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Porn Again

September 17, 2009

My boyfriend and I have been living together for a year. He knows I am an insecure person when it comes to my body. I'm not overweight, I've been told my whole life how good-looking I am, and my boyfriend tells me he loves my body. We have an active sex life. Here is my problem: I get upset when he looks at porn. I never had a problem with porn until my previous boyfriend (he preferred porn to sex). I wish I could get over this. My boyfriend knows I would love to share pornography together, but he just does it in private.

I suppose I got upset initially because my boyfriend told me on several occasions that he didn't need to look at porn while he was in a relationship, and I believed him. I later saw on our computer that this wasn't true, and he kept denying it until we had an argument. It bothers me that he felt like he had to lie about it.

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated to help me get over this.

Feeling Fucking Frustrated

P.S. When I'm alone and I look at the porn my boyfriend watches on the computer, it does turn me on a little and I masturbate thinking about him getting off to it. But I feel bad after I'm done. WTF?

The usual porn de la concorde—the only porn compromise that works—goes like this: He pretends not to look at porn, out of consideration for your feelings, and you pretend to believe him, out of consideration for his. And I would stick that advice on a pike and parade it under your window if it weren't for that amazing little postscript: You're turned on when you check out the porn your boyfriend's been watching, and—this is a very important detail—you masturbate not so much to the porn itself but to the idea that this porn is getting your boyfriend off when you're not around.

WTF? This the fuck: Your erotic imagination has been hard at work, FFF, breaking down your sexual fears and insecurities—about your looks, about porn, about your douchebag ex-boyfriend—and reconstructing them as a fetish. Congratulations, FFF, you've got a kink. It's not an uncommon response: Sometimes our subconscious mind takes the lemons of our sexual insecurities and turns them into delicious bonerade. So what do you do now? You should begin to explore and cultivate—slowly, carefully, thoughtfully—your subconscious mind's efforts to eroticize your boyfriend's porn habits and your own insecurities. Here's how:

He may never want to look at porn with you—he's obviously self-conscious about it, which is why he lied (maybe he had a bad experience with an ex who freaked out about his porn-viewing habits that left him feeling insecure?)—but you've already proven that you two don't have to watch porn together for both of you to get something out of it. He should continue to get off watching porn alone but then intentionally leave the clips for you, perhaps in a dedicated folder. You should look at those clips—alone—and get off watching the porn he watched and tormenting yourself—carefully—with mental images of him getting off to this stuff. Delete the clips you've looked at so that he knows you're getting off, too, and knows to refill your clips folder.

You can turn this problem that you're having with your boyfriend—he's looking at porn, you're masturbating about it—into a game you're playing with your boyfriend. That will give your insecurities an erotic payoff—and that payoff could alleviate or eliminate those bad feelings.


I have been in a stable poly relationship for 20 years. A good friend of mine knows this but rejects poly as a lifestyle choice for himself. He is in a "monogamous" relationship now. But he is willing to cheat on his girlfriend—with me if I wanted, but I'm not keen. My question is this: Why would someone pick cheating when they know about open or poly relationships? I don't understand. I don't see the logic in it.

Honest Open Poly Eros

Isn't it obvious? Your friend wants to have sex with other people, HOPE, but he doesn't want his girlfriend having sex with other people. What I don't understand is why an honest poly can be friendly with a dishonest cheater. That's like an out gay person being friends with a tormented closet case—where's the logic in that?

And this has nothing to do with your question, HOPE, but I've got a little space to kill: The Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida, made the news last week when its pastor replaced the megachurch's 10 Pepsi vending machines with 10 Coke machines. The pastor felt that Pepsi was far too supportive of—can you guess?—"the gay lifestyle."

What I found most remarkable about this story wasn't the stupidity—more on that in a moment—but the fact that a single church in Florida has 10 soda-pop vending machines. Ten! You would think the good Christians at Bell Shoals could make it through an hour or two on a Sunday without a cold can of corn syrup.

And psst... Bell Shoals? Coke supports gay rights, too. Your best gay-hatin' soda-pop option may be ZamZam Cola. It was a subsidiary of Pepsi, true, but that was before the Islamic Revolution. Made in Iran, ZamZam Cola is the most popular soft drink in Saudi Arabia, and I'm guessing the good folks at ZamZam don't like the gays any more than you do. But if the "soft drink of the Hajj" doesn't appeal to you, Bell Shoals, how about asking your parishioners to go without soda pop for an hour a week?


I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for the last five years, and we moved in together this past year. Our sex life is not too active and it's an issue we've discussed numerous times. This has caused my self-esteem to plummet. And this aspect of our problem has made me very resentful: We're very into D/s play and discovered our kinky interests early on. In fact, any time I bend him over and spank him or add a bit of bondage, our sex life picks right up again. I resent the fact that this is the only way I can get him interested. Is it possible that he's only interested in kinky sex? Does it mean that good old-fashioned vanilla is out of the question?

I enjoy kink just as much as he does, but every once in a while I just want to be fucked. He's actually had difficulty staying hard before if we're "just" having missionary.

He Only Likes It Kinky

You have leverage here, HOLIK, use it.

The next time you wanna get fucked good and vanilla, HOLIK, whisper in the boyfriend's ear that you are so gonna tie him up and beat his ass... tomorrow night. Then tell him if he wants that—and tell him that you know he wants it because he's a dirty little pervert—he's going to have to fuck you right now, and fuck you hard, and fuck you the way you wanna be fucked. Then once he's fucking you, HOLIK, whisper something vaguely threatening in his ear once in a while—something about the beating he's earning with his good vanilla behavior—and he won't have any trouble staying hard.


mail@savagelove.net

 

Comments (98) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Alana 1
Great column and early! :D Always fun to learn about a new kink.
Posted by Alana on September 15, 2009 at 7:50 PM · Report this
O my Captain 2
Excellent advice to HOLIK. That's the way to turn him on and keep him pumping away!
Posted by O my Captain on September 15, 2009 at 7:57 PM · Report this
3
Oh Dan, I love you and your advice to HOLIK. Solid.
Posted by deleanore on September 15, 2009 at 8:17 PM · Report this
4
The first response seems a bit complex. Wouldn't it perhaps be better for the lady to act as a voyeur, watching her boyfriend masturbate to porn? I would think that would be easier, and more of a couple thing to do.
Love the advice on the last letter.
Posted by Locke on September 15, 2009 at 8:22 PM · Report this
5
Best Quality Stuff, and your writing voice has exactly the rhythm of your speaking voice when you're having a good time talking, so Best In Form as well.
Carry on as you were.
Posted by Sifu http://www.sifumark.com on September 15, 2009 at 8:29 PM · Report this
6
Now this is just some good, honest, practical advice.
Posted by blah on September 15, 2009 at 8:47 PM · Report this
xoxoljl 7
Once again... great advice to one and all. Dan you're awesome and thanks for this week's especially. I'll be seeing my guy this weekend and we are long overdue for some good ole' fashioned, kinky, and sometimes vanilla flavored fucking... xoxo
Posted by xoxoljl on September 15, 2009 at 8:52 PM · Report this
8
the best advice was to the folks at Bell Shoals. Zam Zam Cola! Dan, you really are a master of irony,
Posted by pinkydee on September 15, 2009 at 9:03 PM · Report this
9
Dan: 'The Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida, made the news last week when its pastor replaced the megachurch's 10 Pepsi vending machines with 10 Coke machines. The pastor felt that Pepsi was far too supportive of—can you guess?—"the gay lifestyle."'

Can you imagine the pastor's horror at a vending machine dispensing Peñíscola? OK, it's a fortified seaport in Spain, not a soft drink, but it would be a great name for a gay beverage.
Posted by Roma on September 15, 2009 at 9:09 PM · Report this
10
"Your erotic imagination has been hard at work, FFF, breaking down your sexual fears and insecurities—about your looks, about porn, about your douchebag ex-boyfriend—and reconstructing them as a fetish. Congratulations, FFF, you've got a kink. It's not an uncommon response: Sometimes our subconscious mind takes the lemons of our sexual insecurities and turns them into delicious bonerade."

This is some gorgeous writing and insight here. And definitely got me thinking about the origins of my own kink, which I never really did before - although I did learn to accept it, partly because of your column. Bra-effing-vo, Dan.
Posted by nom de plume on September 15, 2009 at 9:11 PM · Report this
11
Dan said bonerade.....
Posted by Mean Gene on September 15, 2009 at 9:40 PM · Report this
12
thanks for another enlightening column!
Posted by stella d'oro on September 15, 2009 at 9:52 PM · Report this
kim in portland 13
Nice work.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 15, 2009 at 9:59 PM · Report this
14
I had ZamZam cola when I was in Iran. It is a very nice beverage. Not sure if we need to recruit it into our culture war.
Posted by Fred on September 15, 2009 at 10:42 PM · Report this
15
@HOPE: Your friend is an asshole. He's taking the advantages of polyamory, with none of the 'downsides': those downsides being things like honesty and fairness. Dan's right: it's a double-standard. He wants to sleep around, his girlfriend isn't allowed to.

I'm afraid polyamory isn't a good alternative for this guy. Polyamory is about equality and communication, and that seems like it would be a deal-breaker for this guy. In fact, I think the best way to deal with this is the solution I'm sure his girlfriend would come up with, if she knew.

Do us all a favour, and tell her.
Posted by Rophuine on September 15, 2009 at 11:13 PM · Report this
16
Absolutely brilliant, Dan: great writing and solid advice. Although FFF and his/her boyfriend might also benefit from some openness and honesty--it sets off warning bells in my mind that FFF's partner repeatedly tried to hide and lie about watching porn, not about the porn itself but about the level and quality of communication in the relationship in general.

Otherwise, fantastic advice. And yeah, HOPE's friend is a twat.
Posted by Peri on September 15, 2009 at 11:30 PM · Report this
17
#4..."The first response seems a bit complex. Wouldn't it perhaps be better for the lady to act as a voyeur, watching her boyfriend masturbate to porn?"

Her man can't do that yet, he's only comfortable jacking off to porn in private...he can't even admit THAT yet! But, if she follows Dan's sage advice, I'll bet there's a boatload of voyeurism, and even some bust-down-the-door "CAUGHT YA!" scenarios in their future! What fun!
Posted by portland scribe on September 16, 2009 at 12:11 AM · Report this
SRJ 18
This column is precious to me. It has been as educational as any course I took back in the college days. Even though the information is, for me, only theoretical (me being pretty much celibate), it has expanded my understanding and acceptance of a wide range of sexual and personal behaviors and preferences. My deepest thanks to Dan for his knowledge and compassionate wisdom.
Posted by SRJ on September 16, 2009 at 3:57 AM · Report this
Mike in MO 19
your advice to FFF: amazing.
Posted by Mike in MO on September 16, 2009 at 5:44 AM · Report this
20
I can completely relate to FFF in the fact that something that was traumatic and hurtful in a past relationship has become somewhat of a kink for me in my current one. Two exes of mine cheated on me more than once, I am an attractive girl and have never had trouble getting guys or even had any insecurities in that department, but after the cheating I felt like I wasn't pretty enough or good enough. I knew it wasn't the sex because I have a VERY high libido. After being in an amazing, stable, trusting relationship for 2 years I recently figured out that when I think about him kissing another girl, or lightly fooling around with someone else I get SO WET! I didn't understand this until I just read Dan's answer to FFF. It makes sense now. Thanks DAN
Posted by karma137 on September 16, 2009 at 6:00 AM · Report this
21
About the Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida - it's also sacrilege to drink Pop (any kind) in the morning! These people have either just had breakfast or will have it after mass - POP is STRICTLY a PM drink!
Posted by darchu on September 16, 2009 at 6:36 AM · Report this
22
@4: Too direct. Dan's idea eases them into doing it together. FFF says right in her letter that her boyfriend feels self-conscious about doing it together, and she herself has negative feelings.

