On the old blog a reader who called himself “Steve” wrote to me with what amounted to a testimonial regarding the efficacy of my advice. His is an unusual story, but given how much unceasing misery I was privy to via email at the time, I was grateful for any ray of sunshine.
Over a period of time patterns of behaviour that would have appalled me at the start became quite acceptable. I could wake up in the morning and decide I wanted her to shave. Nothing less would do and the argument would rumble on through the month until BINGO! She presented a shaven fanny as ordered. She would immediately be shagged and forgiven and normal life could resume. Next, I might decide I wanted her to go bra-less and wear a sheer top for an evening in front of my mates. On and on it would go like a runnaway train and the more she gave the more I wanted. If she tried to reason with me it just made things worse. I might say something as a joke and if her reaction was not correct – in my view – I would demand it for real. Sorry to go on but I’m hoping that some guy will read this and recognise the type of behaviour I’m describing.
Now, the really dumb thing about this is I knew the damage it was doing all along. I could see the way it was affecting her and through it all she offered me nothing but love and compromised as best she could. I lived in fear that one day she would wake up and realise she didn’t love me any more [as happened to a friend] yet still I carried on. I was aware of all the barriers, boundaries and taboos as I crashed through each and every one of them.
Although (as I mention in comments) I at first wondered if “Steve” was for real, I eventually came to believe that he was. He participated in the lively discussion that followed and even stopped in several years later to see how things were going, but by then I had essentially abandoned blogging.
Some of the late comments on the thread are sadly incoherent and (to put it delicately) not at all on point, but I left them anyway, to demonstrate one of the reasons I stopped keeping the Salon blog. Just too depressing.
And for the record I also deleted about a dozen spammed offers to have sex with my readers. Also depressing.
Here’s the whole story: How A Nice Guy Becomes A Dickhead.