Dear Dan: I’m a gay male, and one of my good friends has put me in a strange position. The friend has been married to his husband for 15 years, and they are allowed to “play.” I have no desire to be in an open relationship, and I don’t think my boyfriend does either. I occasionally go over to this friend’s house right after work to buy weed, and he’s always alone when I come by. He joked about answering the door naked and then did it. (He told me he was going to, but I honestly didn’t think he would do it.) I was extremely uncomfortable, and he knew it. The last time I went over, he was naked again — and this time, he jerked off to completion in front of me. He asked me to join in, and I told him I couldn’t because I hadn’t discussed anything like this with my boyfriend. I’m supposed to go over again tomorrow, and he asked me to come by early because his husband would be getting home from work early that day. This leads me to believe that the husband would not be OK with this. I haven’t said anything to his husband or my boyfriend because I don’t want this to become a huge mess and I hoped my palpable discomfort would put an end to it. Any thoughts on how I should handle this nicely to make it stop without hurting his feelings?
—Undressed Naked Friend Really Is Engineering Needless Drama
Dear UNFRIEND: Your “good friend” is an asshole, UNFRIEND. He’s violating a whole bunch of social norms — chiefly the don’t-jerk-off-to-completion-in-front-of-other-people-without-their-enthusiastic-consent norm (aka the Louis C.K. Career in Comedy Memorial Norm) — and relying on your adherence to other social norms (avoid being rude, defuse don’t confront, spare others’ feelings) to get away with violating you as well. This asshole is sexually harassing you, and you haven’t told him to stop in unambiguous language.
The only reason you’ve given him for not whipping it out yourself is that you haven’t “discussed anything like this with [your] boyfriend.” He has self-servingly interpreted your reason for not joining in like this: “He wants to, and maybe he will after he has a ‘discussion’ with his boyfriend.” I’m sorry, UNFRIEND, but you’re going to have to be blunt: “You have to knock this shit off. It’s disrespectful, it’s nonconsensual, and it’s pissing me off.” Don’t worry about hurting his feelings — he obviously doesn’t care about your feelings — and find a new weed dealer.
Dear Dan: I have a follow-up question on your advice for JACKS, the gay manager who ran into an employee at a JO party. Alison “Ask a Manager” Green told him he couldn’t go to these parties anymore. A distinction was made between sexual situation encounters between bosses and those they manage in “private clubs” (the JO club) or at “public events” (Folsom Street Fair). My question is about Grindr/Scruff/Growlr/etc. Are these more like “private clubs” or “public events”? In part, my question stems from being a professor and having seen students and colleagues on these apps. I feel like I should not be reading the profiles of students in my department (who are mostly graduate students). I am also troubled by my colleagues appearing on these apps — from the perspective that this seems to be a sexually oriented space and there is the power differential between faculty and students.
—Basics Of Sexual Spaces
Dear BOSS: Dating apps are the new gay bars — more than 75 percent of same-sex couples met online — so telling gay bosses or college profs they can’t go on dating apps because their gay male students or underlings might be on them means condemning gay bosses and profs to celibacy. Bosses and profs shouldn’t flirt with their students and underlings, of course, and it might be a good idea to block ’em when you spot ’em — so you won’t be tempted by their profiles/torsos and they won’t be tempted by yours — but gay bosses and profs are free to look for dick on dating apps.
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