Dear Annie: My wonderful boyfriend of two years recently told me he has rape fantasies — both of being the rapist and of being raped. He said that, for obvious reasons, it’s not something he talks about.
But things are getting really serious between us, and he doesn’t want to keep any secrets hidden from me.
I am fairly open-minded, but this seems strange, and I’m not comfortable discussing it with my friends or family.
I am part of several Internet communities, however, and asked my chat buddies what they thought.
Many of them said it was a perfectly normal “kink,” and that fantasy isn’t the same as reality. It doesn’t mean he would ever do it.
Is that true? My boyfriend is a wonderful guy, and I love him, but I’d be lying if I said this revelation didn’t set me on edge a bit.
When he first told me, I actually checked the national sex offender registry, but he wasn’t on it.
Annie, I just need some reassurance. Should I be worried about this, or has my life been more sheltered than I thought?
— Can’t Help Being Concerned
Dear Can’t Help: Try not to overreact. Rape fantasies are fairly common, even among men, and they are actually about dominance and submission.
Your boyfriend doesn’t want to hurt you. He may simply get turned on by being totally in charge or completely overtaken.
He should not force you into anything, but if you are willing to role-play with him, it could add excitement to your love life. The choice is yours.
Dear Annie: I have a situation that has me up a tree. Whenever my wife and I have a family get-together, one of our grown sons will show up with extra kids.
I have begged him to call first, but he just shows up. When they do ask if their child can bring a friend, we usually say OK.
We have a large family, and it’s a lot of cooking. The last time we had the family over, our oldest son came with one of his kid’s friends, and when I said he should have asked, he got angry and took his family and walked out.
Now he says I need to apologize. I think I have the right to have only family over if that is what my wife and I want. It’s still our home.
I have tried to talk to him, but he won’t return my calls. If you say I need to apologize, I will.
— Lost for Words
Dear Lost: You don’t need to apologize. This is your home, and your son should ask before bringing extra people over.
Now decide how important it is to you, because your son sounds too stubborn and selfish to admit he’s wrong. Sometimes, it helps maintain a good relationship to say you are sorry even when you are not at fault.
We recommend doing that and explaining to your son you would appreciate it if he would let you know in advance when he is planning to bring a guest. And ask your wife to back you up.
Dear Annie: I did not agree with your answer to “Choking in S.W. Washington,” whose neighbors smoke on their porch and it blows into their home.
Why does she have the right to tell someone where they can smoke on their own property?
I cannot believe anyone would have the nerve to approach a neighbor about this.
If the smoke is so bad, they should stop letting their children play with the neighbors’ kids.
— Upset in Florida
Dear Florida: People are entitled to smoke on their own property, when it starts infiltrating neighbors’ homes, it becomes secondhand smoke, which is linked to allergies, asthma and cancer.
It is not unreasonable to request that they blow in another direction.
But we also recommend fans.