Savage Love | Opinion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Savage Love

Better to risk a moment of awkwardness than to fail to acknowledge your masseur's humanity.

My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and we live together. Recently, his ex was killed in a car accident. They were not on good terms, and he often made scathing statements about her. I made the mistake of saying the following several days after her death (after offering him sympathy on numerous occasions): "I don't know how to help you grieve because you didn't like her." Obviously, that was a stupid thing to say. I apologized numerous times, and he said that he forgave me. Fast-forward two weeks. We were out having drinks with friends. He disappeared from the bar and I ended up calling a cab and heading home by myself. When I got home, he was drinking with our roommate and some of his friends who were crashing at our house, including his friend's wife. I was angry and went to bed. I awoke alone and went downstairs, where I found him making out with his friend's wife. They were both incredibly drunk. Later, he told me he was still angry about my comment, accused me of hating his ex, and informed me that he spent the night venting about me to his friends. 

I am capable of getting over one drunken kiss — everybody makes mistakes. However, I'm not sure if I'm interested in staying with someone who can't speak to me like an adult when he has an issue, and instead gets scary drunk and makes out with people. I told him that this chick owes me an apology and asked him to consider quitting drinking. And I asked him to make it clear to his friends what really happened, so I don't have to be treated like the bad guy. Am I being too demanding? Does it seem like our relationship is worth salvaging? 

Confused And Concerned About Situation

Let's review your boyfriend's behavior: gets drunk, ditches girlfriend, gets shitfaced back at home, bitches about girlfriend to drunk friends, makes out with another woman — who happens to be married to another friend — while his girlfriend sleeps, gets caught, blames girlfriend.

That looks like someone who wants out of this relationship. Which means your willingness to stay in it may be irrelevant. Because if your boyfriend lacks the decency, balls or self-awareness to end it himself (he may not be consciously aware that he wants out), he'll keep pulling stunts like this until you dump him.

I've been wrong in the past (see "clitoris, location" and "male bisexuality, existence of"), and this is advice, not binding arbitration. Maybe his behavior can be attributed to a meltdown over his ex-girlfriend's death. Clearly, his feelings for his ex were more complicated than he let on. I'm thinking he still had feelings for her, and that she dumped him. He may have said shitty things about his ex because he thought that's what you wanted to hear. Reminding him about all of the shit he talked about his ex may have made him angry with himself, and he projected that anger onto you. In the cold/sober light of day, he may be able to see that and you can rebuild your relationship.

Or, you know, not.

My uncle died in a car wreck. I didn't know him well, but we lived in the same city and he named me executor of his estate. He was single, childless, straight, unmarried and, as it turns out, pretty kinky. I've been looking around online, and some of this stuff in his "playroom" is worth a lot. But you can't haul a $1,000 bondage table out on the lawn for a yard sale (at least not where he lived). So what do you do with a dungeon full of BDSM gear when the owner dies unexpectedly?

Boy De-acquisitioning Sadistic Merch

There's an adult section on eBay where you can unload the stuff, BDSM, and is a site dedicated to auctioning off pre-owned sex toys and gear. But if you don't want to do the work (and if you don't care about cashing in on that bondage table), Google around a bit, and I bet you'll find a local BDSM group in your area that would be happy take your late uncle's gear off your hands.

I'm a gay man in a happy and open marriage. I routinely seek the services of an erotic masseur, with whom I have a great client/service-provider relationship. I found out that he was recently in a car accident with his long-term partner, who died in the hospital. Normally, I'd send flowers and a card. However, I don't want to extend myself in ways that could be uncomfortable for him. I wouldn't want to put him in the position of having to explain who I am if the card I sent was read by someone else.

Wants To Be Respectful

If we were talking about your lawyer or hairstylist or housekeeper, you wouldn't hesitate to send flowers and a card. You're hesitating in this case because you fear outing your masseur as a sex worker. Here's what's fucked up about that: You're assuming he isn't already out about doing sex work. You're assuming that being outed as a sex worker is the worst possible thing that could happen to him. Most shockingly, you're assuming your masseur is too stupid to cover for himself if he isn't out about doing sex work and if someone else reads your card and if that person asks who you are. Should a nosy relative ask, your masseur has lots of options before "a decent and kind guy I sometimes jack off for money." He can say you're a friend or an acquaintance or someone with whom he's worked.

Better to risk a moment of awkwardness than to fail to acknowledge your masseur's humanity. And that's what failing to acknowledge his grief amounts to. Don't participate in the dehumanization of sex workers. Send the flowers.

The new magnum Savage Lovecast season starts on Oct. 22 at

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment