CVIndependent

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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Garbage human here. I’ve had herpes for about 15 years. The first five years, I was in a relationship with a guy who also had it. The last 10 years, I haven’t been in a serious relationship. I’ve been a (rare, drunk) one-night-stand type of gal, and I don’t usually tell the guy, because, like, everyone has herpes. (I get that one in five isn’t everyone, but if you count HSV-1? I’ve seen numbers as high as 80 percent.) Frankly, it seems about as significant medically as minimally contagious mild acne. (Some risks to pregnancies and immunosuppressed people exist, and I know logically it’s not my call to determine what may be serious for someone else.) I justify nondisclosure to myself these ways, even though I know it’s not ethical. On the occasions where I have disclosed, I’ve been made to feel like a leper by dudes who 10 minutes before were begging me not to have to use a condom. I obviously have a lot of resentment over having this stupid thing and over the guilt I have around nondisclosure, and I suspect my history of casual sex is influenced by not wanting to deal with this conversation.

Which brings us to now: What I thought was a one-night stand has turned into a months-long affair, and I’m amazed to report I find myself liking and respecting this guy. (I know, I know: If I really respected him, I’d have told him before I ever knew I respected him.) What do I do? I have to tell him. But how? Is there any justification for what I’ve done? Can I just say, “Oh man, I noticed a thing and went and got tested, and guess what?” That just adds to the lie.

There’s no way I can have a relationship with this guy based on trust going forward, is there? I’ve fucked this up, and I have to bail, don’t I? Am I going to be alone for the rest of my life?

Deserves To Be Alone

You’re not a garbage human, DTBA. You didn’t share something you should’ve—the fact that you, like upwards of 50 percent of everyone, have herpes—but weren’t obligated to. The problem with not disclosing, as you now know, is that casual sex partners have a way of becoming potential long-term partners. And by the time you recognize someone’s long-term potential, the stakes are so high that bailing looks like an easier option.

“We don’t think DTBA needs to bail,” Momo and Felix wrote in a joint e-mail after reading your letter. “And we don’t think she’s destined to be alone for the rest of her life.”

Momo and Felix are the cocreators of My Boyfriend Has Herpes (instagram.com/my_boyfriend_has_herpes), an Instagram account that has amassed more than 15,000 followers in just a few months. Using simple, direct prose and Momo’s charming illustrations, Momo and Felix educate others about herpes while sharing the story of their relationship—from how they met, to Felix’s disclosure, to Momo’s initial hesitation to get involved with someone who has herpes.

“Our stance is pro-disclosure, always, but we know this isn’t possible for everyone living with HSV,” said Momo and Felix. “Unfortunately, one of the significant pitfalls of (not disclosing early on) is the difficulty it adds to the potential of a long-term relationship. And while we don’t agree with DTBA’s choice to not disclose to her partners, we understand why she might have made those choices. The stigma against herpes is terrible.”

Momo and Felix both feel—and I’m with them—that you need to be completely honest with this guy, even if it means the relationship could end. But it might not end, DTBA. He might have a disclosure of his own to make—he could have herpes, too—or the relationship could end for other reasons. You’ve been dating this guy for only a few months, and he could decide to end things for reasons that have nothing to do with the disclosure you’re about to make and/or your failure to make it sooner. Or you might learn something about him down the road that’s a deal-breaker. (Have you searched his place for MAGA hats?)

So how do you broach this topic?

“She obviously cares about this person,” wrote Momo and Felix. “She made a mistake, and she wants to make it right. DTBA needs to acknowledge her actions (opting for nondisclosure) and their impact (putting her partner at risk without his informed consent). DTBA’s partner may very likely feel betrayed or deceived. He might want to end the relationship, and his feelings would be valid. Unfortunately, all that DTBA can do is acknowledge her mistake, make herself vulnerable, and accept his reaction.”

“But whatever happens, she doesn’t deserve to be alone,” they said. “We all make mistakes, and we all have the opportunity to do better.”


I’m a 24-year-old bisexual female, and the new person I’m dating just disclosed their HSV-2 status. I really like them and was all set to get intimate with them. But their disclosure made me change my mind. They are understanding but sad. But I feel terrible about it! They did the right, honest thing, and now they’re getting punished for it. Herpes isn’t dangerous; it’s usually not even symptomatic, and the social stigma (the chances of someone like ME saying no) is the worst part. I get all that, intellectually. And I’d still rather … just … not take the risk of becoming someone who has to have a slightly harder dating life, because of the stress of disclosing to judgmental people like myself.

Have I perpetuated the stigma of having herpes because I’m scared of ending up in the “life is harder now” group?

Help A Reluctant Miss

I shared your letter with Momo and Felix, HARM, and they wanted to respond to you individually. But first, a quick download: Herpes is caused by two different viruses: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is commonly called “oral herpes” and HSV-2 is called “genital herpes,” even though both are transmitted in similar ways—vaginal, anal and oral sex, as well as simple skin-to-skin contact—and both can cause sores on the mouth or genitals. Herpes is incredibly common: Some studies have found that more than two out of every three people have herpes. But most people who have herpes don’t know they do—which means that you could already have herpes yourself, HARM.

“It’s HARM’s right to choose not to sleep with anyone for any reason,” said Momo. “But I do think that she’s perpetuating the stigma by rejecting someone just because they have HSV. I totally understand her concerns, and I had the same concerns before deciding to be intimate with Felix. But after doing my research and contemplating, I decided that I’d rather contract HSV than feed into the stigma. I don’t expect everyone to share the same feelings as me, but that was my choice. Plus, if she walks away from this person and keeps on dating, there’s a very good chance that a future partner might have HSV and not know it. So, really, is she taking less risk by not dating them?”

“Like Momo said, everyone has the right to choose who they do or don’t sleep with, regardless of their reasons,” said Felix. “Is HARM perpetuating the stigma against HSV? A bit. But I think her feelings are super-understandable. It’s important for people to educate themselves and take action toward dismantling the stigma, but to potentially take on the burden of living with the stigma is a huge leap. I don’t know if being concerned about becoming a victim of the stigma is the same as perpetuating it. But while HARM fears that contracting HSV will limit her dating life in the future, if she walks away from a relationship with potential, then her feelings have already limited her dating life.”

On the Lovecast, listen and learn about vasectomies!: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 43-year-old straight woman, and I spent the majority of my 30s celibate. At 40, I realized that while I wasn’t interested in dating, I was tired of my vibrator. I also realized that it was time to go forth and fuck with the body I had instead of waiting for the idealized body I was going to have someday.

Over the past three years—despite being as fat as ever—I’ve consistently had fun, satisfying, exciting, creative, sometimes weird, occasionally scary but mostly awesome sex. One guy I met on Craigslist was particularly great: awesome kisser, amazing dick. He came over; we fucked; it was excellent; we chatted; he left. This happened about four times. And then CL shut down the personals section. The only contact info I have for the guy is the anonymous CL address, and it no longer works. He has my Gmail address (the one I use for dating sites), but he has not e-mailed me.

I’m not a crazy stalker (I swear!), but he once told me he teaches at a university in our area, and I managed to find his photo and contact info on the school website. So I know how to reach him—but that’s a spectacularly bad idea, right? Unless you think it isn’t? If a dude I’d fucked a few times tracked me down at my job, I would freak out. But I keep thinking: Would it really be SUCH a bad idea to send him ONE e-mail? Should I just accept that it was great while it lasted? Or should I e-mail him and run the risk of pissing off/freaking out a nice guy?

