Savage Love Letter of the Day: How to Calm a Boner

Comments

1
Hard to feel sorry for the guy.
2
Have you asked her (some time with your clothes on) if she has any sexual desires which are going unfulfilled or under-fulfilled? Maybe you can turn your boner into shared pleasure by giving her a spanking, or going down on her, or scratching her back, or any other physical sensation she loves and doesn't get enough of.

If she really doesn't want more touch of any kind and you feel the mismatch in libido is tolerable, then maybe (privately) think about her thongs and see-through panties as the kink of exhibitionism, where you fulfill her kink by discreetly touching your boner and appreciating her display. That way, in your mind, the two of you are sharing a sexual adventure, even if, in her mind, you're just relaxing and watching TV together.
3
Tell her your fantasy is that she wear a burka and you stop referring to her by name, just My Goat or My Household. That should take care of it. Unless you're one of those weird fucks that gets off on telling women how to dress and behave, seemingly a majority of the male world.

Other wise I agree with @1 and @2's advice makes sense to me; worth exploring her desires more.
4
I mean, he could ask her to wear more clothes around the house. She already offered to do just that. Then the pressure is off of both of them, and she can undress for times when she wants sexy attention. I don't think Dan's suggestions are terrible, but I think it's weird that he dismissed such an obvious and easy option just because "that's what religious conservatives do".
5
WIFE, Dan, not girlfriend.

Tejanojim, we are talking about someone being asked to be less comfortable sitting around their own home on their own couch watching TV. No, it's not OK to ask her to wear more clothes. Dan is right. She's sitting around in her undies and a t-shirt, not lingerie. The boners are HIS problem, not hers. She should not be asked to change something about her own comfort to solve his problem. It's on him. The mis-matched libido is THEIR problem, and since he says they already have a satisfying sex life and that she is fine with him fucking other people, again it's HIS problem if he's hornier more often than she is. Dan is straight up right on this one. He needs to jack off or fuck someone else.
6
"Am I leading you on by wearing see through panties?"

Are people really taking that type of question seriously? Let me answer her question: Yes. Most people in a romantic relationship would take wearing sexy clothes as a come on, unless see through panties are known as comfy clothes. On the other hand, dude is a creep. A 32 year old dating a 20 year old?

I give this marriage 4 more years, at the latest.
7
Dude's an absolute creep. I bet he loves showing his friends pictures.
8
Go in the bathroom. Beat off. Clean up. Come back out and cuddle. It's not that difficult.
9
@6: Panties can be comfy or not comfy, see-thru or not. How they look sometimes bears little relation to how they feel.

And sometimes women just wear what they like because they like it, not because they're trying to get a reaction from a man.
10
@6 She's taking her pants off after work and sitting around on the couch in her undies. Women's undies are often nude color depending on what you are wearing on top of them so that they don't show through. Seriously, maybe I'm a real slob, but do all you people walk around your own homes fully dressed? No, you arent trying to tease your husband because you slump on the couch after work in your undies, omg.
11
@6, I didn't see the age difference. I don't think that necessarily makes anyone a creep or the relationship a failure, but it always seems weird to me when 21 year olds get married. I mean, why? But maybe they had some reason they had to get married. In any case, someone in his early 30s might've asked himself first why someone so young should get married to him in the first place. As for their marriage lasting or not, they are open so that's more realistic. Besides, even if they were both in their 30s, doesn't mean the marriage would last. That's not what he was asking about anyway.
12
@10 As a gay dude, if I'm wearing nude-colored or see through underwear, it's usually because I'm trying to get a rise out of my boyfriend (see also: thongs, jockstraps, and other fetishistic underwear). If I'm just in a pair of old blue FotL boxer briefs (or cotton boxers or whatever), I'm just being comfy.

One of my exes was the type to walk around fully clothed or had to draw the blinds if he wanted to walk around without pants, and that was usually a signal for sexy time.

It is far from inappropriate for somebody to see their S.O. in a tiny pair of nothings and think that they'd like to bang that. Heck, even being naked under a big cushy robe can be sexy as fuck...and yet it is oh so comfy. If my boyfriend wore a pair of sheer silk boxers, that's a come on to me, and we both know it. It's a little naughty and a little daring and a deliberate choice.
13
The age difference is 12 years. She is 22, he is 34. Yes, 22 is still on the young side to get married in the industrialized world or whatever in 2017, but 22 is not as egregious as 20.
14
Seems like the issue of her wearing more clothes was an offer that she made -- out of exasperation. Of course she shouldn't have to.

