Savage Love Jan 3, 2018 at 4:00 am



LW1, call me old fashioned or just old but it sounds a little more than flirting to me when this guy mentions his erection. Mind you I'm reading Esther Perels' book on infidelity so I'm a little focused on deceit. Be careful.
“I told him nah, I'll deal with it and make it stop. I talked to my ex-husband today, and he said: "I'm sorry, it's just teasing, I won't make an actual move ever again, but you're the only woman I ever just look at and get immediately hard for, and it's only a few more years before our kid is fully grown and we don't see each other anymore. So humor me because you know we both enjoy it.”

I’d agree with Dan more if she wasn’t looking for excuses to take him up on the offers. Commiserating and encouraging him with continued flirting is not in any case cutting things off. Her (paraphrasing) “he sucked at sex and my current partner is great” came off as more rationalizing than sincere, it’s cerainly at odds with how positively she is responding to his meddling. He can’t compartmentalize his interest in fucking her again, and she doesn’t seem to have any interest in setting any bounds for him.
TOOFAST, there is no time limit on setting limits, and no law that you can never change them once set. Manipulation is manipulation no matter what the setting. DTMFA!
Something that neither Dan nor SLUT mentioned is the possibility of keeping her boyfriend (CP) informed. Why does this innocent-because-it's-not-going-to-go-anywhere flirtation have to be a secret? Can't she tell him what she's told Dan? If she can reassure him that she is never going to act on the flirtation, that there will be no touching or nudity or kissing or anything, but that it makes her feel great: powerful and sexy and desirable, and that after a little flirting with the ex, she comes back to CP who reaps the benefits, I would hope that he could see it as a little erotic game that works for them.

In fact, they could make it that: when she knows she's going to see Ex, she could say to CP, "hey, I'm going to see Ex today, and I bet he wishes --- --- ---." Ex could say something like, "Make sure he knows what he's missing, and what I get to have." I know this script is horrible and stupid and banal, but you get the point, which is for both the lw and her CP to use her ex's sexual attraction to her as another way to keep their own sex life exciting.

This could truly be a case where someone gets to have their cake and eat it, too.
SLUT (LW1), I da know. It's one thing to have a sexy flirt randomly, but situation with ex is ongoing and seems like a different thing. Getting sexually charged up by the same person, with whom you have a long history, that you know you will see repeatedly in the future..... even if it never slides into anything more, the chances that your CP will never find out or that it will never have a negative effect on your relationship seem small. Why not show the letter you sent to Dan to your CP, have a discussion, and then decide what to do?
nocute, you beat me to it. HAH!

Of course if CP isn't into it, if SLUT wishes to keep her current relationship alive, it seems likely the games would have to stop. Maybe this is why she wrote to Dan instead of talking to CP- she feared his reaction.
YPTAIGGTW: I think the not-quite-gay best friend is a red herring. She's just not into you. She's bored. This isn't about her relatiionship with NQGBF, it's about her relationship with you, no? You're not happy anymore. Move on.

TOOFAST: Yes, he's a shitty, inconsiderate top. Also known as an abuser. Move on.

Nocute @5: Interesting suggestion. I'd want to know how CP reacted when SLUT told him about Ex's behaviour. I guess only SLUT knows whether her CP is the kind of guy who's secure enough to accept this situation. If not, her keeping this a secret is no more harmful to their relationship than the porn CP is almost certainly looking at without SLUT's knowledge or participation.
@8: BiDanFan, it's true that we don't know how CP would react to the idea that the flirtation keeps going. He seems to have known about it at least somewhat because he asked her if he should talk to the ex. Maybe he wouldn't like it at all. But if that's the case, then I don't think she should continue and keep it a secret.

I don't think it's like the porn CP almost certainly looks at at all: the porn is one-sided and presumably on a computer screen; this is real-life flirtation, with a man who is making it clear that he is more than willing to act on the flirtation. He's a man that SLUT can't simply cut out of her life, and the two of them have history. Plus, once SLUT tells her CP about what is going on in order to check with him and see if he's okay with it, he'll know and if he's at all suspicious, he might be on the lookout for something. Even if he doesn't go looking, he will view the Ex with distaste, and he'll insist on shutting this flirtation down. And then if he finds out that there has been more flirtation--well, he'll have been lied to about something he explicitly has said he doesn't want; he'll feel he can't trust SLUT, he'll have been betrayed. That's not good.

If this is kept secret, it has too much powder-keg potential.
My sense would be that not only is SLUT hiding the extent of her flirtation with her ex from her bf, she's misleading him as to whether she likes or is discommoded by it. (She likes it). Her current partner says that he 'will talk to' the ex. This implies that he has some idea of his approaches and believes it makes the LW uncomfortable; even that it's a threat to their relationship (that is, her current relationship). This could be because he dislikes it.... Rather than keeping it secret, as some sort of special sauce pepping up their monogamy--'you're getting what he wants!'--I had the feeling she should check in with her partner's feelings and be honest about hers. 'You know, in a way I like it when Ex says he has a boner for me. Of course I'd never do anything, and you're a better lover than he ever was, but I get a feeling of power I get from nowhere else just by his being so enslaved with me'. Then see his, her CP's, reaction. It could be--'well, you know that despite all the burdens of parenting and fuss of daily life, I'm enslaved by you too'--something it would seem that she doesn't feel or doesn't hear from him. Or her partner could say something like--'oh. I thought you wanted him to stop, because I want him to stop'.

Then the LW would be under some kind of obligation to dial it back with her ex.
I’d also feel less weird about it if her ex was successful and ever moved on with his life. He hasn’t. He wants to be with her again before she “disappears from his life” and she hasn’t shared the extent of this with the current partner slash lied to him, telling him she’d “handle it”. She did not, and doesn’t wish to lessen his advances. She needs to be more honest with herself and her partner.
@10: Well, does she want him to stop trying to bed her? He has no limits and she currently isn’t interested in setting any boundaries. She’s intentionally a pushover because she doesn’t want to change where this is headed.
@9: “If this is kept secret, it has too much powder-keg potential.“

She’s enjoying that though, the “oh no, we MUSTN’T” soap opera flop into his arms. Communication is fucked, now.
@13: I disagree that "communication is fucked, now." It might be that she enjoys the secretive aspect as much as the ego-boost.
I think she needs to be honest with herself and her CP, and if she doesn't get his full and enthusiastic buy-in--which she could maybe enable by very honestly assuring him that she will never in any way act on this flirtation with the ex--she should stop the flirtation and keep more distance between herself and her ex. She can then content herself with the knowledge that her ex still carries a torch for her, and funnel that inner truth into her relationship with her CP.
Oh, I agree. Things are going wrong but not unfixable. She just has to decide what she wants and care that her ex seeks more than mere flirting, to destabilize her current relationship.
People who haven’t moved on from something that didn’t work the first few times around aren’t going to be more capable and stable the next few times.
SLUT, as Dan noted, your flirtation with your Ex is like lighting a fire. Fire is a tool that is immensely powerful and useful, but it is not a toy with which you should play. My sense is that you’re not going to be able to follow through on keeping this flirting non-physical, as there seem to be too many red flags in your letter, in which case, you should not engage with your Ex in this manner.

TOOFAST, you are entirely within your right to place limits on your submission, and your dominant’s response has been unacceptable. While it can be good to get you to explore new things and to extend your comfort zone, that takes time and trust. Note too, you can never rule everything in or out at the start of a D/s relationship, that would be unfeasible, and in any event, people’s interests evolve.

Break up with this guy, he will not change. Join a submissive women’s group for support and knowledge, for example, in New York there is SSASE. Tell people in the scene what you’ve experienced and make sure people have your back.
SLUT, maybe there’s another way to look at your situation with your ex. First, I’m going to assume the infidelity that helped end the marriage was on his part? If I’m assuming wrong, then maybe this won’t apply but otherwise….

When my ex cheated on me, I confided to someone about a shift I felt in my sexual desire that I found disturbing. She suggested that I’d been really put through the wringer by my ex’s cheating and had felt powerless for a long time. Powerless to get his attention, save our marriage, etc. So perhaps my desire had to do with wanting to take on the role of the other woman – to be the one who is desired, pursued, and essentially, in charge. In other words, getting to rewrite a very painful part of my history in a way that gave me what I lacked then.

Boy, did that touch a nerve and yeah, she was right.

So, do what you want to do but take a moment to see what the underlying motivations might be. If this rings at all true for you, maybe you can let your CP know that this gets you going, you’re not going to cheat and as long as he agrees to look the other way and not ask you about it, you’ll bring all the sexual energy home to the him, guy you really love. And jerk a knot in ex’s tail if he tries to push the boundaries you set.

I didn't get a chance to read other comments to my apologizes if I'm repeating something already said.
@18: That’s a great perspective. Perhaps expressing to her that the interest that is her current catnip is the same exact disrespect that he expressed towards her happiness when he cheated on her the first time around? He hasn’t changed since.
Instead of the perception of taking power this time around she’s ceding control to him yet again.
but knowing this man will never get a whiff of my pussy again but can't help but beg for it with his eyes gives me a sense of power like I've never fucking felt before

SLUT is describing a textbook femdom dynamic, no? SLUT should maybe see if her current partner is open to being dominated by her? That seems to be what's getting her off, unless her current partner doesn't make her feel desired at all, despite her describing their sex life as "amazing fucking at home from a man far more skilled." Mirea @18 may well also be on to something; if that's the case, perhaps power exchange with Current Partner could still give her that sense of power, though perhaps not to quite the same degree as her low-grade dominance flirting with her ex.
Damn, y'all are surprisingly judgemental of SLUT. Dan's advice was 100%... not condescending or paternalistic like most of the rest of you.
@22: If this guy tugging her along was stable and well put together and if she was more honest with her partner the response would likely be more positive.

Define “paternalistic” and “condescending”?
@21: John Horstman, I understand that feeling and I don't think it has to be associated with "femdom-ness."
It's not necessary that everything be filed under some sort of orientation or dynamic label. It might be dominance that she enjoys or it might just be the feeling of power that comes with knowing that you're being desired and by someone that isn't "expected" to want you that badly. It could easily be a validation if she was sexually hurt by the ex when they were married, and it could also be a validating experience as she's getting older and has settled in to her role as a mother in a decade-long relationship that probably has lost much of its initial excitement phase. It's not at all clear that SLUT wants to change anything at all about the dynamic she enjoys with her Current Partner. I mean, sure, she can explore power-exchange with her CP, if they aren't already doing that (and maybe they are--and maybe this is the opposite of the dynamics of their relationship, which could be another reason it's so exciting to her), but I don't think her reaction has to be seen as anything other than the ego stroke that it is to her.

@22: I don't see anyone judging SLUT. Some of us are suggesting that she continue the flirtation with her CP's knowledge and consent. Some of us are trying to guess why she might be so turned on by the flirtation. Some of us are pointing out that keeping secrets from your current partner, like the fact that an aggressive flirtation is going on between you and your ex, might prove to be a bad idea.

I think Dan's response was okay, so far as it went, but I wish he had included the possibility of her acting with her CP's knowledge.
I fail to see how anyone here was either paternalistic or condescending.
Granted, I don’t see the responses as necessarily as negative as you do either.
@SLUT: I have an on- and off- again ex from high school and college where we mutually share unbelievable chemistry. We also were victims of generally shitty relationship timing (we were rarely single at the same time) and ultimately her desire to have kids vs. my desire to not. I went to her wedding. She stood up in mine. Spouses are well-informed about our history.

There is 100% absolutely no way we would every do anything sexual going forward... but on the occasions (every year or two) we do hang out that chemistry is still there. It's just the reality of the relationship and history.

Two adults can understand they have flattering chemistry that they will never act on. It seems like these two adults are well aware of the situation. There's nothing they're going to do to end the chemistry, actual flirting or no (well I didn't actually SAY flirty things ain't going to stop the chemistry), so LW (and her CP) should count their blessings that the ex isn't a raging dick and be happy with the next couple years.
Also, LW#1 gets to decide if it's reasonable for CP to control that aspect of her life. If she does, then she's free to try and get her ex to knock it off. If she doesn't, this is definitely a case where a lie of omission is appropriate. I mean, shit, how could any woman function if she was responsible for every other guy's erection?

