Hey, Faggot:

Any advice on dealing with feelings of jealousy? I’m a 33-year-old female in love with a 35-year-old male. Neither of us has been married, but my boyfriend had several major relationships and a large number of casual partners. I’ve had two major relationships, and it feels weird to be involved with someone with so much more sexual history and experience than I have had.

I am wild with jealousy over his ex-girlfriends. He insists I have nothing to worry about, that they are “toast” as far as he is concerned. One major girlfriend moved nearby, and he has the option of sleeping with her should they be in the same city, as was the case with another girlfriend who also lives in a nearby state. They know about me and my insistence on monogamy, but I remain uncomfortable with the situation.

In addition, I am consumed with jealousy over his other exes, including his high school girlfriend and a woman he lived with in the early eighties. I torture myself with the idea that he has idealized them, wishes he could be with them instead of me, and that I can never measure up to them as a partner. I also worry that he will leave me for someone else. He did this with a past girlfriend, but he says he learned from that experience and would not be so quick to do it again.

I am frantic over this. At my age, anyone I get involved with is going to have ex-girlfriends and maybe ex-wives, so it’s completely unrealistic to expect to be this man’s only great love.

I believe there is some real potential for a terrific relationship with this man. He is intelligent, respectful, honest, and affectionate. He says he loves me, and I believe it, but I also know he is disturbed by my jealousy. I am not saying I want to marry him, but I would like a nice, long-term, committed partnership, maybe live together, etc. We have been together eight months now, and I don’t want to wreck it. I have a therapist.

–Green-Eyed Monster

Hey, GEM:

I had a boyfriend like you once. Did you get that? I had a boyfriend like you once. Had, past tense: he is no longer my boyfriend. Once, one time: never again will I have a boyfriend like you. Your “wild” and “frantic” jealousy will drive your lover away, as my ex-boyfriend’s jealous fits drove me away. And once he’s gone you’ll have only yourself to blame.

Irrational jealousy, and that’s the brand you’re servin’ up, is abuse. Your boyfriend has had lovers in the past, as you have, and you need to get the fuck over it–what are you paying that shrink for? Demand results. If you spend all your time worrying about whether or not this relationship will come to shit, it will come to shit. Which is not to say that trusting him–not worrying–guarantees the relationship won’t come to shit, it might. But it definitely will if you don’t get your irrational jealousy under control.

You gotta trust him. If he’s not trustworthy, find a guy (perhaps a 15-year-old virgin?) who is. Relationships are risky propositions, and a broken heart is the risk we all run when we let someone else in. If you can’t live with that risk, live single.

Hey, Faggot:

For years my penis has been somewhat darker than the rest of my body, due to frequent masturbation. There’s a band around the middle and underside of the shaft, composed of a darker outer skin layer where I grip the instrument with a sometimes soiled right hand. I suppose anything rubbed with such abandon is going to look a little worn after a while. But I’m concerned by how it looks. A former girlfriend, noticing the discoloration, asked if I didn’t wash my penis–embarrassing.

What can I do to get rid of this cosmetic anomaly built up over so many years? Is there a safe cleansing agent I can use (like the kinds mechanics use on their hands)? A pigment dye? Know any dermatologists? Help! –LG

Hey, LG:

Are you circumcised? If so, that dark band around your cock isn’t the result of numerous wanks with a dirty right hand–it’s your circumcision scar, doofus. Some circ scars are light discolorations, some are dark. Depends, for the most part, on how you and your people scar. I’m afraid there’s no getting rid of it, short of a trip to Michael Jackson’s cosmetic surgeon for a pigment-lightening chemical skin peel. A chemical skin peel might lighten up your scar, but I very much doubt you’d survive the process.

Hey, Faggot:

Since arriving in your country over a year ago, I have experienced an ongoing problem. As soon as I arrived, I was immediately struck by the unusual number of very attractive people. The two-thirds of your population who were not grossly obese seemed to be blessed with an exquisite physique, and while a baseball cap and university sweatshirt is not a universal fashion statement, were also reasonably well turned out.

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that looks are not everything (a lesson often relearned many times). My heart sank further and further as person after person turned out to be either incredibly superficial, selfish, plain stupid, or more commonly a mixture of all three. The ability of people to deceive themselves seems to have developed to an extraordinary level here. I am sure the letters you read expose you to these phenomenon in doses which I could not even begin to imagine. I feel confident that you will be able to advise me. Forced by circumstances beyond my control to stay here for at least another eight months, I desperately need to find some companionship. Please help me!

–Sick of Your Twisted Country


O, j’ai attendu pour quel temps d’avoir un ami en qui je pourrais confier mon secret. Moi aussi, je suis francais! Comme je deteste ce pays et les laids, gros, parressuex imbeciles qui habitent ici et qui ne couchent pas avec moi. Et ces garcons americains! Toujours en prennent leurs bains! Si stupide. Je sais exactement ce qui te passe, car quand je suis arrive aux Etats Unis, ceux qui n’etaient pas obese m’ont impressiones. Alors j’ai flirte avec eux: “Hello, I am better than you, but I will condescend to stick my dick in you for a moment. Please return with me to apartment now.” Mais helas! Ces americains betes avec leurs chapeaux de baseball! O, mon ami, visite moi et nous pourrons tuer deux de ces oiseaux proverbiaux avec un petit caillou: je peux enfoncer mon petit “Chirac” dans toi, et ni toi ni moi serrons plus jamais seuls!

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.