Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: I am a 27-year-old female, and I need some advice on something that has been bothering me. I met my boyfriend while visiting Atlanta on vacation. Our sex life is healthy with the exception of him getting a limp dick every now and again — I know that's normal, Dan. One day my boyfriend brought up the fact that he decided to ask a guy out he knew was gay. My boyfriend is very open and into experimenting, so this type of thing wasn't totally out of character. He said all they did was meet for beers, and they talked about the fact that he was just experimenting. He assured me all they did was hold hands and the guy gave him a kiss good night.

I think it's pretty cool of him to experiment, but for some reason I can't get over the fact that he may be repressing some homosexual feelings. I mean, is he gay? He is Catholic and says that not only is he not into the idea of being with a man, he thinks it is morally wrong. A lot of gay men come on to him; in fact a good friend of his expressed interest in a sexual relationship.

Do you see a pattern? I feel I should drop it, but I feel my female sixth sense taking over. My biggest fear is that down the line he will decide to experiment again, and this time he'll like it. Help! I'm thinking about marrying this guy!

Concerned
P.S. I hope I don't come across as a homophobe. Some of my greatest pals are gay. I just want to marry a nice straight boy who wants oodles and oodles of kids and can't keep his hands off ME.

Hey, C: Listen to that sixth sense of yours, girlfriend, it's giving you the shit. Sexual orientation is not a choice — men are not straight cuz they think being gay is “morally wrong,” they're straight cuz they wanna, gotta, fuck women.

There are homosexual men who believe being gay is wrong, men who deny their sexuality, identify as straight, and live — to varying degrees of success — as heterosexuals. These straight-identified homosexual men comprise a hefty percentage, if not the majority in some locales, of the guys lurking around truck stops, ducking under bushes for quick blow jobs from strangers, and patronizing bathhouses. Without straight-identified homos, escort services all over America would go belly up.

What your boyfriend, as a Catholic, was taught to believe about homosexuality (no, no!) is in conflict with what his heart is telling him about homosexuality (yes, yes!). Hence his half-assed, qualified rationalizations around the “experimentation” he's been getting up to. I mean, come on: If homosexuality is wrong, what on earth does he think going out on same-sex dates, same-sex hand-holding, and same-sex kissing is? At what point does same-sex eroticism magically become “wrong”?

Everything you've described is cliche closet-case stuff. He's playing games: “OK, if I promise not to suck dick, I can go out on a date.” It's a slippery slope — little rationalizations are followed by larger ones: “OK, I can suck dick, but only if I don't know the guy's name and I'm never going to see him again.” Sooner or later he'll come out. In your shoes, would I marry this guy? Absolutely not.

Hey, Faggot: Is beating off while watching naked women dancing a normal expression of sexuality? I recently found out my boyfriend is an occasional/regular customer at one of those behind-glass strip places and I am anxiety-ridden. Am I just naive, or should I be concerned?

Panicky
Hey, P: Nearly all men masturbate — as do most women — and I'm sure you're savvy enough to know that most men require a little visual stimulation when they masturbate: videos, dirty magazines, dancers in peep shows. If his visits to the strip joint aren't disrupting his life, distracting him from your relationship, or depleting your joint checking account, then there isn't anything to be concerned about. If it creeps you out, if you can't stand the idea of him going to peep shows, you can go ballistic, demand he stop, and threaten to break up with him if he doesn't. Most likely, he'll promise to stop. He won't stop, of course — he'll just do a better job of hiding it from you.

No one person can be all things sexually to another person; pretending we can be, or indeed should be, places a great deal of unnecessary strain on our relationships. Our lovers have fantasies that do not involve us, have had experiences that did not involve us (see below), and may from time to time have experiences that will not involve us. What we should seek in a committed erotic relationship is primacy in another person's erotic life, not exclusivity (“Don't look at anybody else, don't think about anybody else, don't touch anybody else”). Exclusivity is unrealistic: While the body can be monogamous, the mind cannot. When we try to restrain our lovers' imaginations — when we attempt to police their fantasies — we come to represent what stands between them and their inner erotic life. An obstacle is resented, and nothing kills sexual passion faster than resentment.

Give him permission, within reason, to have his fun, and he'll love you for it. Withhold permission and he'll grow to hate you.

Hey, Faggot: I am a former slut, currently involved in a monogamous relationship. But one can't burn the candle at both ends forever. Besides, I was curious to find out what the “joys and rewards” of monogamy were all about. So I found myself a beautiful new lover, with whom I have common interests in and out of bed.

My problems, however, are the “shards of past relations splintering my skin.” I just can't seem to get the sights, sounds, or smells out of my head! Sometimes I just go with it and enjoy my memories, but my new lover can sense when something else has been on my mind. I have no fear of cheating during my current relationship, I know I can survive. My question to you and your readers is, how do you cope with the memories? And when you do have one of those jaunts down memory lane and your lover catches you with a look in your eye, are you obliged to tell the truth, or do you make up some story about the fantastic lunch you had earlier in the day?

Bursting at the Seams
Hey, BATS: With the exception of Moonies and Mormons, very few of us marry blank slates — we have pasts, all of us. We've had experiences that predate our current squeezes, and even if we agree not to have sex with anybody else, these memories can't be wiped away.

But no one wants to listen to a current squeeze go on about the kissing/blow job/cunnilingus/knot-tying skills of an ex. Honesty is not always the best policy; sometimes a little deceit is the courteous thing to do. Spare your lover the blow by blow and make up something about lunch.

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