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Rape Date

March 19, 2009

I met this girl on an "adult" website. We exchanged a few e-mails, then we chatted over IM twice, just the basic small talk, before exchanging numbers. It was on the phone that she told me about her rape fantasy: She has always fantasized about being kidnapped by a stranger from a public place, held in a dark room over the weekend, and forced to do whatever her captor wants.

That sounds hot, but I wouldn't do it without at least meeting first. Safety first. So the idea now is to meet at a bar, have a drink, and then go back to my place and enact a date-rape scene. Not quite her ultimate fantasy, but it just so happens to be one of my all-time fantasies. We're both turned on by the idea that we will be near-strangers.

Now here comes the problem: What if she is some wacko who will call the cops on me/blackmail me and say it was actual rape? Can I protect myself from this somehow? We never talked about it over IM, just on the phone. This is one of the boxes I would like to check before I die, but I want to be safe about it. Help!

To Rape Or Not To Rape

I'm tempted to advise you—and others with similar fantasies (not all of them men, not all of them straight)—to Google "Oliver Jovanovic" and then move on to the next question. But there's the digital divide to consider: Not all aspiring date-rape fetishists have access to the interwebs.

Oliver Jovanovic was a graduate student at Columbia University when he met a woman named Jamie Rzucek on the interwebs way, way back in 1996. The two bonded over a shared interest in bondage and torture, and they met up for an evening of consensual sex that included bondage and torture. After it was all over, Rzucek went to the police and Jovanovic was arrested, prosecuted, found guilty, and given 15 years to life. He spent almost two years in prison—during which time he was brutally assaulted—before he was released on appeal and ultimately kinda, sorta exonerated.

Guess what got Jovanovic out of prison? E-mails that had been improperly excluded by the judge during the first trial. The e-mails showed that Rzucek had not only consented to engage in bondage and S&M, but that she had touched base with Jovanovic after the fact to tell him how exhilarated she was.

The lesson for you, TRONTR, is to get it in goddamn writing. Negotiate this scene via e-mail, keep copies of those e-mails, and agree in advance—via e-mail—on a safe word that, if uttered, brings the action to a screeching halt. I'd also suggest that you—with her consent—make a digital audio recording of the encounter. Then you wouldn't just have e-mails proving she consented going in, TRONTR, but a digital recording that proved you stopped whatever it was you were doing if she used her safe word and retracted her consent during the encounter.

Making a digital audio recording of the encounter means you won't have photos or video to share over the interwebs, which should appeal to her if she is concerned about privacy. And using the magic of the World Wide Interwebs, you can simultaneously record this encounter on your computer and remotely on hers. That should give her some assurance that you won't take advantage of her written consent to a consensual rape-role-play scenario as a cover to actually rape her, i.e., to do things she hasn't consented to or to ignore her if she removes her consent during the act, because then she'd have proof that you ignored her safe word and kept going after she withdrew her consent.

I've been seeing "Radioman" for a few weeks—the physical chemistry between us is amazing, and we have a lot of fun. He had a vasectomy a year ago (he's only 26), and for me this is a deal breaker since I want to have a family. The other surprise is that he is in relationships with two other women and the three of them get together and have threesomes. I am a bisexual woman recently out of a long-term relationship, and I am interested in joining this little playgroup. However, I met one of the other women recently, and she seemed jealous and upset. Radioman insists that she was just tired and actually likes me. I'm not so sure. Am I asking for drama by getting involved in this foursome?

Thinking Of Joining A Harem


Speaking of drama: Teen mom Bristol Palin and her fiancé, Levi Johnston, called it quits last week. So we've been cheated out of the Royal Rube Wedding we were promised during last summer's Republican National Convention—and another child will grow up without a father in the home, which is a tragedy for the child, according to America's Talibangelists.

Or that's what they said when Mary Cheney—remember that dyke?—had a baby with a woman she would marry if she could marry. It's weird that America's Talibangelists aren't making the same point now.

I hate to disagree, Dan, but you missed the mark when you wrote this: "When we marry, we're signing up to fuck someone at least semiregularly for decades. Not interested in fucking? Don't marry."

Dan, people marry for many, many reasons. Sex is only one of them, and sometimes it isn't even high on the list—or on the list at all. Family, friendship, stability, love, someone to grow old with, and on and on. Your surprisingly narrow description of what marriage means needs some rethinking.

Thanks for your work,

Cacilda Jethá, MD

I'm willing to concede that I left an important subordinate clause out of the sentence that riled you, CJ: "When we marry, we're signing up to fuck someone at least semiregularly for decades, among other things..."

Marriage can be about all the things you list, but so long as sexual exclusivity is presumed to be a part of marriage—a defining part, according to the right-wingers—spouses have a right to expect sexual activity within their marriages. People who are interested in marriage but not sex—people whose lists only include family, friendship, stability, love, someone to grow old with, and on and on, but not sex—need to inform their prospective spouses of their disinterest in sex before marrying, not after.

As I've said a million times: If you don't think that sex is what marriage is all about, mostly about, or even partly about, if sex is something you can live without, that's grand. But you need to marry someone who feels the same way or inform your betrothed of your disinterest in advance. And if you lose interest in sex after you marry, but want your partner to stick around for the family and stability and friendship, I'll let you in on a little secret: The spouse is likelier to stick around if you give the spouse permission to get his or her sexual needs met elsewhere.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people who aren't interested in sex—who consider sex to be trivial and unimportant—nevertheless deny their frustrated partners permission to do this trivial, unimportant thing with others.


Comments (123) RSS

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My wife and I fell in love, got married and had a baby in about 2 years. She lost her active sex drive shortly after I proposed. I would have looked like a jerk if I had backed out of the wedding.

Now I need some sex advice, other than go to a sex counselor, which she has resisted.

She knew I liked sex 2-3 times a week before we got engaged. I feel cheated and I've told her this. My advice to anyone who expects sex after marriage: have a very long engagement and don't let the other do the birth control.
Posted by shouldawaited on March 17, 2009 at 11:01 PM · Report this
Dan, your use of the word "interwebs" was forced, not ironically hip. Other than that, keep up the good work.
Posted by Shellphone on March 17, 2009 at 11:12 PM · Report this
3 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
holy fucking shit. that case wih Jovanovic is INTENSE. the wiki article on it is just rediculous, its shocking all that shit happened.
Posted by zorro83 on March 17, 2009 at 11:31 PM · Report this
To TRONTR, she can only be recorded if she consents to being recording otherwise it's against the law and cannot be used in a courtroom.

Also, there has been a recent ruling of using digital recordings in rape cases, I'm pretty positive, and they don't consider that evidence anymore.
Posted by seeyoutomorrow on March 17, 2009 at 11:33 PM · Report this
Not first. Do not really care, actually.
Posted by wiki on March 17, 2009 at 11:36 PM · Report this
I forgot to say....

My wife does not want to have sex, and does not want to let me have sex with others.

Perhaps in 5 years I'll be so frustrated I'll want to have sex with someone else, but for now I just want to have sex with my great, sexy wife.


I know what the women will say, he's fat, drunk, asshole, won't do oral, etc. Well I'm not. I can be the normal jerk at times. But for the most part I'm the average husband who would do anything.

And yes, the baby thing kills a sex life, but the sex life was dying long before baby came along. I can wait till baby reasons are gone.

oh, and Dan, You're a real hero in my mind for using your sex column to nudge the apathetic masses into some action.
Posted by shouldawaited on March 17, 2009 at 11:38 PM · Report this
Hey Stranger Editors: Get Misako to do the artwork for Dan's column in The Stranger. Newton's okay, but really, Misako rocks.
Posted by AV Clubber on March 17, 2009 at 11:51 PM · Report this

It's possible she's suffering from depression. Yes, the sex life was slowing down before hand, but that's also pretty typical of long term relationships. Bringing the sex life to a screeching halt, however, suggests a deeper problem.

Instead of framing the problem as HER, or as SEX, maybe suggest instead that you're concerned about how well she's juggling whatever it is she happens to be juggling, and maybe it wouldn't hurt anything to get screened for postpartum depression. By highlighting the situation less as a "problem" (and more importantly, less of a problem about HER) you're instead showing concern and empathy, something that will soften the hardest of hearts.

Unless she doesn't care at all what you think. Then... well, good luck buddy.
Posted by Marty on March 18, 2009 at 12:08 AM · Report this
shouldawaited - I'm sorry for you, that sucks. And since your asking random SLOG commenters for advice, I'll give it a crack.

Without knowing your wife, it's impossible to say what would be the best thing to do. You could, of course, do some infidelity on the fly, but it sounds like that's really not what you're interested in: you want to fuck the woman you fell in love with and married.

