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Savage Love

Dec 04 2013 Published by under Savage Love

I’M A HETROSEXUAL GUY in my early 20s. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about six months, and we’ve been having some fights recently. The problem: I have a high sex drive in comparison to hers. I want to be intimate on a weekly basis (at least!), and she’s told me that she’s more of a once-every-three-weeks-or-so person. I’m trying not to put pressure on her. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable—she’s a virgin (no penetration), and the thought of the pain of that first time scares her a bit. That said, physical intimacy with her—developing that bond, even without intercourse—is important to me and a key part of what I believe is a healthy relationship. I do my best to be understanding, but I’m not sure how to bridge this gap.
— Love Is Building Intimacy During Outset

While it’s great that you’re understanding of your girlfriend’s sensitivities, LIBIDO, and while it’s commendable that you view nonpenetrative sex as fulfilling, you’re running the risk of “understanding” her into a relationship that makes you both unhappy. Because someone who wants sex multiple times per week will eventually be made miserable by someone who wants sex far less than once a month (which is what the “or so” at the end of “once-every-three-weeks-or-so” means), and vice versa—being with you will make your girlfriend miserable in the long run, too.

I get e-mails daily from miserable people on both side of this divide, LIBIDO, from people with high libidos who married lows and from people with low libidos who married highs. The highs are miserable because years of sexual rejection have shredded their sexual self-esteem, or they feel like monsters after years of being “indulged” with going-through-the-motions sex by barely willing and clearly miserable partners. The lows are miserable because going through the motions makes them miserable or they’re sick of constantly being pestered for sex and made to feel inadequate or broken when they pass.

You’re young and straight, LIBIDO, and the culture tells the young and the straight that they must be monogamous (because sex is so important) and that they shouldn’t take sexual compatibility into consideration when picking a partner (because sex is so unimportant). Other shit matters, too, of course—stuff like emotional compatibility, similar life goals, being on the same page about kids, etc. But basic sexual compatibility matters, too, and its absence will eventually undermine everything else.

By which I mean to say, LIBIDO: You’ve been dating this girl long enough to know that you’re not a match—you’re not sexually compatible—and that’s reason enough to end this relationship.

LAST MONTH AT A PARTY, my boyfriend accidentally burned my chin, neck, and cleavage during a clumsily executed volcano shot. I was literally on fire for a few seconds. Some doctor appointments, burn creams, bandages, and awkward scabbing later, I’m healing nicely. My problem is, our sex life has become much more complicated. Before the accident, we were having sex only every week or so. But now he stares sadly at my neck wound (which still has a red line going down it) every time he looks at me. It’s very hard to feel sexy when you’re constantly looked at with pity, regret, and concern, and the stress of being sexually frustrated is fueling other stresses. I just want a way out of this sad circle we’ve found ourselves in.
— Burned

Your boyfriend can’t stare at a neck wound he can’t see. So until you’ve fully recovered, B, turn off the lights or blindfold him or lace him into a leather hood—or all three—and have sex the way the good lord intended us to, i.e., in the dark with our pitiful/regretful/hooded boyfriends. And no more flaming/stunt drinks, ferf***sake!

MY BOYFRIEND AND I are in our mid/early 20s. We have been dating for a little over 10 months. We have a strong emotional bond and are always communicative and honest with anything and everything. We have an amazing and adventurous sex life, and we have been fantasizing about cuckolding for about two months. We are both extremely turned on by the idea, but I have reservations about doing this in such a young relationship. Unlike married couples who have years to lay an emotional foundation, my boyfriend and I have less to fall back on. I am excited by the idea of this, but I am scared I will end up feeling used. I am also afraid he will not be able to handle the reality of the humiliation. It turns him on to talk about it, but he has never done this. What happens if we are emotionally wrecked afterward? I’m afraid we’re playing with fire. I love him and do not want to lose him, but this is something that excites both of us. What should we do?
— Young And Restless Duo

Cuckolding realities are a lot more challenging than cuckolding fantasies—emotionally and logistically. So you’re right to be nervous, YARD. But relationship longevity doesn’t guarantee cuckolding success. Good communication, mutual desire (so f***ing important with this fantasy!), and a commitment to take things slowly-bordering-on-glacially are far better predictors of success. And if you take it slow—if you limit your cuckolding play to dirty talk for 10 months at least—you’ll have more of that experience/trust/security stuff to fall back on if and when you find the right bull/stud/lover.

I’M A 24-YEAR-OLD LESBIAN, and I have been with my girlfriend for almost three years. We have both been GGG about things to do with each other in the bedroom, and I’m generally happy with our sex life. Since I am e-mailing you, though, there is a “but.” She is bi and has always wanted to have a threesome with a guy and another girl. I am all for that in theory, but I have a hard time emotionally. I have anxiety. I’m in therapy and on medication, and even still it’s really difficult for me to wrap my head around sex with new people. I would spend the entire time silently freaking out. I am not sure how I feel about her getting f***ed by someone else, even if she’s f***ing me at the same time. I really want to do this for her, but I don’t want it to go poorly because of my issues. Do you have any advice for navigating something like this that your partner really wants but you don’t? For how to get game not just in letter but in spirit?
— Having Anxiety Raises Difficulties

I’m going to give you the same answer I gave YARD: Talk about it, fantasize about it, be open to it, but take it glacially. Guys who are interested in sexing two women aren’t that difficult to find, HARD, so trust that the right guy—one who makes you comfortable, one who is unthreatening—will come into your lives at some point. If you’re worried about how you might react to watching your girlfriend have sex with that special someone else, she shouldn’t have intercourse with that special someone else the first time you get together. Make out, roll around, engage in a little mutual masturbation. If that feels good—if it doesn’t make you anxious or freak you out—make a plan to get together again.

Check out Dan’s weekly podcast, the Savage Lovecast at www.savagelovecast.com

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Savage Love

May 05 2010 Published by under Savage Love

I am a 28-year-old, post-op transsexual woman. I met a great 31-year-old guy. We have been dating for a year, and he recently told me that he didn’t think he was sure he was in love with me. He said that he didn’t know if he could give me any sort of commitment, that he is afraid of what his peers would think if they knew my medical past. I can’t say that I’m sure I’m in love with him either, but I do know that we thoroughly enjoy each other’s company and miss each other immensely when we are not together. However, he asked to take a step back and reevaluate the relationship.

I transitioned in my late teenage years. I blend in very well, and few people know that I am trans. I am like any other woman in that I want a husband and children, and he says he wants a wife and kids. I asked him a few days ago if he could give me an answer as to whether I should move on or if he wanted me to wait. He couldn’t give me an answer. I have my own life. I am a full-time student training to become a nurse. I made time for him because he became important to me, but am I beating a dead horse here?

Transitions And Crossroads

You enjoy spending time together, you miss each other when you’re apart, you want similar things (commitment, kids)—that sure sounds like love to me. And if it’s not quite love, TAC, it’s close enough to round up to love.

A (longish) aside: The way many people in long-term relationships talk about their relationships—the way I sometimes talk about mine—can do a real disservice to the single and/or dating. The further the early stages of an LTR recede into the past, the likelier the coupled are to blithely toss off bullshit like “Oh, I knew the minute I met him/her that he/she was the one. I was sure.” In reality, of course, we didn’t know, we weren’t sure, we had doubts, insecurities, issues, etc.

Truth is, no one in a successful LTR knew for sure that it was true and lasting love until it lasted. And after the passage of time proves that we bet on the right person, we stuff those early doubts, insecurities, and issues down the ol’ memory hole and start telling people how “sure” we were right from the start. (For the record: There are lots of smug married people out there yammering on about how “sure” they were right from the start who have divorce proceedings in their futures.)

Anyway: There are too many smugly coupled-up people out there paying our partners—and ourselves—the false compliment of a backdated certainty. And that would be fine if single people within earshot weren’t forced to listen to our smug bullshit, some of whom go home thinking, “Well, this person I’m seeing—this person I enjoy spending time with, this person I miss terribly when we’re apart—she must not be ‘the one’ because… I’m not sure.”

Back to you, TAC: I’m glad you have a life and goals, TAC, because that will make it easier to do what you must. Go and tell this guy that there are no sure things, but that you’re as confident as a person can be that you two are a match. (But he’s not your only potential match—just as no one is really “sure,” no one is “the one,” only one of many potential possible ones.) Then tell him you’re not going to wait forever while he “reevaluates” and stresses out about things that neither of you can control. And finish by telling him to give you a call when he’s ready to make at least a mini-commitment: going steady, on a track toward engagement and ultimately marriage and (adopted) children.

Then—and this is the most important part—go back to living your life, TAC, go back to school and career goals. Move on without waiting for him to tell you to move on. Don’t call him, don’t e-mail him, don’t text him. Don’t pass up other dating opportunities in the hopes that he’ll get his shit together. If you’re still single if and when he calls, great. See him again. If not, well, it’s his loss.

••••

I’m a twentysomething freelancer, and I have a barter relationship with a facility that lets me work there for free. I’ve become friends with the guys who run the facility. Recently, one of my girlfriend’s best friends had sex with one of these guys a few times. I recently found out that one time, postcoitus, he secretly filmed my girlfriend’s friend naked using his iPhone. He’s shown the video to a few mutual friends but didn’t tell me or show me.

I think this is some super-vile shit, and I’m horrified that someone I considered a friend would be such an asshole. I’d like to tell him how I feel about this, but at the same time, I can’t afford for my relationship with him to sour. I’ve heard that he deleted the video, so maybe what my girlfriend’s friend doesn’t know can’t hurt her. One potentially pertinent piece of information is that my girlfriend’s first sex partner secretly filmed her and showed it to everyone in her high school, and it scarred her. I think she would be SUPER upset to find out about what this guy did to her friend. I want to do the right thing here, but it’s not obvious what that is. Help!

Video Is Defining Ethical Obligations

What your friend did to your girlfriend’s friend is vile, VIDEO, potentially illegal, and—most importantly—not a very nice way to treat someone who was kind enough to fuck his brains out.

You do have to do something, VIDEO, but your options aren’t limited to either beating him nearly to death with a baseball bat or beating him all the way to death with a baseball bat. It’s possible to confront someone in a friendly-ish way, employing a tone that at once communicates your affections for him even as you chide him for doing something that undermined those affections.

“Dude, I heard about that little video,” you say to him, perhaps over a drink. “And I was glad to hear you deleted it—you did delete it, right?—because that’s a shitty thing to do and you’re not a shitty guy. It’s also an illegal thing to do, and people have gotten busted for doing that kind of shit. Be careful, man, you could really fuck up your life.”

If you can tamp down your righteous fury long enough to put it to him that way, VIDEO, and you will have reinforced what should be communitywide/specieswide social norms—no dirty pictures or videos without the consent of all involved—without nuking your professional relationship with the guy. Good luck.

••••

My roommate and I were wondering why the “tech savvy” youth who work on your podcast are “at risk.” He says your podcast is a community-service program for at-risk kids; I say that they’re at risk working for a sex columnist. Which is it? We would call, but we live in Canada.


Canadian Fans

There are no phones in Canada?

One or two TSARY are on work-release programs or doing community service, CF, but it’s the 90 minutes they spend with me every week that represents their primary risk. It’s not that I would put the moves on any of them—I’m a stickler about personal hygiene—it’s just that they come in for rather more advice, most of it unsolicited, than the average Savage Lovecast listener.

Find the Savage Lovecast (Dan’s weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.

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Sorry! So sorry!

Apr 22 2010 Published by under Savage Love


Photo by Dave Keeshan

I’m a 27-year-old gay man. I had a really great first couple of dates with a guy, so for the third date I invited him to stay over. I cooked a nice dinner, we watched a movie, and we had a lovely time in bed together. In the morning, we had another romp. At one point, he was rimming me, and unexpectedly, unintentionally, I farted in his mouth a little. His reaction was along the lines of “EW! EWWWW! EW!” Mine was along the lines of trying to apologize through uncontrollable laughter. I said, “C’mere” and pulled him in to kiss me, and we finished with what I thought was minimal awkwardness.

Later in the day, to be cute, and even perhaps start a long-term shared joke, I sent an e-card that read, “I’m sorry for farting in your mouth.” I then left town for the weekend, and when I got back I tried to get in touch with him. He sent the following text message: “i’m not sure about this. yr a sweet guy but i’m dating some other people… i just can’t have farts in my mouth. i think i would have handled it a bit more respectfully.”

Is a sense of humor about the inevitable off-color moments too much to expect? I mean, this was one strike you’re out, not even a chance to talk it over. He dumped me over TEXT, for fuck’s sake! Good riddance, I suppose. But did I really handle this wrong?

Flatulent Anilingus Result: Termination

You handled this beautifully, FART—that’s why you got dumped via text message.

They don’t cover this in sex ed, I realize, but the average idiot knows there’s just one thing a person wants from someone who’s just “unexpectedly” farted in his mouth, even just a little, and it’s not an e-card. It’s a lengthy, abject, mortified, immediate, and heartfelt apology. And after a rimmee farts—a blessedly rare occurrence—it’s the rimmer’s response that sets the tone for what comes next. Your guest was horrified and disgusted. When you saw his reaction, FART, you needed to take your emotional cues from him, make your apologies and reassure him that it wasn’t intentional, and express genuine remorse.

Instead, you laughed in his face, pulled him in for a kiss, and sent him a flip e-card. Basically, you did everything you could to give this guy the impression that you’re either an inconsiderate asshole incapable of reading another person’s emotional cues, FART, or that you may actually be into farts—or worse—and that you intentionally farted in his mouth. I would’ve dumped you, too.

Yes, a sense of humor about those off-color moments is not too much to expect. But no relationship progresses to the laughing-off-the-fart-in-your-mouth stage, FART, until after—long after—you’ve demonstrated to the person you’re dating that you’re a fundamentally decent, considerate person, worthy of their time and affections.

••••

Every so often, I have to fight the urge to contact an ex-boyfriend from college. It didn’t end well (I cheated). It’s been over a decade (more like 15 years) since we last spoke. I’m happily married, have two children, and live in a completely different part of the country now. Yet, I feel sad that we don’t still know each other. The reasons for the indiscretion are complicated and include, among other things, stupidity and youth. (Also the fact that the indiscretion involved a different ex-boyfriend who begged and pleaded for one final hurrah—and then I told the then-current [now-ex] boyfriend that it was forced, which it wasn’t, which the then-current [now-ex] boyfriend rightly didn’t believe.)

I know my reasons are selfish: I want to explain myself, I want to move on, I want to be forgiven. But if he wanted to be in contact with me, he would be. And yet, like a crazed idiot, I still hold out hope that someday he’ll contact me or that we’ll bump into each other. Should I contact him?

Can’t Let Go

You should suck it up, CLG.

It’s killing you that someone out there might hate your guts (with cause), might think you’re scum (because you behaved like scum), and, we can safely presume at this stage, is content to have you out of his life (otherwise he would’ve looked you up on Facebook by now). This bothers you because you’re not scum, of course; no person is defined by the two worst mistakes she ever made. (I’m referring to (1) cheating and (2) making a false accusation of rape. What would’ve happened if your then-current [now-ex] boyfriend had gone to the police? Or taken the law into his own hands? Thank God your then-current [now-ex] boyfriend didn’t believe you.)

I don’t think you should contact him, CLG, not until you’re a little more interested in what you could give him (a long-overdue apology) and a little less interested in what he could give you (absolution).

••••

My wife and I divorced three years ago. Six months ago, I began seeing a good friend of my daughter’s. I knew this was dangerous territory, but I really liked this girl. A month ago, we decided to take our relationship public. My daughter reacted poorly. She did not demand that we break up, but she did let me know that our relationship made her uncomfortable. And she was rightfully upset about some personal information my girlfriend had told me about her.

During the past four weeks, my daughter has gradually edged my girlfriend, formerly a close friend of hers, out of her personal life. She has also begun to spend less time with me. She tells me she does not want me to have to choose between her and my girlfriend; although, if she stops spending time with me, that’s exactly what she’s doing. I know she’s upset. But I’m a grown man, and I just want to be happy. And in spite of the age difference, my girlfriend makes me very happy.

What can I do to make my daughter more comfortable with my new relationship?

Father Doesn’t Always Know Best

P.S. The information my girlfriend shared about my daughter was the name of a young man she was seeing and that my daughter had recently purchased an expensive dress. My girlfriend hardly told me that my daughter was doing something truly dangerous or wrong.
It’s nice to know that your girlfriend manages to make you happy “in spite of the age difference.” Too many late-middle-aged men succumb to despair in the arms of their much-younger girlfriends. Anyway…

What can you do to make your daughter comfortable with you fucking her friend while her friend blabs to you? Nothing. Your daughter may eventually become comfortable with your relationship, FDAKB, but there’s nothing you can do to artificially force up her comfort level. And while emotional blackmail—“My girlfriend makes me happy, but I will sacrifice my happiness for you, darling, if that’s what you want…”—may result in your daughter spending more time with you and your girlfriend now, her resentment at being blackmailed will do irreparable damage to your relationship with her over the long run.

So just shut the fuck up, Dad, stop whining, and continue to enjoy the girlfriend in spite of the age difference. Then go apologize to your daughter for (1) keeping the relationship from her for so long (your daughter may be losing sleep over things she told her friend before she found out you were fucking) and (2) the invasion of her privacy that already took place. Then give your daughter the space she needs and the privacy she has a right to.

Find the Savage Lovecast (Dan’s weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.

Sorry! So sorry!

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Savage Love

Apr 08 2010 Published by under Savage Love

I’m a young, straight feminist male, and I’ve been dating my feminist girlfriend monogamously for almost two years. Recently, I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I am turned on by rape fantasies. Of course, I find the idea of actual rape repugnant, and this is probably, of course, an important reason why fantasizing about it turns me on. I sent out some feelers with my girlfriend by initiating a conversation about kinks and asking about what types of kinks she would hypothetically be comfortable accommodating. I asked her to imagine that I fantasized about feeling up women on the subway and wanted her to simulate and help realize that fantasy scenario with me. Her response was that I needed to be “cured” of my desires, and that she would help me figure out and work through the psychological gender-power issues behind it, and to that end she would try to show me how enjoyable consensual sex could be. My first thought was, “Well that’s not GGG…” but then I reconsidered: Would indulging that fantasy only reinforce patriarchal patterns of thought that I’ve worked to expunge from my brain? How much of a point does she have?

Feminist Rape Fantasist

DTMFA.

I’m not telling you to dump your girlfriend because she won’t let you feel her up on the subway, FRF. She isn’t obligated to help you realize your consensual-rape-lite fantasies. If that shit squicks her out, that shit squicks her out. But you can’t have a mutually fulfilling sexual or romantic relationship with a woman—feminist or not, squicked out by simulated nonconsensuality or not—whose first impulse when presented with a run-of-the-mill, completely consensual role-play scenario is to pathologize her partner, declare him sick, and accuse him of not being aroused by consensual sex when consensual sex was precisely what he proposed.

There’s nothing wrong with you, FRF, nothing that needs curing. The only thing you need to expunge is a girlfriend who regards you as a sicko and a rapist. DTMFA.

••••

This is going to sound incredibly naive, but here we go: How does one get better at sex? I’m a 24-year-old female, I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years, and the sex is just… meh. He had a couple sex partners before me, but he is my first and only. We’ve been sexual for almost all of our years together, so it’s not like we’re wanting for practice.

We often ask each other, “What else can I do for you?” I’ve shared a couple ideas, which we’ve explored to my minimal comfort, but he always says “Nothing” when asked if there’s anything he wants to do or try. We have discovered that neither of us particularly cares if we, ourselves, reach orgasm, but we both care very deeply that the other is satisfied. In this light: While I don’t care much if the sex is mediocre for me, I do want it to be better for him. Do you have any suggestions? Are we doomed?

Still A Noob Apparently

This is going to sound incredibly unhelpful, SANA, but I don’t have any suggestions. There are just too many potential unknown unknowns here for me to offer any concrete advice. It’s possible that your boyfriend isn’t attracted to you (or that you’re not attracted to him), it’s possible that your boyfriend isn’t attracted to anyone (or that you’re not attracted to anyone), it’s possible that he has dark and terrible sexual desires that he’s too terrified to share with you (or that you have dark and terrible etc. that you may not even be aware of).

The only thing I know for sure, SANA, is this: One of you is going to have to nut/ovum up and get selfish. You’re both so giving, so unconcerned with your own pleasure, so invested in pleasing your partner. And all of that sounds so wonderful in theory—who doesn’t want a completely selfless sex partner?—but in practice, selfless sex partners make lousy lays. Giving is great, but in every truly great sexual encounter, someone is taking: taking charge, taking over, taking control, giving pleasure to their partner by taking pleasure from their partner.

And if it’s not going to be him, SANA, it’ll have to be you. So what do you want? Besides seeing him “satisfied.” Take a look at where your concern for his satisfaction has gotten you, SANA, and repeat after me: “Fuck him and fuck his satisfaction.” Then ask yourself these questions: What do I want? What turns me on? What do I want to experience and explore? You’re not doomed if you can come up with the answers to those questions, SANA, but if you can’t, well, then I’m afraid you are doomed. Doomed to lousy sex in this relationship, for as long as it lasts, and doomed to lousy sex in your next relationship if you wind up with another guy who’s as “giving” as you are.

••••

I’m a single, 22-year-old, adorable lesbian living in Chicago. I use a dating website, but I’d like to increase my chances of meeting someone at the concerts and improv shows I enjoy. These events aren’t gay-specific, and I don’t look stereotypically queer, so this scenario seems unlikely. I want to get a fitted, understated (light text, no rainbows) T-shirt that says something like “Single. Lesbian. Interested?” and wear it out. Will this increase the chances that the girl of my dreams will tap me on the shoulder? Will it make me an easier target for hateful assholes? Both? Neither?

Looking For Lesbifriends

Both, of course, and you may not like the kind of lesbians that a come-and-lick-me T-shirt attracts. But when you’re single and feeling frustrated, and your pool of potential partners is drawn from roughly 2.5 percent of the population, it helps to move on all fronts, e.g., websites, bars, T-shirts. Your T-shirt might attract the attention of some jerks, lesbian or otherwise, but that’s why God gave us Mace.

••••

Regarding last week’s reply to NORTH: Sure, it’s fucked-up that this woman is doing escort work without telling her boyfriend. But you let him off the hook entirely, even though he snooped through her e-mail! What you have here are two people who are both untrustworthy—they sound like a good fit to me! Because if snooping is okay, who knows what else he’s doing behind her back?

