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Klueless Kinksters

November 20, 2008

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I am a straight, crossdressing male into bondage. That's NOT my problem. Recently, I began seeing a professional Dominatrix for forced crossdressing, among other things. She was great, but our last session ended abruptly when She told me that She wanted to start dildo training me. I was all for it, but I asked Her, politely, if She could use my dildo. In no uncertain terms, She said no.

I then asked, politely, if She would wash Her dildo in bleach in front of me so that I would know it was clean. She ended the session right then and there, and She told me not to contact Her again.

Was I out of line? I signed a "contract" with Her that said I would not "top from the bottom," but She has several other slaves who She probably uses that dildo on and I just wanted to know for sure that the dido was clean. I know I won't be seeing Her again, but it would be nice to know if you thought I was out of line. She reads your column.

Superior Her Ends Edgy Session Hastily


Why did this woman tell you to gather your panties and go?

That's hard for me to say, SHEESH, as I'm not a mind reader. But I see two possible explanations: One, she is unwilling to pause, step out of her role, and renegotiate a scene that's already underway, in which case you are well rid of her. Or, two, you're an insufferable controlling twat, and you managed to annoy the fuck out of her and she kicked your ass to the curb.

I might be inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt and declare you the wronged party here, SHEESH, but your having carried this dispute into a column that you know she reads tips me over to her side. By writing to me, you're not just seeking the last word, SHEESH, but hoping to have the satisfaction of seeing this woman dressed down in public. So while you were careful to submissively capitalize all those third-person pronouns—as if She Herself were God Himself—your letter leads me to believe that in person, as in print, you're a disrespectful, controlling, and manipulative piece of shit.

I'm having an interesting dilemma.

I'm a 20-year-old female and a junior in college. For the past few years, I've been working on becoming a journalist. But I've found myself less and less interested (and passionate) about it as time goes on. And I think I'd rather be a fetish model.

For the past year, I've been a submissive in a D/s relationship with my boyfriend. I love him VERY much, and he is more respectful toward me than any other man I've been with. Lately, we've been toying with the idea of creating a fetish-modeling website. I do not want to be shot nude or have sex on camera, but I LOVE the idea of bondage photos and pursuing this as a career, and so does he.

From the photos I've done so far, I'm pretty sure this could pay off AND be more personally satisfying than a job at a newspaper. But I'm nervous about what my family and friends will say when they realize I'm never going to write for the Washington Post or the New York Times.

Kinky Coed

Journalism or fetish modeling, journalism or fetish modeling—gee, which career is right for you?

Um, KC? If you bothered to read either of the newspapers you cite as possible future places of employment, you would know that times are tough at daily newspapers. The internet ate their business model—so long, lucrative classified ads! hello "citizen journalists"!—and right now, it's all layoffs and buyouts all the time at daily and weekly newspapers. If you care so little about journalism that you're tempted to make a career of posting bondage pictures to a website instead, KC, then don't go into journalism. Leave the few jobs that remain at newspapers to people who have some passion for the field.

So it's fetish modeling for you, right? Not so fast, kinkster. Porn companies, large and small, are experiencing similar financial difficulties. Just as many people are willing to write for free online, many millions of people are willing to post everything from "tasteful" fetish shots to hardcore porn online for free. So while there may be a handful of people out there who'll pay to see you tied up, you're probably not going to make enough money as a fetish model to support yourself.

So you might want to think of some other line of work, something with more job security and better long-term prospects—perhaps banking or real estate?


I have a bigot in the family. My brother's mother-in-law is scared this country is "on its way" to legalizing same-sex marriage, which is "against what her Bible tells [her]." Debating the issue with her is no use, because it always comes back to her religious beliefs. She doesn't dislike gays, and she's said that if gay marriage becomes legal she'll help me find a husband.

Outside of the marriage issue, she shows no prejudice. As a gay man, I find her views on marriage reprehensible, but I'm conflicted about how to deal with her in the future. I see her half a dozen times each year on holidays, the same time I typically see my nieces and nephews. I don't want her bigotry to impose on my right and desire to spend time with these kids as their uncle. On the other hand, I can't just sit there and be quiet.

Battling Bigots In Brooklyn

Anyone looking for proof that the United States is "on its way toward legalizing same-sex marriage," despite recent setbacks, only has to look to the numbers of people—gay and straight—who poured into streets over the last two weeks to protest the bigotry of the Mormon Church and its assault on minority rights and individual liberty. (Oh, Canada: While we scream and yell about being the land of the free, you quietly live it. I love how my boyfriend magically becomes my husband when we visit Canada, without anyone else's marriage being threatened. Here's hoping that one day soon the United States will recognize the legal marriages of all Canadian citizens, gay and straight.)

Okay, BBIB, my favorite sign at the protest I attended in New York City last week—well, after "Jesus Had Two Daddies," "Use Your Magic (Underpants) for Good, Not Evil," and "Thou Shalt Not Fuck with Us"—was this: "No More Mr. Nice Gay." If anyone caught me on Anderson Cooper 360º later that same night, you saw me refusing to play Mr. Nice Gay in a conversation with lying right-wing überbigot Tony Perkins. (Looking to get involved in the fight? Jointheimpact.com is a good place to start.)

But while I'm down with the whole no more Mr. Nice Gay thing, BBIB, I see no need to go postal on your brother's MIL. She's not Tony Perkins; she's a human being. And it sounds like her affection for you is already on a collision course with her bigotry. Stand firm, continually emphasize that there's a difference between civil marriage rights and religious marriage rites. Polls show that many Americans have already come around on this issue. Thanks to the work you've already done, BBIB, it sounds like your brother's MIL will be next.


mail@savagelove.net

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Comments (144) RSS

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1
You know, myself and others are pretty much convinced the Mormon church was embezzling money, and that's how so much got donated. Ever wonder why so many average-income Mormon homes were able to give tens of thousands of dollars to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign?

(No offense to Mormons; just the Mormon churches in California.)
Posted by Suki on November 18, 2008 at 4:56 PM · Report this
2
And BBIB, you'll probably out-live her, so you will have more time to be Uncle than she will to be Grandmother.
Posted by PDX_Paulie on November 18, 2008 at 5:18 PM · Report this
3
Whoa, a little harsh with SHEESH, there, Dad. Not that you couldn't well be right about him, but I think it's just as likely that he's not seeking the last word OR a dressing down for his ex-domme so much as looking for a way to get around her "don't contact me again" rule. He might just be doing his best to get in touch with her, tell her how much their relationship matters to him, and affirm that he intended no offense all in the only way he can while still being obedient, through your column.
Posted by Park on November 18, 2008 at 5:32 PM · Report this
4
"your letter leads me to believe that in person, as in print, you're a disrespectful, controlling, and manipulative piece of shit"

Wow Dan, you may have played right into his "toping from the bottom"ing hands and answered his prayers/fantasies and publically humilated him. It may be a long time before a Professional Dominatrix or Dominate partner live up to what you just did.

Posted by cdngrrl on November 18, 2008 at 5:55 PM · Report this
5
Dan, don't you think that any self-respecting bottom should request a clean dildo? Being submissive should not involve putting yourself at possible risk of contracting STDs.
Posted by henri on November 18, 2008 at 6:06 PM · Report this
6
My favorite sign was a picture of a wedding ring that looked a lot like the "lord of the rings" ring along with a caption "The precious, we wants it"
Posted by Sleestak on November 18, 2008 at 6:17 PM · Report this
7
BBIB: The way that I see it, gay marriage is a human and civil rights issue. My sister argues that she thinks that whether or not to allow, license and recognize gay marriage is a "States' Rights" issue.

