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3:24 PM yesterday nocutename commented on Savage Love.
I have often heard Dan talk about how hard PIV sex is on the ol' vagina and say that one reason that women may not be up for it all the time is to think of how you (man) would feel if you got boned in the ass every day. Then he recommends that the person who wants more sex ask for "an assist," or to be allowed to go down on the woman while jerking himself off or to have her watch him and hold him while he masturbates.

These statements bother me for several reasons.

I can't speak for anyone else, let alone every woman. Already this thread has had contributions from a woman who seems to share Dan's attitude about how much PIV intercourse takes a toll on the vagina-haver (Big Hug Mug @16), and several people have recommended the "hold him while he masturbates" technique. But for me, the reason I might have for not wanting to have sex as frequently with my male partner and why the solution offered by Dan wouldn't work, come down to the same thing: Interest in sex or the lack of it.

Unless we're talking about a man with a huge penis, or prolonged jackhammer thrusting, or a marathon session lasting over 3 hours with lots of PIV, my vagina feels fresh as a daisy and good to go the morning after having had PIV. Every day. Sometimes I might feel sore for an hour or two after waking, but then I'm fine.* The vagina is a muscle tube, after all.

No, the reason I might have for not wanting to have sex would be because I wasn't "in the mood." While this doesn't happen often and not in my last several relationships, it did happen in my long and sexually unfulfilling marriage. And not being "in the mood" generally means I'm not interested in having sex myself because I know I'm not going to orgasm or maybe even feel good at all or in seeing that my partner is sexually satisfied at the moment. Because in order for whatever sex we have to work for him, I need to be actively invested in his pleasure.

Think about it: do you want to pump away at a woman who's lying there like a cold fish or a rubber sex doll? Some men might be able to orgasm no matter what effort or apparent interest a woman puts in, but most would, at the very least, want her to seem like she's enjoying herself. For some men, the woman's obvious lack of interest is enough to keep them from coming.

Well, "holding" a man while he's masturbating isn't something that can be done--or done well--while watching tv or reading. It's not nearly as passive an activity as Dan makes it sound. When I hold a masturbating partner, he's generally masturbating for about 10 minutes at least. If I were to appear checked out or bored or uninterested, if I were just "letting him do that," his erection would almost certainly wither. I have found that in order for my partner to really enjoy himself or in order for him to come, I need to be more invested than that. Ordinarily, this is a non-problem, but I have twice dated men I wasn't all that attracted to who could only orgasm through self-stimulation. Both times, before I broke up with them, knowing this was doomed, I had to pretend to a level of enthusiasm I didn't feel, because no one wants to be with an uninterested partner. If I have to hold my partner while he masturbates for him to come, which was the case with another man i dated, to whom I was extremely attracted and in whose pleasure I was very invested, then I need to stroke his balls or shaft while he focuses on the head of his penis; I need to lick his neck or his nipples; I need to talk dirty; I might need to do a little self-stimulation, as well.
I need to be involved is what I'm saying.

Now if my partner can come from PIV and doesn't need to masturbate himself while I hold him, and if what we're looking for is only his sexual sole satisfaction, then I might as well have PIV intercourse with him, because the level of involvement required from me is exactly the same no matter what the act and my vagina doesn't feel all torn up and raw afterward and need two-three days to recover before I am ready for the next bout of PIV.

When I was married, my husband sometimes wanted me to hold him while he jerked and I did, but if I wasn't interested in PIV, I was just as not-interested in the full-on participation necessary in good holding-while-jerking. I mean, I did it, but I resented it.

*I'm menopausal now, and there are some changes. The vaginal tissue is thinner--but less so now that I'm using Vagifem suppositories--and I don't lubricate as much. So I could actually be a lot more sore now. And still, with the Vagifem and lube, and some careful mixing it up, I don't feel pain in the moment, or soreness after the fact.
9:08 AM yesterday nocutename commented on Savage Love.
Rarely does a lw irritate me as much as WOES does. So he needs to orgasm in his wife to be able to fall asleep, does he? How did he sleep before they were married or sharing a bed? I guess he just suffered from insomnia night after night, waiting until the time when he would a have a vagina next to him so he could pump away at it for a couple of minutes before coming and collapsing.

In addition to getting enough exercise, drinking warm milk, stepping away from screens or violent imagery at least an hour before going to bed, there are choices like Ambien. Or over the counter sleep aids, like Tylonal PM (or just take a Benadryl--that's the active ingredient in Tylonal PM anyway, and you don't want to worry about accidental Acetaminophen overdoses).

WOES doesn't want to get addicted to porn? Or he doesn't enjoy it? He said both those things. He blames his porn aversion on his fundamentalist upbringing. How convenient. Then someone should tell him that porn addiction, if there is such a thing, is what happens when consuming porn takes over your entire life, interfering with every aspect of it. It's not like a switch that gets activated with one use. Not to mention, that as a lot of people point out, you don't need internet porn to masturbate. You don't need to sit in front of a computer to jerk off.

I disagree with some of the advice: WOES sounds like a whiny brat (she is just so tired and busy with her career and our kids. And yes, I have talked and fought with her countless times. In weaker moments, I'll admit I have also guilted her for her more "active" sexual past (with prior boyfriends) and for her current "neglect," which I know is unfair and unhelpful.) and I can easily imagine his poor exhausted wife might not want him to start whining about wanting a blow job or wanting to hold him as he jerks off. There are countless places to go--the shower, the guest room, the living room if the kids are asleep. Their unoccupied bedroom while the beleaguered wife is showering or still in the living room watching tv after the kids go to sleep.

This may or may not be a mismatched libido situation--it's hard to tell. I understand that WOES probably wants intimacy and connection with his wife, not just the solo orgasm, but he sure doesn't convey that in his letter and it's likely his attitude of entitlement and his decision to shame or guilt his wife for her past that are making her less interested in being his Fleshlight-sleep aid.
Oct 23 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
Today Rebecca Solnit, author of many books including Men Explain Things To Me, posted this on her Facebook page. I think it is relevant:

Read this, please, from my hero for today. Mary Diaz writes: This is a thing that happened. Driving through the back roads this morning I was enjoying the energy of this pack of road bikers in front of me taking up 2/3 of the lane. Until one of them yelled into my open window "You fucking stupid cunt!" I was driving slow as I passed on the left and there were at least 30 men in this group- wasn't sure how to navigate around them so I'd slowed down as I passed. A mile or so later I pulled over when I realized his comment had left me shaking. Then there they were pulled up across the street stopping for a break and I found myself inexplicably out of the car striding over to the leader: "I really enjoyed seeing you guys on the road this morning. I was thinking about my little boy who's about to turn 3 and lives on his bike. I was thinking how I bet he'll ride like you someday..." /pause/awkward. The group was staring now- sipping water bottles. My voice betrayed me but I managed " of you called me a fucking. stupid. cunt. hurt my feelings." Then of course I started to cry even though I really just wanted to be angry. The pack leader interjected "aww come on hon...don't get emotional...didn't mean anything by it... just a bunch of guys...all worked up on adrenaline....wasn't personal..." And there it was__my anger__and it was clear and sharp. I pointed at him and said "YOU do not call me 'hon.' YOU do not tell me not to be emotional. You think you're allowed to get emotional and verbally assault a stranger and then deny them the right to react? " He stammered dumbly but I kept going not quite as shaky "Whoever said hurt me. I want you to know that your words had an impact." I felt completely ridiculous right then but he tried once again muttering about guys and their egos and getting caught up in the intensity (of the ride)...competition and anyway it was just a joke..." And I cut him off "next are you going to tell me it was just locker room talk?" A collective cringe from the group at that. "What you are saying is what men always say to excuse their unchecked aggression. And it is not ok. And it's sure as hell not a joke. You have no idea what you're doing to me to...everything...when you say that. "I probably didn't sound as articulate at that point but by then I too was jacked on adrenaline and couldn't help adding something completely ridiculous ala "...and cunts are not stupid they're fucking magic" before walking away. 🙈
As I pulled out one of the men peddled up grabbing my open window and looked me all the way in the eyes. "It was me...who said it. I'm sorry. Thank you for slowing down...I get worked up sometimes. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings." And he was. So I said thank you awkwardly and drove away.
Oct 23 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
Regarding skepticism and belief, yes, it's true that women, being people, as Don't Tess With Mexas, noted, sometimes lie. Sometimes they exaggerate the severity of an incident, and sometimes they fabricate the incident entirely. This extends to false charges of rape.

In cases of accusations of sexual assault this is where the presumption of "innocent until proven guilty," and having a healthy dose of skepticism need to intersect for both parties. So we can apply the attitude that both the accused and the accuser are innocent (i.e. telling the truth, in the case of the accuser) until we can prove that one of them is guilty of either action or untruth. And we can turn a skeptical eye on both people and both of their stories. I don't think that any and every women who alleges that something unprovable has happened to her should always, every single time, be assumed to be telling the truth. For example, I think it's highly probable that Mia Farrow, furious over what was a creepy and border-crossing relationship between her barely-adult daughter and Woody Allen, Farrow's long-term boyfriend, made up allegations that Allen molested their 7-year-old daughter as a way to retaliate. She's made several statements which show her as being willing to distort the truth as a way of striking back at Allen. (For what it's worth, I don't think that Dylan Farrow is lying when she says her father molested her; given her age and the ease with which memories can be implanted or distorted and the importance this narrative has for her mother, I am sure that she really believes her story to be true.)

That doesn't mean that the automatic response to a woman reporting illegal sexual assault should be to be skeptical of her. It means to start with the presumption that she is telling the truth. And if it turns out she's not, she should be on the hook for it, legally. But we don't treat people who report any other crime the same way as we do women who report sexual assault, and that seems wrong and unfair. And given the way we do treat women when they report being assaulted--with skepticism and contempt, many times calling them liars or sluts, etc.--it's unlikely that a lot of women would wantonly go around making false accusations. It doesn't generally go easily for them after that. Check out this very thread for starters. Listen to Trump supporters for more. That is why so much sexual assault goes unreported or why when once one woman is wiling to come forward with her story about a well-liked or well-known or powerful or rich man, a momentum gets going--because other women think that maybe they'll be listened to now, when they despaired of every being listened to before.

All the above, howerver just addressed criminal acts of sexual assault . These sometimes can and sometimes cannot be proved. They are punishable crimes. If someone is falsely convicted, he is wrongfully punished, sometimes quite severely--lynching, anyone?

But the skeptics in this comment thread are conflating criminal acts with men who creep women out. Creeping women out isn't a crime, and it doesn't need to be investigated as one--nor does it need to have skepticism applied to it. Because feeling creeped out, is just that: a feeling. It's subjective. If I tell you that the way that man was staring at me made me feel uncomfortable, who are you to tell me that it didn't? We're talking about the way people feel, and we're not saying that men who stare at women in ways that make them uncomfortable or follow too closely behind or for too long should be charged with some sort of crime. As EricaP pointed out, all you have to do in response to a person telling you that someone else creeps them out is to help them stay away from that person. If you are a parent or an adult who has influence over a child's actions, and the child tells you that she doesn't like it when Uncle X hugs her or that Cousin Z always wants her to sit on his lap and she doesn't like it, you don't have to call the police. You don't even have to confront the person who makes the kid uncomfortable--although if it that lap-sitting thing, you may want to. All you have to do is run a bit of interference or say, "Sally doesn't really want to give hugs these days," or not allow the sleepover. It's that simple; it hurts no one.

I don't understand why so many people seem to think that honoring someone else's own feelings of discomfort can't be done without somehow jumping to drag an innocent man to the gallows. Rethink your "skepticism;" it smacks of patriarchy and sexism.
Oct 22 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
apoptoctic: I, too, want you to know that I read and I care and I am so angry at all the adults who failed you. You deserved better, and I know that if you have a child or someday have one, that you will arm that child with the the ability to say "stop," "no, I don't want to hug you." I offer you a virtual hug of sympathy and am glad you decided to tell your story.

I am lucky in that I don't have a similar one myself, but I well remember having to kiss and hug adults who scared me or disgusted me or whom I didn't know at all, as part of the arrival and/or departure ritual. I remember adult men who made "jokes" that scared me or made me uncomfortable and when I complained to my parents, being told that they was just kidding and it was supposed to be understood to be joking. I have never understood why adults--why the parents of the kids involved don't take the complaints of children more seriously. Why they so often force their children into uncomfortable embraces. But you're right: it does set up a dynamic in which the child knows that they have to accept whatever the adult wants to do.
Oct 21 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Guys Keep Putting Him In "The Bottom Zone".
@2: Hmm. I found the lw's level of introspection, thoughtfulness, and self-awareness coupled with such great articulation to be a refreshing change from the usual.

@1: Yeah. I like the whole "noun vs. verb" part of Dan's answer, and of course, almost everyone could be told to be more assertive, so that's always good, but this bf sounds willfully obtuse and ultra-casually insensitive and unconcerned with the lw's feelings or preferences in any way. So it was a very clear case of "Be more assertive and DTMFA!" I don't know why Dan didn't do that.
Oct 19 nocutename commented on Savage Love.
@Oodletrend: Even giving the incidents described in letter #1 the most benign and generous reading, here's what happened: a man who was obviously drunk reached over a child's mother to wrap his hand around that child's arm as he made some drunken comment that he was out of line making. The child hated it and told her mother so: "I hated that man," my daughter says once we get in the car. "He smelled bad, I wanted to hit him, if anyone ever does that to me again I'm going to scream."
The mom used that opportunity to tell her child that she was once the victim of sexual assault and presumably to tell the child that she should always advocate for her own sense of bodily integrity.

And you are suggesting this woman is overreacting why? What would you have told your own daughter had the incident occurred as described and had she said what this child said: "oh honey, you shouldn't assume that the man meant any harm." Maybe you would have said, "I think you're overreacting, sweetie. He didn't hurt you, and he was probably a nice man. If someone does something like that to you again, there's no need to scream. Just smile and wait for them to stop." Seriously, what would you have said to your own daughter had some drunk stranger put his hand on her and scared her and had she told you afterward that she hated it?
Oct 18 nocutename commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Cheaters Club.
So much better than your answers from 25 years ago, purely from a writing standpoint.
Oct 17 nocutename commented on The First Savage Love.
@8: I don't have an answer to your question, but I first started reading Savage Love in the SF Weekly and/or the Bay Guardian (it ran in both) in the late 1990s. I have been in Berkeley all along. We may have been standing in the same line at Peet's two decades ago.
Oct 17 nocutename commented on The First Savage Love.
@5: He's a better writer now, that's for sure. Practice, and all that.

@6: Hey, Seandr--long time no see. Good to see your evil psycho bunny again.