Savage Love

Love Is...

Comments

1
notdating the notboyfriend. notnotfucking. DTMnotFA
2
Thank-you Dan for putting it out there, that people who aren't sexually compatible should think long and hard before getting married.

As for CUM, he might never be satisfied in a monogamous relationship. I wish more people would understand that instead of doing that whole serial monogamy thing.
3
"DTMnotFA" MMD
4
Across the board, up and down, God bless Dan Savage.

(mostly from last week but now this week too)
Johnny D.
5
Awesome column Dan!
6
what does the concerned lesbian care if the notboyfriend is notfucking the "I swear it's a friend" anyways?

that was a wasted question :( although I admit it offered up an entertaining wordplay.

And I agree that sexual compatibility is just as important as any other kind. The religious sets that try to force that whole part of the equation off into a dark closet of the marriage are only making things worse. they make people feel badly about their kinks so that they end up accepting the idea that they shouldn't expect their lover to be GGG. Years later (if even that long) the resentment boils over and they either cheat or split.

If people would just accept themselves and really admit what matters to them, there would be a much lower divorce rate!
7
"There would be fewer divorces and less heartbreak if people were encouraged to view sexual incompatibility as the deal breaker it inevitably becomes over time."

This is the most eloquent way to put this I've ever seen - even from you, Dan - and I can't stress enough how true it is.

http://bakeryclosed.wordpress.com
9
A. NGE and her boyfriend never had groupsex, they only fantasized about it.
B. She didn't say he has to cut out all fantasies, just that sometimes they have sex and not mention other people. Not a lot to ask, IMO.
C. She also said that she doesn't want her friend brought up during sex. So she's not allowed to have boundaries, either?

The only thing she asked her boyfriend was to not always fantasize about other people. He's a douche and always brings up her friend. He's the one with a problem, she sounds fairly normal to me.
10
"Normal," like all of our species' more persistent delusions, IS the problem. Just another reason to otherize, another reason to get petty and mean to the people who don't look like us.

She might not be confusing "love" with "becoming insecure." It's not rare for people to feel secure sexually, but insecure emotionally -- once she left the familiar territory of hot sex into all that scary love stuff, she became insecure and controlling -- that doesn't mean she doesn't know what love is, just doesn't know how to cope with it. It's an intense and potentially deadly affliction, after all.
11
@2: "As for CUM, he might never be satisfied in a monogamous relationship. I wish more people would understand that instead of doing that whole serial monogamy thing."

Unfortunately, when you "understand that" and try to put it into practice, you find that the dating pool drops to almost nil. Almost everyone out there makes a high priority of monogamy, and will rule out anyone who says otherwise. I suppose polyamory is an option, but most people who identify as polyamorous...well, let's just say the stereotypes have some truth to them.

Besides, I don't think most people want polyamory. But I think many people don't want monogamy either. Rather, they want to be able to fuck whomever they want, while also having a steadfast, faithful spouse at home so that they can reap the personal, economic, and social/familial benefits of coupledom. They want stability AND change, the warmth of companionship AND the right to hop into bed with someone who's totally not relationship material but hot as hell.
12
@3: I keep parsing "tupa" as "FUPA". GODDAMMIT.
13
@11 Sounds like someone's advocating for swinging, complete with a veiled "oh we're not like those [stereotype pejorative here] polyamorists" jab. You even left it open for us to fill in our own stereotypes about teh polyz.

Also sounds like you might be saying "Every side sucks."

Thanks for that. The world needs more jaded people.
14
The boyfriend of NGE needs to dump her. They're only talking about fantasties -- not doing anything about them. It's just talk. If she can't take the talk, get out of the bedroom! It gets him off. She's made it clear (here) that she now only gets off on him wanting her alone. That's not in his fantasty setup. He probably needs to get out and act out a couple of his fantasties.

As for her -- move on. You and your BF are on different pages as far as fantasties go. You're already starting to censor him which isn't a good sign. You want to control him. Again, not a good sign. It's time to move on.
15
My take on NGE's problem is that she's insecure. I very much doubt her kinks disappeared overnight as she discovered she fell in love with the guy, but once she did, his opinion of her actually started to matter for real. And she is so insecure of herself and his love for her that she now can't tolerate the previously hot fantasies. Since we've no idea how the boyfriend is as a boyfriend, we don't know if the problem is that he neglects her or if she just has supremely bad self-confidence.
16
I'm kinda with #11 - not so much in an "every side sucks" way, but in realizing that life is a matter of choices, and choices have costs. You never get every single thing you want - almost everything we want badly is in some way incompatible with some other thing we also want badly.

Growing up is accepting this, learning how to figure out what is worth the price to us, and then paying those costs without whining.

17
I think I'm probably re-hashing stuff I posted in the SLLotD post of NGE's letter, but here goes anyway.

@8: "Call me crazy, but it seems like NGE is confusing 'falling in love' with 'suddenly becoming insecure and controlling.'" That seems to be fairly common. My last relationship ended in part because my partner felt that my refusal to engage in controlling behaviors and lack of jealousy meant I didn't care about her. In fact, I think the opposite is true: people who care almost exclusively about themselves and don't consider their partner's feelings are the ones who are controlling and jealous, while those who do really care are happy to enable non-destructive behaviors that make their partners happy (even if they're not directly involved in those behaviors), because their partners being happy makes them happy. At the very least, a lot of people seem to expect some sort of radical change in feelings/behaviors when certain labels get slapped on a relationship ("dating", "in love", "married", etc.).

