Savage Love

Crabs

Comments

1

"the only way I’ll ever get the truth is if I find proof and fuck that"

Good for you, SHAM.

"we talked about having an open relationship and I told him I was cool with that, but I wasn’t cool sharing my life with someone who lies to me so easily. We mutually decided that opening the relationship wasn’t a great idea..."

SHAM, I think it sucks that your husband apparently prefers to lie to you. And since you wrote this

"...am I the idiot whose husband has been fucking around on him the whole time we’ve been together?"

I think you think it sucks too.

I think it's very fucked up that you were cool with an open relationship...
But when you asked him to be honest with you, that was a dealbreaker.

2

Congrats on the firkt, Curious2. Does this mean I'll have to settle for secnod?

3

fubar@2
Oh no, I forgot to say: I hereby renounce the rewards of @1 forever. I hope that griz will reward fubar with firkt.

4

Curious2 @3: Does that mean you get thirtd? You won firkt by a metric hour.

5

SHAM: If I were in your situation, I'd take some time to process. And get help. Don't let it sink you into another depression. You're not an idiot, and you're not the villain in this story.

You mutually decided that opening the relationship wasn’t a great idea, but your husband apparently didn't interpret that to mean the relationship is closed. I'd want a discussion about that. Truth. Cards on the table.

You can't get crabs with your pants on, and despite what the graffiti in bathrooms says, they can't pole vault. So the the volunteer work he did in a homeless shelter? No. And even rub and tug clinics change the towels and sheet. You have solid proof that he's been bumping uglies. You're entitled to an honest discussion.

6

In response to the condom breaking any man would pay for it and not bat an eye.

7

SPINE: Dan's advice about not making things penis-centric is right on. For men with ED, a guaranteed boner killer is thinking about their boner.

Here's a great article about ED following a spinal cord injury:

https://craighospital.org/resources/sexual-function-for-men-after-spinal-cord-injury

Your almost boyfriend has not attempted sex since his injury, and hasn't had a psychogenic erection. But it remains to be seen how physical contact will affect him. Take it slow, and see how it goes.

If he gets partial erections, cock rings and viagara might help. He can also see his doctor and ask for triple mix, which is basically injectable rocket fuel for the penis.

8

Buying via Amazon, Plan B ranges from $40-48 for one dose; "My Way," which is a generic, sells for under $9. Same drug; way more affordable, even for the brokest of the broke.

Keeping in mind that morning-after contraception works only for the first 72 hours post the sex-that-you're-worried-will-result-in-an-unplanned-and-unwanted-pregnancy, I recommend having at least one dose on hand at all times if you are able to become pregnant--because when you need it, you need it NOW.

So who should pay? If the couple is serious, in a long-term relationship, I think they should each chip in the ~$15 (+/-) for the pill that hangs out in the medicine cabinet (or wallet) and is hopefully never used.

But if the two people involved don't know each other as well or aren't as committed, yeah, it would be a nice gesture if the penis-haver were to offer to pay for the meds or to split the cost--even at its most expensive, supporting a child is a much greater financial burden than $50ish. But are you really going to stand on ceremony and hold out for the penis-possessor 'doing the right thing' when time's a'wasting? Better to live by the adage, "if you want something done right, do it yourself." Then after you're sure you're not pregnant with Mr. El Cheapo's demon spawn, you can decide whether or not you want to have anything to do with a person who'd leave you in the lurch like that.

9

@8 amended: Every person capable of becoming pregnant should ALWAYS keep one dose of morning after pill (levonorgestrel) no matter what type of contraception, if any, they are using.
Keep in mind that levonorgestrel can result in some unpleasant reactions and should not be used as a primary form of birth control.

10

@1 curious2: WA_HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congrats on scoring this week's highly sought after FIRDT! honors and once again, leading this week's comment thread in Savage Love: Crabs! Bask in your envied glory and savor your numeric riches. :)

@1 curious2 and @2 fubar: I consider you both tough competition in vying for FIRDT! honors.
As a matter of fact----WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! @1 curious2 and @2 fubar I declare you both in a tie this week for FIRDT! honors, @6 dashing for SECNOD, and @8 nocutename for THIRDT. Congratulations to you all in leading this week's comment thread. :)

11

@3 curious2: Wait---you want to be permanently renounced of FIRDT! honors?
Even this one last time? How about we make you and fubar both FIRDT this week, and, should you end up as the first commenter in Dan's column for August 3, 2021 and beyond, I will automatically award the FIRDT! honors to whomever posts @2. :)

Griz is sensing that a vast majority of commenters have grown tired of the Lucky Numbers game.
Dan the Man, curious2, fubar, nocutename, Dashing, Delta35, BiDanFan, Fantastic Mrs. Fox, DonnyKlicioius, cbu, Ricardo, et al.------what are your thoughts? Are sb53 and LavaGirl still with us?

12

SPINE: I am sorry to learn of your boyfriend's accident that left him paraplegic. Take things slowly. Dan's advice is spot on; I agree with Dan and fubar @7 ----don't focus primarily on penile erection. There is so much more to sex than just PIV.
Wishing you both all the best together.

13

Years ago I was helping quadriplegic and paraplegic people and my impression, based on being involved in their lives and conversations, is that despite physical limitations the penis operates on a different system and may get up regardless. That said, as Dan, fubar, and Aunt Zelda have already noted, starting slowly and not being penis-centered may work best.

This is also why I’m not for using any ED products right now. While this young man may still get it up it is important for him to acquire communication and sexual skills that will help him for the rest of his life.
If PIV is important for you and he is struggling to maintain erection you may consider talking to him to wear a strap on while you do the movement.

14

I'm surprised Dan didn't suggest to SHAM that his husband was doing him a favor and being considerate by lying. * sarcasm and snark *

I'm going to have a real response to SHAM later.

15

CMD @13: I have to disagree with you. Asking the young man to wear strap-on would make the thing penis-centric and emphasize the non-participation of his penis.

On the other hand, adding ED medication might buck up his penis, and help increase his confidence. When it comes to boners, boner confidence is a huge deal.

16

I will second (secnod?) Nocute'a suggestion @8 to keep a pack of Plan B on hand, especially if you're relying solely on condoms to prevent pregnancy (their success rate isn't fantastic, even when they don't break). If you live anywhere near a Planned Parenthood (a luxury not everyone has, I realize) get thee hence and they will hook you up for free.

17

Mrs. Fox @14: I look forward to your real response.That one sounded like a passive-agressive Dan put-down.

18

Aunt Zelda @ 11
While not on the list, here is my suggestion nevertheless: how about we take few weeks off from the honorary numbers mentioning, which should give us some comparison when we revisit the issue and assess what works or not?

19

Fubar @17, it was a passive-aggressive put-down of Dan's oft-touted "what your partner doesn't know (about your infidelity) won't hurt 'em" philosophy, not a put-down of Dan himself or his advice in general.

20

SHAM's entire letter talked around two very obvious things: SHAM doesn't want to be in an open relationship, and he's been in a DADT relationship for the past four years. Dan seems convinced that it's SHAM's husband that isn't willing to have an ethical non-monogamous relationship, but SHAM has made it clear throughout his letter and throughout his relationship that he doesn't want an open relationship. If I got that from his letter, don't you think SHAM's husband got that without ever explicitly addressing the subject with SHAM? And that part where it was "mutually" agreed to keep the relationship closed read as SHAM making it clear he's not comfortable with an open relationship and SHAM's husband not pushing it when it's clear there's no point.

Maybe I'm misreading things, but at no point do I feel like SHAM is at all okay with having an open relationship. As I'm someone who's interested in an open relationship, I wouldn't have a mental breakdown if I found out that my guy was sleeping around without telling me (unless I had been forbidden to sleep around, myself). I'd be pissed with the lying and would tell him to tell me about things going forward, but I wouldn't spiral into a depression because of it.

21

@18 CMDwannabe: I have been thinking of giving the Lucky Numbers game a rest for a while, myself. Admittedly, I have been focusing more on expanding my website lately. A lot of people seem to like what I offer as a composer. I have been told that it takes a while to gain recognition as an artist. I guess there is no harm in Griz chasing her dreams.

22

@18 CMDwannabe part II: While your name wasn't specifically mentioned (re @11), I did include et. al (and others). I always welcome and appreciate your feedback just as much as Dan's and everyone else's.

23

Fubar @ 15
My suggestion is for her and should be viewed in that context. In any case, it is another thing he can learn while adopting to his new situation and accommodating others.
I’m still in favor of him starting drug free and take it from there. We also don’t know what caused his injury as well as his current medical condition. ED drugs elevate blood pressure substantially and could be risky to some, especially while taking other medications.

Aunt Zelda @ 21
Chasing dreams is important. Once I finish shooting my epic film, a collage of stories happening in my hometown in different times, I’ll be delighted to hire you to write the score.

24

What jumps out to me about SHAM is his repeated statements of having "let it go" when confronted with suspicions and evidence of his husband's cheating. No deep soul-searching, no pressing for a difficult yet honest conversation, just dropped the subject and swept it under the rug. I'm not at all surprised that he broke down and became depressed when he finally (finally!) got the truth from his husband (or at least that particular corner of his husband's truth). He says he chose to "forgive and forget," but I again doubt that it was true forgiveness, but more under-the-rug-sweeping so they could "get on with their lives" (read: stuff it down the memory hole and act like it never happened). My heart breaks for SHAM that he feels like a fool for trusting/wanting to trust his husband (that is a particularly awful sting), and Mr. SHAM is absolutely in the wrong here, but to some degree it seems SHAM wants to be fooled. He at least wants to hope against hope, to hope against who his husband has shown himself to be.

SHAM needs to decide what he wants most from his husband and marriage. Is it honesty? Is it discretion? Is it monogamy? Frankly I think SHAM's husband has proven himself incapable of all three (or at least he's discreet enough except when repeatedly passing crabs on to his spouse). He says an open relationship was offered and "mutually" turned down (I have suspicions about how mutual it was), but what was the follow-up? Did Mr. SHAM agree to monogamy? Or to discretion? Or was the subject dropped like a hot potato, like so many other of SHAM's concerns and suspicions?

SHAM seems to want to avoid having any real conversations, preferring to pretend that everything is fine and normal and great. The one time he got honesty, he sank into a deep depression; this reaction is totally valid given the circumstances, but given his track record of "letting it go" and not really pressing for honesty, maybe he legit "can't handle the truth." And Mr. SHAM, whether he thought he was doing our LW a kindness by being dishonest or whether he was just being self-serving, has proven himself solidly untrustworthy. I don't really see how things could pan out well in this marriage, open or closed. Unless SHAM can really, truly embrace that his husband is going to both sleep around and be dishonest about it (even in the face of overwhelming evidence), make peace with this and never snoop again for the sake of pretending everything is above board in their relationship.

25

Also, the excuse of "I got crabs from my volunteer work at a homeless shelter" is just extra special shitty. Public lice are not bedbugs, ffs.

26

Griz @11 - in response to your question about the Lucky Numbers game, I would say that if it's beginning to feel like more of a chore or obligation on your part than the fun game it's supposed to be, then you can certainly take a break from it. Especially since you've got musical dreams you're chasing!

27

Re SHAM: your letter reminded me of what happened to a cis straight friend of mine some years ago. He was married for several years. I watched as, several years into the relationship, she started treating him with increasing levels of contempt. (AFAIK, none of it involved infidelity on the part of either of them.) He just let things slide. She eventually packed up her stuff and her daughter from the first marriage, and moved out. My guess is that he let things slide in an attempt to keep the peace, but in reality she lost respect for him. If he'd put his foot down, maybe he would have hastened the divorce, or maybe she would have gained respect for him. We will never know. Either way, it would have been better for his self-respect. Food for thought if SHAM is reading this.

Re STA: Of course I agree with Dan. It is shameful and a national embarrassment that we do not have universal health insurance in the U.S.

Re SPINE: Kudos to you for doing your due diligence in researching this topic.

As I understand things (disclaimer: I am not a medical professional), priapism at the time of injury is often an indication of a spinal cord injury. There are records of this going back to antiquity. The priapism can damage the penis and supporting structures. So, one does not know what issues of functionality one will encounter: not only because of the spinal injury, but possible injury to the penis and surrounding tissues.

28

Griz! That's so exciting. I'm a musician myself. I'd love to hear your work :) How can we listen to a sample? (Of course if you'd prefer to keep your Auntie Griz life and professional music life separate, I totally get that!!)

29

@23 CMDwannabe: Oh, wow! This is indeed a dream come true! I look forward to working with you on setting your epic film to music. I am very humbled. Thank you for offering me this amazing lifetime opportunity so much!

@27 Musicbiker: Did I ever get around to sending you any mp3s of my music if you had requested it?

@26 fantastic_mrs._fox: Oh, don't get me wrong. I have always enjoyed being prize lady for The Lucky Numbers game. And I think I have been able to keep up pretty well with each weekly Savage Love column numerically (although I humbly admit there have been times when I have a lot of catching up to do in reading comments!). I am in the midst of a new writing project, and have noticed that there hasn't been a lot of commentary on the Lucky Numbers game lately. Maybe as CMDwannabe suggests, iit might be good to give the numerical contest a rest for a while and come back to it at a future time.

@28 KindenessisKey: Many thanks for your feedback. You can visit my website at wendyworkx.com. to listen to some of my work, ranging from early pieces for solo flute and piano, ensemble works and my first and latest (second) symphony. I have had some updates made on my list of composed works, and am hoping to make some upgrades in the near future.
So you're a musician, too--that's fabulous! What instrument do you play? I play piccolo, C & alto flute, and piano / keyboards.

30

So much for crabs having gone extinct because everyone shaves their pubes these days. Perhaps SHAM could insist his husband shave his?

Perfect answer for STA, but it ignores the fact that it was most likely written by some cheapskate dude who, stereotypically, wants to put all the responsibility for preventing pregnancy onto the woman. Dude, stop being a fucking cheapskate. In the event that it's the woman who wrote in, dump the misogynist cheapskate already.

Great answer for SPINE as well. This should be applied to every opposite-sexual encounter. Don't make everything about the dick.

31

Curious @1, very good point that Mr SHAM prefers lying to honesty. Is that something SHAM can accept? That's the question he needs to ask himself, not whether he can accept his husband fucking other men. (He should probably do some sneaking of his own -- to get some Prep.)

Nocute @8-@9, thank you for that pricing information. I was thinking that Planned Parenthood would also be able to provide Plan B at an affordable price. I'd amend your advice to anyone having potential pregnancy-causing sex should keep an emergency pill on hand -- whether they have the womb or the sperm. Cheapo dude, do you have any idea how much child support will set you back? Spend the $30ish and sit down.

Griz @11, my two pence is that it's only annoying if the same person claims FIRKT every week by posting a comment whose only substance is that they are FIRKT. This week, Curious was the first to comment but he had a substantial reply to the first letter, which he happened to post before anyone else, so I'm happy granting him the FIRKT award. But as the creator of the Lucky Numbers Game, I'll let your decision be final.

CMD @13, great point that even if Viagra does work for this man, it's probably not something he wants to be taking every time a sexual encounter is expected. If effective, it might be something they do on special occasions -- the way some other hetero couples vary their usual routine with anal or role play. A strap-on is another excellent suggestion. I can vouch that fucking someone even with an appendage that is incapable of sensation can be super hot.

Fubar @15, interesting that you had the opposite reaction! To clarify, I wouldn't suggest SPINE suggest a strap-on right out of the gate -- and I don't think CMD was suggesting this either. I'd suggest it as, again, an occasional enhancement to the satisfying sex life they're able to achieve without the involvement of a dick of any kind. Sometimes gals wanna be penetrated and there's no reason SPINE should have to give that up for life.

Fubar @17, it sounded like an explicit Dan put-down. I too snorted when I read, "I’m a fan of ethical non-monogamy." Dan has come across as a fan of non-monogamy -- ideally ethical, but that's a side point.

