Corydon
Denver
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May 21 Corydon commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Two Birds, One Stone.
Anonymous sounds an awful lot like how I used to be. Frankly, I was a very selfish lover who had absolutely zero business being involved in a committed relationship, because I brought nothing of myself to the table.

Since then, I've learned that relationships aren't really about what you can do for me. It's not about the pleasure and attention that I can extract from you. It's rather about what I can do to support you and help you grow and vice versa, and how we can construct a mutually supporting relationship together. How we both become better and make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Of course, a 20-something is highly unlikely to understand this. I certainly didn't!

And it's quite possible that the 40-something she's married to also doesn't understand this. Arrested development is widespread these days. In which case, yeah, stay together, divorce, whatever...it's not like this relationship is really a marriage in any case.

On the other hand, if he does understand what a marriage is supposed to be and thinks he's got it, well, there are tons and tons of old fools out there getting into exactly this situation. The stories themselves go back at least as far as Plautus. Usually, these situations don't progress this far, but then again, Anonymous sounds like an uncommonly self-centered and manipulative little vixen.
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May 21 Corydon commented on Cafe Allegro Has a Sharps Container in Its Bathroom.
@2 Actually, as someone who used to slam, I actually did care very much about getting rid of sharps responsibly. I did ignore many of my morals, but for that very reason, it made me feel better to a "responsible" drug user. Where I used to live, fresh syringes were relatively easy to come by, so I rarely reused them. But I didn't have much access to official sharps containers. Personally, I would take my old syringes, wrap them in a paper towel or something (to hide them), put all that inside a Gatorade bottle, and then put the Gatorade bottle in a plastic grocery store bag and throw the whole thing in a dumpster. The point being to made it look like normal trash and to prevent anyone from casually coming across them.

And that's sometimes the best you can do. Later on, after I'd cleaned myself up, I was trying to help out another addict by helping him get rid of his works (and feeding him, cleaning him up, getting him to a safe place, all that). I actually took all of his syringes away from him and tried to take them to a drug store for proper disposal. I explained the situation to the pharmacist candidly, but he couldn't accept them. He didn't even have any ideas for how I could dispose of them safely. I ended up using my old technique for getting rid of the stuff.

In spite of my own experiences, whenever I do see a sharps container in a public restroom, my first thought isn't "My, this would be a great place to shoot up!" It's rather, "That's thoughtful...they've provided diabetics a good place to take their insulin."

Drug users by nature tend to be a fairly secretive and shameful lot. They'd rather be out of sight and out of mind if possible. The problems arise when they're desperately seeking more, or if they don't have a place to go.
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May 17 Corydon commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Drug-Free Bone.
Huh. Not sure why, but for some reason I assumed DRUGS was another guy.

Anywho, life is short. The fact that we are mortal (and the older I've grown, the more acutely I sense my impending mortality) is no reason to hold back from exploring the possibility of a relationship where there seems to be good potential for a lot to go right.

In the past, Dan has spoken about HIV being a gay man's superpower for detecting jerks. I would submit that, especially for this guy, for whom good health seems so important, you have a similar superpower. Namely, if he can't see past whatever medical conditions you may have, then perhaps he's just not a good dating candidate.

My guess is that he's sensitive about the age difference; he's afraid you'll reject him because of it. So perhaps he's overcompensating a bit to counteract that and impress you. I have found that the best way to settle those problems is to establish early on that you are comfortable with being emotionally vulnerable with him.

In other words, take a risk and be open with him about your own situation. Sure, he might react badly, in which case you come out ahead because you've detected a jerk very early on. But more likely, it will send him a signal that he can let down his defenses with you, in which case you both really win because you have good potential for building a really wonderful relationship.
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May 15 Corydon commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: How Can I Be a Good Ally to My Abusive Trans Ex?.
@37, being male may have been Mike's reality for his entire life. But the part where he was outwardly female, and did nothing to contradict that, was part of OP's reality.

