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Swing time: Husband was open upfront about his needs 

Recently, I celebrated my first year of marriage to the most amazing man. When we first began dating, he told me that he enjoys open sexuality and wants swinging to be part of any partnership he's in. I regard myself as free-spirited and agreed to explore this with him. We delayed experimentation because I had a stressful job and I wanted to spend my limited free time with him instead of exploring our sexuality with multiple partners. My work situation changed, and we have since had about a dozen experiences in the past year. I have discovered that these situations are not a turn-on for me -- in fact, they are a turnoff. I feel resentful after these episodes, and I don't feel like having sex for days. We have discussed this at length, and we have been seeing a counselor. Recently, we had a civil discussion wherein we discussed the possibility of him having these sexual experiences without me, since I do not find them compelling. This idea appealed to him. He proposed going to a sex party alone that very night.

Ever since then, I have been crushed by the prospect of my husband having a sex life outside of our relationship. Since we met, his sexuality has had an outward trajectory, rather than being relationship centered. Having a healthy sexual relationship with him is enough for me. He makes a good point that he has been straight about his desire for this lifestyle since day one, but I am still frustrated and horrified that my husband needs to have sex outside of our marriage. I can't help but feel hurt that I alone am not enough for him.

I'd appreciate your straight, honest feedback on this.

Sex Best One On One

Straight, honest feedback: You are an idiot. Your husband informed you in advance about the "outward trajectory" of his sexuality; you knew going in that your husband could never be satisfied in a marriage that didn't involve "open sexuality" and swinging. Don't come crying to me now because the man you married wants to actually have sex with other people. You knew that before you married him, SBOOO, because he fucking told you so.

You're unlikely to encounter a marriage counselor who'll take your husband's side (nonmonogamy? boo!) over yours (monogamy? yay!), SBOOO, so I'm going to aggressively come to his defense: You're never going to convince your husband that one-on-one ought to be enough for him. Sorry. You're also going to have a hard time convincing him that you didn't deceive him in the run-up to this marriage. When he told you that monogamy was a deal breaker, SBOOO, you replied that you were "free-spirited" and willing to "explore." But, alas, circumstances beyond your control prevented you from embarking on any explorations until after the wedding, and only then -- only after he married you -- did you discover that your husband's sexual interests both frustrated and horrified.

How convenient.

Because if you'd been a little less stressed at work, SBOOO, maybe you could've made time for a little swinging before the wedding. Then you might've learned that nonmonogamy wasn't for you and been able to give this amazing man that information before he married your ass. Oh, but your work schedule didn't allow for premarital explorations, and now this amazing man has to decide whether to go through the hell of a divorce -- knowing full well that he will be seen as the bad guy by all your relatives and friends, and 99.99 percent of marriage counselors -- or give in to your emotional, sexual, and financial blackmail.

Want more evidence that you weren't negotiating with your husband in good faith before the wedding, SBOOO? How about this: You aren't negotiating with him in good faith now. So you recently had "a civil discussion" with him about the possibility of his going to sex parties alone -- how many uncivil discussions have you had? -- but then you were crushed when he wanted to take you up on this proposed compromise. So once again he wants to fuck around, once again you agree to his fucking around in principle, once again he proposes fucking around in earnest, and once again you lose your shit -- only this time you go boohooing to an advice columnist and not a marriage counselor.

Sorry, SBOOO, you picked the wrong columnist. You want and always wanted a monogamous commitment. Free spirit, my ass. Your husband didn't and doesn't. Don't drag this out. You are -- surprise! -- sexually incompatible. Divorce. Get it over with.

My girlfriend and I are into male-orgasm denial. We've recently tried putting Orajel on my cock and then covering it with two condoms so she can use me as a dildo without me getting off or even feeling anything. It works great. Is there any chance of long-term health issues if we do this once a week or so?

Numb-Dicked Dude

You didn't say which kind of Orajel you are using, but I hope it's not Orajel Advanced Tooth Desensitizer. Its active ingredient -- created to treat sensitive teeth, not desensitize cock -- is something called "2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate," which sounds like something you might find in baby formula that was made in China. The stuff works, according to Orajel's Web site, "by blocking dentinal tubules, preventing excitation of the tooth nerve." And, hey, if it's safe enough for your mouth, it's probably safe enough for your cock and for newborns, right? Well, maybe not. A very quick search of the Interwebs using that Googlemajob turns up a paper in the Journal of Dental Research with this rather alarming title: "2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate (HEMA) Is a Potent Inducer of Apoptotic Cell Death in Human and Mouse Cells."

Any responsible sex-advice professional would read the paper in its entirety and inform you about the likelihood that you're killing off cock cells when you smear them with Orajel Advanced Tooth Desensitizer. But I'm an alarmist sex-advice professional, not a responsible one, so I'm just going to lay that title on you one more time: "2-Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate (HEMA) Is a Potent Inducer of Apoptotic Cell Death in Human and Mouse Cells." I don't know about you, NDD, but I've always erred on the side of not smearing my dick with shit that kills mice. (Not all brands of Orajel contain this ingredient, but a boy can't be too careful.)

It seems particularly foolish to smear any kind of Orajel on your cock when there are products on the market specifically designed for desensitizing cocks, things like Mandelay gel and Proloonging's "penis desensitizing aid delay spray." These products are marketed to men who suffer from premature ejaculation, even though numbing the dick doesn't really cure premature ejaculation. They sound perfect for you and your orgasm-denying girlfriend, though, and I'd recommend 'em over that potential rat poison you're using now.

Download the Savage Lovecast (Dan's weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage. To ask Dan Savage a question, write to mail@savagelove.net.

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