My wife beat breast cancer five years ago. Went through chemo and radiation and ultimately radical surgery. Brave, lovely and lucky woman she is. But after the procedures, she said she was proud of her post-op look and the zigzag scar across her chest. No new boobs for her.
Moi? I don’t like going to bed with Peter Pan. We talked about this and she wants to stay scarred and boobless. I respect her wishes. It’s her body … so no plastic surgery. But I get weirded out instead of excited every time I see her nude. Our love life has gone the way of her boobs and I feel as guilty as hell because I can’t get over this. She will, however, wear boobs when we go to weddings and other functions.
I Miss Her Boobs
I’m thinking the wife misses her boobs too, but she’s concluded that implants and reconstructive surgery aren’t going to bring ’em back and are only a potentially uncomfortable, thoroughly inadequate approximation of her boobs. But I can appreciate your frustration. If my boyfriend developed a life-threatening medical condition and getting breast implants was the only way to save his life, I would support him and hold his hand and go bra shopping for him while he recovered. But I would be just as weirded out by his body with boobs as you are by your wife’s without.
But, that’s really neither here nor there – there are no conditions that breast implants can cure (erectile dysfunction and assholery don’t count) – and the analogy is totally offensive and I’m probably gonna have to disable my e-mail account for a week. Other offensive analogies spring instantly to mind – how would I feel if my boyfriend’s ass imploded? How would I feel if he grew a mustache? How would I feel if his body changed as he aged and after a few decades together he wasn’t the exact same 23-year-old club kid I picked up in that gay bar? – but seeing as none of that will ever happen, let’s set these hypotheticals aside, shall we?
I’m vamping, because there are no easy answers. One might hope that your love for the wife would trump your weirded-out feelings and you would come to appreciate the wife’s boyish new body. Or her boy-with-large-zigzag-scar-running-across-her-chest-ish new body. One might also hope that your wife’s feelings for you might prompt her to see her boobs as something that brought you joy, not just as the part of her body that attempted to kill her, and that she might be willing to get breast implants for your sake. Because although it’s her body – and it is, it is – you also have a stake in it. Sometimes, you know, literally. But you can’t get over it and she sees her new body – and perhaps the victory over death symbolized by those scars – as more important than your shared sex life. So you’re at an impasse and the standard advice for couples at an impasse – compromise – just won’t cut it. (“Maybe just one implant, honey? The left one was always my favorite.”) The only other compromise is so obvious and unsatisfactory – would she consider wearing her fake breasts to bed every now and then? – that you’ve probably already discussed and/or tried it. So, like, I’m really flailing around here. In fact, my flailing was so obvious that a co-worker – a straight guy – noticed and asked what was up.
“Isn’t that why God invented doggy-style?” he said, after I read him your letter. “Just man up and turn her over, dude.”
That ain’t much, I realize, but I’m afraid it’s the best advice you’re going to get today. Thank you for playing Savage Love, and good luck.
I love your column, and am sure you’ve already gotten a million e-mails about Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern and her hateful gay-bashing video on YouTube. She’s deplorable and other people deserve to know about her hating ways.
“I’m not anti, I’m not gay-bashing,” Sally Kern says on her now-infamous audio recording, before she goes on to say that homosexuality is “the biggest threat that our nation has, even more so than terrorism. Or Islam, which I think is a big threat.” Nice. Then, after exposing early childhood education for what it is – a gay plot, don’tcha know – Kern bemoans the fact that “gays are infiltrating city councils … they are winning elections!” We certainly are, Sally, because infiltrating city councils – and school boards and state legislatures – isn’t just for right-wing Christian bigots anymore.
Decent folks are understandably angry. But instead of sending Kern an angry e-mail – excuse me, I mean in addition to sending her an angry e-mail (email@example.com) – make her worst nightmares come true. Patrick Flaherty is running for alderman in Milwaukee, Wis. He won an eight-way primary with 32 percent of the vote on Feb. 19, and the general election is coming right up on April 1. If you’re pissed at Sally Kern, don’t just send her an angry e-mail. Help make her worst nightmares come true by sending a campaign contribution to Flaherty – who has been endorsed by Milwaukee’s mayor, the Victory Fund, and others – by going to his website: firstname.lastname@example.org