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Short and sweet 

A reader insists some major editing needs to be deployed, so Dan responds in kind, four words at a time. (Until he can’t.)


Q Are you incapable of concision? Your answers are too long! You blather on, often rehashing the problem (unnecessary!) before giving four words (at most!) of (rarely!) useful advice. I've heard you say you have to edit letters down for space. Edit yourself! I want more of the letters and less of YOU. —Keep It Short, Savage, Expressed Sincerely

A Feedback is always appreciated, KISSES.

Q I'm 30, happily married, with my husband since I was 17. First boyfriend, kiss, etc. I never had sex with anyone else. This never bothered me because I wasn't really into sex—but there have been big changes in the last year. I guess I am having a sexual awakening. My sex drive increased, and I've started reading erotica and fantasizing about getting kinky. I've also been having very strong urges to fuck someone else. As someone who always had strong values and opinions when it comes to sex and marriage and cheating, these feelings really confused me!

So I found a safe and harmless outlet: Second Life. I created a hot avatar and have been role-playing, talking dirty and banging people across the world for six months. I love it. I get to experience scenarios I fantasize about but would never do in real life. Before your readers start pulling the cheater card: I have talked about this with my husband, and I have his blessing. He knows I have an SL account and I'm having cybersex. Here's where it gets murky. Most of my SL friends haven't asked if I'm taken in RL, and I haven't told them that I am. I flirt as if I'm single, though, because I'm worried people will treat me differently if they know I'm married. I do not wish to meet or have RL sex with anyone I meet on SL, and I make that clear to everyone. I don't do photos/voice chat/Skype. But if someone asks me if I'm married in RL, I always tell the truth.

I'm writing because I'm worried about this one guy. The cybersex is super-hot, and he's sweet. He's my go-to guy, and I'm his go-to girl. He knows I have cybersex with other people in SL, and I have told him he is obviously allowed to have sex with others too. But I'm worried our SL relationship has become a bit more. He leaves me messages when I'm not online, telling me he misses me and "loves being with me," and I've said the same to him. I've also made it clear I have no intention of meeting anyone from SL in RL, ever. I'm worried that I'm crossing the line and being unfair to my husband. I'm also worried that I'm being unfair to my guy in SL, because I'm sure he must think I'm single, even though he has never asked. —Second Lifer And Spouse Haver

A You're doing nothing wrong, SLASH.

Q My husband and I met our "soulmate parents" at our daughter's pre-school a few years ago—that rare couple with a kid the same age and the same artistic interests and political values. Our kids instantly bonded and are now BFFs. Early on, the guy called my husband and they had a hard-drinking lunch. The guy spilled his guts about a painful previous relationship. It was weird, but we wrote it off. Three years of normal interactions and a kid later, we're really good friends with the wife, while the guy stays in the background.

I decided to start up a FetLife profile for fun—my husband and I are monogamish, and this is with his OK—and I find the guy's profile, which clearly states that his wife does not know he's on this site. What do I do? Pretend I never saw it? What if the wife finds out I knew? Do I tell him that I know? Most of all, I worry about the strain this would place on my daughter's friendship. Her heart would be broken.—Has Evidence Louse Parent Making Arrangements

A Mind your own business, HELPMA.

Q I am a kinkster. I have been since I can remember (I am 21), and I've never told anyone about my desires until the past year. During my time at university, I made good friends with a guy who I was able to open up to about my preferences, as he had similar desires. We created a beneficial arrangement. I no longer felt like I needed to suppress my "fucked up" masochistic needs and became extremely happy and more comfortable.

I keep a journal, and naturally I wrote about this arrangement and a lot of the details. Last summer, my mother read my entire journal and was horrified. I received a very nasty text from her about how our relationship was over, she couldn't believe what I had done and she was no longer going to help pay for my post-graduate courses. She was deeply disturbed to learn that some money she had given me for my 21st birthday was spent on a hotel room where I met up with my kinky friend.

I never wanted my mother to know about any of this, and I feel bad for how it upset her, but this was also a huge violation of my privacy. The only way to resolve the situation was for me to pretend that I deeply regretted everything, tell her I can see now how messed up those "weird" sex practices are, and say that I'm cured and will never engage in them again. Months have passed and I'm still angry with her for having read my diary. I feel sad about the lies I told and having to pretend—still—that I regret what I did. Because the truth is I've never felt more like myself than when I am doing BDSM. It's not my entire world, but it is an important part of who I am. How do you think I should take things from here? She'll never understand, so telling her isn't an option, but that means suppressing my deep upset at her as well. —Mother Unfairly Destroyed Daughter's Libido Entirely

A I really can't do this one in four words. Confront your fucking mother, MUDDLE, once you're out of grad school (priorities!), about the awful, shitty things she did to you: reading your journal; shaming you for your sexual interests and your private, consensual, respectful and healthy sexual explorations; and her unforgivable acts of emotional and financial blackmail.


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