Is Metafilter sex-negative? April 4, 2012 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Is Metafilter sex-negative?

Questions like this seem to bring out the overwhelming consensus that anyone who is struggling with a monogamous commitment is a player, a homewrecker, a guaranteed repeat offender, and an all-around bad person. In this particular instance the story is quite complex and nuanced and both the poster and her love interest are dealing with legitimate issues - which, by the way, may be able to be resolved with the cooperation of supportive spouses. We should be fostering thoughtful discussion, not condemnation. Scaring the poster into compliance with the strict-monogamist mindset is not always the cut-and-dry solution.

(Ironically, the advice in these situations tends to be "DTMFA", which is a term coined by Dan Savage, who preaches against people being judgmental in these situations.)

Everyone has the right to their opinion, of course, but I'd like to see more tolerance for diversity of thought.
posted by moammargaret to MetaFilter-Related at 9:23 AM (270 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

.....I think the fact that I've seen a Metafilter group over on the FetLife boards, among other things, would be a counter-argument to the claim that Metafilter is sex-negative, or intolerant of "diversity of thought."

Some people may jump the gun and offer simplistic solutions to very complicated personal problems, yes, but that's a very different thing from Metafilter being "sex-negative".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:30 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I pretty much disagree with all your conclusions and assumptions. And I say this as an outspoken sex-positive person who has no particular ideological attachment to monogamy.

The issue is that question seems to be that the OP has already begun violating the trust of presumed exclusivity. The criticism is not about being sex-negative or being anti-polyamorous or whatever, it's about trust in a relationship.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:30 AM on April 4, 2012 [41 favorites]


metafilter is definitely full of ice cream fascists, though.
posted by elizardbits at 9:31 AM on April 4, 2012 [19 favorites]


What flavor?
posted by jonmc at 9:32 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


anyone who is struggling with a monogamous commitment is a player, a homewrecker, a guaranteed repeat offender, and an all-around bad person.

If you mean the object of the poster's affections, who told the poster that he is unhappy with his wife, without more information it is not unreasonable to think some of those things might be true. If you mean the person who wrote the post, I did not get the impression she was being piled on in that way at all.

Everyone has the right to their opinion, of course
Of course. Feel free to add yours.
posted by Glinn at 9:33 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


So it's possible that I could sleep with him and my marriage not be doomed

This sounds more like temptation toward what she already knows is an emotionally-unhealthy activity than a joyous and maturely-discussed celebration of polyamory between her and husband.

In this particular instance the story is quite complex and nuanced

I disagree that this situation is any more complex or nuanced than any other outside-the-relationship temptation.

There's no reason to equate "keeping an explicit commitment" to sex-negativity.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:33 AM on April 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Reading through the comments on that thread, none of them strike me as particularly sex-negative, but rather a bit disparaging of a guy who seems all-too-willing to cast his previous commitments aside in pursuit of a current fascination. And I do see some advice for the OP that she should talk to her husband about it, which seems like a pretty good idea (based on the premise that her husband wouldn't completely fly off the handle, which it sounds like he wouldn't).

In other words, I don't think that question is about monogamous sex, but rather about keeping/breaking a promise.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:33 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter is a website where anyone with a fiver can post answers to relationship questions. The subset of people who saw that particular question could be anything. If you have a different take on what the answer should be then you can answer.

I didn't really look at this question because I have no idea why this person's "check engine light" is on.
posted by ODiV at 9:34 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Much as I agree that monogamy is not the only relationship option, I feel like when a person is in the middle of a situation like the one in that question, that's not really a good time to start re-negotiating relationships. Same as how it's not usually a good idea to go grocery shopping when you're really hungry.

I'm curious if other poly MeFites see it the same way, and that's why we don't see a lot of answers suggesting that approach.
posted by FishBike at 9:35 AM on April 4, 2012 [16 favorites]


Keeping a promise you made and that the other person is still expecting you are keeping has nothing to do with sex negativity/positivity.
posted by DU at 9:35 AM on April 4, 2012 [56 favorites]


There is no indication in the post that either person is not "keeping an explicit commitment". You have one person who is unhappy in their marriage and another whose spouse agrees that total monogamy is impractical. You are making unwarranted assumptions about normative behavior. That's sex-negativity.
posted by moammargaret at 9:40 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


But the promise made is about sex, isn't it?
posted by Melismata at 9:41 AM on April 4, 2012


Given the size and heterogeneity of the userbase, there's a pretty wide variety of outlooks on lots of stuff here. I think the key thing that distills from that is that there's going to be somewhat polarizing opinions in the mix on any discussion that lends itself to the staking out of ideological ground.

There are mefites who have very monogamy-oriented views on sex in relationships; there are mefites who are very inclined toward open relationships, casual or not-so-casual third parties, polyamory, etc. It's a complicated topic with a lot of different vectors along which people disagree to one extent or another, and you're likely to see different positions represented in any thread with a complicated setup because people relate to the question in terms of their own views and their own life experiences with this stuff.

Basically I can totally understand you looking at these questions and seeing folks making an argument you may disagree with, and I can dig why that would bother you. What I don't think there is is in fact any kind of "overwhelming consensus" with this stuff; it seems like there's typically a pretty solid variety of opinions whenever the question isn't starkly open-and-shut.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:41 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Honestly I think you'd be hard-pressed to find another general-interest Internet forum that was as eager to encourage people to try polygamy as MetaFilter is. This place is very sex-positive and polyamory-friendly; what you're responding to is a general consensus here that polyamory should never be confused with cheating.
posted by gerryblog at 9:45 AM on April 4, 2012 [41 favorites]


I agree with those who view questions like these as not about sex.

These questions are about trust and communication and negotiation within a relationship. Casting those who advocate for more of all that - and counseling against taking action before that happens - as "sex-negative" is presumptuous and unfair.
posted by Miko at 9:45 AM on April 4, 2012 [39 favorites]


metafilter is generally 'sex-positive' and 'dishonesty-negative', I think.

There's a difference between having an open marriage and fucking your husband's best friend behind his back.
posted by empath at 9:45 AM on April 4, 2012 [69 favorites]


You are making unwarranted assumptions about normative behavior.

You think a hand-wringing question about the potential danger of falling in love with someone besides her husband means that my assumption of explicit comittment is unwarranted?

Okay, I guess I disagree.

That's sex-negativity.

No it's really not
posted by Greg Nog at 9:46 AM on April 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


But the promise made is about sex, isn't it?

If it was about not eating the last of the ice cream or about doing the dishes on your night rather than leaping right onto the computer, would that mean MetaFilter was "ice cream negative" or "video game negative"?
posted by DU at 9:50 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


These questions are about trust and communication and negotiation within a relationship. Casting those who advocate for more of all that - and counseling against taking action before that happens - as "sex-negative" is presumptuous and unfair.

I was going to say what Miko said but with more incoherency and swearing and typos.
posted by rtha at 9:53 AM on April 4, 2012 [29 favorites]


he has made it clear to me that he would gladly “go there” with me, despite his wife

It would be different if he had said he had discussed it with his wife and she was fine with him boning the poster. But he didn't. He said "I am totally willing to betray my marriage vows and cheat on you."


whose spouse agrees that total monogamy is impractical.

I disagree with this reading.

My husband and I are not of the “monogamy or death” attitude, we both agree that a transgression on either of our parts would not bring the end of the relationship. We don't exactly have a “free pass”, just an acknowledgement that temptation exists and our relationship is not dependent on total and absolute monogamy-for-ever.


This reads to me as "I probably won't leave you if you cheat on me. We can go to therapy and work it out." not "Go ahead, have sex with who ever you want." or even "I might be up for polyamory." Just because you are willing to work through adultery does not mean that you are okay with your spouse sleeping with and/or having a relationship with someone else.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:53 AM on April 4, 2012 [25 favorites]


cheat on you."

should be "cheat on her with you."
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:54 AM on April 4, 2012


What flavor?

Vanilla.
posted by zamboni at 9:56 AM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


"This distraction is making me feel distant from my beloved husband. My marriage has always been so great, and now I am finding it hard to feel the same love for my husband, because that energy is directed elsewhere."

That's the crux of the matter right there. She's explicitly saying that she doesn't have the ability to devote an equal amount of herself to both men. I'm not sure how her having sex with the guy that isn't her husband is going to help anything.
posted by griphus at 9:56 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is no indication in the post that either person is not "keeping an explicit commitment". You have one person who is unhappy in their marriage and another whose spouse agrees that total monogamy is impractical. You are making unwarranted assumptions about normative behavior.

That's not really an accurate paraphrasing of the situation in my opinion. From the question:

My husband and I are not of the “monogamy or death” attitude, we both agree that a transgression on either of our parts would not bring the end of the relationship. We don't exactly have a “free pass”, just an acknowledgement that temptation exists and our relationship is not dependent on total and absolute monogamy-for-ever.

The fact that the term "transgression" is used to me makes it clear that the assumed correct behavior in the context of the relationship is monogamy, and that while non-monogamy would not bring about a complete end of the relationship it would still be considered to be doing the wrong thing.

AskMe has a pretty heavy bias against someone doing the wrong thing, for whatever version of the wrong thing exists for each answerer. They do not generally give people the benefit of the doubt or suggest trying to make things work with people who have a history of making mistakes. So I think if there's an issue with these kinds of questions is more with that than an inherent bias against non-monogamy.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:57 AM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, every affair is nuanced because you're talking about hearts and minds and complex situation. Nuance doesn't automatically bestow moral ambiguity, however.
posted by griphus at 9:58 AM on April 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


I would say that many MeFites are nerdy, outsider-y people who've struggled with low self-esteem and consider a LTR to be an amazing blessing that anyone would consider themselves lucky to attain. These relationships are sacrosanct, even if they require huge sacrifices from both parties.

Oh, except DTMFA.
posted by hermitosis at 9:59 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Same as how it's not usually a good idea to go grocery shopping when you're really hungry.

"The Marriage As A Four-Foot Tall Stack Of 99c Banquet Frozen Dinners" sounds like something I can secure an art grant for.
posted by griphus at 10:00 AM on April 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


...because you're talking about hearts and minds and complex situation.

I thought we were talking about sex.
posted by Melismata at 10:00 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's strange that some people are quick to badmouth the guy, while saying nothing about the woman who is also involved in the affair.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:02 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I thought we were talking about sex.

Doesn't she say they're in love with each other? That seems to be about more than sex, even if sex is a part of it.
posted by 6550 at 10:03 AM on April 4, 2012


(Ironically, the advice in these situations tends to be "DTMFA", which is a term coined by Dan Savage, who preaches against people being judgmental in these situations.)

Everyone has the right to their opinion, of course, but I'd like to see more tolerance for diversity of thought.


You'd like to see more tolerance for diversity of thought, but you can't understand how people can disagree with Dan Savage about something?
posted by John Cohen at 10:06 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought that this Meta was talking about sex.
posted by Melismata at 10:07 AM on April 4, 2012


Brandon Blatcher, I try not to browbeat people who are looking for help. Plus, he is the one who offered to cheat and pulled the old, dull line about his marriage being bad (not mentioned before he wanted to get with her). So he gets more shit from me just by being cliched about it.

Anyway, I'm tickled pink at being accused of sex negativity or monogamy-normativeness. Maybe it's the mom jeans?

However, I am not so tickled at the conflation of cheating with ethical non-monogamy. Being "unhappy" doesn't mean you get to lie/cheat/fuck around.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:07 AM on April 4, 2012 [19 favorites]


Where is Sidhevil?
posted by OsoMeaty at 10:08 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's strange that some people are quick to badmouth the guy, while saying nothing about the woman who is also involved in the affair.

The double standard is indeed strange, as is the open hostility toward the guy. I agree with the conclusion that they need to be honest with their respective spouses. I don't see how that translates into try to ruin your life and two childrens' lives just because he can't keep it in his pants; This guy is nothing short of trouble. You are not a life preserver for his depressed, pathetic self.; guy whose more than happy to betray his marriage vows while his wife is out providing for him and their small child; This guy is "bad fucking news." The guy is miserable and his plan is, hey, why not just drag your ass down with him and make you miserable?. What is the point of this?
posted by moammargaret at 10:09 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought that this Meta was talking about sex.

Above the fold, it was.
posted by DU at 10:09 AM on April 4, 2012


"There is no indication in the post that either person is not 'keeping an explicit commitment'. You have one person who is unhappy in their marriage and another whose spouse agrees that total monogamy is impractical. You are making unwarranted assumptions about normative behavior. That's sex-negativity."

I think you're confused about what sex-positivism is. It's not equivalent to favoring polyamory, nor is it equivalent to what is unconventional. It's favoring sexuality without shame and guilt and socially restrictive conventions that disallow individuals from exploring their sexuality as they choose. It does not in any respect disallow or denigrate communication, trust, respect, and — yes — exclusive commitment negotiated freely by two or more people.

What people are taking issue with in that thread is that even without having been physically affectionate, the two people in question are already violating trust. Regardless of the OP and her husband's realistic attitude about monogamy — which, by the way, was almost certainly all about encouraging honesty and realism in a way that would make their relationship more secure, not less — this emotional relationship the OP has developed with her husband's friend has already destabilized her marriage and damaged her relationship with her husband. Some communication is long overdue, any more activity without it is egregious.

I doubt that many here on mefi would be critical if the OP wrote that she and her husband discussed the situation and they agreed that it was acceptable for her to pursue a sexual relationship with his friend. That's because we're sex-positive. We're inclined to think that what consenting adults do sexually is their business, and more power to them. If people want to have open marriages and be polyamorous or whatever, that's fine. I think the only thing that people don't like here is people hurting others when they needn't, and particularly violations of trust in relationships. That is orthogonal to sex-positivity.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:11 AM on April 4, 2012 [44 favorites]


Agreed, moammargaret. From that thread, I'm getting a vibe of "OMG "you are evil for even thinking of another person", which isn't helpful. (Not from every single poster, but from a lot of them.)
posted by Melismata at 10:11 AM on April 4, 2012


You are making unwarranted assumptions about normative behavior.

If that were an open marriage, the asker would not have asked that question. She might have asked a different question, but she would not be agonizing over whether to take her sexless intimacy with this person to another level.

You seem to be making assumptions that are by no means warranted, about the four relevant parties: the OP, her husband, her stay-at-home friend, and the friend's wife. The consent of all four of these individuals is relevant to the question. It is by no means an indication of sex-negativity to assume that consent is absent unless it has explicitly been given.
posted by gauche at 10:12 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


This guy is "bad fucking news." The guy is miserable and his plan is, hey, why not just drag your ass down with him and make you miserable?

Hi, I wrote this! The guy is miserable. She says so herself and I'm inclined to believe her. She has strong feelings for a man who is not her husband and it is detracting from her relationship with her husband. I'm not sure how sleeping with him -- and probably having better sex with him than she's had with her husband in a while because of the intense and unfulfilled emotional attraction -- will make her feel better than she does now. Considering he's the one who suggested they have sex, I'm not sure how "miserable guy wants to make her miserable" is an uncharitable reading of the situation.
posted by griphus at 10:13 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


griphus it is time to admit that you are misery-negative.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:20 AM on April 4, 2012 [25 favorites]


If the OP had said, "My husband and I have an open relationship, and I'm totally into this new guy who is also in an open relationship...how do we deal with scheduling intimate with the fact that we're our kids' primary caretakers?" my answer would have been very different.

It's not a sex-negative thing to say, "This guy seems sketchy, you sound like you're planning an affair your partner wouldn't like, and you seem to be looking for confirmation this is a good idea." The fact that it happens to have sex as a component doesn't mean that it's a question about sex.
posted by xingcat at 10:21 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm there, OsoMeaty! With my usual sex-negative self, being all sex-negative.

Jesus wept, that lady is doing monogamy wrong and she is doing polyamory wrong and honestly she seems to be doing adulthood suboptimally. I don't know what the guy is doing, because he didn't tell us what agreements he made with his wife, but he sounds like a douchebag, too.

I have never seen "Well, my partner and I once had a discussion that non-monogamous choices wouldn't necessarily be a disaster, so of course it's fine if I sleep with X without discussing it in advance with them!" turn out in anything other than tears.

As a community, I think we're more-than-average pro-responsible non-monogamy among informed, consenting parties. Note lack of "responsible", "informed", and "consenting" in the scenario projected by the poster.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:22 AM on April 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Man it's going to be super awkward when the stay-at-home parents get together and explore their deep and unique feelings for each other and then get Mega Nuked in the divorce proceedings by the two working former spouses and they can explore their deep and unique feelings for each other while they struggle to pay bills and not be homeless but I'm sure these unique feelings will last forever and not be hilariously ruined after literally seven or eight weeks of a real unsubsidized-by-other-people relationship
posted by a_girl_irl at 10:22 AM on April 4, 2012 [27 favorites]


Ironically, the advice in these situations tends to be "DTMFA", which is a term coined by Dan Savage, who preaches against people being judgmental in these situations.

I don't think you read enough Dan Savage. He repeatedly refers to people who pursue nonmonogamy while deceiving their partners into thinking they are being monogamous as a "cheating piece of shit."
posted by grouse at 10:23 AM on April 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


griphus it is time to admit that you are misery-negative.

I guess I am. As a young man, I had an affair with Kathy Bates.

It ended well and really doesn't pertain to the situation at hand.
posted by griphus at 10:23 AM on April 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


The other reason I was picking on the guy a little bit is because when in the throes of bad-news crushes it helps to be reminded that the other person is not perfect and, in this case, the asker could stand to take a step back and look at him from an outside perspective. Will she actually do so? Maybe. I hope so.

The idea of proposing an affair to someone in a happy marriage with a small child is simply abhorrent to me, primarily because I'm a sucker for toddlers and their little sticky fingers and their need for a secure, predictable home life. Even if that were sex-negative, well, I don't give a shit.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:24 AM on April 4, 2012 [25 favorites]


Questions like this seem to bring out the overwhelming consensus that anyone who is struggling with a monogamous commitment is a player, a homewrecker, a guaranteed repeat offender, and an all-around bad person. In this particular instance the story is quite complex and nuanced and both the poster and her love interest are dealing with legitimate issues - which, by the way, may be able to be resolved with the cooperation of supportive spouses.

I call it like I see it. It's one thing to put your own 2 cents. It's another to tell us all how we're supposed to respond.

I'm all about keeping promises rather than breaking them. Simple as that.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:24 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is Metafilter sex-negative?

My blood donor card clearly says I am O positive, so no.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:25 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Polygamy is not a cure for being a jerk.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:25 AM on April 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


Amen, grouse!

The whole point of a polyamory/open relationship-positive environment is to support people in making open, respectful, informed choices with their partners to pursue multiple relationships. Telling the OP over there to talk about opening up her relationship with her husband, rather than cheating on a presumed-monogamous relationship and then obtaining forgiveness, is sex-positive and relationship-positive in my book.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:26 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Chatfiltery question attracts chatty people, who, by law of averages, will be more judgemental or at least opinion-volunteery than most. Metafilter as a community might hold a generally neo-Victorian attitude towards sex, but I wouldn't draw that conclusion from an Ask Metafilter thread, alone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:26 AM on April 4, 2012


that lady is doing monogamy wrong

I agree with everything else in your comment, but this I'm going to take a teensy exception to. I think she's doing monogamy right. She's not doing monogamy perfectly; IMHO, she's already having an emotional affair. But the idea that temptation happens, that it can be discussed without it being a prelim to calling lawyers and throwing dishes? That's good, and important.

So yeah. She has human failings, like all of us humans, but that doesn't mean her ideas about monogamy are wrong. If you were implying the former rather than the latter, then I apologize in advance for the misread.
posted by KathrynT at 10:26 AM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Fair enough, KathrynT. What I found "wrong" was her jumping from "My husband and I don't think of transgressions against monogamy as a deal-breaker" to contemplating starting something with this guy without discussing it with the husband. But as you say, she's not doing it; she's wondering about doing it and asking for feedback.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:28 AM on April 4, 2012


Metafilter as a community might hold a generally neo-Victorian attitude towards sex...

C:\Program Files\HP Laserjet 2014\manual\pdf\0341\sexy-cosplay\steampunk\
posted by griphus at 10:28 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Things my husband is only allowed to do with me:

Live
Love romantically
Have sex
Raise children
Make major purchases

That does not mean I'm life/love/sex/kids/money negative.

Also, we have had the cheating doesn't necessarily mean divorce talk, but if he asked me today if he could sleep with someone else the answer would still be a hell no. Not unforgivable does not equal permissible.
posted by that's how you get ants at 10:28 AM on April 4, 2012 [17 favorites]


I guess I am. As a young man, I had an affair with Kathy Bates.

You dirty bird.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:28 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


In this particular instance the story is quite complex and nuanced

Maybe this is because I'm 47, but this particular instance is something I've seen play out dozens of times in my extended friends circle. I don't see "complex and nuanced" here, I see "I am bored with my life LOOK NEW SHINY PERSON WHO KNOWS MY SOUL" which is a tale as old as time, true as it can be.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:30 AM on April 4, 2012 [51 favorites]


I think you're confused about what sex-positivism is.

Opposition to sexual judgments a priori that are not grounded in data provided by sexual experience?

it actually kinda works
posted by RogerB at 10:30 AM on April 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yeah, you know Kathy--give her an inch and she'll take a foot.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:30 AM on April 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


But as you say, she's not doing it; she's wondering about doing it and asking for feedback.

And being condemned for it anyway.
posted by Melismata at 10:30 AM on April 4, 2012


If I'd answered that question, I wouldn't have been very judgmental. Only mildly so. I think her communicating with her husband about this is long overdue and I think she's rationalizing things she otherwise knows she oughtn't do. But, even so, I'd likely have been a little sympathetic because I think that it's unrealistic to expect that most people in exclusive relationships (with one or more other people) will not at some point find themselves having strong feelings/attraction for someone else and, more to the point, I doubt that most could ever be fairly expected to Do the Right Thing from the first moment this process starts.