JB

I knew that not including a little standard-issue snooping-is-always-wrong boilerplate in my response to NORTH—a woman who neglected to inform her boyfriend that she was sitting on other men’s cocks for money—would get me in trouble with some readers. But I didn’t include it because I don’t believe it.

A confession: I’ve looked through my boyfriend’s e-mail; I assume he’s looked through mine. I’ve scrolled through his text messages; I assume he’s scrolled through mine. Expecting your partner not to snoop is like expecting your partner not to fart or fantasize about other people. It’s a nice thought, JB, but knowing what we know about human nature—and knowing that we ourselves snoop, fart, and fantasize about other people—it’s a little unrealistic.
And I’m sorry, but when someone goes snooping and discovers that their partner is doing sex work—or is secretly gay or is sleeping with or visiting lesbian-bondage-themed nightclubs with Michael Steele—then the snooping is retroactively justified.

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

mail@savagelove.net

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Peeping Tom

Mar 11 2010 Published by under Savage Love

I am a girl who sabotaged my relationship. I was angry; I had complaints. But my real issue was a store of repressed childhood trauma, and I was working it out on the closest person to me, my BF. We had something magical, and I destroyed it. I am now willing to give 110 percent to fix it.

We no longer have sex. We are hardly on speaking terms. I know now that my relationship skills are stunted—more childhood baggage—but I want to save my relationship. Do you have any tips on initiating sex with someone who I have traumatized or on improving communication with someone who is so resentful? I am willing to give it time and effort, accept my faults, and breathe deeply rather than react in anger when we talk through things.

Saboteur Addressing Dysfunctions

I’ll get to your problem in a second, SAD. But first, a Savage Love programming note: I don’t usually mention where I’m writing a particular column, because it doesn’t really matter whether my computer is sitting on Ann Landers’s desk or resting on Apolo Ohno’s ass. (I will let you know when I am writing in a bar, though, because alcohol can impair an advice columnist’s judgment, and advice seekers have a right to know when they’re getting substandard counsel.)

I’m writing this column on an airplane, and I was totally in the zone when I noticed that the guy sitting next to me on this airplane was reading my laptop screen. So I wrote this: “HEY! YOU! YEAH, YOU! THE GUY SITTING NEXT TO ME ON DELTA 2360! STOP READING THIS SHIT UNLESS YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD!”

Sheesh. Some people.

Okay, SAD, on to your problem: Unless your boyfriend is a weight bench or an exercise ball, you weren’t “working it out” on him. You were taking it out on him. Now, maybe you’ve been led to believe—by your counselor, by Oprah, by some other idiot with an advice column—that you can just throw up your hands and say, “Childhood issues! Childhood baggage!” and everything will be magic again. Sorry, SAD, but sometimes the damage is too great. Your boyfriend won’t speak to you? Won’t fuck you?

Game over.

Accept that you—not your issues, not your baggage, but you yourself—screwed yourself out of a decent guy. End it officially, get your ass into counseling, and make a good-faith effort to resolve your issues and unpack your bags before you inflict yourself on some other dope. You don’t have to be 100 percent healthy before you date—no one is 100 percent healthy—but you do have to be in relatively good working order, listing toward sanity, before you date again.

And what does the guy sitting next to me on this airplane think?

“I’ve dated girls like her,” says TGSNTMOTA. “Daddy issues. She should get over her shit before she dates someone else, you know, but she probably won’t. Girls like her never do. But maybe this one will, because you’re pulling her up short. And she should move to an island—Hawaii, the Big Island—because being on an island can really help you work through your shit.”

Thanks, TGSNTMOTA!

••••

I am a leather Daddy living in a big city. A young man—early 20s, living in a small town—contacted me online and asked to be my boy. I declined, due to distance, but agreed to be his confidant and adviser.

The boy has one huge problem: He is in a long-term relationship with a vanilla boyfriend who has no interest in BDSM and vehemently opposes allowing him to explore with others. Presently, the boy goes to dungeon parties and plays with men behind his boyfriend’s back. I feel very strongly that the boy should either come to an understanding with his boyfriend that allows him to explore or, if that isn’t possible, break up with him so they can both find what they need.

I wouldn’t ordinarily presume to know what’s best for other people, but this boy is starving sexually, emotionally, and spiritually. But my conscience will not allow me to advise him on navigating the leather scene when I know he’ll use this knowledge to cheat on his boyfriend. I don’t think I can advise him further until he resolves the issue. Do you agree with the advice I’ve given this boy?

Wanna Be A Good Influence

I agree with the advice you’ve given this boy—get the boyfriend’s okay or get out—but this boy is already navigating the leather scene, WBAGI, and will continue to cheat on his boyfriend with or without your guidance.
So continue to serve as this boy’s confidant and adviser, WBAGI, all the while pressing him to do the right thing and leave his boyfriend. And we both know that he needs to leave his boyfriend, WBAGI, not just get the boyfriend’s permission to explore. If this boy’s interest in BDSM is so strong that he’s jumped into the deep end of the pool—i.e., dungeon parties—he’ll never be happy with a vanilla monogamist who grudgingly allows him to play with other guys.

And what does the guy sitting next to me on this airplane think?

“The guy with the boyfriend should do what the other guy, the leather guy, says,” says TGSNTMOTA. “Because the leather guy has a good head on his shoulders, and the guy with the boyfriend should listen to the leather guy and leave the other guy, the boyfriend guy, and see other guys.”

Um… thanks, TGSNTMOTA!

••••

I’m an 18-year-old hetero male college student. I’m in a relationship with an awesome girl. I’m dominant; she’s submissive. I like name-calling; she likes being called names. Our libidos match, etc. There’s only one thing I’m into that she isn’t: watersports.

The idea of urinating on a girl turns me on. My fetish is by no means unusual, and I’m perfectly comfortable saying, “I’m into piss!” She, however, finds the idea unappealing, to say the least. I know that I’m young and have a long time to act on my fantasies, but this one seems like it will always be difficult. Do you think that, down the road, I will be able to find a girl who is willing to get pissed on?

I Want To Pee On Someone

Watersports, for the kinkily inclined, is one of those things that can seem almost unspeakably perverse at 18 and not that big a deal at 28. Don’t do it first thing in the morning, and don’t do it after chowing through a plate of asparagus. Do it after you’ve had a few beers and the piss is just so much warm—and sterile—water.

So relax, IWTPOS, because the odds that you’ll be with this girl forever—remember, you’re 18, she’s 18—are slim, and the odds that you’ll meet a girl at some point who’s either into it or can be talked into it are high.
And what does the guy sitting next to me on this airplane—a very nice-if-nosey thirtysomething dude from Lubbock, Texas—think?

“I have a thing for girls peeing on me,” TGSNTMOTA whispered to me. “Because it’s like a sort of ‘female ejaculation’ thing. I met girls on the Big Island who were into it, clear and nice, and—”

Okay, TGSNTMOTA, thanks for sharing and—hey—it looks like we’re getting ready to land, so… thanks for playing Savage Love.

CONFIDENTIAL TO CANADA: Apparently, a hockey team of yours recently triumphed over some other nation’s hockey team, and one of the stars of your hockey team—the guy who scored Canada’s first goal in the final and all-important match—has the same last name as Vic Toews. So out of respect for Jonathan Toews—and Canadian author Miriam Toews—we will not be redefining “Toews.” Maybe we could redefine “Jason Kenney” instead?

Peeping Tom

One response so far

Savage Love

Feb 25 2010 Published by under Savage Love

I’m writing to you to settle a dispute between my husband and me. We have been married for six years. We’re not terribly adventurous, but we’re not totally vanilla, either. However, there is one issue that is driving me insane: My husband constantly pesters me to have anal sex. We have tried it in the past, and it is NOT my bag. I don’t enjoy it AT ALL. But my husband will not stop pestering me. He thinks if we just keep trying, eventually I’ll come around to liking it. I’m pretty GGG, Dan, but this is one thing where I draw the line. He thinks I’m being unreasonable; I think he is. Do I need to give in, or does he need to get off my back?

Needing Expert Advice

I think we should all be—as I’ve written about a hundred thousand times—good (in bed), giving (of pleasure, of indulgences), and game (for very nearly anything), aka GGG. And I frequently like to remind married people—particularly, married people who value monogamy—that they willingly assumed sole responsibility for their spouses’ sexual fulfillment.
That said, NEA, we are each entitled to our likes and dislikes.

But before I let you off the anal hook: I’m assuming that your all-caps emphasis—“NOT my bag,” “don’t enjoy it AT ALL”—means that you find anal penetration to be a physical trial and/or an emotional torment. “I could TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT” or “There’s nothing in that for ME” or “That leaves me COLD” are not good enough reasons to refuse to occasionally indulge your spouse in whatever it is that gets him/her off. While it would be wonderful if every couple’s sex life consisted entirely of acts that both partners found equally thrilling—so egalitarian! So fairzees!—a fulfilling sex life is too important, particularly for monogamous couples, to trust in coincidence alone.

Okay, NEA, getting back to your ass: You tried it, you didn’t like it, and you don’t have to keep doing it. And, yes, your husband should stop pestering you about it, NEA, but you do have to let him grieve—grieve for the ass he isn’t going to get from you and, if you’re monogamous, grieve for the ass he isn’t going to get anywhere else.

And speaking of anal…

Nancy Elliott, a state representative in New Hampshire, wants to ban same-sex marriage in that state—where it’s been legal for less than three months—and here’s her reasoning: “We’re talking about taking the penis of one man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wiggling it around in excrement. And you have to think… would I allow that to be done to ME?”

Where to begin? How about here…

If you’re wiggling your penis around in excrement when you’re having anal sex, Representative Elliott, you’re doing it wrong. You would think this would be obvious even to people who’ve never had anal sex, but apparently not. So let me break it down for you, Representative Elliott: You don’t have anal sex with an ass full of shit for the same reason you don’t have oral sex with a mouth full of food. It’s messy and no one wants a mess. (Except for the people who do want a mess, of course, but they’re a blessed rarity.) An empty, douched, and lubed anal cavity isn’t that much dirtier than an empty, flossed, and brushed oral cavity.

I will concede that excrement is for anal what Representative Elliott is for the New Hampshire State Legislature: a PR disaster. But excrement-free anal sex is easy. Make sure there’s some fiber in your diet, be regular, and only go for it when you’re empty—no anal during your butt menses!—and you’ll never get excrement on a single wigglin’ dick.

And now a question for you, Representative Elliott: Are you really sure you want to make it illegal for buttfuckers to get married?

“According to a 2005 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” a commenter whom I’m going to quote at length (hey, Baconcat!) wrote on a blog in reaction to Elliott’s remarks, “40 percent of men and 35 percent of women between 25 and 44 had engaged in heterosexual anal sex. Some studies put the incidence of anal sex in the heterosexual population as low as 24 percent and some as high as 56 percent. Averaging those numbers, let’s say 38.8 percent of heterosexuals engage in anal sex. Ninety-six percent of Americans are straight. There are 190,000,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 65 in the United States, so that means 70,771,200 adults are engaging in heterosexual anal sex. Four percent of the adult population is gay, or 7,600,000 people. Roughly half—3,800,000—are gay males. Polls indicate that between 55 and 80 percent of gay males participate in anal sex. Taking the average—67.5 percent—that means the number of gay men having anal sex comes to 2,565,000.”

Math is hard, Representative Elliott, but see if you can’t wiggle this into your cranial cavity: 70,771,200 is more—a whole lot more—than 2,565,000. Anal sex in America is primarily a heterosexual pursuit. So if you really want to protect the sacred sanctity of marriage from the unholy taint of penises wiggling in rectums, Representative Elliott, you need to ban straight marriage first. (We needn’t protect marriage from lesbians, of course, because lesbians don’t have anuses.)

••••

I am a 26-year-old female who likes anal sex. The problem is my boyfriend’s dick is too big. It’s about nine inches long, but the real issue is girth. I enjoyed anal sex with a previous partner, but my BF and I have done it only once. It was fairly unpleasant, even though we used copious amounts of lube. Are there ways to make anal sex possible for us?

Achingly Needs Anal Love

Stop trying to wiggle that monster into your rectum, ANAL, and focus instead on fingers and toys and orgasms for you, cheeky-fucking for the boyfriend. (Think titty-fucking, but using your ass cheeks instead of your tits.) Have lots of orgasms with toys of various sizes in your ass. Then every once in a while—when you’re feeling it, when your ass feels like it’s ready, when you’re not having your butt menses—ease the boyfriend in. He should stay absolutely still while you get yourself off with your hands or a vibrator. The next time you’re feeling it, put him in and let him move around just a little while you get yourself off.

The goal here—and it’s a long-term goal—is to make anal sex as pleasurable for you as it is, or will be one day, for the boyfriend. Take your time, ANAL, don’t rush things, and thanks for being one of the 70,771,200 straight people out there who prove every day that you can have anal sex and access to legal marriage, too.

••••

I am an 18-year-old female college freshman. My boyfriend is also 18. He recently confided in me that he wanted to wear my panties and a dress while I wore his boxers and fucked him in the ass with a dildo. I have been reading your column since I was 13. Had I never read your column, I might have assumed my boyfriend was gay or thought he was gross or thought I was gross for liking the idea. Instead, I helped pick out a dress I thought would look sweet on him, and we had a wonderful time. Thank you so much!

Loves Boys In Panties

No, thank you, LBIP, because every time a straight girl sticks something up a straight boy’s ass, a bigoted state representative dies a little inside.

Savage Love

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Savage Love

Jan 28 2010 Published by under Savage Love


Three?

I’m a single (mostly) gay guy who is curious about women. A hot bisexual mate is interested in a friends-with-benefits arrangement. I’m not looking for an LTR just now, so regular, no-strings sex sounds great. However, his girlfriend doesn’t know he’s bisexual, and I’d feel uncomfortable having sex with him behind her back. I’ve said no to guys in the past, bi and gay, because they wanted to go behind their partners’ backs. My mate would like his girlfriend to know about him because he’d really like to have threesomes with her (something I’m up for), but he’s worried about how she’ll react.

Personally, I’d be more concerned about how she might react if she found out about his sexuality some other way. That’s one reason why I always err on the side of honesty. However, I’m not exactly unbiased: I’d prefer threesomes to dicks-only sessions. What should I do?

HORNY HOMO

How about a little honesty mixed with a little dishonesty?

Your mate should offer his girlfriend the boy-girl-boy threesome that all of today’s modern young women fantasize about. (Blame Twilight—why can’t Bella have it all?) If your mate is worried that she’ll react negatively to the suggestion, he can open by telling her that what he’s about to propose was all your idea. She’ll want to know if his gay-but-bi-curious mate—that’s you—is going to want to get into his presumed-to-be-straight pants. Your mate should shrug and say, “Maybe…” and depending on the look on her face when the possibility of Edward-on-Jacob action is raised—disgusted or intrigued?—end with either “…but I don’t think I’m interested in going there” (leaving open the possibility of “getting carried away” and “going there” during the threesome) or “…and I might go there if that would turn you on” (making any boy-on-boy action at the threesome something he did for her).

If the threesome is a success and you two wind up playing with and in front of her, HH, your mate can come to the sudden and shocking realization that he’s bisexual. This will hopefully lead to future threesomes and, perhaps, at some point, her blessing for some boys-only time. If she objects, HH, your mate can blame her for “making” him bisexual—or making him realize it—because he fell on your sword that first time because it was what she wanted.

•••

I’m a woman whose “super-hetero” boyfriend is quite shy and needs to build trust before he can open up to someone. Since I have gained his trust, he has revealed that he fantasizes about m-m-f threesomes. I’ve asked him if he is turned on by the idea of another man’s penis, and he says no, he just wants to see me have sex with another man. Yet when he describes his dirtiest fantasies to me at the peak of arousal, he says he gets off on the idea of double penetration—one penis in my anus, another in my vagina—and wants to feel the other man’s penis bump up against his own, separated by my innards.

Do you think he is bisexual or bi-curious? We intend to enact this fantasy, and I wonder if it could shift the dynamic of our relationship.

THREESOME CURIOUS

It can be hard to predict whether a man will have an epiphany during an m-m-f threesome and come to the sudden and shocking realization that he’s bisexual. (Um… does your boyfriend refer to his male friends as “mate,” by any chance? Is he a fan of the Twilight series?) He’s obviously more aroused by male-male contact than he’s capable of admitting when he isn’t about to blow a load, TC. This fantasy of his isn’t about, or isn’t just about, wanting to gangbang a girl with a buddy. Your boyfriend wants to bump penises with another dude—but with your, um, lady “innards” providing the “no homo” absolution.

But I don’t think you need to extract a full confession of bi-curiousness or even heteroflexibility before you realize this fantasy. He may not be in denial about what his desires add up to, TC. He just may want to check his fantasies about male-male contact against the reality of male-male contact before he tells you what he suspects: He’s the tiniest bit bisexual.

•••

I have an uncle who calls me “faggot” whenever he and I are alone in the same room. He’s a conservative, straight Mormon. I’m a boy who’s had sexual encounters with guys and girls, and I’m trying to figure out my own sexuality while dealing with all of the other stuff that comes with going off to college, and frankly I don’t need his crap. Do I tell my parents? I’m kind of bi right now, so he’s half right, but what business is it of his?

UNCERTAIN NEPHEW CRAVING LEVELHEADED EXPLANATION

Your uncle is hitting on you, UNCLE, in his fashion—that is, the fashion of the tormented, self-hating, conservative/religious closet case. If you don’t wanna find yourself standing there with your uncle’s tongue stuffed in your mouth someday—you’d be surprised how quickly someone can stuff his tongue in your mouth—I would advise you not to spend another moment alone with your asshole uncle. And, yes, tell your parents what he’s been doing. Because, UNCLE, if he ever makes a pass at you and a scene ensues—you scream, you yell, you bite his tongue off and spit it out the window—your uncle is going to insist that you made the pass at him.

•••

I’m a 31-year-old gay man. My boyfriend and I have been together for five years. We have enjoyed a few threesomes with other men, so I assumed I could share a particular fantasy of mine: I’ve never had sex with a woman and I want to.

I am not questioning my sexuality, I’m not “bi,” I have zero desire to date women. But my boyfriend immediately accused me of having issues with my sexuality, and after a two-week fight I dropped it. Fast-forward to just before Christmas: I received a promotion, moved to a new floor, and have my own office now—and one of my new female coworkers has been coming on to me. First problem: She’s married, so that would be crossing a line. Second, we’re coworkers and she has even more to lose than I do.

Is there some other way—I already tried the direct approach—to bring this fantasy up to my boyfriend again, or should I just let it go?

FLIRTING WITH DANGER

I’m shocked that your boyfriend—a man who’s willing to share his boyfriend’s ass with other men—would react so violently to your curiosity about lady innards. But seeing as the direct approach prompted a two-week-long fight, FWD, I can’t imagine you would have much more success with the indirect approach. (I can’t imagine what the indirect approach would be.)

Since you’re not strictly monogamous and the boyfriend’s not strictly rational about this, FWD, a case could be made for satisfying your lady-innards curiosity on the sly and filing the affair under “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” But I can’t think of a worse set of lady innards to satisfy your curiosity with than this woman’s. You could wind up losing your job and your boyfriend if the affair got ugly and got out.

Wait, FWD, wait. In time, some other gay-outards-curious lady will come along, and perhaps by then your boyfriend will have come around.

Savage Love

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Love is blind

Jan 14 2010 Published by under Savage Love

I am a 34-year-old straight, single female. I have a fantasy I can’t find much about online, so I figured I’d ask you for advice.

My fantasy is to be blindfolded, bent over a table/couch/whatever, and fucked by whoever happens to walk by. I realize this would have to take place in a safe environment, but most sex clubs or parties tend to be for swingers, specifically couples. There’s a sex club nearby that looks like it might cater to my fantasy, but can I just walk in off the street and bend over? Do I need to go a few times first and talk to people? That kind of kills the fantasy of it, really. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Take A Number

You could probably walk into a sex club and bend over—lord knows some gay men do just that—but it would be a bad idea.

But you can realize your fantasy, TAN, and here’s how: Most swingers clubs permit couples and single women to attend parties (sorry, single guys). Go to a few parties, keep your pants on, introduce yourself around, find a couple or two whom you click with. Share your fantasy with your new friends and ask if they might be interested in helping you realize it.

And your fantasy is totally realizable—I’ve seen very similar ones realized once or twice—but the only way to realize your fantasy safely is with a couple of trusted friends hovering nearby. You need someone there who’s making sure that men who take advantage of you in your bent-over-and-blindfolded state have condoms on and don’t attempt to do anything other than what you’ve consented to.

Sometimes realizing a fantasy requires a little suspension of disbelief, TAN, so you’ll just have to pretend your guardian angels aren’t there watching out for you. And if part of what makes the fantasy so hot is being a helpless sex object in a room full of strangers, you can always go with your friends to a different sex club, one where you don’t know anyone but that your new friends checked out for you in advance.

•••

I’m a single, straight guy who just turned 30. Never had a serious relationship, had sex twice. Not for a lack of opportunity, but I wasn’t ready for it emotionally until I was about 25. I’m a good-looking guy with a good job. I’m funny, independent, and easygoing. But I feel like there is a wall preventing me from having a relationship. Part of it is that I like having my own space. I like solitude, but I feel like I could let someone in my life and make time for her and go from there. And another part of it is I cannot for the life of me flirt with a girl I find attractive. I can turn a girl I’m not attracted to beet red if I have to, but I get tongue-tied around girls I think are hot.

Now that I feel mature enough to have someone in my life, what can I do to break down this wall I’ve put up to protect myself?

Lonely One Seeks Ties

P.S. I should probably add that I’m a submissive. Not that I’m looking to be emotionally dominated or anything, but being tied up in a corner and only speaking when Mistress tells me it’s okay sounds pretty awesome.

I’m glad you included that postscript, LOST.

Google the term “munch,” along with “BDSM” and the name of the city where you live (or the nearest big city if you live in buttfucknowhere). Munches are informal gatherings hosted by and for straight folks into BDSM; most are hosted by reputable BDSM or sex clubs—Orlando Power Exchange, Los Angeles’s Threshold Society, Seattle’s Center for Sex Positive Culture—and nothing happens at a munch. No sex, no play, just conversation and lunch. You’ll meet other kinky straight folks who are interested in what you’re interested in, and you’ll be forced to interact with the women there—even the ones who typically leave you tongue-tied.

