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July 6, 2006

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Joe Newton

In my 26 years, I've had my fair share of relationships. I'm usually the one spooning up advice to friends hungry for wisdom. Sadly, I'm helpless to aid myself in my current situation. I met this girl four months ago, and she's "the girl of my dreams." If you met her, you would know that angels exist on earth. The problem is that she's married and has four kids. Her cheating husband is abusive to her (verbally, physically, etc.). He's raped her twice (once using a "date-rape" drug), and he was tried for the rape of a girl in the first year of their marriage. His kids seesaw between loving and fearing him.

She has never reached out to anyone for help until me. If things were different, this would be my wife and kids. I know she feels the same for me as I do for her, but she is unwilling or unable to sever ties with her husband. She says she KNOWS that one day he will kill her, and it seems as if she's resigned herself to this fate. I have offered to remove this problem, but she fears losing us both. How do I save her from this nightmare before it's too late?

Love Is Faithful Eternally

Sometimes the mail is so depressing that I wanna write about other things.

Like Next. Last weekend I was stuck in a hotel room in Portland, Oregon, on account of a teensy, weensy hangover, and I caught a marathon of the MTV dating show. One person—say, a boy—goes on a blind date with a girl. If the boy doesn't like the girl, he says "Next!" and one of four other girls waiting on a bus takes the first girl's place. The rejected girl returns to the bus to be cruelly mocked by her rivals. The boy continues barking "Next!" until he finds a girl he likes. Sometimes there are five boys on the bus and a girl barks "Next!"; and every once in a while five gay boys are on the bus and another gay boy barks "Next!"

While the gay episodes demonstrate to MTV's impressionable viewers that young gay people are really no different—they're every bit as shallow, vapid, and crude as their straight counterparts—not one of the gay episodes really worked. Instead of anxiously waiting to see which of the five will be chosen, viewers of the gay installments of Next anxiously wait for the five boys on the bus to strip down and get it on. The gay boys on the Next bus aren't rivals, MTV, they're all potential matches, which makes the one guy who isn't on the bus irrelevant. In one gay Next episode the boy who "won" a second date with the boy-who-wasn't-on-the-bus declined, preferring to run off with the other guys on the bus.

Re-creating the "five bitchy rivals" dynamic that makes the hetero episodes of Next so entertaining wouldn't be that hard. Here's all you need to do, MTV: Put five hairy bears on the bus that are only attracted to pretty twinks and let them compete for the, er, hand of one pretty twink. Or five white guys that are only into Asian guys competing for an Asian guy. Or five tops and one bottom. Or five Log Cabin Republicans and one CPA. A little more care with pre-interviews, MTV, and you'll be able to solve Next's gay problem.

As for your problem, LIFE, I don't even know where to begin. Maybe I'm just shocked that the girl of your dreams—the girl of any man's dreams—would be a married woman with four children and what may be the worst taste in men this side of Denise Richards. Can this angel-on-earth pick 'em or what? She married a bordering-on-homicidal asshole and now she's sneaking around with a bordering-on-homicidal dumbass, a guy so stupid that he would threaten the life of his lover's husband in a newspaper column. (Let's hope your lover's husband doesn't have a fatal accident anytime soon—an actual accident, not an "accident"—or LIFE isn't just going to be your acronym.)

As you will probably ignore the only sensible advice I could offer ("Run, LIFE, run!"), I'm not going to bother. Instead I'm going to pour a little poison in your ear: Have you bothered to confirm your lover's story? Your letter makes this woman's husband seem perfectly monstrous. In fact, he seems a little too perfectly monstrous. Have you entertained the possibility that you're being fed a massive load of shit, LIFE? Some cheaters invent elaborate tales of woe—the frigid shrew of a wife; the abusive husband—because the cheater wants to have her infidelities and her victim status too.

So, LIFE, before you run off and kill anyone: Have you checked her story out? If your lover's husband was tried for rape, then there are records out there somewhere—trial transcripts, newspaper articles. Have you looked them up? It's something you might want to do before you "remove" anybody.

