CVIndependent

Sun10202019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

I’m a 30-something straight woman married for 16 years. Eighteen months ago, I met a man, and there was an immediate attraction. For the first 15 months of our relationship, I was his primary sexual and intimate partner, as both sex and intimacy were lacking in his marriage. (My husband knew of the relationship from the start and is accepting, for the most part.) After my lover’s wife found out about me, she suddenly became very responsive to my lover’s sexual and emotional needs. My lover has told his wife that he will not let me go. He has also told me that he is not willing to let his wife go. She isn’t happy about being in a triad relationship, but she allows him to continue seeing me with limitations.

I am no longer his primary sex partner, and I have been relegated to the back seat. He claims to love us both, yet his wife and I both struggle knowing the other exists. Recently while out shopping, my lover asked me to help him pick out a Christmas gift for his wife. I got upset, because I am in love with him, and I have made him my priority (over my husband), but I am not his priority.

I love this man, and we feel we are soul mates. My lover has said that if we fall apart, he will have to find a new secondary partner, because his wife can never give him the soulful fulfillment he needs. Should I continue in this relationship?

Soul Mate Avoids Choice Knowingly

You complain about being relegated to the back seat, SMACK, but it’s your husband whose existence only comes up in parenthetical asides. You also describe this relationship as a triad when there are four people involved (you, your lover, your lover’s wife and your husband), which technically makes this a quad. And from the sound of things, only one member of this messy quad seems happy—your lover, the guy who refuses to make you a “priority” over his wife.

While you’ve convinced yourself that your lover feels as strongly for you as you do for him—“we feel we are soul mates”—it kindasorta sounds to me like you may be projecting, SMACK. Because in addition to asking you to pick out Christmas gifts for his wife, your lover and alleged soul mate regards you as expendable and replaceable. And he’s told you as much: He intends to “find a new secondary partner” if you two part, because his wife doesn’t “give him the soulful fulfillment he needs.” That’s not how people talk about their soul mates, and it’s certainly not something a guy says to someone he regards as his soul mate. Soul mates are typically told they’re special and irreplaceable, but your guy sees you as one of many potential seconds out there, and therefore utterly replaceable.

Here’s what you ought to do: You aren’t interested in being your lover’s secondary partner (nor are you much interested in being your husband’s wife), so you’ll have to call your lover’s bluff. The only card you have to play—and it’s a weak hand (all hands with just one card are)—is to dump your lover unless he leaves his wife for you. Success rests on the outside chance your lover was bluffing when he said he’d replace you, but I suppose it’s possible he regards you as the irreplaceable one, and only said those hurtful things to make you think he wouldn’t choose you when you are the one he would’ve chosen all along. If it turns out that this was the case, SMACK, you’ll wind up with your soul mate … who happens to be kindasorta cruel and manipulative.

Calling your lover’s bluff—ending a relationship that, in its current form, brings you no joy—is your only hope of having this guy to yourself. But the likelier outcome is that you’ll be left alone (with, um, your husband).


My boyfriend and I met at a bondage party a year ago. He’s not into bondage. (He tagged along with a kinky friend.) We hit it off in the chill-out room and started seeing each other. He told me it was OK for me to keep going to bondage parties and seeing some guys I play with one-on-one. Then right after we moved in together, he said he doesn’t want me playing with anyone else, because we are in love. Which means I can’t get tied up at all anymore, because he has zero interest in bondage. He can’t see why I’m upset, and I’m not sure what to do.

Boy In New Drama

So now that you’re in love, and now that you’ve signed a lease, and now that you’re trapped, BIND, now—NOW—your vanilla boyfriend yanks back the accommodation that convinced you to date him in the first place? There’s only one thing you can do: DTMFA.


I am 30 and male, and I have been with my girlfriend for five years. For a slew of reasons (we have almost no interests/hobbies in common; our personalities are completely different; we aren’t sexually compatible), I have decided to end it. She’s a good, smart, well-educated person for whom I wish only the best.

I’m thinking of breaking up with her sometime this week—or halfway through next year. I know you believe someone should tell a partner about these sorts of feelings ASAP to avoid robbing them of time they could have spent fixing the situation or moving on, but something inside me tells me that my case is different. My girlfriend is a graduate student in a non-tech/STEM field (read: hard-to-find jobs) and has a decent amount of school debt. We also have a dog. We live in a city where the rents are high, and it’s harder to find a place that will allow dogs. (She will definitely be taking the dog.) The thing is, she would almost certainly want to move out immediately if we broke up. I’m worried that if she tried to absorb the financial hit of a breakup, it might torpedo her education and life plans.

I am at a loss for what to do. She’s leaving in a week to visit her family for a month. Should I dump her before then so she can lean on them? Should I wait until she graduates but dodge questions about where I’m willing to move if she gets a job offer somewhere else?

Deciding Ultimately Means Pain

As a general rule, one should never drag out an inevitable breakup. We should break up with people promptly to spare our exes the humiliation of thinking back over the last few months or (God forbid!) the last few years and recalling every painfully ambiguous or deceitfully upbeat conversation about Our Shared Future. Another good reason to break up with someone promptly: A person (not the person) your ex could spend the rest of their life with might cross their path two months from now—and if they’re still with you then or still reeling from a very recent breakup, they won’t say yes (old-fashioned) or swipe right (newfangled).

But there are exceptions to every rule, DUMP, and I think your case qualifies. As with many exceptions to many rules, your exception honors the spirit of the rule itself. Both reasons I cite for breaking up with someone promptly—to spare your soon-to-be ex’s feelings, to get out of the way of your soon-to-be ex’s future—are about being considerate of your soon-to-be ex. And that’s just what you’re doing: You want to end this relationship now, but you’re going to wait six months, because you don’t want to derail your soon-to-be-ex girlfriend’s education or career prospects. So out of consideration for her, DUMP, you should coast for a bit longer.

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I’m a kinky single woman who keeps attracting the wrong men for me—specifically, submissive guys into face-sitting.

I’m submissive myself, and face-sitting is not a turn-on for me. But the vast majority of men who hit on me have this fetish. I think it’s a size-related issue—a my-size-related issue: I’m a full-figured/curvy woman with a big butt. Granted, it’s a fabulous butt, but my butt sends the wrong signals, apparently.

I’ve tried several times to word my FetLife and other dating profiles so that I’ll attract dominant men, but the messages from submissive wannabe face-sittees pour in. Dating when you’re not thin is hard enough. Help, please.

Baby Got Back

You’ve worded your dating profiles to attract Doms, BGB, but it doesn’t sound like you’ve worded your profiles to repel—and crush the hopes of—submissive wannabe face-sittees. Let’s fix that: “I get a lot of messages from submissive guys into face-sitting. I’ve got a great butt, I realize, but I’m a sub, I’m not into face-sitting, and I only want to hear from Dom guys.” Some submissive guys will message you anyway—guys who will be letting you know they have a hard time taking no for an answer, BGB, so not guys you’d ever want to meet up with IRL. Delete their messages, and block their profiles.


While having sex one night with my girlfriend, I pulled out a vibrator for the first time. She asked whether I (a guy) had used it with a previous partner (another woman). I conceded that I had. She refused to let me use it on her on the grounds that it had already been inside someone else. I pointed out that since I am not a virgin, her objection did not seem principled: My penis has been in someone else, and she lets me put that in her. Nevertheless, she remained adamant.

Do you think she was being reasonable?

