Savage Love

Fuck Around and Find Out

Comments

1

'The last shall be firdt, and the firkt! shall be last'

2

I'm guessing he likes the "authenticity" and "real lifeness" and "real person who is attractive" and "personal touch" of facebook compared to, say, Instagram, which is more likely to have filters and careful curation.

3

I'm amazed that SNOOP is a longtime reader/listener.

One would think that she would have known that Dan's position is that snooping is (irrationally, retroactively) justified if it turns out it was necessary.

But in this case it was neither justified nor sane. Someone prone to paranoia shouldn't be trying to stoke it.

And how can a longtime reader/listener not know and accept that dudes look at stuff to masturbate?

4

I am not a man, but in my experience men only interested in sex can hang around and wait for years, as long as they’re allowed to get sex elsewhere in the meantime.

5

Zinaida@4
Wait. How is it 'only sex' they're interested in if they're there for years (during which they're) not getting it? Unless you mean you have each others' phone numbers but never interact while also not having sex.

6

@5 p.s.
It seems to me too common for a guy's interest in sex to irrationally invalidate their also being interested in non-sex interaction.

7

Curious @6 Agree completely.

Curious @5 Hard to explain. Some people seem to completely change after sex, like they were just playing whatever part they had to play to get sex. I don’t have sex with women. I guess I assume women do that, too?

8

Zinaida@6@7
Aw, I understand that some guys will 'play' someone for a long time.

It's just that it can also happen that a guy can have a real friendship for a long time, then get unfairly accused of having faked the whole friendship if they reveal they'd also like it to be more.

9

SNOOPy- Dan’s response is a very good one as it frames the issues right and allows you to move on. So yes, don’t be harsh on your SO and, equally important, let go for yourself as well. Some may attempt to shame you, but I think what you’re going through is a learning curve that many of us have already experienced. While today's relations are way more flexible and aren’t always exclusive as they used to be, there are still silent understandings and expectations that many adhere to.
You did the right thing by consulting others with a situation you were not sure how to handle. You got great advice, and also learned something about your SO you didn’t know before, something pvt from their own inner world. Something they either didn’t want to share or were not comfortable doing for whatever reason. Respect it as that, take it as a learning experience and move on.

If you are interested, and only if you are, there may also be an opportunity for both of you here. Is there something you have in mind, maybe also touch yourself on occasion while it is on your mind, that you never shared with him? You can lead by initiating the conversation and disclose something about yourself, encouraging him to follow. Sharing can lead to enhanced intimacy and trust, real life implementation not required.

In related news:
“he doesn't have a secret second family in another city” reminds me an interview with Divine recorded back in the early 70’s: “Me, gay? I have a wife and three kids in Omaha, Nebraska.”

10

SNOOP: FaceBook does a thing where it shows you pictures of "people you may know", mostly friends of friends. I click on them all-the-time. I also check out the people that comment on my group posts. I may click on the lovely women more often than the unlovely men, but it's the Covid-times, online equivalent of sitting on a patio and "people watching." None of it is banked for wanks, and you've found zero evidence that your BF is wanking over FB hotties, let alone failing to social distance with them.

My advice would be to loudly accuse your boyfriend of cheating on FaceBook so he knows what he's gotten himself into.

P.S. How did you find out your boyfriend had been looking at profiles on Tinder?

11

On its face, SPLIT's letter didn't suggest that she thought splitting after "having sex too soon" meant the guys were only interested in one-time sex.

Having sex "too soon" is having sex before you've talked about sex, and sex-adjacent issues, played around, and figured out what might work and what probably won't.

12

Oh, SNOOP, I am a happily married man who has never cheated, and I do this all the time. Seeing a reasonably attractive profile pic — or hell, sometimes just a woman's name — makes me want to know more about what she looks like. I don't ever contact these women or like their pics; I don't return to their pages again and again, or stalk them in any way. And I know it's still a little creepy, regardless. My wife, who wouldn't blink an eye if I told her I wanted to, say, eat some celebrity's ass, would be a little skeeved out if she knew, I'm sure. So I understand your discomfort. But I don't think you have anything to worry about.

13

That LW1 was depressed is an explanation, not an excuse. If she doesn't pay a comparable forfeit, she'll probably keep snooping. That might not be a bad thing from the perspective of an advocate for BF1, but one doesn't know if it's possible to get there from here.
xxx
L2 and A2 seem more or less fine, with only the quibble that I should have avoided inviting the inference that, if a woman does not enjoy FM sex, it's because of something that's his fault. I'd rarely in my MM realm level any of those charges. Usually either I just didn't get into quite the right frame of mind or we just weren't a match.

14

@1 WA-HOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congratulations, yet again, curious2, on scoring this week's SL FIRDT! (firkt) Award honors! Savor the glory of leading the comment thread and bask in the highly coveted glory. :)

15

As for SPLIT, I wonder how much her conservative upbringing is a factor in this case. It seems like premarital sex is still associated with plenty of guilt, but I’m not sure if this is what leads to the end of the relationships, and how it differs from others who may be looking for THE ONE AND ONLY yet having a problem finding it regardless of their background.

16

On a second thought, "problem" may not be the right choice of word in my last sentence. "Challenge" or "hard time" are likely to be more accurate, as "not finding it" should not necessarily be viewed as a problem.

17

SNOOP: B, just feel shitty about invading his privacy. So what if he is wanking to random people on Facebook? We've all done it. It hasn't affected your relationship at all. You should decide to view what you found as proof of a negative -- that there's nothing whatsoever to be suspicious about, and that your insecurities are all in your own head. (Many people clear their browsing history as a matter of course, to keep their computers clean. We all should, really. I don't do it often enough, I'm sure my IT guy would tell me.) So you now have proof your boyfriend isn't doing anything you need to be concerned about. Find a better way to deal with your anxiety and depression, and go forth and snoop no more.

I have sympathy for SPLIT in a way that Dan never can. Even in Western society, women are shamed for having had "too many" partners. If you have sex with a guy and he ghosts you, you've raised your "number" -- and in a slut-shaming sense decreased your value -- and received nothing in return. So you feel robbed, cheated. If there were an easy way of deprogramming this double standard, I wish I knew what it was. Just consciously reject it at every possible opportunity, and distance yourself from anyone who would reinforce it. If the guy wasn't right for you, he wasn't right for you, and wouldn't have been right for you whether you had sex or not. If he's the type of asshole who ghosts after sex for the sake of it, you saved yourself several more dates with an asshole. But sexual compatibility is important to many, and many people like to have sex early in the dating process to know whether that compatibility is there in analysing relationship potential. Perhaps look at first-time sex as a fact-finding mission? Like Dan says, if you didn't enjoy the sex -- if you didn't both enjoy the sex -- the relationship didn't have much of a future, and you wouldn't have known that without having the sex. Hugs to you.

18

Curious @3: "One would think that she would have known that Dan's position is that snooping is (irrationally, retroactively) justified if it turns out it was necessary."
This one would think that a person who admittedly suffers from anxiety and depression that has become worse in the pandemic would beat herself up for snooping. Which she did. And even if a person with anxiety and depression was thinking rationally enough to be clear on Dan's position, her snooping, as Dan said, wasn't retroactively justifiable so it remains wrong in Dan's book.

Zinaida @7: "Some people seem to completely change after sex, like they were just playing whatever part they had to play to get sex." Have you considered there might be other explanations for this change? Perhaps they just didn't enjoy the sex, realised they were fundamentally incompatible and terminated all pursuit for that reason. Perhaps they have lingering guilt issues from a religious upbringing. Perhaps, after this hypothetical years-long sexless friendship, they are emotionally unequipped to deal with what they presume will become an instant relationship. I once had the rare opportunity to question someone who ghosted me after sex, after we'd had extensive conversations online for a period of several months. He said he freaked out because he wasn't over his ex and "just felt wrong" waking up in bed with me. He seemed surprised when I told him his actions made me feel tricked and used. People are complicated. I'm with Curious, if someone is literally -only- after sex, they'd be unlikely to sustain a multiple-year friendship. And I also think that a person who is an old-fashioned, wait-for-sex person would be unlikely to date someone for an extended period while they were also dating, and having sex with, other people.

