Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Went to an S&M Club for My Bachelorette Party — Alone”

I got married this past month and my husband just found out I lied to him about my bachelorette party. (I told him I was going out with a friend, but he found out that friend wasn’t in town when I went out).

He’s about 25 years older than me and kind of old school when it comes to sex and relationships (this is his second marriage, my first). I mentioned in the beginning of our relationship that I used to go to an S&M club once in a while, which freaked him out (he thought it was sick), but he seemed to get over it. He told me he would have dumped me if I’d told him that ten years ago.

Last night he found out that I went to the club for my bachelorette party – alone. I played around with one couple, but there was no sex involved. I didn’t even take off my clothes. But to him, this was practically like cheating. He told me that had he found this out before the wedding, he probably wouldn’t have married me. He told me everything was perfect and this ruined everything. (BTW, his bachelor party was very PG. I saw the pics. He went with friends and some family. I told him he could have done anything he wanted).

He told me he wouldn’t bring it up again or use it against me and would need some time to get over it. I understood and felt horrible. I apologized profusely (I meant it) and was crying at his feet all night, but inside I felt like he was being overly dramatic and blowing this way out of proportion. I tried to explain my point of view, but he wouldn’t hear it. I’m not sure what to say to him to make him feel better. I just want to bring some closure to this and try to make him see this really wasn’t that big of a deal. — No Pain, No Gain

Uh, going to an S&M club and “playing” with another couple without your fiancé’s knowledge or permission isn’t “practically like” cheating; it is cheating. And you know damn well that what you did wasn’t cool — or at least not cool to your fiancé, which makes it not cool at all — and that’s why you kept it a secret from him. And come on, you don’t want “closure” to this — you want an opening. You want to open your relationship in a way that allows you some freedom to “play.” And that’s all fine and dandy, but you should have addressed that before you got married. Instead, you led your fiancé to believe your S&M days were in the past, especially once you saw how much the idea freaked him out. Rather than own up to who you are and risk scaring off the man you wanted to marry, you pretended to be something else, and that’s not right.

You tricked your fiancé and now you want to just move on as if: A) what you did was no big deal; and B) your desire for a different kind of sex life doesn’t and won’t affect your relationship. That’s crazy! The truth is, it probably will very much affect your relationship, and now that you’re married that makes things super tricky. You either have to decide — together — whether this is a lifestyle you can explore together or whether it’s something that you can wholeheartedly give up and not ever feel tempted to visit again. If you can’t mutually agree to one of those options, there’s really no point in staying married. That really sucks, but it sucks worse for you poor husband. What he may have convinced himself was just a passing, long-over phase you went through, has suddenly become an issue that is threatening his brand new marriage. Not only that, but now he knows that you’re a liar, and when trust is broken so early in a relationship, it’s a lot of work to get it back.

So yeah, to him, things probably do seem ruined and you definitely are a pretty big reason why. Obviously, he’s not totally innocent here. You told him about your S&M history and he chose to believe it was only in the past, which was pretty naive of him, especially considering he has 25 more years of life experience than you, including one divorce, under his belt. You’d think he would have been a little more careful about pursing a serious commitment with someone who has dabbled in a lifestyle he considers “sick.” But he wanted to believe what he wanted to believe. And you didn’t do much to dissuade him.

I don’t know, maybe you two deserve each other. But if you have any chance to make things last — and last, happily — you have some serious talking and compromising ahead of you (not to mention work to build back the trust).

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.

180 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Amber June 5, 2012, 9:07 am

    It IS cheating. How on earth would anyone consider it not to be? Plus the lieing…

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  • avatar

    amy June 5, 2012, 9:20 am

    I agree with Wendy. You lied about who you were to the man you wanted to marry.

    Why? Why be with someone that is unable to accept you because of his beliefs? His “dramatica” are totally called for. You lied to him, he married you based on that lie, and you cheated on him.

    This is NOT a real marriage, and to be honest, I don’t see it working. You have your own needs that are not compatable with him.

    Why in the world did you marry him? Were you really that desperate to marry someone so you had to marry based on a lie?

    I’m baffled by this but I don’t see this marriage going anywhere unless he is ok with experimenting or letting you experiment outside of the marriage. Given his (justifiable) reaction to your cheating and the fact that he thinks your needs are sick, this is unlikely.

    MOA and start a relationship on the truth next time.

    SMH.

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    • avatar

      amy June 5, 2012, 9:21 am

      *dramatics

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    • katie

      katie June 5, 2012, 9:27 am

      i also wonder why she still married him… if a guy told me that something i loved to do was “sick” (not including actual sick things, like an opinion of something being sick) i wouldnt want to be with him, you know? that doesnt make sense.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:29 am

        I think people find 90% of what they want and are willing to deal with the rest.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:33 am

        Its sad too. We always hear No One is Perfect, so I think people go forward thinking that. How many letters do we see that say He/She did xyz, but they are perfect in every other way.

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      • avatar

        amy June 5, 2012, 9:38 am

        I understand finding those things later on, but she blatantly lied because he told her she was sick. To each his own, no judgement here, but that’s not something that can be compromised on given his beliefs lol. I guess she thought it was a small issue? But if that’s the case, then she doesn’t respect him at all. Beliefs are a big deal and shouldn’t bebelittled. They can be deal breakers which this should have been when he originally reacted the way he did.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:40 am

        I totally agree. I’m not defending this LW at all. Just generally speaking. I do that too much without being clear on here.

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 5, 2012, 9:40 am

        That’s why I’m so sick about books on settling. Or reasons why single gals aren’t married. I’m sorry, but I prefer to wait for someone compatible then someone with xyz wrong with them. If that happens when I’m 60 instead of now, so be it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:48 am

        Its also a huge issue for trust. How do you rebuild after a bomb is dropped like this? Even with another person. This guy already found what he thought was an ideal mate and really just married a lie.

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 5, 2012, 10:28 am

        Agreed.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow June 5, 2012, 1:47 pm

        I don’t know. I agree that LW’s behavior was terrible, but this guy married her knowing she liked things he considered sick. If that’s his version of finding an ideal mate (one you have to shame into dropping parts of herself) then he’s in a for a lot of disappointment.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow June 5, 2012, 1:48 pm

        With LW, or the next woman, I mean.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 1:56 pm

        He didn’t shame her. She told him early on that she USED TO be into that, but no longer was. Hell, I used to be into stuff I’d never think twice about doing now (nothing too crazy though 🙂 All he did was believe what she said.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow June 5, 2012, 2:05 pm

        I don’t know, I think freaking out and telling people their past is sick counts as shaming. It’s ok to be freaked out internally, but I think it’s a better strategy to be gracious about it so you can come back and ask more questions when you’re feeling calmer. Also, why marry someone capable of doing things you consider sick? Why marry someone who considers things you’re into sick? I don’t think any of them thought this through.

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      • avatar

        matcha June 5, 2012, 2:55 pm

        I agree with rainbow. He could have just said, “You know, I’m really not into that at all. It’s not my thing and I’d rather not do it.”

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      • avatar

        painted_lady June 5, 2012, 10:46 am

        Totally agreed – I understand the intent behind some of that movement is to help women understand that they’ve got overly high standards about all the wrong things – they’ll take a hot and funny guy with no job and a criminal background, for example, but then tell the guy who has a bit of a beer gut and is a little less “fascinating” than Mr. Jailbird to take a hike when he’s perfectly nice. So for the women who do that, especially the ones who have a marriage and family on their life goals, they maybe need to think longer and harder about whether their dream guy…but the thing is, I don’t think that message is terribly clear. The woman who wants to marry the unemployed guy definitely does NOT need to lower her standards – she needs completely different ones!!!

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 9:35 am

        well that makes sense. there are definitely some things that i just deal with in my SO… but i would think that stuff would be little trivial things, like leaving his socks in the living room (thats my SO right there… lol). not something so personal and intimate as liking S&M. to me that seems like a huge thing… kind of like if someone was like oh im catholic. and the partner thought catholics were “sick”. as so the partner is just like, oh well that was in the past- i dont go to church anymore. but secretly she is still catholic. you know?

        i agree with your below comment about not faulting the guy for believing her. she was terrible for lying to him, and i feel bad that she had to have to lie to herself to land a marriage. i just dont get why, when he said that was sick, she wasnt immediately like, oh well, thats a huge part of me. this wont work if you think its sick- because then you think IM sick.

        she must be in huge denial…

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:38 am

        Oh I agree. Usually, or hopefully, its just trivial things. Or things that come out early on in a relationship. But what happens when you are already in love with someone, think they are ideal for you and BAM, your ideal mate comes home in bondage gear/teddy bear costume/wants to watch some freaky porn…

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 9:44 am

        definitely… i do understand why she did it. i do. but it still sucks and she didnt make the right decision in that situation.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 5, 2012, 10:13 am

        I agree with you– I think that part is being brushed off a little because S&M isn’t easily relatable or “normal,” but what if he was SUPER “old school” or narrow minded & thought that, I don’t know, any kind of oral sex was “sick”? I’m guessing her response wouldn’t have been to bury her desires.