"What you want" is what you say you want. Anyone who says what you said you want ISN'T want you want is just an asshole. Ditch him.
@27: But biggie, CP already knows that the ex is saying things that many would consider inappropriate to SLUT. He either thinks she's bothered by it, or he's bothered by it--hence the offer to talk to the ex. So I think he's going to be tuned in ad looking for signs either that the ex is still flirting or that SLUT intends or has followed up the flirting with action. I don't mean that SLUT should let CP control that aspect of her life, but I also don't think he would see this as a sin of omission if he discovered it, either, and she has described their relationship is good. I would counsel her to not do something if she has good reason to know that were CP to find out about it, it would sour things.
No, of course she can't be responsible for every guy's erection and she doesn't need to treat CP like a polygraph. But she obviously sees this flirtation as something bigger and more ongoing than a random, fleeting moment. Also, telling CP might help keep her from actually boning the ex, and it sounds like she doesn't want to do that.
@1 LavaGirl: Congrats on being first! I have a question (just curious): What is your take on Dan's Australian study, conducted in 2016 and findings on bisexual relationships (re in his response to LW2)?
@5 nocutename: You nailed it again, this time on SLUT.
LMB Alert, and this one is highly appropriate as I actually had to vomit four times this morning between 5:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. I actually had to go run a bridge game right after the last time in pajama pants because trousers were too much pressure.

I entirely sympathize with LW1, but this sort of situation, however delicious and/or deserved the initial taste, quickly passes the point of providing good to one's character. Very soon this will become another case of, "Does this dodgy morality make my self-esteem look too fat?"

+1 to Ms Cute for at least suggesting this be done openly. I can just about give that the old FTWL, if LW1 and CP don't object to becoming Rather Nasty People. This sort of conduct seems most fitting for people whose greatest personal ambition is to become Miss Bingley.

A massive LMB all over LW2. His assumption is entirely unjustified. I've always disliked even unshirted men except in a very few specific contexts, and I am not alone. Maybe this is an indicator of who's a real Kinsey six (M) and who isn't; I don't know. But it is remarkable as well as distressing how that idea has spread to so many of such various ideologies. It practically horseshoes, but I'll stop before I resume churning.
Mr. Ven, I hope you feel better soon.
@27: “ I mean, shit, how could any woman function if she was responsible for every other guy's erection?”

That’s what makes this so pathetic, she’s letting her ex manipulate her (and it’s working.) She thinks she’s getting one over on him, but she’s starting to privately continue allowing him to say things she told her better partner she would address.

She’s not responsible for his past, current, and future boners, but she’s decided that for whatever reason it’s okay and she wants to be.

She needs to get over herself and have a talk with both of them, because her ex currently has more power than she desires to at this stage.
@32: “I entirely sympathize with LW1, but this sort of situation, however delicious and/or deserved the initial taste, quickly passes the point of providing good to one's character. Very soon this will become another case of, "Does this dodgy morality make my self-esteem look too fat?"

Why venn, I’m absolutely shocked that bodice-ripping melodrama entertains you! Shocked I say.
Oh my god, please choose an acronym other than CP.
SLUT, you already told your current partner that you would put a stop to this yourself. If you just somehow...don't? After saying that you were going to, and that after deflecting him from doing it? CP is going to have every reason to question your motivations and whether you are trustworthy. Get clear on what you are risking by this.

pales @ 22
“…condescending or paternalistic like most of the rest of you.”
Considering the letter and the scene(s) and the realistic-or-not expectations and the conduct and assumptions and few other nuances as described or assumed and the commentariat history of being fairly straight forward and tell it as it is and even being brutal at times I think LW 1 aka SLUT got a fairly considerate and loving treatment.

John Horstman @ 21
“SLUT is describing a textbook femdom dynamic, no?”
I’m afraid the answer is indeed a “no.” It may be my very own preference, but the dominant women I’ve met were smart, straightforward, and knew what they were doing.
I see SLUT’s situation more as someone getting a hit from getting attention regardless of the possible outcome, but I’m worried I’ll come across as condescending.
Mr. Venn, it is so lovely to have you back. I do hope you start feeling better and the LMB stops being literal.
Mirea @18: Excellent theory. If Ex cheated on SLUT, the fact that Ex now wants her but can't have her must be sweet revenge indeed.

John @21: Add me to the chorus of "no." While many Dommes do enjoy depriving their subs of satisfaction, most non-pros do eventually get to the point of allowing them a release. This is not the same thing.

Pales @22: I also fail to see anything paternalistic or condescending in the replies to SLUT. Can you give any examples?

Biggie @27: If SLUT does decide to put a stop to the flirtation, I don't see how that is "letting CP control that aspect of her life." It's her decision, is it not?

I do agree with Undead: SLUT may think that she is exerting power over Ex by denying him her body, but is she really? If she really were in control, Ex would have agreed to stop; instead, he manipulated her into allowing him to continue behaving in this inappropriate way. At minimum, SLUT should recognise this, and she should also do her best to not be alone with this guy, who's now shown he doesn't respect her boundaries.

If she does want it to continue, I disagree that she has to tell CP because the cat is already out of the bag. She told him Ex was coming on to her; she said she would talk to him; she did talk to him. She doesn't necessarily have to let CP know the outcome of this talk. For all he knows, Ex agreed to back off, right? So I don't think it's inevitable that he's now suspicious. (I'm not advocating this playing-with-fire, but given that she pretty much wrote to Dan to ask his permission to do it, it's probably what she will choose to do.)

Tender Loving Care @36: Why? :)
@10. UndeadAyn. I'm not sure that the LW intends--that is, deep-down intends--to have sex with her ex; that's she complicit in his advances in the sense that (she understands) she will at last yield to them. I'd take it on trust what she says: that as a busy mother in her 30s, she doesn't get the feeling of validation of being found irresistible anywhere else. What hooks her could be the irrepressibility of her ex wanting her and not anything personal.

