*mwah*, Hulk dear. Oh, how we've missed you.
Great answer.
yes, you, Dan Savage, are a fucking sex advice ninja.
Me, I think Dan's off-base here. This guy is GREAT at communicating:
"He loves for me to act as though I'm fucking his friends, he begs me to call out their names during sex, he wants to me to tell him what I would do to them, etc."

She knows just how to please her guy, because he has told her so. If he wanted her to actually do it, he'd hand her a phone and give her a script to say.

The part missing from Dan's answer is that many guys want something very much when they're horny, and then really don't want it after they come. I learned that from Dan. He wrote about the guys who beg for gay sex, and then deny taking part after the guy pulls out of them.

When he's not horny, PHM's boyfriend does not want her to fuck his friends. When he is horny he does. The solution for that is what they've been doing for eight years. She should bring up anything she wants to do herself, as Dan suggests. But there's no reason to ask awkwardly if he really wants her to fuck his friends. Because if he did, I'm thinking she would already know.
Or, shorter @5: "So it stands to reason that your boyfriend would've asked you to fuck his friends by now if he wanted you to fuck his friends."
I salute the LW for a letter that comes a good deal closer than most to gender neutrality. As for the answer, I shall be kind and assume the evidence that the BF has had previous girlfriends and is entirely straight was edited for space, although that could be a little on the unfair side.

Now I'm wondering how much the dynamic would change if the BF were bi.
I think the evidence that the LW is a straight girl and not a gay man is pretty clearly the fact that the LW has been with its boyfriend for eight years and has not fucked a single one of his friends.
You know what's not cool? The two of you involving his friends in your sex life - to the point it's affecting your relationship with them - WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT. It would be one thing if he were asking you to pretend to be fucking anonymous, non-named generic other guys, but you're invoking very specific people in your bedroom and it's bleeding over into your friendships. THAT'S GOT TO STOP.

Either it stops by you changing around the script for this fantasy, or by getting your boyfriend to have a man-to-man with his friends and letting them know he gets off on the idea of you fucking other guys, specifically them. They ought to have the right to tell him "Ew, dude, I'm not down with that!" or "Whatever floats your boat!" or "Want me there for real?"
@7: He's great at communicating in the heat of the moment, he's bad at communicating any other time, or she wouldn't be confused.
@11: Agreed. It is entirely reasonable to believe that he can only say what he wants at the point when his horniness outweighs his shame. This is also the case with the types of closet case referenced in @5. It wasn't that they weren't gay when they weren't horny - it was that they couldn't admit they were gay when they weren't horny.

Discomfort and shame around talking about sex when one is not having it is a very, very, common affliction. It's one that people should really try to get over, but it's a real thing. It doesn't mean that people don't want what they want.
@11/12, Well, okay. I see your point. (And Dan's point. Apologies for saying you got it wrong, Dan.)

The analogy, if fully spelled out is:
Closet case gets horny when alone; he masturbates and thinks about guys and then represses that idea once he comes. If he's with a gay dude, he seizes the opportunity and admits his need, and then represses that idea once he comes.

Similarly, LW's BF gets horny with his girlfriend, and tells her what to say, then represses the idea once he comes. But if they were with his friends, and he got horny, he might seize the opportunity and admit what he really wants. To @10's everlasting satisfaction, that might lead to the couple admitting their fantasy life to the friends, in hopes of seducing (one of) them.

So now my advice for the LW is she should take the BF aside at a get-together with one of the friends and whisper sexy fantasies in her BF's ear. Make him face it when that shit's real and he's horny.

Until you ask, the answer is always no.
My man loves for me to call him by my ex's name and for me to tell him how hard he used to fuck me.
Gender neutral indeed. I can't tell whether LW is a gay guy or a straight woman. How is everyone so sure LW is female?
@9 truer words were never spoken
@16: All the "she"s in the letter were a subtle clue.
Yup. Straight girl with a cuckold-curious straight boy.
@10, please to explain how the hypothetical fuck buddies are harmed by this fantasy.

