sexual pleasure from men. Because his girlfriend (or most women, apparently) won't indulge his fetish, he is exempt from gay?

Let's try this exercise: "Hey Dan, I absolutely LOVE anal sex. Unfortunately, my girlfriend (as it is with most girls) refuses to let me fuck them in the ass. So I meet up with men and have anal with them. Fortunately, my current girlfriend reads your column so she knows the fact I have anal sex with men doesn't make me gay." Signed - Just gay for anal.

Posted by Tim Horton on July 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 55

You read a lot of Penthouse Forum as a teen, didn't you?
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on July 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
It's not gay because it's not "doing it with men" what's turning him on, but "doing it".
Or to put it differently: the act, not the person.
Posted by migrationist on July 18, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
Tim Horton 57
@56 - "the act, not the person" - That makes sense when you are talking about what used to be perceived as gay sex acts, i.e. a guy enjoys his girlfriend pegging him isn't gay because he is enjoying the act of anal with a woman. Could I spend a lifetime having gay sex, because its way easier to hook up on Grindr than on and declare my straight bonafides intact?

While I don't care how you want to label yourself, it takes a lot of cognitive dissonance to have sex with men but declare yourself straight, except of course, for the sex part.

Posted by Tim Horton on July 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Watch a bunch of oral sex porn vids with him and talk about it, see what turns him on. My guess is he wants you to rim his ass and is too embarrassed to ask for it.
Posted by jasha1 on July 18, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
@56, so what if a guy gets turned on not by "sucking dick with a man present" but just by "sucking dick". Is he still straight?

@Tim Horton, actually, a lot of self-identified "straight" guys use your argument, namely that because it is just sucking or getting fucked they like, not the man, it is not gay. They are all over some of the hookup sites out there.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
"She Comes First" and "He Comes Next" are both mandatory reading for anyone (which should be everyone) giving or getting oral. The giver can learn great technique and the receiver can learn to ask for what he/she wants.

There are even Kindle editions, so you can read it discretely on the bus to work in the morning.
Posted by wxPDX on July 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
WHAT KIND OF AN ASSHOLE COMPLAINS ABOUT GETTING BLOWJOBS?!?!?!?!?!???!!!! Especially 8 EIGHT years into a marriage. That guy deserves to never have another blowjob for the rest of his pathetic life.
Posted by bodhirungus on July 18, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
The husband is a douche, I think we all agree. However, the best blowjobs I've ever had have been centered on deep throat. In fact, I've even messed around with dildos enough to teach myself how to do it, and my girlfriend likes to fuck my mouth like that sometimes. Not gagging can be trained, and I would say it's largely mental. You have to really relax and open up and kind of go at it thinking - if I choke, I choke, but I'm going to keep taking it down. Before long, you can take it down and control your gag reflex. And if it takes you some time to master this - no worries, a lot of guys love watching a girl gag and choke and struggle a bit with it. In my humble opinion, deep, noisy, messy blowjobs are the best. And as with any sex, you can usually spice it up quite a bit with some creative dirty talk.
Posted by anonymouse11 on July 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
What is face fucking?
Posted by Nassella on July 18, 2012 at 3:17 PM · Report this
I LOVE all the comments here with BJ tips. Here are a few more from the Babeland website:… and if you are in NY or Seattle, you can take one of our classes where you get to practice on bananas <-Seattle or <- NY
Posted by audreyaudrey on July 18, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
seandr 65
@61: *Lucky* to get blowjobs after 8 years of marriage? Are you serious?

I'm afraid you are mistakenly assuming that all marriages are as sad, lonely, and pathetic as yours.
Posted by seandr on July 18, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
Dude probably just wants 2 fingers up his ass and a rim job but expects is girlfriend to figure out that from get creative. He likely can't bring himself to say "C'mon babe rim me then shove a couple digits in...."
Posted by bobbieboogie on July 18, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
Dude probably just wants 2 fingers up his ass and a rim job but expects is girlfriend to figure out that from get creative. He likely can't bring himself to say "C'mon babe rim me then shove a couple digits in...."
Posted by metalking on July 18, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
I am not sure his behavior was so bad. What is so wrong about his asking her to be creative? Like many women, most guys don't really know what is going to feel good until their partner "hits the spot". Would a woman be advised to be able to give precise instructions (or else consider herself "lucky" and just put up and shut up) if a man wasn't hitting her spot during oral sex? With the best blowjobs I have had, I am not quite sure exactly what exactly it was that they were doing different, and my attempts recreating those sensations with other partners through suggestions ended up in failure.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 18, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
"Would a woman be advised to be able to give precise instructions?"

Yes, of course. All the time. Except we're generally advised to be very, very diplomatic... which is bullshit, in my opinion. One or two words of direction and the writer's standby - "show, don't tell" - are all a partner who wants to know usually needs. That and an honestly responsive positive reaction.
Posted by monkeygirl on July 18, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
@63 - Face fucking is when the man is actively pushing his penis into your mouth (as in pussy/ass fucking), sometimes when holding your head in his hand/s (but not necessarily), and usually while your head remains stationary (again, not necessarily).
Posted by LAN8 on July 18, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Dan, when are you going to write about your personal experience as an ankle biter?
Posted by Common_Sense101 on July 18, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
@19 you got that right. Attitude can really go a lot further than technique.

Another couple of ideas. What about a vibrator added into the mix. Use that puppy on his balls, dick, nipples, & if you haven't tried it already, stick it up his ass........that will get his attention.

I can highly suggest the 69 position. Grind that pussy in his face and come all over him. Than it will be his turn. Let him come on your belly, tits, face and show that you love it. Trust me, if none of these ideas get him going, he ain't into oral or you.
Posted by Bondsman51 on July 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM · Report this

No, it is NOT safe to swallow unless you both are monogamous and have tested clean. Diseases can be spread through unprotected oral sex.
Posted by Ashley Amber on July 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM · Report this
Tim @54/57,

It's not clear that any of that sensory deprivation stuff leads to orgasm for OGFB, or even to erections. I love getting tied up and flogged, much as I love a serious massage, but neither massage nor flogging gets me close to orgasm. The pleasure comes from the combination of endorphins and having someone's complete attention. He may just be borrowing these guys' gear and their expertise using it. If neither he nor his helpers have any expectation of orgasm while they are together, would that make you more comfortable with his self-definition as straight & kinky?
Posted by EricaP on July 18, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this
seandr 75
@42: That was a fascinating read. I'd love to get head from your female doppelganger.

That said, your post also makes it clear to me that women may have a whole different set of cards to play when giving a BJ beyond the power-bottom moves you describe. Deep-throating and swallowing and all that stuff is awesome, but some of the best bjs I've had were enjoyable because they were pretty and delicate and feminine and kittenish.

It seems there is more than one way to excel at sucking dick, at least as far as I'm concerned.
Posted by seandr on July 18, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
My two cents on BJs. I'm not a fan of deep-throating. It's a cool idea but doesn't feel like much. Definitely make sure to use lube on the finger up the butt, and trim those nails! I'm a big fan of having my balls lightly played with or sucked.

While you're at it, get some quid pro quo. Whether it's cunnilingus or something else, make him up his game too if he's going to be particular with you.
Posted by supersleepy on July 18, 2012 at 8:54 PM · Report this
FYI: a regular blow job is 'fellatio"; when the one with the dick is doing the moving around ("face fucking") it is technically called "irrumatio".
Posted by Sciolist on July 18, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this
@57 and 59:

I agree to a certain extent.

But what about prisons and boarding schools? Lots of guys who identify as straight has sex with other guys while in prison or in boarding school, not because they want to have sex with a guy, but they want to have sex.

So, guys looking for sex with other guys as long as there are females available seem to be gay or at least bi-curious to me as well. Unless they have a fetish that is highly unlikely to be fulfilled otherwise.
Posted by migrationist on July 18, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
@25 no tariff, but some of us do consider the payback. Me at CA prop 8 hearings with a sign "straight married Dad for marriage equality"

Primarily at Dan's urging that those of us who fear the right engage with issues that dont hit us @ home but begin the slippery slope.
Posted by shoeshine on July 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM · Report this
@61: Or get bitten by his long-suffering wife of 8 years.
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 18, 2012 at 10:21 PM · Report this
All these suggestions for BJs are wonderful and informative. Much to learn from.

One suggestion that hasn't been addressed: Give her time.

To adjust her body position, get used to your cock, find her rhythm. Then you can grab her head (if she wants). And face fuck her (if she wants).

She is giving you this amazing gift and you should appreciate it. And if she really wants you and is hungry for your cock, doubly so.

Thankfully, I have never been with men that have initially grabbed my head. But after I found my groove, I have moved their hands to my head. Because it's very sexy.

There have been times where it is too rough and forceful, and I have backed off or removed their hands. That's OK.

You are the Giver. You are in control.

Posted by albeit on July 18, 2012 at 10:40 PM · Report this
TIWDIW, news flash. Your issue has nothing to do with sex. Your problem is that you appear to be married to an @sshole. Why in the world would you want to have sex with someone who treats you with such a total lack of respect for your feelings?

Sometimes marrying your first lover works out but most people benefit from shopping around a little. Hard to believe that anyone this insensitive is otherwise a peach and a good friend and reliable partner. If you don't have children, you might want to think long and hard about whether it serves your best interests to continue being married to this jerk. You might find after some experience that you realize "Hey, not every dude is an @sshole!"
Posted by GG1000 on July 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM · Report this
My only advice on getting/giving blowjobs is this: whatever you try, try it more than once. Just like one has to work with other kinds of pressure when masturbating in order to train oneself, you need time to get used to and fully appreciate different speeds, pressures, and techniques of blowjobbery. I have found that I don't love anybody's blowjob technique the first time, but after 2 or 3 times, I always find some really hot, very different things they do naturally that I didn't even notice the first time.
Posted by nonpareil on July 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM · Report this
@20 Amanda47: I agree--I like that!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 19, 2012 at 2:41 AM · Report this
If TIWDIW's letter had said that she and her husband were looking for new blowjob ideas because they were both getting bored, I'd nod and think that was reasonable enough. It's the word "desperate" that has me (and Dan and others) thinking he's being a jerk. "Desperate" puts me in the mind that something dire is going to happen if TIWDIW doesn't come up with something that doesn't bore her husband. I have to wonder what that is. It's not spelled out, and I imagine TIWDIW herself doesn't know, but the idea that she's aware of a vague threat doesn't sit well with me.
Posted by Crinoline on July 19, 2012 at 6:25 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 86
@74 & 78 - since I am the self-appointed decider of who is gay, straight or bi....

EricaP - I don't have pain/seclusion kinks but I imagine they are sexual in nature, as opposed to massages or mani/pedi that are more relaxing and non-erotic. In the event he is not orgasiming during the sessions, he is probably jerking off so much to it afterwards that all that comes out of his penis is a "POP" sign that you see depicting a gun shot in the old soundless black and white western films. Let's round him up to "bi" and call it even.

Migrationist - if you locked me up in prison/catholic-school or sexless marriage (fair warning Mrs. Horton) and my only option was men, I admit I would prob go gay. Starting with a phone call to LAN8 @42.
Posted by Tim Horton on July 19, 2012 at 6:27 AM · Report this
If your husband wants variety in enthusiastic blowjobs try to get him off ONLY with your tongue and lips. This might drive him crazy with some patience and persistence.

Another time try to do it SLOWLY, 15-30 seconds the entire length (from taint to tip) and then an agonizing 15-30 secons down the other side. Repeat for several minutes and make him squirm.

Another time combine good handwork, cupping and gently rubbing the balls with well lubricated fingers is often a big hit. To complete the act supplement your blowjob with just the tips of your fingers gently sliding along the glans and tip. You might lose his interest if you go to slow or are not joyfully focused on his dick. If you are distracted he might get distracted.

Dan nails another one. A truly asshole move to complain about sexual technique and then refuse to offer input. I thought this might be one of Dan's letters where he switches the genders on us so this was really a WOMAN complaining about her husbands cunnilingus. Then I realized the woman would not complain- at least not to her husband! Oh her girlfriends would know all about it but the husband would have no clue until served with the divorce complaint.
Posted by Professor on July 19, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
I just read all the other comments and agree with many of them. I thought I would highlight four themes I noticed.

1. Enthusiasm: This means that you LOVE your work- in fact it is not even work, you do it for for free. This also includes focusing on him. Some women complain about cunnilingus because the man is not focused on her reactions.

2. Anal: This could well be that he wants anal stimulation and is embarrassed. Read up on rimming, prostate stimulation/milking, and move the action to a hot tub or shower.

3. Cold or hot water, ice cubes, a TINY bit of tobasco saue (that you have already tried and found you can tolerate), showing some enthusiasm by gagging a tiny bit (without actually throwing up) are all hot to one man or another.

4. Many of the women posters saying DTMFA who would be perfectly fine with it if the genders were reversed.

Let me get this right: IF HE can't figure out what satisfies HER (and she doesn't offer a clue how to fix it) then he is an insensitive clod and SHE should DTMFA. If SHE can't figure out what satisfies HIM (because he won't offer a clue how to fix it) then SHE should DTMFA because HE is an insensitive clod. Which brings up the ultimate question: If a tree falls in the forest and there is no woman around to hear it, is it still the man's fault?
Posted by Professor on July 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
ALWAYS Clear Your Cache!!! 89

Why don't you buy the damn equipment for your girlfriend to use on you?!

LW1 sounds like my friend's ex. She was his first (he was not hers) and had the nerve to complain about her technique! It's an asshole move, not your problem per se. If HE was good, he'd explain/show what he wants.
Posted by ALWAYS Clear Your Cache!!! on July 19, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
nocutename 90
Maybe this isn't the right comment thread for it, but I thought that some here would appreciate the first letter and response from today's "Dear Prudence:"…
Posted by nocutename on July 19, 2012 at 10:22 AM · Report this
shurenka 91
@89 The equipment's expensive. Derp derp derp!
Posted by shurenka on July 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Gay men give the best blow jobs. Why? Because they LOVE doing it. Women, generally, don't. Since they don't have a penis, they have no idea how it works or reacts to a good blow job. I will never forget how one gay member of a musical I was in gave blow job instructions to the women in their dressing room. The event became legend. Anyway, watch some gay blow job videos, observe guys doing what they love. Straight blow job porn is comparatively boring. But that's just my opinion.
Posted by Screenusnomus on July 19, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
@86 Personally, I don't thinking about getting flogged when I masturbate. I like getting flogged for its own sake. Of course I don't know what sensory deprivation and extreme bondage feel like to OGFB, but neither do you. If he only has genital contact with women, I find it reasonable to call him straight. The good news is that it doesn't matter if we find the right label -- he and his wife and his activity partners are all enjoying themselves, and more power to them.
Posted by EricaP on July 19, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
@Screenusnomus: "Gay men give the best blow jobs. Why? Because they LOVE doing it."

Not true in my experience (on average), and I have done quite a bit of, em, research. Gay men may love doing it but that doesn't guarantee a decent blowjob.

Can we get past this nonsense that loving something makes you good at it? For example, nobody craves sex more than the typical teenager, yet most teenagers are pretty bad at sex.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
@GG1000 and all of you calling LW1's husband an asshole, imagine the sexes were reversed. Would you seriously expect a woman to stay silent if she is not getting satisfied by her partner's oral technique? And would you really expect her to be able to instruct him, especially if she is inexperienced, in an activity that she has never performed herself on anther girl or, for obvious reasons, tried out on herself? My hunch is that no, you would consider it hunky dory if she asked him to be a little creative, and you would blame the husband if he wasn't.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 19, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
Of course, I might just be rubbed out now by the gay mafia for besmirching our blowjob reputation. Very bad for business. Attracting straight trade and all that...
Posted by cockyballsup on July 19, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
so i started dateing my ex again and we never date for more than a week. and it's been 3 days and i got a text from him today saying "i think im not ready for a gf right now so im breaking up with you for right now but im still gonna talk to you everyday just as friends for now" should i still be firends with him and go after this other guy i've been kinda seeing for a while before i started going out with this other guy ??? uhhg i need help and i watch your show alot (:
Posted by kaybre on July 19, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
@95: I think Dan had it right the first time -- the way the guy asked was pretty assholish. It's one thing to admit one's not sure what to suggest and it's another thing to BLAME one's wife for just not "being creative."

True, it can be darned hard to ask for what you want -- there I have lots of sympathy. But it seems to me someone who was having trouble with that would be a bit more diffident when he did work up the courage to ask. Though I suppose some guys would be so afraid of looking weak that they'd start blustering instead of admitting they weren't sure about something.

Incidentally, most women have a whole lot of experience touching themselves, even if not with a tongue. I should think most know enough to say things like a little to the left/right, harder/softer, do/don't go directly for the clit, I like fingers inside at the same time, etc.
Posted by Eirene on July 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
@95 Cockyballsup

Would you seriously expect a woman to stay silent if she is not getting satisfied by her partner's oral technique?

Or his fucking technique?
Or his kissing technique?

You would be surprised at how many men cannot receive a suggestion (forget about constructive criticism). So, I think many women just endure less than satisfying sex than make a suggestion that will fall on deaf or defensive ears.

If I am lost driving or walking in a city I don't know, I will ask someone for directions. Or I will look at a map. Or now I will Google Map it on my phone. I don't see it as a sign of weakness to ask for help to get to where I want to go. To discover and explore some place new. I have been involved with many men that would rather stubbornly drive around in circles that stop and ask for directions. This mentality is frustrating and I still don't understand.

Can explain this to me?
Posted by albeit on July 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this

Can someone explain this to me?
Posted by albeit on July 19, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
@95 No one is saying he should stay silent. But when the sexes are reversed, us women are fully expected to know ourselves well enough to be able to give our partners constructive feedback, or be willing to explore and provide feedback along the way. If he cannot explain to her what he would like, he should at least be able to tell her what is not working. Like, you are not using enough pressure, you always do the same thing, etc. If you have a problem, it is on you to be a grown up and use your words, your spouse is not a mind reader.
Posted by tachycardia on July 19, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
@95, 98, 101:
I don't know what my last affair (he was more than a fuckbuddy, less than a boyfriend) did differently to my ex-boyfriend, but cunnilingus was way better.
Could I teach another guy how to do it? No.

I sometimes like to abbreviate foreplay by giving a blow job which usually gets me wet in no time. That is purely selfish. I don't think my partners enjoy it as much as I do but they know it's the best way to get me wet so they put up with it. :-)
Posted by migrationist on July 19, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
@Eirene, in all fairness, we don't really know if the way the guy asked was "assholish". That is not even really clear from the letter, never mind that we haven't heard his side of the story.

@Migrationist: "I don't know what my last affair did differently to my ex-boyfriend, but cunnilingus was way better. Could I teach another guy how to do it? No."

Exactly! It is the same with fellatio. I have had great head in the past. I don't really know what they did differently. And I had to go without "great" head for ten years in my last relationship because none of the suggestions I could think of to give to my ex really hit the target.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 19, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this

Ask him to shave his stuff.

If he does, you might discover more things to do, you might get more enthusiastic, and your gag tendency might even diminish (it should go down with increased arousal anyway.)

If he doesn't, you have to question how much he really wants better cock-sucking.
Posted by Hunter78 on July 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM · Report this
@cockyballsup That makes sense, that you don't know what your partner did different that felt so good. What separates you, for all the years you went without "great" head from the lw's husband is the fact that you were actually making suggestions, even if none of them really hit the target. You didn't just tell your ex he wasn't good enough, and leave it to him to figure out on his own what he should be doing differently. I guess, like all good sex, it comes down to communication, and if that is lacking, then the sex isn't the real issue.
Posted by tachycardia on July 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
This is for TIWDIW, Destructive Criticism. I have a great bit of information for TIWDIW and any other BJ'er out there. The gag reflex vanishes during orgasm. Here is the way to use this to you and your lover’s advantage.

69 it TIWDIW. First shave thoroughly. Clean your vjj inside and out, super fresh. Put a little cherry flavored love juice in your vjj.

Start him off like this. When he gets home from work. Touch him there. Repeat this a couple times so he gets the idea. Do not eat any food for at least 3 hours before the 69.

Then, 69 with you on top. You will notice that as things progress, your gag reflex will start to disappear. At the end when you climax, you will be able to go down all the way. If he cums before you do, let him cum deep in your throat.

Posted by Orgy You on July 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
Mr Shine - Good for you! I think my tariff idea might be applicable to conservatives, like the grateful one from some months back who said that everyone else would have told his wife to leave him, but Mr Savage's advice saved their marriage. If every such person out of gratitude would just start telling the truth and keep at it, even that might bring about some progress.
Posted by vennominon on July 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM · Report this

Stick your finger in his mouth. Have HIM show YOU what he wants, as you're blowing him. If he's so goddamn smart, let him show you how to give a better blow job!
Posted by portland scribe on July 19, 2012 at 6:36 PM · Report this
Ms Cute - Oh, please, don't remind me of that ghastly reply. That and the comments there gave me a serious case of the LMBs.

It was a weird letter. I couldn't tell if a tweak or two to the agreement might let them sail on, or if they were so busy contorting themselves into forced attitudes that the whole relationship doesn't bear contemplation.
Posted by vennominon on July 19, 2012 at 7:12 PM · Report this
nocutename 110
Mr. Ven: I actually liked Prudie's reply (I never read the comments there).
I thought she called it well.
Posted by nocutename on July 19, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
@Cocky. I definitely agree that enthusiasm is not an end unto itself. But it definitely has some place in the equation. If someone was really good at giving head, and the receiver knew they hated doing it, it could potentially take away from the experience. The reverse can also be true. Someone who may not be great, but is really happy to be doing it, and really sincere in wanting to please their partner can increase the pleasure. Knowing that a partner enjoys the things they're doing to me ups the enjoyment for me.
But yes, enthusiasm and enjoyment of performing does not make you good at it. If the amount that you loved to do something was equal to your skill at doing it, I'd be a broadway star. As it is, my singing and dancing are limited to cranking up music when I clean my apartment.
Posted by KateRose on July 19, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this
@110, I just wanted to add to Prudie's answerthe only thing I would have added was that the LW might want to cut back on her drinking if she often finds that she can't remember what happened the night before.…
Posted by EricaP on July 19, 2012 at 10:10 PM · Report this
Edited for clarity:
The only thing I would have added to Prudie's answer was that the LW might want to cut back on her drinking if she often finds that she can't remember what happened the night before.
Posted by EricaP on July 19, 2012 at 10:11 PM · Report this
"For all he knows his wife gives amazing head. (Cue the straight men who'll tell your husband that he should be happy he's getting blowjobs at all, that you wouldn't catch them complaining if they were getting regular and enthusiastic blowjobs eight years into their marriages, etc.)"

Oh! Sorry, but I guess I missed my cue! But even before the cue, I couldn't help thinking about the last time my very beautiful but non-GGG wife gave me a blowjob... It seems like yesterday -- if yesterday were to feel like a generation ago... In fact, George Bush was president, and I don't think any of us imagined that some day, there would actually be another president with the same name, just as I couldn't imagine that this sweet girl I loved so much would simply cease all oral activity after our wedding day. I certainly never imagined that almost 2 decades and 4 kids later, she'd admit that she never even liked kissing, but did it, as she said, "...because I wanted you to marry me."

Sometimes we never know just how good we have it. And sometimes, we're so blinded by "love" or whatever to fool ourselves into thinking someone will give more than they've ever intended to give.
Posted by michael610 on July 20, 2012 at 5:18 AM · Report this
Mesdames -

Well, that's the thing (or one of several) - we were given no context about what has gone on for the last six years. Is this the only time since then she's been drinking, or drunk? How has his observation of the agreement been? And the letter gave the relationship a static feel, as if Incident B took place within a year of Incident A. If there has been no change in the tone of the agreement in six years, during which time the relationship ought to have grown and changed, why not?

Then, too, exactly how is "a night of partying and drinking" (isn't that a semi-tautology?) *very similar to* "attending a friend's wine tasting"? Now, you two are both Drinkers and I a lifelong abstainer, but I can't recall ever seeing even my alcoholic mother coming home drunk from a Wine Tasting. My best guess, although I am prepared to yield to superiour expertise, is that neither of them likely knew she was drunk, and we've no idea at all about whether he was drunk as well. If he was too impaired to be able to follow the agreement with clarity, so much for best intent.

I've seen it proposed that perhaps the best answer for this particular couple is to take sex after either of them has been drinking off the table completely - with many addenda that this is only a recommendation for this couple and not an assault upon the agency of women in general.

Put this down in the main as an area where I mind considerably less about being erased.

Oh - and while Ms Prudie may have had a point about calling the LW *prim* and *punitive* (however badly she overplayed it), what on earth is wrong with *punctilious*? If she was just searching for a third word beginning with P, surely there were superiour alternatives.
Posted by vennominon on July 20, 2012 at 6:16 AM · Report this
Isn't it bad form to bring outside food into a restaurant? And that link is broken.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 20, 2012 at 7:03 AM · Report this
nocutename 117
@cockyballsup and others who didn't read Dear Prudence (apologies to those who already did or don't care), this is the letter and Prudie's reply:

Dear Prudence,
My husband is kind, supportive, funny, generous, smart, and loving. However, I feel like I must divorce him. Six years ago, when we were in our early 20s and had just fallen in love, after a night of partying and drinking, he woke me up in the middle of the night and started to have sex with me. I was dozing and still drunk and, yes, I took my panties off myself. But when I realized that it was not OK for him to make advances on me in my state, I pushed him away and ran out. He later felt so bad he wanted to turn himself in for rape. I was very confused and thought at times that I was overreacting and at others that I was raped. We painfully worked through this, but the incident made my husband very reluctant about having sex. This led to an agreement that he shouldn't be afraid of coming close to me in similar situations as long as he asked my consent. This made us feel better and I felt secure again. However, we just found ourselves in a very similar situation. After coming back from a friend’s wine tasting we went to bed and he started to kiss me. I liked it and went along, only to wake up in the morning and remember only half of it. Now I am in the same painful spot I was before and I can’t fathom how he could have ignored our agreement. Should I just drop it or am I right about feeling abused?


Dear Confused,
I understand the need for colleges to have unambiguous codes of sexual conduct for their young, horny, possibly plastered students. These often require getting explicit permission for every escalating advance. However, if two adults are in love and have frequently made love then each can assume implicit consent to throw such legalistic caution—as well as panties—to the wind. Certainly spouses are entitled to say, “Not tonight” or “Not there,” and have such a request respected. But even a married couple who have had sex hundreds of times can enjoy that alcohol might ignite a delightful, spontaneous encounter. Your approach, however, seems to be to treat your sex life as if it is subject to regulatory review by the Department of Health and Human Services. Your prim, punctilious, punitive style has me admiring your put-upon husband’s ability to even get it up, given the possibility he’ll be accused of rape—or turn himself in for it!—if one of you fails a breathalyzer test. Living in terror that expressing one’s perfectly normal sexual desire could end one’s marriage, and freedom, is itself a form of abuse. Stop acting like a parody of a gender-studies course catalog and start acting like a loving wife. If you can’t, then give the poor sap a divorce.

Posted by nocutename on July 20, 2012 at 7:56 AM · Report this
Thanks for Emily Yoffee reprint. I read the column originally, thought way-to-go-Prudie!, and am glad for chance to talk about it here rather than there.

Not only do I think Yoffee is right that there's no problem with consensual sex in a marriage after a few, or even a few too many, drinks, I think she didn't pay enough attention to that grey area of sex after several drinks before the marriage. Let's say the woman really felt taken advantage of that time in her early 20s. Nevermind whether it was a convictable crime, let's say she felt like it was rape. You go into counseling to help get over and forgive someone for neglecting you or for cheating on you. But isn't rape supposed to be so traumatic that you never want to see the jerk again? For this lady, it's more of a bargaining point, something she can use to get the upper hand the next time her husband wants to get out of doing the dishes.

I suspect that the letter is a hoax. Elsewhere on the net, there's a disagreement between Yoffee and another columnist on exactly the point of whether rape is rape where alcohol is involved. I forget which side Yoffee took, but I imagine a reader wanted to test her. Look at the original: "I feel like I must divorce him". "When I realized that it was not OK for him to make advances on me in that state". This sounds like a parody, not the real thing. It's very like how I want to ask Dr. Laura if it would be alright for me not to honor my elderly mother by checking in with her and making sure she has home care if my mother didn't want to take some calls when I was grown.
Posted by Crinoline on July 20, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
@118 I agree with your assessment that the letter reads like parody. But: "isn't rape supposed to be so traumatic that you never want to see the jerk again?"

That is a vast overgeneralization. Marital rape is related to other forms of spousal abuse. And no, the victim often isn't sure if they want to walk away. That's news to you?
Posted by EricaP on July 20, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
The thing about the letter that grates me is that the husband most likely was in the same state as his wife both times (ok, first time she wasn't his wife).
So he makes a drunken advance, she drunkenly agrees, and suddenly he raped her?
If that was generally how rape was defined, about 40 % of my sexual encounters were rape.
Posted by migrationist on July 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
@114 Um...Damn. If I wasn't making minimum wage I'd totally donate money for the sole purpose of sending you to a brothel in Nevada. (Note: If you have the money DO NOT get a hooker in Vegas, ONLY hookers at licensed brothels a short trip outside Las Vegas are legal and routinely screened for sexual diseases.) As things are though, all I can say is I'm sorry that in the context of a LTR sexual partner your wife sucks.

I wonder if you can attach a sexual needs fufillment requirement into a prenup or marriage contract. Probably not, but someday?
Posted by mygash on July 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
I thought Prudence's answer lacked a lot of nuance and played right into the hands of those who think that women lie about rape a lot, or that some women are too brainwashed to know what rape really is. (Not to mention those who think consent isn't THAT important in a long-term relationship.) I agree the letter sounded as though it was made up precisely to evoke such a response.

Re drunk sex in general, I like Cliff Pervocracy's summing-up:

"Drunk sex is kind of a tough one, in my opinion. Mostly because there's drunk and there's drunk and then there's drunk. That is, there's three scenarios:

"1) They were drinking, but that didn't change anything.
2) They were drinking to the point where one (or both) of them made decisions they wouldn't have made sober.
3) They were drinking to the point where one of them was totally incapacitated and couldn't say yes or no at all.

2 is problematic, 3 is rape, and they both seem to get lumped in willy-nilly with each other and with 1."

Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
@111: Agreed, all the enthusiasm in the world won't make up for crappy technique, but a manifest lack of enthusiasm will throw cold water on even the most flawless execution. A lack of enthusiasm is also unlikely to lead to flawless technique in the first place.

Also, yes, whoever mentioned "hummers" had the right idea. All those encouraging noises can provide a tactile benefit as well as an emotional one.
Posted by avast2006 on July 20, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
122-- Eirene-- There's another that gets lumped together with your 3: He purposely encouraged her to drink more than she thought she should with the full knowledge that there was a good chance that if she got drunk enough she would be incapacitated to the point of agreeing to do what he knew she wouldn't do sober.
Posted by Crinoline on July 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
@124 -- wouldn't that be lumped with 2 rather than with 3? It wouldn't really matter if it got lumped with 3, as they're both definitely rape. It *would* matter if it got lumped with 2.

I don't myself feel that anyone should be drinking so much that they don't remember things afterward. It's not asking for rape (because that's someone else's decision), but it is asking for a good many other problems that are in one's own control.

Birth control didn't come up, either. Surely drunk sex is that much more likely to lead to unwanted pregnancy or STD transmission? The idea of being unable to remember whether a guy used a condom gives me shivers. That MIGHT be less of a problem within marriage, all depending on arrangements, but then again it mightn't.
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
OGFB - there are plenty of ladies who would be interested in helping you and don't mind that you are married. Go on, become a member of the community, go to some munch's, and I suspect you will be able to engage your kink with like minded ladies who don't want a permanent relationship.

And then visit a good online retailer like extreme restraints and buy some toys for your partner to use on you.
Posted by Ug on July 20, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
One doesn't need to be so drunk as not to remember everything the next day to be too incapacitated to give meaningful consent.
Posted by migrationist on July 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
@127: I didn't mean to imply that one did have to be that drunk for consent to be impaired. I was just saying it was a bad idea anyway. The second paragraph changes subject a bit from the first -- sorry I wasn't clearer.
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
nocutename 129
@Eirene, migrationist, Crinoline, EricaP et al:
Maybe the letter was a fake, but even assuming it was, I don't think that Prudie's answer "played right into the hands of those who think that women lie about rape a lot, or that some women are too brainwashed to know what rape really is. (Not to mention those who think consent isn't THAT important in a long-term relationship.)" (Eirene @122)

It's not that I don't think marital rape exists, or that women are lying about rape or don't know it when they experience it or read about it. It's that I think that consent is generally implied by marriage, and within the context of an ongoing romantic, erotic relationship of somewhere above 6 years to a man that the lw describes as "kind, supportive, funny, generous, smart, and loving," and who is characterized as being so sensitive to his partner's feelings that he once "wanted to turn himself in for rape," when he made a pushy, alcohol-fueled advance that his then-girlfriend says she was successful at stopping ("I pushed him away and ran off.")

Now, of course everyone should always make sure that the other party is in agreement, and that all sexual activity is mutually-agreed to, but sex agreed to in a state of blackout drunkenness between two strangers is very, very different from sex implicitly consented to while in a state of blackout drunkenness between a married couple.

EricaP rightly suggests that these people drink less, but I think that a woman who would see this incident as marital rape (whether this letter is fake or not, the attitude of the lw is real enough in enough women to bear discussing), rather than a regrettable experience for which she assumes some responsibility, and who furthermore would use that interpretation to justify divorcing her husband who by her own admission has done nothing like this in 6 years, needs a reality check.

Many years ago, my then-husband and I took a cruise. One night I drank so much that upon returning to our cabin, I fell down in our closet and passed out there. Upon waking (in the bed) in the morning, I became aware that we must have had sex the night before, but I had no memory of either the sex, getting undressed, or moving to the bed. I asked my husband, who confirmed that we'd indeed had sex, and that I had been an active participant, and had a full conversation with him afterward! We joked for a while about how "memorable" the sex must have been for me to forget it so entirely, but that's a classic blackout. FWIW, that was one of the only two blackouts of my life, and I'm generally a responsible drinker who rarely gets past the point of slightly tipsy. I can not imagine getting worked up about any part of that event except the immoderate-ness of my own drinking.
Posted by nocutename on July 20, 2012 at 2:05 PM · Report this
whether this letter is fake or not, the attitude of the lw is real enough in enough women to bear discussing

That's the thing. I don't believe it is, which is exactly why the letter smelled so off to me. If it wasn't a fake, I have to think there was far, far more to the story, and that these two incidents were only the tip of the iceberg. Otherwise it just makes no damn sense, even if you postulate various unpleasant things about the LW. However, the LW *did* have a point that her husband broke a previous agreement, and to that extent consent was compromised.
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
I will admit to having a knee-jerk "My God, no," reaction to "consent is generally implied by marriage." I certainly think married couples are apt to employ shorthand ways of expressing consent, but honestly, anyone who's been married years and years who doesn't always know whether their partner is consenting is Doing It Wrong. If nothing else, it implies such lousy sex.
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this

How about ...

They got drunk, happy, lowered their inhibitions, fucked. And repeated these actions?
Posted by Hunter78 on July 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
nocutename 133
The issue in this letter isn't that the boyfriend/husband failed to get consent from his girlfriend/wife, but that she gave him her consent while in a blackout ("liked it and went along, only to wake up in the morning and remember only half of it.") I agree that consent obtained from someone who is too drunk to be fully aware of what she's agreeing to, if it happens between strangers or acquaintances is either suggestive of mutual bad-decision-making (at its most optimistic) or a jerk taking advantage of a woman's incapacitation (at its more reprehensible) or a villain engineering a situation which he can use to his unscrupulous advantage (at its most sinister). I would call both the second and third scenario rape.

But yes, marriage does imply a state of mutual consent unless consent is explicitly denied (thus, "not tonight, I have a headache," rather than "honey, is it okay if I do this?") And a woman who gives her consent to her husband by "going along with" sex when she is drunk, then wakes up and doesn't remember the sex thoroughly, then decides that it must be rape and she needs to leave the marriage, is either leaving out a lot of relevant information in a letter (unless the letter is a hoax), or is trying to shift her guilt and embarrassment at having drunk to the point of blackout onto her husband.

Posted by nocutename on July 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
But yes, marriage does imply a state of mutual consent unless consent is explicitly denied (thus, "not tonight, I have a headache," rather than "honey, is it okay if I do this?")

Oh, boloney. Why would you out of the blue say "Not tonight, I have a headache," if not to some kind of request? It might not be a verbal request, sure, but typically long-term couples have well understood signals of "I'm interested if you are."
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
@132: that's either 1 or 2. Lowering one's inhibitions may either mean "doing what one really wanted to do" or "doing what one wouldn't otherwise have chosen to do." Big difference.
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 3:20 PM · Report this

So, you don't drink?
Posted by Hunter78 on July 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
@136: I do, actually. Your point?
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 4:16 PM · Report this
125 Eirene-- I saw it as a progression. Your #3 is a man seeing that a woman is drunk and taking advantage of the situation where she's incapable of making a decision. I'd call that rape but would still note that he might have thought that not getting an implicit yes meant that it was O.K. In other words, he's a rapist, but I can understand where he might not know he was one. I can understand his being educated after the fact. My #4 took it a step further. In that one, there's malice in forethought. He knows he's raping her, and if he says otherwise, he's window dressing. Nocute said it better than I in 133.

Something else to throw into the mix: I understand young 20 somethings not knowing their limits when it comes to alcohol. If you're going to drink at all, you have to learn by testing how you personally react to how much alcohol. Some can handle a lot. Others can't handle much at all. But by the time you're married for 6 years, shouldn't you be past the point of not knowing how much you've had at a wine tasting? Haven't you figured out what the spit buckets are for?

Similarly, by the time you're married for 6 years, don't you pretty much know your partner's responses? Haven't you figured out what's meant by a particular sway of the hips or a move to another place in the bed? If she was really so drunk as to not be giving her consent, how would she get wet? I have to be consciously turned on for that to happen.
Posted by Crinoline on July 20, 2012 at 5:07 PM · Report this
nocutename 139
@134: Eirene, I don't think you understand what I mean by "implied consent within marriage." Of course, "not tonight, I have a headache" is in response to a request, whether verbal or not. The point is that unless that message (not tonight) is given (even non-verbally, with a rolling over and going to sleep in a definitive way), there is the presumption of consent. One doesn't generally wonder, within a marriage, 'what did that move of his mean? Is he interested?' And one can work on the assumption that a sexual advance will be welcomed unless it is shot down. That's the level of "implied consent" I'm talking about--as distinct from the scenario of two strangers or new acquaintances, especially when drinking is involved
Posted by nocutename on July 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM · Report this

I also suspect that that letter is fake because it seems too perfect. It's set up to show that the LW clearly gave consent both times, and that the hubby even backed off immediately after she first said "no." Maybe it's real but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a setup.
Posted by ejc on July 20, 2012 at 6:33 PM · Report this
nocutename 141
What is the point of the fake? What is Prudie being set up for?
Posted by nocutename on July 20, 2012 at 6:47 PM · Report this
"Implied consent within the context of marriage" means that if he walks up behind you at the bathroom sink, nibbles your earlobe and fondles your boobs, and your response is to file sexual assault charges, he should divorce your ass, because you apparently can't tell the difference between the man you love and a complete stranger off the street.
Posted by avast2006 on July 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM · Report this
@133: The way I see it, the problem is that she doesn't regard non-verbal consent to be valid when she is drunk, though it's apparently just fine when she is sober. Her deal with her husband is that he should feel free to approach her even when drunk, but he needs to explicitly ask for verbal consent. In my opinion, this is stupid and arbitrary. First, if she feels she is too drunk to just climb on top of him and start grinding, isn't she too drunk to say "Yes, let's" and then climb on top of him? Second, it's a stupid, arbitrary hypocritical game of Simon Says. In essence, I get to do whatever I want, and even enjoy myself doing it, but then put all the blame on you and call you a rapist after the fact because you didn't punctiliously follow a bunch of rules that I don't subject myself to.

134: That "request" can take many forms - meaning non-verbal approaches. If after six years of marriage you still insist that your husband needs to actually ask "May I?" before putting his hands on you, perhaps you shouldn't be married.
Posted by avast2006 on July 20, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this
Crinoline@138: but your scenario was one person getting the other drunk enough to make a decision they'd likely regret -- not passed-out drunk, and not so drunk they couldn't go through the form of consent. I put that between 2 and 3, as basically 2-plus-intent. I also don't think there is any excuse whatsoever for 3; it's heinous whether planned or not, though obviously if planned that would be still worse. Re lubrication: that's incredibly variable from one woman to another. Lots of women, especially around ovulation, frequently have enough natural lube to be going on with even if they're not wildly aroused. Lots do far better with added lube even at the best of times.

nocutename@139: The point is that unless that message (not tonight) is given (even non-verbally, with a rolling over and going to sleep in a definitive way), there is the presumption of consent. One doesn't generally wonder, within a marriage, 'what did that move of his mean? Is he interested?'

I don't get the connection between your first and second sentence. To me it seems that a presumption of consent would imply that under some circumstances NO communication is necessary, that you can just start the proceedings, like being allowed to nudge the other person when they snore. And no, I don't think my husband and I always know what a particular move implies, though we usually do -- neither of us being mind readers, just knowing one another pretty well.

@141: the point would be to get Prudie defending various elements of rape culture, as I addressed in 122.
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 9:03 PM · Report this
nocutename 145
@142,143 (avast2006): Yes! My points exactly.
Posted by nocutename on July 20, 2012 at 9:06 PM · Report this
My successful and very reasonable head-giving technique improved substantially after over 15 years together when I finally watched my partner jerk himself off. My proverbial lightbulb exploded when I realized what his death-grip equivalent was and then incorporated it into my technique. He's very pleased, and he noticed the change. And tonight I applied something from the responses above. He is very thrilled tonight. Thanks all.

So to the LW who is asked to be creative: watch him jerk himself off. It may help. If not, tell him to keep fucking himself and you DTMFA.
Posted by Funky Monkey on July 20, 2012 at 9:13 PM · Report this
TIWDIW, he's asking you to stick a finger or two up his asshole when you do your beej, but he's too chickenshit to come out and tell you. This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions. You're welcome.
Posted by jussmbdy on July 20, 2012 at 9:14 PM · Report this
Allyson 148
OK, for all of those of you who are asking "if the genders were reversed, would you get mad at the woman for telling her hubby that he was bad at oral sex, but then not giving him a clue how to improve"? I can honestly say the answer is yes for me, thanks to a wonderful BF from years ago who politely but firmly insisted that I had to tell him what I liked (I hadn't complained, but I wasn't faking anything so he knew that I didn't come the first few times we had sex.) Well, I was reasonably young and awkward, but I finally stammered out a few suggestions, which he enthusiastically adopted. Magic!

Since then, I've never hesitated to give *diplomatic, polite* guidance to my partners.

Key words there being *diplomatic, polite*. Anyone who barks out criticism without any suggestions for improvement doesn't deserve a GGG partner...
Posted by Allyson on July 20, 2012 at 9:35 PM · Report this
avast, I hadn't picked up on that bit -- thought she had said not to approach her when drunk, period. But given that she has some trouble with gauging the appropriateness of her own responses while drunk, and ASKED for help with that, I don't think it's reprehensible that she asked him to be more careful about explicit verbal consent when she was drunk. I'm not sure it would work very well, and I'm not sure why under the circumstances anyone would have that problem anyway (yet another reason I don't think the letter sounds likely) but it wasn't an inherently terrible policy.

And didn't I just say over and over again that long-term couples do usually have nonverbal signals? You get no argument from me there. I'm just saying those signals do actually mean something. Though I wouldn't see any problem with saying "May I?", either. I'm sure plenty of people do, just as some couples say "Good morning" to each other and others don't bother saying a word until they've had coffee, and by then it seems silly to start with "Good morning."

142 is funny, but a straw man.
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 9:40 PM · Report this
@149: (Sorry, working my way backwards up the thread. Maybe the Friday night beer is making me see hairs to split where there are none. Not even sure anymore what I thought was different.)

But 142, a straw man? Are you sure? Maybe in the abstract, sure. But the woman in the letter is apparently seriously thinking that she needs to divorce her husband because for the second time in six years, she willingly had sex while intoxicated with the man she knows and loves -- and she not only went along with it but enjoyed it -- but he raped her by failing to get her to say "yes" first, because enthusiastic participation is just not synonymous with actually uttering the word. Six years in and she still hasn't figured out that she loves sex with her husband, and that getting drunk is not the thing that would make her want to change her mind about that. She is so hung up on the idea that drunkenness invalidates consent, that she is treating willing drunk sex with her husband the same as if she had been roofied by a stranger. Apparently she can't tell the difference.
Posted by avast2006 on July 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM · Report this
@150: Well, that's one reason why I thought the letter was a fake. I just can't imagine anyone I know ever acting like that. It makes no sense. Sounds as if we agree on that.
Posted by Eirene on July 20, 2012 at 10:12 PM · Report this
If you're looking for a response sans silliness, here:

One issue worth noting about the phrase "implied consent" is that it means different things in different contexts. In the context of driving, implied consent means that if an officer pulls you over for a sobriety test, you don't get to say no. The act of getting a license and driving on the public roads "implies" consent to that sobriety test. He gets to administer it without asking first, and resisting gets you penalties. Perhaps that is what squicks you out about "implied consent" in marriage: the idea that you don't get to say no.

