Savage Love Jun 1, 2016 at 4:00 am

The Kid


Not sure why Dan translates "kids and happily ever after" as "obviously monogamous." Maybe DCMC and the Kid should have a conversation about seeking out ethical and mutually respectful relationships, whether those are designed to be monogamous or non-monogamous.

Also "happily ever after" is a fantasy sold by Disney, not an actual goal adults should pursue.
Ironically, it's the (much) younger person in DCMC's relationship who is clear about what he wants. I get the feeling that she's actually happy with him - or she would be if only she would allow herself.

Re: TRUTH, I take Dan's point about honesty and openness about one's kink. It would make the world a better place if couples with "crazy sleazy starts" shared their stories. Keep in mind though that those relationships are in the minority (I presume) and few would expect tales of dungeons or drunken threesomes in response to the simple question: "How'd you meet?"
Re:TRUTH: "We met online--don't so many couples these days?"

If the follow-up question "which site" gets asked, they can be more or less truthful as they desire or as they think the asker can handle.
As Nocute says: "we met online/at a party" should be sufficient. And if people ask more probing questions, you answer "Do you also want to know what kind of underwear I was wearing?" or something of the sort to let them know that they're being nosy.

That said, I agree with Dan's take on the issue: say the truth, and if people act judgmental, tell them its 2016 and that they're being sex-negative.
Lets not distract the public from the emerging mansplaining debate.
Those who wish to be misunderstood and pick up a fight can always find it there.

LW1- I actually think you should better split. He will regain his momentum sooner or later, and as Dan rightfully pointed out you seem to me more invested than you may be aware of.
I’m not sure about the disappearing though. You brought up valid points and they do make sense. I don’t see any problem with being upfront about those issues though there may be other stuff we don’t know.

LW2- Gauge the situation accordingly. What you may not say to your mate’s family, at least not on your first visit, you cmay casually tell friends and even coworkers.
Just like they tell us in Passover as well as in that much–maligned 12-step program: The more you talk about it the better.
Few years ago, after a question similar to yours, Dan encouraged readers to tell their first-time kinky experience with someone that led to LTR.
It was very encouraging.

LW3- Marcelina, you promised!

Oops- My first paragraph was a left over from last week. My apologies
In other news: Ricardo- welcome back!
LW1:DCMC– Sex with "the Kid" is like any drug, it provides an easy escape from reality and a rush of endorphins. Who wouldn't want an easy orgasm as opposed having to work on a messy relationship or go back to being the 46-year old single woman who doesn't have (maybe doesn't want) a messy relationship of her own? And, "the Kid" isn't really a kid – he's won't be long before he hits the point where he says, "Shit! Id better get serious about finding a long-term partner if I'm ever going to do it" (but that could also easily be a decade from now.) So enjoy the young dick while it lasts – but keep an eye on your own clock. It doesn't get easier to find partners as we get older (but it also doesn't get impossible).

LW2:TRUTH– I'm gonna say that a polite inquiry as to how you met isn't exactly the time to trot out the "He was fucking the gal next to me at a jello enema – horny goatweed orgy and we both got some other guy's come in our eyes" story. Too Much Information for most social situations. But if you're trading kinky stories with your close friends go ahead and lay the hairy truth on 'em. As O.J.'s lawyers would tell you, you gotta judge your audience.

LW3:SHAT– I'm with Dan...LW is free to ignore any and all advice, even the advice that she asked for. In this case, as it is with so many situations we encounter, a decision has to be made, weighing the consequences and alternatives. Is throwing her husband (who she says she wants to keep) an occasional gritted-teeth roll in the hay worth it to maintain the status quo? It's a yes or no question, not a referendum on sexual assault.
DCMC - I am a bit perplexed by your statement: "I'd spend my life feeling bad for disappearing on him, and I'd always wonder if the Kid wound up alone." It suggests these underlying concepts:
1) you believe you represent such an important fallback option/safety net for him that you would feel bad for the Entire Rest of Your Life on his behalf, if you took yourself out of the picture. Or maybe...
2) you CARE about him enough to feel bad for the Entire Rest of Your Life if yada yada
3) if you disappear, he may never find another woman to take your place, even if he never finds "the One"

Is he your only sexual partner? If so, is he useful to you because your on-again, off-again relationship means you needn't seek out another partner - whether casual or serious? If not, how does he fit into the bigger picture?

Your tone and attitude ("the Kid") towards him are somewhat cavalier, but I suspect you care about him more and believe you are more important to him than your tone suggests.

Graphic - funny kuroneko takkyubin takeoff!
@ 6 - Thanks CMD. Glad I could find some time to come and annoy you all for a bit.
Only a select few know the true sordid story of how the BF and I met. Most get an anodyne, plausible fabrication. Some are given that, with the other of us quickly adding, "That's our story and we're sticking to it!"
@LW1; the kid is way past 21, ain't that a man?
He has it sorted, how about you. He'll find a woman to go into a breeding programme with, and he'll need your shoulder and other parts no more. Enjoy the ride.
Maybe the letter writer took the advice as Dan intended, but I also found the idea of the letter writer forcing herself to go through with sex she really doesn't want to be very sketchy consent wise. Kinda appalling really. What caring partner would want that from her? A thousand times ick!!! There are many ways they could continue to be Co-parents and find sexual satisfaction elsewhere. This doesn't seem the same as one partner not being in the mood, but willing going along. She doesn't want sex with him again ever. The context of women not being allowed to refuse their husbands in our culture, legally on the books within living memory, and woman who have internalized these expectations. The abusers who convince their victims that the have an obligation to provide sex, gives this a bad vibe that maybe doesn't strike a guy so forcefully.
LW1 (DCMC): I'm with LavaGirl--if your Kid is over 21(he's age 29), he is a consenting adult, as are you.
LW3 SHAT: I'm with Dan and DonnyKlicious @7: LIBIDOS can ignore ALL the advice and comments given here in the weekly Savage Love thread.

