Savage Love

Free Spirit, My Ass


Wow, Dan, you really came on hard with SBOOO... but I have to agree. It doesn't sound like she was all that honest with him up front.

As far as the restriction of male orgasms, where do I sign up, and how to I turn my wife onto this practice?
Wow - my first thought was sympathy for SBOOO.

Thinking I'm like her.

Except I'm not. I've always thought a committed relationship should be monogamous. And I've always been truthful about it.

I find your advice very sound. (Unfortunately...)
good on ya dan - SBOOO needed that!
it looks like she's been asking all round town for the answer you gave her. now she's got it, i bet she'll screw it up even more as we've seen that in the past, once she's got the hard answers to the silly questions she aska, she doesn't listen and continues down the same tragic path. good luck to her in finding a husband who hasn't got outside desires.
hahahah dan i died laughing at your advice for sboo. so true though, probably wanted to get married more than anything and just thought that marriage would 'magically' make her husband not want to have sex with other people anymore. what a lame-o.
Love it Dan! I feel bad for SBOOO, but she definitely had it coming.
Man, I agree with your "on your own head be it" sentiment for SBOOO, but you're terribly harsh, no? Lots of people don't know themselves as well as they should sexually, and lots of people are freaked by nonmonogamy. It sucks to be this couple, but it's not an unheard of insecurity. And I think you should have called the husband on one point: having a conversation about having sex with other people himself and then proposing to go out that night isn't particularly gentle and understanding, no matter how ill used he's feeling.
The advice to SBOOO was spot on! Too many monogamous women cruise for and pick up on swinging/poly men, feeding them that exact line of bullshit. And it's all for that same hope for a future power rush that has always kept women flocking to the incompatible: the sad forlorn hope that they will be "important enough" to change for. It all comes down to that, doesn't it?

Can we finally start focusing on something other that our egos for a while? PLEASE?!?!
I've not a shred of sympathy for Sbooo....her fiance was upfront and honest, and instead of a caring, supportive partner, he gets a lying sac of bull. I hope the poor guy doesn't get taken to the cleaners by this dishonest woman.
ya know maybe sbooo's partner could take some responsibility here. How could he not notice? And even though she was delusional, people do change their minds. I did and had to break up over it. It wasn't what i thought i wanted. But yep, he was Mr. good bar and she lied to herself to have him. bummer
It seems odd that two people would go so far as to marry, one knowing full well that the other had a kink that was very important to him and was non-negotiable, without actually indulging the kink first and seeing how things went. Especially one as potentially threatening to a relationship as this one. I have to wonder, too, if she honestly had no expectation that she might possibly have a problem with it. You'd think you'd know yourself better than that before you decide to make as serious a commitment as marriage.
LOADED should try prostate milking if he would like to ejaculate on a regular basis while still experiencing something like chastity. Tell him, Dan!
Hey, swinging isn't something you can harmlessly pretend being ok with when dating so you can get in someone's pants and later-after getting committed, that is- confess you hated all along like going to football games, salsa dancing, vegan restaurants or whatever.

It's hard to have a drama-free relationship, polyamorous or monogamous, and this guy gets all the credit for being honest upfront.

And yes, the marriage counseling does count as emotional blackmail, only potentially devastating because it's not just you and him: you get the backup of science, law and society.

That's just very, very unfair.
maybe she was one of those "waiting til marriage" chicks....
Hey, here's a thought - maybe it isn't "real" swinging unless you are married. Possibly she wanted to wait for the real deal before trying it?


What?!? Only 2 letters?!?!?

What is this also due to the economic downturn Dan?

Boo - we need more Dan.

kisses xoxoxox
Actually, this does bring up a more important larger question - how do you go to a marriage counselor in a situation where the main problem centers around something fetishistic or weird (unless you are a Savage reader, of course)?

Dan makes a great point that even if you are right in the situation, you are likely to get smacked by convention. Also, I probably don't really want to tell nice Dr. Schmaltzmann that I want black midgets coated in strawberry jam up my butt, as an example, let's say.
I commend SBOOO for at least TRYING to be GGG about her husband's non-monogomous tendency. However, when she found that she can't stand him "cheating," she came to the wrong conclusion. Instead of saying "You should only sleep with me from now on because I don't want you to cheat," she should be saying "I'm terribly sorry that even though I thought I was open to the idea, *I* am not comfortable with it. Therefore, here is what *I* will do to solve the problem."
I think some people are being a little harsh on SBOOO - sometimes you think that something will work for you, and then you only find later that it won't. I'm polyamorous, and it turns out I don't like sex with multiple partners at the same time. This was a bit of a shock to learn.

HOWEVER, I totally agree that if someone has a specific sexual requirement (although I don't classify swinging as a fetish), it's good to find out if you can cope with said requirement (whether or not you participate) BEFORE you sign legal documents!

And he was an idiot as well, assuming that "willingness to try" = "absolutely fine with you having orgies forever". Also, his way of going "Ok, you don't want to? I'll be off shagging 600 people this evening, then. Don't wait up!" was less than classy. I don't think he should pretend to something he's not capable of, but at least making some efforts towards compromise ("OK, I'll attend an orgy once a month, on this date") would be somewhat better.

