Shortcuts: “My Boyfriend is a Chronic Cheater”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

My boyfriend used to cheat on his previous girlfriends. He told me he has been with multiple girls at once — sometimes three a night (I know that’s terrible). But, we have known each other ever since I was 16, and since we started dating a year ago it’s been great. I haven’t found any messages or calls from other women and he always comes home to me every night. We got engaged two months ago, and he promised me on his dead grandpa that he does not want to be the man he was in his past and he does not cheat anymore. He says that I’ve changed him in a good way and he wouldn’t do anything to lose me. But he recently asked me if he could go out of town to work in Texas for 14 days and I don’t trust the men he is going with because I know for a fact that they cheat on their wives/girlfriends. Should I let him go? Can I trust him? — Scared to Let Him Go

I think that if you’re concerned about your boyfriend going on a business trip because you’re afraid he’s going to cheat on you, you probably shouldn’t be marrying the guy. Let him go… in more ways than one.

I just found out that my husband has been searching Craigslist personal ads. The worst part of all is that I found more m4m ads than anything else. We talked about everything I found and he swears he’s not bisexual or gay but that we have been fighting a lot and so he has thought about being with men. How can he say he’s not into guys? He told me like all the men from your other post “he will never do it again” and that he wants to be with me. I am sitting here dumbfounded. Should I leave the marriage and let him find himself? To be honest, I don’t think I could ever look at him the same again. — Dumbfounded

There are serious issues at play both in your relationship and in your husband himself if he’s cruising Craigslist in search for something he has either lost or never had. Whether you two can overcome these issues and salvage your marriage is something best determined in therapy.

I cheated on my boyfriend of over a year, with my ex boyfriend. Should I tell my current boyfriend? Or is it fate my ex walked back into my life? We text, but as friends, and it’s like my feelings for him went away but then gradually came back the more we talked. I love my boyfriend to death and he lives with me, but he doesn’t give me the attention I need, or treat me like I’m his number one, unlike my ex, who does. What should I do? — Back to Ex

Start finding validation in something other than a guy. In the meantime, break up with your boyfriend. You obviously aren’t committed to him and have no intention of ceasing all communication with your ex, which is what you’d need to do for your current relationship to have a fighting chance.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. yikes what a batch today!

    LW1, if the only reason you trust your boyfriend is because you dont find random girls calling him and that he goes home with you every night, you dont actually trust him. real trust is when he says “im leaving for 14 days for work” and you dont bat an eye at it. you dont have trust, you have a false sense of security because of current circumstances.

    LW2- why is the “worst part” that he is seeking out men? you should be concerned that he is looking outside of your agreed upon structure of marriage- and it shouldnt matter what form that comes in. the fact that you are placing so much on the fact that “OMG ARE YOU GAY??” is counterproductive for you, i promise. you are hurting the whole situation with that.

    LW3- WWS. jesus, get something positive out of life that doesnt come from a man. you need to leave both of these guys and work on yourself.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Idk katie. And I’ll probably get heat for this, but I would be doubly worried if I found out my spouse were not only cheating, but cheating with someone of the opposite sex. That’s pretty much double the lies: 1. being faithful, 2. being straight.
      I wonder how a gay person would feel in this scenario. If your partner cheated on them with the opposite sex, would it make it worse?

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        We found out that my friend’s ex-boyfriend had been sleeping with men from craigslist. It made it worse because it makes you feel like you didn’t know that person. They were lying about their sexuality, their sexual activities, and their sexual history. I’m sure it just makes you feel like “who are you?”, especially when you are married to that person.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Yes, exactly. I had this happen with a close girlfriend who was engaged to a “straight” man. Found him with another guy and for her, it was worse because he basically lied about who he was as well as lying about being faithful. Double whammy.

      3. Hmm yeah, I think I agree. If you’re with somebody who told you they were straight, have only (to your knowledge) been with those of the opposite sex, never expressed interest in same-sex encounters, & then you find out they’re seeking out those of the same sex all of a sudden? I can understand a bit why the LW is focusing on that.

        I’d react similarly if it was anything out of my partner’s ordinary though, I think—like, if I found my boyfriend talking to some girl our same age, who looked kinda like me (he has a definite ~type~) then I’d be like, “k, makes sense.” But if I found out he was talking to grandmas, I’m sure I’d be like, “what the hell? I didn’t even know you were into grandmas.”

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Love that grandma analogy! Good point.

      5. Think about it, Fab. If you are together long enough, you get to sleep with a partner of every decade in age. I’ve slept with women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. With the exception of 20s, it was all the same woman. True, she’s not an actual granny, but she is old enough. But if my 20something self thought about sleeping with 50 yo M, what would my reaction be?

        And this is why I always repeat: relationships are just so complex.

      6. Oh god, my life is flashing before my eyes.

      7. If my life flashed before my eyes, I’d definitely pay extra attention to all the sex I’d had.

      8. oh ok, see to me, that is a seperate issue, because if those revelations came out WITHOUT the cheating -and that happens too- you still have those same thoughts.

        someone you thought you knew revealing that they are more complex or completely different sexually then what they told you is a different issue from straying outside of a marriage. and putting emphasis on the fact that a partner is cheating with someone outside of their sexual “normal” or the sexuality that you thought they had, is scapegoating and maybe people do it to feel better about the cheating itself?

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        Hmm, yea I don’t think we disagree. Its just two different issues. Both aren’t great.

      10. yea, like, not that its NOT an issue that he has either hid and/or not come to full realization about his sexuality- but thats different then the cheating. and people always want to deflect cheating issues into something else, and in this case its the gay thing.

