We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
I’ve been aware of my emetophilia since a very young age and have always kept it private. No need to tell me about the health risks, I’m aware, and I’ve only ever indulged this kink through videos online. The actual substance doesn’t turn me on—I have no desire to be puked on. For me, the fantasy involves being with someone as they begin to feel sick, and then taking care of them as they puke. It has something to do with the buildup and release. Who knows? I’m married, and I told my husband about my kink exactly once, a few years ago. He wasn’t judgmental, but he never brought it up again. We have a great sex life otherwise, and I’ve always assumed I’d have satisfying, normal sex with my husband and masturbate to this kink in private. But recently, on a whim, I posted a message on a kink site. A few weeks later, a guy reached out to say the description exactly mirrored his own kink. We’ve been texting for a few weeks. He makes me feel like less of a freak, it’s been super hot, and we’ve talked about meeting up and role-playing for each other. It makes me go crazy just to think about this. In light of the health risks—and the fact that I’m married—this would be a one-time thing. Do I have to tell my husband? I don’t want to have sex with this person; I just want to live out my fantasy for one night, which doesn’t necessarily involve getting naked. But obviously we will both get off, so there’s a definite sexual element. My husband and I have had threesomes, so he’s not a “strictly monogamous” guy, but it is new for me to strike out on my own. But more than that, I’m mortified at the thought of him knowing about the kind of night I’m having, asking me about it later, etc. I would just rather him not know. But is that cheating? —A Lady Emetophile Meets Her Match
The answer to your last question—is that cheating?—is obvious. If that wasn’t cheating, ALEMHM, or if you thought your husband wouldn’t regard it as cheating, you would be asking him for permission to meet up with your vomit buddy. So let’s just run with the assumption that getting together with your VB would constitute infidelity, if the low-grade, nonpenetrative, not-for-everyone kind.
So do you have to tell your husband? You could tell your husband—and lots of people will insist you must tell your husband—but I’m sitting here, in this Starbucks on Lex and 78th, wondering if your husband would rather not be told.
You shared your kink with your husband once, and he never brought it up again. We can reasonably assume that your husband isn’t interested in discussing, much less indulging, this very particular sexual interest of yours. Another reasonable assumption: Your kink may not be something your husband wants to think about. The awareness of your kink, to use Emily “Dear Prudence Emeritus” Yoffe’s phrase, could be a libido killer for him. If your husband worked at stuffing your disclosure down the memory hole, because it interferes with his ability to connect with you sexually, asking permission to spend an evening with your VB could come as an unwelcome reminder.
So you could make—as I’ve just made—an argument for sparing your husband the reminder, and sparing yourself the discomfort, by not telling and/or asking him, and then discreetly meeting up with your VB just this once. (The counterargument is also easily made: He never brought it up again because he picked up on your shame, he didn’t want to distress you, etc.) But if you decide to meet your VB, ALEMHM, weigh the risks (what happens if you get caught?) against the rewards (scratching this off your kidney dish list!), meet up with your VB in public first, and let someone know where you are and who you’re with on the big night. —Dan Savage
I find myself in the most boring of straight white girl pickles: My boyfriend is dragging his feet on proposing. I’m 29, and he’s 31. We’ve been dating for three years. Things are great. We talk about our future a lot—buying a house, vacations, blah blah blah. Lack of proposal aside, we’re solid. But I would hate to waste another year in this city for this guy when I could have been working toward tenure somewhere else. (I’m in academia.) I’ve tried bringing this up to him several times with no concrete results. —Really Into Not Going Solo
Propose to him, RINGS. Don’t informally propose a formal proposal—don’t ask him to ask you to marry him—but go get a ring (for him) and ask him to marry you (for fuck’s sake). You have the power to pop the question and call it at the same time. Good luck, I hope he says yes. —Dan
I met a man two and a half years ago on Tinder. Our relationship was built on lies from the start. I lied to him about having a child so I could put a wedge between us. I came clean after we slept together a few times—the most mind-blowing sex I’ve ever had—because I was afraid he might want to meet my made-up child. I caught feelings. But Tinder man is married and lives in France. I see him only three times a year. Fast-forward to now. He pursues other people. Women throw themselves at him. We were at the mall, and he picked up a girl while I was getting my hair done. He’s not my boyfriend. He hurts me. I am terrified of losing him. Here comes the tricky part: My doctor found a tumor on my lymph nodes. I go in for tests on Friday. I’m ready to pick out my coffin at this point. I contacted my lover’s ex-wife and asked why they divorced, and she said because he cheated all the time. I know what he’s capable of. I don’t want to change him. I love him. I go insane when we don’t talk. He told me he doesn’t respect me any more than he respects his current wife. I’m so scared. —Help Me Please
Um… you won’t find the help you need wedged between escort ads at the back of a weekly newspaper, HMP, or on a website underneath pop-up ads for vaporizers. You need a therapist, someone who can help you work through legitimate-but-possibly-premature fears for your health (let’s wait for those test results to come back before we pick out your coffin, okay?) and your emotional dependence on a man who isn’t your boyfriend, isn’t your husband, isn’t around much, and has told you he doesn’t respect you. He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to come through for you during a health crisis—that guy couldn’t come through for you during a haircut.
Don’t get me wrong: I sleep with men, I understand the sexual appeal of a man who treats you like shit, I’m a huge Peggy Lee fan. But you can’t depend on a guy like that at a time like this. If it turns out you’re seriously ill, HMP, you need to lean on family and friends, join a support group, buy one of those vaporizers, and concentrate on getting healthy. And take comfort: If/when your health is restored, there are plenty of shitty, selfish, sadistic guys on the planet who’ll treat you badly, cheat on you flagrantly, and—not coincidentally—get you off spectacularly.
I’m sorry you may be ill, HMP, and I’m sorry you’re scared. Best wishes for a speedy physical, emotional, and sexual recovery. —Dan