Friday, March 23, 2012


Fantasies, Expiration Dates, and the Vasectomy

I'm happily married to an amazing dude and we have three wonderful kids.  After much discussion, we've determined that our family is complete, and that him getting a vasectomy is the best thing for us to do. My husband is completely on board logically, but the thought of getting a vasectomy makes him squeamish and nauseous (which I can understand).

He's also the type of guy who does things right away if he wants to do them, but keeps on putting off tasks that he doesn't want to deal with (guess which category this falls into?). I don't want to nag at him until he does it, but it needs to get done. I'm sure this is a common situation, but I'm not sure what to do. Can you shed some light on this from the dude's perspective, and help me help him to follow through with this?

In other words, he's a guy. Your husband's reaction is somewhat predictable. Any male, faced with the you-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter combo of surgery (sharp things) with his most special place (his junk) is naturally going to shrink from the concept. Makes me squeamish just reading about it.

Beyond that, he could also be reacting to the idea that he's making an irreversible decision. He may not be commitment-averse — heck, he got married! — but he could be thrown by the idea that he can no longer reproduce, that it fundamentally makes him less of a man, or that it limits his options somehow. He might also worry about the potential physiological effects, like a reduced sex drive, which is highly unlikely since vasectomies do not impact hormone or semen production (fun fact: sperm makes up only 2% of seminal fluid!) Perhaps he needs to be assured that vasectomies are reversible (WARNING: link contains cringe-inducing diagrams of the mommy-daddy buttons), and that he can always restore his ability to expand your family to a full hockey team.

Have you guys done all of your homework, and had discussions with your healthcare provider? Sounds like any trepidation he might have related to chest-thumping manhood or permanent eunuch status could easily be allayed by some Q&A with a doctor or a couple of Google searches.

That said, you guys should probably talk about concrete next steps for your family planning out loud. If this is something you both agreed to, set some milestones for executing (YIKES!) on it. Including openly discussing his hesitance and ensuring he's completely comfortable with the idea. Heck, if he's a college basketball fan, it's time to strike while the iron is hot.

I love my husband, and we're ridiculously compatible. My crazy matches his crazy. But there's one thing that's been bothering me: in the five years we've been together, he's never shared a fantasy or suggested anything new in bed. Any bedroom "innovations" have come from me. I've tried to make him feel more comfortable in any way I can — by talking about my own fantasies, by telling him I'm open to new things, by asking him before/during/after sex and while drunk and sober. Nothin'. He just says he can't think of anything. He's got some other sexual quirks (can only orgasm in missionary position, takes a long time to orgasm) but those don't really bother me.

What's going on? Is he too afraid to talk? Or could he really, truly not have anything to share?

First of all, I wouldn't view your guy's propensity to nut in missionary as a "quirk" as much as a "proclivity." Everyone's got their happy place. For example, I usually can't climax unless I'm wearing lederhosen. My wife, too.

But we need some more intel here. How does he react when you guys do it your way? Is he into it? Is he reluctant? Embarrassed or excited? One partner's "innovations" could be another's taboos. Some people just don't react well to ping pong balls.

On the other hand, his "thing" might actually be you taking the reins and acting on your fantasies. Don't sell yourself short: your creativity could be so mind-blowing that it's overwhelming his more mundane sexy librarian fantasy. (My sexy librarian fantasy is scorching, mainly because it involves the Library of Congress. And Mila Kunis.)

Or, he could have elaborate fantasies that might be reserved for his private time. Fantasies that he might feel are too base for acting out with you, since you're his wife. He might be shy or ashamed of some of his fantasies. Some people might get revved up about DVDA porn, but there's no way that's gonna besmirch the marital bed. Plus: the logistics! He might fear that you'll think of him as a perv, which is exactly what you're looking for.

Let's face it, sometimes this stuff just feels weird to talk about. Sex is really fun when it's spontaneous, or on the 50-yard-line. So perhaps you can coax something out of him more naturally during foreplay. What's his favorite movie? "So, do you like it when I talk like Alabama Worley? You're so cool! Oh, look, a phone booth!"

Else, it's possible that his favorite flavor really is just vanilla. Nothing wrong with that if both of your toes are curling.

Okay, quick question! I hadn't thought that this was a thing until recently (is it a thing, Married Dude?). I admit it was because I was spying on A Dude's fingers, wondering if maybe he might be available and was under the impression that he was until a few people mentioned that he is married. So what's your take on wearing rings? Wear one? If no, hate jewelry or counter-cultural statement?

This one hits a little close to home for me, since I'm on my second wedding ring. No, still on my first wife, it's just that my first wedding ring fell victim to the Bermuda Triangle.

I hadn't been married long, but I felt so incredibly naked without it that I rushed out to replace it the first chance I got. It meant that much to me, physically and emotionally. I definitely sweat losing another one.

I'm kind of a Ring Guy. I've always been cool wearing a bit of jewelry, but I stop at pinky rings (just haven't found the right one for me yet). Some people aren't, and that doesn't make them any less committed to their marriage. They just don't feel comfortable wearing rings or jewelry for whatever reason. Ultimately, it's up to them and their spouse as to how much meaning a hunk of metal has for their relationship. As long as they aren't being dirtbags about it and showing tan line on their ring finger at the strip club.

That said, I'm somewhat of a traditionalist. I'm happily married, and not shy about it. I like what the ring symbolizes. Plus, you know, I've got to do all I can to keep the ladies off me.

I'm going to try to keep this as concise as possible. I've been dating a great guy for about two years. I could say lots of good things about him, but above all else, he is my best friend, and I have a lot of love and respect for him. I want him in my life, but ack, I'm so confused.

We recently had this conversation where he told me that he basically knows that at some point in the future (although not, apparently, the near future?) we will break up for at least some period of time, as he has never really been single before (he was in a long-term thing before me, also) and wants to have that experience of being alone. Which is fine, I can understand that. I've done casual dating, I've been single for a while, all of those things are valuable learning experiences. But I also feel kind of weird about it? All of a sudden I am very aware that our relationship has an expiration date, and I guess I feel a little cheated, because hey, I'm awesome, and I think I deserve to be with somebody where eventually taking our relationship to the next level (i.e., living together, etc.) could at least be on the table.

I'm a pretty open-minded person, and I try to live in the moment, but it's not easy when the person you're with basically tells you that your relationship has no future. Just as a note, this is not the first time where I've felt like I'm the only "adult" (not that being in your early twenties is all that grown-up, but still) person in our relationship. He can be very immature and irresponsible, rarely admits to ever being wrong or apologizes for things, and is insecure about stuff within our relationship, which definitely sometimes causes strain between us. Do you think I should stay with this person? Am I asking too much of my early twentysomething guy? Shed some light on the male mind for me, A Dude.

I'm completely sympathetic to the notion that you now feel like your relationship has an expiration date. What do you do with milk once you realize it's reached its expiration date? You either chug it, give it to the cat, or pour it down the sink. Unfortunately, it sounds like things have already gone sour.

Frankly, it's unfair of him to dictate the terms of your relationship. He's being a selfish prick and keeping his options open. Sure, maybe the guy isn't ready to settle down and needs to play the field for a while, but for God's sake don't say that out loud if it's not during The Breakup Talk. Who does that? What good does it do to know this now? "Hey, just FYI, your car's brakes are going to fail sometime in the next 100 miles. Could be in the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly, could be on Mulholland Drive. Good luck!"

I believe you know where I'm going with this, and you sound like you know the answer as well. You're looking for things that this guy just cannot deliver: a future, maturity, responsibility, and a partner who can hold up his end of the relationship. Instead, all you're waiting for is for the other shoe to drop. How romantic.

My advice is to take the wheel. Ask him what the hell the two of you are doing if you have no future together. Killing time until he's ready to go out to stud? Not cool. There are no guarantees that some so-called sabbatical might cure his (wander)lust, and there's no reason for you to wait around like a sailor's wife to see if he comes back to port. You know you deserve better, so you should probably get on with finding it. You don't want to be someone else's opening act.

Previously: Locks, Ships, and the Sexless Non-Marriage.

A Married Dude is one of several rotating married dudes who don't claim to know everything about marriage. Do you have any questions for A Married Dude? (300-word max, please.)

Photo by Patsy Michaud, via Shutterstock

352 Comments / Post A Comment


"In other words, he's a guy."

I have no problem with the advice here! And I like this Married Guy! But seriously I wish this phrase and others like it would just disappear from Ask a Married Guy and Ask a Dude forever.


@Bunburying I wish it would disappear from the Earth.

(But the advice is good!)

hot dog princess

@Bunburying I thought the same thing! Disliking the "combo of surgery (sharp things) with his most special place (his junk)" is not just a dude thing. I don't want surgery up in my lady parts if not necessary either?!


@Bunburying ughh most definitely. Such a cop out.


@Bunburying Here's the thing, I hate that phrase too, but men statistically are less likely to go to the doctor than women, so when it comes to having to do with a medical decision, it makes sense.


@hot dog princess This is what I thought when I was reading it, too. Unless they've just been using condoms this whole time, LW has probably been submitting to yearly special place invasiveness in service of their shared family planning goals. Feeling squeamish about the same thing is not a good excuse to avoid taking your turn.


@hot dog princess I didn't get the analogy, either. Peanut butter plus chocolate is delicious, no?

Plant Fire

@hot dog princess Does he think that this fear is for dude's only, and that women are totally cool with getting their lady parts jabbed at? I put off getting my IUD for a good couple months because the idea of having my delicate reproductive bits poked at freaked me out too much!


@Sea Ermine I barely manage to get myself to the basic yearly exam without kicking, screaming, and drinking.


@Sea Ermine Word. I almost cried in the doctor's office because I was so scared to get a colposcopy one time. And almost cried again from the pain afterwards.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@WaityKatie I guess A Married Dude thinks sharp things and junk are two great tastes that taste great together.


@themmases At first I'm sympathetic to vasectomies being scary, but then they've had multiple children... So the wife has either had multiple football sized objects come out through her sensitive regions or cut out of her stomach. It seems like birth sucks more.


@acookieaday I hate this societal attitude of "well, women are probably more ok with pain because they have periods and babies and all." Shut up, just shut up!


@Bunburying yeah, was not a fan of this phrasing, but I think that the advice was good.


@WaityKatie It bugs me but I think it bugs me even more when dudes are like "Yeah, but that sounds like it would pinch and also my balls" without even acknowledging that ladies do this stuff routinely. I'd rather a dude act like he realizes that he needs some defense for not stepping up.

There are tons of dudes out there who aren't dads as a direct result of the time, money, discomfort and general grown up doings of ladies back when those dudes were still going to dentist appointments arranged my their moms for Thanksgiving break and building Natty Ice towers with their bros. At least suck up to me with bullshit about my wizardly pain tolerance.


@WaityKatie Did you hear, they totally disproved the women have higher pain thresholds theory!! Unless I dreamed it, I dream a lot of things. I remember reading this in some bullshit pop science venue or something not long ago. The researchers were all like, yeah, we kind of thought that since women have to ENDURE a great deal of pain and suffering, you know, physically, we all just assumed that they LIKED it or something, because we imagined there was a just god, and also, we were dumb.


@queenofbithynia YES. This happened. According to the study I read, they actually found that women have a LOWER threshold for similar types of pain. I wanna say arthritic pain, but they did seem to think the findings were generalizable.

Not to say a vasectomy isn't all kinds of ick for this guy since, you know, "he's a guy," but, um, who BIRTHED the three kids for pete's sake?


@everyone I guess you guys don't read The Awl re: men not going to the doctor. They really don't like to go.

Veronica Lemmons

@Bunburying Do we really need to take it this seriously? It's not like A Dude was saying, "So, your man wants the occasional outside fling. In other words, he's a guy." He was saying, "Guys generally don't like the thought of their peens getting busted." Doesn't need to become a men's pain vs. women's pain issue. Nobody wants to get their bits smashed. Doesn't seem worth gettin it twisted.


@WaityKatie Yeah, most likely the wife has born the brunt of birth control (I'm assuming from statistics that she's done some form of hormonal birth control) and physically had the children. I would be scared if I were a man as I hate medical procedures, but it only seems fair for him to do this or come up with another option that doesn't physically put the burden on his wife.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@themmases I'm clapping my hands for this comment. Especially the phrase "wizardly pain tolerance."


@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose yeah standing ovation over here for this part "There are tons of dudes out there who aren't dads as a direct result of the time, money, discomfort and general grown up doings of ladies back when those dudes were still going to dentist appointments arranged my their moms for Thanksgiving break and building Natty Ice towers with their bros."



@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose
Aw, thank you!


@Veronica Lemmons Hairpin's just goin through a Jez spell, It'll clear up soon enough.

Fwiw, as a longtime sufferer of kidney stones I'd gladly swap genital pains with any of you. I am the grand master of genital pain.


@maevemealone So much so that instead of my husband getting a vasectomy, I got a tubal. I went through surgery because he was icked out by out-patient. (He makes up for it in other ways)


"My Dude has a problem with cleaning the base of the toilet."
"In other words, he's a guy."

"My Dude doesn't like kittens because they're pointy, and I reeeeally want a kitten."
"In other words, he's a guy."

"My Dude won't eat brussels sprouts, even when I roast them with garlic and olive oil!"
"In other words, he's a guy."

"My Dude will only wear sweaters with the lanolin still in them, so he always smells like a sweaty sheep."
"In other words, he's a guy."

"My Dude can't get off unless we're listening to Carmina Burana at top volume and thrusting in rhythm with the first movement, while I drum out the rhythm on his back with finger castanets."
"In other words, he's a guy."


@themmases DAMN STRAIGHT, love this comment!


very well done this post. is amazing@a

The Lady of Shalott

LW#4: Your dude sounds like a dick. There are two options here. 1. He is a fortune-teller and he has read your future in his tarot cards/crystal ball/Ouija board session/telepathic dream of the future. 2. He is planning to break up with you and he wants you to consent to this.

