by Dan Savage
I usually agree wholeheartedly with your DTMFA recommendations, but in the case of Unlucky In Cuckoldry I found myself put off by your advice to divorce his wife. My problem with your advice is this: People change. UIC’s wife obviously changed at some point…hence her “adults don’t do this” comment. I don’t think it’s realistic for people to enter marriage with the expectation that their spouses will always have the same desires for the rest of their lives. Is she being unreasonable? Of course she is. I don’t know why she won’t accept his perfectly reasonable compromise. But perhaps UIC should engage her in some conversation and figure that out before making the decision to head down to the courthouse. That’s all I’m suggesting.
—No Good Moniker
Yes, people change—over time. But we have a right to expect that the people we marry are not going to change practically overnight. UIC’s wife pulled a 180 on his fetish within 12 months of the wedding, NGM, which means she was either faking her interest in cuckolding or she labours under some seriously retrograde notions of what being married means. (“No kinks, please, we’re married.”) Since a threat to divorce comes before divorce proceedings can be initiated, “some conversation” about UIC’s unhappiness and his wife’s deceit or wrong-headedness was implied by my advice.
The last column you printed regarding Slaveboy’s Husband Has Hesitations and Unlucky in Cuckoldry gives the impression that someone’s sexual desires should ultimately come before his or her committed mate’s comfort level AND the commitment, and D(ivorce)TMFA if you’re not satisfied.
That seems pretty selfish. If SHHH get chills at the thought of the public fucking—or worse/more likely worries that he will be unable to get an erection, making his humiliation worse—is he the bad guy? Why would someone who respects his mate insist that he do something he finds so painful?
Is UIC’s wife never allowed to change her mind? Did she commit to the man or the man’s fetish? Did their marriage vows include a cuckolding clause? Marriage or formal commitment isn’t usually a series of promises to perform certain behaviours. It is a series of promises to stay devoted to your spouse despite disagreements, sickness, etc. UIC is forgetting the promise HE made to her to love her unconditionally.
I divorced a man whom I dearly loved last year. After being married for five years, he disclosed that he had a desire to smear shit all over me. I said OK by me, as long as it doesn’t get too close to my face. That wasn’t good enough for him. One night he held me down and smeared it all over my face and tried like hell to smear shit into my mouth. When I confronted him about it later, he said that activity and daily BDS were more or less a condition of our continued relationship, and when I asked for a compromise, he said, “After everything I’ve done for you, you won’t do this for me!”
The same spouse argued for 10 months solid about opening up our marriage so he could fuck my best friend. I finally conceded. After a month, I begged him to stop because it was breaking my heart. I tried to be cool about it, but I just couldn’t cope with his extramarital relationship. He was just cold and resentful after that. I tried my best to please him, but I couldn’t satisfy his every desire. I only managed to satisfy most of them.
So was I being a jerk for saying “I can only tolerate X amount?” Or was he the jerk for saying, “Here, you raise our kids by yourself, I have sexual desires to attend to?”
I say to the married partner with the unrequited fetish, get some counseling, show your mate some respect, and try to find a compromise.
—Meet Me Halfway
First things first: Your ex was the jerk. A thing for shit is, as I’ve said time and again, a “fetish too far.” A shit fetishist has no right to expect or demand indulgence from non-shit fetishists—and in this modern world they needn’t bother non-shit fetishists about it. The internet was invented to bring shit fetishists together, sparing non-shit fetishists not just from shit-smear-related sexual activities, but from requests for that shit smearing.
It’s too bad that your husband wasn’t just a shit fetishist, MMH. On top of that he was a manipulator and an asshole whose fetishes seemed to hinge on making you miserable. That’s not kinky, that’s abusive, and you were right to leave him.
Moving on, I’m a big fan of compromise—and apparently you still have some specks of shit in your eyes, MMH, because you missed some important suggested compromises in my lengthy response to SHHH. Dirty talk? “Perhaps not every time you have sex…” Three-ways? “I prescribe more discussion…” Public sex at a skeezy gay resort? “Most skeezy gay resorts allow nudity, SHHH, they don’t require it…As for the public sex, if you agree to go to the resort, he has to agree to take no—and take it cheerfully—for an answer if you don’t feel comfortable doing him with witnesses.” I urged SHHH to give a little and his partner to give a little. Who says I don’t do compromise?
As for UIC, yes, he promised to love his wife…unconditionally…but he made that promise to the woman his wife led him to believe that she was, a woman who didn’t actually exist. Again, she was either lying or she’s seriously deluded about the sex lives of married couples. Whichever it is, UIC has a right to back out—and, yes, he has a right to back out over something as “trivial” as his sex life. Sex is important, people, and a lifetime of sexual frustration and resentment isn’t good for marriages or other living things.
Sexually no one signs on for anything by marrying or committing to someone other than to be who he or she is at any given time. Any given relationship is built between two people and need not conform to any constraints—sexual or otherwise. I don’t “owe” my partner anything but my love and honesty based on how I’m feeling in any given moment. If I’m in a complete and total whore (CATW) mood OK, but if I’m not, that’s OK too. It is the same for him. Over time this changes. How oppressive to think that I have some obligation to be a CATW. I don’t buy it.
No one should have to have sex when he or she is not in the mood. Agreed—and that sounds nice and respectful, and we can both feel good about saying it. Hell, let’s say it again: No one should have to have sex when he or she is not in the mood. But what if someone finds himself or herself married to someone who’s never in the mood? Or married to someone who attempts to constrain his/her sexual expression by unilaterally ruling out certain acts or fantasies? What then?
I don’t think folks are obligated to put out any time, any place, any way. Being CATW for each other doesn’t mean you’re on call 24/7 and can never, ever say “no.” Even real whores take breaks, have sick days and sometimes refuse clients. But if we’re going to make monogamy the cornerstone of marriage, well, then that obligates people to make like whores for their partners as often as they can.
This week I noticed two responses of yours, back-to-back, that highlight beautifully what I see to be a contradiction in your regular advice. I just don’t understand the advice you gave UIC, the guy whose wife has had a change of heart where cuckolding is concerned. You told him to dump her, RIGHT AFTER you told SHHH to be GGG for his husband, whose sex-positive perversions are expanding after 20 YEARS of stability!
A nearly 40-year-old gay man wants to change a 20-year sexual routine and you tell his partner that he’s obligated to give it a try. A younger, recently married woman wants to change her sexual routine—she’s no longer has desires to have other men’s cocks stuffed into her—and you tell her partner to give her the boot. Why isn’t it UIC’s obligation to be GGG? Find out what turns on the wife and try to make THAT the best it can be?
When a person’s sexual desires change and move toward more normal sexual expression (like UIC’s wife), you’re against that person. And when someone’s sexual desires change in a way that’s outside the norm (like SHH’s partner), you’re on his side!
—Having Moderate Misunderstanding
My advice is consistent, HMM. I believe that people are obligated to meet the sexual needs of their respective spouses—within reason (no shit in my mouth; don’t fuck my best friends; if you’re into amputees you should marry one, not make one; etc.).
UIC’s wife is being extremely unreasonable. He was willing to settle for fantasy role-play in place of actual cuckolding. No other men’s cocks stuffed in her, just a little dirty talk. She refused to do even that. And, I’m sorry, but she knew she was marrying a cuckold fetishist—she had been happily cuckolding him for years prior to the marriage!—making her not only unreasonable, but also criminally deceitful or log-stupid. Both are grounds for divorce.
As for SHHH, I told him to meet his partner’s needs. You want UIC to “find out what turns on the ” and do it. SHHH’s spouse is finding out what turns his spouse on—because his spouse is telling him—and none of it is that extreme. Yet you don’t think I should tell SHHH to meet his spouse’s needs? Now who’s being inconsistent!
Look, folks, if we’re going to make sexual exclusivity a defining characteristic of marriage, then we are obligated to meet our spouses’ sexual needs. Period.
You were right on with your advice to Unlucky in Cuckoldry. The “bait and switch” is one of the major reasons I’m no longer married.
Two weeks before my wedding, my fiancée (whom I had been with for five years) told me that she “didn’t really like” giving blowjobs, and she was telling me before the wedding so that she couldn’t be accused of the bait and switch. Needless to say, the lack of BJs wasn’t the only change after the wedding.
My new wife didn’t have sex with me on our two-week honeymoon, or for two weeks after that. She also informed me, while on our honeymoon, that I would have to start dressing better now that we were married. The bait and switch was done, and I was the sucker.
Marriage should be the way in which two people continue to live the lives they already have together, but to do so with a publicly stated level of commitment. Too many people see marriage as the end goal and put on a little play to get there. Once they arrive, they put down the pretences and effectively say, “Now that you’re stuck with me, let me tell you what’s really behind door number three.”
My new girlfriend and I are living the double-edged sword that is called “being honest before you get married.” On one hand, she has told me that she has no plans to offer up fewer blowjobs after we’re married, because she knows I like them. At the same time, she is showing me her true colours in terms of some of her less endearing qualities. The great part for me is that I can weigh these factors before I’m “stuck” and make a real decision about whether I want to spend the rest of my life with her.
—Making an Informed Decision
Thanks for sharing, MAID.