So, yeah, between biting off more than you can chew, and hubby seemingly not being capable of postponing his fun for 5 minutes and proposing potential win-win solutions, unless you can do some *serious* negotiation quickly, time to call it quits.
The first LW was 100% wrong to not try swinging before marriage, but I can't come down on her like Dan does... Sometimes, even things I've done before and didn't bother me change as the relationship grows or changes (swinging was fine before marriage cause there wasn't such a huge commitment should one party take it too far... the risk of a break-up is not as daunting as the risk of a divorce.)

I'm with Trix on the point though that the husband doesn't seem that willing to compromise. Also, I got the impression that the LW isn't pissed off so much by the "cheating," but rather that his sexual life has an "outward trajectory." She also adds that the sex isn't "relationship centered."

Even you, Dan, say that in swinging, your primary partner should remain the focus. If he's busy running off to screw multiple different people without her, maybe she isn't getting her sexual needs met... and he doesn't seem to care. There's a difference between swinging and out and out sexual abandonment, right?
Lol, fraud in the inducement. Imagine if you did something like this in a business context. You could go to jail or be fined, but somehow it's acceptable in a relationship? I'm sure the marriage "counselors" would say so. Unbelievable.

Well, as the letter indicated, she never did any swinging while they were engaged, only after the fact. That's very suspicious. And quite frankly it's not a matter of her trying to be GGG, he was *honest* about who he was from the beginning. And then she decided, well gee, I guess I'm not really into that. The husband has been deceived and hopefully he won't be cleaned out in the divorce.

And a final point, it seems as though this idea of "relationship" has been reified into some entity that he has to sacrifice (bad) his identity to while she, the martyr, (which I don't value) is trying to hold on to something which shouldn't exist in the first place. Having sex with other people in this context does not make him non-"relationship centered". Hell, he got with her didn't he?

In any case, if SBOOO has even a modicum of integrity, she should do her husband a favor and divorce him.

LOADED: get her to milk your prostate. Not a lot of pleasure, unlike masturbation or intercourse, but relieves pressure!
Hey, Dan. Thanks for coming out in support of negotiated non-monogamy. Considering that you're the only sex advice professional that anyone gives a flying fuck about, now that Dr. Ruth doesn't make the talk-show circuit anymore, I hope that you'll have a good influence on the average public opinion on this and other topics.

Alternative positions on sexuality are, I hope, becoming normalized, especially among the below-40 crowd. I look forward to the day when everyone's harmless kinks and preferences are as uncontroversial as their choices of breakfast cereal.

Keep up the good work!
I think the reality is that most people are not honest with themselves - as a culture kids are raised to think about what they want and not how they feel... SBOOO is a victim of this.. and yes, agreed... acceptance is the key to all her problems.
I feel bad for SBOOO but you were spot on Dan. If anything though, I would have suggested that she continue with counseling, but to try and find a counselor who specifically works w/ poly/swinger couples. What she should be able to see at the end is that her husband loves her, and he wouldn't have married her in the first place if he didn't want to be with her. The reason she doesn't like his activities is out of fear of abandonment, insecurities about herself, and a fear that her husband's love for her is less because he is physical with others. If she got a good therapist, she might even get to a place where SHE can enjoy others sexually, while feeling safe in their relationship.
Jealousy is a terrible green monster, and it can rear it's head in even the best of open relationships. The best thing is to work out the root of the jealousy, so they can move on and grow in their love.
Related to the infrequent ejaculation, Watch out. I have Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), and ejaculation a few times a week helps.
Dan, you really missed the boat on this one, maybe because of anger at the competition? You were too hard on SBOOO and completely left the husband of the hook. He did not have sex outside the relationship pre-marriage, so he was at least implying that it is not as important for him as he know claims. Also, she did make a good faith effort to accommodate him. Why is her making an effort to make the relationship work "negotiating in bad faith" while his refusal to accommodate her is being honest. She obviously want's to let him have sex outside the relationship, just not all the time and she also wants to be the primary, not a secondary partner. Why is that not legit? To me, it looks that he lied to himself and to her at least as much as she did, if not more. In the end, she should probably divorce him, but not because she lied, but because he's not doing anything for THEIR relationship.
Deceit of *any* type that changes after commitment is wrong. Admitting you don't like vegan restaurants or salsa could potentially be just as bad as incompatible sexuality.

There is absolutely no way SBOOO is being honest here. About the best spin that can be placed on it is that she was dishonest with herself, but not to him.

Being adult involves being honest about who you are, and entering into marriage is a commitment that should be taken seriously. If you haven't made 100% certain of something, try outside marriage until you're sure..
Dan, you're being incredibly harsh and unfair to SBOOO. Yeah, you are. Sounds like she's made a good faith attempt to be GGG, and it just hasn't worked out for her. Her husband's not willing to negotiate or compromise now they're married - even though he was willing to wait until they got married before they went swinging. A husband who isn't interested in satisfying his wife sexually so long as his own sexual needs are being met, is a classic DTMFA target.

