Savage Love

On the Down Blow

Comments

1

Many first. Very comment. Much amaze. (sorry, curious2, last time!)

2

Dan did a good job on paragraph one of his reply to CHOKED. As Dan usually says, it's absurd for someone to insist on sexual exclusivity WRT the sex they aren't going to have any of with you.

As for paragraph two, CHOKED made a promise to his ridiculous husband, and honor and integrity demanded that he let his huband know "three months ago" that his commitment to that promise was over. For failing to do that, for violating their verbal contract, a person with honor and integrity would bloody well "feel bad", aka regret.

As we have all gone on about at great length in recent years, 'communication is hard so never mind' is an unethical policy. We all have great respect for Dan, so I am disappointed that Dan continues to not disavow his 'communication is hard so never mind' policy'. Dan is the respected writer of a syndicated relationship advice column, so I would like to see Dan stand up for honor and integrity, particularly in a society in which the likes of Donald Trump has mocked and undermined honor and integrity.

I applaud Dan's support for ENM, and am sympathetic on many levels to Dan's opposition to monogamy. But whether or not one likes monogamy, two /other/ people who have made that commitment to each other have staked their honor and integrity on their promises. Publishing otherwise sets a poor example.

Have regret, CHOKED, and apologize. No one is perfect, but apologizing when we're wrong is more perfect than not apologizing.

Dan did a good job on paragraph three of his reply to CHOKED. CHOKED should show him the literal and figurative door if the ridiculous husband refuses to fully accept an open marriage.

/Break/

I wonder if we'll be Commenting at the new site https://savage.love/savagelove/2021/09/07/on-the-down-blow/ at some point?

delta@1
Thank you for not making me wait any longer to Comment!

Congrats on @1!

Please really feel free to doge whenever you're not talking directly to me! (And when you are, if you don't mind me skipping it unread.)

And feel free to just call me Curious. There appears to no longer be a Curious1!

3

@CHOKED that does sound rough to have your life partner take sex off the table, and I can see how it didn't feel right to trigger divorce at the beginning of the pandemic. But yeah, if you don't want to feel bad about the misunderstanding you continue to encourage by not saying this is a dealbreaker, then you're going to have to tell your partner this is a dealbreaker. Noting: You can be supportive of your partner's asexual lifestyle while at the same time mourning the end of getting to have sex with this person (although maybe your partner isn't the one to vent with/complain to about it. Best friend maybe?). So what to do next? You need to tell him. Tell him you aren't asexual and either you guys have to arrange an accommodation or you need to start looking for a lawyer. I'm sorry this happened to you. Good luck

4

Dan, should understand most of the voters in Texas area not going to vote out those Republicraps. They like assholes like Cruz.

5

Curious@2~ “…I wonder if we'll be Commenting at the new site https://savage.love/savagelove/2021/09/07/on-the-down-blow/ at some point?…”

Good question. Looks like no comments allowed right now.

6

HARDON revisited
Yes, penis havers need to talk more about penis-related issues: share health tips, masturbation techniques, toys reviews, and keep telling themselves and their partners that a penis should not be taken for granted let alone operate on demand.
It is not unmanly to discuss those issues.

Non-havers should be included in the conversation so they can better understand what havers partners may be going through which may ease some possible anxiety in the form of feeling rejected/threatened/suspicious when it doesn’t go up. I wrote “when” because this is not an “if” as it happens to everyone at some point or another. Havers should be ready, willing, and able to sexually please their non-having partners in different ways regardless of their penis status.
Happy 5782 to all.

7

@4 Texas is a younger, more Latino state. It's also attracting a ton of young liberals. It's conservative but it'll be in play in the next decade.

8

I don't get the partner in the first one. I get when a person who its not interested in much sex but is interested in some sex wants their partner to stay faithful. It's selfish but it makes sense - they're worried about consequences and STDs etc. But when an asexual person in a gay relationship wants no sex, that's just idiotic. It literally doesn't impact you in any way.

DTMFA. Unless there's some medical reason this person is unemployed, they seem to need a kick in the pants to stop being so fucking selfish,.

9

@1 delta35: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Congrats on scoring this week's Savage Love: On the Down Blow hotly vied for FIRDT! honors! Bask in your glory and savor the well deserved accolades. :)

@2 curious2: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's SECNOD honors! Bask in the glory of being among the first three commenters and savor theh numeric honors. :)

@3 luluisme: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's THIRDT! numeric honors, being among the high ranks of delta35 and curious2 in leading the comment thread. Savor the honors and bask in the glow. :)

The only good RepubliKKKans are dead ones because they can't do any more damage than they've already done. The globally destructive ones who are left are dangerously beyond reasoning with and hellbent on inflicting as much undue pain and suffering on as many innocent people as cruelly possible. They should be gathered into an isolated group, then shipped off and left drifting out to sea in shark infested waters to fight each other off like rats in a trap.

10

Bravo and Amen, Dan the Man, on the nauseating American Taliban shit going down in Texas, the willful inaction of the stacked Extreme Court, and eight additional dumbfuck states following Texas's gross mislead.
Agreed and seconded.

11

@6 CMDwannabe: "Happy 5782 to all" ?

12

@7 Larrystone007 Maybe but the majority of Latinos are conservative. If we break down the Latinx community and examine the people in Texas. They might be more liberal than the Cuban people who settled in Florida but I haven't seen that. Devout Catholics won't change their position on abortion.

13

CHOKED's letter is putting me in mind of the phrase, "This isn't a marriage, it's a hostage situation." Mr CHOKED demands his husband respects his identity as an asexual person, but he can't accept CHOKED's identity as a sexual person. Something had to give, and it gave head. Thanks, Dan, for your last paragraph. If Mr CHOKED is demanding that CHOKED be asexual with him, that is not reasonable. They need an exit strategy. CHOKED should do everything he can to support his husband gaining employment, then consult a lawyer.

Re PENIS, I think the standard maybe shouldn't be, "Everyone should come during sex," but "Everyone who wants to come during sex should." I've had partners of multiple genders who were fine with (occasionally) not coming. Hell, even I don't -always- come during sex; sometimes maintenance sex for their benefit is fine, or some people take a long time to come and even they get tired before it can happen. If you are banging regularly, a missed orgasm or two shouldn't matter.

14

Curious @2, I think this is one of the rare letters that passes my least-worst-option test: sex taken completely off table by financially dependent partner who won't issue a hall pass. Cheating is something that CHOKED should only feel a tiny bit bad about -- and he does. I join you in jubilation over Dan's final paragraph: He didn't tell CHOKED, "You're justified in what you're doing, so keep doing it." He told him to person up and renegotiate this hostage situation he's in, so he can stop with the dishonesty, ideally before he is caught.

Lulu @3, good point that CHOKED may be coming across as guilt tripping his husband when he says he misses sex. It would be hard not to. He should indeed find someone else to complain about this to -- though it seems he already has.

Good to see you back, CMD @6, and happy 5782 to you too. (Griz @11, this is a reference to the Jewish New Year.)

Dashing @12, unfortunately a good point. Clearly the Latinxs in Texas won't side with white Republicans on issues such as immigration, but most are devout Catholics, a group that is sadly not known for supporting the right to choose. If only we could arrange to airdrop morning-after pills throughout the state. Or we could go with Governor Abbott's proposal to jail all potential rapists. With all men in jail, no pregnancies would ever occur. Though a statewide chastity-cage mandate would be just as effective, and cheaper.

15

Amending @14, Dan DID tell CHOKED that he was justified in what he's doing and to keep doing it. He ALSO told him to demand an end to his husband's unfair celibacy demand -- "ultimately." CHOKED, replace "ultimately" with "as soon as possible" and you're back on the high road.

16

@9 Thanks, Griz :) I do feel the honors.
@13 @15 BDF, least worst option - hrm... I don't know as I'd put it in that column, but I also see how the pandemic could throw anyone off their game, especially with a clearly unsympathetic partner. But yeah, definitely agree that the timing of clearing things up should really be pretty much now, or at least after dinner.