Can Really Envision Every Possibility

Don’t do it, CREEP—don’t do that thing you already know you shouldn’t, that thing you wouldn’t want some dude to do to you, that thing you were probably hoping I’d give you permission to do.

That thing? Don’t do it.

You’re engaged in what’s called “dickful thinking” when guys do it—at least that’s what I call it, CREEP. It’s like wishful thinking, but with dicks. Men convince themselves of something improbable (“I bet she’s one of those women who like unsolicited dick pics!”) or unlikely (“Showing up at her workplace will convince her to take me back!”) because it’s what they want. Think of all the guys you’ve ever known who said, “She wants me!” when in reality, he was the one who wanted her. Clitful thinking may be rarer than dickful thinking—women being less likely to think with their genitals and/or being more risk-averse due to socialization, slut-shaming and the ever-present threat of gendered violence—but it’s not unheard of for a woman to rationalize unacceptable behavior (contacting this man at work) or deploy a self-serving justification (it’s just ONE e-mail) or solicit a, “You go, girl!” from a sex-advice columnist when what she needs to hear is, “Hell no, girl!”

Again, don’t do it. This guy has your e-mail address, and he knows how to reach you. And since you didn’t have all that fun, satisfying, exciting, creative sex over the last few years with only him, CREEP, I shouldn’t have to tell you to focus on your other options. But since your clit is doing your thinking for you right now, I must: Leave this dude alone, and go fuck some other dudes.


I have a desperate question for you. I’ve worked with a vivacious 30-year-old for five years. For 3 1/2 years, she had a live-in boyfriend. She had a different boyfriend recently. I’m 58 years old and not good-looking. She is always sweet to me and always compliments me. She’s said that I’m a genius and a gentleman, that I’m a hoot, and that I have a confident walk. I’ve also overheard her say that she likes older men. However, a few months ago, she walked up to me out of the blue and said that she just wants platonic relationships with co-workers. Then I overheard her say to another co-worker: “I put out a sign; he will figure it out eventually.” But which sign did she mean? The “platonic” thing or the constant kindness?

Wondering On Reciprocated Kindnesses

This probably isn’t what you wanted to hear, either, WORK, but this woman isn’t interested in you—and if you weren’t engaged in dickful thinking, you’d know that. But your dick has somehow managed to convince you that you’re the “he” she was referring to when she talked about sending someone a sign. But you need to ask yourself—and it’s best to ask right after you masturbate, as that’s when we’re least prone to dickful thinking—which is likelier: She went out of her way to let you know she’s not interested in dating anyone at work, yet you’re the “he” she was referring to … or the “he” she was referring to was one of the roughly 4 billion other men on the planet and not a co-worker?

I don’t mean to be cruel, WORK; I just want to stop you from doing something that could get you fired or screw up what has, up to now, been a pleasant work relationship. While kindness can sometimes signal romantic interest, the full weight of the evidence here—including the fact that she didn’t send an unambiguous signal when she was briefly single—indicates otherwise.


I’m a cis, white, gay male—partnered 15 years, monogamous for the first 14. About a year ago, my partner agreed to let me play on my own outside of the relationship. The rules: not when he’s in town; no one comes home; no regulars. I’ve taken good care of myself (sexual frustration + gym)—and at 50, I find that I’m attracting guys half my age. Sometimes, in the heat of passion, they call me “daddy.” This took a LOT of getting used to, but am I going to stop what we’re doing to discuss nomenclature? Anyway, I refuse to call them “son,” because I find that creepy. “Baby” doesn’t really work for me, either—it’s what I call my partner. That leaves “boy.” Which is fine if they’re white. The problem is, some of the jaw-droppers calling me “daddy” have been black. And I absolutely refuse to call a black guy “boy.” I want to leave them feeling amazing, not brooding on race relations and power imbalances.

So what does a beautiful, dark-skinned, daddy-loving young man want to be called by the older white guy pounding him?

Daddy’s Uncomfortable Race Relations

Good for you for being able to think clearly even when your dick is hard—even when it’s buried in some hot guy—but I need to fault you for not reasoning your way to the obvious answer.

You’re a white guy who doesn’t feel comfortable calling a black sex partner “boy,” which is usually what gay guys who call older partners “daddy” want to hear. But instead of asking the black guys you’re fucking what they want to be called, DURR, you opted to ask some other old white dude what he thinks the black guys you’re fucking might want to be called.

Do you see the problem here? The guys you should be asking about this … are the guys you’re fucking. And you don’t even have to call a halt to the action in order to ask them! Next time you’re balls-deep in some hot guy, and he says, “Fuck me, daddy,” growl and say, “That’s right, I’m your daddy—and what are you?” If he says, “I’m your boy,” then that’s obviously what he wants to be called.

On the Lovecast, is it time for a gay homeland? Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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I’ve been with my boyfriend for a few months. Prior to dating, I was clear with him that I would need to open our relationship at some point. He initially hesitated to respond, but then agreed we could do that when the time came. That time has come much quicker than I anticipated, but I feel like he’ll renege on his end of things because of many comments he’s made recently—comments like not understanding or liking nonmonogamy, and how “his woman” sleeping around is a deal-breaker. Is this a DTMFA situation?

Specified Open Relationship Early

Early on, you let your boyfriend know that openness “at some point” was your price of admission—the price he’d have to pay to be with you—and now he’s letting you know that monogamy is his price of admission. What’s going on here? Well, sometimes Person A tells Person B what Person A knows Person B wants to hear regarding Topic X in the hopes that Person B will feel differently about Topic X after the passage of time or after Person B has made a large emotional investment in Person A. In many cases, Person A has the best intentions—by which I mean Person A isn’t being consciously manipulative, but rather Person A sincerely hopes Person B will come to feel differently about Topic X, or that they, Person A themselves, will. But considering how little time has passed, SORE—it hasn’t even been three months, and he’s saying shitty/judgy things to you about nonmonogamy and sexist/controlling things about “his woman”—it seems clear that your boyfriend wasn’t being sincere; he was being manipulative. DTMFA.


This is another request for a kinky neologism. How about those of us who like the idea of our significant other having sex with somebody else, but who aren’t into full-on cuckold-style humiliation? “Cuckold” implies a level of subordination that just isn’t my thing, and “hotwifing,” besides sounding incredibly sleazy, assumes that it’s a couple that is opposite-sex and married, and the guy is only interested in watching. Can you or the hive mind solve this problem?

Cuck In Name Only

I don’t think the term “hotwifing” is inherently heterosexist, as there are gay men and straight women out there into “hothusbanding.” (They get off on sharing their hot spouses with others, aren’t necessarily interested in getting with anyone else themselves, and don’t, à la cuckolds, get off on humiliation.) But if that term doesn’t appeal to you, CINO, there’s already an alternative: stags (a man who may or may not be dominant who likes to share his partner and may or may not participate) and vixens (a woman who may or may not be submissive who enjoys having sex with others in front of her partner and may or may not share them with others, too).


I’ve experienced anal itching in the past, and I’m not ashamed to say I enjoyed it. It felt so insanely good to satisfy that itching inside. I can find lots of information about relieving anal itching, but I can’t find anything about inducing it for pleasure.

Into Tormenting Clean Heinie

According to the Mayo Clinic, keeping your ass too clean or letting it get too dirty can induce anal itching, as can pinworms, diabetes and anal tumors. Seeing as you probably don’t want diabetes or rectal cancer, and since pinworms aren’t for sale at your local bait shop, ITCH, you could try scrubbing your ass with harsh soaps, which is what the Mayo Clinic urges people who don’t want itchy anuses to avoid. (I reversed engineered their advice for you. You’re welcome.) Good luck, and please don’t write back to let us know how you’re progressing, OK?


