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repletewithyou
So, there's this boy. He is a very dear friend and I've known him for years and years and last summer we fell in love. He goes to school about a thousand miles away and he didn't want to try a long distance relationship. We got back together over winter break and had sex (both of our first time); he is one of the most genuine and gentle and smart and adoring people I have ever known. BUT we talked the other day and he says he "doesn't tend to think about people much when he can't see them." I think about him all the time and it makes me sad to think he doesn't think about me.

We talked tentatively about getting back together this summer. I hate it when girls care more about their guys than their guys care about them. I don't know whether he really doesn't care about me anymore or if he is just a dumb boy with a bad memory. I'll be seeing him soon and I don't know what to do.
pepper
this may sound harsh but...
reminds me of that book "he's just not that into you."
when you're into someone, you think about them.
repletewithyou
true
emtee
so, when is an appropriate time to have the, "Are you seeing anyone else, or is this exclusive?" conversation? Is that conversation really necessary? How do you establish whatever label you prefer to use? (Boyfriend, Partner, etc...)

I've got a third date scheduled with this guy, and I really like him, but I've never been in an exclusive relationship, so I don't know how these things really work.
venusindisguise
I just had the "...is this exclusive?" conversation a couple weeks. I felt it was a need-to-do thing as soon as we slept together,if I be sleeping with someone I want/need to know if they are didlling with anyone else- for health and heart reasons.

As for the labeling...I'm still living label-free, which is what I wanted when he wanted something more definite. Then I thought I wanted definition, and he didn't. Now we have some silly name..."optioning"...that somehow describes what we are doing. It is a total cop out, but it'll do for now. A more serious talk will have to be has when have somewhat-long distance between us (3hrs).

When is the 3rd date set for emtee?

As much as I don't like to label things...I still feel lost in the 'relationship'. Plus it is hard to explain to others.
jazmyn13
Hey all, let me know what you think.

Because of the incidence of sexually transmitted disease among young people and because YES you CAN get practically all of them via oral sex, I have decided that I will not engage in anything more than handjobs and making out until I am in a committed relationship again and we've both gone to the clinic and shown the other person the results. Is this going to freak guys out? I just think about all the diseases that people are carrying around nowadays - HIV, HPV, Herpese, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, etc. - and I get the heebie jeebies. Also, I have found out that I really REALLY do not like casual sex. Sex with someone I really care about vs. casual sex is like an Fudge covered chocolate brownie rasberry truffle and chocolate peanut butter Ice Cream sundae compared to tofutti. Why eat toffutti when i can save up for the sundae?

On the other hand, I don't want to get into a relationship with someone and find out they suck in bed. I was in a LT relationship where we were monogamous and didn't use condoms. It was fantastic, I never had a problem and I'm still clean (we were both faithful). I know what people say but the sex WAS better without condoms. Eventually, I would like to get back there with another special someone.

My question is, how/when do i explain about my standards during the dating game? Is this going to be an impossible standard to maintain? and don't worry, I WILL keep condoms around in case I have a lapse of will/judgement.
pepper
hmm, best of intentions eh? that's a tricky business, i think. setting such strict standards of behavior, whenever i try that and fall off the wagon i fall far and Hard 'cause i've set the bar so high.
what i do is base my judgement on his sexual practices on what he's like with me. if he's really safety conscious and we've both been tested and are ok i feel alright about what happens between us. if he heads straight in there right off with no discussion and not a profelactic in sight, well, i guess i can be pretty sure what he's like about safe sex all around.
and hell girl, don't appologize, sex is a far sight better without a condom For Sure!
cloverbee
okay, so I was getting my car tuned up today at the shop when this cute car salesman approached me about a car. So we went for a test drive and he said he would get in touch if the right car came in for me. I gave him my numbers and I have his card. Now, I know he was interested and so was I. So what should I do? I don't want to call him first and it would be against company policy for him to call me other than for a car. what's going to happen here? am I going to pass this one up or is he going to make a move? anybody psychic?????
jazmyn13
he was trying to sell a car. flirting is a fringe benefit...call him if you're interested.
maimy
Clover, if you want him, you have to call. Why don't you want to make the first move?
cloverbee
I don't feel comfy making the first move. I like to have the upper hand in a relationship and by making the first move I would be losing control. I know that sounds so bad but I haven't dated in about five or six years and never sober so I probably am pathological about it. maybe I'll just let this one pass. Or maybe one day it will come to fruition w/out me having to put myself out there. fate.
maimy
Clover, making the first move is the very essence of control. But if you don't want to, you don't want to. It just means you wait for the next guy who'll take that control.

