My new girlfriend blurted out that she had a cuckolding past with her ex-husband. She says her ex badgered her into arranging "dates" with strangers and that he picked the guys. Her ex would then watch her having sex with a guy in a hotel room. The ex only watched and didn't take part. I am really bothered by her past. She says she did it only because her ex pressured her into it and she wanted to save her marriage, so she agreed. But I suspect she may have enjoyed it and may have been testing me to see if I wanted to be a cuck. What should I do? I am really torn by my feelings toward her.
Confused in NOVA
You suspect she may have enjoyed fucking those other men?
I hope she enjoyed fucking those other men—and you should too, CINOVA. Because even if cuckolding wasn't her fantasy, even if she fucked those other men only to delight her shitty ex-husband, anyone who cares about this woman—and you do care about her, right?—should hope the experiences she had with those other men weren't overwhelmingly negative, completely traumatizing, or utterly joyless.
And, yes, people will sometimes broach the subject of their own sexual interests/fantasies using the passive voice or a negative frame because they're afraid of rejection or they want an easy out or both. ("My ex was into this kinda extreme thing, and I did it because I felt I had to." "That's gross." "Yeah, I totally hated it.") But cuckolding is almost always the husband's fantasy—it's rare for the wife to initiate cuckolding scenes/relationships—so odds are good that your girlfriend is telling you the truth about those other men being her ex-husband's idea/fantasy and not hers.
As for whether she's testing you: That's a pretty easy test to fail, CINOVA. Open your mouth and say, "Cuckolding isn't something I would ever want to do. The thought of you with another man isn't a turn-on for me. Not at all." It's an easy F.
What should you do? If you can't let this go, if you can't get over the sex your girlfriend had with her ex-husband and those other men, if you can't hope she had a good time regardless of whose idea it was, if you can't take "I'm not interested in cuckolding you!" for an answer—if you can't do all of that—then do your girlfriend a favor and break up with her. She just got out from under a shitty husband who pressured her into "cheating." The last thing she needs now is a shitty boyfriend who shames her for "cheating."
My husband is Native American. I'm white. We've been together 16 years, raising a couple of kids. We love each other very much, so this isn't a deal-breaker: I've got a thing for his long black hair. He's a drop-dead gorgeous man, and while I gave up asking that he wear leggings or a breechcloth once in a while, I wish he would grow out his hair. I'm willing to wear (and do) anything he asks. He's somewhere to the left of Sherman Alexie when it comes to this stuff, but could you tell me why I'm so wrong? He keeps his hair short, and the one time I made enough of a fuss, he grew it out and never washed it just to spite me. A long time ago, he participated in a sun dance, and he looked incredible. So I guess that makes me a blasphemous pervert, but really? Is asking for a couple of braids really so wrong?
Whitey McWhite Wife
I forwarded your email to Sherman Alexie, the award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, and filmmaker. Your question must have touched a nerve, WMW, because Alexie's response arrived while my computer was still making that woooosh-sending-email sound. Now I'm going to step aside and let Alexie answer your question:
"What does 'to the left of Sherman Alexie' mean in this context? I doubt there are very many Native dudes more leftist than me! And long hair on Indian men is more conservative and more tribal, anyway—more ceremonial. More of a peacock thing, really. And a lot of work! My Native wife certainly misses my long hair. But I don't miss the upkeep and I don't miss answering questions about my hair. I mean, I cut my hair 13 years ago (more than 25 percent of my life ago), and some people still ask me about it! Thirteen years! Also, Native men tend to cut their hair as they age. Long hair is generally a young Indian man's gig, culturally speaking.
"I would venture that Native dude is tired of being romanticized, ethnocized, objectified. We Indians get enough of that shit in the outside world. Maybe this dude doesn't want that in bed. Or maybe he just likes the way he looks with shorter hair. Because I am getting so gray, long hair would make me look like a warlock having a midlife crisis. Maybe this Indian dude is just sick of all the sociopolitical shit that comes with long hair. Maybe it kills his boner. Talking about it has certainly killed my boner."
Why would you call blumkins "sexist"? Are you excluding the idea that gay, bi, and trans people might participate? There are many sexual practices that are degrading. If the partner consents, how is it "sexist"? Lastly, have you considered that a heterosexual female may want a blumkin of her own? I'm a heterosexual male, and I have no idea how you could defecate and remain erect—but to each his own! Your answer was irrational and sexist!
The Problem Isn't Always Sexism
Go to Urban Dictionary and read every definition for "blumkin," TPIAS. There are nine of them. We'll wait.
While almost all of the proposed definitions—including the top one—are gendered ("Taking a nice shit while your woman is sucking your cock"), even definitions that aren't gendered ("Getting a blowjob while taking a stinky shit") include examples of usage that are gendered ("Anthony really enjoyed it when Christy gave him a blumkin last night"). While a gay dude could suck his man's cock while he was taking a stinky shit, and while a trans man could go eat his cis girlfriend's pussy while she was dropping a deuce, the whole conversation about blumkins—and since blumkins are mythical, TPIAS, the convo is all we've got—isn't about consensual degrading sex play. It's about the symbolic degradation of women.
And that's sexist.
It's like gerbiling: Everyone has a butthole, anyone can walk into a pet store and buy a gerbil, paper-towel tubes are everywhere. But gerbiling is always described as a gay sex act. The fact that straight, bi, asexual, or even deceased people could theoretically have their asses gerbiled doesn't make joking about gerbiling not homophobic. The anatomical technicality doesn't exonerate gerbiling. Same goes for blumkins.
So my ruling is final: Joking about gerbiling is homophobic (but funny if done right), just as joking about blumkins is sexist (ditto).
It's always a little frustrating to read columns where we hear only one side of the story. Maybe you could solicit letters from both partners? A couple would agree in advance what the problem was and both send in a letter, but they should not read each other's letters. Keep up the great work!
Just an Idea
I love this idea, JAI. Any game couples out there? Throuples welcome, too!
On the Lovecast, Dan and writer Ephi Stempler discuss companionate marriage: savagelovecast.com.