Savage Love

Lotion Up

Comments

101
Sacrificing my clever blind of being an adorable and dapper tabby-cat, I must admit: I am a straight(ish) human woman.

@78 -- You are right on in your analysis of initiation as "chore" here. I initiate 99% of the time in my primary relationship. (So, not all straight dudes would respond as you assume! I'm still doing all SORTS of household chores over here!) It used to be a soul-crushing exercise in rejection.

I would only add that it is possible to come to an arrangement where the initiation is all on one side and that's okay. Now that my guy has acknowledged his issues and is getting therapy for them, I'm willing to keep being the only initiator. He says yes more often (thanks, therapy!) and doesn't backlash at me with bottled up feelings for "nagging" him. Also, since we opened up, he doesn't feel crushed by the burden of my libido, and I feel less frustrated and plenty desired. But you can't assume one person is going to be okay doing all the initiating -- it has to be negotiated, and openly discussed, with all the side issues, I think.
102
@Eudaemonic, I'm a bit curious what you mean by "initiating." In my life, 80% of our sex starts when we're already in bed. My husband initiates by putting his hand on my ass, or by scratching my back if I've already fallen asleep. I respond by wiggling my butt against him, and then we're off to the races.

Other times, either one of us may say something suggestive earlier in the evening, which sometimes leads to sex before our normal bedtime.

Maybe we just have well-matched sex drives (3-4 times a week, now that the kids stay out of our bed), but I don't think he feels that reaching out to my ass is a terrible hardship.
103
lolorhone: Indirectly, he's moisturizing without an audience when he could simply open his mouth and ask

Right, but I don't think you quite understand what GRIND is after.

Imagine the following scenario. It's evening, you're reading on the bed, you look up and see your girlfriend walking around the bedroom half naked, maybe rummaging through the laundry basket for some pajamas, and suddenly you find your cock hard and your mind filled with thoughts of bending her over the dresser, pulling her panties to the side, and fucking her hard. I don't know about you, but this happens to me all the time.

GRIND wants to experience being on the other side of that equation. There he is, just minding his own business, innocently applying lotion, his girlfriend sees his naked form, the shifting lines of his muscles, she becomes consumed with animal lust, and before he knows what's happened he's lying on the floor with her tits in his face as she rides him like a bronco yelling for him to slap her ass.

So we've all had a good laugh at him for believing this ludicrous fantasy might actually play out. Does anyone have any constructive feedback for how he might passively inspire his girlfriend's lust? Or does he pretty much have to ask her to play along?
104
GRIND's situation reminds me of those little garden fountains with the buckets that fill until they overbalance and spill their contents.

GRIND's bucket apparently fills on a cycle of every day, give or take. Apparently his girlfriend's bucket fills on a cycle more like every 3 or 4 days. She is perfectly happy to have her bucket spilled on his schedule, but that means that he is always the one to initiate, since her bucket is only half full at the time his is ready to spill.

It seems like GRIND is wanting to simply have her cycle match his, so that he will not only get all the sex he wants, but have some fair share of it be at her initiation. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. If you want her to build up a genuine desire for sex with you, you have to let it happen according to her schedule -- which means you have to decide which you want more this particular day: sex now? or to have her be the one chasing you? If you decide you want sex right away, and she is receptive to it, you got what you wanted (the sex), but you also satisfied her need for sex. Her bucket got emptied along with yours. It is going to fill more slowly than yours does. If you want her bucket to be full enough for her to initiate, you are going to have to be a little bit patient. You cannot initiate on your high-frequency schedule and then complain because she never initiates. You are leaving precious little space for her to do so.

"It could take days" made me smirk a bit. How many days, exactly? What multiple of your preferred frequency? If you had said "It could take a month" or even "It could take two weeks" I'd be definitely sympathizing with you. But if you get sex fully as often as you want when you are the one to initiate, and only have to wait maybe three days for her to initiate when having her initiate is what is important to you, you have very little to complain about here.
105
@seandr got me there, seems like his best bet is to try dating men?

I've never felt anything like:
"you find your cock hard and your mind filled with thoughts of bending her over the dresser, pulling her panties to the side, and fucking her hard"

Closest I come is when I melt into a puddle of lust as he grabs my hair or growls at me.
106
@104 - maybe he could go on a business trip for a few days?
107
I agree with #77: It is possible that his girlfriend is holding back beyond her normal schedule, and might well initiate more often if invited to do so. Maybe she thinks that, since GRIND initiates so regularly, the fact that he isn't initiating -today- must mean that he really isn't in the mood, so she waits a day or so until it's clear that isn't what's going on.

The way you fix that is through a simple, non-confrontational conversation where you a) invite her to initiate as often as she wants, and b) make it clear that you weren't holding back because you weren't in the mood, so she shouldn't take your backing off as a sign to back off herself.

You do still have to be prepared for her to tell you that no, her horny bucket fills up at around four days. At that point, back to Plan A above. At least you will know for sure.

But geez, for claiming to be a no-beating-around-the-bush sort of guy, you really need to learn to use your words, and stop trying to communicate in semaphore (lotioning up) and innuendo ("maybe you might put on your come-fuck-me underwear in the next day or so?")
108
@EricaP: Yes, I was advising acceptance and working within the constraints.

After reading @99, however, I'm thinking that taking any relationship advice from me is sort of like hiring a financial planner who lives in a van down by the river.
109
Dr Sean - I am docking your half point and must be in a generous mood not to deduct three points for Grade of Execution.

Rule Forty-Two: One does not present an exclusive same-sexer with a hypothetical involving "your girlfriend" (of the boinking, not the You Go! variety).

It's the oldest rule in the book.

