Columns Jul 24, 2013 at 4:00 am

Head Fake


LW1: wow, you're horrible
LW2: wow, you're horrible.
LW3: yeahh
Sure! The time I don't have ANYTHING to say, I'm first?
WIFE: Which 12 years of your life have you spent with your fiancé? 16 to 28? or 34 to 46?
Also, what exactly ARE the reasons why you should even consider marrying this guy? "I treasure our history" sounds like a terrible reason to get married. Please go form a new history with someone who is not asexual, soul-crushing, or who roughhouses to the point where you are afraid.
" The only places in nature where you find completely asexual creatures are in hive communities"

How the hell would this person know? Have they interviewed, say, all the giraffes in the world? Jeez Louise.
I didn't hear one attractive or redeeming quality listed for WIFE's fiancé. It's amazing how desperately some people will cling to the cause of their own misery ("soul-crushing" should never be an adjective for the relationship with your loved one). At twelve years, you already know the answer; the shit doesn't work, move on before dissatisfaction is the story of your life.

BJS is just a dick, and GTC has a good point.
Is this "I'm so desperate for BJs that I'll let a guy suck me off" thing exclusive to straight men, or what? I'm a gay man, and I've never heard of gay men so hard up for head that he resorts to women, nor have I heard of any lesbians so in need of a good eating-out that they seek out men.
Mr Rhone - But they deserve each other as much as Soapy Sam Ballard and Bambi Etheridge (the defendant in a case Rumpole greatly regrets winning - after prosecuting counsel mansplains to the female magistrate the hopeless incompetence of women drivers - when the grateful Bambi starts offering him naughty lunches with scrumptious desserts, ringing him at home and raising discontent in the bosom of She Who Must Be Obeyed; when she consults Rumpole after her next traffic accident, he tells her that with her record she needs a reliable QC and palms her off on his Head of Chambers)!

As for the first letter writer, I shall paraphrase Miss Austen about Mrs Allen and say that he is one of the many straight men whose existence raises no greater emotion in me than surprise that there are any straight-chasers who like him well enough to pursue him.

It seems fitting to say nothing about asexuality. I'm somewhat inclined to agree with Ms Eirene, but I'm running short of months at the moment. Still, the letter comes off as boot-trampling overplay, even if the advice to consult a member of the medical profession is generally sound.
@2- If I were the first-ish commenter, I would use that privileged place to heavily suggest that Dan Savage post some shirtless pictures of himself. Just sayin'.
WIFE, basically already has the answer to her question; "This is something he would never agree to". She just wants moral justification to misbehave. Also I wonder if she's ever considered that their sex life might not be satisfying for him if he only wants it every two years. I mean, I could understand if they didn't live near each other and had busy lives and etc. But since she doesn't mention that in her letter I'm assuming they see each regularly, if not already live together. In which cause she should have already had a conversation with him YEARS ago. Plus sometimes sexually compatibility takes time to create, which means if you're not banging regularly you've never even tried to create some kind of mutually understanding of each others needs. Whatever ways you know your partner outside the bedroom, you've basically isolated each other in this aspect.

To make a long story short; fucking ASK him for sex. And don't put a lot of pressure on him to preform like a porn star. Prepare to be moderately satisfied, but NEVER disappointed. There's always next time; that is if you have the good sense to MAKE a next time. Also having regular sex will make you more familiar with you're hormones. I've noticed (mostly through masturbation) that during certain parts of my cycle I don't get the "wow" effect that I'd normally get yet I still want sex. So even if I had the greatest sex ever with some one I found sexy as hell, if it's during a certain part of the month I might as well be touching myself to badly done internet porn with a migraine in a dirty bathroom with the neighborhood kids screaming in the background and my dog scratching at the door.

As for getting hurt- it happens. Someone (if not both people) gets excited and does some damage. More times than not it heals.

So anyways; WiFE go suck your fiancee's cock at least every other night for a month or so. Have him manually get you off and etc. THEN depending on where you are; have that talk, really take BOTH of your feelings into consideration, and make a decision.
Mr. Ven @9: While I don't condone her infidelity, it seems to me this "can I get what I need on the side without him knowing" question is really the last desperate clinging to the notion that the relationship has a chance in hell. In other words, it's a rationalization right before she's permanently out the door. The pros and cons are significantly more lopsided than BJS' marriage where- considering the kids and actually quite high frequency of sex- he's being purely reckless and greedy. Whomever's fault it is, WIFE or her fiancé, this sounds like a deeply fucked-up codependency that needs to end.
What a lineup!
Writer 1, liar and lousy husband who knows darn well how fix it but lacks the courage to do so.
Writer 2, off-the-scales nutjobbery. She is afraid her fiancé will hurt her, they don't have sex, the sex is bad when they do, he's unattractive, they've done a 12 year tour of breaking up and getting back together, and she's planning a lifetime of lying to him about fidelity, yet she wants to marry him because of the "history" and to "merge" the families? Does she get to rule a medium-sized nation after the "merger"? Is she so completely offensive as a human being that no other person would ever be with her? Because I can think of few other reasons that make sense of this.

Writer #3 makes the reasonable point that a medical checkup and preliminary test visit are good ideas. Absolutely yes. Yet asexuality or just "very different" sexuality is a real thing, so why foreclose on the possibility in a presumptive way? I sympathize with the writer because "typical" porn inspires the same reaction in me that he has. It often seems clinical and depressing rather than erotic or inspiring. Maybe someone who's into fur simply finds nothing of interest there. The lack of masturbation is the part that makes a doctor visit seem reasonable and in order, but I've heard of people who, however strange it seems, somehow never figured that out for themselves. Usually females, but still.
WIFE - Never mind ransacking your own morality for the answer to whether you can create a long-term relationship on a foundation of being a cheater. If this is something he will never agree to, then your families will remain "merged" only so long as you can pull off keeping him in the dark. Once he finds out, the jig is up and your dream castle crumbles like so much sand.

That is what you are signing up for.

