Nov 26, 2014
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Criminal in Canada
Part of the reason why it's important for people to be allowed to feel what they feel is that feelings sometimes give you more information about the situation than your conscious mind has processed. Anyone here read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink?
If he felt violated... well, he might have his own background baggage, but that feeling might also be a very useful sign about ongoing dynamics in the relationship that he hasn't consciously processed yet. Maybe if this were a different relationship, he would actually feel fine about unconscious sex with his wife. Maybe there's something to the fact that she lied about it, then brought it up six months later.
I obviously can't be certain about the unspoken details of a complete stranger's private life. But maybe the fact that he's able to point to this and say "I felt violated" is just a visible example of some ongoing, really sketchy dynamics in his marriage.
Dec 18, 2013
commented on Savage Love
What I'm about to say is said better and in more depth by Kamy Wickoff in the book I Do, But I Don't, but she's not here and I am, so:
The reason that I agree 100% with Dan's advice about gender roles is that any time a person approaches a major life change, they're likely to feel conflicted about it. Part of you will want to change/explore/adventure, part of you will want to keep things the same/stability/comfort. What traditional gender roles do is split up that conflict, so rather than both people feeling both sides, the woman is to feel all the wanting to get married, and the guy is to feel all the ambivalence/wanting to put it off.
That model isn't really how it works for anyone, because even for people who are incredibly sure they want to get married, there's a tiny shred of doubt somewhere-- and for most of us, it's more than a tiny shred. But it's a simple way to look at it, and often, the guy has enough ambivalence, and the woman has enough enthusiasm, for the model to work. And then both sides get aired enough for both people to feel comfortable, like their own reservations have been addressed.
So if you do the proposing, it'll mean you taking on the other side of the ambivalence. It'll mean you thinking hard about what he might like as a gift, it'll mean you taking the risk, putting yourself out there, telling him to his face how much you love him and want to be with him, and risking his saying he doesn't feel the same way about you. It takes away from you the crutch of being able to tell yourself that he doesn't want marriage because that's "just how guys are." It means you have to do something hard and scary, which might be so hard and scary that he's not able to bring himself to do it (even though he might want you).
You're not gonna know until you ask. Go. Be brave. You might feel comfier being a princess, but there are some wonderful things you can feel when you try being a prince.
Jun 6, 2013
commented on SL Letter of the Day: I'm Gay and Being Bullied By My Hyper-Religious Parents—What Do I Do?
First of all, very best of luck, and best wishes!
Secondly, the other people here have already given you a ton of good advice, and I hope it's comforting and helpful. Just one thing:
It's not just that it gets better. It's that these days, it's getting better so amazingly quickly. I mean, I'm 34, and my wife and I have been together for 14 years. When I was a kid, I was sure I would never get married-- I knew I'd have a long-term partner, but I thought the best we could do would be second-parent adoptions, carefully-written wills, and hope. But then Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage, right when we moved here and would have wanted to get married in 2004. I was not expecting that. I was not expecting to live to see my marriage be legal, or the President to come out in support of it. When I was struggling to get my high school to let us have any kind of gay-straight support group, I was not expecting that within a few decades, there would be GSAs in middle schools all over the country. When the Supreme Court (finally!) made sodomy legal, I was not expecting them to take up the question of my marriage only ten years later.
It's changing so fast. I don't know what the world will look like when you're 21-- I don't even know what it'll look like when you're 18. But I think it'll be better than it is now. And it'll be better because people like you were brave enough to stand up and say "this is who I am, this is how I love, and there's nothing wrong with that."
Mar 2, 2013
commented on The President Speaks About Marriage Equality: "We are all created equal applies to everybody."
@Andy Niable (12):
I don't think he retracts it-- the Obama administration then went on to do everything he asked there. They would have roundly deserved the "fuck you" if they had not done so, and kept claiming to be GLBT allies.
But since then, they've actually proven themselves to be good allies. So that "fuck you" (along with many, many others, some phrased differently) seems like it did exactly what it was meant to do.
Jan 30, 2013
commented on Savage Love
Marty Klein's advice is excellent, especially about the questions to ask a potential therapist! When dealing with a new therapist, your sense of whether or not you're comfortable with them is always your best way of knowing whether or not you'll work together well.
I would like to add, though, that if you're looking for a sex-positive therapist, a great place to look is the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom's Kink-Aware Professionals listing (KAP):
It's a place where therapists (as well as lawyers, doctors, etc) can list themselves as being knowledgeable about and open to kinky clients-- and it's national (plus Canada), so it greatly improves your chances of finding someone in your area.
Jan 9, 2013
commented on Savage Love
I'm just really pleased with how much Dan has clearly thought about and rethought his discussion of trans people. The answer to WSOWS-- "You made an exception for this woman's dick because her dick is exceptional: It's attached to a woman,"-- was, IMO, excellently trans-supportive, helpful, and, best of all, accurate. This does not sound like what he would have written fifteen years ago, which might have made the same point, but would probably have done so in a way that really hurt people and made them feel excluded and unwelcome. I like how this answer has his classic snark ("You're now doing the second-gayest thing a guy can do. You're being a huge drama queen about the whole thing.") without any unintended bashing. Go, Dan!
Dec 19, 2012
commented on Savage Love
Generally excellent advice for NOPE, Dan, thank you! The one important caveat is that, at least in the US, if you're under 18, your medical records are legally property of your parents, not you. A good adolescent shrink will make it clear to both teen and parents that the therapy will go better if parents never take advantage of that right-- but no therapist can promise you the same kind of absolute confidentiality they could promise an adult.
Also, this may not be useful for NOPE, as she's in Australia, but people in the US or Canada may have better luck looking for specifically kink-friendly therapists in the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom's Kink-Aware Professionals listing: https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aw…