Over the past few years, my husband and I have realized that he has needs that I cannot meet. I do not begrudge him these needs, and I would fill them if I could. I want him to be a happy and satisfied person, not just for him, but for myself as well. We discussed opening our relationship, but our therapist recoiled at the idea. I don't know that I fully trust our therapist, and I would like an informed second opinion.
Here's an informed second opinion: Fuck your asshole therapist. And here's a better-informed bonus third opinion:
"It's incredibly unfortunate that some therapists either aren't educated about open relationships or buy into common myths about them," says Tristan Taormino, author of Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. Way too many therapists, she says, "pathologize people who want to open their relationships and try to convince them that they have intimacy or commitment issues."
Tristan interviewed scores of couples in successful open relationships, and she found that many initially opened their relationships because of an issue of sexual incompatibility.
"The scenario you present is not uncommon," she continues. "If both of you really are committed to giving it a go, I'd advise you to find a new therapist, one who has experience with — and not a prejudice against — nonmonogamous clients. The right therapist can help you figure out your limits, set boundaries and make an agreement about this new type of relationship that works for both of you."
You can also check out the stories, advice and references at www.openingup.net.
I've read and enjoyed your column for years and always found you to be well-reasoned and kind. That's why your agreement with Perez Hilton (and your reiteration of his comments) on Miss California was so shocking. It's beneath you to call someone who disagrees with your position a "dumb bitch." You're better than that, Dan!
Basically On Your Side
I don't think Miss California is a dumb bitch for her beliefs, BOYS, but for her actions. ("Love the sinner/dumb bitch, hate the sin/dumb bitchery.") For the record: There are lots of reasonable folks out there who oppose same-sex marriage, and I can interact with them in a civil fashion. Heck, I voted for an opponent of marriage equality back in November. What sets Miss CA apart from reasonable opponents of marriage equality is her opportunism coupled with her stupidity.
I thought Perez Hilton went too far when he called Miss CA a "dumb bitch" after the pageant — and said so on my blog. But I started to come around to Hilton's POV after Miss CA joined a political campaign to deny marriage rights to gays and lesbians. Miss CA is leveraging her spat with Hilton for her own personal financial gain. Ghostwritten books, speaking gigs at evangelical churches, a potential guest-host gig on The View — beats work, huh? And so what if it oppresses gays and lesbians?
And that's when I thought, "Hmm, I guess she is a bitch."
And then came her interview on Fox News: "You know what, Greta? I don't have the answers to everything," she told Greta Van Susteren when she was asked about her position on civil unions. "I'm not running for political office. I don't have the answers to everything, you know, in the world out there." When Van Susteren followed up by asking Miss CA "what `she` thinks" about civil unions and gay people adopting children, Miss CA responded, "I'm not a politician, so I can't give you an answer to that." So seeing as she's not a politician, Miss CA can't be expected to know what she herself thinks about adoptions and civil unions.
And that's when I thought, gawd, she's dumb, too — and I had to concede that Hilton was right.
I'm a 17-year-old girl who just became sexually active. My 16-year-old boyfriend doesn't like condoms, and I don't like what birth control pills do to my emotions and my skin. Now what do we do?
Pregnancy Isn't Looking Likely
I'll be with you in a minute, PILL. But first …. More stupidity and opportunism: Bristol Palin is now a spokesperson for an organization that encourages teenagers to abstain from having sex. "Regardless of what I did personally," Bristol advised America's youth last week, "I just think that abstinence is the only … 100 percent foolproof way you can prevent pregnancy." Here are a few other 100 percent foolproof ways to prevent pregnancy, right off the top of my head: mutual masturbation, oral sex, anal sex (aka "saddlebacking" when practiced by Christian teens), outercourse, sex toys your partner can insert into you, sex toys you can insert your partner into, cybersex, phone sex, GAY SEX.
Instead of telling teenagers to say no to sex — which will work about as well as telling them to say no to drugs — we should tell them there are ways to be sexual that carry no risk of pregnancy. So, PILL, here's what you do: Enjoy outercourse, oral, masturbation and sex toys — and tell your boyfriend that these aren't consolation prizes for teenagers, but honest-to-God sex acts that adults enjoy — until you and your boyfriend find the condoms and lube that work for you.