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I am a 22-year-old woman, generally happy, but I have a problem with cheating. My peers seem to have no problems staying faithful, but I do. I have never been faithful to anyone, and I have had many relationships with men and women. Some found out, some didn’t. I have finally found someone I feel like I can spend the rest of my life with; I am happy with him on every level, but I still cheat. I have been told this could be sociopathic, but I’m not sure. I have always really loved sex, all kinds, and have done everything short of urine/feces or anything illegal. I don’t have any guilt, but I don’t want my boyfriend to find out and leave me or, worse, stay with me as I continue to break his heart through constant cheating. Would therapy help? I hope you have some advice. I just wish I could stop.
—She Kraves Acrobatic
Why stop, SKANK?
You say it’s not the skanking around that’s making you unhappy—you enjoy the sex, you enjoy multiple partners, you enjoy everything short of urine/feces/criminal. If you’re telling the truth—if you’re not glossing over some deep-seated pain—the sex isn’t the problem. What’s troubling you is the deceit. You’re worried that this boy, like the boys and girls before him, will be hurt when he finds out you’re a lying, cheating skank.
But you can be a skank—and I’m using the term in the sex-positive sense—without lying or cheating. Have you tried being honest with potential boyfriends and girlfriends about your tastes and track record? Where there are no lies of commission or omission, SKANK, there’s no deceit. And where there’s no deceit, there are no boys whose hearts are broken when they find out they are being cheated on. Let prospective partners know who you are and what you’re about before things get serious, SKANK, and your problem will be solved—i.e., boys and girls who want monogamy won’t get involved with you. You’ll encounter some rejection, sure, but if you keep the honesty thing up, sooner or later you’ll find a partner who doesn’t mind/thoroughly enjoys being cheated on. Ta-da, everybody wins.
Now, my advice would conclude with the previous paragraph if it weren’t for the last line of your letter: “I just wish I could stop.” If that’s how you truly feel, SKANK, then perhaps there is something pathological about your behavior. And here’s a little more evidence that your sexual adventures may not be coming from a particularly healthy place: Someone like you, SKANK, surely knows that there are men and women out there—the wannabe swingers, the polyamorous, the growing legions of cuckold fetishists—who would kill to be with a woman like you. The fact that you haven’t sought out any of these people and have instead dated and deceived the monogamously inclined is revealing. And what it reveals isn’t pretty: If you’ve avoided the swingers, the polyamorous, and the cuckold fetishists, SKANK, and sought out only guys and girls that will be hurt by your actions, then you’re not skanking around because you enjoy it. You’re doing it to wound and drive off people who attempt to get close to you. And that’s something you should definitely hash out with a shrink.—Dan
I’m a recent college grad who’s having a tough time meeting a nice girl. I’m above average in terms of looks (I work out regularly), and I’m pretty smart (I went to a top school). My problem is that I’m not outgoing but very shy. This is probably the reason I’m not a big fan of the bar scene. Is there some way or place I can meet cute, smart girls in a more comfortable setting? Thanks.
—Doing My Best
You, my friend, need a gay friend. A fun-lovin’, presentable, passable male homo who wants to go out drinking with you, will get shitfaced with you, and, when he notices a girl checking you out or you checking out a girl, will push you in the girl’s direction or walk up to her and ask if his cute-but-painfully-shy straight friend can buy her a drink. Women love cute-but-shy guys with gay friends. Trust me.
You can return the favor by going to gay bars with your gay friend, getting shitfaced with him, dancing shirtless with him, and telling anyone who hits on you that you’re hopelessly straight but that your gay friend here is single and awesome.
Finally, DMB, if your gay friend hooks you up with the woman you wind up marrying, he not only gets to be your best man, but he also has the option of blowing you immediately before the ceremony. The gay mafia is pretty strict about enforcing this last provision.—Dan
Here’s the deal. I’ve been married for less than a year. I, wifey, have been bad—the “trifecta” of controlling, insecure, jealous, and irrational, and it all got 100 times worse once we got engaged. I was bad; I made him miserable. I am now doing well in therapy, and there has been much improvement in recent months. The problem? No sex. Hubby doesn’t want it. He’s able but not willing. We have sex maybe twice a month and only at my insistence. He was not as affectionate when we first got married (I was superbad then) but now is much more so; he’s very affectionate, no skimping on the hugs and kisses. He treats me very well and says he loves me—but he just avoids sex. The worst part is sometimes we’ll be making out and I can feel his hard-on, but he just won’t act on it. He likes porn and girls (women—not little girls), so I know he has the appetite—just not for me.
I know my trifecta turned him off, but I also know that he’s warmed up as I’ve gotten better. And I’m going nuts waiting.—Sexless in Windsor
Give hubby some time to adjust to the new, improved wifey, SIW. By your own admission you were a raging bitch for the duration of your engagement and three-quarters of your married life thus far. While it’s swell that you’ve gotten a handle on your controlling, insecure, jealous, and irrational behavior—that’s a “quadfecta,” technically, not a “trifecta”—it’s gonna take more than a few months of good behavior before hubby begins to see you as the woman he proposed to and not the fucking nutjob he married. I’d say you’re gonna need to be sane for at least as long as you were batshitcrazy before you can expect things to return to normal.—Dan
Despite the desire of so many to avoid labels and the various stigmas attached to them, Homo sapiens seem to be “hard-wired” with a desire to name and categorize people and things and feelings. Some friends of mine in Orlando came up with a fun, catchy, and well-meaning name for a girl in the “Not One of THOSE Bisexuals” predicament. NOOTB didn’t want to identify as bi because most of the 18-year-old bi girls she’s known were just drunken straight girls, and she didn’t want to identify as a dyke because she likes boys, too.
That makes her a BYKE—a bi-identified dyke. Works for bi girls in lesbian relationships (like me), bi girls who prefer women more than men (like me), and lots of other situations that I can’t even imagine, I’m sure. Sign me…
—Because You Keep Educatin’
Thanks for sharing, BYKE.
Dan Savage’s new book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, is on sale now. Send your Savage Love questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.