Savage Love

Object Transference


I think MIL is awaaaay too snoopy. Perhaps she wants some part of the action. Even more: I'd say she's the true closet case here. I'd say: confront her with something close to the truth and see what happens. In the end: it isn't her business.
Is refusing to discuss the topic with MIL and never inviting her over again an option? Whether the wife will inherit or not, I get not wanting to sever relations with a parent, even a very difficult one. (I have some experience on the subject.) But I can't see any need at all for this woman (the MIL) to ever darken the LW's doorstep again.
To NITC: strengthen the passwords on your phones and other accounts! And settle with your wife about whether the two of you are in the closet. She seems to think you are; your sign-off says you're not. If you can't agree, talk it out in front of a therapist.

Re UGH: I personally won't be surprised if UGH later shifts position on the gender spectrum. Currently doesn't strongly identify as either male or female but has strong feelings about a partner's genitals... To me that sounds like displacement. Not to mention the completely avoidable unhappy acronym. I suspect UGH would benefit from some long conversations with a therapist experienced with gender issues.

NITC's wife should deal with the MIL's invasion of their privacy, or NITC needs to deal with his wife. Slick coverup idea.
RE BBW: she’s putting that out there because she doesn’t want to deal with shit from hookups who aren’t into fat women. (As discussed on a different thread, sex with someone who thinks you’re unattractive is unlikely to be good. And as a man, the LW will know the unpleasantness of rejection.)

Is the LW into Medium-Big Beautiful Women? Or Extra-Big Beautiful Women? If so, he can put up an ad saying so. His ideal woman has a BMI of around 28-32, so if she’s 5'6" she’d weigh between 170 lb and 200 lb. Or he’s looking for women who weigh at least 250 lb, the bigger the better. That way a woman can choose not to respond to him if she’s not who he’s looking for.

Or is the LW into conventionally thin women but willing to push his limits in order to get some tail of some description, and wondering if he could stomach someone who describes herself as a BBW? Again, put it nicely in his own ad. Likes women on a spectrum of body types but 225 lbs is his max for a 5'6" woman.

It’s not foolproof. Some women will approach him or respond to his inquiry who are outside his stated preferred range and won’t volunteer that information, betting that they can seduce him anyway once they meet in person. If they really are not his type he can gently explain that his expressed preference was real, apologize for wasting her time and wish her well. Or he can just suck it up with the philosophy that any pizza is better than no pizza and try to get it up to boink her anyway.

If he’s going to include body-type requirements in his ad, he should include some body-type information of his own. Do like all the other guys and include a pic of his headless torso.
I think you are jumping the gun on the wife with the snoopy mother. There are tons of reasons to not want to be disowned that have nothing to do with money. It is hard to break from a parent. Sometimes it is harder to break from a parent who was emotionally controlling or abusive. You want to earn your parent's approval. So being disowned really hurts. Plus, depending on family dynamics, being disowned may also mean losing contact with the rest of the family. It's easy to say she shouldn't want to be related to someone like her mother, but it's a lot more complicated than you realize. My dad didn't leave me a penny when he died. That wasn't what hurt. What hurt was that he made it clear he didn't give a damn about me when he was alive. From what I know, you had parents who did love and support you. Those of us who had more complicated relationships with our parents can have many mixed feelings about losing them altogether.
Get a series of increasingly alarming things and periodically leave them all over the house for Mom to "stumble across." Make sure the last one is a note that says, "Fuck you, you privacy-violating bitch." Say nothing, pretend none of them exist, and let her stew.
I know sub-zero about craigslist hookups but I assume the ads don't usually include detailed pictorials. Why not just do what you would do with anyone else you met up with and decided they didn't do it for you? Or is # of pounds literally the only criteria for who you'll fuck?
I am aghast at the trivializing of the relationship the wife might have with the snoopy MIL. Yes, she is in the wrong, but parent-child relationships are so often much more complicated than an inheritance. Assuming a person's relationship with their family is trivial seems wildly at-odds with much of the guidance you normally give. It *might* be she only wants an inheritance but I doubt it's that simple (is it ever?). Admittedly there isn't much advice to give in a limited format, but it feels almost like a pop answer to hate on the mother--and not very helpful since it isn't solely his choice to break up with the rest of her family.

Now I shall be too irritated to get any sleep. Mr Savage would have to go and mention that ghastly genre. Slash fiction has about as much to do with actual, real, living, breathing same-sexed human beings as I have knowledge of female anatomy beyond what I learned from Shirley Valentine. And yet people think it an accurate description. No wonder it was almost impossible to win any rights by popular vote. And when anyone tries to correct the false heterocentrisms advanced, he's told to shut up and that straight male objectification of women justifies female appropriation of male homosexuality.

My positively last boyfriend took two years longer to come out almost entirely because he read quite a bit of slash fiction and was afraid it was accurate. If it were, I'd not have blamed him at all for doing everything in his power to be straight.

In fact, I shouldn't be surprised if it were all some giant plot, part of a huge recruiting strategy to win over all the bi men into exclusive heterosexual behaviour.
@10 FFS, Mr. PrissyPants... Nobody thinks slash fiction is representative of real-life same-sex relationships. It's all fantasy, and quite preposterous fantasy at that. If reading some cracky omegaverse fic somehow convinced your last bf that he was going to end up barefoot and preggers, well, then he was just a dolt, wasn't he?

And for your information, if I had a lovely bi guy fall into my lap, there's no way I would try to 'straightify' him. How frickin' boring would that be?
LW2-There is an accepted code for larger women. I'll break it down for you after navigating those waters for years.
Thick-means a larger than average woman, usually from size 14 to 20. About 20 to 50lbs over standard.
BBW-Is usually woman who fall between size 20 to 28. Usually between 55 to 125lbs over weight.
SSBW-Is a woman who is over size 28 or 150lbs + over weight.
@12 - A lot of the 'Fat Admirers' out there are also looking for very specific weights. I've known some who wouldn't even consider dating (or fucking) any woman under 300 lbs. For others, their lowest threshold was 350. It can be a difficult community to navigate sometimes.
Spot on advice for UGH, BBW, and NITC, Dan!
NITC: You have my deepest sympathy. Your MIL sounds
like a total bitch.

