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Not What It Seems

November 22, 2007

Joe Newton

I love my wife. We've been married 10 years. Young punk-rock love turned into adult debt-ridden love. She's been there for me, helps me achieve my goals, all that. But she's let herself go, while I've gotten myself into better shape.

I pride myself on being a good husband. I've been 100 percent faithful, I clean, I tell her I love her. I don't want to hurt her. I love her. I just don't lust for her anymore. My wife's skin is a mess, she has dietary issues that cause gnarly gas, she eats bad food that causes her to gain weight. I always thought I was against the society-imposed, magazine-model, porn-star look girls are supposed to have. So it's hard for me to admit that I'm not cool enough to think my wife is hot the way she is.

I've started stoning to dull the fact that I'm hating on myself for not being hot for my wife. She's picking up on all of this, which is affecting her mood, self-esteem, and energy levels. And since she tends to eat more when things aren't going well for us, this is creating a hugely negative feedback loop on the weight-and-lust fronts.

When almost any girl you see is hotter to you than your wife... what the fuck do you do? When the desire to be with someone who actually turns you on is overwhelming... what the fuck do you do? When people you find attractive, women and men, hit on you all the time... what the fuck do you do?

Hawt And Royally Depressed

Before you give up or drive yourself crazy over this situation, HARD, you need to have an honest talk with your wife. It's simple: Tell your wife that you no longer find her attractive. It's called being honest.

It is quite possible that she has no idea that her out-of-shapeness is a turnoff, especially if she has never been told! Try saying something like this: "Honestly, I love you, but I'm not as physically attracted as I'd like to be. Can I help you work out a bit?" Then perhaps pick up a set of weights at a garage sale, set up a full-length mirror in a spare room, and work out together as a couple. Or take her for long walks. Or, if she's a foodie, encourage her to garden; a lot of calories get burned when you fork over your own vegetable patch!

But start with complete honesty. It's not that hard to say, "You have gotten fat and unattractive and my sex drive is nil, so can we do something about it before I bail on you?" My goodness! Whatever happened to being honest? Sit your partner down and tell her you love her in every way but you are not attracted to her due to her appearance. "You are out of shape and it's killing our relationship" is a good place to start! Stress how much you care, bring up the health thing, and tell her you want her to live a long, happy life, but impress upon her that this is a problem that might lead you to leave.

Open communication means revealing your thoughts so the other person can take action. Which sometimes means saying, "Unless you take up jogging and lose 35 pounds, sweetie, I'm going to have a hard time being sexually excited about you." The partner either laces up the running shoes or they waddle on with their life.

Good luck!


My boyfriend and I are both in our 20s, we're GGG, and we've experimented enough to know what we both like. There's only one thing that I'd like to try that he can't help me with: I'd like to be with a girl. He feels that if I get to be with a girl, then he should get to be with her, or another woman. I feel that any experience I have with a woman wouldn't threaten him, as I have no interest in having a relationship with a woman. I'd be fine if he wanted to be with another man. But he has no interest in being with a guy. I know what you're going to write: Shut up and have a threesome! We've talked about that, but it would be too hard for me to watch him with another girl.

This is an argument that we keep coming back to and it always ends up with us having a semiserious fight. Help us out!

Wants A Girl Alone

What you're proposing, WAGA, is basically this: "I get to do this thing I want to do (eat a little pussy) and in exchange you get to do this thing you don't want to do (suck a little cock)." That's hardly fair. If you're too threatened by the idea of your boyfriend going to bed with someone besides you whom he would like to fuck, then you have to forgo bedding someone besides him whom you would like to fuck. The end.


I am a 21-year-old, attractive straight male with an identical twin brother, also straight. I've never understood the "twin-fetish" thing, and whenever girls mentioned it, my response was confusion and disgust. Thing is, I was at a party with my brother a week ago, and this girl stated quite plainly that she had a thing for twins and wanted to do both of us at the same time. This girl is hot—great body, fuck-me eyes, likes to take control. And so my brother and I decided that we weren't so disgusted with the idea after all.

I have two questions: How common is this twin-fetish thing? And where's the incest line? This girl says she wants to see my brother and me kiss, but I don't want to do that if it crosses the incest line.

