Jul 23, 2015 bija commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Why Couldn't He Follow the Rule?.
If the promise was phrased as "Nothing is going to happen," the problem is that the promise was non-specific. For a lot of people, it would make sense to say, "I kissed her, but nothing happened." Literally, the promise "Nothing is going to happen" can't be true--something is going to happen. If you want a promise that certain things are not going to happen, it's best to get that promise explicitly. He might not have kissed her if instead of saying "Nothing is going to happen," he said "I am not going to kiss her."
Jan 22, 2015 bija commented on SL Letter of the Day: Closure.
I think the important thing here is not whether she was right, how she should feel, whether we bring out certain loaded terms to talk about what happened--but rather, given that what happened happened, and that she feels what she feels, what to do?

And Dan's advice here is pretty good about that, in my opinion. She has to game out the possibility that contact with him will turn out to be a mistake. My only spin on it would be to frame the conversation as something other than "I demand an apology." It could be very healing for two adults to discuss something that they experienced together as children, to share their adult perspectives on it. To say, "Do you remember what happened?" and hear his memories of it, whether he was feeling embarrassed, whether he now feels regret, whether there was something else going on that she wasn't aware of. The worst possible outcome is he says, "Oh, yeah, that was cool, I was so excited I was gonna tell all my buddies I got to second base with you."

I see lots of cases where "I demand an apology" becomes problematic; I'm thinking more of public cases and media feuds, but it plays out as well. Because even if the apologist says "You're right. You deserve an apology. I'm sorry. I was wrong." the demanders sometimes don't seem satisfied. They say, "No, really apologize, and tell me why you did the awful thing you did." Which are two goals really at odds with each other, leading the apologist to justify, to try to fix the demander's perceptions, to make excuses. That's not going to make her feel better, to hear him say, "Cut me some slack, I was a horny teenager!" But it might make her feel better to hear that he remembers, and he recognizes that he shouldn't have done what he did.
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Jun 27, 2014 bija commented on SL Letters of the Day: Response Required.
But does Dan ever go to Wisconsin? The one question he forgot to answer! (Or maybe a restraining order will answer it for him.)
Jan 12, 2014 bija commented on SLLLOTD: Premarital Counseling.
@34 Right, that's what I'm saying. She's reasonable to be turned off by it, to say that she wouldn't have given permission--or that she's not sure she would have given permission had she been asked. Some of the commenters seem to be saying that she shouldn't be turned off by it because it won't affect her job or public reputation. But if it's reasonable to be turned on by something, it's also reasonable to be turned off by it.
Jan 11, 2014 bija commented on SLLLOTD: Premarital Counseling.
I think it's easy to say, in theory, "I wouldn't mind if someone shared a waist-down picture of me without my permission." And sure, rationally, if it doesn't have anything that would identify you, your job and public life aren't at risk.

But then, for some people, that would be a fetish; some people like the idea of partial exhibition. If it's reasonable for someone to say, "I'm turned on to think that strangers on the Internet are looking at my naked crotch, and they don't know it's me," then it's also reasonable for someone to say, "I'm turned off to think that strangers on the Internet are looking at my naked crotch, even though they don't know it's me."
Dec 19, 2013 bija commented on SLLOTD: WWDSD?.
@1 I think it's because the LW signed using the name "What Would Dan Do?"
Nov 2, 2013 bija commented on SL Letter of the Day: Still My Son.
Sexually active gay teens have the incentive to stay in the closet for sleepover--if their parents are oblivious to what's going on, and the teens are self-aware enough to weigh the benefits and decide that the sex they get is worth more, and are aware that their parents will put the brakes on sleepover activity.

But I also think teens have the incentive to come out to their parents, because even more than getting their rocks off, they want their relationships to be recognized, want their parents to respect their relationship decisions equally, want to keep the closeness with their parents. This generation of teens is a lot closer with their parents than mine was; they'll tend to be more open, and the parents should be more open about at least keeping the same standard as for the straight siblings.

I was fully closeted as a teen, and had sleepovers with male friends where I hoped sex would happen, and it never did. Living in the closet meant always having the grey area behind the fiction--that I was never sure if any of my "friends" were "more than friends," that I was never sure if "sleeping over" would lead to "sleeping with." Coming out would allow me to see the difference: that Guy #1 was a friend, and he could sleep over and it would be just friends sleeping over, but only years later would I find Guy #9, who was a boyfriend, and sleeping over meant sleeping with.

And maybe a parent of a gay teen can make that distinction, as much as the teen might think it's unfair. "It's okay for you to have Will, Scott, or Tony sleep over, because I know they're your friends. But if you want Ryan to sleep over, well, he's your boyfriend, so he's sleeping in another room."
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Jul 29, 2013 bija commented on SL Letter of the Day: It's Advice, Not Binding Arbitration.
No one's mentioned it since #11, but my thought on reading the letter was much the same. The way some readers have apparently drifted the term "monogamish" kind of misses the point, that it means "In general, pretty much monogamous, but not 100%." Someone who's posting personal ads for a side girlfriend is not monogamish. And if he misunderstands the term that much, it's possible that he thinks it means, "My wife thinks we're monogamous, and I don't tell her she's wrong."
May 26, 2013 bija commented on SL Letter of the Day: Pray Away.
@42: I teach college English, and sadly, I have seen lots of students with a similarly convoluted approach to vocabulary. It struck me as real, really trying too hard.

@11: It is possible that the desires the LW avoids mentioning are something other than typically gay ones... but I'd think if they were, he'd be focusing on the drawbacks in this life, as in, "How do I suppress my desires so I don't go to prison?" as opposed to "How do I suppress my desires so I don't go to hell?"
Apr 14, 2013 bija commented on This Morning's NYT Book Review.
It's a book review, not a book report. It doesn't need to summarize the structure and content; it's intended to give a sense of whether you'd want to read it. I think I might, but I'm prepared to read it with some scorn.

I'm particularly interested in seeing whether I agree with Dan about the MCC parts. It seems like Chu didn't think church is an appropriate place to be flirty or affectionate, but too much of that and it sounds more like it's based in the assumption that sex is dirty, that if someone hugs you at church and he may be thinking gay thoughts while doing it he's a pervert.