Savage Love

As One Is Wont to Do

Comments

1
Good God--am I first? I was just checking to see if Savage Love was up, and don't have a dog in this weekly fight. I feel oddly accomplished.
2
1st! Nice column, too. Liked the bit about angels on a pin.
3
Couldn't one's gas, if not explosive in force, either "squeak past" the butt plug, or simply not have enough force to exit and thus exit when said butt plug is removed? Of course, this is theory and not *yet* practice on my part....
4
So I'll just delete that buttsore comment I was composing...
5
I'm with you Dan about orientation being different from action. Poly isn't an orientation, its an action. Homosexual is an orientation because no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to be truly satisfied with doing things another way. Poly people can get as much enjoyment out of a single partner as they do from multiple. :)

www.facebook.com/cnmcginn
6
@3- I think Dan was being flip with the first two letters, since no one will explode from gas, nor have I ever heard of a butt plug flying across a room, unless forced out by the wearer deliberately. Dan's "wearer" comments were also tongue-in-cheek, ahem... I doubt Dan has used a butt plug in his life, since he's not an anal sex person himself. Letter two is kind of self-evident, and it's doubtful if the extractees were unaware of the need to keep the flared part outside. Sometimes the toy is too small not to go in all the way, but alas, is too big to come out. It happens.
You have the correct (serious) answer to GASSYASS- gas leaks around and out.
7
I imagine it is less embarrassing to be simultaneously caught purchasing a sex toy by one's boss, ex, and grandmother than to go to the emergency room to have an improvised device removed from any orifice.

I like JMT's model, but I would change "from cis to trans" to "from male to female" and I would not assume that all four properties are equally important. For example, I imagine it's easier/less damaging/whatever from a person who prefers multiple relationships to remain monogamous than for a homosexual person to limit him/herself to people of the opposite sex. In general, I'm not sure that "exclusivity" is as much of a factor as the other three points. Most people want sex with whoever they want all the time, but people in monogamous relationships don't act on it.
8
@7 Some people either really don't feel much attraction to other people when they're in a monogamous relationship, or they're lying to themselves and/or me. I would venture to guess that the majority of humanity does not share this characteristic, but it appears to be there.
9
@6: The wedged devices were not sex toys in the sense of dildos, but in the sense of "stuff you might find lying about the house and think 'hey I could stuff that in my ass' ." In which case knowing only to use items with a flared base would be helpful, but so would not sticking Christmas lights or laser levels or whatever up there: I suspect the reason it didn't occur to the doctors to mention the flared base is that it honestly had not occurred to them that the entire thing was unobvious. At least in hindsight.

10
I'm not buttsore, but enjoying all the informative advice from Dan, letter writers and responses from fellow bloggers.

Happy holidays, everybody---cheers, and whatever your sexual orientation, don't get too plugged up about it.
:-)
11
@7, 8: For those in monogamous relationships, I think feeling attraction that isn't acted on can be anything from instinctively noting someone is sexy without feeling any particular desire to act on that, to having a strong "I'd hit that if I were single" that doesn't imply any hard struggle is involved in placing one's partner and your relationship above such transient temptations, to desperately wanting to bang someone. I think the set point for people who value monogamy can be anywhere on that scale, though those at the far banging-the-assistant end will find it harder to practice.

Still, acting on attraction takes effort. No CPOS had no choice in the matter.
12
@IPJ: No CPOS had no choice in the matter.

Sometimes a person's will is overwhelmed by the power of seduction.
13
I'd say I'm naturally monogamous, paired with someone who isn't. He's very glad that I am happy with just him, of course. It's taken a long time for me to accept that maybe it's not his nature to be faithful, and he has tended out of guilt or whatever to "wander"in the most painful ways-- blaming me, "falling in love," saying he never loved me, all that. I think maybe if we'd been able to move past the monogamous ideal, he might not have been so mean, and I might not have been so damaged by it. But I have to say, if I had any choice in who I fell in love with, I would have rather fallen for someone like me, who was happy with just me. My husband has finally settled down (age, and my firm decision that I would leave next time, no hard feelings, but goodbye), and I'm feeling more certain. But like should marry like I think in this situation. It's really common in my experience for someone who isn't naturally faithful to seek out those who are because they can trust and count on them. Not really fair.

Too soon old, too late smart. :)
14
I'd say I'm naturally monogamous, paired with someone who isn't. He's very glad that I am happy with just him, of course. It's taken a long time for me to accept that maybe it's not his nature to be faithful, and he has tended out of guilt or whatever to "wander"in the most painful ways-- blaming me, "falling in love," saying he never loved me, all that. I think maybe if we'd been able to move past the monogamous ideal, he might not have been so mean, and I might not have been so damaged by it. But I have to say, if I had any choice in who I fell in love with, I would have rather fallen for someone like me, who was happy with just me. My husband has finally settled down (age, and my firm decision that I would leave next time, no hard feelings, but goodbye), and I'm feeling more certain. But like should marry like I think in this situation. It's really common in my experience for someone who isn't naturally faithful to seek out those who are because they can trust and count on them. Not really fair.

Too soon old, too late smart. :)
15
Wouldn't it depend on the quality of the shoes, and why was such a salient detail omitted?
16
I don't get why everyone gets so hung up on definitions... JMTs proposal seems irrelevant; as does the discussion of "orientation" vs "identity." I'm pretty sure Dan's point to the original LW from 2 weeks ago was that he was being a huge douche by letting his own narrative about his true nature as poly-orientated get in the way of a situation that could of worked for him, then getting whiny about it. & whiny douches are the worst.
17
@13/14 "I would have rather fallen for someone like me, who was happy with just me."

It's a nice thought, but it's hard to predict in your 20s whether your partner will stray after ten or twenty years together. What are the upsides of your marriage? What persuaded you to stay all those times that he cheated and blamed you for his choices?
18
The gas just momentarily stretches you around the plug, if plugs are anything like fingers.
19
Mr. Vennominon: indeed. Some shoes are so blindingly fabulous that "nice shoes" isn't immediately followed by "wanna fuck?" ;)

Yes! Semantics arguments are over. Now we can go back to talking about actual sexscapades & kink-o-riffic advice, & stop arguing over who is labeled what. The labeling isn't just identity, after all: helps us find each other. & Slog is certainly a 'net destination where we can all let our freak flags fly.

Hey Dan: HAPPY BEING MARRIED, Mazel tov to you & Terry. ;) I predicted you'd beat me to it!
20
Is that an embarrassed mole? Or a sheepish vole?
21
One more thing, directed at you Firsters... I understand the momentary thrill you must experience upon seeing a virgin comment box under a wildly popular column like Savage Love. But hows about you say "FIRST!" to yourselves, then make a comment the rest of us might be mildly interested in? That way, you don't seem like a tool if you are first, and we don't' feel a wave of pity for your pathetic ass if you're second.
22
Re: the 4 components. Think of 2 more and we've got a Rubik's cube!
23
Like the column, BUT at times Dan attempts to be overly witty in his responses muddy his response/message/intent and becomes lost in translation. My eyes just glaze over these giddy responses. Lost in translation....do we really need folks then offering comments on Dan's real response/intent was or clarification of the same.

Save the stick for the local comedy club and be a tiny bit more straight forward with the responses.
24
@ 12, they shouldn't get into situations where seduction and sex can happen. No matter what, a cheater chooses to act. To me there is no "heat of the moment" excuse, because there shouldn't have been a "moment" to begin with. Fortunately, my husband and I are both naturally monogamous.
25
@6 "OutInBumF"said:
"I doubt Dan has used a butt plug in his life, since he's not an anal sex person himself."

OutInBumF, do you have inside info on Dan's butt? :-)

You say you're a gay man in your profile, do you really think total tops never even try a butt plug just to see what it's like? Total top myself but I've tried the occasional toy insertion, you'd have to be vvv (triple-vanilla) to never try. (Indeed, trying is how I know I'm a "total" top. Zero pleasure, 100% don't like it.)

Dan has said in his books he's on the kinky/bondage side, although he keeps it vague whether he's top, btm, or vers; but we know he's not vvv!
26
@7 - I'm just waiting for some special snowflakes to come out of the woodwork and get on your case for suggesting that exclusivity might not be as damaging for their twue poly souls as living a hetero life would be for a gay person. It's coming. Unless even the special snowflakes have gotten tired of this debate, but then again, do they ever?

Note to all sexual minority groups everywhere: Don't you think we should spend our time fighting real fights, like marriage equality and other human rights, rather than bitching at our allies about offending our sensibilities by not mindreading what terminology we personally would prefer at any given moment? Just a thought. Radical, I know!
27
JMT's letter: the problem with adding dimensions is you'll never stop, it's a big rainbow.

JMT wants to add monogamous/polyamorous, but that's actually TWO dimensions. Some non-monogamous folks are polyamorous and into long term committed *loving* partnerships with more than one person at a time.

Other non-monogamous folks are highly mono-amorous: totally and only in love with one person, and wired up that way. But still non-monogamous, ranging from monogamish, to shag anything cute that moves.

Other non-monogamous folks are in the middle: mostly mono-amorous, monogamish to shag anything that moves, but can fall in love once in a while with a second person. So now you need 2 new dimensions: mono-amory to poly-amory, and mono-gamous to monogamish to shagaholic.

Better to stop adding on dimensions and just peace out.
28
@12: We don't allow for this loss of will in any other situation. If someone says "I didn't WANT to rob the bakery! But the cupcakes seduced me. They overcame my will," no one buys that. If a commander fucks his subordinate's wife, leading to a mutiny when the subordinate's unit is all "like hell we're taking that hill; we know damn well why you want Chuck out of the way and the rest of us can be collateral damage," that military commander will not find his superiors' sympathetic to "I knew I shouldn't, but her seduction overwhelmed my will." The idea of the force of seduction overcoming someone's will is just another version of the idea that sex, like cupcakes and many other things, is more fun for some people when it feels forbidden. If it takes a little make believe to make it feel forbidden, lots of people will indulge in that.

