you want, baby, I got.
What you need, you know I got it.
All I askin' is for a little respect
columnists hear frequently from anguished supplicants whose partner
is Behaving Badly in a way that makes it apparent that s/he
is irredeemably a
jerk. These heartbroken scribblers are simultaneously
looking for confirmation that they should leave and hoping desperately
that there is some other option. Dan
Savage, sex advice columnist extraordinaire, has invented
the perfect acronym for this situation: DTMFA (Dump The MotherFucker
Already). One can't beat that for comprehensive, concise and useful
advice. As indicated above, most of these cases are pretty cut and
dried (or limp and wet, as the case may be) but the fallout from
the sexual revolution has left an increasing number of innocents
confused about what behaviour is and is not kosher in a relationship.
the decriminalization of most sexual activity not involving children
and/or animals, the cameras of reality TV filming
what goes on in bedrooms across America, the InternetChrist,
where do I begin?the Idiotnet (Remember when it was just the
boob tube? That was awful enough!) making annual conventions
for every fetish all but mandatory, indoctrinating adolescents
into a lifetime of obligatory
porn viewership, convincing every college-age girl to
her boobs and shave
her pubes, providing forums for bisexuals
to tell the world that they are all your friends and neighbors and
co-workers and don't worry, whatever you do is okay, it's
no wonder that people are befuddled. To end the confusion, here
Rowena's Definitive Guide to What Is and What Is NOT Acceptable
in a Relationship
NOT ok for your partner to:
that you shave your pubes, pierce your flesh, ink your skin, dye
your hair, augment your boobs, inflate your lips or suction your
thighs/chin/arse. The mainstreaming
porn and wannabe
starlets, not to mention the popularity of goth
culture, has many guys internalizing airbrushed perfection
and body modification as the norm. It shouldn't even be the ideal,
let alone the minimum expectation for your date. If his head turns
every time a chick with pierced nipples walks by, let him date
her and good fucking riddance.
more than once that you engage in swinging, threesomes or any
other adventures in non-monogamy. There is nothing wrong with
asking for what you wantin fact, we advice columnists spend
much of our time telling
people to do just that. But the current mainstream
acceptability of swinging, the saturation
of porn, and the publication of data chronicling the
rampant promiscuity of everyone from pre-teens to nonagenarians
has left many men (and some women) assuming that something is
wrong with their relationship if they are not getting it on with
a third party, separately or together. It reminds me of pre-revolutionary
France, where in aristocratic circles, according to Ken Mondschein's
History of Single Life,"it was considered
somewhat déclassé to love your spouse."
all the trends noted here, this one is the most pernicious. Guys
are increasingly being led by the aforementioned societal changes
to believe that they have a right to expect a non-monogamous relationship.
It's not that they are cheating more than they used to. Oh, no,
cheating implies that you are doing something that you acknowledge
to be wrong; what's happening now is that the perception of the
scope of acceptable behaviour has increased. In some respects,
this is a good thing. If you don't want to be monogamous, there
is no reason for you to even keep up a façade of monogamy
anymore. You don't have to worry about what the Jones' think because
you've probably seen naked pictures of them on the Web anyway.
My advice has always been: find someone who wants the same things
you want in a relationship. In theory, it's pretty simple: if
you don't want to be monogamous, don't date someone who does.
If you want a monogamous relationship, don't waste your time with
someone who doesn't. How do you find this out? You ask. "Honey,
would you like a threesome with the pocket Venus who lives downstairs?"
"Dearest, would you like to swap with that cute goth couple
we always see at the bar?" "Sweetie, I want variety,
shall we take out a personal ad to look for a third?"
catch ispay attention, nowyou have to listen to the
answer. If your partner says "no," YOU DON'T FUCKING
ASK AGAIN. If you can't live without said threesome or foursome
or moresome, YOU MOVE THE FUCK ON AND DATE SOMEONE ELSE. The problem
I am attempting to highlight here is the tendency of guys to bring
up this topic repeatedly, usually after a one-handed surfing session
("These horny co-eds are doing the whole football team, can't
you at least bring one girl home?") and each and every time
they see an even vaguely cute girl ("Wouldn't you like to
do her? Huh? Huh? Wouldn't ya? You know you would."). You
do not have to remain in a monogamous relationship if you don't
want that lifestyle - there's no law mandating that anymore -
but you do have to stop harassing your partner about it after
the first refusal. Believe me, she knows you want it and she will
bring it up herself if she ever changes her mind.
his thoughts/words/actions with the excuse that biology = destiny.