17

A Valentine Award to Ms Fan for indirectly invoking the maxim of Shirley V's friend Jane that, "All men are potential rapists [yes, Shirley, even the Pope]." The assembled company may recall that, on their flight to Greece for a fortnight's holiday, Jane met and went off with a fellow passenger Shirley referred to as The Walking Groin to spend a few nights at his olive grove.

xxx

So Texans have full encouragement to sue each other over abortion with a five-figure reward minimum for doing so. What a quagmire. I wonder how quickly this will get to bus drivers whose routes go "too near" a clinic.

xxx

My main point of difference with A1 is that Mr Savage assumes facts not in evidence in calling the extramarital sex "hot". LW1 doesn't even invite the inference beyond the claim really to need it - but then, someone being starved by his husband will wolf down another man's Brussels sprouts. It's hard to reconcile Mr Savage's preference in his personal partners for a wide streak of The Gay with this tragically common and highly problematic notion that unreciprocated gay-on-DS service is Oh So Hot. How are we going to raise the next generation of gaybies with the self=respect they will need to cope with all the garbage they'll get from all sides if they are socialized to think the hottest thing they can do is to provide unreciprocated oral service to those who primarily love women?

18

Venn @17, perhaps Dan's logic is that if the sex weren't "hot," at least by CHOKED's own standards, then CHOKED wouldn't continue to have it twice a week for three months. Dan never compared its hotness to other kinds of sex.
Also: You're worried about CHOKED's self-respect in not seeking reciprocation, or for getting involved with a Kinsey less-than-6, but not about his self-respect in staying married to someone who is depriving him of a sex life?
Also: You too are assuming facts not in evidence by asserting that CHOKED's colleague primarily loves women. Just because he married one does not confer an assignment of gender preference. Your, erm, distaste for the concept of gay men servicing straight men is misplaced here. Might as well scold him for getting involved with a colleague, but that's beside the point too.

19

Venn @17, looks like the only garbage CHOKED is getting is from you. Hmm.

20

@13, Yes.
CHOKED should divorce his husband now while the grounds for that divorce are on his side. He can still continue to live with and support his ex-husband but would be free to find a sexual relationship.

21

BDF@14
(Note: Near the end ["Wait."] I pull back from where I start here.)

It seems we're saying close to the same thing.

"partner who won't issue a hall pass...CHOKED should only feel a tiny bit bad about"

And the reason they should feel bad is exactly what I said: CHOKED failed to insist upon a hall pass. The ridiculous husband isn't the only one who can write a hall pass, it was up to CHOKED three months ago to inform the ridiculous husband that he had written his own hall pass.

While writing @2 I was conscious that this letter is like a test of when Dan's policy is OK. But the basic ethical principles do not in my view differ from the other cases:

For the last three months CHOKED's word has meant nothing as regards his commitment of monogamy. That is unhanged by that the ridiculous husband made their mutual commitment absurd. CHOKED has failed to withdraw from his verbal contract. Dan's reply tests us to see if we'll stand up for that being OK simply because 'communication is hard so never mind'.

I see what you mean of course, as I said I was somewhat hesitant to rise to address it, but this is an ethical Trojan Horse. If we let this one inside the gate the other ones logically come with it.

"and he does"

1) The only foundation I see for that claim is that he asks Dan if he needs to feel bad about it. In any case,

2) Dan tells him not to (feel bad about it)! (Which is why I made it about Dan.)

Wait. * I just looked back at the letter, and I think I see how BDF's argument against my position is interesting:

Had CHOKED communicated that his commitment was over, and had his ridiculous husband not accepted that and left, his ridiculous husband would have abandoned /himself/ "during a pandemic while he’s unemployed". That could have meant the death-by-Covid or Long Covid for the ridiculous husband. Do I say of that "well that's on him (the ridiculous husband)"? Yes I do. But I also think that the pandemic threw CHOKED an ethical curveball, which does reduce how bad I think he needs to feel about not dealing honestly with this so far.

But, contrary to what Dan said, "how bad" is not zero bad. And I am pleased that BDF and I agree about that.

BDF@14
"...jail all potential rapists. With all men in jail..."

I know that was a joke, I just want to note that all penis-havers are not potential rapists. And I agree that politically it's a good joke, since the state can't tell which are and which aren't.

Mr. Venn@17
Good to see you here! I hope you are improving!

22

Curious @21, glad you recognised my hyperbole. Of course the point is that the idea that rapes can be prevented by jailing all future rapists is ridiculous because we don't know who the future rapists are, so the only way that policy could effectively be implemented would be to jail all men, which renders that policy unworkable and therefore no solution to the problem of pregnancy as a result of rape. Meaning the current solution to this problem -- the opportunity for an abortion -- must remain.
(For context: https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2021/09/07/gov-greg-abbott-eliminate-rapists-streets-texas-defending-abortion-law/ )

23

Me @22, sure, not all rapists are men, but only male rapists can impregnate their victims.

24

To me the weirdest part about CHOKED's situation is that his husband is unemployed and financially dependent on him, yet has the nerve to insist on insanely unreasonable ultimatums. I would ask CHOKED why he would want to stay with a man whose character level is subterranean.

25

BDF@23
And, theoretically, trans woman rapists.

26

I feel like my @25 was a hate crime.

28

Ms Fan - I didn't think it a stretch to interpret that a bi man who limits his MM encounters to receiving unreciprocated oral primarily loves (and has a much wider range of sex with) women. This particular slice of the sheet cake comes from the Kinsey 1 end, not the Kinsey 5 end. I was fortunately never pursued by a great many of that type, but they are common enough. Now you might have tried saying that we don't know that CW1 is DS married, but then LW1 might not have mentioned the B word at all, and the "unreciprocated oral only" arrangement with other men is much more common in MF partnership than in MM.

One can also hope that LW1 is finding the affair hot, but it seems equally possible this is just maintenance activity for him. If LW1 leans towards bottom, he may well not care about reciprocation. But the unreciprocated oral still sounds more like Brussels sprouts than filet mignon. He's been getting what he's needed - not less, but not more.

My main thought about C1 is how H1 wants LW1 to make assumptions about asexuality that many asexuals would blast outsiders for assuming. While that road has side streets, I shall avoid them. Almost the entire assembled company opposes the patriarchal socialization of women to defer to emn ; I don't expect anyone to care a tenth as much about the straightriarchial socialization of gays to defer to (or in this case service) straights, but hope that people can at least understand how extra irritation there is when the socialization comes from the inside and how it would be as nice to consider straight-servicers as a case for FTWL as it would be to give the same designation to "love/honour/obey"-vowing wives.

xxx

Skr Curious - It makes me think of Precious Bane and how Prue had agreed to work like a slave for her brother Gideon until he made his fortune (when he would give her up to fifty pounds to cure her harelip) and how she broke with him after he convinced the sexton's daughter to give their bed-ridden mother foxglove tea - "Murder cancels all vows." The question is partly to determine what reaches the level of vow-canceling and partly to determine how much is owed H1 if the vows are effectively null.

As for my recovery, it's dribbling in.

29

Mr. Venn@28
"...cancels all vows."

Interesting POV. Maybe only one's withdrawal from joint marriage vows cancels that. But given that in many ways I think the whole concept of a contract like marriage is silly...

What I think actually real are the separate promises each made to the other. The other person making a mockery of their own promise, does not in my view relieve me of the burden of honor and integrity to inform them that /my/ promise is withdrawn as well.

"...my recovery, it's dribbling in."

Thank goodness! Have patience. One's liberty is a bit restricted nowadays anyhow, so it's not the worst timing.

30

CHOKED wrote: "He told me I should leave him, if regular sex was 'really that important' to me." So it's not exactly a hostage situation. I agree with BDF @13 that the ethical path for CHOKED is to do what he can to support his husband gaining financial independence, and also consult a lawyer.

As for PENIS and the issue of not over-reacting, I try to ask lightly if the person who doesn't seem to be headed to orgasm wants any change of activity and then relax if they seem content. But if someone is regularly not getting to orgasm with me, I would bring it up over a glass of wine with our clothes on and ask -- "is there anything you want me to do differently in bed?" (while assuring them that I'm delighted with their attention to me, if that's the case). I might renew that clothes-on conversation every month or so if the orgasm gap continued.

31

CHOKED is sexually satisfied, at least for the time being, with sucking another man's penis.

The unemployed Mr. CHOKED is so asexual and so selfish that he cannot bring himself to endure receiving blowjobs to satisfy his financially and emotionally supportive husband? He can't just sit back and think of England while his husband sucks his dick?

32

CHOKED: I wonder if he and his partner regularly read Savage Love, and he wants his asexual husband to read what Dan has to say? The ages, years of marriage, asexuality, and employment status of both husbands make it hard to believe the person can read about himself and not realize it is about him.

33

Venn @28, I didn't think it was a stretch to conclude that "bisexual and married" meant married to a woman, either -- otherwise he would have just said married. I do, however, think it's a stretch to conclude that the no-reciprocation is necessarily at CW1's request. It could be that CHOKED somehow sees his marriage vows as pliable enough to allow him to suck another man's cock, but not for that man to suck his. Or he's not into receiving oral. In other words, giving and not receiving might be his filet mignon.