I didn't really understand why Dan took so long (and underplayed) the real solution: masturbation. Here's what I would have said: "Your relationship is still young, your marriage is still in the honeymoon phase. Feverish masturbation will solve this problem for now, and eventually you'll habituate."

She seems pretty open. Maybe she'd even pose for some pictures so he could fantasize / visualize her while he's doing it? And if she knows that he's in the other room getting off on fantasizing about her, on occasion she might even decide to join in.
15
Oops. I see they've been together 2 years. At least they waited a decent interval to marry.
16
@Misanthrope,

I don't think it's inappropriate that he's hot for his wife. I don't think his boner is inappropriate. I think it's wrong to tell her to put on more clothes in her own house. I think it's wrong too to assume she's trying to tease him just because she takes off her pants and sits around in her undies which I'm pretty sure almost everyone does. I think maybe it's because you are a gay dude so you are thinking that she's changing to special sexy undies- the LW doesn't say this. Men's clothing is different from womens. It's totally common for women's daily undies to be small, g-strings and even nude colored. This is because the clothes that they wear on top are usually more fitted or of a lighter material, and you don't want to have a panty line showing or your undies showing through or your wedgie showing, etc. If she's taking off her work clothes and putting on sexy time clothes or lingerie or something, sure. But if she comes home from work and takes off her uncomfy clothes and puts on a tshirt and lays around on the couch in her undies, this isn't an invitation to fuck nor a tease. If he's turned on by seeing her, that's fine- I didn't say it was inappropriate. The boner is bothering him so it's his problem, that's all.
17
@11 The age difference alone doesn't make this a relationship killer. It's just a red flag that this guy, already divorced, started dating a girl not even old enough to drink. He's also visually fetishistic, maybe with some boundary and self-control issues. If she somehow loses her body (which can happen post-college), or if she ages out of his taste bracket, she'll probably be shown the door. It's just a sign that he's a creep. But, I think she's also using that to her advantage right now, based on his recall of some of her sartorial choices.
18
Where did he say he was divorced?
19
Oh wait, I got it. I re-read looking but didn't see it until now. Good catch. Weird that he said he's never wanted to fuck someone so much but has been married once before as if he can only think of desire in terms of being married? I dunno, I should probably stop trying to read stuff into this letter. I agree, I don't know why someone in his 30s would want to marry a 21 year old. Does seem off.
20
@16 The flip side is that much of women's underwear (and clothing in general) has been designed to be sexual, sexy, or romantic. If they want to wear desexualized undies, women have to make conscious decisions to buy and wear desexualized undies. Even if you think you're just lounging around in a sheer g-string after work because that's what worked with the outfit, that g has probably been designed to flatter your body for the visual pleasure of others. It's a functional article of clothing that also works as a visual turn on (see any number of male comics joking about Victoria's Secret catalogs).

Here's the problem, many men are visually fetishistic. Nothing new. So, exposed skin can function like a come on. In the letter, LW doesn't want his wife to wear more clothing. I didn't read this as a desire born out of his wanting her to be comfortable. To me, this seemed to be him wanting to let her remain a near naked visual object to turn him on. Which is kinda creepy.
21
Dear Penthouse,

I never thought I'd be writing this letter...
22
Dan's wrong here.

Just have the boner. Treat it like a fart or a burp. Hide them if you can, but if you can't, well, life happens, and that's OK. Fin.

Of course, your wife will need to accept that boners aren't choices, and as she's 22 (I get the sense that neither of you are Americans) she probably doesn't know that yet.
23
#fake or #humblebrag, I'm at a loss
24
@20 it depends on what you mean by "conscious decision". If you go to Target or K-Mart or basically anywhere the sells basics you will have no problems finding not-sexy underwear. The conscious decision would be to stop avoiding these lowbrow establishments.

Also, to the people who saying its wrong to ask someone to cover up in their home: The underlying question is "would you please be considerate of my wants". If you're advocating that a spouse need not be considerate of their partner, even when the request is a little bit inane but very easily accommodated (shorts? sweatpants? yoga pants?)... well, that's not advice you'd want anyone giving your partner.
25
Misanthrope, exactly, but I'd stop short of calling him a creep just based on that.