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  • JK

    JK June 5, 2012, 9:21 am

    What Wendy said.

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  • katie

    katie June 5, 2012, 9:26 am

    damn. yea. wow.

    you cant just push a part of yourself down in the hopes of having a happy marriage. thats not how it works. in offbeatbride.com’s book (i cant remember the title.. maybe its just offbeat bride? i dunno) she talks about bachelor/ette parties and how if the bride or groom is excited and wants to go to strip clubs (or in your case, S&M clubs), and it is something you enjoy doing, you have to figure out a way to keep enjoying those things after you married. but, that takes an admittance by you that you do enjoy those things, and communication between the two of you to work out something that works for both of you.

    you did cheat on your husband, in my opinion. i would first admit to yourself that this is a part of who you are, and then second figure out a way with your husband to deal with it. if its a dealbreaker to him, well then shame on you for lying to him about it, and to yourself… i guess i understand that if the guy you really liked/loved told you something you did was “sick” you would probably try not to do that anymore.. i get that. but you are just lying to yourself. and in turn, lying to him. you need to come clean.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson June 5, 2012, 9:35 am

      Ha I think I’m in the clear – I went to canvas and cocktails for my bachelorette party – I’m sure my husband will be okay with it if I keep going.

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 9:42 am

        thats good! lol she has referenced it a few times in other posts on the website, so i havent actually read the book, but she just basically says that for your last single party you should be able to do whatever you want to do. and if thats going to a strip club, theoretically, that should be something you should be able to keep enjoying after your married, you know? like if you enjoying doing something, you should be able to enjoy it whether you are married or not. its that whole idea that the commitment of marriage isnt the end of your world… like those “game over” shirts and the cake toppers of the woman pulling the man by his coat.. that shouldnt exist.

        canvas and cocktails sounds way fun btw.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 5, 2012, 9:57 am

        I agree with that actually. Your actual lifestyle shouldn’t change just because you get married – only your commitment should change. With this LW it seems like it was the opposite – she tried to change her lifestyle while not up-ing her commitment.

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      • call-me-hobo

        call-me-hobo June 5, 2012, 10:12 am

        What is canvas and cocktails?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 5, 2012, 10:26 am

        It’s this place where you have an instructor that will step by step teach you how to paint whatever their picture is that day while you drink wine and they always have the class set to a playlist of music. It’s awesome. I can’t remember are you a Coloradan?

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      • avatar

        matcha June 5, 2012, 11:25 am

        That sounds so fun.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 5, 2012, 10:23 am

        My 17 year old SIL wanted to buy me one of those bride pulling groom cake toppers- she thought it was funny. I thought it was awful!! Why would anyone put that on their cake?? I told her, if anything, he should be running towards me!!

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      • avatar

        rachel June 5, 2012, 1:21 pm

        An ex once basically told me that he thought the whole point of a bachelor party was to have sex with a stripper. I was like…no…not if you actually love the person you’re marrying…

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR June 5, 2012, 1:39 pm

        The part I found most humorous about that comment from your ex is that he assumed the strippers even wanted to do that!! It’s like he assumes the stripping is just foreplay for the sex that is implicitly understood, no matter what the guy looks like because strippers aren’t likely that picky anyway. It’s not like stripping is their job or anything.

        I’m not surprised that he’s an ex (instead of a current boyfriend).

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      • avatar

        rachel June 5, 2012, 2:00 pm

        Yeah, I hadn’t even thought of that part. I’m not sure why he thought his friends would want to hire him a prostitute for a bachelor party. Sadly I stayed in that relationship for far too long.

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  • avatar

    ktfran June 5, 2012, 9:26 am

    Wendy covered it. I don’t think I really have anything to add. I just wanted to “like” Wendy’s comment.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:28 am

    The only thing I have trouble agreeing with is “You told him about your S&M history and he chose to believe it was only in the past.”

    I don’t see how we can fault someone for trusting and believing what their SO tells them.

    You’re a messed up person LW, not for liking S&M clubs, but for tricking your husband into marrying you all the while lying to him about who you are. Regardless of whether you think its no big deal, you knew he did so you snuck around and did it behind his back. If this were my SO, I’d be devasted as well. What he thought was a perfect wife was a huge lie.

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    • avatar

      amy June 5, 2012, 9:43 am

      I feel bad for the husband, I don’t fault him at all. People DO change, and he believed that she changed because she lied to him, and hid her true self. I think anyone can be tricked like that

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:46 am

        Its awful. The whole I Thought I Knew You. I feel really sorry for this guy.
        And the fact that the LW says “I apologized profusely (I meant it) and was crying at his feet” and then a couple lines later is all NBD, he’s blowing it out of proportion.

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      • avatar

        amy June 5, 2012, 10:16 am

        She has zero respect for him.

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    • avatar

      cporoski June 5, 2012, 4:32 pm

      I totally agree. I used to dance on bars in my late teens/early 20s and wouldn’t DREAM of doing that now. I can say that my husband knows that is in my past. I don’t fault him for believing her.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 5, 2012, 4:54 pm

        Hmmm, see when it comes to sexual preferences, I don’t think its a direct parallel to liking to go out and party when you’re young. Yes, when we are younger we are more adventurous in every way, but going to repeatedly to an S&M club is a little beyond normal experimentation. It takes a certain level interest that goes beyond just “Hmm, this will be an experience!” Particularly given the stigma around kink (although that is thankfully eroding somewhat), if people are into and engage in it, they usually have more than a passing interest in order to flout that taboo.

        I think he was a bit naive to accept her declaration of her kinkiness being all behind her without a bit of skepticism.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson June 5, 2012, 9:33 am

    Hahahaha awesome tag line. I really hope Wendy made this one up.

    Maybe I’m just a prude but I think you’re greatly under appreciating how many people, not just your fiance, feel about S&M and going to a club to play with another couple. That is pretty out there behavior – which I’m not saying that’s bad that you’re into it – you just need to find someone that is into it too. Don’t act like he’s ridiculous for feeling the way he does because it’s not that big of a deal – you knew it was a big deal to him and that’s all that matters.

    And you went to a club by yourself? For your bachelorette party? That alone is strange to me.

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    • katie

      katie June 5, 2012, 9:39 am

      what do you wanna bet there was some sort of sub-conscience last “party” before she was tied down for marriage thing goin on? like what men stereotypically do, but for her it was something she could only do alone, because she was lead to believe it is so “sick” by her soon to be husband?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:41 am

        Do you think we’d think differently if that were the case, and she said she just wanted to get it out of her system one last time?

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 5, 2012, 9:44 am

        I don’t think so. Only because she blatantly lied. She even made up a friend coming in town. And then called him dramatic. I think it was the lie that got me.

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 9:48 am

        eh, i dont know. maybe.

        in general, i dont like that line of thinking though. i think it trivializes the idea of marriage, and the idea of commitment in general. i mean, before you get married nowadays, you are already commited. like i was saying above about the game over tshirts and those awful cake toppers… marriage is so often seen as the end of your happy life, which it shouldnt be. so i guess if she did say that, i would still find fault in it. if there are activities you enjoy before marriage, and especially if you do those activities while you are committed to the person you ultimately marry, you should be able to keep doing those activites. marriage is not the end of your life.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 5, 2012, 9:44 am

      Yeh I don’t really get how it’s a bachelorette party if you are by yourself. A “party” involves more than one person, not counting the other couple the LW “played” with. I think that’s just the LW’s justification to herself. And there is nothing wrong with a bacherlor/bachelorette party being “PG” and not involving strippers/sex in any way. A lot of men I know do camping trips with their buddies while girls will just go out to a bar or have a sleepover. It’s a way of spending time with your friends while being respectful to your SO.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 9:50 am

        So my wine parties on the porch are really just one person lush gatherings? Great.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 5, 2012, 10:00 am

        Hahahahaha. I guess I’ve been partying all week.

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 10:00 am

        if you DW while your out there it counts as a party because were all there too!

        problem solved.

