Who to kick out—and who to keep—after quarantine

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Illustration by Jack Raybuck

Dear Dan: It’s taken a lot to do this but here goes. I am a 38-year-old gay male. I have been dating this this guy for one year and ten months. It’s been a lot of work. He cheated on me numerous times, and he lives with me and doesn’t work and I’ve been taking care of him for seven months now. He always accuses me of cheating or finds something to blame me for. What I am angry about now is how for the past four months he has been accusing me of playing games by conspiring with people to make him hear voices. If I look up at the ceiling or look around he said I am communicating with “them.” I keep telling him I do not hear or see anything, but he insists that I am lying. He also says I put a curse on him. One day I got up and he packs his bags and said he had enough and walked out. He said I was not being loyal. This is a man who has been doing coke since age of 14 and he is now 43 years old. He does meth and whatever else. He said until I come clean about hearing the voices too and admit I cast some sort a spell on him he won’t talk to me or see me. Mental illness runs in his family, and one sibling already committed suicide. He didn’t want professional help because, he says, “I am too smart for that.” I’m hurt and angry and want some advice. ANY ADVICE. Please.

Desperate For Answers

Dear DFA: I don’t see the problem.

A delusional and potentially dangerous drug addict with mental health issues who refuses to get help packed his bags and walked out of your life. Yahtzee, DFA, you win. It was his presence in your life (and your apartment) that was the problem and your boyfriend—your ex-boyfriend—just solved it for you. Block his number, change your locks, and pray he forgets your address.

You might wanna seek some professional help yourself. You need to get to the bottom of why you wasted nearly two years on this asshole. Being alone can’t be worse than being with someone who cheats on you and then accuses you of cheating—to say nothing of someone who abuses drugs, hears voices, and makes other irrational/delusional accusations. He wasn’t just a danger to himself, DFA, he was a danger to you. He’s out of your apartment—now you need to get him out of your head.


Dear Dan: About a month ago I broke up with my boyfriend after I found out he was cheating on me. Long before we broke up, I freaked out about a rash and looking back I think it was probably herpes all along. I found out for sure three days ago, and I’m honestly thinking about not telling him. He doesn’t show any symptoms, and he’s the type of guy who will call me a slut if I tell him. He’ll blame me for his wrongdoing and just keep going and going. I honestly don’t know if I should tell him, since he’s asymptomatic. This is going to cause a huge problem between us. He has a lot of anger issues, and he could use this as blackmail. I’m legitimately scared.

Her Ex Reacts Personally

Dear HERP: Letting a former sex partner know you may have exposed them to an STI—or that they may have exposed you to an STI—is the decent, responsible, courteous, and kind thing to do. Not just for their health and safety, HERP, but for the health and safety of their future sex partners. But people who are unkind, scary, and violent have no one but themselves to blame when a former sex partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/enbyfriend is too afraid for their own safety to make that discloser. Provided your fears are legitimate, HERP, and you’re not inflating them to avoid an awkward or unpleasant conversation, you don’t owe your ex a call.


Dear Dan: I’m a bi guy, living alone. At the start of the year, this new guy moved into the house where I live in—we share communal areas but have private rooms—and he’s a bit of a slacker, but holy shit is he hot. I’ve had regular fantasies about him. And now with the quarantine, those fantasies have increased along with the number of times I see him in a day. I’ve been feeling the urge to ask him if he’s interested in anything, but my friends have advised me to “not shit where I eat.” But due to the quarantine, the only other option I have is masturbating, and that’s not doing the trick. Should I take the plunge and ask him?

Household Entirely Lacks Pleasure

Dear HELP: Health authorities have advised us to shit where we eat for the time being. The New York City Health Department recommends masturbation, HELP, because you are and always have been your safest sex partner. But your next safest partner during this pandemic is someone with whom you live. NYC Health has advised us all to “avoid close contact—including sex—with anyone outside your household.” That doesn’t mean everyone inside your household is fair game, of course; some people are quarantining with their parents. But if there was ever a time when you could approach a non-related adult with whom you live to see if they might wanna fuck around, now’s the time. Apologize to the hot slacker advance for potentially making things awkward and invite him to say no. (“If you’re not interested, please say no, and I promise not to bring it up again.”) But if the answer is yes, HELP, send video.


Dear Dan: I’m a gay bondage bottom. My boyfriend of four years is 100 percent vanilla, and we solved the “problem” of my need to get tied up—and it’s a real need—by outsourcing it. (Can you tell we’re longtime readers and listeners?) I was seeing two regular FWBs/bondage buddies, but that’s obviously on hold right now. (I’ve reached out to both my FWBs to let them both know I’m thinking about them and that I care about them, Dan, like you’ve been urging people to do on your show.) The issue is I still really need to get tied up and my boyfriend is willing, but he’s so bad at it that I don’t want to bother. He knows how much I need it and he’s hurt that I’d rather go without than let him put me in bondage that isn’t really bondage because I can easily get out. We used to fight because I wanted him to tie me up and he didn’t want to do it, and now we’re fighting because he wants to tie me up and I won’t let him do it. Any advice for a fan?

This Isn’t Exactly Desirable

Dear TIED: If people can teach yoga, give concerts, and conduct first dates via online streaming services, then one of your bondage buddies can—if they’re into the idea—give your boyfriend a few bondage tutorials online. I’m glad to hear you already reached out to your bondage buddies, TIED, since now you’ll be asking them to do you and your boyfriend a favor. But I imagine it’s a favor they’ll enjoy doing.


Dear Dan: I’m a teenage girl with a female friend who keeps joking about having sex with me. We’re both into girls and sex, but while I find her really hot, she probably doesn’t feel the same about me. How can I tell if she’s joking about it because she finds the idea ridiculous or if she’s joking about it because she actually wants to? Once everything goes back to normal COVID-wise, what should I do?

Getting Into Real Life

Dear GIRL: The ability to ask someone a direct question—particularly someone you’re interested in romantically and/or sexually—is an important skill, GIRL, and getting some practice now, when stakes are relatively low, will benefit you all your life. So get your friend on the phone and ask her this: “Are you serious about wanting to have sex with me? It’s fine if you don’t want to, but I’m actually attracted to you. Please say no if the answer’s no.” If the answer is yes, you can make a date to get together once circumstances/pandemics allow. But if the answer is no, GIRL, then you can get some practice making declarative statements: “I don’t want you to make those jokes anymore. They’re hurtful to me.” And if she continues to make jokes about having sex with you after you’ve made it clear she’s hurting your feelings, then she’s just being cruel and doesn’t deserve your time, attention, or friendship.


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Categories: Savage Love