Savage Love

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Comments

2
Belly rubs! Ha!
3
NHG, Dan may have been a little harsh on you/ nonetheless, are you serious?
After 9 odd months, this man may very well not love you. And if you're jealous of his care for his dog, guess you really don't much love him back.
Does this man have children. You jealous of them too?
Chill/ relax, act like a woman of maturity..
4
About the dog - Yes, he loves the dog more than you. There's nothing wrong with that. Move on. Find someone else. He's not going to be emotionally available until the dog has passed away, and hanging around wishing the animal's demise is awful. Many people are MUCH more emotionally engaged with a pet than they ever will be with people, and to my observation, once they are in love with a pet, they will NOT engage with people in the same way. The pet may be more important to them than money, friends, children, socializing, or romantic partners. That's just how it is. Don't hang around being jealous. Just move on and let him enjoy his relationship. It's probably very fulfilling to him. You can NOT compete with a pet. Don't even try.
5
Thank you and bless you, Dan, for the link to the Lycra zentai catsuits!
Mrrrrreow!!! I think that might fit me.

My ex was insanely jealous of everyone and everything around us.
After 13 years for me, the dating scene is like watching TV---I'm
not engaged in it, haven't been for a long time, and don't miss it.
I could be wrong, but NHG sounds like she's possibly more of a
cat person than a dog person, anyway. If he ignores you, NHG,
and you want more, then let him go. He can keep his dog, and
/ or you can get a.....cat?
6
Ms Grizelda - Oh, please, no, don't call her a cat person. She sounds like a bird person. Or perhaps a fish person.
***************

As for the first LW, they should go to a lesbian bar first, if they have access to one not attended by June Thomas (of Slate's Ask A Homo series, who started the whole thing off by telling straight people please not ti invade lesbian spaces) that accepts men. He's quite respectful enough, it would seem.

Insufficient evidence, but I might be tempted to go on a fishing expedition with a few questions designed to establish that GF likes to stir things up.
7
NHG: you're jealous of your boyfriend's dog? Wow.

Dan gave you just about perfect advice here. I've seen some folks lavish tons of care & attention on their lil puppy or kitten & then turn around & say kinda rude, unloving things to their mate, & the mate kinda rolled with it: yeah, XYZ person loves the dog more, ha ha. But that was moments of stress in a pre-existing relationship. To have such a comparison when something is that shiny & new doesn't bode well for you. Shiny & New time = if the chemistry is good, you shouldn't feel so hungry for affection (whatever that means for you) that you're coveting the place of his pet.

Either downgrade him from a boyfriend to a casual fling, & keep your dating options open, or let him go & find someone better suited to you. You guys have both been divorced a coupla times..no need to settle for someone who (from your POV) withholds attention so early on.
8
First LW / BROs, question #2 - @6, Mr. Vennominon has a good idea..maybe suss out more of why she wants to go? Have you guys negotiated funtime rules where she can play with girls? Maybe she's trying to be a Katy Perry song - "I Kissed a Girl" - to turn you on. Not all girls are up/down for that; many lesbians don't play with bi girls at all, let alone one w/ her SO in tow. Also, does she think because she's bi, that you might be?

If it's just lookin' & having a few drinks, that's a different story.
9
@4, You make it sound like people who love their pets don't have room in their hearts for a human! Why does it have to be a competition? There is not enough information in the letter to know whether he really isn't into her or she's just crazy jealous. But if he's not all that into her, it might have nothing to do with t he dog. Or he might just need to find someone who also has a dog and understands his attachment.
10
LW1: how would you react if your friend cornered your sister in the bathroom and groped her crotch? That's how you should react here.
11
@6 lesbian bars are extremely rare, gay bars are far more common and straight guys will be more welcome there anyway.
12
NTKS: "Period" is not a scary word for grown up men. We can hear the word without blushing, and we know that many women do not like intercourse during their period. I find euphemisms far more of a turn off!
13
Yeesh, sounds like the couple in Neglected Human Girlfriend is looking to rush right into another divorce.
14
@12: Sounded like they were talking about the flexible bounds of their relationship, not menstruation.
15
Not for anything NHG, but unless the dog is sleeping in the bed and you are on pillow on the floor, get over yourself. It's a dog. Perhaps he is being more affectionate to the dog because you are being a judgemental bitch.
16
@12 not all euphemisms mean someone is on their "period". In this case, for instance, she is out of commission because she's "married".
17
Letters this week sounded like the stuff you read on Dear Prudence.
18
Interesting about NTKS. The first time I read it I assumed she was talking about being married, just... oddly? Then when Phil H @12 commented I went back and reread and menstruation makes much more sense.

“It's not like going out for dinner with someone, where what's happening in the nethers is entirely irrelevant.” That’s weird if what you mean is that you’ve met someone who probably wants to have sex with you but you don’t want to have sex with them, so you go on a dinner date and sex magically becomes irrelevant. It doesn’t become irrelevant: the person still wants to have sex with you, if not that particular evening, then another. At some point you have to say something like “I’m married and sexually monogamous. I can have dinner dates with other people but not sex.” Which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I think Phil H was right in that she meant that at a non-sex-friendly event catering to married people, menstruation would not need to be discussed because you aren’t going to be having genital sex anyway.

The answer is still the same: use your words. “I'm having my period so I don’t want to do anything genital this time. I might be more delicate than usual so check in with me. I’m self-conscious so if I leak or anything tell me, and I’m going to need both mopping-up and reassurance because leaking in these circumstances is about the worst thing I can imagine.”

The last time it happened to me I explained that I was feeling ashamed for not being more in control and having shamefully made a date when I was having my period. These feelings are not rational but some of us have them anyway, so admit them. Ask for what you need to be comfortable, whether that’s practical stuff or emotional support. Your date will be taking their cues from you and is unlikely to be able to guess how they’re supposed to respond.

Also, watch this through to the end:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vu2BsePv…

Chant, “We will bleed on everything you own.”
19
I wanted to pile on @NHG, but everyone beat me to it. Dan's advice was kind, but I think it plays out like @13 says.

The Zentai stuff looks...fun!
20
I love how BROS is concerned that his appearance at a gay bar might be interpreted as "touristy"!
21
I see 2 entirely different issues in NHG's letter. It's natural for everyone to focus on being jealous of the dog, but the question is: Is it worth it to waste my time and energy waiting for him to start treating me better?

To answer that, I'd have to know what he's doing now that's so awful. If he's beating you up, then no, waiting won't help. If he's hanging around the house all day while you support him and do all the housework, then no, I can't imagine he'll wake up one day and begin pulling his own weight. But if his crimes are those of not knowing you very well or maybe not being attentive to things you'd like but haven't communicated well, then sure the relationship can improve with time.

Now about that dog. People who are great with dogs tend to do a lot for them without asking their opinions on pretty much anything. They tend to shower empty compliments on the dog (ooh, what darling cute furry ears!) without ever getting stimulating intellectual conversation in return. They tend to exercise with their dogs in ways in which the human calls the shots. (Human throws the ball. Dog brings it back. Human runs for a mile. Dog runs along side.) The human decides when to come home; the dog is happy to see him whenever that is. A good physical relationship with a dog involves the human doing the petting while the dog does the panting. Images of the reverse of this are too off-putting to relate.

Is this really what you want? I've been reading this column for too long ever to make fun of people's sexual and relationship preferences, so maybe it is, and if that's the case, your desire to be treated like a dog needs exploration.

22
Average life expectancy for mid-sized dogs: ten to twelve years. This problem is going to solve itself.

If the dog's that old, it's probably either well trained or too tired to be annoying or dangerous. Bond with the dog and bond with the man.
23
@6: Lesbian bars, no no. A straight man with his bi girlfriend is exactly what most lesbians do NOT want invading their space, as Dan discussed two weeks ago. A gay megaclub, where it's mostly gay men but people of all genders and orientations are welcome, is most likely what BROS's girlfriend was talking about. If they are scoping for female eye-candy, as opposed to just dancing and hanging out with Girlfriend's gay male friends, better to ogle girls who've proven they don't hate men by being in a club full of men.

And I have to agree with @16 on what "out of commission" means in this case. I don't know any woman who can't come out and say "Not tonight, honey, I'm on my period" if that's what she means. I think NTKS wants to make sure her play partner knows that her going to a fetish club with him doesn't mean that intercourse outside of her marriage is on the menu.
24
For the love of God, NKTS should not be going out and getting tied up and hit by people if he/she/ze cannot use words beforehand to negotiate what's going to happen. You cannot approach kink the way most people approach vanilla sex (let's just start doing stuff and hope everybody ends up happy, because talking about sex is awkward!). Talk. Negotiate. Never operate on assumptions. If you're too embarrassed to have the conversation, you are not ready for the activity.
25
BROS great that you're cool w being a tourist. Are you hot? When in Rome...
26
Maybe NTKS is being treated for a STI and doesn't want to share? Or even has a yeast infection and is too darn itchy and uncomfortable for any action in "the nethers" ? I don't see why it has to mean menstruation.
27
What's an "ends-meeter"? Searched online (not using Google, which tracks its users and their searches, but Duck Duck Go, which does not) and don't see any sign of this word.
28
@27, in this case, a person who performs sex work just to make ends meet, but not as a primary career. It's implicit in the paragraph.
29
WTS: Olive oil. A teeny, tiny bit. Add a 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you're where you want to be. Seriously, don't overdo it. Oil wrestling sounds hot, but the practicalities--once was enough. Make sure you have some good grease-cutting dish soap for the shower after.

NHG's boyfriend: DTMFA. Jealous of a dog? Really?

@27: "ends-meeter" Are you familiar with the idiom "making ends meet"? It means having enough money to get through to one's next paycheck having covered all the basic living expenses (food, shelter, etc.). Dan's suggesting this person is escorting to cover the gap between her monthly expenses and the income from her job; escorting is her second, part-time job.
30
@27

I had the same problem. In the few sentences above this term, Dan mentions people who do sex work 'just to make ends meet'.

@vennominon

Thanks for cat persons :) Someone who is jealous and possessive can't enjoy much living with a cat.

@NHG

Listen to your feelings. You feel neglected. So dump him. Don't lose your time being jealous of a pet.
31
LW1 Please stay out of lesbian bars. It is indeed touristy and rude. Unless you are there as a male friend of a group of queer women, not just the boyfriend of one. But yeah, feel free to go to the larger dancy gay bars, just don't be that gross couple practically banging against the wall because you are somewhere where the guys won't try to fuck your girlfriend too (seen this more times than I can count). But you sound like a thoughtful dude so I trust that you'd behave yourself appropriately. Also, make queer friends so you can actually go to a gay bar feeling even more comfortable in a group. And tell your friend he was a dick and to not touch people who haven't welcomed it. No need to discuss his sexuality, it's a boundaries thing more than anything else

LW2 At first I kinda thought you seemed bizarre. Jealous of a dog? That is odd. Then I remembered my ex. Yes she loved me, but she loved her cat in a way that actually did interfere with our relationship. Wouldn't want to leave the house because of the cat, would talk about the cat CONSTANTLY, wouldn't let me have my own pillow on the bed because that was the cat's pillow (when we moved in together I drew a line but we were a terrible match anyway and of course it didn't work). Anyway, stick around and see if he warms up to you without pressuring him too much. If in 6 months the way he shows affection for you hasn't changed, move on.
32
As for people who love dogs and neglect humans, it does happen. There's a possibility that NHG's concerns are quite grounded.

Once, in Italy, an Indian man told me that "he loved his dogs more than his wife" and that when he called home, he would "only ask for news about his dogs". His parents had arranged his marriage. He also had a mistress who was "relentlessly after him" and he "didn't have the heart to send her on her way, she was so stubborn and clingy and she had nobody but him".

I wondered whether he told me all that for me to take pity on him and grow a soft spot ? In any case I told him he was being a coward in saying that mess was "caused by women" or "caused by his parents", when men have a much nicer place in Indian society than women.
33
I don't get the impression that NHG is neglected, only that her bf's dog gets spoiled and she wants a piece of that action. The problem is her failure to realize that four legged bitches are entitled to belly rubs and baby talk every day while the two legged variety are not. Five failed marriages between the two of them does not bode well for a lasting relationship anyway, she really shouldn't sweat it.
34
@olechka

Thanks for reminding us that some persons are completely insane about their cat. I bet that cat wasn't happy, with such an obsessive owner...
35
@29 "Olive oil. [...] Make sure you have some good grease-cutting dish soap for the shower after."

I've had better results with a strigil and a towel.

It's an ancient method of cleaning the body and that towel is probably not the only oiled laundry you've got at that point.
38
M?s Fan/Olechka - I think our terms are a little at cross purposes. In my neck of the woods, what is called a lesbian bar caters mainly to same-sexer women but doesn't discourage non-FF-driven clientele at either management or patroness level - in a small-urban or suburban setting, not many bars can thrive or even survive on FF purity.

I have not been inside a bar of any description in the last fifteen years, but have been inside my small city's lesbian bar on two or three occasions (once for an hour, to meet a friend's sister, and always at the invitation of a lesbian or bi woman friend); as far as I recall, straight men as respectful as LW (I'd never recommend a lesbian bar if there were any hint of his being in the mood for female eye candy or possible threesome partners) were as accepted there as I was. What you would call a lesbian bar seems more in line with Ms Thomas' definition of one of the last few bastions of female-only space ruggedly clinging to existence and ideological purity, which is why I instanced her.

The kind of gay clubs you two instance I'd call postgay; many aren't even homonormative any more; women and straight men are welcomed rather than accepted. My idea/experience of a gay bar is very much a male equivalent of a lesbian bar.

The Olechkan suggestion to make non-straight friends is excellent, if a little on the polite side. I'd make it a point for cross-examination; why doesn't he already have non-straight friends, especially given his respectful nature?

I don't think there's enough evidence to assume that GF clearly meant a space largely populated by same-sexer male friends of hers. It's certainly plausible, but my default was to consider why she wanted to go somewhere where she'd also be out of place besides (as Ms Hopkins wonders) her wanting to take him somewhere (non-hetero)normative. Of course, as the information is secondhand coming through him, we don't have any real impression of what's really GF and what's his filter.

There's probably an interesting discussion to be had about bisexual people with partners not matching mononormative spaces, but I don't think I'll begin it.
39
My new bf of 2 months has a dog! I will admit, it puts a cramp in things sometimes, when he can't go do something with me because he has to go home and take care of the dog!

But, she's a cute dog, and full of love, and how can you not fall in love with the dog too? I have!! :) I have stayed over a few times, and the dog sleeps on one side, him on the other, it's lovely..

Sure, she's a pain in the ass sometimes, but I knew that when we got together, and am not expecting him to do anything other than love the dog! She's a sweet girl.

After just 2 months, I am seeing signs of his being open to me as much as the dog. It's pretty obvious he loves both of us. We both get treated well and given the affection we need, despite his often very busy schedule.
If your bf is not doing this, NHG, sorry, but he just might not be that into you.

It's hard not to be jealous, I know, but you can't win this one. Try to join in, instead.
40
@32: I imagine there are more than enough persons worldwide who love themselves more than any creature of the canine or human variety. In that case, sounds like the dog was the symptom, not the cause.
41
Okay, Joe Newton, now you're just fucking with us.
42
Who.... gets jealous of a pet?! Really?! Seeing my husband and the way he is with animals made me love him and his compassionate nature more, not sit there and stew that he wasn't cuddling ME at that precise moment. I could see it if you are literally being ignored in favour of the animal but if it's just regular human/pet interaction or you're pissed off because he's doing his duty by tending to the animal instead of spending time with you then YOU are the problem. You're insecure and clingy and waaaay too needy OP, get that sorted out.
43
I'm with 42; seeing my husband with his little black familiar of a cat makes my heart melt. I actually thought thought to myself it'd be a waste if this kind man didn't have a kid, after watching him interact with her. (He picks her up and lets her sniff and investigate things she can't ordinarily reach, for example.)