Sportlandia, please don't start commenting on how/why women buy what underwear they buy, really. And yes, it is a big fucking deal to tell people to dress their bodies to accommodate your considerations in their own house- that's waaaaayyy off base. Yes, I'm advocating that people should dress at home for their own comfort however they want regardless of what their parent thinks about it, and yes I'd have zero respect for my partner if he disagreed with that advice.
26
(Partner, not Parent- that's a whole different can of worms, ha ha)
27
Also misanthrope, just to clarify, I'm not arguing the undies aren't sexy or that it's not natural for the partner to be turned on. We are talking about whether or not it's a tease to sit around your own house in your undies. The fact that you are turned on doesn't mean that the other person is teasing you. I know you aren't claiming this, and yes, people do tease also, but I get really tired of any time a man is turned on by something, they imply that the other person intended it, even when they are doing something totally normal as lounging around your house in tshirt and undies. But I know you weren't saying otherwise.

I just don't get why this would make him a creep. I mean, I think it's pretty natural that he likes to look at his hot young wife's ass. Why wouldn't he? We all go through life being turned on at times when we can't fuck. There are various solutions to that problem- Dan outlined several. Dude is in his 30s. Time he learned some coping strategies.
28
Just have a bucket of icy water handy. Problem solved.
29
One thing LW can do also is ask his wife for a few tips on how to tell if she is actually feeling frisky. He's been misunderstanding her, and it might help their relationship if he knows how to tell if she is trying to initiate sex versus simply airing out.

But yeah dude, slow your roll. Go rub one out or something.
30
HARD should give Pocket Pussy a try.
Directions: Use as needed to get that boner under control!
31
Dude should abide the boners. If they must be dealt with, he can excuse himself and go take care of things, himself.

That being said: I can't get on board with an absolute right to dress any way one wants, at all times. I am well aware that our society--and those worse than ours--oppress women by dictating how they dress. I am against forcing women into burkas--or out of them for that matter.

There are still far too many ridiculous cases of women being forced into restrictive, demeaning or impractical dress, but I don't think the answer to the history and reality of misogyny and subjugation is to take an absolutist stance on the opposite extreme. (see EmmaLiz)

This strays afield of just this letter, but: there must be some reasonable median wherein certain contexts require some standard for both men and women. We're generally OK with 'No shoes. No shirt. No service.' Some restaurants require a tie. I can't go to my place of work in a thong and keep my job. There has to be some middle wherein an individual gives up their absolute right to wear anything they want, in order to exist among others.

I think the recent action on capitol hill to loosen the 'no sleevless' dress code for congresswomen was great, but would we be OK with congressmen asking for the same? https://www.vanityfair.com/style/.../con…

I consider myself a feminist, and am not much bothered by how others dress, but I am confused that any discussion of what is appropriate dress--in certain contexts--for women seems to swing immediately to the extremes, e.g., leggings on a plane.

Am I missing something?

Why is it unreasonable for her to offer to cover up a little: find a balance between his comfort and hers. If I were her, I might take the initiative. If I was feeling non-sexy times, I might just opt for the PJ bottoms. Is it really inappropriate for him to ask? If it doesn't go without saying: this is not about his prerogative, but about domestic compromise.

I live with two women who don't always bother with clothes. Not a problem for me. But if it were, would I be an agent of the patriarchy for asking them to consider my comfort? I don't walk around with my dick hanging out (in my own home), as I'm sure that would make them uncomfortable (in their own home).

Bonus gem, UK students protest trouser requirement: www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-403646…
32
I'm anti sitting around on the couch in my panties. That's *really* not a lot of separation of my couch upholstery from my sweaty ass/crotch after a day of work.

Reconsider, undies sitters.
33
Sportlandia, please don't start commenting on how/why women buy what underwear they buy

Why not?
34
Ophian, it is so good to see you! Thank you for mentioning the idea of it being just as wrong to force women OUT of modest clothing as to force them into it. I'm not sure why Dan and the commentariat have this mistaken notion that women who dress to the modesty standard of their religion of choice are being forced to do this and that it is strictly for the benefit of men. Yes, there are a few countries where this is legally enforced. But compared to how many women choose to dress modestly, that is a very small percentage. That was really starting to irritate me. As far as the LW, my husband has something of the same issue. He swears he can't help it, he just can't keep his hands off me and gets hard snuggling or whatever. I am currently having some health issues that are causing a sexual mismatch. It is really a non-issue. We either have sex, he takes care of it himself or I lend a hand if I feel up to it, or we do nothing and it eventually subsides on its own. A boner is not a demand for sex. As far as her putting more clothes on, she may have offered in exasperation, but if he is not pressuring her for sex but she feels put upon because he has a chubby then maybe covering up would ease her mind as well. Yeah, you can wear what you want in your own house, but you still have to deal with the consequences of that, including possibly causing friction with others you live with. I don't question the longevity of their marriage based on the age difference, but possibly on their communication skills an (in)ability to compromise...Finally, @23 beat me to it. My first thought was that the letter is a humble brag.
35
Is she leading him on with g strings and boxer knickers which show off the arse , the good arse, so well. I don't think she's consciously doing it, and why would it be an issue to ask her to put on some light clothing, if it's hot. Taking care of her husband is part of the contract.

