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A First

April 10, 2013

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I'm a gay man who has been seeing a devout Christian gay guy for one year. We have a great relationship. We have many of the same interests and respect each other's feelings and beliefs. However, I am a Catholic who is not that religious, and he is an Orthodox Christian.

Some of his friends oppose gay marriage and think that being gay is immoral, and they are against our relationship. Since I am not a devout Christian, his friends say we should not get married. Other friends say he should not be gay at all and that God does not love him because he is gay. I refuse to hang out with his friends, because I think that they are narrow-minded morons. Am I wrong for thinking this?

Sadly, he sometimes thinks that God really does hate him because he's gay. I try to reassure him that God does not hate him. But he feels this way because of what his "good friends" say. I think he should dump these assholes. He is often upset by conversations he has with one of his friends in particular, who insists that God does not approve of him being in a gay relationship. The scary thing for me is he actually listens to these people.

Is our relationship going to work? Should he dump these bigots? Please respond to me. I need some answers. Thank you.

Devoutly Gay Washingtonian

We've had all sorts of guest experts in the column over the years. Sex researchers, sex workers, medical doctors, sociologists, psychologists, academics, marriage activists, trans activists, and on and on. But this week's guest expert is a first.

"As a Bishop of the Church, first let me say that I am convinced that God loves DGW's boyfriend, loves DGW, loves me, loves all of us beyond our wildest imagining," said the Right Reverend Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop (Retired) of New Hampshire, the first openly gay priest to be elected bishop in a major Christian denomination. (Bishop Robinson is also the first member of the historical episcopate—the first in the Apostolic Succession stretching all the way back to Saint Peter—to appear as a guest expert in my column.) I asked Bishop Robinson to have a look at your question, DGW, because I thought his advice—the advice of a fellow believer—might carry more weight with your boyfriend than the advice of a raving atheistic twatsquat like me.

"This young man faces a couple of problems in his relationship—one that touches on religion and one that touches on what it means to be in a healthy relationship," said Bishop Robinson. "His boyfriend seems wed to a religion (Orthodoxy) and to friends who espouse the Church's traditional teaching condemning homosexuality," he said. "The most alarming thing he said is that his boyfriend is listening to them. Surely this must cause him a great deal of pain."

But it's pain your boyfriend no longer has to endure.

"The Church has gotten things wrong before—support for slavery, and using scripture to denigrate and subjugate women—and we are living in a time when the Church is realizing it has also gotten it wrong about LGBT people," said Bishop Robinson. "Today, there are oases of acceptance and inclusion even in the most oppressive and condemning churches. If DGW's boyfriend wants to understand how one can read the Scriptures and believe that homosexuality is part of God's wonderful plan of diversity, he can find such a church, even in a faith that officially condemns LGBT people. Or he can seek out a different expression of his Christian faith in a denomination that loves, values, and rejoices in its LGBT members. But this is work he needs to do for himself. DGW can't do it for him."

As for your relationship, DGW, Bishop Robinson agrees that your boyfriend's inability to break from his emotionally and spiritually abusive friends is a bad sign.

"If DGW's boyfriend is listening to the condemnation of his Church and his friends, it makes me wonder how much joy he can take in their relationship," said Bishop Robinson. "How free is he to be the gay man he knows himself to be if that is accompanied by guilt and shame? It sounds to me like DGW's boyfriend needs to deal with his own internalized homophobia before he can commit to anyone."

In other words, DGW, you may need to tell your boyfriend that he can have you or he can have his orthodoxy, his awful friends, and what, at this stage of life, amounts to a lot of self-inflicted spiritual wounds. If your boyfriend can't break away from these people, DGW, if he refuses to find a church that welcomes him (and you!), then you may need to DTMFA.

Bishop Robinson's latest book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage, is in bookstores now. Follow Bishop Robinson on Twitter: @BishopGRobinson.

I'm a 22-year-old straight girl with a lovely boyfriend of four years. We started dating during our freshman year of college, and we lost our virginities to each other early in our sophomore year. He's a great guy, we live well together, and I could easily round him up to "the one." My problem: I'm bored with our sex life, and I don't know why. He's a generous lover, he always makes sure I come (which is not always an easy task), he goes down on me more often than I go down on him, he uses his fingers, and he isn't insecure when I have to use my own fingers or a vibrator to get off. I know I'm incredibly lucky, but even after I come, I feel unsatisfied. I don't have any kinky fantasies, but the lack of passion and interest in our vanilla sex is killing me. I'm only 22, for God's sake! My sex life shouldn't be boring already!

He's voiced concerns in the past about how I don't initiate sex with him often enough. He worries that I am not attracted to him. I am attracted to him. It's just that I don't want the hassle of waiting for him to make me come when I can do it faster—and doing it myself means I don't have to worry about him getting tired or bored. Our sex drives are probably around the same, frequency-wise. I just need to know where to start to make things more interesting.

Bored In Bed

Having a partner who focuses like a laser beam on our pleasure sounds ideal. But always being the focus of sex, always being expected to come first, always being expected to come—that shit gets exhausting after a while. So order your boyfriend to focus a little more on his own pleasure during sex and a little less on yours. Tell him that, for now, you would like him to be less giving and more taking. And if he worries about being selfish, you can tell him that a study conducted at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia found that people with selfish sex partners reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction ("Emerging Adulthood: An Age of Sexual Experimentation or Sexual Self-Focus?" by Hayley Leveque and Cory Pederson, 2010).

I suspect, BIB, that once the focus is off you—once you no longer have to live in fear of a forced march to orgasm each and every time you have sex, once you're no longer under so much pressure—you'll be able to relax and enjoy sex more. You might even initiate once in a while. Good luck.

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Comments (152) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
this makes way more sense than the statue thing.
Posted by Frank Rizzo on April 9, 2013 at 6:31 PM · Report this
A religious letter and a cute one. Am I wrong to have wished for a third letter?
Posted by barfuss on April 9, 2013 at 7:22 PM · Report this
As a gay atheist, I never understood liberal Christians or gay Christians. I hate to agree with the fundies, but the bible really does condemn homosexuality as well as condone slavery and condone misogyny. So when liberal Christians try to "re-interpret" the Bible to make it seem like it doesn't actually say these things, it comes across to me as being incredibly intellectually dishonest.

The best thing to do is instead of trying to reinterpret the bible to make it gay-friendly, just chuck the bible out completely because we as a society don't need it for anything.
Posted by card7241991 on April 9, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Report this
Nearly first
Posted by tda on April 9, 2013 at 7:55 PM · Report this
Sorry Dan, you're wrong when you say that the apostolic succession stretches all the way back to Saint Peter. Nothing stretches all the way back to Peter.

As a disciple of Jesus, Peter was a jew who wanted to reform judaism (like Jesus himself), not to start a new religion. Paul of Tarsus is the one who decided to create a new religion - against the wishes of Peter and Santiago, Jesus's brother, who were the leaders of the christian movement. Peter died a few decades before there were such things as bishops, popes, etc.

That is, if any of those people actually lived (although their existence is better documented than that of Jesus himself).

Any priest, bishop, archbishop or pope who claims a direct link to Peter (and therefore a near-direct link to Jesus) is a liar.
Posted by Ricardo on April 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM · Report this
You could have saved your Bishop in the Hole for a tougher question. Isn't "should I stay with my self-hating lover and his bigoted friends and religion?" a gimme?
Posted by Steeeeverino on April 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM · Report this
I understand your advice Dan, but I totally disagree with it. Christian needs to develop strength and move away from his friends in his own time and in his own way. If Devoutly Gay can't wait, so be it.

Christian must make new more accepting friends and become strong and self-confident enough to move in a more positive direction.

Moving from dependency on his radical Christian friends to dependency on Gay makes Christian vulnerable, which is psychologically unhealthy and frankly not sexy.

Gay can Encourage Christian and build him up, however he doesn't have to stay forever. I just hope that he doesn't become another person in the evidently long line to control him.

Posted by Jenjen on April 9, 2013 at 8:34 PM · Report this
wingedkat 8
Sounds like the SO really needs to start making different Christian friends.

I'd say the best DGW can do is find an open, loving and accepting church himself, then try bringing his SO along. I know people who succeeded with "I want to go to church with you, but we need to find a church we can both feel comfortable at".

Maybe a more formal protestant denomination (such as Episcopal, Methodist, or Presbyterian) can provide the right compromise for a religious Orthodox and a non-practicing catholic.

If he's really not interested in going to Church, he could try making friends in Christian LGBT communities and just hang out with them. Eventually the topic will come up.

Posted by wingedkat on April 9, 2013 at 8:42 PM · Report this
Where did the boyfriend in letter #1 find friends like those, anyway? Westboro Baptist Church? Friends do not tell you that God does not love you. He should get counseling - NOW.
Posted by Ashley Amber on April 9, 2013 at 9:02 PM · Report this
I'm with you, Dan, on DGW's letter. If his SO listens to his wrong-wing bigoted homophobic asshole friends first, then what's the point in continuing their relationship? DTMFA!!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 9, 2013 at 9:03 PM · Report this
BIB doesn't talk about her own fantasies at all. I'm guessing that either she has an idea about some other specific stuff she might like to try (but is scared to admit it), or else she doesn't know, but is curious... If I were her friend, I'd advise her to go exploring stories online...

Another alternative is that she sees her future too clearly and wants to take a few years off from the straight-and-narrow to explore other possible lives. That is, the boredom in bed may represent a larger boredom with their apparent life-path. In that case she should open up to her boyfriend and see whether he too has those impulses.
Posted by EricaP on April 9, 2013 at 9:23 PM · Report this
@Ricardo, #5, those lower case "j"s for Jew and Judaism are conspicuous. What a weird, passive aggressive way to be anti-Semitic.
Posted by Giving jesus the lowercase j treatment on April 9, 2013 at 9:27 PM · Report this
lolorhone 13
Self-hatred is not attractive. Disgusting "friends" who actively stoke self-hatred in their peers are even less attractive. I know the LW wants to help his boyfriend, but that is 10 metric tons of baggage no one should have to sort through. In the interest of self-preservation (not to mention sanity), RUN.
Posted by lolorhone on April 9, 2013 at 9:53 PM · Report this
In find it amusing that evangelical Christians love to fixate on "homosexual abomination" in the bible, while totally ignoring the "heterosexual abomination" found in Deuteronomy 24. In fact, I've had some tell me that Moses got it all wrong and that Jesus no longer considers that "abomination" a sin.
What a bunch of hypocrites!
Posted by Juan Mas on April 9, 2013 at 10:27 PM · Report this
Just another opinion about religion, bible, and lgbtxyz-related stuff, coming from this bigender person
who happened to be ritually circumcised while few days old (yes, it was painful, but considering the first all-the-way blow job I got some 20 year later as a result it was well worth it!!!)
Ladies and gentlemen, I am a proud member of the chosen people and as such I got to read the bible in its original version. Despite growing up with the secular section of the tribe way back in the land of milk and honey, we didn’t have much to do with the New Testament. But we did read and debated the old one. As history, as a way of life, not a doctrine, as “the doctrine” was a socialist one that professed hard manual labor for the sake of it. Quantity, meaning the number of hours you stood under the fucking sun, counted so much more then the quality of what you actually produced.

Intros are very important, but lets not forget the reason we’re all here, shall we? So… the bible at some point lists some set of rules, and in that list you will find homosexuality alongside with the no-no’s of… making clothes out of flax fibers mixed with other types of fibers, as well as planting those seeds next to each other.
This vague list didn’t stop all homophobic religions- and aren’t they all anyway?- to list homosexuality as the worst crime on earth. And just to clarify the matter, “homosexuality” is always so much worse when it is between men, because even back then the ruling guys were secretly masturbating to lesbian porn…

So what does the bible says, ha? The bible tells us about Joseph, not the one whose wife was cheating on him and once she got knocked up told him it was “the holly spirit”. The other, earlier Joseph was Jacob’s son who was viewed by his older brothers as “a little different”, an embarrassing kinda dude who used to dress up in fancy striped gowns. So they threw him in a dried well and later sold him to nomads, who must have viewed him much more charming than their occasional camel encounter. They also took him to Egypt where, being the only Jew, he became Pharaoh’s both shrink and economic adviser.
Years later, when the family moved to Egypt due to economic hardship, Joseph confronted his brothers and they all hugged and kissed him and asked for forgiveness. Yes, economic hardship can do a lot for your liberal set of mind.