Very Interested Boyfriend Enquires

I do not, VIBE, but since you don’t want to stick your old vibrator in me—presumably—what I think is irrelevant. When it comes to who gets to stick what in our bodies, we’re allowed to be arbitrary, inconsistent, capricious and even illogical. That’s why, “But my dick has been in other women and you let me stick that in you!” isn’t quite the slam-dunk argument you think it is. So toss that old vibrator, and get yourself a new one—but save the packaging so you can pass it off as new with your next girlfriend.


My cousin was a victim of revenge porn. A bitter ex-boyfriend of his sent several videos they’d made to everyone on my cousin’s contact list, including me. I’m a straight woman who prefers gay male porn, and my cousin and his ex are beautiful men—they’re both dancers—and I couldn’t help myself: I watched the videos, more than once, before deleting them.

So how bad of a person am I?

Sick And Wrong

You’re a better person than the asshole ex who sent those videos to everyone your poor cousin knows, SAW, but a worse person than those who deleted the videos without wanking over them first.


Your life is a monstrous affront to God, and your life’s work, your ridiculous “advice” column, encourages people to act on their worst impulses. Advice column? Take the “D” away! You write A VICE column!

I was involved in the gay life once, Mr. Savage, but the love of Jesus delivered me from homosexual sin. Embrace Christ, and you, too, can be delivered. I pray for you every day. Someone has to.

By the way: I have read what you’ve written about your mother, who you claim to have loved. Your mother died relatively young. I’m not suggesting God punished you by cutting your mother’s life short. No, your mother died of shame.

Christ Even Saves Savages

You pray for me, CESS, and I’ll gay for you—because all the delicious dicks you left behind when Jesus raptured you out of homosexual sin aren’t gonna suck themselves, are they?

“Jesus is love,” my Catholic mother liked to say. If she was right, CESS, he surely finds the things going into my mouth less offensive than the shit coming out of yours.


I’ve been toying with the idea of having a sub provide domestic services, but all the potential subs I’ve met with haven’t seemed like a good fit for various reasons. Last night, I had a first meeting with a man who is a good fit on paper, but who turned out to be an obnoxious asshole in person—a misogynistic, mansplaining frat-boy type. Can someone be too much of a dick for you to let them do your laundry?

Sub Is Subhuman

If you wouldn’t be in a vanilla relationship with someone, SIS, why would you want to be in a D/s relationship with them?


I’ve been in a lesbian relationship for about two years. Recently, I was listening to your podcast, and you were talking about the Big/little kink. I remember thinking my girlfriend could be into that. Today, my girlfriend texted this to me: “I want you to hold me like a child, rock me to sleep, and tuck me in and kiss my forehead.” I almost asked her right then if she was into Big/little play, but then I realized that I’m not sure what I would do if she said yes. If she came to me and said, “Hey, I’m into this stuff!” I would consider it. But I am not into this stuff—not independently—or at least I don’t think so. My question is this: If you suspect your partner is into something that you’re not into, should you leave it alone? I feel like maybe the GGG thing to do is to ask her and offer to explore it if she says yes.

Wanna Be GGG

Are you sure you’re not curious about Big/little play, aka age play? Because it sounds like you might be. If you are, don’t project your interests/kinks onto your girlfriend. Just ask her if she might be interested. If you aren’t into Big/little play but think she might be, the same advice applies: Just ask her.


My boyfriend of three years has not left his wife for me, even though he says he will someday. He doesn’t want to hurt her. He feels a duty to her. But he loves me more and swears he will leave her someday. In the meantime, we carve out half an hour a week for sex, and it’s super hot.

Two questions (and please answer honestly): He’s not going to leave her, is he? And I’m a cliché, aren’t I?

Don’t Understand Men

No, he isn’t. And yes, you are. DTMFA.

On the Lovecast, sex-toy expert Erika Moen discusses strap-ons for men: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m straight and married but not boring, and I am heading to my parents’ house for our first family Christmas since my asshole MAGA brother “stumbled over” the Tumblr blog where the wife and I posted about our sexual adventures. (Pics of MMF threesomes and cross-dressing/pegging sessions, plus some dirty “true enough” stories.) My brother has always been an angry screwup, so he leapt on the chance to make me look bad by sending the link to my parents, siblings and even some close family friends. Our Tumblr blog is still up, because we aren’t ashamed. Any advice?

Totally Uncool Malicious Bastard’s Lame Reveal

Your Tumblr blog isn’t going to be up for much longer, TUMBLR, as the company that owns Tumblr—Verizon—is ashamed of your blog and the millions of others like it: Tumblr announced last week that all “adult” content is banned as of Dec. 17. And the definition of “adult content” is pretty broad: “photos, videos, and GIFs of human genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations,” although they will allow genitals and those wicked “female-presenting nipples” in images of classical art. (No contemporary junk or lady nips allowed.)

This is not just a blow to people who use Tumblr for porn—and that’s most people who use Tumblr—but also to the sex-work community. Sex workers had already been driven off most other online platforms by anti-sex-work crusaders, and now sex workers are being driven off Tumblr as well. Forcing sex workers off the internet won’t end sex work—the stated goal of anti-sex-work crusaders—but it will make sex work more dangerous, which tells us everything we need to know about the motives of anti-sex-work crusaders. While they claim to oppose sex work because it’s dangerous, they push policies that make sex work more dangerous. Sex workers weren’t just advertising online; they were organizing—in addition to honing and making the political argument for decriminalizing sex work, they were screening potential clients and sharing information with each other about dangerous clients. Just like anti-choice/anti-abortion crusaders, anti-sex-work crusaders don’t want to “protect” women; they want to punish women for making choices they disapprove of. (As a general rule: If what you’re doing makes people less safe, you don’t get to claim you’re trying to protect anyone—it’s like claiming you only set houses on fire to drive home the importance of smoke alarms.)

Anyway, fuck your sex-shaming/smut-shaming brother, TUMBLR. As for the rest of your family, you and the wife should slap smiles on your faces and act like you’ve done nothing wrong—because you haven’t done anything wrong. Your asshole brother is the bad guy, and any family members who wish to discuss how offended they were by your Tumblr blog should be directed to speak with your brother, as he’s the one who showed it to them.


How can I explain to my sisters that although I am a free sexual woman, I still prefer men as sexual partners? My sisters are both involved with women, and they cannot understand how, with all the awful sexual inequality in the world, I can still be primarily attracted to men. Sometimes I even imagine my sexuality as a gay man’s sexuality in a woman’s body, and I try to explain it to them in this way.

I’m not a secret right-winger or someone kidding around by asking this question. This is a real issue.

By the way: I have a straight male friend who says he’s a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. What do you think of this?

Give It To Me Straight

People don’t choose to be straight—some poor motherfuckers are born that way—any more than hetero-romantic bisexuals choose to be hetero-romantic bisexuals. You can’t help who you’re attracted to, GITMS, primarily or otherwise, and the contempt of family members can’t change a person’s sexual or romantic orientation. Your sisters should understand that, since they most likely wouldn’t be with women if the contempt of family members had that kind of power.

As for describing yourself as a gay man trapped in a woman’s body and your straight male friend describing himself as a lesbian trapped in a man’s body … Unless the two of you are trans—in which case you could be homos trapped in the wrong bodies—your friend is just another straight guy mortified by the mess straight people (mostly white, mostly men) have made of the world. You’re also mortified by straightness, GITMS, or at least the sexual inequality that often comes bundled with it. But instead of your straight male friend opting out of heterosexuality (which he can’t do) or you framing your attraction to men as a gay thing to get your sisters off your back (which you shouldn’t have to do), your friend should identify as straight (because he is), and you should identify as someone who doesn’t give a shit what her sisters think (because you shouldn’t).

If good straight guys and “free sexual women” in opposite-sex relationships don’t identify with heterosexuality and/or hetero-romantic orientations, GITMS, all the shitty straight people will conclude that they get to define heterosexuality (which they don’t).


I’m a gay man in my mid-20s, and I’m getting more serious with a guy I met a few months ago. I was surprised to eventually learn that “Michael” is in his late 30s, since he easily passes for my age. I’m comfortable with the age gap, but I’m struggling with how to present this to my parents. Religious and conservative, they were cordial but distant with the last guy I dated (who was my age). I’m afraid the age gap with my new boyfriend will create even more discomfort for them and that Michael will sense it when he comes along to visit for the holidays.

I’m considering lying to my parents if Michael’s age comes up. I’ve challenged my parents’ attitudes for many years—but at this point, I’m willing to trade honesty for the chance to be treated even a little bit more like a “normal couple” at Christmas.

Is it selfish to ask Michael for permission to lie about his age? I’m nervous to even share my feelings with him, for fear it will give the impression I’m embarrassed by him.

Awkward Gatherings Expected Given Age Peculiarity

Tell one lie to make your relationship seem more acceptable to your parents, and you’ll be tempted to tell them more lies—and I don’t know about you, AGEGAP, but not having to lie to mommy and daddy anymore was one of the reasons I came out of the closet. And if you want your parents to be comfortable with Michael—if you don’t want them to think there’s anything wrong with their son dating an older man—deceiving your parents about Michael’s age is a terrible first move. That says you think there’s something wrong it—and you won’t just be saying that to your parents, AGEGAP; you’ll be saying it to Michael as well.

And let’s say things work out with Michael. The lie you told that first Christmas will only serve to make things more awkward after you finally tell them the truth about your boyfriend’s age. And if your parents are like other mildly or wildly homophobic parents, i.e., if they’re inclined to regard the man who sodomizes their son as a negative influence in his life, they may not believe the lie was your idea. They’ll think this creepily youthful older man—this man who showed up in their home wearing a suit made out of the skins of younger gay men—encouraged their son to lie to them so they wouldn’t object to the relationship in the early stages, when their objections might have had the ability to derail it.

Finally, AGEGAP, if your older boyfriend is concerned you may be too immature for him—not all young people are immature, and not all immature people are young, but this shit does correlate—telling him you’re still in the lie-to-mommy-and-daddy stage might prompt him to end this relationship.

On the Lovecast: RealDoll brothels?! Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 59-year-old man in good health. For basically my whole adult life, I’ve had a problem during intercourse with a woman of, one, being very quick to come, and two, having a too-intense, “cringey” sensation when I come. This has led to often going soft at the prospect of intercourse. This too-intense feeling makes me stop moving when I come, which is not satisfying at all.

It doesn’t happen with hand jobs or oral sex—they feel fine and good. Is this a known phenomenon? Most importantly, what can I do to get to a point where I can enjoy intercourse? This seriously messes up my enjoyment of sex and my confidence with women. One time, and only one time (out of many with a particular girlfriend), I had intercourse, and it felt fine when I came, still thrusting, so I know it’s possible.

I have been practicing with a Fleshlight, but it’s still painfully “cringey” when I come. It is not fun and rather depressing.

He Always Really Dreads Penetration And Regrets This

I shared your letter with Dr. Ashley Winter, a urologist in private practice in Portland, Ore., and the co-host of The Full Release, a sex, health and relationship podcast. Dr. Winter wanted to note that her comments are a general discussion of a medical topic and NOT individual medical advice. She wanted me to emphasize this point—which she also emphasizes at the top of her terrific podcast—because Dr. Winter is a responsible doctor and not a card-carrying member of the Amalgamated Advice Columnists of America. (Membership in the AACA entitles advice columnists to say pretty much whatever they want.)

“There are three issues at play here,” said Dr. Winter. “First, the pain or ‘cringey’ sensation only associated with vaginal and Fleshlight penetration. Second, being too quick to come. And third, erectile dysfunction. HARDPART insightfully suggests his ED may be related to his performance anxiety as well as anticipated pain, and I would agree with this. I would add that his quick ejaculation is most likely also caused by a mix of ED and pain—the body adapts to pain and erection loss by letting the swimmers off the hook early.”

But why do you experience this pain only during penetrative sex? What is it about PIV (penis in vagina) or PIF (penis in Fleshlight) that causes those painfully cringey feelings?

“If he thrusts more during these activities than he does during oral or hand stimulation, I would expect that either pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction or a nerve issue related to the lower spine could be causing the flares,” said Dr. Winter. “If he were my patient, I would want to know if he has less pain when his partner is on top, which would mean his pelvis is moving less. Also, does he have chronic low back pain? Bowel or bladder issues?”

Dr. Winter and I continued to generally discuss the medical topics raised by your question, HARDPART, and we generally discussed—this is not, again, individual medical advice, but a general discussion—two things someone with your particular issue might want to think about doing. First, a guy with your problem could try taking Viagra—or a related drug—while also using a penis-numbing spray. And a guy with your problem should also have his pelvic floor checked out. A urologist can help a guy with a problem like yours determine if there’s something wrong with the complex web of muscles and nerves that crowd together around your junk, and if it is a pelvic-floor issue, refer him to a pelvic-floor physical therapist.

Finally, a suggestion from me, the person with the AACA card: A guy with a problem like yours—a guy whose dick works a certain way and has worked that way for decades—could save himself the hassle of physical therapy and the side effects of Viagra by accepting his dick and the way his dick works. There are women out there who prefer oral and outercourse to PIV, HARDPART, and you could bed those women with confidence.

Follow Dr. Ashley Winter on Twitter @AshleyGWinter, and check out The Full Release podcast, which she cohosts with comedian Mo Mandel, at thefullreleasepod.com.


I’m a mostly straight guy in my 40s, and I’m married to a woman. I don’t know if it’s a midlife crisis or what, but I’ve decided that I want to get fucked in the ass once in my life. I will be visiting Hamburg soon, and it’s my understanding that sex work is legal in Germany. I want your help sorting out the legal, ethical, and practical issues.

1. Legal issue: Paying for sex in Germany is legal, right? But even if sex work is legal, that doesn’t mean every sex worker is doing it voluntarily. I prefer people closer to my own age, and I imagine a 40-year-old sex worker is less likely to be exploited, right? What else can I do to ensure that I’m not with a trafficked individual?

2. Ethical issue: After many years and many near-divorce situations, my wife and I have adopted a more-tolerant (or more-apathetic) posture toward each other. She has on several occasions told me that she doesn’t care who I fuck. While I haven’t acted on it, she has said it often enough that I believe her. We’ve talked about an open relationship, but she wasn’t enthusiastic. My best guess is that she doesn’t want to know if I do anything “gay,” while also not wanting me to form any emotional attachments. Do I ask her again if she really doesn’t care who I fuck? Or do her previous statements suffice?

3. Practical issues: Is a condom enough protection? How do I avoid things like herpes and crabs? Other than emptying ye olde bowels, what other steps should I take before asking a male German escort to fuck me in the ass? And how do I ask? Google Translate suggests “fick mich in den Arsch,” which is an unappealing thing to say. Maybe there’s something sexier?

Legal, Ethical, And Practical

1. Sex work is, indeed, legal in Germany. You can minimize your chances of hiring someone who may not be doing sex work of their own free will by avoiding agencies and finding yourself an independent escort. But since you’re looking to hire a male in his 40s, LEAP, your odds of hiring someone doing sex work under duress are very, very low.

