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Girls

April 16, 2014

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I'm a 26-year-old girl, and my boyfriend is bi. I assumed he would be less jealous than the average man. After all, a lot of bi men have faced irrational jealousy from women. But my BF is more jealous than average. He accuses me of having slept with my male friends in the past. He makes negative comments about how many people I've hooked up with. Whenever I won't divulge something, he says, "Well, obviously that means you did hook up with that guy before we met/you do think that waiter was cute/you were looking at porn on your phone." If I do admit I was involved with someone (or even that I think someone is cute), he gets really upset. He knows he's insecure. He says he's working on it. But do people grow out of this kind of thing? Also, this is especially unfair given that I don't object at all to the shirtless snapchats he gets from guys he used to hook up with.

Torn In Re Envious Drudgery

Your boyfriend is not insecure, TIRED, your boyfriend is an asshole.

You shouldn't have to put up with slut-shaming or emotionally abusive behavior, TIRED, not even when—especially not when—it comes disguised as "jealousy and insecurity." Your boyfriend is not, as he would have you believe, the tormented victim of his own psychic demons. He is tormenting and victimizing you—he is abusing you—and conning you into giving him a pass by crying to you about his bullshit insecurities.

While some people do overcome these particular strains of assholery, it usually takes being dumped several dozen times before a guy like your boyfriend starts to do the hard work of unpacking and dismantling his assholery. The longer someone like your boyfriend gets away with this kind of assholery, the longer he'll be an asshole. So do your boyfriend and yourself a favor, TIRED, and DTMFA.

Lastly: I have a hunch your jealous, controlling, emotionally abusive boyfriend is playing a "good offense is the best defense" game with you. By which I mean to say: He's probably doing more—a lot more—than just swapping shirtless pics with guys he "used to" hook up with. His jealous fits about your imaginary infidelities may be meant to distract you from his actual ones.


I am a 22-year-old bisexual female, and I have a boyfriend who I love. He says he wouldn't mind if I hooked up with other girls, as long as it was a one-night thing. That's not what I want. Ultimately, I want to have a boyfriend and a girlfriend. He is not keen on the idea. He says he feels like he is not enough for me. I reassure him constantly that this is not the case. He is everything I want in a man, but I still crave a woman's company. How can I approach this subject with him so that he will understand and be willing to accept it? I love him and want to be with him, but I also want a woman in my life, and I am not willing to sacrifice that.

Feeling Emotionally Maligned

Your boyfriend may be everything you want in a man, FEM, but he's not everything you want. If you won't sacrifice your dream of having a woman in your life—for him or any other man—then stop encouraging him to hope otherwise. When he says, "I worry that I'm not enough for you," you should be saying, "You're all the man I need, honey, but it's true: You're not enough for me." Instead, you're saying, "You're everything I want! You're enough for me! But, um, I totally need a girlfriend, too!"

No more mixed messages, FEM. Say this to him: "I don't wanna have one-night stands with random women. I wanna have a relationship with one woman and a concurrent relationship with one man. I'd like that man to be you, sweetheart. But you'll have to compromise on the only-one-night-stands-with-women thing if you want to be with me. Because, like I told Dan Savage, I'm simply not willing to sacrifice that. Not even for you."

If you'll settle for nothing less than polyamory, FEM, your boyfriend has to be told that in unambiguous terms. No mixed messages, no hedging. The risk, of course, is that your boyfriend will dump you. But if he doesn't want what you want, FEM, then he's not the right guy for you, is he?


I am a heterosexual woman. There is no doubt in my mind that my boyfriend of four years loves women. Or that he loves me. My boyfriend says he is straight, but I sometimes think he is attracted to men. My gay best friend also thinks my boyfriend is attracted to men. Example: My boyfriend loves getting attention from this one gay waiter. My boyfriend goes out of his way to talk to him, the waiter responds with flirtation, and all the while, the gay waiter ignores and is rude to me. I asked my boyfriend if he had a crush on this waiter, and he got mad at me. What does this mean?

Worried Over Really Repressed Yearnings

Your boyfriend could be straight and comfortable with his sexuality and attracted to the occasional (rude) gay waiter. Some (rude) gay waiters are simply irresistible, WORRY, and some straight-identified guys aren't 100 percent straight, just as some gay- and lesbian-identified folks aren't 100 percent gay or lesbian. While some folks are bi and closeted, WORRY, lots of people are only so rarely attracted to someone of the same or opposite sex that the straight label (or the gay/lesbian label) feels more comfortable and more accurate than the bi label. As for your gay best friend, WORRY: Some (dumb) gay men are convinced that all straight-identified men are gay, bi, or persuadable. The more attractive the man, the more convinced these (dumb) gay men are. The fact that some straight-identified men have been known to fuck the odd (rude) gay waiter or (dumb) gay best friend only fans the flamers.


I'm a 23-year-young woman, and I've been with my boyfriend for more than five years. We have a toddler together. We are best friends, and I love him very much. However, when we got together, I hadn't had many partners and he'd already been around the block. And now he's just not doing it for me in the bedroom. The things that used to make my toes curl now just make them twitch a little. I think I want to have sex with other people. It's not that I'm not sexually attracted to my boyfriend anymore. I just want something different. But I don't want to break up with my boyfriend. I love him and I love our family. I'm just too damn horny. What do I do?

She's Horny And Growing

You start by telling your boyfriend that the things you've been doing in bed for five years—the shit that used to curl your toes—isn't doing it for you anymore. Tell him you don't want to break up, tell him you're still attracted to him, but also tell him you're bored by your routine. Get to work on expanding your repertoire, developing some new moves, and sharing your fantasies. One fantasy you can toss on the table: your desire to have sex with other people. If he's opposed, SHAG, ask him how feels about you two being with other people together, e.g., threesomes, sex parties, and swingers clubs. recommended


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Comments (64) RSS

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1
Good until the last one. Telling the father of your toddler that he's just not cutting it for you where there has been no change in his behavior requires: introspection first, then very careful disclosure which is supportive. Dump that letter on him in one session and the odds are it the beginning of the end of the relationship
Posted by Just me sayin' on April 15, 2014 at 7:39 PM · Report this
seandr 2
LW1: Your boyfriend is, in fact, insecure. Insecurity is the driver behind a lot of assholish male behavior*. He may eventually change. You might even help him change. But you're a person, not a social worker, so unless there's something in it for you that you haven't mentioned, don't put up with his shit, dump him, and do him the favor of letting him know exactly why he lost you. Also maybe recommend therapy with a good male therapist.

* For insight into male psychology, watch Cesar Milan's The Dog Whisperer - aggression amost always arises from dogs who are anxious and/or insecure.
Posted by seandr on April 15, 2014 at 7:55 PM · Report this
seandr 3
LW2: He's straight.
Posted by seandr on April 15, 2014 at 8:01 PM · Report this
4
Agree with the advice to LW1. Is he insecure? Simply abusive? Not sure but the (one and only) cure for either behavior is a good dumping. A good dumping (or two) really helped me to start asking the hard questions of myself which in turn helped me get my act together and I'm incredibly grateful to the women who did it.
Posted by bassplayerguy on April 15, 2014 at 8:08 PM · Report this
5
LW3 is straight. Lots of straight guys love to flirt with attractive gay men.... boosts their egos.Hey we all like to be admired. I totally agree with Dan's comments about some gay men suspecting all straight men of secretly being closeted, too. My experience exactly.
Posted by Suavecito on April 15, 2014 at 8:20 PM · Report this
6
@3, but will he still be straight in 20 years?
Posted by EricaP on April 15, 2014 at 8:24 PM · Report this
7
Yeah, that last answer needs some help. It's going to take some serious honesty and introspection from you, SHAG.

One of two things is happening. Either you want to dump him because the sex is bad or the sex is bad because you want to dump him.

In the former case, you have plenty of options before skipping to the "I want to sleep with other people" declaration. In Savage-Love-Land that's met with, "Jolly! Let's have a reasoned discussion about boundaries!" In real life the response is, "AUUUUGH! I'll never be able to bleach those words out of my brain!!!" You'll likely alter, if not end, the relationship forever that way.

As Dan mentioned, there's a whole field of fantasy to be explored between you before heading to that option, which may eventually include the fantasy (or practice) of sleeping with others. But an honest discussion of what you'd like more of from your S.O. WITHOUT defaulting to sleeping with others would be the best place to start. You might well discover you're just in a lull, not perma-bed-death.

If sleeping with others is the ONLY fantasy you have, that's a different matter. But your letter sounds more like it's the product of a negative (not getting what I want) than a positive directional choice (I'd love to do this).

But then there's Option 2, that you want to dump him SO the sex is bad. In this case no amount of sexual tinkering will serve. Any fantasy talk would be a waste of time. The mind is turned off, an exit is the ultimate goal, things won't turn ultra-sexy again magically even if all your fantasies are fulfilled.

People often fool themselves this way. They want to leave but they don't want to seem like jerks. So they cast themselves as the long-suffering, faithful martyr. Except half-willing martyrs don't have good sex. When the sex goes bad the exit avenue opens. Now the responsibility isn't yours (I want out) but the other person's (They couldn't please me). You're actually invested in the sex being bad to get you out.

If this is the case, the upstanding thing to do is break up honestly first and then have all the sex you want with other people.

So is bad sex spurring you to look elsewhere or is wanting to look elsewhere blunting the edge of the sex? Either seems fine, but honesty and taking responsibility for those feelings seems the way to go in either case.
More...
Posted by DomDom on April 15, 2014 at 8:37 PM · Report this
8
with regard to SHAG, given how most men are, shouldn't the advice focus on getting her boyfriend to improve his bedside repertoire first, and consider sex with other people as the last resort? This way, hopefully, you minimize the potential damage to her boyfriend's ego, and avoid the potential drama as a result.
Posted by just_my_2_cents_worth on April 15, 2014 at 8:38 PM · Report this
9
Yeah, that last answer needs some help. This is going to take some serious honesty and introspection from you, SHAG.

