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Thursday, October 4, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Bad Attitude

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 10:29 AM

I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back November 1st, when the book is finished. —Dan

Originally published March 5, 2009:

I have lived with my boyfriend for almost two years. He says he loves me and does a lot of loving things for me. We are both in our early 60s, but we have the sexual energy of 20-year-olds. Here's the problem: I am overweight (size 18). I was overweight when he met me. I now know that he hates fat women. You should hear his disgust when he sees them on TV or on the street. He has begun to tease me and make jokes about my weight. This hurts my feelings, and I have told him so. He says I'm too sensitive. What is your advice to me?

Fat And Teased

My response after the jump...

Before I answer your question, FAT, I'm going to take a little stroll down Suppressed Memory Lane: I once had a "bisexual" boyfriend. (I place bisexual in quotes, Angry Bisexual Community, only because this guy wasn't bisexual. That doesn't mean other guys aren't bisexual.) My "bisexual" boyfriend liked to claim that he really wasn't that into men until I came along—I was the magical exception, the one guy who did it for him—but even then, he told people loudly at parties, he was mostly turned on by how into him I was, he wasn't that into me or my junk. (He could barely stand to look at my cock—which is why he stuffed it in his mouth or ass whenever we got naked.)

And you know what, FAT? He made disparaging comments constantly about gay men he saw on the street or on TV—gay men like the one he was with—and put me down constantly for having a much more serious case of the gay than he did. He was going to marry a woman one day, a woman with lady parts, and have a family; I was going to remain hopelessly gay all my life. He was, of course, gayer than a college wrestling team and eventually came out as gay—much to the consternation of all his friends who believed him when he said that he wasn't really that into men. (By which I mean to say, much to the consternation of absolutely no one.)

Anyway, your current boyfriend (early 60s, straight, asshole) reminded me of my old boyfriend (20, gay, asshole). A man who claims to have fallen in love with someone who he's not attracted to, or someone who disgusts him, expressly so he can belittle that person and make that person feel awful, well, that man is a complete asshole, FAT, and my first impulse is to advise you DTMFA just like I did my asshole boyfriend. But...

You say he's good to you otherwise, does loads for you, and fucks you regularly—so before you dump this motherfucker, FAT, let's consider reforming him. Say he's totally into you and into big women, just like my ex was totally into cock. But, like my ex, he's uncomfortable with his sexuality and worries about what other people think—including you, FAT, as paradoxical as that may sound. So he makes asshole comments in an effort to hide his true feelings—possibility fetishistic feelings—for big women. The asshole comments allow him to pretend that he's not into your body, just hopelessly in love with you, the person you are on the inside—which makes him one of the "good guys," i.e., a guy who isn't so shallow as to let a little thing like your weight come between you.

While I had to dump my "bisexual" boyfriend, FAT, a little shock-and-awe therapy might convince your "fatphobic" boyfriend to knock it off. You shouldn't have to put up with his comments, FAT, whether they're motivated by shame for his attraction to big fat asses or, if my theory is incorrect, by a genuine hatred for fat people. Either way, FAT, you've got to tell him—in no uncertain terms—to knock it the fuck off already. Don't be measured, don't wrap it up in "I" statements, no mewling about your feelings. Give him both barrels: "If you don't knock it the fuck off—the asshole comments, the stupid jokes—I'm going to kick your ass out, got it?" A strategic blowup or two should occur—scream, yell, smash a few things you're not all that attached to—when he slips up. Repeat until his attitude changes or his address does.

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