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Police States

Joe Newton

I’m monogamous and have been dating my boyfriend who identifies as straight for a little over a year. He told me that he had a strict “no contact with exes” policy when we first met. Due to some sketchy behavior, lies and gaslighting on his part—regarding contacts with his ex-girlfriends, open dating profiles, and multiple private Instagram accounts—I checked his phone, and my suspicions were confirmed. He didn’t cheat but there were some inappropriate messages that he apologized for. He blocked all his exes and is on the straight and narrow now.

At the time I checked his phone, I also found strange messages to one of his male friends. My BF sent this guy nudes and videos of him having sex with other women. (This was before we met.) There were also messages detailing how much they admired and missed each other’s cocks, and my...

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... missed each other’s cocks, and my boyfriend said he wanted to fuck other women with his friend. When I asked him about his relationship with this man, he said that they are just good friends, and that this kind of sexting was “something straight guys do.” I don’t think any of my past straight boyfriends ever talked about missing other guys’ cocks, but this is the first boyfriend whose phone I ever checked for shenanigans. Is this something straight guys do? I don’t care if my boyfriend was bisexual, but I don’t want to be lied to. And I really don’t want to be the crazy girlfriend, but my boyfriend had framed photos of this particular guy in his house that I made him remove. I also asked him to cut off all contact with this man. This is all fresh in my mind because we ran into this guy the other night. They kept telling each other how good they both looked and my BF was visibly nervous the whole time. Is my boyfriend telling me the truth? Do straight guys who don’t have any sexual interest in their friends send them dick pics? My BF is in his mid-40s. He knows I’m bi. The “no contact with exes” rule was his idea, not mine, and I think this guy counts as an ex and should remain blocked. Do you agree? Straight Men Exchanging Long Lusty Texts Exuding Sexual Tension Your boyfriend made the rule—no contact with exes (not even eye contact on the subway?)—but at some point, after the lying and gaslighting, you became the enforcer: digging through his phone, ordering him to block his exes, take down framed photos, etc. He was apparently willing to overlook your snooping, SMELLTEST, seeing as you’re still together. And you were apparently willing to overlook the mountain of incriminating evidence you found on his phone. While you honored his “no contact with exes” rule from the start, he was swapping texts, sexts, and photos with his exes the whole time, lurking on dating apps, and maintaining multiple Instagram accounts. You concluded he hadn’t cheated on you—he just broke his own stupid rule—but in my experience, SMELLTEST, “rules for thee, not for me” types are rarely very good at honoring monogamous commitments over the long term. I’m not saying he’s cheated on you already, but if not getting cheated on ever is important to you… he might not be the guy. As for his claim that swapping dick pics and compliments are things straight guys do… I haven’t had a chance to snoop through Harry Styles’ phone, SMELLTEST, so I can’t definitively say that no straight guy has ever sent another straight guy his dick pics. (Or spat on another straight guy at a film premiere.) And seeing as lots of straight men enjoy playing “gay chicken” these days (and posting the videos to TikTok), it stands to reason that some straight guys may be swapping dick pics and ironic messages about how badly they want each other’s cocks for the lols. But I don’t think that kind of behavior is common among straight guys, particularly straight guys in their 40s. My hunch is that your guy had and enjoyed a few MMF threesomes with this guy before you met, and it was in that context—with a woman in the room to heterosexualize any incidental homosexual contact—that he came to appreciate his friend’s cock. Seeing as you dug through his phone long enough to find all the dating apps he’s on, all the messages he’d been swapping with ex-girlfriends, and all those fake Instagram accounts, SMELLTEST, if he was bisexual you probably would’ve found messages he’d sent to other men and his Grindr, Scruff, and Sniffies accounts too. If this friend is the only guy your boyfriend has ever messed around with, SMELLTEST, if that one guy’s cock is the only cock he’s ever wanted to push past his tonsils, your boyfriend is free to round himself down to straight. I also don’t think having messed around with this one dude makes them “exes” in the romantic/dating sense of the term, and I think you should let your boyfriend put his picture back up. Finally, SMELLTEST, what the two of you are doing—this guy with his no-contact rules about exes and his lies, you with your snooping and demands to take down photos—sounds so exhausting. Is this a relationship or a police state? If he can manage to remain monogamous and gets a charge out of swapping dick pics with an old friend, what harm is there in that? Why not let him have that? And if the guy was hot… why not let both of them have you? P.S. I hope those videos you BF sent his friend of him having sex with other women were taken with the consent of those other women and that he had their permission to share those videos with his friend. Most of your readers starts with specifying their sexual orientation, age, and sex. Some of this information will be easily deducible from my story; the rest is probably not relevant. I have been in a stable relationship for four years, and I love my partner. Maybe it will sound a bit dry as a description, but he is caring. He loves me sincerely and he makes me feel loved. When we had sex for the first time, he took care of me and of my pleasure throughout the process. I was amazed. Four years later I still get the same sweetness, attention, and empathy. But there is maybe something he cannot understand, and neither can I. After having sex, I cry. Almost every single time, and desperately. I feel emptied, sad, dirty, and guilty. You would think I was raised in a Catholic family. Not at all. But I have always been very harsh with myself. I suffered from eating disorders for a long time, and all my life was driven by the need to control my body. “Just control! Stick to the routine! If you let yourself go something terrible will happen! The more you can control, the better you will feel!” Is this why I feel such pangs of regret after sex? Is it the letting go of myself in the most natural, free, uncontrolled, and pleasure-driven act? This letter is not a question anymore, because just by writing it, I feel as if I got the answer. And this is one of the reasons I love your column: It’s not just that you answer very well, but that you listen very well. There are probably other people like me out there, who found the answer they needed because they knew there was someone out there listening and caring. Complicated Reactions Intensify Erotic Dynamics You don’t need an answer, CRIED, but how about a suggestion? But first, who doesn’t enjoy a good cry? I don’t mean the kind of sobbing we do after a relationship collapses or a parent dies. I mean the good, cathartic cry a TV show, movie, or play can give us. There’s a poem by A.E. Housman (“The Laws of God, the Laws of Man”) that makes me teary whenever I think of it; I know it by heart and I’ve never been able to recite it without crying. I was weeping in front of the TV recently (It’s a Sin), and I don’t think it was a sign that there’s something wrong with me. Quite the opposite. That said, if I routinely burst into tears after sex, I would give my partners a heads up, so as not to blindside them, but I wouldn’t feel bad about it. I would also give some thought as to why powerful feelings came over me after sex, CRIED, just as you have. Now the suggestion… You say you weep because you feel empty after sex. You lost something precious to you—control—and given your history with eating disorders, losing control makes you feel particularly vulnerable. Now, there’s a point during sex when almost everyone feels like they’ve lost control; no one feels in control of their bodies when that “going over the falls” feeling hits as we reach (or are brought to) the point of “orgasmic inevitability.” But to address your unique sensitivity to feeling out of control, CRIED, I think you should look to BDSM subs for guidance. When a kinky sub has sex, they give up control—by choice, and only for an agreed upon period. As soon as either the sex or the scene is over, control reverts back to the sub. So, when you’re crying and your lovely partner is holding you—when you feel at your emptiest—instead of focusing on what you’ve just given up, focus on what you’re getting back. Go ahead and feel your feelings, go ahead and have that cry, but instead of seeing those tears leaving your body as somehow emptying you further, think of them as making space inside you—a speck of physical space and a whole lot of emotional space—for the control that’s reverting back to you now that the sex is over. You feel empty, but you’re filling back up. questions@savagelove.net Listen to Dan on the Savage Lovecast. Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. Columns, podcasts, books, merch and more at savage.love.