November 21, 2012

Advice: Savage Love

Ball busting

Q: I am a 22-year-old straight female. I used to babysit for a wealthy family, but their children have outgrown babysitters. The dad of this family is into martial arts/fighting and has invited me over several times for “self-defense training.” I have accepted his invitations a few times, and it has always started off as a normal workout in their home gym, but he is always anxious to get to the self-defense part. Often he will blindfold me and then come at me, and I must then wrestle my way out of the situation.

I did this a few times, Dan, but I found it a bit unsettling. However, he never touched me inappropriately. Last time we did this, he told me he wanted to see how much pain he could take. He asked me to kick him in the groin with no protection until he couldn’t take it anymore. I thought, “This is strange,” but I was curious, so I did it. I haven’t been back since, but for the last six months, he has been pestering me to come back. Recently, he suggested we have a “competition.” He will stand there, and I will kick him in the balls — or anywhere else I want — and if he gives up, I get $150. If I give up, by getting too tired, I give him $20. His wife knows about the workouts, but he said he doesn’t want me to tell her about the fighting.

My question is this: Is there a sexual component to this? I find it odd but am a poor college student, and for $150, I’ll stand there fully clothed and kick this guy in the balls! Please let me know your thoughts.
Will Kick Balls For Money

A: There are no nonsexual components to this, and if you’ve never heard of something like this before, you must be a new reader.

What we’ve got here is a rich guy attempting to manipulate his kids’ former babysitter into doing sex work — no, scratch that. What we’ve got here is a rich guy who has already manipulated his kids’ former babysitter into doing sex work, and that’s pretty fucking creepy. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think his ball-busting fetish is creepy. It’s extreme, as fetishes go, and there are definitely risks. But the risks are his.

If you need the money, and you don’t think you’ll be scarred by the experience, tell the rich guy you’ll consider doing this — you’ll remain clothed and kick him in the nuts — but only if he levels with you: He’s getting off on this. If he can’t level with you, don’t do this.

 

Q: I am a 30-year-old straight man who has always known he is a poly. The woman I love is not a poly. She is a monogamous person. When we started being sexual, it was a strictly friends-with-benefits arrangement, although a sexually exclusive one, at her insistence, and I agreed to that because neither of us expected anything long-term. But we fell in love, and now I can’t imagine life without her. She is amazing, and I love her like I’ve never loved any other woman. But she has asked me to betray my sexual identity by remaining sexually exclusive. If I cannot commit to that, she does not want to be with me. I am not asking the same of her: She does not have to sleep with other people to keep me in her life. She is, however, insisting that I not sleep with other people to keep her in my life. Can someone who is poly be happy with someone who isn’t?
Polyamorous Polymath

A: You are not “a poly.” Poly is not a sexual identity, it’s not a sexual orientation. It’s not something you are, it’s something you do. There’s no such thing as a person who is “a poly,” just as there’s no such thing a person who is “a monogamous.” Polyamorous and monogamous are adjectives, not nouns. There are only people — gay, straight, bi — and some are in monogamous relationships, some are in open relationships, some are in polyamorous relationships, some are in four-star-general relationships. These are relationship models, not sexual identities.

So the question isn’t “Can a poly be happy with a monogamous?” The question is can you, despite your clear preference for nonmonogamous relationships, be happy in this relationship? Do you love your girlfriend so much that you’re willing to pay the price of admission she’s demanding — you’re willing to behave monogamously (adverb!)? Yes or no?

Since your girlfriend has indicated she’s not willing to have a nonmonogamous relationship with you (or anyone else), the choice is yours. If you truly can’t live without her, you’ll have to be monogamous. If that’s not something you’re willing to do, then end this relationship and go find someone whose romantic desires more closely align with your own.

Find the “Savage Lovecast” (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.