At the end of the day, if you won't "put yourself out there", you're not out there. Consider why you have these rules, and what they mean to you, and think about whether it might be nice just to let control go out of the equation and see if something just happens naturally, without all the expectations and caveats. It could be more relaxing. *Smile*
pepper
fuckitty fuckitty fuck fuck fuck..
oh lordy, i am creating a world of trouble for myself. i just keep putting off having "the talk" with him and i am getting so incredible irritable about it all. argh.
i know what he will say when i tell him that i have had enough, he'll rant and rave and demand my energy in exactly the kind of way that made me not want him to be a part of my life in the first place.
gotta gotta toughen up, gotta get a back bone. this has Never been so much of a problem before but i've never had to deal with such a miserable, unreasonable fuckwit before either. i want out.

clover, why does one of you have to be in "control" over the other? can you imagine maybe just being on equal footing with him and both of you being respectful and caring of eachother's feelings? that's the ideal that i imagine...
cloverbee
yeah pepper. it's just hard to know where you stand in the beginning. that's what unnerves me. I guess that is life.
la_sirena
Hi there,
I'm not new to this board, but I think my bf might read it so I'm going undercover. Thank you for reading this.

I've never really bought the excuse "I was drunk" before, for any sort of activity..but I'm afraid I've created a hypocrite of myself.

The other night I was at a huge party where I got completely blitzed. I don't drink too often, and I VERY rarely ever drink this much, but I was out of town and well, anything goes I guess. I blacked out for about 2 hours of the night-I have a few VERY vague, dark, blurry images of that period, and I have no idea what happened otherwise. I have no idea how we got home, how I got in bed, who took my shoes off-I even drunk dialed my bf at 4 a.m. and took my pill and I have no recollection of it. I know it was stupid-but as I said, I rarely do this and so I'm not quite sure what my limit is sometimes. I'm just relieved that we got home safely.

All I remember from one of those blurry images is giving some sloppy drunken chair massages, one of the guys I was giving it to was sitting on the floor between my legs, caressing them (my bare legs) VERY sensually. I remember thinking "oh god, I cannot be doing this-get up before it progresses". I want to say that I got up and walked away at that point, but the next morning, there was a large hickie on my neck. I also wish I could say that my girlfriend who I was with did it, but she swears she did not.

I know that no clothes came off. It just would've been too hard to get them off and back on-I was wearing tightish pants that could not have been removed without taking off my strappy high heels that also couldn't have come off easily-I have trouble getting them on even when I am sober. And I was wearing a tube top with a tube bra underneath, which was all fully and neatly intact the next morning. Hence, I know there was no sex- and I would've felt that the next morning for sure. And although I was completely trashed, something tells me that if anything more than a hickie had happened I would remember enough of it. I asked around the next day and no one remembered seeing anything.

So..I've come to the conclusion that this dude starting sucking on my neck and that's when I walked away (well, long enough for him to leave a mark-it wasn't that dark, just big). The more that I've thought about this, I've started to materialize a memory of me telling him "I'm sorry, I'm with someone, I have to go"-but you know how our psyche's can just make things up. But on the other hand, the fact that I know there was no sex, and no clothes came off, I feel I can safely conclude that this did happen (I am SO relieved that the guy let me go)

In the case that the hickie was still visible when I got back, I considered telling my bf that my girlfriend did it, and if the hickie was not visible, then I wouldn't say anything at all. I know he wouldn't mind if she had done it-he'd probably think it was hot.

Well I got lucky. It faded completely by the time I saw him, he didn't notice anything.

But I still feel guilty. Even though I didn't need to explain anything, or lie to him, it's the fact that I would have if I needed to. I've never lied to him-seriously. Also, this has never happened to me. Again, I've never really bought the excuse "I was drunk"-thinking that I can never be too drunk to remain faithful. But I know this isn't true now, at least as far as getting a hickie, so I take that back.

