wife beat breast cancer five years ago. Went through chemo
and radiation and ultimately radical surgery. Brave, lovely,
and lucky woman she is. But after the procedures, she said
she was proud of her post-op look and the zigzag scar across
her chest. No new boobs for her. Moi? I don’t like going to
bed with Peter Pan. We talked about this and she wants to
stay scarred and boobless. I respect her wishes. It’s her
body . . . so no plastic surgery. But I get weirded out instead
of excited every time I see her nude. Our love life has gone
the way of her boobs and I feel as guilty as hell because
I can’t get over this. She will, however, wear boobs when
we go to weddings and other functions.
Miss Her Boobs
thinking the wife misses her boobs too, IMHB, but she’s concluded
that implants and reconstructive surgery aren’t going to bring
’em back, only a potentially uncomfortable, thoroughly inadequate
approximation of her boobs. But I can appreciate your frustration.
If my boyfriend developed a life-threatening medical condition
and getting breast implants was the only way to save his life,
I would support him and hold his hand and go bra shopping
for him while he recovered. But I would be just as weirded
out by his body with boobs as you are by your wife’s without.
But, um, that’s really neither here nor there—there are no
conditions that breast implants can cure (erectile dysfunction
doesn’t count)—and the analogy is totally offensive and I’m
probably gonna have to disable my e-mail account for a week.
Other offensive analogies spring instantly to mind—how would
I feel if my boyfriend’s ass imploded? how would I feel if
he grew a mustache? how would I feel if his body changed as
he aged and after a few decades together he wasn’t the exact
same 23-year-old club kid I picked up in that gay bar?—but
seeing as none of that will ever happen, let’s set these hypotheticals
aside, shall we?
I’m vamping, IMHB, because there are no easy answers. One
might hope that your love for the wife would trump your weirded-out
feelings and you would come to appreciate the wife’s boyish
new body. Or her boy-with-large-zigzag-scar- running-across-her-chestish
new body. One might also hope that your wife’s feelings for
you might prompt her to see her boobs as something that brought
you joy, not just as the part of her body that attempted to
kill her, and that she might be willing to get breast implants
for your sake. Because although it’s her body—and it is, it
is—you also have a stake in it. Sometimes, you know, literally.
Anyway . . .
But you can’t get over it and she sees her new body—and perhaps
the victory over death symbolized by those scars—as more important
than your shared sex life. So you’re at an impasse and the
standard advice for couples at an impasse—compromise—just
won’t cut it. (“Maybe just one implant, honey? The left one
was always my favorite. . . .”) The only other compromise
is so obvious and unsatisfactory—would she consider wearing
her fake breasts to bed every now and then?—that you’ve probably
already discussed and/or tried it. So, like, I’m really flailing
around here. In fact, my flailing was so obvious that a coworker—a
straight guy—noticed and asked what was up.
that why God invented doggy-style?” he said, after I read
him your letter. “Just man up and turn her over, dude.”
That ain’t much, I realize, but I’m afraid it’s the best advice
you’re going to get today. Thank you for playing Savage Love,
IMHB, and good luck.
I watched a video of your recent appearance on Real
Time with Bill Maher and you appeared to be wearing a Queen’s
University engineering jacket. I was a Queen’s med school
student and am now an emergency doctor at the same university
and have seen those jackets around for the past decade—where
did you get that? Did you go to Queen’s? Or are you just showing
your loyalty to a country that recognizes your marriage?
At Queen’s University
did not attend Queen’s University, KAQU. The jacket was a
gift from a friend because . . . well, isn’t it obvious?
And while we’re on the subject of all things Canadian, I said
something on Real Time that seems to have upset all
those normally placid, easy-going French-speaking Canadians.
While discussing the hyperreligiosity of the American electorate,
I made this observation: “Australia got the convicts. Canada
got the French. We got the Puritans. We’re stuck with them.”
was very pleased to see that you are putting French-Canadians
on the same level as the Australian convicts,” writes JNR
of Montreal. “As a matter of fact, a few of these convicts
came from Quebec, from where they were banished after the
1837–38 riot. But please don’t compare us to the Puritans.”
For the record: It was a compliment, Quebec. What I meant,
of course, was that Australia was lucky to get the
convicts, Canada was lucky to get the French, while
we got stuck with the fucking Puritans and their sex-hating,
Jesus-freaking, GOP-voting descendants. In fact, I’ll prove
how much I love French-speaking Canada by offering English-speaking
Canada this deal: The sane people in the United States will
happily trade you the Bible Belt for Quebec. We’ll take those
contentious secessionist headaches off your hands, and all
those bilingual street signs, if you’ll take the 22 percent
of our country that still believes George W. Bush is doing
a good job. You get Mike Huckabee and Gary Bauer; we get Justin
Trudeau and Antoine Vermette. We get all your hot, uncut boys
with sexy accents from Montreal; you get all our slope-shouldered,
slack-jawed yokels from Mississippi. Do we have a deal?
I love your column, and am sure you’ve already gotten
a million e-mails about Oklahoma State Representative Sally
Kern and her hateful gay-bashing video on YouTube. She’s deplorable
and other people deserve to know about her hating ways.
not anti, I’m not gay bashing,” Sally Kern says on her now-infamous
audio recording, before she goes on to say that homosexuality
is “the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than
terrorism. Or Islam, which I think is a big threat.” Nice.
Then after exposing early childhood education for what it
is—a gay plot, dontcha know—Sally bemoans the fact that “gays
are infiltrating city councils . . . they are winning elections!”
We certainly are, Sally, because infiltrating city councils—and
school boards and state legislatures—isn’t just for right-wing
Christian bigots anymore.
Decent folks are understandably angry with Ms. Kern. But instead
of sending Sally an angry e-mail—excuse me, I mean in addition
to sending her an angry e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)—make
Sally’s worst nightmares come true. Patrick Flaherty is running
for alderman in Milwaukee, Wis. He’s won an eight-way primary
with 32 percent of the vote on Feb. 19 and the general election
is coming right up on April 1. If you’re pissed at Sally Kern,
don’t just send her an angry e-mail. Help make her worst nightmares
come true by sending a campaign contribution to Patrick Flaherty—who
has been endorsed by Milwaukee’s mayor, the Victory Fund,
and others—by going to his website: www.patricknewleadership.com.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.