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    • avatar

      SweetPeaG June 5, 2012, 9:49 am

      “Don’t act like he’s ridiculous for feeling the way he does because it’s not that big of a deal – you knew it was a big deal to him and that’s all that matters.”

      YES!

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 5, 2012, 9:54 am

      I don’t actually think the LW thought of it as a bachelorette party, though. It’s just that her “bachelorette party” was a convenient night to visit the S&M club.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 5, 2012, 10:01 am

        I think that’s how she’s justifying it though. It’s okay it was my bachelorette party – you’re allowed to go to strip clubs – guys have done it since the beginning of time. (All that said in a whiny voice).

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 10:05 am

        Yup. She even threw out the “I told him he could do whatever he wanted.”

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 10:02 am

        exactly. that was just the cover for what was really going on… a convenient excuse…

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle June 5, 2012, 9:41 am

    LW, I think both of you have had blinders on in this relationship. What’s so appealing about him that you’re willing to overlook basic incompatibilies? Why are you trying to fit into a mold of how he views a good partner?

    A healthy relationship doesn’t consist of two people trying to strong-arm & shame each other into a vision of what they want. You’re not going to make your husband do a genuine 180 from “S&M is sick!” to “Oh, no bigs” any more than he’s going to keep you happy in a traditional marriage.

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    • avatar

      DMR June 5, 2012, 10:57 pm

      People make compromises in life. Good for you that it’s possible to find a perfect partner.

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  • avatar

    bethany June 5, 2012, 9:51 am

    Wendy was spot on.

    If you’re in a committed relationship with someone, you shouldn’t be doing things that you wouldn’t want them to know about- that’s shady. ESPECIALLY when you have to lie about it. To make things worse, you married this guy knowing that he didn’t approve of something that you are clearly into.

    When I was dating, one of my ‘requirements’ was that I didn’t want to date a guy who was really into video games. That was just something that I didn’t want in my life, and I didn’t want to date a guy who was really into them. It wouldn’t have been fair for me to date someone who was into them and ask them to stop playing. And it wouldn’t have been fair for a gamer to play on the sly and lie to me about it. (no offense to gamers).

    You should have been honest about who you are, and now you’re going to have to deal with the consequences of your actions.

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  • avatar

    sb_stewartlaing June 5, 2012, 9:53 am

    This relationship sounds like a big mismatch for both parties. This is why it’s important to ‘spit it out’ when it comes to sexual preferences, etc. It can be really hard to deal with mismatched ‘tastes’, even when both people are being honest (which obviously isn’t happening here– what a cesspool of lying and denial!). In my experience, a vanilla/kinky relationship can work, IF both partners are honest and can come up with a compromise that allows each person to be satisfied. However, if someone is disgusted by BDSM and the other feels a need to sneak around behind their back (and is willing to lie)…that’s a whole ‘nother problem.

    FYI, one can do non-sexual BDSM play. If that was the context, IMHO that isn’t cheating– the ‘lying to your partner’ thing is what bothered me about LW’s situation.

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    • avatar

      rachel June 5, 2012, 1:17 pm

      What would non-sexual BDSM consist of? I mean, even if everybody’s clothes are on, the point is that people get some sort of sexual satisfaction about the power play right?

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray June 5, 2012, 10:00 am

    In college I lived in a dorm that was on the south side of this pretty little quad; the dorm on the other side was the “north” side, naturally. Together they were the “S&N” dorms, which clever college kids sometimes called “S&M” for shits and giggles. Except I was the only person neither shitting nor giggling … because I didn’t get it. This was in 1997 before I learned how to google stuff, so I had to ask friends what “S&M” meant. They laughed at me. I was the most naive 18 year old in the world.

    There, that’s my S&M story for ya. Sorry, that’s all I got.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson June 5, 2012, 10:02 am

      I still don’t know what S&M stands for. But I know it involves whips and masks and balls and chains.

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 10:03 am

        sadism and masa-something. maybe?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 5, 2012, 10:05 am

        I also don’t know what sadism means.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 5, 2012, 10:06 am

        It’s the state of being sad. It’s a synonym for depression. Duh. Just go to your therapist, tell her you need pills to combat your sadism. Do it, do it.

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 10:12 am

        i think it means getting pleasure out of seeing people in pain.

        but thats funny. i also think i mis-spelled it.

        where are our freaky DW-ers? can someone explain this to us?

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      • call-me-hobo

        call-me-hobo June 5, 2012, 10:10 am

        Sadism means deriving pleasure from the pain inflicted on others, while masochism means deriving pleasure from pain that is inflicted on ones’ self.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 5, 2012, 10:12 am

        Nope, depression. I’m sticking with that.

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 10:12 am

        thank you! lol

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 5, 2012, 10:24 am

        Stop pretending that you’re so smart that you’re the type of person to get accepted to a prestigious university’s master’s program in nuclear medicine! Oh wait… 😉

        Still, depression.

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      • call-me-hobo

        call-me-hobo June 5, 2012, 10:09 am

        Masochism.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 5, 2012, 10:24 am

        Sado Masicism??

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 5, 2012, 1:31 pm

        It’s a macho guy who is sad. Like, imagine his girlfriend’s red thong got thrown in the wash with his white Ed Hardy shirt. He’d be sad.

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      • Lili

        Lili June 5, 2012, 1:35 pm

        Ronnie from Jersey Shore? I thought he was just a tool, but I guess the politically correct term for it is Sado Macichist–Good to know. Thanks DW for teaching me something new today 🙂

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle June 5, 2012, 10:04 am

    I just have to say that a party involves 2 or more people.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray June 5, 2012, 10:06 am

      Not necessarily the parties I throw. FML.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 5, 2012, 10:07 am

        (I’m kidding, everybody wants to party with Addie Pray.)

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      • avatar

        sarolabelle June 5, 2012, 11:37 am

        I’d party with you!

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  • avatar

    ChemE June 5, 2012, 10:20 am

    I’m not sure how you “play” with a couple and not consider that cheating. Just because you kept your clothes on, doesn’t mean you weren’t still being sexual with that person. You obviously went there for something sexual, for the turn-on, for whatever the hell, but you knew it was wrong.
    Which is probably why you WENT THERE ALONE!! I imagine that you trying to explain this fetish to someone else to go along, not to mention that it wasn’t with your soon-to-be husband, would be difficult. You knew someone would call you on your shit, so you went alone.
    You knew your husband wouldn’t have approved, because you hid it from him. By the way, how exactly did he find out? I mean if someone else told him, it’s probably pretty embarrassing for the guy. Something he finds “sick” he hears his wife was doing, with someone else, right before they were married. I’d be pissed to.

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  • avatar

    Calm June 5, 2012, 10:31 am

    Hell you don’t even think he has a right to be upset when you knew it would upset him.

    Way to respect his feelings.

    Annulment is still an option btw. Maybe one you should look into.

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    • katie

      katie June 5, 2012, 12:31 pm

      he would have grounds, i think. one reason for annulment is fraud. he could probably argue that she frauded him into thinking she liked vanilla sex….

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  • avatar

    Bossy Italian Wife June 5, 2012, 10:37 am

    Marriage is a serious business that involves a lot of trust. You lied to your future husband about something that involved sex…that is a BIG problem. And you knew what you were doing was wrong because if you didn’t think it was wrong, you wouldn’t have lied about it.

    I abhor when people tell-half truths, whole lies or just omit important details and then play dumb about what they did wrong. Your husband called you on your sh*t and well he should have. He was completely honest with you that your lie–not necessarily your behavior–would have been a marital deal breaker for him and you are thinking your head that HE is the one blowing it out of proportion?!

    What you need to do: a) is be honest about who you are to YOURSELF. Because the sooner you do that the sooner you will be able to live an authentic life. b) be honest with your husband because the lying about things isn’t going to work for you in a marriage.

    You have some soul-searching and groveling to do. If the s&m was that important to you, you needed to be up front with that before you married him. A couple should be able to have ALL kinds of sex exploration together. And you guys are missing the communication boat BIG TIME.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar June 5, 2012, 10:43 am

    You are crying at his feet for something you are clearly not sorry about – and HE’S the dramatic one? Now is the time for the truth. With yourself and with him. If this is how you want to live your life – that’s fine – this is not the partner for you and you are not the partner for him. So start the business of unravelling your lives so each of you can find the type of partner you actually want. I would write if you feel like this is not part of your the life you want then this is how to re-establish trust but quite frankly I’m not interested in perpetuating the deception either. This is you. How about you just be true enough to yourself to walk away from any potential partners in the future if they are not interested in the type of lifestyle you are interested in living… irrespective of whatever else they bring to your life because this part of you – doesn’t seem like it is going anywhere. I feel for your husband. I hope you care enough about him to let him go.