I know that no one can tell me how to feel, but I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion on this-should I be feeling guilty? Should I tell him (I really, really don't want to)? Is it really excusable that I was drunk, and apparently nothing more than a little necking occured? I had to have walked away from it, and that gives me a little comfort.

I just don't know if I should move on and let it go, or if I deserve to feel some guilt in order to get over it, or if I should do the noble thing and tell him. I would so appreciate anyone's opinion on this-thanks so much!
jazmyn13
i think it depends where your personal boundaries (and your bf's boundaries) are with "cheating". You did, after all, walk away. Clothes stayed on, you didn't go anywhere with the person. I am a person who feels guilty leaving information out. A lie by omission is still a lie.

That said. Nothing happened, really. Drunk as you were, you had the presence of mind to walk away from the situation. If you think that your BF will find out, you should tell him before someone says "damn, you have one wild woman!" or something like that. If there are pictures or other evidence of what happened that night, those things will probably out at some point. If not...well, if you can live with yourself, why rock the boat? You stopped something, you didn't let it go far, you respected your relationship boundaries.

How angry would you be if you were him? would you want to know? imagine yourself in his shoes and make your decision.
yummymum
Alright. I've went out on a date with this guy twice. He's a really good guy, whom I initially did not have a lot of physical attraction to. I mean, he's cute! But there may not be much chemistry or something. I thought I'd give it a try anyway, since he's very nice, professional, respectful of me, polite, and understanding that motherhood is my priority aka - I have a life outside of dating.

In addition to our two official dates, we've hung out casually with other people at a local bar a couple of times. And every time we see each other we have excellent continuous intellectual conversation. I mean, WE HAVE things to discuss. We've had similar situations in life. It all flows.

Anyway, for our third official date he has asked me to go home with him to a friend's party. It's a couple hours away. And he's made no mention of spending the night or anything, so I'll assume we will come straight back that evening. A couple of weeks ago, I was agreeable to it.
But since then, I've gotten cold feet. I mean, he calls me twice a day. I'm getting a little bit irritated by his constant hovering, in that sense. He's done some nice things for me - got me out of a speeding ticket, ordered me something from the store he owns, etc. I feel like he's trying really hard- almost too hard! HELL, we havent even kissed!!!! And really, I'm not really sure I have that physical desire.

I'm going to cut it short because I think you all can see where I'm going with this! I'm getting a little bit suffocated and need to get out of this prior committment of going up north with him. And I need to do it politely. I'm not good, in general, at breaking up or in this case- backing away. I dont want to hurt his feelings because it's obvious that he's into me. But I'm not really feeling the same urgency that he seems to be feeling. So I need to get out of it. How do I tell him that I've changed my mind about this weekend and still be polite and remain friends with him? I dont want to hurt his feelings. I'm just trying to trust my instincts here.

Geez... I'm really bad at this! He's already left me 2 voicemails and 3 emails today and it's barely lunchtime. Help!!







anarch
jazmyn13: I have decided that I will not engage in anything more than handjobs and making out until I am in a committed relationship again and we've both gone to the clinic and shown the other person the results. Is this going to freak guys out?

sorry for showing up late. Just wanted to say that I made this decision too and it was a damn good one. I told guys early on (like, after it was clear we liked each other enough to think about sex, but before doing anything more than making out). The guys who were really into me were willing, and the guys who weren't, said so and we didn't waste each other's time anymore.

Only one guy was both willing and annoyed ("I feel like I'm filling out a checklist"), because he said he'd only had one gf before and it was monogamous, so he was "low-risk". Turned out he had chlamydia.
maddy29
I totally agree with anarch and jazmyn13- I did this with my current boyfriend, nothing past kissing and hand stuff until I heard the nurse on his voicemail saying he was all clear. It's just not worth it to me to take the risk. And, if one of us has something, so much better to get it treated!

If anyone was pissed about that I'd say fuck off to them. If they can't respect my choices then we aren't going to have a relationship anyways. My boyfriend felt bad about it cause he thought it meant I thought he was dirty or something. I explained that wasn't it, but that I just didn't want to have to worry about it.
jazmyn13
sweet, thanks guys.