One of two things is happening. Either you want to dump him because the sex is bad or the sex is bad because you want to dump him.

In the former case, you have plenty of options before skipping to the "I want to sleep with other people" declaration. In Savage-Love-Land that's met with, "Jolly! Let's have a reasoned discussion about boundaries!" In real life the response is, "AUUUUGH! I'll never be able to bleach those words out of my brain!!!" You'll likely alter, if not end, the relationship forever that way.

As Dan mentioned, there's a whole field of fantasy to be explored between you before heading to that option, which may eventually include the fantasy (or practice) of sleeping with others. But an honest discussion of what you'd like more of from your S.O. WITHOUT defaulting to sleeping with others would be the best place to start. You might well discover you're just in a lull, not perma-bed-death.

If sleeping with others is the ONLY fantasy you have, that's a different matter. But your letter sounds more like it's the product of a negative (not getting what I want) than a positive directional choice (I'd love to do this).

But then there's Option 2, that you want to dump him SO the sex is bad. In this case no amount of sexual tinkering will serve. Any fantasy talk would be a waste of time. The mind is turned off, an exit is the ultimate goal, things won't turn ultra-sexy again magically even if all your fantasies are fulfilled.

People often fool themselves this way. They want to leave but they don't want to seem like jerks. So they cast themselves as the long-suffering, faithful martyr. Except half-willing martyrs don't have good sex. When the sex goes bad the exit avenue opens. Now the responsibility isn't yours (I want out) but the other person's (They couldn't please me). You're actually invested in the sex being bad to get you out.

If this is the case, the upstanding thing to do is break up honestly first and then have all the sex you want with other people.

So is bad sex spurring you to look elsewhere or is wanting to look elsewhere blunting the edge of the sex? Either seems fine, but honesty and taking responsibility for those feelings seems the way to go in either case.
More...
Posted by DomDom on April 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM · Report this
10
Double post. I suck. Nevermind. Sleep with other people.
Posted by DomDom on April 15, 2014 at 8:46 PM · Report this
11
LW2: We don't have nearly enough information from her to determine her boyfriend's motives. So he "loves getting attention" from the waiter. Big deal. Lots of people like getting attention. Maybe he thinks the waiter is fun and interesting, and enjoys his company. This doesn't mean he wants to fuck him.

This is a tightrope hetero men often have to walk with our insecure wives/girlfriends. If we're standoffish to her gay friends, we're homophobic. If we're friendly and engaging, then we must be gay ourselves.
Posted by rastus on April 15, 2014 at 8:59 PM · Report this
12
No waiter is irresistible.

While there is truth in the first two thirds of the conclusion of that response, Mr Savage omits that it might reasonably be considered marginally more excusable for someone who knows very few available people from whom to choose (if Mr Savage can presume that GBF finds BF madly attractive without any evidence, I can presume they live somewhere with a very low quantity of non-Wainthropps) than for one of the rather greater number of women who take male homosexuality to be a personal insult or decline to believe in it as quite real in the first place (I am quite pleased to say that there are only one or two infrequent posters among the present company to whom this designation might apply).

As for the second letter, wouldn't "biamory" be more accurate when she's seeking two partners exactly to fairly careful specifications and not an open-optioned indefinite number greater than one? This letter makes me feel old, as I remember what might be considered the birth of biphobia as a term in common use, when it was mainly evoked when the partners of people like this LW didn't capitulate. It's interesting that there's been such a shift.
Posted by vennominon on April 15, 2014 at 9:02 PM · Report this
13
LW2: We don't have nearly enough information from her to determine her boyfriend's motives. So he "loves getting attention" from the waiter. Big deal. Lots of people like getting attention. Maybe he thinks the waiter is fun and interesting, and enjoys his company. This doesn't mean he wants to fuck him.

This is a tightrope hetero men often have to walk with our insecure wives/girlfriends. If we're standoffish to her gay friends, we're homophobic. If we're friendly and engaging, then we must be gay ourselves.
Posted by rastus on April 15, 2014 at 9:03 PM · Report this
14
"I assumed he would be less jealous than the average man. After all, a lot of bi men have faced irrational jealousy from women."

What is that supposed to mean?

Oh, on second thought, never mind. Letter Writer 2 answered that.

LW 2 is another one of these people who think that being bi should give her special dispensation to have multiple partners. If you feel you should get to have more than one partner to whom you are attracted, then he also gets more than one partner to whom he is attracted. And no, you do NOT get to hide behind "but mine are one man and one woman, while yours would both be women!" That is complete bullshit. People are individuals. You fall in love with people, not with sets of genitalia. I guarantee he can find two women that are very different and yet both highly attractive to him. I also guarantee that you can find any number of both men and women as candidate dates, some of whom you find attractive and some of whom you don't. It's not about what they are packing in their pants, it's about who they are and whether you are attracted to them.

Also, if you are bi, that means you are capable of seriously falling for someone of either sex -- potentially displacing your boyfriend with someone of either sex. If he has to undergo that risk, then so do you, even if in his case he would be replacing you with a woman. (Before anybody jumps on me, saying "not all bi people are bi-romantic," Letter Writer says that's basically exactly what she is looking for. She already vetoed casual hookups.)
Posted by avast2006 on April 15, 2014 at 9:08 PM · Report this
15
Yeah, the stupid double-post above is supposed to be about LW3, not LW2. Apologies and ARGH. Why isn't there an edit function?
Posted by rastus on April 15, 2014 at 9:14 PM · Report this
16
Re: SHAG - Funny, the stereotypical story about couples with toddlers is that Mommy Bed Death is all but inevitable during that period, because Mom is the one who is all tired out from chasing a kid, and hormonal from breastfeeding, and caught up in her role as Mom to the point that she doesn't feel sexy, ad nauseam. Further, this should be patently obvious to Dad, and he is an unspeakable asshole for suggesting anything other than that he kindly and patiently backs off for a few months to a few years. Should he dare to suggest wanting to sleep with others? Definitely DTMFA time for that.

Gee, you don't suppose that maybe SHAG is suffering the usual libido killers endemic to mother-of-a-toddler-parenthood? Only this time, it's all Dad's fault that her sexual response is off. Even though he is doing the exact same things that used to curl her toes.
Posted by avast2006 on April 15, 2014 at 9:23 PM · Report this
17
Mr Suave - If the unfortunate same-sexer being exploited as an ego booster happens to enjoy the exercise knowing it full well to be what it is, that's a situation that gets the old FTWL, but not that many straight men are all that scrupulous about it (in fairness, quite a number of straight-chasers appear to prefer that) and it's far too common for some nasty homophobic assumption to seep into such encounters.
Posted by vennominon on April 15, 2014 at 9:27 PM · Report this
18
Regarding SHAG - I am the proud parent of a 9 mo. old myself. Well, no shit things have changed. Between adjusting to completely new hours presented by a new addition and the usual demands of a job some energy is gone. I don't know who does what in your family, but kids take energy. Do you and the boyfriend take weekend breaks, or even long nights (find an overnight babysitter) to recharge? This may help to put some energy back into your sex life. Both parents must make the effort to keep the sex engaged. If you are just trying to catch up with his history, that is a sure way to destroy whatever it is you have now. Suppose you catch up with his hatch marks on the bedpost, how will that improve how you feel about yourself? Will it make your family better? Really, if you are looking for something different, try stripping - you'll have plenty of opportunities to meet and bang new guys and you can make money at the same time!
Posted by Just sayin: doing it now. on April 15, 2014 at 9:59 PM · Report this
19
Back to LW1: Your boyfriend is an asshole. Shaming you for people in your past is unacceptable. There is nothing you can do to change your past. He either has to be cool with your past (for starters, it is what brought you to the present moment with him), or else he has to decide that he can't be cool with your past, in which case he must break up with you. But to stay in relationship with you and continue to rake you over the coals about something that cannot be "fixed" (not that your past needs fixing, but it simply can't be altered, period) is the mark of an abuser.

Dump him hard, and tell him exactly why he deserves being dumped. Maybe he will learn a valuable lesson on how to not be an asshole.
Posted by avast2006 on April 15, 2014 at 10:28 PM · Report this
20
@16 FTW, though you might have been a little harsh.

Seriously, though SHAG it might be your hormones, lack of sleep or just a lack of novelty. I rub a little sesame oil down below if I'm in a rut or change technique (do you take turns initiating?). I also remember reading that new locations and/or situations can add novelty. So I guess what I'm saying is you should cover your genitals in sesame oil and ambush your partner in an unfamiliar location. If you don't end up in jail your relationship just might be saved.

Important disclaimer: Do not attempt in states with "Stand Your Ground" or generous conceal carry permits.
Posted by Really Now... on April 15, 2014 at 10:44 PM · Report this
seandr 21
@6: If flirting back with a flirtatious man or setting off some wishful-thinking friend's gaydar makes someone gay, then woohoo I'm gay, too! Unfortunately, it's the kind of gay that isn't at all attracted to men.

Posted by seandr on April 15, 2014 at 10:58 PM · Report this
seandr 22
How can I approach this subject with him so that he will understand and be willing to accept it?

Explain to him that you're giving him the amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete for your attention with a lesbian of your choosing. Awesome for him, right?

If that doesn't convince him, then nothing will.
Posted by seandr on April 15, 2014 at 11:18 PM · Report this
23
@20, what the hell does Sesame Oil do to tame the wandering twat?
@16, She's not experiencing lack of libido, she says she's horny. Just not for her husband.

SHAG, I don't know how the hell you have the energy to be horny after caring for a toddler all day. Which tells me you're probably not. So who is? Dad? Gramma? The sitter?

There's a time for balls-to-the-wall sex and there's a time for parenting. If you focus more on this irreplaceable moment in time with your toddler, SHAG, instead of hunting down sex partners, you may have fewer regrets later when this kid's a teen. Seize the day.
Posted by portland scribe on April 15, 2014 at 11:38 PM · Report this
sissoucat 24
@seandr

I just love straights who are comfortable enough in their sexuality to flirt back with flirtatious gays...

But with rude servers ? How can this guy stay blind to the rudeness his girlfriend gets to endure, just for him to get his fix of gay flirtation ?

I'm not saying he's gay or bi : I'm saying he's inconsiderate to his official partner, right in front of her. And that's bad.
Posted by sissoucat on April 16, 2014 at 12:38 AM · Report this
25
LW2-was your bisexuality and persuit of a female partner something you were up front about from the begining? Or did you decide to spring this on your male partner after you were already in a relationship? Have you discussed the possibility of you both inviting a third into the relationship that is sexual with you both? These are all things to consider before you throw ultimatums.
LW4-Have you considered that you are frustrated with your partner because of other issues that have walked into the bedroom. Perhaps he does not help as much as he should with your little one or pick up around the house. If you are angry about other things it could prevent you from relaxing enough to enjoy sex. It could also be that your vaginal nerves have been relocated due to both your pregnancy and delivery which will change how you respond to sexual stimulation. Before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, take time to enjoy your family, reconnect with your husband, and discuss the physical changes with your dr.
Posted by bxtorr19 on April 16, 2014 at 1:15 AM · Report this
26
@23 I just know that when my hormones get out of whack and make sexual fulfillment more difficult, a little sesame oil straightens things out. There's also a decent assortment of female homeopathic arousal ointments, pills and lubes but I can't recommend them since I've never used them.
Posted by Really Now... on April 16, 2014 at 1:57 AM · Report this
lolorhone 27
Gay, straight, bi, trans, questioning, poly... Insecure, jealous, hormonal, anxious... All these categories are useful and edifying w/r/t maintaining a relationship. However, none of them are as useful and edifying as determining your partner's asshole status. Figure that one out and the rest tends to fall into place, y'know?
Posted by lolorhone on April 16, 2014 at 2:50 AM · Report this
28
Ms Sissou - Those aren't gays; those are straight chasers, who really need to have their own separate orientation and who deserve all the blame you assign.

I don't know if it reached France, but around these parts it was quite a game at one time (perhaps still is?) for a certain sort of straight man to befriend gay men, initiate and take the lead in flirtation (which sounds as if it fits the letter and LW rounds BF's portion down to conversation and the waiter's up to flirtation due understandably to the waiter's rudeness to her) with the object of eliciting a Declaration of Affection or indeed even a Proposition, in order to respond with an Indignant Assertion of how he was Just Being Friendly and Why Why Why Was He Being So Traumatized (rather like the writer of that rerun letter who was told by Mr Savage that he was the satyr, not the faun).
Posted by vennominon on April 16, 2014 at 4:03 AM · Report this
AFinch 29
Great letters this week!

I think @2 has the formulation right for TIRED - he is insecure and jealous, but Dan's wanting to put emphasis on his assholery is correct: being insecure and jealous is not a reason to cut him slack for being an asshole(or an excuse for his likely cheating which he also engages in for the ego boost). Instead, it's a reason to dump him.

@WORRY is just offended her BF is busy lapping up the attention while the waiter is rude to her. That the waitron is male is of no real consequence. I know I hate it when I catch myself treating female and male waiters differently (and embarrassingly, I do, esp. if she's cute). Even worse when it's in front of my SO.
Posted by AFinch on April 16, 2014 at 4:22 AM · Report this
sissoucat 30
Indeed, I've never heard before of straight males with such behaviour, thanks for explaining it. So it's what "straight chaser" means ? So, it's a kind of asshole who preys on gays, I'd say.

No, in France I've never heard such stuff. Bear in mind that I'm neither gay nor male myself, so it could be a thing lately and I would not have heard of it.

We do have a French word for such behaviour though, when it's (of course) women doing it to heterosexual men. It's called "allumer" and the woman is an "allumeuse".

But most people I know would not use the word "allumeuse" nowadays, because it's been such a fixture in the rape apologists' language toolkit, as to become synonym with "woman I'd rape if I could get away with it". And somehow, outing oneself as a potential rapist isn't totally sexy in my age group.
Posted by sissoucat on April 16, 2014 at 4:38 AM · Report this
sissoucat 31
@27 You're right, of course, but figuring out someone's asshole status is so much more difficult than figuring their other particulars.

