Savage Love | Savage Love | Chicago Reader

Columns & Opinion » Savage Love

Savage Love



I'd like to comment on WBS, the married man whose wife backed out on her promise to have a threesome with him in exchange for his agreement to have kids. First of all, Dan, I sincerely hope that you were joking when you told WBS he had a "right" and a "responsibility" to cheat on his wife, particularly since he has two kids to take care of. As for the guy in question, I have a couple of points I'd like to address to him:

First, while practically every guy wants to have a threesome, hardly any of them actually get to have one. What makes you think that you still have the right to a threesome? Second, your wife is a mother now, and has different priorities, and this desire of yours no doubt strikes her as selfish and obsessive. I have no sympathy for you.


Sorry, Omaha, but I absolutely, positively wasn't kidding when I told WBS that he has a right and a responsibility to cheat on his wife.

WBS agreed to have kids after his wife told him she was open to having a three-way with WBS and a woman-to-be-named-later. If Mrs. WBS wasn't interested in a three-way, the time to tell WBS was before they had kids, not after. While you sit there wondering what gives WBS the right to cheat on his wife, Omaha, I sit here wondering what gives Mrs. WBS the right to back out on the deal she made. And I wonder how Mrs. WBS would feel if after having dozens of three-ways with WBS he turned around and said, "Gee, honey, I'm sorry, but I've changed my mind about kids." And I wonder why I can't shake the suspicion that Mrs. WBS never intended to have a threeway, but lied to her husband to get what she wanted (kids). Shouldn't WBS get what he wants, even if he has to lie/cheat to get it? Like his wife?

And it's precisely because WBS has kids that he has a responsibility to cheat on his wife. WBS feels "bummed and cheated," and this dispute over the lie his wife told him is going to continue to generate conflict. If something isn't done, WBS's resentment will continue to grow and will ultimately destroy his marriage. Having parents who divorced over something relatively stupid will be worse for WBS's kids than having parents who weren't completely faithful to each other but who stayed together. If WBS cheats and gets caught, there's a chance Mrs. WBS will divorce him, of course, but only a chance, and a lot of marriages survive infidelity. But if WBS doesn't cheat on his lying wife, then this marriage is doomed, doomed, doomed.

If having sex with two women at once is so important to WBS, he should do the right thing and divorce his wife! If he doesn't want to divorce his wife, he should put this three-way fantasy out of mind and get on with raising his kids!

--Disgusted in Denver

People's sexual fantasies are too powerful to be put out of mind, and they are not something to trifle with. When it comes to someone's sexual fantasies, it's both cruel and stupid to make promises you have no intention of keeping. Had Mrs. WBS been honest with WBS, he wouldn't have married her, and they wouldn't have kids to worry about. But she lied, and now they have kids...and, my god, think of the wee ones! As Judith S. Wallerstein points out in her new book, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, having divorced parents is harder on kids than parents who lie and cheat and stay married. At least, that's the impression I got reading the reviews.

Anyway, if WBS didn't have two kids, I would advise him to divorce Mrs. WBS and have three-ways with all the women he can hire. But since he has kids, I think WBS should refrain from divorcing his wife--for the kids' sake!--and have a three-way with or without his wife's presence or permission. Not having a three-way isn't an option; no one can put a long-held fantasy "out of mind," especially after its enactment was promised by a spouse. Call me and Judy crazy, but in this case I think a tiny, hushed-up infidelity would be better for all involved--WBS, his wife, and his kids--than a big, loud divorce.

I once had a boyfriend like WBS. So I got myself good and drunk, took a deep breath, and went to bed with him and another woman. Two minutes after she walked out the door, he asked how soon it would be before we would do it again! Soon he was slipping ecstasy into my drinks when we were out at bars, thinking I would want to screw women if I was high! When I finally told him that I wasn't going to screw other women anymore, he suddenly couldn't get it up, and ended the relationship. By your logic, once I said no to three-ways, he had a right to screw around on me! Did you hit your head recently?

--Vexed in Vancouver

Two-women-at-once is a common fantasy among straight men, Vancouver, but very few would drug their girlfriends in an effort to realize it. The guy you were dating was an asshole, and it's unfortunate that he didn't make that clear before you got good and drunk and ate pussy for him. But it doesn't follow that all men with this fantasy are assholes, or that other guys who've acted on their two-women-at-once fantasies won't happily fuck one woman at a time ever again.

Unlike WBS's wife, you didn't manipulate this guy by making promises you weren't willing to keep. He wanted to have a three-way, you tried it, and you didn't like it. You weren't obligated to do it again. When you told him that being with you meant no more three-ways, he walked away. Your situation isn't in any way similar to Mr. and Mrs. WBS.

I work in a bar. A guy comes in with a stench off him like someone allergic to soap. The stink bomb tries to sell me tickets to a Nader event. I decline. As I walk away, he starts to work the bar, and I stop him with a "Hey!" I tell the guy he can stand outside and harass people as they leave but he can't proselytize in the bar. Neither can Bush, Gore, or Buchanan mopes. Then I notice that he's removed his shoes. I tell him to put them back on. He asks me what fucking difference it makes. I explain about showing some respect for the people around you. The Nader mope leaves, depriving me of the chance to further the democratic process by explaining how civilized discourse involves soap and water. The general consensus in the bar? Nader doesn't have a chance until his people learn to bathe.

--Concerned Bartender

PS: What's with the cracks about Nader's bad suits? Were you attempting to bait Nader supporters by stooping to personal attacks?

Yes, the cracks about Nader's bad suits and various social maladaptations were meant to bait Nader supporters into responding--and it worked. The mail continues to pour in. Apparently, eliminating personal hygiene and critical thought from your daily routine, as so many Nader supporters have done, frees up a lot of time for tapping out long E-mails to Gore-supporting realists.

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

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →