Q: I’m a 24-year-old gay man who is a little traumatized. Recently I met a guy who was my ideal man: great job, great-looking, personable and a raging bottom. I went over to his place for a date. I assumed we wouldn’t have sex, but we started to get into it. I didn’t bring any condoms, and he didn’t have any, so we couldn’t do “the deed.” There are many other things we could have done that were hot, and I tried everything short of riding him bareback (I won’t do that), but he was really disappointed about not getting fucked. His disappointment turned me off, and I couldn’t get myself to come. So we stroked ourselves in silence, he came, and I gave up. Now he won’t return my calls. I can’t shake the feeling that I underperformed, and that I just couldn’t keep his interest.
Normally I’d be, like, “Whatever.” But it’s different this time because I really liked this guy! What could I have done differently? —Blue Balls
A: What are you so traumatized about? You met a guy, you had sex and he turned out to be an asshole. Your “ideal man” is doing you a favor. If he was upset when you wouldn’t fuck him without a condom — upset enough to sulk through what could have been a perfectly delightful consolation wank — then he wasn’t the guy you thought he was. Thank your lucky stars he showed his true colors on your first date and not after you wasted weeks or months on him.
What could you do differently? Well, you could define your concept of “ideal man” a little differently. The first traits you cite as making this guy “ideal” are his job and his looks.
There are a lot of great-looking guys out there with great jobs who happen to be great big assholes. I’m not saying that looks and career shouldn’t be considered in mate selection, but they shouldn’t outweigh other, more important considerations, like a pleasant disposition or a brain.
Q: After dating this woman for a couple months, I began to suspect that she was a bed wetter. After changing my sheets the other day I noticed an unwelcome stain on my bed. She was obviously embarrassed by the situation; being sensitive to that, I said nothing. Is adult bed-wetting more common than one would imagine? Would it be morally shallow of me not to want to sleep with her again? —Perhaps I Shouldn’t Show Our Friend Favor
A: Hundreds of big-ass Internet companies have gone under in the last two years, including stars such as pets.com, etoys.com and homegrocer.com. So I was shocked to find that mybladder.com — that’s right, mybladder.com — is still open for business.
The Web site is “a unique on-line community dedicated to encouraging people with bladder control problems to seek help rather than suffer in silence.”
According to the site, 12 million American adults have bladder-control problems. Does that make adult bed-wetting a more common problem than one would imagine? That depends, I guess, on how many bed wetters the average person imagines there are, assuming, of course, that the average person spends much time contemplating the numbers of bed wetters.
I would guess that the number of people out there wetting beds is significantly higher than the number of people out there contemplating the number of people wetting beds. Prior to receiving your letter, PISSOFF, I hadn’t wasted any time imagining bed wetters. (My imagination is wholly devoted to images of Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher’s face.) And I don’t think I’m unique: Bed-wetting isn’t something people who don’t wet the bed spend much time thinking about.
But you’re dating a bed wetter, so you don’t have much choice but to think about it. Would it be morally shallow not to sleep with the woman again? Yes, I think so. You liked this woman well enough to sleep with her before you found out she had a medical problem; if you drop her cold now you’ll not only contribute to her feelings of shame (something bed wetters suffer from, according to mybladder.com), but you’ll rack up some serious bad karma. Drop this woman for wetting the bed and God will give you bladder control problems of your own.
So instead of dumping this woman, I’d urge you to try and help her.
According to mybladder.com (how I love typing that!), only one of every five people with bladder control problems seeks medical help. But of those who do, “80 percent can be cured or can achieve substantial improvement.” Before you can help her, though, you’re going to have to broach the subject. She was no doubt embarrassed when she wet your bed, but saying nothing wasn’t necessarily the most sensitive thing you could do. A truly sensitive guy would spend some time on mybladder.com (before it goes tits up), learn about bladder control problems and treatments, and then have a heart-to-heart with the leaky miss. If she denies she has a problem or refuses to get help, you can either dump her or invest in plastic sheets.
Q: Dan, the letter from the woman whose sister was alarmed by her father’s passion for porn was a heartbreaker. Many women seem to feel that progression from passive voyeur to criminal molester is just a slippery slope for all men. Most men have fail-safe circuit-breakers in their hearts and souls that draw huge distinctions between model vs. sister, actress vs. daughter, and private fantasy vs. flesh-and-blood niece.
And why is it that people who would never think of riffling through a friend’s or relative’s pockets, closet or desk drawers seem to have no problem when it comes to riffling through their computer? — Sad For Dad
A: People who don’t want anyone else to read their diaries are told not to leave them out where others can find them. Why? Because diaries are irresistible reading material, and if you leave it in the open, you can’t really blame someone for succumbing to temptation. In a way, a computer is like a diary — it stores little facts about us — but it’s also an appliance, like a dishwashers or a toaster, that everyone in the house feels they have a right to use.
If my dad left a list of the porn sites he visited tucked in the toaster, well, I’d be tempted to read it — wouldn’t you? Likewise, someone who leaves a list of the porn sites they’ve visited on a computer is asking for trouble. The solution? A house computer for general use and a laptop computer for personal use.Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Dan Savage directly at email@example.com