You're totally right Maddy, no one should waste time with a guy who doesn't understand about trying to be safe.
maimy
La Sirena, think about the level of agreement you have with this guy. We often know, whether it's spelled out explicitly or not, what a partner is willing to accept and what a deal-breaker might be for the person we're with. Even if it's not negotiated point by point, we tend to communicate our attitudes.

So decide whether your overwhelming guilt is about his standards, or yours ... or whether it may even be attached to some issue not between you. Maybe you have questions about your use of alcohol, based on some past experience. It may not even be the 'cheating' that is eating at you most deeply. Think about what it is that is feeding this for you, and think about why you condemn yourself for it. Do you feel you betrayed your guy? Yourself? Some other standard you hold, and are shocked to have transgressed ... ?

Don't beat yourself up. Deal with what this situation has put before you. And keep talking. We're listening!
john
_jazmyn13: I have decided that I will not engage in anything more than handjobs and making out until I am in a committed relationship again and we've both gone to the clinic and shown the other person the results. Is this going to freak guys out?_

Yes and no. Men are not the open receptacles for viruses and bacteria that women are. Most often an infection is passed through a break in the skin, like a vagina. When men come, it leaves their body and enters yours, condoms nonwithstanding. We don't take you inside ourselves. We also don't undertand why you aren't having intercourse with us.

Just being honest here.

The testing thing is a commitment thing, and what you're asking for is the guy to commit to you before sex. Prudent, yes. Rational, yes. Emotional, not really. Passionate, no. An evolved and sensitive male will completely undertand and support your position, but even in this age of required safe sex it does take the fun out of things. Think of all the problems you have had in the past with getting them to wear condoms, and now you want them to be tested first?

Safe sex can be oe of the hottest things for the male because it's like having sex, only no actual sex was had. So he still wants it. Awesome! Do you allow digitalis? It's just as safe. What about frottage? You can keep the guy hooked and still be as safe as you want o be in your own mind, but understand that most men can find someone without your requirements.

Of course, if he really likes you he'll understand, and perhaps this is a very good requirement you have.
sybarite
I used to get around this by being a condom girl. Always with anyone new and often in relationships as well. I didn't always have sex with someone very early, but I liked the fact that if/when I did, I didn't have to worry about my safety, and in a way that extended to my emotional safety as well. It made things a little simpler. Some guys kicked up a fuss, and that was a litmus test for me: if they got pissy about using a condom then forget it. I mean, obviously it's nicer without, but if someone's getting pissy with me before we have sex I should get out of there anyway.

I also did the making out only thing and it did make me feel more emotionally in charge. And again, it weeds out the assholes pretty quickly. But, to be honest, it does genuinely confuse some guys as John says. Some guys feel by signing up for making out/staying over you're signing up for everything. This is obviously problematic politically (see the feminist outrage thread from yesterday) and I think saying up front what you're up for and what you're not is a good idea. IME there were guys who hadn't heard this before; some took it on board and I had the others close the door behind them.

I have to say I kind of see john's point on testing. I have always seen testing as =commitment, and sometimes I didn't want that with someone, I just wanted a lighter relationship possibly based around sex. Which condoms made easy.

My 2 cents. Stick to your guns.
maddy29
Right, but Jazmyn is saying she doesn't want to have sex with someone UNTIL she is in a committed relationship with that person. All that means is that for the first month, two months, three months, whatever, of their dating, they won't be having sex. And then they'll talk, and if they decide to have a committed relationship, they'll both go get tested. I think that's beautiful, nothing wrong with that.

I don't think passion means being irresponsible-to me it was incredibly sexy that my dude went like, the next day to get tested, etc. It made it so that when we did have sex, we both felt comfortable and free, and there were no worries. Plus the waiting for results was so agonizing, cause we sooo wanted to have sex-so it just built up this awesome sexual energy.

The "bad in bed" thing is an issue, but if you've been kissing and doing whatever else safe stuff you can, you'll have some clue about his skills or whatever. I guess that's a risk you'll have to weight out-is it better to have sex with a condom to make sure he's not a dud? Your call...

