Savage Love Podcast Comments


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John Horstman 1
No WAY! The small, smooth stone article is literally the only thing in Cosmo I ever read! (It sold me on the uselessness of the magazine as well.)
Posted by John Horstman on June 26, 2012 at 8:14 AM · Report this
For an additional research, the caller with vaginal pain can check out the book Healing Painful Sex by Dr. Deborah Coady and Nancy Fish, MSW. It's a complete guide to understanding and healing sexual pain. Deborah and Nancy have been featured in Marie Claire, Sirius XM's Doctor Radio, PsychCentral, and many more outlets for their groundbreaking book. Here is a link:
Posted by emg on June 26, 2012 at 8:29 AM · Report this
I'm glad those callers brought the rebuttal re: penis pictures-- but, tellingly, both of those callers enjoyed seeing pictures from *their boyfriends*, not random dudes. Kind of an important distinction.
Posted by UtterEast on June 26, 2012 at 9:41 AM · Report this
Yes... there is a important distinction re: getting boyfriend/partner/husband penis pics as apposed to getting random dude penis pics.

Sure I like to see my partner hard via pictures, it can be totally hot.

Random dude ...not so much.
Posted by aud21 on June 26, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Wow, the inexperienced dom sounds like an awesome guy with a great problem.
Posted by sahara29 on June 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Lady, millions of women DO think dicks look weird and squirrely. It's not like it's a commonly-held belief, generally, that dicks are beautiful. As a culture (because we're so male-focused) we tend to believe a lot more in the beauty of breasts and female curves than in genitalia of either sex. If you actually believe it's more common for women to looove getting dick pics, you either have your head up your ass or you ain't got too many lady friends.

And that wasn't slut-shaming. Slut-shaming is hating on a woman for having too many sexual partners or having sex too often. I think there should be another word - say, skank-shaming - for hating on women who dress provocatively and/or assuming they're sluts.
Posted by dchari on June 26, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
To the woman with painful intercourse: you may have endometriosis. It wouldn't show up with a gyny exam, and despite it being pretty common, medical schools don't seem to be making much of it. It takes women an average of 9 years to be diagnosed. Often gynecologists recommend VALIUM because they assume the woman just hates sex and the pain is her way of getting out of it! If a man said sex hurts - ok, off the soapbox. But it is something to look into....
Posted by anniej128 on June 26, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Roadflare 8
@3@4, YES! that's what I kept thinking. Of course you love your boyfriend's penis (I know I love my boyfriends!), but that's due to intimacy and a fondness for the dick that gives you pleasure. Random men, no.
Posted by Roadflare on June 26, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
I completely relate to the vaginal pain woman: I've had the exact same problem for a few years now. I've been to various doctors. I've been referred to goddamn sex therapy. All I want to know is why it happened, seemingly out of nowhere, and how I can make it go away. It's wreaked havoc on my sex life; I completely understand the sex = pain association and I still struggle with it. I recently had an experience with my bf that was completely pain free but we didn't do anything different than usual so I don't understand why I had a brief respite. It's very frustrating, but you aren't alone.
Posted by paingirl on June 26, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Yeah, seriously Dan. Most women like dick pics from their boyfriends. It would just be nice if guys on OKCupid and other dating sites would stop offering up dick pics before we've even met them.
Posted by alguna_rubia on June 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM · Report this
To the woman who's having trouble with painful intercourse, look to your diet. I know that sounds like a crazy, catch-all suggestion, but I had the exact same problem. A couple months back, any time I had penetrative sex (I'm a lesbian, so it came up but was also not a huge deal to take that off the table), I would get seizing pain that mimicked menstrual cramping but also felt really fucking painful in my vagina. It wasn't that I was not aroused (there was even extra lube involved). My partner would put a finger or a dildo in me, and I would be enjoying myself then BAM. No go. I considered this an annoyance but it wasn't until my period just turned unbearable that I started really looking at what I wasn't getting in my diet. My diet was scarce and lean, and I don't eat meat. I read that pineapple juice helps with menstrual cramps, and that Calcium and Magnesium supplements help your muscles relax, which could help with cramping. I told my doctor and she was like, "Well, good. You should be taking that, but I'm not sure that's going to help this problem." She put me on birth control and encouraged me to eat better. After two months of taking birth control in addition to the Calcium/Magnesium supplements, I can have penetrative sex again. I don't know if the caller has the exact problem I have or if this sounds like hoodoo nonsense, but hey, vitamin supplements aren't that expensive. Give it a few weeks. It took almost a month for me to stop feeling pain whenever someone stuck a finger near me. And don't be hard on yourself. You're doing everything right, and I hope that some combination of birth control, supplements, or even a visit to a specialist with help. Because oral is nice, but penetration is awesome.
Posted by hoodoononsense on June 26, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
To add to Dan's rant about food and sex: sugar anywhere near genitals is an awesome way to get a yeast infection, especially for women. So if burning sensations are your thing...
Posted by yerpez on June 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM · Report this
Maybe it's not slut shaming, but this blogpost is what gets me confused:…

Slut shaming: "Put in the most simple terms, slut-shaming happens when a person “publicly or privately [insults] a woman because she expressed her sexuality in a way that does not conform with patriarchal expectations for women...policing women via what’s considered “normal” and “acceptable” boundaries for female sexuality is not limited to sex and sexual activity. For instance, women who wear “provocative clothing” are subjected to slut-shaming.

Where can I get a real and comprehensive definition of what slut-shaming actually is?
Posted by erinleeisalive on June 27, 2012 at 6:53 AM · Report this
Maybe it's not slut shaming, but this blogpost is what gets me confused:…

Slut shaming: "Put in the most simple terms, slut-shaming happens when a person “publicly or privately [insults] a woman because she expressed her sexuality in a way that does not conform with patriarchal expectations for women...policing women via what’s considered “normal” and “acceptable” boundaries for female sexuality is not limited to sex and sexual activity. For instance, women who wear “provocative clothing” are subjected to slut-shaming.

Where can I get a real and comprehensive definition of what slut-shaming actually is?
Posted by erinleeisalive on June 27, 2012 at 6:55 AM · Report this
To the woman with vaginal pain during intercourse- I had a similar experience. I was told that it was "all in my head" and I started to believe it. I met with a special sex therapist who diagnosed me with endometriosis and gave me some vaginal "exercises," but the pain continued. I went off of all forms of hormonal birth control, reduced my frequency of intercourse, and eventually it got better, but it took about 9 months. That was 7 years ago, and I have been pain free in that time. However, recently I was put on progesterone suppositories because of low progesterone during pregnancy, and the pain returned. I realize now, many years later, that the endometriosis diagnosis was incorrect. All of these years I have thought of myself as emotionally weak because of the pain during sex. It turns out that my body just has a very negative reaction to synthetic progesterone. Reflecting back, I first started experiencing the pain when I switched to Yasmin, a progesterone based birth control. In addition to Dan’s recommendation of laying off penetrative sex, I also recommend going off all hormonal birth control. I think these hormonal drugs might have many more side-effects than are recorded in medical literature because the causal links are too hard to establish.
Posted by pip127 on June 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Oh caller with the pain! I am so sorry to hear about this. I too have had problems with pain. Absolutely get yourself to a pelvic pain specialist. There are lots of conditions that can cause pain with sex and there is treatment, including physical therapists who specialize in this kind of issue. Your average ob/gyn doesn't know jack about this stuff. They will act like it doesn't even exist.

I went to my ob/gyn with persistent clitoral pain (OUCH!) and she just looked at it and went oh, there's nothing there. The pelvic pain specialist was down the hall from her in the same program. What an idiot. In my case, I have lichen sclerosis. Occasionally I have also had a sneaky bacterial infection that has caused serious, stabbing pain in my vagina as well. Although lichen sclerosis is not curable, it is manageable and generally my pain is okay these days. I think most of the other diagnoses have better prognoses than mine, so buck up!

You sound to me like you have some kind of muscle spasm issue, but I'm just one more armchair quack. Get to someone who knows this stuff. Be persistent. You want to see a specialist who's seen this kind of thing a million times. Good luck, sister.
Posted by sfgurl on June 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
The slut-shaming definition is pretty accurate. I'm sure the commentor (6) didn't mean what was said the way it came out, but there is a lot in this sentence: "Slut-shaming is hating on a woman for having too many sexual partners or having sex too often."

