Savage Love

Seattle & Denver

Comments

1

L4: "We've noticed a trend over the years where he gets melancholy after we have anal sex. He doesn't know why. Do you have any ideas or theories about why?"

I have a theory! When humans feel anticipation about anything exciting or a little scary, the body sends adrenaline to the nervous system, to get ready for the big event. Then when the event is over, we feel drained or melancholy, as the adrenaline fades. So even when I feel melancholy, I feel better knowing (or at least believing) that it's not actual sadness but an artifact of my hormonal system.

2

Q: “...What is the best relationship advice you've ever received?...”
A: Don’t sweat the petty things, just pet the sweaty things.

Q: “...My partner is not able to make me orgasm...”
A: SEX TOYS. Fun for the whole family.

Q: “...all blowjobs should end with a swallow...”
A: Oh, yeah, an African swallow maybe, but not a European swallow, that's my point.

3

Dan the Man: Once again, so many reasons why I love your Q&A columns!
@2 DonnyKlicious: As per usual, I love your comment.

4

I love the advice, but I disagree with Dan about the woman with the guy into cuckolding. It seems to me that that is some advanced GGG on her part. And even if she's having the time of her life, that means he has landed a sexually compatible partner -- most women are not down for that kind of a relationship. Her feelings matter... Maybe they can strike up a compromise (assuming she's enjoying the sex) -- he agrees to be less obvious about the texts he's exchanging with this guy and/or cuts back on them.

I wonder whether or not she has fully communicated her feelings about this when broaching the topic with her boyfriend -- let him know that she feels like she's being cheated on.

5

LW4: Postcoital dysphoria (PCD) or Post-coital tristesse (PCT) is common and strikes many people on occasion, and a small percentage of people regularly. Interesting fact, this phenomenon was first mentioned by the 2nd century Greek physician Galen, who wrote that "Every animal is sad after coitus except the human female and the rooster."

LW6: Cuckolding is a scene in which you are a key participant. If the text messages between your lover and boyfriend are coming at a time when it is disruptive to your relationship with your boyfriend, then I think you can reasonably ask for them to cabin these communications.

LW11: Your girlfriend, like many new submissives, knows what she has enjoyed experiencing at the hands of an experienced dominant, but doesn't have the experience or vocabulary to explain what she want from you. First, you should probably watch her scenes as that is the best guide to what she wants, but you should also start reading about these BDSM interests, and if possible, attending classes on these kinks. Knowing how to humiliate someone takes some education and practice, as does learning how to spank, paddle, whip, cane, and flog someone.

6

I think for the Cuckold situation, it's legit to start feeling like you're just a prop for the other two's sex lives, and dislike that. You might want to find a guy whose main interest is you, and not the other men that are banging you.

7

More wedding advice needed, and eloping would be my preference too. Or a quick trip to the court house.
Don’t be a bridezilla LW. Stay focused on the importance of the day and the commitment you are making to someone else, keep it simple enough that you don’t stress, what’s the point otherwise.

8

The two competing wedding couples should both be told that if they see a lifelong commitment as a social media competition, none of them was mature enough to get married in the first place. And that you're starting a "who will get divorced first" pool.

She's 31, he's 44; he earns more and she has more free time. Simple solution: he pays more rent, since he earns more money; she does more housework, since she has more free time.

How can you convince your girlfriend to have anal sex? By picking out the perfect dildo and harness together. Once she sees how much fun it can be, she may be willing to try it herself. And once you see what it's like to receive, you'll be much better on the giving end. Hint: it's not a pussy; don't fuck it like one.

Boyfriend of 1.5 years won't tell you he loves you? If that's important, go find someone else who does love you and will say it. Does he -show- you he loves you? Which do you prefer, deeds or words?

Donny @2: I knew you'd be able to come up with the perfect response! Not all blowjobs even end with an orgasm. Whoever Blair is, they're an idiot.

Pythag @4: This letter is too short to draw any conclusion about whether she's being "advanced GGG" or whether she loves fucking these other men and feels like she hit the jackpot with her cuck BF. If she were just doing this for him, she might be relieved at not having to participate between hookups, but she's feeling left out. What about the situation is making her uneasy? Does she want to be included in the humiliation talk? (A group chat would solve this problem.) Does she feel both her lovers are neglecting her need for flirting? Does she feel unnecessary in this humiliation game? Does she want to feel like SHE is the one in charge of their dynamic? First she needs to figure out exactly why she's feeling cheated on, then she needs to approach both of her partners and vocalise her needs and her fears.

Sublime @5: Any theories on why this only happens after -anal- sex? (No idea whether LW, or indeed their partner who may be a trans man, has a vagina.)

9

If the Wedding letter is from a man, then don’t be a groomzilla, or if non binary, don’t be a personzilla.

10

@8 "Hint: it's not a pussy; don't fuck it like one." This needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Repeatedly.

As for my two cents, I feel the need to express this because it seems to be horrifically common (and something I've experienced myself) among women: absolutely never, ever decide to suddenly just slam your dick into a woman's ass without her express consent. We know damn well it isn't an accident, even if it sometimes takes years to admit to yourself you were sexually assaulted, especially when it's done by someone you love- and it IS sexual assault. Please don't be that guy.

11

Deep @10: Agree completely. I'm sorry that happened to you, and yes, it's really common. I blame porn. Simpler advice would be "absolutely never, ever just slam your dick into an ass." Even if she has said yes to anal! These porn stars are experts and have probably warmed up off camera, which is why they can take a hard pounding. Do not try this at home! Warm up with fingers and/or small toys, use lots of lube, enter VERY SLOWLY, let the fuckee take the lead, and be ready to stop at a second's notice. Let her peg you a few times and you'll understand.

12

Tell both couples in the "Dueling Dallas Lesbian Weddings" drama that theirs was the best. Or don't bother, and never speak to them again, on the grounds they are mental.

Was LW13 Gordon Brown? #badumtish

13

Roseanne @12: HAHAHAHA!

14

Love the answers and love the wordsearch. I also found 'words', 'orgasm', 'anal', 'vulva', 'rent', 'boyz', 'anus' (five times), 'cum' and 'SF'. 'Santorum' was misspelled.

There's one response I want to amplify and I disagree with. The one I want to amplify is the monogamish, pansexual LW whose friends are opening their marriages/relationships. What does this person's partner want? Does he/she/they see some of their friends only as friends? I'd place potential destabilisation of the primary relationship ahead of disruption to the friendships.

The advice I disagree with is to the woman (was it a woman?) who wants to hear from her partner, 'I love you'. There may be some other reason the partner isn't saying it. They (the partner) could suppose it implies a commitment to marriage, or children, or exclusivity, or a LTR, or something else. The LW should make clear her love is spontaneous, for itself and for her partner; it doesn't set conditions or frame rules. 'He' may then reciprocate and give her her moment.

15

A special message for Dan-- Please, please number the questions when you're answering more than one so we can say which one we're referring to without having to sum up the whole thing. Or at least return to having the letter writers sign off so we can refer to them by abbreviated signature. It's the courteous thing to do for your loyal commentariat.

16

For the LW whose partner is into BDSM, another quick amusing answer would be to try harder. It seems that with all of these mis-match questions the answer is either to give your partner permission to get what they seek elsewhere or to make a concerted effort to give them what they want yourself. She's not impressed. Okay, ask her what would impress her. Look at some porn, get some ideas, and ask her "how 'bout that?"