2. The wife who lovingly and apathetically tolerates your soon-to-be-fucked ass has already told you—and told you more than once—that she doesn’t care who you fuck. She also doesn’t want to know if you fuck someone else. Asking if she meant it immediately before flying off to Hamburg—double-checking to make sure she really doesn’t care who you fuck—would basically mean telling her you know you’re going to fuck someone else in Hamburg (and fuck them all “gay” and shit), and she’s already told you she doesn’t want to know. Taking her at her word, i.e., allowing her previous statements to suffice, is the right thing to do.

3. A condom offers highly effective protection from HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. For added protection, LEAP, ask your doctor about getting on PrEP, aka Truvada, before your trip. It’s a daily pill that, once built up to full strength (roughly a week), provides highly effective protection against HIV infection. While condoms do provide some protection against herpes, neither condoms nor PrEP will save you from crabs. To make sure your one-and-only ass-fucking goes well, empty ye olde bowels and then douche ye olde rectum. Since most German escorts, like most German everybodies, speak English, LEAP, there is no need for an English-to-German dictionary. Just say, “Fuck my ass, please.”

On the Lovecast, the Atlantic’s Kate Julian on why the kids aren’t having sex: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a recently divorced single mom and full-time student. I’m really beginning to hurt financially and have decided to start working as an escort. I am at a point of great emotional stability, happiness and confidence—all reasons that led to my decision—and I’m surrounded by people who love me and won’t judge me. (Not that I will be telling most of them.)

I’ve been seeing a man who I like, but I’ve made it clear that I am not committed to him and can see him only once a week. I’ve explained that I don’t think I can ever be monogamous, and I do not want a relationship. He has struggled with this and told me early on he was in love with me. We have AMAZING sex, and I think this causes him to have a hard time understanding why I don’t want a relationship.

I do not want to tell him I am escorting. I feel the fewer people who know, the better. And I don’t know him that well, as I have been “seeing” him for only six months. I know he would want to know, and a huge part of me feels that the right thing to do is be honest with him if I am going to continue seeing him. I also know that cutting him loose would hurt and confuse him, especially without being able to give him a reason.

How do I handle this? What is the right thing to do? My site goes live in three days, and what’s keeping me up at night is not how best to verify clients; it’s what to do about the man in my life whom I respect and love, even if I am not in love with him.

New To Escorting

Let’s set the escorting issue aside for a moment. You don’t want the same things (he wants monogamy and a defined relationship; you don’t want any of that shit); you don’t feel for him the way he feels for you (he’s in love;, you’re not); and you’re a busy single mom and full-time student—all perfectly valid reasons to end a relationship, NTE. You aren’t obligated to tell him that something you were thinking about doing but haven’t yet done, i.e., escorting, factored into your decision to cut him loose.

While I definitely think people have a right to know if their partners are escorts, I don’t think people have an absolute right to know if their partners were escorts. So if the sex is really good, and you think there’s a chance you could one day feel as strongly for him as he does for you, and you’re planning to escort only until you get your degree, NTE, you could tell him you want to take a break. Explain to him that you don’t have the bandwidth for a boyfriend just now—kid, school, work—but you’re open to dating him after you’re out of school if he’s still single and still interested.


I’m a 30-year-old single monogamist, and I recently realized I’m bisexual. I feel much happier—except I recently crossed a line with a very close friend of mine, a man I’ll admit to having some romantic feelings for.

After he broke up with his ex, I started getting random late-night text messages from him. And a couple weeks ago, we hooked up sans penetration. We acknowledged that we both have feelings, but neither of us is in a good place. He’s still dealing with the end of his LTR, and I am only just coming out as bisexual.

I love this person, and our friendship is important to me, but I can’t stop thinking of the possibility of us being together. I’m confused by the timing, and I wonder if this is real or just something I’ve allowed to distract me—or both! Also, what would this mean for my bisexuality? I’ve been to this rodeo before—meaning opposite-sex relationships—but what about the part of me I haven’t fully explored?

Between Every Thorn Solitude Yearns

You describe yourself as a monogamist—so, yeah, entering into a committed relationship with this man would prevent you from exploring your bisexuality. And the timing feels off: He may be on the rebound, and you’re still coming to terms with your bisexuality. So don’t enter into a committed relationship with him, BETSY, at least not yet. Date him casually, and keep hooking up with him, with the understanding—with the explicit and fully verbalized and mutually consented-to understanding—that you will be “exploring” your bisexuality, i.e., you’ll be getting out there and eating some pussy.


I’m a 37-year-old woman married for eight years to a wonderful man. We’re happy and GGG to the point where his kinks have become my kinks, and vice versa. However, he loves anal sex, and I cannot do it. No matter how much lube we use or how slowly we go, it’s not just uncomfortable—it’s red-hot-poker-in-my-ass painful. Can you give me any concrete, practical advice to get to a point where I can enjoy anal?

Also: Do some women actually enjoy anal? After my experiences, I find that really hard to believe.

Beyond Uncomfortable Tushy Trauma

If you’re still interested in exploring anal after all those red-hot-poker-in-your-ass painful experiences—and you are by no means obligated to explore any further—focus on anal stimulation, BUTT, not anal penetration. Try rimming; try a vibrator pressed against your anus (not shoved into it); try running his lubed-up dick up and down your crack (across your anus, not into your anus); and try all of these things during masturbation, vaginal penetration and oral sex. Having a few dozen orgasms—or a few hundred—while your anus’ sensitive nerve endings are pleasurably engaged could create a positive association between anal stimulation and sexual pleasure.

It’s going to take some time to create a positive association powerful enough to supplant the negative association you have now—an association with echoes of regicide (google “Edward II and red hot poker”)—so your husband shouldn’t expect to get his dick back into your butt anytime soon, if he ever will at all. Some people, for reasons physiological or psychological or both, just can’t experience pleasure during anal intercourse. If you’re one of those people, BUTT, your husband will just have to grieve and move on.

As for the other question: I find it hard to believe that a woman could possibly enjoy, say, a Donald Trump rally. But some women do, BUTT, and we have video to prove it. The same could be said about anal.


I am a 30-year-old hetero woman. Any ideas on how a person can build up to healthy intimate relationships again while recovering from trauma? I’m afraid in normal sexual situations. How can I get to a point where I can have sex for fun and not in a way where I’m triggering my fight-or-flight response? Yes, I am seeing a therapist.

Traumatic Experience Nullifying Sexual Energy

Here’s an idea, TENSE, but please run it by your therapist before giving it a try: Find a guy you like, and propose a different kind of friends-with-benefits arrangement. You will be in charge—you will do all the initiating—and while he can say no to anything you ask, he isn’t to ask for or initiate anything himself. You set the menu; you make the rules; you give the orders. He’ll need to be someone you trust, and it’ll help if he’s someone who thinks following orders is sexy—and trust me, TENSE, those guys are out there. You said that normal sexual situations aren’t working for you … maybe an abnormal one would?

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I’ve always wanted to tie girls up, but I can never convince a woman to let me. Lately, I’ve been exploring “bondage singles” sites online, but I’m totally new to this.

How do I know which ones I can trust? There are hundreds of profiles, but it’s hard for me to believe I can really just answer an ad, meet a girl in a hotel room, and tie her up. It can’t be that simple, can it?

