How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!
Dear How to Do It,
I (65F) have been seeing a much younger man (37) for eight weeks. We agreed in the beginning it was just a sexual/casual thing, no strings. I told him my true age after our first time together, but in a subsequent text I made a typo and put 55. I never bothered to correct him when he started thinking that was my age. So I technically did not lie, but now I am lying by omission.
Do I just come out and tell him the mistake and take the chance he will get angry and dump me, or keep up the charade and let this relationship run its course? Recently we have both expressed that this is becoming more of a couple-ship than a fling.
— Speed Limit 55
Dear Speed Limit 55,
Yes, I think you should tell him. Though you are currently living the cliché “age ain’t nothing but a number,” age can mean a bit more than that. It can help for future planning or just shape one’s general understanding of the arc of their relationship. To inform him of your actual age would be to give him more data on which to base his plans. I think he deserves it? While it sounds like this little thing you’ve got going is fun and would be nice to hold onto, someone who’s going to reject you for your age after spending quite a bit of time with you isn’t really worth your time anyway. Congrats on pulling off 55 at 65, though. You sound like a catch, and even if you should be rejected by your young buck, it doesn’t sound like you’ll have too much of a problem bagging something else worthy of you.
Dear How to Do It,
My girlfriend and I (both bi girls) are considering a threesome. Neither of us has gotten the chance to participate in group sex, so it would be brand new for both of us. But when we were googling about threesome advice—where do you find a partner? How do you screen a stranger for safety? What are popular positions?—it seemed like the was a ton of hate about already partnered couples looking for a third. The term “unicorn hunting” seems to be a big thing and very negative.
We just kind of thought it would be fun to add a dick into the mix, and who wouldn’t want to sleep with a couple of hot girls like us? We thought a hookup would be fun and then if it turns out well maybe we could all bang more frequently. But now I’m wondering if there’s less fun and more ethical dilemmas involved in planning a nice threesome. How do we pursue this without being “bad” people?
— Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Dear Wanna Have Fun,
The particular sensitivity around unicorns tends to apply to hetero couples who are looking to invite another woman into bed. It’s not this fact alone that conjures disdain; it’s that unicorns are often mistreated, with the couple expecting their needs to be serviced and their relationship to be fortified while treating the third as a mere prop. That is not cool; meanwhile inviting a third into your bed is extremely cool. It’s really just a matter of approach, which should be laden with respect. I think, too, women tend to be more sensitive about this than men, with good reason given the overall shitty cultural treatment of women for, oh, basically all of human history. You may find fewer dudes who have this level of sensitivity, or who even demand to be considered in any way beyond their ability to show you both a good time. Certainly, among gay men, who commonly practice partnered nonmonogamy and tend to love a group, this unicorn taboo is not really an issue—it’s not inherently problematic for couples to hook up with other guys together. Some of us relish being used in exactly this capacity.
So, no ethical dilemmas there. Approach this like you would any fuck bud. Be kind and direct. Show respect. Understand that the nature of this association you’re forging is noncommittal, but when your schedules and interests align, you can have some fun. If you don’t want to be bad people, don’t do bad-people shit. Having fun with and sharing pleasure with mutually interested parties lives firmly in the good-people shit column.
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Dear How to Do It,
I’m literally insatiable. I want to cum over and over again, but my wife gets tired out fast. I call my nature a win in my book, but I’m wondering what I can do to make it easier to satisfy? We’re in an open relationship, but I’m finding it hard to get other women interested in me. Any suggestions?
— The Insatiable Man
If you are, at minimum, neutral regarding being serviced by a guy, I recommend trying a gloryhole or a gay sex party. That kind of stamina is highly prized among some cocksuckers and the otherwise insatiable. Otherwise, keep looking and advertise your ability to come repeatedly. We love a multicummer.
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Dear How to Do It,
I’ve always been of the self-righteous, morally high-horsed type, and there’s an inner struggle taking place since learning that I have HPV. Doctor says I will develop warts whenever I’m immunosuppressed or something like that, so probably once a year considering my feeble immune system. He also says it doesn’t matter if I use a condom—I will still transmit it through oral sex, even if I’m the giver, and that probably close to 50 percent of humans have at least one strain of HPV, so we’re practically immersed in a silent epidemic.
Should I tell my future sexual partners about it? If yes, how? I mean, I can already anticipate they will stay away from my genitals after disclosing this, even if they already have it (knowingly or not), even if half of their previous sexual partners have it, too.
On the one hand, it feels like the responsible thing to do: new sexual partner, new disclosure, warts and all (literally). This has been my approach in the past, but so far it was limited to HIV and some of the more lethal diseases. On the other hand, I live in a close-minded, religious society, so even if I only establish relationships with the more liberal types, I can already anticipate the rejection, the disgust, and the possible legal action that would follow such disclosure (especially if discussed after a first encounter).
So what does a moral compass regarding a mostly-inoffensive disease that will require me going in for wart removal once a year look like? I probably will get infected with other HPV strains just by moving forward with my life, just like I got this one. I know I would like my partners to disclose it to me, so I can have the freedom to choose (and I’d probably still choose to do it), but I also know most of my potential partners aren’t of the Kantian morality type, and that a life of celibacy is the most probable outcome.
— Warts and All
Dear Warts and All,
A life of celibacy is the most probable outcome? I’m assuming you wrote this from your fainting couch given all the drama it comprises. I don’t blame your pronounced anxiety all on you, though—it seems like your doctor didn’t mention that in the vast majority of cases, people’s bodies clear their HPV infections within two years with no discernible impact on their health. Perhaps your being immunocompromised will complicate this, but for everyone’s sake, you should have a little hope.
As for the meantime, look, there’s no easy answer for this. As you state, HPV is extremely common—it’s probably even more common than we think given that it’s not typically screened for in men. (There is no approved test for men, though guys who bottom should be getting paps—interested parties should visit a queer-friendly colorectal surgeon.) That makes this ethical dilemma immediately lopsided, as people with vaginas have to bear the brunt of disclosure since they’re the ones coming up positive by virtue of the available testing situation. Plus, I’ve heard of doctors recommending to their newly positive patients that they need not disclose, and the CDC itself states: “The benefit of disclosing a positive HPV test to current and future sex partners is unclear.” By the same token, the consequence of being stigmatized for such a disclosure is clear. While it seems a bit reckless for me to advise completely avoiding disclosure, I think you can put together where I’m leaning toward.
Regardless, don’t be so defeatist. You should get the HPV vax, Gardasil, if you haven’t. It doesn’t protect against all strains, but it does some, including the big cancer-causing ones, 16 and 18.
Given the thorniness of this issue, though, it might be best to look inward. You say in your letter that you would want a partner to disclose, even if knowing your partner’s diagnosis wouldn’t necessarily thwart your interest. Granted, not everyone is so open-minded, but it’s still a good idea to treat people as you would like to be treated. That can really cut through a lot of the noise and wishy-washiness. Despite all of the attendant issues that I’ve spelled out, it would seem that the answer for you is clear—it’s right there in your letter.
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I’m a man who is in a decadeslong love affair with my wife. Many years later, we still have a really great sex life. Not bragging, just setting the scene. The issue is simple: Starting about a year ago, inexplicably, she began complaining that when I came during intercourse, my semen felt “like fire” inside her. It’s unpleasant enough that I’ve started pulling out before finishing. No issues of an allergic reaction on other parts of her body, incidentally. What could this possibly be?