A Nervous Twin

It's amazing how quickly "confusion and disgust" at a proposed position/kink/sibling-combo-platter morphs into "comprehension and desire" when someone with come-fuck-me eyes/tits/asscheeks, etc., does the propositioning. Bill O'Reilly wants to rub falafels on your tits? You're on the phone with your lawyer. Milo Ventimiglia wants to rub falafels on your tits? You're in your kitchen mashing up chickpeas in your underwear.

Anyway, how common is the twin-fetish thing? Common enough for beer and chewing-gum companies to market their products exploiting your kind, ANT, and, in a related development, common enough to have its very own porn genre. Rest assured that you and your brother are going to receive proposals like this one so long as you insist on being young and attractive and identical. (With the notable exception of Viola and Sebastian, fraternal twins aren't nearly as compelling.)

As to where you should draw the "incest line," well, different people draw that line in different places. Personally, I feel there's something vaguely incestuous about being in the same time zone when one of my siblings is getting it on with someone—hell, I'm uncomfortable being in the same time zone when one of my siblings is showering. So you'll have to look inside yourself, ANT, and then look at the outside of that smoking-hot girl again, before you can decide where to draw that line.

But I'm sure I speak for everyone out there reading this column when I say this: If you decide to go ahead with this threesome, whether it includes incestuous twin tongue kisses or not, we all wanna see the video on XTube. recommended


Download Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.

mail@savagelove.net

 

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1
As a woman I have to say I would much rather be told. Of course she can tell he doesn't want to have sex with her any more, you can't hide that stuff. I'd rather know why. And it's completely different from if your partner was in a disfiguring accident - acting unhealthily says "I don't care about myself anymore" which implicitly says "I don't care about you either".
Posted by peachblossom on March 28, 2009 at 9:06 AM · Report this
2
During her pregnancy with her first child, my sister had so many complications and she gained alot of weight. After having her baby,she had so many problems trying to lose the weight,especially when most of it was hormonal.At 5 months postpartem her husband decided to tell her that he had lost interest in her and that she was unattractive to him and that she needed to lose weight. For years she had ignored all of his shortcomings and his constantly receeding hairline,so this comment pushed her over the edge.

I used to live with them for a while so it was awkward for me at times, because she just stopped talking to him except when she needed to.I don't even think they had sex after that because most of the time she slept on the couch.She got herself a trainer and started going to the gym and to a weight management clinic. She lost the weight in no time ! My mom had felt bad for her so she got her a make-over with a really nice salon and I swear, she looked better than she had ever looked in her life. Her confidence had boosted so much, she looked like a supermodel, but she was still the same sweet girl.

Her husband was so excited and his libido had come back. The thing was, in all those months of change, she had grown as a person and the confidence she was lacking when she was with him esp after having the baby,had returned. She divorced him and took her daughter with her. Custody was easy because he was a stoner also. She got re-married to a really great guy (who was a childhood sweetheart of hers).She got pregnant again and this time instead of covering up,she showed off all her curves with her boosted confidence. Her husband adores her either way, but I think he finds the confidence the most attractive.

I think your letter to HARD was good,he should be blunt with his wife. Then they will decide if they want to end it or still try. My sister's ex is still pissed off that her new husband is "getting the benefits he paid for". The thing is, not all girls sit on the couch eating bonbons after their husbands say these things to them. The only thing is, you better hope that you are well worth keeping.

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Posted by Elin on May 31, 2009 at 6:38 AM · Report this
3
This seems like such a happy ending. Appearance and weight gain can be so tricky - many people stare in the mirror wondering if people can see their imperfections. Others are busy running after kids and careers and don't notice. Still more relax on the couch after a long day and don't notice the 2 extra pounds every months until 5 years means it's 50 extra pounds.

I accidentally gained weight myself, from 135 to 175, while going to school and working full time. By husband gained even more. Then he had a heart problem. We worked out together, lost much of the weight together. I'm down to my high school 130. Ultimately we parted ways, but that wake-up call makes me more GGG for my current guy, the man of my dreams.

