Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: His wife was 100% into the hot sex they were having, so why is she saying otherwise in court? When's the best time to let Mom and Dad know you're in a throuple? A man whose wife has two boyfriends and he's got squat. And when will Sam have to stop sucking THROAT's cock? Also, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.
First, on the Tech-Savvy/At-Risk Youth:
I love everything you do. But I know, for a fact, that there is NO Tech-Savvy/At-Risk Youth. Isn't it time to come clean with your devoted listeners?
The Tech-Savvy/At-Risk Youth are like Tinkerbell—so long as you believe, so long as you believe with all your heart, the TSARY exist. Clap, clap, clap.
For LAWS, the woman wondering if she should go to court to testify that a man's wife seemed to enjoy the sex they had while swinging:
If LAWS is local to the soon-to-be-ex husband, he can subpoena her AND her phone. If he has a lawyer, he should know that. But it is far preferable to get someone to come and speak voluntarily.
This is, without a doubt, the worst advice I've ever seen in Savage Love. As a lawyer who does exclusively family law and domestic violence cases, there are several red flags here. You know very little about this couple or their marriage. People ask me all the time, hey, my ex co-worker (or whoever) asked me to write a statement for him to use in his divorce case, should I do it? My advice is always this: unless the person asking you to vouch for them is someone you are extremely close to and can truly vouch for, stay out of it.
Here are the red flags I see: 1) saying the woman is threatening to use the open relationship as "leverage" in the divorce case—no, if it's coming up at all it's very likely because she's claiming he's abusive and this was one piece of the abuse. You don't know the whole story and there may be a lot of other evidence of abusive behavior.
2) "I guess she's saying" she wasn't a willing participant—actually, you have no idea what she's saying, you only know what he's saying. Also, even if that is what she's saying, the fact that she appeared willing tells you absolutely nothing about whether there was violence or coercion in their relationship outside of the very narrow view you had.
3) He wants you to make a statement to his lawyer—for all you know, she hasn't even raised this issue and he wants a statement from you to make her look like a slut and to embarrass and shame her.
4) You only met them in person twice and this was years ago. Again, this shows how little you know about either of these people, especially about what has happened recently.
5) He texted you—really? If he's truly in trouble and truly being wronged he should meet with you in person and tell you what's going on and provide some proof to back-up his story, like court documents showing you exactly what his wife is claiming.
6) "She's originally from another country"—oh really? where's she from? Is English her second language? Was she depending on him to get immigration status so she can stay in this country? Do you see how that might give him leverage over her? Any chance she's from Asia and he has a creepy Asian fetish where he overly sexualized her and pushed her to do stuff she wasn't comfortable with? I mean, for all I know, this woman could be from Australia and that's not what's going on here, but that's a fairly common dynamic in DV cases and one I've seen many times.
I mean, with all the stuff you don't know, there is no way you should get even remotely involved in this. Your letter made very clear that you didn't want to get involved and I suggest you listen to your gut instincts on that. To say you have an obligation to give a statement here is just so misguided and irresponsible. And to say you should hire your own lawyer to advise you about this? Pay a lawyer for something that is truly not your problem? You know what would be easier and cheaper? Staying completely out of this. Either say no or don't respond. If this dude wants to subpoena you to testify, he probably can, but that's not very common in divorce cases and seems unlikely here. This guy isn't going to "lose everything" because a guy he and his wife swung with twice years ago won't write a statement for him. No. Just no. A thousand times no. Dan, please consider rethinking this.
All solid points, I sent your thoughts along to original LW, thanks for writing. And now some advice for LAWS form another attorney if she does decide to give a statement...
Most trial courts and family courts can seal a case file or close a courtroom, particular proceedings or particular testimony from public view for sensitive matters, especially where children may be affected. This is from a federal guide to sealing court records, page 26:
The court has discretion to weigh the need for secrecy against the public’s right of access.66 Court records should be sealed to keep confidential only what must be kept secret, temporarily or permanently as the situation requires. Sealing of judicial re- cords is not considered appropriate if it is done merely to pro- tect parties from embarrassment.67 Public versions of court documents are sometimes redacted, however, to protect the privacy interests of persons who are not parties, such as clients, employees, or witnesses.
If LAWS decides to give a statement to the attorney, she may want to mention the possibility of having her testimony sealed, or, perhaps, the entire proceeding sealed as well.
Ah the dynamics of open relationships. I am not currently in an open relationship and I am gay (big cultural difference with hetero relationships I think) but, when I was in an open relationship for 20 years, my ex and I used to go to bars and we were the couple that everyone wanted to talk to. We were attractive but not the most attractive people in the room. However, we were flirty and conversational and attracted guys who wanted to play with us both together and separately. It may seem counter-intuitive, but looking for a playmate with his wife in tow might be the easiest way to attract a likely lady. It will probably make him seem more attractive for a woman to watch him interacting positively with another woman. Plus, his wife is right there to explain and give permission. The cards are all face up on the table. My one suggestion is that he not leave his wife to play with someone else on the same evening. Exchange information and make a play date with the new guest. It is always better to do these things sober and it is always respectful to leave with the girl who you came with.