36
@27 Actually, im very much in favor of using clothing to signify your own hotness and to tease the spouse who might be physically attracted to you. And, as I've said, I'm all for using casual nudity as a come on to your partner. So, yeah, I'm saying that lounging around in a sheer pair of panties and a short t-shirt can be construed as a come on to your partner, even if it wasn't intended to be. We read into symbols and body language every hour of every day; sitting around near naked is sexy and I think that it's foolish to claim otherwise (unless it's 95 with no air conditioning).

It's kind of like if I put a pot of water on to boil and my partner thought I was making spaghetti and wanted some of my pasta. But, really I was making jello shots. I can't fault him for thinking I was making pasta, as I make pasta more frequently than Jell-O shots. If he wants pasta, he can make some himself because I'm not in the mood for pasta. I liked Dan's suggestion about jerking off alone when the hot new wife wasn't in the mood, because I'd get mad if my manbaby couldn't make his own damn spaghetti. But, I'm not going to pretend that I didn't signal that I could be making pasta by putting a pot of water on to boil around dinner time. And my boyfriend shouldn't get mad at me for not doing what he wants at all times.
37
I don't see why a pair of comfy pants is such a huge ask--given she offered. It's not like the totality of comfortable clothes in the world consist of undies. There are plenty of ways to be comfy--and she obviously knows this, so I suspect she enjoys how much her body turns her on, and that in general it's a source of pleasure for both of them. If it's actually become a problem, and it's a problem for her because it bugs her, she can stick on some old jeans or some of those strange omnipresent yoga pants or whatever. Easy, and not, in my opinion, at all unreasonable (sorry EmmaLiz). It sounds to me like he's reading an issue into this because of one time where she wasn't in the mood. Or else bragging.

I do think it's hard to buy underwear that aren't pretty sexualized already (especially if you're 22). Even comfy cotton undies have their own sexualized story in plenty of porn (see: schoolgirl). If she's got a hot bod she'd probably have to do some real work to find some undies that don't flatter. And if she did, she might not like them--I enjoy "pretty" undies even when I'm not wanting sex, they make me feel good, and conversely I wouldn't wear undies I thought were ugly. But if I'm walking around in the house in only my undies, you better bet I'm up for being jumped! It doesn't mean I'm actively attempting to start something--but that I'm up for it, for sure!
38
...her body turns *him* on, ack, sorry.
39
I recently visited a friend who lives in Germany. It was summer and it was hot, and she adapted by going around the house in underwear. But not just underwear. This gal is stylish; she wears matching lingerie sets just as a matter of course. And she has a perfect body. It was excruciating. She had no idea. Her ex, my friend, said she'd do that at parties in front of single guys, completely oblivious to the effect she was having.

I think there needs to be a bit of column A, bit of column B. This young wife (oxytocin is a hell of a drug, makes people do stupid things, like propose to 21-year-olds) may be unaware, or may have been unaware, that her nearly-naked hot 22-year-old body is a siren of seduction. Now she knows. Perhaps she could wear less seductive garments when she's not in the mood for sex. Like granny pants instead of see-through ones, or slightly longer T-shirts. And HARD can go masturbate when he gets horny and she isn't.
40
Having caught up on all the comments, I nominate Ophian @31 as winner of the thread.
41
Communicate about it, and find your balance.

My husband is the most forward person I've ever dated when it comes to how I turn him on, and I wouldn't trade that. But I do sometimes have to just let him know if I'm not in the mood (as another commenter said I can get the lusty eyes from wearing my robe and it gaps open or walking back from the shower...doesn't really matter).

