Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Lookalikes


LW sounds a bit queasy with the FWB thing; she will probably never sleep with a man again if she finds out that we always fantasize about other women when we are fucking. Even about women that DO NOT look anything like you.
Could be worse, LW. He could have accidentally called you "Donald."
Honey, you are giving away the milk without making him buy the cow;
perhaps you would prefer Bessie?
@3–Ha ha! Zing! Good one. How are the fifties these days, anyway? I keep meaning to visit...
Guys you bone on your Semester Abroad deserve a special page in your diary and not much more. LW doesn't want to feel "wanted" (she's wanted enough that he keeps fucking her, kind of a QED if you ask me), she wants to be desired and loved. You're gonna have to find someone else for that tho.
She just needs to call him Brad or, who are the young girls drooling over these days? Justin? Turnabout is fair play and all that.

Commie @3: You just called her a cow. And you talk about respecting women? Ahahahaha.

Speaking of second choices, why is this guy her first? She doesn't want to date him; she's not too keen of FWB situations; and this guy's just made a pretty heinous faux pas. She's 22, fun-loving and fresh meat. What's so special about this dude? I'm sure she has plenty more options. SC, respect yourself and go get a new lover. Someone who can remember your name.
Sportlandia: The fact that this probably-also-young man is fucking her doesn't prove that he wants her. It proves that he wants sex. In order to prove that he wants her specifically, he might start by remembering who it is he's currently fucking.
"I want both emotionless sex as a purely physical exercise and to be loved with sex as an expression of it."

Choose. Sorry kiddo, one excludes the other.
Some people just mess up names. Many people in my family do. I can't tell you how many times my grandmother cycled through all of my male cousins and the dog before she settled on 'philosophy_school_dropout' when addressing me. I know grandma liked me more than the dog. She fucking hated Sparky.

Also, you are really young, both in age & in how you are talking about all this. Just keep growing up and learning about yourself and others. And if FWB arrangements don't work for you (where you are unlikely to be loved/cherished or whatever)... cultural influences be damned... stop getting into them.
Common courtesy is to call your partner by the proper name during sex. It is openly disrespectful to use another. If like me you are terrible with names, don't use them.
Mountain out of a molehill department. Guy was high on some substance, fucking his relatively new squeeze and slipped up. Geez, I called my daughter by the dog’s name one time. Didn’t mean I loved the dog more than her. Shit happens.
Ha! @9 guess me and grandma have lost the same brain cells. I attribute my difficulties to way too many intense orgasms and a lifetime of snorting Clorox bleach.
That's what "Baby" was invented for.

Does saying another woman’s name mean a man isn’t into the woman he’s having sex with, not with certainty. I had a friend who was falling quite hard for a new girlfriend, and started to worry about calling her by the name of his ex whom he dated for many years. He hadn’t done it yet, but came close during sex several times. My advice to him was acknowledge it and move on. Sex can put some people into a weird headspace, where they free associate and make all sorts of connections and say all sorts of things. If you start of obsess that you’re going to say some forbidden word during sex, you’re going to utter it during sex.

In any event, I get the sense that this woman isn’t cut out for causal sex. Isn’t everyone having sex with a friend who would rather be partnered having sex with their (at best) second choice.
@3 "Why should he buy the cow when the milk is free?" "Why should she buy a pig just for a little sausage?"
Agreeing with BiDanFan. Dan has a valid point but that this guy did it twice makes me think she is the masturbation sleeve with his crush's face taped to it.

There are guys out there who will remember your damn name. Go find one and let him stew in his crush.
Jon-Erik Hexum...sigh. Sad, dreamy, tragic...
Did he call her Cyndy instead of Cindy?
> I don't have a desire to date this guy and he doesn't either.
But you want him to be into you. Just thought I should point that out.

> he made some passing excuse and kept going (we both were on substances)
...Ah. "substances." Of course. If those "substances" were any stronger than chocolate milk, I would be inclined to blame the "substances" before going all in on it being about him masturbating into you while dreaming of her. (Especially because you don't have a desire to date him and he doesn't either.) If this is going to bother you that much, maybe you had better only fuck him while sober from now on.

If the two of them are indeed "quite close," as you say, then of course her name is going to be closer to the top of his mind, because he's been using it a good long while longer than he's been using yours. Those burned-in neural pathways don't come cheap. As someone who has been called by the name of all three of my sisters in succession before getting to the right name (I'm male), and at least once by the name of the dog, by someone presumably very close to me with no excuse for not knowing my identity (my Dad), my take is that your fixation on the name thing is going to get you into a world of hurt if you let it. Especially when there are "substances" involved.
I was part of a group of four best friends from elementary to high school, and whenever two of the group spend a bit of time just with each other, we would occasionally address the other two with the wrong name, or sometimes we would cycle through all three names before saying the right one. It's just the mind trying to make patterns and habits out of things we do often - to simply our world for us - I think. This guy could be just used to saying the other girl's name because he talks to her often. I don't think he's pretending that you are her, LW, could be he's attracted to certain looks, is all. You're FWB, not dating or having a romantic relationship.

I think the more important thing is whether sex with him is enjoyable for you. Is he a good and generous lover? Is he concerned with your needs and pleasure as much as his own? If you're having a good time and are satisfied sexually, then continue. If the sex is not all that, then there are plenty of fish etc... Move on freely and enjoy your experience abroad fully. Oh, and use those substances judiciously.
DonnyK - but have you called a sex partner by your dogs or daughters name in flagrante? Try it and let us know how it goes.
The missing piece here is I don't hear that this guy apologized. I mean, c'mon. You'd feel mortified, abject apology required under any circumstances. He lacks basic manners and is making you feel bad, is the sex that good?
Avast - you get called by your sisters names during sex?
LW - if you do continue fucking this guy definitely use other people's names during sex. Like, multiple different guys per night.
@20 it's not because he talks to the other girl more often, it's that he jerks off to the other girl constantly, maybe exclusively. He clearly is in this for the look alike.
@1 that's sad. Maybe try having sex with people you're actually attracted to?
Nocute @13, Dammit. I was brushing my teeth when I read that (don't judge me) and I almost sprayed toothpaste all over the bathroom.

Thanks for the chuckle.

Annie: Listen, sweetheart, you shouldn't listen to what a woman says when she's in the throes of passion. They say the darndest things.
Nuke: Yeah, you said "Crash"!
Annie: Honey, would you rather I were making love to him using your name, or making love to you using his name?
@27 that is awesome.
Bull Durham, a movie every bit as quotable as The Princess Bride
I, too, have come dangerously close to calling a current partner by an ex's name -- not during sex, and while completely sober. I agree with the commenter who said don't use names. Far too easy for the wrong one to slip out, with disastrous consequences.

