Savage Love Letter of the Day: A Tall Order

Comments

1
"p.s. Also, people who hang out with us for longer than ten minutes at a time all tend to kill themselves immediately by jumping into traffic, or off the nearest bridge or building. Why do you think that is?!? HALP!"
2
>>However, it is extremely difficult to ask someone, "Hey, we want to date you, but only as a unit, how do you feel about that?" Such a proposition can't really be executed in a typical dating format as it requires such explicit exposition." >>

I don't really understand why that is especially difficult. Why not go to the potential candidate you have in mind, and ask him if he'd like to get coffee sometime with the two of you, or come over for a board game, or go shoot some hoops, or dress in furry outfits, or get high, or whatever it is you kids do for fun these days? If he's the kind of person who will go for your eventual proposal, then he's probably the kind of guy who might say yes to a friendly, low-stakes, free drugs invitation to hang out. And then that would help with the "we don't know him especially well" part.
3
This sounds weird enough to be awesome. And there's sex!
4
I'm really confused.....
5
I don't mean this in a mean way but this may be the weirdest letter yet, and my first instinct is to say this isn't healthy at all. I suspect their friendship is held together more by the fear of anxiety and panic attacks than... I don't know, real friendship. It's not good to fear solitude. Maybe she needs a service dog to help her with her anxiety attacks.

If they're looking for someone open to anything, maybe they should try the man who was branded by the media as the "cannibal cop," Gilberto Valle. He was arrested for writing cannibal fetish stuff on the internet, and ultimately found innocent of any wrongdoing, but now nobody wants to date him. So he's probably desperate.

This is why I'm not an advice columnist.
6
I think this starts out with more cuddle piles, less verbalization.

If you ask the guy to do something with both of you, and he says no to that, then this wasn't going to work however you explained. If you do some date-like things with him and both of you, and you avoid his getting the idea he's dating just one (okay that may be the trick), then at some point you do need to explain some things, but he'll probably get the basic picture before you say anything.

Yeah, any given candidate is a pretty long shot, but what the hell.
7
This letter is terrific and the relationship sounds as if it will be perfect for someone.

But @2,
Maybe the now -couple could invite the 3rd leg to do something total ordinary like "How about dinner?"
8
I consider myself more empathetic than most, but I can't begin to identify with somebody who describes themself as "asexual agender".
9
"asexual agender gay", actually. So does this person have a male body or a female body? I suppose a male body because they (the couple) are looking for a boy. In which case the boy must be bi, but asexual on the gay side.
10
@1 nailed it.

It sounds like they have nothing to offer anyone that's remotely interesting to anyone but themselves.
11
Like a really navel gazing version of "difficult people" without any funny.
12
I think HALF is making this way more complicated for herself than it needs to be. She could frame this as a girl looking for NSA sex. She has a close male friend who meets her relationship needs, she just has sexual needs that aren't being met. Presumably her "asexual agender gay" friend has no sexual needs - he's "asexual" after all. If she needs the friend in case of emotional meltdown/panic attacks/whatever after NSA sex, then she can call him, or maybe he can hang out in the next room or something.
13
@robby.

Except I think the asexual man of the couple also wants a stiff cuddle with the boy friend as well. So I guess they need a bi dude into nsa. I don't know really how uncommon that type of person is. Stripped to its bare bones this sounds like the start of a triad.

I am not lw's target audience but the language she uses - hive mind etc. - would spook me more than anything. It sounds. ..messy but may not be at all IRL. Nsa is about avoiding drama.
14
"It sounds like they have nothing to offer anyone that's remotely interesting to anyone but themselves."

Isn't that fairly common?
I think most people are very interested in their own (and partners) sexual experience but have no interest in the broader worked (except in the very general sense that they hope others are enjoying their life.)
15
@5 Agreed. Look I'm going to be the party pooper and say this 'friendship' is NOT a good thing. Being unable to function without the person is not a sign of 'intense, deep, love'. I mean I can't help but feel you both would do better looking for a psychiatrist than a boyfriend because I get the feeling this relationship is really about you two avoiding dealing with your issues.

And this doesn't mean you can't love each other, live together, be each other's brother/sister-from-another-mother. It does mean you might get the tools to have some degree of independence, which is a good thing.
16
Speaking from experience I'm inclined to think that this relationship has pathological components. I certainly recognise the way in which (illegal) drugs are being used to self-medicate while being regarded as being taken recreationally.

I'm not suggesting that the relationship as it stands is all bad - it sounds like both parties have problems that being together helps - but I suspect this codependency is enabling avoidance of their underlying problems.

I am also not moralizing about substance use, I'm just highlighting that many years later these two may look back and realise that this didn't solve their problems, just made them more tolerable.

