WARTS: It’s a bit disconcerting that your boyfriend may have noticed the warts, and stopped pooch position as a result, but didn’t mention them. You might want to open the conversation by asking about that.
IRASEP: I agree 100% that your brother’s FinDom deserves an apology and acknowledgement, but I’d urge you to ask your brother’s permission first. After all, it’s his relationship, and his privacy that was violated. And then there’s the mother situation. At a minimum, she needs a timeout, and y’all need to set booby traps.
SICK: You should definitely talk with your husband about it, and be sure to include all the hypotheticals, no matter how unlikely. As Dan said: fraught. Remissions do happen, and his ex may live longer than a year. Your husband may catch stronger feelings, making her passing even more difficult. But yeah, quite a mitzvah, and definitely not a bad or crazy idea.
No comments on the excellent responses to the letters, but I just wanted to say how happy I was to see Dan (and then fubar) use the word mitzvah.
Welcome back, Mrs. Fox. If you look at last week's comments (I think on page 2), you'll see you were missed and worried about.
I will get around to formulating some worthwhile comments to these letters later, but wanted to give a shout out to Auntie Griz, Curious, and BDF for name-dropping me late last column. I took a bit of a hiatus. My new job (good on your memory, BDF) and getting the fox pups back into the swing of school is kicking my butt and leaving me with significantly less free time and leftover brain cells for commenting. But it felt good to be noticed and name-dropped. Y'all are awesome, and I do appreciate this corner of the online world.
So, not too terribly many years ago, I asked Planned Parenthood about an HPV vaccine and they scoffed and told me it was far too late as a sexually active adult person. I'm glad to see the tune has changed on this little aspect of the HPV debate (but a bit dismayed as well bc how many other people might have gotten the same message and continued being sexually active and HPV unvaccinated?).
The hpv vaccine was a bit frustrating for me. I tried to get it when it first came out but it wasn't available for my age range then. I knew friends who were able to arrange it off label, but my drs were not encouraging. A couple years later had a series of abnormal pap smears... Hpv. and had to get a small chunk of my cervix cut out. But they started making it for my age range at some point and I finished the last dose just before lockdown. I love vaccines.
Ms Cute - May one presume from your approval that the word was used correctly? I can see why you'd be pleased, though for me it always raises bad memories of having to listen to Dr Schlessinger on the radio.
My first thought about L1 (though this admittedly is VERY touristy) was that BF1 had probably given them to her and that she seems overly apologetic. At least this is one of those disclosures without much variation of reasonable responses; Mr Savage always seems to want to nail a scarlet AH/MF on disclosees.
Well done FD2. I wonder what B2 was doing with his $168,000 before the 240 tributes (of course nobody among assembled company needed to be supplied with any numbers) as well as how long "a while" has been. Taking a wild stab in the dark, I'll guess cocaine. The assembled company should feel free to offer improvements.
How much of a stretch is it to give LW3 a Gertrude Award? From her original snarky response and her seemingly unfounded assumption that the sex would be "hot" it's tempting to think that she'd derive as much benefit from the act as either of the main participants, even if it were just in the form of how saintly she would be portrayed in perpetuity as being. I'm not sure it's clear that X3 was a genuine "rival" but I am pleased with Mr Savage for pointing out that H3's consent matters.
If I'm crabbier than usual in the near future, perhaps some of it can be attributed to my new set of exercises for a problem in my left ear. I have to do them five times a day and usually feel quite queasy afterwards, which means I am doing them correctly. I suspect I'll never be well again, at least not to my own standards. I used to have such beautiful balance in my prime; once when a friend had a party game in which one had to balance on one leg while bending down and picking up an object (that was put lower and lower after each round) with one's teeth, I silenced questions about why I wasn't playing by picking it up from the floor in one try.
Has anyone else done the math on the findom and considered a career change?
SICK—please consider seeing a counselor and getting your husband to see a counselor.
Your friend (and his old flame) is devastatingly ill and it’s going to be an ugly, painful ride. All of you will have some deep, complicated emotions as Friend goes through her illness. If you can, build yourselves somewhere safe where you can process those emotions.
A comfort fling is one thing…but what if your spouse gets involved in intimate care? Or comfort care if/when she goes into hospice? There’s a very good chance that you will learn some things about yourself, he will learn about himself, etc that you wouldn’t otherwise have a reason to know. (Case in point: during the recent illness and death of their pet, I learned way more than I expected at what providing comfort care for my parents will entail, including that one parent will essentially abandon the work to me rather than do the bulk of care work themselves. It was a sobering lesson and it was only with a pet!)
Your offer for a hall pass is kind and generous. Take it up a level by taking the time to build a comfort and safety space for yourselves, too.
SICK should have gotten the name SAINT. They have a great marriage if she's confident enough to make that sort of offer.
I wonder if in addition to the points mentioned by fubar @ 2, venn @ 7 and slinky @ 9 it would be wise for Bat-Mitzvah wife to assure husband she does not expect anything in return, assuming this is indeed the case.
(Would such assurance be more in need in case a husband comes up with a similar offer to a wife whose old beau is terminally ill?)
Also, how would she react in case the husband offers her to go and do something sexual on her own, maybe not right now but a thank you rain check nevertheless?
(And will he accept her if-and-when assumed-extracurricular-experimentation to be equal with what may be deemed more like “humanitarian aid” on his side?
Will implementation of her offer inevitably lead to opening their marriage?
@1 fubar: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Major congratulations on scoring the hard-sought after FIRDT! Award THREE STRAIGHT WEEKS!! Savor the glory of your highly envied status as Numero Uno and bask in your riches. :)
@2 nocutename: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's SECNOD! Award honors and being among the first three commenters in this week's Savage Love comment thread! Bask in the glory of your numeric riches and savor your accolades. :)
@3 fantastic_mrs_fox: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Congratulations on hitting this week's THIRDT! numeric honors and being among the first three commenters in Savage Love: The Goodies comment thread. Savor your numeric honors and bask in the glory.
You were greatly missed last week! Welcome back! :)
SICK: I wish my rivals were more like you!
Pivot is such a great word. Concur with Dan, LW1. Disclose & watch his reaction.
WARTS: You are in your 40s! You grew up in the 80s, the age of AIDS! You don't use condoms because you have an IUD!? Really?? Good grief. Yes, it's likely you caught warts from this partner, who's as much of a coward/asshole as you are if he knew he had them and didn't tell you. In fairness, you might have caught them even if you were using condoms, because that's sadly how warts and herpes work. And indeed, he might be a carrier with no symptoms himself. But that doesn't excuse either of you fully grown adults for having unprotected sex, jeez. USE CONDOMS. GET TESTED. Have conversations! Act your age when it comes to sexual health!
IRASEP, damn, now I wish I'd taken the career path of financial planning findom.
SICK, what a lovely idea. And what a lovely person you are! That's made my day.
Fubar @1, congrats on the firdt! Agree with your advice to IRASEP - one family member has already violated Bro's privacy on this point, IRASEP shouldn't be the second to do so. And indeed, use some of that money to hire a data security expert. Though I'm glad Mom's already been punished by learning something she can never un-know.
Venn @7, what award can we come up with for you for tirelessly taking the "hot" out of everyone's fantasy sex? All fantasy sex is hot. Who would fantasise about crappy sex? SICK says, "If I had only one good year left, I would want some hot sex with someone who cared about me before I went." This seems reasonable; who would want their last year of life to be filled with mediocre or bad sex? SICK is putting herself in her possible future metamour's shoes, which is fantastic to see. If she gives her blessing, indeed, perhaps the sex won't be hot, but there's nothing SICK herself can do about that. And if Possible Future Metamour (PFM) has been as long-term single as the letter implies, she probably will find caring sex with her ex and longtime friend hot.
Thanks for your explanation and I'm sorry for your balance problems. Not that your comments were terribly balanced before. Ba-dum tish.
Slinky @9, thanks for the reminder that giving her blessing for a secondary relationship could be about much more than the sex. Though it seems Mr SICK is already filling much of this role for her, on a platonic basis. Indeed, if they become lovers too, Mr SICK will have deeper grief to deal with when PFM passes away. Grief counselling sounds like a good call.
CMD @11, good points. The letter read as if she's happy to be monogamous, that this offer is an act of kindness rather than a hint of wanting to not be monogamous generally, but you're right that she may, in spite of the way she feels now, grow resentful of time Mr SICK spends with PFM, or want some strange for herself. If she feels jealous, will she rescind her offer? What then? They should definitely do the work couples should do when opening their relationship, read good books, keep lines of communication open, etc. I don't think it's "inevitable" that this "humanitarian aid" situation, as you well put it, will lead to either of them wanting multiple partners going forward, but it is something to ponder.
Me @15, I guess it's possible they got tested early in their relationship. The standard STI tests don't include herpes or warts because these are so common. The tone of her letter suggested that they didn't even consider sexual health consequences beyond pregnancy, which just makes me boggle. I guess a lot of people are like this though, in spite of 35+ years of safer sex public service messages. SMH.
LW2; your mother is very intrusive, and she emailed the Fin-Dom? Your poor brother. Hope their
relationship weathered that grossly inappropriate behaviour by your mother. I got one word for her. Boundaries.
LW3; that is a lovely idea, even if the other two don’t share the fantasy, it can sometimes be hard to go back,
It’s your generosity of spirit that matters here & will aid this woman on her path.
Setup of Lw2 had me expecting the worst, but enjoyed the heartwarming twist ending. Such a rare thing in advice column letters. Normally the surprise twists are depressing.
LW1: I feel for you- disclosing an STI is never going to be a fun task- but you must tell him, full stop. If you're still, after Dr. Park's advice and Dan's advice and the commentariat's advice, still feeling reticent for some reason, please imagine the situation in reverse: How would you feel if your partner had an active STI, never told you, and continued to expose you to it via unprotected sex, over and over? Would you feel respected, that they cared about you and your health? Could you trust this person going forward? Speaking of going forward, for the love of all that is holy and most of what is not, please use condoms, at least until you're both certified STI-free and come to some agreement of either monogamy or condoms only with other partners. You're a grown-up, you need to take care of your own self here.
CMD @11: I agree with you and BDF @16 that the "humanitarian aid" may lead the parties down unanticipated paths.
SICK is effectively suggesting opening her marriage, albeit in a dire circumstance, so they all should do their due diligence. When you open a door, there are usually more doors.
Mr. Venn raised a good point @7 that her original response was snarky. I don't think that was award worthy, and SICK processed her feelings over two weeks, but she will need better skills and faster turnaround times when confronted with the reality of her husband engaging in a sexual relationship his ex: one or both of them becoming afflicted with NRE, mismatched time expectations, and so on. He may find himself in a caregiver, even quasi-husband role. So many feelings!
Ms Fan - Ah; I think we are like Marianne and Elinor Dashwood when Marianne considers an income of two thousand a year to be a competence while Elinor calls one thousand a year wealth. Which of us is which could go either way; I could claim to be Elinor for having fantasies more modest than yours, or Marianne for having higher standards for what counts as hot.
LW3 may well have private information that one or both of the others would like such interaction, but she hasn't supplied any beyond inviting the inference that her snap judgement was to disbelieve her husband's explanation. I'd presume she befriended X3 after forming an opinion that X3 no longer had any interest in H3 and likely that H3 no longer carried any significant fraction of a torch either. From X3's point of view, I'm torn. I've always been the sort who could easily see myself having sex with most of my friends or even exes, though the exes I'd least be likely to want were the ones I'd left (and X3 left H3), especially the ones whose spouses also became friends. Whether a year filled with cancer treatment counts as a "good" year is another matter.
The idea is a generous one if it's what the others both want, but I would hope for X3's sake that there are better candidates available with fewer strings, and that's even before considering H3's response.
Mr Bar - It is true that :W3 should consider very carefully what happens if X3 doesn't die on schedule.
Mx Wanna - Yes; if LW3 raises the idea, I wonder how H3 could turn it down without being made a villain. And he might feel played, as if LW3 were going to consider this some enormous gift to him so that she could demand something of her own. And yet she may well have to raise the idea herself. Oh, dear. It seems quite plausible that she may end up jockeying at least H3 and possibly X3 as well into playing along with her fantasy.
Between LW2 and LW3, kind of a Hallmark Movie edition of Savage Love. Not complaining.
Morgan @21, thank you for expressing that a bit more compassionately than I did! Hope WARTS takes note.
Venn @7 / Fubar @22, yes, the initial snarky reaction isn't surprising, as I'm sure SICK was caught off guard by her husband's disclosure, but could also indicate she's capable of more jealousy than she suspects. She clearly sees PFM as a charity case, rather than a person for whom Mr SICK could catch feelings. PFM perhaps does not want to be viewed as a charity case, or gratefully accept a year's worth of pity fucks. SICK should possibly give this more thought, and perhaps attend a polyamorous meetup or two prior to bringing this up with her husband, to gain the perspectives of people who have experience with the myriad feelings this is likely to stir up.
Venn @23, if Mr SICK turns down the hall pass, I don't think SICK will be disappointed. She gets to keep any brownie points she's bestowed on herself for being so generous, but not have to deal with the reality of any unforeseen emotions. If Mr SICK says he doesn't have any sexual feelings toward PFM, I reckon SICK will see that as a relief.
