Dear MISS LONELYHEARTS: I knew from the beginning my new girlfriend was kinky, but I was open to it. I'd never had any experience other than straight-arrow sex, and I was curious. When I told her, she had a skeptical look on her face and said, "You don't know what you're getting into." As a result, I have ended up playing devoted slave to her Mistress role for six months. But now we have a big problem. She wants me to get a big, visible slave tattoo on my neck to prove I belong to her forever.
This has opened up the question: Do I really want to be her possession forever? Last night the answer came to me, and it was a surprising no. I picture myself 10 years down the road, married to a woman who is much warmer than Mistress and wants kids and hockey rinks and all the stuff I grew up with. Here's the thing: I do still love Mistress, so how do I tell her she's not the final one and I don't want permanent markings of a tattoo to pledge allegiance to Her Majesty? -- Not Ready To Leave Her, Downtown
Dear Not Ready: There's a battle over boundaries on the horizon and you need to encourage it. Hinge it on the tattoo. Tell her you won't have one. Playing games and adoring your games-partner is one thing. But once you reach a crossroad and you know you don't want to go further emotionally, it's time to take back your power and state your limits clearly. This talk will probably segue into how devoted you really are, and why you won't show proof of that on your body. That's when you have to tell her goodbye. It may be a little too soon for you, emotionally, but you know for sure you don't want to be together with her down the road, so it's fair to end it now.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met a man at the airport when I was waiting for a night plane and we got into some heavy flirting. We were going to the same city. We carried on in the half-empty plane, taking over two seats together, stealing kisses and touching. Then I remembered my little travel blanket. You can figure out what happened next. When we landed, we were both so keyed up, we took the same cab into the city, making out a little in the back seat. We went straight to his hotel where we had, in my opinion, the best thing going -- novelty sex. This carried on for two days, as we were both at conferences that didn't require too much reporting in.
We knew we were both married from the start. I thought of what we were doing as a magical holiday from my marriage, which is just fine, but a little boring sexually. The new man's marriage is truly lousy -- married to a dumbbell, his high school sweetheart. He feels stuck with her for the sake of the kids. Big trouble! He has phoned me at work every day since I got home, begging to come and see me. (He lives in the country.) I really need to get rid of him, or he could wreck my marriage. How do I stop his calling and begging without hurting him? He is a sweet guy. I feel a bit guilty, but he's a big boy, so really, what's his problem? -- Sorry, But Not Interested, Winnipeg
Dear Sorry: Some foolish women are once again under the impression men are the insensitive cads of the Mad Men playboy days. A few still are, but many more men were raised by modern parents and were encouraged to grow up with their feelings and sensitivities intact. You were acting like an old-fashioned playgirl with this guy, like he had no feelings to worry about. So don't try to make yourself look good. Take a deep breath and tell your fling partner exactly what you told me. Apologize for giving him the impression it was anything more than a fun couple of days. Say you're very sorry for hurting and disappointing him, and then ask him very bluntly not to contact you ever again. Let him start to dislike you, so he can start getting over you.
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