Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, time for the anonymous mailbag.

Send your anonymous mailbag questions to, anonymity guaranteed.

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Okay, here we go with the anonymous mailbag:

“My wife really doesn’t like for me to handle my phone while I’m driving, so if I have her in the car with me I’ll sometimes ask her to check my email for me or look up something online for me.  To enable her to do this, I either have to unlock my phone with my thumbprint or have her punch in a fairly long password.  Using the thumbprint is quick and easy, so that’s what I always do.

Last weekend we were out driving and I asked her to check on something for me, then unlocked the phone so that she could do so.  She said, “Y’know, you really should just let me use my own thumbprints to unlock your phone.”  Reflexively, putting zero thought at all into the implications, I immediately said, “Nope.”  There was a brief pause, then she followed up with, “Do you have any reason why not?”  And again I said, “Nope.”  There was then dead silence in the car for about ten minutes.

So here’s the thing: I’ve got absolutely nothing to hide.  We’ve been married more than a decade, I don’t have any questionable relationships or material on the phone that I would be worried about her seeing, aside (perhaps) from the “guy talk” texts I occasionally send my closest friends.  But my wife is something of a voyeur, and I do suspect that if I gave her the ability to unlock my phone without my assistance, she’d likely use it – and I just don’t like that as a matter of principle.  I think couples deserve a little bit of privacy even from each other.

What say you?  Was it worth potentially arousing unfounded suspicions in my wife to draw a clear line regarding my privacy?  Or, because I really don’t have anything to hide, should I have dodged the problem altogether by just granting her unilateral access to my phone?”

I think you should have explained your rationale here instead of allowing the silence to linger between the two of you. That is, just tell her you know her personality and you believe she’d be unable to resist snooping through your texts and emails if she had access to your phone and you think both couples deserve a certain measure of privacy.

Plus, your second answer here presumes she is questioning you based on a potential relationship with someone else. She may just want to hear you tell her why you think it’s not a good idea. So when you said, “Nope,” it sounds like you don’t have any reason for your decision and that may make the discussion feel more awkward to her than you intended.

I don’t have a passcode or a thumbprint set up on my phone — I know, I know I better never lose the phone — but that’s primarily because I don’t want to spend the time having to enter it every time I check my phone.

But I also understand that, for instance, my guy friends are sending texts just for me. So I don’t keep long text threads on my phone either, I delete most of them within a day or so of receiving them. (This also helps with storage on the iPhone too). This seems like a good move to me, because if a guy complains about his wife or girlfriend he doesn’t want his wife or girlfriend to know about that complaint to his friends. To me, a text or email is just intended for that audience and that audience alone. Otherwise tone, context, sarcasm, satire and intent could be totally lost.

What’s funny to one group on a text exchange could be totally lost to someone who hasn’t seen the previous 500 texts in a relationship.

Context is everything.

This also explains why every time a friend calls me on the phone and they’re on speaker while I’m driving I immediately tell them, “You’re on speaker.” My wife always says, “What do you expect your friends to say on the phone ten seconds into a conversation?” And the answer is, “I have no idea.”


So I’d rather them understand the moment I answer that everyone in my family is listening to the conversation. And I’d expect a person to tell me the same thing if I call them and we’re talking in their car with their entire family listening along.

So I’d probably just explain myself to her if I were you.

An easy way to think about it is that every person’s phone is essentially a grown up’s diary. Your phone has access to every internal thought you’ve had at all and expressed publicly to anyone anywhere. How many of you would want every email or every text message you’ve ever sent to be suddenly laid bare in the public arena.

There’s a true element of privacy inherent in a phone just like there would be with a diary. If you had someone’s phone number written on page 24 of your diary and needed that phone number you’d be fine with your significant other pulling the diary open to page 24 to read you that number, but you wouldn’t want them paging through everything else you’d ever written at their convenience.

And just think about how nearly impossible that diary is to resist if it’s sitting beside the bed ready to be looked over.

So I think you’re right here, I don’t think couples should have consistent access to each other’s phones, but I do think you should explain yourself.

“I am mid 30s and recently started dating someone in her upper 20s.  Things have been going really well and she checks off all the boxes with one exception.  The sex is pretty boring.  The quantity is not the issue, but there hasn’t been anything outside of the normal missionary or her on top.  She has also not reciprocated any oral foreplay. 

Last night, as we are watching TV over at a friend’s house a preview for the new 50 Shades comes on and she proceeds to talk about how much she loves those movies and has read the books multiple times.  Obviously this took me by surprise based on our bedroom experience.  How can someone obsessed with something arguably as hardcore as most free porn be such a dud in the bedroom?  Is it just a matter of talking about it or am I missing something here?”

She wants you to stop being such a pussy and take charge in the bedroom, but she doesn’t want to tell you to stop being such a pussy and take charge in the bedroom because then you kill her fantasy.

The entire premise of 50 Shades is a young, virginal girl gets dominated by a sexy, older man. (I’m summarizing here because I haven’t read the books).

She’s submissive and she wants you to be dominant.

So quit being a pussy and tie her ass up.