All I see is thoughtcrime. What they don't know doesn't hurt them.
I didn't read Dan's response yet, or the above comments yet, because I started reading and was like... you guys have been together 8 YEARS AND YOU'RE NOT COMMUNICATING THIS SIMPLE SHIT??

Good god this entire country needs an enema.
@Slartibartfast: Wow, you make a good point.

Well, I guess this is as good a time as any to let you know that I get super turned on by people on the internet who over-moralize sex to the point of absurdity, and, um, I've been jacking off like a 14 year old to your comments.

You cool with that?
Thanks again, seandr! You crack me up.
Yeah, @22, I love your posts.
I said "closer than most" and shall ignore the slur. The phrasing change between paragraphs would be jarring for a man but flows much better for a woman.

Ms Erica - granted, it's to a great extent a question of degree, but her getting him to the point he'd likely need to reach would be such a blatant display of Couples Privilege that no self-respecting friend of theirs who saw it would accept any proposition from them. Of course, that isn't necessarily a point against the course of action.

I could see a little something in M? Bart's post @10, but think that unnamed and generic goes too far. If I had time, I'd go into Ariadne Oliver's reflections on Constance Carnaby - maybe later.

There are some things we seem reasonably able to assume about the letter, and some we don't really know. I'm curious about how strongly Mr Ophian feels that the BF is specifically straight. Again, if my connection hadn't conked out for an hour and a half this morning, I'd have explained this thoroughly; I'll attempt it later.
My god, is EVERYONE a slut? @9. Thanks for the great comment.
I'm guessing the bf has the hots for his friends and this is the closest and only way he can allow himself to get off on it. He is fantasizing about them, each of them, fucking her. He is fantasizing about and getting off on them, she is just the element in the fantasy that makes the whole thing acceptable to him.
@20 @22 I couldn't care less if you want to jack off to my comments (I am female, by the way) - but that's because I don't know you and I don't have an ongoing non-sexual relationship with you. In her letter, PHM says "It also makes me feel awkward when we hang out with his friends because I can't help thinking about how many times I've come while shouting out their names." Her boyfriend's cuckolding fetish - and the fact that they're using these guys over and over - is causing her non-sexual relationship with these guy friends to become something awkward and sexual. That's not cool, and it's especially not cool because they'd probably be creeped out knowing their friends (both halves of the couple) are fantasizing about them in bed.

Daydream about fucking your friends all you want to - but when it starts affecting your ability to treat them as a friend, you're going too far.
@10, that's crazy talk. If we all had to confess filthy thoughts about our friends, we'd have less friends and more fuck-buddies. Hey, wait a minute...why did I think your idea sucked?

I can think of nothing creepier than this dude confessing to his pals that he gets off on his gal calling out their names during sex, and is that okay with them? That's ridiculous. Right now, it's the couples dirty little secret, and that's hot. No one gets hurt. Confess, and the friends will have to find a new bar. And that hurts.

It's an entirely different matter if he approaches one, tells him they're in an open relationship, and would he like to fuck his girlfriend, no strings? Either he says, hell yeah, or no thanks. A moment of awkwardness, perhaps, but he'd have to be flattered. Your idea, @10, sounds like a mandate from the Thought Police.
@18 (undead ayn rand): There are no "shes" in the original letter, nor in Dan's response, but I still think it is a woman, because I can't imagine a man, gay or straight, who'd over-think this non-issue this much, who'd wonder so hard for 8 years and not at least bring the subject up. The fact that the lw describes the relationship as "AMAZING" suggests a (young) woman to me, as does the fact that the lw peppers the letter with what should be assertions turned into questions: ("Weird, huh?" "But to a certain extent I wonder if this could be healthy? Or if this is something that he might really want to explore? "). I can practically hear her voice go up at the end of most sentences. I am almost positive it's a woman. Alas, I'd like to think it's a very young woman, but unless they got together when she was ten years old or so, given the eight years' duration of this relationship, she has to be in at least her mid-late twenties, which is just depressing to me.