If you're going to argue "I didn't want to do X, but X overcame my will with its seductive powers" we don't let you wander around in public, since you're operating at the level of a small child who really wants a cupcake and a chance to see what happens when you ram a mini cooper into a police cruiser.
29
@23: That would be "shtick." There's only one stick in this thread — and I hope, for your sake, that it has a flared base.
30
@27: I agree on the many shades of nonmonogamy, but if we have a multidimensional infinite spectrum of shades of preferences, everyone can have their own tiny spot in the array and be a special snowflake. So there's that.

@16: The original LW's "problem" was neatly summed up by I believe Bonefish: If you easily toss aside your core identity and a vital and unchangeable part of your being because it turns out you can laid right now if you do, arguing for how unchangeable and central it is feels pretty fake. Like if a man claimed to be strictly straight, except for all those times a hot guy offered in which case of course he nailed him for hours, but that didn't make him even a little bit flexible on the bi scale.
31
I don't think the last 2 components of JMT's framework can really be considered as a long-term, core part of someone's sexual identity.

Very few people are truly "monogamous-oriented" in the sense that they only lust after their own partner. That simply isn't core to anyone's nature, even those who want to be monogamous. I'm monogamous and it's really hard. I would never agree to it if my husband wasn't an amazing friend, father, and partner, but it's important to him so it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. And even though monogamy is important to him, I know he has been attracted to other women over the course of our 13 years together, so he has been acting against his nature as well.

As for sexual interest, most people don't have the same sex drive at 50 that we did at 20. And there are temporary situations, like crazy job stress or a new baby that can affect interest for a bit. So, for most people, interest can't really be considered as a long-term identity, although I'd love to hear from the 65- or 70-year old whose interest stayed constant over 5 or 6 decades!
32
Purely in the interests of science... I will over-share. One time my BF's butt plug did get in the way of a very wet and juicy fart, a "shart" if you will, and that is when we learned that curry dinner followed by anal play is a hilariously bad idea.
33
@29

Nice work.
34
@Tracelle

"Very few people are truly "monogamous-oriented" in the sense that they only lust after their own partner. That simply isn't core to anyone's nature, even those who want to be monogamous."

Isn't core to anyone's nature? I disagree. When in a relationship I don't "resist" temptation, I just don't have it. Being a naturally selective person helps for sure but I honestly don't even notice guys I'd otherwise find attractive.

I also disagree with you on point two, have you ever met a sex addict?
35
There was a hilarious, but now seemingly defunct, livejournal by an ER doc at figent-figary.livejournal.com . She had a post which was something along the following lines:

"If it were up to me, every object in the world -- tennis balls, light bulbs, corks, socks, everything -- would have a warning label on it. And all those labels would say the same thing: DON'T STICK THIS UP YOUR BUTT!"
36
I used to work for a gastrologist's office and people put all sorts of items up their rears that didn't have a flared base. Most seemed to learn, (having a snow globe shatter in your rectum isn't fun...) but one person was regularly seen for ripping his insides apart through attempting to pleasure himself with a curtain rod.

Also, I think Dan responded appropriately to the first few letters. They clearly weren't serious in nature, so why shouldn't he be flippant in response? I found both the letters & his responses to be amusing.

And, just gotta say, if we're going to make everything that has anything to do with sex and/or relationship preferences/identities, i don't think a bracelet can handle that acronym. I propose the following:
1) everyone please chill out about the differences between mono & poly. we have bigger things to deal with right now (like gay rights, women fighting for basic control of our bodies and trans people being routinely fired, beaten up, and/or alienated -- not to mention the fact that our country still has major race issues)
2) know thyself, and make damn sure the people who matter, know who you are. if they don't like it, find new people who matter.
3) if you can't get your hands on decent health insurance, don't put things up your butt that can't be easily retrieved.
37
I like the column better when you write it while high. Giving Miss Manners a run for her money with this one.
38
I don't think complimenting one's shoes at a urinal is nearly as weird as guys who yak on their phones at urinals, which is happening with an increasingly alarming frequency. I keep waiting for the phones to fall so I can watch gleefully as they try to fish them out.
39
@IPJ: If you're going to argue "I didn't want to do X, but X overcame my will with its seductive powers" we don't let you wander around in public, since you're operating at the level of a small child who really wants a cupcake

First, really wanting a cupcake, or a blowjob to bring us back to the subject at hand, isn't childish at all.

Second, comparing the seductive powers of a beautiful, sexy woman who knows exactly how to wave her magic wand to a cupcake is, I don't know, naive? Sad?

You've made the wrong analogy. Seduction is more like alcohol or MDMA in that it impairs the frontal lobe and all of its worrying about future consequences, bringing its victims more thoroughly into the here and now. Like those drugs, it can certainly compel a mature adult to behave in ways they otherwise would not.

Not every person is as vulnerable to seduction as the next, but that vulnerability has little to do with maturity. The planet is crawling with decent, monogamous men married to women who over time have come to take them, and their fidelity, for granted, and who out of laziness, selfishness, scorn, or disinterest, neglect their relationships. Most of those men are vulnerable to seduction, I would argue, and their faithfulness to their wives is entirely attributable to the fact that some other woman hasn't yet waved her wand at him.
40
@15 - Snork!