When you see your brother's mother-in-law during this holiday season, remind her that it really wasn't that long ago that mixed race marriages were forbidden in many states. In that short time, we have come so far.
Posted by EAWF in Ohio on November 18, 2008 at 6:48 PM · Report this
8
It is NOT the Mormon Church that donated the money. It's the gajillion members of the Mormon Church in California that individually donated with the same faithfulness they use to fork over their 10% tithing. The Church is VERY careful not to get involved in this. They don't want to lose their tax exempt status. They would have to pay A LOT if that happened. (Anyone read that book about how much money the Church has)

I know that people are angry. I grew up Mormon and I'm furious they are so proud to be so politically ignorant. But I feel it's important to fight with the truth.
Posted by AnnoyedJackMormon on November 18, 2008 at 7:20 PM · Report this
9
I have met so many people who would call themselves social conservatives, who learn tolerance by meeting tolerant others. When tolerance becomes hip and popular (as it seems to be becoming), even our brothers' mothers-in-law will come around. It is only a matter of time. As "Don't Ask Don't Tell" falls down, as Prop 8 fails in court, as more social conservatives meet and develop friendships and working relationships with those of us who are different, change occurs.
Posted by Sarah on November 18, 2008 at 7:48 PM · Report this
10
What self-respecting sex worker would refuse a request to make sure a dildo is clean?
Posted by Just Me on November 18, 2008 at 8:49 PM · Report this
11
As an ex-mormon, I was hoping to use prop 8 as an example of why others should leave the mormon church, but after reading all the facts I could find, the church itself spent only around $2,000 on the campaign, and that was to fly people over to California to speak at public assemblies. So it became a really lame argument, and you can't argue that individuals supporting a campaign is bad, because every individual has the right to support whatever they like. So I have to agree with AnnoyedJackMormon. And to reply to Suki, the Mormons don't need to use some elaborate embezzlement scheme to help members to donate stuff. Individual members already pour thousands of dollars into the Mormon church every year - 10% of their gross income as a way of life - so seriously they will give a bit more to other efforts if the church tells them it will help preserve their way of life. We need to educate people more, instead of playing the blame game and vandalizing stuff, which I think is damaging future pro-gay campaigns. Educate the population, and pray to the god of ass that all fundamental religious groups lose their genitals and cease to procreate ;)
Posted by GodRapedMary on November 18, 2008 at 9:02 PM · Report this
12
I would really, really like to know why people even think it is their God damned business who marries or fucks who.

My family is a bunch of biggots, excluding my brother. My mom even sees two women holding hands and she points them out and says how it is disgusting and against Gods will. I have a lot of problems with this.

I am bisexual. I have been with a woman. I have sex outside of marriage (gasp). I have had a threesome, my boyfriend is 20 years older than me AND we have an open relationship. This is what makes me happy, and I feel and ahve always felt that so long as no one gets hurt (hurt in the bad way) then there is no reason whatsoever for other people to stick their noses in it. Marriage is about love and commitment, not gender or race.

And also, I don`t think SHEESH was out of line to ask for a clean dildo. I am a submissive to my boyfriend and before and after we are together we talk, in depth, about likes and dislikes and things that would make me or him uncomfortable. He respects my wishes and limits. I think asking for a clean dildo is NOT a huge deal, I think what pissed her off is him insisting she do it in front of him. If not for that, it may have gone diffrently.
Posted by daddys girl on November 18, 2008 at 9:19 PM · Report this
13
I'd like to point out that BIB's aunt-in-law (?) isn't really all that much of a bigot. She is opposed to gay marriage for religious reasons, but other than that she seems entirely tolerant of who you are and the way you live your life. She even says that if gay marriage were legal, she'd help you find someone. That's not bigotry, that's civil disagreement undergirded by love and affection.

My advice to you is to drop the issue for now, and look into Christian and Evangelical groups that support gay rights, and from them get some Biblical glosses in favor of gay marriage. Next time she brings the issue up (and that means SHE has to bring the issue up, you can't bait her into it), you tell her that Pastor Jones of Brotherly Love Institute says such-and-such, and it will give her something to chew on.

Or you could dismiss her complaints with "A guy named Saul opposed the rights of a minority, too, until by God's grace he saw the light and changed his ways." She'll know what you're talking about.
Posted by JC on November 18, 2008 at 9:57 PM · Report this
14
To the X-Mormon: the president of the Mormon church had a letter read at all the churches telling them to donate and volunteer. As you know Mormons do what the pres tells them to, other wise they don't get into the temple and with out that you can't go to heaven. The church was involved and should loose their tax exemption.
Posted by Bayhuntr on November 18, 2008 at 10:11 PM · Report this
15
Here's a thought that would make us feel good and piss off the Mormons. So just for fun... Lets start a petition to change the state constitution restoring the traditional meaning of a Christian as one who follows the life of Christ through the teaching of the Bible, the true word of God.
Obviously this would be needed to protect our children from being taught that Mormons are Christians and tricking them into the Mormon lifestyle.
Once all the evangelicals hear that the Mormons are closer to Scientology then Christ, I guarantee they would support it!
What's even funnier, with the right amount of money and the right PR firm, you could probably do it.
Posted by Bayhuntr on November 18, 2008 at 10:32 PM · Report this
16
Fucking hell, Dan! Being a bit harsh with SHEESH, don't you think? Seems like the capped pronouns really sent you into a frenzy. If his Dom reads the column and recognizes his query, isn't it possible he still wants to appear respectful to her, and as someone upthread pointed out, possibly get back into her good graces? Maybe that's misguided, but does that make him 'a manipulative piece of shit?'
Posted by alphacentauri68 on November 18, 2008 at 10:40 PM · Report this
17
I think anti-gay people can solve their problems easily. If same sex marriage pisses you off that much, don`t marry someone of the same sex. It`s that simple.
Posted by Daddys Girl on November 18, 2008 at 10:50 PM · Report this
18
Unfortunately folks, as much as you may think SHEESH is the victim here, I do wonder...

I mean, whatever it was that happened, he was specifically asked NOT to contact this woman ever again. This is a rather passive-aggressive way of contacting her without contacting her, isn't it?
Posted by Scribbles on November 19, 2008 at 12:00 AM · Report this
19
Since when did having limits that include safe sex start being topping from below?

I have never believed that being a bottom means abdicating all responsibility for your own safety. Domme wants to tie you up and leave you alone gagged? Dom says it is just fine if he pours boiling water from a kettle on you? Top wants to share sex toys without putting a condom on them? No, no, no, no, no!

And if a prodomme gets snitty about you taking responsibility for your own health then shame, shame, shame on her. And shame on you too Dan for not saying so.

You're well shot of her - take your cash and give it to a better and more professional woman.
Posted by haughty kitten on November 19, 2008 at 1:58 AM · Report this
20
The debate with Perkins might have gone better if either of you were speaking one at a time.
Posted by Man With Hat on November 19, 2008 at 2:36 AM · Report this
21
"Dan, don't you think that any self-respecting bottom should request a clean dildo? Being submissive should not involve putting yourself at possible risk of contracting STDs."

"What self-respecting sex worker would refuse a request to make sure a dildo is clean? "

Agreed!

You may have been right about him, but that doesn't mean his request was out of line.
Posted by Caasha on November 19, 2008 at 2:51 AM · Report this
22
Hey Jack Mormon. Prop 8 was funded by way more than Californian Mormons. The biggest donor was from, guess where..... drumroll please.

I was raised Mormon too, and who really cares about truth applied to a religion that was founded on a liar, propagated by liars, and is practiced by an odd mix of the desparate, the brainwashed, the bigoted, and the.... Liars!

Posted by jackyourmamasmormon on November 19, 2008 at 3:26 AM · Report this
23
The Mormons don't need to embezzle. Tithing is an incredible money-making machine for their missionary-sending, membership-driven empire. The faithful pledged this money like they were placing it directly into their god's gigantic, straight hand.

As an ex-mormon (ptl! (praise the lesbians)) I'm not surprised at their ability to drum up money. I mean, they don't drink, smoke, engage in premarital sex, etc., what else are they going to do with their money? (I say: buy birth control.)
Posted by epiphenita on November 19, 2008 at 4:59 AM · Report this
24
Just watched Anderson Cooper thing on youtube. Awesome.
Posted by Steph on November 19, 2008 at 5:44 AM · Report this
25
'When you see your brother's mother-in-law during this holiday season, remind her that it really wasn't that long ago that mixed race marriages were forbidden in many states. In that short time, we have come so far.'

The problem with this tactic is that many people who support prop 8 (including Mormons) aren't too hot on interracial marriage, either. Not that they can say so out loud (anymore. But just take a look at their not-so-colorful history).
Posted by Kiki on November 19, 2008 at 5:54 AM · Report this
26
If that mother-in-law is a bigot, she is an extremely poor one. Gay marriage supporters would be lucky if all the opponents were so polite and loving. Unfortunately, those opponents also include raving fundies who'd like to slaughter gays and all sorts in between.

It sounds like she is already balancing her religious beliefs with compassion and love for individuals. I'd say that makes her a pretty Christ-like Christian. We could use a whole lot more of that variety of Christian.

Tolerance certainly comes with proximity. I would hope BBIB would learn to tolerate her beliefs (despite his disagreement with them) the way she tolerates his lifestyle and sexual orientation (despite her disagreement with them.)
Posted by Nic on November 19, 2008 at 6:46 AM · Report this
27
Why were you so harsh on SHEESH? It's certainly an angle that I never thought of, but I think he's well rid of that domme if she refuses to play safe.

Perhaps it's you, Dan, and not SHEESH who's got some kind of undisclosed drama going on. Maybe you're making an example out of SHEESH for some reason that's not immediately apparent to your readers.

Or you could have been drunk when writing the column...
Posted by rrr on November 19, 2008 at 7:37 AM · Report this
28
What would have been wrong with putting a condom on the dildo?

Dan, I'm surprised at you. Shouldn't safety come first?
Posted by tinwoman on November 19, 2008 at 8:05 AM · Report this
29
I am a researcher and I suppose an expert of some sort on the LDS Church (I'm not LDS). The LDS Church has no problem generating funds for itself or for others. First, they do not pay any of the their Church workers since the LDS Church opposes paid ministry (they compensate time, travel and provide food, but not pay). Second, their tithing set up, business investments, companies, etc. give them tremendous financial clout. Finally, each LDS member feels a deep moral obligation not only hand out 10% of their income (the tithe) to the Church but will even damage their own financial prospects to do Church business (oppose the gays and the marriages, one might say). It's a cultural model that's been comfortably in place for 170 years. And subtlety is not their strong point.
Posted by Answer to LDS Qstn on November 19, 2008 at 8:06 AM · Report this
30
Dan,
I was really surprised at the harshness of your comments to SHEESH. As I read the letter the first time, and then again after reading your answer, I found the writer to be someone who is sincerely bewildered by the sudden turn of events and simply looking for some closure.
Posted by I Got Nuthin' on November 19, 2008 at 8:33 AM · Report this
31
Oh my god, what a terrible response to SHEESH.
(a) SHEESH did not "have his dispute carried into [your] column". YYOOUU published it, Dan. HOW'D THAT HAPPEN?!
(b) And how 'bout this third explanation: the dominatrix is a psycho who is knowingly attempting to infect her clients. Not even a possibility, Dan? Should we learn from this to "take our chances" with foreign dildoes? Nice!
Posted by orangebride on November 19, 2008 at 8:42 AM · Report this
32
As an occasional domme (not for pay but for fun), you try to get everything laid out ahead of time, people's desires, toys you are using, etc. Once you are in the mode, it's frustrating if someone wants to change the rules, break your flow, you stop and change toys or break out the bleach. She likely was going to use a condom on him, but either way, if he knew this was a possibility, he should have stated his preferences up front. This is easy to negotiate beforehand. Likely, this was the end of a long line of annoying twists and turns he would make in the scene. Plus, you can see how he needs to be right in a passive/aggressive way, just in the writing and wording of this letter.

So yes, I think his request was valid, but it was poorly timed, and definitely topping from the bottom. "Wash it with bleach in front of me" is not a suitable request for a sub once you're into a scene.
Posted by safireblues on November 19, 2008 at 8:58 AM · Report this
33
I gotta echo the chorus calling you out on your rough treatment of SHEESH. Why are you so angry at him? Here he is, giving you a great opportunity to educate everyone on the proper etiquette involved in Bondage-TS-Male-Sub/Professional-Female-Dom relationships, and what do you do? You chew out the writer!

Now, everyone who engages in sex should take care of their sexual health, which includes monitoring what gets inserted into them. How does one do that when you've paid someone money to take away your control? And if you're not sure, I know you've got plenty of people to call for advice. So why did you withhold it from him? Is this _your_ way of playing the Pro-Dom???
Posted by georgetirebiter on November 19, 2008 at 9:17 AM · Report this
34
if this lady went to the lengths of having a contract, one would think she would be safe. I think drafting up a contract for the work she does proves she handles all matters in her business professionally. Dan was a bit rough, i myself had to close my jaw, but Dan was right. He was a being a douche and she did what her contract promised, kicked his butt to the curb.
Posted by NaibseL on November 19, 2008 at 10:06 AM · Report this
35
SHEESH - Just ask her politely to incoperate a condom on the toy into the play...safe AND kinky umm

KC - So you can't decide on bondage or a Pulitzer- check out Xtube for all the amateurs who are showing it ALL for free


Now, Dan my have become my new HERO -what a wonderful "spokes gay " for us . My partner and I have been together since 1968-and were married in San Francisco City Hall in July. We will prevail in this battle ...
Posted by Jokanaan on November 19, 2008 at 10:12 AM · Report this
36
I think Dan was probably right on with his treatment of SHEESH although he would have done better to include a line that mentioned using a condom. Bleach seems like kind of a complicated request... gotta pour it in a bucket, clean it up, then rinse off, all while wearing gloves. And then there are the fumes. What a pain. Asking for safety is absolutely the right thing to do, but asking for it to be done in such a pain in the ass way would probably have pissed me off too.
Posted by me on November 19, 2008 at 10:40 AM · Report this
37
Kinky Coed- Even if you made it as a journalist, I think that you'd have time to take your little pictures. Sounds to me like your dilemma can be attributed to your laziness. Good luck in either field if that's the case.
Posted by g on November 19, 2008 at 11:03 AM · Report this
38
Kinky Coed- Even if you made it as a journalist, I think that you'd have time to take your little pictures. Sounds to me like your dilemma can be attributed to your laziness. Good luck in either field if that's the case.
Posted by ge on November 19, 2008 at 11:07 AM · Report this
39
Regarding SHEESH, she decided to start using a dildo on him during a scene? She didn't discuss that beforehand? That's totally wrong, IMO; and if he then has to start stating limits mid-scene that's her fault not his. He may be an arse, but he's better off away from her.
Posted by My Name Here on November 19, 2008 at 11:53 AM · Report this
40
Bayhuntr,

Read the IRS rules. While church advocacy for a *candidate* is categorically forbidden, church advocacy for an *issue* is not. Do you also think the Quaker Church should lose its tax exemption if someone at Meeting stands up and says "There's going to be an anti-war protest next Saturday, meet at City Hall"? Should a synagogue lose its tax exemption if the rabbi asks members to support legislation to ensure that mohels will still be allowed to perform circumcisions in people's homes?
Posted by PG on November 19, 2008 at 11:59 AM · Report this
41
Nic said: "Gay marriage supporters would be lucky if all the opponents were so polite and loving."

Why? If you support gay marriage, you are in no way lucky to have people voting against gay marriage, no matter how nice they are about it. If anything, it's worse. People like her who preach their pseudo-tolerant bullshit lend the Prop 8s of the world an air of legitimacy that Fred Phelps never could. Sane people don't really pay attention to the "god hates fags" stuff, but "love the sinner, hate the sin" just sounds so warm and cuddly. It rationalizes bigotry.
Posted by Guy on November 19, 2008 at 1:09 PM · Report this
42
Best protest sign in SF: "Would you rather I marry your daughter?"
Posted by Itzel on November 19, 2008 at 2:08 PM · Report this
43
Lol@ "She's not Tony Perkins; she's a human being."
Posted by klondike on November 19, 2008 at 2:23 PM · Report this
44
I was at the Philly protest on Saturday, and my favorite sign was "A recent California poll shows that you have a 52.5% chance of being an idiot."
Posted by John K. on November 19, 2008 at 3:59 PM · Report this
45
I don't know much about dom/sub ettiquette, but my first guess is that what ticked her off was his request that she wash the dildo IN FRONT of him. Meaning, he's in charge of the scene, checking up on her making sure she does it right. Sounds toppy from the bottom to me. If he has so little faith in her as a professional maybe he shouldn't be with her in the first place.
Posted by mjd64 on November 19, 2008 at 4:39 PM · Report this
46
clean dildos are in
Posted by lovesdildos on November 19, 2008 at 5:46 PM · Report this
47
I'm happy that gay people have the self esteem to say hell no we won't go, away.
I think the religious right has been allowed to make politics with impunity, so I glad to see them called out from behind their pews. True Christians do not condemn, or criticize others and they don't pay others to do it for them
Posted by oolongtea on November 19, 2008 at 6:25 PM · Report this
48
TO SHEESH:
A sub should NEVER be put at risk to contract an STD purely for the comfort of the Dom. Safe sex is always a right, not a privelege, not something to be compromised on.
Posted by Hucker on November 19, 2008 at 6:46 PM · Report this
49
Maybe SHEESH was topping from the bottom, as some people have suggested, but "My Name Here" makes the excellent point that the dom broke the rules first by introducing dildo training in the middle of a scene. That's something that should have been negotiated before they started, and then SHEESH could have brought up his completely reasonable and healthy request to supply his own dildo. Not only is cleanliness an issue (and bleach or sustained boiling would be the only way to guarantee no STI or bacterial transmission if she'd used the dildo on someone else already) but many toys are made of unhealthy materials. (As an aside,I'm chemically sensitive and I always supply my own lube, condoms and toys because most of what's out there causes me irritation and/or yeast infections. I support anyone who wants to protect their health by bringing their own toys.) SHEESH may or may not be a jerk - we don't know from his letter, he doesn't sound like one to me - but I think Dan's jumping to conclusions and being way too harsh. I understand him wanting to defend sex workers, but I don't think SHEESH was out of line - the dom was, and SHEESH is well rid of her. And Dan passed up an opportunity to address an interesting question of sex etiquette in favor of using a reader as a punching bag.
Posted by ProsperitySnow on November 19, 2008 at 9:17 PM · Report this
50
PG - Your comparing Apples and oranges.
A "synagogue losing its tax exemption if the rabbi asks members to support legislation to ensure that mohels will still be allowed to perform circumcisions in people's homes" Is not the same thing as a tax exempt church using its vast tax free network of churches and printing presses to LOBBY to eliminate the rights of a minority. For anyone else to fight such an onslaught have to pay dearly to even put such a network together, not to mention we would have to pay taxes on all of it.
You need read the IRS rules, they can't LOBBY.
Posted by Bayhuntr on November 19, 2008 at 9:25 PM · Report this
51
I have to agree you were too harsh on SHEESH there. This woman sounds like a control freak on a power trip pretending to be a pro dom to me.

