I am a 29-year-old gay male, and I have a problem. There’s a guy at my office who is absolutely gorgeous, but I don’t know if he’s gay. I don’t have very much contact with him because we are in different departments. He does gives off “gay” signals, though: He wears a pair of hoop earrings and dresses like an Abercrombie & Fitch model, and his hair is bleached. (I know that those things alone don’t mean he is gay, but we live in a very conservative area, so I’m hoping that tips the odds.) Other people have told me they are pretty sure he’s straight, but I haven’t heard of or seen any hard evidence (girlfriend, wedding ring, etc).

Is there a way for me to determine his orientation without tipping my hand? I’ve racked my brain for months about this, and so far the best idea I have is to send him an E-mail, posing as “an anonymous coworker” who wonders if he is interested.

–Can U, Mr. Savage, Help out This Sap?

The best way to find out if someone is gay is to ask him, and I wrote CUMSHOTS back personally and told him just that. CUMSHOTS responded, claiming he was too chicken to ask the bleached blond personally, and wanted to know if there was some top secret way to find out. So I did what any self-respecting sex columnist would do: Using CUMSHOTS’s E-mail address (he wrote me from work) and the info at the bottom of his E-mail, I managed to track down the phone number of his place of employment (an office in Rochester, Minnesota) and I called and asked the receptionist if there was an attractive guy with bleached blond hair and hoop earrings who worked in the building. I was quickly connected. The bleached blond with the hoop earrings wasn’t amused when I told him who I was and why I was calling–and he also told me he wasn’t gay. But what about the bleached blond hair? Hoop earrings? Willingly dressing like an A&F model? “There are straight people with style, you know,” he sighed, clearly annoyed with me and, I suspect, not just with me. You might want to delete your old E-mails, CUMSHOTS, before HR comes poking around.

I am a female who has known I am bisexual for all my adult life. When I enter into a relationship with either sex, this is the first thing I tell my partner. Most men cannot handle the idea of “sharing” me, so I leave. My current boyfriend and I have been together for about four months now, and I was so thrilled because he said from the get-go that he was fine with me having a romp with another woman, maybe even all three of us.

Well, now that I’ve met the woman of my dreams and a romp is imminent, my boyfriend is saying that it will be “cheating,” and that if I can play with someone else, so can he. Is two-women, no-body-fluids-exchanged, foreplay-style sex truly cheating? Even if I discussed it with him from day one?

–50/50 on the West Side

Yes, it’s cheating. You’re involved with a guy, you’re going to have sex with a girl–if your steady boyfriend feels that’s cheating, then it counts as cheating. Did you warn him in advance that there would be women? Yes, you did. But that doesn’t mean you’re not cheating. If I warn you in advance that I’m going to fuck you in the ass that doesn’t mean it’s not butt fucking when I get around to fucking you in the ass, does it?

Finally, “no-body-fluids-exchanged, foreplay-style sex” is still sex–and it’s rather self-serving of you to suggest that it isn’t. I pity the poor straight man who suggests to a room full of lesbians or bisexual women that girl-on-girl sex isn’t really sex because it’s only so much foreplay and there are no fluids exchanged. It is sex, it counts, and if you’re doing it with someone other than your boyfriend, it’s cheating. If you don’t want your boyfriend sleeping with other people, then you shouldn’t sleep with other people.

After asking everyone from my mother to the pharmacist for advice, I’m turning to you now in confusion and despair. Here’s the lowdown: I’m 24, I’ve graduated from a prestigious college, and I’ve started a promising career. I’m thin and pretty cute, if I do say so myself. I met a wonderful immigrant last year and after teaching him a few English words, I’ve been having a mad love affair with him ever since. He’s the best sex I’ve ever had and, come to think of it, the best boyfriend I’ve ever had minus a few important details. He’s having a hard time adjusting to the American lifestyle.

Americans work and play hard. He’s used to working when he feels like it and never went to college (but after meeting me he is now determined to get a degree in order to be my equal). I must also mention he had his driver’s license taken away, he’s failed English class, and now he’s failing his current class. He never takes me out for dinner because he never has any money, etc. You get the idea.

I know life’s not about money, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to think of my future with him since he’s struggling so hard with the American reality. I should mention many overseas people think of America as a gold mine with hot chicks, fast cars, and party, party, party. Well, he’s realizing it’s not that way at all. He’s on his second year in the USA, and quite frankly he hates our lifestyle. He’s miserable here and he’s bringing me down–but I love him! And I am certain he’s madly in love with me, too. Still, my mother wants me to break up with him, and so do all of my friends. I should also mention he has his green card, so it’s not what you may think. Whatever shall I do?

–There Must Be a Way

Dump the lazy piece of shit.

Your mom and pharmacist and friends are giving you good advice: he’s a scumbag and you’re a fool for dating him. You don’t have a future with him–not unless you consider supporting an excuse-making bullshit artist for the rest of your life a “future.” If he came to this country because he didn’t want to work, well, he immigrated to the wrong goddamned country. According to a recent United Nations report, Americans work harder and longer hours than the citizens of any other industrialized nation. If he doesn’t want to work–if he doesn’t care for the American reality–then, shit, I hate to sound like Pat Buchanan, but why the fuck doesn’t he take his lazy ass back to wherever it is he came from?

Look, TMBAW, there’s plenty wrong with the American reality (too many guns, too little health care, Ari Fleischer), but plenty of people who immigrate to the United States manage to make enough money to take their girlfriends out to dinner once in a while, whether or not they speak English. In other words, there’s something wrong with him, not with the American reality. This guy is a user and a bullshit artist (the guy who can’t swing an English class is going to get a college degree?), and while the sex may be good, there’s no future in this fling. Dump him.