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I hope you address the recent rough-play-gone-bad death of New York City radio newsman George Weber. According to reports, it appears Weber met a guy on Craigslist for "violent sex," and the guy stabbed Weber to death.

It's a reminder that if you have these kinds of fantasies -- Weber wanted to be bound and abused -- you're better off doing it with someone you trust and not with some random trick off the Internet. No one should wind up dead trying to fulfill a sexual desire.

Safety Conscious

 

First, I want to extend my sincerest condolences to George Weber's family and friends.

Second, reading about Weber's death reminded me of a joke -- this has to be the worst start to a second paragraph ever -- that Jon Stewart told on The Daily Show during the darkest days (er, years) of the insurgency in Iraq. Conservatives were complaining that a biased media wasn't reporting any of the good news in Iraq; the news out of Iraq then was all bloodletting, beheadings and car bombs, all the time.

"Yeah," Stewart deadpanned. "We never hear about the cars that don't explode."

What happened to Weber was horrifying. And, yes, there are lessons in this horrific crime for anyone seeking sex and/or love online. But looking for sex online is not, as some have insisted in the wake of Weber's murder, so inherently risky that only a lunatic would contemplate it. Remember: We never hear about the people hooking up online who don't get brutally murdered -- and unlike cars in Iraq that haven't exploded (yet), it's actually relevant that most people hooking up online aren't brutally murdered.

Every day, tens of thousands of people -- hundreds of thousands -- find partners online. While lots of folks online are seeking relationships at sites like Match.com or Christiansingles.com, there are more people online seeking NSA sex at sites like AdultFriendFinder.com or Recon.com. (People seeking relationships can find love the old-fashioned way -- at work or by going out -- and many do. And the ones who go online stop lurking online after they've met someone and appeared in an eHarmony commercial. NSAers, on the other hand, have better odds finding other NSAers online.) If Internet hookups were even half as dangerous as crimes like this make them seem -- if they were even one-one-hundredth as dangerous -- there would be a dozen online-hookup murders in New York City every day, and scores more in Toronto and San Francisco and Miami and Chicago.

No one should be cavalier about safety. People seeking NSA or fantasy-fulfillment sex online need to use common sense and take reasonable precautions. Insist on a verifiable exchange of real names and real phone numbers before meeting; meet in person first, in a public place, preferably at a time when you can't mess around immediately after your first meeting. And people seeking the services of a pro should go to one of the dozen or more established Web sites out there that host ads from pros, along with client reviews.

And it's always a bad idea to post an offer for $60 in exchange for sex to the crowd of fakes and freaks who have overrun Craigslist, as Weber is reported to have done. Meeting cheap whores via Craigslist ups your odds of hooking up with, say, a mentally unstable teen-age "satanist" with a coke problem and a MySpace page packed with pictures of himself wielding knives and swords.

Now perhaps Weber, working as a freelancer, couldn't afford a $200-an-hour professional dominant. Maybe he had lowballed it on Craigslist a dozen times before and always had good experiences. Most people who ignore my advice about safety do live to tell the tale. But when it comes to realizing a fantasy that involves violence or helplessness, someone safe, sane and expensive is more than worth the investment.

Finally, people take calculated risks all the time. You're assuming a certain degree of risk every time you get in a car, go skiing or order the chicken. We do what we can to minimize those risks (buckle the fuck up, wear a helmet, don't order your chicken rare). But we don't hold up deaths on highways, slopes or at the dinner table as evidence that people who even think of driving, skiing or chickening have to be out of their minds.

The sad fact is that some of us will die at the hands of our intimate partners. Do what you can to minimize your risk, because some people are dangerous lunatics -- and they're not just Internet hookups.

 

My fiancé is bisexual. I fulfill his "man-love" fantasies by strapping it on and giving it to him, but he has started talking about wanting to have sex with men. I feel like a jerk, but I'm not willing to entertain the emotional and physical risks of opening our relationship to another person. Am I totally off base?

What The Fuck Is Wrong With Men These Days

 

Do not marry this man.

Lots of bisexual guys are capable of monogamy, as are lots of bisexual girls. (That's what bisexuals are always telling me, at any rate, in their angry e-mails.) But this bisexual guy is not, and he's made that clear. He gets points for being honest -- and I mean that sincerely. He gets points for telling you now, before the wedding, that being pegged, while wonderful in its own right, isn't enough, and that he's going to need a little man-love now and then. You might be able to extract a promise from him under duress, and get him to agree to sexual exclusivity as a condition of going ahead with the marriage. But that will just result in you facing the emotional and physical risks of an open relationship without the honesty and accountability that can mitigate those risks.

And to the angry bisexuals: You know I don't think monosexuals are any good at monogamy either, right?

 

My partner and I have been together for four years. Last year we sought to experiment with another couple via an adult Web site. We eventually found a sexy pair who we met up with, but the experience left me feeling unsure about how comfortable I am with the "swinging" lifestyle. I know my partner loves me and is loyal, and he's messed around a bit with others since we've been together and that's OK. (So have I.) But getting together with another couple was a lot more challenging than I thought. How can I get more comfortable and open-minded about this?

Swinger Wannabe

 

The problem might have been the other couple, and not the swinging lifestyle per se. You could give it another shot, with another couple, and see if you feel differently. If you do and you don't, you may have to accept -- or, more to the point, the boyfriend will have to accept -- that synchronized infidelity just isn't for you.

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