I’m a newly remarried 50-year-old man. My wife and I have settled into a comfortable vanilla-sex routine. I enjoy it. My problem is that I also enjoy kinky sex. When I was single I used to see pro-doms pretty regularly. I’ve tried to introduce BDSM to my wife gently but without much success. She’s obviously not interested in something that happens to interest me very much. I think I have three alternatives. One, feed my fetish in solitary ways (we’re both comfortable with each other masturbating). Two, see professionals on a limited basis, keeping it from her (I’m not comfortable with this). Three, find some way to help her enjoy BDSM, even if she’s not fully into it.

The problem with option three is that your partner actually being into BDSM makes all the difference. Right now I don’t see her getting there. I wonder if a shared visit to a dominatrix might help–kind of like a couple seeing a therapist together to help learn how to do something that makes a relationship work better. Leaving is not an option as I like her too much, and at 50 don’t have another “starting over” in me. Any suggestions?

–Vanilla Is Nice but I Want More Flavors

It’s a sad fact that men are more likely to be kinky than women. One unhappy consequence of this disparity is that most kinky men wind up with women who aren’t kinky. (Happy consequence: Kinky women can have their pick of the kinky men.) A lot of women married to kinky men operate under the misconception that a fetish is something a person can walk away from, like a job, or flip a switch and turn off, like a lamp. I get letters every day from women who married men into cross-dressing, or BDSM, or water sports, or Maria Shriver–sometimes all four. After these women rebuff their kinky husbands, their husbands promise never to act on their kinky desires again. Then one day the wife comes home and–keeeeyrist!–her husband is tied up in the bathtub wearing one of her dresses while a pissing Maria Shriver look-alike squats over him.

What these women fail to understand (and what their kinky husbands fail to tell them) is that a lifelong kink (not to be confused with some sexually adventurous experimentation) is just as hardwired into a person’s sexuality as his sexual orientation. Asking a kinky person not to be kinky is like asking a gay person not to be gay; he can do it for a while, maybe, but he’ll be miserable and sooner or later he’s going to start messing around with other Maria Shriver look-alikes again.

So, VINBIWMF, here’s what you need to tell the wife: You enjoy the sex you’re having, but your hard-on for BDSM can’t be wished away. You would never ask her to go without vanilla sex for the rest of her life, so is it fair for her to ask you to go without BDSM for the rest of your life? While you would prefer to do BDSM with her, some other outlet has to be made available to you if she absolutely isn’t interested. Agreeing to “feed [your] fetish in solitary ways” will not work; sooner or later you’ll cheat on her, something you say you don’t want to have to do but tellingly don’t rule out.

Seeing a professional dominatrix together is a terrific idea, and my pro-dom pals tell me it’s not unusual for a husband and wife to come in for a session together. Watching a pro-dom at work probably won’t inspire your wife to get any kinkier at home, but my pro-dom pals tell me it has happened. At the very least seeing what actually goes on in most pro-doms’ studios–some bondage, some spanking, absolutely no sex–may make your wife more comfortable with the idea of her husband going to see a pro-dom on his own every once in a great while.

I’m a gay man who was dating a great guy. We’d already gotten to the “I love you” stage, but we took a two month “hiatus.” While we weren’t together, I started going into chat rooms, sending and getting pictures, and chatting sexually with guys. When my boyfriend and I got back together, I stopped the chatting–until recently. I went into chat rooms a couple times when the boyfriend couldn’t come over. Unfortunately one of the guys I chatted with knew my boyfriend, recognized me, and told my boyfriend. Now my boyfriend says we’re through. I still love him, and I tried to explain that it was just a jerk-off fantasy, and that I didn’t think online chatting was cheating. Is there any chance I can redeem myself?

–Messed Up

Probably not, but I’m running your letter on the off chance that your ex will see it and forgive you. That said, if I were your ex I wouldn’t fall for that it-was-only-a-fantasy crap. Guys who go into chat rooms strictly to fantasize usually tell the most appalling lies. They’re all 22 years old, six-foot-two, 185 pounds, and college rowers into “hot cyber action.” (How we know they’re fibbing: the number of guys in gay chat rooms claiming to be college-age gay rowers exceeds by a factor of ten the number of college rowers, gay and straight, on planet earth; hot 22-year-olds can get blow jobs in person and rarely settle for virtual blow jobs at their computers.) Only people planning on meeting the people they’re chatting with tell the truth. So, MU, if it was just a fantasy, why weren’t you lying? That you included enough about what you actually look like that your boyfriend’s friends could recognize you is a pretty good sign that you intended to meet the people you were chatting with. Which is itself a pretty good sign that something was about to go down. Namely, you.

I am a 24-year-old male. I have been dating this girl for about a year and have plans to get married. Two months ago we were watching a porn movie and in one scene a girl was getting fucked by two guys. My girlfriend looked at me and said she wanted to be fucked by two guys. So we went out and picked up a guy, which was surprisingly easy. While we were fucking, the guy started getting amorous with me. Eventually he was sucking on my dick and licking my ass. The problem is that I liked it, and now I’m more into having threesomes with this guy than my girlfriend. My girlfriend thinks what he does is hot and she gets off watching us. I really like her, but I also like to have him in bed with us. What should I do?

–Swinging in Rim Land

I’ve read your letter over three times, SRL, and can’t for the life of me figure out what the problem is. You’re having fun (and orgasms), he’s having fun (and orgasms), your girlfriend’s having fun (and orgasms). What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing. In answer to your question–“What should I do?”–I would encourage you to reciprocate if you haven’t yet (I’ll bet he likes having his dick sucked too). And hey, when and if you do decide to marry your girlfriend, you won’t have to look much farther than the end of your dick to find your best man.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611 or to letters@savagelove.net.