This is closely related to the above because often, in his
attempts to explain why he wants the intern in his office to join
you in bed, the hairy male will whine that he is biologically
programmed to spread his seed. He will implore you to accept that
he can't help it, that it doesn't mean he doesn't love you, blah,
bloody, blah. Tell him he's free to make that claim just as soon
as he relinquishes his opposable thumbs. Of all the trite excuses
men will trot out to persuade you, this is the most pathetic.
And the most generic. All the latest
psychobabble supports him because telling people what
they want to hear sells books. Remind him that the door is always
open if his urge to impregnate Britney Spears and hunt wooly mammoths
with spears becomes overwhelming. If he starts cutting faces out
of magazines andarranging them on the floor for bukkake
practice, give him a boot and close the door behind him.
like he is doing you a huge favour by remaining faithful.
For the reasons expounded ad nauseam above, fidelity is now regarded
by most guys as deserving of canonization. Going to a party without
you and not going home with someone makes Mother Theresa seem
selfish in comparison. He expects a hummer every night he comes
home without having banged the French intern at the office. I
LOOKED BUT I DIDN'T TOUCH. PRAISE ME! TELL ME I'M A GOOD BOY.
GIVE ME A COOKIE! Fidelity isn't the apex of achievement in a
relationship; it's the foundation. If he thinks he deserves a
medal (or even brownie points) for every day that he resists temptation,
remember what happens to the Ben & Jerry's after you've ignored
its siren call from the freezer for a few days. (*scrape, scrape*,
last of the White Russian) The next time you thank someone for
keeping a promise that they made of their own free will, give
yourself a good swift kick in the arse.
he is single when you are not around. Flirting is grand. Flirting
helps us feel alive, attractive, puts roses in our cheeks and
a sparkle in our eye. Never give up flirting, as long as you live.
But if your guy works the bar or the party like he's on a mission
to collect as many phone numbers as possible whenever you are
not with him, it's time to consider his commitment to the relationship.
Where to draw the line? Flirting, as noted above, is fine. Touching,
exchanging contact info (phone numbers, email addys), or being
alone together ("we just shared a cab") are not. As
boys imbibe more intoxicating beverages, the line sometimes appears
to waver and grow fuzzy. The no-fail rule to follow is: never
say or do anything that you would feel the tiniest bit uncomfortable
telling your partner about, in every detail. If you ever feel
compelled to edit something you said or did before you can share
it with your supposedly-loved one, you did wrong and they should
dump your sorry ass forthwith.
unacceptable behaviour by pleading intoxication and/or stress.
Neither ingesting mind-altering substances nor suffering from
life's many stressors excuses unacceptable behaviour. Period.
End of relationship.
on the physical charms of other women. Yeah, yeah, we all
know that he looks. And we concede that looking without touching
is acceptable. But you needn't tolerate your bloke remarking on
the boob size or VPLs of passing members of your sex. This goes
for drooling over celluloid and jpeg beauties as well. If he doesn't
think you are the most beautiful, sexiest, most attractive woman
he has ever seen, move on. You can do better. No-one needs their
self-esteem shredded on a daily basis. This wasn't always a problem.
Believe it or not, there was a time when an idle remark on the
beach would have been considered grounds for withholding sex for
a week. Now, women are taught to accept it, that the poor guy
can't help it, it's just his biological programming to notice
and pronounce judgment on anything female that crosses his radar
screen. Take it from me, you don't have to put up with it. If
you ask him to stop and he doesn't, dump his sorry ass. He's not
going to r-e-s-p-e-c-t you any more in the future.
the bottom line here: respect. Whether you're a bottom or a
top, you deserve it in every arena of your life, especially
your sexual relationships. Letting someone else become physically
and emotionally intimate with you is a tremendous gift and an
act of breathtaking trust and vulnerability. Modern society
makes it too easy to forget that.
like shit? Don't email
me, dump 'em.
December 7, 2003 5:16 PM