Q: I’m a 20-year-old submissive woman. I’m currently in a confusing affair with a 50-year-old dominant married man. He lives in Europe and has two kids close to my age. We met online when I was 17 and starting to explore my BDSM desires – out of the reach of my overbearing, sex-shaming, disastrously religious parents – and we’ve been texting daily ever since. We’ve since met in different countries and spent a total of three weeks together. Those weeks were amazing, both sexually and emotionally, and he says he loves me. (Some will assume, because of the age difference, that he “groomed” me. He did not.) I date vanilla boys my age, with his full support, while we continue to text daily. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to blow up his family if (or when) our affair is discovered. But at the same time, our relationship has really helped me navigate my kinks and my sexuality. Expecting him to leave his wife for me is a highly unrealistic cliché, I am aware. Yet I fear I’ve become dependent on his conversation and advice. I’m graduating soon and have a big job lined up in a big city. I’ll finally be financially independent, and I’d like to start making the right choices. Any perspective you have would be much appreciated.
– Things Must Improve
He is not going to leave his wife for you, and you shouldn’t assume his wife is going to leave him if (or when) this affair is discovered (or exposed). Divorce may be the default setting in the United States in the wake of an affair, TMI, but Europeans take a much more, well, European attitude toward infidelity. Definitely not cricket, not necessarily fatal.
And you don’t need him to leave his wife for you, TMI. Okay, okay—you’re in love, and the three weeks you’ve managed to spend together were amazing. But don’t fall into the trap of believing a romantic relationship requires a tidy ending; film, television and literature beat it into our heads that romantic relationships end either happily at the altar (à la Pride and Prejudice) or tragically at the morgue (à la Forensic Files). But romantic relationships take many forms, TMI, as does romantic success. And this relationship, such as it is, this relationship as-is, sounds like an ongoing success.
In other words, TMI, I think you’re confused about this relationship because there won’t be a resolution that fits into a familiar mold. But you don’t need a resolution: You can continue to text with him, and he can continue to provide you with his advice and support while you continue to date single, available and kinky men (no more vanilla boys!) closer to your own age and/or on your own continent. Eventually you’ll meet a new guy you’re crazy about – someone you can see for more than one week a year – and you’ll feel less dependent on and connected to your old flame.
Q: While on vacation, I went for a full body massage. The first half of the massage – me on my stomach – was great. When the masseuse asked me to flip on my back, things took a turn. She uncovered one of my legs and began massaging my thigh. As she worked on my inner thigh, her finger grazed my scrotum. Then it happened again. And again. She was working on my thigh, but it felt like I was getting my balls caressed. I began to worry I was getting a visible erection. Then I started to panic when I felt like I might actually come. (I have always had issues with premature ejaculation.) I tried hard to clamp down and think about baseball and senior citizens, but I wound up having an orgasm. She eventually moved to my arms, shoulders, etc., but meanwhile I’m lying there with jizz cooling on myself. Am I guilty of #metoo bad behavior? Should I have said something or asked her to stop? Is it possible she didn’t have any clue? (My penis was never uncovered and I didn’t create an obvious wet spot on the sheet.) I tipped her extra, just in case she was mortified, though I didn’t get the sense she was because nothing changed after I came in terms of her massaging me. (She didn’t hurry away from my legs or rush to finish my massage.) I still feel really weird about the whole thing. I get massages frequently, this has never happened before, and I certainly didn’t go into it looking for this result.
– Lost Opportunity At De-escalation
If it all went down as you described, LOAD, you aren’t guilty of “#metoo bad behavior.” It’s not uncommon for people to become unintentionally aroused during a nonerotic massage; it’s more noticeable when it happens to men, of course, but it happens to women, too. “Erections do happen,” a masseuse told me when I ran your letter past her. “So long as guys don’t suddenly ask for a ‘happy ending,’ expose themselves, or—God help me—attempt to take my hand and place it on their erection, they haven’t done anything wrong.”