Savage Love: Don’t give up

Q: Borrowing Gen Z’s love for labelling everything, I’m a 46-year-old, homoromantic, asexual, Canadian faggot. For me that means I’d like to love and be loved by another man, but I’d hate having sex with him. To add a vexing complication, I also need some sort of power imbalance. Ideally, I would fall somewhere between being a man’s sub and being his slave. I’ve been searching for this since I came out in my early 20s. I’ve tried everything. Online, bars, hobby groups, friends, hookups. Vanilla relationships, single Masters, dominant couples, sex workers. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on both men and therapy, but here I am busted, miserable and alone. The point is that no one—and I mean absolutely no one — wants what I want. My dream dude doesn’t exist. It’s easy to tell someone to move on, that there are other fish in the sea, etc., but sometimes your sea is a puddle, and you really are the only guppy. I’m considering ending my life before the end of the year. I can’t shake the deep sadness and disappointment and misery that I feel — and this isn’t even touching on my current unemployment or newly-chronic health issues. What would you do if you were in my shoes? How does one switch off the built-in romantic drive?

~ Sought A Dom Accepting Sad Singlehood

A: I’m sorry you haven’t found your ideal man, SADASS, or the right dominant couple or a vanilla guy you could love and a dominant sex worker you could see on the side. Not everyone finds their ideal mate/position/situation, despite our best efforts, which is why it’s important that we build lives for ourselves that are rich and rewarding while we look for our dream dude(s). Because then even if we’re unhappily single — or we find ourselves unhappily single again — we would still have meaning and pleasure in our lives. And that makes it easier for us to live in hope that, should all the planets align, it could still happen for us or happen for us again. (Please note: I’m qualifying “single” with “unhappy” here not because all single people are unhappy—which is absolutely untrue—but because this single person, SADASS, is unhappy.)

I have to assume it has happened for you once or twice, SADASS. While none of your relationships with any of the vanilla guys, single Masters, dominant couples or sex workers you’ve met along the way turned into long-term connections, there had to have been some good times and real — if not lasting — connections over the years. Instead of seeing those relationships as a string of failures because they all ended, SADASS, you should see them as a long series of successful short-term relationships. And while you may regret that none lasted for years or decades, there’s nothing about being partnered that immunizes a person against regret. If you were still with one of those vanilla guys, you might always regret not meeting a Master; if you were with a Master or a dominant couple, you might regret — from time to time — not having a more egalitarian relationship.

Although you say not be interested in having sex, SADASS, your interests are erotically charged. If your erotic-if-not-sexual fantasies are causing you distress — if you want to switch off your built-in romantic/erotic drive — anti-depressants often lower and sometimes tank a person’s libido. For most people that’s an unwelcome side effect, but you may find it a blessing — at least for now, SADASS, while you’re dealing with your health and employment issues. It’s an extreme move, but it’s far less extreme than the one you’ve been contemplating, so it might be worth discussing with a sex-positive, kink-positive, reality-aware therapist.

Finally, please don’t end your life. The world is a far more interesting place with you in it. And while finding a romantic partner is never the solution to our problems — it’s only the start of a whole new set of problems — I’ve heard from countless people over the years who found something close to what they were looking for in their fifties, sixties, and even seventies. But it can’t happen for you if you aren’t here for it.

Crisis Services Canada maintains a 24-hour suicide-prevention hotline: 833-456-4566. In the United States please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.
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This week on the Savage Lovecast, Andrew Gurza on sex with disabilities.