have a cousin with whom I am very close. He recently proposed
to his girlfriend. I have several issues with this, but the
most important one is the fact that everyone who meets this
young man thinks he’s gay. (I don’t know how the girlfriend
hasn’t seen it.) When I told my friends he was engaged, their
jaws dropped. Everyone said, “But he’s gay!” He’s admitted
to me that he did “play for the other team” in college and
every once in a while he mentions that he has a “man crush”
on so-and-so. I’ve been out with him, and gay men will comment
on how handsome he is, how they’re sure he’s gay, etc. I love
him to death and I don’t care one bit that he may be gay.
I’m curious what you think. Was “playing for the other team”
just a phase? I don’t think so. Unfortunately, I think he’s
just trying to “fit in.” My brother and I think he will end
up getting divorced or be completely miserable for the rest
of his life. This is his first serious girlfriend and the
first girl he’s lived with. Should I take my boyfriend’s advice
and just butt out? Thanks.
yes: Butt the fuck out—right after you speak your piece to
your cousin, and right after you’ve slipped his fiancée the
URL for the Straight Spouse Network’s website (www.straight
spouse.org) and copies of former New Jersey governor Jim “I’m
a Batshitcrazy Gay American” McGreevey and his ex-wife’s dueling
As for “playing for the other team” at college, ACK, that
can indeed be just a phase—but for women, not men. Heterosexual
and homosexual women, if legit scientific research is to be
believed, “tend to become sexually aroused by both male and
female erotica, and, thus, have a bisexual arousal pattern,”
according to the results of 2003 study conducted at LUG-infested
Northwestern University. Men, on the other hand, prefer erotica
that plays exclusively to their professed sexual orientation.
Which means, of course, that female sexuality is a fluid and
male sexuality is a solid. Or something.
And ladies? Pointing out your fluid sexuality isn’t an insult.
It’s a compliment—hell, it’s a freakin’ superpower.
As for the girlfriend’s inability to “see it,” there’s always
a chance that she has seen it, ACK, really seen it. We do
have to entertain the possibility that the girlfriend has
seen her fiancé, your cousin, with a cock in his mouth and
dug it. There’s a chance she could be one of those women who
likes gay porn so much that marrying a mostly gay or even
an entirely gay person represents the fulfillment of a dream.
Oh, and speaking of the mostly gays . . .
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston
claim to have found the “Achilles’ heel” of the virus that
causes AIDS. Their discovery could lead to new and more effective
drugs and treatments.
Or, you know, not.
We’ve been down this road before—HIV’s Achilles’ heel located,
targeted, hopes raised, and then . . . it’s back to the ol’
drawing board. So let’s not run out and stick our asses in
the air just yet, boys. And remember: Even if we do one day
have a vaccine or a cure for HIV, re-creating the gay communal-sewer
sex culture of the 1970s is a very bad idea. One important
take-away lesson—one of the top lessons—of the AIDS epidemic
should be this: Given the right conditions, new sexually transmitted
infections can emerge and kill you and all your friends.
Remember, kids: Straight people should have more sex (and
more sex partners) than they do; gay people should have less
sex (and fewer sex partners) than we can. Balance, balance,
balance—oh, and anal sex is not a first-date activity; use
condoms for anal sex with casual partners to protect yourself
from HIV and other STIs, known and unknown; lower your inhibitions
the old-fashioned way (therapy and beer) and stay the fuck
away from meth and meth users.
I put a profile on an online dating site some time ago
when my job moved me to Florida and I didn’t know anybody
down here, but I soon forgot about it. Recently, a girl contacted
me via that old personal ad, we exchanged pictures, and she
told me she was overweight. In the pictures she didn’t look
that big and I chalked her comments up to female insecurity.
Less than an hour ago we met for the first time and she was
huge. I told her as politely as possible that I felt her pictures
were misleading, that she was bigger than I expected, and
that I didn’t think it would work. I felt (and still feel)
like total shit.
Dan, help me. Am I a bad person for this? I want to go slam
my head in a car door!
About Traumatic Situation Obsessively
out misleading photos is a no-no, FATSO, precisely because
it leads to hurt feelings on all sides. Misleading photos
are unfair to the person misled—it places the person in an
awkward position—and sets the sender up for emotionally devastating
So long as you were polite and direct—and I’m taking your
word for that, FATSO—you’re not a bad person even if her feelings
were hurt. There are men out there who are open to big women
or into big women—the bigger the better—and she can avoid
hurt feelings in the future by e-mailing accurate photos and
attracting the attention of men who actually find her attractive.
A Note to My Readers: Half the mail at Savage Love HQ now
arrives with qualifiers like this one: “I’d appreciate receiving
your advice via e-mail. Please do not print this in your column.
The person who wrote the above at least had the decency to
include it at the start of his letter. (And the indecency
to use an emoticon.) It’s extremely annoying to read a long,
involved letter about a fucked-up, complicated problem and—after
composing a little advice in my head, or looking up some stuff,
or sending a query to the appropriate expert—stumble across
a “don’t print this!” in a P.S.
I don’t mean to be bitchy (that comes naturally), and I frequently
write folks back who ask for a little private advice, but
come on, people. I’m an advice columnist, not a therapist
in private practice. My e-mail address is at the bottom of
the column to solicit questions for future columns, not because
I need something to do in my nonexistent free time.
Sometimes I do feel an urge to offer advice to fuck-ups with
messy personal lives outside of the context of the column
or the podcast. But that’s what family reunions are for. But
what the hell:
Confidential to Rick in Austin: It is indeed rare for two
men to meet and fall in love while each is banging half of
a pair of male twins. (Or were you sleeping with two different
pairs of twins who shared an apartment when you took that
fateful trip to the bathroom? It’s unclear from your letter.)
And, no, having a Hare Krishna brother shouldn’t impact your
love life, karma-wise, any more than having an English professor
brother has impacted mine, classics-of-American-literature-wise.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.