HK Magazine - - MARKET PLACE - Dan Sav­age

Straight male, 48, mar­ried 14 years, three kids un­der age 10. Need­less to say, life is busy at our house. My wife and I have stopped hav­ing sex. It was my de­ci­sion. I get the obli­ga­tion vibe com­bined with a vanilla sex life, and it just turns me off. We’ve had many con­ver­sa­tions about it and we want to find a bal­ance. But it al­ways de­faults back to in­fre­quent and dull, mak­ing me frus­trated and cranky. For the past two months, I’ve tried to just push sex out of my mind. We live mostly as par­ent­ing room­mates. We used to be pretty kinky—dirty talk, four­somes, toys, porn, etc.—but all those things wear her out now, and her in­ter­est has dis­ap­peared. My guess is that she was just play­ing along with my kinks to keep me happy and is now over it. Is this just life as a 48-year-old mar­ried fa­ther of three? Am I be­ing self­ish for want­ing more in my sex life than my wife is will­ing to of­fer?

– Hard Up Hus­band

Is sex wear­ing your wife out, HUH, or is rais­ing three kids wear­ing your wife out? I sus­pect it’s the lat­ter.

But in an­swer to your ques­tion: In­fre­quent and un­der­whelm­ing sex, some­times with an oblig­a­tory vibe, is not only the sex life a 48-year-old mar­ried fa­ther of three can ex­pect, it’s the sex life he signed up for. There’s noth­ing self­ish about want­ing more sex or want­ing it to be more like it was. Kids, how­ever, are a lo­gis­ti­cal im­ped­i­ment—but a tem­po­rar­ily one, pro­vided you don’t go nu­clear. A cou­ple’s sex life can come roar­ing back so long as they don’t suc­cumb to bit­ter­ness, re­crim­i­na­tion, and sex­less­ness. To avoid all three, HUH, it might help to ask your­self which is the like­lier sce­nario: for years your wife faked an in­ter­est in dirty talk, four­somes, toys, porn, etc., in or­der to trap you, or your wife is cur­rently too ex­hausted to take an in­ter­est in dirty talk, four­somes, toys, porn, etc. Again, I sus­pect it’s the lat­ter.

My ad­vice: mas­tur­bate more, mas­tur­bate to­gether more, lower your ex­pec­ta­tions so you’ll be pleas­antly sur­prised when a joint mas­tur­ba­tion ses­sion blows up into some­thing big­ger and bet­ter, carve out enough time for qual­ity sex (week­ends away, if pos­si­ble, with pot and wine and Vi­a­gra), dis­cuss other ac­com­mo­da­tions/con­tin­gen­cies as needed, and take turns re­mind­ing each other that small kids aren’t small for­ever.

I’m one of those bi guys. I had trou­ble dat­ing girls in high school and at 18 found guys so much darn eas­ier. And as sex­ual promis­cu­ity in the gay world goes, I got around there eas­ily. Fast-for­ward a few years. I’m in col­lege now and de­sir­ing women and sta­bil­ity more. But women find me weird and awk­ward—I ad­mit I am—some­thing I was never judged for in the gay world. This has been go­ing on for a few years now, and it just gets worse when I’m sup­posed to be parad­ing around pre­sent­ing as a horny straight guy. I’d love to find a bi­sex­ual woman to start a fam­ily with who is up for mu­tu­ally agreed upon swing-and-fun ses­sions with oth­ers. But from what I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced with girls so far—al­ways on the watch for a “player,” zero un­der­stand­ing of male bi­sex­u­al­ity—that seems far from pos­si­ble. Lately I’ve just been sit­ting on my hands in so­cial sit­u­a­tions, afraid to even in­ter­act with women. Is this ther­apy wor­thy? – Up­set Pitts­burgher In Trou­bling Times

Ther­apy couldn’t hurt… un­less you get a ter­ri­ble ther­a­pist… in which case it could. Start your ther­a­pist hunt at the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Sex­u­al­ity Ed­u­ca­tors, Coun­selors, and Ther­a­pists (aa­, and you’re like­lier to find a good/sex­pos­i­tive one.

As for why your “weird and awk­ward” first im­pres­sion seemed to be less of an im­ped­i­ment when you were sleep­ing with men: Men aren’t sub­jected to male sex­ual vi­o­lence at the same rates that women are. Women have a lot more to fear than men do, UPITT, and a weird-an­dawk­ward first im­pres­sion is far like­lier to turn off a woman into dudes than it is to turn off a man into dudes. The man you flirt with at a party might think, “Dude’s weird and awk­ward but he’s hot,” and jump into bed with you. But the woman you flirt with at a party is likely to think, “Dude’s weird and awk­ward and he’s hot, but he’s just too weird to risk it.”

Some­thing else that couldn’t hurt: get­ting on a site like OkCupid and ap­proach­ing bi­sex­ual women there. You may have bet­ter luck with women if your ini­tial in­ter­ac­tions are over e-mail.

And fi­nally, UPITT, there are gay and bi men out there who de­sire sta­bil­ity, too—and sta­bil­ity and “promis­cu­ity” aren’t mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive.

About your an­swer to WHAT, the lady whose boyfriend “ac­ci­den­tally” ass-fucked her. I am a queer lady with a num­ber of men in my sex­ual his­tory, and I have many straight women friends who get around. “I didn’t mean to stick my dick in your ass” is a lie that men tell—men who are em­bar­rassed to ask for anal, men who want it so bad they’re pre­pared to hurt their part­ner, or men who think their part­ner will say no if asked and just don’t care. In all cases, these are men who do not even be­gin to un­der­stand how anal sex works. As you say, it’s not an ac­ci­dent. But what you don’t say is that these men are telling lies in or­der to get out of tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for their de­sires and the fact that they’ve hurt their part­ners.

Men who want to have anal sex need to talk that through with their part­ners and then ei­ther fig­ure out how to do it safely and plea­sur­ably, ac­cept that it’s not hap­pen­ing, or break up if it’s a deal breaker. I have had way too many con­ver­sa­tions with women friends about the pain and anger and some­times shame that they’ve felt when male part­ners have just stuck it in abruptly, un­lu­bri­cated, and without per­mis­sion. It makes me re­ally an­gry that this is some­thing that men can de­scribe as an “ac­ci­dent” without any push­back, and hon­estly it was kind of gross and dis­ap­point­ing when your an­swer was just jokes about butt plugs.

– What­ever Acro­nym Strongly Stresses Un­der­ly­ing Point

I’m with you, WASSUP. I don’t think anal hap­pens by ac­ci­dent. Anal has al­ways, in my vast ex­pe­ri­ence, re­quired lube, fo­cus, pre­ci­sion, and deep breath­ing. But on the two oc­ca­sions when

I’ve urged straight fe­male call­ers on the Sav­age Love­cast to dump boyfriends who “ac­ci­den­tally” pen­e­trated them anally—the push­back from male and fe­male lis­ten­ers was over­whelm­ing. Scores of peo­ple called in to in­sist that anal can and does hap­pen by ac­ci­dent.

WHAT’s boyfriend has ac­ci­den­tally pen­e­trated her anally four times in a year. That raises a red flag. But WHAT was con­vinced it was an ac­ci­dent ( all four times) and seemed to think her boyfriend felt gen­uinely ter­ri­ble about it ( all four times), and I de­ferred to a reader’s POV ( just one time). And here’s a de­tail that was cut from WHAT’s let­ter for space: “Peo­ple have sug­gested go­ing slow, but I like it a lit­tle rough.” Per­haps I should’ve come down harder on WHAT’s boyfriend—okay, I should’ve come down harder—but it seemed pos­si­ble, at least in WHAT’s case, that anal might’ve been an ac­ci­dent ( all four times?!?).

I still be­lieve “ac­ci­den­tal anal” is much more likely to be “in­ten­tional, non­con­sen­sual anal,” aka not an ac­ci­dent at all.

On the Love­cast, Dan chats with writer Anna Pul­ley about all things les­bian: sav­agelove­

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