The closest I can come to a constructive suggestion (not that he deserves it or the relationship ought to be saved) is that he acquire a plumber's uniform and then spend the next year and a half in the gym until he can fill it as if he were on a television commercial. Choreplay always seems a safe guess for opposite-sex couples.
110
I don't think I realized until reading the last few weeks' columns how manipulative people can be in relationships. This is despite my ex-wife pulling the faux suicide threat on me back in the day during a fight. I was totally flummoxed. On the one hand, I didn't buy it. On the other, it was an emotional landmine, and I didn't have the guts to call her on it either. Oh well, I guess you live and learn.
111
@ven: Apologies for my slippery usage of "you". Too much lotion, it seems. The first draft started out referring to lolorhone, was lazily revised to the general (heterosexual) "you", and confusingly came back home to mean "me" as in the style of Bright Lights Big City, a book I'm sure you detest.
112
@104/105 ..had another idea...I think that crossdressers get that thrill sometimes when they look in the mirror, of being both the desired-beautiful-one and the desiring-one-with-the-hard-cock.
113
My apologies to those of the lesbian persuasion. The original sentence specified a male same-sexer, which I changed to the bi-inclusive "exclusive" having already deleted the ending to that sentence which made it clear how the favour might be returned in kind in order to spare the sensibilities of any Patriarchs browsing in the vicinity. Had I not had to dash out for some late shopping, I'd have corrected myself earlier.

I entirely accept Dr Sean's clarification.
115
Ugh, Bright Lights Big City. But I liked Seandr's explanation for the thought and typing process.
116
Ah, crap --
@112, I meant to say: @103/105. Meaning, I was addressing seandr's point about GRIND wanting to inspire his gf's lust.
117
seandr @103: I get exactly what GRIND is after. And no, I definitely have not been in the specific scenario you described- but something like it. I get wanting to be engaged sexually, in a spontaneous manner. But the shit ain't working and hasn't worked repeatedly. GRIND's girlfriend doesn't seem like the spontaneous type- or perhaps she finds GRIND too subtle in his advances. Some people, man or woman, need clear signals to proceed. And there's no (legal) way to guarantee spontaneous sex without both parties setting something up in advance- which, I obviously, is contrary to the spirit of spontaneity. So, again, he'll just have to open his mouth. No judgment or mocking or laughing: I can't see a way around it.
118
Avast2006@104: I like the way you described/outlined the GRIND/girlfriend scenario so well.
119
For all of those who think GRIND may be a woman, very few actual lesbians (i.e. not pretend porn lesbians) wear thongs, or would ask their partner to wear one. Not only are they incredibly uncomfortable and can cause irritation on delicate skin, but they are unflattering on almost all women because they make the butt look square instead of round. I say this as a lesbian that is a major femme. Pretty lingerie, yeah; thongs, ugh.
120
Seandr--if you are looking to inspire female lust, I'd say the erotica you wrote in post @103 works very well.
121
@EricaP: Yes, I've always assumed that cross-dressing stems in part from a man's desire to experience the power of feminine allure, although I wouldn't think this is much help to GRIND unless his girlfriend is bisexual.

@milkshake: Woof!

(And thanks.)
122
@103 Yeah, I would do that... If I could figure out how to get a condom on a penis correctly without ruining the mood. It's like the male equivalent of taking your bra off through your sleeve. Plus there's the whole consent thing. When I was a teen I just assumed guys wanted it. End of story. But now in my twenties it feels like a guessing game. I guess we (as in women in general) fall back on the guys initiating as a sure fire way of consent. Which I fully admit I can see as really tedious. So if someone can come up with some kind of signal that says "come and get it...if you dare" for men, I'm sure I wouldn't be the only grateful woman.
123
@ 101: I would only add that it is possible to come to an arrangement where the initiation is all on one side and that's okay. ...But you can't assume one person is going to be okay doing all the initiating -- it has to be negotiated, and openly discussed, with all the side issues, I think.

Yeah. As with anything, if you've worked it out with your specific partner (without excessive duress) and everyone's okay with it, that's fine. There are people who really are fine with doing 100% of the initiating, they're just rare--demand vastly exceeds supply.

@102: I'm a bit curious what you mean by "initiating." In my life, 80% of our sex starts when we're already in bed. My husband initiates by putting his hand on my ass, or by scratching my back if I've already fallen asleep. I respond by wiggling my butt against him, and then we're off to the races.

That's what it looks like when he initiates, and you respond. Which is not to say there's anything necessarily wrong with that, just as there's nothing necessarily wrong with one person doing 80% of any other kind of chore--as long as everyone's actually okay with it.

@104: But if you get sex fully as often as you want when you are the one to initiate, and only have to wait maybe three days for her to initiate when having her initiate is what is important to you, you have very little to complain about here.

Yeah. How many Savage Love letter-writers would trade everything they have for that setup?

@109: Rule Forty-Two: One does not present an exclusive same-sexer with a hypothetical involving "your girlfriend" (of the boinking, not the You Go! variety).

42a: One does when one is explaining what it's like to be a straight man with a girlfriend.

Similarly, when one is explaining to an opposite sexer what it means when one's same-sex partner sends a given signal, one is permitted to use "your."
124
@108: After reading @99, however, I'm thinking that taking any relationship advice from me is sort of like hiring a financial planner who lives in a van down by the river.

In this sense, "Financial" advice comes almost exclusively from the van-dwellers or the Mitt Romneys of the world, doesn't it?
125
Yeah, I would do that... If I could figure out how to get a condom on a penis correctly without ruining the mood. It's like the male equivalent of taking your bra off through your sleeve.

LOL. :D For me, the equivalent of the bra thing is undoing a guy's jeans. It seems simple in theory but in practice...not so much.

So if someone can come up with some kind of signal that says "come and get it...if you dare" for men, I'm sure I wouldn't be the only grateful woman.

Looking one's partner in the eye while beginning to jerk off seems like it would work.
126
SeanDr. @103 perfectly describes what GRIND is looking for (but probably will never get with any frequency).

@122, 125 - women can initiate by something as simple as a sexy text: "I am touching myself thinking about what I am going to do to you tonight." You are expressing lustful thoughts for your partner prior to him making a move, which is what GRIND (and others) are looking for.

The problem with letting your partner initiate 100% of the time: it can be interpreted that you are willing to have sex but that you don't really want to do it for your own sake. EricaP @102, something as simple as grabbing your husband's cock before he grabs your ass can go a long way.

