Savage Love

Counseled Culture

Comments

104

Final paragraph. Incomplete edit. About dumb. And dumb.

Woof.

105

@86 delta35: Many thanks! I still have yet to gain a paying gig or commissioned music scoring job, but my luck has indeed, been improving. :)

@99 Ens Pulver: Doge-speak is new to Griz, too. I can see it correlating with emojis. :)

@100 fantastic_mrs_fox: WA-HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Major congratulations on scoring this week's Big Hunsky Award honors! Savor your glorious accolades and bask in your newfound riches. :)

No fubar this week? He must be on vacation.

106

Curious @102 - there is a special place in my heart for doge memes after being introduced to them by a very dear friend who, although very erudite and cultured on the one hand, has a tremendous propensity for the absurd and for some very stupid humor. Also, we millennials have been dealt a raw deal and have so precious little that brings us joy in this world; let us have our doge.

107

Nocute @75 - thank you for Nailing It! about the bizarre tone of the letter. It's very Big Lebowski: "I! The Royal 'We'! You know, the editorial...?"

108

DonkeyLicious, thanks for posting your story site. I was thoroughly enjoying the caving one, especially all the science/history/information inserts. Then I got to the end, lol. (Or the "not end.") And I very much enjoyed "The Wall." Thanks for sharing!

109

Fox@106
"we millennials have been dealt a raw deal"

True. (Though not even as bad it appears that succeeding generations will get!)

US millennials had selfish dumb predecessors stick them with a domestic economy which got ruined by many decades of idiotic mismanagement that invited looting. And with a global climate that was stupidly allowed to combust. And with a democracy teetering on the edge of authoritarianism. And don't get me started on Covid. Etc.

I'm sorry. I nearly literally killed myself doing everything I could to not have it turn out this way, but dumb won.

I can see how you would want to laugh at dumb, and I envy that, that is very healthy.

I think I've become way too angry at dumb to laugh at it as entertainment. (Hmm, that reminds me; 'Idiocracy' is not a really good movie, but I think I may be in just the mood to watch it again!)

"let us have our doge"

As I said @102, of course. I would never have said a word if delta had not spoken doge directly to me.

110

@108IWas~ Thanks!

111

@109 curious2: Agreed and seconded. I am far too angry, too, to ever be able to laugh at globally destructive willful incompetence and gluttonous corporate induced MAGA-stupidity that has steadily escalated since the Reagan Administration.
I weep for younger generations, especially women and girls in their reproductive years, and little girls from birth to pre-adolescence who have yet to start their first period.

112

@51 BiDanFan (re: your discussion with Philophile, @48): Somehow, I don't think we can lump Brad Pitt, no matter how attractive he is, into a debate of whether or not I, Griz, am still sexually attracted to men, if at all anymore. I consider Brad Pitt as a fantasy boyfriend. He is pure fantasy to me and nothing more. I have films on DVD starring Brad Pitt. I have a movie poster image of Brad Pitt at 28, as hitchhiking bad boy, J.D. in Thelma & Louise on the door of my walk-in closet. This is a pleasant image--that's all.
I am neither stalking Brad Pitt, nor am I desperately seeking Brad Pitt's cellphone number. He doesn't know I exist, and that is perfectly fine with me. I can't imagine actually having sex with him or anyone else, especially now, a year after my full bilateral hysterectomy. I just couldn't do it. I wouldn't feel anything.
If my life's paths had gone differently and hadn't additionally had with them a decades-long medical history of unbearably horrible monthlies, I might still be sexually active today.
I'm just grateful that my one nightmare of a marriage (October 16th marks 20 years happily divorced this year) and my childbearing years are mercifully over at long last.

113

Curious @96, sorry for scolding you and not seeing the humour in the post wherein you scolded Delta and didn't see the humour in his post.
Ahem.
Delta's second post was explaining the use of the language style in his first post and therefore doesn't count as a second instance of use of that language style.

"I just implied that I wouldn't continue reading that kind of shitty communication. Which to me seems kinder than blocking with no warning." Doesn't to me. I may be wrong but I don't think Delta would care if you blocked them. And no one else would notice. I think most of us would respond to threats of blocking for no valid reason with a "so go ahead and block me," so I go back to, if you're gonna block, just block, rather than issuing a pointless threat that only makes you look like a pedantic grouch.

Old or young, winkyface emoticons help express on the internet when one is joking. Like this: ;) or ;-) should one prefer one's faces with noses.

This GenXer is familiar with doge memes, which seemed to be the successor to those "can haz cheezburger" cat memes.

Griz @112, I meant no offense and am sorry I cited you, FWIW I was uncertain about Phi's using you as an example, but then remembered that I may have done so myself. I agree entirely that there is a difference between finding someone attractive and wanting to have sex with them (or at all). My only point was that since you once functioned as a heterosexual, and that these days you only make comments about certain attractive men and never attractive women, you are not a good example of Phi's "het to gay" theory in practice.

114

Back to the letter and Nocute's and Margarita's insights into why it seems so odd. Both make sense. We have an LW using a breezy, jokey tone and the royal "we" to imply he and his wife are on the same page -- but if that's they case, why have they visited multiple therapists? It seems he is listening neither to his wife nor the therapists; it seems he may be the only person in this picture to want an open relationship, and he's writing to the most famous open-relationship advocate out there to try to convince his wife to stay in the marriage and continue fucking him while she dates women (who would ideally be open to fucking him too). SHRINKS, first step here is to ask your wife what SHE wants and really listen to the answer. No, a therapist can't force you to divorce, but your wife can, and perhaps wants to; yes, open relationships can be awesome relationships, but you may realistically be looking at an awesome open relationship with a future partner, not this one. If she wants out, you need to let her go.

115

griz@112
"after my full bilateral hysterectomy...I wouldn't feel anything"

Nothing? I did not know that hysterectomy resulted in removing all pleasurable sensations from all the inner and outer parts and structures down there.

And given that, I also didn't know that that would result in one no longer having any thoughts/feelings of attraction.

Very interesting. I know it was a net extreme positive for you griz, and for that I'm very happy.

BDF@113
"...kinder than blocking with no warning." Doesn't to me. I may be wrong but I don't think Delta would care if you blocked them"

Ghosting is rude.

Delta and I have directly interacted a fair amount. If one were to ghost someone here, then the other person would waste time communicating without knowing one is not listening. That's why to be polite we (including you IIRC) let people know once that we are blocking.

For example, I once told Lava I would no longer be reading her comments. That gave her the opportunity to not spend any more of her time typing to me. (Not that she stopped doing so, but I gave her the opportunity to not waste time trying to interact when no one was listening.)

In other words, it's not

"pointless"

In fact /not/ doing it is impolite.

As would be telling someone more than once that they have been blocked.

"winkyface emoticons"

I can't put my finger on it, but I think there's some reason none of us are us are constantly (or almost ever) using emoticons here. Maybe it's tangentially related to the maxim that if you have to explain a joke it's not funny. Perhaps we all like to think we're known well enough, and can be witty enough, not to hold up a sign signalling when we are.

/Break/

Thank goodness this board doesn't support emojis; it's great not to spend time deciphering them.

116

If I take SHRINKS at his word, here's how I envision things going down.

Wife tells husband that she's a lesbian; therefore not attracted to men; therefore, not attracted to men; thus not attracted to husband.
Husband and wife decide that they still love each other and want to figure out what this means for them and their marriage going forward.
They visit a marriage counselor and say, "wife is a lesbian, but we want to stay married, and we each still want to find sexual satisfaction. How do we do this?
Marriage counselor, not a believer in the possibility of sustaining working open relationships, says, "there's no way this is possible; you two should divorce amicably."
Couple leaves, disappointed and still not sure how to make this work. They decide to try again with a different marriage therapist.
Repeat of step 3.
One or both of them finds and reads several books about opening relationships. What they read seems do-able to them.
One or both of them either already read Dan or hears about Dan as a sex-and-relationship advice-giver and a proponent of open relationships. Husband writes in to get confirmation that open relationships can be "awesome." Dan obliges.
The commentariat over-analyzes every exclamation point in the letter.

