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Jul 22 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
Mr Savage was surprisingly gentle to the first LW; I expected something much more harsh telling him to dump himself already.

As for the third letter, I could let it go as a case of Right Message, Wrong Messenger, but at least it's nice that Mr Savage sees the point of why his lying about his age for so long was such an irritant. (An explanation of when and why he saw the light, similar to that asked of Mrs Clinton regarding some of her well-known positional juggling, would not come amiss.)
Jul 22 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
Ms Cute - Alas, I can tell you but little about Barbara Pym. I've heard of her as having a bit in common with Angela Thirkell and a bit in common with Iris Murdoch.
Jul 20 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
Ms Grizelda - Oh, I didn't think it that far out. I just want only nice people to have cats in their lives, although I suppose one could just as legitimately consider that association with cats might improve the characters of nasty people.
Jul 19 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
Ms Grizelda - I'm not bashing you. It's just that I'm a cat person myself, don't like that LW much, and both: a) happen to think that devoted cat owners aren't all that different from devoted dog owners, so that she might be better suited to birds or fish, and b) think that cats deserve much better than that LW.

On another tack, if you seriously interpret:

[Oh, please, no, don't call her a cat person.]

as *bashing*, it would seem that you have a low tolerance for disagreement, much lower than your conversations with some of our MRAs would suggest. Even if I recite the line to myself in an inflection that would make both Sir Ian and Sir Derek take me as a role model for their characters on Vicious, it still doesn't get to bashing.

If you like (and this suggestion is being made in all good humour, not snarkingly), you could give me a code word to use should I ever bash you on purpose, although I don't think that's at all likely. But its existence will be useful by rpoviding you with a negative inference when it does not appear. In fact, I could suggest (customized) "gluten". Should I ever direct a post at you declaring, "Gluten, gluten, GLUten!" (visualize the tone in which Jan Brady exclaimed, "Marcia, Marcia, MARcia!") you may assume highly hostile intent - and a lack thereof in posts containing no such reference.
Jul 18 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
Mr Wich - Well, I suppose it's fair that you would not recognize how great a compliment you were paid when I presumed you were that rare straight man who would be acceptable in the right sort of lesbian bar, which is a good deal more than I'd say for some of the regulars here. I thank you for the additional background and appreciate your willingness to engage.

My more informed guess at this point is that you likely consider yourself "orientation-blind" (the way some white people call themselves "colour-blind") and just happen to gravitate towards people who are more like you - not that there's anything wrong with such gravitation. You admire the work of Mr Savage and Mr Sedaris in what sounds like an "orientation-blind" way - as in, they meet standards that, as someone in a position of privilege, you may not realize are skewed to your own norms. If you can find ways in which the works of gay people you admire are influenced by their sexuality in ways that make the work more appealing to you, that may help you be open to the possibility that your GF may some way down the line, if not now, want to make your shared existence less heteronormative.

As for not being hit upon, perhaps the same-sexer men who encounter you only venture passes on men who ping their gaydar.
Jul 18 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
Mr Wich - Not browbeating, just wondering. Most people have many more friends than they do romantic partners. And yet here you are dating a non-heterosexual woman while being entirely without non-heterosexual friends. I can imagine a variety of explanations, and am not requesting an excuse.

One possible explanation has to do with the extremely (possibly overly) flexible nature of "bisexual". Your GF could be like one of those women who write in to Mr Savage detailing an OSM (opposite-sex monogamous) relationship and a life in which everyone (or very nearly) assumes their complete heterosexuality. That strikes me as plausible given the circumstances of your letter. There are many bisexual women on this site and perhaps in this very thread who are much more clearly interested in women, and perhaps whose interest in men would be more surprising. Quite likely we ought to wonder what going to a "gay bar" means to your GF. Even though she is bisexual, it could be an adventure to her, or she could be hanging out in homonormative places on a regular basis. Things like this are why I stressed insufficient information.

You could just happen to live, work and socialize somewhere overwhelmingly straight. Maybe you don't have easily accessible institutions where people of varied orientations meet and mingle on a regular basis. (Example: many "gay" sports leagues are mixed; I met at least a dozen straight people at the Gay Games who were open to joining a gay league or team and found it highly congenial.) That is unfortunate. Maybe your area is very strongly segregated. Maybe the vast majority of non-straight people are deeply closeted (we don't even know, though you likely do, about your GF) Another possible explanation is that you equate going into known mixed-orientation spaces with "holding tryouts". That's very respectful of you, but perhaps a bit purist.