So, I think she should look for a divorce. DTMFA, SBOOO. San Davage is never going to be supportive about a wife who wants her husband to give her sexual satisfaction before he runs off to orgies of his own.
Hey, Dan says that relationships are built upon lies. That makes them all okay, right Dan?
Advice to SBOOO was spot on, including calling her out for not being fully honest. Nice to see someone tell it to her like it is.
I'm with Trix, Marty and Frink. SBOOO gets to shoulder a lot of the blame here, but not all of it for all the reasons these posters outlined. Hubbie is rude and clueless. SBOOO had a change of heart (sometimes a kink isn't as much fun as you thought it would be) but getting married before investigating something so important is foolish of both of them.

However, I can't argue with the conclusion: divorce. These two are clearly not capable of sexually satisfying each other, and both seem unwilling to show some thought for the consequences of their actions. Time to file papers before a child gets dragged into this and complicates matters farther.
wow! what can I say, except... MENTAL.
Gee, if everyone knew exactly who they were and were always going to be, and exactly what they wanted and would always want, AND were able to totally communicate that to their potential partner, who also knew exactly who they were and were always going to be, and exactly what they wanted and would always want, AND were able to totally communicate that to their potential partner I bet there wouldn't be nasty breakups! But for most people that's not the case. Hopefully they can cut their losses, keep their mouths shut and quietly divide up the assets. Neither one is going to sound good in court.
Wow! I'm torn. I feel so bad for SBOOO, but she was stupid, and he was honest. Best they divorce now, before they procreate.
Gee, Dan, you really blasted SBOOO with both guns. I infer that you're trying to balance the advice she's getting from a counselor, but you're just making an educated guess about what the counselor said. You treat SBOOO as if she'd perpetrated a bait-and-switch, but that's unfair. Her deal was that she would try swinging. If she'd done it once or twice, you'd have a point, but she claims to have done it a dozen times.

You've made the husband out to be the victim, but that's nonsense. He agreed to the "she'll try it" deal. The issue is that they had no plan for what to do if she hated it. (You seem to presume that she knew she'd hate it, and basically call her a liar for claiming to be a free spirit, but there's only sketchy evidence for that. The fact that she tried it several times shows more openness than most women would have. It's possible that she was merely naive about what her limits would be.)

As you point out, they needed to resolve this before marriage. Not her: they! They didn't, so they are both to blame. Furthermore, before they were married was he faithful to her, cheating and lying, or openly fooling around? If it's anything but the last of these, he's to blame for allowing her to believe that he could be monogamous.

Although your apportioning of the blame is biased, your advice was sound. He doesn't just want multiple partners, he wants to swing, which means that even if she could give him carte blanche he wouldn't be happy because he'd want her to participate. They need to accept the pain of divorce now before there are children's lives to ruin.
41 a little torn. Yes, Mrs. SBOOO should have known better than to marry someone sexually incompatible. But, Mr. SBOOO probably should have known, too. I'm thinking that Mr. SBOOO must have at least suspected that his wife was just not that into it, even before they got married. I don't actually see either one of them as the bad guy. They probably loved eachother, knew they weren't sexually compatible, but got married anyway. People do it all the time. They get married anyway, even though they know there's a major problem in some area (in this case sexually) of their relationship. Then, years later it finally surfaces and they have to admit they weren't really right for eachother in the first place. Love is blind.
@Storm, @Doktor: we've tried prostate milking, but we haven't had much luck; my wife isn't up for using her fingers (can't say I blame her), and although I enjoy the sensations with a dildo, we've never managed to produce any significant amount of fluid, even when I've been denied for quite a while. I put this in the original letter but Dan cut it down for length.

Is there a trick to prostate milking? Can it be done successfully without fingers? Seriously, pointers are appreciated.
You are the BOMB and should tell SBOOOO again that she is the worse kind of woman. you don't marry someone who tells you the truth then try to change them. He did the right thing. The perfect thing. and she spat in his face about it. I hope he makes it out from under that manipulative shrew so he can find a nice poly gal to live happily ever after with. Bully for you Dan you are the Mann!!!
Dunno if it's any help to SBOOO, but I found going to a poly friendly counselor to be a huge help in my own wrestling with open relationship difficulties (I knew it was what I wanted, but jealousy can still be tough). A useful resource for me was "Polychromatic", which has state-by-state listings of various professionals, including therapists:
In regards to SBOOO: Her husband was a bit of an idiot as well for marrying a woman who said that she was open to the idea of swinging but didn't want to do any actual swinging until after they were married. The thought should have occurred to him that there was a definite possibility that once she tried it she might not actually like it. He should have been more persistent in her experimenting with swinging before they actually got married.
I don't necessarily agree with the advice give to sboo. Guess what....sometimes people's minds change. Just because her mind changed it doesn't make her a bad person. Yes, her husband made it blantantly clear that he needed to have sex outside the relationship before they were married so I understand that side of the argument. The point shouldn't be to assualt this woman verbally because she is now uncomfortable with the idea of her husband fucking other people. Relationships change, particularly after marriage. I know Dan might think those of us who aren't into open relationships are naive and somehow unevolved, but it is a natural human emotion to want to have your partner to yourself and the idea of them fucking someone else doesn't feel good to most. I also think it is very possible to find a therapist who will agree with the husband in this situation. Just because Dan thinks that most therapists are monogamy-centric, it doesn't mean they aren't logical human beings who can't understand that they had an agreement before they married.
No, no sympathy here for SBOOO. She's a total idiot and pulled the bait-and-switch on her husband. Let him go, SBOOO - he'll never be happy with you and you'll never be happy with him. I'm thinking the best thing that can come out of this for you is that he'll satisfy his desires elsewhere and just not tell you about it - that will be a real possibility if you force him into agreeing to monogamy. But hopefully, he'll get rid of you before it comes to that and put you out of your misery. I guess I do have some sympathy for you - I've screwed stuff up, too - but this is screw up is all on you, of fairly disasterous proportions. Super stupid to not explore poly-play BEFORE you marry a man who's been up front with you about it - and then to whine about you not being enough for him? Kind of amazingly stupid, really.
A little harsh on SBOOO Dan. I get people need tough love sometimes, but that seemed more like kicking a dolly when she's down.

Of course, if you were all moonbeams and unicorns and easy let downs we wouldn't enjoy reading you so much, now would we?
Dan's right, SBOOO, you DID pick the wrong advice columnist. You picked one who used to be accepting of pretty much ALL sexual arrangements within a relationship, including monogamy, but is now a dogmatic, militantly pro-poly prick whose life has become a non-stop bitch-fest.

SBOOO did NOT deceive her husband before the marriage. She said she was willing to explore the open marriage thing, she came to a point where she felt comfortable actually giving it a go (sadly, after they got married), she gave it a fair shot (a dozen times!), and found (unexpectedly, it sounds from the tone of her letter), that she didn't like sharing.

A funny little thing about any sort of alternative sexuality you're thinking of trying: no matter how hot the IDEA of something may be IN YOUR HEAD, you don't know if you'll really like it or not until you ACTUALLY GO THERE. Dan, I'd think someone with your reputation as "Lord God of all Sexperts" would know this.

Personally, I'd like to try watersports sometime, THINKING that that warm liquid splashing on me would be a major turn-on. But, if I ACTUALLY WENT THERE, it could very easily turn out that, say, the degradation aspect, or simply the smell of piss all over me would wind up being a major turn-off. Did I act in bad faith telling the guy I'd be willing to try it? Of course not, because, like SBOOO, I TRULY DID want to try it.

SBOOO, ignore Dan's advice. You DID act in good faith. It sounds like you guys discussed it like rational adults, and you gave it a fair shot. However, it was probably dumb to go ahead with getting married without knowing for sure if you'd be into swinging or not. But maybe there were huge family pressures pushing you two into getting married; it happens.

And, sadly, Dan's right on this as well: we've got irreconcilable incompatibility here. :-(
I have to weigh in on the SBOOO topic from a professional side. As a Sex Therapist who WOULD advocate non-monogamy when appropriate (and I would suggest that any couple seeking help with questions of non-monogamy see a SEX therapist, as a opposed to a MARRIAGE counselor-- because sex therapists have people's good sexual health in mind, and marriage counselors MAY have people's long term marriages in mind) I would say that there are many factors to weigh in when considering dissolving a marriage. Dan, I know your column is about sex advice, and from a healthy sexuality perspective you came to the right conclusion, but when considering people's WHOLE personalities, etc. it may be a much harder decision to make (I.E. imagine if SBOOO were pregnant?) unfortunately these topics in real life have complicated outcomes and I would suggest this couple seek the professional services of a AASECT-certified sex therapist, and not your everyday sex columnist or marriage counselor.
That was jerky. Poor SBOOO.
dan's the man. terminating bullshit.
Right on with SBOOO Dan.

I'm in a non-monogamous relationship myself and I thought I was in her shoes for a bit. But I had ONE calm discussion with my boyfriend and he helped me get out and dating other guys. And surprise, once I tried it, I found I liked it.

I now have three SPARE boys kicking around, none of them are quite as nice as my main boy, but they're cute. The big thing is that I tried it BEFORE I decided that the idea 'crushed' me. I still have some trouble occasionally but I've found some ways to help me because I know that I don't want monogamy right now either.

Anyhow, like we've all said SBOOO was a nail that you've hit right on the head. And you're just going to have to accept my praise, despite how much you hate it.

While you are right to assert that Sbooo is accountable for her own actions, but your outrage seems inconsistent.

You have received hundred of letters from people who have fallen out of love and/or cheated on their spouse.
Many of the writers entered in marriage thinking they could "settle down" or that they had married their "soul mate."

While Sboo is at fault, she did try to swing with multiple partners and it wasn't what she expected.

How many us have found marriage something other than we hoped?

Those of use, myself included, are equally at fault. We made irrational decisions based on love or lust and we too are accountable.

