Savage Love

Savage Love

Pushed Too Far

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Dear Dan:

I'm a smart, professional woman in my mid-30s who dates the same. I also happen to use a wheelchair; I was diagnosed shortly after my first birthday with a motor neuron disease. I have about as much physical strength as a quadriplegic but I have full sensation. (Boy howdy, do I!) I am careful about who I date because of my physical dependence on the people around me. I am also wary of folks who call themselves "devotees." These are individuals with disability-related fetishes. They gravitate toward amputees, but some are attracted to women in chairs. I'm not sure what about this bothers me so much; I suppose it feels reductionist, and I've spent my adult life becoming more than a girl in a chair.

I'm sure you can see where this is going. I started dating a lovely, successful, witty, beautiful woman a little more than a year ago. As time progressed, it became clear that we were sexually compatible. Things have been great. At the eight-month point, I told my BFF that this might be "the one." At the nine-month point, she confessed to being a devotee. I was crushed. But I trusted her, as I had gotten no icky feelings from her. Then she said that she wanted to try using my chair during sex — except with our roles reversed. Because I try to be GGG, I consented, as long as she agreed to couples therapy, which she did. In therapy, she said she had no idea I was in a chair before we met — which is plausible, as it was a blind date — and she just felt lucky when I showed up in a chair and then didn't know how to tell me. So ... we've been working it out.

Until last night. We were out with friends, she asked me to take a picture on her phone, and I found pics of me, from the neck down (clothed, thank god), and pics of my chair. I quickly sent them to myself and then, later, checked them on Google Images. My fears were confirmed: She's been posting these photos, without my consent, to "devotee" websites. I feel sick and heartbroken. I haven't confronted her yet.

What do I do, Dan? In every other way, this woman's a catch, and I really care about her. At the same time, I feel like my trust has been horribly violated. Is it time to DTMFA?

Girl In Massive Pain

Yes, GIMP, it's time to DTMFA.

And you gotta dump the motherfucker like you mean it. You can't be a lesbian about this. No "taking a break," no "putting things on hold," no "scheduling an appointment" with your couples counselor. You're dumping her. The end.

Your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend needs to understand that, as a direct result of her unbelievably selfish actions, she was promptly and unambiguously dumped. It's the only way this motherfucker will ever be able to wrap her head around just how thoroughly she violated you. (It doesn't help that she lies to you—I mean, excuse me, but who sets a friend up on a blind date with someone in a wheelchair without mentioning that fact?)

And now, thanks to her, pictures of you are floating around fetish websites. Your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend destroyed your sense of sexual safety and shat all over the trust that had been placed in her by her dream girl. (That would be you, GIMP.) And for what? A cheap thrill? Bragging rights?

Dump the motherfucker already.

And then, GIMP, after your ex has had some time to wallow in regret (you were the girl of her dreams!) and self-recrimination (how could she have been so fucking stupid!), give her a call. Depending on what you hear — and hopefully you'll hear an extended apology and that she's in therapy — you can make up your mind about whether you wanna TTMFB: "take the motherfucker back."

It sounds like your girlfriend has many good qualities, GIMP, and it sounds like you two clicked. Maybe your girlfriend can be salvaged. Maybe losing you will be the shock she needs to get help.

If it is — if she went and got help of her own accord, not because she thought it would win you back (because that wasn't on the table) — then bizarro DTMFA ("date the motherfucker again") might be an option. But you two should start seeing a counselor together if you TTMFB, you should take things four times as slowly this time, and she should get a phone that doesn't have a camera.

I've been with my boyfriend since I was 15. I'm 20 now. In all the time we've been together, I've never had an orgasm. For a long time, I wanted to get a vibrator, but my boyfriend hated that idea and never wanted me to get one because he says he already feels like crap that he can't get me off. Recently, I thought, "What the hell — I want to see what happens!" So I bought one on my own. The very first time I used it, I got off in two minutes. Now I feel stupid for not buying one sooner. My question is...How do I tell him? Should I tell him? He always wanted to be the first person to give me an orgasm, and as far as he knows, I still haven't had one.

Couldn't Wait Forever

Tell your boyfriend you bought a vibrator, CWF. If the boyfriend has a sad about your purchase — and your ability to climax (congrats!) — tell him that some women require the kind of intense, focused stimulation that only a vibrator can provide in order to get off, and, as it turns out, you're one of those women. And he can still be the first person to give you an orgasm: He can give you one with a vibrator in his hand. And if he acts like an insecure bitch about it, CWF, if he blows up or melts down, well...New vibrator, newly orgasmic—maybe it's time for a new boyfriend, too?

CONFIDENTIAL TO EVERYONE: Make porn! Details on HUMP!—the annual porn festival that I host in Seattle and Portland—are here: www.humpseattle.com. Films are limited to five minutes in length, they don't wind up on the internet, and you don't have to live in the Pacific Northwest to submit to HUMP!. And this year's grand prize is $5,000!

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

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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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