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As One Is Wont to Do

December 12, 2012

At a dinner party, a straight man put a question to my boyfriend and me. He assumed that we, being gay men, would have an answer for him. We did not, Dan, and so we turn to you. What happens to one if one has to fart while one is wearing a butt plug?

Gays Are Simply Stumped, Yes And Sincerely So

If one is wearing a butt plug ("wear: to carry or to have on the body or about the person as a covering, ornament, or the like"), GASSYASS, then one may pass gas, silently or noisily, as one is wont to do, because a butt plug worn as a hat or a brooch or an epaulet—that is, a butt plug worn on the body—presents no impediment. But if one has fully inserted the bulbous end of the butt plug into one's rectal cavity, and one's sphincter muscles are gripping the neck of the butt plug, as they are wont to do, thereby ensuring that the bulbous end remains lodged in the rectal cavity while the flared base remains outside of the rectal cavity (one could, if one wished to be pedantic, argue that one wears the flared base of the butt plug against one's anus), what would then happen if one attempted to pass gas? The force of the gas would either dislodge one's butt plug, sending it flying across one's room, or, if one's butt plug failed to dislodge and take flight, cause one to simply explode.


I had a conversation with a friend who is an emergency-room physician. He told me about removing something—I can't remember what—from a gentleman's ass. My immediate response was to ask whether he had the flared-base talk with the gentleman after the fact. His response? "What are you talking about?" I explained that if the gentleman had used a butt toy with a flared base, he wouldn't have been in the circumstances that brought him to the hospital. He had never thought of that and thanked me for the advice. My partner is a physician and has treated patients with anal "encumbrances." He gives the flared-base advice to anyone who seems like they might benefit from it—but he tells me this isn't something they go over in med school. This shocks me because it seems like a topic where a little education could do a lot of good. You should use your column to bring this to the attention of medical school administrators.

Conscience Cleared

I am sharing your letter, CC, in the hopes that doctors all over the world read it and promptly incorporate your "flared-base" advice into their practice. If they don't, well, then we will just have to conclude that flared-base advice isn't given to patients by doctors—ER or otherwise—because doctors secretly enjoy digging various foreign objects out of the variable rectums of various gentlemen.


I'm a 19-year-old bisexual male. I've been in a two-year relationship with a girl who has a low sex drive, so we are in an open relationship and I occasionally have sex with guys. I really liked the last guy I got with and enjoyed having sex with him a lot. The problem was, I couldn't get hard. Is the problem that I'm still trying to figure out who I am and what I want? Am I not as attracted to guys as I thought I was? Or could it be guilt, even though my girlfriend is okay with it?

Bisexually Oriented Nervously Experiencing Reversal

You say you "occasionally have sex with guys," BONER, which means this guy isn't your first. He's just the first guy—perhaps the first person—that you couldn't get hard with. Let me guess: This has never happened to you before. Of course it hasn't—you're 19. But it happens to every guy sooner or later, and you're much likelier to seek an explanation or attach some deeper meaning to it the first time it happens. (Maybe I'm not bi! Maybe it was guilt!) Don't waste your time, BONER. Sometimes a soft dick is just a soft dick. If it keeps happening, well, then you may have a problem. But if you go on obsessing about an isolated incident—perhaps brought on by nerves (you liked this guy, right?)—you run the risk of creating a problem.


I was on a layover in San Francisco. My attractive, bearish, platonic, straight male coworker would like to know if it is weird that a guy complimented his shoes while at the urinal in the SFO bathroom.

Rhymes With Larry Craig?

Yes.


As I was reading the letters in the last Savage Love, it occurred to me that the debate over polyamory as a "sexual orientation" is primarily one of definitions. Some folks who are poly see that as just as "core" to their nature as their gender preference. Therefore, I propose the following framework. We all have a sexual identity composed of four components:

1. Our gender identity ranging from cis to trans.

2. Our sexual orientation ranging from homo to hetero.

3. Our sexual exclusivity ranging from purely monogamous to purely polyamorous.

4. Our sexual interest ranging from asexual to highly sexual.

In my view, these four components are equal in that they are all things that we are rather than things that we choose. While it is possible to choose a lifestyle that deviates from one's sexual identity, in all cases doing so entails stress, cognitive dissonance, and some degree of self-loathing. Like all conceptual frameworks, this one is not necessarily complete. It fails to include sexual interest in animals, particular age groups, or any of several hundred kinks, all of which are traits that seem to be more identity than choice. That said, I do think there is something unique and universally applicable in the four-component scheme, and I think that we should as a society set a goal of acceptance and nondiscrimination surrounding all aspects of sexual identity.

Just My Thoughts

I like your model, JMT, but it has to be said: At a certain point, endless Tumblr-enabled debates about sexual identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexual interests take on the flavor of those how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin debates that obsessed theologians in the Middle Ages.

For the record: Each of us is free—and remains free—to identify however we wish and to apply the labels "identity" and/or "orientation" however we please. If a particular person isn't trying to take anything away from you, then the fact that the person holds slightly differing views on identity or orientation, or the meanings of those words, or just how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, well, it really isn't an enormous fucking deal, is it? And, in my opinion, those who spend their time debating, classifying, and unpacking sex and identity run a very real risk of disappearing up their own ass in a puff of santorum. Which is my way of saying...

No, I won't be giving a column over to angry letters from buttsore people who feel that D/s is their sexual orientation, despite being told that I must because last week I suggested that, from my point of view, D/s is a sexual identity, not an orientation, and I gave a column to angry poly folks so it's only fair and blah blah blah.


mail@savagelove.net

@fakedansavage on Twitter

 

Comments (151) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Good God--am I first? I was just checking to see if Savage Love was up, and don't have a dog in this weekly fight. I feel oddly accomplished.
Posted by Weekly visitor 13 on December 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
2
1st! Nice column, too. Liked the bit about angels on a pin.
Posted by 1st? on December 11, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
3
Couldn't one's gas, if not explosive in force, either "squeak past" the butt plug, or simply not have enough force to exit and thus exit when said butt plug is removed? Of course, this is theory and not *yet* practice on my part....
Posted by Mary5757 on December 11, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
beautifulboy 4
So I'll just delete that buttsore comment I was composing...
Posted by beautifulboy on December 11, 2012 at 4:44 PM · Report this
5
I'm with you Dan about orientation being different from action. Poly isn't an orientation, its an action. Homosexual is an orientation because no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to be truly satisfied with doing things another way. Poly people can get as much enjoyment out of a single partner as they do from multiple. :)

www.facebook.com/cnmcginn
Posted by Queerboy_Cam on December 11, 2012 at 5:09 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 6
@3- I think Dan was being flip with the first two letters, since no one will explode from gas, nor have I ever heard of a butt plug flying across a room, unless forced out by the wearer deliberately. Dan's "wearer" comments were also tongue-in-cheek, ahem... I doubt Dan has used a butt plug in his life, since he's not an anal sex person himself. Letter two is kind of self-evident, and it's doubtful if the extractees were unaware of the need to keep the flared part outside. Sometimes the toy is too small not to go in all the way, but alas, is too big to come out. It happens.
You have the correct (serious) answer to GASSYASS- gas leaks around and out.
Posted by OutInBumF on December 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM · Report this
7
I imagine it is less embarrassing to be simultaneously caught purchasing a sex toy by one's boss, ex, and grandmother than to go to the emergency room to have an improvised device removed from any orifice.

I like JMT's model, but I would change "from cis to trans" to "from male to female" and I would not assume that all four properties are equally important. For example, I imagine it's easier/less damaging/whatever from a person who prefers multiple relationships to remain monogamous than for a homosexual person to limit him/herself to people of the opposite sex. In general, I'm not sure that "exclusivity" is as much of a factor as the other three points. Most people want sex with whoever they want all the time, but people in monogamous relationships don't act on it.
Posted by DRF on December 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM · Report this
thecheesegirl 8
@7 Some people either really don't feel much attraction to other people when they're in a monogamous relationship, or they're lying to themselves and/or me. I would venture to guess that the majority of humanity does not share this characteristic, but it appears to be there.
Posted by thecheesegirl on December 11, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
9
@6: The wedged devices were not sex toys in the sense of dildos, but in the sense of "stuff you might find lying about the house and think 'hey I could stuff that in my ass' ." In which case knowing only to use items with a flared base would be helpful, but so would not sticking Christmas lights or laser levels or whatever up there: I suspect the reason it didn't occur to the doctors to mention the flared base is that it honestly had not occurred to them that the entire thing was unobvious. At least in hindsight.

Posted by IPJ on December 11, 2012 at 6:41 PM · Report this
10
I'm not buttsore, but enjoying all the informative advice from Dan, letter writers and responses from fellow bloggers.

Happy holidays, everybody---cheers, and whatever your sexual orientation, don't get too plugged up about it.
:-)
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM · Report this
11
@7, 8: For those in monogamous relationships, I think feeling attraction that isn't acted on can be anything from instinctively noting someone is sexy without feeling any particular desire to act on that, to having a strong "I'd hit that if I were single" that doesn't imply any hard struggle is involved in placing one's partner and your relationship above such transient temptations, to desperately wanting to bang someone. I think the set point for people who value monogamy can be anywhere on that scale, though those at the far banging-the-assistant end will find it harder to practice.

Still, acting on attraction takes effort. No CPOS had no choice in the matter.
Posted by IPJ on December 11, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
seandr 12
@IPJ: No CPOS had no choice in the matter.