17

I agree with the tone of the D and DM advice in the cucking context. If the D isn't worth your anxiety, ask whether you want to hotwife. If your anxiety is a socially conditioned reflex over a sexualised form of male intimacy (possibly straight male intimacy), and you can give it up easily, such is the pleasure and hotness of the sex you're having, give it up--enjoy the D, stop sweating the DMs. Or just ask to be discreetly CCed and play along with the fantasy.

18

He says it’s not appropriate (for him), Harriet @14, to say ‘I love you’, which to me says he doesn’t love her. He’s being honest, and the LW either needs to wait til he feels that, if he ever will, or move on.

19

Fichu@16, Yes, Dan loves to suggest outsourcing. This person could go get lessons as I think SA said already. They are skills one needs to learn.
Put some effort in, don’t tell their partner and surprise them with some confident play. Unless they can’t get into it, then look to outsourcing.

20

Harriet @14: It's relationship, singular. There is one couple involved with whom the LW is considering having sex, now that both couples are opening up. (Not sure what the change from "monogamish" to "open" entails -- possibly they previously had a "no friends" or "no one we both know" rule, or were DADT, but I won't speculate.) Agree "ask your partner" would be a good move.

I agree that letter was strange. He doesn't feel it's "appropriate" to say he's in love with (presumably) her? Why not? That's the question I would ask. Because he doesn't love her? Because he is married to someone else? If he's just not verbally expressive, fine. But what's not "appropriate" about saying "I love you"?

Fichu @16: Yes. Or better, ask HER to show the LW some porn involving stuff she likes. Join FetLife and see what groups she's joined. GF should at least be "impressed" that LW is willing to try.

21

@4+1. Her feelings about the texts need to be accommodated, he could limit how often / when he texts.

@10,@11 there is one exception to the no-slamming-dicks-in-asses: a guy in a sling in a sex club whose legs are spread and lubed ass is already gaping wider than the Lincoln Tunnel, who has a bottle of poppers ready under his nostril, who smiles at you when you make eye contact giving affirmative consent. Slam away!

22

@10 @11 This has been discussed before but it can be an accident. If things are slippery and the lights are off and people have been drinking, weird things can happen. It's happened to me and I definitely wasn't doing anything on purpose. I apologized profusely, we laughed, and the fun times ended for that evening. That seemed like the appropriate reaction.

Some guys are dicks and are assaulting but accidents do happen.

23

@4 I often find Dan can be quite glib when he's rapid firing answers. I guess that's the nature of it though since it takes time to be thoughtful.

I agree with you, though. Her feelings do matter in this case and her s/o should be more considerate of them.

24

The worst trope in TV is one person saying "I love you" and the other person not saying it back and hijinks ensuing. I hate every time that happens. Do you really love someone if its conditional on them expressing it back to you in the same way? Or is that just emotional terrorism.

I've been in relationships where I said it first and they weren't there yet. That was fine. One relationship, the other person never got there and that was fine and contributed to downshifting the relationship over time. But they appreciated me expressing how I was feeling and I appreciated them not pretending to feel something they didn't.

Triple ugh to anyone who gets freaked out about these things. Yes, you may need to hear it eventually but if you're sitting around pining and demanding that someone be at the same place you are, you're going to be disappointed at some point.

25

@2 Is that the West African swallow or the South African Cave Swallow?

This article on the airspeed of the unladen swallow, will help you figure out whether or not the swallow has swallowed:

http://style.org/unladenswallow/

Footnote 3 is a reference to Monty Python! But nowhere is there a mention of a swallow laden with having swallowed multiple loads.

28

1 - My stepmother has been watching a television programme in which it appears that several brides attend and score each other's weddings. I have yet to hear what prize is awarded. It seems reasonable to propose that the wedding INDUSTRY is absolutely disgusting.

2 - That might be useful when playing doubles.

3 - Eat your favourite desserts.

4 - So did Ms Renault's version of Alexander the Great.

5 - You're terrible, Muriel. Then again, as she may be the only person I can recall who actually enjoyed her wedding (something people probably aren't supposed to do; it seems more designed as a gauntlet), that would suggest a lot of ABBA.

6 - Dump him for a woman; then at least it will be nobody's fault. [to the assembled company - yes, I know, but that's the nicest of several alternatives]

7 - It is disappointing when one realizes that one is the sword and not the swordsman. Better luck in the next relationship.

8 - Don't boink good friends; befriend good boinks.

9 - Kudos for not just dumping him.

10 - It depends on whether she's just disinclined (in which case mention it once as something nice and then drop it) or would want it to count as a big favour (in which case, think mink).

11 - Stop using adjectives as adverbs? Does he have a time frame for when it will be "appropriate"? The answer depends on whether you want him to say it or whether you want him to mean it; figure that out first.

12 - It's unclear whose idea it was to try. Either way, accept that this will be something she'll find elsewhere and proceed accordingly. You're not a jerk if you'd rather break up.

13 - Which Blair? Tony Blair (former PM)? Blair Warner (played by Lisa Welchel, who turned into a very weird evangelical Christian after leaving television)? YouTube MTF conservatrans Blair White? I doubt it was the Blair who published some volumes of sermons.

14 - It's okay that you think it isn't okay, but less okay that you think it's okay to ask if that's okay.

15 - Formally, and preferably have the introduction performed by the Red Queen, who will remind your partner and/or your sexual relationship that it isn't etiquette to cut anyone to whom one's been introduced.

16 - Yes; he probably voted for Mr Trump.

29

@ 31/44 split :
Split your rent based on your average hourly income. If one or both of you are salaried, figure out how many hours you realistically work. You could even use your after-tax income.

I feel strongly enough about this that I registered an account after ... umm... 23 years of reading this column.

31

I'm surprised that someone who would actually attend a fetish party be that clueless about what the URINAL t-shirt means. Could it be that the asker is a poseur?

38

"My partner discovered—with someone else—that she loves BDSM, including pain and humiliation. I'm trying, but she's not impressed. What do I do?"

Dan has assumed that that this couple is non-exclusive - at least as far as kink is concerned - and answered accordingly. I'm not sure if this is necessarily the case - the LW could be in a new-ish monogamous relationship with a woman who's discovered BDSM "with someone else" in the past, and now wants to do it with the LW. Maybe I'm just too sleep-deprived and under-caffeinated to English properly, but it sounds like we don't know when this "discovery" was made?

39

@18. Lava. In fact I agree with you. But for the sake of argument, or rather of being open-minded about what's going on here, there are other explanations. Like he doesn't think it's 'appropriate' to avow love for someone to whom he isn't married....

@20. Bi. Yes. There is only one other couple involved. I sort-of see what's happening--and a red light is flashing! The LW wants to fuck an old friend--possibly (or likely) only one partner of the other couple. Rather than scoping this out with their (/his/her) partner, they are posing an unhelpfully, even opportunistically general question about the hazards of sleeping with friends. I can even imagine that this LW has said their (/his/her) current relationship is 'opening' (as opposed to being monogamish on a settled basis) by way of justification for taking a sexual interest in this hot longstanding friend. Check in with your partner and the other couple--couple, not crush/friend! Your situation is specific; don't look for any permission that isn't rooted in personal specificities.

(You, i.e. you, Bi, will say this interpretation is Inference Central--but I wouldn't be so sure...).