I'm not sure who C1 and H1 are but I do understand and empathise with your political disgust at this particular act/dynamic. I might be said to feel the same way about men dominating women. But I know from this column that, much to my puzzlement, a great many women enjoy being dominated by men, and I'm not going to shame them for that, even if in my mind it reinforces a gender dynamic I deplore. I can only hope the Doms in question treat their female subs -- and more importantly, every other woman they encounter -- with respect outside of the bedroom/dungeon, shrug and, as a well-spoken individual once said, FTWL the entire matter. Gay men servicing "straight" ones may be as much of an eye-rolling cliché for you as unicorn hunting is for me, but scolding those who find it "hot" seems futile.

Glad you are on the mend.

34

Strike that, Colleague 1 and Husband 1, obvious when I'd typed them!

35

A bi married guy in an open relationship who doesn't want to reciprocate a blowjob raises my eyebrows. I get the feeling that he's found a way of getting his dick sucked because wifey doesn't do it at home. CHOKED sounds like someone so use to getting used that he doesn't see the forest for the trees.

Ask the bi guy at the office if there's a way that you and he could get away for a weekend together. I bet the blood drains from his face.

As for your husband, tell that him that he needs to pull that shit somewhere else. And find some nice friends who won't use you.

36

I'm surprised that CHOKED's husband suddenly turning asexual after a decade together and five years of marriage didn't cause CHOKED, or Dan, to wonder if hubby might also be getting served at the office.

Honestly, the husband sounds like a manipulative asshat. CHOKED is not supportive of his asexuality? Pffft. Trying being supportive of CHOKED's gaiety.

I think Dan's advice is to continue the deception on the way out the door... with DFMFA being the real advice.

37

@36 P.S. I hope CHOKED is not on his knees eating dick at the office.

38

I hope Biden and the left finally wake up, and pack the supreme court before the Texiban law arrives on their desks.

39

@16 luluisme: You're most welcome. There is indeed a degree of truth to how one's luck and good fortune improve upon hitting the Lucky Numbers. :)

The luscious Lucky @69 Award is next. Good luck to all participating!
Tick...tick...tick....

@17 & @28 vennominon: I'm glad you're still with us and feeling better.

@22 BiDanFan:+1 BINGO and a Gold Star!

@38 fubar: +1 Agreed and seconded. Welcome back! You were missed.

40

fubar@38
"I hope Biden and the left finally wake up, and pack the supreme court..."

As a member of the left, I have little hope for that since from where I sit Joe is a centrist.

41

@40 curious2: However much President (how I LOVE being able to say that again without spitting up!) Joe Biden is, he is just as outraged by the Draconian Texiban law. What surprises me is that we have heard nothing from Vice President Kamala Harris, a former Senator of California, and a lawyer. I weep for women and adolescent girls everywhere who are in their reproductive years, and little girls from birth to preteen who have yet to experience their first menstrual periods.
I consider myself among the lucky cis women. After a full bilateral hysterectomy, I have zero chance of ever having to deal with an unwanted pregnancy getting rammed down my throat. My nieces, daughters of my high school besties, and millions of others--especially in Texas--are not so fortunate.
I agree with fubar @38: Come on, President Biden and Vice President Harris--time to step it up and push back against the RepubliKKKan Texiban. 2022 and worse yet, 2024 are just around the corner, and our ability to slow climate change can't wait any longer.

42

Venn @28: Now that I've deciphered your paragraph: "it would be as nice to consider straight-servicers as a case for FTWL as it would be to give the same designation to "love/honour/obey"-vowing wives." But these are different things. One's sexual desires don't necessarily reflect one's social beliefs. One cannot presume that a woman who calls her husband "Daddy" during playtime wishes to "obey" him in other aspects of their relationships, nor that a straightish man who likes receiving blowjobs from subby guys can't be a strong LGBT+ ally, and that was my point.

Bauhaus @35, hmm, maybe. But CHOKED is also using his colleague as a way to motivate him to end his marriage, or demand a renegotiation, and making him a party to cheating. CHOKED doesn't want a weekend away with his colleague, so why should he spoil this casual thing they're both enjoying for what it is?

Fubar @36: "I'm surprised that CHOKED's husband suddenly turning asexual after a decade together and five years of marriage didn't cause CHOKED, or Dan, to wonder if hubby might also be getting served at the office." What office? He's unemployed. Probably more accurate to wonder whether he is depressed.

Fubar @37, I believe they are, and suspect that's what Dan found hot.

43

Must take umbrage with the response to PENIS, which has a strong implication that men in heterosexual sex are responsible for women's orgasms. That's hooey. Everyone, male or female or whatever gender or non, should be generous in sex, and mutuality is ideal and sort of the point, but no one is responsible for anyone else's orgasm. Everyone is responsible for their own.

44

@1. Delta. Bravo!

[break]

Re CHOKED: the guy needs to ask himself the medium- to long-term questions. His husband said to him, 'don't do this ... don't have sex behind my back' and he did, he crossed the line and cheated (we can leave out discussion of whether the husband's request was reasonable--in the circumstances, it obviously wasn't--or whether non-recip counts as cheating--because it evidently does). CHOKED has cheated once, with a fair measure of justification, and will find it easier to do it again. What happens when he catches feelings for the guy he's fucking? When he finds something that might have a future, might become a primary relationship? His marriage has the potential to unspool far more messily than it has to, esp. with his husband's financial dependence.

Does CHOKED want to stay married companionately to his supposedly now-ace husband (whatever his sex life is like) or would he rather split up lovingly and respectfully and pursue a new relationship with another guy? Even before their needing to have a better focused and framed discussion, this is the question the lw needs to ask himself. What are his feelings for his husband? There's obligation in the letter, very much so ... but does he like him? Enjoy his company? Do they have their little rituals that would survive without the sex and which he would grievously miss? How workable is the marriage likely to be when he's deeply emotionally involved with another man? (Often, I think, spouses think the marriage will be more workable, more something both partners will want to be in and will fight for, than is in fact the case when either starts to move on...).

In having the conversation about how he can open their marriage, he should try not to be get tripped up by how he's actually already cheated. He shouldn't be dishonest but should try to spare his husband's feelings (maybe sparing him the details). He can say that he has not explored an emotionally available relationship with another guy. If he's pressed further, he should say he's had sex with someone else, and if pushed even further, spill--say what he's said here. The issue is whether his husband allows extramural, and then on what terms (because if sexlessness within the marriage is unacceptable to CHOKED he should have left himself; he should have made himself clear and calmly and respectfully instigated divorce).

I sort-of feel that the lw is ducking the real questions because he's getting himself wound up by a concocted moral dilemma about a string of backroom blowjobs.

A side note is that there seems to be something 'off' and appropriative in the husband now calling himself 'asexual'. Yes, one can have been sexual and can become asexual; but 'not feeling like sex right now', with the partner you have, or in the situation you're in, does not you asexual make. Has the lw's husband not ever taken pleasure in sex; has he only had sex to please him, without emotional involvement or a feeling of personal investment e.g. in sex with the guy he loves being part of his story? Surely CHOKED would have said something about this. Either he's emotionally inattentive to his husband, and unmindful of their past in a really major way (unlikely), or his husband is using the word 'asexual' to mask some other problem, or to fob CHOKED off.

45

Re the other two letters concerning the soft het lovers: good answers from Dan. The Orgasm Gap is a real issue in PIV sex. Most men (which doesn't mean 'all'; doesn't mean that many men aren't liable to the occasional instance of softness) should in the standard case think more about their partner's satisfaction and orgasm than about achieving their own gratification.

46

@43. rockyboy. Men can have sex with women in such a way as will lead to their having an orgasm and the woman not. That's how many men have sex--and have been taught to understand sex. Very often, mean take the lead in fucking--indicate the procedures and positions. Women follow--and have been socialised to follow in this, and to defer to men more generally. Your implication may be that women not getting (a parity of) orgasms in het sex should advocate for themselves more effectively; but it isn't also possible, even in non-abusive relationships. We are talking brute issues of power here. The norm of women deferring to men, to men's greater physical strength and cultural authority, is not going to be challenged in the bedroom first (it's more likely to be challenged in the bedroom last).

47

@8. larrystone. Because the person in Mr CHOKED's position supposes that sex and romance for his husband are intertwined--that if CHOKED has sex with someone else, he will fall for them, and leave the marriage...? But of course the husband's insistence on faithfulness and celibacy is unreasonable.