Anyway, the response should follow from the question: what do YOU want? What do you want to do? Do you want to fuck these friends of your boyfriend? If so, you should bring the topic up at a time when you're not having sex. Do you want your boyfriend to stop doing this because you are becoming uncomfortable when you socialize with his friends? Then you need to have a talk in which you tell him how uncomfortable this is beginning to make you, and perhaps you ask him if it is okay for you to dirty talk about someone else, someone you don't interact with socially.

Perhaps this would lead to him telling you exactly what he wants/gets out of this fantasy: is it the cuckolding, the hot-wifing? Is he really fantasizing about control? Does he want a safe and ostensibly straight way to fantasize about his friends? Make it clear that you won't judge him regardless of what his motivation is.

Then, if and when you find out what it is, you two can decide together what to do differently so that you don't feel uncomfortable. Or would you simply feel less uncomfortable when you socialize with his friends if you knew that he didn't really want to realize this fantasy?

But as far as worrying about whether or not this is healthy, and does he REALLY want one of his friends to bone you, let those things go. If he REALLY wanted this to happen, he would have told you/asked you by now. If you aren't interested in having sex with one of his friends, and are concerned that the negatives would outweigh the positives, don't offer to do it, especially since he isn't asking you to.

Bottom line: less worry about him; more self-assertion for you should be what guides you.
@8: The LW is describing their own specific situation. They're not under any obligation to neutralize the genders involved, and neither is anyone else that writes in.

@29: Or she could just do what grown-up, responsible adults do and get over her shit. I'd wager that most people have fantasized about a friend during sex or masturbation, and only someone who can't handle their shit, or who wants their friend to know, would have a difficult time keeping IRL and ITOM (in their own mind) segregated. It's not that hard.
@30: It does sound like they don't have a firm grasp on the air-gap between fantasy and reality.

@29: "that's because I don't know you and I don't have an ongoing non-sexual relationship with you"

It's not "disrespecting" a friendship to have a sexual fantasy about someone, ~especially~ if it's something you have zero desire to act upon IRL.
@31 You need to read Dan's response more carefully. "She" is used 4 times in the 4th paragraph. "Girlfriend" is used in the sixth.
I add my voice to the chorus of "Slartibartfast is insane." @10

As a woman you need to accept the fact that countless guys you know have masturbated thinking about you. This includes almost every boy you went to high school and college with. It includes lots of older men who would it shock you to even imagine with their pants down. It's what we do.

It's also a reason why private thoughts are private. People are free to imagine whatever they want in the privacy of their own heads. There is no such thing as requiring someone's consent to use them in a fantasy. The gulf between what they are doing and people who involve others in their sex lives by acting out 24/7 domination games in front of others or who intentionally reveal other aspects of their sex lives is vast.

I do agree with you that what is happening is a little weird because the LW feels weird about it. That has to do with the LW and the boyfriend exclusively though, it has nothing to do with the rights of the other (ignorant) parties.
@34: Oops. I guess I was only responding to the original letter, not Dan's reply (at least past the first paragraph).

But even without Dan's "shes" it seems to be written by a woman. Note the effusiveness ("I LOVE YOUR COLUMN!" at the beginning) which also acts as a way of begging permission to be heard (you catch more flies with honey . . .), as well as the assumption that Dan will be doing her a special honor if he find the time to answer her questions (" P.S. Hope you can find the time to answer my questions.")--he's an advice columnist, and the final, sycophantic plea ("I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!"). The profusion of exclamation points also suggests it's written by a woman.

I suppose it could be written by a man, but everything in this style in which it was written, not to mention the content itself screams apology and self-abnegation, lack of assertiveness, and a general desire to not upset anyone, ever, all traits unfortunately belonging almost exclusively to women.
I wasn't criticizing your analysis :). I'm just an Asperger's person being Asperger's-y. You got a trivial detail wrong: that, to me, is like a red flag to a bull. That you identified the writer's gender from the letter is points to you.