That's NOT what it means in the context of marriage. (At least, not the part about not getting to say no.) In the case of marriage, it means that you have spent some time establishing a baseline of compatibility and willingness to engage in sex or other familiarities, such that you don't have to treat your partner with the same tight boundaries and deference as a stranger on the street. You've established a pact of familiarity that obviates the stranger-levels of polite distance.

In other words, you can come up behind your wife at the bathroom sink and affectionately squeeze her boobs and expect with full confidence to get a laugh and a kiss in return, rather than a hard slap and a summons to the magistrate, the way you would if you did it to someone on the bus.

Or you can initiate sex by making physical overtures, even when drunk, under the assumption that her baseline attitude of liking and wanting you sexually is not magically countermanded by the alcohol. And that her physical participation with you is at least as persuasive evidence of her consent as the word Yes would be. (Because it's not like she insists on saying Yes first when she isn't drunk.)
Posted by avast2006 on July 20, 2012 at 10:34 PM · Report this
@151: Maybe fake, maybe not. I have heard entirely too many people argue the point quite adamantly that alcohol impairment precludes consent, period. They admit absolutely no concessions for relative sobriety level or other circumstances, and situations such as the letter writer's are the logical outcome.
Posted by avast2006 on July 20, 2012 at 10:50 PM · Report this
What really annoys me is the double-standard in the letter, fake or not.

He promised to ask for her verbal consent if she is drunk because she can't trust herself when drunk. He broke his promise when BOTH of them were drunk. Why is it that he has to shoulder the responsibility not only for his drunkeness, but also for hers?

That mind-set really gets me riled because it infantilises women: I am weak and too drunk to make a decision, but I trust you, big strong man, to make the right decision when you are just as drunk.
Posted by migrationist on July 20, 2012 at 10:59 PM · Report this
@avast @153:
I agree.

But people always make that point only for women: they are too drunk to consent even if they initiate.

No-one ever says it about men: "oh, yes, he made a pass at you but he was too drunk to know what he really wanted. You shouldn't have consented. Now he feels violated."

This whole mind-set feeds on the view that women are victims, and men are predators, and not fair to either sex.
Posted by migrationist on July 20, 2012 at 11:03 PM · Report this
sissoucat 156
@155 Isn't it because men too drunk to consent can't get enough of an erection to proceed into sex on their own ?

I've always been told that a really drunk man couldn't rape anybody. And that a drunk man can be raped by a woman, and feel legitimately violated afterwards - but not through PiV.

Would other posters, who have more experience of drunkenness and its effects on erection, care to comment ?
Posted by sissoucat on July 21, 2012 at 12:16 AM · Report this
@155: yes, agreed. I was going to post something to that effect, but it was getting too long. No, nobody would say that about a man if a woman, even a sober woman, made a pass at poor drunk him and he took her up on it. They wouldn't call his ability to consent into question for one second. They'd just call him lucky, and they certainly wouldn't call her a predator, even though what she did was exactly what they would call "took advantage of the partner's inebriated state" if he were to do it.

The other facet of that argument is that men are supposed to be able to accurately judge the state of intoxication of the woman, and be held responsible as a rapist if he thought she was capable of consent but she recants the following day. Even if she did legitimately not remember what happened, people can be capable of surprising coherence in the moment. It's a wonder that men don't carry consent forms in triplicate and a Breathalyzer with them. But then the folks making this argument will often claim that any level of intoxication, even merely lowered inhibitions, constitutes fatal impairment of consent. As you note, this completely robs women of their sexual agency and infantilizes them. Do we need to raise the drinking age for women?

I can't tell whether the letter is some pundit trying to make that point by trying to pass off the logically unreasonable case as authentic in order to disprove it, or is she a genuine acolyte of that brand of extremism. Could go either way. But again, I have heard too many people defend this point of view in all seriousness, certainly enough to treat the letter as genuine for purposes of consideration.

@156: Not true, at least not universally - men can be perfectly capable of performing sexually even though they are too drunk to remember the following morning. Frat boy morning-after stories abound. ("Wait...I fucked WHO last night?!?")
Posted by avast2006 on July 21, 2012 at 12:59 AM · Report this
@149, another angle: You mentioned her needing help with her responses while drunk. That's fine on general principles, with people in general. Thing is, this is her husband we're talking about. Presumably she is perfectly happy to fuck his brains out any day of the week. She knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that fucking him is entirely okay. I just don't see what it is about getting drunk that would suddenly make her all shy and demure with respect to him.

It's as if she is saying, "I only consented to that because I was drunk!! That wasn't real! There was no way I would ever consent to that if it wasn't for the booze!" This is, of course, nonsense. (If that was true, she married the wrong guy.) The reality is that she consents to sex, specifically with him, constantly and enthusiastically the rest of the time. This is the one guy in the whole world where it's basically okay to fuck him any damned time you feel like it, drunk, sober, anything. It's your husband -- you're allowed to get drunk and still want him.

Again, she seems to be applying the strict hypothetical case ("drunkenness precludes consent, period") in order to arbitrarily invalidate the consent that she happily grants the rest of the time. Since she is, according to the theory, incapable of consent while drunk, anything she does with him while drunk HAS to be rape, regardless of how much she enjoyed it or how actively she participated -- btw, this makes me wonder why a verbal "yes" while drunk is valid, but simply climbing on top of him while drunk isn't -- and regardless of the fact that she would consent in a heartbeat if sober.

In short, she has taken what used to be a reasonable set of principles and twisted them beyond recognition, and her husband is paying the price for her stupidity.
Posted by avast2006 on July 21, 2012 at 2:19 AM · Report this
156- On the effects of drunkenness and erection--

Drink, Madam, is a great provoker of three things. Marry, nose-painting, sleep and urine. Lechery it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance, therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him; and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and giving the lie, leaves him.

In other words, lechery sometimes overcomes and gives him a bad performance rather than no performance at all. He shows up for his part, and the audience boos, rather than staying in the wings leaving them wanting to see the play.
Posted by Crinoline on July 21, 2012 at 3:29 AM · Report this
mydriasis 160
@ sissou

Eh, depends on age/health/individual.

Alcohol affects everyone differently. Cortical inhibition and physical effects don't always correlate perfectly. So assuming a "sober" dick means a sober brain is not a safe assumption. Nor the reverse. For some people the body gets drunker (I'm like this, which is why I hate alcohol) and for some people the mind gets drunker (apparently this is common in young people especially).

It might only take a few drinks to take the wind out of a guy's sails if he's older, unfit, and smokes. But a younger, fitter, healthier guy might be blackout drunk and still able to get going. I know when I was into partying, my then-boyfriend was able to perform no matter what was in his system. Even the most infamous erection-killers seemed to have no effect at all.
Posted by mydriasis on July 21, 2012 at 5:15 AM · Report this
sissoucat 161
Thanks, Crinoline. Shakespeare's English is pretty tough for me, though. So a drunken man could rape someone, but not for very long... good to know.
Posted by sissoucat on July 21, 2012 at 5:20 AM · Report this
Someone needs to tell #7 that a dick is not a clit. That licking thing.. The "licking" it's lame. I've had girlfriends try it, and it's lame, read a "whole" book (a cocksucking pamphlet shouldn't take more than 100 pgs for an intro Iam assuming) and I am sure one of the first things in there is how to get rid of that gag reflex. You just can't give a good bj and have one. To be fair though he sounds like a jerk with the way he handled it, but no one wants a bj from a kitten. Unless it can deep throat it.
Posted by Xam on July 21, 2012 at 7:45 AM · Report this
@77 that's wicked classy fuck talk.
Posted by Xam on July 21, 2012 at 7:56 AM · Report this
sissoucat 164
@161 thanks, mydriasis, your explanations have made it quite clear for me now.

@162 ...or maybe there are other males in the world besides yourself, who have a whole lot more nerve endings in their cock ?

Because if the only sensation that matters to you in a mouth is some sort of ring constriction, two fingers should get you off in no time. Your two fingers, of course. Good luck.
Posted by sissoucat on July 21, 2012 at 9:07 AM · Report this
There is a distinction between a devotee and a fetishist. A dev simply has a "type" or preference, like height or hair color, for someone with an amputation or a disability, and goes through the regular process of meeting and falling in love. A fetishist does not develop a friendship with a person on a romantic level, but focuses entirely on the feature for sexual gratification. That is the scenario that is often open to manipulation and exploitation.
Posted by Mike in Albany on July 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
@162: There is a huge variety of ways to touch yourself that don't equate to a kitten lapping up milk, but if that's where your brain goes, don't blame me. (Sorry about the girlfriends, though. Maybe you should have given them better feedback.)

Two things: 1) Mostly it was an exercise in getting the suggestions flowing. "Try here" is a hell of a lot more helpful than "I dunno, be creative," and 2) a dick trained to Death Grip is not going to respond well to anything that can be done with a mouth. Mouths are capable of a lot, but jerking is not on the list. She's going to get TMJ trying to please that. (Same thing goes for pussies. This material has been covered before.)

As long as we are on the subject, though, why limit it to mouths? Handjobs are pretty awesome too. (again, stay away from Death Grip jerking. No variety there. Might as well do that yourself.) Vibrators aren't just for women, and it doesn't have to be penetration to feel really good.
Posted by avast2006 on July 21, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Thing is, this is her husband we're talking about. Presumably she is perfectly happy to fuck his brains out any day of the week. She knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that fucking him is entirely okay. I just don't see what it is about getting drunk that would suddenly make her all shy and demure with respect to him.

As I said, it's not something that makes sense to me either, which is why I think she's a made-up parody of something from a women's studies class (a vibe Prudie got as well, though maybe not the "made-up" part). But she unequivocally DOES have the right to refuse him for WHATEVER reason, even one other people scratch their heads over. (Note: he has the right to think her reason is stupid, manipulative, unkind, whatever, and to protest for that or any reason, but not the right to override her, it being her body and all.)

Frankly, if he DID do something traumatic enough that she's still flashing back to it six years later, she probably SHOULDN'T have married him. It's just that the description of the first incident doesn't sound that bad, especially as they supposedly worked through it at the time. But the only way the scenario makes any sense to me at all (without postulating anything that's completely not in the letter) is as a PTSD thing.

Incidentally, while one's spouse is presumably the person in one's life one's said "yes" to the most often, aren't they usually also the person one's said "no" to the most often?

migrationist@155: But people always make that point only for women: they are too drunk to consent even if they initiate.

Er, no. Those who use gender-neutral phrasings in discussion of this issue get ignored by people who ASSUME everyone else always means "only for women." I didn't, and I'm pretty sure the woman I was quoting didn't.

Posted by Eirene on July 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
@162 it's not like black water built my Wang, I am even uncut and jerk off pretty infrequently. I think I have some good nerve endings in there but, I am not a doctor, and you'd probably know better anyways. I am just saying, I dont think someone can give a good bj (especially over a longer period of time like a marriage, so have a good bj career) with a gag reflex. I know those with a bad case of it would rather hear that they don't need to adress their shortcomings and relying on that tongue thing and getting less than half of my nerve endings dealt with is just great but it's really not in my opinion. It's not as though the gag reflex serves a legitimate purpose...
Posted by Xam on July 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM · Report this
@168, as we see in this thread, men are different, so the only solid rule for blow job givers is to figure out what the guy in front of you loves.
Posted by EricaP on July 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
@168 In other words, not everyone loves deep throating as much as you do:

@22 In my experience the best BJ's I have ever got have nothing to do with deep throating.

@45 As for deep throating, it is overrated.

@76 I'm not a fan of deep-throating. It's a cool idea but doesn't feel like much.
Posted by EricaP on July 21, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
seandr 171
@162: "but no one wants a bj from a kitten"


My dick registers pretty much everything that a woman might do to it, from the tiniest teasing little kitty licks to a double-fisted handjob with roto-twisting action. Apparently your dick doesn't work that way. All I can say is, sorry, bro, you're missing out.

And, I literally got a bj a few months ago from a woman in a kitty costume. Lots of meowing, purring, licking, nuzzling, and crawling around. It was righteous.
Posted by seandr on July 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
a) did you come from the licking & purring?
b) if not, do you call it a bj?

Genuinely curious here. What do other people think? If your partner goes down on you all the time but never long enough for you to orgasm, have you been getting lots of bjs or none at all?
Posted by EricaP on July 21, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this

I was trying to be charitable. Your triad is so sad, I thought drunk could an excuse.

You don't recognize that drink can celebrate life.

Posted by Hunter78 on July 21, 2012 at 3:48 PM · Report this
seandr 174
@172: It takes quite a while, and the process drives me completely crazy in a good way, but I can come from light teasing licks focused on the right spot. I don't think purring alone would get me there, although it'd be a fun(ny) experiment. :-)

And to clarify, the bj @171 started out with all the teasing kitty stuff. Then kitty started getting mischievous (as kitties sometimes do), and it progressed into a bj by anyone's definition. I find that kind of progression much more enjoyable than just mouth-fucking from beginning to end.
Posted by seandr on July 21, 2012 at 3:57 PM · Report this
sounds like a fun scene :-)
Posted by EricaP on July 21, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
Some men find it easy to come from blowjobs, some don't, just like women with cunnilingus (assuming reasonably skillful partners either way). Some who don't come easily from oral sex still like it a lot as foreplay, some don't. See…
Posted by Eirene on July 21, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this
Hunter@173: what's wrong with scenario number one, where the people got drunk and did exactly what they wanted to do? For all you know that included any amount of awesome life-celebratory sex.
Posted by Eirene on July 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM · Report this
@119 EricaP: You nailed it!!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on July 21, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
@167: "But she unequivocally DOES have the right to refuse him for WHATEVER reason, even one other people scratch their heads over."

Agreed, absolutely. It's just that she _didn't_ refuse him. But then she wants to make it his fault that she didn't refuse him.

She was an active participant both times. (Well oksy, the first time she did eventually freak out and refuse him, but at first she was active.) Her reaction seems to be, "OMG! I said "Yes" (non-verbally) while I was drunk!! And you LET ME do it, you rapist bastard!!"

"he has the right to think her reason is stupid...but not the right to override her, it being her body and all."

Again agreed, it's just that he _didn't_ override her. What he did was fail to use his words. And she participated enthusiastically anyway. And that is somehow magically his fault.

The first time he probably had no idea, and was just doing what most people do: relying on non-verbal cues (being encouraged by her positive reactions, specifically, watching her take her own panties off and come back for more). And when she freaked out over what was happening, he _stopped._ The second time, he probably forgot to specifically ask because he was drunk, but also because she "liked it and went along with it." Sorry to repeat myself, but why exactly does verbally saying "Yes" while drunk constitute valid consent, but simply getting naked and actively participating is not valid? It's just totally illogical.

She wants to use the theory that people are incapable of consenting while drunk into a way to turn HER actions -- her enthusiastic participation -- into proof that her husband is a rapist. In my book, this is emotional abuse.
Posted by avast2006 on July 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM · Report this
Clarification: maybe she doesn't _want_ to do that. But she seems so fixated on the idea, that she thinks she needs to divorce her husband as a rapist rather than admit that it's possible for her to want him and be a willing participant while drunk.