Sometimes a person's will is overwhelmed by the power of seduction.
Posted by seandr on December 11, 2012 at 8:08 PM · Report this
13
I'd say I'm naturally monogamous, paired with someone who isn't. He's very glad that I am happy with just him, of course. It's taken a long time for me to accept that maybe it's not his nature to be faithful, and he has tended out of guilt or whatever to "wander"in the most painful ways-- blaming me, "falling in love," saying he never loved me, all that. I think maybe if we'd been able to move past the monogamous ideal, he might not have been so mean, and I might not have been so damaged by it. But I have to say, if I had any choice in who I fell in love with, I would have rather fallen for someone like me, who was happy with just me. My husband has finally settled down (age, and my firm decision that I would leave next time, no hard feelings, but goodbye), and I'm feeling more certain. But like should marry like I think in this situation. It's really common in my experience for someone who isn't naturally faithful to seek out those who are because they can trust and count on them. Not really fair.

Too soon old, too late smart. :)
Posted by pippenpippen on December 11, 2012 at 8:19 PM · Report this
14
I'd say I'm naturally monogamous, paired with someone who isn't. He's very glad that I am happy with just him, of course. It's taken a long time for me to accept that maybe it's not his nature to be faithful, and he has tended out of guilt or whatever to "wander"in the most painful ways-- blaming me, "falling in love," saying he never loved me, all that. I think maybe if we'd been able to move past the monogamous ideal, he might not have been so mean, and I might not have been so damaged by it. But I have to say, if I had any choice in who I fell in love with, I would have rather fallen for someone like me, who was happy with just me. My husband has finally settled down (age, and my firm decision that I would leave next time, no hard feelings, but goodbye), and I'm feeling more certain. But like should marry like I think in this situation. It's really common in my experience for someone who isn't naturally faithful to seek out those who are because they can trust and count on them. Not really fair.

Too soon old, too late smart. :)
Posted by pippenpippen on December 11, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
15
Wouldn't it depend on the quality of the shoes, and why was such a salient detail omitted?
Posted by vennominon on December 11, 2012 at 8:36 PM · Report this
16
I don't get why everyone gets so hung up on definitions... JMTs proposal seems irrelevant; as does the discussion of "orientation" vs "identity." I'm pretty sure Dan's point to the original LW from 2 weeks ago was that he was being a huge douche by letting his own narrative about his true nature as poly-orientated get in the way of a situation that could of worked for him, then getting whiny about it. & whiny douches are the worst.
Posted by Sasa the Banded Mongoose on December 11, 2012 at 9:14 PM · Report this
17
@13/14 "I would have rather fallen for someone like me, who was happy with just me."

It's a nice thought, but it's hard to predict in your 20s whether your partner will stray after ten or twenty years together. What are the upsides of your marriage? What persuaded you to stay all those times that he cheated and blamed you for his choices?
Posted by EricaP on December 11, 2012 at 11:17 PM · Report this
18
The gas just momentarily stretches you around the plug, if plugs are anything like fingers.
Posted by hmmmmmmmmm on December 12, 2012 at 12:18 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 19
Mr. Vennominon: indeed. Some shoes are so blindingly fabulous that "nice shoes" isn't immediately followed by "wanna fuck?" ;)

Yes! Semantics arguments are over. Now we can go back to talking about actual sexscapades & kink-o-riffic advice, & stop arguing over who is labeled what. The labeling isn't just identity, after all: helps us find each other. & Slog is certainly a 'net destination where we can all let our freak flags fly.

Hey Dan: HAPPY BEING MARRIED, Mazel tov to you & Terry. ;) I predicted you'd beat me to it!
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on December 12, 2012 at 12:59 AM · Report this
20
Is that an embarrassed mole? Or a sheepish vole?
Posted by portland scribe on December 12, 2012 at 1:47 AM · Report this
21
One more thing, directed at you Firsters... I understand the momentary thrill you must experience upon seeing a virgin comment box under a wildly popular column like Savage Love. But hows about you say "FIRST!" to yourselves, then make a comment the rest of us might be mildly interested in? That way, you don't seem like a tool if you are first, and we don't' feel a wave of pity for your pathetic ass if you're second.
Posted by portland scribe on December 12, 2012 at 2:01 AM · Report this
22
Re: the 4 components. Think of 2 more and we've got a Rubik's cube!
Posted by KCFrance on December 12, 2012 at 2:36 AM · Report this
23
Like the column, BUT at times Dan attempts to be overly witty in his responses muddy his response/message/intent and becomes lost in translation. My eyes just glaze over these giddy responses. Lost in translation....do we really need folks then offering comments on Dan's real response/intent was or clarification of the same.

Save the stick for the local comedy club and be a tiny bit more straight forward with the responses.
Posted by woodin on December 12, 2012 at 3:40 AM · Report this
24
@ 12, they shouldn't get into situations where seduction and sex can happen. No matter what, a cheater chooses to act. To me there is no "heat of the moment" excuse, because there shouldn't have been a "moment" to begin with. Fortunately, my husband and I are both naturally monogamous.
Posted by Amanda0914 on December 12, 2012 at 4:50 AM · Report this
25
@6 "OutInBumF"said:
"I doubt Dan has used a butt plug in his life, since he's not an anal sex person himself."

OutInBumF, do you have inside info on Dan's butt? :-)

You say you're a gay man in your profile, do you really think total tops never even try a butt plug just to see what it's like? Total top myself but I've tried the occasional toy insertion, you'd have to be vvv (triple-vanilla) to never try. (Indeed, trying is how I know I'm a "total" top. Zero pleasure, 100% don't like it.)

Dan has said in his books he's on the kinky/bondage side, although he keeps it vague whether he's top, btm, or vers; but we know he's not vvv!
Posted by delta35 on December 12, 2012 at 4:56 AM · Report this
26
@7 - I'm just waiting for some special snowflakes to come out of the woodwork and get on your case for suggesting that exclusivity might not be as damaging for their twue poly souls as living a hetero life would be for a gay person. It's coming. Unless even the special snowflakes have gotten tired of this debate, but then again, do they ever?

Note to all sexual minority groups everywhere: Don't you think we should spend our time fighting real fights, like marriage equality and other human rights, rather than bitching at our allies about offending our sensibilities by not mindreading what terminology we personally would prefer at any given moment? Just a thought. Radical, I know!
Posted by DrReality on December 12, 2012 at 4:59 AM · Report this
27
JMT's letter: the problem with adding dimensions is you'll never stop, it's a big rainbow.

JMT wants to add monogamous/polyamorous, but that's actually TWO dimensions. Some non-monogamous folks are polyamorous and into long term committed *loving* partnerships with more than one person at a time.

Other non-monogamous folks are highly mono-amorous: totally and only in love with one person, and wired up that way. But still non-monogamous, ranging from monogamish, to shag anything cute that moves.

Other non-monogamous folks are in the middle: mostly mono-amorous, monogamish to shag anything that moves, but can fall in love once in a while with a second person. So now you need 2 new dimensions: mono-amory to poly-amory, and mono-gamous to monogamish to shagaholic.

Better to stop adding on dimensions and just peace out.
Posted by delta35 on December 12, 2012 at 5:01 AM · Report this
28
@12: We don't allow for this loss of will in any other situation. If someone says "I didn't WANT to rob the bakery! But the cupcakes seduced me. They overcame my will," no one buys that. If a commander fucks his subordinate's wife, leading to a mutiny when the subordinate's unit is all "like hell we're taking that hill; we know damn well why you want Chuck out of the way and the rest of us can be collateral damage," that military commander will not find his superiors' sympathetic to "I knew I shouldn't, but her seduction overwhelmed my will." The idea of the force of seduction overcoming someone's will is just another version of the idea that sex, like cupcakes and many other things, is more fun for some people when it feels forbidden. If it takes a little make believe to make it feel forbidden, lots of people will indulge in that.

If you're going to argue "I didn't want to do X, but X overcame my will with its seductive powers" we don't let you wander around in public, since you're operating at the level of a small child who really wants a cupcake and a chance to see what happens when you ram a mini cooper into a police cruiser.
Posted by IPJ on December 12, 2012 at 5:19 AM · Report this
Fred Casely 29
@23: That would be "shtick." There's only one stick in this thread — and I hope, for your sake, that it has a flared base.
Posted by Fred Casely on December 12, 2012 at 5:26 AM · Report this
30
@27: I agree on the many shades of nonmonogamy, but if we have a multidimensional infinite spectrum of shades of preferences, everyone can have their own tiny spot in the array and be a special snowflake. So there's that.

@16: The original LW's "problem" was neatly summed up by I believe Bonefish: If you easily toss aside your core identity and a vital and unchangeable part of your being because it turns out you can laid right now if you do, arguing for how unchangeable and central it is feels pretty fake. Like if a man claimed to be strictly straight, except for all those times a hot guy offered in which case of course he nailed him for hours, but that didn't make him even a little bit flexible on the bi scale.
Posted by IPJ on December 12, 2012 at 5:33 AM · Report this
31
I don't think the last 2 components of JMT's framework can really be considered as a long-term, core part of someone's sexual identity.

Very few people are truly "monogamous-oriented" in the sense that they only lust after their own partner. That simply isn't core to anyone's nature, even those who want to be monogamous. I'm monogamous and it's really hard. I would never agree to it if my husband wasn't an amazing friend, father, and partner, but it's important to him so it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. And even though monogamy is important to him, I know he has been attracted to other women over the course of our 13 years together, so he has been acting against his nature as well.

As for sexual interest, most people don't have the same sex drive at 50 that we did at 20. And there are temporary situations, like crazy job stress or a new baby that can affect interest for a bit. So, for most people, interest can't really be considered as a long-term identity, although I'd love to hear from the 65- or 70-year old whose interest stayed constant over 5 or 6 decades!
Posted by Tracelle on December 12, 2012 at 5:46 AM · Report this
32
Purely in the interests of science... I will over-share. One time my BF's butt plug did get in the way of a very wet and juicy fart, a "shart" if you will, and that is when we learned that curry dinner followed by anal play is a hilariously bad idea.
Posted by hazmat on December 12, 2012 at 6:37 AM · Report this
mydriasis 33
@29

Nice work.
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 6:50 AM · Report this
mydriasis 34
@Tracelle

"Very few people are truly "monogamous-oriented" in the sense that they only lust after their own partner. That simply isn't core to anyone's nature, even those who want to be monogamous."

