Savage Love

Switched On

Comments

100

Harriet @95, I don't agree with your sexist presumptions re their relative income. She says, "WE are more than comfortable," not "He is more than comfortable." Evenings and weekends afford plenty of time for spa and hairdressers appointments. It's plausible that they are a two-high-income couple, and I am less than comfortable (see what I did there) opening the door to the idea that he's entitled to spend "his" money on whatever she wants because she's spending "his" money on herself. Let's not go there.

Harriet @96, I agree with you that motive is an important factor in "is something cheating?" If he's purposely doing this behind her back, then he is guilty of deception, the main ingredient in cheating.
My position is revised to:
Should he have asked her? Yes, absolutely he should have, he was wrong not to.
When asked, should she have given her blessing? Yes.
Should she forgive him now? It depends, has he accepted that he did wrong by sneaking around and having an affair-of-sorts for the past three years? His reasoning is the important factor here.
Now that she knows, should she be okay with this going forward? Yes. And perhaps he should treat her to an extra special spa session to make up for his duplicity and/or cowardice.

Nocute @97, gold star for everything you've said.

101

on whatever he wants, unfortunate typo.

102

@97. Nocute. I was trying to suggest FINDAMN might be in an especially vulnerable position /because/ it's her husband's money or earnings she spends on the spa treatments. I was trying to generate more insightful sympathy for a group of people easily maligned as e.g. 'trophy wives'--people dependent on their spouse, who may have to suck it up, or feel they have to suck it up, when they're cheated on, microcheated on or dealt with high-handedly.

Of course this is a 'might', in that, for all we know, it's /her/ salary she's spending on wellness and personal trainers, or her wealth she's inherited. However, apart from the time and money she spends on these personal items, the facts that they're married (in her early 30s) and don't have separate finances may imply he's either wealthy or the breadwinner. She could not have insisted on separate accounts because it would have left her with a worse day-to-day deal (e.g. 'sure, I'll throw $200 your way for choosing a jacuzzi'; 'sure, it'll be $20 every time you talk to the cleaning lady').

I didn't say rich people were Dan's 'target' audience. I said they were his audience in fact. His target audience in his mind may be 'everyone', everyone non-bigoted, or perhaps the same sort of constituency of kinksters of yesteryear. However, I note that it's rare for him to get a letter from someone under 30, even 35, from a particular sexual subculture; these people have their own authorities. (The younger people who write to him tend to be struggling with more general-issue problems, like not seeing that they have (painfully) to dump a MF or leave a 'starter' relationship). Actually in terms of product placement, I do think SL is young boomerish and affluent, very like having a personal trainer.

I am with you in thinking FINDAMN ggg. The kind of thought I imagine going through her head is, 'I don't know who my husband is', 'he couldn't be himself with me', 'am I not enough for him?', even (at a pinch), 'is he going to have non-transactional relationships where he's subby?' or 'is he going to leave me?'. But it's hard to say those things out loud, and might be harder if she's heavily financially dependent on him. I want her to have the self-trust to be able to say to her husband that she's hurt and confused, and that she feels he cheated on her. He might say he didn't; he might have explanations of his behavior where he saved her feelings or kept himself within limits. But if she's assertive, they are more likely to be able to hammer out a compromise, starting with private accounts. To me, in not grasping the nettle about cheating and deceit, and instead weaselling on 'zones of erotic autonomy', Dan's response would not have given her the confidence she needed.

We in fact have almost exactly the same response. I agree with you that her interest is in how she can meet her husband's undisclosed sexual needs (and, one would think, 31 and married is a good life-situation to start going from exclusively sub to switch) and that she's had it sprung on her that Findom is even a thing. (It would be poor if he used it as an excuse for keeping her in the dark).

103

@100. Bi. I have made clear they were presumptions insofar as they were presumptions above @101 to Nocute, and suggested where they might have some possible evidential basis.

Some rich people are just better at allotting and making full use of their time than the rest of us (e.g. no Savage Love screeds). So FINDAMN could well work hard and spa hard. And some rich people have inherited wealth or married hedge-funders.

@100. Bi. They are almost sure to cut a deal, whoever is the earner or the person who brought the money to the marriage (and brings). She is hurt and confused, but not, from her tone and words, on the verge of leaving him. Erica's saying (along the lines of) 'if you want to stay in the marriage...' is almost comical or misconceived; he does not have to be the rich one for it to be a given that she's staying in the marriage. She should be able to negotiate from a position of strength, the strength of having been wronged.

I think she should probably forgive, but ... does he have the being Findommed under control? One suggestion you made was that he did it to get back at her for her pricey spa treatments.... Well, if he did that, isn't there a likelihood of his ratcheting up the being Findommed? Soon it may be the Domme or the personal trainer, or the Domme or the mortgage payments. No matter how rich you are, it's possible to splurge it all on what used to be called 'hookers' (and is still called 'coke and champagne').

I think there's an element of his topping from the bottom, in the bad sense, in his doing this behind her back (after all, it's not as if she wouldn't have been prepared to explore sexually or cut him a pass); but I could be wrong here. I do not think she can let it slide, as you first suggested, because the sums of money are relatively small for them. The workaround will have to involve an adaptation to their sex life, such that she switches a bit and he agrees to limits in his sub-bing elsewhere, or a dadt set-up with separate finances and his having a manageable sex budget (which may not be sexy for him).

I am sure I deserve at least half Nocute's gold star. An Order of the Copper Bottom, maybe.

104

Harriet @102: "the fact[s] that they ... don't have separate finances"
Facts not in evidence. She doesn't say they don't have separate finances. I'm inclined to think they do, actually, because it took three years for her to see a payment to Mistress Moneybags, which suggests to me that he usually used his personal bank account. You've stereotyped her as a Stepford wife from the five words, "We are more than comfortable." At any rate, she said the issue isn't the money, so I'm not sure why you are creating an issue. Zero stars for you.

105

@93 - I agree. Based on this admittedly small sample size, it is hard to argue that there is a gender divide on the question. I have also been convinced by the commentariat that LW1 likely tries to be GGG. Her letter indicates she's had conversations about it with hubby and has been willing to at least explore how far she'd be willing to go to meet his desires herself.

But something else LW1 wrote keeps coming up for me. "I thought I knew who he was erotically." I wonder if this means that, on top of every thing else, she might be losing attraction for him? D/s-experienced folks can correct me, but is it possible that someone who identifies as submissive could be turned off by a partner who suddenly reveals that he's a switch? Could any of this just be LW1 being turned off by her husband?

106

@70. Opalescent. You are completely current--using the key word 'interactive'.

@79.Opalescent. I share your reaction here, in finding it hard to believe that anyone could have the view 'objectively, virtual 'cheating' can't be cheating'.

107

@99 Harriet -- We aren't penniless, but our money isn't infinite either. Spending money on sexual content seems ridiculous for me.

I've never done Chaturbate and it really doesn't appeal to me at all. I prefer not to be visible and I am turned on more by words than by video. And my biggest turn-on is being submissive, which I couldn't get through Chaturbate.

108

Ens @105, I don't think we can draw that conclusion. Just because she's not turned on by the idea of degrading him doesn't mean she is turned off by the idea that he likes being degraded. I think the obvious explanation for her reaction -- shock that he's been hiding his true self and has had an ongoing relationship with a sex worker, that the sex life she found so satisfying wasn't entirely so for him -- is more than sufficient to explain her reaction.

109

@104. Bi. Eh? You are the one who previously quoted 'we are more than comfortable' to mean that the money in the marriage belonged to the marriage and the couple; that supposing it came from the earnings of one partner, probably the husband, was the wrong way to look at it.

To me, 'we are more than comfortable' implies the money he's paid his Findomme comes from a shared pool. Further, why would he have any reason to complain about the amounts she spends on gym and wellness if it's coming from her own account (or earnings)? He could have cause to complain of the time she spends at the spa or with personal trainers; but this is something else entirely. It's not conclusive they have a shared account, but I would have thought likely on these circumstances.

The 'Stepford Wives' thing is all yours. I've tried to humanise a group of people sometimes slightingly referred to as 'trophy wives' in the face of the slightly hypocritical anti- sentiments of Dan Savage (he did not need to hope in context that Biden raised her taxes). The born-rich or self-made rich people I know are not married at 31. They are financiers (no... well, one is an heir and patron of the arts) ... but the financiers at 31 are just becoming stars as traders or relationship managers. It's when they are really rich, with yearly incomes in the millions, not the high hundreds of thousands, that they marry, with pre-nups that leave both partners with something tolerable. Of course their spouses are more often 31. But this is only background to my conjecture. The couple in question might not be that rich; they might not be from that work background; there might not be an age gap, and there might be no power differential based on who is older or who earns. We do not know the source of their wealth, income or inheritance, hers or his. Statistically, it's a little likelier that it's his--and this would place her in an especially vulnerable, Bonjour Tristesse position (the husband justifies spending time and money with mistresses and courtesans). The right response to 'we don't whether she's from [this group of people], but let's not typecast [this group of people]' is not 'how sexist, to assume she's from [this group of people]'.