Athari @20, by my calculation SHAM has been in a non-consensual DADT relationship for at least 13 years.
"SHAM has made it clear throughout his letter and throughout his relationship that he doesn't want an open relationship." I didn't get that from the letter. What I got was that SHAM at least wants his husband to tell him if he's banging other guys, which seems eminently reasonable, and Mr SHAM prefers to lie. So they couldn't agree on the terms of openness, but only one of them stayed faithful after they agreed the relationship wouldn't be open. I agree that the "mutual decision" was likely driven by SHAM; Mr SHAM seems to have had no intention of actually being monogamous. (Or he had the intention, but when the opportunity arose he thought with his dick and forgot his promises.) I also agree that perhaps Mr SHAM knew that SHAM wouldn't take it well if he did confess to outside dalliances, so preferred to try to avoid difficult conversations by not getting caught, meaning he's a liar and a coward. If Mr SHAM knew he'd struggle to keep it in his pants, he shouldn't have committed to someone who values monogamy.

32

Athari @20, apologies, the SHAMS have been married for nine years, so it's nine years including four years, not nine plus four. However, the cheating issue was apparent "early in their relationship," ie before this nine-year marriage. So he's been in a non-consensual DADT for at least a decade.

CMD @23, thanks for the reminder that ED drugs are not risk free. Many seem to forget this. Mr SPINE should at least talk to his doctor before going this route.

Fox @24/Music @27, yes. Mr SHAM gets busted for cheating. SHAM decides to forgive and forget. What incentive does that give Mr SHAM to keep it in his pants from now on? He's learned he can usually get away with cheating, unless he catches crabs, and when he does get caught, his husband gets upset but doesn't do anything, doesn't demand anything. It doesn't even seem like he made Mr SHAM promise he'd never do it again. This is not to blame SHAM for his husband's cheating, but to suggest he needs to address this differently. Couples therapy sounds like a good idea for these two.

33

griz@11
"curious2: Wait---you want to be permanently renounced of FIRDT! honors?"

Yes. Having obsessive hogged them for half a year, I've felt that it's no longer seemly for me to do so anymore. Which is why I pledged months ago to not ruin the game by doing so anymore.

OTOH, it seems that lately when I randomly happen upon a new column, post about it in the previous week's column, read the new column and compose whatever response I'm capable of, it's time for me to go offline for the day (I try to reserve evenings for offline activities), but no one else has Commented yet.

I'm just trying to neither continue to be a hog, or have save my composed text locally and wait until the next morning to post it.

"Even this one last time?"

I have made room in my trophy case and gratefully accept sharing it this last time with our friend fubar.

My sense is that everyone can either enjoy, or ignore the game. I think the only problematic thing has ever been my own crazy competitiveness.

(I just realized something: Now that I'm not posting @1 nearly immediately after a new column is up, no one seems motivated to try to be @1 either!)

BDF@31
"Curious @1, very good point that Mr SHAM prefers lying to honesty."

I've been with two different pathological liars in my time (so I'm inclined to sympathize with SHAM). Before them, I thought it was possible for me to know when someone is lying, LOL.

Some people lie for their own entertainment and sport (I'm not inclined to sympathize with them).

Athari818@20
I'm not inclined to tell SHAM he was lying to Dan when he wrote that he was "was cool with...having an open relationship". I see SHAM being in love, and too attached to have been able to accept that his husband is a goddam fucking liar. I would like us to help him see that.

"Maybe I'm misreading things"

While you could be right, having been with pathological liars myself, I'm inclined to think you are misreading things. And for pete's sake, please note that

"unless I had been forbidden to sleep around, myself"

is essentially the situation that SHAM is in. (As Dan pointed out.)

SHAM doesn't say an open relationship is his preference, but that doesn't mean he was lying when he said he'd've been cool with it.

"I wouldn't spiral into a depression because of it."

I recommend seeing clinical depression not as due to life circumstances, but as a mental health issue (secondarily fueled by life circumstances).

BDF@31 continued:
"...even if Viagra does work for this man, it's probably not something he wants to be taking every time a sexual encounter is expected"

I think that the various points upthread about ED meds are /all/ good. One doesn't want his Viagra use to be problematic in all the various ways people have noted it could be. (To get in the way of getting there without it for example, such as coming to feel that it's the only way to cumming. [Those different spellings sure are useful in bringing clarity.])

OTOH, as fubar said @15 it could be good for his confidence to know he can get there. And, I'm thinking, being reminded of and having that experience of getting there might be helpful in recapturing it without the meds.

34

Curious @33: "SHAM doesn't say an open relationship is his preference, but that doesn't mean he was lying when he said he'd've been cool with it." Yes, exactly. He may not have any interest in banging other men, himself, but he wants a relationship that is open in the sense of open communication, as opposed to lies and sneaking around.

Sure, quite often people say they'll be cool with an open relationship, but find out that they aren't. We don't know whether SHAM is one of those people. The number of times he forgave his husband for outright cheating, though, I suggest he could well be fine with ethical non-monogamy. He deserved the opportunity to find out.

I guess what he needs to decide is whether he's OK with a DADT, since that seems to be the terms his husband has imposed unilaterally. Or whether, as Dan says, he should secretly accept the DADT but keep up a pretense of expecting monogamy in hopes Mr SHAM will bang fewer dudes and be more careful if he thinks it's not allowed. No way to know, really.

35

I like Dan's response to SHAM because it is less prescriptive than I was expecting. I, too, am wondering what happened between "At the time we talked about having an open relationship and I told him I was cool with that, but I wasn’t cool sharing my life with someone who lies to me so easily," and "We mutually decided that opening the relationship wasn’t a great idea and never really discussed it again." I wish SHAM had included some of the reasoning behind that "mutual" decision.

In general, I think that everyone should always assume that the person they are with will not change. Most people never do, and those that do are really motivated, usually internally so. So I think if someone is very unhappy with some aspect of their partner, they should try to figure out if

(a) they can find some way to accept or tolerate that aspect/behavior/attitude/whatever

and then

(b) figure out what they need to do/receive/etc. to be able to tolerate or accept their partner's disturbing behavior.

It appears that the only way SHAM can tolerate his husband's infidelities is by pretending they aren't happening, and the husband keeps acting in ways--e.g. bringing home crabs--that make that pretense impossible. I would assume that the husband's lack of concern for SHAM will increase over time, as he gets bolder and less careful as he perceives that it's not a really big deal for SHAM, and that there are no unpleasant consequences.

SHAM, being married to your husband means being married to a man with whom you never fight, and with whom you have good sex. You have a nice home and a satisfying social life. Being married to him also means being with a man who lies to you constantly; who doesn't want an open relationship, but would rather sneak around and cheat on you; and who exposes you to STIs repeatedly. And it is getting harder for you to "forgive and forget"--which I don't think means "ignore things that have caused you pain and pretend that they didn't happen/aren't happening."

36

BDF@34
"I guess what he needs to decide is whether he's OK with a DADT"

I would also urge him to decide whether he's OK with having a relationship with a goddam fucking liar.

SHAM knows that he's with someone from whom
"the only way I’ll ever get the truth is if I find proof"

I don't think SHAM can trust him, and that doesn't sound remotely safe, or enough of a relationship for SHAM (or for me).

I think that couples therapy would be a sham for SHAM. I recommend Divorce.

37

nocute@35
"In general, I think that everyone should always assume that the person they are with will not change."
"Being married to him also means being with a man who lies to you constantly; who doesn't want an open relationship, but would rather sneak around and cheat on you; and who exposes you to STIs repeatedly."

Hear hear.

38

@BiDanFanf / fantastic ms. fox: It's true that one can get emergency contraception from Planned Parenthood and it might be free if one can't afford to pay anything at all (and thanks to BiDanFan for amending my recommendation to include everyone with either a womb or sperm).

I suggested Amazon, because it is a lot more practical for many people, depending on how many PPs or other women-centered health centers there are in their geographic region. I also like it because, particularly if the user is young and embarrassed, it avoids that whole "casually-slip-the-contraception-between-the-antacids-and-a-copy-of-Road-and-Track-magazine" immortalized in The Summer of '42. The Amazon packaging is discreet, and if you are young and you have parents who monitor your purchases and would disapprove of emergency (or any) contraception, you could arrange to have the package delivered to a friend who has less repressive parents. Then just put the pill someplace in your room. Not to mention that although one no longer needs a prescription to buy the morning after pill, and you should be able to go into any drugstore to pick it up, many states require it to be stored behind the counter, which means you have to ask the pharmacist for it (back to potential embarrassment for a teen, and if it's a small town, there's the gossip factor), and there are multiple laws protecting the "religious liberty" of pharmacists to withhold contraception, which has happened on multiple occasions.

Normally, I don't like to recommend giving Bezos any more money, but in this case, it seems like a good idea.

39

Hey, auntie grizelda, that's wonderful, encouraging news about your burgeoning composing career! I might go so far as to call it inspiring.
Keep up the good work and I hope it keeps being well-received.

40

BiDanFan @31 I agree, it has been a non-consensual DADT relationship basically the whole time, but by my reading, the "mutually" agreed upon closed relationship was as official an agreed upon DADT relationship as SHAM's husband was going to get. Thus, my comment on it. Also, I agree, SHAM's husband really should've found someone who was okay with being in an open relationship from the beginning.

curious2 @33 SHAM never said he was interested in sleeping around, himself. Thus the whole idea of an open relationship is entirely one-sided, completely for the benefit of his husband. Perhaps that was simply an omission on SHAM's part, but the rest of the letter doesn't read that way to me. What certainly wasn't talked about was why they officially decided to close the relationship. Considering "the pain was too much to deal with and I just wanted to move on and get back to our lives," during the time they were discussing the open relationship, I can't imagine that SHAM wasn't knowingly or unknowingly sabotaging those negotiations.

You mention having been in relationships with pathological liars. Well, I live with a parent who sabotages all arguments because she can't deal with the conflict. And since she can't deal with it, she has to win it, and shuts down opposing views. And I can't help but see that in this situation, with SHAM playing the part of my mom. Hopefully it's not as extreme as it is with my mom, but the result is probably similar.

41

Re: SHAM,

Mostly I agree with Dan's advice. Real relationships are complicated, and sometimes it's worth staying with someone even in the face of some minor infidelity if there are other aspects of the relationship that are satisfying.

BUT, and this is the deal breaker for me, the crabs.

I'm older, and having survived the darkest days of the early AIDS epidemic, I am a bit paranoid about STDs. Infidelity is one thing; bringing home an STD is entirely another. I can maybe see putting up with some discrete infidelity in an otherwise great relationship. But bringing home STDs shows incredible disregard for the health of the non-cheating spouse. If he's brought home crabs, TWICE, then you know very well that he's not being careful enough with his indiscretions, and sooner or later he's going to bring home something more damaging, possibly causing serious long term health problems. THAT to me is the red line. He's not simply lied to you, he's endangered your health, TWICE. And he'll keep doing it.

DTMFA.

42

Athari8178@40
"curious2 @33 SHAM never said he was interested in sleeping around, himself."

Since here you start by paraphrasing what I said myself @33, I'll just quote in context what I already said:

"SHAM doesn't say an open relationship is his preference, but that doesn't mean he was lying when he said he'd've been cool with it."

Everyone settles, or as Dan would say 'pays a price of admission'.

I see no reason not to take SHAM at his word that it's all the (goddam fucking) lying that has driven him figuratively crazy. And I can sorta relate; I've not often been involved with someone who wasn't a monogamist; monogamy was a price of admission I made peace with paying and adhered to. What I couldn't begin to forgive, though, is the other party getting their preference, but secretly unilaterally imposing the other preference on me. (Off topic, since those relationships are over now, I would not like to now learn I had been cheated on.) I expect that WRT the cheating that's something that pissed SHAM off. If he can't have the exclusivity that he prefers, I expect he'd want the freedom his fucking asshole selfish piece of shit husband secretly chose for himself and * only * for himself. (SHAM would want it to take advantage of at least on principle, but I think probably also in practice.)

43

There are people who want to have the privileges of monogamy e.g. the respectability, the appearance of stability, the standing assumption that they're making sacrifices for their partner, who at the same time feel entitled to cheat. It appears that SHAM's husband is one of these. SHAM has wanted without recrimination or anger to open a conversation about how he's cheated and why, and even though SHAM's husband would only minimally be filling him in on how he's risked his spouse's health, he balks at it.

I don't think SHAM's marriage is a sham, nor that he's an idiot for staying in it. His husband is a complex character. At some level, it's likely that Mr SHAM's rationalisation will be that his fucking people with crabs (is this just one guy with crabs? Does he have a thing for lowlifes with crabs? A kind of extreme rough trade thing?) ... that his rationalisation will be that it's the extramural fucks that serve as his release valve, that help to make all the good things about the relationship good (their social life, their home, their sex life). I'm not sure there's much that SHAM can do if this is the economy in his husband's mind. It's not as if any of these lovers with crabs are a threat to his home--you don't leave a comfortable home for (at least the stereotype of) someone with crabs, especially when your first association is of crabs and homeless people. Equally, it seems to me strongly unlikely that any of the couple's mutual friends is having sex with the husband, or conniving at his cheating. He's doing something that takes him out of their social sphere entirely, partly perhaps in a William Gladstone queasy sort of salvific way (if he works with the homeless), partly just out of nostalgie pour la boue. I think SHAM should be upfront that he's onto his spouse (he'll almost certainly be onto him far more fully and critically than any of us could guess at). Maybe he holds out the threat of his partner going too far over his head--i.e. the threat of his leaving. But this is only likely to get him to take further precautions in hiding his tracks, or to go deeper and deeper underground, hooking up with ever skankier guys. SHAM could try to force a conversation, say in trying to get his husband to see a therapist, but would this get him anywhere? It would make his husband ashamed and uncomfortable, and their relationship is good when the husband is outwardly functional. Mr SHAM might just be impelled to greater and more psychologically unsustainable lies.

I also considered whether 'crabs' was an awkward euphemism for something else.

44

@24. Fantastic. Perhaps Mr SHAM wants him to find out or care about his cheating, and he's quit playing that game? He's done the dramatic, the outraged, hurt, emotionally raw thing of snooping and being proved right something like three (out of four) times ago. He's in a sense made his peace with being with a serial liar and cheat.

Other than I think you're right and the problems have been swept under the carpet--and SHAM is hurt in a way for which he has no outlet in the relationship.

45

@SHAM - couples therapy with sex+ therapist who can help you work on an ethical asymmetric open relationship. 9 yrs that's mostly good = worth a try.

@SETTLE - simple, you don't have to pay a cent for Plan B! However, it increases the odds that there will be $1,000,000+ in child support and college tuition over the next 25 years.

46

SHAM there's a Maya Angelo quote that is overused but applies here. When people show you who they are, believe them.

Your husband will never be faithful to you, and lies to your face. You have to be willing to have an awkward, painful conversation about this.

If you're okay with him seeing other men but not lying tell him that. Maybe you don't need all the details but you do need to know when he's seeing someone.

No more STI's. He's done this twice and I'm wondering how long it is before he brings home something nastier. This is non-negotiable. You have to be willing to leave if he pull this crap again.

And speak to a counselor, there's a difference between being willing to let things go, and being a doormat. You deserve to have to love and respect in your life, and in your relationships. Not fighting isn't always a good sign because it can often men not talking at all.

47

Aunt Zelda @ 29
Apologies for not being clear enough in a previous comment. The dream is to make the epic film I mentioned. As the clueless writer husband tells Ingrid Bergman towards the end of “A Walk in the Spring Rain” as they head back home from the small town they stayed at so he could write the masterpiece of his life while she gets involved with Anthony Quinn and almost raped by his drunk son, “Sometimes it’s better to have a dream than actually pursuing it.” Or something along that line.
(Interestingly enough, at some point in Midnight Cowboy John Voight and Dustin Hoffman walk by a movie theatre billboard advertising this film)

Back to SPINE- it is not that uncommon that at some point sensation and a limited ability to use paralyzed body parts may come back. Don’t expect miracles, yet even a very partial return may feel good. Best to both of you!