The other famous gay person is King David. Surprised, aren’t you? Well, back in the days the kings could fuck anyone in site and get away with it. So on top of watching that woman washing on the roof in Jerusalem and then sending her husband to the frontline and make sure he is killed so he can fuck his wife, the red haired musician had a boyfriend named Jonathan. And at some point he told him something like, “my love to you is greater than a love to a woman”, which I’m guessing all religions interpret this as a sign of “an asexual friendship that stands so much higher than any sexual contact”.
Because sex is dirty, it’s horrible; we should all refrain from it as much as we can. And besides, you only do it with someone you really, really love. And married to. And that person has to be a member of the opposite camp; otherwise it’s a sin!

Well, ladies and gentlemen- and everyone in between- FUCK IT!!!
Posted by fif on April 9, 2013 at 11:05 PM · Report this
Hey BIB: only boring people get bored. It sounds like your bf is awesome, quit being such a selfish jerk.

I wish I had some goddamned saltines.
Posted by bodhirungus on April 9, 2013 at 11:16 PM · Report this
lolorhone 17
@16: Did you just quote Betty Draper?
Posted by lolorhone on April 10, 2013 at 12:20 AM · Report this

Maybe you should have an alternate, more sympathetic acronym for those relationships that need to end, but not because the LW's partner is a MF. Maybe the LW is the MF, or maybe, as in DGW's case, the relationship just isn't going to work out in it's current iteration.

For these circumstances, I suggest:

DTPBA= Dump The Poor Bastard Already

I know you're not one to pull punches, but this does seem a little less accusatory for situations like the one above, wouldn't you agree? I hope you do!
Posted by A suggestion for Dan on April 10, 2013 at 12:25 AM · Report this
The best thing for the gay Christian guy could do is tell his so-called friends to go fuck themselves.
Posted by FuryOfFirestorm78 on April 10, 2013 at 12:37 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 20
RE: LW #1, DGW: I agree w/ wingedkat @ 8 - especially the bit about finding a church the two of them can go to in common. I'm not gonna get into the whole faithful vs. atheists squabble: these are two Christians, & the LW didn't seem to have a crisis of faith itself, just his BF's branch of organized religion. Not the same thing. The should agree to find a more accepting community that makes them both feel welcome. & if the BF isn't ready to leave his (as Bishop Robinson correctly called it, I think) internalized homophobia/self-loathing behind him, then DGW should move on. He sounds like he knows what to do, here, & was just writing for the nudge needed to make a change. :)
Posted by Eva Hopkins on April 10, 2013 at 1:32 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 21
RE: LW #2, BIB: I thought I was with "the one" at 22. Now older, I feel that's way too young to settle down. Something to think about..there could be a lotta oats yer to sow..? Maybe a discussion about some making-out level monogamishness, for funsies?

Kinda along the lines of what EricaP was saying, too, in terms of feeling that way, suddenly. Like you can see the whole vanilla future & it's too much, it irritates & overwhelms with its sameness.

Otherwise agree w/ Dan 100%. Time to shake things up & shift focus.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on April 10, 2013 at 1:36 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 22
Oats YET to sow, not yer. Phooey. OK, bedtime now.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on April 10, 2013 at 1:38 AM · Report this

Ya, I would agree - she has been with this dude since age 18? For four solid years starting at only 18? They need to both experiment with other people. Teen years are NOT the settling down years for god's sake - and as she said, if boredom is already striking, it's time to let it go.

Posted by Velvetbabe on April 10, 2013 at 2:59 AM · Report this
I agree with Dan's advice to DGW right on up to the DTMFA part. I liken it to the advice I'd give to the friend of an abused wife. Granted she needs to get out of the relationship with the guy who's beating her up, and granted the friend wishes she would, but the last thing that's called for is an ultimatum along the lines of "Dump him or I'm out of here." Instead, it's "When you get ready to leave, I'll be here to keep you safe and show you that there's another way to live."

So I'd soften it. I'd say "I can't be in the kind of relationship I need as long as you're keeping "friends" who hurt you with their abusive beliefs. For that reason, we're breaking up, but the minute you need a friend and role model of someone with ethical beliefs about homosexuality, I'm here for you Call me if you need me. I can help keep you safe and show you another way to live."
Posted by Crinoline on April 10, 2013 at 5:06 AM · Report this
BIB: You don’t say that you love your boyfriend; you say “He's a great guy, we live well together, and I could easily round him up to ‘the one.’” Love is what makes you round someone up to “the one,” not a list of reasons-not-to-flee that your mother might have come up with when guilt-tripping you into getting married and giving her grandkids. If you don’t feel excited and happy about the prospect of spending the rest of your life with him, and if you’re bored with the day-to-day togetherness, and you’re 22 years old, WHY ARE YOU STILL IN THIS RELATIONSHIP, except that you’re following the scripts that say it’s time to get married and that unless you have a Good Reason to break up with a nice guy, you’re a jerk if you do so.

It’s true: the people in your life will act like you’re a jerk if you don’t marry the guy you’ve been with for four years (and your only sex partner!). He will be mad at you, his parents will be mad at you, and his friends will be mad at you. But imagine a graph with your ever-increasing boredom and restlessness, growing a little bit each year, until it reaches a point beyond which you CANNOT stay in the relationship. If that happens ten years from now, after a wedding and a couple of kids, the shit you will take from him and his people now is NOTHING compared to the fiery storm of umbrage and outrage that you will deal with then. DTNGA (dump the nice guy already).
Posted by ManxsomeFoe on April 10, 2013 at 5:16 AM · Report this
#3 - on reinterpreting the Bible

I also felt it was intellectually dishonest to reinterpret the Bible, but ultimately there's a difference between just chucking out inconvenient stuff and actually wrestling with it. As a Pagan who wanted to continue to honor my Jewish roots, I had a terrible time with the Ten Commandments because of course there's the one about not having other Gods, etc. To blithely say, "Well that one doesn't count" is a cop-out.

And yet... I think the Bible is an accretion, historically edited over many centuries, not the word from God all given in one giant Skype session. Edited, I may add, by men... and with many contradictions and emphases.

There is also a vast body of religious thought and practice outside of what is in the Bible. That varies widely from "God is love and so we should love one another" to "God likes to smite us for fun, and it's OK for me to hurt other people in God's name".

There are rabbis and other scholars who've made it their life work to re-claim (rather than re-interpret) their own religious dogma to emphasize tolerance. They've taken the position that their own conscience will not allow them to condemn homosexuality, demean women, condone slavery, or commit violence against people who don't follow their particular sect.
Posted by hazmat on April 10, 2013 at 6:30 AM · Report this
@24: I completely agree. His SO is showing amazing strength in being out and partnered in front of such bigots. Perhaps he deserves more than DTPBA.

As for poor bored...Run. Experiment. Live. If you still want your wonderful boyfriend in a year or two, great. But I married him and 20 years later was still bored. Finally ran. Am experimenting. Am living. I recommend it highly.
Posted by Firefly on April 10, 2013 at 6:31 AM · Report this
AFinch 28
@3 - I'm not gay but I am also an atheist, and I am one mainly (though among MANY other reasons) because after engaging in an even slightly thorough or serious study of the bible it is so full of patently self-contradictory nonsense AND theology keeps evolving so much (and the bible as well - the canon gets updated depending on who's in and who's out!) that it's pretty clearly some shit we (humans) made up and keep making up. "If God didn't exist, we'd have to invent him."

To that end: it's perfectly acceptable (or rather, just as legitimate) for the "liberal" Christians to make up their own theology about homosexuality as it is for the bigots to make up theirs.
Posted by AFinch on April 10, 2013 at 7:30 AM · Report this
Cucinelli (verb): The act of going ass to vag without wiping off first.
Posted by Crashley on April 10, 2013 at 7:49 AM · Report this
AFinch 30
@29 - I LIKE IT!!!
Posted by AFinch on April 10, 2013 at 8:41 AM · Report this
Bauhaus I 31
Excellent advice to the guy with the Jesus freak BF. You can't date and progress into a relationship with anyone whose friends think you are sick and wrong. BF has to decide between you and his friends (which can create even more problems farther along). Yeah, I know. You want to help BF out of the closet and end his self-loathing. Cool when you are 19, maybe, but any older than that, the cast has set. He doesn't need a boyfriend to bring him out. He needs gay friends who'll bring him out, and it'll take a while. It's too much for one man (or woman) to accomplish. Be one of those friends - supportive and there, but a healthy love relationship is a long way off.

Posted by Bauhaus I on April 10, 2013 at 9:02 AM · Report this
Tim Horton 32
Four comments for BIB:

1. Passion fades, especially four years into a relationship. That is partly (mostly) why people your age break up with their high-school or college boyfriends. Also a big reason why married-with-children types, who can't easliy leave relationships, cheat. Welcome to Normaltown.

2. You used "The One" in quotes, so I assume you recognize there are lot's of "the one" out there. Especially at age 22. While there is no guarantee of finding another "one" there is some certainty you are about to grow more and more restless and potentially resentful about this "one." Call it off for a while? At a minimum, if he is the "one" you may appreciate him once you date around and realize the grass isn't greener. If you never give yourself the chance to date around, you will never know how good (or bad) you have it with your current. Once you experience the fading of passion with several relationships, you tend to become more realistic about what a long term relationship feels like.

3. Dan is on to something about selfish lovers being good in bed but I don't think its for the obvious reason. Great sexual experiences happen when your partner, in the throws of ecstasy, use you for their pleasure. As long as it isn't one-sided, people want to have a sex partner who is there because they are immensely enjoying themselves rather than merely trying to get you off. Which brings me to.....

4. You have an equal duty in the relationship to get things hot. You don't get to complain about passion and offer no solutions. I call B.S. that you don't have non-vanilla fantasies. It may be that you just don't want to or feel comfortable exploring them with your BF.
Posted by Tim Horton on April 10, 2013 at 9:25 AM · Report this
I have a gay friend who was raised Orthodox. He left the church that won't accept him and is now an Episcopalian. I suggest LW's boyfriend do the same -- not necessarily become Episcopalian, but leave the church. Even if the seas of public opinion are changing, the conservative churches will be the last to come around. Do you really want to wait ten or twenty years or longer for that, boyfriend? Probably not.

@28 I am also an atheist. And reinterpretation of a text written by humans is kind of just... What religions do. It's what culture in general does. As morality and values change, we reevaluate texts, but that doesn't mean we discard them. Shakespeare is thought if quite differently now than his works were even 100 years ago, for instance.

Christian thought is that Jesus's resurrection and teachings freed us from Mosaic law. That is why Christians eat shellfish and women don't need mikvah after their periods. That bigots use Levitacus as 'evidence' of anything shows their hypocrisy and their grasping at straws to justify hate.

Sensible Christians know that the Bible did not arrive by email from heaven. They can easily find out that the book from which the usual Biblical arguments come is a book of ancient laws, almost none of which are followed. When you know what the Bible is and how it came to be what it is, it's much easier for reinterpretation to be justified, even required. I would rather have those people than a homophobic atheists (yes, they exist).