So, yes, she should have already communicated with her partner and cooled-off the relationship with his friend until this was sorted out; but, failing that, she hasn't been physically involved with the guy yet and now is likely a pretty realistic point at which this will all come out into the open. Better now than after having had sex.

So, in that regard, I would have been taken aback by strong condemnations of the OP by answerers. I still don't see that as sex-negativism, though.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:31 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, are we condemning her too much or not enough? I'm confused.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:32 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hey, I'm romantic-fantasy-negative, zipless-fuck-negative, New-Relationship-Energy-negative, all kinds of negative. I'll cop to that. But not sex-negative.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:33 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


...I try not to browbeat people who are looking for help. Plus, he is the one who offered to cheat and pulled the old, dull line about his marriage being bad (not mentioned before he wanted to get with her). So he gets more shit from me just by being cliched about it.

My take, after having read AskMe for years, is it's a complex situation, I don't know either person and the situation is being described through a single filter. He might be sleazy, he might not. She's clearly into him and the idea of fucking him, so the fact that he was the one who mentioned it first seems like a minor point, imo.

My point is that it's really easy to judge both of them in this situation. It would be better to simply offer some advice

Meanwhile, sweet Jesus griphus, you're all over the guy: 'Considering the OP's question can be summed up as "I am a housewife and this guy is trying to seduce me," I'd think it's less a "hypothesis" and more of "the thing that is happening."'

You're being really quick and glib to excuse her part in this, while making up scenarios about this guy you never met. Your entire vibe with the comments comes off as "he's messing with another man's property, that slimy bastard!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:37 AM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


What does sex have to do with it?

It's all about trust and communication. You can have 5 wives or 4 boyfriends or whatever, but the issue is whether or not you are open to each of your partners before exploring a non-monogamous relationship.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:39 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


she seems to be doing adulthood suboptimally.

Amen. People in Askme are often opinionated or judgmental. We have a lot of sex-positive commenters and also a bunch of people who feel very strongly that the way they go about life is either the best or the worst way to do it. This comes out in questions that bring out strong feelings such as sex, relationships, parenting and pet care. I felt that there were some people who were maybe viewing this question through maybe a bit too much of their own lens, but really if we wanted to know what an encyclopedia said about our particular issue, we all know how to go read one. The fact that these are subjective people with their subjective opinions means that judgements creep in. This is to be expected. If we feel as mods that the threads are getting too judgey at the expense of the question being answered, we'll step in. Like, yes, weirdly, the ice cream question.

But no, I don't think MeFi is sex-negative personally and I don't even think this question is a great example of MeFi being judgey. The OP seems confused, asked a slightly confused question and some people are coming to the table with their own interpretations of what is best for the OP. That is basically this site operating normally.

If you can't handle random internet people saying that they don't agree with your interpretations of events, you are more than welcome not to ask them what they think. Otherwise the advice, while often helpful, always needs to be filtered through your own personal "what is helpful and what is not" sieve anyhow. And yeah, like Sidhedevil I've seen this scenario too many times to believe this is going to be some new spin on the same old story. So, I didn't answer.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:39 AM on April 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


My take, after having read AskMe for years, is it's a complex situation

This is going to be my standard answer any time someone asks my opinion about anything from now on.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:41 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ask Metafilter: it's a complex situation.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 10:43 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


burnmp3s, did you really star in a private movie with 2 sheep and Ron Jeremy?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:46 AM on April 4, 2012


You're being really quick and glib to excuse her part in this, while making up scenarios about this guy you never met.

He's not messing with property, he's messing with a happy marriage because his marriage sucks. Unless I'm misreading things, it's the guy that suggested they take things to a physical level. In my book that is an attempt at seduction because if she said "sure, sounds great!" well, then, sex. She's not blameless, but he's the one who crossed the line into firm "let's have an affair" territory.
posted by griphus at 10:46 AM on April 4, 2012


I think what I'm trying to say is, hey, stop dumping on people who are down. There was a thread a while back about a young guy who was having some very unrealistic ideas about a future career, and many people said "you are naive and stupid to think that this will work." I liked better the responses that said, "I'm sorry you're hurting, but yeah, it does take a lot of schooling to do what you want to do."

The same thing applies here. I like the responses that say "I'm sorry what you're going through, here are some things to watch out for." I don't like the responses that say "you're a cheating fuck."
posted by Melismata at 10:48 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought we were talking about sex.

True, Pep, but we should be talking about making love.
posted by maryr at 10:48 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


She's clearly into him and the idea of fucking him, so the fact that he was the one who mentioned it first seems like a minor point, imo.

He's creating an attractive nuisance by making it clear that it's a possibility. When there is mutual sexual attraction with a friend who is happily monogamously married, both of you steadfastly ignore it, like bathroom noises or a particularly hairy mole. They both fucked that up, but from what I can tell, he's the one who is offering the affair. If we're wrong and she is pursuing him like he's the last unhappy SAHD on earth...I guess I will just have to live with that.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:50 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't like the responses that say "you're a cheating fuck."

Let's be clear: if we saw comments that say that, we'd delete them. I understand that some of the responses may feel that way in people's minds or be interpreted that way to some people, but there are guidelines to what it is and is not okay to say to one another here or in AskMe.

Part of setting expectations properly on this site is understanding if you may be reading the site with your own empathy-meter set differently from whatever the normative setting for the site is.

It's not okay to call someone a cheating fuck. If you think someone is implying that with their comment, flag it and we'll take a look at it. Since we're already taking a look at this thread, please do not go on a flagging tear at this point since we're already paying attention to the thread generally.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:56 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


People are often judgmental, which is why people often need to be reminded to tone it down.

That said, that thread didn't seem so bad to me. I'm not even meaning this as snark, but I don't see how reading the Other Guy as being sketchy is any more judgmental than calling people who say that "sex-negative."
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:56 AM on April 4, 2012


He's not messing with property, he's messing with a happy marriage because his marriage sucks.

There is literally nothing in that question/situation that says he's trying to seduce her or that he's doing it because his marriage sucks.

He's creating an attractive nuisance by making it clear that it's a possibility.

Strange, not my take on it all, but whatever floats your boat.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:00 AM on April 4, 2012


MetaFilter:Judge not lest you be judged
posted by Cranberry at 11:04 AM on April 4, 2012


There is literally nothing in that question/situation that says he's trying to seduce her or that he's doing it because his marriage sucks.

I seriously have absolutely no idea what other reading of "he has made it clear to me that he would gladly 'go there' with me, despite his wife. He says that he has been unhappy in his marriage for some time, and being around me makes him less resentful of his marriage/wife" there is.
posted by griphus at 11:07 AM on April 4, 2012 [15 favorites]


Yeah, in the heat of the moment I leftan inappropriate and entirely unhelpful response that I immediately regretted...and it was thankfully promptly deleted. So I think the answers that are there on that post to stay are mostly good and not "you are a fucking cheat." The mods are doing a good job of keeping this post on track IMO.
posted by OsoMeaty at 11:15 AM on April 4, 2012


People feel like it's okay to be ultra-judgmental in human relations questions. I feel like that's one area of askme where people are given more leeway to be assholes, often under the guise of dispensing "tough love". I think a lot of times, people bring a lot of their own baggage to the question.

However, people also give a lot of useful advice in human relations questions. So if you're gonna ask one of these questions, you pretty much have to expect people to be assholes and sort of tune them out, even though oftentimes the person being the biggest asshole will be the one whose answer gets the most favorites. This is also a good reason to keep favorites disabled.

I really wish there were a place other than AskMe for these kinds of questions, where people could ask for help with relationships/dating/sex without being savaged by the Big Shame lobby.

Or, at very least, I wish people would take a second and think about what it's like to be on the receiving end of their own advice. When someone's trying to shame you, you are unlikely to listen to what they have to say, even if it contains grains of truth.

So maybe sand down some of those rough edges a bit? Remember, the purpose of answering an AskMe is to help the asker, not enforce your own system of ethics or get proxy revenge on those who've wronged you in the past.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:18 AM on April 4, 2012 [14 favorites]


I looked at it and decided that it was unlikely that either the answerer or the discussion in general would be helped by my chiming in. I am trying hard to become better at allowing people to be wrong on the internet, which saves me a lot of anger when I can manage it.

Failing at adulthood captures both part of the original question as well as a significant part of the answers, sadly.
posted by Forktine at 11:24 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


And even though I entirely disagree with the "sex negative" comment I am glad this MetaTalk thread exists because I think its important to be open to examining how to construct better answers. Maybe its because I'm new but I'm pretty enchanted with AskMe. And if you're not OK with getting some critical responses to a question... you probably shouldn't be asking a bunch of randos on the internet for help.
posted by OsoMeaty at 11:26 AM on April 4, 2012


I seriously have absolutely no idea what other reading of "he has made it clear to me that he would gladly 'go there' with me, despite his wife. He says that he has been unhappy in his marriage for some time, and being around me makes him less resentful of his marriage/wife" there is.

To me, it's key how that conversation unfolded and what exactly said because deciding what his mental state is. Since it's not possible to know that, it's best not to assume the worst of him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:26 AM on April 4, 2012


Amen, Afroblanco!
posted by Melismata at 11:34 AM on April 4, 2012


Afroblanco: " I think a lot of times, people bring a lot of their own baggage to the question."

I think most of the time that's a good thing, though. Many human relationship posters are probably looking for advice from people who have been though similar situations. Or for a calm, cool head who can look at what they're going through abstractly and offer an unbiased opinion, based on their own experiences. Baggage doesn't necessarily, automatically mean that the answerer will give bad advice.

Completely, totally agree with you that we shouldn't be shaming people. Well said.
posted by zarq at 11:39 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


brandon, you're kind of moving the goal posts.

you said, Your entire vibe with the comments comes off as "he's messing with another man's property, that slimy bastard!" and then There is literally nothing in that question/situation that says he's trying to seduce her or that he's doing it because his marriage sucks. but then when it's pointed out that the post included that exact information, you say that we just can't know because we weren't there.

to accuse someone of viewing women as property for reading and responding to the words that were actually typed instead of making up a scenario where those words don't meant what she said is pretty shitty.
posted by nadawi at 11:39 AM on April 4, 2012 [18 favorites]


I think the dynamic is the same as the one of people spouting homophobia turning out to be dealing with strong homoerotic feelings. We're all full of strange, violently-strong erotic feelings just barely contained by whatever thin veneer of normalcy we've pieced together for ourselves; we're also subconsciously aware that our husbands/wives/etc are the same; a person posting about these things becomes a satisfying butt for our self-hatred and fear of rejection by our own partners.
posted by Paquda at 11:42 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree that the weird thing about that thread is the double standard. Two stay at home parents are bored and lonely and attracted to each other. The woman is a helpless innocent and it’s perfectly natural and even right for her to feel that way, she can’t help it, she should try and resist though. The man is a callous and devious scumbag who’s only trying to lure her into filth and degradation and ruin everyone’s life. I think he twists his mustache while plotting.