Now at the risk of some gender assumptions, I have read/experienced that women's sex drive is more reactive whereas men's is more automatic. The disparity in GRIND's relationship is completely normal/common.
127
@125 Looking one's partner in the eye while beginning to jerk off seems like it would work.

That seems a bit more likely to produce laughter than sex, doesn't it?

@126: EricaP @102, something as simple as grabbing your husband's cock before he grabs your ass can go a long way.

To be fair, what I took from her description is that 80% of the time he initiates physically, and 20% of the time one of them initiates verbally. If that's her half of the time (so she's doing 10% of the initiating), then her husband probably feels like he won the jackpot in the partner lottery, and it sounds like he did.
128
@40 Vanilla Lady: I am very sorry for your loss.

However, I don't think you can heap all the blame for the situation on the girlfriend. Sure, it's entirely possible she is a callous, cruel bitch who enjoyed toying with her boyfriend's feelings. It's also possible that she tried to leave a toxic relationship on multiple occasions but was drawn back in by emotional manipulation, suicide threats, etc.

I know it's easy to paint her as the villain, but I am sure she is grieving too, and may even blame herself for what happened, which is an incredibly horrible feeling.
129
@Tim & Eudaemonic (123/126),

Do you not see a difference between him fondling my ass and me grabbing his limp penis? My ass is there, unchanging. It doesn't need to perform. My pussy's pretty good-to-go all the time as well.

If he has a lot on his mind, then we're probably not spooning; I might do my ass wiggle against his leg or I might turn and put an arm across him and stroke his chest invitingly, but I'm not going to grab his flacid cock and put him in the position of feeling like "Things aren't going well at work and now I can't perform at home, boy I'm really a failure."

Also, the sexy talk & innuendo goes on throughout the day, and I squeeze his ass when kissing hello/goodbye so I trust to those to let him know I desire him.
130
@129 Just to be clear: I help him get erect after he has indicated interest in sex. But I try to be inviting rather than demanding (stroking his chest not his penis) if I'm not sure of his mood.
131
@129: Do you not see a difference between him fondling my ass and me grabbing his limp penis?

Of course I do--I was by no means intending to criticize your technique. It sounds like for you guys, while he does most of the initiating he doesn't have to do all of it, and that's everything most guys want.

I mean, if it worked that way for GRIND, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have felt any need to write to Dan. And even GRIND has it pretty damned good.
132
@Tim: Gotta say, I'm finding absolutely nothing to complain about in @102 (my comment @121 was actually in reference to that one).

But of course, this is from a guy who lives in a van down by the river. From what I gather, you seem to be living in at least a duplex with, like, hot water and electricity and stuff.
133
If Seandr's the equivalent of the guy who lives in a van by the river, GRIND is the guy who's making seven figures and complaining about how they'd stop paying him if he stopped going to work.

...Except he'd still get half his pay.
134
@Eudaemonic: I'm assuming GRIND is youngish, as is his relationship, so I'm inclined to forgive him for reaching for the stars and not realizing what he has.

P.S. I'm aiming for humorous self-deprecation, here, but it occurred to me I'm in danger of sounding mopey, so I'll add that it's a pretty nice van with shag carpeting and an airbrushed painting of a naked woman riding a dragon on the side.
135
Oh, my--am I ever late into the game!

Nice column again, Dan!
I fully agree with @3 Married in MA re: HATE CRIME: WTF?!!?
Please, let's erase the hatred, already.

136
@ 134: Hey, at least you're doing it in style!

...full disclosure: I have no concept of style.
137
Eudaemonic @127:
"@125 Looking one's partner in the eye while beginning to jerk off seems like it would work.

That seems a bit more likely to produce laughter than sex, doesn't it?"

Quite delighted laughter followed by sex!
138
@134 sean,

I have to snicker because my wife is the van driver in the family (but it is a pretty little red minivan)... (OTOH if you see it parked down by the riverside, it's because of a cleanup campaign or going for a stroll with our dog)

With regards to GRIND: Sure your fantasy stipulates your partner going gooey eyed while sliding her hands, and your tight jeans, down your muscular thighs, culminating in a nice sloppy blow job and more.. But, trust me, you can learn to live with just the sloppy blow job and more that you ask for (even if former fat pants seem to come off a lot more easily)

Peace
139
Vans are the new choppers.
Good going, man!
140
Anybody else read the final line as,
"watch porn on a secure computer in a secret, undisclosed location like the Seattle public library"?
141
@128 - I disagree. Entirely possible the gf was a monster. Those types of people do indeed exist. More likely you are correct of course, but who gets back together after 9 breakups anyhow? Probably both of them weren't in very good shape throughout, didn't do each other much if any good, and it ended up taking a terrible toll on him. It also might have been a situation where even if she had only broken up with him once and forever, he might have been so torn from the agony of losing her he'd have done the same thing anyway. It's impossible to know. Mom's anger is understandable. I'd hate the gf too were I her. Nice to have a punching bag. But it's more helpful to be angry at a society that doesn't take mental health terribly seriously, stigmatizes it and stigmatizes seeking care, especially for men, and lacks easy availability of care for many. If the supports were in place to help the guy from the beginning, the outcome might have been different. Having to rely on things like suicide hotlines (run by charities, not the gov't or any health providers, mind - it's the goodness of others alone which makes them possible), which while meaningful are really the most minimal treatment possible, or police intervention, which I promise you is highly unlikely to lead to any positive results for anyone - who goes inpatient voluntarily cause the cops show up? You'd just stop threatening to suicide - and if you were serious, you'd end up at higher risk. Outreach needs to happen, but not at a law enforcement level. Involuntary commitment is nearly impossible unless you commit a crime, and it would have to be a spectacularly wacky one since usually they just throw mentally ill people in jail w/o mental health treatment. The shameful thing in her son's situation is that although he knew help existed, he didn't feel ok seeking it, and that no one apparently threw up any red flags for what was clearly a critically dangerous situation for a very long time. And if they had, he'd likely continue to resist treatment. What does one do in this case? There has to be a cultural shift in the way we look at health issues like this. We need Mind, like the UK has. We need someone like Stephen Fry. We need a lot of things to happen to reduce the chances of things like this happening. I hope Mom can see her way past the anger at the gf and start getting mad enough to change the things that actually can make a difference. Our society needs that kind of anger applied productively towards better mental health care services for all.
142
@141 yes.
143
Mr Monic - (Was the Carroll allusion not clear? I refer you to the King of Hearts during the Knave's trial.)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that ninety-nine straight men out of an hundred are incapable of reading a hypothetical containing the phrase, "your boyfriend," without gagging, fainting, or beating up someone effeminate. (The last may be performed not necessarily in physical acts of violence but also by percentage sharking, which - I am thankful to report - nobody has done here, or some other tactic favoured by the oppressor classes.)