As for the second letter writer, she's an idiot and Dan reads stuff into her situation I'm not sure is there. She doesn't say she feels pressure to come. She doesnt say she's interested in fucking other people. Just that she's bored. News flash, LW: a four year relationship can't be on SUPERPASSION more all the time. Things have cooled off. Only you know what you really want. Figure it out and either ask it of your boyfriend or dump him.
Posted by CorporateCake on April 10, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Fortunate 34
I agree with Dan's advice to Gay. I had a (not too long) list of deal breakers that I learned early on to use when dating. The first two items on that list:

1) no closeted guys
2) no religious guys

Finding non-closeted guys was always fairly easy. But contrary to the myth perpetuated by many fundamentalists that gay people hate and are out to destroy religion, I actually found it hard to find non-religious gay guys. I mean, you could find non-fundamentalist Christian gay guys fairly easily, but completely non-religious is very hard to find even among gay folk.

And while it limited my dating pool it was best in the long run because I didn't have to worry about ending up with a guy who I generally liked, but who I would have to decide at some point if I could deal with (what to me were) their irrational beliefs or not.
Posted by Fortunate on April 10, 2013 at 9:38 AM · Report this
@21: There is no magic age of being ready to settle down, just as there is no magic age (perpetually 5 or so years above current age) at which you will lock into your adult self, never to change thereafter. People who wait and marry for the first time at 37 get divorced at almost exactly the same rate as those who marry for the first time at 23. (Teenagers DO get divorced much more often than everyone else, but once you hit 20 the curve sharply levels out.)

LW is bored and dissatisfied, and so shouldn't marry. Or sign a 10 year contract to her current job, buy real estate where she's unhappily living, or whatever. But it's probably not a problem that will be cured just by the earth turning enough times.

NPR did a great story once in which they interviewed a bunch of 55 year olds about what they were like at 35: basically the same, adult self locked in? No, universally, they were all in different places and valued different things than they had 20 years ago.

Posted by IPJ on April 10, 2013 at 9:40 AM · Report this
I'm not sure there's any advice for BIB that's actually any good. Trouble is that she could leave her boyfriend of 4 years in search of someone better and be bored with the new guy after a short while. She could find someone who's great for her sexually who doesn't have half the compatibility of her current guy.

The world is full of women divorcing Mr. Boring after 20 years who wish they hadn't settled for predictability all that time ago. There are probably an equal number of women who held out for something terrific, never found it, and who now wish they'd gone for stability, children and good enough sex.

With that in mind, I like Dan's advice. She says she's bored, not desperately unhappy. She needs to take the pressure off herself for a bit to see if that improves things.

I'm glad for Dan's reporting of the U of BC study about selfish lovers. I'd suspected that but never put it into the words. One of the best I've had (still a friend, no longer having sex together) just seemed to use me in bed. He was never violent, but he'd pick me up and put me in position. He was hungry with his own needs, really passionate. I adored him precisely because I had no performance anxiety. Whatever I was doing, however I responded, was plenty. The guys who kept checking with me "is this okay? how about now?" the memory still makes me wince
Posted by Crinoline on April 10, 2013 at 9:56 AM · Report this
Cudos to episcopalians and others who try to make Judaeo-Christianity into something that it is not, but I have to agree with some of the other posters that there are only so many ways of sugarcoating a religion whose writings condone anything from murder to genocide in the name of a sadistic god.
Posted by cockyballsup on April 10, 2013 at 9:58 AM · Report this
@35: Exactly. All this talk of "omg being in a LTR while in college is the worst idea ever" seems like insecure justification for... whatever their life was like at the time. Mostly, all -I- have to say to those folks is "sorry you wound up dating a bunch of boring losers, but I ain't you". :P

BIB, I'm 24 and married to a guy I met at 19. I'm having a way fucking better time now than when we were in the "honeymoon phase" that everyone is so afraid to move past for some reason. And @16/Betty Draper is spot on. You know how you stop being bored? Stop being boring. Get off your ass and try new things, be adventurous and spontaneous alone and with him. Read erotic stories and figure out what you actually like. Orgasms are only one tiny part of the equation-- it's getting there that should be the fun part. (And trust me, I know what I'm talking about here: I gave up masturbating and climax about two years ago and couldn't be happier. Sure, it happens sometimes, but it's usually just a bit of icing on an otherwise stellar cake.) If you're not engaging your brain during sex, then you're leaving out your biggest erogenous zone.

So... stop it. Figure out things you like other than "coming". That's as useless as saying "I like movies". Well, what the fuck kind of movies? Like I said, the only thing that's going to save that relationship (and to be honest, your future ones) is being selfish and shaking up your current status quo.
Posted by Mini Lo on April 10, 2013 at 10:53 AM · Report this
You know... unless you want to date a celibate asexual that is perfectly fine letting you have your alone time with the vibrator.
Posted by Mini Lo on April 10, 2013 at 10:54 AM · Report this
Gaby 40
This poor guy (The Boyfriend) is stuck between two worlds. I know how he feels. Although I understand that the writer can't wait around forever, obviously boyfriend is leaning toward his gay identity more than his orthodox identity already, since he's IN a relationship.

If this guy gets dumped because of his beliefs, and rejected by his orthodox friends for his gayness then where is he left? My opinion is that someone has to love him THROUGH this.
Posted by Gaby on April 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
The frustrating thing about the poor, tortured Orthodox Christian and his BF is the same frustrating thing about religion-justified bigotry in general: It results from people unwilling to do the work of thinking for themselves, and instead looking to clergy to do their thinking for them. The Orthodox Christian ought to be able to ask himself, if he believes in God, whether his experience tells him that God created him that way, or not. His own evaluation of his relationship ought to trump what his nasty friends and politically-motivated clergy say. I seldom think ultimatums are helpful, so I wouldn't necessarily encourage the BF to say "Either your friends go, or I do." But if he loves the Orthodox Christian, I do think it might help to nurture increasing confidence in his ability to think for himself.
Posted by alexxjm on April 10, 2013 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Devoutly Gay Washingtonian: DTMFA

Find someone who loves themselves or you will never find someone who can love you.
Posted by Kylere on April 10, 2013 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Dan, your response to DGW seems a bit negligent. If Mr. Orthodox is starting to believe that god hates him, he may be heading down the path to suicide, whether he's contemplating it now or not. Instead of DGW simply dumping Mr. Orthodox, he should help Mr. Orthodox get some counseling, and let the counselor tell Mr. Orthodox to dump those ass-hat "friends" of his. Also, DGW needs to tell Mr. Orthodox that he'll be there as a friend, but it's time to put the whole "boyfriend" thing on a hold, until Mr. Orthodox gets some counseling help and works through some of these issues. And if Mr. Orthodox refuses to do that, then it's time DTMFA and move on.
Posted by C. Foley on April 10, 2013 at 11:10 AM · Report this
Basically I agree with Ms Crinoline. It seems more than a little unfair to pin an MF on the victim of a homophobic religious upbringing. Yes, some people triumph over such oppression on their own, but it's not a moral failing or a deliberate perpetuation of undesirable qualities to have been on the receiving end of a much more thorough indoctrination than usual. I'd call it much more of a moral failing to NEED to pin the MF label on the dumpee because thinking of him as a Too Badly Damaged Victim would feel too uncomfortable as one left. (Victims can be MFs independently of their victimization, and there ought to be no stigma in not staying with someone who can't sustain reasonable relationship requirements.)
Posted by vennominon on April 10, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
I'm an Orthodox Christian in Washington and have tons of Orthodox non-homophobic and gay Orthodox friends. Those two guys should hang out with us! In Orthodoxy, there has been an influx of American converts who are fleeing Evangelicalism in droves (and, in fact, many who are fleeing Episcopalianism because of Bishop Robinson himself). (The biggest insult these people give each other is to call someone "an Episcopalian." (And none of us consider Bishop Robinson to be in the line of Apostolic succession, but then again, most of us think the Pope himself is a heretic. I digress.) These earnest people bring their homophobic (and likely self-hating) baggage with them into our ancient practice. This isn't about the faith, this is about jerky so-called friends who are probably not listening very hard to their priests on Sunday who spend a great deal of time telling them to MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS.
Posted by StsSergiusandBacchuswereprobablygay on April 10, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
there is no god. you deserve your suffering and indecision for being such a fuckhead. bang your bf, take a picture of it give it to all his friends, dump him. then go fuck a baby kitten cuz morals (especially biblical) are for the weak minded
Posted by drunkciclista on April 10, 2013 at 11:31 AM · Report this
The Self-loathing Christian needs to make a decision--and the letter-writer needs to force his hand. Either being gay is wrong or it isn't. He can't have it both ways. This guy is like a woman in an abusive relationship who thinks she deserves to be hit. I hope the letter-writer lets us know what happens.

(Is it wrong that I was reminded of Krusty the Clown when he found out he'd never been Bar Mitzvahed? "All this time, I thought I was a self-loathing Jew, and it turns out I'm just an anti-Semite.")
Posted by portland scribe on April 10, 2013 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Fortunate 48
@40: "My opinion is that someone has to love him THROUGH this."

Sure, but loving him doesn't have to include dating him.

Be friends with him, support and encourage him, and be there for him. But date him? No thanks.
Posted by Fortunate on April 10, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Dude, I love #18! LOVE. I've has the same thought - about DTFMA in its current form just seeming a little too edgy to fit certain scenarios (like the one in question here) very well - float through my head a number of times while reading Dan's bon mots, but I've never been quite creative enough (or frankly, motivated) to come up with a suitable alternate.

But ladies and gentlemen (and everybody in between, and every combination thereof), I say you now - HERE IT IS.

DTPBA (Dump The Poor Bastard Already) to be added to the Savage-disciples' collective vernacular at once!
Posted by isissxn on April 10, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Am I the only one who read "Catholic who is not that religious" as "functionally atheist"?

Seriously, that God nonsense poisons everything.
Posted by wxPDX on April 10, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
I am not convinced religious gay (or straight) people need to be convinced to change to "accepting" denominations. The idea that you are doing something BAD BAD BAD can actually add a lot of spice to some people's sex life. There is a reason why a lot of gay guys fantasize about seducing a cute mormon guy, or why Catholic schoolgirls are so popular in straight fantasies. I mean, show me the porn that depicts two well-adjusted consenting adults making consensual negotiated love. It wouldn't sell.
Posted by cockyballsup on April 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
@5 Sorry, Ricardo. There are ancient sources (Origen and Tertullian) who testify that both Peter and Paul ended up in Rome, where Peter led the church prior to the execution of both in the persecution under Nero. And there's no strong reason to dispute the ancient evidence or the notion of apostolic succession that stretches back to Peter. Further, the name "Santiago" can refer to either James the Greater (Son of Zebedee) or James the Lesser (Son of Alphaeus) or James the Just (brother of Jesus). He was recognized to be the equivalent of Bishop of Jerusalem, from which another branch of apostolic succession can be argued to have sprung. There is no reason not to believe that the Church of Rome indeed sprang from Peter as the Church of Constantinople came from Philip, etc. etc.

Posted by Sandman on April 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this
seandr 53
BIB hasn't yet figured out her sexuality. She needs end the relationship and start fucking different people so that she can get a clearer idea of her own turn-ons.

Definitely DON'T marry the boyfriend, for his sake if not yours.
Posted by seandr on April 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 54
I am an atheist who is also a huge fan of Bishop Robinson, and I am so delighted to see him make a guest appearance in Savage Love.
Posted by Kevin_BGFH on April 10, 2013 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Afreet 55
@33 - But no one claims every word of Shakespeare is to be interpreted literally and/or is to be used as a moral handbook. If people thought of the Bible as old (lousy I might add) literature rather than as 'scripture', there wouldn't be a problem.
Posted by Afreet on April 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
I don't quite understand what giving up masturbation has to do with selfish lovers?
Posted by migrationist on April 10, 2013 at 1:58 PM · Report this
Regarding the first letter by the man who is dating a devout Christian, maybe you'd like another "expert" opinion?