But I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt here. She could easily be saying 'I have to stop it because it's wrong', rather than the much more obvious (to well-educated, liberal commenters) 'I have to stop it because my husband/partner doesn't know' or 'because I haven't got my partner's go-ahead' precisely because she imagines her ex's flirtation will lead to sex. If she's not willing to draw a boundary, then maybe she should think very hard about whether she wants to cheat on the father of her children (in practical terms, all her children) or not.
@22. pales. If there's any judgment of SLUT, it's not for flirting with her ex but for not telling her current husband/partner about her feelings for it.
Further, I wouldn't think that her ex is strategically destabilizing her LTR. Sure, he may well fuck her if she allowed, in the spirit of revisiting old times and just of dogging it, like many men. But I doubt he's seriously contemplated the responsibility of being father to four (say) children. Being father of one was hard enough for him.

Part of the reason he persists in the clumsy approaches is that he knows she'll knock them back (and he gets some sort of confirmations she forgives him for his cheating/emotional unavailability due to mental illness (possibly grandiose delusions)/failure to care for her mental illness (possibly postpartum or other depression)--delete here as appropriate.
"I'm sorry, it's just teasing, I won't make an actual move ever again, but you're the only woman I ever just look at and get immediately hard for ..."

SLUT asks Ex to stop, and he immediately apologizes, promises not to do it again, and breaks the promise ALL IN ONE SENTENCE! Actually half a sentence. He throws in the time is short angle by the end of it. No wonder this guy is so appealing. He's got the cute puppydog eyes boundary pushing naughty boy act down so pat he can do it without thinking about it.

I don't agree with Dan's advice to enjoy the flirtation while being extra cautious. Enjoying a FANTASY while being extra cautious can work. Usually to prevent doing something you know you shouldn't takes lots of willpower. In this case there's someone else helping to bring her down. Think of the difference between a recovering addict seeking out someone to sell him drugs and that person banging on the door.

Best thing wouldn't just be having CP talk to Ex. I'd let CP be there accompanying for all hand-offs of Child and all interactions with the rat.

As I write this, I'm liking my comparison with an addictive drug more. There's something you want but know is bad for you, something you know will ruin your life, and the person who keeps dangling it in front of you says helpful things like "you know we both enjoy it." It's like the drug pusher is appealing to the addicts sympathetic good nature by pointing out that it would be a shame if he the pusher lost the money he gets from encouraging people to kill themselves.

Illicit sex can be like a drug. There's the danger of getting caught and the intimacy created by all that shared danger and shared secret keeping. I get why SLUT feels swept up in this despite knowing CP is a more skilled lover and better for her.

Fichu @44: "SLUT asks Ex to stop, and he immediately apologizes, promises not to do it again, and breaks the promise ALL IN ONE SENTENCE!"

I disagree. He promised to not "make an actual move." SLUT referred to remarks, plural, and "one actual physical advance." I read Ex's response as, "I promise not to touch you again, but I want to continue making sexualised comments." It seemed to me that he accepts that physical contact is going too far, but sees the verbal flirtation as harmless. (I agree he's pushing her boundaries, and that does make him, as you say, a rat.)

I'm wondering what his current partner thinks, or would think, about the whole situation.
Ms Rand - If you're shocked, then you don't (as I've done) take Miss Marple as a role model. The situation itself, though, actually has more of a Poirot feel - X1 may well deserve anything LW1 and CP do with him, much as, in Cards on the Table, Poirot admits to Mr Shaitana that there are people who may deserve to be murdered (or murderers of superb artistry in the act), but his concern is for the effect on the character of the murderer (also see Curtain).
Mss Cute/Cardia - With any luck, I'm good for the next six months now, though I used to have more of a predictable cycle than I do now.
Ms Fichu - I'm not sure X1 has such sinister intent (my cosmic vibrations are giving me a faint hint of Arlena Marshall in Evil Under the Sun, who undoubtedly acts quite poorly, but, rather than being, as she's labeled by most characters, the eternal Circe, is successfully pegged by Poirot as being an easy mark), but +1 for concern about the effect on LW1's character.
First of all, I just wanted to say that Undead AR (@ many comments) is hitting them all out of the park this week. But I also wanted to add something nobody else seems to have found pertinent:
I'm in a LTR for a decade with my current partner (CP), we have a few kids, and I'm so in love with him, it terrifies me.
Did this not set off a few warning bells? It's almost as if SLUT doesn't feel she deserves to be in a happy and successful LTR and is in the process of destabilizing it, whether her ex is assisting or not.

She's justifying and rationalizing the flirtation by saying it gives her a feeling of intense power to know that she still has this effect on the ex; but, actually, he's the one who's controlling and arousing her (and her apparently magically-irresistible pussy) just by keeping her dangling ... waiting to receive another compliment from him. She's also not thinking clearly as she's accepted the excuse that their interactions are decreasing and will end once the kid hits the age of majority or older teen-hood, I presume.

Instead of reassuring her, his confession should raise all sorts of red flags. If the ex fears losing touch and no longer having a physical catalyst to fuel his fantasies, I believe he'll become more intent on keeping her hooked on his flattery the closer they get to that cut-off point.

And, as Fichu just reminded me @44, the ex is in his own LTR on which he should be focused i/o the LW who was two exes ago! Rather than encouraging caveman tactics (by having CP "talk to" the ex - yuck), what about having a few social opportunities a year for the two families to mingle, if only to put a damper on the ex blurting out his sexual longings and SLUT drooling for them.

Not only that, the presence of so many kids (one by him, several by the CP) should help steer both their minds out of the gutter (because brains CAN be retrained) and - I'd hope - show the ex that he won't lose touch with SLUT, but that any fantasies should stay tucked away in his head. Which is where they should have remained ever since they split.
SLUT - I think you're gonna be writing next year, "I slept with my ex, how'd that happen!" You say that you don't want to. But also that toying with the idea turns you on and makes you feel powerful like never before. You gotta admit you want it so it'll happen in a way that doesn't wreck your life, at the very least you know now the teasing will continue. Can you tell cp or will you hide it?

Runner - she isn't leaving you for anyone. Y'all have lost the sexual connection, and even the habit of affection, while you are still together somehow. That's the problem. Accept it's done or try to bring back the affection and sexiness of you feel so inspired.

TOOFAST - He doesn't honor what you want, he tells you how you feel, and you express discomfort with aftercare kindness. He doesn't even know you to love you, why are you thinking about him so much, he's only useful to get off. Which isn't nothing.. but you can't wish him into a boyfriend like you seem to want. Also, it's OK to not know if you really like bdsm, or go back to vanilla for awhile, or try a different style or partner.. Just keep listening to your interests..
MPAA has been our sexual police for too long. They are literally a shadowy/anonymous board who rates movie morality without any oversight or responsibility for consistent standards. They do have some consistent standards, like fellatio is acceptable for younger viewers but cunnilingus is not. Gay women are pg13 and gay men are nc17. Bisexual men are immoral. But no one cares about institutionalized misogyny and homophobia anymore, don't look behind the curtain, nothing to see there. Abuse bigotry and torture are kid friendly! Kids just can't deal with a lot of blood. Or women having orgasms. Or men kissing. That's all far too disturbing.
In my book, SLUT is the type of person who gets off on using other people for her own gratification. She’s definitely using the ex Big-time and also using her current partner almost as bad. While she pays lip service to feeling ever so slightly concerned about this, she really doesn’t want to stop either situation. Even if, in the best case scenario nothing ever happens between the ex and her, I’d Be asking myself, “Is THIS a personality trait that I want in my partner?”
@45: Oh geez, I even missed the physical advance(s) somehow.

@47: “She's also not thinking clearly as she's accepted the excuse that their interactions are decreasing and will end once the kid hits the age of majority or older teen-hood, I presume.“

I hope she doesn’t get put into many positions to negotiate.

“We need to stop the touching and sexual comments right now”

“Okay, I will stop... in several years.
When our kid is an adult.
When he moves out.
When he finishes with college.

Beyond her poorer impulse control skills, the guy just doesn’t seem a stable source of attention.

The “you’re the only woman who can ever get me hard” put-ons shouldn’t be flattering, it’s loser-y, not flattering. More greasy than florid.

As you bring up with the “I'm so in love with him, it terrifies me” indicator, she does sound ill-at-ease with happiness (or contentment?) and this makes for a convenient distraction from someone she knows she has no barriers to and has a high chance of moving to place her in a situation where she’ll cheat. Things aren’t contained, she has a “power” over him with her magic Sookie Stackhouse pussy, but she has granted herself no power to set barriers to protect herself and her partnership.

I think it’s possible that this could be fine with an entirely different man (one with a life and more respect for her partner), and a completely different attitude from her.

As is, it’s building up to a messy end for all parties but the guy who has nothing invested in her relationship and doesn’t care.
@50: I don’t see her as an active manipulator or anything so up in machinations. She’s letting things happen and doing the minimal possible surface level “handling” that would otherwise require her make any less flattering decisions.

She’s enjoying the drama and needs to unfuck herself but “using” would require a level of insight and control over her fate that she currently lacks interest in taking back.
45- BiDan-- You make 2 good points. There IS a difference between verbal flirting and a physical pass. I type that, believe it, go to think about what to say next. I'm sure I believe that the latter is worse. Then a second later I think that it doesn't matter in this case; it doesn't matter to SLUT. (Sorry, I know I'm weasling out of taking a proper position. I'm thinking out loud here. It's the best I can do.)

You're absolutely right to wonder what Ex's LTR would make of this. My speculation: She wouldn't like it, AND Ex doesn't care. Nothing about him makes me think he's the stable type who thinks much beyond the joy of flirtation and sex.

That brings me to Mr. Venn -46- He probably doesn't have evil intent, but the consequences of his actions do seem to roll out to be evil.
"In my book, SLUT is the type of person who gets off on using other people for her own gratification"

Donny, everyone uses others. We were all born with social needs. And usually when people get off it's because of attraction to other people, that's not a problem for the men and women getting off. Abuse is when you're using others _unfairly_. SLUT may be contemplating abuse in the form of deception, but I don't see other abuse to scold her for. Maybe if you get specific you won't look like you're just generally suspicious of women, though..
Fichu @53: I think it does matter to SLUT. My suspicion is that she has been tolerating the comments for a while, but only mentioned it to CP once it escalated to physical contact. She's happy to get her jollies from knowing he wants her, but touching crosses a line in her book.

Evil versus selfish? Ex (and SLUT) are definitely being selfish. I think "evil" requires an intent to harm someone, whereas "selfish" just requires not caring whether your actions harm someone.

Philo @54: Thank you for saying that. Enjoying attention does not make one a bad person; it makes one human. Regardless of whether her awesome CP makes her feel beautiful and sexy, affirmation from other sources can also be good for the ego. (I say "can be" just in case anyone tries to claim that street abuse is therefore okay.) As SLUT mentions, thirtysomething mothers are not often told by society that they are desirable. To suggest that there's something, well, evil about SLUT's very natural desire to feel attractive seems a bit misogynist. It's not as if SLUT has sought this out, or has given Ex a reason to believe she'll be up for sex with him.
What kind of magical creature is LW#1 - married at 17, plops out a kid, mental illness, divorce, LTR with CP so intense and loving it scares her, and 'a few kids' with this one! And playing all these breathlessly intense teasing sex games with the ex, and that throbbing throbbing vagina, and and and....WTF? Where does she GET all of that heavy breathing horniness? Doesn't she have any soul-killing mundane day-tto-day to cool that throbbing down? Sounds rich and bored, lolling around all day making up scenarios to keep the throbbing going.
Women should stop thinking about sex so much when there are dishes to do.

Don't you know it's only women who can give sex favors, and only men who can want sex favors. Now, dishes! Then give him some head. None for you!
Looking good BDF. Although I think disregarding others (selfishness) causes just as much harm as lashing out at others (evil). I think all abuse happens when people fail to make themselves happy while honoring others. I think everyone fails at this at some point. When people can't support themselves and negotiate fairly, they will abuse others instead.
All this fear over female desire isn't lashing out evil.. Just the impossible desire for a woman who is very interested in sex but only with him. That's just not how people work, even if many men want women specifically to work like that. It's not intentional evil, it's just lazy and stupid, like believing your skin color makes you able to order others around. This need for fantasy to get by.. Denial of reality is the true evil I see... Everywhere...
Lassie @56: Well, well, there's Pales's condescending and paternalistic comment. Pales @22, you're a psychic!

