July 5, 2007
By Dan Savage
I'm a 29-year-old married man. My wife and I are both active people (rock climbing, cycling, and kayaking) and our sex life is good. However, since high school I've been turned on by thick, big-butt, big-tit, ugly, trashy girls. In my 20s, I would secretly go to bars in the suburbs to pick up these thick, ugly girls. But I've only ever been in relationships with fit, attractive, intellectual girls. I'm married to one and I'm madly in love with her. I've been able to repress my desires for the past three years, hoping that I'd become sexually attracted to my wife. Unfortunately, it's now clear that fat, ugly, hick girls are what turn my crank—but I could never be in a relationship with one of these girls. Quite frankly, these girls are of no interest to me outside of my sexual desires. What should I do?
Big And Trashy Lover
Sometimes I don't even know where to begin.
But, fuck, might as well start with the truth: Do you know why you dismiss the girls you find attractive—girls who are not, by your dick's definition, unattractive in the least—as "ugly, trashy girls," "thick, ugly girls," "fat, ugly, hick girls," etc.? For the same reason, BATL, that you've ruled out the possibility of ever having a relationship with a fat girl: You're a cowardly, hateful piece of shit.
That's unkind, of course, just like describing all fat girls as "ugly" or suggesting that women can be intelligent or heavy but never both. So here's a kindler, gentler take: A long, long time ago you internalized our culture's anti-fat prejudice. We all do, of course, to greater or lesser extents. But when you hit puberty, BATL, your sexual tastes brought you into conflict with those anti-fat prejudices. At that moment, BATL, you had an obligation to yourself and to your future sex partners to overcome your prejudices. Instead, disgusted by your desires, you projected your disgust and anger onto the women you want to fuck. Terrified of the shame and judgment that would come your way if you had a relationship with a big woman, you convinced yourself that all big women are thick, stupid trash. A big woman might be worth fucking, you concluded, but she could never be worthy of love.
So what do you do now, BATL? Well, you either stay with the skinny woman you married—a woman who will never satisfy you sexually—or you divorce her and find yourself a big girl, a woman who's active and intelligent, a woman you could love madly and wanna fuck, er, badly. But you know what? That woman deserves better than you.
I'm a 47-year-old man and my wife is 49. We got married four years ago. Two days ago, she came back from the doctor and told me she has genital herpes. She said she must have contracted it years ago and never had an outbreak until 10 days ago. She has been to the doctor countless times over the years. I don't know what to think. Is it really possible she didn't know? I know she needs me to be loving now, but it's hard when I can't believe she just found out. If she knew about it and lied, my trust is destroyed. Also, how can our marriage survive when I can't bring myself to have sex with her? What do you think?
Marriage In Serious Trouble
I think you're being a douche, MIST.
But, hey, everyone's entitled to a little douchebaggery now and then. The wife's got a sexually transmitted infection—that's upsetting and you're freaked. Understandable. You're also overreacting and misinformed, MIST, and continued douchebaggery on your part may end your marriage. So set down the douchebag and start getting informed, okay?
"His wife could have been exposed to the herpes virus decades ago," says Karen J. Pataky, a nurse practitioner and clinician at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. Which means it's possible that your wife didn't know, MIST—believe it. Why would she suddenly have an outbreak? "Her immune system could have kept it contained all this time," says Pataky. "As we near 50, our immune systems become a little less competent to deal with certain things."
As for all those trips to the doctor? "None of the medical situations that MIST describes would lead a physician to check for herpes antibodies; she would not know through routine blood tests, either." (MIST included some details about his wife's medical history that I shared with Pataky.)
And guess what, MIST? If your wife could have been infected for years without knowing, then you could have been infected for years without knowing. Pataky connects the suppurating dots: "It's possible that he is the one who infected her and he has not had an outbreak. Or he had a small outbreak and it went away quickly and he didn't think twice about it."
So what do you do now?
"He can get a blood test if he wants to know if he has antibodies to herpes," says Pataky. Antibodies only indicate that you've been exposed, not whether you will develop symptoms. If it turns out that you're not already exposed, MIST, you can use condoms at all times to protect yourself—but condoms don't provide 100 percent protection against herpes. So why not do the decent, loving thing and just assume you're already infected and refuse to let a piddling thing like herpes destroy your marriage? "Cancer, HIV, heart attack—that's horrible news," says Pataky. "This is not horrible news. Herpes is not something to ruin a marriage over, medically speaking. It's never life threatening and it's possible to go years without any outbreaks."
So, MIST, do you love your wife more than you fear a relatively mild STI that you've probably already been exposed to and may have exposed your wife to in the first place? If the answer to that question isn't "yes," MIST, you're a bigger douche than I thought.
I'll post a few more in a bit. I've got to find them on the net!