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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.
Mar 31, 2012 laurelgardner commented on What Was That, Rick?.
Inconclusive, but mighty suspicious.
Mar 22, 2012 laurelgardner commented on SL Letters of the Day: Coming Out Kinky & BDSM as a Sexual Orientation.
I'd also like to say for the record that I don't in any way mean to minimize someone's need for the BDSM lifestyle by insisting that it's a matter of sexual/romantic/emotional *expression* rather than orientation.

In fact...I think a lot of people are trying to jump on the 'orientation' bandwagon because they see it as the only really effective way to make an excuse for the fact that there's some need they have to get met. I think that's misguided because no one should HAVE to make an excuse for their needs or try to cram themselves into the "born this way" defense when it doesn't fit. Any kind of a social push to normalize sexuality and remove the shame and stigma from it is ultimately damaged by claiming something is somehow a biological orientation when its roots are primarily psychosocial.

Remember, I'm also talking about myself, here. I'm both bi and deeply kinky and there's no question in my mind that these are two different things. No, I didn't have a "say" in either, but one is immutable and the other...isn't, quite. Like the second letter writer, I've been able to develop a taste for more vanilla activities. Let's think, here; can Dan develop a taste for sex with women? I don't think so.

Let me be clear, though; working on my interest in vanilla sex is something I did because I fell madly in love with a man who's vanilla and I'm not all that turned on by being "indulged" in BDSM. We have an open relationship and I'm still on the lookout for a good kinky partner on the side, but the vanilla thing is a way I can connect with hubby. It's not something I did to be "normal."

I think I could, if I wanted to, "get over" my need for BDSM expression, but the thing is? There's no fucking reason I should HAVE to. It would be a hell of a lot of work and I'd miss out on a lot of fun and meaningful connection. That's reason enough to honor it, and that's the bit people need to understand.

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