Small-Town Gay Dude Can't Stop Hooking Up With a Not-So-Mysterious Masked Man

Comments

1

Even skiers don't wear ski-masks.

I'd file this under you-do-you; I wouldn't do it.

But maybe also try inviting this guy out on regular not-quite-a-date guy friend things? Like "the ballgame"? That is, if you wanna see his face / either of you wants to have more than a fuck-only relationship.

2

I 2nd Dan's suggestion to try and get him to take it off when you're not having sex.

I would suggest you go online and go shopping for sexier masks you find kinkier than ski masks and buy a few. Offer him one of those to wear instead of the sky mask. If he refuses, you wear one of the new ones you bought and fuck his brains out. Rinse and repeat until he starts to loosen up. In short grab hold of his kink, make it yours and have fun with it.

3

Here's a thought...maybe the masked cocksucker is paranoid about secretly being caught on video, and the only way to avoid being outed via revenge porn in his rural community is to always wear the mask. Kink still seems like a better guess, but he could also be pathologically discrete.

4

As someone who does very much get off on the anonymity as part of sex (burned into the kink center of my brain during Army service in the DADT years), if I were your hookup, it would probably come down to a choice between having pseudo-anonymous sex with you or being your friend, but not both. If he’s like I was then he’s compartmentalized you into the sex part of his life which doesn’t touch the rest. If you became friends you’d probably lose your attractiveness for him.

My suggestion: enjoy the sex for what it is, and accept that you’re using each other pretty much just for your own sexual gratification. If I’m right about this guy, then there probably isn’t a scenario where you two end up getting married and spending your years hunting, fishing and boating then heading back to the campsite to share a tent together.

Note: I have kinda gotten over this to the point where my relationships are reasonably healthy, but that took a lot of desire and work on my part (which it sounds like he doesn’t have) plus living in cities with larger gay communities and more gay couples modeling different sexual relationships. So my guess is your guy is unlikely to evolve like I did as long as he can get his anonymous hookups from you and/or whoever else he’s hooking up with.

5

I can't believe that Dan did not comment on the nonconsensual act of ripping off his ski mask during sex. I think that you should have lost any hope of having a trusting relationship after that.

6

I once went out on a date with someone who eventually told me that he fetishized anonymous hookups so much that he couldn’t have sex with someone if he already knew their name. And he already knew my name, so......

7

@5, I would think so too, but the masked guy has relentlessly pursued him for 8 months AFTER having the mask pulled off him. I guess it wasn't a dealbreaker, at least as far as fuckbuddies are concerned. It may be why he won't go further with it though.

8

These two sound like a shitshow! I'm glad they found each other.

9

@7 My guess is there’s a certain amount of desperation driving both LW and his “anonymous” hookup. If your choice is between nothing at all and someone highly problematic (to both guys), you become a bit more willing to overlook what would otherwise be serious flaws.

10

@5, @7, @9: Yeah, I expected that to be the first paragraph. Here's the one that Dan left out:

HODDIE: Don't, as in never, do shit like "when he was in a vulnerable position I pulled his mask off". He'd hadn't consented to that and clearly didn't want it. Just like if photography or anal or flogging was off the table, you don't do something when/because a partner can't stop it. We're each allowed to set our own limits, however odd they may seem to others.

11

Just enjoy the kink and see what happens over time.

12

To the LW and his masked fuckbuddy: Grow the fuck up, come out, and you can meet less-covered and less-rapey, respectively, partners. You can't get much more rural, conservative, or fundie then my small town and guess what? High school students here manage to come out now (caveat: if their particular family situation would threaten their safety, housing or college funding, they get a pass till they have graduated).

13

I've been in similar odd FB relationships - and I think you need to learn to let other men be themselves, and enjoy what they offer, instead of trying to convince them to stop offering whatever it is, and instead offer something else.