The Internet’s Enticing Dates

It can’t be, and it isn’t, TIED, because no woman in her right mind is going to let some man she’s never met before tie her up in a hotel room. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen or hasn’t ever happened, but women stupid enough to take that risk are rare—and it should go without saying that any singles website promising to provide lonely guys with an endless stream of stupid women is a scam.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Justin Gorbey is a bondage practitioner and educator, as well as a professional artist and tattooer. Gorbey ties up a lot of women, as you can see on his Instagram account (@daskinbaku), and he doesn’t think you’re going to find someone on a “bondage singles” site, either.

“I would recommend this person step away from the dating sites and step into some educational group meet-ups or ‘munches,’” said Gorbey. “TIED or any new person should focus on groups that match their own desires/interests, and connections will develop organically with time and effort—with a lot of fucking time and effort!”

Kink social and education groups organize online but meet up offline—face-to-face, IRL, in meatspace—at munches (educational talks, no actual play) and play parties (actual play, hence the name). To find the kink organization(s) in your area, TIED, Gorbey suggests that you create a profile on FetLife, the biggest social network for kinky people, and start connecting with other like-minded kinksters at munches.

“Going to munches will not only give TIED a chance to meet people,” said Gorbey, “they’ll give him a ‘guide’ for how to act—most groups generally go over house safe words/etiquette/rules and consent/risk awareness at the beginning of a munch—and they’ll also give what I call a ‘visual vocabulary’ of what a real-life scene looks like. Porn and fetish fantasy often distort our perceptions of what is plausible or even possible for real people in a real-life scenario. Just watching others play helped me identify the things I found attractive as both a top and a bottom.”

There are lots of men and women out there who are interested in bondage, TIED, and the organized kink scene is the best place to find safe and sane play partners. You’ll be able to interact with kinky women at munches and parties—women who will be a lot likelier to let you tie them up after you’ve demonstrated you’re safe and sane yourself.

“There are hours of intimacy before and after the moment captured for an Instagram photo,” said Gorbey. “These relationships require trust, vulnerability and communication. These acts require a lot of hard work and commitment, and they expose a person to risk. That’s why the only responsible answer to TIED’s question is to seek education first, and play partners second.”

Justin Gorbey teaches workshops and intensives on a number of subjects centering on bondage and power-exchange dynamics. To see his work and learn about his workshops, follow him on Instagram @daskinbaku.


I’m a monogamous woman in a committed relationship with a nonmonogamous man. I try to be cool about his other relationships, but I’m trying to figure out how to bring some fire back into ours. I miss oral sex, but that’s not on the table, because he “doesn’t like” how I taste. I’ve suggested bondage and anal, but he says he’s “too tired.” He can make plans with others to have exciting new experiences, but he doesn’t have any energy for me.

I’m at a loss. Counseling is not an option for us, because he doesn’t believe in that stuff. Any suggestions?

Seeking Adventurous Monogamishamy

Yes: Stop doing his laundry or paying his rent or preparing his meals—stop doing whatever it is you’re doing that your shit boyfriend values and is reluctant to give up, SAM, because it’s clear he doesn’t value you. DTMFA.


I’m a 44-year-old straight woman. I’ve been married for 14 years to a husband I love very much. We have two small children. Early in our courtship, I discovered his interest in bottoming during fem-Dom pegging sessions. I GGG’d his desires, and we explored them. He bought a variety of dildos, strap-on harnesses and kink ephemera, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the few times we’ve done this. But I’ve grown less interested over the years.

We both work; there are kids to look after—and when we have sex, I just want to get it over with and move on with our day, not deal with the pageantry of dress up, stiletto heels, collars and cuffs, lubricating buttholes, graduating to bigger dildos in a session, etc. The vanilla-leaning sex we have is great, and we are both into it, but I know being bound and pegged is his fantasy, and he is less fulfilled by not having it on the menu.

How do I get more motivated to indulge him? Do I have to give him a pass to seek out a pro-Dom to indulge this? (Not sure how I feel about that.) Ultimately, I don’t hate indulging his fantasy, and it really does it for him. Not sure what to do.

Frequently Evading My Dude’s Obsessions Mostly

You discovered your husband’s kinks during your courtship—an unspecified period of time prior to the wedding, the kids, etc. And while you say you’ve GGG’d his kinks over the 14-plus years you’ve been together, FEMDOM, it’s hard to square that claim with this: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed (pegging him) the few times we’ve done this.” Indulging someone a few times over 14-plus years hardly counts as GGG’ing their desires.

Being “good, giving and game” for anything—within reason—doesn’t obligate us to do whatever our partners want. But if something is truly central to your partner’s erotic self, then being GGG—being a loving partner—means making an accommodation, FEMDOM, and finding a work-around that allows your partner to express this aspect of their sexuality without requiring you to do something you find tedious, a turnoff or traumatizing. That accommodation can be something as simple as cheerfully allowing your partner to indulge their kinks with porn or during solo play (emphasis on the word cheerfully), to something as challenging as allowing your partner to explore their kinks with others, e.g., play partners or professionals.

If your husband isn’t feeling neglected—if he enjoys hurry-up-and-get-it-over-with sex as much as you do and wants to be tied up and pegged only once every five years—then you don’t have a problem. But if he’s feeling resentful, you do have a problem. Resentment has a way of metastasizing into bitterness, and bitterness has a way of curdling into the kind of anger that can doom a relationship.

So check in with your husband, FEMDOM, and be clear about your feelings: You don’t hate indulging his fantasy, but you’re both busy; you have small children; and his fantasies require a lot of prep and setup. Tell him you want him to be happy—and, hey, if he is happy, then great. But if he’s not, then it’s time to talk accommodation. You don’t want him to go without; you don’t want him to see a pro; and you don’t want him to feel bad about the sex you do have and both enjoy. So how about this: You get grandparents or good friends to look after your kids once a year while you spend a restful weekend in a nice hotel pegging the husband’s ass between spa treatments.

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I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about myself, my sexuality and my romantic self.

I can log on and easily find someone to fuck. I’m a bear-built top guy. There are ladies in my life who choose to share their beds with me. I can find subs to tie up and torture. (I’m kinky and bi.) What I can’t find is a long-term partner. The problem is that after I fuck/sleep with/torture someone, my brain stops seeing them as sexual and moves them into the friend category. I have friends who I used to fuck regularly, and now, it’s a chore to get it up for them. Sure, the sex still feels good, but it’s not passionate. And when it’s all said and done, they’re still in the “friend” category in my brain. Some of them have suggested being more, but I’ve recoiled. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they’re friends, not potential partners.

I’m 32, and my siblings are married and having kids, and the people I grew up with are married and having kids. And here I am not able to find a long-term significant other. Am I broken? Should I just accept that, at least for me, sexual partners and domestic/romantic partners will always be separate categories?

Always Alone

What if you’re not like most everyone else? What if this is just how your sexuality works? What if you’re wired—emotionally, romantically, sexually—for intense but brief sexual connections that blossom into wonderful friendships? And what if you’ve been tricked into thinking you’re broken, because the kind of successful long-term relationships your siblings and friends have are celebrated, and the kind of successful short-term relationships you have are stigmatized?

If your siblings and friends want to have the kinds of relationships they’re having—and it is possible some do not—they will feel no inner conflict about their choices while simultaneously being showered with praise for their choices. But what are they really doing? They’re doing what they want; they’re doing what makes them happy; they’re doing what works for them romantically, emotionally and sexually. And what are you doing? Maybe you’re doing what you want, AA—maybe you’re doing what could make you happy. So why doesn’t it make you happy? Maybe because you’ve been made to feel broken by a culture that holds up one relationship model—the partnered and preferably monogamous pair—and insists that this model is the only healthy and whole option, and that anyone who goes a different way, fucks a different way, or relates a different way is broken.