But all those elements of writing style that you identify as exclusively female are ways that I occasionally (OK, very occasionally) write myself, and might well use if I were writing to Dan. (Yes, he's an advice columnist, but he's a BUSY advice columnist. He's probably not going to answer MY letter, so how do I increase my chances of getting his attention?) Yes, it's related to non-assertiveness and a desire not to offend anyone, but I am quite capable of those things despite being male.

I do agree with most of your advice to her. The exception is that, if I'd been in her boyfriend's position, I'd certainly have been capable of not communicating what I really wanted to happen for 8 years, so I don't think she should completely assume that he doesn't want it to happen.
@10: Should I call up all my hot friends from college I haven't seen in years and tell them I still masturbate to them occasionally? I am sure they would appreciate being able to fully consent to being a fictional element in my solo sex life. And it would in no way harm our current relationship.
I would like to meet 10 halfway. I think it's cool to fantasize about people all you want. You can't really help it, in fact. I know it happens to me. I've once seen the change in someone's face as something I said flipped a switch in his brain. We laughed it off and it's all good.

But. . .
What's not cool is the fact that this single fantasy on endless repeat is straining friendships. They need to mix it up a little for now, just till the LW can cleanse her(?) mind a little. Airing these fantasies would NOT ease the strain on these friendships, so i don't think that's the solution. Basically, I think they're wearing away a rut in the road in a way similar to single masturbatory styles do. This is the deathgrip, but with extra fallout.
Holy shit, sluttybarfface, get over your silly fucking self.
Mr Chase - I never suggested anyone was OBLIGED to make a letter gender-neutral. It is just that, IF a LW is going to send in a letter that does not make a clear presentation, it's a quality I appreciate. Such a LW is not dropping hints and expecting everyone to interpret them correctly; people who do that instead of making a clear presentation irritate me. I'd have had fun with this letter in August, when I treat everyone who is not an admitted heterosexual as a same-sexer. (I really am going to have add a bicentric month as well to combat presumed monosexuality.)

An example of such a situation in a state of fluctuation is the married LW in the weekly column BBB, whom I am cutting some slack because the shift around the implications of the terms "wife" and "husband" has not yet settled. Not long ago, mentioning a husband or a wife was the most brief and efficient way to present as female or male. Soon such a mention without a presentation will read like nostalgia for heterosexual privilege. At the moment, things are unsettled.
To delight Ms Cute, I shall recall that distinguished literary critic who one declared the style of letter-writing among women to be perfect except in three particulars: a general deficiency of subject, a total inattention to stops, and a very frequent ignorance of grammar.

How would a modern Henry Tilney express himself?
Bother - "who once declared"
Stop calling @10 insane, etc. It's shitty asshole behavior. I don't agree with what she's saying, but I'm not being a dick muffin about it. Yeesh.
@nocutename: Very sharp analysis.

I "knew" this letter was written by a woman just from reading it, but I couldn't have told you why other than to say it was something about the style.
@44: It's pretty bizarre and unhealthy to try to control the brains of others. She needs to MHOB, she's harming herself with this obsession and not in any way "protecting" anyone's "honor".
@37 (Old Crow): Well, I didn't mean that no man ever could ever write like that, nor that all women always do. But it's a very feminized style.

Also you say that it's possible that even after 8 years of not explicitly saying, during a non-sexual, in-the-heat-of-the-moment context, her bf wants to realize his fantasy. That's entirely true. My point and advice to her rests, however, on what SHE, herself, wants. And if the only reason she would do this when she worries that the harm would outweigh the good, is to satisfy him, I'm suggesting she not. Or at least that she not be the one to suggest it. So far, her boyfriend seems to be content enough with the dirty talk, although even that is giving her problems. I want her to advocate for herself.
@29: Telling me what I am and am not allowed to think about you in the privacy of my own brain, in the privacy of my own home, is FAR more intrusive and inappropriate than anything I might think there, even if it makes me faintly awkward around you, provided I don't actually bring it up to you.

1984 called. They want their Thoughtcrime back.

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