Jul 21 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Different Day, Different Couple, Same Issues, Same Advice.
Forgot to mention (as if I didn't write enough already) that, part of his concern about my meeting other men at my job was that there was no way he could monitor them. Part of his insistence of meeting my friends and family was so he could keep an eye on who I was interacting with. I honestly think that, if the company I worked at had security cameras, he would have tried to find a way to hack into them.
Jul 21 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Different Day, Different Couple, Same Issues, Same Advice.
A lot of people are commenting that, if the LW has to list what's good about the relationship, there's something wrong with it. I kind of agree, but in the LW's defense, every time someone writes in about a crappy relationship, the comments section explodes with "holy crap, your relationship sucks! Why do you stay? There's NOTHING good about it!" The LW may have simply been trying to pre-emptively answer that question, or was trying to be fair to the boyfriend by listing both the positives and negatives.

That said, I agree that this is either an emotionally abusive relationship or soon to become one, and the LW should get out. One of the big red flags to me is that the boyfriend has insisted on meeting the LW's family, and insists that the LW's father hates him, but refuses to introduce the LW to his own family members. If he didn't have regular contact with family, that would be different, but he clearly does. That's one of the isolation tactics my own emotionally abusive ex tried on me - he tried to turn me against my family and convince me that he was the only one who was really looking out for my happiness, and that it was just him and me against the world, fighting to stay together despite disapproval from those around us.

@18 and 22 - what you need to realize is that abusive relationships don't happen overnight. They happen so gradually, you often don't realize it. My own emotionally abusive relationship started out wonderfully, just like this LW - lots of affection and effort into making me feel special, proclamations of love, etc. Eventually, other things started getting mixed in - possessiveness, jealousy, expressing fear of losing me, insistence on meeting my friends and family. And at first, that was cute too, in a "awww, he just loves me thaaaat much" kind of way. Then it started turning in a cycle of possessive/jealous behavior to blowing up at me to apologies and excuses of "it's only because I love being with you so much." Gradually I started walking on eggshells around him, because bringing up certain topics, like a fun day with my brother, would set him off (according to him, my family didn't really care about me, so any fun I had with them was faked) and he would sulk for days while I tried to placate him. All this time I blamed myself for triggering his blow ups (and he would too, with the classic "you made me do this" line) and did all I could to stay in the good parts of the cycle. The final kicker was when I got my first full-time job after finishing college, and he got upset, yelled at me, and then sulked because having a job meant we couldn't talk all day any more, and I would meet new people, including *other men*. Also he thought it was inappropriate that I was excited; he thought I should be sad that I couldn't spend all day chatting with him any more, and that being happy meant I didn't care about his feelings (<- perfect example of how everything was twisted into my fault). After I told him in no uncertain terms to get lost, he stalked and pestered me over the Internet for more than two years, even after I moved to another state.

So why did I stay so long? I just didn't realize how bad it was at the time, plus I was a pretty sheltered girl, so I had very little relationship experience. After I dumped him, I was amazed at how much freedom I had been missing out on. It wasn't until several years afterwards, when I was reading a list of signs of an abusive relationship (I think it was in Dan's column, even!), that I realized I had even been in one. Seriously, my blood ran cold when I read that list. Almost everything that was on it - rush to commitment, early proclamations of love, isolating from friends and family, possessiveness masked as concern, a cycle of blaming the other person and then winning them back with grand gestures, etc - had happened. As far as I remember, the only thing on the list that I didn't go through was "physical abuse," and I now know that that's often a justification for both abuser and abusee - "I'm not abusive, it's not like I hit them!" / "At least they don't hit me..."

In retrospect, it's really a kind of self-hypnosis - you know the good times are there, so you convince yourself that you can keep the good times going if you do the right things. When the bad times happen, you tell yourself "well, if I hadn't done X, this wouldn't have happened, so it's really my fault..." There's always a lifeline of "but they really do love me, they say so all the time" being dangled in front of you as well, and it's so easy to just grab it and hope things will be different this time.

I really think the only way to break someone out of an abusive relationship is to make them realize that they're in one. Until they're willing to acknowledge it and get out, they'll always come up with a reason to stay. I certainly did.
Jul 20 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: My 13-Year-Old Son Is Watching Gay Porn.
@7, to add to what @13 said, while there's nothing wrong with liking/watching anime porn (aka hentai), it can be pretty bizarre and not for everyone, especially if you're not expecting it. Since it's animated and real people are not involved, there are no limits to what you might see, and it can range from vanilla softcore porn to extreme "what the hell did I just watch" territory. I've seen hentai where girls are raped by demons until their heads literally explode, a 50-foot woman grabbing a full grown man and using his body as a sex toy while he screams for help, a girl bending over to reveal that her vagina is about ten times the normal size and is located where her butthole should be... and all this was just one movie, and just a fraction of what you see in the movie, at that.

