I'm 22 years old and I am not ashamed of who I am. I'm just afraid. I know my parents love me, but on more than one occasion, they have made their dislike for "fags" rather obvious. I'd hate to see their reaction if they were to discover that their only son was one. I have never even been out on a date with another man for fear that my folks will find out. Two years ago I attempted suicide over this.
Please, Dan, I don't know where to turn. I want to learn how to find happiness and be openly gay without having to worry about bigotry and hatred. I have only recently told a couple of friends, who are gay themselves. I haven't heard from them since. Their reaction has discouraged me from telling any of my straight friends. Any advice? --Lonely in Toronto
Get a shrink. Seriously. I give decent advice, I hope, but you need more help than I can possibly give you here. So get yourself a shrink, 'K?
But here's my advice, LIT: Stop whining. There isn't an out gay person alive who didn't have to tell his parents--which means your dilemma is depressingly common. The solution is equally common: You sit your parents down, you say, "I'm gay," you deal with the fallout, and then everyone gets over it. In my case, dad was an Irish Catholic deacon and a Chicago homicide detective, mom was a lay Catholic minister, and my dad had said antigay things in front of me when I was a child. Guess what? I told them, they cried, they got over it. And if my parents could get over it, LIT, so can yours.
But they can't start getting over it until you tell them, so why not get the getting-over-it process started? But before you can do that, you're going to have to stop wallowing in self-pity, stop contemplating suicide, and stop using your parents' disapproval (or their anticipated disapproval) as an excuse to sit on your ass and do nothing. You also might want to stop fantasizing about living in a world free from bigotry and hatred--that world doesn't exist and never will.
As for your disappearing gay friends, not every out-of-the-closet gay person is interested in playing confidante and confessor to a tormented closet case. If you want someone to play that role for you, you're better off paying them. And that's where the gay-positive shrink comes in. Good luck.
I have always had an extreme dread of performing blow jobs. I would do it occasionally to try to make my ex-husband happy, but not for as long or as often as he would like. Before we got married, we had such a terrible argument about this that he wanted to cancel the wedding. Eventually we got married, but it became the subject of frequent shouting matches. I was confused as to why he went ahead and married me if he knew that blow jobs were such a tremendous need for him and such a terror for me. We've been apart for years now, but I have to hear it from you, Dan: Was I being unreasonable? --Confused
Does it matter what I think? Clearly your ex-husband felt you were being unreasonable, and it's his opinion you needed to worry about.
But I must say I'm surprised that you didn't find a way to overcome your "extreme dread," if only to save your marriage. (Perhaps some time with a blow-job-positive shrink might have made them seem less terrifying?) Your story reminded me of Henri of Navarre, a 16th-century French nobleman who converted to Catholicism so that he could become king of France. "Paris is worth a mass," Henri famously quipped. Wasn't your marriage worth an occasional blow job?
An old girlfriend recently asked me if I want to have sex with her and her attractive, female friend. I don't think it's a good idea--we have a history of "issues," and I have a girlfriend. But I'm a 17-year-old guy--is it likely that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Or do you think I'll get the chance to have a threesome later on in life, when the situation is more favorable? I hate to think that I turned down my only chance to live my number one fantasy. It's not too late to accept.
--Having a Real Dilemma
One of the things people learn about sex as they mature, HARD, is to trust your gut. If someone gives you the creeps or something doesn't feel right, don't get naked, or--if you're already naked--get up and go. If your gut is telling you that this three-way is a bad idea, it's a bad idea. If you take my advice and tell your ex no, and you haven't had a three-way by the time you're 30, I'll pop for a pair of escorts.
You recently wrote, "My imagination is wholly devoted to images of Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher's face." Can you try to leave your own graphic sexual fantasies out of your column? Especially when it has nothing to do with the question! This wasn't advice; it was forcing your readers to listen to your fantasies. --KS in Portland
I'm sorry, KSIP, but if I have to read about my readers' sexual fantasies week after week (think of all the letters I get that don't make it into the column) then by God I'm going to burden them with one of mine every once in a while. And if you think Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher's face is gross, then shit, lady, I have sexual fantasies that would burst your skull. (Did I mention that in my fantasy Ashton is tied to a chair in a hotel room? Or that Brad is wearing Jennifer's bra?)
If you wanted to keep my sexual fantasies out of this column, KSIP, why on earth did you send me this letter? You had to know there was a chance I'd use it, thereby doubling the number of times the phrase "Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher's face" had appeared in my column. And you must have known that I was likely to mention Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher's face in my response, which would triple or quadruple the number of times Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher's face was mentioned in my column.
But I'll make you a deal, KSIP: I will never again mention Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher's face if you cut me some friggin' slack the next time I mention a fantasy of mine that has nothing to do with Brad Pitt coming all over Ashton Kutcher's face. Deal?