I've actually given this sort of problem a lot of thought and written an article about common causes of a lack of sex in het LTRs. See if something there might help:…
Posted by Laurel on March 18, 2009 at 12:39 AM · Report this
Yeah, sometimes fantasies are best left just as that – fantasy. Better that than having JAIL become a reality . . . . yikes, scary stuff.
Posted by Fred34 on March 18, 2009 at 1:27 AM · Report this
Some fetishists, TRONTR being a perfect example, just need to accept that their ultimate fantasies cannot and should not ever be fully realized. Sorry pseudo-rapists. No matter how much two consenting adults want to play out a particular fantasy, there must always be a certain degree of staging or safeguards in place.
Posted by cotoplankton on March 18, 2009 at 2:15 AM · Report this
Nice to see the hand-wringing brigade is out. Whether it's teen-pregnancies, stds, or far-out kinksters, there's nothing this group won't wag their fingers at, "Those people shouldn't do those sorts of things!" Welcome to the Brave New World where we've had enough experience as a race to know how to have the wildest sex imaginable & still have it safe. Contraception. Latex barriers. Safewords. Irrefutable evidence of consent. What is our last barrier? Why, the hand-wringing brigade, led by the likes of Linda Fairstein, who know precisely how open a mind should get & no more.
Posted by First there is a river on March 18, 2009 at 4:18 AM · Report this
Has your wife seen a doctor? Like an actual internal medicine doctor? She should, and she should get a referral to an endocrinologist while she's there. Leaving aside factors like being tired all the time (as new moms usually are), zero sex drive generally means your endocrine system is flooding you with too much of one thing or not enough of another -- and pregnancy will wreak havoc with your endocrine system.

For what its worth, some versions of the Pill also destroy some women's libido (I stress the "some" because it had the opposite effect on me...) as well. Could that have also been a factor prior to the baby making his/her appearance?
Posted by NaughtyLola on March 18, 2009 at 5:07 AM · Report this
Kinksters beware. Your activities may be illegal in your state. There is no such thing as giving consent to being assaulted in many places. The law may consider your recording of the act as evidence of your crime.
Posted by kresblamania on March 18, 2009 at 5:31 AM · Report this
"It never ceases to amaze me how many people who aren't interested in sex—who consider sex to be trivial and unimportant—nevertheless deny their frustrated partners permission to do this trivial, unimportant thing with others."

I would guess it's because those people are confusing "sex" with "love." Sex and love are two completely different things. Sometimes they go together, but not always. People need to understand that.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 18, 2009 at 8:17 AM · Report this
Dear shouldawaited,

Did your wife's interest in sex stop when she got pregnant? That's what happened to me. I'm a woman who's always had a fairly high sex drive, but when I got pregnant, my libido suddenly disappeared. I'm not sure if it was hormones or if it was the severe 24/7 nausea and vomiting, but my husband and I had sex about twice in the first four months of my pregnancy. Normally we have sex AT LEAST twice a week (usually more).

I'm in my fifth month now and my libido is slowly returning, but although my nausea is waning, it's still around and I'm still often too nauseous to have sex, especially at night. I'm confident I'll get back to normal soon, since I'm already halfway there, but in the meantime my husband has had to be patient.

Perhaps if the drought has lasted longer with your wife, it's because her body is wired differently -- I know some women are sick for all nine months, or have their libidos disappear for longer. If it's really been a long time, she should get it checked out medically, but if you "fell in love, got married and had a baby in about 2 years" I would assume your baby is still very small and not sleeping through the night, making your wife exhausted and grumpy. Perhaps your wife is even still recovering from the effects of the birth. If those things are the case, your sex life should recover as she does and your baby becomes a little easier.

Posted by Preggo chick on March 18, 2009 at 8:45 AM · Report this
By the way, my husband and I had some great sex yesterday in the early evening, a time when I'm less likely to feel sick. Before pregnancy, we usually had sex at night, or occasionally first thing in the morning, both things that have been out since I got pregnant. You may have to change your routines a bit too to find out what works.
Posted by Preggo chick on March 18, 2009 at 8:47 AM · Report this
Re: shouldawaited

Dude, I'm sorry. You two need to get to an endocrinologist. If she's happy with the status quo, well, that's not fair to you. Get to a doctor and/or work something out.
Posted by Makenna on March 18, 2009 at 9:01 AM · Report this
kresblamania is correct. Dan is seriously lacking in judgment on this one. The advice he gave could actually put TRONTR in prison in several states. [Not the outcome Dan was trying for!] Nothing like giving the DA the evidence to hang yourself!

Note to Dan: try speaking to an actual lawyer in the area just like you'd speak to an actual doctor if you thought there was a chance- even a remote one- of physical harm.

There are two basic ways of defining rape: (1) force/threat of force and (2) consent. In a state where the definition is force-based, even consent won't negate the crime. In states where the definition is consent-based the amount of force used is irrelevant. This lead to some f-d up results for both real victims and accused men.

[This is why we need to revise rape law and make it like in we have degrees of murder and a difference between murder and manslaughter.]

So, TRONTR- call a lawyer who defends rapists and find out what you need to do. Seriously. It's worth a few hundred dollars to not end up in prison. And if that lawyer says "don't do it", you need to trust them. The degree to which rape is prosecuted varies greatly from place to place. Some DAs only prosecute if there is dead-bang evidence. Some prosecute if there is any evidence at all. Do you really want to put yourself in that position?

And if you do go ahead with this and it works not go out of state with this woman and reenact her fantasy. Hell, don't even leave the jurisdiction you are in.

It's just not worth it.

Posted by WTFDan? on March 18, 2009 at 9:25 AM · Report this
Re: shouldawaited

1. She needs a thorough physical...both an ObyGYN and a GP. It may or may not be gynecological. If she's resistant, then suggest you both get worked up just to be sure you are both 100% healthy. Gently suggest she's changed in terms of interest and drive and you want to make sure it's not physically-driven.

2. Tell her in no uncertain terms you both need to see a couple's therapist. Tell her you aren't happy with the sex and if it doesn't improve, you are going to be strongly tempted to cheat. Tell her that her refusing to work on it will be taken as a lack of concern with your temptation to cheat. Note: don't say "I will cheat" but that you will be "strongly tempted". There's a subtle, but important difference.

3. Ask what is important to her in your relationship. What is it you do she values most? Ask her how she'd feel if you suddenly stopped doing it. Then tell her sex is important to you and if she doesn't do it, it's a deal breaker and it's either she gives you permission to get some on the side or you know you'll eventually get divorced.

4. Ask her what you can do to help put her in the mood. Not being interested in sex with your husband = normal. Not being interested in sex with anyone = not normal.

5. Sit down and discuss a "marital compact". What is and what isn't of critical importance to both of you? What is it you expect from marriage? What is a deal breaker? I'd imagine you did not do this before marriage. It's time to do it now. But since you have a kid already, you need a neutral third party [therapist] to help you.

6. You don't know 100% if she really enjoyed sex before you got engaged. You only know she told you she enjoyed sex. As a woman who loves sex, I can tell you so many female friends have told me they just don't enjoy it. A big part of that is Anglo-American sexual culture. Women are either madonnas or whores. Even today. Even in the eyes of men who claim to be liberal and progressive. So you just don't know what's going on in her head with respect to sex. You can't count on her telling you. Women just don't admit it.

To everyone else...this is why you have to have a compact before you get married on:

1. Sexual activity= what kind, how often
2. What constitutes fidelity in your relationship
3. Kids
4. Money
5. Religion/Politics/Weltanschauung
6. Anything else that's of central importance to who you are and what makes you happy

If you can't have an open discussion and agreement with your fiancee on these topics, they are the wrong person to marry.
Posted by Woman with a sex drive on March 18, 2009 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Shellphone: no, it is you who fail at the interwebs.
Posted by my name here on March 18, 2009 at 10:01 AM · Report this
Kresblamania makes a really good point. Different states have different laws regarding certain sex acts. You'll even find differences in the zealousness of prosecutors & judges in conservative counties versus more liberal counties. So if you are living in some overly conservative rural region of Texas and you're looking to get kinky, you've gotta be extra careful (or move to San Francisco).

That said, Dan's mention of the Oliver Jovanovic case is really enlightening. It seems the key thing about the case was the improper application of the Rape Shield Law. This is a classic case of good intentions being misused; where the RSL is meant to ensure a woman's sexual history cannot be used to attack her character, in Oliver's case it was used to deny the email conversations that would ultimately exonerate him. Unfortunately for Oliver, he was an early sacrificial lamb of the Cyber age. Today, emails, text messages, and chat logs are routinely used as evidence in legal cases, so Dan's advice to get as much in writing is spot-on.
Posted by piggythewonderdog on March 18, 2009 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Awesome! I thought I was alone on that...I use the word "interwebs" too!
Love the work you do!
Posted by sasha on March 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM · Report this
Woman with a sex drive: You rock. Nailed it.
Posted by Gloria on March 18, 2009 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Who cares what you would have looked like if you'd backed out before the wedding. A friend of mine was going to get Married, and myself and a female friend of hers talked to her about two weeks before the wedding, she wasn't happy, the guy and her were not right for each other, and we put our friendship on the line, but basically told her that if she didn't want to go through with the wedding, we would stick by her. All she needed was the thought that it was possible to not get married even though the invitations were sent out. Well as soon as she called it off, funny how the guy who had been a jerk for a year or so suddenly because the great guy she remembered from when they first started dating. She is now married to a REAL great guy and we all laugh about how he owes us for her still being single when they met. The point of my story is, it is never too late to leave.....even if you are married and have a baby. There is such a thing as joint custody.
Posted by Cam on March 18, 2009 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Laurel, you suck, and Associated Content blows. YOu should be ashamed of yourself. Don't use this space to get "hits" on your article so you can earn a few more pennies. Real writers looking for work on Craigslist saw throught this scam right away. It's just another site than offers writers no real compensation... $3-10 dollars an article? IF you get an offer? The only people who think that's fair are wannabees who couldn't write their way out of a paper bag. The result is an bunch of poorly-written articles by amateurs posing as experts. These poor saps write and write--they only get compensated IF the site chooses to--but they still post the article! And the site rakes in the ad revenue. The site claims to edit the content... there's no way in hell that's true, unless the editors are as poorly skilled as the writers. Here's a hint... if $3-10 dollars is the best offer you're getting, take a writing class.
Posted by kathleen on March 18, 2009 at 1:58 PM · Report this
RE: Shouldawaited

Is your wife still nursing? I only ask because pregnancy and nursing took a horrible toll on my sex drive, and things didn't return to normal until I weaned my daughter. With weight gain, stretch marks, loose breasts, sleep deprivation, screaming babies and crazy hormonal changes, it's no surprise that some of us ladies don't feel very sexy for a while! The good news is that, given time, a healthy diet, and regular workouts, things can return to normal.

