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My problem may not be as kinky as most you get, but it’s currently terrorizing my thoughts. While in high school and early college, I was fairly sexually repressed (right-wing, Bible Belt upbringing and all that), so I used online chatrooms to explore my sexual curiosity. I would find random pictures of people on the Internet, normal and nude, and send them to others, pretending to be the people in the photos I had found. I used both male and female “identities,” as the gender wasn’t really what turned me on—it was the exhibitionist nature of sharing photos, even if they weren’t really me. I only traded with others claiming to be 18-plus, and I never met anyone. It was all seemingly harmless Internet fun.
Now I’m a 23-year-old heterosexual male, and I just began dating a girl that I like a lot. The problem is that now I seem to have recurring negative feelings about those online experiences. Part of me feels like it was a terrible thing to do, I’m an awful person for doing it, and it makes me feel horrible. This same part compels me to “confess” this to my new girlfriend and get it off my chest, which may appease those concerns—but I imagine that it will also make me come off as really creepy and weird. AHHH!!
—Confused and Distraught
Ah, the religious upbringing—that hellish gift that keeps on giving you hell. Before those first pubes sprout, preachers are pounding it into our heads that there’s only one correct way to express ourselves sexually. We are then condemned to spend the rest of our lives measuring our actual sexual desires and experiences—which tend to be messy and perverse, as human beings tend to be messy and perverse—against a simplistic, unachievable, stultifying, and supposedly “blessed” sexual ideal.
Rest assured, CAD, adults that have indulged in nothing but Bible Belt–approved hetero sex—that is, penis in vagina, strictly within the bounds of matrimony, always open to conception—are rarer than Laura Bush’s orgasms. Or American goals in a World Cup match. Or sane Scientologists.
It’s time to stop beating up on yourself, kiddo. What you did was completely innocent and, as adolescent exploration of sexuality goes, completely harmless. You managed to safely explore sexuality, fantasy, and gender without getting hurt or hurting anyone. Oh, you might have raised some false hopes in the folks you were chatting with or helped to circulate pictures that the original owners might not have wanted passed around, but those are venal sins. If you do decide to tell your girlfriend about your online games, CAD, don’t present it as some deep, dark secret, but as something freaky and funny you did when you were a teenager.
And, finally, you’re not alone—your behavior online is a lot more common than you seem to think. The Internet is teeming with people pretending to be what they’re not—from straight women pretending to be gay men to hairy old fags pretending to be smooth young twinks to FBI agents pretending to be 13-year-old girls. So just chill the fuck out, OK?—Dan
While I was making love to my wife, she asked me about my fantasies. I shared with her that my fantasy was to watch her have lesbian sex with one of her hot friends. I came home a few days later to find my wife naked with her best friend! She announced that it was time for my fantasy to come true, and told me to sit down and enjoy it. After her friend left, she told me that since my fantasy came true, she was entitled to hers coming true. She then explained, for the first time, that her fantasy was for me to watch her getting fucked by two guys! I objected, and she said that because she did my fantasy, I had to do her fantasy. She has now cut me off from all sex and announced that until I arrange for her fantasy, I am out of luck.
She is adamant that she is entitled to her fantasy being fulfilled because she fulfilled mine. I do not agree, because I never asked her to do what she did. What should I do?
—Don’t Want Wife
Fucked by Strangers
Sharing a fantasy—a realizable one—is an implied request for fantasy fulfillment, DWWFBS, although a fantasy shared during sex requires some post-orgasm follow-up. (“Honey, were you serious about…?”) But the issue here isn’t whether you asked the wife to fulfill your fantasy (you did), but that she didn’t inform you about this quid pro quo before she chomped her best friend’s box in front of you. If fulfilling your fantasy obligated you to fulfill her fantasy, then she had an obligation to disclose her fantasy in advance. Her failure to disclose can only mean one thing: She knew you wouldn’t be into her fantasy. So it’s not mutual sexual-fantasy fulfillment your wife is engaged in, DWWFBS, it’s sexual extortion.
So what should you do? Well, first you should ask your wife this: If she had confessed her fantasy to you first, and you ran out and found two guys to fuck her, would that obligate her to consent to absolutely anything you wanted? If you wanted to shit in her mouth, would she open wide? If you wanted to fuck a double amputee, would she have her legs cut off?
Even if you succeed in making her see how unreasonable she’s being, DWWFBS, that won’t make her fantasy go away. She digs messing around with other people, and she really digs doing it in front of her husband. Perhaps there’s a compromise you can live with? Instead of two strangers, how about a three-way with you and another guy? And instead of a stranger, how about a friend? But if sharing your wife with another man is absolutely, positively something that you’re unwilling to do, then tell her she’s shit out of luck.—Dan
I am a Pennsylvania voter and I, too, am appalled at what Senator Rick Santorum represents in the U.S. Senate. However, before jumping on the Bob Casey bandwagon, please note that Casey is also anti-choice. The conscientious Pennsylvania voter is thus faced with a profound lack of alternatives.
On balance, Casey is better than Santorum, but he is far from a desirable candidate.—Queasy Undecided
Yes, yes: Bob Casey is opposed to abortion. But by electing Casey, we would take out Rick “Frothy Mix” Santorum, a much more rabidly anti-choice senator. Frothy Mix doesn’t think you should be able to choose masturbation, for crying out loud. Moreover, electing Casey could help Democrats take back the Senate, which will go a long way toward protecting choice, abortion rights, and other sexual freedoms—despite Casey’s stance on choice. So casting a vote for Casey, or sending a contribution to Casey, is a pragmatic, progressive, pro-choice bankshot. Electing one or two pro-life Dems is the price we’re going to have to pay to put reliably pro-choice Dems in positions of power all over the Senate.
And speaking of the ITMFA funds, people wrote in with tons of great suggestions for where the next ITMFA check should go, from Russ Feingold to Kinky Friedman to Jon Tester to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. But I’m going to go with Planned Parenthood. Not only is Planned Parenthood a kickass group, but giving a chunk of dough to the pro-choicers at Planned Parenthood neatly balances out, karma-wise, the donation I’ve already made to Casey.
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.