Here's what puzzles me: why, if it (some object w/o a flared base) can go in, can't you just poop it back out? I get it about broken glass objects, but assuming the thing is still intact. My partner is a surgeon and the butt-sex negativity isn't limited to ER/Trauma horror stories, but yes, seems actively taught in Med school.
41
When I was young and the sexual revolution was raging, I explored the question "can a woman fuck around as freely as a man" and found the answer was yes. The day I realized I had lost all interest in others I knew I would marry this one. And forty years later I enjoy watching the passing parade, but this one is still the sole focus of my desire. So if you love defing spectrums and apparently assume that people are permanently fixed at a point, how do you define me?
42
@24: they shouldn't get into situations where seduction and sex can happen

You mean, like, leaving the house alone? Going to work? Staying late at the office to work on that executive presentation with Sharon from marketing?

If you're goal is to prevent your partner from being seduced, you're better off just treating him well than behaving like a ball and chain.
43
I will never understand the endless obsession with labeling people seem to have. "Oh I'm a demi-romantic/high sexual 40% sub poly cis WORDVOMIT."

Who. Gives. A. Shit.

You are who/what you are. Why does anyone care what Dan thinks about whether it's an identity, orientation, choice, whatthefuckever. Decide he's wrong, continue to call yourself whatever-oriented, and move on with your life.

I blame Tumblr.
44
Also, seriously, a set of buttplugs of multiple sizes is like $30. Waaaay cheaper than a hospital bill.
45
@42:
You sound like only people who treat their partners badly are cheated on.

A friend of mine cheated on his then-gf, now-wife quite regularly during the first ten years of their relationship because he enjoyed the attention of other women. And no, it is not just because men are biologically wired to be like that: his sister cheated on her boyfriends just the same.
46
@39

So much fail, I'm sorry.

First of all, if you think that people can't treat food compuslively like sex or drugs then you clearly need to bone up. Here's a lovely article on how foods exactly like cupcakes effect your brain:

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/07/2…

Secondly, if you're firing off a prefrontal cortex argument one minute, and then discounting the relavence of maturity the next then you really can't know what you're talking about. Maturity matters a great deal when it comes to resisting temptation exactly because what we consider maturity is largely based on the development of the prefrontal cortex and it's ability to inhibit influences from lower brain centres.

Thirdly, "magic wand"? "Victims"? We're women, not witches, for fuck's sake.
47
@39: Let's say a guy is heading to work and sees an incredible beautiful woman on the subway. Does he
a) Nail her right there in the middle of the crowded subway car. He couldn't help it! She was very desirable!
b) Figure that being arrested and having to explain to his boss why he missed work make that a bad move, and engage instead in flirtation. Followed by flirtily meeting for coffee, a few more dates (while arranging cover-up stories if he happens to be in a closed relationship), and eventually sex.

Someone in another thread made the distinction between an explanation--why something that hurt one's partner happened--and an excuse--why one's partner should be okay with it. Your magic wand is the latter, the version in which everything one person does is really the fault of other people.

"When I cheated on you, it was her fault because she waved the magic wand! And your fault because you took me for granted and made me all wand susceptible! I'm a victim here, unable to do anything but respond to magic wands!" That's not the explanation of someone who should claim to be an adult: adults take responsibility for their actions, and don't go around helplessly having sex with anyone who waves a magic wand at them, unless their supposed exclusive partner is waving the magic wand hard enough to fend off all other wand wavers.

I'm not saying resisting a sexually desirable person willing to have sex with you is easy at all times for all people. (Though for many it is.) But it's hardly like someone zapping you with a mind control ray that makes it impossible for you to do anything but have sex with them. As with your drug example, there are active choices that are made on the way.

And while I'm sure you don't mean it that way, the magic wand which when waved renders a man powerless to resist sounds like what men who have sex with underage girls, including very underage ones, say: that there she was being all irresistibly desirable and he couldn't help himself. There are many, many, many situations, including that military unit one I gave, in which we expect people to refrain from having sex with attractive people.

If you're an adult then you can help what you do. If you choose to stray you can feel racked with guilt, you can realize your marriage is done, you can do all sorts of things. What you can't do is claim that you're really a helpless victim without agency here, because the piece on the side waved her wand.
48
seandr is either a masterful troll or a raging misogynist and for the life of me I cannot figure out which.
49
>> The planet is crawling with decent, monogamous men married to women who over time have come to take them, and their fidelity, for granted, and who out of laziness, selfishness, scorn, or disinterest, neglect their relationships.
>>If your goal is to prevent your partner from being seduced, you're better off just treating him well than behaving like a ball and chain.

Feeling trollish today, seandr? Those "decent" men are, on average, just as selfish as their wives. The decent thing to do is to address marital issues as they come up, and divorce if you don't have a partner willing to do that work with you. Saving up resentment as an excuse to cheat is not the solution.
50
If you're a gassy anal toy user, I suggest you either find toys which have a hole drilled through them from base to tip, or have some fun and see if you can modify a toy yourself. Happy farting.
51
Oh fer cryin' out loud... can't we just be human beings? Why do we have to have all these different labels? Anything that makes it obvious that you are somehow different from me is just another thing to divide us. And it's an easy way to avoid thinking about new situations and opportunities because "I'm (straight, gay, vanilla, monogamous, whatever) so I just can't do that!"
52
@49: Bravo, Erica!!
53
Has CC considered that maybe the myriad men who have manipulated material into their asses, might be in the ER because they have a humiliation fetish? Your doctor friend might be the victim of a forced BDSM scene! Perhaps the real warning should go out to ER doctors about the dangers of non-consensual consent...

*tongue firmly in cheek*

Jen
54
Has CC considered that maybe the myriad men who have manipulated material into their asses, might be in the ER because they have a humiliation fetish? Your doctor friend might be the victim of a forced BDSM scene! Perhaps the real warning should go out to ER doctors about the dangers of non-consensual consent...

*tongue firmly in cheek*

Jen
55
This entire answer should be in the script of the next James Bond movie. It would sound so awesome as read by Daniel Craig.
56
The comment for GASSYASS should be in the next James Bond movie. It would be amazing if read by Daniel Craig.
57
I think this is about the third week of this column that has been mostly useless.

I usually love this column for the comments threads, but these have mostly been 50% hair-splitting an 50% groaning at hair-splitting.
58
Does Dan seem a little bored or annoyed at his column these days? Looking to move to bigger/better things, Dan? I don't blame you, it seems like these letters have all been answered in one form or another anymore. I will keep reading though, I love you in a fan-girl-who-loves-her-man-to-pieces-and-knows-you-are-gay-and-unavailable way. :)
59
Oh, and holycowza #57. I didn't read your comment before I wrote mine. I guess I should have just said ditto. :)
60
@57 I think that the very fact that my young, fairly hip aesthetician yesterday IN SEATTLE, mind you, couldn't recall hearing the word "polyamorous" before shows that columns like the last three weeks are not only useful but necessary!

Poly, and the discussions surrounding it, may be old hat to you, but to many people, the concept remains foreign.
61
@migrationist: You sound like only people who treat their partners badly are cheated on.

That's because I was addressing someone who seems to believe that only immature people cheat. Obviously, people can cheat for a variety of reasons.

it is not just because men are biologically wired

Of course not - women cheat as well. If I've failed to account for the seductive powers of men, it's because I feel more comfortable leaving that to those who find men sexually attractive.
62
@58 - I got a bored/irritated vibe from Dan this week too. Especially about the first question.

And the poly issue is getting so old. I know it's new to some people, but it's getting really old to read about it three weeks in a row. It's a big wide sexual world. There are so many new/old sexual topics to educate us all about. Please no more poly, at lease for a little while.
63
@mydriasis: if you think that people can't treat food compulsively like sex or drugs

Fair enough. Given the plague of cupcake boutiques that has overtaken Seattle, there's obviously something about them I just don't get.

if you're firing off a prefrontal cortex argument one minute, and then discounting the relavence of maturity...

That's not at all what I'm doing, and you're neuroscience misses the point.

The prefontal cortex reaches full maturity around early to mid 20's. Beyond that age, the maturity of that bit of anatomy is irrelevant to whether a person succumbs to the advances of another.

Second, my point is that there are other things besides immaturity that can impair executive functioning, and that the combination of sexual arousal and flattery and je ne sais quoi that a man (or woman, I would guess) might experience upon being seduced is one of them. Alcohol, E, and rage are others.

Thirdly, "magic wand"? "Victims"? We're women, not witches, for fuck's sake.

Witches? No, that's not what I had in mind. That unfortunate association aside, magic and spells and intoxicants better capture the effects a woman can have on me, at least, than whatever it is that causes some people to compulsively stuff their face with cupcakes. That may not be true of all straight men.
64
@IPJ: Someone in another thread made the distinction between an explanation... and an excuse...Your magic wand is the latter

Actually, I was drawing an analogy between seduction and alcohol/Ecstacy. I chose that specific analogy because those drugs tend to facilitate impulsive decision-making without completely absolving one of responsibility for the decision.

The "magic wand" comment was intended more as a cute and reverential turn of phrase, with allusions to dozens of pop songs ("You put a spell on me", "Black magic woman", or "Magic man" for a gender-reversed example). I had no idea it would strike such a dissonant chord.
65
@seandr

The neuro is relevant, especially since you're the one that brought it up. :p

There is a vast array of maturity even among adults past their mid-twenties and the maturity level (functioning of their prefrontal cortex, regardless of whether or not it's 'done growing' yet) is a significant player in whether or not they will succumb to their impulses or not.

So in other words, no, the maturity of one's prefrontal cortex is not irrelevant.

And in fact if you like I can look around for some references that show that in healthy, non-pathological functioning, the prefrontal cortex exhibits higher activation when a person is attempting to use his or her "will power".
66
@16,19,26,36,43,51&57

While I actually agree with all of you for the most part, and am certainly tired of the hair-splitting and term-wrangling, the truth is that there is a shit-ton of power in labels and wresting the narrative from the dominant group is an important step.

