Not without guilt

Photo credit: Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson

Dear Dan: A man impregnated me about a month into our relationship. He is adamantly against having the kid, as it’s too soon. I really don’t want to have an abortion — I have religious and moral beliefs against it. He states that since one parent doesn’t want the kid, I am wrong for even considering keeping it. Am I wrong? We’re both around 30, and this is my first pregnancy. Do I have the right to continue with the pregnancy? I feel like we’d be great parents. He’s already left me because I wouldn’t make a decision within a week. It’s tearing us apart.

—Opposing Opinions On Pregnancy Situation

Dear OOOPS: I’m going to sidestep the whole no-abortions-for-religious-and-moral-reasons-but-premarital-sex-is-not-a-problem issue. This pregnancy isn’t tearing you apart, OOOPS, it tore you apart. He already ended things — he left you — which was a shitty thing to do, perhaps, but within his rights. It is absolutely within your rights to continue with the pregnancy — it’s your body, it’s your decision. And while he will be on the hook for this kid financially if you decide to have it, no one can force him to do the work/experience the joy/clean up the vomit that comes with actually fathering this child. I’m sorry you’re in this position, and here’s hoping you have the love and support you need to raise a kid if you decide to keep the baby, and here’s hoping he comes around.

Dear Dan: I am a straight woman who just started fucking a hot, younger male coworker. The sexual tension between us was out of control until we stayed late one night and screwed on my desk. Since that night, we’ve hooked up a few more times. We grope each other in the office daily, as the “fear” of getting caught is a real turn-on for me. The problem — there always is one — is that he has a live-in girlfriend. He told me they are in an open relationship, so being with me isn’t cheating. As per their arrangement, he won’t tell her about me, but if she finds out, he won’t lie. How do I know if he’s telling me the truth or if he’s saying these things so I’ll keep sleeping with him? She comes to work events with him, and I feel guilty because she is sweet and obviously adores him. Also, being coworkers adds another layer of issues. I am a well-liked employee who people consider very professional. He is new to the company and is a bit of a scatterbrain. The sex is amazing in part because he’s too immature for me to consider romantically. I’d love to keep seeing him for sex, but I don’t want to help him hurt someone else. Can I fuck him guilt free?

—Not A Heartbreak Helper

P.S. I’ve already caught him in some minor lies. For instance, he said one of the rules of the open relationship is no sex in their apartment. Guess where we last fucked?

Dear NAHH: If the genders were reversed here — if you were an older, more powerful man fucking a “hot, younger” female coworker — I’d have to find you and set you on fire or something. Because even before we get to the is-he-or-isn’t-he (in an open relationship) issue, the power imbalance makes this not OK. Or it does to some/many/most. But I’m going to let those who object to coworkers fucking — unless both are partners in the firm with equal tenure, power, and salaries — debate that issue in the comments thread while I address the issue you asked me to address: Can you know for sure whether he’s practicing ENM, aka “ethical non-monogamy.”

Short answer: No, nope, you can’t — and the signs don’t look good. I was making notes as I read your letter, NAHH, and wrote, “Has he lied to you about anything?” before I got to your postscript. While some couples have DADT agreements — outside sex is allowed, but they “don’t ask, don’t tell” — the DADT thing makes it hard for their thirds (or fourths or fifths) to verify that the relationship is actually open and they aren’t a party to cheating. So you have to trust the person you’re fucking — and if they’ve given you reason not to trust them (like lying about other stuff) and/or demonstrated that they aren’t honoring the other rules of their supposedly open relationship (like fucking in the apartment they share), well, then they’ve demonstrated their fundamental untrustworthiness. Basically, NAHH, if he’s lying to her, he’s probably lying to you, too.

So you can fuck him — but not without guilt. 

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