I'm a 24-year-old straight male. For the past six months, I've been dating an amazing GGG girl. We have amazing sex. The other night, after a week of no sex, I came on to her in bed. She turned me down and said that she was okay with me masturbating on the other side of the bed so she could sleep. After a very unsatisfying orgasm, I told her I understood her need to sleep, since we had an early engagement the next morning, but that this was difficult for me. She said we'd have great sex the next day, which we did. Which one of us needs to be GGG in this scenario, should it happen again?
Fucking Early Engagement Botches Lovely Evening
A week is a long time to go without at your age and at six months and prekids, I realize, but it sounds like the girlfriend more than made it up to you the next day. As for who needs to be GGG in this scenario, should it happen again (and it will)...
GGG demands a little something of both of you. GGG requires you to stop whining about having to wait 24 whole hours for awesome sex, FEEBLE, and GGG requires her—if she isn't completely exhausted (and it appears she wasn't, as she was still awake when your "very unsatisfying orgasm" was over)—to come through with a loving assist when you're desperate and she's not feeling it, i.e., lie with you, talk dirty to you, stick a finger up your butt—whatever—for the 5 or 10 minutes it takes you to drain your sack.
Okay, so the letter writer is patently ridiculous--oh no, we didn't have sex one whole night, how can I go on--and Savage does get that. He probably picked the letter specifically because it was so ridiculous. But then we get into the creepy area of "GGG." This is Savage's pet acronym for "good, giving, game," and was originally created to symbolize the idea that people should be willing to try things their partners are into, even if it's not their cup of tea, because giving is part of a relationship. Which, okay. Could use a little more "unless it's a limit for you," but I generally agree--"we'll do your fetish tonight" is on some level the same kind of good and necessary relationship giving as "I'll get the dishes tonight." Except this dishwashing involves doing things to intimate parts of your body that could be disgusting or painful for you, so, you know, not exactly the same.
But GGG seems to have undergone a disquieting metamorphosis into the sensitive new-age sex-positive way to say "partners are obligated to satisfy all sexual demands." And it seems to have been co-opted by assholes--"c'mon, baby, be GGG!" is the new "you can't leave me with blue balls!" It's just a cheap guilt trip used to override a "no." Maybe most dangerously, it seems to have been turned around, from something you decide to be to your partner, to something you demand that your partner be. "I'm GGG, so I'm putting on the diaper for you" is a very different thing from "you need to be GGG and put on this diaper."
I propose an alternate theory of dealing with unilateral desires or fetishes: LAHTW. Lead A Horse To Water. In other words, you communicate your desire, and... that's it. Once they know what you want, they go where they go with that knowledge.
So my advice for the letter writer:
"Hey, girlfriend, want to have sex tonight? I do!"
"No, but it's fine with me if you masturbate."
I think a lot of people are opposed to such blunt constructions of consent because it conjures up the fear "but then I'll never get laid!" But, as I say so often, women are horny. If your girlfriend is having sex with you so much that a whole week off seems like an eternity, then she's probably horny for you. She probably wants to make you happy sexually (most of the time and within her limits). And if she doesn't, if she really doesn't care about your pleasure or if she just can't get into the things you're into, then a cute acronym and a guilt trip aren't going to change that.
This is the same reason I can't get jealous in relationships. If someone I love wants to love me, awesome, and if they don't, well, fuck. It ends there. Once I've communicated that I want to be close (and acted all sweet and wuvable to them), there's nothing more I should--or ultimately, can--do to ensure that. Trying to make "no fair falling out of love with me!" rules is either unnecessary or hopeless.
I've been on both sides of the "nope, but your exciting consolation prize is a handjob!" negotiation. It's not an invalid compromise. But it's not an obligatory one. Sometimes no means not even a little bit. Or sometimes no means "eh, rather not" rather than being a giant "ABSOLUTELY NOT IT WOULD KILL ME" line in the sand, and if your partner feels comfortable doing this and if you respect it, that's a really good sign for the relationship.
Ultimately, I don't believe the old saw about "Relationships are about compromise!" Relationships are about doing what you want to do, and discovering to your delight that what you want to do is make your partner happy. If that want isn't there, no set of imposed rules--not GGG, not The Rules, not even the Standard Western Heterosexual Relationship Unwritten Rules--is going to make up for it.