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The weekly sex advice column that started it all

Crushing Loads

Joe Newton

I’m a 71-year-old gay man married to a much younger man. That’s all fine, not relevant so much as just info. 15 years ago, I briefly took Prozac. While it dulled my sex drive, the orgasms I did manage to have while taking Prozac were off the charts. I even talked to my doctor about it at the time and he just sort of shrugged and said enjoy it. Okay, fine. But a little more than 15 years later—off Prozac for most of that time (I didn’t stay on it long)—my orgasms are still off the charts. My husband’s last a kind of normal-ish five-to-eight seconds but mine continue for a good 30 seconds and leave me unable to function after. Possibly related, from time to time I get a short but slamming headache. I also very rarely experience unpleasant orgasm-related disorientation, like a...

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...ence unpleasant orgasm-related disorientation, like a sense of “déjà vu” that lasts for hours. I have been to a neurologist about this but was offered no explanation. I worry these orgasms might be permanently debilitating to me. Do you think I could be harming myself with these massive mind-blowing events? I am having sex about twice a week and they are always like that. Massive Orgasms And Neurological Symptoms Some people get intense headaches immediately before or after climaxing, and while “sex headaches,” as their doctors call them, can be extremely annoying, they’re not life-threatening. If you’re using Viagra or poppers (which should never be used together), that could be causing or worsening your sex headaches. As for your other symptoms, a recent study written up in The Times of London could offer some guidance. The study, published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, focused on post orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS), a rare sexual dysfunction that afflicts a tiny percentage of men. Basically, men can become allergic to their own sperm cells, and their own immune systems mount a response to those “left behind” sperm cells that exit the balls but not the body. “Many health providers do not know about it, let alone the public,” the study’s lead author, Andrew Shanholtzer, a medical student at Oakland University, told The Times of London. “It is more than likely that it is underdiagnosed, with many sufferers out there.” Seeing as symptoms include feelings of fatigue, disorientation, and headaches, along with an assortment of flu-like symptoms, MOANS, it’s possible that you’re one of those undiagnosed sufferers. The study details how Shanholtzer treated a younger POIS sufferer whose symptoms sounded a lot worse (and a lot less fun) than yours: a cough, swollen lymph nodes, hives. The use of an antihistamine reduced the severity of this man’s symptoms by more than 90%. The study will be published in the November 2022 issue of Urology Case Reports (“Post orgasmic illness syndrome successfully treated with antihistamine: A case report,” Shanholtzer, et al), if you want to print it out, show it to your doctor, and give the recommended antihistamine—fexofenadine—a try. Or, hey, maybe it was the Prozac you briefly took 15 years ago and an antihistamine won’t help. All that said, MOANS, we all gotta go sometime… and I can think of much worse ways than being taken out by a massive orgasm in my eighth decade of life. I’m a 41-year-old dude who has been monogamously married for 22 years. I know you’re doing the math and, no, it wasn’t a shotgun wedding. We were high school lovelies who went to college, got our degrees, got married, and established our careers before having two kids. Both our kids, who are still young, have been diagnosed autistic. Needless to say, our lives have become more challenging. About two years ago, my partner fell in love with another woman (X) and asked if we could try polyamory. She asserts that her love for X does not diminish her feelings for me, and that, in part, X represents an escape from life’s challenges. I believe her, but that hasn’t made it easier for me. I’ve tried to be as supportive as possible, which has included developing a meaningful, loving, and sexually active relationship with X myself. However, the process of settling into polyamory has created more distance between us (me and my wife) than I would like. Further complicating matters, I’ve developed a strong connection with another woman (Y), and even though Y has strongly suggested the feelings are mutual, she’s in a long-term relationship that appears happy and monogamous. I want to tell Y I love her, but I haven’t out of respect for Y, her partner, and their young kids. I am also nervous about losing Y as a friend. Can telling someone you love them ever go wrong? Paralyzed Over Love’s Yearning You’ve got a wife, you and your wife currently share a girlfriend (X), and your one complaint about polyamory is that you feel less connected to your wife. Adding another spinning plate to this act—pursuing a married woman with kids of her own—is unlikely to result in you feeling connected to your wife. But maybe feeling closer to your wife isn’t the point. Maybe the point is having someone of your own, someone who serves as an escape for you in the same way X has served as an escape for your wife, someone you chose, someone who wasn’t imposed on you. And maybe Y is that someone… or maybe not. (I haven’t seen the video—I haven’t seen evidence of whatever Y has said or done that’s led you to believe she might be 1. in an open relationship and 2. interested in you romantically.) Turning to your question… Can telling someone you love them ever go wrong? Let me count the ways… You tell Y you love her… and the feelings are mutual, as suggested by her behavior (it wasn’t just dickful thinking on your part), but she loves her spouse, their marriage is closed, and now—with everything out in the open—she feels like she has to keep her distance from you to avoid the temptation you represent. Your friendship ends. You tell Y you love her… and the feelings aren’t mutual. Dickful thinking led you to misinterpret friendly gestures or simple workplace courtesies as “strong suggestions” Y was attracted to you. (We men must always be on our guard against dickful thinking.) Now Y worries that even small talk will be misinterpreted as “interest” and starts avoiding you. Your friendship, such as it was, ends. You tell Y you love her… and the feelings are mutual (it’s not always dickful thinking), and her marriage is open and she’s free to pursue relationships with other people and despite having small children at home she has the bandwidth to date you… and this new relationship, like most new relationships, quickly runs its course and you wind up, well, not quite alone—you’ve still got your wife and your girlfriend—but left feeling worse about your situation (and polyamory) than you did before. Maybe I’m just feeling risk averse today, but it seems to me that there’s a lot that could go wrong here. If I were in your shoes, and if I had the parenting responsibilities you do, I would focus on the two plates I’m already spinning and not add a third. I’m an imposter Domme. I’m a switch, but my long-distance girlfriend had always been more submissive than me. When she convinced me to make a slave contract with her, it caused me stress in knowing that I was getting put into a position of being dominant all the time when I only feel “dominant” once in a while. It was nice for a while, but our relationship as girlfriends dissolved over the distance and since then I’ve begun to feel exhausted by our D/s roles. I have a busy life with not much time for kink, and I’m not a real dominant, I just play along when the mood strikes. She still loves being my “24/7 sub” but I just feel trapped, and I haven’t said anything because I fear ruining our friendship. It’s a replay of the same problem we faced when neither of us could tell the other we wanted to break up. I’m not sure what to do.  Someone That Really Enjoys Submissive Service Dom/sub relationships are real—they’re real relationships—but the Dom/sub part isn’t real. It’s play, it’s cops and robbers for grownups with your pants off, it’s LARP-fucking. And when playtime stops being fun for all involved, STRESS, someone has to call it off. And it looks like that someone will have to be you. Remember: You both wanted out of your romantic relationship—you both wanted to end your girlfriendship—but one of you had to say something first. Only then did you realize you were on the exact same page: you both wanted out. So, for all you know, STRESS, your ex-girlfriend doesn’t want to keep subbing for you any more than you want to keep dominating her and hasn’t said anything for fear of hurting your feelings. Seems to me that if your friendship was strong enough to survive the breakup of your actual romantic relationship, STRESS, your friendship should be strong enough to survive the tearing up of your just-for-pretend slave contract. And if she doesn’t want to be your friend anymore—if engaging in sex play you don’t enjoy anymore really is the price of admission—it wasn’t a friendship worth keeping. questions@savagelove.net Listen to Dan on the Savage Lovecast. Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. Columns, books, merch, and more at Savage.Love.