      11. They really aren’t seperated issues though when they are happening together. If she had found out that he had previously been with men before her, and also that he cheated, that would be two seperated issues.

        Cheating with other men would be 100% deal breaker for me. Cheating with women might be, might not, depending on the circumstances.

      12. hmm. that makes no sense to me. you’d give someone another chance if they stayed within your view of them, but you wouldnt if they showed a new side of themselves? would you also never be with a man who had previously had sex with men or who identified as bisexual?

        what if you had a very vanilla partner and you found out he was cheating, still with women, but in very hardcore BDSM?

        and i disagree that if they are happening together they are automatically the same issue. that doesnt make sense to me either. and anyway, cheating is never an actual issue, it is always a symptom of a larger issue.

      13. lets_be_honest says:

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Some people are ok with their partner being Bi, some aren’t. That’s fine. Plus, if my partner lied about a huge part of himself, rather than a one time cheat or whatever, yea, that’d be way worse.

      14. Well, sometimes how you feel isn’t 100% logical. I just know I would have issues being with a man who I knew was attracted to men.

      15. also, what would you do if your partner came to you and revealed that he had always been bisexual or gay and that he never knew or never had the courage to admit it til now- no cheating, he just discovered that part of himself?

      16. It would be the end of the relationship for me.

      17. hmm ok, so then for you, the orientation of your partner means more then fidelity.

        i disagree because i think (agreed upon) fidelity is much more important.

      18. lets_be_honest says:

        But if Jake was gay, he would want to be with a man, not you. How could you stay with someone and never have enjoyable sex again? I don’t think it’d even be nice to Jake to stay with him if he were gay.

      19. I think the case is if the dude were secretly bi, not if he were gay.

      20. lets_be_honest says:

        I hear you, but katie did say bi OR gay.

      21. yes, if by “im gay” he meant that he did not want/could not have a romantic/sexual relationship with me anymore… but he could still think that he is gay, but want to stay with me. ive read stories about that, so i wouldnt want to count it out

        like you, i wouldnt be mad -how could you be mad?- but there would be a period of transition, either out of the relationship, or into a different format of a relationship, or just of my own vision of who and what jake is.

        but in general, i would be 100% willing to go through that process with him. i would want to 1. help him figure it out and 2. possibly transition our relationship to something different, if that was feasible. i would not 100% be willing to work through cheating.

      22. lets_be_honest says:

        I can’t imagine its healthy (for either party) to stay with someone who is only attracted to the opposite sex that you are.
        But generally, I really like your answer. I mean, we are talking about someone you LOVE. You want to help them through whatever hardship they are dealing with.

      23. It’s not that one is worse, I just know that I wouldn’t be attracted to him anymore if I knew he were attracted to men. It’s not like I don’t care if my partner cheats as long as he’s straight.

      24. Orientation affects fidelity in this case. If the guy is gay, or even bi-, and has already been searching the ads from men on Craigslist, then we know that LW is never going to be enough for him. If his orientation was strictly toward women, then there would be a shred of possibility that he and LW could hash this out and have a monogamous future, especially since no evidence he has done more than look. But since he is attracted to men, and already exploring the mechanics of cheating, no shred of hope for LW.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        That’s very different than realizing it, acting on it and THEN telling your partner.

      26. oh i realize that, i was just wondering what the answers would be in the different scenarios.

      27. lets_be_honest says:

        I wouldn’t be mad or anything, but I don’t know that I’d continue the relationship. Would that even be healthy for either party. If my boyfriend were going through that, I’d be happy to be there for him as a friend, but don’t think it’d be good for either of us to continue the relationship at least until he figured himself out.

      28. kerrycontrary says:

        I wouldn’t be with a bi/gay man. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’m turned off by man on man sex (just visually). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a straight woman wanting to be with a straight man (and vice versa) and some gay men/women only want to be with partners who are also gay and not bi. I DO think we all exist on some sort of Kinsey sliding scale, but I just know I don’t want to be with a man who wants to be with a man.

      29. I’d be fine with bi, but not with gay!

      30. I’d be okay with that (well, I guess I’d only be okay with the bisexual thing, for selfish reasons… since him being ~gay~ would presumably mean he was no longer interested in me, which would be upsetting?)

      31. End of the relationship for me as well because I would want no part of either living a lie, being a beard, or quite frankly – prevently someone I loved from being true to themselves.

      32. *And that goes for gay or bi. I’m not bi… we wouldn’t be compatible anymore. I want to marry, love and have children with a straight man, especially since that’s what I would have signed up for in this scenario. If I knew at the beginning that he was bi it would have probably resulted in me not even dating him… no judgement it’s just not my thing and I would want either person in the relationship to be stuck trying to conform to something they are not.

      33. The not wanting to be with a bi person thing kind of intrigues me. I think I’ve become more and more bi over the last few years. Should this be a problem for my bf? I hope not. (Also, he knows).

      34. @sas… but he knows. You are being open and honest about yourself and what may or may not come up in your future relationship. This is a totally different scenario where there have been marriage vows (maybe taken before god, maybe a god that isn’t ok with homosexuality, I don’t know) and you find out your partner isn’t being honest. Not with you and likely not with himself. It’s not a project I would be willing to take on with someone who wasn’t respectful enough with me to be honest in the first place.

        Did anyone else read the Dear Prudence where the guy’s wife wasn’t interested in sex anymore because of cancer treatments so he went out and hooked up with a guy he met at a club, all the while insisting he wasn’t into guys but he just needed to feel good and liked the attention? I just don’t understand where that comes from… There’s a lot of selfishness involved, and I would not be able to live my married life wondering what else I don’t know about my husband… who wasn’t honest with me about something really fundamental and may have already been cheating on me.

      35. The only person who can decide if it’s a problem for your bf is your bf. If he knows and is okay with it, then it’s not a problem. But it would be for some people.

      36. I guess I would just not have thought it could even be a problem. To me it’s really just an orientation. I don’t think anything will come up because of it. I’m committed to him and that’s that. Being attracted to some women doesn’t influence that.

      37. But why? If he’s staying monogamous to you, and he’s certain about that monogamy, why does it matter to you? At the point of marriage, isn’t he functionally straight? He’s not going to be fucking dudes anymore. (I know he’s still attracted to dudes, but he’s also still attracted to other chicks, too.)

      38. Yeah, it’s not like a bi person has to be with another bi person, or has to have sex with people of both genders. It’s just an orientation.

      39. I honestly do not know how I would feel in this situation. I agree that orientation and fidelity are two different issues. Cheating is cheating, whether it be with a man or a woman. But, I don’t know how I would react if my SO told me he was bi. I just don’t know.

      40. I guess to me it’s more a matter of compatibility than mere monogamy. I also don’t understand the term “functionally straight” and as I wrote above, if I met a guy and he told me he had fucked dudes, we would have never gotten beyond that point in the relationship. It’s a huge turnoff for me, and I’m entitled to make informed decisions in my relationships. This LW’s husband isn’t allowing her that choice.

      41. Another Anon says:

        (Replying to MMcG) Functionally straight means you’re still attracted to both sexes, but because you’re in a monogamous relationship, you only happen to actually have sex with one person, who happens to be of the opposite sex. If that person wasn’t in the picture, you could still happily have a relationship with either – you haven’t “become” straight – but your current relationship is straight. The fact that this is so counter-intuitive for you makes me think you don’t know what bi actually is. Do you think that bi means you have to have sex with both to be happy? Because it actually means you can have sex with either, and be happy.

      42. Interesting. I felt like Katie was just saying it’s counterproductive to focus on the gay thing. I think it would be more of a shock to me if I believed that he had been gay the whole time and our marriage was like a cover-up or a sham. But if he’s bi or just likes fantasizing about men, then who cares – AS LONG AS he stays committed. The thing is, he is secretly seeking outside relationships, so I’d probably leave him whether he cheated with a man or with a woman.

      43. yes, basically this.

      44. Yeah, this…for me, it’s that if he was only gay, that means he doesn’t really want to be with me, and so our relationship needs to end (with or without any cheating) because he should date dudes and I should date dudes who like ladies. If he’s bi, but faithful, who cares. If he’s unfaithful (with either sex), that’s a whole other problem separate from his orientation.

      45. I agree. But I don’t really believe in gay or straight, so the m4m thing wouldnt phase me as much as the fact it’s anyone seeking anyone for sex while in a committed relationship.

        Personally I’d feel better if a guy was seeking out men than women. I mean I’m not male so I wouldnt take it as personally as I would if it was a girl. When I was cheated on before, I compared myself to the girl and kept thinking “what does she have thay I don’t?”. If it was a guy, I wouldn’t be comparing because it’s apples and oranges at that point.

      46. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I agree. I feel like a persons sexual orientation, how ever they decide to define it, is part of the core of a person. If I suddenly found out GGuy was cheating and it was with a man, well he would have broken my trust and lied to me about a core part of him. Double whammy.

      47. Just food for thought… I think a lot of homo-attracted people who cheat on their hetero partners have also been lying to themSELVES for a long time, convincing themselves they are straight and that their homo-attraction is a shameful kink, and may even still be in deep denial of it on some level. When you can’t even be honest with yourself, how could you be honest with your partner?

        To me, the sense of “You lied to me” is one of feeling betrayed that your trusted loved one willfully deceived you. But I think sometimes in these cases it’s not really a willful deception, but a desperate avoidance of the truth. It’s a very fine line, and still dishonest, but I don’t know, that makes a difference to me?

      48. kerrycontrary says:

        I agree with you KKZ. I know that a lot of people have deep seated shame about their sexuality so they have trouble coming to terms with it with themselves, nonetheless another person/the whole world. BUT, I think that it’s also 2013 and people should figure that out before they marry someone.

      49. I see your point – my only counterpoint is there are plenty of examples of people who didn’t have their sexuality figured out for themselves until way later in life, far past marriage and kids and all that. And also the old blah-blah that sexuality is a spectrum and many people don’t stay fixed to a certain spot on that spectrum for their entire lives.
        Not saying this to invalidate your point, just to represent other realms of possibility.

      50. kerrycontrary says:

        Nope, I feel ya. it’s a gray area.

      51. Yes, that’s a very good point.

      52. GatorGirl says:

        I know what you mean, but I would still feel betrayed. Logically it may not 110% make sense but it is what it is. We’ve also had extensive talks about sexuality and our own views of our sexuality, so if it randomly popped up after our personal history I’d feel extra betrayed.

      53. I get that. But, if my SO told me that he is just discovering that he is gay, I wouldn’t necessarily accuse him of lying, but I would end the relationship because that is not what I signed up for. I signed up to be with a man who likes women. I wouldn’t hate him, provided he talked to me about it as soon as he started to figure it out, rather than after he slept with another man.

