Savage Love

Savage Love

Breakup by Text


Dear Dan:

I'm a 28-year-old guy who was broken up with via text by a girl I had been dating for two months. She is dealing with the loss of a family member and some other personal issues, and she sent me this message while out of state for a week or so. Two months is a short time, I realize, and we never discussed the nature of our arrangement. But we spent a few nights a week together and agreed that we had something special. We had a chemistry that I haven't experienced in my last few relationships. How much respect do you maintain/lose based on something like this? Would you characterize this short-term-dating text-message dumping as spineless, flaky, a reasonable reaction to the issues she's facing, or what? What are the standards of a classy exit in the digital age?

Scumbag Move, Savage?

When I listen to someone complaining about how he was dumped, SMS, what I often hear is someone complaining that he was dumped. Finding fault with how — reading some previously undetected character flaw into the method your ex employed to dump you — is often the ego acting in its own self-defense. You're hurt, she hurt you, and you've latched on to the dumped-by-text issue so you can tell yourself that you were mistaken about her, that you didn't have chemistry, that there really wasn't something special here. Nope, she's a scumbag. Dumping-by-text proves it.

Two quick things: Getting dumped in person sucks, getting dumped over the phone sucks, getting dumped through snail mail sucks, getting dumped via text sucks. Getting dumped sucks. It would've hurt just as much if she had dumped you via Goodyear blimp or if she had shown up in person to tell you herself. And while dumping-via-text was viewed as a cold move 10 or 15 years ago when texting technology was new and texts were uniformly brief and inscrutable, these days, people do most of their communicating via text. So old notions about text-message dumpings — they're not classy! — don't apply these days. A longish, thoughtful, and well-written text message is now a legit way to dump someone. Particularly someone you've been dating for only two months.

Let's say your girlfriend had waited until she was back in town so she could dump you face-to-face, SMS. What if you had met someone you liked and passed on an offer to hang out and/or hook up in the days, weeks, or months between the time your girlfriend made up her mind to dump you and her arrival back in town? Then you would be complaining about how you passed on a date with a woman who — hey, you never know — could've been your soul mate while your ex was stringing you along.

Finally, SMS, the best course of action when you've been dumped by someone you really liked — someone you would still be dating if it were up to you — is to accept the bad news with as much grace as you can muster. The world is full of couples that got back together after a breakup, and your odds of being in one of those couples shrink if you act like an asshole about being dumped (which it doesn't sound like you're doing) or if you convince yourself your ex is an asshole for dumping you (which it sounds like you're doing). Good luck.

Dear Dan:

Two years ago, I fell in love with a man. (I'm a bisexual woman.) A friend decided to take that as her cue to declare her love for me. I turned her down. This same conversation had to happen repeatedly. A few weeks ago, she was having a party at her house. She got sloppy drunk and said that if she only had a penis, I'd be with her. She became touchy-feely and aggressive. At one point, she told a man there that they needed to get me drunker so that I'd have sex with her. When I confronted her later, she said that her drinking was because I had been too harsh when I turned her down. Then she said that I'm constantly cruel to her and that's why she drinks. When I suggested ending our friendship if I'm so cruel, she got apologetic and came up with all sorts of communication strategies to try to preserve our friendship. If I am being abusive — or even if I'm not — what am I supposed to do?

Bitches Be Crazy

This is why they pay me the big bucks: Stop hanging out with that bitch, BBC, because that bitch — as you're well aware — is fucking crazy. You're welcome.

I am a 16-year-old straight male—I think. I know I'm 16 years old and I know I'm male. But I'm not totally sure about the sexuality. I'm into chicks, okay? There's nothing I love more than vagina. I have a girlfriend, and she's amazing. No argument. But recently, a gay friend told me he has a crush on me and has for a long time. He asked me to be his "friend with benefits." Plain and simple: He offered to give me head. I still haven't texted him back. I'm not totally against the idea. I've never thought about having sex with a dude, but I guess you could say I'm an open-minded person. So my question, Dan, is if I should become FWB with my friend. One of my main concerns is the fact that I'm in a relationship. So, yeah, I just don't know.

What Should I Do?

Ask your girlfriend if she'd be okay with you getting head from your gay friend. If that's not a question you can bring yourself to ask your girlfriend, WSID, then don't even think about becoming FWB with your gay friend.

As for your sexuality...

If there's nothing you love more than vagina—really? Not your mom? Not even oxygen?—then you're definitely not gay. You could be bisexual, I suppose, or heteroflexible. But I'm thinkin' what you are is 16 years old and horny as shit. If a talking skunk with a French accent walked into your room and offered you a blowjob, WSID, you'd probably say yes. Letting that skunk blow you wouldn't be proof that you're a zoophile—or a Francophile—just proof that you're so horny you decided to shoot (into a skunk's mouth) first and ask questions ("I let a skunk blow me—WTF?") later.

A sex expert I quoted in a recent column—he was responding to a question from a straight guy who wanted other men to bust his balls—observed that a person can have a kink that overrides his "usual erotic 'target interest,' i.e., women." You're not kinky, WSID, just horny. But the combination of intense adolescent horniness and a rare blowjob opportunity have overridden your usual erotic target interest, i.e., women.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do this. Gay/straight FWB arrangements can work. But you shouldn't do this if it means deceiving your girlfriend. If you want to take your friend up on his offer, WSID, clear it with your girlfriend first or wait until you're single. And if you're so tempted to do this that you're considering doing it behind your girlfriend's back, WSID, that's a pretty good indication that you'll be single soon.

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Dear Dan:

I'm a gay man and a hunter with a gay boy who's a vegan. But he likes how I look in my camo, holding a rifle, so it works. Last fall, I went to Idaho and shot a black bear and a 13-point buck. A taxidermist mounted the buck's head, which hangs above my bed, and made the bear into a rug. Most people don't know this, but the head on a bearskin rug is entirely fake except for the fur. The skull, teeth, and tongue are plastic, and the eyes are glass. That bear's hardly a bear, if you catch me.

So we got the rug, and he liked it. Even wanted me to screw him spread-eagle on that rug — until he walked in while I was doing it with the bear. I rigged up the mouth with one of those Fleshlight things, pretty much as a joke, but my boy freaked out when he saw the bear giving me a blowjob of sorts. Called me sick and disgusting, and ever since then, he won't let me tie him up or beat him or anything. He says he's afraid I will kill him and then screw him. I keep telling him it was all just a game, but he won't believe it. What can I do?

Bear Grinned Anyway

What can you do? You mean besides send video of you and your bear in action to prove this isn't the most entertaining fake letter I've received since Michelle Obama invited me to dinner at Sarah Jessica Parker's apartment?

You can do this: You can draw a distinction between what was going on in that bear's mouth when your boyfriend walked in and what was going on in your head. When a man beats off, two things are kinda sorta happening simultaneously: what the man is doing with his dick and what the man is imagining he's doing with his dick. Guys who beat off using a clenched fist, for example, generally aren't clenched-fist fetishists; they're just horny and their fists are there and, say, Sarah Jessica Parker isn't. Fists provide necessary friction; imaginations provide sexy scenarios.

So your boyfriend walked in and saw you fucking the face of a dead bear. That's gonna look bad, BGA, even to a boyfriend who isn't vegan. So how do you fix it? By patiently explaining to your vegan boyfriend that while, yes, you were face-fucking a bear when he walked in on you, you weren't thinking about face-fucking a bear. Tell him you were thinking about him, and the bear's mouth was just a convenient place to wedge your vegan-boyfriend-substitute — i.e., your Fleshlight. Tell your boyfriend you don't entertain any murderous fantasies, tell him you only long to fuck living things, and tell him that Homo sapiens are the only animals you find attractive. Tell him all of that, even if not all of that is entirely true.

Dear Dan:

I'm a 17-year-old male, and I'm currently in a relationship with a girl who was sexually active before we got together. Me being a virgin, I think you can understand why I might be nervous when things get heated. I would like to engage in the act with her eventually, but I don't know if she wants a virgin fumbling around in bed with her. And it's not particularly manly to go to someone and basically say, "I'm not going to be good at this for a while." I feel she's ahead of me in experience. What's the best advice you could give me on the subject?

Nerves Entirely Wrecking Boy

If your girlfriend is close to you in age, NEWB, the odds that she's any good at sex are vanishingly slim, her prior sexual activity notwithstanding. Some people have a knack for sex, of course, but almost all teenagers are lousy at sex.

Now here's my advice: Chill the fuck out. Presumably, your girlfriend likes you and knows you're a virgin. Which means she knows you'll be a little nervous the first time you two have sex and that there's probably going to be some fumbling. But you wanna know a secret? Even sexually experienced adults — even adults who are really good at sex and have had tons of it — still get nervous, and there's no such thing as sex without some fumbling.

As for your concerns about seeming less than manly: You're bringin' the dick, NEWB, so you're the man. Your nerves won't render you dickless. If you're worried about displaying a manly confidence, well, you can still do that: Go into your first sexual experience confident that your girlfriend is into you and confident that she wants you, and be honestly and unapologetically who you are. Being yourself is far more manly than pretending to be someone or something you're not.

One last thing to do before you lose your virginity: Watch a weekend marathon of 16 and Pregnant on MTV. That show will inspire you to use condoms religiously and correctly, every single time, no matter what.

Dear Dan:

Following up on the letter about masturbating in the privacy of a public toilet stall: Guys are being banned from Multnomah County libraries in Portland, Oregon, for wanking in the supposed privacy of locked bathroom stalls. Facilities security officers peep through spaces between stall doors and write up reports that go into detail about "shiny liquids" spotted on offenders' hands, and those who are caught are excluded from the libraries for a year. I thought "sexual activity" required a partner and masturbation wasn't a crime if practiced in private — but tell that to the peeping uniformed officers working in the Central Library, aka "Portland's Crown Jewel." You can't go to a locked bathroom stall and rub one out, on pain of landing on the Excluded Patrons List as a masturbator. Victorian prudery lives.

Wanking In Private Environs

The letter writer who got caught wanking in a public toilet had taken pains to find an empty men's restroom on a deserted floor of an office building. He wanted to have his midday wank without disturbing or unnerving others. I don't think the same could be said for the men who are rubbing 'em out in the toilets of Portland's Central Library.

Look, I'm familiar with Portland's Central Library, WIPE; I wrote huge chunks of two of my books there. The toilets are crowded, and there's no way you can beat off in one without disturbing others. I don't have a problem with people rubbing 'em out — hello — but guys who get off in public toilets because they get off on public toilets are forcing other people to serve as props in their masturbatory fantasies. And that ain't cool.


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