Not a question of whether you can convince yourself that it will be morally acceptable to do, but whether you can pull off something that you frankly are not nearly as in control of as you seem to think today, and it will only get worse over time. Yeah, well, good luck staying afloat in the top of that particular avalanche -- for forty or fifty years running, assuming you are good at it.
"Then tell him that you won't consider any sex that happens outside the marriage—so long as it is safe and completely discreet—grounds for divorce."

Dan, those are some choice weasel words. Saying it that way is implying that he's the one likely to cheat, but you are so enlightened that you won't divorce him over it, when what it really means is "Husband, you are on notice that I intend to fuck around (safely and discreetly, but still) and not tell you about it. I'm saying it as if I'm magnanimously giving _you_ permission, when really I am the one taking liberties whether you like it or not."
@15: That really is some Grade A deflective, manipulative bullshit, Dan. Just DTMFA and be done with it, WIFE.
Totally agree with avast at 15 that the weasel route will not result in happiness, for all parties involved. Gotta have the all out, gut wrenching, heart in your throat, great fear discussion if one wants to start having sex outside of a monogamous relationship. And if the other side says I just can't do that, then you either have to respect their wishes and deal with it or end the relationship.
Let's say that FURFAG follows GTC's excellent advice and sees a urologist and endocrinologist. Let's say that the specialists are good ones, take his symptom of no sexual interest seriously, and come to a diagnosis. What might that diagnosis be? I'm not suggesting that it doesn't exist, only that I've never heard of it. Oh, maybe I am suggesting that it doesn't exist because I've never heard of it, but take my question seriously anyway. Then, what might the treatment be?

I can imagine something off in the hormonal mix, something akin to the Low T that we keep hearing about on television, but other than that, nothing comes to mind. I believe the "diagnosis" would be asexuality, and just as no cause will be found, no cure will suggest itself. Compare with homosexuality and the efforts to find causes and cures.

Now let me elaborate on Eirene's excellent correction of GTC's mistaken understanding of how evolution works. There are no populations where all the individuals are uninterested in sexual reproduction excepting hive communities and ones where a cell divides to create 2 new ones asexually. But there are always zillions of individuals within a population that don't reproduce either because they have no sexual interest or for another reason that makes them not adaptive to the physical or social environment. That's what natural selection's razor sharp edge works on-- and keeps working on. I hate it when folks like GTC bolster their argument with inaccurate understandings of evolution, of saying that there must be something wrong with or sick about FURFAG because a whole population of FURFAGs could not survive.
Suzy@13 is right on LW1, the Typical Straight Male TM.

"Vanilla" meaning penis-in-vagina, no mouth-on-penis ? Check. "A barely GGG wife" meaning mouth-on-penis, but [redacted because it's so gross, no penis-in-anus] ? Check. "We had a great sex life" meaning a high frequency of PiV and PiM, both sexual acts that lead to orgasm for 99.9% of males and for <30% of females ? Check.

No mention whatsoever of any sex act that would lead to equal nor (man card forbid !) more pleasure for the female than for the male ? Check.

And more importantly, a "I love my wife" on the very front, but instead of the loving husband's "how could I make this situation less risky for my wife's health or our relationship", we get the stupid selfish sleazy straight male's "OMG, am I... GAY ???".

What you, LW1, could do with your vanilla wife to get some mouth-on-penis action down the years, is to swap sexual gratifications with your wife. No orgasm for you, orgasms for her every time. Become good and giving already.
@15, 16 : Good point.

But Dan didn't write that sentence intending such manipulation, as it would be unlikely in the context LW2 provided.

A same-sexer uttering a sentence about "any sex that will happen outside of marriage will have no repercussion on our marriage" will expect to be understood as primarily talking about his own intended sex life, and imlicitely extending the sought-after priviledge to his fiance's.

I totally agree that, would that very same sentence be uttered by a random different-sexer, were it the male or the female, everybody will expect that it's the male's sex life that's being discussed, while the female's is most probably not implicitely included. Which is enlightening about where our society is at, in matters of male/female equality : a crying shame.

But LW2 did describe her fiance as probably asexual (and anyway crap in bed). That's her opinion of him. Were it accurate, Dan's proposed sentence would not be manipulative one bit, since it would be obvious to both of them that he's not the one most likely to want to have sex, ever, neither in the marriage nor outside of it.

Of course, if he is not asexual, just plain crap in bed, and not interested in graduating into becoming good enough to maintain her interest, possibly because he's been getting his sexual needs met elsewhere all that long - a likely combination, since we do know from his continuing his roughhousing, despite knowing that it's frightening to her, that he has no respect for her - he will understand Dan's sentence in the sadly usual way : a greenlight for him to have sex elsewhere, no greenlight for her. It may be more likely to be the real context, but that's not the provided one. So Dan is in good faith here.

And I second everyone's opinion : please, LW2, he's not worth your entire life. Better be alone than in a marriage with someone you have no sexual connection with... And you'd be a perfect candidate for an arranged marriage. Give that angle some thoughts.
Mr Rhone - Think it through another step or two. I don't disagree that really bad codependencies are not the best thing for their participants, but I'd far rather see one continue than for it to dissolve and the participants go on to ruin the lives of innocent parties.

This particular codependency has the peculiar virtue of being sexless. It would take a lot of deserving something better for me to advise that the LW risk reproducing with anybody else. Now, if she were going to become a Benedictine nun (I select the Benedictines as a mark of affection for Rumer Godden and In This House of Brede), then I'd be as happy as you would to see the couple dissolve.
@21: I don't know that the kind of borderline abusive neurosis that permeates WIFE's relationship with her fiancé would necessarily persist after it's done. It seems to me that they've had twelve years of awful sex, poor boundaries, broken engagements, sexless S&M dynamics, and rampant neediness that has become monstrous in its totality. It also seems to be that a new partner for either one would be far less likely to put up this level of neurotic bullshit. So my take on it remains that they should break up, get some individual therapy, and try again with someone who doesn't turn them into bad people.

"Is this "I'm so desperate for BJs that I'll let a guy suck me off" thing exclusive to straight men, or what?"

Not exclusive, but probably close to. I think it has to do with natural differences in sex drive, and scarcity. For those of you who believe men and women are exactly the same and have no difference in sex drive etc, just... stop reading here.

"I'm a gay man, and I've never heard of gay men so hard up for head that he resorts to women,"

Of course not. A straight woman who wants to give head has no shortage of straight men who will be willing participants so we have no need to take on a participant who isn't sexually attracted to our gender. (Unless there's some weird fetish for that). Gay men will have better luck looking for another gay man than a straight woman if they want head.

"nor have I heard of any lesbians so in need of a good eating-out that they seek out men."

And here we come to sex drive. Most women have a lower sex drive than men (I say this as someone who's an exception to the rule). This comparison is definitely more apt, since if a lesbian WERE so inclined she could easily find a straight guy in a shortage of women, but women tend not to operate that way.

P.S. as a straight woman who's really choosy about attractiveness, there have been situations where there were no men attractive enough around so I'd hook up with attractive bisexual/lesbian women in much the same way this guy did. So it's not just straight men that do this but I'd say it's mostly them.
What the fuck is up with WIFE wanting to "merge their families"? Is she a Borgia? Yakuza?
@13: Does she get to rule a medium-sized nation after the "merger"?

Ooooh, I'll bet it's a werewolf/vampire thing. And they're going to unite in the coming war against the goblins or something.
Hum...good advice all around. WIFE just needs to let it go and move along...WTF? 12 years? Multiple breakups? "the definition of insanity" and all that.

LW1 may or may not be low-grade selfish, but yeah, he needs to get her permission and desist until he does. Yes, they are having sex, but just doing it is not the same thing as being enthusiastically into it. Enthusiasm is a key ingredient - it's soul crushing rejection to fuck someone who acts like they are just looking at the clock on the wall. If that's what he means by "vanilla" then he's not necessarily a terrible person.
@19, thank you. I hope the LW gets frapped on his next 'opportunistically heteroflexible' (not sure how it's opportunistic since he's actively seeking it but love the term anyway) adventure. What an absolute asshat. Wahhhh my wife only fucks me once a week so now I'm *forced* to get shady blow jobs from random shady dudes!! Does this mean I'm queer?!?! Selfish asshole.
Well thanks, Savage. After reading those letters I'm just sad. Are you happy now?
LW1 needs to get him and his wife to a pro-sex marriage counselor. Someone to help figure out how to get her more active in the sexual relationship. My guess is there could be some tension between her and him with regards to their roles in and out of the home (a commom issue), their physical appearances have changed and she feels less frisky, or he's saying/doing things that make her feel pressured and can't get the urge to do thingsother than vanilla. Considering that he gets sex with her up to 10 times a month, is still seeking outside BJs, and doesn't even really think through if they are "safe" for his wife's future health, he sounds like a self-centered douche - I really feel like its gotta be one of the above issues.
@26 it 's not maybe sorta low grade selfish to cheat on your partner with NSA strangers because they aren't giving you a sex act you want; it's incredibly selfish and dangerous. He is playing Russian roulette with his wife's health, the stability of his marriage, and that of his children.

Yes, it's shitty to have a partner who's drive and enthusiasm doesn't match your own. Try that one on for size as a woman and see how it feels when social norms add extra sting to the feeling of rejection. Feeling shitty isn't an excuse to be dishonest with your partner. Sack/ovary up and tell your partner what you need, want, and will leave over. Have the awkward and maybe tearful discussion. Be a fucking grown up.
@30 Yeah, but it's so much easier to just avoid dealing with the problem and justify your shitty behavior with a childish sense of entitlement.

@Dan Savage: when people ask if some behavior makes them gay / bi, can you just respond with: "Who fucking cares?" Or, alternatively: "Call yourself whatever the fuck you want."
Actually, I remember Dan Savage himself saying that he'd resorted to blowjobs from women in his youth. So yeah, I gotta say it probably happens.
@8 @23, There are for sure some lesbian women with high sex drives who resort to sex with straight men because it is so easy.

i.e., from an article by Anna Pulley:

"Being with men started becoming my norm. And it freaked me out. Because even though it wasn’t familiar, it was easy. There’s very little guesswork involved with picking up men. There was no need to scrutinize fingernail length or namedrop “The L Word” in order to determine if someone was amenable to sleeping with me. In fact, it was pretty much assumed that 15 minutes of uninterrupted talk with a dude meant the possibility of sex was on the table."…
Agree with #15, 16, 17 on the weasel words. If you want an open relationship, own it, don't represent it as something the other person wants.

This is a relationship where, after dating for 12 years, she thinks he's possibly asexual. POSSIBLY? After 12 years, she doesn't know?!? Their communication SUCKS. So the solution is... polyamory?

Look, this guy has "clueless nice guy" written all over him. He's been dating her for 12 years. She's been letting him date her for 12 years, despite the fact that she finds him unattractive, that she thinks he's crap in bed and "possibly" asexual (but she doesn't care enough to find out), and that she can easily get "good" sex elsewhere - after all, she does, every time she dumps him every couple of years. Why? There's obviously something in this that makes this work for her. And I'm guessing that that something is that he's really "nice" to her - does stuff for her, spends money on her. I'm guessing the guys she has sex with when they break up every two years aren't nearly that "nice" to her. I'm also guessing that he thinks that he's average in bed - it's not as if he has any other guys to compare himself with. I doubt that she's told him what she thinks about his sexual ability, but if she did he obviously wasn't willing to hear it. I'm guessing that he's thinking that she's been dating him for 12 years (and what other woman has dated him for even a month?), so being nice to her is working, and the reason she's not having sex much with him is because nice girls don't have sex until marriage. (From his point of view, she's been having more sex with him than any other woman, ever!) And maybe this next year of being nice to her will be what it takes to convince her to marry him, and THEN she'll want to have sex with him all the time, cause that's what happens when you marry, right?, and he won't have to spend all his sex time with porn any more.

TL;DR: Guys with a clue don't date women who think the guy is "crap in bed" for 12 years.

