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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Truly, Madly, Fairly

Posted by on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 4:29 PM

I am a man that identifies as bisexual. I am very attracted to women. I also find myself attracted to men—although I have had very few sexual interactions with men. I’ve expressed this interest to my wife, which has caused much difficulty and discomfort over the last two or three years. When we first got married, we hadn’t discussed our opinions of extramarital sex. We were rather absorbed in each other. We’ve been married for five years now. I expressed an interest in my wife exploring extramarital sexual experiences and, with the exception of one or two, she’s enjoyed them all. But she gets very upset every time I broach the subject of my participation in one of these extramarital experiences—jealous, hurt, angry, etc. I am in love with my wife and am excited when she is excited, even if it is by somebody else. I believe she loves me, but I am very turned off by her jealousy. She has accommodated my interest in men by buying a strap-on and fucking me with it, but her rhythm is off because she’s not feeling it and doesn’t enjoy it; this makes it hard for me to enjoy it. I don’t feel like I’m out of line expressing my desire for some man-on-me time, but I don’t know how to present this without making her upset. Obviously the subject matter upsets her, but I don’t want a marriage where I can’t be myself and can’t be honest with my partner. Am I out of line? Is there something I could say to my wife? I know she is entitled to have a marriage she is happy with, but I want it to be with me and she says she does too. Thanks for any advice.

Man On Me

My response after the jump…


When you wrote, "I expressed an interest in my wife exploring extramarital sexual experiences," what you meant was, "It turned me on to think about my wife fucking other guys and I urged her to do it and she tried it and she liked it and she's still doing it."

That is what you meant, right? That is how it went down?

If so, MOM, it’s possible that your wife sees your current arrangement—she gets to fuck other people, you don’t—as fundamentally-if-paradoxically fair: She’s doing something that you wanted her to do because it turns you on (fucking other people), but she doesn’t want you doing something that she doesn’t want you to do because it turns her off (fucking other people).

But your wife’s extramarital experiences don’t sound like drudgery and/or altruism—she isn’t fucking other people just to turn you on. She presumably enjoys the sex she gets to have with other people, MOM, and that’s your leverage. Tell her that if she wants to continue fucking other people with your okay then she has to allow you to do the same. If she can’t do that—by now she can surely see that it’s possible for a married person to have purely recreational, nonthreatening, nothing-to-be-jealous-about sex with other people!—then you want to go back to strict and strictly mutual monogamy.

If she agrees to go back to monogamy, MOM, you’ll lose whatever it is that turns you on about your wife fucking other people—whether it's the hotwife angle (pride) or the cuckold angle (humiliation)—but that’s a risk you’ll have to take to get the man-on-you time that you want. Another risk you’ll have to take: braving her anger and her jealousy. So long as your wife can successfully shut down the conversation by getting jealous and angry, MOM, she’ll play up the anger and jealousy. To get an answer out of her one way or the other about what she wants going forward—a monogamous marriage or an open one—stop searching for a way to "present this without making her upset" and be blunt and direct about what you want and about what's fair.

P.S. You could've given some more thought to your acronym, MOM.


Comments (28) RSS

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I've never ever understood how two people can agree to open a relationship but one person is somehow not allowed to play. Either you are open or you aren't. If Person B doesn't want to play, that's fine, but the whole "I can fuck around but you can't" dictum makes zero sense to me. Doesn't that go against the mutual respect and kindness which is supposed to be the underpinning of a marriage/LTR?
Posted by Action Kate on August 6, 2014 at 4:43 PM · Report this
@Action_Kate: if A finds the idea of B fucking other people to be hot, while B hates the idea of A fucking other people, then it can be reasonable to agree that B gets to fuck around (but has to report back so A can get off on it), and A doesn't get to fuck around. It's not an "open marriage" -- more like an "arrangement."

I have to say my personal experience leads me to doubt that the LW has leverage. Unless she has fallen in love with someone (in which case she's just as likely to react to your pressure by leaving you for him/her), I doubt she'll react by allowing you to fuck other people. Rather than trying to extort your way into an open marriage, I recommend just laying your cards on the table. Say that this is something you need. (And don't have kids with her unless you get what you need.) Maybe if the two of you separate, you'll be able to have enough sexual encounters with men to figure out if that's really something you need going forward (in which case you divorce), or if it was just a hot fantasy and the reality doesn't measure up. In which case, you might be willing to sign up for monogamy again.
Posted by EricaP on August 6, 2014 at 5:10 PM · Report this
What EricaP said ..
Posted by LavaGirl on August 6, 2014 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Call me Scott 4
"I am a man that . . ."

Would somebody clear off a place so I can have a fit?

For the love of God--or Goddess--consider: "I am a man WHO . . ."

You are a who, Sir. I don't care who (or what) you fuck.
Posted by Call me Scott on August 6, 2014 at 5:16 PM · Report this
I'm not so sure about this advice. It sounds like LW pushed a one-sided open marriage with the hope of later manipulating his wife into signing off on him with guys. If she in fact feels manipulated when he tries to do this, she may well choose monogamy. Then he still has to choose whether to leave her over this or not, which seems to be the dodged question here.
Posted by wxPDX on August 6, 2014 at 5:24 PM · Report this
Kathy Fennessy 6
It sounds to me like the wife is afraid of losing her husband, and that's a valid fear. If he has sex with men, and finds that he enjoys it more than sex with women, it could lead to the end of their marriage. And that would be painful, but maybe it's for the best. As it is, I can't tell if he still enjoys having sex with her. I don't doubt their affection for each other, but if he would prefer to be having sex with men, and she won't allow him to explore that side of his sexuality, they'll never be happy.
Posted by Kathy Fennessy on August 6, 2014 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Not sure, maybe letter writer is giving this woman the power of MOM. Well that little plan didn't work, eh? Get her to fuck others , then you go for some time with the men. I can understand your wife's fears. But you gotta own who you are first, then choose a partner who loves who you are. So, good luck with it.
Posted by LavaGirl on August 6, 2014 at 5:37 PM · Report this
sperifera 8
Perhaps a suggestion to the wife that they have a threesome with another guy (a top), so that he can plow that eager hole and show her how the rhythm works.
Posted by sperifera on August 6, 2014 at 5:42 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 9
I would like to read a letter on SLove from a "Bi-sexual" person that is married to some one of the same gender. Why are ALL the "bi-sexual" people living Heterosexual?

Mr Savage, have you ever received such a letter?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on August 6, 2014 at 6:48 PM · Report this
That is awful advice! I swear, Dan, the more I read your column the more I think you're not actually capable of love.

...ok, that's a little too strong. But come on! Your advice boils down to "bribe and manipulate your wife to get what you want" What the hell kind of relationship is that??
Posted by PinkieB on August 6, 2014 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 11
@9 "Why are ALL the "bi-sexual" people living Heterosexual?"

Simple math. A bisexual man has 95%+ of the female population as potential dating pool, and less than 5% of the male population as potential dating pool. Ergo, he is far more likely to find a relationship with a woman. Same thing in reverse for bi women. And that doesn't even take into account the social pressure to live a hetero lifestyle.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on August 6, 2014 at 7:36 PM · Report this
@4: "I don't care who[m] you fuck."

And leave Dr. Seuss out of this.
Posted by avast2006 on August 6, 2014 at 7:57 PM · Report this
@4 and @14, thank you. Nothing drives me crazier than a sentient being (and this includes non-human animals) being referred to as "that". Living creature: who or whom. Inanimate object: that.

I have to wonder what makes LW's wife jealous, hurt, and angry. After all, he not only doesn't mind her fucking around, it turns him on. I can only think of weird societal conditioning where women are conditioned to be jealous of their mates. However, that sounds really strange for a woman willingly cuckolding her husband with his approval.