Seriously, if this is how it went down, here's all the lw needs:
Those therapists were not necessarily correct. Open relationships can be awesome relationships, but there are different issues that you need to consider, and good communication is probably more important than ever, considering that feelings of many people are or will be involved. Your marriage may survive opening, and it may not. One or both of you may decide that an open relationship doesn't work for you, and whatever decisions you two arrive at now can always be revisited later.
No therapist can force you to divorce.
Good luck and I hope you both find something that works for you each individually and as a couple!

117

Dammit: my steps were numbered. For the life of me, I can't figure out why the Stranger won't let us do this, and it's gotten old.

I'm doggedly determined to try to render this the way I intended. Apologies for the repeat.

If I take SHRINKS at his word, here's how I envision things going down.

One: Wife tells husband that she's a lesbian; therefore not attracted to men; therefore, not attracted to men; thus not attracted to husband.

Two: Husband and wife decide that they still love each other and want to figure out what this means for them and their marriage going forward.

Three: They visit a marriage counselor and say, "wife is a lesbian, but we want to stay married, and we each still want to find sexual satisfaction. How do we do this?
Marriage counselor, not a believer in the possibility of sustaining working open relationships, says, "there's no way this is possible; you two should divorce amicably."

Four: Couple leaves, disappointed and still not sure how to make this work. They decide to try again with a different marriage therapist.

Five: Repeat of step 3.

Six: One or both of them finds and reads several books about opening relationships. What they read seems do-able to them.

Seven: One or both of them either already read Dan or hears about Dan as a sex-and-relationship advice-giver and a proponent of open relationships. Husband writes in to get confirmation that open relationships can be "awesome." Dan obliges.

And finally, #8: The commentariat over-analyzes every exclamation point in the letter.

Seriously, if this is how it went down, here's all the lw needs:
Those therapists were not necessarily correct. Open relationships can be awesome relationships, but there are different issues that you need to consider, and good communication is probably more important than ever, considering that feelings of many people are or will be involved. Your marriage may survive opening, and it may not. One or both of you may decide that an open relationship doesn't work for you, and whatever decisions you two arrive at now can always be revisited later.
No therapist can force you to divorce.
Good luck and I hope you both find something that works for you each individually and as a couple!

118

Musing further on this: "I just implied that I wouldn't continue reading that kind of shitty communication. Which to me seems kinder than blocking with no warning."

Nah. My writing style is my writing style. You (general you) are more than welcome to not like it, and to choose not to read it. You (general you) are not more than welcome to use a threat of blocking to try to get me to change it. That's entitled, not kind, and I can't really imagine anyone reacting by saying "oh okay, I will change how I write for you, internet stranger." So, neither kind nor effective.
However, without such threat several GenXers on the board would not have learned what doge speak means, so there's that.

119

Curious @115, posts crossed.

"Delta and I have directly interacted a fair amount." OK. In that case a warning of blocking might be merited. Or conversely, if they are someone you have enjoyed interacting with, simply saying "argh, that writing style drives me nuts" would seem more effective than threatening to block them. You've now said you weren't serious about the warning of blocking, but if Delta, like me, thought you were, they would have probably found that rude, not kind.

"For example, I once told Lava I would no longer be reading her comments. That gave her the opportunity to not spend any more of her time typing to me." Yup, I've done the same with Guts. But I do think that "I'm not going to engage with you anymore" is different from "change your writing style or face the consequences."

"I can't put my finger on it, but I think there's some reason none of us are us are constantly (or almost ever) using emoticons here. Maybe it's tangentially related to the maxim that if you have to explain a joke it's not funny." Exactly. I think my joke is such an obvious joke that everyone will see that. Unfortunately, that's not the case on the internet. If in any doubt, winkyface.

And in the spirit of this thread, I'm not going to spend any more time on it, since it's such a trivial tangent. Moving on!

120

Curious2, I have to disagree with your attitude about telling people you're going block them as opposed to merely blocking or not reading them.

I find something rather rude about telling someone (universal) you intend to block them--it's the announcement of "you're not worthy of my reading you" that first of all implies that the person will be offended if their comment isn't read by all and sundry.

I find the warning of "I'm warning you that I'm about to block you" to be kind of bizarre. Maybe if the two people have a real-life relationship and one says something that is consistently insulting to the other, it makes sense to say, "if you keep this up, I'm not going to communicate with you" or "I refuse to engage in this conversation or on this topic any more." But to tell a total stranger that you intend to stop reading them because you don't care for the way the express themself and expect them to . . . what, exactly? Change their writing style so that you, a person unknown to them, will still read their comments?

You liken it to ghosting, but the only way I see the two as comparable is if the person who gets blocked and doesn't know that they've been blocked was directly addressing the person who blocks them and doesn't realized that their comment isn't being read. You say you have a relationship with delta, but unless the two of you were in the middle of a discussion and you suddenly went dark while delta tried to get you to respond to something they'd addressed to you, I doubt that they or anyone else here would even notice or realize that someone was not reading their comments. (Sorry for the pronoun "they," delta; I don't remember your pronoun nor your gender, and I don't mean to give offense.)

I don't block anyone, but there are some people whom I sometimes just blip right over without reading, and I don't need to tell them that. I was blipping a lot a while ago, when things were more contentious, but now that we seem to be more civil, I haven't blipped anyone in a long time. I have, on occasions of major, massive disagreements with someone that got me very upset, told them I was bowing out and that I wouldn't be reading their comments. But that was to try to disengage from arguments that were bordering on personal, not because I don't love the way someone expresses themself. If you don't care for doge-speak or anything else anyone on here does, I don't see the point of telling them you are going to block them. You can say that you find a particular style perplexing or annoying, if you want to, but I think anything more is unnecessary and suggests that the person making the announcement considers themself to be the arbiter of taste.

121

nocute@117
It does seem needless to scrub numbering, but I can live with needing to write out numbers when numbering.

"If I take SHRINKS at his word"

Nice work... But, as you say with that "If", in a contradictory letter taking him at his word is questionable.

"The commentariat over-analyzes every exclamation point in the letter."

Wait, did you just abandon your "If"?

That minimizes the contradiction of the dude's expectation of threeways with a lesbian. If I take him at all his words, he used "lesbian" wrong. Or is a moron. Or...really I couldn't care less at this point, until we get clarification.

"No therapist can force you to divorce."

Google tells me that some therapists do insist patients agree to binding arbitration. But only WRT possible issues with the therapist, so nocute is right!

122

BiDanFan, our posts also crossed, and I think we're on the same page.

123

BDF@119
"if Delta, like me, thought you were [serious], they would have probably found that rude, not kind."

You're right, when Delta comes back next weekend (IIRC that is when they have time to check in), I hope that I have not insulted them. I like Delta; Delta and I have always been very considerate to each other.

""I'm not going to engage with you anymore" is different from "change your writing style or face the consequences.""

Remember that I imagined (after two posts of doge in a row) that Delta had adopted a new writing style. One which I simply would not read.

As such the two seem the same in practice.

nocute@120
You're right, there's no call for blocking-notification if one is not engaged in a discussion with the object of it. Which I was.
In Delta's doge-comment before the doge-comment that was WRITTEN DIRECTLY TO ME, I did exactly as you suggest: I simply ignored it.

So while you think you disagree, actually I don't see you saying we do.

/Break/
IIRC Delta is male, but I could be wrong.

124

I think some have taken my @96 out of context. It was about someone I was interacting with.

Of course I don't think one should let people one isn't interacting with know one is blocking them. I recall saying in the past that I didn't read some comments and some commenters, and of course I don't inform the authors that I didn't. That would be gratuitously rude.

xxx

To be honest, I'm less likely to read a first-timer's post, because for all I know they'll never be back to read anything I might try to engage with them about.

This reminds me of war movies where no one in a combat group wants to even learn the name of the new guy, because the ones who've been there a long time know that they new guys usually don't last long, and that it hurts more to learn a lot of names of dead guys.

But once they prove some staying power, I'm far more likely to read them, and interact with them. When one does, I think that is a kind of relationship.

125

1) got me curious
2) will SL block my numbering
3) thought I’ve done it before

126

Seems to work with a parenthesis!

