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2:27 p.m. - May 27, 2003
Dan Savage evidently doesn't know my phone number
Dan Savage is speaking to me? Me or Andy, but you know what got me really excited? That there may be others like me out there! Whoooooooooo hoooooooooooooooooooooo.

silly, pathetic grin that covers up my deep anxiety over this. Of course you know that already.

Original letter:

I am a single gay guy aged 23, and I have read many letters on your site about mismatched couples, where one side's sexual needs are not being met by an "unwilling" partner.

Being from the "unwilling" side, I have a problem. Despite being strongly attracted to guys, both emotionally and sensually, my sexual relationships have been frustrating for both sides. I found I didn't enjoy sex. I was emotionally turned off when it became a reality, though I enjoyed everything leading up to it. Naturally, these poor guys thought it was something they were doing wrong -- and I felt terrible that I was hurting them. I've now been single for over two years, despite the offer of sexual relationships.

It seems just about every gay guy out there wants sex. I have no idea how to find a partner who wants a meaningful, long-term, monogamous relationship that's intimate but nonsexual. I am completely honest about myself, and a couple of people have claimed to want the same as me, but it's turned out to be a front for the fact they want a "challenge." I believe strongly that my guy is out there, but how would I find one in my area? This is driving me crazy, I swear. -- Andrew

Excuse me, Andrew, but what the fuck are you talking about? You want a "meaningful, long-term, monogamous relationship that's intimate but nonsexual." Once again: What the fuck? How does monogamy figure into a nonsexual relationship? I mean, like most healthy, functional people, I have several dozen meaningful, long-term, intimate, nonsexual relationships. They're with friends and family.

Pardon me for being blunt, Andrew, but I'm just going to give it to you straight: You are one fucked-up dude. Most together, out, presentable, relationship-material gay men who wanna have meaningful, long-term, intimate, monogamous relationship are going to wanna have -- can you guess? -- sex with the guy they're in a monogamous relationship with. Unless you can meet a guy who got his balls shot off in the War on Terror, Andrew, you're unlikely to ever meet a guy who will settle for the screwed-up non-sex life you're proposing.

You don't need a non-sex life or a pseudoboyfriend right now, sugarcubical -- you need a shrink. You have to figure out what exactly it is that prevents you from acting on your attraction to men. I suspect you have a hang-up (call it a hunch), and until you've worked through and gotten over it, I urge you not to inflict yourself on anyone.

I am a 26-year-old gay man who seems to have finally found someone of quality, which can be a battle in New York City. He is a 25-year-old gay man -- attractive, secure, independent. However, there is something missing: sexual intimacy. He won't move past anything but "cuddling." Of course I love cuddling, but why he is not trying anything else? I have made the moves on him, and he just lies there. What the hell is going on? Originally, I thought he wasn't interested, but when he kept on coming back, I figured he must enjoy being with me. I have licked the nipples, tried the bump and grind, everything -- but he lies there like a corpse!

I have gone through many theories on why he is reserved sexually. Maybe he is "taking his time." Maybe he is not a sexual person. Maybe he is just not into me. Or maybe he has some sexual shame. When we talk about sex, he gets very irritated. He says too many gay men focus on sex and not getting to know someone. I feel the same way, but we have been going out for more than two weeks and we're still doing the same stuff we were doing on day three. All we do is kiss, hug and hold hands!

Being around him is sexually frustrating, and I feel rejected half the time. I am starting to get turned off, but I do not want to let this guy pass me by. I am not looking to get fucked or to fuck him, but some sex of some sort would be nice! I have never had an experience with someone who is not sexual. Usually people are too sexual for me! Help me out -- this is the best guy I have met in months. What is the next step! -- Frustrated in NYC

Gee, NYC, maybe this attractive, secure, independent gay man just wants a meaningful, long-term, monogamous relationship that's intimate but nonsexual. Or maybe he's really fucked up. Hey ... This guy's name isn't Andrew, is it?

Still, FINYC, two weeks isn't that long to wait. It may seem like forever in, say, New York City, where way too many gay men seem to believe that a new relationship should be consummated within the first two minutes. If he's really as wonderful as you seem to think he is, I'd advise you to hang in there for a while. Maybe he really means it when he says he wants to take his time and get to know you before he stops acting like an extra on "Six Feet Under."

In the meantime, figure out what your "drop dead" point is. Could you wait two more weeks? Two more months? Two more years? Then tell Mr. Wonderful that if you're not having sex by that point, you're going to have to move on.

This one is the reality:

Your advice to the man who had a long-term partner of four years -- whom he loved and was devoted to (and vice versa), but with whom he only had sex once a month or so because his partner had past abuse issues -- was bullshit.

Of course he has shit to deal with. God, don't we all have shit we are wallowing in? His is particularly heinous shit to deal with. They have a long-term relationship, one that apparently is committed and loving. Yet you tell the guy to dump this commitment because the sexual aspect isn't working.

You don't ask if his partner has ever even tried to deal with the shit, or if he has even ever talked to his partner about it. You don't tell him, "Get thee both to some serious counseling." You could have suggested he sit with his partner and discuss different ways to work out that part of their relationship, or even to give the partner an ultimatum that he work the shit out or the relationship might end.

No, you just tell him to dump four years of commitment, caring and devotion to shake the guy up. That is shit. -- Trey

Sorry, Trey, but I stand by my advice to NYC. He's waited long enough for his boyfriend to work through his shit. It's been my experience -- and I'm pretty gol-darned experienced -- that some people don't want to work through their shit. Not only that, but some people use their shit to manipulate and exploit their lovers. There has to be a limit to the amount of time and energy a non-shit-burdened guy is expected to invest in the not-working-through-his-shit guy. And four years seems like a pretty generous investment to me.

I agree one hundred percent with your advice for NYC. I made that mistake at age 29, wasting 15 stupid years with a man who was haunted by his personal demons (as a victim of childhood molestation). All I did was squander a third of my life -- and end up with HIV. I thought I was being altruistic. I thought that sticking by him was truly being in it for "better or worse." All I got was the "worse." I should have dumped him at the start, or at least woke up within weeks or months rather than years. Some people are notready for adulthood and relationships. NYC needs to realize that. -- RDM

Thanks for sharing, RDM.


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