Savage Love

Sep. 19th, 2017 05:15 pm
[syndicated profile] savagelove_feed

Posted by Dan Savage

Can a straight guy find love with a lady with a penis? by Dan Savage

I am a 35-year-old straight guy. I met a nice lady through the normal methods, and we hit it off and have grown closer. I think we are both considering "taking it to the next level." We are on the same intellectual wavelength, enjoy the same social experiences, and have a lot of fun together. So what could be the problem? My friend decided it was the time to inform me that she is transgender, pre-op, and will not be having gender-reassignment surgery. This was quite a shock to me. I'm not homophobic, though I've never had a gay experience. I'm open-minded, yet there is a mental block. I like this person, I like our relationship thus far, and I want to continue this relationship. But I'm in a state of confusion.

Confused Over Complicating Knowledge

Lemme get this out of way first, COCK: The nice lady isn't a man, so sex with her wouldn't be a "gay experience" and homophobia isn't the relevant term.

Moving on...

You're a straight guy, you're attracted to women, and some women—as you now know—have dicks. Are you into dick? Could you develop a taste for dick? Could you see yourself making an exception for her dick? It's fine if "no" is the answer to one or all of these questions, COCK, and not being into dick doesn't make you transphobic. Evan Urquhart, who writes about trans issues for Slate, argues that in addition to being gay, straight, bi, pan, demi, etc., some people are phallophiles and some are vaginophiles—that is, some people (perhaps most) have a strong preference for either partners with dicks or partners with vaginas. And some people—most people—want their dicks on men and their labia on/vaginas in women.

"There's no shame in it, as long as it doesn't come from a place of ignorance or hate," Urquhart writes. "Mature adults should be able to talk plainly about their sexuality, particularly with prospective partners, in a way that doesn't objectify or shame anyone who happens to be packing the non-preferred equipment."

Some straight guys are really into dick (trans women with male partners usually aren't partnered with gay men, and trans women who do sex work typically don't have any gay male clients), some straight guys are willing to make an exception for a particular dick (after falling in love with a woman who has one), but most straight guys aren't into dick (other than their own).

Since you're confused about what to do, COCK, I would encourage you to continue dating this woman, keep an open mind, and keep taking things slow. You've got new information to process, and some things—or one thing—to think about before taking this relationship to the next level. But don't drag it out. If you conclude that the dick is a deal breaker, end this relationship with compassion and alacrity. You don't want to keep seeing her "to be nice" if you know a relationship isn't possible. Because letting someone live in false hope is always a dick move.


A few months ago, I started dating someone. I made it clear early on that I didn't feel comfortable being in a nonmonogamous relationship. They said that's not usually what they're into but they weren't interested in seeing anyone else and they had no problem being monogamous. It's not that I don't trust them, and they've never given any indication that they're unhappy with our arrangement, but I can't shake the fears that, though they won't admit it (maybe even to themselves), they'd prefer it if our relationship were more open and I'm taking something important away from them. Can someone who usually doesn't "do" monogamy feel fulfilled in a "closed" relationship? Can it work out, or will they just slowly grow to resent me for this?

Deliriously Anxious Monogamist Nervously Inquires Today

If you stay together forever—what most people mean by "work out"—your partner will definitely grow to resent you. It could be for this reason, DAMNIT, or for some other reason, but all people in long-term relationships resent their partners for something. So if monogamy is the price of admission this person is willing to pay, let them pay it. There are a lot of people out there in closed relationships who would rather be in open ones and vice versa. And remember: What works for you as a couple—and what you want as an individual—can change over time.


My relationship with my husband is bad. We have been together for twelve years, and we were married for eight years before getting divorced last year. We have small kids. We reconciled four months after the divorce, despite the affair I had. I have a history of self-sabotage, but in my relationship with him, it has become near constant. Everyone thinks I'm a smart and kind person that occasionally makes mistakes, but I'm not that person with him. With him, I'm awful. I make promises I don't keep and I don't do the right things to make him feel loved even though I do loving things. We have been in couples therapy a number of times, but I always derail the process. I have been in therapy solo a number of times with similar results. I always get the therapists on my side and no real change happens. I want to change but I haven't. I want to stop hurting him but I keep doing it. He doesn't feel like I have ever really fought for him or the relationship. Why can't I change?

My Enraging Self-Sabotaging Yearnings

It's unlikely I'll be able to do for you in print what three couples counselors and all those therapists couldn't do for you in person, i.e., help you change your ways—if, indeed, it's your ways that require changing. Have you ever entertained the thought that maybe there's a reason every counselor or therapist you see winds up taking your side? Is it possible that you're not the problem? Are you truly awful, MESSY, or has your husband convinced you that you're awful in order to have the upper hand in your relationship? (Yeah, yeah, you had an affair. Lots of people do and lots of marriages survive them.)

If you're not being manipulated—if you're not the victim of an expert gaslighter—and you're awful and all your efforts to change have been in vain, MESSY, perhaps you should stop trying. You are who you are, your husband knows who you are, and if he wants to be with you, as awful as you are (or as awful as he's managed to convince you that you are), that's his choice and he needs to take some responsibility for it. By "stop trying" I don't mean you should stop making an effort to be a better person or a more loving partner—we should all constantly strive to be better people and more loving partners—but you can't spend the rest of your life on a therapist's couch. Or the rack.

If you truly make your husband miserable, he should leave you. If your marriage makes you miserable (or if he does), you should leave him. But if neither of you is going anywhere, MESSY, then you'll both just have to make the best of your messy selves and your messy marriage. recommended


On the Lovecast, Dan chats with Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern about left-wing anti-Semitism: savagelovecast.com.

mail@savagelove.net

@fakedansavage

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News Post: Dropping Science

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:47 pm
[syndicated profile] pennyarcade_feed
Tycho: Gabriel mostly sat in confusion after the comment at Curriculum Night; he doesn’t really start or maintain beef in realspace. What you think isn’t political - that is to say, what isn’t up for debate - is really just an index of your politics anyway, and quite a robust one.  For me, I don’t think teaching science in science class is a political act.  I grew up in a house where “teaching evilution”...  Well, the fact that we called it Evilution is probably enough information to glean the subtleties of the position.  I live and let live as…
[syndicated profile] fourhourworkweek_feed

Posted by Tim Ferriss

“Everybody fucking relax. Get yourself a sandwich.”
– Bill Burr

This episode of the podcast features Bill Burr (@billburr). Many of you know Bill as a famous standup comedian, and thousands of you have been requesting him for years. Rolling Stone called Bill “the undisputed heavyweight champ of rage-fueled humor,” and when we were finally able to talk, he did not disappoint.

In this wide-ranging conversation we explore:

  • How Bill found his way into standup comedy
  • Why he enjoys going for an encore after he’s been booed
  • The transformation from a “squeaky clean” comedian to offending nearly everyone
  • How learning can serve as powerful therapy
  • The importance of enjoying success
  • And much, much more

This interview comes from my television show Fear(less), where I interview world-class performers on stage about how they’ve overcome doubt, conquered fear, and made their toughest decisions. You can watch the entire first episode with illusionist David Blaine for free at att.net/fearless. (To watch all episodes, please visit DIRECTV NOW).

We recorded three hours of material, and only one hour was used for the TV show. This podcast episode is almost entirely new content that didn’t appear on TV.  

Enjoy!

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Want to hear another podcast with a comedian, actor, and director? — Listen to my conversation with Vince Vaughn. In this episode, we discuss stories of his early beginnings, how to negotiate, his cold-calling career, and important decisions he’s made as a producer, an artist, and a businessperson (stream below or right-click here to download):



This podcast is brought to you by FreshBooksFreshBooks is the #1 cloud bookkeeping software, which is used by a ton of the start-ups I advise and many of the contractors I work with. It is the easiest way to send invoices, get paid, track your time, and track your clients.