@3 nocutename, re: LW2 TRUTH: Wow---so many couples meet online these days. A lot of folks are braver than I am about meeting and mating in cyberspace.
Regarding DCMC: methinks the lady doth protest too much. At 46, being with a 29-year-old has the dichotomous effect of making her feel young (having youthful sex) and simultaneously holding up a mirror to show those nasty crow's feet. I get the distinct impression DCMC really wants permission to ignore the age difference and just let the relationship be what it is: hot sex between two people who like and respect one another—between two people who might, given the opportunity, learn to love one another. This LW preemptively protests the label she expects (DON'T Call Me Cougar), but she implies the label by referring to her paramour as "Kid." She's dismissing him as too young for her but begging us to not judge her for fucking a child (which she's not). Fuck it, DCMC—or rather, fuck HIM. It's what you both want, and it sounds like you both enjoy one another. And FFS, woman, stop calling him "Kid" and stop trying to shove him toward women you think more appropriate for him. He doesn't want those younger women, DCMC. He wants you. Revel in the attention. And stop bitching about having exactly what you want.
LW 1 I have a crazy idea. Keep hold of your hat 'cause it's really crazy.

Stop treating your lover like an idiot child. He's pushing thirty, not thirteen. You aren't a pervert, you didn't break any laws, you're just dating someone younger than you.

So please treat this person with respect. Stop acting like he doesn't know his own mind, or that his attraction to you is a flaw he needs to correct. If you really feel that this relationship will be damaging in the long run, end it. I can assure you he will get over it. But then I don't think you want him too.
TRUTH - The last two people I dated before I met my current partner, I met through OkCupid and Fetlife, respectively. I dated the OKC one only a couple of times and the FL one a couple of months. With both, I told whoever asked that we'd met through "mutual friends". Which made it a little awkward when things went downhill with the second one and a few friends asked me "well, what do you mutual friends say about it: have you asked?" My current boyfriend and I, on the other hand, really met through mutual friends... at munches. So we both stick with the "mutual friends" story and never elaborate.
But by now, it's a little awkward. I've been single for a long time and now, all of a sudden, I meet a weird new group of friends which none of my other friends know about and I suddently get not one, not two, but three prospective partners?! Yeah: you bet my actual long-time friends think there's something fishy. I might get around to telling them at one point. Or I may not. Still, I wish I'd been more creative the first two times and reserved the "mutual friends" story for when there would actually have been mutual friends to account for.

What would my story now be, for someone I met through the Internet? "I was waiting for some take-away and he chatted me up. I liked him enough to give him my number and he invited me out a few days later." No one needs to know that I was waiting for take-out *delivery* in my furriest pjs and he chatted me up via the www and not in person ;)
"Between a third and a half of women?" Really? Half? I'm a 30-yo female and I call BS. One study I saw did get the number as high as 1/4, but it included things like "unwanted kissing". Someone kissed me once when I wasn't into it, but that doesn't make me a rape victim. Let's safe labels like "assault" and "trauma" for the unfortunate minority of people who have been assaulted and traumatized.
I'm with 12341234 @17. I'm a man, and technically I've been "assaulted" repeatedly -- unwanted kissing, ass and crotch grabbed, nipples tweaked, etc. Once I was even "raped" -- the sex was heavily coerced and I wasn't into it, but it was my erect penis doing much of the work. I could have said no but it was easier not to. Despite all this I don't feel like a victim and I wasn't traumatized. I was annoyed and inconvenienced. Boo hoo.

I think we make actual assault and rape easier to dismiss when every instance of boorish behavior as classified as assault and every instance of unwanted sex becomes rape.
@12341234 I'm a woman and getting my crotch grabbed or my nipples tweaked would not just be a 'boo hoo'. To me it would be 'actual assault' and I would get the added enjoyment of wondering how much farther the assault was going to progress. Bonus points if my assailant is in some position of authority over me. Frankly, I doubt lowering our standards will make anyone take sexual assault seriously that doesn't already. Rape apologists already dismiss some pretty horrible shit.
To DCMC, if you're not "the one" and don't want to be a fallback either, don't "let it happen". If you've resigned to these little episodes, you're now actively encouraging them, you have indicated that you'll be there for him emptionally and sexually.

Set boundaries of this is not to your liking, stop talking to him if he doesn't respect them.
LW3 and other people who wrote in to protest his advice are precisely the sort of women to best be avoided.

The wife can choose to do whatever she likes, including sleeping with her husband despite her not having a desire to do so. It may, as Dan has said, align with her other desires like remaining married. They're in an "open" relationship in name only, with her doing lots of outside fucking and him getting nothing more than his right hand.

Not being able to get laid sucks. I can only imagine how shitty it is to have an "open" relationship with your wife regularly fucking someone else while she is simultaneously not fucking you.

Choosing to do something you don't want to do for a reason other than "because I want to" is not in any way removing one's agency. In fact, it is the literal definition of having agency.
@8: Ah yes, also the dreaded C-word, codependency. If neither is willing to compromise what they're looking for, if neither actually wants to be in a full relationship with the person, aren't they just holding the other back? There's obviously some feels going on between them, but if they're not right, why "settle for the meantime"?
Hrm, somehow I missed that she encourages him to fuck her while his partners think he's monogamous with them. Yeah, that's more malicious, she isn't "helping" him with anything, he's a convenience.
RE Not a cougar
As I read the letter my mind drifted back to Dan's "campsite analogy". Surprised nobody brought this up.
She has her ("cub"?) and that must make her feel awesome when they share intimacy. She should not feel guilty, they are both adults.
I read a novel years ago featuring this exact situation with then older woman/younger man dynamic and the whole "May-December" affair appealed to me VERY strongly.
Then one day It happened in real life. I enjoyed this same type of relationship for 3 years. (she was just past 75 yrs old) Suddenly one day when I called her, she told me that she would not see me anymore. I asked her why and all I got was, "I just don't want to do this anymore. I was lonely when my husband died, but now I am OK with it". I have been dumped by lots of women, but I always assumed that it would be me ending this relationship. Gave me A little bit of a dent in my ego, I don't mind telling you.
Re: LW1, a 29 year old man is not a kid. It is not your job to make his decisions for him; let him do that.

Part of the joy of such a relationship can be imparting relationship advice to the younger person, but if you are fucking them during their relationships and you love them, there is a conflict of interest there.

The idea that you would have to disappear to sever the FWB arrangement you seem to have sounds pretty out there to me. I think you would simply need to say that you just want to be friends now and not be sexual anymore. You don't even need to provide an explanation if you think he would endlessly challenge you.

SHAT's comments is an excellent example of one of the challenges with discussing sex and rape culture. Consent is not a binary of "Spontaneous and enthusiastic" and everything else is sexual assault, consent that is unenthusiastic but uncoerced is still consent.
If LW1 got her wish and 'The Kid' got married and had kids that called her Auntie, she would still be fucking him periodically.

@12 Women aren't the only ones in heterosexual relationships having sex just to please their partner. I know you don;t actually say that they are, but the tone of your comment and SHAT's letter seems to imply that somewhere lurking behind your opinions is that belief. And honestly, that belief is part of the problem when it comes to our cultural notions of sex and gender (in my opinion). Sometimes women want sex when men don't, I know several husbands (including myself) who have gone through the motions to please a spouse they wanted to keep happy and keep around. I think that's the part you're missing - the LW wants him to stay as her husband and wants him to feel sexually satisfied. Consenting to have sex with a spouse you want to see happy even when you aren't sexually attracted to them is not some slippery slope to rape culture. It's just marriage.
I wish there were a Like button to endorse @17, @18, and @26, as well as Dan's advice for both LIBIDOS and SHAT.
undead @23, is the Kid's monogamy mentioned in the letter? Or just assumed in Dan's reply? Yes the Kid is looking for "The One," but that could also (theoretically) refer to "the One who will nest and co-parent with me while appreciating my desire to have other sexy relationships in my life."
DCMC-- Remove the age differential and what you've got is a fuck buddy or a friend with benefits (emphasis on the friend). I had one with only a 10 year age difference (and he was older so with the older man/younger woman society judges it as normal). It was (and is) one the best relationships in my life. We were both looking for love and marriage (and children and the house with the white picket fence). We both talked about our attempts at meeting people and the troubles we ran into. Here's the thing: I credit having him as the thing that helped me more than anything in finding the man I've been with for 30 years. (He's been married longer.) (Both relationships monogamous to the best of my knowledge.) It's not that he introduced me or anything like that. It's that having had great sex in the afternoon with him, I was able to go out at night without a whiff of desperation about me. He made it easier for me turn down the guys I felt no spark with. He helped me know not to settle for less than great sex. When something wasn't right about a guy I was with, I had no sense that I ought to go back and work on the relationship longer because I had, in immediate tactile form, an idea of what a mutually friendship filled, sex fulfilled, relationship should be.

This guy is dating and running into rocks on the road. That sounds typical for 29 years old. Having you to turn to is helping, not hurting. Still worried? Show him this comment and ask him what he thinks. Does HE think that having you to rely on is hindering his chances at finding The One?

The bigger question is whether having him to rely on is hindering you in whatever it is that YOU want. I can't help but wonder if you're the one who's seeing the years tick by while you're not getting any younger and you're seeing the guy you have great sex with date other people and you're scared that you'll never meet anyone the right age and you feel abandoned when he goes off with younger women and you feel a tiny tad relieved when he comes back to you and maybe you'd have better chances if you just disappeared. Just a thought. Don't mind me.
@30: His framing is "the One", one longer term relationship at a time is discussed (beyond him circling back to the LW) there's zero indication that he's interested in poly or "dating" multiple persons at once, but the word choices indicate a desire for monogamy.

Her positioning herself in the way is not helpful here, just comforting.
DCMC: I think the clue to your biggest problem lies in your sign-off: "Don't call me cougar." You like this guy, he likes you, but you don't want to be judged by society.

As Lava points out, 29 is a grown adult. Mid-to-late-20s and upward, there is little difference in maturity levels and life experiences. When you first met him, sure, he was too young to take seriously. Now he isn't.

There are ways for the Kid to have his cake and his cougar. You don't want kids and he does; this is a problem at any age, sure, but it's not insurmountable. As EricaP suggests: polyamory. Non-monogamy is growing ever more popular with the kids these days. How about, instead of cheating with you, Kid tells prospective partners that you are a non-primary partner whom he expects to be in his life long-term? Okay, apparently that would scare away those woman-hating women who prefer cheaters, but scaring away someone who'd cheat on you isn't necessarily bad. Another option is co-parenting. Kid could find a nice lesbian couple or single woman to knock up and be a part-time dad. These approaches would be a much better route to DCMC's auntiehood than being the perennial other woman who threatens to -- and, it appears, often succeeds -- break up his relationships.

Aside from not wanting kids, what is it about Kid's desires that DCMC doesn't want? The big wedding? Cohabitation? Are either of these negotiable to him? You say he wants "long term"; by my maths, this affair has been going on for five years. That's an eternity to a twentysomething. Perhaps the Kid has found his forever partner, and you just don't know it yet.

I am admittedly biased, but I think "he's younger than me" should go on the same scrap heap as "we met at a sex party" in terms of things we should no longer be ashamed of.
LW1 is projecting like a motherfucker. Before I was 29 I was married, a parent and supporting my family. Ergo, a grown man capable of making grown man decisions. DCMC, rather than asking this purportedly grown man what he wants that his dating life is not providing, is projecting her own fears and inadequecies onto him. This one will end badly, I think.