@17. venn. I think it's only that the lw has to find the sex hot to go through with it on such meager terms (no-recip) and in an unpropitious and heavily aversive situation (with a work colleague and in a toilet cubicle in the workplace--not a home, not a Schrager hotel). Sure, some guys find these things hot in themselves, but I don't think the lw is one of them.

48

@31. Guts "...so asexual and so selfish'. You are conflating two entirely different things. Different in category, too--a sexual orientation and a description of a set of behaviors. Aces are not generally selfish. It's not selfish to refuse sex. Aces do not generally have relationships where the ground rules are selfish or benefit them more than their partners (ace or non-ace). I think Mr CHOKED is depressed and then flailing or inarticulate. It's unfortunate he's hit on the wrong term, 'asexual', to mean unhappy and not in any kind of mental state to have sex.

The 'if it means so much to you' comment is certainly that of someone who's unhappy and has lost any sense of perspective. One uses the term about something that is not socially acceptable or that has a very limited currency, like a niche kink or personal hang-up (smells of cooking in the house, praying for four hours a day, scheduling contact with family members three months in advance are all top-of-the-head examples). Sex, which is an absolutely central expectation in a marriage, is not an 'if it means so much to you' topic; and the husband knows this--it's the sort of thing you say in desperation. CHOKED should try to care for his husband to one side of worrying whether his sex-on-the-side meets a moral smell test.

49

Harriet @44, one thing I noticed about this letter was that it was missing the usual "he's a great guy but... / Our relationship is perfect except..." disclaimers. Indeed, CHOKED should ask himself: How DOES he feel about his husband? Does he get enough joy from the relationship to even try to pursue a companionate, DADT relationship, or would it be better to just walk? Mr CHOKED is unemployed, but surely the law works the same with same-sex couples as it does with opposite-sex ones, meaning he might be on the hook for alimony (which would solve the problem of leaving his future ex-husband with no means of support). Not if, but when, he revisits the question of opening their relationship, he should google lawyers first, just in case his proposal is rejected and his husband already has a lawyer -- and/or a private investigator -- on standby.

50

@12. Nope. Incorrect. 2/3 of Latino voters identify with the Democratic Party. They aren't as monolithic as African American voters but they are solidly Dem. This is especially true of younger voters, who are expanding in TX.

51

@12: From Wikipedia:

"Analysis of the 2006-2008 Gallup Values and Beliefs surveys indicates that 40% of Catholics consider abortion "morally acceptable", a result that is roughly equivalent to the 41% of non-Catholics holding the same view.[37] According to 1995 survey by Lake Research and Tarrance Group, 64% of U.S. Catholics say they disapprove of the statement that "abortion is morally wrong in every case".[38] According to 2016 survey by Pew Research Center, 51% of U.S. Catholics say that "having an abortion is morally wrong".[39] According to Marist College Institute for Public Opinion's survey released in 2008, 36% of practising Catholics, defined as those who attend church at least twice a month, consider themselves "pro-choice"; while 65% of non-practicing Catholics considers themselves "pro-choice", 76% of them says that "abortion should be significantly restricted".[40] According to the National Catholic Reporter, some 58% of American Catholic women feel that they do not have to follow the abortion teaching of their bishop.[41]"

52

nocute@51
Thank you very much for that helpful data. It is interesting and somewhat encouraging.

53

Since when is being pouty and saying no to sex a sexual identity?

54

I think Mr. Choked is being selfish. I don't know how anyone can possibly not feel that way. As others have suggested, he might feel anxious about being unemployed and is resorting to putting his foot down on sex in an effort to feel less powerless.

I think it is selfish to enter into a relationship and then years later announce oneself to be asexual is selfish, not everyone agrees.

Some people are saying that men are often inattentive to women's sexual pleasure. Others respond that women should be more vocal about their sexual needs. Others respond that this can be dangerous or men just won't care.

Sure, but women are most likely to encounter men like that when they hookup with men they just met and have little emotional skin in the game. If a woman picks up a man in a bar, hooks up with him, and he steals something from her apartment, that really sucks, but meh, yes I can believe a random guy did that, and I can believe that a random guy is apathetic toward the woman's pleasure. This is especially true since if a man get picked up in a bar, that probably happens frequently so he doesn't really care about her pleasure. Most men can't reasonably expect that to happen, but they would care more about her pleasure. Yes, a husband of 10 years might balk if the wife tells him how he can better attend to her sexual needs.

Also, sometimes women can be incredibly blunt about telling men about their sexual needs. Remember in "Knocked Up" when Seth Rogan is fumbling with the condom and Katherine Heigl says, "OMFG JUST PUT IT IN ALREADY!!!" That has happened to me before. Or women barking out other commands in a manner I cannot possibly believe they would accept from a man. I will no longer allow myself to be ordered around like that.

55

@24 " I would ask CHOKED why he would want to stay with a man whose character level is subterranean."
Remember 74 million people wanted such a man as POTUS, and one woman is staying with said man for unknown reasons.
Vis a vis the SCOTUS, one should never take the former guy's insane ramblings as reasonable advice, however I do hope his appointees remember what he said about potential Clinton appointees.

56

Who is getting hungry for this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors?
Tick...tick...tick....

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@55: Given that we're in Savage Love and not a Slog PM or AM, the reasons are that Melania and Donald have a son together and she still cares for Donald.

58

@54. Guts. What's selfish is the husband in this situation not proposing dadt (or something like it) for when lockdown eases. It's not selfish for the husband to say 'no' to marital sex. He's not obliged to have sex.

@49. Bi. I think CHOKED is exasperated with his husband for not going out and getting a job and then for not fucking him. He does not really accept that his husband is ace. The communication between them has been bad or sour for some time, it seems. Mr CHOKED has not said anything like, 'look, I'm in no state to have sex with you right now. I don't know where my head's at. I'm depressed and have no self-belief. But you go ahead and have emotionally empty sex while I try to get myself on my feet again'. Had he said something like that, there would be no letter; and CHOKED would probably be worrying about and trying to do something for his husband's poor mental health. (I don't know how close to the real world this alternative world where Mr CHOKED offers the concession is--i.e. how likely it is for him psychologically, or in the context of how they care for and relate to each other).

'Have sex if it's so important to you!' is something that the partner of a sexual person only says in desperation, says knowing they will sound petulant and silly. 'Spend two hours a night on the phone with your mother if it's important to you...', 'meet your ex for gossip, hearts-to-hearts and flirting two or three times a week if it's so important': sure, a partner can say those things and frame a credible ultimatum; it should be apparent to the person who wants to do them that they're not being reasonable in the context of a relationship. But sex per se.... Really, I guess, the moment someone decides they want to call themselves ace and are in a relationship with a premiss of sex, they need to out themselves to their partner or spouse, and ask whether their partner wants the relationship to be dissolved e.g. in its legal form. It can end amicably; but the boot is perhaps on the sexual person's foot in deciding what to do.

There has been no real discussion of 'what do asexual people do when they find themselves in a sexual relationship?', which I would take as an indication that very few, ace or not, think that Mr CHOKED actually has that orientation. It would be better for everyone if he could face his problems without using that term.

59

I would like to report that as a man, I too require oral sex in order to orgasm.

60

BDF, "I think the standard maybe shouldn't be, "Everyone should come during sex," but "Everyone who wants to come during sex should.""
Golden awesome perfect response to HARDON and PENIS and SIT. I think it's GGG to ask if a partner wants something else if they haven't come yet. No need to freak out or take it personally or assume they are lying if they say the orgasmless sex is fine, or they want to stop before coming.

Rockyboy, "no one is responsible for anyone else's orgasm. Everyone is responsible for their own."
The point is that everyone is responsible for being GGG. Everyone is responsible for a "good-faith effort" to get their partner off. If your partner doesn't come when you have done your GGG part trying to get them off, that is their responsibility. If they don't come and you haven't tried to get them off in good faith, the lack of GGG and their resultant lack of orgasm and good sex is your responsibility.

CHOKED - "You stayed... because he’s unemployed and you don’t wanna turn him out on the street during a pandemic."
I don't buy it. Requesting or demanding an open marriage is not the same as kicking out a spouse. Divorce doesn't even have to mean that you have to stop living together if you don't want. He could have said "I need sex, I'd really love if we could bring back the spark, an open marriage or a divorce would work instead, but even in the worst case I don't mind continuing to support you for a year or two until you get back on your feet."
Cheating is bad, mmkay? Supporting your mate does not buy the karma to cheat. Stop promising monogamy if you feel like cheating!

61

Also I think no-recip sex acts are fine so long as everyone agrees. If you get off and then you stop sex before your partner can come, that's supremely selfish, but some people might be turned on and agreeable to playing a servicing role, and that seems OK if everyone is agreed.

