Amy Alkon drags people, kicking, screaming, and laughing, out of their misery with her behavioral science-based advice column, which runs in about 100 newspapers.
Buy her science-based and bitingly funny new advice book, "Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck" (St. Martin's Press, June 3, 2014).
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Earlier this year, I met what I thought was a sweet, kind, caring man. After a whirlwind romance, he proposed, we got engaged, and moved in together. Shortly afterward, I discovered he'd shaved 10 years off his age. He said he was 42; he's actually 52. (I'm 32.) I then began snooping on his computer. Here's my problem: He seems addicted to Internet porn. Not just any porn, gay porn. He has five separate e-mail aliases, and belongs to 67 gay porn sites. He has used gay phone sex and gay personals. When I confronted him, he said he was "not gay in the least." He is very underendowed, and this was the reason he gave for looking at naked men. He claims he pretends that he has what they have while "entertaining himself." I don't buy it, but I'm wondering if maybe it's possible for a heterosexual man to not be gay and be addicted to this type of porn. -- Concerned Fiancee
This guy's straight like I'm a vegetarian. Okay, so there's a freshly slaughtered cow taking up my entire refrigerator/freezer. It's just there for those times I can't help but eat a dead animal (like when it's too hard to spear on a fork while it's still running around).
But, maybe your fiance's just "bi-curious." Very, very, very bi-curious. The problem is, he doesn't seem the least bit hetero-curious. In that tidal wave of gay porn, you don't mention spotting a single Busty Juggs or Wendy Whoppers. And, when I told my very gay best friend that this "straight" guy is a member of 67 gay porn sites, he noted that these sites each charge about $19.95 a month, and chortled, "He's gayer than I am!"
The size comparison angle might be believable -- if he were 11 and sneaking furtive glances around the locker room, but when a man's had the same willie attached to his body for half a century, he's usually made peace with his piece. The exception, of course, is your "not gay in the least" fiance who only goes on gay phone sex lines to ask that age-old question, "Does size matter?" My answer? Not if there's a bigger question, like "How does a man pack all his gay porn into one little ole closet?"
It's not surprising that this mess you're in started as a "whirlwind romance," or as I prefer to call it, the relationship version of anonymous sex. Don't tell me: After he sent you flowers, said all the right things, and took you to a French restaurant three times, you and he just knew you were "meant to be!" -- the perfect excuse to avoid taking the time to figure out if you actually are. (Oh, that crazy little thing called sexual orientation!)
For a girl who doesn't "buy it" that he's straight, you're working awfully hard to parse whether he's mostly gay, sort of gay, or maybe just gay on weekends. And go ahead, keep parsing that -- ideally, while waiting at the clinic for your test results for everything from HIV to Hep C. According to a survey by public health researcher Preeti Pathela, men with a sexual identity at odds with their sexual behavior are more likely to engage in "riskier sexual behaviors" (sex without condoms, not just muffled sex chats when the girlfriend's in the next room). As far as your future together goes, come on, admit it already: There may be a special place for you in his heart, but it's unlikely to stop other parts of his body from pointing due West (Village).
Buy Now, Prey Later
My fiancee left my car incapacitated, tried to sabotage my job, and disappeared for a month with another couple to form a Wiccan coven -- then suddenly came home and announced she wanted to get back together. I'll admit, I have bad judgment about women, always pairing up with these whimsical flakes, but I'm wondering, are there people actually stupid enough to reunite and go through this repeatedly with the same person? -- Not That Dumb
It might be a little soon to join the ranks of the smugly self-aware. No, you don't repeat the same mistake with the same woman. You repeat the same mistake with slightly different women. Maybe one's a skinny exorcist in a motorcycle jacket, another's a fatty in a faery dress who works as a spiritual cleaning lady. If the rest are anything like witchiepoo here, what they have in common is how little love, respect, or regard they have for you. On some level, you go for this. Figure out why, and fix that -- before the next "free spirit" sacrifices your car to the fire god, but most considerately brings back your keys in a ceremonial urn so you won't have to make car payments on mere memories.