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Shady Ladies

May 16, 2012

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I work in an office tower in downtown Seattle. From time to time, I go to a bathroom on a mostly deserted floor, go into a stall, and rub out a quick one. Usually, no one comes in.

Today, just as I was blowing a load into a handful of TP, someone came into the bathroom. This person walked up to the stall and stared through the door crack. This person stood there for a second before walking over to the urinal. He finished and left. I flushed and washed my hands and left. A security guard came around the corner while I was waiting for the elevator. He rode the elevator down with me but said nothing. At the lobby, I got in the elevator that takes me back to my floor. As the door closed, I heard someone say, "See that guy?"

I am paranoid that security is going to confront me. But have I done anything illegal? I may have exercised poor judgment and been squicky, but is it illegal to masturbate in a closed bathroom stall on private property?

Suddenly Pensive About Noontime Kicks

It isn't, SPANK, at least not in Seattle.

"There is an expectation of privacy in a bathroom stall," says Seattle Police Department spokesperson Sergeant Sean Whitcomb. "So obviously, what people do there is their personal business."

If things went down exactly as you described, SPANK, you're not in any legal danger, as you were doing your own private business in the privacy of a bathroom stall. The guy who peered into your stall, however, could be in trouble.

"Here's the irony: The person peeping into the stall is the person we'd be interested in talking to," says Whitcomb. "You don't need to be peeping into the stall to see if someone is using it, and looking into a stall long enough to make a determination as to what the person is doing in that stall, exactly, is an indication that you've been looking a little longer than you need to."

So, yeah, if anyone is going to jail here, SPANK, it's the peeper who reported you to the office tower's crack security team, not you.

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! Forgive me for laughing, SPANK, but I'm having a hard time keeping a straight face. If someone called the actual cops about a toilet wanker—and not, say, the Seattle Police Department's polite and reasonable spokesperson—it's the wanker who'll wind up in handcuffs, not the caller. Beat cops don't generally give the benefit of the doubt to guys rubbing 'em out in public toilets. They'll assume you were cruising the toilet or, worse yet, that you're the kind of perv who gets off to the sounds and smells of other men taking craps, and they'll arrest you.

I'm stumped, Dan. In the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which has been the subject of much discussion due to its controversial subject matter (a young woman gets involved in a BDSM relationship), the term "canning" is used numerous times. Despite my best efforts, I cannot find a definition for this practice. Who else can I turn to but you?

Confused And Naive, New Era Definition

It's not canning ("a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container"), it's caning ("a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits with a single cane usually made of rattan").

I don't know if the author of Fifty Shades of Grey dropped that extra "n" in there, CANNED, or if you did. But here's hoping that millions of women all over the world aren't fantasizing about having themselves canned by kinky billionaires. A person can survive—a person can even enjoy—a good thrashing. But being sealed in an airtight container? Not so much.

Full disclosure: I may be the only sex writer on earth who has yet to read Fifty Shades of Grey. While I plan to avoid reading Grey, just as I've avoided watching "2 Girls, 1 Cup" (and for similar reasons, i.e., I'm easily nauseated), I think it's wonderful that this book is inspiring a whole new generation of American women to get their kink on.

I'm a 43-year-old woman, married for 19 years, and I need your help! Like most middle-aged moms, I read Fifty Shades of Grey. I understand that it is fiction. But it has motivated me to spice things up in the bedroom. The problem is that my husband is a dud. He's not open to trying anything that isn't missionary or doggy. That's the extent of it. I feel as if I've tried everything. He's happy with the way things are. Period. What do I do?

Woman Has Interesting Perversions

Here's what you do: Get in a time machine and go warn your younger self not to make the same mistake that so many women make in their 20s. That is, dumping guys with relatively harmless, easily indulged kinks—the foot fetishists, the guys who wear panties, the guys who want their girlfriends to wear superhero costumes while they peg their ass—because kinky guys are "weird," "not normal," or "probably gay."

Backing way the hell up for a moment: I've been writing about sex and relationships, men and women, kinky sex and vanilla sex for 20 years. It is my informed opinion that men typically become aware of their kinks—they typically become hyperaware of them—when they're teenagers. Many women, on the other hand, don't seem to become aware of their kinks until they're in their 30s or 40s. Maybe it has something to do with the sexual peak, which men are believed to hit in their teens and women in their 30s (and which many people believe to be bullshit), or maybe it simply takes women longer to overcome the misogynist slut-shaming that they're subjected to as girls and to openly embrace their sexualities and sexual interests.

Whatever the cause, I've seen it happen again and again: A woman tosses aside a series of decent but somewhat kinky guys until she finds a guy whose sexual interests are "normal," e.g., missionary, doggy, and no-hands-on-the-back-of-the-head oral. And that's the guy she marries. Then, 10 or 20 years later, she develops some "weird," "not normal," "probably gay" sexual interests of her own. Now she wants to spice things up, but—fuckadoodledoo—20 years ago, she dumped a nice kinkster and married a total sexual dud instead.

So here's what you do: Get in a time machine and go tell your twentysomething self not to dump someone because he's kinky, WHIP, because one day you're going to come into your own kinks. And when that day comes, you'll want to be able to say something like this to your husband: "So, hey, you know how I've been jerking you off with my feet/letting you wear my panties/dressing up like Aquagirl and fucking your ass for the last 19 years? It's been a lot of fun, honey, and you know I love you and you know I love your kinks. But it's payback time. I just finished reading this book, and it really turned me on and now I wanna get canned and you're going to can me."

If you don't have access to a time machine, WHIP, tell your husband that while he may be happy with the way things are, you're not. Which means things have to change.


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Comments (255) RSS

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Posted by jgjg on May 15, 2012 at 6:34 PM · Report this
Wait, I'm IS he getting arrested?
Posted by dakoneko on May 15, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
In a brief discussion elsewhere Grey was summarized as a virgin is introduced to the joys of sex with a handsome, wealthy, older, sexually-experienced gentleman. They listen to the lyrics of Coldplay together.

No, I do not intend to read it.
Posted by IPJ on May 15, 2012 at 6:56 PM · Report this
In reference to the first guy: This falls into what people can tell you are doing in public. If you can be discreet enough for them not to notice, it doesn't matter. If the gasps and moans from the stall give it away--whether there's one or two of five of you--then people have the right to be put out that their presence is being actively drafted for your sex act. As near as they can tell, being in public and forcing them to listen is part of the thrill for you.

So while the guy spying through the door should have just turned around and gone to another floor, assuming he wasn't suffering diarrhea which doesn't seem to be the case, SPANK fails on sufficient discretion. Because sometimes someone whose lunch is about to come up is going to need the restroom, and they can't make it somewhere else and shouldn't have to listen to you having sex eighteen inches away.
Posted by IPJ on May 15, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Actually canning sounds like fun - bondage/mummification plus exhibitionism, possibly with a medical angle, to be used with appropriate air tubes, of course. Only it would be a rather expensive kink.
Posted by ravished on May 15, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this

I've rubbed one out HUNDREDS of times in my Wall Street Firm. Those masc married suits are HOT!! And anyone who's good at it knows to listen for the door opening and then cover quickly, just in case any pervs try to stare in. Your guy just needs to be a smarter 'bater. Lastly, I wonder if seeking out an out-of-the-way restroom was his downfall. That's where the creepy Larry Craigs of the world go for under-the-stall action. Ick. Better to use your usual mens room, take your time, keep business papers on the floor so it looks like you are working while taking a power dump (admirable) and - if someone comes in, stop and cover. The edging alone will make it great. How do self respecting 'baters not know all of this????
Posted by Dick N. Hand on May 15, 2012 at 7:05 PM · Report this

I've rubbed one out HUNDREDS of times in my Wall Street Firm. Those masc married suits are HOT!! And anyone who's good at it knows to listen for the door opening and then cover quickly, just in case any pervs try to stare in. Your guy just needs to be a smarter 'bater. Lastly, I wonder if seeking out an out-of-the-way restroom was his downfall. That's where the creepy Larry Craigs of the world go for under-the-stall action. Ick. Better to use your usual mens room, take your time, keep business papers on the floor so it looks like you are working while taking a power dump (admirable) and - if someone comes in, stop and cover. The edging alone will make it great. How do self respecting 'baters not know all of this????
Posted by Dick N. Hand on May 15, 2012 at 7:06 PM · Report this
Just wanted to add something about the reason it sometimes takes women longer to find our kinks. I didn't feel comfortable exploring till my 30's b/c I had a lot of negative experiences when I was younger. I actually think that part of the reason I'm into bdsm now is b/c I want to have a safe place to release those bad experiences from the past and power play is a creative way to work through the trauma. Like many people often do, I think I've sexualized my trauma as a way to heal it.

I was an early developer so I had to deal with it a lot of attention way before I was ready to handle it. I don't think that a man can ever truly understand the fear factor that many women feel about exploring their kinks- we get objectified enough as it is. I simply didn't feel safe enough to even think about my own sexuality till I was in my 30's. For a long time I only understood my libido in terms of men and not in terms of my own desires.

Personally, I've had too many bad experiences with men to list. But here's a small sampling: my best friend and I almost got molested when were 14 at bible camp by some pastor's sons with wine coolers. At the tender age of 14 I had to be tough enough to get us both home safely, b/c my best friend was too drunk to respond. I had to calmly tell her to put her clothes back on and yell at those assholes for them to take us home. We were only lucky we didn't get raped and my best friend was damned lucky I was sober enough to get us out of there.

When I was 15 I got sexually harassed at school and failed a math class because of it. When I was 16, a 23 year old started a sexual relationship with me. When I was 18 I worked at a very large gym and regularly was sexually harassed by both members and staff- my uniform at the gym was baggy sweats and I still got comments about my tits and ass all the time. A coworker thought I was flirting with him when I was actually politely humoring him and he stuck his tongue down my throat without warning- I refer to that incident as the "tongue raping". I regularly got harassed on the street when I lived in a big city, regardless of what I was wearing. I've been groped in a bar too many times too count- and not just an ass grab, but I've had my breasts grabbed by strangers in bars and once in broad daylight at a store. Many of my female friends have similar or worse stories. Just because I haven't technically been raped doesn't mean that I haven't been traumatized.

Even though I did have some mild interest in power play in my 20's, none of the kinky guys I dated ever brought it up with me in a safe way, and I was nowhere near ready to ask for what i wanted. One guy mock-choked me without telling me first that he was interested in bdsm. I only figured it out later b/c of the books he suggested I read (all books about bdsm)...obviously I never went out with him again, because he scared me. Another date took me to a bdsm club as a surprise. As someone who's had a lot of bad experiences, a "surprise" like that only pushed me right back into my shell. Then, when I was ready to try again at age 29, I got a "surprise" varsity level ass-beating without warning instead of an erotic spanking. A lot of "dom" guys are just assholes who have no interest in their sub's erotic desires.

At 35 I've done some exploring online, b/c it feels safer to me. But after seeing what men are capable of doing, I'm genuinely scared to open up again. I'm tired of being treated like shit. I think that's why I want to be degraded in a safe space, b/c then I can at least control the scene. But it has to actually be a power exchange where I have some input into what happens in order for it to be cathartic. I'm not going to be able to feel safe until I find a kinky guy who is willing to listen to what I want and not just demand that I do what he wants. Many men hear "submissive" and assume it means that I'm up for anything, which simply isn't true. I haven't met anyone who actually cares about my limits though, so it's really difficult to feel safe enough to give up control.
Posted by men can be scary on May 15, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
50 shades of no thank you.

But yes please to the work wank. Sometimes you just need to get off. I can't believe that more people don't rub one out in the lav at the office.
Posted by catballou on May 15, 2012 at 7:16 PM · Report this
I haven't read 50 Shades of Gray either. But didn't Willard Romney say he enjoys canning people?
Posted by CW in LA on May 15, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this
*sigh* I haven't read Fifty Shades either, but the sad thing is that there's actually GOOD Twilight fanfiction that was heavily based on S&M. Good as in the author actually did something like research into the S&M community and created a story with believable characters who had jobs, families and lives in addition to all that kinky sex. It was called "The Submissive."

(50 Shades was originally Twilight fanfiction.)
Posted by DRF on May 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM · Report this
Canning: gives a whole new meaning to "Ball Jars, wide mouth, 1 doz."

You, too, can come in quarts.
Posted by avast2006 on May 15, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
Heh. Maybe they ARE fapping to being canned by a rich guy. The sequel: 50 Shades of The Apprentice :D
Posted by UrinalCupcake on May 15, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 14
Better to use your usual mens room, take your time, keep business papers on the floor so it looks like you are working while taking a power dump
I'm not sure which grosses me out more: the term "power dump" or the implication that you scoop those papers up from the floor of the stall afterward and take them back to your desk.
Posted by Fred Casely on May 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM · Report this
Probably the worst column you've ever written. Who the hell is this trying to help? Are you drunk again?
Posted by gormster on May 15, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
If Mr J tried that last line on Mrs J, that would float about as well as the lead coffin in which he might end up.

While I accept the framework because clearly Mr Savage has the experience to back it up, the conclusions seem to leak all over the place. Can't young women just know they're vanilla? (It's a little reminiscent of young bisexuals. Some change and that's fine, if not always convenient, but the ones who don't really can't be expected to order their lives on the expectation that they will at some point.) And it seems as if vanilla men aren't entitled to any dealbreakers, however much their women might swear down hill and up Dale that they won't in 15-20 years start inflicting dealbreaking demands left and right.

If I had any stake in the matter at all, it might depress me that the overall effect is to wonder whether 8, 10, 12 or 14 years is the ideal time for heterosexual couples to divorce in order for the benefit enjoyment in the relationship to be approximately level. But, as it is, I might sleep better, which, given that I usually lose sleep on Tuesday nights, will be most welcome. I thank Mr Savage in advance.

Posted by vennominon on May 15, 2012 at 9:42 PM · Report this
fuck, I wish I had WHIP's advice 3 years ago...

Believe me when I say that happiness in a marriage is something not many people are able to totally achieve. In fact, right now, I am really to slit my husbands throat for gulping down a big glass of water, coming up for breath, and then downing another glass of water. It's like there's no self control! Don't even get me started on the sex life... Take Dan's advice.
Posted by SunShyne250 on May 15, 2012 at 9:57 PM · Report this
TVDinner 18
Pressure cooker or water bath method?
Posted by TVDinner http:// on May 15, 2012 at 9:59 PM · Report this
Given what WHIP's acronym implies, who does she want on the business end of that implement?

Hubby is entirely within his rights to say "Use that thing on me and you will regret it." By way of example, I was someone who got beat up a few times on the way to school. Having eventually attained sufficient age, strength, and size, I now get to say that nobody gets to hit me, ever again, regardless of reason, period, end of story. For the same reason -- emotional safety boundaries -- he wouldn't be out of line to refuse to use it on her, saying, "That may sound exciting to you, but the idea of dealing out pain makes me feel fucking awful."

Second example: Trust. Many, many years ago, my girlfriend at the time put me in fur handcuffs. She then proceeded to leave the room, greet some friends (?!?), and there was a distinct hint that I might be subjected to an embarrassing reveal. This was an unpleasant surprise to me (that was not discussed as a possibility, nor was the concept of a safeword; stupid, naive 21 yr old). I wriggled out of the cuffs (they were fur, after all), and while she was lucky that I didn't leave them cut up in strips on an empty bed, she summarily lost that privilege with me. If there's a point to that story, it is: does he have some reason to mistrust the situation? (Or mistrust you specifically? Speaking of which, " husband is a dud." Srsly? Congrats on making sure that you don't dare show him this letter. )

On the other hand, if he isn't willing to even try out some unusual positions for intercourse? Not even oral? C'mon, ya lazy bastard. At least make an effort at attaining some skill at stimulating your wife's ladybits. Some of the more acrobatic positions can be entertaining, even if you aren't actually wearing an acrobat suit in order to carry them out.
Posted by avast2006 on May 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM · Report this
Thanks man? Good glory..... try a little harder- the man laid out his career for an issue that you champion! Thanks man?
Posted by dtomb on May 15, 2012 at 10:47 PM · Report this
It's more difficult for a lot of women to rub one out at the office discreetly. Most of the women I know can only get off quickly (ten minutes or less) with a vibrator. Doing it by hand takes a while. And a vibrator is NOISY.

