We’re kicking off Giving Tuesday early this year! Your donation today will be matched up to $10K, doubling your impact! If you donate $50 today, the Reader will receive $100.
The Reader is now a community-funded nonprofit newsroom. Can we count on your support to help keep us publishing?
Q: I’ve been dating this guy for almost two months. It’s been pretty good, except the sex isn’t really the best. I have this other male friend who has had a crush on me. Long story short: My friend made a move on me the other night. I told him I couldn’t, and he knew why, but to be honest, I was insanely turned on by his forwardness. He apologized, but a week later we hung out, and I told him that it really intrigued me, and we ended up having crazy cool sex—satisfying in all the ways the guy I’m dating isn’t. I haven’t told the guy I’m seeing about this, and I don’t plan to. But I feel guilty. I keep rationalizing that we have never had a talk about exclusivity, and I therefore have no obligation to him. I want to keep fucking my friend, but I also enjoy dating this other guy. Am I an asshole? Am I obligated to disclose that I’m not interested in monogamy with him? —Too Many Intrigues
A: Are you an asshole? That can’t be ruled out, TMI, but I can’t make a determination with the limited data you’ve provided. One asshole move—and cheating on Mr. Two Months was definitely an asshole move—does not an asshole make. We know this because while everyone is guilty of the occasional asshole move, not everyone is an asshole. Assholes are made when asshole moves come one right after the other, and an ever-thickening layer of asshole moves hardens into total assholery.
Anyway, while you might not have had a conversation with the guy you’re currently dating/cheating on about exclusivity, you wouldn’t feel guilty about what/who you did if you didn’t think Mr. Two Months was operating under the assumption that you two were exclusive. So the cheating was an asshole move and your rationalization, as you seem to be aware, is a pile of self-serving bullshit that’s equal parts transparent and unnecessary. Because as much as you like hanging out with Mr. Two Months, the sex hasn’t been good for you and you haven’t been good to him. Don’t negotiate a nonmonogamous agreement. End it.
Q: I am a 23-year-old straight male who has a pattern of getting into long-distance relationships that become semi-long-term relationships before I get depressed by the monotony of it all and wind up breaking up with the person. I resolved that in the relationship I’m currently in—nine months and counting—I would keep it casual, which resulted in it turning into an open mono/poly relationship, meaning I’m poly and she’s monogamous. She is great, cute, and intelligent, and there is nothing destructive or dishonest about our relationship. I just find myself not wanting to talk to her every day, and the weekly Skype calls feel like a chore. We have a great time when we visit each other, but I only feel like catching up when I see her in person. Is this the price I have to pay to keep her happy? —Not an Asshole
A: I’ve read that young people don’t make phone calls anymore—talking on the phone is for olds (full disclosure: We olds hardly speak to each other on the phone anymore, either)—so I’m surprised your young-and-mono GF wants to hear your young-and-poly voice on a daily basis. I think you should propose a young-and-fun compromise: texting instead of phoning during the week and a Skype/masturbation session on the weekend.
Q: I’m a straight 28-year-old female, in a relationship with my boyfriend for two years. We live together, and on the weekends we care for his kid. We are very much in love and have a supportive, happy relationship. I’ve always had a hard time being monogamous. In every relationship, I tend to get a wandering eye around the two-year mark. Recently I went by myself to see a friend’s band and ended up meeting a man I had an insane chemistry with. We spent the whole evening together and wound up making out before I literally ran away. The next day, stone-cold sober, I called him, drove to his house, and we fucked like crazy. It was animalistic and intense, and I felt like a fucking porn star. It was awesome. My boyfriend and I have sex that I truly enjoy, and I usually get off, but he struggles to be dominant, rough, or talk dirty, which are things I really get off on. He says he’s too self-conscious to be dominant in bed. This stranger did all the things I wish my boyfriend would do. To test the waters, I casually mentioned an arrangement where we could sleep with other people, and he said he wasn’t into it. If I’m happy in my relationship, and the sex we have is consistently good, sometimes amazing, is that enough? Am I giving up on an aspect of my sexuality if I stay with him, or am I just looking for excuses to fuck other people? —Likes It All Rough
A: A loving and supportive partner, a happy relationship, and good sex that occasionally tips into the amazing column—yeah, most people would tell you that’s not only enough, LIAR, it’s a better relationship than the one they’re currently in, recently left, or ever hope to find. But the fact that most people would like to trade places with you isn’t relevant, LIAR, because what you have with your boyfriend isn’t enough for you. You want love, happiness, stability, and the freedom to fuck other guys—and you would want that freedom even if your boyfriend was capable of dominating you in the sack just the way you like.
Seeing as you know this about yourself—seeing as you know that monogamy isn’t for you (see: the wandering eye at 24 months, the fucking that other guy at his place)—making a monogamous commitment you know you can’t keep is an asshole move. So here’s what you’re gonna do: Tell your lovely, loving boyfriend that nonmonogamy is a nonnegotiable. You are willing, of course, to negotiate with him about the form your open relationship might take, but you must make it clear to him that a closed relationship is a recipe for disaster—because sooner or later, you will cheat on him.
If he fights on that point, LIAR, if he tells you that he’s sure you’re capable of being monogamous, then you can tell him that by “sooner or later” you meant “last week, with this dude I met in a bar.”
Q: I think your answer to BFF last week missed an essential piece of information. She refers to herself as engaging in “drunken” threesomes and hookups. I think she needs to examine her own behavior, not that of her roommate and FWB, and the fact that her relationships seem to be fueled by the effects of her alcohol consumption. I’m guessing her letter was fuzzy for a reason. It was probably written in a drunken haze. Nothing you say will get through to her unless you address her use of alcohol. —Alcohol Not the Solution
A: Full disclosure: I was drinking when I wrote my response to BFF. So just as it’s possible that alcohol played a role in the drama BFF described, it’s possible I neglected to point that fact out because I was a little drunky myself. v
Download the Savage Lovecast every Tuesday at thestranger.com.