Love the advice to FFF, by the way, Dan. The stuff for HOLIK is great too, but your work-around for FFF shows you spent the effort to come up with something sensitive to FFF's situation. Every week, I think it's great work, but ones like these shine.
Posted by Gloria on September 16, 2009 at 7:05 AM · Report this
23
"You would think the good Christians at Bell Shoals could make it through an hour or two on a Sunday without a cold can of corn syrup."

I'm guessing a church this fanatical is full of plenty of people who are there for far more than an hour or two a week.
Posted by laurelgardner http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5877570 on September 16, 2009 at 7:06 AM · Report this
gttim 24
And HOLIK, I would suggest make him clean the house, massage your feet and then have mind blowing vanilla sex for him to earn the beating the next night. You'll have less work to do yourself, and he will get off on it.
Posted by gttim on September 16, 2009 at 7:22 AM · Report this
25
Dan, you jumped to conclusions in the poly piece. You blatantly assumed that the reason that he didn't want a poly relationship was because he didn't want his girlfriend to hook up with other people. It could just as easily be that he wants a poly relationship, but the girl he loves does not. Of course, this doesn't make him much less of a scumbag. But, it is something you should have considered.
Posted by nobody on September 16, 2009 at 7:35 AM · Report this
26
Very clever and insightful advice to FFF. In a word, lucid.
Posted by erato on September 16, 2009 at 7:54 AM · Report this
27
In live in Tampa (right next to Brandon). The church you're talking about is one of those big-ass Baptist churches that has its own K-12 school.

The kids need to have their caffeine. You don't want them to end up as Mormons, now, do you?
Posted by PMC on September 16, 2009 at 7:55 AM · Report this
28
So, people with different attitudes about sex can't even be FRIENDS?
Posted by Melissa_02 on September 16, 2009 at 8:01 AM · Report this
29
I would love for FFF and HOLIK to report back on this advice... I want to know what happens!
Posted by truffulatuft on September 16, 2009 at 8:09 AM · Report this
kitschnsync 30
Delicious bonerade. :)
Posted by kitschnsync on September 16, 2009 at 8:52 AM · Report this
31
I'm so thankful the Canadian Department of National Defense hasn't blocked Savage Love yet, I wouldn't have anything interesting during Wednesday lunches...apparently Mapquest is much too threatening. Thanks for helping to keep a Government girl kinky Dan
Posted by Working for the man on September 16, 2009 at 8:54 AM · Report this
32
Hey #25, don't lecture Dan when you clearly didn't read the letter..."A good friend of mine knows this but rejects poly as a lifestyle choice for himself"

This is pretty clear no? Also, friends having different opinions on sex is one thing, but questioning a friend's attitudes on loyalty and honesty is another? Loyalty and honesty are usually pretty important to have in friendships, unless you have some sort of fetish for being effed over...
Posted by blondesnotbombs on September 16, 2009 at 9:16 AM · Report this
33
You are awesome Dan! Great, positive, advice! Turning those potentially relationship-breaking problems into relationship-building solutions was a great read.

Plus? 10 soda machines? Wonder what the parishioners average weight is and what the average dental bill is.
Posted by m3498 on September 16, 2009 at 10:02 AM · Report this
34
"Bonerade" made my day. I could use a nice tall glass of Bonerade.

I think this is marketable- "An energy shot for the little head!"
Posted by Rhabdoviridae on September 16, 2009 at 11:50 AM · Report this
35
"Isn't it obvious? Your friend wants to have sex with other people, HOPE, but he doesn't want his girlfriend having sex with other people."

Or she doesn't want ANY sex and he's, looking to correct or fill the only shortcoming in his relationship.

Okay, that's probably NOT it with him, but it is with many, many others. And I won't mention any names. (Sigh)
Posted by Greyman on September 16, 2009 at 12:05 PM · Report this
36
The advice to HOLIK is excellent--sometimes it doesn't take too much kink to filthy something up. I have a very hard time getting off from oral, but as long as I run my totally filthy degradation scenes in my head (or even better, watch violent, degrading porn) while my boyfriend's going down on me, I get great orgasms and he gets his daily dose of pussy-eating. Without adding a violent, kinky aspect I'd be the one saying, "Um, honey, are you done down there? Can you get up here and slap me around a little?"
Posted by AnathemaT on September 16, 2009 at 1:07 PM · Report this
37
That fellow HOPE is hanging out with seems to think "polyamorous" implies "promiscuous", which is anything but the truth. Someone who sleeps with a new person from the bar each weekend is promiscuous but not poly, while someone who sleeps with a few people in the context of deep relationships is poly but not promiscuous.
Posted by Thexalon on September 16, 2009 at 3:27 PM · Report this
38
A++
On the first and last question, solid 10s. Second was good too, but minus a point for recycling a post from Slog. You really do have a gift for this Dan. Thank you for Savage Love.
Posted by olechka on September 16, 2009 at 3:38 PM · Report this
39
@35: If she didn't want ANY (or nearly enough) sex, there are two responsible options for him: go poly/open, or DTMFA. Running around behind her back is still not ok. I know Dan sometimes says "sure, go cheat", but this is usually in relationships where they won't DTMFA (kids, whatever), aren't getting any, and have tried getting the SO to agree to opening things.

HOPE says 'girlfriend' not 'partner' or 'wife', so DTMFA is probably very on the cards. The moron won't accept that poly would be an option for him. He just wants to cheat.