Before romance I would urge some therapy, they both need to understand objectively why they are doing everything that they can to make it virtually impossible to have intimacy with others.
17
DHR @13
Except I think the asexual man of the couple also wants a stiff cuddle with the boy friend as well.

Why would you think that? Isn't it the definition of asexual that they would not want that?

Or is "stiff cuddle" code that I don't get?
18
@17 I think literal cuddle, and or romance without the sex part. Asexuals don't necessarily want to completely avoid all physical/emotional intimacy, some may like closeness but they may just have little to no interest in actual sex acts. YMMV.
19
@18 Got it. So to sum up: the ideal candidate would a male-bodied heterosexual homoromantic.
20
Asexual/ gay just doesn't seem
possible. Coupled with the agender, and my head spins.
21
asexual/gay is not that complicatied (man who only wants to cuddle with other men, not have sex with them). Throwing the agender in there complicates things. I took it to mean that the "gay" part refers to biological sex here, not gender, concluding that the asuexual agender gay person looking for a "boy" must have a male body.
22
BTW, HALF, I know you didn't ask about this, but have you and your best friend talked about the possibility that your triad / semi-vee might blow up that relationship? Not saying don't do it (that would actually be a real worry if avoiding risk meant you were locked out of things you wanted to try), and there's a limit to how much you can reduce it, just to look at it together.

If you might be thinking "there's just no possibility, we'd never let that happen", that's maybe your sign you should take a square look at it.
23
I think you have take self-acceptance to the same place that Dexter Morgan did. I'm not suggesting that you beat yourselves up for your problems, but you really need to start working on them, say, like recognizing them as problems to be solved.

The first thing to do when trapped in a hole is to stop digging.
24
Astonished so much disapproval of a perfectly ordinary friendship. They get along fine except she wants a bit more cuddle?
Ever heard that one before in "trad" couples?
25
I don't dissaprove of co dependent relationships , c&d. I just don't think they are a good idea. People lose their sense of self, become scared to effect change without the others' approval.. I understand such situations, especially in one's late teens, early twenties. Moving into adulthood can be scary.
26
Asexual seems to throw people... it only means the person has no interest in sex. That doesn't mean they don't like romance, non sexual touching/play etc. If you've ever had a night where you were just not into sex but you cuddled your partner as they got off and you enjoyed it, then you just had an asexual experience. No biggie.

Agender is even less known than asexual, but it might have any of many meanings. The person is saying they don't have a gender, meaning that they don't identify with male or female. Agender/gay is more difficult to parse... but I think the commenter who said that the person is biomale and likrs to cuddle boys may have it right.

I think that the folk who suggested asking someone out as a duo and letting things develop is the best way to go and posting on kink website {fetlife comes to mind} where you can specify in a very detailed way what you are looking for. If BDSM is of interest, then Collarspace.com is another place to try.
27
@2: I don't think the duo is the issue though, it's the the codependency (which is an inherently negative trait.)

Friends and besties are great and come with a relationship package. A half-person, an unfull individual, yeah. I've met a few people who drag each other down under the guise of "support", but that's not what codependency is? If this is any healthier than it sounds, she really needs to couch things in way different terms. Because it's probably not going to attract healthy partners for her to hear from the get-go that she's not only prone to codependency but in a "relationship" that's not poly. I'd suggest she talk to a therapist about this situation, because while it is, and while she doesn't want to change, codependency isn't about making each other happy so much as filling a void poorly.
28
Doesn't seem like such a tall order to me. Lots of bi-identified-bi and straight-identified-bi guys are quite into persons of ambiguous gender - it's a big porn subgenre for which the audience is definitely not gay men. Having such an ambiguous partner in the picture (even if only for cuddles) seems doable.
29
@5: "I don't mean this in a mean way but this may be the weirdest letter yet, and my first instinct is to say this isn't healthy at all. I suspect their friendship is held together more by the fear of anxiety and panic attacks than... I don't know, real friendship. It's not good to fear solitude. Maybe she needs a service dog to help her with her anxiety attacks."

++++

Keeping a friend around like a service dog (and vice versa) brings up mental images of Grey Gardens, not a cohesive, strong unit.

I wish them well, but mostly I wish them the most happiness whether it's with each other or not.
30
I missed the part which shows how the coulee is codependent.
31
Sorry, couple.

In fact I think they sound great and should just realize it.
32
Y'all are super obnoxious and you probably have super obnoxious friends who will be down to test this backward idea.

A better gameplan would be to go to colleges a long, long way from each other.
33
I have read and re-read the letter and I don't see any copdepency. They like/love each other but like all relationships it is not perfect.

