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This is a fairly embarrassing situation for myself and my husband, and I hope you will consider helping. Not too long ago, we came home from a night at the theater and found my 14-year-old daughter "experimenting" with one of my dildos. Needless to say, we were both mortified. My husband quickly exited the room and left me to deal with it. My daughter claims she found it while innocently looking through my closet (something she is not allowed to do). She says she was "curious" and "just playing." I have since thrown the dildo away, as well as my other one and the vibrator. I have decided that these sorts of materials are inappropriate for a household with teenagers. My daughter was grounded for a week, and now we don't speak of the incident. My husband has never mentioned it once.

Should I dredge this up again, Dan? Or move on? The feelings of embarrassment are lingering. Have I harmed my daughter? --Traumatized Over Youngster

Sorry, mom, but however mortified you were by the sight of your daughter impaling herself on your dildo, you must speak of this incident again. You need to sit your daughter down, look her straight in the eye, and say the following: "Please accept my apology. I've been such a dumb bitch about all of this, and I hope you'll forgive me." Then hand your daughter a nicely wrapped package. Inside the package? A dildo of her very own. Then you need to say this: "Like all girls your age, you're curious about sex, and your hormones are raging. You're old enough to masturbate, and masturbation is healthy and natural. Your desire to experiment with penetration is likewise healthy and natural. You're no longer grounded, and as we speak your father is putting a lock on your bedroom door so that you can masturbate in total privacy. Now get out of my sight, you little scamp."

Look, lady, teenagers masturbate--for pleasure, to release sexual tension, and to alleviate their fears about sex (what is it going to feel like?). Teenage boys experiment with penetration all the time. With a little hand lotion and a clenched fist, a boy can simulate intercourse. Teenage girls don't have it quite so easy; they need a stand-in for cock. As a parent, you should be proud that your daughter was smart enough to use something designed for vaginal penetration. Do you have any idea how many girls wind up in emergency rooms every year because they "lost" pens, pencils, hot dogs, or cucumbers inside themselves? Do you have any idea how many girls do themselves real and lasting damage experimenting with bottles, broom handles, hammers, and Ken dolls?

So lighten up, mom. Dildos in the house didn't put the idea in your daughter's head. Fourteen-year-old girls know what intercourse is, and they're curious about it, and they experiment with it, dildos or no dildos. Look on the bright side: if your daughter hadn't found your dildo you might have come home to find her bleeding internally. Actually, you may yet come home to that: with your idiotic dildo fatwa in effect, your daughter is likely to explore her curiosity with whatever is handy. If you want to avoid a trip to the emergency room (or feeling queasy every time you cut up a cucumber for a salad), you need to buy your daughter her own dildo.

The last couple of times my girlfriend and I have had sex, she has licked me clean afterward. She says it is a real turn-on to taste our mingled juices, and I'll admit that it is kind of a turn-on for me too! But now she wants me to go down on her after we fuck, and I think the idea is kind of gross. This is starting to come between us. What should I do? --Glazed and Confused

Like the guy whose girlfriend enjoyed having her pubic hairs plucked out, you are under no obligation to lap up your mingled juices simply because your girlfriend likes to. However, your girlfriend is under no obligation to keep seeing you if you refuse. So what should you do? Give in or don't. Only you can decide if this girl is so wonderful that you're willing to eat your own come to be with her. Good luck.

I was a virgin when we got married. Now I'm almost 30, and my sexual preferences have turned away from the vanilla sex my husband prefers. Namely, I've discovered that what really gets me going is bondage and domination type stuff. I've talked to my husband about this and asked him if we can try it, and while he claims to find it interesting, he always says "Maybe next time." I even bought some basic bondage things (blindfold, straps) at a sex shop, thinking that'd provide some momentum. No luck--it's still "maybe next time." Recently I met a guy who is definitely into the same things I am, but I can't cheat on my husband. I mean, I could, but I won't. How can I reconcile my new interest with the fact that my husband is completely not interested? I realize it's not as interesting a problem as sister-loving rednecks or chicks who want to pluck their boyfriends' pubes, but any suggestions? --Wife Interested in Bondage

I get the impression from your letter that you've been dropping hints and making suggestions, hoping your husband will take the lead. It's time to put your foot down, WIIB. Start making demands and giving orders. Tell the husband, "Honey, I'm really getting frustrated. Either you're going to explore this bondage and S-M stuff with me, or you're going to give me permission to explore this stuff with some other guy. No more 'maybe next time.' What's it going to be?"

Thank you for telling Suddenly Bi Guy's Wife to divorce him right away. I speak from some experience--his. I discovered too late that just because I could have sex with women doesn't mean I should have sex with women. I had honorable intentions of living the straight life when I got married, and I enjoyed being thought of as part of a heterosexual couple. Within a year, though, I had to admit that I really wanted to be with men. That was just about the time my wife discovered she was pregnant, and I was positive she had conceived the night I'd had a particularly vivid fantasy involving Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, and myself in order to keep myself hard inside her. Well, to make a long story even longer, the marriage limped along pitifully for several years, with much pain for everyone involved. I truly love being a dad, but I never should have put my wife through all this. So my advice to the bride is this: if you don't want to share your husband's passion with a procession of men, call a lawyer, return the wedding gifts, and above all don't get pregnant. --If You Think the Truth Hurts, Try Living a Lie

Thanks for sharing, IYTTTHTLAL, and give my regards to your ex-wife and your son--little Alec George, I presume?

Dan Savage's new book, Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America (Dutton), goes on sale October 10. (More info at skippingtowards


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