Slomo @27: An identical exchange happened in Drop Dead Fred! Guess this is pretty common, eh? ;)
I'm kind of disappointed that no one has volunteered who the current crop of teen heartthrobs is. Are we all that old? :)
Ms No @25: Thank you! I came up blank on a rejoinder to that. Sometimes, sure, but if you're always thinking of someone else instead of the person you're having sex with, what's the point of even having sex? Sad indeed.
No@21 ~ ..."have you called a sex partner by your dogs or daughters name in flagrante?"...
No, but I did call a lover by a past girlfriend's name once (and apologized profusely). When you've been with someone for 3-4 years and use their name a couple million times, it gets to be kind of automatic. Girlfriend = "Julie" or whatever, and takes a while to consciously totally replace that pattern with a new name. Especially don't hold people to the standards of "civilised" society when they're fucked up on "substances" (in case you didn't know, they tend to do and say stupid shit). If she talked to him about it when he was sober and he didn't say, "Whoa, sorry!" then she's got a mildly irritating fuck buddy, but hey. I'm guessing his mind isn't the part of his body she's primarily interested in.
@27, @29 re: Bull Durham...
Crash Davis: "Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. "
Late 80s Dan had similar taste in men as late 80s me.
@13 Exactly! Always worked for me in the day. Still does after 33 years of marriage 😉
@27. Dammit! I was planning to post the exact same thing
@34 That quote still makes me swoon EVERY. DAMN. TIME.
CUNT @37: That was so lame I'm not even going to bother to report it as abuse. I didn't know The Stranger let 12-year-olds have accounts, you learn something new every day.
@ 17 - Yes, Jon-Erik Hexum, such a sad waste :( Loved Voyagers, it was like an 80s trans-Atlantic Doctor Who, if The Doctor was hot. Also, love a bit of pop history nerdage.
Full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. (not being condescending or sarcastic). SC you are 22, studying abroad, and hooked up with some dude while traveling. This is a short term dalliance, nothing more, that has absolutely no future unless you planned on living abroad (and were interested in a relationship which you aren't). You even state that neither of you has any interest in anything more than (casual? infrequent?) hooking up. Why all the drama, if the sex is good or great, just lay back, sit up, stand up or whatever your favorite sex positions and practices and enjoy it. You will in all likelihood never see this guy again when you go home. Take all this angst and channel all of the time and energy you are expending and put it into your studies. This is just a distraction. If it bothers you that much, then just move on. You have issues with FWB relationships, so avoid FWB or get therapy for your issues. You seem to develop (probably unconscious) expectations or needs that are unrealistic/unsuited for any FWB relationship.
@15. Tachycardia. Ha! Well done.

I think the letter is deserving of the long, thoughtful response Dan gave it. The LW is nearer the beginning than the end of, hopefully, a lifetime of happy, exploratory sex, whether with FWBs, with a partner 'in a relationship' or in multiple friendships/relationships who can tell. (She may start looking for a more substantial relationship when she gets back from her term abroad). The thing to say to her, for me, is 'YES, you absolutely can speak up to your lover in exactly the terms you used in your letter'; you CAN say, with the greatest explicitness you can muster (and are comfortable with), 'you know, in the height of sex, you called out X's name? It made me feel uncomfortable; it made me feel you didn't want me for myself'. Now, however casual the relation between them, this puts the onus on the guy to respond with kindness. Saying words like these is not immoderate; it doesn't reveal too much of herself, it doesn't show she's hung up on some prettier (or less pretty) frenemy. There's no need to get involved in how much of a biggie it was for some date to come out with the wrong name. Being able to say this is good relationship hygiene and good relationship self-love.
@34. Donny. Well I thought The Volcano Lover was quite good. It didn't strike me as the kind of novel one would lazily expect Susan Sontag to write. Then what do I know about Susan Sontag?
This letter writer is worried that her request will come across as clingy to someone she isn’t dating and it will seem like she is getting hung up on something insignificant. But calling someone the correct name is just basic human decency, especially during sex. This isn’t an unreasonable request and I’m worried she won’t speak up to protect his ego, or because she feels she has no right to be upset since they are only FWB.

I think she should just tell her FWB how it is making her feel, while being understanding of his mistake. Communication is always the key in any relationship, doesn’t matter if it’s a FWB or longterm partner. I’m surprised she didn’t bring it up the second time it happened.

The fact that this has happened more than once and seems to be about a crush would make anyone feel unwanted, regardless if she wants to date him. I believe she just wants to know that he is having sex with her because he enjoys their sexual encounters — and isn’t imagining he is having them with someone else. Even if he is daydreaming about another woman, he should keep it to himself and work harder to respect the person that he IS having sex with.
Nah, I bet the LW is overthinking here. Some people just get names stuck on the tips of their tongue and say the ones they are used to saying. I called my husband "grandma" once- shouted it from the kitchen as I was preparing his plate. We'd been spending a lot of time with family. Done it likewise with tons of other names, including family members, but that was the funniest. Called him the name of our dog before too, and vice versa called my dog his name. Imagine the fun an over-thinker could have with that, but the truth is I'm just terrible with names. Called my younger brother "dad" plenty of times because their names both start with a D. My friends basically answer to whatever.