40

Of course you share the rent equally, like in any other shared accomodation situation. Then charge for all extra housework done and meals cooked etc. straight down the middle with shared monies and shared work. If you decide to have babies, he then gets to have every second pregnancy. Oh, well. What’s the going charge for carrying a baby for nine months etc, plus danger money?

41

Not sure why LW didn’t ask what their partner meant by ‘not appropriate,’ Harriet @39, would seem the first question Id ask.
What you mean it’s not appropriate. Don’t you love humans or something.
Saying one loves another should be freely given, not demanded.

42

Some quite good responses from the commentariat this time. I had genuine laughs at Donny @2, Venn @28, and Lava @40.

43

One option is that they can move into a place where the lower earning person can already afford to pay 1/2 the rent without having to increase hours nor sacrifice leisure time. If the lower paid person is fine with this arrangement, then the higher paid person can rest assured that the lower paid person is not freeloading. If the higher paid person prefers to live a more expensive lifestyle, then they should likewise not expect others to share their priorities. It could just be a case of lifestyle incompatibility.

I suggest that the higher paid person figure out how much they're willing to spend for their own lifestyle priorities out of their own income and don't budge on that to accommodate someone else (at least so long as children are not involved which changes the scenario entirely). If they are paying what they would've paid anyway, what difference does it make? Then figure out how the lower paid person can contribute to the relationship- both in terms of finances and other things like domestic work- without the expectation that it is going to be a 50/50 monetary split. There is no magical nor mathematical formula that will make it all even. Relationships are all about contributions and compromises, and one must guard against both being taken advantage of and nurturing resentments.

Personally I'd recommend people only build relationships with others who share their lifestyle priorities, but when that fails (either by chance or opportunity) then you can't let it build up into tic for tat pettiness and score-keeping. These feelings are subjective- there isn't an objective solution to them.

...

I think if there were some obvious or extreme explanation (like one of them being married or the person thinking love in a 1.5 year relationship is inappropriate due to some extreme belief system) then the LW would've mentioned that. Occam's Razor: a) they don't love you, b) they do love you but they are extremely out of touch with their feelings, c) they do love you but want to manipulate you. Without more info, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they are a decent person who doesn't wish to lie, so saying "I love you" is inappropriate because they don't.

...

Agreed that the newbie to BDSM's partner should be more explicit about what they want and more supportive about the newbie's attempts. They don't say they don't like it. There's a learning curve to everything. I don't know why the go-to should be to give up and outsource.

...

As anal sex is normalized among straight people, I find it a little disturbing that it's becoming an expectation of all women and not at all of men. It's even weirder when you consider that all gay men are not expected to be bottoms. Realistically, you'd expect similar numbers of straight men to be into bottoming though this will never become as much a norm since a strap on has no nerve endings for a woman, and you'd expect fewer straight women to be into bottoming because they have a vagina but no prostate. So it's just weird to me that it's becoming an expectation of straight women to receive anal but no one else. On the other hand, it's very likely not actually becoming an expectation of straight women and I just spend more time talking to folks like you which has skewed my perspective.

...

Who is Blair?

44

Agree, EmmaLiz. I’ve noticed that, gay men being allowed a preference and us women aren’t, not without cause.
Do gay men try to convince their partners to try it, like straight men seem to think they have the right to try with straight women.
What goes on here, seeps out into the general population. I’ve heard thru a source, the boy next door, that my son and his gf are now in an open relationship.

45

Lava @ 40 - Funny! Now let's see how many men accept this arrangement.

As they used to say: if both men and women could carry babies, each taking their turn, no family would have more than three children.

46

EmmaLiz @43 -- I sometimes feel that, like threesomes, men see getting to penetrate their girlfriend or wife's ass as a notable achievement, worth their efforts. Like leveling up on a video game.

Sure, she doesn't have any interest (in the threesome or the anal), but that's how you know it's valuable -- because she doesn't give it up easily. So you work and work to get there (ethically or non-ethically), and then after having achieved it you start thinking about the next level.

47

Erica @46: The fact that I read your analysis as completely plausible is pretty depressing. I suppose the unhappy equivalent is girls who push and push to get married, even though the guy really has no interest. I console myself slightly by the thought that people who play those sorts of games in relationships probably aren't particularly happy overall.

48

Erica, Ciods - "The fact that I read your analysis as completely plausible is pretty depressing."

I'll second that. It is completely plausible and it is pretty depressing.

49

@46 My level would be over 9000!

51

Mizz Liz / Ms Lava - I remind the assembled company that we can go back several decades and find fairly steady estimates that 1/4 to 1/3 of us don't anal at all.

While this is not my area of expertise, I believe the more likely trouble for male couples is that neither will want to top.

I suppose this could be considered one of the positive aspects of the necessity for negotiation.

52

Harriet @39: LW says "Any reason why I should not have sex with my friends," plural. LW is pansexual. The logical conclusion, to me anyway, is that LW wants to have sex with both these friends, either separately or simultaneously. I'll make an inference that LW has encountered no objection from their partner but is still wary of pitfalls neither of them may have foreseen.

EmmaLiz @43: Good alternative proposal re the rent situation. As for why women are now being expected to take it up the arse but not men (despite only men having prostates), again, I blame porn.

EricaP @46: I'll join the plausible and depressing agreements. What, women enjoy sex? Then you've achieved nothing in getting a woman to do something she enjoys too. How about convincing her to do something she won't enjoy? That puts you back in a position of dominion over her.
Either that or it's just because of porn.

53

@43 I sure hope those ... are asterisms and not ellipses. :) But +1, +1, +1, +1, +1 all 5 comments spot on! (I had never heard or Blair either.)

@44 do gay men pester partners to bottom - oh yes, incl. both BFs and hookups, despite apps where exclusive top status or current night's preference has been clearly stated. I'm sad to say that men, especially cis men socialized from birth as males, are often entitled pigs.

In comparing intimate relationships with women and men, I can say it is night and day how cis women have been socialized to imply and acquiesce, and men to demand or just do what the fuck they want.

Of course, there's a wide range of individual variations, and huge cultural differences too. But many men are just slightly less orange versions of he-who-shall-not-be-named, the evil fake hair monster in the White House.

54

Larry @22: During the discussion on accidental anal, I came down on the side that it is indeed possible. Dan didn't think so. The reaction to the victim's cries of pain should indicate whether unannounced anal penetration was an accident or an "accident". If he apologises profusely and stops (everything!) immediately, he's not a DTMFA.

55

Ms Fan - Porn can take the blame for many things. And I'll add in (to a lesser extent but it feels like a Kitchen Sink Moment) the V-card; the assembled company will doubtless recall the vast number of A-experienced virgins attending evangelical churches and receiving Abstinence Only education.

57

@29 That is genius and the definitive answer.

BiDanFan@54: That’s a very good point - if pain happens, it’s time to stop, apologise and maybe do something else with the evening. If pain doesn’t happen, I think a quick apology and going back to the main event is fine. But under no circumstances should an accidental slip give the excuse to keep ploughing that furrow.

58

‘How can I nicely convince my girlfriend to have anal sex?’ Says it all. No means No.

59

I think porn, too. I disagree with the idea that its popular because it's naughty (or at least, I'm sure that's true but it's not the main reason behind its popularity)- surely it's way naughtier for the straight guy to take it up the ass. I agree with the plausibility of the idea that it's about dominance or upping the ante or the idea that sex has to be an achievement, etc. But the reason it interested me to compare it with gay men is the question of scarcity. So where the scarcity is flipped (more bottoms than tops), it seems it's the other way around- pestering for someone to top? Of course it's a poor analogy in the first place since women have a vagina.