And I CERTAINLY don't think it's too much to ask. I don't like the whole idea of "oh it was so hard to get guys to use condoms..." Fuck that shit. Why aren't men taking care of themselves? Why is it women that have to take care of the birth control AND have to be the responsible one. That's BULLSHIT. And sure John, "most men" can get laid by someone who doesn't have the same requirements. But I doubt Jazmyn wants to be with some asshole like that.
katiebelle2882
i am pretty sure he was referring to testing. i didnt see how he was saying dont use condoms and most guys can get laid with someone who wont wear one. he was talking about the no sex at all until commitment and testing not no sex without condoms.
maddy29
I also don't appreciate having women referred to as an "open receptacles for viruses and bacteria"

Maybe you didn't intend for it to sound like that....
lucizoe
*delurks*

john, it's considered good form around here to go intro yourself here. Welcome to BUST!

*relurks*
pepper
"open receptacles for viruses and bacteria"
ye know that little hole in the end of a dick?
ya, well. duh.
our juice flows out Continuously not just when we pee or come. don't matter none either way, it's all delicate skin for Both parties. generally a break in the skin refers to miniscule tears, not visible to the naked eye, that are caused by nothing more vigorous than friction.
if a boy thinks he's safer cause he's a boy, well, i wouldn't go making it with that boy myself. protected or not.
the level of education and personal responsibility that a person takes with safe sex, and other self-respecting behavior for that matter, is directly in line with how attracted to sleeping with them i am. and i have to say, if he isn't getting tested regularly already, regardless of partners etc, i don't think he's very responsible with his sexual health. i go twice yearly and request tests for Everything 'cause, even though i am so low risk as to be no risk, you just never know. why take a chance, eh? i don't need the stress of wondering for months later if i am going to come down with something or not.
maddy29
Thanks Pepper:-) Well said:-)

I agree, in this day and age, it's just irresponsible to NOT get tested on at LEAST a yearly basis, if you are sexually active. EVEN if you are in a monogamous relationship.
pepper
right on maddy. it can take some things YEARS to show up in blood tests too. doesn't mean you haven't been infecting people all along, or that they haven't been infecting you... best to play safe and accept the risk that sex inherently is. i know that isn't a sexy thought but it's reality.
maddy29
Yep, totally pepper. Lots of parts of sex aren't actually that "sexy" or "passionate" anyways! There's weird body noises, smells, juices, etc.
pow
LOL John, I hear your open receptacles and raise you a penile disease vector. Specially those that test every backdoor in town. Let's not be thinking the average sexually active penis is a pristine piece of flesh.
john
Lucizoe,
Thank you for telling me that. Intro posted.

Jazmyn,
It will freak some guys out. Those men who do not accept your requirements are not ones who want a committed relationship, anyway. You are both protecting your health and weeding out those men who do not meet your relationship requirements. Good job!

Pow, Pepper, Maddy 29, Katiebelle2882,
I really did not mean to offend with that comment about “an open receptacle . . .” but was trying to illustrate the point that anyone on the receiving end of penis in any orifice is more likely to contract a virus or bacteria than the person the penis is attached to. Since Jazmyn is talking about vaginal intercourse and HIV transmission, I was trying to point out, and obviously did so inelegantly, that the vaginal wall is thin enough to allow absorption into the bloodstream of viruses or bacteria present in his semen, and the surface area is great enough to allow ample opportunity. This is without any breaks or tears in the skin in either partner, no matter how miniscule. While viruses and bacteria are present in vaginal secretions, the penile opening presents less opportunity for absorption, though it certainly and obviously happens.

No, there is no way I was advocating sex without condoms, especially with a new partner. Condoms break however, even with proper use. Both partners need to be sexually responsible and get tested every six months to protect themselves.

And Pow, “I hear your open receptacles and raise you a penile disease vector,” that’s hysterically funny! Yes, the penis is a vector, that's what I was trying to point out.
maimy
John, I am confused by your use of the term digitalis (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=digitalis). Do you mean the action commonly described as fingering or finger-fucking?
john
Maimy, Yes, that's what I meant.
maimy
Well, after all, I s'pose one could take the term "foxglove" in a few interestingly evocative ways ...