We both go pantsless at home quite often, and that's part of the charm of a partnership - getting to be totally comfy at home. It's also a perk that you can get comfortable enough to talk more about sexytime...instead of having to second guess and play it cool. Lean into this and find a way for you both to feel comfortable at home.
42
I, too, am on board with Ophian. One reason why I don't find the idea of clothing compromise heretical is because as the guy, I would be willing to do the same regarding my leisure clothing or facial hair or whatever.
43
Opposite opinion here-- I wear as non-sexualized underwear as you can. Plain white cotton panties with a full coverage supportive bra or sometimes a plain white non-tight t-shirt. Around the house for comfort I'm generally in hospital scrubs or yoga pants or pajamas or sweat pants. And all that's sexy! I could wear a burqua, and that would be sexy. This is because straight men find women sexy, especially women they could be having sex with and have had great sex with before. HARD could ask his wife to cover up more in the house. (Not the same as controlling women's sexuality or dictating to her. It's just 2 people coming to compromises as to what works for them.) I doubt it would work, but it's worth a try if HARD thinks it would make him more comfortable. I like Emma Liz's statement @27 that just because you feel turned on doesn't mean the other person is teasing.
44
As someone who comes home and strips down to a t-shirt and underwear, I'm sympathetic to anyone who does likewise. That said, there are limits too, right? I knew a woman who enjoyed walking around her apartment nude, which her female roommates weren't entirely happy about, and which routinely left visitors agog. As for HARD, he himself suggests that their sex life is good, so he does need to develop some self control to wait the few hours for the sex that his wife is often up for later that evening. Here, what strikes me about HARD is a sense of immaturity, particularly for a man in his 30s who was already married. Relationships change when you go from seeing a sex partner a few times per week to living together full-time, and it seems that there is something in this issue that suggests two people figuring out that transition. While I expect a 22 year old to still be less mature, I do expect an 30-something to be mature enough to navigate these issues better than HARD is doing so far, which may offer some explanation for the demise of his previous marriage.
45
Hi Tachycardia @34.
Thanks BiDanFan @40.
Good to see you guys.
Thanks mickey @42
46
Ophian,

Yes you are missing the fact that it's in her own home. I'm totally on board with you otherwise, so you don't have to conflate my statement that people should be able to wear whatever the fuck they want in their own living rooms with some larger issue of feminism or how women dress in public. She's sitting on her own fucking couch, in private, in her home!
47
I want to point out also that those of you claiming that sitting around in sweat pants or yoga pants are likely from cool and non-humid climates which is something we have discussed here before when talking about clothing and hygiene. Um, no. It's triple digits here right now and nearly 50% humidity. I'm going to lounge in the privacy of my own house in whatever the fuck I want, and if a romantic partner had a problem with that, he'd have to deal with it himself. I can't believe how many of you think it's ok for someone to dictate what another person wears at home in private, my god. This would be so totally unacceptable and unheard of even among pretty conservative and sex negative people I know that it makes me wonder if, like many other of our petty clashes, this is cultural/regional, hence my comment about the weather. You come home from work here and strip off the clothes. Most people would content themselves with baggy shorts, but I guess I've seen all my neighbors in various states of undress.
48
Emma @47, about this: "I can't believe how many of you think it's ok for someone to dictate what another person wears at home in private, my god."

I agree the local weather conditions may make extra clothes more or less reasonable. (Although there are plenty of clothes designed to be comfortable, cool, and fairly covering, if one bothers to look; e.g. everything worn by women in the secular parts of Turkey--long light flowing pants, etc.) But it's hardly dictating when the other person *already offered,* as this girl did.

Almost any request can be framed as an infringement on someone's autonomy, if that's the mood you're in. But it's unrealistic to think that a relationship will never involve accommodating a request by your partner. In this case the request is actually in order to make things easier for *her* as well, as he's only thinking about it so she can get a break from persistent attempts at sex.

No one is saying she *has* to put on more clothes, just that that would be an easy fix if she were willing...which she seems to be, or she wouldn't have offered.
49
@48: Ciods, between your comment here and on the weekly column thread, I'm your biggest fan!
50
Guy is hot for his wife. This is a "problem"? He doesn't say that it bothers her...I would think she would be happy that he thinks she's so sexy it makes him hard. Getting an erection is not a problem. The problem can be what you do with it. If you're demanding Wife services you every time the wind blows even if she's not in the mood, then that's a problem. You're an adult. You don't have to take orders from your dick. Try thinking with the big head.
51
Ciods: As for her offering, sure. I still think it's shit, but that's their business, their relationship and everyone is different. If she wants to do this, fine. I was responding to the thread here, not the letter, started by Sportlandia etc that it is fine to ask someone to cover up in their own home. No, it's not fine asking someone to cover up in their own home. It's not. And in real life, I can't say I know anyone who would think this is fine. (Regarding some of the anecdotes above, we are talking about spouses in their own homes, not room mates, visitors, other relatives, etc). There must be some reason why a stance that would be considered wildly unreasonable among everyone I know seems just fine among some people here. Perhaps culture/region is involved- like in the same way regions that experience long winters have social behaviors that are different, etc. So I was speculating that weather could influence it? I wasn't trying to claim she was simply dressing for the weather, etc. but rather trying to understand the discrepancy between an idea that would be extremely unreasonable to everyone I know (that you could tell someone to cover up in their own home) seems reasonable to so many of you.

