Dear Noted Relationship Expert,

Dear Noted Relationship Expert,

I'm involved in a play relationship. I'm in my late twenties, as is he. He has a serious long term girl friend who brought up the open relationship idea. They both have a separate relationship outside their main one. Him with me, she with another guy. I'm the only other girl he's seeing, besides the serious one. In our play relationship I'm the submissive one, the slut. Mainly I pleasure him. In fact his current rule is no pleasure for me until I take him in [word normally used to describe sporting equipment, begins with "b" (this is a family website, you know)] deep. I am working on this, though it's hard with the gag reflex. It is starting to wear at me. No one in my life/world knows I'm doing this.

So my question I guess is - how do I focus bringing some pleasure to myself, seen as how [sporting equipment] deep still eludes me. And how do I sort out my bad self from my good self, do I tell people in my day to day life? Or should I wise up and stop all this fun?

The Masochist.

Dear Masochist,

Interesting choice of words.

The logical course of action would be to walk away. But as logic rarely has a role to play in relationships, we can safely ignore that advice. Besides, I suspect that you've broken it off before yet gone back.

What to do about this guy (does he have a name? For our purposes, we're going to call him D--)? I would humbly suggest that you change the rules. "But I can't!" you cry. Well, are you really sure about that? Knowing next to nothing about the relationship, I'm going to make the suggestion that every relationship is a two-way street, to a greater or lesser degree. Maybe you can't -- for reasons of temperament, for reasons far beyond my ken -- just come out and say it (in any event, the direct approach seems to be not the best one). But there are other ways to massage, to shift, to nudge things more towards your liking.

It seems that this isn't just a hidden affair, like so many others, but that you've divorced this behavior from the rest of your personality, what with this "good self/bad self" dichotomy that you've got going. You're attempting to separate that behavior, what you do with D-- from the rest of your existence. Can you?

"It's not me!" I can hear you exclaim. But I beg to differ. It is you (unless you're suffering from alien mind control). After all, it's you who is doing it. And it's not a part of you that you can easily divorce. I'm not going to go into Freudian theories of the mind (lots of links here that cover that), but I'm going to suggest that you'll be much happier when you accept it really is part of you -- maybe not all of you, probably not most of you -- but it is you. This "good girl/bad girl" stuff? Those are entirely social constructions. Who's to judge if you're "good or bad"? Don't worry about being "good" and don't worry about being "bad". Just be.

Or you could just work on your gag reflex.

Your call.