      54. As a lesbian dating someone who is bi (and who has previously only had sex with guys), I don’t know if I know the answer to that. If it were a girl she were to cheat with, I’d think I wasn’t good enough at what I was offering, so to speak. If it were a guy she were to cheat with, I’d think I wasn’t offering the right package, if you will. I don’t think that one would hurt more than the other, honestly, because they’d both be awful (obviously). But I do think that I’d be more surprised if she cheated with a girl than with a guy.

        But it wouldn’t be double the lies. I know she’s bi.

      55. Yes, I guess it’s much easier not to take it personal if you are cheated on with someone of the oposite sex (oposite to yours). For a very very simple (and imperfect I’m sure) analogy, it’s like owning an icecream shop and realizing your best friend, who lives close by, walked a few extra blocks to go get icecream someplace else. It doesn’t feel so good, it makes you wonder if she thinks your icecream is bad, or maybe she’s mad at you. But if she walked the extra blocks to go get hummus someplace else? I guess she just wanted hummus. So: Not Personal(TM).
        I guess that’s why people focus on the “with someone who is not my gender” of cheating. So they don’t have someone to compete with and it hurts less.

      56. AliceInDairyland says:

        Best analogy of this whole thread.

      57. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        See I think it’s a lot worse because to me – sexuality isn’t a choice. It is like being born a female or being born white. I didn’t choose those things. So even though you can’t “tell” someone’s gay – I think it’s one of those base qualities about a person that is so much of their core – that if they lie about it it’s like WTF.

    2. For me it would be worse, because now it’s not just that my husband has been unfaithful, but that he’s been unfaithful AND probably into guys. Double the shock.

  2. lets_be_honest says:

    I gotta side with the husband as being truthful. I know every single time I fight with my boyfriend, I go lesbian. Its just what happens. You fight with one sex, you want the other.

    1. Thanks for the laugh today lbh!

  3. kerrycontrary says:


    LW1: I’ll add to what wendy said–you are the company you keep. If your boyfriend constantly spends time with men who are openly unfaithful to their wives/girlfriends/husbands/whatever, your boyfriend is more likely to engage in that behavior since its seen as socially acceptable. Plus you clearly don’t trust him.

    LW2: Your husband is gay or bisexual. No doubt about it. People just don’t switch their sexuality when they’ve been fighting a lot with their spouse. I mean, really? Also, he’s looking to cheat on you (either with a man or woman) instead of dealing with your marital problems.

    LW3: Your boyfriend doesn’t show you enough attention so you cheat on him with an ex? It’s pathetic, and it’s also the oldest trick in the book. Leave your current relationship. I also bet your ex won’t treat you as number 1 once you are actually available.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Hmm, I disagree on LW1. Just because your co-workers are all cheaters, doesn’t make you a cheater.

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        I don’t think it automatically does, but as I get older I can see how people are influenced by their social group. Like if someone has struggled with fidelity in the past and then hangs around guys who don’t bat an eye at it, they may not be the best influence. I just believe in surrounding yourself with positive people. I mean I would be bothered if my boyfriend hung around a ton of guys who openly cheated. I’d be like “why are you hanging out with those shitheads? They suck”

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Well, they’re co-workers, not friends. If they were friends, I might agree with you a little. Maybe I’m defensive though (or supremely naive?) because Peter’s co-workers/employees are all like that. Cheaters big time, steroids, “massage” parlors. But I don’t suspect he’s into any of that.

      3. kerrycontrary says:

        Yeh I think in this case if it was purely a work trip with coworkers I wouldn’t care, I just got the sense that they were friends outside of work. Maybe I’m wrong.

        My boyfriend told me a story about someone he works with in the military going to massage parlors (and he has a girlfriend). I just find the idea of happy endings so gross! Also I want to tell his girlfriend because if my man was getting jerked off and paying for it on a consistent basis I would want to know (but I wouldn’t really tell her).

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, I’m told stories like that and find it gross too. And they say it with such pride, like look how good I am at cheating on my wife. Its nasty.

      5. kerrycontrary says:

        My boyfriend told me a story where the guy was mad because he had to pay more than he expected for a prostitute at the bunny ranch. I just don’t understand people bragging about the fact that they pay for sex.

  4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    The other night I was reading Craigslist personals just for shits and giggles. Obviously that’s not the case for this lw but I don’t think my husband should take it as a red flag. So when is it okay or not?

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      I read them for shits and giggles too, but I usually tell my boyfriend about it. Like “you should’ve seen what was on craigslist today!”. I think its an instinctual thing to know whether or not someone was looking at them seriously and it depends on your relationships.

    2. I was actually going go ask – doesn’t anyone else read them sometimes for funsies?? I know I do.

      1. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        TMI time: Sometimes I use Craigslist as porn. I have crazy fantasies about NSA sex from the internet which I would never act on because it’s a one way ticket to murder town, but I don’t know, there’s this immediate “he’s surfing craigslist, quick break up!!!” reaction. If it’s just showing up on his browser history I wouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that he’s actively cheating. IF he’s responding, then that’s a different conversation.

    3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I read them occasionally. I never though to tell GGuy. I guess I should!

    4. Avatar photo the_optimist says:

      I guess it’s not okay when you’re getting defensive about it. I mean, I have a serious fascination with the missed connections section but I’ll read them in front of anyone. If my boyfriend asked me what the hell I was doing I’d just pull him over and show him.

      1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Haha I guess I’m super shady because I’m always telling my husband to look away when I’m on my laptop in front of him. I just don’t like feeling like someone is looking over my shoulder.

  5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    I totally read the heading as “My boyfriend is a chronic CLEANER…” and was like, what’s wrong with that?? haha.

    1. If she were a hoarder or OCD with a deep seeded love of dirt, this could be a problem…

    2. I want one of those!! I just spent my entire Friday night cleaning my house…. not an ideal Friday night. But, I gotta say, it does look pretty nice right now!

  6. LW1: MOA and figure out why you are engaged to a man you clearly don’t trust. There’s being optimistic and then there’s wearing big fat blinders. And get tested for stds

    LW2: I’m sorry you are experiencing this, being cheated on or suspecting cheating is bad enough without wondering if you’ve married a stranger. Get thee to counseling and put yourself first. (and get tested for stds)

    LW3: You lost me at “is it fate my ex walked back into my life?” FFS, stop with the drama and trying to make your life more interesting and like a romance novel. Your a cheater because you’ve been involved with a guy who makes you feel good and you think fate has something to do with it!?! Dump your boyfriend – who deserves better – and then when you become available don’t be sad that your ex, who is probably an ex for a reason, isn’t all that into you. And tell your bf to get tested for stds.

    Facepalm Friday the 13th indeed 😉

    1. Yeah, like it’s fate that she’s going to cheat. “What could I do, it was FATE!!!”

    2. Avatar photo landygirl says:

      Maybe LW3 and her ex are MFEO. I think I see a unicorn.

      1. And in today’s version of feeling old and out of touch, I had to look up what MFEO was 😉

      2. Haha, it’s from Sleepless in Seattle! There’s no way that young people would get it.

  7. Ugh, why do people say that they “love someone to death, BUT…” then cheat on them. Pay attention to your words people. The rumour is that they mean things. Like, as in, when you love someone to death, you would actually die before cheating. Which is obviously far from the case.

    1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      But but I want to exaggerate and and dramaz!

  8. LW1: ehhh, I’ve been a cheater—even a CHRONIC cheater—in past relationships. It *is* possible to outgrow it, or only engage in that kind of behavior during a specific period in your life, with a specific person (as long as you reflect on WHY you were doing all that ish in the first place) But if you don’t trust your boyfriend to go on a business trip—if you’re phrasing your question as “should I let him go?”—then it’s probably best to find someone you can 100% trust.

    LW2: I don’t even know what to tell you. If he hasn’t acted on his fantasies, then I guess they’re just fantasies—but you should definitely head into counseling.

    LW3: It’s not fate your ex “walked into your life”— fate is a convenient excuse you’re using in order to keep talking to him. He’s also not making you a number 1 priority, I can tell you that right now. You only FEEL like he is because the attention is more exciting than whatever attention you’re receiving from your current boyfriend (who, by the way, you should break up with)

  9. Avatar photo kmentothat says:

    New rule: if you use the word fate in your letter, it’s an auto MOA. Because you clearly need to grow up and learn that relationships are not a series of mysterious events that happen to you, it’s a series of decisions that you make, every day, to have someone in your life.

    Be single. Really single, as in not talking to exes to have them pay attention to you, or flirting wiht guys at bars to feel pretty, or being in a relationship where he is more into you than you are into him because you like having someone to do things with. BE SINGLE and give yourself all the love and attention you think you deserve, take yourself on dates to nice places, deepen your friendships and explore your interests that aren’t inherently tied to your ability to attract a man, cultivate YOU. Feeling wanted by a man a great, feeling loved so hard by yourself is necessary. Reprioritize your life before you bring anyone else in it.

  10. Sort of off-topic rant:

    Isn’t the double-standard with man-on-man vs woman-on-woman cheating/fantasies kind of annoying? Many (perhaps most?) women, if they find out their guy would like to be with or has been with another man, are shocked/grossed out/turned off. Men (many men – certainly not all, and probably not even most), on the other hand, are like “HOT!” and are probably more likely to say, “Yeah, babe, you go ahead and ‘experiment’ and then tell me all about it – maybe let me watch/join in.” It’s like they don’t even believe that a woman would be enough to leave him over. OF COURSE this is not all men, or all women, it’s just a trend I see that bothers me.

    Also, I mean… we here at DW are like, “Yeah I totally prefer lesbian porn but I’m straight,” and no one bats an eye. Yet it’s so taboo for men to fantasize about other men. Why is that?

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Hmm, very good points! Especially that last one!

    2. It’s a big leap from watching lesbian porn to actually seeking out other women on CL.

    3. I think lesbianism is kind of allowed to fly under the radar as long as it doesn’t challenge male-female relationships as more important and “real”. Essentially, lesbianism not being taken seriously and reduced to eye candy for men. Sexual relationships between men, in contrast, are more of a challenge to the dude bro system.

      1. Yes this!

      2. Very well said!

    4. kerrycontrary says:

      My boyfriend likes lesbian porn, but he would definitely consider me having sex with a woman as cheating.

    5. Very very good points. It has a lot to do with what’s expected of masculinity. And just like men can never truly understand what it’s like to be a woman and, say, want to go out alone to see a favorite band at a bar without being harassed, to borrow a recent example, I think women can never truly understand the social burdens that come with masculinity and what it feels like to live within those restrictions. Men may be privileged, but patriarchy hurts them too, it but just as tough strains on their gender performance as it does for women.

      In this particular case: Culturally speaking, females are Sexy and Desirable, so it’s normal to be attracted to them – whether you are male or female yourself. At the same time, femininity is weak, submissive, lacking in power. (These two things – Desirable and Powerless, are the foundation of Objectification).
      Males are many things – functional, strong, effective, powerful – but not Desirable. Not automatically, the way females are. They have to follow all sorts of rules and jump through hoops to *convince* women they are desirable. And good God, why would a MAN be convinced to desire another man? What a feminine quality, to be attracted to men! That man must be effeminate and therefore not as functional, strong, effective or powerful as he is supposed to be. Let’s poo-poo that man for not being a man. And it’s not just other men doing the poo-pooing, it’s the whole culture that sets up the expectation that a Good Man is a Straight one.