Isn't core to anyone's nature? I disagree. When in a relationship I don't "resist" temptation, I just don't have it. Being a naturally selective person helps for sure but I honestly don't even notice guys I'd otherwise find attractive.

I also disagree with you on point two, have you ever met a sex addict?
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 7:00 AM · Report this
35
There was a hilarious, but now seemingly defunct, livejournal by an ER doc at figent-figary.livejournal.com . She had a post which was something along the following lines:

"If it were up to me, every object in the world -- tennis balls, light bulbs, corks, socks, everything -- would have a warning label on it. And all those labels would say the same thing: DON'T STICK THIS UP YOUR BUTT!"
Posted by qqqq on December 12, 2012 at 7:25 AM · Report this
36
I used to work for a gastrologist's office and people put all sorts of items up their rears that didn't have a flared base. Most seemed to learn, (having a snow globe shatter in your rectum isn't fun...) but one person was regularly seen for ripping his insides apart through attempting to pleasure himself with a curtain rod.

Also, I think Dan responded appropriately to the first few letters. They clearly weren't serious in nature, so why shouldn't he be flippant in response? I found both the letters & his responses to be amusing.

And, just gotta say, if we're going to make everything that has anything to do with sex and/or relationship preferences/identities, i don't think a bracelet can handle that acronym. I propose the following:
1) everyone please chill out about the differences between mono & poly. we have bigger things to deal with right now (like gay rights, women fighting for basic control of our bodies and trans people being routinely fired, beaten up, and/or alienated -- not to mention the fact that our country still has major race issues)
2) know thyself, and make damn sure the people who matter, know who you are. if they don't like it, find new people who matter.
3) if you can't get your hands on decent health insurance, don't put things up your butt that can't be easily retrieved.
Posted by writesMLE on December 12, 2012 at 7:25 AM · Report this
37
I like the column better when you write it while high. Giving Miss Manners a run for her money with this one.
Posted by Marrena on December 12, 2012 at 7:29 AM · Report this
38
I don't think complimenting one's shoes at a urinal is nearly as weird as guys who yak on their phones at urinals, which is happening with an increasingly alarming frequency. I keep waiting for the phones to fall so I can watch gleefully as they try to fish them out.
Posted by wayne on December 12, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
seandr 39
@IPJ: If you're going to argue "I didn't want to do X, but X overcame my will with its seductive powers" we don't let you wander around in public, since you're operating at the level of a small child who really wants a cupcake

First, really wanting a cupcake, or a blowjob to bring us back to the subject at hand, isn't childish at all.

Second, comparing the seductive powers of a beautiful, sexy woman who knows exactly how to wave her magic wand to a cupcake is, I don't know, naive? Sad?

You've made the wrong analogy. Seduction is more like alcohol or MDMA in that it impairs the frontal lobe and all of its worrying about future consequences, bringing its victims more thoroughly into the here and now. Like those drugs, it can certainly compel a mature adult to behave in ways they otherwise would not.

Not every person is as vulnerable to seduction as the next, but that vulnerability has little to do with maturity. The planet is crawling with decent, monogamous men married to women who over time have come to take them, and their fidelity, for granted, and who out of laziness, selfishness, scorn, or disinterest, neglect their relationships. Most of those men are vulnerable to seduction, I would argue, and their faithfulness to their wives is entirely attributable to the fact that some other woman hasn't yet waved her wand at him.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
AFinch 40
@15 - Snork!

Here's what puzzles me: why, if it (some object w/o a flared base) can go in, can't you just poop it back out? I get it about broken glass objects, but assuming the thing is still intact. My partner is a surgeon and the butt-sex negativity isn't limited to ER/Trauma horror stories, but yes, seems actively taught in Med school.
Posted by AFinch on December 12, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
41
When I was young and the sexual revolution was raging, I explored the question "can a woman fuck around as freely as a man" and found the answer was yes. The day I realized I had lost all interest in others I knew I would marry this one. And forty years later I enjoy watching the passing parade, but this one is still the sole focus of my desire. So if you love defing spectrums and apparently assume that people are permanently fixed at a point, how do you define me?
Posted by baubo on December 12, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this
seandr 42
@24: they shouldn't get into situations where seduction and sex can happen

You mean, like, leaving the house alone? Going to work? Staying late at the office to work on that executive presentation with Sharon from marketing?

If you're goal is to prevent your partner from being seduced, you're better off just treating him well than behaving like a ball and chain.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
Helix 43
I will never understand the endless obsession with labeling people seem to have. "Oh I'm a demi-romantic/high sexual 40% sub poly cis WORDVOMIT."

Who. Gives. A. Shit.

You are who/what you are. Why does anyone care what Dan thinks about whether it's an identity, orientation, choice, whatthefuckever. Decide he's wrong, continue to call yourself whatever-oriented, and move on with your life.

I blame Tumblr.
Posted by Helix on December 12, 2012 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Helix 44
Also, seriously, a set of buttplugs of multiple sizes is like $30. Waaaay cheaper than a hospital bill.
Posted by Helix on December 12, 2012 at 9:31 AM · Report this
45
@42:
You sound like only people who treat their partners badly are cheated on.

A friend of mine cheated on his then-gf, now-wife quite regularly during the first ten years of their relationship because he enjoyed the attention of other women. And no, it is not just because men are biologically wired to be like that: his sister cheated on her boyfriends just the same.
Posted by migrationist on December 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
mydriasis 46
@39

So much fail, I'm sorry.

First of all, if you think that people can't treat food compuslively like sex or drugs then you clearly need to bone up. Here's a lovely article on how foods exactly like cupcakes effect your brain:

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/07/2…

Secondly, if you're firing off a prefrontal cortex argument one minute, and then discounting the relavence of maturity the next then you really can't know what you're talking about. Maturity matters a great deal when it comes to resisting temptation exactly because what we consider maturity is largely based on the development of the prefrontal cortex and it's ability to inhibit influences from lower brain centres.

Thirdly, "magic wand"? "Victims"? We're women, not witches, for fuck's sake.
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
47
@39: Let's say a guy is heading to work and sees an incredible beautiful woman on the subway. Does he
a) Nail her right there in the middle of the crowded subway car. He couldn't help it! She was very desirable!
b) Figure that being arrested and having to explain to his boss why he missed work make that a bad move, and engage instead in flirtation. Followed by flirtily meeting for coffee, a few more dates (while arranging cover-up stories if he happens to be in a closed relationship), and eventually sex.

Someone in another thread made the distinction between an explanation--why something that hurt one's partner happened--and an excuse--why one's partner should be okay with it. Your magic wand is the latter, the version in which everything one person does is really the fault of other people.

"When I cheated on you, it was her fault because she waved the magic wand! And your fault because you took me for granted and made me all wand susceptible! I'm a victim here, unable to do anything but respond to magic wands!" That's not the explanation of someone who should claim to be an adult: adults take responsibility for their actions, and don't go around helplessly having sex with anyone who waves a magic wand at them, unless their supposed exclusive partner is waving the magic wand hard enough to fend off all other wand wavers.

I'm not saying resisting a sexually desirable person willing to have sex with you is easy at all times for all people. (Though for many it is.) But it's hardly like someone zapping you with a mind control ray that makes it impossible for you to do anything but have sex with them. As with your drug example, there are active choices that are made on the way.

And while I'm sure you don't mean it that way, the magic wand which when waved renders a man powerless to resist sounds like what men who have sex with underage girls, including very underage ones, say: that there she was being all irresistibly desirable and he couldn't help himself. There are many, many, many situations, including that military unit one I gave, in which we expect people to refrain from having sex with attractive people.

If you're an adult then you can help what you do. If you choose to stray you can feel racked with guilt, you can realize your marriage is done, you can do all sorts of things. What you can't do is claim that you're really a helpless victim without agency here, because the piece on the side waved her wand.
More...
Posted by IPJ on December 12, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Helix 48
seandr is either a masterful troll or a raging misogynist and for the life of me I cannot figure out which.
Posted by Helix on December 12, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
49
>> The planet is crawling with decent, monogamous men married to women who over time have come to take them, and their fidelity, for granted, and who out of laziness, selfishness, scorn, or disinterest, neglect their relationships.
>>If your goal is to prevent your partner from being seduced, you're better off just treating him well than behaving like a ball and chain.

Feeling trollish today, seandr? Those "decent" men are, on average, just as selfish as their wives. The decent thing to do is to address marital issues as they come up, and divorce if you don't have a partner willing to do that work with you. Saving up resentment as an excuse to cheat is not the solution.
Posted by EricaP on December 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Michael J. Curtiss 50
If you're a gassy anal toy user, I suggest you either find toys which have a hole drilled through them from base to tip, or have some fun and see if you can modify a toy yourself. Happy farting.
Posted by Michael J. Curtiss http://caughtintheact.blogspot.com on December 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
51
Oh fer cryin' out loud... can't we just be human beings? Why do we have to have all these different labels? Anything that makes it obvious that you are somehow different from me is just another thing to divide us. And it's an easy way to avoid thinking about new situations and opportunities because "I'm (straight, gay, vanilla, monogamous, whatever) so I just can't do that!"
Posted by Marley on December 12, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
52
@49: Bravo, Erica!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 12, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
53
Has CC considered that maybe the myriad men who have manipulated material into their asses, might be in the ER because they have a humiliation fetish? Your doctor friend might be the victim of a forced BDSM scene! Perhaps the real warning should go out to ER doctors about the dangers of non-consensual consent...

