Savage Love

The Boyfriend Experience


@ 102 - You're totally right, he can't be both.

I'm not trying to excuse her, though. I'm just looking at all the possibilities that this very short letter allows us to imagine when we take it at face value, i.e. not extrapolating that this was strictly her idea (and even if it was, his responsibility towards both of them, as an adult, was to express his disagreement long before they got to the session with the pro).
Ricardo @97, yes, but to me the fact that he doesn't take her word for whether she had an orgasm is more relevant. Now he apparently wants to dump her, and I think that's all for the best.
You guys not read the letter? He is threatening to dump her over
her " cheating", not sure there is much chance of them resolving this.
@103: Yes we really need more info about how he feels about BDSM, how the sessions were presented to him (the "gift" formulation may just be something she quickly jotted in her letter), and how he reacted to the idea before it happened.
Ah, the pitfalls of the advice column...
@101: "Im gonna assume that this particular shudder was a doozy....and NOT the kind one gets from being surprised by cold hands. She probably shuddered...let out a long moan.... sighed... etc. "

Wouldn't be surprised if that was how he saw it, being insecure about his "performance".
CRASH - That was a long unnecessary explanation imo. "I didn't cheat on you. It was from before we met." should have sufficed. I like the expiration date idea, but the guy sounds emotionally volatile. Maybe he is simply unable to articulate what he's really upset about. But I'd be paranoid the insecurity & need for control would get worse.

HEMP should have qualified who was originally and more interested in bondage. I assumed roughly equal interest with the absence of that info. But she should get rid of those who would call her a liar about her self description. She knows herself best, if she's sane. She'd be the better judge of whether she felt an orgasm. If bf thinks she's a liar about sex, sex will never get better with him.

WHAT might consider moving into separate places, or at least separate bedrooms. And also non monogamy.

WET had the best response. I'm so glad it made the main column. Great emphasis on self worth, asshole is not something to put up with, and the specific emphasis on testing instead of assuming, giving a second shot but not a tenth, allowing change but not hoping for change when none seems to be happening.
Is Mercury in retrograde? I'm totally in agreement with Hunter. Twice.
Then again, I'm kind of feeling over men at the moment.
@nocute-112.... I'm sorry to hear that. Care to elaborate? maybe we can make it better? (or worse...)
@Chairman: sorry for that post--I often wish there was a "delete" or "edit"feature here, never more so than this time. I'm drunk, but that's no excuse for posting stuff like that. I promise I'm not trying to grab sympathy.

Even if you were.... it would be okay. (I'm with you on the delete button....)
Oh dear nocute,hope things work out ok.

I like that Dan didn't do an elaborate response for bondage girl. She, like the boy, naive perhaps re how the session was going to play. Yet bf's response showed her how he felt about her erotic
reaction. He tried to damn it, contaminate it, because of his jealousy.
I hope this girl does pre Empt his threats and walks away. Finds herself a more generous bf.
From HEMPs boyfriends perspective, it's not unreasonable to assume that HEMPs fetish isn't bondage so much as cuckolding. She demonstrated that he's not good enough to get her off, and then engineers a situation where he's present while a more adequate lover gives her pleasure.

Not saying that's actually what happened, but I'm guessing that's where his feelings might be coming from. Especially if she didn't seem to enjoy sex with him in between the two sessions with the other guy.
@97: Ricardo, as someone who is 110% gay, I'm going to assume you haven't witnessed too many female orgasms. They do range from shudder to earthquake.

Even assuming that HEMP did, in fact, have an orgasm, to leap from "you enjoyed something we were doing together with a third party" to "you cheated" is a dick move. It can only be excused if he had, in fact, been pressured into a kink too far, and wasn't ready for it. Remember, he had "no experience," so it's reasonably safe to assume bondage isn't really his thing; this was all about her pleasure. Yes, a mature dude would have said "wow, she can come from this? Excellent, I'll pay close attention so we can have lots of fun later." On both sides, a learning experience rather than a dumping one. (@105: Yes, so long as both admit to where they went wrong.)

@111: I agree with both Hunter's comments too. This SLLOTD has been a new high in harmony amongst the commenters!
Oh, and re-reading the letter: HEMP didn't say this happened on the second session. It could have happened on the first of two sessions purchased as a package deal, which I think is more likely. Why be cool on Session 1 and freak out on Session 2?
Ricardo: I am still reading this, and I'd like it if you could address the counterfactual:

My girlfriend gives me a blowjob. I tell her she's terrible at it, and that I'm going to give her the "gift" of hiring a pro to give me a blowjob, because my girlfriend's so terrible at it. I assure her that it's not going to be sex, just a purely platonic demonstration. For her benefit. 'Cause she's terrible.

Then, she watches me get a blowjob, sees my really obviously sexual responses, and realizes I've just gaslighted her in a brutally cruel way. She freaks out, because she realizes what I've just done to her and doesn't have a cuckold fetish. She doesn't immediately dump me, because she hasn't completely recovered from trusting me. But she still freaked out, because I'm a piece of shit who treated her like shit.

Why does she get no sympathy whatsoever?
Eudaemonic: Because your analogy is flawed. A blowjob is an inherently sexual act - there is sexual contact between participants necessary for it. Bondage - contrary to what a lot of people think - is NOT an inherently sexual act, despite a lot of misinformation going around about it. What's more, if you get bondage wrong, you have the chance of seriously hurting someone. Unless someone gets a blowjob so badly wrong they start gnawing on your dong, that isn't a worry with those.

A better analogy would be massage. It can be sexual, it often isn't, and if you get it wrong you can do damage to your partner - if you put the wrong sort of pressure on the wrong bit of the spine, for instance.