Now, it’s possible you are broken, of course, but anyone could be broken. You could be broken; I could be broken; your married siblings and friends could be broken. (Regarding your siblings and friends: Not everyone who marries and has kids wanted marriage and kids. Some no doubt wanted it, AA, but others succumbed to what was expected of them.) But here’s a suggestion for something I want you to try, something that might make you feel better, because it could very well be true: Try to accept that, for you, sexual partners and domestic/romantic partners might always be separate, and that doesn’t mean you’re broken. If that self-acceptance makes you feel whole, AA, then you have your answer.

I might make a different suggestion if your brief-but-intense sexual encounters left a lot of hurt feelings in their wake. But that’s not the case. You hook up with someone a few times; you share an intense sexual experience; and you feel a brief romantic connection to them. And when those sexual and romantic feelings subside, you’re not left with a string of bitter exes and enemies, but with a large and growing circle of good friends. Which leads me to believe that even if you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing, AA, you’re clearly doing something right.

By the way … another option if you do want to get married someday: a companionate marriage to one of your most intimate friends—someone like you, AA, who also sees potential life partners and potential sex partners as two distinct categories with no overlap—and all the Grindr hookups and BDSM sessions you like with one-offs who become good friends.


I knew my little brother had an odd fascination with rubber that would likely become sexual. He would steal rubber gloves and hide them in his room, and there was a huge meltdown when our mother found a gas mask in his room when he was 12.

My brother is in his 30s now and has a closet full of rubber “gear” that he dresses in pretty much exclusively. (When he’s not at work, he’s in rubber.) All of his friends are rubber fetishists. When he travels, it’s only to fetish events where he can wear his rubber clothing publicly. He will date only other rubber fetishists, which seems to have severely limited his romantic prospects, and he posts photos of himself in rubber to his social media accounts. I read your column and I understand that kinks aren’t chosen, and they can be incorporated into a person’s sex life in a healthy way. But my brother’s interest in rubber seems obsessive. Your thoughts?

Rubbered Up Baby Brother’s Erotic Rut

If your brother were obsessed with surfing or snowboarding and built his life around chasing waves or powder—and would date only people who shared his passion—you wouldn’t have written me. Same goes if he were obsessed with pro sports, as so many straight men are, or Broadway shows, as so many gay men are. The only “problem” here is that your brother’s obsession makes his dick hard—and to be clear, RUBBER, the problem is yours, not his. An erotic obsession or passion is just as legitimate as a nonerotic one. And even if I thought your brother had a problem—and I do not—nothing I wrote here would result in him liking his rubber clothes, rubber buddies or rubber fetish events any less.


I’m a 28-year-old straight man married to a 26-year-old straight woman. My wife and I were watching a video about sex and the female orgasm, and they were talking about how, unlike men, women don’t have a refractory period after orgasm. We were confused, because we are almost the complete opposite. I have never experienced drowsiness, lessened sensitivity or quickened loss of erection after orgasm. My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t even like me kissing her bits after orgasm. She says they feel tender and sore afterward, and this feeling can last for hours. Is this normal?

Newlywed’s Orgasms Rarely Multiply

What you describe isn’t the norm, NORM, but it’s your norm.

Most men temporarily lose interest in sex immediately after climaxing. It’s called the refractory period, and it can last anywhere from 15 minutes (for teenagers) to 24 hours (for old-timers). It’s a hormone thing: After a guy comes, his pituitary gland pumps prolactin into his bloodstream—and prolactin blocks dopamine, the hormone that makes a dude horny and keeps him horny. But some men release very little prolactin and consequently have short refractory periods; a handful of men have no refractory period at all and are capable of multiple orgasms. You don’t mention the ability to come again and again, but you do sound exceptional in that you don’t lose your erection after you come. Your wife also sounds exceptional, NORM, since most orgasmic women are capable of having multiple orgasms—but most women ≠ all women. (I’ve always loved what groundbreaking sex researcher Mary Jane Sherfey wrote in 1966: “The more orgasms she has, the more she can have—for all intents and purposes, the human female is sexually insatiable.” Emphasis hers.)

But again, NORM, there’s nothing wrong with either of you. It’s just that your norm isn’t the norm—and that’s only a problem if you choose to regard it as one.

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I’m a 40-year-old married straight woman. I gave birth to our first kid in 2015 and our second earlier this year. My perineum tore and was stitched both times. I have not been able to have sex with penetration since having our second child.

My OB/GYN said I’m “a little tighter now” due to the way the stitching was performed. My husband is very well-endowed, and I can’t imagine how on earth I’m ever going to get that thing back in me, let alone enjoy it. We have a history of pretty hot sex, and I really miss it.

I’ve been searching online for some sex toys to help me. I’ve never used sex toys before. I’ve always been able to have thrilling orgasms easily without any devices. I still can with manual stimulation, but I want to have sex with my husband. I’m confused, and I just don’t know what I need to help me open back up and get through the pain. Please help!

Thanks In Advance

“Unfortunately, this situation is very common—but luckily, there are options to help her get her groove back,” said Dr. Rachel Gelman, a pelvic floor physical therapist at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Also sadly common: OB/GYNs shrugging off concerns like yours, TIA.

“I see that all the time,” said Dr. Gelman. “Part of the problem is that the pelvic floor/muscles aren’t on most doctors’ radar. That’s due to many factors—cough, cough, insurance companies, cough, our dysfunctional health care system, cough—but to water it down, it’s the OB/GYN’s job to get someone through pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. And when that’s accomplished, the feeling is their job is done.”

But so long as you’re not able to have and enjoy PIV sex with your hung husband, TIA, there’s still work to do.

“TIA needs to see a pelvic floor physical therapist,” said Dr. Gelman. “A good PT would be able to assess and treat any pelvic floor dysfunction, which is often the primary cause or a contributing factor for anyone experiencing pain with sex, especially after childbirth.”

At this point, Dr. Gelman began to explain that pushing a living, breathing, screaming human being out of your body is an intense experience, and I explained to Dr. Gelman that I’ve had to push a few living, breathing, screaming human beings out of my body, thank you very much. Dr. Gelman clarified that she was talking about “the trauma of labor and delivery,” something with which I have no experience.

“Labor and delivery can have a significant impact on the pelvic floor muscles which can cause a myriad of symptoms,” said Dr. Gelman. Pain during PIV sex sits high on the list of those symptoms.

“The fact that TIA had tearing with the deliveries means she most likely has scar tissue, and a PT would again be able to treat the scar to help decrease any hypomobility and hypersensitivity,” said Dr. Gelman. “A pelvic floor specialist can also instruct her in a home program which may include stretches, relaxation techniques and dilators—dilators are graduated cylinders that are inserted vaginally to help stretch the vaginal opening and promote relaxation of the pelvic floor.”

A set of “graduated cylinders” is essentially “a bouquet of dildos,” TIA. You start with the smallest dilator/dildo, inserting it every day until you can insert it without any pain or discomfort, and then you “graduate” (nudge, nudge) to the next “cylinder” (wink, wink). You can order a set of dilators online, TIA, but Dr. Gelman wants you to find a doc that specializes in sexual medicine first.

“There are some good medical associations that she can check out for resources and to help locate a provider in her area,” said Dr. Gelman. “The websites of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) and the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS) are where she should start.”

Follow Dr. Gelman on Instagram, @pelvichealthsf.