Where is it written that, by virtue of being trans, Mike gets to trump OP's interpretation of events?
May 14 Corydon commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: How Can I Be a Good Ally to My Abusive Trans Ex?.
@25 Bingo

We decent human beings, we are privileged to have the duty to our trans friends to be supportive and respectful of them before, during and after their transition.

But however they may understand themselves now, however they may even have understood themselves then, our memories of them, complete with the gender they outwardly manifested are ours. Those memories cannot be edited like entries in a database when the transition happens. The alternative is literally Orwellian.

Whatever else Mike may be, he is a transman. That implies at the very least living as a woman for part of his life. That history should be respected with honesty. And so, I, personally, would consider it entirely appropriate to refer to that history with feminine pronouns, just as I would consider it appropriate to honor his present with masculine ones.
Apr 26 Corydon commented on Study: Move to Big City Risky For Young Gay and Bi Men.
First reaction: If you are young (or not so young!) and horny and have just moved to NYC with its hordes of other young, gay horny men, your opportunities for engaging in high risk activities over staying home in BFE increase astronomically.

Second reaction: I've long had a pet theory that gay men are a lot more likely to engage in a wide range of "deviant" behavior (everything from multiple partners to BDSM to drug use) than their straight counterparts are.

My reasoning is that, even today, there are fairly strong social taboos against gay sex and probably always will be because the default assumption that every growing boy carries with him is that he'll find a nice girl and settle down and raise a family. Part of the coming out process involves breaking that taboo and countering those social expectations. My theory is that this act makes breaking the next taboo, and the next and the next, whether it's getting involved in a three-way or trying a line of coke, that much easier.

Now, add to this that by moving to the big city, we are essentially removing the a lot of the moral and social control mechanisms, family, mentors, church, whatever. To belabor a metaphor, you end up with an engine of hormones roaring down a track that has had all of the big hills smoothed out and had the brakes removed. Of course you're going to get a lot of guys acting out in a lot of wild ways.
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Apr 9 Corydon commented on Judge Who Authorized Police Search of Seattle Privacy Activists Wasn't Told They Operate Tor Network.
"This kind of pointless intimidation of Tor operators just hurts the Tor network."


I wouldn't be surprised if that was exactly the point. We already knew that the police really don't like Tor at all.
Mar 2 Corydon commented on No, Super Tuesday Was Not a Dream (Sorry, Chris Christie).
@6 You're also forgetting that, when it comes to foreign policy, Clinton is also more interventionist than Obama (and, assuming anything that comes out of Drumpf's mouth is trustworthy, to the right of the Donald too). She's pretty clearly solidly in the Madelyn "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?" Albright school.

She claims to have learned the lesson of the Iraq war, but solidly supported the disastrous intervention in Libya, and is for greater involvement in Syria, and this is the stuff she's saying before she tacks right for the general.

I honestly have no idea what to do come fall. Sanders is basically my only real hope for any kind of change. Voting for Clinton is voting for the same oligarchy that has been running us into the ground. Aside from the social issues, there's really no difference at all between her or Rubio or even Cruz for that matter; they're all bought and paid for by the same interests.

Drumpf at least recognizes the problems that working class people actually face, and has accurately diagnosed just how the ruling oligarchy (which includes plenty of liberals as well as conservatives) has actively acted to fuck working people over. The fact that he's a sociopath with a yuuuge track record of exploiting those same working class people over and over again (viz. Trump University, eminent domain, the casino industry generally) is what keeps me from supporting him.

I'm really in despair over this election. There's a really strong part of me that just wants to say, "fuck it" and vote for Drumpf just to watch the whole fucking edifice burn.

There is, however, absolutely no way I will support Clinton.

So, I dunno. Is Nader running again?
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Mar 2 Corydon commented on Seattle Times Editorial Board Member Defends Sex Work Editorial with Flawed Research.
Even if sex workers did have histories of sexual abuse or assault—histories that many women share, regardless of their occupations—does that mean they're incapable of making decisions in their own best interest?


I think human history is littered with examples of how people. left to their own devices, make decisions contrary to their best interests all the time.