Now, to be perhaps a little less gentle, as you seem to be open to the idea that at least one of your friends could be closeted, have you ever asked yourself if there is anything about you that might discourage a closeted friend from coming out to you? Again, none of us here know you, your friends or your GF. From your own testimony, we can assume that none of your closeted friends (if you have any) have come out to you and that nobody openly non-straight you've met has attempted to befriend you. Again, perhaps you don't happen to meet openly non-straight people. But there could be something about you that discourages non-straight people from seeking your friendship or responding favourably to your attempt to initiate. Again, maybe you just live somewhere heavily ruled by the closet. Why has your GF not introduced you to her non-straight friends (does she not have any; is this proposed visit to a gay bar her way of doing so)?

There's far too much we don't know about the particulars of your situation to be able to give more than vague and general advice. If that's all you want, take it and roll with it in good health. I just found the deeper situation interesting, not necessarily reprehensible. Remember how much you know that we don't.
Jul 17 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
[CN: This is the Nice Version.]

Mr Wich - Well, given that you have found a non-heterosexual who likes you well enough to date you on a regular basis, and that you do seem to be generally a respectful person, you ought surely by whatever great age you have reached to have encountered at least one non-Wainthropp who has found you worthy of befriending, although it might help you to lose the attitude about being bought so many drinks. Very few gay men are so competitive and predatory as to swoop down upon some man wandering in accompanied by his female romantic partner, and only straight chasers will give you bonus points for being a clear opposite-sexer.
Jul 16 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
M?s Fan/Olechka - I think our terms are a little at cross purposes. In my neck of the woods, what is called a lesbian bar caters mainly to same-sexer women but doesn't discourage non-FF-driven clientele at either management or patroness level - in a small-urban or suburban setting, not many bars can thrive or even survive on FF purity.

I have not been inside a bar of any description in the last fifteen years, but have been inside my small city's lesbian bar on two or three occasions (once for an hour, to meet a friend's sister, and always at the invitation of a lesbian or bi woman friend); as far as I recall, straight men as respectful as LW (I'd never recommend a lesbian bar if there were any hint of his being in the mood for female eye candy or possible threesome partners) were as accepted there as I was. What you would call a lesbian bar seems more in line with Ms Thomas' definition of one of the last few bastions of female-only space ruggedly clinging to existence and ideological purity, which is why I instanced her.

The kind of gay clubs you two instance I'd call postgay; many aren't even homonormative any more; women and straight men are welcomed rather than accepted. My idea/experience of a gay bar is very much a male equivalent of a lesbian bar.

The Olechkan suggestion to make non-straight friends is excellent, if a little on the polite side. I'd make it a point for cross-examination; why doesn't he already have non-straight friends, especially given his respectful nature?

I don't think there's enough evidence to assume that GF clearly meant a space largely populated by same-sexer male friends of hers. It's certainly plausible, but my default was to consider why she wanted to go somewhere where she'd also be out of place besides (as Ms Hopkins wonders) her wanting to take him somewhere (non-hetero)normative. Of course, as the information is secondhand coming through him, we don't have any real impression of what's really GF and what's his filter.

There's probably an interesting discussion to be had about bisexual people with partners not matching mononormative spaces, but I don't think I'll begin it.
Jul 15 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
Ms Grizelda - Oh, please, no, don't call her a cat person. She sounds like a bird person. Or perhaps a fish person.

As for the first LW, they should go to a lesbian bar first, if they have access to one not attended by June Thomas (of Slate's Ask A Homo series, who started the whole thing off by telling straight people please not ti invade lesbian spaces) that accepts men. He's quite respectful enough, it would seem.

Insufficient evidence, but I might be tempted to go on a fishing expedition with a few questions designed to establish that GF likes to stir things up.
Jul 11 vennominon commented on Savage Love.
Ms Cummins - You seem to be using "unstimulating" as both an objective descriptor and a constant (very similar to the image of Mr Ramsay and the alphabetical framework for intellectual level). I'm more or less in agreement with Ms Erica here in thinking that someone might well be brilliant but the wrong sort of brilliant for the professor in question. I shouldn't want anyone to take up with an unstimulating partner (what fun for that partner), but what worked for me in a similar position when I was inclined to similar complaints (as opposed to now, when I am quite contentedly Retired from Romance) was managing to expand my capacity to be stimulated (I am not saying she isn't trying).

This is not really complete, but I'm too tired to proceed.

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