Venn, yes, I think the religious right unintentionally contributed to mainstreaming anal- I also know younger girls who blew and butt fucked their way through college so they could save that perfect vag for hubby. (I almost vomited writing that sentence. Such terrible people.)

And unless I come across as too judgmental, I should add that a minority of women really do love anal, even on the regular. Though for most straight couples who do anal at all, it's something to experiment with, a novelty, and not a regular thing for all the obvious reasons but mainly because of the inconvenience (more prep required for most of us, less ability to switch things up, limits positions, etc)

For myself then, I'm going to settle on an explanation that includes all of the above, though I think porn is the main thing. I'm also firmly in the camp of normalizing butt play for straight dudes. Dan's answer was the right one. If she says no then Lava's answer at 58 is the right one after that. But I don't think there is anything wrong with checking in from time to time in case someone changes their minds over the course of a long relationship. Just don't be a pest or treat it like some victory.

I don't know how accurate sex research is (how do you conduct that accurately?) but as it currently stands, the majority of women who do anal find it painful and receive no pleasure from it. The majority. I have to wonder about the mainstreaming of an act that causes pain and zero pleasure for most women who do it.

And to wrap up the butt sex talk, I fall in with BDF and Larry that accidental anal is a thing with straight people. Your hips are wider, and in some positions, you are already spread and the vagina is right next to the asshole and it can get EXTREMELY wet down there. Though if he keeps going that's really shit and an obvious indication that it's not accidental. Also (in my case) if he pushed in all the way- in my experience it was just the tip penetrating and then immediately pulling out.

Regarding having to guide the dick into penetration (cocky I think)- I've always guided a guy's dick in, unless he was behind me and could see or unless there was some reason my hand's aren't free. I don't need to think of armadillos.

Hunter, I did search that- some porn star, no idea how that's relevant. Does she also give sex advice? I also found a trans woman on Youtube who does give sex advice and is also (oddly) a social conservative though afaik she's not the one in question. I also tried searching "sex advice Blair" thinking perhaps there is a competing columnist and found references to the show Gossip Girl in which a Blair dates a Dan but not ours. So I'm left with no clues- who is Blair? Probably just a woman in the audience?

I agree that weddings are awful btw. Bridezillas require enabling. If we all called out that the emperor is naked, it would stop. The wedding industry is insane yes, but it's sane compared to the same in India. Friends don't let friends have big weddings. I'm a big fan of eloping and backyard weddings. I've been a maid of honor. I loved the people I did it for but it cost us nearly 2K (just on my dress and shoes and the drinks/food, etc) - this is before the plane ticket and hotel. I bet in the end, it was closer to 3K. Can you imagine? I decided then to never fucking do it ever again- but young people don't think about it and it takes on a life of its own. Then they got divorced a few years later. I suspect the wedding industry and the divorce lawyers are in cahoots.

60

I was a bridesmaid for a school friend EL and all I remember of the experience was that sister in law to be, got up me because of hairdressers. Did I not pick the right one or did I plan to do my own hair. I don’t remember the details. Unpleasant memory.
I know it’s porn which has got men wanting women to do anal. It was not on the to do list when I was young.I gather it’s been a birth control method for some, since whenever.
It’s the influence of gay on hetero culture over the last decades, then taken up by the porn industry to try it with women.
I assume men like it because it’s tighter than the vagina, EmmaLiz. Erica said it, it’s also about upping the ante, ‘everybody else does it honey, what’s wrong with you.’

61

Thanks delta35 and cbu for your responses.

62

Amen, Lava @58. Anal sex is a privilege, not a right. If she doesn't want to do it, drop it. Even if he DOES like it up the butt himself, she is not obligated.

63

Ms Lava - I suspected someone would blame The Gays sooner or later. With apologies to Ms Fan and Mr Alan, if you're going to think that way, why don't you blame The Bi Men? That would be the most direct link.

I'm fairly sure it was a part of straight experience and porn long before gays were socially accepted, which, after all, is something that has occurred only with the lifetimes of the assembled company (and, in some places, has yet to occur, as I recollect a story I saw recently about how Rainbow Railroad rescued 42 gay Chechens).

I think this is one of the more detrimental side effects of the Queer Eye franchise. People think we want specific influence over The Straights. I'm sure the vast majority of us really don't to any significant degree; there's so little overlap. Some of us may want influence over society as a whole. But we certainly have no interest in spreading the pushing of anal on OS women - if we had any stake at all, it would be the other way around.

65

Venn @63: You'll be pleased to know I beg to differ on the theory that straight anal was popularised by gay/bi men. In my experience, it's the ultra-straight bro's who are pushiest about convincing their girlfriends to go to "fifth base." In fact, if the theory that "wanting to fuck your girlfriend in the ass is so gay" were popularised, we'd see a lot fewer men trying it on. No, it seems to me like plain old ordinary men asserting dominance over women by getting them to do something which is -- the way most straight men do it, anyway -- unpleasant at best, painful at worst. It's about scoring points against the female sex, debasing them. (This is not to say that straight anal sex is always debasing, but the attitude that one can "nicely convince" an unwilling girlfriend to do it is.)

More charitably, there's also plain old curiosity! What does it feel like? How is it different? If I had a dick, I'm sure I'd want to find out how anal felt compared to vaginal sex. But if I had a dick, I'd also have an ass, and I'd be able to empathise with the idea that having something shoved into it may not be pleasant. If -you- wouldn't enthusiastically agree to being pegged, you should not expect that of your female partner. And if you do expect your girlfriend to participate in something she's likely to find unpleasant just to satisfy your curiosity, you'd better be GGG as hell in and out of bed for her.

67

Anal has become mainstream, so I guess it’s wise to put it up there with important self disclosures on dating profiles; Hairy men only. Don’t do anal.

68

I wonder what the Pay Gap would look like if payment-in-kind for stay-at-home parents (rent, food, etc) were recorded at it's cash value?

71

Lava, I do think it's porn, but I don't think it's from gay porn or the (increasing) normalization and acceptance of gay sex. If it were, then straight men would be taking it up the ask, pestering their girlfriends to fuck them with strap ons. But that's not what's happening.

Hunter I have no doubt that you can find a porn star who says any number of random things about any number of sex acts with most common names. It's possible it's a porn star that the LW is referring to, though I was curious if it was a competing sex advisor.

Venn, when I was younger, anal sex was part of the straight experience, but it was rare and special absolutely not expected. At that time, people did not have porn on demand. I was almost never asked for anal.

I also am skeptical that it really has more to do with tightness than with dominance, novelty, upping the ante, etc. Hands can be plenty tight and guys aren't running around demanding hand jobs. Simplest explanation- guys just want to stick their dicks in everything.

72

taking it up the ass (not ask)

73

Though btw to get back to the main mystery-

I do think it's healthy and normal for most people to want to experiment, and most guys are going to wonder at some point what it would feel like to fuck an ass, just like most women will wonder at some point what it would feel like to be fucked in the ass- and the novelty is fun, experimentation mixes things up, so you might find something new that you like, etc.

The mystery is why almost no straight men are interested in finding out what it feels like to be fucked, not the other way around. And my first question was- is it really an expectation now of all women (as opposed to something that a minority enjoy and that most others just try from time to time out of curiosity?) I'm skeptical that it's really as much of a norm as it seems to be but maybe that's cuz I'm becoming one of the olds.

74

@69: Congrats, Hunter, for nailing the coveted Lucky @69 Award. Savor your newfound wealth wisely.

75

@54 I think that the line for "accidental anal" happens when the head of the penis touches the sphincter, I can't imagine someone's doing full thrusts - that's difficult enough in an unlubricated vagina, let alone the butt of a non-experienced anal-sex haver.

@70 huh? I was riffing off the rent share question.

@40 If homemakers got paid for their work, but had to pay their own way for rent/etc, would that be good or bad for women in general, do you think?

76

@62 & @65 BiDanFan: (re @138: No Hard Feelings? Please email me when you can.

80

EL @71, if straight men were asking for anal, wouldn’t that mean they were gay, in their minds?
It wasn’t mainstream when I was young, like kinks weren’t. These are sociological changes which have occurred over the last decades.

81

@75, Sportlandia. If home makers were paid a decent wage then I don’t see why they wouldn’t split the bills. Who would pay them.. don’t see the state helping to ease the burden on families, despite the mammoth task they do rearing the next generation.

82

The guy who won’t say “I love you” is almost certainly playing games and she should DTMFA.

The cuckold who won’t stop texting the guy fucking his girlfriend needs to chill out and stop making his girlfriend feel like she’s just a prop in this story.

The woman with the girlfriend whose mom pretends her daughter’s straight should start attending family functions and make it clear that this matters to her. Tell the girlfriend it makes you uncomfortable to be hidden.

83

EmmaLiz @71: "Simplest explanation- guys just want to stick their dicks in everything." Yup! When I was younger, young men would ask for anal, but the expectation was that the answer would be no, and pestering would not ensue. Porn has given men the idea that this is a staple of the hetero diet, that a woman isn't GGG if she won't do it.

EmmaLiz @73: I would dispute your estimate of "no straight men" being interested in getting pegged, too. :)
As I am neither young nor straight, I can't speak to how many young women are giving in to pressures to make anal a regular menu item. Perhaps the norm still is that the majority of women say no when asked, but since porn has made it easier for the men involved to argue that "everybody does it," I worry for them.

Sporty @75 re @70: I got it. He couldn't afford her, because if domestic work was paid hourly, nearly every woman on the planet would be out-earning her partner by leaps and bounds.

Lava @80: Indeed, many straight men see being fucked up the ass as a gay thing, which does stop many of them wanting to explore. And makes some of those who do explore feel confused about their sexuality. (Yup, speaking as someone who had to tell a young partner whose pegging fantasy I fulfilled, "Don't be silly, dude. I have a female body. This isn't gay.") If queer male sexuality were more accepted, I do think you'd see many more straight men trying it out.

84

@Bi: "if domestic work was paid hourly, nearly every woman on the planet would be out-earning her partner by leaps and bounds."

Since domestic work rarely makes much more than minimum wage, I think your statement is unlikely to be true. Unfortunately, the fact that the job isn't fun doesn't make the work worth much on the market.

Dadddy @77: Personally I think it's nice if both people contribute to housework and domestic chores. I don't think there's any such thing as 50/50, but domestic bullshit seems to be such a common source of irritation and built-up resentment that any steps to avoid that seem worthwhile. However, I also think it's perfectly reasonable for either person (but typically the higher earner) to make their contribution by hiring professionals. It's a mystery to me why people don't do this more often. If you have the money, for goodness sake, use it to keep your home life happier! What's the point of it otherwise? If a budget can run to several separate cell phones it can probably run to a housecleaning service.

86

cockyballsup @64 -- I think many men like the novelty of the tightness, but (starting with middle age at least) that's balanced by anxiety over the need to have hard erections for anal. So straight men don't end up preferring anal over vaginal most of the time, though I believe they do like the dominance aspect of knowing their partner isn't restricting them from any holes.

Dadddy @77 -- that was EmmaLiz who wrote about balancing out relationship contributions when one partner makes significantly more.

BiDanFan @83 "I would dispute your estimate of 'no straight men' being interested in getting pegged, too. :)"

Agreed! And I think plenty of gay men enjoy butt plugs and other insertables as well, even though cockyballsup doesn't.

87

Ms Fan reminded me of something else. Anything known to be popular among gays will have an "icky G" aura about it. That brought to mind those Latin cultures in which it's only the bottom who's perceived to have the IGA, while the top can still pass as straight. Perhaps the pro-woman solution then is to spread the word how extremely gay anal topping is.

88

Yes cbu @85, the real thing must be preferable, though many straight men won’t go there. Many do as you say. So many hidden bi people around, they should be ashamed of themselves.
Be out and be Proud.

89

Ciods@84, housework not fun! I love to cook, and sweep. Sweeping is soothing, the rest is such a chore.
In a family with children the chores can run into the night, even if you’re a stay at home parent. So that’s overtime pay. It’s a 24/7 available to others job, more loading. The pay could get up there.
My mother was so fastidious with the house, then she made it unpleasant to be in it. I’ve gone the reverse.

90

To the person whose partner discovered that she's into BDSM but is not impressed by your efforts, I think you should have a certain amount of entitlement to be a newbie to kink, if that is what you are. Even if you were super experienced, it still doesn't mean you would automatically know what specifically turns her on. You're being nice enough to try to indulge your partner's kink. It's her responsibility to do the other half of the work - to give you specific information about her likes and dislikes, without any judgment if you don't get it "perfect".

Get her to tell you exactly what kind of pain she likes. Does she like pleasure of pain because she's a masochist? Does she like pain that actually feels unpleasant and is not pleasurable, because she gets off on suffering? Does she like a slow build up that leads to more intensity or does she like it fast and hard out of the gate? And then let her describe what kind of actions will produce those results. She can't expect you to magically know.

Same with humiliation. Let her talk about what that means to her. Does she want some playful giggly teasing that's mildly embarrassing? Does she want humiliation that is really scary and vulnerable? Does she want to feel completely debased? And what things will make her feel that way? Sometimes people who like to be humiliated find it difficult to say what they like. (Maybe that's why it was easier for her to discover this with somebody else.) But saying what you like is necessary to receiving sexual fulfillment. If it's difficult for her to say out loud, maybe she could put it into writing and text it to you. Or maybe you can talk about it when you're both blindfolded. Let her know that you won't judge her for what she shares. And that has to be absolutely true. You have to be a safe space for her to open up.

Along the same lines, let her know that she shouldn't be judging you for not magically providing the exact kink experience she has in her fantasies. Being a BDSM top can be a vulnerable position too, and you are as entitled as she is to have a judgment fee zone. I'm sure there must have been something or the other that she's done in the bedroom that didn't exactly work for you, and hopefully you didn't make it feel like you were "not impressed" with her.

If it turns out that BDSM doesn't work between you two, that's okay. But just make sure your partner knows that you expect the bedroom to be free of judgment and shame (Unless you both consent to it of course!).

94

Cocky- good point re: plastic vs flesh. That's obvious but I didn't think of it until just this moment. Yes I'm the same way. I have zero interest in dildos (lots in vibrators though).

Daddy/Erica- Though the quote in question is from me, it was BDF who first brought it up (@8). I referenced that as an example of ways that people can contribute to relationships outside of expenses but my whole point was that you can't really quantify these things and there is no mathematical formula which is why I have not responded at all to Sporty's question. I agree it can be hard for some folks to do that- it depends on the individuals involved which is why I think it's actually a matter of lifestyle incompatibilities, not financial egalitarianism (which is neither desirable nor practical for some people but is a priority for others, etc).

95

BTW I agree that the bf in question should be cautious, especially as beginnings of relationships are sometimes foundational to later habits. I think the lower earning person should probably find someone who likewise prioritizes free time and the higher earning person should probably find someone who likewise supports themselves in the manner that the higher earning person prioritizes, etc. I just don't think it's super reasonable to ask either to make big lifestyle changes (IMO that breeds resentment later) and I don't think it's ALWAYS that way. There are in fact people who are ok with (or even prefer) to have a partner that works much less and contributes in other ways, so it seems foolhardy to make a formula recommendation. But yes, everyone needs to be on guard for if they are being taken advantage of which I tried to center in my response- so I agree with a lot of what you say Daddy. Once people have assets, it's important to be clear about relationships moving forward- it can get messy fast. I'm lucky to not have to deal with that much since we were both dirt poor when we met, but if I were newly single somehow, I don't think I'd ever share finances with anyone and would do things on my own terms- though it's easier to speak in hypotheticals.

96

Dadddy @92: "one partner enduring the stress and long hours of a full time career, now with the added pressure of funding the other's happiness under threat of abandonment, while the other has ample spare time for spin class, shopping, triaining for triathalons, and socializing. "

Damn. You and I know really different sets of people.
What you describe sounds like a recipe for disaster. I would not be down for that.

The couples I know with seriously disparate earnings usually made a conscious decision for it to be that way for reasons associated to both people's preferences about childcare--both members of the couple were in steady, medium-to-high earning jobs before they had kids--and yes, it's usually the woman who steps back from her career. But then she picks up full-time kid-care, and (often, in my crowd) also goes back to part-time work after a few years, when the kids are in school. To me, kid-care seems as stressful as any full-time high-paying stressful job, so it seems fair enough to then consider housework as something additional, shared between the two, in whatever way they make work.

I know two examples where decisions about kids were not the reason for the major gap in earnings--including my own relationship--but in both cases, both people in the couple love their jobs, and it just happens that one is much higher-paid than the other. My partner makes most of the money, but he is fortunate enough to do so in a situation that makes him happy, and although it has periods of stress (what job doesn't?) it isn't overall high-stress. Nor does he have substantially less free time than I do. I do 100% of the daily cleaning and housework stuff (except maybe only 50-75% of the cooking), but I don't do so because I feel like I "owe" it to him for making less money, but because I care about how clean things are and he doesn't. (There are certainly times where frustration could build up in me over this, if I let it, and at those time I do remind myself that he makes most of the money doing a job I wouldn't want to do, so it's really no big deal to wash his dishes again. But it's more a mental trick I play on myself than how I aim to feel most of the time.)

I have a good friend whose husband lost his job a few years into their marriage. She paid all the bills and was happy to while he was, ostensibly, looking for work. None ever materialized. They did okay--she had a decent job--but he also did not contribute at all on the home front. I suspect he was depressed about his lack of job, and maybe thinking all he was "good for" was housework affected how he saw himself--one can make all sorts of gender-based conjectures here about the psychological effect on men of being expected to do the primary housework-- but in any case, if he had done some it sure would have made her feel better about the relationship, but he never did. After a few years she left him. I do not blame her and I would not blame any guy in the same situation. You gotta bring something to the table, be that cash, cooking, or cocksucking.

97

Griz is back, somewhat, upon fighting off a nasty unexpected cold.
Who's up for a Hunsky? Lava?
@83 BiDanFan: Thank you for the email. I responded :)

98

To add to clods' assessment, in my own case (of having in recent years been the partner with reduced work but having in the past been the partner with more work) the few years of child and elder care did not leave much more leftover time than did professional work. The difference is the dullness of caregiving. It requires you to be present physically and available for chores off and on throughout the day, but it is not engaging nor challenging nor interesting most of the time. So there is just enough constant disruption to severely limit possibilities of freelance work (since I rarely have a 30 minute stretch of uninterrupted time) but not engaging enough to keep me occupied (since likewise I rarely have a 30 minute stretch of tasks to complete). Then now that the kids are mostly on their own and we've recently had a funeral and my own injury is healed, how do you go back to full time employment after having fallen behind for a few years? Priorities shift, new habits get established. I can get extremely annoyed at people who think you can quantify the years of contribution and domestic work and caregiving by hourly wages- for one thing, you are investing in something that will never have a promotion and that puts you behind competition and advancements, unlike hours invested in a career, etc. That it's usually men trying to make comparisons like Sporty attempts above (in bad faith IMO) - that is not lost on me. What would these hours of work be if compensated in food/shetler? Far less than I earned hourly when I worked professionally. Do you quantify the opportunity cost? Do you count what it would've cost to pay for an old folks home and childcare? That was so expensive as to be impossible- it would literally have required selling a home, cashing out on investments, living in poverty- if you quantify that, I should get hundreds of thousands for this, but what happens is that this sort of labor is almost never compensated. How do you quantify the economic cost/benefit of preparing children for the world? People who want to have these conversations in terms of hourly wages can dunk their heads in my toilet and feast on my shit while I kick them in the nuts - because they almost always have nuts. Spinning classes!

But that's not really relevant to the LW who does not have children either of their own or with the higher earning partner. In this case, it sounds like it is a choice as well- one that most people don't have. Let's keep in mind that for the vast majority of people, increasing hours doesn't necessarily mean you earn enough money to afford a nicer lifestyle- and even for those that do, it's a perfectly reasonable choice to decide to increase one's leisure time if one has no one to look out for other than oneself. Why the hell not? In that case, it really is up to the higher earning partner to decide how much they want to spend and how they want to prioritize their lifestyle. Then consider compatibility. Bean counting isn't going to work for anyone- it's going to make them miserable. People who are constantly worrying that their partners will get one over on them and who approach relationships that way make me sad. It must be miserable to be that lonely, that lacking in actual intimacy, that much uncertainty. All it takes is choosing to be honest and gentle with one another while likewise not being stupid.

99

I think a more interesting conversation would be how society would be changed if Americans were not trapped in their jobs to receive health care, if childcare and elder care were subsidized and available for everyone. We'd have fewer conversations about this sort of thing in those cases and more people in the work force on their own terms.

100

Griz!

101

@100: Sorry, Lava, and everybody----I could use the Hunsky. Griz's rent just went up by $100.

102

@98 & @99 EmmaLiz: Agreed and seconded. So many of us would certainly benefit from universal healthcare.

104

Ciods @84: "If domestic work were paid a fair hourly wage," then. Sheesh...

Cocky @85: I think you mean "straight" men, not straight men. Unless you mean straight men who like being fucked but only by the penises of trans women. Otherwise you are talking about straight-identified men perhaps, but if a guy likes being fucked by a man he is not straight.

Hunter @91: I prefer to be "paid" for my "sexual services" in orgasms rather than currency.

EmmaLiz @92: I'm sure you and Cocky both know that dildos are made generally of silicone, not plastic. But while you and Cocky may know there's a difference between the way a dick feels versus a dildo, straight guys don't. They gotta work with what's available, meaning the strap-ons of their female partners. If they truly are straight they are unlikely to have the opportunity to experience the difference. (FWIW, I've been told by more than one bisexual that I fuck butt better than some men they've had, so raw material must be only one factor here.)