So now she's going to tell him "Sex has never really been all that important to us as a couple"? Yeah, that's going to go over well! There's a reason she says "That's something he would never agree to."

Here's a hint, Dan. You know how you know, on an intellectual level, that us sexually clueless straight guys don't get nearly as much sex as we'd like? If you knew that in your gut, you'd never think "he's only been having occasional sex with this woman over the last 12 years - he might be asexual."

Oh, one thing that's for sure - he's NOT getting laid elsewhere - except probably porn. First, if he was getting laid elsewhere, he wouldn't be that clueless about sex. That's enough evidence by itself. But also, if he was getting laid elsewhere, he'd want to date the woman who was enjoying having sex with him, not the woman who thinks he's an ugly but rich puppy dog.
@20: If she thought he was getting some on the side, that would be one thing, but taking the letter at face value, "This is something he would never agree to" implies that he is indeed monogamous, or at least that she believes him to be. In that context, it would be disingenuous of her to phrase it the way Dan did.

If what she means is "I have reason to believe you are getting some on the side, which would explain our shitty sex life, and I am not going to leave you over it, but I have needs too, and I intend to openly take the same privilege for myself that you have been sneaking," then she should say that.

If what she means is "I promise that anything that happens outside the marriage is just sex, and that I will never leave you for another man, because apart from our nonexistent sex life I cherish our life together," then she should say that.

But I can think of no good reason to phrase it the way Dan did, which -- in the context described in the letter -- amounts to "Look at me, graciously extending to you a privilege which we both know perfectly well you don't want and are unlikely to ever use, and which I intend to claim for myself and use vigorously even though we both know perfectly well you will be unhappy with it." The level of transparent bad-faith dealing in that is breathtaking.
@30 - I don't disagree, and I said, he needs to stop and have the discussion. I'm just saying, it's a bit black-and-white simplistic to say this is all about him being a selfish asshole.

I had a shitty shitty shitty bitter-making sex life for fifteen years before I finally said, um yeah, screw you, I want decent sex, so I'm outta here. My ex demanded 100% fidelity (no monogamish, which would've been dandy with me) and made no real effort to change ("I just can't really enjoy sex"). Fine. That kind of person/situation forces you to either stick a knife in them or in yourself. There is no simple morality play of good/bad there.

LW1 is not being safe and he's exposing her to risk; that sucks and that is why it needs to stop. Not because he's a "cpos". My only quibble with Dan's take was the "you're getting sex quite a bit". Crap in large volumes does not make up for lack of quality.
I think she is just willing to trade anything for some of this guys resources. As much as we didn't hear about any of his good qualities, we also didn't hear of any financial disparity between the two. She really seems to focus on herself and her situation. She doesn't mention how he is with her kid(s) or anything other than her unfulfilled needs, that and her need for some moral justification to do something that she can't justify. I don't think she really need it other than to maintain some kind of self image. Mate there is a reason that they haven't merged families yet that is nothing to do with him.
Either way it's a bad situation for her kids but that doesn't seem to bother her at all. The more I read this letter, the greater my suspicion that she is looking out for herself, and I would really like to know what everyone's financial situation is.
@20- I really think that perhaps you are simply seeing things as you wish them to be and using it as evidence for your larger world view. There is really nothing to imply that Dan is intending that comment in the way that you are stating, I really didn't see any mention of gender there, anyone else ?
BJS - What you do is ASK your wife why she won't go down on you, ever. I dunno, maybe your hygiene in the area has slipped. Maybe she hates getting a hair in the back of her throat, which you could solve with a shave. Maybe you haven't been holding up your end of things in the GGG department. Maybe she thinks you are taking her for granted in some other area of your life, and her mood is off.

It would be one thing if you two have sat down and had the hard negotiations, and reached an impasse where she just says, "No...I don't know why. I just can't see myself doing that any more." But the sense I get from the letter is that things have just sort of quietly slipped over the years, and you are taking matters into your own hands (or into some strange guy's mouth) without having done your due diligence with your wife.
@36 I think you're projecting your experience onto the LW. I totally empathize with you on the mismatched sex drive/lack of quality sex = soul crushing rejection issue. Been there, done that, it's awful and really fucks with you. My search continues for a compatible mate--I've yet to find a guy who I like/could love who is fun in bed and has the same level of enthusiasm I have. I absolutely get where you are coming from. BUT the LW refers to a once great sex life, then mentions purely vanilla sex 1-2 times a week that doesn't include any bjs. There's a lotta water under that bridge the LW doesn't mention and I find it very telling that his first question to Dan is 'does this mean I'm gay'. In other words, it's all about him and to me, that makes him the living breathing definition of a cpos. Your situation seems quite different--you had the discussions and ultimately left which must have been terribly hard but was the right/moral thing to do. I'm sorry but I do see this in black and white. If it's important enough to betray your partner and break VOWS over, it's important enough to communicate to your partner and not let it be brushed aside. I think even the most ardent bj hater would appreciate the heads up that his/her man would rather lie/chest than go without. That's a pretty damn important piece of information...
Crap in large volumes does not make up for lack of quality.
Perfectly - if baldly - stated. When this letter first appeared, my comment was that, if the sex each time was limited to 2-8 minutes of PIV thrusting (8 minutes being the average, I've read), that doesn't really add up to much of anything over the course of a month, but it's probably something the wife might endure just to get it over with.

Thanks to @39 for stating the obvious that the LW has avoided doing his due diligence with his wife and doesn't get a free pass to get some on the side.
#39, exactly. There is no indication from BJS that he's had any conversation about this at all with his wife, and it sounds like he is simply using his boring sex life to justify cheating. Just look at the way he asks question #2 (with a whole lot of excuses for why it's not that bad). He doesn't want to stop, he just wants permission to stop feeling guilty.

After 15 years, it is difficult to have the same exciting sex life with the same person. He owes it to his wife to talk about this and see if there is a way they can spice things up. Maybe it's not blow jobs but something else she'd be willing to try.

