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Savage Love

The world is full of people deriving all sorts of secret thrills from all sorts of shit.

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I'm an old guy, fast approaching geezerdom. After 45 years of marriage, the sex has fallen off to zero. We otherwise have a great and comfortable relationship. If I want any at all these days, the only options are masturbation or professional service-providers, and paid sex has become a regular thing. You stress honesty and communication for a long-term relationship to work. In our case, honesty would mean the end to a great friendship that provides us both with deeply satisfying companionship. I don't want to hurt her, but revealing my outside activities would do so, as she thinks men using prostitutes is disgusting. Any comments from a young gay guy?

Sin Or Salvation

There aren't any young gay guys around at the moment, so you'll have to settle for my advice ...

Honesty and communication are important, SOS, but there are limits. No long-term relationship would survive a strict regime of full disclosure enforced with depositions, regularly scheduled lie-detector tests, etc. Knowing what to omit is just as important as honesty and communication. And married people get to have some zones of privacy.

There are limits to privacy, autonomy and subject avoidance, as well. If your inner life amounts to a double life, that's a problem. If your secrets place your spouse at risk of physical or emotional harm, that's a problem. If your zones of privacy grow so large that your spouse doesn't know who you are, that's a problem.

But I don't think what you're doing is necessarily a problem. If your wife is truly content — if you're not cheating her out of anything she values, if you're not taking risks with her health, if you're not depleting your retirement savings to finance your activities — then your visits to sex workers are covered by my standard advice to people in sexless but otherwise fulfilling marriages: Do what you gotta do to stay sane and stay married.

You sound like a decent, loving husband. To make sure you're also a courteous client — for tips on communication, hygiene, tipping and avoiding women who have been trafficked — check out the sex-worker panel we convened for the Savage Lovecast. Go to and listen to episode 387.

I'm a 23-year-old woman. I was in a relationship with a guy who I loved but who was immature. The sex was out of this world. About six months before we broke up, I met a guy who is 20 years older than me, and we bonded over a lot of mutual interests. When I broke up with my boyfriend, this fortysomething guy took it as a sign that I wanted to be with him. We've now been dating for four months. This guy wants to get married and have babies. I love him — I think — but I am not physically attracted to him. I often feel angry and suffocated by his attention. Are these feelings normal in "serious" relationships? I'm also physically aching at memories of fucking my ex. Is that a sign I'm not into the new guy? I don't want to hurt this new guy by telling him I'm not attracted to him. Should I do the brutally honest thing, or lie about why we're breaking up?

Superficial And Prevaricating

You say Mr. Fortyish took your breakup as a sign that you wanted to be with him. If that was a faulty assumption, why did you start dating him? Maybe you felt like you had no choice, and you had to play along to spare his feelings. But you did have a choice. And while you intend to get out of this relationship — you don't list staying together as an option — you're gonna have to learn to advocate for yourself, or you're gonna be in this position again, i.e., manipulated into relationships that leave you feeling panicky, annoyed and unfulfilled.

As for how to break up, there's no reason to tell him you're not attracted to him. A person can advocate for herself without being cruel. Just use the standard-issue little white breakup lies: "I'm not ready for a serious commitment." "It's not you, it's me." "We're in very different places right now." And commit those lies to memory for use on any guy who starts talking about marriage and kids four months into a relationship.

One of the boys at the restaurant where I work met up with a dominant gay couple in a bar. They told him to go to the bathroom and strip in a stall. Then one of the guys came in and took his clothing from him. He didn't know when or even if they would be back. While he was trapped there naked, other men were coming in and out. Knowing that other people didn't know he was in his stall gave my coworker a big thrill. My problem: This couple and my friend involved other people — without their knowledge or consent — in their little game. I say, "Not OK!" We got into a heated argument and decided to ask you for a ruling.

Coworker's Recent Escapade Entirely Perverted

Let's say a straight couple comes into your restaurant and they're seated in your section, CREEP. They order, they eat, they tip, they leave. All good? Now let's say that, unbeknownst to you, the man was wearing a locking male chastity device and the woman was wearing the key around her neck. And a big part of the turn-on was being in public and interacting with, say, a waiter who had no idea.

Is that OK?

Of course it is — just like it's OK for a businessman to get a secret thrill out of wearing panties under his suit at an important meeting. The world is full of people deriving all sorts of secret thrills from all sorts of shit. So long as the thrill-derivers don't actively involve others without their prior consent, there's nothing "Not OK!" about it.

Bisexuals, grab your pitchforks: Dan interviews writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis at


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