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Flesh For Fantasy 

Keep some games from becoming reality

I discovered your column recently, and I was intrigued by the following statement from a column you wrote last December: "While most of us learn to live with and occasionally conquer our fears without eroticizing them, a number of us respond to sexual fears or traumas by incorporating them into our erotic imaginations."

My wife gets totally turned on by fantasizing about me with another guy. She doesn't really want me to do it with another guy, she just gets off -- hard -- to the mental imagery.

The whole thing began when I revealed early on that I identify as a 1 on the Kinsey Scale (some same-sex fantasies, no desire to act on them). That led to whispered scenarios involving fictional characters like massage therapists, culminating in some pretty massive orgasms for both of us.

Tame stuff, really, by Savage Love standards.

She hasn't been able to understand why she has these fantasies, and why they get her so hot, especially since she doesn't want them to move from fantasy to reality. Me, I don't care that much as to why -- I just enjoy the role reversal. She, however, agonizes over it the next day, wondering why-oh-why. It turns out she started having these fantasies when she was in a previous relationship with a guy who had sex with men before, and, she suspects, during their relationship (yes, she's since had an HIV test).

She has some fairly powerful abandonment issues, and apparently her man-on-me fantasies have become thoroughly entangled with her fears that I will cheat on her with some dude. Which I won't, because I really and truly don't want to.

So, my question is: Now what? The game we play is fun in moderation, and I'd hate to give it up entirely. But I'm leery of doing anything that plays on the deep-seated fears of the woman I love.

Or, since people ride roller coasters and jump out of airplanes because they're scary, should we just look at it that way and keep things the way they are?

Not One To Get All Yappy

Understanding what experience inspired her fantasies -- if that experience inspired her fantasies -- won't make them go away. Since your wife will have to live with those deep-seated fears regardless, NOTGAY, it seems to me that she might as well derive some pleasure from them. So keep things the way they are.

I'm a 42-year-old straight guy, married 15 years, no kids. I love my wife, and I have remained faithful. Recently, I opened a Second Life (SL) account, and created an avatar/alter ego for myself.

I created an SL account with a female avatar because, although I'm straight and comfortable with my gender and sexuality, I've always fantasized about being transformed into a beautiful woman and having sex with other beautiful women. SL allows me an opportunity to explore this fantasy of being a lesbian, and also lets me engage in types of fantasy sex-play I would not normally do in real life (RL), such as BDSM, multiple partners and anonymous sex. I laid down some ground rules for myself: (1) I would not form a partnership in SL. (2) I would not, under any circumstances, discuss or reveal any details of my RL with anyone. (3) I would not form emotional relationships with other avatars. I have followed these rules to the letter.

My wife knows I have an SL account, but that's it. She's made it clear that she considers sex in SL to be adultery. I disagree. I see it as a form of user-controlled porn -- so long as I follow the three rules above. I only go on SL when she is not at home, and I do not spend time in SL when I could be with her. We have a normal sex life, although she's not as GGG (good, giving, game) as she was when we were first married. She's grown more conservative -- personally and sexually, not politically -- as she's grown older. I love my wife very much, and I want my marriage to last. But sexually I'm more adventurous than my wife, and SL allows me to express that side of myself without any RL adultery. Nevertheless, Dan, I feel guilty. My wife would not be happy (understatement of the young century) if she knew of my SL activities. And I hate lying to my wife. Yet, at the same time, I'm having so much fun -- I am exploring fantasies I never could in real life, with a smoking-hot female avatar I'll never be. Should I come clean? Close down my SL account?

Second Lifer In Need Of Real Life Advice

First, SLINORLA: This is a marriage, not a deposition. You don't have to tell your wife the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God. No marriage -- no civil union, no domestic partnership, no semi-regular hookup -- would survive long if each partner made a full confession of the previous day's minor betrayals at breakfast.

Second, SLINORLA: You have a right to your fantasies. It's a shame your wife can't see that and give your SL avatar her blessing. ("Some of your fantasies are nuts, honey -- but, hey, go have your fun on the computer.")

But like a lot of spouses, male and female, your wife seems to believe that marriage obligates you to round your libido down to match hers. It's not enough that you've stayed physically faithful as she's become more conservative and less GGG; by declaring sex in SL to be adultery, your wife is attempting to deny you a necessary outlet for your sexual energy.

So what do you do? You do what spouses have done since spouses were invented: Tell her what she wants to hear and go right on doing what you're doing. "No sex in SL, honey, promise" is simply "Of course I don't think of anyone else when we make love" updated for the technology age.

My girlfriend has a bit of a hygiene problem. As much as I love to go down on her, sometimes there's a little extra flavor, and then, sometimes, when I flip her over, an aroma comes my way. I don't know how to bring it up without adding to her insecurities and risking a meltdown. I've casually suggested we take a sexy shower -- especially after a long day stewing in our respective cubicles -- but even that turned her off. How should I address this?

Something Makes Each Lick Tangy

Directly, SMELT, like a grown-up. Anyone in a relationship with a fully functioning adult should be able to say -- cheerfully, without judgment, without fear -- "You stink, honey, let's go jump in the shower." If she can't hear that without a meltdown, well ...

Make up your mind to treat your partner like an adult, SMELT, and one day she'll start acting like one.

A new Savage Love podcast is available for download every Tuesday at To ask Dan Savage a question, write to

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