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Struggle Session: Cheating Death, Swapping Pics, Sound Advice and More!

On Thursdays I respond to comments, emails, DMs, and tweets from my readers and listeners. Struggle Session posts are exclusively for Magnum Subs. So, if you’re already a Magnum Sub, thank you and read on! If you’d like to become one of my subs — which gets you access to the Magnum Lovecast (more guests, more calls, no ads), the Maxi Savage Love column (more Qs, more As), special events like Savage Love Live, the Sex & Politics podcast, and Struggle Session — subscribe here!

Commenters had a lot to say about my advice for MOM, the woman with a chronically-ill-and-might-be-dying husband she hasn’t had sex with in decades. He takes care his own needs with porn — enjoying genres that MOM finds offensive — but what about her needs? Says SohpieTucker

MOM didn’t ask for rationalizations to justify taking care of her needs (which she should totally do), she asked for advice on how to broach...

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...="http://disq.us/p/2v6t7eh">SohpieTucker… MOM didn’t ask for rationalizations to justify taking care of her needs (which she should totally do), she asked for advice on how to broach a conversation about this with her partner — a conversation you, Dan, rightly say is mystifyingly absent from oh-so-many long-term sexless marriages. It may be “painful and pointless,” but some people can’t keep things like this from their partners. And I get how some help on how to get this talk started would be helpful to someone who doesn’t think secret cheating is something they could do. This ground has been covered in Savage Love before, and I believe the recommended wording went something like this: “It’s clear that our relationship is no longer about sex, but about love and caring. And I don’t want that to change. That said, we both have needs — I’ve seen evidence of yours, clear your damn browser history when you’re done — and you have my permission to do what you need to and know that I’m going to do the same.” I also think the closing line from MOM’s letter was well said and would be a great inclusion: “I don’t want to hurt you and I’m not going to leave you, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life living like a nun.” Says BiDanFan… Dan, unless you’ve edited this out of the letter, MOM doesn’t say her partner is dying. She says he is having a “prolonged health crisis.” She says that the rest of his life “might not be much longer,” but this could be hyperbole or snark? I think the approach should be different if he is dying, versus if he has a long-term condition that may prolong this situation for years. MOM’s marriage has been sexless for two decades, according to MOM; and despite Mr. MOM’s taste in porn (hardcore kink and barely legal), Mr. MOM is a traditional guy whose heart might break if his wife were to ask him about opening their marriage. I probably would’ve urged MOM to deliver the “we both have needs” speech to her husband — a speech I’ve urged other readers in sexless marriages to give to their spouses — if Mr. MOM weren’t chronically ill and/or nearing the end of his life. I just don’t think that speech lands the same way when the person on the receiving end isn’t free to go. I realize that cheating is not ideal — it’s never ideal — but I honestly think sparing Mr. MOM the speech is the right thing to do. Given a choice between a caretaker who was impatiently waiting for me to die (so she could finally go get laid) and one who was content for me to linger a little longer (because she was discreetly getting her sexual needs met elsewhere without my knowledge), I’d opt for the latter. (I know, I know: the use of “opt” here suggests a conscious choice, and therefore knowledge, but you know what I mean.) Says Andrew… MOM seems really afraid of having uncomfortable conversations. I understand Dan’s response, based on sparing someone from one of those uncomfortable conversations… but also, what have you (MOM) got to lose? You’re already wiping his ass. One of the worst things that can happen to a couple has already happened. If you rip the bandaid off and have the conversation, things can only get better. Things could definitely get worse. Remember: MOM misses sex and wants sex — but she doesn’t miss or want sex with her husband. So, I could see this conversation going from awkward to explosive in an instant. Recriminations about who’s to blame for the lack of sex in their marriage, Mrs. MOM shaming Mr. MOM about the porn he consumes, Mr. MOM accusing Mrs. MOM of already having cheated on him, etc., followed by suspicious accusations anytime Mrs. MOM has to leave the house for anything. A reader from IG gets it… I think she should take a new lover but keep it a secret from her dying husband. There is no point in upsetting him if he has as little time left to live as she thinks he does… Readers also had plenty to say about PIC, the man desperately trying to save his marriage after he sent a dick pic to a sextortionist who threatened to tell his wife if he didn’t send money and then told his wife anyway after he sent the money. Says Dashing… PIC is leaving something out. How did the “blackmailer” find out his real name much less his wife’s name and email? I haven’t been Active Duty in several decades and it was before the Internet was widely available to the public, but there was always Operational Security training. I have to guess it involves Internet activity these days. I’m guessing that the blackmailer slid into his DMs on Instagram, which is where lots of people flirt with strangers and sometimes meet people they wind up fucking. If PIC followed his wife on Instagram and posted photos of them together, it’s pretty easy to track her down from there. Says Zoftig… I think Dan was too quick to condemn PIC’s wife into a future of doomed relationships because she’s ok with porn but against her husband sending naked pictures and then cash to another woman. First, even in meat space there would be a big difference between flirting with someone in a bar, maybe dancing a bit, verses stepping into a private room to look at each other’s junk. Second, it’s now been decades since people started flirting via the internet and it’s very fair to question the intelligence of a man who seems surprised that a woman would solicit a dick pic and then scam him. I know that gay guys have a totally difference culture around dic pics. I also know that there are some number of women who genuinely want to receive dic pics of random guys they aren’t dating and that number is greater than zero. Okay, that’s a fair point — it’s most likely PIC’s stupidity that will doom his