I have no idea if such a thing pertains to your wife, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.
Posted by olympia1970 on March 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Wow, I've always thought about writing to Savage Love, but I never thought I'd be a topic of discussion!

BTW, Woman with a sex drive hit the nail right on the head re: relationships. Communication is key. Ask the hard questions so they don't become messy points of contention later on.
Posted by Radioman on March 18, 2009 at 2:12 PM · Report this
When I read Michael Chriten's Disclosure I learned that as long as one party consents, the recording is admissible:

This says that varies by state:

This is very long:…

But if she doesn't agree to record her consent, that's probably a red flag, especially after she hears about Jovanovic.
Posted by elenchos on March 18, 2009 at 3:19 PM · Report this
As a woman who has had a fling or two with a married man, all women need to know, fuck your husband because if you don't , someone else will. At the risk of sounding all Dr. Laura, good reasons aside, fix the problem or live with the consequences. All you men need to know take the time to find out the problem before you fuck someone else or live with the consequences.
For Shouldawaited; I'm sorry your beautiful sexy wife doesn't want you. Maybe she just wanted a kid and a husband (by title)...sounds like you are leftovers...sorry to be harsh but it is what some women do. You are probably a dream find which is why she hooked her claws into you in the first place.
Posted by dee70 on March 18, 2009 at 3:20 PM · Report this
By the way Dan, women in this country still don't own their own bodies. In some states you cannot withdraw consent and if you do, it's tough luck not rape.
Posted by dee70 on March 18, 2009 at 3:21 PM · Report this

One, I am a woman and I want you to know that I do not presume you to be fat, drunk, inconsiderate etc. I presume your wife to be the latter.

Now the advise: Wifey should get her hormone levels checked. Its an easy problem to fix but most doctors never think of it. Even females have a bit of testosterone and when the level is too too low, the sex drive can plummet. Also, she could be depressed. I think someone else mentioned that. If, after all the doctors and prozac and hormones, she still won't fuck you, you need to tell her that you love her, but you need sex. If not with her, than with someone else. Tell her you will be safe, you won't get another "relationship", just another vagina and that you want to stay with her and your child. But that you need sex to do so.
Posted by fannerz on March 18, 2009 at 5:00 PM · Report this

One, I am a woman and I want you to know that I do not presume you to be fat, drunk, inconsiderate etc. I presume your wife to be the latter.

Now the advise: Wifey should get her hormone levels checked. Its an easy problem to fix but most doctors never think of it. Even females have a bit of testosterone and when the level is too too low, the sex drive can plummet. Also, she could be depressed. I think someone else mentioned that. If, after all the doctors and prozac and hormones, she still won't fuck you, you need to tell her that you love her, but you need sex. If not with her, than with someone else. Tell her you will be safe, you won't get another "relationship", just another vagina and that you want to stay with her and your child. But that you need sex to do so.
Posted by fannerz on March 18, 2009 at 5:01 PM · Report this
shouldawaited, I lost my sex drive after it became apparent my man wanted me to be his mother. Are you sure she's not feeling like she's got two children?
Posted by onlyslightlybitter on March 18, 2009 at 5:27 PM · Report this
shouldawaited: You decided to live a life of sexless emotional torture so you wouldn't "look like a jerk"? Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies.
Posted by chi type on March 18, 2009 at 5:30 PM · Report this
For the guy with the rape fantasy, um, yeah, probably before leaving an extensive email trail and bugging her house, get to know her. Is she crazy? Then, don't do it. Is she sane? Proceed with caution. I know that takes away the whole "anonymous, risky, crazy sex" aspect of the fantasy. However...(and I would argue most importantly) also takes away the 15 years of you getting beaten and ass-raped in jail part of the fantasy.

Posted by Submissive lady does NOT recommend on March 18, 2009 at 5:35 PM · Report this
Shouldawaited: If she won't go to a counselor, maybe she will at least go to a doctor? I think it's been suggested already, but it could be a symptom of something else, like depression or a hormonal imbalance. Although, I'm interested in why she won't see a sex therapist with you. That makes it sound like there's a lot more going on in the relationship than just sex problems. Maybe find out if there's something that she wants from you? What would grease the wheel and get her into couples counseling with you?

Maybe she's feeling resentful? I'm feeling resentful just reading your explanation of how it all happened and I don't even know you. You frame it almost as if you got trapped into the marriage- like she stopped having sex with you after she got the ring that she wanted from you. Her version of the story is probably very different. Maybe the sex drying up around the proposal was a coincidence. The real reason could be something very different, like maybe the responsibility of the new baby, hormones, depression, etc.

Also, have you tried doing romantic things for her? Maybe some flowers, a nice massage, cuddling and talking about her feelings would put her in the mood. Make dinner for her, draw a bath, play soft music and get her warmed up first. Flirt with her. Tell her how nice she looks. If she gained weight with the pregnancy, she might not feel all that sexy right now. Foreplay can be more than just touching- it's also about romantic gestures. Maybe you need to reconnect with her.

Good luck!
Posted by Fabio on March 18, 2009 at 6:17 PM · Report this
That simulated rape-fantasy arrangement sounds like a recipie for disaster.. or else, a recipe for someone else to get rich quick!
Posted by KG on March 18, 2009 at 6:18 PM · Report this
woman here. who has been depressed post baby, etc. sometimes, it IS her. if she is not willing to care for this NEED, then she can not complain if you want to get it elsewhere. just like, if you all of a sudden stopped talking to her, and she began taking with someone else, you couldn't complain either.

p.s. to those who think shouldawaited is an ass: for some, sex is a physical action done for comfort. like peeing. or burping. not everyone thinks sex=love.... i thought that went out with 8th grade.
Posted by Julia on March 18, 2009 at 7:56 PM · Report this
I've been with my wife for almost ten years. We'll celebrate our fifth wedding anniversay this year.

She lost most of her sex drive around five years ago.

So, we meet our intimacy needs in a variety of creative ways.

Importantly, we decide together the parameters of getting those individual needs met.

The result is that I'm still very happy with my marriage and my sex life. I have a wonderful woman who loves me, wants me to be happy, and inspires me to do all I can to reciprocate her generosity of spirit.
Posted by sappy sapphic femme on March 18, 2009 at 8:06 PM · Report this
Dan, I love you dearly. Huge giant fan, but you are really missing the boat with this marriage thing.
I have a spouse who's sexually compatible with me. For us thats every 4-6 weeks. Not a lot, definitely not high on our list, but its enough for both of us. we've been at it happily for 15 years and have talked about it extensively.
You are assuming that people with low sexual appetites always marry really horny people. WTF? Sometimes 2 people who arent that interested in sex marry. In fact, Im guessing it happens more than your narrow definition allows.
Posted by roy on March 18, 2009 at 8:07 PM · Report this
To TRONTR - As Submissive Lady already commented, probably wise to indulge in the rape fantasy /S&M stuff with someone whom you've got to know well, or are in a relationship with, who's game.... TRUST is important when carrying out these type of scenarios.
Posted by Lilly on March 18, 2009 at 8:09 PM · Report this
I agree with Sub Woman. What ever happened to just getting to know someone first? Any kind of kinky act on a first date is generally NOT a good idea.

As for shouldawaited, tough love man. Just fuck around on your wife. She's being unfair and selfish, so you can too!
Posted by Justice on March 18, 2009 at 8:17 PM · Report this
Should I throw my voice behind the masses, crying out not to do it, or get flip with off the cuff advice for the desert dweller. Tell her your gay and really play it out with porn and chat lines if necessary. Shock the horny back into her and if that doesn't work, seperate or tell her your intentions.


Mas Bien
Posted by Mas Bien on March 18, 2009 at 8:43 PM · Report this
TRONTR: I would have to agree w/ Dan and some of his other dear readers that it would behoove you to take the anonymous part out of the anonymous rape fantasy and just do it as near strangers. Or, better yet, find a woman you can be in a relationship who's GGG and be sure to discuss this topic at length w/ her. As a sub woman in a relationship w/ the rape fantasy and man w/ the same you can create a safe and sane environment w/ someone you know intimately already. In fact he and I have it down so that I just drop a rape enducing code word and I find myself to be a helpless "victim" until I say the end all safe word.

If it weren't for the fact that we were together for 6 months before we indulged (total of 2 times since dating for 9 months) I likely would've hesitated before trusting someone enough w/ this fantasy.

Also, masks and costumes work wonders. Through on a ski mask and "break in" while the "victim" could be dressed and made up like another character herself. Really, it's just another type of scene.
Posted by Katja on March 18, 2009 at 10:05 PM · Report this
Hey Laurel,

I think that's a brilliant list.

You left out "she's tired" though... related to "she's unhappy in general" just slightly different...

Women with new babies are frequently tired. They're a lot of work.
Posted by Em on March 18, 2009 at 10:06 PM · Report this

You don't need someone's help for peeing or burping. He can always masturbate to fulfill a physical "need". Partnered sex is not a need in the same way peeing is...
Posted by Em on March 18, 2009 at 10:08 PM · Report this
Oh also Shouldawaited:

In case your wife is just someone who'd have a low sex driver under any circumstances, I think your wife would have preferred you not continuing through with the engagement and marriage if you knew you'd want more sex than what you were getting, as opposed to continuing through with it and then resenting her for it. I know that's how a lot of women would feel, at least.

But you guys have a baby that's less than 2 years old? Yeah, while it varies from family to family, not having much sex with very young time and energy-demanding children around would be totally normal. That's when most marriages suffer the most stress.
Posted by Em on March 18, 2009 at 10:13 PM · Report this
Good grief. Is ANY fantasy possibly worth all that trouble and risk? I suggest an Internet connection, a free imagination and some Astroglide!
Posted by GG1000 on March 18, 2009 at 10:24 PM · Report this
Yo Dan you've gone done it again- great response to the rape fetishist. Excellent! Safety always first. I once met with a man who online said he didnt want a safe word because it took the fun out of things and I flat out told him: but what if I have you arrested? We found a safe word straight away.

Posted by thecatnextdoor on March 18, 2009 at 10:59 PM · Report this
two-party consent for recording is not legal in all states.writer should check laws in his state about recording and others who are concerned about recording should check laws in theirs. this may only apply to audio recordings. I'm no lawyer, but I am a journalist
Posted by paginatrix on March 18, 2009 at 11:25 PM · Report this

Babies do knock sex back badly. My wife and I are just into our forties and have produced three kids in 2 and 3/4 years. We probably sank down to full sex 4 times a years, but still loads of sensual erotic cuddles

Communicate with her (not just talk) on a pseudo girl-girl level. Does she sex as part of a healthy and vibrant marriage? She may well credit you loads with the effort you are prepared to invest. You might need to depressure the situation and take full sex off the agenda for a while in case she has already become overly defensive and resentful. Also try releasing the pressures on your wife by doing the night shift and a lion-share of household chores.

Your wife could have hormonal issues that need medical attention. there could also be emotional inhibitions.

Think back and make sure that you haven't got trapped in the role of intitiator of sex and she as the gate keeper. It has got to be 50:50

Some say that you have occassionaly to get sex going again even if one of you isn't 100% into it at the start and build it up from there, especially if you see to it that she orgasms first.

Posted by UK Guy on March 19, 2009 at 2:11 AM · Report this
Great advice to TOJAH!

BTW, not really feeling "cheated out" of a "royal rube" wedding. I'm betting (and hoping) we get to see more of Levi in future.
Posted by rayy on March 19, 2009 at 6:36 AM · Report this
Response to #10. Loved the article.
Posted by Bhammer on March 19, 2009 at 8:30 AM · Report this
to: thinking about joining a harem.

Maybe drama. Maybe not.

If it were me, I'd ask the ladies for tea and talk. You'll learn a lot by observing how comfortable they are together.

If that feels good, I'd suggest tea and talk for the 4 of you, so you can be clear about everyone's needs and each of you is speaking for yourself. Sounds like radioman understands communication is the key.

It's quite possible that you'll have good chemistry with one of the women and not the other. Personally, I find trios more fun than quartets.

Delightful to see more and more people interested in exploring honest loving alternatives to serial monogamy.
Posted by yellow birch on March 19, 2009 at 8:48 AM · Report this
Wow shouldawaited - really sucks. How long has it been since the birth? May make sense to ask yourselves a couple of questions like what has changed since the baby. Also, I know many women get married not to have a life partner but to get a baby. I've seen it - if your in this basket - there might be a HUGE problem. One symptom: At my office I see people have pictures of their children and their spouses are no where to be seen. Always that that was, well curious. Children grow up and leave. Keep communicating and if it's been a while since the birth (you got to let a lady adjust) then a consellor should not be an option, what's the downside afterall?
Posted by Slater on March 19, 2009 at 9:59 AM · Report this

So....your wife, knowing regular sex was important to you,

1) stopped having sex with you AFTER you got engaged,

2) won't see a counselor, and

3) won't let you have sex with other people.

If you read Dan's column, you know EXACTLY what he would say here.

Unless you suddenly gained 100lbs, stopped showering, or did anything else that now makes you physically repulsive, your wife is being a selfish asshole.

Your options are



First, though, you should tell her that these are your options and see if it doesn't help get her to work on fixing this.

It sucks that a kid is involved, but that doesn't really change what you need to do. God knows I wish my parents had divorced instead of staying together "for the sake of the kids" while suffering through a miserable marriage.

Good luck. Sadly, I seriously doubt your wife will find her sex drive again - it took her so little time to lose it that I doubt it existed in the first place. And really, did you not know that dating someone for a couple of years before doing the whole marriage & kid thing is pretty widely considered a good idea?

Posted by Waiting on March 19, 2009 at 10:11 AM · Report this

It sounds like you were well aware that your partner had no sex drive before you married her. You said you married her anyway because you didn't want to "look like a jerk."

You chose your public appearance over ever having sex again. Sounds like you really should not have married her!
Posted by really_should_have_waited on March 19, 2009 at 10:41 AM · Report this
I'm not so sure about Mr. Savages view on marriage being decades of contractual (read: Boring) sex.
I believe the onus of sexual satisfaction lies mainly with the individual,and his/her ability to transport their penchant for sexual gratification to whomever they are with, whether with different individuals or the same partner. I have been married 25 years. My wife and I, during this whole period have worked out ways that have made our sex great the majority of the time. Being open minded is usually always the key element.
Sex, in this way of thinking is a personal attitude.
Posted by Stillstoked on March 19, 2009 at 10:49 AM · Report this
hey shouldawaited, If you want to succeed with some marriages, there's a big picture thing about the whole sex deal, especially when you're a breeding couple.

The baby makes sex less appealing for a reason--nature's birth control. Seriously. They are a SERIOUS amount of work and a libido drain for a lot of people. I don't think anyone gets this until they're faced with the little punkins. I suppose if you have help (a nanny, a grandmother, whatever) it might not be so demanding. But holy hell, I had no idea.

sex after kids, until the kids are pretty flipping old comes second to the whole kid thing. As my husband said about our third "that had to be immaculate conception"

But eventually they do stop coming into your room and bugging you. Eventually the mom does stop feeling claustrophobic about people wrapping their arms around her. (kids take a lot of physical affection and so that need for skin contact isn't so huge. In fact when my husband used to hug me it felt like more more damn demand.)

Eventually the heat comes back on. LISTEN, If you do believe in marriage, look at the thing as it's a big picture, long-term event. The 2-3 time a week thing has to be less important than the mental health of the mom if she's the center of the family (I suppose she isn't, always.). If you want the marriage to work, be a partner first. Take your consolation from being a good team member and if you have to use your hand on occasion, don't whine.

Thank god my husband understood all this and had the patience to wait for me when I was too flipping tired and taken to the limit. We were parents first for a while--years and years--and now we're back to being to being lovers first and parenting and other stuff can be left alone now and then. It was great fun with the little kids with him. It's great fun with big kids and, guess what? he's back as my main focus.

We've been married 25 years and it's better all the time.
Posted by btdt so I will hand out lotsa advice on March 19, 2009 at 10:53 AM · Report this
hey shouldawaited, If you want to succeed with some marriages, there's a big picture thing about the whole sex deal, especially when you're a breeding couple.

The baby makes sex less appealing for a reason--nature's birth control. Seriously. They are a SERIOUS amount of work and a libido drain for a lot of people. I don't think anyone gets this until they're faced with the little punkins. I suppose if you have help (a nanny, a grandmother, whatever) it might not be so demanding. But holy hell, I had no idea.

sex after kids, until the kids are pretty flipping old comes second to the whole kid thing. As my husband said about our third "that had to be immaculate conception"

But eventually they do stop coming into your room and bugging you. Eventually the mom does stop feeling claustrophobic about people wrapping their arms around her. (kids take a lot of physical affection and so that need for skin contact isn't so huge. In fact when my husband used to hug me it felt like more more damn demand.)

Eventually the heat comes back on. LISTEN, If you do believe in marriage, look at the thing as it's a big picture, long-term event. The 2-3 time a week thing has to be less important than the mental health of the mom if she's the center of the family (I suppose she isn't, always.). If you want the marriage to work, be a partner first. Take your consolation from being a good team member and if you have to use your hand on occasion, don't whine.