*tongue firmly in cheek*

Jen
Posted by loverly on December 12, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
54
Has CC considered that maybe the myriad men who have manipulated material into their asses, might be in the ER because they have a humiliation fetish? Your doctor friend might be the victim of a forced BDSM scene! Perhaps the real warning should go out to ER doctors about the dangers of non-consensual consent...

*tongue firmly in cheek*

Jen
Posted by loverly on December 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
55
This entire answer should be in the script of the next James Bond movie. It would sound so awesome as read by Daniel Craig.
Posted by cin4life on December 12, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Report this
56
The comment for GASSYASS should be in the next James Bond movie. It would be amazing if read by Daniel Craig.
Posted by cin4life on December 12, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
Ophian 57
I think this is about the third week of this column that has been mostly useless.

I usually love this column for the comments threads, but these have mostly been 50% hair-splitting an 50% groaning at hair-splitting.
Posted by Ophian on December 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
ScienceNerd 58
Does Dan seem a little bored or annoyed at his column these days? Looking to move to bigger/better things, Dan? I don't blame you, it seems like these letters have all been answered in one form or another anymore. I will keep reading though, I love you in a fan-girl-who-loves-her-man-to-pieces-and-knows-you-are-gay-and-unavailable way. :)
Posted by ScienceNerd http://stanichium.tumblr.com/ on December 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
ScienceNerd 59
Oh, and holycowza #57. I didn't read your comment before I wrote mine. I guess I should have just said ditto. :)
Posted by ScienceNerd http://stanichium.tumblr.com/ on December 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
60
@57 I think that the very fact that my young, fairly hip aesthetician yesterday IN SEATTLE, mind you, couldn't recall hearing the word "polyamorous" before shows that columns like the last three weeks are not only useful but necessary!

Poly, and the discussions surrounding it, may be old hat to you, but to many people, the concept remains foreign.
Posted by quinkygirl on December 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
seandr 61
@migrationist: You sound like only people who treat their partners badly are cheated on.

That's because I was addressing someone who seems to believe that only immature people cheat. Obviously, people can cheat for a variety of reasons.

it is not just because men are biologically wired

Of course not - women cheat as well. If I've failed to account for the seductive powers of men, it's because I feel more comfortable leaving that to those who find men sexually attractive.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
62
@58 - I got a bored/irritated vibe from Dan this week too. Especially about the first question.

And the poly issue is getting so old. I know it's new to some people, but it's getting really old to read about it three weeks in a row. It's a big wide sexual world. There are so many new/old sexual topics to educate us all about. Please no more poly, at lease for a little while.
Posted by silent on December 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
seandr 63
@mydriasis: if you think that people can't treat food compulsively like sex or drugs

Fair enough. Given the plague of cupcake boutiques that has overtaken Seattle, there's obviously something about them I just don't get.

if you're firing off a prefrontal cortex argument one minute, and then discounting the relavence of maturity...

That's not at all what I'm doing, and you're neuroscience misses the point.

The prefontal cortex reaches full maturity around early to mid 20's. Beyond that age, the maturity of that bit of anatomy is irrelevant to whether a person succumbs to the advances of another.

Second, my point is that there are other things besides immaturity that can impair executive functioning, and that the combination of sexual arousal and flattery and je ne sais quoi that a man (or woman, I would guess) might experience upon being seduced is one of them. Alcohol, E, and rage are others.

Thirdly, "magic wand"? "Victims"? We're women, not witches, for fuck's sake.

Witches? No, that's not what I had in mind. That unfortunate association aside, magic and spells and intoxicants better capture the effects a woman can have on me, at least, than whatever it is that causes some people to compulsively stuff their face with cupcakes. That may not be true of all straight men.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
seandr 64
@IPJ: Someone in another thread made the distinction between an explanation... and an excuse...Your magic wand is the latter

Actually, I was drawing an analogy between seduction and alcohol/Ecstacy. I chose that specific analogy because those drugs tend to facilitate impulsive decision-making without completely absolving one of responsibility for the decision.

The "magic wand" comment was intended more as a cute and reverential turn of phrase, with allusions to dozens of pop songs ("You put a spell on me", "Black magic woman", or "Magic man" for a gender-reversed example). I had no idea it would strike such a dissonant chord.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
mydriasis 65
@seandr

The neuro is relevant, especially since you're the one that brought it up. :p

There is a vast array of maturity even among adults past their mid-twenties and the maturity level (functioning of their prefrontal cortex, regardless of whether or not it's 'done growing' yet) is a significant player in whether or not they will succumb to their impulses or not.

So in other words, no, the maturity of one's prefrontal cortex is not irrelevant.

And in fact if you like I can look around for some references that show that in healthy, non-pathological functioning, the prefrontal cortex exhibits higher activation when a person is attempting to use his or her "will power".
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 2:28 PM · Report this
66
@16,19,26,36,43,51&57

While I actually agree with all of you for the most part, and am certainly tired of the hair-splitting and term-wrangling, the truth is that there is a shit-ton of power in labels and wresting the narrative from the dominant group is an important step.

I'd love for most of us here to have all agreed that polyamory is an important part of some people's sexual identity weeks ago, and stopped, but I am uncomfortable with the calls for those in the underprivileged group to accept the status quo.
Posted by No. You Shut Up! on December 12, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
hamish108 67
My bf got a ping pong ball stuck up inside him (why? I asked, why? - 'just to see what it felt like') and it wouldn't come out. I suggested he go in the shower and use the shower hose to fill up with very warm water, and lo and behold, it came out with the 'tide'.
But there was a very good question above - why don't these things come out the way poop does? Is there some kind of anal retentive instinctive reflex that sucks things in and won't let go?
Posted by hamish108 on December 12, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
68
@64: Probably an illustrative parallel, in that I've always had less than zero sympathy for the excuse "It wasn't my fault, baby! I was drunk!" Because getting drunk is an explanation, not an excuse.
Posted by IPJ on December 12, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
seandr 69
@EricaP: Feeling trollish today, seandr?

No, not especially, although I'll admit I'm bored of monogamy/polygamy and don't have much to say about farts and buttp... ech.

The decent thing to do...

As I see it (and I've expressed similar sentiments before), holding cheaters accountable without considering the broader context of the relationship is a bit like the parent who always holds the older or less favored child responsible for any sibling conflict. My reaction to both scenarios is roughly the same - work it out yourselves, or there will be consequences for both of you.

As with sibling relationships, marriages can be complicated, full of history, rewarding, hurtful, loaded with emotional triggers, distant, stuck in recurring patterns, guided by unconscious forces, and capable of making decent people do "indecent" things.

I've been in several long term relationships, and I've seen (and forgiven) lots of indecent behavior, including being cheated on. Some of it was so convoluted and passive-aggressive that I didn't understand what was happening to me. Other times it was just plain aggressive. (As for me, I've always been a perfect little angel ;-))

So, sure, one should always behave with decency in a relationship, except that no one does or can, at least as far as I know. And while the CPOS label may fit in many cases, I think it's kind of stupid when generally and indiscriminately applied.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2012 at 4:52 PM · Report this
BedlamBabe 70
As a member of the medical community, even if I am still in school, I feel compelled to respond to CC. No, we don't get that advice in school to give to patients for two reasons. Reason one is obvious- people get touchy enough when we suggest they use condoms, much less if they think we're poking our noses into the details of their sex life and that sort of advice wouldn't fly with almost anyone. The second, perhaps more important reason is this: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should objects not specifically made for the purpose but put in your pooper. EVER. I have several glass vases that taper and then flare, for example- fits your advice, but is a disastrously bad idea. If medical personnel just give the flared base advice, people can still do horrendously stupid things... and then come back and sue because the doc/nurse/whoever said it was all right.

So there is the advice to give- makeshift sex toys are a good way to get badly hurt. Put down the toilet plunger/light bulb/maglight/cat/whatever and spend a wee bit of money on the internet for a nice, featureless brown box to be delivered to your door. It's safer for your health and you avoid the humiliation in the hospital as well as the humiliation I must imagine you imagine you would feel in openly shopping for toys if you shoved an egg up there AGAIN.
Posted by BedlamBabe on December 12, 2012 at 5:06 PM · Report this
71
Okay, tangent here, but what is up with notions like "...fuck around as freely as a man" (@41) and "shag anything cute that moves" (@27) and suchlike. Don't those leave out a vital half of the equation? It's like the cute thing that moves has no say in this inevitable fuckery. So, do people have game that's so good and so smooth that someone agreeing to shag them is a foregone conclusion? Just not worth worrying about? Because in my less than epic experience, shagging something cute that moves is really really really hard. The cute thing that moves generally does have a say in things, and that say is almost always "No".

This is why the notion of a sex addict has always puzzled me as opposed to, say, a meth addict. It's not like you have to convince the meth to be ingested....

Furthermore, while "demi-romantic/high sexual 40% sub poly cis WORDVOMIT" made my day, @29 still gets the win. Bravo sir.
Posted by LateBloomer on December 12, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
mydriasis 72
@Latebloomer

I get the impression you're not very familiar with illegal drug use.

I assure you, sex addiction exists. Though a drug addict doesn't need to do much to navigate the consumption of meth, the procurement of illegal drugs can be a lot of work, especially considering how expensive they are and how difficult some drug dealers can be to get a hold of - plus some of them get arrested, funny thing.

A homeless drug addict will go to extrordinary lengths to get the drug of his or her choice, as well as the means to inject (or insufflate or smoke) that drug, and a place to actually DO the drug. The sex addict will go to similar lengths to find a willing sex partner. Suddenly it doesn't seem so dissimilar does it?
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 5:38 PM · Report this
73
sean@69, it's one thing to say marriage and monogamy are hard for everyone, as you do here.