FreshBooks tells you when your clients have viewed your invoices, helps you customize your invoices, track your hours, automatically organize your receipts, have late payment reminders sent automatically and much more.

Right now you can get a free month of complete and unrestricted use. You do not need a credit card for the trial. To claim your free month and see how the brand new Freshbooks can change your business, go to FreshBooks.com/Tim and enter “Tim” in the “how did you hear about us” section.

This podcast is also brought to you by Shopify. With the help of Shopify, many readers of my blog — first-time business owners — have ended up making millions of dollars each with their side gigs. Back in 2009, I helped create Shopify’s Build a Business, which is now the world’s largest entrepreneurship competition.

The goal of this competition is to entice would-be entrepreneurs to get off the couch and make things happen, and all you have to do to qualify is open a store on Shopify and start selling. Top sellers in each category then have the exclusive opportunity to learn from mentors and experts like Tony Robbins, Daymond John, Seth Godin, Sir Richard Branson, and me a location like Oheka (aka Gatsby’s) Castle or Necker Island.

Listeners to this show can go to shopify.com/tim to sign up for a free, 30-day trial and get access to video courses that will help you get started — including How to Quickly Start a Profitable Dropshipping Store with Corey Ferreira and some goodies from me. Check it out at shopify.com/tim today!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Bill Burr:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Show Notes

  • Why Bill always takes the opportunity for an encore if he’s been booed. [06:33]
  • Childhood in the ’70s (“Back when you could almost kill a kid and it wasn’t a problem”). [09:45]
  • Was getting into standup comedy Bill’s best anti-bullying, life-fulfillment strategy? [10:39]
  • Bill goes over his brief career as a dental assistant for his dad. [15:17]
  • Bill’s conversion from squeaky clean to offending everybody. [18:00]
  • How does Bill know when a joke or a piece of writing is close and when it’s done? [19:43]
  • How did Bill recover from his first time bombing on stage? [20:19]
  • Bill talks about what led to a particularly dark period in his life and how he climbed out of it. [22:15]
  • How have Bill’s goals changed since beginning in standup comedy? [30:46]
  • When did Bill finally feel like he’d arrived as a comedian? [34:01]
  • On the importance of enjoying success in the moment. [35:15]
  • Does a comedian who goes through therapy, meditates, or tries to cope with life in a healthy way run the risk of losing their “edge?” [37:03]
  • Why Bill thinks we should have stopped advancing technology circa ’94-’95. [40:01]
  • What prompted Bill to start his podcast? [42:00]
  • Formative experiences between beginning comedy specials and “F Is for Family.” [44:32]
  • Who is alienated by Bill’s humor? [48:44]
  • Does Bill ever deliberately try to alienate an audience in order to reel them back in? [51:42]
  • What Bill observed by comparing Rodney Dangerfield’s audience to Eddie Murphy’s. [53:20]
  • What advice would Bill give his 25-year-old self? What advice does he think his 60-year-old self would tell him now? [56:10]
  • Most memorable heckles. [101:25]
  • Is Bill prepared for the apocalypse? [1:04:58]

People Mentioned

[syndicated profile] wwdn_feed

Posted by Wil

Tabletop’s Eldritch Horror Pt. 1 was released this week.

Speaking of horror, I think I mentioned that I had this idea for a 1970s-style ridiculous, bloody, Grindhouse horror film. I thought it was just a silly story exercise, but the more I thought I about it and the more I did the story work for practice, the more I wanted to do the story work to make it into a real thing. So I’ve been working on that. It isn’t on cards just yet, but it’s on the whiteboard and it has its own file of ideas and beats and characters and stuff. I don’t know if it’ll get made, but at the very least I’ll have a script to publish.

I’ve been using that idea as an excuse to watch a ton of actual 1970s ridiculous, bloody, Grindhouse horror films. I’ve thrown some classic exploitation films into the mix, and learned a lot about how those movies were made. Some of them are terribad, but most of them have a sincerity that is utterly charming and worthy of emulation in my own screenplay.

