Savage Love

HUMP! Seattle!

Comments

1
I'm first!
2
Good column.
3
To LW#1 - I just LOOOOOOVE that you used "Mitt" and "Paul" for the names of your two exes! I hope that more people writing in use those names for their exes or spouses from now until the election!

As for the advice, I would agree with Dan - you have so much more to gain by being gracious. Maintaining your dignity is more important than showing disdain for "Mitt" and "Paul". And again, thanks for using those names! :-)
4
Argh! Does noone remember the reason WHY The Friend is not supposed to date The Ex?

It's because that puts The Ex back in your life: either you have to continue to interact socially with the person you just broke up with (awkward) or else you have to start shunning The Friend along with The Ex. Other variations on that theme concern themselves with acrimonious breakups; The Friend is implicitly siding with The Ex by going out with them; again, you find yourself having to deal socially with the person you are currently furious with, or else you lose the Friend along with The Ex.

Also, this particular chip is one that you call in from The Friend, to not go out with The Ex. Not the other way around. The Ex doesn't owe you squat in that department. Near as I can tell, this situation contains two people in the role of The Ex and zero in the role of The Friend. Therefore, you have no right to expect the two of them to treat each other as off limits in the first place.

Calling on you to take the high road and be gracious is all well and good, but seriously, you would be the one in the wrong for thinking they had betrayed you or The Code by going out with each other. Getting in a snit about it will only be a black mark on your record, not theirs.

So, yes, get over yourself.
5
No more vacations.
6
SMT: He's your ex for a reason; go find people with whom you're more compatible. One of them will be delighted to find you and honestly (not grudgingly) GGG.
7
Is queer not more-or-less-synonymous with gay? Is it more like . . . bi? Into servicing baby-fetish straight men? Just plain "weird'?
8
@7: Queer is not synonymous with gay. Queer is used for pretty much anyone who falls under the acronym (LGBT+however many letters are included nowadays), and sometimes for kinky straight people but it depends who you ask.
9
@4: lol! loved reading your explanation on the finer points of the Code!
10
@4: They are both his exes, not one friend, one ex. So doesn't that mean neither of them owes him anything?
11
Queer means: "look at how progressive, sex-positive and interesting I am! I took a gender studies class in college!" It's a meaningless word only used for self-promotion by boring people who are just like everybody else but try desperately to differentiate themselves in hopes of becoming relevant.

Ok, maybe not everybody who calls themselves queer is like that but all the ones I've met are.
12
@11 That's the impression I got, but I'd always assumed there was something more to it in the groves of academe.

@4, Dan pointed out that the gay community, especially on a college campus, isn't going to be big enough to support "the code," which I always thought was taken way too far by straight people anyway.
13
If you are a jerk about it now, when Paul and Mitt offer up a three way opportunity, it won't be with you but with "Karl"!
14
@4 Right on.

@10 Read it again. If you make the last sentence of your comment a statement rather than a question, you have essentially summarized avast's comment.
15
Where the hell does Dan get these ridiculous statistics from? "2 to 5 percent of the population"?? Kinsey's distorted claim of "10 percent" was wrong enough, and that was in 1948 when most gay people were closeted.

I hope I'm not the only one who realizes that Dan Savage, well-intentioned as he may be, is not the be-all and end-all of the universe, and sometimes his claims are way off the charts.
16
@15: His claim comes from recent sociological research. If you have a better number, arrived at via a method other than one's feelings (if you live in the Castro, or in a small farming community in WY, your anecdotal ideas about how many gay people are around may not reflect the whole of the country or world), you are free to give that number along with a link to supporting scientific evidence.
17
SMT - Don't have sex with him on your next visit, dumbass. When he asks why no diaper fun time, tell him it's because of his convenient "blocking" problem of never giving you oral despite being asked directly.
18
Diaper boy sounds like a total douche. I'd cut that shit out if I were her.
19
@11: This is why I don't tell people I'm queer.

But people like me need a word, and that's the only one widely available.

Queer is anyone whose desires alienate them from the mainstream of sex and gender. A gay guy is queer, a bi woman is queer, a trans straight guy is queer, a straight woman who mostly just wants to peg men is queer, a guy who only likes girls in wheelchairs is queer, a gender-neutral person is queer, a guy who wants to be tied up by other guys but not have sex with them is queer. There needs to be a word for those of us whose sincerest desires make us outlaws, whether or not our preferences fall into the definitions of "gay" or "bi."

And there's a lot of us. And that's why you're seeing this used this way. So thanks but no thanks for your annoying condescension.
21
Most people I know who identify as "queer" either feel they are genderless or don't relate to others on a gender basis (whether a partner is male or female or other is about as remarkable to them as whether they are 5'6" or 5'8"), or both.
22
@7 and 11,
Queer, as I understand and use it, is a socio-political term that incorporates sex-and-gender politics into the terminology of sexuality. There's a big rabbit-hole that I could dive into here, but let's leave that for some Wikipedia and Google browsing, and allow me to put "queer" into an anecdotal context. I am a woman who dates women and almost exclusively sleeps with women, but once a blue moon, once a year, or every other year, I pick up a man for a one-night stand. Describing myself as queer allows me to embrace the sexual part of myself that occasionally indulges in men, while outwardly identifying to society as a primarily gay woman.
Queer: because life is complicated and bisexual doesn't really cover it. The end.
23
I don't give people a hard time for calling themselves queer... but when people don't use it as a synonym for gay, and they don't add a modifier like "gender-queer", then I end up translating "queer" as "weird/different." And, in my experience, everybody is weird, sexually.

@19, your desires don't "make you outlaws" (nothing you mentioned is against the law); they just mean you each have particular sexual preferences. So does everyone else.
25
Queer is the label for people that don't want to be labeled.
26
Queer is the label for people that don't want to be labeled. It really is a bit of an oxymoron.
28
19-- What about someone whose desires place him (or her) in the minority but who isn't really alienated because of it? What about the gay man who had little trouble coming out, who was immediately accepted by friends and relatives who were expecting the announcement all along, who hasn't experienced much in the way of job discrimination, who found men his own age to date and have sex with before getting older and settling down to a warm fulfilling satisfying relationship? Would you call him queer?
29
A friend and I were discussing what we called ourselves at some point, and she said she preferred queer over bi because bi implied only two choices, and queer allowed for a range of gender identification. I liked that reasoning, and have tended to use it since then.
30
Hey now, not only husbands wrote in about the private browsing features! I don't think I was the only female who commented!
31
@27: I see your point. It is rude of an Ex to knowingly try to date a Friend, because that is effectively forcing yourself back into the social life of the person you just broke up with (either that or stealing a friend). I would still rely more heavily on The Friend to reject that, even if The Ex was dumb enough to try it. The Ex should stay away as part of being a decent human being, but The Friend is the one who owes you that consideration out of loyalty.

I didn't see that happening in this case. I assumed that after the breakups neither of the Exes would continue to be in Letter Writer's social circle, and thus were independent of that restriction. I suppose that was naive of me in a heteronormative way. I have a lot larger community to fall back on.

That's where Dan's point comes in. Given the small size of the community, you WILL be continuing to run into them. Especially if, as you suggest, they told him "let's be friends." If they are going to say "let's be friends" then they need to act like friends. In this case we don't know if that happened, but it's a reasonable principle when it applies.
32
In regard to the bro code;(story time)
My brother and his girlfriend broke up about a year ago and he has been living with me since then. It's been a slow painful breakup for them after nearly 7 years of dating. You know, it seemed like things were over for them, but there would be periodic bouts of "it doesn't have to be over!" and stubborn negotiations. My brother's ex acted in a very classless way many many times (she threw his possessions on the front lawn late at night)

Anyway, one of my best friends and mutual friend to my brother secretly started dating my brother's ex (while my brother and her were still talking about if they could still be together). So eventually (a month or two) my friend called my brother to admit that he was dating the ex. My brother was furious and felt like a chump. While he was talking to the ex, both her and my friend were lying/secretive about this new relationship.

It has left me in the super awkward position of "dumping" my friend. He insists that I'm acting like a high-schooler by picking sides when it has nothing to do with me. But the truth is that we all were friends and my brother is trying to put some distance between him and the ex. So my brother wants nothing to do with the ex or the friend anymore.

I already have a problem with how shitty both the ex and friend have acted, and my friend has had really fucked up abusive relationships in the past (which I have sort of ignored, because I felt they had nothing to do with me) and the thought of them together just totally grosses me out. AND I feel like I should stick by my brother and not bring up any more bad feelings for him because I like/love him more than either his ex or my friend.
THAT is why you shouldn't date a friend's ex, IMO.

Sorry for long story..this just happened and I had to get it off my chest, and seeing @4s comment got me thinking I was right to drop this long-time friend. Obviously I feel conflicted.
Thoughts?
33
Fuck the "bro code"!! It's all social indoctrination bullshit. Date who you want, love the one you love, everyone else can live with their twisted knickers or get the fuck over it.
34
If it were me, I wouldn't give him any choice. I'd just sit on his face while powdering his bum.
35
@28 - Well, can the gay guy get married?
36
SMT-- First thought: Dump him. He's a selfish jerk who gets what he wants while ignoring what you want.

2nd thought: Could you work in what pleases you into what pleases him? He's just a baby. In your best motherly tones, explain to him that he's been kissing his mother all wrong and that this is the way it's to be done. Or maybe you're the pediatrician and he has to stick out his tongue. Whatever. Same for oral. Ever seen a baby? They love to put everything into their precious little mouths. You want him to be a little dominant? Tell him to scream and cry as a way of ordering you around.

3rd thought: Nah, skip all that. Dump him, and make finding his replacement a priority. When you remove all the kinky stuff from your letter, what you've got is a woman who finds sex with her ex fun and meaningful enough that she keeps doing it though she knows the relationship has no future for her. It's so easy that she doesn't take the risks necessary to find her own version of Mr. Right. You've got an advantage in that you don't live in the same town with the jerk. You only see him on visits. So stop visiting. Put some pressure on yourself to find someone who satisfies you in all the ways you want.
37
@33 Wow, can't wait to be your friend.
38
@35

Um, duh? Of course he can.
39
@32: Are you dumping Mutual Friend because he violated the Bro Code? Or is it because he acted like a slime by dating Brother's Girlfriend during a period where she and Brother were still trying to work things out?

I disagree that what you are doing is "taking sides when it's got nothing to do with you." You are allowed to disapprove of a friend's actions and if the breach is serious enough, terminate the friendship. This is true even if he was misbehaving with someone who was no part of your social circle at all. The fact that it's a triangle with your brother makes it one degree more personal. You have to live with your brother, and you can't pretend this has nothing to do with you.

As far as how the Bro Code applies, Mutual Friend was trying to stay friends with Brother, while dating his Ex. That's a pretty standard Bro Code violation. (Unlike EBAC's situation.) The fact that he tried to date her while the two of them were still trying to work things out is by far the bigger violation.
40
"Queer means: 'look at how progressive, sex-positive and interesting I am! I took a gender studies class in college!' It's a meaningless word only used for self-promotion by boring people who are just like everybody else but try desperately to differentiate themselves in hopes of becoming relevant."

Perfect. My thoughts exactly. Using "queer" allows the aggressively progressive person in question to belong to the non-mainstream. At it's worst it's the gender equivalent of Rich White Girl Syndrome, apologizing for being straight.
41
Frankly, SMT's letter confuses me. She doesn't sound 26, she sounds like a young teenager when it comes to this pretend-relationship. She calls this guy her "boyfriend", then "lover" and finally "friend". But the only sense I got out of this was that he'd been using her as a (yes, willing) fuckbuddy/kink play hookup but not as a more conventional romantic or sexual partner.

He's getting exactly what he wants in having his infantilism needs met. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but – in an actual relationship of supposed equals – the play part usually has a time frame attached. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Or M-W-F from 6-8 p.m., after which the roles fall away and the participants are just regular people – UNLESS they've both negotiated in advance that they're going to do it 24/7 because it makes them both happy.

The problem is that he has NO desire to be a regular person. He wants to be a submissive baby and, dammit, he's going to remain one ... as long as he has her hooked on pleasing him. What a greedy baby, indeed. OTOH, she occasionally wants to have an adult sex partner, one who will try to make her happy, by sharing adult activities that include dominating her. But there's no way either oral sex or French kissing are for babies (unless one wants that kink, too).

SMT, you're far better off forgetting him. Some might call him selfish, but I just think he's got so much invested in having his infantilism catered to that he's incapable of switching back to traditional adult behaviour. Being put in the position of almost begging him to satisfy you is humiliating. And it's not getting you what you want anyway.

You've done him a wonderful kindness by helping him fulfil his desires. Now it's time for you to move on to find someone who will fulfil yours. It's not going to be him. Let's just call my recommendation a gentler version of DTMFA.
42
@39 In response to your question, I would say yes to both. My friend said that he didn't know that they were still (kinda) trying to work things out, which of course reveals that the ex was lying to him AND my brother. I told him about that fact, he checked in with the ex and still sticks to his "they've been broken up for a year, I haven't done anything wrong".
Anyway, I feel like even without the lying he shouldn't date this girl. He knows it would hurt my brother and he did it anyway. They were together 7 years.
Maybe it was time to stop being his friend either way? He had fucked up relationships in the past, but I always chalked it up to "that has nothing to do with me". Maybe I just feel weird because he still hasn't done anything to me but now I choose to enforce this indirect bro code. Because of my bro(ther).

Anyway, I guess part of me feels silly for dumping a dude. A dude I smoke weed and play basketball and video games with. =)

But fuckit, he's kind of a sexist, hateful, Irish catholic drunk. Should probably ditch him either way.

Thanks for reading, Avast!

43
I'm in the "The Code is Bullshit" camp.

Yes, it's one thing if a friend's Ex totally screws them over, cheated on them, dumps them in a callous way, or in some way is unnecessarily cruel or mean to them. In which case you should not date that person, if for no other reason than that they are an asshole.

But baring that, expecting that just because you dated someone you can put a "no dating" zone around them that everyone you know is expected to acknowledge is childish.

I have actually set two of my exes up once. I thought they would make a better couple than I did with either, and wanted to see them happy.

On the other hand I had a friend once who broke up with someone, and it was a completely amicable and mutual break up with no hard feelings or drama. A little while later I ran in to the ex and we hooked up. We dated very casually for a little while, and when my "friend" found out he went off the deep end.

It's not like he was hurt by the break up. In fact he was the first one to bring up ending it to the ex. It's not that he regretted it and was thinking he wanted to get back together. It's not that he was mad at his ex for something.

He just said that I should have asked his permission.

Sorry, I didn't ask anyone's permission on who I could date when I came out, and I sure as hell wasn't going to ask anyone's permission then (now I'm married so I would have to ask my spouses permission if I did want to, but that's a different circumstance).

Ultimately we stopped being friends, and know what? It was the best thing that could have happened. It wasn't until I stopped hanging out with him that I realized how manipulative and controlling he was.

I ended up no longer hanging out with that entire circle of friends and ended up making other friends who were so much better, but I never would have realized there was something better if my "friend" hadn't been such a self centered and manipulative person. So I thank him for that.

I have avoided people like that ever since. It's worked out wonderfully.
44
@38 I was pointing out that, even in the idealized life, the gay guy still suffers for his "desires".
45
@44

And I was pointing out that in most developed (or less-exploited) gay marriage is legal.
46
@22 Thank you! A most valuable contribution -- kinda like 'monogamish,' it says you're mainly one thing, but it's okay to let it slide sometimes too. Sweet. Let's hope it catches on.
48
Man, I miss all that hotness and mad sex drive of college, which makes it almost physically impossible to not jump the person next to you, no matter how socially inappropriate. I do not miss the adolescent jealousy and over-thinking.
49
Mr Old - But then, wouldn't it carry the same value judgment that "monogamish" does on "monogamous"? However well-intended the sentiment, it probably would not take long for people who don't "let it slide sometimes" (mild LMB) to be seen as stodgy, limited, backwards, you name it. The pro-monogamish crowd have a point that someone of limited non-fidelity over a long relationship might well deserve a B or a C+ when being graded on monogamy, but they don't give out the A that logically follows as belonging to the non-infidelitous.

I'm all for as many labels as can reasonably be supported, and good for Ms Rye that she seems to have formed an arrangement that works for her. The plus side of the Q-word is that it stakes out one's alliance. The unintended consequence is that it gives aid and comfort to those who dislike same-sex exclusivity, and encourages them to make sale-like reductions in the Kinsey scores of the Q-identified.

If we really are moving towards equality (personally I think we've peaked and will soon be experiencing a huge regressive rollback; just watch how quickly we lose rights in the next administration), maybe you're just ahead of your time. That sort of sentiment really only works with full equality, don't you think?
50
@11 and @40: Your "definitions" of queer are just as dismissive, condescending, and hateful as any other ism. Would you dare say that about somebody who identified as gay, Jewish, Latina, etc...? Queerness is in direct opposition to those of you who would like to pigeonhole all genders and sexualities into heteronormative rows and columns. As for "people you've met" who have represented and defined queerness for you-- I'm guessing they're not the ones with the problem. You both sound pretty judgmental and insecure.
51
Messrs Balls/Fortunate - What I am most curious to know is what EBAC told Paul about Mitt; he might already have poisoned the well of graciousness advocated by the reply.
52
I have had friends go out with my 'ex' and it never lasted as long as the original relationship I had with the 'ex'
Each time I've been asked to have that chat from the friend, where they say 'hey, look... I think there's something going on between me and your ex, what do you think? I just want you to be aware... I mean, I feel bad if I weren't to tell you."
And I've been like, "Hey, I broke up with her. As in BROKE up with her. She is free to see anybody she wants. But I am also her FRIEND. What you have to remember is you are also my FRIEND. And sorry to think perilous thoughts, but you might too, one day break up with each other. What you've gotta ask yourself now is, do you have the stomach to come to social events that I might invite you both to after, if ever--heaven forbid it happens-- you break up? If you can't, then it means I will actually be losing a friend in the net sum of events. So? Do as you please, but remember, I will want to remain friends with BOTH of you, regardless of the outcome."
And whattyaknow? Each time the friend and the ex will break up in DRAMATIC hit-the-wall fashion on the end of a relationship lasting perhaps one twentieth of the duration of my own relationship with the ex, causing way more dust and fall-out than my own break up had been, and neither of them want to see the other at my parties for at least, say a year. But in one particular case they've each come round and we laugh about it now, ten or so years later.
I think if you break up with somebody, you have to accept they can date and see anybody in the world. It's nice that they might date somebody you cannot envision, but there is no law against people falling for each other.
53
@49 "The plus side of the Q-word is that it stakes out one's alliance."

Good point. And it's shorter than saying "LGBTLMNOPQ ally"...
54
@ 32 - It seems to me that the lesson here is to break up cleanly when it's time, and don't be an asshole about it. Your brother could probably handle his friend dating her if it had been over when they first broke up, and they hadn't spent a year stomping on each other's hearts. It's not about who can date whom, but behaving like a decent human being.
55
I am majorly anti-bro-code. IME it's been used as nothing but a way for men to negotiate who gets access to which pussy. Usually with the guy she doesn't want there claiming lead negotiator status. :-/

You aren't going out anymore/never were? Then fuck off not your business or problem. Drama queen behaviour to the hilt.

This does NOT apply in cases like 32 where the douchebag friend was helping brother's girlfriend cheat. Way different. Bro code = people NOT in a relationship dictating who the other can sleep with. Fuck that noise. Just makes me boil thinking about the summer our group was held hostage because Luke had a crush on Leia who wanted NOTHING to do with him and Han Solo wanted Leia and vice versa and they fucked a few times but HS went all pussy bro code and said no I can't do that to my friend and I was like dude, she never even made out with Luke. They were NOT a couple. He needs to grow up. Leia gets to decide who goes in her pussy no one else, especially not Luke. UGH. And no fucking Leia does not make Han Solo a douche, it makes Luke a douche for COVETING. Slime behaviour, utter slime. If you want a vote in who someone is fucking, don't break up with them and don't get dumped! That simple!

Sorry I could rant all night on this...
56
And, @32, I know you're not going to want to hear this, and it sounds like you're all pretty young, but... Your brother is not an innocent victim here. He was part of allowing this nasty dysfunctional mess to play out for a year - he'd known her for seven years, he knew who she was.

