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This letter originally ran on February 6, 2013.

I'm a 27-year-old man in a two-year relationship with a 26-year-old woman. My last partner cheated and lied and did some unforgivable things. I wasn't blameless-I stayed with her long after I realized it wasn't working-but our relationship did unearth a kink. After I found out about her cheating, I got extremely turned on thinking about it. I never told her.

Enter my next girlfriend. We were together a few months before I brought up my kink. She was very accommodating (dirty talk about her cheating, making up stories about cheating) and then, after some months, she admitted that it was something she wanted to try in real life. I said I was okay with it as long as I had the option to pursue other partners as well. We agreed on some rules and gave it a shot. She set up a date through OKCupid and had sex with someone; I hooked up with an ex. Everything seemed to be turning out great. Then two weeks later, she got drunk and told me she had seen the OKCupid guy again without asking. I was so upset, I nearly broke up with her. Having the guidelines ignored felt like a betrayal. She later admitted to seeing him one other time without talking to me first.

Are we going through the normal trip-ups of a newly open relationship? Or are these lies an indication that she can't be trusted? I feel like it might be hard to find someone else who is into my kink and maybe we're just having a hard time navigating polyamory. I love my partner, and I want to make this cuckolding thing work if we can. Suck it up or break it off?

Confused Upon Cheating Kink

Your letter confused me, CUCK. Here's why: You describe your relationship as open, then as poly, then as a "cuckolding thing."

First things first: Polyamorous relationships and open relationships are two different things. Some poly relationships are open, but many poly relationships are closed—that is, three people (or more) are involved with each other exclusively, i.e., no randoms, no romancing potential fourths, fifths, or sixths. The reverse is also true: Not all open relationships are poly. Two people in an open relationship may allow fucking around with other people with the understanding that there will be no dating or—God forbid—falling in love with anyone else.

And then there's cuckolding. The whole "cuckolding thing" is about the female half of a heterosexual couple breaking the rules and then rubbing her partner's nose in the evidence of her cheating. (Some cuckolds get off on literally having their noses rubbed in the evidence.) Cuckolding is eroticized betrayal, CUCK, and you spent months fantasizing with your girlfriend about being betrayed. All that dirty talk, all those made-up stories—remember? But when it came time to turn your fantasies into reality, CUCK, you laid out the rules for what sounds like a fairly standard open-not-poly relationship: She could fuck other people and so could you. Once again, I'm confused: The cuckold in a "cuckolding thing" typically doesn't get to fuck around. He gets fucked around on.

If your discussions with your girlfriend were as confusing as your letter, CUCK, it's possible that she was likewise confused. It's possible that she thought the rules applied to you and not to her. It's possible that she figured she was free to break the rules because betrayal turned you on. Now she knows that betrayal turns you on as a fantasy and not a reality.

I'm giving your girlfriend the benefit of the doubt here, CUCK, but seeing as you love her and want to make this work, and seeing as girlfriends who are open to cuckolding are hard to come by, on, and in, I think you should give her the benefit of the doubt, too. Time will tell if she's an honest "cheater" who can be trusted or a lying cheater who must be dumped.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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