Dear Dan: I’m part of a nonhierarchical polycule. In a few months, one of my girlfriends will be marrying her fiancée. I’ll be attending as a guest with my other girlfriend. What are the guidelines or expectations for purchasing a gift for your girlfriend’s wedding? Surprisingly, the other advice columnists don’t have guidance on this one.
—Wedding Etiquette Dilemma
Dear WED: Get the couple something nice, something you can afford, maybe something from their gift registry. Or give them a card with a check in it so they can spend the money on whatever they might need for their household or use it to cover the expense of the wedding itself. In short, WED, wedding-gift guidelines are the same for people in nonhierarchical polycules as they are for love-muggle monocules. I’m not slamming the poly thing for overprocessing and overthinking — most people process (aka communicate) too little, and it’s often better to overthink than to under-think or not-think — but not everything needs to be dumped into the poly processor and pureed. Congrats to your girlfriend (the one who’s getting married) and her fiancée!
Dear Dan: While on vacation, I went for a full body massage. The first half of the massage — me on my stomach — was great. When the masseuse asked me to flip on my back, things took a turn. She uncovered one of my legs and began massaging my thigh. As she worked on my inner thigh, her finger grazed my scrotum. Then it happened again. And again. She was working on my thigh, but it felt like I was getting my balls caressed. I began to worry I was getting a visible erection. Then I started to panic when I felt like I might actually come. (I have always had issues with premature ejaculation.) I tried hard to clamp down and think about baseball and senior citizens, but I wound up having an orgasm. She eventually moved to my arms, shoulders, etc., but meanwhile I’m lying there with jizz cooling on myself. Am I guilty of #metoo bad behavior? Should I have said something or asked her to stop? Is it possible she didn’t have any clue? (My penis was never uncovered and I didn’t create an obvious wet spot on the sheet.) I tipped her extra, just in case she was mortified, though I didn’t get the sense she was because nothing changed after I came in terms of her massaging me. (She didn’t hurry away from my legs or rush to finish my massage.) I still feel really weird about the whole thing. I get massages frequently, this has never happened before, and I certainly didn’t go into it looking for this result.
—Lost Opportunity At De-escalation
Dear LOAD: If it all went down as you described, LOAD, you aren’t guilty of “#metoo bad behavior.” It’s not uncommon for people to become unintentionally aroused during a nonerotic massage; it’s more noticeable when it happens to men, of course, but it happens to women, too. “Erections do happen,” a masseuse told me when I ran your letter past her. “So long as guys don’t suddenly ask for a ‘happy ending,’ expose themselves, or — God help me — attempt to take my hand and place it on their erection, they haven’t done anything wrong.”
Since this hasn’t happened to you before, LOAD, I don’t think you should waste too much time worrying about it happening again. But if you’re concerned this one massage created a powerful erotic association and you’re likely to blow a load the next time a masseuse so much as looks at one of your thighs, go ahead and have a quick wank before your appointment.
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On the Lovecast, the kink phenomenon of “sub drop”: savagelovecast.com.