So we're back to "he's a controlling asshole who wants to sleep around, but won't let his girlfriend".
Posted by Rophuine on September 16, 2009 at 3:45 PM · Report this
40
Dan love your column and love your podcast. Your advice to HOLIK is right on. And love what you said about the "porn de la concorde". Know way to many chicks that think their hubbys NEVER look at porn. Uh, yeah, right. You rock, as usual.
Posted by Kathy in MN on September 16, 2009 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Bald Celeb Outing 41
maybe you should try talking to your bf about porn and not just fighting about it. sometimes an open and honest conversation on BOTH ends does the trick.
Posted by Bald Celeb Outing http://baldouting.blogspot.com on September 16, 2009 at 8:22 PM · Report this
42
Porn culture is yet another branch of the imperialistic, colonizing, "civilized" machine dominating the planet. Until we start acting like women, all other people, minerals, plants, animals, water, air... are NOT commodities to be exploited and bought and sold, THEY NEVER WILL BE.

So, FFF, you got a problem with porn? Great. Stick to your guns and start holding men to a higher standard. Tell them you want to be with someone who loves women and loves you, and that it's simply not possible to do that AND support an industry that reduces them to objects.
Posted by maria-sofia on September 16, 2009 at 9:29 PM · Report this
43
@42

You are to come extent reduced to an object in the eyes of your sex partner every time you fuck. I guess that means no more sex ever for you. Wake up, the "industry" is utterly different from what it used to be. Or are you one of those women who thinks that porn actresses/all sex workers have no abilities to think for themselves and act under their own agency? In that case, you are worse than any male (even I dare say a misogynist male) who might be perusing that porn. Jesus, lady, this isn't the 70's. Each woman can make her own decisions.
Posted by olechka on September 16, 2009 at 11:38 PM · Report this
Rev.Smith 44
Where's the bitchy bitter gaymarriagenowOrnosexadvicecolumnforYouComebackOneYear curmugeony queen we've seen so much of this summer?

Many thanks to whoever got Dan laid this week.

or...

Dear Faggot:

Great writing.

Yours,
F.A.N.
Posted by Rev.Smith on September 16, 2009 at 11:44 PM · Report this
xjuan 45
Pardon my ignorance (and Google's and Merriam-Webster's) but, what the FFF is bonerade?

As far as the advice is concerned, prety solid, especially for HOLIK. Keep up the good work (and the sporadic difficult words).
Posted by xjuan on September 17, 2009 at 12:38 AM · Report this
46
My partner of 5 years just left me and our 3 year old daughter for another woman, and in my devastation: I get off, thinking about her getting off, with him!! Kinkorama!

Dear HOLIK

Along with Dan's advice, I would keep a weather eye out as cautionary; your boyfriend's behavior is certainly holding back on intimacy with you, and this could be a sign of some deeper mistrust. Good Luck.
Posted by HensOnTheHatStand on September 17, 2009 at 4:17 AM · Report this
47
"Made in Iran, ZamZam Cola is the most popular soft drink in Saudi Arabia,"

Actually, Pepsi is the most popular soft drink in Saudi Arabia. And there's lots of gay action there, too.
Posted by olegonzo on September 17, 2009 at 5:45 AM · Report this
48
I think some of the advice this week may be backwards.
If the first girl gets turned on watching the porn her bf watched, why is she going to make him follow all these rules so that he knows that his habits are being watched by her? That's probably the next best or worst thing to him as watching together. She should continue watching his porn, but leave some clues on the computer so that he knows she's been watching too, and also leaving clues that it turns her on and she's been jacking off too (like leaving a vibrator or dildo near the computer). Or doing things with him that might resemble stuff they've watched, or repeating the dirty talk she hears during their sex. Make it more of a cat and mouse game instead of a "here are my rules" game. Maybe he won't catch on, maybe he'll catch on but not let on that he knows because he likes the arrangement, but they're still both getting off, and no one needs to feel bad (unless they get off on feeling bad). Dan's way might work, but just as likely he'll start getting smarter about covering his tracks.

Second, those are Baptists at church, not Catholics with their 40 to 60 minute Masses that may or may not constitute their entire religious observance for the week (sometimes it's only for Xmas and Easter that they go). Church is often an all day thing for the Prots on Sunday, esp for the fundamentalists, and they have lots of other crap and activities they do during the week, like choir practice and youth activities for their kids. It's more of a cult for people who need all that emotional support and community with their worship (fellowship? is that the word), even if they don't worship secondary deities like the Virgin and saints. And they don't drink wine, so they needs they co'cola.

And for the last lady, she might also have got backwards advice from Dan. If I was her, I'd dress provocatively or do arousing things and then refuse sex. If/when the bf responds, I'd tell him I'm too tired or not in the mood that night, and if he continues to bother me with his pervy advances/affection I'm gonna beat his ass and whatnot the next night when I might have the energy. It might or might not work, but the kind of bargain Dan is proposing is just like when women try to bribe their kids into doing stuff they should do anyway. It aint gonna work. The kids end up totally bratty and out of control, because they know they are the ones in control and the brattier they are, the more they can get out of the bribes. I don't think this bf wants to be in control. She doesn't even have to make it a condition in advance (that might not even work if he's not usually interested in vanilla sex). Next time she's beating his ass, she should tell him she's punishing him because she caught him looking at her ass or tits that day, or during the previous week, or for any sort of vanilla affection he might have offered, even if it wasn't much or meant in a sexual way when he did it. Or if she is able to get some vanilla sex out of him, punish him the next time for doing it badly (even if it was good or decent), or just for having the presumption that a dirty lowlife like him can initiate sex without consequences. Or start beating him harder so that he needs more time between sessions to recover (physically or just to get the nerve up again), but in between tell him during vanilla sex that he's gonna pay for that v. sex eventually when his wormy cock and balls are ready for abuse again. Something along those lines.
More...
Posted by jssmbdy on September 17, 2009 at 7:49 AM · Report this
49
I feel like Dan is only dealing with half of FFF's problem. Yeah, her brain might have turned her insecurities--combined with her general sexuality--into a kink. But I feel like there are a couple of other things going on there. I don't think that the approach he laid out is going to make her feel better. Institutionalizing something in the relationship that makes her feel crap isn't going to make her stop feeling crap. I *personally* feel that if I were in that situation that I would need to be more open with the boyfriend about the porn thing. There's a relationship issue that needs to be worked through if they're both going to feel secure. They're past the point of Dan's pretend-he's-not-doing-it;pretend-she-doesn't-know solution, and even setting up his folder idea seems a bit whack.