So let's say your partner is ridiculously turned on by massage. You try to massage them - turns out you suck, and come dangerously close to giving them a gammy shoulder for a week because you aren't too sure what you're doing. They offer to buy you some sessions with a professional so you can see WTF you're supposed to be doing.
Do you:
1) Tell them no thanks, you'd rather read books and youtube videos on the subject and work on it that way
2) Take them up on it, take notes of what to do, while noticing what a positive effect it has on your partner, go home, try it yourself and enjoy a much invigorated sex life as a result
3) Take them up on it, start to take notes but flip the table and accuse your partner of cheating the second they show that getting massaged is enjoyable to them

Hint: If you've picked box #3, you're a douche. As has already been highlighted.
The length of CRASH's explanation, the details of his old dildo etc, did not seem to fit the context. I chose the most generous interpretation to CRASH, and assumed that his bf does not often take his word, instead often requires long explanations before he's placated, and I consider that a red flag of problematic insecurity.

An equal valid alternative imo is that CRASH did cheat, is throwing in useless details to try to appear to be more convincing, and the letter to Dan is to preserve appearances and convince bf to distrust his accurate gut feelings. Or perhaps CRASH wishes that bf were more demanding and distrusting because he finds that attractive, and is baiting bf with a series of these 'coincidences' and trying to appear to be mistrustworthy with long unnecessary explanations, although that doesn't explain why he wrote the letter to Dan. Maybe to make it into an even bigger deal to fuck with bf.

Or perhaps bf looked at a sample adoption questionnaire and was freaked out by the kinds of questions he'd be discussing with strangers and can't vocalize his fears, blowing up about stupid shit instead. In this case he could stand to read the last letter, about using his words, and the importance of testing for true assholery.
@121: "Bondage - contrary to what a lot of people think - is NOT an inherently sexual act"

It demonstrably is for her. Like a blowjob is for me. If an act is sexual enough to make me shudder, and I'm doing it with a professional sex worker, and it's an important part of my sex life? It's sexual. Even if I need to lie about that in order to get more of it.

I don't really buy that you don't know this.

"They offer to buy you some sessions with a professional so you can see WTF you're supposed to be doing."

That's not what she did. She bought herself some sessions with a sex worker, and presented it as a "gift" for him (so yes, gaslighting).

Now let's talk about the moment where you realized you needed to lie about the fact that this obviously-sexual encounter was sexual. That moment--the moment where you realized that the truth didn't support you, so you needed to diverge from it? That moment should've been a red flag for you.

When you're right, telling the truth will always support you. When it won't, you're not right. When you've just given yourself absolute proof that your opinion is wrong, why not change it?
@ 118 - I'm not 110% percent gay. I'm 100% gay. It's impossible to be more than 100% of anything. Don't take math lessons from sportscasters.

My comment @ 97 was just a joke (as is the paragraph above). Having never had sex with a woman, I indeed have no clue as to what a woman's orgasm looks like.
@ 120 - According to the letter, her response was not "really obviously sexual". That is only obvious to you.

Why are you so convinced of something that is not backed up at all by any information we have access to? How does "I shuddered" translate to "I had a clearly sexual response" in your mind?

Why is it that you must insist your interpretation is absolutely OBVIOUS and that everybody else's is wrong? Especially when everybody else is telling you that your interpretation is not obvious at all?

We're all just speculating here, you included. No matter how many counterexamples you give, valid or not, it will still be mere speculation.

@116: "her erotic

She states that it wasn't an erotic reaction, though.

@117: "Especially if she didn't seem to enjoy sex with him"

I don't believe this was implied, just that his rigging skills were underdeveloped.

@120: A blowjob is a particularly stupid analogy to light bondage.

"It demonstrably is for her. Like a blowjob is for me."


@122: " An equal valid alternative imo is that CRASH did cheat"

No it isn't? There's nothing to indicate that they were lying.

@125: Exactly, so many people assume lying and scheming wimmins', but that only reflects on the existing narrative they have in their head.
@121: The letter being so short does leave us with few details, but there isn't really any indication that "go home, try it yourself and enjoy a much invigorated sex life" was part of this. It may very well have been the plan, but the response from the boyfriend makes a whole lot more sense if their sex life post first unsuccessful try at bondage consisted entirely of her enjoying the professional sex worker she bought herself.
Really? A blow job = light bondage? One involves actually exposing and touching genitals and is an explicit sex act. The other does not necessarily involve touching genitals, only tying up (with can be achieved while fully clothed and touching just the back, arms, and/or legs), and is closer to the realm of foreplay, not sex. So the blow job-to-light bondage analogy just doesn't work, because you're comparing something that is inherently sexual to something that doesn't have to be unless you decide to take it that far.

Also: gaslighting. I do not think that word means what you think it means. The term comes from an old Ingrid Bergman movie called Gaslight, in which she plays a rich woman whose husband is deliberately trying to drive insane so he can get control of her money. He orchestrates odd occurrences around the house, and when she asks about them, says he didn't see/hear anything and makes her doubt her own sanity. Eventually she notices that these strange occurrences coincide with the gas-powered lights dimming and re-lighting, which led to the term gaslighting. So unless HEMP went through all of this with the explicit purpose of abusing and manipulating her boyfriend into a mental breakdown, no one gaslit anyone.
@128 - not to nitpick (but yeah, to nitpick) the dimming of the gas powered lights was the strange occurrence. The teen Angela Lansbury in that movie was fantastic too.
Re: HEMP: As there seems to be a metric fuck-ton of free-range wildly-swinging interpretation going on here with phrases like "gaslighting" being bandied about, I think it's worth the time to go back and read HEMP's letter again carefully and try not to read more into it than is there.
H.A. alert: Although there is little reason that this scenario couldn't take place between to men, I am operating under the assumption that the lw is a woman for two reasons: 1. All the rest of this week's letters are about boyfriends behaving badly to girlfriends and 2. The shudder in question. If the bf mistook a shudder for an orgasm, it's probable that the person shuddering was a woman.

