am a happily married, happily nonmonogamous male. We are not
wild swinger types. For us it’s more about the fact that monogamy
does not work than about nailing everything that walks by.
Anyway, I have encountered an odd situation a few times now,
and again last night, where I’ll be flirting with a potential
fling and she knows I’m married and she’s very interested.
But when she finds out my marriage is nonmonogamous, she suddenly
backs out. Case in point, a coworker: We have been flirting
since I started my new job a few months ago. Today she asked
me what my wife would do if she found out I was sneaking around
on her. Good time to make a full disclosure! But when I told
her my situation, it was the end of our flirtation.
Any idea why women find the idea of cheating with me OK, but
once they find out I have a free go of things, they walk?
woman didn’t find the idea of cheating with you “OK,” NFW,
she wanted to fuck you because you’re married and presumably
monogamous. Try to look at it from her perspective: When she
thought you were willing to cheat on your wife to be with
her, NFW, that meant you found her so attractive, so utterly
irresistible, that you would break your marriage vows and
risk everything to get into her pants. Sleeping with her with
your wife’s permission? Meh, where’s the ego boost in that?
I am a 40-ish married straight woman living in New York.
I have been happily married in a monogamous relationship for
11 years. My husband and I met when we were in our early 20s.
After listening to all of the Savage Lovecasts together, we
started to talk about the idea of “some degree of openness,”
as you put it.
In the past year, I have had a crush on a coworker. My husband
is OK with me having something on the side with this coworker.
This coworker is single (last I heard) and 17 years younger
(yikes!), and he knows I am married. We had a great working
relationship while we were assigned to a project together,
but now he’s in another department. My question is, how to
go from here? After having a few good talks with my husband,
I am excited about this idea and terrified. I’m having a private
lunch with my coworker soon. This is fine with my husband.
What can you tell me to calm me the hell down and not be so
stressed? After being conditioned my whole life that monogamy
is the only way to go, I am having a hard time shifting!
Open Couple Lacks Understanding & Education
that lunch, and tell your coworker/crush that you and the
husband are just beginning to explore the idea of openness.
For all you know now, your much-younger coworker may not be
interested in being your piece on the side. If it turns out
that he is interested, take things very, very slowly and keep
your husband fully informed. But even if I could relieve you
of your stress and anxiety with a few words, NOCLUE, I wouldn’t.
You should be anxious and stressed out; it’s appropriate
to be anxious and stressed out. Your nervousness is prompting
you to take things slowly and to be careful and conscientious
about your husband’s feelings. If this works out—for you,
for your coworker, for your husband—it will be in large part
thanks to the stress, NOCLUE, not despite it. Enjoy.
I am in a strange situation. I work in the corporate
sector in marketing and sales. It is a high-stress, fast-paced
job, and everyone has a short fuse. I have a coworker who
is losing business to a competitor who happens to be gay.
In her fits of anger, she keeps calling him a faggot. I hate
it. The thing is, I am not gay. And if anyone in our office
is, they are in the closet. She has used the word in front
of other coworkers and even our boss, and no one seems to
I am torn about what I should do. I am black, and if she was
using the word “nigger,” I would call her on it and raise
issue with our HR department. Can I file a complaint on behalf
of a group I do not belong to? If she found out I complained,
she would see it as a threat to her own job, which could lead
to a decidedly hostile workplace. But if it was a racial slur,
I would not let that deter me. I want to do the right thing.
How would you handle the situation?
someone at my office were tossing the word “nigger” around,
NMP, I would lodge a complaint. I would resent the assumption
on my coworker’s part that since I’m white she can use racist
speech in my presence, because, hey, all us white people are
racist POS, right? And I would complain because a workplace
that tolerates racist remarks is a workplace that tolerates
homophobic remarks. If people are using “nigger” when there
aren’t any black people in the room, they’re doubtless using
“faggot” when there aren’t any gay people in the room. And
vice versa. Have a word with HR.
I have a new coworker, a young man who is gay and quite
effeminate. He’s slim, wears makeup, has boyish/feminine features,
and has done some modeling work as a woman. He said in a lunchroom
discussion today that he prefers to wear women’s clothes.
He said he had worn women’s clothes at a previous workplace,
and no one had been offended. I suggested he talk to HR to
protect his job before coming to work dressed in women’s clothing.
Good advice or should I just mind my own business? One coworker
suggested that he work up to it, while another said he should
just do it and let the chips fall where they may. The question
of what restroom he should use when dressed as a woman came
up. I’m not 100 percent comfortable sharing the ladies’ room
with him. Though I am certain most of the men won’t be comfortable
sharing the men’s room with him either.
Do you have any suggestions on how to handle situations where
I might find myself in the same restroom as my newest coworker?
Knows It’s Really Trivial
your coworker identifies as female, she should use the women’s
room. If he identifies as male, he should use the men’s room.
And seeing as he’s using the men’s room now—despite his wearing
makeup and being openly gay—I don’t see how the addition of
a dress should change things for his male coworkers. And from
the way you describe that lunchroom conversation, SKIRT, it
sounds like your effeminate new coworker has at least some
support at work—but yes, he should have a talk with HR.
As for “handl[ing] situations” where you find yourself in
the same restroom with your newest coworker, SKIRT, unless
you routinely offer to zip up your coworkers or wipe their
asses for them, I don’t see how his presence—or his attire
or the particular brand of genitalia tucked into his panties—really
impacts you at all.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.