•••

Serious question here: Does putting toothpaste or Bengay or whatever else on one’s scrotum cause sterility or have any other negative health effects?

Lonely One Seeks Ties

AUm… nope. It would probably be for the best if the guys who’ve posted YouTube videos of themselves putting Bengay on their balls were all sterile, GBOF, but most will sadly reproduce.

•••

I’m a pretty hairy dude. I like my hairy chest. I like growing a beard in the winter. I like my hairy arms and legs. The only place that I don’t like hair is my crotch. I shave my pubes pretty regularly, but I have long, scraggly, gross hairs all over my balls, which I could really do without. The thought of accidentally cutting myself down there has been a pretty good deterrent from going at it with a razor, and just the idea of putting some hair-removal product like Nair down there makes me wince. I’ve poked around the internet and haven’t been able to find a real satisfactory answer, so I thought I’d turn to my last resort: Is there a safe, easy, relatively pain-free way to get rid of this unsightly hair?

Clever Nickname Up To You

Um… nope. Waxing is the way to go, but it smarts.

•••

Your advice for Seriously Troubled Here, the MARRIED MAN whose WIFE made out with another man (who she CLAIMS was gay) was the kind of knee-jerk anti-male bullshit and anti-male bias that straight men have come to expect from therapists, advice columnists, and “sex experts.” She gets drunk and flirts with other men and MAKES OUT WITH THEM, and he’s the douchebag?

Fuck you and your misandry. Men shouldn’t seek your advice because you’re clearly incapable of taking their side. You may not like pussy yourself, you cocksucker, but you’ll take the twat’s side every time. The world doesn’t need another asshole “advice professional” who sides with the woman no matter what she does.

Men Against Dan

Excuse me? I’m the advice columnist—I’m practically the only advice columnist—who doesn’t automatically leap to the woman’s side in a dispute. I’m the guy who tells women that all men watch porn (so get over it or get a dog), that oral comes standard (sucking cock and eating pussy), and that under certain circumstances a husband (or a wife) has a right and a responsibility to cheat (just because you’re not interested in sex anymore doesn’t mean he has to go without for the rest of his life). You won’t get that from Prudie or Amy or Carolyn.

Sorry, MAD, and everyone else who wrote in: I stand behind my advice to STH. His wife was apologetic and recognized that her behavior would have to change because it was, at the very least, deeply upsetting to her husband. She also confessed to kissing another dude, a gay dude, two years before they married, and he was having trouble forgiving her. If the roles were reversed—husband kissed lesbian two years before the wedding and wife couldn’t forgive and move on—you can bet your clenched butts that I would’ve called the wife a douchebag.

For crying out loud, MAD, I’ve told wives—and husbands—to forgive and forget infidelities. Did you really expect me to tell STH to leave his wife over a kiss?

Listen to Dan Savage’s podcast online at www.podcasts.thestranger.com/savagelove/archives.php#a045674

Love is blind

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Ouch damn it

Dec 17 2009 Published by under Savage Love

I’ve been married four years and have a beautiful baby boy with my husband. I enjoy sex a lot, even a bit of BDSM. My husband, on the other hand, isn’t “driven by sex,” as he likes to put it, and will try tying me up if that’s what I “really want.” You’d think if he wasn’t driven by sex, the few times we did have sex, he would last for a while, but he lasts at best five minutes. On the occasional blue moon, it’ll be about 10 minutes. My problem is, all I can think about is getting fucked by some stranger with no strings attached so I can get rid of this heartbreak, for lack of a better word. But I always back out, because I don’t want to risk my family or my husband’s happiness. I don’t want to be a cheater, Dan, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life having missed out on my “sexual prime” because my husband already experienced his. I should mention that he’s 35 and I’m 23. I also have a few poly friends who are kinky, and they preach to me that being monogamous is a mistake and I can seek out kinky play with others without it being sexual. Please be as brutal as possible.

Permission 2 Explore Please

Before I get to your question, P2EP, a programming note: FUCK OUCH DAMN IT CHRIST! I’m suffering from some sort of carpal-tunnel/repetitive-motion/too-much-beating-off injury, and it feels like my right arm is on fire. Every letter I type sends a blast of white-hot pain up my arm and into my head and FUCK OUCH DAMN IT CHRIST! Since I’m in a great deal of pain here, I thought it only appropriate that I give the column over to letters about BDSM. That way, someone—my kinkiest readers—can enjoy my suffering.

Okay, P2EP, you have my permission. Not to explore, as it’s not in my power to grant you permission to do that. You have my permission to go and demand permission to explore from your lazy, selfish, inconsiderate husband. Renegotiate your deal. You have needs, they’re not being met, and he doesn’t seem interested in meeting them. Tell him that you will remain sexually exclusive—only his cock gets near your holes (for now)—but you want and need and demand permission to at least explore erotic-but-not-fully-sexual kink with others. Sell it to him as something that relieves him of the burden of having to do this stuff—kink—with you and/or feeling bad about not doing this stuff with you.

•••

I’m a straight man, age 26. I was just dumped by a married couple. The wife was very sadistic, and the husband did not enjoy pain. When we got together, she would hurt me (TT, CBT, flogging) before fucking him. The wife asked if I wanted to play alone sometime, and I said yes. When she asked her husband and told him that she had already checked with me and I was willing, he said that I had violated our agreement. It isn’t easy finding people into SM where we live—the Bible Belt of Canada—and playing alone was her idea, not mine. What do I do?

Dumped Up North

You move. The husband is blaming you because it’s less consequential than blaming the wife. But he’s clearly not comfortable—FUCK OUCH DAMN IT CHRIST!—having your black-and-blue ass around anymore, due to the wife’s actions, and so you’re out. Unfair, yes, but there’s not a lot you can do about it. Besides move.

•••

I am a 22-year-old bisexual male who goes to a small, prestigious liberal-arts college in the Midwest. I’ve had boyfriends, girlfriends, and one-night stands, but I have never really felt like sex worked out as well as I imagine it could. I have a dominant personality, and people tend to follow me. Perhaps for this reason, I have fetishized submission. I imagine I would be into bondage and domination. I think I am a bit more attracted to women and would love to find a woman who takes a strong, dominant role in our relationship. I feel like I am always expected to make the first move with women, which has led me to prefer hooking up with men. I just wonder if there is anything I could do to find a woman who’d be into dominating me.

I don’t really like making the first move, but I’ve found just waiting and looking pretty doesn’t work too well with women. Are there some ladies I could approach, and after the initial flirting, the dynamic would change and they would take the lead? How would I know who these people are?

Not Sure What I Want

There may be one or two young women kicking around your small, prestigious liberal-arts college who fantasize about taking the lead, about tying up and dominating their boyfriends, NSWIW, but they’re not going to be tottering around campus in high-heeled boots and latex and leather. And even dominant women who are out tend to observe/succumb to the same cultural norms/practices that you find frustrating, i.e., they expect the male to make the first move, even in kinky environments.

But back to the young women you’re likely to encounter at your prestigious college: A lot of women with naturally dominant and/or sadistic streaks—women who will one day really enjoy BDSM—don’t realize it until that first submissive boyfriend draws it out of them. So if you want to get tied up, pegged, and bossed around while you’re at college, NSWIW, you need to be paradoxically assertive about your submissive tendencies. You may have to ask four or five girls, or a dozen, before you hit the jackpot (before you ask a dominant girl), but you will have to take the lead.

•••

I am a 24-year-old lesbian who has been out for five years. I am also hot, vain, in shape, and kinky as all hell. I suppose I’m what you’d call a “lipstick lesbian.” In any event, I like being thrown around, tied up, gagged, etc. One of my all-time favorite fantasies is the lesbian equivalent of pegging, i.e., being done up the ass by a hot woman with a strap-on. I like the vanilla stuff as well—holding, kissing, cuddling, dyking it up—but what I’m really into is bondage. And my last girlfriend dumped me when I mentioned that I liked to be tied up. My question is, are there other young, kinky, sexaholic feminine lesbians/bisexual women out there? Am I a complete freak? Or am I just being a sexually selfish boor? Should I just try to let go of my kinks?

Domination Yearnings Keep Encounters Stimulating

P.S. Thank you so much for all the times you’ve emphasized that straight men who are into pegging are just that—straight. It helped me to accept that my own pegging fantasies don’t make me any less a lesbian, because so much of their appeal comes from the fact that it would be a woman doing the pegging.

Only a small percentage of women are lesbians, DYKES, and an even smaller number of that already-small number are kinky. Your best strategy is to be out about your kinks from the start, so that you don’t waste any more of your time and vanity-inducing hotness on women who won’t tie your ass up.

And finally: FUCK OUCH DAMN IT CHRIST!

mail@savagelove.net

Ouch damn it

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Cheat, cheat, double-cheat!

Dec 03 2009 Published by under Savage Love

I’m a longtime reader who thought I’d never have a reason to write since I’m universally known as the “good girl,” but I’m not sure who else I can turn to. I have a close male friend. Even though I knew he was dating someone else, we became friends-with-benefits several years ago. Because of his relationship (and the fact that he lives with her!), I let him take the lead in setting up our rendezvous. Sometimes when we’d be together, it felt like a booty call; other times, it felt like it was leading to something more. He once admitted that if things were different, he could see us together. He never really talks about his girlfriend with me, and a while ago I discovered that while he was unfaithful to her, he had also been unfaithful to me.

On to the point of this letter: He recently proposed to his girlfriend. I’m happy for him if it’s what he truly wants, but I feel like he did it out of desperation. All I know is that there were some ultimatums involved. Here is my dilemma: I don’t want to out myself, I don’t want to hurt him, and I don’t want to ruin our friendship, Dan, but I feel like she has to know what her fiancé is really like before they get married. I don’t see his cheating stopping just because they’ve exchanged a few vows. Should I anonymously contact her and let her know that her man is a cheating man-whore? Thanks!
ONE OF MANY OTHER WOMEN

Gee… it must have come as a real shock when you realized that a man who was capable of cheating on his live-in girlfriend was also capable of cheating on the girl with whom he was cheating on his live-in girlfriend. No one could’ve predicted, huh?

On to your question: I hate to think of some poor woman marrying a cheating piece of shit (CPOS)—a CPOS is not to be confused with an honest nonmonogamous dude (HND)—in ignorance of his cheating-piece-of-shit-ness. It’s possible that the CPOS’s fiancée already knows and has forgiven him; perhaps one of those ultimatums touched on cheating. But odds are better that this woman doesn’t know, and someone really ought to clue her in before the wedding. But should that person be you?

I’m not comfortable with your motives, OOMOW. You may be known throughout the universe as a “good girl”—as the good girl—but your actions prove that you’re something of a “bad girl.” And there’s more: Your desire to destroy your FWB’s relationship proves that you’re something of a “vindictive girl,” your attempt to pass your vindictiveness off as concern for a woman you’ve repeatedly wronged proves that you’re a “self-deluding girl,” and your desire to accomplish all of this without paying any price yourself—you don’t want to out yourself or risk ruining your “friendship” with the man-whore—proves that you’re a “selfish girl” and a “cowardly girl.”