62

Phi @60, thank you!
Rockyboy's post bothered me as well. I think it's better to say that both partners are responsible for both partners' orgasms. Sure, we should know what gets us off and ask for that; we should not solely rely on the other person to read our mind. But to say, "Well, you're responsible for your own orgasm" conjures up images of a guy who thinks I should just masturbate if I didn't come during sex, while he rolls over and goes to sleep, or a pillow princess who ignores my obvious desire. Who's a better lover, someone who thinks it's my job to get myself off, or someone who wants to help me get off? My reaction to Rockyboy's post was, a partner with that attitude wouldn't be in my life, or my bed, very long.

Phi @61, agree with this too. CHOKED is clearly enjoying the arrangement, otherwise his letter would have been, "How do I get my sex buddy to reciprocate?" I'm reminded of the saying I first read here: "If a woman gives you a blowjob, she is doing you a favour; if a man gives you a blowjob, you are doing him a favour."

63

@CHOKED Let's break it down clean and simple. He took your marriage contract and changed it, and suggested you take action if the change is unacceptable, and for some reason you, for his sake accepted that change.

Your husband is an adult. He makes his own decisions. And he tried to force that decision on you, that you would have to leave him while making demands of you if you didn't. He can choose not to have sex with you, and that's his prerogative. So here's what you can say:

"A year ago, you fundamentally changed our relationship, and told me I had to accept it or leave. I didn't consider there was any other option at the time, and I thought I could suffer through your terms rather than toss you out on the street. But I can't. I recognize and support your identity as asexual but you don't recognize or support my identity as a sexual person. So while I would prefer to have sex with you, sexuality is part of my identity, and so I will be having sex. If you can't accept that, me respecting you not wanting to have sex while you accept me having sex with other people, you can divorce me."

The other stuff is irrelevant. You "cheated" him out of something he didn't want. But you lied to him to do it. Feel bad, don't feel bad, you don't need someone else to tell you how to feel. You have good reason to feel either way. But treating your husband as if you have to accept his terms or leave him without support is treating him like a child holding their breath to get their way. You'd be a shitty parent if you let a child control you that way, and you're a shitty partner if you let your husband control you that way. He makes his own decisions and is responsible for his own life, be responsible for your own.

64

@58 Harriet by the bulbrushes:

I think it is very selfish for a spouse to declare onself asexual and that means no sex for the sexual spouse. Sure, marital sex is not obligatory, but it is still selfish.

65

TheRob@63
"...you don't need someone else to tell you how to feel"

He shouldn't have needed that, but apparently he did.

Since he had to ask Dan. And apparently lacked the inner ethical compass (which optimally takes the form of an inner, guiding 'feeling') to tell him he should inform a husband who he made a significant promise to that that promise to him was no longer in effect.

66

Regarding CHOKED: "my husband informed me he wasn’t really interested in sex anymore. That was a year ago and we haven’t had sex since."

I have to say, I continue to find this attitude, that not actively desiring sex means one isn't going to do it any more, at all, ever, utterly fucking baffling. I'm not really interrested in my sister's holiday parties, but I go anyway because it brings someone I care about a lot of joy. I'm not really interrested in my young family members' "graduations" from grade school, but I show up because it matters to them. I don't really like washing dishes or cleaning countertops, but I do it so my housemates don't have to live in filth (or do extra work to pick up the slack from a free-riding asshole). And I'm not really interrested in my jaw muscles aching for a day or two, but on those occasions where it takes 40 minutes of strong licking and sucking to get my girlfriend off, I do it to bring her pleasure, because I care about her and want enjoyable orgasms to be a regular part of her life.

Doing things because of extrinsic motivation for another's benefit is part of social bonding and literally the only metric by which we can judge care for others, because we can't read minds (I was going to say it's an inherent part of caring, but someone COULD care but be unable to act; that said, without overt action, one's thoughts literally cannot matter to anyone but the person thinking them because actions are the only way to make others aware of the thoughts). Absent some kind of physical distress or real trauma - or an impractical routine investment of time and energy (if your sexual desires demand four hours of prep time, sex, and cleanup every couple days, that's not a reasonable ask of someone who's just not into it, compared to something like a quick blowjob or fingering before bed) - saying, "I'm not going to do this thing that brings you great pleasure any more, and also you can't do it without me," is tantamount to saying, "I really don't give a fuck about you."

"But John," one might respond, "are you saying people MUST have sex when they don't want to? Isn't that rape culture?" Nope, I'm saying it's shitty and indicative of a lack of caring to insist that a partner not have sex with oneself OR anyone else, just like it would be shitty to refuse to do one's share of housecleaning and also insist one's partner not hire a cleaning service because one feels bad about someone else cleaning one's house (I pick this analogy because people feeling bad about contracting out domestic labor is a very real phenomenon), leaving a partner with the options of hours of additional labor or living in filth.

I'm with Curious2 regarding marriage, though I also think that social contracts are necessarily reciprocal, so one party violating the contract nullifies it, meaning they no longer enjoy its protections (that's why, for example, violence in self defense is permissable: by violating the social contract prohibiting interpersonal violence, one loses the protection from interpersonal violence afforded by that contract; the right to sexual exclusivity afforded by a monogamous social contract comes with a responsibility to actually be a sexual partner). I still think honest communication is the better path than sneaking around; I don't think deception is a kindness in this case (as it might be with a spouse in hospice care). If you're forgoing honest communication, you're not really salvaging the non-sexual parts of the relationship, either, because clear communicaton is key to any intimate relationship.

Regarding the orgasm gap: when I have sex where only one person has an orgasm, it's always been because the person who didn't have one wants to stop, because the orgasm isn't worth the additional time or energy for whoever is calling it quits, me or my girlfriend. My current relationship does have a gendered orgasm gap - while I'm always willing and offer to put in the effort to get her off, and while it's sometimes me opting to stop without an orgasm when my girlfriend has had one, the general population 65%/95% split doesn't sound that far off from my specific relationahip's split. So perhaps, if that kind of split can and does persist in relationships where everyone is putting in good-faith effort, we've actually effectively addressed the systemic problem, with much of the remaining gap a function of women being less consistently interested in orgasms than men, as a population, and Dan can stop worrying so much about assholes taking his advice in bad faith.

@14 BDF: Your gendering of your hyperbole is unfortunate, because, while rape is predominantly a crime men/males perpetrate, it's a crime that women/females can and do also perpetrate, and the absurdity of the hyperbole is INCREASED by suggesting we jail all PEOPLE instead of simply all men.

@55 crazy cat dude: "unknown reasons" Unknown to whom? Not unknown to me - it's a mutual love of money, if not each other.

@61 Philophile: They're definitely okay - consent is the magic ingredient, not exact parity every time people have sex.

General note: savage.love has some poorly-functioning/missing design elements, especially on the Lovecast front. No separate pages for specific episodes (instead, that atrocious-to-me continuous scrolling feed style that has infected so much of website design), I have to request an e-mailed link or use a seperate app to access magnum episodes instead of having a(n optionally persistent) login (the FAQ suggests there is supposed to be a site login where one can view one's purchases, as with the old site, and see the magnum feed link, but clicking the only login option I can find just bounces me to a request for an e-mailed link), and there's no download option for the episodes (which was key for saving OTA bandwidth). Perhaps there are plans to add in these features, but the changeover should then have been delayed until they were actually ready; in its current state, the site is really not ready to go live. I'm not opposed to change or bringing Dan's content together in one place, but I am continually baffled by the approach of launching new websites or applications AND SIMULTANEOUSLY SHUTTING DOWN THE OLD ONES before getting everything working (this happened a year or two ago with the Firefox mobile browser, which is still a broken, incomplete mess compared to the discontinued version of the browser; has the entire tech field simply abandoned the concept of project management in the era of perpetual development?).

67

John @66, but female rapists can't get their victims pregnant, so we don't need to jail them to prevent abortions. Get it?

68

John @66 FTW. I fucking love this comment. Thank you.

69

@62: Better as:

If a woman gives you a blowjob, she is doing you a favour; if a man gives you a blowjob, you it's a win/win.

70

@67 & 23 but they can get themselves pregnant right? so they probably should be locked up just in case. Well, sure if all the men (and postpubescent boys, which is probably more relevant in the case of a pregnant rapist ) are locked up, then female rapists wouldn't have access to them. But conversely if all fertile women are locked up or otherwise strictly controlled the average man wouldn't have access to them so there would be no need to lockup the men to prevent abortions. Of course that doesn't stop rapes, but Abbot was just trying to deflect from how horrible it is to force a rape victim to give birth, he has no ability and little desire to take on the unwinnable task of actually preventing all rapes, he just want's to limit abortions (and not all of them either).