I'm surprised Dan knows from mitzvahs, but then he did say his first boyfriend in college was Jewish; kenahora!
The more I think about SICK's letter, the more I think she should hold back on the hall pass. And if she does make this offer, I hope her husband will have the wisdom to turn it down. It's a nice idea n'all, but between SICK's lack of experience with non-monogamy in general, and history of jealous feelings towards this woman in particular, I think the situation is simply too volatile to inflict on someone who's dealing with terminal cancer. Too many ways for this to go bad.
I'd advise both SICK and her husband to just focus on emotionally supporting this woman, without complicating things with sex. If SICK wants to do something generous, perhaps she could apologize to her husband for her snarky initial reaction, say she understands and appreciates him coming clean about the kiss, and then allow him as much time as he needs to spend with his friend/ex. And perhaps resolve in advance to forgive him if something more happens between them.
Margarita @27: "too volatile to inflict on someone who's dealing with terminal cancer."
Well said. Excellent point. Mortality and chemotherapy are a pair of bastards.
Sharing Is Caring, Kapiche?- assuming your friend is interested I’m moved to tears by your willingness to do what I think we would all most want in that moment. Don’t be surprised if it’s more complicated emotionally than you expect but don’t let that be a roadblock for this possibly happening either. Sending love to all of you during this devastating time
Can’t add much to the STD question except agree, LW1, this man may be avoiding you physically & not saying anything, because he fears he’s given it to you. Stop all sex, and talk with each other.
@1: Why would that be discounting considering how inherently awkward it would be? The onus is on her to disclose. It's doubt that she wouldn't have known about the warts.
Concurring with @29 AFriend12, I think we are mistaken to second-guess our generous impulses, and should go in with our eyes and minds open. Human feelings are rowdy things, and all involved should understand this could be a roller coaster on a gravel road, but if they are committed to that, and understand it could blow up in everybody's faces, that's no reason not to do it.
LW2: She seems to have made saving for retirement sexy. Can she do the same for taxes? Asking for a friend.
I'm glad Dan suggested that SICK's husband might not want to have sex with his long ago ex and that the sick friend might not want sex right now either. It's possible that what the dying friend wants now or will want in the future is a medical proxy, someone to intervene and speak for her with the medical staff, help making hard decisions about her care. She may need considerable financial help as final illnesses can break the bank, help finding and navigating with a lawyer as she makes a will, help hiring and instructing nursing care, help providing nursing care including cleaning up vomit, help getting her to the bathroom, help bathing her worsening body. There's also helping her navigate with her family relationships, meaning that even if all those old relationships are wonderful, she'll still need friends. I'm not suggesting that any 2 people take on responsibility for providing all of the above. I am suggesting that hot sex might be the last of the things on the friend's mind right now and that offering it is one of the easiest things someone could do for a friend, not the most generous.
SICK: Sending big cyber hugs, positrons, and VW beeps to you, your husband and his ex right now during these heartbreaking times. I agree with Dan, fubar, Lost Margarita, BiDanFan, and others. Discuss this with your husband and his ex first before giving out the hall pass. I have never had cancer or chemotherapy but his ex could understandably be overwhelmed right now and uncomfortable about having sex.Your selfless act of love, compassion and kindness, however, is an inspiration to us all. Bless you.
@35 Fichu: +1 Agreed and seconded. Well said and summarized. Having sex for the last time may likely be the last thing on SICK's husband's ex's mind.
SICK's letter brought to mind the excellent podcast/memoir "Dying For Sex." It profiles a terminally ill woman who decides to spend the period after her terminal diagnosis exploring her sexuality. In her case, she had a separate support system for all the serious caregiving stuff, and outsourced the sex to various FWBs, many of whom didn't even know she was ill. It is quite funny and poignant. SICK may want to take a listen.
I agree with those saying SICK's impulse is generous but that doesn't mean it's selfless or unproblematic. This NYT piece talks about a real woman (a writer) who donated a kidney to a stranger, and wrote about it on social media (to encourage others to consider doing so), and then a former writing buddy wrote a short story about the situation.
Without discussing it with the donor, the short-story writer made that character a self-absorbed narcissist, barging in to save the recipient's life and enjoy their gratitude: "White, wealthy and entitled, [the character] who gave Chuntao her kidney is not exactly an uncomplicated altruist: She is a stranger to her own impulses, unaware of how what she considers a selfless act also contains elements of intense, unbridled narcissism."
As Lost Margarita wrote @27 - "If SICK wants to do something generous, perhaps she could apologize to her husband for her snarky initial reaction, say she understands and appreciates him coming clean about the kiss, and then allow him as much time as he needs to spend with his friend/ex. And perhaps resolve in advance to forgive him if something more happens between them."
@39 EricaP: Agreed about your piece in the New York Times. Thank you for sharing.
What I saw in SICK's letter was a wife showing empathy toward her husband's dying former spouse rather than malice, offering a gesture of what she felt might bring some moments of joy between her spouse and his ex. Possibly SICK gave her letter a reread before she submitted it to Dan, realizing that she was indeed being snarky toward her husband, and considers her offer a gesture of atonement.
@15 BiDanFan: Agreed and seconded re WARTS. Good grief is right.
Margarita @27: Agree with EricaP @39 and Auntie G @40 that your solution sounds the best middle ground for the SICKs and their friend. If SICK is truly okay with the idea of compassionate sex, she might express this as, "I'm sorry I was snarky about your kiss with Ex. She needs us both right now. If physical affection is a comfort to her, you have my permission to follow her lead on what she may need from you." Margarita, might that express your beautifully worded conclusion?
Ens @38, I also had the thought that if what Ex wants is hot sex, FWBs or maybe even sex workers might be a better option than complicating their friendship by assigning Mr SICK to that role. Of course, Ex is an adult and perfectly capable of determining her own sexual needs, so they shouldn't give her sex worker vouchers or scope Tinder for her unless she brings it up.
BDF- Whatever venn’s reasons may be, he has a point that in SICK’s case Dan’s racing from zero to sainthood in 30 seconds doesn’t feel quite right. While the initial response would be racing indeed there are some potentially complicating points that need to be addressed in advance.
As for Dan’s familiarity and appreciation of Judiacity, I recall that some 20+ years ago there was a paragraph in the print edition describing being served a bagel baked with bacon bits while in a Portland, Oregon hospital, and contemplating the blasphemous, oxymoronish nature of such concoction.
Which leads me to the use of “mitsvah” in this case.
The original idea of bat-mitsvah and bar-mitsvah for girls and boys at the ages of 12 and 13 is ushering adulthood and telling kids they now have responsibilities. (It’s not about reciting something in a weird language and getting lots of presents.)
From a strict linguistic point the word is derived from a word meaning “ordering” or “obligation,” and stands for doing the right thing regardless of what one might think or initially want, like taking care of the sick and elderly.