He sounds like he is in his early twenties and wants to get out and play the field. Let him. Ditch him and find someone who is not immature/irresponsible/unwilling to admit he's ever wrong/insecure/etc. This guy is basically asking you to Do the Sex to him while he plans for a future without you and that is cruddy behaviour.


@The Lady of Shalott Seriously. Who does that. Ugh.

LW#4, tear off that bandaid in one go.


@The Lady of Shalott "Do the Sex to him" made me laugh/snort, it's so good. And this is useful advice.

Better to Eat You With

@The Lady of Shalott In college I had a boyfriend say to me, "I think it's time I look for the girl I'm going to marry, and I don't think you're it." Somehow, he was surprised that I took this as a breakup.

The Lady of Shalott

@Better to Eat You With My BFF's ex-bf once told her "I think I'm going to marry the next girl I date after you." It was such a weird conversation and like....there are still so many things I don't understand about it! Like, was he just going to marry her for the sake of it? Or because it was Time? Or....UGH I DON'T UNDERSTAND.


@Better to Eat You With who says shit like that?

dj pomegranate

@Better to Eat You With In what language is that NOT a breakup?!

Sydney C

@The Lady of Shalott, @Better to Eat You With

So when is someone going to jump in propose the obvious conclusion that all these guys need to be burned with fire. Preferably while the ladies in question scream, "Looks like you won't be marrying the girl after me now, asshole!"

Wow, that just got a little dark.

Seriously, though. "You don't want to be someone's bench warmer" (opening act in this case) is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever received.


@The Lady of Shalott Oh, LW4, this totally happened to me last spring. And he said (I quote): "I DO want to be with you in the long-term, but...I just haven't ever been single. Can we...you know...try to date other people at the same time, for a while? Because I love you and I don't want to lose you but if I don't do this now I'm just going to hurt you later." In a totally obvious DTMFA situation, I went ahead and said "YEAH SURE LET'S DO IT. Open relationship, woo." (and I'm totally not against open relationships, but there has to be some reasonable balance of power. This was not that situation.)

That was the beginning of a drawn-out, painful, exhausting few months in which I felt terrible for being unhappy, because "honey look how cool I'm being you really dooooo love me and want to stay with me because I can be so coooolllll with your bullshit" is a terrible thing to have to fake. And he was probably miserable, too. After a completely insane amount of wasted time and energy, I realized that he was really just being kind of a wimp, and that he was avoiding introspection because it was probably scary, and that what he really wanted was to break up with me, but he was so afraid of losing the stability of our 6+yr relationship that he couldn't man up enough to do it. So I did, to keep the bullshit from dragging on any longer.

It sucked, a lot, for quite a while, not the least because we still did (do) genuinely like and care for each other. And honestly, I'm glad that he could say what he said, and what your dude said: that he felt like he was going to need something different in the future. It's a wimpy-person's way of breaking up, or making you do the dirty work, or something, but better that then 10 years down the road, with kids and families and pets and whole entire lives involved...

What my eternally-wise mother said was: if it's meant to be, you will come back together. Or you'll outgrow each other, and that'll be fine, too.


@The Lady of Shalott agree! that "never been alone before" thing is a bunch of bull. I've definitely been strung along in the name of an "open relationship" before. I feel for you LW #4!


@alebee ARE you the woman from that this american life episode??


@alebee I am sorry to hear about your situation. If we could all save up the energy we've spent pretending we were cool with stuff we could...do something that requires tons of energy.


@The Lady of Shalott ..Oh my lord, I had a boyfriend do that to me too, and I was the SAME WAY. Oh yeah, look how cool I am, those other chicks you want to date can only hope to be nearly as cool as the girlfriend you have at home letting you go out with them...UGH. I'm disgusted with myself even reliving this. So, yeah, fast forward many many years and when my ex-HUSBAND tried to pull this shit, he was out the door the same day! No, just no. My view: someone is either into being with you or they're not. They don't get to try out an alternate life just to see if life with you measures up, while you wait around for the answer.

Wow, sorry, I feel like I kind of went off on a tangent there. I'm all better now.


@vodkasaurus Sorry, that was actually directed at alebee.


@The Lady of Shalott Okay, so, I sort of did this to a guy once? But we were 19ish and felt the same way? And then we went on a legit break (or three); we never attempted an open relationship since it just wasn't for us -- plus, the point was to be ALONE not to see other people. We got back together when we were both in the same place, and now, years later, we're very happy with all the monogamy/maturity/tandem bikes.

But your analysis seems spot on. LW4 looks like she has a pretty standard case of DTMFA on your hands.


@somethingobscure srsly?? HER hands.


@somethingobscure My boyfriend and I are kind of thinking about doing this at some point... We've been together for four years, and still love each other a lot and can imagine getting married... BUT we also both feel like we haven't had a chance to be single and explore, blah blah. So we might take a break for a few months and then get back together. Can this work? Is it doomed? Pinners, please advise.


@tee Taking a break really worked for us! We have been together for almost 5 years with roughly 7 months off at various points, mostly in the first two years. But we were also dealing with some immaturity issues at the time, like really dumb fights and getting over old hang-ups, so it was beneficial to help us grow up and get some perspective. Also, we didn't go into it knowing 100% we were going to get back together, but we did at one point set a date like, after two months we will re-assess and at that point we have to decide whether we should give it more time or to get out. Having some no-contact or limited-contact periods were also important.

By the end of our final break, it was very much a "go big or go home" situation, as I had moved to a new city and he was looking for jobs when we got back together. He moved here so that we could continue our relationship, and the idea of taking a break or something like that just seems silly to us now because we've realized how much we miss each other when we're apart. That said, it's nice to get some alone time....learning to be single or whatever. You just need to know what you want to get out of it, and you BOTH have to be on board otherwise, it's probably better to just break up.


@dj pomegranate Well I guess he just wanted to keep "doing the sex" with her!


@The Lady of Shalott
Tobias: "You know, Lindsay, as a therapist, I have advised... a number of couples to explore an open relationship where the couple remains emotionally committed but free to explore extramarital encounters."
Lindsay: "Well, did it work for those people?"
Tobias: "No, it never does. I mean, these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but... but it might work for us."

*views expressed by Dr. Fünke do not necessarily reflect the views of Chareth Cutestory, Maritime Lawyer.


Uh, do you give expired milk to your cat? For realz??


@QuiteAimable I know! What is this?! Frankly my cat would not be interested.


@QuiteAimable Apparently this is a thing? When I was in Russia, my host mother told me to give sour milk to the cat, since fresh milk gave her the runs. I decided that if fresh milk gives your cat the runs, then you stop giving your cat milk.


@SarahDances Isn't milk in general kind of bad for them anyway? When I was a kid, we adopted 2 kittens from a shelter, and one of them turned out to have some epic intestinal distress - without going into details, it was disgusting and the poor guy got so skinny and dehydrated, we thought he was going to die. :( The vet had us put him on a very restrictive diet and I remember him saying specifically that milk would just make it worse.

(Happy ending - he survived, had a long life in which he was beloved and spoiled rotten, and reached the ripe old age of 20 without ever drinking milk).


@Bebe yes, many animals are intolerant to cow milk, just like many people are. sure, there are plenty who do fine with it, but it's a good general rule to avoid giving milk to cats/dogs unless you know they're fine with it. (former vet tech)


@Bebe @SarahDances I was also under the impression that all milk was bad for cats... but sour milk? That's crazy. My cats would have the runs and the barfs for a long time.


@QuiteAimable You do realize that milk doesn't instantly turn into poison the second the clock hits 12:00 on its designated expiration date, right?


@stuffisthings Indeed! Nothing wrong with sour milk, I usually save it for baking. It's not going to make you sick, it just doesn't taste as good.


@SarahDances I would guess that as it goes sour there's some bacteria in there breaking down the lactose that the cat's allergic to. If that's the case then it wouldn't cause the same problems. However, if you want to give your cat dairy just feed them yogurt, it's low in lactose already.


@stuffisthings Yes. Fortunately, I'm fairly intelligent.


@QuiteAimable Sorry! I've just lived with too many expiration date nutcases. Once I cleaned out the fridge and there were literally 6 jars of pickles because she "didn't know if they had gone off or not." Nevermind that the use by date was printed right on the lid. And it was in, like, 2016.


@stuffisthings Besides, PICKLES.

Reginal T. Squirge

Why is this vasectomy something that needs to get done?


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter Because hbc is less advisable the older a lady gets? And condoms are not a lot of married couples' preferred contraceptive option? And tubals are hells of more invasive than vasectomies? Just to name a few things that might have informed their decision-making?

Reginal T. Squirge

@wharrgarbl I was trying to point out that there are other options. If this couple has decided that none of the other options are for them, then he's going to have to take one for the team here. Otherwise, it's not like this is the ONLY THING THEY CAN DO.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter it sounds like they've already had that discussion, yet he has yet to act on it. that's how i interpreted it at least.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter and @teenie that's what it sounded like to me, too. My preferred bc is the pill (neither of us likes condoms) and if I was married with some kids already and we had both decided we didn't want any more, it would be good if my husband would take up the torch of birth control. One reversible procedure, covered by insurance, though squeamish-making, seems like a good equal contribution to how ever many years of enjoyment we both got from my hormone pill popping. I would probably do the same thing.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter I'm going to go out on a limb here and figure that they already had that talk before they decided their best option was $500-$1,000 worth of junk-surgery for him.

Generally if a couple's just going to durfa-durr along until menopause or a rogue lawnmower makes the decision for them, she just keeps re-upping her pill scrip or they keep buying condoms. Unless they live in an alternate universe where GPs are all "So long as I've got you here for a physical...there's an OR open down the hall and we're offering a 10% discount on tubal ligation today!" In which case, I guess they'd be still hanging out in that doctor's office, and she's mad that he's dawdling over the paperwork?


@teenie That's how I read it, too. They've discussed it, are doing something else temporarily, and he has yet to take the next step but they haven't really gotten to why he isn't taking the next step. There are a million reasons why a vasectomy might be the best choice for them, but that seems kind of beside the point now.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter If I were a dude, I would get a vasectomy SO FAST that my balls would be nothing but a pink blur. Doubly so if I already had kids.
But then, I have less than zero desire for children. I'm getting an IUD as soon as I can afford it, and I'd seriously consider a tubal if it weren't so invasive.

Reginal T. Squirge

@Bitterblue I should say that I am very pro-vasectomy and anti-being scared of routine medical procedures. I don't want kids but haven't gotten one yet is because I don't want to deprive the fantasy future-mate (oh, sooo much is done for the fantasy future-mate) of children just because I decided I didn't want them before I met her.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter Do you think that they don't know that there are other options? Pretty sure that they're probably aware of that.


@wharrgarbl "rogue lawnmower" Hahaha!!


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter But then isn't the fantasy future-mate someone who doesn't want kids either?

Reginal T. Squirge

@KatPruska We all have our faults. And I'm not entirely sold on my idea of "no kids forever"... because forever is a long time.

Also, if everything else is working, I'm willing to make a child-related concession for the good of the couple.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter But...kids are forever, too? Unless you drown them in the bathtub.


@WaityKatie Tch, don't drown them! Just take them to the local shelter, where they'll get spayed and neutered and hopefully rehomed!


@Bitterblue "My baby needs to find its forever home."

Reginal T. Squirge

@Bitterblue I think we should just all agree that my dreams don't employ the most sound logic.

Also, everybody knows that all you have to do is shake babies vigorously to turn them off when you are done with them.


@wharrgarbl $150 tops. dude.


@LeafySeaDragon ...that's like, less than Planned Parenthood charges super-broke dudes. How are you getting balls snipped for less than dentists charge to x-ray your whole mouth?


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter Just promise me none of you will ever have babies when push comes to shove!


@wharrgarbl it was just a clinic, i think we googled 'low cost vasectomy for low income' and it was a sliding scale. we were making 65k a year at the time. it was legit, they doc doing them did nothing else all day in la.


@wharrgarbl My husband's was paid for, 100% -including all doctor's visit copays, by the same insurance company that barely paid anything towards my generic BC. So.


@Bitterblue the tubal is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, I swear.

@ReginalTSquirge@twitter You can always get your sperm frozen. No, I'm serious.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter If you don't want kids, PLEASE do not "make a child-related concession for the good of the couple". One of my parents chose to do this to make the other happy, and YOUR CHILDREN WILL KNOW. Even if you think you will grow to love them, blah blah blah, your kids will know. This "concession" is bullshit. It has taken a fair amount of therapy for me (my brother chose acting out and weed) to make peace with the knowledge that I was the product of a compromise. If you don't want kids, you don't want kids, and there is nothing wrong with that. If someone has to talk you into reproducing, you are likely to bring a small person into the world who is in for a world of hurt.


@PrettyPoe I agree, plus, there are plenty of us out there who don't want kids, and we need someone to date, too! I think kids is maybe the only thing that can and should truly be a dealbreaker.(except for abuse, etc.)


@PrettyPoe Ya, dittoing you here. My sister and I were both accidents (I'm fairly certain I'm the reason my parents are married at all.) And my mother ... she wasn't a terrible parent, per se, she just lacked, uh, any kind of enthusiasm for the task. Luckily for my parents, my sister and I were both quiet and fairly precocious, and did pretty well raising ourselves. (I was cooking family dinner the majority of the weeknights by the time I was 14. Because otherwise my mother would forget because she was busy painting and I was tired of sandwiches.) It /could/ have gone all to hell. For a couple of years, it did. (Although my family history of mental illness probably played a role there too. Another reason I shouldn't have children!)

Which ... I have a lot of reasons for not bearing children, both selfish (sooo much work! so much money!) and semi-altruistic (the world is overpopulated as it is; let people who actually WANT kids have them) but ultimately, the fact that I HAVE so many huge doubts means I shouldn't have kids. Because a child deserves a parent who is All In. I haven't got that in me. Those who do, go for it. But if you don't ... it's not an achievement you HAVE to unlock.