Thank god my husband understood all this and had the patience to wait for me when I was too flipping tired and taken to the limit. We were parents first for a while--years and years--and now we're back to being to being lovers first and parenting and other stuff can be left alone now and then. It was great fun with the little kids with him. It's great fun with big kids and, guess what? he's back as my main focus.

We've been married 25 years and it's better all the time.
Posted by btdt so full of lotsa advice on March 19, 2009 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Posted by P.E.T.A. People Eating Tasty Animals on March 19, 2009 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Dear ShouldaWaited,

I feel for you.. a few things to consider though. Have you TALKED to her? Like repeatedly, asked her many many questions and not just asked for sex or counseling and then sulk away? Sit down and explain how much you care about your "sexy wife" (that was cute) and you want to work on this. Don't let her get up until she gives you a real reason. Someone else mentioned birth control--that COULD be it. My sister was on a type of pill that literally made sex uncomfortable, because she wasn't turned on--and she had no idea until she went off it. Maybe it's her type of birth control she's using. Different pills treat women different ways.

Yes, maybe she's tired... perhaps you need a date night, no sex required? A lack of sex in a marriage is an indication of deeper problems. Maybe she feels like you're not "romantic".. do you compliment her, tell her you love her, do things around the house to show this, etc? Try the above.
Posted by Sara on March 19, 2009 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Based on my experience from one woman's POV - I'm going to be frank here, shouldawaited - my guess is that your wife never has enjoyed sex with you.

I would bet she comes from a social environment where a woman's value is strongly based upon being married with children. It appears that once she was assured she'd got a husband, she felt free to stop doing something she didn't like or enjoy. Having the kid was the "lock on the box".

In my own case, even though inexperienced in sex, I always *thought* I had a high libido. For undiagnosed physical reasons, penetrative sex turned out to be painful and unpleasurable.

My husband was gentle and skilled, so I thought things would improve with experience. It didn't. Unfortunately, neither one of us could talk about it. It wasn't until after my husband passed away that finally a doctor diagnosed my problem and fixed it with surgery. I still regret all those years my husband quietly suffered without sex.

Whether it be for physical or mental reasons, (or because she is an unacknowledged lesbian), the only real solution I can see for you is to get her to accept professional help.

It's her indifference to the problem that bothers me. If being a married lady is important to her at all, I'd say an ultimatum is in order. Sit down and have a serious talk with her and insist she try to work this out.

Otherwise [Dump the - whatever the acronym for dumping a jerky woman is - already]
Posted by Xweetie on March 19, 2009 at 12:11 PM · Report this
TOJAH, quit listening to the horny guy who's trying to convince you to let him in your pants. Yeah, he's a reliable source. The other girl seemed jealous and upset. Listen to that, its not going to be fun.
Posted by Karey on March 19, 2009 at 12:16 PM · Report this
Kathleen - Sheesh. I can't link something I've already written that's pertinent? I realized I would just be writing the same stuff over, so I figured I wouldn't make everyone else here scroll through a paraphrase of the whole damn thing.

And for your information, I make my living as a writer, usually making between $20 and $50 an hour for what I do. I use AC to post stuff I write for my own enjoyment, like a lot of professional writers. Also, I got $10 for that article, which is actually a fair payment for a non-exclusive printing. And I don't usually make it a habit to promote my own stuff, but it was relevant, so I linked it. Get over it.
Posted by Laurel on March 19, 2009 at 12:59 PM · Report this
do it if you want and obviously protect yourself as mr savage recommends, but given the odds and the fact that she is a human being, you can bet the 401k that she is off her meds crazy.
Posted by jeffsd on March 19, 2009 at 3:36 PM · Report this

All those things that people are telling you to do, do them. They won't get you any sex but they will make you a better person. And perhaps this is all about the kid and will all blow over in time. Then again, perhaps it wont.

I've been with my wife for about twenty years two of them before we wed. The sex started out pretty good but dropped to just acceptable. When we married I thought that things had leveled off and, yes, marriage is about more than sex. I love her greatly. But over time her libido has kept dropping and dropping. We've had all the conversations and I've done all the stuff and we don't have children. She did agree once to sex twice a week but pretty soon we missed one and then another and then pretty soon it was right back to where her body told her to be. I've come to realize that loving this woman means respecting her libido for what it is even if she can't do the same for me.

So once you are sure that it's not the pregnancy and things haven't gotten better, let yourself grieve and let go of what's dead. From there you'll just have to find your own path, be it divorce, adultery or resignation. And if you have been working on all those things that make you better person you will be more marketable should you choose options one or two.

For what it's worth I really don't see my marriage lasting forever. But I do see myself looking back upon it fondly. There is a whole lot of good that is really good. It's just that there is one little bad that is really bad.
Posted by Your Name Here on March 19, 2009 at 3:40 PM · Report this
For TRONTR, if the court decides to simply exclude all that evidence, he is fucked. The real problem is not documentation, but a bias against men in cases of rape.
Posted by clembot on March 19, 2009 at 3:48 PM · Report this
Clembot - bias against men? It's not really as simple as that - after all, the number of rape accusations actually resulting in conviction has been steadily dropping since the 1970s.

I'd say it's more like a general misunderstanding of sex, rape, kink, and consent that ends up hurting different people depending on the situation. A case where a man tied up and whipped a woman is going to look unfairly bad for him, but meanwhile, the ol' "You can't rape a slut!" argument is enough to let real rapists walk all over the place.
Posted by Laurel on March 19, 2009 at 4:25 PM · Report this
The medical part is good advice for the wife and it may be physical. It could also be:
1. Who care for the baby primarily? If your wife, I assume she's also working. When does she get to relax and (assuming that sex isn't rest for her - I enjoy sex but it isn't rest for me - it's good-feeling work, but not relaxation) what does she get from you to help her relax and feel good? It's amazing what a sex-massage-sex-massage nightly schedule can do for both parties.

2. Does she also take on care-taking for both herself and you, as well as your child? If so, I would advise getting a PDA and putting together house-hold to-do list focused on the day-to-day items (painting the house doesn't count since it can always be put off; doing dishes, laundry, shopping, etc. does because it needs to be done when it needs to be done). If she's doing the day-to-day to-do list, then there's a lot of mental exhaustion.

3. Maybe offering to take your child on saturdays so she can do something she wants (no chores, to-do-lists, etc. allowed) might also allow more feelings of sexiness and "I have me-time so I have something to give to someone else" feelings.

There's nothing like emotional or mental exhaustion to kill any feelings of sexiness or even feeling like there's enough of one's self to be able to give time to another person. Without the inner reserves (which are eaten up by work, care-taking, children, and to-do lists), then sex becomes a luxury for 'once the necessities' are taken care of. It may be that your relationship is very even in it's division of labor, but I know very few, especially with children (who are generally seen as the woman's responsibility - how many women say to their hubbies "I'll be gone with friend tomorrow night/next saturday" and just trot off), but I know of very few where the man does take on a lot of the day-to-day operations, the ones which NEED to be done when they NEED to be done. You may want to ask your wife about her to-do list - it may be surprising how long it is. I could be completely off-track, it could be medical, it could be that she was never interested in sex, but it could also be a lack of interest because she's stressed, exhausted, and feels like you aren't holding up your part of the bargain, the part that says each partner takes half the work. It's just a lot easier to say "medical" or "not interested" than "she's under stress from running our household and working and care-taking for myself and my child- What can I be responsibility for in my life/household?" This is different from helping - which implies it is her responsibility. If you already have had a truly frank talk about responsibilities and stress in the home, then great. Please ignore this then. If not, then please just consider it.

P.S. This is from my own experience. I have to-do lists that are 3-pages long while my bf has to-do lists that are 3 or 4 things. The resentment would be great except he's responsible for the on-going day-to-day operations (laundry, groceries, rent) while I have all the random stuff (make cat appointment, doc appointment, plan trip, renew birth control, renew lease, etc. items. Most of my coworkers talk about how "wonderful" my boyfriend is for cooking most nights, but I still make sure his clothing isn't falling to rags, his appointments are made, put together the cooking schedule/grocery list, etc. - the "running the household" expectations on women can be high while often are rather low for men (disclaimer: not always the case, etc., etc.). I'm sure people will jump on it for assuming it's the man's fault, but most men chance after marriage/kids/etc. just as much as women - it can be changes in him just like it can be changes in her. She may have thought he would continue to be the "wonderful" boyfriend who cooks and now he's the "lumpy" husband who watches his wife cook from the sofa. If we can stereotype the wife who loses interest in sex since she's "tricked" him, then we must also acknowledge the reality behind the stereotype of the husband who forgets to be an adult, creates messes, and is as much work as a child. It always takes two to tango (if not, you're the crazy nut dancing with yourself on the corner). To assume he's stayed the same person and only she has changes may be as much a fallacy as assuming it's just his fault - in either case, both parties must be examined.
Posted by TessH on March 19, 2009 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Dan, you hit it on the head with your response to Dr. Jethá. Unfortunately, I managed to find the one man in America who married for reasons other than sex--didn't want me, and didn't want anyone else to have me. He said, "At your age, you shouldn't want sex any more!" I was 29 and childless at the time. Guess we shoulda hooked up shouldawaited's wife up with him.
Posted by Robin on March 19, 2009 at 5:52 PM · Report this
Hey Shellphone...your critique of his use of "interwebs" was forced, not perceptively witty.
Posted by Shell Adds Nothing on March 19, 2009 at 6:47 PM · Report this
Holy fuck. I'm never getting married yo
Posted by biju on March 19, 2009 at 6:47 PM · Report this
Dr. Jethá wrote, "Dan, people marry for many, many reasons. Sex is only one of them, and sometimes it isn't even high on the list—or on the list at all. Family, friendship, stability, love, someone to grow old with, and on and on."

