boyfriend and I have been together over eight months. We really
love each other, and I see us spending our lives together.
At least I did, until something he said a few days ago.
Long story short, for the last five months or so, he’s brought
up marriage. Then a few days ago he informed me that he actually
doesn’t want a wedding. When I offered a small ceremony with
just immediate family and friends, he balked and said he’s
not even interested in a courthouse wedding. I asked if everything
he’d said before was empty pillow talk, and he said yes. He
won’t give me any better explanation than that. Oh, and this
was two days after we decided I’d be moving in with him, and
he still wants me to live with him even after dropping this
bomb! Everyone I’ve talked to, including my therapist, said
the equivalent of WTF?!?
Dan, can you decipher this male-ese for me?
In A Relationship
were discussing marriage at three months?
The fact that he would bring up marriage so early, and the
fact that you didn’t laugh in his face, disqualifies you both
from obtaining a marriage license. (OK, it doesn’t—but it
should.) Three months—eight months, sixteen
months—is way too soon to be discussing marriage. Sure, you
can allow yourself to be swept away by new love, you can crush
out on each other, you can sheepishly admit that you’ve allowed
yourself to daydream about marriage—so long as that admission
is immediately followed by this statement: “But I realize
it’s way too soon to even think about it seriously
. . . ” But you absolutely, positively should not be
making plans to marry, small ceremonies or large, courthouse
or St. Paul’s Cathedral, at eight fucking months;
nor should you attempt to hold him—or anyone else—to a premature
“commitment” to wed.
Your boyfriend doesn’t have a bad case of “male-ese,” LIAR,
he has a good case of came-to-his-senses-ese. If you’re lucky,
the strain is contagious, perhaps sexually transmitted, and
you’ll soon be showing symptoms yourself.
And a bit of bonus advice: Get a therapist who doesn’t believe
that cashing your checks obligates him to tell you whatever
idiot thing you want to hear.
In a recent column you wrote, “If you’re not having
sex with your boyfriend, or anyone else, and there’s no sex
in your foreseeable future, ANB, that’s not monogamy—that’s
celibacy.” I have been with my girlfriend for almost nine
years, living together for seven. We have never had sex. At
the beginning we fooled around a lot, but for various reasons
never went too far. Now, like many couples who have been together
for a while, the frequency has decreased.
But for us this means we go beyond kissing a few times a year,
and never all that far. I am mostly OK with this: I take care
of myself as necessary. We never talk about sex at all. We’ve
moved back and forth across the country together and are otherwise
very committed. Is it ridiculous to leave sex out of the relationship?
And Seemingly Content
you’re happy and your girlfriend’s happy, SASC, then I’m happy.
Two people in a bad relationship can have plenty of great
sex; two people in a great relationship can have little sex
or no sex. Sex is a metric for assessing the health
of a relationship, but it’s not the only one. When two people
come together who love each other and are compatible sexually—which
can mean a shared interest in sex or a shared disinterest
in sex—the angels sing, SASC. All that matters, again, is
that you’re both happy.
But are you happy, SASC? You say that you are, and I’ll take
your word for it, but there’s a lot of wiggle room in the
“mostly” in this sentence: “I am mostly OK with this.”
You owe it to yourself to determine if you are really and
truly OK with living without sex—and if the girlfriend is
I’ll add this to the debate over the threat that gay people
pose to marriage: A fag saved my “opposite marriage.”
My wife and I had a huge argument about sex after she rebuffed
me one night. She was shouting that she couldn’t stand the
idea of me inside her because she felt like I was just masturbating
in her. I shouted that we could stop having vaginal intercourse
altogether for all I care because it was boring me, too, and
besides, there was lots of other stuff we could do. She screamed,
“Like what?!?” And I screamed, “Like oral! Masturbation! Role-playing!
Whatever kinky shit you want!” There was a pause, and we both
We took vaginal intercourse “off the menu” that night. After
three weeks of amazing, mind-blowing sex, she called me at
work and asked if I missed vaginal intercourse. I told her
that I did but that putting it back on the menu was entirely
her call. She got in the car and drove to my office, and we
fucked in the stairwell. Sometimes you help people you don’t
even realize you’ve helped. Wanted to say thanks.
O And Newly Surging
welcome, MOANS, and thanks for sharing.
And speaking of marriage: Last week’s decision by the California
Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8 was expected but, in
the wake of so many recent victories, still saddening, and
I’m getting mail from lots of unhappy people. I’m unhappy
about it, too. But we have to remember that this is a long
game, folks, and despite this setback, we are winning.
We’ve heard a lot about Prop 8 over the last week, and we’re
going to hear a lot about the fight to overturn it over the
coming months, but let’s not forget about Proposition 22.
In 2000, California voters approved a law banning same-sex
marriage. It was a ballot initiative, like Prop 8, but just
a law, not a constitutional amendment. And it was that law,
Prop 22, that the California Supremes struck down in 2008,
in their historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. And
voters in 2000 approved Prop 22 by a 22-point margin.
Eight years later the same voters approved Prop 8 by just
four points. That’s an 18-point shift in favor of marriage
equality in just eight years. That’s extraordinary progress.
A loss is still a loss, and a loss sucks, but the trend is
so strongly in our favor that we cannot lose hope. The anti-gay
bigots know that they’re losing this debate, and it’s why
they’re so hot to amend state constitutions now, while
they still can, while they can still count on the votes of
the old, the bigoted, and the easily manipulated.
But they are losing and they know it.
Gay marriage will be back to the ballot box in California
in 2010 or 2012, and voters are going to repeal Prop 8. Fundamental
civil rights should not be subject to a popular vote, of course,
and the California Supremes had an opportunity to reaffirm
that ideal. They chose not to, they buckled, and so gays and
lesbians, unlike other minority groups, face the challenge
of securing our rights at the ballot box. That seems like
a daunting prospect until you recall Prop 22 and compare its
margin of victory to that of Prop 8. Again, we witnessed an
18-point shift in favor of gay marriage in California in just
eight years. We can gain another two points in two. We just
have to stay in the fight and constantly remind ourselves
and each other—and Maggie Gallagher—that we are winning.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.