"But it's unrealistic to think that a relationship will never involve accommodating a request by your partner." C'mon. I said, "No one should have to change the way they dress in the privacy of their own home" and it somehow morphs into never accommodating a request by a partner at all?

52
Also Ciods, it is absolutely miserable to wear long light flowy pants in triple digit weather with high humidity. And no, women in traditional clothing in countries with that climate are not comfortable. I know, I spent part of my youth wearing salwar kameez in Delhi summers as an alternative to jeans and it fucking sucked. When you are sitting indoors, they stick to you with sweat. Again, I'm not saying that this has jack shit to do with the LW, but if you've ever actually been in a culture that requires women to dress to accommodate other people's sense of decorum rather than her own physical comfort, even in her own fucking home, you all might not take it as such an innocent thing. Dan's right here.
53
EmmaLiz, this woman is twenty two, she's no teenager, just learning how her emerging woman's body has power. These guys have been together a while and she's not noticed how Ed Sherran her husband feels about her body... so why are these two stuck on this, after all the time they have been together. This is about looking after her marriage as well as finding comfort, and I can't believe she doesn't know that she's turning him on and then she rejects him. What is that?
54
The writes says, I thought I was better than this, better than what? His sexual partner, who is twenty two and one assumes has a hot body, is lying around in a see thru pair of knickers and he gets a hard on. This is what is known as stimulus and response. It won't always be thus, her body will sag and his dick go slow, for the moment this is the reality.
55
EmmaLiz, I live in a hot climate with high humidity, and actually grew up with a fair amount of nudity because air conditioning was a luxury we couldn't afford. Responding to the idea in general, and not specifically the LW, I do think that making a suggestion as to one possible solution for a problem, and dictating to someone, are two different things. Especially in the context of a marriage. My husband can suggest that I wear more modest clothes because he gets jealous when other guys look at me. I can do it, I can tell him to fuck off with that because his jealousy is his problem, or maybe I wear something slightly more covered up that still makes me feel sexy just because it is easiest for me and I don't feel like dealing with it anymore. That isn't the same as him telling me I HAVE to wear a maxi skirt and cover my hair, elbows, and collar bones. This is just an example. I think the main disagreement most people have with your statements is that you are making the husband sound very authoritarian and implying that the commentariat is unreasonable for saying that taking the wife up on the offer she made is okay, or that it is unreasonable of the husband to even suggest it. When you are brainstorming possible fixes, it is fine for her husband to throw it out there that maybe she should wear a slightly longer shirt or whatever, as long as she has veto power. A lot of bad ideas are bandied about before hitting on the right one in lots of scenarios involving more than one person. Most of us see that as a middle of the road approach instead of dictating to someone what they can and can't do in their own home.
56
The problem is not his boners, the problem is his hands, which he admits he can't keep to himself. (Okay, to the extent he can't keep his boners to himself, different body part, same problem). Learn how to enjoy your boners and your hands without inflicting them on her when she doesn't want that.

He says, "I couldn't keep my hands off of her but she wasn't in the mood and it started a fight" I suspect that meant that he couldn't keep his hands off her several times. Fondling your partner is one thing, and shouldn't necessarily provoke a sharp reaction on first contact. If it does, something bigger is wrong in your relationship. (Honks and gropes are a different story.) But if your partner expresses discomfort with whatever you are doing, don't make her ask you to stop more than once.
57
Emma @47: I was close to posting, and I guess I will now, a semi-flippant "Just turn the heating down, or the air conditioning up. Problem solved." Yes, if the choice is between giving your lover a view that will turn them on when you don't actually want sex versus being hot and sticky and uncomfortable, the choice is obvious! But HARD doesn't say that he lives in Florida. Weather may or may not be a contributing factor to Mrs HARD's loungewear choices.

