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I have a question I don’t think you’ve ever addressed in your column. I’m a 32-year-old heterosexual female who was stricken with near-terminal cancer eight years ago. I’ve gone through every sort of treatment known to mankind (and had the gross misfortune of going through menopause at 27 years old). I was sort of a late bloomer when the disease took hold, and I had only had sex with one man, when I was 23 years old. That relationship lasted about six months.
For a long time, I suspected that I would not live, and therefore I didn’t think too much about having a sex life. But about two years ago, I finished a final round of treatment, and now I’m cancer-free. I’ve reestablished myself professionally, and for the first time I feel like I may have a future. My problem is that I have no confidence in sex. It’s been nine years since I’ve had sex—and I don’t have the advanced skill set that one might expect of a 32-year-old woman. But I also know that a successful sex life is something I want and need and deserve, and I’m not willing to go without it much longer.
I took it upon myself to have some cosmetic surgery to restore my looks (I had some bloating that stretched my skin and some really bad scars), and men are starting to notice me. I would very much like to have a sex life—and I very much want to rock the world of the next person I’m with. Do you have any suggestions as to where I might find a heterosexual man who would be willing to “educate” me? Would it be foolish to explain my predicament to people seeking casual sex on various Web sites? I am at this time more comfortable without the nervousness of an emotional entanglement—so please don’t tell me to just find a nice guy.—Former Sicko Seeking Sex
Sorry, FSSS, but I’m going to have to tell you to find a nice guy—but one who, like you, isn’t looking for an emotional entanglement.
You don’t say so explicitly, FSSS, but the implication is loud and clear: You believe there are two kinds of guys out there. There are nice ones, those men seeking sex coupled with an emotional entanglement; and there are not-so-nice ones, those men seeking sex free from an emotional entanglement. This assumption is commonly made, FSSS, and it makes me lose my patience. Everyone seems to agree that people seeking emotionally entangled sex are kind and considerate and moral, while people seeking NSA—that’s “no strings attached”—sex are cruel and selfish and immoral. But it ain’t necessarily so.
Being in a long-term relationship with someone—whether you’re just going steady, planning to marry, or already married—is no guarantee that you’re going to wind up with someone “nice.” Newspapers, divorce courts, and criminal trials are crammed with examples of people who found themselves emotionally entangled with cruel, selfish, and even homicidal lovers and/or spouses. Conversely, FSSS, bedrooms, back seats, and dungeons across this great land of ours are crammed with kind, considerate, and deeply moral people enjoying NSA/entanglement-free sex. Casual sex doesn’t have to be cold, ugly, or diminishing any more than marital sex is guaranteed to be warm, beautiful, and uplifting. That there are kind, considerate people out there searching for NSA sex should be apparent to you, FSSS—I mean, aren’t you one of them?
With a little effort, you can find yourself a nice guy who wants to have sex free from emotional entanglements. Advertise on those Web sites or, better yet, in this paper’s personals. Be honest about your needs, what you’re asking for (tutelage), and what you’re offering (your ass). Women seeking NSA sex are few and far between, FSSS, which means you’ll be in such great demand that you can write your own ticket. Ask to meet first—not one of those emotional-entanglement-making dates, just a meeting, in a public place, to see if you’re into him, he’s into you, etc. Let the guys know what you’re looking for—and why. Share your story, FSSS, and the guys who stick around will be the ones who have the emotional depth and the kindness of heart to give you the entanglement-free sexual adventure/education you’re looking for. Then, once you’ve screened the candidates, pick the one you want to keep—just like Jerry Hall on VH1’s Kept. (Pick Austin, Jerry! Pick Austin!) Then bang the nice guy’s brains out.—Dan
I am a straight 22-year-old male who has always had an interest in a girl’s bare feet. Nothing crazy—it’s mostly just rubbing my girlfriend’s feet. But I tend to do it to the point where she asks (and she always asks), “Do you have a foot fetish or something?” My question: Is this a kink found only in men, or are there women out there who get off on touching the feet of the opposite sex?—Curious in Cali
The correct response to “Do you have a foot fetish or something?” is “Yes, I do.” As fetishes go, a thing for women’s feet is a thoroughly charming throwback to more innocent times—heck, it’s positively Clintonian. Be upbeat and be upfront. Instead of waiting to be asked, CIC, tell your girlfriends right away. Smile and say, “I have a foot fetish, honey—always have, always will. My girlfriends are lucky—they get all the foot massages they want.”
And to answer your question: No, there aren’t a lot of women out there who have foot fetishes. It’s a guy thing.—Dan
In response to Lustful Little Brother, you said, “No one I know who’s had a three-way with a sibling looks back on the incident with fondness. No brotherly tag-teaming, OK?” I just had to respond. In high school, I dated a guy while I was “secretly” sleeping with his twin brother. One night while brother No. 1 and I were having sex in his room, brother No. 2 came in and joined us. I guess they didn’t keep secrets! The three of us had about eight months of blissful two- and three-ways before I went off to college. That was 18 years ago, and I haven’t talked to them in about 15 years, but the last time we saw each other, it didn’t seem to me that they had any regrets.—Been There, Done Them
There isn’t room in this space for me to rehearse every possible exception to every generally accepted rule of liberated sexual conduct, BTDT. Tag-teaming brothers are always and everywhere a bad idea—except when we’re talking attractive male twins, of course. On top of sharing their DNA, many twins share an intense emotional and physical connection. Some twins find they can share everything—even a high-school tramp—without experiencing an emotional meltdown or a sexual identity crisis. More power to them, BTDT, but they’re an exception, even among twins.—Dan
A note of thanks: My friends used to read your column in high school to laugh at weirdoes. But when two boys at our school came out, we knew a lot about being gay from reading you, so no one freaked. Three years later, I caught my first serious boyfriend at college wearing my panties. Instead of freaking, I decided to be “GGG.” If it weren’t for you, Dan, we wouldn’t still be together. So, like, thanks.—Loves a Pantie Dude
P.S. Enjoy the pic of my boyfriend in his panties! He likes to be spanked, too!
You’re so, like, welcome, LAPD. Thanks for sharing.—Dan Savage
Dan Savage’s Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America (Dutton) is available at bookstores nationwide. Send your Savage Love questions to email@example.com.
Art accompanying story in the printed newspaper is not available in this archive: Illustration by Robert Ullman.