America’s longest-running sex-advice column!

Secrets and Lies

My husband is a very kinky submissive man. When we were dating, I found out that he had been talking to multiple people online and that he had met up with a professional dom a couple of times. I felt betrayed that he had done this all behind my back, even though I had told him that I would be down with him seeing a dom. (I even offered to buy him a session for his birthday!)

We got through it, and now our sex life is amazing. I tie him up, I lock his dick up, I dress him up. All I ask in return is that he be honest with me about who he’s talking with online. Is that unreasonable? I know he chats with “women” online as a “woman,” and I’m okay with that so long as I’m made aware of it. But today I found pictures on his phone of his cock in the...

Want to read the rest? Subscribe now to get every question, every week, the complete Savage Love archives, special events, and much more!

...with that so long as I’m made aware of it. But today I found pictures on his phone of his cock in the chastity device I keep him in. He tried to lie but he came clean: He was chatting with a woman, it came out that he was a man, and she wanted to see pictures of his cock in his chastity belt. Why lie? Honest to God, if he would have just told me the day he sent the pictures that he sent someone pictures of his cock, I would be okay with it! I also found another e-mail account he never told me about that he’s using when he chats online as a woman. Again, no big deal! But I was under the impression that he used just this one chat program for chatting! Why hide it? My vanilla friends will be no help in this matter, and I feel pretty heartbroken. So I’m asking you. He Isn’t Telling Me Everything Before I can respond to your question, HITME, I’ve gotta sacrifice a goat to the snooping-is-always-wrong Gods, or the snooping- is-always-wrong jihadists will cut my head off. It’ll just take a sec: Snooping is always wrong! You invaded your husband’s privacy! That was wrong! WRONG! Moving on… Your husband hit the jackpot when he met you, HITME. There aren’t a lot of women out there who would embrace—much less marry—a man with his particular collection of kinks. You’ve been GGG and all you’ve asked in return is… total transparency and the immediate, real-time disclosure of all outside flirtations and contacts as they happen. Why can’t the kinky ingrate honor this agreement? Only he knows the answer to that question, HITME, but I suspect one of two issues is at play… Your husband may be ashamed—he may have been brutally shamed in past relationships—about the extent of his kinks and about just how much of his time and erotic energy his kinks consume. You may be completely sincere when you tell him you’re okay with everything, HITME, so long as there’s immediate and full disclosure. But he may fear that sharing the full extent of his online activities will leave you feeling either squicked out or threatened. So he downplays and minimizes, disclosing some but not all, because he doesn’t want to lose you. If this is the issue, impress upon your husband that hiding shit from you represents a bigger threat to his marriage than full disclosure ever could. Or… Having and keeping sexual secrets may turn your husband on, HITME, and having a secret life could be another one of his kinks. Even if this is the issue, HITME, I think you two should be able to come to mutually agreeable terms that accommodate both his desire to have a secret and your need for full disclosure. Here’s a potential compromise: He doesn’t keep anything from you, HITME, but he doesn’t disclose in real time. So long as he’s not being unsafe or neglectful, so long as his online activities remain online-only, he can carry on flirting and texting and pic swapping. But every few months, you get to depose his submissive ass. You get to sit him down and ask him questions, and he answers all your questions truthfully and opens up about any current secrets that your questions didn’t uncover. This way, he can have all the erotic secrets he wants (he’ll just have to make new ones every few months), and you can have the transparency you need (you just won’t have it immediately). Good luck. I’m a 29-year-old gay guy who’s not sure where to find what I’m looking for. I’m turned on by the idea of a dominant guy, but most of the guys I attract are pure vanilla. When I look online at the fetish-friendly dating sites, most of the dom guys say shit like “If you have a list of things you will and won’t do, you’re not a sub.” I want to give up control, but I don’t want to be some guy’s “bitch.” Can there be dominance without degradation? Is a boyfriend who’s an equal in life but in charge in the bedroom a unicorn? Where do I look? Needs Include Controlling Empathy The dominant boyfriend you’re looking for is out there somewhere, NICE, you just need to keep looking. And remember: Sometimes, dominant boyfriends are made, not born. By which I mean: Don’t rule out the vanilla boys you attract. A guy who likes you is gonna want to meet your needs, sexual and otherwise. If you give a vanilla boy a chance, and if you’re honest about what turns you on, you may find that you awaken something in one of those vanilla guys that was there all along—a little dominant streak—but would’ve lain dormant if it weren’t for you. And you were right to run from those dominant tops who insisted that “true subs” don’t have preferences, limits, or lists, NICE. Not even submissive guys who are into degradation and being someone’s “bitch” should fall for—or submit to—that kind of crap. Your question last week from the guy who “stumbled over” his brother’s femdom sex blog reminded me of a funny story: My little brother came out to my conservative-but-not-particularly-religious Jewish parents in 1995. It was rough. Our parents refused to help pay for my wedding because I insisted on inviting my brother and his boyfriend. Mom and Dad are now rightly embarrassed by their behavior and they worship his husband. (It helps that my brother married a doctor—some stereotypes are true.) Last year, my parents found out that my older brother—their straight son—is kinky. A vindictive ex hacked into his e-mail and sent a letter to everyone in his address book. Big bro has a dungeon, his current girlfriend is his slave, he’s made BDSM porn. The e-mail came with pictures no mother would want to see. Mom, completely distraught, called her gay son: “Why can’t Josh have a normal relationship!” she cried. “Like yours!” So far as Mom is concerned, her gay son is normal and her straight son is a freak. Is that progress, Dan? Brothers Done Shocking Mom I don’t know if it’s progress, BDSM, but it’s hilarious. And I trust that you’re sticking up for your kinky straight brother now just like you stuck up for your gay brother back in the day. Be sure to listen to me interrogate Ira Glass on the Savage Lovecast this week—when he’s allowed to make fart jokes, he’s a whole new man: thestranger.com/savage. mail@savagelove.net @fakedansavage on Twitter