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Make lemonade, says Dan Savage, from lemons of sexual insecurity

Q More than a few times, you have implied that if one's partner is unwilling to satisfy, the deprived person has a right to seek it elsewhere. My sex life with my wife, despite my best efforts, is infrequent and uninspired. I recently met a married woman who has had a nonexistent sex life for many years.

We like each other immensely and are compatible in many ways, including in our sexual desires. Neither of us wants a divorce, as the other areas of our lives are fine. But we are considering becoming sex buddies. My question for you, Mr. Savage: Are we required to discuss this with our spouses? Neither would be agreeable. Or since both our spouses have made their lack of interest clear, can we go about this without informing our respective partners? Would that make us cheating spouses?

Long Deprived Spouse

A Yes, LDS, you two can "go about this" without informing your respective partners, but you'll have to accept the "cheating spouses" label.

You may have grounds to seek sex outside your marriage. Your potential sex buddy, with her "nonexistent" sex life, has better grounds for cheating than you do with your "infrequent and uninspired" sex life, but grounds don't make cheating not cheating. So long as you're married, it's cheating, LDS, because you're, like, you know, married. Justifiable homicide is still homicide, LDS, and justifiable cheating is still cheating.

And for the record: I've never "implied" that married people unjustly deprived of sex have a right to seek it elsewhere. I've hammered away at that point, year after lonely year. I have no talent for insinuation, LDS. But a married man with a sex buddy on the side is an adulterer, full stop. So, get the wife something nice, huh?

Q I am a bisexual female in a polyamorous relationship with a bisexual male. We are each other's primary. We are friends with a lesbian couple. The older member, to whom I am attracted, lets the younger member, to whom I am not attracted, have other partners. The older member is not interested in outside contacts herself. The younger member is definitely interested in me, but I spend my social time with this couple thinking about banging the older member.

I am very conflicted about how to proceed. I also have a hunch the older one is attracted to me, but doesn't have the nerve to make a move. What is my best course of action here?

—Pretty Older Ladies, Yessir!

A You probably like to think of yourself as a brave sexual adventurer, POLY, seeing as you're all bi and poly and shit. And there you are socializing with intergenerational lesbian couple. Man, you are living life on the edge! Pushing the antelope! Creating dynamic new relationship structures! You are bi-poly woman—hear you rawr!

Sorry, POLY, but I've fried oysters with more spine. You write that the older member of the lesbian couple doesn't have the "nerve to make a move." Where's your nerve? Attracted to the older member? Tell her. Not into the younger member? Tell her. Open to the possibility of a three-way with both members? Tell 'em. The last thing the world needs is another all-talk-no-action polyamorous braggart. You're doing poly wrong, POLY, when you spend more time diagramming your sexual relationships than you do having sexual relationships.

Q I am dating a divorc<0x00E9>e who just turned 60. She told me her first husband required that she thank him after intercourse. She does not find anything unusual about his request or her complying with it. I think it is bizarre. What do you have to say?

—Amazed And Really Perplexed

A I have to say this: Insisting that you be thanked after sex may be odd, perhaps a bit dom/sub, but it hardly rises to the level of bizarre.

I want to say this: Maybe your girlfriend was "required" to thank her ex after intercourse. Maybe he was a domineering bully who ordered her to do all sorts of mildly degrading things. Or maybe your girlfriend is submissive, AARP, and telling you about all the awful, terrible, no-good things her ex "made" her do is her way of letting you know what she would like you to do. It could be that instead of just coming out and saying, "I like to be dominated," she's saying, "My ex liked to dominate me."

Remember, dear readers, that shy kinksters frequently bring up their interests negatively with new partners. Feigned disgust is often—that's "often," not always—a stratagem, a way to "safely" broach the subject of spanking or feet or piss or whatever. So instead of saying "Yeah, bizarre!" and dashing off a letter to a sex-advice professional seeking confirmation, AARP, what you should have said is this: "Really? How did you feel about that? Did that turn you on? Tell me more."

Q In your column last week, you wrote that the authors of many of those fake letters were inspired by their adolescent male fear of female sexuality. I felt like I got hit in the chest with a big, red brick of truth. My present girlfriend had a promiscuous past. I was a terribly insecure teenager convinced no one wanted me to fuck or love them, and I feel I'm still carrying around that shame in my present healthy relationship. I realized, that I am completely threatened by my girlfriend's independent sexuality!

The thought that she had sex with other guys and girls and enjoyed it drives me crazy. I get totally jealous whenever she talks about old sex partners, particularly the one-night stands—a type of encounter I've never had—and I don't know how to deal with it. How do I deal with jealousy like this?

—Confused And Jealous And Turned On

P.S. A confusing aspect is that I get turned on hearing stories of her sexual encounters and I love her to tell me about them while we fuck.

A I saw that postscript coming a mile away, CAJATO. Halfway through your letter, I muttered, "I bet this shit turns him on." I thought I was muttering it under my breath, but I must have said it loud enough for the woman sitting next to me in this bar to hear. Now I'm all alone.

As for your jealousy, CAJATO, it sounds to me like you're dealing with it just fine. Your subconscious has eroticized those feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, turning the lemons of sexual insecurity into the lemonade of a burgeoning sexual kink.

Q Regarding that letter about a dog licking Nutella off a woman's pussy. Yes, the letter was a fake, but you left out an important detail: Chocolate is poison to dogs! Save a dog!

A I probably should have mentioned that chocolate is dog poison, SAD, but I figure anyone sick enough to give this a try probably shouldn't own a dog in the first place. Wouldn't you agree?

What’s your poison?


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