I am a 24-year-old pansexual trans woman, and I feel sexually broken. Hormones have made it nearly impossible for me to top a partner. I’m able to do it once in a while, but not as much or as reliably as I would like. Additionally, hormones have messed up my digestive system and made bottoming difficult. I’m also relatively sexually inexperienced, which means I’m enthusiastic about oral but not very good at it. This leaves me feeling like I bring nothing to the table.

Horny But Sex Is Thorny

Getting good at oral—like getting good at anything—takes a little practice. Let your prospective partners know you’re relatively inexperienced, and you’ll be far likelier to wind up in bed with patient and supportive people who will let you practice on them. As for bottoming, hopefully your guts will settle down in time. As for topping, well, lots of women use strap-on dildos for penetration. Having a strap-on at the ready and actively seeking out partners who don’t regard strap-on sex as a consolation prize (or a fail) will allow you to experiment with penetration without the pressure of having to produce or sustain an erection. You can switch back and forth between your dick and the dildo as needed, and being able to make it happen for your lover—using whatever tools you need—will build your confidence.

And you’re not broken, HBSIT. You are, like all of us, a work in progress. Good luck.


I’m a college professor. Several female students have confided in me they’re having trouble finding guys. (They’re not hitting on me—and even if they were, no way am I dating a student.) These girls are smart, nice, interesting, and usually obese. You and I both know that in this imperfect world, many (most?) people place importance on looks. But how do I tell them that? A straight, single, male professor telling a female student, even gently, that dropping 20 pounds might help her dating prospects is extremely risky.

Professionally Risky Observation Flummoxes

Oh my god. Keep your mouth shut. First, because it’s an asshole thing to say—never mind the professional risk—and second, because it’s not true. (Welcome to America, PROF, where most people are overweight or obese, and most people are partnered or married.)

The likelier culprit here (besides a skewed sample size and confirmation bias) is the scarcity of available male partners. Women now significantly outnumber men on college campuses: “Where men once went to college in proportions far higher than women—58 percent to 42 percent as recently as the 1970s—the ratio has now almost exactly reversed,” Jon Marcus wrote in the Atlantic. Graduating will probably do more to improve their romantic prospects than dropping 20 pounds.


I recently broke up with a girl because she didn’t know what plate tectonics was. We dated for three months. Great sex! Loved cooking together! Enjoyed spending time with her! But she was raised Mormon—and more important than that, she was simply NOT CURIOUS about science and the world. In all honesty, I think she’s a little dumb, although she doesn’t come off that way.

Science! Politics! Philosophy! All of these things are important in my life! Am I wrong for breaking up with her?

Date Tectonics

No! You did her a favor! I knew nothing about classical music before I fell in love with someone who’s passionate about classical music. I know a lot about it now, and I actually enjoy it—but I didn’t get there in three months. My husband didn’t follow the news closely until he fell in love with a news junkie. Now he’s a daily reader of The New York Times and The Washington Post—but he didn’t get there in three months. The more time we spent together, the more interest we took in each other’s interests.

There’s a lesson in here for you somewhere, DT, but I’m going to let you tease it out—because you’re CURIOUS and SMART, right?

On the Lovecast, Dan interviews sociologist and author Nicholas A. Christakis: savagelovecast.com.

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My best friend’s father is an avid user of social media. He’s retired and spends most of his day posting memes on Facebook and Instagram. Recently, I realized he might not know how Instagram works: I noticed over the past week or so that he has been following, liking and commenting on a lot of Instagram pictures of young gay men. I don’t think he realizes that anyone who follows him can see that activity.

At first, I was worried—not because he might be gay or bisexual, but because he may still be “in the closet.” He’s married, with a son (my friend), and to my knowledge, if he is bisexual or gay, nobody knows. I thought about warning him that his activity is public, but then I saw more. Not only has he been liking pictures of younger-looking men; he’s also been liking and following accounts of very young boy models. Underage boys.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but the evidence is there. So now I’ve gone from wanting to warn this guy that he may be accidentally outing himself by not knowing how apps work to feeling morally obligated to tell my friend that his dad is into dudes and might be a pedophile. I can only imagine the ramifications this news would have on him and his family.

Best Friend’s Dad

“I’m sympathetic to BFD’s concerns,” said Michael Seto, director of forensic rehabilitation research at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group and an expert on pedophilia and sexual offending. “I know many people wonder what to do if they suspect someone is sexually attracted to children. And I understand how much of a burden it can feel like to keep a big secret, especially from a best friend.”

But before we discuss your options and responsibilities here, BFD, let’s get our terms straight: If by “young boy models” you mean teenage boys past puberty but under the age of consent, then your friend’s father’s behavior is icky and inappropriate—but it is not, by itself, evidence that he’s a pedophile.

“Clinically, pedophilia refers to attraction to prepubescent children,” said Dr. Seto, “though I know it’s still commonly used in public to refer to attraction to anyone underage.”

Actually, the term “pedophile” gets tossed around so indiscriminately these days that some of my own readers have used it to describe (or condemn) people in their 40s or 50s who are attracted to (or fucking) grown men and women in their 20s and 30s. For the record: An attraction to younger/youngish adults does not make someone a pedophile. If that were the case, almost everyone on Earth could be described (and condemned) as a pedophile. Dr. Seto estimates that just 1 percent of men are, in fact, attracted to prepubescent children. So depending on your point of view—depending on whether you’re a glass 99 percent empty or 1 percent full kind of guy—pedophilia is either exceedingly rare or alarmingly common.

“Attraction to underage teens—boys or girls—is more common,” said Dr. Seto, “though it’s hard to estimate how common, because it’s a taboo subject. We get hints from the popularity of certain porn genres like ‘schoolgirl,’ ‘twink,’ ‘barely legal’ and so on. We also have a hint from how so many fashion models begin working in their teens.”

But Dr. Seto emphasizes that sexual attraction does not equal sexual behavior.

“The Instagram follows and likes may indeed suggest an attraction to underage boys,” said Dr. Seto. “And it may even be pedophilia if the models are that young. But that doesn’t mean his friend’s father is going to do anything beyond following or liking.”

Understanding what separates pedophiles who’ve offended against children (read: pedophiles who’ve sexually abused children) from pedophiles who’ve never inappropriately touched a child is an important focus of Dr. Seto’s research, BFD, and his insights could inform your course of action.

“One thing we know is that people who are low in self-control are more likely to act on sexual as well as nonsexual impulses,” said Dr. Seto. “That low self-control shows up in other ways, including addictions, problems holding down a job, problems in adult relationships, unreliability and criminal behavior. My hypothesis is that someone who doesn’t show these signs is unlikely to offend against a child. They might look at child pornography, though, which is illegal and problematic, or they might look at legal images of children—like on social media—as a sexual outlet.”

Viewing child pornography is hugely problematic, because it creates demand for more child pornography, which leads to more children being abused. But even if no new child porn were ever created, sharing images of the rape of a child is itself a violation of that child. And while it may not be pleasant to contemplate what might be going through a pedophile’s mind when they look at innocent images of children, it’s not against the law for someone with a sexual interest in children to dink around on Instagram.