127

Curious2 @124: "Once they prove some staying power, I'm far more likely to read them." Of course you have every right to do that. It isn't rude to newcomers to hold back in that way.

However, I'd like to say that one thing that gave me the confidence to stick around here was the welcoming attitude of the veterans and their willingness to respond to my humble comments almost as soon as I registered. In fact, had all of you remained silent and unresponsive until I proved my"staying power," I likely would have exited the forum immediately, out of concern that I was being annoying or intrusive. Just another point of view from a relative newbie.

128

Good point, Ensign@127!

Luckily others aren't as curmudgeonly as I am.

IIRC after awhile I started to address you; one of the first times I think I said something about what you said maybe being why you hadn't gotten promoted above ensign. Sorry about that, Ensign!

129

@125: Thanks DonnyK--I will try to remember what you did. Curious, it's not the parentheses, which I had used, but it might be the period I put after each number, like so: 1.) [If this doesn't come through, it was the numeral one, followed by a dot/period and then followed by the close parentheses].

I knew I had made it work before and I couldn't remember what did it--I thought it was the parentheses, but clearly they weren't the solution, or the problem.

One thing that frustrates me is that before I hit the "post comment" button, when I take a look at the text box below the box one types in, to see if there are errors (more than one of which I didn't see until it was too late in my original post @116, and worse, remain in my "corrected" post @117, so aarrrggghhh! and apologies), the numerals, followed by their periods and parentheses are there. It's only once the comment is published that they disappear.

130

Curiouser and curiouser (no relation to you, Curious2; rather a shout out to Lewis Carroll): if the numeral with a period and a parenthesis is in the middle of a sentence, as it was in #129, it seems to have worked. Maybe it's only when it's used to start a list that it's an issue.

I'm going to to be all scientific and test:

Did this come through? (numeral followed by a period)

1) How about this? (numeral followed by a parenthesis)

1 or this? (just stand-alone numeral, with nothing else)

1.) finally, this. (numeral followed by period and then parenthesis)

And . . .

What if it takes place in the 1.) middle of a sentence? (numeral followed by period and then parenthesis)

What if it takes place in the 1. middle of a sentence? ((numeral followed by a period)

What if it takes place in the 1) middle of a sentence? (numeral followed by a parenthesis)

What if it takes place in the 1 middle of a sentence? (just stand-alone numeral, with nothing else)

131

So okay, here's the answer:
If you place a numeral in the middle of a sentence, either with or without a period or a parenthesis or both, it will remain.

If you try to create a numbered list, the one way the numeral will not show up is if it's followed by just a period.

Voila! Isn't the scientific method wonderful?

132

nocute@129
Wow that's crazy. I guess it works mid-sentence because it's just when it thinks we're making a numbered list that it freaks.

Yeah! Why can't the preview box be WYSIWIG!

Note: I often use previous threads to do testing, so that's an option. But thanks for sharing and documenting your testing for us!

133

Griz, I respect your asexuality. I hope I didn't offend you by concluding that your previous attraction to men had greatly decreased. I didn't call you gay, not that there's anything wrong with homosexuality.

I agree with NoCuteName that SHRINKS' letter is really weird. His marriage seems to have changed when his wife said that she was a lesbian, but he's said nothing about their sex life..

It would make the most sense if they never had much of a sex life or it tapered off, like his wife was a kinsey 5 who lost interest in him. I like to see couples work things out and remain together so I think it would be cool if they just needed to fantasize about threesomes together for awhile to reconnect sexually, and maybe try them out in the future, maybe not..

If he meant threesomes with two strangers.. a married man is going to have a hard time dating one woman let alone two.. But he can hire a couple of prostitutes.. He seems to skip over the "sexless marriage" part of the particular kind of open marriage they are considering, though.

He doesn't mention if they used to have awesome sex or any sex before her announcement. He doesn't mention if their sex changed after her pronouncement. He is looking into how to deal with open relationships but not how to deal with sexless relationships. This all seems really weird to me, I can't tell what's going on with this marriage. I can only hope to suggest a few hopefully useful lines of questions and discussion.

134

@113 BiDanFan: No worries, Bi. Neither you nor Philophile offended me in any way. I just wanted to clarify my current life situation.

