Kiss. My. Toes. My girlfriend's perfect—except she won't indulge my foot fetish.

Robert Ullman

I am a 23-year-old male who has been in a relationship with a great woman for four years now. She is an amazing person, and we oftentimes talk about marriage. The issue is this: I have a foot fetish and she is fully aware of it. She doesn’t like the idea of me kissing her feet or indulging my fetish in any way. We have sex quite often, and I’ve always let it slide that she doesn’t want any part of my fetish. I don’t know what to do, because I’m at a stage in my sexual growth where I need to experience my fetish. I’m getting mixed advice from different people and I just want a straight answer. The sex we have is amazing, but I would enjoy it so much more if I could act on my desires once in a while. —Sexually Frustrated Fetishist

 

Here’s a straight answer: Your amazing girlfriend is an amazingly selfish lover, and I’m amazed that you’ve put up with her bullshit for as long as you have. A foot fetish is not uncommon or outrageous; as fetishes go, SFF, yours is the least taxing for a nonkinky partner. It’s not like you’re into shit or choking or Christian side hugs. Any amazing woman who truly loved you would regard indulging you as a no-brainer.

Share time: I have a good friend who’s not kinky at all—unless you count being gay—and he’s a runner who goes for long runs every Saturday morning. When he gets home, he handcuffs his boyfriend to a chair in his kitchen, duct-tapes one of his sweaty sneakers over the boyfriend’s face, and leaves him there while he has breakfast. My friend—who came to me for advice when his boyfriend confessed his fetish—isn’t really into guys with sneakers duct-taped to their faces. But it gets his lover off, and isn’t that what lovers are for?

Your lover has had things—she’s had you—on her terms for four years, SFF, which means you’re going to have to play the breakup card. It’s the only leverage you have. Tell her that if she can indulge your fetish—happily and regularly—and take some pleasure in giving you pleasure, she might be “the one.” If she can’t or won’t, she obviously isn’t. (Not that “the one” is anything other than a destructive myth, but for the sake of winning this argument, go ahead and use it.)

Finally, SFF, don’t let the girlfriend—or anyone else—tell you that you’re threatening to end this relationship over something trivial. Sexual fulfillment is important, particularly if your relationship is exclusive. And the “triviality” of your kink cuts both ways: If your kink is so trivial, why not just indulge you then? And in a long-term relationship—or a marriage—one partner’s sexual selfishness and another’s sexual frustration rarely prove trivial over the long haul. They’re more often grounds for divorce. —Dan

I am a 35-year-old partnered gay man, but I’ve been having an online conversation with a married bisexual man that has become an ongoing game of sexual dares. It’s a safe form of sexual adventurism for both of us. None of our dares has involved sexual contact with another person, but some of our dares have begun to involve other people at the edges. For example, we’ve posted ads to Craigslist as submissives and responded to some of the replies from dominant men. None of these interactions with third parties will result in actual contact. It feels a little like we are exploiting the “flakes” aspect of Craigslist, i.e., it’s common to hear from someone a few times after making contact on Craigslist and then never hear from them again. But it also feels a little like we are using these folks. Is this expansion of our game to involve other people ethical?

—Concerned About Harming Craigslist Fellas

P.S. By the way, this letter is itself part of a dare. If you publish it and include a dare in the published reply, I will have to fulfill that dare.

 

The expansion of your game to Craigslist will annoy those guys on CL who are looking for actual contact, CAHCF, but as those guys amount to something less than 0.02 percent of the men trawling Craigslist at any given moment, I wouldn’t worry about it. Everyone knows that CL is overrun with flakes and game players and picture collectors; the odds that the “dominant men” you’ve chatted with on CL are interested in actual contact are pretty damn slim. (Guys interested in real-time BDSM play are likelier to be lurking on Recon.com or in your local hardware store.) So post at will. —Dan

P.S. I dare you to go to www.tinyurl.com/ye3otsh and take the pledge.

 

I’m a straight guy in my late 20s. I have a girlfriend of several years whom I live with and I love very much. I just read your most recent column, in which you used the acronyms HND (honest nonmonogamous dude) and CPOS (cheating piece of shit), and it struck a nerve. I have never been an HND; I have in the past been a CPOS (though not in this relationship). My girlfriend is lovely, supportive, and generally GGG, and though the sex is good, I have a significantly higher libido than she does and I would like to have a little more variety in my sex life. I want to be an HND, but I don’t know how to broach the subject with the girlfriend without ruining our relationship. We are very open about our sex life and our relationship in general, but I think this is probably a “next level” topic that may not go over very well. How do I bring this up without screwing up our relationship beyond repair?

—Aspiring Honest Nonmonogamous Dude

 

Based on what you’ve learned about yourself in past relationships, AHND, i.e., that you’re a CPOS waiting to happen, I would encourage you to err on the side of screwing up your current relationship with an honest conversation about your mismatched libidos and your natural and normal desire for a little variety. Lies, damn lies, and statistics all demonstrate that, in time, one or the other or both of you will cheat. Better to toss that out there now, even at the risk of calmly winding down this relationship before you revert to form/CPOS, than to see the relationship explode after someone, most likely you, winds up cheating.

And while we’re on the subject of cheating…

I suppose I’m obligated to say a few words about Tiger Woods. First, let’s pretend that Elin Nordegren cheated on Tiger and that Tiger went after Elin with a golf club. Would Elin be viewed as the sole transgressor in the marriage then? Probably not. And second, daily papers and cable-news outfits reacted to Tiger’s “transgressions” by changing the names in the same “Why do powerful men cheat?” stories they’ve been pimping since Bill Clinton blew a load on a White House intern. For the millionth time: Men cheat for the same reasons women cheat, i.e., because they’re bored or horny or unfulfilled or desperate to see someone else naked for a change. People cheat because monogamy isn’t natural and we are wired to cheat. That doesn’t make cheating right, of course; people should honor their commitments, and blah-de-nine-iron-blah. But we shouldn’t encourage people to make commitments we all know they’re unlikely to keep. The end. —Dan Savage

 

AUCTION NOTICE: Want to answer a question or two in an upcoming column? I’m auctioning off a chance to give advice in this space to raise money for some worthy charities. Go to www.tinyurl.com/SLauction for details and to bid.

 

Send your Savage Love questions to mail@savagelove.net.

Our Readers Say

Something about this guy is innately stupid.
People write in with these problems, looking to him for solutions, or resolutions to their moral dilemmas.

a) breaking up with the other person is always an option. So apparently that's too difficult.

b) simply talking to them and trying to work it out with them is always an option, so apparently that's too difficult.

But what makes them think that talking it out with Dan Savage is going to solve their problem? He's supposed to give them either a great idea to make up for their own idiocy and/or ethical lapses, or he's supposed to give them the intellectual backbone to break up with the person? How can he do both? Either break up with these people and find someone who you are happy with (which, yes, will entail a series of breakups until you reach nirvana with someone at which point they can break up with you) or find a happy middle ground. Negotiate. They might want to break with you then but still, what have you got to lose?

Is he supposed to be the angel over their shoulders, all of them, for all time? I don't get this. That's simply impossible and as such this entire column reaches for the impossible on a regular basis. Like, "this is what I would do if I were you and in your position, but you aren't me and I'm not you...." sheesh.

...how great can being with someone be if you have to write into a sex columnist for a solution to an ongoing problem? Does Warren Buffet call a financial advisor to help him earn $2.5B/year when he's only earning $2.4999B? I doubt it. He takes the $2.49999B and runs, happily. And if you can't run happily *with* someone, then just eat the loss and move on. Be done with it. Admit that you'd rather suck her toes than have great "vanilla" sex on a frequent basis. Sheesh! How effing hard is this?!?
...I would guess that no matter how well you match with someone there are always issues of contention. From leaving the toilet seat up to having your buds over to watch football on a Sunday night when she'd rather be alone with you. Two people are never a perfect match all the time.

If you can't be happy with 99% happiness? You have real issues and deserve to, NEED to be alone for a while. Allow someone else to be 75% happy with your SO and you run off and search for that missing 1%. Do everyone a favor, just admit that you're an idiot and deserve to be alone for a while.
...and no one forced Tiger to marry a blonde Swedish model at 28 and have 2 kids with her.

Definitely, no one forced him to take up with a skanky bar-waitress and a skanky nightclub-manager. Of all the women in the whole world, TW had to pick these three, one to marry and be the mother of his children and two to pick up his extra on the side, and this is WHOSE problem other than *his*? Good grief I'm sure that there are a million men who would give their right arm to be in his shoes...all while he bitches and moans about the public snooping into his business. What part of "you're a cheating skank and that's what *make* your private life the publics' business" does he not understand?
"She doesn’t like the idea of me kissing her feet or indulging my fetish in any way."

...not even foot-massages or foot-baths?

no middle ground there? Nothing that could lead to full on toe slobbering after a hard summer day in heels?

this whole thing really makes me wonder a) are these letters for real? these people are just that lacking in imagination?

or is there really some guy out there who is having phenomenal sex with some hot girl who isn't truly satisfied because he can't suck her toes and can't understand why she wouldn't want him to do that?

