a young, straight feminist male, and I’ve been dating my feminist
girlfriend monogamously for almost two years. Recently, I’ve
been coming to terms with the fact that I am turned on by
rape fantasies. Of course, I find the idea of actual rape
repugnant, and this is probably, of course, an important reason
why fantasizing about it turns me on. I sent out some feelers
with my girlfriend by initiating a conversation about kinks
and asking about what types of kinks she would hypothetically
be comfortable accommodating. I asked her to imagine that
I fantasized about feeling up women on the subway and wanted
her to simulate and help realize that fantasy scenario with
me. Her response was that I needed to be “cured” of my desires,
and that she would help me figure out and work through the
psychological gender-power issues behind it, and to that end
she would try to show me how enjoyable consensual sex could
be. My first thought was, “Well that’s not GGG . . . ” but
then I reconsidered: Would indulging that fantasy only reinforce
patriarchal patterns of thought that I’ve worked to expunge
from my brain? How much of a point does she have?
I’m not telling you to dump your girlfriend because she won’t
let you feel her up on the subway, FRF. She isn’t obligated
to help you realize your consensual-rape-lite fantasies. If
that shit squicks her out, that shit squicks her out. But
you can’t have a mutually fulfilling sexual or romantic relationship
with a woman—feminist or not, squicked out by simulated nonconsensuality
or not—whose first impulse when presented with a run-of-the-mill,
completely consensual role-play scenario is to pathologize
her partner, declare him sick, and accuse him of not being
aroused by consensual sex when consensual sex was precisely
what he proposed.
There’s nothing wrong with you, FRF, nothing that needs curing.
The only thing you need to expunge is a girlfriend who regards
you as a sicko and a rapist. DTMFA.
This is going to sound incredibly naive, but here we
go: How does one get better at sex? I’m a 24-year-old female,
I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years, and the sex is
just . . . meh. He had a couple sex partners before me, but
he is my first and only. We’ve been sexual for almost all
of our years together, so it’s not like we’re wanting for
We often ask each other, “What else can I do for you?” I’ve
shared a couple ideas, which we’ve explored to my minimal
comfort, but he always says “Nothing” when asked if there’s
anything he wants to do or try. We have discovered that neither
of us particularly cares if we, ourselves, reach orgasm, but
we both care very deeply that the other is satisfied. In this
light: While I don’t care much if the sex is mediocre for
me, I do want it to be better for him. Do you have any suggestions?
Are we doomed?
A Noob Apparently
is going to sound incredibly unhelpful, SANA, but I don’t
have any suggestions. There are just too many potential unknown
unknowns here for me to offer any concrete advice. It’s possible
that your boyfriend isn’t attracted to you (or that you’re
not attracted to him), it’s possible that your boyfriend isn’t
attracted to anyone (or that you’re not attracted to anyone),
it’s possible that he has dark and terrible sexual desires
that he’s too terrified to share with you (or that you have
dark and terrible etc. that you may not even be aware of).
The only thing I know for sure, SANA, is this: One of you
is going to have to nut/ovum up and get selfish. You’re
both so giving, so unconcerned with your own pleasure, so
invested in pleasing your partner. And all of that sounds
so wonderful in theory—who doesn’t want a completely selfless
sex partner?—but in practice, selfless sex partners make
lousy lays. Giving is great, but in every truly great
sexual encounter, someone is taking: taking charge,
taking over, taking control, giving pleasure to their partner
by taking pleasure from their partner.
And if it’s not going to be him, SANA, it’ll have to be you.
So what do you want? Besides seeing him “satisfied.” Take
a look at where your concern for his satisfaction has gotten
you, SANA, and repeat after me: “Fuck him and fuck his satisfaction.”
Then ask yourself these questions: What do I want?
What turns me on? What do I want to experience
and explore? You’re not doomed if you can come up with the
answers to those questions, SANA, but if you can’t, well,
then I’m afraid you are doomed. Doomed to lousy sex in this
relationship, for as long as it lasts, and doomed to lousy
sex in your next relationship if you wind up with another
guy who’s as “giving” as you are.
I’m a single, 22-year-old, adorable lesbian living in
Chicago. I use a dating Web site, but I’d like to increase
my chances of meeting someone at the concerts and improv shows
I enjoy. These events aren’t gay-specific, and I don’t look
stereotypically queer, so this scenario seems unlikely. I
want to get a fitted, understated (light text, no rainbows)
T-shirt that says something like “Single. Lesbian. Interested?”
and wear it out. Will this increase the chances that the girl
of my dreams will tap me on the shoulder? Will it make me
an easier target for hateful assholes? Both? Neither?
of course, and you may not like the kind of lesbians that
a come-and-lick-me T-shirt attracts. But when you’re single
and feeling frustrated, and your pool of potential partners
is drawn from roughly 2.5 percent of the population, it helps
to move on all fronts, e.g., Web sites, bars, T-shirts. Your
T-shirt might attract the attention of some jerks, lesbian
or otherwise, but that’s why God gave us Mace.
Regarding last week’s reply to NORTH: Sure, it’s fucked-up
that this woman is doing escort work without telling her boyfriend.
But you let him off the hook entirely, even though he snooped
through her e-mail! What you have here are two people who
are both untrustworthy—they sound like a good fit to me! Because
if snooping is OK, who knows what else he’s doing behind her
knew that not including a little standard-issue snooping-is-always-wrong
boilerplate in my response to NORTH—a woman who neglected
to inform her boyfriend that she was sitting on other men’s
cocks for money—would get me in trouble with some readers.
But I didn’t include it because I don’t believe it.
A confession: I’ve looked through my boyfriend’s e-mail; I
assume he’s looked through mine. I’ve scrolled through his
text messages; I assume he’s scrolled through mine. Expecting
your partner not to snoop is like expecting your partner not
to fart or fantasize about other people. It’s a nice thought,
JB, but knowing what we know about human nature—and knowing
that we ourselves snoop, fart, and fantasize about other people—it’s
a little unrealistic.
And I’m sorry, but when someone goes snooping and discovers
that their partner is doing sex work—or is secretly gay or
is sleeping with or visiting lesbian-bondage-themed nightclubs
with Michael Steele—then the snooping is retroactively justified.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.