8:05 AM yesterday 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?
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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.
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Jun 15 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Get Out There and Fight.
@5 - if it is true that the shooter was gay (which is one of those things that we'll probably never really know the truth about)... there are some people who simply cannot stand the thought that others are enjoying what they can't have. The best real-life example I can think of is a kid with a favorite toy. If another child wants the toy and grown-ups tell the kid to share, some kids would rather destroy the toy than let another child play with it.

I think Atticus Finch's closing statement from To Kill a Mockingbird explains it better than anything I could say:
"I have nothing to but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the state, but my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man’s life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt.

I say guilt, gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She has committed no crime, she has merely broken a rigid and time-honoured code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance, but I cannot pity her: she is white. She knew full well the enormity of her offense, but because her desires were stronger than the code she was breaking, she persisted in breaking it. She persisted, and her subsequent reaction is something that all of us have known at one time or another. She did something every child has done—she tried to put the evidence of her offense away from her. But in this case she was no child hiding stolen contraband: she struck out at her victim—of necessity she must put him away from her—he must be removed from her presence, from this world. She must destroy the evidence of her offense.

What was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was her daily reminder of what she did. What did she do? She tempted a Negro.

She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards."

Substitute Mayella Ewell for the shooter, "her offense" for attraction to men, and happy, openly out and proud gay people for Tom Robinson, and that's one possible explanation for the mass shooting. The shooter's faith and culture told him he couldn't be gay, but he couldn't bear the daily reminders that other people had what he couldn't, so he had to destroy them. For whatever reason, that particular nightclub became the one thing that represented all of gay people to him, sort of how one Planned Parenthood becomes a symbol of all abortion to people like the Colorado Springs shooter.

To the LW: please don't give up the fight. That's just what the haters want you to do. They want you to shut up and go back to your closet, and be neither seen nor heard. They know that their views are obsolete and that one day their way of hate will be gone, so they fight it by trying to scare you and shame you into giving up. They see all the people who support gay rights and accept and love you for who you are, and are afraid of change. Fighting the small battles - like equality in housing, education, and employment - may not seem important, but that's how you eventually win the war.

Love and support from Colorado. We're rooting for you. :)
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Jun 15 Jina commented on Savage Love.
@13 - yep, Kellogg's corn flakes AND graham crackers were meant to make people less horny. The idea was that bland foods (graham crackers weren't originally sugary or cinnamon-y) were less likely to inflame passion and make people masturbate less. There's even a movie based on Kellogg's eccentric health treatments called The Road to Wellville.
Jun 15 Jina commented on Savage Love.
I don't really see how these two guys doing it in a park, particularly one that was apparently marked off specially for gay sexual activities, means they expect or want to be watched? Isn't it a dating cliche that a couple goes out in public, then finds somewhere reasonably private to start making out? PARK doesn't say where she saw this particular couple, but perhaps she came upon them in a secluded area, where they had hoped to have a little privacy. That's how I pictured it, anyways - she wouldn't have had so much trouble finding someone to watch if people were doing it out in the open all over the park, otherwise.

She didn't really say she has voyeuristic tendencies either (though she certainly displays them), just that "I love watching man-on-man sex." My first thought was the same as @3/Sophie X's: "apparently PARK doesn't know about gay porn or yaoi, someone should introduce her to that world so she can watch all the man sex she wants in the comfort and privacy of her own home and without perving on guys just trying to safely enjoy a night out."
Jun 14 Jina commented on Invitation Declined.
@6 "I've often wondered what separates the kids that end up having their own opinions from those who continue to believe what they were taught by their parents. Is it the different life experiences they end up having? Or are some kids just more naturally willing to question what they've been told? Or a little of both?"

I think it's a little of both. I was very sheltered as a child, and my mother raised me to believe that smart people always agree (because their sharp intellect will always lead them to the same conclusions), and that a daughter should always follow her mother's counsel. I grew up constantly worried that I would have the "wrong" opinion and be looked down on, so I often suppressed my own views in favor of others', especially if they were older than myself. I followed my mother's lead for the most part because it was safe and comfortable, and if I had dissenting thoughts, I felt uneasy about them.

I was extremely lucky that I had a teacher who also had a sheltered upbringing, and when I was debating between a good local college with a full scholarship and a top-tier university that was 2000 miles away that was merely offering a good scholarship, she told me to get as far away from my sheltered upbringing as possible. That turned out to be some of the best advice I've ever been given - being away from my mother meant that I had to learn who I was very quickly, and being at a top-tier university meant that I couldn't just dismiss people who disagreed with me as "well maybe they're just stupid." On the contrary, I realized just how narrow-minded and ignorant I myself was, and I was exposed to people of all backgrounds who led me to leave my little ivory tower. I learned that you can still respect and like someone even if you don't agree with everything they say. I found that there was no "right" opinion, and that everyone saw the world in different ways. And, for the first time in my life, I was free to think for myself and form my own conclusions, and I stopped being afraid to speak out.