“Returning to BFD’s question about whether to disclose, I don’t think it’s an easy yes-or-no answer,” said Dr. Seto. “It depends on what else BFD knows about the father. I’m required by law and professional ethics to report (someone) if I believe an identifiable child is at imminent risk. This mandatory reporting requirement is NOT triggered simply by knowing whether someone is sexually attracted to children. Instead, I have to consider information like whether the person has ever expressed fantasies or urges about a specific child, whether they work with children regularly, whether they live with children who are in their attraction category, or whether they have ever engaged in suspicious behavior, like direct messaging with a child.”

Does your friend’s dad work with underage boys? Does he sometimes look after underage boys—say, grandsons? Do they have sleepovers with friends at grandpa’s house? Has he ever behaved in an inappropriate manner around underage boys—e.g., inventing reasons to be alone with them, offering them booze or drugs, or making suggestive comments offline or online?

“In the absence of these kinds of red flags, what we have here is someone who might be sexually attracted to underage boys but who might not pose a serious risk to children,” explained Dr. Seto. “So while not disclosing might mean some risk of a child being harmed, disclosing could definitely cause harm to the best friend, to the father, and to their relationship.”

You’re in an agonizing position, BFD. You essentially have to weigh the chance—most likely very remote—that your friend’s dad would harm a child against the near certainty that telling your friend about his father’s behavior would do irrevocable harm to their relationship. Your relationship with your friend would also be at risk; this is definitely one of those circumstances where the messenger risks being shot. Figuratively speaking. I hope.

Personally, BFD, in your shoes, I would err on the side of protecting even a hypothetical child. I would say something to the dad, perhaps via direct message (you could create a throwaway account and reach out anonymously), and I would also say something to my friend. But I would emphasize what the best available research tells us about pedophilia: It’s not something a person chooses, and most pedophiles never sexually abuse children. (And not everyone who sexually abuses a child is a pedophile.) So even if your best friend’s father is attracted to prepubescent boys—if he’s looking at prepubescent children and not teenagers who happen to be just under the age of consent—that doesn’t mean he’s harmed a child or would ever harm a child. He may need help to avoid offending—if, worst-case scenario, he actually is attracted to children—and being held accountable by loved ones is one way pedophiles avoid offending.

Seto is the author of Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children: Theory, Assessment, and Intervention and more. Follow him on Twitter @MCSeto.

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When I first started dating my girlfriend, I asked her about past boyfriends, and she said she hadn’t met the right guy yet. After dating for nine years, I found out about a past boyfriend and looked through her e-mails. I found out she dated her married boss for three years. She broke up with me for looking and for judging her. I feel like she lied, and she thinks it was none of my business.

We’ve been broken up for five months. She’s reached out, but I can’t get over my anger or disgust that she was someone’s mistress. Am I a bad person?

Still Angry And Disgusted

Yup.

“Haven’t met the right guy yet” ≠ “Haven’t met any guys ever.”

Almost everyone has done something and/or someone they regret doing—although it’s possible your ex-girlfriend doesn’t regret fucking her married boss for three years, SAAD, and it’s possible there’s no need for regret. Sometimes people have affairs for all the right reasons. Sometimes abandoning a spouse and/or breaking up a home with kids in it, aka “doing the right thing” and divorcing, is the worse choice. Life is long and complicated, and it’s possible for a person to demonstrate loyalty and commitment with something other than their genitals. Sometimes people do what they must to stay married and stay sane, and their affair partners are doing good by being “bad.”

It’s also possible—and perhaps likelier—that your ex-girlfriend made an impulsive, shitty, selfish choice to fuck someone else’s husband. It’s possible he’s a serial philanderer, a cheating piece of shit, and then, after fucking him that one time, your girlfriend felt pressured to keep fucking him and wound up having a years-long affair with her married boss. And then, when it was all over, she stuffed it down the memory hole because she wasn’t proud of it and wanted to forget it.

It’s also possible she didn’t tell you about this relationship when you asked because she intuited—correctly, as it turned out—that you are, in your own words, a bad person, i.e., the kind of guy who would punish his girlfriend for having a sexual history, for making her fair share of mistakes, and for deciding to keep some things private. (Not secret, SAAD. Private.) In other words, she correctly intuited that you would punish her for being human.

Finding out about a past boyfriend doesn’t give you the right to invade your partner’s privacy and dig through their ancient e-mails. Your girlfriend was right to break up with you for snooping through her e-mails and judging her so harshly. And she didn’t even lie to you, dude! Her boss clearly wasn’t “the right guy,” seeing as he was married and her boss, and the relationship ended before you two even first laid thighs on each other nine years ago.

And from where I’m sitting, SAAD, it looks like she still hasn’t met the right guy.

To be perfectly frank, I don’t want to help you get over your anger and disgust—not that you asked me to help you get past those feelings. It kind of sounds like you want your anger and disgust affirmed … and I’m going to go with that and affirm the shit out of those feelings: Stay angry! Stay disgusted! Not because those feeling are valid—they’re not—but because those feelings prevented you from taking your ex back when she reached out. She may not know it yet, but she’s better off without you, SAAD, and here’s hoping you stay angry and disgusted long enough for her to realize it.


I’m a few months into OkCupid dating, and it’s going well! I’ve stuck to two “automatic pass” rules: anyone who mentions my looks and nothing else in the first message, and anyone with no face pic. It’s worked out great so far. But I’ve noticed that most kinksters on OKC don’t post face pics. I can understand this. I once came across a co-worker on the site—didn’t look, passed immediately—and I can imagine nobody wants their boss or co-workers to know they’re looking for puppy play and CBT. Not everyone has the luxury of taking a risk like that. So I’m tempted to drop my “no face pic = pass” rule for kinksters. But then I imagine how that would go: “Chat, chat, chat. ‘Hey, can I see a face pic?’ Oh no, I’m not physically attracted to this person!” Then I have to awkwardly un-match and feel terribly shallow and guilty for a while.

So do I keep my rule and pass on some very promising profiles without face pics to avoid hurting someone’s feelings? Or do I bend the rules? I’m just not looking to hurt anyone in a bad way.

Not That Kind Of Sadist

Lead with your truth, NTKOS: “Hey, we share a lot of common interests—BDSM, CBT, TT—but I usually require face pics before I chat. I understand why you may not be able to post your pics, and why you would want to chat for a bit and establish trust before sharing pics with me privately. So I’m happy to chat so long as you’re OK with the risk that I might pass after seeing your face pic. Still, even if we’re not ultimately a sexual or romantic match, every kinkster needs some kinky friends!”


So I’ve fallen in love with one of my good friends. I am in grad school, and we met because we are in the same intensive program, and we spend a lot of time together. When we first met, I had no interest in this person. And for the majority of the first year we worked together, that feeling maintained. However, over the past few months, I’ve found myself falling in love with this person. Their intelligence and beauty is simply intoxicating. I love our friendship, but at times it is a bit overwhelming being in their company, because I’ve developed strong feelings for them. I don’t think they share these feelings, or at least I haven’t been given any indication that they share the same feelings.

How do I go about telling them? I’d like them to know this is how I feel, but I also don’t want to lay the weight of my feelings on them or ruin our friendship.

Growing Romantic Attachment Disrupts Studies

You have two options: You can be honest with this person, or you can be that unsettling “friend” with an ulterior motive. Personally, GRADS, I think fessing up is better than shutting up—sublimated/unexpressed desire has a way of souring a friendship—but if your grad program is ending soon, I’d encourage you to wait. Most graduate programs are two years (some are less!), and you’ve been working together for more than a year. So there should already be a light at the end of that intensive tunnel. In the meantime, savor the agony and “pray on it,” as Mike Pence would say. (Only you should swap out prayer for masturbation.) And, hey, you didn’t have feelings for them until recently. So who knows? They may develop feelings for you by the time your intensive grad program ends.