Remember the exploring party to Box Hill, when Emma cannot resist the opportunity to tell Miss Bates, who is sure she will say three things very dull indeed as soon as ever she opens her mouth, that she will be limited as to number - only three at once. You will recall that Mr Knightley, when lecturing her later, agrees with Emma that the good and the ridiculous in Miss Bates' character are blended, and asserts that he would have no quarrel with Emma taking any such liberty were Miss Bates her equal in situation.

You are the equivalent to Emma Woodhouse - handsome, clever and rich, with the comfortable home and very little to distress or vex you. (I don't know you well enough to pronounce on the happiness of your disposition.)

Had you been raised in a homonormative home in a homocentric town full of a homosexist society and regularly faced expectations and pressures to acquire and produce a boyfriend, judgments on your lack of same, and perhaps even been exposed to invasive and damaging treatments to mind and body over your disinclination to having a boyfriend, I'd allow your equivalency without a murmur. But it's not the same thing. Really, it's not (you can trust me on this one). At least, not yet; perhaps not ever.
144
@141 gnot,

Could you sign in, please? Your comments shouldn't get buried.

For @40, I'm sorry for your loss. Getting past such a violently traumatic event isn't easy, but you have to try your best to keep the pain from defining your life. The choice is yours.

Peace
145
@143 vennominion-San,

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that ninety-nine straight men out of an hundred are incapable of reading a hypothetical containing the phrase, "your boyfriend," without gagging, fainting, or beating up someone effeminate".

I'll have to, sadly, take your word on it.

Peace
146
To GRIND, I told my wife directly several times I wanted her to initiate. She wouldn't. I was always available when she wanted it. But that was two-three times a year max. I had to make a decision at one point that either i could be in a sexless marriage, or I couldn't. I figured if I were sick or her, would I want sex more than our health. That was 8 years ago.
147
@21 Crinoline

'My worry is that he's so controlling that his controlling tendencies will turn to violence against her.'

Spot on. Very astute.
148
Mr Married - I was a bit irritated that Mr Monic would really think the two hypotheticals equal, or I'd have added the standard caveat of Present Company Excepted.
149
Safeway store address is:12318 15th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125
There is a very elderly gentleman who uses the bathroom and does not lock the door and people, including kids, walk in on him touching himself. He tends to be there in afternoons and evenings. He dyes his hair very dark, wears glasses and a jacket. Mika has had many complaints about the old, crazy perv but nothing is done. Why should kids see this stuff?!? There is another guy who is always there who uses a computer in a corner of the eating area - fat, ponytail, bald on top, many missing teeth who I once saw going down on Old Man Wanker.
150
It seems like the majority of fat girls are offended by the idea that some men are attracted to fat girls. It makes no sense at all. I'm a fat girl and I have no problem with fat fetishists. I suppose the issue is, people think that if somebody has a fetish it means they aren't capable of regarding their sexual partners as human beings, only as fetish objects. Funnily enough nobody thinks this way when a guy has a preference for blonde girls, short girls, girls with freckles, or anything else considered normal. It's only because our culture considers fat abnormal, that people with a desire for fat people are considered freaks.
151
@150: Is it that people "with a desire for fat people are considered freaks," or that fat people, aware that in our culture being fat is considered a disgusting trait, are suspicious of people who appear to be attracted to us for precisely that quality for which we are made to feel ashamed and hideous?

I'm overweight (not super-big; I'm a size 14) and if I feel fetishized for my size, I am turned off. I am a natural blonde (though blonde no longer, because I have the soul of a redhead so now I correct nature), and when it was clear to me that the color of my hair was the primary attraction for someone, I was equally turned off.

I understand attraction and types; I get the concept of preferences. But the minute that I feel reduced to some physical characteristic, I lose interest in the person who is pigeon-holing me for it. If, however, the very thing someone likes about me is the thing I dislike the most, it makes me extra, ultra-uncomfortable. I don't know; I realize that it should be an empowering experience leading to greater self-acceptance, but it isn't. It just feels creepy. And then I guess I project that creepiness onto the person who has the attraction. Illogical, to be sure, but it's the way it is. The surest way to get rid of me is to tell me how sexy you think "big girls" or "thick" women are.
152
I agree with Ms Comment that the majority of those equipped with fetishes are still perfectly capable of seeing others as human beings, although some fetishes are more prone to objectifying than others. The comparison is, though, if not quite apples to oranges, at least McIntosh to Granny Smith.

Ms Cute's discomfort (which didn't strike me as illogical, necessarily) hits on the aspect that presumably fitting the fetish is going to comprise a lot of where the relationship lives. Sometimes someone can come to embrace a previously disliked characteristic through looking on as it stokes a partner's passion, but quite often people are perfectly content locking a disliked aspect of self into a very tiny box and putting it pretty far away on a back shelf. It might well be too much of an ask for it to become the main accent piece in the drawing room.

There is also the possibility that the object could be insulted to be viewed as fitting the fetish. The prime example that springs to mind is the QAF story line in which Ted brushes off his friends' hints that he's letting himself go when someone younger and cute wants to date him until he discovers that his potential beau is a feeder.
153
You know, I have had the illuminating experience of being different weights throughout my adult life. While never having been waif-like, I have been everything from a svelteish size 6, to a hefty size 20. Then down to an unremarkable 8/10 and back up now (unhappily) to a 14. This has given me some interesting perspective on the intersection between weight, dating, desirability, and fetishization.