Alas, the only ones with a built-in accurate asshole detector are the assholes themselves (have you never come to wonder how the two assholes in your life did hate each other at first sight, before you knew either was an asshole ?) and some advice columnists. That skill can be learned through experience, but what's the use of having at last a working asshole detector at 70 ?

Unless we have a lot of experience or are blessed with being raised by Dan's Mom, we can't even scan for all types of overt assholes, and most come under a disguise. Very rare are the non-closeted assholes.
Posted by sissoucat on April 16, 2014 at 4:52 AM · Report this
32
Vaginal nerves relocated?
Posted by Hunter78 on April 16, 2014 at 5:14 AM · Report this
33
Dear TIRED, Your bf is sure acting controlling and shaming, bordering on abusive. If it's any help to either of you, this kind of behavior is usually driven by a deep abandonment issue. What is probably going on is that he is so terrified of being abandoned again that he focuses obsessively on all your past and potential partners for fear you might hook up with them and abandon him. He's probably not conscious of the abandonment fear, and that's where a good therapist could really help - to uncover that fear and help him to heal it and feel secure in himself. But the only cure really is therapy - it's very unlikely he will be able to heal this himself. If he's willing to go into therapy, and you see enough positive qualities that you're willing to stick around, the relationship might survive. But if he doesn't want to do therapy, I think you should get out of the relationship asap, as his emotionally abusive behavior will only escalate and may well become physical abuse. That's the usual progression. Ask yourself if you would want to have a child with this man and have it be treated the same way as he is treating you, magnified by a few factors of 10. If not, then leave now. But do it as kindly as you can, because your leaving will be yet another abandonment for someone who is acting like an asshole but is really an abandoned and terrified child. Good luck!
Posted by Libya on April 16, 2014 at 5:45 AM · Report this
34
Re LW 4: I don't know, when my kids were babies and toddlers (say 3 and 1), I was as horny as ever, the sex was hot if less frequent, and I did ALL the work. Not everyone's libido is squashed by parenthood. (Shoutout to IUDs here! No having 7 kids for me) Though needs and wants can change and that spot on the neck that used to make you squirm is now blah, but oh, nipples!

While I agree that she needs to comunicate, it could be that he's fulfilled his biological imperative for her. She was relatively inexperienced when they got together, now she wants to explore. Toys first? With luck he goes along for the ride and it strengthens the relationship. But if the commitment is there, honesty is key and patience is your friend.

And #1, guy's an asshole, DTMFA yesterday.
Posted by phuni44 on April 16, 2014 at 5:45 AM · Report this
35
FEM: This advice surprises me because usually, Dan often talks about the price of admission to date someone. The price of admission for FEM to date her bf is a monogamous relationship with the compromise of indulging her bi-sexual sides (a solid meet-in-the-middle if you ask me). Instead, FEM is being a tad selfish in that despite her BF making leaps to ensure happiness, she is still standing ground and asking for more. Maybe they are not meant to work out, but usually Dan is much more balanced than this.
Posted by Adviced on April 16, 2014 at 6:03 AM · Report this
36
Ms Sissou - No, a straight chaser is a (frequently particularly noxious) man who goes after openly straight men, often despises open same-sexers, and thinks bagging straights increases his own masculinity and thereby desirability. The other thing I mentioned was a separate sort of corresponding phenomenon, straight men who got off on luring gay men into making passes at them so that they could act all virtuous and misunderstood when they rejected them. I congratulate you on the felicity of not having had to encounter members of either such group; you haven't missed anything you'd want to experience.

The best example of an allumeuse I've encountered is Louise Leidner in Murder in Mesopotamia (which they really rather butchered when they filmed it by inserting Hastings; the novel is particularly interesting because it's narrated by the nurse, who views Poirot and the investigation through a medical lens, but who barely appears in the episode at all).
Posted by vennominon on April 16, 2014 at 6:35 AM · Report this
37
I've never understood people like LW1 - your bf is a jerk. He makes you feel bad about yourself and your life before him - why do you want to hold on to him? They say women marry (or date) men hoping they will change; men marry (or date) women hoping they will never change - both are usually disappointed. He's not going to change, so get out while you can!
Posted by bookaday on April 16, 2014 at 6:37 AM · Report this
lolorhone 38
sissoucat @31: Ain't that the truth...
Posted by lolorhone on April 16, 2014 at 6:59 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 39
@ WORRY, it's more likely that he just really loves getting overt sexual attention, and for het guys it's pretty rare, so they get less discriminating about where it comes from. Try not to attack his heterosexuality; you know how nobody likes it when het guys are acting like their heterosexuality is constantly under attack?