And, yes, telling a friend you have a crush on them is always a risk—it could ruin the friendship or make things awkward for a while. Just be honest, direct and unambiguous (“I would like to date you,” not, “I hope we can hang out sometime”), and explicitly invite your crush to say no if the answer is no.

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a heteroflexible married cis woman in my 40s. I’m also a POS cheater and a catfish. I really fucked up.

One year ago, I met an older man in an online fetish forum. He sent me an unsolicited PM, and we have talked for hours every day since then. My husband, whom I’ve been married to for more than 20 years, does not know that I am having an emotional affair. I have no intention of telling my husband what I’ve done. I have been honest with my online boyfriend about everything except my name, my age and the fact that I have a husband. (I know those are all really big things to lie about.) My boyfriend lied to me early on about his name, age and relationship status, but came clean out of guilt. So I had the opportunity to say that I lied, too, but I didn’t take it.

I know what I’m doing is wrong. My husband would be very hurt if he knew. And my boyfriend, who wants to make a life together, would be very hurt as well. I’m in love with both men, but I’m not leaving my husband. I know the only right thing to do is break things off with my boyfriend. I’ve tried multiple times: I’ve told him that he is better off without me, that I’m a bad person, and that he shouldn’t trust me. Each time, he convinces me to stay. We have not been physical. We have never even been in the same room, much to his dismay. I have thought about telling him the truth, but I am worried about my safety, and I do not want to hurt him any worse than I already have. Plus, I’m a fucking coward. I am in treatment for PTSD. My therapist believes that my actions are a coping mechanism, i.e., it is easier to pretend to be someone else than it is to be me. I don’t think she’s wrong, but I also don’t think it excuses what I’ve done.

How do I end this relationship without doing any more damage to my two partners?

Conning And Tricking For Intensely Selfish Haven

Far be it from me to question your therapist’s assessment—she’s spoken with you on multiple occasions, and her insights are doubtless more informed—but I think her framing falls short.

She describes your actions as a coping mechanism: You told a stranger lies and abused your husband’s trust to escape your miserable life. If you weren’t so fucking miserable—if other people and/or circumstances hadn’t conspired to make you so fucking miserable—you wouldn’t have done this. You wouldn’t be doing this still. But despite your therapist’s efforts to help you down off that hook, CATFISH, you seem determined to hang there. She’s offering you absolution, in whole or in part, while you stand around flagellating yourself (“POS cheater,” “fucking coward,” “bad person,” etc.).

Personally, I think you’re entitled to your feelings. Go ahead and feel terrible. You did a bad thing. It’s not the worst thing someone’s ever done online, and most people know not to take what a stranger tells them on the internet at face value. But if feeling terrible doesn’t motivate you to make changes … well, it’s not for me to question your sincerity. But some people think it’s OK to do terrible things so long as they have the decency to feel terrible about having done them. If you’re not one of those people—if you actually feel bad—doing something about it and learning something from it will alleviate your misery.

Here’s what you need to do: End things with your boyfriend. Write him an e-mail; tell him the truth about your age, marital status and unavailability. Don’t share your real name with him; you’re under no obligation to do so, and if he turns out to be the vindictive type, CATFISH, you don’t want him to have your real identity. Apologize for not coming clean when he did—he lied to you, too, at the start—and thank him for the pleasure of his virtual company and the joy he brought to your life. Then block him.

Here’s what you need to learn: You didn’t do this because you’re miserable—or you didn’t do it just because you’re miserable. You did this because it was fun. We call it “play” when children pretend to be someone or something they’re not; child’s play is also, yes, a coping mechanism. Vulnerable children pretend to be big and powerful superheroes and/or monsters to cope with and momentarily escape their relative powerlessness. And nothing makes a child’s playful fantasy feel more real than a good friend who plays along.

Most adults don’t make time for play—most of us aren’t LARPers or kinksters—but even adults need play, and some adults need play more than others. You found a space where you could play (that online fetish forum), and you found a playmate who helped make your fantasies feel real (a guy you’ve never actually met and who could still be lying to you about all sorts of things). It got out of hand when arousal, orgasms, oxytocin and promises you couldn’t keep got stirred into the mix. The play made you feel better at first, but the dishonesty and stress of deceiving two people eventually wiped out the benefits you were getting.

You need to find a way to build some play into your life, sexual and/or nonsexual, that doesn’t require you to lie or hide. It would be great if you could do that with your husband, CATFISH, but if he’s not willing or able to play with you, get his OK to play on your own.


I am a 70-year-old straight woman, and I haven’t been in an intimate relationship for seven years. I feel deprived of physical contact, but I also have some obstacles to pursuing intimacy at this point in my life. My vagina is seriously out of shape. In fact, it was a challenge to have sex with my last partner, because he was rather well-endowed. I had to work up to it, but it finally worked. My libido is on the low side, but it still flares up now and then. I also have herpes, plus I’m taking an antidepressant that makes it hard for me to orgasm. But even with all that, I’ve enjoyed sex in the past.

Would it make sense for me to look for a man who may also have some sexual issues and/or be willing to work with/around mine? Someone who enjoys all the other aspects of sexual intimacy besides penis in vagina? How would I find such a man? I’m not necessarily just looking for sex—a compatible companion would be great.

Need Fresh Input

“NFI can have it all—sex, companionship, orgasms,” said Joan Price, author of Naked at Our Age and The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50. “She just needs to find someone who realizes that partnered sex does not have to mean PIV.”

Your best bet for finding a man these days? Dating apps and websites, including dating apps for seniors. And don’t be shy about taking PIV off the menu, NFI, at least at the start.

“As we age, many of us find non-penetrative sex with hands, mouth and vibrator more comfortable, sexier and an easier path to orgasm,” said Price. “And that includes men with erectile difficulties or decreased sensation. In her discussions with a potential new partner, NFI should explain that she’d like to get sexual in stages—and then explore and delight each other sexually, including orgasms, without PIV as the goal. But if she might enjoy PIV in the future, she should keep her vagina active with solo sex including a dildo or penetrative vibrator. Don’t wait until the right penis comes along.”

Joan Price’s new book, Sex After Grief: Navigating Your Sexuality After the Loss of Your Beloved, will be released soon. Follow her on Twitter @JoanPrice.

On the Lovecast, science says, weed = better orgasms: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m an adult man, and I have developed a trans attraction after following a particular Tumblr blog. That blog is now gone, sadly, since all adult content has been purged from Tumblr. It wasn’t just porn; it consisted of all the things I really enjoy—images of oil paintings and antique furniture, scenic landscapes, wild animals, and then pictures/gifs of trans women. Some women appeared to have had top surgery while others hadn’t. But all of the women featured on this blog had penises.

I had never considered a relationship with a trans woman before, but after browsing the blog for a year, I can honestly say I’d do it in a heartbeat. I would actually like to date a non-op trans woman. I know that many trans women don’t like having their male parts touched or acknowledged, but I didn’t know that a trans woman can only have a functioning penis if she isn’t taking female hormones, and I hadn’t considered the effect that might have on somebody’s gender dysphoria.

How can I meet a trans woman who is hopefully comfortable with her male parts and seeking a relationship? I live in a conservative Bible Belt state—Utah—and I am woefully uneducated on this subject.

Girl’s Heart, Man’s Parts

“My penis and balls aren’t ‘man’s parts,’” said Bailey Jay, the three-time AVN Award–winning transsexual porn star. “They’re mine. I own them. Not some random man.”