EmmaLiz @98: Very well said. Don't forget there are no pension plans which credit you for 20+ years of child raising and home management. My mother spent more than two decades cleaning my father's house and raising his children, they divorced after staying together for the kids was no longer an issue, and she is struggling in old age with only Social Security to live on while he enjoys several properties. I agree that this is one of many problems that would be solved under a socialist system of funding health and elder care.

Congrats on the hunsky, Griz!

105

@Bi @104: Sorry, I wasn't meaning to be snarky, just to observe that as things are, domestic work isn't highly valued. Emma's post after mine did a much better analysis of the real cost/value of it than the market does.

108

"I've been talking to a guy for four months, and we still haven't met in person."

How does anyone ever conclude/learn/whatever that this is normal, a good use of time, a functional behavior, etc.? Whence are they getting these messages? I've had an utterly baffling percentage of women comment that I was being "forward" or "moving fast" because I was using a dating site as a dating site i.e. trying to set up dates with people after a single friendly conversation. I've also had a surprising percentage of women who contacted me first do so from places much too far away for us to date.

If you crave any human interaction and not dating, specifically, go chat up strangers at a bus stop? If you want internet-mediated sex, use the hookup rooms on webcam sites dedicated to that, or chat rooms if sexting is your thing? If you're not setting up a date to meet someone in person during your second conversation (you don't need to get to know someone BEFORE going on a date - getting to know them is what dating is FOR), you're already wasting your time.

@EmmaLiz 98: "People who are constantly worrying that their partners will get one over on them and who approach relationships that way make me sad. It must be miserable to be that lonely, that lacking in actual intimacy, that much uncertainty."

I'm amazed by the number of people who don't seem to actually like - or even know, in some cases - their partners. I guess the desire for reliable partnered sex (maybe, though how many conflicts do we see over sex?) and a particular, preconceived kind of family/household arrangement is so strong that people will marry and/or procreate with people with whom they're not particularly compatible (aside to note that obviously people can mislead one or change; I'm talking about the cases where the incompatibilities are overt BEFORE major social and legal entanglements). And if one's OWN worldview is one where everyone is just trying to exploit others, why even make oneself that vulnerable in the first place, why date/marry at all?

109

@26: Are they all blind/blindfolded? The penis can't necessarily distinguish between one slippery fold of skin and another by feel, so if these people are all literally just poking around without looking, I can see how not being able to find the (correct) hole might be possible, but there are simple solutions involving looking with one's eyes or feeling with one's fingers. I'll even grant that accidental penetration is possible if one's having vaginal sex and the receptive partner shifts unexpectedly (people with penises who accidentally change position all on their own should probably work on their kinesthetic sense and muscle control, exception for those with neurological or muscular conditions that make doing so impossible), though to me it's still more a result of lack of care than a true accident (if you break a lamp playing baseball in the living room, it's not so much an accident as an obvious and likely consequence of you lack of care).

If you (general you) have a penis and penetrate others with it, you can use your hands to spread the folds of skin so you can clearly see the hole, use a hand on your penis to line it up and initially lodge in in the mutually desired hole, and then press forward with your hips. This isn't difficult to figure out or actually do, in my experience. I HAVE had sex with women who have insisted on a method of intial penetration that precludes everything I've just suggested - while kissing (precluding looking), sliding my penis in the furrow of the vulva repeatedly until the head catches in the vagina and slides in (plecluding a manual assist, as in they've objected when I started reaching down to provide a manual assist) - so in those cases, there's nothing the penetrating partner can really do, but then any accidents are the result of what the receptive partner wanted, so that's on them and not really the penetrating partner's concern (beyond normal effort to respect boundaries).

@68: Since the pay gap compares actual job compensation for similar positions and isn't simply a naive comparison of the mean income for women to the mean income for men, and since women on average do VASTLY more domestic labor than men on average, even in two-income househds and even in those where the woman earns more than the man, it would look worse than it does now.

110

It’s hard to separate the personal from the public, JH. We live in a culture where ripping off the earth and each other are the rules of play.
Also people reared in our culture are neurotic in some ways, so they pick another who is also neurotic in some ways and bang, double the trouble. Even if there are no signs of deep damage, once children arrive, things can change. The job and psychological pressure of children... as I see it our childhood gets activated by their presence, and much is dredged up... can and does change people.

111

"I want so bad to have our 'I love you' moment. What should I do?"

Stop consuming all media with fictionalized narratives of love (which is the vast majority of entertainment media) and don't start again until you truly and completely no longer believe that there exists any sort of generalized "I love you moment" shared by most couples. You can really only alter your social programming by modifying your social environment and narratives to which you're exposed.

112

@104 BiDanFan: Thanks. Some days I need all the help I can get. :)

113

Daddy, the stresses you are describing is one of the things that always annoys me with the incel types and the proud boys and all those backwards twats with their veneration of the housewife and the desire to marry virgins and a return to what they see as the good old days: they want the access to a woman who doesn't have much other choice / knowledge, but they want it without the pressures or demands you bring up. You never hear them going on about how difficult it is to be solely responsible for the material conditions of so many people- the pressure breaks people, and you are correct also that the workplace is often isolating while caregiving (traditionally for sure but even still now to some extent) often has a social component. And, aside from the fact that some people are just needier and complain more than others (I have no idea about the personal dynamics of your relationships), it is true also that a person who is wholly dependent upon someone else will take their grievances and resentments to that person - what else can they do? And so yes, you have the added pressure also of being somewhat responsible for another person's emotional wellbeing as well. As for the general public awareness of the various hardships- two things. The first is correcting for centuries of oppression. The second is men's own organizing failures. If they would instead intelligently and compassionately discuss their own grievances in solidarity with feminists (who have been writing about these things for decades btw) then they could perhaps bring more attention to those issues. But instead, the vocal ones tend to aim their resentment at the first thing (that women's grievances are currently getting more attention than they have in the past- though their actual rights are declining) and at feminists (who are trying to overturn the very conditions that cause the patriarch's grievances in the first place).

I think it would do everyone well to step out of their current moment and look at how what we consider to be normal arrangements for our society were developed in the first place and who has been served by that. But I really don't have time to get into that right now.

Personally I look forward to the end of family- generally but also specifically the stupid and new "nuclear family" which really is an invention to reproduce labor. And now that the wealth of capitalists require less social stability and less labor, you see it falling apart as well. More traditional social arrangements also had their hardships and oppressions (I'm not romanticizing here) but there were at least some networks created in all societies to do the work of social reproduction. What we've seen is the destruction of those networks (which is a mixed bag, as a woman I see mostly benefits) without equal investment in the creation of new ones. I don't know what the future holds- I worry that it will be fundamentalism and failed states and shadow economies outside of a few well defended spheres of wealth and skilled labor. I don't know that people on the frontline of current battles over borders, gender and women's rights are always aware how much their struggles are connected. What we are seeing is a capitalism in which it's cheaper to defend the private interests of a few than it is to invest in maintaining any sort of society (it's our foreign policy abroad for about 20 years now and increasing our domestic policy at home). My guess is we'll have UBI as the cheapest option- just pay people off so they don't descend even more into mass shootings and revolt, cheaper still than heavy investment in widespread public goods and services and keeps all the markets wide open. I could go on long about this but what interests me about this talk about organizing relationships and childrearing and finances etc is how much we are the Petri dishes for the future. I think the short term future is giong to be ugly, but long term- what will emerge?