Back to your motives: The reason you want to do this anonymously is because your top concern is having the CPOS all to yourself, and that means sticking a knife in his current relationship without leaving any fingerprints. So it’s a good thing—a useful thing—that you weren’t the only “other woman” in his life, OOMOW, because he’ll never know for sure which one of his other women ratted him out.

Setting your highly suspect motives aside…

If I were in the fiancée’s shoes, I would want to know what was going on before the wedding. So I do think you should tell her. But if you have any shred of decency—even the tiniest bit—you will tell her personally, apologize profusely, and provide her with some proof. An anonymous tip won’t cut it: A CPOS who has successfully hidden a collection of other women from his fiancée will be able to talk his way out of an anonymous accusation of infidelity. He’ll either claim the e-mail was sent by a vindictive ex-girlfriend of his, which has the benefit of being very nearly true, or he’ll claim that an ex-boyfriend of hers is trying to destroy her happiness.

Finally, OOMOW, why do you want to be with the CPOS? He cheated on his fiancée, he cheated on you, and he probably cheated on the women who he was cheating on the both of you with. He’s a piece of shit, his fiancée is a fool, and you’re a vindictive, self-deluding, selfish coward. I’m not sure if you can all do better, or that any of you deserve better, but I do think you should all try.

•••

I’m a hetero girl in my 20s. I love masturbating and find myself really good at it, but a lot of the time I get nothing from hetero porn. Usually it’s because I can’t stand the girls’ annoying voices. So I rely on gay porn instead, even when I’m reading erotica. I tend to go for what you gay guys call “twinks.” (Who the hell is a twink, technically speaking? Please don’t tell me it’s anything statutory!) I’m not really concerned, I’m just curious: Is this a common problem? I now get really intrigued when I meet gay guys in real life because I get off to so many gay men in porn. I would love to watch two twinks in reality at some point, but I’m not sure if any gay guys would ever be into that.
TWINK LOVER

Twinks are boyish gay men—boyish men, not boyish boys—in their late teens to mid-20s with slim-to-slightly-muscular bodies and relatively hairless chins, chests, crotches, etc. So long as you’re getting your live-action porn from reputable porn sites and companies, TL, you don’t have anything to worry about on the statutory front.

As for watching a couple of twinks go at it, there are lots of bisexual twinks out there—perhaps you could date one and have the odd three-way with others? There are also, without a doubt, some twink gay couples out there as turned on by the idea of some straight girl watching them go at it as you are turned on by the idea of watching a couple of twinks go at it. And thanks to the World Wide Interfluffer, finding them—or renting them—is easier than ever. And speaking of twinks…

However much Playgirl paid Levi Johnston for that photo shoot, it wasn’t enough. Most people thought Playgirl—which ceased publishing in print a while ago—was dead and gone forever. Prior to this photo shoot with Johnston, who even knew that Playgirl had a website? Or that Playgirl had a publicist? A publicist who had this to say after the shoot: “We were talking in the greenroom about gay categories—bear, cubs—and Levi asked what his type would be. We decided a twink, but older, so we anointed him a ‘twunk.’”

I love the idea of a twunk—an older twink—but Levi Johnston is 19 years old. How old is a twink supposed to be if a 19-year-old is already an aged twunk? No, no: Johnston was never a twink. He is a high-school jock—the hockey variety, to the delight of gear fetishists everywhere—gone slightly to seed. But what’s more interesting than sorting Johnston into his exact gay etymological category is watching Johnston, once a major homophobe, become increasingly comfortable with the gays. Celebrity—and that’s what he is now—means having to hang out and work with (and work for) a certain number of out homos. One of those homos no doubt explained to Johnston that not many women would be masturbating to his pictures on Playgirl’s website. It seems that homophobia is a luxury that Levi can’t afford anymore.

And, psst, Levi? If you did that Playgirl shoot only to drive your former future mother-in-law crazy—and if that was your plan, kiddo, it seemed to work—imagine how much crazier she’ll get if you do a little gay-for-pay porn. Just sayin’.

•••

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Cheat, cheat, double-cheat!

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A girl won’t just appear in your bedroom

Nov 05 2009 Published by under Savage Love

I’m a 20-year-old girl, and I’ve been dating my boyfriend, who is 23, for two years. From the get-go, he has known that I am bi, and like most straight guys, he’s happy to be with a girl who likes girls.

The thing is, I am too shy to go out and hit on a girl. Getting a man was the easy part, but getting a girl who is willing to fuck around not only with me but also with my boyfriend is a daunting task. I encourage my boyfriend to talk to women since he is good eye candy. But I get kinda sorta jealous when he actually goes and talks to other women. It’s a weird game that gives me a headache. All I want is to satisfy my cravings for a woman—is that too much to ask? Am I just being selfish? Why can’t girls just appear in my bedroom?

CRAZY ABOUT GIRLS ETERNALLY

Because you’re not Logan, CAGE, and there’s no such thing as the Circuit (www.tinyurl.com/cfj89d)—not yet, anyway, even if the internet kinda sorta comes close.

If watching your boyfriend hit on girls—ostensibly on your behalf—gives you a headache and makes you jealous, then you’re going to have to learn to hit on girls yourself, CAGE, either in person or online. And you might have more success landing a willing bisexual girl—a girl who’s interested in you and your boyfriend—if you made the passes.

Nice, sexually adventurous girls approached by 23-year-old pieces of male eye candy about two-girls/one-guy threesomes will assume that it’s about Eye Candy’s fantasies, not the girlfriend’s. And if you’re hanging back, looking uncomfortable, jealous, and headachy, even a girl who might be up for a threesome is going to read reluctance into your demeanor, presume your boyfriend is pressuring you, and politely decline. Or she’s going to think you have the swine flu and decline.

If you want pussy, CAGE, you’ll have to take the lead. Remember: It’s okay to be geeky and inept and awkward when you’re hitting on someone; some people think it’s cute, and smooth is overrated when it comes to making passes. (Your boyfriend sounds pretty smooth—what has it gotten you?) Practice a few cheesy lines, something direct and truthful, something along the lines of, “We think you’re really hot, and we’ve always wanted to have a threesome”—and just blurt it out at the next pretty, flirty girl who crosses your paths. If you can’t do that, post personal ads online and flirt via e-mail. There are a lot of couples online looking for thirds, CAGE, and you’ll increase your odds of success if you offer to be a couple’s third in exchange for the woman in the couple taking a turn as the third for you and your boyfriend.

Of course, that might make your boyfriend jealous—but it’s his turn, right?

•••

I’m a straight female in her early 20s, currently engaged to a handsome man three years older. We’re very happy and we have a strong, healthy relationship, but lately I’ve been worried about one question: Considering my limited previous sexual experience (before him, it was oral only), is it still possible to have a long, enjoyable sex life with him? I’ve gotten some (well-intentioned, I’m sure) advice that suggests that we are both making mistakes. I can’t have a satisfying sex life without being able to compare him to anyone else, I’m told, and he’s making a huge mistake by pairing up with a less experienced partner. I hope that the individuals telling me this are wrong.

I have absolutely zero interest in opening up this relationship, and I do my best to be GGG. He says I’m a great lover and a lot more confident in bed now compared to when we first made love, but I want to improve. Still, I don’t want to find out down the road that we made a mistake.

NEGLIGIBLE EXPERIENCE WITH BONING

Are you happy? Is he happy? That’s all that matters. Just keep those lines of communication open, NEWB, while you continue to explore your sexualities together. And remind yourself every once in a while that even the less experienced partner in a relationship is allowed to have likes and dislikes, offer constructive criticisms, and make suggestions—and sometimes demands. And anyone who is being GGG for her partner has every right to expect GGG from her partner.

Finally, tell the “friends” who’re offering you such unhelpful advice—tell those underminers—to go fuck themselves. Some people need to sleep around a bit before they realize what they like and whom they want. That’s not the case for everyone. And there are plenty of men and women out there in miserable, sexually dysfunctional marriages who met after both had plenty of experience.

•••

I have a small problem. My niece is 14, and the other day I met her boyfriend. He’s a sweet boy, with double-pierced ears and amazing fashion sense. My niece fell for him when she saw him sporting a pink jacket in the hallway of school, which is, of course, the reason my niece likes him. What teenage girl wouldn’t want someone to go shopping with? As a middle-aged homosexual myself, I can spot a proto-queer a mile away. Needless to say, my sister loves the boy—he’s a perfect gentleman. I’m inclined to let it be. They’re only 14; what harm could it do? Then I worry, what if this goes on for years? I don’t want her to get hurt. Then again, this boy could just grow up to be a Felix Unger–type heterosexual. Any advice?

A CARING LOVING UNCLE

It’s comforting to think that your niece is safe with this boy, seeing as he’s a perfect little gentleman now and likely to be a perfect little pillow-chomping bottom when he grows up (or one of those rare fashion-forward tops). But a study conducted by the University of British Columbia found that gay and lesbian youth—closeted or otherwise—were more likely to get pregnant/impregnate than their straight peers. Because nothing says “I’M NOT GAY!” like a knocked-up 14-year-old girlfriend.

So here’s what I’d do if I were you, ACLU: Pull the boy aside for a chat. Begin with, “You seem like a nice kid,” and then let him have it: “But if you get my niece pregnant, I will kill you.” Now pay attention to the italicized bits in what comes next: “I’d rather you didn’t fuck her—she’s 14, so are you—but if you need condoms or advice about anything, don’t hesitate to ask. I won’t repeat anything you ask me about to my sister. And don’t think I won’t kick your ass just because I’m gay. I can and I will. Oh, and love the jacket—where did you get it?”

The boy will emerge from this harrowing chat aware that his girlfriend has potentially violent family members who are watching out for her—something all 14-year-old boyfriends should be made aware of—and that he can confide in you, the involved gay uncle, privately and about anything. It’s unlikely that he’ll seize the opportunity to come out to you, ACLU, and it’s important that you accept the premise of his heterosexuality (however improbable it might seem) before, during, and after your talk. You’ll be nudging him in the direction of coming out to someone, at some point, by setting an example, ACLU, while decreasing the odds that he will do real and lasting harm—read: teen pregnancy—to your niece.

As for breaking her heart, well… you can’t protect her from that, and you shouldn’t bother to try. That’s what comes with being 14.

•••

mail@savagelove.net

•••

Listen to the Savage Lovecast here:
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A girl won’t just appear in your bedroom

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Savage Love: Use a real sex toy already!

Oct 22 2009 Published by under Savage Love

Dan Savage prefers sex toys to, uh, plungers. Let alone vacuum cleaners.

I’m a straight teenage male, but I can’t climax unless I am stimulating my anus or rectum. I use various objects like cucumbers. The reason I don’t buy a toy is that I live in a very religious household and my parents would disown me if they found a sex toy in my room.

I take a toilet plunger and wrap the handle with toilet paper and tissues. Then I take a plastic bag and put it over the top. After that, I wrap a rubber band around the bottom part of the bag so it can’t slide off, lube it up, and fuck away! I really like this: I can put the suction part on the floor, sit on the handle part, and basically ride it while I use my hands to stroke my dick/balls.

I know you’re thinking, “Gross! Do you realize that thing’s been in the toilet?!” But I sterilize the handle with Lysol, then put soap on it before wrapping it with toilet paper. I also put disinfectant on the plastic bag, then wash it off with water. After I’m done, I put more disinfectant/soap on the handle and wash it off so people who are using the plunger for its normal use don’t get my ass germs. I’ve been doing this for about five years and haven’t felt any bad symptoms except the occasional trace bleeding (I think due to not enough lube—or it may be due to the ridges of the bag). A few times I actually bled a lot (about the same amount as a medium cut on your finger) for two or three days, but I didn’t feel it in my butt and only knew that I was bleeding when I took a shit.