Here's the actual letter, so we can all read the same thing:
"My boyfriend of six months tied me up for the first time a month ago. He didn't know what he was doing, and I didn't get turned on because it hurt. I got him two sessions with a professional bondage top as a gift. I was the "model," and I was very turned on as the instructor walked my boyfriend through safe bondage techniques and positions. The guy was attractive, but not as attractive as my boyfriend. At one point I shuddered, and my boyfriend is convinced I had an orgasm. He says I cheated right in front of him, and now he wants to dump me. What do I do?"

So let's see: Her boyfriend tied her up. We don't know whose idea that was. As written, it could be either of theirs or both.
He didn't know what he was doing. A newbie.
She says "it hurt" and that because it hurt, she wasn't turned on.
She got him two sessions with a pro bondage top as a gift. We have no way of knowing who was more excited about that gift, him or her. The letter doesn't say and it's impossible to be sure. For all we know, they were both very disappointed in the way their bondage attempt turned out, the boyfriend expressed frustration at not being able to tie her up in a way that led to her getting excited because he's the one who wants to add bondage to their sex life, but he didn't know what to do about it. Maybe she makes more money than he does, so she could afford to give him the lessons. Maybe it was his birthday and this is what he wanted. Maybe she totally ran roughshod over him and he didn't especially want this "gift" that she got him. The point is that from the letter as written, we can't tell.
So the pro/teacher ties her up and she is turned on. She seems to conflate her degree of arousal with the degree of attractiveness she thinks each man possesses, so the implication is that she was turned on more by rope tying than by the man doing the tying and that she prefers her bf to the pro/teacher. Presumably, she considers that the combination of the better bondage ("safe bondage techniques and positions") with her more attractive boyfriend would be the most arousing of situations.
She says she was turned on and she shuddered. This sounds like it was some sort of sexual response, which would be to be expected, but she doesn't call it an orgasm. It seems likely that it wasn't an orgasm or she would have called it one. But perhaps her bf hasn't paid much attention to her orgasms and can't tell the difference, or she's never orgasmed with him and this is the first sign of arousal in her he's witnessed, or her orgasms do in fact look a lot like a shudder. Or she did orgasm, and she's trying to downplay/downgrade her response here as well as with her boyfriend.
Most likely, it wasn't an orgasm, but a clear sign that she was turned on. It seems odd that the bf wouldn't want his gf to be turned on by the very thing that he is taking lessons on in order to turn her on, but there you go.
He accuses her of orgasming and orgasming = cheating to him, even though he was present.

So let's see.
(A) Orgasm = cheating.
1) Wow--I guess she can fuck as many guys as she likes as long as she doesn't come.
2) I wonder whether the bf is aware that rape victims sometimes orgasm during rape. If his gf were raped and orgasmed involuntarily during the rape, would this gem of a boyfriend consider her to have cheated on him.
(B) Has this bf ever heard of a threesome? Would he consider it to be cheating if he and the gf were having one and she had an orgasm that someone else engendered?

"Cheating" implies intent to deceive. It implies lying and sneaking. It is not what you call an involuntary sexual response short of orgasm that happens when your bf is in the room with you, taking notes (presumably) so he can learn how to elicit the same response from you next time the two of you try this activity, which, for all we know, was his idea initially.

This is a DTSMFAY--Dump the Seriously Motherfucking Asshole Yesterday, if ever I read one. But nice try, Motherfucking Asshole apologists.

@130 - I defer to your knowledge, as it's been over a decade since I saw that movie. :) I thought I remembered that other things happened too, like furniture moving around, or mysterious sounds from the attic, and that the gaslights dimming was incidental, not intentional, to whatever the husband was doing in the attic.

@131 - thanks for writing all that, the whole "there's too much we just don't know" was what made me hesitant to comment too much. I think it's also worth noting that *6 months* elapsed between the first bondage attempt and the "gift." That's a lot of time to discuss and/or try out other ways to get into bondage. Perhaps they kept trying, or got books and videos, or even discussed working with a professional to learn more. We just don't know!
Correction to myself - forget the second paragraph, I read the letter wrong. Wish I could go back and edit it. Oops. :)
@ 131 - Thanks for this exhaustive, point by point review of the situation.

We can now go and spend our time on more important things than determining how fast this relationship should be declared over.
hahaha nocute... tell us how you really feel. I think your ultimate advice (DTSMFAY) is potentially unfair...

Sometimes people agree to things that they simply can't handle. We've all heard the stories of how one little threesome dynamited what was previously a stable relationship. I'd say its possible that is what is in play here. This BF isnt secure enough to handle sharing his gf in any way. If that is true... then yes, she SHOULD move on from him.... because this will just be the first of many sexual misalignments for them. And as someone who would LOVE to be in his shoes... i think his response is shitty at best. But i guess you could call me a motherfucking asshole apologist... because i dont think his projected insecurity makes him a seriously motherfucking asshole. (it COULD... if he has been piling on and treating his girlfriend like absolute shit since the encounter... but THAT isnt in the letter either.... just that he is expresses how LITTLE he can handle this by wanting to dump her). I'm not saying i would be this guy's friend... but i am trying to extend him the same benefit of the doubt that i would extend the GF if the roles were reversed.

Also as an aside to some comments that mean to minimize if bondage is sexual. I find the logic confusing at best. Tying a tarp over a pile of wood is not sexual. Tying a rope tightly around your partner's tits is sexual. Whats with the notion that bondage isn't sexual? Thats weird. What purpose does that argument serve here on SL?
@ 135 - If done in a sexual context, bondage is sexual.

If done in the context of preventing a prisoner/kidnapee from escaping, or in the context of a class, it is not sexual.

@135: "Also as an aside to some comments that mean to minimize if bondage is sexual. I find the logic confusing at best. Tying a tarp over a pile of wood is not sexual. Tying a rope tightly around your partner's tits is sexual."

Context. Having someone help you get dressed is not sexual. The instructional format changes the tone.

