I am a college-age gay male. Last year, I dated two guys. The first — let's call him Mitt — I dated for five months. He broke up with me, and it hurt as much as breakups do, but I got over it. A few months later, I dated another guy — let's call him Paul — for a month. I really liked him, but he broke up with me too. Then I found out that two days after breaking up with me, Paul started going out with Mitt. They knew I had dated each of them. It was the end of the school year, and I quickly left for vacation. The school year starts back up soon, and I am still pissed and hurt that they are dating. Do I have a right to be? Should I just get over myself? Should I just do my best to avoid them? —Exes Became A Couple
Avoid them for now, EBAC, and get over yourself.
Gays and lesbians are about 2 to 5 percent of the population. I'm afraid that arithmetic precludes us from hewing to the "bro code" — at least where dating friends-of-exes, exes-of-friends, or exes-of-exes are concerned. We simply don't have the luxury of being as rigid about this shit as straight people do. The pickings for us are just too slim.
But you have a right to your feelings, EBAC, and you should go ahead and feel the shit out of your pissed-and-hurt feelings. Two guys dated you, both dumped you, and now they're dating each other. That's gotta sting. So avoid your exes for now — why salt your wounds by hanging out with them? — but resist the urge to go to war with your exes. Don't trash them on Facebook, don't force your friends to choose sides. Smile and nod when you see them on campus, chat politely if you're thrown together at parties, and just generally accept their relationship with as much good grace as you can muster.
Remember: The odds that these guys will be together forever are pretty slim. I'm not suggesting that their more-probable-than-not breakup should delight you, EBAC, only that you might not want to burn bridges because — college being college, gay men being gay men — you could wind up dating one or the other or both of these guys again. Or, more likely, you might want to be friends with one or the other or both of them once your hurt has burned off.
And finally, EBAC, ask yourself what you want these guys saying to mutual friends — some of whom might be gay, some of whom might be into you — if they're asked about you. Do you want them to say you revealed yourself to be an angry and vindictive psycho when they got together? Or do you want them to say that, although you were obviously hurt when they got together, you were gracious about it, and that while you weren't the right guy for either of them, you're a good guy and the right guy for somebody?
I'm a 26-year-old queer woman. I'm about to visit a friend who used to be my boyfriend and who has been my lover when we've visited each other since. Sex with him is fun for me, but it's been life-changing for him. I'm the first person he has ever shared his kinks with: age regression, diapers and submission. He's been ashamed of his kinks for most of his life, and I've been completely accepting and have helped him to get over his sense of shame. Playing this role in my friend's life is fun, sexy and meaningful for me. My own tastes, though, are more vanilla. Some of the things that would be most satisfying to me — cunnilingus, him being a little dominant sometimes and, honestly, French kissing — have been absent from our sex. He says that he wants to do for me whatever I want, and I've told him what I want as clearly as I just told you. But he seems to have some kind of a block about actually doing those things. I've tried to be very positive about oral sex and not put pressure on my friend, but rather let him know how hot it is for me and how fantastic it makes me feel. But so far, he just won't do it. I've also let him know that I really enjoy kissing with tongue and that it's pretty much the most arousing thing for me in the world. But he's done very little of that too. He's aware of the inequality in what we've done for each other and acknowledges that it's unfair that he's "gotten away with it." Help! —She Misses Tongue
While I was on vacation last week, sex writer, activist and feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino filled in for me. Writing the Savage Love Letter of the Day in my absence, Tristan gave some advice to a woman in a similar situation (kinky partner being treated to first fantasy-fulfillment experiences neglecting needs of indulgent vanilla partner): "Your boyfriend has finally been able to reveal his desires and fantasies to you," Tristan wrote. "That's a big deal, and when it happens, many people can go through a phase of being selfish and self-centered."
I agree with Tristan, but I would go a bit further: Your friend — your selfish, thoughtless friend — is taking advantage of you, SMT, and as he knows you well enough to sense that meeting his needs is "fun, sexy and meaningful" for you, he figures he can keep getting away with it.
Right now, your relationship isn't characterized by a healthy give-and-take of pleasure. You're servicing your ex — or, to put it more charitably, you're doing your ex a favor. The question for you, SMT, is how long you intend to go on doing him this particular favor. If the pleasure you're taking in helping him realize his fantasies is enough, then perhaps you should keep doing him favors. But would you be writing to me about this situation if it were enough?
Early in August, a gentleman who signed himself WHACK wrote to you inquiring whether he should clear his browser history to keep his porn viewing from becoming known to his anti-porn wife, as the wife had noticed an empty browser history and gotten suspicious. Browser clearing is an option, of course, but most browsers also have an option that allows users to browse anonymously, Dan, without retaining any history, cookies, passwords, etc. Google Chrome calls it "Incognito," Safari and Firefox call it "Private Browsing," Internet Explorer calls it "InPrivate Browsing." Turn it on before entering NSFW sites and turn if off after leaving such sites and you can build up an innocent-looking browser history without anyone seeing anything that might displease them. —Fanatic About Privacy
Thank you, FAP, for writing in — and thanks to the millions of other harried husbands who wrote in to share the good news about private browsing features with WHACK.
To those who accused me of sex-advice malpractice for failing to mention private browsing features in my response to WHACK: I didn't know they existed, and for that I blame my husband. If my spouse were a smut-shaming scold who hated porn — if he were more like WHACK's spouse — I would've discovered the private browsing features years ago.
To my readers: The deadline for HUMP! — my annual amateur porn contest — is just six weeks away! Details about entering HUMP!, and about the prizes (grand prize is $5,000!), can be found at humpseattle.com.
Find Dan Savage's weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @fakedansavage on Twitter.