      The nice thing about gender norms is they can change. Hello, all you women out there wearing pants right now! But the shitty thing is, change takes FOREVER. Even with gay marriage becoming legal left and right, it doesn’t mean the whole culture is changing its mind.

      1. it but just as tough strains = it puts just as tough restraints.

        so close, and yet so far…

      2. Yes, I think it has a lot to do with the restraints of masculinity, and also with the concept of the male gaze. Everything that is considered “sexy” is defined as such through the eyes of the stereotypical straight male. This is what we all see. So if anyone – man or woman, gay or straight (or any gender/sexuality in between) says that they find women sexy or get turned on by the female form, no one bats an eye. It’s just like, “Duh.” We’re really kind of conditioned to think that way, don’t you think?

        I, for one, DEFINITELY find men to be physically desirable, though. And women too. Maybe I’m just a horndog.

      3. Yeah, I definitely think the phenomenon of straight women watching mostly lesbian porn is related to the male gaze— like, it’s is so prevalent, that even ~women~ are occupying the male gaze, & finding other women more visually stimulating than men (even if their sexual preference is men)

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Plus I when I watch that, I can picture myself being pleasured, rather than when watching a guy cum, I obviously can’t put myself in their shoes.

      5. Individuals finding men physically desirable, yes. But the collective cultural mind does not accept it as default.

        Example: nudity in movies.
        Breasts are a dime a dozen. A topless actress is not a shocker.
        Penises: Very rarely seen, because “who wants to see that??”

        Of course, plenty of people do. But the prevailing cultural myth is that the male body is kinda gross and weird to look at, while the female body, even an “ugly” female body, is revered and is still an object of sexual desire. In the eyes of the patriarchy – that male gaze you reference – any woman is still better than no woman. So the position of the Desired Object is, by default, female. The patriarchy would never gaze on a male with desire, because turning a man into an object of desire emasculates him.

        And yes, women take up the male gaze too, whether it’s looking at other women or being attracted to the same things men are attracted to, like money (see: men who buy flashy cars to impress women and women who are impressed by flashy cars). The male gaze is the default gaze. Patriarchy hurts us all.

      6. oh i love this! wow.

      7. Am I earning my feminist street cred back with the DW community now? LOL. I’ll never forget the day someone called me Jessica Wakemanish. I don’t remember who it was but ever since then, I’ve felt a need to prove that I do actually have some idea what I’m talking about?

      8. That was just you-as-anonymous-LW, wasn’t it? You never lost your street cred with me, but I love your long feminist posts.

      9. No that was a LOOONG time ago, I want to say 2 years ago or something by now, and I want to say it was before I was an active, regular DWer. I may not even have been going by KKZ at that point.

        I did get picked on as the LW for the leg-shaving letter a few months ago because I wrote the letter in a way that suggested I had just recently learned what feminism was and was suddenly all “Let’s not shave!” Which, to be fair, that was totally me after my first Women’s Studies class in college. But my intent was to give the backstory that I wasn’t a feminist when we started dating, I came into that identity later in life and that’s when little things like leg shaving started causing arguments. I just failed to mention that I’d been “studying” (loosely) feminism for a few years by the time I got to the leg-shaving letter, so I looked like a pie-eyed n00b carrying the feminist banner as a novelty. Which also made me that much more motivated to be taken seriously.

        I’m just fascinated by gender in general. There’s not really a word for that, feminist is the closest thing, and it doesn’t always fit quite right.

    6. All good points, & I agree. I can’t really provide insight though, because in my personal life, I ~am~ kind of turned on by man-on-man (when I’m in that kind of mood) & my boyfriend—although he likes lesbian porn/fantasizing about me with other women—he’d told me he would feel threatened actually watching/joining in with me & another woman (& considers it cheating)

      Also, he watches porn with tran(nys? Is that a slur still, in the context of porn? I’ve never seen it any other way & feel weird typing trans* in that context) He likes it because there’s dicks, like flesh dicks, but everyone still has woman parts. (And I dunno why I’m sharing this, I guess it’s relevant in a “isn’t sexuality interesting?” kind of way, & also “Porn watching/fantasy doesn’t always reflect what people want IRL” thing)

      1. Yes to porn tastes not reflecting real life tastes.
        And yes to being attracted to man-on-man. I always heard the joke growing up “What’s better than one woman? Two women. Better than two women? Five women!” etc. I pretty much feel that about guys too. How are two hot naked guys somehow worse than just one? Haha. To each their own of course.

      2. I like gay (MSM) porn and trans* porn too sometimes. I guess I AM just a horndog.

      3. Tranny is still a slur, Fab. Maybe put it in quotes? Or do “tr*nny”, I know that’s what a lot of the queer blogs use when referring to that word.

      4. Okay, I figured; thanks for checking me. It’s just an odd thing because of the way porn, I dunno, describes itself? Like you have to type in things you’d never say in real life (hungry cock monster sluts!) to get results, so using trans* here seemed like I wasn’t even describing what I was describing, if that makes sense (it probably doesn’t haha)

      5. +1 for “hungry cock monster sluts.”

      6. Right, I getcha. And like, trans* porn is a thing too – it’s like queer, genderqueer porn.

    7. yep. its ridiculous.

      related story: at work this week my (male) boss was singing “i kissed a girl and i liked it”. he does the chorus, looks at me funny, and is like “is it ok for me to sing that, i mean, i do like kissing girls.” and i go, “yea. is it ok for ME to sing it?” and goes, in this hilarious creepy whisper “yes, oh my god, yes”

      it was funny in the context, and its not creepy because thats my work climate -its just not a good day with at least a few dick jokes- but there it is, the double standard.

    8. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

      It has to do a lot with women’s deep seated fear that if a man gets with another man, he’ll simply see how great it is and that will be that. No more women for him. EVER. 😉

      I kid, I kid. But women often do dabble in lesbianism and STILL crave male partners. And then there is that curious fact that of the handful of raging lesbians I knew in college, all but two are now married to men.

      Conversely, how many gay dudes do I know that have gone straight out of the hundred if not thousands of gay dudes I’ve run across? Um, exactly ZERO.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I think that’s a great point. I could imagine being with and enjoying a woman, but I know I’d always want to go back to a man. I guess that’s not as common for men?

      2. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        It typically hadn’t been. But THIS could largely be due to the double standard of the stigma. I wonder if as gay sex becomes more and more legitimate and mainstream if future generations won’t eventually see far more man on man experimentation.

      3. I like the line from Trainspotting: “In a hundred years, there won’t be men and women anymore, just wankers.”

      4. Right? I think some people’s desire or reluctance to experiment with the same sex has a LOT to do with culture and socialization.

      5. Avatar photo landygirl says:

        I think some straight/homophobic guys equate homosexuality with femininity, meaning that one of the two has to be the woman in the relationship and that somehow would put their masculinity into question.

        Its ridiculous, you’re attracted to whoever you’re attracted to. I love the video of a guy asking people when they chose to be straight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJtjqLUHYoY

      6. Something else- whenever anti gay people talk about how much of an abomination gay sex is, they only ever reference gay male sex, I’ve noticed.

        Has anyone else noticed that? I always thought it was odd.

      7. I knew a LOT of “lesbians” in HS who are totally straight now.

        And I think you’re right about that fear.

        Have you noticed gay guys who won’t date/fuck bi guys? That’s like a thing with at least one of my friends.

      8. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Yeah. I will fuck a bi (or str8) guy. But I won’t date them. Why? There’s is always that nagging fear that they have a few sexual needs that You can’t fulfill. Also, yeah. I was burned bad by a bi-guy. He left me and married some stupid fucking bitch (er, I mean lovely girl…). How does this NOT conflict with my post above about gay guys going straight? Easy. Matt was VERY steaight forward about being bi and his unwavering need for pussy. Guess I, uh, should have believed him… But he was SOOOOOO perfect and I was sooooo wonderful… God, yikes. I sound like some vapid DWLW…

      9. I’ve met guys through work (when I did HIV/STD stuff) who were fucking and/or in relationships with other guys… but they would tell me, “Yeah I’m just living this lifestyle while I’m young, but eventually I want to marry a woman and have a family.” They identified as gay rather than bi, but wanted a “normal” life. (I noticed this in the African American community, though, where being gay is less acceptable).

      10. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        That’s actually a common part of the coming out process. I mean in college every guy I was with was just young and experimenting. (Self included.) But all of those guys are still gay twenty years later…

      11. Yeah, I wanted to say something, but I figured it’d be best to let them come to their own conclusions.

      12. I mean, I didn’t want to decide their sexuality for them, but I kinda wanted to be like, “But you don’t have to do that! Be true to yourself!” blah blah blah.

      13. BGM, I’m curious at your take on this article, then:

        Mostly Straight, Most of the Time

        “By his own admission, Dillon says he resides in the “Sexual Netherlands” (his words), a place that exists between heterosexuality and bisexuality. In previous generations, such individuals might have been described as “straight but not narrow,” “bending a little,” and “heteroflexible.”
        Dillon is part of a growing trend of young men who are secure in their heterosexuality and yet remain aware of their potential to experience far more—sexual attractions, sexual interactions, crushes, and, ocassionally romantic relationships with other guys.”

        My guess is you’re going to say these men are going to eventually come out as totally gay. But I thought I’d at least try running it by you.

      14. Bittergaymark says:

        Actually, no. I think this may be the experimental offshoot I suggested could happen as sex between men became less taboo…

    9. Avatar photo the_other_wendy says:

      I think in a lot of situations, people just recognize female sexuality as more fluid. In addition to which, I have noticed that people are a lot more willing to recognize female bisexuality, while finding male bisexuality more difficult to comprehend or believe. It is a double standard, but I think those are probably the reasons for it.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        And honestly, no offense to all the menz here!, I find women to be WAY more attractive than men, and I’m a straight woman who loves the big D. Just easier on the eyes? Idk. I’ll check out a girl long before I’d check out a dude on the street.

      2. Oh, idk, lbh, I’m heterosexual to a fault, but there are plenty of pretty pretty men out there.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        Ok, so I’m trying to imagine some absurdly hot guy next to an equally hot girl…I’d still probably check the girl out first. I’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands, of girls that I’m like Daaayyum. Maybe a few dozen guys give me that same reaction.

      4. Avatar photo the_other_wendy says:

        Yeah, I’m hetero but I thoroughly enjoy checking out girls as much as I enjoy checking out guys.

      5. Hmm. But is it, “I want to DO her” or “I want to BE her”? Sometimes, for me at least, that distinction is a bit blurry.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Definitely blurry!!! You’re so smart Cats.