The term may fit here in a somewhat perverted way, as it did take some turns over the years.
If SICK wants to go ahead with her proposal she should bring it up to the husband first and discuss the implications that such move will have on their own relationship. If husband would like to pursue it, they should both be in the room with the ex while presenting the idea, assuring her it is ok by all involved.
For some reason the situation reminds me of “The Theory of Flight”, a 1998 movie with Helena Bonham Carter as a terminally ill woman who wants to have sex before she dies, and Kenneth Branagh as her accidental caregiver who wants to fly like a bird.
"Mitzvah" has linguistic roots in a word meaning commandment. That's as in bar-mitzvah and bat mitzvah, literally son of the commandment and daughter of the commandment, respectively. As CMD correctly notes, adults in the community are required to follow the commandments, thus becoming a child of the commandment means a ceremony ushering a child into the responsibilities of adulthood. The word also goes back etymologically to words meaning justice and charity. Dan has used the word correctly in American English where it means good deed. Basically, adults are commanded to do good deeds, though not the particular one of giving hallpasses to husbands to have sex with dying exes.
They did kiss, so there is something there.
I agree with Margarita @27 & Fichu @35, now is not the time to be stirring up deep emotions of jealousy,
it’s the time for clear thinking and focused effort.
The impulse to push thru her own fears is generous, and shows empathy & compassion. If we were in the karate kid, it could be seen as a teachable moment & LW3 came thru.
I guess I'm a little confused.
So the "anal warts" lady knew, for a fact she had this STI and continued to have sex with her partner, yet now, she is allowed to take the moral high ground and judge his reaction to basically being lied to and exposed to a non-curable STI that he will have to disclose to all future potential partner's?
All that is assuming he didn't give her the STI, if they had anal, which is not disclosed.
The deepest-felt advice I'd have this week would be for SICK, which would be not to grant her husband a special dispensation to have a final affair (or at least have sex with) his ex. The reason for this is not that such a thing is wrong, or violates some standard like monogamy or their past agreements and the basis of their marriage. The reason is that SICK herself is not psychologically well-fitted, as far as her letter suggests to me, to grant that pass, or to live with the consequences of its being taken up (if it is).
I think she understands both that she is unusually (or just markedly) given to jealousy or protectiveness, and that this jealousy is not modish, and is not in tune with a Savagista or contemporary-ethics emphasis on being giving and imaginative in your love life. The better angel of her nature (contrary to the old restrictive ideas of Judeo-Christian marriage) is urging her to tell her husband to give her old rival, whom she vanquished (at least to some degree in her own mind) a good time. But I think this is something that she thinks she should do, not something that she glad-heartedly and genuinely unselfishly is moved to do. The way she discusses her erstwhile rival is crawling with wariness and defensiveness. Before getting together with her, she says, her husband was with a 'particular' person. A particular? There's nothing so unusual about this. He was with his previous partner, he was just with someone else. She immediately jumps to asking whether he also fucked his ex--a sick person--to 'distract her'. That's a very immoderate reaction. The ex's illness or treatment may have been at the forefront of her mind, not getting boned. It seems to me that it would be better for her to think that the close monogamous standard she has insisted on her marriage so far--which has worked--is a good one, and should hold for its duration.
Another thing that's missing from the letter, as I read it, is much genuine imaginative identification with her husband's ex. SICK believes, at some level, that she got the life that his ex could have had; and that, in many ways (including kids and marriage) it was a better life than the one EX got. But this has to be partly presumption. She doesn't know what the ex's life has been like internally. It's unlikely that she knows that much about EX's love-life (and HUSBAND may not know either). The idea that what EX wants now is a final fling with HUSBAND, or perhaps just a final Wings of the Dove-style fuck, may also be off the mark. She could have an idea of what her husband wants--but is this clear, too?; when he kisses EX, it may be in an overflow of romantic feeling, but his impulse may also be just to comfort her or to express a non-sexual love for her. Does EX want to have sex with HUSBAND? Would it exalt, or even distract, the last few months of her life to have a pity affair or pity fuck? My sense of an ordinary sense of self and of desert, and of an ordinary set of priorities for a sick person, is that someone probably wouldn't want this. And it's all 'crumbs from a rich woman's table'. SICK does not need to feel that she was in competition with EX and bested her, and consequently that she now owes her something. She owes her no more than friendship, compassion and some sort of care as EX prepares for her final journey. Anything more might be confusing.
George @46: Warts are not incurable. They're difficult to treat, but not impossible. And Doctor Internet says the virus is usually cleared within a few years.
Anal is not a prerequisite for passing along HPV. WARTS mentioned doggy style.
Regarding the letter from SICK, there's a big difference between a kiss (BTW, was it a passionate kiss? We don't know for sure from the LW). But I've been around friends with terminal illnesses, both cancer and AIDS. I also speak from my experience with chronic pain. Many times the person feels weak, tired, and in pain, and the last thing on our mind has been to have sex. A kiss can go a long way and doesn't require a lot of physical and/or psychic energy, but is very comforting in itself. And even if the friend needs the comfort of sex now, it's extremely likely the desire for it will taper off as the disease progresses. The primary question, what is best for the friend during the time she has left. Sex is an iffy situation based on the shared history they all have, but giving her the unconditional love and support of true friends will never leave anyone with possible regrets.
My thanks to the resident experts for elaborating on the M word.
Ms Erica's post reminds me of a mention I once saw about how some human groups don't consider benevolence a virtue; one may well feel kindly towards someone to whom one has been generous, but the recipient can often come to resent the ongoing presence of the benefactor and the according obligation of gratitude. Similarly, John Mortimer noted in one of his autobiographies that clients one got off on a serious charge wanted to forget one's existence.
As I've had a bad week, I'm not sure when I'll post next.
This is another reason I've been pretty quiet lately - by the time I have time to comment, I feel everything worth saying has been said.
Yikes on bikes that WARTS and her partner have not been relying on any STI protection. Last I checked, providers strongly caution uterus-havers against IUDs unless they are in a long-term monogamous relationship. The nature of an IUD seems like it would serve as a germ/bacteria/virus superhighway to one's internal reproductive organs. And George @46 has a very good catch: she's had the warts a while, gotten a diagnosis even, and still hasn't said anything to her partner she's still fucking.
Agreed with folks above who recommended that SICK slow all the way down. I think offering a hall pass (for this one specific person [who SICK is banking on not being alive in a year's time]) in this scenario is really misplaced. It's a massive backpedal from her initial reaction to her husband kissing this woman. I just feel like even putting that offer on the table would open a can of worms that none of them are really prepared to handle, not to mention enormously complicating things during an already deeply fraught time.