Could someone please explain what facts they see to even hint at codependency? Beyond her statement, which is irrelevant since even she offers no facts but merely a conclusion.
34
@33: They spend a shitton of time together, each of them has serious problems coping with life but uses the other as a crutch instead of actually working on their problems.

They do sound very young, and some of this will work itself out with some more maturity.
35
Here's the letter:
My best friend and I (straightish/not giving a fuck-ish female and asexual/gay agender) are in a rather codependent relationship. We are roughly equivalent from a psychological perspective, which is a rare find for such fucked up people. The differences that we do have tend to complete each other so that in many situations it is easier to function as a unit. One might think such codependency is unhealthy, but having a constant friend security blanket has made us both happier and calmer. I wake them up in the morning and help them with their makeup, they calm me down when I have panic attacks, and we hang out in the evenings. On weekends we are even more inseparable because we don't have school and can enhance our friendship with substance use. Essentially we function as a hive mind.

As one might imagine, such a clingy relationship is not conducive to dating. Given that my hive mind companion is asexual and I am terrible at selecting mates, neither of us are keen on spending less time together to pursue romantic interests. What our otherwise perfect ecosystem does seem to be missing a source of oxytocin, e.g. a boy to fuck/kiss and hold hands with, respectively. Naturally, it would be convenient for us to share the same boy.

It seems unrealistic to hope we will find a theoretical boy who is both kissable and who happens to be attracted to two people of significantly different aesthetic/gender and who is down for a particularly weird variation of polyamory. But we are hopeful. In fact, we may have located a potential candidate, though we don't know him especially well.

We have discussed the possibility enough that I think our friendship would survive any outcome of the situation. However, it is extremely difficult to ask someone, "Hey, we want to date you, but only as a unit, how do you feel about that?" Such a proposition can't really be executed in a typical dating format as it requires such explicit exposition. Then if the idea appeals to him we will need to provide further exposition about the exact sexual or emotional relationship between each party. (Essentially my friend probably won't be down for sex, I will be, threeways are unacceptable but we may want to make out with him concurrently, and we will always be closer to each other than to him.)

Do you have any advice on how to execute such a conversation?


I have questions, so many questions. How old are these two? Does the asexual/gay/agender friend have a biologically male or female body? Do they live together? If not for the fact that one of them is asexual and gay who seems to want some mild sexual touch (kissing, hand-holding, making out) and the other is a "straightish" female (who wants to have sex with a man), would they have the potential or interest in being a romantic couple?

In other words, I don't know if they approach this from the perspective of two friends looking for a joint boyfriend, two friends looking for a boyfriend for one of them who won't mind that his girlfriend's best friend will be around all the time, or a couple looking for a third? The boy that they want--does he have to be bi, or attracted enough to male bodies to want to do some kissing/hand-holding/making out with a male body, even if the person who has that body identifies as agender, or does the agender person have a female body, and the potential candidate only have to be attracted to female bodies?

I think the bigger issues are that these two self-identify as psychologically "fucked-up," and describe their relationship as "codependent" to the point where they can only envision functioning happily as a unit. A relationship can be mutually supportive and mutually nurturing without being codependent, and I think it would be a good idea for these two to find a way to see themselves more as individuals and less as one unit. The lw describes their relationship as "clingy," and that doesn't sound healthy. They should each be able to function without the other, even if they still want to do things together and are still best friends. Clinging to someone as if they were a life raft is not a good tool for navigating life. They may well have a "hive mind," but they have two separate bodies, and those bodies want separate things to happen with this theoretical boy, and at different times. So ultimately, this sense of being one unit is going to become problematic.

They seem young to me. They're still in "school," which could be high school, college, or post-grad, but it sounds like either high school, or early in their college years. The language--both diction and syntax--says "nerd" or "geek" to me, and I get the feeling that they both have a lot of social anxiety, and few other relationships. The way they conceive of this theoretical boyfriend, as a "source of oxytocin," and their use of the term "hive mind," which originated in the scientific community and is used by sci fi geeks and role-playing fantasists, suggests both youth and inexperience/awkwardness, and conveys the idea that this bringer-of-the-oxytocin won't be a truly equal or equally-valued member of the triad they hope to form.

I think they should each try to work on the specific respective issues that they each have and try to become less "fucked up," without sacrificing what sounds like a very valuable and supportive friendship before they start looking for a guy to bring the oxytocin.
36
Ditto undead@27 re:codependency, and in response to caution@33, not only does LW flatly state that she's in a "a rather codependent relationship" her "function as a hive mind" comment would be evidence enough. It sounds like they can't operate without each other, and that's not healthy.