It sounds like he just feels a bit entitled to have the kind of sex he wants because she's not being fair to him, which is a shitty attitude to have toward someone you supposedly love.
I've known some people who were asexual until they were about 23-25 and I'm pretty sure none of them had any physical problems. I don't know that there are as many people who are actually permanently asexual as there are people who claim they are, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it.
Thanks, Dan: I was feeling uncharacteristically generous toward humanity today, and you reminded me why I loathe, oh, so many people.

@BJS: Marriage is a broken, backwards system, and your situation is yet anther demonstration of why it doesn't work in a majority of cases. If sexual exclusivity is a requirement and sex (or a given sex act) is so important to at least one party that ze cannot go without, then sexual compatibility is a must. The solution to your problem is to go back in time and not marry someone with whom you are sexually incompatible. As that's not an option now, you need to be open and honest with your wife. You need to tell her that blowjobs are an absolute necessity in your life, find out why she won't give you head to see if there's something you can fix in your relationship, if there's nothing to be done let her know that you'll be getting blowjobs from random dudes or sex workers, and leave it up to her whether she wishes to divorce you as a result.

@WIFE: The fiance sounds like a good candidate for a best friend, roommate, or even co-parent, but not husband.

@GTC: You're still presupposing that a lack of a sex drive is a problem, is something that needs to be 'fixed'. Whether the cause is physical or psychological (or the result of some complex interaction between various physical, psychological, and environmental factors, as is the case with pretty much everything that involves the human brain), the implicit, unquestioned assumption that not having a sex drive is something that ought to be changed if it can be pathologizes asexuality. Dude only should go to the doctor to address the lack of sex drive if the lack of sex drive is something he experiences as problematic.
@39 "But the sense I get from the letter is that things have just sort of quietly slipped over the years, and you are taking matters into your own hands (or into some strange guy's mouth) without having done your due diligence with your wife."

Yeah, bingo. I do agree.

@40 - I'm not projecting, I'm just cautioning that frequently one party gets painted black and we're off to the races..I was getting that vibe in the comments. I feel for you - and wish you luck! I've gotten lucky - I found someone who, while nowhere near as kinky as I've been in my life, and waaaay fewer partners, matches up nicely with me. And she is open-minded and enthusiastic when we are gettin' down. It's pretty vanilla, but it turns out enthusiasm is the real key.

I used to be one of those guys who could not get off from BJs...but a previous partner, a woman who really liked giving oral - and really liked doing it until completion completely changed that for me. The difference was enthusiasm, versus bad porn acting interspersed with "are you there yet?".

Yes, quality over quantity, any time. I suppose the old Woody Allen line comes to mind, "yes, the food is terrible...and the portions are so small!"
@afinch--thanks for the luck, always appreciated. I'm glad you've found a lady who rocks your world--I'm with you, enthusiasm goes a long way. I agree, it's not always accurate to paint a LW as just good/bad. With this letter though I just couldn't find the good to work with so I indulged in some good 'ol fashioned bashing....not always productive but oh-so-satisfying ;)
I agree with 8 and call shenanigans and BS on the emotional entanglement angle. If he wanted a woman, he'd find one.

WIFE~why do you hate yourself? Why do you think so lowly of yourself that your situation sounds like a good idea? An asexual man who love you would understand that you need to do what you need to do to be with him.
@18, Low-t seems like a pretty reasonable diagnosis in FURFAG's case.
Ohh, shit! Not again!! BJS sounds EXACTLY like Mr. "200% Straight Guy Married With Children"!!
Does he still have a thumb in his butt after 15 years?

WIFE: OMG! Did you hook up with my ex?
Seriously, DTMFA!!!

American Savage just plain rocks!! Love it!!
Thanks, Dan!
BJS might feel that he has a right to get blow jobs in his life (his justification to cheat) but his wife has the right to NOT be married to someone who cheats.

BJS, your options are 1. Stop cheating. 2. get permission. 3. get a divorce.

I know that *I* would rather be NOT MARRIED than married to a cheater.
@41 Well, perhaps conditions have improved markedly since the 40's then?

From the Kinsey Report ( website)

"Length of Coitus:

17.6% of males reported ejaculation less than 2 minutes after intromission
47.6% less than five minutes in coitus in first marriage
22.9% claimed to have lasted 10 or more minutes, (Table 324, p. 373 Kinsey Data, College Sample).

22.8% of females reported reaching climax less than 2 minutes after intromission
52.6% less than five minutes in coitus in first marriage
19% claimed to have lasted 10 or more minutes, (Table 324, p. 373 Kinsey Data, College Sample)

In the discussion of marital coitus in the Male volume, Kinsey speculated that for perhaps three-fourths of all males, orgasm was reached within 2 minutes after initiation of coitus, and reported this as a frequent source of marital conflict (p. 580, Male)."
@36, my take on why Dan brought up the amount of sex the LW is having with his wife is that he wanted to point out the health risks to the wife. If the LW and wife only had sex every six months or so, then the odds of the LW passing on an STD he acquired while cheating would be a lot lower - and he could get tested regularly to make sure he didn't have something asymptomatically. However, you can be infectious before you have any symptoms yourself, and even before a test will turn up positive. If the LW catches something from one of his "extracurriculars" and then has sex with his wife a few days later, he could give it to her unknowingly.

I don't think Dan's saying, "You have a lot of sex and that should be good enough" - I think he's saying, "You have a lot of sex, which means you're putting your wife at a lot of risk and that's not cool."
@52 I think it's the health aspect AND the fact that he loses some/most/all of his justification for cheating because he is having sex--just not the type of sex he wants.
Mr Rhone - oh, you could well be right. I have a tendency to err on the side of innocent parties.
Mr. Ven @54:

That's not a bad quality to have.
@10 Being a first time firstish poster, I apologize for my slackness re: Dan's shirt removal, although I would assume said request would be ongoing and not necessary to state.

He frames his whole homosexual experience with heterosexual meaning;therefore, it can't be "totally gay". Clearly this is just a big dick slap in the face of DENIAL.
Using the fact that he doesn't get blown by his wife as much as he wants as an excuse to cheat with men highlights the fact that maybe he just wants to experience men, because he could talk to her about it and work it out, but he doesn't.

