I was recently seeing an alpha-male type–Ivy League grad, big executive, loud laugh, etc. He found me on a Web site, one thing led to another, and he wound up showing me pictures of him in his ex-girlfriend’s panties.

When we went out for the first of many coffee dates it ended with me putting my hand down the back of his pants and feeling a silky thong. We made plans to meet for some actual dress up, but Girly Boy stood me up–and more than once. I was annoyed, but I put up with it because his apologetic e-mails were so abject–not to mention filled with more dirty pictures. Eventually we planned a Sunday afternoon of him cleaning my house, me putting makeup on him, and a grand finale of him eating me out on the couch. Then he stood me up again.

I come to my point now: I gave him my favorite black thong and push-up bra at our last coffee date. He then supplied me with a hot selection of pics that got me very excited for Sunday fun. But Sunday fun never happened–he didn’t even call!–and all I want now is my bra and panties back. I told him to mail them to me and he hasn’t. This is my favorite set of underwear! I know he’s parading around in it and thinking, “I won!” Typical alpha male. How do I get my things back? –Lost My Favorite Panties

By threatening to create a YouTube slide show using the pics Alpha Male already sent you, LMFP, or by threatening to e-mail the pics to everybody@hisplaceofemployment.com. Not that you should do these things, LMFP, but his willingness to mess with your head–all those twat-teasing e-mails, all those flirty coffee meetings, all those dates for play that he broke–gives you carte blanche to mess with his head.

Finally, LMFP, alpha males in lacy panties don’t do anything for me personally–seriously!–but your letter aroused my professional curiosity. Panty thieves tend to be dweeby in the extreme, the kind of men who can only collect women’s panties by stealing them. I’d like to lay eyes on the pics of a panty collector alluring enough to seduce multiple women–yes, I guarantee you’re not the first–into parting with their favorite panties and bras. I promise not to post them on YouTube.

I’m a bisexual woman married to a wonderful man. However, his father is a homophobic asshole. For seven years I’ve bitten my tongue. Recently I decided to speak up. In an e-mail, I asked my father-in-law to be just a bit more sensitive as I am bisexual. The point was completely lost on him. He asked my husband whether he knew that I was “gay before we got married” and denied that bisexuality even exists. My father-in-law also feels that I was trying to “censor” him. This is having a really negative effect on me, bringing up the shame I felt when I first came to terms with my sexuality. I know that I need to distance myself from such a negative person: he’s an asshole. My husband is supportive of my feelings. But how do I protect myself and still be a part of this family? I was a self-confident, GGG, kinky nympho, and now I’m feeling really insecure and I cry each time I try to have sex. How do I get over these feelings? –I Hate My Father-in-Law

One asshole relative managed to unravel your self-confidence, destroy your sex life, and turn you into a weepy bag of slop? Toughen the fuck up, IHMFIL. There’s an antigay pogrom under way in Poland, homos are being executed in Iran, and gay men and women are being lynched in Jamaica. You’ve got one asshole relative and you’re melting into a puddle? Please.

Focus on your wonderfully supportive husband and your nonasshole relatives, remind yourself that it could be worse, and give your father-in-law a chance to come around. Most asshole relatives do.

And in the meantime, here’s how you get over these feelings: make up your mind to stop being ridiculous. Your father-in-law is an asshole, without a doubt, and after putting up with his shit for seven years, you had an absolute right to say, “I’m bisexual, asshole, and I don’t appreciate your bigoted statements about queers. Knock it off, you dumb fuck.” But if your self-esteem is so fragile that anything less than an instantaneous 180 on your father-in-law’s part was going to utterly destroy you, IHMFIL, then you should have kept your mouth shut.

Hurting people is always wrong, Dan. Your advice to LAFFS seems to show that you agree: you told 17-year-old LAFFS not to fuck his father’s new wife because of the problems it would create should his father find out. But then you advised SLINORLA, a married man, to do what he knows would upset his wife–masturbating while his lesbian avatar has sex with female avatars in Second Life–which would potentially create problems in his marriage should his wife find out. Explain. –Where’s the Consistency?

Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, WTC–and lesser advice columnists. But I shall attempt to justify my seemingly contradictory advice.

The odds of LAFFS’s father discovering his new wife’s infidelity and his son’s perfidy are much higher and the consequences are infinitely graver. Once LAFF and his stepmom start fucking each other, dad is likely to pick up on none-too-subtle changes in the way the stepmother and stepson behave around each other. The emotional dynamics of their relationship will be so altered–how calm, cool, and collected would you have been at 17 if you were fucking your father’s wife?–that he would have to be dead not to realize.

SLINORLA, on the other hand, isn’t having real-life interactions with Second Life avatars in front of his wife on a daily basis. His “betrayal” is confined to the computer–it’s masturbatory, much closer to porn consumption than adultery. Men who have promised–usually under duress–to stop looking at porn get caught looking at porn every day. And what happens? A new promise is extracted, all is eventually forgiven, and things return to normal, i.e., the husband goes back to looking at porn but is more careful about concealing it; the wife goes back to pretending that her husband doesn’t look at porn but appreciates his renewed efforts not to get caught. SLINORLA will be in trouble if he gets caught, not in divorce court.

The same can’t be said of LAFFS. If he starts fucking his stepmother and his father finds out, it will not only be the end of his father’s second marriage but could also result in a lifelong estrangement from his father. For LAFFS, WTC, the wrong is more wrong, the chance of discovery is greater, and the consequences more devastating. So the advice is different.

For more back-and-forth with readers about my advice for SLINORLA–a man who is, one reader points out, doubtless having “lesbian sex” in Second Life with other middle-aged married men pretending to be lesbians–go to thestranger.com/savage/secondlife.

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