Q: To make a long and stupid story short, I met a guy on Craigslist who said all the right things. We had plans to meet a few times (once I bought a train ticket to visit him; another time I prepared an expensive meal), but he always canceled at the last minute. He had an excuse an anxiety problem. After a few months, I called him on it. He admitted that he enjoyed the thrill of toying with people and was only interested in the chase.
Fast-forward to a few months later: I find out that he has been doing this to several people, working as a team with two friends. They trade notes on the people they mess with. There's no financial gain for him, and no sexual one either, because he never meets or screws any of the girls he manipulates. He calls it "Internet terrorism." It's about power.
Should I launch my own campaign against him? I've already reached out to a few girls who have been glad to hear the real story. Part of me wants revenge, but another part of me just wants to wash my hands of the whole situation. Also, I am worried that the embarrassing photos I sent him will end up on some Web site somewhere. He told some people he wants to start a Web site exposing his "triumphs." Truth And Consequences
A: The only way to protect yourself from liars and flakes and Nigerian scam artists trolling Web sites like Craigslist, TAC, is to insist on meeting in person, right away, and to brook no excuses particularly idiotic ones like "anxiety." Anyone who talks a good game in a chat room or via e-mail but can't, for whatever reason, meet in person is either married or else not who or where or what he claims to be. The number of straight men alone pretending to be teenage lesbians online exceeds the actual number of teenage lesbians by a factor of 100.
You know all of this now, TAC, thanks to this Internet terrorist and his asshole buddies. And what should you do about it? Out him, of course. Put up a Web site of your own, call him on his bullshit, alert other women to his game, and flag his ass down whenever you spot him on Craigslist. Will this result in your photos winding up on Web sites? Yes, it will. But your photos are going to wind up on Web sites anyway, TAC, so you might as well take your revenge.
And, hey, you might want to consider getting out in front of the scandal. If the photos are coming out anyway, any halfway decent crisis-management expert would advise you to post them on your own damn Web site first along with that long, brutal takedown you're going to write about this "Internet terrorist" and his fuckwitted friends.
Q: My boyfriend and I had three great weeks before he got deployed to Afghanistan. (He's a soldier, we're Brits, the deployment is for six months, and it's his last before he leaves the forces.) I'm guessing that a couple separated for that long so early in a relationship doesn't have the best chances, but I want to give it a go. I'm getting letters, e-mails, phone calls but he gets 30 minutes of e-mail time a week and 20 minutes of phone calls, and he's got brothers and a mother to talk to as well ...
I don't want to sleep with anyone else. This question is not about sex. I'm lonely as all hell. Any advice? Alone For Now
A: Masturbate. Hang out with friends. Repeat.
Q: I'm a gay boy who's always been versatile, on top and on the bottom, switching things up. My current boyfriend and I are very much in love, and I'm happy. Except for one thing: In the six months that we've been together I'm always the bottom. When I get the urge to top him he shies away and changes the subject. Here's what frustrates me: He had a very promiscuous past and had many sexual partners, and I know for a fact that he bottomed on a number of occasions. So why is it that when his boyfriend proposes the idea of switching things up he shies away? I don't want to make him feel pressured into doing this, but I think he's being silly. After all, he's done it before with almost complete strangers. Versatile Boy Always Bottoming
A: Maybe your boyfriend came down with a bad case of anal warts during that promiscuous phase and he's not letting you fuck him to protect you. Or maybe your boyfriend only enjoys bottoming when he's fucked up on drugs, and he's not using anymore. Or maybe your dick is so big, so absolutely ginormous, so ass-splittingly huge that you've scared his gay slut butt shut.
I can only speculate, VBAB. The only way to find out what's really going on is to promise not to dump your boyfriend if he tells you the truth.
Q: My husband and I run a club in Aloha, Ore., that is much like a swingers club. We call ourselves "neosexuals," and the difference is that soft swap, full swap, no swap and anything in between is acceptable behavior in our group. We only demand consent, honesty, good communication skills and safe practice. We are a very popular group, as there are many more couples looking for light flirty fun than there are couples looking for hardcore swinging action. Check us out at venusrendezvous.com. Gabrielle & Chris
A: Thanks for sharing, G&C.
Q: The letter from FOG, the woman who dumped her boyfriend over his foot fetish, struck a chord in me. My boyfriend is a foot "enthusiast" himself. When we first started dating, I was kind of confused because I'd take off my shoes after work and he'd say something like, "OK, fine! I'll rub your feet for you if you really want!" I figured things out pretty quickly. He was a bit defensive about the term "fetishist" because as he saw it he didn't need my feet to get off, even if he did get off on them. I didn't care; I've always been a GGG kind of girl. Now I can't imagine life without him worshipping my feet. We're getting married this summer.
Don't you just love a happy ending? And a foot massage? Tremendously Obviously Ecstatic
A: I love a happy ending, TOE, and we don't get nearly enough of them around here. And that's a problem. People only write to me when they're unhappy, of course, and this may lead vanilla types to conclude that taking a chance on a kinky motherfucker isn't worth the trouble, and vice versa. So I'm putting a call out for letters from vanilla types who took a chance on a kinky motherfucker or kinky motherfuckers who took a chance on a vanilla type or anyone who took a chance on Craigslist or an anonymous piece of ass and wound up meeting the man, woman, adult baby, piss freak or foot enthusiast they took home to meet Mom and Dad.
Send in your stories and I'll dedicate a column to happy endings around Valentine's Day.
A new Savage Love podcast is available for download every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.Send letters to email@example.com