110

Opal@74
"gender limes"

Mmmmmm. Gender limes.

"I think you would be wise to check in with your current/future partners."

Wait. This has nothing to do with me. I would not even consider such poor communication.

"I don't think men are "simple""

I didn't mean simple as in stupid.

Ya know those times a woman asks a man 'what are you thinking'?

It is my observation that men and women tend to have very different answers. I think a woman might be very surprised to hear that there is often close to nothing in a guy's thought bubble. Whereas is seems to me that, relatively speaking there is usually quite a lot in a woman's thought bubble.

This isn't good or bad, just different. For example, I think meditating is different. For guys, I think it tends to be relatively easy, like finding inner peace in a quiet meadow. But were it more of a challenge, like finding inner peace on a busy streetcorner, it might be much more rewarding.

Simplicity is one of my most cherished things.

Opal@79
""I have a big thing about drawing a huge line between fantasy and physical reality"

I could be misunderstanding, but do you not think of people online as real, just a persona or fictional character?"

That is something I've been pondering.

Let's take porn videos. Everyone knows (or should) that they are a very unrealistic representation of sex. Because they're just acting, playing a role.

The same is true of camming, or the husband's Findom. Everyone who isn't psychotic knows there's nothing real about it. You made a good point yesterday about that unlike with a video, there is interaction and in realtime.

"since STDs, unlike some other viruses, aren't transmissible over the Internet?"

I think it's a lot more than that. (But I have been advised before for some people sex need not involve any physical touching, which gives me pause about generalizing, but...)
Sex usually does involve physical touching.

And "camming" is a big category. A performer will have a great number of customers at any given moment, and rarely if ever agree (and get paid enough) to turn on cam of any of the gargoyle customers let alone look at it. So the interaction is mostly one way, consisting of only very short typed text from customers a tiny % of the customers.

Not unlike (other than the realtime factor), a customer tweeting at a performer's twitter.

I do understand that both the performer and the customers are real people. But no one is being authentic; the interactions aren't real they are acting; they aren't even interactions as they are primarily one way.

We do not know how much interaction exists in the husband's situation. But one should expect that, since the essence of the roleplay is that of domination and humiliation, that he is in no place to leverage getting interaction. Most likely I think him getting little interaction is probably part of the humiliation.

All of which contributes to my thinking, like Dan wrote, that the husband was not cheating, he was just (whatever these mean) cheating-adjacent or cheating-ish.
Someone wrote upthread that it wasn't 'solo masturbation'. True. But it nonetheless falls under the umbrella of masturbation to me.

111

@107. Smoked Salmon. Your question, 'where to draw the line?' seemed to be about what activities, and I would think the Savagista consensus would be that it's not a matter of activities, but of what a couple can negotiate and consent to.

As I understand, you want to be invisible and don't crave gay physical contact. Maybe you could find a Dom sex buddy to humiliate you while you hide behind a curtain, or say do it over the phone.... I feel we're saying it would be wrong to do it behind your wife's back, but not otherwise. That kind of thing is out there. But maybe you do not feel you have substantial unmet needs...?

112

Curious @110: "I would not even consider such poor communication." Then why are you defending it so staunchly?
"But it nonetheless falls under the umbrella of masturbation TO ME." Emphasis added, in hopes you now accept that this is a matter of opinion, which means others may not share your opinion? And that therefore, if you have a differing definition of masturbation than most people, or even than many people, including women, whom you're dating, that it's your responsibility to say "honey, I know we both masturbate and that's our business, but I like do to it online with cam girls, do you have a problem with that?"

113

Dan's answer to 'I Can't Be the One' is good. Your boyfriend doesn't want a dick, he wants a person. You are more lovable in the round than you imagine.

114

BDF@112
Hi!
Please don't put me in the picture, this is not about me.

Because I have something like carpal tunnel, I have to (at least until I have time to get voice recognition software installed on the PC I recently installed an OS on) limit how many times I repeat things. But I do want to call attention to something I've repeated already:

The husband had (unlike the LW) some reasonable reasons to not bring it up. For one,
"as both Dan and I have said he would "fear of spoiling [their]...D/s dynamic""
(quote from my @43)

Far more importantly, he was placed in an impossible position by that most women don't want to hear about wanking. She had never given him any indication that he was freed from this "societal policy of silence"
(quoting me @69)
He might only know that he believed that his activity fell under this policy (or as I put it @112 "falls under the umbrella of masturbation). So he's trapped in a CATCH-22, unable to know what her policy interpretation is without breaking the policy of silence. (Which makes her own failure to communicate very problematic.)

If I was talking to him, I'd tear him a new one while telling him he fucked up.

But in talking to her, I want her to see she could have avoided the whole thing she's only blaming him for, by being a good communicator herself.

I agree the whole thing was a trainwreck, and to me an unimaginable one because (as I wrote @43)

"all of us are black belts at communication, but remember that outside this board there are a world of people who aren't"

Perhaps this makes clearer that I blame both of them. But I think she should be Primarily blaming herself. (Or, as I wrote @52:)

"While I don't consider him blameless, I still think /she/ has only herself to blame."

In other words (since it seems people didn't get my meaning), objectively she would be right to see that he's to blame too. But I have no patience after reading her letter with /her/ blaming anyone but herself. Once she does that, only then will I be cool with her saying another word about blaming him.

115

Ms Cute - Excellent choices. I can practically write the conversation Edmund and Fanny would have in which they would ruthlessly dehumanize the G along the lines of their conversation about Mary Crawford's fault in too openly disregarding of her duty by the Admiral. On the negative side, I'll add Lady Middleton, Mrs Ferrars, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mrs Bennet, Mary Bennet, Mr Collins, Sir Thomas Bertram, Mrs Norris, Mr Price, Mary Musgrove, Charles Hayter, Elizabeth Elliot, Lady Russell, Captain Tilney, Catherine Vernon, Sir Reginald de Courcy and Mrs Weston.

I'm always entertained by how Mr Knightley does most things better than Emma, and he outdoes her at inter-class friendship even more firmly than he betters her at matchmaking. He and the sensible Robert Martin will keep the couples on smooth footing. I can imagine Mr Knightley dropping in at Abbey Mill Farm quite often of an evening when Mr Woodhouse is being especially tedious.

It feels as if the narration almost forces a card on the reader into taking Jane Fairfax and Harriet Smith practically at Emma's valuation. Why should Jane Fairfax have ever taken any pains to make herself pleasant to Emma? It's easy to feel for Emma at the description of the tediousness of having to do more than one wished but less than one ought for a period of months in paying civilities to a person one didn't like, but Jane must have been awkwardly positioned for a few years, trying to play down how she outshone the acknowledged young queen of Highbury and try to give Emma fair praise without either toadying or appearing just to be setting off her own superiour skills. In one of Emma's better scenes alone with her thoughts, when she appreciates Harriet's tenderness of heart as a quality she herself lacks but can value in others, she shudders at the thought of the coldness of a Jane Fairfax, but it doesn't occur to Emma and might not occur to the reader that of course Jane would be little warmer than civil to her.

Here are some categories that might amuse you; I wonder how many of our ideas will match (some have multiple strong choices):

would be an immensely popular f** h**
would be our most understanding if not most open ally
would have a Gay Best Friend and treat him like dirt
wouldn't be particularly fond of us but would give very practical advice
would have taken part in "private theatricals" to discharge a debt
would deliver the speech to turn doubtful public opinion in our favour

116

Opalescent @90 "One tool I have found helpful is to imagine that a close friend was saying the same thing about herself, or sharing her insecurities with me. I try to give myself the same compassion and empathy that I would give her."

Yes! That's one of the most powerful tools. The skill that I had to learn first is to actively notice the negative voices. "Feeling Good" helped me hear the voices as voices I could challenge, rather than as a constant background hum of negativity, pulling me down.

Opalescent @92 "it's unfair to accuse those who aren't comfortable with that of not being GGG."

Agreed! I just think that to be GGG they should be willing to think about whether they could do that (instead of dismissing it out of hand). If they sincerely consider it, and decide they can't, that's fine.

117

Ens Pulver @105 - I don't think FINDAMN's statement of "I thought I knew who he was" has anything to do with feelings of attraction to her husband in a D/s arrangement. I think this has everything to do with a fresh revelation (she says in the letter she only found out two days ago - she is in crisis mode). Somewhat ironically, their good sex life may be compounding FINDAMN's WTF thoughts. Society tells women that men stray sexually when their women aren't sufficiently putting out (I'm not endorsing this view at all, just a sad reality I've noticed), so when a woman has a robust sex life with her partner, it can be an extra mindfuck to be "cheated on anyway."

