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October 16, 2008

Joe Newton

In this very special episode of Savage Love, I answer letters from readers who made the largest donations to the campaigns to preserve marriage equality in California (www and protect same-sex couples in Florida (

I'm a 31-year-old woman, and my boyfriend and I are starting to experiment with "pegging." He's very much into submission and humiliation, and I find I'm pretty damn good at the fem-dom thing. I understand that every couple needs to figure out their own boundaries, but I was wondering if you could give me your perspective on a couple of things.

1. My boyfriend can be bossy, but I find his assertiveness particularly irritating when he tells me how to dominate him. Shouldn't this be my job to figure out what I want to do to him and just do it? I would never actually hurt him, but I think he's too bossy for a sub.

2. One of our "games" is when I get him almost to orgasm... and then don't allow him to come. He likes being denied orgasms, but sometimes I just like when he comes because it makes me feel some sense of accomplishment and competence as a lover. However, I've noticed lately that when I do let him come, he kind of acts like a jerk afterward. Is this typical post-orgasm, men-don't-need-to-cuddle behavior, or is he upset because I didn't "deny" him? I've asked, but he's not very chatty when he's in his post-orgasm jerk mode.

Inexperienced Pegger Eagerly Gratifies

1. It's not your job to "figure out" how to dominate him. It's your job—both of your jobs—to talk about your turn-ons at great length and come up with a list of BDSM activities and fantasies that you want to explore together. Then when you're fucking around, IPEG, stick pretty close to the items and fantasies on that agreed-upon list—not a list of what he wants, but a list of what you both want—while gently pushing his boundaries. And while you're fucking around, he should refrain from bossy behavior and just freaking submit.

Unless, of course, he opts to use his "safe word." But to prevent him from "topping from below," IPEG, tell him that using his safe word ends the scene and the sex. If he uses his safe word, you get up, clean up, go to bed, give each other a kiss, and talk things over later. That way he won't use the safe word to edit, i.e., it won't be a tool he can use to boss you around while you're topping him.

2. If he's not chatty in post-orgasm mode, chat with him later—you know, when enough time has passed to put him back in pre-orgasm mode. (An hour? Two? Twelve?) And tell him what you've told me: You'll deny him orgasms regularly, but you intend to make him come regularly. Because it's what you want.

And a fem-dom relationship is supposed to be about—or appear to be about—what you, the fem, wants and not what he, the dommed, wants.

I don't have a question in particular, but your column inspired me to donate to this worthy cause (No on Prop 8). However, I do have an addendum to your advice to Blowing Smoke.

Blowing Smoke likes smoking pot and she likes giving head—but her mouth is too dry after smoking up to give a good blowjob. Now this is a little gross, but generally when people vomit they emit an excess amount of saliva. So, one way to remedy a lack of lubrication when giving a blowjob is to deep-throat his cock until you provoke a slight—emphasis on SLIGHT, you don't want to actually puke on him—gag-reflex reaction, which will trigger the production of saliva.

Supports The Gay Agenda

Thanks for sharing your money and tossing up those insights, STGA.

I donated a pretty large sum for a guy who drives an 11-year-old Taurus. I wish I had a good question for you. So, uh—have you ever received a question that made you dry-heave a little in revulsion? What was the question?

Too Much Light Blinds

Questions that have me heaving are a dime a dozen, TMLB. At least one arrives every day. It's the questions that elicit a rare "Oh my God!" that are remarkable. The most recent example: A poop lover who felt that I was unsympathetic to his kind—and I am—took it upon himself to desensitize me to poop "play" by sending me several dozen digital images of himself and his wife before, during, and after a "session." Unsurprisingly, his efforts backfired.

Thank you for getting people involved in the No on Prop 8 campaign!

I'm a 30-year-old gay guy and moved from one city to another. Shortly after I moved, my boyfriend dumped me and I began a fairly long and severe depression. I had scarcely any friends in my new city, but never in my life did I need friends more.

The problem was that many of the guys I met were interested in a romantic relationship. I, however, was entirely undatable. But because I was lonely, I went ahead and dated these guys for a while. These were great guys, and I really wanted their friendship, but I wasn't emotionally available for more. I feel bad because I ended up jerking them around and hurting some feelings.

