Re: Do You Promise Not to Have Sex With Anyone Else, Ever, So Long As You Both Shall Live?

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Lucky me, since I promised not to have sex with anyone else until I die, and/or he dies, right in front of God and everyone.

I take it you didn't actually mention sex in the ceremony? I've always taken that "forsaking all others" part to mean whatever the couple together decides it means.

Anyway, monogamy just got more attractive, what with the news about how gonorrhea is this close to being incurable again.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:24 AM
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I think my parents married with the intention of being monogamous, but when my brother found evidence of my dad cheating on my mom, her response was to tell my brother it's none of his goddamn business. I don't know if it's because of the pattern of my parents or if it's genetic or something, but sexual jealousy isn't something I experience. I wouldn't consider myself poly--having one relationship at a time is complicated enough, and I experience enough romantic jealousy that it is not fun if my partners have other partners they like better than me.

But I'm almost always surprised by how intensely other people experience sexual jealousy and how important it is to them that their partners feel it about them. I don't think my position is superior; it's not a choice. But it's like being tone-deaf or something. I can understand intellectually that people care about fidelity because of disease or practical considerations, or even because of a fear of loss of love, but I don't get it from the perspective of "You touched someone else's genitals so you're dead to me."


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:32 AM
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2: I'm in kind of the same position -- I think I'd be pissed if Buck cheated, although it seems implausible enough that I haven't put in a lot of time thinking about it, but not in a relationship-altering way unless I thought that it had something important to do with his opinion of me and how he felt about me. "I had sex with another woman" I could get past without a great deal of difficulty. "I had sex with another woman because I'm not attracted to you these days, or she's just more fun than you are," I'd be pretty thoroughly upset.

Buck, on the other hand -- we've sort of talked about it, but just enough to get to the clear impression that if I cheated in any way it would be relationship-ending.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:47 AM
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I will say that this is all theoretical for me. I've never been cheated on that I know of. Closest experience was a high school boyfriend who I stayed very close friends with after we broke up, and I felt a bit possessive around his new girlfriend (Jew/lia Eisen/berg, for anyone keeping track.) But not seriously -- she was a good friend too -- just a slight internal nose-in-the-air feeling of "If I wanted him back, he'd be mine," which I hope I wasn't projecting too clearly. I was sixteen, so everyone probably had me busted, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:54 AM
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when my brother found evidence of my dad cheating on my mom, her response was to tell my brother it's none of his goddamn business

I'm a little unclear on what this means? I can imagine a parent responding this way to their kid no matter how s/he felt about the spouse's cheating.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:09 AM
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I think the typical problem isn't so much "You touched someone else's genitals so you're dead to me," but, "You touched someone else's genitals and you won't touch mine anymore so you're dead to me." Most cheating happens when there's no interest in the current relationship- if it were swingerville all the time I don't think there'd be as many divorces.
That might also explain the asymmetry in jealousy between men and women- stereotypically speaking, it's the woman who limits the extent of sexual availability, so when a man is cheated on he'll feel more cut off and say it's relationship-ending.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:16 AM
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4: Anti-semite.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:17 AM
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I thought the stereotype (backed by one or two surveys) was that women fear emotional infidelity while men fear physical infidelity.

Personally, I fear emotional infidelity (also, according to Deborah Tannen, I talk like a girl). Emotional infidelity threatens the thing that makes the relationship work. Physical infidelity seems more like a call to renegotiate the contract.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:24 AM
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2.2 describes me pretty well.

I don't cheat, in the same spirit as that in which I buy my girlfriend flowers. I understand that it's important to her because she told me so, I understand intellectually why someone might care about something like that, but on a gut level I have no appreciation for its significance.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:25 AM
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I've never cheated or been tempted to cheat, but I've been accused of cheating or wanting to cheat by people who seemed to think that would make me feel loved. No, actually, that makes me hate you! I far preferred the attitude of my ex who, if seeing me dressed up and looking particularly good, opined delightedly that everyone must want to fuck me. Same sentiment, I suppose, but no accusation about my intentions.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:31 AM
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The funny thing is that I used to be an extremely jealous person, and when I was in a relationship at that stage, I did get cheated on and I didn't care that much when it actually happened.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:34 AM
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People are intensely jealous of sexual infidelity if they believe (sometimes accurately) that what primarily interests their partner is their looks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:37 AM
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I mean, there's obviously a lot else going on in any given situation. 12 was to "I just can't figure out why it's so important to people".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:38 AM
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Well, physical and emotional infidelity are intertwined. You can't exactly say to someone "you can have sex with anyone else as long as you find them deeply unpleasant to be around." Well, you can, but its not giving your partner much license.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:48 AM
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A friend of mine had a "sex but no dates" arrangement with respect to non-marital partners. That always struck me as ridiculous, since, I mean, come on, buy a girl a drink first.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:51 AM
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When I started dating Jackie, she had been in the habit of having semi-casual, booty call type sex with a couple of people and didn't immediately stop. I had no idea how I would react to that, and found that I couldn't care less, provided she was there for me when I wanted her, which, since it was a brand new relationship, was most of the time. She asked me if I minded, and I told her that, and then she stopped seeing the other guys anyway, which I admit was slightly gratifying, though I claim no credit for it. We're both fundamentally lazy people, and a cock in hand is worth two on the other side of town.

As far as I know she hasn't "cheated" since, but if she did I imagine I would feel the same way. I haven't "cheated" either because Jackie is not jealous, but she would be desperately hurt. On the other hand we're both cool with each other fancying other people like crazy from a safe distance.


Posted by: John F Kennedy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:51 AM
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"You must be this unloveable to have sex with me." (On a sign with a photo of Dick Cheney.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:52 AM
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1: yes, in the ceremony we just said "forsaking all others." no further details were provided.

in my case I cheated on all my previous boyfriends. in one case it was in order to provoke jealousy, but although he made me feel like shit about it for fucking ever, he never exhibited the heated sexual possessiveness I wanted to elicit. and later I found out he was cheating on me on the regular, like every time he left the country (2x-3x per year, multiple partners each time). fuck. I used to wait on that motherfucker hand and foot, giving out dope I had gone out and copped and hour-long blowjobs because doing heroin makes it hard for you to make it all the way there. and then I would make candy! I deserved more love.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:56 AM
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17 to 14.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:56 AM
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I cheated on nearly all of my previous boyfriends, as well, through college and early grad school.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:59 AM
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For me, there's a bright line in the middle of grad school where I got therapy, learned to be single and stopped doing the serial monogamy thing, and learned to think hard about what I wanted in life. So any cheating that happens (by either party) in my future would have a different flavor from that which happened pre-bright line, I think.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:02 AM
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Obviously, there are people for whom physical intimacy is very difficult without a lot of trust and emotional investment, and so infidelity is a breach of that trust and emotional investment.

For myself, during my first actual-sex relationship, we talked about it early on and I said that I'd forgive her or take her back. While this seems like a healthy attitude, it was entirely a byproduct of my being insecure and terrified of the idea of not being with her. Several years later, shortly before the breakup (which was my decision, and a stupid one), the idea came up again and I mentioned that I no longer felt that way, that I'd ditch her if she cheated on me. While THAT might seem like a healthy attitude, it was again a product of insecurity. I'm the tiresome sort of depressed person who has difficulty believing another person could really love me, so (a) my emotional state around the idea of infidelity of any sort is rather fragile, and (b) since I didn't think I had any mental or personality qualities worthy of her love, she must have been in it for the sex. Finding another, possibly superior sex partner would mean she had no more use for me.

I'm aware all of this is ridiculous and very little of it was conscious most of the time, but it's what lurks just under the surface.

So you all seem very well adjusted folks to me.


Posted by: RMNixon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:04 AM
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NO! Just me! I'm the only well-adjusted one!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:07 AM
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18. It occurs to me that the phrase "forsaking all others" in the standard ceremony doesn't explicitly say "forsaking sex with all others". If you were to take it literally, your kid sister could come to you door bleeding from the head and say, "I've just been mugged and beaten and I've no money and I can't get to the hospital", and you'd have to say, "Sorry, I'm not married to you, you'll just have to fuck off."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:09 AM
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I have been cheated on a couple of times [once late teens, once early twenties] and split up with someone in my late twenties because they made it clear that they had the _intention_ of cheating on me. Minor pathetic ego boost that they went and had sex with the person, and then came crying back to me that the grass really wasn't greener. I didn't take her back, though, and it had been a serious long term relationship. I think she was somewhat shocked that I didn't forgive and forget. But, I'd been treated shittily, and that was that. In fact, the bullshit self-justification that was invoked was a major factor in the hard-line that I took at the time. So, cheating cheating, i.e. conscious sneaking around and infidelity, a definite deal-breaker.

Someone having a spontaneous drunken shag, on the other hand, I could probably live with. I'd hope it's really not likely at all, but it might not be the end of the world if happened. When the Empress and I got together I was sort of in the middle of a breakup with someone else, and she was in the process of moving a long way away, and while there wasn't any cheating going on [everyone involved knew where we stood] there wasn't a 100% cast-iron presumption of sexual fidelity, and that didn't bother me as much as I thought it might. As it happened, I don't think either of us were going out and having lots of one-night stands with other people, but I've never really asked [on a don't ask/don't tell sort of basis], and I wouldn't be upset if I found out now that a bit of casual shagging had been going on at that early stage.

I've had lots of previous partners who've admitted to cheating a lot on _their_ previous partners.* The few times the topic came up in conversation I was always pretty clear that it wasn't something up with which I would put.

* sometimes, in bitter moments in my 20s, it seemed like _every_ woman I knew was cheating on someone. And had epic double standards about _their_ partners fidelity.

** I don't really know why I'm going presidential, but fuck it, less google-able, anyway.


Posted by: Emperor Palpatine | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:11 AM
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I cheated on UNG before we were openly engaged in the sense that I kissed another man. Had there been fireworks and irresistible wow, I would have broken it off with UNG in a heartbeat (I think, anyway). I felt guilty for awhile, then didn't.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:13 AM
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It occurs to me that the phrase "forsaking all others" in the standard ceremony doesn't explicitly say "forsaking sex with all others".

This is just what I meant in 1.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:15 AM
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I don't consider myself "poly," more like "I would theoretically like to occasionally have the right to have sex with someone who is not you without it being a huge deal," so we say its an "open marriage" but its really more in theory than anything else because both of us are way too lazy and mostly uninterested in others to secure other sex partners. So I am sure Alameida is not looking from answers for people like me but I will answer anyway because I find this topic fascinating!

I am with AWB in 2.2. I just kind of don't get it. On the few occasions that my partner has slept with someone else (and there's only been a handful) I feel like this initial like heated rush of jealousy (and, if I may be frank, sort of excitement? Maybe I am just a perv?) which fades within about 30 minutes. Then I ask lots of questions and then I get bored. Our only rules are a) safe sex (duh), and b) you have to inform before the encounter occurs, not after. My rationale is, I don't want to ever be wondering whether my partner is fucking someone else and, like, worrying about it (having done that a couple times, I didn't like the feeling and it made me sort of anxious thinking that there was something I didn't know), so if we have a policy that we tell each other beforehand, then I'll know if its happening, so if I don't know, then its not happening.

But even that rule, if broken, I could live with. I find it sort of confusing that people have all these dealbreakers for relationships they are already in. Not that I am saying I'm superior or something. I just can't really come up with any. "Abuse," yes, but abuse is pretty murky. Maybe I am a bad feminist for saying this, but if my partner hit me one time? I don't know, I would be fucking pissed as hell, and I would be like you need serious therapy dude and to address your shit, but would I be able to get over it? Maybe. It certainly would really depend on what happened afterward.

I sometimes think my defense work has made me sort of blase about violence, at least in the abstract. Like, oh come on, just threatened to beat someone up? Hit the person once? Get over it, people. I am a terrible person.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:16 AM
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I tend to take people's protestations that they'd never cheat on their partners perhaps a little self-deluding. Along the lines of "everybody has a price", I'm pretty confident that nearly everybody has a situation they'd falter in. Some people obviously have much higher or lower bars than others, and while I'm sure people who really wouldn't ever stray do exist (it's a big world, after all), an awful lot of people believe it of themselves right up to the point that they don't. And sometimes continue to believe it even after they've disproven it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:18 AM
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Now that I think about it, funnily enough, given my current arrangment, I think my partner actualy having a secret affair would royally fucking piss me off, like enough to end it. Like, given that we have decided to be totally honest with eachother and that it is okay to have sex with other partners? And you were running around being secret and not telling me you were, with the same person for like 6 months or something? I would be like, okay you suck, you seriously suck. Whether it was because you were ashamed or you were worried you were falling in love with the person or whatever.

Although the likelihood of that happening is very low given my guy's personality, unless something really fucked up happened to change his personality (which is of course possible); the guy is the worst secret-keeper in the world.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:21 AM
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29 is true.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:22 AM
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29 is part of the reason I think the way I do about this stuff. I know that, personally, my bar is pretty low. Even though I never actually cheated on anyone, I didn't feel particularly confident promising not to. I knew that sooner or later a situation would come along where I'd be like "fuck it."


