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Thursday, January 20, 2011

SL Letter of the Day: One More Time... It's a Relationship, Not a Deposition.

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Love the column and the podcast, which I read/listen to via the SL iPhone app, good stuff all around. Long time listener, first time caller, blah blah blah. A little background: I’m a straight-identified 30-year-old male, but for about as long as I can remember I’ve had a touch of the bi. I’m mostly into women, but I fantasize about guys with some regularity. My guy-on-guy fantasies exclusively involve men of the young-looking, hairless, effeminate/twink variety. The mental image of a mustachioed middle-aged bear doesn’t do anything for me. But I’ve never actually hooked up with a guy, not even a little, so these fantasies have lived strictly in the realm of my imagination.

Here’s the problem: I’ve been dating an awesome woman. We get along great, she’s totally GGG, it’s a fulfilling relationship emotionally and sexually. She's someone I could definitely see myself spending the rest of my life with. Am I absolutely obligated to tell her about these fantasies? Even if I have cause to believe she would be totally turned off by them?

I’ve gone this long satisfying my boy crush with my head and my hand and a few choice porn files on the laptop and I honestly think I could live the rest of my life without ever sucking a dick. There’s always a small part of me that wonders what it would be like to fulfill these fantasy scenarios, of course, but when I sit down and really think about it, it begins to fall apart. I certainly can’t picture myself dating a guy or walking down the street holding hands with a guy. But I can’t deny that some dudes do turn me on.

I know people in relationships are supposed to reveal every last intimate detail with their partner, but am I allowed to keep this one secret, even though it’s kind of a big one?

Dan, Eagerly Needing Your Thoughtful, Helpful Endorsement to Bullshit my Intimate

My response after the jump...

•••••••••••••••••

Your sign-off violates all the rules, DENYTHEBI, as it's too long, it includes punctuation marks, you name me, and you have to skip two words get the acronym you're straining for. But I'm letting it slide because it lets us know what you really want: my permission to withhold this information from—or deny the bi to—the woman you hope to spend the rest of your life with.

Sorry, DENYTHEBI, permission denied. I think you should tell her.

It's not that I believe being in a relationship requires one to reveal every last intimate detail to a partner. Where the hell did you get that? Relationships aren't depositions, we're not under oath, we can hold some stuff back and still be good partners. (We have to hold some stuff back to be good partners.) No, it's that I don't think this particular secret is one you'll be able to successfully keep over the next four or five decades. Even if she's too dense and/or clueless to notice you noticing all the pretty gay waiters you'll encounter over the years, DENYTHEBI, sooner or later she'll stumble over those "choice porn files" on your laptop.

And not only isn't this a secret you can keep, DENYTHEBI, it's not one you should want to keep or have to keep. While we don't have to tell our partners everything, being nearly-to-fully open with our partners about the shit that turns us on makes for a much less stressful life. It's definitely something worth holding out for, DENYTHEBI. So tell her. If she's threatened by this aspect of your sexuality—if she thinks you're going to come out and run off with a hairy dude—reassure her by explaining that you've always been strongly attracted to feminine traits. Consequently women draw your eye almost exclusively, without question, but occasionally a feminine dude blips onto your radar just like the odd butch dyke occasionally blips onto mine.

Treat it like it's not a big deal, have a sense of humor about it, and hopefully she'll react the same way. If she doesn't react well—if she flips the out—then she isn't the right partner for you, DENYTHEBI.

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