I met this guy through the personals, and we happily dated until I found out a couple of things:
1. He had a pregnant girlfriend.
2. He was cheating on me with someone else besides his pregnant girlfriend.
Now I just found out that I’m pregnant by him. After you stop laughing, tell me what to do. He says he wants to be in my child’s life, but I don’t really want him there. What do I do (legally) to get him to leave me alone, and what rights does he have as a father? I really don’t want him around my child. He hasn’t signed any legal documents yet.
Men are not required to sign “legal documents” prior to knocking someone up in order to be considered the “legal father,” at least not in the great state of New York. According to Frank Bogardus, an attorney with the New York Council on Children and Families, “If the man wants involvement with the child, he is legally entitled and can sue for visitation rights. If she doesn’t want this man to see the child, she’s going to have to prove in court that he is abusive or unfit.” Even if he were to walk away, if you need any sort of public assistance raising this kid in New York, “paternity must be established, and she is going to have to deal with the possible consequences of that,” said Mr. Bogardus. One of the consequences might be child-support payments coming your way. Another “would be visitation rights for the father established by the court.”
At this stage, proving he’s unfit would be difficult: as the baby hasn’t been born yet, he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to abuse the adorable little moppet, has he? And no, the fact that he knocked up two or more women at once does not render him “unfit” in the eyes of the law. You could deny he’s the father, or falsely accuse him of abuse after the baby is born, or run away with the kid–but these three roads lead to Hard Copy, Court TV, and Dateline NBC respectively, so you might want to think twice before you do anything devious. My advice? Learn to share, or have an abortion.
I’m a model. I want to meet you. What do you say?
Thanks for sending me a page ripped from a fashion magazine–am I to assume the model in the Versace ad is you? But if you included your phone number cuz you wanted a date, I’m afraid it wouldn’t work out. I know you’ve never seen me, but trust me on this: I don’t have the word “imbecile” tattooed on my forehead–and not because it wouldn’t fit. Anyone can mail me a Versace ad ripped from a magazine and claim he’s the model in the picture. If you wanna convince me that’s your fine self in that expensive suit, you should’ve sent some Polaroids of your fine self in your birthday suit along with the ad ripped from the magazine. It’s not too late, though: you could still send me a couple of Polaroids–and if you include a self-addressed stamped envelope, I’ll send them back to you immediately after my research assistant posts them on the Internet.
Finally–how can I put this? This may come as something of a blow, as rejection isn’t something Versace models–provided you are a Versace model–find themselves on the receiving end of very often, but you’re just not my type, Tim. Look on the bright side, though: you can always use this painful experience in your craft. The next time you have to create the illusion that there’s a thought trapped in your pretty head–desperately searching for a door–just remember this moment. Your brow will knit, the photographer will snap.
There’s an advice columnist out there for you somewhere, Tim; you’re just going to have to keep looking for him.
I used to have fairly hard-core S-M fantasies, which I was very uncomfortable with, since I consider myself a feminist. Then last year I went on Prozac, right around the time I began to accept my fantasies (mostly thanks to my therapist, not the drug). About a month later, they completely lost their power! And while I no longer have S-M fantasies, nothing has replaced them. I used to masturbate to orgasm almost every night of the week; if I had insomnia, I would masturbate until I came and then fall asleep; cramps, same thing. Now I am lucky if I have one orgasm a month. I know the female orgasm is a rather murky thing, but if you have any suggestions, I would be most grateful. I don’t know whether it’s the Prozac that caused my S-M fantasies to disappear, or if my “forbidden” fantasies lost their power when I accepted them. I tried fantasizing about things I really do think are gross, but they just seemed gross or boring, with no titillation. Any suggestions?
–Lost My Edge
Where have you been? It’s pretty much common knowledge these days that Prozac is a dessert topping and a floor wax–or an antidepressant and a chemical castration pill all in one. For the precise reason this is so, I called a great big mucky-muck in the psychiatry biz. While she was willing to chat with me, Miss Muck did not wish to be identified. “Prozac is an SSRI drug [Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor], which conserves the amount of serotonin available in the brain,” said Miss Muck. This, as it turns out, is bad fer the ol’ sex drive. “Serotonin affects all of the basic life functions, including feeding, sleeping, and sex. All SSRIs affect sex drive and sexual response–some men can’t get it up, and some women can’t get off.” When I shared your letter with Miss Muck, she said “it was a pretty good bet” that your problems (disappearing fantasies, no sex drive) are due to the Prozac you’ve been taking and not any breakthrough you may have had in therapy just before going on the Prozac. “She needs to consult with her practitioner and take a good look at her drug regimen. The best drug for her depression might not be the best drug for her sex drive.”
Having had many friends on Prozac, I know for a fact that it can have a deleterious impact on a person’s sex life. When I first met Kevin, my research assistant, I didn’t know he was taking Prozac in wee fistfuls. All I knew was that this temp was very industrious and focused and only seemed to think about sex when I asked him to do research for me. Shortly after I hired him full-time, however, Good Kevin disappeared and Bad Kevin surfaced–he’d gone off his Prozac in order to salvage his sex life. Now whenever I need him to look something up, he’s locked in the bathroom with a laptop full of files downloaded from the Internet. Unfortunately, under the ADA it’s illegal to fire someone for being a manic-depressive compulsive masturbator, so I’m stuck with Kevin, and I’m back to doing all my own research.
Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.