writing in celebration of the California decision to allow
gays to marry. I’m thrilled—I’ve always thought that the idea
that gay marriage could hurt or affect straight people in
any way was ridiculous. But a year ago, I found out I was
I’m a straight woman in her late 20s dating “the one,” by
which I mean the man who I’d be happy to wind up married to.
We’ve been dating about two years, very happily, but one year
into the relationship he informed me—he didn’t ask—that he
was going to be the sperm donor for a lesbian couple that
wanted to start a family. I had an immediate, visceral, physical
reaction to the idea of another woman bearing his child. That’s
an experience I hope to have with him!
What shocked me was the range of reactions among my friends.
My gay friends and my boyfriend insisted that it was “none
of my business”! They also accused me of being selfish and
called me a homophobe! My straight friends, female and male,
agreed that doing this without my consent was outrageous!
Ultimately, he didn’t do it, but this conflict very nearly
ended our relationship. So going forward, I think we straights
and you gays have to talk about this question: If gays have
a right to marriage and family, do they also have a right
to start those families with my boyfriend—no matter what I
think and feel about it? Wouldn’t it, at the very least, be
only polite to ask the girlfriend or wife for her consent
and blessing, too?
About Gay Marriage
QAGM, you’re thrilled that gay people won the right to marry
in California even though you realized a year before gay marriage
was legalized in California that you had been wrong to support
marriage equality because it would lead gay people to believe
that we have a right to your boyfriend’s spunk—the position
that lesbian couple and all your gay friends arrived at before
gay marriage was legalized in California.
What the fuck are you talking about, lady?
I’ve read the Supreme Court of California’s decision legalizing
gay marriage, all 140 pages of it, twice, QAGM, and I can
assure you there’s not one word in it about your boyfriend’s
spunk. The gay marriage decision and your boyfriend’s aborted
decision to serve as sperm donor for this lesbian couple have
nothing whatsoever to do with each other, and your efforts
to link them only make you look like a nutcase.
And that’s a shame, QAGM, because you’re actually in the right.
Setting aside the legit mystical crap—the fact that most breeders
regard having children by their spouses as the ultimate expression
of their magical heterosexual love—you had every right on
purely logistical grounds to object to your boyfriend fathering
a child by these women. Was your boyfriend planning to be
involved in the life of this child? If so, time he spent with
this child would have taken time away from whatever children
you might have together. And what sort of relationship did
he imagine this child would have had with your children? Could
he have wound up on the hook for child support, which would’ve
impacted you financially, too? And what if this lesbian couple
had died in a car wreck after this child had been born? Would
the child then come to live with you?
Your boyfriend should have been able to see how donating sperm
to a lesbian couple would impact you and that you had a right
to be involved in making this decision. The fact that he didn’t
involve you, and still doesn’t think he needed to, should
make you think twice about marrying him.
And finally, QAGM, a question: When you say you had an “immediate,
visceral, physical reaction,” does that mean you threw a punch?
If you did, a word—or an initialism—to your boyfriend, if
he’s reading this: DTMFA.
A few months before I graduated, a friend revealed that
she had been lusting after me for as long as she’d known me,
and wanted to hook up. The trouble was that she’s in a long-term
relationship. She didn’t see this as a problem—she was willing
to cheat—but I didn’t want to be a part of that, and turned
her down. She then played some silly games and convinced me
to kiss her when I was drunk, and later flat-out propositioned
me (again while I was drunk), and I refused again. Then we
graduated and moved hundreds of miles away from each other,
which I expected would be the end of it.
Now, though, a month later, she wrote to tell me that she’s
“not over” me. Was I right to turn her down, or should I,
as she argued, let her make her own mistakes? Should I let
her boyfriend (and likely fiancé) know about any of this?
An Adultery Helper
we please—all of us—resist the urge to define adultery down?
To commit adultery, a person has to be married, not just dating
or going steady or even engaged. This girl, if you fuck her,
may be a lying, cheating sack of shit, and you may be a cad,
but she won’t be an adulteress, NAAH. She can’t be one until
after she’s married.
Now clearly you want to sleep with this woman—why write to
me otherwise?—and you’re probably hoping I’ll say that you
were wrong to turn her down. But were you? Well, that depends
on why she’s pursuing you, NAAH. Perhaps she wants to cheat
before she marries—before sleeping with someone else rises
to the level of adultery—because she wants to live a little
first. Perhaps she wants to make sure before marriage that
the sex she’s getting from the boyfriend is as good or better
than sex she’d get elsewhere. Or perhaps she wants to fuck
you because she’s a skanky, skanky whore. Perhaps you should
One final thought: If sleeping with you convinces this woman
that she could never truly be satisfied with her boyfriend
and she ends that relationship before she marries him, you
will not only have gotten into the pants of a woman you find
attractive, NAAH, but done your bit to bring down our divorce
In your most recent column, you wrote, “The Scouts are
famously antigay and antiatheist.” While I believe this is
true for the Scouting organization, I have to take issue with
the idea that Scouts themselves are antigay and antiatheist.
I was a Boy Scout. In fact, I am an Eagle Scout. But this
is not exclusive of the fact that I am also gay (and am pretty
much unreligious). But I was not “out” until last fall, my
first year of college, after I was finished with the Scouts
(and high school and living at home). Sadly, I’m pretty sure
that the title of Eagle Scout would be taken away if the BSA
organization knew that I was gay. So if you publish this,
please don’t use my name or identifying info.
for writing, AES, and I apologize for not being clearer in
that response: It is the Boy Scouts of America that is antigay
and antiatheist. There are a lot of individual Scouts and
Scout leaders out there—I’m hearing from them—who reject and
denounce the BSA’s antigay, antiatheist positions. It’s too
bad the BSA isn’t hearing from them, too.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.