@115 curious2: I am still on hormones, but sexually inactive by choice. My desire is gone, particularly since my divorce and surgery, but that doesn't necessarily mean all post-menopausal women who have had hysterectomies have totally lost their sex drive after the procedure.
I have a follow up appointment to see a new OB-GYN (my amazing previous gynecologist who operated on me recently retired back in March this year), for what might be my last and final pelvic exam ever, and to re-evaluate my use of hormones. I may no longer need Progesterone.

@133 Philophile: As I responded to BiDanFan (above), no worries, Phi. Neither you nor she have offended me in any way. My comment @112 was simply meant to clarify my current life situation.

135

I've heard that very old people may lose all interest in sex, and say that they feel free of a 'driving force'. (I find this interesting because it's difficult to imagine.)

griz, I'm glad you feel free!

136

@135 curious2: Thank you. Yes, thankfully I am now at least physiologically free of ever having bad periods, being at risk of STDs, and experiencing unwanted pregnancy (which in itself would prove highly risky to life threatening, given that I'm in my late 50s).
I'm still working on shaking off all the unpleasant memories through ongoing VA PTSD therapy.

137

Curious @135, not just very old people. Cliché as it is, perimenopause has finally robbed/freed me of the desire for sex as a "driving force." I still enjoy sex when I'm having it, though I sometimes need lube, but I no longer feel compelled to pursue it; I feel like I could take it or leave it. Which would be great if I were single! Since I have partners and I know -they- haven't been affected by my changing hormones, I make an effort to get in the mood and keep up a regular sex life with them, in hopes that I'll feel more driven once this menopausal process is over. Not being horny was difficult for me to imagine too, but I now have a window into the world of a demisexual, which is useful in empathising with a greater variety of people.

138

BDF@137
Thank you very much for that!

I've heard that perimenopause itself can be extremely difficult; I hope that of you and others isn't too uncomfortable.

I've also heard that men can have something similar...but I've not heard it being anything like as rough, for which I feel very fortunate.

139

Curious @138, I think whatever changes men go through are gradual, whereas we are treated to what is essentially a second round of puberty. Our hormones are thrown into sudden upheaval. We as a species did not really evolve to live past our wombs' useful lives, which is why I think we are so ill equipped to deal with the shutting down process. Not that I'd want to keep menstruating until age 80, mind! But aside from jokes about hot flashes and letters to Dan about lost sex drives (whose cause is often identified as something else, such as the "seven year itch" or husbands not doing enough housework), we don't really get much information on something 51% of the population is inevitably going to experience. That really needs to change. For instance, I think if straight/bi men were made aware that their partners will experience a several-year period when our sex drives are likely to fluctuate or outright vanish, that could lead to more patience and understanding and better ways of addressing the issue. But it's definitely one thing to read about it in Savage Love, and quite another for one's own body to behave in this way.

140

A new column is up, and it's at https://savage.love/savagelove/2021/09/07/on-the-down-blow/

141

Er, not that we can comment on it there. (Yet?)

142

BDF @139 - "We as a species did not really evolve to live past our wombs' useful lives"

I'm not an expert but I gather there's disagreement about that question: "Evolutionary biologists have shown that the very women who were once thought to be an evolutionary aberration may be a key to human longevity. By helping raise their grandchildren, grandmothers in hunter-gatherer (and even more modern) societies allowed their daughters to have more babies"

https://www.statnews.com/2019/02/22/grandmother-effect-helps-explain-human-longevity/

143

EricaP@142
Maybe feeling crappy during perimenopause was even a feature which helped keep them at home "helping raise their grandchildren".

144

EricaP @142, interesting. Though in those societies, surely one would be a grandmother by age 30 or so? I've heard similar evolutionary arguments for the existence of gay people -- their function was to raise the orphans left behind by the breeders.

145

BDF @144, whether grandmother or great- or great-great, I think the point of the "grandmother-effect" hypothesis is that it's useful to the species to have knowledgeable and fairly healthy but non-fertile women around. So 50 year olds, not 30 year olds.

146

@142 grandmothers in hunter gatherer societies are 40, not 60.