My wife beat breast cancer five years
ago. Brave, lovely, and lucky woman. But after the procedures, she said
she was proud of her post-op look and the zigzag scar across her chest.
No new boobs for her. Moi? I don’t like going to bed with Peter Pan. We
talked about this and she wants to stay scarred and boobless. I respect
her wishes. It’s her body… so no plastic surgery. But I get weirded
out instead of excited every time I see her nude. Our love life has
gone the way of her boobs and I feel as guilty as hell because I can’t
get over this.
I Miss Her Boobs
I’m thinking the wife misses her boobs too,
IMHB, but she’s concluded that implants and reconstructive surgery
aren’t going to bring ’em back, only a potentially uncomfortable,
thoroughly inadequate approximation of her...
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...IMHB, but she’s concluded that implants and reconstructive surgery
aren’t going to bring ’em back, only a potentially uncomfortable,
thoroughly inadequate approximation of her boobs. But I can appreciate
your frustration. If my boyfriend developed a life-threatening medical
condition and getting breast implants was the only way to save his
life, I would support him and hold his hand and go bra shopping for him
while he recovered. But I would be just as weirded out by his body with
boobs as you are by your wife’s without.
But, um, that’s really neither here nor
there—there are no conditions that breast implants can cure
(erectile dysfunction doesn’t count)—and the analogy is totally
offensive and I’m probably gonna have to disable my e-mail account for
a week. Other offensive analogies spring instantly to mind—how
would I feel if my boyfriend’s ass imploded? how would I feel if he
grew a mustache? how would I feel if his body changed as he aged and
after a few decades together he wasn’t the exact same 23-year-old club
kid I picked up in that gay bar?—but seeing as none of that will
ever happen, let’s set these hypotheticals aside, shall we?
I’m vamping, IMHB, because there are no easy
answers. One might hope that your love for the wife would trump your
weirded-out feelings and you would come to appreciate the wife’s boyish
new body. Or her boy-with-large-zigzag-scar-running-across-her-chestish
new body. One might also hope that your wife’s feelings for you might
prompt her to see her boobs as something that brought you joy, not just
as the part of her body that attempted to kill her, and that she might
be willing to get breast implants for your sake. Because although it’s
her body—and it is, it is—you also have a stake in it.
Sometimes, you know, literally. Anyway…
But you can’t get over it and she sees her
new body—and perhaps the victory over death symbolized by those
scars—as more important than your shared sex life. So you’re at
an impasse and the standard advice for couples at an
impasse—compromise—just won’t cut it. (“Maybe just one
implant, honey? The left one was always my favorite….”) The only
other compromise is so obvious and unsatisfactory—would she
consider wearing fake breasts to bed?—that you’ve probably
already discussed and/or tried it. So, like, I’m really flailing. In
fact, my flailing was so obvious that a coworker—a straight
guy—noticed and asked what was up.
“Isn’t that why God invented doggy-style?”
he said, after I read him your letter. “Just man up and turn her over,
That ain’t much, I realize, but I’m afraid
it’s the best advice you’re going to get today. Thank you for playing
Savage Love, IMHB, and good luck.
I watched a video of your recent
appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher and you appeared to be wearing
a Queen’s University jacket. I was a Queen’s med school student and am
now a doctor at the same university and have seen those jackets around
for the past decade—where did you get that? Did you go to
Queen’s? Or are you just showing your loyalty to a country that
recognizes your marriage?
Kari At Queen’s
I did not attend Queen’s University, KAQU.
The jacket was a gift from a friend because… well, isn’t it
And while we’re on the subject of all things
Canadian, I said something on Real Time that seems to have
upset all those normally placid, easy-going French-speaking Canadians.
While discussing the hyperreligiosity of the American electorate, I
made this observation: “Australia got the convicts. Canada got the
French. We got the Puritans. We’re stuck with them.”
“I was very pleased to see that you are
putting French-Canadians on the same level as the Australian convicts,”
writes JNR of Montreal. “But please don’t compare us to the
For the record: It was a compliment, Quebec.
What I meant, of course, was that Australia was lucky to get
the convicts, Canada was lucky to get the French, while we got
stuck with the fucking Puritans and their sex-hating, Jesus-freaking,
GOP-voting descendants. In fact, I’ll prove how much I love
French-speaking Canada by offering English-speaking Canada this deal:
The sane people in the United States will happily trade you the Bible
Belt for Quebec. We’ll take those contentious secessionist headaches
off your hands, and all those bilingual street signs, if you’ll take
the 22 percent of our country that still believes George W. Bush is
doing a good job. You get Mike Huckabee and Gary Bauer; we get Justin
Trudeau and Antoine Vermette. We get your hot, uncut boys with sexy
accents from Montreal; you get our slope-shouldered, slack-jawed yokels
from Mississippi. Do we have a deal?
I love your column, and am sure
you’ve already gotten a million e-mails about Oklahoma State
Representative Sally Kern and her hateful gay-bashing video on YouTube.
She’s deplorable and other people deserve to know about her hating
“I’m not anti, I’m not gay bashing,” Sally
Kern says on her now-infamous audio recording, before she goes on to
say that gays are “the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so
than terrorism. Or Islam, which I think is a big threat.” Nice. Then
after exposing early childhood education for what it is—a gay
plot, dontcha know—Sally bemoans the fact that “gays are
infiltrating city councils… they are winning elections!”
Decent folks are understandably angry with
Ms. Kern. But instead of sending Sally an angry e-mail—excuse me,
I mean in addition to sending her an angry e-mail (email@example.com)—make
Sally’s worst nightmares come true. Patrick Flaherty is running for
alderman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s won an eight-way primary with 32
percent of the vote on February 19 and the general election is coming
right up on April 1. If you’re pissed at Sally Kern, don’t just send
her an angry e-mail. Help make her worst nightmares come true by
sending a campaign contribution to Patrick Flaherty—who has been
endorsed by Milwaukee’s mayor, the Victory Fund, and others—by
going to his website: www.patricknewleadership.com.
Download Savage Lovecast (my weekly
podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.