Who performs the knotwork really does matter. What was important was that the bf paid attention. And obviously he didn't, he drifted off and let his own insecurities go wild before he got a chance to DO THE EXACT SAME THING.

The pro demonstrates. And the bf would have been doing the same, under a safety watch. It's far more clinical than Eu's childish comparisons.
Ricardo... i guess i see the lines as pretty blurred if the class in question is MEANT for someone's sex life.... but i can concede that some people would be able to compartmentalize that and have it be non-sexual. I just think using that logic on SL of all places is kinda unnecessary. :)
"Whats with the notion that bondage isn't sexual? Thats weird. What purpose does that argument serve here on SL?"

When not performed sexually, it's not sexual. It's rather simple logic.
" I just think using that logic on SL of all places is kinda unnecessary. :)"

Considering how many people can't wrap their heads around it, that logic is essential to understanding the letter. That people can't get past to comprehend the art and craft is irrelevant.
@135 - I said that bondage doesn't *have* to be sexual, in the same way (to use e_helbling's example) a massage doesn't necessarily end with a happy ending. Certainly it can be sexual, but you don't necessarily have to be tying up someone's tits for it to count as bondage. Plenty of people consider just being tied up, or wearing handcuffs, to be bondage. There is nothing inherently sexual about that, it's just something that some people find sexy and a turn-on.
@ 138 - Please note that I didn't say it wasn't sex, but rather that it wasn't necessarily sexual.

In a sexual context, I do hope everyone here agrees that it is included in what we consider to be sex (since we're on SL, as you point out).

As for the class being meant for someone's sex life... I've had classes in many subjects that I took for my career, but I wouldn't consider them part of my career. They merely led to it.
@ 135 - "people agree to things that they simply can't handle"

I agree that this happens regularly, but as far as I'm concerned, it's their fucking problem, not their S.O.'s. Adults should have a minimum of self-awareness and, lacking that, a minimum of decency so as not to blame their S.O. for their own failure at growing up.
@141: I doubt they'd even get to much of the visually "sexy" stuff in the first class for beginners versus covering basic knot safety, materials, etc. They're certainly not going to ramp up immediately to genital bondage.
As someone who goes to a lot of BDSM parties, I'll note that people differ about whether BDSM is inherently sexual to them or pushes different buttons which are fun but not inherently sexual. Most people I've met would say that you can be monogamous and still get tied up or flogged by other people. But some people definitely feel it's very sexual and they would feel betrayed if their partner did any kind of BDSM with someone else.

It's something to hash out before you start playing with other people. And it's probably something they should have discussed before the scene with the bondage instructor.

That said, I'm told by people who are heavy into yoga that yoga can be pretty sexual too. But most people wouldn't think of a sexual response to a yoga pose as "cheating." And don't get me started on breast-feeding. That was a weird-ass feeling. Humans are sexual and sometimes it's hard to keep one's sexuality walled off completely from everything else in your life.
"Humans are sexual and sometimes it's hard to keep one's sexuality walled off completely from everything else in your life"

Yes. And a young guy should understand that very well.
I mean, do people really picture some German dungeon blaring Combichrist at 2am while people hump in the background? This is going to be clinical and participatory, not some guy showing off and flirting with "models".
Ms Cute - As I first mentioned, L2 is a reasonable inference even for August. But neither L3 nor L4 is beyond reasonable doubt, and I'll contend L4 as it stands (if it was established in its earlier run that LW was a woman, then obviously we can't unring that bell) doesn't even meet the standard of preponderance of the evidence.

I'm inclined to suspect your sentence is fair, although it is rather a dirty trick for the judge to give the accused a fair trial (at least according to Rumpole).


Mr Ricardo - It's nice to know that there's someone else here who doesn't have a lesbian firefighter exception. Perhaps we should form a Committee to determine Mr Savage's accurate percentage, as his claim of 100% is clearly inflated. (I've no clue about how serious I am about this, and could make half a dozen contradictory cases.)
@147 - undead... wait a minute.... it isn't like that?

In case it isn't clear... i think this BF calling his girlfriend a cheater is grounds for dismissal. I am also aware that bondage isn't necessarily sexual. My opposition to that argument is simply for this letter (and other similar contexts).... as the bondage lessons were meant to enhance their sex life.... or so it seems anyway.... i could be wrong... she could be a werewolf... and his shitty knot tying was a neighborhood safety concern.
It would be entertaing to hear from a pro dom in the comments. Guessing he/she would have some interesting stories that cover the full spectrum from "she orgasmed the second i cuffed one wrist" all the way to "this couple was so clinical it had the sexual tension of a CPA conference..."
@149: " I am also aware that bondage isn't necessarily sexual. My opposition to that argument is simply for this letter (and other similar contexts).... as the bondage lessons were meant to enhance their sex life..."

With him. Not with the instructor, context is everything. You want something dry and safe and devoid of "sex", because you're not paying to fuck. You're paying to learn. I mostly agree with you. But I see no reason why this is going to be tinged with eroticism aside from the general naughtiness that comes from anticipation of him getting to use it on her properly.
@ 148 - "It's nice to know that there's someone else here who doesn't have a lesbian firefighter exception"

I'm terribly sorry, but this is beyond my capacity for deduction. I'm pretty sure that I don't have a lesbian firefighter exception (as I expect that I'd be aware of it if I did), but further than that, I don't get it at all.
@152 ricardo... if MrVenn answers in more riddles... i think i understand the reference perfectly... so let me know if you need a translator. Guessing you don't translate many things in your professional life from Venn to English. ;)
@ 154 - The texts I translate are never as literate as Mr. Venn, I'm afraid...
@131: Your (1) is logically flawed. If "orgasm = cheating" implied "no orgasm = not cheating", then saying "sex with Fred = cheating" would imply that "sex with anyone except Fred = not cheating".