Fubar @10, good point. No wanking may be involved here. I was just going with the "worst" case scenario as being completely innocuous. Of course even more innocent explanations are possible. Everyone likes to look at attractive people. If that isn't acceptable to her, she needs to commit herself to a life of singleness.

Fubar @11, if you've been raised to believe that only sex after marriage is morally right, all the sex she's had has been "too soon." And waiting a few more dates will still be "too soon." I agree that a better definition of "too soon" would help her. If she wanted to have the sex, she didn't have it too soon.

Kaigrandmaster @12, it's not creepy at all.

Venn @13, good catch. Bad sex isn't necessarily anyone's fault; they may just be incompatible.

CMD @15, another good catch. Is SPLIT sabotaging these relationships herself by feeling guilt over having sex? Is SHE the one who completely changes afterwards, potentially leaving these men wondering what they did wrong? A question she should ask herself, or possibly an ex she's stayed friends with, if there is such a person in her life.

19

@3 To add on to Dan's rules, I think the level of bad associated with snooping when you don't get satisfaction is also determined by your ability to contain things you shouldn't know. My wife can't help getting upset about things whereas I have an (occasionally troubling) ability to forget things. I truly think I could shrug off the "wife slept with brother 20 years ago" thing while my wife would feel the need to blow up at "you said you only had two beers at happy hour but your text sad you had four!"

If you're going to snoop, you have to know your threshold for weird/bad information. If you truly can forgive and forget, I think you have more leeway as long as you have a decent reason to snoop. If you can't, you better be damn sure you're on the track of big game before you start snooping.

20

@4 Completely agree. Within subspecies heterosexus manus there are far too many scavengers. These skulking mammals are willing to wait long periods of time for the chance to exact their revenge on women and prove their own manhood by sleeping with someone and then ditching them. They'll say and do anything to get what they want and are then gone. Time has no meaning to them.

I think you need to gather other evidence while you wait. Do they introduce you to their friends? Do they have female friends? What are their work relationships like? Some good old fashioned social media snooping can help here (snooping is totally okay pre-relationship right?) If they're friends with a lot of women whom they have no other connection to (mutual friends for example), they're more likely to be playing that "Shoot 50 shots so I'll hit a few" strategy.

21

@8 I think that's not the LW's situation though. She's fine with the romance, she's just experienced men faking the romance/friendship part of it to get sex and then gets ghosted. The "friend zone" thing is a whole separate thing. This women wants the friend zone and the sex but when she gives the latter, she's losing the former. And agreed with @7 that some men will fake the former for a long time in pursuit of the latter.

@18 People who get to know each other should not judge each other based on one sexual interaction. Half the relationships I've had had terrible first times that then got better. This is especially true when you're young and inexperienced. I'm also not sure about your second example either. I'm sorry you had that happen to you but I'd call that guy an asshole. Not because he was not over his ex (though that seems like it could be a lie to get himself out of a confrontation, but we'll assume he's right), but because he didn't communicate that with you.

22

Larry @21 re @8, SPLIT didn't say that the issue is men faking romance and ghosting her after sex. She referred to instances when "things don't go right after having sex and we wind up splitting." Other commenters including myself were talking about ghosting, which is one common way things don't go right, but she says they "wind up splitting" which implies to me that a discussion is had and a decision, perhaps mutual, is made to not continue seeing each other, at least in some of these instances. I don't think she is looking for "the friend zone and the sex" -- ie a friend with benefits. I think she is looking for a relationship with long-term, perhaps marriage, potential. She doesn't want a friendship that is risked by having sex.

Re @18, I agree that sometimes first-time bad sex is not a predictor of future bad sex, but sometimes it is. This woman is 33 and has had "multiple sexual partners." She probably has a sense by now of when sex could get better and when it's just too hideous to repeat. I agree that guy was an asshole, but he wasn't "playing whatever part they had to play to get sex," as Zinaida described. He wasn't in good enough working order to date and wimped out of communicating that to me after finding that out too late. It was immaturity rather than malice. I hope he took my well deserved scolding on board.

23

BDF @18 “Have you considered...?”

Of course, I have. A certain percentage of men who have sex with women actually hate women. Those are the men who do this. This isn’t a news flash.

24

Larry @20 You are way better at explaining than I. Great advice in paragraph 2.

25

SNOOP-- One question is about snooping. I like Dan's answer to it. But there's another question, and that's how much you mind that your boyfriend likes to look at photographs of women on facebook. Me? I don't mind. You? Only you can answer that. I'm glad to tell you that you shouldn't mind, that it's no big deal, but at the end of the day, it's whether YOU mind. If you do, one of 2 things can happen next.

You can break up with your current boyfriend and look for someone who would never look at photographs of other women-- and who might not be as good with you and for you as the current guy. You take that chance.

Or you could ask your boyfriend to be even more discreet. He'd have to promise that he'll never do it again, then arrange it so you never found out that he was doing it/if he was doing it, and you'd have to live with believing that he wasn't doing it while never being positively sure.

Again, I know what I'd choose, but you do some soul searching and figure out what works for you.

26

I’d like to hear more about the wife who had sex with her brother.

27

More than ever, Dan needs to hire a proofreader.

28

SPLIT-- Let me add to your perspective on "things didn't go right". You spend a fair amount of time dating before your first sexual encounter. You like the guy, and he seems to like you. You do have sex together. While there's nothing huge and red flaggish about it, you just don't mix well. He's clean, he tries, he's not violent or anything, but there's nothing terrific or satisfying either. Can you see that as a learning experience that will make you recognize the right sex when it does come along?

My first sexual experience was okay, maybe good for losing my virginity at 18.The 2nd and 3rd guys I slept with were awful (awful for me). Thereafter, some were good, some were bad, some were great. I continued to think nothing had ended well with any of them until I started reading this column and hearing about the experiences of women who waited until they married. Then I felt like the luckiest on the planet! I had enough knowledge and experience to know what I was talking about, to know what I liked. I knew who was awful for me and who was awful for everyone. I had some confidence that what I liked mattered. In some weird way I felt grateful for all my learning experiences.

29

I’ve offered to proofread Dan’s responses, wayne, @27, for free. So far he’s not taken me up. Blind leading blind is probably his take.
LW1, seriously? Get a grip please. Don’t look at other peoples mobiles , computers etc, unless you’re a tech person fixing something. People are allowed their private innerlife, some area where only they enter.
Dan’s theory that snooping is only ok retrospectively, is poppycock.. Ethics doesn’t work that way. Can you get inside his head and see his thoughts , get behind his eyes and stop him looking at that attractive woman walking past him in the street, with her nicely rounded arse visible thru her tight dress? No you can’t. Think of private devices as extensions of minds and eyes.
I know some try to say we all same same re gender, in my experience that just Isn’t true. Dan throws in an image of come bubbling out thru ears.. Would a woman generate that image? Men are visual creatures, hence wanting lights on to watch stuff during sex.
If your beau is cheating, you’d find out soon enough. Don’t tell him, and don’t do it again. Trust he’s living his truth, and being truthful with you.

30

I missed out on the firefighters’ calendar this year, LW1. Guess they didn’t do one. I’ll have to change dates & put up last year’s one. Beautifully built young men, who I enjoy looking at. No scrappy man would ever stop me having that pleasure. Anyone touches my mobile they would be out, violations of that level would be instant dismissal.
You don’t own this man.

31

BiDanFan @17: "So what if he is wanking to random people on Facebook? We've all done it."

I have not - ever. When I want to wank to random people, I go on Fetlife. ;)

32

@31 fubar: I was surprised by that too. I'd venture that most people have NOT wanked to random people on facebook. I certainly haven't.

33

larrystone007 @19
"the level of bad associated with snooping when you don't get satisfaction is also determined by your ability to contain things you shouldn't know."

That's a great point! When Mr. P and I started exploring non-monogamy (in the aftermath of some illicit activity on his part), he gave me permission to read all his email/texts. That lasted a few months, and then I agreed that it was inappropriate and stopped.