There's an alternative to Dan's suggestion, which is to go with the mask during hookup encounters - from the time he gets there until he leaves - and stop trying to change that. In fact get him a similar but different mask as a present when he comes over at some point to show that you like your masked fuck buddy. Which you say you do. But also, contact him via his instagram account AS IF you don't recognize him from your hookups (seriously, you can do this - just start over, as if nothing has passed between you about his instagram account before and you're writing for the first time, because you like his pics) and ask him out for coffee or dinner or some other non-sexual thing, saying that you aren't looking for fuck buddies, you're just looking for friends right now. You can pursue this a bit, even if he's reluctant or says no - he pursued you after you said no, so it's ok for you to do the same. And if he goes out for coffee or dinner or whatever with you, DON'T mention your sex life with him, don't even hint at it or make sly allusions to it. Be completely ignorant of the fact for the duration of your date - and any subsequent dates. And don't proposition him while he's got his mask off. Similarly, don't mention things you know about him from your non-sexual dates when you're with the masked fucker. Keep the two separate. They're not really separate, of course, but the illusion of him fucking you anonymously is preserved in his head - and the fun of him fucking you is preserved in your bed, while you get to know other parts of him. If HE at some point acknowledges that it happens, fine, but let him take the lead on this.

You don't have to understand what's going on in his head - most of it is non-verbal anyway, he couldn't explain it, because sex is not rational. Your own sexual tastes are no more rational than his, they're just more common. Just understand what he needs from you - leaving that mask on and respecting it on sexual visits. If it works out, you can have a non-sexual friendship or whatever with the unmasked guy, and a sex life with the masked guy.

Is he a non-standard playmate? Yes, definitely, but you say it's good. Instead of trying to make him change (which may very well put an end to some of whatever it is you enjoy about him - his enthusiasm, his unfetteredness, whatever) try to add on things for you while preserving what works for him.

If this doesn't work for you - yes, go find a different fuck buddy. I think you'd miss out on a rare opportunity if you do that, though.

14

@2 - you're not talking about "grabbing hold of his kink and make it yours" you're suggesting fucking his play partner over and treating him with contempt. Which is evil.

15

"Once when he was in a vulnerable position I pulled his mask off"
As others have said, that is gross and wrong. Never do something like it again.

Now to practical matters: a ski mask used in room temperature during exertion would get sweaty and sloppy pretty fast. I hope he washes it every time. Maybe there are alternatives that you'd find more appealing that would still work for whatever draws him to it. Anonymity? Type of mummification? Association with crimes and danger? Physical boundary between his face skin and your body?

16

So now people, male people, can set their own limits, but a girl who doesn’t want her beau to watch porn of an ex gf is somehow not allowed.
Don’t gay men kiss in a hookup and does he give oral with a mask on? Hope it’s washed before not just reused over and over. Hygiene is important.

17

Dan, what are you thinking with asking him to keep mask off until sex? This guy is totally into his role and scene the moment he texts to say he is on his way and it doesn't end until he is in var going home.

What's next, asking a guy to leave his cockring off or buttplug out until you are ready to mash naughty bits?

18

@LavaGirl kissing in rando hookups is as rare as an iceberg in New Mexico.

19

I have a suspicion that this letter is fake, because the "I pulled the mask off while he was in a vulnerable position but he bolted out the door before I could see his face" part is a little too literary — unless you're having sex with the Scarlet Pimpernel — I mean, can I ask, what kind of vulnerable position was he in that you could get the mask off but he was otherwise capable of immediately leaving? was he fully clothed? or do you live not just in a "rural area" but on a deserted farm, allowing him to flee, naked and mask-less, through the barely-populated night, sleeping in haylofts until he could find a scarecrow whose clothes fit him?

20

@16 LW wasn't asking his gf to kill off with him while he jerked off to his ex, though. One is something that the partner was doing on their own, this is something actually shared between both individuals.

21

I read all of that imagining a hockey mask and thinking how does that work exactly? Shouldn’t have read before first coffee o.O

22

I Love You; You're Perfect; Now Change.

