Q: I met my girlfriend about three months ago on a social-networking website. The pictures made her look attractive and in shape. We texted each other nonstop for the first three months. This past weekend we met, and she didn't look anything like her pictures. However, we did still have sex twice. I'm about to start my freshman year in college, and I realized upon returning from my orientation that I do not want to be tied down going into school. Breaking up with her will break her heart into pieces. I have no clue what I should do. —Epic State Of Confusion
A: You didn't meet your girlfriend three months ago, ESOC, you met this girl last weekend. And if she expects a lifetime commitment after posting misleading photos and exchanging text messages and a single weekend of sex, she isn't just asking to have her heart broken, her heart needs breaking. So you'll have to break it for her, ESOC, unless you're prepared to be with this woman for the next six or seven decades.
She'll conclude that the breakup has something to do with her looks, of course, and that fact will make the rejection hurt all the worse. Good. She set herself up for rejection when she posted misleading photographs on that social-networking website and forged an emotional connection with you under what amounts to false pretenses. Your rejection may convince her to post more-representative photos — honest photos — in the future.
For the record: Anyone looking for sex partners online is allowed to post flattering photos of recent vintage. People are free, of course, to post misleading photos of mysterious provenance. But those who post misleading photos have no one to blame for their hurt feelings but themselves.
If I may paraphrase the caption under a famous New Yorker cartoon: On the Internet, no one knows — or has to know — that you're a dog. But when chatting becomes cyberdating, when romance may be in the offing, and a face-to-face meeting becomes inevitable, an exchange of better photos — or at least more-representative photos — is simple common sense and common courtesy.
And here's where you went wrong, ESOC: You fucked this girl. She naturally interpreted your willingness to fuck her as a sign that you didn't care about the discrepancy between her photos and her actual appearance. It's going to make the rejection she has coming more devastating than it needed to be.
Q: I'm a gay male in my late 20s and a survivor of testicular cancer. I count myself lucky, but I'm still down a testicle. I'm also coming out of a five-year relationship. I'm now concerned about how much a set of balls counts in the gay community. I am not getting one of those ridiculous ball implants. I just want to make sure I don't freak out any of my future partners. However, discussing cancer during a first date or in dance clubs seems to be sort of a turnoff. Tips? —Half The Man I Used To Be
A: Since having one ball isn't going to place your sex partners at any risk of anything or hamper your sexual performance in any way, I don't think you're obligated to disclose until you get home from the movie or the club and you're rolling around on the couch and making out. When hands start reaching for zippers, say something like this: "Just so you know, I've only got one ball. Long story, and I'll tell you all about it later. And I only have one dick too — but you only have one throat, so we'll find a way to make this work."
There may be a handful of gay guys out there who won't want to date a guy with one ball, and they'll make their excuses and refrain from seeing you again. But so long as you're not an insecure, tormented bag of slop always bemoaning his half-empty sack, it shouldn't interfere with your love life.
Q: A wonderful guy I've known since grade school zoomed in and became my lover after a devastating divorce. He's a tiger in bed, sweet and respectful, and an overall terrific guy. The problem? I've always been considered a "knockout," while my lover is "different" looking. I love him even more for it. But how do I deal with assholes who ask questions like "What are you doing with him?" It's usually one of his "friends" — and they'll say it right in front of him. What the hell am I supposed to say? —My Boyfriend's Not A Loser
A: "What am I doing with him? I'm doing all I can to keep his nuts drained — basically, I'm doing for him what your right hand does for you."
Q: I have been with my girlfriend for nearly four years now. We are both 23. We are in love, but I want to have sex with other people — with girls and with guys. I was a virgin when I met her, but she had been with a few other guys. I have brought up threesomes, and she seems fine with the idea and talking about it turns her on. But she also says she doesn't want me to have sex with any other girls, only her, but a guy would be fine. —What Should I Do?
A: Find a guy you wanna fuck, WSID, check in with the girlfriend, have a conversation about health and safety and primacy (she'll always come first), and ask if she wants to have an MFM threesome. Then go fuck the guy. If you fuck the guy alone, check in with the girlfriend before and after. If you fuck him together — if you have that threesome — check in with the girlfriend before, during and after.
Then once you've shown the girlfriend that you're capable of sleeping with other people without being irresponsible, unsafe or insensitive, WSID, she might — might — give you the OK to fuck another girl sometime. The odds are even better if she fucks another guy with or in front of you and realizes that, just as she had sex with another man without feeling any less attracted or attached to you, you could have sex with another woman without feeling any less attracted or attached to her.
Q: So a friend of mine and I have been having a debate. She's a lesbian, and she's certain that there is no possible way that she could ever contract a sexually transmitted infection. Her logic is that finger-fucking and eating pussy are safe in every way. But I remember taking a class on human sexuality where our professor showed us pictures of people who contracted STIs in odd ways. We saw a picture of a guy who had a yeast infection on his tongue from eating a girl out (it kind of looked like cottage cheese was growing on his tongue), and I won't describe the picture of the guy who had gonorrhea in his eye.
So I'm just wondering, is it possible for a lesbian to get an STI? Or were those photos faked just to scare us? —Verification Desired
A: Yes, lesbians can contract STIs — from each other, from the men some lesbian-identified women insist on fucking, from lesbians who've slept with men. Skin-to-skin contact — grinding pussies, finger-fucking — can transmit HPV, for instance, and herpes and razor burn. Eating pussy is also a pretty effective transmission route for herpes and HPV and gonorrhea and syphilis and chlamydia and on and on. And if brain cancer were a sexually transmitted infection, VD, your seriously fucked-in-the-head friend would definitely be at risk.Download the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org