I guess we are idiots, too, but you have never let us have it as you did with Sboo.
Just to point out, to the sboo-supporting folks... She wrote "I wanted to spend my limited free time with him instead of _exploring_ our sexuality with multiple partners." She's the one who needed to "explore" while he was already into it. And she delayed "exploring" until they were married. Big. Mistake. And why? Because it would have been too stressful? I smell an excuse here... Not to say there aren't jobs that require too much of your free time, but it obviously didn't preclude her from having _some_ kind of sex.

But while the wrath on her is deserved, her hubby should take some responsibility. What they did was "wait until marriage." Whether it's straight sex or their kinky lifestyle, they're realizing what so many Christian couples discover that they're not compatible. But why all the drama? It's only been a year, write it off as a Starter Marriage & move on....
Dan Savage is back in the HAUS!!!!!!
PLEASE PLEASE PU-LEAZE keep this up, minimize the politics and other antics, and give us more of this!!!!!!
OK....Granted, I dont have the equipment at my disposal every minute of every day per se....but my ex-husband claims that when he masturbated, he held the base of his cock so that he would feel the orgasm, yet not release any 'messy' stuff....(this is not the reason i divorced him by the way...) Dont other men do that at all?
@doulas1: the point of orgasm denial isn't to avoid making a mess, it's to subjugate the male's desire for orgasm to his partner's will. For men who enjoy this sort of thing, it's fun to be near-constantly aroused but denied the release of orgasm until their partner chooses (rarely) to grant it.

Fully experiencing and enjoying an orgasm that just happened to not make a mess would undermine the experience.
@doulas1 That's called retrograde ejaculation. It's categorized as a type of ruined orgasm, which are commonly used in orgasm denial situations. It's a less common technique than thumbing, holding the thumb over the urethra when the man is about to ejaculate.
Damn Dan that answer was white hot. I mean scorching because that is how most sista's think. It's a kind of verbal castration that they use. And she is going to blow it in the wrong direction because judging by the tone of her letter she assumed that she was 100% correct in writing you, and when she found out she was wrong that is a deal breaker for her 2
While I am not debating whether SBOOO seems dishonest or unintelligent, I think putting all the blame on her is unfair. The husband, knowing she was unexperienced with swinging, polygamy, or what have you, married her. How brilliant a decision does that sound for anyone who takes marriage and divorce seriously?
Dan's answer to SBOO is laughable, laughable horseshit.

BOTH partners got motherfucking MARRIED before they started swinging, even though one said it's basically a necessity, and the other said she'd "explore" it. how are they both not at fault, unless you're Dan Savage?

You never, ever get married with a huge question mark like that left unresolved. They both jumped in. It sounds like they were both in love and felt that the accomodating/negotiating process would make everybody happy in the event of a problem, because -- hey, they're both open, sexually adventurous, knowledgeable people. WRONG.

SBOO, if you read this, it's important to know that you don't carry all the blame for what looks like irreconciliable differences. He married you, too, knowing you'd never been non-monogamous. I think it's a really a good faith misunderstanding, but there's actually room in this for the husband to be the bad guy too.

How? Well, he mentions swinging upfront, so he's got "full disclosure" covered, but he waits until this woman is married to him, and, when it obviously, painfully doesn't work for her, he pushes it anyway -- because he was open about it in the beginning. Yeah, and she was open, too. She was willing to "explore" it not knowing how much she'd like it. Now this guy is so clueless that he's manipulating permission out of her to go to a swingers party the same night they talk about it. Really.

But somehow, he shoulders no conceivable blame -- ALL because he discllosed his kink upfront. I call bullshit. That doesn't absolve him, he just wants that to absolve him. And Dan totally fell for it, because Dan is a stupid piece of shit.

Either way, it's a divorce.
And reading SBOO again, she considered the sex "experimental" while obviously considered it essential in the long term. She's at fault, because even in this letter, she really doesn't get that, and, well, that does come across as self-centered and clueless, that she kept blithely assuming it wasn't essential to him -- "experiments" are by definition not proven as essential -- even though he made a point of saying otherwise.

BUT -- he married her before this sorted out. The blame is mutual. End of story.
To SBOO's husband: DTMFA, and whatever you do, DO NOT HAVE A KID WITH THIS WOMAN. Matters will only be made worse if you do. Next time, make sure she goes on a swinging test drive before committing yourself.
Right on, Dan. I'm sure the killer work schedule didn't preclude her from planning a massive wedding.

Of course, about ten or fifteen years into her second marriage, SBOOB will probably love the idea of swinging when her hubby comes down with ED.

Both barrels? She deserved a Gatling gun.
Look, I'm starting to think this whole prostate-milking thing is an urban kink-legend. Someone set me straight and tell me how it's done!
Good lord, how long were SBOO and her husband dating before they got married? And he wasn't swinging during that time? I agree, he's just as at fault here. My guess is they're both young and will have learned from this experience. Your life before marriage should look as much as possible like your life after marriage, or else you really don't know the person you're about to get hitched to.
Yes, she should have known herself better, and yes, he should have been more sensitive to her and paid more attention to this very key issue himself, if it was a deal-breaker for him. They were both idealistic. Probably because they were in love.