My advice to SICK would be to say only the first two sentences of your proposed script, and keep the third one to herself. Especially if, as you say, she would feel a sense of relief if Mr SICK firmly turned down the hall pass (which is the impression I’m getting, too). If she’s attracted to the idea of making this compassionate gesture, but feels conflicted and scared deep down, my advice would be: don’t do it. Don’t put it on the table and hope for the best, not in this situation. Even if she does feel “truly okay” about the idea of it, there’s no way of knowing how she will react when it does happen, and the signs in the letter are not good. My advice would be different, and more along the lines of Dan’s and slomopomo’s “go for it”, if even one of these two conditions applied: a) SICK had a good deal of experience with non-monogamy and already knew how to manage potentially intense feelings of jealousy and insecurity without drawing all of her partner’s emotional resources to herself, and/or b) the ex wasn’t terminally ill with a year to live.
As it is, I think the risk of the following scenario is pretty high: SICK gives her blessing, husband sleeps with ex, and the reality of it hits SICK like a ton of bricks. She tries to be OK about it, but she can’t help feeling awful. Her husband can see her struggle, and is torn. He wants to reassure his wife, and he wants to support his dying friend. There’s a good chance, here, that his wife’s feelings will take priority, and more of his time and emotional energy will be spent managing the situation at home than being around for the cancer-stricken ex. This leaves the ex with a big fat hole in her support network, and a load of unresolved drama to deal with in her last few months.
I hesitate about sharing this here, lest I get accused of projecting. But on the off-chance SICK is reading this comment section – I know what it’s like to be in a medical crisis, and have the emotional support offered, then yanked away from you because of a partner’s insecurity, and it sucks. My situation was way more mundane than SICK’s letter (no kissing or sexing with an ex, nothing terminal or aggressive), but I did have cancer, and my ex-turned-friend was initially an important person in my support bubble. Then he got into a new relationship, and his new partner was not comfortable with this friendship (she wasn’t a terrible controlling person, but she did feel insecure). She tried, he tried, we all tried, but it was awkward. So he became less available, and in the end kind of just… disappeared. It hurt. I cut ties and got over it eventually, but unlike the woman in this letter, I had plenty of time.
@7. Venn. How much of a stretch is it? Not a stretch at all. She wouldn't like what she's suggesting.
@11. CMD. I think implementing the idea in the long run could end their marriage, or at least the emotionally connected side of it, if she resents him for taking her suggestion up and he objects to her resentment.
@16. Bi. Sex between radiotherapy sessions, so hot! This response is almost ludicrously bien-pensant. SICK's offer is motivated by her guilt at being jealous (or at least at having been jealous in the past). It is also presumptuous to think that her husband's ex would be up for it. If you had three months of vigorous health left, what would you want--a holiday to e.g. India / wherever you wanted to go with someone new who wanted to be with you, or the consolation prize of the holiday with the guy you didn't get to marry, who successfully chose someone else?
Apropos @22 Fubar. Yes, this is much more realistic in scoping out what might happen as her husband becomes possibly the lover and almost certainly a carer.
@23. Venn. '...better candidates with fewer strings': yes, of course; you are making the essential points. I think we can see from the thread who has been bereaved, esp. of people in their age group.
@25. Bi. Ah, you're thinking a bit more about it now.
@27. Lost. Yes, exactly with the advice; '...history of jealousy', exactly. She does not owe this woman her husband. OK, maybe they were rivals in her mind--but for how long were they genuine rivals? Three months? Six months? For how long can a person genuinely be suspended between two romantic choices, with the likelihood that the person they choose will be their life-partner, and their being almost equally likely to choose either? It isn't longer than something like 3-6 months because people change as a result of their experiences. Stay with someone six months or so and you become attached to them, and their world (of habits, interests, tastes) becomes your world. You'd no longer find it as comfortable being with your partner's erstwhile rival, and, quite probably, this person would no longer jibe so well with you. His ex doesn't obviously want her husband now. Her supposing this, or her thinking that the ex carried a torch for him all these years (if SICK thinks this), are probably figments of her jealousy.
@50 vennominon: I am sorry that you're having a particularly challenging week. I hope all gets better soon. Thank you for checking in with Dan & all of us.
Sending cyber hugs, positrons, and VW beeps.
@51 fantastic_mrs_fox: Thank you for bringing to light why I haven't added a lot to the comment threads, lately. I agree that so much of what I would have posted usually has long been covered already by the time I'm ready to add to the thread.
However, once again, bravo and gold stars on making spot on contributions, nonetheless! :)
Who is hungrily salivating for this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors?
I hope Lost is safely in remission and that Jon is well and out of pain.
Harriet @55 thank you, these events took place a long time ago now. I've been in remission for well over a decade and don't really worry about it these days.
Jon@49, thank you for this perspective. I agree that a kiss under these circumstances is not necessarily an indicator of sexual desire. It can just be a spur-of-the-moment impulse to reach out and do something - anything! - to distract and comfort a friend in a time of great emotional upheaval or physical suffering.
Mrs. Fox @51: "...by the time I have time to comment, I feel everything worth saying has been said." Me too.
Margarita @52: Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad you had plenty of time.
Re: WARTS, something is seriously awry in her relationship or communication style, if she noticed STI symptoms TWO MONTHS AGO, quietly had the STI diagnosed and treated, continued having unprotected sex with her partner this whole time, and is now asking a sex advice columnist “do I need to tell my boyfriend?”. I try to imagine myself in this situation, and I find it mind-boggling. Has she been socialised to just let sex happen but never talk about it, because it’s dirty and private? In the throes of NRE and reluctant to “ruin the mood” with unsexy talk about sexual health? So subby she can’t have an assertive out-of-role conversation, even when its vital and time-sensitive? Or is she afraid of her boyfriend’s reaction, because he is an asshole?
@49 JonBaltz and @52 Lost Margarita: Thank you both for sharing your own personal experiences and perspectives. I know what it is like to be in constant pain.
Sending cyber hugs, positrons, and VW beeps to both of you
@55 Harriet_by_the_Bulrushes and @57 fubar: +2 Agreed and seconded.
George @46, yes, she is allowed to judge him on how he reacts to her disclosing something embarrassing. And he's allowed to judge her for taking as long as she did. (Re-read the letter though: She only went to the doctor TODAY. Prior to this, in her mind, they weren't an STI, they could have been anything. So there has been no deliberate withholding of information, provided that she does disclose now.) And they're both allowed to judge each other for not using condoms in the first place. I'm seeing two wrongs making a wrong here, and do you not think, due to the timing, that he's the one who gave her the warts in the first place? He can't assume he didn't, since most carriers of HPV are asymptomatic. If he assumes he can't have given them to her and can't muster any compassion for someone he's been with for five months, then yes, she should judge the hell out of him.