But...regarding LW's wish to find a third for a sex triangle that involves her kinda weird, asexual gay(?) friend, I'm thinking it's not an insurmountable hurdle. Thinking back to my college days if any halfway decent girl had approached me with a "let's have sex - and - oh, by the way, do you mind if this other semi-creepy dude wants to hang out and watch?" kind of proposition, I probably would have said, "Hop on! I can tolerate him if it means getting a little."

A further note. I know I'm describing "boyfriend" as kinda weird, and creepy when he's probably a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. And, given the spectrum of weird that regularly appears here in SavageLoveLand he's not even a blip on the weirdness radar. But, I'm still a straight, midwestern guy and I guess it still shows at times. I'm thinking my "kinda strange, but I can live with it" reaction might be common to more than a few people.
37
Also realize I assigned male gender to agender friend, that's a regrettable mistake. Sorry.
38
LW, the way you describe sex as an oxy boost and your hive mind asexual friend sounds like deep erowid.org shit. Maybe you can get online over there and find some like-hive-minded neuro-adjusting alt-culture types? Sounds like the culture/psychoactive/whatevs stuff is most important for you.

As many have noted above, LW, you have a vagina, and if you're looking for penis-in-vagina-sex, and your male partner just wants to make out, tongue-in-mouth.

If you're cool with the 3rd person being NSA rather than hive-minded, then it should be easy on 3nder to find a bi third or heteroflex dude who'd totally be up to sex with you and making out w/ your asexual gay friend, whatever his physical anatomy. 3nder is Tinder for 3-ways.
39
@38: "3nder is Tinder for 3-ways."
Good to know. Thank you for that, delta35. There are so many possibly useful things out there in this brave new world, and I am so ignorant of most of them.
40
The LW is looking for "a source of oxytocin, e.g. a boy to fuck/kiss and hold hands with" and Dan replies with "The ideal boyfriend for you two—the perfect source of oxytocin—would be a fully programable sex robot."

Yet where is the condemnation of felony objectification this time? Dan - don't your words below from only 24 hours ago apply here as well?

"If you treat them only as objects - if you treat them like human Fleshlights, there to be used and discarded, without any consideration for their feelings, desires, or agency - then, yeah, you're an asshole who's objectifying/fetishisizing people in a dehumanizing way. Don't be an asshole."
41
I think nocute @35 sums it all up perfectly. LW indeed states explicitly that "we will always be closer to each other than to him" - which is either a rationalisation or a pretty instrumental way to treat another human, even a NSA provider to sex/cuddles.

But as far as proposing such an arrangement goes (and leaving aside all the other issues LW isn't asking advice on), I'm totally with EricaP @2 here - the LW (or the diad as the whole) doesn't need to do any standard "dating" stuff here.

It'd be much better to get to know your potential third (and let him know you a bit) first. You'll be able to gauge his feelings about your existing setup and his attraction to you (essential) and his, at the minimum, lack of physical repulsion towards your partner (also essential if you're to share him).
42
First of all, it is only HER description as codependent.

Further, suppose she described herself as a genius. Would you take that at face value? No. It would simply be some sort of description which might be totally humorous.

No, there are NO FACTS which suggests anything more then close friends. Now if you want to describe close friends as codependent, that may very well be true but then I would apply to millions and millions of people, and it may. People do depend on each which suggests anything more then close friends. Now if you want to describe close friends as codependent, that may very well be true but then I would apply to millions and millions of people, and it may. People do depend on each other.

No, I don't see any danger signs except in the readers of Slog, some of whom are both extremely judgmental and a bit naïve. And overly-imaginative too.
43
@caution&daring: I am not trying to be judgmental. If the way their friendship works now is working for them now, that's fine. If it continues to work over time, that's also fine. If it stops working and they change it to something that also works or works better as their needs change, that's fine, too. It only becomes a problem if it can't continue as it is now and they don't feel they can function successfully without it continuing as it is now. The dramatic, fairly hyperbolic tone reminds me of teenager/very young adult, and I know that non-romantic relationships are invested with a great deal of meaning and are extremely important when you're young. I suspect that as they get older, they will function less as a "hive mind," and more independently, while still continuing as dear and beloved friends.

I think all the "straightish/not giving a fuck-ish female and asexual/gay agender" labels are really window-dressing and a bit distracting. These are two very close people. They want something that neither of them can give the other, but they don't want to sacrifice any of the intensity of their current relationship in order to get it. So either they're young and this will resolve itself over time, or they'll find someone who fits into their relationship in a way that satisfies all three of them, or they'll spend a lot of strum und angst over this.
44
@42 "The differences that we do have tend to complete each other so that in many situations it is easier to function as a unit" <--that is codependency right there.

