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I recently stumbled on an Instagram account of a young woman who’s a “knife play” enthusiast. I consider myself sex-positive, but I must say I was disturbed by the images. I was also shocked that I didn’t know this was a thing! But of course it’s a thing cuz everything is a thing, right? I don’t want to outlaw it, and everyone has a right to their kinks, I guess, but I’m so wigged out! I guess I don’t have a question here besides wondering what you think about it. Ick!—Can’t Understand This
Everything is, indeed, a thing, CUT, and intimidating things like knives—objects that symbolize power, danger, and control—are far likelier to become things (fetishized objects) than non-threatening things like waffle irons or useless things like moderate Republicans. As for what I think about knife play, well, it’s definitely not for me. But if someone wants to incorporate knife play into their sex life safely, responsibly, and consensually, and package it in a manner that doesn’t violate Instagram’s terms of service, I don’t have a problem with it. —Dan Savage
I’m a first-time dog owner. I LOVE my dog, but here’s the thing: He sleeps in my bed with me, and would probably whine and bark at this point and wake up my roommates if I kicked him out of the room. Is it wrong to masturbate when my dog is on my bed? He’s not always sleeping. Could this damage my pup in some way? —Conundrums Are Tacky
Dogs have been watching humans fuck for 30,000 years. So long as your pup is a passive observer and not (ick) an active participant, he’ll be fine and you won’t go to jail. —DS
About three years ago my wife declared an end to sex. (We are in our late sixties.) However, she insists on “taking one for the team” once a month. She makes it clear she derives no enjoyment from sex, but I cannot refuse to participate without a huge fight. I find that I have developed a sexual attraction to other men my age. Every man I encounter in gay bathhouses considers oral sex safe, and no one wants to use a condom. Most of these guys seem very experienced and are not worried about STDs from oral sex. Should I be worried? —Concerned Older Man Enquires
You can get all sorts of things from giving and receiving oral sex: gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, etc. My advice: Stop having sex with your wife so long as you’re seeking out men in bathhouses. I suspect your wife is only fucking you once a month to keep you from straying (which you’re already doing) because she believes—incorrectly—that if you aren’t getting sex at home, COME, you’ll leave her to go get sex. That’s obviously not the case—you’re getting sex elsewhere without her knowledge (or her consent and putting her at risk in the process) and you aren’t leaving. Tell her you’re also done with straight sex (the “straight” can be silent), have one last huge fight, and then go suck some dick. —DS
Gay and married here. My dad got on Instagram, followed me and some of my friends, and then requested to follow a friend whose account is private. My friend stupidly approved my dad’s request without realizing it was my dad. There were some R-rated photographs of my husband and me having some pretty kinky (and pretty great) sex with our friend on his account. My dad called me screaming about how he and my late mom were faithful to each other for 42 years and that’s what marriage means and my husband and I shouldn’t have gotten married at all if we were going to be having sex with other people. Just before my mother died she confided in me about an affair she’d had and asked me to retrieve and destroy some letters and cards, which I did. I’ve had three screaming fights with my dad about monogamy in the last two weeks. Can I tell him his marriage wasn’t monogamous? —Son Blows Friend, Dad Blows Gasket
No, SBFDBG, you can’t. Your mom isn’t around to defend herself and, absent proof of the affair, your dad will think it’s a spiteful (and incredibly) hurtful lie. And even if you had proof, SBFDBG, telling your father about your mother’s affair would be an act of grotesque cruelty. You have every right to be angry—your dad is being an asshole—but poisoning his memories of his marriage isn’t a proportionate response to his assholery. Instead, tell your dad your sex life is none of his business and that you refuse to discuss it with him any further. If he brings it up, hang up. Repeat as necessary.
Your mom wanted to take this to the grave and you promised her—on her deathbed—that you would help her do just that. Don’t betray her. —DS
I’m a 52-year-old woman who has been in an open relationship with my partner for 2.5 years. Great sex, intense connection, best friends! Early on he expressed a desire for me to play with his ass. At first I did, but I was never comfortable with it. I’m not into anal myself and doing anal with him turns me off. Over the course of the 2.5 years he’s become very frustrated. I tell him to go find a woman or a man who enjoys ass as much as he does and play with them. We are in an open relationship, after all. He claims he has no time to date anyone else. We are at a crossroad in our relationship. He’s suggesting that I play with his ass or we go our separate ways. It’s ludicrous to me that it has come to this. Any words of wisdom? —Ass Play Or Else
Your “best friend” is a petulant, manipulative asshole. DTMFA. —DS
The idea of spanking my wife really captures my sexual imagination. I don’t want to inflict a lot of pain, but seeing her over my lap with a bit of pink on her ass is the hottest thing in the world to me. My wife indulged me once—it was incredibly hot for me, but she found it degrading and refuses to do it again. By her own admission, I treat her with respect in our day-to-day lives. I would be ecstatic even if we only did this rarely, say, once a month. Again, no dice from the wife—it’s degrading, end of discussion. Otherwise, our sex life is fantastic. I believe that Dear Prudence would side with my wife: If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. My view is that it’s a small inconvenience that brings your husband an incredible amount of joy, so of course you should do it! What are your thoughts? —Wife Is So Hot Over The Knee
If I were your wife, WISHOTK, your argument would carry the day—but I’m not your wife. Your wife is your wife and she gave spanking a try, found it degrading in a non-sexy way, and doesn’t want to do it again. And that’s the not-the-least-bit-pink end of it. Being treated with respect by our romantic partners—literally the bare-ass minimum—doesn’t obligate us to indulge our partners in sex acts we find unpleasant, degrading, or disgusting. So you’ll have to settle for that otherwise fantastic sex life. —DS