Curious @110 - Thanks for these clarifications around what camming might entail. FINDAMN may be thinking things are different/worse than they actually are, since she is unfamiliar with the practice. (Again, reasons he should have discussed it.)

Re: "cheating adjacent" - obviously this is a broad term that can mean very different things to different people. I liked Smoked Salmon's description in his initial comment that certain activities that involved other people (even over the internet, even only just words sometimes, only just discussing fantasies) started feeling at odds with the commitment he made to his wife. I think cheating adjacent are things that might give a partner pause to share with their partner, and they have to ask themselves why it's giving them pause.

118

Ens.Pulver @105 "Could any of this just be LW1 being turned off by her husband?"

Yes, many subs get turned off by the idea of their dom submitting and/or being humiliated.

But if one is sub to the same person for many years, one is likely to come to see them as a more complex person (maybe they cheat, maybe they have submissive fantasies, maybe they're insecure, maybe they have a drinking problem, maybe they're bi, whatever), and have to decide whether to stick it out and accept them the way they are, or end the D/s dynamic (and maybe the relationship too).

It's a growth opportunity that subs handle in different ways.

I think FINDAMN is inclined to stay and work things out, as evidenced by her writing to Dan rather than another columnist. Maybe she'll negotiate for something she wants, in return for Mr. FINDAMN getting to continue his outside adventure.

119

Ens. Pulver @105

"is it possible that someone who identifies as submissive could be turned off by a partner who suddenly reveals that he's a switch?"

Deffo. In my experience, anti-switch bias is pretty common among sub women primarily into dom men. I am friends with quite a few straight and bi male switches, and the consensus seems to be that being an out-and-proud switch generally hurts their chances with submissive women, goes in their favour with switch women (duh!), and can go either way with dom women. I've also been approached by switch closet cases: dom/top-presenting men, who wanted to be tied up or spanked, but it had to be a big secret and couldn't be done at a public party, etc. So internalised anti-switch bias is also a thing. The commonplace scenario Dan describes for a gay leather event - "the guy you saw being dragged around on a leash on the first night will be dragging someone else around on a leash the second night" - is not very common in hetero D/s context, in my experience. Perhaps, just as people of all genders tend to assume that deep down bisexuals are more attracted to men (androcentric desire hypothesis), people of all D/s inclinations tend to assume that deep down switches are more into bottoming/subbing than they are into topping/domming (bottom-centric desire hypothesis?). Which obviously sucks for dom-leaning switches.

"Could any of this just be LW1 being turned off by her husband?"

Yeah, I'm getting strong vibes that this may be the case, although the evidence is circumstantial. But the LW keeps circling back to

"He's very dominant and controlling in bed and I'm very submissive and I thought we were well-matched sexually"
"it was a shock for more than one reason"
"I thought I knew who he was erotically"

so I don't think it's ~just~ the lie of omission that's bothering her. In my experience, many (not all!) submissive women into M/f dynamics do fetishise "the trappings of patriarchy" to some extent, where submission is associated with femininity, and dominance with masculinity. I don't mean this in a kink-shaming way - YKINMKBYKIOK, and what consenting adults choose to fetishise in their relationship is nobody's business. But I suspect that this is also why many reject male switches. I imagine the LW as a very conventionally feminine woman, who is very invested in maintaining an ultra-feminine appearance for herself, and is attracted to very conventionally masculine- and dominant-presenting men. This, to me, fits the profile of someone who is likely to be turned off by male submission in general, and in their partner in particular. She is obviously trying to be rational and come to terms with it, but I don't agree with BDF and others who said that she would have probably given her blessing to his finsubbing if he was upfront about it. I get a sense that this would have been very hard for her to process (as it is now), which may also be why he's kept it a secret for so long.

120

Curious2@114 p.s.
I'm not sure if other do this, but my response to a letter depends very greatly upon which member of a couple (etc) is the LW. Because I presume they are the audience, not the other(s).

I was surprised to notice a couple weeks ago when F.M.Fox did exactly what I'd previously urged, she posted a letter from elsewhere for responses, that I was feeling too busy to even read it (sorry!). Because I knew there was little chance of any response here being of any use to the LW to another columnist.

When I do respond, my goal is to say what I think will benefit the LW. It is quite possible that there will be little consistency between that and what I would say to the other(s).

121

While it’s possible that ICBTO is using a letter to Dan as spank bank fodder, given their relative ages I suspect that the simpler answer is more likely—this is a young person in a GOOD (or potentially really good) new relationship and his perception of who he is as a person don’t match the way Boyfriend sees him. People do NOT like to have their perceptions of themselves challenged, and thus the fear of rejection and cognitive dissonance.

The bit about him thinking he’s too ugly really jumped out at me. He’s part of a group of people (gay men) who are the second most likely to suffer from body dysmorphia issues (after cishet women). Body dysmorphia and feeling extremely insecure/suspicious if a “better-looking” person is attracted to them are a sadly common combination. Before they went off the deep end, OkCupid studied that in het women—het women who perceived themselves as unattractive would turn down offers for dates or sex from very attractive men, because they perceived those men as trying to clown them. My interpretation of ICPBTO’s letter is he’s feeling the same. He’s also young enough that he hasn’t gone through the Pokémon-style evolution to Salty Bitch With No Fucks To Give.

Either way, if his perception of himself is sabotaging his intimate relationships, it will sooner or later sabotage other parts of his life (if it hasn’t already). CBT will help deal with the root of the problem and it’s a very gentle approach to facing one’s own insecurities.

122

@LostMargarita. That was a very insightful comment. I have to admit that, as a male sub, I have more rigid expectations of male doms than of female dommes. (My expectation could be described as more Alpha Male than leather daddy, if that makes sense. It helps to understand that I am not super into actual sex with men outside a d/s context).

Now I'm craving subbing. Ugh.

123

@FMF I think lots of people would feel uncomfortable sharing with their partner exactly what sorts of pornography they like, even if no one would consider it cheating or cheating-adjacent. For example, imagine someone who got off on (simulated) incest porn.

124

Opalescent @90: “ Taking the LW's account as truthful is SOP for dating columns. Even if they are trolling, it's frequently applicable to other people.”

Yes. I don’t think the LW is lying. When a four-year-old says, “my teddy bear is afraid of the dark” I don’t think she’s lying either.

It’s just different possible ways of interpreting a text.

125

SmokedSalmon,

I draw the line at lying. Or at taking time and attention away from someone when they have a right to expect it. Chat with men instead of playing online video games, not instead of playing board games with your wife.

+++ +++ +++

It sounds like you had hoped you had found an equilibrium you could live with but it turns out it’s not good enough. That you realized you cared more about your interactions with other men than was compatible with feeling monogamous. You gave it up because you wanted it too much. You still want it too much.

Something like that?

I don’t see any way out other than conversations with your wife.

Ask her to tell you how she understands your bisexuality. Go gently exploring from there.

Ask her about what monogamy means to her. Tell her what monogamy means to you. Talk about which aspects of it are important to you as individuals and as a couple. (These answers are specific to you and can’t be assumed. Note that many swingers think of themselves as monogamous because it’s “just sex” and is completely hived off from their social lives.)

Be clear about what exactly you need to be happy. If you need to be able to chat with men with a clear conscience it’s okay to say so. If she needs to know you aren’t sneaking around, that she will never be confronted with an unpleasant surprise, that you will continue to be discreet or that you will spend time with her every day, it’s fair for her to say so too.

If she needs to know that you never think about men... well, she can ask for it but you can’t give it to her. Keep talking until you find something you are both comfortable with.

She might prefer not to have these conversations. Tell her that you have a private online life that involves other men and she’s free to ask you anything she wants. She might never ask. That’s ok.

... Is she open to fantasizing about MFM threesomes? That might be an opening to even more conversations.

126

SmokedSalmon,

Are you guys religious? Does monogamous marriage have a religious significance for you? Does your wife think you gave up men and married her as part of a commitment to your god?

This would make untangling your needs and wants more complicated. Note that the task of youth is taking risks but the task of adulthood is reassessment. It sounds like you have some reassessing to do, and you might need to include the way you understand your religious practice in that.

127

@Alison

No, we are not religious at all. I once talked about the idea of opening up, but she made clear that it was out of the question. (She has gay friends for whom it did not work). Honestly, I don't want to have actual in-person sex with anyone else -- at least that doesn't involve her as well. I also once floated the idea of watching her have sex with another man (one of my favorite fantasies) and she was not into it at all.

She knows about my bisexuality and we talk about it like five times a year. It just doesn't come up that often. I am more excited about being submissive to another man than I am attracted to men these days. That said, MMF threesomes (maybe more centered on her) are hot, hot, hot to me.