The LW further points out that she would like to have a boyfriend/fuckbuddy/whatever but is completely unwilling to unglue herself from her BFF for the few hours it would take to go on a date. That is codependency.
45
@nocute, you put it perfectly, especially here: "They want something that neither of them can give the other, but they don't want to sacrifice any of the intensity of their current relationship in order to get it."

I was actually in a relationship somewhat like that in high school. Without all the fancy labels though, It was also less about being unable to function without each other and more simply about really enjoying each other's company. Which is why I don't think it was unhealthy when I ended up consciously picking the sexless relationship over sex with people I didn't feel as close to.
46
ncn @43
they'll spend a lot of strum und angst over this.

That's Sturm und Drang. :)
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturm_und_…
47
I guess I don't see "completing another person" as codependency but as fitting together.

HER assertions ( he is silent so we don't know what he's thinking) are too abstract & conclusary for me to see anything but two people who like each other but (like all couples) have unmet gaps.

But I've said my view and I thank you for your comments.
48
Umm, yeah. How about dealing with the psychological issues and codependency and substance (ab)use instead of seeking out some ridiculous scenario that is unlikely to happen, and if it happens, is unlikely to last more than a few dysfunctional months?
I mean sure, whatever, go ahead and find a third. But ultimately, you're just prolonging the inevitable - 10-20 years of therapy (depending how fucked up you are really - and are you really FUCKED. UP. , or are you just a couple of nerdy awkward D&D playing 20 year olds having a pretty standard rough time of things?)

I can't think of any reason this needs to be a triad, or should be framed as a triad, given that the two friends don't seem to have any romantic or sexual interest in each other. It seems actually that SHE is interested in having a boyfriend, and they are both terrified that if she does, that that will drive a wedge into their codependent friendship. (Hint: it will, and that's probably good for you both).
49
@45: RE, I knew something was off as I typed it, but I wasn't going to get all angsty, let alone strumy-und-drangy about it and I just let it go.
But thanks!
50
And if they just need oxytocin, why can't they cuddle together platonically watching Netflix or whatever, and then she can have a casual boyfriend or NSA sex elsewhere?

Oh wait, the thought of spending an evening doing separate activities (her going on a date) is terrifying. Right.
Get to therapy, both of you.
51
I have a possible explanation for the "asexual/gay" BFF, taken from real life. My friend was not "agender," he readily identified as a man, but he insisted for over half his adult life that he had no interest in having sex with either men or women. He casually dated women on occasion, but never got seriously involved with anyone. Most of his friends, including me, assumed he was a gay-"ish" man with too much baggage to feel safe to come out. (He came from a very religious and conservative family.) Eventually he did come out as gay (after both parents died) and we all breathed a sigh of relief. He seems much happier now, though still not sexually adventurous. If I were a 20-something describing my friend back then, or even now, "asexual/gay" would not be far off the mark.
52
@33: Self-ascription. I can only take their word for it.
53
@40: I don't know what you're complaining about here? Dan is suggesting something that would not involve treating a person like a sexbot.

@49: I thought you were just being punny :(
54
@53: Oh, yes, yes! I meant that. If it was in any way funny, I will take full credit for its intentionality.
55
James@40, I assume he used different words to describe a similar thing ie don't treat people like things..because he assumed ( or knew), this letter is from much younger people. That sex robot would be enough of a description to get the point across. Yesterday's letter, that was from a grown woman.
56
Also James@40, yesterday's letter was in reference to seeking out
trans* people. I'd say Dan was strongly reminding the LW to not add any more misjudgement.
57
First thought: Masturbate.
2nd thought: Therapy.
3rd thought: Chow chow. They're aloof but loyal, independent enough, furry all the time and cuddly much of the time.
But if she's really stuck on finding a human, why not pick up someone to fuck in a bar? Lots of guys will do that NSA. They'll even do it repeatedly, and if there's someone else around in the house watching or listening, saying hello and having coffee after, I don't see the problem.
58
Also, a late yay for Dan linking to AFP. Her and Brian are a delight.
59
There's something strangely compelling about this letter. I can't figure out what but I keep going back to it. And mostly to what Crinoline @57 suggested. If the LW wants sex why not do NSA one night stand/fuck buddy thing. She's female, she's young (obviously), she shouldn't have problems there. She could even (easily!) bring the guy/s home. No dating necessary.

So I'm starting to think there's more to this than that. There might be a possibility that the LW's partner/friend is a little in the way of that dog sitting on a pile of hay. Won't eat themselves but won't let others eat either. They won't fuck LW but they won't really be very happy about LW pursuing sexual (even strictly sexual) dalliances by themselves - they might see those (and not unreasonably) as an external threat to the relationship. Creating a triad would allow the LW's partner to be involved, somewhat vicariously.