I read an article the other day that couples engage in "asks" with each other - "Hey, look at that bird outside", and that couples that stay together in the long-term will stop what they're doing and go look at the bird. If you're engaging in a lot of "asks" for his time and attention and he can't be bothered, for any reason, up to and including his dog, then it's a sign you guys aren't going to work out.
44
I disagree about NHG, and think she has to think about whether her partner has trouble committing to humans; sounds like he can commit to his dog, as she won't run away or put demands on him, but not commit to a wife who might leave and might run away! I've been there, on both sides of the fence (commit/avoid, not human/dog). Have a look at Attachment Theory and pets, it gives a different perspective.

Things are unlikely to improve with this guy. Don't let yourself get hurt.
46
What @39 said. People who really, really love their animals often really, really love other people who love their animals too. It's a great way to bond.

As a cat lover, I basically found that partners who disliked cats or didn't dig my cat/s were automatically less attractive, and not long-term partner material. Now my partner and I are equally crazy about our cat, and she's like a conduit for heaps of warmth between us.
47
BROS - Awesome of Dan to make clear that the assault is the problem behavior and not making a gay pass. And I agree that problem behavior should be addressed. But I don't think the apprehension of gay clubs is about offending others so much as being uncomfortable in a homo normative space, despite his protest. He could examine/talk through why that part of his girlfriend's life makes him nervous. Or just go and get over it.

NHG - I can see appreciating this man's capacity for love and commitment, and that you'd like him to love you more than he does. But expressing jealousy of the dog and pressuring him to love you more is not cool; hopefully it was jokingly done.

Ends-meeter - Someone who supplements their primary income to earn a livable salary, from context. I think he's trying to say that dating a response to an escort ad is unprofessional or inexperienced behavior.
48
@44: It doesn't matter what he actually believes or not. If she believes a dog is "getting in the way" of their happiness, they should part ways.
49
@47: "I think he's trying to say that dating a response to an escort ad is unprofessional or inexperienced behavior."

Yeah, I imagine this happens a lot in any scenario where a person is paid to "like" the customer, less exclusive to sex workers, I imagine bartenders also have this problem.
50
Certainly combined with the multiple divorces on both ends.

And to his (possible) defense, I wouldn't downplay my pup if that was the only friend I had consistent through past divorces. I have friends who loved their dog all the more for getting them through a nasty divorce with sanity mostly intact.
51
I once asked a friend why he loved his dog. His response was short and to the point. "She's always thrilled to see me and she never criticizes me." I would think that a dog owner who _isn't_ gaga over their dog might be kind of a red flag.
52
@undead_ayn_rand #40 Yes, the pet is absolutely not the cause of the behaviour of its human.

In this case, I think the main reason behind this guy's attention for his dogs was his desire to hurt and humiliate his wife.
53
I don't really make friends very easily -- and what 'gay' friends I have made apparently can't resist the gravitational influence of my brothers crotch. :p (It's like Jupiter)

I'm not inclined to hold grudges. If a friend borderline molested a younger sibling of mine -- then I would be furious. As it happened, my older brother got his crotch grabbed, and call me cavalier, but it cracked me up. I've let it slide. My brother can handle himself without me handling him for him. And if I ever see or hear something along those lines again I'll say something. But at the moment it's just gravy under the bridge.

But really -- does anybody ever really go out and seek out people of set demographics to be their friend? I'd love for Rachel Maddow to be my friend -- but I'm guessing no matter how many personals I put out into the local newspaper informing the gay public that a straight white guy is looking for one or more of them to platonically canoodle in the night -- that I'd probably come up short. (Which is a shame -- the one thing I've learned from lifetime television is that a gay friend is always somehow there for you and is full up of supportive self-affirming romantic advice whenever you need it.)

Not looking for a threesome or anything either.
The idea that makes me uncomfortable about going to a gay bar is this notion I have that gay guys would buy me drinks - and I'd end up feeling guilty about it. I realize this thought experiment is irrational or possibly wildly opptomistic -- but I suppose we all have our fallacies.
54
NHG, Everyone treats their pet better than their partner. My cat is always there for me, wants to play, have belly rubs, curls up on my lap, she never complains and her only needs are being fed & cleaning her box. How many of us would pick up our husband's poop with a plastic bag? or have a "special" toilet space that we clean out daily? I swear the cat owns me, not the other way around. Maybe that's your jealously?
55
It would be a big red flag for me if my boyfriend of seven months didn't live his dog of nine years more that a girlfriend if seven months!
56
@53.. LOL Well said.

And cats are somewhat different than dogs, cats can take care of themselves to a greater degree, and don't interfere so much in the whole going-out-for-dinner process that dogs do that sometimes need to be fed differently, walked, etc.

Also, dogs are usually bigger, and more physically part of the relationship too.

Animals bring so much love! Let that add to the whole thing, not detract from it. I adore my new bf's little girl-dog, she's super fun and sweet and kissy.. :)
I just get twice the love when I'm there.
57
@53: Manwich, if you're at a gay dance-club-type bar or a gay bar with a more varied clientele with a woman who's obviously your girlfriend, I very much doubt a guy is going to try to buy you a drink. But if someone says, "can I buy you a drink?" you just have to say, "no thanks." You two really shouldn't be at a more strictly gay-men-only kind of place.
58
[CN: This is the Nice Version.]