I don't chat exclusively with men, BTW. Every now and then I do chat with a woman, which is also hot. So it's not just about my bisexuality. Heck, a lot of the conversations I have with men focus on women. (I've realized that I'm wildly turned by cuckolding and I don't know why. I don't have a small dick and I am not bad at sex). But it's usually with men.

I do tend to see it as "just sex" -- I stated earlier that I took precautions to make sure no one could ever figure out who I am.

I think you're right about "liking it too much." It had gone from something I did every now and then as part of masturbation to something I was doing multiple times a week. I certainly see my wife every day -- we both work at home so we see each other pretty much 24-7.

I was told by other women elsewhere online that they would instantly end their marriages if their husbands told them they did what I did. I couldn't handle that.

128

SmokedSalmon @127 "I also once floated the idea of watching her have sex with another man (one of my favorite fantasies) and she was not into it at all. ... MMF threesomes (maybe more centered on her) are hot, hot, hot to me."

Is she willing to engage in dirty talk in bed with you, at all? Or sexy texts? A baby step she may be ready for now or may be ready for in the future could be talking about these hot MMF threesomes you're going to have with that sexy neighbor (imaginary or real, as she prefers).

129

(editing my post @128): I mean - the baby step I'm proposing would involve completely imaginary threesomes, with either real or imaginary men, as she prefers.

130

SmokedSalmon,

Ok, so you don’t have religion to put spokes in your wheels. Excellent!

By “too much” I didn’t mean it really is too much. I meant it’s too much for you to handle comfortably within the constraints you’ve set for yourself. I meant it’s more important than you want it to be but you can’t wish it away and now you need to reassess.

You still need to have the rest of the conversations. If it doesn’t “come up,” bring it up. It’s okay to ask for what you want. You’ve only got this life.

Cuckolding can be hot. The “inadequate husband” trope is a turn-off for me but being a sexually autonomous bossy woman is definitely fun. Threesomes are super hot! I love watching two men together. I would not leave my husband if he chatted with men. It would be a turn-on for me.

This stuff is very individual. Not all women or wives are the same.

+++ +++ +++

What does submission mean to you? Being pegged? Washing the dishes naked? Being used like a sex toy? Chauffeuring?

I suggest you buy some books by Ms. Rika to share and talk about with your wife. Her way of approaching F/m dynamics is probably different from what you’re thinking of but is more likely to appeal to a vanilla woman than whatever she’s seen on tv.

131

I thought Lost Margarita's comment @119 was really insightful and tied in nicely to last week's discussion on bisexual men. Everything they said about perceptions of switch men could be said about bi men really. People just don't like versatile men, it seems.

132

@69 curious2: Although you indeed did land on @69 fairly and squarely, because you have already received this week's highlysought after FIRDT! (firkt) honors, I wouuld like to bestow this week's Lucky @69 honors upon Opalescent, @70. :)
@70 Opalescent: WA_HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I am awarding you this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors! Bask in the glory and savor your newfound numerical riches! :)

133

@100 BiDanFan: WA_HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's Big Hunsky honors!! Savor your newfound good fortune and bask in the glory.:)

134

Curious @114, you brought yourself into the discussion. And no matter how often you repeat yourself, you're still wrong. "I thought you wouldn't want to hear about my wanking" is a ridiculous excuse for having a clandestine arrangement with a sex worker behind one's spouse's back. I already said he needs to explain his reasons to her, at which you and Dan are only guessing, and she, not you or me or Dan, gets to decide whether they're forgivable. She absolutely can't have foreseen this to ask about it. She did nothing wrong and your advice to her is worse than Dan's. Moving on now.

Margarita @119, great comment. If I'm not convinced by the idea that she's be turned off by her husband being a switch, I'm convinced he probably -thinks- she would be -- similar to the way a straight woman, for instance last week's LW, would be turned off by a bi man -- and that's probably why he kept this in the closet. I hope he's wrong and she is GGG enough to adopt a DADT about this -- defined, of course, as an agreement to not ask or tell, not a unilateral decision, which isn't a DADT, it's lying.

Smoked @127: "I was told by other women elsewhere online that they would instantly end their marriages if their husbands told them they did what I did. I couldn't handle that." Ugh, I'm sorry. These women aren't your wife though. Many women wouldn't be bothered by this at all. I know I'm not representative because I'm non-monogamous, but many monogamous women define cheating as involving in-person contact, or like FINDAMN would be bothered by cybersex but not the written word. You know your wife. I hope some of the topics Alison has brought up are a good starting point to talking to her about this. She knows you're bi and kinkier than she is, she may be relieved that exchanging erotic stories is all it takes to satisfy that part of you.

Wambenger @131, indeed. Yay for toxic masculinity! Many think a man has to be 100% straight, 100% dominant, to be a real man. Ugh.

135

Curious, is it Mrs SmokedSalmon's responsibility to ask her husband whether he is interested in exchanging erotic stories with strangers online?

136

FINDAMN- No, you did not know everything about his sexuality. Now you know more but you'll never know everything. He doesn't know everything about your sexuality either. You don't know everything about your sexuality, you can only explore it so much in one lifetime.

If you want to know him better, ask him how much he likes domming and how much he likes submitting. Sounds like 90/10 but you're not going to know unless you ask. At least you knew that you had a great sexual connection to him, have you asked him how he feels about his sexual connection to you? How has this discovery changed how you are attracted to him and experience your sexual connection? At least this sort of sex worker probably isn't going to be associated with human trafficking. If you've wanted to get spanked by someone new, you might want to agree to mutual larger zones of erotic autonomy than you had previously accepted. It's a funny term, do cheaters now say they are just carving out a larger zone of erotic autonomy? Lol. Looks like it's time to think about how large of a zone of erotic autonomy you prefer, and how much you can accept, and how much you can forgive if he works to dial it back.

ICBTRO- If you're insecure, you can either work to make the most attractive choices possible, or wallow in it and eroticize it by cucking. For the former, every time you feel insecure, work to succeed at following your dreams and making money without hurting anyone, work on showing respect and building trust and other marital or social skills. Alison covered the latter I think.

I answered Opal on last weeks thread today.

137

Another thing that came to my mind while reading FINDAMN's letter is that FINDAMN and her husband probably aren't involved in any real-life kink scene (although the husband is likely to have a profile on Fetlife or other kink sites). I wonder if reaching out to their local kink community and going to some events (once it's safe to do so) would be beneficial to their relationship. I think that making some kinky friends she can talk to about this, and just seeing a variety of kink orientations, D/s styles and relationship arrangements might help her process this situation better. I know that my understanding of sexuality - both my own and other people's - has definitely become deeper and more complex after finding the kink community. It helped me disentangle my own desires from hetero-, mono- and vanilla-normativity, and get rid of some negative sexual stereotypes I had been carrying around without realising.

138

BDF@134@135
You haven't been listening to me. (What did you think I mean by my @120, for example?)

I know this has been frustrating for everyone (including me), so I'm going to be more specific. I feel more comfortable doing so later in threads when I figure if the LW is reading they might have hopefully stopped by now.

My comments in threads frequently don't address the letter directly at all. But when I do, I don't consider this a debating society.

Instead, as I concluded @120
"my goal is to say what I think will benefit the LW. It is quite possible that there will be little consistency between that and what I would say to the other(s)."

How do I decide what to say that I think will benefit them? My life has taught me that I can trust my gut.

I believe there is no one voice and message that will benefit a LW. So I'm thrilled when other people express their own picture of what they should say to benefit the LW.

I might even agree with theirs more. But in any case, in saying what I'm saying that I think will benefit the LW, I can't (and until right now I never have in any thread) come out and said that's what I'm doing, because that undermines the part I'm playing, the 'act' of saying what I think will benefit them.

Now, I'd feel vastly less need to play the role of expressing one of the various things people can say to benefit the LW, if others were too. In fact, if everyone had been saying what I was saying, I'd have been saying what y'all were bloody saying.

(In other words responding, I'm not debating or caring what anyone thinks of me, I'm trying to help a real human being.)

Because of this, the pushback y'all gave me, if anything, reinforced my need to do what I was doing. (And I don't think any of us enjoyed that.)

I guess I was wrong to think that I had earned enough respect to do what I thought was right. I respect y'all to do that, and I'm glad we are because we can't objectively know what will benefit LW's. And I believe that most issues can be framed in multiple ways, and that those frames will often all help a LW.

How many ways did I have to say upthread that I agreed with the alternative perspectives? How many hints did I have to give that I was playing a role?

I am happy to get some pushback in that role, that's part of trying to help the LW. But please be aware that sometimes I'm not here to debate. And can't, because I'm trying to help the LW in a way I think is right. (Not the way, a way.)

Perhaps this will help people avoid feeling quite so much need to push back in the future. I'm not dumb, I see the other positions (and I also say so); but breaking character this much ruins what I'm trying to do.

139

Curious2@138 p.s.
Which explains I think what I mentioned in the middle paragraph @120 surprised me: That if I knew the LW weren't reading, I probably wouldn't be here at all.

