Q: I consider myself a straight guy —but for the last four years, I've been having an affair with "Connie," a trans girl I met online. It was just casual at first, but over time we developed a deeper personal relationship but kept it hidden. At some point, I figured out she was in love with me. I love her too, but I don't think I am "in love" with her. Several weeks ago, I went on a couple of dates with a girl I met on Match.com. The new girl posted about our dates on Facebook, Connie saw it and was upset, and then Connie outed me to the new girl. The new girl and I weren't dating anymore, but it still was a betrayal that Connie told her — told anyone — about our relationship and my kink. Right now, I can't look at or speak to Connie, but her friends tell me that she is despondent. I can't get past my anger. I'd like to keep her as a friend, but can I trust her? She reached out to me recently, but I told her to just leave me alone. —Secret Telling Unnerves Nice Guy
A: "Right out the gate, STUNG has to declare his heterosexuality," said Bailey Jay, an AVN Award-winning trans porn performer, writer, prolific (and hilarious) tweeter, and cohost of The Jim Norton Show on Vice.com. "Unless he's trying to say that trans women are men or that he'd be mortified to be mistaken for a gay person, then emphasizing 'straight' is unnecessary."
Also unnecessary: that "but" after "I consider myself a straight guy." Guys who desire and fuck women exclusively are straight, trans women are women, so no need to drop a "but" before telling us you've been sleeping with a woman who happens to be trans.
"The term 'kink' stuck out as well," Jay added. "Sex with a trans woman can still be vanilla. I know lots of trans chicks who are a total bore in bed — so while something new can be exciting, sex with trans women is not innately kinky because of our bodies."
Vocabulary lesson's over, STUNG. Now the advice ...
"STUNG says he feels betrayed by Connie blabbing about their relationship," said Jay, "but it sounds less like a betrayal and more like embarrassment. The whole tone of his letter seems to imply that it's a given that being with a trans woman is innately shameful. But take out all of the conditioned negative associations that some have with trans people, and what are you left with? At worst, we have a young lady who got jealous and acted immaturely."
Let's pause for a moment to think about why Connie behaved immaturely and tried to screw up your (already DOA) relationship with the new girl.
"STUNG seems to feel that it's a given that Connie should know better than to talk openly about their relationship," said Jay, "because trans women are an embarrassment and Connie should know enough to keep quiet."
So you treated Connie like she was an embarrassing secret for four long years, STUNG, and that caused her pain. You caused her pain. Then you go on a couple dates with another woman — a cis woman — and it's instantly all over Facebook. Connie was understandably upset, and not just by the fact that you were seeing someone else. All the hurt and anger that built up over the last four years — hurt at the way you treated her, anger with herself for putting up with it — overwhelmed her, and she lashed out. Connie isn't a bad person, STUNG, she was just angry and upset.
"And I don't think STUNG is a bad guy," said Jay. "His attitude toward trans women was shaped by a culture that treats trans women as either fetishes or punch lines. I am a transgender woman, and I have my own internalized transphobia that I've had to navigate around. So while I can dissect and analyze STUNG, I can hardly vilify him."
So what do I think you should do about Connie? You should call her and apologize. You should tell her that you treated her badly and you can understand why she lashed out. And you should tell her that, while you aren't "in love" with her, you do love her. Then you should tell her you're open to meeting up and talking things out.
And what does Jay think you should do going forward? "I think STUNG should try to see every woman he sleeps with as fully human, regardless of their genitals." Follow Jay on Twitter @BaileyJayTweets.
Q:I'm 26 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for a year. In the first week of dating, he disclosed his adult-baby side. Trying to be a GGG partner, I told him I supported him and dove right in, even though I felt uncomfortable. He likes me to dress him up and let him pee while wearing diapers, and he likes to dress me up. I feel "icky" and even violated afterward — though everything has always been consensual. I want to be comfortable with it, but I'm just not there. When I've expressed my discomfort, it's made him upset and embarrassed. Another confusing thing: My vagina always gets way wetter than usual when he puts a diaper on me. But I can't seem to get to a place where I actually feel like I'm enjoying it. Is it fair that I feel resentful for not being given more understanding for my mixed feelings? Is there a way I can break through and enjoy this? (We have plenty of vanilla sex, which he is totally into as well.)
—Adult Diapers Under Lover's Terms
A: Something about being put in a diaper turns you on. (The particular sensations it creates in your swimsuit area? The taboo-ness of being a non-incontinent adult in a diaper?) But that turn-on is short-circuited by your discomfort. And if your turn-on is grounded in the sensations and/or the taboo, ADULT, you may never become comfortable with your boyfriend's kink. Quite the opposite: The more you do it, the less surprising the sensations will come to feel, the less naughty it will feel, the less of an accidental/bank-shot turn-on diapers will become.
Being GGG doesn't require a person to do whatever the hell their partner wants. Remember what GGG stands for: "Good in bed (work on those skills), giving of pleasure (without always expecting immediate reciprocation), and game for anything — within reason." It's unreasonable of your partner to ask you to continue engaging in diaper play when it leaves you feeling violated. You gave it a shot, it's not working for you, and you have to be able to discuss your feelings — and your limits — without him playing mad and/or hurt. Right now, you're engaging in diaper play not out of a GGG desire to meet his needs, ADULT, but because you're afraid of upsetting him. So you're not consenting from a place of honest desire (a desire to do a particular thing, a desire to please your partner) but from a place of fear — you don't fear him, but you fear hurting him. No wonder it leaves you feeling like shit.
Here's what you should say: "Hey, honey, it's great that you have a fetish, and I'm glad you felt comfortable sharing it with me. But I don't enjoy it and I don't think I ever will. So this is something you should explore with other people. Get yourself a diaper pal, play to your heart's content, and then come home and have awesome vanilla sex with me."
On the Lovecast, Slate writer L.V. Anderson on why we don't have better condoms: savagelovecast.com.