By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
A. I didn't write that response to HARD. Not one skinny word of it. You see, D&D, two weeks before HARD's letter appeared in the column, I answered a letter from a gay guy with a fat boyfriend. Seeking A Solution, who described himself as outgoing and athletic, wasn't attracted to his boyfriend of three years. After describing himself as "stuck," "struggling," and on medication for anxiety, SAS told me I wasn't allowed to tell him to break up with or cheat on his fat boyfriend. So I advised SAS to drink heavily and warned him that sooner or later he would sabotage this relationship in order to be with someone he was actually attracted to. Readersmostly female readerswere outraged: Before breaking up, before cheating, before drinking heavily, couldn't SAS try being honest? Why didn't I tell SAS to tell his boyfriend that the weight was a turnoff and that SAS was seriously thinking about ending the relationship if the boyfriend didn't lose those extra pounds? By not recommending a little honesty firstby pushing a breakup instead of a little heart-to-heartI had revealed myself to be a cynical and heartless faggot. HARD's letter arrived when I was sorting through all these outraged e-mails about SAS, and I thought: "Gee, I wonder what would happen if I cobbled together a response for this hetero HARD from all this advice these women sent in for this sissy SAS?" The advice you read in this space for HARDall about being honest and open (including those now-infamous conversation starters like, "You have gotten fat and unattractive and my sex drive is nil, so can we do something about it before I bail on you?")was written by my female readers. All I did was change the pronouns from male to female. And guess what? It turns out that honestyat least when we're talking about a woman's fat assisn't the best policy after all. Honesty about a partner's premature and avoidable physical deterioration is only fit for faggots, it seems. So what should HARD tell his wife? My outraged readers weigh in:
Your advice to HARD was way off. I'm a firm believer in truthful, open communication, but not in this area. I have a close friend who dumped her boyfriend because he told her she had gotten too fat. We all hate him now for saying that. HARD needs to realize that being overweight lowers a woman's self-esteem. He should approach her gently, say absolutely nothing about not being attracted to her, and play the "I'm concerned only about your health and well-being" card. If he takes your advice and tells her she needs to shape up or he's shipping out, hopefully she will muster the self-respect to dump himjust like my friend dumped her asshole ex-boyfriend who was "just being honest." An Angry Fat Girl
Gotcha, AAFGHARD should play the "health and well-being" card and refrain from being honest. Righto.
I'm sure you've been slammed plenty for the advice you gave to HARD, so I'll keep it short: Don't ever tell someone to "bring up the health thing," as you did in your response. Each and every one of us fatties soon learns that this is code for "I think you're ugly and disgusting but I'm not allowed to say that so I'll just pretend I'm concerned for you." All kinds of peopledistant aunts, strangers on the subway, siblings' one-night-standswho don't bat an eyelash at your smoking like a fish or drinking like a chimney are suddenly so concerned about your well-being. Which is why most of us fatties react very badly to anyone bringing it up. Honesty is good, but "bringing up the health thing" is not really helping, since a fat person equates it with dishonesty. You're No Health Guru
Gotcha, YNHGdon't bring up the health thing. Righto.
A man should be honest with his wife, Dan, but telling a woman she is fat and unattractive and that if she doesn't lose weight he will leave is not sound advice. It will only cause her to spiral out of control. Instead, HARD should talk to his wife about exercising together and making a healthy food plan. But he should do so without telling her that if she doesn't lose weight he will never want to sleep with her again. What Were You Thinking
Gotcha, WWYTa man should be honest with his wife. Except about her premature and avoidable physical deterioration, the impact this is having on their sex life, how miserable he feels, and how he's seriously contemplating adultery or divorce. About those trifles, a man should keep his counsel. Just encourage her to exercise and make a healthy food plan. Righto.