140

Curious @138, I fail to see how "you have only yourself to blame for not asking if he was seeing pro dommes" will benefit FINDAMN. Rub salt in her wounds more like, and indeed, be worse advice than Dan gave, which was "try to see this as not a big deal" which is good advice, the bad bit was leaving out any affirmation that her reaction was valid.

141

Yes, women should reasonably expect that their partners will masturbate.
Yes, women should reasonably expect that their partners will watch porn when they masturbate.
No, women should not be expected to reasonably expect that their partners use Chaturbate or pay cam girls or other online sex workers -- particularly not when they are in a monogamous relationship.
No, women's failure to ask whether their partners use Chaturbate or pay cam girls or other online sex workers should not be seen as tacit endorsement to do these things within the confines of a monogamous relationship.
If other parties are involved, to any extent, this can reasonably be expected to violate some people's definition of monogamy, and therefore, if a person who has agreed to monogamy wants to do them, they should seek their partner's assent.

142

BiDanFan @100
I agree that whether or not it's forgivable depends on whether he understands that he was on the wrong by sneaking around for 3 years.

I don't think she needs to be ok with this going forward. Since she's said she doesn't really want to degrade him, and he doesn't want her to degrade him, I agree it's best to outsource.

Continuing his arrangement with the same FinDomme is likely to be hurtful to LW1. It brings up memories of finding this out. She can quite reasonably worry about his emotional connection with this woman, after 3 years as his online submissive.

I hope she's willing to give him a hall pass, going forward, with some restrictions. No further communication with this FinDomme after informing her he is no longer her customer & submissive.

He can send money to other FinDommes, but not the same one for more than 3 months. (Or, whatever they both find reasonable, and reassures her as much as possible that there's no emotional affair incubating.)

143

I haven't read all the comments so I don't know if this has been addressed, but I find it odd that LW1 doesn't mention whether or not she has discussed the situation with her husband, and equally odd that Dan doesn't bring it up (e.g. "Have you told your husband about your discovery? If so, what did he say? If not, don't you think this warrants a discussion?") .

144

BDF@140
"I fail to see how..."

The point of my @138 was that I saw. And felt like my decision deserved some respect. (Not agreement, since I think it's too complicated for me to type and not likely to be productive to try to explain where I was coming from.)

145

Harriet @102: "the fact[s] that they ... don't have separate finances"

BiDanFan @104
"Facts not in evidence. She doesn't say they don't have separate finances. I'm inclined to think they do, because it took three years for her to see a payment to Mistress Moneybags, which suggests to me that he usually used his personal bank account."

LW1 says: "I obviously couldn't dominate him financially as our finances are shared." and "This has been going on for nearly three years! It seems clear from their messages (I have read them all)"

So, they do have shared finances. He apparently has a separate bank account, or more likely a credit card in his name only, that she wasn't aware of or didn't have access to. She didn't find out through financial records. She read their messages.

146

Ens. Pulver @105
It's possible that she is struggling with feeling repulsed or turned off by his being a switch. Some submissives do react that way.

LW1 doesn't say she no longer wants to submit to or have sex with him. Her tone doesn't sound repulsed. We can speculate all kinds of things, but there's no evidence that she feels that way.

I took "I thought I knew who he was erotically." to mean that she thought she knew what turns him on. She thought he had shared his fantasies with her. She thought she knew what made him tick.

Now, she feels like "who are you, and what have you done with my husband?!?"

He has been hiding this ongoing D/s relationship for three years! She doesn't know conclusively whether he is also having an emotional affair with this woman (probably one-sided).

147

Harriet @106
I have "seen" couples take online relationships to in person, for the 35 years I have been on the internet.

Sexting, camming, etc. are just in the realm of fantasy to some people. Others develop deep and abiding bonds. They fly across the country, or to a new country, to meet with someone they fell in love with online. Emotions aren't virtual reality, they are in our hearts and minds.

148

Curious @110
I meant you in the general sense. I suppose I should say "men (or one, or people) would be wise to check in with their partner" to avoid confusion.

She was sending him customized videos. That is a level of interaction that I consider cheating-adjacent. They have had a D/s relationship for 3 years. That's longer than the 2.5 years I have been with my submissive! That is significant, not just a passing hopping into a random cam session. I responded to the fantasy vs reality aspect @147.

149

Curious @110
I specified solo masturbation because it involves another person. His solo masturbation habits may not be my business. If he is laying next to someone, masturbating while she uses dirty talk, or posting video on the internet of himself masturbating, or papering his walls with cum shot tributes to other women, or has an ongoing relationship online that includes cybering, those are my business, since they involve other people.

150

Curious @114
Wow, that's incredibly rude to LW1. It really discourages her from writing any clarifications or updates in the comments, as some LW's do.

Yes, she should have discussed fantasies and online sexual interactions with other people. Since they are in a D/s relationship, communication and sharing fantasies is very important to building the dynamic.

Blaming herself isn't productive or helpful.

151

Erica @116 thank you! I don't remember where I ran across it. I find it really helps my inner critic to STFU.

It sounds like LW1 has considered dominating him in this aspect. She doesn't really want to, and her husband doesn't want her to, so I think they are better off outsourcing. In general, I agree it's good to genuinely consider it.

152

I think it's time I bequeath my Rookie of the Year tiara to Opalescent. Opal, your comments this week and last have all been fantastically on-point and fire. You are a superb addition indeed!

Curious, I feel like I'm * this close * to picking up what kind if devil's advocacy you're trying to lay down here, but I absolutely fail to see how "you should have anticipated this/asked about this" is in any way helpful to someone who's fresh off a discovery that their partner has been hiding something significant about their sex lives/sexuality from them (a three year long relationship with one findom making bespoke videos is just not the same thing as watching some porn while rubbing one out). But I see we're all at an impasse and you've long since asked us to knock it off, so I'm knocking it off on this particular topic at this point.

153

To at least some extent, DS men will become more versatile when those DS women who punish them for it stop doing so. I can certainly appreciate the frustration of those DS women who don't punish or who even enjoy versatility.

154

I walk back the first part of my comment @117. It was asinine of me as someone inexperienced in D/s relationships and dynamics to downplay that aspect.

Smoked Salmon @127 - I'm sorry about these awful statements these women made to you. (And if these women happened to also be women you were enjoying some type of online sexy times with, they're absolute hypocrites) I sympathize with how that would make you extremely wary about what you'd be willing to open up about. I'm sure this was a factor at play for Mr. FINDAMN as well, and I can see how men in relationships with women can feel this catch 22 that Curious described, wanting to be open but worried about their partner instantly kibboshing their suggestions (or the relationship!).

Re cucking/hotwifing - my husband shares this fantasy too (more of a hotwifing situation, not into the humiliation aspect), but for me it raises such "it's a trap!" alarm bells in my head. And probably a lot of that is just societal programming and expectations, but it just seems like a fraught thing to try to pull off IRL with a tremendous possibility of royally backfiring. That said, it makes for some really fun pillow talk.

155

F.M.Fox@152
"I feel like I'm * this close * to picking up what kind"

Maybe that's as close as I deserve. I'm only human, I certainly make mistakes. I'm only following my own trusted instincts.

And I feel bad that this thing I do must be very irritating to all my cherished friends in this community who so kindly try to communicate with me (not my act).

Sometimes, my instincts in doing this thing I do does lead me to be rude to a LW. (I remember very soon after I got here, BDF and I got into a huge argument about me doing that.)

One handicap I have is that I can't type much, which limits my available approach. And my options to explain, particularly today when I have a ton a balls in the air.

I'm just trying to be a voice a LW heard. Not /the/ voice. Or even one they like.

156

curious2 @155: “I'm just trying to be a voice a LW heard. Not /the/ voice.”

Yesss! That’s exactly prefer my online interactions to be on fora with thoughtful, articulate people. I am free to take the risk of saying something stupid because it will quickly drown in the sea of smartness.

157

Venn@115. I have always thought that Henry Tilney reads as possibly gay (his sexual interest in the novel's heroine is lacking, at best,) and I could see Catherine Morland innocently believing she has a chaste boyfriend, when in actuality, she is a fag hag. Upon discovering that her "boyfriend" is gay, once she got over the surprise and embarrassment, she would be pleased to have a gay bff.
A few years ago, I read a P and P adaptation by Curtis Sittenfeld (whose short stories I usually like,) and disagreed with many of the book's choices, one being that Lydia marries a trans man. I don't feel that Lydia would be so progressive -- I could see her making out with a girl publicly for male attention from time to time, and then proclaiming herself bi, only when being bi can somehow be used in her favor.
(Longtime lurker -- I always enjoy your classic lit discussions.)

158

Alison@156
Thank you.

But I really don't deserve it, since except for the times when I'm talking to LW's here, I am most guilty indeed of treating this place like a debating society.

