Q: After six months of marriage — I'm a straight male — the sex had become routine but enjoyable. To remedy this, my wife and I discussed new things we might like to try. We were both being shy, so I said the first thing that came to mind: "Anal?" My wife got quiet and the conversation ended.
A couple weeks later, she brought up the conversation and showed me an article of yours that said if a man wants anal, he should take it first. I explained I wasn't that interested and that I only brought it up to spark a discussion. That sparked an argument. She also told me that she had already spent a lot of money on a strap-on because "you wanted this so bad."
Now anytime I bring up any kind of sex, it restarts this argument. She insists that I would not have brought up anal if I didn't really want it, and says I'm being unfair by not agreeing to give it up first. I just figured most couples at least experimented with anal. And while I understand you feel differently, I feel having sex with a cock, whether it is flesh or rubber, carries a homosexual implication. —My One-Way Orifice
A: If having sex with a cock — flesh or rubber — carries a homosexual implication, then it would appear that you're an old pro at this gay sex stuff, MOWO, seeing as you've been having sex with a cock since you started giving yourself hand jobs at — what? Twelve? Thirteen?
Backing up a bit: Straight men who are curious about anal penetration — the penetration of their own anuses — often create elaborate fantasy scenarios in which they're compelled to submit. Cruel-and-domineering-mistress scenarios, gay-rape scenarios, giving-it-up-to-get-it scenarios. These fantasies, while totally legit (and sometimes terribly hot), are also very revealing. Many straight men, it seems, view anal penetration as a pure power-and-domination trip for the top, and receptive anal sex as a nightmare to be endured.
But, hey, I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, MOWO, and accept your rough and implausible premise: Your sex life went stale after six months of marriage despite the fact that you married the kind of woman who'll run out and buy a strap-on dildo the very first time her husband broaches the subject of anal sex. Alrighty ...
It sure sounds like your wife is the one who's really interested in anal, MOWO. It also sounds like your wife is trying to shift all responsibility to you — insisting that you're the obsessed one — perhaps because, like many women, she believes (or worries that her husband believes) that "good" girls don't have filthy butt-sex fantasies. By insisting that this is all about you, MOWO, your wife doesn't have to admit to herself or to you that she's a dirty, dirty perv. She's just a nice, indulgent wife.
But since she's the one who ran out and bought a strap-on at the first hint of a discussion about anal sex, well, that's a pretty good indication that your wife was harboring pegging fantasies — that is, a woman doing a man in the butt with a strap-on dildo — long before you broached the subject. Perhaps it was my column that perved her, or maybe she went to the kind of college where they screen Bend Over Boyfriend during freshman orientation. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, U-Pitt.)
And yes, MOWO, I do happen to believe that the best way for a straight man to demonstrate to a straight woman that anal sex can be mutually pleasurable — that it's not (necessarily) about dominance and degradation — is to do the gentlemanly thing and go first. Or if I may paraphrase Barack Obama: Straight men? Sometimes you gotta be the change that you seek.
And yes, MOWO, there are "homosexual implications" to pegging. (There will also be homosexual exclamations: If she pegs your ass properly, you should be squealing like a gay-pride-float dancer or an Idaho Republican.) But you can explore anal pleasure — your anus, mutual pleasure — without a scary ol' strap-on. Let her lay a vibrator over your asshole, not stick one in it. Or better yet, go buy a buttplug. Buttplugs looks like no dick you've ever seen — outside of sci-fi porn, perhaps — and carry far fewer of those dreaded homosexual implications.
Q: My boyfriend and I have been monogamous for three years. We consider ourselves open, we enjoy different kinds of sex, and our toy collection is extensive. A couple of months ago, he brought up the fact that he has fantasized about me with other men. The term is cuckolding, right? Anyhow, at first I was slightly weirded out that he would even suggest it. But I'm starting to find the idea intriguing. After all, it's a free pass to have sex with another man and it would turn him on.
Now the questions: Are there any rules for this particular fetish? How do we know if we can handle it? And if I have sex with another man ... does that mean I have to let him have sex with another woman? Any advice about this and other forms of "open" relationships would be greatly appreciated. —New Experience Really Valuable Or Ultimate Screwup?
A: "It's interesting that when your boyfriend shared his fantasy with you, you jumped right to the term 'cuckolding,'" says Tristan Taormino, columnist, pornographer and author of the new book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. "By definition, a cuckold is a married man whose wife cheats on him behind his back. A cuckold fetishist, on the other hand, not only knows about his wife's dalliances, but often enjoys the humiliation of being forced to watch his wife bang the other dude or dudes."
Only your boyfriend knows for sure if it's cuckolding he wants, NERVOUS, and there are no assumptions in successful open relationships — and no "free passes" either.
"Nothing about responsible nonmonogamy involves a free pass of any sort," says Taormino. "It's absolutely possible for you to transform your monogamous relationship into one that's nonmonogamous. But you need to sit down and hash out the details, including what's OK and what's not." As for him sleeping with other women, it may well be that your boyfriend wants to give you permission to sleep with others without being able to sleep with others himself; that kind of power imbalance is a huge turn-on for most cuckolds. Again, you'll have to talk to him.
And a final word from Taormino: "The more you hash this out beforehand, the better you'll both feel."
Q: The last time cuckolding came up in your column you wrote: "Huge numbers of straight men have cuckolding fantasies." As a straight man, I want to know: Are gay men with cuckolding fantasies few and far between? —Ever Lost Innocence
A: Until DNA tests came along, ELI, only maternity could be taken for granted; the cuckolding fetish is merely the boner-killing lemons of male sexual-paternal insecurity turned into deliciously perverted bonerade. Gay sex, on the other hand, doesn't make babies, only messes (which is all straight sex makes 99.98 percent of the time). Which may explain why, as a general rule, ELI, gay men aren't as threatened when our partners are "taken" by other men. Heck, many of us are only too delighted to share.
In other words, ELI, when some other guy is doing my boyfriend, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm being violated. It usually means I'm having a three-way.Download Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage