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Ground Rules

June 12, 2008

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Joe Newton

I'm a bisexual woman, age 20, and I am threesome-ing it with my best friend and her boyfriend during a stay abroad. I knew the girl (mostly straight) beforehand. She thinks it's hot when I participate—i.e., when it's three of us in bed—but she gets jealous when her boyfriend and I do anything without her. I don't get jealous when she is alone with her boyfriend, and he doesn't get jealous when she and I do things alone.

She doesn't want to be possessive, but she's got alarms going off. Which is odd because in two months I'll be gone and they'll both be staying in Europe. It feels like she's suddenly setting a lot of limits. We have a blast when we're all together, but we have no real ground rules. I want this to work!

Bi Girl Interrupted

Gee, BGI, I'm shocked things aren't going well—I mean, you have "no real ground rules," and as everyone knows, neglecting to establish ground rules is the secret to threesome-ing success.

Wait, did I say the secret to threesome-ing success? I'm sorry, BGI, I meant failure. To ensure the failure of a threesome—whether you're threesome-ing your way through an evening or a summer abroad—it's crucial that you refrain from establishing ground rules. Don't talk about your expectations, just make assumptions; don't make sure everyone's on the same page, just stomp around the minefield of love and lust until the whole fucking thing blows up in your faces.

I trust you're detecting sarcasm, BGI.

Here's what I suspect the problem is: You're operating under the assumption that you're an equal partner in this threesome, BGI, and that this is a sort of quasi-poly arrangement you're enjoying with your best friend and her boyfriend. Share and share alike, right? But your best friend views you as a side attraction. She sees you as something—pardon me, someone—that she and the boyfriend brought into their relationship, not someone who they've brought into the relationship itself.

In other words: They're the couple—they were a couple before you came along, and they're planning to be a couple after you're gone. If you're unclear on that concept, BGI, it's because the three of you failed to establish clear ground rules and expectations and now you're confused, she's jealous, and he's either taking advantage or feeling caught in the middle.

Luckily it's not too late for the three of you to sit down and establish some ground rules. It may be that your friend, while comfortable with the idea of you and her messing around without the boyfriend, isn't comfortable with the idea of you and the boyfriend messing around without her. You may regard that limitation as unfair and irrational; the boyfriend may regard it as unfair and irrational; I may regard it as unfair and irrational. But if you want this to work, BGI, then you'll make allowances for your best friend's comfort levels and security and honor her limitations.

And if you don't wanna honor 'em, you're free to go.


I'm a 29-year-old single gay man with some major kinks: I'm into bondage, diapers, and have a subby fantasy life. I'm wondering how someone with my kinks should approach dating. Should I look for a partner in the usual ways and hope that I find someone open-minded? Or should I look in kinky contexts?

I know that you've described diapers as "A Fetish Too Far." I'd be happy to find someone who's willing to get involved in some fairly serious bondage games and who isn't freaked out by my wearing diapers when he's not around. I doubt that an open relationship is the solution. Even if I had permission to play with others, I can't imagine being in a serious relationship without being able to share at least some of my fantasy life with my boyfriend.

Kinkster Needs Open-minded Type

You are so lucky that you're gay, KNOT.

There are websites where you can advertise—www.recon.com is a good place to start—and kinky spaces (leather bars, gay BDSM groups, pansexual kink community events, etc.) where you can hang out. But your odds of meeting a kinky or kink-tolerant partner even "in the usual ways" are much better than the average kinky straight guy's odds. So put yourself out there in both arenas—the kink ones and the usual ones—and date and disclose, date and disclose, and then date and disclose some more. Diapers may be AFTF for some, but they won't be deal-breakers for other diaper guys (they're out there) or for a guy who loves you to bits and is willing to do anything for you (he's out there, too).


I'm female, early 40s, and I like to watch. Seems pretty straightforward, but I'm not the classic voyeur. Everything I've read on voyeurism emphasizes the eroticism of secretly watching others having sex, with the possibility of being discovered as part of the thrill. I'm not turned on by any of that. I want to watch, but I want the person I'm watching to know I'm watching. I want him to be looking right at me. I want to look into his eyes while he's getting banged, or masturbating like a fiend, all undone and out of control, and have him know I'm witnessing him fall apart into orgasm. Mmmmm. (I suspect this may be a power issue...)

But looking for someone to play along with me has been fruitless thus far. The one boyfriend I did bring it up with sat there and stared at me for so long that I dried right up and never mentioned it again. I ran an ad in the local online personals (M, M-F, M-M), outlining what I was interested in, thinking that with all the exhibitionists out there, surely someone would bite. Nothing. I did get a response, but it was from another woman. She wanted to know if I'd had any replies, and to ask if she could sit in if anyone took me up on my offer. Any ideas, Dan?

Opera Glasses

You told one boyfriend, you placed one ad. And then you gave up. Gee, here's an idea: The human race would quickly die out if people into "normal" sex asked one person, took out one ad, and then, if they didn't get a positive response, stopped asking and stopped advertising.

Look, OG, you told one person, he reacted badly, and... the conclusion you seem to have drawn from this experience is that you should never, ever risk telling anyone about your kink ever again. May I suggest an alternate conclusion? You told the wrong person. When you told him about your kink—your charming, harmless, intriguing kink—and he sat there like a stone, the correct response was not to wither under his gaze. The correct response was to flip him off and walk out.


Readers respond to my advice for Shitty Boyfriend In The Midwest at www.thestranger.com/savage/shitty.

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

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A response to Opera Glasses: You're not the only one out there with that Kink! Try being a guy and having the same fetish. As a man, especially a straight man, you're considered creepy *at best* and not in the good way. I feel your pain.
Posted by Darkwind on September 18, 2008 at 2:53 PM · Report this
2
Hi Opera,

Saw your letter to Savage. All I can say is I would love to help. I am in North Carolina but travel quite a bit all over the country. I am also extremely well hung. I NEVER sleep around but found your query to be very exciting. Would love to hear from you: charlotte28277 at aol dot com.

Hope to hear from you!
Posted by Love to Help on October 5, 2008 at 1:51 PM · Report this

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