Get to know D.C. with our daily newsletter
We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.
Long story short: I’m a 28-year-old woman in a long-term relationship. In the past, I’ve been a control freak by day, sex freak by night—but just for one guy, my GGG boyfriend. Recently, I realized that I’m a female cuckold! Nothing gets me hotter than the thought of my boyfriend fucking somebody else in front of me. The logical solution, of course, is to have threesomes. A bunch. My boyfriend feels like he has died and gone to heaven.
Here’s the issue: The pill makes me psycho, a diaphragm was a disaster, and something about my anatomy snaps condoms. After much trial and error, I settled on an IUD—but my gyno made me swear a blood oath before she put it in that I wouldn’t sleep around, because an IUD is a monogamist’s device. If I catch a sexually transmitted infection (STI) now, Dan, it could fuck up my whole reproductive system.
We would, of course, ask potential thirds to get tested (and get tested ourselves), but I don’t want to feel like I’m gambling with my health when we do this. How do I get the edgy sex life I want?
—Suddenly Kinky and Really Eager
The only way to get the edgy sex life you want, SKARE, is to accept that edgy sex lives always involve a certain degree of risk. IUDs do not provide STI protection—nor do birth control pills, diaphragms, or having your tubes tied. And while condoms, when used correctly, offer excellent protection from the two scariest sexually transmitted infections out there—HIV and pregnancy—condoms only reduce your risk of acquiring gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HPV, herpes, and other STIs.
I’m sorry, SKARE, but there’s no such thing as risk-free sex. Hell, there’s no such thing as risk-free anything. Hamburgers, snowboarding, sex—all risky activities. OK, class: A life without hamburgers, snowboarding, and sex is what? A life that’s hardly worth living, Mr. Savage. So what do we do? We take reasonable steps to reduce our risks. We cook our burgers thoroughly (or, better yet, buy beef that isn’t packed with hormones, antibiotics, and E. coli); we stay in designated ski areas and/or wear avalanche beacons; we try to be selective about our sex partners and use condoms when appropriate. And we then play the odds, SKARE; we gamble. Burgers, boarding, sex—if we’ve taken reasonable precautions, the odds are in our favor.
So, SKARE, here’s what you do: Accept that acting on your fantasies—your cuckquean fantasies (only men can be cuckolds)—involves risk for you, for your boyfriend, and for your thirds. Then set about minimizing ’em. Be choosy about who you take to bed. (Someone you know, like, and trust? Yes. Amy Winehouse? No.) Use protection. (The boyfriend should use condoms with these other women.) And be vigilant about your health. (Regular checkups, STI screenings, pap smears, etc.)
And finally, SKARE, you have to accept that, even if you’re doing everything “right,” there’s still a chance that you may contract an STI; perhaps something annoying but curable (gonorrhea, pregnancy), something incurable but bearable (herpes), or something incurable and devastating (HIV). If you can’t handle the reality of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, SKARE, then you don’t just have a monogamist’s device in your twat, but a monogamist’s twat in your pants. —Dan
I’m a 20-something female, and I’ve had a fair number of partners. My boyfriend of two years has only ever slept with me. Recently, we opened up our relationship because I have a much higher sex drive. It was good—I was happy; the boy wasn’t jealous. And then something happened. Well, I caused something to happen.
My boyfriend now has herpes. Obviously I’ve got it, too, even if I’m not showing any symptoms. We didn’t prepare emotionally for the potential consequences of my actions. So here we are. He’s angry with me for putting him in danger, and I feel like getting hit by a bus. We know herpes is not so bad. We also know that these feelings of guilt, anger, and disgust will fade, but how do we get to that point?
—Hating Every Revolting Pestilent Execrable Second
You agreed as a couple to open your relationship up, HERPES, which makes him 50 percent responsible for the “danger” he was in. And if you neglected to talk through the potential negative consequences of an open relationship, HERPES, then you failed to do your due diligence—you both failed.
So what do you do now? After giving each other a little time and space, HERPES, you ought to invest a little dough in a sex-positive couples’ counselor. Find someone who can skillfully facilitate a couple of conversations about your relationship. One topic you might want to touch on: You could have picked the virus up from one of the partners you had before you met your current boyfriend.
As for the disease itself, you’re right: It’s not that bad. There are two herpes viruses: type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). They’re both relatively easy to catch, and they can both infect the mouth area or the genital area. It’s estimated that 80 percent of adults have HSV-1 and 25 percent of adults have HSV-2. And most infected people don’t know they have herpes because they’ve either never had an outbreak or their one-and-only outbreak was so mild they didn’t notice it.
It sucks to have herpes, primarily due to the irrational fears of other people—people who may, for all they know, already have herpes themselves. But it’s not the end of the world, or the end of your sex life, and it doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship. —Dan
I’m a bisexual girl. My boyfriend feels that I can “be all things” to him and fulfill him completely, but he can’t do the same for me. I truly feel that, over the long term, I would never be with a girl. I would always long for that masculine/feminine balance. I feel that although girls are lovely and sweet, a girl just wouldn’t make me feel the ways a boy does, and that I need what a boy offers more.
What can I do to make him see that he fulfills me in every way? We have discussed it endlessly, but his worries and insecurities won’t budge.
Of course he’ll never fulfill you completely, SG, just as you’ll never fulfill him completely. No one person can “be all things” to another person, and pretending otherwise can place a terrible strain on an otherwise serviceable relationship. The most we can hope for is finding someone who comes close enough, SG, someone we can round up to “complete fulfillment” status with a straight face, someone who can do the same for us.
So your boyfriend is either being naive with this “you can be all things to me, I can’t be all things to you” crap or—and this seems more likely—he’s being a fuckstick. Ask yourself this, SG: What does your boyfriend get by extending this conversation endlessly? Here’s what: By pretending to feel insecure, your boyfriend gets a girlfriend who actually feels insecure. He gets a girlfriend who feels like she’s always on probation, a girlfriend who is always at an emotional disadvantage. And then he gets to point to your one flaw—your bisexuality—as an excuse to never wholly commit to you.
You do realize, SG, that your bisexuality is not a flaw—far from it—and that there are tons of boys out there who would be ecfuckingstatic to trade places with your boyfriend. You might wanna let one. —Dan Savage
Dan Savage’s most recent book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family , is on sale now. Send your Savage Love questions to email@example.com. A new Savage Love podcast is available for download every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.