In fairness, GHMP, you acknowledge being woefully uneducated on trans issues, something your letter demonstrated again and again. But let’s start here: A trans woman doesn’t have boy parts. She has girl parts—unique girl parts, as girl parts go, but girl parts just the same.

“I’m on hormones, and my cock works great,” said Jay. “Every trans woman is going to be different and have different experiences, and that’s the best first bit of advice I can give GHMP. We can smell it a mile away when we are all being lumped in together as a concept. Treat any trans woman you’re romantically interested in as an individual.”

As for places to find trans individuals who might be up for dating cis men, well, you might want to sit down, GHMP, as this is pretty shocking.

“I’ve heard OkCupid is inclusive, and I have friends on there whose profiles even help people navigate discussing their bodies in a respectful way,” said Jay. “And finding a trans woman to date who hasn’t undergone bottom surgery is pretty easy. The surgery is expensive and even scary to some. It’s not terribly common that a trans woman has had that particular surgery.”

But just because a trans woman hasn’t had bottom surgery doesn’t mean she doesn’t want bottom surgery, so you shouldn’t assume a trans woman with a penis plans to always keep her penis.

“The real question is what her relationship is with her current genitals,” said Jay. “Maybe she’s very dysphoric about them. Maybe she doesn’t even want you to see them or touch them. Even if her body is your preference, there’s a chance it isn’t hers. I personally love my penis and even like talking about it. But bringing up genitals right away can make you seem insensitive or like you’re dehumanizing your date.”

Jay recommends looking for trans women on mainstream dating apps and then following their lead.

“Now, genitals and curt sexual dialogue are kind of my jam,” said Jay, “so I wouldn’t even flinch or blush. But this can be a very charged subject for people.”

Look to the profiles of trans women you’re interested in for cues about their approach to personal subjects. One woman might put it all out there and welcome questions about her experiences as a trans woman; another woman might be open about being trans but prefer not to focus on it.

“Still, never use genital questions as an icebreaker,” said Jay. “You’ll know when your evening with someone is going well enough that there’s a certain amount of trust,” and at that point, you may be able to bring it up.

“And please make sure to talk about both of your bodies,” added Jay. “This isn’t all about if her body is right for you. Make sure your body meets her standards and preferences, too. I always joke that cis men should have to disclose as well. Any expectation you find yourself putting on her, split the responsibility.”

You can find Bailey Jay at her for-adults-only website TS-BaileyJay.com.


I’m a 36-year-old trans man in Portland, Ore., and I’ve never been to a gay bar/venue while presenting male. I’ve only been once or twice years ago when straight friends went to watch drag shows and used the gays as entertainment. (Yeah, my old life was CIS HET as all fuck.) I have two questions: 1. I’ve heard a lot of stories about “gold star” gays who shame trans men and blacklist us. Any truth to that? Am I welcome in a gay space? 2. As someone who’s never dated/hooked up within the gay male culture, any newbie tips?

As for what I’m looking for, it’s really just about feeling validated and comfortable being in a men’s space. Sure, I’m horny as hell and would love nights full of hot anal sex, LOL, but I’m cool just starting with finding my swagger. I have no idea how my personality will develop around other guys. I have a puppy side, a pain-slut side, and a sadistic-top side—and I’m super-curious about exploring all my sides!

The Deep End

1. You are welcome in gay spaces—of course—but there are assholes in gay spaces just as there are assholes in every other kind of space. There may be fewer assholes as a percentage in gay spaces (untested hypothesis!), TDE, but that doesn’t make gay assholery any less aggravating.

And, yes, there are gay men out there who don’t want to sleep with trans men. But there are gay men out there who don’t want to sleep with tall men, short men, masculine men, femme men, big men, small men, vanilla men, kinky men and—yes—even cis men. Focusing on the guys who don’t want to fuck you—whether they’ve never slept with a woman (gold star) or just recently slept with a woman (homoflexible)—is a waste of time and energy. Focus on the guys who do want to fuck you. And they’re out there.

2. All things in moderation (including moderation); don’t fuck around with meth (or with guys who do); get on PrEP (to protect yourself from HIV); use condoms (to protect yourself from everything else); tip your bartenders; ask before you touch; and don’t make the bars your whole life.

And finally, TDE, seeing as you’re kinky, you might want to explore mixed kink clubs and spaces, online and off, in addition to gay bars. You’ll encounter your fair share of assholes in kink spaces, of course, but kinksters—particularly kinksters in your hipper urban locales—are often more open to trans folks than vanilla types. (Tyler McCormick, a trans man, won the International Mr. Leather competition way, way back in 2010.)


I’ve fallen into a social group of gay men who are kind of homophobic. They talk about bottoming and gayness as if they’re embarrassing things. It’s like they’re aspiring to be gay people who are really heterosexuals but just accidentally have gay sex.

The other challenge is that I find them attractive.

These Really Anti-Social Homos

Putting up with assholes just because they’re hot—yeah, you’re not doing yourself any favors there, TRASH, and you’re not doing those assholes any favors, either. Sooner or later, they’re going to age out of hot—and if they haven’t learned the importance of not being assholes by that point, they’re going to be lonely old assholes.

Losing friends due to your assholery is an important learning experience for many. Don’t cheat these guys of it.

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with sex-workers-rights advocate Kaytlin Bailey: savagelovecast.com.

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Savage Love Live stormed into Revolution Hall in Portland, Ore. Comedian Corina Lucas absolutely killed it before our sold-out crowd; singer-songwriter Elisabeth Pixley-Fink performed an amazing set; and two lovely couples competed in our first (and most likely last) Mama Bird Cupcake Eating Contest.

I wasn’t able to get to all of the audience-submitted questions, so I’m going to power through as many as I can in this week’s column.

How do you handle it if your partner constantly apologizes during sex? “Sorry, sorry, sorry …”

With sensitivity tact, and compassion—and if none of that shit works, try duct tape.

Should I continue to have casual sex with someone I’m in love with?

If it’s casual for them and not casual for you, and they’ve made it clear it will never be anything other than casual for them, you’re going to get hurt—which I suspect you know. Now, if you think the pain of going without sex with them will be greater than the pain you’ll feel when they inevitably meet someone else and move on, by all means, keep fucking them. (Spoiler: the pain of the latter > the pain of the former.)

Best tricks for a quick female orgasm and how to keep yourself from overthinking it?

My female friends swear by a little legal weed, where available (or a little illegal weed, where necessary), and a nice, big, powerful vibrator.

My five-year relationship ended abruptly. Is there a time frame for getting over it?

Studies vary. Some have found it takes the average person 11 weeks; some have found it takes half the length of the relationship itself; some have found it takes longer if it was a marriage that ended. But don’t wait until you’re completely over it to get out there—because getting out there can help you get over it.

Besides a fiber-rich diet, what are your tips for a newbie to anal play? Size is a BIG factor, and it’s creating a HUGE mental block whenever anything goes near my hole.

Start small, e.g., lubed-up fingers and small toys. And don’t graduate from tongues/fingers/toys to someone’s big ol’ dick in a single session. Start small, and stay small until your hole’s dread at the thought of taking something HUGE is replaced by a sincerely held, quasi-religious belief in the absolute necessity of taking something huge.

What is the formula for getting comfortable farting in front of a partner?

Same as comedy: tragedy + time.

In the era of online dating, how do you navigate the people who think the grass will always be greener and have difficulty committing to truly building a relationship?