48

@31 BiDanFan: Thank you for your kind response. I am actually thinking of giving the Lucky Numbers game a rest for a while. Maybe you or another commenter would like to take over?

@33 curious2: Thank you for your clarification. I'm considering retiring from being the prize lady in the Lucky Numbers game. If Dan the Man, you, BiDanFan, nocutename, fantastic_mrs_fox, and everybody are still interested in continuing the weekly numeric contest, would you consider taking over?

@39 nocutename: Unfortunately, I had no idea that CMD was actually making some insincere sort of mean-spirited joke in his comment @23. I mistook it for a rewarding offer in my field. He appears to now be having a big laugh at my expense.

@47 CMDwannabe, re @23: I gave your comment a careful re-read. It sounded like you really were finishing production on a big movie project and seeking someone to write a film score.
"Sometimes it's better to have a dream than actually pursuing it."
Why is it sometimes better to have a dream than actually pursue it? Did I ever email you any recordings of my composed music? If so, did you enjoy what you heard? I guess not.
I find your "apology" weak. You really should be sorry for leading me on. How often have you been this insincere?
I am deeply hurt, like being set up for something that the other party knew wouldn't really happen.
Gee, thanks for the Midnight Cowboy metaphor. Were you being scathingly sarcastic? It really made my day.
And all because I had unintentionally omitted your name in a list of commenters mentioned in @11. Fine. I'll be sure to skip over anything you post and take what you have to say with a grain of salt.

49

I am so glad that when I needed Plan B the person I was sleeping with didn't want to haggle over who would pay. Also I surely do hope whoever asked didn't wait for the answer before they got the Plan B and took it -- it really is a time-sensitive operation.

Oh but the time I needed it, my parnter sprung for it, in no small part because it does actually come with side effects and I spent about 24 hours feeling not great. Seemed like a decent trade off to us. And well worth the not having a baby, which will cost you a lot more!

50

Dear Auntie,
Sorry I hurt you as it was not my intention. I thought it is obvious that I’m being playful and if I make fun of anyone it’s myself and my unfulfilled cinematic aspirations. It was not in any way a “revenge” of any kind as I was not offended by any of your posts on this thread, nor any others. My comment about the names was nothing but a segue to offer my own two cents, and once again apologize if it appears different to you.

I think nocute @ 39 based her post on what you wrote, not me, and I join her in stating that pursuing your musical dreams is indeed inspiring.

51

@STA Who pays for Plan B, the man or the woman? Who pays for the condoms, the man or the woman? Who pays for gas or cab fare to get to the pharmacy, the man or the woman? Who pays for dinner, the man or the woman?

What a ridiculous and nit-picky argument to have. It's about $40, it's not like it's an abortion, usually measured in the hundreds of dollars (which, if the man can pay for the whole thing, he should, and if he can't, should at least muster up half the cost). It's the cost of a relatively cheap meal for two. Figure it out like adults.

I will say, however, that an appropriate thing for a man to do is say "you have to suffer the effects if it, I can drop two Jacksons on it." But quibbling over $40? Either one or the other is super cheap all the time and that's a tip-of-the-iceberg situation, or y'all just need to chill out.

I can't believe you wrote in to Dan Savage over $40.

52

I'm with msanonymous @46 - I think SHAM would be well advised to get into personal therapy, rather than drag Mr. SHAM to couples counseling. He writes "We never fight" and yet mentions confronting Mr. SHAM about the crabs multiple times. So maybe they do fight, sometimes, but it's important to SHAM to feel as if they don't fight. I'd think he might benefit from working with an experienced therapist to figure out why he thinks arguing is a bad thing in a relationship. Does he have a hard time speaking up for what he wants, generally?

I'm also very curious about this man who has been dating Mr. SHAM behind SHAM's back for many years. In SHAM's shoes I would want at least to have coffee with the affair guy and see what I think of him, and what he thinks about the whole thing.

53

@50 CMDwannabe: Evidently we're having a terrible misunderstanding here. I took your comment @23 seriously and still am. Even in jest, it struck a sensitive nerve for me and hit too uncomfortably close to home. There is nothing playful about being currently unemployed, and left to feel that I had the job offer of my life's dreams only to find that it was just a joke and that I should be able to laugh at that. I can't.

My professional life has been a nearly impossible Mount Everest scale hill to climb as long as I have been able to fill out W-4 forms and submit tax returns to the IRS. Regardless of my achievements as a musician and composer I have been laughed at, shunned, shushed, repressed, and looked down upon by countless naysaying others all my life. Add to this the industry of film and television that I have unsuccessfully tried to enter since 2018, including the small local studios. Even when I have earned good grades and encouraging feedback from others, a BA degree of Music at a reputable 4-year university, courses in scoring and arranging, and over 25 years of musically relevant professional experience. Anyone who could further assist in promoting me in film and television has made it clear that I'm nobody in this area of my field of choice (a lot like women pursuing careers in medicine or law) simply for not being born with a penis and a scrotum.
Although my older brother and I have different goals and aspirations and his professional focus is in animation and not music, if I had a crisp $100 bill for every extra flaming hoop I have had to jump through, wild goose chase I've been led upon, scam I got suckered into, and / or every professional opportunity I have wished, hoped, and dreamed for slammed shut in my face---not counting all the people who have willfully blocked my path insisting I was no good, while ten doors to the executive suite were and still are graciously propped open for my only brother, I'd be a multi-millionaire now.

I never automatically expected a cushy, multi-million dollar assignment going in. I have planned on starting small and working my way up, project-wise. An ad jingle here, a documentary film, an animated short there. If there was any way I could just get in, and just gain further recognition for my work. Very few people if any are sincere about my pursuits in music scoring and arranging for film and television. I have taken special courses, attended filmmakers workshops and seminars, ZOOM meetings, and bought books, only to end up paying thus benefitting other people and rarely myself.I wish I could find a mentor and people who would take my skills and abilities seriously enough to help channel what I can do into a productive asset that could help enrich the community. The film and television industry is far too tangled up in bureaucratic red tape. And until Hollywood is no longer overrun by chauvinistic white men, nothing in the industry is about to change.

Let me know if you really would be interested in a sampling of my composed work from my website catalog. You have my email address.

54

Athari @40: "curious2 @33 SHAM never said he was interested in sleeping around, himself." That doesn't mean he doesn't want an open relationship. "I don't want to fuck other people" and "I don't want an open relationship" aren't the same thing. I have known a few people whose partners were actively polyamorous, and who were happy with that, but didn't want other partners themselves. That arrangement worked for them. It might work for SHAM. It would certainly work better for him than being lied to and exposed to STIs.

I agree there's no evidence SHAM himself would like to bang other guys. At no point does he say anything along the lines of it being unfair that his husband is shagging other dudes while he's refrained. So that's not the issue, because if it were, SHAM would have solved it long ago by declaring the relationship open and getting some sauce for his gander.

Curious, I know you (like all of us) are reacting the way you are because of your personal experience. It could be that SHAM's husband is completely honest with him except for this particular situation. SHAM is not very good at communicating; he lets difficult discussions drop, which is why I recommended therapy. A counsellor will keep pressing Mr SHAM and not let him off the hook. There may be clues to a solution if he explores why he does the things he does. SHAM says he's otherwise happy and is considering staying; my recommendation is that he not do so without a therapist's guidance.

Reverse @41, good point. As Dan noted, one can catch crabs even if one is using condoms meticulously. But one can also catch herpes and warts with meticulous condom use -- does SHAM want to risk those, too? Also, lying cheaters don't tend to have the best track record for safe sex. I recommended Prep, but perhaps SHAM wants to go further and insist on condoms with his cheating husband. (Personally, I am with you, I would DTMFA, the dealbreaker being not the crabs but turning down an ethically open relationship while continuing an unethically open one.)

