Dear Miss Mary:
When a passionate relationship with a strong-willed man ended a while ago, I felt a bit lost and did a lot of soul searching. What I discovered was that I have no desire to live the two kid, four-bedroom-apartment fantasy. As a result, when this man re-entered my life, (with gay lover in tow), I was pleased. The sex is great, and the emotional intensity is still there, but it’s no longer associated with the attachment.
My friends think I’m crazy to have started things up with him. I’m not looking for a mate or a partner or any dead weight. I’m in it for the chance to touch and be touched by someone I care about but am not tied to (unless I so desire). He is, for all intents and purposes, a satellite in my life, as I am in his.
I spend hours listening to the details of my friends’ dull and tiresome monogamous relationships, but because “Derek” lives with another man (who knows nothing about me), they become irritatingly opinionated, saying things like, “You can do better.” How do I get them to back off and offer support?
Satellite of Love
Oh dear. This is just the kind of trouble your columnist might get into. The virtuous pursuit of pleasure and one’s own distinct, one-bedroom apartment satisfaction suddenly finds one in the proverbial woods.
Your question, how to get support from your friends, dodges the problem. (Yes, I am siding with them.) If they are sorry to see you in a non-monogamous relationship with a bisexual man, then by all means educate them that hate is not a family value—but they also have legitimate questions about the situation. Your affair—and it is an affair if Derek’s partner doesn’t know about it—seems likely to go wrong before you get tired of it.
Love U’s Visiting Professor of Gay Male Studies, Jason Jones, has a slightly harsher take on the situation. “Does she really want advice? It sounds like she’s bragging. I mean, most gay guys are pretty hot, so…” As he sees it, “Gay or straight, black or white, boy or girl, it is not cool to be involved with someone who is in a committed, loving relationship. It totally sucks for you to come through and sleep with their mate. Her friends are never going to understand the way she wants them to, because they see that this is not just about great sex, it’s about ruining someone’s life.”
Your columnist is a moral relativist, and in no position to throw stones at adulterous women. So that judgment call is not unanimous, but the opinion that you are likely to get hurt is. As Professor Jones puts it, “This gay boyfriend will find out, and if he is really queeny, he will be cruel. Her boyfriend is going to lose a relationship, and she’s going to lose a good friend because he’s going to blame her. It’s just an explosive thing that’s going nowhere.”
The Professor does allow the chance, so small that it is rhetorical, that Derek could make himself an honest man, and you an honest woman, with a threesome. “If he comes clean, and his boyfriend thinks that’s kind of hot, like ‘Maybe I want to watch, maybe we’ll get together,’ then they could end up a little alternative family. She could have their child, like Dick, Dick, and Jane. But I don’t believe that’s what’s going on here.” A gentleman who has been cheated on will not likely welcome the mistress into his bed, unless it is to spank her non-consensually.
Unless you see the immediate possibility—perhaps even less likely than the threesome above—of freedom for Derek to date openly outside his committed relationship, take your friends’ unwelcome advice and get out while you can. It will be far healthier for you to take the edge off of your loneliness with new partners than to nurture this star-crossed attachment. And, on that note, the Professor adds that he hopes you are practicing safe sex.
Recently I was invited to a private party for the screening of a foreign film at an exclusive club in Midtown by a close girlfriend. We picked up a (female) friend of hers and met others (male) there. The girls were very curious whether one of the boys was gay, and wished to “out” him with my flirting skills and “gaydar.” I agreed to spy for their cause, and we approached the venue with a delicious agenda. When the free champagne ran out, and the real glitterati moved in to get their drink on, we still weren’t sure if this guy was gay or straight. Then he revealingly suggested we pile in a cab down to a gay club in Chelsea. We ordered many drinks, played “Truth or Dare” (these are college kids after all), and ultimately all made out with each other and many complete strangers, including a gentleman who claims he was hairdresser to a certain well-known talk show host.
It was all playful and innocent, but the girl we’d picked up earlier, the friend of a friend, was particularly interested in kissing me, and kissing me repeatedly. She says I’m great at it. I agree, but I’m sorry to have shown her. She won’t stop calling and telling everyone that she and I are going out and that she’s in love with me. How do I let her know that the calls and the gossip and the crush are upsetting me and causing an uncomfortable strain on my relationship with my boyfriend? And could I be bi? I mean she’s a good kisser too. I’m a little freaked out by all of this. Please advise.
What a hangover. You have a loopy, lonely girl on your hands, one who has found, as so many of us do, that the best, most attractive, charming, sensitive men out there—that’s you!—are gay. That is great for gay men, and fine for straight women with solid, poorly groomed straight men waiting at home in front of the television, but it can be positively maddening—and it sounds like it has driven this girl crazy—for the straight singleton. Water, water all around, and none to drink.
Musing aside, I would be shocked if you couldn’t set things straight with a direct conversation about your lack of interest and your discomfort—and, if you are feeling particularly ticked off, a reprimand for making you do the dirty work of making things normal again. I have never been so involved with a crush that clear, direct rejection didn’t get through. But if it doesn’t, Professor Jones has some ideas. “I would get in her face, and introduce her to my boyfriend, and he would get in her face. I would let her know that this can’t happen, and that if she continued to pester—and this is almost entirely from a black perspective—that the friendship would be over and I would get even. Everything would be expletive in that conversation.”
As a last-ditch effort, when Professor Jones’s carefully crafted lines, “It makes me really uncomfortable when you take telephoto pictures of me and my loved one having sex,” and “I’m going to have to hurt you,” are not getting through, he suggests introducing another gay person who might be interested in being idolized. “Some people enjoy followers, the questioning, whoever, it makes them feel potent.” And speaking of the questioning, your own potential bisexuality seems interesting, but not worth worrying about unless you feel so pressed to experiment that it endangers your relationship. In which case, see above for the perils.
Good luck out there, lovelies. Please send your troubles, booty call stories, and booty call etiquette tips, which we’ll sort out here next time, to [email protected].