My friend, let's call him John, writes a sex column for our college newspaper. Much of his inspiration comes from his now-ex-boyfriend. My friend only uses the ex's first name, and reveals no details that are too intimately embarrassing (except for once, but that's not really pertinent). Anyway, the ex is now threatening to sue. Should my friend stop writing his column, or should he go ahead and publish two columns that are already written about the boy? Please let us know ASAP what you in your infinite wisdom think about the situation.
An attorney who specializes in defamation agreed to speak with me about your friend's predicament on one condition: That I not identify her. It seems that relaying unsolicited legal advice to a friend of someone who might be in trouble (through a sex column, no less) is frowned upon at some starchier law firms.
"There's no way to give him sound advice about the risks without looking at the details of what he wrote in these columns," said Ally McChicken. "So my bottom-line advice is this: If he is receiving serious threats of lawsuits, he should consult his own attorney."
Having said that, Ms. McChicken was willing to give your friend some general, vague, qualified advice: Your friend's ex-boyfriend could bring legal action if he was able to show "that the columns contain enough information that people reading the columns could identify him." If his actual first name is being used, and there's enough other details that readers could "connect the dots," then even if he hasn't used his full name there could still be a risk of a defamation or an invasion of privacy claim.
So if your friend has any sense, he won't run those last two columns. He might wanna send his ex some nice flowers, too, just to cover his ass.
I've been separated from my wife for more than a year. Shortly after we split up, I started what I thought would be a rebound relationship. Almost 11 months later, I think I've found the love of my life. The problem is, my new girlfriend refuses to tell her mates that I'm her boyfriend because she says she's worried what they'll think about her going out with someone who's technically still married. I love her very much but I feel like a real chump for being with someone who is basically saying she's too ashamed to admit that I'm her man. Am I a chump, or am I drawing the wrong conclusions about her reluctance to acknowledge our love?
A Chump in Melbourne
I don't see this an either/or situation. I mean, isn't it possible that you're both a chump and drawing the wrong conclusions?
That said, there's only way to find out if she's telling you the truth: Get a goddamn divorce. I mean, if you're in a hurry for her friends to know you two are an item, then hurry up and get technically single. If she still refuses to tell her friends about you after you're finally and officially divorced, then she was definitely playing you for a chump. But if she tells her friends right away, then perhaps she actually was concerned about what her friends might think.
If I may offer some solace to The Boy Next Door Wears Diapers: The girl next door does as well. As a native New Yorker, I have been deeply affected by recent tragedies and in turn have become more humane. Someone with an unusual taste in fetishes deserves a dose of humanity as well. FYI, there are huge online communities that exist to offer camaraderie to the average diaper fetishist. Frankly, because our fetish is so obscure, it's reassuring to know there are others out there like me who are well-adjusted, educated professionals.
Thanks for sharing, Diaper Gal, but I thought I was relatively nice to TBNDWD. I mean, I didn't tell him he was a freak or anything; I just told him I didn't see a pressing need for clubs for diaper-lovers. If you're into diapers, pull on a pair and wet yourself. If you're not into diapers, use the can. But as DG points out, some diaper-lovers are insecure and in need of reassurance: Diaper-lovers! You're not alone! There are others like you out there! Not everyone who wears diaper is under two or over 90! Hell, I bet they broke out a box of Depends on Air Force One on September 11.
Everyone needs a little cheering up these days, even a diaper fetishist. There are plenty of organizations for adult babies both in the United States and Canada. Organizations like "Diaper Pail Friends" (DPF) at www.dpf.com is a great resource for people living in either country. It lists regional social events, provides a way in which adult babies can meet others who share their fetish. It sells stories and movies for adult babies, along with those hard-to-find adult-size diapers and plastic pants.
Another Boy Next Door
Thanks for sharing, ABND.
Your column last issue had a question about vomit lovers. You sounded like you had never heard of this fetish! "Roman shower" is the trade name for the action of vomiting during sex. I learned about it my first week as a phone sex operator. By the way, that writer had better start saving his pennies. The going rate for a Roman shower is between $1,500 and $2,000.
Thanks for sharing, Pogo.
I'm a 32-year-old single heterosexual female. Ever since the terrorist attacks, sleeping alone has been lonelier than usual. I've been fantasizing about initiating casual sex relationships with my single straight male friends. Pre-terrorist attacks, I thought that sex with friends wasn't a good idea. But now I realize how quickly life can change. Post-terrorist attacks, I wonder if sex with friends isn't such a bad idea after all. I'd love to hear what you think.
Spoonless in San Francisco
I think your single straight male friends would kill me if I tried to change your mind, SISF. So you go right ahead and fuck their brains out, you hear?
And you can take comfort in the knowledge that you aren't not alone in your post-terror attacks appreciation of casual sex. Apparently it wasn't just hookers and johns who were getting in on the post-attacks action (as discussed in last week's Savage Love). A lot of amateurs were banging away at it, too--at least according to the Los Angeles Times.
"Disasters and tragedies are situations of novelty, danger, and fear, all of which can stimulate the sex drive," writes Kathleen Kelleher, who documented numerous instances of "end-of-the-world sex," casual and committed, in New York City and all across the country. Kelleher predicts that there will be a baby boom nine months from now thanks to all of all this "terror sex." I predict that a distressing number of these terror-attack babies are going to wind up named "Rudolph."