And for the record, there are PLENTY of girls who will be relieved, no dismayed, to hear you don't want to have kids, and won't be pressuring them. As long as you don't turn 40, have a mid-life crisis, change your mind, and find a fecund 20 year-old to bear your spawn.

@Bitterblue YES YES ALL OF THIS. I don't want children. That's not to say that I don't sometimes have little daydreams of being a cute pregnant lady or holding a baby in my arms or helping a cute kidlet learn to read or being impressed and excited to watch a kid grow into a lovely, fantastic person. I do. And maybe one day I'll change my mind, and that will be okay -- but that won't be for a partner, but because *I* as an independent person will have examined my own desire to raise some spawn.

I don't care if my reasons are selfish/not selfish/bad/good. I know that in my heart of hearts, I would be a fantastic, wonderful mother. I just don't want to. I don't want to make that sacrifice, financially, socially, economically, I don't want to have to balance the well-being of so many people. I just don't. I want to live in a grown-up house and be a lawyer and be childless by choice and spoil my future nieces and nephews to death (my brother will 100% be a family man, bless his little cotton socks).

I'm gay, but DUDE. WE ARE OUT THERE. There are *plenty* of ladies who don't want kids. I've noticed consistently that I am much more compatible with other queer chicks who don't want kids, and that really rocks my socks off. You know what, dude who doesn't want kids? Let those women who want kids meet/date/marry someone who shares their hopes and dreams of a big, bountiful family of ankle-biters. Many women see raising a family as their big goal/dream in life (and more power to them, that shit is hard), and I think it's only fair that those women get to be with a partner who will share those dreams and feelings, along with the hard work it takes.

Dude sounds pretty set on not having teh babiez. So snip your bits and do yo thang.


LW#4 - My ex said the exact same thing to me - he wanted to spend some time being single before he settled down, he'd always had a girlfriend and wanted to be on his own for a while before he was 30, blah blah. We broke up and he started dating someone new within 6 months and now they are married and just had their first child.

Obviously he and I were not meant to be, but my point is, if you and your guy are meant to be, he won't give two shits about whether or not he's spent some time as A Single Man.

Reginal T. Squirge

@Bretley No such thing as "meant to be". He didn't want to be with you and didn't have the balls to say so.

dj pomegranate

This is correct: if you and your guy are meant to be, he won't give two shits about whether or not he's spent some time as A Single Man.

My ex said the same thing to me and it basically it went like this:
Me: I think we need to break up, I'm unhappy for [reasons].
Him: Ok. [Seems unconcerned.] Yeah, I knew this was coming...
Me: ...???
Him: I mean, I don't really want to marry you, so I figured we'd break up eventually, especially after [references previous conversations about marriage in which he had not mentioned that he did not want to marry me.]
Me: So...you don't want to marry me and knew we were going to break up but also waited until I broke up with you so you didn't have to break up with me???

So yeah, it was awesome, and the point is: If he already is planning Life Without You, you can avoid a lot of heartbreak and angst by pulling the trigger now and moving on.

pizza mom

@Bretley Yes to all of this.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter It was a euphamism, but thanks.

pizza mom

@dj pomegranate Matching dj names!

dj pomegranate

@dj diddles @dj pomegranate Twinsies!


Reminds of this fascinating This American Life that aired around Valentine's Day.


While I don't believe in 'meant to be,' I do think it's useful shorthand to describe that sense of something just so happened to work out right and oh my goodness aren't we lucky everything came together so well hey it seems like it's all going to work out. But that's a mouthful.

saul "the bear" berenson

@spicywing I was thinking of that episode too! Here's a weird thing, I listened to that whole episode and then at the end when Ira got to the credits, I realized HOLY SHIT I KNEW THAT COUPLE. They were best friends with a guy I had dated a long time ago. Relationships are weird.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@Moxie Ooh ohh do you have the inside story on why the girl wanted to take the rumspring (apologies for no doubt spelling it wrong)? Totally nosy of me I know, no problem if you're not up for spilling the deets on old acquaintances' love lives! I'm just so damn curious


@Bretley Dudes, I've been that person; I just ended a long-ass relationship because "I needed to be single for a little while/had never been on my own/etc etc etc." And then got serious with another dude shortly thereafter. Oops. As it turns out, I just didn't want to be serious with that dude. In defense of us assholes, I didn't know this at the time? And at least I did the breaking up??


YAY a married dude!

For LW1, do you or your husband know any guys who've had a vasectomy? It would be awesome if your husband could talk to them. It sounds like such a scary procedure if you don't talk to someone who's had it done--but the dudes I know who've had vasectomies were like "Pah, it was easy, bro." I'm sure your husband is nervous about it, and peer reassurance goes a long way.

Aw, and LW4, my heart goes out to you. If he's planning not to be with you, you guys are more than halfway to broken up anyway. I think you'll be better off ending it sooner rather than later.


@SarahP Yes, some guys are great vasectomey evangelicals. My coworker got his done last year, asked to be kept awake for the procedure and said it was so totally cool. Then proceeded to tell everyone about it for like a month.


@SarahP Man, my dad had one when I was like 14 or 15.. besides the obvious thing a 14 year old boy would notice(oh gross, mom and dad still do it all the time), there was the hilarious dinner time conversation when my mom tried to vaguely explain to my sister (then 10) why dad had been sitting on the couch home for work for a few days... and my sister responded, "DADDY HAS NO BALLS?! LIKE LATTE?!? [the family terrier]."

this isn't really relevant to your questions, except to say, even with that brutal indignity, my dad seems fine these days, and it's a hilarious anecdote i wanted to share.

that said, he did tell me it hurt like a MOTHERFUCKER for a couple days. but hey, tough guys!


@SarahP Count my dude on the list of dude's who was like " you know what? i had a kid, she's great, don't need any more" (this is kid from previous relationship) and went out to get a vasectomy like a boss. Not to say he didn't have some natural worries, as does anyone when having any kind of procedure done. He's even somewhat of a hypochondriac so I would've though it would be a big scary deal to him, but it was easy, not very painful after, and he's happy as a clam.

fondue with cheddar

@SarahP My brother and one of my former sexytime partners had vasectomies. My brother didn't talk about it to me in detail, but I know that he had no problems with it. The former partner gave me a lot of details because I was with him when he went through it, and it was also no big deal. He said the hardest part was shaving his balls. The incision/scar is really tiny and it healed pretty quickly.

Valancy Redfern

@SarahP Oddly, vasectomies are one topic of conversation where I notice a cultural difference between Canada and the US. Of permanent birth control methods, 2/3 of Canadians choose vasectomies, while only 1/3 of Americans do. I'm not saying you guys don't talk about your vasectomies, it's just that per capita there are fewer men who _can_ talk about it.

I grew up with the knowledge that practically every father on my street had one... when my brother or cousins got the snip, it was a topic of family get-togethers, both commiseration and friendly joking... In other words, yes! Guys should really talk to their friends, get it all out there! It would at least help take the anxiety and fears about loss of manliness off the table (I mean your swimmers are all still there, guys, they just aren't going anywhere!).

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@jen325 Oh man, I definitely read the beginning of your comment as "My brother and former sexytime partner" and thought, "Hmmm, this will be an new perspective?" Friday afternoon reading skillz.


@SarahP Don't have him talk to my husband. Let's just say not everyone reacts favorably. He's never complained to anyone but me, but it really sucked for a long time, and things are not "the same." Apparently, as with all surgeries, not everyone reacts the same. He went to the best doc in the state, too...

dj pomegranate

This A Married Dude is the best A Married Dude!


"You don't want to be someone else's opening act."
Best mantra ever.

Reginal T. Squirge

@d$ Related: my favorite mantra is from Dream Hampton (she often tweets it)...

"You deserve to be deeply desired."

Judith Slutler

@ReginalTSquirge@twitter dream hampton is THE GREATEST. Massive girlcrush on that awesome woman!

Reginal T. Squirge

@Emmanuelle Cunt Seriously. Anything great that has ever happened in hip-hop probably involves Dream Hampton.


@d$ I don't remember who coined it, but sometime this week (Open Thread?) the phrase "A Frontburner Lady" ("You don't want to be on someone's back burner, as you are clearly a frontburner lady") was coined and is awesome.


LW3: My parents have been happily married my entire life and then some, but my dad doesn't ever seem to wear his ring. Maybe if he has to be in Public, at a wedding or large function. It's not an issue, since he's retired, at home all day and a huge dork anyway. I think it's just hard to tell on this one.

Actually, come to think of it, both my parents are kind of loose with their rings. My mom will swap it out for random rings she buys for herself, and only have the wedding band/engagement ring set on for Important Events.


@cliuless My grandfather (married for 60+ years to my grandmother) never wore his ring, for the simple reason that, when they were first married, he worked along side his crews at the construction company he and his father owned. A wedding ring could've easily gotten caught in machinery and torn his finger off. *shudder* Looking back, I think he *might* have worn it after he retired, but I'm not sure.

Also, there is such a thing, still, as a single-ring ceremony. *shudder* And some guys just hate wearing rings. (Come to think of it, none of the surgeons I work with wear their rings on surgery days, either.)


@cliuless I'm not even sure my dad could get his ring off his finger at this point. My mom keeps it in a box on her dresser. Married for 27 years. Different strokes, different folks.


@Mingus_Thurber As I mentioned in the post about things we wear causing death and dismemberment, neither of my grandfathers wore rings because their jobs (steelworker, pipe fitter) didn't allow them. They were both happily married for over 50 years.


@heb I read this as your mom keeps your dad's ring in a box, but then you said he can't get it off his finger, and my next (logical, obviously) thought was that your mom was keeping your dad's finger in a box on her dresser. Wow, I need a weekend.


@cliuless Yeah, my dad stopped wearing his wedding ring years ago. He's always worked with his hands gardening and fixing things and fishing and hunting and generally Being Active, so it just made sense for him not to wear it. But then again my dad is an old retired guy, so there's that, too.


@cliuless My parents are the same way. They both had wedding bands, but my mom never wore hers (perhaps because she's a physician and works with her hands/washes them all the time?) and neither does my dad (sausage fingers?). Now my mom sometimes wears a fancy ring that is a family heirloom and she calls it her wedding ring even though it technically is not.
Also, as a married lady I can verify that wedding bands and engagement rings will be lost. I have only been married 6 years and my engagement ring has gone the way of St. Anthony. I don't have a great desire to go out and get a replacement.


@cliuless My dad lost his ring in the ocean 6 months after getting married and never got a new one. My mom recently started wearing hers when she started going on business trips that involve going out to bars and realized that when she gained weight 15 years ago, her ring size changed and she apparently hadn't tried it on since.


@spiraldawn Right there with you.


@spiraldawn i thought your username was spiraldown and was going to comment on how fitting it was

Faintly Macabre

@heb My parents are going on 28 years, I think (jeez), and my dad wears his every day and gets upset if he can't find it, while my mother wears hers only intermittently, claiming it bothers her. (Though she wears cheapy silver rings all the time, so who knows.) And my mother is more likely to spontaneously combust than leave my dad.

Semi-relatedly, my mother is sassy and someone who looks her age but has aged really beautifully, so my sister and I have made a little game of watching older men look for a wedding ring on her.

out of order

@cliuless My man informed me only a couple months into dating that he hates all jewellery and wont wear a wedding ring. It might have bothered me if my dad wore his. My man is a mechanic, I'd rather that his fingers don't have anything on them that might contribute to the mangling of his fingers, so I'm totally cool with it.
The real problem is that he thinks all jewellery is stupid, so I assume he's going to try and get out of getting me an engagement ring.


@cliuless My dad has never worn his wedding ring as long as I can remember. But my parents live in a tiny, tiny town where everyone knows who's with who, and he never leaves it without my mother, so I don't think it's a signaling issue.

Jen Alien-Spouse@twitter


My husband is on his third wedding ring now (the first turned his finger green, and the second got lost somewhere in our last house), but, despite it not being the original, he gets a bit anxious if he can't find it for any length of time.


@cliuless My folks have been married for 34 years, and neither of them wears their ring anymore. My dad I think just doesn't like wearing jewelry, and my mom was afraid she'd break hers (they are thin gold bands with Hewbrew letters cut all the way through, like filigree, and really fragile). My mom wears her engagement ring, which I find kind of funny. It's like she's been engaged for 34 years.


@Mingus_Thurber Rings and the trades don't mix. My boyfriend's a mechanic and will never wear one. Had to take out the piercings in his ears too (not that I'm complaining).

Related, I really don't understand the people who get really hard metals made into their wedding bands. All it takes is a broken finger and a clinic/hospital not equipped with tools that could cut it off and you're down a finger.


@cliuless Both my parents wear theirs. They're not the original bands, though. I think these are the third ones they've had, not from losing them, but from wanting a change of pace. I am reasonably certain my dad never takes his off, and my mom only takes hers off when she's baking or cooking something messy.

Re: dad's parents, I think I have pictures of my grandfather wearing his ring, but like lots of others in this thread, he rarely wore it before he retired because he worked in manufacturing and warehousing. They were married 48 years before he died in 2002. And my grandmother still wears her rings.


@cliuless My parents have been happily married for nearly 40 years and dad's never worn a ring. He's just not a jewellery man. I was nrealy 18 before I realised men wore wedding rings too!


@Mingus_Thurber My Dad wore his wedding ring on a daily basis until one day at work, he caught it on the edge of a piece of sheet metal just as he was stepping down off a ladder and mistook the second-to-last step for the last one. Not only did he almost lose his finger, the ring was destroyed. The parentals bought a new ring for him, and he then wore it only on special occasions. Now that he's retired, I don't think he wears it very much at all anymore. Not that it matters. Nobody's mistaking that old fart for torrid love affair fodder. :D


love the way this Dude mixes his metaphors. Pretty much agree with most of the advice here, and want to reinforce LW#4's answer: be proactive. Dump him first. Don't waste more time with this guy, getting bitterer about his selfish behavior. You want an entree; he's over at the buffet, at least in his head, piling beef and broccoli and curry chicken both on his plate. Find yourself some filet mignon and drop this springroll mofo.

dj pomegranate

@Bitterblue Find yourself some filet mignon and drop this springroll mofo.
I am stealing this and plan to use it liberally in all my relationship conversations henceforth!


@Bitterblue I want to reinforce your reinforcement. DTMFA. Maybe say these things to him: at some point? Let's get this thing over with, why wait. You're free, dude. I release you into the wild.

I can see LW4 taking charge and initiating the real break-up as a table-turner with him begging and pleading with her to take him back. But it has to be executed, even if he's her best friend.


@Bitterblue Yeah, I bet the only reason this was an "at some point" convo rather than a break-up was because he didn't already have somebody else waiting in the wings that he thought might do it with him.

i make lists

@Bitterblue I have kind of mixed feelings about this. My SO and I have been together for 5 years. We were only 20 when we first started dating, and we've matured a lot together. There was definitely a time (probably around the 2 or 3 year mark, actually) that we had a similar conversation, but decided that we wanted to be together more than we wanted to "experience being alone". I guess I just...understand the sentiment? My SO also tells me he "knows" a bunch of things that may happen in the future...and I usually have to point out that no, he actually doesn't. And that it hurts my feelings/upsets me/annoys me/makes me want to spork him in the face when he says it. I guess the difference is if the LW's boyfriend assumes they will break up because it's likely (young couples - they break up!) or because he's already decided to.


LW4: in case you're in need of media for direction, try 500 Days of Summer or episode 457 of This American Life where they have a relationship Rumspringa and then Ira Glass's stint on Savage Love.


@mackymoo I was just thinking of that episode of TAL!

My father has a theory about "trial separations" (which he extends to all relationship "breaks"): if you try it, you'll find out it works.


@mackymoo I thought about the TAL Rumspringa too! And then sat around thinking about how I had wanted to throttle that couple for being SO INDECISIVE. That was like the absolute definition of monkey-bars dating.

I mean, they sounded like nice people and hooray for not being mean to each other, but wow.


@mackymoo I just listed to that episode this afternoon. Very fitting indeed.


@SarahP Exactly. A "break" is a "breakup" until it's undone. So you can't call it a "break" until the outcome happens! Oh, I don't know.


LW#1 Dude here, just thinking about someone tunneling into my manbits and going snip snip is TERRIFYING. The fact that I wouldn't be able to have kids too also sounds kinda weird and I would feel incomplete.

I'm also pretty Dr adverse, I try not to visit one unless I'm completely incapacitated and can barely move, but really a vasectomy is super scary.


@Biketastrophy Yeah, birth control isn't a ton of fun for women either, fyi.


@Biketastrophy I *might* be projecting just teensy bit here, but....how do you think your wife feels about either taking hormones for the next 20+ years, or having major surgery to get her tubes tied (or Essure, which is less major than ligation, but more major than a vasectomy)? Or having to go to the doctor herself, whether she wants to or not, just to access birth control?

Sorry, just...as happy as I am with my particular choice of bc, sometimes as the woman you just get really, really sick and tired of always and forever being the one who has to take charge of the birth control when you are both benefitting from it. There's one thing a guy can do (outside of wearing condoms or not having sex) to take over the birth control situation, and it's a simple outpatient procedure, whereas women have more options and none of them are nearly as simple and yet can be equally (if not more) scary.


@thebestjasmine +1. I've had an IUD put in... No sympathy.


@Bebe But...but...but surely getting something lodged up your uterus or implanted in your fallopian tubes is super fun? And not emotionally fraught at all for women who maybe would like more kids but absolutely cannot afford it, or it would be medically highly inadvisable, or her partner is dead-set against it? I mean, it's not like the culture frames women as not-women just because they're no longer capable of having babies. And everyone knows how women can't get enough of being vaginally probed by doctors and NPs.


@thebestjasmine WORD. Also, the whole point is making it so you can't have kids any more because (wait for it) you don't want to have kids any more. It wouldn't be "weird" if that's what you wanted.


@thebestjasmine Are you kidding, I eat those pills like candy. They taste so good and feel great in my body. I have like fifteen IUDs just chillin up there. Can't wait for #16. I get pap smears recreationally. What the f are you guys doing on the weekends??


@Bebe @thebestjasmine My wife and I use condoms which both of us are cool with. She actually wants to be on the pill because it smooths out a bunch of her lady situations, but we just haven't made that jump yet.

I definitely wasn't saying ladies should take all the responsibility, just trying to relate with how some guys might be strongly against a vasectomy. I'd use condoms forever over getting a vasectomy.


@wharrgarbl How silly of me - I was forgetting how much fun that searing pain of the doctor going through my cervix to put the IUD in was!! And how much fun it is to know that I get to go through it all over again in a couple years when I have to get it replaced, only that time DOUBLE fun, because they have to take one out and then put another one in! Awesome!

You're right that's sooooo much better than 30 minutes in the doctor's office, with a local anesthetic, and a day or two of sitting on the couch with frozen peas in your lap, and then never EVER worrying about birth control again!


@Biketastrophy C'mon, really? You'd feel incomplete because they make a tiny incision in you ball sack and take a tinier piece of tissue from your vas deferens and then place a couple of stiches to close up? Followed by a couple of days on the couch with an ice pack? My husband said the worst part was the itchy regrowth of hair.

Now contrast that with ingesting hormones on a daily basis for 40 years (mood swings, weight gain, increased risk of some cancers), or surgery that requires extending the abdominal cavity with air so they can access fallopian tubes (plan to take days off, rarely reversible), or having major surgery to remove the uterus (no driving, heavy lifting, exertion for several weeks, not at all reversible). I get the fear factor but put it in perspective and be prepared to man-up if your lady suggest this as an option in the future. And, damn if my lady bits didn't get tore-up with the birth of my kids.

ETA: Forever is a long time and the no risk of pregnancy sex is awesome!


@Biketastrophy Yes, we know. To be honest, the idea of something with a head the size of a grapefruit tunneling OUT of my vagina was pretty terrifying too. But guess what - we wanted a baby so I had to do it. Actually, grapefruit tunneled partway out, got stuck, got PUSHED BACK IN and then cut out of me. But I didn't feel a thing, because, drugs! And I was sore for a couple weeks from the surgery, but it doesn't hurt anymore. And we have a family. Sometimes you just gotta take one for the team.


@leastimportantperson The best part is when the doc's apologizing because their hands are cold and you're all "Nah, it's a real scorcher out there today. This is like, brisk!"


@Biketastrophy How lucky for your wife that condoms and vasectomy involve exactly the same risk of unwanted pregnancy! I can tell what a generous decision this is that so many dudes make.


@Biketastrophy Being "doctor averse" is why y'all die earlier than we do. Get Rid of Your Doctor Averseness, Seriously, It Is Disgusting.


@Biketastrophy If that works for you both, that's great. I liked the pill fine, and I'm really happy with my IUD for reasons other than just 99.9% effective birth control, too, and I have no plans to do away with it. But refusing to even consider a vasectomy, ever, because it's scary just isn't going to get a lot of sympathy from women who've been shouldering the birth control burden alone for years.

Also, are you the actual dude being discussed in the letter? Not sure if that's what you were saying in your original comment?


@all I think we're being a lil' hard on this guy, peeps. He didn't say he's scared to get a vasectomy so his wife should be on birth control or get an IUD or her tubes tied, he said they've agreed to use condoms and that works for them. Sounds more like the conversation was "Wanna get your tubes tied? 'Hell no, don't want anything chopping into my ladybits' 'Yeah same with my manbits let's use condoms'. I don't see anything wrong with that.


@Bebe Fair enough, I've always left BC as their choice, and either we'd use condoms or not (and sometimes both would happen) I've never actually expected anyone to do that for me cause unlike the old dudes in congress I get that it isn't just pop a pill and no babies and nothing else bad happens. And I'm not the actual dude, just a dude who likes advice columns and ended up at the hairpin because of that.

I'm sorry Hairpin, I didn't mean for y'all to think I was expecting you to do the heavy lifting. Friends again?


@Biketastrophy But we always yell at men on Fridays! It's how I gear up for a weekend of festive man-tripping.


@paddlepickle Agreed. Come on, the point has been made. Birth control isn't a super fun for anyone. Fears of a vasectomy are pretty legit as is trepidation about using the pill, IUD, etc.


@Biketastrophy Friends forever! It does suck that there are really no options for guys other than condoms or surgery, for both genders.

Sorry if I was harsh. I am angry at the old men in politics in regard to birth control these days, and seem to be directing it at perfectly nice men who are not in politics since I am afraid of getting on a watch list if I start calling up the real villains and yelling at them.


@Biketastrophy Apart from the snark that we're dishing your way on this thread, I did want to let you know that I can definitely understand that it's uncomfortable to think about an operation on your genitals. Also, there's this whole idea that you will be "unmanned" by a vasectomy (when I was younger, I thought it meant that they cut your balls off?). I get that all of that is overwhelming.

Do take the opportunity to do some research and find out exactly what a vasectomy is though. Basically, the surgeon goes in and cuts out a teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeny tiny little itty-bitty piece of your vas deferns. There are some ways that this can be done that don't even require stitches. The recovery time is usually about a week. All of this is done without opening up anything other than a small hole in your sac. You continue to make testosterone, so your hormone levels/sex drive/moods etc. don't change.

To approach anything like permanent sterilization for females, we have to be sedated and cut open. There follows a much longer, more painful recovery process, and the procedure will fail to prevent pregnancy one in 200-300 times as opposed to one in 2000 times for a vasectomy.

Furthermore, if ladies choose not to get surgery and remain on a hormonal contraceptive, this has an effect on our hormones, our moods, our sex drives, our weight etc. Sometimes, like in your wife's case, this is a good thing, so this is a great choice. Other times, it's at least an inconvenience and at worst really screws with your head, moods and body.

If you and your wife don't want to consider a vasectomy, that is obviously your prerogative. You might find your perspective changing if you reach a point where you definitely do not want any/any more children, and at that point, I think the procedure deserves consideration.

ETA: After posting, I realize that commenters have said the same things I've said. Yay friends again on the Hairpin!




@redheaded&crazie D: My worst fears have come truuuuuueeeeeee


@Biketastrophy Also, I did experience a most unwelcome period of introspection re. my harshness to a dude (you!) who made the mistake of commenting on A Thing That Bugs Me. Naturally we are still friends! Many dudes I love have made precisely the same terrible mistake. :D


@Bebe Not to take anything away from your totally valid points, but just to offer a tiny bit of reassurance: I worked in a clinic where they routinely inserted and took out IUDs, and all the clients reported that the removal part was never, ever painful. Not even a little. It just slips out. Insertions can be brutal, as you said. But hopefully this may ease your mind about one part of the process.


@kapitalk That DOES help! I have 2 more years but I have been worrying about this since I got the IUD put in. Thank you!


@Texian My mom had had her uterus removed (and no hormone follow-up therapy- thanks, jerk doctor!) and she said her orgasms felt incomplete after. I finally talked a doc into giving me a tubal when I was 28. The relief at knowing I wouldn't "slip up" and get knocked up was epic. The gas they use to inflate your abdomen migrates up into one's shoulder joints and H U R T S for days. And sometimes when I'm bloated and crampy I can feel the clips on the tubes. But my life is as I decided it should be.


@Myrtle Removal of just the uterus does NOT require hormone replacement therapy. I should know; I had a hysterectomy in Nov. 2010. Hysterectomy means removal of the uterus, and nothing else. If the ovaries are not diseased or damaged, they'll be left in; if they're removed, that's called oophorectomy, and only with the latter will HRT be necessary.

And to counter your experience, when I had my tubal ligation in 2003, I had zero pain from the gas, most of which is released from the navel incision before they stitch you up, per my doc. He says the pain some people feel is most likely to do with nerves that have been stimulated during surgery. Whether that's true, I don't know. In any case, I also had, and still have, little rings on my Falllopian tubes, and I don't feel them at all, ever. My recovery from the tubal was also very, very easy; I took no pain meds after the first day other than a few ibuprofen. I did feel a sense of stirred-up innards for a while, but it was more strange feeling than painful. Everyone's mileage varies, is all I'm saying.


@Myrtle If the ovaries weren't removed as well, MsChilePepper is right--HRT wouldn't be indicated. But here's the thing about uteri: some women can feel and really enjoy mild uterine contractions during orgasm. So that may be what your mom's missing.

Stefanie J@twitter

You're the best A Married Dude ever! Sound advice.


A side note for married folks who DO wear rings: Don't assume that everyone is going to notice it. I was so terrified the first time I realized I'd been flirting with a guy for hours before he mentioned his wife, and of course he was wearing a ring but I don't really know many married people and 'he might be married' is not a thing that ever runs through my mind when I see a cute guy. Not everyone checks for the ring! If you think a girl likes you and she's dumb like me make sure to mention the wife early on, even if you're wearing a ring. Just sayin'.


@paddlepickle I think this is an age/"it happened to me" thing. I never used to look either until I was about to leave a bar with a guy and he said "oh, let me call my wife first" to which I ran screaming in the other direction.

Stacy Worst

Ew, "nut" as a verb? So gross.

The Lady of Shalott

@Sister Administrator I HATE this phrase so much. "Nut" or "get your nut" is so profoundly gross I can't even deal. And the only time I can ever handle "jizz" is in a joking context, or something like "jizzcliner." There are so many bizarre and weird and GROSS sexual euphemisms that I can't even!


@The Lady of Shalott I can only handle "nut" if it's in an eazy-e song.