Are homemade dildos a bad idea? Am I putting my family at risk by getting my ass germs on the plunger?

ALWAYS NERVOUS UNTIL SANITIZED

For the love of God, ANUS, get your hands and ass on an actual sex toy—they make dildos with suction-cup bases—before you do some real damage to yourself. Your 10-step toilet-plunger-into-anal-sex-toy plan is ingenious, I’ll admit, and your concern for the health of your family is touching. But given a choice between explaining your masturbatory routine to your parents because they found a dildo in your room or explaining it to them because you wound up in an emergency room because your luck ran out and the bleeding didn’t stop, ANUS, I hope you would opt for the former.

If you’re worried about the repercussions of discovery—such as being disowned—then hide the dildo someplace other than your room. Got siblings? Hide your dildo in the room of your least favorite. If you’re an only child, find a beat-up-looking box, a couple of porn magazines that predate your family’s tenure in your home, and hide the box with the dildo and old mags in the crawl space or a drop ceiling or the rafters. If your folks find it, they’ll think it belonged to some perverted previous owner or tenant, not to their straight-but-needs-anal-stimulation-to-climax son.

A word to my fellow parents: If you find a penetration toy hidden in your child’s room—why were you snooping?—do not freak the fuck out, do not disown your kid, and do not discard the toy. Your child probably went to great lengths to obtain that toy—teenagers can’t just walk into sex shops—and he or she probably didn’t decide to run the risks of obtaining and concealing a sex toy until he or she had a bad experience with an improvised sex toy, e.g., plunger-related rectal bleeding, difficultly retrieving a cucumber from the vaginal canal. If you make a scene and take the toy, your child may not acquire another—but your child’s experiments with insertion will continue. He or she will just go back to using produce (swiped from the fridge for use, then returned to the fridge after use) or plunger handles or worse.

•••

My boyfriend always goes soft after he penetrates me. He’s come in me only a handful of times—and I’m a bottom! When it comes to oral, he doesn’t have trouble staying hard. Even more curious: The guy is only 21! Can someone that young really have “erectile dysfunction”? We’ve tried cock rings, and they don’t help: He can keep his hard-on for a little longer (enough time to get inside me without getting soft), but it doesn’t take long for him to get soft again. Dan, what do you think is going on? He’ll be super-hard when I’m sucking him off, then I’ll start jerking him a bit, then he’ll get inside me, and then a very short while later he’s soft. Is there anything we can do? Does he have ED?

LOVER IS MISSING POUNDINGS

Your boyfriend is hard during oral sex and when you jerk his cock, LIMP, and only loses his erection when he’s in your ass or about to go in. Hmm. That doesn’t sound like ED to me—there’s no such thing as “act-specific ED”—but more like YBDLAS, or “your boyfriend doesn’t like anal sex.”

Your boyfriend may feel pressure to perform, LIMP, as being fucked is important to you. (Please tell me that he’s coming inside a condom when he comes inside you.) And he may feel some pressure to conform. Anal sex among gay men has been elevated to the status of vaginal sex among straight men, LIMP, in that it’s somehow become the defining sex act, despite the fact that roughly a quarter of all gay men don’t enjoy and don’t indulge in anal sex. Your boyfriend may be one of those guys, but he’s too inhibited to tell you how he feels because, hey, it’s buttfucking and he’s gay and all gay men are buttfuckers and if he doesn’t enjoy buttfucking then he’s some sort of defective gay buttfucker.

Tell him he doesn’t have to do it if he doesn’t enjoy it and, for the time being at least, you’re taking anal off the menu—lifting the pressure off his shoulders and dick. Focus on the stuff that works for him right now: oral and JO. And remember, LIMP, if he’s coming in your mouth, he’s still coming inside you.

•••

When I bottom for my BF, if he can’t get it in right away, he goes flaccid. What can I do?

BOY ONLY NEEDS ERECT DICK

BONED put this question to me—via index card—at a “Savage Love Live” event at UC Santa Cruz. I was in a bad way that night—sick with the flu—and somehow misunderstood the question. I read it as the person being fucked went limp when penetration wasn’t immediate, not the person doing the fucking. Sorry about that, BONED. Here’s a useful answer:

Ask the BF what the problem is. He may be worried about you—is he hurting you?—or perhaps the pressure on his cock as he attempts to push it in is painful for him. I don’t think it’s the same problem as LIMP’s boyfriend; your letter seems to imply that there isn’t a problem when the boyfriend bottoms for you, so it’s not about disliking anal sex. It could be, though, that your boyfriend is more of a bottom, i.e., prefers the receptive role during anal intercourse. A lot of bottom guys can top, of course, but some need to quickly get in there and start pumping away, because the sensations help them maintain their erections even as they do this thing—fucking—that they would really prefer to have done to them. A delay in the action, such as an inability to get it in “right away,” could lead to the problem you describe, BONED.

Listen to Dan Savage’s podcast here:

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Savage Love: Use a real sex toy already!

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Savage Love: Get Married

Oct 08 2009 Published by under Savage Love

Dan Savage says get married if you can, but know that others aren’t as lucky.

My partner and I have a dilemma.

We’re a straight couple. Our lives and finances are intertwined, and we are already essentially living as a married couple. Now we want to hold a ceremony with family and friends to make public the commitment we’ve already made privately. That said, we are in favor of marriage equality and are considering joining the marriage boycott (www.unmarried.org) until DOMA is repealed and every state allows gay marriage.

Our friends and family say we should get married and fight for equality “from the other side of the fence.” On the other hand, a number of the people in attendance at our wedding would not have access to the rights we’d be signing up for, and that feels unfair to us.

We’d like to know what you think. Is boycotting legal marriage a worthwhile statement for straight couples to make? Or do you think we should put gay-rights groups on our registry and fight for marriage equality as a married couple?

HOPING TO RENDER CHANGE

Funny you should ask, HTRC, as last weekend the boyfriend-in-America/husband-in-Canada and I attended the wedding of some dear straight friends. We weren’t the only same-sex couple at the wedding; there were “a number of people in attendance [without] access to the rights” our straight friends were signing up for.

All us homos at the wedding were delighted to be there and deliriously happy for our friends, and not one of us would’ve asked them to wait to marry until gay marriage is legal in all 50 states—something that isn’t going to happen until 2024 at the earliest, according to number-crunchin’ superstar political blogger Nate Silver (tinyurl.com/cn58xy). That’s when Silver predicts that the final holdout—Mississippi—will finally legalize same-sex marriage.

Here’s what I think you should do, HTRC: get married, make a donation to the fight for marriage equality, and encourage your guests to do the same. And, hey, are you guys getting married in the next four weeks? Because there’s a ballot measure in Maine that would strip same-sex couples in that state of their newly won right to wed. Help protect marriage equality in Maine by making a donation—right now—at www.protectmaineequality.org. And religious bigots in Washington State, where I live, are attempting to repeal a domestic-partnership law at the ballot box. Protect the rights of same-sex couples in Washington by making a donation—right now—at www.approvereferendum71.org.

And in addition to throwing some money around, HTRC, I think you should consider lifting one of the readings from my friends’ ceremony.

“Marriage is a vital social institution,” the reading began. “The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.”

So touching, so true, and so universal—who could argue with those sentiments? Everyone at the wedding was nodding. And the reading continued…

“It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a ‘civil right.’ Without the right to choose to marry, one is excluded from the full range of human experience.”

After the reading—which was done by a gay friend of the couple—the officiant identified the source: It was from the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in that state. It was a lovely gesture: The gay couples at the wedding were touched and the hetero couples were reminded of the injustice that gay couples face. It would be wonderful if this passage from the Massachusetts court’s ruling on marriage equality caught on as a wedding reading, HTRC. The gay people in the pews will be touched, and with any luck, any straight guests who oppose marriage equality will take a moment to reconsider their positions. At the very least, they’ll know where the bride and groom stand.

•••

I’m a high-school student, gay, but whenever someone asks me, I lie and say I’m not. I feel like I’m ashamed of who I am and that I’m dishonoring every openly gay person. But I don’t know what else to do. Most of the other students at my school use the words “gay” and “faggot” in a derogatory way. I’ve only been in high school for four weeks, and I’m not sure how they would react. What should I do? Should I come out?

GAY BOY SEEKING SERIOUS HELP

“I’m a big fan of telling people what to do (just ask my poor boyfriend), but coming out is a deeply personal decision, one you’re going to have to negotiate yourself,” says Benoit Denizet-Lewis, who wrote a cover story for the New York Times Magazine about gay kids coming out in middle school.

“With that said, here’s what you should do. First, the fact that you’re worrying about ‘dishonoring every gay person’ speaks volumes about your character and tells me that you have a heart and a conscience, both of which will serve you well in your life as an openly gay man. Second, consider coming out first to an adult you trust (a school counselor, your gay uncle). Third, try to come out to one friend, preferably one who loves the show Glee. Having a peer ally is critical to your mental health. Finally, when you do come out to your parents, just be sure you’re not in a moving vehicle.”

Denizet-Lewis’s first book, America Anonymous, is out now, and it’s pretty genius. But for the record: I do not love the show Glee.

•••

Greetings from Portland, Oregon. Our fair city is totally overflowing with cute, young, scruffy boys. Which is awesome, of course, for gay guys like me. The only problem is, it seems like a disproportionate number of these boys are, well, boys without dicks—trans guys. Seems like every dance party, every art-fag event, is packed with non-bio boys. But where are all the trans girls? None of my lesbo friends talk about all the new trans girls running around town.

I know that this could strictly be region-specific, but it seems to be a bigger issue. Why is it that the butch girls all seem to become dudes, yet so few of the femme boys identify as women?

GGG IN PDX

I’m just theorizing here: There seem to be fewer MTFs out there than FTMs, and the MTFs who are out there mostly seem to have been straight-identified before their transitions (they were with women), unlike most FTMs, who seem, for the most part, to have been lesbian-identified before their transitions. So MTFs weren’t integrated into the queer community prior to their transitions the same way FTMs were before theirs.

Confused? Me too.

So MTFs are less likely to frequent places—bars, clubs, art-fag events—where you, a gay guy, might encounter them.

As for why there are so many trans guys in Portland, GGGIPDX, trans guys clump up for the same reasons other sexual minorities do. It’s not just about safety in numbers—although it’s partly that—but also about the romantic odds. The more trans guys in one place, the more trans guys there are to date; and the more trans guys in one place, the likelier non-trans guys and girls are to meet, get to know, and perhaps consider dating trans guys.

Listen to Dan Savage’s podcast, episode 155:

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Savage Love: Get Married

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Savage Love

Sep 24 2009 Published by under Savage Love

You are known far and wide as an arbiter of all aspects of sex and especially definitions of sex, so we are hoping that you can give your definitive opinion on an interesting conundrum.

My wife and I were recently regaling each other with anecdotes from our past, and she easily had the most interesting story: It seems that when she was a young woman in college, a fellow student invited her over for lunch. It turns out that he thought she was lunch. He quickly had her clothes off and was kissing her, although he was still dressed. Then he brought out a vibrator. He applied the vibrator, she had an orgasm, and then she called a halt to the proceedings. They went back to school, and that was the beginning and the end of their relationship.