When I am/was thinner, I was hit on much more frequently, but no one ever mentioned my body type as a special attraction. No one ever said, "wow, your absolutely average, unremarkable body is what drew me to you." I'm sure that my (relatively) conventionally attractive body type was in fact part of what drew many of those men, but that desire was so commonplace as to be unworthy of special comment. Moreover, I never felt, either on my own, or because of anything anyone ever said, that my main or primary attraction was my body;it was merely one of a number of things that made me appealing.

However, when I am overweight, although I get approached/hit on significantly less frequently, and oftentimes by men less conventionally attractive themselves, I find many of those men feel compelled to tell me just how special they think my body type is. It's as if perhaps I should be grateful that they like it, or they think that they are special for liking a woman not conventionally considered attractive. It becomes clear that for these men, my primary interest lies in my body, my fat body.

We all want to be appreciated for what we are as well as in spite of what we are, but when you are reduced either to a fetish object or a pathetic character who should be happy to be looked at as desirable because of your weight/body type, it undermines the sense of the genuineness of someone's attraction.
154
@153 nocutename: WOW. Are you and I on the same page, weight and self-image-wise, or what? I could not have said it any better. Well said! Are you sure we're not related?
It's so true---none of us wants to be viewed as a prime cut of Grade AA beef. At least I don't, nor would I want to be simply the object of anyone's fetish.

I have clothes of all sizes now because of my recent weight loss (I have yo-yo'd up and down over the past 20 years; finally back down now, hopefully to stay---for my own health, self confidence and well being) and also now that my thyroid is finally functioning normally.
Your last paragraph nails it beautifully. Right now I'm focusing on me--what makes me happy, healthy, and finding peace.
I have had to get rid of a LOT of junk.

155
Could Dan have been in a shittier mood for this column?
156
And @153 - yes! Those folks have internalized the skinny is better model, so when they like someone not thin or avg, they have to justify it or point out how magnanimous their attraction to you is. Creeeeppaayyy.
157
auntie grizelda: I'm glad that you are healthy now, and hope you stay that way. I think the condition of being overweight does more psychological than physical damage to a person's health.

It's weird--you'd think that if one is considered unattractive by society in general, that if that person met someone who is attracted by the thing that is generally seen as the impediment to attraction, the overweight person would be thrilled to be seen as desirable or even objectified/fetishzed. And yet, I don't think it works that way at all. My guess is there's a lot of internalized self-hatred going on. I'm trying to "get rid of a lot of junk," too, and to treat myself with self-love, but it's a difficult task.
158
@157 nocutename: I sure hope to stay healthy. If I don't take care of myself, who will (the last five years have been tough for me with the loss of both my beloved parents and cherished cat of 17 years, 8 months)? Every day is a challenge for me, too; emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. Lately I have been releasing a lot of long-accumulated emotional baggage. So far, the newly acquired peace feels good.
You are so right!! Being overweight--and for a long time-- really does leave serious psychological damage to one's feeling of self being and overall self-esteem.
I'm still readjusting and working on overcoming my conditioned shyness to men. It really is weird. But I know I'm doing a lot of the right things by finally letting go of old crap.

I'm sending a hug and positrons, as my Mom called them, your way.
XO :)
griz
159
@125 Yeah, that would pretty much cover it. Not very subtle, but definitely easy to translate- even for me.
@127 Somehow that doesn't seem like a very thoughtful response. If I chose to entice a partner in a similar manner most would consider me entirely within my rights to label my intended as insensitive, if not outright DTMFAR material, if he behaved in such a manner.
160
@125 Yeah, that would pretty much cover it. Not very subtle, but definitely easy to translate- even for me.
@127 Somehow that doesn't seem like a very thoughtful response. If I chose to entice a partner in a similar manner most would consider me entirely within my rights to label my intended as insensitive if he behaved in such a manner.
161
Ugh...Sorry. Double post.
162
@ 143: It is a truth universally acknowledged that ninety-nine straight men out of an hundred are incapable of reading a hypothetical containing the phrase, "your boyfriend," without gagging, fainting, or beating up someone effeminate.

Perhaps one ought to develop a better taste in straight men? It should be a truth universally acknowledged that most straight men believe in equality, and vote accordingly. But it will probably require a few generations' time for it to become one of those truths.

@151: Illogical, to be sure, but it's the way it is. The surest way to get rid of me is to tell me how sexy you think "big girls" or "thick" women are.

Yeah. This looks like refusing to join any club that'd have you as a member. Reasonable for some people, but unlikely to result in joining many clubs.

I mean, if a man's attracted to you, what would you have him do? Women don't typically respond well to men who don't ever say what he finds attractive about her either.

@159: If I chose to entice a partner in a similar manner most would consider me entirely within my rights to label my intended as insensitive, if not outright DTMFAR material, if he behaved in such a manner.

That's true, but the right to label your intended "insensitive" was not distributed with gender equality in mind. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman masturbating is sexy, and that a man masturbating is pathetic.

And that insensitivity toward a man who's being pathetic is acceptable, while it isn't toward a woman. Partly because in the dating context, straight men are so very replaceable.
164
@163: I took it to mean that if she (I assume Really Now is a she? Help me out here) tried to turn on her male partner by masturbating in front of him, and he laughed at her, she could legitimately dump the asshole for being an insensitive shithead.

I think she's right, but that almost no straight man would dump a partner for that level of insensitivity. To use seandr's economic model, that's like Mitt Romney saying "Your house flooded? That's rough, buddy; now you've got to move to one of your other houses."
165
Eudaemonic @162, I'm humor-impaired, so I find I have to note that a guy stroking himself while with a happy partner is sexy, not pathetic.
166
Eudaemonic @162:
I find women masturbating look silly. Watching a guy masturbate is sexy.
167
@165: Yeah, we're trading off stepping on that joke in this thread.

I think our current rotation means it's your turn to tell it next, and Ven's to torpedo it.
168
@162:
Yeah. This looks like refusing to join any club that'd have you as a member. Reasonable for some people, but unlikely to result in joining many clubs.