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    • avatar

      bostonpupgal June 5, 2012, 1:00 pm

      Ugh that sentence made me sick to my stomach. You’re crying and begging forgiveness while privately thinking what you did ‘isnt that big of a deal’? Isn’t that, oh I don’t know, MORE LYING?

      LW, own up to yourself and your husband. Look into anullment if you still can, and if not start the divorce proceedings before this goes any further. I would also look into some therapy to figure out why you are keeping your preferences so hidden, why you lied and cheated, and why you can’t or won’t be honest with yourself about the lying and cheating. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having some kink in your life, but cheating on your husband, lying, and then lying some more when you apologized is despicable.

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    • Leroy

      Leroy June 5, 2012, 1:42 pm

      I think there’s a pretty good chance that they’ve already broken up. Discovering that your new wife cheated on you with strangers at a sex club is one of those realizations that’s going to grow on you. If he has any self respect, or common sense, he’ll divorce her.

      The LW seems to have a basic problem w/ candor. She’s misrepresented her bachelorette party ( to strangers no less ), her sexual behavior is just ‘play’, she’s insincere and manipulative with her husband.

      And I suspect that the reason that she doesn’t want to be involved with someone who shares her predilections is because she doesn’t want to marry someone like herself. That seems to be very common.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 June 5, 2012, 11:01 am

    So you faked your Bachelorette party so you could go to a S&M club, and cheat on your fiancé with the hopes of him not finding out? Maybe you were really using this as a last time thing, to just get it out of your system before married life, but you shouldn’t have compromised what you believe in for somebody else, and you shouldn’t have went into your marriage with such a big lie. I don’t know if it is an age thing, but you two seem too far apart in what you believe in to make it work, so unless you can see yourself really changing for this guy, or this guy really changing for you, maybe you should let him get an annulment while he still can.

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  • avatar

    Anna June 5, 2012, 11:02 am

    Wow. I agree with everyone else here that you cheated and that’s a shitty thing to do to your new husband. You need to realize that you did do something wrong and apologize to him genuinely. If you’re lucky, he’ll forgive you.

    Don’t think I’m saying this because I’m a prude. So not the case. I bet we enjoy a few of the same things, but I strongly believe in being faithful to someone when you are in a relationship with them. Sure, you didn’t actually have sex or take your clothes off but neither of those things have to happen to entail cheating. If your husband goes to the bar behind your back and makes out with a random woman fully clothed, is that cheating? You bet it is. Or would you be ok with it because he kept his clothes on and didn’t actually penetrate her?

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie June 5, 2012, 10:10 am

    We all have a history that’s better be left undisclosed. The question in this case is whether or not her S&M past is over and done with or a suppressed need. Lying to him about what she did just before the wedding is the part that creeps him (and me) out. She should be honest with herself about what she wants. If it can’t be resolved then accept that and move on.

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  • avatar

    matcha June 5, 2012, 11:31 am

    You messed up. I’d be angry too. That’s really all I can say. You lied to your husband because you knew he’d be upset, then went out and had your fun and disregarded his feelings. And you’re STILL doing that by minimizing his reaction to your lying.

    Edited to say that I would have a hard time forgiving you.

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Michelle.Lea June 5, 2012, 10:32 am

    you cheated and you lied. if my husband did something like that, i’d have the marriage annulled. you knew from the beginning that he wasnt into the same things that you were, YOU should have done the right thing and moved on if you couldnt live with that.

    honestly, if it was me, i’d never be able to trust you again.

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  • avatar

    Marina June 5, 2012, 11:56 am

    Yeah, maybe it was a ‘last fling’, and you’d never do it again. I have to believe, though, that what this really was was selfishness. You wanted him, so you pretended you weren’t into S&M anymore so he wouldn’t leave you. You wanted to ‘play’ with another couple, so you lied to him about your bachelorette party. And you’re sure lying to yourself if you think what you did wasn’t cheating just because you had clothes on. It’s all about what you want, and you’re willing to deceive your husband to get it.

    From your comments on his bachelor party, I get that you’re a lot more adventurous than he is. And that’s fine, as long as both of you can compromise. Pretending you’re not and sneaking around behind his back to get your thrills is wrong.

    So, yeah, it was a big deal, and no, he wasn’t being dramatic. And if my new spouse pulled something like that, I’d really have to think hard about staying in the marriage.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. June 5, 2012, 11:59 am

    WHEN will people learn that when you are part of a couple it’s not about just you? LW may not think it’s a big deal, but he does and that makes it a big deal, or it should. Be kind and let him go. You have no respect for him or his wishes and I would be amazed if he ever trusts you again. I wouldn’t.

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    • katie

      katie June 5, 2012, 12:35 pm

      exactly. if anything is a big deal to one partner, it should become a big deal for the other partner. thats how it works.

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 5, 2012, 1:49 pm

        And if it’s something you can’t get over. Like sex or drinking habits, you should probably find someone more suited.

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    Tracey June 5, 2012, 11:00 am

    What Wendy said, plus this…any chance you had of possibly introducing your husband to your sexual interests, any chance you had to dispel the idea that S&M is “sick,” any chance you had of perhaps maybe integrating your sexual needs into your marriage were wiped out when you lied to your husband and he found out.

    Here’s the truly sick part: There may not be anything you can do to repair the damage you did when you betrayed your husband’s trust. You should try all you can, through counseling and being above board with him about yourself and your needs going forward. But if S&M is part of what you need to be sexually satisfied, and he’s not down with that, this marriage is most likely over.

    Sorry, LW, but you blew it. Now you have to face the consequences.

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    • avatar

      Tracey June 5, 2012, 11:07 am

      And now for something completely different: Does anyone know how to change one’s avatar? I’d love to update my pic, but don’t know how to do it….

      Reply Link
      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 5, 2012, 11:53 am

        I’m waiting for an answer to this, also! (I never quite figured out how to make an avatar…)

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      • avatar

        rachel June 5, 2012, 1:57 pm

        Up at the top of the screen where it says “Howdy, Tracey” there is an option to edit your profile. It’s in there.

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      • Tracey

        Tracey June 5, 2012, 5:16 pm

        Thank you, Rachel! I had my previous avatar from a while back (before the forums), so I had to create a profile. I’m all updated now….

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  • landygirl

    landygirl June 5, 2012, 12:11 pm

    Bangs head on the keyboard.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones June 5, 2012, 12:41 pm

    I agree with Wendy. It seems that the price of admission to your marriage was to not go to the S&M club or live that lifestyle. That was a breach of trust, but moving forward… what do you do? This seems like the type of letter Dan Savage would get… I wonder if LW wrote him also.

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    • avatar

      Tracey June 5, 2012, 12:58 pm

      I bet Dan’s advice would’ve been the same…only a lot more blunt.

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      • avatar

        Hobbesnblue June 5, 2012, 2:56 pm

        I was about to write that I really hope she submitted it to Dan Savage too. I agree with you Tracey that he would say the exact same thing, and I think he’d be blunt, but much more understanding about some facets of the situation than most of the commenters are being here. Navigating through genuine ethical differences of opinion (“playing in an S&M club is ethically acceptable” vs. “unacceptable”) with the person you love can be difficult and the temptation severe, whether it’s this, or hiding your smoking relapse in the alley behind your house. LW is hardly the first person to take the cowardly path of least resistance. NOT that that makes it okay.

        Also, I think some sympathy is deserved on the front of being a kinky person in the face of a judgmental person they’re trying to impress. Not everybody finds it so easy to go through the world unabashedly spouting and sticking to the kinkster version of “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.”

        All that said, while I have more sympathy for LW than most of the comments above, I do think Wendy’s reply was essentially correct. I can only hope that her husband called her S&M tendencies “sick” out of an ignorant knee-jerk reaction that they can learn to move beyond, and come to some sort of honest compromise.

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      • avatar

        Sue Jones June 6, 2012, 1:12 am

        Exactly. I hope they can move beyond this mistake. But again, if they agreed that she should not do the S&M lifestyle anymore as part of their marriage agreement, and she did it anyway, then that was a big screw up. If they can come to some agreement now and negotiate what is and is not ok as far as S&M playing outside the marriage and she can stick to it, then they have a chance. If not, then I don’t see much of a future for this marriage. I like that some couples can negotiate a “monogomish” agreement for their marriage, but it doesn’t sound like her husband is at all interested in that. So LW can either from here forward walk the line for the sake of the marriage or be honest and find a partner who is more accepting.