Certainly, the right fingers would have to be preferable to *poison*.
pepper
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=frottage
hee.
jazmyn13
hrm, well, I kind of include finger fucking in the same category as hand jobs so yes, that would be an acceptable activity.

It is going to be difficult, especially if I'm with someone I'm very attracted to, but I think if i'm really interested in finding someone who is worth the time, it's worth the trouble. I am a highly sexual person (twice a day would be nice) so this is going to be difficult, but I hope the pay off for self esteem and anxiety over disease is worth it.

Also, I hope that the guy I decide to be committed with understands that committed doesn't mean "I want to marry you", it just means that we're not fucking/dating other people. I do understand that's a delicate point to negotiate in any relationship, but hey, if it makes them want to bail, we can continue to date but they get no sex :-) haha.

Thanks for all the comments people, very appreciated.
la_sirena
Thanks for your input, Jazmyn and Maimy!

To be honest, my boyfriend is one of the people who believes that "I was drunk" is an acceptable excuse. He thinks that if there is nothing more than kissing and/or some jr high style groping, then it is excusable. He said this in response to a friend of his getting very drunk at a party we were all at, and messing around with a girl who was not his girlfriend. I was pretty disgusted by it, especially because someone reminded the guy he had a girlfriend when things were heating up, which he ignored. My bf said that if no clothes come off, then he doesn't even think that the incident should be reported to one's S.O., because it will only hurt feelings and make things worse. I obviously disagreed with him, but let it go, just hoping that he hadn't made that declaration based on something he himself has done. I try to trust him (please don't look too far into that statement).

So, in answer to your inquiry Jazmyn, he would not be upset about this, and he would not even expect me to tell him about it in the first place. I believe that it's the fact that I don't believe in this philosophy myself that is making me feel guilty, regardless of it being hypocritical. Let's just say though that I would be devastated if I found out from someone else that he got drunk and cheated on me. I would probably be able to forgive him if he told me about it himself (depending on how far they went), but if I found out from someone else, I would be pissed-and if it was more than kissing or necking or whatever, I don't think I would be able to forgive him. It all depends really, but yes-he and I don't quite see eye to eye on this. It goes without saying that we should probably talk more about this subject in general(let's give it a little time though!).

I know the question now is why can't I just tell him, if he's not going to be upset? After all, confessing could make me feel better....Because I'm not 100% sure that he was 100% sure about what he said. The boy is prone to bold, impulsive statements-this I've come to know and rely on about him after a few years of knowing him intimately. He'll sound so sure of something-be it an opinion, or an action, and then he'll later regret it, having not thought it through enough. So. I'm worried that despite his stated belief, telling him would still put a stigma on our relationship at least for some time if not permenantly. I'm only using my best judgement based on what I know about his personality. He could mean it completely, but I don't know if I want to test that.

I am certainly not worried about him finding out from someone else-these were people that he will never, ever come in contact with-a whole different group of people hundreds of miles away. And, besides-I don't think anyone really saw it happen.

Maimy-I hope that answers some of your questions as well-I think my guilt is based on me having this double standard-being that I'd want him to tell me, but I really don't want to tell him. And the fact that I'm not even telling him that I have a double standard at all. This just smacks of badness-it seems very unhealthy, and I honestly care tremendously about our relationship-but I don't know if I am willing to do the right thing in this case. Because after all, what you don't know can't hurt you...right? I hope I am not choking on that statement soon. And yes, I have transgressed a standard of mine-I really thought that the tables would never be turned on me like this, but here I am.

As for alcohol use-as I said, I rarely ever drink like that-it was a very special occasion, with no intention more than getting drunk and having fun.

I've been feeling better about it the last couple days, but just writing this response has opened up some more of it-aspects I hadn't thought of before. I think it needs to be examined..

Thanks for reading this!
jazmyn13
Glad we could help!