I am a female atheist and was dating a woman who was a devout Christian. Like the writer, her friends and family were not supportive of the situation and spent a LOT of time interfering one way or another. First they shunned her and forbid her from contacting her younger siblings, then they and the members of their church started sending us unsolicited letters detailing our sins and how we were going to hell. In the end a "good" friend asked her out for coffee and suggested they pray about it.

She came home that night, packed everything up and left. She had repented and returned to God. Her parents turned up and helped her move out.

She was completely unrecognizable to me after that. She even seemed to change physically. I didn't see her for a year. Then one day she called to apologize and say that she was a lesbian, that I had been right, that all of her attempts to be straight had failed.

Bottom line: until he is okay with who he is you will get hurt. Repeatedly. From his family, his friends, and ultimately him. Best of luck to you.
Posted by Fezdesk on April 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM · Report this
@26 Hazmat said "And yet... I think the Bible is an accretion, historically edited over many centuries, not the word from God all given in one giant Skype session. Edited, I may add, by men... and with many contradictions and emphases."

Bible was "Edited by men" but not written by men? Seriously?

Even if inspired by a deity, how does an omnipotent creator not massively dumb down his explanations for illiterate apes? Or did he dumb down creation to the level of rabbits-out-of-hat magic tricks in the first place to accomodate his 7th day product?

How do *human* authors (almost all males with delusions of grandeur) not color the result with convenient "contradictions and emphases" at every step of the process from oral stories, multiple translations in *human* languages and self-serving decisions about "acceptable truth"?

You need to read a good history of the Torah/Bible and discover the adult truth about the scriptures you still seem to think is basically the word of god. It just ain't, son!
Posted by Liz1388 on April 10, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
@ 12 - What a weird, passive-agressive way to play victim. I never capitalize anything that has to do with religions (note the small "c" for christian a bit lower). Religions do not deserve capital letters (except at the start of a sentence, of course).
Posted by Ricardo on April 10, 2013 at 4:20 PM · Report this
@ 52 - There are many reasons to doubt "ancient sources" like Origen and Tertullian, the most obvious being that they were born more than a century after the fact. They had heard the legends that were being passed around and did nothing more than help spread them.
Posted by Ricardo on April 10, 2013 at 4:31 PM · Report this
This is comment number 3, but I put it in here again because it was so good.

"I never understood liberal Christians or gay Christians. I hate to agree with the fundies, but the bible really does condemn homosexuality as well as condone slavery and condone misogyny. So when liberal Christians try to "re-interpret" the Bible to make it seem like it doesn't actually say these things, it comes across to me as being incredibly intellectually dishonest.

The best thing to do is instead of trying to reinterpret the bible to make it gay-friendly, just chuck the bible out completely because we as a society don't need it for anything."
Posted by spoon on April 10, 2013 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Regarding the Christian SO's "friends": anyone who says "God doesn't love you" doesn't love you, so who cares what they think God thinks?

Regarding reinterpreting the Bible: it pays to remember that a lot of it made sense in cultural context. It is intellectually dishonest to say it doesn't say stuff it does, but I don't see the dishonesty in acknowledging that society has moved on. It's OK to eat cheeseburgers and is no longer OK to sacrifice your daughter in exchange for victory in battle, even if back in the day it was otherwise.
Posted by KDru on April 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
For LW1: Something I've learned about relationships in general (whether romantic or otherwise) is that it's impossible to fix someone else's baggage. You can try to be there for someone who is hell-bent on self-destruction but it won't work. Sadly, someone who hates himself is not going to let you help him.

The Christian BF has to accept himself on his own. Recognize that it's his choice to keep going back to people who don't accept who he is. Until he takes responsibility for who he is as a gay man and accepts himself, no amount of love or support will help him.

My bff was an alcoholic and I gave her so much love and support as a friend, b/c I knew she had a tough life. Her crazy religious parents sent her to live at her grandma's house when she was about 17 after they didn't want to deal with her anymore. She had almost no financial support, no medical insurance, and no car. They left her with nothing but a roof over her head.

Then, none of her family wanted her to stay with them after she turned 18 b/c she was doing a lot of drugs at the time. She was basically homeless. I let her live with me where I worked as a nanny, drove her to interviews, asked my own employers to give her a reference so that she could get a job (risking my own position if she caused any problems).

I did everything I could to help b/c I'd known her for years. No amount of support that I gave her was ever good enough. Hardly any of the kindness that I sent her way was ever returned. Instead, it just turned out that she was so self-destructive that she damaged not only her own life, but mine too.

Moral of the story- Don't let this guy pull you down into his crazy mess of self-loathing, and emotional wreckage. Give this guy a time limit, but not an ultimatum. You can't spend the rest of your life with someone who doesn't accept the basic premise of your relationship.

In the meantime, ask yourself how he really makes you feel. And be brutally honest- don't take care of him in the relationship, but take care of yourself instead (you're not his dad, your his peer). Notice how all his self-loathing makes you feel. Does it make you start to doubt yourself or feel ashamed of being gay? Notice when he takes his self-hatred out on you in any way, however slight. Does he make jokes at your expense that are not actually funny, but instead cause you repeated hurt and shame? Does he put down you down on a regular basis and often in front of others? Does he isolate you from your family or friends? Do you drink more or spend more than you should when he's around? If the answer is yes, then he's emotionally abusing you.

All that drama he has might seem exciting for now, but for the longterm it's just damaging. This guy could really mess you up for a long time. Don't try to rescue him or save him from himself. You can't. He needs to get his shit together or else he's just going to drag you down like a lead weight.

Not saying to dump him, but just least pay attention to how he really makes you feel. How many times do you have to fix things for him? How many times does he jerk you around or cause problems with the rest of your life. Ask yourself if it's worth staying or if you would be better off with someone who doesn't harbor all that self-hatred.
Posted by Is it really worth all of that? on April 10, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
It sounds like the gay boyfriend, hating himself, actively looks for people to tell him what an awful person he is. Part of me wonders what would happen if DGW tested whether this was/could be turned into a kink. Boyfriend obviously feels the need to be punished...why not reframe it in a more healthy situation?
Posted by MarytB on April 10, 2013 at 6:14 PM · Report this

He's right, you're not attracted to him. He loves you. Let him go.
Posted by Hunter78 on April 10, 2013 at 7:00 PM · Report this

Reinterpreting the Bible isn't intellectually dishonest it's good theology. Just look at any number of ancient and medieval theological and philosophical texts. For example, our conception of God as an incorporeal being comes Aristotle and Plato, if you read the Bible you would find constant references to God as an embodied being, having a hand or a face, etc. There are entire works of Ancient and Medieval philosophy devoted to reinterpreting the Bible allegorically in the light of Greek philosophy and to be clear, they were more often than not twisting scripture to meet philosophy, not the other way around. If they could do fit an entire body of thought into scripture, I don't see why gay people, women, etc. can't read tolerance into it.
Posted by myrddin on April 10, 2013 at 8:28 PM · Report this
Remember this "letter to Dr. Laura" regarding the abomination of homosexuality?…
Posted by BBwow on April 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM · Report this
So how much did Robinson get paid for writing Dan's column this week?
Posted by wayne on April 11, 2013 at 7:01 AM · Report this
AFinch 69
@37 - Your comment betrays a lack of understanding I think: you have to understand the New Testament in itself is largely a rejection of the "Sadistic God" of the Old Testament. It's not sugarcoating: it's a revolutionary re-interpretation - the historical Jesus was a kind of revolutionary.

And interpretation is the name of the game in Theology - and that's before you even get into translation issues; and mis-translation - the King James leaves a lot to be desired, and the fact that something written in Aramaic was translated into Greek, then Latin and finally Elizabethan (mostly) English points to the entire problem with the approach of 20th century "Fundamentalists".

Please don't misunderstand me - none of this re-interpretation makes a super-natural sky-daddy any more real. Back when I still attempted to reconcile myself with my cultural Episcopal roots, I was more an admirer of Bishop Spong than Bishop Sperling (I'd settled on Atheism before Bishop Sperling was a Bishop), who pointed to the idea of a non-theistic Christianity, which gets you much closer to an existentialist view like that of Tillich & Neibuhr or Buddhism.

For me, once you accept that it is all made up! and that the (self)haters cherry-pick and spin in defense of their vengeful god, it's perfectly acceptable (and indeed, much more christ-like) to pick and choose in defence of your loving, forgiving god.

Hard to know if Christianity - as practiced - will change or not - the forgiving loving camp tends to be more open-minded and therefore open to atheism while the vengeful hate-based crowd remains obsessed with authority and ritual (and therefore in the pews), but most certainly Christianity, which is a philosophy based in love an forgiveness, will not survive as a return to the Old Testament view. Those numbers are dwindling too, just not as fast. It will either change, or disappear.
Posted by AFinch on April 11, 2013 at 8:43 AM · Report this
Bib. Listen to Dan not the haters who want you break up. That's just shows how miserable they are. Even if you are a little bored, your letter clearly tells us you and your man love each other and give a crap about each other's happiness. So where any of these people would get that you and him should not be together I'm not sure. But anyway, by the way your letter was written I feel like you get that there isn't really "a one". That you know that relationships take work and communication and aren't always sweet and perfect. I'm going to assume this also because you have been together a long time. If this is your man forever, and that is perfectly plausible, don't let ANYONE say it's not, then NOW is when it is most important to address you evolving sexual relationship. Because it will always evolve. You have an excellent platform for a really stellar sexual relationship. He's willing to please and you are willing to reach out for help(obviously) when you are not sure either. Asking Dan was a great start because he answered your question,(killer advice btw hot sex is often selfish. I'll bet your man could get you off crazy if he just acted he wasn't trying to)but successful relationships always change. So this won't be the first time you will have to alter your dynamic a little. But trust me. If this is what your working with now, you guys have a good future.
Posted by tito on April 11, 2013 at 9:38 AM · Report this
@29: I second the motion! All those in favor (of defining cucinelli as a verb meaning to go from anal to vaginal without first cleaning off the item inserted)?
Posted by Sesquipedal on April 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM · Report this
72 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
@49: Say what you like. If DTPBA works for you, fine. I guess I'm just a little too Heather Mooney-ish here, but DTMFA still works well enough for me.
Posted by auntie grizelda on April 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM · Report this
Just wanted to chime in on BIB.
As a lady who has been in that position your advice was perfect. For the first several years of my relationship with my husband it was like a marathon getting me to orgasm no matter how creative and patient and enthusiastic he was, and no matter how attracted to him I was/am. But he really wanted to make me feel good so he would try, and to me sex started to become frustrating. Eventually I told him that I was tired of the struggle and I just wanted to enjoy the sex for what it was.
That freedom to just have fun did worlds for our sex life, and when I felt up for it we would try to get me off but without any pressure. Over the years this has gotten easier and easier and is now more like a 5k than a marathon.
Posted by Molli on April 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM · Report this
LTPBA, perhaps, but DTPBA is inherently contradictory. PBs do not deserve to be dumped. MFs do.
Posted by vennominon on April 12, 2013 at 3:58 AM · Report this
mydriasis 76
"people with selfish sex partners reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction"

Not surprised at all. I always hated those "giving" types.
Posted by mydriasis on April 12, 2013 at 4:34 AM · Report this
@69, your ideas on reinterpretation are only valid if you accept that it is all myths. There are only so many ways of reinterpreting God's orders to the Israelites to commit the genocide of Jericho and many other mass murders, if those orders really happened, and none of those ways make it any nicer. If those orders didn't happen, then we might as well give up the games and be honest atheists instead of dishonest theists.
Posted by cockyballsup on April 12, 2013 at 6:57 AM · Report this
AFinch 78
@69 - God's orders to commit genocide, filicide and the rest of that stuff are all in the Old Testament. The whole point of Christ was to be a rejection of that Vengeful God. The OT remains in the bible (putatively) as a contrast to show what the New Testament rejects; now there is love and forgiveness in place of hatred and vengeance.