Actively looking on casual encounters and finding men who are GGG, non-commital and strangers means he wants his homosexual fill and still go home to his loving wife who gives him sex 6 to 10 times a month!!!

Wow, just because straight porn is on in front of him, does not mean getting blown by a man becomes a straight act. Nor does it validate getting blown by anyone other than his wife.

And since he's just getting and not receiving...this begs the question: does he even know how to perform oral sex on a woman? Or does he even want to?

Not once in BJS' letter did he ever mention going down on her. "None for me? None for you."
I'm asexual, and I agree with Get That Checked. I have a low libido, but it's there. So far, all the asexuals I've met have low libido, but none have no libido.

It can't hurt to get a checkup. If there's an imbalance, he may or may not want to have it corrected (I wouldn't). But knowledge is power.
@2/56- good point, but a shirtless Savage seems much sexier to discuss than a lot of the other comments. Have you ever checked out those guns? I mean, my goodness.
@jujubee80 Thank you for your eloquence !

I've only met LW1s in my youthful sex life, and it's been a hoot to discover on Dan Savage some years ago that there were straight males that could be giving sex partners instead of insufferable entitled selfish assholes.

Hopefully, thanks to your, and other unselfish male posters' comments here, droves of compatible females are right now dumping their LW1-like partners and becoming available to meet you. I know I'd give you a try if we were in the same part of the world ! Good luck.
... and others. I don't want to condone this guy's behavior, but I think a lot of people are rounding heteroflexible up to "gay" here. Few people would argue that it's easier for a straight guy to find a woman to suck him off than a gay guy on craigslist, so I don't find his straight preference at all fishy. It may also be a strategy to avoid unwanted attachments. He's clearly flexible, but it's not at all unlikely that he prefers women. He's an asshole because he wants to go behind his wife's back, and further because he hasn't demonstrated that he's gone through all the due diligence of reviving his sex life with his wife. Jumping to gay seems really premature.
@35 avast2006 : point taken. I feel dumb.

Asking frontally for what one wants is indeed the best way communicate with respect in sexual matters... but that's not easy to put in practice.

@AFinch Nice to read you're in a fine relationship after years of sexual mismatch. Have fun !

@Ophian and other sad posters : Read the comments too, there are fine samples of humanity right there !

@lolorhone you're becoing fast one of my favorite reads !

@auntie grizelda : hi there ! how are you doing ?

Touche! The more you know.

This was edited out of the original SLLOTD:
... now she will not go down on me ever and will seldom let me go down on her.
So, he was willing. Whether he was good at it is another matter. But to me it indicates mismatched libidos, because he does say his wife was "barely GGG at the beginning" ... and yet he still married her (that is, if they did have sex BEFORE marriage).

One expects the GGG to improve and continue; otherwise it seems more like a bait-and-switch tactic on her part AND the inability to communicate what they each wanted from the other.
@61 I'm a woman but thanks lol :)

Or maybe he really is bored with his "vanilla" sex life....and being heteroflexible is his new adventure...he shouldn't ask his wife for permission to get blown by other men because then it takes the whole fun out of it...

Then he would actually have to talk to her about the reality of the situation. Basically, he probably likes the whole secret lifestyle...he wants to get off and he likes the taboo aspect...

I haven't been married for 15 years, but I'm sure monotony could set in for a man who thought he had a GGG wife in the beginning, but like most things in life...nothing stays the same.

@67 He does say his wife would divorce him if he was open about it. Why suppose he's lying about that? If you're going to suppose that's a lie, why stop there: why not go on to suppose the whole letter's a fake? It's not as if people who would dump their partners for having sex outside of their marriage are rare in this culture.
#68, I think it's more likely that she'd divorce him for cheating on her, not for being up front and asking her about letting him try this BEFORE he already has. There's a huge difference.

He didn't clarify what he meant, but I think most guys in decent relationships could probably ask something without their wife just flat out rushing to seek divorce. She may be really pissed off, but I doubt she'd file divorce papers over it.
BJS...have you thought about just asking your wife with the problems may be. Because if that were me I would say maybe you don't take care of yourself like you should like maybe your balls smell, maybe your farts make your balls smell, or maybe your so big now that your thighs rub together and make your balls smell. That could be why she wont go down on you! Im just saying maybe it's you! Sincerely, could be your wife
@63 sissoucat: I'm doing great! How are you?

lolorhone: I agree with sissoucat: I think you're one of my favorite reads, too!

tito: How are you doing?
The man WIFE is involved with sounds like a guy i saw for 7 years. He was engaged on and off as well, but would regularly (once or twice a week) come by to wrestle, and get his ass reamed by me (and sometimes others). He always claimed to be "not gay" . Whatever that means. But he was ALL about his ass and anything that could be put in there. Didn't like women much, and claimed he "kinda hated" the woman he was engaged to. Still, when any of his friends would question his sexuality he would jump back with her and show her off to prove his "not gay" status.
WIFE: the big red flag in your letter is that you are afraid he might hurt you. I'm surprised Dan didn't address this. I work in a domestic violence agency, and I caution you to think twice about any relationship where you are afraid for your safety. It's never, ever worth it. As the singsong cliche goes, "There's no excuse for abuse."
@69: I suppose he could ask her without repercussion, but I don't get the impression it would change anything. I'm interpreting "I can't tell my wife about this, as it would end an otherwise good marriage" as he knows her well enough to know she's definitely not interested in opening the relationship. I don't doubt she'd much rather he asked her for permission than that he cheats on her, but given what he's written it seems to me that that's more likely the difference between an amicable divorce and a bitter divorce than the difference between an open relationship and a divorce. Then again, when you have kids the difference between an amicable divorce and a bitter one is huge.

