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"Savage Love"

I’ve always been a big believer in the common-sense obviousness that monogamy is hard. Additionally, I like the idea of my wife getting fucked. I don’t have any desire to be denigrated or emasculated; I just get off on the idea of her being satisfied and a little transgressive. Early in our relationship, we talked about monogomish guidelines: I’d like to be informed and consulted, and she would rather I kept mine to myself. Last weekend we were having sex, and she asked me if I “wanted to hear a story,” code for treating me to a tale of a sexual contact.

I’m a hetero guy in need of advice. Back in college, I met this girl. Suffice it to say she was into me but I had some shit to work through. So we ended up being a missed connection, romantically. Despite that, we still became fast friends. I’m less awkward now, in large part because our friendship changed my life. We each married other people, and everything worked out great. Except I still love her. I think about her often, want to share things about my life with her, find myself wanting to rely on her when things are tough. I don’t know what to do with it.

DEAR READERS: Two weeks ago, I announced I would be taking a nice long break from questions about miserable sexless marriages. (I don’t get questions about happily sexless marriages.) I tossed out my standard line of advice to those who’ve exhausted medical, psychological, and situational fixes (“Do what you need to do to stay married and stay sane”), and I moved on to other relationship problems. Readers impacted by sexless marriages—men and women on “both sides of the bed”—wrote in to share their experiences and insights.

I am a straight, married, 38-year-old woman. My husband and I have two children. I have been with my husband for 12 years, married for six. Three years after we were married, we found out that he was HIV positive. We had both had multiple tests throughout our relationship because of physicals and the process we went through to get pregnant. Both of us were negative then, but only I am now. Needless to say, he was infected as a result of him cheating. We worked through that and remained married.

I’m a straight guy, married for 16 years, kids in school. My wife cannot find a way to be intimate with me. We’ve had therapy individually and together. I nearly divorced her, but we decided to stay together — we do love each other, and the economics and child-rearing favor it. After I asked for a divorce, she fucked the shit out of me for the first time in 10 years. That was the last time she fucked me. She’s “broken” — her word, not mine, and her final answer.

I am a cis woman in my mid 20s. I get a pang or a spasm of pain in a place deep in my clit/urethra area. I can’t pinpoint which part exactly. It takes me by surprise every time it happens, so I jerk around and press my crotch for a hot second—which doesn’t help, but it’s about the only thing I can do. This obviously does not look cool in public, and regardless of when it happens, the episode irritates me. Around four or five convulsions happen and then quickly it’s over. There’s no pattern—it happens at random times and anywhere from one to four times daily.

I’m a gay man who is ready to start cheating on my boyfriend. We’ve had a wonderful 3.5-year-long relationship full of respect, affection, support, and fun. I love everything about our relationship, and our sex life was great… until he moved in eight months into the relationship. At that point, he lost all interest. I’ve tried everything: asking what I can do differently, being more aggressive, being more passive, suggesting couples therapy, getting angry, crying, and breaking up twice.

I’ve been dating this guy for almost two months. It’s been pretty good, except the sex isn’t really the best. I have this other male friend who has had a crush on me. Long story short: My friend made a move on me the other night. I told him I couldn’t, and he knew why, but to be honest, I was insanely turned on by his forwardness. He apologized, but a week later we hung out, and I told him that it really intrigued me, and we ended up having crazy cool sex — satisfying in all the ways the guy I’m dating isn’t.

I’m a 26-year-old single bi woman. Sometimes my roommate/best friend and I have drunken threesomes with men. We’ve had some great one-night stands (less scary with a friend!), but recently we slept with a man I’ve been (drunkenly) sleeping with over a period of months, my “friend with benefits.” I shared my FWB with my roommate because she wanted to have sex, and I shared my roommate with my FWB because he wanted to experience a threesome.

My son, who is almost 30 years old, was married four years ago. He just shared with us that for the last three years, he and his wife have been practicing polyamory. They are committed to their relationship but have each had relationships with both men and women. We are trying to get our heads around this, as we come from a more traditional background (we’ve been married 40 years in a loving and respectful relationship), and we find ourselves feeling very sad. We are accepting and nonjudgmental, just trying to understand how he came to this decision.

Is it legal for a man to procure the services of a dominatrix? In the kind of session I have in mind, there’s no nudity or sexual activity or contact involved. There’s not even any whipping or flogging or caning or hardcore BDSM stuff. I just want to see what it would be like to be bound and gagged. That’s it. So is it against the law to pay a woman to tie me up?

Boy Into Nonsexual Domination

I’m confused about my sexuality. For many years, I thought I preferred hetero-romantic asexual relationships. Exposure to select reading material—thanks to my gender-studies classes—has me convinced I’m an asexual t-type (i.e., “top,” but I prefer not to use such connotative terms) female who is attracted to slight and feminine men. I do not want to take off my clothes or engage in oral, anal, digital, or vaginal sex.