It's another to blame just the "lazy, selfish" wives, while putting the men on a pedestal, as you did @39.

A reasonable reply to IPJ's claim @11: "No CPOS had no choice in the matter," would be to note that in most of these situations, there's plenty of blame to go around. I certainly agree with that.
Posted by EricaP on December 12, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
74
Makes me think about the time when I was an undergrad at UCLA (about 1990 or 1991, if I remember correctly) and a guy I worked with informed me that his mom had admitted a certain celebrity into the hospital the night before. Something about rectal gerbils, if I remember correctly.

You know a story is true when the rumor comes out several days after being told the same.
Posted by Approaching 40 in LA on December 12, 2012 at 6:52 PM · Report this
75
@ mydriasis, no it still seems dissimilar. I can wrap my head around finding ways to obtain a substance that's hard to locate/afford. But I don't get how if you need sex right now, you quickly find someone who's willing. Ask any single guy under 25. I guess another way to put it is, are there any unattractive sex addicts? Seems to me if you look like the side of a barn it's not an affliction you'd have to worry about. (And I'm not denying the existence of sex addiction, I just don't get the logistics.)

Anyway, that was just a side note to the original tangent, which is how one can talk about sex as if it doesn't involve the willing participation of another human being.
Posted by LateBloomer on December 12, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
nocutename 76
@75: It's not unheard of for people to pay for sex. Perhaps straight men who "need sex right now" use sex workers to provide it (straight women who are sex addicts can probably find it without paying).
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 7:32 PM · Report this
nocutename 77
BTW, I actually don't think sex addiction is an actual physical addiction in the same way that drug addiction is. I was just responding to LateBloomer's wonderment at how a (straight) man can sex as desired. If you're likening compulsive sexual behavior to drug addiction, it seems logical to assume that true compulsives do whatever it takes to get their fix. (Which is one of the reasons why I don't think the comparison holds true.)
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 7:39 PM · Report this
mydriasis 78
@latebloomer

Male sex addicts? They're not disproportionately attractive. As cute pointed out there's always prostitution.

Female sex addicts may find it easier to find sex but they also have the quite noteworthy hurdle of trying to balance their own personal safety with their need to get off.

But look, my point is, if I dropped you downtown I think you'd have a hard time getting high on heroin. You'd have to get the money for the drug, find someone with the drug who's willing to sell it to you, you'd have to get the means to inject it and find somewhere hidden to inject (hope you like public washrooms!). Oh and uhh, would you even know how to shoot up?

The average person looking for a one-night-stand has a comparatively easy time when measured against that, I think.

Learning to find sex is a skill like learning to find drugs. It often involves activities and people one would normally avoid.

@nocute

The heck do you mean by "actual physical addiction the way drug addiction is"?
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 7:49 PM · Report this
nocutename 79
Argh: I meant to say "find sex as desired."
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 7:50 PM · Report this
80
@75, I think you're imagining maintaining the standards you have now, while being a sex addict. I think one's standards probably change a lot, regarding age (both up and down), attractiveness, gender, consent, consciousness, etc. etc...
Posted by EricaP on December 12, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this
81
...and, yes, standards regarding paying for it, as nocute & mydriasis pointed out.
Posted by EricaP on December 12, 2012 at 7:54 PM · Report this
82
@75, sex addiction can cover a pretty wide spectrum (just like lots of other labels--official thank you @57!)--it doesn't always involve actual sex with random willing partners. It can manifest with porn, masturbation, massage parlors, etc, etc...so in short, yes there are fugly sex addicts.

Happy holidays all :)
Posted by jujubee80 on December 12, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
83
Lol The Who just dropped an f bomb on tv...sad but that amuses me :). A big thank you from the jersey shore to everyone who has helped out with Sandy relief.
Posted by jujubee80 on December 12, 2012 at 8:03 PM · Report this
nocutename 84
@78 (mydriasis): I mean a physical (as opposed to psychological) dependence. I have never experienced any sort of real addiction at all, so I can't speak from direct, personal, experiential knowledge, but I don't think that a "sex addict" who suddenly finds herself cut off goes through physiological withdrawl symptoms. And I'm just assuming that compulsive sexual behavior is often rooted in some deeply-felt psychological issues. If anyone's either a drug addict or a person who has sex compulsively, or ideally, both (well, not that that's ideal at all, but it would be good to be in a position to make a valid comparison), I'd be happy to stand corrected.
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 8:06 PM · Report this
nocutename 85
@82: I don't want to shift the grounds of the definition wars over to sex addiction, but I find the label very disturbing. A problem seems to be that what one person considers to be normal sexual behavior can be labeled by someone else as signs of addiction. For example, you mentioned masturbation and porn as addictive behaviors. But unless someone is doing physical damage to himself or his masturbation is keeping him from going to work or fulfilling other obligations or his porn consumption is interfering with his interest in having sex with his partner (assuming he has one), or he's stealing money to fuel his porn consumption, then how can one tell that these are symptoms of actual*addiction*? It seems to have the potential for allowing someone to pass judgment based on differing value systems and libidos.
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 8:20 PM · Report this
mydriasis 86
@nocutename

I'm happy to correct you. :)

It's a popular misconception that the physiological aspect of addiction (especially withdrawal) is what makes addiction so persistant. But this simply not the case.

For example, crack cocaine, one of the most infamously addictive drugs on the planet - well that must cause real physical addiction right? In actuality crack causes relatively meagre physical withdrawal symptoms - the heavy lifting is done by the "psychological" addiction piece.

Or if you prefer I can speak from personal experience. Having experienced both sex and quite a few highly addictive drugs I can tell you that without a doubt, sex is more addictive in my books.
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 8:28 PM · Report this
87
@85, i wouldn't call porn and masturbation symptoms of an addiction to sex--they're ways the addiction can manifest--perhaps I should have added 'compulsive' before each term. I don't think jerking it or buying sex equals an addiction...the compulsive need to do those things might though.... Just like eating a candy bar isn't a sign of a binge-eating disorder but needing to eat 12 of them without being satisfied might be....am I making sense? Hope I'm not rambling :)
Posted by jujubee80 on December 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM · Report this
88
mydriasis @78. That's so weird. I was almost going to post a comment saying the exact opposite. I'm in a new city tonight, and I was thinking that it would probably be easier for me to head outside, hail a taxi, start a conversation, get to a rough part of town, take some chances and eventually score some meth than it would be to pick up someone cute and bring her back to my hotel room. That's where illegal drugs and willing sex fit in my (entirely theoretical) estimate of relative difficulty. Just to put my baffled comments about guys having sex whenever they want into context.

And you're right, I wouldn't have a clue what to do with the meth.

Thanks EricaP and nocutename and jujubee80, makes sense.
Posted by LateBloomer on December 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
89
@85 I do get your point about labeling though--I get annoyed when non-drinkers see a drunk person and make a judgement that they have a problem with alcohol. And no, I realllly don't want to start another label war. For me, the addiction line gets crossed when compulsion takes over...but I'm no expert.....
Posted by jujubee80 on December 12, 2012 at 8:39 PM · Report this
mydriasis 90
nocute,

If you want to learn more about addiction I highly reccomend reading things written by this man. He's amazingly brilliant and probably has more personal experience with hardcore addicts than anyone else on the planet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-APGWvY…

Regarding your "how is it addiction if it's not hurting anyone" concern, here's Gabor talking about the difference between passion and addiction.

"To take a non-substance example, someone who’s passionate about social activism might work tirelessly for a cause, while her colleague may have a workaholic relationship with the same activity. It all depends on the energy with which one pursues the activity, and what happens when the activity comes to an end. There may be a letdown after a big event, but does the person feel a sense of basic worth in the absence of the adrenaline and the long hours? Does she find comfort in the other parts of her life? Or is she left irritable, restless, and less at ease with the people in her life?"

ALSO, at the risk of beating a dead horse, psychological addiction IS physiological. That's why we have MRIs.
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this
91
@67, et al. The object would prob come out "naturally" when enough force built up behind it but things could get pretty uncomfortable until then. Or so Chuck Palahniuk has lead me to believe.
@73, et al. Sometimes seandr's bitterness that his wife doesn't fuck him often enough drives him into crazy misogynist rant mode. I counsel sympathy.
Posted by chi_type on December 12, 2012 at 8:48 PM · Report this
mydriasis 92
@latebloomer

Haha.

No offense, but you seem like the type who'd have a hard time getting someone to sell them drugs ;)

Sex addiction's more complicated. How cute is cute? What about how drunk the girl is, how many bars are you willing to go to, what KIND of bars are you willing to go to? How agressive are you willing to be when trying to pick up girls? Are you willing to lie? Are you willing to get rejected dozens and dozens of time until you strike it lucky? What if the girl's sexy and into you but totally underage?

Plus it's not that sex addicts always have sex whenever they want. Do you think that drug addicts always have drugs whenever they want? It's not like drug addicts (unless they're mega rich) always have their drug of choice on hand. As I said earlier, drug addicts often undergo unwilling dry spells due to lack of funds, their drug dealer being MIA, or the town going dry. Although, typically female drug addicts have to deal less with all three of those issues but then we're looping back around to sex again.
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM · Report this
nocutename 93
Mydriasis: I didn't and would never ask "how is it addiction if it's not hurting anyone?" I said that the problem with attaching the label addict to someone because of his or her sexual behavior or desire is problematic for me because what one person deems a normal healthy manifestation of sexuality is a sign of sick, perverted obsession to someone else.

You have mentioned your libido here many times. Clearly, sex is important to you, more so than it is to some people. But being called an addict might be an overstatement. And the term addict, with all its attendant connotations and ramifications, is a charged word, a pretty weighty label. It can be applied in the same way that jujubee80 pointed out @89, or the way that alcoholics "in recovery" decide anyone else having a beer must also be an alcoholic: as an excuse for sitting in sanctimonious judgment.

