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COLUMN

Savage Love

I'm a man who recently started seeing a wonderful woman. Like me, she's divorced.

1) I recently hit the age where I’ve started to worry about looking older, and it’s been devastating to know that not only did he cheat on me, but that he did so with a much younger woman. He assures me he’s attracted to me, but how can I believe that now?

2) The younger woman sent me – and other people in our lives – an explicit, lengthy email detailing everything they did. (I hate to paint this as “bitchez be crazy,” but sometimes bitchez be crazy.) It’s not how I found out, but it certainly hasn’t helped. Ironically, our sex life has only gotten better since I found out exactly what they did – it turns out that we are both far more GGG than the other ever knew. But sometimes we’re in bed, and I’ll flash on something she wrote and the vivid mental images her letter cooked up in my head, and it sears me. Dealing with that pain out of the bedroom has been hard enough. It’s devastating that it’s now with me in the bedroom as well. How can I deal with this?

Salve It, Please

1) LTRs are only possible if we’re willing take “yes” for an answer. He says yes he loves you, and you will yourself to believe him; he says yes he’s having sex with you because he’s attracted to you, and you will yourself to believe him; he says he strayed and is sorry and swears he won’t do it again … and you will yourself to believe him. And while the passage of time makes monsters of us all, SIP, it can strengthen a sexual connection even as sex itself becomes less important when weighed against everything else your LTR is or should be about. In the words of singer-songwriter Tim Minchin: “Love is made more powerful by the ongoing drama of shared experience and synergy and symbiotic empathy, or something like that.”

2) Angry cheated partner: “You did what with that person? I would’ve done that with you! And I have kinks and fantasies, too, you know!”

Contrite cheating partner: “I was afraid to ask you to do that! I was afraid you would hate me – wait, you have kinks and fantasies? What are they?”

Conversations like that one are why affairs – if the relationship survives the betrayal – sometimes kick-start a couple’s sex life. With all the kink-and-whatever-else cards on the table, the couple starts going at it like they have nothing to lose – because in that moment when breaking up is on the table, they actually don’t have anything to lose.

As for those troubling mental images: The passage of time is your body’s enemy on the physical-perfection front – and his, too – but it’s your best friend on the searing-mental-images front, SIP. The more time you two spend doing, enjoying and perfecting X, Y and Z sex acts, the more X, Y and Z becomes about you two and your connection. As you take ownership over X, Y and Z, and over each other again, the mental images will come to you less often, they’ll be less vivid, and gradually they’ll cease. Give it time.

A letter in a recent column was from a guy who’s trying to figure out how to get into gay BDSM. You suggested some advice from a gay BDSM blogger – Ben In Leather Land (tinyurl.com/bensten) – and it was awesome. Do you have any suggestions of similar blogs for women into BDSM?

Looking Lady

Sex writer, blogger, thinker and haver Tristan Taormino, who is publishing a new book about BDSM and kinky sex (The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge), recommends fetish icon Midori’s column in SexIs magazine (tinyurl.com/edenmidori) for women who are just beginning to explore kink.

HEY, EVERYBODY: We’re seeking sordid and tragic stories of holiday sex for an upcoming episode of the Savage Lovecast. Call and record your story at 206-201-2720! Please keep it under three minutes, if at all possible!

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