At least that's why I've never tried.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 15, 2012 at 11:08 PM · Report this
Is it really fair to assume that WHIP was biased against kinky people in her dating?
Posted by Icsifil on May 15, 2012 at 11:20 PM · Report this

Wow! I can relate somewhat to WHIP--although I have yet to read Fifty Shades of Grey, or get canned. I'm definitely NOT into Shitt Romney.

20 years ago I married a boorish, sexual dud too, being sexually inexperienced. Eleven years later, I'm divorced but at least I know better now.

Good luck WHIP! It is indeed payback time! Happy canning You should be able to enjoy what turns you on!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 16, 2012 at 12:17 AM · Report this
What odd advice Dan gave to WHIP. Setting aside the fact that time machines haven't been invented yet, the point isn't that she ought to have married a kinky guy, it's that she ought to have married a GGG guy.

A kinky guy can still be selfish and inflexible - in fact we've seen the partners of these guys write in about this a fair bit ("Dear Dan, I enjoy indulging my husband's diaper fetish but it's become all he ever wants to do and my needs never get met!" kind of thing). Not saying that all kinky guys (or girls) are selfish, just that being a bit of a freak in one particular way doesn't guarantee that a person is open to anything.

And anyway, who wants to have to use emotional blackmail to shove a guy into doing what you want (as per Dan's example) when a GGG guy would gladly try the thing solely because you're interested in it?

Plus, y'know, we have no proof that this chick ever dumped any "nice kinky guys" just for being kinky.

I'm kinky myself - and obviously in favour of not being dumped over it - but Dan's rant comes off to me like he's venting about some old psychological scar of his own and completely missing the point.
Posted by perversecowgirl on May 16, 2012 at 12:47 AM · Report this
Ratatoskr 25
Has anyone done a good snark/takedown of that 50 Shades of Grey book yet? I'm morbidly curious about how Coldplay lyrics and schlocky BDSM and Twilight fanfiction come together but like hell am I going to actually read it.
Posted by Ratatoskr on May 16, 2012 at 2:47 AM · Report this
Posted by Brunobär on May 16, 2012 at 3:26 AM · Report this
MythicFox 27
@2 -- The police spokesman says that the guy doing the wanking is fine and the guy who spotted him would get in trouble. Dan's saying that the reality is that that cops would bust the wanker and ignore the peeper.
Posted by MythicFox on May 16, 2012 at 4:03 AM · Report this
mydriasis 28
I never understood the vanilla-lady-who-discovers-kink-in-her-30's cliche. I did all my (run of the mill) kink experimentation before I turned 18, and my highschool friends were mostly super kinky (the friends I have now? not so much).

I wonder if that's something that's not actually that common and is kind of overblown.

P.S. I heard that book was AWFUL.
Posted by mydriasis on May 16, 2012 at 4:22 AM · Report this
24-Cowgirl-- You put into words what I was trying to get to. Dan's answer to WHIP didn't sit right with me, and I was having trouble figuring out why. Are guys with minor kinks rejected so often that there are zillions of them running around, or is it more likely that there aren't that many of them comparatively, rejected or not? Certainly in my experience (admittedly not huge), I ran into more boring duds than kinksters. Or maybe the kinky guys didn't admit their kinks to me. (While I'm still friends with many in a facebook sort of way, I'm in no position to ask.) Dan's answer to WHIP is good in the last paragraph, but leading up to it, he places a lot of blame on someone who I can't see deserves it.

Here's the more interesting question as far as I'm concerned: This bit about sexual peaks. How are we defining that? I can see that a teenage boy might be able to come more often than a middle aged man, but other than that, I can't figure it out. I'd guess that men become better lovers as they older just as women do. Or do they?
Posted by Crinoline on May 16, 2012 at 5:21 AM · Report this
mydriasis 30

"I'd guess that men become better lovers as they [get] older just as women do. Or do they?"

Um, what?
Posted by mydriasis on May 16, 2012 at 5:35 AM · Report this
There's someone at my workplace who, when using the ladies' room, drapes streamers of toilet paper over the cracks around the stall door. (I know this because she doesn't take down said streamers when she leaves, so the rest of us get to puzzle over them later.) I always wondered why anyone would be so paranoid about getting peeped on in the women's facilities. The only thing I could think of was a transsexual woman who fears discovery and possibly violence. Maybe now I have another possible answer!

Dan, what are you trying to say about "no-hands-on-the-back-of-the-head oral"? It IS possible to be an adventurous, giving lover, while still wanting to have control over how much one's gag reflex is pushed. Puking all over some guy's dick is not my idea of sexual adventure.
Posted by Skipper Jo on May 16, 2012 at 5:59 AM · Report this
mydriasis 32

It's possible to use your hands on someone's head gently - sort of a 'here's the speed/rhythm I like' guidance. It doesn't have to be forceful, although some people don't mind that either.
Posted by mydriasis on May 16, 2012 at 6:18 AM · Report this
I don't think it was the wanking that got SPANK noticed, it was taking two elevators to a relatively deserted floor to use the restroom. Yes, that looks suspicious.
Posted by Texans on May 16, 2012 at 6:42 AM · Report this
Now, maybe in Mr. Savage's enthusiasm for publishing his slightly inapposite answer, he cut the letter down too much, but I would be interested in knowing what the letterwriter actually said to her husband and what deals she offered. (Marriage is a negotiated, dynamic state, folks, not a static one.) Her letter skips right past the narrative regarding her efforts, and simply declares she has tried everything.

Oh? Really? Everything?

Given the lack of details about her efforts to communcicate and "sell" her new interests, I grimly suspect this letter is her first step towards the following: "...and that is why my affair with that other guy was perfectly justified. So naturally I get custody of the kids AND alimony."
Posted by Snowguy on May 16, 2012 at 6:53 AM · Report this
Don't you reckon the security guard was cruising what is surely known around the building as the wankroom?
Posted by turtlemilk on May 16, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
I read 50 Shades of Grey in order to review/dissect it for a BDSM-oriented zine. It didn't take long for me to deeply, deeply regret taking on the assignment. Much like Twilight (which I foolishly started to read out of morbid curiosity, but gave up because it was execrable), it might have been an okay if slightly lame book if it were about 50% shorter. But oh my god the whining and longing and overthinking. It's a tiny little romance novel in an enormous tedious package.

The one and only thing I can say about it is, silly as most of the story is, I do think the author did some research, or at least talked to (and more importantly, listened to) some real kinksters. The "Dom" character is a real person (a fabulously rich emotionally tortured real person with chiseled abs, but still). He doesn't spend the entire book being aloof and sadistic, he's actually occasionally goofy and silly. Like a real human being who happens to be kinky.

There's a lot of talk about negotiation and hard limits, and the tiny tiny oh my god I read 300 pages of moping for this one slightly hot scene? play they do is realistic--not overly elaborate, and she gets to yellow out if she wants to. I'm not saying that made the book good or believable, but a soccer mom who reads it will get a much better grounding in BDSM than those of us whose first literary forays into wiiwd were The Marketplace or the Sleeping Beauty books (which are far more wankable--even in an office bathroom--but not something you could build a real relationship on).

The hilarious part is his list of hard limits. In additional to the standard hard limits like scat, children, and animals he includes knifeplay, fire, and electrical. And if I recall correctly, watersports as well. And needles, but I do know a lot of folks who are squicked out by needles, so I;ll give him that. But really? Knives? I think at least cutting someone's clothes off is sort of SM 101a. And fire and electrical are pretty bog standard as well. Maybe not everyone's thing (I've dated one very, very kinky person who couldn't even top with a violet wand in case she got accidental shocks), but putting them on your "I will not even consider this, not even if you bake me cookies and ask very nicely" list seems . . . unlikely. Just sayin'.
Posted by AnathemaT on May 16, 2012 at 6:58 AM · Report this
nocutename 37
This is not the first time Dan has offered the time travel "solution," and it's both useless and unfunny.

For one thing, setting aside the fact that while anyone writing to Dan Savage may reasonably expect a fair amount of snark and to get called on her b.s., people are writing with what to them are real problems, problems that they'd like help addressing. So to blow of the problems of a middle-aged woman with an absolutely unwarranted assumption about what kind of decisions went in to her dating process 20 years ago (unless part of the letter that made that clear got edited out), suggesting that her current unhappiness is karmic payback, and furthermore to not even give suggestions about how to address that payback except to berate her younger self for her presumed prejudices . . . well, what is that all about? Maybe he thinks he's being entertaining. Maybe he's trying to use her as a cautionary tale for the 20-somethings that might be reading.

But nothing in the letter gave him a reason to expect that this woman turned down a number of kinky suitors in her younger, single days. And even if such a phenomenon was true or was as common as Dan suggests (and btw, I have come across far more kinky middle-aged men in my own kinky middle age, than I did when I was young and, though vanilla in practice, would have been open to kink had it ever been introduced. Men may know what they are turned on by when they're teens, I guess--though I like to think that there's always room for growth and greater self-knowledge in all of us--but they may be too inhibited or shy or embarrassed or ______ to act on those interests when they're just entering the dating world), flippantly telling an advice-seeker to get into a time machine and marry a kinkster whom she may never have met, is not exactly workable advice.

Plus, and assuming everything Dan said is true (barring the existence of time travel technology), there are other reasons for either choosing or discarding a partner besides kink qualities possessed or not.
Posted by nocutename on May 16, 2012 at 7:09 AM · Report this
@24 and 29

I could be incorrect, but that whole bit about the time machine, I felt, was more advice to other younger women to not get themselves in that position. And let's face it, any sex positive or sexually open men (or women, for that matter!) are looked at like kinksters by a lot of people. I felt the spirit of that response was that WHIP's situation is due much more to societal pressure and repression, and his message was to other women not to let that sink them into something that leaves them no option to get creative later, even if they don't want to now! The last paragraph wa the only bit that was truly just for WHIP alone.

Also, I see other people thought that was harsh, and that the man is in his rights to refuse. Well, of course he is! He is no more obligated to comply if he's avidly against it than she would be. HOWEVER, that does mean that neither of them is getting what they want, which means some unhappiness. They should definitely make an attempt to work things out, via conversation, negotiated infidelity, or counseling, but should all that fail, then she should DTMFA. (As an expression, not saying anything negative against him, as we don't know him/their real situation.)

So...ease up, guys!
Posted by Mimsy_Monster on May 16, 2012 at 7:10 AM · Report this
@24 perversecowgirl: exactly! Sometimes Dan gets carried away making a point that doesn't necessarily have much to do with the actual letter writer.
Posted by gonzo on May 16, 2012 at 7:12 AM · Report this
Brunobär 40
@37 AnathemaT

Thanks a lot for your opinion on "50 shades" - so far I've only enjoyed reading the snarky, scathing reviews, which I'm sure are well deserved, but you raise an important point about a possible benefit of the book. Not that I'm going to read it now, but still...
Posted by Brunobär on May 16, 2012 at 7:36 AM · Report this
John Horstman 41
@29: As I understand it, 'sexual peak' refers to the period of most frequent/intense desire for sexual activity, the period of greatest ease of orgasm, or both.
Posted by John Horstman on May 16, 2012 at 7:39 AM · Report this
nocutename 42
Oops: should read "to blow OFF the problems of a middle-aged woman," there in that second paragraph. Sorry.
Posted by nocutename on May 16, 2012 at 8:04 AM · Report this
I'm very much with avast at 19: There is nothing wrong with deciding that causing and receiving pain are deeply disturbing to you and not something you're okay with, and no one's GGG card should be revoked because the idea makes you teary rather than hot.

And with cowgirl at 24: GGG is a lot more important than kinky, and Dan's advice seems to go off the ranch there. We have indeed heard from many a frustrated person whose once GGG kinkster has decided he wants nothing but adult baby play all the time.
Posted by IPJ on May 16, 2012 at 8:33 AM · Report this
smajor82 44
I really dislike the way Dan brow beats people for making poor decisions early on in life. It's not at all helpful - shaming people is good for massaging your ego, but not for helping them. And if what he wants to do is really send a message to younger generations, then he needs to do that, rather than using this poor woman as a vehicle for his little morality play.

I really hope WHIP's response was something like: "Please go into a time machine, go back 20 years, and tell yourself not to be an arrogant prick to every adult who is in a bad situation due to poor choices earlier in their life. Also, you assume WAYYY too much about my previous dating history, since we've never met, so please tell your past self to not grow up to be a presumptuous asshole either."
Posted by smajor82 on May 16, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
@43 I think the point is that the individual receiving the 'pain' is way more turned on than hurt. Maybe they can opt out of certain toys (I know someone that rushed a frat and had a really awful experience with paddling, I doubt he will ever want a paddle brought into the bedroom) but hopefully the receiver can express well enough that while it hurts, it feels great. Aside from some select traumatic incidences, I really don't think you can call yourself GGG if you aren't willing to do a little spanking. To me, that kind of S&M-lite is the foundation of GGG.
Posted by Dynomite on May 16, 2012 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Forgot to add, the important thing is the people working together to help the giver to separate a little slap and tickle in the bedroom from getting the pulp beat out of you, and that is the responsibility of both parties.
Posted by Dynomite on May 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Well, I wish my husband were more adventurous in the bedroom, but the kinks Dan described sound so fucking stupid and unsexy that I'd still not be into any guy that came to me with those fetishes.

There is some middle ground between boring vanilla and weirdo kinky, and I'll bet that's more of what the wife is looking for. A guy who likes, say, having discreet spontaneous sex in a public bathroom or having rough sex once in a while.

This is the sort of advice where Dan shows he's kind of clueless about women's sexuality.
Posted by You can keep your panty fetish to yourself on May 16, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Report this
mydriasis 48

It's all relative, I guess. To me a woman who "likes, say, having discreet spontaneous sex in a public bathroom or having rough sex once in a while" is not kinky. She's vanilla.

I refer to myself as vanilla because I'm not what you call "weirdo kinky", or as other people call it, "kinky".
Posted by mydriasis on May 16, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
@47 Other people's kinks always sound stupid and unsexy. But insisting on a perfect match leads to its own problems. If you show disgust, guys will hide their icky kinks until they can't any more. So you may have a perfect match... and wake up after a decade to realize you are no longer a perfect match. GGG is designed to provide another approach to relationships.
Posted by EricaP on May 16, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
#48, Well she said her husband won't try anything but missionary or doggy, so I'm guessing public sex or rough sex would be exciting to her. That'd be plenty exciting for me.

I think all the kinks Dan mentioned would appeal more to people who are already into BDSM scenes or kink scenes, not your average woman wanting to change things up a little.
Posted by #47 on May 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
#48, Well she said her husband won't try anything but missionary or doggy, so I'm guessing public sex or rough sex would be exciting to her. That'd be plenty exciting for me.

I think all the kinks Dan mentioned would appeal more to people who are already into BDSM scenes or kink scenes, probably not your average woman wanting to change things up a little.
Posted by #47 on May 16, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this
@16 Mr. V

As the first anniversary of our celibacy approaches I am confident that the death of sex has been the salvation of our marriage. All that sturm und drang, complete with "things have to change" ultimatums, accomplished nothing but hurt feelings. Life without sex may seem (to borrow your image) like a voyage in a lead coffin, but it's life with My Love, which turns out to be all that matters to me.

Many people live in sexless marriages. It's not the end of the world.…
Posted by Mr. J on May 16, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
Your response to WHIP is just terrible! How do you know she turned down kinky guys in her twenties? Also, as someone who has been involved in the BDSM community, I know plenty of young women who are aware of their kinks (hell, I knew I was into BDSM before I knew I was in to women).

WHIP's response was really judgmental, and only marginally helpful. Maybe this is her high school sweetheart. Maybe she's really annoying, and this was the only guy that would have her. Maybe she *was* with kinky guys before, but they were douchebags. You don't know what her history was, and rather than give her good advice, you ranted about how she turned people down. WTF?
Posted by DarthKelly on May 16, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Sorry to harp on WHIP, but I continue to be bothered by a distinct lack of the obligatory "I love my husband, and we are so perfect in so many other ways, BUT..." Of course all the standard disclaimers about short letters apply, but this still strikes me as conspicuously absent. Instead she goes straight to "my husband is a dud." If he's just a dud, why are you still with him at all? If he's more than a dud, where is the appreciation for what he does bring to the relationship? It almost sounds like WHIP wants to parlay a basic atmosphere of marital contempt into a full-blown domme-sub situation. I can easily imagine Hubby thinking to himself, "What do you suddenly need with a leather corset and a riding crop NOW? It's not like you haven't been letting your inner bitch out for years now."

All of which is a snarky way of saying that I agree with Dan that the two of you are going to have to have some serious discussions to resolve this. I suspect, however, that you are going to have to back way the hell up and start with the basic relationship dynamic. Going straight to negotiating a new set of sexual games will be putting the cart before the horse.
Posted by avast2006 on May 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Every so often, Dan really misfires. Today's answer to WHIP was obviously one of those times. 90% rant and 10% "tell him he's not satisfying you anymore". That's not even remotely sufficient to get out of a rut, and by the way, a decent percentage of men will tend to feel hurt and defensive around the notion that they're not pleasing their wife/girlfriend sexually. Taking that approach could really backfire.

I don't know you, but I presume you were reasonably satisfied with your vanilla sex before you read 50 Shades? So keep it positive and let him know that while you were reading it, you were surprised that you got super turned on by some of the things that MaleCharacter and FemaleCharacter (sorry, I didn't read the book) did. Tell him you want to read some of those parts to him out loud, seductively, and naked. Most men would be game for that.

Then read whatever it was that turned you on. Tell him what really excites you to try. Ask him seductively if he'd do these activities with you (sorry, I have no idea what even happened in 50 Shades. If memory serves, some simple bondage and impact play? Some mild humiliation, perhaps?). Tell him how much you want to try and that you'd make it worth his while. Then make it worth his while.

That's my take on it, anyway. There's plenty of discussion out there on how to request your vanilla partner to participate in some kink. Most of it is geared toward men trying to engage with their vanilla wives, but I see no reason why you couldn't use the techniques in reverse. Do some googling and see what approaches might make sense in your own relationship.
Posted by lorcha on May 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Registered European 56
It's a good thing that the bathroom stalls in the place where I work are completely shut off when the door is closed.
Posted by Registered European on May 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Report this
love your column this week Dan! very enjoyable and entertaining 5 minutes of my life. And I also don't like 50 shades of gray. and I am a 32 year old female. I find it very limiting in terms of how it depicts a BDSM relationship. I can already see women trying to recreate all the scenes to the tiniest detail and being frustrated for not getting it right.

Posted by anaxx on May 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
love your column this week Dan! very enjoyable and entertaining 5 minutes of my life. And I also don't like 50 shades of gray. and I am a 32 year old female. I find it very limiting in terms of how it depicts a BDSM relationship. I can already see women trying to recreate all the scenes to the tiniest detail and being frustrated for not getting it right.

Posted by anax on May 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
AFinch 59

Get in a time machine and go warn your younger self not to make the same mistake that so many women make in their 20s. That is, dumping guys with relatively harmless, easily indulged kinks—the foot fetishists, the guys who wear panties, the guys who want their girlfriends to wear superhero costumes while they peg their ass—because kinky guys are "weird," "not normal," or "probably gay."


So, um yeah, unlike the rest of the commentariat, I heartily applaud Dan's response. Really, in the practical sense, there's nothing more she can do than the 'talk to your SO' bit.

As a very nice, good, stable, decent, intelligent, friendly and all around moral (atheist) good guy with some kinks who's been dumped many times over them, I just want to say thank you so much.

Oh, and here's my take on why this changes, and why the 'peak' is correlated: testosterone makes you a horny kinky freak. Estrogen does not. When men are in their late teens, the T is at it's all time high, and it begins to taper off from there on out...hence the 'limp' middle-aged men out there. Women, on the other hand, start to have their estrogen taper off in their thirties, and it stops masking the testosterone. Plus, they're done obsessing over the 'perfect' model to breed with, and are now interested in living a bit with a real person, not a Ken-doll-partner-by-forty.

@38 gets it right; this is not advice for WHIP, but for other readers:

"I could be incorrect, but that whole bit about the time machine, I felt, was more advice to other younger women to not get themselves in that position. And let's face it, any sex positive or sexually open men (or women, for that matter!) are looked at like kinksters by a lot of people."

Amen. And...@48 & @49 for the tag-team win on driving the nails in the "weird kinky" coffin. Sex in the stall is not really kinky and expecting people to never change at all is naive at best; most likely just juvenile.

I think this week's column was excellent.
Posted by AFinch on May 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
We all know that there's nothing wrong with masturbating, nothing wrong with masturbating in a bathroom stall during a scheduled work break, and that there's nothing illegal about masturbating in that bathroom stall during the work break.

We can guess that the security officer in the elevator and the overheard "see that guy" comment are irrelevant coincidences that have nothing to do with the peeping tom you encountered.

But ... office gossip can be a terrible thing. When people get the idea that you're weird for whatever reason (even if you're not, really), when people decide that you're doing something wrong (even when a Seattle police spokesperson says there's nothing wrong with it), trouble can follow. For that reason, I recommend being especially discreet in the coming months, and if anyone questions you about the incident, or even jokes about it, become affronted while you say that you prefer stinking up the bathroom on the more isolated floor. If pressed, you can say that you did notice someone peering into the stall, then wince, shake your head, and roll your eyes.
Posted by Crinoline on May 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
i am now using fuckadoodledoo whenever possible!
Posted by jamminbanana on May 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Whoever allowed Dan Savage to give an opinion on women's sexuality must be punished. Misoginy and ignorance at his best is what his advice is based on.
Posted by ChristinaNY on May 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
So Dan's advice to WHIP is that she should have to put up with a guy whose kinks do not align with her own so that he is then obligated to put up with hers? That sounds so sexy!
Posted by virginia mason on May 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
Some columns are ok, but someone should really ban you from speaking about straight women's sexuality. Misogyny and ignorance at their best.
Posted by ChristinaNY on May 16, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Corylea 65
Dan, Dan, are the Christian Dan-bashers getting you down or something? Please don't take it out on people like WHIP. That was a nasty response you gave her, and unless you cut something out of her letter, she didn't deserve it.

WHIP, if you want your husband to spice things up, you need to start small, and you need to inspire him. Figure out what's a teeny baby step in the direction you want to go. Rent some porn featuring that activity and watch it with your husband.
Posted by Corylea on May 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Holmes 66
To SPANK: Sometimes a little offense is the best defense. Contact HR and tell them that, over the past few months, someone that you haven't been able to identify has been standing outside your stall door, tapping his foot a la Senator Craig. And although you've taken to using another facility in the hopes of giving him the slip, he's found you again. Better yet, forget HR and ask around the office if others have been similarly approached.

To Dan: I wish the world were as insightful as your SPD spokesperson. It would put a stop to all those fundies straining to catch a peek (or an earful) at what goes on in various adults' bedrooms (or wherever) in the hopes of being morally offended.

Now, I don't know what SPANK rubbing one out sounds like. If its screams of "Ohhh {name of deity}!" you might want to rethink your choice of sanctuary. But in my years working at a little local aviation firm (which shall remain nameless), I've heard some of the rudest and most suspicious sounds coming from adjacent stalls. I just write it off to the increased effort needed to get the peanut butter out of a shag rug, so to speak. Or the few extra shakes one must employ to detach that last drip. And the moaning could just be a bad case of constipation.
Posted by Holmes on May 16, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 67
I thought this week's column was good. Dan reads a lot of mail from both straight men and women. He travels the country meeting people all the time. He has a responsibility for writing columns that are helpful for the 2 people involved, but primarily helpful for the hundreds of thousands of people who read his column every week. His response to WHIP might prevent thousands of marriages from disintegrating into resentment over decades.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on May 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
@45: I put pain in there with rape scenarios: You don't need to have been violently raped to get a GGG pass to turn down that fantasy in real life. You can just find it makes you sad and fearful rather than aroused. You ask your partner for what you want, they consider it, sometimes it's yes and sometimes no, and vice versa. Not just applying to sex, but to how things are negotiated in other areas, too. The partner who is GGG about where to move doesn't have to move wherever you want at whim, they just have to honestly consider your preferences and try to accommodate them.

I think GGG has much more to do with being honest and willing to consider things, than it does with any particular act. (Much less agreeing to try anything except feces three times.) To use an S&M example, someone mentioned a sub who was into a lot of stuff but no flicking water on the face. Do you say "Well that's a silly place to draw the line, that's not scary! Do it or no GGG card for you!" or "Okay, no water on the face"?
Posted by IPJ on May 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this
LYME ALERT- Dan thanks for your show, I am more often than not bed ridden, with Lyme Disease and co-infections. Your show is always um, interesting, educating, funny…great… …okay so I am a Scorpio. And old like you 52 hahaha, okay you aren’t that old.
This is in response to episode 291. The lady was talking about how “primal” she became and how excellent the sex was after she found out her hubby was cheating. (after they reconciled) Like, she was reclaiming him or something. She was interested in getting back that exciting, crazy, primal, sex. You told her to get inventive, and have sex other places than in their bed or shower.
I would like to add a word of CAUTION, to some of your ideas. North America is in the throws of a Lyme Pandemic. The ticks injecting (into humans and other mammals) this bacteria and other co-infections like Babesia (recently coined north American malaria), and Bartonlla a parasite, are exploding in numbers.
We used to be able to joyfully have woodland sex (hahaha, like my Mom didn’t know we were having sex, I was a walking advertisement with pine needles ground into my back, dirt,leaves…ahahhah) was one of the pleasures I was able to enjoy with my husband of 30 years, (back in the day) no more is this the case. The ticks are everywhere, not just in the forest, or tall grass! The buggers are hitching rides on songbirds and dropping into your freaken backyard. They are being found in green spaces in cities.
A serious word of CAUTION for outdoor SEX….or even walks.
Get informed Sex lovers in the woods (or tall grass, or your backyard throw-downs),‘cause Lyme and Co-infections will take all the Sex out of your life.
Valuable information: If you have Lyme as a woman, and you get pregnant your children will have Lyme, if I give blood, Lyme Bacteria survives in blood products, (I am allowed to give blood in Canada even after disclosing I have Lyme) they are still fighting about sexual transmission of Lyme.
Check out for the international group leading the way for helping folks with Lyme…on all levels.

Lyme and co-infections will take your life away (if not treated in the first month of being infected). By life I mean your job, your mind, your friends, your love of life, yourself. The leading cause of death with people infected with Lyme is suicide! Here is the rub because of politics and HMO’s and the board that sets the protocol for treatment of Lyme in the United States (many of 12 people sitting on board that sets protocol) are pay rolled by these institutions. They will not change the protocols to actually cure or help people to get better in the chronic stages.
They are hoarding information, from each other, from vaccines to treatments that actually make you better. There are only 8 states where peeps can be treated without their Doctors being sued or have their licenses taken away.
In Canada where I live not ONE doctor is allowed to treat chronic LYME. Nobody will treat us! So I have to travel to the States for treatment. Without the cash to be treated, people just decline end up in wheelchairs and die.

Key Points:
1) Find out where ticks hang out- Dan's
Podcast is world wide, get on the net
2) CDC reports, 4x more common than HIV/Aids
3) Leading Cause of Vector born illness
4) 50% people don’t remember tick bite
5) Find out the symptoms
6) Get treated quickly
7) Frequently misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia,
MS, Bi Polar Disease, Lupus, Chronic
fatigue, as it mimics these.
8) Use (I am not
affiliated with theses folks) to
remove Ticks, not any of the tweezer
Check out my website for more info, and links, on youtube, and in the media.

Don't let Lyme and co-infections mess with your life!

Wendy in Canada
Posted by Shakti Wendy on May 16, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Hahahahahah I got post 69, yayyyyy!!!! Am I lucky, or what?????
Posted by Shakti Wendy on May 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
What the hell is this rant on women not dating kinky dudes? Dan gives lipservice to patriarchal brainwashing and then blames women for not having the foresight of future kink and marrying someone she was compatable with at the time. Damned if you play it safe, damned if you don't.

Give me a break and give this woman some real advice.

Posted by kersy on May 16, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
unknown_entity 72
Dan, your response to WHIP was totally unfair. She came to you for advice and your response is to say "you fucked up and your only option is a time machine." That would make sense if she was a cheating POS who had been caught having an affair and wanted to know how to get her husband back, but she is asking a simple and reasonable questions of "what do I do about my husband indulging my newly discovered kinks?" Furthermore, you insinuate that this is payback for her having dumped guys with honest kinks in the past. She never mentions that in her letter, so why are you flogging her over that? One of your (fortunately rare) misfires in the advice.

As for the advice to whip, Dan was right that she is entitled to be more assertive in asking for satisfying sex. However, since the difference in sexual interests has only popped up after 19 years, she may have to accept that he may not ever be able to get into the kinks she has recently developed.

Yes, WHIP's husband should be GGG, and I would highly recommend that the two of them look over Dan's columns and pod-casts for the stories about the success people have had indulging their partners kinks. But if that does not inspire him to explore, then I would argue that after nearly two decades of mutually satisfying vanilla sex (unless complaints of that were dropped from the letter), WHIP needs to accept her husband's disinterest in kinks.

Posted by unknown_entity on May 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
maybe the vanilla dude isnt vanilla but the dud wife has killed any attempts at anything fun or weird. MOST chicks will kill anything remotely interesting FAST out of cultural norms. Youd be surprised how many wont even go along with oral.

After a while one has to choose between a sexually boring chick with various flaws or a sexually interesting chick with various flaws. and you have to choose on balance.
Posted by evs on May 16, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
@68 Great point. GGG means respecting boundaries. If my partner says no, I respect that completely, don't diminish his feelings, and never make him justify them. If there is no mutual respect, there is no trust, and there is no GGG.

Posted by kersy on May 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
When my boyfriend (who later became my husband of several decades, I know, I know) revealed more or less from the start of our relationship that sex wasn't ever going to be particularly important to him, I thought that perhaps I needed to "spice things up" to engage his interest. I gently suggested things like, for example, a new position. I tried kissing him when he didn't expect it. Serious vanilla-only stuff ("French vanilla"?). Did it work? Oh, no, not at all. It offended him. He thought I was sick and "needed help."

Now that that particular relationship is over and done with, it seems obvious to me that some people, men and women, are only now waking up to the fact that there is more than just the very most basic set of sexual activities available to them. I think it might be helpful to have much more material out there, of different kinds, for people to peruse. Even if it's of the "50 Shades of Grey" type. And hey, if thousands of middle-aged women discover that there is life beyond French vanilla, doesn't it seem like the world might be a better place?

Posted by Sarah in Olympia on May 16, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
76… will tell you just about everything you need to know about 50 Shades.
Posted by EclecticEel on May 16, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
And for anyone who has been curious about Twilight, all you need to know about it is that at one point the sparkly vampire character basically tells the girl he's supposed to love

"I used the full force of my vampire powers that I've developed while living for over 100 years more than you to make you forget me. HOW COULD YOU FORGET ME?!?"

Posted by EclecticEel on May 16, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
There's a third way: just because you have a kink doesn't mean you have to make it happen. I was a sexual early bloomer, and most of my (mildly) kinky experiments (peepee and poopoo--my high-school boyfriend's kink, oh joy--threeways, bondage, anal, a little spanking) happened before I was twenty. I probably have more of an affinity for women than my one kiss one time with my roommate would indicate, but I always had a boyfriend and never got to explore it. And you know what? That's OK.

Now, in my 30's, I've been single for a few years and as I masturbate I'm starting to discover some kinks in my attic. And I'm fine with just thinking about it. Making my fantasies come true would be prohibitively expensive even if I could find like-minded kinksters to help me out. With all due respect, I'm getting tired of people making a civil-rights issue out of their kinks. Same-sex marriage and trans rights aside, our fondest sexytime wishes are a lot more like other kinds of consumption than we care to admit. I might never, for the sake of argument, peg a red-headed seminarian while his superior sleeps in the same room or tie my high-school algebra teacher to a chair and rub Vicks on his junk, just like I might never fly around the planet or live in a restored factory with twelve of my best friends, but will that be the end of my world? Hardly. We're taking our kinks way too seriously, when they are really just predilections like a preference for mangoes over bananas. Time for a little perspective.
Posted by Martha Martha Martha on May 16, 2012 at 3:58 PM · Report this
Wrong. A young woman with shaky self-esteem is told by the most perfect man she ever met, a man who is literally a magical creature that Fate itself has ordained her to see as the most beautiful man in existence (i.e. unimaginably out of her league), that he doesn't love her. She believes him and then he asks her why that is since his self-image is such that he thinks she is out of his league.

Oh, yes, and totally not the point of the story. I'm not surprised you missed it though seeing as how love is not a topic about which deep appreciation is in evidence on this forum.
Posted by Mr. J on May 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Fuck in A.

How can there be this many avid advice column readers that don't get that all the responses are written for the fucking audience, not the letter writers.

Posted by mage on May 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
@59 - AFinch, this is ABW from last week's column. Are you in Seattle?
Posted by PacNWfem on May 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM · Report this
O my Captain 82
It pisses me off that after giving a straight and correct answer, you turned around and made light of the fact that the guy was innocent. I say, the guy who was watching, was the security guard...and if he blabs at all, he should be brought into the H*R department and put on probation!
Posted by O my Captain on May 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM · Report this

You want to cut part now, so you can cut more later.
Posted by Hunter78 on May 16, 2012 at 6:59 PM · Report this
Seriously. Marry a good, kind man who has some kinks. Obviously some things are still off-limits: I told my husband there would be no excrement, animals, dead people, or children. Everything else is negotiable. I'll try anything once. We either have fun or we don't (and when isn't sex like that) and I have a pretty happy husband if I do say so myself.
Posted by hurrdahurr on May 16, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
@17 It sounds like your husband has diabetes.
Posted by hurrdahurr on May 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM · Report this
37, Dan writes the column as much for the readers as for the letter writers. For those 20-year-old readers about to marry a vanilla man and the sex is already boring, please take my advice and don't.
Posted by hurrdahurr on May 16, 2012 at 7:23 PM · Report this
Dan's reply to SPANK the wanker was really confusing. But yeah, having sex with yourself or anyone else in a remotely public place, even a toilet, is making yourself vulnerable. I wonder whether the peeper was someone who's noticed SPANK's pattern of using the lonely men's room and hoped to get in on the action?

And maybe there are hidden security cameras? I mean, no one wants to believe it, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that security could spy on the activities in a bathroom stall.
Posted by Belleweather on May 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
@25, There is already a parody: "50 Shames of Earl Grey".…
Posted by cockyballsup on May 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM · Report this
For all of you who did not read 50 shades: I did. Two books. Don't ask me why... The books are awful. I am "intended audience", but it did not do much for me. It is not even hot - the scenes are "blah" - I am sure Savage readers heard way better stories. The writing is bad and repetitive.
And seriously - if my daughter was involved with controlling creep like the main character, I'd smuggle her out of the country against her will.
Posted by babkinysemechki on May 16, 2012 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Very good column on the comedic scale, and pretty solid on the educational and soapbox scales.

I particularly enjoyed the subtle dig (if that's what it was) at MTV's rather silly disclaimer that Dan is not a board-certified sexual researcher. Dan's opinions on virtually all sexual topics are certainly "informed," even if he lacks the formal credentials of, say, the annoying Dr. Drew.
Posted by Functional Atheist on May 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM · Report this
In defense of the kink-averse. It does depend on the kink. Give me group sex anytime, and I'll pee on you all you want, but I completely avoid guys who are into *rough* sex because their ability to feel any sensation downstairs tends to be dead and they are SO. MUCH. WORK. Ditto for the guys who can't get anywhere without your having to perform a fucking porno movie script every time.
Posted by cockyballsup on May 16, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
Mr J - I shall forego the temptation to speculate about whether you're really Mrs J with access to the account and say that, while I am glad you are able to give such a glowing review of your situation, your post absolutely made no response to mine whatsoever. And there's no need to lecture me, sunshine; I'm sure I was perfectly content with far less sex than any other non-asexual regular poster here, and my Retirement from Romance has been one of the few bright points of my life in its duration.

Now, had you proclaimed yourself offended that I used you as an example of somebody who was dissatisfied with hes spouse's insufficient supply in the romantic department and disinterest in attempting to change, I'd have apologized for doing so without asking permission, though that would not have been practical. You will allow, though, that you have posted on multiple occasions that you were unhappy about being cut off unilaterally with no scope for negotiation.

Mr Savage advised the LW to go to her husband and give him The Ultimatum. I am actually in agreement with you. As I said, your giving Mrs J the same ultimatum would not float, and you report that your attempts to negotiate did more harm than good. The lead coffin was my bit of fancy - not that a sexless life was like living in one, but I imagined that, if you were to try such a highhanded line, Mrs J might hit you with her heaviest garden spade, using sufficient force to land you in your coffin. A bit of exaggeration, as we know so little of Mrs J, but then I would in such an eventuality be able to brief myself for her defence were you to conduct yourself in so outrageously entitled a manner as Mr Savage appeared to be suggesting to the LW.

I shall add that, while I am glad that things have worked out for you, this does not improve my opinion of Mrs J. She got lucky. (Many of us are not so fortunate, particular those who are deprived of the opportunity to manifest continual and constant proof of our affection due to the object ceasing to live.) If she were to remind me of any fictional character on the skimp information provided, I'd compare her to Sir Walter Elliot in drawing a prize in the marital sweepstakes far beyond the merits of conduct and character. That's fine. I can identify with most of your attitude, although my circumstances were different. I suspect we are rather similar in relationships. I commend you for finding your own unique solution and I congratulate Mrs J on her good fortune. Oh, and I shall condone (perhaps even commend) in advance your wanting to condone her conduct and character, but I shan't permit you to commend them (in this instance) without sharp disagreement - barring, of course, sufficient new evidence to justify a reversal of opinion.

As for your other post about love, I think perhaps you should reread Mrs Woolf, who would be good for your marriage and might help you restore what you might have lost. What one reads can be so important at critical stages.

All the best and do take proper care of yourself.
Posted by vennominon on May 16, 2012 at 7:56 PM · Report this
@21 Why hasn't someone invented a quiet vibrator yet? I read a story about whisper-quiet hybrid cars, but all the vibes I own sound like an electric razor or fan motor. Not a big motor, but a distinctive sound nonetheless. I bet Jane Jetson didn't have a noisy vibrator.
Posted by wxPDX on May 16, 2012 at 8:12 PM · Report this
@93: agreed. What a buzz-kill. :)
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on May 16, 2012 at 8:17 PM · Report this
I can empathize with WHIP. I, too, was married to a rather vanilla guy when I was 23. Fortunately, I got out of it, without children, just as I started figuring out my own kinks, right around 30.

She should talk to her husband, though. I am currently dating a sweet and wonderful man who has a natural dominant streak, which I love, but he was suppressing it because he believed it isn't "polite" to be rough and dominant during sex. We have a great relationship and with some communication and encouragement, he is enjoying exploring his dominant side.

You never know until you discuss it.
Posted by SherBee on May 16, 2012 at 8:44 PM · Report this
@93/94, for years I was stuck on my Hitachi magic wand, but I've switched recently to the Eroscillator

It has somewhat less power, and much less noise; I was looking for a way to step down my need for intense vibration, and after reprogramming my clit's expectations, this does the trick.
Posted by EricaP on May 16, 2012 at 8:58 PM · Report this
First story, BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First of all you have to be about 16 years old, for this to make sense. At sixteen it works like this, hard-on, cum. DONE. If you are older than that you know the rules. You know how to control it or get it sucked, even in the bathroom of a highrise. Been there done that!!!!!!!!!! As for the peeper, he seen you and you seen him. Make the arrest, lair.
Posted by cbdv26a on May 16, 2012 at 9:31 PM · Report this
@96 Have you, or anyone else, tried this one:… ?

Supposedly silent. Not sure if it provides enough power, and the $125 price tag is insane in my book, but anyway, I thought I'd ask. I think that's their cheapest model. Wow.
Posted by lorcha on May 16, 2012 at 9:44 PM · Report this
i agree with #15: terrible column. about as bad as mudede.
Posted by rayray on May 16, 2012 at 9:47 PM · Report this
@93 I'm not an engineer, but I know that making a whole range of things like industrial machinery and vehicle engines quieter is, quite often, about reducing vibration.

So nearly-silent vibrators might be as tricky an engineering challenge as a quiet washing machine agitator, or a quiet coffee grinder--a more difficult engineering challenge than it may appear at first glance.

Posted by Functional Atheist on May 16, 2012 at 9:58 PM · Report this
No one here has used a Sonicare toothbrush, I guess. Best inadvertent vibrator ever, though do take care to make sure it's not a brush head you ever want to use again for its primary purpose.
Posted by hurrdahurr on May 16, 2012 at 10:56 PM · Report this
@21, i'm a lady and i've rubbed one out in the office bathroom in about 30 seconds. you're generalizing - but jesus, ten minutes with a vibrator? are you maybe desensitizing your clitoris?
Posted by sensitive clit on May 16, 2012 at 11:56 PM · Report this
Add me to the list of workplace lady-wankers. Hell, I've rubbed one out in my office, with the door and shades closed. How else is a woman supposed to reward herself for sitting through a long boring meeting without touching the donuts? I think another woman saw me once, mid-orgasm, in the bathroom, but I didn't care. I figured, if she didn't want to see it she shouldn't have been peering into my stall, and either way she'll probably get over it.

I will add, though, that my solo flights are strictly manual. I've never used a vibrator and I feel no need to try one. That doesn't sound like the kind of stimulation that would work for me.
Posted by Pearly on May 17, 2012 at 4:14 AM · Report this
Well, I guess everybody sometimes has improductive working days. Dan apparently is no exception. This week's advice was quite a letdown.
Posted by Tetsuo on May 17, 2012 at 4:58 AM · Report this
Mischa Vainburg 105
@21: Lucky me! I've wanked at work once or twice and can usually get off in <2 minutes if I'm really into it (which I have to be to even think about getting off at work...)
Posted by Mischa Vainburg on May 17, 2012 at 5:42 AM · Report this
Mr V

I didn't mean to lecture you. I completely agree with your original comment. It seems that I have a lack of awareness of my tone. It's not that I rejoice in my situation. My intent is to convey merely that I understand what I most want among my limited choices (Sophie's Choice if you will allow). As you correctly point out, it has been a hard journey for me.

I do think that someone here needs to point out that the general assumption floating about (this is not a critique of you, dear Sir) is that the sex needs to be fixed or the relationship must end. Not everyone will prioritize things that way, nor must they. One may well preserve the relationship by calling it a day on the sex.

The column is "Savage Love," but notice that it is concerned with sex, not love.
Posted by Mr. J on May 17, 2012 at 6:43 AM · Report this
Dan and People Message Posters,
Is this a legit, Savage Love, method of Sexual Negotiation?…
Posted by Shakti Wendy on May 17, 2012 at 7:18 AM · Report this
mydriasis 108
@ Mr. J

You're a bigger man than I am.
Posted by mydriasis on May 17, 2012 at 7:31 AM · Report this
You forgot to mention that if the first letter writer is black or American Indian, the Seattle police are just as likely to shoot him as arrest him.
Posted by truthspeaker on May 17, 2012 at 7:37 AM · Report this
Mr J - I think you just want to go back to your original poist in the thread and tweak an early sentence. It's not the death of sex that has been the saving of your marriage but your becoming able to embrace it. Naturally, being a modest person, you didn't want to take credit for it. But your modesty made the post come across as if you were maintaining that Mrs J was Right All Along, and that you had been a whiny, selfish, totally inconsiderate paternalist for having the audacity to have sexual feelings for your partner in wedlock.

Sorry for my flowery mode of speech today, but I've done my weekly column already and I'm still a bit in the flow.

I seriously do advise you in all candour to reread Mrs Woolf. I could point out that you might have accepted the compliment inherent in my phrasing, but you can hardly be expected to know that I have finally managed to reach the point of shedding my expectation that all human beings over the age of ten are well-read.

I agree that names can be most revealing, but somehow Savage Sex just has the wrong oomph. Get too pedantic about such things and you'll sound like Mr Carroll's White Knight - an ineffectual sweetie.

I wish you had supported me some time ago when I pointed out, in the face of Ms Erica's full expansionist glory, that it was just as honourable a choice to divest oneself of a sexual interest that caused one's partner distaste as it was to conquer one's distaste for a sexual practice in which one's partner had expressed an interest. Perhaps you weren't posting muh at the time, but I was entirely alone then. Still, however late, I thank you for supporting my point now.
Posted by vennominon on May 17, 2012 at 7:46 AM · Report this
--MC 111
-- Miss Litella .. Emily ... HEY! "Fifty Shades of Gray" mentions CANING, not CANNING.

-- Oh, that's entirely different. Never mind.
Posted by --MC on May 17, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
@110, for the record, I agree with you, and I've done both for Mr. P. We started off very kinky, very D&S & S&M, and that tapered off gradually, due to him losing (most) interest. I put up with that loss, through love for him, and because I thought it was normal. When he asked me to conquer my distaste for extramarital sex, the upside for me was that at least I got to fulfill my own kinky needs with other people.

It may always be honorable to satisfy one's partner's needs rather than one's own... But different people have different abilities. Mr. P. has many charms & skills I will never have and I imagine Mrs. J. has charms & skills of her own -- if among their charms & skills, they have certain deficiencies, well, that part I knew when I chose Mr. P., and I guess Mr. J. has come to terms with it in his life.
Posted by EricaP on May 17, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
Mr V
You're welcome.

@108 mydriasis
Bigger? Older perhaps. Some fights are long, tiresome affairs that you lose in the end--lose and yet live with the outcome you once thought unthinkable.
Posted by Mr. J on May 17, 2012 at 8:13 AM · Report this
@112 EricaP
Just so. "Price of admission" as Dan says. What a mountain to climb to get from "you have this deficiency that we have to fix" to "this is who you are and I want you anyway."
Posted by Mr. J on May 17, 2012 at 8:23 AM · Report this
nocutename 115
Mr. Ven, EricaP, and Mr. J,
Sometimes I envision the four of us as a cast in a movie about middle-aged people navigating their way through relationships that change over time. (I don't know how old Mr. Ven is, but the Erica, J, and I are all mid-late 40s, I believe.)

Three of us had marriages in which a spouse wasn't meeting all our sexual desires. (Mr. Ven has been less forthcoming than I can remember about dissatisfaction; the take I have on his long-term romantic relationship is that accommodations were made, possibly by both parties, and that there was a great deal of satisfaction on both parts. But I could be forgetting something.)

I chose sex over love and left the marriage; Mr. J chose love over sex and stays in a sexless, though loving marriage; EricaP chose to fight to keep both her loving marriage and a satisfying sex life, for herself and her husband (and has made that come true); and Mr. Ven seems to have had a loving and sexually satisfying relationship (albeit not without some measure of compromise), which ended with the death of his beloved.

Our respective stories and perspectives revolve around each other like planets circling the sun called "long term marriage" and I find it enlightening to compare our notes and responses.

I just wonder who would play us in the film.
Posted by nocutename on May 17, 2012 at 8:35 AM · Report this
@68 Maybe I wasn't clear, I think having certain things you are set against whether they come from bad experiences in the past, or an unexplainable bad feeling at the thought of doing them (like your example of flicking water in the face), all of that is perfectly acceptable. We all have little things we would never do.
What I think is ridiculous and should 'revoke your GGG card' is putting your foot down and saying "No, I could never do any S&M or inflict pain in any way". The two (or more) individuals that are involved need to work together to find a compromise where both are happy with the decision so the giver doesn't feel like they are hurting the other person but the receiver can still get off.
I agree, being GGG is all about being open and receptive to talking about and trying new things. So saying no to all forms of S&M to me, at least, is not GGG without even trying to find a method that works for both people.
Posted by Dynomite on May 17, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
debug 117
I'm sure 50 Shades is shlock (what porn/soft porn isn't really?) but it's gotten my wife a little hotter than usual lately so what's the harm? I know a lot of the ladies in the hood are reading so I get a little charge knowing they all have something dirty going on between the ears.

If soft-core BDSM-lite is going mainstream, that can only be a good thing.
Posted by debug on May 17, 2012 at 9:53 AM · Report this
@24: Exactly my reaction. I generally like Dan's advice, but the reply to WHIP struck me as highly presumptuous and unhelpful.
Posted by HyperValent on May 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Ah whip...same here. But I'm 32 and 14 years together (surprise baby very early on, before I had time to realise. I was barely an adult and hadn't discovered myself quite yet).
I have no self confidence now...everything (media, other women) says men want sex, men are the ones watching porn, wanting kinky stuff, it's usually the man complaining about lack of. So I must be so ugly if it's the other way round!
Needless to say I masturbate as often as I can! But it's half a life really.
Posted by Poppycock on May 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
chibby 120
You may not get arrested but it MAY be against your company's policy. You may wanna check your handbook.Getting fired for such a thing may not be a biggie to some,but to others it could be HUGE.You probably don't want that on your work records.Rub one out in the morning before you go to work to forgo the need to do it at noon.I agree one should be able to do what they want in the privacy of a bathroom stall, but your employer probably won't feel the same.
Posted by chibby on May 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Jesus, reading the Savage Love comments always makes me so grateful to have married someone with simple desires who feels the point of sex is for both of us to be into it at all times, not bartering for shit.

