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Thursday, June 26, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Two Simple Answers

Posted by on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 5:26 PM

So I am a single woman, 31, live in LA, and I'm on OkCupid. (We all are.) I've gotten a number of unicorn requests. (Maybe because I mention being a magnum subscriber to the Savage Lovecast in my profile?) I've never responded—until the other day.

One unicorn request stood out. I wrote back. They seem like cool, smart, interesting people (a 40 year old, liberal married couple). Their profile is funny and they're quite attractive! And here I am, not doing anything else or anyone else.... and I'm thinking... this could be cool. It could be an awesome experience. Why not play around while everything is still slim but perky?


Some concerns:

1. Uh... what now? I gave them my number but I can't say that I'm definitely a YES on this. I'm also not a NO. What now? We meet for drinks? Then what?

2. I've never even had a one night stand. I've pretty much always had boyfriends. I don't know what my question is here, it's just something I've been turning over in my head. I just don't want to feel like a hooker! (Not that there's anything wrong with being a sex worker!)

3. I'm not bi. I don't say that I'm bi on my OKC profile. I cannot imagine a scenario in which I would want to put my face in someone's twat. (I know you understand the feeling.) But I don't think I have any issue with being on the receiving end. (Maybe? I've never been a unicorn!) I've done the college playing-around-with-girls—topless makeouts for a boyfriend's viewing pleasure—but nothing crazy.

I think, if I meet them, and if it goes well, I should ask them what their thoughts are about this, if they've done it before, what their boundaries are etc. I would confirm that if anyone feels uncomfortable everyone involved has the green light to call a stop to the whole thing. I'd also lay out my limitation re the wife.

But um... should I go for it? What should I do or say?

Future Unicorn Nervously Guessing At Logistics

My response to FUNGAL—and a bonus question/reminder—after the jump...


1. Meet, have drinks, talk—tell them everything you've told us—and then do what you've always done: fuck 'em if it feels right.

2. Refuse to accept money for sex—don't let them pay you—and you won't be a hooker. It's really that simple. If you've only ever had sex in the context of a relationship, then make it clear that developing some sort of relationship is a requirement before you jump into bed with anyone. Couple who are looking for unicorns—which is hard work—are usually seeking a regular, reliable third, i.e. someone they see again and again with and spend a great deal of time with. You know, someone they can have a relationship with. If these two were looking a one-off, FUNGAL, they would probably be looking for a hooker.

3. Again, tell this couple everything you've told us. The only reason you hesitate, FUNGAL, is that you fear rejection—and that fear is thoroughly common, completely understandable, and totally irrational. I mean, think about it: the only reason you're hesitating to tell them that you're not bisexual, you have no interest in putting your face in a twat (but you're up for having her face in yours if she's cool with no-recip), is that you worry you'll be rejected—that you won't be what they want. But if they have their hearts set on a bi unicorn who loves to eat pussy, then you're the wrong unicorn for them and they're the wrong couple for you to unicorn. Better to have a nice, clean, honest rejection—a mutual recognition that you're not a match—than to hold back and wind up in bed being pressured to do things you don't want to do.

And here's a bonus Q/regular reminder...

Avid podcast listener and column reader for the last 8+ years here. I don't care either way and I'm not doubting you, Dan, but I was kinda amazed that 1 in 3 is the actual stat of American women who've had abortions. Can ya cite that? I would be curious to know or read more about it...

Healthy Engaged Listener Pauses

Happy to look that up for you, HELP, but data on stats like that isn't/aren't hard to find.