This is my question: How can a young gay man negotiate the whole "friends" thing? Should I view other single guys as poor prospects and seek out girls/couples/heteros for friendship? Is the line between friendship and dating always fuzzier for gay men?

Looking For Friends

You're making this more complicated than it needs to be, LFF.

Look, you were depressed and alone in a new city and had recently been dumped, LFF, and all of that sucks. But it's naughty for folks—gay, straight, bi, whatever—to take advantage of people who find them attractive. And that's exactly what you were doing. There wasn't anything "fuzzy" going on here, LFF; those guys made it clear that they were into you, it was clear to you that you weren't into them, but you went ahead and dated them anyway—you encouraged them to think you had some interest in them—because you wanted their companionship and support.

And you got it—under false pretenses.

Now, you don't have to rule out all other single gay men as potential friends in the future, LFF, just the ones who are attracted to you sexually and/or romantically. Unless you're all things to all people—and you can't be because no one is—there are single gay men out there who might want your companionship but not your ass, LFF. Make friends with them.


Comments (41) RSS

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First! These are some awesome questions, good responces Dan!
Posted by sailorleira on October 15, 2008 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Dur, I can spell.
Posted by bad speller.. on October 15, 2008 at 3:10 PM · Report this
Dan, when did you get the time machine? my computer says its the 15th. :P

(THIS IS A SERVER GENERATED PARENTHETICAL: this message make take longer to deliver because it must travel through time and space)
Posted by Dr. Who on October 15, 2008 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Dan, you rock! Keep the good advice comin! (also, topping from the bottom is lame!)
Posted by Katzie on October 15, 2008 at 3:25 PM · Report this
even if you don't have a question you hope Dan will answer, donate to either or both of these's a fight worth winning.
Posted by Brent on October 15, 2008 at 3:39 PM · Report this
It says the 16th because that's when it's published on paper?
Posted by Perhaps on October 15, 2008 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Hwhut? Hwhut's going on here?
Posted by Mr. Poe on October 15, 2008 at 3:49 PM · Report this
Except we already saw one of these letters a few days ago . . . not fair to recycle!
Posted by DeanP on October 15, 2008 at 3:53 PM · Report this
It sounds like IPEG's problem is that she doesn't talk with her BF enough outside of the sex itself. If he wants his fantasies played out in a certain way, he needs to discuss that before and after instead of getting frustrated and bossy during the act.

It seems like he is the dominant one outside of the bedroom and IPEG is not comfortable taking on that role, or her BF isn't too comfortable letting her.
Posted by kaltes on October 15, 2008 at 5:02 PM · Report this
Dan Savage, your column makes my week. I click maniacally on your website starting on tuesdays hoping for an early post. Keep the gold a'coming
Posted by amanda on October 15, 2008 at 5:42 PM · Report this
More 'Oh my God!' examples, please!

Seriously, Dan. Please?
Posted by Brooklyn on October 15, 2008 at 5:54 PM · Report this
Palin: The gooey mixture of semen and mucus derived from oral sex with a head cold.
Posted by Webster on October 15, 2008 at 8:00 PM · Report this
hey faggot i love you.
i donated.

Posted by vegansaladaparty on October 15, 2008 at 11:48 PM · Report this
"Unsurprisingly, his efforts backfired."
Sweet Pun!
Posted by Mayhem on October 16, 2008 at 1:09 AM · Report this
Hello, non-American here who wants to make a donation to say no to Prop 8 but was slightly confused by the online form. It sort of made it sound like people who live outside the USA or even the state of California can't donate. Also, this was the very first donation form I've ever encountered that asks for my employer's name! What's the point of that? Are all American donation forms like this??

Can I just google up some address and put that in for the postcode and put in 'bugger off' for the employer details?

Please forgive my ignorance and enlighten me so I can hopefully proceed with my donation.
Posted by clueless foreigner on October 16, 2008 at 1:36 AM · Report this
Rip-Off :(

Dan you know we love you but come on - recycled material? Oh well, see ya on slog I guess.

PS. great piece about your mom tho'...
Posted by Fred34 on October 16, 2008 at 4:42 AM · Report this
I'll be damned: A sub who gets bossy because he is not dominated enough. Now that's a problem for the ages...
Posted by Eddie on October 16, 2008 at 9:14 AM · Report this
"Unless you're all things to all people—and you can't be because no one is—there are single gay men out there who might want your companionship but not your ass, LFF. Make friends with them."

You know, there are also straight men out there who could be friends too. Just a thought...
Posted by stackola on October 16, 2008 at 10:09 AM · Report this
Great thing you're doing, Dan. Curious to know what the overall response was--hope you had to answer thousands of letters.
(Thanks for answering mine; I figured it might be a quick one or two work response, so was really pleased to get something so thoughtful and eloquent).
The polls are still showing Prop 8 could win, which is pretty frightening in this pro-Obama blue state. (Who the fuck are all these Prop 8 supporters and why do they even care?) "No on Prop 8" needs money now more than ever. Thanks for all your effort.
Posted by gf_sf on October 16, 2008 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Can we see those pix?
Posted by neanderthal on October 16, 2008 at 11:27 AM · Report this
I have two female Dom friends who tell me that they just about never let their boys get to orgasm because they are way less submissive thereafter. One of the Doms engages in milking to give her sub some release.
Posted by ice on October 16, 2008 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Another suggestion to "Blowing Smoke"- I recently participated in a marathon and in the bag of free stuff they gave us was dry mouth oral lubricant! I'd never even heard of it but it might help. Apparently Biotene makes dry mouth toothpaste, mouthwash and lubricating gel for all of those mouth breathing runners. Seems like something stoners might want to stock up on. Nothing beats fresh breath and a wet mouth!
Posted by runner on October 16, 2008 at 1:01 PM · Report this
Oh Dan, poor Dan: the family man that "took it upon himself to desensitize me"...

in going to USC in the late 1980s, we (the student group) had several years of undoing damage an earlier 'gay representative' did to the school's Sociology department by running a BDSM film for some of the Freshman class in a severely misguided, and apparently unsupervised, attempt to desensitize new students to hardcore gay sex. ....oh, such not a good idea.

I hope you survived.
Posted by brett on October 16, 2008 at 4:33 PM · Report this
24 Comment Pulled
I feel cheated, that was only 4 letters, not (the promised) six.
Posted by Relatively Harmless on October 16, 2008 at 8:33 PM · Report this
I'm a 19 years old and voting for the first time. I come from a pretty conservative household, and have a pretty conservative outlook on life. I'm even Catholic, more or less the definition of conservative religions.

However, I looked at the wording of Prop 8 and after one read decided there was no way in hell I was voting yes on it. It's essentially a plea to make gays second class citizens. I think the government should mind their own fucking business, and if two people of opposite sex with a terrible relationship can marry, why shouldn't two people of the same sex in a good relationship?

Additionally, the only mention of homosexuality in the Bible comes from the same section as beating your wife and owning slaves. What did Jesus say about gays? Nothing. Oh, except, you know, love your neighbor as yourself.
Posted by Joe on October 16, 2008 at 9:02 PM · Report this
I'm with Brooklyn up at the top. Please do an "OH MY GOD!" letters issue! That would be awesome.
Posted by Alex on October 16, 2008 at 11:18 PM · Report this
@stackola: The LW did also consider straight men for friendship, though he used a more inclusive but perhaps crude term 'heteros'. There is also some common ground when two gay men are friends that isn't there with a straight friend, and that can be nice and comfortable sometimes. Like him, I've found it hard to keep friendships with another gay guy. At least one of us are always interested in more, and that imbalance of interest can be corrosive to friendship, especially a new one.

@Relatively Harmless : Dan said he'd answer six letters publicly or privately. Presumably the other letters were answered privately, either because the LW wanted it that way or because the questions were too boring.