I think that his ethical choices are restricted to (1) stop screwing around outside the marriage and work on improving the marriage or (2) get a divorce. I don't think there's an easy "if only he'd ask her to open the relationship she'd do that" way out. People who comment on SLOG are a lot more liberal than the general public.
I second GTC's point regarding FURFAN. Sure, some people may be born with no sex drive, but in our religious, sexually repressed culture, a psychological inhibition is far more likely. FURFAN, how did your parents react to your first sexual behaviors? I'm willing to bet it was with screaming and hitting. Make the connection.

Some commentators have said that a lack of sex drive is not something that should be assumed to be a problem if the person doesn't see it as one. That's badly misguided. It's an example of tolerance being taken too far. Imagine someone who doesn't want to eat ice cream and has never eaten ice cream but knows that most people like ice cream. Clearly such a person has some kind of false assumption or hang-up about ice cream. Those of us who know ice cream is good would be justified in encouraging him to try it, and in suggesting that his aversion to ice cream may be something done to him rather than just his in-born nature. Sex is no different, except politically.
WIFE, I doubt you need your fiance in your life as much as you think you do. The time you've spent with him trying to be romantic partners has prevented you from finding people who can give you emotionally what you get from him. He sounds like a possessive asshole to me. He doesn't want to have sex with you but doesn't want you to have sex with anybody else? Asshole.

Tell him you're done trying to have an exclusive but sexless relationship with him. Tell him that he needs to pick one of three options: (1) He can be your close male friend while you have sexual relationships with other people, and you're willing to get married and be discrete with your sex-on-the-side, (2) he can start learning how to give you the sexual attention you need (with no roughhousing), he must make steady progress, and you'll marry him after he demonstrates the ability and willingness to meet your sexual needs, or (3) he can never see you again. Your preference is the first option, but it's his choice.

If he chooses friendship, and you want to join your families, you could simply choose to do the holidays and birthdays together. Why do you feel the need for sexual exclusivity and a legal document to make that happen?
@23: I think it's not so much a matter of men having greater sex drives than women as men having different *patterns* of sexual interest than women.

As far as I know, men are *far* more likely than women to be interested in casual sex. Whether it's because of inherent differences in sexual interest, or the inhibiting effect of the greater risks women face from casual sex (greater chance of catching STDs, the possibility of pregnancy, and a greater risk that a casual partner could turn violent or whatever), women are just less likely to be willing to boink some random person than the reverse.

But, once *in* a relationship, with... some exceptions, women tend to have sex drives equal to or greater than those of men, afaik.

Though I think it may be kind of the reverse of the diversity issue betwixt men and women on things like intelligence.

For whatever reason, men tend to have a much wider bell curve on a lot of things than women do. There are more freakishly smart men than freakishly smart women--but there are also more really stupid men than really stupid women. I think there are similarly widened bell curves for things like height, though I could be wrong. I know there is a much wider bell curve for size of genitals.

But, on sexual interest, it's men who tend to be in a relatively narrow range and women who tend to be all over the map. Not only are women usually more individually flexible (I suspect there are more genuinely bi women than genuinely bi men, and almost certainly a lot more "heteroflexible" women), but I think there may be a somewhat wider range of overall level of sex drive (both more women entirely disinterested in sex, and more women who have through-the-roof sex drives) in women than in men.

But, I could be talking out of my, er, hat here.
"As far as I know, men are *far* more likely than women to be interested in casual sex. Whether it's because of inherent differences in sexual interest****"

#78, I'm a woman with a high sex drive who had lots of casual sex in my 20's and is one of those women who can fairly easily orgasm (and prefers to) through PIV sex once I get used to a person's movements.

The reason casual sex/non-monogamy doesn't appeal to me is that it takes longer for me to figure out how to climax with a new partner. So generally, unless the guy was really good, the first few times I had sex with a new person, I wouldn't climax.

I'd rather have less frequent sex with an awesome longterm partner who knows what to do than random sex with lots of hot guys who don't make me climax. Guys don't tend to have that problem.
@auntie grizelda and sissoucat:

Right back atcha, I'm always happy to read what you post :)
Dan Savage on HBO's 'Real Time': "I Wish [Republicans] Were All F--king Dead!"

Now you want us, straight dopey Republicans to help you with boycott Russian Vodka (Because in Russia they kill gay people), because there aren't enough gay people for Russia to feel any pain. Here is a clue - when you wish someone dead - chances are they are not going to be there to help you, asshole.
Sometimes I lament my solitary single life...then I read a column like this one (except for #3) and I reaffirm why I stopped "dating" in the first place. People are crap. Liars, self-serving blowholes. Men and women. Rationalizing deceit is the ultimate in selfishness; if you are undecided whether to do what you want and then lie about it, please a) don't get married, b) don't be in relationship, c) don't breed (we don't need any more fuckheads whose parental example is absolute shit), and d) seek help.

If you can't be honest, then you need to examine your behavior.
Reading LW 1 & LW 2 makes me really wonder why some people stay (or get) married. It's not as if either of these two people seem to be in Charlotte Lucas mode ...
@81: Here's a clue: Dan Savage is not a proxy for every queer person in the world. While I consider myself a fan, I hardly agree with every single thing that comes out of his mouth. Regardless, he's trying to help other gay people in desperate need, not himself. To deny your support for the Russia's LGBT community because you're pissed at Dan for what he said on Real Time the time before last is like not supporting equal pay for women because you're pissed at something Hillary Clinton said years ago. Ridiculous, and missing the point.
@84:"...missing the point...."

Repubs (and many others) usually do.
WIFE--are you completely insane? You don't mention one redeeming value about the guy that justifies why you can't live without him. You treasure a history of soul-crushing sexlessness and crap sex when he gets around to it? You want to "merge" your families--what is this, 1896 or something? If you aren't attracted to the guy, don't enjoy what little sex you get from him, and are afraid he's going to hurt you, for fuck's sake, DTMFA and find a guy you're more compatible with. It's better to be alone than in a miserable marriage where you feel the need to cheat from the get-go.
M? Thinking - Maybe they should take the heroine from the uncompleted The Watsons as a model. Or take Lady Susan Vernon as a warning.

