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Savage Love

Dan Savage says it’s not cheating if you’re broken up.

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QOK, I need a kick in the face or something.My boyfriend of two years and I broke up a little more than a week ago. He cheated. But there’s a bit more to the story: He was a raging alcoholic, and I’ve broken up with him a few times. One of those times---when he was at our place and supposed to be packing his things and be gone by morning---I kind of rebounded off of some guy, had sex with him, then came home later the next day and found out that my boyfriend was still at my place. We talked and got back together. Later on, he found out about the rebound sex I had, and I think that’s why he cheated. We weren’t a healthy couple, all in all.We both want to remain friends, so a week after the breakup, we went out for coffee. We both realized that the feelings we have for each other haven’t gone away. There’s no chance in hell I’m getting back with him after he cheated, but I can’t resist this urge to have sex with him. And I know the feeling is mutual. Now I’m torn on whether to start a sex-based “relationship” with him or just block him from my life. ---Cheated On One

AIf you’ve ruled out getting back together with this guy because he’s a raging alcoholic, COO, that’s fine. If you’re not getting back together with him because this relationship generates too much conflict and drama, COO, that’s also fine. But if you’re not getting back together with this guy---a guy who you have strong feelings for---because he cheated on you, that’s just retarded.Yeah, yeah: You didn’t cheat. Not technically. You were officially “off again” when you had rapid rebound sex with someone else, and you were “on again” when he had sex with someone else. But... come on. You fucked someone else during a particularly rough patch and kept that info from him when you decided to get back together. He found out you fucked someone else and went and fucked someone else himself. Now, you can choose to view his cheating as a violation of trust and an unforgivable betrayal and such, COO, or you can choose to view it as part of your most recent rough patch and round his cheating down to rebound sex, even if he was rebounding after you were officially back together, and get back together with him.If that’s what you want. And you know what? It sounds like that’s what you want.

QMy girlfriend of seven years has disgusting manners. She eats loudly with her mouth open, farts and belches incessantly, snorts instead of blowing her nose, and so on.I used to find it refreshing to be with a girl who was so uninhibited. But now it is getting on my nerves, and it’s embarrassing when she farts in front of our friends. I am starting to be turned off by this, and I don’t see her as desirable anymore. She thinks I am being sexist and have a double standard.Tell me: Am I intolerant? Is there something wrong with my libido? ---Grossed Out

AYes, there’s something wrong with you---there’s something wrong with anyone who could spend seven years with this woman. Seven minutes sounds intolerable.I wouldn’t tolerate a dude who behaved the way your girlfriend does---or advise a woman to tolerate one---so there’s no sexist double standard on my end. And so long as you’re not ripping farts in front of her friends or chewing with your mouth open, there’s no double standard on your end either, GO. Fact is, your girlfriend is a pig and a slob, and she’d be a pig and a slob even if she had a cock and balls.There’s a guy out there for her somewhere---a guy with similar habits, or a guy with a higher tolerance for loudly chewed food or a guy with a fetish for girl farts---and the sooner you DTMFA, the sooner she can start delighting him with her uninhibited ways.

QMy partner and I have a great thing going---madly in love, together a year, a great sex life, similar hobbies/interests/etc. Basically, we’re both on the same page in thinking, “This is it!” We’ve both been very open and honest about everything, including our relationship histories, but yesterday something caught me completely off guard. In the course of a dinner conversation that led to talk about old partners, I asked how many she’d had, thinking her number was a few more than mine (10, unless I’m forgetting someone). She sheepishly answered, “100.” One-zero-zero!She lived in NYC for a couple years, and maybe that’s how people do it there. But I’m a good-hearted, southern serial-monogamist boy and this makes me feel, well, odd. I’m really not sure how I feel about this, but I am definitely feeling something. I have zero fear of her cheating on me, and she’s way into our sex life, but I’m not sure what to make of this. Thoughts? ---Way Tonnes Fewer

AYour girlfriend had a lot of guys, so your girlfriend knows good guys from bad, and good sex from bad, and she could get another guy, a different one, whenever she wanted. And yet she’s with you, WTF, and she’s faithful to you. Which can only mean one thing: You must be pretty awesome. Your girlfriend could have any dude she wants---she’s had almost every dude she’s wanted---and yet she chooses to be with you.You know what you should make of this? It’s a compliment, WTF, and you should take it as one.

QLong story short: I’m a 28-year-old Aussie gay guy, very recently dumped. His choice, not mine. But the reason he gave for breaking up was the way we met. He believes that for a relationship to truly work, it’s important to be friends first. As a single gay guy, I’ve tended to meet guys at parties and clubs, and I always figured that you start with sexual chemistry and develop a friendship from there. Am I being shallow? ---Suddenly In The Scene

AOK, SITS, your ex said it didn’t work out because you weren’t friends first. But what your ex meant, SITS, was that it didn’t work out because once he got to know you...he didn’t like you.Sorry if that’s harsh, but there it is. No one dumps a man who he truly loves---or even likes well enough that love is still a possibility---on a bullshit technicality like that. (“I’m just crazy about you, but we met on a Tuesday and I’ve always felt that it’s important to meet on Thursday, so... .”) You had good sexual chemistry at the start, it seems, and you developed stronger feelings for him as things progressed. But the more he got to know you, the less attracted to you he was.It’s possible your ex has concluded that the next person he dates has to be “friends first” because you weren’t friends first and it didn’t work out. God only knows what he’ll decide to do if his next relationship---one with a guy who was “friends first”---doesn’t work out. Enemies first, perhaps? Download Dan’s Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage. Email Dan Savage at mail@savagelove.net.

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