While your (2) is a true statement, I don't draw the same conclusions from it that you do. Are you suggesting the bondage instructor raped the LW? I don't think you meant to. It is true that people can't completely control their physical reactions. The fact that the boyfriend has decided to end the relationship, nominally because of this physical reaction, suggests to me that he was reluctant to go to the bondage session in the first place.

Re: threesomes and cheating. So what? Let's say I'm in a relationship which my partner and I have agreed is monogamous. Then one day she shows up with another guy and says "hey, honey, we're having a threesome." Does it being nominally a threesome, or it not being a secret, mean that I can't say "this wasn't what I signed up for: I'm out of here"? If I participate, and discover that I hate it, does that mean I can't decide to get out of there?

To quote the key part of the letter "now he wants to dump me". In other words, the relationship's over, he's out. Arguing with the "He says I cheated right in front of him" part is exactly like arguing with someone when they say "I'm breaking up because with you because I'm not good enough for you." Trying to microparse "He says I cheated right in front of him" is exactly like trying to microparse "I'm not good enough for you."

Granted, it's certainly not a mature way of explaining why he has decided to end of the relationship. They sound young. I'm guessing that he feels "you had an orgasm caused by another guy" is a valid reason for breaking up, while "you keep on pressuring me to do this rope bondage stuff that really squicks me out despite my body language screaming I don't want to do this" is not a valid reason for breaking up. Yes, that's a projection of how good I was at being honest about my reasons for dumping people when I was young.

Oh, and the claim in 131 "We have no way of knowing who was more excited about that gift, him or her." Yes, we do. His response to the failure of their first attempt at bondage was to do nothing to change a situation where bondage was no longer attempted, her response was to hire a bondage instructor. He dumped her immediately after receiving the first instalment of her "gift", without even waiting for the second one. The account is completely consistent with it being her idea and not something he ever wanted. It's true that the letter writer isn't an omniscient narrator who tells us what what the bf's thoughts about the gift were, so we don't know completely and for certain what his reaction was. But claiming we can't make a reasonable guess is silly.

"It seems odd that the bf wouldn't want his gf to be turned on by the very thing that he is taking lessons on in order to turn her on". Yes, yes, it does. Maybe, just maybe, he's not into it.

You (nocute) seem really emotionally invested in this. I don't think the letter justifies that. I don't think that the nominal reason for dumping someone being B.S. really qualifies as high abuse.
CRASH: Boyfriend needs to make a decision or not. I wouldn't engage in any more debate. Just say you weren't cheating. Let BF make the decision to either accept your answer - or not.

WHAT: Boyfriend is still wounded by past experience of when you were not holding up your end of the sex bargain. You've fixed the sex issue but it sounds like you have not fixed the trust issue. He probably believes that you are pity-fucking him some percentage of the time. If you guys can retrack your relationship, saying no at times will be NBD.
@ 156 - "claiming we can't make a reasonable guess is silly"

However reasonable, it remains a guess.
Interview with Dan Savage (he has told this anecdote other places as well):
>> I’ve met that girl – the lesbian fire fighter who I just think is so foxy. And I go, “Aaahhh, oh my god, she’s so foxy, but she’s a woman, but she’s so foxy. She looks like Rolfe from Sound of Music with muscles.” I enjoy that feeling of being sort of dragged outside my normal sexual response-athon. >>…

So Dan has said he's 100% gay, but he's attracted to at least this one lesbian firefighter. Mr. Venn sniffs and says: "well, that's not 100% anymore."
@157 I was recently in a similar situation. I met my now-gf on tinder a few months ago. recently she was upset that a girlfriend of hers "saw me on tinder". I hadn't been using it, but I also had never deactivated my account. I said "oh, i never deactivated my account. Rest assured I haven't been swiping, messaging, or matching anyone and I assumed at this point we were in an exclusive relationship" (we'd already had 'the talk' establishing that) . She accepted the answer and moved forward (which I was actually not expecting - very refreshing).
To ALL LWs. RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN. You deserve better than creepy controlling immature selfish garbage heads.
@124 Ricardo
"...I indeed have no clue as to what a woman's orgasm looks like. "

Sadly, neither do many straight guys (witness the letter). If you do a porn search you'll find that there is actually an obscure category of "women having real orgasms" (guess if there's a man involved!).
Aren't condoms in the guest room standard? You want your guests bugging you for condoms when you're trying to sleep?
@156: Old Crow, my only emotional investment is irritation when people read too much into a letter, project too much of their own issues onto one, and/or come up with strained and flawed analogies to justify their responses. This letter appeared to do all three for a few commenters.

My arguments weren't with the lw or her bf--they were with those commenters who were convinced that in fact, the lw had cheated in some way.

Ms Erica - More or less correct. As I said in another thread recently, Mr Savage has mentioned his LFF exception, and also was recently raving on the podcast about some woman on television he would Totally Do. Now either that's not 100% gay, or those of us who are purists are more than 100% gay. Ms Phile opined the latter in my case. I can live with either outcome, as I am not one of those who thinks that anyone in the high nineties automatically has to re-identify as bi. Ms Erica is certainly entitled to think the distinction is sniffy.
Yes, I think it's a bit sniffy to police other people's identities, particularly to the point of trying to determine whether a gay man is a Kinsey 6.0 or just a 5.97, or whether a heteroflexible woman like me is a 0.9 or 1.2.

Mostly I think it's a waste of time, but then I waste plenty of time on other pursuits so I shouldn't fuss.
I also think it would be incredibly sad if someone were, say, a gold-star lesbian who met a man with whom she was very compatible, and then turned down the chance for a spiritual, romantic and sexual connection with him in order to keep her gold star. Gold stars are all well and good for those who value gold stars, but I prefer connection, if it means reevaluating how one sees oneself.
edit: I prefer connection, even if it means reevaluating how one sees oneself.
@ 159 - Thanks Erica.

And to Venn: No lesbian firefighter for me, indeed. I've never even fantasized about a scenario that might involve a woman (even with lots and lots of men). I find plenty of women beautiful, aesthetically speaking, but beautiful does not equate attractive.

I would say the criteria for determining if you're not 100% gay is if you've ever had sex with a woman and enjoyed doing things to her (not just the things she did to you). Then there's a bit of bi in you. But I really wouldn't know (which is code for "I don't want to get into a debate about this").
@ 162 - Women having real orgasms? Now that's a novel idea. I have no doubt few men are involved... or watching.
Haven't read the other comments yet but I love this: "life is a parade of incidents and ephemera". Great phrasing, Dan :)
@ 173 - I'm aware of that. Most of my female friends really do like cock, and being gay, I get to swap anecdotes with them. (Yes, straight guys, I know all the details, including the things you'd like to keep hush-hush.)

That said, I have indirectly worked for the porn industry for around four years in two different eras, and the takeaway from that experience was that men who watch porn are into "fake". As in: fake bodies, fake sex, fake orgasms. Even the so-called "amateur" porn was staged with pros. Admittedly, that was in the 80s, then the early 00s, so hopefully things have changed since then thanks to the Internet.
Nocute: You had no arguments with the bf you described as a "Seriously Motherfucking Asshole" who should be Dumped Yesterday? OK. I hate to think what you call people you're pissed off at! Anyway, no big deal. I just don't see any assholes here, just two people, probably young, probably well-meaning, probably sexually incompatible, who are trying varsity-level stuff they're not ready for.

Ricardo: It's the parsimonious explanation. But, yes, they're all guesses.

I've been tangentially involved with the BDSM scene, and I can understand how someone buying an instruction session in BDSM techniques for their partner could perceive it as a "gift" from that context. But there's no indication that the boyfriend is anything but vanilla. And in the vanilla "scene", buying sex instruction from a third party is something you need to approach with extreme delicacy if at all.

"My girlfriend of six months gave me a blow job for the first time a month ago. She didn't know what she was doing, and I didn't get turned on because it hurt. I got her two sessions with a professional sex worker as a gift. I was the "model," and I was very turned on as the instructor walked my girlfriend through blow job techniques and positions. The sex worker was attractive, but not as attractive as my girlfriend. At one point I shuddered, and my girlfriend is convinced I had an orgasm. (OK, I did, but does she seriously think that I have a connection to the sex professional, let alone one that's in any way comparable to the connection I have with her?) She says I cheated right in front of her, and now she wants to dump me. What do I do?"

Answer: accept the fact that I've been dumped. (She "wants to dump me" - that means she has withdrawn her consent to being my partner.) But, really, it shouldn't be surprising that something like that might end badly, and the orgasm is far from the only thing in that paragraph that would likely piss off a vanilla partner.
@176: "Even the so-called "amateur" porn was staged with pros. Admittedly, that was in the 80s, then the early 00s, so hopefully things have changed since then thanks to the Internet.

I doubt it's changed that much, really.
@ 178 - There's a lot more real amateur porn now (on websites like Xtube etc.) - that's what I watch, anyway. Not sure if it's that popular, though.
It occurs to me that maybe CRASH's BF has a point about his mistrust. First, let me say that I myself would NOT react that way to my partner in this scenario unless I ALREADY suspected her of cheating. And I'm not the jealous type...if i found a condom under those circumstances, i likely wouldn't even ask her about it...i'd just toss it and keep living my life.

Back to the point i was about to make though... Why is there a condom behind the nightstand in the spare room? is the spare room where she used to go to use her favorite sex toy? Did she used to live in the spare room? and had a roommate in the other room that she and her bf share now? Was that her nightstand, but now its in the spare room? It would make more sense if he found a condom behind the nightstand in their bedroom. Say the nightstand used to be in her bedroom...but when they moved into together, they moved that nightstand into the spare room.... and there was a condom stuck behind the drawer.... and it fell out... that all would make sense... I guess i just think the "i used to use condoms on a sex toy i was allergic to (but i only ever used that sex toy in the spare room)" is almost too perfect. I find i start to lose trust in someone's response when it is a little too detailed. She would've been better off saying "i have no idea where that came from.... who do you think was fucking in there? my aunt hilda? gross"

So CRASH.... if you happen to check in on the comments to your letter... a few questions: is your boyfriend always a jealous prick? or is this totally out of character? Has he ever accused you of cheating before? Have you ever done anything to warrant the accusation? maybe told him about a lunch with an ex after the fact or something? Just curious. IF he is the type of man who often LOOKS for reasons to give you a hard time or hold something over your head... you should seriously move on asap... but only you really know if the accusation was way out of line or warranted....

and to WHAT: if i was single, i would be begging Dan to give me your email address. Your boyfriend is an asshole. You should tell him two things: 1. "go ask your friends how often they are getting laid from their partners" and 2: "i'm reducing your weekly limit to 3 instead of 5...because you dont deserve ALL of my non-phd energy. Jerk"
For LW #1 - My main concern as your boyfriend wouldn't be so much finding a used discarded condom but that you hadn't thoroughly cleaned a room in over two years? WTF, esp a 'used' condom. shudder. I wouldn't want to marry you or have kids with you either. (I understand its the guest room and doesn't get used much but really? You haven't at least vacuumed once under the bed/nightstand? When obviously the garbage you left on the ground was so easily seen by the BF who was deathly ill at the time? ew.)
it wasn't a used condom AnnieM. "in its wrapper"
The point is Chairman, he didn't believe her.
The blow job story is very different Old Crow. This girl had some bondage done on her, he didn't lick her.

undead ayn rand @147
That German dungeon scene… tell us more. I don’t assume Angela Lansbury was in it.

Venn @ 148
And I thought the firefighter thing is all about cis women inviting those guys to march around during charity events.

the_ghost_of_mrj @162
One can find sincere female masturbation videos and also porn-done-right that depict real orgasms. I’ve watched some lesbian-produced videos that inspired me to be a better lover.