Quit being part of the problem.
Posted by Eudaemonic on April 16, 2014 at 7:42 AM · Report this
40
@21, I do know several men who were straight in their 20s but enjoyed gay attention, and now turn out to be bi once the midlife crisis hits. I'm not complaining -- I like being in the room for guy-on-guy action. But it might interfere with someone's hopes of monogamy, when a guy discovers he's curious about men later in life. I suppose that's why WORRY worries her bf is bi.
Posted by EricaP on April 16, 2014 at 7:52 AM · Report this
41
I'm not responding here particularly to any posts for this week, but for those I've read over the years. It seems that many a writer is on the verge of a breakup/dump and just wants an expert opinion before going through with it. So Mr. Savage is not to be blamed for giving advice to dissolve amorous unions — he's just giving his approval to the inevitable.
Posted by mjnyc on April 16, 2014 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Registered European 42
@39
@ WORRY, it's more likely that he just really loves getting overt sexual attention, and for het guys it's pretty rare, so they get less discriminating about where it comes from.

That would be my interpretation as well.
Posted by Registered European on April 16, 2014 at 8:45 AM · Report this
seandr 43
@EricaP: I have this feeling that in the next few years we're going to discover that everyone is gay or bisexual except for me.
Posted by seandr on April 16, 2014 at 9:20 AM · Report this
44
I hope this doesn't come across as biphobic or even polyphobic, but to me "You everything I want in a lover ... who is male, but I also want a woman" is about as much good as "You're everything I want in a lover ... who is ginger, but I also want a blonde."

I wouldn't mind at all being with someone who had another partner of either sex, but I would mind feeling that I was "the male one" or "the smart/cute/funny one" or "the drummer" in their roster of various different types.
Posted by DistingueTraces on April 16, 2014 at 9:24 AM · Report this
45
There are also gay men who chase straight men either to have a good excuse for being rejected, or because they (vainly) hope the man will have one woman, and one man, and not sleep around with woman2, man2, woman3, man3, etc.
Posted by marilynsue on April 16, 2014 at 9:32 AM · Report this
46
omg peeps... please stop making excuses for TIRED's bf. He is just an abusive asshole, and is perfectly secure in being an abusive asshole. DTMFA. And read In Sheeps Clothing, by Dr. George Simon.
Posted by kylecheez on April 16, 2014 at 9:33 AM · Report this
47
I believe Dan did very well in noting FEM's mixed message (I count that as letter #2) in that she's saying she's fine with only the relationship with her boyfriend while simultaneously saying that she must have a relationship with a woman. I'm surprised that he didn't pick up on what I see as the 2nd mixed message which seems to be that she insists on a relationship outside the one with boyfriend without telling him that he's welcome to the same. Either that's the case and she hasn't made a point to communicate it, or that's not the case and she doesn't see the blaring double standard/hypocrisy.
Posted by Crinoline on April 16, 2014 at 9:43 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 48
"But I don't want to break up with my boyfriend. I love him and I love our family. I'm just too damn horny. What do I do?"

Your own fair share of the childcare, for a start.

Then, try talking to him. If your needs have changed, and he's not meeting them because you're keeping it secret, the solution is not to start relationships with other people.
Posted by Eudaemonic on April 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this
49
TIRED's jealous asshole boyfriend sounds a lot like my ex.
@27 lolorhone & @24 & @31 sissoucat: Right spot on!
@40 EricaP : and @43 seandr: I think I'm on the permanent het list, too, quirky as I am.

TIRED's letter did raise some humbling and personal questions for me to ask myself about jealousy and insecurity. I'm not jealous of others (really!), but......after just opening up my heart WIDE after all these years in Dan's previous column from last week ("Thrills and Spills", April 9th), I do have about 45 years' worth of my own insecure hangups to address and deal with. Thanks, Dan, and everybody, for hearing me out about my insecurities. My biggest emotional hurdle right now is my dealing with being sexually attractive again, after 22 years of being overweight / weight gain / poor diet (too many Big Macs and Mars bars). I am left to wonder if some of my self-induced insecurity could be a great sense of loss and vulnerability after the passing of both my beloved parents (each with hangups and insecurities of their own, too)?
Thanks, Dan, and everyone. You have given me ample food for thought.
Sometimes all I want is a bowl full of GF/SF Envirokids' Peanut Butter Panda Puffs and a good old fashioned dose of Josie and the Pussycats' reruns.

Excellent letters this week!
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 16, 2014 at 11:55 AM · Report this
50
re @49, continued: Hugs are nice, too. The longtime best friend and love of my life is incomparably fantastic for that. I have cause to celebrate today. 13 years ago yesterday, my abusive spouse of nine years back then attacked me unprovoked. We divorced six months later.
But this year, for me yesterday was just yesterday, an overcast drizzly Tuesday, also Tax Day, offering a Full Moon.
After soliciting my posters at WWU offering my music and tutorial services, Ireturned home after a few additional errands, watched Thelma & Louise, sang along with the killer soundtrack, and slept like a baby.