Except then I snooped a few more times -- but it was so hard not to reveal what I'd seen that I found it simpler to just stop snooping altogether and accept that he might secretly complain about me to his girlfriends (my big fear) but it's not the end of the world if that happens and I don't find out.

34

BiDanFan @17 - "If there were an easy way of deprogramming this double standard, I wish I knew what it was"

Having been raised in a similarly conservative culture to SPLIT's, I think this is the problem right here. The best advice I can offer is to just consciously try to deprogram - stop thinking sex is such a big deal and that one's number is important, etc. Actively focus more on "was it an enjoyable experience," "do I want to do it again" etc. I too was raised to believe I had to wait until marriage because the First Time was a really big deal and Nothing Would Ever Be the Same after that, but when I did lose my virginity (in less than ideal circumstances, and it was a very ho-hum experience) I realized that it wasn't a big deal at all. I still felt like the same person, the world was no different, and nothing had really changed. I ended up just thinking "that's it? That's what all the fuss was about? How anticlimactic" and sex in general became less sinful/guilt-stricken and more mundane/pleasurable after that.

35

Now, I don't use Facebook. But I can't imagine choosing to use it to wank to. Or to wank to random people period, when the Internet is such of treasure-trove of not just random but great-looking people to wank to wearing less than on Facebook.

36

I click on random people's Facebook profiles all the time. It's because I run a Facebook group, and need to check them out to see if they're legit before I allow them to join the group. No wanking involved.

37

@35 I'm not sure it's to wank to. But if I'm looking at someone's picture on facebook and there's a hottie in it, I may click and look through some pictures. And if one of those pictures has another hottie, I may be trawling through Facebook a minute. It's just looking at attractive people, not something with a happy ending.

38

I think some of us are a bit too harsh on SNOOP. It’s easy for us- older, experienced, single or non-monogamy married- to draw the distinction and respect one’s set of mind and boundaries.

We know SNOOP is young and insecure. We also know that she is confused about what she thinks she found, she did not confront her bf about it, but rather asked for help in order to figure things out.
If 40 yo sporty could pass here few years ago as a “confused young man asking questions to be a better man” I don’t see a reason why we can’t apply the same attitude to a person who actually fits the description.

And let’s not forget that today’s media is all digital and can be managed discreetly. Yet how easily would we tolerate hard copies of playboy magazines or fire fighters’ calendars if we found our SO’s stash back in the days?

39

I really feel for SNOOP. Her anxiety and "lingering trust issues" risk tanking her relationship, regardless of what her BF may or may not be doing. Her brain seems to be leaping to worst case scenarios with little to no evidence for doing so, which is a pretty classic anxiety response (I'm saying this as an anxious person with a propensity for catastrophizing situations and emotions in my mind). SNOOP is trying to get ahead of a perceived infidelity, stating fear of "being blindsided" by his having a secret life, by seeking out evidence of something her anxiety has already convinced her is happening. She needs to address these trust issues (I agree with Fichu @25 that SNOOP can decide for herself what her boundaries are, that she can decide looking at/keeping a Tinder profile is a deal breaker, she just needs to communicate this and end the relationship if this is the case) and examine where those feelings are really coming from. But trust issues will erode at the relationship because SNOOP's BF will eventually come to resent the snooping and inability to be trusted, or else SNOOP herself will end the relationship to get ahead of any impending infidelity she is convinced is coming.

Agreed with EricaP @33 that there are some things you just don't want to know, that it's best to allow your partner that level of autonomy and privacy. SNOOP is hurting herself by snooping, using social media to pick at anxiety scabs (which I use social media for all the time, but never for wank fodder). I feel like she would have been upset regardless of what she found, because she's coming at this whole situation convinced that her BF is already cheating, or that it's a matter of time before he does. She needs to address why she's still clinging to any Tinder-related trust issues (holy cannoli, I'm glad that's a world I've never had to tangle with), and seek help for handling her anxiety in a healthier way. Good working order and all that.

40

Someone tell me about facebook. All I ever see are my friends profile pictures, headshots and flowers. Are others getting more revealing pictures? I get it that one can masturbate to photographs of new cars and vacation pics of people at the beach, but I don't think that's what SNOOP was talking about. Or maybe she was?

41

CMD @38, we don't actually know that SNOOP is young. She doesn't give her age. She does sound insecure, though she used the words "anxious and depressed" instead. I hope I didn't come across as hard on her; she knows that what she did was a violation of her boyfriend's privacy, so there's no need to harp on that fact.

Also, I think people are taking me too literally when I said we've all wanked to random people on Facebook. I was trying to reassure SNOOP that even the most incriminating possible explanation is something that's completely normal for people to do. Sure, there may be better wank fodder on Fetlife or Instagram; sure, he may have merely been digital people-watching and clearing his browser history as good techie practice. But if SNOOP's worst fears are true -- he was wanking to randoms on Facebook and then clearing his history so she wouldn't know -- would that be so bad? People are gonna wank, is the point I was hoping to make. Unless there's evidence that he's stalking randoms on Facebook or sending dick pics or other unethical activity, she needs to let this go.

42

Bi @41, I think SNOOP would do herself a favor to ask herself what she is most concerned about re: her BF's social media activity. And I maintain that her anxiety would likely cast a shadow on whatever she found. She's concerned that he's looking at random women on FB (and we have all admitted that we all "people watch" on social media for myriad innocent/curious/nonsexual reasons), but I would be willing to bet dollars that she would be freaking out if she felt he was lingering too much on a mutual's profile too. She is convinced her BF is cheating, or at the very least, she's convinced he's hiding something from her. She says she's worried about being blindsided by his having "a secret second life," and that is one hell of a BOLD ASS accusation to make against a partner. Feeling this way with zero proof that something is "off" with your partner or relationship is toxic AF, and she risks doing real damage by failing to check her anxiety and the role it's playing in her thought processes.

43

And Tinder is a thing I've never had to deal with, but I've gleaned from friends that a BF/GF continuing to have a Tinder (or whichever comparable app) profile is something that really varies from person to person. Some see it as evidence of cheating or a lack of seriousness about the relationship, others have absolutely no issue whatsoever. I don't know if the "if/when to delete dating or hookup apps" is standard conversation for people who are dating and getting serious, but it certainly seems like something that needs to be discussed. SNOOP clearly was bothered about it (I too wonder how she found out), but she doesn't say if she discussed it with her BF or not. If she did, and he now knows she skews insecure and anxious and is likely to read too much into things, he is likely clearing his browser history out of deference to her rather than trying to hide something.

44

BDF@41
"But if SNOOP's worst fears are true -- he was wanking to randoms on Facebook and then clearing his history so she wouldn't know -- would that be so bad?"

Absolutely not. The existence of such fears means /she/ needs help of some kind, such as talking to a therapist.

Someone upthread said she could find someone else who wouldn't. To which a longtime reader could refer to Dan's standard position that no, she can't. What she can find it someone who will lie to her that they don't. Because all guys wank to something; usually visual images. If she hates that about guys that's a problem of hers; don't hate the people you love. Dan usually ends up with pointing out if she finds a guy to lie to her about it, maybe he'll also be a secret axe murderer or something.

45

Curious @44, yes, that's what I was trying to express with "find a better way to deal with your anxiety and depression" -- talk to a therapist, rather than behaving irrationally toward her innocent boyfriend. Mrs Fox @42 correctly identifies the red flag -- "I can't shake the fear/paranoia that he's living a double life." Whoa! File this one under "not in good working order to date." She should find a therapist who will help her identify the source of that paranoia, because from everything she's said, it's not her boyfriend's behaviour.

46

@31 fubar and @32 Anklosaurus (Welcome back!): I have a Facebook account and don't wank off either to anyone. Unless you count my ongoing celebrity crush on Brad Pitt.

47

fantastic_mrs_fox @42 "She says she's worried about being blindsided by his having 'a secret second life,' and that is one hell of a BOLD ASS accusation to make against a partner."

Indeed. I think you're right; she's catastrophizing and would benefit from therapy, probably cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy to help her address her thoughts when they start spiraling in negative directions like that.

48

SNOOP's SO needs to DTMFA.