I’ve been leveling up my understanding of story and character construction with this book called The Anatomy of Story. It’s densely packed with information and examples, and it’s slow reading for me because I keep going back to review, and I’m making a ton of notes in my notebook, but I’m pulling in tons of XP with each chapter. If you’re interested in writing and want to understand how to build your story, I highly recommend it.

The Deuce is as amazing as I hoped it would be. I am hoping so hard that the series lives up to the pilot (which is a thing I never say, because pilots are generally not that great, since they have to introduce a ton of characters and information.) Franco has always turned me off (it’s not him, it’s me), but I fucking LOVE him in this show.

Blood Drive was not renewed by the network formerly known as Sci-Fi, which makes me a little sad, because Colin Cunningham and Christina Ochoa are brilliant in it (Christina should have had top billing and Colin should win awards), and I would watch them as those characters forever. But! It always felt like it should be a miniseries, and the last four episodes weren’t nearly as compelling as the first eight. I felt like they had to bail on the premise — each episode pays homage to a classic exploitation trope — to set it up for multiple seasons. There was so much great stuff in it, though, and I sincerely love that SyFy gave the project the greenlight. It was a risky project, to say the least, and it’s so cool to see a network that was profoundly risk-averse when I worked for them take the chance.

I read a bunch of short stories from Charlie Jane Anders when I was on vacation last week, and I loved them all. So I went to the bookstore yesterday to pick up All the Birds in the Sky, and while I was there, I browsed the tabletop game section. My finger is ten miles from the pulse of tabletop gaming right now, but I took pictures of some games there that looked promising to me:

Have any of you played any of them? I’m just looking for fun games to add to my collection, not necessarily games that are candidates for Tabletop, as Tabletop’s future is uncertain.

Also, not that it matters, but getting Twitter off my phone and mostly out of my life has been a really great choice. It turns out that not being kicked in the face by infuriating bullshit dozens of times a day is a pretty neat idea.

So that’s a bunch of stuff I want you to know. What do you want me to know? I’m enjoying these posts, because it reminds me of the early days of my blog, when you who read it and I who wrote it would interact more than we seem to these days.

 

News Post: Not Near Enough

Sep. 15th, 2017 06:04 pm
[syndicated profile] pennyarcade_feed
Tycho: There was talk of trying the Leviathan raid, and it sounded pretty good to me, but then I realized that numbers were real and my numbers were very, very low.  I’m much closer now; Greazy-E and I are gonna try to crack the 260 barrier on this afternoon’s stream around 2 PDT.  Stop by? Here’s last night’s Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team game, Anchors Aweigh (Part 4).  Watch live video from Penny Arcade on www.twitch.tv I needed to rest after this one; I was glad to have the break in the middle of the show this time, not merely for…
[syndicated profile] wwdn_feed

Posted by Wil

It was an incredible honor and privilege to contribute a story to this anthology. We were given the opportunity to write a story about a minor character in the Star Wars universe, and I chose the guy who watches ships fly away from the rebel base.

My editor pointed out that one of the guys (who I call Rebel Base Bucket Guy, because that amuses me) is already named, so my Rebel Base Bucket Guy is a different guy. I have to point this out, because the Star Wars Nerds are going to force choke me if they think I renamed their canonical Rebel Base Bucket Guy.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to write, and I titled it for my friend, Laina, who is best known for her hilarious YouTube videos.

[syndicated profile] fourhourworkweek_feed

Posted by Tim Ferriss

“Pain plus reflection equals progress.”
– Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio (@raydalio) grew up a middle-class kid from Long Island. He started his investment company Bridgewater Associates out of a two-bedroom apartment at age 26, and it now has roughly $160 billion in assets under management. Over 42 years, he has built Bridgewater into what Fortune considers the fifth most important private company in the U.S.

Along the way, Dalio became one the 100 most influential people in the world (according to Time) and one of the 100 wealthiest people in the world (according to Forbes). Because of his unique investment principles that have changed industries, CIO Magazine dubbed him “the Steve Jobs of investing.”

Ray believes his success is the result of principles he’s learned, codified, and applied to his life and business. Those principles are detailed in his new book Principles: Life and Work.

In this interview, we cover a lot, including:

  • How Ray thinks about investment decisions, how he thinks about correlation, etc.
  • The three books he would give to every graduating high school or college senior
  • How he might assess cryptocurrency
  • And much, much more…

Enjoy!

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Want to hear a podcast featuring another great investor?  — Listen to this conversation with Naval Ravikant. In this episode, we discuss the habits and behaviors of both highly successful and happy people (stream below or right-click here to download):


This podcast is brought to you by Four SigmaticI reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement right now — this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to foursigmatic.com/tim and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

This podcast is also brought to you by Athletic GreensI get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic GreensIt is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. As a listener of The Tim Ferriss Show, you’ll get 30 percent off your first order at AthleticGreens.com/Tim.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Bridgewater Associates | Principles.com | Twitter | Facebook

Show Notes

  • Ray describes his middle class childhood in Long Island and what got him hooked on investing at the tender age of 12. [06:33]
  • What Ray learned about business as “a professional mistake-maker.” [08:29]
  • “Pain plus reflection equals progress.” [12:01]
  • Many mistakes are avoidable if we remember to look outside of the events of our own lifetimes and experiences. [14:39]
  • What Ray has learned about patterns from examining history — on a grand scale and in everyday life. [16:42]
  • How evidence-based meritocracy works at the radically truthful, radically transparent environment at Bridgewater. [20:07]
  • Ray talks about the function of his company’s “pain button” app. [23:21]
  • On the “invaluable” benefits of Transcendental Meditation (which Ray has been practicing since 1969). [25:59]
  • Ray gives us the specifics behind his daily TM routine (and what he does when he’s not in his usual surroundings). [29:54]
  • Other tools developed at Bridgewater that promote the company’s culture of truth and transparency. [33:29]
  • Ray explains the three things that go into nurturing an “idea meritocracy” in a company culture — and its benefits. [36:33]
  • The “Two-Minute Rule” and other protocols for preventing disagreement from boiling over into emotionally charged fighting. [40:35]
  • Why does Ray remember early failures more vividly than early successes — and what does this tell him about both? [43:14]
  • What helped Bridgewater win out over some of its more established competition? [46:59]
  • The three ingredients of a successful life. [47:12]
  • What makes intelligent people unhappy? [48:22]
  • Our personal experiences with clinical depression. [49:41]
  • Four protocols Ray’s son Paul follows for dealing with bipolar disorder. [53:24]
  • What I’ve recently learned about observing a consistent, earlier bedtime. [56:03]
  • Why it’s important to work toward removing the stigma of mental illness. [56:57]
  • Ray talks about some of his own positive influences and role models growing up. [1:00:24]
  • What is Ray’s reading process? [1:02:18]
  • Books in Ray’s current reading list. [1:04:31]
  • How does Ray choose what to read? [1:08:00]
  • The three books Ray would give to every graduating high school or college senior. [1:09:49]
  • The best investors I’ve met almost all have a fascination with evolution. Why is that? [1:11:50]
  • Good ways to explore or investigate someone else’s reasoning behind their conclusions. [1:14:42]
  • Ray clarifies one of his most misunderstood maxims: “Don’t pick your battles; fight them all.” [1:16:32]
  • What Ray considers the overarching challenge we all face, and how our challenges adapt over time. [1:17:50]
  • How does Ray define and think about risk? [1:22:54]
  • A deep dive into data sets and the layers on uncorrelated bets. [1:29:43]
  • Learning the basics: Ray explains economics as “a pretty simple machine” in his famous 30-minute video. [1:37:40]
  • How would Ray begin to assess if a new investment opportunity — such as cryptocurrency — is worthwhile? [1:38:38]
  • Assessing the motivations of buyers and sellers. [1:42:05]
  • How should the decreasing value of a favored asset class change an investor’s behavior? [1:45:00]
  • How is Ray’s diversification approach unique? [1:48:00]
  • What advice would Ray have for someone who has the majority of their concentrated portfolio in a particular asset? [1:48:47]
  • What would Ray’s self-talk be like if he found himself stuck in a difficult investment position? [1:51:38]
  • Has stress ever caused Ray to liquidate all positions and start over? [1:53:17]
  • Psychology is a big deal in the markets. Here’s how Ray uses technology to remove a lot of his own emotional stress from the equation. [1:54:46]
  • Wrapping up: making transitions and sharing principles. [1:57:40]