I don't think she's going to be able to get over her bad feelings and enjoy this unless her boyfriend looks at porn *with* her. He might not need to always have her there, but that's how she could learn to enjoy it (and enjoy it more, if she's actually SEEING him get off) and not feel left out and isolated so much.

I think kinks are great, I've got a streak of BDSM in me (I'm a switch, into a bit of dom and sub), but I don't think that they are *always* healthy.

I had a girlfriend who screamed to me "pull my hair!" when we were fucking. She wanted me to be a bit brutal. And this was tied to her real (And fucked up) feelings of insecurity about herself, and it WASN'T healthy. It was also related to unhealthy aspects in our relationship. When we were on better and more loving terms, she didn't actually want the abuse--she felt better about herself. The relationship ended soon afterwards. I think that if we stayed together we could have brought the kink back--in a healthy way.

But I don't think that the way to deal with the unhealthy dynamic that was manifest in the kink was JUST to indulge the kink more. You can't solve all of your relationship problems through sex. You've got to talk and think.

Of course, Dan did point this out sort of--he asked her to think deeply about her kink and her feelings. So I feel like his answer was half way there in terms of the kink indulgence (better that they do it together sometimes) and half there in terms of the mental processing (better that they think more about the relationship and work on communication and respect, etc).

Good column, though.
More...
Posted by Bob Frost on September 17, 2009 at 8:27 AM · Report this
50
I guess I rambled on a bit in my last paragraph, and my advice and Dan's to HOLIK may not seem that different. The point is that making him "earn" his punishment just confuses the issue. Punishment is punishment, not a reward. If that confused punishment-as-reward is what turns the bf on, fine. But more likely he wants his punishment to feel like punishment that is out of his control. Or he might get a thrill out of provoking something that might get him punished (that to me is even more exciting than the kink, but I'm different). So before she embarks on the punishment as reward thing, she needs to find out what exactly turns him on about punishment. I would do it by trial-by-error, because if she talks it out with him and finds out he's not into "earning" punishment as reward, he's going to figure out that when she subsequently gives him punishment per se, it is really punishment-as-reward in disguise. And having to "earn" his punishment will put her back to square one when it comes to his attitude about vanilla sex.
But in the end, he just may not be into vanilla anymore no matter what she does. So be ready to make the DTMFA determination.
Posted by jssmbdy on September 17, 2009 at 8:37 AM · Report this
51
So what's wrong with 'cheating', as long as your partner tolerates it, doesn't want to know the details, and you extend him/her the same courtesy?

To declare for Polyamory, on the other hand, is like joining a political party with some strict expectations. Not only are you supposed to be open and public about it and introduce everybody; often you are expected to include you lover in your main relationship. Yuck!

And almost all poly is, in practice, little different from good old-fashioned polygamy where the gals get it on with each other too. Here in Denver a number of biker types are into it: helps turn on the guys as long as there are no other penises involved.

(Come to think of it maybe polygamy has always been like this, where disempowered women create same-sex couples to subvert a patriarchal society: feminist historians' comment?)
Posted by Token Straight Old dude on September 17, 2009 at 11:45 AM · Report this
52
Oh god @ FFF
I feel your pain. Guys can be SO annoying about female insecurities...
"I'm insecure about ____"
"Oh, okay I won't do it. Why are you insecure?"
"Uhm, you don't have to not do it, it's just that someone lied, and..."
*Guy proceeds to do said thing and lie*
"AUGH! Why did you lie??"
"Because I didn't want to make you upset."
Guy is confused. Girl is upset.
Stop engines, people: A lot of girls really do just want honesty, contrary to popular belief. Please TRY it before making the decision to adopt Dan's "don't-ask-don't-tell" policy.
Posted by Snickerdoodly on September 17, 2009 at 12:09 PM · Report this
53
More on the Bell Shoals Baptists heavenly inspiration to switch from Pepsi to Coke...MONEY. Our two biggest (aka, fattest) corn syrup distributors are constantly offering businesses cash and/or free soda for switching their exclusive alliance; particularly those with as many as ten distribution points. The Pastor in Bell Shoals in no doubt pocketing the non-traceable extra cash flow.
Posted by eastwood on September 17, 2009 at 2:13 PM · Report this
54
I don't know how I feel about your response to Holik. It sounds to me like she like to be sub (in a way) sometimes, and he's just not into it. I guess if it's not that important to her, that's fine. But... seems like a lame compromise.
Posted by hmmmm.... on September 17, 2009 at 2:23 PM · Report this
55
@51: 'Cheating' is when your partner doesn't know about it. Otherwise it's an open relationship, or polyamory. HOPE says the relationship is "monogamous", which I can only read as "supposedly monogamous, except he cheats". No partner toleration, no extending her the same courtesy.

Polyamory doesn't have a 'rule' where your main partner needs to also be in a relationship with your lover, but lots of people do it that way. Some polys don't. It's basically "multiple intimate relationships, equality (same options for the guys and the gals), and total honesty about what you're up to". And even 'honesty' doesn't need to mean 'every little detail' if people don't want to hear them. Actually, you're expected to protect your LOVER'S privacy, too. Details need permission to share.

