| Chicago Reader

Savage Love 

I've been going out with a guy I'm in love with for two years. I'm 16, he's 18. He says it would be OK for me to do things with other people, short of any actual sex acts. The person I have the most interest in besides my boyfriend is one of his closest friends at our high school. My boyfriend knows I'm attracted to his friend and told me it's OK. His friend, though, told me he'd feel like he was stabbing my boyfriend in the back. I want to at least kiss him without him thinking I'm an unloyal slut-type person. Help!

--In Between

When I was in high school, a young couple who wanted to open their relationship to third parties threw themselves a party. When everyone was good and drunk, half of the couple would make a premeditated pass at a preselected third party, slipping off to an empty bedroom or bathroom for a little privacy. The other half of the couple would either (a) join his or her partner and their victim for some everything-short-of-actual-sex-acts rolling around, with a little teen-dream bisexual experimentation thrown in, or (b) find someone else to mess around with in a different corner of the house.

If your boyfriend is into it, throw a party. If you can initiate a three-way make-out session with this other boy, he'll know he isn't stabbing his friend in the back (since his friend will be there with him), and no one will think you're an unloyal slut-type person. They'll know.

There's a rampant rumor in our high school that semen has six calories per "dose." Is this true? If so, what are the "nutrition facts" girls need to know before we swallow anything? --Weight Watchers of Second-hour Study Hall

When I was in high school, we worried about more important things than the calories in a "dose" of semen. Draft registration! Nicaragua! No, no, Sandinista! S', s', CIA! (Or was it the other way around?) When Ronald Reagan joked about "outlawing" the Soviet Union ("The bombing begins in five minutes"), we slurped down semen like there was no tomorrow--'cuz there almost wasn't! Apparently, you high school kids today have nothing better to worry about than your figures. And of course the occasional ostracized misfit storming into school with a gun and opening fire.

Anyway, here are the "nutrition facts" on the average "dose" of semen (suggested serving size: five tablespoons) as found on Jenny Craig's Web site: One serving of semen has 100 calories (not 6!), and they're all fat calories. If you swallow, you're ingesting 11 grams of fat (17 percent of your recommended daily fat dose!), and 7 of those are saturated fat grams (35 percent of your recommended daily saturated fat dose!). You and the rest of the girls in second-hour study hall would be better off swallowing Cinnabons whole than swallowing semen! Remember: if you're going to swallow, make yourself throw up afterward.

When I was 14, my best friend and I were talking about men who have sex with each other. We agreed it was disgusting but admitted we might "experiment" with gay oral sex. And so we did. Neither of us came, and we didn't talk about it for two years. Then he brings it up, saying he enjoyed it and wanted to try it again. And so we did--this time to ejaculation. I had a girlfriend at the time and came away convinced I could never be attracted to a guy.

Then two years later, when we were 18, he tells me he's gay. I'm not attracted to him--in fact, the thought of kissing another guy repulses me; forget about anal sex. But one thing led to another and, well, you know. All I can bring myself to do with him is give and receive oral sex--and only with him. Another male came on to me recently, and I was repulsed. But all my friend has to do is ask, and I blow him. Am I a closet homosexual? Am I in denial?

--Confused in Carolina

When I was in high school, I got a few blow jobs from girls. While I wasn't attracted to girls in general, I liked these particular girls well enough. They were there, they were willing, and I was horny. Did accepting the odd blow job from a girl make me a closet hetero? No. Am I in denial? No. So in answer to your question, I'd say you're probably not a closet homo or in denial. Your friend was there, he was willing, and you were horny. You have to cop to finding something about him attractive, otherwise you wouldn't be giving him head, and at some point in your life you may meet another guy who attracts you. But finding one or two men attractive in a lifetime--and giving one or two blow jobs--does not mean you're gay or even bi.

"Gay," "lesbian," "straight," and "bi" are sexual identities, and each of us gets to select our very own sexual identity. Honest, healthy people select the identity that most accurately reflects their desires and their behaviors, but rarely are they perfect fits. If women turn you on, if women are what you jerk off about, if it's women you gawk at on the street, then you're a straight guy who, every couple of years, likes to give his ol' buddy a blow job. Don't sweat it.

Confidential to MTV:

When I was in high school, I would sometimes watch your very fine programming. I don't get to these days as I don't have cable, but I happened to be in a hotel room during your second "Wanna Be a VJ" contest. Coincidentally, I was in a hotel last year at the same time, when Jesse Camp won. There was a lot of cutting back and forth between tapes of Jesse Camp a year ago and tapes of Jesse Camp today, and the difference was disturbing. Jesse Camp looks like death. He's way too thin, his eyes are sunken, and the skin on his face is like paper. Frankly, I'm shocked that the publications and writers so concerned about Calista "Ally McBeal" Flockhart haven't said anything about Jesse Camp. Camp makes Flockhart look like Camryn Manheim having sex with Dom DeLuise. Do something, would you? Stage a real-world intervention, get him into rehab, buy him a sandwich--something!

If you do nothing and Jesse Camp OD's or drops dead, I don't wanna see anyone on MTV blathering about how sad it is, if we'd only seen this coming, what a shock, blah blah blah. I could see it coming in my hotel room, for Christ's sake. Or maybe you don't care. You'd get a weekend's worth of material out of it. Would MTV do a weepy Jesse Camp retrospective, or would you kick it over to VH1 for a Behind the Music special?

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or to letters@savagelove.net.

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