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  • avatar

    oldie June 5, 2012, 12:55 pm

    One wonders why LW was so anxious to marry a straight-arrow, 25-year older, divorced guy to whom she feels compelled to lie just before their wedding. He likely meant it when he said he wouldn’t have married LW had he learned the truth prior to wedding. That’s an awfully dim start for a marriage. Just get divorced now and be done with it.

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    • avatar

      GTR June 5, 2012, 11:44 pm

      One also has to wonder why a middle-aged-or-older man wants to marry a sexually freaky girl young enough to be his daughter. Besides the obvious reason, I mean… and that’s not much on which to base a marriage.

      25 year age gaps don’t have to be a big deal if the two people are on the same page. These two clearly AREN’T on the same page.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow June 5, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I think you’re lying to yourself, LW. You’re taking advantage of your husband’s vanilla views on sex to classify what happened as “not sex” because there wasn’t penetration or nakedness or whatever involved, when you know very well that it was a sexual experience for you. It’s pretty easy to do that with BDSM (“but we didn’t even touch! I just whipped the dude around and told him he was disgusting and forced him to eat my cigarette ashes!”), but it’s a big lie anyway. You know it was sexual, or you wouldn’t have sneaked around and try to keep it hidden.

    But I think he did his part to get you guys in this mess too (a much smaller part). You tried to tell him who you are sexually and since he didn’t like it he tried to shame you into never thinking of it again. He “freaked out” and told you he thought your past was “sick”, you don’t do that to people you love, it’s very disrespectful (too). And a lousy strategy, since it closed the possibility of ever discussing it again and put you on a path where your only choices were forgetting parts of who you were because he didn’t like them, or lying. It’s a pretty bad situation to put a future spouse in, and one that usually turns out terribly.

    He shouldn’t have tried to shame you into deciding you no longer want BDSM, you shouldn’t have let him do it, you both shouldn’t have married with such a big issue not solved but buried. And you shouldn’t have played with that couple. That still gets the crown. I think it’s probably too late to save this marriage. I don’t think there was ever something to save in the first place.

    Learn all you can from this, look for someone more compatible with you, and NEVER EVER lie to that person about what you want and expect it to go well.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow June 5, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I think you’re lying to yourself, LW. You’re taking advantage of your husband’s vanilla views on sex to classify what happened as “not sex” because there wasn’t penetration or nakedness or whatever involved, when you know very well that it was a sexual experience for you. It’s pretty easy to do that with BDSM (“but we didn’t even touch! I just whipped the dude around and told him he was disgusting and forced him to eat my cigarette ashes!”), but it’s a big lie anyway. You know it was sexual, or you wouldn’t have sneaked around and try to keep it hidden.

    But I think he did his part to get you guys in this mess too (a much smaller part). You tried to tell him who you are sexually and since he didn’t like it he tried to shame you into never thinking of it again. He “freaked out” and told you he thought your past was “sick”, you don’t do that to people you love, it’s very disrespectful (too). And a lousy strategy, since it closed the possibility of ever discussing it again and put you on a path where your only choices were forgetting parts of who you were because he didn’t like them, or lying. It’s a pretty bad situation to put a future spouse in, and one that usually turns out terribly.

    He shouldn’t have tried to shame you into deciding you no longer want BDSM, you shouldn’t have let him do it, you both shouldn’t have married with such a big issue not solved but buried. And you shouldn’t have played with that couple. That still gets the crown. I think it’s probably too late to save this marriage. I don’t think there was ever something to save in the first place.

    Learn all you can from this, look for someone more compatible with you, and NEVER EVER lie to that person about what you want and expect it to go well.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow June 5, 2012, 1:43 pm

    Oops, bad internet. Bad, bad, doubleposting internet. What are we going to do about you? (picks up paddle).

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny June 5, 2012, 2:16 pm

      I love listening to you talk dirty to the internet.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl June 5, 2012, 2:03 pm

    LW – in some ways I feel really bad for not (not least of all because of the verbal beating you are taking on DW today). Look, I can emphasize, someone you felt strongly about is repulsed by your sexuality. I imagine it was a blow when he described S&M as sick, but then you behaved like a high school student and refused to take the responsible course. Instead of deciding if this was a relationship deal-breaker, you dismissed a part of your life and let your partner believe it was something you were no longer interested in (lie 1). Obviously you still were because you decided to visit one for your bachelorette party (lie 2), you invented another bachelorette outing so as not to let your fiance get suspicious (lie 3), and then you ‘played’ with another couple (betrayal). You have also stated that you did not tell your now husband about the club visit, instead he was the one who figured it out (another betrayal). I personally have no idea if your marriage is salvageable, but if you honestly cannot give up S&M then you need to look into divorce because it is unlikely to change and your husband is unlikely to change his opinion either. Also, I would learn to respect your husband’s opinions and feelings STAT instead of dismissing them off hand as ‘no big deal’ – try visualizing if the shoe was on the other foot and how you would feel if he had lied and cheated on you. If you want to save your marriage I would also seek counseling to deal with your communication issues and hopefully rebuild the trust you destroyed.

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    • avatar

      rachel June 5, 2012, 2:11 pm

      Yeah, I think it’s kind of sad that the LW stayed with a guy who was disgusted by part of who she (obviously still) is.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 5, 2012, 2:33 pm

        who she WAS. She told him that was in her past. Its not like she said she was frequently doing it still.

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        rachel June 5, 2012, 3:16 pm

        No, that’s what I mean though, that’s why I think it’s sad. Clearly she’s still into BDSM if she went to the club for her “bachelorette party”, so that means she either lied to him when she said it was in her past, or, more likely, she lied to herself when she found out how he felt about it. I think it’s sad to have to suppress a part of yourself because a SO makes you feel bad about it.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy June 5, 2012, 3:57 pm

        Or frequently doing it in the past. I think that people may be exaggerating the degree to which the LW identifies herself by S&M. That doesn’t seem to be the core of the conflict here. Rather she thought she could get away with an infidelity, and got caught. She seems to have a much more casual attitude towards this sort of thing than her husband. Though I wonder how she’d react if he did something similar.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny June 5, 2012, 2:12 pm

    “I’m not sure what to say to him to make him feel better. I just want to bring some closure to this and try to make him see this really wasn’t that big of a deal.”

    LW, I’m sure you can tell from the rest of the commentary that we all for the most part think that it is totally a big deal. I’m sure you’re feeling attacked right now, and I empathize with that, really. At the same time, though, you come off as having very little empathy for your husband. You say you’re sorry, but you’re not, not really, or you would be trying to rebuild trust, not convince your husband that what you did wasn’t as bad as he’s making it out to be.

    Do yourselves both a favor and break it off. Find someone who will give you the lifestyle you want and let him find someone who will not find fidelity a chore.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow June 5, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I have a question…

    OK, so from past DW discussions I know that strip clubs are a big grey area where some people are cool with it and others aren’t. Also in the grey area are interactive porn sites.

    And forgive my ignorance because I don’t have any personal experiences with BDSM and don’t know what happens in an S&M club… but is this in any way comparable to going to a strip club and, say, getting a lap dance? She didn’t take off her clothes or have sex. She was sexually stimulated in a way that her partner can’t or won’t stimulate her… but couldn’t the same be said about a stripper? Or… what about a place like the Green Door in Vegas? What if she went and only *watched* other people have sex/do sexy things? Is that different or worse than a strip club?

    I DO believe what the LW did was wrong, first and foremost because she lied to him. She did something she KNEW he wouldn’t want her to do. But if, for instance, the LW was a guy who lied to his bride about going to a strip club and getting a lap dance for his bachelor party, would we all unanimously agree that it was “cheating” per se? Probably not. Lying, betrayal, and douchiness, yes – but cheating? That would depend.

    Anyway, I’m just debating with myself in my head and curious to see what others have to say about this.

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    • avatar

      ktfran June 5, 2012, 2:42 pm

      I agree in that I don’t think it’s cheating, per se. It’s honestly the lie that gets me in this case. And yes, I would be upset if my hypothetical future fiance lied and said he was going to play poker with friends for his bachelor party and instead went to a strip club (Although strip clubs don’t bother me). However, I probably wouldn’t marry someone who had fundamentally different views on what is and what is not appropriate.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 5, 2012, 2:53 pm

      I’m not familiar with S&M clubs either (at least, I’ve never been to one?) but I actually think it COULD be comparable to strip clubs? For example, the reasons for attending could range from “Oh, I was just curious/wanted to have fun” to “I wanted to be turned on/get touched sexually.” You can go to a strip club and just drink & watch the dancers, or you can get a private lap dance. At an S&M club, you can just watch the couples, or you can grab a toy and get involved. At both venues, there’s actually strict rules regarding boundries. So I don’t see much of a difference.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. June 5, 2012, 4:02 pm

      As with the other grey areas you mentioned, everyone has their own boundaries. Some people would say there was no cheating because there was no sex, everyone kept their clothes on, or there was no physical contact. Other people, given the exact same circumstances, would say that it is cheating. And in a committed relationship, if one person considers it cheating, it’s cheating. This is something that must be discussed at some point. (Yes, I am suggesting having that really fun conversation, “So what would be a deal-breaker for you? Kissing, touching, looking?” Mood- killer, but necessary.) I think an S&M club is similar to a strip club in that people go there to get turned on. In this case, LW engaged in sexually stimulating play with someone other than her partner. To some people, that constitutes cheating. (It does to me.) The fact that she lied about it makes it that much worse.

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    • avatar

      oldie June 5, 2012, 4:26 pm

      “I did not have sex with that woman…” (and she didn’t swallow, anyway). Umm, yes it was cheating. So would a lap dance be cheating.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 5, 2012, 4:35 pm

        Maybe it’s just my own internal conundrum, then. When I first read it, I thought it was for sure cheating. Now that I’m comparing it in my head to a strip club, it’s becoming less so to me.

        HOWEVER the lying is the dealbreaker that makes the rest moot. She knew she was violating an established boundary.

        I think I just find it interesting that the DW community is pretty unanimous in agreeing that what the LW did constitues cheating, but might consider if more of a grey area if it was a lap dance at a strip club. Is it because of the stigma and/or nature of S&M? Or are strip clubs just so ubiquitous in our society that many of us don’t think twice about it?

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      ele4phant June 5, 2012, 4:40 pm

      Well he considers it cheating, and that’s all that matters.

      Every individual has their own line in the sand, and a mature communicative couple is going to share and agree with their partner on those boundaries. For some, that means no contact of any kind with someone outside the relationship. For others, everything but emotional intimacy is fair game. But the boundaries should be discussed and mutually agreed upon. If that can’t agree on these basic boundaries, well that’s game over. No matter how much they love each other, they are incompatible.

      To be fair, it doesn’t sound like they sat down and had that conversation, and that’s a failing of his just as much as hers. But given her sneaky behavior, it sounds like she had a preeettttyyyyy good idea what the answer was going to be.

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    • theattack

      theattack June 5, 2012, 4:48 pm

      If my fiance went to a strip club, it wouldn’t be cheating. If he went to a strip club and hired a nearly-naked girl to grind onto his erection, then of course that would be cheating. Lying about it though? That would cross a major line that might even push the visit to the strip club into a cheating arena, because I would wonder why he was trying to keep it from me when he knows I’d be okay with it.

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    • avatar

      anonymous June 5, 2012, 5:07 pm

      Personally, I would consider a husband sneaking off to a strip club completly alone and “playing” around with a stripper to be cheating. Maybe it would be more of gray area for me if this stripping was just background entertainment for a large party. But even then there would still be the major issues of lying, disrespect, and incompatibility.

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  • avatar

    Jubietta June 5, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I see something odd here in the way LW blurs the line so that things which might otherwise be simple get complicated.

    I’m talking out of turn from speculation here, so please correct me if I’m making a faulty assumption…if S&M is a sexual proclivity where someone’s actual pain or suffering is key to the complete experience, then that feels like somehow sex and pain are tied together for LW. At least if it’s going to be a satisfying expereince. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, that’s not for me to say for someone else, but for me I like to have my sex separate from dealing with my own, or other peoples’, pain. (Separate, and damn unequal if I have my way. Yay sex. Boo pain.)

    Second, there’s some language in the letter that makes me wonder if the relationship between LW and her new husband has some serious parental components in it. Especially the line about “but inside I felt like he was being overly dramatic and blowing this way out of proportion.” That doesn’t feel like a caring partner’s response to hurting their beloved, that sounds like a teenager chafing at their parental harness. I have no experience with relationships that have a 25 year age difference, and I wonder if that doesn’t add to the attraction if LW has a daddy complex (or hubby has a daughter complex, or both). Again, I see a blending of emotions: romantic love and parental love.

    Are two examples enough to define a pattern? Are there more in the LW’s life that aren’t disclosed in the letter? I hope LW will look at this and include it in her forward plans.

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    • avatar

      cporoski June 5, 2012, 4:42 pm

      love your second point. very interesting!

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    • theattack

      theattack June 5, 2012, 10:00 pm

      I don’t know… I’ve definitely heard people of all ages complain about their partners (of comparable ages) blowing things out of proportion. I think it’s a pretty common complaint when either A) one person is particularly sensitive about something, or B) the other person doesn’t have the ideas about what’s appropriate.

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      • avatar

        Jubietta June 6, 2012, 2:08 am

        I agree that age difference is NOT the only reason a primary relationship can have hints of parental overtones, I’ve even seen it where the older person treats the younger person with the deference one usually shows a parental figure. Whatever the cause, I personally feel like that’s not the healthiest mechanism because it’s imbalanced and impedes personal growth. That’s just one opinion out of many and I am not a trained counselor, nor do I play one on TV.

        My greater point is that complaining about a partner’s response being out of proportion is less helpful in recovering trust and rebuilding a relationship than empathizing and accepting that reaction as valid and important and as the starting point for healing. When there’s a big power differential, like parent-child, that starting position is harder to get to because of expectations and history. When was the last time you saw a teenager say, “Sorry, Mom and Dad, I didn’t intend to piss you off so badly by lying about where I was Friday night. It sucks that I was so selfish and I understand that I really disappointed you. Can we please talk about me getting my own place so I can redefine our relationship so we can all have more realistic expectants of each other?”

        Also, most of us start life with parent-child relationships, if we’re lucky, and that’s ingrained and comfortable. I understand why those patterns can carry forward into our adult relationships if we aren’t conscious of it or looking for it. I’d just ask LW to ask herself if she’s on even footing with her spouse or if she feels like he has more power and did that lead her to decide (consciously or not) to create a cover (premeditated or after-the fact) for an action she took even though she knew it would cause a problem in their relationship.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 6, 2012, 10:10 am

        I certainly agree that it’s not even close to healthy, but I don’t agree with the parent-child type comparison. I think it’s a mark of not valuing your partner’s feelings or being willing to work through problems together, which seems like a common relationship problem to me – not a weird Daddy complex.

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  • theattack

    theattack June 5, 2012, 4:06 pm

    It’s okay to have different sexual interests in a relationship. Lots of couples are made up of two people with very different kinks, and that can definitely work if you’re honest about it and willing to respect your partner and reach decisions about it together. Your marriage’s issue has nothing to do with your sexual differences: It has to do with your lack of respect for him and your relationship. I’m just going to list out a few points for you to think about.

    – You giving him permission to do what he wants does not mean he’s giving you that permission too.

    – Your bachelor/ette party might be your last night out as a non-married person, but it’s not your last night out as a single person. You were ENGAGED, which is an incredibly serious, committed relationship. If it’s not okay to do it on any other day in your relationship, you shouldn’t assume it’s okay at the bachelor/ette party unless you guys have discussed it.

    – What is cheating? You’re pretty vague about what you did with that couple, but for almost every monogamous couple out there, P in V is not the only thing that constitutes cheating. People have all different kinds of opinions on it, but if you wouldn’t do something in front of your SO, you should reconsider whether or not you should be doing it at all.

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  • avatar

    BettyBoop June 5, 2012, 5:34 pm

    You violated the rules of the community as well of the rules of your relationship. “Safe, sane and consensual” means your primary partner consents whether or not he takes part in the action. In addition, you abused his trust and you don’t get to decide how he should feel.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant June 5, 2012, 5:51 pm

      Interesting point that not only was she violating the boundaries of her partner, but the boundaries of the people she was playing with. That’s not right either.

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  • avatar

    DMR June 5, 2012, 6:27 pm

    A lot of people see bachelor/bachelorette parties as a time when cheating is acceptable. LW. Look, you fucked up. Just apologize and he’ll get over it eventually.

    I wouldn’t write off your brand new marriage like some others are. I can see why you wanted to do this, as a kind of swan song to the past. You got busted.

    But don’t do anything rash. Whether the marriage ends is not your choice or your move. Hang in there and hope he does too.

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  • avatar

    DMR June 5, 2012, 6:37 pm

    I can’t believe the moralizing on this thread about S&M. Different strokes, folks.
    Would you react the same if she was talking about going to a gay club?!!! Okay then, so how about a bit of live and let live.