49

Yes Erica @33, best not to know everything. The only computer my kids had growing up was the one @ their dad’s house, two minute walk from my house. I’d use it too, and was never interested in what my then husband
looked at.
My daughter snooped once on a well loved bf, and found out he was texting his ex, with whom he had a couple of children, content of an intimate ‘let’s get back together’ nature. Broke my daughter’s heart. I think she should have waited, he’d have to front her eventually. As it was, she did his work for him.
I thought it a better outcome because though a lovely, intelligent man, he was a drinker. Hard to find an Aussie man or woman or other, who isn’t. Not into grog, myself, having seen how it distorted my mother.
My husband told me his fantasies anyway, and maybe that’s what LW1could do. Invite her beau to share his fantasies, and she share hers. Time she relaxed a bit and realised her young man is bursting with youth & energy & sex looms on the big screen. Her stance now, all controlling and panicked, will send him more underground.

50

Good Friday here, always a gloom day of images of oppression and murder. Jesus died for our sins, they said. Hope he paid it forward.

52

CMD @38: Re. a "confused young man asking questions to be a better man." It's not fair to credit the entire commentariat with the bizarre flirtations of one of its fringe members.

But you're right that many of us were uncharitable to SNOOP. For my part, the only person I've ever dated who was fixated on being cheated upon was, herself, a cheater. SNOOP reminded me of her.

53

SPLIT, interesting question because culture does seep into our pores. Only you know when you want to have sex, don’t put early/ late markers down. Some sex is only for once, and you both are good with that.

54

It's "discreetly," Dan. Other than that....ehhh, I got nothin' this week.

55

fubar@52
"was fixated on being cheated upon was, herself, a cheater"

Interesting. Not just do people 'project', but flawed people tend to think everyone has their flaws.

For example, rightwingers tend to think everyone is an amoral sociopathic piece of shit.

56

BDF @ 41
I didn’t think your comments belonged in the “a bit too harsh” category, nor were you making fun of SNOOP.
It is true that she doesn’t give us her age. My initial assumption was that she is likely to be young and current bf is one of her very first relationships based on her lack of awareness nor acknowledging SO’s inner universe and right to privacy.
But then who knows. A statement like “longtime reader and Savage Lovecast listener” makes me think she is at least in her mid 20, yet longtime can still mean no more than two or three years for others, starting at the under ripe age of 18.
Her “lingering trust issues” could be triggered by previous relationships or the way she grew up, maybe both.

I still think she was gracious and thoughtful enough to recognize her shortcomings and ask Dan for a second opinion, and bunch of others as a result. Some of us have been here for decades, experienced a lot over the years, figured out how to navigate different situations, and may currently practice advanced and varsity level of relationships.
There’s plenty wisdom we can pass on but judging or ridiculing someone like SNOOP while coming from that position doesn't seem fair.

57

I wish I had something further to add to the comment thread this week on SNOOP and SPLIT,

@17 BiDanFan: Agreed and seconded, especially regarding SPLIT.. :)

Who's hungry for this week's juicy Lucky @69 Award honors, just in time for Spring Fever? Tick..tick..tick... :)

I'm sorry I have nothing to add other than the ongoing SL Lucky Numbers Game this week. I agree with a lot of what has already been said in the comment thread. Griz will check back this weekend. Happy Easter to those celebrating. :)

58

Jesus wept. I think Griz had better just stick strictly to Savage Love related comment threads and wean herself off reading and responding to SLOG news media articles for a while.
I have been neither stalked nor creepily trolled. The comment threads elsewhere are just beyond dark for Griz to read anymore without inducing PTSD triggers. Too much violence, doom, and gloom. Talk of a New Civil War--people declaring that January 6, 2021 was just the beginning.
JUST when I thought it was safe to read SLOG AM/PM and its commentary since we have finally returned to a real President and Vice President of the United States......with all the glaring headlines I really should know better. What to do when one doesn't want to be an ostrich and bury her head in the sand but to at least be aware and informed?

Sending Dan the Man, BiDanFan, fubar, The Fantastic Mrs. Fox, nocutename, vennominon, DonnyKlicious, Ricardo, CMDwannbe, LavaGirl, curious2, delta35, EricaP, KindnessisKey, Harriet_by_the_Bulrushes, and everyone else here in Savage Love Land, big cyber hugs, positrons, and VW beeps from my beloved little Love Beetle and me. :)

59

Curious @55: "flawed people tend to think everyone has their flaws." Isn't that what projection means?
I don't think SNOOP is, herself, a cheater. Nor do I think she's a MF who should be dumped. She violated her boyfriend's privacy, but in a low-level way, and she knows that what she did was wrong. She screwed up, like all of us do. She's also aware of the reason she screwed up -- her anxiety and lingering trust issues. I'm with Mrs Fox -- I think the boyfriend is someone who believes there is nothing wrong with "window shopping," and after he learned his partner feels threatened by window shopping, became more discreet about his window shopping (no more Tinder, but hotties on Facebook are fair game). Her actions prove he was right to delete his browser history. How she proceeds will determine her suitability for staying in this relationship -- will she get help for her irrational fears, or will she continue snooping until she unearths a smoking gun?

CMD @56, I agree that there is hope for SNOOP's redemption. She did reach out -- and to Dan, whom she knows to be both sex positive and (generally) snooping negative, instead of, say, Prudie, who might have told her the snooping was justified and that the boyfriend is definitely hiding something. Her logic is arguing with her paranoia and I think she knows her logic is correct, but needed someone else to say it. If she can't logic away these doubts even with a second opinion, off to the therapist.

Griz @58, sending you a virtual hug. The bleakness of the real world is indeed why I spend so much time seeking light relief and camaraderie here at Savage Love.

60

@59 BiDanFan: Me too! And also one of several reasons why I devised an extended version of the Lucky Numbers Game (I think competition for FIRDT! honors came first before I added SECNOD, @69, @100, and all continuing numbers ending in 69 and 00 thereafter in each weekly game) as a way of breaking the ice and adding fun to offset all the bleakness worldwide. Another big cyber hug right back atcha, with more positrons and VW beeps!
Heaven bless the camaraderie here at Savage Love. :)

61

Griz just pulled an all-nighter after multiple episodes of seasons two and three of Charlie's Angels (Girl Power! Big Hair! Volkswagens of my beloved car's vintage in a rainbow of colors! No Bras! Wheeee!). I needed some more red wine, and familiar '70s comfort from Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett-Majors (then married to Lee Majors, the Six Million Dollar Man), Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd, and David Doyle.
I thoroughly enjoyed the episodes I watched into the wee hours---except for the reminder of guns. As TV detectives Sabrina, Jill, Kelly, Kris, and Bosley (and later Tiffany and Julie) have licenses to carry concealed. Now if only I felt comfortable handling a gun if I ever had to. My problem is that I don't want to and shouldn't have to feel like I have to. The United States has more military assault weapons than citizens. Does it have to be like this?
Hopefully I can take a good long nap and catch up on sleep if the clueless so-called dog lovers on the 3rd floor of my apartment building make good on no longer thoughtlessly leaving their Dachshund alone (it has severe separation anxiety and abandonment issues, and cannot handle being left alone by itself) in their unit during the day.

62

Griz @58: Hugs to you too. Is your Love Bug out of storage yet?

63

BDF@59
""flawed people tend to think everyone has their flaws." Isn't that what projection means?"

To be honest, I'd never thought about it until I wrote that sentence (and even then not enough I see now). Broadly you are absolutely right. My distinction was a very small one. (One which no one will be surprised to hear, is psychology-ish.)

Projection is "unconsciously taking unwanted emotions or traits you don't like about yourself and attributing them to someone else."(1) In other words, it gets to the root of the problem in their subconscious. And it is I think just generally about some people, not everyone.

In the fragment you quoted, I was trying to zero in just on people's conscious thinking appraisal/awareness of who everyone else is. But now that I think about it (thank you!), I think this is rooted in projection; in people's subconscious' wanting them to feel better about their flaws so they end up consciously believing that they are universal truths and thus blameless.

(1) https://www.healthline.com/health/projection-psychology

griz@58
"Talk of a New Civil War--people declaring that January 6, 2021 was just the beginning."

