Please stop using the word "retarded" as an insult, Dan. I know it can be hard to break a verbal habit, but please make an effort. Perhaps you should have a "retard jar" on your desk that you put a dollar in every time you use the word. When the jar is full, send the money to the Special Olympics.
Whatever you do, though, try to remember that you have lots of listeners and readers who have loved ones with mental disabilities, and we don't want to hear you misuse the word "retarded." Please don't tell me to read or listen to other people if I don't like what I hear. I want to read your column and listen to your podcast, but without the put-downs directed at people with mental disabilities.
The Real Other Sister
I'm going to turn over a new leaf, TROS, and make a conscious, conscientious effort to break myself of the bad habit of using the word "retard." But I don't think the "retard jar" is for me. Instead, I'm going to use a substitution for the word. From now on, instead of saying "retard" or "that's so retarded," I'm going to say "leotard" and "that's so leotarded." I won't be mocking the mentally challenged, just the physically gifted. I will pick on the strong -- and the limber -- and not the weak.
I've lived with my boyfriend for a little less than a year, and we have awesome, frequent sex and a loving relationship. I'm not naive, and I don't expect my boyfriend not to look at porn. However, I took the opportunity to make it as clear as possible that porn makes me uncomfortable (I have a weird, visceral distaste), and it makes me feel insecure (am I not enough for him?). All I ask is that he clear his browser history if we're going to continue sharing computers and that he keep his porno-viewing habits private.
We had a huge fight about this. He was raised in an oppressive, religious household and feels my attitude is oppressively prudish. But I don't think he should feel ashamed for looking at pornography, I just don't want to see it. Why can't he see my point of view? Is it unreasonable to expect him to keep this part of his private life private?
On The Outs
It's not at all unreasonable to ask him to be discreet about his porn-viewing habits, OTO, out of consideration for your feelings. And if he can't see that, well, then he's just being willfully leotarded.
But there are other solutions: Get your own personal laptops, change his settings so his browser history clears automatically, and if he makes an effort and slips up now and then -- if you come across a porn-clogged browser history -- clear it yourself and resist the urge to bring it up.
And for the record: It never even occurs to me to look at the browser history on the computer my boyfriend and I share. It wouldn't bother me if he was looking at porn -- I'd be concerned if he wasn't looking at porn -- but there's no law that requires you to check out his browser history. Scrutinizing browser histories is fourth-degree snooping, and only a leotard scrolls through her boyfriend's browser history knowing that what's she likely to find there is going to upset her.
I'm a 29-year-old hetero male considering breaking up with my sweet GGG girlfriend of five years. I can't find a reason to do it, though. We never fight; she loves to do all the chores I hate and vice versa; she's accepting of all my kinks, from anal to public sex; and we love each other. We've been talking marriage and family all year.
But I miss falling in love, sex is becoming boring, and my heart aches every time I hear about a girl who wishes I were single. I told my girlfriend about these things, and she (while crying) gave me permission to sleep around so long as it's on her terms, though her terms are pretty strict. I'm not happy with the restrictions, but I can't ask for more because she gets so depressed talking about it.
Am I being self-destructive in wanting to throw away the love of my life?
Let Me Have It
You're being a self-destructive leotard, LMHI, and your cliché male fear-of-intimacy issues are totally leotarded. Perhaps the marriage conversation is making you jittery -- as marriage, in theory at least, means that you'll never again experience the heady rush of new love. But your odds of ever finding another girl -- for a long- or short-term relationship -- who loves you, you enjoy living with, and is willing to give you permission to sleep around, even with conditions, are infinitesimally small. If you weren't such a leotard, you would be able to see that you're not going to do better than this girl.
And make an effort to kick your sex life with the girlfriend into gear before you sleep with someone else. If she was sobbing her eyes out when she gave you permission to sleep with other people, LMHI, that's not a good sign. Successful and healthy open relationships rarely get their start when one partner has consented under duress. Boring can be fixed, and fixing it may involve opening this relationship up, but she's not really ready to go there.
I'm married to a woman I love, but our sex life has become unbearable. We watched an HBO show about women strapping on dildos and doing their husbands. That inspired my wife to buy a strap-on dildo. Once would have been fine, but for the last year she only wants me to get off by masturbating while she does me with the strap-on. She masturbates herself while using the strap-on. She refuses counseling and insists I am being a prude. Does her selfishness signal some deeper problem?
Hurting In North Denver
I'm going to assume your letter is legit, HIND, and not the fevered imaginings of a straight guy with fem-dom fantasies. Your wife has some serious sexual-control issues, HIND, and you have some serious doormat issues. Unless you're tied to the bed, your wife can't fuck your ass if you don't let her. I get the impression you've been saying, "If you don't stop fucking my ass sometime soon, honey, I'm going to be very upset." When what you need to say is, "Once in a while, maybe, but I didn't sign up for this." The next time she bounds into the bedroom wearing her strap-on, get your ass out of bed and walk out the door.