I don't deny those things are in the Bible and that the general point and outline of the stories are accurate over the many translations. I do believe that almost all of it is at best a mythical retelling of history. Clearly Genesis and some of the older pre-history is just out and out myth. But even the NT stuff - the stuff which takes place during recorded history is mythical. Certainly the Apocrypha is a fanciful bit of fictional writing.

Even if I do accept that the Israelites did commit genocide (it would not surprise me in the least - I'm quite pro-Palestine) and agree that their OT God was held up as a justification for these actions (and yes, he was), Christianity is not Judaism (nor is Islam, though they are all Abrahamic) and the entire point of Christ was to have a new version of the Hebrew G-d: one which believed in forgiveness. They are not one in the same - ask any Jew.

Christ was hardly alone: there was a real foment and Christianity is an amalgam of Greek ideas mixed with some other stuff out of Egypt and grounded in Judaism. Several other charismatic cult leaders started up very similar new cults around the same time. The only difference between a cult and a religion is longevity - Christ's version stuck around.
Posted by AFinch on April 12, 2013 at 8:13 AM · Report this
seandr 79
@mydriasis: I always hated those "giving" types.

LOL, you ladies don't make it easy, do you.

I'm thinking the best way to predict whether a straight guy is good in bed has nothing to do with his dick or tongue, it's his ability to resolve paradoxes.
Posted by seandr on April 12, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this
@76&79 seriously? She is a little bored so she reaches out and now she's in some way being more difficult for her boyfriend? If she was a man and a little bored would these be your responses? Or would she(he) be entitled to whatever she(he) wanted. If we(women) aren't happy in our sex life we are automatically considered "sex negative." But the idea you men could DO BETTER hurts your weak egos. I'm betting BIBs guys got a good strong ego that can handle a bit of converfuckingsation since its obvious from the letter he GIVES A SHIT ABOUT HER.
Posted by tito on April 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this
seandr 81
@tito: I'm just saying that it's not always easy figuring out what makes a woman tick. Sometimes women (especially young one's like BIB) don't know the answer themselves, and whether a given guy can bring it out of her may be come down to things he can't control, like his temperament and the couple's "chemistry", the latter of which seems to be missing her BIB's relationship.

In my experience, even a woman who enjoys receiving is likely just as turned on by being "taken" by a man, by his intense lust for her, by being the source of his pleasure, and that can sometimes be more important than a tongue fluttering all over her clit. Today's men are taught not to be selfish lovers, and yet sometimes that is exactly what's required of them. Hence the paradox.
Posted by seandr on April 12, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
nocutename 82
When I feel watched, when someone's checking to see "is this right? Is this? Do you like that? Do you?" it takes away from my ability to enjoy myself. It puts too much pressure on me, and it feels too clinical. Nothing is as much of a turn on to me as knowing and feeling that the man I'm with is being driven absolutely wild with lust and desire for me, specifically. It is the biggest aphrodisiac there is. Selfish lovers, all the way!
Posted by nocutename on April 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this
man i'm listening to nick drakes first three (five leaves, bryter layter & pink moon) again cuz thats what i do when life leaves me feeling crappy...thank you nick for being my partner in misery. also, BIB, be honest with yourself, you want to try some different cock. no shame in admitting that.
Posted by rayray on April 12, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
Seems to me perfectly possible to be passionate and unhesitant without being selfish. I dunno, the use of "selfish" in this context really rubs me the wrong way (so to speak). A kind of "Whee, let's go!" attitude seems to me miles away from "I'm getting mine, sucks to be you!"
Posted by Eirene on April 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM · Report this
lolorhone 85
@84: I think it's more of an interlocking of both partners getting off on one another as well as getting off on getting each other off. I agree, "selfish" is the wrong adjective.
Posted by lolorhone on April 12, 2013 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Re Bib


Ok, let's break it down:

lovely boyfriend [1st sent]-- Big Red Flag. He is not hot, great, whatever, he is effeminized.

I could easily round him up to "the one"-- but she can't, hence this letter. He's flawed in some critical fashion.

I'm bored-- She's bored with him.

He worries that I am not attracted to him.-- Her constant partner tells her bluntly. Why should we letter lookers easily dismiss this?

I don't want the hassle of waiting for him-- She doesn't have love.

What she wants is the bad boy. Bf is not a bad boy. She will get the bad boy. Bf will be hurt.

Posted by Hunter78 on April 12, 2013 at 5:42 PM · Report this
nocutename 87
@Eirene: I don't mean "I got mine; sucks to be you," when I say selfish lovers. I've had a theory about selfish sex for a long time, and try as I might, I can't find a better adjective. It's not a matter of being freewheeling ("'whee, let's go!'"); which to me, sounds like a kid on a roller coaster, and not at all sexy.

It's also not about being not generous. Long before I read Dan's definition of ggg, I had thought about generous lovers. A generous lover can also be a selfish one, if by "selfish" I don't mean uncaring, uninterested in the pleasure of his/her partner. Generous lovers want to give pleasure to their partners in part because they're selfish and find their partner's pleasure incredibly arousing.
Posted by nocutename on April 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM · Report this
Mesdames Cute/Eirene - How do you two square the matter of checking-in with the style of enthusiastic consent that would have theoretically either partner (but in practice I have only seen this described as M>F, so that I have not really formed a personal opinion) verbally request EC for each specific act? "May I X?... Y?... Z?" (I don't ask Ms Driasis because her opinions are already sufficiently clear on this sort of thing.)
Posted by vennominon on April 12, 2013 at 7:40 PM · Report this
ven: short answer is that it doesn't actually work like that. There are several good (and often very funny) discussions of explicit consent on (e.g.,…)
Posted by Eirene on April 12, 2013 at 7:56 PM · Report this
nocutename 90
Mr. Ven,
I don't often find myself in agreement with Mydriasis, and I wouldn't phrase things in as absolute a way as she does, but I don't either need or want to give explicit consent to each and every gesture and activity. Suffice it to say that if I'm in bed with someone, I have pretty much given a preemptive, tacit approval to whatever might be initiated, with the understanding that I reserve veto power. I find power and assertiveness sexy and I like feeling like the object of uncontrollable desire.

Posted by nocutename on April 12, 2013 at 8:08 PM · Report this
mydriasis 91



As far as I'm concerned, she doesn't polish that turd better than anyone else.


Some ladies do make it easy, some don't. The fact that our entire gender isn't in sexual lockstep is not exactly a paradox. :p

The fact is, I like what men like, not what women like. So men who are trying to be giving are "aiming to please way off target" as one of my favourite bands once said. Meanwhile, the guy who's being selfish and going for what he wants... well lucky for both of us, that's also what I happened to want all along.
Posted by mydriasis on April 12, 2013 at 9:08 PM · Report this
@seandr: point taken(81) and totally agreed with. Especially in the second paragraph and as a lady also true for me. But I still can't be convinced they shouldn't be together.(58) My own experience tells me chemistry can carry a relationship only so far. Then you have to talk. Now I am assuming Bib has spent a fair amount time reading Dan and watching the divorce rate climb in her 22 years on the planet. So put those two together and the fact that she bothered to ask Dan (and us I suppose) for some advice tells me she's looking to fix a fixable issue BEFORE she marches the dude to misery and resentment. I swear us women don't want to ruin your lives.:) This girl just seems like the ltr type and so does her man. I know they are young and the odds are stacked but like I said earlier(70) relationships take work. Seems like these two have a good relationship to work with. Sounds boring and hard I know but that's where chemistry and passion come in. Exactly what you said: it's missing, but these two just seem like people who have just misplaced it a little while. Happens with ltrs. I just think it's still too early for anybody to leave. Bored is not desperately unhappy. And sorry if I sounded snarky(81) but the girls often get the blame on the sex negative side if they aren't happy in this column but that clearly wasn't what you were saying. I way agree about the paradox. I guess bib has to figure out how to say "pretend you are only trying to get yourself off even though I know you are also trying to get me off". I managed this once a very long time ago but I don't remember what I said. But I do remember specifically thinking it would be a mood killer no matter what so I talked to him outside of sex time. But just talking about sex got him worked up and then we had the best sex we had had in what was probably six months. So maybe bib should try that. But sorry about the paradox anyway.
Posted by tito on April 12, 2013 at 9:24 PM · Report this
@79 seandr--As I understand it, it's sexy if guys are assertive and selfish, unless it's not, in which case it's entitled and rapey. Pretty straightforward. If in any given situation you don't know which one it is, you can just ask, which is unsexy, although not all the time. But that's something you have to figure out for yourself.
Posted by LateBloomer on April 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM · Report this
I also don't think figuring out what one likes sexually necessarily needs to happen with multiple partners. You know what I learned from the people I had sex with before my husband? Nothing. I found out what's really good with my husband. And he'll say the same. Oats are overrated. For us ltr types anyway. And I think bib is an ltr type.
Posted by tito on April 12, 2013 at 9:48 PM · Report this
@Hunter78 I get what you are saying I just get more of a sense from the letter that she is an honest type whose not smokescreening stuff. Reading Dan teaches us girls a lot. None of us want our men resenting us or whatever I'm tired. So a little mixing up can't hurt. No need to jump ship YET etc. For the record I read most letters with a much more suspicious eye. But I swear I know what this girl is feeling and the fix is simple. And it is exactly what Dan said. But only she can figure out how to talk to her man about it. I'm not stupid about their age or virginity factor but I see no reason she can't have a point of view that doesn't undermine her relationship. Dan's doesn't and his way they still get to have sex.
Posted by tito on April 13, 2013 at 12:20 AM · Report this
Sure "The Bible" (read: Old Testament) has passages that condemn gay people, tattooing, eating shellfish, being rude to your parents, etc...but people who seriously consider themselves Christians should realize that those old hatreds and attitudes toward retribution, vengeance and violence were the exact things that Jesus preached AGAINST. Jesus preached love, tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness and nonviolence (as well as healing the sick, feeding the poor, etc.--also things that the "Christian Right" and other hate groups oppose).

I'm an atheist, but I consider Jesus to be a great social philosopher, and it makes me sad that so many of his "followers" (who worship him as a deity) choose to completely ignore his teachings. Anyone who uses the Old Testament to justify hate is not a Christian.
Posted by BeingABear on April 13, 2013 at 12:22 AM · Report this
nocutename 97
@79,93, et al: Perhaps part of the problem is in trying to figure out what "women" like or want, and trying to figure out what a specific woman wants or likes. Because we're not all the same. I think unless we're talking about an extremely timid, naive, unassertive woman, she is capable of indicating her assent or displeasure with a man's behavior and style.

And I'm not talking about a flirtatious approach or a pick-up method; I'm talking about what happens when I am actually already naked in bed with someone. By that time, I have already determined that I want to be there, and some of the criteria that lets me make that determination is that he doesn't act rapey and entitled. Another criterion is that I feel confident that if he started doing something I really didn't want to do, I could tell him to stop and he would respect that. I like to test my limits and push what I thought were boundaries--I've found out that those things hold enormous erotic satisfaction for me. But part of the thrill is doing something I wouldn't consider doing ordinarily, which means that my partner needs to be the one to push it. So I buy into the submissive role, which I realize isn't everyone's cup of tea. If I have a partner who is super solicitous, I can't get that same sense of "push."

