Fa­ther fig­ur­ing

How do I for­give my dad for blow­ing my fam­ily apart with a sex­worker scandal? Plus: There is no rea­son on earth to fuck a nazi.

The Coast - - SAVAGE LOVE -

Q A few years ago, my dad was busted by the cops for us­ing an on­line fo­rum to so­licit es­corts. The arrest and in­fi­delity de­stroyed his marriage to my mom. My brother and I were in our mid-teens at the time and were an­gry enough with him that we asked him to not seek cus­tody. He obliged, and nei­ther of us has seen him since. I miss my dad—or the man I thought he was. I know part of my anger comes from how badly he hurt my mom.

As I ma­ture, I’m won­der­ing if I was un­fair to my dad by cut­ting off all con­tact. I don’t think sex work is im­moral. I don’t think peo­ple who see sex work­ers are bad. But be­cause my dad was in­volved in this bust, and be­cause I had to be­come aware of the dou­ble life he led, I felt un­com­fort­able. It doesn’t help that some of the girls were not much older than I was. I think I’d like to get to know my dad again, but I’m not sure what kind of re­la­tion­ship I’m ready to have. He was a won­der­ful fa­ther—and on some level, I rec­og­nize I cut him off when he showed me he was hu­man. How do I reach out to him? —Please Help

A Each of us is a writhing mass of con­tra­dic­tions. We all have pub­lic per­sonas and pri­vate per­sonas, and there are al­ways gaps be­tween the two. And while those gaps, when ex­posed, can be mu­tu­ally negat­ing, that’s not al­ways the case. It is pos­si­ble for some­one to be a good dad and a shitty hus­band. The good dad you knew your dad to be? That wasn’t a lie. It was one of your fa­ther’s truths. That he failed as a hus­band and hurt your mom—with an as­sist from laws crim­i­nal­iz­ing sex work—is an­other of your fa­ther’s truths.

You don’t say why your dad was seek­ing sex out­side the marriage, PH, and I can’t imag­ine that was a con­ver­sa­tion you wanted to have with your dad in your mid-teens—and it may not be one you ever want to have. But it’s pos­si­ble your par­ents’ marriage was more com­pli­cated than you know. (“The vic­tim of an af­fair is not al­ways the vic­tim of the marriage,” as Es­ther Perel says.) But you’re not an aw­ful daugh­ter for re­fus­ing to see your dad dur­ing a con­tentious, con­fus­ing and most likely hu­mil­i­at­ing time.

As for how to reach out, I think email is the best way to reestab­lish con­tact af­ter an es­trange­ment. You can take your time craft­ing what you want to say, and your dad can take his time craft­ing a re­sponse. Give your mother a heads up so she doesn’t feel blind­sided. Good luck.

Q I’m a fe­male masochist and su­per-subby. For the last cou­ple of months, I’ve been pur­su­ing “death wish” fan­tasies. When I start feel­ing low, I seek out guys on hookup sites who are sadis­tic enough that they might po­ten­tially help me carry it out. I’ve gone so far as to put to­gether a “black­mail pack­age,” in case they feel like I might tell on them.

I hon­estly wouldn’t want any­one to get in trou­ble just be­cause I’m not think­ing right. My ther­a­pist knows about the masochist end of things, but I’m afraid to tell her this other part be­cause I don’t want to be put on any crazy pills. Is there a way for me find my way back to nor­mal BDSM or some­thing else en­tirely with­out turn­ing off my sex­u­al­ity com­pletely? —Rather Not Say My Name

A There are fan­tasies that are sim­ply too dan­ger­ous to re­al­ize, RNSMN, even with a will­ing vic­tim/sub and a reck­less perp/Dom. And any per­son who pushes a woman’s “death wish” fan­tasy into po­ten­tially-car­ry­ing-it-out ter­ri­tory de­serves what­ever trou­ble comes their way. Mur­der is wrong, even if the per­son wants it. You must open up to your ther­a­pist about the risks you’re tak­ing, RNSMN. Some peo­ple with ex­treme and/or dan­ger­ous sex­ual ob­ses­sions have been suc­cess­fully treated with talk ther­apy and low-dose an­tide­pres­sants—meds, not “crazy pills.” A good ther­a­pist and/or the right low-dose med­i­ca­tion could help you find your way back to safer and saner BDSM prac­tices with­out shut­ting off your sex­u­al­ity com­pletely.

Q I’m a woman in my early 30s hav­ing sex with a guy in his early 20s. We re­ally care about each other. My con­cern is this guy has some alt-right sym­pa­thies that re­veal them­selves in our po­lit­i­cal dis­cus­sions. He’s a Trump guy, but hes­i­tates to ad­mit it be­cause he knows I’m anti-Trump. He shares memes from Mike Cer­novich and Milo Yiannopou­los, he gets his news from hard-right pub­li­ca­tions and his sis­ter and brother-in-law are Holo­caust de­niers. This con­cerns me be­cause he’s a sweet guy and so damn good in bed.

I can’t rec­on­cile these two sides of him, but I also can’t help try­ing to en­lighten him a lit­tle bit. One of his best fea­tures is his open­mind­ed­ness. He’s read books and watched doc­u­men­taries I’ve rec­om­mended. I feel a re­spon­si­bil­ity to this young, con­fused and not-too-bright per­son who’s sur­rounded by bad in­flu­ences. I want to be un­der­stand­ing and gen­tly guide him in a bet­ter di­rec­tion, but some­times his ig­no­rance is ag­gra­vat­ing. I can also sense that he’s be­gin­ning to feel judged, which can only make things worse. I keep think­ing of your Camp­site Rule. Can I con­tinue to have sex with some­one who thinks the left is con­spir­ing to turn ev­ery­one com­mu­nist? —Con­flicted Lover A Don’t fuck nazis. If some­one you just met tells you they’re a nazi, don’t fuck that nazi. If you’re al­ready fuck­ing some­one and they re­veal them­selves to be a nazi, stop fuck­ing that nazi. If some­one tells you they’re a nazi and you fuck that nazi any­way and keep fuck­ing that nazi be­cause they’re good at sex (for a nazi), your ef­fort to “gen­tly guide” that nazi away from be­ing a nazi doesn’t make it OK for you to fuck that nazi.

OK, OK: This guy might not be a nazi at all— al­though it sure as fuck sounds like his fam­ily is, and they prob­a­bly have more in­flu­ence over him than you do. It’s pos­si­ble this young, con­fused and not-too-bright boy is merely a Trump-sup­port­ing con­spir­acy the­o­rist. Or, hey, maybe this guy is al­ready a nazi and hasn’t revealed the full ex­tent of his odi­ous po­lit­i­cal be­liefs to you, CL, be­cause the sex is good and he’s hop­ing to fuck the nazi into you be­fore you can fuck the nazi out of him.

Fi­nally, good peo­ple don’t worry about mak­ing nazis “feel judged.” An­other thing good peo­ple don’t do? They don’t fuck nazis.

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