...but she doesn't mind it when you stick your tounge up her ass, or drink her pee? It's just *that* fetish that bothers her? I doubt it.
...I am sure that every guy out there wants to do something to his girlfriend that she not only wants no part of, but would happily leave him if he did it, especially if he makes a regular thing of it. She might let him get away with it once just out of curiosity, twice out of indulgence, but once it becomes a regular schtick she's either in or out. And that includes not doing something that she wants him to do, but doesn't want to tell him to do it. And every guy everywhere all the time with every woman has to either deal with this or lose the pussy altogether. "Phenomenal sex with unmet fetishes" is an oxymoron. It can't be "great sex" if you can't stop thinking that something important is missing, if you leave wanting more and can't get it, if after 4 hours of screwing her every which way but loose you are just as unsatisfied as when you started. It's clearly solving one problem but in the process it's just creating another.
...the problem of course is that wanting a bit of pepper in your food once in a while is not the same as wanting a regular dose of pepper in everything. Desires arise and go away, like the phase of the moon. If you haven't had something for a while, eventually you'll get a taste of it.

Having an overwhelming desire to stick your girlfriends feet in your mouth, that raises the question of why exactly are you dating her. Are you dating her, even having sex with her, in the hopes that one day, some day, she'll let you suck on her toes? Or would you be 100% happy if she would just let you suck on her toes even once in addition to being such a wonderful girlfriend in every other way? If the latter, I would just engage in a favorite male pastime: imagining that your girlfriend is doing something naughty that you really would like her to do, but it's so naughty that you would never mention it to her, much less ask her to do it. Pretend that it's actually happening, if necessary suck on one of her shoes, do whatever it takes short of actually doing it for that fantasy to become "virtually real" in your mind. And then see if, once you "get what you want" if it really matters to you all that much. Maybe you will find that like most things, fantasies are best kept as fantasies. Maybe you will find that you can live without it, and maybe you will find that you can't. But in any case if you really want to suck *her* toes and she just doesn't want you to, then you have two clear choices. Either don't suck her toes, or suck them once while she's sleeping or drunk or both and then never see them again. Blackmailing her to let you suck her toes, well, that's asking for that favor to be returned...things should never get to that point between a happy couple. Why not try doing 5000 things that she really loves, and then maybe she will indulge you at least once? Try not mentioning it for a whole year instead of bringing it up every time that you have sex. Try kissing her knees, her legs, her calves...and then her feet, but not actually sucking her toes...do that a few dozen times and then see if she minds if you nibble on her toes a little bit.

Try doing anything other than stupidly whining about not being able to suck her toes and see how that works.
...a blonde walks into a bar at happy hour, walks up to the bartender and says "wow, I had such a hard week at work and my boss is such an asshole. I think that I need a whole fucking case of Budweiser.". So the bartender sets her up with a case of Budweiser and she sits there slowly shaking her head and pounding beer after beer after beer. Of course eventually she stops shaking her head and stops drinking and slides down off the stool onto the floor. The bartender looks down at her, sighs, and says, "Just as I expected. Who wants to clean up this mess"?

72 guys raise their hands and run up to the bar.

He says, "ok fine: one of you take her out of here and get her home". They all fight over who gets to take her out but eventually she's in a cab and wakes up alone in her bed the next day.

The next Friday she comes back into the bar and says "man, I had such a rough week and my boss was such an asshole *again*! I think that I need a case of Bud Light to get over it". The bartender says, sure, but why Bud Light and not Bud this time? She says, "that Bud had so much gas in it that my throat and ass were sore all week from belching and farting, and I felt as fat as a house! I need a lighter beer."
you are consistently a one-man WCP savage commenting machine.
Who said that you can't be funny and serious at the same time :)
"Who said that you can't be funny and serious at the same time"

I do. You aren't funny. What is it about Dan Savage, in particular, that offends you so deeply? Are the questions he answers any less inane than those written to any "normal" advice columnist? Sometimes an unbiased, independent perspective is what people need to understand their own situation better. And it's anonymous, and free, and clearly interesting enough for you to read, so why the fuck do you care so damn much?

I think I know why you care. Based on your previous comments, I get the impression that you are not what I (or Dan) would consider to be a "GGG" or sexually liberated. You are jealous of people who can understand and articulate their sexual needs, while you are merely frustrated. You lack the courage to engage in a little soul-searching and figure out why sex just isn't a good for you as some part of you knows it could be. So you mask this inadequacy in vaguely judgmental, homophobic, and/or sexist remarks, hoping someone will bite. Congratulations, it took me a month, but I finally bit. Now STFU.

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