Dan explains why the Schwarzenegger affair isn't his fault.
My husband and I recently realized that in order for us to remain happily married, we need to fuck other people.
Enter the boyfriend. This twenty-year-old hunk has opened the sexual floodgates. He's gorgeous and athletic and enthusiastic, he gets me off at least twice every time we get together, and tales of our exploits have made things even hotter between my husband and me. Everybody's happy!
So what's the problem? Well, after two months of dating and numerous sexual encounters, my new lover has yet to get an erection. I know he's been able to get it up with previous partners, so I suspect this has something to do with our situation. Maybe there's a subconscious part of his brain that doesn't want to bone a married woman? I've made it clear to him that there is no pressure and that I am more than satisfied. He insists that he is very attracted to me and that our current activities (lots of oral and hands everywhere) are incredibly satisfying.
Am I missing something, Dan? How can I coax this young man's erection out of hiding?
— Nouveau Mrs. Robinson
Before I get to your question, NMR, I need to address the recent Arnold Schwarzeneggerunpleasantness.
I'm getting a lot of mail from people insisting that it's all my fault. The affair, the love child, the split with Maria Shriver — I'm apparently to blame for everything, save Arnold's oldest son's slammin', nearly legal bod. This is the case because (1) I'm a big proponent of nonmonogamous/monogamish relationships and (2) aging Hollywood action stars don't get erections without checking in with me first. And look where the nonmonogamy stuff I'm always pushing got Arnold! Look at the chaos that nonmonogamy creates! Failed marriages! Devastated children! Scandalous scandals!
In my defense, ladies and gentlemen of the angry e-mob, I would point out that Arnold wasn't in a nonmonogamous relationship. Arnold was in a monogamous relationship. Arnold failed at monogamy. He did not succeed at nonmonogamy. If there is a lesson to be drawn from the Schwarzeneggerunpleasantness, it's not that honest nonmonogamy never works. Rather, it is the critical importance — particularly during adulterous heterosexual encounters — of anal intercourse.
And please bear in mind, e-mobsters, that you rarely hear about honest nonmonogamous relationships that work, to say nothing of marriages like Mr. and Mrs. NMR's, i.e., marriages that were saved by nonmonogamy. Successfully nonmonogamous straight couples typically aren't out to their friends, families, and coworkers. We tend to learn that someone we know is in a nonmonogamous relationship when it implodes and people — both inside and outside the relationship — cast around, looking for something or someone to blame. If the couple was nonmonogamous, nonmonogamy gets the blame, even if it had nothing to do with the breakup.
On to your problem, NMR…
What a delightful problem to have! A gorgeous, athletic, and enthusiastic hunk with a hard dick is better than a gorgeous, athletic, and enthusiastic hunk with a soft dick, I'll grant you. But better a gorgeous, athletic, and enthusiastic hunk with a soft dick than no gorgeous, athletic, and enthusiastic hunk at all, amirite?
And while I can't tell you exactly what's wrong with your hunk's dick — it could very well be the infamous limpothalamus (that would be the part of the brain that doesn't want to bone a married woman; most men don't have one) — I can tell you that you're doing everything right. You're not pressuring him, you're taking pleasure in him regardless, and you're not neglecting your husband. And if your hunk was getting it up for his previous partners, it's only a matter of time before he's getting it up for you.
But was he getting it up for his previous partners? Unless you've seen some video — and that's video we'd all like to see — all we have to go on is his word, NMR, and he could be lying. Young hunks with erectile problems, too embarrassed and/or ashamed to admit they have a problem, will sometimes lie to their partners and refuse to speak to doctors. But your hunk has someone older and wiser telling him what to do, NMR, and you're going to tell him to talk with a doctor.
Is it better to stay with your overweight wife — who happens to be the mother of your infant daughter — and cheat on her to get sexual gratification (and be a shit of a husband) or leave her (and be a shit of a father)?
— Almost Twice The Wife
Cheating shit or leaving shit — are those your only options?
If they are, ATTW, then stay and cheat. Abandoning an infant — to say nothing of abandoning someone with an infant — is a shit move. So is cheating on the mother of your infant daughter, of course, but it's slightly less shitty.
Here's another option: you could go without for six months or a year — you know, like most new parents.
Backing way up: You were presumably attracted to your wife before the baby… otherwise there would be no baby, right? And presumably, the mother of your infant daughter is going without right now, too, as she's probably too exhausted to bother with sex. Because she just had a baby. She also may not be feeling it for her asshole husband, a man who she senses doesn't find her attractive in her current state — a state he helped put her in.
Take a little responsibility here, ATTW: you knocked the wife up knowing that pregnancy and its tragic aftermath, aka "parenting," leave new moms with very little time for the gym. If you expected your wife to bounce back to her pre-baby weight in ten weeks, like some sort of celebrity mom, then you needed to get her two nannies, a personal trainer, and a full-time nutritionist.
Perhaps I'm being too hard on you, ATTW. Your letter — reproduced here in its entirety — is all I had to go on. For all I know, your wife is one of those lousy spouses who abandon routine physical maintenance once the first kid arrives, because, hey, now you're stuck! Forgoing routine physical maintenance is the mother of all take-you-for-granted moves, one that quickly kills desire and slowly smothers love, and it can constitute grounds for cheating and/or leaving. (Normal and natural aging, health issues that make routine maintenance impossible, etc. do not by themselves constitute grounds for cheating and/or leaving.) But it's too soon to know if your wife is one of those lousy take-you-for-granted spouses, ATTW, as your daughter is still an infant.
Masturbate, help out, make sure your wife has the free time she needs to take care of herself, and you may find that you don't have to be any sort of shit.
I'm writing about the "Choicer Challenge" you've issued to all the bigots out there who say that being gay is a choice. I think you've set yourself up for a possible failure here, Dan.
I'm a straight guy. I am also a stubborn motherfucker. If I were one of those choicers, Dan, I would suck your dick just to win the argument. That's why the Choicer Challenge should say that they have to suck you off while maintaining a glass-cutting boner. I could probably will myself to blow you to prove a point, but willing myself to get hard during it? Not possible!
— Bone Machine
Good point, BM. The Choicer Challenge is hereby amended to include the production of a glass-cutting boner while blowing me. I'm waiting for your call, John "Choicer" Cummins.
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.