Savage Love 

I have a problem. A key part of my problem, I feel, is that I'm a recovering anorexic and I am still struggling a great deal to eat normal and healthy portions of food. A friend and I have recently become "friends with benefits." He lives very far away, so we primarily indulge through IMs.

He knows I have issues with food, though he doesn't know to what extent. Normally, I try to be GGG, even trying out a bit of vore in our role-playing and making it a regular thing since he really enjoys it. Recently, though, he brought up adding pregnancy play to our games, and I'm terrified of trying it. Just the thought of it is a bit triggering to me, and I'm so scared that actually trying it will be even more triggering, not to mention my fear that, once we finally get together again physically, he will want to indulge in pregnancy play with me wearing one of those fake-stomach things.

Am I overreacting and should I just go through with it, try it at least once? How do I explain to him that I'm scared that something he finds exciting could send me right back into the starving hell I was dealing with just a month ago?

Fearing Erotic Deeds

"Where to start?" asks Brian, a straight, married Catholic guy who won the right to give advice in this space at a charity auction. (Yes, yes: Writing an advice column is a sacred trust — blah blah what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-you-Savage blah — and letting some auction winner rummage through my e-mail is a brutal violation of that trust, etc., etc., and I'm a bad, bad man, etc., etc.)

"That you are having trouble eating anywhere close to normal shows that you have not fully recovered from your anorexia," Brian continues. "And that you're worrying about pregnancy play and its effects on your psyche tells me that you are not even in the recovering phase yet. Pregnant does not equal fat. I'm not even sure that fake pregnant equals fake fat, but that is beside the point. While pregnant women can become fat, and fat women can become pregnant, the two have very little to do with each other."

Let me break in here for a second: Vore play, FED? Really? Is that wise? Vore, for the uninitiated, is short for vorarephilia, which involves fantasies about being eaten or eating. It's hard to imagine a more potentially damaging fantasy role-play scenario for a recovering anorexic than vore, particularly when that anorexic has only been "recovering" for a month.

"If strapping a plastic baby bump under your T-shirt is going to send you back to Starvingtown, USA," Brian advises, "then you need to address these issues with professional counseling. GGG or not, you are no good to your current FWB, any future ones, or to yourself if you don't get past this."

Dan again: Frankly, FED, I'd advise you to give sex a rest for the moment. You don't have to be 100 percent recovered before you become sexually active again, of course, but I'm concerned about your judgment and that your FWB — who knows that you have "issues with food" — would pursue these particular fantasy scenarios.

fantasy scenarios.

My boyfriend and I have been together for two and a half years. We have a really great relationship and we talk out any issues that arise, but right now we have a problem that can't really be talked out. He has a really close female friend whom he supposedly has no romantic feelings for whatsoever. I get along pretty well with her. But recently, he has started to get our names mixed up. The first time he did it to me, we were on the phone. He said, "I love you, `insert her name`." It was upsetting, but I brushed it off as a one-time brain fart. But since then, he's done it a half-dozen more times. We've talked about it, and he says he has no idea why he does it and that it doesn't mean anything, but it still hurts me so much when it happens. Is it possible that it really means nothing? How can I just ignore it?

Hurt And Confused

"What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss?" asks Brian. "You are about to find out. Heads you cut him loose and move on; tails you pass off his name switching as a brain fart and don't give it another thought."

Brian isn't serious about the coin toss. I think. He just wants to draw attention to your predicament and the choice you face. At least I think that's what he means. OK, back to Brian:

"Either you believe they are just friends or you don't. My suspicion is that you feel threatened by this girl. The tone of your letter also implies that if you did pressure him, you believe he would choose her over you. But maybe not — I really have no way of knowing."

And that's what separates the advice professionals from the auction-winning amateurs. Brian's a lovely guy and he's doing a great job — and he made a sizable donation to a worthy charity — but advice professionals never let not knowing stop us from making definitive pronouncements: Your boyfriend may have feelings for this other woman, and feelings for you that are just as strong or stronger. Whether or not you should DTMFA depends entirely on how strong your feelings are for him.

OK, now back to Brian. It turns out that he is serious about a coin toss: "Go to the nearest vending machine," Brian says, "and buy a can of Coke for 75 cents. Use the quarter you get back for that coin toss. If you find out later that your decision was wrong, then so be it. But to live in a state of paranoia about a name slip seems silly."

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