Friday, March 11, 2016

Savage Love: Limits are limits, dammit

"You need to let this guy go for your own happiness and sanity."

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 2:59 PM

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I had given up on relationships after a failed marriage and another partner trying to kill me (no joke). Then, after five years single, abstinent, and lonely, I met a man who frustrated me, turned me on, and was understanding about my trust issues. I’m excited about a future with him—except for two things. First, he says he loves me but he’s not sure yet if he wants to spend the rest of his life with me—he’s not sure if I’m “The One.” He also has needs I’m not able to fulfill. It may not seem like a big deal to most people, but swallowing is out for me, as I was orally raped when I was a teenager. I’ve worked my way up to enjoying giving head, but come in my mouth makes me cry. And I can’t give head after anal. He says these are the things that make him come the hardest. I’ve asked him if my inability to provide these things are a “deal breaker” for him and he says no, but when we get into bed, he talks about me doing them the entire time we’re having sex. I’ve asked him to stop, and he says he will, but it doesn’t stop. He will also have sex only in the positions he likes, and if I ask for something different, he’ll just stop having sex with me, leaving me frustrated. If letting him go so he can find the right person to fulfill his needs makes him happier, then I feel it’s the right thing to do, as much as it would hurt.

Failing At Intimacy/Love

You need to let this guy go for your own happiness and sanity.

I know you were alone for a long time—alone and lonely—and you know who else knows that? Your shitty boyfriend, FAIL, and he’s leveraging your desire to be with someone against your right to sexual autonomy and your need for emotional safety. You have an absolute right to set your own limits, to rules things in and out, and to slap “not open for discussion” labels on some things. Ruling two things out—swallowing and ATM—particularly for the reasons you cite, is perfectly reasonable. If he can’t accept that, if he’s going to hammer away at those two things endlessly, that should be a “deal breaker” for you.

You see his inability to determine if you’re “the one” as a separate issue, FAIL, but it’s of a piece. He’s refusing to make you the one—“the one” is an act of will, not an act of God—in hopes that you will submit to his sexual demands. I have a hunch that swallowing and ATM aren’t really the things that make him come the hardest. If it was anal and cunnilingus you couldn’t do, FAIL, then those would be his favorite things. Because the issue here isn’t whether he’s “sure” you’re the one or the sex acts that make him come the hardest. This is about him controlling and degrading you.


Please ignore KISSES and write as much as you want! I read your column because I like what you write!

Dan Should Go On At Length

I’ve obviously reverted to form already, DSGOAL, but thanks for your support!

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Dan Savage

Dan Savage

In addition to being a nationally syndicated sex advice columnist and author of books, Savage can also lay claim to being the only person at his home paper to have actually converted his sexuality into a profession. He has a boyfriend and a child. He is also wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice and cheats at racketball... more

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