Q: I'm a straight male and I love my fiancee. She's perfect. But while I am physically attracted to her, I find myself masturbating rather than having sex with her. She knows, but we don't talk about it — we can't — and recently she walked in on me, and it was very awkward. I put it away and she pretended she didn't see.
At first I just assumed I was masturbating because I was prone to romantic "dry spells" and was used to taking care of things myself. But at this point, she's sleeping in the other room and I'm quietly jerking it, knowing that I could have her. We don't have sex much and I think it's hurting our relationship. —Right Handed Man
A: If you and the fiancee are too embarrassed, immature or ashamed to discuss the state of your sex lives — your preference for your right hand, your lack of a strong sexual connection, what she saw and when she saw it — then you're not ready for marriage, RHM. Period. If you can't communicate openly and successfully about sex now, when you're merely engaged, you're going to find these issues impossible to confront after marriage permanently raises the stakes. All you risk now is a relatively uncomplicated, if emotionally traumatic, end to an engagement. After marriage, you're both going to be acutely aware that a Big Talk about your sex life carries the risk of a big, messy, humiliating divorce.
Oh, and speaking of poor communication skills: I couldn't help but notice that you neglected to ask me a single question. You gave me the facts — you could have her, but you're jerkin' it; she's aware of it, but you don't talk about it — but you didn't ask for help, advice or anything at all. So I'm guessing that you're the one with communication issues here, RHM, not your fiancee.
And what's with the passive voice? You "find [yourself] masturbating." How does that work exactly? You jump into a time machine, travel to your bathroom an hour in the future, and discover your future self jerking it? Sorry, RHM, but masturbation isn't something that happens to you — it's not a tax audit or a flat tire or a meteor strike. It's something you decide to do.
And here's why you're deciding to masturbate when you could be banging away at the fiancee: You're an insecure bag of slop. When you masturbate, RHM, you're in total control. You can fantasize about whatever you like and, just as importantly, you don't have to take any responsibility for your partner's pleasure, nor do you have to risk failure. Masturbation allows you to have orgasms free of any performance anxiety — after all, only schizophrenics experience performance anxiety when they jerk it.
Here's what you need to do, RHM: First step, admit you have a problem — not to me, to her. Then refrain from masturbating. Just don't do it. Refrain from beating off until you've broken your dysfunctional jerk-and-regret cycle, commit to only having orgasms in her presence, and initiate long, open-ended conversations about your turn-ons, her turn-ons, your sexual expectations, her sexual expectations.
Masturbation will, of course, be part of your adult, married life. All men masturbate — single, dating, married, divorced — but a man who prefers masturbation over sex at all times isn't husband material, RHM; he's ex-husband material.
Q: I am 28, female, and bi. My fiance is 36, male and straight.
Before we got together, I was notorious for FFM threesomes and occasionally sleeping with my female friends. He made it clear that being with him meant no more sex with other women. "Cheating is cheating," he says, and he's not into threesomes. It's a long-term, nonnegotiable deal breaker for him.
But recently, while traveling, I met up with an old female "friend." The sexual chemistry was still strong. We got a little drunk, kissed, cuddled and slept in the same bed. I didn't mention it to my fiance because I felt like it wasn't really a big deal. Now I'm not so sure. Throughout our relationship I've satisfied my desires for women with lesbian-bi erotica and masturbation, and I've been fine with that. But now I'm having sexual dreams about this girl and waking up feeling horny and guilty. It's been three years since I had sex with a woman and I miss it. Should I talk to my fiance about this before the wedding? —Bi Bi Bridie
A: Oh for crying out loud. Yes, you should talk to him about this before your wedding! Talk about your bisexuality, his irrational ultimatums, the fact that you've already come this close (picture me holding my thumb and index finger a clit's width apart) to cheating on him already — address all this shit before you two dumbfucks get married.
I'm sorry for flying off the handle, BBB, but I debated an antigay ranter on CNN last week after the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry. The hater — Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council — insisted that high rates of heterosexual divorce are proof that gay people shouldn't be allowed to marry. I'm not sure how that works exactly. I mean, when a group of people have proven themselves to be incapable of touching something without totally fucking it up — heterosexuals and marriage, Republicans and government — it doesn't make sense to insist that the screw-ups, and only the screw-ups, should be allowed to touch that thing. Maybe the solution for marriage or governance is to ban heterosexuals or Republicans from marrying or governing — or at least suspend them for a while — and let someone else have a crack at it. Christ.
Back to you, BBB: Before you marry this man, you need to hammer out an agreement, something you both can live with — and you can't live without pussy. An accommodation has to be made or you will ultimately cheat on this man and your entirely predictable divorce will be held up by douchebags like Tony Perkins as proof that my boyfriend and I shouldn't be allowed to marry.
Q: I'm madly in love with my girlfriend. She's beautiful, intelligent, progressive and has a bum that makes me bite my knuckles every time she takes off her pants. Serious "the one" potential here. One problem: My girlfriend is adamant that she will not get married until everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, is free to marry. So where do I sign up to fight for equal marriage rights? What can a newbie like me do to help? —Adam In British Columbia
A: So...you're girlfriend isn't going to get married until everyone can — including, presumably, gay men in Saudi Arabia (where they cut the heads off gay men), lesbians in Jamaica (where they lynch lesbians) and homos in Russia (where fascist thugs beat homos in front of the police). So you might not want to set a wedding date anytime before, oh, June of the year 2608.
Please tell your girlfriend from me, a geigh, that we don't want straight people to stop getting married — divorced: yes; married: no — particularly straights up in Canada, where everyone already can get married. If she wants to do something concrete about equal marriage rights, tell her to make a large donation to equalityforall.com, the group in California that is working to defeat an anti-gay-marriage amendment to California's state Constitution that will be on the ballot this fall. Her donation would be helpful. Her stand is useless.Download Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage