Q Gay, thirtysomething male in DC. My boyfriend of three years has been acting strange—not taking his anti-depression meds, says he's feeling weird. He has withdrawn from me, sleeps 15 hours a day and has been cancelling on commitments to socialize with friends. He's blue and I get it.
Here's why I'm writing: He was doing an online crossword, and when he got up, I was going to write a message in it—to be funny and sweet. What I saw messed me up. There was a browser window open about meth and depression. He is 48 and successful, and isn't a clubber or party-going type. METH? What the hell? I snooped further, and there was a detailled search history on meth, meth and depression, meth and sex. He doesn't seem to have been high around me—and I would never use meth, it's not my thing and I have a security clearance (no drugs for me)—but I don't want to date an addict. I don't want to be with someone who would take such a dumb risk. And for what? You're 48, you have a career, a business and a guy who cares for you! WTF?
I know what you'll say: Use your words—and, trust me, I will. But am I totally crazy? I feel shitty for snooping, but it started innocently enough. —Snoop Now All Fucked Up
A Meth addicts aren't known for sleeping 15 hours a day, SNAFU. Meth addicts aren't known for sleeping at all. So perhaps your boyfriend abused meth before you met—and there's no using, only abusing meth—and conquered his addiction and/or stopped abusing meth years ago. And now he's depressed and off his meds, and he went online to investigate whether his past meth abuse could be contributing to his current depression.
As for the snooping angle: When we snoop, we sometimes find out things we don't want to know, don't need to know and don't need to do anything about. For example, the new boyfriend has a few sexts from his ex tucked away on his computer, your dad is cheating on his third wife, your adult daughter is selling her used panties online. But sometimes we find out things we needed to know and have to do something about. For example, your 14-year-old daughter is planning to meet up with a 35-year-old man she met on Instagram, your "straight" boyfriend is having unsafe sex with dozens of men behind your back, your spouse is planning to vote for Ted Cruz—in those cases, you have to intervene, break up and file for civil commitment, respectively.
Learning your depressed-and-off-his-meds boyfriend may have—or may have had—a meth problem falls into the needed to know/have to do something about category. So, yeah, SNAFU, you gotta use your words. Tell him what you discovered and how you discovered it and demand an explanation while offering to help. Urge him to see his doctor—whoever prescribed the anti-depressants he stopped taking—and go into the convo armed with a list of the resources available to him.
"We're lucky to have a lot of great resources in DC," says David Mariner, executive director of the DC Center for the LGBT Community (thedccenter.org). "The Triangle Club (triangleclub.org) is an LGBT recovery house, and they host all sorts of 12-step meetings. Crystal Meth Anonymous is really active here. And we're just kicking off a harm-reduction group here at the DC Center."
I asked Mariner if your boyfriend sounded to him like someone currently abusing meth. "I'm not an expert," he replied, "but he doesn't sound like it to me. He may be having a hard time talking to his boyfriend about this because for folks who have a history of meth use, sex can be tricky. Meth use and sexual activity are often so intertwined that it can make it hard to talk to a partner."
Finally, SNAFU, don't make it harder for your partner to be honest with you by threatening to break up with him. You don't have to remain in a relationship with an addict, if he is an addict, forever. But start by showing him compassion and offering support.
Q I'm a 36-year-old hetero male, into BDSM and polyamoury. I've been drinking deep from the bowels of the internet lately, getting laid more than I ever thought was possible. I'm open about the fact that I fuck around a lot and that monogamy would never work for me. I use condoms with everyone except my primary partner, and I abide by your campsite rule. I don't want to be anyone's wonderful husband; I want to be the Casanova who climbs in through the window.
Last week, the internet was good at delivering. Usually I can talk to 10 women who all seem interested, but in the end, only one or two want to actually meet. But last week, I had sex five times in five days with five different women. And that just made me feel awesome, turned on and wonderful. Is there a term for someone who gets turned on by finding new people to have sex with? Have I discovered a new kink? Is there a name for people like me? If there is, I couldn't find it. Google failed me. Can a person have a kink for finding new sex partners? What would it be called? Or am I just a slutty man-whore? —Dude Drinking Deep
A I don't think "drinking deep from the bowels of [blank]" is a good way to describe something you enjoy, DDD. Watching a GOP debate? Perhaps best described as drinking deep from the bowels of the terrifying American id. Enjoying consensual sex with people you're into? Better described as "drinking deep from Aphrodite's honeyed mouth" or "licking Adonis' jizz off Antinous' tits" or simply "killing it"—really, anything would be an improvement.
As for what your kink is called: "What DDD describes is consistent with a motivational style once called Don Juan syndrome," says David Ley, author and clinical psychologist. "It has also been called Casanova or James Bond syndrome. Essentially, these are folks most excited by the quest/hunt for novelty in sex partners. This was once viewed as deeply dysfunctional from a heteronormative, monogamy-idealizing therapeutic culture. What I appreciate about DDD is that, even though he uses sex-addiction language, it's clear he has accepted himself and his desire. I'd say he has adapted fairly well, and responsibly, to that tendency in himself."