@9: Normal, yes; healthy, eh... Normal is a pretty dysfunctional state. Irrespective of who has the "problem", they're not sexually compatible and should therefore not be sexual partners. Also, the reason Dan's putting the burden of responsibility on NGE here is that she's the one who changed the status quo of the sex. Something that was okay now (suddenly or not-so-suddenly) isn't okay, and it's unreasonable to expect someone else to change sexually in the same way at the same time that one does. This doesn't make her a bad person, but it does make her issue more-or-less or her own doing. The last line (and her handle, "Not Good Enough") really drive it home: "What can I do to make him want only me?"

*Sigh*

People, you can't MAKE someone else do/feel/want/etc. ANYTHING, EVER. You can coerce their behavior by making alternative options to what you want so awful that they will choose to do what you want, but it's not a free choice, and you're not changing how they feel at all. An extreme example: if you hold a gun to my head and tell me to fuck someone I find thoroughly unattractive and who is carrying every STI known, I'll do it because I don't want to die (and, hey, post-exposure prophylaxis has a shot at protecting me from HIV), but that doesn't change the fact that I don't actively WANT to, and it's not a very good basis for a relationship. A certain amount of social-normative coercion is going to be present in any relationship, but don't try to complicate it by scheming about how to "make" your partner do anything. If the behavior is abusive or otherwise seriously dysfunctional, DTMFA. If it's not, then make a decision about whether the relationship is worth the price of admission.

I'm not suggesting that people shouldn't talk about incompatibilities or problems in relationships, or ask their partners to alter problematic behaviorisms. Your partner may be completely unaware sie is doing something that bothers you, it may not be a particularly important behavior to hir, and so sie may happily agree to try to change the behavior to make you happy. That's all well and good. It's healthy to discuss how we feel about things, and most of us are happy to stop leaving coats lying on the couch or do dishes right after we use them (though that second one can be a high bar for some people) in order to make our partners happy. But when we're talking about more fundamental aspects of sexuality (feelings, desires), we can't really consciously control those, the behavioral change without an attitude change will just leave one sexually-unfulfilled in the relationship, and it's therefore unreasonable to try to force a change.

In NGE's case, her boyfriend is into group sex and only group sex: he's met her at least half way with not actually fucking other people but engaging in dirty talk to indulge his kink in a monogamous fashion (which is a pretty big concession for someone into only group sex). If NGE isn't cool with at least imagining group sex when she fucks her boyfriend, then there's nothing to be done, and they should split. Sadly, this looks like yet another relationship that's been ruined by unrealistic (or unrealistically-universalized) cultural notions of romance and sex. Expecting a single person to completely and exactly meet one's needs for social, sexual, emotional, intellectual, reproductive, financial, etc. connection may be highly practical (or even necessary) in a culture with social and economic structures predicated on the model of the nuclear family, but that doesn't make it any more realistic. That's why most of us, except for a very lucky few, ultimately have to "round someone up to 'the one'" and why "settling down means settling for".
18
Call me crazy... But I did not read into NGA as controlling, wanting done with fantasies, etc etc. She fell in love with him, which meant (for her) he was sufficient to get her hot and bothered and she didn't feel she needed group scenarios. She never asked him to stop the group scenarios, she just feels inadequate, which is insecure, not about her sexuality but about the fact that she imagines he should go through the same transition she did when falling in love. Once he falls for her, she will be enough for him to get hot and bothered. A bit nonsensical but also a bit understandable.
She wants sexy fantasies where it is just the two of them every now and then, not every goddamn night. He is not being GGG by denying her that.
He is also a complete d-bag for a) bringing the friend into it without any kind of consult (unless they regularly used friends/people they know in their fantasies), and b) for continuing after she asked him to stop.
I would be FURIOUS if my boyfriend did that, stick to relative strangers unless both people approve.
19
@13: Definitely not advocating for swinging. If I'm "advocating" for anything, it's plain old infidelity -- something that's become untenable in today's world because of HIV and other incurable STDs.

Otherwise I'm not sure it's anybody's business who a person is fucking when they're on their own. If you were to take STDs and pregnancy out of the equation, then what right do I have to tell my SO, "Hey, when you're on that business trip, you're not allowed to sleep with anyone you meet"?

But like I said, people don't want that. They want freedom for themselves, and fidelity from their partners. Hence infidelity, which in many relationships is tolerated as long as it's not forced to direct consciousness: then it becomes an ego threat, and someone gets to put on their cloak of victimhood.

P.S. Sorry you're wounded by the anti-poly stereotypes. I'll issue a correction once 90% of the poly people I meet aren't fat D&D nerds with ponytails.
20
I think that NGE is creating a story in order to gain the moral high ground in her argument. It's self-defeating.

NGE says that her boyfriend should now change because she loves him.

NGE also says that the boyfriend only "says" he loves NGE. She doesn't say that she "knows" he loves her. This is because his sexual fantasies are a sign that he doesn't really love her, in spite of their four-year relationship and his word.

Since she is definitely in love, and he only "says" he is, in this story, she has a greater right to ask him to change.

I think that NGE is getting into a discussion about whose love is greater that is not going to be very helpful.

And it seems like the BF's claim that she is "demeaning" him is his way to take the moral high ground away from her. I would guess that he resents this "I love you, I don't believe that you love me" argument.

She would be more honest and more productive to say that she wants him to change because he is making her feel bad, and leave love out of the argument.
21
Why is it that people are expected to behave in a mature & responsible manner in every aspect of life but sex? Isn't the point of "falling in love' "commitment" and "marrriage" to be with a one & only, & if you can't commit to that-DON'T HAVE RELATIONSHIPS!!!! If you need other people to have fufill your sex life, go for it-but don't demand the same intimacy,trust, honesty, faith, love, & committment that you get from a true one+one relationship. Jeez, some people are so selfish!!! Fantasies are just that-not promises!
22
Hey there, heads, tails, heads again...

Fit, socially adept, and contemporarily hair-styled poly person here. I would actually guess that more people value honesty in their partnerships than some imbalanced allocation of freedom and subservience. Clearly, you are quite self-absorbed and opportunistic, but please don't assume that the majority of people share your selfish worldview. I believe they don't.
23
To NGE, your boyfriend enjoys your discomfort and humiliation. You've told him his sexy talk pitter patter isn't working for you anymore and he doesn't care because he gets off on it. Being asked to refrain from talking about fucking your lovers' best friend during sex is reasonable and to ignore such a request is not. Sounds to me like he gets off on humiliating you but doesn't have the balls to own it.
24
Excellent responses in each instance, Dan. Way to ring out the old year.
25
Where have I heard the first question before?
26
Am I the only one who thinks the beginning of a relationship should be the time period when you enjoy f#cking the person you're with just because you're so excited to f#ck them? And then once the high wears off, which it inevitably does, you start bringing in other elements to help get things coming. Sometimes this is out loud, but often this is in private.
For NGE, I feel like she should explore whatever new fantasies she has silently, and have her boyfriend do the same, if their fantasies are not compatible. I'm pretty sure that's a very common issue in relationships.
I know my man is not at all romantic in bed - has been on a couple of occasions, which of course he does not recall - so if I want romance, it's up to my own brain. Every once in a while, and that could be once a week or once a month, we break out some sort of out loud kinky fantasy that we both can share in. They're mostly for him, because I love turning him on, which turns me on. So everyone has a good time.
My point it - NGE is lucky that they shared a common fantasy life for so long. Now that she has other fantasy needs, those out loud sessions need to go underground. But I do understand the desire to not just feel like a hole o'fun. If that's what she feels like with him, it's probably time to move on.
27
Has CUM never read the column? Dan's answer was easy and predictable.
28
NGE is too passive -- each time they have sex she waits to hear what fantasy he starts in on. Try coming up with some fantasies of your own in bed, NGE. Seduce him, tell him a fantasy of you and him doing something dirty and hot, get him all hot and bothered before you fuck him. If he's doing all the work of coming up with the fantasies, of course they're bound to be his fantasies, not yours.

Also, bring up some names of people you both know who are *not* off limits. It's fun and sexy to have real names in the stories, people you can picture, not just faceless talk about "and then the woman... and then the first guy..."

Finally, NGE, if you search your fantasies and all you can come up with are romantic fluff about long walks on the beach and cuddling in front of the fireplace, then maybe your libido has taken a hit. If so, talk to your doctor.
29
Four years of fantasizing about group sex every time you have sex. Call me unimaginitive and not creative, but, how does that happen?
30
I think that now that she loves him she wants emotional intimacy to go with the sexual intimacy. She wants to feel emotionally connected while fucking. Maybe he's immature and can't supply that emotional connection, maybe an asshole who won't, maybe he just doesn't connect with her emotionally. If his actions show kindness and caring in other situations, she should talk to him about bringing that to their sex. If not, which is what his disrespect for her boundaries about the friend suggests, she has to move on.
31
I think NGE got off on the "group sex" fantasies in the beginning because she was kinda sorta thinking they might actually happen one day. She wasn't in love with the guy yet, therefore she was more than willing to share him.

Then she became emotionally attached, and couldn't stomach the idea of "sharing" anymore. I don't see her as being controlling or evil for this; it's a perfectly common and normal matter of "This person makes me happy and I don't want to risk that being taken away."

And now she feels like her boy's fantasies must surely mean "I want to do this for real someday" because that's what they used to mean to her. (And maybe he does want to...or maybe he's all talk. Who knows?)

I will say this: tossing her best friend's name into the mix when talking dirty is not cool. A lot of women (maybe men, too, but I'm not one so I can't say) have huge competition issues with their friends. I knew one guy who was in a poly relationship with a chick for years with no troubles; then he asked if he could fuck her best friend and she screamed at him to go hell and ended their relationship on the spot. It's just a really, really bad idea to indicate an attraction to a partner's friend or sibling unless you're super-careful about it. You can't just start talking about them during sex ffs.
32
I like how you told #1 that he'll never change and #2 that he or she might change. Really winning on that whole consistency front.
33
‎"There would be fewer divorces and less heartbreak if people were encouraged to view sexual incompatibility as the deal breaker it inevitably becomes over time." That goes into my favorite quotations thingy -- that is, by the way, something that my boyfriend seems to have serious issues understanding...
34
Hoorayyyyy!! I'm not too far gone!

Thanks, Dan, again for a kick-ass column!!!

And Happy 2011 everybody!!!!
36
?? Don't take this the wrong way, Dan, but since when are you professionally accredited?