(And there is where I rejoin your opinion, that there is something distinctly PTSD about her emotional reaction. Is there some drunken episode in her past that she is fighting against in her mind? This reaction seems to have roots that predate even the first incident with her husband.)
Posted by avast2006 on July 21, 2012 at 8:25 PM · Report this
mydriasis 181
re: deepthroating and the gag reflex (Erica and unregistered)

1. I think he meant that an overactive gag reflex prevents a good bj (in that it prevents more than just deep throating). I'd agree. Overactive is like "if I bruch my tongue with my toothbrush, I gag" which is pretty extreme but it does exist. That's going to really limit what you can do with a bj. You might still be able to please guys with a hair trigger but most guys will likely feel it's lacking (that's my guess, anyway).

2. Is deep throating overrated? Ummm maybe to some people but that's never been my experience. Most guys seem to like it but others totally lose their shit way beyond the typical vocalizations of oral.

3. Does the gag reflex serve a purpose? Are you joking?? Of course it does. It's there to prevent choking. Since unpleasant foods also induce gagging it's likely that it serves the secondary purpose of making it difficult to swallow unpleasant (therefore, probably unsafe) foods. Finally, (although this isn't really an intended purpose) a healthy gag reflex makes it possible to induce vomitting. And coming from someone who once (as a teenager) got a little carried away popping pills and was starting to feel an OD coming on... well let me tell you, trying in vain to poke around in your throat so that you can save yourself is quite the scary little experience! The 'no gag reflex' thing is great when you're giving head but it's not all sunshine and roses.
Posted by mydriasis on July 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM · Report this
sissoucat 182
@171 seandr

Mrraww ?

Since you're into the kitty scene : what do you think of being scratched (lightly) in the back during sex ? Does it do anything to you ? I often have to fight my urges to scratch, and when I do my lover reacts strongly to it, but since he's not that talkative I wonder whether it's more delicious than painful or the contrary.


Nobody has ever asked me to deep throat. It doesn't seem to be cultural here. Licking and sucking is.
Posted by sissoucat on July 22, 2012 at 1:19 AM · Report this

"1) They were drinking, but that didn't change anything."

There's nothing positive here about drinking. Drink causes a lot of nonsense, even tragedy, but many adults enjoy exercising their free choice and imbibing. And many get laid when otherwise they wouldn't. Others might regret that, but clearly the average drinker is not so traumatized that she doesn't repeat the activity.

Posted by Hunter78 on July 22, 2012 at 2:39 AM · Report this
mydriasis 184
@ sissou

No one's ever asked me either?
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 5:50 AM · Report this
EP says:

The gag reflex has a clear purpose-- prevention of choking.

Why does it diminish during sex? To promote cock-sucking, which is a pair-bonding experience. This is not restricted to humans.
Posted by Hunter78 on July 22, 2012 at 6:21 AM · Report this

You don't know?
Posted by Hunter78 on July 22, 2012 at 6:22 AM · Report this
seandr 187
@182: If you are scratching me out of sexual arousal, it would turn me on.

If it's just misbehavior on your part, it might earn you a kitty spanking.
Posted by seandr on July 22, 2012 at 9:46 AM · Report this
Hunter@183: there's nothing negative there, either. I could just as easily say that you have a weird attitude about admitting that people actually WANT to get laid -- what, they wouldn't want to if they weren't drunk? what kind of nonsense is that? That seems way more anti-pleasure than what I said. (Note: I don't think you actually think that -- but I could take that from your words as easily as you took your interpretation from mine -- or rather Cliff's.)

In so far as lowered inhibitions help people do what they really WANT to do, getting drunk is pleasant and fun. If you end up doing something you really didn't want to do, not so fun. I don't get what is odd about that attitude at all.

Oh, and incidentally, the woman who actually wrote that summing up is FAR more of a partier than I am. On another occasion, she put it a bit differently: see… where her first category is "1) Tipsy sex. This is where the woman is under the influence, but basically aware of herself; she might be a little sloppy and disihibited, but she's physically and mentally capable of saying "no" and she'll remember what happened. I'm fine with this, it's pretty normal and frankly sometimes kinda fun."
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
This sort of debate really devalues what rape actually is and honestly makes me really fucking angry.

Posted by steelcitywoman on July 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this

Aren't you contradicting yourself re being gender neutral:
@167, you say: "Er, no. Those who use gender-neutral phrasings in discussion of this issue get ignored by people who ASSUME everyone else always means "only for women." I didn't, and I'm pretty sure the woman I was quoting didn't."

And at @188 you quote : "where her first category is "1) Tipsy sex. This is where the woman is under the influence, but basically aware of herself; she might be a little sloppy and disihibited, but she's physically and mentally capable of saying "no" and she'll remember what happened. I'm fine with this, it's pretty normal and frankly sometimes kinda fun.""
Posted by migrationist on July 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this
nocutename 191
@avast2006: I am getting a crush on you.

@EricaP: Your question of whether or not it counts as a blowjob if it doesn't end in orgasm is a very interesting one. I've heard men tell me that they never got blow jobs from their wives, which I interpreted to mean that their penises never went into their wives' mouths. But in one or two of those cases, follow-up questioning revealed that oral sex was part of what constituted foreplay in their marital experiences. So I wondered why they'd think that. Certainly, if a guy eats my pussy I consider that he's given me head, regardless of the ultimate outcome.

@steelcitywoman (189): I agree. But I've said my piece on this topic more than once.
Posted by nocutename on July 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
189- Steelcity-- Would you tell us what rape really is? I'd like a consistent definition and one that's not based on different women's interpretations of the same action on the part of the man.
Posted by Crinoline on July 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
mydriasis 193
@ Crin

I think what's frustrating for steelcity (and myself) is the way the discourse on rape is going.

See, in my mind, rape means that both people (or all people, as the unfortunate case may be) know (not think/speculate/wonder) that it is a nonconsensual act.

That to me, is clear cut rape. It's not a matter of whether or not he or she resists or says "no" (if someone puts a gun to your head and says 'don't say a word' or covers your mouth in some way, we can safely assume that person knows it's not a consensual act) it's a matter of does the victim know that he/she does not want to be having sex (so not 'oh gee, I'm ambivilant but oh well') and the rapist knows that the victim does not want to engage in that act.

All of these "oh well I didn't say no because they didn't check in if it was okay" or the "tipsy sex" or the "I was too uncomfortable to say no because he's got a temper and I was afraid". These aren't clear cut. Are they bad? Yes. Do I personally consider them "rape"? No. Do they have to be called rape to be bad? No! And who came up with that binary garbage? That either it's rape(!) or it's acceptable.

The current progressive discourse on rape creates a situation where what can be deemed "rape" creeps in to all but the most protected and santized scenarios. The intent of this is to stop victim-blaming and allow women who've been truly violated from being dismissed (oh that wasn't rape therefore it wasn't bad) but it has the unintended consequence of hurting the credibility of a completely valid movement.


Because pretending a complex issue with shades of grey is a clear-cut black and white issue*

1. alienates people who care at all about truth/accuracy
2. can often offend people who have experienced the far end of the spectrum
3. can (for some) water down the meaning of words used to describe horrific acts

*See also: "my body, my choice"
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
nocutename 194
@193 (mydriasis): Well said. I agree with you. I've been thinking of you a lot lately, as I've read a lot of things about the state of feminism. Just today, a friend of mine said

'"Feminist" means something different in so many ears, or is meant something different from so many mouths. I wish we had a word meaning "person believing that everyone should be free to fulfill whatever destiny or identity he/she chooses and enter into any kind of contract with any other person except where such choices impair the freedom of others."'
Posted by nocutename on July 22, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
mydriasis 195
@ nocute

Some people like "humanist" for that, I think?

Though there are aspects of feminism I certainly do agree with, it's not enough for me to identify as one - especially with the current public perception.

As a side note, I had a look at that pervocracy blog that Eirene mentioned and found this quote in one of her "Cosmocking" posts.

How about "oh God this isn't what I wanted at all, but it's not like killing me and he seems into it and I don't want to start a lot of drama, so I'll think of England and hope he finishes up quick"? That's not exactly rape, but it's a close relative and sometimes precursor of rape, and at any rate it sure as hell isn't what sex should be.
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
@192/193, in my view, steelcity @189 is trolling.

No one in this thread has used the word "rape" to refer to anything ambiguous, except as discussing Prudie's letter-writer, and her bizarre use of the term. On Slog we have repeatedly hashed out that there is lots of unpleasant, high-pressure sex that is not rape. If anyone wants to claim that someone here on Slog is using the term "rape" to refer to ambiguous sex, please point out the particular post or posts.
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 2:42 PM · Report this
@192 Mydriasis, Just for strict accuracy, any definition of rape also includes events where consent is not legally possible, whether or not the victim knows that he/she does not want to be having sex.
Posted by tachycardia on July 22, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
nocutename 198
@196 (EricaP): Well, here at Slog we have repeatedly discussed the definition of rape and what we think constitutes it, and we have never come to consensus--which is okay. I doubt people will. But I don't understand what you mean by "trolling," in this context. Just because steelcity was unregistered? I think the Prudie discussion was an introduction to the topic of rape.
Posted by nocutename on July 22, 2012 at 4:45 PM · Report this
migrationist@190: my point was that gender-neutral descriptions, such as my first quotation from Cliff, were getting read as not gender-neutral. I never said that Cliff phrased every discussion in gender-neutral terms. My second quotation was from an entirely different context (earlier than the first, if it matters -- so if the difference actually represents any change in attitude, it was toward more gender neutrality).
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 5:13 PM · Report this
mydriasis@193: there are a lot of cases where people know it wasn't consensual, but they talk themselves into thinking it wasn't rape ANYWAY. I think that's the point. See…
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 5:34 PM · Report this
mydriasis 201
@ tachycardia

That's a legal definition, not my personal definition.

Where I live (gosh I'm giving so much away), age of consent for anal sex is 18. I did it when I was 17. Technically I was too young (therefore it was not "legally possible") to consent. Was it rape? Any sane person would probably say no. Was it legally rape? Stat rape, yes.

Do I think a birthday has a magic ability to turn rape into consensual sex? No. Do I think there is a point where even what appears to be consent isn't truly, legitimately consent? You bet your sweet ass I do. My point, again, is that pretending something is clear cut "duh, if she's under x years old you're a dirty pervert and it's rape, what do you not understand?" when it's absolutely not, is a problem. Equating my consensual (but not legally consensual) experience with someone grooming a toddler into 'consenting' to a sex act with his or her stepdad/grandparent/piano teacher/bus driver/etc etc etc is not in my best interests and it CERTAINLY isn't in the toddler's best interests.

That was kind of more my point.

P.S. you remember that scrubs episode with the guy that likes to answer himself questions and then answer them? Looks like I was shooting for that today. My apologies, I know it's kind of a dickish writing style and to be clear I totally respect your point of view.
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 5:40 PM · Report this
mydriasis 202

Yeah, that's a well-documented and common phenom but how does it conflict with anything I said?

P.S. That link didn't work for me for some reason?
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 5:42 PM · Report this
mydriasis@202: because I think some of the cases you're talking about are actually more like what I was talking about. Frequently the rapist knows perfectly well that the victim is just too scared to say no, for instance, and the victim eventually realizes that.

Not sure what happened with the link: it's http:// pervocracy. blogspot. com /2012/02/ why- i- didnt- just- call- cops. html with the spaces taken out.
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
TIWDIW, your husband is an ass. If this was a boyfriend of 6 months, he'd be a DTMFA candidate IMHO. Since it's your husband, it's worse. You're open to suggestions, and willing to do what it takes to please him, and he treats you like THAT?!! Isn't a spouse supposed to be supportive and caring? Where is the love and respect? If I were you, after that kind of feedback, I'd say "Surprise! I've decided to be creative and not give you any more head... ever. Enjoy!"
Posted by Daemonyx on July 22, 2012 at 6:45 PM · Report this
mydriasis 205

Yeah I eventually found that post and read it. That's extremely clear-cut rape in my mind. She said no, he didn't listen. Very. Clearly. Rape.

She wasn't "too scared" to say no. She said no.

Situations where the victim is too scared to say no (like the one I mentioned as being an example of rape, gun to head, etc) are also rape.
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 6:50 PM · Report this
@205: I wasn't arguing that Cliff's scenario was a "too scared to say no" thing. That was an example of someone starting out talking herself into thinking it wasn't rape, and then coming to a clearer understanding.

Also, you just included ""I was too uncomfortable to say no because he's got a temper and I was afraid"." in your examples of "These aren't clear cut. Are they bad? Yes. Do I personally consider them "rape"? No."

I used "too scared to say no" as a shorter version of that, and now you say "too scared to say no" is legitimately rape. That's pretty confusing. What difference do you see, other than wording?
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this
@206, if a husband has a temper (that's a constant), and sometimes his wife enjoys sex with him, and sometimes she puts up with the sex because she doesn't want to anger him -- and those two situations look identical to him... then it's not rape. If a reasonable person can't tell if it's rape, then it's not rape. Doesn't mean everything is hunky dory. But it's not rape.

Now, a stranger puts a gun to your head and has sex with you without either of you ever saying a word... that is rape. Because a reasonable person can tell that you most likely were not interested in sex with this person and stayed quiet because of the gun
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 7:33 PM · Report this
(Apologies for using 'you' rhetorically @207. I should know better, when discussing rape.)
Now, a stranger puts a gun to someone's head and has sex without either person ever saying a word... that is rape. Because a reasonable outsider can tell that the gun intimidated the passive person into staying quiet and passive.
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this
@198, I thought steelcitywoman was trolling because I thought our debate here was not about the ambiguities of consent but about why Prudie's LW had such a bizarre reaction to what was clearly not rape (as avast has pointed out).

But... re-reading more carefully, I see that people had indeed begun debating ambiguous cases. So I withdraw my accusation of trolling, with apologies.
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 7:40 PM · Report this
mydriasis 210
@ Eirene

You don't see the difference between "someone is holding a gun to my head, they know I don't want this regardless of whether or not I say no explicitly" and "I'm making a prediction of what will happen if I say no that my partner isn't aware of and that is causing me to not say no"?
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 7:54 PM · Report this
mydriasis 211
* Also thank you Erica for illustrating what I meant.
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 7:56 PM · Report this
@207: where'd the husband come from? Mydriasis didn't say it was a husband/wife scenario. And honestly, domestic abuse is common enough that if I heard a woman say she didn't refuse sex with her partner due to being afraid of his temper, I'd darn well think she was afraid of being beaten up. In other words, not just what ordinary people think of as a hot temper AT ALL.

And you think the guy just wouldn't know that she was afraid of him? I really, really doubt that. If someone's routinely making other people afraid of their temper, they usually know damn well: they're feeding off that fear. Also, cf. what I said at 131.
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
I wasn't talking about the gun to the head scenario at all. I'm simply saying if I hear someone say they were too scared to say no, why would I not believe they had good reason to be afraid? Also, "I'm making a prediction of what will happen if I say no that my partner isn't aware of and that is causing me to not say no" seems to me to be a completely bizarre way to interpret "I was too uncomfortable to say no because he's got a temper and I was afraid." I have no idea how I was supposed to know you meant that.
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 8:08 PM · Report this
@212, The husband/wife scenario was for the purpose of illustrating a point. I agree that the sex they're having when she is scared of him is not perfectly fine. It is definitely a problem. But it is not rape to have sex with your unhappy, scared, passive wife. It's not good, both people should get therapy... but it's not rape unless she says no and he uses some force (including the mere weight of his body) to continue anyway.
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 8:10 PM · Report this
Eirene, are you saying that all sex between a (sometimes) violent husband and his (often) scared wife is rape? If she's on top, if she initiates (for fear of the bad mood he'll get into if she doesn't)... is that rape, in your view?
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 8:13 PM · Report this
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 8:47 PM · Report this
Never said that you did. I was just interested in your opinion of that scenario. Apologies for offending you.
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 8:58 PM · Report this
mydriasis 218
Sweet baby jesus!!!

