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I decided at 12 years old that pregnancy was not something I wanted to worry about. Now, at the ripe age of 26, I'm still a virgin. I exchanged oral favors with my past boyfriends, none of whom lasted more than three months. Approximately half said they wanted more; the other half were only settling for me until someone better came along. At 19 I came to think it was a form of leading men on to date them while giving them no chance of sleeping with me until some arbitrary future date when I was ready to have kids. So I took myself out of the game and haven't dated in seven years. My self-imposed sexual isolation is complicated by the fact that I am now overweight and have abnormal hair growth (I have to shave my face and chest daily). For years my inner emotional life has been locked between aching loneliness and cold emptiness. My friends and my family, though warm and loving, are no longer enough. I want more. I want physical comfort and emotional gratification. I want sexual contact. But I can't seem to get over my original reasoning and self-conscious body issues. Of all the columnists I've read, you are the bluntest. Help. --Frigid Frustrated Fool

The weight? Lose it. Join a gym, buy a bike, walk an hour a day. Move more, eat less--it ain't rocket science.

The hair? Lose it. Go to an electrologist or a laser-hair-removal joint and have your face and chest hair blasted away forever.

The self-pity? Lose it. While it sucks to be fat and to have to shave your face and chest every day, there are worse physical challenges, FFF. (And hey--some guys dig fat chicks, hairy chicks, or both.) Used? Dumped? Settled for? It happens to the best of us.

Your 12-year-old self? You need to murder that dumb cunt. That sounds harsh, I realize, but I speak from experience. You see, FFF, I decided at age 12 that parental disapproval, religious condemnation, and social ostracism were things I didn't want to worry about, so I resolved never to come out of the closet. Instead I decided I would either become a priest or fuck girls, and I gave both options my best shot. (Hey there, Quigley Preparatory Seminary North! Hey there, Wanda!) But by age 26, FFF, I was out, my parents were over it, and I was living in Berlin with my first serious boyfriend. I couldn't have gotten the physical comfort and gratification that I ached for--to say nothing of the bruises and rope burns--if I hadn't wrapped my hands around the throat of that pansy-assed 12-year-old faggot and squeezed the life out of him.

Reading your letter, FFF, was like hearing from that 12-year-old faggot again. You made the same mistakes at 12 that I did, but whereas I wanted to avoid the potentially painful consequences of crushing disapproval, you wanted to avoid the potentially painful consequences of unplanned pregnancy. We both ran away from our desires in order to protect ourselves from the pain we feared. But our youthful attempts to avoid the possibility of pain by denying ourselves love and intimacy only succeeded in bringing down upon us the certain pain of aching loneliness and cold emptiness.

So, FFF, just as I had to get out there and risk being disowned by my family, getting tossed out of my church, and contracting a potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease in order to find physical comfort, emotional gratification, and sexual contact, you're going to have to get out there and risk getting hurt, getting pregnant, and contracting diseases to find the physical comfort, emotional gratification, and sexual contact that you need. Will you find love if you start taking risks? Maybe, maybe not. But I guarantee that you won't find love sitting on your ass in your apartment obsessing about pregnancy and downing pints of ice cream.

You can do this, FFF. If I could kill that 12-year-old fag, you can kill that dumb 12-year-old cunt. Just wrap your hands around her throat and squeeze.

I'm an 18-year-old girl with an 18-year-old guy. We've been dating for 15 months and have a healthy sex life. Seven months ago I found out that he was cheating on me online with guys. He said there was nothing physical going on and that he wasn't really interested in these guys--he just enjoyed leading them on. He also told me that he'd stop. A month ago I found out that he'd started doing it again. I talked to a couple of the guys that he was leading on, and it turns out he met more than one and wanted to have sex with them.

I live with him and don't want to leave him, but I'm scared that he might cheat again. I have nothing against gay or bisexual people. I just know that if he's bisexual--he can't be gay, because he wouldn't like me if he were, right?--I wouldn't feel comfortable watching TV knowing he thinks that Paris Hilton and Paris Latsis are hot. I love him a lot, and I know you're going to tell me to DTMFA (I'm a regular reader), but I'd rather hear some insight on this situation. --Torn in New York

Hmm, your boyfriend is a lying closet case but you want some insight besides DTMFA? OK. If you're going to stay with the LCC, you're going to have to accept the fact that you're dating a guy who is, at best, bisexual. So here's what you're signing up for: he's gonna fuck you, he's gonna fuck guys, and he's gonna lie to you about it. If you don't want him to lie to you, TINY, then you're gonna have to convince him to come out to you and give him your blessing to sleep with guys on the side. If you can't do that then you need to--well, you're a regular reader. You know.

I'm writing to you regarding the letter from Wanting Time for Myself, the young man being abused by his emotionally needy girlfriend. I was in his shoes once, and I'm still putting my life back together a year later. I hope he leaves her before he begins to feel worthless the way I did. Because I spent every free moment with my ex I stopped growing as a person. Not only did I not make any new friends, I lost many old ones, and I spent no time nurturing any hobbies or interests. Only now is my sense of utter hopelessness giving way to my old self. This guy needs to get away, and fast. He needs to decide that any guilt he feels about devastating her is far better than the life of guilt, deep depression, and regret he'll lead if he stays with her.

Dan Savage, you really are the straight guy's best friend, even if you do keep trying to get people to put things up their assholes. --I Almost Sent This Without Signing It

Thanks for sharing, IASTWSI.

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