Savage Love: ‘I can't stop sexting my ex’

'Quickies' illustration by Joe Newton

Dear Dan: I'm a cis woman. I had a quasi-relationship with a man last year that only lasted a couple of months. The sex was great, and sexting was always a big part of our connection. Since the breakup, we've fluctuated between staying in touch and radio silence, sometimes going months without speaking. During our periods of contact, though, sexting always makes a comeback. It's hot until the frustration of not actually being able to have sex with him sets in. (We live in different countries now.) My issue is, if it weren't for the sexting (which he really pushes), I don't think he would converse with me about life in general.

And there are other ways I feel this dynamic is detrimental to my post-breakup life. For example, he is really into cuckolding. He wants to hear about the dates I go on, the other men I have sex with, how they fucked me, etc. It's fun to tease him and make him jealous by texting him, especially while I'm out with other men, but I wind up feeling like my attention is divided between him and whoever I'm with, sometimes to a point where I can't come with others because of how distracted I am (by him) and how disconnected I feel (from them). —My Ex's Sexy Sexts Are Getting Exhausting, Sorta

Dear MESSAGES: If you feel like your ex is just using you for sexts and you don't enjoy being used like that, stop sexting with your ex. Even if you never hear from him again, that could be for the best. I mean, if you have a hard time resisting his sext requests and sexting with him leaves you feeling frustrated (because you can't fuck him) and prevents you from being in the moment (with the guys you are fucking), you should probably block his number.

But if you enjoy sexting with your ex and you can reset your expectations to avoid disappointment (stop expecting more from him than just sexts), go ahead and sext with him. But don't do it when you're with someone else. Go out on dates, enjoy your dates, fuck your dates. And the next time you're home alone and bored, MESSAGES, text your ex and tell him you're out on a date. You'll get all the same enjoyment out of making him jealous — and he'll get enjoyment from his cuckold fantasies — without you being distracted during your actual dates.

Dear Dan: After many years of a fulfilling sex life, I've begun to embrace the perv side of my sexuality and couldn't be happier! But I'm looking for a better term than "perv." While accurate, that term seems to carry negative connotations. I'm looking for something that communicates the same thing while being sex-positive. Any suggestions? —Positively Exploring Rhetorical Variety

Dear PERV: I've always liked "perv," an affectionate diminutive for "pervert," and I consider it sex positive in the same spirit that "slut," having been reclaimed, is considered sex-positive by people who cheerfully and defiantly self-identify as sluts. And since pretty much any word that communicates the same thing "perv" does in one catchy/percussive syllable has similarly negative connotations — deev for deviant, dej for degenerate, debbies for debauchers/debauchees — this perv thinks you should embrace the term "perv," PERV.

Dear Dan: You've said that one way to get over a crush is to masturbate about it until it passes. I'm going on 2.5 years. I had surgery in 2019, and I'm still obsessed with my surgeon. I think it's trauma bonding, as I had complications and had to have three follow-up surgeries, plus a ton of office visits. I know logically that he's arrogant, overly impressed with his own sense of humor, and just generally not my type. I haven't seen him in a year, but I still think about him all the time. Can you help? —Can't Understand This

Dear CUT: If masturbating about your arrogant, unfunny, and perhaps incompetent surgeon (three follow-up surgeries?!?) hasn't done the trick ... maybe it's time to try masturbating about something and/or someone else? Or, even better, maybe talk with a therapist about this?

Dear Dan: You recently told a healthy and active 72-year-old man practicing orgasm denial that "multiple studies have shown a link between frequent ejaculation and a lower incidence of prostate cancer." I'm a healthy and active 78-year-old man who began masturbating at age 10. I continue to masturbate as frequently as my body will allow, which is about every other day. Yet, I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent a procedure that reamed out most of my prostate tissue. I am now back to masturbating, but not ejaculating. Still, a dry orgasm is better than no orgasm at all. So, studies may show one thing, but life can show you something completely different. —Totally Wrong About That

Dear TWAT: I'm sorry to hear about your prostate tissues, and I'm glad to hear you're able to enjoy the orgasms you're still capable of having. But I gotta say — for the record — that I didn't claim frequent ejaculation prevents prostate cancer. I cited studies showing a lower incidence of prostate cancer in men who masturbate regularly. "Lower incidence" ≠ "zero incidence." You drew the short straw here, TWAT, and I'm sorry about that. But I can't imagine you spent all those years masturbating solely for your prostate's sake, TWAT, which means you still got something out of all those wet orgasms. It's the same thing you're getting out of the dry orgasms you're enjoying now: pleasure.

Dear Dan: After reading the question asked by "The System Called Reciprocity," the lesbian who wanted a man to do chores around the house in exchange for a handjobs or blowjobs, I had to write in. I'm not sure where she's located, but if she's on the south side of Chicago, I would be down for some light housework! —Helping Out The Dykes And Making Nice

Dear HOTDAMN: I don't know where TSCR lives either, but even if I knew where she was, I'm not allowed to put my readers in touch with each other. (My lawyer has forbidden me to play matchmaker.) That said, HOTDAMN, there's nothing I can do to prevent my readers from reaching out to each other in the comments.

Dear Dan: So long as ALPHA — the straight guy who likes to demean and degrade thicc gay boys he finds on Grindr — is upfront with these guys and tells them he's straight and tells them he has no intention of ever hooking up with them IRL, then what he's doing is OK, I guess. But if he's not disclosing all those facts about himself, Dan, then he's pretending to be something he's not and that is not OK! Straight guys leading gay guys on for attention is repulsive. We've got enough problems out there without you giving straight guys permission to fuck with our heads! —Too Pissed For Acronyms

Dear TPFA: Grindr and other hookup apps are full of guys leading each other on — sometimes intentionally (not interested in hooking up IRL), sometimes unintentionally (circumstances can derail a wanted hookup). Everyone who gets on Grindr knows or soon realizes that not every chat or pic exchange leads to sex. Like author and Grindr user Alexander Cheves said in that column: "We all enter Grindr chats willingly, and we should do so knowing that anyone we talk to may have no plans of following through with their promises to meet."

And in ALPHA's case, I don't think he's leading anyone on. He seeks out gay guys who fantasize about masculine, domineering, unavailable straight jocks. He may be fucking with some guys' heads, but he's only fucking with the heads of guys who get off on having their heads fucked with in exactly this way, by exactly his type. I mean, who better to fulfill the hot unavailable straight jock fantasy than a hot unavailable straight jock?

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