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All Apologies

I’m a 27-year-old gay man. I had a really great first couple of dates with a guy, so for the third date I invited him to stay over. I cooked dinner, we watched a movie, and we had a lovely time in bed. In the morning, we had another romp. At one point, he was rimming me, and unexpectedly, unintentionally, I farted in his mouth a little. His reaction was along the lines of “EW! EWWWW! EW!” Mine was along the lines of trying to apologize through uncontrollable laughter. I said, “C’mere” and pulled him in to kiss me, and we finished with what I thought was minimal awkwardness.

Later in the day, to be cute, and even perhaps start a long-term shared joke, I sent an e-card that read, “I’m sorry for farting in your mouth.” He sent the following text message: “i’m not sure about this. yr a sweet guy but i’m dating some...

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...in your mouth.” He sent the following text message: “i’m not sure about this. yr a sweet guy but i’m dating some other people… i just can’t have farts in my mouth. i would have handled it a bit more respectfully.” Is a sense of humor about the inevitable off-color moments too much to expect? I mean, this was one strike you’re out, not even a chance to talk it over. He dumped me over TEXT, for fuck’s sake! Good riddance, I suppose. But did I really handle this wrong? Flatulent Anilingus Result: Termination You handled this beautifully, FART—that’s why you got dumped via text message. They don’t cover this in sex ed, I realize, but the average idiot knows there’s just one thing a person wants from someone who’s just “unexpectedly” farted in his mouth, even just a little, and it’s not an e-card. It’s a lengthy, abject, mortified, immediate, and heartfelt apology. And after a rimmee farts—a blessedly rare occurrence—it’s the rimmer’s response that sets the tone. Your guest was horrified and disgusted. You needed to take your emotional cues from him, FART, make your apologies and express or fake genuine remorse. Instead, you laughed in his face, pulled him in for a kiss, and sent him a flip e-card. Basically, you did everything you could to give this guy the impression that you’re either an inconsiderate asshole incapable of reading another person’s emotional cues, FART, or that you may actually be into farts—or worse—and that you intentionally farted in his mouth. I would’ve dumped you, too. Yes, a sense of humor about those off-color moments is not too much to expect. But no relationship progresses to the laughing-off-the-fart-in-your-mouth stage, FART, until after—long after—you’ve demonstrated to the person you’re dating that you’re a fundamentally decent, considerate person, worthy of their time and affections. Every so often, I have to fight the urge to contact an ex-boyfriend. It didn’t end well (I cheated). I’m happily married, have two children, and live in a completely different part of the country now. Yet, I feel sad that we don’t still know each other. The reasons for the indiscretion include, among other things, stupidity and youth. (Also the fact that the indiscretion involved a different ex-boyfriend who begged and pleaded for one final hurrah—and then I told the then-current [now-ex] boyfriend that it was forced, which it wasn’t, which the then-current [now-ex] boyfriend rightly didn’t believe.) I know my reasons are selfish: I want to explain myself, I want to move on, I want to be forgiven. But if he wanted to be in contact with me, he would be. And yet, like a crazed idiot, I still hold out hope that someday he’ll contact me or that we’ll bump into each other. Should I contact him? Can’t Let Go You should suck it up, CLG. It’s killing you that someone out there might hate your guts (with cause), might think you’re scum (because you behaved like scum), and, we can safely presume at this stage, is content to have you out of his life (otherwise he would’ve looked you up on Facebook by now). This bothers you because you’re not scum, of course; no person is defined by the two worst mistakes she ever made. (I’m referring to (1) cheating and (2) making a false accusation of rape. What would’ve happened if your then-current [now-ex] boyfriend had gone to the police? Or taken the law into his own hands? Thank God your then-current [now-ex] boyfriend didn’t believe you.) I don’t think you should contact him, CLG, not until you’re a little more interested in what you could give him (a long-overdue apology) and a little less interested in what he could give you (absolution). My wife and I divorced three years ago. Six months ago, I began seeing a good friend of my daughter’s. I knew this was dangerous territory, but I really liked this girl. A month ago, we took our relationship public. My daughter reacted poorly. She did not demand that we break up, but she let me know that the relationship made her uncomfortable. And she was rightfully upset about some personal information my girlfriend had told me about her. During the past four weeks, my daughter has gradually edged my girlfriend out of her personal life. She has also begun to spend less time with me. She tells me she does not want me to have to choose between her and my girlfriend; although, if she stops spending time with me, that’s exactly what she’s doing. I know she’s upset. But I’m a grown man, and I just want to be happy. And in spite of the age difference, my girlfriend makes me very happy. What can I do to make my daughter more comfortable with my new relationship? Father Doesn’t Always Know Best P.S. The information my girlfriend shared about my daughter was inconsequential: the name of a young man she was seeing and that my daughter purchased an expensive dress. It’s nice to know that your girlfriend manages to make you happy “in spite of the age difference.” Too many late-middle-aged men succumb to despair in the arms of their much-younger girlfriends. Anyway… What can you do to make your daughter comfortable with you fucking her friend while her friend blabs to you? Nothing. Your daughter may eventually become comfortable with your relationship, FDAKB, but there’s nothing you can do to artificially force up her comfort level. And while emotional blackmail—”My girlfriend makes me happy, but I will sacrifice my happiness for you, darling, if that’s what you want…”—may result in your daughter spending more time with you and your girlfriend now, her resentment at being blackmailed will do irreparable damage to your relationship with her over the long run. So just shut the fuck up, Dad, stop whining, and continue to enjoy the girlfriend in spite of the age difference. Then apologize to your daughter for (1) keeping the relationship from her for so long (your daughter may be losing sleep over things she told her friend before she found out you were fucking) and (2) the “inconsequential” invasion of her privacy that already took place. Then give your daughter the space she needs and the privacy she has a right to. I will be answering love and sex questions in Questionland on April 22. Visit thestranger.com/questionland to ask me questions and see my answers. mail@savagelove.net