Comments (29) RSS

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Banna 2
2. Refuse to accept money for sex
Posted by Banna on June 26, 2014 at 5:49 PM · Report this
SoUt 4
@1 Everybody must learn how to use a condom properly. So you agree?
Posted by SoUt on June 26, 2014 at 6:00 PM · Report this
SoUt 6
@5 Educated in condom use? I was not. My child just finished 7th grade sex ed, and he did not. Maybe it's coming later. I hope next year. My son is not sexually active, but plenty of 7th graders are. (Sad or not, true.)
Let's just forget abortion for one sec. Let's talk comprehensive sex education for all.
Posted by SoUt on June 26, 2014 at 6:25 PM · Report this
@2 And cite. Not "site." Argh.
Posted by statsgirl on June 26, 2014 at 6:33 PM · Report this
SoUt 9
@7 I would never tell them that! That sounds like the worst life ever! You are very sad, I think. Or afraid. Don't be so scared. When life bites you. Bite it back.
Posted by SoUt on June 26, 2014 at 6:36 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 10
LMK if you need a copy editor, Dan. There's the typo pointed out above: then, "fuck 'em if it feels right" needs a period. Last nitpick: should be: "..a bi unicorn who loves TO eat pussy".

She should go for it. Tell them upfront that she's probably not full on bi, but maybe a bit of a pillow princess. If they've been cruising Craigslist or wherever, they'll know what that means. (I was agog when I figured that out; in college, that was most girls who were straight until graduation..)
Posted by Eva Hopkins on June 26, 2014 at 6:49 PM · Report this
Homonyms have always bin my downfall. Thanks, gang. Corrections made!
Posted by Dan Savage on June 26, 2014 at 6:51 PM · Report this
"...everything you've told us" -- is that the royal we?
Posted by Brashion on June 26, 2014 at 7:16 PM · Report this
ignorant trolls who lie to kids by telling them that fetuses are babies rank pretty low on the scum scale.
Posted by kwodell on June 26, 2014 at 8:16 PM · Report this
I did not know that monogamy prevents pregnancy. Surely the troll was referring to gay monogamy and marriage, where monogamy does indeed prevent pregnancy. Perhaps we should all get gay married to avoid both STD's and pregnancy.
Posted by Marrena on June 26, 2014 at 8:21 PM · Report this
SoUt 16
@13. At that point, the "tissue" at hand ain't no bebe. And my other son is 11, and he's HATES my tattoos, and asked me "what went wrong in your life, where you felt you needed to get a (tasteful) nose piercing?" So he's of course a rebel, already. Little rascal. He's heard "the truth" told by other 11 year olds. (Joseph smith's truth).
My highest choice is that he leave this "the truth" at 11 years old. Where it belongs. But if he doesn't, oh well. At least he will learn (from me, if need be) how to operate a condom, with grace and style. And scene!
What were we talking about? Oh yeah, I've over thought my own kids to within an inch of their life. Don't worry about mine. Many others are still at risk!!
Posted by SoUt on June 26, 2014 at 8:56 PM · Report this
hit girl 19
I was at Planned Parenthood recently and was there informed that worldwide, women generally have one abortion in their lifetimes.
Posted by hit girl on June 26, 2014 at 9:28 PM · Report this
I've had an abortion, a full term pregnancy, and a miscarriage of a fetus we wanted. The latter was the hardest to experience, emotionally. Right wing men and women are idiots about abortions, especially the men. Do they regret the demise of all their sperm? There are far too many humans on this poor planet.
Posted by betsio on June 26, 2014 at 10:06 PM · Report this
seatackled 21
"Homonyms have always bin my downfall."

This calls for a Hitler video about homonyms.

And I think the LW considers herself a "fun gal," but that is one fucked up acronym she came up with.
Posted by seatackled on June 26, 2014 at 10:15 PM · Report this
Abstinence has a higher failure rate than condoms. When people try to use condoms but fail, we have no problem calling it a failure rate for condom use. But when people try to be abstinent but fail (as many teenagers do), people on the right magically rename it "not being abstinent" rather than a failure of abstinence as a method of birth control. There's a reason why "abstinence-only sex ed" states have more teenaged pregnancies, earlier marriages, higher divorce rates, and higher abortion rates than do more liberal jurisdictions
Posted by Biologist in the stix on June 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM · Report this
SoUt 23
@18. You'd be surprised (I guess?) how different having an abortion and having a child really are. I mean, it's waaaaaay different.
Posted by SoUt on June 26, 2014 at 10:22 PM · Report this
Advice to the letter writer:

If you go through with it, don't mention that you asked an advice columnist if you should. It makes you sound lame.
Posted by Doot on June 27, 2014 at 12:40 AM · Report this
Dan, the website you linked states approx. 1 in 5 (21%) pregnant women in the US have had an abortion, which is very, very different from 1 in 3 American women having had an abortion. Please be careful when quoting stats like that. The closest I found to your 1/3 stat was:

"If current rates continue, it is estimated that 35% of all women of reproductive age in America today will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45." - which is also very different from 1/3 American women have had an abortion.

A great book on this is Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, by the way.
Posted by Dory Previn on June 27, 2014 at 1:38 AM · Report this
Cracker Jack 27
If she's fungal, she should get that looked at first. Just sayin'...
Posted by Cracker Jack on June 27, 2014 at 5:47 AM · Report this
Dory, go take a stats class, or even just a reading class. 21% of pregnant women have had an abortion. That means when they ask women who are *pregnant* at the time of the survey, 21% say they've had an abortion in the past. The one in three stat comes from Guttmacher institute. The real rate is 228 abortions per 1000 live births. The estimate, including miscarriages, is 18% of pregnancies end with induced abortion. If you want to see the numbers,… is very interesting. In any case, it's not useful, in my opinion, to talk about 1:3 across America when there is a stark difference in patterns across states and ages.
Posted by PinkMotorcyle on June 27, 2014 at 6:23 AM · Report this
AFinch 29
@26 - yeah, that was my reaction...she didn't think through that acronym.

The problem isn't wasted sperm, it's all those women escaping the men who'd like access to and control of their wombs for life. Men who feel they are entitled to a woman, just because. This is why married lesbians with donors drive them so crazy.
Posted by AFinch on June 27, 2014 at 7:30 AM · Report this

Actually, the link in Dan's post (to the Guttmatcher Institute's website, coincidentally!) states: "Twenty-one percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion". The way I wrote it in my comment was incorrect (although clearly you understood what I meant), so apologies for that. The barriers of not being a native English speaker...?

The CDC article is very interesting, thank you for the link. It is based on older data (2010) than the study on the Guttmatcher Institute (2011), although it would be hard to say which is more valid/representative without looking into it deeply (which I won't). Both are vastly different from the 1 in 3 women quoted by Dan.

I agree that it is not useful to talk about general rates if there are considerable differences between age groups. However, it is also not helpful to spread (apparently) incorrect information.
Posted by Dory Previn on June 27, 2014 at 9:13 AM · Report this
I disagree on point 2 in the response to FUNGAL. Lots of couples are looking for thirds who are easily disposable but most don't want a pro.
Posted by Everybody on June 27, 2014 at 9:47 AM · Report this
nocutename 32
There are lots of different ways to arrive at abortion statistics. One way to do it is to simply count all the reported abortions in a population and divide by all the women, which may give you something like the 1:3 or the statistic that #19 says she was given at Planned Parenthood. But many women who have abortions have had multiple abortions, so that's not a good way to evaluate the raw numbers.

I have never had an accidental or unwanted pregnancy, but I do know that depending on my life circumstances, and the circumstances under which I became pregnant, my decision to have an abortion, even if that decision was the same no matter what, would have a different emotional effect on me.
I know lots of women who have never had an abortion. The vast majority of my friends have never had one. I know several women who each had one first trimester abortion. Some of those terminated pregnancies were the results of one-night stands or incredibly short-lived flings, long over by the time the pregnancy was discovered. Two of the women were teenagers who knew it was out of the question to consider having a child. Not one of these women ever hesitated to have the abortion, not one has ever expressed any regret or felt any emotional turmoil from their abortions. One of my friends was in her early 20s, pregnant by a man she was in love with, who insisted she abort when she wanted to have the baby and marry the boyfriend--she is the only one I know who had any emotional fallout from the abortion, even though she later acknowledged that it was probably for the best, all things considered. And I know a woman who had 7 abortions--she essentially treated them as birth control. She radically skews the data. Personally, I find her blitheness about the whole thing disturbing, but if I believe in a woman's right to choose (as I do), then I have to say she's entitled to her decisions.

A better question is what does it matter how many abortions occur or how many women have them? Either they are acceptable or they aren't . If you think that a woman should have a right to decide her own fate, you have to allow for that right to be given to all women.
Posted by nocutename on June 28, 2014 at 9:32 AM · Report this
> 1. Meet, have drinks, talk—tell them everything you've told us—
> and then do what you've always done: fuck 'em if it feels right.

She stated that she has never done one-night stands, and it is possible that she waits some noticeable period of time---days or weeks quite possibly---between meeting her new beau and having sex with him, so it is likely that this is _not_ what she's done before, at least if I was correct in reading your response correctly to mean '...after but one meeting.'. She really shouldn't settle for not knowing the couple approximately as well as she would know a lone man before having sex, which is fully consonant with your advice to not try to make it a one-time event.
Posted by Gerald Fnord on June 28, 2014 at 9:39 AM · Report this
Pro-tip: when driving on a country road behind a car festooned with anti-abortion bumper-stickers, keep your distance in case the driver should stop quickky to avoid fatally crashing into an acorn, a pine-cone, or an highly-magnified picture of a new oak or pine seedling.
Posted by Gerald Fnord on June 28, 2014 at 9:42 AM · Report this
@31 - that was my thought too. I thought we were beyond the point where "looking for a one-off" = "looking for a hooker"...
Posted by fredricka22 on June 28, 2014 at 11:27 AM · Report this
" ... you worry you'll be rejected—that you won't be what they want. But if they have their hearts set on a bi unicorn who loves to eat pussy, then you're the wrong unicorn for them and they're the wrong couple for you to unicorn. Better to have a nice, clean, honest rejection—a mutual recognition that you're not a match—than to hold back and wind up in bed being pressured to do things you don't want to do."

On the flip side of that, what's the worst case for you if you put yourself out there honestly & they're NOT into it - i.e. you get rejected? You end up not having sex with this couple - which is EXACTLY where you are right now. There's really nothing to lose by putting it out there ...
Posted by Robby on June 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM · Report this
I've been a unicorn (though it wasn't called that then) a couple of times. In both cases we had very clear rules; for example, sex was always with all three of us, never just two of us, so if one of the couple was too tired, no sex happened. We also did things together socially (I met one couple's friends, for example), and we made plans for the weekends we spent together that went beyond just fucking. I am quite enthusiastically bi, so there were no problems with that. With one couple we met at a low-key restaurant first, had a leisurely dinner and talked (and talked and talked). We all really liked each other, which was important for all of us. I would then drive to their house and spend the weekend. I found myself becoming very emotionally attached to the woman in that situation and began to feel she was really a close friend. The sex was always very hot and satisfying, by the way. In that case, the relationship ended when she, becoming desperately homesick for her own country, became depressed and went on Zoloft which killed her desire. We all agreed it was best to disband and allow her to get the help she needed, and we kept in touch over the phone for awhile. This situation could have got weird had we not had the "no twosomes" rule, especially as he was kind of without sex for awhile, but that was for them to deal with as part of their marriage, and we were all clear about that.

In the other case it was just sex (hot fun in the dungeon), and it got old pretty quickly because I really do need some emotional connection.

If you're going to try it, be very clear about your boundaries and needs, and ask questions about theirs. If she hasn't been with a woman yet, you can explore together. Have fun!
Posted by A. Towne on July 1, 2014 at 12:42 AM · Report this

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