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My boyfriend of three years has a lower libido than I do and rarely wants to do anything sexual. For a variety of reasons, I will not DTMFA. We no longer have arguments about this, but I do feel a bit lonesome for the type of physical contact he won’t provide.
Now comes the dirty part: I have a couple of male friends who would happily do the things that my boyfriend isn’t interested in doing. I have discussed this idea with my boyfriend, but he is resistant. I think it wouldn’t bother him as much as he believes it would. An occasional tryst with one of my pals isn’t something that would have much of an effect on our relationship. I’m just looking for him to OK a shortlist of people we know, so that I have somewhere to turn during the monthslong periods when he has no sex drive. How can I convince him?
—Playing Allowed Looks Sweet
We’ll get to your issues in a moment, PALS, but first an issue of my own: I’ve been abusing DTMFA letters of late—that is, I’ve been using a lot of questions from readers who need to “dump the motherfucker already.” As I’ve pointed out in past columns, letters from people who need to DTMFA account for more than half the mail that advice professionals like myself receive. If we aren’t careful, DTMFA letters can dominate our advice columns, making them monotonous.
In my defense, gentle reader, while I may be too quick to issue DTMFA orders, far too many of my colleagues go out of their way to avoid telling their readers to DTMFA. Confronted with a marriage damaged beyond repair, other advice professionals offer up soothing platitudes and inspire false hopes. They do this because most of my colleagues share an idealized reverence for the institution of marriage and fear calling for the end of any marriage, no matter how fatal its flaws. “Seek counseling,” they’ll say, in a futile attempt to salvage the unsalvageable.
While I never make the mistake of attempting to salvage the unsalvageable, my carelessness of late has led to too little relationship-salvaging advice appearing in this space. So for the next few weeks, I intend to help couples work through their issues, not just order them to part.
OK, PALS, I was completely on your side until “I’m looking for him to OK a shortlist of people we know.” So long as your shortlist includes mutual friends, there’s no way for your boyfriend to OK this arrangement without feeling utterly humiliated. If he gives you permission to sleep with mutual friends, then his friends will know that he’s sexually inadequate, and he’ll know that they know, and they’ll know that he knows that they know. Can you see how he might have a problem with that?
The only way to get him to agree to your getting a little on the side, PALS, is to ask for permission to get your needs met elsewhere once in a while—and to promise him that you will only mess around with friends drawn exclusively from your own social orbit. No mutuals, none of his friends. Make him that promise, PALS, even if you don’t intend to keep it. Good luck!—Dan
i am a 22 yr old man that thought i would be happy with my wife for the wrest of my life, but after a year of cheeting on my wife with her own mom, i am in love with her mom. she is 44 but she has the experience and beauty. we go wild in bed makin love for hours and she swollows which turns me like crazely. i dont want to be with my wife no more. what should i do?—Marreed Man
This helpful shit is harder than I thought. But here goes: A husband should be able to discuss anything with his wife, MM. You should be able to share your deepest secrets with her, your innermost thoughts, your fondest hopes for the future. When a man can’t tell his wife that his hopes for the future include a lot more oral sex from her mom, then something is wrong. Your marriage could be in trouble. I urge you to seek counseling.—Dan
I’m a 25-year-old straight male with a wonderful girlfriend. The other night I made some comment about how lucky I am to get such great head all the time. She responded by telling me that I was lucky, considering I almost never go down on her, and when I do it’s not for very long. It was true. I’ve been an asshole. The next time we got into it, I ended up going down on her for a long time and she told me it was the best I’d ever done. Everything’s fine, right?
My bottom-row front teeth are just a tiny bit crooked and one of them scraped the shit out of the little flap of skin along the bottom of my tongue while I ate her out. The pain was excruciating. Is this a common problem? Should I just keep doing it to develop a callus beneath my tongue?—Sad, Confused, Raw, Amateur Pussy Eater
I read somewhere once that you can get that little flap of skin snipped—I would Google it myself, SCRAPE, but I’m sitting in a bar in Saugatuck, Mich., helping myself to some of the really terrific margaritas they make at Phil’s, a bar that doesn’t have Internet access. So Google it yourself, OK?—Dan
I was appalled by the advice you gave LIFE, the man sleeping with a woman in an abusive marriage. You told him to run and doubted the woman’s claims of abuse, calling them “too perfectly monstrous.” My mother and my whole family were abused by my father, and most of the time she wasn’t believed. Discrediting the victim by saying she’s “lying” probably made all abused women who read your column recall the times they were called liars.
You should not perpetuate the idea that abused women are really lying and that abusive husbands really aren’t capable of harming someone that much.—R.
I never intended to deny the reality of domestic violence, R. Too many women are monstrously abused; there was a story last week in the Detroit Free Press about a Michigan man who tore off his wife’s right arm. But the refusal to believe any woman’s claim of abuse should not, in my opinion, be replaced by a blanket acceptance of any woman’s claim of abuse. (If all claims of abuse are to be accepted at face value, why bother with domestic-violence charges or rape trials?) Women should get the benefit of the doubt as their lives—and right arms—may be at stake, but even that posture presupposes the possibility of doubt. That’s why I advised LIFE to check out the part of his girlfriend’s story that was verifiable: Her claim that her husband had once been prosecuted for rape. If it checks out, that goes a long way toward establishing her credibility. If it doesn’t, well, then it doesn’t. People do lie, R., as I’m sure you know. And women are people, as I’m sure you’d agree.
A lot of people took issue with my advice for LIFE. To read their responses, go to www.thestranger.com/savage/abuse.—Dan Savage
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.