I was really surprised at the advice you gave to Orgasmless in Seattle, the horny girl going off to France. It was so sensible! I can't help but think that if it had been a gay boy going to France, you would have told him to have as much fun as possible, just remember to shrink-wrap the willy.
You definitely would not have warned against letting someone buy him a drink, for fear of date rape, and you certainly wouldn't have warned a young, hot gay boy to make a guy wait. This girl's looking for a few one-night stands--not the love of her life. Why should she be so careful? Because she's a girl? Because she may not be able to fend for herself? The advice smells like sexism, or at least is unnecessarily overprotective. Dan, you are now officially acting like a parent. Hey Orgasmless--get slutty in France!
Slutty in NYC
Right you are, SINYC: My advice for an 18-year-old gay boy looking to get laid in France would differ in both substance and tone from the advice I recently gave Orgasmless in Seattle. But my advice wouldn't differ all that much; I would tell any gay boy headed for France to be careful, use condoms, and not get shit-faced drunk in strange places (like France), or with strange men (like Frenchmen). I would also advise him to avoid men older than, say, 28, which I didn't advise OIS to do. I get a lot of letters from young gay men, many of whom complain of disastrous "relationships" with older gay men. Oddly enough, I don't hear from that many young women who've had similarly upsetting experiences with older men.
I would also advise a young gay boy heading to France to avoid anal intercourse altogether; I did not, you'll recall, advise OIS to avoid vaginal intercourse. What accounts for this difference? Condoms aren't perfect, and condom failure (misuse resulting in leaks or breaks) during anal sex is likelier to transmit HIV--provided the person fucking you has HIV, of course. As French gay men are likelier to have HIV than French straight men, I would advise a gay boy slutting around France to skip anal intercourse altogether and stick to handjobs (no risk) or blowjobs (slight risk).
You see, SINYC, as much as I believe the sexes should be treated equally--and as much as I believe that women should explore their desires with the same ferocity that men explore their own--I also know that men and woman, gay and straight, are faced with different risks when they're out slutting around. A straight woman is likelier to be raped than a gay man; I can't recall reading about a single instance of date-rape drugging in which a man was the victim. I didn't tell OIS to use caution, be wary, refuse drinks, and avoid situations that might lead to her being the victim of sexual violence just because I'm a parent. I gave OIS the advice I did because the risks she'll be running in France are different, and, unfairly, greater than those run by a gay boy trying to do the exact same thing.
It would have been irresponsible in the extreme for me to give OIS advice premised upon the fantasy that all things are equal, and that each of us--male, female, gay, straight--encounters the exact same risks when we're out slutting around. Does OIS need to be more careful because she's a girl? YES, ABSOLUTELY. There are a lot of violent and dangerous men in France (as there are everywhere), and most of these violent guys--if police reports, domestic violence statistics, and rape convictions are any measure--are STRAIGHT.
Tell Looking Around, your kiddie-porn downloader, that you can't really remove a file from your hard drive simply by deleting it. You can only delete its name in your directory, but it's still there for a computer repairman or FBI agent to find. You need special software to actually rid all traces of it. On the subject of sex panics, prosecutors in Illinois are going to go after makers of "candid" locker-room videos. In absence of any specific laws banning candid cameras, prosecutors are going to file obscenity charges. If prosecutors can convince a jury that the act of secretly capturing the naked flesh of innocent scholar-athletes is "patently offensive," candid locker-room video makers, distributors, and even BUYERS could land in jail.
I don't think prosecuting people who sneak video cameras into locker rooms to film naked scholar-athletes constitutes a "sex panic." If making a video of someone walking around a locker room--a place where someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy--isn't illegal, well, it ought to be. In most states it's illegal to make an audiotape of a private conversation without the consent of the person you're taping (hello, Linda Tripp); would you have us believe that people making videotapes in locker rooms shouldn't have to do the same?
I was disappointed with your response to Slightly Traumatized Gay Man. A group of drunk lesbians at a party in Portland asked to see his cock and he declined. You accused him of "sexual timidity." Not showing your goodies to drunk strangers makes perfect sense to me. Everyone has the right to say no to situations that make them uncomfortable, especially sexual situations.
You Screwed Up
Everyone has an absolute right to say no to sexual situations that make 'em uncomfortable; I couldn't agree more. In STGM's case, I would defend his right to say no to my dea... well, not to my death. Considering what's at stake, that seems a little extreme. I would defend STGM's right to say no to drunk dykes who ask to see his goodies to my, well, to the point of making a public scene.
That said, YSU, I must defend the time-honored practice of shit-faced fags and dykes showing each other their goodies. Some gay men have never slept with a woman (they're called "thoroughbreds"); some lesbians have never slept with a man (they're called "Navratilovas"). But even the thoroughest of thoroughbreds and the navratiloviest of Navratilovas may harbor an unnatural curiosity about the genitals of the opposite sex. A drunken, co-ed, homosexual soiree presents a perfect opportunity for fags and dykes to satisfy these unnatural curiosities.
Hey, Everybody: If you're a regular reader of Ann Landers' very fine advice column--and if you're not, I urge you to become one--then you're aware that Ann's been printing how-we-met stories for the last year. All of Ann's how-we-met stories have been of the meet-cute variety (people running into each other in supermarkets, spilling soda pop on each other at carnivals, dancing at USO shows) and relentlessly wholesome. But not all couples meet cute: Lots of people in long-term, committed relationships meet sleazy.
I can only assume Ann is getting we-met-sleazy letters (I mean, I can't be the only person who met his true love in a dark, skanky bar and made out in a bathroom), and is shit-canning them. So I'm inviting you, my sleazy readers, to send your we-met-sleazy-and-we're-still-together stories to me, which I will run during the month of August. Lots of beautiful, long-term relationships got started when two (or more) people met sleazy, not cute--and it's high time we sleazesters set the record straight!