Savage Love

When open isn't open

Dear Dan:

Three months ago, I started a fuck-buddy relationship with an old friend. As we are both not seeking a serious romance, I thought it would be a good idea. My assumption was that the relationship was "open." But when I asked him how he'd feel about me dating another guy, he got defensive and said that if I fucked other guys, he would "never" sleep with me again. I asked him if he was sleeping with other girls, and he said no. I don't know whether to be happy (he likes me enough to be monogamous) or freaked (at his leotarded communication style). I do have feelings for him, and the sex is progressing from good to great.

Confused Canadian Chick

I would advise you to have a convo about upgrading your frequent-fucker cards from silver to gold. You two may not have been seeking romance, but it looks like romance found you.

Dear Dan:

I'm a straight male in a committed live-in relationship. My girlfriend and I have sex once a week, usually on Saturday mornings. During the week, she is either too tired or too full after dinner. She asks me on a daily basis if I've masturbated in her absence. If I say no, she accuses me of lying. She has demanded to smell my hands to see if she can smell lube on them. I resent feeling interrogated and guilt-tripped over this. So why the guilt?

Browbeating Okay, Meat Beating Another Story Totally

I don't know who's crazier: your controlling, psychotic, hand-sniffing girlfriend or you for putting up with this bullshit. There's nothing wrong with having a low libido; it's not a crime to want sex only once a week. But terrorizing a higher-libido partner about whether or not he is making ends meet by masturbating now and then — and demanding to smell his hands! — is borderline abusive. DTMFA.

Dear Dan:

I am a 25-year-old gay man. Although I have always accepted my homosexuality and never really felt bad about it, recently I have been going through a hard time because I'm exposing myself to very graphic homophobic online content. There are blogs, online groups, and websites that cater to gay men who like to be abused and degraded by "straight" men. I have spent hours reading these homophobic posts and staring at graphic homophobic pictures, and I always come away feeling insecure and unhappy. But when I'm horny, I go right back.

Is it okay for me to just view this as another harmless fantasy or is this something I need to control or get help dealing with? And are the people who produce such gay-bashing sexualized content just indulging in a version of acceptable BDSM/kink, or is it dangerous to use a prevalent hate ideology in sex play?

Not an Inferior Faggot

You're not inferior, and you're not alone. In fact, you have lots of horny soul mates out there — think of strong feminist women with rape fantasies, think of faithful Jews with Nazi fetishes, think of empowered African Americans who get off on master/slave role-play scenes.

A person can safely explore degrading fantasies so long as he/she is capable of compartmentalizing this stuff. Basically, you have to build a firewall between your fantasies and your self-esteem. Once you do that, you'll be able to enjoy your "straight men abusing fags" fantasies without feeling devastated immediately after you come. It might help if you reminded yourself of that before, during, and after you rub one out — it also might help if a sex-positive counselor reminded you of that during some regular sessions over a period of months.

You know what else might help? Finding a nice, out, proud gay man who gets off on this shit too: a guy who wants to explore these degradation fantasies with you in real time — safely, respectfully, and consensually.

But don't start exploring your fantasies with a boyfriend until that firewall is well under construction, okay?

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