Ricardo @ 173
Where you translating the videos? And yes, fake in porn is a real problem. Just checked some recent ones on the internet and it seems like some guys nowadays are capable of shooting a suspiciously huge and unrealistic load. Wonder what they take to achieve it and what this may do to your body in the long run.
Check my comment below re amateur sex.

undead ayn rand @ 176
Due to technological advances people can post real amateur scenes much easier nowadays. Some are fun, others resemble scenes from real porn only played by amateurs with grainy, shaky image and squeaky bed soundtrack.
Check my comment above to Ricardo re new phenomenon in recent porn.

@124: My math is fine, it's my memory that obviously needs work. Must have been Venn who asserted a few letters ago that he is 110% gay.
@120: Your analogy is, indeed, shit. In your scenario, your girlfriend gives you a blowjob; she's terrible at it; you suggest that you two go to a sex worker who can demonstrate on you how to properly give a blowjob. Your girlfriend agrees to go. Your girlfriend has AGREED to watching a sex worker perform a sex act on you. If she then gets upset that a sex worker is performing a sex act on you, or that you're getting sexual satisfaction from something whose entire point is to give you sexual satisfaction, then no, she gets no sympathy whatsoever. She agreed to exactly what happened. It wasn't "surprise! Guess what, here's a sex worker to blow me while you watch."
It seems that people are using several definitions of sex and sexuality this week. I have a problem with sex being whatever turns someone on, in the traditional Savage Love way. Does that mean I had sex with a clerk because he was turned on while waiting on me? The ones I think I've seen so far are 1) stimulating genitals 2) PIV or vanilla sex. 3) Whatever turns someone on. 4) Mutually satisfying conclusion to horniness (because it's my favorite definition, it must be relevant)

Really I don't think it matter what sex is to us, with the cheating question. Cheating means a violation of a (sexual) agreement. I don't see that in HEMP's letter.

Chairman - We've all heard the stories of how one little threesome dynamited what was previously a stable relationship.... i dont think his projected insecurity makes him a seriously motherfucking asshole... .. but i am trying to extend him the same benefit of the doubt that i would extend the GF if the roles were reversed.
If he felt bad about the lessons but agreed to them anyway, he should stop doing things that make him unhappy, that's doormat behavior. If he grew uncomfortable during the session, he could learn from his mistakes to keep in mind the safe word or exit the next time these feelings arose, to talk about them. Blaming them on her, then questioning her character are pretty bad ways of dealing with uncomfortable feelings.

If you heard about a woman who agreed to a fully exposed, genital rubbing threesome but accused her man of cheating and dumped him when she saw the actual evidence that a man's orgasm creates... you would give her the benefit of the doubt? I hope not. That's asshole/crazy behavior to me.
I asserted that Venn was 110% gay. Bit of nonsense I thought might make him smile. Identities are just useful descriptions of what other people can expect when dealing with you, in my opinion.
@184: "That German dungeon scene… tell us more. I don’t assume Angela Lansbury was in it."

"Bedknobs, boobs & sticks". What really happened to British Witches on the front. Guest starring the Russian Night Witches, coming to a screen near you!
@180: " I guess i just think the "i used to use condoms on a sex toy i was allergic to (but i only ever used that sex toy in the spare room)" is almost too perfect."

The perfect crime! Lock 'er up boys, we've got ourselves a criminal mastermind here. It's almost too perfect, what with its plausibility and connection to what actually happens to real people.
Philo @187 - "If you heard about a woman who agreed to a fully exposed, genital rubbing threesome but accused her man of cheating and dumped him when she saw the actual evidence that a man's orgasm creates... you would give her the benefit of the doubt? I"

I just mean i would give her a pass if the situation unexpectedly overwhelmed her. We don't really know how the boyfriend has been treating her since this encounter. And i guess i have some sympathy for him (definitely NOT the him calling her a cheater part) because when i was 21, i dated someone a little older (28) who was way more sexually experienced than i was and she took me to a club in LA called Bar Sinister (in retrospect a rather tame bdsm-ish place, but that isn't how it felt to clueless me)... and some of the mild things that happened with her at that club threw me for a huge loop. I never told her she cheated, nor called her names, etc.... but i remember how anxious it all made me feel for weeks after. For the record, i got over myself and we dated for 5 more years and i have lots of amazing memories from that time...but that first experience is STILL not one of them.

My unfiltered opinion on her situation is much simpler: dump him. He doesnt deserve you and he has a lot of growing up to do. I just don't like the idea that he is a motherfucker (at least...not without a little more info to back that up)
@190- undead - A very helpful post. You're right. She is right. He is wrong. There is absolutely no gray area. We should make no attempts to see both sides of an argument. I apologize for trying to do that. I don't know what is wrong with me...
@192: Stating that the commonality of having condoms left around or fallen behind furniture somehow makes the scenario more suspicious because it's something that could happen to anyone, yeah. That's some odd paranoia at work. I can see his side. But jumping straight to the angry claims of infidelity is not a "gray area" or something one should consider reasonable without actual context not present in the letter.
@191: "when i was 21, i dated someone a little older (28) who was way more sexually experienced than i was and she took me to a club in LA called Bar Sinister (in retrospect a rather tame bdsm-ish place, but that isn't how it felt to clueless me)... and some of the mild things that happened with her at that club threw me for a huge loop."

That's an entirely different context though. It wasn't a class/instructional, it was an actual fetish night. Perhaps similar jealousies and feelings of inadequacy, but we're talking about beginner's safety training, not a bunch of strangers intending to play with your partner.
But anyway, I'm not really arguing with that last one, just contributing to the "this guy freaked out over nothing", it just seems more extreme than your scenario.
@ 184 - No, I didn't translate the videos (although I would have loved to - and a friend of mine did, she had loads of fun).

