you think post-op transgender people have any obligation to
tell their lovers they were once the other sex?
I’m in my 40s and straight. My wife of nine years is
no longer interested in sex. Period. She relents every few
weeks, but it’s never enjoyable for either of us. As a result,
I haven’t had a blowjob in about eight years, I can’t touch
her beautiful tits, kissing is without tongue, and our rare
sex is missionary and in the dark. I’m miserable.
I believe she’s depressed. She refuses to get help, saying
that if only I would do this or that, she would be more willing.
But I do this and that, and she’s still not interested. After
a lot of talking, she suggested that I find a girlfriend for
sex. However, she set conditions that were unrealistic: She
wanted to meet and approve of her before I slept with her;
and I could only see this other person late at night, with
the wife’s permission, which would only be granted after ALL
other family obligations were satisfied (kids in bed, bills
paid, trash taken out, etc.). I preferred a “don’t ask, don’t
tell” approach. She then withdrew the idea entirely. I proceeded
to meet and sleep with several different women anyway, and
I am now seeing one regularly. Sex is enjoyable again.
My question: I know that people would say I am cheating on
my wife, but am I wrong to feel just as cheated by her?
You are a terrible person who shouldn’t be allowed to
give advice to anyone about anything. Whose idea was it to
give an asshole faggot like you an advice column, anyway?
You’re a stupid piece of shit who doesn’t know anything about
sex or the human heart, and you will regret everything you’ve
ever done and every word you’ve ever written once you die
and have to stand before your Creator.
A couple months ago, I sent you an e-mail thanking you
for doing what you do. Today, the power of your voice hit
home. As you know, an angry, sexually frustrated gunman went
on a killing spree at a fitness center in Pittsburgh. Reading
the killer’s blog, I was struck by the similarity of his situation
to that of the lonely, sexually frustrated men you counseled
in your column the week before the shooting. Of course the
similarity between the shooter and your correspondents ends
there: George Sodini did not reach out; the men who wrote
The reason this strikes so close to home is that my situation
for years was very similar to Sodini’s and to the lonely men
who you helped in that column. Although I wasn’t a virgin,
I was “clogged up” and unable to get close to people physically
and emotionally. I overcame my fears and hang-ups, and life
is good now. But it wasn’t easy. I was never as angry as the
man who shot up the fitness center, but I was absolutely as
lonely and isolated as he was and every bit as lonely as the
men whose letters you answered. Maybe if I’d been alone another
14 years—I found my life partner at 34—I might have become
you for the note, MAFG, and thanks—I think—for pointing me
to George Sodini’s blog. The blog has been pulled down, but
it is extensively quoted in news reports and it makes for
depressing reading. It’s never pretty when chronic sexual
deprivation and a lifetime of romantic rejection slam into
a narcissistic personality with sociopathic tendencies who
happens to live in a country awash in guns:
actually look good. I dress good, am clean-shaven, bathe,
touch of cologne—yet 30 million women rejected me, over an
18- or 25-year period. That is how I see it. Thirty million
is my rough guesstimate of how many desirable single women
So, hey, why not go shoot up an aerobics class full of women?
A woman I knew at college—an antiviolence activist, righteous
and right-on—used to say, “Testosterone is gasoline, porn
the match.” I disagree. Testosterone is gasoline—which isn’t
necessarily a bad thing (gas makes things go)—but sexual frustration
is the match.
I’m not suggesting that this tragedy could’ve been averted
if only some selfless woman had “taken one for the team” and
married Sodini, an asshole and a sociopath. The women who
rejected him obviously saw him for what he was and were right
to run in the other direction. But if someone had told Sodini,
who hadn’t had sex since 1990, to see sex workers—something
I advised the guys in my column two weeks ago to consider
(among other things)—it might have taken the edge off his
anger and kept it from curdling into homicidal rage. Maybe
if we, as a society, valued sex workers and sex work, if we
legalized and regulated it, and if we viewed “paying for it”
as a legitimate option for guys who would otherwise go without
for decades, perhaps this tragedy could have been averted.
Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t wish a client as sick as Sodini
on any of my sex-worker pals. But if Sodini had started seeing
sex workers back in 1991 and not, say, two weeks ago last
Monday, perhaps he wouldn’t have snapped.
But Sodini wasn’t taking advice from me. He was getting it
from R. Don Steele, author of How to Date Young Women:
For Men Over 35. The book was sitting on Sodini’s coffee
table in a video he posted to the web. Steele apparently traffics
in—and profits from—instilling false hopes in losers like
Sodini. (“Immediately improve your success with women!” Steele
says on his website steelballs.com. “Everything is 100% guaranteed
Sodini felt that he was entitled not just to sex and a romantic
relationship, but to sex and a romantic relationship with
a much younger woman. And he was following the advice of a
love-and-romance guru who encouraged him to cling to that
belief. Not normally a problem, I suppose. But Sodini wasn’t
just another socially maladapted schlub furious with the world—and
with women—for denying him the twentysomething ass he felt
he had coming. Sodini was a nut. And he couldn’t understand
why, if he was doing everything right, he wasn’t finding the
success that Steele guaranteed him.
Someone needed to sit Sodini down and explain that settling
down requires settling for and that young women are usually
interested in young men and that we can’t always have what
we want and that there might be women out there who would
date him—perhaps women closer to his own age, women in his
own league in the looks and social-skills departments (and
Sodini wasn’t bad looking)—but no woman was going to date
him until after he got his shit together. And someone needed
to tell him that he wasn’t going to impress the ladies by
leaving How to Date Young Women: For Men Over 35 on his
someone needed to tell him that some men—and some women—are
alone all their lives and, yeah, that sucks and it’s not fair
and it hurts.
Instead, Sodini had R. Don “Steel Balls” Steele telling him
that if he just bought a matching sofa set—really—and the
right suit, that success was guaranteed.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.