LMB

23

He likes to wear that fucking ski mask.
He likes to wear that ski mask while fucking.

Unless I missed it, there is no discussion of what kind of sex they have, so maybe the ski mask is about some kind of rape fantasy. Mr. Ski Mask likes to think that he breaks into the LW's house or he takes the LW hostage and fucks the LW anonymously. Then Mr. Ski Mask splits and the LW has no idea who fucked him.

I don't read the letter as a fake because my initial thought was that Mr. Ski Mask was getting dressed and that's when the LW pulled it off, not while they were having sex. Plus, this letter is way better than the letters that were coming in a few months back where everyone was basically complaining that they can't find a compatible partner. What else is new. Most of us can't. But how many of us can say we're trying to figure out whey someone only wants to fuck with a ski mask on this. This is the kind of stuff that sets Savage Love apart from the other advice columns.

24

@16 Everyone can set their own limits. They can't set other people's limits. If the two don't mesh, you have to negotiate and compromise or just end it. And the negotiation is either verbal or non verbal, depending on the situation.

Myself, I'm usually in favor of expanding your limits if it's not going to do you harm. So accepting and respecting the guy's mask was my recommendation, along with trying to start a separate friend relationship outside of the sex scene. I don't see how that's a different response than I would give a woman. For the LW you reference, I recommended that she let the guy watch his vids and remember that he comes back home to the LW, not his ex, and let her jealousy go. I'd have said the same if that LW had been a man, and the vid watcher his gf.

In both cases I thought the LWs were trying to impose restrictions that would damage what they have with their partners, with no real benefit to themselves. And that pushing their own limits forward a bit to be more inclusive would be good for the LWs and good for their partners.

And yes, the masked guy is a partner too, the two have a relationship even if it's not on some people's "approved" list.

@18, your experience is different from mine. About a third of the men I hook up with like to kiss, some of them are very enthusiastic about it. Maybe Texans are more affectionate than New Mexicans.

25

pbo @3 -- yes, paranoia about getting recorded during sex might explain the mask.

I wonder if the name & instagram account could be fake, so HOODIE will believe he knows what the guy looks like, when the real masked man is a local state representative with ambitions, or someone else with a recognizable face.

ECarpenter @13 -- good advice, might work.

bouncing @19 lolol

26

“The Masked Man’s a Fag” was a Lenny Bruce ("declares the truth") comedy routine back in the days which was mentioned by Frank Zappa at some point, and apparently also appeared on South Park.
https://www.facebook.com/isismagazine/posts/the-masked-mans-a-fag-efraim-carlebachs-article-on-lenny-bruce-south-park-and-th/634287076617815/

"This project traces a politics of masking and unmasking in American culture that runs from the post-Civil War era through to the present day, and which constellates around the life and work of Lenny Bruce. In order to trace this history I have compiled a series of quotations from many sources: The Lone Ranger to Lenny Bruce, Batman to South Park."

27

Lava @ 16
“So now people, male people, can set their own limits, but a girl who doesn’t want her beau to watch porn of an ex gf is somehow not allowed.”

There’s a difference between a human interaction, face to mask or whatever, than a person’s personal space and privacy, something female and male and everyone in between people are all entitled to.

28

The masked cocksucker! LOL, funny.
I too thought it was way out of line for LW to remove the mask when that clearly violated Masked Cocksucker's boundaries. Then again it was way out of line for MC to continue pursuing LW for eight months after LW said no sex unless I can see your face. Perhaps Philo @8 is right and they do deserve each other. (FWIW, I think LW is the more reasonable one here; how many of us have accepted the "unacceptable" in order to get laid? Let they who is without sin, etc.)
I agree that finding a mask LW thinks is sexy could help if they want to continue this arrangement.
Bouncing @19: he didn't say MC fled through the FRONT door.
Lava @16: everyone can set THEIR OWN limits. It would be perfectly okay for Snoopy to say she didn't want her boyfriend watching porn of his exes -during sex with her-. It's not okay for anyone to say what their lovers can and can't do on their own time, which is not what is happening here.

