Advice: Savage Love
Q: I’m a 27-year-old man in a two-year relationship with a 26-year-old woman. My last partner cheated and lied and did some unforgivable things. I wasn’t blameless — I stayed with her long after I realized it wasn’t working — but our relationship did unearth a kink. After I found out about her cheating, I got extremely turned on thinking about it. I never told her.
Enter my next girlfriend. We were together a few months before I brought up my kink. She was accommodating (dirty talk about her cheating, making up stories about cheating), and then, after some months, she admitted it was something she wanted to try in real life. I said I was OK with it as long as I had the option to pursue other partners as well. We agreed on some rules and gave it a shot. She set up a date through OKCupid and had sex with someone; I hooked up with an ex. Everything seemed to be turning out great. Then two weeks later, she got drunk and told me she had seen the OKCupid guy again without asking. I was so upset, I nearly broke up with her. Having the guidelines ignored felt like a betrayal.
Are we going through the normal trip-ups of a newly open relationship? Or are these lies an indication that she can’t be trusted? I love my partner, and I want to make this cuckolding thing work if we can. Suck it up or break it off?
Confused Upon Cheating Kink
A: Your letter confused me, CUCK. Here’s why: You describe your relationship as open, then as poly, then as a “cuckolding thing.” First things first: Polyamorous relationships and open relationships are two different things. Some poly relationships are open, but many poly relationships are closed — that is, three people (or more) are involved with each other exclusively, i.e., no randoms, no romancing potential fourths, fifths or sixths. The reverse is also true: Not all open relationships are poly. Two people in an open relationship may allow fucking around with other people with the understanding that there will be no dating or falling in love with anyone else.
And then there’s cuckolding. The whole “cuckolding thing” is about the female half of a heterosexual couple breaking the rules and then rubbing her partner’s nose in the evidence of her cheating. Cuckolding is eroticized betrayal, and you spent months fantasizing with your girlfriend about being betrayed. All that dirty talk, all those made up stories — remember? But when it came time to turn your fantasies into reality, you laid out the rules for what sounds like a fairly standard open-not-poly relationship: She could fuck other people and so could you. Once again, I’m confused: The cuckold in a “cuckolding thing” typically doesn’t get to fuck around. He gets fucked around on.
If your discussions with your girlfriend were as confusing as your letter, it’s possible she was likewise confused. It’s possible she thought the rules applied to you and not to her. It’s possible she figured she was free to break the rules because betrayal turned you on. Now she knows that betrayal turns you on as a fantasy and not a reality. I’m giving your girlfriend the benefit of the doubt here, but seeing as you love her and want to make this work, and seeing as girlfriends who are open to cuckolding are hard to come by, I think you should give her the benefit of the doubt, too. Time will tell if she’s an honest “cheater” who can be trusted or a lying cheater who must be dumped.
Q: I’m a guy who can’t orgasm during oral sex. I can during vaginal. It’s frustrating, as I can see it bothers my girlfriend. But while I get close, I don’t quite reach the apex of that hill. I suspect it’s a control issue. During vaginal, I have some level of control — during oral, I don’t. Help.
A: Maybe it’s not a control issue. Maybe oral doesn’t do it for you — it can’t get you up and over them thar hills — because … oral doesn’t do it for you. If it were your girlfriend who had difficulty climaxing from oral alone, the standard-issue, sex-positive, lady-empowering advice would be to accept that it’s just the way her pussy works. Why shouldn’t the same advice apply here?
Vaginal gets you all the way there, oral gets you almost all the way there — maybe that’s just how your dick works. On the off chance there could be a psychological block, experiment with letting her get you almost all the way there and then stroke yourself to get you the rest of the way there. With time, you may find the number of strokes you need to get up and over the hill diminishing until you don’t need them at all. Or you may not — because this may be how your dick works.
Find the “Savage Lovecast” (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.