If I met someone who gave off an ultra entitled, completely self-absorbed vibe, I would never end up naked in bed with him. And though I have occasionally met jerks whose true jerkiness wasn't revealed until after our relationship turned sexual, I wasn't so scarred by the experience as to never be willing to date/sleep with another man again.
Posted by nocutename on April 13, 2013 at 7:39 AM · Report this
Dear Mr. Savage,
When I got my Times Book Review on Saturday (today) I sat right down and read the cover story. Provocative. I couldn’t dismiss it, even though this is the first sunny day in a week, and I had my plan set for cultivating my vegetable garden. I think you are at battle with a straw man. I too am an R.C. who went to Mass for the 1st 15 years of my life and ever since as well. I don’t hate homosexuals, gays, lesbians. I was never taught that. Nor does my church teach that. In fact, it teaches me the opposite – that all men are created in the image of God, and that God demands that we love our neighbor. That’s a key rule. If the issue is sex . . . that’s something else. It is not the driving force of life (well, maybe in a biological sense, but only that). It has its purpose and can have beautiful results when it functions in the right context. To allow it to be a controlling influence in one’s life, to be the basis of important thought and decision- making is a mistake. For one thing, sex is not sustained as a component of love. It becomes less and less. Please understand that Christians, the Church of Jesus Christ – whatever expression of it – is consistent in loving all. Sexual behavior is irrelevant, except that there are teachings that prescribe it to be orderly and fulfilling. So the Christian community is the big elephant in the room that wants to love you. Don’t miss it. (Much less, don’t “dis” it.)
Best regards,
Geoff Proud
P.S. I didn’t mention anything about God’s mercy. That has been so important in my life. Trust me, it is relentless.
Posted by Phlak on April 13, 2013 at 8:39 AM · Report this
nocutename 99
@98 )Phlak): "Relentlessness" is not a word I would associate with "mercy." Things that are relentless are generally not welcomed.
Posted by nocutename on April 13, 2013 at 9:03 AM · Report this
nocutename 100
Ugh: Christianity.

Why do you want to love someone who doesn't want to "love" you back? You're like a creepy, entitled, rape-y man. Back off--I'm not interested. I don't love you, I won't love you, I don't want to love you.

Even if Christianity didn't often equate to bigotry and intolerance, I would hate it.

It's illogical, ridiculous, absurd.

It offers me nothing I want or need. God's mercy? For what? I don't need "mercy," because I'm not going to be punished in some fictional afterlife. I try always to be the best person I can be, to behave ethically and to live with integrity, not because some made-up deity tell me to, but because it's the right way to be. I don't need to feel that some made-up thing in the clouds "loves" me and that "saves" me. I love myself. I don't need "saving" from some mythical thing. What a weird, paranoid world you inhabit, Christianity. Leave me alone.
Posted by nocutename on April 13, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
nocutename 101
Sorry, Sloggers, for the rant @100. But right in the middle of a thread about how to tell the difference between sexy assertiveness and rape-y entitlement, someone comes along and tells Dan to love Christianity because it loves him and that god's "mercy" is "relentless" (for those who don't read unregistered comments, this is at #98).

And I just thought I'm sick to death of having Christianity shoved down my throat. I don't care if you're a believer, except insofar as I think that many if not most Christians are hate-filled, intolerant, hypocritical bigots who try their hardest to make life difficult for those who are in any way different from their narrow idea of what "god" intended us to be or do, but WHY MUST THEY TRY TO FORCE THEIR BELIEF SYSTEM ON ME? It's coercion, which if it were situated just a smidge differently, would sound a lot like attempted rape. Find another partner, Christianity, and learn to graciously take "no" for an answer.

Okay, I'm off the soapbox now. Back to regularly scheduled comments.

Posted by nocutename on April 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM · Report this
Thank you all for the responses. Ms Eirene, I've seen it outlined as EXACTLY that (possibly in guidelines for campus settings?), though I can't provide links. It may not have been under the rubric of what now goes under the "official" label Enthusiastic Consent (though you say Explicit, which actually was the term more in use at the time), but it is A style of consent. I shan't shed any tears if it's gone out of fashion or been refined into something less unwieldy.

I think I was somewhere between No Means No and Yes Means Yes, though now it's personally probably no longer applicable.
Posted by vennominon on April 13, 2013 at 10:12 AM · Report this
@97 nocutename "I think unless we're talking about an extremely timid, naive, unassertive woman, she is capable of indicating her assent or displeasure with a man's behavior and style."

But part of being assertive and boundary-pushing is to be oblivious, or at least cavalier, about someone's displeasure, and rather than accepting it to try and talk them around. It's a rare dude that can both listen and push, and know when to do one and not the other.

Basically, boundary pushing is exciting unless it's not, in which case it's assault. You need the same character traits for both, and the difference in outcome is simply a matter of degree. Trouble is, guys who take a mischievous pleasure in pushing someone's limits are not well known for realizing when that line has been crossed. The difference can be very small indeed, or in fact non-existent where what was exciting for one woman is too far for another. And we're not even considering your assumption that most women are assertive enough to draw clear limits. That's a whole other can of worms.
Posted by LateBloomer on April 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
nocutename 104
@103 (LateBloomer): You are probably right in most cases, but I was trying to address the quandary Seandr articulated, which was how is a man supposed to know how he should be?

I can only say that I have met several men who embody that ability to be assertive and boundary-pushing without being oblivious or unconcerned with my pleasure or displeasure. While we didn't negotiate a "scene" explicitly (which I find anathema to the sense of spontaneity and uncontrollable desire that I need for good sex), we had already established good communication. Maybe that was what carried us through. There had been many clear, unambiguous, and not always verbal messages sent about what each of us wanted and how each of us most wanted the other to behave. And if one of us started trying to take things in a direction the other was uncomfortable with, the person (not always the woman) who didn't want that activity to take place or to take place in that way or at that moment, was clear about that displeasure, and operated with the understanding that the limit would be respected. It always was.

I have met and interacted with men with whom it was obvious my needs and desires would be ignored, and our interactions never made to bed. I have also been in bed with insensitive jerks who didn't listen to the either verbal or non-verbal cues (and when the nonverbal cues don't work, I always move to explicit, unambiguous verbal statements) or respect them, and those were guys I never saw again.

I have not been talking about actual rape here (and yes, I've been acquaintance-raped, so I make a distinction from a point of personal experience), just sexual style and persona.
Posted by nocutename on April 13, 2013 at 10:51 AM · Report this
@104 Okay, that makes a lot of sense. So "assertive" comes with a bunch of caveats. Fair enough. And it has to be the right kind of assertive. For you.

I'm really intrigued by the various contradictory pieces of advice a guy gleans growing up and has to hammer into some sort of consistent behavior (assuming, of course, that he gives a shit, and I'm starting to wonder how many actually do). I totally identify with the boyfriend of the letter writer above. Poor bastard is probably trying to channel his sexual energy in a way that he was told is the Right Thing To Do, and it's not doing him any favors. Or maybe it did at the start but it's not now, and something has to change. But telling a guy to be selfish because assertiveness is sexy is sailing into verrrry dangerous waters. That's not really a message you want to be getting out to, say, college freshmen, or socially challenged men in general, unless you want to see incidents of date rape start spiking.
Posted by LateBloomer on April 13, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
@nocutename: It's okay to rant, and just fyi, there are NALT Christians out there, not only in the sense that we're not all asshole homophobes, but in the sense that we feel that it's rude and presumptuous to try to convert someone to being religious. We tend to be the ones who don't talk much about our faith in public because we see it as something no one else needs or wants to know about, and I personally am just as disgusted and annoyed at the corny "You should love God because God loves you" bullshit out there. Your relationship or lack thereof with God is solely your business.
Posted by alguna_rubia on April 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM · Report this
LateBloomer@105, I don't think it's super complicated. If you're making out and she's moaning and making happy noises, just do what you enjoy. If she stops making happy noises for a while, try something else and see if the happy noises start again. If she asks for something specific, be agreeable and give it a try. If she goes silent, no happy noises, no requests, then it's okay to:
a) ask if she'd like something specific;
b) get up for more lube (or whatever), giving her a chance to breathe, sit up, get her head together, and figure out what she wants
c) stop the sex and move on to cuddling/sleep/whatever was going to happen next.

Are there a lot of women who are silent in bed when they're enjoying themselves?
Posted by EricaP on April 13, 2013 at 2:43 PM · Report this
nocutename 108
@107 (EricaP): Spot on! Although some women may be quieter. But I would suggest that they give non-vocal signals of approval, like hip-thrusting, etc.
@106 (alguna rubia): Thank you for kindly addressing my frothing rant; I appreciate those with your attitude.
Posted by nocutename on April 13, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
I don't know about other women, but I know that some men are frighteningly quiet when enjoying themselves.
Posted by migrationist on April 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM · Report this
@107 EricaP: A lot of women? Hell if I know, you're asking the wrong guy. My screen name was not chosen randomly. I do know there is at least one woman in this world who enjoys sex mostly silently, yes.
Posted by LateBloomer on April 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM · Report this
mydriasis 111
Dear men;

Stop trying to figure out "what women want" and then bitch and moan that we're not all identical so being one way doesn't work universally. Be yourself and get what you get.
Posted by mydriasis on April 14, 2013 at 5:56 AM · Report this
At best every thrust generates a mental/physical overload and vocalizations erupt as if in pain.
Posted by Hunter78 on April 14, 2013 at 6:33 AM · Report this
105- Late Bloomer-- I'm not suggesting an experiment, but I believe that if we, as a society, suggested that it was okay for men to take the lead and be selfish sexually in consenting situations, we wouldn't see that spike in date rape. Granted my sample set is small, but I'd say that the vast majority of men don't really want to rape anyone and have a pretty good idea of the difference between a woman passively enjoying herself and one struggling to get up while he holds her down.
Posted by Crinoline on April 14, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Ms. Cute has articulated the assertive partner issue very well. The only thing I would add is that not only does it require the confidence that when the person in the submissive role says stop that will be respected, it also requires the assertive partner's confidence that you will TELL THEM when something is wrong or not working for you. There really is no paradox, communication and trust run both ways.
Posted by tachycardia on April 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Crinoline--that's a pretty optimistic view. A superficial search turns up the same (old) stats of 1 in 4 college women in the US being victims of assault/attempted assault, and 85% of guys who've committed the assault not knowing that's what it was. So how does that happen? I agree that most guys have no desire to rape anyone. I like to think it's tied to socialization and is not some inherent flaw in male sexuality. If that's so, then there is going to be a social consequence to telling a lot of inexperienced guys to be assertive because that's hot. Assertiveness easily becomes entitlement, and notions of consent might get a little fuzzy. More than they already are, I mean.

@nocutename, EricaP: speaking of fuzzy, I think I might be imagining something different than you when I use the word "assertive". To me it is synonymous with "pushy". Or "dickhead". What you both describe just sounds normal to me.

And Mydriasis @111, sounds great in theory, but what if you've realized that who you are isn't very attractive? Either you accept your lot in life or you try to improve yourself, for which you'll need some general guidelines. Like what women find attractive.
Posted by LateBloomer on April 14, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
I believe that if we, as a society, suggested that it was okay for men to take the lead and be selfish sexually in consenting situations, we wouldn't see that spike in date rape.

I reject that that has ANYTHING to do with date rape.…
Posted by Eirene on April 14, 2013 at 1:49 PM · Report this
That "God Loves You" letter to Dan was just priceless and I had to respond.

As a rule, if you want to convince someone of something, it is generally not a good idea to dismiss their core beliefs as irrelevant. It's like this person was saying, "This thing that is extremely important to you? It is not important. This thing that you've dedicated your life to talking about, educating people about, helping people with that has had fulfilling and joyful results for many many people? You should not be spending your time on it. You should do my thing instead."

Also, I would like to believe that this person could be a gender other than male, but because they said, "All men are created in the image of God..." You left out some gender possibilities there.
Posted by Allek on April 14, 2013 at 6:31 PM · Report this
mydriasis 118

Some people who aren't smart enough to get As, cheat to get As. Trying to engineer a fake persona to appeal to women who wouldn't be interested in you otherwise... gotta tell you, not behind it.

And unlike a multiple choice test, there is no one right answer.

Some men find smart women sexy, while others find intelligence intimidating. Some men like petite pixie types while others go for the glamazon. And yet, you don't hear women saying "men can't make up their minds!!".
Posted by mydriasis on April 14, 2013 at 7:01 PM · Report this
mydriasis 119

Sorry but that article says nothing even close to supporting the "yes means yes" paradigm.

