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IN VINO VERITAS

A complication with your complication:

I have a friend who is an an open relationship.  Recently, the two of them have started sleeping with a third person who is married and cheating on his spouse.  I don’t know this new person and I don’t want to.  I am absolutely disgusted by this behavior.  I don’t care if you’re in an open relationship, that’s fine, it’s when it crosses the line into dishonesty I have a problem with that.  I don’t know what to tell my friend when he regales me with his adventures.

LISTEN:

I know just what to tell him.

Wear a condom.

And that’s about it.

Here’s the whole thing – sorted:  If your friend asks you your opinion, you can tell him.  If he doesn’t, then keep your trap shut.  Shut!  It!  That’s right.  Do you think he doesn’t know that what he’s doing is wrong?  He does.  Believe me, he does.  And he’s counting on your shock and disapproval to make it more exciting, so don’t bother.

I’m assuming these are all men, but that might not be the case.  I know some heteroflexible couples (?) in San Francisco that would make this seem like contract bridge!  At least they’re all honest with each other…no sneaking, no cheating, no lies, right?  Well if your friend freaks out about this because of your disapproval, then you wouldn’t be able to encourage him to continue to be safe – to continue to have safe-sex, that is – if you two weren’t speaking.  That goes back to my first tip, and I’ll stress it again – make sure your friend knows you care about him, love him, and want him to be safe when he’s having sex.

Unless you don’t and don’t care, but in this case – no, in any case where that’s the case, you should lie and say you do.

Ooooh, but let’s pretend now, and figure out what to say if he does ask your opinion.

I think your reply should go a little something like this:

“Bunbury, you know I love you, and that will never change.  But I can’t say I think very highly about what you’re doing.  You and Clementine can make any sexual arrangements you want with each other, but when you go in to someone else’s life and start being a party to their cheating or adultery, then you’ve crossed a line between enlightened acceptance of your own polymorphous sexuality and the betrayal of someone else’s trust in their own partner.  I want you to imagine that you found out that this was happening to me, and I didn’t know about it. I want you to picture me finding out, the shock, the sickness, the tears.  I want you to think of me wracked with grief, punched in the gut, betrayed by someone I love and their cynical fuck-buddies.  I want you to think of me – ME – humiliated, broken-hearted, wondering how people could be so callous, so cruel, and I want you to see the death of love in my hollow, shadowed eyes.  I want you to think about that when you’re fucking this stranger and fucking over this stranger’s partner.  And while you’re doing that – wear a condom.”

Something like that.

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