@3 EricaP: Well said regarding NITC and UGH.
Ugh, if you're considering fucking someone on a NSA basis approach it as you would a normal dating encounter but with less investment. Exchange a couple emails and ask for a pic or suggest a cup of coffee to see if there's chemistry. As a bbw myself the last thing I would entertain is some jack hole wanting to know my weight (or a thinly veiled substitute). Trust me buddy, bbws have options too and they're not waiting around for you to maybe consider them if they might meet your standards. Yesh.
Still haven't been able to work out wtf LW1 is on about. I'll try again later.
LW2; no idea. Though it's nice to know some men enjoy a woman with a little( big) bit of body on her.. Though at some point it must get pretty unhealthy, so be careful of heart attacks..
LW3; wow. Would I kick that woman outta my house, but fast. What an intrusion. What a cheek. What a weirdo. What a frustrated, disturbed old biddy is she.
Think you gotta Man up here; either your wife fronts her mother to fuck the hell off- or you do it. Neither of you have to explain a bloody thing. None of it, not one iota is any of her business.
In fact, I'd ban her from visiting your " home", for a certain period( so she gets the message to fuck the fuck off), if not forever, for behaving in such a disrespectful , rude, creepy way..
Oh, and LW 3, sounds like you got a pretty cool story going on there . Fun plus..
This is for the women who read this comment as well as #10 re mostly straight women write and consume gay men literature- is this true? Is it a fantasy world similar to what straight men often have in regards to lesbians?
18: Yes. Only with better plots.
To be honest vennominon I think you would have better luck if you dated people who had the ability to tell fantasy from reality.
I love avast2000's suggestion @6 for LW3.

More realistically, I third the suggestion that the MiL be banned from the house. The wife can continue to see her and do stuff with her elsewhere, she just isn't allowed inside. This is something that the LW can legitimately demand to have enforced: it's his house too and his MiL has demonstrated that she can't be trusted to respect it.

(The wife can say it's her house too and ask that her husband tolerate the MiL for her sake, which presumably he has been doing, but this is going too far. If she lit the place on fire, or killed the cat, or pooped in the fridge, she would't be allowed back in. Same here. Not allowed back in. Doesn't mean she's a bad person or that we hate her or that the wife is wrong for wanting to maintain a relationship with her, it just means she can't be trusted in their house. After being raised by this disordered woman the wife has no idea what appropriate boundaries are and this is a physical boundary the husband can insist on.)
vennominon @10, I'm sorry for what happened to you sweetie, but everyone is right. Slash fiction is porn for straight women. And it's fiction.

Sometimes telling the truth about what you want (a group of very hot young women to attack and seduce you, the pizza delivery boy) involves lying about what other people want (pizza vs fulfilling the pizza delivery boy's fantasies). It's one of the many functions fiction fulfills. Many of the rest of us may not like it (I don't) but because we recognize that it's a lie about us, not because we think it represents us.

Being objectified by someone who doesn't care about the rest of you? Most people don't find that sexy.

SO much fun.
Oh, Dan. Yes it's true that too many parents use money as a last ditch effort to control their children's sexuality. And yes, children have to get to the point where they're not dependent on either their parents' money or their approval, but in NICT's case, everyone is skipping 10 steps ahead. There's no point in guessing that M-I-L might disown someone if she discovers the threesome. Disowning and discovery are still 2 very big ifs that aren't necessarily down the line.

This isn't a matter of coming out to one's parents. This is a matter of the private business of how these two conduct their marriage.

Dan's advice should have run like this, and if NICT is reading this, I hope he and his wife will pay attention.

He and his wife should present a united front and tell M-I-L: You shouldn't have been snooping. Going through our personal things while a guest in our home is a huge violation of trust. I hope you understand that. If we can't trust you, we can't invite you over, can't allow you a place in our (future) children's lives, can't have much more than a distant polite relationship with you. Frankly I think it's a little sick that you would even be curious about the intimate details of your daughter's marriage and sex life, but even if you disagree on that point, you owe us an apology and the sincere promise that you will never violate our trust again. If you can grant us that, we will never bring up this subject again and hope you will do the same. You've likely misinterpreted everything you've found, but don't count on us to set the record straight because it's none of your business. So stop speculating, and concentrate on how wrong you were to be looking in places you shouldn't have been looking.

Then shut up. If she starts to speak or protest, ask her if this is the apology and sincere promise not to snoop again. If it's not, tell her that you're very sorry to hear that, and end the visit, phone call, text, or whatever. Tell her she's allowed to try again later, but for right now, you're leaving. She'll probably try all sorts of tactics like apologizing, THEN telling you what she thinks of what (she surmises) you're doing or telling you that you need counseling or prayer or maybe involving a pastor to harass you about counseling or prayer or sin. In each case, and you should be ready for them, you should repeat the speech about snooping and cut the visit short.

Oh, and don't put yourself in positions where it would be hard to cut the visit short. Don't get into her car such that it would be hard to get out and hail a cab if you need to. Don't go away with her on a long or expensive weekend trip. You need to plan exit strategies.
@18 - absolutely it is. I am a huge fan of slash fiction for the same reason straight men consume "lesbian" porn. I am under no illusions about the fact that I am objectifying attractive men. I recognize that it's REALLY FAR from reality (being written mostly by straight women, how could it be otherwise?). I don't consider it an appropriation of gay culture because it's really, really not about gay culture at all. It's straight culture as imagined by women, who want to imagine two hot guys getting it on (or who want to imagine two of their favorite fictional characters interacting in ways that the creators of the characters won't write them). Unless you want to accuse slash fans of "appropriating" werewolf or vampire or alien culture too? How about shifters? How about, as @11 says, a/b/o dynamics and mpreg (JFGI)? Furthermore @10, it's not a huge plot to convert bi men (seriously? Where did you get that?) - I refuse to even discuss this with my husband. It's fantasy - I love dicks and love bringing more dick to the party in my head.
#5 is right. And I'll add on that in replying to the ad, the letter writer can say something like "I'm looking for women between x and z pounds" or whatever his range is. That way he doesn't have to ask the woman how big she is - if she doesn't think they'd be a good match she just won't answer.
Or put it another way, NICT. If you tell your M-I-L the truth, you're directly rewarding her for snooping. She wanted information so you give her more. If you want her to stop snooping, you're going to have to make it clear to her that she does not get what she wants that way.
My problem with slash is that it's moved beyond fiction about fictional characters to appropriating the lives of real people, albeit celebrities.

