My boyfriend of three years cheated on me with a girl in Canada. Then he came home and had a phone and e-mail relationship with her, and then he went to visit her in Canada again. When I found out what was going on I offered him an open relationship and he refused. He promised to never speak to this Canadian woman again, and I forgave him for cheating. But I need your help in understanding his behavior. Most of all, I need your opinion as to whether a man like this will continue to cheat on me. And if he wants to be with other women, why not just accept the open relationship? --Forgave but Cannot Forget
First, regarding forgiveness: your boyfriend didn't just get drunk at a party in darkest Canada and bang some maple-flavored slut, FBCF. That kind of run-of-the-mill infidelity--committed at a safe distance, with someone the cheater is unlikely to see again--can and should be forgiven. Your boyfriend fucked this maple-flavored slut, then spent weeks auditioning her on the phone and online and in person for the role of his next girlfriend. That's not something you should forgive, FBCF, at least not at year three in a relationship.
Second, to answer your questions: yes, your boyfriend will continue to cheat on you, FBCF, and he's going to think he'll get away with it next time. Because now, thanks to your failure to see your boyfriend for what he is (lying scum!), your boyfriend thinks you're an idiot (and he may be right). He will attempt to take advantage of your manifest idiocy in the future, I assure you. And why would your boyfriend turn down your offer of an open relationship? The likeliest reason is this: he wants to fuck other people, FBCF, but he doesn't want you to fuck other people. Christ, what an asshole. DTMFA, FBCF, DTMFA.
I am a 37-year-old soccer mom and an avid reader of your column, which I love--excepting all the santorum stuff, which got a little tedious.
Do I have a problem? Oh, yes, I do. After 15 years of truly great vanilla sex with a husband I adore, I am bored with sex. I can't stand it anymore. The thought of him sucking my clit again makes me about as hot as the thought of him sucking my elbow. I think we are really ripe to move beyond vanilla sex, but I have no idea what that means. Help me before I pull the sexy grocery boy into the minivan out of sheer desperation.
--Bored in the Midwest
You want to know what moving beyond vanilla sex means...
That's a tough one, BITM, because it means whatever you and your husband and/or the sexy grocery boy want it to mean. I could tick off a long list of kinks that you and the husband and/or the grocery boy can explore together--public sex, pegging, three-ways, vaginal fisting, water sports, spanking, etc--but if you're a regular reader of this column, BITM, you're no doubt familiar with them. What good does my list do you?
No, what you and the husband need--and this is going to make me sound like Ye Olde Tyme Advice Professional--are better communication skills. You and the husband need to have a long talk. (You should leave the sexy grocery boy out of it--for now.) Memorize these opening remarks: "Look honey, I love you. But I'm bored. Sexually. We've got to broaden our sexual horizons or I'm going to lose my freakin' mind."
Now here's the tricky part: once you tell your husband how deadly serious this problem is, you have to shift gears immediately. If you assume a long, hard slog attitude, BITM, you're only going to make the problem worse. Approach it instead like it's a grand sexual adventure you're about to go on together.
And your first adventure should be this: each of you needs to draw up your own list of "beyond vanilla" kinks you want to/would be willing to explore. You can get ideas reading this here column, of course, but also by reading sex manuals, watching porn, and surfing the Internet. Then you should take turns picking things off each other's list that you want to try. Nothing but shit, animals, and children should be off-limits, and neither of you is allowed to say no to anything on the other's list until after you've made a good-faith effort to enjoy it.
Finally, BITM, I'm sorry you find the santorum stuff tedious, because, speaking of santorum...
A brief note: your column is read worldwide. To readers who do not live in the United States (I live in Canada), your continued references to a politician named Santorum are lost on us, and the references to the "frothy mixture" only serve to disgust. I appreciate that you dislike this arrogant public figure, but please spare us the repetitious descriptions of shit foam.
--Fretting Over Acronyms Needlessly
A brief riposte: as I am the only sex advice columnist in history, Canadian or American, to devote an entire column to the issue of who will be Canadian head of state when Queen Elizabeth II finally croaks, FOAN, I think my Canadian readers should cut me some fucking slack, yo. And if my Canadian readers would like to nominate an arrogant Canadian public figure for the santorum treatment, I will duly inflict that person, and the disgusting sex act subsequently attached to his or her name, on my American readers.
When you first linked Rick Santorum's name to [description of shit foam deleted], I thought it would never stick. I was wrong. As someone has probably pointed out to you, if you put santorum into Google, the first three hits are to his senate Web site, the next two are to CNN articles about his comments on homosexuality, and the two after that are about santorum, that frothy mix.
You may have heard of what happens if you type "French military victories" into a Google search engine. (The first hit is a page that says, "No standard Web pages containing all your search terms were found.") You might want to post a challenge to all the computer geeks out there to do something similar, Dan, so the first entry a Google search of santorum brings up is your definition, not Senator Santorum's official Web site. Surely that would promote the cause, don't you think? --Santorum on My Mind
It would, SOMM, and I hereby challenge computer geeks to move my definition of santorum to the top slot on Google.
As for the ongoing success of the Savage Love santorum campaign, I could fill the column, week after week, with nothing but notes from people about their own use of the word and the unexpected places they've heard it used--from the floor of the Wisconsin state senate to U.S. military bases in Afghanistan!--but bowing to the delicate sensibilities of my readers (and editors), I'm going to refrain from doing so. Instead I'm going to put up a Web site where people can track the spread of santorum and share their santorum stories. Look for the URL in next week's Savage Love.