Also, don't try to make polygamy okay by somehow suggesting there are feminist overtones in there somewhere. Polygamy comes in two flavours: Polygyny, where the guys get more than one girl, and Polyandry, where the girls get more than one guy. Polygamy is basically about inequality.
Posted by Rophuine on September 17, 2009 at 4:02 PM · Report this
56
I think you might have the guy HOPE refers to wrong as well; he could well be interested in the notion of being involved with other people but is monogamous because the girl he's with can't deal with it.

And no, the fact that he says "poly isn't for me" doesn't mean this can't be the case. If you find yourself with a person who insists you are monogamous and find it too personally difficult to leave them, then, well ... polyamory isn't going to be in your future. That doesn't mean it doesn't have its appeals.
Posted by It happens. on September 17, 2009 at 4:04 PM · Report this
57
Also, am I the only one who is sick of hearing poly people sit there "wondering" why the rest of the world can't just be as enlightened and emotionally well-adjusted as they are (which is what HOPE's letter is likely _really_ about)?

If we could make electricity out of it, the smugness and cultishness of poly people could well be one of our most valuable renewable resources.
Posted by Yes, they are. Yes, probably you too. Sorry, it's true. on September 17, 2009 at 4:30 PM · Report this
58
@57: Yeah, I'm poly myself and these things sound trite. But then, we get sick of people going through all sorts of angst that could be easily cured by changing the relationship rules a bit. The only reason some people don't is that it's an unconventional way of living, and society tends to judge. That in itself is a good enough reason for some people, I admit. Other people don't even have that: just this vague "one at a time" rule that they don't even think to question. Of course, plenty of people just aren't the poly types, and that's fine too.

There are heaps of "I have these two guys and I like both of them and HOW DO I CHOOSE?" blog and forum posts out there. We can't help but think "sit them both down and explain polyamory to them - if they both go for it, TAKE BOTH!"

Of course, this may backfire, because there's a risk they're the type to shout "SLUT!" and run for the hills. We want to mainstream this thing, so even if they don't like the idea, they just say "nah sorry, I'm not poly, but let me know if you wanna try mono for a bit."

I wish more polys would just come out and explain it though, instead of writing these oh-so-bewildered "why is everyone else so DENSE?" letters. Then again, I guess you need a question to get published by Dan, and maybe Dan felt like running a quick poly letter.

Funny that he'd go straight off on a tangent so quickly though: is Dan a little polyphobic, deep down? I mean, that's okay, he's afraid of vaginas too and nobody bothers him about that. Dan? It's okay if you're polyphobic. Just keep helping us get the message out! You're a champ.
Posted by Rophuine on September 17, 2009 at 5:40 PM · Report this
59
Fantastic advice this week. Dan, really spot on. Thank you for doing what you do.
Posted by C from Mass. on September 17, 2009 at 6:45 PM · Report this
60
I don't buy the conclusion that HOPE's friend wants to do it this way because he wants to be able to cheat but doesn't want his girlfriend to be able to cheat. I mean, I think it's definitely a *possible* explanation for his behavior, but I can think of several others:

1) The thing he finds hot about the cheating is the cheating. That is, if it isn't forbidden, it's not (as) hot.

2) He really would like to be poly, but he's with a girl who isn't and figures he's unlikely to meet someone who is, so he denies he's into it.

3) He has gathered from HOPE that being poly means not just having sex with more than one person, but being in love with more than one person. So he's not really rejecting the idea of an open relationship; he's just saying he doesn't want it to be anything more than casual sex. Personally, I could see myself being in an open relationship if my partner were into that (which she isn't), but I really couldn't ever imagine myself being in love with more than one person, so poly per se isn't for me.

Again, I'm not saying that I think one of these is right, just that they're possibilities, no?
Posted by Brett Alan http://digitaldreamdoor.nutsie.com/pages/best_songs-Power-Pop.html on September 17, 2009 at 7:24 PM · Report this
61
Totally agree with the 10 soda machine point. But Zam Zam is not popular in Saudi. Also, most Saudis would view the Iranians as heretics. Just sayin.
Posted by Ibn khaltoum on September 17, 2009 at 8:06 PM · Report this
62
Given that, I, myself, am poly, and was rather... involved in a serious 'relationship broken, add more people' that started with me as the affair without my knowing it... people who wonder why the different attitudes about sex could be a dealbreaker for the friendship... it would be for me if they started hinting that I help 'em cheat on their SO, regardless of whether they're boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancee or spouse.

Part of it is trauma from what I went through, part of it is that they make the (bad) assumption that I'd disrespect others like that.
Posted by LynnInDenver on September 17, 2009 at 8:58 PM · Report this
63
@60: right on, especially your points 2) and 3).

Look, it's all fine to talk about the joys of poly, but the reality is that 95% of the women out there will have nothing to do with a guy who won't swear to be monogamous, whether or not he actually follows through. Lots of guys wouldn't mind that much if their SOs got outside nookie every once in a while, as long as they could do the same.

But the women I've known (both as friends and as lovers) have been pretty much unanimously opposed to anything but the strictest monogamy. Given the choice between passionate love with occasional outside dalliances, and a tepid but faithful relationship, they'll consciously choose the latter.

To be honest, I've never understood why sticking your cock in someone else is considered the height of betrayal. You can treat someone like shit in every conceivable way short of physical abuse, and still not be publicly demonized to the degree that cheaters are.

Bottom line, anyone who doesn't at least pay lip service to the monogamous ideal will drastically reduce the number of available and attractive partners. So, some people cheat, some people don't cheat but resent feeling trapped, and some people find a way to make peace with the whole thing.
Posted by Category Two on September 17, 2009 at 10:12 PM · Report this
64
#51/Token Straight Old Dude: "So what's wrong with 'cheating', as long as your partner tolerates it, doesn't want to know the details, and you extend him/her the same courtesy?"

The key is mutual consent. If both parties agree that either one can have sex outside of the relationship, but they don't want to know about it, that's not cheating.
______________________________________

#55/Rophuine: "Polyamory [is] basically multiple intimate relationships, equality (same options for the guys and the gals), and total honesty about what you're up to."

I understand that honesty/mutual consent is an essential part of polyamory. I also understand that equality is part of it, in that both the man and the woman (in a hetero relationship) have the same options. But that's same options in theory. In reality, I'd think the woman has far greater options. I think it's much easier for the woman to get laid than for the man because, unless she's hideous or grossly overweight, any woman is always able to find countless willing male partners for NSA sex, whereas it's not that easy for a man to find willing female partners for NSA sex.

Posted by Roma on September 17, 2009 at 10:35 PM · Report this
65
#63/Category Two: "Look, it's all fine to talk about the joys of poly, but the reality is that 95% of the women out there will have nothing to do with a guy who won't swear to be monogamous . . . the women I've known (both as friends and as lovers) have been pretty much unanimously opposed to anything but the strictest monogamy."

I'm sure you're approximately right with that 95% figure. Monogamy is more important to women than it is to men. However, I find that ironic in light of the fact that it's much easier for women to get laid than it is for men. You'd think it would be women who don't want monongamy, not men.

"To be honest, I've never understood why sticking your cock in someone else is considered the height of betrayal. You can treat someone like shit in every conceivable way short of physical abuse, and still not be publicly demonized to the degree that cheaters are."

I don't agree with your contention that cheaters are demonized more than people who treat their partner "like shit in every conceivable way short of physical abuse." I think cheaters are selfish cowards but think that people who treat their partner like shit are much worse and my guess is that the majority of people would agree.
Posted by Roma on September 17, 2009 at 10:49 PM · Report this
66
#63, maybe you just need to make some more open-minded friends.

Oh, and in my experience, women are usually much more into the idea of poly than men. Men get all "Woo, I can fuck other people!" but shy away from all the scary talking-about-feelings and interpersonal skills that poly needs to work.
Posted by Stripey on September 17, 2009 at 10:58 PM · Report this
67
@64: "any woman is always able to find countless willing male partners for NSA sex, whereas it's not that easy for a man to find willing female partners for NSA sex."

If you're talking about NSA sex, you mean swinging or open relationships, not polyamory. Polyamory is as much about the strings as the sex. Also, I get approached by drunk girls in clubs 'after some' pretty much as often as my female SO gets approached by drunk guys. Don't discount the libido of a bunch of drunk college girls.
Posted by Rophuine on September 17, 2009 at 11:44 PM · Report this
68
#67/Rophuine, perhaps men would have the same opportunity at finding a sex+strings relationship as women. But they certainly would not, and do not, have the same opportunity at finding NSA sex. The libido of drunk college girls -- and your personal experiences -- notwithstanding, it simply is not as easy for men to get laid as it is for women.
_______________________________________

#42/maria-sofia: "Porn culture is yet another branch of the imperialistic, colonizing, "civilized" machine dominating the planet."

Porn exists (along with prostitution and strip clubs) because of the imbalance in sexual demand & supply. The demand for sex by men is far greater than the supply of sex by women, so the sex industry fills that gap.
Posted by Roma on September 18, 2009 at 12:21 AM · Report this
69
I wonder whether HOLIK's complaint is not just that she resents having only kinky sex, but whether she dislikes having to take the lead all the time -- having to be in charge all the time even when you're having "just" vanilla can be tiresome.
Posted by kimberkit on September 18, 2009 at 6:10 AM · Report this
70
@21

Pop is STRICTLY a PM drink? Really?
Where in the fuck did you learn that kind of retarded shit? Are you going to tell us next that milk is only for the mornings and only to be put on cereal?
Posted by Dan Fan on September 18, 2009 at 8:16 AM · Report this
71
Rophuine@67: "Polyamory is as much about the strings as the sex."

I so <3 you for this phrase, which is the snappiest thing I have read on this or any other subject since I read this:

http://open.salon.com/blog/sirenitalake/…

which was admittedly only two weeks ago.
Posted by Quinapalus on September 18, 2009 at 11:51 AM · Report this
72
Stranger, your comment system sucks balls. Mangle this string as necessary:

http://open.salon.com/blog/sirenitalake /2009/06/05/why_i_hate_monogamy
Posted by Quinapalus on September 18, 2009 at 11:54 AM · Report this
73
One comment for HOLIK... if you say you are going to tie him up tomorrow in order to get him hard tonight, then FOLLOW through and tie him up the following night. Dan's plan will only work once if you don't follow through. If he thinks you won't actually do it, then he still won't get hard.
Posted by Howdy! on September 18, 2009 at 12:28 PM · Report this
74
@HOPE ; Some people cheat because of the excitement of doing things they shouldn't and fear of getting caught gets them off. While your friend definately is a dick, it is possible that poly won't work for him simply because then he would get less out of his liasons.

I had an ex whom cheated constantly on everyone she had been with. I gave her polyamoury and she slept with one other pwerson the entire time we were together...a friend I brought in for a threesome. She told me the fun was taken out of it.
Posted by PatriciaCross on September 18, 2009 at 6:49 PM · Report this
75
Im gonna burn in hell for reeding this stuff, but I caint stop!
Posted by TaterBug on September 18, 2009 at 7:30 PM · Report this
76
I don't usually comment on here (though I read religiously), but I think you might be overlooking something on HOLIK's answer.

"He's actually had difficulty staying hard before if we're "just" having missionary."