The oxytocine angle seems spurious to me, the close relationship within the diad should be plenty enough to produce oxytocine (unless there IS no physical intimacy - not sexual, but normal human physical touching common between even non-co-dependent friends) between the LW and her partner, but if this is the case they might have more problems than a lack of fuck/hand holding buddy..
60
I think it matters how young these friends are? Because they sound a bit like many adolescent girl friendships I've seen, and one I've been half of. The fondness remains but the intensity fades naturally as the friends become emotionally ready for other relationships.
61
Anyone have any idea what "equivalent from a psychological perspective" means? I'm tempted to write it off as something that someone with even worse problems to think about said, but it occurs to me that it wouldn't be the first time I was clueless about the jargon used by younger people. I thought I'd ask. There are other things I don't understand in the letter, but I thought I'd start there.

Needing help with make-up and panic attacks I understand, though I'm puzzled as to why wearing make-up is such a necessity. I also understand, sort of, the need for oxytocin, but I wonder if LW understands that it's more of a cuddle thing than a sexual one. For the feel-good chemicals that are released with sex, a self-induced orgasm is more the way to go.

It's almost like the LW has bought into the knight-on-the-big-white-horse myth, that guy who will swoop in and rescue the dear damsel(s), without quite understanding how it works. It's I-want-to-fall-in-love, but I don't want to risk this beautiful friendship-- with a twist.

Oh hell, here's one more question. Function as a unit? I mean, I'm better at remembering names, and my boyfriend is better at finding addresses, so we complement each other in that regard, but I don't think that's what LW means when she says we're codependent. Does she understand that codependence is normally considered a bad thing in which individuals enable each other in ways that are bad for them?
62
@61: "I don't think that's what LW means when she says we're codependent. Does she understand that codependence is normally considered a bad thing in which individuals enable each other in ways that are bad for them?"

Yes. She's provided no reasons otherwise.
63
The answer is to find a left-handed dwarf with a knowledge of Chinese who can train a monkey to climb a drainpipe and squirt the poison into the victim's tub - oh, sorry, that was The Scented Bath Murder.

On the plus side, they're going into it more or less honestly. It would be easier for me to imagine Elizabeth Bennet's meeting with Mr Darcy's Accomplished Woman, and I suspect that there could some dealbreakers they haven't discovered yet lurking within, but that's as may be. For such things as this FTWL is tailor-made, though I'll admit that, if a friend were consulting me about whether or not he should be their third, I'd be waiting hopefully for him to express enough ambivalence to make it entirely proper to tell him he deserves better. (Any friend would.)
64
Oh, and I congratulate Ms Cute on thinking like a cross-examiner.
65
In reading the letter more closely, I wonder if the BFF may have been born or assigned female. It's even possible that the two are siblings. I have heard many close siblings, especially twins, describe themselves as each other's best friend and emotional stabilizer. That would also explain the "roughly equivalent psychological perspective" since they both had the same parents and background. And if s/he is asexual/gay agender within a female body, of course the BFF is unlikely to want to do more than hold hands with the "boy" who is sexually craved by the straightish LW. I'm not confident that introducing a new drone bee into their hive mind will work as well as they have it figured, but I applaud their bravery in realizing that they do need more in life than just each other!
66
This letter seems so simple. Finding a bi/poly dude interested in fucking her and cuddling with both of them should be way easier than so many things I've read about here. This would only be impossible if they are a) giant assholes, or b) desperately want to drag a 3rd party into their drama, who will never be seen as a full human being or real participant, as an instrument to make the only relationship they care about (their own) stronger. Oh, wait, (a) and (b) are the same.
67
@66: I'm suddenly reminded of Andy and Ollie.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt8Z8yEaEV…
68
@53 UAR: It wasn't really a complaint as much as it was a compare & contrast observation of Dan's differing comments about two objectification scenarios, two days in a row.

Day 1 - Someone asks about the wording of an OKC profile, Dan says that what really matters is "If you treat ... them like human Fleshlights ... then, yeah, you're an asshole who's objectifying/fetishisizing people in a dehumanizing way. Don't be an asshole."

Day 2 - Someone tells Dan that they desire a boy to use as "a source of oxytocin ... to fuck/kiss and hold hands with" - aka, a human Fleshlight™. At this point I expected Dan to at least mention his rule from Day 1, but instead he just shrugs and points out that because sexbots aren't quite available yet, they should go on OKC and find a human boy to act as one. In other words, Dan is recommending & endorsing their attempt to find a human Fleshlight.

