DEAR LADY A: My partner likes to videotape us going at it in bed. I’ve got no problem with that and actually think it’s kind of fun. But recently we watched this show about people setting up their own webcams or uploading videos of themselves on the Internet. I knew he was completely obsessed with the idea the minute he “casually” mentioned that it might be fun to put one of our movies online. This, I’m not so hot about. I don’t exactly have an important job or anything, but I also don’t want people to be able to look at me and place the name with the face with the shaved asshole. Not to mention, I know my partner and this is just the first step. He loves to take chances with what I consider dangerous situations and people, and he always goes really extreme with everything. Sometimes he kind of acts like a drug addict who needs a hit. Like when he’s bored or has something on his mind that he just can’t let go of. Next it will be, “Let’s turn it into a website,” then “Let’s do live cam work!” then “Let’s give people our address and have a live cam orgy!” Nope. I signed up for a relationship, not to start a new career in porn. Is it too late to talk him out of this idea?
– Not Ready For My Closeup
DEAR NOT READY: So, you hate the idea of your personal movies online for all to see, and you’d rather leave it to the professionals. Seems rational to me. With anyone else, my answer would be, of course it’s not too late to talk him out of this idea! Until you’re uploaded onto the website in question, you can always back out of his plan with your workplace dignity and with your shaved asshole none-the-more associated with your pretty face than it ever was before (ahem). But in YOUR man’s case, the chances of him letting go of this notion, frankly, are slim. You say you know your partner and this is “just the first step,” he becomes obsessive, he’s a risk taker and he tends to go to extremes. Now, these extremes and obsessions can be fun, no doubt. But not the healthy kind of fun. Exhibitionistic risk-takers are usually quite the thrill at first, but they become impossible to deal with in a long term, or forever type of relationship. Because no amount of excitement will ever be enough to stave off their need for their next hit.
Danger and denudation is your boyfriend’s drug. He won’t let go of this idea because obsession is his needle. And if you’re the type of person who can’t get hard at the notion of joining him in his risky behaviors and his very public debauchery, your relationship probably won’t last. Get used to that idea, kitten. You must refuse to join him on adventures that do not inspire your own happiness. And prepare yourself for the almost inevitable break up. Not that you shouldn’t attempt to get your feelings out while you still have the chance to make things right between you. Take that particular risk, for the sake of your own sanity, by telling him exactly what you told me: You’re not hot about his porn idea; it just doesn’t turn you on. Explain that when he’s gazing at your man hole, he’s part of an exclusive and distinguished group, and that no one will ever be able to buy their way into that esteemed closeup club with a monthly subscription.
DEAR LADY A: Trust is a big issue for me in a relationship, because I don’t really trust anyone in general. I just happen to think that most people are going to cheat if they have the chance, and/or if I let them. So, when I start a relationship, I’ll tell them, “You have to earn my trust. I won’t just give it to you for no good reason.” I think I’m being realistic but my best friend says I’ll never be able to keep anyone because I have a bad attitude. What do you think?
– Trust Issues
DEAR ISSUES: Your best friend is correct, my angry little kitten. You will never be able to keep anyone. Or at least, you will never be able to keep anyone with a hint of self-respect.
I could go into all the reasons why people who can’t trust are often untrustworthy themselves, but that would take another whole column (which I may well tackle in the future). Instead, I’ll share this Long Term Relationship Lady A Rule: When you enter a relationship, you’re entering into an agreement. Not just to stay faithful (if that’s something you as a couple have settled upon within your own particular terms), but also to stay hopeful. Hopeful that this person might be the one, hopeful that today might lead to forever, hopeful that this is the person who will treat you right and that you will be capable of doing the same. Your partner should never be forced to achieve your trust. How does one even accomplish that, when you’ve given them no room to be tested and pass with flying colors? You must give trust willingly. And if he or she does something to make you doubt them, you may take your trust back. Only then, should you be allowed to demand that they take actions to “earn it.”
The bottom line is people deserve respect, they deserve better than someone accusing them of dishonesty; and no successful romance begins with the assumption that one partner will be adulterous. It’s not fair to either one of you, but particularly to the person you’re targeting with your own very personal, very insecure issues. In other words, when it comes to potential love, Issues, you’re the only one here being unfair and mean. If you don’t change your attitude you will die alone.
Not that I expect you to believe any advice I’ve given. After all, why should you give me your trust? I haven’t even earned it yet. Whatever the fuck that means.