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Savage Love


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Hey, Faggot:

My girlfriend is a survivor of repeated sexual abuse. As a result she suffered from severe depression, masochism, an eating disorder, and frigidity. After many years of therapy, she is a brand-new person--strong, self-confident, happy, and finally able to truly commit to emotional intimacy. There's just one problem: she still won't have sex. She's well into her 20s, still a virgin, and claims she has no "need" for sex. In fact, it is impossible to get her aroused the slightest bit. When I recommend that she see a therapist for this, she gets angry. She tells me I should be happy for all the progress she's made. She tells me if I need sex that much, go elsewhere for it. I love her and have no desire for anyone else, but four years in a platonic relationship with someone I truly love but who has no need for physical intimacy is getting frustrating. Should I keep insisting on therapy? Should I stay with her and fuck strangers? Is it possible to be a healthy human being with no sexual response? --GF

Hey, GF:

Sure, it's possible to be a healthy human being with no interest in sex, no desires, no urges, no lust, no nothin'. It isn't possible, however, to be in a romantic, come-here-you-beautiful-hunk-of-woman sexual relationship with someone like that without losing your mind. If you've been hanging in there all these years in hopes that when she finally got her shit together you could have the nonplatonic sex-love-rock 'n' roll relationship you desire, and she ceases to assemble her shit just short of that goal, well, that's when it's time to walk. There's nothing wrong with someone not having sex, but there is something wrong with someone letting you hang around for years waiting and waiting for sex. It doesn't sound like she needs or wants a lover; it sounds like she wants a friend. You can be her friend, love her very much, and go find someone else to fall in love with, someone who'll fuck you every once in a while. Maybe someone who isn't such a selfish mess?

Hey, Faggot:

I have known my current boyfriend for years now. We have been going steady for a while. He was abused really bad, both mentally and physically by his whole family. He was diagnosed with ADD and is now addicted to crystal meth because the Ritalin and Dexedrine no longer do anything to him. But whenever we argue about something, no matter how stupid it is, he tweaks out and starts crying and causes scenes when we are in public (tacky). He is also becoming obsessive. Seeing as I have known the guy forever, I have grown to love him deeply. But I can't even handle my own problems, much less his mental condition. Whenever I try to break up with him he causes a scene, and I feel sorry for him. We have nothing in common anymore, the sex is boring, he insists that meth helps him feel normal, and I am starting to think I might be gay. I can't ever have sex without fantasizing about a woman. Please print this and help me decide how I can break up with him without feeling guilty. I have done everything I can to try to help him, and now it's time to help myself.

--Sick of Scenes

Hey, SOS:

Nice acronym. Nasty situation. Your question, if I may recap, is how to leave this loser without feeling guilty. Well, if you're the guilt-ridden type--like me--there's really no way to dump someone, even someone who isn't a tweaked-out basket case, without waves of guilt crashing over you. The trick is learning to enjoy those waves of guilt--guilt is, my mom says, one of the few things that separate us from the lower animals. Dump the loser, ride the wave.

Hey, Faggot:

I am writing in hopes that you can help me with my problem. I am a gay woman who is heavily involved with another woman. We have been together for two years, and after this long we have decided to invite a third person to add a little excitement. We found a willing woman, and after a little small talk, we hit the sack. My partner and I decided that this woman was a "tongue of pleasure."

I know this doesn't sound like a problem, but this has now been going on for three months, and I am starting to regret the whole situation. I never get to be alone with my lover anymore, and when we are alone all she talks about is how the third person pleases her so much. However, I've noticed that the third has a nasty stench, and she no longer turns me on. I may just sound jealous, but how am I supposed to feel, and what should I tell my partner? --Please Help

Hey, PH:

Sometimes a three-way is just a three-way, and sometimes a three-way is a sign. In your case, PH, it's a sign, and a bad one. When a three-way works, it augments the passion of the two primary partners for one another. When a three-way doesn't work, it supplants the passion one partner feels for the other. And that's what's up with your girlfriend--she's over you, she's into that other woman. Don't wait for her to dump you--dump her first.

Hey, Faggot:

I am a happily married woman, but I often find myself attracted to individuals of the same sex. I only acted on this impulse once, about eight years ago, with a woman I met at a bar. It was simply a kiss, but I think about it often, and I must admit it turns me on. I think about girls when I am having sex too. I believe that everyone has natural homosexual feelings whether they are mature enough to admit it or not. My question is: where do you draw the line between feelings and bisexuality? --RK

Hey, RK:

Sorry to disappoint you, but no, everyone doesn't have homosexual feelings, natural or otherwise. Tragically, some folks are completely free of same-sex attraction, just as others are happily free of opposite-sex attraction. Try and resist the urge to project your own feelings and experiences onto the rest of the human race--just cuz it's so for you doesn't make it so for everyone else. I've never understood why so many people run around insisting that everyone is basically straight (religious types), or basically gay (creepy homos who can't take "straight" for an answer), or basically bi (bi-supremacist types), if only everyone were "mature" enough to cop to being straight/gay/bi.

Well, bullshit: if only everyone were mature enough to be secure in their own sexual identities, they wouldn't have to waste their time and everyone else's assuring themselves that all other humans are basically just like them. So, my darling, there is no line between your bisexual feelings and actual honest-to-badness bisexuality to protect you. Whether or not you wish to identify as bi, which is entirely up to you, you are bi. Deal.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.

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