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Savage Love 

The consensus in the sex-and-science research crowd is that a brain cannot be retrained where kinks are concerned.

I recently ended a relationship that lasted a year and five months. While I loved this woman, for much of the relationship she was, to varying degrees, depressed. I tried to be as helpful and patient as possible. I got her into counseling. We went to couples counseling. She got on medication. I encouraged her to eat well (I cooked her many healthy meals) and exercise daily (which she was never able to do). I tried to get her out into nature. I tried to listen and practice strong communication skills. I encouraged her to explore the benefits of a fulfilling and GGG relationship, but our sex life faltered because of the depression and her low libido. I kept helping and waiting, but she was simply unable to make healthy changes. I felt trapped dating someone who couldn't take control of her life. I eventually ended the relationship, which was the right decision for me, but she was crushed. Do you have any advice for dating someone with depression? Can relationships and depression work?

Serious About Depression

"I think SAD did the right thing," said Rob Delaney, the comedian, Twitter supernova and author of Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick.Turban. Cabbage. "And not only 'the' right thing, but a series of right things."

Delaney's book is a collection of essays — most of them hilarious —about his own struggle with depression so crippling, it almost took his life. Delaney is now the official spokesperson for all people everywhere who struggle with depression.

"This guy went above and beyond," Delaney continued. "One might 'suck it up' for a bit longer if there are kids involved or if you've been together for years and years and this depressive state is an anomaly, but this guy can't be expected to weld himself to someone he's been dating for less than a year and a half."

Delaney not only felt that you had done right by this woman, but that your actions could serve as a template for other readers.

"SAD was kind, patient and proactive, and when that didn't work, he ended the relationship," said Delaney. "He didn't assume that she would implode without him. He seems to have a manageable enough ego to realize that he's not the only doorway through which this woman can walk to happiness; he's merely another human being whose happiness has value, too. And maybe this breakup will provide the jolt she needs to recalibrate her approach to her depression and really get better. He also showed her another person taking care of himself. I sincerely hope she develops this skill herself, but you cannot will that behavior into people. That does not mean you don't love them."

Not following @RobDelaney on Twitter? You're the only one. Go to to buy his book.

Is it safer for a woman planning to have a one-night stand to take the guy back to her place or to go to his place? Does this apply if both are staying in hotels?

Reader Is Seeking Knowledge

When you're having sex with a stranger, RISK, it's generally considered safer — some would argue only marginally so — to go back to his place. The reason is kinda depressing: A stranger is less likely to murder you at his place because then he has to dispose of your body, which is apparently a pain in the ass. But if he murders you at your place, he can stick your landlord and loved ones with disposal duties.

I'm a 21-year-old gay male. Can someone "quit" a fetish? I'm an ABDL, which stands for "adult baby/diaper lover." I get turned on by putting other guys into diapers or having other, usually older, guys put me in diapers. I can have normal sex and have had a few decent relationships, or at least as decent as most gay guys still in college have. I've met a great guy who has helped me mix ABDL with bondage for some REAL fun, and I'm pretty OK with knowing that there's nothing particularly wrong with a kink like mine. Unfortunately, this particular fetish creeps most people out, and the idea of being into this kink when I'm in my 40s grosses me out. I've gone through the binge-and-purge cycle most guys go through when they realize they're into diapers. But is there any way to retrain your brain to not get off on a particular fetish?

Another Boy Diaper Lover

The consensus in the sex-and-science research crowd is that a brain cannot be retrained where kinks are concerned — so you might as well enjoy your kinks. (That's only if your kinks can be enjoyed consensually, which yours happily can be.) And while some people have taken drugs to "treat" disturbing kinks, these drugs suppress libido generally; they do not target one kink in particular. (Are you willing to give up sex to get over diapers? I didn't think so.)

That said, kinks have certain narratives and broad themes, and figuring those out may help you enjoy other kinks with lower creep factors. If what you enjoy about diapers is the helplessness and loss of control they symbolize, mixed with submission to an affectionate authority figure, you might find fetish puppy play similarly arousing, as that also has themes of helplessness, dependence and affection. And while most people don't find fucking a person who is pretending to be a baby dog any less creepy than fucking a person who's pretending to be a baby baby, there seem to be a lot more puppy-players out there.

But I think you should keep looking for a guy who's into the same things you are. If you can't date the great guy who helped mix diaper play with bondage, you should take his existence as proof that there are other guys who will like you and like what you like.

This week on the Savage Lovecast, Dan chats with an expert about sex after weight-loss surgery:


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