Now that we're a country at war, I've decided to rethink my life, my priorities, etc. What this boils down to is that I'm trying my best not to be such a narrow-minded Bossy Boots. Because I'm now a new, more benevolent and tolerant Dategirl, I'm going to print two letters from readers who took exception to advice I doled out recently. I, of course, still think my counsel was sage, but these guys make some valid points . . . I suppose.
Your response to the guy who has fantasies of seeing his wife screwed by other guys [Oct. 4] did not analyze the variables involved. All involve the difference between "sex" and "love." Sex is moments. Love is a lifetime. (Shakespeare makes the distinction by linking love with a full life's experience [i.e.,] marriage, and sex with basic sensual indulgence: "doting." In his 56th sonnet he writes: [Long dull quote from the bard deleted—we get the point!].)
Sex is passion. Love is compassion. Good sex is like a good meal, and is related to appetite. Love is more like understanding that food is there, and experiencing contentment. You ask this fellow what he will feel when he sees an especially big dick going into his wife, and "she turns into a sexually voracious she-beast." That is exactly what will make the hormones roar through him. You assume he will be threatened by this "reality." Instead, he may know future "meals" will be tastier.
I must say that you are the first reader ever to quote Shakespeare! I hope you won't be the last. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, I had to hack the hell out of your letter and thus cheat my readers of a little bit of culture.
You are ever so correct in pointing out the differences between sex and love. I know I'm capable of having mind-blowingly great sex with men whom I can barely tolerate when they're fully clothed and sitting next to me at the bar. Unfortunately, it's also possible to have mind-numbingly dull sex with someone you adore. This, I do not dispute. It's when you combine sex and love that you can run into problems. There's a world of difference between watching well-built strangers go at it on the TV and sitting three feet away from some guy poking your wife—a wife, I might add, who is so uptight she considers masturbation repulsive. Obviously lots of couples get off watching their mates bump uglies with others—and that's just fine—but I don't think this couple is one of them.
This next letter is in response to a plea for help from a young girl whose problem was that she had too many boyfriends [Sept. 27]. We should all have such troubles!
I concur with you that Miss "Sexually Deviant" is not at all deviant, and in my line of work, I see some deviants. I also applaud your not hanging the "slut" label on this sensible young woman. Young men are encouraged to "shop around," but young women are still often labeled and abused for the same behavior.
It is possible, however, that her nonmonogamy is not an age-related phase. It might be that it is a part of who she is, and she should be supported.
There is a local support group and many Web resources on conscious nonmonogamy. Put "polyamory" or "poly-fidelity" into a search engine and that should lead her to some sites and resources.
The thing I'm most curious about is what line of work puts you in touch with so many deviants on a daily basis. Sounds scintillating—do tell!
I'm sorry if I was inadvertently condescending toward any polyamorists out there by implying that people "mature into" monogamy. That wasn't my intent. I was thinking that as I get older, I have less tolerance for running around with a bunch of different guys; it's difficult enough to find one who doesn't make me want to poke his eyes out with a fork!
Dating difficulties? Ask Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.