Thanks for mentioning this, griz. Those many millions of insane, sick, brainwashed people are an existential(2) concern. And though I spoke up as loudly as I could at the time, I don't see the centrist White House working to deprogram them and defuse the bomb they represent.

So now I haven't felt there was any reason to think about them. I'd avoid being reminded of them, since apparently they infect other threads on the Stranger I'd avoid them. Even the den of evil of Parler has curbed their malevolent freedoms.

Still the First Amendment is a good thing. The most important speech is never popular. And the most dangerous speech wouldn't be better hidden in secret: how then would we know to protect ourselves from the most dangerous people? If their insane speech were bottled in a pressure cooker, it would likely do much more damage when the lid blew.

(2) Wow, that's the first time I ever used that word in that way, and it pains me. I liked when it was just academic jargon.

griz@61
"The United States has more military assault weapons than citizens. Does it have to be like this?"

As long as we have rightwingers it does. Fear is definitively and fundamentally who they are, and fear can never have enough guns to keep it from being afraid.

We don't have to have rightwingers, we could create an educational system which develops people beyond the reptile stage. But rightwingers made sure a half century ago that our educational system now does the opposite. Rightwingers hate the slightest educational reform like a virus might hate a vaccine, or like an infection might hate an antibiotic.

64

SPLIT, now that Good Friday is over, my mind returned to your question. Women & Sex, where to start.
Can’t undo your cultural learnings, so use them to sharpen you up in your perceptions. Sex is a funny beast snd given what I’ve read here and over the internet, everybody comes at it from their own place. Wierd & wonderful places . You have to work with yourself, and only have sex with a man when it feels right for you. Be smart in your choices.
Reflection after a relationship didn’t fire or didn’t last, will include a lot more than when the sex started. Complex creatures, are humans. People don’t gel, that’s all. Relationships end.
I can’t undo the Catholic girl inside me, though many many yrs ago I left that story.
Jesus was a good guy.
It wasn’t the timing of sex which contributed to endings, you worrying , might have contributed. Cultural differences. Who knows. People jump about a lot, or did, before the Pandemic.

65

There was a place in Sydney, where real size carved depictions of the Stations of The Cross were scattered over a hilly property. Jesus carrying that cross. Went when I must have been about six, a memory seared. Dad never took us again, once enough for him too.

66

Re SPLIT, if you are reading this: how do you define "too soon," in more detail than what you wrote? You wrote: "If things don't go right after having sex and we wind up splitting, I always associate that with having sex too soon."

In what way has this played out in your life? It is a challenge to assess this without knowing examples and numbers.

To take this to an extreme, you could theoretically have sex with someone, get married, be married for decades, and divorce. Would you view this as having had "sex too soon," since you two split? (I promise that I am not mocking you.) The other extreme is a one-night stand, but I assume from context that you do not do this.

If you read this, please go into a bit more detail about what your experiences have been, so that we may help you more effectively.

67

Curious @63, interesting. I had a broader understanding of what projection meant: I didn't see it as being limited to negative traits, nor to being limited to a subconscious reaction. Recall Venn's lament about young podcasters claiming everyone is a little bit bisexual. This is rooted in what I would call projection. People thinking, "Well, under the right circumstances I might be attracted to someone who is not my preferred gender, so this must be a universal thing." Also, that it must be subconscious. I've said many times in this column, "Admittedly I'm projecting but..." Does the act of realising I'm assigning qualities to LWs as a way of filling in gaps in information with what I would do/think make it no longer projection? If so, what then is it?

68

BDF@67
It sounds like, unbeknownst to me, "projection" has (as so often happens) taken on an additional non-academic meaning in wider usage.

(Like I mentioned in the same @63 that "existential" has [to my considerable disappointment].)

To help keep meanings straight, I might use some other word for, for example, the bisexual 'I might so it must be universal'. The first word that comes to my mind right now for such a conscious thought process is extrapolation (from oneself to others). I think that's the word I use. But it probably makes people wonder why I don't just say "projection".

69

@63 -- what an Awesome comment!

"Fear is definitively and fundamentally who they [right wingers] are, and fear can never have enough guns to keep it from being afraid."

one word: Pocket Nukes*

&

"Projection is 'unconsciously taking unwanted emotions or traits you don't like about yourself and attributing them to someone else.'"

etc.

*GUARANTEED to Eliminate 'the threat.'
or your Money back.

70

I hesitated to comment on this week’s column, because I didn’t find either letter interesting, and because I fear this is going to launch another episode of the gender wars, but I’ve been thinking about SPLIT’s dilemma and I wanted to chime in to say that one doesn’t have to have been raised in a religious household to absorb the cultural script that women who “give it away” too soon or to too many men are, if not “ruined,” than slutty—and being a slut is still, in our society, a shameful thing.* (The following thoughts are based on a gender dichotomy and a heteronormative model; I understand that this does not apply to the lived reality of many of us here, but it seems to be the camp that SPLIT finds herself in.)

Most often, it’s women who apply the “slut” epithet most frequently and scaldingly, and research has shown that the word tends to have less potential to either be used or to wound as women enter their thirties (I’m writing this with spotty internet, and I’m not going to look up a link, but they’re findable), and it’s also true that when women wield it, it’s more a class-marker than anything else (in a college sorority with mostly white, affluent women, women of color and/or women from lower socioeconomic classes—i.e. poorer or browner women—were called “sluts,” while white, wealthier women were not called “sluts” as frequently, and their sexual exploits were discussed with a sort of scandalized-but-titillated-and-also-humorous attitude).

I sure hope it’s different from when I was growing up, but what I absorbed from the culture when I was young was that a woman’s body was like a piece of land which either must be breached—by the man—or defended—by the woman. Every sexual encounter was couched in ideas of his “gaining ground” and her “holding him off.” I remember feeling as though I was supposed to treat my breasts as contested territory. I remember the attitude that men won’t respect a woman who “gives herself” too freely or easily. And it seemed to be true, in my experience. Even as recently as within the last decade, when I was in my 40s and dating men in their 40s, I’ve had men try their damnedest to try to get into my pants on an initial meeting, and when I definitively rebuffed them (with the assurance that they’d get there at a later date), tell me that they respect me the more for my reticence and steadfastness. I once had sex with a man on our first real-life meeting after months of emails and texts and getting to know each other (in more than sexy ways), the day after which he turned on me, telling me that he couldn’t respect a slut who’d have sex with a man so soon after meeting and that he was too disgusted to want to see me again. Yes, he was a lunatic, but his behavior amplified or illustrated the attitude I was raised with.

The thing is, that that model puts a woman in the position of being either a “slut” or a “good girl.” What it doesn’t do is allow for a woman to have sexual impulses, feelings, or desires that she’d like to act on. In this model, women are gatekeepers, either successful or not, against the barbarians who want to gain entry. When I was a teen, I knew I was supposed to reject those boys’ hands on my breasts, to guard my self against attack, but the problem was that I LIKED the way their hands on my breasts felt, and I didn’t want to move them away. I was a terrible gatekeeper, because I didn’t want to play that role. It definitely got me tarred with the “slut” brush, but fortunately for me, I didn’t mind—in fact, I embraced that role. But I also have felt the hurt when someone I made out with or had sex with either turned on or ghosted me afterwards. If I liked the guy, I ABSOLUTELY wondered whether it was my willingness to have sex so quickly into the acquaintanceship that drove him away, made him lose respect for me.

(What the fuck is wrong with a culture that tells men to pursue relentlessly the thing they desire and then to be disgusted by the woman who provides it, either willingly, because she wants it, herself, or is worn down trying to fend off the exhausting attempts?)

I’ve had many conversations with college students in which we discuss the sexual double standard. Both men and women are pretty quick to arrive at the notion that this isn’t fair, but the attitude that is most prevalent (in the 18-22 crowd) is that men should be held to the same standard as women. Then I ask, “what’s so wrong or bad with being slutty? In other words, instead of losing respect for a man who has sex with many partners without being in a committed relationship with his partners, what about if we DIDN’T lose respect for a woman who does the same thing? And what if our language reflected that more accepting attitude?” Some people agree, but the vast majority of male, female, and N.B. students alike are horrified at the idea.