marriage, not his wife’s rigidity. I mean, I’m the one who’s always banging on about how we intuitively want to be with people who demonstrate good judgment, and PIC very clearly demonstrated the opposite here. His bad. That said, I don’t think someone who would threaten to leave their spouse over sending a dick pic to a stranger online is going to feel any better about their spouse dancing and flirting with a stranger in a bar — if anything, an extended interaction in a bar would be more threatening, wouldn’t it? The worst an online interaction is going to create — at least in the short run — is a digital trail (an actual meetup or blackmail comes later), whereas a face-to-face interaction in meat space could quickly lead to meatier interactions on the dance floor, in a dark corner, in the toilet, or in an alley. Memory Whole agrees with Zoftig… I don’t think PIC’s wife is upset that he flirted or that he has needs. I think she’s upset because she’s married to an idiot. Who sends a dick pic to an unknown entity? And now she’s having to pay for the blackmail payment, too. He sounds immature, selfish and naive, and is all about self-flogging instead of being a grown man. She might not want to scramble the DNA with this dumb dude. IMHO. Some very practical advice for PIC from Disqus_Lef… PIC should reach out to Military Legal Assistance options, not a lawyer so this is not legal advice. As he is an Active Member of the Military they are governed by additional laws specifically the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). While PIC is the victim of a Sextortion Scam he was extorted. Which the person who extorted the money (thing of value) committed a crime. Considering, PIC likely holds a security clearance and he is now susceptible to extortion as there is something that you don’t want to come to light which can be used by force or threat. Finally, there was Blues Clues, who was struggling to help their partner with depression. Abigail had this suggestion… I don’t know if anyone else has suggested this for Blues Clues, but they might look at a book by JoEllen Notte called The Monster Under the Bed: Sex, Depression, and the Conversations We Aren’t Having. JoEllen Notte has been a guest on the Savage Lovecast — I should’ve recommended her book! Sounding, AKA urethra play, was the subject of a recent call, and the comments about it keep rolling in… I’m not a urologist, but I am an anesthesiologist and see more stuff done to urethras than most doctors. I have never seen a urethral sound used medically. Perhaps it is only an office procedure. I have seen a lot of Foley catheters (to drain urine) and cystoscopes (metal rods with cameras at the end used to look at the bladder) inserted. Foleys are often inserted in awake patients using only lubrication. They are made of flexible pliable material somewhere between a condom and a dildo in stiffness.  I would not characterize their insertion as painless.  Maybe not painful, but not comfortable. Foley catheters ≠ sounds, and an aroused partner who wants to be sounded is not the same thing as a patient who’s laying on a table dreading the cath or a scope. Also, I apparently left out half of the sounding community… While I’m not surprised that Dan didn’t mention female sounding, I’m seconding that it can be very pleasurable. Sticking a urethral plug in there and fingering like usual feels amazing, BUT the other person has to remember to be gentle (I know guys especially sometimes get a bit vigorous when they’re excited.) Also, hollow* plug recommended. A listener had this to add for the recent caller dealing with a narcissist. I’m writing In response to the last caller from last week’s podcast. As she was signing off she mentioned she had a lot of experience with narcissists and a schizophrenic parent. As someone who has experience growing up in a chaotic household, and also harbors some narcissistic tendencies, that made my ears prick up. Chances are good that growing up that way that she is primed for codependency and partnering with narcissists. She should look into therapy for herself to address any possible codependency issues, as well as perhaps joining a support group for adult children. There doesn’t have to be alcohol or addiction in the home to be an adult child. Just chaos and unpredictability, and it sounds like she very well could have had that. Cheers, and I love the show The Lovecast is now on YouTube, and one viewer had some thoughts about Episode 873. I used to listen to this show a lot, before I woke up to reality & became conservative. I randomly thought I would see if this show was still on. Looks like it is, & it’s exactly the same. Listening to him “analyze” this Jonah Hill CRAP is idiotic. Completely overthought & he simply has NO room to criticize the situation. No room to criticize? The internet is infinite — there’s always room for more criticism on the Internet! (You know, like your criticism of me.) But, hey, thanks for being a long-time listener! A caller slept with her friend, helping him cheat on his long term girlfriend. The girlfriend banned him from seeing her, and now she’s feeling ostracized from her friend — and she’s pissed about it.  But does she have any right to be? My Facebook followers had a plethora of opinions. Jodi-lee thinks she’s being treated unfairly… Scapegoat. It’s certainly not flattering that she hooked up with someone in a relationship but she does not bear equal responsibility. He cheated. He broke his commitment. It doesn’t sound like it was premeditated or manipulative on her part. It doesn’t sound like she was an aggressor. So, he gets 80% of the blame but somehow she’s the villain, and she loses all of her friends. Yeah, that checks. Marcus agrees… Why are we all blaming this girl? It’s her friend’s responsibility to be loyal in his relationship, not hers. Yeah, she fucked up, but her friend fucked up more. He’s forgiven by everyone, and she’s being outcast. That’s fucked. Reminds me of this one time my friend kissed a girl, and he didn’t know she was in a relationship. This dude was more mad at my friend than his girlfriend when he randomly showed up later that night. The caller is being used as a scapegoat. But Susan thinks otherwise… I’d have more sympathy if she seemed to have SOME sense that her hands aren’t entirely clean in the matter. Says Jennifer… In your response you focused on how the friend group is valuing the guy and/or his relationship more. But I think they might just be recognizing that he needs more help right now. Her feelings are hurt, but he is homeless. His need is greater ATM. And Patti sums it all up… She literally fucked around and found out.

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