People Mentioned

News Post: What A Savings

Sep. 13th, 2017 05:10 am
[syndicated profile] pennyarcade_feed
Tycho: Stripped of its makeshift ironic armor, the events of the strip are quite true.  A father hand-made a custom universe for his son and as a result Hearts got warmed. This is not what happened at my home game.  What happened in my home game was that they stumbled upon an old peddler in the woods who was delighted - delighted! - to learn that their parents had gone missing.  His cart was full of bones and his shabby tunic was dusted with the dust of the GRAVE! A couple videos we have had MANY requests for are now available for your fervid watchings.  The first is…

Savage Love

Sep. 13th, 2017 04:00 am
[syndicated profile] savagelove_feed

Posted by Dan Savage

A straight mom wants to provide her queer daughter with some good sex-ed advice. by Dan Savage

My teenage daughter just came out to us as gay. We told her we love her and support her. As a heterosexual, cisgender mother, how do I make sure she gets good advice about sex? I don't want her learning from other kids or porn. Do you know of any good, sex-positive advice books for lesbian teens?

My Inspiring Daughter Deserves Lesbian Education

"I wish every parent felt this way about their child's sexual development, regardless of the child's gender identity or sexual orientation," said Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape. "All young people—girls especially—need open, honest discussions about sexual ethics, including talking about pleasure, respect, decision-making, and reciprocity, or we are leaving them at the mercy of the messages they get from both the mainstream and 'adult' entertainment industries."

Orenstein's book—required reading for parents of girls and boys—drives home the need for comprehensive sex-education programs emphasizing the giving and receiving of pleasure. In the absence of sex-ed programs that empower girls to see themselves not just as instruments of another's pleasure but as autonomous individuals with a right to experience sexual pleasure—with a partner or on their own—girls wind up having a lot of consensual but crappy sex.

That said, MIDDLE, one big takeaway from Orenstein's research should come as a comfort to you: Bi and lesbian girls enjoy an advantage over their heterosexual peers.

"In some ways, MIDDLE can feel more confident about her daughter as a gay girl," said Orenstein. "Lesbian and bisexual girls I spoke to for Girls & Sex would talk about feeling liberated to go 'off the script'—by which they meant the script that leads lockstep to intercourse—and create encounters that truly worked for them. I ended up feeling that hetero girls—and boys, too—could learn a lot from their gay and bisexual female peers. And I don't mean by watching otherwise straight girls make out on the dance floor for the benefit of guys."

Since gay and bisexual girls can't default to PIV intercourse, and since there's not a boy in the room whose needs/dick/ego they've been socialized to prioritize, queer girls have more egalitarian and, not coincidentally, more satisfying sexual encounters.

"Young women are more likely to measure their own satisfaction by the yardstick of their partner's pleasure," said Orenstein. "So heterosexual girls will say things such as, 'If he's sexually satisfied, then I'm sexually satisfied.' Men, by contrast, are more likely to measure satisfaction by their own orgasm. But the investment girls express in their partner's pleasure remains true regardless of that person's gender. So the orgasm gap we see among heterosexuals (75 percent of men report they come regularly in sexual encounters versus 29 percent of women) disappears in same-sex encounters. Young women with same-sex partners climax at the same rate as heterosexual men."