Donny @50: If they got into a big fight over it, I'd say it bothers her.
58
I'm really amazed at how many people feel that their experiences or opinions are, or should be, the same as others. She can wear whatever the fuck she wants and they can marry whomever the fuck they want. Your preferences don't have any bearing on what their preferences, or actions, should be. I really expected better from stranger readers.
59
EmmaLiz, maybe I'm the only one but I completely agree with you. And I've just read this whole discussion while sitting in my panties and a t-shirt ;)

The thing is, I put a lot of thought and effort into my look while I'm out. I usually wear either tight jeans or tight skirts. The first thing I do after coming home ... okay, first I wash my hands, but the second thing I do is :
- pants/skirt off!
- bra off!
followed by a huge sigh of relief.
So the idea of being mindful what I wear not just outside, but inside my very own house... ugh. See, this is why I'm single, and not even trying to change it :D
60
Ladyaspen @58: You expected human beings with no personal knowledge or connection to letter writers to refrain from projection?
Bwahahahahaha.
61
@51/EmmaLiz: Sure, it's always possible that this letter was written from a part of the world in which there is extreme heat and humidity and homes typically don't have air conditioning, but I think we can put the issue of climate aside. HARD doesn't mention extreme weather, just that his wife comes home after work and strips down.

I'm wondering what the normative value is of treating roommates different from spouses, in light of the fact that both situations involve people in their own homes, which is the key point you're emphasizing. Is it is simply that you have sex with your spouse and are expected to see them naked? But that gets to the heart of HARD's letter, seeing his wife mostly naked is triggering his sexual response.

At the very least you're suggesting that there are no limits to anyone's desire to staying comfortable in front of their spouse, including complete nudity. Would it be fine is someone's spouse wanted to be naked at all times in the home? If not, where do we draw the line? In part, we're all imagining HARD's wife in somewhat varying amounts of undress, based on the cut of her underwear and t-shirt.
62
EmmaLiz @46: You are missing the fact that it's in his own home, too.
63
Ophian @62: Exactly. Let's postulate for a minute that I love heavy metal. My spouse hates it. Playing the music I like is very distressing for them. Do I cling to the concept that I have the right to play whatever music I like in my own home, or do I take my spouse's feelings into consideration? Or let's say that I suffer from the cold, and my spouse always cranks up the aircon, leaving me shivering.

Mrs HARD offered to cover up; she obviously has more concern about her husband's comfort than those who are asserting her absolute right to wear whatever she wants, regardless of its effects. I'm sure these two can find a compromise. That's what relationships are about.
64
ladyaspen@58 ~ ...many people feel that their experiences or opinions are, or should be, the same as others...
Perhaps you've missed the point of a comments board, it's where strangers post their opinions. I don't think most commenters think their opinions need to be the same as others (though some probably do). Doesn't matter one way or the other. We all know opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one. Feel free to agree or disagree.

Unless it's my opinions that you're talking about. Then all commenters are bound by common law to agree with me.
65
@58, ladyaspen. when someone writes into Dan, they hope to be published and they know the comments will follow Dan's response. It's ok, they are big people. And no, she can't wear whatever she wants in a shared household, if the other person, her husband, is being unnecessarily aroused by it. And throwing on loose cotton clothing is not like pushing out a baby.
66
Lava@65 ~ Wait, what?! Throwing on loose cotton clothing not like having a baby? How about a really tight wool sweater?
67
What I was implying Donny, is this situation is easy to solve and it's really not that painful unlike some other situations this young woman may experience. If these two can't work together here.. forget the babies.
68
As I said BDF, I was not trying to make the claim that she or anyone else was trying to stay cool. I was making the claim that culture could influence the way we approach these things, and weather is one of the things that affects culture. So, for example, in Austin, it's legal for women to walk around topless. They don't do it much (not at all outside of watering holes) but it's perfectly legal, despite being pretty damn anti-woman otherwise. It's also an extremely casual place- you can go out to dinner in shorts, tank top and flip flops. Obviously this has to do with culture as influenced by the weather, so it seems absolutely insane to me that people would have a problem with someone sitting around home in their undies. This laxer attitude towards dress must have to do with culture and weather. As I've said, I've seen most of my neighbors in various states of undress.

As for just cranking up the a/c, how nice for you that you live in a place where everyone has central air and disposable income. Or else you have no idea what it would require for an average person to cool a house when it is triple digits and humid out. True that people in suburbs and newer apt/condos manage just fine- in fact I'm just freezing in their homes. But that's not the norm for average people in this region and it was nonexistent in India when I was young. You keep your house livable, and it's still damn fucking hot.

Ophian, I'm not missing that fact. He also can dress however the he pleases in his own fucking house.