I’m a 30-year-old woman, and about a year ago, I started taking improv classes to help combat my social anxiety. I met a lot of awesome people in my class, but I took a particular shine to this one guy. He was a gentle soul, very sweet, and really funny. We quickly became friends. Eventually, I developed feelings for him and asked him out. He appreciated the offer but told me that he was gay. I was shocked and disappointed, but I wanted to keep our friendship, so I tried to get over my feelings.

But not only haven’t these feelings gone away; I’m actually falling in love with him. He recently confessed to me that he’s still semi-closeted and dealing with a bad breakup, so I really don’t want to add to his problems. This is such a mess. I found this wonderful guy who I care about, and yet nothing will ever happen because I was born the wrong gender. What can I do?!?

Introvert Makes Pass, Regrets Overture Very Seriously

Nothing.

You can’t make that gay guy fall in love with you, IMPROVS, any more than I could make Hasan Minhaj fall in love with me. Getting over him is your only option, and that’s gonna take some time and most likely some space, too. (I’d recommend seeing less of your crush after this class ends.)

But give yourself some credit for doing something proactive about your social anxiety, for taking a risk, and for asking your classmate out. You didn’t take that improv class to find love, right? You took it to combat your social anxiety—and it sounds like you won a few battles, IMPROVS, if not the war. The takeaway here isn’t, “It didn’t work with him, so why should I bother ever trying again with someone else?” It’s: “I did it—I made a connection, I asked someone out—and I’m going do it again, and hopefully, it’ll work out next time.”


I’m an early 30s hetero-flexible man in an open marriage with a bi woman, though both of us have been too chicken to actually go through on acting on the “open” part. Neither of us are hung up on jealousy, so that’s not a factor here.

I recently confessed to my wife that I have had a long-standing desire to sleep with a trans woman. Yes, I know that it’s immature to not have disclosed all my kink cards prior to marriage, but I have my reasons, and thankfully, my wonderful wife let me off the hook and was very supportive. I expressed to her that I have considered seeing a professional trans escort rather than trying for a “hook up” situation. Her reaction was highly negative, as she has the impression that anyone in the sex trade industry is—by definition—a victim.

Where do I go from here? I am uncomfortable with the idea of putting myself out there to meet a trans woman in my city (especially since I’m not looking for a relationship), but I don’t want to violate my wife’s trust and see an escort.

Don’t Know What To Do

Put yourself on a dating and/or hookup app; say that you’re partnered and only looking for something casual—and add that you welcome responses from trans women.

Some trans women are rightly annoyed by all the cis men out there who only wanna hook up, DKWTD, and never date or be seen in public with them. But trans folks are just like other folks—some are taken; some are looking; some are taken and looking. If you get grief from a trans woman who’s annoyed that you aren’t open to dating women like her, DKWTD, let her vent—her frustrations are perfectly legitimate—while you wait for a response from a trans woman looking to buy what you’re selling.

By the way: The trans escorts I know—women who freely chose their jobs—will be surprised to learn that they’re victims, at least according to your highly opinionated and woefully misinformed wife.

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Hi, Dan: I am a homosexual young adult seeking advice about kitten play. I find it very intriguing, and I’m wondering where to start. It’s a turn-on when someone calls me kitten, but I’m not sure how to express my kink or desire for kink play to the person or persons I am into. Any advice would be appreciated.

Constructive Advice Thoughtfully Sought

Hi, CATS: I am a homosexual not-so-young adult without much advice to offer where kitten play is concerned. I’ve encountered plenty of gay puppies in the wild—at various leather/fetish events—but I’ve seen only one fetish kitty in my lifetime, and she was a queen. (A female cat is called a queen; a male cat is called a tom; and a group of cats is called a glare. #TheMoreYouKnow!)

But Amp Somers, who hosts the kink-friendly sex-ed show Watts the Safeword, assures me that gay kitties are definitely a thing.

“Kitten play is a subcategory of the ‘animal role-play’ or ‘pet play’ kink,” said Somers. “It is a form of domination and submission in which someone gets into the head space of an animal they are role-playing and takes on its characteristics—be it with gear (masks, tails, collars) or by acting out the mannerisms of their animal. Most importantly, and this goes for all proper pet players, there are no actual animals involved in this play.”

Puppy play is the most common form of pet play—by far—and it’s very popular among younger gay kinksters. (Please don’t confuse gay pups or kitties with gay bears or otters. The former is about role-play and fetish; the latter is about body type, affirmation and community.) But what accounts for the popularity of pet play among younger kinksters?

“This sort of play allows someone to get into kink easily with or without a partner, and in a playful manner,” said Somers. “Pet play allows players to get their feet wet in the BDSM world without having to visit a dark dungeon, get tied up or engage in anything a newer kinkster might find intimidating. It’s a great entry-level kink.”

As for expressing your kink, CATS, that’s something you’re going to have to work out on your own.

“I imagine CATS already has an image of what kitten play looks like to them, and I bet it differs from what I might imagine my own pet play would look like or even from what readers imagine a kitten player to look like,” said Somers. “Is CATS a domesticated lazy kitten who lies in the sun? A curious, well-trained, docile cat responsive to cuddles and treats? Or are they a rambunctious, bratty, independent stray?”

To find your way into the kink scene, Somers recommends getting online.

“That’s how I first found pet play,” he said. “Sites like kitten-play.com offer in-depth written pieces by players, links to resources, and forums where people like CATS can educate themselves. Other sites like FetLife or Facebook provide more private groups to ‘meet’ others, ask more in depth questions, find local get-togethers, and make friends to socialize with. Or if they prefer video content, YouTube has a number of creators (like ‘Scream Kiwi’) who talk about their kinks in a fun, educational and personal way. And once CATS feels comfortable in their own identity and has defined what they want out of this play, they will be able to really communicate to their partner(s) what they’re into and what they want out of kitten play.”

Check out Amp Somers’ show—Watts the Safeword—at youtube.com/WattsTheSafeword, and follow him on Twitter @Pup_Amp.


I’m a gay male, and one of my good friends has put me in a strange position. The friend has been married to his husband for 15 years, and they are allowed to “play.” I have no desire to be in an open relationship, and I don’t think my boyfriend does, either.

I occasionally go over to this friend’s house right after work to buy weed, and he’s always alone when I come by. He joked about answering the door naked and then did it. (He told me he was going to, but I honestly didn’t think he would do it.) I was extremely uncomfortable, and he knew it. The last time I went over, he was naked again—and this time, he jerked off to completion in front of me. He asked me to join in, and I told him I couldn’t, because I hadn’t discussed anything like this with my boyfriend.

I’m supposed to go over again tomorrow, and he asked me to come by early, because his husband would be getting home from work early that day. This leads me to believe that the husband would not be OK with this. I haven’t said anything to his husband or my boyfriend, because I don’t want this to become a huge mess, and I hoped my palpable discomfort would put an end to it.

Any thoughts on how I should handle this nicely to make it stop without hurting his feelings?

Undressed Naked Friend Really Is Engineering Needless Drama

Your “good friend” is an asshole, UNFRIEND. He’s violating a whole bunch of social norms—chiefly the don’t-jerk-off-to-completion-in-front-of-other-people-without-their-enthusiastic-consent norm (aka the Louis C.K. Career in Comedy Memorial Norm)—and relying on your adherence to other social norms (avoid being rude; defuse don’t confront; spare others’ feelings) to get away with violating you as well. This asshole is sexually harassing you, and you haven’t told him to stop in unambiguous language.