Philo @58: You're correct that if you're on the receiving end, it doesn't really matter whether someone intended to harm you or not. The difference is whether that person can see the error of their ways, and try to be a better person.

We are all selfish at our core, it's just human nature. Fortunately, most of us are also equipped with empathy. Freud may have had some loony ideas, but I'm still fond of his concepts of Ego, Id and Superego. Id wants. Id does nothing but want; it is pure selfishness. Ego is concerned with one's own self-esteem, and Superego is the rational, empathetic part of ourselves that can overrule our baser instincts. Ex's attentions are appealing both to SLUT's id (she is turned on) and her ego, meanwhile her superego is telling her "this is wrong." The question we all wrestle with is, do we listen...

(No need to nitpick my summary, please. Psych 101 was many years ago, this is just my probably quite dusty recollection.)
@56: There’s a lot of the day that can be filled with fantasy and fun, entirely removed from the context of her issues and poor choice of vector.

People love escapism, it’s a very human thing. Perhaps especially so when she has a lot of kids and domesticities to address?
@60: Right, assigning malintent and blame is unnecessary over her just needing to wrangle her unhealthy and destabilizing choice. Is is possible to maintain boundaries? Sure. Is she capable of or willing to do so at this point? It doesn’t seem so. Is he willing to respect her boundaries? Oh lol no.

He certainly hasn’t shared his “I can only get boners for you, m’lady” vomitous floridity with his LTR.
And to the superego, the “this is wrong” isn’t giving her a moral compass, subverting it and the taboo of doing ill, breaking her will and tiptoeing into disappointing her current partner is all a part of the current infatuation.

She’d never take her ex back if she was single. But she’s enjoying the self-destructive violation of trust for all its worth. Insecurities as turn ons instead of living any truth.
I see SLUT as a silly woman in her thirties playing bs games with the man she married and had a child with and divorced as a young woman. She fancies him on some level and thinks playing along is harmless and maybe some sort of payback for past betrayals. Multiple kids need her attention and care and if she doesn't want to be co parenting with two men, then perhaps she should cut the crap, tell ex to pull his head in/ both of them, and take her commitment to Current Partner seriously.
* co parenting as a single mother I mean.
Grizelda, I've not heard of the study Dan referenced.
SLUT, I see nothing but a lot of disastrous bad drama waiting to happen, if you allow the current interactions with your ex to continue (you call it flirting, which is a bit concerning, because some would call it sexual harassment - you know, when soneone keep coming on to you when you've told them it was inappropriate!) I don't think you should worry about the morality of it so much, worry about the shit that can hit the fan, and turns your life into a wreckage, should you get tempted/flattered into more than "flirting", or if your CP should get fed up with it. You have several children who will be collateral damage here, please be careful.

Do ask yourself why you feel flattered by your ex hitting on you, when you're supposingly so much in love/lust with your CP that it frightens you? Surely if you're that much invested in, and are happy in your current relationship, what your ex is doing would feel very uncomfortable? Why do you need your ex to feel attractive? Your attractiveness and what makes you desirable are not dependent on others' lust for you, try to work on realizing that. Stop the "flirting" with your ex, it's totes not worth the fall out that can happen. If he won't stop, you can limit your interactions with him to those that takes place only with your kids and CP present.

TOOFAST, your would-be-Dom isn't too fast, he is TOOWRONG! DTMFA. He's an abuser, not a Dom.
100% chance SLUT cheats on CP with XH, if she continues the flirting. 100,000%. People who's mental illness leads to them cheating (I'm not aware of any mental illness that causes cheating, as apparently sex addiction "doesn't exist", more likely she has used it as her rationale for egregious behavior so long now that it feels true), are not reliable to not cheat, no matter how in love they are. (@18 It seems pretty plain to me it was SLUT's cheating, rather than the ex's) In fact, the "so in love, it scares me" is a dead give away. She's "so in love" that she absolutely has to hop on another cock; and her miracle stable life might become not-so-stable. That's what she's afraid of! I'm slightly inclined to agree somewhat with @50, in that I suspect she's leading the flirty comments parade; although I assume it's classic self-sabotage behavior from a lifetime self-sabotager. I know these people too well.

That all being said, engaging in the flirting is fine if you like it, and more-or-less as long as your husband doesn't mind too much. Realistically she is probably going to fuck the ex eventually either way.

YPTAIGGTW. Your girl probably isn't fucking this dude - i have gay women friends that I've literally slept with on numerous occasions but not hooked up with, it's very possible and not really that abnormal, probably even moreso for the more common gay man/straight woman pairing. Anti-depressents are well-known pussy-dryers and cock-softeners. But break up with her anyhow, it doesn't sound like you're getting along.

TOOFAST you "blew it" by not making your list up-front, sure; but blowing it then doesn't mandate that you live with that forever. Even if you had a detailed no-fly list up front, things can change, you could discover things you hadn't considered, etc. It's unclear to me what types of things he wants you to do that you're not comfortable with (and I think it matters in this case - is he pushing your boundaries or kicking them down?) but generally speaking, mid-scene is definitely a bad time to set a limit. It's a great time to ENFORCE a limit, but not the best time to set one. So set your limits at your earliest convenience, and if he pulls his Master Card out, be ready to put the entire relationship on the line. It already is, he just doesn't know it yet.
SLUT, there's one specific reason I'd cut this off, and it's that you /are/ still co-parenting with this dude.

Playing with a little fire can be okay, calling up minor demons you maybe can't totally send down can be okay, but do all that someplace you can cut and walk away from. Not at work, and not with your co-parent ex.

And the second-order reason is that I suspect he knows that and is exploiting it and will take a little more than whatever you try to give. But that's speculation.
Odd thing about SLUT's letter is the contrast between how awesome she says her sex life at home is, and how hungry she is to feel needed sexually.

This whole ex thing aside, go for feeling needed at home. Easier said than done, I know. But if you're thirsty enough to take it from a guy you don't want, some time you're going to get it offered from a guy you do want. You'll take it, probably.
BDF, I think we mostly agree.. Except for "The difference is whether that person can see the error of their ways, and try to be a better person." Basically I don't know why you think malicious acts imply an irredeemable character. I think it's easier to reach someone who is hurt or angry than lazy, the former feels more uncomfortable I think. It is much easier to make money the lazy exploitative Trump way instead of the amazingly competent Elon Musk way. It's part of life to survive and defend yourself, and hurt those who hurt you, just as much as it's part of life to fulfill your own needs before you worry about taking care of others.. Malicious doesn't seem unnatural to me, either stealing food to eat or punching the guy who tried to steal your burger. Lashing out is often personal and thus more concrete to address than disregard for Indians in sweatshops. Maybe it's just that I've been physically hurt more by irresponsible (driving) than malicious action. I can't think of many malicious examples where the perp had very little value for other people in general. And I don't think anyone in the letters is lashing out, all the pain comes from 1) hiding stuff from cp 2) mistaking a barely affectionate relationship for working romance 3) admiring a socially dumb blustering guy. From desperately wanting to 1)be unbelievably turned on and avoid conflict with cp 2)keep ltr 3)make hot sex into loving relationship. All the pain in Savage love involves people who are writing to Dan to try and figure out the right, non malicious thing to do, and there is lots of pain every week. What is it about intentional harm that seems more dangerous to you? Psychopaths and serial killers suck, yeah, I just don't think they create more damage than neglect and ignorance. Insanity is sorta kinda rare. More kids die from heat exhaustion in cars than are drowned in bathtubs etc.
All the damage we do to the environment is neglect, basically no one feels malicious toward trees. Ok maybe a couple crazies. Generally, we just don't care to be responsible with our waste. But polluting is arguably our most dangerous current practice. That neglect is super evil to me.
Ah, there we go, another paternalistic and condescending comment directed at SLUT, and no surprise it's from our resident misogynist @87. I'd reply, but I've observed a pattern that this particular commenter only ever reads half the words I type, the half he disagrees with, so I'm not going to waste my pixels. SLUT, it's not in fact clear that you're the one with the mental health problems (an ex who's behaving the way yours is sounds like a classic narcissist), that you're the one who cheated (a partnered man who makes inappropriate passes and physical advances towards his ex-wife probably did the same while said ex-wife was his actual wife), and who's to say both too-young-to-be-marrieds didn't screw up?

Again, re TOOFAST, more paternalistic condescension. How on earth is someone brand new to BDSM to have the knowledge of every possible D/s activity and know whether she likes them or not? Any ethical Dom will proceed with caution, whether his sub is experienced or not, but especially if they are not. (This also goes for subs who are training fledgling Doms.) TOOFAST, you did nothing wrong.
@70: “From desperately wanting to 1)be unbelievably turned on”

And the big turn-on comes, in this case, proportional to how poor of a lover he was, how little respect she has for him, how risky he is to her current stability. At this point what’s driving her is entirely how “wrong” the scenario is as practiced and how little control she has over it all.
@72: “a partnered man who makes inappropriate passes and physical advances towards his ex-wife probably did the same“

His aggressive disrespect towards established boundaries (his and hers) definitely pushes me in that direction. She may neglect her role in enforcing them but he’s the one who just wants to watch the world burn.
@67. Sportlandia. I wouldn't be entirely convinced that the cheating in SLUT's marriage was her cheating on her ex. Maybe they both cheated or he cheated on her.

The reason I'd think the last, perhaps, as the most likely, is that she avoids spelling out a clear narrative for what happened--she says, approximately, 'mental health issues and cheating put an end to the marriage', rather than e.g. 'I got depressed after giving birth to our child and sexually withdrew; he went off and cheated with multiple partners'. Why would she avoid giving a clear picture in this way? It's that she fears a response from Dan (and presumably other readers or commenters) like, 'What? This guy cheated on you and you're loving his helplessly hitting on you? Work on your own issues!'

A good question is always, what does the person writing want the advice to be? (Sure, some are genuinely pained and perplexed). In this case, it's one of two things--1: 'you're playing with fire. Get the hell away'; or 2: 'you know that I'm an advocate for monogamish relationships. The father of (most of) your children will always be their father; your relationship with him sounds pretty strong and sexually captivating. What's the harm in a little sex on the side?' Probably she knows the advice should be 1.

Of course, the actual advice would have confounded her, in that it's much more what someone would say to a person with a better grip on their motivations, with more self-knowledge, moral continence and ability honestly and considerately to share and negotiate with a partner. Imv, a heavier blunderbuss of moral advice--end your dangerous flirting now--would probably better suit the case. But then ... is it right to give one sort of advice to highly sophisticated, well-educated, morally exquisite coastal liberals, and another sort to the people--sometimes the people--who have burning moral problems, the great mass of Americans not in any kind of professional or institutional loop who may e.g. have voted for Trump?
@74: Who even knows, I don’t think she’s as filled with insight and self-reflection as that’d throw a lot of cold water on why she’s tolerating malicious attention from a guy she wouldn't give the time of day to if she was fully content and secure. She needs to step really far out of her high school / soap opera narrative and readdress why she needs distraction so desperately and explicitly from someone that’s trying to wreck her now.

He’s always been this way, but she had moved on before regression.
Gandhi slept with young women and just slept, most of the time. (The Mahatma was a kook even by India's liberal standards, though he's one of my heroes.)
The TOOFAST letter brings to mind the Meat Loaf song "I would do anything for love, but I won't do THAT!"
SLUTs last sentence is poorly written but doesn't violate the formal rules of English syntax.
Yah, slut, this is going to end well....

/sarcasm off
@74 one of my red flags is when people switch between passive and active voices. She gives me major BPD signs.