LW2: mrshorses and I openly joke that we may be the world's longest-running one night stand, which is both humorous and the literal truth. People fuck. It's part of life. No one bats an eye at our joke, as far as I know. However, only a select few know our marriage is open, and fewer still know I'm kinky, because we know that some of our more conservative friends, even very close friends, would judge us harshly *due to their existing preconceptions* rather than the fact that it is our marriage to conduct in any reasonable way we see fit and we have never been happier.

What that boils down to, I suppose, is that your answers should be situational and tailored on a case by case basis depending on who's asking. Not everyone can handle the truth.
SHAT: As a survivor of sexual assault, I am perfectly capable of making my own decision on whether to grant someone a pity shag, thank you very much.

Donny @7: Trust me, we mid-40s women don't need to have the fact that we're getting older pointed out, thanks. But it also doesn't mean we have to settle down. (I was going to end that sentence with "with someone who's less than compatible with us", but I'll actually leave it as is.)

Chaucer @14: Applause.

IMC @16: "We met online." Repeat.

Fichu @31: "It's that having had great sex in the afternoon with him, I was able to go out at night without a whiff of desperation about me." Yes! This! I call this "dating in the post-scarcity economy."
@16: Why are you so worried about people - even close friends of yours - knowing that you've used online dating? That stigma died a long time ago.
L1: My cosmic vibrations are telling me that the Disrespected One will change after his next birthday, but they're just cosmic vibrations. Still, that will at least relieve LW1 of any agency in the matter. Full credit to Ms Lava for being (despite her frequent use of "boy", which one is told meant "servant" for the longest time) the first to object to "Kid".

L2: The corollary to Ms Fan's conclusion of #33 is that couples who meet at a sex party will have to stop pretending they're better than couples who meet at a sex party. This ties in neatly with my disdain for "social monogamy" not so much in theory as in the way it tends to be practised. As for "the truth is always nice", tell it to Mrs Parker - or, better yet, buy her desk.

L3: I could say that this is what happens when "affirmative" consent isn't enough and people feel inclined to raise the bar to "enthusiastic", but consent as an issue seems to be becoming so gendred that it's tempting just to let this one go. Accordingly, I shan't elaborate.
Venn @37: Your third point is wise.
Much more wise than I am, as I can't resist responding to Greg @18:
If someone punches you in the nose and breaks it, or if someone punches you in the nose and you say "Ow!" and walk away,
@34: She could continue to be infantalizing him and his ability to solve his own relationship problems in the interest of keeping him coming back. Perhaps not actively, but there's an oddness being cultivated here. Not so much because of the age gap but how she reinforces the divide through her lowered opinion / expectations of him.
I didn't register that LW1 was fucking The Kid, during his other relationships. I read it that this happened after they ended. Different story going on here.
Not a good one either. LW1, quit being available to help him over the bumps of his relationships with other women, while they are still active. This is how you are keeping him as The Kid.
Let him grow up.
Between gfs, if he comes to you, fine.
Taking him into your bed when he has to face some difficult times with another woman, is devisive.. and as an older person, you should know that.
The more I think about LW1, as well as reading others’ corresponding comments, it seems like she may be the more insecure, unrealistic part of the equation. Her need to “disappear,” the terminology used, and so on.
BDF- Of course I saw your kind invitation last week, but had to cool down a bit before responding as the initial one read something like, “Just called the airline and about to start packing. See you next week.”

Yet as demonstrated here time and again I am indeed a mature, responsible, extremely serious person. And since the possibility of enjoying a big bowl of boiled cabbage is very likely to materialize this year, I wonder if we can take this off line. I have indicated my email address in the past and can also do it again if need be.

@41 @CMD - Totally with you on this.

@43 @Hunter - There is no bf. This is not a bf-gf situation. She explicitly states they have never been "together." Either way, I don't know how why you would think the guy is closeted. He's in his 20s and has had a series of relationships and hasn't found "the one" yet, and he has a NSA side lay for the in between times who is a woman. What about that makes you think "closet case"? Because she is older? May not be a coincidence that the reliable NSA side lay is an older woman who doesn't want kids. Probably part of why she is reliably NSA. Many of his opposite sex peers are also looking for "the one."
LW1: BiDanFan #33 is a serious, mature response.

Please LW1, don't "disappear". When someone does that, the person who is Left Behind (not like in The Rapture) can feel totally stuck for a long time. They keep wondering what happened; was it his fault; will his FWB ever return; why did she stop loving him. That's really painful and not a nice thing to do to a friend.

I certainly agree that she needs to stop thinking of him as "The Kid". He used to be a kid but now he's your lover. Maybe even your Forever Home.
My fiancé and I met on AFF when both of us were looking for a little grown up fun. Close friends know the real story, everyone else just knows we met online. I'm not ashamed in the least but it's not the kind of thing I feel compelled to share with random people asking a generic question about how we met.
@43: "I was near calling the closet case card on bf."

Predictable as ever.
@44: "I don't know how why you would think the guy is closeted."

Homophobic machismo manifesting itself, nothing more.
@49 @Hunter78 - From my perspective, it is totally typical behavior for a heterosexual male in his 20s. And I'm not sure why you are ignoring the LW's own words that they have never been together as a couple. We'll have to agree to disagree.
Hunter @ 43
"I think DCMC sounded very rational."
She does when laying out the case for breaking up, but she won’t even discuss it let alone act on it.
Disappearing is something you do only when threatened with violent acts, which doesn't seem to be the case here.
Add "the kid" every other sentence and she come as a fairly insecure and immature person.

I still respect her disinterest in marriage and having children, and not being afraid to say so. Way too many people go along with this party line just because it’s the accepted norm.
@#39 and #51. Agreed. There's something hinky here and I don't think it's the boyfriend. The LW desperately wants him to stay but at same time she doesn't seem to want to respect him or to treat him as an adult. I think she wants him to be a 'kid' because that gives her power over him and she doesn't want to lose that. Which would happen if she ended things or if she actually acted in his best interests.
Hunter @49: The Kid sounds like a resounding majority of twentysomething het males I've met.

He's got an amazing, older lover, whom he's spent what sounds like five drama-free years with. Of course that's going to colour what he settles for in a (younger) woman. He knows things can be better, because with DCMC they are better. He's nowhere near old enough to be desperate or to panic over a ticking clock. Remember my advice from a few weeks ago: "Women in their 20s are nothing but trouble." He's learning this, avoiding bullets, because he doesn't have to grovel to this year's Potential One to get his sexual needs fulfilled.

I, for one, hope he realises the Disney dream isn't real and DCMC is, and DCMC realises that being the Kid's cougar is actually pretty fucking awesome, and who cares what everybody else thinks.
MsAnonymous @52: I think DCMC wants to continue thinking of her now-nearly-30 lover as a "kid" so that she won't have to take the relationship seriously and risk getting her heart broken when (or if) he does eventually abandon her for a younger model.
Ms Fan - Almost a horseshoe effect here. I'd sentence them to Marriage Yesterday as a punishment, though I support your right to grade them on the curve and honour the style (if not the subjects chosen) of your conclusion.

Fan, this young man is just sucking on the tit for as long as it's offered.
Yes if she put him on the spot for a commitment, rather than being his go to when others fail.
And the LW is hanging onto him, taking whatever he brings to her.
An older woman goes to confession.
She says "Forgive me Father for I have sinned.
The priest asks "Tell me what is on your heart."
She answers "For months I was pursued by a man 17 years younger than I. I was drunk when I finally succumbed to his advances. We began a sexual relationship which has lasted 6 more years.
The priest listens thoughtfully and asks her how long since her last confession.
"I've never been to confession before. I'm not Catholic. I'm Lutheran.
"Then why are you telling me this?"
"Are you kidding? I'm telling everyone!"
@58: "Let's flip the genders, and have a male DCMC call the younger lover "the Kid". You call that an indication he comes across "as a fairly insecure and immature person"?"


" ? Sounds like Humphrey Bogart to me."

Humphry Bogart is an actor who played a noir-ish role where such dialogue was written for him.

This affected speech has nothing to do with someone who not-with-a-cute-nickname infantalizes a sexual partner.

You really live in a fantasy world, Hunter. To the point of confusing fictional characters for reality.
And yes, with the genders swapped, a guy that doesn't respect his partner but codependently keeps on is also highly insecure.

@61: Eheheh.
Hunter @ 58
As I believe I have indicated in my previous posts "the kid" is far from being the main reason I came up with my "fairly insecure and immature" observation.
I also don’t see any reason to change my opinion once the genders have been flipped.
@61 lol
DCMC is worried that she is interfering with her "kid"s maturation vis-à-vis his relationships with the opposite sex.
IMHO she is OK as long as she limits her intimacy with him to occasions only between his various exploits with women his age.
She mentions "disappearing" on him. I agree with #45 that this is cruel and cowardly. Certainly the end of an intimate relationship is painful, but she is an adult, accept it and work through it.
Any ideas what this week's cartoon is about?
BDF @67 - As noted by Still Thinking @8, it's a clever riff on the Takkyubin logo. Takkyubin is the Japanese equivalent of UPS. Mama cat (Dont Call Me Cougar) is carrying her kitten (The Kid), and they have not yet reached their final destination.
@39 undead ayn rand "Oddness" feels precisely right.
Ms Crinoline - There's a similar version, though a sexist one, in the Cracker series.
@69: I'm empathetic to both sides, I've been in situations where I've ended up with an ex in-between relationships, but obviously while she likes aspects of this she's ultimately unhappy... just comfortable. And somewhat meddlesome. If the intention among all parties is monogamy you can't ever "work out" someone else's relationship problems while fucking them, only complicate those problems.

To that end I can see why she would want to "disappear, because she doesn't want him "as a friend" and finds it easier than setting up adult boundaries. But if she just can't see herself being platonic friends with him, do what she needs to.

But disappearing in this case just means not being there as a fallback more than "ghosting" which is a particularly silly concept. One that didn't exist before always-connected compulsive interaction of social media and texting.
Undead @71, right-on to everything you wrote. Also, if LW1 isn't mature/secure enough to just sit down and talk openly with The Kid about her own developing feelings for him, she is sure going to have a hard time making the decision to disappear while the sex between them is this good, Agree with many others that continually referring to a 30-ish man as The Kid is demeaning to both parties. I know people who are chronologically 80 but still think and act younger than some 30-somethings, and she's all hung up over a 16-year age difference in her mid-40s. Sheesh, most "trophy wives" are at least 25 years younger than their hubbies, and nobody blinks an eyelash.
PS, LW1 and anyone who hasn't already seen it should check out the 1971 movie "Harold and Maude," starring Bud Cort and the amazing Ruth Gordon (now deceased) in one of her greatest film roles evaaaah. Best (and funniest) movie about a May-December romance ever made, in my humble opinion.

Oh, you mean that movie about an elderly statutory rapist?
@71 undead I'm not as sympathetic to either party, given their habit of trying to fuck their way through his monogamous relationship problems. If it was a between-relationships thing I'd see no real cause for concern, but rubbing fronts with another woman's man again and again and again while holding the bizarre perspective she showed us is just bizarre.

I'm thinking some sort of undiagnosed attachment disorder. Thoughts?
@75: Empathetic/sympathetic to aspects, but certainly not that.
@76 To be clear, I'm not judging them. I'm just declining to form a helpful opinion.
Capricornus @72: Hmm. We've all been fixating on DCMC's use of the word "Kid" for her younger lover as evidence of disrespect, but it's possible it might be a pet name. I call my 13-years-younger partner "my toyboy" as a term of endearment, which he likes. Just a thought.

No Excuses @74: Harold was "19, almost 20" -- no statutory rape there.

Horses @75: While generally sympathetic, I do have to agree that cheating on his girlfriends is not behaviour I'd endorse either.
Hunter @ 78
The first sentence in my @64 reads:
"As I believe I have indicated in my previous posts "the kid" is far from being the main reason I came up with my "fairly insecure and immature" observation. "
Oh please No Excuses @74. It's established through the dialogue that Harold is 19-going-on-20 as the movie opens, and Maude is just about to celebrate her 80th birthday as the movie ends. The actors were 23 and 74 respectively when the movie was filmed.

You want a statutory rape situation, look at Mary Cathleen Collins (better known as Bo Derek, the star of "10") who started up her relationship with director John Derek at the tender age of 16. John was 47 and married to his third wife Linda Evans when they met, and they had to move to Germany so he wouldn't be prosecuted as a child rapist. He exploited her youth and beauty in a perfectly awful film they made together in Europe, and he married her shortly after her 17th birthday, returning to the US after she turned 18. They remained married until his death at 71.
That movie failed to make me believe he was 19 or 20. ;)
BDF @79, it would be easier to interpret "The Kid" as a pet name for her lover if she used it endearingly, but no. Instead she uses it repeatedly as ironic commentary to distance herself from the idea that they could have a lasting partnership: "I was not and am not into little boys." Somehow she has gotten stuck in characterizing their six-year affair as a reluctant-cougar-preying-on-tender-youth, NSA sex fling, although he was an adult and clearly knew exactly what he wanted even before their first sexual encounter. It is almost pathetic (for both of them) that she still clings to that notion as he approaches 30. As people age, chronological age matters far less than personal compatibility and mutual appreciation - as I'm sure you and your "toyboy" partner can attest.
The age thing is relevant because The Kid wants children. Here is where nature gives men lots of room. So he can afford to play this game for another ten, twenty, thirty years.
Ronnie Wood, who has got to be in his early 70's, he and his new wife have just had twins. Lucky him, as an old man, doing the two am feeds.
Obviously there is a relationship between the LW and this man. It's just a sort of mutual denial type relationship.
If the LW is happy with this; as long as she closes the door while he's with other women, let's him face issues that come up with them like an adult;
sees him between gigs, then just enjoy herself. Enjoy their connection.
If she's not happy with it, then she has to front him with a ' what are you up to(o)? question. If he loves her, and she loves him, then go for it.
I had my last baby at 47 yrs old. A man can comfortable have them until around that age. And later.
Fichu @61. Well done. Thanks for the laugh.
re: Cougar

You do you

before you do anyone else.
@ 84 - I'm quite sure Mr. Wood can afford an army of wet nurses. I wouldn't worry about him. I do worry about his new wife, though, because a) she married him and b) she'll probably have to see the twins through adolescence on her own.

(He just turned 69 yesterday, by the way).
@17 unwanted kissing? Jesus christ i've been sexually assaulted dozens of times and I didn't even know it!
@82: Why? It wasn't particularly creepy, just morbid.
Oh thanks Ricardo. That's right, Ronnie was The Kid, when he joined the Rolling Stones. Few years younger than Mick
et al. Happy Birthday Ronnie.
There are no wet nurses for bottle feeds. Silly. But yes, no doubt young wife; sorry I didn't catch her name, I don't think she's the 19 yr old he originally left his wife for; if she's breast feeding Twins( gulp), will be doing night duty. Or the au pair(s) giving the bottle.
Anyway. He was just an extreme example of how long some men can leave fathering, biologically. Not many ten yr olds want an 79 yr old dad.
@ 91 - "There are no wet nurses for bottle feeds".

Obviously. But why should his children settle for bottle feeds when he can actually afford wet nurses round the clock? Which is pretty much the only upside of having a 69 year-old father. That, and knowing he won't be able to run after you to punish you when you do something bad.

DCMC - Should I let him go for his own sake?
Don't get so caught up in the "momma" role that you make his decisions for him. He may be younger than you, but he's no child.

May/December relationships can work. But it sounds like you don't like how it's working... like you can't get past his age and treat him as a peer, maybe. Or else you'd like to settle down with him yourself and adopt, but he's not willing. Whatever is ruining this on your end, you need to identify and work though, or drop him for Your Own sake.

TRUTH - "At a kink event" or "online" might work for strangers. I'd also recommend the truth for friends. Sounds like you're sitting on a good story.

SHAT - slapping the nonconsensual label on joyless-but-trauma-free marital sex is neither helpful nor accurate
But.. it's not accurate to imply that's what SHAT was doing. Her tone might have been aggressive, but I think her point stands. What she actually said was:

You came close to telling her to throw away her consent.
And I don't think you meant to, but the advice LIBIDOS got could be interpreted this way. I think of consent on a spectrum, with a ethical middle and dark unhealthy ends...

You initiate sex because the potential partner does not consent.
You initiate sex even though the potential partner does not consent.
You initiate sex and the potential partner seems ok with it.
You initiate sex after your partner indicates they want sex.
You consent to sex because you want to have sex with this partner.
You consent to sex because you want X from your partner. (This is what I think Dan meant.)
You consent to sex because you believe it is a duty owed. (This is another way the advice might be taken.)
You consent to sex because you believe that another's desires are more important than your own. (I don't think Dan was advising a doormat routine, raping yourself, low self esteem throwing-away-consent bs.)

If SHAT is thinking about this sort of spectrum, the advice came close to disrespecting consent. I think some reminder that no one owes anyone else sex would have been appropriate, also.

I also don't think you would've given this advice to a gay man—to let his husband fuck him the ass, even if he didn't want to get fucked.
I think Dan did give similar advice to a gay man, that one who was tempted to hook up with a GRINDR guy for a hefty cash sum. Although in that case, the trade, and self-interest, was more explicit.