If you want to claim the title "addict" for yourself, either in terms of drug use or sexuality, go ahead.
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 9:02 PM · Report this
94
nocute @84
>> well, not that that's ideal at all, but it would be good to be in a position to make a valid comparison >>

heh. thanks for the wry grin.

chi_type@91, you're wise, and more compassionate than I am.
Posted by EricaP on December 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM · Report this
nocutename 95
And I've been involved in a very sexually compulsive relationship, so I know what that's like. But my understanding of addiction would say that if I'm a sex addict, I can't have any kind of sexual relationship without it tipping into compulsion, and I can.
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Report this
mydriasis 96
cute, you're only looking at one side of the coin.

Yes, by admitting that sex addiction exists and is a valid addiction, we run the risk of people using it as a way to stigmatize normal, healthy sexuality.

But by pretending that sex addiction doesn't exist we delegitimize the suffering that can be caused by sex addiction and make it more difficult for people with sex addiction to understand and overcome their problems. The average person who "doesn't believe" in sex addiction typically mocks the idea at best, and more often assumes that it's a weaksauce excuse for immoral behaviour.

We all know I'm not a fan of people using armchair diagnoses to insult eachother (remember that whole borderline thing?), but the solution isn't to pretend there are no mental illnesses, the solution is for people to stop being stigmatizing douches.
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 9:20 PM · Report this
nocutename 97
@86 (mydriasis): Yes, you've "experienced both sex and quite a few highly addictive drugs," but would you define yourself as being *addicted*? I've experienced both those things myself, and have never been addicted.

EricaP: Glad I made someone smile wryly or otherwise. My take on seandr is that he is a bit like an attention-seeking pre-schooler. Not that he necessarily wants all the attention for himself, but he likes to stir things up here and shift the discussion to what he finds interesting and he knows the surest ways to do that, one of which is to incite the ire of people. That and the sexual frustration.
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
mydriasis 98
@nocute

And no, being in a "sexually compulsive relationship" is not the same as being a sex addict.
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
99
#74: you are referring to RICHARD GERE, right? The story IS in fact TRUE; I got MY confirmation from a PARAMEDIC who heard it directly from the paramedic who was "on the scene". And, this story was in the context of "weird medical emergencies encountered", during an Emergency First Responder class I was taking, and not during an evening at the bar.
Posted by Firstresponder on December 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM · Report this
seandr 100
@EricaP: Ok, yes, I can see how that would trigger the reaction I got.

I could have just as easily included husbands in the equation, but I was talking about the powers of female allure before I strayed off into that tangent.

I'm sure there are other reasons besides "laziness, selfishness, scorn, and disinterest" that cause people to neglect a spouse, but these are the ones that came to mind.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2012 at 9:34 PM · Report this
nocutename 101
mydriasis: I would agree with you that being in a sexually compulsive relationship is not the same thing as being a sex addict. However, I was in therapy at the time, and my therapist, convinced that anyone who drinks alcohol regularly must be an alcoholic, and that by the same token, I must be a sex addict, pushed me to attend an SLAA meeting (sex and love addicts anonymous). I sat in a room and I heard a lot of people describe themselves as "addicts" for behavior like "falling in love really easily," or "looking at porn and masturbating EVERY day (!)" (bonus points if you can correctly guess the gender of the people who were "guilty" of the above behaviors), and I thought, "this is absurd."

Lest you think that this example is an anomaly, I later had a boyfriend who told me that when he told his therapist that he had twice paid for sex, she decreed he was a sex addict and ordered him to go to an SLAA meeting, too. (These two experiences took place on opposite sides of the country.) I'd certainly like to hope that these were isolated examples of people who have been trained to see addiction everywhere, but both of us were labeled ridiculously, and my ex-boyfriend was shamed, as well.

So yes: I have a personal bias here. But we live in a culture where everything is called addiction or mental illness (this is the term you used @96), without any empirical criteria being applied. It turns into "this sounds weird to me, so I'm going to call it illness." This, I think, does a disservice to genuine mental illness. My stance against this attitude does not mean I deny the existence of genuine addiction or mental illness, or look down on people suffering from either one. It means I want an objective basis for the diagnosis.
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
mydriasis 102
@cute

"would you define yourself as being *addicted*?"

On the savage love comment section? Not a fucking chance in hell.

However, I wonder if you read the rest of my sentence and still felt a need to ask:

"I can tell you that without a doubt, sex is more addictive in my books"
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 9:42 PM · Report this
mydriasis 103
@cute

I can't speak to SLAA but I can speak to SAA (sex addicts anonymous), and from what I know it's definitely a different picture

For one example, someone quite close to me was court-ordered to be in SAA due to their criminal conviction. This person did identify as a sex addict (independent of the criminal aspect which was tenuously a sex crime at best) and said that the people in SAA were pretty messed up.

Keep in mind this is someone who had to register as a sex offender, so they're not someone, in my opinion who's apt to run around fainting and clutching pearls just because someone masturbates daily.

I honestly and sincerely encourage you to look into the experiences of people who feel that they are sex addicts before you go ahead and assume that everyone was labeled by a puritanical shrink (or wife). The negative repercussions can be pretty awful.
Posted by mydriasis on December 12, 2012 at 9:51 PM · Report this
nocutename 104
@mydriasis: Yes, I read the rest of your sentence. I reiterate that you said you had experienced both sex and addictive drugs. One can experience something which has addictive properties and potential and not become addicted. That seems to be your situation vis a vis drugs. If you believe yourself to have been truly addicted to sex (which is defined, I'm not sure how. You have said you need to have it and you don't feel satisfied by masturbation, so it isn't just orgasm you need), then, assuming you are still having sex, do you consider yourself addicted?

You have mentioned that when not in a relationship, you are very picky about whom you hook up with, looking for very specific features and a narrowly-defined aesthetic ideal. But earlier, you suggested that a sex addict, in order to get his needs met, would lower his standards significantly. Perhaps you are just a very fortunate addict, and can pick and choose, and therefore don't ever experience the desperation of a true addict who can't get his first, second, or third choice drug?

If you only characterize the sex you have had when you weren't in a monogamous relationship as evidence of your addiction, would you describe yourself as no longer in the clutches of your addiction, now that you are in a relationship? Is the addictive quality tied to the casual nature of hookup sex for you?

Are you in denial about your addiction, if you are continuing to have sex even in the context of your monogamous, committed relationship, given that the physical acts of sex you engage in must be pretty much exactly the same as when you were not involved with a boyfriend, but hooking up with men you didn't care about?

If you are "addicted" to sex, how can you have it still and be anything but an addict? People "in recovery" don't still drink or use drugs. They believe that they need to abstain, not just start using differently.

You sound as though you want to identify with addiction, but I think you're just a woman who likes to have sex a lot.
More...
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM · Report this
nocutename 105
@mydriasis: I'm not denying there are people with real problems of sexual compulsion (to me, the word addiction has physical and physiological connotations including withdrawl, so I won't use it, but for your purposes, you can substitute "compulsion" for "addiction," if you like); I'm just saying that the label gets tossed around by anyone who either wants to claim it for himself or is able to be put on someone by someone who has a different definition of what's "normal."

You seem hell-bent on misunderstanding me. I see virtually nothing in the world in black-and-white.
Posted by nocutename on December 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM · Report this
seandr 106
@nocutename: Gee, thanks!

LOL at the sexual frustration comment. Pretty much the only things I've managed to accomplish on this day of procrastination were eating my wife's pussy, getting a truly outstanding blowjob, and posting here. Oh, and I also shaved in anticipation of the first item.

No, please, save your applause.
Posted by seandr on December 12, 2012 at 11:08 PM · Report this
107
@100 No one is so lazy they neglect someone who is the light of their life. I bet all neglectful spouses feel neglected themselves (though probably in a different arena): "he never listens to me so I don't feel like having sex with him"; or alternatively, "she thinks I'm fat so I don't want to ever get naked with her."
Posted by EricaP on December 13, 2012 at 12:37 AM · Report this
mydriasis 108
@cute

Like I said, I'm definitely not going to offer myself up to SL as a human example of whether or not sex addiction exists. So I'm going to decline to answer those questions.
Posted by mydriasis on December 13, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
seandr 109
@EricaP: I'll grant that laziness doesn't apply to most women, although I don't think it's uncommon for a woman to perceive her man as lazy (doesn't help with housework, unemployed and not looking for a job), which could feel like neglect.

But I disagree that neglect is always a two-way thing. People can get wrapped up in aspects of their lives at the expense of their marriage - their career, motherhood, training for triathlons, rowing crew (which means getting up a 4am and therefore going to bed immediately after you put the kids to sleep), and, if you're the OCD sort, rigid adherence to daily routines, rigid adherence to sexual routines on those occasions you manage to fit sex in, spending your energy managing anxiety, and getting caught up in minutia that could just as easily be ignored.

And sometimes, when years worth of efforts to change things have failed, keeping in mind that change is inherently difficult if you're the OCD sort, those people need a wake up call - perhaps an infidelity or the threat of divorce - to realize that their marriage is extremely important to them, that they can no longer take it for granted, and that given the choice between making some modest adjustments and having their world turned upside down, those modest adjustments suddenly seem pretty attractive, perhaps even something they want for themselves as well as for their spouse. And then they live happily ever after.

Not that I have any personal experience with any of this. :-)
Posted by seandr on December 13, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
110
Ms Erica @73 and follow-ups - "Plenty of blame to go around" feels partly right but doesn't quite sit well. Blame implies excuse. I'd be more inclined to say that the explanation is usually multi-faceted.