/Break/
If I again find myself doing this thing I do sometimes of taking a particular odd and/or testy tack with a LW, maybe I need a safe word. Jackrabbit? (Except I'm worried someone would tip off the LW.)

159

@130 Alison @134BDF

Thanks for your comments. I am more attracted to the type of cuckolding Alison described. My ideal threesome:
Autonomous, bossy wife who is going to fuck whoever she wants.
Loving, submissive husband who's not going to stand in her way, as long as he gets to watch, lol. I'm not really into the husband feeling inadequate, which is good since I'm not.
Bull who is going to give the wife a great fucking and enjoys lording it over the cuck (who, of course loves that).
I agree with all that this should remain a fantasy.

Your advice has been quite helpful. I'm going to work towards disclosure to my wife, at least of my erotic stories. I'll float some fantasies that really scratch my itch and see if she can get into them.

160

curious2,

Cheating covers a wide ground and different people have different ideas about what it means. For instance, many people think an emotional affair is worse than “just sex,” which is the opposite of what you think.

Having two families you invest time and money in and keep secret from eachother—cheating. Always, or at least in North America. Let’s call this “Level 10 cheating.”

In some circles, touching or fantasizing about someone you aren’t married to—for instance, kissing a classmate when you’re thirteen—is considered cheating. Even If you have not yet met the person you will eventually marry you are still cheating on your future spouse. Looking at someone you aren’t married to and thinking they are hot—cheating. In some cultures, a woman letting non-family men see any part of her skin is whoring herself out—cheating.

Savage Love readers will agree that these extreme attitudes are “hung up,” but they do exist and aren’t some sort of aberrant individual psychological problem. They are actively taught, sometimes in schools. Let’s call them “Level 0 cheating.”

I would know if my partner might be from a Level 0 subculture. We’d need to have conversations to establish whether they were truly a Level 0 or whether maybe there was some wiggle room or possibility of growth.

In a presumed-monogamous relationship, nobody will raise the question of whether Level 10 is cheating. Both partners know it is so there’s nothing to talk about.

If I’m from a Level 4 subculture I might expect my partner could be from a subculture somewhere between Level 3 and Level 5. If I had concerns I might ask. Or I might not—I might prefer not to know.

I think Level 4 is baseline though. I’m not going to presume that someone compatible enough with me to be my life partner could be operating on Level 9 assumptions where it’s not cheating to support a secret paramour as long as there are no children. I’m just not going to ask. It’s beyond my scope. My partner from a Level 9 subculture is going to be aware that we have different definitions of cheating though, so bears the onus of initiating the conversation.

Yes, if you have reason to think your partner’s ideas about what cheating is might be very different from yours, you ask or you tell.

No, if you have no reason to think you have very different ideas, you won’t ask or tell. Why would you?

161

SmokedSalmon @159,

You aren’t going to decide alone whether it will remain a fantasy. That’s something you and your wife work out between yourselves.

In addition to all things Ms. Rika I’m going to recommend the Keys and Anklets podcast yet again. Both are excellent resources for beginners on either side of the partnership.

162

M? Flake - Welcome. I remember reading Ms Sittenfeld's novel Prep. I could easily see Catherine going either way on the question; perhaps it would depend on how strict her father had been on the question. Ms Cute may have a case to make about Henry Tilney, her favourite.

I could certainly see Lydia acting out performative "bisexuality" (perhaps with Isabella Thorpe?), and her marrying a trans man definitely seems out of character for Lydia. Offhand, that would seem to be more in the line of Henrietta Musgrove or perhaps Julia Bertram.

163

Mrs Fox @117
Yes, women often blame themselves for their partner's straying. She definitely doesn't need it here!

164

Curious @120, 138, 155
Mrs Fox @152
Alison @156
Giving multiple perspectives, even if none are ones we personally hold is fantastic!

I try to put myself in their shoes, and give them advice or reassurance that they need. Even if it's not how I would handle it, or if it goes against my religious beliefs, etc, they are my priority.

I really don't like the devil's advocate or persona approach. Curious,do far,I have really enjoyed interacting with you, even when we disagreed.

Right now, I have no idea whether you actually believe what you said about it being none of her business. I don't know if you actually think that she should primarily blame herself.

I cannot debate with you, if you are all masks and quicksand. I can't change your mind, if you didn't think that way in the first place.

Since this revelation, I'm not sure whether I can respond to you at all on anything I disagree with you about. Maybe you are just jerking my chain. Maybe you actually believe it. You are Schrodinger's Devil's Advocate.

165

Slinky @121 Alison @124 Philophile @136
Alison, I didn't interpret what you said as accusing ICBTRO of lying. I meant the one who speculated that he's a teenager having a giggle over it.

If he did want wank bank material, he's probably disappointed to get a lot of self help advice!

Whichever version of CBT is applicable, I hope he is happier and more secure. I've been able to get some good things from the comments, that apply to me.

166

Opal@164
I hear you, and you deserve an answer.

Maybe I can give a good one later. Right now I'm feeling too exhausted and exasperated by the whole thing. And y'll have every right to be too.

I think that one thing that bugged and motivated me, is that this couple didn't communicate well. Whichever member of the couple I happen to have the privilege of (er, imagining that I'm) talking to IRL the first thing I would want to point out to them is that they could have communicated better.

OK, not the first thing.

If I'm talking IRL to the husband, I might want to yell at him for quite a while.

If I'm talking IRL to the LW, I'm going to console her.

Now obviously, given the situation the primary failure of communication was the husband's.

But the situation could potentially have been kept from ever occurring had either one of them initiated good communication about what they were each cool with. With enough communication that's good enough, many problems never occur.

I think they can both benefit going forward from hearing that.

I might also try to help the LW understand that her husband might have been concerned about messing up their D/s dynamic. Why would I tell her that? Both because it's true, and because I want to help her get through this painful experience.

I think I was also trying to help her get through this by helping her imagine that he might have felt it wasn't so wrong.

Why did I instead do it the way I did it?

Oh FFS maybe on another day I would have.
Perhaps I needed to try to save keystrokes; that sure didn't work out well.

Sometimes I take a tack I really don't want to debate or be critiqued. Most times I would be happy to had I the time and capacity to type to.

I'm not sure how soon I'm gonna wanna do any of that again.

167

Salmon @122, 127, 159
Alison @125, 126,130,161
Erica @128
BiDanFan @134-135
Philophile @136
Mrs.Fox @154
I hope that Smoked Salmon is able to share his erotica with his wife, and grt her blessing for chatting with other people. It sounds like she accepts his bisexuality, and isn't likely to freak out about his submission.

I haven't read Rika before. I'll add it to my reading list. It isn't as likely to be available from my library as "Feeling Good" though! 😆😂🤣

I recommend checking out Akasha's Web, especially https://www.akashaweb.com/powerplay/category/good-girls-guide-to-domination/ There's some fantastic, insightful Dommes who write on FetLife, as well.

168

Auntie Grizelda @132
It indeed brought me good luck! I have a new job, pending background check! They are offering me 20% more than I had originally agreed to! WA_HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! indeed!

Mrs Fox@152
Aww, that's incredibly sweet, thank you for the warm welcome! Just before I started posting regularly, there was a big debate about the commentariat being too cliquish.

There's definitely both in-group jokes, and internecine conflict. I'm still dipping my toes in, but I really feel I fit in!

169

@167: Congratulations!

170

To my own @167, I forgot to add, I had a bad experience with someone who did a lot of hot bedroom talk about MFM threesomes. When I tentatively tried it, with his encouragement and participation, he accused me of cheating.

My submissive is open to my being involved with other people. I would like to see if we can form a tight little polycule with a couple or another person or two, once Covid allows.

We've done kink threesomes before, without overt sex, with a crossdresser and a woman (not simultaneously).

171

@168 Opalescent: Congrats, too, on your new job with better pay and benefits! What wonderful good fortune. That in itself is indeed, worth another WA_HOOOOOOOOO!!! :)

@169 nocutename: WA_HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's highly sought after Double Whammy Award (Lucky @69 + Big Hunsky @100 = Double Whammy = @169). Bask in your luscious glory of double prizes and savor your newfound good fortune. :)

Holy smokes--it'll be time for the Double Hunsky again before we all know it! Tick...tick...tick....

172

@ nocutename, I have to chime in, even though I haven't read all the answers yet...
Yes!! I am completely in the "why would I want any of these services from people I find sexy?" camp. Not because there's anything wrong with finding any of them hot, or masturbating about whatever, but that just isn't my thing. I like my hair stylists to be good at hair (although if they were actively unpleasant and unhygienic I'd probably give it a miss) and the pleasure I get from massage hinges in large part from the fact that it is not sexual and there is no reciprocation expected (except payment),

Which brings me to the comment that actually relates to LW1 and Dan's comment -- I think it's not unreasonable to evaluate the balance in terms of each of them deriving pleasure from interactions with other people, but those interactions do not need to be sexually charged to be worthwhile. If she's getting other kinds of enjoyment from outside sources, those are worth appreciating too. And not so much in a "tit for tat" kind of way, the point I think is to recognize that not all one's needs and wants will be met in a romantic relationship/marriage and that's okay. And mot all one's needs or wants are sex-related. Sometimes it's about pleasure, or appreciation, or comfort, or recognition, or whatever.

Anyway, my 2 cents. Now I'll go read the rest of the comments and see who beat me to it.

173

Opal @142, hmm. If this were a situation whose inappropriateness -she- had contributed to, I can see asking him not to see this specific FinDomme anymore, but that's not the case. There's a case to be made to keep this one, because their arrangement has been working well for three years, she refuses to meet (which might not be the case with someone else), is clear on the boundaries, and the costs aren't excessive. If she's going to give her blessing to see a FinDomme but not this FinDomme, that just seems like she's punishing him (and depriving her of a good client when she did nothing wrong).

Wayne @143: FINDAMN says "My husband says he doesn't want to be degraded by me..." which indicates to me that she has discussed this with him. I can't see that statement being made other than as part of a conversation where she's told him what she's discovered and asked why he went to a pro domme instead of asking her to do this for him. I agree more conversation is necessary; she needs to ask him every question she's asked Dan.

Curious @144: "And felt like my decision deserved some respect."
BDF @38: "Curious @37, with respect, that's ridiculous."
I respect you as a person. I don't respect blaming the victim, which is what your advice of "you only have yourself to blame for not delving into every possible thing he might be doing behind your back" amounts to. Even if I do buy the idea that this is something she could reasonably have foreseen, which you alone on this board believe, it's unkind to say to someone who is reeling from a shock. I'm glad you seem to see that now.

Opal @145, I stand corrected. They do have shared finances, which means Harriet may be right -- if it took her three years to see payments from a shared account, that means she's not the one monitoring the household spending. However, she doesn't say how she "stumbled over evidence that he's been sending money to a female sex worker." He might have left his e-mail open, or she might have been reviewing a credit card statement, or she might have snooped.

SmokedSalmon @159, please come back and tell us how it goes!

Alison @160, excellent comment. In ENM it is (generally) discussed what is and isn't acceptable for people to do with others, what level of disclosure is expected, whether a blessing must be sought prior to getting involved with a new person, etc. In monogamy, these things are generally assumed rather than discussed. Assuming one's partner's definition of cheating is roughly the same as one's own isn't grounds to blame someone if it isn't, it's part of monogamy culture. It's the culture that's to blame, not FINDAMN.

Alison @161, SmokedSalmon could very well decide alone that this is going to remain a fantasy. If he's already certain that his wife isn't that level of GGG, attempting to make this reality may only serve to cause a rift between them. He's more than within his rights to keep this in his head, or in his stories. He can share this with her as a work of fiction. Some fantasies are better unrealised and it's up to the person with the fantasy to decide if that's the case.

Opal @163, yes, exactly. This is why "you only have yourself to blame" is so cruel. No doubt she is already wondering what she did wrong, when the answer is nothing.

Opal @168, congratulations! WA-HOOOO indeed!

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@157: Snowflake, I can easily see Henry Tilney as gay and Catherine becoming his friend.

I enjoyed Sittenfeld's take on Pride and Prejudice, "Eligible," and part of the fun of reading it was (for me) seeing how she'd adapt what really are a lot of plot points and a fair amount of characters to try to make a reasonably intelligible 21st-century version of the story. I agree that the Lydia plot was not done well, though I did like the Crossfit angle.

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I sincerely apologize to you all for what I did. It put you in an impossible, and very unfair and shitty, position. I've never done anything even remotely that crazy before, and I know I need to make sure I never do again.

If I began to feel like I was in a dog-with-a-bone scene (me = dog), I have only myself to blame.

176

(Oh crap I can't even get an apology right.)

Sorry I meant:
me = bone

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Curious @175, don't beat yourself up. You were wrong, it happens. I think I can see the point you were trying to get at -- "Hey women, men are pervs and get up to stuff in private that would never even occur to you. Might be worth having a more specific conversation about what 'monogamy' means to you if you don't want any nasty surprises." But phrasing it as "this is your fault for not asking about his masturbation habits" was unfair.

Please don't feel like you shouldn't share your thoughts here. The vast majority of what you write is compassionate and sensible!

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@127. Smoked Salmon. I think, based on what you've described, that it would be GGG of your wife to try an MMF threesome.

You could say that you want to have a go at integrating your online sex life into your erotic relationship with her.

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I'm a little late to the party, and this has likely been covered, but from a monogamous D/s relationship perspective, I think FINDAMN has a right to be upset. Her husband has misrepresented himself, even if it's by omission. FINDAMN has a right to know the person to whom she's married. He should have disclosed and negotiated. It's not like she's kink-negative.

nocute @8: Yes, it was me who mentioned my Domme friend who occasionally finds an envelope stuffed with $100 bills in her mailbox. She knows who puts them there (or at least knows his Fetlife alias), but has never met him, and doesn't provide any "services" beyond being the consenting subject of his attention.

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@145. Opalescent. Yes, I would think they have fully pooled finances.

I'm not entirely with you when you suggest she doesn't have to be ok with his getting FinDommed going forward. Part of the satisfaction for him could be getting one over her, exploiting her, by dipping into her spa money for his Domme. I think they need to draw up enforceable boundaries concerning spend, separation of finances, degree of in-person contact and personalisation, and frequency of his contacts before reverting, if that's possible, to a dadt arrangement for his subbing.

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Curious @166, 175
Virtual hugs! I agree with BiDanFan @177 that I hope you can extend compassion to yourself! I appreciate your apology.

FWIW, I wasn't angry at you, mostly confused. It seemed at odds with everything else you were writing.

I had to set a "no debating with devil's advocates" policy, years ago. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2017/10/playing-devils-advocate-in-conversations-about-race-is-dangerous-and-counterproductive.html and https://ashamedmagazine.co.uk/opeds/why-do-cis-men-love-to-play-devils-advocatenbsp explain my reasoning far more eloquently than I can muster!

I absolutely agree with you that communication is incredibly important. I also agree that the advice we give LW's should focus more on what is within their power, what they can change. It needs to be handled with tact and caring.

I still fundamentally disagree with you that communicating about wanting to get custom videos to masturbate to would have been sufficient. Even if he had told her that he wanted financial humiliation specifically.

They needed to also discuss non-monogamy, especially in an online context. He didn't know, himself, that the online D/s relationship would last for three years. So, he couldn't have told her, and she couldn't have asked, ahead of time.

182

Nocute @167 Grizelda @171 BiDanFan @173
Thank you so much for the congratulations and well-wishes! I'm so excited, but nervous!

183

Ms Cute - The obvious line would be something like, "Oh, sure, any man who understands muslin..." in much the way that once upon a time Mr Savage would have made the same implication about any man who enjoys show tunes (before he became such an assimilationist, which with him has taken the form of giving non-gays all the things he thinks good about gay culture while not getting what they're worth in return).

From my list, the one that seemed to me most obvious was that the champion f** h** would be Mrs Jennings. All the more people to marry off, and she has the sort of humour that would delight those who practically hid in plain sight, and would be much less fastidious than the Miss Dashwoods.

There are plenty of candidates for appearing in private theatricals to discharge a debt. The obvious ones are Tom Bertram and Mr Yates, with Willoughby and Wickham high on the short list. Frank Churchill has the character for it, though I almost want to give him a different motive of telling himself he would do it to save up for his wedding. I think perhaps Mr Elton instead. John Thorpe would be willing, though I'd feel sorry for anyone who had to stoop to buy in that market. In the Emeritus category I'll put Mr Shepherd; Mrs Clay had to get it from somebody.

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@117. Fantastic. I actually agreed with the first part of this comment. Without thinking Lost Margarita's speculations about the couple's attraction dynamics necessarily off-base for how their erotic relationship might develop, I think what's going through the lw's mind now is less 'he'a sub?! He's not so hot any more!' and more 'where do I stand in my sex life and marriage? Now I doubt everything...'. Your comment was the opposite of asinine.

@157. Snowflake. Great contribution re Curtis Sittenfeld. I think the trans man for the soldier is a stroke of genius.

PS Congratulations to Opal on her job!

185

@183. venn. Dan Savage is no more an assimilationist with respect to sexuality than Oprah is with respect to race.

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Octo @172 BiDanFan @173
fubar @179 Harriet @180
Absolutely, people can't meet all of each other's needs. We still need to interact with other people.

I very much hope that LW1 can feel comfortable enough to give her husband a hall pass to continue getting his pay-piggy needs met.