Okay to me it seems clear cut that if you're having sex with someone because you're afraid of them* and they have a temper it's because you're making a prediction of their reaction to your "no". Unless they explicitly threaten you on that occaison (in which case it's essentially equivalent to a gun to the head).

How is that confusing?

P.S. what's wrong with Erica using Husbands/Wives to illustrate a point? It's just her wheelhouse (she's married) and they aren't some magical different form of sex partner that follows different rules than all other sex partners. At least not in terms of rape (thank god for that change).

* Yes, they might know that you're afraid of them, they might even know that your sexual decisions might be influenced by that fear in some cases but they don't know whether that is true for each individual situation. It's quite likely that one partner might be having sex out of fear while their partner doesn't know that's why they consented.

This is still bad. (Duh, it's an abusive relationship) But it isn't rape. Doesn't mean it's fair or good or ethical or ideal or nontraumatic sex. Which again, is my point. Acknowledging that consent/coersion/trauma are complex and not binary is not the same as "unless he uses violent force and you resist and verbally say no it's not a problem".
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM · Report this
Well, the "my partner isn't aware of" was new information. It sounded so condescending -- as if she was just expecting her partner to be some kind of mind reader and it was really all her fault. Anyway, what I said was "Frequently the rapist knows perfectly well that the victim is just too scared to say no, for instance, and the victim eventually realizes that." I think that also applies to a lot of ongoing abuse cases such as you just described more fully.

And honestly, if the person "doesn't know whether that is true for each individual situation," then how does that really help matters? The whole business about not blaming people for not being mind readers only applies if you're talking about people who care about consent. If a person doesn't care about consent, and is pretty dang sure they don't have it all the time, knows they're being coercive, etc., how are they not a rapist, regardless of whether they know exactly which act was rape? It just seems like splitting hairs to call them anything else.
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
@219 Let's talk about people who are assholes but don't want to go to jail. He initiates sex, she says no, he gets up and yells at her for an hour and leaves to go to the bar.

The next night, she agrees to sex, because she doesn't want to face the yelling, and she wants him to keep his job and not miss work a second day in a row, because she's dependent on his salary to pay the rent.

He has not committed any crimes. He has not raped her.

Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 9:42 PM · Report this
And to reflect the fact that women can be assholes too: suppose some other people, in a dorm together, and she teases him that he's gay, otherwise he would agree to sleep with her. And she doesn't let up, until finally he has sex with her so she'll stop teasing him. Really really asshole behavior on her part. But not rape.
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM · Report this
mydriasis 222
@ Eirene

Um... lots of rapists also have consensual sex.

You say "splitting hairs" I say "describing reality accurately".

Again(!) this is what frustrates me about the discourse. "Oh gosh, things are so muddy and confusing and complicated - can't we just all lump it in the 'rape' pile and call it a day?". No, we can't, in my opinion, for the reasons I went into @193
Posted by mydriasis on July 22, 2012 at 10:08 PM · Report this
EricaP -- these are more hypotheticals that aren't connected to my point, yes? Because I have no interest in engaging with a lot of new straw-folk tangents here. Too exhausting. It's not as if I was going on and on about how X was always and forever more the rapiest rapey thing in all of rapendom, anyway, so why tell me there are lots of not-nearly-so-rapey examples, as if I'd been denying that?
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 10:18 PM · Report this
@222: I never said rapists didn't ever have consensual sex. And I don't see how you can say it's describing reality accurately to ignore nonconsensual sex just because the rapist didn't care enough about whether it was or not to pay any attention! Again, I am not saying ALL these cases are necessarily rape. I'm just saying some very likely are. You're the one who's being all black-and-white about how they're NOT rape.
Posted by Eirene on July 22, 2012 at 10:29 PM · Report this
"Frequently the rapist knows perfectly well that the victim is just too scared to say no." (@203)

Is this the point you are comfortable discussing? I'm happy to discuss that. But I'm going to rewrite it so we can discuss whether the asshole is also a rapist. "Frequently one person knows perfectly well that his/her partner is just too scared to say no."

What is the scared partner scared of, in the scenario you painted? An emotional scene? Or actual violence? Because if the scared partner is scared of an emotional scene, but no force or violence, then the asshole is not a rapist, but only an asshole.
Posted by EricaP on July 22, 2012 at 10:48 PM · Report this
seandr 226
Interesting discussion on rape. Here are three scenarios that actually happened to me. Curious whether you think I'd be a rapist if I actually had sex with any of these women (I didn't, for the record).

a) I'm in a chill room at a rave, rolling on E and feeling very much like my avatar, a 20-something zaftig girl, obviously very drunk, stumbles up and drops herself on top of me, huge boobs smothering my face, slurs something about me being really cute, then starts sloppily kissing me.

b) I'm on the dance floor at ETG, a very drunk woman about my age (40s) giving off a recently-divorced-and-ready-to-fuck vibe starts putting the moves on me, gropes my cock, later I see her hooking up with a guy who looks about half her age.

c) Long time close friend of mine, in the last throes of a failing relationship, told me she hasn't had sex in over a year, mad drunk on whiskey, finds me on the dance floor at a burning man event, starts forcefully and aggressively coming on to me, I doubt she remembers it.

If I had given any of these women what they seem to have wanted from me (and honestly, it felt a bit ungentlemanly to turn each of them down), would I have raped them? Would I belong in jail? How about the 25-year old in b) - is he a rapist? Does it depend on whether these women clearly remembered it the next morning, or regretted it?
Posted by seandr on July 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM · Report this
One last speculation on Prudie's scared drunk wife, and then off to bed...

Maybe the real issue is that since she can't remember part of the night, she is assuming that she was actually unconscious for that period. That would imply that her husband was fucking her unconscious body, which would indeed be rape.

Perhaps the whole thing about requiring that he ask her verbally first is that if he asks and has to get a verbal response, that means he has formally verified that she is still awake. You don't screw someone who isn't answering your questions.

I could see her being angry along the lines of "If I can't remember it the following morning, then I obviously was far gone at the time. How could you possibly have sex with someone so obviously sloshed?" The only problem there is that we don't know what "that far gone" really looked like that night. By this late date, the only person who knows what her observable state of awareness looked like is the husband. The question is whether she should give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he would never have sex with someone who looked completely out of control, let alone unconscious. Blacking out doesn't necessarily mean unconscious. It could mean "life of the party," lampshade on the head and everything. He could have thought, well, obviously she's awake, she just danced with me, and she's taking off her own clothing. That might be why he skipped the formal Asking Of The Question.

We in the peanut gallery will never know these things, unless Hubby writes in with his side of the story.

Posted by avast2006 on July 22, 2012 at 11:43 PM · Report this
nocutename 228
@227 (avast2006):
The problem with blackouts is that the person can hold conversations. So assuming Prudie's wife was blackout drunk, her husband could ask for and get verbal confirmation, which wouldn't be "real," nor would she remember having given it the next day. Under those circumstances, I wonder why the husband didn't just lie: "Honey, of course I asked you, and you said 'yes.'"

I think that something must have happened to this woman even before the first incident with the husband, six years ago, to make her so insistent on verbal agreement when both of them have been drinking. Not that I think her "I think I need to divorce him" is sane at all.

@226 (seandr): what is the point of mentioning the 20-something's zaftigness or "huge boobs?" Do those attributes make her more ridiculous or pathetic? Do they show that for you she is a bigger temptation? Since you didn't mention the body types of the other two women, I have to wonder.
Posted by nocutename on July 23, 2012 at 12:14 AM · Report this
@226 if the women are clearly participating with enthusiasm, I think you're safe, legally. (Though I'm not a lawyer.) But, ethically, here's a reasonable test: see if she can get a condom on you. If she's too woozy to manage it, she's probably too woozy to fuck.
Posted by EricaP on July 23, 2012 at 12:15 AM · Report this
nocutename 230
@229 (EricaP): I don't know; I'm not so good at getting condoms out of wrappers and onto cocks, even when I'm stone-cold sober!
I think that legally, seandr was in the clear; ethically, no amount of condom-rolling could mitigate the fact that the women were not in full possession of their faculties and that to take advantage of the situation would be at best, slimy.
Still, plenty of men would do it, and who's to say that the women would have any regrets the next day?

And whatever it was that would have happened between them, I would think that if the sex were *initiated* by the woman, even if she was crazy drunk, it shouldn't be considered rape even if she regrets it the next day, even if she says she wasn't competent to consent. She wasn't consenting, the man would be. For the record, at least in the first scenario, as he describes himself ('rolling on E'), seandr doesn't sound as if he were capable of really giving consent.
Posted by nocutename on July 23, 2012 at 12:35 AM · Report this
@230, "She wasn't consenting, the man would be." I take that to mean: "Her consent is not in question because she initiated; the question is whether her partner consented." Is that what you meant? If so, I agree.

Re condom-rolling, how about if we substitute the kind of thing an officer asks when they pull you over: can you walk a straight line, touch your finger to your nose easily, etc. Personally, I think it is ethical to drink and have sex with new partners, assuming everyone's an adult, you're using condoms and you have no reason to think the other person will regret it the next day.
Posted by EricaP on July 23, 2012 at 1:06 AM · Report this
@Mydriasis, my point about legally possible consent was to cover situations such as someone who is unconscious, statutory rape, people who are mentally incompetent, etc.The fact that elements of a definition can be stretched beyond the bounds of logic and twisted, does not mean those things should not be part of the definition. So statutory rape is still rape, even if having anal sex at 17 isn't (I agree with you about magic birthdays). Where I live, the law tries to deal with that gray area by having different sentencing for crimes against children under 12,etc. All definitions, including the legal one, are only a starting point, a generality that should have exclusions where applicable. It seems some people have a hard time knowing where the exclusions go ex. Prudie's letter writer, a 17 yr old having sex.
Posted by tachycardia on July 23, 2012 at 1:56 AM · Report this
sissoucat 233
@seandr The urges I get during sex are a result of sexual arousal.

Misbehaviour is when I bite his toes - so he gets out of bed in the morning.

As for the 3 situations, you did very well not to have sex with them. I don't know if legally or culturally that would have been considered rape in the US, but the risks of them changing their minds the day later and calling it rape were much too high.

And besides, from a hedonistic point of view, a drunk person is not appealing for sex. What I like in sex is the togetherness in chronic and acute pleasure, and togetherness is impossible with people so drunk as to be rambling on other planets. Bad sex is not worth it.
Posted by sissoucat on July 23, 2012 at 2:47 AM · Report this
mydriasis 234
@ tachycardia

The law has no choice but to take a complex spectrum and draw a line somewhere (missing guilty people and hurting innocent people in the process). It's not perfect, but it's the best we've got. My point was that there's a difference between what's actually rape and what's legally rape, not that legal definitions of rape are irrelevent.
Posted by mydriasis on July 23, 2012 at 5:31 AM · Report this
mydriasis 235

None of those are rape in my books.
With the exception of your friend (I assume 'last throes' means they were still together) none of them seem exceedingly immoral either, to be honest.
I mean ideally you'd magically know what these people would want sober and then could make a decision based on that but the world is an imperfect place.
Posted by mydriasis on July 23, 2012 at 5:40 AM · Report this
193-- Mydriasis-- I agree that rape has to have 2 that know it's rape, in that he has to know she doesn't want sex and she has to know it too (in the present moment, not later), but even that has its problems and grey areas. I'm not trying to defend this view, but I do want to point out that it exists. There are men who walk around believing that if a woman wears a short skirt, it means she's "asking for it," and therefore they're not rapists. That kind of thinking leads to whole cultures that believe women must be shut away indoors and in burkas in order to prove their purity.

I like your list of the effects of not considering shades of grey and would add

4. Convinces some men that there's something evil about ever making a first move or even desiring women in general.

I am forever grateful to the men in my earlier years who understood seduction and foreplay. They'd kiss, get me turned on, move to my neck and breasts, get me more turned on, and continue in that manner until I wanted oral or PIV. If they'd started the evening with a clear indication that I wanted PIV sex, my honest answer would have been that I didn't feel like it. Even now, 25 years with the same man, I rarely know what I want when I start.
Posted by Crinoline on July 23, 2012 at 5:47 AM · Report this
mydriasis 237
@ Crin

Yeah I mean, that's just my definition of rape. What I was trying to get at is that if both people know that it's rape - no one can challenge that. It's an extreme of the spectrum. Which is not to say that things outside that can't also be rape (one quick example, a person in a coma) or that things outside that can't be morally awful too.

4. Is a good point, as well.
Posted by mydriasis on July 23, 2012 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Blow him while he's driving. Pull off to the side of the road somewhere and have wild sex.
Those are my ideas.
I'm with Dan though, he has to tell you what he wants; mental stimulation, change in technique, visual stimulation? Don't get too down on yourself, he's probably not the worlds best lover either, so let him know now what you want too. And then you guys can get on the same page and go 8 more years!
Posted by j222 on July 23, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
seandr 239
@228: what is the point of mentioning the 20-something's zaftigness or "huge boobs?"

If I'm describing a woman's attempt to seduce me, why would I omit the fact that her first line of attack was pushing her very large breasts into my face?

And FWIW, it's a pretty powerful seduction strategy. Especially when I'm on E. Because boobs (of any size, really) and E go quite nicely together.
Posted by seandr on July 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM · Report this
seandr 240
@sissoucat: Misbehaviour is when I bite his toes - so he gets out of bed in the morning.

LOL. Naughty kitty!
Posted by seandr on July 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
@240: I always thought you disciplined a cat with a spray bottle. I suppose if she's been sufficiently naughty, it's one of those tiny little cut crystal ones, with something expensive in it.
Posted by avast2006 on July 23, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
EricaP@225: we were talking about a situation where the woman herself thought it was rape, weren't we? So clearly she believes it wasn't consensual, because she not only didn't say yes, she would have said no if she weren't too afraid to, which implies a considerable level of fear. If the man KNEW she was going along with it only because she was afraid, well, then he knew she wasn't consenting. In which case, strictly speaking it doesn't matter exactly what she was afraid of his doing, or exactly how afraid she was. It would still meet mydriasis's standard of both parties knowing it wasn't consensual.
Posted by Eirene on July 23, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
seandr 243
@241: That might explain why my spankings don't seem to make kitty any less naughty. In fact, sometimes I wonder whether the spankings are somehow inciting her misbehavior.

Mysterious creatures, kitties are...
Posted by seandr on July 23, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
#156: There is a well-known case of a man who passed out drunk, and was mounted by a woman in front of several people, got him off, got pregnant, had the baby, and he was legally obligated to pay child support. Also many rapes are committed by men who are drunk. The two states are not incompatible, unfortunately.
Posted by marilynsue on July 23, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
mydriasis 245
@ marilyn

Ohhhh shit, the woman-rapes-man-gets-pregant-scenario. This is (not that anyone cares) my personal exception to the 'my body, my choice' rule.