Did she have sex?

Now, I think any time you have an orgasm you’ve had sex, and if someone else is present, even if they’re clothed, you definitely had sex. My wife’s view is that since he never got his clothes off and she never saw his cock, she really didn’t have sex. We would like your opinion on this.

DEFINITION ESSENTIAL FOR INTENSELY NOVEL EXPERIENCE

Let’s say you and I met in a bar, DEFINE, while the wife was out of town, and we hit it off. And let’s say I took you home, stripped you naked, made out with you, sucked your dick, ate your ass, spanked you, tossed you in a sling, fist-fucked you, and then—with my right arm buried up to my elbow in your ass—slowly stroked you with my left hand until you blew a massive load all over your stomach, chest, and face.

Now let’s say I taped the whole thing and e-mailed a copy to your wife. I think it’s highly unlikely that your wife would turn to you after watching the video—remember: I don’t get naked, you never see my dick—put a hand on your knee, and say, “Well, I’m glad you didn’t have sex with Dan Savage.”

Your wife clearly regrets going to that guy’s room; she regretted the moment she came, just as you would probably regret going home with me. These feelings prompt her to round this experience down to Not Sex, to minimize it, to exclude it from her sexual history on a technicality: He didn’t get naked; she didn’t get fucked. Your wife can attempt to rationalize away the sex she had in that dorm, DEFINE, but she had sex with that guy—and that guy’s vibrator—whether she wants to admit it or not.

I’m writing to you to let you know that a huge fan and reader of your column has been in a coma since Saturday, September 5. He had a bad motorcycle accident and has a severe brain injury. His name is Jon Broom, and he’s my boyfriend, the love of my life, and my best friend. Even though he still hasn’t woken up, I’ve been reading your columns out loud to him so that he never misses one. I know you’re a busy man, but I thought I’d take a chance and ask if you could pass on his Facebook support group at “Get Well Jon” in one of your columns (www.tinyurl.com/m3ngc3). I think it would be awesome for him to look back and see your column when he wakes up and is able to function again.

We appreciate your writings and support for the people who ask for your advice. Here’s to hope, faith, and community.

PENNY KIM

Oh, Penny, I’m so sorry. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. If you’re on Facebook—and who isn’t?—please join Jon’s support group.

I just had to share with you my first reaction at reading this headline: “Santorum dips toes in 2012 Iowa waters.” My first thought was “Ewwww,” followed quickly by “Is that even possible?” After all, santorum is something that is dipped into, not something that can dip. And then I remembered that before “santorum” meant santorum it actually designated a person, a senator. But it took me a few seconds.

Congratulations on a job well done. I expect I am not the only one who had this moment of cognitive dissonance upon reading this headline.

A FAITHFUL READER

Ben Smith at Politico reported last Tuesday that Republican former U.S. senator Rick Santorum plans to run for president. Political Wire linked to Smith’s post and added that “Santorum has a serious Google problem.” Truthdig linked to Political Wire’s post and spelled out Santorum’s Google problem: “The former senator’s rampant homophobia inspired sex columnist Dan Savage to launch a campaign to usurp the conservative’s name. The result: If you type ‘Santorum’ into Google, you’ll find that it refers not to a former senator, but ‘that frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.’”

From uppercase Santorum making the news with the announcement that he intends to run (runs?) for president to the full definition of lowercase santorum—in just three steps.

And who deserves the credit? Not me. The credit is yours, dear readers. It’s thanks to you that SpreadingSantorum.com—a blog that I haven’t updated since July of 2004—remains the number-one hit on Google when you search “Santorum.” It was a Savage Love reader who first suggested that we usurp Rick Santorum’s name, another Savage Love reader who suggested the “frothy mixture” definition, and Savage Love readers who chose the winning definition in a free and fair election. Well done, gang.

We can’t take credit for Santorum losing his seat in the U.S. Senate to Bob Casey by 18 points. That was Rick’s doing. But we helped to make him ridiculous—there were so many headlines during his failed reelection campaign with “froth” or “frothy” in them. And for a politician, being an object of ridicule is a problem, which is why SpreadingSantorum.com and the “frothy mixture” definition of santorum are going to be a problem as Rick runs for president.

“Maybe it’s time to start updating SpreadingSantorum.com again,” writes Savage Love reader P.B., “now that Rick is running for president.”

I couldn’t agree more, P.B., but I’m a busy guy these days. Back when I was writing for SpreadingSantorum.com, I had only the column on my plate. Now I blog every day at thestranger.com/slog, I do a weekly podcast, I’ve got a bad case of talking headism, and I’m working on another stupid book. So I just don’t have the time to give SpreadingSantorum.com the attention it needs.

But maybe some Savage Love readers do?

If SpreadingSantorum.com is going to remain Google’s top hit when you search “santorum”—and it should—then the site needs to come back to life. So I’m looking for a few folks who want to torment Rick Santorum by following every twist and turn of his sure-to-be-disastrous run for the White House on SpreadingSantorum.com. (I may dip in every once in a while and post myself.) It would be helpful if one of the people posting to SpreadingSantorum.com was in Iowa, and it couldn’t hurt to have someone in New Hampshire, but you don’t have to live in either of those states. It would be labor of love—read: a nonpaying gig—but you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re driving Rick Santorum and his supporters absolutely batshit (batshittier?).

If you think you’re the right person for this gig—if you think you’re right for SpreadingSantorum.com—write me at mail@savagelove.net.

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Sep 10 2009 Published by under Savage Love

As a 43-year-old single gay guy, I recently had my first spanking experience and am now feeling extreme guilt and self-loathing. I was in a very long-term vanilla relationship for most of my adult life and never got to experience anything remotely kinky, but I’ve had an interest in it.

Long story short, I answered an online personal ad, went to this guy’s house, and let him paddle me (he had a lot of spanking equipment). I quickly blew and quickly left. There was no sex other than me jerking myself while getting hit. Now I feel just awful. It’s not the spanking itself, but rather the anonymous nature of what I did. This type of hookup is just not my thing, as I am used to sex in the context of a loving, committed relationship. I honestly feel like I’ve let myself down, like I dropped my standards, and I fear I’m sliding down that slippery slope into a life of anonymous, kinky encounters. I’ve never wanted to be one of “those guys.” I know that sounds judgmental, but it’s how I feel and it’s killing me.

Right now I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, and I feel like puking all the time. I can’t talk to any of my friends about this—I’m too embarrassed. Please help put my mind at ease. Please tell me if getting spanked with a hand and paddles is risky for any sexually transmitted infections. Also, what can I do to deal with this guilt? I swear I’m not exaggerating here, and I really do need someone to talk to about this.

SHOULDN’T WANT ANONYMOUS THRASHINGS

There’s no way you contracted a sexually transmitted infection during that spanking session, SWAT, so just calm the fuck down, okay?

Now…

You lived a little, SWAT, you had a little sexual adventure, you took a very short walk on the mild side of the wild side. And you learned something important about yourself in the process: Just having your kink indulged isn’t enough. You need your kink indulged in the context of a loving, committed relationship. You want to be spanked by someone you love and who loves you. That’s just how you’re wired. And luckily for you, there are lots of good, decent, quality guys out there who are into spanking and interested in loving, committed relationships.

Don’t believe me?

You’re one of those guys, SWAT. You are living proof that a guy can be relationship material and also be into spanking. Put yourself out there, put your kink out there, and you’ll meet other guys just like you.

I want a human pet. The human pet must become a dog. Once in pup mode, my pet will wear a butt-plug tail, a collar, and paw mitts. My pet will not speak anything other than its assigned safe word. Its communications will be limited to barking, moaning, licking, wagging its tail, etc. The whole point is that, when done right, there is a dog shaped like a human but the shape is the only thing that isn’t dog about my pet. The pet becomes so completely a dog that I wonder if it is bestiality to have sex with my dog/human pet.

FUTURE DOG LOVER

“Can vegans swallow?” used to be both the most annoying question and the most frequently asked question in the sex-advice business. Now it’s just the most frequently asked.

Some people consider their pets to be “members of the family,” but there’s nothing incestuous about fucking your dog. There’s something sick and wrong about it, of course, but it’s not incest. Similarly, a human pretending to be a dog is still a human, FDL, so having sex with your dog/human pet isn’t bestiality and never will be. I hope that doesn’t ruin it for you.

I’m a 19-year-old bisexual female, and my current girlfriend and I have been together about three months. She is pressuring me to come out to my family. I still live at home with my VERY Catholic parents, and I’m not in a good enough financial position to move out. If I were to come out to them, I would want ample distance between us and I wouldn’t want to be depending on them for a dwelling, school payments, auto insurance, etc. My girlfriend and I get along great, we are having a lot of fun together, and I wouldn’t want to lose her. But she says that she can’t be with me if I am ashamed of our relationship. I just don’t know what to do. Am I being a total cunt for hiding our relationship from my family? Or is she the total cunt?

COMFORTABLE LIVING IN TEMPORARY SECRECY

She’s the cunt, CLITS, totally.

The reasons you’ve given her for not coming out to your family right this minute—fear of being retaliated against financially, fear of losing your home, fear of derailing your education—are not only legit, CLITS, they’re the only legit reasons to postpone coming out to your family. Unless your girlfriend can feed you, clothe you, house you, and cover your tuition, she shouldn’t be pressuring you to risk your future for the sake of a three-month relationship.

Finally, CLITS, it seems to me that the last thing a young lady with a pair of controlling assholes for parents needs is a controlling asshole for a girlfriend. Just sayin’.

Does asexuality actually exist? My partner’s younger brother claims to be asexual, but I think he’s just a maladjusted little shit and that he’s intimidated by the thought of sex. Your thoughts?

THE SISTER-IN-LAW

Asexuality must exist, TSIL, seeing as it has its own homepage—www.asexuality.org—where you can read this:

“Asexual people have the same emotional needs as anyone else, and like [those] in the sexual community we vary widely in how we fulfill those needs. Some asexual people are happier on their own, others are happiest with a group of close friends. Other asexual people have a desire to form more intimate romantic relationships, and will date and seek long-term partnerships. Asexual people are just as likely to date sexual people as we are to date each other.”

I’ll probably be accused of asexophobia for suggesting that asexuals who date “sexual people” are obligated to disclose their asexuality preferably on the first date and certainly no later than the third date. Asexuals may have the same emotional needs as anyone else, but most of us sexuals—heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals—expect to have our emotional and sexual needs met in our “intimate romantic relationships,” thanks, and we’re going to want to know if that’s not in the cards before we get involved, not after. Someone who is incapable of meeting a sexual’s needs has no business dating a sexual in the first place, if you ask me. At the very least, asexuality must be disclosed. And I’m still trying to wrap my head around this:

“Figuring out how to flirt, to be intimate, or to be monogamous in nonsexual relationships can be challenging…”

Um… since monogamy is understood to mean sexual exclusivity—you don’t fuck other people—I’m not sure how you define monogamy in a sexless relationship. Does your asexual partner promise not to not fuck other people?

As for your brother-in-law, TSIL, I don’t see what his asexuality and/or hang-ups have to do with you. If you’re prying into your BIL’s sex life, TSIL, I’d say he’s not the only maladjusted little shit in the family.

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