All the negotiating and GGG/entitlement crap sounds like it turns sex into something really fucking complicated, annoying, and practically chore-like.
Posted by virginia mason on May 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
I was feeling similarly virginia_mason...

I really don't think refusing S&M outright should be a revocation of the GGG card, and if it is... I really don't care. I've said before I'm a "reformed" former sub/masochist and there's just no way I can go there. To me it isn't sex, it's a psychological fuck up that needs treatment. If my partner wants to have *sex* and do *sexual things* involving his genitals and bringing him to orgasm, we can do that, but pain will not be involved because the only reason you can orgasm through pain is through some psychological fuck up and I simply won't contribute to that any more than I will go have a couple beers with a supposedly recovering alcoholic. I don't think "kinky" people are bad people, just not people I want to have sex with. And vice versa! And that's fine!

Also, can I just object to the term "vanilla" being used to imply unsatisfying sex? For my part, having some plain old fashioned vanilla sex stripped of all the trappings of costumes and objects and props and head games (role play) etc and just exploring our actual bodies and learning about our actual bodies has been probably one of the hottest and most intimate experiences of my life. Hiding good hot sex behind lingerie, toys, oils, lubes, "spice" wtfever you want to call it... bah. I'm just so not into it at ALL anymore. I just want plain good sex, orgasm producing, body stimulating sex, that doesn't have to rely on a bunch of extraneous and ultimately not sexual factors to pass. It's like dumping spices all over a piece of shitty chicken. Why not just get some quality chicken to begin with?

That's what's working for me anyway. YMMV.

I can't get behind cheering on the supposedly happy sexless marriages out there. If I wanted a business partner and roommate I could find one. I want an intimate relationship, with someone I love passionatey and fiercely. I have my dad and brothers for sexless love. My partner is expected to act like one. And yes, if he stopped for no reason other than just his personal preference, that would be fine and his choice and all but likewise my choice to replace him, at least on the sexual level, and I'm sure eventually on the love level. Cutting off one's partner is hardly a loving action, in fact it's probably one of the most unloving actions I can think of in a marriage. It's a flat out statement "I don't want you as a partner." And it seems absolutely sadistic to me to on top of it demand the still sexual partner also remain faithful. Like reading those creepy stories about women doms who lock their slave's penises in chastity belts and never allow him to even get hard again. Yuck. Destroying a part of someone else's integral self to fit your own needs... pretty vomitrocious actually.
Posted by wendykh on May 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Hm. Do something I don't really enjoy for 20 years because I might want something else when I'm in my 40s? Pass.
Posted by shefightslikeagirl on May 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
Lorca @55 - you win! Dan should let you take over for a bit - I think he might be burned out. Especially when it's a woman asking for help.
Posted by aimeeday1972 on May 17, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
@115 cute idea. I want the Ps to be played by Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley :-)

@123 I think the idea is that the icky stuff gets less icky when you get used to it, and you enjoy seeing the pleasure it gives your partner, as well as getting plenty of your favorite activities yourself. If the icky stuff stays icky, if you don't enjoy making him happy, or if you're not getting plenty of the stuff you love -- then, leave, as soon as you realize that.
Posted by EricaP on May 17, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
nocutename 126
@122: I don't know about everyone else's usage, but I haven't heard/seen "vanilla" to mean "unsatisfying sex." I think it still means, plain, basic, unadorned sex--no fetishes, no kinks, no uncommon acts.
Some of the hottest, most satisfying sex I've had was straight-up missionary, with no props. Vanilla, by definition, but then, a good, rich, creamy vanilla (think an excellent creme brulee) is one of life's delights.
Posted by nocutename on May 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM · Report this
mydriasis 127

Ding ding ding! Yes.

@cute (126)


One person's "vanilla" is another person's "low maintenance".

The analogy I usually use for my preference is this: I don't usually eat red meat, but my understanding is that a really good quality steak really doesn't need much of anything on it. It tastes good on its own and you don't want to mask the flavour. To me, sex is like steak. And kinky people are often just dumping ketchup all over it.

That's not saying I'm not willing to engage in kinky activities now and again, I am! But when I see someone pouring out the whole shaker on their meal, I figure it must be kind of flavourless to start with.

** I use a LOT of food analogies when it comes to sex (I view them in really similar ways) and the funny thing is, I also have a metaphor about icecream! But it doesn't apply here.
Posted by mydriasis on May 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
#122, I totally agree with you on the vanilla sex. We find it really intimate and awesome, while the role playing/S&M stuff seems, well, kind of Dungeons & Dragons-y.

When it comes to sex, I never want to feel like I have to "get used" to something (sounds like work). Call me selfish, but if sex is not 100% enjoyable for me at all times, I don't see the point. It's the most hedonistic pleasure there is and shouldn't include obligations to anyone.

Sometimes I think the discussions around the GGG shit are just more ways for Seattlites to be super uptight and rule imposing, as they are wont to do. It doesn't sound fun or sexy at all. I read other non-Seattle-based discussion boards and the sex complaints tend to be about a partner's lack of sex drive. On this one they are more like, "My partner won't kick me in the balls, how am I supposed to live like this?!!" And the answers are usually about how to still be able to get kicked in the balls instead of, "Fucking deal with it, you whiny asshole. Go jerk off to a Bruce Lee movie or something," which is the advice I'd give.
Posted by virginia mason on May 17, 2012 at 3:18 PM · Report this
mydriasis 129

I react very, very strongly to periods of celibacy. I can't imagine that I'd feel life was worth living if I couldn't have sex. The end of sex would mean the end of the relationship or the end of me. So maybe when I get older I'll be in your zen place... but I doubt it.
Posted by mydriasis on May 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
mydriasis 130
@wendy (122)

Oh man, dying.

I just read your post and saw you made the exact same analogy I've always made. We're clearly kindred spirits or something.

Kudos. ;)
Posted by mydriasis on May 17, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
Re the answer to WHIP: Schadenfreude is beautiful. As a man who was rejected in my early 20s for just that reason, reading this made me weep a tiny tear of joy.
Posted by Optimal Cynic on May 17, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
nocutename 132
@121, 122, 127, 128:
I don't find kinky sex to be like ketchup disguising a sub-par steak, or something that has to be excruciatingly negotiated. If the sexual connection, the chemistry, the sense of being well-matched isn't there to begin with, no amount of bondage or what-have-you is going to salvage it.

It's more like another way to enjoy ice cream.
I already like ice cream, as a rule. Some people only want to serve or eat mint chip, and that isn't going to do it for me. There's no amount of whipped cream or sprinkles or fudge that will eliminate the minty taste, and I'd rather not have to eat it at all. If I know in advance that mint chip is being served, then I'll politely decline the offer. If I thought I was going to get something else and the ice cream turns out to be mint chip, I will be polite, but I won't enjoy it, and I'll stop eating as soon as I can without offending the host.

Sometimes I like plain vanilla--it's what I'm in the mood for.

Sometimes I like vanilla with hot fudge and chopped nuts.

Sometimes, I prefer chocolate. Or better yet, mocha. With hot fudge.

If the ice cream is high quality to begin with, I don't NEED for it to be anything beyond vanilla, but I like variety on occasion.

On the other hand, if someone I know makes utterly fantastic homemade Black Forrest ice cream, I'm grateful for the chance to eat it. And if it is the only kind of ice cream he really likes and all he serves, I'm not going to turn it down.
Posted by nocutename on May 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM · Report this
mydriasis 133

I think everyone likes a little variety. I guess if I were going to follow your analogy, is that if someone NEEDS sprinkles and whipped cream and all of that, or else the icecream is "boring", then the icecream itself is probably kind of shitty. Or at least, that's my perspective.

Which is different from "sometimes I like my icecream plain because it's delicious, and sometimes I like some toppings on it because what the hell!".

To your final point... I think we all prefer to have sex with like-minded people. My feeling about kinky people is that they're not really about sex, they're about kink. And that's not the same thing to me. I mean, sure, theoretically, someone could be kinky AND good in bed (that's the black forrest guy metaphor, right?) but we wouldn't be on the same wavelength, sexually. Which is fine for casual sex, but not the look, long term. Does that make sense?
Posted by mydriasis on May 17, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
#132, I'm sure it's not that way for everyone, but here's how it goes in "50 Shades of Gray" (from Forever Young Adult's review):

"A big deal in this book is that Christian makes Anastasia sign a contract before the sexing can start, and it details all the things they will and will not do. And the list is WEAK SAUCE, y'all. It's like, yes to fisting (vaginal and anal), clamping and hot wax. No to blood play and breath play. I'm sorry, I know everyone has their own personal limits, but seriously it's okay that he shoves his fist UP YOUR ASS but it's NOT okay that he ties a scarf around your neck and squeezes a little bit? Are you fucking kidding me? And! And! There is all this stuff, like, "is swallowing semen acceptable to the Submissive?" and "Is Bondage acceptable to the Submissive?" and the dude is all, "let's discuss these limits!" What the fuck kind of relationship is this? That's the unsexiest thing I've EVER READ. You know what? New sex education plan!! Instead of teaching kids abstinance-only which is stupid and doesn't work, make every 14 year old read and sign a contract spelling out exactly what their sexual limits are. Not only is it a good way to go over various possibilities, but every child will be TOTALLY HORRIFIED and scared to have sex for several more years! "You want to stick WHAT up my ass? No thank you, let's just hold hands!" I mean, damn, this contract business is really unsexy, y'all. Whatever happened to romance? Back in my day, if a boy wanted to put it in your butt, he had two options: get you drunk on champagne and take it slow, or try that whole "oops, it slipped" maneuver. (P.S. Boys? You aren't fooling anyone when you do that.) Kids today!"

Hee, sorry, I know, not real life, but I don't know how this can be inspiring women to want to have that sort of sex.

Posted by virginia mason on May 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Posted by icouldliveinhope on May 17, 2012 at 4:41 PM · Report this
AFinch 136
@59 - AFinch, this is ABW from last week's column. Are
you in Seattle?

I'm just sad even writing, I am in our nation's capitol. I do wish you and your SO happy hunting. Dammit. See? Seriously: good luck to you all in finding a good fit. You made my day/night by pinging me back.
Posted by AFinch on May 17, 2012 at 5:05 PM · Report this
A friend and I were talking about Cold Stone Creamery, and he said, "I hate that place. Ice cream is like sex: if you have a really excellent vanilla you don't need all those tacky mix-ins", and I agree. There's nothing wrong with a fruit flavor or some chocolate shavings once in a while, but it you can't enjoy your ice cream without gummi bears and snickers and maraschino cherries, then maybe you're not really in the mood for ice cream.
Posted by Prettybetsy on May 17, 2012 at 5:06 PM · Report this
The cane was in use in High Schools in NZ / Aotearoa til the early 90s. I was caned when I was in Fourth Form (14 years old) - six of the best across the backside. Didn't really hurt as it was winter and I was wearing my winter uniform.
Posted by Christopher in Aotearoa on May 17, 2012 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Sorry, WHIP sounds like a cry baby. I really really want to sympathize with her, even reread the letter like six times, and came up with every excuse I could think of why it was okay to bitch and moan about your f-ing married nineteen yrs, apparently no major complaints/problems, husband cause he's just a "dud", you know; the same "dud" that kept you satisfied and happy for nineteen yrs before you read a crappy NYT bestseller. God, what's wrong with middle aged Americans? Is it so horrible to be reasonably happy that you have to fixate on stuff like this? Try waking up with no one but a Chihuahua next to you for five yrs then see how much you have to complain about your marriage.

And yes, I know I sound like a cranky bitch, but it's stuff like this that makes me want to beat my head against the nearest hard surface.
Posted by mygash on May 17, 2012 at 5:39 PM · Report this
30- Myd-- Sorry. My typing got the better of me.

----As women are reported to get better as lovers. I know I wasn't making much sense. I was trying to sum up a position I don't understand. My question is: What's the bit about sexual peak? How does that work? Is it based on ability to come, desire, being the object of desire, being experienced enough to be good in bed, and if so, by whose definition? Is a peak knowing your kinks, being comfortable with them, being comfortable with others' kinks? What does it?
Posted by Crinoline on May 17, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
dan, did you change your mind about the president's stand on marriage equality?
Posted by martarose on May 17, 2012 at 6:18 PM · Report this
mydriasis 142

We are?

I've heard women have a higher sex drive in their 30's, but nothing about the quality of the sex improving. I think that kind of thing is so subjective it's hard to say?

Personally? I think the only people who say older men are better lovers are well... older men who want to land younger women but don't have the money to work the sugar daddy angle. Well not the only people, but the majority of them...
Posted by mydriasis on May 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM · Report this
79. I had to do a lot of skimming to get as far through the series as I did (1 book + 1 chapter). And I was expecting poorly written YA crap (not knocking YA stuff, there's just a certain way YA tends to turn to crap).

I just put up a sort of shunt system to let bullshit to flow off into a holding tank before my reading mind could spot it. The bit I paraphrased is the point where that tank overflowed and I had to stop myself from throwing the book.
Posted by EclecticEel on May 17, 2012 at 7:34 PM · Report this
nocutename 144
Mydriasis, I know you love being young and have some issue with older people daring to think that they have anything but money to offer anyone.
But from my middle-aged perspective, most of us get more skillful at many things as we have practice.

This also applies to sex.

I'm sure your scenario applies to some men, but plenty of men get much better at sex as they get older, and--surprise!--they're not trying to impress young women, but prefer to use their honed skills on women their own age.

And for what it's worth, I've met plenty of 20-something men who prefer to be with middle-aged women, because they're (as a rule) much less inhibited, and know what they want and to some, that's a turn on.

Now you may well be uninhibited and chock full of sexual agency and hot and young, to boot, but then you're not represntative.
Posted by nocutename on May 17, 2012 at 7:53 PM · Report this
Top notch vanilla is all you need ... if you have ice cream only once in a blue moon.

All hail ice cream asceticism!! Who needs variety, the wonders of edgy sensations, and powerful flows of trust and love expressed in unexpected ways ... Just a lick of a teaspoonful of the best vanilla - nay, just a wetting of the tip of the tongue - will sate the refined soul for years. Actually getting messy with ice cream is best left to the unevolved and the unredeemed masochistic sickfucks.
Posted by ravished on May 17, 2012 at 9:27 PM · Report this
nocutename 146
Thanks, #145.
Posted by nocutename on May 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM · Report this
mydriasis 147

I think practice contributes, but not always, and I think natural skill contributes as well. Personally I've noticed promiscuity makes a difference (more practice), moreso than age.

As for men who go for women their own age? I. Love. That. Seriously, there is nothing more endearing or classy than a man who dates age-appropriate women.

I feel that middle aged men have little to offer me, personally because they're usually going to lack the biological ability to keep up the way a guy my age can. That's just nature. In the context of a long term relationship twenty years from now when I've mellowed out a little, I might be able to deal with the slowing down, but why would I put up with it now? It certainly has not been my experience that there is any significant correlation between age and skill at all. So I stick to my own age group.

As for the whole cougar thing... the vast majority of men my age (who I've talked to) have sort of a... novelty interest in older women. But when I've seen it it's been more of a curiousity, a sort of "I need to add "older woman" to the list of things I've done" thing. I don't know anyone who has an actual preference for older women.

I pointed out above that for me, the age where I was most uninhibited and tried the most kink was before I was 18. So yeah, I certainly don't fit the cliche.

But look, what I was trying to get at, is that for every young girl who is too uptight to explore her sexuality there's a girl like me. And for every Erica P out there, there's a middle aged woman who's shown less and less interest in sex with each passing year. I think people are too diverse to fit into that trajectory (getting better with age).
Posted by mydriasis on May 18, 2012 at 5:44 AM · Report this
Posted by mydriasis on May 18, 2012 at 5:47 AM · Report this
Re: Sexual peaks.

One way to attack the question is horizontally. You compare a lot of different women (or men) at age 18 and discover that there's a lot of variation between them. Some are very sexual creatures; some are less so. Same goes for a comparison of women at 30.

But I'm curious about the question vertically. Follow one woman (or man) and ask about her sexuality over the course of her life. Is there a peak? I'm in my 50s now. I might have had my best sex when I was in my late 20s-early 30s. But then I have to tease out the factors. I was over my (considerable) beginner's jitters and anxieties. I'd found a man I had great chemistry with, but I wasn't tied down to him thus adding relationship baggage (which isn't to say that he wasn't a good guy and a good friend).

Re: Defining vanilla sex. If the sex is athletic, frequent, great, satisfying and in varying positions, but it involves only oral, and PIV in private, with no bondage, pain, or role playing, etc. is that still vanilla? That's not what WHIP was describing anyway. Her husband isn't even willing to experiment with a different position.
Posted by Crinoline on May 18, 2012 at 6:42 AM · Report this
mydriasis 150

But peaking at a certain (relatively young, in the context of a full life) is not the same as "getting better with age", is it? Plus, it may have been your best sex, but does that translate to the best sex for your partners? I'd like to think it does! But maybe not. Maybe you just had your best partner at that point. Maybe when you're in your sixties, you will be the best lay out of your whole life, or maybe that happened secretly in your teen years, but you weren't aware of it.

That's why trying to figure it out vertically is so tricky (unless two people are together their whole sex lives, but then they're probably not learning as much as the average person does).

Way too complicated.
I've never been anxious about sex, or had any jitters, so I don't think I've really changed all THAT much. I'm most comfortable in my own skin when I'm naked with someone. It's always been that way for me. Probably I'm "better" than I was in the past, just from practice, but I'm also a little more 'inhibited' as in I'm more likely to say 'no' to people/acts because I have a bit more self-worth than I did as a teenager. So maybe that means I've gotten better with age, or worse with age, depending on who you ask.
Posted by mydriasis on May 18, 2012 at 7:01 AM · Report this
What a childish, entitled attitude you have! It's all you all the time, is it? 100% your pleasure with no accommodating the person you supposedly love and commit to spending eternity with? The rest of us are working hard at making our relationships succeed. That includes some soul-searching/hand wringing about boundaries, rules, and compromises.

"...I don't know how this can be inspiring women to want to have that sort of sex."
Yet clearly they are being inspired. Are you saying that since you don't get it, then they must be wrong or have something wrong with them? Why is it such a big deal that there are people who are different from you?

@129 mydriasis
Being crazy helps too.

@143 EclecticEel
I completely understand how hard it might be for many people to see past the awful writing. There are some great things in Twilight nevertheless. It's similar to the unrelenting awfulness of Charles Dickens who apparently never met a live woman, but merely once had one described to him by an elk. People overlook that though.
Posted by Mr. J on May 18, 2012 at 7:03 AM · Report this
mydriasis 152
One thing though!

Since when is loving lingerie a kink??
In my books, sexy undergarments are just a natural extension of looking nice, which is a pretty vanilla pursuit. Putting effort into prepping and looking pretty is just good sex-manners.
Posted by mydriasis on May 18, 2012 at 7:27 AM · Report this
geoz 153
meh... disappointing answers Dan. I expect more... either funnier, clearer or better advice. Sorry, this isn't it.
Posted by geoz on May 18, 2012 at 7:52 AM · Report this
shw3nn 154
@134 I can tell you exactly why.

Because this sort of kink is just tremendously dangerous. It is amazing as a fantasy because you author every single moment. So nothing terrible can happen. Every thing that happens is something you would want to happen.

In reality, you know there are things you would not want at all and you certainly don't want a guy to just tie you up and do whatever HE wants. So you keep it private.

But, when you realize that you can actually do these things for really real and have pretty much authored every moment and know that he won't do anything unless he knows it is something that turns you on, that is incredibly exciting.

Being absolutely clear and upfront about your desires and your limits is the way to go in every aspect of your relationships, btw.

You should be discussing limits and laying out ground rules in your relationships even if your sex is missionary only. Romance and sexiness are great but they are also kind of delusional.

Now, delusion is great. It is awesome. I love it. But there needs to be a line between delusion and reality. You need to know where that line is. And you need to spend time in the reality section.

If you are repressing thoughts and declining to have some discussions of brutal honesty in order to never leave the delusion section, you are making some exceptionally poor choices.
Posted by shw3nn on May 18, 2012 at 8:49 AM · Report this
#151, I haven't had to work hard because I didn't marry a guy with any complicated sexual desires. If he had other desires, I'd definitely go for them as long as they sounded hot to me, too, and vice versa.

But if the fact that your wife won't kick you in the balls or let you choke her means you feel your sex life is shit, and you view this stuff as a NEED rather than a want, I think it is you who has entitlement issues. And if you can't find things you both really love during sex and let these other wants be fulfilled through masturbation and porn, then you shouldn't be together.

My husband shares that attitude and wouldn't ask me to do something I didn't want to do because it would ruin his enjoyment to know I was just doing it for him, and I feel the same way.

And after ten years, we're still doing it several times a week and I have none of the issues you seem to have, and we both orgasm every single time, so our sex life is really fucking awesome. I'm sorry if you feel yours is work.
Posted by virginia mason on May 18, 2012 at 9:10 AM · Report this
@133: "I guess if I were going to follow your analogy, is that if someone NEEDS sprinkles and whipped cream and all of that, or else the icecream is "boring", then the icecream itself is probably kind of shitty."

Either that or the person is. (okay, not shitty. But just because someone HAS to have kink does not mean the vanilla offering is shitty.)

@145: I happen to like vanilla ice cream a lot. Really GOOD vanilla is a joy. Your inability to appreciate it on a regular basis does not make it mundane. On the other hand, I like pretty much every other flavor of ice cream I've ever been exposed to. Haagen Dasz makes their ice cream identically every single day. If I like it one day and don't feel like it the next that doesn't mean the ice cream is lousy. The ice cream didn't change, I did. Just heartily sick of "vanilla" == "boring"

I also find it hard to believe that constant vanilla sex will inevitably become boring and mundane but that constant kinky sex (of a given type) is forever new and exciting. If you can do a particular thing over and over and over again and love it every single time, that says something about you, not about the activity. Objectively, there is nothing innate about whips and chains that make them intrinsically better than a good, hard straight-up shag. Subjectively, yes (in that what lights one person's fire is by definition subjective); objectively, no. Kinksters would go far in increasing their credibility if they acknowledged that the reality is not that their vanilla partner is essentially boring, but that the two of them want different things. The pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, having gone from kinksters being sick fucks to vanilla people being unimaginative and simpleminded seuually. The one is just as much bullshit as the other.
Posted by avast2006 on May 18, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
The answer to the Mormon challenge?

Chris Christie!
Posted by Hunter78 on May 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
mydriasis 158

I totally agree.

The other metaphor I'd put out there is music. I'd rather see a singer like Amy Winehouse (yes, she's dead, but humour me) who doesn't need sparks shooting out of her tits and a stage that moves and a giant snake wrapped around her neck, and is just talented. Some people are into the theatrics of broads like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga, and it's not to say that it doesn't take talent to lipsync while doing choreo - it DOES. And it's not to say there's anything wrong with people who like those kinds of shows. But it's just not my bag - and it would be EXTRA tired if that was every night for me. People who think vanilla =/= boring are the kind of people who would watch my favourite band and go "ugh... they're not like... dancing or doing costume changes. why isn't there any pyrotechnics or lasers or tigers? how boring" while missing the point that the music is what I came for.

Pun intended.
Posted by mydriasis on May 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
nocutename 159
@156 (avast2006): Thank you for articulating what I've been feeling so much better than I was able to.

There are some people who crave constant variety in ice cream, and some who are are thrilled by that one flavor every time they eat it. That flavor can be vanilla or Rocky Road. The nature of the flavor is less the point than the eater's desire to mix things up or go with the tried-and-true favorite that never fails to satisfy.
Posted by nocutename on May 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
@152: good point. Likewise about toys, oils, and lubes. Those are, at their most basic, simply ways to enhance the mechanics and sensations.

Or has wendykh @122 never experienced the difference between a dry massage and one with oil? Both are nice, but the oil massage is distinctly different in a very nice way all its own -- but can hardly be described as "kinky." Certified massage therapists worldwide are...well, not rolling over in their graves. Maybe rolling over on their tables.

Likewise lube. Very handy at times, even for the most standard sort of missionary, particularly if one's partner is perimenopausal. (Commonly happens starting around 45, btw, not 80.) Hardly a kink item all by itself.
Posted by avast2006 on May 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
@156 "The pendulum has swung too far in the other direction": Has it really? The comments on this column and several recent ones show otherwise. Kinksters continue to defend themselves against ignorance, assumptions, disinformation, and the ick factor. (See also SSLOTD from Thursday about Grey.) It's frustrating, tiring, and boring, and if kinksters have to defend themselves on Savage Love OF ALL PLACES, then something is seriously fucked.

BTW, the costumes-props-and fluff characterization of kink is just lazy, and raises doubt on how much some have really experienced before they cast aversions.
Posted by ravished on May 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
mydriasis 162

1. I agree that oils and lubes could also be considered vanilla, it was just that the lingerie part especially caught me off guard (due to my deep, abiding love of sexy underthings). I would say that "toys" might qualify as kinky - depending on what you mean by "toy"

2. Things I will never live down: my lack of an in-depth knowledge about vaginal aging. :p
Posted by mydriasis on May 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
mydriasis 163

I think he meant it has swung too far in certain circles (such as here). The point is, in defending yourself against the things that you mentioned, a lot of kinksters use putting down "vanilla" people as a defense. I think this has been the dialogue...

1. "Kinky people are perverts, freaks, and we should stay the hell away from them. Ew!"
2. "Oh yeah? Well vanilla people are just uptight, puritanical and boring."
3. "Maybe neither of us have to be insulted, and we're just into different things?"

I agree with you that conservative areas (probably where you live) are still stuck in phase one. Most progressive places, including these boards have #2 as a pretty accepted implicit viewpoint. Those us posting today saying "vanilla does NOT equal boring" are trying to bring the conversation to step three.

That's all.
Posted by mydriasis on May 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Report this
@154, re: 134: I can tell I've been reading Dan Savage too long, because whenever I read some online porn, my reaction to some supposedly super-hot, transgressive thing one of the characters did is, "Wait, you just did WHAT? And no safeword? BZZZT!"

Posted by avast2006 on May 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
@156 avast: P.S. Allow me to clarify. Of course I agree with you, and nocutename et al that kink is neither superior or inferior, nor is variety vs narrow focus. My reaction stems from too many recent sightings of comments proclaiming kink (whether in its inherent nature or as practised) to be objectively sick, trivial and distracting to "real" sex, or asocial. This, on SL, disturbs me.
Posted by ravished on May 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Robin8 166
Late to the party this week, but I intend to work "fuckadoodledoo" into my everyday conversation, joining "fuckity fuck fuck" in my normal lexicon.
Posted by Robin8 on May 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
mydriasis 167

Just let me put this out there before I head out.

Do I find kink to be objectively sick? No!

Trivial and distracting to "real" sex? Yes - for me. But it doesn't matter to me if others are into it, and I will engage with it, from time to time.

Asocial? Not at all.
Posted by mydriasis on May 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Am I the only one who thought SPANK should just deny it if it ever comes up. "I don't know what you are talking about." If the guy were to persist, or SPANK wants to be more agressive, he could make a complaint to someone about this weird guy staring at him through a bathroom stall, then telling people he was jacking off, characterizing him as a freak. I am sure the police would never do anything about a report from a civilian about some other guy doing something in a bathroom. they tend to be lazy anyway, and with no proof, there is no point to pursue it.
Posted by rp on May 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
@156 avast: Thank you. Perfectly said.

And what My said at 163. Trying to bring things to the point beyond "If you don't like to have sex/eat ice cream/use emoticons the way I do those things, you are Doing It Wrong."
Posted by IPJ on May 18, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this

One of the several things I dislike about you is this oft repeated gambit of ending your next to last para of advice with "But, of course, l don't have that problem."
Posted by Hunter78 on May 18, 2012 at 3:02 PM · Report this
151. Mr. J. the writing was tolerable because I read fast, it takes horrifically egregious errors to register with me when I read fiction. It was the contents that I had to let slide. (e.g. they're 100 years old, but they "have" to go to high school, but no one cares if they actually attend??)
Posted by EclecticEel on May 18, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
Mr J - You are seriously causing me more severe worry than anything about your sex life has ever done.

If you MUST have vampires and werewolves, go to a Dark Shadows convention and see how well David Selby has aged.

But please, please, please, if you will only do one thing I ever ask of you, for the sake of both your heart and your brain, put down the Twilight (and, being in a more zen mood than usual I shall not even disparage it) and


I forestall any attempt at a defence on your part by admitting that it could be worse. Somebody I was almost in danger of starting to respect not long ago became a highly dedicated Brony.
Posted by vennominon on May 18, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
@167: cool, thanks for clarifying.
Posted by ravished on May 18, 2012 at 7:34 PM · Report this
@165: I suppose pendulum is the wrong metaphor, as it suggests a single viewpoint that oscillates from one extreme to the other, and in this case the overdone rhetoric continues to come from both sides at the same time.

Also interesting what pings the radar for different people. I happened to pick up on the stuff along the lines of "my husband is a dud," but that's just my radar, being pretty vanilla myself.

Around here, in my estimation things tend to lean pretty heavily towards kink-positive: find your kinks, express your kinks, accommodate your partner's kinks, to the extent that anybody tending more towards the vanilla side is seen as not GGG or repressed or boring or generally unsatisfying. (In that the person writing in about their vanilla partner is usually dissatisfied. Happily vanilla couples don't write in to an advice column near as often as unsatisfied ones do.)

That, and calling kink "sick" isn't exactly orthodoxy around here, so when those came up my tendency was to discount them as trolling or benighted prudery. But again, that's just my reaction to it.
Posted by avast2006 on May 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM · Report this

Posted by DianeLGD on May 19, 2012 at 7:54 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 176
@93 Some sex shops rate their vibes for sound. I live in Toronto, so the one I know of that does that is Come As You Are. I don't know whether they ship outside of Canada.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on May 19, 2012 at 9:15 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 177
@93 @100: Apparently coil electric vibes are the quietest type. They don't have a motor.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on May 19, 2012 at 9:20 AM · Report this

But, you mean, us women shouldn't just be guided by what men want? I mean, obviously we don't know ourselves well enough, and so should just trust that a man will be able to predict what our kinks will be in a decade or two, even if we're not ready for them yet.
Posted by DarthKelly on May 19, 2012 at 9:23 AM · Report this
Roma 179
So here's what you do: Get in a time machine and go tell your twentysomething self not to dump someone because he's kinky, WHIP, because one day you're going to come into your own kinks.

Why would WHIP-24 listen to WHIP-43? Presuming that WHIP-24 is one of those younger women who is repulsed by kinkiness in men, would she really become interested in a kinky guy just because her older self told her that, nineteen years later, she would read a novel and it would finally make her interested in exploring kinkiness?
Posted by Roma on May 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this

Self-mutilation is often a recurrent condition.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 19, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this

Peeker is a regular at your isolated restroom. He's seen you before, and he resents your presence in his little fortress. This time you were making weird noises and he peeked to satisfy his supposition. He called security.

You have no legitimate business on that floor. Demonstrate to your colleagues that you have the time and inclination to jerk off during the work day.
Posted by Hunter78 on May 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
Mr V

I am happy to comply. Which piece did you have in mind? To The Lighthouse?

If it helps my case even slightly, please understand that the only point I'm trying to make about Twilight is that there is some value in there just as there is in compost. It would be dishonest of me to claim otherwise.
Posted by Mr. J on May 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
From my experience, I urge you to stand up for what you want. I had a sexual awakening in my late 40s, and my husband was uninterested. It was partly my fault--he had been gracious about not pressuring me for sex during a long healing process. But I expected him to be so happy when I was enthusiastic again. Some of what I wanted to do he would not try (anything to do with pain). He would try different positions, and then tell me that they didn't do anything for him. He stopped me when I tried oral sex on him; he didn't like it. I think a lot of the problem was that he was conditioned to his hand, but he claimed to like PIV sex in the one position and rhythm that worked for him (and in the afternoon--sex at bedtime interfered with his evening routine).

I didn't have enough confidence that I had the right to my wants, and we still had kids at home. My awakening gradually faded away in the face of his disinterest. When we reached empty nest I pushed hard for us to work on our relationship. I had changed a lot in my healing process and he had no interest in change or growth. Then six months later he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and the beginnings of dementia (at age 63). Now it is too late I wish I had pushed for what I wanted earlier. And/or left him while I could.
Posted by redpanda on May 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM · Report this
For the 1st poster - use the handicapped stall from now on to rub one out. The toilet is usually around the corner from the door crack, no direct sight line.