I mean, if a man's attracted to you, what would you have him do? Women don't typically respond well to men who don't ever say what he finds attractive about her either.


Here's what the man I'm currently dating said (or wrote) to me over the last three days: "You are so beautiful; "I am a sucker for your gorgeous smile;" "You are the sexiest woman;" You're 'sexacious';" "My heart feel[s] as if it were about to burst with desire. Now, I think my heart is pretty strong. Nonetheless, it is still filled with desire, desire for you."

So I pretty much know how he feels. But not once did he say, as a man recently did on what was our first and last date: "You're so pretty. I love big girls. They're really hot."

Do you see the difference?

Additionally, the man I'm currently dating and I have talked about the following subjects over the last three days: a comparison of Charles Dickens' and Horatio Alger's approaches to dealing with sociological problems; eye lines in editing John Cassevetes movies; youthful hitchhiking in Alaska; the writings of Paul Krugman vs. other economists.
Here's what the other guy and I talked about: _______________. All he could do was tell me how hot I was because he likes big girls. How hot my big thighs were. If that's not being objectified and festishized, I don't know what is. There's a difference between being attracted to someone with all that person's qualities, indeed for all his/her qualities, including some specific physical ones, and only caring about some specific physical qualities. When those qualities deviate from the norm of what's typically considered conventionally attractive, it makes me feel icky.

BTW, I have preferences, too. I happen to have thing for big, hooked, honker noses. The man I'm currently dating doesn't have that kind of nose, but that's okay. But when I am dating a man with that kind of nose, I like more about him than merely his nose shape and size and even if I give him a compliment on his nose, I don't make it sound like that's all I'm looking for--a big honker--and lucky for him and me, he has one!

This isn't a case of me being Groucho Marx.
169
GRIND and SAW. A pattern?
GRIND's gf might initiate sex more often if he didn't initiate sex so often.
SAW: emotional blackmail is one of the most rotten things a person can do to another. A phone call to emergency psychiatric services might be good. It is hard to ignore when you care about someone, but this kind of behavior indicates they don't really care about *you*, just about getting their way.
170
@168 I'm thinking that other guy didn't have a chance, even if he had kept his mouth shut about his fetish for big girls. You may think you rejected him because you didn't like being objectified, but the way he objectified you was just another manifestation of his general stupidity & lack of clue.

When my husband compliments my "fat ass," which he does regularly, he does it with a lascivious smile which just turns me on. But it wouldn't work if he couldn't also hold his own in discussing Michael Lewis, Judith Butler, and the finer points of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
171
@168, 170: Yeah. The counterfactual to look at here is whether you'd have kept dating Mr. "No Social Skills And Nothing In Common With Me" if he hadn't talked about his fetish for fat women. I'm guessing no...

Just as you probably wouldn't go all DTMFA if Mr. Dateable at some point mentions that he's always been into big girls, right? We're conflating "likes fat women, has no social skills and nothing in common with me" with "likes fat women," and I don't imagine they're actually the same thing.
172
@ 169:GRIND's gf might initiate sex more often if he didn't initiate sex so often.

Or if he said something about it? It's common for women to believe that a man who is even slightly interested would have already initiated, and/or that men are all turned-off by a woman initiating.

If he wants things to change, his first step should be giving her permission to initiate if she feels like it, and indicate that he's often interested even if he's not actively initiating at the moment.
173
If you're seriously concerned about someone that's threatening suicide and you know where they live you can also call the police and have them do an anonymous welfare check on that person. They won't get in trouble, and neither will you, but the person will be greeted by police and informed that there is help if they choose to accept it.
174
If you're ever concerned about someone that's threatening to kill themselves (and you know where they're located) you can call the police and have them do a welfare check. This won't get the person in trouble, you can do it anonymously, and the police will inform them of services that are available for them to get help.
175
168-

Charles Dickens's approach to dealing with sociological problems: When you find disadvantaged poor young teenage girls driven to prostitution by the larger society, set up homes and schools for them so they can learn skills while in a safe space.

Horatio Alger's approach to dealing with sociological problems: When you find disadvantaged poor young teenage boys, boys who, because of upsets in the larger society, find themselves without protectors, take advantage of them to the fullest extent possible by having sex with them.
176
Uh. Sorry. I question if GRIND is even straight. Lotioning up? If my husband were putting on lotion in an attempt to "lure" me - I would just think his skin was super dry or something - REALLY dry to get him to use lotion. As for what I wear: If a guy - a straight guy (in general, of course) wants sex - he cuddles up, he gets touchy - what you are wearing usually doesn't come into play because he's horny. Doesn't mean you can let yourself completely go, of course, but please. This is a very mercurial man if he's straight, and I can almost guarantee no good in bed if he's this picky. No wonder she's not hopping in the sack for "DAYS". He's lucky she's hopping in at all. GRIND needs to either loosen up or admit that he's on the wrong side of the track.
177
EricaP and Euadaemonic: I suppose I'm doing a pretty poor job of describing what I feel.

Eudaemonic, Yes, there is a lack of social skills in undatable guy.

But if the guy I'm dating told me he has "always been into big girls," I'd be seriously put off. Perhaps to the point of ending it. Because I don't want to be just another of the "big girls"--I want to be wanted for being me. Don't you want to be wanted for being you? I don't mind if someone likes a particular body part or characteristic of mine--I'm kind of proud of my breasts, as a matter of fact, but I wouldn't want to be seen as nothing more than a walking pair of tits. But the real issue is that whether the guy is into big girls or not, I HATE MY BEING FAT. THE LAST THING I WANT IS TO HAVE SOMEONE CALL ATTENTION--WHETHER THAT ATTENTION IS POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE--TO IT.

Think of the trait of yours that makes you the most uncomfortable. Do you fear being thought stupid? Do you worry that your breath is bad? Whatever; make something up for the purposes of this exercise if you don't have such a thing. Imagine. You struggle with it; you try to change it. When that proves virtually impossible, you try your hardest to make peace with it. Maybe you try to convince yourself that not everyone notices or that not everyone cares about it. You hope to meet someone who will overlook your chronic bad breath or acne scars or stupidity and want to be with you for the person you really are besides that. You've had your fill of feeling defined by that trait. Now imagine someone says to you that not only did you not escape being defined by that trait, that she has a "thing" for precisely that which you hate about yourself: "Oh, I love guys with halitosis." "Stupid men turn me on."