@Sister Administrator Yeah, that definitely made me squicky. I had to re-read that part a couple of times, too, because apparently that verb is new to me.


@The Lady of Shalott Agree. You should disseminate this message as widely as possible. Somebody really needs to tell people who use such words, with their huge load of implications, where to get off.

OK, I'm finished.

a small sea

@The Lady of Shalott Still laughing (quietly) out loud at mentions of Jizzcliner. Praise be, it's after 5 PM now though so I can laugh loudly all I want. JIZZCLINER!! HA!


@Sister Administrator To me the verb 'to nut' is to headbutt someone, aka 'Glasgow kiss'. Never heard it in that form before.


@a small sea Hey now.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

Is there a Piggly Wiggly within 100 miles of Mulholland?


@Bus Driver Stu Benedict I grew up in L.A. and had the same question.


Regarding LW1, I wonder whether this is what happens when reproductive decisions are generally so heavily skewed as being the woman's responsibility -- when the dude in a hetero relationship has to take action, it's this very bewildering thing (not that I'm saying LW1's husband is necessarily feeling this way). I mean, is the idea any scarier than when women decide to get IUDs? Not knowing how LW1 reacts to hormonal birth control, wouldn't a dude jump at the opportunity to free his lady of that?? I hope he realizes that part and maybe that will get him get over the initial fear, that this is more than about him. It's their reproductive future together. She has shouldered all the work (presumably); now he's gotta do his part.


@GooooGrapefruit! I agree... I hear a variety of "surgical instruments in my man bits!" complaints, and I'm thinking about all the convos we have on here about IUDs, which - although they are easily reversible - they are incredibly invasive, and "installation" is really super uncomfortable, as well as the difficult periods afterwards, etc etc. YET as a group of women, there are a huge number of us who are willing, nay, EAGER to go through with it so we can have comprehensive birth control without too many side effects.

Which makes me want to say to these men: GROW A PAIR! gosh.


@GooooGrapefruit! If nothing else, she's gestated and birthed three kids with him. I mean, really.

@teenie I guess it makes a small amount of sense to be way more excited about the possibility of procreation when society lets you out of 80% of the labor of taking care of the resulting kidlet if you decide you don't wanna?


@teenie Also I'm sorry but it is her husband's fucking job at this point to gather the necessary information about this procedure. Similarly, it is his job to tell his wife what he thinks about it. I think the LW was coming from a very loving and reasonable place, and it doesn't seem like her husband is behaving that badly, just stalling. But like, he's an adult, this is a medical decision having to do with his body. He needs to do the research and schedule the appointment. Or tell her why he's not going to so that she can decide what to do with that information. No one likes surgery. He is not special for finding it nauseating. Obviously his wife can't make him excited about it. Duh. Anyway, long story short, echoing GROW A PAIR.

Reginal T. Squirge

@leastimportantperson This is mostly what I've been getting to above. I just am not so good at saying things sometimes.


@leastimportantperson Seriously, LW, stop making it so easy for him to stall. "Take all the time in the world, but I'm going off the pill on April 1. Could you pick up some condoms on the way home?"


@laurel Right, I think the problem is that she needs to shift the responsibility totally to him. Sometimes people can just feel that they're not really going to be held accountable for something. If he knows she's going to keep picking up the slack, then he's not going to do it. I mean, people are like that, it's not a horrible thing about him in particular. And she can stop offering to help him with it. Again, she can't MAKE him do this, but she can make him responsible for dealing with the decision and planning either way. It's healthy! And if he wants to decide not to do it, he has to take that on his shoulders.


@leastimportantperson Exactly exactly exactly. She doesn't have to be mean about it but she doesn't have to participate in his indecision either.


@leastimportantperson Yes, it bothered me so much that A Married Dude's response almost seemed to be suggesting she Google it for him. If a)just doing what he agreed to do and b) doing his own damn research are both too hard, then he obviously has to go with c)at least don't mislead your partner about your intentions. But damn, for a man with 3 children "lie back and be spoonfed the easy options about things affecting my partner's health and our family" should not be on the table.


LW#2, could it be that maybe (besides just liking vanilla) his biggest fantasy is having a woman who takes the initiative to do exciting stuff in the sack (i.e., you) and he's all good with what he has? You fill up his Love Cup. You get his Fantasy Motor Running. You make his Dreams Come True (copyright Hall and Oates).
If it ain't broke...


@applestoapples Yeah, I'm hoping for LW#2 that it's this! I think the LW's fear is that he DOES have a fantasy, but it's so horribly taboo (or, he thinks it is) that he won't even admit it to her, but he's secretly fantasying about it/going to see professionals who specialize in it on the side. And thus she isn't satisfying him.
But none of us can answer that question for her, obviously, so unless she's getting major off vibes, she should take her husband at his word? Idk. It's hard to judge these kinds of situations from this distance.

Reginal T. Squirge

@Bitterblue Word. Similar to the impossibility of convincing someone that you're NOT crazy (notthatihaveanyexperiencewiththat), it's also impossible to convince someone that you don't have some weird, hidden sexual fantasy.

Whoa. I'm talkative today.


@Bitterblue Yeah, I think nowadays we're generally conditioned to scorn vanilla sex and lean towards the idea that everyone must have specific types of fantasies and kinks to be sexually fulfilled, to the point where if someone doesn't have any to share we assume they're hiding something from the darkest subsets of Rule 34.

I think it sounds like she's worried about not being reciprocal because she's the more adventurous of the two, when maybe she should just take him at face value and assume that (barring any suspicious circumstantial evidence, which she doesn't indicate) he's getting exactly what he wants from her.
I mean, I don't know them, but I think these two crazy kids should just continue on and revel in the vanilla/pistachio sex.


I've never shared a fantasy with anyone. It's not that I'm shy or that they're super transgressive, it's that my fantasies are about doin' it with people I don't actually want to do it with IRL, which seems kind of irrelevant at best to my partner's interests. Fantasy stuff for me is for when I'm "relaxing alone with my thoughts."


@laurel Yes, it's possible that maybe his fantasies aren't ones she can make happen, so why bother. Like, if he fantasizes about doing Angelina Jolie or a really super tall lady, what's she going to do, wear a wig and some stilts?


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter Ok, you've inspired me to just come out and say it, so others like me know they're not alone:
I don't have any crazy fantasies! Aside from how I agree with the Manfriend that we should maybe try to branch out a little from the 3 positions we always gravitate towards during "special grown up time", I am thoroughly content with our sexytimes as-is. When my ex and I first started dating he grilled me for ages on what my secret fantasies were and refused to believe that...I just really didn't have any. I guess he thought I was just to shy/prudish to talk about them? Luckily, current dude is just as vanilla as I am.


@applestoapples This might explain why it's so difficult for me to find decent smut to read online that doesn't involve, like, someone getting slapped or choked or peed on or whatever. I mean, it's cool if that's what you like but sometimes I feel like a weirdo because I just want to read about two people happily doin' it.


@MilesofMountains Hmmm, I've never considered wigs and stilts before...

@Jinxie I think there's an essential difference between me and the people trading fantasies: I don't actually want to act mine out. To me, the naked (or not! I love a man in a pinstripe suit!) body, mind and heart of someone I find hot is all I need in the actual moment.


@laurel I agree with this, also. Some of my fantasies are not worth sharing because Ryan Gosling and Thor are mythical beings, and there's nothing that will remotely come close to fulfilling them.


@Jinxie I am into a lot of fun stuff, but I have definitely felt shunned by sexual partners because I didn't feel like having Porn Star Sex.
I won't even get started on porn. Well, I will, but only to say that if you like watching porn, "amateur" categories are usually just people happily doin' it without all the kink.

tin can phone

@Jinxie ugh THANK you for admitting this. I listen to a lot of Dan Savage and I have seriously ended up with a complex as a result of his show. I'm just pretty vanilla! Even a lot of vanilla kinks don't really appeal to me and Ive been feeling a lot of shame about it lately. Like, I feel very insecure about "what if I'm not actually sexually liberated?" and "Am I doing sex wrong??" but the thing is, I DO like sex, just not of the porn-y, kinky variety. Sorry, I'm not sorry!

Passion Fruit

@laurel "relaxing alone with my thoughts."

Hahaha, this is my new euphemism.


Based on this morning's article, maybe the guys who don't wear wedding rings are terrified of getting them caught in moving machinery??


For LW#1's info, and for anyone else to whom this might be relevant, I just learned that some Planned Parenthood locations do vasectomies at a quite reasonable cost!

Chicago-specific info here: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/illinois/vasectomy-male-permanent-sterilization-38251.htm

Planned Parenthood: not just for the lady business.


I heard that well over 90% of Planned Parenthood’s activity is vasectomies!


@josiah Also, did you know that you have to get a vasectomy every time you have sex? THESE MEN ARE HAVING SO MUCH SEX, they could at least tape it for our amusement. That or put an aspirin between their knees.


@josiah I heard that Planned Parenthood is going to open up a clinic on the moon at the end of the year! Moon vasectomies for all!


@Alixana we had no insurance and paid about $150.


re: LW#1. Not all vasectomies are completely reversible, and there is a lot of variability with stats regarding that, so just be aware of this! Also, one option that can be costly, but also may be useful if that is not a barrier, is freezing sperm. Sperm can be frozen for a long time! Maybe look into that if the whole "NEVER HAVE KIDS AGAIN" thing is a source of anxiety.

ALSO, depending on how practiced the physician doing the procedure is, a vasectomy can take 6-10 minutes, so look around for the best place and absolutely do your research with respect to practitioners. In a lot of cities, there is usually a go-to doctor who makes the procedure look like a breeze because they've done like 40 000 of them.


LW1, just insist that that your husband wear condoms while sexing until the vasectomy is complete. That might get him to the surgeon a little faster. Might suck for you too though because condoms suck...

the angry little raincloud

I was (still am? ugh I don't know) dating (just banging? ugh? I don't know!) a dude who had had a vasectomy.

Lets just say, when he told me that I was really excited, because I thought, if we stay together (long-term, of course), I can get my IUD removed. I like the IUD in many ways, but the ongoing miserable periods and what-not (I've got a Paragard, not a Mirena) not so much. Oh, the freedom! A world without cramps AND babies! Yay for men with vasectomies!

Also, how much do I love parentheses? (A lot, apparently).


@the angry little raincloud Oh my god, if I found me a Vasectomyman I would lock him in immediately. LOCK! IN!


@WaityKatie Gents, lead with your vasectomied status in your OKC profiles.


@WaityKatie A Vasectoman?


@the angry little raincloud (I love parentheses a lot too)


@catsuperhero Yes!


@laurel I'm not even joking, the "doesn't want kids" thing is like the second thing I look for on OKC profiles. (the first one is grammar, obvs.)


@WaityKatie Can you imagine? 'He can write a sentence. He doesn't want kids. WE WOULDN'T HAVE TO USE BIRTH CONTROL?!'


@laurel Needless to say, I have not yet found this!


@WaityKatie Maybe put "you've had a vasectomy" under "Contact me if"?


@laurel That would be awesome if that were the only line in that section. Although, I've already been accused of being too direct and scaring people away with my current profile. (and yet, still end up meeting so many socially destructive tools on there despite this...)


@the angry little raincloud I have a good friend who didn't want kids and met a guy who didn't want kids. As soon as he knew they were on the same page, he went out and got a vasectomy. Lucky girl!

the angry little raincloud

@laurel Ugh. Yes. Vasectoman. Doesn't want kids (although, annoyingly enough, has kids from a previous marriage). Most definitely can write a sentence. Period cunnilingus.
And my friends wonder why I am so sad, even though we only dated a few months?


My dad is Indian and doesn't wear a ring, though my mom does and I grew up assuming a wedding ring was only for women.

So, it could be a cultural (-ish, because some Indian men do wear wedding rings) thing.


Hey LW4, your bf asked for permission to treat you badly and as though you are disposable, and if you stay, you're giving it to him. And he will blame you because he thinks he warned you.


I have a lot of feelings about Letter #4. I think I am/have been the LW's boyfriend. When I was at uni I started dating a guy who was fun and interesting, but I really did not want to settle down in my early 20's and so when we had our third-date "so what are you looking for" talk I told him I saw the relationship as being non-permanant. He said that was totally what he wanted, too, but when I reminded him 6 months later he got pouty. In retrospect, maybe I should have stuck with hook-ups if I didn't want a husband? It seems the "temporary relationship" isn't really a thing that is done, judging by all the comments here. And I definitely should have broken up with him when he reacted badly to being reminded. When I broke up with him later, he said that he was under the impression I meant that I wanted to date "for 40 years or so" and then break up, I guess to take advantage of the swinging retirement scene?

Anyway, the point is, LW#4, he told you that because he means it. He's not going to decide to put his plans aside and marry you. If you're secretly hoping to grow old together, please break up now. It'll hurt, but it'll hurt more when he's leaving you.


@MilesofMountains not that I did any of the other shitty things it sounds like LW#4's guy is doing. But I am sympathetic about wanting a relationship without wanting a forever-person.


@MilesofMountains I dunno. I think it does make a huge difference if you're up front about it really early in the relationship instead of just having this sudden epiphany two years in that you'll be dumping that person at some TBD time in the future when it's convenient for you. The honesty about what you're getting if you get with a person counts for a lot.


@MilesofMountains I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a relationship that won't necessarily be permanent - you just have to make sure you're on the same page as the other person. If one person is saying, "This is great for now" and the other is saying, "This is great forever," then there needs to be some re-assessment of goals. And having different goals and expectations for your future doesn't make you a bad person, but this guy sounds like he was basically saying, "I'm going to stay with you until it's convenient for me to not be with you anymore," which is juiceboxy.

I mean, so essentially I agree with you. I think most people have been in a relationship where maybe one person was more committed to a long-term future than the other person, or a relationship where one or both of the people knew it wasn't going to be forever. I think most people are just better about not being dicks than this guy!