Maybe Harriet's suggestion of incorporating FinDom into their own relationship by establishing a budget/allowance might help her eroticise it. I didn't get the impression that is what either of them want, though.

I agree that the FinDomme didn't do anything wrong. However, I suspect the well has been too poisoned for it to continue. LW1 is likely to associate her (perhaps unfairly but completely understandably) with this mess.

After 3 years, I think she would also have reasonable cause to suspect an emotional affair on her husband's part.

I agree that if she does give him that pass, they need to address the concerns Harriet and BiDanFan raised. Some reasonable parameters could include: must be on a different continent, no patronizing the same FinDomme for more than 3 months, setting a budget, level of customization, explicitly no in-person contact, etc.

187

BiDanFan @173 Harriet @180
She specifically said she found out by reading three years worth of messages (she didn't specify email vs messaging).

I agree with Harriet, it's most likely that they have a shared account, where their paychecks are deposited. Both draw money from it to pay bills, or possibly put into individual accounts.

He probably has a credit card that he uses to pay the FinDomme, and also other things. That bill isn't itemized where LW1 can see it. There's just the line item for monthly payment on the card.

Of course, it could be entirely different. You seem to be focused on "how could she not notice these expenditures?"

188

Opal @186, if so, I hope Mr FINDAMN gives her a generous severance.

Opal @187, no, she doesn't say that. She says she "stumbled over evidence" and then she read the messages, not that she stumbled over messages. She doesn't sound like a snoop, which leaves only innocent explanations for how a spouse would discover this relationship. If I'm the "you," I'm not focused on "how could she not notice these expenditures?" I just read the letter as her discovering evidence, then corroborating the evidence (which logically must be a transaction on a statement) by reading messages. But this theory is far from a "focus." If my focus was anything, it was bristling against the gender stereotypes in Harriet's reading of the letter. I apologise for this; sometimes people actually do fit stereotypes, that's why the stereotypes exist.

189

Opalescent @181 - thank you for the reference to the 2017 Slate article "I’m Done Debating Racism With the Devil." It was a good read, and offered some useful tools for redirecting when someone says they're just playing devil's advocate:

"the devil’s advocate is really saying there is something at the core of the argument that they are (perhaps ashamedly) compelled by ... It inherently reveals what white people really think and struggle with around race."

"I suspect that what people like my friend are really saying when they utter those five magic words ("Just to play devil’s advocate") are five different words: “Can you help me understand?”

This work shouldn't be on BIPOC folks, but I'm going to try harder to see the other person (the devil's advocate) as admitting they are like the devil (admitting they have indefensible views), and see if there's an opportunity to get them to question their own views more directly.

190

@Ven 162 Thanks for the welcome. Ms. works.
I could definitely see Lydia and Isabella Thorpe having a habit of making out for male attention, but, of course, periodically competing for male attention. Kitty might actually be a good fag hag just because she seems to like being a sidekick.

@Nocute 174/ Harriet 184 I loved the Crossfit thing in Eligible. I think one of my favorite moments is just a passing reference to Elizabeth coming home to find Lydia and Kitty snacking on cashews and beef jerky, as they are doing paleo. Overall, the book was enjoyable, but I definitely had some criticisms -- I was really bothered by Elizabeth having had an unrequited crush on the Wickham character for so many years -- not only does this not seem Elzabethlike to me, I found it vaguely depressing.

@Nocute (a very early number) I have never paid for a massage, let alone a personal trainer, and the woman who cuts my hair has been doing so since I was a teenager and offers the cheapest woman's haircut in town, so it's hard for me to know for certain whether or not I would seek out hotties for these tasks, but I do know that if I am being taught how to do something that I am naturally pretty bad at, I definitely do NOT want the teacher to be attractive.

191

@186. Opalescent. If anything, I would think the Findomme has erred on the side of responsibility and scruple in setting the Findomming at a level where it can't possibly impinge on even an affluent couple. There's no way it can fall to the person in this capacity to know, or intuit, when their clients are hiding something from, not being fully open and honest with, their life-partners (and, by extension, with them in their professional relationship).

One thing I wondered about was why the Domme was charging so little relative to, for example, FINDAMN's personal trainer costs. One explanation is that the husband (to his credit) has managed to keep the paying side of being humiliated to a manageable level. There are mundane explanations, like the Domme has a ratecard. It also crossed my mind he was topping his Domme from the bottom in not letting on quite how affluent he is.

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Harriet @191 - engaging in kink play in a way that feels sustainable and healthy to the sub is not "topping from the bottom" or any other kind of manipulation. Telling your dom that you won't do anal play (for instance) is not topping from the bottom; nor is finding a findom who demands payments that are within the budget you allow yourself for your kink.

Saying "Are you topping from the bottom" is basically equivalent to asking "Are you trying to run the scene?" It's okay as a reminder to a sub to watch their tone and their attitude. But it's almost never appropriate to accuse someone you're not in a dynamic with of topping from the bottom, because you probably don't know their agreements and arrangements.

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BiDanFan @188 Harriet @191 I agree it seems she has handled herself well. It's not that I think she should be punished, and I agree with BiDanFan that compensation may be in order. I just was surprised that you suggested they continue, under the circumstances. Of course, that's for LW1 and her husband to negotiate.

I interpreted the evidence differently, but it's definitely not worth arguing about. There's no evidence to support either perspective unless she updates us.

194

Erica @189, 192
I'm glad you liked the article! It really resonated with me. I agree it has some useful pointers and perspectives!

I agree it's rude to accuse someone else's submissive of topping from the bottom. As you noted, some Dommes (pro or not) are fine with their submissive setting up a scene, or being a brat, since that's their dynamic.

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@182 Opalescent: I'm sure it's probably just new-job jitters (I've been there, myself, plenty of times). I know you'll do fine. Here's to a happy first day and beyond! :)

The Double Hunsky is getting deliciously close! Tick...tick...tick...

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Harriet @191, now there's something she definitely doesn't say -- that she spends more on personal trainers than he does on domination. She says that her spending on personal services, including "a personal trainer or my hair or body treatments" is "admittedly a lot." I would think that if his spend is less, it's due to the frequency of the purchases -- about every other month for him, which corresponds to -my- rather thrifty spend on hairdressing alone -- rather than the relative hourly rate. Perhaps he's made a budget for this or perhaps every other month is how often he gets horny for degradation in particular. I wouldn't presume he'd lied about his income, or that a FinDomme requests a copy of one's tax return before setting her rates.

Opal @193, agree, it could be either and it's unimportant. I suggested they continue because I agree with Dan: Absent his having discussed this with her, there's nothing wrong in their setup. This isn't an emotional affair from her perspective, he's a regular customer. She's proven she can keep things professional for three years. Better the devil you know, was my thought. (She could even message the FinDomme herself if she needs any reassurance Mr FINDAMN is nothing more than a customer to her.) I guess my perspective as a poly person is colouring my thinking here; I'd rather my partners had ongoing relationships with people I get to know and trust than cycle through random partners who might turn out to be red flag factories, and the FinDomme here seems like someone she can trust. Either she can stomach the thought of his getting degraded or she can't, and if she can, saying "you can do this but not with her" feels petty to me.

197

M?? Harriet - One could make a case (perhaps not a winning case) not to the straights, but there are multiple ways to assimilate.

198

BiDanFan @197
However, FINDAMN doesn't know this FinDomme. They have never interacted. She might be able to trust her not to meet her husband in person. She probably can't trust her husband with him.

My submissive had sessions with a ProDomme every few months before we met. He told me about her a couple of months in, before scheduling another session. I am fine with it.

I trust him, to know my boundaries and abide by them. I don't know her, but I don't have any reason to distrust her. He has feelings for her, but from what he has described, not on a romantic level.

Let's say, instead, he had hidden her from me for the past 2 1/2 years. I would insist that he stop being her client, before I was willing to work on our relationship.

Even if she didn't overstep professional boundaries, he would have broken my boundaries. I wouldn't be able to trust him around her.

I don't think that makes me "petty", or vindictive/"punishing" her, or is unreasonable. I would ask him to take at least 2 or 3 months off of interacting with other people sexually or on a D/s basis, professionally or not. That would give us a chance to try to rebuild trust, evaluate what happened, pursue couples therapy, etc.

If he still felt the need to outsource specific things, I would want a fresh start, with a new Domme.

I don't know how FINDAMN feels. I think it's inappropriate to tell her that she's any of those things, if she needs him to stop seeing this particular FinDomme.

Let's say it was the other way around. Mr. FINDAMN came across three years worth of erotica she had written about her hairdresser and/or her personal trainer.

I think he would be perfectly reasonable to want her to get a different hairdresser and/or trainer. The Rubicon can't uncross itself.

Even if they weren't aware she was writing and fantasizing about them. Even if they were completely professional. Even if they never tried to interact with her away from the salon or gym.

199

Should say FINDAMN can't trust her husband with her (the FinDomme), not him.