This raises the question of, for example, suing airlines for taking someone out of state for an abortion, since someone who has enough disposable income to contribute to Abbot or Republicans in general and still afford a plane ticket is certainly allowed to have an abortion. I'm guessing there are more limits on who can be sued, and the airlines and Uber drivers thing is hyperbole.

While there is some distance between "grab them by the pussy" and "stick your dick in their pussy", since Abbott worships the former, one has to question his dedication to preventing the latter.

71

sporty @ 54
"women barking out other commands in a manner I cannot possibly believe" sounds lovely.

72

@67 BiDanFan for the WIN! :)

@69 Raindrop: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Congrats to Raindrop on scoring this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors! Bask in your numeric glory found only here in Savage Love Land. :)

73

Crazy @70, of all the arguments I've heard in favour of keeping abortion safe and legal, "so those poor, undeserving female rapists can get abortions" is not one of them. If a woman rapes a man and gets pregnant, that might in fact be suitable punishment. I mean nine months is a long longer than most rapists get, right?
"he has no ability and little desire to take on the unwinnable task of actually preventing all rapes" -- exactly. It's bullshit, and that's why it's impossible to formulate a logical response to a bullshit proposal. So instead I formulated one that would make men think. Sadly, not enough thought "yes, that's ridiculous, we have no way of preventing every possible rape so we have to leave abortion as an option."

I don't know. It's too depressing, gallows humour is one of the few ways of responding. I despair for the women and other womb-havers of the state of Texas. Forced pregnancy is a war crime, and this has been imposed upon them by sanctimonious turds who will never be in that situation, and who will also refuse them free birth control, or health care while pregnant, or support while raising children as single mothers. I foresee Mexico having to build a wall to keep the women of Texas out.

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John@66
"I'm with Curious2 regarding marriage, though I also think that social contracts are necessarily reciprocal, so one party violating the contract nullifies it, meaning they no longer enjoy its protections (that's why, for example, violence in self defense is permissible: by violating the social contract prohibiting interpersonal violence, one loses the protection from interpersonal violence afforded by that contract; the right to sexual exclusivity afforded by a monogamous social contract comes with a responsibility to actually be a sexual partner). I still think honest communication is the better path than sneaking around..."

There are large problems with this, John.

For starters, you're mixing up the concept of "The Social Contract", with /a/ contract between people (that relates to their 'social' relationship).

"The Social Contract" is a grand implied compact one opts into by virtue of being in society. While I wouldn't be inclined to invoke that concept (I would I think always prefer to directly argue that the actions that violate it are inherently wrong), it is valid and useful as you say for example when encountering a stranger who does one violence. (In other words, I think it's a lot more real than ascribing mystical qualities to a marriage ceremony.)

However, "The Social Contract" is a spurious concept here, since these people are not strangers: CHOKED made an actual verbal promise (aka contract) to his ridiculous husband.

And if someone is going to withdraw a promise, the right thing to do is to inform the party one made it to.

The road you're trying to go down looks unethical to me. Yes, the promises were made in exchange for each other, but conflating them into one combined conceptual reciprocal promise in order to avoid communication of notification to someone you purportedly love, contrives with an unreality reminiscent of the mystical qualities of a marriage ceremony.

In other words, even if someone else broke an agreement with you, open your effing mouth and let them know that the result is that you are withdrawing your own promise too. To do otherwise is not integrity, is not honor, and is cowardly. (And to go on a tangent, it's even impotent: notification was CHOKED's one ethical card to play in negotiation of the matter.)

Now, if CHOKED embraces being a sleazeball, he would feel zero bad about that. But since he's asking, if he's got honor and integrity he would feel a non-zero amount of bad about that.

75

To digress about marriage. Prior to my marriage ceremony, we already had a monogamous relationship. I forget whether it was simply an implied unspoken one, but I don't think that mattered, it was clear. I don't think marriage in any way increased the degree to which we were bound by the (what very well could have been an unspoken) promise each made to each other, because those clear promises were already as binding as they could be, there was no additional degree of binding left for marriage to imbue onto those promises.

76

Sorry to be tardy to the party, bu the Fox just started a new job after 18 months of being "temporarily laid off" and I haven't had the time or bandwidth for commenting (which is not at all a bad thing).

I feel like there's quite a bit of info missing from CHOKED's letter. Specifically, I wonder about the state of affairs of their sex life before Mr. CHOKED unilaterally took sex off the table. I have a * really * hard time believing he just woke up one day and was like "that's it, I'm over sex" (not saying it's impossible, but difficult to believe there weren't some kind of warning signs). Has Mr. C been lukewarm about sex for a long time? Has CHOKED been badgering or otherwise less than sensitive in his asking for more sex from a lower libido partner? Notably too, Mr. C takes sex off the table about half a year into the pandemic, which has seen a lot of people's libido and sexual desire dry up. If Mr. C's unemployment status is directly linked to the pandemic, I don't think it would be a stretch to say that depression and other mental health symptoms are a factor in this situation.

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F.M.Fox@76
Congrats on the new job!! They're lucky to have you.

Good point about questioning his asexuality. I have resisted doing so, because while I have no reason to doubt that asexuality is a thing, as I've said many times before one should not accept it as the answer on face value right off the bat.

It could (as you say) be a symptom of a mental health issue.

Or of a med (particularly mental health meds). One should at least work with a therapist; and perhaps urge one's psychiatrist to experiment with one's meds/dosage (despite how difficult that can be; unfortunately mental health professionals don't give due priority to sexuality).

Yeah who knows (certainly not us) what was new. Maybe only his acceptance of longtime disinterest he'd felt he had to comply with. Or it could be that mental health issues not uncommonly pop up sometime in life, and his 37 is I think a common time for that.

But my money is on this:

"Mr. C takes sex off the table about half a year into the pandemic, which has seen a lot of people's libido and sexual desire dry up."

I think that any other bet would be foolish.

I should have gone there, but I value that I've somehow been able to avoid antagonizing asexuals so far with my view that the majority of them should first be urged to seek help to determine if they have a problem that keeps them from feeling there's any reason to.

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@76 fantastic_mrs_fox: Congratulations on your new job!! And how fortunate your new employers are to get you. What wonderful news.
I am hopeful that something wonderful as well as therapeutic will open up for me in the music industry soon. I believe you nailed it (although you were really referring to CHOKED's situation and not mine). I agree--job loss to many due to the pandemic has indeed wreaked havoc on those of us experiencing depression and mental health issues.
While my beloved VW, and at least my being able to still compose, score, arrange, and play music at home helps keep me buoyant, my continuing inability to perform in public as a wind musician has left me questioning my purpose. Where do my Love Beetle, instruments, tech gear and I fit anymore?
My landlord has been scratching his head (He and I are of the same generation; he's eight months older than I am) too about what a lot of people in our building seem to like in music lately. A lot of it is atonal, without any melody or harmony at all. Many singers reputed to be Grammy-winning material have no pitch anymore. So much of what is played on car stereos just sounds like background noise and / or is cranked up to sonic boom level. It's like if it isn't loud, obnoxious crap it's no good.

79

Curious and Griz - thank you so much for the congrats and kind words! I am completely stoked about it: the best pay and benefits I've ever had, getting back into my desired field after bowing out for a few years, and everyone at the new job has been so incredibly gracious and genuinely supportive. Feeling very hashtag grateful about the whole thing.

Curious @77, I'm not specifically saying that I'm calling Mr. C's asexuality into question, more that I'm feeling like the LW left out some very relevant information and context in his letter. Agree with BDF upthread that the almost-obligatory "we have a great relationship BUT/he's a wonderful guy and I love him so much BUT" is very notably missing. CHOKED sounds completely ready to leave his husband if it weren't for the fact that Mr. C is financially dependent on our LW atm. Mr. C's declaration that CHOKED should leave him "if sex is so important" to him sounds enormously passive aggressive. I get the feeling that there's quite a bit of resentment on both sides that (surprised!) isn't being communicated explicitly or effectively.

Mr. C sounds tired of meeting his husband's sexual needs for mystery reasons (depression/anxiety/psych meds? Just a lower libido person in general? Pandemic stress, especially being an unemployed pushing-40 person who's financially dependent on their spouse?); CHOKED is likely resentful that his husband is both financially dependent on him AND refusing to have sex AND is forbidding him to get those needs met elsewhere (I'm not * at all * saying that financially dependent partners "owe" their partners sex, but just appreciating how that dynamic could chap a person's ass over time).