Indeed, from a utilitarian perspective, one of the best arguments for preserving and maintaining social institutions like strong extended families, churches, schools, civic organizations, etc. is that they help guide people away from making decisions that might look appealing at the outset by might have all kinds of unforeseen consequences down the road.

As a gay man, I've never had to resort to paying for sex in order to indulge in my desires. On the contrary, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've done a little sex work on the side myself when I was younger. It always seemed like a harmless thing. Sex is enjoyable; I was scrupulously honest with my partners, and, when "working", used my position to advocate for and educate my clients on how to protect themselves. What's not to like?

Except, as I've become a little older, I find myself having second thoughts. Has my approach to sex helped contribute to problems with relationships? Does it perhaps point towards other issues that I'd been masking (indeed, my desire to act out sexually in pretty clearly unhealthy ways has decreased as I've worked on some other problems I've had). With 20/20 hindsight, it now occurs to me that my life might have been better without having taken the path I did.

And this doesn't even look at the potential harm to my clients and their families that I was enabling. I had clients who were closeted and married with children. Hiring me was their solution to the problem of their situation. But was I co-signing their dishonesty? What if, despite my precautions, I passed on an STD to a partner who thought he or she was in a monogamous relationship? Was a contributing to an escalating, ticking emotional time-bomb in those relationships? Was I making those relationships better or worse? Yes, the primary responsibility for those choices lay with the client, but I do bear responsibility too as an enabler.

Does that mean that my experience applies to everyone? No, of course not. And I hope that anyone who chooses this path ends up like Xaviera Hollander rather than with having any second thoughts or regrets.

But at the same time, I also know I'm not the only one in this position. Was I exploited by a pimp? A victim of sex trafficking? Damaged or abused? No; I freely chose to do what I did. But, even if I can't point to any of those obvious harms associated with the industry, I think it did leave its mark on me, even if that mark was only avoiding and hiding from issues that I needed to confront. I wish someone had had the opportunity to sit down with that younger version of me and really talk through what I was doing and whether I really wanted to be doing it.

Ideally, all of these hedges and social controls we build up around the sale of sex (and sex generally) should be opportunities to engage in those conversations. To encourage those second thoughts before we act in ways that could potentially harm ourselves and others.

I think sex work can be done in an ethical and healthy way. But I also think that that is a lot harder to do that than it would appear, and that for many people it would probably be best to avoid the business, as either a customer or purveyor, altogether.
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Feb 25 Corydon commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Meth Practices.
So here's the pattern of meth abuse I've observed over the years:

It usually takes a really long time for things to build up to a catastrophic level (unemployable, losing teeth, criminal problems). Most meth users will quite successfully manage to hold things together for some time.

The problem is, the addictive part kicks in long, long before the bad effects become visible. Which means that by the time you (or, more likely, the people around you) notice you have a problem, you're already deeply hooked.

In my own case, with 20/20 hindsight, I was already having trouble "managing" my use years and years before I was suffering consequences directly attributable to my drug use. Things like doing more than I'd planned, going on longer runs than I'd planned, using more often than I'd planned. By the time major consequences did start showing up, it was already way, way too late to stop without a serious intervention that required sustained, overwhelming effort.

All of this is really endorsing Dan's "there is no using, only abusing" stance. And reading PAY's rant against just confirms that in my mind: it sounds like exactly the same sort of well-researched, self-serving bullshit I could spin out ad infinitum to justify my continuing habit, right down to the nasty tone directed towards anyone who might have suggested that my little recreational escape could be a problem.

So for all of you friends and families of addicts out there, this is something to watch out for. If you confront someone who's using meth in a supportive and concerned way and you get this kind of response, it's a major fucking red flag.

To put it another way, if PAY's use of meth isn't such a big deal, then it shouldn't be a big deal for PAY not to use meth.

But since not using meth is apparently a big enough deal to trigger a response like this, I'd suggest PAY is looking at a problem that he or she really does not want to see.
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