29

“Once when he was in a vulnerable position I pulled his mask off...”

That was shitty and indicates you have little respect for personal boundaries, OP.

“After eight months of persistence requests to meet back up with him...”

He apparently also has little respect for boundaries.

“Some of his original emails sent to me showed his real name as the sender. So I knew his name all along but I wasn't able to match up his name during a search through social media that would show a picture of his face. Until recently. Finally there he was on Instagram showing his cute face to the world...”

Unless his name is Engelbert Ebenezer Greundemann, or something along those lines, you don’t know that the Instagram chap is actually him. Maybe it’s just someone with the same name. Or maybe he made the Instagram recently with fake photos as a response to you trying so hard to find out who he is. I’d be willing to bet all the money I have (£13.65 as of today!) that he’s still wearing the ski mask because you haven’t actually seen his face at all.

@18 - Really? I kiss all my hookups, and even all my clients, unless they indicate that they don’t like kissing / don’t want to kiss. Different demographics / cultures, maybe.

30

I feel like I know a lot of kinky people, and have seen and/or participated in a lot of kinky activity, including seeing people playing in leather hoods, and the totality of Mr. Hoodie’s behavior did not strike me as being obviously a kink - in particular the fact that Mr. Hoodie bolted from the room when unmasked - so I am not sure why @Dan saw this behavior as a clearly kink-related. In part, I think there is an implicit assumption that because HOODIE knows Mr. Hoodie’s identity that Mr. Hoodie is no longer motivated in keeping his identity “secret.” I think this situation may be nothing more than a closeted gay man uncomfortable with being gay, and that wearing a ski mask is a way to have gay sex, while disassociating from himself. It is possible that Mr. Hoodie has fetishized his fears of being exposed as a gay man, but if he hasn’t accepted himself as a gay man, it doesn’t matter if there is a kink dimension to this behavior. By all means, HOODIE should discuss this situation with Mr. Hoodie, and if this really is a kink, HOODIE should insist on shaping how the kink plays out during sex, a lack of compromise on the part of Mr. Hoodie would be selfish. But if Mr. Hoodie is not ready to expose himself as a gay man, then HOODIE should cut off contact with Mr. Hoodie.

31

CMD@27: as David @10 said;
“We’re each allowed to set our own limits, no matter how odd they may seem to others.”
That is all that young woman was doing, once she found out the truth. That she learnt by snooping doesn’t change anything.
The limits in all relationships are different and where something might be a blah for you it can be an issue for someone else.
Take ski mask man, not a story I’d be interested in, kissing is important in my sexual connections. And I sure wouldn’t want some guy going down on me while wearing a ski mask. God knows where it’s been.
To the LW, it’s been a goer, even if he’s not that taken with it.

32

@27, @28 Wait - since when does nobody get to set boundaries in their relationship if the person is "on their own time"? No matter what type of romantic relationship - monogamous, enm, whatever - relationships have boundaries that apply when people are together and apart. Part of any serious relationship is negotiating those boundaries. Just because one partner isn't there doesn't mean it's a free for all. My partner isn't allowed to have sex with anybody else, doesn't matter if it's their own time. Even if somebody is alone...how money is budgeted, if watching camgirls/sending them messages is ok, taking care of shared spaces, etc. People decide these things within each relationship and some things apply when a partner is present and some apply even when they aren't.

33

I agree with everyone else that says pulling off the mask was seriously Not Cool. He was clear about his limits and that should have been respected.

For Lavagirl's question, I think both LWs actually got the same response: 'yes, your sex partner is doing something a bit weird and squicky (mask/ex wanking) and if you want to leave them over it, you have that right. However, if you want to stay in this relationship you need to respect their choice in this matter.'

34

@16/LavaGirl: The woman whom you are referencing wanted her boyfriend to completely erase evidence of his sexual past. My response is that an expectation that new lovers are tabula rosa is unreasonable, and that requiring them to default to the factory setting without any trace of their sexual past is likewise unreasonable.