It does help to forgive yourself. We can be our worst and most unrelenting critics. We are only human and do make errors. I think that your error is not a big one. Remember to be gentle with yourself.
pepper
funny, i wonder if he would have a different perspective about a girl, His girl being the one doing the messing around and not telling about it.

seems to me that the message he gave you, verbally at least, was that he thinks people should keep those things to themselves. and so you have.
but really, if it's bugging you to not tell him, you seem to want to be told about that kind of stuff yourself, then tell. it's ok to want to live by your standards instead of his.
i would tell. being that honest is that important to me. i don't buy into the "what you don't know won't hurt you" philosopy. i think the truth is best, even when it hurts a little.
but then again, that's just my opinion. :o)
maimy
La Sirena, much as I personally dig honesty, there is honest communication, and there is truth-for-its-own-sake, and there are actually times those two aren't the same thing. Let your partner set the standard for how you treat him, not your own standards. "Do unto others" is all very well until others want to be done to differently than we do. And if you unburden yourself knowing his standard is different, are you doing it for him or for yourself?

I think you are on good enough footing here. It may not be comfortable footing for you, but it's within your guy's limits, and that is the important thing. Jazmyn is right, you may need more forgiveness from yourself than from him. Try to treat *yourself* by his standard, it seems generous. Sometimes, honesty can mean facing what communication is destructive, pointless or futile.
badcrumble
Hey there all. I've just popped back from the Newbies thread where I've duly introduced myself!
Pat on the back to me :-)

Since you seem like smart gals, I was hoping you could contribute some advice. (I apologise in advance if this post becomes too lengthy or if it's better suited elsewhere).

To cut a rather long story short, I found evidence of teen porn sites on my boyfriend's computer today. Now, we've had the whole 'porn' debate before when I realised that he occasionally looked at it when I wasn't around and I have various problems with it, some political and some personal. I won't bore you with the history of that at the moment, but the thing that is eating me up right now is the type of stuff he's obviously been accessing. Yes, the girls may be 18 and over, but it seems to me that the kind of sites that advertise 'teens' are filled with girls who often look even younger than that and they seem to equate childishness with sexiness. They're typically small and often dressed in 'schoolgirl chic', (pleated short skirts etc) and it just doesn't sit right with me. How can a fully grown man justify getting off to girls who look so young and what is it about that type of porn in particular?

I know he's looked at more general stuff in the past but this in particular makes me uncomfortable. While I don't truly believe he's into young kids or whatever, I feel it's a very fine line and would appreciate your opinion.

I'll be out when he gets home, so left him a letter explaining what I found and what I thought about it. I just wanted to make my points to him clearly and concisely as things will probably get heated later on.

I wish my first post on Bust was a little more lighthearted, but there you go :-(
jazmyn13
uh, not to be too critical, but in my experience, letters aren't the best way to address complex issues. Why didn't you just wait until you got back to talk to him about this?

Unfortunately, the "teen porn" thing is all over the internet. search a porn database and "LOLITA" comes up frequently in a number of picture and movie titles. I think that it's one of those things that our culture is weird about. we're freaked out by pedophiles and have this war on pedophilia but at the same time, the most easily identifiable "sexy outfit" is the catholic school girl outfit. It is a fine line, as you say, but he's not necessarily a deviant for looking at this and getting aroused. Besides,there is a difference between fantasy and reality. Obviously, some fantasies are unhealthy, but sometimes we're just weird human beings. I, for instance, had very violent sexual fantasies for many years. I was never molested or raped but I enjoy rough sex and watch some hardcore porn. That doesn't mean that I want to be raped or think rape is okay.

I think that you have a right to express your discomfort but it seems like some of this is coming out of your general discomfort with porn. I don't know how you resolved your issues with porn in the past, but you allow him to watch it. IMHO, I think tht it is overly controlling to dictate the kind of erotic material your sig other can watch. However, I would VERBALLY express your discomfort without judging him (if possible). He's just going to be defensive if he feels attacked. It's a good possiblity that the letter made him feel defensive already.
pepper
"if you unburden yourself knowing his standard is different, are you doing it for him or for yourself?"
but if you keep something to yourself for his sake not your own just who exactly are you being true to? i have a hard time with this one. i want honesty in my life, i feel icky about lying or bottling up something that i want to say because i think someone might not want to hear it. i feel like that's me taking responsibility for what may be someone else's issue and sitting on my feelings. sure being brutally honest can be a bit much at times, things can be toned down. but i believe that it's best to do what YOU yourself feel is right instead of living by someone else's standards. i also think that hard things are sometimes good to hear, that giving someone the chance to deal with something that tweaks them and trusting that they can process it and grow from it is better than trying to protect them.
i know we're hashing the semantics of the truth etc, but i think about this one a lot and i value your input.
bklynhermit
in my opinion, this is an issue that would absolutely need to be discussed with my S.O.