There are people who insist that Glee's Darren Criss and Criss Colfer are in a secret relationship and write hateful things about their real-life partners. Write all the porn you want about Blaine and Kurt. Calling Darren's actual girlfriend a slut and a whore and Chris's boyfriend transphobic (he once, years ago, used a word starting with t and ending with y in a parody song lyric) is not on.

There is a similar thing going on with two members of One Direction.
Snoopy person here. Sounds like the MiL doesn't understand snooping etiquette. Rule #1: accept that when you find something disturbing, you own it and unless someone is in danger, you own it in silence.

Snoopers can't be judgers. though it doesn't sound like the couple went to great lengths to keep things safe. A box on the shelf in the bedroom closet is different territory than a drawer in the guest room. Guest rooms can be seen as public space.

Say: "I'm sorry you are upset, but our sex life is our own; it is between us. We are happy and satisfied and that's all you need to know."
I see I must explain again that we are in the middle of Homocentric August, during which month I look to make as many posts as possible that go as over-the-top as I can to present as homocentric a perspective as fits a comment on the letter or situation in question. As I don't limit my posts during August to this exercise, I begin them with [HA], as post #10 did, indicating that it was intentionally being as homocentric as possible. Others are quite welcome to join in; Ms Erica has done so on multiple occasions.

In the original year, there were many more opportunities to make deliberate reads of the genders or orientations of LWs, but people are being more complete in their self-identifying this year.

I was actually inspired to begin this by my favourite feminist, whom I shall not identify, but who has on numerous occasions written columns or blog posts that almost exactly coincide with my own take on various things. A few years ago, she seemed to tire of making an effort not to be often heterocentric, and in one or two posts got quite snippy about it. Yet her statements in favour of same-sexer equality when that issue was her focus have frequently had my full approval without addition or amendment (rare for me).

I follow this with an [HA] post and a [non-HA] post to provide examples.
@24; seems a lot of words to tell a person to mind their own business..

Miss Piggy @19 gets half a point for being right about the better plots. It was, after all, the rotten plots of "lesbian" fiction written by straight men that brought about the real beginning of #Killallmen (which did not mean all men but only those so-called "authors"), however much the straight-riddled mainstream media succeeded in covering it up.
“There are people who insist that Glee's Darren Criss and Criss Colfer are in a secret relationship and write hateful things about their real-life partners.”

Yeah, and there are people who have websites about how much they hate Skyler White (therefore TV is bad) and there are mafia members who violently threaten actors who played disliked characters on The Sopranos. They weren’t criticising the actor for agreeing to play a bad character, they were harassing the actor for being a bad person. (Therefore TV is bad.)

Going back a few years when I attended a fundigelical high school, I was told that rock music was bad because Mick Jagger was the devil. (He wrote that song, right? in the first person?)

Remember the Celestine Prophesies and the Da Vinci Code and all those people who thought they were real? (Therefore novels are bad.)

There are a lot of irrational and not-very-bright people out there. Distinguishing between fantasy and reality seems to be a higher-order function that not everyone can manage. (Therefore fantasy and fiction are bad.)
Thanks, vennominon @30. I knew we were in Homocentric August but I had no idea that [HA] posts were intended to be over-the-top. At all.
Well Mr Venn, go on. Give us some homocentric topics. Happy to be part of it.
Well all ques on this weeks thread could be from any sex, eh? The dilemmas could come from any of us.
I read "disown" and I don't think of money - I think of cutting off any relationship, which is something many women are not willing to do with their parents.
Mydriasis @23, I had the same thought. I am trying to imagine the feigned outrage I could muster if a hookup told me she only wanted me for my perfect cock.

In fairness, I suppose the equivilent for men is to be objectified for their money.

Alison @ 5 basically described my drug fueled college years with this gem: "Or he can just suck it up with the philosophy that any pizza is better than no pizza and try to get it up to boink her anyway." Well played.

Ms Cummins - Wow, I must have been in good form.

Seriously, I can usually give the genre the old FTWL...

It would be nice if the distinction between reality (some women turn out quite good genuine MM literature) and appropriation were clearly delineated, as there are impressionable youths getting hold of these works. To give them their due, some of the better ones have been helpful to the young not-yet-out, but I've known of examples to the contrary, hence the exaggeration in my earlier [HA] post.

The tricky aspect is that this is yet another area where gay people are being made to pay for oppression perpetrated by straight people, but at least it's relatively less seriously in this case.

I think one aspect of the snooping MiL is being overlooked. Of course, she was wrong to snoop and should be minding her own business, but it sounds like she legitimately is concerned that her daughter's husband is gay and is cheating on her. And, she hasn't jumped to unreasonable conclusions based upon the evidence she discovered. From my perspective, she has taken legitimate concern too far and mishandled her initial discovery of the guest room stuff, but she has not been wrong to concern herself with her daughter's business, because as we know, it isn't that uncommon for a closeted gay man to marry an unknowing straight woman and cheat on her. And someone should warn her if that is the case.

For this reason, I like Crinoline's comments in @24 and beyond. It is better to address the real crime committed by the MiL here -- how she snooped, rather than why she cared. Once she sees that her daughter is aware of the evidence and is not deluding herself, her job is done, and if her concerns were legitimate, she should be willing to apologize and intrude no further. Maybe her religious nature will prevent it, but let's not assume that her actions were a product of religious judgment as much as they were a product of concern (even if misplaced) and naivety to consider the possibility of threesomes and openness.

Dan's suggestion is good, too, because it also makes clear to the Mom that the daughter is not being cheated on, and that she is not deluded or at risk.
@18: The M/M group on Goodreads has over 15,000 members, it is one of the largest group on the site. I read a ton of M/M fiction, often w/a GFY (gay for you) slant to it. I don't think most straight men fall in love w/their straight BFF and live happily ever after, I never really thought the books I read featuring 2 (or 3 or 4) guys together are factual anymore than any romance I read is factual. But while lesbian literature holds no appeal to me (or many other women - it is a woefully underrepresented sub genre in romance), there are tons and tons of m/m books written by and for women (see Japanese Yaoi books) - some features teens or college kids just coming out or in their first relationship, some are paranormal (shape shifter and vamps)some are historical (so forbidden!), some are m/m/f (permanent ménage), some are bdsm, etc. They can be sweet, sexy, funny, angsty, incredibly hot. To me they are just another aspect of romance. I've definitely gotten a few of my girlfriends into reading them as well.
I am fascinated at the types of variety in reading habits and erotic imagination. Personally, I can't understand the appeal of any type of fan fiction, and I find the very concept of slash fanfic as something straight women enjoy bewildering. But to each her own.

Crinoline @24, Yes, you’re absolutely right.

What you propose is difficult for many people though, because they fear confrontation. And I’m quite sure it’s impossible for the wife. This can’t be the first trespass on the part of MiL and if they were able to respond in a united and firm way they surely would have already.

What Dan proposes is a white lie, which is probably the way the wife has always attempted to manage her mother. Clearly without much success, but she is probably capable of the white lie.

What others have proposed is setting the house off limits. This is easy: my husband got irrationally upset about your loving snooping and is making me keep you out. I’m really sorry about that and to make it up to you I will take you to a spa and allow you to torture me all day. [Plus we changed the locks but I’m not telling you that part. I’ll deal with that (cry and apologize profusely) when you find out by trying to break in when we aren’t there.]

That’s for now. Within the realm of current possibility but ultimately inadequate.

I suggest couples therapy, which I rarely do, because they have a specific agenda for it. They need to find a way to deal with the insane woman who doesn’t understand or respect boundaries and who believes she owns their lives.

The advice I’ve heard that makes most sense to me is that first loyalty is always owed to the spouse, not the parent. The spouse *always* comes first. The marriage counsellor can be unequivocal about this [if this is the approach they feel will be most helpful]. The wife may be able to absorb this framing rather than obsessing over what an appropriate relationship with her mother is supposed to be. Instead she can think about what putting her husband first would look like. Trying to placate both her mother and her husband simultaneously is probably making her miserable.

Once they’ve found and rehearsed a workable solution she can continue in individual therapy. Not because there’s anything wrong with her but because her mother is so difficult she requires that much support to cope with her. (If we think the MiL is difficult now, just wait until she starts encountering enforced limits and escalates her behaviour in an extinction burst.… It’s going to get worse before it gets better.)

One day they will be able to implement your solution. I doubt that day is today. But hey, maybe it is. Maybe I’m underestimating her.
First of all, what was a butt plug doing in an unsecured drawer in the guest room where presumably other guests occasionally stay? I don't know if MIL was a legitimate visitor sleeping in the guest room when she made her first discovery or if she began by snooping, but keeping a sex toy in your guest room dresser or nightstand's drawer just seems a bit stupid.

However, everything that the MIL did after than was wrong and a huge invasion of privacy, and I think that Crinoline's suggestions @24 are the best way to deal with it. The response needs to come from the couple together as a united front because the MIL thinks her daughter is being lied to and cheated on by a closeted gay man, so she would likely see her daughter speaking alone as being duped and misled and the SIL as being deceitful. If the couple wants, they can acknowledge that MIL thinks she is acting out of concern, but there is no need for concern; the couple is fine, the couple is happy, nothing relating to their private life is any of her business.

Lastly, I am in agreement with those who have said that being "disowned," can mean being emotionally cut off from the family, not necessarily cut out of a future financial inheritance.

Then give the regular overnight guest a drawer in the dresser for non-sexual things, and keep the sex toys and lube in either a locked box under the guest bed or in the couple's bedroom. Other visitors may use the guest room and it's not unreasonable for them to open a dresser drawer in the somewhat "public" room they're sleeping in.
@42 - "slash" may have started as a way to refer to gay fan fiction, but has grown to mean, for many people, just basically gay romance - but usually written by and for women, and abbreviated m/m. I've only ever read a couple of m/m fan fiction stories - most of what I read about two guys are published works.
@445: Thanks for the clarification. I admit that gay male romance written by and for women still seems baffling to me, but I am always happy to hear about people deriving pleasure from the written word. For what it's worth, I don't like straight romance novels, either, so at least I'm consistent, and it's probably not a homophobic thing.
@24 Nice. Going behind the spouse's back to in-laws brings Bad Thynges. Mom should be able to butt out of her sex life.

@10 lol I can't resist
Now I shall be too irritated to get any sleep. Mr (Vennominon) would have to go and mention that ghastly (inability to distinguish masturbatory fantasy from reality). (Straight porn) has about as much to do with actual, real, living, breathing (straight) human beings as I have knowledge of (centaur anatomy). And yet people think it an accurate description. No wonder it was almost impossible to win (GGG expectations) by popular vote. And when anyone tries to correct the false (norm of penis service) advanced, (s)he's told to shut up and that straight male objectification of women (is justified by) female appropriation of male homosexuality.

My positively last boyfriend took two years longer to (learn my body & preferences) almost entirely because he (watched) quite a bit of (straight porn) and was afraid it was accurate. If it were, I'd not have blamed him at all for doing everything in his power to (reject how my body works).

In fact, I shouldn't be surprised if it were all some giant plot, part of a huge recruiting strategy to win over all the (straight) men into exclusive (clit neglecting) behaviour.
43- Ms. Cummins-- If Mrs. NITC fears confrontation, how will telling her mother that the sex toys she found are hers help her avoid it? Seems the white lie opens her up to far more intrusiveness and the need to make up more lies. Can't you just picture the M-I-L all concerned asking her daughter "but why do you use butt plug for?"

My method is the ultimate in confrontation avoidance. In it, Mrs. NITC makes one prepared speech or just sits there while he makes it. Then, forever after, every time the uncomfortable subject comes up, all she has to do is say "I'm leaving now." Nothing says avoidance like a half finished dinner left on your plate.

Telling her mother that her husband is "irrationally" afraid of snooping will only serve to convince Snoop that he's alienating his wife from her supportive family and intends to start beating her next.

Couples counseling? I suppose it's possible, but isn't it more likely that the counselor would take the Snoop's side and start questioning what sort of marriage includes regular 3rd men staying over? I'll grant that adults sometimes could use some help navigating boundaryless parents, but it sounds to me like Mrs. NITC can get the help she needs from her husband.
Thanks, Crinoline.

Yes. All your concerns are correct. That’s why the *only* thing in favour of the white lie/ house boundary proposal is that it might be within the current repertoire of behaviours that the wife finds possible. If she thinks she can implement your suggestions with the support of her husband she very most definitely should! They are far superior in every way.

I hadn’t thought of the problem finding a sex-positive counsellor in the same toxic part of the world that produced the MiL. You may be right about that not being possible. In that case they should get some self-help books on assertiveness, the age-old problem of the parent who attempts to insert themselves between the child and their spouse, and possibly about boundary issues between mothers in daughters, and implement your suggestions as best they can. (Obviously not sequentially because they need to deal with MiL now, but this is going to be an ongoing issue and has certainly been festering for a long time.)

You and I may be starting from different assumptions about how twistedly enmeshed the mother and daughter are, and how rationally the daughter is able to perceive boundary violations or set limits.
... but I still think the MiL shouldn’t be allowed in the house. Saying she can get back in immediately if she promises to be good downplays the enormity of her trespass. Maybe they can rethink it in a year or two, but for now she can talk to and spend time with her daughter if she promises to be good — and sticks to it.
What about just telling MIL that the couple's sex life is not a topic that is open for discussion, and that in the future, if she wants to be a guest in their house, she'll have to refrain from such inquiries -- covert (snooping) or explicit (questions). Seems to me that further explanation is unnecessary, and compounds the problem. And her money is hers to do with as she sees fit. Set a reasonable limit and let the chips fall where they may.
@46 - For me, being a straight woman, it's allll about the dick. Honestly, I started getting into it because the idea of hot guys together just does it for me. There is *some* romance in the stuff I write, but mostly, it's just sex. Pure, unadulterated smut. And I'm rather proud of it. In that space, I feel free to explore whatever kink happens to cross my mind, and I don't have to suffer any judgements because the folks that are reading it are just as twisted as I am. Or maybe I'm helping to expand their horizons... I'm not into that gooshy, smooshy feely stuff either. There's probably something out there that you would enjoy if you gave it a chance. Not that I'm insisting that you should.

@28 - Those people are just nuts. There is a category on the site that I post on for "Celebrities & Real People", and I stay waaayyy the fuck away from that nonsense. That shit does creep me out, quite honestly. But really, how is it any different from the loonies that are convinced that their favourite soap opera character is real and they rail on them for cheating on their soap opera spouse with their real life partner? People can be all kinds of crazy.
@52: I also write erotica (and publish it, too). I have no romance in it, though.
I read and enjoy gay and lesbian erotica, it's not romantic in the way I would imagine slash is. I appreciate any erotica that is well-written, in which the sense of desire comes through strongly.
I write stories that feature straight participants, because I feel fairly confident that I can capture the realism. Also because while I appreciate any well-written erotica, I tend to run straight scenarios in my head when I masturbate.
@53 - Again, *some* slash is romantic, yes. Absurdly so, with weddings and kids and retiring together and bluh... Sweet, but so not my thing. Now that I'm thinking of it - I don't think my versions of the characters have ever even had a stereotypical candle-lit dinner or anything of the sort.

I am the opposite. When I masturbate, it is to men frolicking in my head (or on my computer screen). In fact, I often have to pause in my writing in order to relieve a little tension before I can concentrate properly.
I believe Dan has said something along the lines of snooping being wrong, but self-justifying if if exposes something.

There are several different things going on around NITC's situation, one of them is the MiL's "justified" concern about her daughter's marriage to a closeted cheater. While their sex life is absolutely none of her business, protecting her daughter is arguably still in her job description.

Clearly the daughter is on the hook to reassure the MiL that the marriage is good and NITC is "faithful".

Further, I don't see how they can tell the MiL that it is out of bounds because of their sex life, without somehow owning those items. So, I think a bit of misleading truth is in order, those items must have belonged to one of the couple's friends and repeated houseguests, and isn't this embarrassing for everyone?

Proper reassurance should not only lessen the MiL's desire to snoop, and such an approach also allows the lines to be firmly drawn without the additional baggage.
@sanguisuga: there should be an "erotica exchange" here on Slog.

I smiled when you described your erotica as pure, unadulterated smut. When people hear I write erotica, I guess they imagine a Harlequin-type romance or a bodice-ripper of the kind that you see in airports with a Fabio-type on the cover, which features lots of reds, pinks, purple, and an alliterative title written in big, dramatic script.

When they ask a question, I'm frequently reduced to saying: "no, not like that. Like porn. Hardcore smut." That usually results in an awkward silence and then an embarrassed laugh.

Keep going! Make art out of your lust.
@sanguisuga: The very first piece of erotica I ever wrote was based on a Savage Love letter from back in 2003!…

It was also the very first erotic story I ever published (though only in e-book format). All my erotica is in the form of short stories; much of it, but not this, is somewhat autobiographical.

If you're interested, here it is:…

The story is written under the pseudonym Grace Moskwitz, and it's called "Dirty Laundry."
@nocutename - Oh, ye gods, how much fun would that be!

Heh - I tend to skip the 'erotica' description and go straight for 'porn'. 'Yeah, gay male porn.' But then, I'm fairly direct and don't give much of a damn if the person I'm talking to goes a bit red in the face. It may even give me a bit of a thrill... :)

Thank you! I'm a bit astonished, to be honest. I started posting in July of last year, and I'm nearly up to 350k words. And the response has been very encouraging. The comments that people leave me give me a much-needed ego boost.
@nocutename - Hee! The preview started at your story, and now I have something fun to read on my Kindle later... Thank you for sending the link!

And I will counter by sending you the link to the beginning of part 5 of my saga, which also deals with a bit of Daddy kink. I would very much like to hear your opinion on it, and if you're interested in reading more, please do. I won't be offended if you demure, though. :)…

(I hope the link works properly...)
Slash fanfic (usually called m/m for male/male when it's pro-fic) is often a straight inversion (!) of the lesbian-porn-for-straight-men cliche.

I realised I was into that sort of thing when I was in my teens, following a dream, and have had those fantasies since. For many years it was a truism that Of Course Men Like Lesbians But Gay Men Embarrass Women (people kept doing studies that came up with that answer. Now they do studies that don't), so I was delighted when the rest of the world caught up with my perversity and there was a space for it (my introduction to slash, or K/S as it was at the time, was an essay by Joanna Russ). Not that it particularly bothered me to be the only person who was that sort of pervert, but it amused me to have company.

In my case, I was feminist (and didn't like the female submission that seemed to be the rule in the erotica/bodice-rippers I could find), and plain, and odd. The assumption that sex was about the woman being looked-at made me uncomfortable (I've always got along better with the tactile side anyway, and am not a very visual person).

To me, male-male erotica in a female-dominated subculture offered me a place to play out things I don't necessarily do, relax into being a fictional character (the lack of performance-anxiety is also a part of why straight men like looking at lesbians), and feel no pressure about What Women Should Do (because neither of the characters was a woman, but both of them were usually to some degree free from many of the stereotypes of being a man. Tying this in with the first letter-writer, I get some of the same feelings from the more genderfluid writings I've found from trans people.

Assumptions of normality among men and/or women are probably where I feel least at home...
Something to mention about slash fiction (worth noting that I write both fanfic and published fiction, both M/F and M/M):

1) Not all "slash" is fanfic. There's a huge market out there for M/M (and F/F and M/F/F and M/M/M/M/M/M/M/F and and and). Most of it is in ebooks, and some authors make a ton of money writing it.

2) Published M/M romance fiction is just about as accurate as published M/F romance, in my experience - which is to say, some of it is idealized and some is accurate.

3) There is a lot of really, really bad M/M fanfic out there. There's also a lot of really, really bad M/F fanfic. Sometimes you can play "spot the virgin author."

4) Romance written for women - no matter what the genders of the characters involved - tends to focus more on the emotions evoked than on the mechanics of sex. Which isn't to say that there isn't explicit erotica out there, because there is definitely plenty :-) But even among erotica, good writing is about creating a visceral reaction in your reader - which may or may not have anything to do with something you could replicate in bed.

Ms Cute @56 - Have you ever responded to accusations of romance with the Austen Disclaimer?

(It was tempting to Christiesplain with a paraphrase of a bit from The Secret Adversary when Tuppence insists that she's not sentimental and Tommy replies something like, "Of course not. Nobody would ever think of sentiment in connection with you." Unfortunately, it just didn't quite work.)
LW3; I can only repeat, give this woman no room.
She has got in your phone, journalists in London are being jailed for similar behaviour.
Married for 10 yrs, you say? Then I'm guessing your wife is in her 30s? Way past the time mothers " should" involve themselves in any way with their daughters sexuality.
You guys seem to have your lives together, got a very nice scene going.
To preserve same, close this woman down. I'm sure as adults, once you decide to close that bedroom door firmly in her face, how to do this will just come to you..

@61 - this may pertain to your interests... :)

Okay, Mr. Ven, what is the Austen Disclaimer?
I feel that I should know this (and I well might, but not with this designator).

sanguisuga: I look forward to reading it.
@6 percysowner: How on Earth did I miss your heartfelt and inspirational post? I am so sorry to read about the sad situation you had with your father.

I love and miss my parents very much. Both went too soon from complications with Parkinson's. But I am very thankful for the time
I spent with them, and that my three older siblings and I made sure
their wish to live out their lives at home was fulfilled.
@64 sanguisuga: Limbs, thickets, and boughs, oh my!

Yeah, exactly.

Plus not to mention the monetization side of it. Objectification paid for the roof over my head, my school books, heck, I wouldn't have a degree if it weren't for objectification.

If I ever had to feign outrage I'd choke on it at the outset.
I just want to thank all the women here who were kind and honest to state their appetite for m/m erotica/porn. I also heard hard core bay area certified organic lesbians talk about consuming hard core gay male porn.

I bring all this up because for years hetero men were accused of consuming a perverted, unreal form of lesbian sex/romance and were often made to feel guilty about it.

So... can we all agree that fantasy is what it is and should be equally accommodated as such?
@70, I believe women get told more often (sometimes jokingly, sometimes seriously, but it's always unpleasant) that they themselves should try to fulfill a particular man's lesbian fantasy than men ever get told to do so by from female m/m porn fans. I have myself been yelled at when with a friend, told that we should perform for the cat-callers.

Do you think women yell such things at men very often?
@64, I did not need to know that this existed:…
fif @70, Sure, fantasy is fantasy.

What’s frustrating is when straight men can’t tell the difference. As soon as they hear that you have a girlfriend they tell you they want to watch. Or that they want you to do a threesome with them and their girlfriend. Or they muse, “I wouldn’t mind having a girlfriend who was a lesbian. It would be a nice extra for her.”

I’ve had straight men look at me really confused when I say that some guys don’t know there’s a difference between a bi woman and a lesbian. “There’s a difference?” Because for them, a lesbian is what they see in ‘lesbian porn.’ A mostly-straight woman whose kink is putting on shows for straight men. It’s never occurred to them that a lesbian could be anything else.

How many straight women do you know who get immediately turned on when they meet a gay man and announce, “I wouldn’t mind having a gay boyfriend”?

Sure, have your fantasies. But pay attention to reality too and be very clear on the difference.
Tell the MIL that you planted the toys and porn for her to find to see if she was snooping, and she failed the test.

And yes, some women do enjoy looking at gay porn, including me.
For bxtorr19, I've been 300 (150 over the "ideal" max for insurance purposes) and a size 26/28, so size can vary quite a bit from weight.
Hunter, no, not patriarchal action, masculine action and there is a difference.
And I shifted in my last post. Seeing that this would have to be a joint stand.
I have no problem with men showing their masculine energies.
Based on wisdom not power. I say Man up, and you think that's patriarchal?
I have no problem with masculine authority. Or feminine authority. Just with stupid authority ..
And no, I don't think he can dictate relations between his wife and her mother.
But nor do I think he or she should put up with anyone climbing into their marital bed, uninvited. If the wife is caught in some neurotic bind with her mother, then yes, I'd expect the guy draws a line in the sand with his wife about her mother.
Mothers have no business at all in any of their children's sexual lives. Yuck.. Double yuck.. You try and point out , in their early adolescence what the story is, as you know it. Love, sex, babies etc. but you know, like every other human born, nature will wield it's magic and off they go, into their sexual lives.
A child may request assistance with some issue or come out or whatever. It has to come from them.
I sense a deep violation has occurred from this woman to this man and his wife.

@71, Erica P,
@73, Alison Cumins

Thanks, you both make good points as to the difference between fantasy and how it is often expected/implemented in real life.


Ms Cute - I've used it myself here, and thought you'd be familiar with it - the incident when Miss A was thrust into apparently not a very welcome correspondence with the Prince Regent's librarian (I think it was about the dedication in Emma) and the "suggestion" that any little historical romance illustrative of the ruling house which Miss Austen might care to whip up would be most gladly received. She responded that she could no more write a serious romance than she could fly, would never be able to undertake such a venture under any other motive than to save her life, and, if forced so to do, would be sure to be hanged before she had finished the first chapter.
Mr. Ven,
Thanks for the reminder--I had forgotten about that!
While I would never dream of comparing myself in any way to Jane Austen, the fact that you've included me as a member of any group she's in is enough to make me "fly!"
@fif: I'm straight, and while I would indulge a boyfriend in an FMF fantasy (with the 2 respective Fs having very little interaction) for his sake, I have no interest in it for my own. And while I would love to be part of a MFM scene, I would not expect any straight man I was involved with to have much interaction with the other M.

And yet I cannot tell you how often men I am involved with bring up the idea, not of an FMF scene, but of a FFM one to me, knowing I am about as close to a 0 on the Kinsey scale as it's possible to be.

They seem surprised that I, a straight woman, have no interest in making out with one of my straight or lesbian (or bi) friends, although I'm pretty sure that they would be amazed if I suggested that they, straight men all of them, should have no problem making out with one of their male friends (or any man), either as a show for my entertainment, or just "because."

That's due to the persistent influence of F/F porn for straight men--and a Katy Perry song--in my opinion. When I was much younger, lines seemed to be drawn more clearly, and I wasn't asked nearly so often to have a sexual interaction with a woman for a man's benefit--or to run across men who were surprised that I didn't routinely make out with my girlfriends (I'm using the word in its platonic sense).

Keep your fantasies, by all means, but be aware that they're fantasy not reality.

Ms Erica - The M>FF oppression is to yell catcalls; the F>MM oppression to is cry Discrimination! (I blame Christina Ricci.) I'll agree yours is more frequent.

Ms Cummins - (there isn't malice in this; I just wanted to write a Parallel Post)

What’s frustrating is when straight women can’t tell the difference. As soon as they hear that you have a boyfriend they tell you they want to take you shopping. Or that they want you to advise them on how to please their boyfriend, because of course you're an expert on pleasing "real" men. Or they muse, “I wouldn’t mind having a best friend who was gay. It would be a social plus for him.”

I’ve had straight women look at me really confused when I say that some gay men insist on equal relationships with our own kind and don't like servicing straight men. “There’s a difference?” Because for them, a gay is what they see in ‘gay porn.’ A man so into d* that he'd do anyone and whose biggest fantasy is straight men. It’s never occurred to them that a gay could be anything else.

How many straight men do you know who get immediately pumped when they meet a lesbian and announce, “I wouldn’t mind having a lesbian best friend”?

Sure, have your fantasies. But pay attention to reality too and be very clear on the difference.

My model here is of a large diamond divided into four smaller diamonds by an X. I am not saying that the top-over-bottom straight men's imposition on lesbians isn't worse, or isn't part of a worse overall social structure. If anything, I'd suggest that they're essentially different conversations. I just keep running into the attitude that, because it's sideways instead of top-over-bottom, straight women's imposition on gays is justified, okay, or even inherently positive.

The hard thing to convey here is how what gets the FTWL response individually becomes a problem when it reaches a collective level. If any of the "mature" women here (or any of the young, though I know the thought would give Ms Driasis a huge LMB), for instance, were to fantasize about joining the cast of Vicious and being the centre of a Sir Sandwich, I'd tell her to knock herself out. And women are perfectly capable of writing good MM literature that actually advances the conversation, or not-quite-so-good MM fiction that is at least respectful. But when the large majority of MM fiction is written by women, written for women, and sufficiently disdainful or at least disregarding of actual MM experience so that not only are real gay men writing about real gay experience shoved aside but the conversation is derailed, isn't there something problematic?

I get why women don't want to write or read female characters and fully support their finding a literary remedy to the ills imposed upon them by opposite-sexer men. It just feels unjust for same-sexer men to have to pay for straight men's oppression.

(For the record, while I view upward imposition as yet a third conversation distinct from downward or sideways, I'm not a big fan of that either and don't practise it, however great the temptation.)
@10: Yes, slash/BL for women has very little in common with gay porn/real-life gay sex. However, snoopy MIL is unlikely to be aware of these distinctions, so as far as face-saving lies go, it would probably work.
NITC's dilemma comes down to whether his question is about coming out or privacy. Coming out about one's orientation is generally (with exceptions) considered a good idea, the whole not living a lie thing. He signs himself Not In The Closet which gives us a good idea of how he sees it.

But going into detail about one's specific sexual practices is generally considered a bad idea. I'm fine with knowing that someone is gay, straight, in a relationship or not. I don't generally want to know what their masturbatory fantasies are, what sort of porn they watch, what toys they use, and what positions they prefer. That's too much information for me to know about anyone I'm not actively interested in having sex with and certainly too much information for one's parents. I'm going to guess that Mrs. NITC sees the question in this light when she says that she doesn't want to tell her mother the truth.
Mr. Ven,
Yes, the parallel of the straight woman who expects all gay men to be her shopping friend is equally dismaying, because it reduces real men to accessories for women.