We all need a wake-up call, about every 5 years. We can't get complacent. We have to reinvent ourselves throughout our lifetimes.
Posted by Extuno on December 20, 2010 at 6:10 PM · Report this
4
Dan, your sizeist advice to HARD is appalling. It's the partner's responsibility to be attractive to the other? Really?

Is that true if it was reversed. What if HARD fell for her when she weighed 400 pounds, and has since dropped to 140, and no longer finds her attractive. Would you still tell HARD that he has "a right to expect that your partner will maintain some base level of attractiveness"?

What if his wife was black, and her skin has darkened with age, and now he no longer finds her attractive. Is it still her responsibility to lighten her skin or it's disrespectful to her partner?

Now, you're probably thinking "This is totally different. Being fat is unhealthy, so if she lost weight she should stay that way. But if she gained it, she should lose it."
Well, that's untrue.
Being fat is actually more healthy: (This will download a PDF) http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM…
And the idea that being fat kills you has been disproven: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/293/15/…

You might also be thinking "Way to pull the race card, but unlike race and skin color you can change how much you weigh. Being fat is just a sign of being lazy or overeating."
But that's wrong too:
http://journals.lww.com/smajournalonline…
There is no proof that diet can result in long term weight change, and any changes over about 5 bls go away after 6 months to 2 years (and you'll note they've been married for 10, so unless she gained this weight in the last 6 months when this was written, it's not because of diet or excercise):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17054…

Ultimately, the human body packs on more weight as we go through middle age, and then loses it as it breaks down and heads towards the grave. There's nothing we can do about it.

You should not be advising people to change.

The advice should have been for HARD and his wife to go see therapists. HARD should see one to explore his emotional and intimacy issues. And it seems possible that his wife has an eating disorder given that she's eating food that's wrecking her skin and giving her digestive issues, especially given that a) she's a woman in America and b) she's living with a man who hates the way she looks and she clearly knows it, but even if not, going to a therapist would help her deal with her feelings about her superficial husband and anything else going on. And finally, they should see one together, because they've clearly got a lot to work out between the two.

Even with your fatphobic advice, not suggesting a therapist in your advice to investigate her potential for having an eating disorder is shocking. I mean, if you're going to attack the marginalized woman, at least send her to someone qualified instead of just having the husband, the man she's suppose to trust the most of unconditional support and love, tear her down.
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Posted by Blightcrawler on August 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM · Report this
5
Super late to the game here, but hey, hair growth, lethargy, weight gain, all of these things sound a lot like PCOS- which can increase testosterone in a woman and make her grow hair in weird places and make her get apple fat. I know, I had it too.

Exercise and eating low-glycemic index foods has helped lower my testosterone levels, and so has some medications, but I'll probably always be a larger lady, albeit a pretty damn fit one since I exercise every day and watch my diet. The problem here is when your endocrine system decides to kick your ass, there's very little you can do about some of the appearance factors. You can mitigate the symptoms, but you'll never go back to how you were before until the doctors figure out what the hell PCOS is beyond just the group of symptoms that show up to give you the diagnosis.

I'm luckier than a friend of mine, though. She has such bad PCOS that she has a freaking BEARD.

As far as the husband is concerned, if he really isn't sexually attracted to her, he should tell her. I know I'd want my husband to tell me, so I could divorce his ass and go find someone who actually likes my body sexually. Seriously. I would much rather get it out in the open immediately (even though it would suck and hurt), than to find out later that he had infected me with HIV because he was sleeping around with skinny heroin addicts or something. Hell, I'd be pretty happy with just staying in a marriage and finding an exclusive sex partner out there somewhere and then not being sexual with one another. I need my sex at least once a day if possible. I would very much rather find someone with a similar sex drive who I can fluid bond with.
Posted by Oni no Tenshi on February 6, 2012 at 12:57 AM · Report this
6
We're not so weak that we can't handle a simple "I would like you to lose weight", and men have to be able to accept being told the same. Not letting yourself go is an important responsibility for both partners, and also includes maintaining proper hygiene, wearing appropriate clothing and keeping up with whatever was your approach to body hair.
Posted by Biev on January 7, 2013 at 6:36 AM · Report this

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