As for good, sex-positive resources for teens of all identities and orientations, Orenstein had some great recommendations.

"I'm a big fan of Heather Corinna's S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties," said Orenstein. "She also produces the Scarleteen.com website, which is fabulous. Other inclusive, sex-positive, medically accurate websites include Sexetc.org and Goaskalice.columbia.edu. And MIDDLE could think about giving her daughter a subscription to OMGYes.com, an explicit (but not tawdry) site that educates about the science of female pleasure. And finally, I think everyone who is a woman—or has had sex with a woman or ever hopes to—should read Emily Nagoski's book Come As You Are. Even if you think you know it all, Nagoski's book will transform your sex life."

Follow Orenstein on Twitter @peggyorenstein.


My husband and I are currently separated on a trial basis. He took all our condoms when he moved out, and I want to ask him if he plans on having sex with other women. I don't have any intention of sleeping with other people while separated, but I think he may be interested in doing so, in part since we have been sexually active only with each other and he is trying to "find himself." If either of us were to have extramarital sex without the consent of the other, I would consider that cheating. We've also been having sex with each other throughout our separation. But my husband refuses to discuss this aspect of our separation. He will discuss only co-parenting or financial issues. I would be okay with him having casual sex but not a romantic sexual relationship.

Wondering If Fidelity Enforceable

Taking the condoms + refusing to discuss the sexual terms of your separation = your husband is almost certainly fucking other women. He probably figures it'll be easier to get your forgiveness after the fact than to get your permission in advance—and if you don't get back together, WIFE, he won't even have to ask for forgiveness.

If your husband refuses to have a dialogue about the sexual aspect of your separation, then you'll have to make him listen to a monologue. Tell him you assume he's having sex with other people and, if that's not the case, he'll have to use his words to persuade you otherwise. If he sits there in silence, or his words are unpersuasive, tell him you now feel free to have sex with other people, too. And while you can ask him not to enter into a romantic sexual relationship with anyone else, WIFE, you ultimately can't control how he feels about who he's fucking while he's out there finding himself. If you aren't comfortable fucking your husband while he's fucking other women—and he almost certainly is fucking other women—let him know that and cut him off.


I'm a 32-year-old straight male. Back in April, I met this girl. She seemed interested, but before we went out, she told me that she is a demisexual. (I had to google it.) After a few dates, she had me over to her place, we watched a movie and started making out. But when I started to put my hand between her legs, she calmly said, "Let's not get ahead of ourselves." No problem, I told her, I wasn't trying to rush her. Fast-forward a couple months. We're still going on dates, we hug and kiss, we hold hands, we cuddle on the couch and watch movies—but still no sex. Is demisexuality real? Should I keep pursuing her?

Is She Interested Totally Or Not?

Demisexuals are real people who "do not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional bond," according to the definition at Asexuality.org. We used to call people who needed to feel a strong emotional bond before wanting to fuck someone people who, you know, needed to feel a strong emotional bond before wanting to fuck someone. But a seven-syllable, clinical-sounding term that prospective partners need to google—demisexuality—is obviously far superior to a short, explanatory sentence that doesn't require internet access to understand.

You've shown respect for this woman's sexual orientation, ISITON, now it's her turn to show some respect for yours. I don't mean by putting out if she's not ready or not interested, but by offering you some clarity about when or whether she'll ever be interested. You're seeking a romantic relationship that includes sex—which is not unreasonable—and you've demonstrated a willingness to make an emotional investment before a relationship becomes sexual. You don't (or shouldn't) want her to consent to sex under duress—you don't (or shouldn't) want her to have sex just to keep you coming over for cuddles—but if she doesn't see you as a prospective romantic and sexual partner, ISITON, she should tell you that. If this relationship isn't on track to become sexual, tell her you're open to being friends—truly intimate friends—but you'll have to direct your romantic attentions (and more of your time) elsewhere. recommended


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