Q: My boyfriend and I have agreed to abide by whatever decision you make. We've been together for nine months. We are gay. We live in a college town. We both found jobs here after we graduated, so we stayed. Since his sophomore year, my boyfriend has had an "arrangement" with an older man, a professor at the university. Did I say older? I meant old. We are in our mid-20s; this man is in his late 60s. The old man comes to my boyfriend's apartment once a week and cleans it. Does his laundry. Washes his dishes. He actually pays my boyfriend for the privilege. It's not much, $50, and the old perv says it's for my boyfriend's "time," since a part of their deal is that my boyfriend has to be in the apartment while the old perv cleans it. He's particularly pervy about how he cleans my boyfriend's bathroom. Dan, the old perv cleans my boyfriend's toilet bowl with his own toothbrush, which he then uses to brush his teeth the rest of the week!
There is no sex. (Presumably, the old perv goes home and beats off after cleaning my boyfriend's apartment.) None of this would matter if my boyfriend and I weren't talking about moving in together. I want this "arrangement" to stop. I don't feel comfortable using a toilet that a man old enough to be my grandfather cleaned with his toothbrush. This has been going on for six years — the old perv has been cleaning up after my boyfriend since he was living in student housing. My boyfriend says he likes the clean apartment more than he needs the money (and that's true, now that he's no longer a starving student). But I say all good things must come to an end, and if I'm moving in, we'll have to clean up after ourselves or pay a real cleaning lady to come around once a week, like regular people.
We agreed to leave it up to you. Dan: The old perv stays? The old perv goes? —Toothbrushes Are For Teeth
A: The old perv stays.
By allowing this man to clean his apartment, TAFT, your boyfriend is making an old perv very, very happy, and that makes the world a more joyful place generally (and your boyfriend's apartment a tidier place particularly). Your boyfriend isn't taking advantage of the old perv — $50 is a much more reasonable fee than most sex workers would charge for the same service (yes, your boyfriend is doing very low-level sex work) — and while the toothbrush-toilet thing is a bit ... creepy ... and unsanitary ... I'm sure you'll get used to it and/or be able to put it out of your mind. (Although I'd be giving the toilet an additional wipe-down if anyone — young, old, hot, not — were cleaning it for me with a ratty old toothbrush.)
Let's recognize this arrangement for what it really is: a successful long-term relationship. How many relationships — gay or straight, monogamous or open, where toilets are scrubbed weekly with toothbrushes or cleaned sporadically with toilet brushes — last six years! Sorry, TAFT, but I'm constitutionally disinclined to dissolve a successful six-year relationship in favor of a relationship that has yet to reach the one-year mark.
And I think you knew, TAFT. I think you knew I would side with the perv — was there ever any question? — which leads me to believe that you're secretly OK with this arrangement and an extra $50 a week to put toward household expenses, money that you can invest in cases of Clorox Wipes. You wanted a little plausible deniability, a way for the arrangement to continue without having to give it your blessing, and needed some cover. And now you have it, TAFT.
Q: I'm in a friends-with-benefits arrangement with a woman I get along with really well, and I am interested in a real relationship. I know she's open to it, but there's one thing holding me back: She's overweight. And while it doesn't matter to me, it restricts what's possible in bed. Do I talk to her about it? If so, how? —Some Dude
A: If this woman's weight didn't interfere with a friends-with-benefits arrangement — a purely sexual bargain — why would her weight and the limitations it places on what's possible in bed factor into your decision to take this relationship "to the next level," as the life coaches like to say? Don't make the mistake of assuming the choice you face is between some hypothetical skinny bitch with no restrictions and this big woman who comes with some restrictions. Everyone has their own limits, their own capabilities, their own tastes and preferences, SD, and only a handful of us wind up in long-term relationships with partners without any restrictions whatsoever.
As for how to talk to her about her weight: Well, based on the furious and furiously defensive mail that pours in whenever the subject of weight comes up, I'd suggest you discuss it through a bulletproof glass partition. Or you could launch that real relationship, move in with her and, presuming you eat decently and get regular exercise yourself, set an example of the kind of lifestyle choices that will bring down her weight and up her game.
Q: I am a straight male. I have a problem ejaculating with a partner. I have failed to complete the act even when I arranged a session with two well-known porn stars I really wanted. This despite sticking it nearly everywhere — no Greek — and in nearly every position. The only way I can reliably come is when I hump my mattress naked with a towel underneath me. What is my problem? I take Zoloft, which can have the effect of delaying orgasm, but that doesn't explain how I can get off so quickly with my towel, which I do daily, but I couldn't get it done in an entire hour with my favorite big-butted porn star who let me do whatever I wanted. —Fucking A Towel
A: First, a stroll down memory lane: Hearing anal sex referred to as "Greek" took me back to the days when I was a 13-year-old closet case reading the personal ads in the back of a purloined copy of the Advocate, wondering what the fuck fags meant when they described themselves as "Greek active" or "Greek passive," and why it was that Greek actives invariably described themselves as "French passive." It all seemed so mysterious and continental. Now, everyone is either a top or a bottom and romance is dead.
Moving on, FAT, it pains me to inform you that you've ruined your dick with that towel-and-mattress routine. You've trained your dick to respond to one kind of stimulation and one kind of stimulation only, a particular kind of stimulation that has very little in common with the sensations provided by big-butted porn stars. Your only hope is to stop humping the bed. Get some lube; use your left hand; use your right hand; invest in a Fleshlight; masturbate on your back, standing up, kneeling. Vary your masturbatory routine and habits and — this is the hard part — don't resort to the towel and mattress if you have difficulty getting off. You spent a lot of time programming your dick, and it's going to take some time to reprogram your dick, FAT. The only way to do that is to deny your dick — forever and ever, amen — the towel-and-mattress routine. Once your dick realizes that there's no going back, it'll adapt; it will begin to respond to the new and closer-to-human sensations that you're making available to it. Good luck.Download the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org