I think that unlike porn, we have pop culture and shows like "Will and Grace" to thank for the idea that a gay man is just like your best girlfriend, but snarkier.

You wrote: "But when the large majority of MM fiction is written by women, written for women, and sufficiently disdainful or at least disregarding of actual MM experience so that not only are real gay men writing about real gay experience shoved aside but the conversation is derailed, isn't there something problematic?" and I would have to say that "problematic" isn't the word I would use, so much as "interesting" is.

I think it's rather fascinating (if offensive to actual gay men), that women want to see highly masculine yet somehow feminized men acting out traditionally straight scenarios. Why do they want to do that? It can't just be the love of dick I see mentioned here, because they attach too much relationship stuff to the stories.

Then again, I really don't understand the genre of romance that sanguisuga linked to @61. And there's so much of it: people having sex (and falling in love with) aliens, animals, fish, dinosaurs, trees. Why? What need is that genre fulfilling? I find it intriguing.

@88 in continuation:
I mean, I understand that many women don't want to read things modeled on the traditional romance novel or its conception of women, of gender roles, of the way relationships between men and women should "ideally" go. I get that completely.

I hate those books, that type of literature, myself.

But that doesn't adequately explain slash/M/M fiction or slash/M/M fanfic to me.
vennominon @85,

Yes, I was waiting for you to come back with that when I was writing to fif!
@nocutename - I linked to that tumblr because it's funny as hell. In no way do I think that sort of 'fiction' is at all sexy. What astonishes me is that there are people who are buying it, and presumably for a purpose other than to piss their pants laughing their guts out. Or maybe that is the purpose for which it was written? I honestly could not tell you, except to say that people can be weird, and sometimes their sexuality even more so.
Mr. Ven @85, Yes, I see your point about how disturbing it is to have straight women writing the majority of stories about MM sex. Sheer numbers are on their side, made worse by the fact that women spend much more on fiction than men do.

Presumably most MM visual porn is produced by gay men? But that doesn't help the gay men who are more attuned to the written word (like your last bf, assuming your anecdote wasn't just an artifact of HA).

Maybe the publicity for the slash genre should flag its targeted female audience more visibly, so gay men would be warned off?
Hunter, I don't think LW should come out to mil. And of course, I done think LW should front his mil without his wife's agreement. My comments have been to encourage LW not to just let this pass. How he makes a stand with his wife against the mil, is their work.
I make no suggestion this couple tell mil their story. My suggestion is to confront the invasion into their lives, not discuss what the invasion uncovered.
Though, of course I'm in two minds about it as my two comments above suggest.
Obviously, mil has been allowed to assume power in their relationship, the one between husband and wife. Ok, she finds a few strange items in the spare room. Really, if husband was having an affair, would he leave evidence in the house?
But mil didn't stop there. She looked thru phones. Private mobiles. Now to cover her tracks she's shouting betrayal or whatever.
I'm hoping LWs wife can daughter up and front her mother, and hopefully if LW can make a strong case to his wife that it's this behaviour, checking mobiles etc, that has to be confronted. To let mother know none of it concerns her, that no affairs are going on, that nothing is going on that both her daughter and her daughters husband are not aware of. No details need to be discussed because it's none of mil s business..
It is LWs home too.. Mil has violated his space . So, I also feel he has the right to have his say to mil, even if his wife doesn't grow up, throw mumma off , and stand with her man. So, as I say, I'm in two minds. And if LW overrode his wife's wishes, it would have nothing to do with patriarchy and everything to do with expecting the guests in ones house to not bloody snoop.
Money isn't the only way you can be disowned. My mother doesn't know about my Poly marriage because she would never understand and would disown me and never speak to me again. While she can be a bitch she is still my mother and I hate the idea of losing her. There is no money to speak of but my son never knowing my mother and have no grandmother is enough to keep me from telling her the truth.
I think Hunter78’s point is that the LW needs to stand up to his MiL by confronting his wife, not by confronting the MiL directly.

In the case where the wife has little to no experience standing up to her mother, is the husband permitted to say, “If you don’t tell her to leave, I will”? Or is only the ultimate ultimatum, “If you don’t tell her to leave, I’m outta here” allowed?
My guess, mother could smell something was going down in her daughters life.
Something, that she, mother had not experienced.
At that point, mother may have felt concern. Her mind, then, could have gone to checking that her daughter was well, happy. That her daughter had a good, loving, equal relationship with her husband. And remember, these guys have been married for ten yrs. their is love and fun in this marriage, after ten yrs. Then mothers mind could have just thought- cool. Hope my daughter is having a good life.
But no, mother didn't go that way, with her mind- she wanted to smash this
Story her daughter was living, so she looked for evidence. Just another way of looking at this situation presented here.
If it was me, I'd front that woman so fast. I'd give my wife the chance, quickly to get on board. If not, so be it( I'm trusting my motivation is to look after my wife, my home, my fucking life). I would be polite, but firm.
Seriously, Hunter, this woman is really rude. And will keep being rude while she can manipulate the environment to indulge her rudeness. No. I'd stand up to her and the fallout might be a little rough for a while. But mothers like to keep connection with their daughters. So, mother will just have to change.
Dear Venn, hope your disquiet includes the centuries of stories written by men about women's lives and loves.
Ms Lava - On what else does the greatness of Persuasion primarily rest?

I do not fall into the trap of undertaking rantings for which I lack standing. But I don't quote from men very often.
Ah yes, but you gotta love the freedom of form in Dans language. And really, I'd say many many men would have this initial response. And obviously, as I am one, many many women.
Luckily, Dan hands the discussion over to his mob, and a certain refinement is added to his initial response.
Why wouldn't LW3 and his wife tell MIL a version of the truth: that they have a male friend who sometimes crashes at their place when he's "in town for work" or "fighting with his SO" or "remodeling" or whatever, and he must have forgotten those items in the guest room. Then tell her it's really not nice to snoop.
105; for me, it's pandering to mil. I wouldn't give her any in to my
Sexual life. No mention at all.. Her crime is snooping . I'd pull her up on that , the rest she can put her small mind to and do what she likes with.
The rest she can put her small mind too and do with it what she wants.
Sloppy grammar above. Yes I'm guilty of this often.