Mr Wich - Well, given that you have found a non-heterosexual who likes you well enough to date you on a regular basis, and that you do seem to be generally a respectful person, you ought surely by whatever great age you have reached to have encountered at least one non-Wainthropp who has found you worthy of befriending, although it might help you to lose the attitude about being bought so many drinks. Very few gay men are so competitive and predatory as to swoop down upon some man wandering in accompanied by his female romantic partner, and only straight chasers will give you bonus points for being a clear opposite-sexer.
59
The Malaysian plane that has been shot down- seems some high profile Aids researchers were on it. On their way to Melbourne, for Aids Conference.. And Israel invades Gaza Strip.. A day of inhumanity.
60
Advice for Wants to Shine: try Glycerine! I've never used it for these purposes, but we use it in stage and film to give performers a "sweaty" look. It goes on and stays on. Skin safe an washes out easily.
61
@60: Great suggestion - you may wish to consider registering to rescue your comment from the pits. :)
62
@58 It seems like I'm being browbeaten for not having any gay friends, which is something I don't quite get. I don't befriend people on the basis of their sexuality. Undoubtedly I've met people who happen to be homosexual, but sexual orientation isn't something you typically need to wear on your sleeves, and it wouldn't be something I use as a qualifier for determining friendworthiness. (Unless your stance is any gay will do?)

I like Dan Savage and David Sedaris because they're funny -- being gay is something that helps make them who they are but it isn't the reason why I like to read what they write.

Besides, even if conservative christians are convinced that gays are everywhere in the US, they are still a minority of the population. In a similar strain I don't have any friends who are disabled or Native American (much less a gay disabled native american) but that doesn't mean I need to get out into the world and hold tryouts to find somebody who is and then befriend them on that sort of shallow basis.

.... I'm not all that worried that I would lead folks on by simply being in a gay bar -- but that is a consideration I've made out of my own self proclaimed ignorance. Mostly I just don't want to be rude and I would rather not go to places where I would make other people uncomfortable. That is essentially the basis of what I wrote to Cap'n Savage, and he did a good job of giving me a thoughtful answer, as have other people further up the thread. I appreciate it.
65
Mr Wich - Not browbeating, just wondering. Most people have many more friends than they do romantic partners. And yet here you are dating a non-heterosexual woman while being entirely without non-heterosexual friends. I can imagine a variety of explanations, and am not requesting an excuse.

One possible explanation has to do with the extremely (possibly overly) flexible nature of "bisexual". Your GF could be like one of those women who write in to Mr Savage detailing an OSM (opposite-sex monogamous) relationship and a life in which everyone (or very nearly) assumes their complete heterosexuality. That strikes me as plausible given the circumstances of your letter. There are many bisexual women on this site and perhaps in this very thread who are much more clearly interested in women, and perhaps whose interest in men would be more surprising. Quite likely we ought to wonder what going to a "gay bar" means to your GF. Even though she is bisexual, it could be an adventure to her, or she could be hanging out in homonormative places on a regular basis. Things like this are why I stressed insufficient information.

You could just happen to live, work and socialize somewhere overwhelmingly straight. Maybe you don't have easily accessible institutions where people of varied orientations meet and mingle on a regular basis. (Example: many "gay" sports leagues are mixed; I met at least a dozen straight people at the Gay Games who were open to joining a gay league or team and found it highly congenial.) That is unfortunate. Maybe your area is very strongly segregated. Maybe the vast majority of non-straight people are deeply closeted (we don't even know, though you likely do, about your GF) Another possible explanation is that you equate going into known mixed-orientation spaces with "holding tryouts". That's very respectful of you, but perhaps a bit purist.

Now, to be perhaps a little less gentle, as you seem to be open to the idea that at least one of your friends could be closeted, have you ever asked yourself if there is anything about you that might discourage a closeted friend from coming out to you? Again, none of us here know you, your friends or your GF. From your own testimony, we can assume that none of your closeted friends (if you have any) have come out to you and that nobody openly non-straight you've met has attempted to befriend you. Again, perhaps you don't happen to meet openly non-straight people. But there could be something about you that discourages non-straight people from seeking your friendship or responding favourably to your attempt to initiate. Again, maybe you just live somewhere heavily ruled by the closet. Why has your GF not introduced you to her non-straight friends (does she not have any; is this proposed visit to a gay bar her way of doing so)?

There's far too much we don't know about the particulars of your situation to be able to give more than vague and general advice. If that's all you want, take it and roll with it in good health. I just found the deeper situation interesting, not necessarily reprehensible. Remember how much you know that we don't.
67
@66 -- I really don't think my brother is closeted. If there is some homoeroticism deep inside his heartmeat it is probably not particularly abundant.
My brother was the designated driver that night, so he was kinda standoffish and unfriendly. He is also blond and pretty which might be enough for some folks - particularly owing to the bit of human nature that makes us convince ourselves that something is true merely because we want it to be. Add booze and it doesn't surprise me too much that somebody would make a really terrible drunken pass at him.
If anything I'm a little insulted that I've never been hit on by a guy (then again I guess I just don't hang out around enough gay guys - or republican senators).