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:26 AM
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24, 27: well, since we all know it isn't meant to turn you into an inhuman monster who refuses succor to your own sister, or, indeed, a wounded stranger at the door, then I think it's clear that we all take it to mean you should not be sucking on any strangers, howsoever wounded they be, to say nothing of sisters. you're supposed to be, by "forsaking all others, faithful only to him/her so long as you both shall live." i.e. don't fuck anyone else. it's pretty clear, I think. I have no objection to polyamory, but it just seems like then don't go whole hog with the traditional vows, for cognitive dissonance reasons?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:27 AM
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If you're talking about literal price in the Indecent Proposal sense, at the right amount both my wife and I would say don't be an idiot, take the fucking money.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:31 AM
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re: 29

Well, yes, up to a point. If time-travelling 30-something Isabelle Adjani [or whoever] turned up insisting on some hot baldy Sith love, then, maybe. But I'm about as confident as I could be, that I'm not likely to engage in cheating of the 'affair' type. Temperamentally, morally, or whatever, I just know I'm not wired that way. Is it possible that I could succumb [in the drunken not premeditated sense] to someone incredibly attractive, in a moment of weakness, sure. Attractive people flirting with you is nice and I can imagine circumstances in which it might go further. I don't think, as you can say, anyone can claim with certainty that they wouldn't stray. On the other hand, on the evidence of my own past behaviour, when provided with the opportunity, I haven't. That doesn't mean that I never would, just that the bar for it happening is reasonably high.


Posted by: Emperor Palpatine | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:33 AM
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"forsaking all others, faithful only to him/her so long as you both shall live." i.e. don't fuck anyone else. it's pretty clear, I think.

Taking 'faithful' to necessarily include sexual fidelity just doesn't seem necessary. I'm not arguing that this isn't the traditional meaning of the vow, but I think there are a lot of people who make their own meaning out of it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:33 AM
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34. Absolutely. I literally didn't know anybody who didn't think the premise of that movie was ridiculous. Because, you know, a million dollars.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:34 AM
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I don't know. I've been cheated on once, and I took it very badly, and I think almost anyone would have in those particular circumstances. But circumstances change. I'm older and wiser and my ex-girlfriend then was a very different person from my fiancée now. If it happened again, I can imagine taking it even worse than that or not having any problem with it at all, depending on the circumstances (e.g. fling or emotional infidelity, like 8.2?), but I'm not certain of my prediction either.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:34 AM
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34: I'll fuck you for $50, SP.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:36 AM
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One tends to be torn between tortured jealousy and fatalistic numbness, given one's recurrent suspicion that one does not deserve to be liked, much less loved.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:36 AM
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28: I phrased that wrong, so I should correct it; I only meant that every poly couple has had this conversation and the answer turned out to be yes. I'm still very interested to hear about it though. husband x is just impossible to imagine hurting anyone, but a hypothetical partner who just hit me once, ever, I agree, I could probably deal with it. except for the part where I had a nervous breakdown, but morally it wouldn't kill me. people do worse things to other people.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:38 AM
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I'll like you for $50, Flippanter.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:38 AM
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Flip speaks truth.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:39 AM
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Come on, people. I need to send in my annual yard waste pickup fees.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:41 AM
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Plus airfare?
Since I have never kissed, let alone screwed, anyone besides my wife, there's a curiosity factor to it, to which my wife has said fine, go make out with someone as long as it's not a relationship.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:41 AM
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For us, the understanding is that it's not a deal-breaker but not something either of us is looking for either.

This isn't about emotional infidelity per se, but the upshot of our last therapy session is Lee wants me to spend more attention on friends for support or conversation about things that I'm thinking about, which I think means she wants me to be more active on unfogged.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:47 AM
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apo: I'm sure there's someone out there who would be my downfall; I don't imagine I've gotten all perfect and shit due to the magick of matrimony. it has made me take the whole enterprise more seriously, though. not to speak of having children.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:47 AM
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47: I hear the Twilight guy is available.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:51 AM
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But no more hairy-palming to Harry Harrison.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:58 AM
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The people who think that the dealbreaker in an affair would be emotional intimacy are interesting, because very few people seem to mind extramarital emotional intimacy (family, really close friend) unless it's combined with either emotional neglect of the spouse or sex (if you include "The only reason we're not fucking is that it would be wrong" as a sufficient sexual element). And I'd personally think of someone who did get jealous of non-sexual emotional intimacy, where there wasn't neglect of the spouse, as kind of psycho.

But it is very normal for people to think that while they could handle their spouse having a one night stand, and they have no problem with their spouse having intimate friends, the combination of sex and intimacy with the same other person would be intolerable. I'm not criticizing, this is absolutely normal, more people feel this way than not, but it's interesting when you take it apart.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:00 AM
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46: I think that makes Lee the best partner ever, from the blog's point of view.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:01 AM
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Recently it seems like everyone I know is breaking up. I've been anticipating that for the last couple of years, of course, but it's sad to see it happen. The especially sad one is my neighbors, who have a toddler, and genuinely seem to love each other, but for some reason it is not working out for them. I don't know, but I doubt, that there was infidelity involved.

My oldest friend just broke-up with her long-term, long-distance BF. Which is also sad, as she has consistently been unlucky in love, and this guy seemed really nice and decent and plausible as a very long term partner. Oh well, I guess things happen that way.

Of course, since many of my friends are either actors, or anarchists, or both, there's A LOT of open relationships going on around me all the time. Mostly, it seems healthier that serial monogamy, especially for the younger folx. Not that it's without its drawbacks, but it seems less likely to lead to violence or other doubleplusungood outcomes.

In the past couple of years, I've seen two relationships break up where I was friends with the woman, and EVERYONE hated the guy. Like, where people were literally saying "this guy is no good, get rid of him" for the whole entire relationship. In the first case, it seems to have worked out pretty well. The second case occasioned a move overseas by the aggrieved girlfriend, so I'm not sure how that went, but presumably there's some pleasure in saying "I don't have to be on the same continent as that asshole!"

Anyhow, mostly I think people should not get so worked up about this stuff. All that jealousy and possessiveness and stuff inevitably leads to fascism.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:05 AM
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Recently it seems like everyone I know is breaking up.

It does seem to happen in waves.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:07 AM
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49: Oh, that is kinda sad. I haven't read any of his stuff in forever, but I always enjoyed the verve and silliness he brought to his writing. "Porcuswine" is an extremely funny coinage, if you ask me.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:08 AM
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the combination of sex and intimacy with the same other person

I think this answers itself. That combination largely defines the relationship for many if not most people. If one partner is getting the same deal (plus the excitement of novelty) elsewhere, that puts enormous stress on the other partner and their confidence in the stability of the thing.

And second 51.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:08 AM
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54: Me either, though The Deathworld Trilogy may have been the first science fiction I ever read.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:12 AM
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Also, to subthread-meld, one of the saddest things for me about reading obituaries now, is when the deceased person's partner preceded them in death by a long time (10 years in Harry Harrison's case). I mean, presumably kids and art and whatever can still give you a good reason to go on, but I just think about them waking up every day and remembering that this person they spent a big chunk of their life with is no more. I know it is very selfish, but I sure hope I predecease most of my contemporaries. These losses over the last few years have been hard enough. I don't want to be around 30 or 40 years from now when it's one every other month or something.

Sorry to be so morbid and depressing. Let's talk about sex more!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:16 AM
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Sexy, sexy sex!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:17 AM
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It's interesting. I was at a (rare for me) real "Hollywood" party the other night, hosted by a reasonably known, very nice, powerful, but not really famous guy who is about to get married. And the level of potential temptation was just overwhelming -- it was pretty clear that even though the guy's own relationship was well known there were at least 30 insanely gorgeous women who would have had sex with him, right there, at the drop of a hat. I'm pretty committed to fidelity (when it's been committed to) and wouldn't want to hurt my partner, but could I live with that level of temptation? Realistically, I think probably not -- at some point, lust or depression or need for ego gratification would kick in and I would succumb, for sure, and there's some truth in Chris Rock's saying that men are only as faithful as their options, even if it's not the whole truth. I don't really envy folks trying to make relationships work in that world.

OTOH, while I cheated in and was cheated on in sort of serious, college style relationships, infidelity wasn't an issue in either divorce. In one marriage I'd pretty much convinced myself that at some point I would need an affair to maintain my sanity (nb -- perhaps a good sign that divorce is imminent and not a bad idea) but it still never actually happened, even though I could have made an affair happen pretty easily. So that's good.


Posted by: Not That Presedential | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:19 AM
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La petite mort!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:19 AM
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29: It depends on if you mean cheat and try to keep it quite while maintaining the primary relationship or have sex and break up with your SO the next day. The latter I could imagine doing under the right circumstances. The former is beyond me.

My ex cheated and dumped me the next day, but that was under sufficiently complicated circumstances in an already cratering marriage that the cheating was really just an addendum. I suspect she feels quite bad about it, but to me it's really one of the more minor grievances I hold against her.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:20 AM
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55: I guess -- fear of being replaced -- but people don't usually react to their partners being emotionally intimate with friends by feeling threatened the same way. Emotional intimacy with one person is different from intimacy with another person, because the people are different, and where there isn't significant competition for time and attention, it usually doesn't generate jealousy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:25 AM
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Okay, back to death for a sec, like, when Sonny Bono died, and Cher was all weepy at the funeral, I thought "oh, she's just self-dramatizing here," because I was younger and more cynical (if you can believe that). But now I see how sad that could really be, to look back on the life you shared with someone, even though it ended on a pretty sour note, and regret the loss of their love and now the loss of their life. Especially someone you had kids with, of course. Life is suffering.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:28 AM
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And the level of potential temptation was just overwhelming -- it was pretty clear that even though the guy's own relationship was well known there were at least 30 insanely gorgeous women who would have had sex with him, right there, at the drop of a hat. I'm pretty committed to fidelity (when it's been committed to) and wouldn't want to hurt my partner, but could I live with that level of temptation?

Then again, that guy has the ability to procrastinate when it comes to adultery. Most of us (who aren't actively seeking it out of course) probably encounter a gorgeous woman who wants to have sex with us once every ten years. Factoring in the future ravages of time, I imagine it would be a real "now or never" dilemma.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:28 AM
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61.2 describes what I think of as the affair-as-crutch scenario. Not that you necessarily think of the lover as a replacement model (though maybe), but because being completely alone after a relationship ends sucks. I considered it seriously when I got divorced. On the other hand, post more-recent-break-up I have so very little desire to hook up with anyone ever. So even MOMV.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:30 AM
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but people don't usually react to their partners being emotionally intimate with friends by feeling threatened the same way.

Yes, but that because they believe that however much partner and the friend are striking sparks off each other intellectually and emotionally, they'll come home for sex. It's the inverse of the believe that various people have referred to upthread that sexual infidelity isn't a big deal if it's only on a casual basis.

But if partner is finding emotional and intellectual AND sexual fulfillment elsewhere, the home carpet might look a bit moth eaten.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:34 AM
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51: But I'm in that new-parent haze where I feel like I have nothing interesting or meaningful to say (plus with a bonus ear infection that leaves me dizzy and dopey) and so I mostly just don't want to bore anyone. Maybe I'll remember that it's my homework to come here when I want to overanalyze something and jump right in.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:41 AM
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45 --Yeah, but it's pretty easy to turn down the now or never option once. If its constantly available to you, at some point "hmmm I could sleep with this 22 year old Brazilian model without having to do much of anything" would probably seem like a go option.

I also want to bring up a college friend's fairly recent drunk over share "Dude it's not cheating if you're with a prostitute.". All right then!


Posted by: Not That PresedentialI | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:43 AM
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68 to 64.


Posted by: NTP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:44 AM
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For Jammies to cheat on me, I think, he would have to go through a series of steps where he was withholding pieces of information that he "should" be sharing - either "I'm having some problems with our relationship" or "I'm getting really close with this person." (I think he'd find the business trip pure sex shag too anxiety-provoking, but what do I know.) So when I picture being cheated on by him, it comes with a lot of hiding, omission, and being closed off, ie our relationship being in trouble.

I could see being open to staying together, but only with therapy and introspection and some reason to believe he would not be secretive in the future.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:02 AM
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For some reason, my biggest worry is that a partner will cheat and then keep it secret, and that I won't find out until years later, which would make me very bitter. Something about it all occurring behind my back just enrages me, like I was played for a fool. So, when we've discussed the issue, I've always said I think the most important part is coming clean afterward. And I genuinely do feel that way. But, when I try to examine my motives, I have trouble diagnosing exactly why. Do I want to know so that I can decide whether to leave her--to give myself some agency in the situation? Maybe. Or maybe the act of confessing would prompt conversations that would help fix whatever problems led to the cheating in the first place. Maybe.

For her part, my partner has said that if I ever cheat, the most important thing from her perspective is that I use a condom, because she would be extremely upset to find out I'd placed her at risk of an STD, and put myself at risk of getting someone else pregnant. And, in the abstract, that seems like a reasonable request. Although she knows I don't like condoms.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:24 AM
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71.last makes me think of the advice we got in our fostering prep class about the way to keep preschool-aged boys from keeping their hands in their pants at all times was to tell them that they're welcome to touch their penises but have to wash their hands afterward. According to the other parents, you could see them start to move their hands, think about it, and then go do something else.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:27 AM
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And, in the abstract, that seems like a reasonable request. Although she knows I don't like condoms.

Seems like a good reason she'd be motivated to go to the trouble of specifying this, then.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:31 AM
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when I try to examine my motives, I have trouble diagnosing exactly why

Well, responses to infidelity generally aren't rational. I've had past relationships where I was as unfaithful as I could get away with, yet was still absolutely livid and unforgiving when the tables were turned. People are weird.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:32 AM
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(I think he'd find the business trip pure sex shag too anxiety-provoking, but what do I know.)

You could hire somebody to find out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:33 AM
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73. It would be a good stipulation even if urple thought condoms were the most erotic thing ever, for the reasons in 71.2. You don't need to overthink this.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:36 AM
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71.1 rings very true to me.