Also a couple weeks ago, (same column?) he advised a married guy who cut off sex to do it anyway. That advice was better, though.. .to start with low stakes mutual masturbation and try to build a mutually pleasurable sex life again. More toward the white ethical center.
Philo @93, I agree with your thoughts about DCMC and TRUTH, but I disagree about SHAT. Anyone who is or has been married (or long-term coupled) understands that there are times when you agree to have sex even when you're not personally "in the mood," simply because your partner is needy, or horny, or elated, or depressed, or whatever. Sometimes what starts out feeling obligatory can turn out to be pretty darn good sex for both of you; other times, it's a total relief to finally roll over and go to sleep, but at least you've re-established those basic human bonds with your primary partner that help to get you through the hard times together. To equate reluctant but generous partnership-building sex with non-consensual sex - with a RAPE of the non-initiating partner - no, sorry. I've been on both sides of that equation, many times, and I can't and won't support your take on this.

In LIBIDOS' case, the intentional neglect of her primary partner was compounded by the fact that she was out on the town with other partners while he stayed home alone and fretted, well within the agreed rules of their poly marriage. But it's not really a marriage at all if you can't stand to be intimate with your primary partner, is it?
When I was younger I had an ex who was a sort of fuckbuddy for many years while I dated a little with others. In the end I realized I only took dating seriously once I was without that 'release' for a while. Lust is a great motivator.
Capri [94] - Anyone who is or has been married (or long-term coupled) understands that there are times when you agree to have sex even when you're not personally "in the mood," simply because your partner is needy, or horny, or elated, or depressed, or whatever.
I have been in a few 4-5 yr relationships. I have never had sex because I felt it was my duty, or that my partner's wishes were more important than mine. I do disagree if this is what you are implying with "maintenance sex". My take on maintenance sex is coloured by the golden rule: if I would like my partner to help me out when he's not in the mood, I'll do the same. I've also been so satisfied with my sex life, but not horny at the moment, that I'd like to show my appreciation by taking care of his needs myself. I'm not sure that people call the latter "maintenance sex", though. Both forms fade away if it's not mutual, for me.

Can you explain why you have maintenance sex? Do you feel that your partner's horniness is more important than your lack of desire? Do you try PIV (idk M or F but I seem to remember you are straight) when your vagina is unlubed and relaxed, or try to poke around when you don't have a boner? Are you more or less horny in the days afterward, if you attempt this?

To equate reluctant but generous partnership-building sex with non-consensual sex
Please copy a statement which implies this. I don't believe that anyone was equating these two concepts.

the intentional neglect of her primary partner was compounded by the fact that she was out on the town with other partners
I don't think that anyone intentionally loses their attraction to their partner. There was nothing outlandish reported in the letter, so I think that blaming him is as dumb as blaming her. Sometimes sparks die out.

LIBIDOS doesn't want sex with her husband anymore. Not right now, not tomorrow, not ever. I think that most people divorce when this happens. But she didn't want to. Perhaps she simply hasn't found a partner yet who is both good in bed and a good life partner, and it's nice companionship in the meantime. Or maybe she is gaining a lot of money by staying married. She didn't mention. She is certainly allowed to choose sex work over divorce. But trying to coerce her by implying that it's her duty now that she got married is unethical. (Coercion+sex=very unethical). Telling her that she will probably be divorced by her husband if she doesn't put out is barely ethical. It is likely true, but I don't think that it's ethical to appeal to fear in order to persuade someone to have sex. It's shady to tell someone to have sex unless it appeals to their interest. My own advice included the current market price of sex, and told her to decide if whatever she liked about her marriage was worth that much. Alternatively, she could save her own money to outsource to a professional sex worker. She can hire more than one at a time if her marriage is worth that expense to her.

If she does decide to "just do it", it might be helpful to look into how sex workers maintain a healthy interest in sex, while engaging in the sex trade. It seems they need a certain amount of "good sex" or dating sex, sex they are genuinely attracted toward, to keep a normal libido.

But it's not really a marriage at all if you can't stand to be intimate with your primary partner, is it?
Yes, I think it is more common to divorce in cases like LIBIDOS. But a marriage is just a piece of paper, it is a legal agreement you can choose to enter or stay in or sever, for whatever reasons you want.
Philo @96, from SHAT's letter: "I despised your advice to LIBIDOS, the poly married woman who you counseled to have sex with her husband even though she has zero desire to do so. You came close to telling her to throw away her consent. Somewhere between a third and half of women have been sexually assaulted." SHAT is equating what you are calling "maintenance sex" with non-consensual sex, i.e., rape. I agree with Dan that conflating the two is "neither helpful or accurate," and I would go one step further - I think it trivializes the horrific experience of men and women who have been the victims of an actual or threatened rape.

Of course I don't consider my partner's horniness superior to my own desire, and of course we wouldn't engage in PIV sex if one or both of us were unable to perform. But there are plenty of other pleasures to be had, and I've never yet begrudged my partner for cajoling me into bed. Or vice versa.

You are entitled to your opinions regarding the ethics of staying married while withholding sex from one's partner, but I think marriage is much more than just a legal agreement. I do think that marriage partners "owe" each other a lot more than roommates do, on a wide variety of issues - sex, friendship, finances, keeping each others' secrets, childcare, and putting up with weird in-laws, to name just a few. But I speak from the perspective of several decades of (mostly happy) marriage. YMMV.
Wait, what does "maintenance sex" have to do with sex workers?
Philo @ 96
“I have been in a few 4-5 yr relationships. I have never had sex because I felt it was my duty, or that my partner's wishes were more important than mine”

Don’t want to sound like a grumpy old person, which no doubt I am, but I think you have to look at it from the POV of a person over 45, been married for 15 or more years, and raising together at least one child if not two or three.