Dan, another request. Please give us a whole article or Extra on just things that make you react "Oh my God". Some of those have to be amazing!
Posted by Lucas Licksya on October 17, 2008 at 6:09 PM · Report this
Dr. Who, find me a bottom in a LTR who isn't secretly in control and I'll send you a blank cheque!
Posted by Robyn on October 17, 2008 at 10:33 PM · Report this
Dan, I've already donated and don't need any questions answered, but I'll donate again if you give more specific detail about the ball and chain's 'ginormous' penis.
Posted by SP on October 18, 2008 at 1:48 AM · Report this
Wow that is sick! I've never heard of a poop lover. I'm getting sick just typing this. Those nasty-weirdos should by prosecuted for being such assholes for sharing that!
Posted by Cassanndra_269 on October 18, 2008 at 1:09 PM · Report this
These were very polite, restrained responses, Dan. What gives? Are you being respectful because these people gave so much money to a good cause?
Posted by ariel on October 18, 2008 at 3:50 PM · Report this
I think you were kind of harsh on LFF. Here's what I think:

LFF, you were in a really rough spot and were so hard up for friends that you took the emotional support where you could. Now that you know your boundaries, it's really important for you to try to enforce them. Some people get over an initial attraction to a person and become good friends. What you need to watch for is signs that they are still into you after you lay down the law. If they still are, run like hell, because it will only get messy from then on.

And oh my god, there are so many girls who want to be your friend, it's unreal. So go for the fag hags, too!

I'm sorry you were in such a tough spot, LFF. I too moved to another city (for a girl) and was summarily dumped two weeks later. Luckily, I lived in a co-op and was surrounded by people who became my friends. Also, this may sound a little lame, but before I started making friends and was in a depressed mood, it was really nice to be able to talk to my therapist once a week. She was like a built in friend :)

Good luck to you!
Posted by Amy on October 18, 2008 at 11:41 PM · Report this
Dan Savage - you are the best!
You should have a talkshow on national/international TV! You "talk" frankly to teens, grown-ups, idiots, genius, "poopers"(?)republicans and women alike! We all need the knowledge and wisdom you talk/teach; to the point, honest, wicked,sensitive, sometimes ironic but allways with humuor and warmth.
We use the word "Santorum" in Sweden too..............Meg from Hedemora

Do you know that you have dubbleganger? Look at Jamie Crick - -He presents the Classic FM Most Wanted
Posted by meg on October 18, 2008 at 11:43 PM · Report this
My suggestion to dry-mouth woman is to make some hot coffee or tea and bring it along to wherever the blowjob is happening. When she gets the dry mouth, she could stop for a second, and play with the guy's cock with her hand while she gets a big mouthful of hot drink of choice. If she holds it for a sec before swallowing and then deep throats him, it will feel good to him and keep her mouth wet. My dude likes that, anyway.
Posted by stoner with a wet mouth on October 21, 2008 at 6:49 AM · Report this
I'm really hoping Prop 8 fails so we can marry......however, looking back at some of the people my friends and I dated, is it terrible to be kind of glad Marraige wasn't legal when I was in my early 20's? LOL I think we were all saved from making some really horrible "Britaney Spears" mistakes!
Posted by Cam on October 21, 2008 at 9:04 AM · Report this
37 Comment Pulled
OK, so I'm not that well versed in slang... what the heck is "pegging"?
Posted by Mike on October 21, 2008 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Bend over and I'll show you...
Posted by jenc01 on October 22, 2008 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Chalk me up as having proudly voted against Prop 2. Of course the important thing is whether that vote, or my vote for Obama, will be counted.
Posted by D. on October 27, 2008 at 8:31 PM · Report this
IPEG, (1)Set it up during a non-bossy time that when you snap your fingers and/or point to your crotch, he immediately puts his nose there. A person just seems silly trying to argue around a face full of muff. Then you can have your say til you're done.
If you can't get him, or yourself, to do this, then maybe you're just not dom material. If he can't handle it, he's not very subby but just wants his fantasy the way he wants it.
(2) Guys can be trained to cuddle and talk after orgasm. But let him know what you expect while you're getting him up, not after you get him off. This may take 2 or 3 tries but be firm.
You sound like a very good sport and I hope your BF will snap to that and treat you as the treasure you are. But I think the two of you need to talk through how you can be completely in control when you're supposed to be in control.
Posted by Ube on November 14, 2008 at 3:15 AM · Report this

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