I'm an 18-year-old female. My version of senioritis took a psychotic turn and I was hospitalized. After. A. Pitiful. Suicide. Attempt. Now I am pleased to be alive. However, my problem lies in the ever-challenging world of teenage boys. Having formerly been the most prudish of virgins—I've. Never. Been. Touched.—I now realize that life is short. I want to get fucked, sir. I'm attractive, but the boys I know have concluded that I am crazy because of my recent history. What. The. Fuck. Do. I. Do?

"Crazied" Unfairly, Now Traumatized

Go. To. College. Far. From. Home. Meet. Some. New. Boys.

I love my husband so, so much. He's so, so good to me. But there's another man I'm so, so attracted to. I don't want to jeopardize my marriage but I'm afraid I might in a moment of weakness. At the same time, I don't want to give up the activity where I see this other man, because the activity (martial-arts study) is a really important part of my life.

So, So Married

Hm. You can't stop seeing this other man because you study martial arts with him and that's such an important part of your life—unlike, say, your marriage—and as everyone knows there's only one martial-arts school on the whole freakin' planet. So you're pretty much condemned to spend time with this other man until the inevitable inevitability inevitably happens.

Puh-leeze, SSM. If your husband doesn't rate the supreme sacrifice of switching to some other martial-arts school, then nothing I can say is going to stop you from getting what you so, so desperately want. But after you fuck this other guy, SSM, don't run around pretending that you were just a victim of cruel circumstance—martial arts made me do it!—and not the so, so guilty instigator.

Hey, Everybody: The Stranger's second annual amateur porn contest is on! HUMP! 2 has more screenings, a bigger cash prize, and Dick's T-shirts! For full details about HUMP! 2, go to Then go make some porn!


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SlimJimPoisson 1
Wow, another fabulous column from Dr. Dan. I was planning to write an additional response of LIFE, when I saw Dan's response to CUNT. Absolutely perfect, Dan, keep 'em coming.

OK, while it's patently insane to respond seriously a column that ran over 5 years ago Dan's reply to LIFE could save lives. I was duped by a similar story. I was told how awful and crazy "he" was. Elaborate tales were spun and it wasn't until a long time after I rescued her that I realized that most of them weren't true. He may not have been perfect, and unfortunately for him, was often his own worst enemy, but he was far from the monster she made him out to be. I realized far too late that she was not an agel, but instead was the real monster.
Posted by SlimJimPoisson on November 5, 2011 at 2:31 AM · Report this
Yeah, some blog linked to this column and was all "Dan Savage hates battered women!" But seriously, he's keeping it real. This is good advice. He's taking a lot of shit for nothing.
Posted by brx on November 15, 2011 at 11:29 PM · Report this
The Martial Arts one especially sickened me, because I myself take Martial Arts in a lesser-known form called Youn Wha Ryu. I know of two schools within an hour of my house, one of which my father teaches at. That one is 45 minutes away. The other one is 5 minutes away.
Now, Mr. Savage, let's say that I'm working a job that doesn't pay a lot, but pays enough that I don't want to leave it. If there was a guy that I was attracted to in the school that was 5 minutes ago, OBVIOUSLY I should waste gas money by taking an hour and a half out of my day just to DRIVE to the second-nearest martial arts school. And, because my father's the sensai, I will be required to help the younger belts instead of training.
Yes, Dan Savage. That seems like exactly what I should do. Waste time and money to avoid seeing a guy I happen to be attracted to, because I obviously couldn't do anything but that, anything like telling my husband and working things out.

Second. It may be true that the girl was lying about the rape and the abuse, but if she wasn't, then you just completely killed any chances of that relationship, plus, assumed that women who are asking for help MUST be lying, to get attention.
Now, following that mentality, anybody who is cutting themselves and are asking for help are lying, anybody who might commit suicide is asking for attention, and anyone who comes out of the closet simply HAS to be a lying attention whore. That would make you, Dan Savage, a lying attention whore.

Also, I love how you responded to the post-suicide attempt question. You know, by making fun of them. What is it that It Gets Better does again? Oh, right, tries to prevent suicide.

And don't worry, this won't be the last time I call you on your bullshit. Take care, but please step down as an example for the LGBTQ community.
Posted by STFUdansavage on August 15, 2012 at 12:14 AM · Report this

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