  11. I would just like to call everyone’s attention to “he promised me on his dead grandpa”

    Is anyone else getting a weird visual there?

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Hahaha, here this poor guy is, standing on the dead grandpa he just dug up from the grave, just to prove something to his girlfriend and she STILL doesn’t believe him. Whatta bitch!

    2. oh yes thank you for pointing this out.

      between that and the “fate” comment, im just shaking my head…. wow

    3. I think for that to be valid you have to promise “on my grandmas life” or something, once their already dead screwing up and going back on their word doesn’t make them any deader.

  12. LW 2 should have written to Dan Savage. He’s addressed this type of issue a few times. It does seem therapy-worthy, but I would try to figure out if you even feel you have a fighting chance. It’s difficult that he’s denying being into men and at the same time admitting that he thinks about being with them. He’s either majorly confused or lying.

    Sadly, I think LW 3 is no big exception. I know a few people living like that. It’s key to understand that you’re living with a lie, and even selling yourself short in a weird way. Your bf would probably not be with you if he knew how you view your relationship. And you’re not meeting your full potential by clinging onto someone who doesn’t really make you happy. You may think you love him soooo much, but I don’t think real love ever goes along with this type of dishonesty. You may “puppy love” him but you sure as hell don’t respect him.

  13. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    LW1 You ask if you can trust him. If you have to ask then you already don’t trust him so the answer is no.

  14. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    LW1) What would you have him do? Quit his job? What’s REALLY wrong with his male coworkers? Are they all simply so hot he might stray gay? Okay. Okay, I know that’s not it but I just really wanted a seamless segway to…

    LW2) Okay. Odds are you’ve got yourself a confused bi-guy. BUT craigslist is also RAMPANT with legitimately straight guys simply looking for NSA blowjobs. All these guys misguidedly THINK such recreational activity isn’t truly cheating as its just dude on dude head and they would NEVER date a dude(Ick!) so… You say you’ve been fighting. But have you still been having sex? If not maybe, just maybe he speaks the truth…

    LW3) MOA!! You’re just not THAT into either of these guys…

    1. Yeah, there are actually a lot of men who do or want to do certain sexual things with other men, but don’t identify as gay or bi. Sexuality and sexual identities are complicated.

      1. Preach it.

      2. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        CatsMeow… I have a post buried above tbat was supposed to address your double standard post — but so many others commented on your post thst mine came up in a wonky place…

      3. Was it the one about acceptance of same-sex “experimentation”? I completely agree.

      4. Truth. However, in that case he should give this type of explanation, right?

      5. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        It sounds like he kinda sorts did…

      6. This is probably a dumb question, but if you don’t identify as straight or gay or bi, what do you identify as? I just don’t think I should limit sex or love by gender when there’s so much more to attraction than that.

      7. AliceInDairyland says:


      8. Bittergaymark says:

        Horny. Period. 😉

  15. AliceInDairyland says:

    …Just chiming in to say:

    1) I love DW commenters

    2) My BF and I are both pretty fluid on the sexual scale and we’ve talked about it here and there over the years. However neither of us have strayed from the heterosexual path in real life, most likely due to opportunity cost (We are both pretty goddamn picky, and since we don’t live in a huge metropolis the number of available partners to choose from in the heterosexual pool is obviously much larger than the homosexual pool… harder to hunt down, harder to sleep with, we got jobs and school and shit to do besides try to sleep with people)

  16. LW2 run like hell.
    A repressed homo is an ANGRY homo.

    If your man is looking for gay sex, whatever, his thing… but if he’s denying it? Insisting he is straight? That’s a fucked up dude. It’s 2013 not 1963 on Brokeback Mountain. See

    Long story short? Dude from super conservative family, had two kids with his wife, both were doctors, she had found gay porn on his computer numerous times and he was like no no way I’m totes not gay. She was like you sure? he was like totes, they get married and are like model perfect family…. except he’s not banging her. She goes nuts starts banging her personal trainer who happens to be his BFF who he hero worships. PT’s girl finds out, goes total ape shit and decides everyone needs “full information” (fuck everyone who says everyone being cheated on must be told; you have NO fucking idea what people might do!) and tells our little doctor dude friend here… Doc and Wife Doc split up, Doc doesn’t take it well at ALL, drinks like three bottles of wine and decides it’s a great idea to drink windsheild wiper fluid to kill himself (um…. despite that one of the kids drank it six months earlier and was fine and they were told that it’s gross but srsly you’d have to drink a tank full to do damage? uh huh. sure) and then because he doesn’t want his poor preschoolers to find dead daddy decides to stab them to death. Brutally. With defence wounds from both the three and 5 year old. Including three year old girl ripping her own hair out.

    Evidence shows by those who read between the lines that the reason he went APESHIT was not because his wife cheated on him (please he hadn’t had sex with her in years). No, he was furious his wife was sexing up the object of his desire, the PT, his BFF.

    and because he was white and wealthy and so sweet and looked like their sons and cried nicely, the stupid jury found him temp insane (despite that he said flat out he stabbed one kid, and was like “oh wait, that was bad” and then went and stabbed the other… so how they concluded he didn’t know right from wrong for both of them is fucking beyond me) and he spent a couple years in a cushy psych hospital and now he’s otu living his life probably courting more women who want to be his beard who think his wife was just a cheating bitch and don’t get he’s a totally repressed gay man, and he’s fucking furious.

    Run. Like. Hell.

    BTW this is why we need a more inclusive society for gays. People who feel free to be who they are don’t live fake lives and go nuts over it one day after their carefully constructed lie falls apart.

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