@32/Kitten Whiskers: All your examples involve with whom a hypothetical partner is currently having sex, sexually communicating, expending resources, or maintaining a joint space, these are all on there face distinguishable from retaining photographs of themselves in sexual situations with their former partners.

Requiring someone to efface their past is a permanent action that cannot be undone a year or two from now if you decide you don’t love them anymore. That is a price someone should not have to pay to enter into a new relationship.

35

Oh come on, @34 - there's "erasing your past" and there "wanking to pictures of your ex." Let's not pretend they're the same thing.

36

"Finally there he was on Instagram showing his cute face to the world while hunting, fishing, and doing lots of boating. He looks like a great friend to have. I thought, great, I'll meet up with him ..."

Stop it right there. He seems like a great friend to have outside of the whole skimask sex thing, so seek him out in those hunting/fishing/boating places and make friends with him.

Because a careful reading of the letter shows 2 things. HOODIE wants to have sex with the guy without the mask, but he wants to have sex with the guy without the mask so he can have an intimate friendly relationship with him. Why not go straight to the friendly part?

HOODIE knows the guy's name. If it can be done without a creepy stalking vibe (and I'm not so sure it can be), run into him in places he might be to strike up a friendship. Normally I'd say that was a bar, but in this case it might be a hiking club.

37

@35/Traffic Spiral: The only difference is that you might feel that looking at a photo of your and your ex at the Grand Canyon is acceptable part of the past to remember, but reliving the sexual parts of your past are not, because sex is “special,” so demanding that you excise that part of your past is reasonable. The reality is that people do masturbate to thoughts of their exes, and frankly, people who want their partners to erase those images would certainly confront their partners if they knew that fact too.

38

1) Be glad it’s not a Trump mask.
2) Maybe he’s Batman...

...or some other superhero. They’re always SO protective of their true identity!

39

LW, I can understand you don’t find it erotic, all that comes to my mind are germs and that he’s manipulating you. And you let him.
Play the game or don’t. Sounds like a couple of silly school boys from the last century. At least tell him to wear a Zoro Mask, and have a cape over his bare chest. Has he got a nice chest?
Anyway. Cut the crap. If you want to be the Adult in the story, close him down with these games. Unless you’re both five and playing cops and robbers.
Tell him you are interested if he drops the bull, because it doesn’t arouse you. It’s not erotic for you. And until he’s ready to be an adult and have a real date with you, then he can fuck right off.

40

The LW first needs to provide reassurance that he won't try to pull off that WWF-style stunt again. Then--via remote communication--they could try to hash out a compromise.

The fuckbuddy was onto HOODIE for eight months asking to meet again: either he likes him, or he likes having sex while he's wearing a ski mask. HOODIE could certainly ask which--saying that if the original motivation for the mask was preserving anonymity, he can guarantee that his lover's identity is safe with him. (Though the lover on Insta perhaps knows this already). Then he could propose 'dates' (hiking?) without the mask, and separate hookups with fetish masks. One thing I note is that HOODIE, correctly but not even then generically, gives no details about his lover's Insta life. Like, is he married? A public figure? (In some communities, everyone is nigh-on a public figure). If so, he might have to reconcile himself to the mask or nothing.

41

@26. CMDWannabe. Interesting. There is a recent Orville Peck song and video I love that riffs on the theme.

@29. Sati. Wishing you more clients and a fatter bank balance!

@32. KittenWhiskers. The limit in such a case would be, 'it's me or the behavior I find intolerable'. You are of course right that these limits are negotiated (and better that they're negotiated than presumed).

The woman who wrote in would, ultimately and if she wanted to take it that far, be within her rights to say 'if you hold onto intimate photos of your ex, I'll leave you'. But she didn't want to do that. She smiled at the possibility. Those counseling her fell out, roughly, into two groups: 1) those saying it's not such a big deal; accept this about your partner; accept that it doesn't mean what you think it means, and 2) those endorsing or affirming the LW's instinctive reaction, suggesting in some cases that his retaining the vids of the ex involved some kind of lying or emotional infidelity, and (in some cases) saying DTMFA. The LW, as much as the majority, found this last advice extreme.

