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Monday, December 17, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: It's Not Adultery

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Dec 17, 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 when the book is finished. —Dan

Originally published June 26, 2008:

A few months before I graduated, a friend revealed that she had been lusting after me, and wanted to hook up. The trouble was that she's in a long-term relationship. She didn't see this as a problem—she was willing to cheat—but I didn't want to be a part of that, and turned her down. She then played some games and got me to kiss her when I was drunk, and later flat-out propositioned me (again while I was drunk), and I refused again. Then we graduated and moved hundreds of miles away from each other, which I expected would be the end of it.

Now, though, a month later, she wrote to tell me that she's "not over" me. Was I right to turn her down, or should I, as she argued, let her make her own mistakes? Should I let her boyfriend (and likely fiancÉ) know about any of this?

Not An Adultery Helper

My response after the jump...

Can we please—all of us—resist the urge to define adultery down? To commit adultery, a person has to be married, not just dating or going steady or even engaged. This girl, if you fuck her, may be a lying, cheating sack of shit, and you may be a cad, but she won't be an adulteress, NAAH. She can't be one of those until after she's married.

Now clearly you want to fuck this woman—why write otherwise?—and you're probably hoping I'll say that you were wrong to turn her down. But were you? Well, that depends on why she's pursuing you, NAAH. Perhaps she wants to cheat now—before sleeping with someone else rises to the level of adultery—because she wants to live a little before marrying this man. Perhaps she wants to make sure before marriage that the sex she's getting from the boyfriend is as good or better than sex she'd get elsewhere. Or perhaps she wants to fuck you because she's a skanky, skanky whore. Perhaps you should ask her.

One final thought: If sleeping with you convinces this woman that she could never truly be satisfied with her boyfriend and she ends that relationship before she marries him, you will not only have gotten into the pants of a woman you find attractive, NAAH, but done your bit to bring down our divorce rates.

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