Q: I'm a 38-year-old straight male in a long-term relationship. We have two children, still quite young. I am not sure what killed the intimacy of our relationship, but my spouse and I have been physically disconnected for years. This led to some rather sleazy adulterate behavior on my part. We recently discussed the topic at length (at which time I informed her of my indiscretions); we have decided to remain together for our children because we work well together as parents and we are pretty good friends. We have also decided to "open" our relationship.
We both seem to want the same thing: a companion of the opposite sex, a friend and lover. My spouse has one. It is someone I am acquainted with, and I know him to be a fine, responsible person. I have been looking for someone, but no luck. I posted an ad online, but only managed to attract a Russian woman living in Russia (or a scammer). Some direction would be greatly appreciated.
By the way, I should mention that I am very good-looking, in superb physical condition, charismatic, and highly educated. —All Too Human
A: Ok, so you're looking for a companion of the opposite sex, a friend and lover, someone who understands you're committed to staying in your marriage for the sake of the kids, someone you know to be responsible and trustworthy, someone who gets the whole open relationship concept. ... How about the wife?
I know, I know: You two physically disconnected after the births of your children (all too common), you engaged in some sleazy adulterate behavior, wocka wocka wocka. But that's all out in the open now and you've decided to stay together because you're good parents, partners and friends, and you've opened the relationship up to seek friends-with-benefits, as the straight people call 'em, or fuck buddies, as we gay people like to call 'em.
But why not have sex with each other, anyway?
Not exclusively, of course. It's important that you leave things open at least for the time being, ATH, because openness may help your wife realize that a person can be married to Person A, have sex with Person B (and perhaps Persons C and D as well), and still be a good, loving, present spouse to Person A. If she's at all introspective, ATH, your wife will come to this realization because that's what she herself is doing. She's having sex with another man, while at the same time being a good and loving wife to you and a good and loving mom to her kids.
Once she has this realization — that love and commitment, and not sexual exclusivity, is the important bond that you two share — she may be able to forgive you, really forgive you, for all your pre-open-marriage sleazy adulterate behavior. And you may be able to restore your sexual connection, even if you never become completely sexually exclusive again.
In the meantime, ATH, there are many more frustrated married men out there seeking sex online than there are frustrated married women seeking sex online. But since your deal with the wife doesn't exclude mutual friends and acquaintances — look who she's with — then there's no need for you to troll online exclusively or at all. Be open and honest with friends and acquaintances about your situation and your search. If you really are the superb, charismatic and highly educated piece of ass you claim to be, you'll soon be fielding offers from single female friends or secretly frustrated married female friends.
Q: For some reason, I have always found Native Americans to be sexually attractive. But the whole semidark skin and traditional breechcloth thing doesn't seem to be easy to find in porn or real life. I was wondering if you had some pointers for someone with a bad case of Native American "jungle fever." There seems to be a distinct lack of Natives going about in basic buckskin "dress" these days. —Native Amateur
A: "The letter writer is correct," says Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award-winning author who was willing to demean himself and risk career suicide by giving me a quote. "There is a dearth of Native American porn."
But Alexie tells me that once, while hunting for antique board games, he typed "cowboy and Indian action figures" into Google and found his way to a site that featured U.S. Cavalry soldiers and loinclothed Indians smoking more than peace pipes. But that's all he's got for us, pornwise. As for real life ...
"There's just no way your reader is going to find an Indian willing to put on a loincloth for sexual purposes," says Alexie. "Unless that Indian is a seriously damaged, culturally disconnected, politically unaware and unsafe-sex practicing slut."
I part ways with Alexie here. Not because I know more about Native Americans, Native American issues, or Native American kinks. Goodness, no. But over the years, I've heard from way too many healthy, politically aware and sexually safe African-Americans who dig role-playing slavery scenarios — and too many good Jews who get off on concentration-camp scenarios, and too many polite Canadians who get off on clueless-American-tourist scenarios ("Ooh, ask me who our 'president' is again!") — to rule out the possibility that there is a kind, decent, safe Native American genuinely interested in role-playing cowboys-and-injuns. Or cowboys-in-injuns and vice-versa. But they're gonna be rare, NA.
So what can you do to up your odds?
"If the letter writer is an attractive blond female," says Alexie, "she can head to the next powwow in the region where she lives, pick out a handsome fancydancer, and hit on him. She'll either get laid in the back of a casino-money-financed SUV or she'll get assaulted by a roving band of Indian women looking to protect our most precious and dwindling resource: Native American men."
Q: Dan, I need to know. What bodily function is the opposite of an orgasm? Thanks a lot. —Could Use More
A: "Though it's not exactly a bodily function, the back spasm is the opposite of an orgasm," says Sherman Alexie, the National Book Award-winning author.
"Why did he send that question to Alexie?" some of my readers are no doubt asking themselves. That, of course, is a question that only a thoughtless bigot would ask and I probably shouldn't dignify it with a response. But let's approach this as a teaching moment, shall we? I sent this question along to Alexie because the National Book Award-winning author is the father of two and, we can reasonably extrapolate, the haver of orgasms, which more than qualifies him to field this question. OK, back to Alexie:
"While the orgasm is the pleasurable release of stress, the back spasm is the painful reminder of collected and unexpelled stress. I am currently typing one-handed because I am shoving my fist deep into my lower back as some sort of half-assed pressure-point massage. Of course, since the U.S. has become a chair-and-computer culture, the number of people who are currently massaging their wrecked backs is vastly larger than the number who are massaging their sexual organs."
And when you pause to consider that all of the United States and most of Canada were basically built on top of a giant Indian graveyard, I'd say we're getting off easy with a little lower-back pain.Download Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage