Sep 24 pzzz commented on Hillary's Poll Numbers Are Improving (But There's No Improving the Electoral College).
I'm all for the NPVIC and will back it. But, side question -- instead of doing this end run around the Electoral College, why can't we just amend the Constitution?

No, seriously. The whole point of the Constitution is that it's not set in stone. Washington, Jefferson and the rest didn't bring it down from a mountaintop. It was written through a process of vigorous debate, and then immediately amended, because we are a self-governing people and we can change even foundational processes when they don't make sense. We don't have to hack around broken processes with technicalities -- we can just fix them.

(Related rant, this is the thing originalists seem to have completely forgotten about the American system, and personally I think getting people to take the idea of an amendment seriously would do more than anything else to shout down that faction of the Court. It's hard to say that a document is sacred when people are actively rewriting it right in front of you.)
Nov 2, 2015 pzzz commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Three Letters In One.
I guess, following up on that, here would be my advice about dealing with being the kind of person who has one good relationship at a time, given that modern adult life requires keeping up a substantial network of friends and acquaintances:

1. Scheduling: I try to schedule things to be recurring on a regular routine (often weekly). This cuts down a lot on the mental energy that I need to expend on figuring out how I will get between places, when I should leave work, mentally dealing with scheduling conflicts, or whatever.

2. The buddy system: I try to set up each regularly recurring activity with different people I want to keep in touch with. For example, I go drinking with some people every Tuesday, go to karaoke every Thursday with another group, etc. (I call it the buddy system because I have drinking buddies, karaoke buddies, exercise buddies, etc. etc.) This keeps me in touch with people and sets an outside context so that I don't feel pressured to have the deepest, most emotionally true relationship with every single one of them. Having activities like singing involved also means that we can make an emotional connection by doing things together rather than talking to each other (since just getting dinner usually involves a lot of repeating "I worked a lot this week, how about you?" at each other).

3. Another perk of the buddy system is that it helps give each person or group of people positive attributes in my head: Bob isn't just another person to deal with, he's my drinking buddy! Talking to Alice isn't just like talking to my mom but having to explain more things, because Alice and I do amazing duets together! Sure, things get weird if I discuss sex with Sarah, but I love going to movies with her because we share popcorn and mock previews together! Associating people with uniquely positive experiences really helps cut down my desire to focus on just one person, and it creates an emotional basis for expanding the friendship later, if desired.

Hope this helps! Good luck, LW!
Nov 2, 2015 pzzz commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Three Letters In One.
I saw that some people are wondering about the possibility of the LW having a controlling husband or childhood trauma. I just wanted to jump in and say that I had a pretty great childhood with very warm parents, and I've never been in a relationship that was very controlling, but I'm pretty sure I do the same thing she does w.r.t. focusing all my emotional energy into one relationship. It's like a weirdly extreme form of monogamy: I just get into this state where there'll be just one person I want to run my whole life through, or past. In some ways I think it may be related to depression, which I've also had, because for me depression is about being very low-energy, which often means I just don't have the energy to deal with scheduling and decision-making and small talk and repeating stories and all the other things that go into keeping up multiple different friendships. (In school I had a group of friends that would all hang out together, and that was really nice because then I had multiple different friendships for the price of one.) In other ways I think, for me, it's an extension of perfectionism or always seeking the "right" answer. Obviously there isn't any such thing when it comes to relationships, but that doesn't stop my subconscious from going "OK, this is better than everything else you've got going, even if only marginally -- go all in on this one!" And maybe that's related to depression too -- maybe that's about not being able to be happy in any situations outside of very specific ones. I dunno! Brains are weird! Just wanted to throw that out there.
Jan 21, 2015 pzzz commented on SL Letter of the Day: Worst. Sex. Ever..
Like everyone else, I agree that LW is totally in the clear here. This guy is the worst.

If I were the LW, I would try to frame the situation in my head this way: "It's OK that this happened. I wasn't just being polite and submissive because I didn't know what else to do. I was, instead, giving him the benefit of the doubt. And now I know that he's not worth the benefit of the doubt anymore."

I think this interpretation is supported by several parts of LW's experience. From my reading of this, at first she was like "Well, maybe he just hasn't thought about what I like." Then she was like, "Well, maybe he's just watched too much Internet porn, but he's still salvageable." Then she was like, "Well, maybe he just isn't good at gauging appropriateness of comments when he's aroused." Then she was like, "OK, maybe he didn't hear me when I told him to stop." And then finally she was like, "Oh, Jesus, this guy seriously is just terrible."

While this ultimately comes from women being socialized to be polite and submissive, I think framing it to yourself as "No, I chose to keep giving him a chance, and he failed every single one, which is why I can feel great about not giving him a chance anymore," helps reclaim agency. It makes you feel less like a victim of society and more like someone who just embarked on a fact-finding mission (which, honestly, I think first-time sex with someone always is), and, having investigated the matter thoroughly, has reached a very conclusive decision. And it helps keep you open for the next guy -- even if he's terrible too, that's not a failure of humanity, it's another data point for your reintroduction to dating.

Good luck to the LW!
Dec 26, 2014 pzzz commented on Savage Love.
I want to chime in and agree with the people who say it's not about height, but about how you act. One of my prior roommates was a guy who was about 5'2", and he had a lot of trouble with women, but it wasn't his height that was the problem. It was his general cluelessness about how to interact with other people. I remember him telling me about how he demanded that one of his exes tell him why she didn't want to date him, and then angrily defend himself to me when I pointed out that she didn't owe him that explanation. He just acted like a teenager in a lot of ways, and it was really unattractive. That unattractiveness was compounded by his height, sure -- it reinforced the idea that he was a kid. But the problem started with his behavior, not his height.

A few years later my friend started dating a different guy around the same height, 5'2", and let me tell you, this guy has no problem getting women. He just acts like an actual adult. He's intelligent, opinionated, thoughtful of others and projects a mature personality. That makes him more attractive. Height doesn't seem to be a problem for him at all (in fact, my friend is taller than him and told me, "I didn't think I'd ever date someone shorter than me, but he's so great and now I love it!").

So, LW, there are possibilities for you! Yes, it sucks that you have to work twice as hard to get there, but I think that work will pay off in the end.
Nov 22, 2014 pzzz commented on SL Letter of the Day: Nobody Expects the Nice Girl Inquisition!.
I want to chime in and agree with everything, EVERYTHING, that @38 said. I am, quite literally, the feminist activist who likes to be tied down and called a slut. I've been a strong feminist since I was a kid -- like @38, it never even occurred to me that I should be okay with having options closed off to me, and I didn't think they were -- but I also started having BDSM-esque fantasies at, like, 11. I didn't even know what BDSM was (in fact, I only had the vaguest idea of what sex was), but I distinctly recall lying awake at night and thinking up stories in which women were tied up and had to follow men's orders and enjoying the tingle I got out of them. Looking back on it, I think it happened for the same reason as @38, which is that I consumed a lot of media that, for whatever reason, had imprinted me with this idea that having dominant men and submissive women was a turn-on. (Although this was in the late '90s -- but I read plenty of books that were written in the '60s and '70s or before, and to be honest, I think the depiction of women in various kinds of media has significantly lagged the actual achievements of women in real life, so that you could totally still get a submissive-woman-dominant-man idea out of lots of books/movies/TV shows that were contemporary to me being a kid. Hell, you can still get that idea now.)

So anyway, yes, I think women being more submissive has a lot to do with general socialization and specifically depictions of romance in the media that haven't changed that much over time. As it is, I don't really obsess over it, I'm quite happy with my kinks, but I think @38 definitely has the right of it.
Nov 22, 2014 pzzz commented on This Will Cheer Up Depressed Democrats: "No Republican Candidate Has a Credible Shot at the White House in 2016".
I'm so glad to see this analysis, because I was just saying this to my father the other day -- I almost feel comfortable calling the 2016 election for a Democrat right now just based on liberal turnout being so much higher for presidential elections.

But I agree with Paul, let's not jinx it.
Jul 28, 2013 pzzz commented on SL Letter of the Day: Chocolate City.
I am completely amazed at:

1) The number of people who would actually think Dan seriously thinks straight women all hate sex -- have none of you read anything else Dan has ever written?!

2) More specifically, the number of people who apparently didn't remember this letter from a few years ago -- and Dan's subsequent column about how he only ran this answer just to solicit letters from straight women to prove the book wrong;

3) The extent to which the experiences recounted in the linked review are so in agreement with that Daniel Bergner book, which I read on Dan's recommendation. Gradually losing desire from one's long-term partner, the ubiquity of rape fantasies, needing to be the physical object of the desire (I'm a straight woman with a high libido, and honestly, I wouldn't be super turned on by massaging my partner's butt either!)...the whole thing reads like a prequel to the Bergner book. Plus, if I'm recalling correctly, Loh and her husband eventually divorced because she had a (sexual) affair with another man -- her desire came roaring back once a new guy was in the picture. Obviously this is completely unscientific and shouldn't be taken as proof of Bergner's argument, but I'm still shocked at how closely it tracks.

Anyway, I hope re-running this didn't get Dan too much more hate than usual. I'm kind of sad he did rerun it, because occasionally I see memes going around about why no one should ever pay attention to him -- always with quotes that are really old and taken way, way out of context -- and I know resurrecting this is just going to give people ammunition they might have overlooked before. I guess I should find that column that ran the week after this and add it to my arsenal of defensive links.
Jun 4, 2013 pzzz commented on SL Letter of the Day: My Ex-Boyfriend.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned: (You should also know: I am his first girlfriend and first sex partner ever, other than a somewhat non-consensual relationship he had as a teenager with an older woman.) Maybe some leftover trauma from that is contributing to this guy's stubbornness? This is maybe too much armchair psychoanalysis, but it seems weird to me that it's just a random throwaway line there. Combined with some of the other weirdnesses in this letter, I feel like someone has major issues -- but I can't tell if it's LW or the boy in question.
May 24, 2013 pzzz commented on SL Letter of the Day: Have You Ever Heard of...?.
@39: My guess is because video calls are weird even with people you know and love. You can't see people's body language, they're liable to be distracted by random other things that you can't see or hear, the angles of webcams can make one's face look awful, and so on and so forth. Not to mention, I don't think I've ever had a video call that didn't have connection issues at some point. So I think they're a good solution for keeping in touch with people you already know and whose faces you want to see and whose facial expressions/tones of voice you can interpret correctly, even with random connection issues. But if you're meeting someone for the first time and you want to get a sense of what they're like and what your chemistry with them might be like, and reasonably sure they're not going to harm you in any way, it makes much more sense to meet them in person.