Q My boyfriend and I have been living together for a year. He knows I'm an insecure person when it comes to my body. I'm not overweight, I've been told my whole life how good-looking I am, and my boyfriend tells me he loves my body. We have an active and interesting sex life. Here's my problem: I get upset when he looks at porn. I never had a problem with porn until my previous boyfriend (he preferred porn to sex). I've been uncomfortable about porn ever since. I wish I could get over this. My boyfriend knows I would love to share pornography together, but he just does it in private.
I suppose I got upset initially because my boyfriend told me on several occasions that he didn't need to look at porn while he was in a relationship, and I believed him. I later saw on our computer that this wasn't true, and he kept denying it until we had an argument. It bothers me that he felt like he had to lie about it.
Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated to help me get over this. —Feeling Fucking Frustrated
PS: When I'm alone and I look at the porn my boyfriend watches on the computer, it does turn me on a little and I masturbate thinking about him getting off to it. But I feel bad after I'm done. WTF?
A The usual porn de la concorde—the only porn compromise that works—goes like this: he pretends not to look at porn, out of consideration for your feelings, and you pretend to believe him, out of consideration for his. And I would stick that advice on a pike and parade it under your window if it weren't for that amazing little postscript: you're turned on when you check out the porn your boyfriend's been watching, and—this is a very important detail—you masturbate not so much to the porn itself but to the idea that this porn is getting your boyfriend off when you're not around.
WTF? This the fuck: your erotic imagination has been hard at work, FFF, breaking down your sexual fears and your insecurities about your looks, about porn, and about your douchebag ex-boyfriend and reconstructing them as a turn-on. Congratulations, FFF, you've got a kink. It's not an uncommon response: sometimes our subconscious mind takes the lemons of our sexual insecurities and turns them into delicious bonerade.
So what do you do now? You should begin to explore and cultivate—slowly, carefully, thoughtfully—your subconscious mind's efforts to eroticize your boyfriend's porn habits and your own insecurities. Here's how.
He may never want to look at porn with you—he's obviously self-conscious about it, which is why he lied. (Maybe he had a bad experience with an ex who freaked out about his porn-viewing habits that left him feeling insecure?) But you've already proven that you two don't have to watch porn together for both of you to get something out of it. He should continue to get off watching porn alone but then intentionally leave the clips for you, perhaps in a dedicated folder. You should look at those clips—alone—and get off watching the porn he watched and tormenting yourself—carefully—with mental images of him getting off to this stuff. Delete the clips you've looked at so that he knows you're getting off too and knows to refill your clips folder.
You can turn this problem that you're having with your boyfriend—he's looking at porn, you're masturbating about it—into a game you're playing with your boyfriend. That will give your insecurities an erotic payoff—and that payoff could alleviate or eliminate those bad and abandoned feelings.
Q I've been in a stable poly relationship for 20 years. A good friend of mine knows this but rejects poly as a lifestyle choice for himself. He's in a "monogamous" relationship now. But he's willing to cheat on his girlfriend—with me if I wanted, but I'm not keen. My question is this: Why would someone pick cheating when they know about open or poly relationships? I don't understand. I don't see the logic in it. —Honest Open Poly Eros
A Isn't it obvious? Your friend wants to have sex with other people, HOPE, but he doesn't want his girlfriend having sex with other people. What I don't understand is why an honest poly would want to be friendly with a dishonest cheater. That's like an out gay person being friends with a tormented closet case—where's the logic in that?
And this has nothing to do with your question, HOPE, but I've got a little space to kill: the Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida, made the news last week when its pastor replaced the megachurch's ten Pepsi vending machines with ten Coke machines. The pastor felt that Pepsi was far too supportive of "the gay lifestyle."
What I found most remarkable about this story wasn't the stupidity—more on that in a moment—but the fact that a single church in Florida has ten soda-pop vending machines. Ten! You'd think the good Christians at Bell Shoals could make it through an hour or two on a Sunday without a cold can of corn syrup.
And psst . . . Bell Shoals? Coke supports gay rights, too. Your best gay-hatin' soda pop option may be Zam Zam Cola. It was once a subsidiary of Pepsi, true, but that was before the Islamic Revolution. Made in Iran, Zam Zam Cola is one of the most popular soft drinks in Saudi Arabia, and I'm guessing the good folks at Zam Zam don't like the gays any more than you do. But if the "soft drink of the Hajj" doesn't appeal to you, Bell Shoals, how about asking your parishioners to go without soda pop for an hour a week?
Q I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for the last five years, and we moved in together this past year. Our sex life isn't too active, and it's an issue we've discussed numerous times. This has caused my self-esteem to plummet. And a certain aspect of our problem has made me very resentful. We're very into D/s play and discovered our kinky interests early on. In fact, any time I bend him over and spank him or add a bit of bondage, our sex life picks right up again. I resent the fact that this is the only way I can get him interested. Is it possible that he's only interested in kinky sex? Does it mean that good old-fashioned vanilla is out of the question?
I enjoy kink just as much as he does and sometimes more, but every once in a while I just want to be fucked. He's actually had difficulty staying hard before if we're "just" having missionary. —He Only Likes It Kinky
A You have leverage here, HOLIK. Use it.
The next time you wanna get fucked good and vanilla, HOLIK, whisper in the boyfriend's ear that you are so gonna tie him up and beat his ass . . . tomorrow night. Then tell him if he wants that—and tell him that you know he wants it because he's a dirty little pervert—he's going to have to fuck you right now, and fuck you hard, and fuck you the way you wanna be fucked. Then once he's fucking you, HOLIK, whisper something vaguely threatening in his ear once in a while—something about the beating he's earning with his good vanilla behavior—and he won't have any trouble staying hard.Send questions for Dan to email@example.com. Download the Savage Lovecast at thestranger.com/savage.