Q: I am a girl who sabotaged my relationship. I was angry; I had complaints. But my real issue was a store of repressed childhood trauma, and I was working it out on the closest person to me, my BF. We had something magical, and I destroyed it. I am now willing to give 110 percent to fix it.
We no longer have sex. We are hardly on speaking terms. I know now that my relationship skills are stunted — more childhood baggage — but I want to save my relationship. Do you have any tips on initiating sex with someone who I have traumatized or on improving communication with someone who is so resentful? I am willing to give it time and effort, accept my faults, and breathe deeply rather than react in anger when we talk through things. —Saboteur Addressing Dysfunctions
A: I'll get to your problem in a second, SAD. But first, a Savage Love programming note: I don't usually mention where I'm writing a particular column, because it doesn't really matter whether my computer is sitting on Ann Landers's desk or resting on Apolo Ohno's ass. (I will let you know when I am writing in a bar, though, because alcohol can impair an advice columnist's judgment, and advice seekers have a right to know when they're getting substandard counsel.)
I'm writing this column on an airplane, and I was totally in the zone when I noticed that the guy sitting next to me on this airplane was reading my laptop screen. So I wrote this: "HEY! YOU! YEAH, YOU! THE GUY SITTING NEXT TO ME ON DELTA 2360! STOP READING THIS SHIT UNLESS YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD!"
Sheesh. Some people.
OK, SAD, on to your problem: Unless your boyfriend is a weight bench or an exercise ball, you weren't "working it out" on him. You were taking it out on him. Now, maybe you've been led to believe — by your counselor, by Oprah, by some other idiot with an advice column — that you can just throw up your hands and say, "Childhood issues! Childhood baggage!" and everything will be magic again. Sorry, SAD, but sometimes the damage is too great. Your boyfriend won't speak to you? Won't fuck you?
Accept that you — not your issues, not your baggage, but you yourself — screwed yourself out of a decent guy. End it officially, get your ass into counseling, and make a good-faith effort to resolve your issues and unpack your bags before you inflict yourself on some other dope. You don't have to be 100 percent healthy before you date — no one is 100 percent healthy — but you do have to be in relatively good working order, listing toward sanity, before you date again.
And what does the guy sitting next to me on this airplane think?
"I've dated girls like her," says TGSNTMOTA. "Daddy issues. She should get over her shit before she dates someone else, you know, but she probably won't. Girls like her never do. But maybe this one will, because you're pulling her up short. And she should move to an island — Hawaii, the Big Island — because being on an island can really help you work through your shit."
Q: I am a leather Daddy living in a big city. A young man — early 20s, living in a small town — contacted me online and asked to be my boy. I declined, due to distance, but agreed to be his confidant and adviser.
The boy has one huge problem: He is in a long-term relationship with a vanilla boyfriend who has no interest in BDSM and vehemently opposes allowing him to explore with others. Presently, the boy goes to dungeon parties and plays with men behind his boyfriend's back. I feel very strongly that the boy should either come to an understanding with his boyfriend that allows him to explore or, if that isn't possible, break up with him so they can both find what they need.
I wouldn't ordinarily presume to know what's best for other people, but this boy is starving sexually, emotionally and spiritually. But my conscience will not allow me to advise him on navigating the leather scene when I know he'll use this knowledge to cheat on his boyfriend. I don't think I can advise him further until he resolves the issue. Do you agree with the advice I've given this boy? —Wanna Be A Good Influence
A: I agree with the advice you've given this boy — get the boyfriend's OK or get out — but this boy is already navigating the leather scene, WBAGI, and will continue to cheat on his boyfriend with or without your guidance.
So continue to serve as this boy's confidant and adviser, WBAGI, all the while pressing him to do the right thing and leave his boyfriend. And we both know that he needs to leave his boyfriend, WBAGI, not just get the boyfriend's permission to explore. If this boy's interest in BDSM is so strong that he's jumped into the deep end of the pool — i.e., dungeon parties — he'll never be happy with a vanilla monogamist who grudgingly allows him to play with other guys.
And what does the guy sitting next to me on this airplane think?
"The guy with the boyfriend should do what the other guy, the leather guy, says," says TGSNTMOTA. "Because the leather guy has a good head on his shoulders, and the guy with the boyfriend should listen to the leather guy and leave the other guy, the boyfriend guy, and see other guys."
Um ... thanks, TGSNTMOTA!
Q: I'm an 18-year-old hetero male college student. I'm in a relationship with an awesome girl. I'm dominant; she's submissive. I like name-calling; she likes being called names. Our libidos match, etc. There's only one thing I'm into that she isn't: watersports.
The idea of urinating on a girl turns me on. My fetish is by no means unusual, and I'm perfectly comfortable saying, "I'm into piss!" She, however, finds the idea unappealing, to say the least. I know that I'm young and have a long time to act on my fantasies, but this one seems like it will always be difficult. Do you think that, down the road, I will be able to find a girl who is willing to get pissed on? —I Want To Pee On Someone
A: Watersports, for the kinkily inclined, is one of those things that can seem almost unspeakably perverse at 18 and not that big a deal at 28. Don't do it first thing in the morning, and don't do it after chowing through a plate of asparagus. Do it after you've had a few beers and the piss is just so much warm — and sterile — water.
So relax, IWTPOS, because the odds that you'll be with this girl forever — remember, you're 18, she's 18 — are slim, and the odds that you'll meet a girl at some point who's either into it or can be talked into it are high.
And what does the guy sitting next to me on this airplane — a very nice-if-nosey thirtysomething dude from Lubbock, Texas — think?
"I have a thing for girls peeing on me," TGSNTMOTA whispered to me. "Because it's like a sort of 'female ejaculation' thing. I met girls on the Big Island who were into it, clear and nice, and —"
OK, TGSNTMOTA, thanks for sharing and — hey — it looks like we're getting ready to land, so ... thanks for playing Savage Love.
Download the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Send letters to [email protected]
Confidential to Canada: Apparently, a hockey team of yours recently triumphed over some other nation's hockey team, and one of the stars of your hockey team — the guy who scored Canada's first goal in the final and all-important match — has the same last name as Vic Toews. So out of respect for Jonathan Toews — and Canadian author Miriam Toews — we will not be redefining "Toews." Maybe we could redefine "Jason Kenney" instead?