a 33-year-old man, married eight years and mostly happy. My
problem seems common: My wife has lost interest in sex. We
have sex once every two months, maybe once a month if I’m
lucky. When we do have sex, it seems to be good for both of
us. It wasn’t always this way—we used to have great chemistry
and were both GGG in better days.
I’ve always been faithful, but I’m nearing some kind of tipping
point. On a recent business trip, I visited a strip club for
the first time. Even though I knew the attention I was getting
was fake, it still did the trick. Feeling desired, even in
a superficial way, is something I’ve been missing. Once, a
long time ago, my wife mentioned that she would be OK with
me going to a strip club, so I feel like I haven’t violated
our relationship. But I feel like I’m getting pretty close
to the boundary.
I don’t know what to do. I could try more communication, possibly
even try to get us into counseling, but I wonder if that’s
fair. The situation doesn’t seem to be a problem for her and
every time we talk about it I feel like I’m hurting her feelings.
I could also just give up and try to find ways to meet my
needs elsewhere. But the thought of potentially hurting her
or even losing her as a result is unbearable. I’ve also wondered
if a change of medication could help—I know loss of sexual
appetite can be a side effect of the birth- control medication
my wife takes.
RTP, I’m sitting on stacks of mail from spouses—husbands and
wives—who aren’t getting any at home, much less halfway decent
sex on a bimonthy-or-better basis. So while I appreciate your
frustration—I’d be fucking holes I’d kicked in the walls if
my boyfriend put out just six times a year—let’s recognize
that (1) things could be worse and (2) you have a decent base
here on which to build.
Second, RTP, yes to everything—yes to a new form of birth
control (perhaps you could get a vasectomy), yes to packing
your asses off to counseling (find a counselor who doesn’t
believe that the husband is always at fault), and yes to more
open and honest communication. A few more yeses: Yes to getting
the wife’s hormones checked (how are her testosterone levels?),
yes to looking at depression as a possible underlying cause
(and good luck eliminating depression if it is), and yes to
the occasional visit to a strip club (just as a matter of
Third, RTP, and most importantly . . .
Yes to hurting the wife. Telling her about your unhappiness
and forcing this issue will hurt her feelings, RTP, but catching
you cheating will hurt much, much more.
Finally, RTP, I’m thinking that you wrote to me and not, say,
Zombie Ann Landers because you were looking for permission
to cheat. I have been known to issue a license to cheat now
and then, but I can’t in your case. You had a decent sex life
early on—good chemistry, greater frequency, GGG action—and
you “enjoy” a not-dead-yet sex life now. With some effort,
some balls, and some incentive (no license to cheat), you
should be able to revive this thing.
I am a 31-year-old gay male and have been with my 27-year-old
boyfriend for a year. It’s been absolutely amazing and he’s
everything I’ve ever wanted. We’ve had some issues concerning
trust and communication because our previous relationships
failed due to infidelity and being lied to, but we’ve been
working on that in therapy.
Where it gets complicated is that he proposed on our one-year
anniversary. I told him that I thought it was too soon and
that I wanted to resolve any and all trust issues before committing
to marriage. Needless to say he was hurt, but he said that
he would get over it and would ask me again in a year. My
question: Is it possible that I have done irreparable damage
to this relationship? Should I have said yes (as I do see
myself marrying him someday)?
I Make A Mistake
as how something as trivial as an ill- considered comment
or an unexpected facial can do irreparable harm to a relationship,
DIMAM, it stands to reason that something as major as a declined
marriage proposal can do lasting harm.
I’m not saying that you necessarily fucked things up irreparably
by not accepting your boyfriend’s proposal—it’s a good thing
that you take marriage seriously enough not to want to rush
into it—but if you do see yourself marrying this man one day,
you might want to go back and say yes.
Accepting a marriage proposal, DIMAM (and all the other gays
and lesbians confronting this issue now, thanks to California),
only means you’re engaged. An engagement doesn’t obligate
you to follow through with the wedding; think of it as going
steady on steroids. It does obligate you to move toward marriage
in good faith, to work on “any and all” issues that can be
resolved and keep your eyes peeled for deal-breaking issues
that can’t, and to shit or get off the pot within a reasonable
period of time. But that’s all.
Oh, and speaking of gays marrying . . .
Homos are marrying in California as of this week (congrats
to all), and should a tornado—or an earthquake or a meteor
or the Incredible Hulk—flatten, say, San Francisco’s City
Hall during a big gay wedding, respected leaders of the religious
right will rush to cable broadcast studios to insist that
the tornado/earthquake/meteor/Hulk was God’s divine judgment,
His righteous wrath, the Baby Jesus’s latest temper tantrum,
wocka wocka wocka.
believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing,” said
the Rev. John Hagee, John McCain’s ex-BFF, when asked about
Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans just before a
“massive homosexual rally,” aka an annual street party called
“Southern Decadence,” was supposed to take place in the French
Quarter. “I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate
the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before
the day of judgment. And I believe that Hurricane Katrina
was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New
And God got his way: By drowning all those little old ladies
in their attics in the Ninth Ward, God prevented that massive
gay rally—for one year.
So how does a douchebag like Hagee explain away the tragedy
in Iowa last week? A tornado struck a Boy Scout camp, killing
four and injuring scores more, and the Scouts are famously
antigay and antiatheist. Well, we need only to consult the
same interview with Rev. Hagee to learn the answer: While
all natural phenomena represent God’s “permissible will,”
says Hagee, “it is wrong to say that every natural disaster
is the result of sin . . . No man on Earth knows the mind
See how that works? Not every natural disaster is the result
of sin, you see, because sometimes natural disasters happen
to us, not just to them, and when they happen to us, well,
the Lord sure moves in mysterious ways, and no man on Earth
knows the mind of God. But let a natural disaster strike San
Francisco this week, next week, or ever again, and Rev. Hagee
will be able to read the mind of God like it was a large-print
edition of Highlights for Children.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.