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My girlfriend of three years is a smoker. In the beginning of our relationship, her smoking didn’t bother me. I come from a family of smokers, and I used to smoke. But now her smoking is a huge turn-off. I’ve also started a new job where I work with cancer patients, and I see the deadly effects of smoking every day. I’ve tried everything under the sun to get her to stop. She says she’ll try, but she never makes much of an effort. I don’t like to kiss or be near her when she smokes. It’s ruined our sex life because she comes to bed smelling like cigarettes. If she doesn’t stop, I want to move out. I’ll sacrifice the relationship before I succumb to cancer from secondhand smoke.
Is it fair to give her an ultimatum?
My regular readers know that I view this column—my life’s work—as a sacred pact with my readers. People bring me their problems, seeking my assistance and insight, and I take that responsibility very seriously. But that doesn’t stop me from occasionally auctioning off the right to give advice in this space to the highest bidder, and letting that person—whomever the hell it might be—dig through my e-mail inbox and answer a few questions.
Meet Cara McDermott, a 28-year-old who works on public-health projects in Seattle. A Savage Love reader for more than a decade, Cara was the winning bidder in an auction that benefited a worthy charity: the anti-hunger agency Northwest Harvest. Cara is a ginger-haired looker with a fiancé from Amish country in Pennsylvania, and her future father-in-law is a big fan of the word “santorum,” which is apparently on everyone’s lips in Lancaster, Pa. Cara tells me she’s GGG, and her fiancé Scott backs her up on that. Friends often come to Cara for advice—which is how I got started in this dirty bidness—and she believes, as I do, that cheating is permissible under certain circumstances and that oral sex comes standard. Here’s Cara’s advice for you, NS:
We can't make City Paper without you
“I understand where you’re coming from,” says Cara. “I’m a former smoker myself who has worked with cancer patients, and it’s depressing to see what might be in store for your girlfriend. However, I also know that when I was a smoker, naggers like you bugged the shit out of me. If you don’t want to be around secondhand smoke, then it’s a fair request of your girlfriend that she not smoke in the house. If she smells like cigarettes, then suggest that she shower before bed. Most important, drop the nagging. I bet that once you bug your girlfriend less about her smoking, all of a sudden she might find the will to quit.”
Cara might have purchased the right to give advice in this column, but I never—never—auction off the right to the last word: Sorry, Cara, but smoking outside and/or taking showers doesn’t really mask a smoker’s all-body stench. If a smoker’s stench doesn’t bother you, then fuck smokers. But if it does bother you, NS, you’re going to have to dump the girlfriend.—Dan
My wife and I decided it would be OK for her to fuck other guys. It turns me on to think of her getting pounded while I’m at work. I’ve always wanted for her to sit her freshly fucked pussy on my face and let the other guy’s cum run out into my mouth. Given the health risks to both of us, this fantasy has to be left in the Don’t Do It, Just Think About It (DDI-JTAI) file. Recently we tossed around the idea of pouring contents of a used condom into her pussy the day after it was filled. The AIDS virus only lives about 5 minutes out of the body, so there’s no risk there. My question is, what are the other health risks we could be exposed to?
“Dan may disagree with me,” says Cara, “but I have to say that this fantasy should stay in the DDI-JTAI file, DOSE. While you don’t have to worry about the AIDS virus, you should think a lot about hepatitis. You don’t have a guarantee that there is no blood mixed with the spunk—rare, but I feel I have to say it—and you don’t have a guarantee that there’s no fecal matter mixed in there (either through dirty hands or anal play). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site, hep A can live outside the body for months, hep B can live outside the body for seven days and transmit infection, and hep C can last for anywhere from 16 hours to four days outside the body. You can get shots for hep A and hep B, but there’s nada available for hep C. Take the risk and maybe you fry your liver, maybe not.”
You’re right, Cara, I disagree with you. DOSE’s extremely small risk of catching hep has to be weighed against the large benefit of fulfilling this monumentally disgusting fantasy—a fantasy that is the ultimate expression of the cuckold fetish: literally having your nose rubbed in the evidence of your mate’s infidelity. And there’s a relatively easy way to minimize your risk of catching anything, DOSE. If your wife cheats with a regular dude, all she needs to do is make continued access to her pussy contingent on a full health screening.—Dan
I’m a woman who’s been in a relationship with my girlfriend for five years. I’m in love with her and I want to spend the rest of my life with her if possible. Problem 1: She’s married and has been throughout our entire relationship. She tells me that she loves me and wants to be with only me, but she won’t leave him. Her husband and I know each other quite well, but he knows nothing about us. Problem 2: She was my first and has been my only with everything sexual. Problem 3: She did leave him, and we moved in together about a year ago, and everything was going really well until she came down with an STD that I did not give her. When she moved in, I was told that all sexual encounters with her husband had stopped. I found out that she had been giving him head. How am I supposed to deal with this? Now he has moved in with us, and we don’t even sleep in the same room anymore (for the sake of the kids). What do I do?
—Love Over Stressed Times
“I have a few pieces of advice for you,” says Cara. “Piece 1: If she loved you and wanted to be with only you, then she’d leave him. Piece 2: Very few people have one sexual partner for their whole lives. For most of us, having different sexual partners exposes us to different people and different situations, teaching us a lot along the way. You need to sleep with more folks before settling down. Piece 3: Finally, LOST, to be blunt, your girlfriend is a lying, cheating whore who is emotionally abusing you and possibly exposing you to some nasty STIs. DTMFA (dump the motherfucker already), and good luck meeting the nice gal you deserve.”
Hm. I have nothing whatsoever to add—good work, Cara!
HEY, EVERYBODY: A couple of weeks back, I advised WILLIE and FS—two sex-starved married people—to go ahead and cheat on their respective spouses. It seems that advising married people to cheat really pisses some people off. To read responses to that column—most con, some pro—go to www.thestranger.com/savage/willie.—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 email@example.com.