One of my first jobs was to make VHS copies of porno movies for rental. I didn't watch them, but we had to spot-check the recording, so I did get to see good chunks of a few hundred different movies. The most popular ones were always the ones with the girls with the bigger boobs, the larger amount of sperm (that is not new at all, BTW), etc.

Then, 15 years later, I translated a TV series (about 40 half-hour shows in all) dedicated to the worldwide porn industry, with interviews with porn stars and producers, detailed exposés on the plastic surgery required to make it in the industry, etc. In the 80s, when we made copies of French films, the girls had kept their natural figure. By the early 00s, they also all had fake breasts (and so did the Italians, the Spanish, the Brazilians, the Hungarians, the Asians...).

A relevant anecdote from those days: while we were translating these shows about plastic surgery, my colleague came upon a website called something like "Fake or real?". You can imagine what it was about. We asked other guys we worked with to do the test, all of them straight except me, and I'm the only one who correctly identified all the false ones. Apparently, for a good proportion of straight guys, the sight of huge breasts is enough for them to suspend all disbelief.
I feel like my scenario was more extreme. Or is that what you meant? I had no idea what might happen at the club... in the most literal sense i was blindsided. She didnt ask me in advance how i would feel if she let men grope her crotch or pulled me into the back room to watch someone get flogged... It never occurred to me to call her a "cheater" as that definition simply doesnt fit. I DID leave the club that night wondering if i could handle her... without feeling like I was horribly immature. hahaha.... ahhhh the memories of being inexperienced....
nevermind undead... you probably meant my scenario about the condom letter, huh?
"With a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk, makes the world go round."
this lyric going round my head.
I agree Chairman, as a young person I would have been freaked, by your scenario.
Beauty of us commenting on these letters, is that most of us are no longer young.. Or that young. Though I still can't get a handle on Philo's age.
And by bringing our life experience to the letter, we can be a little sharper.
I don't think the bondage boy did anything wrong by having his reaction. Nor do I feel it re the girl's reaction.
How to proceed is what they asking for, when they write in.
The condom guy just sounds like a dick. If they planning a future and he doesn't trust Her word, then what hope is there for them? His unconscious may be freaking out about that future, and finding excuses to slip away.
Then that's his work to sort. The woman, she's got to decide if it's worth hanging about while he finds a way to accomodate his ambivalence or cut her loses and bail.
Having spent way too much of my life accomodating men's unconscious quirks, I guess now, in giving responses to young women, I suggest the bail option a lot sooner than the hang about option. Unless children involved.
Interesting Ricardo that you could pick the fake bits of women over the straight guys. You probably see women as people not just things for men's pleasure. Not suggesting all straight guys are this way, cause I know they aren't.
A third possibility for WET: boyfriend is actually turned on by the bedwetting, but embarrassed to say so directly, and is making a joke to cover that.
@198: Sorry for any confusion, unthreaded comments lead to odd trains of thought getting derailed.
@197: " feel like my scenario was more extreme. Or is that what you meant? I had no idea what might happen at the club... in the most literal sense i was blindsided. "

I was professing sympathy for this being outside of your comfort zone :)
@196 Ricardo - regarding straight men's ability to identify real or fake breasts. To paraphrase Descartes: If I can touch them, they are real.

Ricardo @ 196

In regards to enhanced breasts… and this coming from a person who’s using breasts forms on a regular basis, and their size is on the bigger one considering his/her physique (36D or so for a relatively short and skinny person)…

I’m surprised so many guys at your work missed the real thing. I assume you were all fairly young back then and suspect most guys were getting the vast majority of their female body images from porn and popular media as opposed to real life. An on going issue that only gets worse. Old porn is much more realistic in terms of body appearance, hair down there, etc.

As for breasts I like the real thing better, the intimacy and trust/vulnerability that come with the natural appearance. Few years ago I got to handle somebody else’s enhanced pair and it wasn’t that much of a turn on.
Mine were also handled and mishandled, mixed reviews.
ayn rand undies @ 204
Is this video in relation to the sports casters comment earlier this week?
@ 203 - Thanks for the laugh. And you're quite right: they are real, just not natural. CMDwannabe is right, I should say "enhanced" instead.
@ 205 - "I assume you were all fairly young back then"

The average age of the other guys must have been around 30-32. And they all had girlfriends. And none of their girlfriends had enhanced breasts, as far as I know. One of them was a father, another was about to become one. So I wouldn't say they were young or inexperienced.
Ricardo @ 205
That's somewhat sad. I thought guys their age, especially those with SO's going through pregnancy, would be able to tell the difference.

On another note- looks like we're both a bit underemployed this week considering the time we spend here.
CRASH - I remember being disturbed by seeing a box of condoms among my then partner's clearly visible moving items on the day we moved in together. I am not suspicious by nature but also not willing to look the other way when there is a waving red flag. We had been monogamous for a couple years at that point, no longer using condoms, and seeing the condoms worried me as we were engaged to be married and I had just given notice on my great apartment. In short, I feel some sympathy for CRASH's boyfriend based strictly on timing, given they are about to take a big relationship step. However, if he is unwilling to accept a reasonable explanation (as I feel has been given by CRASH), I think he may prove to be a challenging long-term partner, given how many inconsequential smaller flags are likely to come and go over time.

HEMP - Again, I sympathize to some degree. Like the threesomes mentioned by Chairman, I had two separate threesome experiences in which someone (once a man, once a woman) who willingly participated completely melted down because the reality of sharing was overwhelming to them. However, the way it ultimately played out as described by LW, I'm inclined to go with Old Crow's interpretation that the guy is ready to move on and it really doesn't matter why, just let him go.

WHAT - I was really happy to see Dan take WHAT's needs into account. I would go even further and say that it is unlikely they will always, always be perfectly compatible in terms of desired frequency, so she should think about how it will work for her on an ongoing basis if this is his method of dealing with it. And this can extend to more than sex sometimes. Is there is a pattern of him always placing his needs first and deprioritizing hers? The letter gives no insight into this, but she should ask herself this question.