Griz @48, since I'm always asleep when FIRDT and SECNOD happen, I'll decline the offer of Lucky Numbers Admin. It's not as if this forum needs more input from me! I admit to a childish glee when someone hits the 69, but otherwise a number is just a number to me. Thanks anyway.
FWIW, I thought we all knew each other well enough to know that CMD is not in fact a professional filmmaker, so his "job offer" was just a kind way of saying, "If I were ever to need the services of a professional composer, I'd pick you over anyone else." I'm sorry it hit a nerve and I sympathise with the struggles you've faced in your career. Sending hugs.

EricaP @52, yes, individual therapy either on its own or in addition to couples therapy, not least because, as Curious asserts, Mr SHAM may well lie his way through couples therapy to get the result he wants.

55

@52. Erica. Yes. If SHAM's husband has been having a secret long-term affair about which he's half-known, or of which he's had an inkling, he should certainly try meeting this man independently of his husband.

SHAM says that the third time he had cause for suspicion, the time he 'scour[s]' or takes a deep dive into his husband's phone, he discovers that husband was having sex with the person he was sexting or flirting with at the start of SHAM's and Husband's relationship. Does he mean they were fucking then, the third time, or when he first had his doubts about them, at the start of the relationship? I thought the former. Although it's not the letter's framing, this does make the husband's lover a long-term relationship, as you say.

56

Aunt Zelda
Sorry for what you’re going through and the timing of my comments. Yes, please send some audio files my way.

57

@ Griz 48: I could be wrong, but I think even those who occasionally offer a snarky comment about the numbers game would miss it if it were gone. I know I would.

But also, doing a job that everyone would miss but no one else wants to do themselves is the very definition of "a thankless task." So I wouldn't blame you if you got tired of doing it.

58

griz@53
Please don't be upset with CMD. A problem with written communication is that tone is inevitably going to be misinterpreted.

He was making fun of himself @23, and one can't make a joke with sufficient clarification to be sure to avoid the tone problem.

We know you're sensitive, and everyone involved (including you) needs to try to account for that.

I hear that it sounded like an incredible opportunity; alas, this is another case of that when something sounds too good to be true, one can't count on it being true. We're all sorry that this disappointment hit you so hard.

BDF@54
"It could be that SHAM's husband is completely honest with him except for this particular situation."

Sure. I'm skeptical though since only hard evidence gets the guy to admit the truth.

"SHAM is not very good at communicating; he lets difficult discussions drop, which is why I recommended therapy."

Yes, he would benefit from therapy for his communication issues.

As for couples therapy, if he's not gonna dump his husband I agree therapy could help them communicate. I'm just skeptical that his husband will be any less dishonest in therapy.

"A counsellor will keep pressing Mr SHAM and not let him off the hook."

Yes, that could help. So (lol) I doubt Mr. SHAM will agree to couples therapy.

"SHAM says he's..considering staying; my recommendation is that he not do so without a therapist's guidance."

Ditto.

I guess it is possible, as someones-I-already-forget-who (sorry!) has been saying, that Mr. SHAM doesn't give honest communication to SHAM because SHAM can't be communicated with well. Both of them definitely have 'issues'. It might well be the best for both of them if they work on those issues together: if not for the long-term benefit of their own relationship (for it has established roles/patterns that are difficult--like wagon wheel ruts--for two people to get out of), for the benefit of each of their next relationships with others.
I amend my recommendation to thus working/working up, to getting divorced not immediately but a bit down the line. If Mr. SHAM consents; which I suspect he won't.

59

SHAM's husband lies even in the face of giving SHAM an STI (twice!). The only way Mr. SHAM could have gotten crabs at the homeless shelter is if he was fucking somebody there (I reeeeally hope that's not the case, on so many ethical and eww levels).

SHAM says he's inclined to stay, but he also says he's not cool with staying with someone who lies to him so easily. Mr. SHAM has proven himself repeatedly to be a bald-faced liar, and is dishonestly and wantonly compromising SHAM's health in the process. And I maintain that SHAM * hasn't * actually even truly forgiven his husband; he says he couldn't deal with the pain, so he dropped the subject. I am sure there are many great things and a level of stability and comfort that this relationship provides, but damn this doesn't sound like a very good relationship to me. What do you really have if you can't trust your partner to be honest, even when they're passing on STIs and * lying to your face * about it?

I won't re-hash my infidelity story again, but I will bring up that it was the dishonesty, more than deeds done and furtive side relationship established, that hurt me the most. Real healing and forgiveness couldn't have happened without painful truths, and many long, brutal, honest, uncomfortable conversations. SHAM is doing himself an enormous disservice by his continuous avoidance of these kinds of conversations. If he's really committed to not knowing, maybe he needs to declare their relationship a companionate one, before Mr. SHAM gives him a more permanent and life-altering STI.

60

Fox@59
+1

"What do you really have if you can't trust your partner to be honest, even when they're passing on STIs and * lying to your face * about it?"

Yes.

61

In Dan's reply to SHAM I was expecting the whole "there are higher forms of fidelity in a long-term relationship than just never touching your genitals to anybody else" thing, which I certainly agree with in this case.

It seems to me that the kind of openness SHAM is most comfortable with is Don't Ask, Don't Tell. So he should have one more conversation where he says that's actually the rule. Make it official that SHAM's husband is not doing something terrible when he's with other men, and that SHAM has the same deal if he ever wants it now or in the future.

It's also completely fair that both SHAM and the husband go on PReP, since clearly SHAM's husband is terrible at noticing when he is carrying an STI and passing it on. If it's the same guy, years apart, SHAM's husband should really be reconsidering that guy as a play partner.

62

@54 BiDanFan: Thank you for the hugs and kind words. In retrospect, I see what you mean in CMD's comment @23, in what was meant to actually be a compliment--if he were a film director and / or producer, he'd hire me. I just didn't catch the "if". That's not the same as 'I've got a really hot movie project here. When can you start on the film score?' Suddenly I'm feeling a bit like Ben Stiller in Brad's Status (2017).
Everyone, especially CMD--please forgive my recent jolt of insecurity.

Re: The Lucky Numbers Game: As long as the feedback (even from snarky commenters) consensus is that the numerical game would be sorely missed, okay. I will indeed continue (Lucky @69 is up for grabs!). Griz will have to play catch up this weekend as tomorrow is my birthday, and my ruling planet, the Sun and Love Beetle beckon me.

@56 CMDwannabe: And please forgive me for over-reacting to your comment @49. Your comment @23 was meant as a compliment, not an actual job offer. As BiDanFan and curious2 aptly pointed out, I missed the "if".
Mp3 recordings are headed your way soon. I appreciate your feedback when you have time to listen to them.

@57 Ens. Pulver: Thank you for your kind feedback.I will have to play catchup this weekend after my birthday (the Lucky @69 is drawing nigh for those interested!). Good luck to you and everybody participating on scoring the lucky numbers!

@58 curious2: Yes. I see that now. Thank you for your kind feedback.

63

@auntie grizelda: When I congratulated you on your progress towards the realization of your musical dreams, it was in response to what you wrote @ #21 ("Admittedly, I have been focusing more on expanding my website lately. A lot of people seem to like what I offer as a composer. I have been told that it takes a while to gain recognition as an artist. I guess there is no harm in Griz chasing her dreams."), not CMD's comment @ #23 (the comment about "chasing dreams" being "important" struck me being both a general comment on the necessity of hope and a slight self-inspiring comment for CDM *themself).

I know that sarcasm, self-deprecation, irony, etc. can be difficult to read. That's why I tend to rely on other cues when I am unsure of meaning. For example, CMDwannabe has never been anything but genial, supportive, or friendly (and has come to the assistance of others when other commentors have been mean), so I assumed a supportive response. Most of us on the comments section are here in good faith and comment from a position of good will. Unless you have a history of conflict with a particular commentor or the person making the questionable comment is completely unknown (and therefore, so is the nature of their character), I would suggest you err on the side of the person not intending to be offensive, and certainly not intending to be insulting and vicious.

I understand that you have experienced a lot of frustration in getting your music out there, but it is completely out of character for CMD to attack you.

CMD, I wasn't sure which pronoun to use, so I opted for the gender-neutral "they"--if I offended you, I apologize; that wasn't my intent.

64

Griz, CMD - I'm happy to see that the two of you are picking up what one another is laying down. I'm sorry your feelings were so deeply hurt Griz, and sorry to hear what a struggle it has been to realize your dreams.

The SL comments board really is the happiest corner of the internet for me, and watching this misunderstanding work out between so many people is really heartwarming. Considering that we are always talking about such sensitive and potentially triggering topics, with nothing but the written word to go by, I'm always amazed how peaceful it tends to be around here, and how we're often able to work our way to mutual understanding when communication doesn't go smoothly. We have a really amazing bunch of internet peeps here.

65

Re: STA, this is just one of the many reasons I really don't see the appeal of having sex with strangers. That this could even be an argument means you done fucked up in selecting a sex partner and might have (gotten) knocked up (by) an asshole, to whom you may be linked forever in the event that the resolution of the argument is "nobody." (This could, of course, happen with someone known, but ibe is more likely to know the character of someone who isn't a stranger, by definition.)

For the record, the obvious-to-me answer, in lieu of the universal public funding for birth control that we ought to have, is that you split the cost unless one of you makes/has way more money (the fundamental Marxist maxim applies pretty much everywhere, and is effectively intuitive to non-assholes thanks to humans' evolved, innate sense of fairness).

Not taking a collaborative approach to solve a problem (which one or both people are doing by trying to assign individual responsibility rather than seeing a shared problem to be solved together) necessarily means your sex partner sees you not as a collaborative partner in your sexual activity, but as an opponent or exploitable resource or something like that (which is depressingly common in heterosex). And that's not a good person to fuck, maybe not even a safe person.

66

Just a little detour down the old crab side road… My brother and his entire football team all got crabs because they washed their uniforms together, so you don’t necessarily have to be bumping uglies to get the little critters. That almost surely doesn’t apply here, however.

67

Donny@66
"My brother and his entire football team all got crabs because they washed their uniforms together"

Either that, or that was their excuse so they didn't have to admit they all had a giant halftime orgy.

68

Thanks to all who chimed in, your kind words and help in achieving a peaceful resolution.
And yes, "they" is indeed my preferred pronoun.

69

Donny @66: They must have done their laundry using cold water, hung everything out to dry, and then not worn underwear beneath their uniforms.

70

Wahoo and congrats to Fubar for landing @69!

Donnie's @66 led me to some googling to see how much slack we could/should cut Mr. SHAM and Donnie's brother's football team for their respective crabs situation. First off, the most likely scenario is that crabs are spread through sexual contact; it's possible in other scenarios, but sexual contact is by far the most likely (when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras). The football team situation is most believable if they were sharing unwashed towels with someone who had them (unlikely but plausible enough). As for Mr. SHAM... unless his volunteer duties at the homeless shelter involve changing contaminated linens in the buff (which again, would raise a number of ethical and ick problems), it's an unbelievably piss-poor excuse.

71

Curious @58, I agree that if Mr SHAM won't agree to couples therapy, or doesn't seem to be making a good-faith effort, that should be SHAM's last straw and he should DTMFA.

Hugs to CMD and Griz, I'm glad you've worked things out!

72

@11 griz late to the game answering your question on lucky numbers. My 2 cents (wish I had bought 2 cents of bitcoins when they were cheap!). If the numbers prizes bring you joy, please continue! I am at a too stressful too busy time and my many-times-a-day comments read has gone down to a few times a week, it makes me happy to see all the largely supportive and considerate regular commenters here when I do read. A reminder that the internet can be a good place!

If you truly are on the fence on numbers awards, I think some here love it some don't, some don't care, maybe 1/3 each. So may I suggest picking an intermittent ratio schedule of reinforcement, whereby you'd pick some average like 1 out of 2 and each week it would be an actual coin toss as to whether you track and give numbers award that week or not. So "random" around a ratio you set, if you prefer 1 out of 3 use a 3-sided dice or random.org generator. Then it would be something of a fond surprise for those of us who love it (even nicer treat), and not becoming a chore for you or too much for those who don't. I especially enjoyed back in the day when it was "new" and Dan tried to get firkt, thought he did, but failed and actually was secnod!

74

delta35@72
"If the numbers prizes bring you joy, please continue!...1 out of 2 and each week it would be an actual coin toss as to whether you track and give numbers award that week or not"

Absolutely!

@griz
I can certainly relate to being too busy.

You could even decree that the prizes are automatically self-awarding when you don't manually do so, something like:

'If a lucky number falls in the forest and nobody WAHOOOs it, it still makes an award.'

75

John @65, exactly. If the penis haver's first question wasn't "how much would you like me to chip in?", he never deserves to get laid again.

76

John@65
"you split the cost"

It seems to me that since the vagina-haver is the one to bear the biological burdens of the pharmaceutical's effects, and since the penis-haver has the privilege of not being subject to the biological burdens and repercussions of pregnancy, I think that it would be pathetic for the penis-haver to not be absolutely eager to pay the whole costs.

'How much is it? * /Please/ * let me pay.'

Anything short of that disgusts me. Asking to split the cost half-disgusts me.

77

@76 p.s.
I also feel like snarling at the penis-haver:
'You got to have sex, what the F is wrong with you?'

78

@77 curious2 or in my pandemic-worn tired-of-misogynists fantasy: One could imagine a conventionally attractive woman, with helium-balloon-size impossibly large breasts - like the actual ad that The Stranger's server is putting up right now adjacent to this comment box as I type with a "Mens Driving Force" testosterone supplement ad! "Dear penis-haver, of course you as a penis-haver should not pay for the burst condom. And my, what a delicious and manly penis you have! Come hither and let me put mine lips upon it. Unzip. Mmm...mmm... ." Some dicks really don't deserve to have one.

79

As others have said: one person pays for Plan B by going through side effects and physical experience. The other person can share the burden by paying for Plan B with money.

I'd appreciate a break from the numbers game if it's on offer. It's one of the reasons I rarely comment myself and sometimes skip reading comments altogether. I've generally approached it like "I'll simply step out if it's not fun for me, no need to harsh their vibe or anything", I'm sharing my feedback now only because it was specifically requested.

80

@78 myself the stranger deleted CHOMP that I put in angle brackets!! it should have read "Dear penis-haver, of course you as a penis-haver should not pay for the burst condom. And my, what a delicious and manly penis you have! Come hither and let me put mine lips upon it. Unzip. Mmm...mmm... CHOMP." Some dicks really don't deserve to have one.

81

In the event of a condom breaking, are you going to wait for "the check is in the mail"?

You can rightly expect reimbursement. But the only thing slower than a man with a tight wallet is a response from a government program in cases like this. Just run down to the corner chemists.

82

@63 nocutename: I would love to see your artwork sometime and visit your website. Thank you and others for your kind, supportive feedback. Sadly, reading maybe a bit too deeply between the lines at times has been among my weaknesses, and I hold myself accountable for that. It is truly as curious2 has aptly pointed out, typed words doo not have the tone of spoken words and can often be subject to misinterpretation.
And after just having turned Heinz 57 Varieties on Friday and almost a year (already!!) since my full bilateral hysterectomy, I can no longer blame it on PMS. :)

@64 fantastic_mrs_fox: Thank you for your kind input, too. I just spoke to my brother, a successful animator in Los Angeles, and he has said I'm doing the right things in producing mp3 sound recordings and updating my website. :)

@68 CMDwannabe: And Thank you for further clarifying and helping resolve what was a terrible misunderstanding between us. Thank you, too, for reaffirming your choice of pronouns. I have duly noted that "they" is your preference. I'm glad you enjoyed the mp3s I emailed you. It means a lot to me. :)

@69 fubar: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's luscious @69 Award numeric honors. Bask in the glory and revel in your luscious good fortune. :)

@71 BiDanFan: Thank you for your kind response. :)

83

Curious @76, yes. She pays with the side effects. He pays the cash.
Unless for instance they are college students and both broke. Then they pool their cash and see how much they have between them. This is why Planned Parenthood exists (and why I've been sending them $50 a month since Trump was elected).