You can bet that in 75 (and probably more like 90) percent of the cases where it's not high on the list, or not on the list at all, it's a woman. Why? Because while some women really love sex (bless their hot libidos) sex just isn't as important to most women as it is to most men. Most women can go without sex much easier than most men can. I can't tell you how many women I've met who say they get enough intimacy with things like hugs from their friends. I like hugs as much as the next person but it's hard to imagine many men finding hugs as good as sex.

Now, as for what Savage said, he's on target as usual. If a woman doesn't care for sex that much, or can live without it, and still wants to marry or be in a relationship with a guy, that's not a long as she finds a similar guy (not easy, because most guys really like sex), or tells the guy about her lack of interest in sex so he can decide if he can accept it or not. And he's so dead-on when he says, "It never ceases to amaze me how many people who aren't interested in sex—who consider sex to be trivial and unimportant—nevertheless deny their frustrated partners permission to do this trivial, unimportant thing with others." Women (okay people but it's mostly women) who aren't interested in sex (or were interested in it but then lose interest in it) are acting very selfishly when they forbid their partners from getting it elsewhere.
Posted by JD on March 19, 2009 at 7:45 PM · Report this
"I know what the women will say, he's fat, drunk, asshole, won't do oral, etc."

Actually, it hadn't crossed my mind. Now that you mention it, though...

You've pretty much accused your wife of plotting to get pregnant in order to trap you into marriage ("don't let the other person handle birth control"?) based on the fact that, near as I can tell, her sex drive changed when she got pregnant. Gosh, what a turn on!

Refusing counseling is a bad sign, but, if your tone here is any indication, are you maybe phrasing the request like, "You need to fix yourself so that you can take care of my needs"?

Posted by whome on March 19, 2009 at 7:48 PM · Report this
I'm pretty sure that digital recordings are inadmissable, because they can so easily be altered.
Posted by whome on March 19, 2009 at 7:49 PM · Report this
@catnextdoor, no offense but, why the fuck would you continue to meet up with someone who had said that stuff already online? If you're a girl you can just go down the list of the other 100 guys in your inbox and pick out someone less retarded. Having to threaten to arrest someone, not a good sign.
Posted by cassie on March 19, 2009 at 8:25 PM · Report this
Interesting fact: withholding sex is grounds for divorce in Jewish law.
Posted by Lauren on March 19, 2009 at 10:45 PM · Report this

Wow, a lot of people have comments for you, and your post didn't even have anything to do with this week's column! You sound pretty frustrated. Going without is no fun. Part of your last sentence of your original post, "don't let the other do the birth control" makes me wonder whether you were ready to parent.

It's a lot of work, isn't it? The first few years, it feels like the parents are basically slaves to Baby. But the little tyrant does grow up and go off to school and even, eventually, helps with the chores.

Speaking of chores, it may be a useful exercise to look at the load on each of you. I can't know if it's the case in your household, but often women can feel things are out of balance after the children come along.
Is your wife working? If so, she's especially tired.
Is your wife nursing? This takes a surprising amount of time and energy, though it may not look like it to you.
Who does the laundry?
Who does the grocery shopping?
Who does the cooking?
Where is the mop and or vacuum kept, and when did you last use it?
Look in the diaper pail. How many of those diapers did you change? (And while you're at it, is it time to take those diapers out now?)
Who does the dishes?
Do you have time to go to the gym? Does she?
Who feeds the pets?
Who does the errands?
All these seem like small things, but they can take up an entire mind-numbing week.

Some men compare what they do around the house to what their fathers did when they were little and feel pretty good about themselves. But your wife compares what you do to what she does. Besides, can you really know what your dad did when you were a baby, or whether he was getting any? You might want to ask him about it.

Flowers, baths, wine, etc are very nice, but when you are tired even they can seem like an imposition on precious sleep. Whether or not your wife works outside the home, try taking a load off your wife by working steadily when from the time you come home to the time you go to bed. Don't lounge while she is doing any chore. See that she gets her sleep. Doing your fair share will endear you to her and make her the envy of all her friends. It may pay immediate dividends in bed or it may not, but it will help your marriage in the long run.

These hard years do fly by. It will get better. I'd recommend you do some serious talking before you have another child, as each new person added to the household adds exponentially more work. But if you have balance in your household, it can be managed. Look at all the people in the world who are making it work!

You still find your wife to be attractive and wonderful. She loves you too, and I bet your baby is cute. Go ahead and be happy. Good luck.

Posted by no handle on March 20, 2009 at 6:56 AM · Report this
Hey Dan, I was perusing past letters you have received so I don't know how old this one was, but I feel I want to comment on your answer. My feeling is that you meant to be kind and helpful, but I do not think that will be the actual outcome of your advice.

The letter I refer to was a young girl who had sex, or was raped by an exboyfriend, and her current partner was pissed about it. You told her she was raped. Maybe if she went to a rape center, they would tell her the same thing.

I don't think she was raped at all, I just think she was a young idiot girl. By telling her she was raped, you meant to help her, but what you actually did was make so she will not learn her rights to own body, she will be afraid all the time, becuz if she views herself as raped she is powerless to stop it from happening again.

This girl could have stopped being such a victim, put on her ugly voice, told the guy to fuck the hell off, and my feeling is he would have.

But she didn't, she was a people pleaser. She didn't want him to not like her. She had a good relationship with him and did not want to alienate him.. She didn't feel she had the right to say no and protect her body, she decided it was easier to just let him go ahead and do it.

Having been a teenage female myself in previous history, having gone through my share of shyte, I understand her situation, and how she could have gotten out of it, and why she didn't.

By not understanding her power to stop this, how can she feel safe to ever go anyhwere again, cuz when any guy who wants her she has no power to say Fuck Off in no uncertain terms?

Ther words were in her mouth but she was not frozen with fear, she was frozen with a fear of being unlikelable, having low self esteem, not feeling she had a right to stand up for her body. I can promise you, if it would have been me in this situation, and it has been, when you stop acting like a wimpy female, a victim, you take control and get ugly, the guy fucks off.

Too often women are taught everything is the men's fault, I am woman |I am strong, I am invincible, but I am so polite I won't get ugly if a guy I don't like wants to have sex with me. I am a victim and any guy who wants to can fuck me cuz I am too nice to get mean if it is required with a drunk amorous guy.

If a girl or woman doesn't stop being a victim, then she will never feel safe. Before I learned to get ugly I was a victim for sure. Woman are often raised to be people pleasers, and this programming can be intense, so intense you will allow someone to have sex with you becuz you don't want to essentially raise a fuss, be unattractive.

If she had poked him with her finger, said " WHAT THE PHUCK DO YOU THINK YER DOIN MUTHA PHUCKER?? BACK THE PHUCK UP!!!"

Had she let her adrenaline rise to somewhere useful, screwed her face up angry instead of being a helpless female, the outcome would have been qwite different, her ex would know in no uncertain terms that her bod was off limits.

This happens to way more teen girls than is does adult women, cuz we learn to say NO in no uncertain terms. Sometimes it is as easy as teaching young women the right to get ugly.

Once I was almost gang banged at a cop after hours private club. It was stupid how I ended up there, I had gone with friend who had split without telling me.

Dumped at the cop legion in wee hours, everyone drunk, I went to their clubhouse cause I lived far away and a cop was going to drive me home after. When we left the legion and went to the clubhouse, I was wasted, but thought I was safe, I was with cops after all. Well, they were cops, but they were also drunk men.

There were no other women when we got to the clubhouse, booze was pouring, music playing, I was happy zip around, bounce around to the loud music girl, having fun, cause why torture my liver for no good reason?

Next thing I know, I am on the floor, pinned, held down from every angle by these guys, they are about to gang me. Adrenaline wiped out my drunk buzz in a hearbeat, and I changed right along with it. I stopped being cute dancing girl, and I turned on my drill sargent voice, and commanded them to drop me. I became ugly, authoritarian, I gave orders. While I was held down and on my back. I guarantee if the girl you talked to had been in my place, she would have been viciously raped. Not me, no way. I turned into someone else. My voice and command was in anything but victim mode. The men woke up from their trance, their pack behaviour ended.
They let go of me and backed the hell up.

I went behind the bar with the only cop who did not join in. He was the cop who was going to drive me to my somewhat distant home. He told me to stay behind the bar with him. He said " I am not going to say out loud what was just about to happen, but you and I both know . I wasn't going to take part, but I wasn't going to try to stop them either. I don't know how you did what you just did, I don't know how you stopped them, but just stay behind the bar till the other women get here.

I know how I stopped them. I refused to be a victim, I could give a shit if someone hears me use such an ugly intense voice they could think I was a man. I love to serve dinner or tea for guests, but I am not a people pleaser.

I was a hardcore partier in my youth, I put myself in so many stupid situations that could have gone wrong, but when wrong took it's first step, and every time I shut it down. Everytime, and being a girl who loved to party, wrong turned up often.

I don't get physical and then not use my voice. Getting physical without commands means you will likely get raped. A whole dance occurs. I snap them out of it. Whiney, pleading 'please don't hurt me' tactics means you will get hurt. Grow up, be an adult, tell them to phuck off. Don't sit there silent, give weak 'no's cause sometimes women give weak no's that mean yes. We really do.

Don't be wimp then call a guy a rapist cause you didn't want to be impolite and clear about your meaning. He isn't a rapist, you are an idiot weak chick who needs to learn to stand up for yourself. Anyhow, I can see your intention was to be kind, mine maybe is not, mine is to empower, and I have had enough experience to know whereof I speak, cheers, and thanx for spending so much of your helping folks. Hope ya have a groovey week.

Posted by Nawtawimp on March 20, 2009 at 7:56 AM · Report this
Joe Newton is an awesome illustrator.
Posted by jkl on March 20, 2009 at 9:35 AM · Report this
Dear "your name here" and others...

wow. Thanks! Well written good thoughts. Wife and I have the same ideas but we need those reminders.

"I've come to realize that loving this woman means respecting her libido for what it is even if she can't do the same for me. ... I do see myself looking back upon it fondly. There is a whole lot of good that is really good. It's just that there is one little bad that is really bad."

Dan's again this week points out paradox of "don't play with others but I don't want to fool around with you any longer" aka The sex starved monogamous parents. I think a lot of us need support and solutions other than cheating.

ps: The sex withered long before the pregnancy, which was planned. We share the home duties, which need my attention ASAP. gotta run.
Posted by shouldawaited. on March 20, 2009 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Re shouldawaited ... Maybe I missed it somewhere but I'm still not clear on how depression, hormones, nursing, or the color of a swallow's wings on Cyprus excuse someone from being a jerk to their mate. None of these things is a bar to being honest and recognizing that your spouse has an honest, real, persistent, and logical issue. I say, leave her, find someone else to love, and stop torturing yourself.
Posted by robt vesco, jr. on March 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM · Report this
FYI, "disinterest" = "impartiality," "lack of bias," not "lack of interest.
Posted by Word Geek on March 20, 2009 at 2:14 PM · Report this
As a law student, I just wanted to say that, even if you ask a lawyer and they tell you something, that is not a defense. I know, it's ridiculous, but mistake of law is never a defense to a crime, only mistake of fact...and even then, if it is a strict liability crime, that isn't a defense. Check out your laws, ask a lawyer to make sure you know the law but make sure they do research on it and don't just give you an opinion. Than, you will know the law and can go from there.
Posted by guitarjelly on March 20, 2009 at 3:07 PM · Report this
My husband wants sex every day twice a day. While I'd be all for it under normal circumstances, our insane schedules really only allow for 3-4 times/week. Which in my opinion, is still pretty good, considering the fact that often times we do it around 2-3am, only to get up 4-5 hrs later. I've told him many times that I'd be cool with him going elsewhere for it, as long as he doesn't bring any STD's home, but he wants ME to find him someone. Really? Is it too much to ask that he does that work himself? He claims that he's too shy, and that girls have better luck finding a third... but I'm not that interested in having a threesome, I'd watch, but I'm not into going down on girls... Anyway, what do the men think? Am I not being generous enough, already?
Posted by Hardly on March 20, 2009 at 6:12 PM · Report this
About the rape fantasy... no way would I do it with a woman I didn't know and trust. Not worth the risk. As someone who's done a lot of online dating, I can attest that there are a lot of wacko women out there. You have no idea what what she's going to do after it takes place and no matter what precautions you take (getting it in writing, etc.) you can always get fucked over after you get fucked.
Posted by JD on March 20, 2009 at 6:26 PM · Report this
Hardly, you've not only given your husband permission to sleep with other women but have also told him that you'd watch...and that's not enough for him? Good Lord, what kind of man did you marry? You're being more than generous. You're exceptional. Women like you are extremely rare.

Shy men do have a problem getting women into bed (women love the aggressive alphas), and I'm sure he's right about women have better luck finding a woman for a threesome (or even a twosome-and-a-onewatchingsome) but the fact that he's married should help him because there are a fair number of women who are attracted to men who are married.

Posted by JD on March 20, 2009 at 6:36 PM · Report this
All you people who tell shouldawaited that it's about the pregnancy/baby, or that the wife needs to go to an endocrinologist?

Come on. They fucked 2-3x/wk, and then her libido suddenly disappeared shortly after he proposed? Two years before the kid? I'm very familiar with how kids and/or familiarity effects your love life (having been with my wife now for over 20 years) but this timing FUCKING BLOWS.

The girlfriend put out on a regular basis to get this guy to marry her. That's not how it works in our modern, liberal, urban Seattle world but that bullshit is still very alive and kicking in the southern and bible thumping parts of the country.

Posted by Big Sven on March 20, 2009 at 9:40 PM · Report this
hate to see a good thing taking such a bad rap - if it wasn't for date rape, I'd never get laid.
Posted by leroy on March 21, 2009 at 12:46 AM · Report this
Dan, your advice to the guy who wants to fulfill a rape fantasy with a stranger omitted the most important consideration: Suppose psychobabe's fantasy includes being "rescued" by a clueless husband/boyfriend? The guy's bundle of email printouts might not save him if hubby shows up and reaches for the family scattergun. Something along these lines happened in Virginia a few years ago: A woman told her boyfriend that some weird guy had been bothering her in the parking lot after work. She subsequently told some stranger in a bar that her crazy ex-boyfriend was stalking her, and she asked him to walk her to her car. After a confrontation spurred on by the girlfriend, boyfriend shoots stranger in the parking lot. When police figured out what happened the boyfriend and girlfriend turned on each other, and they're both now serving hard time for murder. The innocent stranger -- father of a toddler -- is still dead. I enjoy your column, and I usually respect your "whatever floats your boat" attitude. But sometimes I wish you would say "Stop that shit, you sick fuck!" This is one of those times.
Posted by reader on March 21, 2009 at 8:47 PM · Report this
Talibangelists!! what a great word!!
Posted by wordsmith on March 21, 2009 at 10:07 PM · Report this
Dan, once again, you beautifully hit the mark. Kudos! I live for your column.

No Handle: your response to Shoulda Waited was a direct bullseye, too! I couldn't have put it better myself.


...and that's largely why, after getting divorced and out of a once-nightmarish situation, that I'm still unmarried by choice today.

For those of you out there who are truly happily married with or without children or whatever your situation is and you can make everything blissfully work, hats off to you!

Posted by Auntie Grizelda on March 22, 2009 at 4:31 AM · Report this
I think this advice is a little incomplete without consulting a lawyer; digital evidence is a fact of life now but problematic, so doing a little something on paper would probably help too -- however to be binding it would also help to be witnessed under oath, and then you need a notary and maybe two other people, which... is logistically questionable. [I'm not sure - maybe it's possible to craft something not-too-offensive and get it notarized at one of those bank branches at the supermarket?]

A related possibility would be for each to jointly sign a statement and mail copies to both across the counter at the post office the day before -- then if there's drama during, at least the document is in "mail escrow" with a postmark. It'd help to xerox the document and seal the envelopes with a piece of tape or label bearing both's signatures, so guy has a copy he can swear to and a sealed original that can go straight into evidence without tampering.

Contract law doesn't trump criminal law, so the documents only have to be worded so far as establishing consent.
Posted by IAmNotALawyer on March 22, 2009 at 10:53 PM · Report this
To Cacilda Jetha, MD-
Your dismissive letter to Dan Savage this week was unwarranted, but ironically, very welcome, after reading Dan's response to comments. I think you knew very well what Dan was getting at in the first place, as well as the intentions of many married couples' needs in the bedroom. I found your statement of Dan having a 'surprisingly narrow description of what marriage means " very insulting and very naive, given the intention of the original article.
Moreover, placing your blog info without any real response email borders on the self-serving. You also thank him for his work, but that rings exceedingly false in light of the comments made. Dan's last paragraph really hits to the nature of the original statement he made in the first response you commented on, and it shows more wisdom and forethought, and more importantly, is a more vital statement on the real issues that married couples face. It ironic that in the telltale signs you left for readers to infer that you are an extremely well-informed and educated writer, those very things make YOU look ignorant and condescending.
Posted by Glotz on March 23, 2009 at 2:22 PM · Report this
To shouldawaited: my husband and I had just one child, and now that she's 14 we have WAY more time for each other. Unfortunately, he never was very interested in sex; he just wanted a very stable breadwinning wife and a really nice, smart, fun-loving kid. And that's what he got. Dang it.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on March 23, 2009 at 9:46 PM · Report this
shoulda-knew a woman who sounds like your wife. Biological clock was ticking, so she put out enthusiastically until marriage, made sure she became pregnant immediately, then refused to have sex (she had no real interest) until she wanted baby 2 - and he didn't. All of a sudden she's receptive and whoops! Birth control failure! Amazing! Then no sex, ever again, if she could help it. She made no secret of any of this to us, her girlfriends. Bottom line, she wanted a sperm donor who would support her while she raised their kids. Pure manipulation. And i know other women who have pulled similar scams.
Posted by ialwzputout4hubby on March 23, 2009 at 11:59 PM · Report this
Dan I think your use of the word interwebs is cute and charming. Ur not a tech savvy youth of course so you would use a term like that. <3
Posted by Lalala on March 24, 2009 at 1:13 AM · Report this
Sexual satisfaction is the 2nd highest correlate with marital satisfaction.. I think intimacy is #1 which also has a lot to do with sex.
Posted by Slumdig on March 24, 2009 at 8:02 AM · Report this
@ shouldwaited

Living your hell myself, right down to the birth control issue. I actually came right out and told her I didn't want to have sex with anyone but her, but that I DID want to have sex. Everyone else here who is trying to espouse all the PC psychobabble don't know what it's like to be totally in love with your wife, but not be able to love her. No advice for you, just commiseration.
Posted by Oncethegamestarts,therulesareset on March 24, 2009 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Apparently I'm late to the game.... Talibangelists is now, * boop *, added to my lexicon.
Posted by Lalas on March 24, 2009 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Advice for a Rape Date: Not on the first date.
In fact, I'd want something like 4 dates for this.
1st date: just talk
2nd date: straight sex
3rd date: wrestling on the floor; no sex
4th date: now maybe you're ready for rape play
Posted by Steven on March 24, 2009 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Cacilda Jethá, MD has never been laid properly.
Posted by senorglory on March 25, 2009 at 3:19 AM · Report this
"It never ceases to amaze me how many people who aren't interested in sex—who consider sex to be trivial and unimportant—nevertheless deny their frustrated partners permission to do this trivial, unimportant thing with others."

It makes perfect sense to me. If a woman is married to a man who believes that being in love automatically equals wanting to have sex, wouldn’t it be natural for her to assume he believes that wanting to have sex automatically equals being in love? And wouldn’t it then be a natural fear for her that if he started having sex with another woman, he would develop feelings for her and leave his wife?

Posted by Mel on March 25, 2009 at 9:48 AM · Report this
I'm still waiting for my rape fantasy to come true.

I'm thinking-getting attacked and raped at Greenlake.
Posted by notyou on March 26, 2009 at 1:27 AM · Report this
"My wife does not want to have sex, and does not want to let me have sex with others."

Tough shit for her. She can't have one without the other. Anyway, what is she going to do about it? Divorce you? Why not beat her to the punch on that one? She's esentially divorcing you already.

If it's some problem she has, it's up to her to deal with it. Or else she's essentially divorcing you that way.
Posted by Takmua on March 26, 2009 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Dan... best thing I ever read... I left an 8-year relationship (rather hastily, for another woman) for the reason that I felt like Archie Bunker sitting there, after many years, and many attempts to provoke a sexual relationship (that dies, quite quickly, by the way, once you've been snagged) that could NEVER have happened, in a million years, because there was so much sexual abuse in her past she never faced. I found this out on my way out the door of our relationship... Motherf*ck! I spent too many years thinking I was an unfuc*able, fugly beeyatch, because she never told me.... Point is... that sh*t sucks... SO glad you brought it up!!!!! xo from Toronto!!!!!
Posted by HappyNow on March 28, 2009 at 1:41 AM · Report this
Cacilda Jethá, MD

No disrespect meant... but have you considered counselling, doctor? Worried about your patients, is all.
Posted by HappyTimes on March 28, 2009 at 1:45 AM · Report this
Dan... best thing I ever read!!!!!
I left an 8-year relationship (rather hastily, for another woman a couple of years ago... Not a thing I EVER thought I would do... but I TOTALLY fell head over heels, and am still, 2 years later, in love with this lady!!!)
At some point, I 'fogged out' or something during my previous relationship.
I felt like Archie Bunker sitting there in an old-fart, dead relationship. Sexually, after many years, and many attempts to provoke a sexual relationship that would NEVER have happened, in a million years, I learned that there was so much sexual abuse in her past that she never faced with me or herself. I found out the level and frequency of abuse... which was WAAAAY more than she intoned initially on this topic. I, only then, realized my whole sexual life with her was gross for her ... on the last day of US!... On my way out the door of our relationship!
Motherf*ck! That hurt!!!
I am still reeling from that lack of info 'abuse'! Not fair, not fair!!! I could have helped if I knew!
I spent too many years thinking I was an unfuc*able, fugly beeyatch, because she never told me.... Point is... that sh*t sucks... SO glad you brought it up!!!!! xo from Toronto!!!!!
Posted by Rocksanne on March 28, 2009 at 2:11 AM · Report this

It could be that she's cheating on you. Some women lose interest in her husband when the relationship is no longer exciting and then find someone else. But even if it's not that, check out
Posted by Lynne on March 29, 2009 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Wow HappyNow, you sound like a real catch. Can't understand why your ex wasn't more up front about her past – maybe it would have made her even fuglier in your eyes.
Posted by JHed on March 29, 2009 at 8:49 PM · Report this
just my two cents: boys lie about vasectomies. just ask my second baby.

mind you, only pathological sociopaths lie about vasectomies; but by the time you find out that's what they *really are*, it's pretty much too late.

yeah, brad, i'm talking to you, you fucker. where's my child support, bitch?
Posted by snippetty snip slip on March 29, 2009 at 11:55 PM · Report this
I, too,have rape fantasies and have indulged them occasionally with men I've picked up online. Each time I do, I swear it's too dangerous and I'm not going to do it again, but nothing beats forced, rough sex with a stranger.
Posted by Likes it Rough on April 1, 2009 at 12:48 PM · Report this
shouldawaited - when you do make love how much attention do you pay to your wife? Do you make sure she reaches orgasm too? Because if the love making stops when only you are satisfied then sex probably just feels like another household chore to her. Get the girl a vibrator!
Posted by Amanda on April 13, 2009 at 3:13 AM · Report this
Shoulda waited...
Remember all those Peanuts cartoons about Lucy pulling the football away? That's what it was about.
Posted by Jack on April 19, 2009 at 8:13 PM · Report this
Dan, it's "uninterested," not "disinterested." The latter means a lack of bias; the former, a lack of caring.
Posted by Roxeanne on April 24, 2009 at 10:10 PM · Report this
Dear Dave,

I have only recently discovered your collemns and I find that you write beautifully-insightful without being stuffy and humorous without pretension.

As such, I would like to ask if you could provide me with some advice.

I am a 21 year old single lady who, up until last October, was in a 7 month relationship that involved a brief stint living together. The relationship was not a happy one-in essence, I had fallen for a man who was practically a carbon copy of my father: Alcoholic, emotionally repressed, mentally instabe, manipulative and melancholy.

There was much emotional abuse involved and towards the end, my confidence hit rock bottom.
After months of papering over the cracks, I ended it for the sake of my dignity and my sanity.

That was nearly 3 months ago.

I haven't seen or heard from my ex since as I cut off all contact. Deleted his number, email and blocked him from my IM programs.

I also generally avoid the places he's prone to hanging out in as I fear that if I *DO* bump into him, I won't be held accountable for my actions.

I do NOT want to get back with him in any way shape or form, but my main problem is his mother.

As I live in a quintessential Irish town, there's little I can do to prevent from bumping into her and whilst we never really had much in common, I find that lately, she is using every opportunity to befriend me.

Bare in mind, when I was living with my ex, it was in his mother's house and I regularly had to put up with verbal abuse and threats of violence from her psychotic boyfriend whilst she stood idly by and more or less stuck her fingers in her ears going "La-la-la, not listening".

I hold contempt towards her for this but I am too polite to let it be known. what I would like to know is this:

How do I let her know that I want absolutely nothing to do with her, her deadbeat son and certifiably insane partner without offending her as I worry she try to slander me in retaliation.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

All the best.

-Sarah, from Ireland
Posted by McChubbin on January 29, 2010 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Where is that letter about that dude who goes to a hotel room and has sex with "a woman" with a towel over her head in the dark? I haven't read that one in ages but it is pure comedy gold.
Posted by Frederica Bimble on February 12, 2011 at 5:38 AM · Report this
This is not to common but happens sometimes. A loss of interest in sex can be caused by a myriad of reasons. Out of balance hormones is one that is common. If this is the case she can be treated and you can have a healthy sex life again. I would not assume that she is being unfaithful until you have enough physical evidence that she is. This just adds to the already stressful situation.
Posted by globalx on March 4, 2011 at 10:53 PM · Report this
Please, this story has played many times on Law & Order SVU. Consent rape gone wrong. A trick by some woman and a power trip to get men in trouble.
Posted by Atlantarunner on August 24, 2011 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Troy from IN 123
Thinking Of Joining A Harem- You say the vasectomy is a deal breaker, why go any farther?
Posted by Troy from IN on October 3, 2011 at 2:58 PM · Report this

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