If anything it's further evidence that maybe instead of getting the whole world to have sex in this limited feminist-approved manor, we might *gasp* teach women to stand up for themselves.

Clear communication of “no” isn’t primarily going to avoid miscommunication — rather, it’s a meta-message. Clear communication against the undercurrent that “no” is rude and should be softened is a sign of the willingness to fight, to yell, to report.

Amen. I know this very intimately to be true.
Posted by mydriasis on April 14, 2013 at 7:14 PM · Report this
The author supports, among much else, the idea that saying "no" more clearly is not actually useless. But the main thrust of the article is "First, the notion that rape results from miscommunication is just wrong. Rape results from a refusal to heed, rather than an inability to understand, a rejection."

Such a situation is NOT EVEN GOING TO ARISE if you are not already dealing with a rapist.

In any case, I seriously doubt that you do not signal consent pretty damn clearly. No one ever said consent always had to be verbal.
Posted by Eirene on April 14, 2013 at 9:06 PM · Report this
seandr 121
@mydriasis: Trying to engineer a fake persona to appeal to women who wouldn't be interested in you otherwise... gotta tell you, not behind it.
I'm imagining you saying this wearing 6 inch heels, Spanx, fake tits and a push up bra, makeup, hair extensions, and while looking slightly leftward because you think your right side looks better, after having downed two quick shots to calm the nerves.

So, yeah, whatever you do, @LateBloomer, for the love of god don't go engineering any fake personas for the sake of hooking up.

Posted by seandr on April 15, 2013 at 6:21 AM · Report this
nocutename 122
@121: Hey, Seandr, I didn't realize that was you I was flirting with last night!
Posted by nocutename on April 15, 2013 at 7:33 AM · Report this

It's not about creating a false persona. Most people have more than just one facet to their persona. There's nothing wrong with showing the more appealing side of your character.
I behave differently with different friends, why not do the same with different men?
Posted by migrationist on April 15, 2013 at 7:48 AM · Report this
mydriasis 124

Nope, definitely no need (don't even own a pair), no need again, never (don't own any), sure but who doesn't, no need again, and actually my left is my good side.

Also, I don't drink.

I'm trashy as hell... just not in those ways.
Posted by mydriasis on April 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM · Report this
mydriasis 125
but seriously seandr, you must have some shitty experience with women that you think all of us are fat with no breasts and a drinking problem. Good Lord, where do you live?
Posted by mydriasis on April 15, 2013 at 8:36 AM · Report this
Fortunate 126
Phlak @98

It's very nice that you don't hate gay and lesbian people. I will take your word on it although I am often amazed how narrow a definition of hate many Christians have that allows them to dismiss the most hateful of behaviors as something other than hate. But since you are a Catholic I will assume you are being accurate and don't hate gay people. After all, most Catholics in the US and Europe don't pay much attention to the teachings of their church that they find inconvenient, so I just like all the Catholics I know who use birth control, have premarital sex, and snicker at the idea that Mary literally ascended in to heaven bodily, I can easily put you in with the majority who have no problem with gay people and think that same sex marriage falls short of being the work of Satan, unlike your Pope.

That said, the Catholic church is NOT loving towards gay people. Your new Pope has stated that my relationship with my partner is the work of Satan. Sorry, but referring to someone's most important personal relationship as Satan's work is not a loving thing to either think or say.

The Catholic church has opposed same sex marriage around the world. That is NOT loving.

The Catholic church has opposed employment protection for gay people. That is NOT loving.

The Catholic church has fought for the right to deny gay people access to the public, non religious services they provide to the public. That is NOT loving.

The Catholic church opposed a UN resolution to condemn laws punishing people for being gay around the world. That is SO NOT loving.

The problem with many Christians is that they think that so long as they do and say hateful things with a smile on their face that makes it not hate. That if they pepper their condemnation with the word "love", and express sympathy towards other people as they take away their rights and harm them in very real ways, that makes it not hate.

But you don't have to be screaming at someone while foaming at the mouth for your words to be hateful. You don't have to be hitting someone with a baseball bat for your actions to be hateful.

The Catholic church hates gay people. They can say they love gay people all they want, but so long as the fuck with our lives in a negative way that IS hate.

Matthew 12:33 - Either make a tree good and it's fruit is good, or make the tree bad and it's fruit is bad, for the tree is known by it's fruit.

The fruit of the Catholic church regarding gay people is bitter and rotten. No amount of protestations of love will counter the actions they do that harm us.

And as for this:

" If the issue is sex . . . that’s something else. It is not the driving force of life (well, maybe in a biological sense, but only that). It has its purpose and can have beautiful results when it functions in the right context. To allow it to be a controlling influence in one’s life, to be the basis of important thought and decision- making is a mistake."

Does show you are at least a bit biased. Like many when you think of being gay you reduce it to sex.

Sex IS an important part of intimate romantic relationships. To deny that is naive at the least. But being gay isn't just about sex. It's about the romantic connection with someone you love. When ever someone focuses on the sex they miss the point. The fight for marriage rights should be a reminder of that. We aren't fighting for the right to have sex, we already have that. We are fighting for the right for the RELATIONSHIP to be recognized and for the rights AND RESPONSIBILITIES of that relationship be granted to us as they are to straight couples. That has nothing to do with sex and IS what the current SOB in the Vatican calls the work of Satan.

So you may not hate gay people, but you still clearly have a bias.

But don't tell me that the Church loves me right after they got done fucking me over and hurting me. It's like a parent beating their child while telling them that it is for their own good and that it hurts the parent more than the child. Just like with that, when you are on the receiving end of it you don't have to work hard to see the lie.
Posted by Fortunate on April 15, 2013 at 9:41 AM · Report this
seandr 127
@mydriasis: My point was that there is a billion dollar industry, some of which involves state of the art engineering, catering to the female side of The Game. Not only is this socially acceptable, but in certain circles it's obligatory, even for women who are quite beautiful without the embellishments (Dallas, TX, comes to mind).

Yet women lose their shit at the idea of a guy learning strategies to come off as more confident and assertive and alpha than he actually feels when meeting women.

Anyway, just used you as a hypothetical example - I'm sure all this is quite beneath you.

One question - hypothetically, if by some miracle you were feeling charitable enough to give me a blow job, how do I figure out that you're the sort who likes having her head shoved down, as opposed to the sort who would punch me in the nuts and storm off if I tried that shit? Do I ask, or would that ruin my aura of single-minded, who-gives-a-fuck masculinity? Do I just go for it and hope for the best? I apologize if this comes off as more "bitching and moaning" - I'm sure this is simple stuff and that should be plainly obvious - but maybe you could help out those of us inclined to over-think things.

Also curious - if your sexual preference boils down to "i like what the guy likes", do you express any agency at all during sex? Ever drive the agenda? I have to admit, the whole "Use me, I'm your fuck doll" thing sounds pretty hot, at least to a point. But over time, I could imagine the bed starting to feel a little lonely. Also, I would definitely miss eating pussy, which I have no problem reconciling with traditional caveman masculinity - one deep whiff of a sweet smelling pussy, and I have to restrain myself from snarling and grunting and beating my chest.
Posted by seandr on April 15, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
seandr 128
@nocutename: Hilarious!
Posted by seandr on April 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
@127--As per EricaP and nocutename above, "selfish lover" actually means "generous, passionate, receptive, communicative and thoughtful." That's where I was getting confused. It does not mean "self-absorbed and entitled" after all. Who knew?
Posted by LateBloomer on April 15, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Mr Fortunate - It's the Jesuits. They can "prove" that Hate = Love five times faster than Mr Orwell.
Posted by vennominon on April 15, 2013 at 4:12 PM · Report this
Ms Cute - Now I'm getting a new idea for a Sartre Award.
Posted by vennominon on April 15, 2013 at 4:14 PM · Report this
Allow me to sum up the mythcommunication page mentioned in 116.

He: You want to have sex?
She: Uh, I'm awfully tired.
He: If you don't, you'll hurt my feelings.
She: Oh dear, I wouldn't want that, and, uh, I would feel terrible if you thought I was rude.

(They have sex.)

She: He raped me!
(1:4 college women are raped.)
He: (85% of the rapists don't know they've done it.)

Posted by Crinoline on April 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM · Report this
mydriasis 133

I do know how to porn star it up in a sense when I want to, but when I get up in the morning I put effort into making myself look how I want to look, not how I think "men" want me to look. If I decided to do fake nails or heavy makeup or whatever, sure, there's guys who might look at me who don't look at me now, but there's guys who would stop looking at me, who do look at me now.

How is that a win?

I'd be losing out on guys who like me the way I like me/the way I am, and gain guys who like some faked out version of me that I don't even like.

Also I think there's a big difference between changing superficial aspects of your appearance and faking personality traits. Don't you?

Now on to the rest of the questions...

Honest answer? How assertive a guy is is only round three important. If I'm already at the point where I'm willing to go down on a guy he's already

1. Very attractive
2. Excellent at fooling around thus far

If a guy is already those two things, I won't care so much if he's not macho-assertive. Although it's certainly the cherry on top if he is and if he's REALLY "yes means yes/consenty" then I'll probably tell him to grow a pair stat.

So to answer your more direct question, it's a gamble... sometimes there's no avoiding that. You could certainly ask, no one's ever asked me, they've either done it or not done it. If a guy ever attempts something I don't like, I quickly and directly say it's off the table (cunnilingus) but there's no ball-punching. If a guy did ask me permission... yes, that would ruin the 'aura' but I'd probably just laugh and say it's cool. Again, this is assuming that the guy is a stunner (since he made it through rules one and two) which would distract from the mother-may-I nature of asking permission.

As for expressing agency, sure, I do, it's just that it's typically not in a conflicting direction from what my partner wants. I don't want it because he wants it (although I'm stoked that he does) I just do want it. I think that's the best way to answer that.
Posted by mydriasis on April 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM · Report this
@129, did you read Dan's answer to BIB? Dan isn't arguing (and neither am I) that people should be "self-absorbed and entitled." Dan's saying that often it helps if people go for what they want, and it will be hotter than if both sex partners are just trying to find out what the other person wants.

There's a spectrum saying "What do you want for dinner", through "Let's go out for Italian", to "fuck you; I'm going for Italian." Dan's saying that BIB should encourage her partner to aim for the middle position.
Posted by EricaP on April 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM · Report this
Crinoline@132: I completely disagree. I think your summing up is practically opposite of what the article actually says.
Posted by Eirene on April 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM · Report this
nocutename 136
@129: "Selfish" can of course mean self-absorbed and entitled. It can also mean that whatever you're doing in bed is largely driven by your own interests. My definition of selfish sex relies heavily on what I call symbiotic sex, and what I've heard referred to as a feedback loop. It means that the knowledge that you are turning your partner on makes you more aroused. That expression of increased arousal is itself very arousing to your partner, who in turn becomes more turned on. And so on.

For me, the way that my partner can indicate his arousal is by acting as though whatever he's doing, even if the act is something that I like or that feels good, is being done primarily for his own sake, to satisfy his own desire. This is because I arouse his desire. Seandr does a very good job of capturing this in his post at 127, when he talked about his love of cunnilingus, which he does for his sake at least as much as for the sake of his partner. When I have had partners who treated that activity as though it was something they wanted to do for themselves, I enjoy it much more than when I've been with men who do it because they want to please me, no matter how much that desire to please me is genuine (I'm not even going to address a partner who clearly doesn't like the act but feels he "must" go through with it, which is a huge turn off).

Now maybe you would enjoy a blow job no matter how enthusiastically or not it was performed; maybe it wouldn't matter to you whatsoever how much your partner was enjoying herself: so long as you had the physical sensation, that's good enough. But I'm willing to bet that you would find the whole experience more fun, more of a turn-on, if you had the distinct feeling that your partner was doing it not so much to pleasure you (though that was a happy collateral result), but because there was nothing else she'd rather be doing at that very moment.