But take a look at our language: there’s not a single word for a promiscuous woman that confers admiration. Some of the assembled may remember the old tv sitcom “The Flying Nun,” which featured the handsome, sexy, would-be love-interest “playboy” Carlos Ramirez, or might remember when Warren Beatty was famous—and celebrated—as was George Cloony after him—for not being willing to commit to an exclusive relationship and settle down (both men have since married and become family men). No one expects James Bond to settle into a monogamous relationship with one of the “Bond Girls;” it’s understood that part of his cachet is his rakishness. It’s the same James Bond (even if played by different actors), but a different Bond girl in every movie. If a fictional playboy does make a monogamous commitment to a woman, that woman must die soon, leaving the man attractively grieving and brooding and still desirable and available. Being a playboy was glamorous and sophisticated (think of Rock Hudson or Matthew McConaughy, playing loveable playboys who are finally “caught” and “tamed” into domesticity by movies’ end).

Of course, there’s the quintessential playboy and the magazine started by him for aspiring wannabes. “Playboy” assured men that they could live at least a pallid imitation of the Hugh Hefner lifestyle, if they bought the right brands of liquor or the right stereo. Every man who leafed through a “Playboy” magazine was encouraged to project himself into those photo shoots with those “playmates.” The male reader of the magazine was supposed to want to fuck all the women in it—and a whole new batch of them would appear, ready and willing, next month.

While it’s true that men can be denigrated by language implying their sluttiness, there is always a sizable percentage of the population—mostly consisting of other men—who will admire him. Women might call a man a “player” or a “fuckboi,” and mean it as an insult, but many men hear that term as one of admiration, especially if it’s uttered by other men. There is no equivalent word for women and no comparable attitude.

SPLIT is essentially living in the same conundrum all women have to navigate, unless we just reject that value. But it’s hard to reject a value you’ve been raised with and which you see performed all around you in myriad ways.

*the usual YMMV caveat coupled with the relatively sex-positive aspect of most Savage Love readers applies.

71

Many thanks for the wonderful and thoughtful essay, nocute!

And for the generous compliment, kristo!

72

curious @ 63
I think that owning a gun isn’t only a result of fear. For many it also provides a false sense of freedom and an illusion that they control their lives.
It is a staple for the extremely selective and often uninformed constitution fetishists.

nocute @ 70
I’m not sure this will merit a gender war.

73

CMD@72
It might be that beneath each one of those things you listed, is the fundamental root of not having evolved beyond an infantile level of fear. Certainly if we're talking about rightwingers.

I mean, a deep fear might be why they so need to feel a sense of control, and a sense of freedom. And the constitution-fetishists are all rightwingers, no?

But I will agree that there are largely healthy people for which a gun can meet different needs. If I was living in the Alaskan bush I might want to hunt or have protection from grizzly or polar bears.

74

nocute @70: I'm glad you decided to write :)

When I read your piece, I was reminded of The Beatles, and the army of young women screaming and swooning. The teen idol seems to have been a phenomenon wherein young women can let their inner slut loose with full force and approval; probably because it's fantasy.

75

nocute - your comment suggesting there are few if any positive cultural associations with sexually promiscuous women made me think of Jane Juska's book A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance. Not disagreeing with you, but just cheering on the women who don't submit to the stigma.

Here's Juska's obituary, which gives her story for those who don't know it:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/obituaries/jane-juska-who-wrote-of-late-life-sex-dies-at-84.html

76

Also, congrats on the lucky number, @kristofarian!

And big hugs back, auntie griz!

77

@76: EricaP, Jane Juska was a personal hero, and I only regret never having met her in person, despite living in the same town for years and years. I loved "A Round-Heeled Woman," especially the response she gives to the prisoners at San Quentin when they ask if she's scared to be there or scared of them (without stopping to think about it, she said, no she wasn't afraid; she't taught middle-schoolers for years!).

I am a loud and proud slut, and yes, there are some of us around, but it's a kind of tough position to take and, especially if one is young and if one has been reared in a culture that really emphasizes sex-negative attitudes, it's even harder to embrace it.

77

nocute @ 70
Further CMDsplaining my extremely short response….
Many of us grew up in gender-biased environments like the one you described despite the differing times and geographies.
I think the points you brought up are quite established in this forum, including this thread, and some of the few who would contest it may not be with us anymore.

I have witnessed the phenomenon as a boy, growing up in a place where we were raised in a mixed gender group by the community, sharing rooms and showers and everything. While it was based on equality it was only so in theory and despite being fairly progressive at the time the division became apparent as you grew older.
As children girls were often better students and the fastest 60m runners, though by middle school or so their looks became their most valued assets, all along their sexuality often shamed while courted by older boys. I remember often wondering while in high school whatever happened to those strong girls I used to know in my childhood.
Joining Erica P, here is another book on the subject:
https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10225602899809885&set=pcb.10225602900569904

I wish the mating rules, be it dating or initiating sex, would not have been so dependent on the penis haver initiation when I grew up. This often placed the shy, reserved, some may say considerate, young men as not being the real thing. There was also a lot of pressure to initiate sex as the notion was that the relationship didn’t really count otherwise.
(The saying back then went something like, “There is no woman who wouldn’t ‘give’, only a man who doesn’t know how to ‘take’.”)

I don’t mean that women should do an out of the blue sudden moves, like that doctor who checked my knee when I was 19 or so, an incident I may have brought up in here in hit past, but if we’re both alone on the beach on a Friday night why won’t you be equally comfortable to initiate?

My own personal experience is that things get better in this regard as age progresses. I credit feminism to empower women to be more forthcoming on things they want and don’t, and I’m glad to report that I’ve seen in action it when my own children started dating and beyond.

That said, safety issues and harassment still exist. I'm certainly much more aware of my whereabouts and surroundings while en femme and recall an incident few years ago in a dance party. A young man faked falling and “accidentally” had to lean on my right breast in order to “regain balance” then walked away. It took me few minutes to figure out what had really happened, and while admittedly having my lovely forms on I did feel violated. I still kick myself for not reporting the incident to the party organizers right away, they had a clear no harassment policy stated all over and I’m sure the fellow has been doing this shit for years.

As for SPLIT, I’m afraid that religious and cultural guilt is too deeply ingrained in this case. It’s also possible that it is amplified by family, “When are you getting married?” and friends/coworkers from her own country who may roll an eye when she brings a new date to an event of some sort. I hope yours and others' experiences will help her in this regard.

78

@70L fubar, I agree. There is something sort of proto-sexual, yet completely chaste about tween girls screaming for their boy-band idols.

I know I had a ton of crushes on the usual suspects of my generation, all of whom graced the pages of "Tiger Beat" magazine. But these crushes weren't even remotely sexual: even kissing didn't factor in!

79

@curious2, auntie grizelda, CMD: I think that fear does indeed lurk behind virtually every right-wing response to all aspects of contemporary life. Every culture war issue and a good deal of legislation rests on fear.

It's sad, and I'd be sympathetic, if it weren't for the fact that those fearful folks think eradicating me and my peers are the cure for their fears.

80

Incidentally, I think this is why rightwingers /also/ regard seeking mental health through therapy as "like a virus might hate a vaccine, or like an infection might hate an antibiotic". I think on some level (maybe subconsciously) they know that therapy is a cure for /them/. Dysfunctional personality can take on a life of it's own, and want to survive. The ones most averse to therapy need it most.

82

A better link to Melissa Febos’s book “Girlhood” than the one I provided earlier:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/girlhood-febos-book-review/2021/03/27/a7c8dc24-8d41-11eb-9423-04079921c915_story.html

83

@62 fubar: Big hugs right back atcha! My beloved Love Beetle hopefully will return home from winter hibernation later this month. We are in for cold weather and I am pretty certain rain showers--not good for convertibles, especially mine. How this patient, happy little car so lovingly puts up with a nut like Griz is amazing. Once my VW is safely back home and the good weather is here, we're hitting the beaches. :)

@63 curious2: " Fear is definitively and fundamentally what they [rightwingers] are, and fear can never have enough guns to keep it from being afraid"
I agree with kristofarian and others---your comments are SO well said and summarized!