Perhaps it's an all or nothing situation? They either have kinky sex or incredibly boring vanilla? There's ways to spice vanilla sex up and certainly a neat lot of thing to do without going into bondage.
Posted by Lord Kamina on September 18, 2009 at 8:43 PM · Report this
77
to HOLIK - there was only one other comment about this, but yes - look into where your relationship are. it is very tormenting being with someone who will Only get excited about you sexually in the context of a kink. I was once in a relationship like that and I'm so happy it ended. looking back, I got very used to doing x,y,z to get sex and affection. this is not "spicing things up" it's emotional extortion. DTMFA
Posted by washingmachine on September 19, 2009 at 1:48 AM · Report this
78
Your advice to letter #1 is making me wet!
Posted by good advice, Dan! on September 19, 2009 at 7:44 AM · Report this
79
Loved your advice to FFF. So hot. Thanks!
Posted by Wonderful advice. on September 19, 2009 at 11:24 AM · Report this
80
I found the advice to FFF to be very...inspiring. I've now asked my sweet, understanding, porn-loving boyfriend to do the same for me, not because I have any issue with our respective porn habits. Just because I thought it was hot.
Posted by mran on September 19, 2009 at 11:38 AM · Report this
81
Cheating is about mind games and power plays, trying to feel superior to your partner when you're in an insecure place. Cheaters aren't disposed to polyamory because if the extra sex were condoned, it would lose almost all its appeal to the cheater. Its weird but the cheater is in fact wired for monogamy, they'd get nothing out of cheating if they weren't.
Posted by Karey on September 19, 2009 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Pat Boone 82
This true American wouldn't mind playing Dan Savage's skull in a rock band.
Posted by Pat Boone on September 19, 2009 at 8:43 PM · Report this
Violet_DaGrinder 83
This column is a great reminder that you are a genius and a national treasure. Carry on.
Posted by Violet_DaGrinder http://www.imeem.com/jukeboxmusic51/music/y1malqpG/prince-the-new-power-generation-featuring-eric-leeds-on-f/ on September 20, 2009 at 7:46 AM · Report this
84
Dan the Man!! You continue to ROCK!!!
Posted by wileEcoyote on September 20, 2009 at 9:50 PM · Report this
85
I'm straight, well, mostly straight, and i've been drinking *tons* of diet mountain dew lately and this *totally* explains why i've been staring at mens crotches lately...thank you *JESUS*
Posted by blurinmirror on September 21, 2009 at 9:29 AM · Report this
86
Cheating is about mind games and power plays, trying to feel superior to your partner when you're in an insecure place. Cheaters aren't disposed to polyamory because if the extra sex were condoned, it would lose almost all its appeal to the cheater.


Sorry, but that's one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. While I'm sure that's true of some fringe minority, most cheaters I've known have cheated because they wanted sex with someone else without a breakup/divorce.

Seriously. It really is that simple.
Posted by Stinko De Mayo on September 21, 2009 at 8:49 PM · Report this
87
Yeah, because they feel better about themselves for pulling one over on their partners, because they are incredibly sad people. If its really that simple, perhaps you can tell us why all the cheaters out there have no interest in polyamory. As Dan said, they don't want their partners having sex with other people. Sounds like a monogamously wired person to me.
Posted by Karey on September 22, 2009 at 1:32 AM · Report this
88
Because their other halves didn't, Karey! You may be right about serial philanderers, more into the chase than the catch, but let me tell you, there are cheaters out there who would cry thanks to the powers that be if their other half wanted to play away too.
Posted by primate on September 22, 2009 at 10:47 AM · Report this
89
LMFAO @ # 85
Posted by john bo on September 22, 2009 at 12:09 PM · Report this
90
I have a question on how this column works. If I write Dan a question advice thing, will he respond directly to my e-mail or does he only respond when he writes the column? Is that the only place I will get a response to my questions?
Posted by gronx7 on September 22, 2009 at 3:38 PM · Report this
91
The philandering friend is identifying himself as monogamous lifestyle oriented, he's not blaming his partner for this identity of his.
Posted by Karey on September 22, 2009 at 6:56 PM · Report this
92
while bonerade is the obvious choice when presented with lemons, i prefer an ice cold glass of tool-aid.
Posted by CaliRoll on September 24, 2009 at 3:00 AM · Report this
93
while bonerade is the obvious choice when presented with lemons, i prefer an ice cold glass of tool-aid.
Posted by CaliRoll on September 24, 2009 at 3:02 AM · Report this
94
Men who are interested in poly relationships seem far more plentiful than comparable women, in my experience, so I wouldn't be surprised if the fact that the guy refuses to be poly is simply because he doesn't want to limit his options to poly women.

Still selfish and stupid, but for a completely different reason.
Posted by Silenced is Foo on September 24, 2009 at 10:41 AM · Report this
95
"To be honest, I've never understood why sticking your cock in someone else is considered the height of betrayal. You can treat someone like shit in every conceivable way short of physical abuse, and still not be publicly demonized to the degree that cheaters are."

Category Two:

See Jon and Kate Plus 8.
Posted by Silenced is Foo on September 24, 2009 at 10:47 AM · Report this
96
Dan, this week's column is you at your very best!
Posted by WestIndian on October 9, 2009 at 6:20 PM · Report this
97
Dan, this week's column is you at your very best!
Posted by WestIndian on October 9, 2009 at 6:25 PM · Report this
98
@81: While I understand your premise (that cheaters are wired for monagamy, else they'd get nothing out of cheating) I don't think the issue is that simple. I've seen too much cheating in response to men feeling trapped in a sexless or otherwise screwed up marriage to think it's always about power and manipulation of the woman. Frankly, sometimes I think it's a response to excessive power and manipulation BY the woman that drives men to stray.

A counselor-friend once made the comment that whomever controls the sex in the relationship has the power. Surely men don't always control the sex in their marriages.
Posted by FrozenInMN on October 20, 2009 at 1:53 PM · Report this

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