THAT's what I mean when I talk about selfish sex.
Posted by nocutename on April 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM · Report this
nocutename 137
Mr. Ven: A Sartre award a la "No Exit," or am I misreading you again?
Posted by nocutename on April 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM · Report this
nocutename 138
LateBloomer, to elaborate on EricaP's analogy, there's an even bigger difference.

1): "Honey, what do you want for dinner? Do you want Thai? Burgers? Indian? What do I want?--no, it doesn't matter what I want. Just tell me what to eat and that's what I'll have. Oh. Sushi. No, no, sushi's fine. No, really. Well, it's just that we had it last night and last week, and I kind of was thinking of Mexican food, but whatever you want. You like that, right? Right? I mean, remember I have that allergy? It's okay, I'll just take an antihistamine."

I don't care how much you like that kind of food--it wouldn't be a very enjoyable experience.

2): "Let's get Italian food, okay?

I hadn't necessarily been thinking about Italian food, but sure, why not? I like it.

3): "I'm going to take you to my favorite French restaurant. They have a cassoulet that you'll love. "

Hmm . . . I'd never thought about cassoulet, but your enthusiasm is infectious. I look forward to trying it.

4): "I don't give a hoot that you hate seafood. That's what I feel like having. It makes you break out in hives? Who cares! I'm in the mood for crab. Deal with it."

That's not what I'm talking about. That is indeed, a selfish jerk.
Posted by nocutename on April 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM · Report this
Your problem, BIB, is not that you're bored - it's that you're spoiled.

Guys with all the positive qualities you attribute to your bf, rare birds, my friend.
Posted by TheOtherWoman on April 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM · Report this
@nocute and @EricaP I appreciate your heroic patience. I get it, I do. I hope you're not annoyed that I don't actually have a horse in this race since I don't date. But I have a soft spot for the hapless, earnest, well-meaning types like BIB's boyfriend, and I was trying to come at things from his point of view.

I still think "be selfish" is a misleading, incomplete, potentially dangerous piece of advice to give to the wrong person, so I'm glad you took the time to spell out what it really means.

(To answer your question EricaP, yes I did read it, and I notice that Dan actually qualifies the term "selfish": "Be a little more selfish," says Dan. Some of the other comments were not quite as nuanced, which is what made me jump in.)

Mydriasis--Learning how to dress better, or to talk with enthusiasm and use eye contact, pursuing an interest, flirting more confidently, hitting the gym, finding out what makes a good lover.... That's not being superficial or fake or engineering an identity, that's figuring out how to become a better, more attractive person. And it's done by asking questions and getting advice, and not assuming you're a special pumpkin just the way you are. This is the reality for most of us out there, do I assume you've never had trouble finding a date and are a special pumpkin just the way you are?
Posted by LateBloomer on April 15, 2013 at 11:58 PM · Report this
seandr 141
@LateBloomer: Hot chicks don't have to do anything to attract men besides show up. I suppose you could call them special pumpkins, but I see them more likely trust funders - working for anything is entirely optional because they can always just coast on their inheritance.

As for guys, if you're an extrovert and not afraid of rejection, you'll do fine, probably even bang a few women who are out of your league. If you're an introvert and haven't trained yourself to act like an extrovert around women you are interested in, best you can hope for is relationships with women who have had some reason to get to know you, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

If you get your style together and develop some pecs and biceps, you'll definitely see more interest from women, but you still need game if things are to go beyond the flirting stage. Well, usually - some women don't mind taking the lead once they have it in their head they want to fuck a guy.
Posted by seandr on April 16, 2013 at 3:02 AM · Report this
seandr 142
@mydriasis: Also I think there's a big difference between changing superficial aspects of your appearance and faking personality traits. Don't you?

Yes. I once considered breast implants to be a horrible, mendacious way to ruin a nice pair of tits, but thanks to a couple of great lap dances, I've become more open-minded about them.

But I see absolutely nothing wrong with a smart, funny, charming man who suffers from shyness learning strategies to make his smartness, humor, and charm more readily evident to new women he meets. He's simply learning to be his real, genuine self in situations where anxiety might otherwise shut that down. In that sense, it's the opposite of being fake.
Posted by seandr on April 16, 2013 at 3:23 AM · Report this
mydriasis 143

I think you're talking about two different things.

If someone has legit social anxiety I do suggest they actually work on solving their problem, but that's an actual positive change, not a mask.

If someone is really a shy, considerate person but he thinks women are attracted to assertive alpha types so he acts like that instead. The fact is that "women" aren't attracted to just one thing. Yes, he may be more attractive to women like me, but when does the act end? Meanwhile some other girl, who would have liked him the way he is, is thinking "man, what a

There is no universal sperm donor :p

If someone doesn't have enough self worth to be swayed by "do you really want someone to like you for something your not?" maybe they'll be swayed by "do you really want to miss out on the real thing for the fake thing?"

I have an atrocious personality, but I've still managed to find people who like me for who I am. A shy, considerate guy may not have panties thrown at him or sign any breasts, but there are plenty of women who will find him very attractive for who he is.
Posted by mydriasis on April 16, 2013 at 5:20 AM · Report this
Ms Cute - Well spotted.

I'd use cassoulet as something one made for someone, recalling Simon Foster and the joy in the preparation. But that's just a small expansion of your post, not a disagreement.
Posted by vennominon on April 16, 2013 at 6:42 AM · Report this
HellboundAlleee 145
The Church has got it wrong before, so why shouldn't it be wrong now? --says anyone, about absolutely every subject the bible touches on, including gays, women, morality, and especially the origin of the universe.

So why not apply that skepticism to the existence of God?
Posted by HellboundAlleee on April 16, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
HellboundAlleee 146
I really don't understand why one needs to "struggle" with the bible in order to "rediscover one's roots."

We all come from pain and suffering. We don't have to like the damn scripture. It's one book out of many. We think we have some sort of obligation to this book because it's old. We think we have the same obligation to our heritage because it's old and we're supposed to. Just because a GGG grandfather that you share with several hundred other people read something and liked it doesn't mean that you have an obligation towards it. Do you feel obligated towards Little Red Riding Hood? Your "heritage" is probably more closely connected with that story, by far, than anything in the bible. It hasn't had enough time to be changed as much as Jewish and Christian biblical scripture has.

No one has ever given me a reason, that does not beg the question, that I shouldn't chuck out the bible. There's plenty of books I could obey or struggle with if I wanted to, but since morality is evolutionarily intuitive, I can use my own mind, thank you very much.
Posted by HellboundAlleee on April 16, 2013 at 8:58 AM · Report this
135- It's starting to look like interpretations of the mythcommunication page are as numerous as those of the Bible. All I'm seeing is a bunch of scientific sounding focus groups and non-sequitors that are presented as conclusions.

At one time, a woman needed to show evidence of that she'd resisted for a man to be accused of rape. If he held a gun to her head and she gave in rather than die, that was evidence that she wanted it. Because she had no bruises, or even if it was shown that he had no bruises, she was called the slut, and rapists walked free. That was a bad state of affairs, and I'm glad they're over. (At least in the west. I get the idea our sisters in many parts of the world still live under that horror.)

Next: She has sex with him because he threatens her, blackmails her, doesn't have the weapon on him but promises to use it at a later time-- Still rape.

Next: She has sex with him because she has real reason to fear him even if the threat isn't spelled out. Still rape.

But now we've got a state of affairs where she's afraid if she doesn't have sex with him she'll hurt his feelings? She doesn't say no because she's trying to soften the blow for him? He doesn't even have to promise that he'll tell his friends that she's a tease, but she does it because she's afraid she'll feel like a charlie? This is what the webpage says.

The non-sequitor is that we've got a bunch of guys in a focus group bragging that if they hear a woman say no, they'll force her. From this, we conclude that a woman doesn't even have to make an effort to get out of the bed or car, she doesn't even have to take steps in the direction of running from her attacker. She expresses a little reticence about seeing him, reticence in the form of never even telling him that she doesn't want to, never says no, never tries to extricate himself from a sexual situation she doesn't want, acquiesces, and it's still rape! Give me a break.

Then the writers say that they don't know what the answer is except to change the culture. Perhaps the way to change the culture is to start with telling women to say and to TAKE ACTION IN THE FORM OF GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE WHEN THEY FEEL FORCED. If a man asks her out or asks to have sex with her a hundred times, and all the while she's giving vague answers because she doesn't want to be a prat, he's not bullying. If she says no in a weak way a few times, then gives in, that's not rape.

This is the sort of thing that gives feminists a bad name. No wonder there are folks out there who think we're stupid.
Posted by Crinoline on April 16, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
@86 i have to say hunter78 nailed it.
Posted by ellarosa on April 16, 2013 at 10:17 AM · Report this
@147 "If a man asks her out or asks to have sex with her a hundred times," and she hasn't smiled and said yes once -- then he's ignoring her obvious disinterest and, yes, he's bullying/harassing her. I wouldn't say that if you changed a hundred to three.

If a woman (or man) isn't enthusiastically participating, her partner should stop holding her down. Encourage her to get on top. Men who don't give her a chance to get up in those circumstances are guilty of being assholes. But I'll agree with you, Crinoline, that they may not be criminally guilty of rape.

I just see you spending a lot more of your energy telling women it's their job to "GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE" rather than telling men it's their job not to hold her down if she does't seem enthusiastic.
Posted by EricaP on April 16, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
@149 EricaP

I prefer the simple and unequivocal "GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME."

That works everytime.
Posted by albeit on April 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM · Report this
"But now we've got a state of affairs where she's afraid if she doesn't have sex with him she'll hurt his feelings? She doesn't say no because she's trying to soften the blow for him?"

As far as I can see, you're misreading the plain sense of the words on that page. I don't really know what to say.

"Long story short: in conversation, “no” is disfavored, and people [NOTE: THIS SAYS "PEOPLE" ON PURPOSE -- NOT JUST WOMEN -- AND "CONVERSATION" -- NOT JUST IN SEXUAL CONTEXTS] try to say no in ways that soften the rejection, often avoiding the word at all. People issue rejections in softened language, and people hear rejections in softened language, and the notion that anything but a clear “no” can’t be understood is just nonsense. First, the notion that rape results from miscommunication is just wrong. Rape results from a refusal to heed, rather than an inability to understand, a rejection."

It was specifically mentioned later that the men who were interviewed ALSO reported using indirect language (no direct "no") when turning down sex.
Posted by Eirene on April 16, 2013 at 6:18 PM · Report this
We have a boy who is gay and believes that God loves fags, a boy who is gay and sort of believes that God hates fags, a few miscellaneous friends who believe that God hates fags, and a bishop who believes that God loves fags. Not just that--we have billions of different people who not only believe vehemently that God loves or hates fags, but who believe vehemently all kinds of random stuff. Why do they believe this stuff? Either because they've been brainwashed, or because they WANT TO believe this stuff and their religions let them believe whatever tripe they want to. "The Church has gotten things wrong before" is bollocks. The Bible _does_ condemn gays, it _does_ say that God loves gays (and also hates them), it condemns slavery, it endorses slavery, it sure as hell endorses polygamy and stoning your disobedient children to death and whatnot. The Qur'an endorses both exemplary hospitality to everyone and forced conversion of infidels, depending on which bits you're reading. Etc.

So why not ask God what He thinks? Lots of people do, and they get lots of different answers, and they're all not only different but completely incompatible. If God is actually answering, then He's more than a little undecided Himself.

Nobody has ever figured out a way of establishing what God really thinks--if someone had, then we'd all ask Him, get the same answer, and there would be no more religious debate. As it is, most religions can be used to justify most any position you care to take.

Therefore, trying to figure anything out with the aid of religion is moronic.

Posted by something on April 21, 2013 at 11:03 AM · Report this

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