And the best response to the discussion being centred around female allure might be to point out that the most apt Magic Wand reference is that it just hasn't been waved before men still thought by themselves and others to be uniformly straight, but I shall refrain.
Posted by vennominon on December 13, 2012 at 10:36 AM · Report this
111
The only time my dick droops is when there is perfume OR THE LIKE in the air. Just FYI.
Posted by perfumedroop on December 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
seandr 112
@109: Oops, seems I confusingly jumped back and forth between "they/their" and "you/your". Should just be "they/their".
Posted by seandr on December 13, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
113
fascinating.

i always assumed that seandr was female - probably because of the misogynist rants.
i guess i must have missed a few clues. :-)

on the subject of addictions... over here, it is defined as a subset of 'compulsive behaviour disorder'. and the establishment laughs at any attempt to call it an addiction.
i've always assumed that the label of 'sex addiction' is all about slut-shaming and sex negativity // being a twat and not taking responsibility for your behaviour.

i'd also like to challenge the concept that 'addict' is a valid (or maybe just useful...)identity construct. having an addiction is like having the flu. or for some(not trying to trivialise) more like a cancer diagnosis. sure, it kills some people. and for some people it becomes a 'living with it' situation. but on the whole, many people go through it, have a wake-up moment, deal with it and move on with their lives. it just not that useful to base your life/ identity around oh i had this awkward moment with a drug. or, i was really unwell at some point. or, for that matter, i've had severe depression in the past.
why? why would anyone do this? it seems terribly self-indulgent and dysfunctional.
Posted by sappho on December 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
114
@74 & @99: I remember a news blurb about that! Ig!
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
115
@109, I have personal experience with it too, as you probably remember. And I think it's better for the chances of the marriage to mention that you're having thoughts of infidelity or of divorce, rather than to get caught after cheating for a year, or after having moved a bunch of money into a secret separate bank account. If there's no response to the conversation, then action may need to be taken, of course. But most people are afraid of the hard conversation and go straight to the cheating or secret talks with a lawyer. That's what I would like to change.

@111 lol
Posted by EricaP on December 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
seandr 116
@EricaP: Oh dear. Yes the conversations should happen first, with the help of marital therapy if necessary.

Indeed, this would be a good thing to change. Some of us men (is it misogynistic of me to single one gender out? feel free to reverse or ignore genders if it suits you, i'm just speaking from my experience.) aren't exactly gifted when it comes to advocating for our needs, and might even feel discomfort and shame at the idea of having needs at all, particularly when they aren't being met. Thus, even when those conversations do happen, they may not be recognizable as such, so the results only reinforce the shame and discomfort, perhaps adding a few additional layers, and the whole thing takes on the feel of a hellish merri-go-round.

But taking action? That's firmly within our comfort zone.

I'm endlessly fascinated by the dialog between men and women, in both the personal and public realms. I'd like to think my contributions might help move things along, but alas, evidence seems to be to the contrary.
Posted by seandr on December 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
mydriasis 117
@sappho

Thanks for summing up the straight line between ignorance and lack of compassion so beautifully.
Posted by mydriasis on December 13, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
118
@107: "No one is so lazy they neglect someone who is the light of their life. I bet all neglectful spouses feel neglected themselves"

Or maybe a whole bunch of different things, all presumably legitimate in themselves, pile up one after the other after the other ("sorry, gotta finish my term paper; sorry, on my period; sorry, my sciatica is acting up again; sorry, you really don't want to catch my cold; sorry, just so tired after the long day the kids put me through; sorry, period cramps AGAIN, has it really been a whole month already?; sorry, out late tonight for book club; sorry, sciatica AGAIN, I just don't understand why it keeps acting up; sorry, midterm presentation for class; et cetera) until gee, six months has gone by and your spouse wonders why not only have you not had any sex together, but that you apparently haven't even missed it very much.

Yes, people do indeed get wrapped up in other roles such as grad student or mother or high-powered executive to the point where they forget about the role of lover. To imply that it must be that the person being neglected must have been doing some neglecting of their own is unfair; and to imply that if that person had truly been the light of their life the other person never would have let the neglect go on so long is insulting to both of them. Gee, if you had just been a better light of his life, he never would have neglected you.
Posted by avast2006 on December 13, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
119
@mydriasis - there's no lack of compassion, at all. and for the record, all those things i mentioned fall firmly in my own experience, most of it in my personal experience.

i'm simply saying that i don't believe that making these things 'identity markers' rather than 'experiences' is positive or useful. and i'm pretty sure it is in many cases directly damaging to the ability of people to move on with their lives.

someone said to me recently something like - but you need to think of yourself as a disabled person now, even if it's not permanent....
!!
why? how does that help me? it doesn't. all it does is get in the way of my recovery.
Posted by sappho on December 13, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
120
@avast, we're not going to sort out the blame in an imaginary marriage. And in real marriages it's not helpful to focus on assigning blame. I like vennominon's phrasing: "the explanation is usually multi-faceted." Either move forward together, each person probably giving more than they get until they're back to a healthy partnership, or admit that it's not working out.
Posted by EricaP on December 13, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
121
Teach me to read on Thursday... Yes, plugs can be had for cheap, but save up for the good stuff, Ox Balls (whatever shape and color you want) or Square Peg (comfortable enough to insert all day). Mr. S carries both and they've got a holiday free shipping special going for another day or two.
Posted by usagi on December 13, 2012 at 5:16 PM · Report this
122
Sex addiction?

This is ridiculous. We want sex, or the species does not survive. To equate this desire with some chemical dependency is ... stupid?

Of course putrid little heavy-writers like Myd argue the opposite.

Sex addiction is a term invented by lawyers and their clients to milk the media.

Oh, yes, I am a sex addict. Help me!

Why should I help you, you lazy little twat....? ...prick?

Posted by Hunter78 on December 13, 2012 at 6:56 PM · Report this
mydriasis 123
on the subject of addictions... over here, it is defined as a subset of 'compulsive behaviour disorder'. and the establishment laughs at any attempt to call it an addiction.
i've always assumed that the label of 'sex addiction' is all about slut-shaming and sex negativity // being a twat and not taking responsibility for your behaviour.

i'd also like to challenge the concept that 'addict' is a valid (or maybe just useful...)identity construct. having an addiction is like having the flu. or for some(not trying to trivialise) more like a cancer diagnosis. sure, it kills some people. and for some people it becomes a 'living with it' situation. but on the whole, many people go through it, have a wake-up moment, deal with it and move on with their lives. it just not that useful to base your life/ identity around oh i had this awkward moment with a drug. or, i was really unwell at some point. or, for that matter, i've had severe depression in the past.
why? why would anyone do this? it seems terribly self-indulgent and dysfunctional.


Dripping with compassion.
Posted by mydriasis on December 13, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
124
compassion and sympathy are not synonymous. sympathy is completely useless if you don't want to be defined by these dysfunctions.

calling it what it is does not indicate a lack of compassion. it indicates a frustration with enabling constructions, and a desire for actual positive discourse / change.

for whatever reason, i feel that you are disregarding the point i am actually making, in order to manufacture a perspective which does not exist. i'm a little confused by this, as you usually exhibit good logic, and rational discourse. i'm guessing i've pushed some button of yours, for which i apologise. that is never my intention. i suggest you take a deep breath, and read what i said again. what i actually said, not what you think i may have meant.
Posted by sappho on December 13, 2012 at 8:53 PM · Report this
125
@124: Defining yourself as an addict is an enabling construction?

Seems to me what it enables is for you to admit to yourself that you are one of those people for whom Substance X or Behavior Y actually fucks with your brain chemistry, and therefore the best thing to do is just stay completely away because you physically can't handle it. Trying to pretend that you just got a little out of control back there, but now you have your willpower once again in hand, enables, if anything, relapses.

That said, I agree that there are various ways to abuse the term.

There are those who are quick to wrap themselves in the mantle of addiction, because it gives them a face-saving out. "I'm a sex addict, but I'm in treatment now" is a lot more sympathetic than "I'm an asshole who not only should have known better, but who did know better, and cheated anyway." I think it's entirely possible that there are genuine sex addicts -- but I think the vast majority of the people who show up in the tabloids and subsequently go into sex addition treatment are simply assholes dodging responsibility.

There are also a lot of people who are labeled addicts by someone else, not because the truly are, but because _somebody_ benefits from getting them into a program.
Posted by avast2006 on December 13, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Report this
126
Today's Dear Margo column has a fun etiquette question. What do you say when a relative comes out to the family? Everyone had already guessed. Do you say "we already knew"? Do you say "congratulations"? Do you act surprised?
Posted by Crinoline on December 14, 2012 at 4:33 AM · Report this
seandr 127
@mydriasis: However, I wonder if you read the rest of my sentence and still felt a need to ask:

Intrigued, full of questions, dying to hear more...
Posted by seandr on December 14, 2012 at 8:10 AM · Report this
128
@113 "many people go through it, have a wake-up moment, deal with it and move on with their lives"

Wow... I don't even know where to start with that... How about I start with the fact that only 5% of alcoholics manage to actually sober up without falling back into drinking? And no, that doesn't mean the rest of them sober up after they've fallen off the wagon two or three times, it means the rest of them most likely fall off the wagon six of seven times before they finally give up and die of liver-disease.

Many people with addictions never manage to pull themselves out of it (whether it be physiological or psychological) and those that do continue to live with the addiction for the rest of their lives. There's a reason that people at AA meetings introduce themselves with "Hi, my name is XXX and I am an alcoholic", it's to remind themselves that they are alcoholics whether they are sober or not, and that staying sober means always ordering the water at restaurants and never sharing a beer after work for the rest of their lives. You don't simply move on from being addict.
Posted by Friendstastegood on December 14, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
Holmes 129
Flared base

"this isn't something they go over in med school."