The expression “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” has its roots in a Latin proverb first translated into English in 1545—which means the sentiment predates dating apps by, oh, roughly half a millennium. But the “paradox of choice,” or the idea that people have a hard time choosing when presented with too many options, has certainly complicated modern dating. But too many options beats too few, in my opinion, and it certainly beats no options at all, e.g., deserted islands, compulsory heterosexuality, unhappy arranged marriages, etc.

Any advice for a 22-year-old woman who meets only sad boys who need a mom?

Your handwriting is such that I thought you wrote “sub boys,” and I was going to respond, “Enjoy.” But then I reread your question: sad boys, not sub boys. OK, if you’re meeting only one type of person, or all the people you’re meeting have a certain character flaw, either you’re seeking that type of person out—consciously or subconsciously—or you’re projecting your own shit onto that person. This is a case where the best people to ask for a gut/reality check are your actual friends, not your friendly sex-advice columnist.

How good are cock rings? I tried a stretch-rubber one, and it was just uncomfortable. Is it worth more time and research?

Cock rings are made from all sorts of different materials, and it’s important to find the material (rubber, metal, leather) and fit (snug but not too tight) that works for you. I definitely think you should experiment a bit before giving up—cock rings are great. And, hey, did you know there’s a Wiki page with a lot of good info about cock rings?

Will you be my sperm donor?

Well, that depends. Are you male, between the ages of 25 and 55, and (my entirely subjective notion about what is) hot? Then sure!

My partner wants me to move in with him and have kids. He also wants an open relationship and to be able to father children for other women if they choose to be single moms. I’m not comfortable with that. How can I express this without blocking him from getting what he wants?

By not moving in with him, by not having kids with him, and by not continuing to partner with him.

Why wasn’t semen designed to stay in a woman’s vagina? It always makes a terrible mess. I hate waiting for it to leak out of me.

I wasn’t around when semen and vaginas were designed—I’m old, but not that old—and I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a designer. I’m also guessing leakage wasn’t a problem until our ancestors began walking upright about 4 million years ago.

My mother-in-law had episodes of amnesia after orgasm in her 50s. Have you heard of this? WILL IT HAPPEN TO ME?

I have not! I HAVE NO IDEA! I have also googled this for you, and—holy shit—it’s a thing, and it has a name: transient global amnesia (TGA). Apparently, any form of strenuous exercise can trigger TGA. So don’t fuck; don’t run; don’t bike! Just sit still and you’ll be fine!

What do you think is the most needed focus of left activism in the United States today?

Most needed: defeating Trump and combating climate change. Most prevalent: relitigating the 2016 Democratic primary.

My mom finishes every call with, “God bless you.” I’m not a believer, but it’s not something we could ever talk about. I usually ignore it; sometimes I say it back; but it’s always awkward. What should I do?

You should sneeze.

Thanks to everyone who came out to Savage Love Live in Portland! Savage Love Live is coming to Seattle, Denver, San Francisco (with Stormy Daniels!), Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis (also with Stormy Daniels!), Toronto and Somerville. For more info and tickets, go to savagelovecast.com/events.

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with comedian Kate Willett: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a straight white woman in my early 30s. In theory, I’ve always been into men of all races—but in practice, most of my exes are Latino and white.

In September, I met this really handsome Chinese-American guy, and I feel like he rewired me. I’ve been exclusively attracted to Asian guys since. I’m not writing to ask if this is racist, because I’m not asking these guys to, like, speak Korean to me in bed or do any role-playing stuff. We just date and have sex—same as my past relationships. But if any of these dudes saw my Tinder matches, they’d be like, “This woman has a thing for Asian guys.” Which I do, but it’s pretty new.

Is this normal? Do people just change preferences like that? Also, can you do a PSA about Asian dicks? In my recent but considerable experience, they run the gamut from average to gigantic. If small Asian dicks were a thing, I would have encountered at least one by now. That shit is a myth.

Asian Male/White Female

Here’s my general take on race-specific sexual preferences: So long as you can see and treat your sex partners as individuals and not just as objects—we are all also objects—and so long as you can express your preferences without coming across as and/or being a racist shitbag, and so long as you’ve interrogated your preferences to make sure they’re actually yours and not a mindless desire for what you’ve been told you’re supposed to want (i.e., the currently prevailing beauty standard or its equally mindless rejection, the “transgressive” fetishization of the “other”), then it’s OK to seek out sex and/or romantic partners of a particular race.

I ran my general take on race-specific sexual preferences past Joel Kim Booster—a writer and comedian whose work often touches on race and desire—and he approved. (Whew.) I also shared your letter with him, AMWF, and Booster had some thoughts for you.

“It doesn’t sound like her newfound preference for Asian men has anything to do with the uncomfortable fetishization of culture,” said Booster. “It’s good that she’s not asking them to speak Korean or do any sort of Asian role-playing—something that’s been asked of me before (and it’s a bummer, trust). Her interest in Asian men seems to be mostly an aesthetic thing, which you certainly can’t fault her for: There are a lot of hot Asian dudes out there.”

Booster also had some questions for you.

“It’s not uncommon for people later in life to discover that they’re attracted to something they’d never considered sexy before—full-grown adults are out here discovering they’re bi every damn day,” said Booster. “But she went 30 years before she saw one Asian man she was attracted to? And now this guy has ‘rewired’ her to be attracted only to Asian men?”

He said that he would like to see a picture of this magical guy, AMWF, and I would, too.

“If she was chill about it and just started adding Asian men into the mix, this wouldn’t seem like an issue,” added Booster. “But from what I can gather, she has shifted to exclusively fucking Asian guys and feels the need to write a letter about it. That feels like a red flag, and yet I can’t pinpoint why.”

Maybe you’re just making up for lost time—maybe you’re getting with all the Asian dick you can now to make up for all the Asian dick you missed out on before you ran into that one impossibly hot Asian guy—and your desires/preferences/Tinder profile will achieve a racially harmonious equilibrium at a certain point. But whether you remain exclusively attracted to Asian guys for the rest of your life or not, AMWF, make sure you don’t treat Asian guys like you’re doing them a favor by sitting on their gamut-running dicks.

“I’m weary of people with a specific racial preference for Asian men. And it’s less out of a fear of being fetishized—though that’s certainly part of it—and more because of the implicit power imbalance that exists in those relationships,” said Booster. “It’s all artificially constructed by The Culture, of course, but I’m acutely aware that society views Asian men as less masculine and therefore less desirable. And I’ve learned that guys who have a preference for Asian men sometimes bring a certain kind of ‘entitlement’ to our interactions, i.e., ‘You should feel lucky I’m paying you this kind of attention.’ And that’s gross! It doesn’t sound like she’s doing that, but something about this letter makes me feel like she wants to be congratulated for being woke enough to consider Asian guys. She’d do well to keep this stuff behind the curtain—no one wants to feel like someone was into them only because of some witch’s curse a hot Chinese-American guy put on them at a bar.”

Follow Joel on Twitter @ihatejoelkim, and visit his website ihatejoelkim.com.


I’m a guy. I’ve been with my wife since 2006. She’s my sexy Asian babe. (Yeah, I’m that white guy who married an Asian woman—I’m a stereotype, but she isn’t.) In the bedroom, it’s great. I’m still madly in love with her two kids later, and she’s as sexy as ever. But she doesn’t like to give blowjobs—always been this way. When we were dating, she’d say I could go get blowjobs from someone else, but I always took it as a joke.

