Dear readers: I'm on vacation. The questions and answers in this week's column are recent installments of the Savage Love Letter of the Day, which folks with the SLAPP —the Savage Love app for iPhone or Android —receive daily via the miracle of modern technology.
If you have the SLAPP, you've already read these questions and second-guessed my answers. Sorry about that. If you don't have the SLAPP, you're not getting your full weekly dose of Savage Love, and I'm sorry about that, too.
Q I have always been attracted to women. But I have had experiences with other males as well. All fondling. I have at times found the penis erotic, but it does not consume me. I enjoy women and prefer them in every respect. I get pegged, so to speak, as being gay a lot. I recognize why: I flirt with men. I like being nice and making people happy. I think some guys confuse my polite "I love everybody" hippie vibe for my being willing to suck their dicks.
I am a pretty boy, so perhaps this causes confusion. My eyes are feminine, I have long lashes, I make eye contact with everyone. Also, I notice that I tend to display "mate-poaching behaviour," meaning I tend to flirt with women who are in relationships, and I have been with quite a few women who are in relationships, or married, and these "committed" women are often attracted to me.
I guess I am just a flirtatious guy. I consider myself a very sensual person. Also: I act more gay around homophobes, to the point where even I start to question myself. Yet I know I love women. I enjoy being with women and I am happy with women. It dawns on me that these accusers —the men who think I'm gay —might be the insecure ones.
Many of the homophobes I meet display dominant behaviour to each other: squabbling with friends, getting drunk and fucking with each other. From my hippie "all-is-love" perspective, this seems more gay than just being nice, sensitive and caring.
To break it down: Sometimes I feel gay. But usually it is only around insecure homophobes who I don't consider physically beautiful at all! I have been around a lot of gay people. I worked a promotion for a pride festival and a liquor promotion for a gay bar. I don't feel gay around gay people!
I feel very frustrated, Dan, because I don't feel confused at all, but I feel like I confuse people. —Damn Acronyms Really Evade
A I should probably re-read your letter before I bang out a response, DARE, but that might prompt me to throw my laptop, myself or both right out the open window I'm sitting next to. So forgive me for dashing this off:
Yes, DARE, you confuse people. And you're doing it on purpose, pretty little hippie, as you damn well know. But allow me to unpack your bullshit for you just in case you damn well don't…
You pursue women who have boyfriends and flirt with men who have issues because you're an egotistical little narcissist who derives sadistic pleasure from causing erotic chaos wherever you go.
When you bed women who have boyfriends or husbands, it proves that you're just as hot as you think you are; when you flirt with and unnerve straight-identified homophobes, it proves that you're just as hot as you think you are.
But you don't allow yourself to flirt with good-looking dudes, DARE, because you're not secure enough in your sexuality to risk batting your eyelashes at a guy who you might actually want to go to bed with.
I'm sorry if all of that sounds harsh, pretty little hippie, and there are worse things you could do than be a player and a prick tease. (And, hey, I'm all for fucking with conflicted closet cases.)
But at some point, you're going to have to admit —at least to yourself —that your "I love everybody" routine is a disguise, and you get off on creating confusion and you're a narcissist (perhaps with cause) with a sadistic streak (not that there's anything wrong with a sadistic streak, properly channelled).
You're the satyr, DARE, not the faun. Own it.
Q I'm a 27-year-old straight guy. This girl I work with is everything I want in a partner. We've been flirting at work and on Facebook, and it's getting to the point where one of us has to make a move. But she's already got a boyfriend. I've been the guy who gets cheated on, and I won't do that to someone else.
Also, I've recently been promoted and I'm now her immediate superior. She's a shit employee: Lazy, rude to customers and last week I had to call her on a really basic mistake. Despite these complications, I want to make a real move on her. But how do I get around these issues? —Frustrated In Sydney
A I'm having a hard time reconciling "everything I want in a partner" with "willing to cheat on her boyfriend." A previous girlfriend cheated on you and that was a traumatizing experience. Do you really want to be with another woman who's capable of cheating on her boyfriend?
Also: My naturally suspicious nature has me wondering if she didn't see your promotion coming —the one that made you her immediate supervisor —and the flirting always was and still is an insurance policy that protects her from being fired.
Right now, you're not going to fire her because you want to fuck her, FIS, and once you've fucked her, you won't be able to fire her because she'll be able to accuse you of sexual harassment. See how that works?
My advice: Go to your boss and tell him that a little innocent co-equal-co-worker-to-co-equal-co-worker flirtation has been queered by your promotion, and it would be a sensitive situation even if the other employee was a good worker. But she's a shit worker, and if she doesn't shape up, someone is going to have to fire her.
And that someone can't be you.
Ask your boss to place this girl under someone else, FIS, and after this girl's new immediate supervisor fires her, you'll quickly find out if she was ever really interested in being "placed" under you at all.