Ta-Da! THAT is slut-shaming. There is the implicit assumption that a woman (and of course this would only be applied to a woman) can have too many sexual partners or sex too often. Slut-shaming is rooted in controlling women's sexuality. Skirt too short? Oh- slut. Many sexual partners? slut. Like sex? slut. Had a glass of wine? Slut.

What is too many sexual partners? Who's got a number?
What is sex "too often", (with one, or many partners...) who's got a number for that?

Recognizing slut-shaming for what it is is partially about understanding that what and who we call a 'slut' is arbitrary - and (unless it's being used sex-positively) gets to be defined by the person who is insulting said 'slut'.

There is not really any point in differentiating between 'slut-shaming' and 'skank-shaming' (as 6 says) because that rhetoric still says it's ok to degrade someone based on their real or perceived sexuality (it's ok for me to call someone a slut if I know they really are a slut!) . Slut, whore, ho, puta, vadia, skank, hussy....all the same.
Posted by slut on June 27, 2012 at 7:43 PM · Report this
For the young man wanting to know how to do dominance and submission, Franklin Veaux, author of the wonderful Human Map of Sexuality ( has a list of fun things to try out here:…
He also writes well on the hows and whats and is a great source on polyamory, for those interested. Good,luck! :)
Posted by polarette on June 28, 2012 at 3:10 AM · Report this
For the lady with the vaginal pain, I don't know how helpful this will be coming from a penis-haver, but here goes:

Earlier this year I had a lot of pain in my lower abdomen/pelvis area that would periodically come and go, but eventually got to the point where I went to the ER because it got so bad in the middle of the night that I worried something was really wrong. Long story short, the ER doctor couldn't find the specific problem, but after a fancydancy CT scan, found that my lymph nodes were inflamed in the area, which he thought was causing the pain. He sent me on my way with a round of antibiotics and that cleared the problem up. Again I don't know how useful that would be for you, but figured I would share it anyway.
Posted by Jifjosh on June 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
Just a shout out to flavored condoms! They cover the taste of latex for me. I absolutely love the taste of dick, but don't love the idea of contracting herpes or any other STI.
Posted by innerspacecase on June 28, 2012 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Snooping is a violation for sure. As far as I'm concerned, it IS cheating. (As is ruining your partner's credit score without their knowledge.) But, like the more conventional kind of cheating, there are shades of grey, and it's not unforgivable.
Posted by Brie on June 30, 2012 at 12:18 AM · Report this
To explain why it's as much of a violation as having sex with another without your lovers knowledge: Extra-partnership sex can violate your expectations of your partner's behaviour with their own body. Snooping violates the snoopee's own self. We put parts of ourselves into our diaries and our letters and conversaitons with other people. Nobody can demand a right to that.

On a physical level, sex can cause health risks... so cheating by having illicit sex partners is definitely wrong. And it is a violation, for sure. But on a purely emotional level, having somebody invade your brain is, to me, much more painful. And then the fact that somebody can walk around your brain and completely misinterpret what they're seeing... that drives me crazy.
Posted by Brie on June 30, 2012 at 12:31 AM · Report this
If you have tried to use psychotherapy and it is still not enough to cure you then you might need to talk to your doctor and see if he recommends prescribing medication for help or treatment. Or use libido enhancers Like Ambrina may help you fix your orgasm problems. visit or Click Here
Posted by Jazimu on June 30, 2012 at 5:49 AM · Report this
To the woman who has pain during sex - I had the same problem for 10 years. I could enjoy and achieve orgasm during other sexual activity, but 'penis-in-vagina' sex was always very uncomfortable, if not painful.
I just stopped taking oral contraceptives and have found that it does not hurt anymore! I think it has something to do with the hormones messing up the vaginal lubrication. In hindsight, I realized that the few times in the past that I had sex when I wasn't on OCs, it felt much better. I'm happy I can actually enjoy that part of sex now. So, if you're willing to try another birth control method (condoms, diaphragm, withdrawal...), maybe give this a go and see if it feels better. Good luck!
Posted by LA_123 on June 30, 2012 at 10:34 PM · Report this
(Straight Female) As far as flavored condoms go, it's more about not wanting to taste latex than not wanting to taste cock. If, Darwin forbid, I have to use a condom during oral sex it's because I'm trying to protect myself from STDs rather than making cock dessert. Just a thought. Most of the time all parties get tested before sex so that I can enjoy my blowjobs condom-free.
Posted by Sunnyhuckle on July 1, 2012 at 8:16 AM · Report this
My favorite ridiculous Cosmo "tip" I read was this: "For sexy foreplay, use your thong as a hair tie." Oh yeah. Because nothing says sexy like underware in your hair that looks like a malformed scrunchie.
Posted by PK14 on July 2, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Neptune 27
The guy who thinks he can ignore his true sexuality forever might also want to read "She's Not There" about Jennifer Finney Boylan's life-long struggle with her trans identity. For those who haven't read it, she spent so many years shaming herself into thinking she was insane/stupid for wanting to be a woman that it wasn't until she was in her 40s and married with two children that she finally went through with the transition. It's an excellent read!