The more I hear about 50 Shades of Grey, the less I want to read it (*NO ONE* at the publishers saw the canning/caning typo? Really? Or is this a cutesy-poo we're too embarrassed to call it what it really is deal?). Either way, no thank you. The classics (i.e. The Story of O) will do me just fine.
Posted by Just Another Savage Love Lover on May 19, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
@183 at least in my book, if you are no longer having sex with your husband, you are not ethically bound to stay faithful. I hope you can seek out happiness for yourself; being a caretaker is a hard job and you are entitled to seek your own happiness in life.
Posted by EricaP on May 19, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Thanks, EricaP. I don't feel ethically bound to stay faithful, and I have spent some time getting to know people in my local BDSM community. I have come to feel that whatever I want there is someone out there who wants the same thing. But it is hard to find someone over 40 interested in a part time relationship who wants friendship first, not just to act out their own sexual fantasies, and recently it hasn't seemed worth the time and energy.
Posted by redpanda on May 19, 2012 at 6:25 PM · Report this
"...and now I wanna get canned and you're going to can me."

I dunno if anyone else has commented on this. I scrolled gaily down to the bottom to tell you, Dan...

You crack me up!! I burst out laughing and I'm still laughing!

Thanks for keepin' it real!
Posted by gbrooks on May 19, 2012 at 9:44 PM · Report this

What does masturbation in the bathroom have to do with self-mutilation? Because I know you are smart enough not to be bringing up your amazing lack of reading comprehension in comments of last week's column.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 19, 2012 at 9:46 PM · Report this
@186, yes, no argument here. Dating is hard.
Posted by EricaP on May 19, 2012 at 10:10 PM · Report this

You're conflating two separate and unrelated postings from me. One was to you, the other to Spank, and both clearly addressed as such. Reading comprehension.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 20, 2012 at 3:35 AM · Report this
@186 redpanda
They may be hard to find, but not impossible. Best of luck to you. At least it will be easier for you as a woman than it would be for a man.
Posted by Mr. J on May 20, 2012 at 6:56 AM · Report this
Comment 83:

You want to cut part now, so you can cut more later.

My response, in comment 175 was WTF

Then in comment 180 you write:

Self-mutilation is often a recurrent condition.

Please forgive my confusion, as there is no-one who responds to Diane in this whole thread other than me. SPANK does not respond to Diane. So I assumed that they were directed at me. Explain who else "Diane" was meant to refer to.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 20, 2012 at 7:39 AM · Report this
As for why I was confused about your bringing up mutilation in response to masturbation, see comment 21. That was the only comment I posted in this week's column before your first comment. As I know you are too smart to bring up last week's conversation, I assumed you were referring my first comment, and had no clue why you were talking about mutilation.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 20, 2012 at 8:12 AM · Report this
mydriasis 194

This may be a "don't feed the trolls" sort of situation.
Posted by mydriasis on May 20, 2012 at 8:34 AM · Report this
I don't shrink from picking up a thread from a previous week.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 20, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this

You have just made my week. I was hoping against hope that would be your answer.

Allow me to break this down for you:

You have just lost "human being" privileges. You are now my toy, and as such, I will refer to you as "Hunter-Toy" from now on. You are basically the equivalent of a first-generation furby--the kind with no off switch.

As such, I will ignore you or play with you as I see fit. If I respond to you, it is for my own amusement, and if I grow bored I no longer feel any need to keep up any conversation to me. On occasion I will treat you like a pet or even a human being. Do not mistake this for a new status. It simply amuses me to do so for that particular comment.

The point is, from this day forth, you exist only for my amusement.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 20, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
@191, actually, generally speaking, it isn't any easier for a woman to find what she wants, than it is for a man to find what he wants. Diane wants friendship with a guy before sex, so, no, Mr. J, that's neither easy to find, nor easier because she's female.
Posted by EricaP on May 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM · Report this

I am 31, and I've been on the internet since I was twelve. I ran two message boards in my mid-twenties. I know trolls when I see them.

While some people think that "Don't feed the trolls" is the appropriate response, I've always felt that this is a waste. Trolls are very entertaining if you do mistake them for actual human beings with feelings.

Now, you have to be careful that you are dealing with an actual troll, and not an idiot. That was why I was going to great lengths to make Hunter-Toy clarify what it said.

I was 99% sure that Hunter-Toy was a troll because of how it's treated you. I hadn't been here long enough to be 100% certain, though. Now I am, and I'm very happy.

Feel free to join in my treatment of Hunter-Toy, or not. I don't claim to own it.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 20, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
mydriasis 199

Thanks for the heads-up :)
Posted by mydriasis on May 20, 2012 at 10:57 AM · Report this
@197 I mean redpanda@186 of course, not Diane.
Posted by EricaP on May 20, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Oh yay, we're back to pointless bickering among anonymous strangers who could be entirely fictional beings. Let's light this place up like a trashy AOL chatroom!
Posted by mygash on May 20, 2012 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Mr J - People do tend to assume To the Lighthouse, don't they? For you, I rather think Between the Acts. (Unfortunately, I just wasted half an hour devising a list of which book to assign to whom, though I did finish with a list that I don't much dislike at the end.)
Posted by vennominon on May 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM · Report this
(making popcorn)
Posted by avast2006 on May 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
@149 "Re: Sexual peaks.

One way to attack the question is horizontally."

Posted by KittyWrangler on May 20, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Dan, I think you mean AquaLASS.
Posted by aqualads and lasses on May 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this

You should win this one. You're the one with the psychiatrists.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 20, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Mr V
I'll get right on it. I haven't read that one.

@197 EricaP
I'm surprised. I've always found women to be the gatekeepers of both the initial acquaintanceship and the sex.
Posted by Mr. J on May 20, 2012 at 4:19 PM · Report this
69,600 following you on twitter mr.savage. Congrat!
Posted by Shakti Wendy on May 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
It learns quickly. NO-ONE can out-crazy me.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 20, 2012 at 7:06 PM · Report this
@207, redpanda said friendship, not acquaintanceship.
Posted by EricaP on May 20, 2012 at 10:42 PM · Report this

I believe you.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 21, 2012 at 3:07 AM · Report this
I would like to know what is the scientific or statistical data that justifies the statement about women achieving their sexual peak at a later age. When I was 15, I started having sex and tried a lot of things, including orgies, fucking with women, gang bangs, swinging, all of which I continued to do during my 20s. During my 30s I started to loose interest in trying new stuff, and now that I am 42 I completely lost interest in sex (for the last couple of years, maybe even more). Maybe this is just my personal experience, but I'd be interested in knowing more.
Posted by otonyo on May 21, 2012 at 6:29 AM · Report this
@210 EricaP
Right. And if you don't get past meeting someone you won't get to friendship. Whether it's real life or online social networking, men line up to meet women. Women weed through the candidates. In 48 years only 2 women have ever sought me out to get to know me, so you can't argue that my lack of relationships is just about my going after women who are out of my league. It's women who are filtering me out. That's just how the system is set up. How many guys have you turned away in your lifetime?

I didn't say finding friendship is easy. It is easier if you have more prospects though.
Posted by Mr. J on May 21, 2012 at 6:53 AM · Report this
AFinch 214
@201 - "...trashy AOL chatroom" - FTW!!!

re: Kinky, repressed Puritans (who were, for the record, evidently neither) vs. Libertine Mentally Ill (icky) BDSM kinksters: The real problem is that there is some real validity in these stereotypes, in as much as there is significant overlap between these groups - there is a lot of collision of the sets.

I call myself a kinkster, and while what I basically crave is good quality sexual interaction - with more or fewer 'props' as suits the moment - I don't particularly need to give or receive pain to reach an orgasm. I have done both, and having explored it, discovered it's not really the main thing. I've also had partners in both of these groups - the kind of 'mental issues' pain-slut sub and the terrified of intimacy, turn out the lights and missionary-only with eight layers of 'protection type. I have to say, the pain slut was a hell of a lot better lay.

But the thing is: I don't think Dan's examples - foot fetishes, pegging, lingere - are really examples of psychologically 'broken' extremes. Indeed, they're very much about "exploring your bodies together and feeling good". In fact, in most of the arguments/discussions among the commentariat, it seems like everyone is putting up a straw man cardboard cutout construct of what it is they fear/hate about the 'other' and then tearing it down.

For you pro-vanilla folks celebrating/defending your "simple tastes": I'm very happy for you, but realize, what you are really celebrating is the fact that you largely lucked into a relationship with someone who happens to share your exact same tastes: vanilla ice cream is the perfection of simplicity - and that is lucky, because over the long term, tastes may shift around a little.

Oh, and if we're going to go all "iron chef" to make our arguments: kinky is not cheesy sprinkles and gross manufactured sugar nostrums to "hide" low quality vanilla ice cream; Kinky is learning how to take a week to prepare Escoffier's Espagnole and then serving it on a perfectly cooked Chateaubriand with morels steeped in Cognac. Done well, it takes a hell of a lot more thought, preparation, time and effort to pull off, and is a work of art in it's own right and way.

So, yeah, while I still have the collection of play toys (ropes, clamps, chains, crops, whips, yadda, yadda...and yes, some rattan for making cane switches) in a toy bag in the basement on a shelf, and by virtue of owning them consider myself a kinkster (not "in recovery"), I find what I really want - and it took me a long, love-based relationship with a repressed vanilla (with a lot of really bad sex) to realize this - is just good quality sex, with as few props as necessary, where we explore what it is that feels good for both of us and is a celebration of our connectedness with each other and awareness of each other's bodies (and what feels good). And it is less "kinky", but it does involve some minor deviations from PIV missionary, and I think that is the view of 'kinky' dan was getting at.

Posted by AFinch on May 21, 2012 at 6:57 AM · Report this
mydriasis 215

Your post, that's kind of kind of what I meant by stage 3.

"Simple" can be a pejorative, or it can be a positive. It depends on who you ask. I have gone to many fancy restaurants with elaborate dishes but would rather eat really good fried chicken off a paper plate. I'm kind of trasy like that. I have simple tastes. A lot of chefs would look down on me for that, just like a lot of kinky people might look down on my tastes too. Honestly though, to me, subjective tastes and goodhearted bickering about 'oh my god, I can't believe you put salt on that, it's seasoned perfectly', it's kind of fun, and that's how you learn about how other people feel and think about their preferences. It's interesting. TO me anyway.

P.S. Vanilla does not mean only missionary. Good lawd...
Posted by mydriasis on May 21, 2012 at 7:33 AM · Report this
nocutename 216
@214 (AFinch):

I like the point that you make; it's one I was going to get to, but I never got around to making.
"Kink" is a continuum, it seems to me. On this site, I would hesitate to identify myself as kinky, because I am aware that there are so many people here with so much harder core kinks, or who are part of an organized BDSM community, or who only want to have kinky sex (I want to use words like "need," or "require," but that may not be accurate. But their interest, to me, would go beyond "enjoy," or "prefer.")

That's kind of where I am. Prefer.

There have been discussions here before in which I was absolutely astonished at all the women who didn't do what I consider a very "no-biggie" thing. I found out again and again that a lot of what I like and expect and hope for was what Dan called "varsity" or what people think of as "extra."

And then I hear from people who kind of live the life, which I most certainly don't, or who are extreme pain sluts, or who get into very elaborate scenes, and I feel as vanilla as can be.

But I share your opinion that what I want "is just good quality sex, with as few props as necessary, where we explore what it is that feels good for both of us and is a celebration of our connectedness with each other and awareness of each other's bodies (and what feels good). And it is less "kinky", but it does involve some minor deviations from PIV missionary." And I'd throw each other's minds into the mix, because to me, the mental processes behind the sex is crucial.
Posted by nocutename on May 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Report this
nocutename 217
EricaP and Mr. J:
I think people's responses to the issue of who has the control of a relationship (or are the gatekeepers, or whatever term we want to use) will always be filtered through their own experiences, and--at least in terms of the heterosexual experience--will reflect their gender.

(Mr. J, I know you're bi, not straight, but in the context of this discussion, you're speaking as a man in relation to women, so for all intents and purposes for the sake of this discussion, I'm casting you in with the straights. I hope that's okay.)

You see women as setting the boundaries, as allowing or refusing initial acquaintanceship; EricaP and redpanda talk about women who find men unwilling to behave as friends, which is what I have often experienced.
Posted by nocutename on May 21, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this

Yes, I'm just addressing the straight relationship dynamics. Men seeking men is a very different thing.

You make a good point about where men want the relationship to go, but to me that falls more into the "poor quality man" category. That's a trait that leads them to being weeded out. It's not that they have a pool of women from which to choose friends first/sex later. They simply aren't interested in friendship. (that's not me as you know)

I think you're pretty kinky for what it's worth.
Posted by Mr. J on May 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
AFinch 219
@215 - I think you would be mistaken: many great chefs I know (and try to copy) do not believe "complicated" is the indicator of good - good execution is what chefs admire - technique not complexity. In short: perfectly done fried chicken from the chicken shack may indeed be highly admired. So, I agree: I don't think "simple" is, in and of itself, either a pejorative or a positive - it's really how well you do it! I think "vanilla" PIV missionary can be less than vanilla ice cream and fried chicken.

And yeah, I guess that is 'stage 3': admiring and appreciating things for what they are, and how well they achieve what they purport to be - restaurants and lovers! I really don't miss the whips & chains bit at all, but I'd also like to say, if anything even remotely 'unusual' comes up with a partner, I'm very comfortable and it doesn't squick me out. The "vanilla" crowd tends to have a default "eeew" reaction; I don't think these two things (kinky and vanilla) are subjectively equivalent - I think inherently kinky people are more open to a larger range of stuff and are more open-minded. JMHO
Posted by AFinch on May 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM · Report this
mydriasis 220

You're right. I think the chefs get it - it's the people who prefer the fancy meals who (might) look down on it. But you saw my point.

I think you're right that the "eww" factor is more common among vanilla folk than kinky folk - but of course it's not that cut and dry either. There are some kinky folk who are like "oh sure, you can tie me up and beat me - but pee? EWWW!!"

And same goes for vanilla folks.

As cute pointed out, it's more of a spectrum. On these boards I'm vanilla because I prefer vanilla sex. Among some of my more vanilla friends, I might be considered "kinky" because I have engaged in kinky sex (and am willing to again in certain situations). When given a choice between "vanilla" and "kinky" I consider myself vanilla because I'm not turned on by kink. However, I prefer to say "adventurous", and I think that's a better descriptor than "vanilla" which suggests I'm only willing to have vanilla sex, or worse, than I only like PIV missionary (missionary isn't even my go-to position,. jeez).
Posted by mydriasis on May 21, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
AFinch 221
@220 - your example of 'eew...pee', was the one I immediately thought of when I tried to imagine what would be the most remote thing from my mind when it came to, not even vaguely sexy or sexual for me. And yet, I know that for a bunch of people WS is their kink. And I also know, in my left, science brain, that it's pretty harmless all around. Not sure I'd be up for ruining the mattress, but something could be accommodated.
Posted by AFinch on May 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
nocutename 222
@mydriasis and AFinch:
Funny, my "go to" ewww is poop, not pee. I don't have too many limits, but that's a hard one for me.

I agree that the word and concept "adventurous" is key. I've known people who absolutely wouldn't entertain any variation on the routine of PIV that had been established, and people who, on the whole, might be pretty vanilla, but who were open to trying new things. I think that's what ggg is often about: being willing to try something new, being open to listen to a partner's interest without automatically shutting it down as being "icky," "gross," or, most damaging (and telling) "wrong."

I have a theory about selfish sex, which I've written about here before, as good sex, but I also believe in sexual generosity; that's how I always framed the concept Dan calls ggg, long before I started reading Savage Love. Sexual generosity or being ggg doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be able to indulge your partner's every interest. But I think it does mean that you will listen without judgment and consider even things that push you past your initial boundaries. People who are kinky are already in the mindset of considering things that the culture at large says are beyond the boundaries of "normal," even if those boundaries are expanding.

"Vanilla" has become a pejorative, and it shouldn't be. I think framing the conversation in terms of "adventurous," "generous," "intolerant," and "judgmental" is more accurate and productive.
Posted by nocutename on May 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
#212: No one really knows about sexual peaking in women - it's like cholesterol - check today's report. Women who have been sexually abused at a young age may be sexually active in their teens and twenties, then lose interest in sex by their late 40s. Women who have been culturally imposed upon and made to feel terrified about sex, might relax and have more interest in sex at a later age. Some people theorize that the blood supply to a woman's sexual equipment might increase due to maturation up to age 30, or after childbirth. It's like throwing a dart at a board, only less comprehensible.
Posted by marilynsue on May 21, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Hunter78: apparently you get no sex and don't have anything to do except get in pointless arguments.
Posted by marilynsue on May 21, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
What do you base that on? Because I don't play nice in the vanilla sandbox?

