husband and I have been married for one year, but we had been
dating for 10 years prior to that. I thought we had a very
understanding relationship. In the last couple of days, I
have found out that he has a serious obsession with females
wearing running shoes. He had in the past hinted at the fact
that it turns him on, but I had no idea the scope of this
obsession. I’ve discovered that he spends a large number of
hours a week devoted to this fetish. He was sloppy in covering
his tracks one day, and I found evidence on his computer.
I should also mention that when he told me he thought running
shoes are hot, I thought he meant on me, not on all living
and breathing females.
I believed that he could trust me enough to be open with me,
but he has been hiding this from me for 11 years! I am still
in shock and not quite sure how to deal with it. He obviously
feels ashamed, otherwise he would have told me years ago.
Why did he not bring this up before we got married? I had
a right to know what I was getting into. I don’t know if I
can live with knowing that he gets a hard-on for every running-shoe-
wearing woman who goes by. I feel betrayed and creeped out.
He says that he didn’t want to hurt me, but he has done just
that. I feel physically sick to my stomach knowing that I
didn’t really know who he was all this time. We still have
to work it out and really talk about our new situation. But
I am beginning to think our marriage isn’t going to survive
this. Am I being too sensitive? How can I fix my marriage?
your husband like your tits only, DIB, or can he get a hard-on
for every tits-wearing woman who goes by? Does he like your
pussy only, DIB, or can he get a hard-on for every pussy-having
woman who goes by?
If your marriage can survive the husband being attracted to
tits and pussy generally, DIB, but attracted to your tits
and pussy particularly, your marriage should be able to survive
the awareness that your husband is into women in running shoes
generally but into you in running shoes particularly.
Why did he keep it from you? Because he was ashamed, DIB,
because guys with fetishes are told—hey there, Prudie—that
they’re disturbed and unlovable, and because no one bothers
to inform straight women that fetishes are to male sexuality
what lies are to a Fox News broadcast: likelier to be present
than not. So he dropped hints but didn’t tell you during
year one—or year two or three, year four, etc.—because he
was afraid you would have the reaction you’re having at year
So what do you do now? You forgive him, if you give a shit
about your marriage, if you actually ever loved him, and you
do a little reading about male sexuality. Daniel Bergner’s
The Other Side of Desire is a good place to start.
And ladies? If your boyfriend or husband has “hinted at the
fact that [something or other] turns him on,” you can safely
assume that [something or other] really turns him on.
A good friend of mine is engaged to a woman with an
extremely low sex drive. He’d like to have sex every day;
she barely responds to his touch. I advised him to work up
the nerve to suggest an “understanding” or to disengage. If
he’s this frustrated as a 27-year-old fiancé, how is he going
to feel after five years in a monogamous marriage?
your buddy won’t be married in five years or he won’t be monogamously
married. Either way, CB, you spoke up, and that’s all a friend
is required to do under the circumstances. Now you have to
stand back and let your buddy make the biggest mistake of
I assume you’ve heard of Chatroulette by now. I discovered
it about four weeks ago, and I am strangely turned on by all
the dudes on there jerking off. I have started to show my
tits to some of these dudes because it is such a massive turn-on
for me (who knew I had this exhibitionist streak in me?).
My husband doesn’t know about any of this. However, all sexual
arousal is redirected his way in the form of really hot, passionate
I feel bad about not telling my husband. Do you think this
is cheating? If you say it is, Dan, I will stop.
don’t want to call what you’re doing—flashing random Chatroulette
pervs—cheating, as cheating is such an ugly word, but odds
are good that your husband would call it that.
Even so, CA, I’m reluctant to tell you to stop. Spend a few
weeks reading my e-mails, and you will come to regard anything—anything
at all—that lights a fire under the marital bed as a universal
good. So talk to your husband. Tell him that—like everyone
else on earth—you “discovered” Chatroulette about four weeks
ago. Then tell him you were surprised by (1) just how many
dudes are jerking off in front of their computers at any given
moment and (2) just how turned on you were by their
exhibitionism. Confess that you’ve been a bit obsessed with
the site, add that it’s why you’ve been so horny lately, and
then invite him to join you for a session. If he seems into
the idea, or gets into it once you’re online, sheepishly confess
that you’ve been flashing a little skin yourself.
Then fuck the husband’s brains out.
CONFIDENTIAL TO SAVAGE LOVERS: I need to ask you to do something.
Not for me, but for a teenage lesbian who lives in a small
town. Constance McMillen is a senior at Itawamba Agricultural
High School in Fulton, Miss. When she asked the school if
she could attend prom with her girlfriend, she was told no.
When Constance pressed her case, the Itawamba County School
Board canceled prom rather than allow Constance to attend
with her girlfriend. The school board had to know what would
happen next: The other students at Itawamba Agricultural blamed
Constance for getting prom canceled and “ruining senior year.”
Constance is now being harassed and bullied.
The school board claims it canceled prom to avoid “distractions.”
Now it’s up to us—to decent people everywhere—to make sure
that bigotry and discrimination are a much bigger distraction
for the Itawamba County School District than inclusion and
tolerance ever could’ve been.
E-mail, call, and fax Itawamba Schools superintendent Teresa
McNeece (tmcneece@itawam ba.k12.ms.us, phone 662-862-2159
ext. 14, fax 662-862-4713) and Itawamba Agricultural principal
Trae Wiygul (email@example.com, 662-862-3104). Then
join the Facebook page “Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend
to Prom.” And, finally, make donations to the Mississippi
Safe Schools Coalition (www.mssafeschools.org), which is organizing
an alternate prom that will welcome all students, and make
a larger donation to the ACLU LGBT Project (www.tinyurl.com/yl9mvkb),
which is defending Constance and other gay teenagers across
Call, write, fax, donate. Constance needs to know that there
are people all over the world who are on her side. And, more
importantly, Itawamba County Schools needs to know that we’re
not going to let them get away with this. Be respectful, but
be relentless. Let’s show these bigots what a real
distraction looks like. Get ’em.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.