Perhaps you two should talk about it, LW, and see what upsets her. And I agree that you should either close your relationship or she should allow you to see men. If it's the former, perhaps you could get off on her talking about past experiences or making up experiences.
Posted by DanielleinDC on August 6, 2014 at 8:24 PM · Report this
You should have seen how upset the Grinch got when he found out he was supposed to have stolen Christmas from the Whoms down in Whomville.
Posted by Pope Buck I on August 6, 2014 at 8:40 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 15
Yikes. Why not ask if there's something the wife might like and making that happen. You know, trying for win-win instead of gambling on lose-lose.
Posted by kk in seattle on August 6, 2014 at 8:45 PM · Report this
seandr 16
I know she is entitled to have a marriage she is happy with

She's certainly entitled to seek a happy marriage, and so are you. But no one is entitled to have a happy marriage.
Posted by seandr on August 6, 2014 at 10:41 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 17
Dan is advocating the guy pulls the old bait-and-switch tactic?

I disagree.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on August 6, 2014 at 11:58 PM · Report this
I'm interested in this line:

'I expressed an interest in my wife exploring extramarital sexual experiences and, with the exception of one or two, she’s enjoyed them all.'

MOM seems to displaying some wishful thinking here - she hasn't enjoyed all of her experiences with other men. And we don't know how unenjoyable the 'exceptions' were - they may have just been meh, they may have been rather unpleasant. It may well be that this arrangement is enjoyed far more by her husband than by her. In which case, it's not really surprising that she is not comfortable with her husband having sex with other people. She may well see his enjoyment of her having sex with other people as evidence that he is not as committed to their relationship, making his desire to sleep with other people even more threatening to the security of the relationship.
Posted by rece on August 7, 2014 at 1:36 AM · Report this
Alanmt 19
We're guessing about her concerns because she refuses to communicate about them like a rational adult. That's big problem #1. To even get to the "Why not ask" "Perhaps you two should talk about" "Perhaps a suggestion to the wife" advice he has to break through the emotional shutdown of the conversation she throws at him every time he even broaches the subject. Regardless of her concerns, she doesn't get to refuse to communicate that way. She needs to be told that simply will not do; they will discuss it like two adults who love each other. If she is incapable of that, this marriage is doomed no matter what.

I am hoping she will find a way to be able to have the talk so the two of them can figure this out. She's clearly been able to go somewhat beyond her comfort zone to accommodate his kink & bi interests, and deserves credit for the efforts to be GGG. Her perspective may well be "I give and I give, and he always wants more" LW may be a bit lacking in the communication strategy/diplomacy department. He should have been open (if he knew) about his nature and desires from the beginning, and he should have put all of his cards on the table when he did decide to open up.

Unfortunately, figuring this out may result, even after full and fair discussion, in them reaching an impasse whereby each of them, or maybe just him, has to weigh whether continuing the relationship is worth the conditions the other party puts on it. Some people have unfair but emotionally unchangeable double standards. Some women love gay and bi guys as friends and actively support equality, but can't stomach the idea of their own husband with a guy. Maybe the happiest ending for both is not to be with each other. But to give this marriage the best chance, they need to seriously discuss it. He needs to insist on that and she needs to be able to participate in the discussion rationally.
Posted by Alanmt on August 7, 2014 at 5:43 AM · Report this
What's the score now? Dan: 3, False Equivalence: 0.
Posted by DRF on August 7, 2014 at 8:41 AM · Report this
@2,@3 EricaP and LavaGirl, I am curious why you do not seem to want to grant the word "open" to relationships which involve such an arrangement.

Is is that you want "open" to denote a philosophy, more like Action Kate @1 laid out?

It seems to me that just by word meaning, such a relationship would fit, in the same way that even if it is only the passenger door left ajar, your car has still been left open.
Posted by Take It Outside on August 7, 2014 at 8:47 AM · Report this
I'm surprised no one has mentioned that a man being fucked by his wife with a strap-on bears very little approximation to gay sex.
Posted by WendyPeffercorn on August 7, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
AFinch 23
I'm with @5 - sounds like he went wrong by trying to manipulate her to begin with: you get guys now I do too.

I'm not sure Dan's advice is all that terrible, but also not all that useful. Even if the LW was being a little manipulative, he might not be all that crazy about getting his just desserts forevermore (permanently enduring a lopsided arrangement). I guess it really hinges on how much the LW gets off on his wife fucking other men, but if he gets off on that at all, then I'd say trying to use it as leverage is a losing game and kind of assholery.