Honestly the previous conversations on unfogged about infidelity have convinced me that I would forgive my partner for cheating on me. But I have no idea how much emotional work it would be. It wouldn't be easy, but I still don't think cheating would be a dealbreaker by itself.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:56 AM
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I am also not very sexually jealous--I skipped human class that day, presumably to cheat on someone. I am, however, totally petty and am jealous of are people who either have or genuinely believe they have the level of self-awareness/assuredness to thoughtfully and meaningfully negotiate who-can-i-fuck deals.

I don't want a whole set of rules about what I can and can't do, I just want having sex with other people not to be . . . not even ok, really, just not that big a deal. But when I met Grover almost a decade ago, I told him I was kind of unsure about not having sex with everyone, and he said "it would in fact be a really big, awful thing for me if you did, please don't." So I said I wouldn't, because I loved him and wanted to be married to him -- figured ok, I'll deal. And over years it was alternately ok or not ok and when it was not ok, I would sometimes say "this continues to stress me out, can I have sex with other people NOW?" And shockingly, he remained uncool with the idea. He said he assumed he'd end it if I did. Let's find out!

A couple of years ago, I did cheat, then he knew, mutually separated, unseparated, then I continuted to cheat and he didn't know but I felt bad, I left, I came back, together now, then who knows. Honestly, I use work and AA to avoid complicated home life way more than I used sleeping with people. That is less of a problem for him. I don't really intuit the difference, but I think I am the slutty robot outlier.


Posted by: Frances Clara Cleveland | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:16 AM
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In college I was briefly the Main Girlfriend of a very attractive guy who went out with other girls all the time. I would consider myself an ordinarily jealous person, but I found that this setup didn't bother me, really, because (a) there was never any other arrangement, it wasn't like a previously monogamous partner straying; (b) he had social engagements every single day and I would never be able to keep up if I insisted on accompanying him to all of them; (c) he kept my ego well fed with flattery and presents; and (d) he was hot and rich and fun enough that I was willing to overlook a lot.

I guess this is the converse of apo's "everybody has a price": I have a price at which I am willing to be OK with infidelity.


Posted by: Michelle Obama | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:18 AM
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I thought I would be really upset at any partner who cheated, but when it actually happened some years ago I felt quite forgiving toward the woman. On the other hand I wanted to KILL the guy involved. Intense violent fantasies. Partly because he was a dick in other ways, but maybe that was just how possessiveness came out.

I feel like sex alone is not such a big deal...maybe because I had so much casual/serial monogamy sex when I was single, and felt like I didn't have a problem myself keeping it recreational. On the other hand, my experience has been that most women have a really hard time separating sex and love, and also genuine poly is rare and complex and more work than I want to do (hard to be really in love with two people at once). I wouldn't mind my wife having genuinely casual sex, but would feel very threatened if she got involved emotionally with someone she was having sex with. The stuff I want from her (atttention, focus, affection) will all be a lot harder to get if she is involved with someone else. I think that she, like most women, is not really the casual/recreational sex type, but if she really wanted it then we could talk.

I think she'd give me a hall pass (very) occasionally if I was honest about it.

even though the guy's own relationship was well known there were at least 30 insanely gorgeous women who would have had sex with him, right there, at the drop of a hat.

I'll admit to being jealous of this. I guess it would get old eventually.

Anyway, monogamy just got more attractive, what with the news about how gonorrhea is this close to being incurable again.

This -- hate to fall for the STD-panic of the month, but it seems like a big deal.


Posted by: George Washington | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:27 AM
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I'll admit to being jealous of this. I guess it would get old eventually.

From the horse's mouth, I saw an interview with Jarvis Cocker where he said that part of the thing of becoming a superstar is that suddenly you can have as much sex as you want with an endless stream of incredibly hot women, but eventually you get tired of it.

"How long does that take?"

"About six months."


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:33 AM
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Thing is, some people do get jealous of their partners relationships with family. We've had discussions here I think of women who basically insist that their husbands break off relationships with their family.

These people are crazy, sure. But it is not an unknown form of crazy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:34 AM
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We still have one effective antibiotic. The time to cheat is now.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:35 AM
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Yeah, I was just reading more about it this morning, and found an interesting article talking about what a giant, expensive structural mess it will be if any common STIs stop being something that can be treated with one prescription on an outpatient basis with no followup.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:35 AM
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I'll have you all know, I take all this recent relationship and affair talk on Unfogged as a personal insult.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:36 AM
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We still have one effective antibiotic. The time to cheat is now.

Though not if you have a strong enough aversion to needles, since you've gotta get injected.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:37 AM
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85: We can start a new thread talking about eggplants, if you'd prefer. I have one growing now and the girls are obsessed with it, so I suspect it will get "accidentally" picked at about tomato size. Or is that too personal too?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:38 AM
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I wasn't suggesting y'all should stop. Being personally insulted is the closest thing I've had to a relationship in quite a while.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:43 AM
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"How long does that take?"
"About six months."

I'm certain this is just a failure of creativity. Sure, sex with a random hottie you just met might get old after six months. But what about two at once---maybe a really fat one and a really thin one? Interesting combinations like that could keep you going for another year, and that's before you start in on the cosplay.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:46 AM
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In the realm of pure fantasy - one of us hits it off with a celebrity crush, or we suddenly decide to try the swinging lifestyle and it goes unrealistically well, or either of us were just different people - who knows what would happen. In plausible situations involving us as we are now, though, I can't imagine cheating that's not the symptom of an even bigger problem. Either it wouldn't happen at all, or it happened because something else that should have been dealt with wasn't. Again, that's a matter of us here and now, not a commentary on sex or humanity in general.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:48 AM
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In any relationship where I'm not in love I don't care, though if it's semi-serious I can be jealous of too much time spent with someone else, particularly if it's a relationship with a rapidly approaching hard end date (me or the other person moving away). In a serious relationship I do care. A single one night stand would not kill the relationship, though I'd be upset. Lots of them would.

By far the most pain caused by a partner sleeping with other people wasn't actual cheating, but within an open long distance relationship. We'd decided on that mutually, with no reservations on either part. A half year into it, with neither of us having done anything, I realized I preferred it to be closed -the idea of her sleeping with other people bothered me, and after a couple opportunities I realized I had no interest in sleeping with others. She said no and I didn't push. Soon afterwards she started sleeping with other people, and I did push fairly hard, only to retreat from a break up ultimatum. Several months later I pushed again, this time with me saying it's either closed or over. I was sick of being constantly miserable with jealousy.

The whole thing badly damaged the relationship. There had been plenty of mutual nasty passive aggressive guilt tripping and the accumulated resentment didn't go away for a long, long time. Getting hurt by the person you love fucks things up; when they resent you for being hurt, it really makes things difficult. The fact that she occasionally expressed a preference for openness when geographically apart didn't help my state of mind, nor did her repeating every so often that she didn't care if I did sleep with someone else, with a clear subtext that she hoped that I would and then come around to her way of thinking.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:49 AM
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but when it actually happened some years ago I felt quite forgiving toward the woman. On the other hand I wanted to KILL the guy involved. Intense violent fantasies

I never felt any hostility to the guys my ex slept with. If they were friends of mine I'm pretty sure it would have been different.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:55 AM
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But what about two at once---maybe a really fat one and a really thin one?

Magic Johnson is rumored to have enjoyed "rainbows" -- a foursome with a black woman, a white woman, and an Asian woman. Add in, say, an Indian woman and the possibilities mount still further.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:56 AM
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I have very little sexual or emotional-intimacy jealousy. I do get hurt by my partner not being considerate of my needs (which, on the whole, they have to guess at, because I'm shitty at expressing my needs and desires, which I'm working on).

For the last 23 years I've been in some sort or another of open relationship - first marriage was wide open with a "tell me about it afterwards damn that's hot" policy, second marriage was less so, more like "pre-authorization required before any below-the-waist action, and oh by the way I'm not actually telling you this now but I'll be vetoing any women you're actually interested in", which didn't work as well.

I feel like just the potential option of sleeping with a different partner without it being relationship-ending is a huge safety valve that keeps crushes from turning into gigantic secret obsessions.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:03 AM
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They have these green squash/eggplant things that are like 4 feet long at the farmer's market right outside the building today. Could be useful for a long distance relationship.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:04 AM
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A lot of people want to think of themselves as sexually non-jealous, but wanting to believe that about yourself and actually living that way are very different things. Seen more than a few "open relationships" which seemed really to be only "open" for one partner, with the other just sort of enduring it miserably despite being obviously wired for monogamy.

Having said that... I don't know how I'd react to infidelity in a relationship. I'm unaccustomed to worrying about whether a girlfriend is cheating on me (although it's theoretically possible that one or two of my exes did). I've been in friends-with-benefits sort-of-relationships and been able to cope without too much in the way of jealousy, so possibly that indicates I could get over infidelity in a more committed relationship, but maybe not.

I have been in situations where I was the cheater, once on a long-term girlfriend of mine, and once as the "other man." I felt guilty about it -- in particular the second situation, because it could well have been a factor in the subsequent breakup of her marriage -- but also, if I'm honest, I have to admit that cheating-sex was some of the best sex I've ever had. So it makes me wonder if one of the less publicized benefits of sexual jealousy is that it makes the thrill of the illicit that much more intense.


Posted by: Lyndon Baines Johnson | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:05 AM
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Say, you know what was missing from Olympic coverage this year? The usual stories about how many thousands of condoms they were supplying to the athlete's village.
I'm sure Apo will provide a link in 3... 2...


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:09 AM
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95 Prize marrows?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:09 AM
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No, thinner... exactly what kind of woman are you looking for with those?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:09 AM
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I always think of Hercule Poirot wanting to retire so that he could grow the vegetable marrows.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:13 AM
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97: Here you go! . Featuring fond reminscenses from Greg Louganis about cuddling with Russian divers when underage, tales of drunken debauchery from Hope Solo, etc.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:14 AM
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Cucuzza squash.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:15 AM
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I sometimes think my defense work has made me sort of blase about violence, at least in the abstract. Like, oh come on, just threatened to beat someone up? Hit the person once? Get over it, people. I am a terrible person.

Lots of people should be more blase about violence. God people are such weenies.

And don't get me started on moms who call us over every fucking tiff their kid gets into with the apparent sole purpose of giving loud outdoor speeches about how much they love their children and DEMAND RESPECT for them. Bitch, do I look like Jerry Springer to you? Do that shit on your own time. Maybe no one likes your kid because he's a narc who cries to his mother at the drop of a hat.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:20 AM
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97: Actually, I saw a story about how one of the athletes tweeted a picture of a pile of (unused in wrapper) condoms and there was a huge scandal because they WEREN'T THE OFFICIAL OLYMPIC BRAND.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:22 AM
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97: And I was thinking that this year was the year the "Athletes' Village condoms" stories had become so prevalent that the whole concept was peaking, quickly going from titillating to distasteful.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:24 AM
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Maybe no one likes your kid because he's a narc who cries to his mother at the drop of a hat.

There's a song about that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:25 AM
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103: On this weekend's visit I supervised, Nia's grandmother asked me how to spell UGLY so she could text someone that it was about to get ugly (which she'd just told three people on the phone, so I feel safe with my assumption) and I had to ask her to stop talking about someone threatening someone else with a box cutter. She'd figured out on her own to say someone had been "smoking something I can't talk about in front of the kids." I don't think Mara or Nia were bothered by it and it's only in retrospect I realized it's probably unusual that I looked at this as no big deal and didn't bother to even tell our caseworker until yesterday. (And that was just because I want backup that I'm going to tell the grandmother she can't storm off in her own drama and not say a proper goodbye to Nia, who was devastated by that.) I guess I am on team blase too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:40 AM
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I feel like sex alone is not such a big deal

Indeed. I'd guess it's probably the most common kind.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:47 AM
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94: I feel like just the potential option of sleeping with a different partner without it being relationship-ending is a huge safety valve that keeps crushes from turning into gigantic secret obsessions.

This seems right to me. I might venture -- I'd have think about it more closely -- that knowing that you wouldn't be abandoned for sleeping with another can *keep* the crush from turning into that secret excitement that you just can't keep your hands off.

It's the whole partnership thing: are we partners, or are we not? Because life takes all kinds of turns, and if a straying eye is verboten, as partnership ending, well, that's kind of controlling.

Trust isn't as much about trusting to (sexual) fidelity, as trusting that you won't lie to one another ... but I've gone about the lying numerous times in the past.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:48 AM
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And that was just because I want backup that I'm going to tell the grandmother she can't storm off in her own drama and not say a proper goodbye to Nia, who was devastated by that.

Yeah, fuck her for doing that. It kills me how desperate the kids are for some attention. Last week a couple buddies and I (there were a lot of people living in this house) helped a caseworker take five kids from their mom. The little ones didn't even seem upset. The four year old hugged my leg and gave me a huge smile and then her and her six year old sister proceeded to chatter at me about how the case worker was going to take them shopping for school clothes.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 10:56 AM
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Yeah, fuck her for doing that.

I know the goodbyes are hard for her, too. She knows she's not going to get custody of Nia and she can't even bring herself to really endorse her dream scenario of Nia's mom getting custody again and then moving across the river and letting her basically raise Nia. When I have my voice back, I'm going to ask whether she was trying to make a quick getaway so she wouldn't have to deal with the sad parts or just because she was caught up in trying to find out who took the money out of her mailbox.

We're in the really tough spot of saying, "Look, Mara, your dad didn't show up when he said he would and you need a parent who will show up for you and keep you safe" and letting Nia see that her grandma can't focus on her when she's got her own problems so that they can understand why they aren't with people they love who can't take care of them properly, and it sucks even though it's necessary.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 11:10 AM
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Enough of that depressing stuff, back to sex talk.

I'm not really the jealous type, maybe it's overinflated ego, more probably just lazy. For me the secrecy would probably piss me off. I'd react better to her just telling me she wanted to fuck someone else. My wife's more jealous than I but it's definitely more about the attention. For her the ultimate betrayal wouldn't be the sex, it would be if I took a girl out for sushi and then fixed her bacon and eggs the next morning.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 11:15 AM
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I'd like to collect and review wedding vows that contained stipulations regarding pornography.


Posted by: Sora | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 11:19 AM
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RE: 113, I suspect I'd never find any. I'm not even sure how such a topic would be broached, before or after vows are exchanged.

If they did exist, I also suspect they'd be interesting to read.


Posted by: Sora | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 11:24 AM
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I think if Lee cheated on me I'd be really sad and feel totally inadequate, but that's my default unhelpful response to things anyway. I also can barely imagine her bothering, so I guess that makes it easier.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 11:34 AM
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Mrs. Ego and I are both fairly jealous people, and each of us would be pretty devastated if the other were to cheat.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 11:53 AM
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Porn is funny. I don't have an ethical problem with people who engage in sex work & etc, but I do have a "i kind of hate you" response to those who consume the fruits of sex work, even watching porn (including my own watching of porn, which has waned the less comfortable I become with it). I have told my partner many times that I'd much rather he have actual sex with a person who affirmatively wants to have sex with him rather than go to a strip club. That's not a dealbreaker, but it certainly does make me upset in a way that regular consensual sex does not.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 11:56 AM
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117: Interesting. Does your dislike of porn extend equally to all its forms? (e.g., self-produced amateur videos vs. nude photographs vs. standard porn industry videos, etc.)


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 12:04 PM
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I mean, I'm a hypocrite, because I look at porn sometimes. But I still don't like it. Obviously the mainstream stuff is worse. Even the amateur videos though, I feel like "amateur" has become a class of porn "style" that is lucrative and so a lot of shit is styled amateur that isn't. I just feel like with porn you really, really never know what you're getting and there is all kinds of potentially icky shit going on.

On the other hand, my internalized misogyny makes me hate myself for disliking porn consumption, so I usually just shut up about it.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 12:16 PM
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I am not very jealous and I find it difficult to hold a grudge for very long. So I doubt that a partner cheating would be deal-breaker.

As you know, I am fairly jaded on marriage topic.

I also believe that you can love more than one person.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 12:53 PM
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120.last is true but it's a lot easier to be the one loving many than one of many loved.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:10 PM
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29: Some people are too awkward to pull off casual sex or to develop an affair secretly (which is a lot of work), so, in practice, they never will.


Posted by: Bostonismgirl | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:10 PM
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Most of us (who aren't actively seeking it out of course) probably encounter a gorgeous woman who wants to have sex with us once every ten years.

This is simply not true. Women want to have sex just like men do.

But, BG is prob correct that many people cant pull off casual sex very well.

However, I am also surprised at how many people say that they dont have time for an affair or to have sex with other people. Right. Guess what? Your spouse prob has found the time.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:15 PM
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121:

Sure. Love stinks. yeah. yeah.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:17 PM
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Most of us (who aren't actively seeking it out of course) probably encounter a gorgeous woman who wants to have sex with us once every ten years.

This is simply not true. Women want to have sex just like men do.

Sure! But do they want to have sex with "us"?
It probably depends on who "us" is!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:20 PM
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Re AWB's mom:

People should mind their own business. You simply dont know what is going own with other people's relationships. ( I know I know....it was her brother. Maybe kids are different.)


Relationships end. On the veldt, you could rely on you or your spouse dying an early death. Best case scenerio, you had to put up with the other person for 15 years.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:21 PM
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But do they want to have sex with "us

Sure. A super hot 20 year old isnt going to want to have sex with me. But I dont want to have sex with her either. Ok, maybe just once.

In my mind, I changed his comment from gorgeous to attractive.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:22 PM
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I was led to believe there was a sonnet in this thread.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:25 PM
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You were misled.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:27 PM
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I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love neb as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to neb's love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love neb without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love neb straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love neb because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor neb,
so close that neb's hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that neb's eyes close as I fall asleep.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:29 PM
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A line was fed!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:30 PM
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However, I am also surprised at how many people say that they dont have time for an affair or to have sex with other people. Right. Guess what? Your spouse prob has found the time.

Yeah, but she has more free time than I do.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:30 PM
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There's really really wide variation from person to person in terms of how often they meet people who are attracted to them. The rate at which I meet people who are into me and who I could have dated or fucked if the situation were right, I'm pretty confident was roughly once a year through my 20s. I could be off by as much as a factor of two, but I really do think that's roughly right. But I bet within one standard deviation of average you have people where it's an average of one a day, down to one every two or three years.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:34 PM
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On the veldt, you could rely on you or your spouse dying an early death.

Pack your bags, honey! We're moving to the veldt!


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:36 PM
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within one standard deviation of average you have people where it's an average of one a day
Really? If you're saying 1SD, 16% of people meet someone they could date/fuck at least once a day? Maybe people who travel all the time or go out every night and don't have jobs where they see the same people every day. I couldn't even remember the name of one new person I met every single day.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:46 PM
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135: I think the idea is that among those same people you see every day, chances are good someone would like to fuck you. Tack "over" onto the end, and the number generally goes up.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 1:58 PM
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Oh, I thought it meant 16% of people meet a different person every day who would like to fuck them.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:00 PM
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128: You were collateral damage. Sorry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:00 PM
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I'm pretty sure that more than sixteen percent of the population are in relationships with people who want to fuck them.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:01 PM
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137: The distribution is not normal.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:02 PM
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Apparently a crane fell on the tracks and my train will now be delayed 2 to 4 hours. Looking around the car at the folks I'll be spending that time with, the chance of encountering someone I could date/fuck probably depends on how soon our smartphone and/or laptop and/or tablet batteries die.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:03 PM
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It's extremely long-tailed.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:04 PM
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I misremembered the size of a standard deviation, I was thinking more like 10%, than 16. So let's say once a week.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: pause endlessly, then go in (9) | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:04 PM
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If you stipulate that you're only interested in new and different people each day/week/whatever, then lifestyle details like urban vs. rural and choice of career are more important to the match than personality and physical attractiveness. If you include people already known, then I'm pretty sure that at any given time, being coupled is more common than not for adults.

Pause endlessly, could you e-mail me? Or leave a comment on my blog where I can reach you, if the e-mail address here doesn't work? It's no big deal, there's just something I've been trying to figure out for a while now.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:09 PM
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Well, I shouldn't say "more common than not." I have no idea what the statistics are. But the point is, either this "how often they meet people who are attracted to them" thing is thrown off in a huge way by a good chunk of the population (maybe half, maybe a quarter, who knows), or it's more tied to working in customer service than to actual attractiveness.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:17 PM
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It's extremely long-tailed.
What, like TSA checkpoint workers finding someone new every goddamn minute?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:22 PM
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Somehow I doubt the median TSA checkpoint worker finds someone new who is attracted to them every minute.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:32 PM
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like TSA checkpoint workers finding someone new every goddamn minute

Dude the TSA staff break room at JFK goes through more condoms than the Olympic Village. True facts.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:33 PM
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Well, then, consider me corrected.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:34 PM
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Dude the TSA staff break room at JFK goes through more condoms than the Olympic Village.

Their condoms are emblazed with "Nothing gets through us!"


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:35 PM
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Their condoms are emblazed with "Nothing gets through us!" "Strict limit of 3.4 fluid ounces".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:54 PM
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151:

Until now, that didnt seem like a lot of fluid.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 2:56 PM
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I'm definitely in the "I don't get why a partner having sex with someone else bugs people" camp; I also, honestly, don't get why a partner being emotionally involved with someone else bugs people, tbh.

I *do* get why having a partner who has emotionally distanced from you would bug people, and clearly being in love with or super hot for someone often means really wanting to spend all one's time with them and that could inspire jealousy, yes. But the things in and of themselves, absent the "but what about mee?" feeling, meh.

But then Mr. B. and I have always, from day one, had a relationship where we spent a lot of time apart, so maybe that's part of it?

I do know that the reason we initially agreed that sex-with-other-people /= divorce is that at the age of 24, when we got married, I just honestly couldn't imagine promising that I would never have sex with another human being ever as long as I lived. Like Apo, I tend to think that that is a reckless and unrealistic promise.


Posted by: tedra | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 3:00 PM
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Am I the only person in the "I don't get why you'd cheat" camp? I mean, I can understand it intellectually, but I've never been in a situation where it's even occurred to me. Attractiveness seems uncorrelated with how good the sex is. If some wildly attractive stranger propositioned me I'd be flattered, but what would be the point? I'm flirty, but why would I want to go farther than that? I can get the same thing at home, without doing something that has the potential to cause a lot of pain, and sex gets better over time anyway. What am I missing? Am I just profoundly weird?

Maybe this is because I've never had a really long term relationship (2+ years). I suppose I could get bored after long enough (???), but I've never broken off a relationship because I stopped being physically attracted to someone. Maybe I'm just really easy to satisfy? Well, that and, I'm likely to get out of a relationship long before there's so much animosity or ennui that sex is rare.

I've been cheated on, and I was more baffled than anything else. It was pretty clear that the other person wasn't happy with the relationship anyway, so why didn't they just leave?


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 3:26 PM
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I also, honestly, don't get why a partner being emotionally involved with someone else bugs people, tbh.

Speaking only for myself, I can't imagine having the mental energy to maintain a strong, supportive, emotional connection with more than one adult. There are those who have said I can't do it with one. I mean, I can have warm feelings for any number of people, but that's just a dirty trick to hook you on the good part of "feelings". Being "emotionally involved" means all sorts of listening to problems/concerns/questions/aspirations/whatnot and then not making jokes about them very often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 3:26 PM
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153.last: You guys got married when you were 24? (I'm sure I could have done the math and figured that out on my own, but still.) I guess the Central Valley really *is* a red state.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 3:30 PM
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87: Hooray for acontextual excerpts as mouse-over text.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 3:37 PM
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And then there are people who could probably be tempted into cheating, should someone want to make a serious run at it, who then do not meet such a person in 30 years.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 3:42 PM
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people who could probably be tempted into cheating, should someone want to make a serious run at it, who then do not meet such a person in 30 years

Or 42 years, even.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 3:54 PM
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153: at the age of 24, when we got married, I just honestly couldn't imagine promising that I would never have sex with another human being ever as long as I lived.

I felt the same, and it's why I didn't get married at age 24. My explanations were flustered and heartfelt: I can't make that promise. I'm too young. I know myself.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:04 PM
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156: I was shocked that we were getting married too. I had never expected to marry before 30.

155: "Being "emotionally involved" means all sorts of listening to problems/concerns/questions/aspirations/whatnot and then not making jokes about them very often." Not necessarily. For example, my boyfriend is someone who is very emotionally reserved and private; being emotionally involved with him means not asking about stuff, respecting his privacy, and accepting some major boundaries. (Which if I weren't married would probably be a relationship-killer for me, but as is, it works out very nicely, actually.)

117: I feel the same way about porn. Also prostitution. I'm okay with strip clubs, though, for some reason. Less okay with dudes macking on women who have jobs that require them to be okay with flirting but aren't actually "sex workers"--booth babes at conventions, waitresses, etc. Yeah, she got hired because she looks good, but don't be a dick about it.


Posted by: tedra | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:05 PM
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160: The major reason I got married is because I knew if I didn't the relationship wouldn't stay together. We both did way too much moving around over the next few years, and I knew that was going to happen.

As it happens, I think I was right; we just passed our 20th anniversary. Which we haven't celebrated yet b/c Mr. B. was on vacation with work buddies, followed immediately by a business trip. I imagine we'll celebrate in a month or two, once we've covered the debt incurred by summer vacations and have some disposable income again...


Posted by: tedra | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:07 PM
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154: Am I the only person in the "I don't get why you'd cheat" camp?

The reason I did was a long period of frustration with the sex in a relationship which I otherwise didn't want to leave. (I expect this is a pretty common reason.) I was doing well in being considerate about the sex stuff for a while and hadn't planned to cheat, but then the opportunity presented itself and I hit a tipping point where I basically said "fuck it, I need to get laid."

As it turned out, it wasn't possible to hide the fact that I'd cheated and it did deal the deathblow to the relationship, which staggered on a little while longer before collapsing. But, that's the risk one takes.


Posted by: Lyndon Baines Johnson | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:13 PM
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As it turned out, it wasn't possible to hide the fact that I'd cheated...

The security cameras at the 7-11 are always running.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:17 PM
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162: The major reason I got married is because I knew if I didn't the relationship wouldn't stay together.

I've seen so many people get married for that reason. It seems the wrong one, but obviously it works out in any number of cases as well. In my own case, the possibility of an open-ish marriage seemed very far, and I don't think I was capable of even asking for it at such a young age. There are always regrets, of course; I did love that man very much, but I just couldn't make the promise in good faith, for the rest of my life. I wasn't mature enough.

Such pressure, in this society, toward marriage. Financially incentivized, too.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:29 PM
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155: This reminds me that I had a dream the other night that I'd uncovered your secret identity (or at least found a substantial clue) while going through someone's childhood keepsakes and finding a drawing signed Moby Hick.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:36 PM
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166 was me.

162/165 definitely describes my decision -- living in the same country seemed like it would make being in a relationship easier.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:41 PM
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166: Batman?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:42 PM
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The security cameras at the 7-11 are always running.