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    • JK

      JK June 5, 2012, 6:53 pm

      Sorry, but the “moralizing” I´ve seen has to do with the lying involved, not the kinks.

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      • avatar

        DMR June 5, 2012, 11:03 pm

        Then you didn’t read the thread very carefully.

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 11:06 pm

        are you serious?

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 5, 2012, 11:21 pm

        Reading DMR’s other posts – I think he thinks we’re all a bunch of fuddy duddy’s for expecting monogamy before marriage or during a bachelor/bachelorette party.

        Because honestly, NO ONE has said a word against BDSM abstracted outside of this situation.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 5, 2012, 11:28 pm

        Or not even expecting monogamy, just being upfront and honest beforehand.

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      • avatar

        DMR June 5, 2012, 11:45 pm

        yes, I’m serious. Here are some examples.

        “going to repeatedly to an S&M club is a little beyond normal experimentation. ”

        “I’m just a prude but I think you’re greatly under appreciating how many people, not just your fiance, feel about S&M and going to a club to play with another couple. That is pretty out there behavior”

        “What would non-sexual BDSM consist of? I mean, even if everybody’s clothes are on, the point is that people get some sort of sexual satisfaction about the power play right?”

        There’s more. I’m not going to catalog it all.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 6, 2012, 12:00 am

        Okay, let me address the first remark, as it is mine. That wasn’t said with any judgement, but a statement of what it is. S&M isn’t the “norm”, as in percentage wise, a minority of people are interested in it (or perhaps, given the stigma attached to it, a small minority of people feel confident enough to challenge that stigma). That does not make S&M bad, abnormal, weird, or sick; it just means its not the norm – the majority of people don’t practice it.

        In the context of my full comment, I meant that as this is a sexual interest that is shared by a small group, or that it is beyond the normal experience (and unfortunately does have a stigma to it) those who choose to act on their desires are fairly committed to it. So for the husband to assume his wife’s S&M was all behind her was dumb and naive on his part.

        I can’t speak for the other comments you’ve quoted, but I can assure I do not think there is anything wrong with someone making S&M part of their sex lives. There’s nothing wrong about, if it is being done in a safe and consensual way.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 6, 2012, 12:11 am

        And to be honest I would be upset if my SO went to S&M club and played without asking if I was comfortable with that first. Not because “Oh, its S&M!” No, its because he didn’t even respect me enough to be upfront and honest with me, and he engaged in a sexual experience without asking if I was comfortable with him going outside the relationship.

        Pretty simple.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 6, 2012, 12:39 am

        I take back what I said about not commenting on other’s statements, and want to comment on this one:

        “I’m just a prude but I think you’re greatly under appreciating how many people, not just your fiance, feel about S&M and going to a club to play with another couple. That is pretty out there behavior”

        While it perhaps is worded poorly, and I think the intent is not to deride the LW for her predilections for S&M, but instead to highlight that what is no big deal for her can be a problem for others (including the LW’s husband). Just as its not intrinsically bad if someone is into S&M, its also not intrinsically bad if someone finds it the opposite of erotic or exciting. And I would assume, just as its wrong to bully someone into suppressing their kinks, it’s also bad to bully someone who is vanilla into participating or being comfortable with something they are not interested in.

        Now, the husband obviously stepped over a line by calling her “sick”. That’s wrong. But at the end of the day, he’s vanilla, she’s kinky, they’re incompatible. And just because its not a big deal for HER, doesn’t mean its okay for her to insist it shouldn’t be a big deal for HIM. It is. Too bad they got married, they could have civilly gone their merry ways if they had both recognized they were incompatible when the issue first came up.

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        iseeshiny June 6, 2012, 12:43 am

        Way to take a bunch of quotes out of context.

        I don’t think anyone was condemning the LW. And yes, if she’d gone to a gay bar and “played” with someone there, I would be calling her out for cheating on her fiance. Also if she’d gone to her bff’s house for drinks and made out with him. Or if she’d jerked off a homeless dude in an alley downtown. None of these things are inherently wrong, although not all of them are things I would necessarily enjoy personally; the fact that she is in a committed relationship with someone who very much would object to her behavior is what’s wrong, and that’s what your out of context quotes are actually referring to.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny June 6, 2012, 12:44 am

        *I don’t think anyone was condemning the BDSM lifestyle.

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      • avatar

        DMR June 6, 2012, 2:12 am

        Well that’s how I read it. Maybe nobody intended to come across as intolerant and I accept that lots of people just chose their words poorly.

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      • katie

        katie June 6, 2012, 10:16 am

        You’re confusing agreeing with the LWs husband as agreeing with his views on S&M. The majority of people here agree with the husband that the LW crossed some serious boundaries… Not that S&M is sick. So most people here were speaking from the perspective of the husband trying to get the LW to understand why she crossed bounds… It has literally nothing to do with what method she used to cross said boundaries. She could have gone out and crossed them in the most vanilla way possible… But she still crossed them. That’s the point.

        And also, Rachel’s question about how S&M play happens without clothes coming off I was curious about too, because I know absolutely nothing about S&M. Please don’t equate curiosity with judgment. They are nowhere near similar.

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    • avatar

      Kelly L. June 5, 2012, 7:38 pm

      Going to a gay bar would be fine. “Playing” while at the S&M club is the equivalent of making out with one of the other patrons of the gay bar. It’s not the same as if she just got dressed up and went dancing there.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 5, 2012, 7:08 pm

    Eh, I think this is a mountain out of a molehill. The world in general is too hung up. Hey, had she actually gotten naked and nailed this couple I would get the mass outcry against this LW. But as it stands it seems to me like so not a big deal…

    That said, she certainly married a dud.

    He’s getting what he deserves. Adults that marry children (25 year age difference) aren’t exactly marrying anybody for their fucking mind.

    At any rate, I’m too busy enjoying my unexpected visit to Portland, Oregon to care much about these letters this week. But my, YES. What a kink phobic bunch the lot of you seem to be…

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    • theattack

      theattack June 5, 2012, 7:32 pm

      I don’t know. I jumped on the LW for the way she acted in her relationship, not because of her kinks. My fiance and I experiment with BDSM together, not with random strangers out in public without permission. That’s just part of monogamy, or really any relationship. You’re supposed to respect each other with honesty, monogamy, and keeping to the boundaries you agreed upon together. The LW did none of that for her then-fiance, now-husband.

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    • katie

      katie June 5, 2012, 8:04 pm

      you gotta go to the saturday market. i dont know where that was but there was a bunch of good food and cool art and stuff- if you like those fair things.

      voodoo donuts for sho. get that bacon one. so yummy. we went on sunday night at like 10:30 and waited about 30 minutes, i think..

      there is a restaurant at the 30th floor of one of the high-rises.. alright food. get the kung pao calamari, that was my favorite part of our meal. it has a way cool view if its not raining!

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      • avatar

        Rachel June 5, 2012, 10:00 pm

        Ooh, I think I had drinks at that restaurant when I was in Portland.

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    • Budj

      Budj June 5, 2012, 8:17 pm

      I’d be pretty livid if my hypothetical wife was “helping” complete strangers have sex….

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      • Leroy

        Leroy June 5, 2012, 11:01 pm

        I don’t regard spanking as helpful. It stings, and it’s distracting.

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      • Budj

        Budj June 6, 2012, 12:42 am

        hahahahaha touche….but it might also help flex those p.c. muscles adding to orgasm 😉

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie June 5, 2012, 7:25 pm

      Mark, it isn’t about what she did or didn’t do at the club, rather that she lied about it knowing in advance how he felt about it. Your most likely right about why he married her and she was most likely wanting him for financial support. Nothing wrong with that or the club lifestyle. But if you can’t trust your wife/lover/partner it can only lead heartbreak.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 5, 2012, 7:33 pm

        I agree with you eddie. This has NOTHING to do with having a problem with her kink, and everything to do with the fact she knowingly violated boundaries and wants off the hook for it.

        Ultimately, its a shame they got married in the first place. Its clear she’s into S&M (which is not a bad thing in and of itself) and he’s vanilla (also not a bad thing in and of itself). But that’s a pretty fatal incompatibility to overcome.

        They should have abandoned this relationship when that first came up – or tried to compromise and find a workable solution. Instead, he reacted like a dick about it, and rather than challenge him or dump him, they buried it until it eventually reared its ugly head.

        BTW BGM – make sure you get to Voodoo Donuts while you’re up there.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 5, 2012, 7:43 pm

        Hah! Voodoo Donuts is already on the list…

        Eh, I think with all these new definitions of cheating… Emotional Cheating. Strip clubs = cheating… we have actually made ACTUAL, you know, real life infidelity/cheating trivial… I mean, if a too close friendship or one wild night out at a nudie bar is suddenly in the same boat as actually banging somebody — why not just bang somebody? Seriously, everybody. Think. About. That.

        I’ve never ever thought that a strip club was that big a deal anyway. But I suppose it could be that Portland is rampant with strip clubs… Hit up Silverado last night and the boys were simply beyond stunning. Woo Hoo! May have to visit there again… 🙂

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 5, 2012, 7:49 pm

        Fair point. Maybe we should stop slinging around the word cheating so frequently. However, I still think the new husband is justified in feeling angry about her behavior, not only her being in a sexually charged situation with others, but also her blatant lying to him. That’s not a good start to a marriage.

        And I think it was pretty idiotic of them to get married when they KNEW, long beforehand, that they were sexually incompatible. Why would you marry someone and commit yourself to a lifetime (well, she may still be around a long while after him) of a sex that doesn’t fully satisfy you? Why would you marry a partner you have to worry about, or won’t indulge you once in a while. Marriage is hard already – why make it assured you’ll be miserable?

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      • avatar

        anonymous June 5, 2012, 8:23 pm

        I don’t necessarily think strip clubs = cheating, but it would qualify for me if my husband was off by himself “playing” with an stripper who was volunteering for free. But maybe I don’t understand; I’m pretty unfamiliar with the whole S&M club scene. No problems with other peoples kinks, though. You have a point about watering down the definition of cheating. I guess people just have to figure out what works for them in their private relationship.

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    • avatar

      Asia June 5, 2012, 10:22 pm

      Moreover, get the Voodoo Doughnuts beer.

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      • katie

        katie June 5, 2012, 11:01 pm

        i brought that back for my boyfriend!! is it good??

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie June 5, 2012, 7:12 pm

    Her rational/excuse is that they weren’t married yet. Sorry but that doesn’t fly. Marriage starts way before the wedding with trust and understanding. She failed to trust and he failed to understand. The incident got shoved into her closet and come flying out to shatter the trust he had. I can’t imagine that the damage can be repaired. If it were me, I’d bail but that’s because I don’t understand S&M nor wish to. I got nothing out of “50 Shades of Gray” and regret buying it. The delete key was exercised on my Kindle copy as soon as I discovered what it was about.

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    • theattack

      theattack June 5, 2012, 7:34 pm

      What I don’t get about the “we weren’t married yet” argument is that people preparing to get married are ENGAGED. You should start acting married when you get engaged, because you’re committed.

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    • avatar

      DMR June 5, 2012, 10:40 pm

      As I said earlier, that’s not a universal view. There’s a common attitude that bachelor/bachelorettes nights are a time when it’s acceptable to do things that would otherwise be considered cheating.

      Actually such an attitude shows that the ‘marriage’ boundary is real: these are things that you do before the big day. In almost every case, they are done for the specific reason that the person never intends to do them again. That’s the whole point!

      Now you all might not like those values, and think that ‘a promise of marriage is not marriage’ but those are the values standards that many, many people hold.

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  • Budj

    Budj June 5, 2012, 8:12 pm

    It was pretty fucked up to do what you did….but I think what is even more an issue for you is that by associating this absolutely personal negative association with S&M has pretty much ruined any chance you ever have of getting your husband into it over time. He will probably always associate this with his perception of your infidelity….

    As far as “playing” is concerned there is a lot of gray area here….MOST of which would be considered cheating…I think the minority of hypothetical situations I could play out in my head here would not be considered cheating.

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  • avatar

    DMR June 5, 2012, 10:50 pm

    It’s not cheating if it occurs at a bachelor/bachelorette night.
    The whole point of cutting loose is that people have respect for the actual event of marriage, and are doing things they wouldn’t do after the deed.

    As for hiding things? phhht. How many husbands provide a detailed description to their wives of the porn they are into … or even mention that they are viewing porn? (in anticipation of the “my husband tells me everything” brigade, that’s great but not all husbands do).

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    • katie

      katie June 5, 2012, 11:05 pm

      “It’s not cheating if it occurs at a bachelor/bachelorette night.”

      that is a belief that i wouldnt hold against other people if they believed it, but i hope that you know that is not a widely accepted view. a committed relationship is a committed relationship and is made that much more important after an engagement. if that was really that accepted there would be almost no women who wrote in here (or talked anywhere else) about their husbands doing shady things at strip clubs on their bachelor parties… and its quite obvious that happens all the time. so, no. thats cool if you dont think that its cheating if it occurs on a bachelor party, but the majority of people do.

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      • avatar

        DMR June 5, 2012, 11:48 pm

        “but i hope that you know that is not a widely accepted view”

        Yes, it is a very widely accepted view among men. At bare minimum, it’s almost compulsory to hire a stripper at such an event.

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      • avatar

        DMR June 5, 2012, 11:53 pm

        I should add that I personally don’t think much of such events, I don’t drink, and am in other respects basically not your typical guy; in fact I’d be more likely to do what LW did than get drunk and hire strippers. But that’s what guys do. And they consider it not only normal, but a rite of passage.

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      • Budj

        Budj June 6, 2012, 12:44 am

        None of the pre-wedding festivities I have been involved with (6 now) have included strippers for a bachelor party. I think it is more a stereotype than anything. For me – I don’t want it and I’d be pissed at my groomsmen for not knowing me well enough to know that.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny June 6, 2012, 12:46 am

        It’s nice to finally meet the person who speaks for all men, everywhere, ever. I’d started to think you were mythological.

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      • avatar

        DMR June 6, 2012, 2:16 am

        I’m not speaking for all men. In fact, I don’t even enjoy that crap. I’m merely pointing out the obvious.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 6, 2012, 2:35 am

        But as Budj points out, and as I have observed from my brothers and guy friends, this isn’t necessarily “obvious”, what actually happens, or what is even wanted. In fact you yourself don’t enjoy the concept. Although I know none of our pooled knowledge can be generalized to the whole male population – the evidence still suggests the wild, stripper filled nights of debauchery are mostly just a cliche. Sure, they happen for some, but does that make them “compulsory”?

        From all the bachelor parties I’ve heard of from my male friends and peers, a lot of them involve hanging around and playing video games until five in the morning. The only boobs they see that night are Lara Crofts Cuh-razy!

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 6, 2012, 2:40 am

        For the record – I have never even heard of the female equivalent, where we all go out, get shit-faced, and pass around all sorts of penis-shaped knick-knacks. And that stereotype is nearly just as pervasive as the male.

        And I’ve yet to hear of one such bachelorette party, much less have been to one.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 6, 2012, 10:17 am

        My best friend’s bachelorette party was almost exactly that. We had a potluck dinner, had some drinks with penis-shaped straws, pin the penis-on-the-naked-dude, and maybe some other dumb stuff, just for the purpose of being silly. And then we went out to some bars later. But it’s still really different from the guy’s stereotypical version, because there are no actual penises, and it’s not sexual at all. It’s more about friends acting stupid together.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny June 6, 2012, 12:52 am

        PS. Other men might not think that it’s cheating, but I can promise you that if my husband had “cut loose” at his bachelor party I would consider it cheating, and in that case my opinion is the one that matters, so.

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      • avatar

        Jubietta June 6, 2012, 2:17 am

        In Las Vegas a stripper on the street said to my hubby, “A blow job isn’t cheating, honey!”

        I’m so glad he didn’t believe her!

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  • avatar

    JaqAttack June 6, 2012, 10:59 am

    A) How is this not cheating?

    B) Why marry someone eho isn’t sexually compatible with you ??!

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  • avatar

    LTC039 June 8, 2012, 9:08 am

    Sigh… This is so frustratingly ignorant and great example of why the divorce rates continue to grow. If you can’t sacrifice things for the person you’re with, then DON’T. That is an obvious sign that you two shouldn’t be together. You like S&M clubs, he is disgusted by it. Two options a) you give it up for a relationship with him or b) you find someone who shares that interest bc it is obv. important to you. It’s that simple!
    But then you go & pull something like this, which quite frankly was cruel & selfish, & expect him to “get over it”. Well guess what, you have no say in that! YOU messed up and you were more than able to determine what you did was WRONG.
    I’m not saying you had to give up your sexual interests, I’m saying you should’ve put more thought into marrying someone who is “25 yrs older than you & a little old fashion in sex & relationships.” You already knew who he was before you married him. You CHOSE to look past that, as he did your sexual past, & proceed with marrying him. Think about it.

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