for me, any porn at all is borderline deal-breaker. i realize not everybody feels that way. and i certainly don't want to get into the political aspects overmuch.

but i think that, as a participant in the relationship, yes, you do get to have input into the kind of porn your SO uses. maybe that input isn't "allow" vs. "don't allow", maybe it's just him being open about it, you being able to talk about it with him without being accused of being a nag. in order for your SO to be fully honest with you and faithful to you, i think there should be a huge degree if disclosure and discussion where this sort of thing is concerned.

also, whether 'society' condones teen porn (and barely legal, and sexy schoolgirls, etc etc) is irrelevant here. the point is that it IS borderline unethical (porn made with anyone who is really under 18 is ILLEGAL, period), and in addition it is something badcrumble thinks is inappropriate. which means that if she and her SO are to communicate well with each other, she has to be 'allowed' to bring this up with him.
jazmyn13
I never said she didn't. I think that of course she should express her discomfort with what he's viewing. Do I think that this should be approached in a non-accusatory, direct way through open communication? yes. Clearly, porn isn't a complete deal breaker since she knew that he watched it. It wasn't something he shared with her and it wasn't something she really wanted him to share beyond knowing that he occasionally watches it.

If she doesn't want him viewing any porn, fine. I just think that for me, personally, I wouldn't want my SO dictating what I could and couldn't privately watch. If it's child pornography, of course there would be problems. But this, however close to the line, is not child pornography. I wouldn't tell my SO what porn to watch; in fact, I didn't. He had his stash (which I occasionally watched on my own) and I wouldn't have dreamed of telling him he couldn't watch it. I wouldn't tell him what to read, or what to listen to.

If porn is becoming a "deal breaker" for her, she needs to tell him that. Maybe he'll be perfectly fine not looking at the type of porn she's not comfy with. But I'm willing to be that he'll be less receptive if he feels that he's being accused of doing something immoral.
venetia
If my partner was allergic to something, say, wool, and he told me, then I could choose whether to wear wool around him or not. I might choose not to wear it at all, not to buy wool. On the other hand wearing woolen clothes might be important to me and I might choose to wear them sometimes and try to minimise contact with him. Or I might like to wear wool so much that I'd eventually have such a negative effect on him that he couldn't live with me any more.

His discussing his allergy wouldn't necessarily entail him "dictating" to me or "banning" me from doing something - it would just involve giving me the information on where he's at and allowing me to make an informed choice about how much I was willing to change or compromise in order to be with him. Why is it that as soon as we talk about anything to do with sex, it quickly gets all this baggage about telling other people what to do?
pepper
pron isn't an allergy though, is it? it's a choice. just like screwing around, cursing, wearing bad shoes. one may like it and do it, but it can be avoided.
good point though about the baggage. for me it isn't about trying to change or boss another person around. for me it's about choosing what is acceptable for Me in My Life. if being with someone who looks at itty bitty teeny bopper pron isn't ok, then i shouldn't be with that person. simple. and if being with me is more important to them than the pron, well, they also have the choice, do they not? but trying to impose my standards on someone else is futile, cruel and unreasonable. imho. i certainly wouldn't want anyone doing that to me. i am who i am, thanks. take it or leave it.
katiebelle2882
to look at it from the other side? what would we be telling her if her BF told her she shouldnt look at porn? we would be telling her its her right to do whatever she wants and he shouldnt be bossing her around or dictating what she finds erotic.

i think the issue here is the kind of porn it is. perhaps badcrumble, you need to tell him that it makes you uncomfortable for him to be looking at sites that sexualize and glorify being so young and that you find it weird bc for you it borders on a sort of pedophilia type thing.

and personally, telling a guy thata he couldnt watch porn seems way over the top and controlling to me, provided the porn he watches isnt severely disturbing.
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