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What we've got here is a rich guy who has manipulated his kids' former babysitter into doing sex work.

I am a 22-year-old straight female. I used to babysit for a wealthy family. The dad of this family is very into martial arts/fighting and has invited me over for "self-defense training." I have accepted his invitations a few times, and it has always started off as a normal workout in their home gym. But he is always pretty anxious to get to the self-defense part. Often he will blindfold me and then come at me, and I must then wrestle my way out of the situation using the moves I've learned.

I did this a few times, and found it a bit unsettling. However, he never touched me inappropriately. Last time we did this, he told me he wanted to see how much pain he could take. He asked me to kick him in the groin with no protection until he couldn't take it anymore. I thought, "This is strange," but I was curious, so I did it. He was able to take it for a surprisingly long time. I haven't been back since, but for the past six months, he has been pestering me to come back. Recently, he suggested that we have a "competition." I will kick him in the balls — or anywhere else — and if he gives up, I get $150. If I give up, by getting too tired, I give him $20. His wife knows about the workouts, but he said he doesn't want me to tell her about the fighting.

Is there a sexual component to this? I have never heard of anything like this before. But I am a poor college student, and for $150, I'll stand there fully clothed and kick this guy in the balls!

Will Kick Balls For Money

There are no nonsexual components to this, and if you've never heard of something like this before, you must be a new reader.

What we've got here is a rich guy attempting to manipulate his kids' former babysitter into doing sex work — no, scratch that. What we've got here is a rich guy who has already manipulated his kids' former babysitter into doing sex work, and that's pretty fucking creepy. (Your previous workouts with the wrestling and the kicking? Unpaid sex work.) 

Don't get me wrong: I don't think his ball-busting fetish is creepy. It's extreme, as fetishes go, and there are risks. But the risks are his. Paying you to kick him in the nuts doesn't put his wife at risk (kick-to-sack is not a known mode of STI transmission), it won't take food out of his children's mouths, and, as he presumably has all the children he wants, ball-busting-induced sterility might be a blessing/vasectomy in disguise.

If you need the money, and don't think you'll be scarred by the experience, tell the guy you'll consider doing this — you'll remain fully clothed and kick him in the nuts — but only if he levels with you: He's getting off on this. If he can't level with you, don't do it.

You don't want this rich asshole to think he's manipulated you into doing sex work, because once the session is under way, you don't want him thinking, "If I could get her to do this, I can probably get her to [remove her clothes/watch me masturbate/have sex with me]." Being direct with someone ("No, I'm not taking my clothes off, asshole!") after you've accepted a dishonest premise ("Sure, rich guy, this isn't about sex, you're just testing yourself!") requires you to admit that you were being dishonest, too. Most people are reluctant to admit to dishonesty, and a skilled manipulator will exploit that inhibition to get what he wants.

So tell him you'll play, but you're not going to play along. He has to agree to your conditions: Everything that happens is agreed to in advance, you both remain fully clothed, no recordings are made, and you get the $150 — make that $250 — whether or not he bails.

I am a straight man who has always known that he is a poly. The woman I love is a monogamous person. When we started being sexual, it was a strictly friends-with-benefits arrangement, although a sexually exclusive one at her insistence, and I agreed because neither of us expected anything long-term. But we fell in love, and now I can't imagine life without her. I love her like I've never loved any other woman. But she has asked me to betray my sexual identity by remaining sexually exclusive. I am not asking the same of her: She does not have to sleep with other people to keep me in her life. Can someone who is poly be happy with someone who isn't?

Polyamorous Polymath

You are not "a poly."

Poly is not a sexual identity or orientation. It's not something you are, it's something you do. There's no such thing as a person who is "a poly," just as there's no such thing as a person who is "a monogamous." There are only people — gay, straight, bi. Some people are in monogamous relationships, some are in polyamorous relationships, some are in monogamish relationships, some are in four-star-general relationships. These are relationship models, not sexual identities.

So the question isn't "Can a poly be happy with a monogamous?" The question is can you, despite your preference for nonmonogamous relationship models, be happy in this relationship? Do you love your girlfriend so much that you're willing to pay the price of admission that she's demanding?

Since your girlfriend has already indicated that she's not willing to have a nonmonogamous relationship, the choice is yours. If you truly can't live without her, you'll have to be monogamous. If that's not something you're willing or able to do — "willing" and "able" are two different criteria, and you'll need to make an honest self-assessment on both counts — then end this relationship and find someone whose romantic desires more closely align with your own.

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage

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