@65 -- the tonality of your comments just keep coming off as rude to me -- or at least lightly judgmental. As you do seem to suffer from a lack of information about me, this strikes me as a bit perplexing.

I have one second hand friend who is gay that I know through my girlfriend. We're genial enough with each other, but he is more properly her friend than mine.
I live on the west coast and I grew up in a theater town called Ashland Oregon. It was a place where people are seemingly safe to come out of the closet and I've met a number of people who are gay (flamboyantly so) and others who were simply more reserved with how they presented their sexuality. I suppose it is possible that I am more reserved than you are or you make a much stronger effort than I do to become friends with people. Either way -- I have less than a handful of people that I would choose to designate as my friend. A older gay couple lives next door to me, but I am no more friendly to them than I am with any other neighbor -- meaning I respect their privacy, wave hello and goodbye, and engage in friendly small talk with them on occasion.

I don't know if I come off as unfriendly to people of different sexual orientations, but I guess that is entirely possible. It's hard for me to judge that since I'm in no real position to.

I'm not completely sure how my girlfriend chooses to classify herself since a great deal of that is up to her, but she has had relationships with men and women and that doesn't bug me. She has told me that she thought that one day she would end up living in a trailer with a bunch of lesbians roving the pastoral countryside listening to Annie Defranco -- and instead she is surprised that she ended up in a monogamous relationship with me. We love each other. We're best friends.
68
Why does everyone automatically assume NTKS is female? There are men who also enjoy participating in kink but are not "allowed" to have intercourse outside the bounds of their marriage. What's "going on in one's nether regions" could amount to a throbbing erection (which would usually indicate an interest in sticking it somewhere), not necessarily a reference to a lady bleeding out...
69
@ 68, " a lady bleeding out", you think every month ladies bleed out? No no.
Anyway. I see no indication at all that NTKS is talking about menstration. If, in fact, NTKS is a woman. So yes, @68, this person could indeed be male..
All up, the qus this week have been, well-
Hope you're having a great vacation Dan and family.
70
Mr Wich - Well, I suppose it's fair that you would not recognize how great a compliment you were paid when I presumed you were that rare straight man who would be acceptable in the right sort of lesbian bar, which is a good deal more than I'd say for some of the regulars here. I thank you for the additional background and appreciate your willingness to engage.

My more informed guess at this point is that you likely consider yourself "orientation-blind" (the way some white people call themselves "colour-blind") and just happen to gravitate towards people who are more like you - not that there's anything wrong with such gravitation. You admire the work of Mr Savage and Mr Sedaris in what sounds like an "orientation-blind" way - as in, they meet standards that, as someone in a position of privilege, you may not realize are skewed to your own norms. If you can find ways in which the works of gay people you admire are influenced by their sexuality in ways that make the work more appealing to you, that may help you be open to the possibility that your GF may some way down the line, if not now, want to make your shared existence less heteronormative.

As for not being hit upon, perhaps the same-sexer men who encounter you only venture passes on men who ping their gaydar.
71
Vennominon: How do you know NHG is a bird person? And why are you bashing me for merely suggesting NHG could get a cat? It's up to NHG to decide what she chooses to do: a) DTMFA for a cat, b) DTMFA for a bird, c) DTMFA for (fill in the blank), d) all of the above, or e) miserably stay with Mr. Exclusively a Dog-Lover, and continue to bitch about being ignored for fetch and tummy rubs.

Anyway, those Zentai catsuits (okay, for ME) are HOT!! MEE-OWWWW!!

Happy vacationing, Dan, Terry, DJ, and Stinker et. al.!
72
I put my old dog down last week, after fifteen years.

I'm not seeing anybody right now, but if I were, yes, I'd most likely love my dog more than I love them, if it's only been a few months. I love my kids more, too - is that OK? And my sisters.

Long-term intimate relationships, especially those with an element of dependence such as with a pet or with young kids, are not just disposable when a new squeeze comes along.

If a man obviously cared much more for me, after a few months, than he did for his old dog he'd had since puppyhood, I'd break up with him because it's a sign he has no heart.
73
@72: "I love my kids more, too - is that OK?"

Probably not. Insecure codependents (I have no clue what the LW is, but I could make a guess) say the same thing about how kids "get in the way" as if it's a competition.
75
@73 - you are on a roll!
76
@74: While it's impossible to be 100% sure what gender NTKS is, or whether being "out of commission" refers to having a period or having boundaries that include no direct genital contact, I don't see the comment "It seems rude to string someone along (ha!)" being a reference to menstruation.

Right before that, NTKS said: if you are going to an event that is promoted as "sex-friendly," and you have arranged to meet someone there for, say, an extended rope bondage session, how do you broach the issue of being "out of commission" for sex but still happy to get tied up?

In context, it seems clear that the joke about "stringing someone along" is a reference to the fact that the activity that has been planned is an extended rope bondage session--which, by the way, makes the stringing along joke not only more appropriate, but also more tasteful and a lot funnier--and not an obscure reference to a tampon string.
77
And I'm pretty sure (though of course I could be wrong) that NTKS is talking about limits set by an agreement s/he has with his/her spouse, not being on her period. Otherwise, why this introduction: "A lot of kink and fetish events and parties are not sex-friendly—it is standard to meet someone at one of these things to get tied up and smacked around while still remaining within the bounds of one's marriage vows as far as anything below the belt is concerned."

NTKS--whose sign off describes him/her as being new to the kink scene, is thrown by the fact that this newest event is billed as a "sex-friendly" one, not a strictly BDSM one. This suggests that intercourse or genital involvement may be expected and NTKS and spouse have an agreement under which outside contact is limited to kink--which seems to be defined in this letter and between this couple as activities involving bondage and s/m. NTKS worries that s/he may be leading his/her bondage session partner on with an unspoken expectation of sex, when all NTKS wants or is willing to participate in is the bondage. Why? Because s/he wants to "still remain[ing] within the bounds of one's marriage vows as far as anything below the belt is concerned."

One can be "out of commission" for a lot of reasons beyond menstruation, and there's nothing in the original letter to suggest that this is about a period. In any case, the advice holds either way: TALK BEFOREHAND. Communicate. Make your boundaries known--you don't even need to give your reasons.
78
Hunter/ that is gross/ but so you!! Of course the stringing along is, as nocutename says( and I'm sure you know), a smartarse reference to ropes.
It's obvious to me this person, is saying, they are married but " allowed" to play tying up games as long as no sex involved/
79
I don't get the illustration. A beaver is sawing a book in half. ??
80
Ms Grizelda - I'm not bashing you. It's just that I'm a cat person myself, don't like that LW much, and both: a) happen to think that devoted cat owners aren't all that different from devoted dog owners, so that she might be better suited to birds or fish, and b) think that cats deserve much better than that LW.

On another tack, if you seriously interpret:

[Oh, please, no, don't call her a cat person.]

as *bashing*, it would seem that you have a low tolerance for disagreement, much lower than your conversations with some of our MRAs would suggest. Even if I recite the line to myself in an inflection that would make both Sir Ian and Sir Derek take me as a role model for their characters on Vicious, it still doesn't get to bashing.

If you like (and this suggestion is being made in all good humour, not snarkingly), you could give me a code word to use should I ever bash you on purpose, although I don't think that's at all likely. But its existence will be useful by rpoviding you with a negative inference when it does not appear. In fact, I could suggest (customized) "gluten". Should I ever direct a post at you declaring, "Gluten, gluten, GLUten!" (visualize the tone in which Jan Brady exclaimed, "Marcia, Marcia, MARcia!") you may assume highly hostile intent - and a lack thereof in posts containing no such reference.
81
I just can't wait for the day when we stop with the dog adoration. Not everyone loves animals more than people. Not everyone needs a baby substitute - the term "puppy parents" should be removed from our lexicon as illogical unless it is filed under Fetishes.
If this person is even feeling A LITTLE BIT like the guy loves his dog more, it is high time to take a walk (bad pun intended). I'm thinking the 3 exes would probably say that he had some issues with intimacy. Some people just can't let their warm and fuzzy feelings loose with a person that can speak. Sad.
82
@81: Y'all should only date people who believe the same and not get angry when people love their pets.
83
And no, whether someone treats a cat or a dog like family is quite irrelevant to whether they can express feelings with another human. If you've never encountered someone who's loved you and an animal, the problem in your situation does not lie with petowners.
84
@ 80 vennominon: LOL! I love your "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!" Brady Bunch analogy! I'm flattered, but actually, I'm more like Cindy.
But, ahem. No---I am NOT shaming you or anybody else. Those who are not admitted cat lovers like you and me, not adhering to the same diet as mine (many can't--i.e.: vegan, lactose intolerant, etc.-- or don't care what they eat, and that's their choice) are simply going with their own likes and dislikes. I did not catch any indication from NHG's letter that she would particularly mistreat a cat all because her boyfriend was ignoring her for preferred quality time with his dog.
85
@81 Geeky Kestrel: I can't wait for the day when we finally stop marketing childbirth.
86
Spock, I too am confused by the illustration. Artists, eh? Can't see anything in any of the letters that might conjure up a beaver image- or anyone talking of books. Obscure Mr Newton, obscure..
87
Ms Grizelda - Oh, I didn't think it that far out. I just want only nice people to have cats in their lives, although I suppose one could just as legitimately consider that association with cats might improve the characters of nasty people.
88
My boyfriend, drunkenly, ashamedly, admitted being jealous of my cats.

So I started petting him like I do my cats. I didn't tell him that's what I was doing, I just slowly integrated more casual affectionate physical contact into my interactions with him.

Being a closeted awkward kid, I didn't get a lot of human physical contact growing up, so I became far more comfortable being affectionate toward animals. His jealousy helped me become more comfortable communicating my affection toward him.

I don't think he's jealous of my cats anymore, but I'm still pretty sure he doesn't know he's dating a robot.
89
Our dog, who happens to be the bestest dog in the world, gets tons of attention, and yet somehow she doesn't come between us. If anything, she brings us closer together.
90
@88

Some robots are quite hot.
91
@88: That's awkwardly sweet.

At least you do express honest affection to him, feeling it but not being able to properly channel isn't being a robot!
92
Do dog lovers generally let them up on the bed during sex with a new person? I'm not a dog person, and I was irritated that the guy ignored my expressed preference to have the dog put outside the bedroom for an hour.
93
@92: No, that's not par for the course, yick.
94
@EricaP: I met one guy like that. I went over once and discovered that; I never went back.
95
Short stories.
96
@94: Ferreal. I love my cats and all, but if they sneak their way in and stare at us, they're getting unceremoniously booted from the room.
97
@92: On the bed? No, although ours is sometimes in the room or (like today) just outside the door hoping to be let in.
98
@95 thanks for explaining!
99
EricaP,

That can sometimes be a tough one. If you are single and don’t often have other people in the bed with you, you might enjoy having the dogs in the bed with you for company. They then very naturally think that this is where they belong.

