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Feb 20, 2013 laurelgardner commented on Savage Love.
NARG - I would recommend you find out WHY he's so invested in the idea of the $1,000 ring set. If he gets a real and genuine pride from spending this much money on it, or if he just really LIKES that ring set, sure, I'd take Dan's advice. But if he's working from a deeply-ingrained insecurity about his need to prove himself as a provider, it might be worth poking at a bit. His feelings about wanting to give a big gift also don't trump your desire to show your love for HIM with a cheap ring. You should find a balance you both feel happy with, but address the issue with humor and humility.

My husband and I spent a lot of money (for us) on our wedding rings, but my engagement ring came from a bubble machine in a truck stop. I was comfortable with that because it was egalitarian. It was for US, not for ME.
Feb 17, 2013 laurelgardner commented on SL Letter of the Day: My Bi Guy.
I always make sure to express from the get-go that I am interested in women as friends and potentially sex partners, not as romantic partners. It seems like this really should be common sense and empathy.

On the other hand...sometimes I wonder if it might not be a good idea to develop some kind of short hand to differentiate between those (rarer) bisexuals who are actually 50/50. I've been trying to coin the phrase "heteroqueer" to refer to people like myself and my husband, but it hasn't caught on, yet.
Feb 15, 2013 laurelgardner commented on Poetic Justice.
@9 -it's okay. I gave him the same note and I'm his wife.
Nov 27, 2012 laurelgardner commented on Savage Love.
Why is it necessarily bigoted to claim that something is a choice when it isn't? It may be inaccurate, but...bigotry is when you start hating people for what they do, choice or not.

I honestly kinda hate the fact that the gay rights movement has always been so big on arguing that gay isn't a choice WITHOUT also saying, "and even if it WAS a choice, too bad!" We're supposed to be living in a society that protects liberty, which means freedom of choice. "It's a choice," should not be a freakin' condemnation and "I was born this way!" should not be a necessary part of anyone's right to do the shit that makes them happy.

Nov 13, 2012 laurelgardner commented on Savage Love.
Speaking as someone who actually DOES believe in reincarnation...there can be no "strong evidence" for least, not from the point of view of the general public.

Here's how it works: say you and I knew each other in a past life. Say we both start to remember it, and remember specific events from that life. Say you start telling me about those events, and you tell me something very specific that I had already remembered but hadn't spoken aloud. Say I then do the same for you. Viola! Evidence! But as far as any third party to this is concerned, there's no compelling reason to believe that the two of us are telling the truth. So unless you've actually had this happen to you, there's no good reason to believe it. Sorry.
Aug 8, 2012 laurelgardner commented on Dog Shitshow.
This really shouldn't be so hard. Anyone who wants to keep an animal capable of killing human beings and known to occasionally kill human beings should be expected to prove that they're responsible enough to do so through a training/licensing process. "No bad dogs, only bad owners"? Well, keep the bad owners away from the dogs. If that doesn't work, then we know we need a breed ban afterall.

Jun 5, 2012 laurelgardner commented on SL Letter of the Day: She Wasn't Fine—And You Knew It.
I would say that her saying that it FELT dirty and wrong is very different from her saying that it WAS dirty and wrong, ergo, she owed absolutely no apology. Especially since this guy seems like a douche and I'm guessing he's just going to glom onto that, ignore everything else Dan said and go, "Oh, and ALSO, you owe me an apology for this and Dan Savage said so!"

May 19, 2012 laurelgardner commented on That's One Way to Take Arizona Out of Play.
"Natural born citizen" means "born a citizen." Not "born in the United States." So unless you're going to try to assert that Obama's mother was someone other than who she was, the Kenya-or-Hawaii question is irrelevant anyway.
May 19, 2012 laurelgardner commented on SL Letter of the Day: Show This Woman Some Love.
I will never understand how it is that people can't love their own children enough to question their beliefs.

Who knows? Maybe if you'd said, once upon a time, "Mom, Dad, I'm struggling with same-sex attraction and I need you to help me get right with God," things would have been fine. In fact, I'm guessing they probably would have. Because that would have sent the message that you were willing to do whatever you had to do to remain a loyal subject of the religion. That you were willing to lop off your legs to fit in that box, just like everyone else in your family has to do, each in their own way.

See, I don't think it's *being* gay that really causes the hate and the anger to happen; it's being OUT. It's defying the oppression and saying, "I have a right to my truth and my happiness." You are doing what none of them feel they can do, but all desperately WANT and NEED to do in some deep, secret place they're too scared to acknowledge. They're angry at you for tasting the freedom they don't know how to find, for shedding the shame and control they all still live with.

I know it hurts. I know it feels like there's something wrong with you, but really, there's something RIGHT with you, something so right and wonderful that they can't bear to look at it and see what they all know they have no means of attaining for themselves.
May 5, 2012 laurelgardner commented on SL Letter of the Day: Busting My Balls.
@53 - I wrote Dan a letter to this effect, but I don't know if he'll post it.

I'm not sure what the basis for SSRI therapy to treat unwanted kinks is, but based on my experience with them, I wouldn't assume it's the lowered sex drive/anorgasmia.

I started taking Lexapro for anxiety and depression and one of the happy side effects for me was that I no longer suffered from a rather unpleasantly obsessive crush that had been plaguing my life for about a year before that. I still *have* the crush, but it's no longer a compulsion. Curiously enough, while I'm still kinky, I found that I had an instantly enhanced appreciation for vanilla sex.

I think upping your seratonin (which is what SSRIs do) makes you less likely to obsess over rewards-seeking behaviors and predilictions in an unhealthy fashion. I'm not anti-kink by any means, but I don't think there's anything kink-negative about saying that it's better to be able to enjoy kinks without NEEDING them. Certainly, I think it might give BSTD the headspace he needs to be able to handle this kink without all the shame and anxiety he clearly displays in this letter.

Also, it's important to consider that obsessive, damaging and compulsive levels of these needs may often be a sign of not-so-great mental well being in the first place.