Some of those building have cameras on the exterior.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:46 PM
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Plus! If I'd gotten married to that man, there would never have been the second long-term relationship, I probably wouldn't have learned to be a pseudo-vegetarian nor such a sort-of hippie (I would regret the latter DEEPLY, so much would have been missed), I might not have gone to grad school -- though that was a mixed blessing/curse -- and I certainly wouldn't be here now.

I try to be a realist about these things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:46 PM
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154: Hoping that this does not read like a totally abstracted justification for doing something deeply shitty to someone who I promised not to do that shitty thing to. For me, forsaking all others came down to agreeing not to experience a set of feelings/learning (feeling feelings, physical feelings, etc.) embeded in new sex/desire/romance in order to experience the feelings/learning of my long-term relationship. That severing of experience was a source of real pain & resentment, and eventually the scales tipped on the pain I felt/pain I anticipated I would cause. As for why you wouldn't just leave, I mean--deep and abiding love, sunk costs, kids, dogs, fear, shame, money, stubborness, companionship.


Posted by: Frances Clara Cleveland | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 4:56 PM
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Mr. B.

I'm pretty sure internet etiquette requires you to retire that pseud, and instead call him Mr. T.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:02 PM
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(I would regret the latter DEEPLY, so much would have been missed)

But you might never have known!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:13 PM
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168: Scooby Doo.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:16 PM
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My first wife cheating would have been devastating. If it had been the case that we had a genuine (or at least frequent) sexual connection, it would have been less so. But as it was, I would have experienced it her sharing an intimacy with someone else that I couldn't really get from her.

I think she thought of the six-month sexual rumspringa that concluded our marriage as a sustainable condition -- that she could enjoy my admiration and familiarity as long as she didn't have to endure the agonizing intensity of sexual exclusivity. I think she was pretty baffled that I didn't feel the same way. I certainly enjoyed being able to sleep around (although I only slept with one woman and hooked up with a second. Don't know her score).

After a few months we got back into an agreement, or so I thought, that even though we were living apart we'd try being exclusive and working on the relationship for a while. The moment I called it quits for good was when she admitted to me that she'd gone back to sleeping with someone she'd been with. She claimed the agreement wasn't clear. It probably wasn't. But it was also clear that she wasn't headed back my way.

The 2nd and current Mrs. [Fillmore] is more viscerally upset by the thought of me cheating than I am by the thought of her. I don't think that's because I'm giving her any of the noncommittal signals that my first wife gave me -- I think she's just unused to feeling possessive after a well-spent youth. I would be upset by her cheating on me, but I think I could work through it. Not actually sure the other way around. I haven't felt at all strayish, but one thing that would keep me on the compound would be the thought of having to deal with her family in the event that I ever did run loose.

I don't have much of a hankering to have sex with other people, but I do miss, in my bones, the feeling of flirtation, availability, possibility. I'd love permission to do everything up to the moment where you know it's going to happen and then cut out for the rumpypumpy, but that seems no more saleable to the partner and additionally unfair to the playdate.


Posted by: Millard Fillmore | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:17 PM
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I think I might know who Pres. Fillmore is.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:19 PM
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173: Exactly! I think I made the right decision, in hindsight. Of course I might never have known. My mind warps a bit in considering the alternative, first, course, since I would not now be me had I chosen it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:19 PM
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Oh, balls. Would someone be so kind?


Posted by: Millard Fillmore | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:28 PM
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You rang?


Posted by: Balls | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:39 PM
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Thanks, balls! You're always there for me when I need you.


Posted by: Millard Fillmore | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:45 PM
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175: one thing that would keep me on the compound would be the thought of having to deal with her family in the event that I ever did run loose.

On the compound, eh? No comment. But yes, in my own case I didn't take seriously enough the emotional impact of losing my partner's family.

I'd love permission to do everything up to the moment where you know it's going to happen and then cut out for the rumpypumpy, but that seems no more saleable to the partner and additionally unfair to the playdate.

Ow. Ow ow. I know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 5:47 PM
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I miss flirting, though I suppose I could still do it at a mild level and do at a mild mild mild when I get the chance. President Fillmore is right about the fun and parsi about the potential for hurtfulness. And seriously, will, I don't know where I'd find time for an affair without giving up time for things I enjoy already, as I don't suppose you can just stop doing laundry or dishes and get away with it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:00 PM
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I'd love permission to do everything up to the moment where you know it's going to happen and then cut out for the rumpypumpy

I do have a lot of dreams that work out this way.


Posted by: Millard Fillmore | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:01 PM
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I don't know if sral has gotten an answer to 154 that suits him or her.

154: Maybe this is because I've never had a really long term relationship (2+ years). I suppose I could get bored after long enough (???), but I've never broken off a relationship because I stopped being physically attracted to someone. Maybe I'm just really easy to satisfy? Well, that and, I'm likely to get out of a relationship long before there's so much animosity or ennui that sex is rare.

I'd say not having been a relationship longer than 2+ years is a factor.

In my own experience, a longer-term relationship (4+ years) can tend to become comfortable enough that you're not bored, exactly, but the relationship is like a second skin, always there, part of the background, the "we" and "us" of your life. That leaves space for noticing other people and missing other things. It depends on whether you're a native roamer, who might miss, in his bones, the feeling of possibility. As Fillmore put it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:08 PM
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174: He has no secret identity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:20 PM
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I think in about half the marriages in my family, someone cheated. Usually it was the husband sleeping with the maid. I think people acted more shocked than they really felt; most of those relationships already had lots of other problems. Still sort of funny given that this was a Chinese family with "traditional" morals. I think we never had a good mechanism for discussing difficult issues, so there was a gap between the abstract morals you were supposed to follow, and what you did in reality.


Posted by: sun yat-sen | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:35 PM
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Hire a gardener for the wife?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:42 PM
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I'm not an expert in Chinese traditions, so YMMV.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:44 PM
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This bar has an (I assume) ironic Reagan campaign flyer on the wall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 6:51 PM
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169: Is that a monkey in the foreground?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:00 PM
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I don't suppose you can just stop doing laundry or dishes and get away with it.

I beg to differ.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:01 PM
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When single, I never liked flirting, or availability or possibility, because they all included the big big possibility of rejection. Or worse, the thought of the person going back to her friends and kvetching about what a dreadful cad I was.

Now that I'm partnered, all of these things seem like they should have been more fun. What was I worried about? It will have worked out in the end. Here I am! I'd like to go back and somehow flirt retroactively.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:02 PM
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the thought of the person going back to her friends and kvetching

People worry about that way too much.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:05 PM
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193: No they don't: I've heard the kvetching. It happens on this very blog!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:09 PM
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194 seconded!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:12 PM
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I heard that there is a new form of kvetching that resists all current antibiotics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:12 PM
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OT: I'm not sure where to put this, but it seems important to mention that The Guardian has hired Tacitus. Truly, New Labor has won its final and greatest victory.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:17 PM
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The British spell "labor" wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:20 PM
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Laubor, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:21 PM
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172: He's been Mr. B. as long as he's been a Mr. Before that he would have been Master B., if one had wanted to be excessively formal. And perhaps a little bit double entendreish.


Posted by: tedra | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:23 PM
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It seems like most women who flirt with me are married, and make sure I know it. Apparently I am more attractive when there is no possibility of actually beginning a relationship.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:24 PM
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197 WTF? Isn't he far, far to the right of any other regular columnist? What's the point? I don't think the readership of the Guardian and the UK Spectator and Daily Mail overlap that much.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:26 PM
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201: The obvious implication: become a eunuch to meet women.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:28 PM
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197: "I genuinely look forward to engaging with the savvy, informed, and active global community of Guardian readers."

A) So do I! Although probably for different reasons.
B) "[G]enuinely"? Did someone have to pull teeth to get him to say something nice?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:32 PM
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119: Obviously the mainstream stuff is worse.

Really? Professionals have contracts, and a lot of what's coming out now is quite delightful and clever. Much amateur stuff gives me the willies. Xtube "HOT SLUT DRUNK IN TUB TAKES IT LIKE I LIKE IT YEAH" is just not in the same family of enjoyability as, say, a Bobbi Starr movie.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:33 PM
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it does happen here in narnia that the husband is caught sleeping with the maid. from men sharing in AA I've learned that the proportion of husbands who have sex with some variant of sex worker on every business trip (and we are talking up to 2 a week) is astoundingly high. I am sure we overselect for assholes, but these are the dudes who are sobering up, right?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:34 PM
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203: do you always have such brilliant ideas while sitting at the bar?


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:35 PM
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Facial hair at a rural Nebraska wedding isn't that different than you see in the bar in Pittsburgh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:39 PM
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197 A bit of payback for Hitchens. And Amis. And Mason. Hmmm... seems to me we still have quite a trade deficit.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:40 PM
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207: Usually I recommend castration to people at the bus stop, not at a bar.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 7:40 PM
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As a life choice, and not a hobby, right?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:02 PM
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A hobby that pays for itself, certainly.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:07 PM
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169: Is that a monkey in the foreground?

It's in New Mexico so probably just a weird ratty little dog.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:15 PM
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211: Why choose?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 8:27 PM
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191: Tell me more! I would absolutely consider assignations with people I don't even find attractive if that would absolve me from (caring about) chores!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:02 PM
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why has the cream of the right blogosphere failed upwards while the best of the left has gone nowhere or been shunted into positions that deny them the chance to talk about structural inequalities in society? oh shit, now bob will tell me, and be right. it's annoying when that happens. why is jesse from pandagon not penning columns for the grauniad? it would appear he doesn't have the money to sit on his ass and pontificate all day long, and by working hard lost his early mover advantage. still sucks, though.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:08 PM
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Amen to every word of 216. It irritates the living daylights out of me to read the op-ed pages of papers and think about the smart, thoughtful people from a variety of political perspectives who could be included there but aren't. (Not to mention online -- but I don't have the sense that as many writers are actually making their living from online work.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:21 PM
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It's in New Mexico so probably just a weird ratty little dog.

Yeah, news coverage at the time described it as a chihuahua, but it's pretty hard to tell in the pictures.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:47 PM
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What are we looking at there?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:50 PM
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In the picture? It's a state trooper in uniform banging a woman on the hood of a car while a little dog watches.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:55 PM
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It seemed thread appropriate.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-15-12 9:56 PM
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Yes to 216. All those fuckwits 'failing upwards' will be happy to lecture the rest of us on how they got where they are today through hard-work, and smarts, and 'pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps'-ness. Bastards.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 12:05 AM
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Tack "over" onto the end, and the number generally goes up. probability is close to 1.

Fixed that.

I find the Tacitus thing hard. Even among right wing bloggers he's an egregiously ill informed and malicious wanker.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 1:43 AM
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163/184: Thanks, that makes sense. Those seem like 'obvious' reasons that I missed. Lack of imagination on my part, I guess.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 3:22 AM
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Yeah, news coverage at the time described it as a chihuahua

Wait, that's not staged? Wow.

I remember reading about a case in Florida (the standard setting for this sort of weirdness) where a cop pulled a woman over for a traffic violation and subsequently recognized her from her extensive and popular line of porn movies. She offered to have sex with him to get out of the ticket, he accepted, and then she went home and blogged the whole thing.

I bet I could find the link, but I'm not going to bother.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 5:52 AM
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225: You wouldn't believe how hard that is to Google.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 5:58 AM
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Is it easier on Bing?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 6:22 AM
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216: And why isn't Digby Queen-Empress of all left wing media?

205: I'm told that the ladies love James Deen's work. I suspect he's the porn star whossname slept with in the recently blogged column. There's a scene I can't be bothered to look up where his costar totally loses her professional focus and asks him out for coffee after work right there in the middle of the action. It's very funny, and not the least bit nasty.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 6:38 AM
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216/22/28. I'd guess the thing is that the right wing bloggers market themselves harder to the MSM. Because they know how, whereas apart from a few people like Kos, the left don't.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 6:53 AM
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225: If it's the same story I'm thinking of (Barbie Cummings), that was in Tennessee. But it certainly could have happened more than once.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 6:55 AM
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229: That wouldn't be my guess. Right wing bloggers are useful to the powers that be. Left wingers have no powerful allies.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 6:57 AM
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Sure, if the cop was young or they had some privacy for a longer refractory period.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 6:57 AM
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232 to 230.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 6:58 AM
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Wait, that's not staged? Wow

It looks awfully staged. She has her jeans off and her shoes on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:00 AM
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Her butt is one something less grating than her feet, IIRC.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:03 AM
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It's a state trooper in uniform banging a woman on the hood of a car while a little dog watches.

In case it's unclear to anyone else: in this sentence, "banging" is a euphemism.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:07 AM
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234 may have made that more obvious, if I'd read that far into the thread first.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:08 AM
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225, too, probably.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:09 AM
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231: Right wing bloggers are useful to the powers that be

This is my assumption. Left wing bloggers do OK with the press that's explicitly left but the MSM doesn't want people who will say things not in the interests of their advertisers and owners.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:18 AM
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I remember reading about a case in Florida (the standard setting for this sort of weirdness) where a cop pulled a woman over for a traffic violation and subsequently recognized her from her extensive and popular line of porn movies. She offered to have sex with him to get out of the ticket, he accepted, and then she went home and blogged the whole thing.

As I recall she didn't make the offer, he did.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:25 AM
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And it was in Tennessee.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:32 AM
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Top google hit for '"porn star" "pulled over" blog', incidentally.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:33 AM
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pwned by apo, oh well.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:33 AM
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It looks awfully staged. She has her jeans off and her shoes on.

If you were having a quickie on the hood of a car, why would you take your shoes off? They look like little flats, so it's definitely possible she could have gotten her jeans off over them. I'd be more on the side of 'staged looking' if they were bigger shoes that you couldn't get jeans over or porny stilettos.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:40 AM
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They looked to me pretty thick-soled, so that it would have been hard to get jeans off over them, considering the tightness of jeans these days. If I'm wrong about that, then you're right, it's not weird -- the weird thing would have been shoes off, then jeans off, then shoes back on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:46 AM
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240: Yeah, now that I see the actual story the whole thing seems much more coercive than I remembered. She was sobbing because being busted for pills would force her to break a contract to do a movie in another state. So he had a lot more of a threat to hold over her, and she was really upset.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:51 AM
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I have no desire to be in a relationship with anyone other than my wife, but I miss sexual variety. I wouldn't mind having sex with a fairly percentage of the non-senior citizen non-obese women I run across in daily life, just for fun. It's a basically idle desire and not one I'm ever likely to act on, but I miss the first week of an affair, with that rush of novelty.

forsaking all others came down to agreeing not to experience a set of feelings/learning (feeling feelings, physical feelings, etc.) embeded in new sex/desire/romance in order to experience the feelings/learning of my long-term relationship.

Yes, this is well put. I really feel like the pleasures of promiscuous sex-and-the-city 'dating' / 'serial monogamy' are completely different than the pleasures of long term committment. You really have to unlearn or step away from one in order to fully enjoy the other. I find the idea (pretense?) of modern dating as a preparation for marriage to be odd. It's not a clear tradeoff either in the sense of sex for companionship or something...you have both sex and companionship in both lifestyles, but the fundamental nature of them is different.


Posted by: John Tyler | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:52 AM
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I think they're probably these shoes from Payless (or the namebrand shoe those are knocking off).


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:52 AM
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246: Also, your version was better, because he recognized her from seeing her in porn.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 7:53 AM
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I would like to register my disapproval of the shoes in 248.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:03 AM
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246: It was also better because it was in Florida. I think my unconscious just Carl Hiaassened the whole thing. It was just as corrupt, but funnier. Now if only she were the ex-girlfriend of a real estate developer who has a vendetta against the police chief...


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:03 AM
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251: And a crocodile scuttled away with her pants.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:08 AM
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248: Pretty sure you could spin that skill into a "shoes in porn" blog that would make you Internet famous.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:08 AM
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Er, alligator.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:08 AM
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248/50: Heh. I have shoes not entirely dissimilar. But don't worry, JM, I only wear them in kayaks!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:10 AM
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(Also, mine are red.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:10 AM
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255: ...while banging Coast Guard officers on the spray deck.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:12 AM
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253: I image googled "maryjane sport sneakers" and a pair of them in black was in the second row. I imagine googling for white platform heels might be harder.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:13 AM
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257: Gives the term "spray skirt" a whole new meaning.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:14 AM
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There's a mysterious shortage of coast guard porn. Those guys are definitely the service branch most likely to be around half naked attractive people.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:16 AM
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As a former Sea Scout, I have met a lot of coast guard people. They were not exactly pron-ready individuals.

256.--Red would be much, much better. I have a strong aversion to white shoes, with the sole exception of certain very old-fashioned tennis shoes.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:18 AM
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Or gnarled crab fishermen, I suppose.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:19 AM
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||

I am contemplating applying for an job internally. It's more interesting than what I do now, and I think that it could help me get a new one somewhere else. I don't want to stay too long, maybe around 6 months. The problem is that a requirement of the job is that I have a car. I was thinking about taking over a lease without too many months remaining so that it would be easy to get rid of if I got a job that didn't require a car.

Has anyone done this or known anyone who did?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 8:52 AM
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260:
1. They're the service branch with the least demanding physical requirements. When you think of people with cut, taut, rippling muscles, you don't think of people on cutters responding to oil rig problems.
2. I'd also bet that they're the service branch with the biggest regulatory role. Inspecting vessels for proper maintenance isn't that sexy either.
3. There's probably something sexy about power and danger, and, again, the CG is probably also in last place among service branches there. Drug smugglers or oil rigs could be impressive, of course, but not nearly as much as bombing stuff.
4. When you said "Coast Guard," I think you meant "lifeguard".


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:01 AM
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Do you drive standard, BG?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:03 AM
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265: No. Wish I did.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:14 AM
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It's not that hard. In just one lesson, I managed to get both my sisters so familiar with my teaching methods that they found somebody else to show them how to drive a standard transmission.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:19 AM
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It's not that hard.

Welcome to middle age.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:27 AM
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Don't disillusion us, apo!


Posted by: Ladeez | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:31 AM
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261/264: I'm not claiming he is representative or anything, but an old flame of Fleur in the Coast Guard defies the stereotypes being propounded here, with his chiseled features, rugged good looks, and six-pack abs. He even had a sexy job (helicopter pilot) and sexy missions (e.g. supplying research stations in Antarctica*). So don't go writing off Halford's idea so quickly.

OTOH, now that I think about it, Fleur did once make a criticism of this guy that involved making a gesture using the thumb and forefinger, so maybe the skeptics are right after all.

* The plot almost writes itself, does it not? "The hot Swedish scientists at the Svea Research Station are getting desperate for something, and it's not the expected delivery of Knäckebröd"


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:42 AM
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The cop pictures are definitely not staged. The incident happened about a year ago and got tons of attention in the local news, as well as a small amount of national coverage (mostly as "weird news"). The guy was reprimanded for unprofessional conduct or something and the state police were embarrassed about the whole thing, but that was about all that came of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:43 AM
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but that was about all that came of it.

I suppose it was just too uncomfortable of a position.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 9:46 AM
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Isn't she wearing cut-offs?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 10:16 AM
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271: So who is the woman? His girlfriend? Someone who wants to get out of a ticket? A random fan of men in uniforms?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 10:41 AM
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274: And more importantly, did Blume correctly id the shoes?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 10:48 AM
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I can't google this sort of thing with Joey around.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 10:48 AM
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I can do monogamy fine; I was in a relationship for 12 years and didn't have any trouble with it. In the first couple of years I was occasionally tempted but just never went with it all. As time went on it became more unthinkable. We had a great sex life though so that might have made it easier.

I think I would have great difficulty getting over a partner's infidelity. I might want to, but at best end up with the making-life-awful behaviour in the OP.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 11:20 AM
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The guy was reprimanded for unprofessional conduct or something and the state police were embarrassed about the whole thing, but that was about all that came of it.

He got fired, at least initially. There's the possibility he got reinstated on appeal or something but I didn't follow it that close.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 11:39 AM
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278: Ah, okay. I don't remember the details that well. I don't know if the woman's identity was ever revealed; I don't think it was his girlfriend, but there was also no evidence that he was abusing his authority or anything. He may not have even been on duty, though obviously he was in uniform.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 12:15 PM
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Mostly in uniform.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 12:36 PM
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why has the cream of the right blogosphere failed upwards while the best of the left has gone nowhere or been shunted into positions that deny them the chance to talk about structural inequalities in society?

There's an easy, obvious answer. Why do people keep asking this question instead of stating the answer?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 1:49 PM
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Millard's last point is exactly how I feel. Any random daydream about an appealing man involves a lot of snogging and doesn't get much further. It's the lack of potential that is the worst thing.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 4:08 PM
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This is a timely topic, since I'm in the process of seeing if I can negotiate some form of at least limited open marriage agreement with my wife. Or more precisely, seeing if we can at least talk about possible forms such an agreement might conceivably take, since it's an extremely sensitive and emotional topic. But it's become increasingly clear to me that a lot of the things I most want to do sexually are not things that my wife is ever likely to want to do with me, and since I do value a lot of what we have in the marriage, I would like to be able to find some kind of agreement that lets me get more of what I want without having to leave.

I find myself with lots of stuff I'd like to respond to, and very little time to write right now. But I'll see what I can contribute here.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 08-16-12 4:56 PM
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Well, you should change your name before swinging, because 'Erectile Dysfunction guy' is going to turn people off.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 7:36 AM
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Well, you should change your name before swinging, because 'Erectile Dysfunction guy' is going to turn people off.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 7:36 AM
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Thanks, PGD. I'll keep that in mind (though not everything I have in mind necessarily involves p-i-v sex).

One issue, I think, is that some people think of sex as something that needs to be in the service of a relationship (or procreation) to be justifiable, while others think of it as something enjoyable in its own right. I suspect that the former group may be a lot more sensitive to the threat of non-monogamy, since any outside encounter is either building up a competitive relationship to your own, or is something disrespectable. While if sex is a fun activity in its own right, then a desire for outside sex doesn't necessarily imply a threat to the relationship (though of course, people can find themselves dealing with emotional attachments that they may not have initially intended). My wife tends towards the first view (feeling that sex should be limited to committed relationships), while I tend towards the second, as if you couldn't have guessed.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 7:53 AM
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283: One of the many downsides to my former marriage was lack of real sexual compatibility. It had to do with attitudes as in 286 as much as or even more than preferences. I am generally pro-slut and in favor of experimentation. She wasn't quite missionary all the way, but close enough that I was a bit bored with our sex life. An open marriage or some similar arrangement was out of the question with her for reasons of crazy jealousy (to the point that female friends were an issue).


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:01 AM
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Hey PGD, How is parenthood treating you?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:02 AM
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(though not everything I have in mind necessarily involves p-i-v sex).

Urple giving you ideas?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:22 AM
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Do You Promise Not to Have Sex With Anyone Else, Ever, So Long As You Both Shall Live?

Assuming a lack of blackhole swans, like alien invasion or time travel...

...I promise.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:38 AM
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288: thanks for asking, long story -- I need to get some photos posted up somewhere! I should send some related ATM questions. Summary -- beautiful little baby, a month old now, personality wise he has a singular focus on boobies to the exclusion of pretty much all other considerations in life. (Except he screams like a little torture victim every time he is changed). More of a pure little animal than I thought at this point, wondering when a smile/personality will show up, sleep deprivation. I guess any new parent could say the same.

Kind of an amazing but very ordinary experience at the same time. It feels much more nicely natural and less OMG! everything is different! than I expected. But part of this is perhaps being the guy; in a subtle way it feels like my partner is a little more on the emotional front lines than me.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:39 AM
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Oh, and I can see how this is totally trial by fire for relationships, but my partner has been GREAT so far and we feel very together.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:44 AM
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wondering when a smile/personality will show up

Three months.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:57 AM
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286: IMO sex is very rarely something that comes without emotional attachments and/or baggage, be it repressed or acknowledged. If sex were just this totally fun thing to do, well, there are lots of just "fun" things to do, like going for bike rides or playing RISK. The pleasures and drives involved in sex are -- or at least certainly can be -- on a rather more profound level; apart from the straight-up physical pleasure and the endorphin high, it can also be a powerfully intimate "soul-to-soul" (if you'll forgive the cheeseball phrasing) connection with someone.

So it can be understandably hard for people to accept "well, I think it's just this total fun thing to do" as a reason to wink at infidelity. Sex always potentially represents emotional connections that, in the case of infidelity, are being indulged in without the knowledge or permission of the "legit" partner, even kept secret from them. Or, worse, as in many supposedly "open" relationships, one partner has been forced to accept the more-or-less open indulgence of those connections under the pretext that "we'll both sleep with other people."

(That's of course bracketing out all the other possible issues of social embarrassment, STDs, unwanted pregnancies and so on.)

There are of course different attitudes toward sex and levels of comfort with it, and there are people who basically don't like it and are only willing to engage in it when they think they have to. Barring those issues, though, maybe a more important divide is between attitudes to love: those who think it consists in sincerity of affection and those who think it consists in demonstration of loyalty.


Posted by: Lyndon Baines Johnson | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:19 PM
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Barring those issues, though, maybe a more important divide is between attitudes to love: those who think it consists in sincerity of affection and those who think it consists in demonstration of loyalty.

This is interesting.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:23 PM
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Count me on team "demonstration of loyalty." I have no idea whether your affection for me is "sincere" or not nor do I really care what is going on in your heart of hearts. The only way we can show people that we love them is through our actions, which includes (for many people, at least) a commitment to not fucking other people.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:27 PM
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296: For some values of love, surely, unless your demonstration of love for your mother includes not fucking other people.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:30 PM
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What my mother and I have is private!! Private I say!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:32 PM
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296 is pretty much where I'm at, too.


Posted by: Lyndon Baines Johnson | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:34 PM
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Huh. I have never really thought of "loyalty" when I've thought of love. Honesty, kindness, empathy, yes.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:39 PM
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[P]ersonality wise he has a singular focus on boobies to the exclusion of pretty much all other considerations in life.

He sounds like a pretty chill bro, dude.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:44 PM
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I would have thought an LBJ relationship talk would go something like: "We must either love each other, or we must die."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:44 PM
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I think I'm closer to AWB's position in 300. I mean, loyalty does occasionally come in--sometimes there will be conflicts, and part of love does mean taking the loved one's "side" in such things, which implicates loyalty. But that's not the essence of the thing.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:45 PM
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Those are good too, but let's not knock loyalty. Loyalty goes a long way, especially when the chips are down.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:46 PM
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So I have a query, sort of. Presidentiality here is stupid, but it might be useful. Last night I was hanging out with some new cow-orkers, most of whom, like me, are far from loved ones, including, in some cases, partners. We don't know one another well enough to know about fidelity, etc. One guy, single, starts drinking really heavily with a woman, married, and pretty constantly petting her, sexually, at the table, while fully participating in conversation. The woman is not really talking as much. At one point she leaves the room, comes back in, and sits with a chair between herself and the guy, who waits a few minutes before moving to be next to her with his hand between her legs.

