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I'm a twenty-two-year old having trouble finding casual hookups online. What's the secret, Dan?
By Dan Savage
Three months ago, my sociopathic girlfriend dumped me because I was going into the military. Afterward, I found out she was cheating on me with a married man. The one great thing about her was that she opened me up. At twenty-two, I'd been in only a few other relationships. The sex with her was amazing, and she opened me up to different things (kinks, dirty talk, foreplay). I now have two problems: (1) I am going into the army and don't want to get into a serious relationship, and (2) I'm having a hard time finding people willing to have casual-yet-kinky sex. I tried online, but the minute someone sees the "going into the army" portion of my profile, they assume I'm some sort of conservative prick. But I am liberal and open-minded and just looking to have some NSA sex before I leave for the army. Help!
— Kinky Open-Minded Soldier
If the "going into the army" portion of your profile is preventing you from finding kinky NSA sex partners, KOMS, omit the "going into the army" portion of your profile. Your NSA sex partners may, after meeting you, inquire about your future plans. But you don't need to disclose your hopes, dreams, and political leanings to potential NSA hookups, particularly if you feel that your plans are prejudicing kinksters against you.
But I'm not sure the army portion of your profile is the issue. There are a lot of conservative kinksters out there (I hear from them whenever I tear into a conservative politician in this space), and there are a lot of liberal/hippie/NPR-listening kinksters out there who are attracted to military guys despite their politics (I hear from them whenever they want permission to cheat on their pansy-ass, hypersensitive hippie boyfriends with gruff 'n' buff military guys).
Drop the army portion of your profile, KOMS, but also have a kinky and/or adventurous friend take a look at the rest of your profile. It could be that some other part is giving off a creepy, unsafe, or inept vibe — do you mention that you hadn't heard of foreplay until you were twenty-two? — and it's that part that's turning off otherwise up-for-army-boy kinksters.
I'm a youngish (barely under thirty) woman, currently involved in a great hetero relationship: my boyfriend is caring, unlike some men I've dated before, and I see him as a life partner. The trouble is, I find sex profoundly boring. I get vaguely "horny" maybe twice a year, and I don't like sex.
Now I'm starting to wonder if being sexually uninterested disqualifies me from being with my BF. Judging from your past advice, it does. Is this something I should disclose so that he can leave me? I enjoy the cuddling and kissing, talking and outings that are part of coupledom, and it pains me to think I'm doomed to be alone, forever, just because shoving genitals together sits at #48 on my life priority list.
Please let me know what I should do. He's talking about a future together, and I am on the verge of confessing but afraid to lose him as well.
— Doesn't Really Yearn
Either you've misread my past advice to the sexually disinterested, DRY, or you've only read mischaracterizations of my past advice on angry asexual blogs. So once more with feeling: being asexual or minimally sexual does not disqualify you or anyone else from having a relationship or enjoying all of the swell, non-genitalia-related things that come with coupledom. It does complicate your desire, however.
Because you can't — you shouldn't — mislead your boyfriend about who you are.
He has a right to know how you feel about sex before he marries you, DRY. At the moment, he assumes — and it's an entirely rational assumption — that you're attracted to him not just in the cuddling, kissing, talking, and outing departments, but sexually as well. That you're not all that interested in sex with him or anyone else is something he has a right to know before marriage and/or kids.
But even if your current BF leaves you, DRY, you're not necessarily "doomed to be alone." There are men out there who feel the same way about sex that you do. If your boyfriend dumps you, come out as very nearly asexual and go find yourself a very nearly asexual guy who wants to cuddle, kiss, talk, and out. And if you do ultimately wind up alone, DRY, no whining: there are lots of happily partnered asexuals out there and lots of unhappy sexuals who wound up alone despite their interest in sex.
My husband and I hired an electrician, whom I will call "Sparky." We hired Sparky once before, and he was completely professional. One quirk: he would call me "Ma'am" instead of my name.
Halfway through Sparky's four-hour rewiring marathon in our kitchen, he handed me an envelope and asked me to fill out a survey regarding his service. I read the following: "My name is Mistress [REDACTED] and I control the male who just gave you this letter. He and I live the lifestyle of Female Supremacy. In our lifestyle of Matriarchy, women issue direction and men obey."
The letter went on to ask for feedback about his performance, whether he was appropriately submissive, whether he addressed me as "Ma'am" or "Mistress," and it ended: "To obtain the best possible service, order this male to give you his key. Keep the key until you are completely satisfied with his attitude or work. Use him as you wish. He must obey."
I don't know much about Dom/sub culture, Dan, but I can't shake the feeling that by hiring this particular electrician, I was unwittingly included in his sex life, and that totally creeps me out. Am I wrong? Are we judgmental prudes if we never hire Sparky ever again?
— Apparently Naive Housewife
You weren't dragged into Sparky's sex life when you hired him, ANH, but when he made the choice — perhaps he felt he was just following orders — to hand you that envelope. At that point, he involved you in his sex life, which was rude and unprofessional.
Most women who aren't interested in sharing an erotic moment with Sparky — because they're not into Dom/sub play or not into Sparky — would feel uncomfortable reading that letter, which suddenly sexualized a nonsexual exchange of goods and services. Some women — to say nothing of their husbands — would feel deeply violated. Making women feel uncomfortable or unsafe in their own homes by springing your erotic submission on them — and requiring them to participate without first obtaining their explicit consent — is sexual aggression masquerading as erotic submission.
And it's not okay.
Professional Dom, sex bomb, and sex blogger Mistress Matisse agrees with me: "That's totally inappropriate," Matisse said in an e-mail. "Those folks did not agree, either overtly or by any action, to be involved in topping that man. If his Mistress really exists, then they are both complicit in creepiness. It's also quite possible that he has no female partner — he just says so as part of his fantasy."
If I were you, ANH, I wouldn't hire Sparky again. Not because I wouldn't mind having a submissive electrician around the house — that sounds like fun, actually — but because I wouldn't want an electrician around the house, submissive or not, who displayed poor judgment and had no boundaries.
CONFIDENTIAL TO KIMBO: It sounds like you made the right choice when you DTMFA'd that dude.
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.