@Sublime, re: weather see my response to BDF. Re: nudity, uh yes. If someone wants to be nude at home (with no children, no guests) I don't think a partner has any right to tell them to dress otherwise. Likewise with any other style choices. Hopefully nudists and casual dressers and people who like to wear clothing that is gender non-conforming and any other variations of what is considered a 'norm' (which, as I was trying to say, is probably cultural/regional in the first place) should probably work this shit out before they get married and make sure they are compatible. Returning to the letter, at which point did the LW decide he no longer likes the way his wife dresses at home? Or did she only recently start taking off her pants?
69
And the difference between room mates and spouses, obviously, is life long commitment and intimacy.
70
@Tachy, Thanks, that's because (as is often the case with online discussions) we get confused about what we are arguing about. I guess that's the fun in it. My response was to Sportlandia's question above about whether or not it's wrong for a spouse to ask the other to cover up in their own home. My stance is absolutely yes which is different than the specifics of this letter in which the young wife has offered. It's their marriage and their arrangement which I personally would find totally unacceptable but that's different than a general statement that it's acceptable for spouses to tell the other to cover up at home.
71
You keep missing the point here EmmaLiz. If he was behaving or dressing in a way which disturbed her for some reason or another, one would expect him to listen to her too. This is a marriage, not a battle ground.
72
This man is driving himself crazy by her dress, this is what the problem is. He'd probably be slightly aroused whatever she put on, thats his problem, if she has clearly stated by her dress she is not available for the charging dick. Cmon. This guy is in his early thirties.
And after a long day at work having an argument about sex is the last thing she or he want or need, to keep this marriage going.
73
Yes these issues are cultural and situational. Not a question I'd expect Dan would get from Saudi Arabia.
74
Emma @68: I live in London. No one has central air. See? Unlike you, I'm allowing for the possibility that this LW possibly lives in a climate that's different to mine. See also my comment @57 wherein I allowed that temperature-based comfort does outweigh the side effect of unintentionally provoking lust. You are definitely over-projecting if you're making the assumption that these people live in a climate that's just as hot and humid as the one you're enduring. Sending sympathies; being hot and sticky does suck (I happen to have lived in the southern US, and been poor and non-air-conditioned, so I do get it). But your overheated brain is jumping to conclusions not supported by the facts stated in the letter.

This is not about whether spouses have a right to ask each other to cover up. This is about whether spouses should be considerate of each other's comfort. My vote is that yes, they should.
75
@69/EmmaLiz: "And the difference between room mates and spouses, obviously, is life long commitment and intimacy."

Yes, the difference between roommates and spouses does have obvious differences, but you don't unpack how that effects the normative value for which you have been arguing. You started off stating a normative position that people can dress (or not) how they choose in their own home. The central fact being, it is their own home. But if you concede that the rules are different for roommates then being in your own home is not what matters.

So now your position seem to be that a life long commitment and intimacy are what matters, but you don't explain how that supports your normative value, and as LavaGirl and BiDanFan have said, life long commitment require a degree of flexibility to produce a harmonious union.

@68/EmmaLiz: Topless is street legal in New York State.

"Returning to the letter, at which point did the LW decide he no longer likes the way his wife dresses at home? Or did she only recently start taking off her pants?"

My guess, given Mrs. HARD's age, is that like many couples, they did not live together prior to marriage. Perhaps they were together just on weekends, or maybe also a night or two during the week as the relationship became more serious. In such a scenario, its not unlikely that they would have sex in morning and at night on the weekends, and if they saw each other during the week, they were always having sex. Now, they're spending longer periods of time together at home and sex isn't happening everyday, or not shortly after getting together. Or perhaps when they didn't live together, Mrs. HARD didn't strip down the moment she came over to HARD's home. HARD and Mrs. HARD didn't know this might be an issue until it was an issue.

76
@EmmaLiz: I was refused service at a bar in Austin [Parmer Lane Tavern of all places] for wearing a tank top--in triple digit weather. My anecdata cancels your anecdata, and the point stands: spouses owe each other consideration, even in--especially in--their own home.
77
To paraphrase Heinlein, if a machine consists of parts rubbing up against each other, to keep it working, you need lubrication. Society is such a machine, people are the parts, and manners, consideration, and courtesy are the lubrication. Spouses spend more time rubbing up against each other (heh) than anyone else--hence they need *more* consideration and manners with each other, not less.
78
(That wasn't directed at anyone, I just like that analogy.)
79
Way to many responses to be bothered to see if someone else has already suggested this. But why isn't communicate then masturbate the advice here.

Showing that you desire your partner is not something I would advise anyone to quell. Sounds like they already know when she's not up for it. "No problem, I'm just going to go have a wank so we can watch the movie in peace, you're so hot!"