Must have been a pretty boring med school.

@40

What goes in must come out? You'd think so. Some people do get a bit carried away diameter-wise. And as there is only so much internal force (I believe the term is peristalsis) available, its always a good idea to leave a handhold available.
Posted by Holmes on December 14, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Holmes 130
@126: Pass the gravy, please.
Posted by Holmes on December 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Holmes 131
@122: Sex addiction is a term invented by lawyers and their clients to milk the media.

Addiction (the definition I like) is continuing to engage in some behavior in the face of negative consequences.

So yes, it is possible to be a "sex addict". Which is more of an emotional, psychological or social problem than physiological. But there are people who engage in such behavior. In some cases, its a value judgment. I might engage in activities that others judge to be destructive (polygamy being one that society assumes will destroy families and marriages) and be labeled as an 'addict'. But as long as I properly consider the costs and handle the consequences (which may include separating myself from that judgmental portion of society), its not an addiction.

The lawyers and media have a vested interest in creating artificial consequences to further their agendas.
Posted by Holmes on December 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
132
And then there's also today's Ask Amy on poly in-laws.
Posted by Crinoline on December 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
133
Prev Crin,

Act honestly. Hopefully that's happy.
Posted by Hunter78 on December 14, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
134
@113: Addict is useful, as an identity, to remind people that they really can't backslide. People who have been sober for some length of time often have a little voice in their heads saying "Oh, you've been so good at controlling it, there's no way you're an addict anymore, you can drink in moderation like everyone else, one drink isn't a big deal."

And you know, sometimes people can change and drink in moderation, but I don't consider that alcoholism. Alcoholics take that one drink and it rapidly becomes a relapse. And that's why alcoholics identify as "recovering", and not as "cured." Because even if they're sober, they're never going to be like other people, who can drink in moderation. It's useful as an identity because it reminds them that they can't do what everyone else does because they are different.

I suppose it would be good if things like alcoholism weren't classed with things like, say sex "addiction", because sex addiction is a lot more like compulsive eating or something- the goal isn't to stop the behavior altogether, but to put it in a moderate range.

As for whether sex addiction is real, I don't know if it's an addictive behavior, but there are people who have sex compulsions that get in the way of living an ordinary, functional life, and those people have a real problem. Whether or not we call it "sex addiction" seems like a semantic issue.
Posted by alguna_rubia on December 14, 2012 at 7:55 PM · Report this
mydriasis 135
@ alguna rubia

Just semantics?
Tell that to the civil union crowd.

There is no scientific reason to call it a 'compulsion' rather than an 'addiction' except to delegitimize sex addiction and minimize the damage and pain it can cause.

It's a shame that people* show no interest in educating themselves on addiction before forming such tenacious opinions, and it's a shame that people think the way celebrities do something is an accurate reflection of how it plays out with the rest of us.

When I was younger I had a friend who was a heroin addict.

He started with codeine, he moved on to percocets, then the stronger oxycodone pills, then morpine, then heroin. One day I was sitting in his bedroom talking to him about how his father was addicted to food. And he didn't say "pfft, food addiction, as if, it's just an excuse to get fat and not be responsible". He didn't say "food addiction? please, there's no such thing as withdrawal when you eat a salad" (and he had experienced full blown heroin withdrawal himself). You know what he said?

"I feel bad for him"

Because, he explained, when he wanted to give up heroin, he could just give up heroin, quit entirely and cut it out of his life. But food addicts (and any reasonable person would argue, sex addicts) need to go through life getting little tastes of their addiction and avoid going off the deep end. In fact the people who like to blow off and delegitimize less concrete addictions are typically those who know nothing about addiction on any personal, emotional or intellectual level.

*I'm not directing this all at you, but I've seen bits of this in nearly every post on the subject.
Posted by mydriasis on December 14, 2012 at 8:55 PM · Report this
136
@130: Well answered! I like it.
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 14, 2012 at 9:25 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 137
Reading JMT's letter, Dan's response, plus all the other comments on this issue, I have finally arrived at an overwhelmingly powerful insight:

Some people have too much time on their hands.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on December 15, 2012 at 1:38 AM · Report this
138
@106 Seandr

That sounds like a perfect day of procrastination.
Posted by albeit on December 15, 2012 at 8:40 AM · Report this
139
I am thoroughly enjoying re-reading through all of this!!
Great idea, Erica! I, too, shall read more and post less---
especially if it's a topic I know little about or have little
experience with. Geez, sometimes I feel like the oldest
poster in the group!

Thank you, Dan, EricaP, anklosaur, mydriasis, nocutename, et.al.
for sharing very helpful sex related information.
@29 (re @23): Lol!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 15, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Report this
140
Dan, great YouTube video on marriage equality!!!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM · Report this
141
Unlike cocks, random objects inserted up the ass do not have a sure escape route. They may turn or present a bad face to the sphincter, making a passage out without pain difficult.

Posted by Hunter78 on December 16, 2012 at 6:36 AM · Report this
142
"or, if one's butt plug failed to dislodge and take flight, cause one to simply explode."

Shouldn't they put that little label on all butt-plugs then? The one they use on hair spray and paint, kind of a triangle with radiating lines from an explosion? Maybe with the words "fart hazard" underneath? ;-)
Posted by LAN8 on December 16, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this
143
Hey--I know! What about a gas tax?
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 17, 2012 at 12:24 AM · Report this
144
@143 lol
Posted by EricaP on December 17, 2012 at 7:59 AM · Report this
145
@135, right on.
Posted by jujubee80 on December 17, 2012 at 8:38 AM · Report this
146
Myd,

So what exactly happens when a food or sex addict doesn't get their "little taste of addiction", and goes "off the deep end"? Can you cite an example?

Does the DSM list Sex Addiction as a mental disorder?

Posted by Hunter78 on December 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
147
God, seandr, I hope you're a troll.

Your partner neglecting you doesn't give you a valid excuse to cheat on them. It gives you a reason to leave them, not an excuse to cheat. And I really think that's all it is - an excuse. I don't believe that naturally monogamous, honest, loyal men and women suddenly cheat because their partner has been cold lately or because they're horny or because some attractive stranger waves a magic wand. Those are all excuses people already predisposed to cheating use to rationalize their behavior.

Because cheating and neglect, or cheating and denial of sex, aren't equivalent. Neglect or denial of sex might make you feel lonely, insecure or pissed off, but that's the worst of it. Your blue balls are not going to actually fall off. But if your partner fully believes you to be monogamous, and you cheat on them and then have sex with them again before 9 months have passed and you've been tested, then in addition to the emotional pain you've caused (which may indeed be equivalent to the emotional pain they caused with their neglect), you risk giving them an incurable and potentially deadly STD they didn't agree to risk getting. You are taking a risk with their body, health and life without their permission, and I think that's a lot more fucked up than emotionally or sexually neglecting you.

So if my lover neglects me sexually or gets a lot fatter and lazier than when I met him, am I allowed to sabotage his car in a fit of rage and just hope it won't cause any injuries? I mean, it seems like I should be allowed to do that if I'm just supposed to accept that if I ever get lazy or disappoint him, he's entitled to risk my health. And I'm not very affected by "magic wands," but I sure do have a temper and am affected by rage, so.... All's fair in love and war I guess?

Honestly, cheaters just need to grow the fuck up. There are plenty of people who are open to open or poly relationships. Date one of them if you're so easily tempted by magic wands (general you, seandr, not assuming you are speaking about yourself.) Or have the balls to confront and leave people who are not satisfying you. You really shouldn't be in an adult relationship if you can't handle either of those options and just continue to make excuses for your unethical, dishonest behavior instead of trying to improve/avoid it in the future.
More...
Posted by modernbar on December 17, 2012 at 3:50 PM · Report this
seandr 148
@modernbar: Because cheating and neglect, or cheating and denial of sex, aren't equivalent.

I disagree. Withholding affection can be as hurtful as cheating, even more so based on my experience of both. The main difference is that the former is passive (not doing something) whereas the latter is active, so people like you have an easier time assigning blame and moral outrage to the cheaters.

A relationship is a contract, and when someone is acting in bad faith, fidelity is no more of an entitlement than sex. If one partner unilaterally changes the terms of a contract by putting up a wall, they can hardly complain when the other secretly responds by slipping out the back door.

And your view that ending a relationship is always preferable to cheating is equivalent to me suggesting that one should always end a relationship before making the decision to withhold affection indefinitely from one's partner. With some relationships, yes, putting the relationship out of its misery may be the humane thing to do. Other relationships can experience renewal after a period of distance and crisis.

Ultimately, it's up to those in the relationship to sort out. Extreme cases aside, I believe my primary moral obligation as a human isn't to wag my finger about the evils of cheating but rather to never presume to fully understand another person's marriage.

P.S. I gotta say, I encountered quite the magic wand this weekend (I behaved myself). Two days later I'm still crushing hard. Fucking monogamy...
Posted by seandr on December 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM · Report this
149 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
150
Dan, you used the term "buttsore." This sounds like the newly popular "butthurt." Both suggest to me that anal rape is being referenced as a parallel to humiliation. Am I wrong about this?

As someone who was anally raped, I can assure you that it is excruciatingly painful, totally unlike consensual anal sex, frightening, etc etc. I can also assure you that feeling disgruntled is not at the top of the list of reactions I had to it.

When your general idiot uses one of these terms I am irritated. When you use it, Dan, as a popular sex columnist and advocate, I am hurt. It's possible I've misunderstood, but then so too have a lot of people, I'd guess.
Posted by kloser2fine on December 22, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
151
@150: Being anally raped (or raped, period) is a horrifying experience.
I'm really sorry that happened to you, and hope that you can heal from such a nightmare. You and many others are in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by auntie grizelda on December 22, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this

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