Because that’s how men and women work, right?
posted by bongo_x at 11:44 AM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


me : I think a lot of times, people bring a lot of their own baggage to the question.

zarq : I think most of the time that's a good thing, though. Many human relationship posters are probably looking for advice from people who have been though similar situations


Disagreed, although agreed in spirit. Bringing your own experiences to the question is one thing. That's okay. However, I don't think it's okay to bring your emotional baggage into picture and start harrassing the OP as if they were the person who wronged you. It's possible to use your own experiences to help somebody without being angry and judgmental.

In fact, if someone finds themselves getting angry while they're posting an answer, it's probably best for them NOT to post it.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:49 AM on April 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


I looked at it and decided that it was unlikely that either the answerer or the discussion in general would be helped by my chiming in.

I got too sad about the question to even want to chime in, 'cause far from this:

The woman is a helpless innocent and it’s perfectly natural and even right for her to feel that way, she can’t help it, she should try and resist though. The man is a callous and devious scumbag who’s only trying to lure her into filth and degradation and ruin everyone’s life.

I'm not really inclined to blame either of them. They feel what they feel, it's sad for them both, and I don't think the man set out to seduce her any more than she set out to get all limerant over him; I think they're both just in a really shitty situation that's hard and is about to hurt.

It's hard for me to give advice to her, because the advice basically boils down to: Do the thing that's hard and is about to hurt. I think she already knows what it is she should do (stop seeing the househusband), and several people already nodded their assent; there's not a lot more to it and it's sad not to be able to make that easier for her.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:52 AM on April 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Because that’s how men and women work, right?

Well, maybe that's the bias at work here, sure.

Or maybe it's that one set of answers deals with the poster of the question, who is presumed to be one of us and reading the responses, while the other set deals with a person who is assumed not to be reading the responses and likely isn't a member of the site either.

It's pretty common for the latter to be discussed more harshly than the former. Not just in AskMe either. Things often tend to go quite a bit differently in threads on the blue, when the subject of the post shows up and starts participating.
posted by FishBike at 11:52 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree that the weird thing about that thread is the double standard.

He's the person who, according to the information we're given by the OP, first introduced the topic of making the relationship sexual. I don't think it's a double standard to suggest that that is different from crushing on a new friend.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:53 AM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Afroblanco: " However, I don't think it's okay to bring your emotional baggage into picture and start harrassing the OP as if they were the person who wronged you. It's possible to use your own experiences to help somebody without being angry and judgmental.

In fact, if someone finds themselves getting angry while they're posting an answer, it's probably best for them NOT to post it.
"

Oh, yep. I totally agree.
posted by zarq at 11:54 AM on April 4, 2012


The woman is a helpless innocent and it’s perfectly natural and even right for her to feel that way, she can’t help it, she should try and resist though. The man is a callous and devious scumbag who’s only trying to lure her into filth and degradation and ruin everyone’s life.

I caught a whiff of that in the thread, but I read it as an attempt to knock the guy off the pedestal the original poster put him on. I agree that it's irritating and sexist, but sometimes it's really helpful to hear from a third party that the person you think is SO unique and SO special and SO good is...actually a flawed, weak person. Maybe this is just me being okay with problematic things when they serve a good purpose.
posted by rhythm and booze at 11:54 AM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


but then when it's pointed out that the post included that exact information, you say that we just can't know because we weren't there.

Nope, what I wrote was "To me, it's key how that conversation unfolded and what exactly said because before deciding what his mental state is."

How did they start talking about this, brought it up? Was it her or him? Did the state of his marriage come as an excuse or justification or was it mentioned in frustration as he grasps at something seemingly better? That's what's is meant by "Since it's not possible to know that, it's best not to assume the worst of him."

I'm don't see why the unhappy state of his marriage makes him a seducing scum bag, while the happy state of hers doesn't mean anything to her willingness to try and work angles to make this happen.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:54 AM on April 4, 2012


Because that’s how men and women work, right?

no - because that's how it was presented. she says she's in a happy marriage and that he tells her his marriage sucks and he's full of resentment. she said that he made it clear he'd "go there" with her.

she's probably doing the thing that people do where they minimize their own faults in morally ambiguous situations, but this isn't responders encouraging or enforcing a women are pure and men clamor to taint them situation. this is mefites responding to what is written.
posted by nadawi at 11:56 AM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


brandon, i don't have any problem with your comment about not being there and not knowing how the conversation unfolded. that's a perfectly reasonable response to a relationship question. my problem is you accusing someone of viewing women as property for responding to the words that were actually written instead of making up things that you can't actually know.
posted by nadawi at 11:57 AM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really don't see a double standard. They're not being held to different standards based on the same criteria. And bear in mind that I'm saying this based on my current understanding of what's going on, which is that he was the one to finally say that he'd be okay with fucking. I could in fact be wrong about this, but it's what I got from the post. It appears to be what others got from the post, as well.

That right there is why it's a double standard. What she's feeling is normal. What he was feeling was normal. Sometimes if you're in a long-term, monogamous relationship and you're committed to it, you get the itch and it happens and you deal with it. Sometimes as an absolute last-ditch thing, when you know it's heading towards critical mass and something needs to break soon, you maybe talk to them about it and you acknowledge that the chemistry is there but you have to be adults and have self-control so you establish boundaries and what you plan to do about this. But usually you just kind of ride it and hope it goes away.

Under no circumstances do you go, "Well, I'm down to fuck if you are, actually." That's crossing a line. It's especially unfair in those situations where the chemistry is palpable because you know full well that they're tempted and you're deliberately making it harder for them.

Now, maybe that's not how it played out. Maybe she was the first one to bring it up and she only mentioned that he said it to convey where his head's at. Who knows? Different people read different things into the same story. I can only go by what's written.

But as presented - if indeed he was the one to break the silence on that score - then no, it's not a double standard. And again, if so, I don't think he's a complete, irredeemable scumbag here or anything but I do think he's being kind of a shit.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:57 AM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm don't see why the unhappy state of his marriage makes him a seducing scum bag, while the happy state of hers doesn't mean anything to her willingness to try and work angles to make this happen.

calling him a "seducing scum bag" also eliminates her power/role in their interactions. (my other views on this thread are already covered above.)
posted by anya32 at 11:58 AM on April 4, 2012


Oops. I mean "that right there is why it's not a double standard. "
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:03 PM on April 4, 2012


I don't like the responses that say "you're a cheating fuck."

Melismata, I honestly don't see many of those responses. What I see is a lot of people stating, in strong terms, that it would a bad idea for the OP to go through with this. It's like she's wandering toward the edge of a cliff. Some of the people who are trying to stop her from falling are yelling, "hey, watch out for the cliff!" But that's not the same as yelling at her.
posted by Ragged Richard at 12:18 PM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Afroblanco: " I feel like that's one area of askme where people are given more leeway to be assholes, often under the guise of dispensing "tough love""

Yeah, but there are plenty of Human Relations questions that are based around staggeringly flawed logic.

If somebody asks "What sort of clothing should I wear so that it hurts less when my husband beats me?", the correct answer is not "A sweater; preferably one with a tight-knit wool/nylon blend;" it's "Holy shit, get out of the house and call the police."

Sure, this is a bit of an extreme example, but there are enough Human Relations questions on AskMe that show obvious signs that the asker just doesn't get it that many here feel that a bit of "tough love" is necessary, if only to point out that some of the underlying assumptions behind the OP's question are extremely flawed.

Unfortunately, this does often manifest itself in questions where this might not really be an issue. However, the site is named AskMetafilter; not TellMeWhatIWantToHearMetafilter, and I think that users of the site need to expect that some of the answers might be a bit harsh, or conflict with some of the asker's views.

If the poster is soliciting opinions on a highly-charged and controversial subject (such as polyamory), I can't see how you wouldn't get a variety of passionate and conflicting responses.
posted by schmod at 12:22 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ragged Richard, the worst of them were deleted. Yay mods!!
posted by Melismata at 12:24 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


my problem is you accusing someone of viewing women as property for responding to the words that were actually written instead of making up things that you can't actually know.

Just going by all his comments in the thread, but particularly this one:
someone else: ...hypothesizing that he makes a hobby out of seducing housewives.

griphus: Considering the OP's question can be summed up as "I am a housewife and this guy is trying to seduce me," I'd think it's less a "hypothesis" and more of "the thing that is happening."
Then "I'm just a housewife and he's trying seduce" part puts all the blame on him and makes her out to be passive actor here, when that's far from what happened.

He told the OP she was wrong to be viewing him as "dear person" and he's really "fucking bad news". Why are her views on the guy not just being ignored, but pointedly told are wrong? Do her views count for nothing?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:28 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think Metafilter is sex-negative, but I do notice it is hugely biased towards maintaining pre-existing monogamous relationships -- even ones that are dysfunctional, even ones that are detrimental to one or more partners, even when people aren't married and have no kids or economic ties. It is not the norm to stay with the same person forever. I am of the opinion that the 50% of marriages that end in divorce do not need to be regarded as terrible failures. I'm not blithe about divorces or even break-ups; they're awful to go through. But if you talk to people who've been divorced, more often than not, they will tell you it was an appropriate step and maybe even a growth opportunity.
posted by Wordwoman at 12:28 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ragged Richard, the worst of them were deleted. Yay mods!!

Ah, ok. I get to this site mainly through RSS, so I tend to miss some of the drama that unfolds in real-time. But if that's the case then there isn't really a problem, is there? I mean, I'm all for making less work for the mods, but it seems like we already have a system in place to deal with this, and the system worked. And unless the majority of comments to that thread were deleted, then the remaining pool of thoughtful, careful replies suggests to me that the answer to the question posed in this Metatalk, "Is Metafilter sex-negative?," is pretty clearly "no."
posted by Ragged Richard at 12:30 PM on April 4, 2012


Wordwoman, it's interesting that you think that, given that we recently had this whole MeTa about how quick we are to advise people to break up with their partners.
posted by Ragged Richard at 12:32 PM on April 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


I do notice it is hugely biased towards maintaining pre-existing monogamous relationships

Really? Because yesterday we had a question about someone's boyfriend's cat that went to DTMFA in like 10 comments.
posted by gauche at 12:32 PM on April 4, 2012


That was a (wholly correct) bias against carpets full of assworms, though.
posted by elizardbits at 12:36 PM on April 4, 2012 [31 favorites]


I would be really curious to see a poll of what mefites think the "commonly held" biases of the site are, particularly in re whether ask.me-answerers are too quick or too reluctant to advise breakups.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:40 PM on April 4, 2012


Ok, agreed, that situation sounded really really gross.

It's just really funny to me how others have impressions of this place (or, I suppose, the whole world) that are completely at odds with my own.

I feel like next someone is going to come in with "what does this community have against people going to therapy?" or something.
posted by gauche at 12:41 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, Assworm Carpet man was right up there in the DTMFA Olympics with Smegma Dude, wasn't he?
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:41 PM on April 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


I also think that in this situation, the OP said "my marriage is happy, I want to maintain it" and people took that at face value and offered advice based on that presupposition. I don't see how that's reflective of anything but answering the question asked.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:42 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wordwoman has a point; yes, we are quick to say DTMFA when the asker says "my partner is beating me up, should I stay or go?" But we are also quick to say "oh, you should stay, you should stay" when there are no problems in the relationship that are that blatant.
posted by Melismata at 12:42 PM on April 4, 2012


Yay mods!!

As much as I'd like to take some credit here, we only deleted two comments. OsoMeaty's and one other DTMFA type one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:46 PM on April 4, 2012


Assworm Carpet Man and Smegma Dude entered the DTMFA Olympics in issue #357 and both won the Splotchy Brown when the judges couldn't pick between the two, as they put aside the competition and worked together to save the other athletes from the Antibacterial Squad. However, this was was before the post-Crisis of Infinite Filth reboot. While the exact event hasn't been referenced since the reboot, I don't think it still holds in the current continuity as editorial policy is shying away from reviving any of the wackier Silver Age plotlines.
posted by griphus at 12:50 PM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I honestly can't imagine that thread playing out any differently if the genders were reversed, so I'm not getting any weird sexism vibes out of it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:07 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can maybe imagine a situation where it wasn't 'husband's friend' who was involved-- maybe something like 'short fling with stranger while on vacation in Bali', where everyone wouldn't be as up in arms about the cheating.
posted by empath at 1:13 PM on April 4, 2012


MetaTalk: I was going to say what Miko said but with more incoherency and swearing and typos.
posted by sonika at 1:30 PM on April 4, 2012 [18 favorites]


Yeah, but there are plenty of Human Relations questions that are based around staggeringly flawed logic.

This is no doubt true, although the definition of "staggeringly flawed logic" is highly subjective.

My point is this -- if someone truly cares about helping the OP and not just using the question as their personal venting session, they should not post an emotionally-charged response. Even if there are grains of truth in the response, it will most likely be ignored or discounted. This is especially true for sensitive subjects where the OP is already having a difficult time of things. Nobody likes to be lectured to, scolded, or shamed, and when people feel bullied and harassed, their reaction will be emotional; they will be less likely to listen to appeals to reason.

Bottom line : there's always a way to get your point across without being a dick to the OP. Remember, they are asking for help, not judgment.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:37 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


The woman is a helpless innocent and it’s perfectly natural and even right for her to feel that way, she can’t help it, she should try and resist though. The man is a callous and devious scumbag who’s only trying to lure her into filth and degradation and ruin everyone’s life.

I read this as an attempt to disabuse her of the notion that running off with this guy (especially if they were to start sleeping together) is going to end in roses and champagne and candy hearts. To be fair, that interpretation also reinforces the stereotype that women are the ones to always fall in romantical, let's-get-domesticated! love with whoever they sleep with. Which is still a double-standard. So...yeah. Hm.

metafilter is [...] 'dishonesty-negative', I think.

This is my take.
Of course, it probably comes with a side of slightly oversimplified, black-and-white thinking, kind of like when you tell someone that they should really lay off the twinkies and hostess cupcakes, since that shit is going to poison them one day. I mean, it's something that is way easier to say, all straight-up, when you haven't got a delicious cupcake in your mouth.
posted by vivid postcard at 1:42 PM on April 4, 2012


MetaFilter: It's way easier to say when you haven't got a delicious cupcake in your mouth.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:46 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I never think of metafilter as anti sex, sometimes the whole "go poly thing" gets old, but my philosophy is let two or more consenting adults do what they do. Whatever floats your boat!

I really don't see a party as guilty nor innocent. It takes two to tango, but the guy comes off as scummy. Shit she said in her post he was depressed and unhappy. So he goes about courting and flirting with her. Not that she didnt reciprocate this behavior and reinforce it, but the dude is just dragging her down.

My whole thing is why fuck up a good thing? Why more than likely destroy a marriage or two, and the families in the process? It doesnt make any sense if she truly loved her husband. Everyone, or almost everyone has crushes, its how you handle them. She has obligations to her husband, and it isnt fair to him. Plus this guy is her husbands fucking friend! What "friend" fucking proposition his buddys wife? Really, I'd love to know! That isnt a friend, nor someone who is of good character, at least from where I am sitting. Then again, I have high expectations of others.
posted by handbanana at 1:50 PM on April 4, 2012


That was a (wholly correct) bias against carpets full of assworms, though.

Ask MeFi is definitely a "asswormy-carpet-negative" kind of place.

Now about the poster being discussed in this thread: I don't know if the answers were biased toward the "women are innocents, men are predators" idea so much as the fact that we only have the OP's side of the story. The man in question may be perfectly sincere. But many of us have heard the "My spouse doesn't understand me but you, YOU bring sunshine to my life" statement before and know that people don't always mean what they say. Sometimes it's just a pickup line. Or sometimes it's said out of genuine confusion. No matter what, the potential for an affair to blow up in the OP's face is high, and there are children involved. I believe the vast majority of the replies just want the OP to take off her rose-colored glasses, stop, think and reflect.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:51 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


With the number of people who are listed as "spouses" on my profile, it would be a stretch.
posted by Danf at 1:55 PM on April 4, 2012


Man, one thing you gotta remember about sex is that sex is sexy. Sexy, sexy, sexy sex.
posted by Mister_A at 2:05 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


In defense of my negative comments regarding the crush, I was basing my impression on the information about his actions provided by the OP, and her motivations for getting close to him (wanting a friend) which I don’t automatically assume he shares. Not because he has a Y chromosome. My opinion would be the same if he was a woman, or they were both men. It’s possible that he is just as lonely and just as badly needs intellectual company- but that is contradicted by his actions in propositioning her, something which is sure to mess up their friendship. In any case, all the burden of choice has been put on the OP- because crush guy has already done the calculus and decided he’s a “yes” pending her cooperation. And yeah, I guess that does give her the moral high ground a bit.

I also agree with several people that it’s psychologically motivating for her to think more critically about his character, as love tends to shut off that whole process. Whereas condemning her and making sure she gets her “fair share” of the blame, on the other hand, is likely to just alienate her and make her think “I’m already a bad person, so screw it, I might as well.” Not a great outcome.
posted by quincunx at 2:15 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


yes, we are quick to say DTMFA when the asker says "my partner is beating me up, should I stay or go?" But we are also quick to say "oh, you should stay, you should stay" when there are no problems in the relationship that are that blatant.

The thing is, "we" aren't anything. There's thousands of people here, who for reasons of chance and self-selection end up showing up in small, uneven pockets in any given thread at any given time. Which is not to say there's nothing worth addressing in how any given situation may play out, but it's not really addressable as a "we do x and then do y" thing, because the people doing one thing and the people doing the other thing may be essentially disjoint.

The userbase is not a monolith; the contradictions that exist within this place exist not because it's some lumbering single mind at war with itself and unable to take a consistent position on a given topic, but rather exists in large part as a side effect of one of the very good things about this place: we have a ton of people with highly varied life experiences and perspectives on stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:17 PM on April 4, 2012 [16 favorites]


At first, I was inclined to judge the Asker for apparently lacking internal standards that would let her know immediately whether what she was contemplating is right or wrong.

But now I'm not so sure-- I rely all the time on the internet to help me understand things I can't figure out on my own, and I don't immediately see why crowd-sourcing ethical issues wouldn't be as superior as it generally is for other questions.

I'm reminded of an account I read of a prosperous and successful Japanese farmer who was asked what made him such a good farmer; 'I am not a good farmer' he replied 'I am a good neighbor farmer.'
posted by jamjam at 2:20 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everyone has the right to their opinion, of course, but I'd like to see more tolerance for diversity of thought.

Then, moammargaret, your best bet would be to make your own post and give your opinion. Or would that not be enough -- do you really just want others to stop giving opinions you don't agree with? Or maybe only a certain percentage of opinions you don't agree with should be allowed? Maybe if too many people disagree with you, some of them shouldn't post?
posted by cairdeas at 2:25 PM on April 4, 2012


MetaFilter: (not) some lumbering single mind at war with itself
posted by neroli at 2:33 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Polyamory should never be confused with cheating.

Oh, for heaven's sake. Nowhere did moanmargaret say that people weren't entitled to post their opinions. We all have opinions we don't agree with, that's what makes them opinions.

Maybe in her original suggestion to be sex-positive, moanmargaret is suggesting that maybe people, including the husband, should be more open to polyamory? Sure he may be against it, but what's wrong with suggesting that he should at least consider it?

When president François Mitterrand died, both his wife and mistress attended the funeral, and nobody batted an eyelash. We Americans seem to be incapable of escaping our Puritan heritage.
posted by Melismata at 2:36 PM on April 4, 2012


Maybe in her original suggestion to be sex-positive, moanmargaret is suggesting that maybe people, including the husband, should be more open to polyamory? Sure he may be against it, but what's wrong with suggesting that he should at least consider it?

Because for most of humanity, the prospect of their partner having sex with someone else is a painful thing. That has 0 to do with Puritanism. It's not a phenomenon exclusive to Puritan-influenced societies. It is a human thing. Even in glorious France, you wouldn't see a public figure's MALE husband and lover showing up for her funeral together. Lots of eyelashes would bat at that. Are French men just Puritanical?

The whole point of sex-positivity is NOT telling people that they "should" be open to X and that they "should" consider and how they "should" feel about X. The point is that you should be free to have sex in the way, or not, that you wish, without other people making you feel like shit about it.

Sex-positivity also doesn't mean your sexual desires trump the agreements or understandings you have with your partner, or that your sexual desires make it okay to hurt other people.
posted by cairdeas at 2:45 PM on April 4, 2012 [26 favorites]


Basically, I just hope the user finds a way to work out the little problems of "relationship complexity", so that they can determine if they actually have the "big" problem in their overall family. It is not just a "controlling" husband who "doesn't want polyamory", the asker expresses multiple positions which definitely don't seem to express a "desire for polyamory"... see the parts where she expresses that she is exhausted, and tired, and pained by her relation/friendship. A few steps back (and the excellent perspectives being provided at the question) could solve this situation very well. I hope it works out for those involved.

but I do notice it is hugely biased towards maintaining pre-existing monogamous relationships
Naw, see, that's a fair belief, but I think many feel the asker, and her husband are literally bound to each other, there is a life that creates a permanent connection between them... Forever (regardless if some random metafilter question answerer thinks so or not [divorced or together in therapy or counseling, there is an unquestionable tie]). So, yes, work it out to the most reasonable level (because she says multiple times how loved her husband IS [I only know about this question, I haven't looked at any cumulative numbees or "prevailing attitudes in answers", generalities or anything like that]).

Far as I can tell, the answers approached a "strict(ish) monogomism" because the ASKER termed it from the view of a monogamist... who knew, and clearly (per the question) had a problem with how she was harming her family relationship (see the part where she describes her dislike, and estrangement, and unhappiness, in DIRECT counter to what she had the "other guy" telling her about how this was his "happiest fun time ever".

Wordwoman has a point; yes, we are quick to say DTMFA when the asker says "my partner is beating me up, should I stay or go?" But we are also quick to say "oh, you should stay, you should stay" when there are no problems in the relationship that are that blatant.

This, really, confuses me... like, right, if someone is being ABUSED... go, leave, RUN, NOW (what other advice would make sense).