One of the best things you could do for him now is to stop enabling his feeling victimized and sorry for himself about all this. The more positive attention he gets from being torn up about this, the more incentive he has to hang onto it. I don't mean that you should be brutal toward him, but I'd try a little less interest in all this, and see how that goes. Aim for "mmmhmmm, yeah, so... what do you want for supper?" rather than "That bitch!"
57
@ Erica

Ummm. I started going to pride when I was 14, when I vote, gay rights is a part of my vote, when someone says something homophobic I tell them to STFU, I was in my school's GSA all through highschool. But I feel no need to give myself the 'queer' label*.

"Decent human being" is good enough for me. It honestly baffles me that people need special labels for not being bigots. Look, I also don't steal or kill people, do I need a label for that too?

I legitimately don't get it.

*Based on my "ally" status alone, I consider myself hetero.
58
@54,56 This is all pretty true. Sound advice!
59
@19 "a guy who only likes girls in wheelchairs is queer"--actually, the word you're looking for is "creepy". (I put both my feet on when I get out of bed. When I take them off at night, I am substantially less able to run away than a person whose legs don't come off. The fact that my inability to flee is what some guys are looking for? Fucking creepy. Sorry, devotees.) I don't get a vote, being a straight girl, but I don't think there really needs to be a letter in the QUILTBAG for every person who isn't strictly cis-hetero vanilla.

@27 It would help if we knew why the exes dumped him. Maybe he's an enormous douchebag who made their lives hell. Maybe he gave out handjobs to anybody who asked, but didn't consider that sex. Maybe he was emotionally manipulative, or physically abusive, and if the exes had written SL they would have gotten DTMFA responses. What would his exes owe him then?
60
@57, I don't call myself queer and I'm not urging you to. I was just struck by Mr. Ven's quite charitable reading of the word queer as more gay-friendly than appropriating, when used by non-gays-who-see-themselves-as-non-heteronormative.
61
@59, RE:@27; You took the thought right out of my mind ... {lol} ... *something* had not felt quite right about that scenario & that was it ... Well Said, methinks.
62
@60

Yeah... it just honestly bums me out that 'I'm cool with gay/bi/trans/etc people' is not the default assumption anymore than 'I'm not going to kill you and eat your skin' is a default assumption.
63
"How did he find out? It sounds like you were not really upfront about it with this friend, in which case he would be completely justified in feeling a sense of betrayal"

I told him. Once I knew I wanted to actually date him, and that it wasn't just a one night thing (which I consider to be no one's business at all), I told him. And at no point did I hide it from him before then even if I didn't make an announcement before that time.

"So maybe you were just a little bit of a slime."

And maybe he was just a little bit of a controlling, manipulative asshole.

"Even when you see no apparent hurt feelings in someone else's breakup, there is usually still something felt there, as was obviously the case here."

Except that he told me there wasn't. I wasn't speculating, I was going on what he said. If he wasn't being honest that's his fault. I'm not a fucking mind reader.

"You read the whole situation wrong and hurt your friend - better to admit that instead of continuing to rationalize what sounds like really a selfish and amoral approach to life. Karma can be a bitch. "

I read it the way he presented it. No one in my life other than this dick would call me either amoral or selfish, so fuck you very much.

As for Karma, even if that bullshit were true it would seem I did everything right because, as I said, getting that manipulative ass out of my life was the best thing that could have happened. For me everything worked out for the best.

He lost several other friends through similar behavior later on, or so they told me.

Sorry if my not adhering to some high school teenaged philosophy of calling dibs on other human beings and telling other people who they can and can not go out with bothers you. Some of us leave high school and some of us stay there in our minds forever.

64
Dan:

I'm married to a smut-positive wife who has never had a problem even with me keeping bookmarks of smutty sites.

However, once our first kid was old enough to start using the computer, I started using Incognito mode in Chrome for my smutty browsing. After all, I'm sure my 5 year old would be less than impressed with the smorgasbord of Xhamster or Xtube, the first things that would likely come up if he so much as typed an X in the address bar. Nevermind that someday he'd come to the realization that daddy has an account on fetlife.com.

I've noticed that you're a parent too. Which kind of begs the question: You mean you don't hide your browser history from your son?
65
@63: I'm with you 150% that "you should have asked my permission to date my ex" is complete bullshit and someone who would actually say that is an asshole. Sounds like you were well rid of this one.

I'm with you 100% that the default working arrangement is that I, as your friend, don't get to tell you who you can and cannot date. I don't own you, and I especially don't own my exes. Cutting ties carries the implication that we are no longer answerable to each other. (Your friend is still your friend, meaning you haven't cut ties, and thus continue to be are answerable to each other, though at a friend level.) I'm also of the opinion that if a breakup was amicable, then the Ex, theoretically at least, has successfully made the transition from Lover to Friend; and of course Friends get to date other Friends.

That's not a hard and fast rule. I'm not sure that "please take my feelings into account" is limited only to cases of assholery. Imagine, for example, the case where "she dumped me, and she was totally nice about it, but I'm not over her yet." I'm not saying that the Friend _can't_ date the Ex in that case, but it is going to be awkward for a while. If Friend responds by making sure that the three of them don't spend time together, well and good, but if that comes at a cost of spending substantially less time with the Friend (because Friend is now constantly busy with Ex) that can feel like both of them have dumped you. You aren't required to simply smile at everyone as if everything is fine in that case.

All of this talk is making me really appreciate being happily married for nearly a quarter of a century.
66
@55 thank you for making the anti bro code case so vividly. Except, don't women often have a similar rule? I'm not sure it's fair to cast this as a male failing.
67
@64: Separate account for the kid? Unless he has admin privileges, he can't see into your account space.

Generally speaking, separate accounts are good practice in any case. The non-controversial part of not sharing your temporary space is that you don't have to wade through everybody else's crap. (bookmarks, history, temp cache, etc.)

Incognito mode is a good idea too -- on top of separate accounts, not as a replacement for them.
68
You aren't required to simply smile at everyone as if everything is fine in that case.
-----------------------

Well, it's as fine as it's likely to get, so, yeah, it's fine. The person you care about most - your friend - is being sensitive to your feelings. Just because you've been through a break up doesn't mean the rest of the world stops turning.

I get it - sometimes things suck. Sometimes someone else's joy feels like a stick poking at your pain. But that doesn't mean that they are doing anything wrong by being joyful, and if you act like they are, yes there is an asshole in the mix, and it's you. You have a right to expect people who care about you not to rub your nose in your unhappiness, but you have no right to deny them their joy.
69
Ms Driasis - I appreciate the sentiment, but we've a good ways to go before we get there.

Ms Erica - It was also a rumination on the difference between the Q label and the B label, which have a good deal of overlap.
70
The first one is easy, to the Mitt & Paul lover, get over it & wish them well. Sheesh.

I'm surprised there aren't more people commenting on the ungrateful friend/lover. What an ass he is. Here it is, he has a friend who enjoys indulging him and he doesn't make a point to please her too? What planet is he from? Most guys in his position would be ever so grateful for just a partial helping out with his needs. I'd have one more conversation with him and find out what's behind the non-mutual compliance & than explain that you want your fair share too. I've found that if you get your woman off first it will end up being a win-win situation.

Than again, maybe he's a closet submissive and you need to order him to do your bidding. It that doesn't work, than except your lot in life with this cad or fine another more deserving friend or lover.
72
RE: The whole queer thing
I'm a mostly-straight guy. Bisexual doesn't allow for me to be attracted to non-male/female people, bi-curious just sounds creepy to me, and I like heteroflexible except that I don't exactly think of myself as flexible. Just occasionally attracted to people who aren't female. The two labels that I'm comfortable with are pansexual, which doesn't distinguish about who I'm attracted to, and queer, because it doesn't either.

The point of the word queer is basically that labels suck. Even Dan, who generally seems pretty comfortable calling himself gay, has acknowledged that there are probably a couple really butch girls he'd be attracted to. However, gay is the label that Dan chooses to identify with. Labels are societal constructs, and for many people, there is no label they can really feel comfortable with. Queer is an attempt to solve that, to let people have a label that basically just says "fuck labels."

So stop the condescending BS. EVERYONE has the right to self-identify. Saying that someone is "really" something else, or just identifying as something because they want to feel special, is denying that. (Yes, I know many teenage lesbians who are attracted to some guys. No, I don't tell them they're not really lesbians. Their right to self-identify trumps my desire to put everything in perfect, neat categories with unanimously agreed-upon definitions.)
73
Wow Cocky, your arrogance is pretty impressive. Because I don't agree with you I am either young, naive or a psychopath? Fuck you.

I'm long, long out of high school, and probably older than you are, and have probably seen more of life and the world than you ever will. And I'm perfectly sane.

I just don't agree with you and find your outlook on this sophomoric.

He assured me he had no bad feelings about the break up. If he lied, or was in denial, is not my fault.

If I had any indication that he did have bad feelings I probably wouldn't have, but I didn't plan it so didn't have a chance to ask his permission, as if I needed it at all.

As Dan said, the gay world is small. People date each other's exs. That's the way it is. Get over it.

This same person, so I am told by another friend, liked another guy. Never dated him, but liked him. The other guy had no interest in him. But he did have an interest in the mutual friend.

Having known how the ex friend of mine reacted to what happened our mutual friend actually asked him if he minded if he dated the guy. Ex friend said, "no problem". Mutual friend started dating the guy and a week later ex friend said he changed his mind, it was upsetting seeing them go out so please stop.

Mutual friend and ex friend are now ex friends as well. Interestingly mutual friend is still my friend. In fact almost all of our mutual friends are still my friends, but not his.

Your amateur psychoanalysis is off the mark and your assumptions are being pulled out of your ass.
78
@72 thanks for sticking up for us queers. What a drag to read so much anti queer BS in the comments on such a sex positive site. Queer as a sexual orientation identity is very personal to me. It's the only short explanation for my orientation: I am a homoflexible man (who was born female) married to the love of my life (who is mostly lesbian) in a monogammish relationship of over ten years that to outside strangers looks boringly straight. In a word, Queer.
79
Jeez, the tech junkies, what are you gonna do?

The dude's problem cannot be solved by private browsing. The issue is that his wife is overly intrusive into his privacy, thinks she has some kind of right to control his sexuality, and is porn-shaming him.

But yeah, sure, private browser settings will fix that all up, right?
80
Fortunate -

Here's a notion. It's possible that your former friend is a controlling, manipulative person - but that your actions (and your attitude about those actions) are still less than perfect.

Course, I generally think that the best way to avoid trouble is to graciously not date your friend's exes AND to graciously handle it if your friends and exes do wind up dating. You really, really can't date the serious ex of a friend of yours and expect it to go smoothly, and you really can't blow up over who your exes are sleeping with and expect that to go smoothly either.
83
So for the queer woman visiting her ex-boyfriend, wouldn't it be pretty simple to simply tell him that you need to be pleased first and then you he can play baby? No pleasy, no plasy.
84
Queer is anyone whose desires alienate them from the mainstream of sex and gender. [...] And there's a lot of us.
A lot of you? I dare say. The definition you give for queer could be replaced with one phrase: "damn near everyone". ;)
85
@50: "Queerness is in direct opposition to those of you who would like to pigeonhole all genders and sexualities into heteronormative rows and columns."

Queer is just another pigeonhole.

I don't really care how someone chooses to self-identify. We're all just people, defined more by our actions than what we're thinking of when masturbating. As someone no longer in high school or college I'm really not that concerned with belonging to certain groups. If I have contempt it's not for people expressing themselves or being who they want to be, it's for this earnest compulsion of so many progressives to politicize gender, race and any other social classification they can slap a label on.
86
" You really, really can't date the serious ex of a friend of yours and expect it to go smoothly..."

Who said it was a serious ex? They dated for maybe a month, tops. They met, went out for a while, decided they weren't right for each other, and stopped going out. It's not like they got the point of picking out china patterns, and they didn't even get to the point where they had to divvy up their CD collection or something.

You are reading all sorts of things in to the story that aren't there.

" but if you don't care enough about someone's feelings "

Let me reiterate this to you since you don't seem to get it.

HE said he had NO feelings about his ex. HE said he WAS NOT upset about the break up. I was going on what HE had said were his feelings.

"at least have the decency not to pretend to be his friend"

Again, you have no fucking idea what you are talking about. I did more for him over the course of our friendship than you can ever know. I stood my him and supported him when he fucked up. I helped him achieve several of his life goals. I changed several things in my life to accommodate his needs and helped him multiple times in ways that went above and beyond the call of simple friendship. So don't tell me I wasn't his friend. You have no clue what you are talking about.

You really think that you can understand the dynamics of a decade long relationship with someone from one story? I have to wonder why you haven't replaced Dr Phil on TV yet?

"You didn't plan it? How does that work? "

It works that I ran into him while out, we started talking, and he asked me home with him. Since I wasn't expecting it to be more than a one night thing I didn't bother to call for permission, even if that were possible which is wasn't because back then none of us had cell phones (not that I would have even if I could have. A one night stand with another single person is no one's business at all).

I wasn't planning on dating him, but we just hit it off better than expected.

Shit happens.

87
Ok, I feel a need to step in and apologize for my comment @11, it came out a lot more bitter and condescending than I intended. It is however my experience that people who call themselves queer really aren't as different from everybody else as they claim. Everybody is a bit weird and nobody is 100% rock solid this or that label, the only real difference is how much of your identity you place in the difference between you and other people.
88
@87 (...and in how much you believe that everyone else is all gender- and hetero-normative)
89
@83, so simple and so right.
90
@79 Dan often recommends: "you pretend not to look at porn, and she pretends to believe you."

I have every reason to believe that Dan is right that many marriages can run smoothly that way. Don't rub it in her face, and she won't snoop and pry to find something she doesn't want to see.
91
@22- actually bisexual covers it completely.
92
@ 46- it is like monogamish... Just say you're monogamous and do what you want why do yuppies try so hard to be cool ? I think it's lame, just my opinion. Unless of course you're trying to advertise yourself in a not so subtle way.
93
@-57 nailed it.
94
Just saw your NYT debate-thingy with that seriously repressed and fucked-up gay man. Talk about closety-flaming self-hatred. Poor dude.
95
@90

That honestly always sounded like a shitty way to have a relationship to me, but different strokes I guess.
97
11-87-Friendstaste-- Don't apologize. I think you had it right the first time. A byproduct of being in a group marginalized by the larger society is feeling the delicious warmth of being accepted when in the company of one's own kind. This is true of anyone labeled the Other. It could be the nerdy engineers sitting together in the school cafeteria or the Jews wondering if they should sing Xmas carols in the glee club. While the outside world thinks they must be miserable because of their outsider status, the outsiders feel pretty good once they've found each other. I know many a mainstream wasp who has felt uncomfortable reading African American literature that has nothing to do with being ostracized and everything to do with feeling superior in the closed world of the ghetto.

I believe this is true whether we're talking about the sort of bullying that makes young teens commit suicide or the run-of-the-mill razzing that makes girls feel self-conscious. The more pushed out you feel from larger world, the more relief, safety, and possibly superiority you feel when you find others like you. Maybe you have to have an owl deliver your invitation to Hogwarts to find your own, but when you find it, it's very good.

Forgive me for digressing. My point is that it makes sense for people to want the benefit of feeling like one of the in-crowd without wanting to suffer the alienation from the big bad popular outer crowd.