I'd love for most of us here to have all agreed that polyamory is an important part of some people's sexual identity weeks ago, and stopped, but I am uncomfortable with the calls for those in the underprivileged group to accept the status quo.
67
My bf got a ping pong ball stuck up inside him (why? I asked, why? - 'just to see what it felt like') and it wouldn't come out. I suggested he go in the shower and use the shower hose to fill up with very warm water, and lo and behold, it came out with the 'tide'.
But there was a very good question above - why don't these things come out the way poop does? Is there some kind of anal retentive instinctive reflex that sucks things in and won't let go?
68
@64: Probably an illustrative parallel, in that I've always had less than zero sympathy for the excuse "It wasn't my fault, baby! I was drunk!" Because getting drunk is an explanation, not an excuse.
69
@EricaP: Feeling trollish today, seandr?

No, not especially, although I'll admit I'm bored of monogamy/polygamy and don't have much to say about farts and buttp... ech.

The decent thing to do...

As I see it (and I've expressed similar sentiments before), holding cheaters accountable without considering the broader context of the relationship is a bit like the parent who always holds the older or less favored child responsible for any sibling conflict. My reaction to both scenarios is roughly the same - work it out yourselves, or there will be consequences for both of you.

As with sibling relationships, marriages can be complicated, full of history, rewarding, hurtful, loaded with emotional triggers, distant, stuck in recurring patterns, guided by unconscious forces, and capable of making decent people do "indecent" things.

I've been in several long term relationships, and I've seen (and forgiven) lots of indecent behavior, including being cheated on. Some of it was so convoluted and passive-aggressive that I didn't understand what was happening to me. Other times it was just plain aggressive. (As for me, I've always been a perfect little angel ;-))

So, sure, one should always behave with decency in a relationship, except that no one does or can, at least as far as I know. And while the CPOS label may fit in many cases, I think it's kind of stupid when generally and indiscriminately applied.
70
As a member of the medical community, even if I am still in school, I feel compelled to respond to CC. No, we don't get that advice in school to give to patients for two reasons. Reason one is obvious- people get touchy enough when we suggest they use condoms, much less if they think we're poking our noses into the details of their sex life and that sort of advice wouldn't fly with almost anyone. The second, perhaps more important reason is this: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should objects not specifically made for the purpose but put in your pooper. EVER. I have several glass vases that taper and then flare, for example- fits your advice, but is a disastrously bad idea. If medical personnel just give the flared base advice, people can still do horrendously stupid things... and then come back and sue because the doc/nurse/whoever said it was all right.

So there is the advice to give- makeshift sex toys are a good way to get badly hurt. Put down the toilet plunger/light bulb/maglight/cat/whatever and spend a wee bit of money on the internet for a nice, featureless brown box to be delivered to your door. It's safer for your health and you avoid the humiliation in the hospital as well as the humiliation I must imagine you imagine you would feel in openly shopping for toys if you shoved an egg up there AGAIN.
71
Okay, tangent here, but what is up with notions like "...fuck around as freely as a man" (@41) and "shag anything cute that moves" (@27) and suchlike. Don't those leave out a vital half of the equation? It's like the cute thing that moves has no say in this inevitable fuckery. So, do people have game that's so good and so smooth that someone agreeing to shag them is a foregone conclusion? Just not worth worrying about? Because in my less than epic experience, shagging something cute that moves is really really really hard. The cute thing that moves generally does have a say in things, and that say is almost always "No".

This is why the notion of a sex addict has always puzzled me as opposed to, say, a meth addict. It's not like you have to convince the meth to be ingested....

Furthermore, while "demi-romantic/high sexual 40% sub poly cis WORDVOMIT" made my day, @29 still gets the win. Bravo sir.
72
@Latebloomer

I get the impression you're not very familiar with illegal drug use.

I assure you, sex addiction exists. Though a drug addict doesn't need to do much to navigate the consumption of meth, the procurement of illegal drugs can be a lot of work, especially considering how expensive they are and how difficult some drug dealers can be to get a hold of - plus some of them get arrested, funny thing.

A homeless drug addict will go to extrordinary lengths to get the drug of his or her choice, as well as the means to inject (or insufflate or smoke) that drug, and a place to actually DO the drug. The sex addict will go to similar lengths to find a willing sex partner. Suddenly it doesn't seem so dissimilar does it?
73
sean@69, it's one thing to say marriage and monogamy are hard for everyone, as you do here.

It's another to blame just the "lazy, selfish" wives, while putting the men on a pedestal, as you did @39.

A reasonable reply to IPJ's claim @11: "No CPOS had no choice in the matter," would be to note that in most of these situations, there's plenty of blame to go around. I certainly agree with that.
74
Makes me think about the time when I was an undergrad at UCLA (about 1990 or 1991, if I remember correctly) and a guy I worked with informed me that his mom had admitted a certain celebrity into the hospital the night before. Something about rectal gerbils, if I remember correctly.

You know a story is true when the rumor comes out several days after being told the same.
75
@ mydriasis, no it still seems dissimilar. I can wrap my head around finding ways to obtain a substance that's hard to locate/afford. But I don't get how if you need sex right now, you quickly find someone who's willing. Ask any single guy under 25. I guess another way to put it is, are there any unattractive sex addicts? Seems to me if you look like the side of a barn it's not an affliction you'd have to worry about. (And I'm not denying the existence of sex addiction, I just don't get the logistics.)

Anyway, that was just a side note to the original tangent, which is how one can talk about sex as if it doesn't involve the willing participation of another human being.
76
@75: It's not unheard of for people to pay for sex. Perhaps straight men who "need sex right now" use sex workers to provide it (straight women who are sex addicts can probably find it without paying).
77
BTW, I actually don't think sex addiction is an actual physical addiction in the same way that drug addiction is. I was just responding to LateBloomer's wonderment at how a (straight) man can sex as desired. If you're likening compulsive sexual behavior to drug addiction, it seems logical to assume that true compulsives do whatever it takes to get their fix. (Which is one of the reasons why I don't think the comparison holds true.)
78
@latebloomer

Male sex addicts? They're not disproportionately attractive. As cute pointed out there's always prostitution.

Female sex addicts may find it easier to find sex but they also have the quite noteworthy hurdle of trying to balance their own personal safety with their need to get off.

But look, my point is, if I dropped you downtown I think you'd have a hard time getting high on heroin. You'd have to get the money for the drug, find someone with the drug who's willing to sell it to you, you'd have to get the means to inject it and find somewhere hidden to inject (hope you like public washrooms!). Oh and uhh, would you even know how to shoot up?

The average person looking for a one-night-stand has a comparatively easy time when measured against that, I think.

Learning to find sex is a skill like learning to find drugs. It often involves activities and people one would normally avoid.

@nocute

The heck do you mean by "actual physical addiction the way drug addiction is"?
79
Argh: I meant to say "find sex as desired."
80
@75, I think you're imagining maintaining the standards you have now, while being a sex addict. I think one's standards probably change a lot, regarding age (both up and down), attractiveness, gender, consent, consciousness, etc. etc...
81
...and, yes, standards regarding paying for it, as nocute & mydriasis pointed out.
82
@75, sex addiction can cover a pretty wide spectrum (just like lots of other labels--official thank you @57!)--it doesn't always involve actual sex with random willing partners. It can manifest with porn, masturbation, massage parlors, etc, etc...so in short, yes there are fugly sex addicts.

Happy holidays all :)
83
Lol The Who just dropped an f bomb on tv...sad but that amuses me :). A big thank you from the jersey shore to everyone who has helped out with Sandy relief.
84
@78 (mydriasis): I mean a physical (as opposed to psychological) dependence. I have never experienced any sort of real addiction at all, so I can't speak from direct, personal, experiential knowledge, but I don't think that a "sex addict" who suddenly finds herself cut off goes through physiological withdrawl symptoms. And I'm just assuming that compulsive sexual behavior is often rooted in some deeply-felt psychological issues. If anyone's either a drug addict or a person who has sex compulsively, or ideally, both (well, not that that's ideal at all, but it would be good to be in a position to make a valid comparison), I'd be happy to stand corrected.
85
@82: I don't want to shift the grounds of the definition wars over to sex addiction, but I find the label very disturbing. A problem seems to be that what one person considers to be normal sexual behavior can be labeled by someone else as signs of addiction. For example, you mentioned masturbation and porn as addictive behaviors. But unless someone is doing physical damage to himself or his masturbation is keeping him from going to work or fulfilling other obligations or his porn consumption is interfering with his interest in having sex with his partner (assuming he has one), or he's stealing money to fuel his porn consumption, then how can one tell that these are symptoms of actual*addiction*? It seems to have the potential for allowing someone to pass judgment based on differing value systems and libidos.
86
@nocutename

I'm happy to correct you. :)

It's a popular misconception that the physiological aspect of addiction (especially withdrawal) is what makes addiction so persistant. But this simply not the case.

For example, crack cocaine, one of the most infamously addictive drugs on the planet - well that must cause real physical addiction right? In actuality crack causes relatively meagre physical withdrawal symptoms - the heavy lifting is done by the "psychological" addiction piece.

Or if you prefer I can speak from personal experience. Having experienced both sex and quite a few highly addictive drugs I can tell you that without a doubt, sex is more addictive in my books.
87
@85, i wouldn't call porn and masturbation symptoms of an addiction to sex--they're ways the addiction can manifest--perhaps I should have added 'compulsive' before each term. I don't think jerking it or buying sex equals an addiction...the compulsive need to do those things might though.... Just like eating a candy bar isn't a sign of a binge-eating disorder but needing to eat 12 of them without being satisfied might be....am I making sense? Hope I'm not rambling :)
88
mydriasis @78. That's so weird. I was almost going to post a comment saying the exact opposite. I'm in a new city tonight, and I was thinking that it would probably be easier for me to head outside, hail a taxi, start a conversation, get to a rough part of town, take some chances and eventually score some meth than it would be to pick up someone cute and bring her back to my hotel room. That's where illegal drugs and willing sex fit in my (entirely theoretical) estimate of relative difficulty. Just to put my baffled comments about guys having sex whenever they want into context.

And you're right, I wouldn't have a clue what to do with the meth.