One often sees Mrs Collins held up as singular alongside Mr Bennet, Mr Palmer, Sir Thomas Bertram, Mr Allen, Mr Elliot and at a pinch Mr John Knightley (perhaps even Captain Benwick, though that really seems a stretch) - in most marriages of mismatched abilities, it's the man who marries a very silly partner, but I suppose we could say that Miss Lucas is simply the only one we see before committing the deed, as it seems reasonable to add Lady Elliot to that group, and perhaps Mrs Woodhouse as well.
Mr. Ven, did you see that Jane Austen will be on the £10 note, beginning in 2017?
Ms Cute - I saw something about a video to that effect, but it would not play, and accordingly I did not know what it meant. That seems highly appropriate, as Mr Bennet calculates that settling a hundred a year on Lydia during his lifetime will barely leave him ten pounds a year worse off, Sir Thomas Bertram gives Fanny ten pounds when she goes to Portsmouth with which she buys Betsy a knife so that Susan may have her own and subscribes to a lending library, and, best of all, Lady Bertram is glad that Mrs Norris gave William "something considerable" when he left Mansfield because she gave him only ten pounds.

I wonder if John Dashwood, after being argued out of settling three thousand on his half-sisters and then fifteen hundred on them or his stepmother, and still later out of the occasional present of fifty or a hundred now and then, was ever tempted to slip the old girl a tenner if his wife wouldn't have found out about it.
I think the phrase, "opportunistically heteroflexible," is absolutely inspired. It also made me laugh out loud. Thanks again, Dan.
@52 - I was interpreting Dan against the context of his oft-repeated approval of "cheating" under certain circumstances. The primary caveat for him is, "your partner is not doing anything for you, period". Examples:

- your partner refuses to have sex ever (unwilling)
- your partner refuses to make any effort to change or accomodate your needs (unwilling)
- divorce is not simple (collateral damage, nearly always kids, sometime economic devastation).
- your partner is terminally ill or otherwise legitimately incapable of meeting your needs.

In BJS' case, there is a child, and there is an un-engaged and unwilling to change partner. That's not too far off from Dan's general 'spirit of the law' - two elements are there. Heck, Dan himself said, "I'd be inclined to give you a pass". Yes, Dan also mentions the increased risk of transmission of an STI, but that's really just incidental; the difference is: she's still having sex with him, well within the average for most couples. I dunno, I think it's both of these things.

What BJS describes is going-through-the-motions chore sex...and that is unfair and that sucks. So does life. He needs to grow up, do some heavy lifting, and figure out how to approach her about working this out (testosterone?). Who knows, maybe she'd be just as happy ditching the chore/charade and letting him get it on the side - heteroflexibly if need be.
@84: No, you're the one missing the point. Like it or not, Dan is a public figure and is a (not the) spokesman for gays. To illustrate with a hypothetical example, I'm autistic. If Dan went on TV and said "I Wish autistics Were All F--king Dead!", I'd expect gay rights organizations to respond and make it clear that they were repulsed by his comments. If Dan said that on TV or published it, and there was no response from other gay representatives, then you bet I'd conclude that he was expressing the mainstream view among gays and you'd better believe I'd stop supporting gay rights.

#81 was saying "being rude to someone when you want their help is a dumb idea." He's right. Stop making excuses for Dan.
@93: That's bullshit. I never voted for Savage on a platform of queer representation in the new millennium. Dan speaks for himself; he is not an elected official. I'm also black, and if Sharpton or Farrakhan says something stupid I don't feel the need to clarify the black man's position on the matter. Their words are on them. Same with Dan, and that is hardly making an excuse for him. I don't understand your hostility or your short-sightedness, but if you are willing to ignore a human rights issue because one person that you have arbitrarily chosen to represent that group gave you the sads, you're taking a position I can't respect.
What happened to tito?
@92 If what you say is true...You deprived your loved one of their free will, thus denying them their chance to make the choices that help define themselves and their reality. The very thing that allows us to make the small, but lasting impressions that outlive us. You've subverted another human being's divinity. It's disgusting. Peddle your sick friend's wares elsewhere.
@auntie grizelda

I'm fine. It's too hot, but at last sunny ! I'm in better spirits than for the past months. I hope the end of 2013 finds me as well as today :)

@lolorhone (blushing) very honored.
@Auntie G
I'm right here, and I am good, thank you for asking:) And you?
I was taking a moment wondering why a person might think a comparison between republicans and autistic people would help his point?(93)...Typical.
But anyway, at the risk of stating the obvious, BJS "solution" to his problem is too extreme to just be a lack of blow jobs. Any normal unentitled adult straight male married for over ten years would be pretty satisfied with sex six to ten times a month even if there were no extras and it was vanilla because that's a lot, and its on a regular basis. Sorry if I've generalized a bit here but come on now. There is a bigger problem here than "I'm not getting BJS" and it has NOTHING to do with his wife. She's giving it up a lot, and since she is vanilla, it's likely on her part that it is very emotionally connected PiV sex. I have no idea what his deal is, but I think it has little to do with his existing sex life, and more to do with the fact that he is a dumbshit.

And while WIFE seems like a questionable human being at first glance, I might be inclined to agree with (I have to take a second to grasp the irony here)
Hunter@95. Codependent, time to move on, and time to move on, for real. What you two have is not really healthy, and the incompatibility is in places you can't really fix. "I can't live without him" is not the same as "I would die for him"
@80 lolorhone: Right back atcha, too!! You ROCK!!
I'm flattered, too!

@98 sissoucat: I'm doing great by the sunny weather, too!
2013 has been a tremendous year of personal; growth and
self-discovery for me. An older-sister-free lifestyle seems
to be doing wonders! I hope this continues.

@99: tito: I'm puzzled by @93's comment too.

I think your comments on BJS are spot on!! He reminds me of what Dan called a "How'd That Happen?!?" or "HTH" LW (see my comment in @49 about Mr. 200% Straight Guy, in comparison to BJS, from pages 189-190 in Dan's c. 1998 book, Savage Love). BJS clearly has a thumb up his butt.
LW #3 is looking for a hive queen? Why hasn't he heard of the Duggars yet?

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