Straight male here. I took a writing course and some of us students created a writing group. We meet and workshop the things we’ve been working on. One of the guys in the group is gay and a while ago he confessed he had very strong feelings for me.
I didn’t have a problem with this, but I told him that I wasn’t into guys. The other day, he sent me an email telling me there was something he wanted to discuss. We met for dinner and he told me that despite the fact that I claimed to be straight, he felt like I had been sending him messages to indicate my interest in him.
He said this was cruel and he felt like I was teasing him. When I asked him for examples, he told me when we had originally been in class together, he noticed I had started to dress like him and this was sometimes a way closeted men showed interest in other men.
He mentioned one week he had worn a red sweater and the following week I had worn a red T-shirt. He also said he felt like the stories I had been workshopping in our group were secretly about him.
I admit I’m not the stereotypical straight guy — I have good taste in shoes and I like art — but I know what I’m into and who I want to get naked with. I never showed any interest in this guy, never led him on; this entire thing has taken place purely in his head.
I told him all this and now he says he is hurt and doesn’t want to see me at the group. He suggested that we share the group, alternating meetings, but I refused. We’re both adults who should have the emotional maturity to handle this. Am I being too harsh?
— Pulled Into Drama
Closeted gay men don’t use colored T-shirts to send messages to out gay men. They use Craigslist.
Look, PID, Jeffrey Dahmer — aka the Milwaukee Cannibal — ate a friend of mine. By which I mean to say: Some gay people are insane. I’m not saying you’re in danger of being drugged, raped, butchered and eaten by this guy from your writing group. But the guy is — if your account is accurate — more than a little unpleasant … and a whole lot batshit.
Confide in some friends in your writing group about what’s going on and be prepared to leave the group and/or form a breakaway group if Mr. Red Sweater continues to detect clues in your wardrobe.
Also: Do not spend any more time alone with this guy. Someone who would accuse you of making super-secret passes at him via red T-shirts is capable of making baseless accusations about much worse.
And finally, PID, a bonus pro tip: Writers don’t need a writers’ group to write. They just need to write.
My question is one of etiquette. My lesbian wife and I live in an apartment. The noise pollution between flats can be pretty bad. Anyone who lives in the building is aware of this and keeping noise down after certain hours is a common courtesy.
I wouldn’t play loud music, let doors slam or break out the drum kit. If any of these things happen after around 11:30 p.m. on a work night, I don’t think I’d feel any qualms about going around to whoever is being inconsiderate and asking them to keep it down; but what about noisy sex? My neighbor’s girlfriend is pretty loud during sex. If the racket were being made, say, before midnight, I could bear it. It would be gross, because I think he’s slimy and he has a terrible hipster mustache, but I wouldn’t be writing to you. I’d just cope as best I could and try to fall back asleep. But what about sex at crazy o’clock? Is it okay for us to pound on the wall and ask them to keep it down? What’s your opinion?
— Sleepy Lesbians
I happen to agree with Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty, creators of the Tony Award–winning musical Avenue Q, on the subject of apartment living, thin walls and noisy sex: “You can be as loud as the hell you want when you’re makin’ love.” Or, in this instance, your creepy neighbor with the hipster mustache and his girlfriend can be as loud as the hell they want when they’re makin’ love. But you and your wife—their annoyed neighbors—can be as loud as the hell you want when they’re making love. You can pound on the walls, SLND, make your displeasure known, scream and yell, etc.
And even if your neighbors don’t take the fucking hint and quiet the fucking the fuck down, SLND, the noise you make may bring their annoyingly loud sex to a quicker end. The females of certain species — including our own — get loud during sex, i.e., scream and yell, because it helps the males of their species climax more quickly. (Female copulatory vocalization: It is a real thing with its very own Wikipedia page. Look it up.) If his girlfriend’s vocalizations are turning your inconsiderate mustachioed hipster neighbor on, the screams of his two lesbian neighbors could push him past the point of no return.
I was in a monogamous relationship with a woman for two years. We split up and remained platonic friends. Months later, on a drunken night, we had sex. At that point, neither of us had slept with anyone else. After sex that night, the sexual lion was out — and I slept with two others. Now my ex-girlfriend and I may get back together and she has asked the question: Have I slept with anyone else? So far I’ve managed to avoid answering; yes, we are currently sleeping together. Do I tell her?
— Blowjobs And
Rights Of Privacy
The failure to immediately answer certain questions in the negative is equal to answering in the affirmative. Examples: “Are you gay?” “Did you fuck my sister?” “Is that your butt plug?” Any attempt to avoid answering these questions — issuing a nondenial denial (“Me? Gay? Why would you think that?”), requesting an unnecessary clarification (“You mean your sister?”), stalling for time (“Can we talk about this later?”) — serves as confirmation that, yes, you are gay and/or fucking the sister and/or the owner of that butt plug.
“Have you slept with anyone else?” is right up there with “Did you gay fuck my sister with that butt plug?” Your attempt to “avoid answering” the question was the answer to the question: Yes, you fucked other people.
So unless this woman is an idiot, BAROP, you don’t need to tell her. She knows.
Find Dan Savage’s weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @fakedansavage on Twitter.
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