CHOKED should have asked a year ago how he could find a way to get his sexual needs met while still being faithful to the marriage and his spouse, ie, how to outsource the sexual aspect which Mr. C insists he has zero interest in, while still reserving his time, emotions, and affection for Mr. C. If indeed CHOKED is still interested in preserving their marriage. Now he's retroactively asking Dan to grant him the almost always loathsome "what your partner doesn't know about your infidelity won't hurt 'em" hall pass. He needs to let his husband know how completely untenable this situation is for him and see if they can work toward a mutually agreeable arrangement, or if they need to part ways.

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@79 fantastic_mrs_fox: I am so happy for you!! All the very best in your new job. :)

81

@73 BiDanFan: I feel just as sick about the fate of women and girls in Texas as you are. I have friends living down there, particularly an old schoolmate of mine. We went to kindergarten through twelfth grade together, all the way to high school graduation.
She has relatives in Texas; her current husband is from the Lone Star State, and also has family there. My school friend and I both worry about her four grown daughters and my nieces, among many other younger women of childbearing age, whether they're married or not. They are understandably not fond of Greg Abbott, nor am I.

Who would ever have thought that the timing of my full bilateral hysterectomy done last summer, before COVID vaccines were yet available through the CDC---would prove to be so eerily fortuitous?

82

Ms Fan - Of course there are differences between straight-chasers and obedient wives, though the main point that it would be nice if they were both the sort of thing one could write off as a personal choice of merely a distasteful nature. I just chose two groups that have struck me as containing about an equal proportion of evangelists who try to generalize that preference. Sure, there are more obedient wives who are coerced into it, but the problematic ones are those trying to (re)make obey a unilateral universal. I'm not sure which does more damage; I am still working through all the ways that it's a gay disaster that Straight is the top MM porn category.

xxx

M?? Harriet - Were you around when the letter appeared from the straight LW with a close gay friend about how, both being not dating at the time, they devised this sort of unreciprocated oral arrangement that worked out happily for both of them, to the point that LW was hoping he wouldn't have to give up the arrangement when he started dating again? That would be my filet mignon standard; this letter still has the aura of Brussels sprouts (which I selected deliberately because I was recently able to sample them as prepared by the best cook among my acquaintance, one of my bridge players who teaches cooking and takes classes abroad; while they were the most palatable I have ever encountered, they were still very much Brussels sprouts). One could live on them and be grateful for getting what one needed without enjoying them much. That this LW isn't complaining or asking how to get MBOF to reciprocate I just put down to his main concern's being his lack of honesty with his husband. THe previous letter provided a strong example of my idea of straightriarchal socialization of gays in how Mr Savage's reply to the letter was that a future girlfriend might well not object to the continued UO, especially if she were allowed to watch or even participate - and the entire assembled company went along with Mr Savage's presumption that of course GNDF would be perfectly happy either way. It didn't occur to anyone else, even though LW mentioned what a bonding experience the UO had been for himself and GNDF, that GNDF might not want to continue the UO once LW had resumed his preferred sexual activities, let alone that GNDF might resume dating himself. LW chimed in to say that he and GNDF had discussed the issue, and implied that they'd agreed to conclude the UO once either of them began dating again.

As I have caught up on the podcasts, it was fascinating coming across Mr Savage's account of how he interrogated his attractions and got himself out of being attracted only to straight-acting/straight appearing types, even though he still participates in pushing that sort of socialization.

xxx

Ms Fan again - I'll grant my own bias here, as I defy any woman to be a greater favour provider than I was back in my time, when, as I have reported, it made me cramp. But that maxim sounds like a horrible way to socialize bi men if one wants to improve their MM (or at least MM-presenting) aspects of life - and perhaps not a help for their MF/FM, although that's your brief rather than mine and I shall defer to you there. And it's no way at all to socialize gays. I just hope that (after the identity goes temporarily extinct in perhaps twenty years or so) the next time the G reconstructs itself the straightriarchy will have been sufficiently damaged that this particular millstone will be greatly reduced. Of course we'll have others.

xxx

Skr Curious - True, Prue does openly break with Gideon, though she does stay on under largely the same terms, just no longer being as bound to him as "an apprentice, a wife or a dog". It is certainly consistent to say LW1 is on the high road should he inform H1that H1's new terms effectively cancel LW's promise and that H! can leave in light if that if he wishes.

xxx

Mrs Fox - YOur conclusion is fine; the question of the accuracy of the A is a red herring. It's how H1 is weaponizing it.

83

Mr. Venn@82
I am delighted to see your Comments have regained their vigor and character!

"I am still working through all the ways that it's a gay disaster that Straight is the top MM porn category."

Remember that porn is fantasy. The most popular straight guy erotica appears to involve incest, but that's not something anything but a tiny minority actually want IRL.

I remember a gay man LW who sought relationships with straight dudes. Obviously self-destructively counterproductive.

But for hookups, let alone for mere fantasy, maybe it's not about putting straight guys on a pedestal, but just that people like challenges.

"...Curious - True, Prue does openly break with Gideon, though she does stay on under largely the same terms, just no longer being as bound to him as "an apprentice, a wife or a dog"."

It is surpassingly delightful to see one's name followed by the word "True" and then a sentence mysterious to oneself.

"Mrs Fox - Your conclusion is fine; the question of the accuracy of the A is a red herring. It's how H1 is weaponizing it."

CHOKED husband is a condescending, passive-aggressive asshole and CHOKED should leave him, so it's true that the accuracy of the A is not relevant to CHOKED personally.

But it's not irrelevant to us. CHOKED and I both are not completely without compassion for H1. Having once benefitted greatly from some honest insight when I was dumped, I think the high road for CHOKED would be to combine the dumping with the insight that H1 ought to explore the accuracy of the A.

84

Being unemployed and financially dependent during all the pandemic stuff can also make people blue, wonder how the husband's daily routine has changed, how he feels about himself, is he getting exercise, sometimes depressed people feel bad about themselves, cant handle intimacy or dont feel good enough to fuck. He's sabotaging his own marriage, going to isolate himself, unless he's got a brain injury he knows it's not possible that both of them will never have sex again. Just saying the sex negotiations here sure that's something they got to do but probably it's a symptom not cause, the fix is to figure out why/how he's suddenly asexual, if there was true enthusiasm and pleasure before then what happened. Either way better for both of them if husband gets on his own feet as much as possible, even if they stay together, he's too young to just be dependent forever especially in an unstable relationship, the stress of "what's he going to do" wouldn't be hanging over them anymore, maybe loosen up his libido and his need to control. But how to do any of that? If I knew I'd be making the big bucks.

85

Congrats on your new job, Mrs Fox!

"it's a gay disaster that Straight is the top MM porn category."

It's no more or less disastrous, as Curious says, that incest is the top straight porn category. Like he said, this does not show that most straight men want to bang their sisters. I am happy to stand corrected, but I would guess that "lesbian" porn is the second most popular category for straight men, and that more straight women watch MM porn than MF porn. Why? The taboo factor. Like we all chided Dan about last week, porn should not be taken as a standard for what people really do, or really want to do. It makes sense that gay men would be more interested in watching "gay man seduces a straight man" storylines than "gay man seduces another gay man," because they could just hop on Grindr and make that happen in reality. I agree with Curious that seducing a straight man might seem like more of an achievement, which could be why it appeals. But it should not be taken as an indication of what real gay men want, any more than incest is what straight men want, or MMF threesomes are what straight women want, given that most of them are averse to dating bi men in real life.

86

BDF@85
Good point that porn preferences are driven by more than just the 'challenge' I noted WRT "Straight...MM porn", but also by taboo (including most definitely the "incest" category I noted; I surely didn't mean to imply that that was about challenge! Ick.).

"I would guess that "lesbian" porn is the second most popular category for straight men"

First, in the eyes of the testosterone-fueled beholders I bet this is more about challenge than taboo.

Second, while popular I don't think it's 2nd. The easiest place to sort is https://www.literotica.com/top/most-read-erotic-stories/, where determining 2nd is difficult because nearly * all * of the most-read stories are Incest! Other categories have tiny numbers (unfortunately for those of us who don't want to read Incest erotica).

Using a most-popular sort at https://www.pornhub.com/categories generates a very large list of tags, of which Lesbian is a big one, but not 2nd. Who knows what to make of which tags straight guys are watching though.