So I do think I was lucky I had a teacher who set me on that path. I don't know that I would be the person I am today without that experience, and it's certainly what shaped and changed me in many ways. But at the same time, some personality does come into it, because I had to be willing to be open to those experiences. I could have just buried myself in my books for four years and kept the stick up my ass, the way my mother wanted me to. Or I could have gone to that local college and continued to be heavily influenced by my mother, safe in my familiar little bubble. Instead, I chose to leave, and that decision and the experiences it led to made me a much better person. Or at least I'd like to think that. :)
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May 17 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: How Can I Be a Good Ally to My Abusive Trans Ex?.
@76 - my response @74 was for LavaGirl as well, since she posted @66 that she thought the LW should at least write back and tell her abusive ex how the relationship affected her. I was trying to explain why this would do nothing except encourage the abusive ex to keep trying, based on my experience with how my stalker turned everything into "no, this is just a misunderstanding, just let me talk to you so I can set the record straight!" Sorry for the confusion. :)

@77 - I completely agree with you here, and that's what I do as well. I was just puzzled at responses like #3-5 that seemed to think there was no reason to talk about this or any past relationship EVER.
May 17 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: How Can I Be a Good Ally to My Abusive Trans Ex?.
Forgot to mention - I did tell my stalker exactly why I wanted him out of my life. He simply decided that that wasn't the real reason and made it his mission to clear up this huge "misunderstanding."
May 17 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: How Can I Be a Good Ally to My Abusive Trans Ex?.
@66 LavaGirl - when you have an obsessive ex, it's not about "allowing" them to contact you. They're going to do it, whether you like it or not. If you tell them you're going to block them so goodbye, all they do is create a new email account and go "Why? We need to discuss this! I thought we were friends and everything is cool now!"

Perhaps that wouldn't be the case for this LW, but that was my experience. At first, I told my obsessive ex in no uncertain terms that it was over and to leave me alone. I stopped responding when this resulted in my coming home for months to several emails and dozens of IMs every day alternating between angry insults and begging me for "one last talk" to discuss why I was cutting off all contact, and what was wrong with chatting for just 15 minutes a day as friends? I moved and changed my phone number around this point (not because of my stalker, but it was certainly a welcome bonus), so my stalker stalked me only on the Internet. He joined every single online community I frequented, and harassed my friends and family when I refused to respond. When he was banned from the community, he would just start up a new profile with a new throwaway email. I had to start using fake user names to avoid him. After a couple of years of this nonsense, it got so bad that one of my friends seriously suggested faking my own death on the Internet to get rid of him. Fortunately I didn't have to go to those extremes, but for that entire time, his sole focus was to provoke me into responding to him. His constant refrain to my friends was that they should persuade me to talk to him because he wasn't an obsessive stalker, he just needed to understand what happened because I obviously had the wrong idea, and he's a good guy on the inside, really!

Now can you imagine how he would have blown up my computer if I actually *did* respond?

My suggestion to the LW is to set the ex's email address as spam, so she never has to see them. That way, he won't get a message that he's been blocked and he can continue sending fishing emails in ignorant bliss (that is how it would work, right? I'm not very savvy in that direction). I'm positive he is sending updates on "mutual friends" she's never heard of because he's trying to get her to reply with "I don't remember so-and-so, who was that again?" My stalker tried that too - I would get messages like "so-and-so is sick right now." "You're not responding? How can you not care about them? Why are you so heartless?"

Also, I'm not sure why people are saying she should never ever talk about her ex? My own relationship may have ended badly, but it was still part of my life and shaped me in some ways. I'm also completely over it, which is why I don't mind sharing the story here or elsewhere. It's just an incident from the past now that I mention if the topic comes up and I want to explain why I feel a certain way about certain subjects.
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Apr 13 Jina commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Secret Perving—Permissible and Impermissible.
@6 Lance_Thrustwell - the perv still knows he/she's doing it, and that it's wrong (hence all of Foos's precautions). That he/she (and, in this, case, [i]they[/i] - both of his wives were okay with helping him and even watching with him and having sex to it) is okay with actively doing something wrong is disturbing in and of itself. To me, it's somewhat akin to kicking your dog when no one's around - no one's going to know, and the dog will most likely still love you anyways because that's how dogs are, so what's the harm, right?

Plus, this guy went out of his way to spy on his guests, especially the younger, attractive, "more appealing" ones. One of his stories mentioned he got upset when a couple turned off the light to have sex, so he went and parked his car by their window with the headlights on, just so he could watch.

Foos's motivation in going public seems to be that he wants "recognition" and, I suspect, justification for what he did. After all, if people agree that his "research" and "observations" are worthwhile and not just plain ol pervy and illegal, then he's not a perv after all! Heck, he was [i]right[/i] to do it for all those years! I only skimmed through his writings (his dodgy self-justifying style irritated me), but he really comes off as desperately trying to justify his disgusting hobby as "harmless" and "it contributes to science, really!" when in reality, it doesn't really tell you anything that numerous scientifically- and ethically-conducted studies couldn't have told you already.
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