At 35, I’m hornier than I was at 25. And my sexual tastes have changed over the years—or they’ve expanded, maybe, since I now want to see what it’s like to get head from a guy. How do I convince my wife to agree to this? She’s afraid I might like it; I obviously hope I do. There’s nothing I want more than to get head on the way home and then be able to tell her about it and fuck her later that night. How can I convince her to let me do this while also being able to tell her about it and be truthful?

Horny Married Man

I’m not lumping your question together with AMWF’s in order to create some sort of hot-for-Asians-themed column. No, I’m including your letter—which arrived the same day—because it illustrates a point Booster made in his response to AMWF: “Full-grown adults are out here discovering they’re bi every damn day,” as he said, and you’re apparently one of them.

I can only assume that by “she’s afraid I might like it,” you mean you’ve already asked the wife, and she said no. You can ask again—maybe she’ll change her mind—but if the answer is still no, HMM, then the answer is still no. Maybe if this were a sexual adventure you could go on together, it might be more appealing to the wife. And it is, because just as there are dudes out there who love blowing straight married men, there are dudes who are up for blowing straight married men in front of their wives. So if you haven’t already proposed doing this in the context of a hot sexual encounter with a bi guy who’d also be into your wife, maybe you should.

As for your label, there are straight guys out there who can close their eyes and think about women while dudes blow them, i.e., straight guys capable of making the mouth-is-a-mouth leap. But you’re turned on not just by the idea of getting an enthusiastic blowjob; you’re specifically into the idea of getting one from a dude. That does make you bi, HMM … but for marketing purposes? Yeah, you’re going to want to go with straight.

On the Lovecast: Musical-theater nerds rejoice, it’s Andrew Rannells! Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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My grandfather was a pillar of the community and beloved by his family. He was also sexually abusive. He died when I was a child. I remember only one incident happening to me—during a cuddle session, he encouraged me to put my mouth on his penis, and then told me to let it be our little secret.

I heard rumors as an adult that he molested other kids in the neighborhood. He also had a sexual relationship with my mother. She says nothing happened as a child. But as an adult, he started telling her he loved her in a romantic way. He told her he wanted to take nude Polaroids of her, and she let him. And she loved him—she and her sisters all pretty much idolized him. My one aunt knew (she said nothing happened to her), and I asked her how she reconciled that. She said she compartmentalized it—she thought he was a wonderful father and didn’t really think about the other stuff.

I did lots of therapy in the late 1980s and early ’90s. I read books; I journaled; I talked to my mom and tried to understand what she experienced. And I moved on as much as anyone could.

So now it’s 2019, and I’m almost 50. My mom just moved into a nursing home, and while cleaning out her drawers, I found the Polaroids my grandfather took of her. I know it was him, because he is in some of them, taken into a mirror as she goes down on him. They were taken over a period of years. She had led me to believe he never really did anything sexual with her besides taking photos. But he did. And here’s the thing, Dan: In the photos, she looks happy. I know she was probably acting, because that’s what he wanted from her. But it just makes me question my assumptions. Was it terrible abuse or forbidden love? Both? What am I looking at? What would I prefer—that she enjoyed it or that she didn’t? She kept the photos. Were they fond memories? I know she loved him. She kind of fell apart when he died. Was he a fucking manipulator who had a gift for making his victims feel loved and special as he exploited them for his own selfish needs?

I don’t know if I’m going to bring this up with my mom. She’s old and sick, and I dragged her through these types of conversations in my 20s. So I’m writing you. This is so far out of most people’s experience, and I want someone who has heard more sexual secrets than probably anyone else in the world to tell me what he thinks.

Whirlwind Of Emotions

I think you should sit down and watch all four hours of Leaving Neverland, the new HBO documentary by British filmmaker Dan Reed. It focuses on the experiences of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, two now-adult men who were sexually abused by pop star Michael Jackson when they were boys. Allegedly. It’s an important film to watch, WOE, but it’s not an easy one to watch, as it includes graphic descriptions of the sexual abuse both men claim to have suffered as boys.

The second-most-disturbing part of the film after the graphic descriptions of child rape—or the third-most-disturbing part after the credulity/culpability of Robson’s and Safechuck’s parents—may be what the men have to say about Jackson: Both describe their abuser in romantic terms. They both say they loved Jackson. And they both remain deeply conflicted about their feelings for Jackson then and their feelings for him now. It was their affection for Jackson—their desire to protect him and to safeguard what Jackson convinced them was a secret and a bond they shared—that led both men to lie to law-enforcement officials when Jackson was accused of sexually abusing different boys.

You should also listen to Reed’s interview on The Gist, Mike Pesca’s terrific daily podcast. Reading your letter the morning after I watched Leaving Neverland reminded me of something Reed said to Pesca: “What the film is about is the reckoning. It’s two families coming to terms with what happened to their sons. And a big part of understanding that, you know, (is)—so why the silence? Why did the sons keep silent for so long? Why did they keep the secret? And the key really is to be able to explain why Wade gave false witness and perjured himself on the witness stand. And the reason for that, of course, has to do with how survivors of sexual abuse experience that. And how they keep a secret, and how they sometimes form deep attachments with the abuser, and how that attachment persists into adult life.”

Your mother, like Robson and Safechuck, lied to protect her abuser, a man who abused her and abused you and probably many others. She may have held on to those photos for the same reason Robson and Safechuck say they defended Jackson: She loved her father, and she was so damaged by what he did to her—she had been so expertly groomed by her abuser—that she felt “loved” and “special” in the same way that Jackson’s alleged abuse once made Robson and Safechuck feel loved and special. So as horrifying as it is to contemplate, WOE, your mother may have held on to those photos because they do represent what are, for her, “fond memories.” And while it would be a comfort to think she held on to those photos as proof for family members who doubted her story if she ever decided to tell the truth, her past defenses of her father work against that explanation.

Leaving Neverland demonstrates that sexual abuse plants a ticking time bomb inside a person—shit, sorry, no passive language. Leaving Neverland demonstrates that sexual predators like your grandfather and like Jackson—fucking manipulators with a gift for making their victims feel loved and special—plant ticking time bombs in their victims. Even if a victim doesn’t initially experience their abuse as a violation and as violence, WOE, a reckoning almost inevitably comes. One day, the full horror of what was done to them snaps into focus. These reckonings can shatter lives, relationships and souls.

It doesn’t sound like your mother ever had her reckoning—that day never came for her—and so she never came to grips with what was done to her and, tragically, what was done to you. And your aunt wasn’t the only member of your family who “didn’t really think about the other stuff.” Just as denial and compartmentalization enabled Jackson and facilitated his crimes (and allowed the world to enjoy Jackson’s music despite what was staring us all in the face), denial and compartmentalization allowed your “pillar of the community” grandfather to rape his daughter, his granddaughter and scores of other children. Like Robson and Safechuck, WOE, you have a right to be angry with the adults in your family who failed to protect you from a known predator. That some of them were also his victims provides context, but it does not exonerate them.

I’m glad your grandfather died when you were young. It’s tempting to wish he’d never been born, WOE, but then you would never have been born, and I’m glad you’re here. I’m particularly glad you’re there, right now, embedded in your damaged and damaging family. By telling the truth, you’re shattering the silence that allowed an abuser to groom and prey on children across multiple generations of your family. Your grandfather can’t victimize anyone else, WOE, but by speaking up—by refusing to look the other way—you’ve made it harder for other predators to get away with what your grandfather did.

P.S. There’s a moment in the credits for Leaving Neverland that I think you might want to replicate. It involves some things one of Jackson’s alleged victims saved, and a fire pit. You’ll know what I mean when you see it.

On the Lovecast: Yikes! It’s the trigger show. Listen at savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

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