42

@34. Sublime. I would have an expectation that my partner would have sex with me over jerking off to videos of an ex, were I present and willing and other things equal. If not, or if there's an expectation he's going to prefer other people for sex, it had better be storyboarded. Or negotiated.

I think people will differ in their instinctive sense of how usual jerking off to old flames is. Many women will find it less usual--more of a squick, or more worthy an eyebrow-raise--than many men. But the existence of a hierarchy, and the moral preferability of 'sex with me, here and now' would perhaps be relatively uncontentious.

43

@16 / LavaGirl
"So now people, male people, can set their own limits, but a girl who doesn’t want her beau to watch porn of an ex gf is somehow not allowed."

Huge difference between limits on one's own anonymity and conditions for partnered sex and "one's own limits" entailing dictating someone else's solo masturbatory activity.

How can you possibly equate the two?

If a man set "his own limits" that entailed forbidding his wife from using a vibrator, for instance, would you think that was setting his "own limits," or would you consider that intrusive and domineering?

44

The motivation not to leave your small hometown can be stronger than the motivation to have sex with men; and urbanites should respect that.

45

@42/Harriet: The original SLLOTD simply discussed keeping photos of exes in sexual situations. Her complaint was merely that he had retained them, not the purpose for which he was looking at them. I think his retention of these photos is fairly typical of people who share photos. I sometimes look at photos from my past relationships simply because they are images of fun times together, although it can be assumed that some people are occasionally look at such pictures rather than porn too. That is ok, but agree it is highly problematic to turn down sex with someone with whom you are in a relationship in order to masturbate to porn, whether professional or homemade.

46

XiaoGui17 @43: why are you making up an alternative scenario for your gender-reversed situation when you could just say "a woman who kept a bunch of x-rated pictures of her ex?"

47

Traffic @35: There is no evidence that Mr Snoopy was wanking to the videos. And what people do in their wank time is definitely not analogous to their having sex with other people, due to emotion, STI risk, etc. Get real here. But yeah. Both of these people are entitled to walk away if their partners' behaviour -- keeping videos of exes, wearing a mask -- is not acceptable to them. I hope both HOODIE and Mr Snoopy find more reasonable partners.

48

Harriet @42: But it's perfectly okay for your partner to think about the exes he's not masturbating to while he's having sex with you? Does he have to clear that with you first? Then why don't you?

49

I agree with Bouncy that it sounds a bit fake. Bolted out the door immediately after he took off his mask? So fast he couldn't get a good look at him? I guess he ran away, butt out and dick wagging? Or he's in a vulnerable position that also happens to include being fully clothed? I mean, anything is possible, but sounds a bit too convenient.

But also, if it's real, I'm with Corydon @4 here, exactly.

Masked man likes the anon masked sex and has shown no interest in being LW's fishing/boating buddy. He likely has fishing and boating buddies already, and what he's looking for is hot steamy anon hookups with no possibility for future entanglements.

Yes he could be worried also about picture/film, but since they've met multiple times over a long period, I doubt that's the main motivation.

The solution? Either the LW can just accept it for what it is or he can endeavor to perform three nearly impossible mortal tasks and one prolonged and dangerous trip into the underworld, after which his masked lover might sweep him away to a banquet of the gods, if he's lucky.

50

I lived in small town America back in the 70's, and used to hang out with my gay roommates in one of those fortified bunkers that Dan mentioned. There were lots of gay people in and around town. Unless they've all moved to the big cities, it's hard to understand why LW is forced to settle for the masked cocksucker. Both of the characters in this letter reminded me of Daffyd from Little Britain, who likes to think he's "the only gay in the village".