Griz @82: "Sadly, reading maybe a bit too deeply between the lines at times has been among my weaknesses" -- I'll agree with that. On more than one occasion you've asked other commenters if they were upset or angry with you when they simply didn't come back to respond to certain of your comments. I think you do have a tendency to take things too personally or to see negativity towards you where none exists. Hugs! You're a funny and kind person and I don't think anyone here has any negativity toward you. If they do, fuck'em -- that's their problem!

84

@83 BiDanFan: Agreed and seconded. Thank you for your kind response. I think my hyper-sensitivity is some kind of conditioned self defense mechanism on my part, stemming after so many years---at least since from age 5 onward---of being the youngest in a family in which everyone else was so much older (my next sibling up is seven years, nine and a half years my senior). I was a loud, weird kid, often left feeling like I had to make noise in order to be heard.
When I turned 5 my older sibs were in junior high school. That September my oldest sister was starting high school. By my 10th birthday my sisters and brother were out of high school. That left just me at home with my very community-active parents. I was a "latch key" kid.

Griz is back from another birthday movie night: Tonight's July 30th themed double feature: What's Up, Doc? (1972) followed by Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (1997).
The connection? Both films have to do with the date of July 30th: Peter Bogdanovich, who directed What's Up, Doc? turned 83 on Friday. Lisa Kudrow of TV's Friends, co-starring as Michele Weinberger in Romy & Michele's High School Reunion turned 58 on Friday.
Gwen Stefani and No Doubt said it best: 'I'm just a girl...in the world'......

85

@82: auntie grizelda, you must have confused my post @63 with someone else's: I am not an artist (I wish!), nor do I have a website. But thank you for the support.

86

To me crabs are very 90s; I haven't heard of them since. It's not like gay guys shave any more than then - they shave less - and there is much more promiscuity nowadays, so I don't know why crabs sort of vanished for a couple of decades. Maybe this is a sentinel case of a crabs comeback :(

I'm sorry SHAM, those are awful experiences and sooner or later it's going to be something other than crabs, so whatever you decide relationshipwise please make sure you protect your health.

87

@66, Donny, likely story ;P

88

@85 nocutename: My heartfelt apologies on another misinterpretation. At least my heart's in the right place.Thank you, too, for your continued kind support. :)

89

@88: No apologies necessary, Griz; I just don't like taking credit for something I haven't done. For what it's worth, I think it's commendable to follow one's dreams at any age and regardless of whether or not they are monetarily rewarded. I do understand wanting people to hear and appreciate one's art. But I also think there's a real benefit to simply honoring your passion (and not everyone is lucky enough to have a passion, and be good at what they're passionate about), no matter who else--if anyone--ever appreciates our efforts.

90

@89 nocutename: Understood. Music for me, like my beloved VW, cats, and wonderful supportive people around me is indeed, a passion, and continues to be valuable therapy.
One blessing I do have in my building is that, although there is no monetary reward, my surrounding neighbors appreciate what I play (a combination of Baroque / classical / jazz/ pop/ and my own written works. I strive to be a good neighbor, so I don't play too late in the evening.It's my offered evening concerts, featuring something on piccolo, C and / or alto flutes and piano.
I must be hitting the right notes--I have had some neighbors tell me, keep on playing--even past 10 pm-----they love it. It's a win-win fro me.

I just hope I'm not committing an exercise in futility by reaching out for a non-existent brass ring, hoping to score for film. It has been a dream job in the back of my head since high school, and has since my completion of a one-year online certification program through Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts suddenly blossomed since 2018 into a "WOW! Yeah--I really want to do this!" kind of thing. It's not primarily for big money. I'm not planning on packing up thinking I oughtta be in pictures and hopping a greyhound bus to Los Angeles anytime soon. But somehow, some way---I really want the opportunity to score a film--a documentary, an animated short feature, an ad jingle, or full feature film (1'30' to 2 hours).

Wow--folks---who's hungry now that we're only 10 comments away--- for this week's Big Hunsky Award numeric honors? Tick...tick...tick....

91

Griz @84, yes, sounds like you've had more than your fair share of people treating you badly -- no wonder you've grown to expect it and see it in places where it isn't. I hope your therapy has helped! Along with cutting those toxic people out of your life. You deserve better!

I hope you do manage to achieve your dream of writing music for film! Perhaps you could connect with film students via your alma mater or local universities and offer your services. I know that "exposure" isn't an ideal compensation for your hard work, but students at least have no money to offer, and once they move into the real world they could keep in mind the music you provided when they, too, were struggling to get a foot in?

92

@griz
I think BDF's suggestion to offer to score a film for film school students is an absolutely great one!!! I figure there are film schools all over, and most probably have some kind of newspaper or website you could make your offer in. Perhaps there's a web forum that could reach students at all film schools.

93

@92 p.s.
Some weeks ago I emailed griz a suggestion that in comparison is so weak I'm embarrassed by it next to this great idea.

94

@griz, Romy and Michele, what a favorite of mine too! It feels more recent to me but it came out a generation ago, and here I am still unmoored and struggling to figure out my life, same as then. I've always identified with Kudrow's awkward and bohemian characters. She's a multi-millionaire in real life, but never mind that, I still love her.

95

@cbu: I absolutely love her (Lisa Kudrow) in both of Don Roos' movies, "The Opposite of Sex," and "Happy Endings." Actually, I love those movies and the entire casts in both are excellent.

96

@91 BiDanFan: What a wonderful idea! Thank you!! I will contact Berklee School of Music to see if their film school would like some of my mp3 sound recordings or if I could do some work for them. I have some faculty contacts when I was enrolled online during the 2017-2018 academic year.

@92 & @93 curious2: I gratefully appreciate your helpful suggestions and feedback, as well. I'm sorry about being unable to cut, copy, and paste as per some of your past kindly offered instructions. I am sadly Cut / Copy /Paste challenged.

@94 cbu and @95 nocutename: I love Lisa Kudrow, too. She is an amazing, dynamic woman. I understand she was an honors graduate at Vassar, studying Biology. Mira Sorvino, who played Romy White earned a degree at Harvard. Lisa Kudrow turned 58 when I hit the famous Heinz 57 Varieties, thus partly why I make my birthday a July 30th movie night tradition. Long live Phoebe Buffay, Michele Weinberger, Romy White, and Heather Mooney (hilariously played by comedienne Janeane Garofalo)! Truly a group of smart women.
Janeane Garofalo......I wonder what the course of my life would have been like had I been blessed with a Heather Mooney type at my back, feistily telling all the toxic people to fuck off?

97

Griz's next movie night is Wednesday, August 4, 2021, a double feature, honoring Linda Blair and Sissy Spacek: The Exorcist (1973, featuring Mike Oldfield's memorable Tubular Bells among film music credits) followed by Carrie (1976----god, I just LOVE composer, PIno Donaggio's film score! The C and alto flute solos are AMAZING!). This is in symbolic celebration of the one year anniversary of my full bilateral hysterectomy. Symbolic because, for me, the operation successfully, after 37 years of unspeakable misery, "got the Devil out of Griz" No longer will I ever suffer needlessly through cruel monthlies anymore. I had my gynecologist in pre-op laughing back on 08-04-2020 when my last words before going under were "Let's waste the prom." I shall be fully equipped with red, red wine--and gluten-free devil's food cake. :)

98

@95 nocutename: Thank you for the Lisa Kudrow film recommendations. I will look for The Opposite of Sex and Happy Endings at my local video store.

99

.....and this week's lucky Big Hhnsky winner IS (see what Griz did here?)............

100

AAAAAAARRRRrrrrrgggghhhh!!! Make that: "....and this week's lucky Big Hunsky winner IS (see what Griz did here?.............."
So strange that the majority of my most glaring typos occur when I'm sober.

By the way, I am awarding the Big Hunsky to the next commenter landing on @101.If Griz is lucky she'll land instead on the Double Whammy. :)

101

@100 Griz - wooohooo the hunsky award! It is ALL yours!! :) And well deserved! Happy first anniversary post-op and glad you are doing well.

I just was reading comments on Queerty which I have not done for a great long time, and oh myyy, SL commenters are so supportive and considerate, and the comments are so intersting by comparison. Awards to everyone here!