It is too bad that society will tend to make him out to be the bad guy. But I don't think either of them were honest enough about this issue.

I have never met anyone who was completely self-aware and self-honest, to the point that issues did not come up. Is the point here to find out who is to blame? Or what to do now?

I'm a woman who tends to be basically monogamous in a relationship with a man who has always been clear he is polyamorous. I knew it would not be easy for me, I knew I would get jealous, but I didn't really know how I would feel. Sometimes it's been excruciating. Sometimes I have considered leaving, and so has he.

Neither of us knew if this could work going in, but we decided to do it anyway.

But we have been together for several years now, and it is, for the most part, wonderful. He has two other partners, who are my closest friends. I still feel jealous sometimes, and have decided to stay with it, partly because this is an opportunity to grow in my own tendencies to feel threatened.

So, I don't think there is enough information to give a pat answer like "divorce". It's possible this could be worked out, but I don't think a typical divorce counselor will be very open about poly. There is some social wisdom in the poly community about this, and there are people who do it.

Been through this myself, but fortunately didn't get married before the crisis. Lies is lies.

I think your 99.99% of marriage counselors figure is high. We tried it. She selected the counselor (female) and got told off.
LOADED, milking the prostate is NOT a myth. We use it in medicine to obtain semen samples, and in animal breeding it's used to get bull semen (although they use e-stim). Some men are quick about it and will ejaculate as soon as you enter them with a (gloved) finger. Others require a little work at it. Just like masturbation. How is it done? You stimulate the prostate and the easiest way to get to it is thru the back door. This can be done with a finger or a dildo of some kind. It's the walnut sized/shaped lump you can feel in someones butt. Just about at the tip of a finger. This is why anal sex for men is so much fun. It's often referred to as the buzz button. You and your wife should try it, but without alot of pressure or expectation at first. Read up on anal sex to get an idea of the do's and don't's involved. She could also consider pegging as the only way you get to cum.
OK, so every word Dan said to SBOOO was true, but....

Could he maybe have waited, oh, a day, before heading out to a sex party after his wife gave him the green light? I mean, could he at least pretend to give a shit about her feelings, unreasonable though they may be? I'm wondering if this might have something to do with her crushed feeling and all.
Regarding SBOOO: I agree that *some* compassion is in order. I just do not think one should assume that she was being manipulative in the hope of "converting" her husband to a monogamous lifestyle. That *may* have been her intention, but she *could* have genuinely thought that she would be able to be GGG for swinging. Maybe she was naive or stupid, but that is not the same thing as being deliberately deceptive.
However, in the end, I do have to agree with the substance (if not the tone) of Dan's advice to SBOOO. It really would have been best to give the swinging a try before marriage (work stress not being a very good reason to postpone it since work can almost always be a source of stress.)
Also: I did a Google search for "saddlebacking" and the first two links that pop up are for that church, not our term. So let's keep clicking away at the sites that define it our way ;-)
Like Danielle, I am a kink and poly friendly therapist -- both a couples/marriage therapist and a sex therapist. I'll echo Danielle's suggestion to look into finding a sex therapist. Be careful though -- many people who claim to practice sex therapy have little to no formal training in the subject.

I suggest using the AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) website to find a certified sex therapist who is well trained and comfortable working with poly and kink related issues (website: -> for the public -> find a professional).

To SBOOO: My personal (not professional) take on your situation is that Dan is correct insofar as your husband is unlikely to change, and it's unfair to expect him to do so given his honesty up front. Thus, you are left with a choice of learning to cope with this part of your relationship or pursuing separation/divorce.

That said, you may find that you can work through the negative feelings you are having about this situation. I wish I could send you an unpublished article that I came across that gets into some of the nitty-gritty of jealousy in poly relationships. Suffice to say that you are either knowingly or unknowingly buying into a lot of cultural myths about love and sex, and these may be at the root of your feelings.
@bigbear I know some guys can hit orgasm (and ejaculate) from anal stimulation, but I thought prostate milking was where prostate stimulation produces semen *without* the usual orgasm and ejaculation experience? I read that the cock can even be iced or restrained for the duration to prevent erection and climax?

That's what we're going for, anyway. As I mentioned upthread, we've tried this a few times without any luck. My wife uses an Aneros on me like a dildo, and we've kept this up for 15 mins or so at a time, but never produced more than a few drops of what looks like pre-cum.

If I could ask a naive question for a moment... does gay anal sex always produce semen even before / without the receiver actually climaxing? If not, what do you do differently, beyond the straightforward in-and-out, if you're going for "prostate milking"? Harder? Softer? Different angle? Different tool? What's the deal?
mjd has a point. Give it a second will ya. Maybe this guy didn't give a rat's ass about his wife's feelings. I know many of you, Dan, included hold this champion up like Jordan himself. However there is a little devil on my shoulder whispering maybe this guy got off on his poser wife's disgruntled attempts to swing. DICK
Marriage, the long train in and out of many dark tunnels.

And don't let anybody tell you other wise.

Thanks Dan.
Bigbear, I think you're confusing prostate milking with a prostate orgasm... the idea behind prostate milking is that there is no orgasm. Unlike pegging.
I love the whole surreality of the prostate milking thing weaving in and out of the serious relationships texts. Like that beat the beaver game with the pop up heads.

One thing I don't get is SBO3's husbands viewpoint actually. We swing and we do so because I am incredibly hot for my wife and I want to see her in action. She's basically my personal pocket pornstar but for obvious reasons she doesn't want to make movies, so we go about it this way. It would be inconceivable for us to "swing" apart; it appears totally to miss the point for me. We swing for each other. The others involved are props. "Swinging" apart looks more to me like, well, adultery, i.e. just going and fucking other people. It's not swinging.

I am baffled by him running out to an orgy on his own. This looks like he just wants to have a lot of random sex (hooray for that, BTW). But then why get married?

Ruined orgasms are very effective. Thumbing is very frustrating, as my GF mentioned. So is edging till you dribble. The goal there is to prevent spurting.
Just wondering, how old are SBOOO and her soon-to-be-ex? I can much more easily imagine a 21 y.o. honestly miscalculating. To paraphrase some a judge once told me, "I find it hard to see a 35 year old as a misguided youth."
I agree 100% with the advice to SBOO, but I'd add "Divorce. Get it over with, and do your best not to make him feel shittier through the process than he already will. Don't parade his kink before your family and friends: his kink isn't the problem. The problem in your marriage is your willingness to misrepresent your own feelings for the sake of 'civility'."
To LOADED: it is very clear that you want to come. So do! Fuck her and her neediness - all she is thinking about is her sorry ass that is somehow not getting enough attention. And guess what? She never will. She is using your submissiveness selfishly. Fuck her and her manipulating games. Come when you want to.
Wait, LOADED only leaks pre-cum when aroused after "several weeks" of orgasm denial? Don't most people "leak" when they're aroused most of the time (and I'm not talking about getting a random stiffy when a hottie walks by you on the street). Isn't that the whole point of pre-cum, to aid in lubrication for sex? Shouldn't he be doing it every session?
@cumster this is definitely my kink, not hers; I *want* to be denied. It's a little hard to explain why. Ask Numb-Dicked Dude.

@tora, Dan edited this part a little inexplicably. My original letter said that when in denial, I leak precum "even when only moderately aroused". So, basically, at the drop of a hat. I *always* leak precum when I get good and turned on, denial or no denial.
Oy. I would give SBOOO the benefit of the doubt, just a little. It seems quite possible to me that she was, in fact, open to the idea but learned with experience that she didn't like it. In which case, the verdict is the same: his needs are stated, they aren't compatible, it should end.

If on the other hand she *did* know in advance that she preferred/needed monogamy, then she's a lying sack as Dan suggested. But I'll give her the benefit of the doubt on that until proven otherwise.

On the other hand, hubby's an idiot. Why on earth did he marry her on the promise of "we'll explore your needs later to see if I can handle them?" You need to figure that shit out before you tie the knot, and that goes as much for him as for her.
SBOO is a sick person, saying she was too busy at work to experiment is such a mindfuckingly obvious lie it makes me sick. She lies to her husband, lies to you in her letter, and probably lies to everyone she knows to get her way. Thank you so much Dan for probably being the first person in her life to not coddle her perpetual victim fetish
I would love to hear a response from SBOOO's husband. Two sides to every story - and her's is on his side. I bet he's got stories to tell....
Dan do you agree that if you have a non negotiable kink that maybe you hold some responsibility for exploring it with a partner before you marry them? SBOO TOLD his partner before they got married that he wanted an open relationship; but he didn't EXPLORE it with her.

She made an attempt it didn't work. That's why you have to explore you kinks before you do something as serious as marriage.

Honestly with your heavy blame on the woman for trying to "trick" a man into marriage you sound a bit like a 1950's Superman Comic. Don't be a dick.
Ahh the more I think about this the madder it makes me. Not only have you played to thoroughly outdated ideas about marriage but you’ve also played to Mad Men era ideas about sex. That the woman is responsible for it. It SBOO responsibility to make sure she’s compatible to her husband’s kink. Not his responsibility to make sure she is. He didn’t insist on a dry run. He didn’t make it a condition of marriage. Fuck him. They where both irresponsible, yet you lay all the blame on the woman. Get out your head out of the post war era sex relations.
Oh, we went even further than SBOOO. We agreed to an open relationship, my wife found a lover who she enjoyed regularly for about 2 years. I had a little more trouble finding a willing outside playmate. Just about the time her relationship petered out I finally found someone, and now that I have a "friend" and she does not, all of a sudden she is not comfortable with this sort of relationship.
Poor sbooo's husband. The man comes into marriage honestly, up front and respectful and no matter what, he's going to be the bad guy.

His wife (sbooo) is a lying, skeeball. I have almost no sympathy for her. I hope I never marry a liar like her.