If it is not an abuse situation, and there is love, and desire to work out issues, and complicating ties that bind... wouldn't it be bad advice to suggest NOT to try to work it out... love involves working past the hardships (and working past hardships might mean divorce still, but to say "DIVORCE now always" to all relation questions... would be bad advice), why would it make sense to give up on driving across the country to a new job, a new state, a future and a life, at the first speed bump, or "yield" sign (not to say that someone "couldn't" give that advice, someone might, just that setting "proper" answers for "relationships" seems like a bad idea)?

Cisgendered people who are married heterosexually, to a single spouse, for life, and only have sex one way, as reproductive sex, can be living, and also express, sex-positive attitudes (to think otherwise is, actually, an unexamined form of Sex-negativity). Also, people who are asexual can express, and promote sex-positive attitudes. Polyamorists can also have sex-negative attitudes (I know, it's a wild, complicated world we live in).

I don't know, maybe it was a typo, but it seems like you are saying that mefites adjust their advice based on the input of the particularities of the question being asked... and that sounds like a really good thing, and part of the quality of answers given. If we approached questions like they were just "if/then" charts, it seems like it would not yield such results. Each situations IS (despite loud complaining about the particular phrase, or word, but I haven't got a better metaphor so, Boolh, eh) akin to a snowflake, each, actually, literally special and unique... yet also bearing traits of "Snowflakes", a generalized "form". So the experiences, advice and urgings of others who recognize that "they too were like this snowflake in some manner", will be "pertinent", but also, possibly not directly applicable or comparable.

Wanna know why rando-stroller-park-hangoutman-crush is treated differently from the asker?

Because he isn't here, expressing conflicted feelings, desperately (I think), explicitly, and specifically asking for help in not ruining her family, with child... he doesn't call his wife "beloved", he emotionally manipulates the asker by this stuff
He says that he has been unhappy in his marriage for some time, and being around me makes him less resentful of his marriage/wife. He was sad and down, now he is happy.
In DIRECT conflict with the following sentences describing the asker's thinking on this; I, however, am experiencing exactly the opposite of this. This distraction is making me feel distant from my beloved husband. My marriage has always been so great, and now I am finding it hard to feel the same love for my husband, because that energy is directed elsewhere.

The above is what makes me think that the asker is not helped by "just try polyamory" answers, but, if that is what one thinks will "solve" her conflict... suggest that, definitely.
To the asker this is what it seems to be about;
"It has been very fun and exciting and a great relief from the challenge of trying to fill the day with shit to do with our toddlers."
So we have A FRIENDSHIP, (sure, with hugs, but no kisses even, and that is miles from the commission of sex), and the bursts of excitement at that... vs a guy saying he's "ready to go full hard"

The man described (and sure, it may be all a big lie by the asker, but that also makes no sense [what "benefit" does the asker get from having random people on metafilter think that an anonymous question asker is "better" than the guy involved, if the problem isn't solved] take her as being honest, and sincere, as we would take him, were he here asking the same question), but he isn't here, or in her life seeing the nuance, and complexity to the situation, he (seems to be) only asking to do the business with the asker, using emotional manipulation, and is leveraging the joy of new friends, and the love of friends, to try to get some fleeting sex from a woman who seems (from the words the asker typed) to not want to mess her family over, for some sex (YAY!YIPEE! [lest I face accusations of insexitivity]), he is putting emotional pressure, by making his wife sound bad, and compounding it by pedastaling the asker, by saying how much of a "Relief" the asker is, after his "bad sounding" wife.

So, if we want to talk about someone "presenting half the story", the man sounds to be spreading trash about his wife (in a way that clearly manipulates his situation, and increases his appeal with the asker [a potential warning sign about what to expect in terms of treatment, and emotional pressure/manipulation, should the asker pursue a sexual relationship despite the question strongly suggesting that this was not what was desired]).

The asker spells it out right in the question their feelings on the "meaning", and "importance" of the side-relationship. It is an intoxication. What happens the morning after waking from intoxication?

Interventions are not "evil morality crusaders", they are setup also to help people before they irreparably harm themselves or those who are truly loved ones.

If the "other" husband comes along, and has "issues" of his own, or is conflicted, and needed advice... from past experience of reading ask, people in the ask-filter would treat him as being sincere.

Dude may be a saint, or conflicted, or really cool like Ewan McGreggor... Not relevant. The question simply isn't about if he is a saint or not... So long as an answer is actually answering a question as asked, what is the problem with some being pro-random-sex, and others being anti-random-sex, some being pro-work it out, and others being pro-DTMFA.

Balance (basically, what Afroblanco said in the "bottom line" (tl;dr summary): there's always a way to get your point across without being a dick to the OP. Remember, they are asking for help, not judgment.

Besides, it's not like advice is binding. Askers don't even have to READ answers if they don't want to. So long as you answer the question being asked... answer in the most polite, but direct manner possible, cut the judgement and then set it free.
posted by infinite intimation at 2:48 PM on April 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Unwanted sex can be forwarded to my listed email address.
posted by loquacious at 2:51 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wish I had the slightest amount of artistic skill so I could draw someone's confused and awkwardly positioned attempts to upload The Sex for email forwarding.
posted by elizardbits at 2:57 PM on April 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


No, it's not about polyamory. It's perfectly legitimate for partners in a relationship to expect that the other remain monogamous. I would hope that they recognize (as the poster and her husband have) that monogamy is a difficult undertaking and that circumstances will arise that test this commitment.

I just don't think that anyone in this story is a bad person for what they've done or said. The poster is reaching out to Ask Metafilter because she is at a crossroads. She isn't a cheating piece of shit and she is reaching out to Ask Metafilter because she doesn't want to be one. And I don't think the guy is a cheating piece of shit either. He's expressed desire but not intention. He's in a bad marriage. He also wants to know what to do - and it's a little unfair that he's leaning on his love interest to help him with this decision, but that's not the crime of the century.

As someone said above, the whole purpose of Ask Metafilter is to help the questioner with her question. It's OK to dispense tough love because that's what she's asked for. Wouldn't it be more helpful to put yourself in her situation? She loves him. She isn't going to stop loving him. The only question is what she is going to do about it. She needs guidance and instead we're all freaking out. If you're worried about this "ending badly" you're creating a self fulfilling prophecy.
posted by moammargaret at 2:58 PM on April 4, 2012


Maybe in her original suggestion to be sex-positive, moanmargaret is suggesting that maybe people, including the husband, should be more open to polyamory? Sure he may be against it, but what's wrong with suggesting that he should at least consider it?

If that were what moammargaret was suggesting—and I am not going to assume that it is—it would be a pretty odd thing to suggest to Metatalk, though. This isn't a place for people from the world in general to discuss how they should feel about social issues, it's a place to discuss how this specific online community functions. The question of whether someone's husband should or should not be more open to polyamory has not a thing to do with any useful discussion in here about mefi itself.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:03 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


When president François Mitterrand died, both his wife and mistress attended the funeral, and nobody batted an eyelash.

If you can name a single other public instance of this happening where everyone was above board and knew what was going on, I'd be very interested to learn about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:03 PM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


The thing is, "we" aren't anything. There's thousands of people here, who for reasons of chance and self-selection end up showing up in small, uneven pockets in any given thread at any given time. Which is not to say there's nothing worth addressing in how any given situation may play out, but it's not really addressable as a "we do x and then do y" thing, because the people doing one thing and the people doing the other thing may be essentially disjoint.

So your take, after having read AskMe for years, is it's a complex situation?
posted by burnmp3s at 3:04 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you can name a single other public instance of this happening where everyone was above board and knew what was going on, I'd be very interested to learn about it.

Dumbledore's a daddy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:15 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Show me one person who's called the asker anything close to a "cheating piece of shit". What she is pretty uniformly being told is that there is no way of this ending well if the emotional affair continues or goes further. Where is anyone telling her she is bad for feeling conflicted?

A subset of people feel pretty convinced that the other man is pursuing an extramarital affair with some amount of calculation. There's no telling from the question whether he is in fact a player or if his interesting position that the asker's healing love is fixing his broken primary relationship (no doubt some hot sex will bring the full bloom of love back into it) is a lie he's concocted to advance his desire to have sex with her or simply a sad delusion he's selling them both.

But what is explicitly described is a person very willing to have sex with a friend's wife behind his back and let the chips fall where they may. If there was any shred of his suggesting they bring it out in the open and try to negotiate an honest open relationship she would have talked about it.

And the theory that he may in fact be playing a game that he has played before is worth being stated because it would hardly be unprecedented. There is a very real chance this is exactly what is happening.

But in the end the issue of whether people are being too mean to him is a sideline. The real question she is trying to get to the heart of is "is there a way to keep this from wrecking my happy marriage without ending the emotional affair decisively" and the correct answer she is receiving from all quarters is "almost certainly not".

If you think she should be hearing something else or more then go over there and say it already.
posted by nanojath at 3:29 PM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't think the "men get to fuck around, women have to deal with it because they lack equivalent economic and social power" is the model we really want to be going for here.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:29 PM on April 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Dumbledore's a daddy.

Ha ha, nice one. Now show me one where the principle non-monagamist is anything other than an old white man.
posted by nanojath at 3:31 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Rule:

Non-monogamy is great, as long as everyone involved is aware and consenting. Otherwise, you're just a lying, cheating shitbag.
posted by coolguymichael at 3:33 PM on April 4, 2012


(...and I say this as a former lying, cheating shitbag.)
posted by coolguymichael at 3:34 PM on April 4, 2012


Ha ha, nice one. Now show me one where the principle non-monagamist is anything other than an old white man.

The request was for a single other instance -- which I provided. If you want more, let your own fingers do the Googling.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:40 PM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't think the "men get to fuck around, women have to deal with it because they lack equivalent economic and social power" is the model we really want to be going for here.

"Gambon still officially lives with Lady Anne - his mathematician wife of 45 years - at their country estate in Gravesend, Kent."

While Lady Anne might not have quite as much spending power as her actor husband, she hardly sounds like someone who 'has to deal with it'.
.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:54 PM on April 4, 2012


I don't think metafilter is sex negative compared to the general population. I think the tendency is that maybe metafilter is more logical/scientific and more occam's razor about situations. I don't thnk this is a good or bad thing...it's just a how certain subject are approached thing.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:09 PM on April 4, 2012


Strangely enough, Warren Buffet (also an old white man) is another example.
posted by feckless at 4:11 PM on April 4, 2012


She loves him. She isn't going to stop loving him.

I don't quite understand this. Fine, let's say she loves him. (However you define the term, keeping in mind the vast emotional territory we expect that one word to encompass.) Why should this particular love trump her love for her husband?

And how do you know—how does anyone know—she isn't going to stop loving him? Love dies all the damn time. Right now she's swamped drunk on limerence. Which, by definition, does not last. The question is, what takes its place—loving affection or sad WTF? No one really knows, ever, so it's always something of a gamble. Should she stake everything on this particular lottery ticket?

If you're worried about this "ending badly" you're creating a self fulfilling prophecy.

No, just playing the odds.

posted by dogrose at 4:50 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Tilda Swinton has a husband and a (male) lover. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis had an open marriage for at least part of their long and happy marriage. Blah blah Frida Kahlo blah blah Georgia O'Keeffe blah blah blah.