Thanks EricaP and nocutename and jujubee80, makes sense.
89
@85 I do get your point about labeling though--I get annoyed when non-drinkers see a drunk person and make a judgement that they have a problem with alcohol. And no, I realllly don't want to start another label war. For me, the addiction line gets crossed when compulsion takes over...but I'm no expert.....
90
nocute,

If you want to learn more about addiction I highly reccomend reading things written by this man. He's amazingly brilliant and probably has more personal experience with hardcore addicts than anyone else on the planet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-APGWvY…

Regarding your "how is it addiction if it's not hurting anyone" concern, here's Gabor talking about the difference between passion and addiction.

"To take a non-substance example, someone who’s passionate about social activism might work tirelessly for a cause, while her colleague may have a workaholic relationship with the same activity. It all depends on the energy with which one pursues the activity, and what happens when the activity comes to an end. There may be a letdown after a big event, but does the person feel a sense of basic worth in the absence of the adrenaline and the long hours? Does she find comfort in the other parts of her life? Or is she left irritable, restless, and less at ease with the people in her life?"

ALSO, at the risk of beating a dead horse, psychological addiction IS physiological. That's why we have MRIs.
91
@67, et al. The object would prob come out "naturally" when enough force built up behind it but things could get pretty uncomfortable until then. Or so Chuck Palahniuk has lead me to believe.
@73, et al. Sometimes seandr's bitterness that his wife doesn't fuck him often enough drives him into crazy misogynist rant mode. I counsel sympathy.
92
@latebloomer

Haha.

No offense, but you seem like the type who'd have a hard time getting someone to sell them drugs ;)

Sex addiction's more complicated. How cute is cute? What about how drunk the girl is, how many bars are you willing to go to, what KIND of bars are you willing to go to? How agressive are you willing to be when trying to pick up girls? Are you willing to lie? Are you willing to get rejected dozens and dozens of time until you strike it lucky? What if the girl's sexy and into you but totally underage?

Plus it's not that sex addicts always have sex whenever they want. Do you think that drug addicts always have drugs whenever they want? It's not like drug addicts (unless they're mega rich) always have their drug of choice on hand. As I said earlier, drug addicts often undergo unwilling dry spells due to lack of funds, their drug dealer being MIA, or the town going dry. Although, typically female drug addicts have to deal less with all three of those issues but then we're looping back around to sex again.
93
Mydriasis: I didn't and would never ask "how is it addiction if it's not hurting anyone?" I said that the problem with attaching the label addict to someone because of his or her sexual behavior or desire is problematic for me because what one person deems a normal healthy manifestation of sexuality is a sign of sick, perverted obsession to someone else.

You have mentioned your libido here many times. Clearly, sex is important to you, more so than it is to some people. But being called an addict might be an overstatement. And the term addict, with all its attendant connotations and ramifications, is a charged word, a pretty weighty label. It can be applied in the same way that jujubee80 pointed out @89, or the way that alcoholics "in recovery" decide anyone else having a beer must also be an alcoholic: as an excuse for sitting in sanctimonious judgment.

If you want to claim the title "addict" for yourself, either in terms of drug use or sexuality, go ahead.
94
nocute @84
>> well, not that that's ideal at all, but it would be good to be in a position to make a valid comparison >>

heh. thanks for the wry grin.

chi_type@91, you're wise, and more compassionate than I am.
95
And I've been involved in a very sexually compulsive relationship, so I know what that's like. But my understanding of addiction would say that if I'm a sex addict, I can't have any kind of sexual relationship without it tipping into compulsion, and I can.
96
cute, you're only looking at one side of the coin.

Yes, by admitting that sex addiction exists and is a valid addiction, we run the risk of people using it as a way to stigmatize normal, healthy sexuality.

But by pretending that sex addiction doesn't exist we delegitimize the suffering that can be caused by sex addiction and make it more difficult for people with sex addiction to understand and overcome their problems. The average person who "doesn't believe" in sex addiction typically mocks the idea at best, and more often assumes that it's a weaksauce excuse for immoral behaviour.

We all know I'm not a fan of people using armchair diagnoses to insult eachother (remember that whole borderline thing?), but the solution isn't to pretend there are no mental illnesses, the solution is for people to stop being stigmatizing douches.
97
@86 (mydriasis): Yes, you've "experienced both sex and quite a few highly addictive drugs," but would you define yourself as being *addicted*? I've experienced both those things myself, and have never been addicted.

EricaP: Glad I made someone smile wryly or otherwise. My take on seandr is that he is a bit like an attention-seeking pre-schooler. Not that he necessarily wants all the attention for himself, but he likes to stir things up here and shift the discussion to what he finds interesting and he knows the surest ways to do that, one of which is to incite the ire of people. That and the sexual frustration.
98
@nocute

And no, being in a "sexually compulsive relationship" is not the same as being a sex addict.
99
#74: you are referring to RICHARD GERE, right? The story IS in fact TRUE; I got MY confirmation from a PARAMEDIC who heard it directly from the paramedic who was "on the scene". And, this story was in the context of "weird medical emergencies encountered", during an Emergency First Responder class I was taking, and not during an evening at the bar.
100
@EricaP: Ok, yes, I can see how that would trigger the reaction I got.

I could have just as easily included husbands in the equation, but I was talking about the powers of female allure before I strayed off into that tangent.

I'm sure there are other reasons besides "laziness, selfishness, scorn, and disinterest" that cause people to neglect a spouse, but these are the ones that came to mind.