As for all the weirdo comments above about needing to choose between serious love and random hookups, whatever folks. FWB and casual relationships that do not include serious love and personal commitment, etc, are not excuses to have no human connections and personal interests. It's like none of you ever had really fun personal yet not committed affairs which is sad- maybe go experience that. You sound bitter and judgmental.
I do agree with people above that it makes a difference the context that you use the wrong name. I tend not to call names during sex at all, but yes I agree it would be very different if you call out some weird name during sex as opposed to when you are distractedly having a conversation or whatever.

Speaking of judgemental.

If promiscuity and cheapening sexual experiences to the same value as having a pizza is your thing, you're presumably a grown up. Your call.

But let those of us who are more human than ape aspire to sex as an expression of intimacy and love, m'kay?

And for this young woman clearly the latter is her preference, people like you evangelizing promiscuity to her notwithstanding.

Put more gently, and I apologize for rudeness:

For me and most of the people I know well enough to discuss it, sex without love would be like dancing without music. Sure, you can do it. But it would lose most of what makes it worthwhile. It sounds a lot like this young woman feels the same way.

I wouldn't tell you your approach to sex is wrong. Not my business and wrong and right here are contextual. But this kid deserves the same respect for her more traditional views from you and Mr. Savage as well as you do from anyone else.
@31 Timothée or Armie should do nicely.
“Those of us who are more human than apes.” Ha ha! Another zinger! That’s a sly reference to the recent Scopes trial, correct? Boy howdy, wait til I tell the fellows down at the soda fountain, they’ll get a good chuckle.

When you leave your teens in a few years, and especially when you approach middle age in quite a few more, you'll realize that not everything your parents and grandparents did was wrong or stupid.

To paraphrase Twain- when I was 16 my old man was the dumbest person imaginable. By the time I was 25 it was amazing how much the old man had learned.
Darn. 47 wasn’t up when I replied, which I will try to respond to more courteously.

Centet, the LW specifically said she doesn't want to date the guy in question, whom she refers to as someone she “hooks up with.” So while your approach to sex is perfectly valid, I don’t see it as something she shares, or perhaps it is something she is just not interested in pursuing for now. Which is also fine. And you could make the argument that, given her reactions, maybe she actually would be more comfortable with your approach but just doesn’t know it because maybe she doesn’t know herself very well yet. But isn’t figuring all that stuff out what being young is for? Also, I doubt anyone on this board would seriously criticize you for your preferences. Being in love with your partner, and monogamous, is a wonderful way to go (provided no one is fooling themselves, or others, of course). It’s the shaming people for not sharing your values that isn’t cricket.
Ha ha! Gosh, thanks gramps! Chee, I can’t wait until I’m forty, then.
@47 I'm not sure why you are responding to me that way at all. I'm not saying that it's weird for people to need sex within a loving relationship. If that's your cup of tea, sweet! I'm saying it's weird to project that on others or to act like there is a dichotomy of casual sex that is alienating and impersonal vs loving sex that is personal and respectful. This is bullshit- it is possible to have personal, respectful, desirous casual sex with someone with whom you do not want to be in a loving relationship.

And your experience of sex without love is only your experience. I value my loving sexual relationship, but I've also thoroughly enjoyed anonymous fucking in the right circumstances as well as longer short-term casual affairs with interesting people.

I don't see where she said she has traditional views. I see where she said she was in a causal affair with a friend while backpacking, and she wants him to respect her as an individual. I don't understand while these two things are assumed to be in conflict- it has not been my experience with the world that I can't treat people as individuals despite the fact that I'm not in love with them and don't plan to develop relationships with them. If people have not tried this, I suggest they do. Treat most of your encounters- sexual or not- as encounters with individuals who deserve respect and who might just be interesting, regardless of whether or not you plan to ever see them again, and I think you'll find it makes the world a richer place.
@33 so this guy has been jerking off to a girl he can't have for years, lands a lookalike then calls her by the other girls name twice without an abject apology. Not similar to your situation - if it were I'd have had a different response (well, I'd still encourage her to call him by the wrong name but only cause it would be funny).
I still haven't seen anyone here who claims to call partners by their dog's or sister's or mother's name during sex, so that argument is completely moot until someone writes in who has. It seems like there's even discernment in what wrong names are used not during sex - no one seems to be using the dog's name or their mother's name for their wife. Everyone writing in so far is proving the LW's point - you actually do have a lot of control over these mistakes.