Jon @49, good point. Kisses and hugs may be the perfect way to comfort Ex; even suggesting sex may feel like pressure and complication for Ex. That's why I suggested SICK encourage her husband to follow Ex's lead, instead of specifically encourage him to have sex with her.
Sorry you've had a bad week, Venn @50 -- hope things improve.
Margarita @52, thanks for sharing your experience. Really good point that this could ruin what seems to be a very functional friendship among the three of them. Cuddle friends may be the optimal arrangement for them. It also occurred to me that SICK isn't feeling threatened by the idea of her husband being intimate with Ex because she has breast cancer, and stands to lose her breasts and hair -- the two most obvious markers of femininity. How could such a woman be a serious rival? (Particularly one who isn't going to be alive much longer.) Easy to make a generous gesture under these conditions. But I agree she may feel more jealousy than she foresees if they do go ahead with a sexual relationship, and you've convinced me, there's too much at risk to go there. If Ex does in fact want some hot sex before she goes, she can look for someone who's not a friend's husband.
Margarita @58, yes, indeed. I'm going with a combination of low self-esteem and limited understanding of sexual health; if both of these were better, she wouldn't have been relying on an IUD rather than require a new partner to use condoms. It's possible that when she noticed the warts, because they were in her anal area rather than her vulva, she didn't immediately think STI. "There's something kinda gross on my butt" isn't something any of us would relish saying to a brand-new partner. But yes, this can be a crash course for her in how to advocate for her sexual health better. It seems she may not have had many sexual partners -- oddly, the "sluttier" people are, the more likely they are to use condoms, with exceptions like the woman referenced in part 3A of this comment from last week: https://www.thestranger.com/savage-love/2021/10/12/61926712/savage-love/comments/124. WARTS clearly doesn't have STIs on her radar screen -- well, she does now, and I hope she changes her attitude and approach before she catches something worse.
"Re-read the letter though: She only went to the doctor TODAY. Prior to this, in her mind, they weren't an STI, they could have been anything. So there has been no deliberate withholding of information, provided that she does disclose now."
I dunno, I think the letter is ambiguous on that point. WARTS says:
"I noticed them about two months ago (near my b-hole) and went to the gyno today and had them treated."
Would she have been diagnosed and treated on the same day - is that normal for warts? Or was there some delay between going to the clinic, getting tested, then making a separate apointment to get the treatment? I don't have any experience with this STI, but I would guess that, in the UK, this process from initial appointment to treatment would take at least a week, probably more. Sexual healthcare in other countries may have a faster turaround time. I read the letter the same way as George: she got the warts treated today, but has known, or at least suspected what they were for some time before that. Maybe not though.
Margarita @61, yes, it is ambiguous. Even by UK standards, two months seems a long wait for an initial appointment. It's likely she just hoped they'd go away on their own, but still, how long would one wait for warts to clear up before getting them checked out? Perhaps she tried to treat them herself at home? With only that one sentence to go by, you're right, it's unclear exactly when she knew or strongly suspected she had genital warts. If she's the kind of person who is too timid to request condoms, it's plausible she'd be in denial about her malady for six weeks -- but also plausible that she'd know and be too embarrassed to bring up. However, even if she's an asshole (sorry) for not telling sooner, if he reacts badly she can still judge him for also being an asshole. Sometimes there is more than one bad guy per story.
@58. Lost. WARTS has only just learned that the warts are an STI--she went to the 'gyno' 'today'. Has it not crossed her mind that her boyfriend has given it to her? It seems hard to believe, but... ? I think she is in a 'Goodies' / good people-themed column because, with the likelihood of her new-ish partner giving her a sexually transmitted disease, she says nothing explicit about this, declining to speculate or blame. But it's possible that the 'goodie' contextualisation tips us into seeing her a certain way, and that she really hasn't connected the new lover and the unprotected sex. She could think e.g. 'of all the times a latent virus could pop up and bite me on the ass / pepper my ass [sorry, WARTS], this is the worst--when e.g. I've gotten over my awful exes and have found someone great'. It's also the case that the kind of sex she has isn't likely to grant her lover a view of her anus (she doesn't like cunnilingus but this still suggests to me, considering a five-month-long relationship, a limited range of foreplay and certain sexual hesitancy. Though people are different). WARTS, if you were the one who wrote 'really terrible', the situation isn't really terrible; it's perfectly normal--anal warts, pah. But you should change your nature enough to ask your partner whether he thinks he gave you the STI.
Further cringe upon re-reading WARTS' letter: the only reason she gives for considering disclosing her diagnoses is because she wants her partner to go down on her. Never mind the two months she was having sex with him with an active outbreak.
Yes, both the people in L1 seem kind of yucky, and the lw comes off particularly badly. I think if Mr. WARTS knowingly exposed WARTS to hpv and warts and if she is even for a minute considering not telling him that she has it/them and has exposed him, they're meant for each other. As Mr. Ven used to say: "Covenant marriage immediately!"
@Lost Margaritra and JonBalz, add me to the chorus of those grateful to hear that you're doing well and my wishes for continued good health.
I decided to get vaccinated against HPV when my marriage ended and I intended to rejoin the dating pool, and after a friend had died from cervical cancer. At the time, the AMA wasn't recommending the vaccine for people my age, and my insurance wouldn't cover it. The cost at the time was $200 per injection (to be vaccinated, one has to have the full series of three injections). Total came to $600 which was about $400 more than I really had. Somehow I scraped it together. Money well-spent in my opinion.
Yes mrs fox,@64 reading the fine print the LW is very remiss here, and needs to begin this conversation with her lover by apologising. Why would she have not thought of this before? Being ‘ subby,’
is that the new code word for inconsiderate.
LW; 2; Wake up please to the reality of STIs, and the etiquette involved re telling sexual partners. Like right away, that you have this recurring STI, and that you’ve just noticed it is active . The latter is not something you can now say to this man, because you’ve known for months.
After you’ve apologised for being so neglectful health wise, /do you watch your health? / then talk honestly with this man.
Given the sleuthing by those who know these things, he may have passed this into you. Which isn’t really the point, at this stage, because you have been tardy in reporting your symptoms to him.
Much as we women sometimes want to be princesses, our bodies continue to remind us these moments of fantasy are short lived. Flesh bone blood & warts, is what we are, & looking after our health & others’ health has to be on the radar, especially around sexual health.
Sorry that’s LW1.
LW2; lovely story except for mom. Please tell her to back off from interfering in her son’s life. He’s a grown man, her job is done. Unless he comes to her for advice & that isn’t likely to happen, given her behaviour.
Dan posts a Lovecast question on Facebook each week. This week:
I got another Friday Stumper for you...
A woman just built a house right next to a gay couple. Her 5-year-old's room offers a clear view of the neighbors' hot tub... complete with floating sex toys.