But this is all irrelevant to the AskMe thread in question, anyway, because the people in question weren't in an open relationship and hadn't discussed having an open relationship, and many posters (self included) suggested that that was something that might well be discussed between the OP and her husband, but that opening a relationship because one party was "tempted" to break a monogamy agreement with a specific other person is generally not a successful strategy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:52 PM on April 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


And I know dozens of non-famous people who make polyamory and open relationships work all the time. People of all genders and all ethnic and racial self-identifications. They go to their partners' weddings and their TOCOTOXes' children's school plays and so on and it is just not a huge deal. In America, at least in my part of America.

But, again, the question wasn't about polyamory--it was about having a crush on a friend and wondering whether or not to have an affair.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:55 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just finished re-reading "Things Fall Apart," where men had an average of four wives.
posted by Melismata at 5:02 PM on April 4, 2012


Polyamory sounds like way too much fucking effort.
posted by jonmc at 5:07 PM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]




Tilda Swanson is so dreamy.
posted by OsoMeaty at 5:14 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just finished re-reading "Things Fall Apart," where men had an average of four wives.

I sooooo did not take a pro-polygamy message away from that novel! (Another great novel that's explicitly about polygamy in Nigeria is The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:15 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure Tilda Swinton has transcended gender. She's more man than I'll ever be and more woman than I could handle.
posted by nanojath at 5:25 PM on April 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


Tilda Swanson is so dreamy.

The best description I've heard of her is that she's nature's version of CGI.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:32 PM on April 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am pretty sure she is a magical elf deity.
posted by elizardbits at 5:37 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Er, Swinton. Who is this Swanson that I speak of? Although Tilda Swinton is certainly as majestic as a Swan.
posted by OsoMeaty at 5:50 PM on April 4, 2012


this is an utterly random derail but whatever i do what i want
posted by elizardbits at 5:54 PM on April 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


Just finished re-reading "Things Fall Apart," where men had an average of four wives.

Wow, 4 wives each. Must mean that there are 4 women born for every man. Otherwise, men don't have an average of 4 wives. Which is to say that there is no society where there are 4 wives for every man. They expel men.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:09 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just finished re-reading "Things Fall Apart," where men had an average of four wives.

If they're above average you can get by with three.

Must mean that there are 4 women born for every man. Otherwise, men don't have an average of 4 wives. Which is [not] to say that there is no society where there are 4 wives for every man. They expel men.

Or, y'know, eat them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:11 PM on April 4, 2012


Must mean that there are 4 women born for every man.

And people thought the odds at Surf City were good...
posted by jonmc at 6:12 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


They expel men.

This is the single worst description of childbirth I have ever read.
posted by griphus at 6:21 PM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


metafilter is definitely full of ice cream fascists, though.

Those bastards.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 6:26 PM on April 4, 2012 [32 favorites]


God that's like the most perfect eponymous ever.

other than most of empath's catalog. I kid because I love.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:39 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm an ice cream royalist.

Hail Dairy Queen!
posted by The Whelk at 6:40 PM on April 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wow, 4 wives each. Must mean that there are 4 women born for every man.

The central male characters in the book are of high social status, both through lineage and accomplishments, so they have more than their share of everything. Also, the protagonist has 3 wives, not 4.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:41 PM on April 4, 2012


Tilda Swanson is so dreamy.

Tilda Swinton's designers just gave each other the Andromeda Galaxy version of a high-five, which uses all 19 tentacles.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:00 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


rtha: "These questions are about trust and communication and negotiation within a relationship. Casting those who advocate for more of all that - and counseling against taking action before that happens - as "sex-negative" is presumptuous and unfair.
I was going to say what Miko said but with more incoherency and swearing and typos.
"

I was going to say what rtha said, but much closer to when they said it. Now, it just seems silly.

An average of four wives each just means that there are at least three men without wives. Hard to tell who wins there.
posted by dg at 7:12 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Tilda Swinton was a flavor of ice cream she would be Tilda Swinton
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:14 PM on April 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


But how many Tilda Swinton samples would we be allowed to ask for?
posted by elizardbits at 7:19 PM on April 4, 2012


None, because I would not share.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:21 PM on April 4, 2012


The last thing I read in this thread was at 5 pm this evening, when Jessamyn said something about the tone different people took in AskMe.

I go away for four hours and come back, and suddenly we're talking about Tilda Swinton flavor ice cream and tentacles.

Y'all frighten me sometimes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:29 PM on April 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


also there were assworms
posted by elizardbits at 7:31 PM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm an ice cream royalist.

You and Wallace Stevens.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:34 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I go away for four hours and come back, and suddenly we're talking about Tilda Swinton flavor ice cream and tentacles.

That'll teach you to go away. Next time, stay and play with the tentacles!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:39 PM on April 4, 2012


In soviet Russia, tentacles play with you.
sorry
posted by dg at 7:42 PM on April 4, 2012


I would prefer to live in an ice-cream benign dictatorship. All hail the glorious 99!
posted by arcticseal at 8:03 PM on April 4, 2012


Metafilter is moralizing about many things but it is not sex negative.
posted by J. Wilson at 8:25 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


She loves him. She isn't going to stop loving him.

Oh, come on. I've stopped loving dozens of people and I'm not even done yet. Especially when I cool off and say "hey, this is bad for me and my other relationships," it becomes a lot easier to understand I'm a thinking person with the power to make aware, ethical choices -- not love's bitch.
posted by Miko at 8:39 PM on April 4, 2012 [25 favorites]


Oh, come on. I've stopped loving dozens of people

But ... but ... you promised not to tell anyone.

sob
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:03 PM on April 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Can I stay and play with Tilda Swinton?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:25 PM on April 4, 2012


Only if you get to the back of the line!
posted by dg at 9:28 PM on April 4, 2012


As a kid, I never could understand why Edmund, who seemed like a bright boy, didn't immediately detect that the White Witch was obviously, creepily evil and run away. I understand it now. He may well have detected it; he didn't care. I'm not sure I would, either, if the White Witch was Tilda Swinton.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:36 PM on April 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


She's more charismatic than her predecessor
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:47 PM on April 4, 2012


But this is all irrelevant to the AskMe thread in question, anyway, because the people in question weren't in an open relationship and hadn't discussed having an open relationship.

Yeah, Jessamyn should have her comment deleted, clearly. Damn mods have got no business posting questions here. They should start their own AskMe's.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:22 PM on April 4, 2012


I just dropped by say that I, too, am extremely Tilda Swinton-positive.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:55 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, you have to wait your turn like the rest of us.
posted by dg at 4:36 AM on April 5, 2012


OsoMeaty: "Tilda Swanson is so dreamy."

Wow, suddenly I have to see Tilda Swinton as the next Mrs. Ron Swanson. I kind of feeel like they'd be perfect together.
posted by that's how you get ants at 4:53 AM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a kid, I never could understand why Edmund, who seemed like a bright boy, didn't immediately detect that the White Witch was obviously, creepily evil and run away

Were push to come to shove, I would probably shank a man for a Turkish delight.
posted by griphus at 5:45 AM on April 5, 2012


Love's Bitch would be a great band name. Really.
posted by jonmc at 6:08 AM on April 5, 2012


I never had real Turkish delight until gingerbeer brought some home from Turkey. Then I finally understood why Edmund did what he did.
posted by rtha at 6:13 AM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I never had real Turkish delight until gingerbeer brought some home from Turkey. Then I finally understood why Edmund did what he did.

Do you have to remember not to use her real name on Metafilter? Or is automatic?
posted by nooneyouknow at 6:53 AM on April 5, 2012


I may perhaps occasionally call her by her username when she is sitting in the living room with me. Maybe. I admit nothing.
posted by rtha at 7:13 AM on April 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


Love's Bitch would be a great band name.

I am pretty sure there is a Buffy-themed band out there somewhere called Love's Bitch. Prolly with a lead singer dressed like Spike.
posted by elizardbits at 8:28 AM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Jessamyn should have her comment deleted, clearly.

I was being peeved with the person who was 'BUT FRANCOIS MITTERAND! AMERICANS ARE PRUDES!' not with jessamyn.

Francois Mitterand ate tiny songbirds whole for his last meal. I am not sure Francois Mitterand was really even human.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:06 AM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: BUT FRANCOIS MITTERAND! AMERICANS ARE PRUDES!
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:42 AM on April 5, 2012


We Americans seem to be incapable of escaping our Puritan heritage.

Zambrano? Is that you??
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:05 AM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


My wife and I agreed a while back that Tilda Swinton would be the only forgivable exception to our monogamy. For either of us. Saw her give a talk after a showing of her movie I Am Love and she's just as ethereal in person as she is on the screen.
posted by octothorpe at 11:17 AM on April 5, 2012


Well, Americans are prudes. Note that we impeached Clinton, not Bush II or I.
posted by Melismata at 11:36 AM on April 5, 2012


The Republicans impeached Clinton and he left office with a 66% approval rating from the American public.
posted by octothorpe at 11:52 AM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


We also produced burlesque, Las Vegas showgirls, the Chicken Ranch, the Pill, Stonewall, most of the adult film industry, back-seam stockings, and erotic chocolate. If we're going to sit in judgment of America as an entire culture, let's at least amass all the evidence.

The Puritans weren't particularly "sex-negative," and even the Puritans weren't 'puritan' for very long at all. Their whole gig was pretty much over by 1710. If we suffer from any particular holdover, from a historical perspective I'd say it's not Puritanism, but Victorian middle-class ideas of social control, a strain which was strongly resurgent in the 50s and early 60s. That, coupled with patriarchal assumptions about relationships and proper expression of sexuality that go back a lot farther than Puritans and have never been fully shed.
posted by Miko at 12:01 PM on April 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


Adultery is just a sex-negative word for unilateral polyamory.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:21 PM on April 5, 2012


We Americans seem to be incapable of escaping our Puritan heritage.

Exciting fact: there were people here before the Puritans arrived! Their ancestors are still living in America today!
posted by elizardbits at 12:23 PM on April 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


that's some long-lived ancestors.
posted by gaspode at 12:29 PM on April 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


o snap
posted by elizardbits at 12:32 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Religious trivia: The roots of Unitarian Universalism in America trace back to puritanism and many New England congregations were founded as puritan churches including First Church in Boston.
posted by octothorpe at 12:35 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd say it's not Puritanism, but Victorian middle-class ideas of social control, a strain which was strongly resurgent in the 50s and early 60s. That, coupled with patriarchal assumptions about relationships and proper expression of sexuality that go back a lot farther than Puritans and have never been fully shed.


That has always been the biggest irony to me, that the people who drop the Puritanism accusation the most (not anyone in this thread but I've seen it often on MeFi) are so often the people who are most adamant about how women should be and should feel about things, and judgmental of people who feel differently than they do.
posted by cairdeas at 12:35 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Questions like this seem to bring out the overwhelming consensus that anyone who is struggling with a monogamous commitment is a player, a homewrecker, a guaranteed repeat offender, and an all-around bad person. In this particular instance the story is quite complex and nuanced and both the poster and her love interest are dealing with legitimate issues - which, by the way, may be able to be resolved with the cooperation of supportive spouses

I don't understand why you didn't just post in the thread for the benefit of the OP. Not the metacommentary about the alleged consensus among other commenters, and good grief, Metafilter is not sex-negative. But the rest of it could be presented as totally relevant advice to her question.

We should be fostering thoughtful discussion, not condemnation. Scaring the poster into compliance with the strict-monogamist mindset is not always the cut-and-dry solution.

The commenters in that thread ARE, by and large, trying to foster thoughtful discussion. From their own perspectives. The fact that you (and I, and many people) don't agree doesn't negate that.
posted by desuetude at 12:43 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The difference between a prude and a perv is that the former grimly states that sex is dirty and disgusting and the latter smiles and agrees.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:41 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would probably shank a man for a Turkish delight.

I thought they were bizarre and had a weird texture.

Turkish Delights are "candy" in the same sense that Necco Wafers, Candy Buttons, Chick-O-Stick, and black licorice are "candy".
posted by Afroblanco at 2:06 PM on April 5, 2012


I'm right there with you on Necco Wafers, but you better shut your mouth about black licorice. God's confection, that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:16 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think MetaFilter is the most sex-positive place I've ever seen on the Web, which probably just shows what a sheltered descended-from-colonial-calvinists boring life I've had. Although, I did make up for lost time quite a bit during my 40s.
posted by jgirl at 2:17 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chick-o-Stick is actually the only candy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:19 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, no, Afroblanco is right — black licorice is a vile abomination, unfit for human consumption. Just slide it over to me and I'll remove it for proper disposal.

Salty, you say? Ooh, doubly dangerous. Slide that over here right quick.
posted by Lexica at 2:26 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Candyland II: Custardy Battle
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:32 PM on April 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't know about sex negative, but I do think a lot of users on this site have a distinct lack of empathy for themselves and consequently others. I don't think it's unique to the site, I think it's a general reflection on current day American culture (and most of the rest of the world too).
posted by MillMan at 2:37 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chick-o-Stick is actually the only candy.

It's like somebody said, "You know the Butterfinger bar? Can I have that, only without all that annoying chocolate stuff on the outside? Also, I may want to defend myself with it, so please make it the right shape and density to beat assailants with. Oh, and coconut. I'll need some of that too, for some reason"
posted by Afroblanco at 2:37 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Exactly! I don't know why they bother to make any other candy at all. Though I do not know what it has to do with chicken.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:41 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Chick-O-Stick is ... dusted with ground coconut."

That's not candy, that's a cruel prank on someone who likes sugar.
posted by griphus at 2:45 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Coconut needs to be banished as the cruel joke that it is.
posted by The Whelk at 2:54 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


i judgmentally sip my pina colada at you sir
posted by elizardbits at 3:00 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


You are history's greatest monster
posted by The Whelk at 3:04 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


ACHIEVEMENT: UNLOCKED
posted by elizardbits at 3:08 PM on April 5, 2012 [10 favorites]


Coconut needs to be banished as the cruel joke that it is.

Why do you hate my people, The Whelk? Why?

Anyway, you don't have to eat any coconut. Give me all your coconut and I'll eat it for you.
posted by rtha at 3:16 PM on April 5, 2012


Though I do not know what it has to do with chicken.

The Chick-O-Stick was once marketed as a humane way to slaughter livestock. However, when the Great Depression hit, people took to eating them in absence of actual chickens. Attempts to consume axes, shotguns, and that thing the dude carries around in No Country For Old Men did not meet with as much success.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:24 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can have all the coconut, all the coconut around me is now yours, even that belonging to other people.
posted by The Whelk at 3:24 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Then again I drink straight shots of chartreuse I shouldn't be judging others.
posted by The Whelk at 3:25 PM on April 5, 2012


Sex is only to be had through a hole in a sheet. What is on the other side of the sheet is immaterial.
posted by barrett caulk at 3:25 PM on April 5, 2012


I had to look up Chick-O-Stick, since somehow I'd never come across it. Firstly: ew.

Secondly, Wikipedia says: The Atkinson Candy Company's website states that the company's founder "came up with the name one day, and well, it just stuck." The company had once written in correspondence that they felt the Chick-O-Stick "resembled fried chicken" and that contributed to the name.

which is ridiculous reasoning for naming candy. We might as well call Raisinettes "Bunny Poop" and Nerds "Purple Boogers" and Laffy Taffy "Pastel Plastic" and Snickers "Toilet Cobra".
posted by Specklet at 3:27 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why can't I find 5th Ave bars anymores? That was the best.....
posted by The Whelk at 3:29 PM on April 5, 2012


black licorice. God's Devil's confection, that.

FTFY.

Seriously, though, the best candy ever is Smarties smashed into powder. It's like crack.
posted by nooneyouknow at 3:40 PM on April 5, 2012


No one has spoken up for Rolos, which makes me sad. Rolos are the only kind of non-hunk-of-dark-chocolate candy that I eat.

But I would never eat a Rolo again before I would give up 85% cocoa dark chocolate.
posted by winna at 3:46 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Chocolate covered pretzels are a joy forever.
posted by The Whelk at 3:46 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can have all the coconut, all the coconut around me is now yours, even that belonging to other people.

Yay!

Also, we have both green and yellow Chartreuse. Well, the yellow might be downstairs in our neighbors apartment, but same difference. So, you know, come on over any time.
posted by rtha at 3:48 PM on April 5, 2012


Isn't Toilet Cobra a porno starring Belladonna? I couldd've sworn I saw a copy on sale at Pastel Plastic, bit I was tripping balls on Purple Boogers at the time.
posted by griphus at 3:49 PM on April 5, 2012


What is on the other side of the sheet is immaterial.

What, a succubus?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:49 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


What you all need to do is put the lime in the coconut and drink them both up. Then you feel better. But don't call me in the morning.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:50 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Isn't Toilet Cobra a porno starring Belladonna?

you're thinking of the Booty Python series
posted by elizardbits at 3:53 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


How can we talk about awful candy without mentioning marshmallow peeps, candy corn, and, worst of all, circus peanuts?
posted by mreleganza at 4:10 PM on April 5, 2012


I ate some Kazakh milk candy once that sucked all of the moisture out of my mouth. So I ate another one for scientific purposes.
posted by arcticseal at 4:20 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Candy corn and marshmallow peeps are both okay if you stop at one. After the first one, you're like "what the fuck am I eating?"

Circus peanuts, though, there's no explanation for those. Its enough to make you hate both circuses and peanuts. An affront to elephants everywhere.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:33 PM on April 5, 2012


apparently I am the sole person keeping the circus peanut manufacturers in business.
posted by gaspode at 5:05 PM on April 5, 2012


You and my mom, gaspode.
posted by Miko at 5:09 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


WE FOUND PATIENT ZERO WE CAN STOP THR INFECTION
posted by The Whelk at 5:09 PM on April 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


you know they changed the production place of Cadbury Creme eggs a while back which is why the new ones are DIFFERENT and smaller and I don't like them as much which is good cause otherwise I'd eat like an entire box of them at once.
posted by The Whelk at 5:11 PM on April 5, 2012


they had the little creme eggs here at work today, and I was given two - the first one was awesome, and the second was weird - the creamy center was sort of solidified and broken, so there was just this whitish chunk of candy inside a much thicker layer of chocolate. it was pretty damn disturbing to bite into, because it looked just like a tooth. I was so relieved to find that it was just candy.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:21 PM on April 5, 2012


I'll just be over here chewing this Bit-O-Honey for the next three hours.
posted by salvia at 5:30 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


salvia, I'll be in the opposite corner, gnawing at my Sugar Daddy. (I don't have much use for Sugar Babies--no staying power.)
posted by dogrose at 6:10 PM on April 5, 2012



I'll just be over here chewing this Bit-O-Honey for the next three hours.
posted by salvia at 5:30 PM on April 5 [1 favorite +] [!]


salvia, I'll be in the opposite corner, gnawing at my Sugar Daddy. (I don't have much use for Sugar Babies--no staying power.)
posted by dogrose at 6:10 PM on April 5 [+] [!]


Hear that whirring sound, smell the ozone? It's the Dentist of Cavities Future coming for you.
posted by doctor_negative at 6:47 PM on April 5, 2012


How can we talk about awful candy without mentioning marshmallow peeps, ...

I saw recently some chocolate covered marshmallow peeps. WTF, are they trying to poison people?! Reminds me of when Calvin poured sugar on his Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs, complaining that his mother wouldn't buy him the kind with marshmallows.
posted by Melismata at 7:42 PM on April 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing I love most about chocolate covered peeps is that adding chocolate actually makes them more nutritious.
posted by Miko at 8:08 PM on April 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chocolate covered cherry jelly beans are the worst idea Jelly Belly ever had, and I say this as someone who will spit out the buttered popcorn ones like a petulant toddler.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:11 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


So sex positive we're gram negative! Chlamydia joke.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:47 PM on April 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Though I do not know what it has to do with chicken.

I have two theories about the name, one is that it's an homage to Chicken Bones, and the other is that they know their target market. Why can I not resist giving you grief over that?
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:57 PM on April 5, 2012


BTW, relatively fresh Chicken Bones are much tastier than Chick-o-Stix if only because Chick-o-Stix are a wee bit too dry.
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:58 PM on April 5, 2012


I'll just be over here chewing this Bit-O-Honey for the next three hours.

Bit-O-Honey goes a long, long way!
If you have one head, it'll last all day!

(Seriously, who makes up a jingle like that?!)
posted by ubersturm at 9:30 PM on April 5, 2012


I got addicted to Aero after a British co-worker brought some back. I now stalk people with British accents, looking to mug them for their Aero.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:11 AM on April 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


and I say this as someone who will spit out the buttered popcorn ones like a petulant toddler.

Your opinion is wrong.
posted by mreleganza at 1:21 AM on April 6, 2012


Reading this thread has made me love you all the more. MY PEOPLE!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:06 AM on April 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since I gave up smoking 6 months, 29 days, 20 hours, 51 minutes and 7 seconds ago, there has only been one confectionary treat for me.

Uncle Joes Mint Balls. They keep you all aglow.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:23 PM on April 6, 2012


Aero bars are everywhere in Cambridge (Mass., USA) now, and after about three months of eating them all the time I got over them.

Cadbury's Upper Deck, on the other hand, I can't get enough of.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:53 PM on April 6, 2012


So, we have this chocolate shop near us. They have this candy-bar they call "going to the dark-side" One end is milk chocolate, and the other is dark. Between the two is this swirly transition zone. It's art.

Now if I could just get them to make Cookies and Cream candy-bars...
posted by Gygesringtone at 2:59 PM on April 6, 2012


What flavor?

Sexual Chocolate
posted by zippy at 8:41 AM on April 7, 2012



It's like somebody said, "You know the Butterfinger bar? Can I have that, only without all that annoying chocolate stuff on the outside? Also, I may want to defend myself with it, so please make it the right shape and density to beat assailants with. Oh, and coconut. I'll need some of that too, for some reason"


What's going on here? What is this "Chick-o-Stick" thing? You have clearly just described some sort of malformed Zagnut.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:13 PM on April 7, 2012


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