I guess the "make an effort to be open, honest, and breezy about who you are and what you want" part transforms dehumanizing asshole-type behavior into objectification kink via the magic of informed consent. That is, of course, the right way to be kinky - so perhaps the LW should be searching Fetlife instead of OKC?
69
caution&daring, while your fight against judginess is admirable it seems like you're doing at the exclusion of reading what the LW wrote and speculating much more than anyone else in this thread about how they are.
70
Perhaps not with these particular folks [sounded a bit young for me], but if a cute girl and her androgynous gay best friend approached me for NSA fun, I would be so down for that. That's just hot.

I've dated couples before, in a casual--non-primary--way, and had a fun time. There are options out there.
71
James McDaniel: I think that perhaps you suffer from an irony deficiency which you might want to have checked out.
72
I don't get it. What they're technically asking for, is a three-way relationship with this girl and what basically amounts to her very close friend.

So she wants a relationship with a boy and she wants to keep her friends.

This is weird how? Oh yeah, because she wants to make it weird. She can just hang out with people, with her friend in tow, and let it happen naturally. Oh. Shit. I just realized. Everyone dates on the internet these days (and how that basically amounts to you posting a laundry list of specific things you want in a mate), in spite of a whole generation of people figuring out what I found out 20 years ago, that dating and meeting people in person works way the fuck better. In spite of the fact that I'm a huge geek and I do everything on the internet.
73
@69
To the contrary.
There are no facts in the letter, merely claims.
Even that they are psychologically fucked up is simply… Nothing.
Suppose she had said we are exemplary human beings with no flaws were problems whatsoever. With that have a enormous amount of credibility?
Give some facts please to illustrate ANY point.
All we know is that they seem to like you each other and spend a lot of time together but she would like to fuck some guy. So what?
I don't see any pathology here of any kind.
74
You're superimposing the most generous possible reading on the situation contrary to explicit language used by the LW. The absence of the LW's friend's perspective isn't relevant since it's purely speculative, positive or negative or neutral. You're essentially an apologist for absence of information being more positive than the LW's own words - is it because it sounds like kind of a crappy situation and it's the floor of expectations in appraisal?

Also, there are no "facts" in first hand appraisals of social situations so I don't know why you're using that as a sticking point. You've also dismissed the contingent particulars of what the LW is looking for. It's like you're giving way more credence to an absent and ambiguous perspective than the LW.
75
@72: "This is weird how? Oh yeah, because she wants to make it weird. She can just hang out with people, with her friend in tow, and let it happen naturally. "

When the hive mind causes them to speak in tandem, things get pretty weird.
76
@73: "All we know is that they seem to like you each other and spend a lot of time together but she would like to fuck some guy. So what?
I don't see any pathology here of any kind."

Your perspective is noted, but at contrarian odds to the LW's statements about her inability to function without her other in all situations and beyond the scope of friendship into codependency.
77
@68, Daniel. Read the letters again, then maybe you'll see why Dan responded differently.
In this letter, the specifics are in place before any other person is in spitting distance. No 3ways, but we want him to make out with us concurrently. Etc. etc. etc.
Here, a sex robot would be appropriate, because the rules of play seems to give the third person no room for any agency, no spontaneous human response. A robot would be perfect.
In the other letter, no conditions in play regarding where everyone sits. The husband though, is looking for a specific type of person, a trans* person. Much sensitivity is needed in this search.
How can you see this letter is about normal friendships, c&d? Security blanket for each other, hive mind.. This is not about two seperate people having a close friendship. As I read it, this is about two very scared people trying to become one person. Unhealthy situation, in the long term.
Whoever this third might be, hope they are well trained up in being a doormat, or a robot.
78
@66

Yup

And yes my comment Re "good stiff cuddle does mean" cuddly physical contact without sex which is based on my understanding of asexual.
79
Sorry James@68. Somehow I got caught by the McDaniel.
80
@77 LavaGirl: If a sexbot would be perfect "because the rules of play seems to give the third person no room for any agency" - and I agree with you and Dan here - then why did Dan *recommend* that they go to OKC and find a human boy to act as a no-agency human Fleshlight for their oxytocin needs?
81
@79 No worries LavaGirl. These things happen on occasion when one almost has two first names ("James, son of Daniel"). I knew it was an accident and no slight was intended.
82
James, he did say OKC and other websites. It was Friday afternoon, and it was only because of him being Catholic trained( I assume, know that one)
that he bothered to go further than nope.
83
C&D one of the downsides of an advice column is that we only get one side of the story. But in the end we, and the columnist, can only work with the information we're given. If the LW says that she's 'fucked up' I don't see why we shouldn't believe he. I mean if her friendship was totally healthy and she was just looking for a boyfriend, why even write to Dan in the first place?

The problem isn't wanting a boyfriend, the problem is expecting that boyfriend to be walking, talking vibrator who's not allowed to have any say in this relationship, have any sort of emotional needs, and is willing to be a bit player in a relationship he's not allowed to be a part of.