Also, Dan, I think you are too harsh on Cosmo. Yes, they give LOTS of hilariously batshit sex advice. But would someone reading it be doomed? Nah. Something I read in Cosmo at age 16 turned out to be really fucking good advice when I finally got to try it at age 20! Plus, one positive thing about that ridiculous stone anecdote you love is that it - hello - is encouraging straight women to think of their boyfriends' butts as part of sex! One thing I really have to give Cosmo props for is their consistency with incorporating "your man's backdoor" into their sex possibilities. If it weren't for the rocks and food...
Posted by Neptune on July 6, 2012 at 1:22 AM · Report this
To the woman experiencing the painful intercourse. I wanted you to know that I experienced the same issue that you are currently in. Had the same diagnoses from the doctor ( was even told that I just hadn't had enough sex to be stretched out enough, terribly bruising to ones ego when you are having the same problem years later) , did the bc swapping, therapy with a dialator, and at the last visit to the gyno i cried uncontrolaby when he said that i simple "stored all my stress in that area." most people its shoulders, but i was special. unfortunately I did not have a loving husband. My now ex left me and well I ran out and had a one night stand that is now my current boyfriend and you know what? The pain went away! I know it sounds all miracle like and i know that your probably even more stressed since i said that but It could be a combination of things but I do agree that the amount of arousal definitely helps! My current boyfriend is more experienced with manual stimulation ( had many partners sexually than my ex being my first and only) My current boyfriend really gets me excited! He is also not as large as my ex was ( not by much but it's possible that it effected) Also with my current boyfriend I have been more experimental sexually and learned that I enjoy "rough sex" ( not the painful intercourse way) but I think learning what I liked in bed helped with the arousal, feeling satisfied, and less stressed which lead to "happier" vagina. So I know that another partner is not what your looking for... But think about what you would do if everything worked down there, what fantasies you have, get excited about sex again and do all the experimenting ( maybe just leave out the penetration) .. Basically don't be scared to ALLOW yourself to enjoy it. I know for 5 years I didn't. It is more mental than you think, learn to associate sex with relaxation, fun, adventure and maybe this will help for you too. Good luck to you and yours!
Posted by Jen Z on July 7, 2012 at 10:12 PM · Report this
to the woman who experiences painful sex - another thing it could be is some sort of muscle disorder. last year after a pretty bad UTI that was untreated for a few weeks I ended up with nearly constant pelvic/bladder pain. at times the pain was so bad that I thought, ok, that's it, I'm going to have to celibate for life. after many experiences similar to what others have described - various doctors telling me that there was nothing going on, it's in my head, etc - I found a great specialist (urogynecologist) who diagnosed me with pelvic floor dysfunction and myofascial pain syndrome. my doc told me that it is a pretty common disorder among women of different ages (i'm 23) AND (the best part) totally treatable with physical therapy. a year later I'm much much better, and definitely not celibate.

just don't lose hope, I understand how frustrating it can be, especially when you don't know what's going on and are fed up with the doctors. having a supportive partner makes a world of difference. good luck!!
Posted by wsw3ma on July 9, 2012 at 8:41 AM · Report this
the girl who called about the pain during sex might have a yeast infection, even if they're really minimal infections they can be super uncomfortable. This happens to me allll the time and you have to just be super clean and get the right products. Her boyfriend could have one too that keeps getting passed back and forth...anyway, just an idea.
Posted by alice022691 on August 4, 2012 at 8:53 AM · Report this

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