He probably should push the issue and find out if he prefers sex with men so they can just go ahead and break up and he can stop tormenting her by pressuring her to do stuff she's not keen on.
Posted by AFinch on August 7, 2014 at 12:02 PM · Report this
nocutename 24
@EricaP, LavaGirl, et. al: I would define any marriage in which strict monogamy is not practiced, and which practice is known about and approved of by both partners as "open." Beyond that, each couple makes its own rules, sets its own guidelines. So if A gets to screw around but only with men, whereas B gets to screw around with both men and women, or A doesn't have the option of extra-marital sex, but B does, (with A's consent to this arrangement), those are examples of open marriages which don't have totally equal arrangements. If it's okay with the couple in question, it should be okay with all of us.

In this case, the lack of reciprocity is bothering the lw. But it wasn't his wife who wanted to open the marriage, it was him. And if she is benefiting from it (with a few notable exceptions--makes me wonder), he is no less benefiting, since it was his idea and he presumably gets off on the idea, either of hotwifing or of being cuckolded.

He says that he and his wife have had unresolved, uncomfortable, difficult discussions over the last 2-3 years about allowing for him to have sex with someone else, or sex with a man, specifically (he's unclear). He also says that they didn't discuss whether or not their marriage would be monogamous beforehand--I think there's frequently a presumption of monogamy--but he also doesn't say whether or not he told his wife that he's bi before they married.

There seems to be at least two separate issues here:

1) Is it fair to ask a bisexual person to forgo having sex with one of the two sexes s/he's attracted to by virtue of being in a monogamous relationship (this comes up frequently in Savage Love Land)?

2) Is it fair that one spouse gets to do something the other one doesn't--even if the first spouse is doing what the other wishes s/he could do at her/his request?

And there's a host more: Dan's suggestion seems terrible to me.
MOM says he realizes that the subject upsets her but he feels that being monogamous and monosexual isn't being true to himself and it's being dishonest with his partner. He says he doesn't want this kind of marriage. He knows it upsets his wife tremendously to consider him having extramarital sex (with anyone or a man is hard to tell).

Forget that he seems to be the one who pushed for her to have extramarital sexual experiences or that he gets at least as much out of them as she does; this is an impasse they may not be able to overcome, whether she backs away from the extramarital sexual adventures or not.

He needs to explain to her how much he wants to have sex with men. He needs to find out if the sticking point for her is that it's men he wants to have sex with or just that he wants to have sex with anyone else besides her at all.

Then they both need to decide how much their marriage means to them, whether either can give up something (or both give up something) in order to keep it, and if so, if that which they have given up will poison the marriage.

But this isn't a matter of "being fair" or "she gets to; he should get to, too." This is more complicated than that.

Posted by nocutename on August 7, 2014 at 12:39 PM · Report this
Ophian 25
Thank you @22.

Once again the answer to the problem is clearly a Bi-guy MMF. Like that letter a month or three ago [wherein the woman was allowed to fuck other men, but problems arose when the man wanted to fuck other men too] the LW might have more luck getting some dick, if his SO were to be concurrently getting that very same dick.

Of course LW's wife might be freaking out about his sexuality rather than his non-monogamy, in which case he should DTMFA and go live a happier life.
Posted by Ophian on August 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM · Report this
I'm just describing how I've seen the word used. When people say they have an open marriage, an outside person feels free to see if either side is interested. If you want to communicate that only one of you is allowed to explore with other people, then I'd pick another word or be prepared to explain the situation to interested parties.
Posted by EricaP on August 7, 2014 at 6:49 PM · Report this
That's @21/24
Posted by EricaP on August 7, 2014 at 6:51 PM · Report this
I just wanted to add that a "feeldoe" is a great dildo for a vagina owner to wear while penetrating their partner. Instead of being strapped on, part of the dildo goes into the vagina. The other part sticks out like a penis.

I won't touch the relationship advice stuff, as Dan has already handled it.
Posted by Brie on August 15, 2014 at 7:20 PM · Report this

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