(As an aside, with all the #metoo business going on, how does anyone feel comfortable doing these kinds of things without written or recorded consent from a girlfriend? If you’re married, okay, but if I were single and some girl begged me to tie her up and spank her with a paddle or choke her during sex, I’d be afraid to do it because what if she got bruised and then went public and accused you of acting without her consent?

Does anyone believe a guy if his defense is she asked me to tie her up and beat her ass with a paddle? Or she wanted me to choke her or whatever crazy ass bondage sado-masochism that someone is into?

You’re assumed guilty right now if you’re a public guy in any way at all.)

I don’t think I’d do it.

“One of our friends is sleeping with a married woman. She is saying she wants to leave her husband for him but doesn’t really have the courage to do so. They have had an on again and off again relationship over the past few years, most of which has been during her marriage.

He was debating about possibly leaking the information to her husband but we all tell him this is a bad idea as it likely will destroy any chance he may have of being with her if that is his motive.

So who is in the right? We can’t seem to convince him it is a bad idea.”

Leaking it to her husband might get him killed.

That is literally the dumbest decision he could make.

What he should do, and what you guys should be encouraging him to do, is break it off with the married woman and have zero contact with her in the weeks, months and years ahead.

There are plenty of single women for single men to chase. Waiting on a woman to leave her husband and having a multi-year affair with her is an awful idea.

And, again, that husband might well kill him.

“So me and some buddies of mine from college were hanging out at a friend’s house recently having a good time. There’s this one guy in our group who always goes over the top when he’s drunk. There is also a girl he really likes at this party, so the other guys are kind of egging him on. So basically, he’s several beers in and going wild at the beer pong table as usual.

The next thing I know he has his nose planted right on this girls shoulder fucking SNIFFING her.

So obviously me and the other guys are like, “what the hell man? That’s fucking weird!” We continued to joke about it for a little while and then let it go. Then, later on that night we decided to go to the local bar. While we’re there I start talking to a girl I know from one of my classes. I notice that my friend (the sniffer) is standing there awkwardly listening to our conversation, but he’s drunk so I don’t think anything of it. Anyway, me and this girl are just talking when out of nowhere BAM!!! He fucking does it again, pressing his nose smackdab on to her shoulder and neck and sniffs her. She was also pretty drunk so she just kind of brushed him off. The next day me and my friends were discussing the events of the previous night and we all agreed it was abnormal and ridiculous behavior to go around sniffing girls. But we still wanted to get your opinion: is sniffing random girls absolutely ridiculous behavior, or just an odd side effect of his drunkenness?”

I mean, girls do smell pretty good compared to dudes.

And I can totally see a drunk dude, who likes the smell of pretty girls, being so drunk that his inhibitions are gone and he just leans overs and smells a girl because he finds it pleasing and, potentially, sexually arousing as well.

As drunken male behaviors go, it’s a bit strange, but certainly much less threatening than many drunken male behaviors.

All of us are attracted to each other based on pheromones, which are essentially our natural scents. There are all these studies that prove that we’re biologically attracted to people who give off a scent that our particular biological make up finds appealing.

I suspect your buddy may be more turned on by scent than the average guy and he loses the ability to hide that interest when he’s drunk and his inhibitions vanish.

You’re certainly welcome to make fun of him, but I don’t think it’s that uncommon of a behavior. After all, if this behavior was that uncommon, why would women wear perfumes or wash with scented soaps and shampoos? They understand that for many men smell can be a major aphrodisiac. The same is true for women, there’s a reason why most guys wear deodorant and bathe regularly, because it makes women more likely to sleep with us.

“I am 27, and have met a girl I love and have decided to propose. But I am having a major issue on the whole “ask dad for the hand in marriage” deal. 
I think the whole thing is bullshit. I definitely realize that there is a small percentage of me being a pussy – it is an uncomfortable situation. Her dad and I get along fine, but we are by no means pals. He is stoic, doesn’t talk hardly at all. He and my girlfriend (his daughter) have a good relationship, but are not overly close. She is much closer to her mom. 
Point is, most of my friends, coworkers, ect (I live in the Great Plains). think it is an absolute must that I ask the dad before I propose. I see zero point in it. She is her own person, I am my own man. We have our separate lives and I don’t see the need to involve him in the decision, aside from the fact that.. if he really says no… what is going to happen? Nothing. I will still ask, she will still say yes. I think it is so useless. 
AND her parents eloped – got married in Vegas after dating for a few months, neither of their parents knew about it. 
Am I required to ask for permission or not? I have decided to let you decide for me.” 
Here’s my thought on this decision — if you ask for her dad’s permission it’s a pointless formality, but it really requires no effort on your part and the practical impact is nonexistent. (That is, he knows and you know that he can’t actually reject your request because his daughter will do whatever she wants).
But it’s a nice gesture of respect and costs you virtually nothing at all.
Maybe if you don’t ask for his permission he won’t care. But what if he does care and you don’t ask? Why create an antagonistic relationship or a point of contention with a man whose daughter you are marrying when there’s zero benefit to you or your future wife?
I’m all about analyzing risk vs. reward in situations like these and here I only see reward for you.
So I’d ask.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.