Perhaps I sound harsh, but marriage and divorce aren't trivial things. To take what he said so glibly and just go along simply to get married is a terrible thing to do. Of course, she being the woman will have all the sympathy of the world even though she screwed him. If I were a woman, I'd be ashamed of being a member of the same sex as this liar. Of course, I have rapists in my ranks so I have nothing to be all that proud of, but sheesh! What a bitch!
LOADED: and… both have information about prostate milking and technique.… is a personal account (not my own). Use the internet! A simple Google search will bring up so much information on it all. Even Wikipedia has an entry on Prostate Massage!…
As mentioned above, you should make sure gloves are used. Have fun, and enjoy!
Yeah, okay, after reading some of the comments, I concur that sbooo's husband was something of an idiot and is somewhat responsible for this mess, but, seriously, he's the one who's going to the real victim here (by society's closemindedness). I'd call the split about 80% her fault and 20% his fault (maybe 30%). He's an idiot too. She's still a bitch.

Yep, he was a callous prick about the whole thing too, but he's a man, and we know (at least I do) how men are. Heck, he sounds like me... :)
FYI, that should be "skeezeball."

Dang typos!!!!
SBOOO's husband could not have been any clearer about his sexual wants and practices. Just another example of how denial always comes back to bite you in the ass.
Way too harsh on SBOOO.

Sure she should have tried it but he should have insisted. Even once before they got married would have been enough. That it didn't happen is both their responsibilities.

Pretty hateful feedback all round considering two people are now going to have to divorce. The gleeful schadenfreude in response has caused me to lose a lot of respect for this usually engaging and informative column and some of the people who respond to it.

So much for tolerance, wisdom and respect.
Now SBOOO's next step is to have a baby, because that will change his mind, right?
Meghan, oolongtea: yeah, that's kinda what I thought. He married her without making her demonstrate that she was ok with it. He took her "I'm too busy, whaa" at face value. Dumb! People are rarely too busy to do the stuff that's central to their happiness and fulfillment. People are often too busy to do stuff that they don't actually want to do.

But hey, they loved each other, and we all know that love is the deep, prolific spring at the source of that one river in Egypt.
Jesus, Dan, maybe she deceived him and herself, and then again maybe she just discovered her own preferences.

Sounds like she was GGG at first.

I re-read the letter and couldn't find positive evidence of deceit or of waiting specifically after getting married, then deliberately *deciding* to change and spring the surprise.

If she's someone for whom monogamy works, I'd say that tolerance allows her as much sexual freedom as anyone.

It can't be with that particular husband, but differences happen.
Way too hard on SBOOO. She tried. I'd get engaged before swinging too, to make sure I wasn't just a ticket to a swing party (lots of them don't allow single men). He said, "I'm not monogamous." So what? It's not a get out of jail free card - what else did he say? "I never felt like this about anybody before"? Maybe he led her to believe he'd change.
While I don't disagree with your advice, Dan, to be fair to SBOOO, she was willing to experiment. She just didn't like it. A dozen is a pretty fair trial.

Also to be fair, the guy married her, too, without "making sure" that swinging would work for them as a couple.

Being an open-minded, tolerant, liberal person does not mean that you have to accept anything, within the confines of your own relationship, that personally offends you. Get it? That means it's a-o.k. to break up with a guy you're dating because you don't like his fascination with golden showers, his foot fetish, his closet cross-dressing, his love of gay porn, or, in this case, his desire to have sex outside the relationship. As a matter of fact, you are totally un-hip and pathetically uncool if you force yourself to remain in a relationship where you have to put up with something that completely turns you off. You are also a jerk if you pass unwarranted judgment on adults who engage in consensual relationships that don't appeal to your tastes, but that doesn't mean you have to jump into bed with those folks to prove just how progressive you are!

My point is that SBOOO should take pride in her individual sexual preference and identity (which is monogamous heterosexual), find a compatible sexual partner, and not feel guilty about it! The only regrettable thing is that SBOOO married her husband before she tested their sexual compatibility. So she made a mistake by marrying a guy she isn't compatible with. And her husband made a mistake by failing to test the waters before marriage. It sounds like they followed their hearts and not their heads, and engaged in a whole hell of a lot of wishful thinking.

Well, they both messed up, and placing blame doesn't do much good at this juncture. It doesn't sound like they have any kids, so parting shouldn't be too horribly protracted. They need to shake hands and go their separate ways armed with the knowledge that's it's not only o.k., but necessary, to demand sexual compatibility, even for fans of traditional monogamy and the missionary position! SBOO will be a million times happier married to a monogamous guy, and her current husband will be loving it when he's out swinging with his new wife instead of leaving her at home to sulk.
I do feel bad for SBOO's husband, he will probably have to deal with being seen as the bad guy for her lack of insight. And one should point out that it was 'experimentation' on her part only, and not on his. Like Dan said, she should have done her exploring before getting into marriage.
Looked up the cb 6000... thanks for once again opening my eyes to another beautiful facet of human sexuality!