Should she tell the neighbors this?
Install some frosted glass in her daughter's window? Offer to build a gazebo?
What would you do? My answer on next week's #SavageLovecast!
@69 fubar: Unless someone else beats Griz to @70, I assume you're punting the luscioius Lucky @69 Award to me. If so, many thanks! :)
@70 (re @69): WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! As fubar has scored the hotly competed for FIRDT! honors three consecutive columns in a row, I , Grizelda, shall bask in the delectable glory of scoring the luscious Lucky @69 Award honors, acknowledging my disqualification from accepting The Big Hunsky (@100), The Double Whammy (@169) and all other future Lucky Numbers for this week's Savage Love column thread. :D
I feel an Otis Redding song might fit in, right about here.
Fubar @69, good question! I'm wondering what these "floating sex toys" are. Most dildoes would sink, wouldn't they? My first thought is could the five-year-old swap rooms with anyone else in the house? Second thought, invite the new neighbours round for tea and cake, then politely ask them to remove the toys from the tub and take them inside when they are not using it. Or don't they cover their hot tub, so rain and bugs don't get in?
Griz, congrats on the lucky number by proxy!
@72 LavaGirl: Which Otis Redding song did you have in mind? My favorite is Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay. That is indeed a classic. :D
@73 BiDanFan: Many thanks! I could use some good fortune right now.
Things are looking up---my latest score in the Stephen King series is taking shape, and Griz played all her instruments tonight. It's always good when I have a house full of music.
In celebrity news, Jeff Goldblum turned 69 yesterday. To celebrate I watched The Big Chill, complete with red wine and gluten free dark chocolate cake. :D
BDF @73 agreed re: floating sex toys and covering up the hot tub. It sounds like a "provocative" fake letter penned by a fundie rightwinger. What does the neighbours' sexual orientation have to do with anything? Oh, but of course it's always those filthy sex-crazed gays corrupting children and ruining nice family-friendly neighborhoods. I'm kinda shocked that Dan even posted this dross.
But OK, I'll bite...
In the UK these types of sightline issues would normally be addressed when you submit your building plans to the local council for planning permission. As a general rule, you will not be allowed to build or modify a house if your proposed layout intrudes on your neighbours' privacy by, say, overlooking a significant part of their garden. I understand that in the US and other countries planning control works differently, but for me the onus should still be on the person who built the new house to iron out these issues from their side, without inconveniencing the neighbours. So yes, ideally this woman should move her sprog to another room or build a fence or install half-frosted windows (it would be a shame for the kiddo to not be able to look out of the window, but Mom should have thought of this earlier in the build project). Of course, the neighbours might be amenable to making some changes from their side if she asks politely. But if she does approach them, she should definitely frame this as asking for a favour, rather than making demands. As a kinky homeowner, I know I wouldn't take kindly to a stranger telling me how to use my garden just because they've built their house with no concern for my privacy and now they find the view offensive.
Depending on the amount of space and light, this is a good “trellis and vine” situation, combined getting a frosted or stained glass window film. The house is a new build so perhaps they can add building a taller fence with latticework on top.
If the climate allows, passion fruit vines would do well here for a privacy screen with bonus beautiful flowers and tasty fruit to share with the couple next door. Kiwi berry for colder climates. In the southeastern US, domestic muscadine grapes.
Then frame the issue as being considerate of their hot tub and buy them a cover “to keep the leaves out,” and of course they can have any fruit on their side of the fence.
That's a weak-titty findom. Don't approve. If you are worried about domming someone into the poor house, just demand less money. No one's gonna cum making smart retirement decisions except Gerald McRainey.
SICK, this has disaster written all over it. Love your friend, love your husband, let your husband love his friend. But don't let him fuck her, or she won't be the only thing dead within a year.
My favourite too, Grizelda @74. That was a helpful song in my early teens. That and The Beatles, ‘ we can work it out.’
‘Love Man’ is great too & might fit with the pivot to the sex toys story.
Would a kid even know what they are? And what violence does this child see? Can parents screen life out for their kids? And why are sex toys in a hot tub? Do they clean said tub? Hygiene in water please.
Congratulations on the Lucky @69 Award, auntie grizelda!
BiDanFan @73: As a former hot tub owner myself, I was wondering why they'd leave it uncovered, not just because of rain and bugs, but to keep out bird poop and drowned critters. As for floating sex toys, I could only come up with inflatable dolls.
The detail of this being a new build had me scratching my head. As Margarita wrote @75, this should have come up during the planning process. One can only assume that the hot tub was not perceived to be a problem until the sex toys made an appearance.
In order to be able to see not only the neighbors' hot tub, but also what is floating IN the neighbors' tub, this room would have to be on the second floor.
So how many 5-year-olds would be able to identify sex toys they see floating in an uncovered hot tub (which is suspicious to me, too), from that distance and height AS sex toys?
None many, that's how many.
This is a fake/trolling letter if ever I've seen one.
No 5-year-old would recognize a butt plug as a butt plug or have any idea what it or any other sex toy was or could be used for, particularly if they saw it at a distance floating in a hot tub. Even a realistic dildo or fake vulva would probably not be recognizable, given that hopefully, a child that young hasn't seen an erect penis or an open vulva.
That said, if the person writing this letter is for real, the owners of the hot tub would be well advised to put up as much privacy screening as possible, because the neighbor is bat-shit.
I guess I am out of touch with reality. Are we really questioning LW1's partner's character, when the LW is literally trying to figure out a way to not tell their (unprotected) sex partner that they have an STD/STI?
Rules number one: Do not intentionally harm another human being. It's really not that fucking difficult. 🤦🏻♂️
@78 LavaGirl: Love Man! Ooo-I love that one, too! I'm always reminded of the late Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay was played in Top Gun. The Beatles' We Can Work It Out is a classic, too. I can't think of any Beatles albums I didn't like--I grew up listening to all of them through my older sibs. If I could pick just one Beatles album, for me it would be Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. :D
@79 fubar. Many thanks! And thank you for setting it up for me, too! :D
Lost Margarita @75, fubar @79, & nocutename @80 and @81: I am inclined to agree with the three of you regarding the hot tub letter. Eeesh, LW, put up some screening if not a fence, and where is the hot tub cover? My older sister and her husband have a hot tub in their backyard. They must have built it on or near a yellow jackets' nest, because there are swarms around their hot tub every August and September! No hygiene? Yuck--sounds like an episode from Jersey Shore.
And, like nocute says, I'm skeptical of any 5 year old's knowing what a dildo or butt plug was if seen at a distance floating in a neighbor's hot tub.