Four Horsemeals of the Eggporkalypse

@wharrgarbl @MilesofMountains Yeah, I think this is a key distinction. Being upfront about what you want early on is being honest and mature imo. If LW#4's bf had said this two years ago when they started dating that would be one thing.


This is my favorite Dude stock photo because it looks so much like my dad.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@Brunhilde Ask A Dad column - specifically the advice of 'Pinner dads! I would read that.
Mine would frame all his advice in legal terms ("LW4, it seems your boyfriend is not going to fulfil his end of the contract. Please get all his prior promises in writing so you will have sufficient material to claim your stake in any joint assets. If this includes property, perhaps a benificiary/in trust situation might be practicable? Please revert')


@Speaking of cake, I have cake My dad would be, like, three-sentence responses. "This guy is a jerk. Why are you wasting your time? Also, I have a recipe for white bean hummus I want to try, what do you thin?"


@anachronistique My dad would be like, "honey, you want a cup of coffee? Here, let me make you a cup coffee."


@Speaking of cake, I have cake My dad would tell you he was going to write the column, mail it to you written on a napkin, and the whole thing would be a long tangent about surplus Israeli army sheds. There would be no answers to any questions, but you would be laughing so hard it wouldn't matter.


I am trying to finish LW4's letter but I keep getting stuck on the fact that she only feels "kind of weird about" the fact that this guy is letting her know in advance that they will break up because he wants to experience singlehood. Then the "Which is fine, I can understand that"... I am just so confused by this.

I mean, OK, maybe it's "fine" if he's saying that while he's breaking things off; wanting to be single is a perfectly valid reason to be single. But this weird warning thing? I don't know... if I heard that from my BF's mouth, as much as I love him, I'd save him the trouble and take right off then and there.


@Hellcat That's exactly the thing! Nothing wrong with being in a relationship, knowing it won't last forever. But I think there's a pretty clear disconnect between what the 2 of them want; she wants to be with someone who sees a future, he wants to eventually be with other people. It's a weird time for that issue to arise (i.e. not during an actual breakup), but now that it has, I think she's better off leaving now, rather than spending however-long (because it's his timetable) waiting for the other shoe to drop.


@MoxyCrimeFighter There's also something that doesn't sit right with me about someone who's willing to say a thing like that to the person he loves (however temporarily). It's similar to the "I'm not looking for anything serious," cover-your-ass discussion, but it's too late for that in this case, I think. (Of course, like someone else in here brought up, we don't know exactly how he said this or in what context; there's a big difference between "Who knows what will happen?" and "Here's what's gonna happen because I say so.")

Really, if he wants to break up, he should just do it. I mean, who says this?


@Hellcat Yeah, exactly, the letter comes off so much like she's trying be all cool about this. And NO, your boyfriend telling you that he needs to be single for a time (in the future, don't know when, or for how long, but right now I want to keep dating you!) is not something to be like "Oh, I feel a little weird, but okay...that's understandable..."

If anybody did this to me, I'd tell them they can start being single right now.


Oh, and also, maybe he shouldn't have gone straight from one relationship to another if he wanted to experience the single life?


My father never wore a wedding ring, largely due to the risk associated with wearing one (he's a mechanic). I'm not wearing one for the same reason (I work with small engines). They're not for everyone.

Party Falcon

Darling LW4 - Tough Talk From A Bird:

That dude you're dating? Is a child. If he wanted to be with you, he'd be with you from now 'til forever. He's just giving himself an out so he can bolt when shit gets real. To paraphrase: True love means never wanting to imagine a future without you.

It's going to be so so so hard, but sugar-dumplin you owe it to yourself to walk away. You have your own life to live and honestly, you probably need time to grow up a little bit too. It is going to suck and you are going to miss this man-child a ridiculous amount, but you'll do it and you'll learn a lot of things about yourself (and him and other people!) in the process. You will also find someone else. Someone who can't imagine life without you.

A note in closing: Even if you do stay, even if you talk him into moving in, this whole thing is always going to be one of the planks in the platform of your relationship. Doesn't seem like a particularly solid base to build a life together.


@The Lady of Shalott I don't know. Taken out of context as basically the only thing we know about that guy, it does sound shitty. But in my mind, a single conversation where someone expresses that they think they'll probably be single again at some point doesn't seem like an immediate dealbreaker. People express fears about commitment in relationships. Sometimes it's hard to imagine, when you're in your early twenties, that the person you're with now will be the person you'll be with forever. Sometimes you wonder if you're missing out if you've never had a period of real singledom. It doesn't make you evil, or even mean that you don't love your partner or have secret plans to actually break up. It just means that the future is scary, and sometimes people act weird or unsure about it.

If breaking up is what YOU want, LW4, then you should do that. But if, otherwise, you are happy, I don't think this is enough of a reason to dump this guy. You're in your early twenties; you have some time before the future comes rushing in. If you're happy day-to-day, stop worrying so much about the future. Give your guy time to grow up a little. Maybe he'll turn into a man you want to spend the rest of her life with, and maybe he won't. Maybe you'll be the one who grows up and needs something different. Who knows? Guys who swear up and down that they're looking for THE ONE and are 100% ready to commit come with their own set of complications. If you're going to break up with him for any reason, break up with him for the things he's actually doing, or not doing, now, rather than for something he may or may not do in the future.


@Kristen I also really want to know what the conversation was like where this came out. Was she pressing him to know if he was thinking marriage/babies and he said "ahhh I dunno I've never really been single and that's a lot to commit to and I guess I think we'll probably break up at least temporarily but who knows?" Or was it more like she asked him if he wanted pancakes for breakfast and he said "Just so you know we are definitely going to break up at some point"? And did he actually say that taking things to the next level and living together are not on the table, or is she extrapolating all of this from that one comment?


@Kirsten I agree that she should do what makes her happy, and there's no telling what the future will bring. But LW4’s situation was me about six months ago. I was “warned” by my bf for about three months before we broke up that he needed to be alone/ learn about himself. He had also never been single before. In the end, I went traveling as a way to end it and free myself from his wrath of subtle manipulation (which is really what this guy’s doing). So, I really just thought it was bullshit until I met a dude who had just broken up with his girl for the same reasons – so maybe this is some sort of epidemic sweeping loser boys nationwide. Anyways, I tried really hard to believe him that he still loved me, and that there was a possibility of us getting back together after he had “learned” about himself. In the last two months we saw each other, and accidentally fell into some kind of skype relationship. But once he got himself a regular FWB and a drinking problem, he dropped his very concrete plans to come visit me out east, and told me in so many words that he would be totally fine if our lives never crossed paths again. So my point is yes – maybe he is being honest and truly believes he needs to work on himself and be alone, and that you do have a good chance of getting back together. But there is also the enormous possibility that he’s just a confused, selfish jerk and this is the end of the road for good. You’ll really never know until you know.


"Any male, faced with the you-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter combo of surgery" ...

What? Is this a regular phrase? There are people out there who don't like chocolate in their peanut butter and would compare it to serious surgery??


@roughe Yeah I didn't really get that phrase either. I think it's like supposed to be a reference those commercials about the beginnings of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups when there is a car accident between 2 people, one holding peanut butter and the other holding a chocolate bar. But, WHAT DOES IT MEEEEEAN?!?


What @ghechr said. It is a regular phrase connoting initial irritation giving way to pleasure. I do not understand Dude's use of it here.


Oh, and LW#1? Assuming your dude actually sacks up and goes through with it? Frozen peas. All the frozen peas. And treat the down-time as actual down-time. Most of the "omg it hurt so much" stories seem to come from dudes who took feeling okay to mean they could do what-the-fuck-ever and didn't have to keep resting the full recommended time.

Lily Rowan

Oh lord, I'm going to be the first person to comment to LW #2? OK, suiting up. I am totally that vanilla. I mean, I like different positions, but I have virtually no fantasies that aren't just... Doing It (and doin' it and doin' it well...). You let me know what you're interested in and I'll do what I can, but I am bringing nothing to that particular table.

Edit: oops! didn't refresh! Not the first person after all...


@Lily Rowan This all makes perfect sense to me. When I once wondered if I was boring, the BF said, "Do I seem bored?" (which, whoops, probably in turn made him fret over whether he puts out a "bored vibe," and whether he should correct that... oh, it's all a vicious circle, I tell you).

Party Falcon

@Lily Rowan Me too. Seriously. It took us some time just to get the whole "regularly havin' the sex" routine down. I'm good with that. It is hella satisfying.

Any and all sexy-time fantasies are confined to the smut on my Kindle and that's really as in person as I need it.


@Lily Rowan So boredom isn't really the issue, but I do not really like when the boyfriend's eyes are open during a beej. Is he fantasizing? About someone else? Is he thinking about Doctor Who like every other waking moment? Is he looking at that cobweb? Total lady boner killer.


@mackymoo hahahahahahahahaha i don't know i can't stop laughing at this image of some glazed eye dude just staring off into space.

fuck man! that would irritate me too. unless he was you know, looking at me

Lily Rowan

Hmm. I think I look around sometimes when a guy is going down on me? Sometimes I'm looking at him, sometimes I'm just looking off. Not due to thinking about anything else! But why do eyes need to be shut?


"both of your toes" <-- Like they each only have one toe apiece!

In fairness, I'm not sure how I would have phrased it...


@josiah "As long as everybody's toes are curling"? I don't know, but that phrase was awkward for me, too.


@josiah Maybe they are both tree sloths?

Porn Peddler

...I'm not sure I an judging dude #4 that harshly and now I feel like I must have missed something. I'm not sure how many 20 somethings base continuing their relationships on "Do I think I'm gonna marry this person? Could I do this FOREVER?" And a relationship is not a failure or a waste of time, energy, or resources just because it eventually ends. I think it's pretty fatalistic and weird to think the relationship should end NOW!!!! because the dude, a 20something dude, thinks he wants to be single for a while/doesn't know if he wants to marry this girl. Maybe he really does just want to be single for a while. Maybe he is a juicebox (I'm leaning toward that because of the last paragraph re: him not being an adult). But damn, y'all, pretty harsh...maybe?

Four Horsemeals of the Eggporkalypse

@Third Wave Housewife I get what you're saying. But I think "I don't know if I want to be with you forever" is different from "I'm pretty positive this is going to end at some point." One leaves the door open to "forever," the other doesn't. The latter would still make sense if LW was on board but it seems like she isn't, and hanging around on the off chance he changes his mind seems like a bad idea.

Plus, if he wants to be single--which in and of itself is perfectly understandable--why hasn't he broken up with her already? What's he waiting for?


@Four Horsemeals of the Eggporkalypse Also, if one person is all "I'm pretty sure I am going to want to run around and do crazy single things within the next few years" and the other person is all "Okay, that makes me sad, but I can understand where you're coming from and want to enjoy the time we have together now," and actually means it, we wouldn't be seeing a letter to an advice columnist. Or it would be one of those letters that's all "We're not, like, both completely insane, right? This is an okay thing to do if we're both cool with it?" instead of one of those letters about her petulant man-child boyfriend who's openly using her as a place-holder until he wants to go out and have some real fun.


@Third Wave Housewife Yeah, I don't know. Agree completely that a relationship doesn't have to lead to marriage for it to be valuable! But my perspective on these types of things is, basically, ladies and dudes gotta get real with themselves and ask: does what I need line up with what he/she/ze wants, or needs, or can give you?

If the answer is no, then usually it is best to rip that band-aid off. Plus, this is a two way street.


My dad never wears his wedding ring; it lives on his key ring because he lost it twice and decided it was better off not on his finger. He also got a vasectomy after my sister was born but I cannot offer further information because who wants to have a frank talk with their dad about his junk?


Can any marrieds comment on the ring thing? It is maybe a sticking point for us. I have an engagement ring and I like the symbol of the wedding ring, but future husband and I do not agree that it is needed (guess which one of us thinks it's needed). I think the compromise will be that we will have wedding bands, but I don't care all that much if he wears his all the time as long as he wears it around my family, (yes, this is my main concern), but I'd really like to know how others see it/justify their choice on to wedding band or not. And how much it's a mutual choice/compromise.


@julia Married for almost four years. My husband loves his wedding band. I do not. We recently had both of ours re-done (both of mine were platinum and heavy; this contributed to my wearing neither ring on a regular basis) and he felt naked while his ring was at the jeweler's. I did not much care. Now that I have my new rings (and seriously, they are dreamy), I still...find I don't want to wear them. I'm not a huge jewelry person, and I find I'm always afraid I'm going to chip the stone, or scratch the band. I also play volleyball at least 4x a week, so it's not like I could just put the ring on for a few days and try to get used to it. It bothers the husband a bit--because to him it's a symbol of love and fidelity, and we just paid a lot to have them redone. To me, well, the marriage isn't bound up in the ring. That's just an outside-facing symbol. I find I like the freedom that comes from my hands being bare.

As long as I make an effort to wear it sometimes (and it doesn't matter when), he's okay. Because then I show him that I respect what that ring means to him (and that I appreciate the money we put into it). And he makes an effort to realize that just because I don't wear my rings all the time, it doesn't mean I'm not into being married. It means I'm not into rings. It's tough sometimes.

Maybe--maybe ask your fiance what kind of wedding band he would like, if he could pick whatever he wanted? It may be that he doesn't want something huge, or shiny, or anything that will get in his way. That was one of my criteria when I redid my band. I used to have huge, platinum, stones--the works. I forgot to take it off to play volleyball, and a) my hand hurt afterward, and b) I lost a stone. Now I have a teeny tiny white gold band, and if I wear it, it generally does stay out of my way. If part of his sticking point is that he just doesn't like the feel of a ring on his finger, finding him the one that fits his lifestyle most may help.



I don't have one or need one.

My wife has the one we bought together for $99 when we were broke, a reproduction of an old ring from the Metropolitan Museum shop, and wears it when she cares to.


@julia I was writing at the exact same time you were, but my husband was a little hesitant (not in terms of the symbolism but in terms of wearing jewelry all of the time--he has never been that guy and never had anything like a class ring or whatever). I think the compromise we came up with was that we would buy him one and he could just wear it part of the time if he ended up hating it.

He totally loves it now, only takes it off when swimming or sticking his hands in something gross.

I personally feel like the symbolism of the rings is really powerful. It's hard to put into words but I feel like, not being religious, the reason we had a real wedding party was as a kind of social milestone telling everyone that we are a unit. We both kept our last names and lived together already so the ring is really the only thing that changed.


Thanks all, good stuff. I think for him it is a comfort thing - he cannot wear a watch all day without taking it off multiple times. I'm pretty active, so I take off my ring a lot (commute by bike, run, cook), but I still value it and am glad I have it.

@OhMarie, I agree, the ring is symbolically powerful and I think that's why it's important to me. Also, I really want to see one on him because I think it will look so. hot. To him, we don't need outward symbols. But I value my engagement ring as a symbol of our intentions, and I value a wedding band as a symbol of that commitment.


@julia My dad is not a big ring-wearer, but he wears it when he is going out somewhere important/traveling/etc. I think of it as sort of like putting on real pants instead of gym shorts when you have to go somewhere where impressions matter. Maybe you can make some kind of compromise like that? Just frame it as a part of all the other finicky things we do (like shaving or putting on makeup or whatever) to present ourselves in a specific way to society.

I am not A Married so my advice may not be helpful, but there it is.

Artressa Vandelay

@julia: I wish married men were required to wear them when not actively at work with their hands. Or if not, maybe they can wear some other type of brand so we know not to bother checking them out. The ringless married dudes on the make; however, should have to get a different, scumbag-type, label.


@all What do y'all think of a tattooed wedding ring for people who don't like to wear jewelry?

Leon Tchotchke

@julia I love my ring and I was excited to get and wear it (it's a big fat largely unadorned silver colored ring, for ref.) On a personal level, I'm proud to be married, and I like having, uh, not a reminder but a signifier of that. It's also a physical representation to me that I'm in a new phase of my life.

On a more shallow level, there's also some aesthetic things I like about it. In my opinion, a wedding ring is the only piece of jewelry a man can wear that's classy without being flashy. Whereas most men's jewelry - be it a watch or a man-necklace or a (sorry, just my personal opinion, but -gaggggg-) pinky ring - means "check out this shit I done bought" to varying degrees, a wedding band literally stands for something, and something real and important. Or it should, anyway. The right ring for a man's style looks classy as shit, and instantly annihilates any awkwardness of wearing a serious suit.

It also makes me feel like a grown-up, and allows me to subtly brag that I'm married without being a dick and constantly being like OH YEA MY WIFE XYZ (since most of my friends/coworkers are single).

Veronica Lemmons

@Leon Tchotchke I think it's up to whatever the two people entering/in the marriage decide -- as long as they're both satisfied with the arrangement.


@julia my husband and i both have rings, and between us - he NEVER takes his off EVER and i'm sometimes going a week without it. i leave it laying around. i'm bad about all jewelry though, and i fiddle with rings.crack my knuckles, use a lot of lotion, etc. i'd be upset if he didn't wear his. i should be better about wearing mine.


@julia I wear the second one he got me (at my request). He wears the third one I got him after he lost the first two (in odd circumstances). My dad never wore one so I wasn't too hung up on it though I do admit it turns me on to see it on his finger even after ten years. I've never told him though. I don't want to spoil the ineffable feeling of 'mine' when I see him play with it on his finger. For this feeling alone, I would say you suggest he wear it but never make it explicit why. It ruins the whole thing if its out in the open.


@julia Neither my husband nor I wear ours. Mine ended up breaking (it is a cheap silver ring with three bands threaded through each other, so fun to play with) but it never fit quite right and I had to wear it on the wrong finger half the time anyway, so I haven't bothered to fix it. He rarely wore his anyway, preferring the ring that I had given him a couple of years earlier, more or less as an engagement ring. He hasn't really worn that in maybe 5 years or so though, because wearing it started to bother his finger and so he would take it off all the time, and then he would worry about losing it.

It doesn't really matter to me or my family, I think? But I think if when he is done with his PhD if he ends up in a job dealing with students I may make him start wearing one of them because I admit to some small amount of territoriality. (Ok, it's really a very large amount of territoriality, I just keep it pretty well locked down and don't let it influence my life all that much.)

Katie Aaberg@facebook

@julia a little late to this party, but! Married 12 years. We wore rings the first couple of years, but neither of us liked it (we're both artists and work with our hands a lot), so we got matching ring finger tattoos instead. I put our wedding bands away in my jewelry box thinking I might want to wear mine sometime, but then they were stolen in a home break-in and we never replaced them.


@julia Just to chime in... I feel different now than when I was newly married. My ring & band have a lot of settings on them so they get dirty and I am afraid of them chipping, getting loose etc. Consequently, I get nervous about wearing them all the time. I stil wear them every day, out of love for my spouse. He wears his every day and I find is really cute/hot to see it on him, but I recently asked that for our next anniversary, I want a very plain band. I like wearing my rings but I don't feel like wearing them every day. I have never seen my dad wear his (except at my wedding) and I've seen my mom wear hers' 2 or 3 times.


@wee_ramekin late to this, but wanted to say that my husband and I both have our ring fingers tattooed. He never wears his wedding band anymore, and I only wear my set at work (it covers the tat). We both love them.


I love this Dude because he loves wedding bands. In my house, the Mr. and I do fist bumps to clink them together. Once he thought he lost his in the trash of a New Jersey rest stop once (it had actually slipped off into his pocket) and got really sad. They are my favorite Thing that we own, I think.


@OhMarie Yeah, if I ever get married, I am really looking forward to my partner and I sporting plain gold bands. I would be REALLY bummed if whoever I married didn't want to wear their ring. I see all these really valid reasons for doing so on this thread, and I have to say, it would still make me sad if my hypothetical partner didn't want to wear their ring.


@wee_ramekin I can't wait to make my husband-to-be get one of these lovelies: http://www.etsy.com/listing/91844739/custom-traditional-half-round


I feel terrified re: LW#4 and the responses to the dude I'm seeing here.

For whatever reasons, I barely dated at all during my 20s. I'm just starting to now. And part of my worries, if I met some amazing, wonderful woman tomorrow....might I have the same talk w/ her LW4's boyfriend did?

I'm not at all opposed to her breaking up with him - if the potential of permanence is something she needs to have in a partner, that is a very fair and not at all uncommon or onerous need in a partner.

But there can be value in relationships that have expiration dates too. I think LW4's boyfriend should be...not "commended", because you don't deserve a special prize for telling the truth - but by putting something honest and obviously not what LW4 wanted to hear out there, he at least showed he respected her enough to be truthful.

I dunno. Maybe I'm looking at it skewed because I worry, you know, "What if I don't have enough experience to make a 'forever' type thing work?" And then, that's closely followed by "Fuck - what if amazing women I could enjoy time with and grow with won't be interested in me because of that lack of experience." Followed even more closely by "FUCKITY FUCK. Where am I going to get the experience?"

Followed finally by a panic attack.


@leon.saintjean It's totally fair to go into a relationship proclaiming you don't want something leading-to-marriage-type serious. It's entirely another to proclaim two years in that you know the end is coming outside a breakup conversation. It's dismissive.


@leon.saintjean "We'll break up if and when it's time" is written into every relationship. It doesn't need to be said, in my opinion. I don't know what this guy was thinking, but I mean, honesty and manipulation can go hand in hand. This, to me, sounds like a version of "I'm not emotionally available but we can keep hanging out." Let me tell you which party that always ends badly for: not the one making excuses! It's like, oh okay I warned you, now it's your job to police your boundaries and needs non-stop, because I was so upfront about how I'm not going to do it at all. I don't think that's respectful. But, I see the gray area, I know what you're getting at.


@leon.saintjean Yeah, I think I'm with ya. I think the issue is more that they're not on the same page than that he's a big jerk. When I was in a relationship in my early 20's if you'd asked either of us what our future was we'd probably have said "Well gee I dunno, we'll probably break up at some point, we're 21!" And we didn't particularly talk about it because. . .we weren't actually thinking about it. So it seems to me like this guy was maybe just not thinking that much about the future, and when pressed admitted that he hadn't thought about it much but maybe didn't see it having an eternal future. She should break it off if an eternal future is what she wants, but I don't think all the aggression towards the dude is merited.



"My dear fellow, the truth isn’t quite the sort of thing one tells to a nice, sweet, refined girl. What extraordinary ideas you have about the way to behave to a woman!"


Lily Rowan

@leon.saintjean Here's the thing: break up or don't. Every relationship ends eventually. If you're in it, be in it. When you're done, get out.


@Lily Rowan No, breaking up with someone is illegal and you will go to jail for the rest of your life. YOUR LIFE!!!!


@paddlepickle I think it's the lack of feeling people are reacting to. LW's BF could have said, "Look, we're 21, the chances of this lasting forever are slim and I'm nowhere near ready for that but I like you so much and what we have now makes me really happy."

Instead, he just sounded thoughtless and cruel. She needs to find someone who's actually nice to her at a minimum.


@laurel exactly. I said this in a different thread, but: it sort of sounds like he's taking the cowards' route to breaking up--"look, I'm being straight about how I'm a wild pony and I need to roaaaaammmm so if that's not cool with you than it's up to you to be the bad guy'--" and that's not cool, not cool at all.

Lily Rowan

@leastimportantperson UNTRUE.


@alebee I'm a wild pony and I need to roam. Free as the wily trout. Like the wind. Like a leaf on the wind. I am a shark, never still (and I also grow teeth throughout my life).


@leon.saintjean when people ask me "what are you looking for" from the dating, I get a little freaked out. Not because I am Avoiding Commitment or anything, but because what I want in part depends on the person- what they want, what I like about them if I like them, all kinds of things.

I just keep saying I want to meet really cool people and have lots of fun and date. If that's meet one cool person and date only them, or meet several cool people and go on lots of dates with all of them, that will be okay.

All of which is by way of saying, 1) I am thinking about the other party as a person, 2) their stake in the situation 3) and each situation as its own thing, and not some puzzle piece that may or may not fit what I think I want.

Sometimes people meet A Person and their lack of dating or whatever is overridden by the coolness of The Person. Sometimes they don't and want to keep dating. And these things are okay.

When LW#4's BF says what he says the way he says it, I feel like in his mind LW#4 could be just any person, and he doesn't really see her as an individual whose presence helps make the dynamic of relationship what it is, because ultimately, the relationship isn't important to him.

Putting his overriding attention to his own needs out there in precisely the way he does sounds like he is saying "you do the hard work" and "I am in this until something better comes along" and "you can take or leave this, but don't inconvenience me with your emotions."

I would feel bad (I have felt bad) when people have said more or less the same thing to me. Not because it was going to be a short term thing, but because the other person seemed to think that because it was short term, somehow I wanted to hear all about his ex, and about how he didn't have time to make plans in advance to hang out, and what he was eventually looking for in a partner.

Long and short of it is... Lily Rowan is right. If you are in it, be in it until you aren't. LW#4's BF doesn't seem to think that part of the equation is important.


No one takes Tyrolean garb seriously anymore.


Oh, LW#4. I have been in a situation where you really care for the person, but you have different goals for the relationship. And it sucks. It sucks more than almost anything else. But it will make you miserable and insecure and insane. You have to talk to him, tell him that all relationships – platonic, romantic, whatever – have forward motion, and you need to driving in more or less the same direction at more or less the same pace for it to work. And you need to trust that you each have both feet in (mixed metaphors are my specialty).
If he doesn’t get it, then you have to leave. It’s terrible and will be so hard. It’s like cutting off your foot, but it’s the only way to keep your entire leg from falling off. I’m sorry for you. Good luck.


So, I knew that vasectomies were reversible, but I've never really thought about it before. I wonder if some men get them done as a form of birth control? (Men that sleep with lots of women and don't want any kids being thrown into the single life?) It made me think of some crazy futuristic society where every man had a vasectomy until he was ready to have children.


@musicello11 I think this would be a better world for everyone.


@musicello11 I thought about doing this when I was single, but then I was like, "What sane woman would actually BELIEVE me?"


@stuffisthings You would probably need some like, official document stating your snipped status, and have to carry it around in your wallet. And even then!


re. LW#1... I am dating someone a bit the same about putting off the things he does not want to do, and a vasectomy would be something that I can see him agreeing is the best option for us and then putting off into infinity because he does not relish the idea of anything pointy messing with his junk. This is why I have learned to save up my nagging for when it really counts (mostly about him going to the doc). I heartily announce that "[vasectomy] nagging will commence in T-2 days if action is not taken" and then I go full-force with the email reminders and hilarious post-its and what-not in an extremely obnoxious but lovable way (just trust me I'm a very adorable nag). I think this goes over ok (and... works?) because I am generally suuuuuuuuper laid back and accepting (passive maybe) so I only pull this shit out when it really matters. It works for him when I bug him to do hard stuff sometimes (guilt/inaction cycle break). But! This is a product of knowing the crap out of each other and is maybe really bad advice, so nagger beware. (Also this assumes that he truly is committed to doing it but is just gun-shy.)

Katie Aaberg@facebook

@baklava! this is a great idea, I am so deploying the HUMORNAG (tm) next time I need my Mr. to get something done!