I doubt if I can ever handle a gun again, knowing what I could do with it. I don't know how I survived basic target shooting during my basic training to pass, but somehow, I did. I was never so grateful to turn in a government issue Colt .45 in my life. My one honorable enlistment serving in the U.S. Navy for me, was enough. Serving during a war, however brief (possibly the shortest U.S. war in the history books---a total of 96 hours) was enough. Having to deal with toxic masculinity at my command, and an unsympathetic tyrannical chief petty officer--despite my begging, pleading, and trying to explain my having been brought up in an anti-gun household after a family tragedy early in my childhood, that I was the wrong person to be sent for the job---ordering me to additionally serve in an auxiliary task force with UDT SEAL instructors and trainees, carrying an M-16 rifle on top of my working under duress was enough. Living in off base housing with an abusive fellow service member stationed across town, who my departmental chain of command knew damned well about but did nothing to intervene after he physically and sexually assaulted me and tried to strangle me, all to protect another female member of our supply division was enough.
Enough for me to actually carry out my plan on slitting my wrists with a box knife. If it hadn't been for a hospital corpsman who happened to be in our under-staffed supply warehouse at the right time and place to stop me from doing any physical self harm, because I then believed that ending my life was the only way out, I wouldn't be alive today typing this comment.

@69 kristofarian: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Major congratulations to kristofarian on scoring this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award, found only here in Savage Love Land! Bask in your highly envied glory and savor the decadent glow. :)

@70, @77, @78, and @79 nocutename: Thank you for writing! I can SO relate.
Sending big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps! :)

@75 & @76 EricaP: Thank you for sharing Jane Juska's book, A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late- Life Adventures in Sex and Romance, and a link to it. Rest in peace, Jane Juska. Big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps right back atcha! :)

Who's hungry for this week's Big Hunsky honors? Tick..tick...tick....

84

Nocute@70, I think the slut label was thrown about at school, along with words like prick tease and blue balls.
I resisted all of it because the blue balls/ prick tease threats over rode any early sexual desire I was conscious of. Once I did have sex, early 1970’s, that word was never heard, and everybody was fucking everybody else.
My Catholic training didn’t stop me when I felt a strong attraction to the man, and many were just one night stands. Attraction satiated. Heartache, betrayal, those words had fluency.
Slut is all of us and none of us. It’s a word that has negatives, and why reclaim a word so contaminated. A woman who has enjoyed multiple sexual partners, is just that.

85

Whatever culture you grew up in, LW2, the culture around you now is very different. While some in Western culture still go for no sex before marriage or at least no babies before marriage, many no longer follow these conventions.
One’s sexuality, however it’s formed and reworked, needs rational thought brought to it, because we are reared with so much about sex which is distorted, and we need to peel back the stories.
Are these men you date, of the same culture? Then they may carry similar attitudes and want to marry a virgin. Are you dating men outside your culture of origin?

86

Yeah, from my experience at high school the slut label confused me, being a virgin, so I stayed out of it. I felt in awe of the girls who had bfs, some of whom had cars.

87

CMD @72: "I think that owning a gun isn’t only a result of fear. For many it also provides a false sense of freedom and an illusion that they control their lives." And why would they seek something that gives them the illusion of control over their lives? Because of the fear they have no control over their lives. Aside from hunting, I can't think of a single reason to own a gun that isn't rooted in fear of other people, and, as you say, the illusion that they can control this fear by having the means to shoot someone before they shoot you. (Another illusion, as it's more likely one will be shot by an intruder than to successfully defend oneself with a gun. Much safer to cower behind the sofa and let them take what they want, then make an insurance claim.)

Nocute @70 and CMD @77, thank you both for your thoughtful posts. It's true that the double standard of slut shaming women but not men is pervasive even among the non-religious, but worse for those who are. And other women, and even we ourselves, become the worst culprits. For every man who openly slut-shames us, I believe there are dozens who wish we were more slutty. I've embraced my slutty history as well, and it's actually served the useful purpose of weeding out misogynists who wield a double standard against women who do what they themselves do with no sense of irony or guilt. But as Nocute says, that said, it still stings when one finds oneself smacked with that double standard, particularly if it comes from someone you previously found promising. Partly because I hate all gendered double standards and partly because my taste is quite specific, I've taken it upon myself to be the initiator when I'm attracted to someone, and this is usually taken as a nice surprise -- as CMD says, it saves him the stress of making an approach -- but occasionally it does result in shaming for breaking the gender norms. That's fine with me because if someone insists on gender norms, they're definitely not the right person for me. I accept that this isn't helpful for everyone, though. Nocute, it's good to read there is a fairer view among young people, and I reckon the swing toward shaming all sluts is a result of #MeToo. Because many of the men who've had multiple partners have done so through unethical means -- certainly the high profile ones, and I am glad young men don't want to emulate that. Hopefully this is a stage of evolution leading toward a happy medium where consensual sex is celebrated and anything non-consensual shamed, regardless of gender.

88

LW2; it’s a lame excuse, that things have ended because sex happened when it happened. Musicbiker @66 points to the flaw in your rationale. What if you married & divorced, would you still hold you had sex too early in that relationship?
You’re a big girl now, and taking full responsibility for our decisions is part of being an adult. Look elsewhere to why your connections with men have broken down, and learn from the lessons each breakdown can teach.

89

Ms Fan - I always found the expediency of self-disqualification more than compensated for the occasional disappointments (I shall avoid recounting the story of someone whose favourite writer was Miss Bronte, E), but then I'm weird and would much rather have a 5% pool than a 45%. It's when things went the other way and a one-off revealed enormous potential that disconcerted me, particularly the occasion of an excellent discussion of Mrs Woolf with someone I knew I'd never see again. That sticks with me because I often use the scene from The Years in the last chapter when they are serving soup at Delia's party, which her sort of people will take directly from their mugs or bowls. Others will require spoons, among them her husband Patrick. But she'd made over long years a better job of a mismatched marriage than I should have done.

90

The picky surprising thing about "is masturbating cheating?" is that it's being asked by people who were born in the late 90s. It's one thing for Ethel (Swarthmore c/o 1938) to have that opinion, but for Madison or Brittany it seems unreasonable. It's like kids being racist. Or grandparents didn't have access to outside perspectives, so they've got an excuse. But nowadays, wtf? Strangely durable belief (although imo we are genetically wired to insist the we are sole owner of our partner's reproductive potential)

91

Ms Fan - I do recall Alejandro Rey, and only wish you hadn't spoiled it by raising the image of those "shameful" turncoats Messrs Beatty/Clooney. One of the annoying trends I've encountered lately is a tendency for some to take pot shots at the Morally Lucky. While I can grant that there are some things a Reformed Sinner may be peculiarly situated to combat more effectively than a Lifelong Saint, they tend to carry it way too far. Last week I encountered someone who claimed that it would have been impossible for anyone raised in the very red part of the very red state where he'd grown up to avoid becoming a right-winger; he was essentially just trying to make it a virtue that he used to gay-bash in high school.

I noticed a distinct lag. Your examples are all of an age, and your case as stated almost invites an inference that we are still in the time of the Cleavers, which some either are or want to be. Would that society could change as quickly as tennis - six years after Hr Federer won his first major title, he surpassed Mr Sampras. I've been suspecting lately that the half-life model may be the way to view certain situations, that we only approach genuine solutions without reaching them, and both Pride and feminism will always be necessary, however much one might wish for a world with no need for either. I keep getting caught up between looking back to how those who raise the rising generation were raised themselves and then ahead to how the rising generation will raise its own successors. No wonder there seems to be no hope.

Your field report is most interesting. It didn't surprise me much. It makes me think of the Rumpolean observation about the priggishness of youth. The Young eagerly tear down the old morality, only to erect a much more restrictive one in its place. Now I'm wondering how many anti-SJWs might have imbibed some of Rumpole's observations about the prototypical SJW Mizz Liz Probert.

92

griz@83
"actually carry out my plan on slitting my wrist... stop me from doing any physical self harm"

I'm so sorry that you wanted to kill yourself.

(I'm a little hazy on the details. If you did no "physical self harm" I guess you thankfully hadn't reached the part of the plan that involved breaking the skin?)