87

@64. Guts. It may be confused to use the term 'asexual' when you're making the choice to be celibate for a while, but no one is obliged to have sex. The problem this guy (the husband) has is in communicating that he needs to take a time-out from sex (if that's so), or that (since he really doesn't want it) his husband is free to pursue no-strings sex outside the marriage. Or there's been a failure of communicating, or in their being able to coordinate with each other, in their not drawing up a minimal schedule of maintenance sex.

Aces in sexual relationships mostly do have sex because it means something to their partners. That this couple--a self-declared ace and a sexual person--can't make it work for them probably suggests that the celibate husband isn't ace.

@82. venn. Maybe the unrecip oral's hot in the way that skirt is not lentils--that the lw is finally getting some sex. ('Skirt' was an unfortunate choice of meat there). I would think the lw hasn't gone beyond sucking off first and most prosaically because of the pandemic situation, and second because anything more personally invested would make him feel guiltier. And leaving a marriage is hard, and some part of him may still be hoping his husband will come round and open up to sex again.

I think there may be a gay attitude that 'dick is hot' that runs across the board, that absolves--that is--Mr Savage of being especially warmed by the idea of straight dick stealing or coddling. You don't have to convince me of straightriarchal socialization; I spent a lot of the late 80s and 90s kicking back against guys who told me something like, 'You're the kind of person that gives gays a bad name'. But my objection to the comment was not just that it abjected effeminacy and privileged the straight-appearing. By that time--certainly by the 90s--I could ask what it was that made gay men think I was of the same party as them--why did they not think I was trans or bigendered? (My habitual presentation was not securely or authoritatively of either gender). That is, I accepted that I was of the same party in being queer, but that was a political category and didn't have to do with going to the same hangouts (I went exclusively to gay male spaces for recreation) or sharing the same tastes. I think this is a conversation we've had before.

88

Harriet @87: "I would think the lw hasn't gone beyond sucking off ... because anything more personally invested would make him feel guiltier." This was my thought. The non-recip nature, the fact that he doesn't get naked, means there is still a limit to CHOKED's intimate contact with another; he is not fully "having an affair" like mutual sex would clearly be.

"I think there may be a gay attitude that 'dick is hot' that runs across the board, that absolves--that is--Mr Savage of being especially warmed by the idea of straight dick stealing or coddling." I agree with this too. The "hot" aspect isn't this gay-on-straight servicing dynamic which Venn abhors -- particularly as Colleague is not straight -- but the cocksucking itself. What gay man wouldn't find cocksucking hot? Or perhaps the hot bit is that these guys are getting nasty on the company dime, subverting capitalism one blowjob at a time.

89

BDF@88
"subverting capitalism one blowjob at a time"

I think that's what the album "Blows Against the Empire" was about.

90

I don't know though -- there is something about the way the sentence about the blowjob situation "He doesn't reciprocate, but I don't care," that kind of suggests to me that this lack of reciprocation isn't the LW's choice, but rather something that he's willing to put up with to get some form of dick. Maybe it's just poor word choice, but my initial reaction toward the co-worker was definitely negative.

91

My take on CHOKED's letter and predicament is that it is virtually identical to last week's from SHRINKS--which is practically the same as any number of letters that Dan gets.

How long the couple has been together; what the genders of the people involved are; the reasons why the lw doesn't want to end the relationship; whether or not the lw (or the other person) has cheated; what specific sexual acts took place and with whom; whether it's more demeaning to be a woman/wife or a gay man who non-reciprocally gives blow jobs to a straight man; whether or not the partner attempting to unilaterally end the other person's sex life is really asexual or thinks they are, or is using that as an irrefutable excuse to avoid having sex with their partner; whether or not the other partner is gay/lesbian or actually bi--all of these are extraneous.

The issue is that one person in the couple no longer wants to have sex with their partner. And they forbid the partner from having sex with anyone else. And generally they are the ones whom the decent partner is loath to leave.

There should be a readily-understood and often-cited cultural norm here: if one member of a couple no longer wants to have sex with their partner, then they either don't object to the partner getting sex elsewhere, or they leave the relationship. I know this won't happen. But it's always the same sense of entitlement: I don't want to do this thing, and so you can't do it, either.

93

Remember, folks, please don't feed the trolls.

94

@90 snowflake - honestly I never know how to feel about no recip oral. I'm biased on my own because I'm not crazy about sucking dick (blasphemy, I know) so the thought of giving a blowjob and getting nothing in return disgusts me. But to see Grindr tell it (and Craiglist personals when they were still a thing) it's one of the most common kinks out there for gay and bi guys. I can't tell from this letter if LW enjoys sucking dick enough that he genuinely doesn't mind the lack of reciprocation, or if he's just happy to have an outlet for his frustrated sexual energy.

@91 nocute - yep, got it in one.

95

John @66 I'm going to block quote you here to save you the trouble of scrolling. I've picked out the bits of your comments that piqued my interest...

"And I'm not really interrested in my jaw muscles aching for a day or two, but on those occasions where it takes 40 minutes of strong licking and sucking to get my girlfriend off, I do it to bring her pleasure, because I care about her and want enjoyable orgasms to be a regular part of her life."

Of all the times I've gone down on women in my life, the few times I can recall failing to bring them to orgasm were when too much alcohol was involved (I'm talking about my SO's here - consent was given...) And while I agree that if you don't have a good angle the jaw can tire, I've never had to toil away (strongly!) for anywhere NEAR 40 minutes! If you put in the right prep work and when you get there you actually know what you're doing - you should be able to help her to orgasm as quickly or as slowly as she wants. Sometimes it's nice to have a quickie and only spend a minute or two, other times (again with the correct positioning) my partners have wanted to go the edge and back quite a few times before we push the barrel over the falls as it were...

Of course as a vagina haver myself, I have a distinct advantage over men in that department, but I've heard from my straight and bisexual women friends that some men can become quite adept at the act.

Then you said this:

"Regarding the orgasm gap: when I have sex where only one person has an orgasm, it's always been because the person who didn't have one wants to stop, because the orgasm isn't worth the additional time or energy for whoever is calling it quits, me or my girlfriend. My current relationship does have a gendered orgasm gap - while I'm always willing and offer to put in the effort to get her off, and while it's sometimes me opting to stop without an orgasm when my girlfriend has had one, the general population 65%/95% split doesn't sound that far off from my specific relationahip's split. So perhaps, if that kind of split can and does persist in relationships where everyone is putting in good-faith effort, we've actually effectively addressed the systemic problem, with much of the remaining gap a function of women being less consistently interested in orgasms than men, as a population, and Dan can stop worrying so much about assholes taking his advice in bad faith."

So in your experience you have orgasms 95% of the time while your partner has one 65% of the time? That belies your use of the pronoun "one", if the "one" in your relationship is only "you" in 1 out of 20 encounters.

In my experience on the receiving end - if I sense frustration or the person tiring - I will let them off the hook so to speak and tell them that I don't really need them to finish, that the act itself was satisfying to me. If I'm on intimate terms with them, I'll let them know that I would rather "finish" with a vibrator or by my own hand. In a lesbian relationship there is generally no orgasm gap - especially in established sexual relationships.

I can't speak to DS relationships, but my guess is that women tend to defer their own pleasure in order to appease their partners. It isn't a matter of "being less consistently interested in orgasms".

96

Nocute @91: "The issue is that one person in the couple no longer wants to have sex with their partner. And they forbid the partner from having sex with anyone else."
That wasn't the issue with SHRINKS. In their case, one person in the couple no longer wanted to have sex with the other, was happy to allow their partner to have sex with others, but the partner refused to accept that the new terms precluded sex with the existing partner (and plus-ones to be determined). Not an analogous situation to the CHOKEDs'.

97

@BiDanFan #96: I see the two situations as more similar than not, but if you want to take SHRINKS out of that category of couple-with-a-problem, then sure, go ahead.

98

Presumably like me, you got an email hours ago that the new column is up at https://savage.love/savagelove/2021/09/13/hands-on/

But it's still not up at https://www.thestranger.com/authors/259/dan-savage

99

A new column is up here how.

100

Curious @98, but omg, it's not letting us comment?! I'm kind of freaking out.

Does this mean I get FIRKT and the hunsky? What say the all-powerful Griz??

101

foxy@100
Congrats on the hunsky!

It's only on the new site (to which I speculate they'll be moving commenting along with adding the new functionality promised after the recent survey, that no commenting is as yet available.

So I don't see why Griz would award you Firkt for commenting here in last week's thread when THIS weeks's thread has already been commented on at https://www.thestranger.com/savage-love/2021/09/14/61209399/savage-love/comments , but I wish you luck!

I sure don't need it, I believe I have become completely immune to luck.

102

Maybe we all have: maybe THAT is our 'herd immunity'.