53

My first thought was that this is a deeply closeted, possibly self-hating man who is ashamed. I never considered the kink aspect until reading the comments, but I vastly prefer it, although I doubt we'll ever hear from the Masked Man.

But the lw is all kinds of inappropriate. Pulling the guy's mask off when he's vulnerable and has made it clear he doesn't want it removed? That right there was DTMFA behavior. Then Insta-stalking and fantasizing about being bffs and fishing buddies and still having hot hookups, while a perfectly nice fantasy, seems a bit delusional. The Masked Man doesn't want to mix his sex with his friendships--at least not with the lw.

Bottom line: this is the MM's price of admission. If the lw isn't willing to pay it, that's his right, but then that means he doesn't get to keep seeing (or not seeing) this hooded hookup.

54

@48. Bi. Because he's servicing me--to put it bluntly--'having sex with me', to put it neutrally, or 'with me', 'making love to me', to put it soppily. His head is terra incognita. Beyond policing.

@45. Sublime. I agree that I was speaking as much to Traffic Spiral's sense of why he was holding onto the photos (he's jerking off to them!), than yours (he's nostalgically retaining a memento). Perhaps I attached more to your tone in replying to her than to what you said.

Imv the differential distribution of thinking 'sex is special' (across the sexes, with more women regarding it as special and commanding its unique code of ethics than men), works to women's disadvantage. It’s part of the apparatus of sexism at a psychic level (probably; of course, this could be a badly thought-out theory! ;) ). For instance, it keeps women in unsatisfactory, or mediocrely satisfying, relationships--because sex with someone else is unimaginable. It limits their experimenting, finding out what they like. It reinforces a formation in which, like other domestic comforts, sex is something that wives grant husbands--and so the assumption that a woman will be successful insofar as she's a desirable mate--insofar as she embodies a feminine ideal. Kind of a 50s ideology....

The other side of it is that a hushed or quasi-religious concept of the specialness of sex will allow women to retain control of their fertility. But abstinence, on moral grounds, or extremely hard-headed, conscious selectivity is less important now with the Pill. I'd think that differing views of sex would be an instance where impulses have taken more than a generation to catch up with facts on the ground.

55

@46. Traffic. Because a man is as likely to think, in Xiao's case, that 'you're having pleasure with, or taking pleasure from, your vibrator that you should be sharing with me' as a woman, in the already-explored case, that 'you still have feelings for your ex!'. And these thoughts would strike a median heterosexual member of the other gender, maybe, as more or less equally wrong.

56

IMO, wearing the mask is weird. Not a dealbreaker, but a you-must-explain-this status thing. If it's a kink, cool, if he wants anonymity, cool. But not explaining it is virtually begging someone to take the mask off of you - we all know how curiosity works. Dude shouldn't have pulled it off but the other guy should have made it clear how critical it was to him as well. An ounce of prevention, as they say.

Anyhow, you like fucking this weird dude when he does his weird fuck shit. I would be tempted to decide that the mask isn't your thing to get over - either take this guy how he is or say that your needs aren't being met and move on. The rest of this is just... very meh.

57

@54/Harriet: My guess is that the divide is not between men and women, but rather between people open to taking / sharing naked or sex photos and people who do not. I have taken photos of myself with many women, although none would be identifiable. Often times these women ask for copies, other times they do not. I have never requested a woman delete these photos and have no reason to believe they ever did so, and conversely, none have ever reach out to me about deleting these photos. So based on my experience, I imagine that there are plenty of women holding on to photos of themselves having sex, and I doubt those women would be phased by learning that a new partner had such photos too.

58

Traffic @46: As Harriet says, because a woman keeping photos of her ex wouldn't be objectionable to a man who keeps photos of his exes. It's less likely a man would understand that sometimes women use toys to masturbate. Not being able to relate to this, an insecure man might object -- "why do you need that when you have me." A similar reaction to Ms Snoopy, who doesn't hold any erotic memories of exes and can't accept that her boyfriend has a different, but valid, view.