93

@auntie grizelda: I'm happy you came through with a sunny attitude after enduring the trauma you have. I hope your spirits are lifted zipping around in your beloved VW enjoying the sunshine.

94

@91: Mr. Ven, I think your comment was meant for me, rather than BiDanFan--in fact, I almost referred to you when I used the example of Alejandro Rey as the dashing, easily-exasperated, a good-guy-underneath-it-all playboy Carlos Ramirez. I don't recall "The Flying Nun"'s ever coming up here before, but I figured that if you remembered other tv shows of my youth ("Dark Shadows," "Penelope Pitstop," etc.), you most certainly would remember Sister Bertrell and company.

I want to address one point you made about my examples of Warren Beatty and George Clooney tarnishing the example of the sophisticated playboy embodied by (the very fictional) Carlos Ramirez. I actually think that George Clooney and Warren Beatty are perfect exemplars: they polished their "bad boy" or "confirmed bachelor" status for years (decades, in Beatty's case), always seen with some beautiful woman as they proclaimed their refusal to settle down. Clooney's seemed to all be models--famous for being beautiful and silent, with no personality, no desires of their own (not the actual real women, but that's what a model's job is); Beatty's were generally actresses who were famous in their own right.

Overall, the public seemed to expect no less from such specimens of men. On the contrary, their constant swapping of one gorgeous woman for another, coupled with the frequent proclamations that, like Rhett Butler, they weren't the marrying type (the real phrase is "marrying man," but when I typed "marrying men," it looked suddenly as though C. and B. wanted to marry men, and I don't want to confuse anyone), seemed only to add to their attractiveness. The fact that they reversed course and redeemed themselves from becoming a joke in their advanced ages only polishes their mystique further while elevating the women they chose to marry (would Annette Benning, talented though she is, have been considered for some of the roles she played were she not also known as the woman who snagged Warren Beatty? Famous as Amal Alamuddin was in the international law world, would most people have heard of her had she not been the woman who made George Clooney change his stance on marriage?) After all, there's no more (publicly) devoted family man like a reformed rake; there's no zealot like a convert.

And if the bachelorhood goes on too long, or if it seems to reflect a stuntedness somehow, the man loses a bit of his glamour, but not all of it. Take Leonardo DiCaprio: it's not DiCaprio's still-unmarried state that is the occasion for jokes or disgust; it's the fact that his girlfriends stay the same age, hovering around 21-24, as he continues to age. The perception is that DiCaprio has the emotional maturity of a young man or that he is threatened by a woman's being more of an equal in the relationship, of having her own opinions, and being unafraid to voice them, something that happens to many women as they hit their 40s. Additionally, DiCaprio's model-girlfriends' youth, and the fact they seem to be replaced as they age out of his requirements (rather like members of the boy-band Menudo), reinforces other ideas in our culture: that a woman's value lies exclusively in her sexual appeal, which is necessarily at its height when she's between 18-28. Further, that sexual appeal is to be found ONLY in her face and body's perfection, not in her mind, her thoughts, her personality. Right now, DiCaprio is teetering on the edge of being seen as pathetic, rather than (or more likely alongside) being a hot commodity--a desirable man. I predict that before he turns 60, he'll join the ranks of Beatty and Clooney, et.al.--he'll marry someone, and be a publicly-celebrated former playboy, now reformed by the love of the right woman. This will allow him to be seen as discriminating and redeemable, rather than a joke: an aging lothario who still thinks he's All That with the ladies, who is presumed to be able to attract their attention only because of his fame and his wealth.

Compare the public reaction to Beatty and Clooney with the way Taylor Swift's unmarried state and seemingly constant parade of boyfriends are treated. She has addressed this criticism or gossip in some of her songs, but there's still the public perception that she is too picky or too self-centered or too . . . something. It's not seen as something that makes her desirable, so much as a character flaw. For comparison, DiCaprio is still (mostly) getting away with his string of revolving arm candy at age 46, while Swift is criticized for her dating patterns at the comparatively young age of 31. And guess what? I've heard the epithet "slut" used in reference to Taylor Swift, when she was younger, because there's something still culturally unseemly about a woman who behaves as men have been encouraged to do when it comes to having a sex life.

95

‘It’s a man’s world but it would be nothing, nothing, without a woman or a girl.’ So sang somebody.
LW2, women are the gatekeepers of sex, because it is women who get pregnant. Now we can yell all we like about equality, it’s here that such talk flies out the window. Yes, all sorts of ways medically to stop our fertility, then later there’s trouble with fertility. Figures, when one thinks on it. Then if we use condoms, they can break or complaints made about wearing raincoats.
Sex is never free and easy. It comes with its own rules.
So a woman finds she has fallen pregnant, from a one night stand. Does she even know where he lives? So she seeks out an abortion clinic. And he is never the wiser. Women are the gatekeepers because we carry the unfair burden of pregnancy. Nature, despite receiving many complaints, has done nothing to solve this.
I don’t know about other women’s lives, as I know about my own & Fertility & Managing it is a woman’s world for up to forty years of life. Yes a man must do the same, check if she’s on contraception or put a condom on. That’s it!
What do we endure; monthly bleeds, pain before & after those bleeds. Fear of pregnancy, losing fertility thru taking birth control, having our bodies distorted by growing humans, which can kill the mother as she/ he is born. This is our basket of goodies.
What I think it’s important to remember when embarking on sexual adventures, with men, is to accept this unequal playing field as a given.. because it is.. and guard your heart & your body. Don’t let Patriarchal Prescriptions guide you, ones like, ‘Don’t Have Sex Before Marriage.’ such is put in place for the benefit of men. They don’t want to be unknowingly rearing kids not their own, and not trusting women won’t be out slutting around, they lock em up in marriages.

96

Culturally of course men get it better, they aren’t preoccupied with their wombs half the month.
I don’t see women in Oz called sluts, in public discourse, nocute. Then our celebrity culture is not like yours.
Big issues re sexual misbehaviour in our Federal Govt. @ the moment. Taking a few men down. As it should given the behaviours that’s been going on in our Parliament House. Big reckoning for these men and their pathetic attitudes.

97

Ricard Gere, in his sixties got with a woman just on thirty, and they have had a child. Same with your examples nocute, babies late in life. Another benefit.. if one could call crying babies in one’s sixties a benefit... of being a man.
My daughter has done her breeding, her man has had the snip and my sons, one early twenties the other three thirty up.. they have years left before the big decision. Benefit of being a man.
We can’t ignore nature, much as culturally we try to sideline it.

98

nocute @ 70: Spot-on post, as always.

Bi @87: I'd like to submit "fear of mountain lions" as a third reason to own a gun.

There are deep, long-standing cultural reasons for most of the right-wing beliefs being discussed (and insulted) in this comment section. And of course, the same applies for all the nice lefty beliefs. It bothers me that people are so willing to think their beliefs are the result of calm, considered, rational thought, and other people's aren't. It seems to me just as irrational as believing whatever religion you were brought up in is the right one and everyone else is hell-bound. Besides, the minute you decide the other side is too fundamentally flawed and stupid to talk to, what does that leave us with? Seriously, what are you advocating? Should we force them to believe what we believe? Should we have a civil war? Would that be better than this?

I can't remember who said: "The best time to influence a child's character is 100 years before he is born."

Ugh, I should have just stayed away. But I do really enjoy a number of the on-topic comments, and I wanted to say so.

99

ciods @98: Yet another non-fear based reason for owning a gun is sport shooting. As a teen, I was a marksman, and enjoyed shooting a Lee Enfield rifle with .303 ammo (which kicked like a mule) at a target. It wasn't a skill that would have been useful for self defence, but it might have been handy for assassination had the need ever come up.

100

Oh look. Hunsky!

101

ciods@98
"Should we force them to believe what we believe?"

Nobody said that.
I just want people to be healthy, and see and say that they are not(1). There's no making them healthy (I learned that long ago). There is preventing future people from becoming unhealthy; is that not a noble goal? And one which would benefit everyone incalculably?

(1) Why say it? The first step in addressing a problem is identifying it. It's not an "insult", it's the sad truth which I have great sympathy for their pain in.