And then there's hentai of popular anime series, which, if you're an anime fan, will not be kind to your favorite anime characters. One of the most notorious hentai movies is Sailor Moon and the Seven Ballz, which is mostly a mash-up of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z, but also throws in references to other popular 90s anime - for example, there's a scene where a Gundam and Eva have giant robot sex, while the Eva pilot runs away saying "I'd better get out of here before they cum all over me!" Other highlights include Sailor Moon getting raped by a dragon ball and sprouting a penis (which Tuxedo Mask later jacks off) and a scene of Goku just walking along while thinking of sex. The animation is pretty cheap and horrible (this is standard for most hentai), and, from what I've heard, there's an even more low-budget sequel.

Frankly, I find most hentai to be pretty hilarious rather than sexy, but I do highly recommend knowing what you're getting into if you try it. The first time I watched it was when I was an extremely naive and sexually-inexperienced college student (I was at a friend's house when some people came over and said "hey, we brought over this movie, let's watch it," without mentioning it was hentai), and I was *really* not expecting to see a woman getting stripped and raped by tentacles that went into her mouth, butt, and vagina.
Jul 14 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Crazy Soon-To-Be-Ex-Girlfriend.
As an Asian-American who was born in the US, moved to Asia for several years, and then moved back to the US, I think there's too much information missing from this letter to really say what's going on, other than the current girlfriend clearly has issues.

There's a huge cultural difference between an Asian girl who lived in Asia for most of her life, and an Asian girl who was raised in the US. Asian Asians often have a strong Madonna/whore complex - girls are expected to stay pure and virginal, and wait for boys to pursue them instead of being forward. The idea is that, if a guy is actually interested in you for more than just sex, he will continue to pursue you even if you're indifferent or non-responsive, and that you have to make him work for your affection and prove that he's not just looking for low-hanging fruit (and also prove that *you* are not low-hanging fruit). I saw this cultural difference at play when my parents tried to set my much-more-American-than-Korean brother up with a girl in Korea - he would send her an email, and she would routinely wait 3-4 *weeks* to respond to him. After several email exchanges like this, my brother figured she just wasn't interested and stopped corresponding with her. Shortly after, he heard that the girl was puzzled and upset that he had stopped writing her, and was puzzled himself, since from his perspective, she didn't really seem into him. I had to explain that Asian girls are raised to think that they have to play hard-to-get, or they're labeled as boy-crazy sluts who will throw themselves at anything in pants (that's not an exaggeration, my mother once accused me of being slutty because a guy from work called me during the weekend and I chatted with him for a few minutes instead of hanging up).

The LW doesn't say whether he has had or slept with any other girlfriends, so I'm going to assume that he hasn't. So it's possible the current girlfriend is so hung up on the ex because, to her Asian mindset, sex is a huge deal and practically a promise of marriage. Frankly, that's a pretty outdated mentality even for most Asians, and varies depending on where you live, but it still exists. And even if she's lived in the US for a while, it can be pretty hard to shake, especially if your parents enforce it. It took losing my own virginity and realizing it wasn't a big deal for me to stop thinking like that, and that was several *years* after I'd moved back to the US.

The fact that the ex went to Harvard would be a huge deal to the current girlfriend if she is more Asian than American as well. Asians put a lot of stock in labels, especially educational labels, and Harvard is one of the best you can get. Asians almost don't care what kind of person you are or if you're compatible with them if you go to Harvard - letting someone who went to HARVARD go is like turning down a paid-for date at a four-star restaurant with Miss Universe. Just unthinkable.

However, regardless of culture or nationality, the current girlfriend's behavior is way off the charts, even if you assume that she is from an ultra-conservative Asian culture that places great emphasis on sex and a girl's virginity. The Asian background *might* explain her insecurities, but not her wishing death and harm on the ex and trying to turn the LW against the ex as well. That's just a parade of red flags, no matter how you cut it.
Jul 13 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Stray Text Message Outs Wrong Parent.
@14 - I think the "don't snoop or pry" was meant to be "don't snoop or pry NOW, trying to nose out the truth." People who see part of a secret often want to find out about the rest, either out of curiosity or to reassure themselves that it's not what it seemed. For example, if the text causes the adult son to suspect his mother is having an affair, he might try to find out more to determine if he should tell his father/confront his mother/find out if he was mistaken, and might resort to snooping to get this information. So telling him in advance not to worry and please don't try to investigate might not be a bad idea.
Jul 7 Jina commented on Baker Refuses to Make a Cake for a Same-Sex Couple.
@22 Fichu - that's what I was thinking. If a woman came in and ordered a cake that had another woman's name on it, I would probably assume that the customer is a sister or co-worker or mother, not that it's for a lesbian couple. The only explanation I can think of for the baker looking up their Facebook page is that the customer didn't specify anything like preferred colors or decorations and the baker tried to figure it out on their own. But even that's a lame explanation, considering it's usual to ask for that kind of information while the customer is standing there.
Jun 30 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Two Dicks, One Girl (Who Happens To Be Engaged to Someone Else).
@17 - but the LW specifically says he is from Europe. I think we can safely assume that his boyfriend lives in Europe as well. "Going abroad" doesn't necessarily mean they came to the US, they could have simply gone from, for example, Italy to the UK. Not to mention there are other places in the world than Europe and the US.

There is literally no mention of the US anywhere in the letter.
Jun 29 Jina commented on Savage Love.
@23 - MEL sounds like the typical obsessive stalker who has put this girl on a pedestal instead of actually getting to know her. I doubt the problem is that he thinks she won't be good enough for him if she's a stripper and society will look down on him - I'm willing to bet good money that he just doesn't think she's the kind of girl who would want to be a stripper, if she knew what it entailed She's just too naive, and good, and innocent to know the dangers that await her, and he's the only one who can save her! My own former stalker used to do that to me too - insist that I wouldn't do this or that, sometimes after I had *already* done this or that, because I'm "not that kind of girl." Or he would tell me how I felt and insist that he was right, after I told him I was feeling nothing of the sort. These contradictions were brushed off as "stop being stubborn, you just don't want to admit I'm right" and "you're acting like a kid, you don't know what you're doing." He just couldn't reconcile the real me with the fantasy-me he had built up in his mind. I wouldn't be surprised at all if MEL is the same, and that he thinks that she's a dear naive child who doesn't know what she's getting into, when in reality she's enjoying her life and making good money to boot. The image of her being a stripper doesn't tally with his mental image of her being a sweet innocent thing, so he instead pictures her as a silly girl who doesn't realize what a perilous peril she's walking (or dancing) into.

@42 People responding to your posts on the Internet after you responded to their posts on the Internet? Gasp! The horrors! How DO you survive such relentless persecution?
Jun 23 Jina commented on Savage Love.
My goodness me, so much fuss about a nickname. It's not like the guy is introducing himself with "Hi, please call me Spike, it's my sex fetish name" or barking and licking people and smelling their crotches (or whatever it is people who are into puppy play do) when they call him Spike. It's just a name that he prefers and also happens to be his puppy play name.

I regularly go by a name that is not my first name, both in my personal life and my professional life. Just because you call me by my preferred name, does that mean I'm inviting you into my personal life? Do you automatically assume that it's sex-related (and if so, why does your mind go there first)? It's actually just my middle name. I've hated my first name since I was a small child, and started introducing myself by my middle name when I was a teenager. Most people don't even realize it's not my legal name, because it's the only name they know me by. I still cringe when people use my first name, and occasionally it creates confusion because I'm not used to being called by it and I don't always respond or notice that someone is looking for me.

To the nickname police, have you considered that maybe he's just more accustomed to being called Spike, and that's why he wants to be called that? That maybe it's not sexual at all?
Jun 15 Jina commented on Savage Love.
@23 - you'd be surprised how sheltered people can be, even with the Internet. I know, I was one of them! I once knew a transgender person who didn't even realize transgenderism was a thing well into adulthood. After a lifetime of hiding it from everyone, that person thought that they were the only person in the entire world who felt like they were born the wrong gender, didn't even know that there was a word for it, and was astounded when they found out about transgender communities on the Internet.

@24 - from the letter: "A local park in Seattle often hosts gay men engaging in sexual activities." "Hosting" implies to me that it's an activity that's scheduled, sanctioned, and marked off for particular activities, the way hosting a party means that showing up at that person's house and expecting a party won't be a surprise to that person. Did I just read the letter wrong? I guess, in retrospect, PARK meant that a particular park is just generally known for gay people having sex there?

And please, let's not be naive and act like "making out" never leads to sex, both in private and public. Doesn't really matter if it's a random hook-up or a couple out for some excitement either (nor do we know which one it was), still doesn't mean that people making out and/or having sex in public are okay with being peeped at.