When Cuckolding’s Gone Crazy
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because sex with a full bank account is much better than sex without. Or so we’ve heard.
By Eugene S. Robinson
LIKE STRIPES ON A TIGER
EUGENE, SIR: When I’m about to have sex and aroused, I get horizontal red welts across my ass, three or four in a row on either cheek, about 3 inches long and half an inch thick. They’re not raised, but you can clearly see them — they look like stripes, like I sat down on a garden chair or something. Any idea what’s going on? — Cammo
Dear GI Jane: I’m no doctor. I don’t even play one on TV. I’m just a man with a dream. And that dream is that, in some small way, I can help you over the hump of your hump horrors, so please go see someone with some papers on their walls.
That being said, what you’re describing sounds like hives — medical name: urticaria — which are usually caused by direct physical stimulation of the skin. The suggested treatment involves removing the triggering event, which in your case sounds like sex. Which you’re probably not going to abstain from. So unless the welts itch or hurt or they haven’t disappeared within an hour after sex ceases, I wouldn’t worry about it. The worst that could happen, according to my panel of people with papers on their walls: difficulty breathing, dizziness, swelling of the tongue, lips or face, tightness in the chest and/or wheezing. Yep, sounds like sex to me!
BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE
EUGENE, SIR: Infidelity is funny. I’ve been sleeping with my business partner’s wife. That’s not the problem. She and I suspect my business partner is sleeping with my wife. That’s not really the problem either — the business is solid. But from your point of view, what are the downsides to sneaking around? — Name withheld by request
Dear Barney: Downsides? You could lose everything, including that solid business, and end up broke and living in a culvert beneath a freeway. Then I could write a cautionary tale of the roads not to take for the sake of a little strange and make a million dollars on the film rights. That seems to me to be a pretty significant downside. It’s also the likely outcome if in this game of relationship musical chairs you find yourself without one when the music stops. Which could happen if your wife and business partner fall in love.
Better, then, to think of the upsides!
One: It’s all in the family. Having a shadow side that you’re both aware of yet refuse to acknowledge is like “sort of” playing backgammon. Half-assing your way through and playing at backgammon is a lot more fun than really playing backgammon.
Two: You can, by proxy, warn each other against the temptation to trade for the whole franchise (see: downside). If the grass looks greener it helps to be reminded that it only appears greener.
Three: If you’re a cuckold cuckolding another cuckold, you don’t have to be better in the short term than a whole universe of possible better-thans. You only have to be better than Mr. Flintstone, which should be an easy lift. I mean, you all know one another well enough that only an idiot could screw this up.
But your question, now that I reread it, is whether or not you should have a big reveal. My simple answer is no. That’s the functional equivalent of knocking all of the backgammon pieces off the table. The outcomes could go any which way if you do that, though one thing will be patently obvious: The game is over. And maybe that’s what you want when you do that, but when the game is over, someone will have won and someone will have lost and given how tightly tied together you all are, I suspect that what one feels, all will feel. If it’s going to die, let it die naturally. No need for reality TV stunts to speed things along. Good luck.
ALL SEX IS DANGEROUS
EUGENE, SIR: I read one of your answers to a question about having vaginal sex after anal sex and the spread of E. coli. By that token, oral sex performed without condoms or dental dams or even given how close the anus is to our sex organs is a possible pathway for E. coli, the same bacteria that drives food recalls and in extreme cases can kill you. You think the missionary position was just what the unconverted called the sex they saw missionaries having as some stupidity they got from the Bible? Like eating seafood and pork, these are also things that could kill you, both then and now. Get right with God. There’s a reason what’s in the Bible is in the Bible. — Clare
Dear Mr. Quilty: As a hypochondriac I’m well aware of the front lines of disease and the possibilities of being ushered into the great unknown with scant warning on account of the stupidest and smallest of mistakes. A kiss could lead to hepatitis. Hepatitis, to death.
A waiter with dirty, unwashed hands? E. coli. Then death.
A frayed toaster wire? Death.
A mushroom picked by someone momentarily distracted? Death.
I’m no relativist, so if you think I’m going to say since everything can kill you, you should just relax and enjoy life, you’d be wrong. The costs and values of everything need to be carefully weighed, and a world without oral sex of any kind is one many of us would choose not to live in.
So we do the sexual equivalent of looking both ways before crossing the street, and while expecting the worst, hope for the best, since like James Brown once said, “Live while you’re living because you know what they said: No matter how long you’re living, you’re a long time dead.”