Anyway, this is why we use pet names (not dog names). Get it together people.
If the sex is that good buy earplugs.
I have nothing against anything most folks are saying here, and I'm not offering this as a corrective or an argument. These are just my two cents about, basically, how the LW's request is phrased.

I think if I were the guy in this scenario, and my FWB approached me and said "what you've done makes me feel unwanted, as if you don't want me for me," my response (internal) would be "well, she has a right to feel that way, but this arrangement was never really supposed to be about me wanting her for her, and now I feel like there's pressure on me to want something which I don't — maybe I should end this."
Whereas, if the FWB said something like "hey, do you think you could get my name right during sex?" — then my response could be "oops, did I get your name wrong? that is so embarrassing, I'm sorry" and her response to that could be "yeah, haha, it was funny, but you know, you getting my name right would enhance the experience for me" — and then I would know to be careful about that, and I *would* be careful about it, because I'm not a total moron — but it wouldn't be about me fearing an emotionally tangled situation which wasn't what I had thought either one of us had signed up for.

FWB arrangements can be amazing and in my experience very loving — just like any friendship can be — but they are first and foremost friendships, and should be treated as such. "Hey, get my name right" is an appropriate thing to say to a friend. "I want you to want me, sexually, for me," is not. When a FWB is criticized for not acting like an LTR, that can lead to insecurity and resentment, in both parties, about what the arrangement actually is.
Centet @47: This young woman is on a semester abroad. Therefore, any relationship she begins will necessarily be a short-term one. It seems obvious from the situation that this is the reason she's making an exception to her usual preferred relationship style and having a no-strings fling instead of a loving relationship like you describe. She's 22; she's learning about herself. One of the things she learns will be whether short-term, casual flings are or are not satisfying for her. She may well emerge sharing your view, but she needs to learn this via experience.

Bouncing @56: This, yes. He knows he got the name wrong -- "he made some passing excuse" -- so he's been made aware that her name is not Susan and I doubt he's likely to call her it again. I think the best approach would be to make a joke out of it. "Hey Steve, I mean Joe, I mean Fred, who the fuck are you again?" That's if she wants this arrangement to continue, and I can't see any compelling reason for her to do so.
@56 good point here - he did give a half assed apology the first time he did it - he may not have known about the second time he did it. If it's that burned into him, the name of this girl he's never been with, maybe he honestly didn't know he did it a second time.
I have missed more important messages during sex. And after. And before.
My question here is aside from him using the wrong name during sex just cause, why is anyone using names with hookups at all? Isn't that the one thing you save for marriage?
As for having no politeness standards for hookups, can't agree. You fuck up, you give a real apology. You do it twice, double.
@57 he did do it again. Hence the letter.
@56 he hasn't really apologized, I think it's the trouble. And the doing it again. Which, I can see how it would get to you, apparently he's just going to keep doing it and not apologizing. That's where the disrespect comes in, not so much the doing it the first time. Which is why she should yell other guy's names.
If the sex is actually good you don't care what name the guy calls you. So that question is answered.
Those writing in who have called someone the wrong name during sex, what was the reaction and what did you do?
@59: It's not clear from the letter whether it was on two separate occasions, or twice in the same occasion -- one during which the pair of them were, at very least, baked.
Avast @63: Yes. He said it twice, apparently in short succession. ("Oh, Mary! Mary!!" perhaps.) Her letter is asking what she should do if he says it a third time, on a future occasion.
Women are ALWAYS mixing me up with George Clooney, especially when we're having sex! I've come to accept it as the cross I have to bear...
@64 he said it once, apologized, then immediately did it again?

LW- it sounds like you knew he was into you for your lookalike qualities from the beginning. Which means you were ok about it. So what's changed? I think it's a lack of manners problem, but I may be wrong.