Plant Fire

Some people are just really sensitive to jewelry which would make wearing rings difficult or uncomfortable. I've always been super sensitive to things touching me (it wasn't until 4th grade that I could put on socks and shoes in less than 30 minutes without tears because the feeling of them touching my feet made me so terribly uncomfortable that I couldn't handle it. And still today at age 22 I have some (less dramatic) issues that make wearing certain types of clothing or feeling certain fabrics too uncomfortable to handle. I can't deal with the feeling of rings on my fingers, having them on makes me pull at the ring and twist it repeatedly on my fingers and if I had to keep one on for a full day I'd probably end up in tears by the end (I promise I'm not crazy, it's hard to explain how intensely uncomfortable certain normal things feel when they are touching my body). So I'd never wear a wedding ring and any man that knew me well enough to be marrying me wouldn't buy me one. And of course, as mentioned people who work in construction or with machinery of any kind avoid rings to keep from ripping off their own fingers.
Basically I think when trying to date/have sex with someone it's best to treat married people the same as unmarried people in committed relationships and ask them or ask around to see if they're available. Even if they do wear a ring you might not notice it so it's good to double check. Plus, I figure if you are married and don't wear a ring (just like if you are unmarried and have a boyfriend/girlfriend and don't want another one/aren't trying to cheat) you're probably good about dropping in that you're taken once you see someone is into you and also not offended if people try and make a move.

crane your neck

LW1: Read the March issue of GQ. Ben Percy did a piece on this.

crane your neck

Here it is: http://www.gq.com/news-politics/mens-lives/201203/vasectomy-contraception-men-surgery


@crane your neck Here's a link to that piece. I really think her husband should read it. It will help! http://www.gq.com/news-politics/mens-lives/201203/vasectomy-contraception-men-surgery


@paperbuttons oh, haha, well now she has two!

crane your neck

@paperbuttons Ha! Thank you so much!!

Plant Fire

The thing that frustrates me about vasectomies is that they're really only something you get when you're older after you've decided that you absolutely don't want kids or don't want any more kids. So lets say hypothetically you make the decision to get one when you're 36. And hypothetically your wife/girlfriend is also 36 and became sexually active when she was 16. So that means this hypothetical wife girlfriend has probably been either using hormonal birth control (with potential negative side effects) or having an IUD (or multiple IUDs with multiple insertions giving that they last between 5 and 10 years, also side effects) for about 20 years now. Even if she used only condoms for the first 5 that is still 15 years of taking responsibility for her birth control using methods that might have been very unpleasant or invasive for her (and definitely expensive). So after that...it just baffles me why, provided you have decided you absolutely don't want any (more) kids a man in a committed relationship might not be jumping to get a vasectomy to at least take some of the responsibility for the birth control. I get being nervous and maybe delaying it a bit (it took me 2 months to get my IUD because I canceled my first appointment after spending the morning reading tales of horribly painful insertions and then got my period which delayed my second consultation. Although to be fair from what I understand and IUD is more invasive and more painful and has more side effects than a vasectomy...and also I was kind of broke). But I still did it and really was pushing to have it done (my boyfriend was the nervous after I told him how sometimes it can perforate your uterus) despite my brief hesitation. So yeah...basically what I'm saying is more men should be open to pitching in with birth control especially since they have much longer to think about it before they have to deal with it (since no one is getting a vasectomy at age 17)


@Sea Ermine PREACH


@Sea Ermine Even some of the most liberal, progressive, feminist dudes that I know see this as the female's responsibility when it gets down to it. Why give up all those years of male privilege by thinking ahead a couple years? Men are A) socialized this way. Not an excuse...just saying we should socialize them the OTHER way as long as we're (well, not me just yet) moms and having boys who we socialize, and B)totally shitty about going to the doctor. Women are forced to go every year for a pap, etc. Or at the very least, they have to go to the doc when they have kids. I know men that have gone decades without seeing a doctor. There's a reason why married men live longer than single men: their wives take care of them and make them go to the doctor. *Statistically speaking*, guys will weasel their way out of going to the doctor if they can.


When we talk about contraception we seriously need to make a bigger deal about the fact that cis dudes (barring fertility issues) are fertile 100 PERCENT OF THE TIME, unlike cis ladies who (barring fertility issues) are fertile for only a short window of a few days in each cycle. When you frame it that way, it's completely ludic that the aforementioned ladies bear so much of the contraceptive burden.


My knee jerk reaction to LW#4 was DTMFA, with a side dish of incredulity at his backburnering and a juicebox to wash it down. But I reread the letter and realized that (1) all parties are early 20s; and (2) there was the declaration of Everything is Great EXCEPT This; and (3) there was the declaration of LW being The Adult in this early 20s relationship, with the added bonus of LW having "been there, done that" vis a vis casual dating. From an early 20 something.

With this more careful reading, I still think that the almost perfect BF boyfriend is a juicebox. But he is probably nonetheless right about the impending expiration of the relationship, albeit for the wrong reasons. It isn't just him who needs to mature a bit.


I posted this on a thread but no one is answering meeeeeeeeeeeeee (*whine*). So.

What do y'all think of a tattooed wedding ring for people who don't like to wear jewelry?


@wee_ramekin Hmm, depends. From what I've seen, hand tattoos tend to fade/get blurry? So if that's a concern, avoid. If it's just the sentiment and any fading/resulting blurriness just adds to the charm, right on.

(Eep, if I have time this weekend I'm going to stop by my I-think-chosen tattoo parlor and ask them if I can set up an appointment for my first tattoo. [I can't say tat, I just can't.] NRVS.)


@figwiggin Squeee! Do you want to talk about the tattoo that you're going to get? Because if so, please do! I'm always interested in peoples' tattoo stories.

Good luck figgy!


@wee_ramekin @figwiggin Wait can we talk about first tattoos? I really want one, but the logical side of me does not want to do something I'll regret, especially, maybe, on my wrist? I never really had a concrete idea of what I wanted until now, and now that I do I'm finding it hard to put off. I'm also worried that because I live in a hip neighborhood that it's just the hip people influencing me. How do you decide?


@wee_ramekin Thanks! Kind of! Although I'm also afraid people will think it sounds stupid. It is going to be a semicolon on my right shoulderblade, because of orthography and writing and Reasons and stuff. Herp. I also want to get three stacked horizontal lines either between my boobs or under one boob because of Riddley Walker, because I want to be a connexion man, but I'm afraid that will hurt more. I'm a big pain wimp, so I'm realllly hoping that the semicolon will be simple enough that I can get through it and see how a more intense tattoo would feel, should I decide to get anything more complex than those two.

@mackymoo I've had my first-tattoo idea for like a year or two now, and I've been hanging onto a representation of it in my wallet so I can pull it out once in a while and see if it still falls on me well. I'm the kind of person who falls in love with an idea and gets over it a month or two later all the time, so knowing that this is still something I want now tells me that I should go for it. Also, my best buddy is getting married mid-May and I'm in the wedding party, so if I want it to be healed I should get on that, elsewise I'll need to wait till after.


@wee_ramekin Pam and Tommy Lee.


@gobblegirl Ani DiFranco!

Vera Knoop

@figwiggin My girl has a birthmark on her hand shaped like a semicolon, and it's one of the ways I knew we were meant to be.
Good luck with your tattoo! After a few seconds, the endorphins kick in and it doesn't hurt at all. Healing feels like sunburn. You'll do fine.


@figwiggin AAHHHH semicolon tattoo! Played with the idea of getting one (on my toe!) for a very long time. They are so elegant and just the best.

@mackymoo Best "should I get it or not" tattoo idea I've ever heard: print out what you want to get tattooed, small. Put it in your wallet/stick it on your sun visor in your car/put it wherever you will see it on a daily basis. Then look at it, on a daily basis, for a year. (Have also heard six months, go with whatever number works for you.) If you're worried about putting something on your wrist, and the social implications that might have, two things: 1, you can try sharpie-ing it on for a couple weeks to see how you like it and how other people react. 2, they make very good cover-up makeup in case you do need to hide it for an occasion or whatever.

@wee_ramekin Hand tattoos never seem to hold well, especially the undersides of fingers. So I'm not as down with them from a purely aesthetic standpoint. (I am also UBER-against any sort of couple tattoos, which is totally weird because I absolutely believe people can stay together forever, get married, the whole bit. I am just convinced that couple-tattoos will curse you. I don't know.)

Katie Aaberg@facebook

@wee_ramekin My husband and I have matching stars tattooed on our ring fingers instead of rings. 1. Knuckle tattoos hurt like NONE OTHER (but that won't stop me from getting more). 2. My husband has very thick skin on his fingers, so the color on his star dropped out (faded) really quickly, so it looked like his star was much older than mine. We had a joke going for a while that I was his second wife and he made me get the tattoo to match his, but then he got his re-done so now we're all matchy-matchy again. 3. I work in financial service, and we're not supposed to have any visible tattoos at work, so I wore this ridiculous cocktail ring for a while, but it drew more attention to my hands than not covering up at all, so I stopped, and my bosses never said anything.

Princess Slaya


@wee_ramekin - I like them. When I got my calf piece done, there was a guy in there who was allergic to metals or something, and he was getting his wedding ring tattooed as an arm band on his bicep. I mean, armband tattoos, whatever, amirite? But I thought it was sweet that it was his wedding band.

HOWEVER, p.s. Divorce happens. So I say no.


Am I the only one who hates the significant other as 'best friend' statement? Best friend and romantic relationship, different things!

Maybe you were best friends before you started dating, but now you're banging and you need promote a new best friend (probably the friend who listens to you talk about all the banging).


@MEGA VENUTIAN SPACE SCORPION Just wait. After many years (and kids possibly) he becomes your best friend/(worst friend at times). There is no choice. He's always there! And he knows you so well! he can talk you off the ledge. He can also tell you what you are going to do before you do it and he can tell you when you are acting crazy and be your person to lean on. (you can do all of those things for him too). I mean of course he is your best friend. Who else talks to you every single day and knows all of your insides and outsides? He definitely is there for me more than any lady best friend I have ever known.


@philomene This is beautifully said and I totally agree!

If there is somebody you trust more and who knows you better... well, maybe that's fine if you're just dating, but I can't imagine getting married to someone who's NOT your best friend. Romance and passion are not going to stay constant throughout a 50+ year relationship, but respect and friendship totally can. This is purely anecdotal obviously, but every time I have seen acquaintances and friends get married, if either the bride or groom have a best friend who is not their spouse, there has been a serious problem or a divorce within the first year. Romantic love: necessary but not sufficient!


@TheFattestBunny My argument is entirely one of names, I am not at all in disagreement about the importance of strong relationships with your significant other, but I think once you're in a romantic relationship it becomes a different thing that shouldn't really be classified as best friendship.

I have friends who have moved in with their partners and said things like 'It's so great, I get to live with my best friend!', but they're not, they're living with their partner and it is going to be both easier and harder than living with your best friend. Plus any time it comes up in an advice column it is someone saying 'He is my best friend, but he [hugely juiceboxy thing here]'. That person is not your best friend! Stop ruining the title for everyone!

(Also I feel like it is somehow devaluing to friendship in a weird way that I don't really want to parse right now because I am tired and missing my best (non-romantic) friend).


@MEGA VENUTIAN SPACE SCORPION Ha, there are sooo many phrases ruined by delusional advice-seekers! "Our relationship is perfect, except for when he has a kitten-strangling episode!" That's... not what perfect means.

Your point about it devaluing platonic friendship is an interesting one. Sorry you're missing your friend! I have been living for two years in a time zone where my second-best friend, after my husband, is my mother-in-law, so I can relate to having friends who are way too far away. I hope you two are reunited soon!


@MEGA VENUTIAN SPACE SCORPION ugh like I have a good friend who I have supported through an on and off and on and off and on no wait off ok just kidding on relationship ... hearing her refer to that dude as her bestie raised my hackles.

also pretty much caused me to check out of caring as much as i had previously (which was healthier for me anyway so pro i guess?)


soo vasectomies...

i asked my husband nicely when i was 3 months pregnant to get one. i asked again at 6 months pregnant. i asked again when my baby was a day old. i asked again when he was three months old. see a pattern? at about a year old my husband got the snip. so i basically nagged him for 2 years.

it's amazing, best brith control ever and you know what? it's FAIR! i took bc pills for 7 years. i used an iud for 1.5 years. i was pregnant, gave birth and breastfed (no picnic) TWICE! we have two beautiful boys. the least he coudl do was a 15 minute operation that would take a huge burden off of my shoulders. he has totally recovered in about a week, and stopped worrying about it after a couple of months.



@LeafySeaDragon I've never been married, so let me know if this is a real no-no, but what happened to just calling the doctor and making an appointment for your husband? Don't people do that all the time? Like, not against his will or anything, but if he agreed and has just been putting it off.


@chevyvan lol maybe, but you can't go to the appointment for them!


@chevyvan Did that.

Claire Lovell

omg! true romance reference (alabama worley)! that is my girlfriend's favorite movie and often comes up in um..similar discussions...

Grace Anne Boucher@facebook

I love this A Dude. Easily my favorite.

I'm Not Rufus

LW4's boyfriend may have faults, but he's clearly communicating his expectations for the relationship. Why is he not just breaking up with her? Because, like many people who date in their early 20s without expecting to get married, he's apparently enjoying dating her! Why did he not communicate this expectation when they first started dating? Probably because he didn't know to expect it.

If she is not happy with a relationship with an expiration date (helpful rule of thumb: if you are writing to anonymous online advice columns to ask whether you should break up, then you should break up) then, well, he's not doing anything to stop her from breaking up with him. She's an adult (she even says so in her letter!) and she can make decisions for herself.


Oh, ugh agh the vasectomy talk! I've been with this guy for five years (fiiiiiive yeaaaaaaaaaars) and I don't want kids, he doesn't want kids, great, right? And he won't even talk about it. Which, if you don't want them now or ever, with me or anyone, maybe it would be the responsible thing.
I keep reminding myself that yes, it's his body and his decision, but it's also pissing me off that I have to get poked every year and remember BC EVERY FREAKING DAY. And he won't even CONSIDER it. Oh, and he's five years older, so I feel like maybe at THIS POINT you should think about it.
But whatever, I guess, because I'm dumping him in two weeks.


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