Batten down the hatches Dan and commenters in the Pacific Northwest, we're in for wind and rain! I'm not exactly sure about how severely stormy in Seattle & King County, but in Bellingham, the East San Juans, and Whatcom County the forecast is a high wind warning with heavy rain and winds up to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph through Tuesday. Monsoon season is here.
Meanwhile, lucky LavaGirl is getting ready for the welcome return of beach weather.
Speaking of lucky----who is excited about scoring this week's Big Hunsky (@100)?
Ethical FinDomness must be the new way to go, something like organic fair trade agriculture and renewable energy of the past only way more profitable.
If bro saved $120,000 by putting away $500 every time that means he gave Thoughtful Dom $200 240 times. That’s $48,000 before taxes.
CMD @85: Bro wasn't paying for investment advice. The amount he paid his findom was likely calibrated to maximize his gratification. He may have felt the entire $700 was a tribute.
fubar @ 86
My point was the $48,000 before taxes.
The timeline may prove a bit tricky though. I would assume that’s what Ethical FinDom got for herself over the course of four years or so, corresponding to the accumulative retirement sum. Yet bro must be going home once a year or more, considering his income and possible paid vacation time, and Mom had been known to be a snoopy piece of bowel movement all along.
Or maybe he got too vigilant over time, possibly suspiciously so to an ever suspecting know it all snoopy mom, daring a session while at her place and failing to lock his laptop right after which is how she got to see the accumulative sums.
I would also add that FinDom and other forms of commercial submissions are not that rare in the high paying circles. While high salaries may enable folks to realize it, the different services also serve as a letting go down time for those who live an otherwise ever-stressful, hyper-dominant life style.
Nocute @80 et al, yup, fake letter designed to provoke debate, and it worked, since there were over 1.1k comments on the Facebook post when I last checked.
Pab08 @82: Why yes, we are questioning the character of someone who's having sex without condoms, who probably GAVE LW1 the STI she's writing about, and whom she's reluctant to tell, for unspecified reasons. Questioning is just that, it's asking a question. In this case the question is, how is he likely to react when (not if) she discloses this information? We don't know the answer to this question because all we know about this guy is that he's not a fan of condoms. We don't know whether he knows he has HPV, as most people do not. And we don't know whether she's afraid to tell him because it's just an embarrassing thing to have to talk about or because he has a history of reacting badly to things. Both of these are possible so it wasn't wrong for Dan, or commenters, to mention them. In other words, we don't know whether Mr WARTS broke your Rule Number One. Not sure where the WTF is in that concept, have I misread your question?
Fubar @86, yes. Kind of like paying a Dom to make you clean your own house.
@82. Pab. Does this guy have multiple concurrent sexual partners? Did he catch an STI from one partner who is not the lw and give it to the lw? I don't know; and I don't think the lw knows. My idea would be that she should ask him.
Harriet @90, I reckon the answer to that is no. Or at least it's unlikely WARTS thinks the answer to that is anything but no. They've been banging five times a week for the last five months, which reads to me like a monogamous relationship. If she were to ask him now whether he's having sex with anyone else, it would come across as, "Are you cheating on me?" I mean I would hope that question would be asked before they stopped using condoms, but it doesn't seem as if they ever used condoms, which in most cases will mean the presumption of monogamy. I would leave "are you having sex with anyone else" out of the already sure-to-be-difficult "I have genital warts, and I think I may have caught them from you" conversation.
Ms Cute - It's amazing how slightly inaccurate we can be (it gives me a great mistrust of eyewitness testimony) with irrelevant details; I often find even with passages I know fairly well that I get something slightly off. It's actually Yesterday, hence CMY.
Between Call the Midwife and Grantchester (really someone at PBS might have shuffled the programming order a little and separated the two current seasons), I've been feeling rather battered lately.
@90 Harriet_by_the_Bulrushes and @91 BiDanFan: Agreed. WARTS' situation is indeed a difficult one. And five months into her supposedly monogamous relationship, she is also at risk for a possible unplanned pregnancy to boot by not using condoms on top of getting the HPV. I would hate to be in her shoes. It's awkward for all involved.
Letters like this one make me all the more grateful I'm so happily single and asexual.
@92 vennominon: I hope you're feeling better soon. Thank you for checking in.
@64 re @51 fantastic_mrs_fox: re WARTS: Yikes on Bikes is right!
Griz @93: IUDs are more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, and as a woman in her 40s she is in a period of declining fertility anyway. I don't think pregnancy is a serious risk for her. But indeed, anyone having PIV sex, even with birth control, needs to put more thought into what happens if pregnancy occurs even against formidable odds than these two have put into STI prevention.
@96 BiDanFan: Oops--my mistake. You're right. I had forgotten about the LW's mention of IUD use. An unexpected pregnancy on top of an HPV would exacerbate WARTS' current predicament.
Dan's latest Savage Love column, Do You Realize...? is up.
Meanwhile, this past week's Savage Love: The Goodies Big Hunsky (@100) winner IS........
The best way to avoid a psychological breakdown after experiencing or having to deal with infidelity is to make sure you are not just assuming your partner is cheating, don't say they are cheating until you have gathered proof of their act, confrontation without evidence is just unacceptable, i contacted (cyberexpositors at gmail dot com) when i was in the eye of the storm with my now Ex Wife, i saw all her mails, whatsapp messages, kik and even pictures she exchanged with her lover, but it was easier at the end really, having proof helps a lot.
I'm sad that it seems like the suggestion by our dear departing fantastic_mrs_fox@85 didn't achieve critical mass. But I didn't want to just give up and lose track of those departing.
So in hopes of either modelling a solution or sparking any other solution, I have implemented my suggestion @89 to create an (email) mailing list. I did so on Google Groups, but note that one does not need a google account to use a google groups mailing list. (Though @100 I provided some links advising how to create, and lock down the privacy settings, of a Gmail account.)
A mailing list works simply: it comes to your email Inbox, and you sent email to it that all subscribers get.
Obviously I think the mailing list should be run by someone everyone likes, such as fantastic_mrs_fox for example. I consider I.T. a sacred trust, and am trustworthy, so I am happy to have or to /not/ have any role that is desired (for example, I would be very happy to completely turn over all administration of and permissions on the list).
The name can always be changed, but the name "The Savage Lounge" is it's interim name.
I have made it:
So Join requests must be approved by the Admin(s).
So only Members can see and participate in the discussion.
So only the Admin(s) can see the member list.
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It is possible to make it impossible to find without the link, but then the /only/ way to join would be by emailing the Admin.
Other privacy options are available (and could be discussed by those who join or want to):
1) It can be restricted to "Adults Only"; and maybe we should, I don't know.
2) Emails to the mailing list can appear to only be from the Group (which I think means we'd have no idea who sent them); seems to me that this kinda spoils the idea of extending the community.
You might want to avoid making a YahooMail account, since they've had many breaches.
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