Bi, don't be coy. What's paternalistic and misogynistic about my comment?
LW#1 is a very familiar situation for me, the only real difference is that my current partner (at that time) and I had a lousy relationship. My ex showed up, we still had incredible chemistry, etc, etc. But it turned out his passes at me were a sign of his illness destabilizing after over a decade under control, and he went into a long and destructive manic phase.

So to me, that aside about mental illness needs to be in big neon letters, and very carefully considered by all parties involved. It was very hard on my son from that first relationship, too, who wasn't quite old enough to understand why his dad would reappear, spend time on their relationship, and then destroy it all and vanish again.
LW3 needs to get away from the BDSM community, stat. Not only was that male dom's behavior completely normal in the community, but she will be ignored and shunned by the community if she were to ever come out about the abuse.

BDSM and the like are based on violent misogynistic fantasies and are a form of self-harm for the "submissives" (largely women) involved.

Telling someone who has experienced abuse to repeat the same experience with other men is not only shitty advice, it's actively hateful.
Minerva, you have a very inaccurate view of the BDSM community. Every community I've known or been involved in, a Dom like that would be despised and shunned for his behavior. The scene has had a recent influx of people like this thanks to the "50 Shades of Grey" books, and the long-time members are appalled.
@81 “violent misogynistic fantasies “
Would you consider cis men’s submission to cis women as the ultimate politically correct act, or just another form of affirmative action?
Ms Fan - My cosmic vibrations would suggest both. X1 doesn't (on what's presented) act like someone who was faithful when young and then became what he's presented as being, and LW1 doesn't seem the type to pass up any strongly vindicating detail, especially as she's asking for permission for something in the same line.
@81: See, now that’s some meaty sex-negative paternalism for you, @22.
@iseult @66:
> Your attractiveness and what makes you desirable are not dependent on
> others' lust for you

Sure they are! Being attractive, being desired--these involve more than one person, by definition. They don't happen in a vacuum.

@69: Congrats, Mtn. Beaver, on scoring the lucky number! Mega-Millions or Powerball next?
@65 LavaGirl: I was referring to the Australian study Dan had mentioned in his response to YPTAIGGTW (LW2). I was just curious.
@88 my very first time!
@90 Mtn. Beaver: WaHOO!! As a repeat winner, I am proud to bestow this week's honor upon you.
Minerva @81: As Luke Skywalker would say, everything about your post is wrong.

The kink community focuses on consent in a way that puts vanilla people to shame. Ethical Doms -- and they are, in fact, the majority -- consider the pleasure and comfort of their subs to be their first priority. As Deadrose @82 says, if TOOFAST went public with her experience, it's the Dom who would be shunned. Telling someone who has experienced abuse at the hands of a shitty Dom to avoid BDSM is like telling a rape victim she must be celibate.
@75. UndeadAyn. I'm not sure why you see her ex-husband's behavior as 'malicious'. It's a bit arrant and low but you seem to think he intends her and her new family some intentional harm.
@93: "you seem to think he intends her and her new family some intentional harm"

Why yes, yes I do.

Do you have an opinion on why he is not trying to destabilize them and his current relationship for some short-term sexting, or was this restatement of my observation?

The full intention is power over her over her subsequent ties and responsibilities since leaving him, the destabilization is intentional, not accidental.
Aunt Zelda,
The two seen below links deal with different takes on the Australian bi men-straight women relationship research. From my perspective as a wanna I’d say that accommodation can lead to a very appreciative reciprocation.
Not always the case though. As they used to print on the back of our hifi stereo LP’s once upon a time, “When in doubt, consult your dealer.”…
And a happy 2018 to you too,
auntie cmd
The plot of Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki had a similar dynamic with an ex. Pretty pulpy noir. "Cp-parenting" seems like far too yuppie a term for LW1's situation.
@75. UndeadAyn. Why do you think the ex-husband 'malicious', rather than a bit hopeless and irresponsibly horny with his advances?
Sorry Ayn, you answered me before; my computer is playing games with me in coffee houses.

I don't think her ex is acting with a full sense of intention. I wouldn't see him as thinking, 'if I can get to fuck her again, it will mess things up with her husband; she'll find her way back to me and e.g. I can parent my own child, I can do better this time, we can resume our amazing connection'.

I would think either one of two things: 1) he understands that she will knock him back; he makes passes at her as a way of getting her to show or concede that there is no resentment at how things worked out in their own earlier marriage; or 2) he wants 'sex with an ex' for a similar reason--for it to mean that she forgives him and still cares for him; that whatever he did, it wasn't that bad, that fatal to her view of him as a basically hot, good guy.

Think of what 'sex with an ex' is such a happy fantasy for guys--why you can see it on the covers of men's magazines. It plays to the male delusion that exes who have broken up with them don't see them as such jerks they wouldn't want casual sex with them again.
@98: “I wouldn't see him as thinking, 'if I can get to fuck her again, it will mess things up with her husband; she'll find her way back to me and e.g. I can parent my own child, I can do better this time, we can resume our amazing connection'. “

I suggested he wants to destabilize her relationship, not that he wanted to be there when it collapses. Cleaning up or acknowledging his messes doesn’t seem a high priority.
“Why do you think the ex-husband 'malicious', rather than a bit hopeless and irresponsibly horny with his advances?”

Why do you think that the latter must preclude the former?

Being stupid, shortsighted and completely uninterested in what’s good for her and their kids... but with good intentions? I don’t see his flexing of power over his ex as anything but destructive.
Ayn-Occam's razor. Selfishness explains vast majority of hurtful behavior. No need to also assume intention to hurt. Burden of proof for extra accusation. Same for you and Sporty.

BDF I was genuinely curious. Maybe we're miscommunicating again. I know people like to shout intentional harm to gang up ostracize shun etc but idk why it's so effective and why people want to use it so often. Incidental and impulsive bad behavior is already worth addressing. And no one can prove intentions anyway, although I see people claiming to know the hearts and minds of others. I could call that intentional evil, but that stupid Dom in 3rd letter probably just blindly trying to get his way not gaslighting because telling others how they feel is fun.

Bdsm is all about intentional harm but it's supposed to be incidental to the goal of awesome orgasms. I don't get the witch hunts, why screaming malicious works to get someone labeled as evil and thus fair prey/punishable.

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