Q: Visiting my home state, I went to a favorite store where folks buy porn, buy sex toys, or sit in “private” booths and watch XXX videos. It’s always crawling with gay men, such as myself, looking for sex. In the parking lot I ran into my stepfather of 12 years, a man who married my mother long after I left home. (I’m 47.) I was stunned. He said he’d been in there to get a magazine for a friend. In my amazement, I didn’t have much to say, which is rare. I’ve thought of several ways to handle this but I’m wondering what you would do. —Too Small a World
A: If I accidentally discovered that a parent or stepparent of mine had a secret sex life, a distressing porn stash, or a varsity-level kink, TSAW, I would do what I’ve always urged readers who find themselves in similar situations to do: Mind my own business, keep my mouth shut, and pretend it never happened. In this specific instance, I would also pretend that married straight guys sometimes go to cruisy video arcades to pick up porn magazines for their straight male friends. Ahem.
But perhaps you’re concerned for your mother’s health, TSAW, in which case you feel you can’t pretend this didn’t happen. If your stepfather is giving or getting head in that video arcade, your mother may be at risk of catching, at the very least, a terrible case of cooties. If this is your concern, TSAW, you have three options:
Option #1: Take comfort in the likelihood that your mom and stepfather aren’t having sex anymore. While many older couples fuck like infertile rabbits, many stop having sex and stay together for the companionship, conversation and comfort of an established LTR. In some happy instances, both husband and wife lose interest in sex around about the same time. But frequently, TSAW, only one person loses interest. (And, no, it’s not always the wife.) Frequently these mismatched husbands and wives come to an unspoken understanding: The spouse who wants sex doesn’t make demands on the one who doesn’t in exchange for the one who doesn’t want sex turning a blind eye to the other spouse’s itch-scratching porn collection, piece on the side, or occasional visit to a jack-shack. For all you know this is the state of your mother and stepfather’s relationship.
Option #2: Have a short, awkward, mutually humiliating conversation with your stepfather: “I know what you were doing in that arcade — I’m gay, dear ol’ stepdad, not retarded. Carry on however you like, but if you hurt or injure my mother’s health I’ll cut you into a million pieces.”
Option #3: Go nuclear. Tell your mother what you saw, tell her what you suspect, and sit back and watch all hell break loose. Even if your mom and stepfather have the sort of relationship described above — she’s not interested in sex, he doesn’t make demands, she turns a blind eye — being confronted with the details, knowing that her son knows, and discovering that she may be married to a homo may be so humiliating that your mother leaves her husband. But if he isn’t putting her at risk (provided he’s being very, very safe in that arcade and/or he and your mother aren’t sexual anymore), getting his rocks off at the porn arcade may be all that allows your stepdad to remain content—and therefore remain married to your mother. Looking at it this way, his porn shop visits serve the greater good, no? They allow him to continue providing your mother with the companionship, conversation and comfort of an established LTR. All of those things have value, TSAW, and unless your mother’s health is at risk you should think long and hard before you sacrifice them on the altar of Honesty.
Q: I never tried drugs in high school. Getting ready to head into my third year of college in Baltimore, some friends and I were hanging out. One of the girls pressured us all into trying Ecstasy. BIG MISTAKE. After 30 minutes, I started to get incredibly horny. We all did. There were seven of us: four boys, three girls; two hetero couples, three hetero singles. I’ll just be blunt instead of dragging this out: I did all four girls, two of whom are my best friends. I even did stuff with the guys (and I’m a bit of a homophobe, so I’m kinda freaked). My dick wouldn’t go down. I shot three loads.
The aftermath? No one is talking. Both couples broke up. Why did we get like this on E? Why did we all go berserk? I mean, I didn’t even tell you all the stuff we did — it was that bad. Can you explain this? —Mistakes Were Made
A: I can’t explain it, MWM, but I can hope the Partnership for a Drug-Free America uses your story in one of its ad campaigns. I, for one, would much rather watch a dramatic re-enactment of the Ecstasy-fueled orgy you described, MWM, than yet another ad about the imaginary horrors of pot. (Hey, Partnership for a Drug-Free America: If you want to get the attention of young adults, a short film about seven college-age kids who take Ecstasy and wind up in a heap fucking each other in every possible position and gender combination—straight guys doing straight guys, straight girls doing straight girls—would be a lot more effective than that awful one about how pot causes date rape. Suggested cast: Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Ashlee Simpson, Avril Lavigne [as the girl who pressures everyone into trying Ecstasy], Aaron Carter, Tom Welling, and pro-snowboarder/skateboarder Sean White as “Mistakes Were Made.” If you need help scripting this epic, you have my e-mail address.)
No, wait — maybe I can explain it: As any college student in Baltimore should be aware, MWM, recreational drugs lower inhibitions—that’s one of the reasons people use them. So you took some Ecstasy and your inhibitions fell away. The drug did not make you go berserk, kiddo, nor did the drug make you do “stuff” with the guys. You and all your horny friends used the drug as an excuse to go berserk. You did “stuff” with the guys because you wanted to, not because the drug compelled you to.
But you’re slightly homophobic! How could a guy like you wind up sucking dick? Just so, MWM: Studies have shown that homophobia, slight or otherwise, correlates neatly with homosexual urges. Why? Because a guy who has 98.2 percent hetero desires and just 1.8 percent homosexual will, to protect himself from his homosexual urges, cultivate a slight case of homophobia. This slight case of homophobia serves to reassure the 98.2 percent straight guy that he’s really 100 percent straight. So when you took Ecstasy, MWM, your inhibitions melted away — including your homophobia, which at bottom (get it?) wasn’t anything other than an inhibitor.
So what to do now? Well, you can’t unsuck a cock — how I wish one could! — nor can you undo the four girls you did. All you can do is accept the fact that you made a mess, just say no the next time you’re pressured to use E, and reconcile yourself to feeling awkward for a while around your ex-pals. Hopefully with time the couples will get back together, your friendships will return to normal, and you will give yourself permission to suck dick again sometime — but drug-free cocksucking, MWM, the kind of cocksucking recommended by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.Send letters to email@example.com