Please do a public-service announcement about the Ashley Madison hack, and request that NO ONE look up information on ANYONE other than their own spouse. I’m a former AM user. I’ve been married to my wife for 20 years. We met when we were both 20 years old. Seven years ago, I made a selfish decision to have an affair, and five years ago, my wife found out. She hated me for a while, but we worked things out. I have been faithful since then, and our marriage is better than ever. Since my wife already knows everything, I have no worries about her finding out.

I’m a woman in a straight relationship. I woke up this morning, and my BF wasn’t in bed with me. He felt ill in the middle of the night and went to sleep in the spare room — where he found a condom in its wrapper behind the nightstand. Now my BF thinks I’m cheating on him. I haven’t cheated on him and have no desire to. I have an IUD and we are monogamous, so we don’t use condoms. But I used to keep condoms around to use on an old sex toy that I liked but was allergic to.

I’ve been reading your column for a while, and you always advise kinky people to go seek the same within the kink community. But in my experience, the kink community is very “sex right away, get to know you later”–oriented. So I have two questions. First, as someone who’s a bit of an old-fashioned romantic, is there somewhere I can go to find sexually compatible people who are willing to let me get to know them before we fuck? And second, it’s very difficult for me to come in vanilla situations, which has caused some awkwardness in the past.

Does a person who acts loving only when high on weed really love you? My live-in boyfriend of three years acts sweet, loving, and caring when he’s high, but when the weed runs out, he’s mean, angry, hurtful, and horrible to be around. I’ve asked him when he’s stoned to still act like a loving person when the weed runs out, but of course that never happens. He just dismisses that he’s mean and hurtful, and he blames me for why he’s angry. I’m so confused! Without weed, he’s intolerable.

I have always wanted to have a girls-only sex party, but I’m not sure how I feel about actually organizing one. What’s the etiquette if I do organize one myself? Do I need to provide the dildos for people’s harnesses? Or just the condoms and lube? And how do I find people who want to attend? Do I just tweet out an invite? Is there a better way that makes me seem less sketchy?

No Snappy Acronym

My wife and I have been together for more than 10 years, practicing some kind of nonmonogamy for more than seven. We tried different things—open, dating others, FWBs—but after a bi threesome with another guy a year ago, we knew that was our thing. For a while, everything was great, but roughly a month after that defining threesome, I came down with a bad case of mono. In a couple of months, we resumed our bi sexdates with our FWB, and I noticed I had a hard time getting horny and even had a hard time getting (and staying) hard.

I have been happily married for 12 years. I’m deeply in love with my wife—she’s amazing, very sexy and gorgeous. I used to be jealous, but about six years ago, I lost my feelings of jealousy. In their place, I developed a strong desire to share my wife with other men. It’s my only fantasy. She knows about this, but she says it’s wrong. I never asked her to actually do it. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

A Shamed Husband, A Marital Erotic Deadlock

I entered into a civil union with another woman in Vermont in 2000. My ex and I were together until 2003, when we decided to go our separate ways. It is now 2015, and my new partner (who happens to be male) and I are expecting a baby and talking about getting married. We live in Texas. I know that there are ways to dissolve my civil union in Vermont, but I can’t get ahold of my ex (ex-wife? Ex-CUer?) to sign any of the forms. Neither do I want to, because frankly it was an abusive relationship and I still bear emotional scars.

This is going to sound like bragging, but my appearance is intrinsic to my kink. I’m a gay male gymnast. Most of the guys on my college team are annoyed by the kind of objectification we routinely come in for. (We actually don’t want to be auctioned off at yet another sorority fundraiser, thanks.) But I’ve always been turned on by the thought of being a piece of meat. I’ve masturbated for years about dehumanization. Being in bondage, hooded, and gagged—not a person anymore, faceless, nude, on display, completely helpless.

I am a male grad student who is technically engaged to a female grad student. She has numerous positive qualities, but she is repulsed by sex. She is very sensitive about her repulsion and becomes distraught when I broach the subject. She says that even the thought of doing anything sexual with me elicits a panic attack. She also insists that she is “broken” because, in the hopes of preventing me from leaving her, she forced herself to go further than she felt comfortable. We are both virgins, and the furthest that we ever went sexually was cunnilingus.

My boyfriend and I both spent a lot of time masturbating when we were young, and pretty much trained our brains to come only one way. He can only come from masturbating furiously, or sometimes from a marathon of jackhammer sex. A few years before I met him, I toned down the masturbating to retrain my brain and pussy and tried a bunch of new things, and I can now come from different acts and positions. It wasn’t easy, but I am so happy with this versatility. I’m starting to get annoyed that he isn’t working harder to overcome this jackhammering reliance.

I’m a 35-year-old divorced man. I’ve been on plenty of dates since my marriage ended, but I invariably get asked this question on or before date #2: “Why did you get divorced?” This is where everything goes to shit. I’m honest: “We got divorced because I cheated on my wife.