I disagree with Dan about disclosure. Unlike medical history, the existence of a spouse or significant other should be disclosed on the first date or preferably before. That's the only ethical thing to do. Many guys in newly-open relationships make the mistake of trying to date like they did when they were single. That doesn't work. If you want to be a successful poly guy, it's best to go where the poly women are. That means online dating or poly groups. Then your potential partners are self-selected to be open to non-monogamous relationships.
My response to SIDNAFT opened with this: "You could sidestep the disclosure issue by seeking out women like your wife—that is, women in committed-but-open relationships who are looking for sex friend/friends." So a big "YEP" to going where the poly women are. But I don't think meeting up with a person one time—I strongly advocated disclosing before Date 3, which would mean disclosing at Date 2—before telling them you're partnered and poly (or kinky or poz) is wildly unethical, so long as that first meet up involved no kissing, no touching, no pantlessness, etc. People at a romantic/sexual disadvantage due to stereotypes and stigmas are allowed, IMO, to let someone get to know them just a little—very briefly, fully clothedly—before disclosing.
Yes, the vanilla person will assume the kinkster is vanilla too; the negative person will assume the positive person is negative too; the single-and-available person will assume the partnered/poly person is single-and-available too. (Available, yes; single, no.) Very briefly letting someone get to know you before rolling out the kinks/serostatus/partner is not the same thing as tricking someone into being in a relationship with you; and so long as the disclosure comes before sex and before any significant investment of time and emotional energy, people who tend to be unfairly judged can let someone briefly get to know them first as a person. IMO.
Full disclosure: I know lots of vanilla/negative/mono people who are in loving, committed, solid relationships with kinky/poz/partnered people they wouldn't have considered fucking around with—much less partnering with—before getting to know them. Sometimes the "getting to know you" stuff went down because they worked together or because they had mutual friends and wound up socializing together a lot. But in many cases—in a significant number of cases—the "getting to know you" stuff went down as described above. If someone waiting until the second date to disclose their kinks/serostatus/polystatus was always an unforgivable violation of trust... these relationships wouldn't exist.
And now, because "Getting To Know You" is stuck in my head, we're going to quick musical theater break. Trigger warning for colonialism, child labor, and casting actors who can't sing in movie musicals and then having to pay an actor who can to do the singing for them:
Okay! Back to reader responses....
For TGG, the letter writer wondering when's the best time to let mom and dad know you're in a throuple:
I have two adult children (28 and 30 years old). They're straight but if they weren't there is no way in hell I'd want them to move closer to me if I lived in an area that was, as a general rule, hostile to them. If these parents want to live closer to their child, then they should do the moving since, as a straight couple, they can most likely live safely in any community. As for wanting to know if my children were in a throuple relationship, I'm fine either way. I love and accept my children no matter what. While a throuple relationship is not something to which I would ever agree, if it works for one of my kids, then I'm happy for them.
Hey, TGG, you've been dating this guy for a few months! Sure, he's all new and shiny now, and a "real infusion of energy and passion," but if that's what you're dating him for, what will you do when the novelty wears off? You may be high on New Relationship Energy, but your parents didn't need to know that you'd ditched them for your newest fling. A simple "we don't think it's going to work out for us to move just yet," would have sufficed.
I just have a comment concerning your June 6th column, about the woman married to the diaper enthusiast. I was surprised and disappointed that you didn't tell her how fucked up it was for her to call her husband's mother and tell her about his fetish. Everything about her letter sickened me, but that was definitely the worst part. I thought she deserved harsher words than she got. That's all.
Maybe you missed this in my response (or maybe it was edited out for space in the publication where you read my column):
"Great guys" can be into diapers; this is not who your husband "chooses to be," since people don't choose their kinks any more than they choose their sexual orientation; outing your husband to his mother was unforgivable and could ultimately prove to be a fatal-to-your-marriage violation of trust; a counselor isn't going to be able to reach into your husband's head and yank out his kink.
Calling something unforgivable and telling someone that their unforgivable act could wind up destroying their marriage seems plenty harsh to me.
OH BITCH PLEASE. Every time he does some heinous shit, she disappears and lays low. Then there’s some mysterious news report about how “sources” say she “counseled” him to “do the right thing.” QUIT SHILLING FOR THIS FAKE ASS WITCH https://t.co/SDixEAScRh
— Rebecca Rose (@auntbeckyrose) June 20, 2018
Motion to make “feckless Ivanka” an official phrase.
— CakeFace912 (@CakeFace912) June 20, 2018
Someone wrote yesterday asking me to redefine "Stephen Miller," a la santorum. But Stephen and Miller are both too common for that to work; Santorum was santorumable because Santorum isn't a very common name and it has a vaguely Latiny/sciencey sound to it. The same could be said for Ivanka: not common, sounds vaguely Latiny/sciencey. And Ivanka, like peg, is easily conjugated: "Don't ivanka," "Stop ivanking," "I can't believe she ivanka'd."
So... this one could work. What do you say, gang?