Savage Love

Needs a good beating

Needs a Good Beating

Dear Dan:

My boyfriend and I are in college and doing the long-distance thing until June 2013. Over the years, he's granted me increasing amounts of freedom to be intimate with women — I'm female and date women while we're apart — but I still don't have full autonomy. It's much better than it used to be, but lately another one of my "needs" has been eating at me: my masochism. He's repeatedly refused me permission to let someone lay into me with a flogger.

In order to abide by the rules of his jealousy, am I missing out on a huge facet of the best years of my life? I don't even want to have anything sexual with the person who flogs me! I just want to be beaten! And this might be relevant: He has the freedom to do whatever he wishes, but — God only knows why — he never indulges in anything more than the odd vanilla woman here and there. I'm going to get in trouble soon!

University Pain Slut

My knees don't automatically jerk when I hear about a couple with an arrangement that appears to be "unfair" on its face. If Person A enjoys more "freedom" than Person B, it doesn't necessarily follow that Person B is being wronged. Some people get off on the tension that an erotic power imbalance creates, and nothing says "you're in charge" like your partner having the freedom to do things that you're not allowed to do.

For me, it comes down to this: If you're happy — if you're getting off on your unfair deal — then I'm happy. But are you happy? Or are you still happy? If this deal isn't working anymore, then it's time to negotiate a new, perhaps slightly fairer deal. His insistence that you mess around only with other girls while you're apart is understandable, but the "no flogging" rule seems ridiculously arbitrary. Tell your boyfriend that you'll continue to stick to his no-other-dudes rule on the condition that he lift his silly flogging ban.

Dear Dan:

I'm a 21-year-old college student with some sex-related issues/questions that I'd like to talk with a counselor about. I hesitate to go through my insurance; since I'm still on my parents' plan, that would involve me talking to my parents about this. What are my other options? Is my university health care something that would cover this? Would my university report back to my parents?

Uneasy Collegian Seeks Discretion

Laws about patient confidentiality apply even to college students, UCSD, so your student health center is not going to rat you out to Mom and Dad.

"I want your reader to know that care provided at UCSD Student Health Services and the Counseling and Psychological Services is confidential," says Regina Fleming, director of Student Health at the University of California, San Diego. She adds that visits are not billed to insurance, and counseling is free.

Dear Dan:

My girlfriend of four years cheated on me. I'm in college now; we've been dating since high school. She and a friend hooked up four times when they were both drunk. A few weeks after she cheated on me, she assured me that nothing would ever happen between them. She rationalizes the events in a manner that makes her seem like she's not to blame, and she constantly tells me how much she loves me. Do I hook up with another girl and tell her about it?

Cucked Over College Kid

No, COCK. You ask yourself this question: How many adults — people over 30 — do you know who are still with their high-school sweethearts? The answer is either zero or approaching zero. A breakup was inevitableish all along, and now seems like a pretty good time.

Dear Dan:

In your advice to the Straight Best Man, you suggested that the first gay couples to legally wed in Canada and the United States ended up divorcing and that this fact was largely unknown because anti-divorce and anti–gay marriage evangelical Christians have essentially dodged the issue in a bid to divert attention from their own spectacularly high rates of marriage implosion.

While the first American same-sex marriage ended in divorce, I can happily report that the first legal same-sex marriages in Canada are still going strong 10 years later. A gay couple, Joe Varnell and Kevin Bourassa, and a lesbian couple, Anne and Elaine Vautour, were married in a joint ceremony on January 14, 2001, at Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (MCCT). At that time, the government was still refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. To solve this problem, the church, on advice from its legal team, did an end run around the pre-authorized license requirement, using the ancient but perfectly legal Christian tradition of proclaiming the banns of marriage.

While the government refused to register the marriages as valid, on June 10, 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeal declared that the marriages had been legally performed and ordered the Province of Ontario to register them immediately. The court also ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional and ordered the province to begin issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples that same day.

Both couples remain happily married, having renewed their vows in a public ceremony at MCCT on the occasion of their joint 10-year anniversaries earlier this year.

Nice Thing to Be Wrong About, Eh?

I'm happy to stand corrected — I'm delighted — and I'd like to send my belated congrats to Joe & Kevin and Anne & Elaine on the occasion of their 10th anniversaries. Here's to many, many more happy years together!