59

To put this baby to bed. The mind is always there. The bf has his mind to conjure up images of his ex gf, and it will be all of her.
The videos, to keep them, keeps this ex as an objectified other.
The LW, who asked us for help, felt violated by discovering he kept these videos. Her feelings are valid, and as I said I’d share them. Not only because of it pushed my limits, because it would indicate to me what sort of man he was. A collector.
He can keep his videos and she can walk. Or he can see why this is problematic, for her, and she is in this relationship, and delete them.

60

You're the one who woke the baby, Lava. Stating your opinion for the 27th time won't change ours, nor does it have anything to do with this LW, whom you're disrespecting by changing the subject on him. You forgot the third option: he can see what sort of woman she is, a demanding person who won't respect his privacy, and HE can walk.

61

@57. Sublime. Well, the photos I have of myself from way back in a sexual context (and that must be floating out there somewhere among the other participants) have very little erotic frisson for me.... Sadly, I look at them and register uncomfortably dysmorphic feelings (mild) about my body, as was. I don't like to be snapped now and will only do it if my face isn't showing. But ... I was one of the many who agreed with your line that if it's unreasonable to ask a partner to erase a romantic shot of him with an ex overlooking the Grand Canyon, it's unreasonable to ask him to scrub a vid of his ex bringing herself to.

You raised the theme of the 'specialness of sex'; and I went off making further reflections. I would say there's a gender difference in how men and women entertain this.

62

@42 citing expectations and universal "moral preferabilities" is a red flag, to me. It sounds like you have unspoken expectations of your partners, and are quite ready to punish them if they violate your unspoken expectations. That's a common attitude, and the trigger of vast amounts of relational unhappiness. For myself, having fallen into those traps a lot in the past, I find it better now to take a man as he is, assume that if he has decided to be with me he will not knowingly hurt me, and then if he does something I don't understand or that I dislike, ask him what it means to him and go from there. If he means me harm by it, it's over, otherwise it's time to problem solve and come up with a solution for both of us.

@56 You think wearing the mask is weird, so you wouldn't have ever gotten together with this guy in the first place. No, it's not a must-explain-this thing. He owes no explanation, that's what he's offering. If you can't accept what he's offering, then move on. Find someone who thinks you have the right to demand explanations for everything they like and do. That, apparently, is what you're offering. Men who would enjoy justifying themselves to you must be out there, keep looking. And good luck.

63

@41 / Harriet: Thanks! It’s tough being a broke sex worker. You have to hide it from clients, ‘cause they tend to assume that if you were any good you’d be making bank. But I’ve got a mom with dementia who I’m supporting, and she’s expensive.

64

Seriously, though, what's with all the people trying to get other people to have sex with them under conditions or in contexts to which they object? It's almost like coercion is normalized, as though we have some kind of "rape culture" or something. If someone only wants to have sex how you don't want to hace sex, don't have sex with that person (and definitely don't try to argue the other person out of their stated conditions).

65

@9: Not if you care about not raping/assaulting someone more than you care about getting laid. Which, according to our normative ethics, we all should (though clearly it's not the case that we actually all do).

66

ECarpenter @62: Not to mention the attitude that fantasising about an ex while having sex with you is "beyond policing", yow, because it implies that other activities/fantasies ARE justified in policing. I had to read the thread back to see that it refers to the specific situation of someone turning down sex with an eager partner to masturbate instead, but still had a very sinister ring to it. 99 times out of 100, masturbation does not affect the relationship and should be left well alone.

Sati @63: I'm sorry to hear about your mom, and I'm sorry you (apparently) live in a country whose government is not providing for her care so that you can make whatever career decision you like without that issue driving you.

67

Ms Cute - Agreed that the condition certainly appears to be a price-of-admission thing. It's a little disappointing that most of the comments seem to want to shame LW, because he gives in in weak moments, into adopting this kink for himself whatever self-harm may ensue, or blame him if he chooses to leave. The harsh comments about removing the mask are fair.