#50 made the point that the LW probably could get laid, it's just that doing means not being attached at the hip to her friend for an evening, something she can't cope with. I'd like to know in what world is that a healthy relationship?
84
A comment back to gromm@72 who said, "dating and meeting people in person works way the fuck better"...I'd have to say that's not always the case, maybe not even the majority of the time. When you think about it, he odds of randomly meeting someone who is a good match for you aren't that good. The good dating sites offer the chance to at least narrow the odds by giving you pertinent information...kids-no kids, likes/hates theater, has a strange inclination to post too many pictures of him/her with his/her cat, etc, etc. You can also gain quite a bit of information just by looking at the way the profile is written, sense of humor, ability to organize a coherent thought, bitter, rambling paragraphs or just, "I love puppies and moonlight walks" unimaginative drivel. Might not be for everyone, but after my divorce, I met several possibles and ultimately the lady I've been with now for 6 years through Match.com as have several of my friends.
85
@73, Here's your pathology:

...neither of us are keen on spending less time together to pursue romantic interests.

If she can't get away from her friend long enough to go on a date, how is she going to function as an adult? Can she stand to be away from her friend long enough to interview for a job? Hold one down? Can the friend?
86
It occurs to me that it's not at all unusual for a mentally ill person to think "I need x" when it's abundantly obvious to the therapist and everyone else that the problem isn't an inability to find x, it's that y, z, and a lot more besides are actually needed. That's what makes psychotherapy (good psychotherapy anyway) complex. You have to start with goals, whether they're achievable, whether they're really what's wanted or needed, what's the best way to get them, and a million other complicating factors.

I've read over the letter and the comments and do want to make something clear to the LW if she's reading this: I do care about her and want what's good for her even if we disagree about what that is. A lot of what's here sounds harsh, but I'd say that on the whole, we're a loving and accepting bunch.
87
@85
Why do you think you have right to define appropriate relationship?
They'd rather spend time together than apart with somebody else. So?
Don't you have that sort of relationship with someone? (I hope so.)
But you think that they should have "sex". Who says?

I wish people would printout the letter and read it very very carefully.

There are no facts in it to suggest pathology but simply a different way of relating. Amazing to me that Sloggers, many of whom are LBGTQ, want to define correct relationship for someone else. Funny, sorta.
88
There are enough comments by now that you may not read this far. I didn't read them all anyhow, so this may have been said. Get your collective ass into a poly meetup/fetlife/whatever group. They are full of "fucked up" people. I read your description and thought, "hey sounds kind of like my ideal" (a woman with a MtF or GF (gener fluid/fucked)). So there are definitely open minded people out there, and if you date within your species (poly) you will have a much easier time find acceptance if not outright romance.
89
The poly isn't a concern here, it's that they're not poly, she's incapable of making life decisions without having her friend come along, if they were a romantic, non-codependent partnership this story would be approached in a different manner by Dan and the rest of us.
90
I'm sure they can find play partners, the issue is that while she likes her friend, she's uncomfortable with some aspect of them together and hookups are less important than their long term stability.
91
C&d; just opinions after reading the letter. Just like yours is.
Is this your letter, you sure seem real keen to defend something everyone else has seen dysfunction in. I wish them well.
92
I really wish we wouldn't make it a question of "open mindedness." I've walked on the wild side a bit (although not as much as I thought as I read these letters) and discovered that the swinging lifestyle was not for me. It wasn't a failure of open mindedness but my intrinsic nature. People can like different things and want different things. I wouldn't be the person for LW because, you know, not male. I don't think that makes her closed minded.

That said, yes, look for people with similar sexual interests.
93
wtheck is psychologically equivalent?
94
Both need a good therapist and probably rehab. I thought the first rule was to be on reasonably good working order before embarking on a relationship. They don't meet that criterion.
95
The psychobabble equivalent of "soulmates" but with regards to shared expression of mental illness. I'd love to hear more about the other. In the absence of any more information my brain wants to piece together someone encouraging her codependency and discouraging her from having her own life, friends, romantic partners, general ability to maintain a daily routine or even fully private headspace.

[Obvious "this is not explicitly called out in the letter" disclaimer.]
96
@93, i was targeting with my first sentence.
97
My god I'm old.
98
They can have threesomes where the asexual one doesn't participate.
99
C&D, stop, please, for my sanity. You've not only read the letter in what you want to see, you're also incapable of interpreting other people's opinions about the letters in any rational way and you're boiling it all down into "Ya'll just hating like haters hate". Like, that's funny for a teenage girl on Jenny Jones to say, but I presume you aspire to more than that.
100
@87
"But you think that they should have "sex". Who says? "
The LW says. She wrote to Dan about it.