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Savage Love 

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My BF and I went to the gay pride celebrations in New York City last weekend. Toward the end of the pier dance a lot of people were turning the event into a "grope-a-nanza," which was made easy by the jam-packed conditions. I was standing behind my BF and he was pressed tight against the butt of some boy. As the fireworks were going off, the guy that my BF was pushed up against reached around and started massaging my BF's crotch. Focused on the fireworks, I didn't notice right away. When I did, I asked, "What's going on here?" My BF ignored me.

After the pier dance we went to a club. On the way we stopped at the apartment of a guy my BF knows. My BF stayed at this guy's place several weekends ago during a spur-of-the-moment trip. My BF didn't mention that he was staying with a friend until I tried to contact him at the hotel where he said he was going to be. The explanation I got then was that his friend offered him his couch at the last minute. But my boyfriend's "friend" lives in a tiny studio apartment with barely enough room for his small double bed. There was no couch.

On the way to the club, my BF and his friend took a tab of ecstasy each. Once we're at the club, my BF suddenly French-kisses this guy. My BF doesn't say a word. At this point they announce that they're going to the bathroom. I wait at the top of the stairs. After waiting an inordinate amount of time, I go downstairs to keep them company. When I get there, I find the BF, his friend, and some other guy engaged in a French kiss/group hug/massage/grope. At 4 AM I decided to leave and headed for the door. On my way out I look down at the dance floor only to see that the French kiss/group hug/massage/grope has resumed.

Do I have any business feeling humiliated? My BF has claimed to be holding up his end of the monogamy bargain but now I'm not so sure he's telling the truth. We barely manage to have sex once a month these days; most of the time when I ask he refuses. Maybe taking X and groping on dance floors is so pleasurable that sex with me isn't worth the bother. I'm 42 and he's 35. We've been together for seven years, but this I-wanna-go-to-circuit-parties stuff only started a year ago. I'm struggling to understand the events of the weekend and determine whether or not I should continue in the relationship.

--Getting Over Pride

Don't hold back on us, GOP. If you're gonna narc on the BF and tell my slack-jawed readers just what drugs he's on, well, you really ought to mention what drugs you're taking. I mean, you have to be on something. If watching your boyfriend fuck around in front of your face isn't all the evidence you need to conclude that your boyfriend is fucking around behind your back, well, you must be thoroughly anesthetized yourself. If you have to "struggle to understand the events of the weekend," or if you need someone to tell you that you ought to feel humiliated, then the drugs you're taking are stronger than any of the drugs your boyfriend is on.

Wake up, GOP: You're being cheated on. Your BF is a great, big, selfish, inconsiderate, rainbow-striped slut. The only end he's holding up is the one in his pants, and from the sounds of things your BF isn't too picky about who he'll stick his ass in the air for. Except you, of course.

Clearly he isn't sexually attracted to you anymore; the romance for him--along with many millions of brain cells--is dead. So why doesn't he leave you? I dunno. Maybe he doesn't wanna go live with his "friend" in a tiny studio apartment. Maybe he sticks around because you're paying his bills. Maybe he's fond of your mother. Or heck, maybe he's fond of you even if he isn't into you anymore.

Should you continue with this relationship? That depends. If you love him so much that you'll do anything to keep him in your life then you'll have to give him permission to do what he's already doing. Declare your relationship officially open, and let him go to his parties and have his fun. He'll either get the party-boy stuff out of his system in a year or two (and you two can get on with growing old together) or he'll die trying.

I'd like to pass on some advice to Helpless Lacerated Heart (the chick competing with the computer for her programmer-geek boyfriend's affections). I dated a programmer for ten years and wound up marrying him. Everything went to hell after we got married. I'd cook dinner and watch it get cold before he could tear himself away from his computer. And sex? I'd go into the computer room and try everything--touching, rubbing, begging--and his reply was always, "Maybe later."

Then I found out that he'd met another woman on-line and was carrying on an "E-affair." He would call this woman on the phone when I wasn't home or had gone to bed and he racked up some huge phone bills. The phone was billed in my name, and he would hide the bills before I saw them and "forget" to pay them. I found a phone bill accidentally one day and got it all straightened out before he ruined my credit. Then I put the phone in his name and filed for divorce.

We were married in March of 1998 and our divorce was final in September 1999. After 10 years of dating our marriage lasted all of 18 months. My question: I would like to find a guy and have a relationship but I'm terrified of getting hurt again. Any advice, or is this one of those "time heals all wounds" things? --Sworn Off Geeks

My advice: You were in a relationship that lasted 12 years; it's gonna take more than nine months to get over it. Yes, indeed, time will heal your wounds--but only if you use your time wisely. Get out of the house and do something cheap and meaningless, and you'll be feelin' better in no time. Go to Vegas with a friend, rent some strippers, get drunk, fall down, get up, go home. Believe me, SOG, you'll feel better.

I was in a situation similar to Helpless Lacerated Heart--except that I was the boyfriend. I used computers and video games as an escape from a relationship that I no longer enjoyed but was too chickenshit to end. Not even the geekiest coder favors computers and games over sexual advances from a woman he's interested in. So the answer, I'm afraid, is that he is almost certainly no longer interested in HLH.

--Still a Geek

Thanks for sharing, SAG.

Confidential to Adam at Union Cab:

Ramy tells me you're a by-the-book kinda dispatcher. I can respect that. But remember Adam, rules are made to be broken. So please forgive Ramy for driving me to the Madison Airport at speeds in excess of 120 miles an hour. I had a plane to catch.

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

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