Well, I suppose one could feel empowered and could joyfully claim ownership over the trait (yeah! I've got bad breath, and I know it, baby!), but I don't feel that way, and I think that after a lifetime of living in a culture where one of the few acceptable denigrations is to talk about someone's overweight, where fat shaming is rampant, where if you really want to go for the jugular with a woman you call her a "fat cow," it is pretty hard to hear that you are sought after for those traits without feeling creeped out.

Everyone: YMMV.

I think Mr. Vennominon got it when he talked @152 about the phenomenon of having something you try to push into the dark corner brought out and displayed on the shelf, front and center. And Ms.11@156 also hit the nail on the head: in addition to my own internalized self-hatred, there is the internalized "skinny is better" attitude which leads to a need to explain or justify or emphasize their attractions.

In addition, EricaP, you have described yourself as "slender," so when your husband mentions your "fat ass" you know he doesn't really think your ass if fat. You likely don't think your ass is really fat. And you know that the rest of the world doesn't think "wow, what a fat ass" when you walk by. This is a totally different dynamic.
178
@175 (Crinoline): Ha!

And that "if" should be "is" in my last comment, near the end, talking about EricaP's hypothetically fat (not really) ass.
179
nocutename @168, 177:

My worst date ever, excerpt:

"You're really cute."
"Thank you."
"God, your skin. Sorry, I'm just really into black guys."
"Huh. Well, thanks for personalizing that."
"Oh, I didn't mean-"
"Let's just order."
180
@lolorhone: YUP!
181
Although the weight thing is a Big Deal, fraught with all kinds of psychological baggage for me, I even feel put off when it's made clear that the only reason someone wants me is for something more benign.

I'm a natural blonde. 30 years ago I was out at a club with my friend, a stunning, statuesque brunette. I was at my slimmest, looking good (rocking those 1983 shoulder pads), but she was a zillion times more conventionally attractive than I was. A Cute Guy was there. Both my friend and I thought he was attractive, and all night long we all three chatted, flirted. We all three danced. He and I seemed to banter more easily, have more easy conversation together. After an evening of chatting, during which I thought he and I were hitting it off, he asked me out. Driving home, my girlfriend told me that she could tell that he and I had more in common and she wasn't upset. Two days later, on our first *and yes, last* date, he said something about how much fun it had been meeting both of us, but how he knew he wanted to ask me out rather than her. I thought he was going to mention our conversation, our common interests, the way we laughed at a joke she didn't find funny. I asked him, flirtatiously, when he knew he wanted to ask me out.
He said: "I really like blondes."
182
@nocutename: I swear to Christ, that was about 10 minutes before he complimented me on my dreadlocks and then asked me if I was, like, really into reggae?
183
@Groom: the lotioning LW called himself a "guy." I think Dan has the gender right.
184
Lolorhone: If you weren't gay and about 20 years younger than me, I'd be on your doorstep with a boombox and a bouquet, and it's not because you have locks--but how cute--an old bf, the Most Gorgeous Man I ever knew (he looked like a black bust of Nefertiti with dreadlocks), had lovely ones--but because you sound like a neat-o kind of guy, and you speak French, and make jokes when someone inevitably spells your Slog name wrong.

Oh, and because you're black and I have a thing for black men.
185
@nocutename: HA!
186
And thank you. : )
187
I was really sorry to hear about SAW's problem with the ex. I went through the same thing, only we weren't long distance. In my situation, most of the time it was only a threat. However, he did try to commit suicide twice by taking around 50 + pills. Both times I called 911. They hauled him to the hospital, pumped his stomach, and his family (who I called down there) all blamed me for what he did.

Eventually, I notified his best friend, who started to handle the situation. I had to lock down my Facebook account because both him and his mom were stalking me. I also changed my phone number, email accounts, locks and anything else I thought he knew. I even looked into getting a restraining order.

You should notify the police in both states and look into getting a restraining order. At the very least it will be evidence in your favor if things get worse. If you can't block his call, change your number. You cannot control anyone else's actions (no matter how much you try to help).

Good luck!
188
@182 - I just read this and cracked up because after your comment at 179 I was gonna say "Did he ask to touch your hair too?"

@184 - You are adorable. :)

I also feel you on the weight thing and wish you the best of luck on your journey. I've been in your shoes before, having been both incredibly fit (when I was in the Army in my early 20s) to about 2.5 times that a couple of years ago. Now I'm about twice as big as I was in my Army days having worked over the past two years to get that down. It never comes off as easy as it goes on, does it?
189
@188: Thanks. And luck to you, too.
190
GRIND really should tell his GF that he wants her to initiate more often. I know that he wants her to do it naturally, which I totally get, but if it's a thing for him then he needs to break down and explicitly tell her that he wants her to initiate on occasion. At least then she'll know it's something that's important for him to know that he's wanted in the same way that she wants him. From there, she can be spontaneous - it doesn't have to be her helping him lotion himself up, but there are numerous other ways she could spontaneously initiate and she won't know until he tells her.

Also, who wouldn't want to help their partner lotion themselves up? Seriously, naked body, hands, lotion, rubbing, feeling, stroking... my hubby has had to nicely ask me not to help him before, because I'm so *cough* enthusiastic about it and it's faster for him to do it on his own in the mornings when he just wants to get done with the routine and be able to head into work without being late. So yeah, helping your partner lotion their body is one of the best things ever, especially when you have time to really enjoy it. Maybe GRIND's GF just doesn't want to get in the way of his routine? He really needs to talk to her about it.
191
@nocutename, you're right, there's a difference. I'm slender with a (relatively) fat ass, and if I see a picture of myself from the back I'm not happy about how I look, but it's not the same, I'll grant you.