114

@John 108

Sort of a tangent, but I'm interested in what you said about online dating- especially from people who seem to just want to chat and not actually date. There are all sorts of reasons why people will seek interaction online and I think your approach (if you are trying to actually date) to move it off line as soon as possible is correct so that you don't waste your time or get strung along by people who either lack the self-awareness or the skill to seek appropriate forums for the sorts of online interactions that they are looking for. What I'm curious about is your statement that so many people thought of you as being too forward. Of course it's irrelevant to anything other than my own desire to hear the anecdotes, but could you gives some examples? Im not dating obviously so I wonder about it. I've not hear people in my real life social groups complain about such a thing.

OK but more back to the topic at hand, yes I think most people sort of fall into marriage, either because it is heteronormative (the thing to do) or because it still seems to be the most stable way to protect people's interests while also raising kids and then of course there are legal reasons (immigration, health care) etc. And then people are competitive and socialized to blaze their trail and build their fortune and be all they can be so they see others as allies or enemies in their own personal success- even their partners. Basically, what Lava said except that I'd add to that that childrearing is a lot more mundane and challenging than a lot of people expect it will be- I think one of the sicknesses of nuclear families is that a lot of Americans are never really around kids from the time they stop being one until they have their own, and they get all sorts of silly ideas about what parenting will be like. Then by the time it's not working out that way, life ploughs you over, and they need someone to blame.

115

Dadddy@107~ “...We may need a couch here in the SL comment section...”

Didn’t you get the memo? We have a nice pull-out sofa-bed down in the SL Commenters’ Green Room, just please change the sheets when you’re done. I’ll be there later in case anyone wants to join me... Ladies, please leave your panties with the Concierge...

116

P.S. You’ll know it’s me ‘cause I’ll be the one in the crotchless Batman outfit...

118

Hunter @106: If one (not either of us) were to be so callous as to try to put a monetary value on what they contribute to a relationship, one should include maintenance sex. Ideally in an LTR, the maintenance sex contributions by each partner even out over the life of the relationship, but some are sexually mismatched so there is a lot more maintenance sex going on. But would you also include the sacrifice of the sex the higher libido person is not having, which they could be having with a different partner who does not bring the other things to the table?
Quantifying "sexual services" reinforces the idea of women (in particular) as whores, rather than the idea of sex as a shared joy, which is why I dislike the suggestion.

John @108: I love your use of the word "whence."
Sympathies -- some people do seem to want to do nothing but chat. Some do seem to want to minimise the cost of a coffee date (see CockyBalls on the gym-bunny thread) by establishing compatibility beforehand, via a couple of weeks of messaging. Some just don't have much free time. Some people live in small towns and accept that any relationship they have will be long distance; they don't mind travel or perhaps want an excuse to move. Or they've exhausted their local dating pool and are just bored. None of these people feel they are wasting their time, but if that's not you want, they may indeed be wasting yours.

John @109: Some people prefer to have sex in the dark! And yes, some have these romantic notions that manual assists are not necessary, too many sex scenes in movies (which never show the putting on of a condom either, my own personal pet hate) where they go from kissing to PIV in a few seamless seconds. As you say, this is as unrealistic as porn's implication that anal is universal and easy.

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@41. Lava. Exactly, yes. She should ask, 'what do you mean by 'appropriate''?

@43. Emma. I completely agree that straight anal should not by default be incumbent on women. Yes--the woman is classically the receptive and the man classically the emissive partner in sex. But with the bottom being the game-changer, as it were, recumbency should not automatically imply incumbency. You make a very good point.

/break/
I guess I could make it a trifecta of agreement by saying that I was with Lava in an earlier thread that the choice whether to have an abortion is not the same choice as whether to get pregnant. De facto, it is, but emotionally and morally it feels different. I guess I feel this as a lapsed Roman Catholic. (I didn't have the time to wade into the discussion before).

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@47 ciods & @48. Ricardo. I wouldn't be depressed. Maybe sex is stimulating for some people because it involves triumphing? Not winning, as in you and your lover sharing the win, but triumphing, in the sense of overcoming reluctance, resistance, doubts--getting your partner to 'give it up', to sacrifice to you, or to pretend at least that this is the dynamic. I think it's potentially prejudicial against men to make everything about sharing, empathy, negotiation. Perhaps when sex is characterised in this way, when guys can think of it as something equally satisfying to both or more satisfying to their partner, then ... it’s limp dick time.

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@63. venn. There's a huge overlap; and because of this, for community- and culture-making identitarian reasons, virtually no gays want any leverage over the straights. Some of the reasons you seem to look askance at Queer Eye are the same reasons as mine. (Most people assume I'll love the show, when actually I'm highly conflicted).

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@75. Sportlandia. Would it be good or bad for women to be paid for housework and contribute rent? It would be bad for humanity, because there is a non-financial and non-transactional component to romantic relationships. It would probably be good on balance for women, or better on balance for women than men, because it would possibly result in housework being compensated more fairly. There has to be give-and-take in any partnership; and I don't think it's right for the state, or for dominant cultural norms, to prescribe what form those trade-offs trade. But this isn't the same point at all as calling for basic standards of provision in healthcare or e.g. a citizen's income.

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@109. John Horstman. I don't think a slippery asshole and a slippery vagina feel alike to my dick. I'd be interested in what other people who have experienced both think.

/break/
EmmaLiz and Bi have already made all my points about the wage-earner paying the homemaker for their (hint: 'her') homemaking. But I'm the only person to think that the stereotypically gendered impulse to dominance of the straight guy pestering his gf for anal is anything other than deplorable.

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It's no good to attempt to abolish anything, Hunter. I'm saying that the nuclear family- which is a relatively new arrangement- has run its course. No one need take action to abolish it- though plenty will take action to try to save it. What's interesting is what arrangements will eventually take its place.

As for campaigning, I could run on a platform of nuclear abolition, throwing in my lot with all the folks doing good work for disarmament, and then if I win, make it clear that I was referring to families, not weapons. If there were an anti-family values party, I think it would gain some followers. We could run on a platform of abortion for all, free childcare and eldercare, lots and lots of cheap and yummy street food in every neighborhood, and create a sort of inquisition that shows up at all weddings to torture the guests.

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MrD @107; there are fb pages where dads ask each other questions about life. It has been illuminating to me how sweet so many of them are and how confused all seem to be about what rearing a baby means. I read their comments with much regard for their valiant efforts to deal.
So it’s changing, maybe not in the mainstream, it’s on the ground level.
I look back at my marriage and see what an effort their father put in. He washed all the cloth nappies for five kids etc and did his best emotionally. Though he had so much baggage from his father and mother that it got in the way of his connections to his kids. Now, He is at the other end of the country, he’s got some contact with some of them, our youngest wants nothing to do with him. This boy has adopted his gf’s father, and the gf before this one’s father.
My ex walked from being a grandfather and is missing the sweetest part. Not that I’d ever want to be back with him, life has been bliss, it’s sad that he misses out on the joys of being a grandparent.

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Mr Ddy - Those statistics seem fairly consistent over the last few decades.

M?? Harriet - The one good plot line on the fifth season of QaF was the QE parody, when Brian pointed out that Emmett was wildly popular with the rhymes-with-speeders because he was playing their favourite role of the non-threatening eunuch. That captured QE in a nutshell.

Mizz Liz - "Solidarity" is a Humpty Dumpty term, and feminist writings about gays over the past four decades or so has been way too hit-or-miss to inspire me with much desire for even my version of solidarity with those authors.