She seemed to be enjoying the attention, and I certainly am not one to interrupt anyone's enjoyment of life, but it was really hard for me to tell whether this is what she wanted or not. She's a grown-woman, and mostly she was being very flirty, but it was unclear whether her small gestures of resistance were for our benefit (doesn't want the new coworkers to think she's a slut) or for her own. I tried to subtly ask her if she was OK before they left together, and she seemed happy and fine, but it wasn't like she was openly talking about being in an open relationship or wondering about dating, which a lot of people were doing aloud.

What is one's responsibility in that situation? If it had been me, I probably wouldn't have wanted to be cockblocked by the sober host, whom I'd assume was being judgmental.


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:49 PM
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300: "Loyalty" used to be built right into wedding vows, either explicitly or implicitly. Fewer people are willing to use the word now -- it sounds like kind of a bummer in an era where the prevailing talk about love uses words like "joy" and "exploration" and so on -- but implicitly it's what many people still expect.


Posted by: Lyndon Baines Johnson | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:50 PM
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-


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 2:51 PM
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At one point she leaves the room, comes back in, and sits with a chair between herself and the guy, who waits a few minutes before moving to be next to her with his hand between her legs.

That seems like a pretty unambiguous "go away I am not into you" message to me, and the guy sounds like a total dick for ignoring it. WTF? I would be super super uncomfortable in that situation. But yeah, I have no idea what to do...

I tried to subtly ask her if she was OK before they left together, and she seemed happy and fine

... and if this is what her response is, I don't know what more you can do, especially if you're new, etc. I feel like someone should talk to the guy about respecting cues like the sitting-away-from-him thing, but it's easier to say that than actually have that conversation. Ugh.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:00 PM
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302: We shall (over)come!


Posted by: Lyndon Baines Johnson | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:01 PM
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That seems like a pretty unambiguous "go away I am not into you" message to me, and the guy sounds like a total dick for ignoring it.

Seconded.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:07 PM
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Thirded.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:08 PM
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At the risk of seeming like an unconscionable dick, they went home together, right? So we don't really know what the dynamic was between them or what the moving away signaled (i.e. based on the description it could have very easily been a "let's not do this now, but wait until later").

Generally, I'd say that what you should do about this is absolutely nothing. It's not OK to get even a little mixed up in policing people's relationships, unless you think the guy was raping her or something.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:13 PM
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I"m with Halford. Coming back in and sitting with a chair between the two of them doesn't seem like an unambiguous "go away I am not into you" message at all. It could as easily have been an "I'm really into you but I'm not yet sure whether I'm comfortable having you paw at me in front of my coworkers" message. Which is a message the guy could still be a total dick for ignoring! But it's certainly not grounds for staging an intervention.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:18 PM
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I wouldn't do or say anything about it, of course. But I didn't know if I should have been more forward about asking her if she was OK. Making sexual decisions while very drunk is difficult and confusing, especially with a super-forward person. I think it's a bit uncool to basically be fondling someone's genitals during a conversation with other people you just met at someone else's house, but as long as everyone was otherwise OK I'm certainly fine. If she and I get to be friends, I'll eventually ask her about it, but I don't know her well enough now.


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:21 PM
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But it's certainly not grounds for staging an intervention.

Well, maybe, but it's grounds for concern. If these were friends rather than cow-orkers, I would certainly at least try to talk to the woman and find out how she felt about the whole thing--and if it turned out that she was indeed uncomfortable about the guy's behavior, even if she decided that she still wanted to fuck him despite that, I'd try to think about how to talk to the guy. Or rather--based on the little we know, I think he was being a dick about ignoring that signal--if that's the kind of thing he does regularly, he's going to make grievous errors, if he hasn't already--regardless about the woman's subsequent report; but knowing more about how she feels/felt would help with knowing what approach to take with him.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:24 PM
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314 sounds 100% right to me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:24 PM
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314 sounds fine, but I'd also keep a bit of an eye on that dude. The chair thing creeps me the fuck out, much more than the fondling part.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:26 PM
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Is this guy in any way a supervisor of hers? Because then I see obvious grounds for concern. But other than that, I don't see much. I mean, I suppose it's possible that what was running through her head the whole time was "why aren't any of these people doing anything to stop this guy from groping me?!", but that seems sort of unlikely, given what you've said.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:29 PM
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Because then I see obvious grounds for concern. But other than that, I don't see much.

I think it's very possible for someone in such a situation to be thinking, "this is making me really uncomfortable, and I wish he'd stop and wait till we're alone, but he's super hot and I really want to fuck him, so I'm going to regardless."


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:31 PM
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OTOH, I certainly don't think it would have been wrong or overly judgmental to get the woman in another room for a minute and ask her if she was wanting the attention from him.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:32 PM
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Isn't 319 what I said in 313?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:33 PM
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It totally is, and indeed, I thought it was very wise when I first read it, which must be why I repeated it with less style.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:35 PM
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dude Urple trapnel totally just comment-groped you.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:38 PM
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Yeah, I couldn't tell whether she was hoping I would swoop in and rescue her or if she was just embarrassed that he was being so exhibitionist about it. I've emailed her about having left some stuff here, so maybe I'll find out. I would really hate to think that she was super out-of-it drunk and hoping that I would stop her from cheating on her husband or something.


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:39 PM
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she was super out-of-it drunk and hoping that I would stop her from cheating on her husband or something.

I guess I can see someone wanting this from a co-worker, but it seems like a super unreasonable request from one adult to another. Stop me from myself before I cheat! What were you thinking let me cheat like that!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:41 PM
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I would have been tempted to start making fun of him for acting ridiculous in public: "Dude, what's wrong with you -- what are you, sixteen? If you want to make out, do it in private." I'm not dead sure that'd be a good idea, and even less sure that I'd actually do it, but it seems like it'd give her some social space to get away from him if she wanted to, without shutting down the possibility of their leaving together if they wanted to. Also, whatever she wanted, he was being rude to everyone else in the room by making them uncomfortable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:43 PM
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326: I like that suggestion. The scenario as described gives me the willies creeps me out.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:51 PM
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294, 296: It's funny; I'd agree that marriage is definitely about loyalty -- Buck's first priority is supposed to be having my back, and mine his. But that doesn't pop out for me in relation to sexual fidelity. This is hard to think about in realistic detail, given that Buck's cheating seems really implausible, but I don't think my reaction to his fucking someone else, or even fucking someone else he was fond of, would be about disloyalty -- that wouldn't kick in unless I thought whatever was going on made the other woman a higher priority than I was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:52 PM
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296, 300: I am on both teams! To me, honesty, kindness and empathy all go hand-in-hand with loyalty. Loyalty is all about the commitment to have someone's back, right? To be on their side (with the qualifier that being on their side also sometime requires having the courage to honestly let them know when they are in the wrong and otherwise fucking up). You are loyal to someone by being kind and honest and empathetic.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 3:57 PM
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Sigh. I really do want to find someone honest and kind and empathetic and loyal someday. [/wallow]


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 4:04 PM
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I really do want to find someone honest and kind and empathetic and loyal someday.

I am a boy scout. Would you like to text privately?


Posted by: OPINIONATED TO CATCH A PREDATOR | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 4:08 PM
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And thus is the entirety of my love life summed up in just two comments.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 4:12 PM
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332: It was comments 39 and 42, right?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 4:23 PM
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328: The DE's phrase on occasions when life turned nasty was "It's us back to back against the world". It's total trust that someone will do their absolute best for the other guy. (Not that it always turns out okay because of that effort, but that's just reality intruding and not as important.)

We would have discussed sex with others had either of us had the urge and most likely come to a satisfactory arrangement. However, I (and I don't think the DE) would not have been at all okay with sneaking around about it. We had both been there, done that, and found it more destructive than it was worth.

I'd rather do without a relationship completely than have one without that trust.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 4:36 PM
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328 is right. Loyalty isn't (necessarily) about sexual fidelity. It's the whole: I'll have your back, I'll give you a couch, if nothing else, to sleep on (if we're fighting, say).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 4:47 PM
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326 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 5:00 PM
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326 sounds right, true, but Betty Ford seemed to refer to herself in 305.last as host of the gathering, which was apparently in her own home. I could see a fellow guest pulling a 326, but the host? When it's possibly the first gathering of new cow-orkers the host has hostessed? Maybe these people/guests/cow-orkers just behave this way. Unless Betty Ford is in some position of authority, I don't see how I myself would feel comfortable mocking the macker.

That said, heavy sexual petting in public is totally off, unless everybody's like, 16, or it's UnfoggeDCon.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 5:13 PM
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I was badly hurt, and probably even damaged a bit by a cheating gf. I can't really imagine cheating, given how awful I felt.

I'm (perhaps because of it) quite sure that jealousy on my part would so completely consume me that no openness is feasible. Fortunately we, neither one, seem interested.

I guess to get past the superficial, I would definitely say that non-exclusive physical intimacy would be almost impossible for me to get past. A certain amount of emotional intimacy is totally fine and even a positive; I respect friendships as both important and external to the emotional intimacy my partner and I share.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 5:13 PM
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I don't see how I myself would feel comfortable mocking the macker.

It might be awkward, but really mockery is something one can practice and get better at.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 5:26 PM
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I still feel that unless Betty missed some sort of communication between the two or there was something preexisting between them, the guy was completely out of line, and that she later changed her mind doesn't alter that.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 5:30 PM
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The host is perfectly in line to say something like "could we keep it PG, please?"


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 5:47 PM
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Well, yeah. 305's with his hand between her legs is just something I would find out of line in any social gathering that was even remotely formal, i.e. not a bunch of people partying in the most relaxed possible manner, but maybe I'm just old, and people do that kind of thing casually all the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 5:52 PM
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Oh, 341 is good.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 5:54 PM
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That said, heavy sexual petting in public is totally off

Yeah. Maybe I just don't go to the right kind of parties, but I think regardless of the consensuality or level of comfort of the people involved, it would be totally legitimate to say "what the fuck, dude?" if at one's party one guest has his hands between the legs of another.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 6:09 PM
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I didn't explicitly address the macking, but I did tell what was intended to be a funny but rather boner-killing story about getting crabs when I was 19 from a guy with the same name and hometown as the woman's husband.


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 6:15 PM
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That works too. Or should have.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 6:28 PM
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I don't feel like the woman's husband, the fact that the woman's married, has anything to do with it. It's the public macking that's weird.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 6:37 PM
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Right. Whether she's cheating on her husband is none of your business. Whether she's feeling harassed and humiliated by the guy pawing her (again, regardless of whether they left together) should be anyone's business, to the extent they can intervene without making things more difficult.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 6:46 PM
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Oh, I don't care. I was attempting to send a flag to the guy, not her. I promise I could not care less about her husband (the only of the three I don't know) if she sleeps with this guy. The crabs were not not meant to be shaming, just--hey, pause a sec.


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 6:52 PM
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Even if she isn't harassed or humiliated, you don't have to become a voyeur because someone is overly eager.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 6:54 PM
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I'm probably missing something here, but isn't everyone denying any agency at all on the part of the woman in Betty's story? To the extent that she's got a problem with what's going on, she was in an excellent position to communicate that. If she'd been interested in rescue - if she would have accepted rescue - she didn't need to do much to communicate that. By Betty's description, she was a participant in what was going on.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:10 PM
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I'm with 351. The total dick -- and I agree with this -- read her better than anyone else.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:34 PM
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351: Hard to know, not having been there. I'm picturing one possible scenario in which maybe she is worried about making a scene in front of all her new coworkers, maybe a little worried about embarrassing the gropemeister in front of all his coworkers. As someone mentioned above, respective hierarchies in the organization are relevant.She might have thought leaving the room and putting a chair between them upon return communicated an interest in rescue. Or, alternately, they were both skeezy horndogs with no sense of decorum.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:37 PM
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The total dicks get all the chicks.
The skeezy horndogs get all the ???


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:43 PM
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blogs?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:45 PM
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The vibe I got from it was that she was both gratified and embarrassed by his attention, especially since one other person in attendance in that conversation was a coworker in her area who has worked here half a dozen years. Like, yes, cute guy zeroes in on me and that feels nice, but more senior person is on my left trying to ask me questions about my work. It was way too complicated a situation to figure out while also doing shots of tequila.

I have heard from her, and she says she is feeling pretty terrible today, but she didn't make it sound like she woke up to her life ruined or anything. She'll be fine.


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 8:59 PM
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Maybe she murdered him and sold his kidneys for research money. That happens all the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:09 PM
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The total dicks get all the chicks.
The skeezy horndogs get all the
corndogs.

(This message brought to you by the Alaska State Fair.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:16 PM
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357: I've also heard from him, and he seems to be doing fine.


Posted by: Betty Ford | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:21 PM
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O.K. Just need to rule out common scenarios.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:23 PM
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359: Maybe she only took one kidney.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:23 PM
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Is that even a crime?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:27 PM
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What am I, a judge?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:34 PM
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Isn't answering a question with another question a bit passive aggressive for a resident of America's glacieriest state?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:38 PM
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Depends on how healthy his kidneys were, I think.

Public macking is a norm now, though maybe one we should be pushing against. (By "we" I mean "you," because as a serial public macker I am all over that shit, and I know from experience that pretty much all public mackers think about attempts to embarrass them is "lame jealous people, fuck you.")


Posted by: Lyndon Baines Johnson | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:38 PM
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Isn't answering a question with another question a bit passive aggressive for a resident of America's glacieriest state?

Probably, yeah. You got a problem with that?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:42 PM
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You were in law enforcement. I assume you studied nephrology along the way, so you should know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:48 PM
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I was in law enforcement? When?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:49 PM
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I assumed the hat came with some powers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:51 PM
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Nah. There are law enforcement rangers, but I wasn't that kind.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:52 PM
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If the government gives out nice hats without law enforcement powers, I'm going to assume that Glen Campbell is right about the need to absolute the fed and use only gold for money.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:54 PM
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Stupid phone. Absolute s/b abolish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:57 PM
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I guess that's good news for the prospectors, then.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:57 PM
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And for Alaska, of course, which still has lots of gold.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 9:58 PM
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They don't just give out the hats, though; you have to buy them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:00 PM
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Do you need a prescription to buy one?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:08 PM
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Glen Campbell was right about how if it snows that stretch down south won't ever stand the strain. Also about needing a small vacation.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:08 PM
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||A doctor in Poland sexually assaulting his female patients. A throat specialist, he would explain that there could be gynecological complications, demand they get undressed and start finger fucking them. This went to court, it's not clear what the verdict was, but he ended up in a psychiatric institution and applied for a reinstatement of his medical license. The psychiatrist treating him said he should be reinstated, that he had no bad intentions, he just has a 'symbiotic personality, characterized by an excessive need to help people'. This was approved by the local medical board so he went back to work. And started up where he left off, and attacked his initial accuser with meat mallet. An old habit of his - he'd beaten his wife to death with one back in the late eighties.>|


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:09 PM
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No, you just have to be a Park Service employee. And you do get a uniform allowance as part of your compensation, so it's not like it's a huge hardship.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:09 PM
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To get a hat, that is. Not to sexually assault people or beat them to death with mallets.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 10:11 PM
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380: Right. The ones who do that are Derangers.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 11:27 PM
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I'm breaking my commitment to the blog and going non-presidential with by pseudonym.

Anyway after a few drinks I'm up for an hourlong bout of monogamy.

http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/20120813/11471/binge-drinking-drunkorexia-dieting-alcohol.htm


Posted by: Tacky European man | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 11:32 PM
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going non-presidential with by pseudonym

Do you hab a code?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 11:38 PM
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382 raises so many questions.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-17-12 11:42 PM
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328: I'm basically in agreement with LB's expression here. Loyalty is important, but it doesn't reduce to strict monogamy for me. It has a lot to do with making sure your partner is the most important other person in your life, and that you weigh their concerns heavily. My wife's happiness is really important to me - but that doesn't mean I have to automatically prioritize it over my own.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 12:20 AM
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isn't everyone denying any agency at all on the part of the woman in Betty's story?

I hate this framing a whole lot.

Given the whole situation, there was no question that the macker was behaving in a manner that was embarrassingly inappropriate at a work gathering, and some doubt as to whether the woman he was pawing wanted him to or not (on the yes side, she left with him, and didn't do anything effective to stop him, including telling him to stop, on the no side, she did move away from him and sit with a chair blocking his access to her).

Because she didn't clearly communicate what she wanted, it's not clear at all if she wanted or needed help, and so offering her help making him stop would have been a delicate thing to do, and probably a bad idea if phrased in those terms, because the situation was a doubtful one. But it's not 'denying any agency' to recognize that sometimes people who need help are bad at communicating what they want, and abandoning people to be abused shouldn't be some kind of deserved punishment for the crime of being a bad communicator. If someone present at the time was worried that she was in a situation she was having trouble extricating herself from, helping her with it would have been the right thing to do whether or not she was demonstrating 'agency' by being assertive enough about it.

I don't think Betty Ford mishandled the situation -- Betty would have been within her rights to tell the guy to knock it off because he was being rude to everyone else, but wasn't required to, and as the person in the room she didn't actually think the woman needed help. But if Betty had believed the woman was feeling harassed or embarrassed, thinking of Betty's offering unrequested assistance as 'denying any agency' seems to me like a license to abuse people as long as they're diffident or easily bullied enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 4:55 AM
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that doesn't mean I have to automatically prioritize it over my own

Automatically is a funny word there, but if there's a serious conflict between your spouse's happiness and your own, and you're resolving it in your own favor, there's a point where I'd think of that as the same kind of failure of loyalty as prioritizing a third party over your spouse. Doesn't make you a bad person, necessarily, but I do think it makes it a messed up marriage.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 4:58 AM
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attacked his initial accuser with meat mallet

I completely misread this until I got to the end of the sentence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 5:00 AM
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387: Which person gets prioritized when and how (foster parenting edition) is what drove us to couples counseling and is apparently a very common disconnect. Our counselor's framing is that you have a responsibility to put your own basic needs first in a put-your-oxygen-mask-on-first way rather than expecting your partner to do things for you, especially if that would require mindreading.

However, your next priority needs to be the relationship, and I think she puts it that way rather than "your partner" because that means both of you need to be focused on getting the needs and whatever wants are possible met in whatever way works best for the two of you.

I'm very much a person who would say that each partner should be prioritizing the other and Lee is strongly in the camp that each of us should put ourselves first, so explictly navigating the reframing has been helpful and useful. Each of us can still think her instinctive version is the one that's morally right, but we aren't putting much focus on that anymore.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 5:09 AM
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if there's a serious conflict between your spouse's happiness and your own, and you're resolving it in your own favor, there's a point where I'd think of that as the same kind of failure of loyalty as prioritizing a third party over your spouse

Pwned a bit by 389, but both parties can't always simultaneously resolve all conflicts in the other party's favor, or your marriage will end up like an O. Henry story.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 7:07 AM
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I really like the framing of prioritizing the relationship as opposed to self or partner. I'm so glad you and Lee found such a helpful counselor, Thorn.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 7:31 AM
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390: Sure -- I was using hedgy language intentionally. But if you're running into situations that are important to both of your happiness, and your desires are in conflict, and you're resolving things in your own favor without buy-in from your partner, there's a problem. Either you're unreasonable, or they are, but something's going wrong.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 7:49 AM
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The correct response was: "Having a marriage like the one in that O. Henry story doesn't sound so bad."


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 7:55 AM
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392: Obviously in our case Lee was being unreasonable and I was practically perfect in every way, but YMMV depending on which of the pair comments here.

Thanks, Di. I really like our counselor (who just came out to us and blew Lee's mind!) and am so grateful we found her. The quality of our relationship and our health as individuals have improved significantly thanks to our work with her.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 8:23 AM
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365: Public macking is a norm now

Really? Are we using "macking" in different senses? Flirting, sure, okay; putting your hand between someone's legs? At a social gathering that's in any way formal (involving, say, a more senior person on your left who is trying to ask you questions about your work)? I get that some parties do go that way, and I've been to any number of utterly informal parties/gatherings that go that way, but ... it's the norm?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:44 AM
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382: Tacky European man

Here is a recent treatment* of those two young bros. A lot of it just covers familiar ground, but some updates.

*At cracked.com. My 10-year-old and 18-year-old self continue to be incredulous that Cracked continues to be somewhat relevant in humor while Mad and National Lampoon declined/expired horribly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 9:57 AM
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I agree with Parsimon. I would be shocked to see that. Unless the people had already started kissing basically become isolated from the rest of the party.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 10:17 AM
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I'm not sure what LBJ is saying in 365 with the reference to "serial macker": he's an exhibitionist? That's okay, the world is wide (and rightly so, exhibitionism can be hot), but even exhibitionists usually grant that there are boundaries to be observed: you wouldn't do it in front of your mom. Or at the bank while negotiating a mortgage. Or, generally, I thought, at a work-related party, even if tequila shots are in the mix.

I'm interested in the question of boundaries in general. Some say it's all hogwash, a means by which we're controlled through the pursing of lips and so on; I don't buy it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 10:40 AM
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The idea of public groping at a semi-formal gathering of coworkers seems unusual to me, but honestly so does the idea of drinking many multiple shots of tequila at a semi-formal gathering of coworkers. And, come to think of it, I only ever recall going to a few semi-formal gatherings of coworkers that involved everyone drinking many multiple shots of tequila, and at every single one of those gatherings, by the end of the night quite a bit of public groping had in fact occurred. About which at least some people later had (mild) regrets.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:14 AM
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All I'm saying is that, if there's one iron law of human relations, it's that if you get a large enough group of people sufficiently drunk, eventually someone's going to grope someone.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:17 AM
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Back when I worked in publishing, our office parties were super duper sloppy. We had cases and cases of booze (mostly champagne!) in a storage closet, like it was Sterling Cooper.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:17 AM
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if there's one iron law of human relations, it's that if you get a large enough group of people sufficiently drunk, eventually someone's going to lose their leg to a lawnmower accident.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:22 AM
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Well, sure. "If you get a large enough group of people sufficiently drunk, eventually someone's going to x" is true for quite a few values of x.

Mostly useless things, though. It's true for x="vomit on someone." It's true for x="drop his or her pants." It's not true for x="cure cancer".


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:26 AM
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But my main point was: groping in public only seriously violates rules of party decorum only if you assume semi-sobriety. It especially violates rules of party decorum with coworkers largely because many people assume at least semi-sobriety in a party with coworkers. But if everyone's blasted, public groping seems like a fairly minor infraction. It's still not in good taste, exactly, but drunk people often aren't scrupulously tactful.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:34 AM
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403 -- Have a little faith, urps.

[I just ate a bowl of fresh Rainiers from the farmers market. Improves faith in humanity, in all creation, to a surprising degree.]


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:37 AM
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I'm about a hundred comments behind but I just hit the loyalty subthread. I guess I expect something like loyalty from any friend but don't think of it as particularly what makes love love. And when it comes up in discussing relationships, it sounds a tiny bit, what...preemptively suspicious?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:39 AM
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401: That must have been awesome. So you all groped one another at office parties?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:45 AM
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Now we know why your partner's wife worries so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 11:58 AM
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Is 408 to me?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 12:07 PM
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It was in jest, but yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 12:10 PM
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Parsimon, everyone's trying to tell you that your parties are lame.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 12:17 PM
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I have no intention of groping, or desire to grope, my work partner. None whatsoever. I do need his attention, for work-related matters. Sorry, partner's wife. This is how we make the money.

(Bleh. This is still a bit of a live issue, which I'll not talk further about at this time.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 12:22 PM
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412 to 410, of course.

I haven't thrown a party in years, myself. The last one was food-oriented, and that went over well. Homemade pico de gallo! People gobble that stuff up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 12:26 PM
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I'll make a calendar note in November or so to bring it up then.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 12:27 PM
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403: Definitely true in the Sixties IMX. There was some really inspired groping, vomiting, breaking of things, etc. Good thing there wasn't any iStuff to break or take pictures with back them.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-18-12 1:09 PM
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387: Automatically is a funny word there, but if there's a serious conflict between your spouse's happiness and your own, and you're resolving it in your own favor, there's a point where I'd think of that as the same kind of failure of loyalty as prioritizing a third party over your spouse. Doesn't make you a bad person, necessarily, but I do think it makes it a messed up marriage.

I didn't mean resolving it in your own favor unilaterally, but not automatically resolving it in your partner's favor in a way that ignores your own needs. I could presumably resolve our sexual differences by giving up on any desires my wife doesn't feel up to indulging, and that would presumably make her happy, but it wouldn't make me happy. I would feel resigned, at best, with that resolution. I also wouldn't be happy if I knew she were forcing herself to do something she detested, out of a misguided sense that that she was prioritizing my needs over hers. So that's what I was getting at with what automatically prioritizing her needs over my own would mean (or vice versa), as I interpret it.

I still hope we can find a mutually acceptable solution, though I don't know if we can. And I will cop to having a kind of messed up marriage in the sexual arena - but you knew that.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 2:05 AM
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My parents watched the girls for us Sunday evening so we could go out to dinner and we realized we were finished eating before they'd probably have started, so Lee and I went home and napped for an hour before I got up to pick up the girls. It probably would have been wiser to take advantage of the privacy for romance or something, but this probably counts as putting our individual basic needs first.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 5:23 AM
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393: BUT IN A LAST WORD TO THE WISE OF THESE DAYS LET IT BE SAID THAT OF ALL WHO GIVE GIFTS THESE TWO WERE THE WISEST.



Posted by: OPINIONATED O. HENRY | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 5:30 AM
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378: WTF? How did the previous murder bit factor in at all?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 5:33 AM
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||

I would never have masturbated to Tony Scott, but I confess to a twinge of nostalgic regret for Scott McKenzie.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:07 AM
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Betty Ford:

I am in the leave it alone camp/ Basically, she didnt sit back down right next to him after she left? That doesnt seem to justify your intervention.

Any questioning of her seems more akin to shaming her or being too nosy. What about the situation made it seem that she needed protection?

Maybe if she was too intoxicated, then you should intervene. But it seems out of line to say "Hey, did you really want to cheat on your hubby with that guy? I dont care, but I wanted to make sure that you were ok."

I didnt read anything that made it seem like she was not in control.

LB's comment about shaming him for the PDA seemed more about preventing them getting together than about a dislike of PDA. The former seems inappropriate, but the later seems fine to me.

But, maybe I misread her.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:20 AM
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I hate this framing a whole lot.

On reflection, I can see that the word "agency" is a bit of a dog-whistle, useful for feminist concern-trolling. I bet Katie Roiphe uses that word a lot.

I will say that Betty's description in 356 matches my impression from her original comment in 305. But 305 and 356 and all the others still leave plenty of room for different interpretations of what exactly was going on. Phrases like "pretty constantly petting her, sexually," and even his hand "between her legs" leave some room for interpretation as to what was actually happening.

Another way of saying this is that I agree with Di's 353.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-20-12 7:28 AM
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