I Resemble My Boyfriend’s Rapist

Plus, is drug use the next frontier of the civil rights movement?

I have a problem with my happiness; he is a wonderful man who has
a beauty that overwhelms me; we have a beautiful home; I am monogamous
for the first time in a decade. But I just learned that I am the
spitting image of a man in jail for raping my boyfriend.

He says he is not in a place to dig up his emotions about the
subject and wants to hold off on sex — fine by me. I admire him
and his courage to be with me despite my appearance. I still love him,
but I feel like there is something I could do to help him, to help us.
So I guess I am asking for suggestions.

Asking Not Begging

First suggestion: Verify his story.

If you have a stunt double out there rotting in jail somewhere for
raping your Wonder Boyfriend, ANB, then there are police reports and
trial transcripts and a mug shot that looks just like you. Go find
’em.

I’m an asshole, of course, for casting doubt on your beautiful
boyfriend’s dramatic explanation for why his wonderfulness can’t have
sex with you right now — or ever, potentially, since he’s “not in
a place to dig up his emotions” and wants to “hold off” on sex. But
cast I must, ANB, because one of two things is going on. Either your
boyfriend is making this rape story up or he failed to share hugely
pertinent info with you before moving in. Whichever it is, ANB, your
boyfriend is at fault.

Why would he make it up? Well, it could be that he’s not attracted
to you, ANB, and manipulating you with a victim story allows him to
reap the rewards of being with you while earning him a “Get Out of
Fucking You Free” card.

If the story checks out — if you find that mug shot—
then your boyfriend has my sympathies. But if he wasn’t ready to resume
his romantic and sexual life, ANB, he had no right to be out there
dating anyone, least of all a man who looks exactly like his rapist.
When we date, ANB, we’re telling people that we’re in a place where
we’re ready for love, romance, and sex. If we’re not, we have no
business dating anyone seriously. Period. At the very least, the onus
was on him to disclose this information — his rape, your
resemblance to his rapist — before moving in, not after.

And finally: If you’re not having sex with your boyfriend, or anyone
else, and there’s no sex in your foreseeable future, ANB, that’s not
monogamy — that’s celibacy.

I am a high-functioning regular heroin user (not quite an
addict), and I feel constantly compelled to hide my drug use. I feel
that there are similarities between being a drug user and having an
alternate sexual orientation in the sense that both users and gays are
constantly confronting judgmental opposition from an ill-informed and
puritanical American public. I wonder whether you have any thoughts on
this matter. Do you believe that drug users are deserving of the same
kind of empowerment and liberation as gays, or do you view drug use as
a “disease” that needs to be “cured” the same way that the Carrie
Prejeans of the world believe gays need to be “cured”?

I realize that one significant difference between heroin use and
sexual tastes is that heroin use is illegal, but of course gay
relationships were illegal until relatively recently. Am I just
rationalizing? Or could drug use be the next civil-rights
frontier?

Dude Requests Understanding Gay Sensibility

Uh … gee.

I don’t believe that all drug use is abuse, and I believe that
recreational drugs can be used responsibly. And I believe a person
should be able to use a drug regularly without being labeled — by
himself, by others, by court order — an “addict.” I also wish
that more people were open about their drug use — but, in the
hypocritical fashion of most Americans, only when we’re talking about
drugs that I like and have used myself, e.g., caffeine, sugar, pot, and
my boyfriend’s pheromones.

Recreational heroin? Heroin seems kind of extreme, DRUGS, as
recreational drugs go. I’ve known a few people who’ve self-medicated
with heroin and functioned well enough to get by — just —
and I think that all drugs should be legal, your drug of choice
included. We need to end the war on drugs, a failure and a waste of
money and lives. And the quickest way to end it is for successful drug
users — people like you, me, Michael Phelps, and the president of
the United States of America — to be open about our past,
present, and future drug use. But I don’t think “drug user” is an
identity that’s really comparable to sexual orientation. Using drugs is
something you do, DRUGS, it’s not something you are.

Look at it this way: If you stopped doing drugs today, DRUGS, you’d
no longer be a drug user. If I stopped inhaling my boyfriend’s
pheromones — and cock — today, DRUGS, I’d still be a big
homo. Because gay is like Cats (“now and forever”), while heroin
is like Twitter (fun at first, sure, but you’ll regret it one day). See
the difference?

But, yeah, the freedom to use drugs can certainly be viewed as a
civil-rights issue: It’s about the right to control what you do with
your own body, and that argument resonates with others advanced by
gay-rights advocates and advocates of reproductive choice. But
different drugs carry different risks — risks of harm, risks of
overdose, risks of death — and, legal or not, heroin is a highly
dangerous drug. It’s a drug that’s made more dangerous by its
prohibition, sure, but it’s dangerous even when it’s pure. But I think
you have a right to use it, if you want to use it, and that you should
have access to safe, medical-grade heroin and clean needles. But I
don’t think you should use it, not when there are other, better, safer
drugs available.

Like my boyfriend’s pheromones.

I like that you told PILL, the teenage girl who didn’t like the
pill and whose boyfriend “doesn’t like” condoms, to “enjoy outercourse,
oral, masturbation, and sex toys — and tell your boyfriend that
these aren’t consolation prizes for teenagers, but honest-to-God sex
acts that adults enjoy.” But I wish that you had mentioned all the
other kinds of birth control out there. There’s the Depo-Provera shot,
the patch, the implant, the ring (which is very low dose and which many
women prefer to the pill), IUDs (both with and without hormones), and
cervical caps that can be used with spermicide. Also, there are many
kinds of pills (from low to high dose, mini-pills, various hormone
combos, etc.), and PILL should talk to a professional about which pills
she was on and the specific things she didn’t like about them.

Some are much more effective than others, there are serious cost
barriers to some of these if they’re not covered by insurance, and
there can be side effects to any sort of hormonal birth control, but
it’s good to be aware that they exist.

I also had awful experiences with hormonal pills, and it took
years until I finally got a great doctor who took the time to explain
all my options — and there are so many! I now have a nonhormonal
IUD; it is fantastic, and I am grateful for my doctor’s advice. There’s
a great “birth control effectiveness chart” at Planned Parenthood’s
website (PlannedParenthood.org).

Been There, Done That

Thanks for sharing, BTDT.

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