Posted by auntie grizelda on April 16, 2014 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 51
I agree with Dan that TIRED's boyfriend may be engaging in the same behavior he's accusing her of. Not necessarily because the best defense is a good offense, although that may be part of it. It could also be a matter of projection. He's doing it himself, so he assumes everyone does it.
Posted by Kevin_BGFH http://biggayfrathouse.typepad.com/blog/ on April 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM · Report this
lolorhone 52
Auntie Griz @49-50: Thanks for the shout out! I hope all things post-op are going well. As for insecurities, I often feel I need a break from living in this particular body, with this particular mind full of my particular history. However, since this is an impossibility, I just try to focus on what I can control. The past's the past and set in stone but I can change my perspective moving forward and try to leave it there (aside from lessons learned, it's of no use to me or anyone else now). That's all anyone can do, and you're doing it better than most. You're worried about it not simply because you're insecure, but because you're thoughtful (a rarer quality than we'd all like to believe). Just keep this in mind: You've had many and much worse hurdles than being hot again. I'm sure you'll conquer this one in no time.
Posted by lolorhone on April 16, 2014 at 12:42 PM · Report this
53 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
54
@52 lolorhone: Thanks so much in return!
You're right---I do try to focus on what I can control (use of the Serenity Prayer usually works nicely for me, however overwhelming life's daily grind can still be at times).

I guess, upon retrospect, one particular bemusement nowadays for me is my brother's chagrin regarding my asserted but polite distance from our older sisters (my three sibs are within two years, nine months, and one week from each other in age, went to the same school and grew up together. By the time I started the fifth grade, they were already out exploring the adult world).
While I cannot change my sisters' and brother's ('Yeah, well, they're the only family we've got left!') stubbornly long-established overly critical views, at least I can appreciate my brother's acknowledgement otherwise that we're all adults, living our own lives, and facing the consequences for whatever choices and decisions we've made.
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 16, 2014 at 2:04 PM · Report this
55
re: @54: ....which is why I need that Panda Puffs and Josie and the Pussycats break every now and then!
:)
Griz
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 16, 2014 at 2:07 PM · Report this
lolorhone 56
Auntie Griz @55: Then again, don't we all? :)
Posted by lolorhone on April 16, 2014 at 2:19 PM · Report this
57
boyfriend of 4 years? Honey he's gay. GAY GAY GAY
Posted by Stencil on April 16, 2014 at 2:54 PM · Report this
58
Worry,

Your bidar is probably working correctly. The big concern here is his intemperate reaction toward your questioning. Is he homophobic? A bi homophobe has unresolved internal issues.

If he is het, he's probably insecure about his sexuality, which is not cool, but ymmv.

Otherwise, look forward to doing something else when they're flirting.
Posted by Hunter78 on April 16, 2014 at 3:36 PM · Report this
59
Ms Crinoline - Well, that used to be the classic line, and we had at least one letter touting the modern version last year. You recall the bi woman who gave her straight male partner her gracious permission to have as many male encounters as he wanted, but would not sanction female encounters because he was her only man. I shall credit Mr Savage with assuming that he didn't want to bring that up, or she'd immediately go and tell her BF that of course he could have a boyfriend of his own.
Posted by vennominon on April 16, 2014 at 3:47 PM · Report this
60
FEM,

You hooked up with a bi, thinking he would be less jealous than a het male. He was more. Try again.
Posted by Hunter78 on April 16, 2014 at 5:42 PM · Report this
61
Oops! That was for TIRED.
Posted by Hunter78 on April 16, 2014 at 5:44 PM · Report this
62
LW2, my partner of many years is like that, too. No question that he's attracted to women, but he does enjoy attention from good-looking men sometimes and he sometimes pings peoples' gaydar. We've talked about this a lot, though, and he never gets angry if I bring something up -- if he did, I'd consider that fishy. The thing I really dislike is not the flirtation you describe, but the fact that he'll flirt with a guy who treats you like crap. Not cool regardless of genders. He doesn't mind if I flirt with men or women, but if I were doing that with someone who was rude to him, I would (a) be turned off by them because they're being an asshole to someone I love and (b) if I didn't notice at first, he'd be within his rights to nudge me and let me know what was going on.
Posted by jenojeno on April 16, 2014 at 5:45 PM · Report this
63
LW3, I mean.
Posted by jenojeno on April 16, 2014 at 5:46 PM · Report this
Holmes 64
@9: With SHAG being 23 years old, I fear that the answer may be option 2. What was good at 18 is starting to be boring at 23. That's a pretty young age to be setting down, so an exit might be in order here.

Except, there's a child involved. Leave the relationship and mom going on a 'finding herself' expedition could leave a kid messed up as the family unit is going to be in flux for the next few years. On the other hand, stick around and the kid is going to receive the subconscious blame for keeping a dud relationship going. Kids are amazingly perceptive when it comes to this sort of thing.

Its a tough call. I don't have a definite recommendation other than other 18-20 year olds need to think about these sorts of things before becoming parents.
Posted by Holmes on April 16, 2014 at 6:39 PM · Report this

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