Posted by Hunter78 on May 21, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
Mr J - You may make my head explode.


That explains so much, and could make me cry for a week if I had the free time, in large part because nobody else objected to that phrasing.
Posted by vennominon on May 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM · Report this
Roma 227
186/redpanda: But it is hard to find someone over 40 interested in a part time relationship who wants friendship first, not just to act out their own sexual fantasies, and recently it hasn't seemed worth the time and energy.

My condolences to you about your husband and about it being too late to have the kind of sex life you wanted with him.

As a guy who has never had any problem being friends with a woman first, even when I was younger, it mystfies me that so many men, apparently, are unable or unwilling to do so. I would think that if a guy really liked a woman, and was attracted to her -- and he felt she liked and was attracted to him so that they were probably going to get naked eventually -- he'd be willing to wait a little while. Not months, but at least a little while. What's the big rush? Being in Venice is wonderful, but the anticipation of being in Venice can be great too**.

Anyway, I hope you find someone...and you probably will in time.

** I can think of only one downside to waiting: the woman may turn out to be a poor lover. But, to avoid that situation, I've always used kissing as my test -- if she was great at kissing, I figured she'd be great in bed -- and that always worked except in one case. Her kissing was very sexy, but she was quite conservative (and weird...and not in a kinky way) in bed.


217/nocutename: You see women as setting the boundaries, as allowing or refusing initial acquaintanceship; EricaP and redpanda talk about women who find men unwilling to behave as friends, which is what I have often experienced.

This reminds me of a date I had about three years ago. After we were talking for a while, the woman, who was fairly attractive, lamented "I can't get laid." I said, "What do you mean you can't get laid? You're an attractive woman. You could put an ad on some dating website and find fifty guys willing to sleep with you. A guy couldn't get that kind of response from women." She then replied, "You're right. I guess it's not just 'getting laid' that I'm after." I laughed, said, "that's what I figured", and told her "It's like men are carnivores and women are vegetarians. We men are jealous of women because they can pretty much have steak, ribs and burgers anytime they want, but women don't see this as anything to be envious of because they're vegetarians."

You said you have "often" experienced men unwilling to behave as friends first. Out of curiosity, how often? More often than less often? (or the other way around?) In being fine with being friends first, I'm curious if I'm in a minority among men.
Posted by Roma on May 21, 2012 at 6:12 PM · Report this
Roma 228
223/marilynsue: Women who have been sexually abused at a young age may be sexually active in their teens and twenties, then lose interest in sex by their late 40s.

I've been with two women who, unfortunately, had that happen to them. One was molested by an older brother, the other by an uncle. Interestingly, they were two of the three hottest women I've been been with. One of them -- the one molested by her brother -- definitely had a chip on her shoulder about men, but that did not come into play in bed.
Posted by Roma on May 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM · Report this
@226 don't cry. He wasn't saying anyone was out of his league; he was proposing a convoluted counter-factual. But since he isn't out there looking to date, I'm unclear about the point of his anecdote.
Posted by EricaP on May 21, 2012 at 6:44 PM · Report this
Dan's advice to WHIP: you should have married a kinkster so _he_ would have had to deal with someone non-kinky for the last 20 years instead of you. Thanks, Dan :(

That said, it sounds like WHIP's husband is indeed a dud. Not that he's non-kinky, but that he's non-GGG (and non-adventurous, or is that redundant?). There's a world of difference.

(Perhaps it would be useful for WHIP to know this: I didn't know I was kinky until my 30s, at which point, much against my better judgement, a lover very patiently taught me how to whip her to tears. She's now an ex (she educated her next boy similarly, with similar effect), but one of my current lovers is an enthusiastic bdsm sub, and the other, not to be outdone, decided to experiment with it and is surprised to find that she loves some kinds of subbing as well. And, surprise, I love the scenes too. Fortune favors the adventurous!)

But what better advice is there for WHIP? If she married with the standard vows, then she promised to stay with this dud for her whole life. That may be common, but it's unbelievably hubristic and stupid to think you know what you will want for the rest of your life. She doesn't really have many options: she has to either (a) resign herself to living with a youthful mistake, (b) break a promise, (c) persuade him to become kinky or (d) negotiate an open relationship. (c-d) are both excellent options but unlikely. (a-b) are just typical failures of monogamy, and should serve as a warning to posterity.
Posted by something on May 21, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
Being friends isn't hard, getting sex is even easier, but asking for a relationship is just - ahhhhhh, there's just no describing the frustration. I keep practicing the various steps I summarized in my head, especially my opener - "Come spend sometime with me. We can get beer and pastrami!" -, but it all goes to shit. I always end up asking how they're doing and blah blah blah. And that's if I even hear from them. Of course, the market is always different for everyone.
Posted by mygash on May 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM · Report this
nocutename 232
@227 (Roma):

On reflection, my experience and attitude is closer to that of your date's who initially lamented not being able to get laid, only to have it clarified that simply getting laid wasn't what she was after.

Getting laid is easy (getting laid well, is, well, much harder, but that's a whole different kettle of fish), but I am looking for a relationship deeper than a FWB, and that is proving nearly impossible.

I don't know if you're atypical or not, in your willingness to be "friends first." I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't know whether you're talking about dating to acquire another FWB or in order to get laid, or dating in hopes of finding a girlfriend, but the two goals are different, and lead to different behaviors.

Posted by nocutename on May 21, 2012 at 9:08 PM · Report this
@226 Mr V

I don't understand the problem with my phrasing. Surely there is a multitude of men and women who are out of my league. Perhaps you need to meet me in person to appreciate why that is. Suffice it to say that empirically it is so.
Posted by Mr. J on May 21, 2012 at 9:47 PM · Report this
It would be HILARIOUS if Dan fudged the genders on WHIPS letter. Just think of all these near hysterical babes crying and sobbing all over this blog about how the 'time machine' answer was so "unfair."

Imagine the response when we find out WHIP was a man: Ooops, wait, that wasn't an unfair answer after all. If that son of a bitch couldn't read her mind and predict every response in advance then he should get in his time machine and go fuck himself in the past. Oh yeah, hear it.
Posted by Professor on May 21, 2012 at 10:00 PM · Report this
nocutename 235
Professor, as I'm one of the people who reacted to Dan's response not by getting near hysterical or sobbing, but by pointing out that it was a useless bit of "advice," I assume you're addressing me. So I want to go on record as saying that were the genders reversed in WHIP's letter, my response would be the same. Please don't project your misogyny on me.
Posted by nocutename on May 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM · Report this
mydriasis 236

Yeah I find that most women are "vegetarians" as you say and don't want "just sex". But some of us do! Problem is, if you're selective, it's still hard just because finding an attractive guy is like finding a needle in a haystack. It's not about wanting more than sex. It's about not wanting hay. Or.. something.. metaphors.
Posted by mydriasis on May 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
@236 mydriasis
That's a new one. Where do you live that you have trouble finding hot guys? Maybe your definition of attractive needs revision. Do you have a list of qualifications you'd like to share with us?
Posted by Mr. J on May 22, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
mydriasis 238

I'm just picky! I live in a big city (I haven't noticed a real different attractive:unattractive ratio in other cities and I've been to several major western cities). I don't think my definition of attractive "needs" revision (do you?). I've tried going outside of it, but it's unpleasant for me and I've literally run out on guys because I became repulsed when I tried to go through with it.

I'll admit that I'm shallow and most of my friends have at some point made fun of the fact that they think all the guys I've dated or slept with look like models, but I haven't been able to change my preference. If you really want I can list the things I look for but I think you (and the rest of SL) would be pretty disgusted by the end of it!
Posted by mydriasis on May 22, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
mydriasis 239
* Also, my original comment was somewhat more specific to dating sites which I find have an especially low proportion of attractive people (especially in my age bracket) as compared with the typical population.
Posted by mydriasis on May 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
@233 That's true of anyone though.

@236 I hope you'll take a moment to rethink that haystack metaphor, because it came off as rather cold. Like you're shopping for a sex toy instead of finding a partner. Sexual chemistry IS hard to find, but hinging it on a single factor kind of dehumanizes what most would discribe as a very intimate experience.

In general attractiveness is very subjective. It comes and goes, alters, matures or fades with age, health, and even mood. For me personally, it's not a huge deal UNLESS the other party makes it one. If the way you treat someone is based out of your own negative feelings toward yourself it makes a relationship very hard to maintain. If your able to look past your own shortcomings while admitting to them and owning to the effect they have on you, than you can communicate these things and the other person can live, love, and grow with you because of your sincerety and courage.
Posted by mygash on May 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
mydriasis 241

You know I was referring to casual sex, right?
Posted by mydriasis on May 22, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this

There you go again, pretending you're still dating. You've told us you're monogamous and found your boy. Why don't you ever represent your monogamy here? Not interesting enough?

Of course, we know what you like-- young, circumcised, small-dicked. With important criteria like that, it's no wonder you have trouble finding hot guys you're not looking for.
Posted by Hunter78 on May 22, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
@238 mydriasis

Ah, models. There's an episode of Sex and the City dealing with a guy who only dates models. You might want to look into that.

"If you really want I can list the things I look for but I think you (and the rest of SL) would be pretty disgusted by the end of it!"
Go for it. I think it will be illuminating.
Posted by Mr. J on May 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
@241 Yes. Of course, that was just my opinion. I've known all of my partners personally, sometimes even years before any sexual event took place between us. Sometimes I forget that that kind of framework is actually an oddity, and nowhere near the norm.

Still, I did live in a large city for a time and while there I had very meaningful conversations with people that were being actively ignored (they were homeless, old, handicapped or etc) in the public areas. It deeply irked me that even when people did spend a second with them it was in a pitying, condescending way. Yet some of these people had great stories and personalities that completely blew me away in minutes if not seconds. I felt privileged they would share these things with a dumb kid like me. It's a tragedy that more people didn't get to see and hear them, because they couldn't drop their preconceived notions long enough to smile at them and give a honest greeting. I guess I just see it in that same light.
Posted by mygash on May 22, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Another thing that may color my attitude is that I'm a "yellow girl" aka half white, half black with white skin but african american features. I know my very exsistence makes certain people repulsed and angry. I've had the double takes, the mother grabing and hugging her child to her before I passed by, and the gasps. I'm not saying that it's the same thing (it isn't). I just know i get sensitive whenever I hear someone put down a group of people whether it's satanists, left handed people or racial minorities. And your comment kind of hit me that way, cause it seems you're grouping people into a category and not just commenting on your tastes in partners.
Posted by mygash on May 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
mydriasis 246

1. Holy fuck, where do you live??

2. I understand what you're saying, but what I think I might not have been clear enough. I have also had conversations with people who most people would judge. In fact many of the people I am closest with and love the most fall into groups that are shunned by society. It is not out of character for me to have a long conversation with a homeless crackhead etc.

But for me, sex is sex.

If I broke my sink, I would want someone to come over who has the qualifications to fix it. And while it might be nice to also know they're a good hearted person, that's not going into my decision making process of who to hire. Probably who I can afford is.

Sex is the same way. It has to be someone I'm physically attracted to. That's the important qualification for that situation.

With my friends, it's the opposite. The most important thing is whether they're a good person. Other important things are sense of humour, shared interests, intellect, whatever. But what they look like, how they are in bed, or whether they can fix my sink? Not important. Does that make sense?

Some people think that's cold. And you're entitled to feel that way, absolutely. But because I'm shallow in one specific context (casual sex) does not mean I am overall a shallow person. Due to recent life events I'm especially hurt that someone would think that I'm the type of person you described.
Posted by mydriasis on May 22, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
mydriasis 247
@ J

I loathe that show, so I doubt I'd be able to tolerate it long enough to get your point. Cole's notes version?

Um, qualifications. Bracing myself for the hate.

I typically stick within my age-range, I'd say I have a cap at about 30 (I'm in my early 20's). Good bone structure (cheekbones, jawline) is a big thing for me. I don't have a thing for big guys... my preference is slim guys but I'm okay with guys who are a bit more muscular but I find body fat really really off-putting. It's weird because I love curvy women and will never understand women who want to be waiflike but I just always prefer guys with as little fat as possible (I have tried several times to go against this preference but it was a horrible experience every time). That's basically it in terms of hard and fast rules, I think, but it's kind of general. I have lots of additional preferences but they're not strict rules. Oh, and as Hunter so studiously pointed out, I can't get with guys who are really well endowed. I'm just not built for it.

And since gash brought it up earlier - race is not a factor for me.
Posted by mydriasis on May 22, 2012 at 4:25 PM · Report this
Size? That cuts out blacks.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 22, 2012 at 4:44 PM · Report this
mydriasis 249
Um, only if you're racist!
Posted by mydriasis on May 22, 2012 at 6:09 PM · Report this
I don't get why you think people would hate on you for that list. I wouldn't begrudge you wanting stereotypically handsome guys your own age for casual sex purposes. You don't have to like overweight or even slightly flabby guys.

The TV reference is about dehumanizing yourself at a certain point when you treat people as just a body type. I get that you're looking for different things from different people. Maybe you could blur the lines a bit between your categories so that it's less tempting to think of some folks as less than fully human. People are not sex toys, right?
Posted by Mr. J on May 22, 2012 at 6:35 PM · Report this
mydriasis 251
I never understood the leap from "I choose sex partners based on whether or not I want to have sex with them" to "treating someone as just a body type" to "less than human". My brain just doesn't work that way.

Yeah, I've had casual sexual relationships with people who I actually really disliked. But I didn't think of them as "less than human" - just as humans I didn't like.
Posted by mydriasis on May 22, 2012 at 9:40 PM · Report this

1. Arizona (where I live has actually improved a lot in the last ten yrs)

2. I think I'm starting to understand were you're coming from now. Like I said, casually going out and finding a sexual partner is outside my experience (and comfort zone) though I have been offered here and there. Anyways, even if it doesn't make sense to me sticking to what YOU know works for you is generally good common sense and I commend you for sticking to your guns. I'm sorry if I caused any bad feelings. That was never my intention. Sometimes I just get carried away.
Posted by mygash on May 22, 2012 at 11:44 PM · Report this
Roma 253

Getting laid is easy (getting laid well, is, well, much harder, but that's a whole different kettle of fish),...

Fair point. However, I'm curious: have you not, like I have with women, found a correlation between how a man kisses and what he's like in bed? Or have you find that guys who are wonderful at kissing can still be poor in bed?

...but I am looking for a relationship deeper than a FWB, and that is proving nearly impossible.

I'm in the same situation so I understand. It's very tough to find someone you like and are attracted to and then, in return, they have to feel the same way about you. I also, though, am inclined to agree with Mr. J @ 213 when he wrote, "Whether it's real life or online social networking, men line up to meet women. Women weed through the candidates. . . That's just how the system is set up. . . . I didn't say finding friendship is easy. It is easier if you have more prospects though." I think finding a good match is, to a large extent, a numbers game; the more people you meet, and the more options you have, the more likely you are to meet the kind of person you want.

I don't know if you're atypical or not, in your willingness to be "friends first." I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't know whether you're talking about dating to acquire another FWB or in order to get laid, or dating in hopes of finding a girlfriend, but the two goals are different, and lead to different behaviors.

While I haven't turned down flings when they've been offered, I've always been interested in a relationship/girlfriend. So when former girlfriends wanted to be "friends first", I was fine with that. Like I said before, when I've liked and have been attracted to a woman and I know (or feel) she feels the same way about me, then I pretty much know we're going to end up naked sooner or later and, maybe I'm an oddball for a guy here, but I find that anticipation sexy.

Posted by Roma on May 23, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
Mr J - It's not your phrasing; it's your eagerly buying into an oppressive system and nobody else challenging that that flummoxes me. We barely need oppressors at this rate.

Your trying to convince Ms Driasis she's better than she paints herself makes me think of The Depths of Shallowness.
Posted by vennominon on May 23, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
mydriasis 255

"Your trying to convince Ms Driasis she's better than she paints herself makes me think of The Depths of Shallowness."

Could you explain what that means, please? I don't follow you.
Posted by mydriasis on May 24, 2012 at 8:03 AM · Report this

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