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March 2, 2000
Readers frequently ask how I can tell when a letter is bullshit, containing a phony problem invented by some insincere boob who just wants to get something into the column. The letter you've just read is bullshit -- total bullshit -- and to fulfill the public-service requirement of my parole, I shall now walk Savage Love readers through the Bullshit Detection Process.
First, the writer uses phrases like "frequent self-stimulation," and "love muscles," and "my precious bodily fluids." Letters from people with actual questions or real problems rarely use flowery, overblown, or "erotic" language; people with real problems get right to the point. The second clue that this letter is bullshit is that this man isn't complaining, he's bragging. Most men would be delighted to shoot five feet, so his "problem" isn't a problem at all.
Third, the letter's many factual errors expose the author as a bullshitter, and a not-very-accomplished bullshitter at that. While men can indeed strengthen their love muscles (those muscles that aid ejaculation), no amount of simple masturbation will change a dribbler into a shooter. If "frequent self-stimulation" is all it takes to make a man shoot over his head, we'd all be ruining the wallpaper in our bedrooms by age 15. Also, the writer suggests he comes in both of his eyes and then goes to sleep, awakening the next day with his eyes pasted shut. Puh-huh-huh-leeze. Anyone who's ever had come in his eye (or her eye) will tell you that the shit burns. Your eye turns red, it tears up, and no one -- and I mean no one -- could drop off to sleep with a load in his eye.
I get many, many letters like this one: questions from dumb guys who've probably never had sex, bragging about sexual problems that aren't problems, while at the same time exposing themselves as ignorant and inexperienced bullshitters. So, DKF, my advice to you is this: Bring your knees up over your head, jerk yourself off with your dick pointing at your face, and come in your eyes. Then write me a letter about how much it hurt, and I'll advise you not to do it again.
Two weeks ago I noticed a small bump on the underside of my penis. It's grown larger, and alternately itches and hurts when touched; it looks like some kind of pimple or cyst. I'm 26, Caucasian, and in good health. I'm thinking it's not an STD because the last time I had sex was more than three months ago; and I haven't had unprotected sex for three years, and that was with a long-term girlfriend who had no STDs. What the hell is wrong with my penis? Ingrown hair? Cancer? Herpes? I have no health insurance, otherwise I'd be talking to a doctor.
Shat on by God
Go see a doctor, go see a doctor, go see a doctor -- and don't tell me you can't just because you don't have health insurance. Most county health departments provide low- or no-cost STD screening and treatment for people with or without health insurance, so really, you have no excuse. While I doubt very highly that you have an STD, the STD clinic in your area can rule out the possibility. And, as an added bonus, they'll be able to tell you what the bump actually is. It's probably a cyst or pimple or ingrown hair -- have you tried to pop it? -- but on the extremely off-chance that it is something more serious like, say, herpes or cancer or polio, you do need to see a doc.
As a straight woman living in Vancouver, B.C.'s West End, I generally have no trouble with gay men. However, I have one really, really big pet peeve: What is WITH the used condoms on the trails in Stanley Park? I really, really hate going for a walk on a Sunday morning with my latest straight fellow from Surrey and finding used condoms in the rhododendron garden. It's disgusting and makes the place look like a trash heap -- and they stick to my shoes! And just think of those poor park workers who have to clean up! All I ask, guys, is that you PACK OUT WHAT YOU PACK IN.
Straight and Irritated in the West End
When gay men don't use condoms, straight people complain that we're being irresponsible. When we do use condoms, straight people complain that the evidence is stuck to the bottom of their shoes. We can't win.
Look, telling gay men to pack out their used condoms isn't terribly useful or realistic advice. Those used condoms you trod through on Sunday mornings were probably used for butt sex, and no one is going to put a condom that's been packed into someone's ass back into his wallet. So instead of berating responsible, condom-using, park-sex-having homos -- men who are, incidentally, just as likely to be straight-identified as gay-identified (some are probably even from Surrey) -- why not suggest to Stanley Park's management that additional trash receptacles be placed near the rhodies and other secluded spots?
While we're on the subject of straight people, folks are pretty worked up about Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?, the TV show that arranged for a gold digger to legally wed a wealthy failed comic and motivational speaker, (a man who happens to have a history of domestic violence). I won't speculate as to What This Says About Our Culture -- frankly, I don't care what it says -- but there are a couple of things I'd like to point out. First, the very same people who are trying to prevent gay couples from enjoying the rights, responsibilities, fabulous presents, and alimony payments that flow from legal marriage -- the folks always going on about the "sacred institution of marriage" -- have been strangely silent about this assault on the sacred institution. Where's the Christian right's outrage?
Also, I'd like to reassure my fellow Americans that there are worse game shows out there. For instance, New Zealand's state-owned television network recently showed footage of a man stapling his penis to a crucifix and setting it on fire. While the stunt, performed on a show called Havoc 2000 Deluxe, was "unusual and macabre," it did not breech good taste standards -- at least according to New Zealand's government. And what did the man whose penis was set on fire, student Thomas Hendry, win? A million dollars? A kiwi orchard? A sheep ranch? No, the sucker won 500 NZ dollars ($245 US) and a $500 bar tab. Lordy, lordy, I wonder What This Says About New Zealand Culture?
Confidential to John McD in Seattle: Craig L. in New York promised to e-mail me a dozen nekkid pics of you if I would wish you a happy birthday in my column. So, John McD, best wishes on your birthday. Okay, Craig, send me those pics.