I like being smart & Jewish, but if someone tells me they're attracted to smart, Jewish girls, so they liked me right away, that would be a turn-off. It would make them look shallow, definitely. But I know that's not what you're talking about either, since it's not the "something you try to push into the dark corner"...

But to try to rescue something of my point -- I think a person with social skills might have the same fetish, but would keep their fetish to themselves because they would know it would rub you the wrong way. Someone who is especially turned on by Jews, or amputees, or fat people, or Asian women, is well advised to keep that to themselves, and make themselves as charming and winsome as possible, since (as you rightly point out) that fetish will be held against them if / when it comes out.
192
Ms Cute - For your counter-example, try hair quantity, going back in time if necessary to before Bald Acceptance. Some men who'd lost their hair actually liked themselves just as well or better that way, and might well have been thrilled to meet up with someone with a preference or a fetish for a bald partner. The ones who'd fought their loss ever tuft of the way, spending all their disposable income and more on restoration only to give up in disgust at the end would likely be in much your boat.

Then there are the people like Mr Agassi, who claims to have lost his first grand slam final because he was more concerned with his wig not fitting correctly than with the match, but who learned to embrace the inner cue ball.

I think the discussion has rather blurred the difference between a fetish and a preference. A preference can get you into a room; a fetish can keep you locked in there.
193
Mr Monic - Well, here is always Mr McEnroe. Mr McEnroe. Nobody was more opposed to Equal Prize Money for Women. Then he had a daughter.
194
Oops. Double McEnroes.
195
168, 175, 178- nocute-- I wasn't sure when you brought up Alger and Dickens (in another context altogether) whether you were thinking of the way the sociological problems were dealt with in their writing or their lives. I also wasn't sure how much the regulars here knew about Alger's darker side. So I waylaid the thread.
196
As a Canadian I have to clear something up. We get care, not high quality care. We don't have to worry about how we're going to work with a broken arm we can't afford to have tended to but we have to wait a loooooooooooooong time for some very critical procedures and there are a lot of hidden costs such as processing fees. In our current political climate (liberal of conservative prime minister, it doesn't matter both have eroded care and added to the hidden costs) socialized me define would not be on the table. Unfortunately our politicians are greedy, eletist and morally bankrupt pricks too. They aren't generally allowed to talk about Jesus which is nice but they are horrible all the same.
197
@EricaP: You are right: the smart, socially skillful person knows to keep his/her preferences/fetishes (relatively) secret, unless and until, of course, it's clear that the object of his/her attention doesn't mind being fetishized.
I am also smart (or so I like to think) and Jewish, and would have no objection to being courted for my smartness (and I know that being Jewish is important to a lot of Jews), so there is something to being okay with or even proud of your fetishized status that makes it okay or even flattering to be the object of erotic attention for that. I wish I was there about weight, but I don't think I ever will be. The best I can hope for is acceptance, not love.

@Mr. Ven: I had thought of the bald example, but these days, the bald acceptance movement is strong (I find bald men attractive, and especially like it when a balding man pulls a preemptive Savalas), and I didn't think the example would have any resonance. Certainly not in the same ways that my stupid or halitosis examples could be expected to be felt. But you're right, once upon a time, it was a Very Bad Thing, indeed. I just hadn't thought of situating my example for Eudaemonic in the pre-bald-love days of the past.
I also love your "preference v. fetish" definition/analogy.

@Crinoline: New Boy and I had been talking about Alger's writing, not his personal life, though as NB pointed out, his proclivities are pretty obvious in his writing. I don't think the thread stayed waylaid for long, and I, for one, appreciated the meandering it took for a moment.
Not to mention that
(A) not many people are still reading at this point, since I myself hijacked it
and
(B) not too many people here or elsewhere these days know who the heck Horatio Alger was.
198
@Pridge Wessea: Mazel Tov on your nuptials! Much happiness to you and your husband!
199
There's at least one person out there who is into knowing what a partner's porn is about and is pro-porn. My partner would never admit to looking at porn to me, but it kept popping up all the time on our shared computer, because he was breathtakingly lazy. So after the umpteenth time it popped up, I went and looked at the history. Then I gently tried talking about it with him. He still denied it was happening.

I wanted to know about the porn because our sex life was boring, and he was kinda repressed, and I wanted our sex life to be more interesting, and I thought talking about the things that turned him on/sharing them would, you know, turn him on. So there is possibly another angle to this story. (For the record, I'm female.)
200
What @164 said. Where is this raining straight men utopia that you dwell in Eudaemonic? It's like your town is a Renuzit commercial without the headache inducing fumes or gag-worthy "dreamboat" male stereotypes.

I have yet to see a partner's penis and laugh. I haven't seen many though so perhaps I should give it another couple of decades.

Overall though, on the expendable scale I have to say it's pretty equal between the sexes in my age group (twenties), but probably a much different game in the other age brackets. And I'm assuming you're older? So perhaps the reason we're not seeing eye to eye is that our hypothetical dating possibilities are too far apart due to our respective ages.
201
@199 I really wouldn't want to talk to a partner about the porn I watch and I'm a girl. Even if my hypothetical partner and I were in a rut, I don't think telling him what I get off on watching strangers do on camera would necessarily help. It just has the chance of getting defensive way too fast. Plus there are things I'm more than willing to watch, but NEVER EVER want to try. Which I'm sure is true for others as well. Perhaps choosing a porno and watching it together? That would eliminate the interrogation. And the selection process could help you guys see each other's tastes/interests more clearly.
202
If she does initiate sometimes, can't he let that happen again, then the next day say: "I loved it when you jumped me yesterday. Can you maybe do that more often? I like being surprised." If applicable (and if her initation wasn't quite as aggressive as he'd like) "Also it'd be amazing if you'd x y and z at the same time."

That doesn't frame anything she's currently doing as a problem, if that's what he's so scared of and thinks might upset her. It's focusing positively on what she DOES do and asking for more.

Maybe she's never going to regularly want to throw him on the bed and ravish him, maybe she currently responds to feelings of desire with "Ooh, can't wait for him to start something later" would feel awkward and shy taking that role at first, but could learn to pounce on him if she knew how welcome it would be.