Q: My mom taught me that striking a woman is something that you just don’t do under any circumstances. However, while I was being intimate with a female co-worker, I made a joke that she reacted to quite negatively. She is a very loud, chatty person by nature and while she was performing oral sex on me I said, “I finally found a way to shut you up!” She proceeded to bite my penis very hard, on the side, corncob style. It hurt so much that I reflexively slapped her. I was trying to get my penis out from between her teeth! Needless to say she left immediately and things have been icy at work. I feel awful that I hit a woman, Dan, but she drew blood! Do I owe her an apology? —Bleeding And Guilty
A: No, you don’t owe her an apology. While I generally agree with your mother — men shouldn’t strike women — all bets are off when a woman bites down on a penis so hard that she draws blood. I imagine your mother didn’t anticipate this particular circumstance when she taught you not to strike a woman. It’s too bad your mother didn’t teach you not to make jokes at the expense of a person who happens to have your penis between her teeth.
Q: I got married young. Within six months of the wedding, my wife put on 50 pounds, stopped wearing makeup and decided that she would no longer engage in any sex act besides vaginal, missionary intercourse. She will accept oral sex, but refuses to return the favor. When we were dating, she did all sorts of delightful things and put a lot more effort into her personal appearance. Can you say “bait and switch”? In other respects, the relationship is fine, so I don’t want a divorce. I’ve talked to her about the problem of her becoming a frigid cow (phrased more kindly that that) and she doesn’t seem to care. If I have sex with other people, am I just an asshole or is it justified in light of my being swindled? —Where Did The Love Go?
A: The person your wife was before you married — physically fit, sexually adventurous — was a lie, a disguise, a person she pretended to be in order to land a husband. The sad irony in all of this is that she could have been herself — obese, no makeup, a block of ice in the sack — and landed a man who was actually into women who are heavy, blotchy, and boring in bed. Instead, she misled you, and now you find yourself married to someone you wouldn’t have married had she been honest with you about who she really was. Since she cheated you, WDTLG, it’s enough to justify cheating her by cheating on her. Still, I would encourage you to get a nice, honest divorce as quickly as possible before you start banging other women.
Q: I was in a relationship for nine months with a gay guy who accessed my bank account, stole my credit cards and started several accounts in my name — all of which will probably take me more than a year to pay off. I dumped him. I consider myself a relationship-oriented guy and used to enjoy monogamy, cuddling and intimacy, but when I look at my relationship history I see several guys with mental problems, drug addictions and the like, who treated me like crap even though I am educated, stable, good-looking and honest. I’m finding I can’t trust my judgment when it comes to meeting guys, which makes it extremely difficult to meet or date guys, since all my friends are coupled up. What the hell am I supposed to do now that I can’t even trust myself? —Mark In San Diego
A: Samuel Johnson observed that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. You didn’t marry this guy, of course; you can’t get married because you’re not lucky enough to live in Canada, Holland or Belgium. (And considering what a shit this guy was, thank God you couldn’t marry him.) Still, if you do want to find a guy to settle down with eventually you will have to let hope triumph. Yes, you’ve had some awful experiences, but every relationship ends until you find yourself in the one that doesn’t. So you really need to keep having relationships if you want to find the one that lasts. Given your track record, however, I’d urge you to involve your coupled-up friends in your love life — platonically speaking, of course — and rely on their evidently sounder abilities to judge men.
Finally ... um ... and in conclusion ... ahem ... shit ... I’m actually kinda reluctant to say this out loud ... but ... uh ... on average, gay men tend to be more fucked up than straight men. Being gay and closeted and going through puberty and coming out and dealing with the family bullshit and the religious bullshit and the societal bullshit — that can be hugely traumatic. Some gay men never recover. When I was young and single, MISD, I regarded myself and my fellow gay men as battle-scarred Vietnam veterans. Are all Vietnam vets fucked up? Are they all drug-abusing mental cases who treat their lovers like crap? No, of course not. But they do tend to be fucked up at slightly higher rates than non-Vietnam vets — at least in the movies — and people who date them need to keep this in mind and be on the lookout for any signs that the vet they’re dating is one of the fucked up ones.
Q: I dated this girl about 18 months ago, but ended up breaking it off because she smoked too much weed. I was about a year sober at the time and the look in her eye when she was stoned, plus the nasty taste in her mouth, killed it for me. She has since come back into my life — but she is still smoking. I don’t think dating her again is a danger to my sobriety, but I still have my reservations about being with someone who gets stoned. Here’s the kicker: She is perfect in every other way — sweet, affectionate, intelligent, hard-working, a freak in the sack and she’s got a hot body. What should I do? —NA
A: Contrary to the lies peddled by the feds, pot is not addictive, it’s not a “gateway” drug, and most people who smoke marijuana regularly as teenagers and young adults stop smoking pot in their mid- to late-20s. So, NA, odds are better that this perfect-in-every-other-way girl won’t be a pothead forever. And when she gets bored with pot and stops smoking, you’ll be with a sweet, affectionate, intelligent, hard-working, stone-cold-sober freak in the sack. If she really is perfect in every other way, NA, why not hang in there?Contact Dan Savage at firstname.lastname@example.org