Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: Lesbians also get gold stars, a letter writer's boyfriend is everything to his ailing mother (and the letter writer has had it), a reminder that sexual compatibility is important (so establish it before you have a baby), and a letter writer wonders if she can ask her FWB not to call her by the name of the girl he'd rather be fucking when he's fucking her. And, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.
Many reactions to PASS:
I'm bi. I've never, ever successfully asked a gay woman out without a massive rejection once she finds out I'm bi. Interestingly enough? That even goes for the polyamorous ones. I've been tempted so many times to put up a gay dating profile to see if I'd get a little play, but I'm far too honest to do that.
Lesbian here. Totally not worried about dating bi/pan women. The genitals she's attracted to don't matter, as long as she's into me and she's a nice person. It's sad that so many bi/pan women are burnt on lesbians because of this very common prejudice in the community.
Regarding PASS: I have no criticism of your advice (lucky you, right?), but I have some insight to share. Bi+ women are often... afraid to come out to lesbians. And for good reason. Many of us are assholes to them and tell them that they're orientation doesn't exist or that we won't fuck with them because they're confused and will eventually leave us for a man. It's true. We do that. And it sucks for them. My local queer bar (which is frequently cited as the best "lesbian" bar in the world, Cubbyhole in NYC) is full of non-gay queer women who are afraid to tell strangers that they're not gay. And I've seen many would-be friendships or hookups get quickly derailed by a lesbian asking someone how long they've been gay (whatever that even means), only to receive a sheepish reply of "well, Im actually bi...". This almost always results in either a takedown of bisexuality+ or just a vague dismissals. Oof. Lesbians. We can sure be judgmental fucks sometimes. Then cut to a bi friend of mine who was having a hard time finding girls to date/smooch. She asked me if I thought it would be a good idea for her to start identifying as a lesbian on online dating profiles, because she figured she'd get more dates with women. I advised against it because a) nobody likes being lied to and b) if she ended up with someone who only wanted to date a lesbian, she'd definitely be with the wrong person. But I did actually understand the impulse after all her bi-related rejection. So perhaps this is what PASS was doing. Perhaps she was just being a human afraid of rejection. Not quite so terrible when you think about it.
Also this whole "bi girls will just end up with a man" thing is a self-fulfilling prophecy when lesbians won't even go on a date with them, don't you think?
P.S. I just got engaged to my wonderful bisexual partner. Couldn't be happier.
While I am dubiously fortunate that my father's pancreatic cancer lasted less than a year and my partners were a terrific support system during that period, TCG's boyfriend is apparently not in the same situation. However, my own experience, as well as by watching my mom take care of my grandparents, taught me some important shit I feel I need to pass on. There is a lot that can be done before TCG walks.
First, TCG's partner has taken everything upon himself, but HE DOESN'T NEED TO DO THIS. We children of ailing parents often do this out of feelings of obligation — to such a point that we neglect self-care. However, self-care (including intimate relationships) is an obligation, because without them, we break down. What the two of them need to do is sit down and TALK about this, including disclosing finances and creating fiscal and temporal boundaries to what he does for his mother. They also need to make times (weeknights, one weekend a month) that are just for them.
There are also things that can be done that can help lighten this obligation, but which aren't as apparent when you're in the midst of it. His mom sounds like she is financially OK; perhaps she should (with TCG's boyfriend's help?) get a home health aid or a few-days-a-week helper who lives locally? For $15k/year, this is certainly feasible. If TCG sees this as a long-term relationship, perhaps she can kick in financially, as well—it's an investment in her future and her future mother-in-law. If TCG's boyfriend or his mom have some social support network—church, synagogue, pagan circle—they could help, too, in terms of running errands and housecleaning.
I also recommend consulting with an eldercare/disability lawyer and looking into transferring her remaining wealth and become eligible for medicaid. She needs to accept that her disability also means that she has to accept restrictions on her lifestyle. Independent living may not be possible long-term.
Finally, it sounds like TCG and her boyfriend need to get away for a few days. Give yourself permission to take a vacation.
Regarding sexual compatibility and KINK:
I feel for LW here. I was in the same boat. Got married young, was definitely vanilla. Then easily accessible porn happened (I'm in my 50's) on VHS! Only THEN did I discover I was a kinky motherfucker. I wanted it all... group sex, experimenting with same-sex partners, kink, all of it. I had no idea, before I saw it, the shit people did. My poor raised Catholic wife. I'm not the pushy kind but there's no way you could call this anything other than a total turn around for me.
Anyway, at least on the fantasy level, she shared some things with me, mainly threesomes. But she would never actually do it! Well, we just kept fantasizing about it, and I made it clear that I was up for REALIZING it. She continued to be a no. Time passed, we had kids, we were miserable sexless parents for a few years, we kind of even quit watching porn, because what kind of parent would do that? It was really sad, but I'm patient, and easy going.
A few more years passes, internet porn (!) happens, and we slowly ease back into our previous sex life, with a little easier access to porn. The kids got older and needed us less, and we started dating each other again and traveling without the kids. Suddenly we were back to fantasizing again about our old stand by the threesome, by this point she knew about my interest in a little same-sex stuff and had gotten over the shock.
We kept talking, with no pressure, and eventually, she said yes, she too wanted to make it a reality. Slowly we eased into swinging (which I found thrilling, her to a lesser extent unless she could find a guy she was really into, like REALLY into). Not long after that, she revealed her bi interests, and she even had someone in mind. Well, that other person is now our girlfriend in a poly triad of three years! She's found a few other guys along the way she was really into as well. So we went from Catholic to Poly in just 24 years!
All this is to say, people do change, even in the most unlikely of circumstances.