PS@#3: AWESOME avatar.
37
@26, 29: If you're really into a certain kink, then you think about it all the time, not just sometimes to spice things up. The whole "kink is for spicing up stale relationships" stereotype is not very accurate: if you're not into a kink, it's not going to spice things up, and if you are into it, you'll want it from the beginning.
38
Doesn't CL have a sufficiently absorbing notsex life (or even sex life) of her own on which to bestow her attention? If this is really the most pressing reason she has for consulting Mr Savage, I suspect that a large proportion of the population would readily exchange lots with her.
39
@22
Thanks for speaking up for us normal-psyche'd poly folks! Though I do have a pony tail... but then I am a girl...
40
#9 I usually take the man's side because somebody should but you are right.

Dan missed out on some consistency here. He has always advised when rolling out your new kinks for a new lover, one of the first rules is that you have to be able to convince your partner that THEY are what does it for you and introduce the kink slowly.

This implies, and I always understood Dan as advising, that the kink is SUPPLEMENTAL to the sex in the relationship. It doesn't replace it ALL the time. Maybe most of the time, but not ALL. And that is what the putz is asking of her without reassuring that SHE DOES IT FOR HIM.

However, the demeaning his sexuality complaint suggests that she really wants to abandon the whole fantasy thing completely (not just slightly limit it) and he doesn't want anything to do with that.

As for CUM, another fumble by Dan here, maybe you can try honesty with this wonderful woman you are with rather than DTMFA. Maybe she doesn't want to do threesomes- SHE is monogamous- doesn't mean you have to be! Right about the time you have that "I love you" sappy conversation maybe you can throw in how you feel, assure her she will always be your primary partner and educate her about open relationships. If she is willing to negotiate a reasonable accommodation and pay the price of admission then jackpot. Otherwise, it is DTMFA. Actually it's SHLTD (Should Have Listened to Dan).

And if you already told her the I love you horseshit then get a hotel room and some ecstasy and have the make or break conversation ASAP.

Oh and thanks for the mild introduction to lesbian drama. So much of it is based on word play, oh she said this about her and then....Jeez. Very clever Dan.
41
@22: It's nice to think most people "want honesty in their partnerships", but I'm not sure what that means when ~50% of married people admit to having extramarital affairs. Almost everyone pays lip service to the monogamous ideal, yet less than half of us live up to it (and those are just the ones we know about).

Meanwhile, I know shitloads of people (mostly women TBH) who will instantly dump someone if they even vaguely broach the idea of polyamory. Why? Because they're in love and never want to have sex with anyone else again? No, because they don't want their SO fucking anyone else, EVER. They tell themselves "It's just because I love them so much, I want them all for myself!", but it has as much (or more) to do with ego, control, and power.

Like it or not, most people are hypocrites who become enraged and threatened when they catch even a whiff that their SO wants to fuck someone else...but who, sooner or later, yearn for sex outside their marriages/relationships. If asked, they'd angrily deny it -- "I love my wife, you son of a bitch!". And yet every night, many women still climax only by thinking of handsome, vaguely paternal movie stars, and many men close their eyes and imagine that they're fucking younger, prettier, lustier women instead of their aging wives.
42
P.S. I've never cheated on anyone in my life, so go stuff your accusations of "opportunism". OTOH, I'll freely admit that I resent monogamy, and resent this insane ritual of pretending that we don't want to fuck other people, despite the fact that almost all of us do. And on the third hand, I generally find poly people tiresome and self-righteous, with their penchant for D&D-style rules and silly neologisms.

My solution? Tell the world "Fuck whomever you want, and the same goes for your spouse. Don't like it? Too bad: as long as they're reasonably discreet, and don't neglect you or the kids, mind your own goddamn business." But as I said before, HIV ruined that, since now infidelity = death in the minds of most people.
43
@41/42, glad I don't live in your head. Seriously, man, it's not so bad out here. My husband and I call ourselves "open," but we are willing to hang out with (and sometimes fuck) people who call themselves poly. And even the occasional swinger.

We use condoms, we get tested regularly, we ask our partners about their health status, but we don't obsess about it. Presumably we will get some diseases over time; odds are they will be curable or tolerable. Most Americans who have multiple sex partners still don't catch HIV, and yet all Americans will die of something eventually, so, ya know, what're ya gonna do? Might as well live first.
44
@42, monogamy doesn't have to mean pretending we don't want to fuck other people. For some couples it means accepting that your spouse (and you) will have an occasional crush on someone else but at the same time not acting on those feelings. And not acting on those feelings includes not putting yourself in stupid situations like being alone with someone you think is hot. A new infatuation often draws time, energy and attention away from your spouse if you feed it. Don't feed it and it'll eventually subside. But you are right that it's counterproductive to pretend that being in love means you won't be tempted. If you expect it, it's easier to guard against.
45
Maybe this is just me, but heads, tails, heads again sounds downright cranky without much cause. Perhaps you don't live where I live (conservative rural Texas) where people genuinely do NOT want to fuck other people besides their partners. Yes, some do, and that's problematic given this locale, but marriage here is serious business. Men as well as women routinely list "finding the ONE and getting married" as a life goal (which would explain the early marriage rate). Not something I think is a good idea, but that doesn't mean that these people are wrong because they don't fit into your stereotypes.

And, I have to wonder why you seem to have all of these negative stereotypes anyways. I've met many a nice, normal poly person, and many more nice, normal, committed married people who don't want to fuck others. Every group has their socially awkward types, but for the most part people are people. And, while I absolutely agree that honesty is absolutely the best policy, and that people shouldn't necessarily get themselves into romantic relationships if their concept of sexuality is in direct contrast to their partner's, I simply cannot understand your anger.
46
Wow, I'm notdating and notfucking every man I talk to. Should I be concerned that they are my notboyfriend? NGE, you knew what he was into when you 'fell in love', and you were into it. If you're not into it anymore...get out.
47
My word, heads, tails, heads again.... you have such insight into the heads of the general populace. May I ask where you get the information that supports your specious opinions? Ima guess it's from your rectal file.

For the record, I am a woman. And my (male) partner didn't even know about polyamory before I introduced him to the lifestyle. And our community actually errs on the side of female-heavy.

I'm sorry that the women in your life adhere so strongly to unfavorable gender stereotypes, but instead of assuming the rest of the world are sheep who live their lives by romantic-comedy plot-lines, may I suggest you broaden your social circle? I've actually chosen not to engage socially with people who adhere to the heteronormative game of sexual propriety and conquest, and I give people the benefit of the doubt. I don't assume people will disappoint me until they've actually disappointed me. You may not come across as such a dickface if you opened your mind to the possibility that individuals don't always act the way you assume they will.
48
#47: "I've actually chosen not to engage socially with people who adhere to the heteronormative game of sexual propriety and conquest, and I give people the benefit of the doubt."

Way to convince the world that poly people are not the self-righteous douchebags that heads/tails thinks they are. And how then is that giving people the benefit of the doubt if you refuse to "engage socially" with, what, at least 75% if the population as a conservative estimate?

I'm for people being with multiple people, many of my best friends are poly (really, I'm not just saying that), and I am in an open relationship. However, the term poly frequently leaves a bad taste in my mouth, because for many (not all, but many) it seems to go along with a lot of arrogant attitude about how highly evolved poly people are versus everyone else, because they just have "so much love to give," not because they would like to fuck many people. If anything, many poly people engage in a practice staunchly rooted in the heteronormative attitudes you dislike - focusing on love as if it's superior to sexual fulfillment. Can you love multiple people? Sure. But let's be honest that the drive behind being with multiple people mostly comes from our caveman sex drives that may turn into something more, and not from some enlightened higher self BS about having too much capacity for love in one's soul not to share it with 5 different people at once.

Also, I would like to note in my anecdotal, non-scientifically validated experience, every poly-identified relationship cluster *I have personally* known consists of a set of original partners who appear to be completely miserable with each other emotionally and sexually, but have stayed together for reasons of convenience or habit, while seeking sexual and emotional fulfillment from outside the original relationship. I would much rather see people together in decent, honest and fulfilling relationships on all levels, while also fucking others, than this dysfunctional relationship band-aid that so frequently passes as poly. Especially if that band-aid is printed with unicorns with hearts flying out of their ass.

And before anyone starts to take me to task for stereotypes and prejudice against the poly community, and try to disprove my experiences by stating how awesome they are as poly people - I am not, NOT saying this is all poly people. My friends who are poly are inevitably the extra partners who have been picked up by the miserable couples, and in their position seem to be honest about what it is. All I am saying is has been my personal experience, and that I have personally heard a lot of self-righteous and seemingly unfounded BS come out of poly peoples' mouths. However, I am certainly open to changing my mind if I ever begin to personally encounter poly people that do not fit in the roles I have currently experienced them in. So far, that has not happened though, and I have been exposed to poly for quite some time being a long time member of the kink and pagan communities, where it seems to be the standard for many.
49
@DrReality...

I actually completely agree with you about the self-righteousness of the poly community when it comes to casual sex. I am someone who has difficulty with vulnerability, and my single primary relationship is enough work on its own. However, my partner is a romantic and loves the roller-coaster of emotional intimacy. So he dates other people more seriously, while I tend to have a few casual relationships. A lot of poly people would call me a "swinger." But if we are trying to promote tolerance and sex-positivity, it does not behoove us to distinguish casual sex as "less than" committed sex. Moreover, I find that in practice these are not discrete categories, but fluid and changeable in their own right.

As for me coming across as a self-righteous douchebag:

a) I "choose" not to engage socially with... not "refuse." Social obligations often require me to engage with heteronormative people, and I do so without reservation.

b) I don't assume that someone adheres to the gender-normative discourse I despise until they actually prove it to me. That is the benefit of the doubt.
50
"the gender-normative discourse I despise"

Obviously somebody had a few to many radical feminist and gender studies classes. While it may be a bit late for this sorry person, the example is a salutary warning to others....
51
Re: NGE

It’s fine that your sexual fantasies did a 180 when you fell in love. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with the fact that his fantasies didn’t change along with yours. You’re attaching the wrong meaning to his sexual fantasies. His fantasy is limited to the bedroom but yours sounds like they're where you spend most of your time. Would you prefer that he lie to you about what turns him on?

You pulled a sexual bait-and-switch on the guy, and you should be grateful that he’s not acting out his fantasies. I suggest that you stop complaining and instead turn back into the girl that he signed up for or you’re going to lose him.
52
DrReality, I heart ya.

Offfwhite, if you'd let go of the jargon a little and speak directly (if discreetly) about specific personal experience, you'd come across as much less, well... douchey. No, let's say pedantic. Or evangelical.
53
"the gender-normative discourse I despise"

Obviously somebody had a few to many radical feminist and gender studies classes. While it may be a bit late for this sorry person, the example is a salutary warning to others....
54
i like the answer to Not Good Enough.
an idea i've been thinking about for fantasies- and will try out if i ever get to have sex again- is clones.
even the idea of the partners imaginary twin sibling getting into the action could bother your partner.
but what if you pretended you had an army of clones? something a la the scene from watchmen when Dr. Manhattan splits himself to pleasure Silk Spectre II?
you couldn't get upset about that because it's virtually the same person multiplied.
cheers!
55
i like the answer to Not Good Enough.
an idea i've been thinking about for fantasies- and will try out if i ever get to have sex again- is clones.
even the idea of the partners imaginary twin sibling getting into the action could bother your partner.
but what if you pretended you had an army of clones? something a la the scene from watchmen when Dr. Manhattan splits himself to pleasure Silk Spectre II?
you couldn't get upset about that because it's virtually the same person multiplied.
cheers!
56
re: NGE
There is no right way or wrong way to approach sex. It sounds as though they were both previously on the same wave length; enjoying each other as life sized sex toys. Now she has marured and discovered a stage where she wants to connect with him as a human being and wants him to want her the same way.

Since they seem to be a playful and sexually experimental couple why not read a little about Tantric sex and see if that might appeal to you both? Check out the Americantantra.org website which is very accessible for beginners.
57
@54: The clone/twin/time-traveled-duplicate fantasy is really hot. I'm not quite sure how you're planning on trying it out for real, though...
58
NGE needs to get pregnant immediately. That way, she can put him on the hook for child support and, if lucky, trap him into marriage before he wises up and leaves her.
59
@49: "gender-normative discourse"

I take it you mean stereotypical man/woman talk? So it would be bad for a guy to talk about football, but OK for a woman? Or OK for a man to talk about lipstick, but not for a woman to do the same?

Seems to me the focus should be on the topic rather than the sex of the person raising the topic. For me, any conversation regarding football or lipstick would be a snooze no matter who brought it up. I wonder though, if you won't socialize with people who engage in "gender-normative discourse", who does that leave, because everyone engages in some kind of communications that would be considered "normal" for their gender.
60
There's some breeder biology going on for NGE, Dan. Her system switched from enjoying checking out and attracting every guy, to falling in love and getting down to the business of keeping those eggs safe. Sorry if it doesn't translate to to "I love you and I want to fulfil you sexually even more!" - but it did translate to "only you make me hot!"

It's hard for her to work on the new insecurity after the switch, when her BF turns the threat level UP instead of down. Sounds like she said "can't we play like it's just me that makes you hot even part of the time?" and he replied "no, you know what, I used to need to imagine that a random unknown woman made me hotter than you, now I'll imagine your real live best friend does it for me!"

By threatening to withhold all future thoughts on the matter rather than negotiate a change, he cranked up the power play even more. NGE feels like the next step is he cheats and doesn't bother to tell her. I'm sympathetic to her problem in resetting this system.
61
@49

"a) I "choose" not to engage socially with... not "refuse." Social obligations often require me to engage with heteronormative people, and I do so without reservation.

b) I don't assume that someone adheres to the gender-normative discourse I despise until they actually prove it to me. That is the benefit of the doubt."

Do you have any idea how insufferable you sound? Is this what you're actually like in real life? I've known some total fucking assholes in my life, but god DAMN. I wouldn't be as snide and self-important as you for a kingdom, offwhite. I actually feel sorry for you, although I assume you're happy up there on your high horse.
62
"There would be fewer divorces and less heartbreak if people were encouraged to view sexual incompatibility as the deal breaker it inevitably becomes over time."

I wish I knew this at the age of 30 when I settled and got married. I wasted 10 years of my life because I did not know the truth of this simple statement.

Amen, Dan!

63
Though I've heard Dan talk of the Madonna/Whore theory, I was surprised when I it happen to me. I was in a GGG relationship full of dirty talk and some great raunchy sex. Then we got married, I continued with my filth talk/jokes and he said - my WIFE doesn't talk like that. I thought WTF? He said it enough to let me know that the 'rules' have changed. Thank god the marriage ended (for other reasons) I could see me being censored! F that!
64
@63

That actually fucking happens?! I thought it was some kind of horrible urban legend... I hope you told the fucker how miserably unfair that is--I mean, how are you supposed to know what you're getting yourself into with a person like that? That's part of the point of premarital sex! Do you think he KNEW that he'd develop this complex, or did it come as a surprise to him too? A surprise that, I assume, he wasn't willing to try and fix, perhaps with a few hundred years of therapy. Good work getting out of that mess!!!
65
@ Professor and chicago girl...
Sorry you find teh big wordz confusing.

@ Your Name Was Here (#59)...
No, I mean the assumptions that people make because of gender, especially regarding sexuality. Like, the way as a woman, I have been trained to dangle my pussy on a stick and make men jump through hoops to access it, and if I want to have sex with a man, people usually assume it's because I'm trying to get something out of him. Or the idea that a woman who "respects herself" doesn't participate in a gang-bang.

As for me not wanting to socialize with heteronormative people, it's an issue that is extremely important to me, really a core value of mine, so I don't choose to spend my personal time with people who act this way. We all choose our friends based on our likes, dislikes, shared values, etc.... this is one of mine.

To read the responses, you'd think I said I only hang out with PhD-level social scientists.... this is shit Dan writes about all the fucking time! If you don't think about it and consider it worthy of discussion, why are you here?
66
Sorry, @ Your Name Was Here (#59)... the "why are you here?" was not directed at you, but those who consider women's studies classes a liability.
67
There were some interesting comments here. Thankfully, Not Good Enough listened to Dan, actually talked to her partner!! and wrote back

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
68
Aaack... sorry for the multiple posts! I just keep finding more criticism.

@ monkeywithcarkeys...
Point taken. I actually just finished my thesis, and am clearly stuck in a bit of an academic head-space. Color me humbled.
69
NGE needs to DTMnotFA! People change, people evolve, people grow apart, and she shouldn't feel bad because she's changed and he hasn't. Do you like the same exact erotic things (or food or anything else) that you did when you were 16? Rules change all the time, and if everybody doesn't agree, then either someone has to decide to be unhappy the rest of their life, or they break up. Simple.

And yes, he's totally not into any kind of emotional intimacy with her - she may call him her boyfriend, but she's just a fuck-buddy who's also a roommate. It's the same as if he invited all his old college buddies along on every romantic date. It may be his weakness or just that they don't mesh in that way, but he's truly just not that into her.

As for people changing the rules when they fall in love... it's natural to cocoon and not want to share the loved person so much in every way, and when you're truly deeply in love then sex is a different experience. For some people, the emotional intimacy of "making love" is a whole different experience for them than simply fucking (which really only requires a faceless cock and/or hole). It's not just 2 people getting their respective rocks off anymore, it's 2 spirits touching and becoming one, and the gymnastics and crowds and assorted kink just doesn't seem so necessary anymore. Sure, they are great for mixing it up, but not a steady diet.
70
NGE needs to DTMnotFA! People change, people evolve, people grow apart, and she shouldn't feel bad because she's changed and he hasn't. Do you like the same exact erotic things (or food or clothes or anything else) that you did when you were 16? Rules change all the time, and if everybody doesn't agree, then either someone has to decide to be unhappy the rest of their life, or they break up. Simple.

And yes, he's totally not into any kind of emotional intimacy with her - she may call him her boyfriend, but she's just a fuck-buddy who's also a roommate, and he does everything he can to keep it that way. It's the same as if he invited all his old college buddies along on every romantic date. It may be his weakness or just that they don't mesh in that way, but he's truly just not that into her. It's nothing personal, she just needs to move on and find someone who sees her for the goddess she truly is. We're all goddesses and we all deserve that.

As for people changing the rules when they fall in love... it's natural to cocoon and not want to share the loved person so much in every way, and when you're truly deeply in love then sex is a different experience. For some people, the emotional intimacy of "making love" is a whole different experience for them than simply fucking (which really only requires a faceless cock and/or hole). It's not just 2 people getting their respective rocks off anymore, it's 2 spirits touching and becoming one, and the gymnastics and crowds and assorted kink sometimes just doesn't seem so necessary all the time anymore. Sure, they are great for mixing it up, but not a steady diet. But in any case, if their lives together are making one of the people so unhappy and causing so much conflict, then DTMnotFA!!!!!
71
I swear I only hit "enter" once! Sorry!
72
OK, three last thoughts: 1) It's easy to rag on NGE for being insecure and self-doubting, but this isn't something sudden, it's developed over 4 years of this relationship. His normal behavior affects her negatively, and - after 4 years together - she should be able to discuss this with him without him getting getting passive-aggressive and turning the blame back on her. Run away, NGE.

2) Any sexy-time schtick gets old after a while. Even if it still turns YOU on, ya gotta change it up sometimes or it gets tiresome and cringe-inducing. The goal is spontaneity, keeping it fresh, and making sure to do what the other person likes, sometimes, too. I used to hook up with an old ex on occasion, but I thought if I heard, "Tell me whose sweet pussy this is!" or the cheesy lion's "Rawr!" (10 seconds prior to coming) one more time I would kill him.

3) Lastly, this situation does remind me of men who always blatantly ogle and flirt with other women, and even talk in front of their wives about how hot that babe over there is, with the excuse that they're going home together anyway, right? If that's an every-day thing, wouldn't she start to think that he wasn't that attracted to her, that she's chopped liver? And I've dated men who have odd performance quirks or ways of behaving immediately after sex that made me think that I just didn't "do it" for them. After all, sometimes you feel insecure about how someone feels about you because you're truly picking up vibes, some subtle or not-so-subtle cues from them. It's NOT always in your head.
75
It is sad how many comments treat women's insecurities as a big bad plague for her to hide and shoulder alone. I used to think that way, too, but my husband is a bigger man-- he knows a woman's fears, even the irrational ones, are a shared problem in a relationship. He told me, if your negative feelings are making you unhappy, that is my problem too, and anything of that magnitude shouldn't be concealed in a healthy relationship. All the men (and some women) running around thinking NGE's insecurities are a) damning and incurable and/or b) a cause to immediately jump ship, should reconsider. After all, women routinely support and massage their men's egos, even if it is somewhat irrational, and society strongly supports it.
76
People who are anxious to or feel pressured to share fantasies should be aware of the hazards. Sexual fantasy, like dreaming, is not subject to moral or artistic control, but what comes out of your mouth *is* in our control and we can take responsibility for it. Let’s suppose my partner fantasizes about raping my daughter. Does he need to share that with me, and would I be expected to enjoy it? While it may be therapeutic to know that transgressive fantasy is common and does not correlate with character, it is neither therapeutic nor erotic to evoke emotionally painful images in a sexual context. Inhibition exists for a reason.
77
People who are anxious to or feel pressured to share fantasies should be aware of the hazards. Sexual fantasy, like dreaming, is not subject to moral or artistic control, but what comes out of your mouth *is* in our control and we can take responsibility for it. Let’s suppose my partner fantasizes about raping my daughter. Does he need to share that with me, and would I be expected to enjoy it? While it may be therapeutic to know that transgressive fantasy is common and does not correlate with character, it is neither therapeutic nor erotic to evoke emotionally painful images in a sexual context. Inhibition exists for a reason.
78
By the way, I'd like to suggest an alternative acronym. DTMFA works when the potential dump-ee is in some way genuinely at fault--cheating, changed the "rules", not GGG, being an a**hole about something important. But in cases of sheer no-fault (or dumper's-fault) incompatibility, it hardly seems fair to call the dump-ee rude names, particularly in cases where the fault lies with the one doing the dumping.

