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Savage Love 

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Hey, Faggot: When my husband and I met we were promiscuous, drug-ingesting, late-night fiends. Then we decided to get married, move across the country, and start fresh. We are much happier living this saner lifestyle, except for one thing: My husband doesn't find me at all sexually appealing anymore. He says he loves me, thinks I'm good-looking and a great fuck, but he just can't get it up for me anymore.

When I was a tramp and we were fucked up all the time, it was great. Now I'm suddenly the Virgin Mary, and my patience is running out. Personally, I believe sex is a very important element of a relationship. And it doesn't have to be all sweetness and cuddles -- I love to get handcuffed to the bed or fucked up the ass. And, yes, he knows all of this, we've talked and talked about it.

So, what is it? Buy a yacht for some shrink? Any books we should read? Any advice you can cram into your column would be better than the avoidance method we're practicing now.

Getting Nun

Hey, GN: It sounds as if what brought you two together in the first place was your shared drug habit. Nothing wrong with that: Mutual interests and hobbies are important, especially in the early stages of a relationship. Trouble comes when drug abuse -- which is not to be confused with healthy, controlled, responsible drug use -- is all you share. When one or the other of you, or both as in your case, kick the habit, it may suddenly become apparent that not only do you not have much in common with this person you shacked up with, or, god forbid, married while you were strung out, but that you aren't even all that attracted to them.

So, you and your young man had drugs in common. Now it looks like you have nothing in common. You have two options: Start abusing drugs again and see if that doesn't bring the ol' spark back; or admit that this marriage was built on a lousy foundation, get a friendly divorce, and look for new partners.

As for books you might want to read, I'm currently reading three: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, by Allison Weir; My Dark Places, by James Ellroy; and Reviving the Tribe: Regenerating Gay Men's Sexuality and Culture in the Ongoing Epidemic, by Eric Rolfe. They're all excellent and I recommend them.

Hey, Faggot: I met a guy last year who really turned my world around. I'd never been with a man who made me feel quite so connected. But he would sometimes become moody and verbally abusive. It turns out he was abusing drugs behind my back while we were seeing each other. We "made some space," and he encouraged the creation of more space by staying on the drugs and avoiding me.

Well, we had a short reunion late this year after he checked himself into a rehab clinic. It was absolutely the most incredible lovemaking I've ever known. His visit left me feeling euphoric and very confused. I feel passionately attracted to this man, but I am scared to believe it's love.

I have learned from a mutual friend of some acute sexual encounters he had during the time we were apart. He was high most of the time. Should I let the things he did when we were apart affect me? He doesn't know I know about these things. How should I proceed with a recovering addict? I feel like I love this guy intensely, but I'm not sure where to channel that energy.

FN

Hey, FN: Your love will not redeem this guy. Do not allow him to regard his recovery, his giving up drugs, as something he's doing for you. It's got to be something he's doing by himself, for himself. If you let him identify you as the reason he's kicking his various bad habits, you're asking for trouble: He may come to resent you for standing between him and the drugs; for fear of losing you, he may not be able admit he's had a common relapse, which may prevent him from getting help when he needs it in the future, which would then lead to more lies and deceit.

But, by all means, if he turns you on, go for it. Be realistic about the fact that he's damaged goods, and be on the lookout, at least at first, for any signs of relapse. Has he suddenly emptied your checking account? Hocked your VCR? Bad signs. Addicts can be charming and delightful and sexy and passionate, and they can also be lying, deceitful fucks. But you know what? So can a lot of people who've never touched drugs, so what does that prove?

As for his tramping around on that last big bender, let him know you're aware of what a slut he was just before he went into rehab. See how well he deals with that issue: How honest is he about it? Do you get the sense he's lying to you? How honest he is about these recent "acute" sexual escapades is a pretty good indication of whether or not you'll be able to trust him alone with your VCR.

Hey, Faggot: I am a gay man, six months into a relationship with a wonderful man. We mesh well and the sex is great, except for one thing: No matter how slow or fast or gentle or rough I am, he simply CAN'T get fucked. I've tried massage, I've tried tying him up, I've tried extended (hours!) foreplay. That one muscle just won't relax enough to let me get more than an inch into him without excruciating pain. He's said he'll stay forever with the man who can fuck him, and I want that person to be me. Any suggestions?

Frustrated

Hey, Faggot: My boyfriend has tried numerous times to enter me anally, but it always hurts so bad that I make him stop. We've been together almost three years, and enjoy a great hetero relationship. He says he's totally satisfied, but I know that he really wants to do this, and I do, too. What can we do to make it pleasurable for both of us? Any suggestions? Thank you.

JB

Hey, F & JB: Have you, um, considered drugs? Departing from the recovery theme for a moment, poppers may be the answer to both your prayers. Amyl or butyl nitrite, poppers, were ever-so-popular during the It's Raining Men era. One li'l sniff causes muscles to relax, including tense butt muscles, followed by a sometimes pleasant, sometimes not, head rush. Please note: You do not ingest poppers, you only smell them. Ingesting amyl or butyl nitrite can kill ya, so don't do it. Poppers are illegal in the United States, by the way, but can be purchased over the counter in Canada. Or you can order a few of those dubious bottles of "video head cleaner" from the ads in the back of any gay newspaper. They're supposed to be poppers, but god only knows what's in 'em.

Once again, poppers aren't good for ya, but neither's bacon, and that's not illegal. If you're going to use poppers, use 'em in moderation. Back when I was learning how to relax, I used poppers, and besides a lingering inability to pronounce the word "archipelago," they don't seem to have done me any harm.

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