And just like my new anti- Blue Angels ally Ms. undead @ 98 I also wonder why you rush to offer sex workers as the ultimate solution.

Phiophile, yes I do sometimes regard my husband's horniness as superior to my lack of desire. Since having children, we always use lube so that's not an issue. We had sex the other night when I really wasn't into it but my husband was really horny and it was actually really hot. He was dominant and took what he wanted and I loved it. Other times, that's what I do.
However, even when I haven't been in the mood for sex, I have never viewed my husband as not sexy or desireable. I find him sexy all the time, which I suppose helps a lot. I think if you just don't find your partner sexy ever, maintenance sex is probably much more difficult. For that reason, I think LIBIDOS's marriage is utterly doomed.
CMD @100: My thought was "... And that may be why they're dumping you after four or five years."
CMD, I can't find your e-mail address.
Why anyone is scratching their head over the Kid's actions, that sure beats me. I agree with posters who've said it's not cool if he's cheating on the gf's he's arguing with (unclear whether it's cheating or they just break up after the tsuris), but a woman who lends both a wise sympathetic ear and who he knows will make with the NSA skilled-older-woman (“It's not gay if it's her finger in my ass”) sex on demand, who's been busting his nut for years and can play him like a StradaLingam violin, man, that's some young man's Lotto. Assuming LW doesn't break it off, whatever woman gets the Kid to stop these visits will be quite a specimen.

Is this a longterm plan? DCMC is conspicuously silent about her own future, besides being Auntie, which I think should be more the point; I would bet my own vast fortune that unless DCMC shakes something up, Kid will be tapping that auntie-ass this time 5+ years from now. How do you want to spend your fifties, LW? Of course, not everyone wants or needs to be ensconsed in a stable relationship by their middle years, and maybe LW had a pre-40's experience that put her off LTR's for the forseeable future, but it's a question worth asking. You mention you don’t want kids, OK, anything else?
Of course, not a few late-40's women would enjoy the validation, and hopefully the orgasms, that come with being pounded by a vital young(er) man, it's not like DCMC is digging ditches in Africa for the Peace Corp, so...maybe we all just kick this can down the road?

Philo #96 – As has been noted, SHAT equated Dan's advice with ignoring consent, in a Marcelinish slippery slope argument. At least we seem to have avoided another 'what is assault' thread, that IMO already having been pounded six inches into the wood starting with the fabled 'Let It Alone' thread. Since 'assault' can include anything up to a decisive poke with someone's pinky finger, more than half the population has indeed been assaulted.

We're kind of tending back this way with this equating of 'coercion' with 'living up to the agreed-upon tenets of the relationship.' Not all marriages/relationships are the same, but they all have rules, that ostensibly both sides are agreeing to. Might be 'we won't fuck other people,' might be 'don't call me but about every two weeks,' or 'this is how we're going to divide up housework.' To extend this into coercion, “You're saying I have to abide by the rules we set up, and that puts pressure on me, and that's coercion,” renders the term useless. By that metric, every relationship/agreement between two people is coersive and 'based on fear.'

#101Busy – I think we'll all need a few more details on this interlude. Because, you know, science.
@97 You are entitled to your opinions regarding the ethics of staying married while withholding sex from one's partner
I'm aware, but thanks for acknowledging. I suppose it's a prompt, I guess I haven't actually stated what I would do. I would divorce if my partner felt or acted like LIBIDOS. If I felt like LIBIDOS, I would have divorced yesterday. I work with someone who is in a sexless relationship. It's on its last legs after 5 years, and he's devastated. He doesn't want to break up, he'd rather stay in the sexless relationship. I definitely don't say "she owes you sex" or "she owes you commitment". I do say "I can't see why you want to stay in a sexless relationship." His answer is love and habit. I won't tell him that he's wrong. I just tell him he sounds nuts to me.

I won't tell asexuals, poly people, or gay people that their marriage doesn't count because it's not standard. Everyone is different, with different values. I would rather live here than in an ant colony surrounded by identical drones. That would be too boring.

@CMD - Sex work is step 6 on my spectrum, and I believe is the essence of Dan's advice. I've always loved his "y'all gotta be whores for each other" philosophy. When you are not having sex because you want sex, but because you want something else and use sex to get it... money, commitment, companionship, kids, someone to fix your refrigerator or style your hair... or to encourage your partner to return the favor later... I think that's equal to (yes, this is what equating looks like, not close, but the same as) sex work.

CatBro - Yes, everyone's agreement is not the same. They have not had sex in years, I don't think you can say that they have an agreement to provide sex to each other anymore. Telling her that it's her duty so she should have sex would be coercion. Telling her that a bit of sex work might preserve her marriage for a while (giving her a way to fulfill her desire to stay married) is not. It's a fine line... the real question is... are you advising in her best interest, or are you advising people to do what you'd like them to? The latter will usually be dumb advice.

On my spectrum, I consider 1,2,7&8 to be black-unethical. 3,7 are grey areas, not ideal, not necessarily hurting anyone. 4&5 are the white hot ideal.
@104: Granted, the "wise advice" breaks down when she's not a passive observer but a meddler who doesn't really respect "the Kid"'s end-desires.
@105: "Telling her that it's her duty so she should have sex would be coercion"

If she wants to keep the husband around as more than a friend. If she does not she can certainly free him so they can reevaluate their personal relationship.
There's a difference between "you have a duty to let this man fuck you because you promised, even if he repulses you" and "if you want to stay in a collaborative marriage with this man, you will need to find some way to reconnect with him sexually."

The first is prescriptive and can be coercive if the wife is not free to ignore the input. The second is simply an observation and she can do what she wants with it.
Right, if she doesn't feel like she wants to provide him affection, she shouldn't. But he's not happy, and she feels guilty because of this. He deserves affection well beyond sex, and the alternatives being offered are not planned to meet these needs.

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