Rape victims should not be forced to become parents against their will - regardless of their gender.

P.S. can you link us to that case in some way?
Posted by mydriasis on July 23, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
@242, "we were talking about a situation where the woman herself thought it was rape, weren't we?"
I don't know, I don't know the backstory you're discussing. In the Pervocracy link, she said no (aka "red"), and she still didn't think it was rape until she reconsidered, later. I don't know what other situation you have in mind. I believe it does make a difference whether she is afraid of him thinking she's a prude; afraid of him lying to his friends about her; afraid of him yelling at her; or afraid of him hitting her. I don't understand why you think it doesn't matter what she's scared of.

The word 'no' obviously isn't the crux of the matter; so that if she is pushing him away or crying, those also count as saying no. But if she is consenting, but only because she is scared of the consequences if she refuses, then, yes, it totally matters what consequences she anticipates if she doesn't consent.
Posted by EricaP on July 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
I don't know what other situation you have in mind.

Oh for pete's sake. I've quoted it over and over. It's the one in 193 where mydriasis postulates a woman who says "I was too uncomfortable to say no because he's got a temper and I was afraid." I then said at 203 "Frequently the rapist knows perfectly well that the victim is just too scared to say no, for instance, and the victim eventually realizes that."

That's ALL this is based on here. If they BOTH KNOW that consent didn't occur, it meets mydriasis's condition (as well as the less stringent federal definition of rape). We're talking solely about the case where both the quotations above were true. In reality, this is extremely likely to be a case where she had a reasonable fear of getting beaten up or some other violent backlash, but I don't see a logical reason it has to be. It's his reaction to knowing about her fear that matters.
Posted by Eirene on July 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
@27- UK girlie
I agree that #11 was getting a little too creative in describing his penis as well as coming with different semen terminology. Maybe he was unseccesfuly trying to be funny, but I doubt he intended it to be mean and offensive.

It seems to me like women have an easier time naming their private parts without worrying about offending anyone. Which reminds me a piece I recently read about a British writer who invited her female readers to tell the world how they call their vagina. One that stood up, though only figuratively so, was “Birmingham City Center”.

And since we’re already dealing with language here- should “being a dick” considered as a sexist remark?
Posted by fif on July 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
@247, if she's scared of him yelling, I'll call it abuse, but not rape. I guess we've found the crux of our disagreement.
Posted by EricaP on July 23, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
nocutename 250
@239: because the size of her breasts has little to do with the fact that she was thrusting them into your face. It seems to be the action that was the attempt at seduction, rather than her number in the anatomical lottery. As you yourself pointed out, breasts of any size are (for you) a powerful attractant.
Posted by nocutename on July 23, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
@EricaP The relationship dynamic you describe isn't just a really weird way to make a point about rape, but also very disturbing. Your hypothetical people don't just need therapy they need a divorce. They aren't even real partners to be honest, just two people paying each other with different currencies to fulfill assigned roles. Where there's fear true intimacy is always absent regardless of were your genitals are.

Or as Nietzsche put it:
"Are you a slave? Then you cannot be a friend. Are you a tyrant? Then you cannot have friends."

Now I'm not trying to attack all marriages/relationships were one partner is submissive and the other dominant. I think those are as valid as any other type of marriage/relationship as long as they both at some point consented to that dynamic (either by action or verbally) and find a healthy way to express it. You can't really consent to emotional or physical abuse, regardless of whether you stay or not.

Sorry, to just throw that out there, but out of that whole discussion that hypothetical couple was the most disturbing counterargument to me even though I agree with you, mydriasis, nocutename, and etc regarding the broader rape discussion. And also totally agree Prudie's LW is in the wrong.

And regarding intoxication/impairment plus sex; sure you may regret it, but it doesn't mean you get out of taking responsibility for your actions or in this case accepting them as your own. People do things they later regret or try to rewrite behavior as "not me" when they're angry, sad, tired & etc that they wouldn't do in their "normal" frame of mind but we still expect them to answer for it.
Posted by mygash on July 23, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
I'm more or less with Ms Eirene and can see some point to the LW's Verbal Consent When (Drunk? Drinking? Someone should specify), but clearly it's run up against the problem that he's responsible for performing a correct evaluation of her condition. They appear to need tweaks for what happens when he makes an honest mistake, or is himself too impaired for competency.
Posted by vennominon on July 23, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
The real point about Dr Sean's post that everybody missed was that he thought it was "ungentlemanly" to decline the advances of the females in question. Leaving alone the question of adjectives, talk about prescribed gender roles! But it does lead directly to some choice Austensplaining:

"Oh, to be sure," cried Emma, "it is always incomprehensible to a man, that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage. A man always imagines a woman to be ready for anybody who asks her."

"Nonsense! A man does not imagine any such thing..."
Posted by vennominon on July 23, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
And for the trifecta, I congratulate Ms Erica for post 221. Let me expand that scenario. He is gay. At the peak of the taunting, she threatens to call his roommate (whom he knows to be in the room a few doors down) right away and denounce him as a [nasty word of what I'd call Mr Ank's choice if I were in Waspish Mode, which I'm not; I just didn't want anyone to think I'd forgotten anything operative]. Knowing that his roommate, whom I shall conveniently put on both the football and hockey teams, has already sent a couple of unfortunates of his persuasion to the hospital as the result of what have officially been deemed "innocent pranks", he sleeps with her, or, to tie together many threads very neatly, performs orally to her satisfaction as "proof" of non-poofery.

But here is the root of my congratulations. I have seen it postulated that one can have a rape without a rapist. But what I want here is to make her half a rapist. With that in mind - does she know or doesn't she know that the roommate is a queer-basher?
Posted by vennominon on July 23, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
This is depressing.

I thought Seandr did a good job giving capsule descriptions of his theoretical rape victims/rapists. But the PC police has to jump in at an instance of the word "zaftig."

Posted by Hunter78 on July 23, 2012 at 4:03 PM · Report this
@251: Yes, agreed, they need both therapy and a divorce. Apologies for upsetting to you while making my point.

@254: If she threatens to out him to his roommate while knowing that will lead to violence, I think that's actual rape, not half-rape.

Posted by EricaP on July 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
for all the great advice that poor woman is getting, i don't think that A-hole deserves a good blowjob. He just want to B*tch and have an excuse to pay a professional.
Posted by rosecantina on July 23, 2012 at 5:21 PM · Report this
@256 No problem. I actually feel silly for even bringing up an issue about something that was a minor point in a larger arguement.
Posted by mygash on July 23, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
sissoucat 259
Actually, spanking is not alluring to me. I've never heard of spanking in my country as an enjoyable bedroom play ; but there are plenty of references to it in US media. Cultural differences maybe ?

The only cultural occurence I know of spanking is in a song, where the guy has come to the funeral wake of one of his best friends, and the widow and him drink a bit too much to cheer themselves up, she ends up sitting on his lap and kissing him, then she criticizes his beard, he's very offended and he spanks her as a revenge, she complains he's cracked her bottom in halfs, he checks it out and concludes she's a liar because that crack was congenital, so he spanks her once more but he's lost heart, since she's asked him whether he's noticed how nice her ass was, and then his 3rd strike is no more than a caress... and the song ends.

Song "la fessée", author Georges Brassens - I see that song as the spanking not being enjoyed by itself, but leading to intimacy.
Posted by sissoucat on July 24, 2012 at 5:09 AM · Report this
259- Sissoucat-- It's a lot more than spanking, but wouldn't you say that The Story of O (Reage) was a French cultural reference to spanking?

While I'm here, can you recommend other French singer-song writers on the order of Georges Brassens? I have one of his CDs, love it, and would like more like it.
Posted by Crinoline on July 24, 2012 at 6:10 AM · Report this
@sissoucat, I agree. Spanking seems to be more of a thing in the Anglo-Saxon world, including Britain and the U.S. (For example, British members of parliament seem to have a particular predilection for it.) Why this is the case, one can only speculate - maybe there is something in the culture or "way of being" that brings it out.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 24, 2012 at 7:57 AM · Report this
If the man can't remember clearly the sex the day after, does that make him a rape victim?

In many of these scenarios, it is a good exercise to reverse the genders and see if it still sounds like rape. If it doesn't, it probably isn't.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 24, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
mydriasis 263

"maybe there is something in the culture or "way of being" that brings it out."

Or maybe because it feels good - a novel context for why someone might enjoy a sexual activity but something to keep in mind.
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 8:37 AM · Report this
@mydriasis, well, spanking certainly doesn't feel good to everyone. (I for one have no interest in it.) A lot of what feels good to a particular person depends on his or his particular psychology, and psychology is certainly dependent on culture. For example, someone might grow up in a society where corporal punishment is prevalent (e.g., the British public schools of yore), and grow up sexualising it. Of course I am not saying that that applies to everyone who likes spanking, just that cultural differences may influence the statistics.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 24, 2012 at 9:02 AM · Report this
mydriasis 265
@ 264

Eh, it seems to me that culture more often serves to suppress sexual behaviour than generate it out of thin air (which is what I was trying to get at).

To be clear, I meant something was physically pleasing, not whether it's mentally processed as sexy or desirable. I've worked in the service industry for a while now and I've had my butt touched a lot in situations that were not desirable at all. Psychologically - not sexually pleasing. Physically? Yeah, still has the same effect.

Or to put it another way. If say... three our of ten North Americans enjoy spanking and only one out of ten (or less) French people enjoy spanking I'd be more inclined to think that the sexual climate in France is negative towards that kind of activity than to think that North American culture invented a sexually pleasurable activity that the body wasn't set up for. Maybe out of those ten French people, two physiologically would enjoy it but are culturally engrained against it. Which again, is not the same as thinking that everyone would or should enjoy it. I don't get much out of having my breasts touched - that's just physiologically how I'm built, most people can say the same about one thing or another.
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 9:22 AM · Report this
mydriasis 266
* I think culture is more inclined to add to sexuality than take away when it comes to ideas, scenarios, archetypes, visuals etc. But when it comes to physical sensations... I think the sensations we find sexually arousing are largely precultural.
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 9:39 AM · Report this
sissoucat 267
@cockyballsup yeah, I wanted to mention the British too. They still had corporal punishment in school in the 50s... It wasn't done in France.

@crinoline I've never read it, but according to Wikipedia it's a novel written to mirror Sade's. And spanking was really the least that man had on his mind...

Brassens is pretty unique, in that he deals often with humour with sexuality, death, religion, friendship, poverty, sometimes war... with very well-written texts, and great tunes. If you have only one CD, and you like it, maybe you could buy other ones ? He has written a lot of songs, all of them really good.

You could check on youtube songs written by Boris Vian but not sung by him (he was off-key), better by Henri Salvador or Magali Noël ("Fais-moi mal, Johnny" = "Hurt me, Johnny" is awesome) or Jacques Higelin - very well-written texts with humour, some focus on sex.

Of course, all of these songs are old, so the videos provided are often modern and badly acted tributes by fans - it's the audio that's interesting.

Others to check, to see if you like : Jacques Brel, often tragic songs, sometimes humour, alas some misoginy - Charles Trénet, light silly songs - Léo Ferré, poetry and revolt of the poor, very powerful - Jean Ferrat, a magnificent loving voice, swoon, sometimes on serious matters but often on love - Juliette (Noureddine), great voice and ambiguous songs, bordering on cruelty and BDSM - Barbara, very tragic - Claude Nougaro, a bit jazzy, with characteristic enunciation - Jacques Higelin, dreamy and fanciful - Anne Sylvestre, the "feminine Brassens" as she's been called, she also does lovely songs for children called "fabulettes" - many people also enjoy Charles Aznavour, but he doesn't write all of his texts - Les frères Jacques, very good singers, they choose very carefully their texts - Les 4 Barbus - And anything written by Pierre Dac, or Francis Blanche, or Mireille (not Mireille Mathieu) with Jean Nohain - older songs, with a jazz orchestra : Ray Ventura - Pierre Perret is hilarious (beware, lots of slang, so not easy to understand maybe) - Patricia Kaas (jazz).

There are many more, but right now I can only think of those.
Posted by sissoucat on July 24, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
John Horstman 268
For the love of life, do not insert anything into someone else's body without consent. Do not stick a finger in a partner's anus without asking. Those suggesting that are advocating a bodily violation that may qualify as rape, depending on jurisdiction (it fits the FBI definition). Just ask.

@245: Procreating does not make one a parent, parenting makes one a parent (one who adopts is a parent, sperm donors - even those forced against their will - are not). A woman who rapes a man and becomes pregnant still has a right to bodily agency re: pregnancy.
Posted by John Horstman on July 24, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
John Horstman 269
@266: Nah, context matters, and our understanding of context is mediated by socialization/culture. Someone who really enjoys having hir breasts stimulated sexually isn't going to react the same way to a clinical breast exam. Arousal response is frequently very different between e.g. masturbating and washing (unless it's intentionally sexy bathing/showering). Hell, just consider that one is likely to have very different responses to the exact same physical stimuli depending upon who is delivering those stimuli (I know I'd respond VERY differently to a desired sex partner stroking a body part versus, say, my brother). Physical response to stimulus has a strong cultural/socialized component.
Posted by John Horstman on July 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
@268 re anal fingering, in a situation where the two people are already intimate, one can use body language to ask: rubbing around the outside of the hole, grabbing some lube, applying gentle pressure, listening for happy noises, stopping if the other person moves away or objects in any way.

@268 Re men who are raped -- are you saying that they should have the option of being considered sperm donors (giving up both rights & responsibilities of fatherhood)?
Posted by EricaP on July 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
mydriasis 271

I didn't say that context didn't matter, I was discussing the direction of it's influence in this case.

"Hell, just consider that one is likely to have very different responses to the exact same physical stimuli depending upon who is delivering those stimuli"

I actually did consider that and came to the exact opposite conclusion based on personal experience. A lot of rape victims (if they haven't been too heavily shamed) would be able to tell you the same.

Did you even read my post?
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Spanking inflicts pain. Pain isn't sexually arousing in itself.

Having my bum touched arouses me; having my bum spanked doesn't arouse me, even though the idea of being spanked does arouse me.

In my opinion that means: being aroused by spanking is cultural/ psychological, not physical. (Ok, a one-person survey doesn't prove anything; but yours was a one-person survey as well ;-) )
Posted by migrationist on July 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this
mydriasis 273

If someone - against my will - stole my genetic material, used a surrogate to carry the child and created a baby that I was the biological mother to, you had better fucking believe I would feel

1. violated (on top of a rape)
2. a sense of attachment to that child

Just because you consider yourself some rational being who transcends that lowly human instinct to think that being genetically related to someone matters but I hope you don't mind that you're being completely dismissive of most people's feelings. Haha! Just kidding, it's obvious you don't.

Sure, Erica suggests the possibility he can "opt out" of being a parent and if he's fine with that then that's one thing. But some people will feel a responsibility to a child and can't be cold and callous enough to say "not my problem".

If someone created a child who was biologically mine and then placed him or her in the care of a rapist you can fucking bet I would have a problem with that. You can bet I would have a sense of responsibility to step in and try to protect that child from physical emotional or sexual harm whether or NOT that child grew in my body. You actually want to leave a child in a rapists custody? Seriously. The fuck is wrong with you.

