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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Coming Unclean

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I've been together with my wife for ten years, married for five of them. I love her very much and we have a pretty healthy relationship, sexual and otherwise. My problem is before I met her I occasionally would use the services of a sex worker. I stopped this when I met her, but eventually drifted back into doing this from time to time—several times a year (at least). Despite long periods of restraint, I would still sometimes indulge in a visit to a "massage parlor," strip club, or just see an old fashioned hooker. The sex was almost always unfulfilling, but I think I liked the adventure of it, the ritual of finding someone, finding a place, getting there, etc. I always used protection and got tested periodically to make sure I didn't bring anything home.

I've finally decided that I wanted to stop this behavior, for all the obvious reasons. I love my wife, and she has recently been trying to draw out my fantasies to give us a fuller sex life. I've been hesitant to really share my fantasies with her because I don't know how to without admitting I tried some of this stuff. I need some help moving from a secretive, sexually obsessed dude to a more GGG partner. I haven't seen a therapist as a) I think I've actually done a pretty good job of figuring out my motives, rationales, etc, and b) I'm not sure I could pay for one without my wife finding out. I can't see any benefit from telling her the truth about my past—I think it would only make her upset, and possibly threaten the relationship. Do you have any advice?

Just Old Hetero Nympho

My response after the jump...

···············

So... you couldn't swing one or two sessions with a shrink without your wife somehow spotting the missing money but you were able to see sex workers "several times a year (at least)" for a decade without your wife spotting all that missing money?

Hmm.

I'm not saying you need to see a shrink about this, JOHN, but that's the sort of self-justifying rationalization that you need to knock off if you wanna stop leading a sexual double life and stop putting your wife at risk for acquiring a sexually transmitted infection. (It's nice that you're getting tested and all, JOHN, but getting tested wouldn't prevent you from bringing something home. By the time you get a positive test result back, you—and your newly acquired STI—are already home, and your wife is already exposed. (And the wife never spotted the money you were spending on all those STI tests?))

Before I give you my advice, JOHN, let me get this on the record: I'm not okay with what you were doing. (I'm not okay with the CPOS part; the employing-sex-workers part is fine with me.) I'm not offering you retroactive approval and I am not giving offering you any sort of dispensation. But here goes: don't say anything to your wife about the lying and buying. You got away with it—because you were lucky, not because you were smart—and I think you should spare your wife the disillusioning, divorce-inducing news.

And from here on out, JOHN, you're going to try to be the man she mistook you for, okay?

I'm thinking the reason she's pressing you to open up about your fantasies, JOHN, is because she has some fantasies of her own that she wants to share with you. But she may want you to go first because she wants to make sure her secret fantasy is less depraved than yours before she opens up about her own. So you're going to have to go first.

Ask her if she really, really, really wants to know about your fantasies. Warn her that very few men fantasize about lighting a thousand tea candles and tossing rose petals all over the apartment like Ross did for Rachel on that episode of Friends she saw when she was 12. (Ross did that for Rachel.) Warn her that your fantasies, like most men's fantasies, are a bit transgressive. If she still wants to hear 'em after you warn her, give it to her semi-straight: You've always been intrigued by the idea of paying someone for sex—not that you ever have! not that you ever would!—but you saw Pretty Woman when you were 12 and ever since you've this high-end callgirl fantasy that you've never acted on or told anyone about.

Who knows? Maybe you'll get kinda lucky and your wife will wanna go to hotel bars and roleplay a hooker/john scenarios with you. (It's a pretty mainstream fantasy these days—hell, I think it was a plot line on an episode of Modern Family recently). Or maybe you'll hit the GGG wife jackpot and she'll be up for going to strip clubs and seeing escorts with you.

But whatever you do: No more cheating, JOHN, no more putting your wife at risk. Knock that shit the fuck off.

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