So, substitute in PT--poor thing. Especially if it's a case of "for his/her own good", like someone whose PTSD is being triggered by a partner, or someone faithfully monogamous being dumped by a habitual cheater...
79
Here is an interesting old column:
I've been with my loving, adventurous boyfriend for two years. We're both in our 20s, but I've had more experience. In the beginning, I was honest about having been in a few threesomes. He was turned on by the idea and initially I encouraged him. However, as we became more emotionally involved, I decided that I couldn't share him. When I told him this, we got into a fight. He feels that he's missing out because we have a good, healthy, loving, stable relationship.

He won't let it go. The most I can tell him is that, should the circumstances be exactly right, then maybe. Considering the stars will likely never align themselves, his rehashing of the subject upsets me and gets us nowhere. How do I tell him that no he's not missing out, no I didn't lie to him, and please, darling, shut the fuck up.

Love Obligates Sexual Exclusiveness

"Telling your boyfriend he's not missing out isn't going to dampen his enthusiasm," says Vicki. "Plus, it's not true—he is missing out on threesomes, which are popular because they're hot!" Threesomes aren't for everybody, of course, "but it may be worth exploring your hang-ups. The idea that you can't share your boyfriend because you love him may be something you can't get over, but some couples find that having a threesome brings them even closer."

So what does Vicki think you should you do? "Tell your boyfriend that you need time to figure out if a three-way could work for you. Agree to revisit the discussion in three months—if he stops pushing."

Hm. I've been right there with Vicki until that last bit of advice. It seems clear that LOSE has no intention of having a three-way with her boyfriend today, three months from now, or ever. So telling the boyfriend it might happen if he could only shut up about it for a while seems a bit dishonest.

Hey, LOSE? You made your boyfriend a promise, you backed out, and he has a right to feel misled. For that, you owe him an apology. Period. Are you obligated to have a three-way? Of course not. But you need to shut the fuck up about planets that you know damn well aren't ever going to align. If being with you means never having a threesome, LOSE, tell him that now so he can make an informed choice about whether he wants to be with you at all.

I get a shitload of e-mail from folks—okay, mostly straight guys—who were promised regular oral, three-ways, bi action, visits to pro dommes, etc., during courtships only to be told, once they'd committed, that "love" nullified those offers. That sexual bait-and-switch bullshit destroys relationships, LOSE—even good, healthy, loving, stable relationships.

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80
Offfwhite, no humbling required. Creeping academese is difficult to avoid and often impossible to self-detect... it happens.
81
In regards to NGE, my perspective is strange to even myself, because I think I know a little about transitioning from a self-proclaimed strict nonmonogamous type to someone who simply isn't aroused by anyone other than their significant other. Knowing myself however, I consider this to be a phenomena, a blip in my love life, and expect to go right back to desiring multiple people sometime in the future. Although being in love wasn't the variable here since I fully believe you can be completely in love with someone and still desire other people and they shouldn't conflict, I've had to come to the strange realization that, for the time being, I am incidentally monogamous. The strangest part was that I had started being polyamorous with this person when I met him and was completely happy, and after a year, I have transitioned to being monogamous with him and am still completely happy.

If something similar happened to NGE, I can empathize only because I have experienced it. It's effected my strict stance of viewing monogamy critically as a lack of honesty and imagination.

Where my polyamorous side still leads my relationship philosophy is in the principle that my changing needs do not take control of my partner's freedom of sexuality nor necessitate a change on his part. Just because I am now more fulfilled by being with only him at this time, doesn't give me the right to expect the same from him. Happily for me, he is also incidentally monogamous because it works for him, but were he to go back to our old lifestyle, I wouldn’t begrudge him though it might hurt me. Keeping my feelings in check, though always being honest, is important because I value his happiness more than my passing insecurities.

This was all to say that someone who has been fulfilled by many relationships, or even of the idea of them, can become someone who is only fulfilled by one relationship, even within the course of that same relationship. I know it was a minor point in the article, but Dan sounded like he didn’t know this was possible, and nor did I until it happened to me.
82
Here's a few good fantasies for you both to share, only they're not fantasies - http://mysexlifewithlola.wordpress.com/