Savage Love

By Dan Savage
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 30, 2010

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Q: I am a married white guy in my 50s. My wife and I do some role-playing where I am “Ted,” her real-life father. In her script, I yell at my “bad daughter” (my wife) over some infraction and send her to her room. Later on, I sneak in and tell her that she could “make Daddy very happy” if we were to do some “secret, special things” together. I usually end up fingering her still-virginal butt while “forcing” her to suck my dick. Then I roll her over and rape the hell out of her. I’m being GGG, and she absolutely gets off on it. We’ve done this scene a few times, with increasing frequency, following her script every time. I do have some concerns, Dan: (1) It’s creepy, and (2) I’m worried that this might all be “based on a true story.” What to do? Keep a good thing going or confront her about her father? I’m going to feel like an idiot if it’s all just a harmless fantasy.

Concerned “Father”

A: What if it is based on a true story?

Let’s suppose your wife was raped by her actual father and—after years of processing the abuse and the trauma—she emerged happy and healthy and stable, but … saddled with an all-consuming, high-creep-quotient incest-role-play fetish. Your wife isn’t alone: A small handful of rape victims develop fantasies about rape role-play scenarios, an even smaller number of Holocaust survivors developed Nazi role-play fantasies.

Sometimes our erotic imaginations are as inexplicable as they are powerful.

Now let’s suppose that your wife is healthy enough emotionally and sexually to safely explore these deeply creepy fantasies—because now she’s in complete control, because now she’s with someone she loves and trusts—and that she isn’t traumatized by reenacting these deeply creepy scenes from her childhood. Shouldn’t she have just as much a right to enjoy and explore her sexuality as any other person, CF, regardless of the forces that shaped it?

I’d say the answer to that question is yes.

All that said, CF, you have a right to ask pointed questions—particularly if “Ted” is still alive and you have to sit next to him at Thanksgiving—and she has a responsibility to come through with detailed, honest answers. You’re not some casual up-for-anything stranger your wife recruited online. You’re her husband , and you have a right to know just what sort of land mines you’re stomping on or around, even if your wife considers them defused and harmless . Because there are huge potential consequences for you—emotional and sexual—if your wife is being traumatized by the role-play games she’s asked you to participate in.

And, finally, here’s hoping it’s all just a fantasy and that your wife wasn’t raped by her father, CF, although that isn’t going to make her fantasies any less creepy or Thanksgiving dinner with Ted any less awkward.

Q: I’m a 23-year-old single, gay man. One of my siblings (with whom I was close) passed away about a month ago. I want to start dating again, but I’m not sure how to tell if I am or when I will be ready. I don’t want to be unloading my issues on potential first dates (that’s why I’m starting to see a therapist), but during the getting-to-know-you small talk, siblings always seem to come up. How do I handle this without seeming unmoved by my sibling’s death and without scaring off the other guy?

Trying To Move Forward

A: While you don’t want to burden a potential new boyfriend (PNB) with the full weight of your grief, TTMF, the only PNBs you’ll scare off by mentioning your grief are PNBs with empty lube bottles where their hearts should be—that is, PNBs with no potential, PNBs you should be anxious to be rid of.

So when the sibling talk comes up, TTMF, mention your recently deceased sibling, accept your PNB’s condolences, and then change the subject . What that communicates about you, PNB-wise, is this: You’ve been touched by grief recently, but you’re not paralyzed by it, and you’re ready to date.

And I’m so sorry for your loss, TTMF.

Q: Please help me. I can no longer stand the thought of having sex with my fiance. He’s a great guy—very kind and good. The problem is the sounds he makes during sex. Little whiny girl sounds. Like, not even woman sounds—which, being attracted to men, would be a big enough problem for me. No, he makes noises like a tiny little baby kitten girl. It has gotten really bad. I avoid sex (we usually don’t even sleep in the same bed, although we live together). When we do have sex, I spend the first half dreading the moment the girlie sighs start and the second half trying to ignore them. So, basically, I’m checked out for both halves—which he notices and obviously doesn’t like. I know this sounds trivial, and it wasn’t such a big problem for the first year of our relationship. But it has grown from small annoyance to giant grating huge turnoff. I don’t know how to tell him to stop. I have brought it up before, but it sounds so stupid, and then he gets self-conscious and I feel bad. I can’t marry him under these circumstances, though. What do I do?

Ears Plugged

A: Your great and good fiance deserves the truth. And come on, EP, what do you think is going to make him feel worse: you leveling with him about the damage his tiny little baby kitten girl sounds (TLBKGS) are doing—to his sex life, to his relationship—or you calling off the marriage because you just can’t fuck him anymore?

Here’s what you need to do: Tell the fiance again, calmly but firmly, that the TLBKGS are a huge turnoff. It’ll hurt to hear, for sure, but he’ll hurt worse if you let the TLBKGS destroy your marriage before it starts. Then the next time you’re fucking him and he starts to make TLBKGS, stop everything. Don’t pull away from him physically, don’t push him off you, don’t scowl or grimace or roll your eyes. Just stop whatever it is you’re doing and say in a flat, nonsexy, nonaccusatory tone, “That sound you’re making is a huge turnoff. It kills sex for me.” Wait for an appropriate response—“Oh, I’m sorry, I’ll stop”—and then immediately pick up where you left off.

Repeat as necessary until the TLBKGS are an unpleasant memory. I’ve seen this approach work—call it the “full stop”—on biters, screamers, scratchers and gratuitous-mid-fuck-ass-spankers. It’ll work on tiny little baby kitten girl sounds, too.

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