The only reason you’ve given him for not whipping it out yourself is that you haven’t “discussed anything like this with (your) boyfriend.” He has self-servingly interpreted your reason for not joining in like this: “He wants to, and maybe he will after he has a ‘discussion’ with his boyfriend.” I’m sorry, UNFRIEND, but you’re going to have to be blunt: “You have to knock this shit off. It’s disrespectful; it’s nonconsensual; and it’s pissing me off.” Don’t worry about hurting his feelings—he obviously doesn’t care about your feelings—and find a new weed dealer.


I have a follow-up question on your advice for JACKS, the gay manager who ran into an employee at a JO party. Alison “Ask a Manager” Green told him he couldn’t go to these parties anymore. A distinction was made between sexual-situation encounters between bosses and those they manage in “private clubs” (the JO club) or at “public events” (Folsom Street Fair). My question is about Grindr/Scruff/Growlr/etc. Are these more like “private clubs” or “public events”?

In part, my question stems from being a professor and having seen students and colleagues on these apps. I feel like I should not be reading the profiles of students in my department (who are mostly graduate students). I am also troubled by my colleagues appearing on these apps—from the perspective that this seems to be a sexually oriented space, and there is the power differential between faculty and students.

Basics Of Sexual Spaces

Dating apps are the new gay bars—more than 75 percent of same-sex couples met online—so telling gay bosses or college profs they can’t go on dating apps because their gay male students or underlings might be on them means condemning gay bosses and profs to celibacy. Bosses and profs shouldn’t flirt with their students and underlings, of course, and it might be a good idea to block ’em when you spot ’em—so you won’t be tempted by their profiles/torsos, and they won’t be tempted by yours—but gay bosses and profs are free to look for dick on dating apps.

On the Lovecast, where do kinks come from? Dr. Justin Lehmiller on the science of desire: savagelovecast.com.

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I have a secret: For the past three months, I’ve been attending a local jacks club (a men-only masturbation event). As someone recovering from sexual abuse, I find the party to be safe, therapeutic and just sexy fun. I feel like I need this!

Unfortunately, I spotted one of my employees at last week’s event. Although I’m openly gay at my workplace, being naked, erect and sexual in the same room as my employee felt wrong. I freaked out, packed up and departed without him seeing me (I hope). I’m his manager at work, and I feel that being sexual around him could damage our professional relationship. It could even have dangerous HR consequences.

I realize he has every right to attend jacks, as much right as me, but I wish he weren’t there. I want to continue attending jacks, but what if he’s there again? Frankly, I’m terrified to discuss the topic with him. Help!

Just A Cock Kraving Safety

“I hate to say it, but now that JACKS knows his employee attends these events, he really has to stop going,” said Alison Green, the management consultant behind the popular Ask a Manager advice column (askamanager.org) and the author of Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work.

And why do you have to stop going to your beloved JO club?

“In an employment relationship where he’s in a position of power,” said Green, “JACKS has a responsibility to avoid any remotely sexual situation with an employee.”

Green also strongly advises against pulling your employee aside and working out some sort of shared-custody agreement—you get jacks to yourself every other week—because initiating a conversation with a subordinate about when and where he likes to jack off would be a bad idea. She also doesn’t think you can just keep going in the hopes that your employee won’t be back.

“If he continues to attend, and it got back to anyone at their workplace, it would be really damaging to his reputation—not the fact that he was at the event to begin with, but the fact that he continued to attend knowing an employee was also participating,” said Green. “It would call his professional judgment into question, and it’s highly likely that HR would freak out about the potential legal liability that arises when you have a manager and a subordinate in a sexual context together.”

It seems crazy unfair to me that you should have to stop going to parties you not only enjoy, JACKS, but that have aided in your recovery. And Green agrees—it isn’t fair—but with great power (management) comes great responsibility (avoiding places where your employees are known to jack off).

“It’s never going to feel fair to have to drop out of a private, out-of-work activity just because of your job,” said Green. “I’m hoping it’s possible for JACKS to find a different club in a neighboring town. Or he could start his own club and offer a safe haven for other managers hiding out from potential run-ins with employees—Jacks for Middle Managers or something!”

While I had Green’s attention, I asked her about other sorts of gay social events that might toss a manager and an employee into a sexual context—think of the thousands of men who attended the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco last month. Gay men (and others) walk around in various states of undress or dress up, and a lot of flirting, groping and more goes down. Should gay men in management have to skip events like Folsom, lest they run into men they supervise?

“Public events are different from private clubs,” said Green. “A private club is more intimate, and a public event is, well, public. And it’s not reasonable or practical to expect managers to entirely curtail their social lives or never attend a public event. But a private club that’s organized specifically and primarily for sexual activity is in a different category.”

However, gay managers who run into employees at events like Folsom or circuit parties shouldn’t ogle, hit on or photograph their employees.

“If someone who reports to you is in a sexual situation,” said Green, “you should keep moving and give them as much space as you reasonably can.”

I’m going to give myself the last word here: You’ve been attending that JO club for months and saw your employee there only once, JACKS, so I think you can risk going back at least one more time. I would hate to see you deprived of release (and see your recovery set back!) if your employee was there only that one time.

Follow Alison Green on Twitter @AskAManager.


My husband and I are visiting Italy right now. We decided to try out the local hospitality and have had two bad hookups. Both of us knew early on in the encounters that we weren’t enjoying it, but we didn’t know how to extricate ourselves.

What is the proper way to end a failed hookup with minimum insult/hurt to the third person?

Texans Seeking Amore

1. The unvarnished truth: “We’re sorry, but we aren’t really feeling it.”

2. The little white lie: “Oh, my goodness. I think the clams we ate earlier were off. I’m so sorry; we’re going to have to call it a night.”


My wife recently came out as bisexual after spending time with a woman who awakened her feelings. I suspected for a long time that my wife was probably bisexual, so I had no issues telling her to explore this side of her sexuality. My only caveat for opening our marriage was that I wasn’t comfortable with her entering into a relationship with another man. This pissed my wife off; she told me I was being irrational; we fought about it, blah blah blah.

Fast-forward a few weeks. My wife swiped right on a guy on Tinder and then checked in with me to see if the boundaries had shifted. I have a hotwife-type fetish, so I gave her the OK to swap sexy texts, and we agreed on a possible threesome. It didn’t pan out; my wife was bummed; we moved on.

She has started chatting up other guys on Tinder. Nothing has happened yet between them, but I feel like I’m being pulled ahead of where I’m comfortable in exploring an open marriage. I’m not opposed to simple hookups, but a separate relationship with a man? The intimacy and affection parts bug me.

How do you acclimate to this kind of adjustment? Or do I throw the brakes on and reverse?

Personally Feeling Fearful Today

So you gave your wife permission to explore her bisexuality—with other women—and she jumped on Tinder and started swiping right on men? Even though you’d told her that wasn’t something you were comfortable with? And it now appears that your wife doesn’t just want to have sexual experiences with women and men (but mostly with men), but relationships with other women and men (but mostly with men)? And she only checks in with you about your boundaries to see if they’ve crumbled yet?

This isn’t how someone opens up a marriage, PFFT, unless that someone isn’t interested in staying married. So you’re going to need to hit the brakes and get some clarity from your wife. You’re willing to open your marriage up to allow for outside sexual experiences, preferably ones you get to take part in (hot-wifing scenes, threesomes), but you’re not interested in polyamory—that is, you don’t want your wife to have a boyfriend. If a boyfriend is what she wants, and she’s unwilling to compromise and can’t negotiate with you in good faith, you don’t want to be her husband.

On the Lovecast, cartoonist Ellen Forney on dating with bipolar disorder: savagelovecast.com.

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