I'm a 26-year-old guy in a polyamorous relationship. As this is my first kick at the poly can, I wasn't dying to tell my family, "Hey, I'm dating a married woman!" However, through the magic of Facebook, my brother found out that the girl I'm seeing has a husband. Once I was "busted," I discussed the situation with my sister-in-law. The issue is that my girlfriend and her husband have a 10-year-old son. This isn't an issue for me, but my brother has compared the poly community to drug addicts and stated that CPS should remove my girlfriend's child from her home, etc. My brother and his wife are now threatening to cut me out of their lives — as well as their children's lives, whom I care for a great deal — if I don't dump the girlfriend. Thoughts?
Forced to Pick
Right off the top of my head: Your brother is a shit-smeared asshole, your sister-in-law is an ass-smeared shithole, and they'd be doing you a huge favor if they cut you out of their lives.
Pick the girlfriend. That might mean you won't see your nieces/nephews for a while, which would be sad for you and bad for those kids (children with crazy, controlling parents need to spend quality time with saner family members). But if you dump your girlfriend at their insistence — if you fail to stand up to them — you will have established a dangerous precedent: Your love life isn't yours to manage, it's theirs, and all your future partners will be subject to their batshittery, and if they disapprove of any future girlfriends, they will attempt to exercise the veto power you ceded to them during this conflict.
Your brother and sister-in-law are bullies, and you've got to defend yourself. So long as your girlfriend and her husband aren't doing anything inappropriate in front of their son and they're not placing unfair burdens on their son, you need to come to their defense too.
I am a 29-year-old male with a fetish for snapping pictures of women's legs and feet in nylons. I look for women online who will allow me to pay them to take these pictures. I recently posted an ad and received a reply from a co-worker. I find her very attractive and would like to photograph her legs and feet. How should I handle this?
Sent From My Mobile Device
Here's a relevant story from the files: Vanilla Gay pays a social call on Kinky Gay. Kinky informs Vanilla that there's a Hot Dude tied up in his playroom. Kinky invites Vanilla to view Hot Dude. Kinky is right: Dude is hot. Hot Dude is also, as it turns out, one of Vanilla's co-workers — one of Vanilla's straight co-workers.
It was an unexpected twist of fate — Hot Dude didn't know that Vanilla and Kinky were friends — that resulted in Vanilla discovering something about Hot Dude that he didn't choose to reveal to Vanilla. (A twist of fate and the rules Hot Dude agreed to when he played with Kinky: Hot Dude had consented to Kinky showing him off.) While it's possible that Hot Dude wouldn't have cared that Vanilla knew his secret, it was likelier that Hot Dude, if he knew Vanilla knew his bi-for-bondage secret, would've felt embarrassed around his co-worker — not to mention compromised during any routine workplace conflicts with Vanilla.
I urged Vanilla to keep quiet.
In your case, while it's possible that your co-worker doesn't care who knows that she does fetish modeling on the side for extra money and/or thrills, it's likelier that she would be embarrassed to learn that someone she knows professionally discovered what she's doing. There are plenty of other women out there and plenty of other legs and feet to photograph. Keep your mouth shut.
I was reading a letter in your archives from a woman who didn't have much libido. I was disappointed that you didn't mention that decreased libido is a common side effect of almost every form of hormonal birth control. The first thing a woman with low libido should do, if she's been on the same pill for years, is to switch methods. I would love it if you'd mention this in your column.
Spread the Word
Done and done.
I'm 26, straight, and male. I consider myself a socially progressive person, have been a vocal supporter of LGBT issues since high school, and was president of my college Gay-Straight Alliance. Here's my issue: I fully support the trans community. I have numerous friends in varying states of transition, and I'm 100 percent behind them. But in my own dating life, I wouldn't feel comfortable dating/having sex with a woman who had at one point in her life been a man. I realize I wouldn't be fucking a dude, but it's a mental hurdle I can't clear. All my LGBTQA friends call me a transphobe.
Do I have the right to not feel comfortable with the idea of having sex with these women and still consider myself a supporter of the trans community? Are my friends being unreasonable by judging me against their schema of appropriate sexuality? Or am I a hypocrite?
Fears Real Activism Undermined [by] Dick
"He's not transphobic — not in my book," says Kate Bornstein, author, performer, "advocate for teens, freaks, and other outlaws," and herself a trans woman. "One more thing he's not is straight. Sex-positive, supportive of trans folk, and heterosexual? Cool! He's a queer heterosexual — and some of my best friends are queer heterosexuals."
As for your specific issue? "A queer heterosexual is just as entitled to the fulfillment of their sex and gender desires as anyone else," says Bornstein. "Sometimes those desires depend on the nature of their lover's body. We're two (or more) mints in one — a physical blend that attracts a lot of people. FRAUD just doesn't happen to be one of them. The fact that he's sensitive to that blending of genders in our bodies does not make him transphobic."
What can you do about it?
"Go have good sex with cis women," says Bornstein. (Don't know what "cis" means in this context? See: tinyurl.com/cisdefine.)
And who knows? One day, your cranky LGBTQA friends might accept who you are just as you've accepted them. Make an effort to use "attracted to cis women" in place of "wouldn't feel comfortable dating" trans women, and you'll hasten that day's arrival.