A bright, responsive dog can be shown an alternate place to stay while the bed has been taken over by a guest, especially if the alternate place has a view of the bed. The dog will be a little anxious but will stay put.

A dim dog only aware of its own needs is much harder to deal with. If you lock it outside or in a crate it will scratch and bark and not calm down and make it impossible to have any kind of sex at all. I had a chihuahua like this. I tried giving it doggie valium, but that takes two hours of scratching and crying and the dog being distressed because it can’t walk straight before it suddenly conks out. I didn’t have a local dogsitter, and even if I had it would have been awkward knocking on the door late at night asking them to take the goddamn dog so I could get laid in peace — most or all of my encounters for a while being unplanned.

Of course I could have avoided all this by never having allowed the dogs to sleep with me in the first place, but I was single and we all enjoyed the bed-sharing arrangement. The ROI on giving it up for the occasional non-dog-tolerant guest was just not there. The easiest thing was to let the dog stay on the bed. It was small and could be shoved out of the way when it got too close. Not ideal, but possible — unlike having sex with the chihuahua locked out.

When my beloved moved in I trained the chihuahua to sleep in a crate. That involved doggie valium and several consecutive sleepless nights but I did it. My other dog didn’t need training. I just pointed to the alternate spot and she slept there without fuss.
100
I had cousins who let the dogs sleep in their bed, with them. Their house smelled of dog. They smelled of dog. Visiting them meant having to sleep in a bed smelling of dog. We didn't go often.
101
I don't mind either allowing in (or throwing out of) a bedroom the occasional cat. Cats stay well away from people who move and moan, even more if one of them is a stranger.

I would mind having a dog in the bedroom, though. Dogs like to take a close interest or participate in whatever activity is going on. I'm not getting naked next to a dog.
102
Ok, get the book cutting refers to short stories. But why the beaver?
103
Yes, sissoucat. Would not be fussed with dogs in bed. Think sleeping with any animal is not too healthy.
104
sissoucat,

Yes, I know those dog-smelling homes too. Some dogs smell more than others. (German shepherds are particularly stinky.) My dogs smell less. I am religious about washing bedlinens. The only carpeting in the house is a little washable mat in the bathroom. All furniture is washable because it is either hardwood, vinyl or endowed a washable slipcover. I make an effort to keep smells and allergies at bay, and as far as I can tell I’m successful because when I left for a two-week vacation I wasn’t hit by any doggy smell when I got back.

Houses with cats though, always seem to smell of the litterbox and there’s not much anyone can do about that. [/gentle tease]

*** *** ***
I don’t like having sex with a dog in the bed either and I completely understand your refusal. I’m just explaining how it can be presented as the only option anyway, even by a dog-owner who is close to sane.

If the OP’s boyfriend keeps his dog in the bed even though he has a steady date who objects, that’s either not sane or a passive-aggressive way of getting rid of the steady date without saying anything. But if you are having a casual hookup with someone who has a pesky little varmint who your hookup does not attempt to boot out the door despite your protestations, they may simply be being realistic about what is possible in the moment. Sex with you may not be on the possible list without careful advance planning, which is too bad for everyone. Except that if you do go the careful advance planning route and the dog spends the night with a sitter, your casual hookup may have the first relaxed and unconstrained sex they’ve had in years, which is not a bad thing.
105
Personally, I wouldn't trust anyone who would withhold their affection for a pet (who has depended on them their entire lives to keep them safe and provided for) just because I was so insecure.

And I certainly wouldn't want to date anyone who would expect me to.
106
@87 vennominon: Agreed. We're definitely on the same page about cats.
Waaaaaay back in the day, I had a spouse who was SO insanely jealous of my cat, car, siblings, friends, neighbors, old high school pals, (fill in the blank), until after 9 unhappily married years, I finally DTMFA. 13 years (and going on 5 years after putting my beloved Turkish Van who lived to 17 human years, 8 months to sleep--and this was very painful for me to let him go after being blessed with him for so long, but I just couldn't stand seeing him suffering any longer) later, I am happily living independently. I'm definitely better off unmarried.
I don't know when I'll be ready for another cat yet. Jay was and still is, spiritually, someone special, and I still live in the apartment where I had him for 12 years and 3 months.
107
@92 EricaP, @93 undead ayn rand, @94 nocutename, and @100 sissoucat: Agreed about dogs in people's beds and especially during sex: Yick!

@101 sissoucat: Yeah, really! Isn't it interesting how cats are usually so much more likely than dogs to understand the necessity for keeping a respectful distance when humans engage in sex?
Really--while I'm aware that not all dogs are like this, why are so many canines hell bent on leg-humping, crotch-sniffing, and having continuous orgies while eating and rolling in the grossest, most disgustingly foul stuff on Earth? Are the said dog lovers of such animals that clueless?
109
Is NAJ, you know, PAYING for these dates? I think that's the telltale sign if you AAJ or are NAJ.

It's also very possible that the escort is playing into your apparent fantasy and playing the "normal" girl role for you. For which she'll expect to be compensated for...