Ugh this actually makes me so mad I can't even think straight anymore.
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
mydriasis 274
@ migrationist

Haha, fair enough. The idea of being spanked does NOTHING for me. I find the idea kind of tacky - but physically it's quite pleasurable (and I'm not into pain in general either, I'm quite the wuss).

To be fair, I prefer an enthusiastic grab to a spank but hey now we're just splitting hairs. Or to split another hair - you don't enjoy spanking, you enjoy the idea of spanking. Which I'd argue is a seperate cultural thing. :p
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this
267-Sissoucat-- Thanks! All have been noted. I'll enjoy going through the list slowly.
Posted by Crinoline on July 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Nobody wants to see a child in the custody of a rapist, but ensuring that is the responsibility of the legal system, not the rapee's. In fact, as the crime victim, I would say the rapee should be considered to have LESS responsibility for taking care of the child than any random adult walking on the street.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
A woman who rapes a man and becomes pregnant still has a right to bodily agency re: pregnancy.

I agree. I can't fathom court-ordered abortions. However, I do think you might have a case for considering her an unfit parent (I don't know whether this would be practical in court, but morally speaking).
Posted by Eirene on July 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
mydriasis 278
I'm not talking about legally enforced responsibility. I'm talking about the natural responsibility that a person often feels for a child related to them. The law doesn't magically take that away.

Honest to god. None of you would be bothered if someone created a child that you were the biological parent of against your will? On top of raping you?
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM · Report this
No one said it wouldn't bother them, mydriasis. It's just that in those unusual cases of pregnant-women-rapists, there are a lot of bad options and very few good ones.

The state generally acts as if the best interest of the child trumps all other questions; the right of a woman to abortion and the right of a sperm donor to be left alone are the two major exceptions I can think of.
Posted by EricaP on July 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
@273: So, men who donate at the sperm bank are cold and callous? Likewise egg donors?

"If someone created a child who was biologically mine and then placed him or her in the care of a rapist"

Actually, I have no reason to suspect that the woman in question would mistreat the child in any way. If anything she was just overly eager to become a mother. The only person she has done genuine wrong to was the man she raped. Frankly, I think an appropriate punishment for her would be for the biological father to take full custody -- if he so chose -- and put HER on the hook for child support payments without visitation rights. And if he chose not to take custody, he would be considered to have the exact same parental responsibilities as any normal anonymous sperm donor.

If he wanted to prosecute her for the rape, and put her in prison for her violation of his body, that would be appropriate. If she lost custody of the child due to being a prisoner, that would be a natural consequence. But it would be helpful to avoid tangling up the two issues: a)what to do about the bodily violation done to him, versus b)what to do about providing for the child.
Posted by avast2006 on July 24, 2012 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Unconsented parenting case: I don't have a link, but it is a California child support case from about 5 years ago.
Posted by marilynsue on July 24, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
mydriasis 282

A man who is raped is not a "sperm donor", let's talk about why.

"Actually, I have no reason to suspect that the woman in question would mistreat the child in any way. If anything she was just overly eager to become a mother."

You think rape is a reasonable expression of "just overly eager to be a mother"? Are serious? That is like someone who says "gee, the lady next door bakes the most delicious smelling cookies. Next time she makes a batch I might as well murder her and take them" and then saying "oh well - I mean, she just really likes cookies, and who doesn't?"

It baffles me that you think that this kind of behaviour acts in a vacuum.

I agree that he should be granted custody - but not out of 'punishment' to the mother. He should be granted because it should be overwhelmingly obvious that it's in the best interest of the child.

So! Is it cold and callous to donate sperm so that a loving, carefully selected person or people (who are vetted as parents) can adopt them and experience the joys of being a parent? No. Is it cold and callous to leave a human being in the care of a severely unhinged and pathologically selfish sociopath? Why yes, I believe it is!

If there were some sort of weird experiment where sperm donors could donate and the resulting children would be subjected to Nazi-esque human experiments I would indeed find men cold and callous for donating sperm to such a program. In reality sperm donors donate ostensibly believing that their biological children will be taken care of.
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
mydriasis 283
@ Erica

"No one said it wouldn't bother them, mydriasis. It's just that in those unusual cases of pregnant-women-rapists, there are a lot of bad options and very few good ones."

It's not unusual for most options to be bad. In fact I'd argue that's true of any rape and any pregnancy that is unwanted by either partner regardless of consent.

The state generally acts as if the best interest of the child trumps all other questions; the right of a woman to abortion and the right of a sperm donor to be left alone are the two major exceptions I can think of. "

Don't get me started on how untrue I believe your "the state acts in the interest of the child by default" premise is, but let's pretend I vaguely believe that to be true.

Do I think it's in the best interest of a child to be born into a situation where his or her chances of experiencing a healthy and happy life and adulthood are so unbelievably slim as to be virtually absent? Not really, no. Women who find out their child-to-be has Tay-Sachs typically abort. Do I believe that's in the best interest of the child? Yes.

Frankly, I wish we would base our system on what's best for the child. We go for second best, which is "whatever the woman wants". What's best for the child is often messy and subjective (as we'll see by how many people find my above paragraph insane and don't understand it, god bless them) so it would be hard to have that kind of policy.
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
hey tiwdiw, do what i did, and after years of men letting me know that the head i gave was less than stellar, i asked one to teach me how to do it well. and he did. he took great care in it. after years of men just expecting me to know how to give porn star bj's, one actually had to good grace to teach me how. i suggest you do the same for your husband: go out and find yourself a good teacher. obviously it's not you husband, as he's made that abundantly clear. then tell him what you did after giving him one of your new and improved bj's. if he's got the temerity to become upset with you, shrug and tell him he's got a lot of nerve. if he continues to be upset, tell him to fuck off and go hook up w/your teacher again for more lessons and maybe a new sex life entirely.
Posted by ellarosa on July 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
@282: No, I don't believe that rape is a reasonable expression of the desire to be a mother. It is still rape, after all. But that is a crime against the man, not against the child. I don't see the theft of the man's seed in this case as being indicative of a likelihood that she will abuse the child. (Note: I don't believe the same thing if the rape involved physical violence. A violent rapist is likely to be a violent parent.) Do you think that about a woman who lies about taking her birth control, hoping a baby will cement an unsteady relationship? Manipulative and conniving, yes; foolish and unwise, undoubtedly; sociopathic, quite possibly; unhinged and dangerous to the child, probably not.

Stepping back a bit: we don't even know for sure the full circumstances. The woman might well have been drunk herself, did something drunkenly wild and obscene, weeks later found herself (oops!) pregnant, but not wanting to abort. Still think she is a monster? Or maybe just stupid and immature? Depending on the exact nature of what she did, she's probably not that far off from two people who got drunk and had drunken sex together, and now find themselves with child and facing their options. That happens all the fucking time. Are they monsters too?

I don't mean that to imply it wasn't a rape. Again, by all means investigate and put her in prison if appropriate. That is where rapists belong. But try not to conflate the crimes.

"If there were some sort of weird experiment where sperm donors could donate and the resulting children would be subjected to Nazi-esque human experiments"

Seriously? Nazi-esque human experiments? You think this woman is going to infect her child with diseases and watch them progress? Starve it? Force it to do hours of labor on little sleep? Burn, mutilate, and electroshock its genitals? (Actually, there are parents who do these and similar atrocities, but it has nothing to do with genetic theft.) I believe you are overstating your case.

The man was put on the hook for child support, which means the court also thinks that the mother of the child is going to be an adequate mother, not a Nazi maniac.
Posted by avast2006 on July 24, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
@283 I agree for the most part, which is why I kind of wish there was a legal way for parents to agree on split custody in the case of a divorce when the child is born.

Still "what's in the best interests of the child" is a phrase often echoed despite the fact that the concept which is simple in theory changes radically person to person when they're asked how to put it into policy/action. In California they're considering passing a law to make parental rights available to more than the biological/legal guardians of a child.

In another state a woman fought to get custody of her children and lost it only because she found out she was terminally ill with cancer. Now her children have to move in with the father in a completely different state, away from their mother who only has years left to be with them.

So as you can see the idea of what's suitable for a child changes state to state, judge to judge. Plus financial resources play a big role in deciding custody. Women in America, despite only earning 75% of their male counterparts earnings and being taxed at a higher rate than their husbands, are very likely to end up paying child support AND alimony.………
Posted by mygash on July 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
mydriasis 287
@ avast

I just disagree with you on a basic level but I'll try answering your (largely rhetorical) questions anyway.

Do you think that about a woman who lies about taking her birth control, hoping a baby will cement an unsteady relationship?

I think that rape adds a very significant second layer, (I'm still astounded at how irrelevent you find it) but I do think that is very troubling and unhealthy behaviour. Do I think she should be a parent? Maybe not. Do I think that child will have a healthy upbringing? I'd bet no. It also depends on the sensitivity of the child.

Still think she is a monster? Or maybe just stupid and immature?

Did I say monster? Not the best word IMHO. But assuming we won't get bogged down in semantics, I'll bite. A woman who rapes to rape and a woman who rapes to get pregnant are both monsters. Sure, they're different subspecies, but...

she's probably not that far off from two people who got drunk and had drunken sex together, and now find themselves with child and facing their options. That happens all the fucking time. Are they monsters too?

Um, he was unconscious.
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
mydriasis 288

Yup, that's pretty much exactly what I was getting at.
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
"Um, he was unconscious."

Maybe she was a cold calculating predator, or maybe she was a drunken idiot. Still a rapist in both cases, definitely, and consequences are in order. No argument from me there. But the difference between the two does figure in my assessment.

I am considering the rape charge separately from whether she would make an unfit parent. If she was a drunken idiot, then she would be about as unfit a parent as other drunken idiots who got themselves pregnant on a drunken hookup. (Which means I believe that people are capable of doing really, really stupid things, especially when drunk, regretting it, and vowing to do better, rather than it being an indelible mark of fatally compromised character.) If she was a cold, calculating sperm thief, then yes, I agree with you, she's a toxic person who shouldn't be raising children, quite apart from the fact that she belongs in jail for the rape.

To get back to your original point, I agree that it is most important that the child should get a proper upbringing. I suspect that might well be best accomplished in the hands of some other loving parents. If so, the man is not at fault for wanting to walk away from this horrible situation and not have it take over his life. If he elects to do this he is no more cold and callous than a woman who elects to adopt out a child conceived by rape.
Posted by avast2006 on July 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
@mydriasis, I would consider it a punishment if someone were to hoist upon me or attribute to me supervisory or financial responsibility for a child I didn't choose to make. A court adding further injury to rape by punishing an unconscious male rape victim in this way is chilling; it is as bad as a court forcing a female rape victim to carry any resulting pregnancy to term.
Posted by cockyballsup on July 24, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
mydriasis 291

I've done lots of stupid irresponsible things while drunk. I gotta tell you though, rape isn't one of them. Also I pretty much stopped drinking - but that's neither here nor there.

If her personality is so drastically different when she drinks can we at least admit that she shouldn't be drinking while the child is in her care?

As to your last point, women who are rape victims put their babies up for adoption - not in the hands of their rapists. If a woman was raped, decided to have the baby and then turn him/her over to the rapist - I would also find that to be a very disturbing behaviour. And somewaht callous.


Um, excuse the preteenese but: Duh?

Did you read how this conversation started? My argument was that you (the rape victim) should choose whether or not that child is made in the first place.

"Rape victims should not be forced to become parents against their will - regardless of their gender."
Posted by mydriasis on July 24, 2012 at 4:53 PM · Report this
@292: Not trying to speak for anyone else here, just trying to explain why I don't feel the sense of visceral revulsion you are describing.

Perhaps I am compartmentalizing, but I don't think the experience translates well between male and female versions. "He impregnated me against my will " is not the same as "She impregnated herself using my DNA against my will." For a female rape victim, the pregnancy is an ongoing invasion of her body. Whether she aborts or carries to term, it's a huge medical consequence to her, and a constant reminder of the initial violation. For a man, it's more like the aftermath of a theft. (Or a fraud. Paternity fraud, to be specific.)

A woman getting herself pregnant, even dishonestly, doesn't strike me as a danger to the baby. Obviously she wants that baby pretty badly if she had to resort to those means on purpose. If she did something stupid while drunk, and she faces the music by keeping the baby, I assume she intends to do right by it. That doesn't make it right, but it does imply she is not going to abuse the baby. This is a substantially different prospect than a man forcibly impregnating a woman and then taking her baby away from her.

"My argument was that you (the rape victim) should choose whether or not that child is made in the first place."

That would imply that a male rape victim could force his female rapist to undergo an abortion. That strikes me as too extreme. I don't think it's right that he should be allowed to kill the potential child when walking away from the situation would be sufficient. That is why I think he should be allowed to treat the situation the same as an anonymous sperm donation, in terms of his own obligations.

There remains the question of what penalties his rapist should face for the physical violation of his body that she subjected him to. I continue to regard that as a separate question to settle, for the reasons I outlined at the top.

Your mileage my vary.
Posted by avast2006 on July 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Where are the comments about GIMP's fake letter? I'm wondering how this person plies this story unto others and for why?
Posted by DBTpraxis on August 1, 2012 at 1:53 AM · Report this
@ seandr

Wow what gross, tacky creepers. Good thing you avoided all 3 of them. No, not rape in any of the 3 but good for running screaming into the night.

Ugh, trying to picture men acting like that toward me.
Posted by Lord Domly Pants's Bane on August 14, 2012 at 9:23 PM · Report this
I don't know how much letter's get edited before being published, maybe TIWDIW wrote some extra that got cut out? Maybe she's not telling the whole story? Either way, sounds a lot like a one-sided description my married sex life. So, here's a potential other side.

My wife's blow jobs are sometimes good, sometimes great, but after nearly a decade, they are getting boring. My wife has asked for BJ pointers and like TIWDIW's husband, I'm kind of at a loss for good advice to give. During a great BJ, I'm not always sure what's going on down there. I'm also not sure that what's going on down there is the problem.

Anyway, I've made the same request: "be creative." I don't think I'm a dick for asking. It's pretty common advice that, "the brain is the biggest sex organ," and maybe that's what needs some stimulation here.

I'll agree, there are good and bad ways to bring up, "boring." And, before I did, I tried to address it indirectly, bringing home toys, outfits, movies, making suggestions, trying to interest her going to a tasteful adult shop together to pick something out--all with little real effect. Nothing I suggested seemed to catch her interest. When I asked for my wife's input, she had none to give beyond very basic, literal advice. Which is good feedback, I want her to enjoy things and by her account (she usually orgasms a few times) sex is working physically. It works physically for me too, I usually orgasm. But, it's boring, always the same.

So, my advice to TIWDIW: worry less about licking his junk and more about licking his cerebral parts. And porn can show her a lot about that. I think one of the biggest turn ons for me, watching porn, is the enthusiasm and desire and carnality of the women--even if it's faked. Give him your regular BJ, throw in a little dirty talk, put on a little show about how turned on you are, and see what happens. It might be an easy fix.

Or not, it hasn't worked for me yet. But, you know... two people get resentful of each other and it's hard to overcome.
Posted by some guy east of there on October 6, 2012 at 6:27 AM · Report this

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