I'll use myself for an example. I'm probably the most boring regular here. Straight, middle-aged, monogamous, who has sex that's warm, satisfying, private, etc. Yet I like to think of myself as hot stuff. When I was younger, I slept with a number of men, and the whole experience of getting turned on and finding what I liked was so enthralling that I imagined that I'd invented sex by myself. A part of me would love to identify as queer because it plays up that whole thing about wanting to sit at the table with all the cool queer folks who seem to be so in on everything. In reality, I'm merely liberal. I'm old enough now not to offend by pretending to be something I'm not, but I do remember and recognize the tendency. While in my day I aspired to being promiscuous, I understand how now people might want to be queer. It just looks like so much fun if you don't actually have to suffer for it.
99
Hunter

Haha, must be a generational thing, because I've never met a girl my age who's bothered by porn. If you're curious to know how I reacted the first time I found a boyfriend's porn go ahead and read through my old posts because I explicitly stated how it went down. :)

As for masturbation vs. sex? I've always summed it up the same way. You know that scene in Pulp Fiction where John Travolta's character is trying to convince Samuel Jackson's character that giving a girl a footrub is like oral sex? He says something along the lines of "you have to admit, it's the same ballpark". Samuel Jackson's character says "Same ballpark? It's not even the same sport". Bingo.

We can all see you're frothing at the mouth waiting for Schadeunfreud. But dude... you're embarassing yourself.

I assure you - bad things happen to people you don't like. Bad things happen to me! But when someone close to me dies, or someone close to me gets a serious illness, or if I have money troubles or whatever other problem occurs... I don't talk about it here. And I never would because there's trolls. We've been sitting here seeing you grasping at straws for months hoping to hit a nerve, but you don't know me, dude. You're aiming so far off target it's incredible. "Oh maybe she has 'narrow hips'... no? Okay well maybe one day she'll suddenly be threatened by porn?"

Honestly? I feel sorry for you. To be so hopelessly impotent in your attempts after months of constantly trying. It's... just sad.
101
1. Numbers don't lie. We both know why you want to believe I do. But I don't.

2. No. Deaths and illnesses in my life are none of your business.
103
The gay community isn't the only place where the "bro code" doesn't work well.Small towns have the same problem.Not to say folks don't try to enforce that ridiculous 'rule',people just end up doing what they want in the end.Just have to give the newly doomed couple some wide berth and wait for your own personal feelings subside.Of course,this is a lesson hard learned and easy for one to say after having dealt with it many times.Hang in there,EBAC
104
You're pathetic.
106
@mydriasis, hey, since no one else is talking, maybe we can have a conversation about whether it's generally best to ignore trolls. Do you believe the common wisdom is wrong on that issue? I've found myself happier the more I follow that policy, personally. But I'd be interested to learn your take on the issue.
107
@30 A gal who cruises porn and picks Slartibartfast as her screen name? I wanna meet you!
108
@30 A gal who cruises porn and picks Slartibartfast for her screenname?? I gotta meet you!
109
@106

I think you're right, I often do ignore comments but at the same time it can also be very unsatisfying to let trolls go unchecked. I don't like the idea of 'letting' someone say whatever they want to me. Such is immaturity.

Is Hunter a troll? Absolutely. And the types of people he targets for abuse are clearly chosen for a reason. Typically we're women who draw a stark contrast to the quiet desperation of his own life. You, being a GGG accommodating lover for your husband, and me being young and in control of my sexuality (and enjoying it). He also has a huge inferiority complex about intelligence which is why certain other posters have also drawn his ire since there's a lot of articulate, insightful posters here who probably also make him feel insecure and small.

Anyway, TLDR, I should probably ignore him, but sometimes I just can't resist shooting him down. I'll try to reinstate my no feeding the trolls policy. (Although that unfortunately seems to make him post at me even MORE)
110
Oh and last but not least? He gives me the heebie jeebies. His incessant habit of fantasizing exensively about my life/relationships/body, believing that by some kind of psychic power he can divine what my body looks like or what will happen between me and my boyfriend in a few years... it's very erotomanic-esque. And VERY creepy.

No disrespect to those with actual delusional and/or psychotic disorders.
111
@110, the volume goes down enormously if no one replies. I've seen it happen again and again, in different contexts.
112
www.couragerc.net

check it out, and stop the labels. For everyone. And have an open mind.

Much love, truly.
113
Wow, lots of anti-queer talk. All of the people I know who have identified as queer are definitely that--attracted to people in ways that are completely unconstrained by (apparent) gender, spent decades as a lesbian and dated a handful of men, or a lifelong lesbian who ended up marrying a (cis)man, someone questioning and definitely queer but not really sure which label applies, etc...aside from that, queer is definitely inclusive of LGBTQ--and everything in between.

In my experience, the label has a distinct purpose--and is *not* straight progressive people trying to pretend they're special..

Of course, a bunch of you know better, so I'm probably wasting my effort in explaining my experience.

It's as ludicrous as this poster that won't leave Fortunate alone (what's the matter cocky, can't admit that you got someone completely wrong from one story he shared on the internet?)
114
Nobody's perfect.
115
@113, I feel the word doesn't tell us anything, so it's not very helpful as a word.

For your first example, pansexual or gender-queer might fit better; for your second example, lesbian or bi or Kinsey 4 or 5 might fit better; for your third example, if she is only attracted to her husband, maybe she used to be a lesbian, or her identity is fluid.

But that's just my opinion. You say your experience is different. So tell me, if someone tells you they're queer, what do you now know, that you didn't know before they spoke up?
117
Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked, 'Oh, you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes.' People who speak disparagingly of things that they cannot attain would do well to apply this story to themselves.