The "topping from the bottom" problem is when subs are nitpicky and try to direct all the action ("I like the rope around my wrists five times, not four"). Asking for basic assurance of personal health and safety is not the same as that, and if people start calling it "topping from the bottom," you might as well throw out all guidelines around BDSM, since it's supposed to be SAFE.

The guy sounds like he's pissed that she overreacted and he's kinda passively-aggressively trying to get back at her. That seems like his only problem, not that he was being unreasonable with his request. I can't blame him though, I'd want to do the same thing.

I come from the Bitchy Jones school of BDSM though, so I'd rather everyone wash their hands of it. Feminization and Very Important Capitalized Pronouns, ugh.
Posted by RedPanda on November 19, 2008 at 9:46 PM · Report this
52
I love your column Dan and 99% of the time I agree on your views/responses to your letters, but the one to SHEESH was outta line for sure. This Pro Domme refused to give her sub the piece of mind of washing the dildo in front of him? Then I think she's the "disrespectful, controlling, and manipulative piece of shit". Yes, there are rules in a 'scene' and topping from the bottom isn't something most Dom/Dommes take, but this isn't like the sub intentionally acting bratty so they'll get their desired spanking, this is real life concerning safety and cleanliness. Any responsible Dom/Domme, pro or otherwise, would not refuse this request from a sub. I can understand not wanting to use his dildo, but hers (could be a control thing among other things) but he was being responsible and safe himself in asking if she would clean it in front of him. Ironically, I have an inkling that if he didn't and she made him take one of her dildoes up his ass without a second thought of cleanliness, you'd come down on him as well. Maybe, just maybe, I can see another side to this: maybe she thought he didn't trust her and she was mad or disappointed or offended by that. But it certainly doesn't give her reason to act that way. Dom/sub play is a control thing yes, but real life also exists, and it needs to be acknowledged now and then. So SHEESH I think you did the right thing in your request to her; and I think she herself needs to step out of her heeled boots once in a while to do a reality check...
Posted by twinklegirly on November 19, 2008 at 10:13 PM · Report this
53
And in case you think SHEESH the sub was being nit-picky: HepC can live for up to 6 months in dried blood.

I have been thinking about this for a day now and just getting angrier. Dan's bitch slap can only have had the rotten effect of making subs, already fairly vulnerable, reluctant to raise legitimate concerns about safety.
Posted by haughty kitten on November 20, 2008 at 12:21 AM · Report this
54
Favorite sign from the L.A. protests on Prop 8 was:

"When do I get to vote on YOUR marriage?"

Posted by Medici on November 20, 2008 at 12:47 AM · Report this
55
I am a Professional dominatrix and I believe that SHEESH is a "do me bottom!"

I can't speak for every Domme out there, but *I* would never use an uncovered toy on a sub/client.

I don't know why he didn't just ASK the Domme what happened! She was likely planning to cover it and got annoyed by him "questioning" her judgment!

The whole idea of submitting is to do as the Mistress says, if you do not want to go there, just say so.

Since you didn't respect the Domina's wishes, it sounds like you deserved what you got, SHEESH!
Posted by Miss Kitty on November 20, 2008 at 2:40 AM · Report this
56
Hey, any of y'all figure that SHEESH's domme might have have felt insulted that SHEESH thought she would be so unprofessional not to take proper care of her tools? Also, in no place does SHEESH state that said dildo appeared, she said dildo training was on the agenda.
Posted by Bramblerose on November 20, 2008 at 5:50 AM · Report this
57
Hey people! It wasn't just Mormons in California! Mormons from all over the country gave money to support bigotry in CA. Check it out: http://www.sfgate.com/webdb/prop8/
Posted by incali on November 20, 2008 at 6:38 AM · Report this
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DEAR DAN SAVAGE!! ON GAY MARRIAGE!! FIRST I DON'T AGREE WITH IT!!! BUT WHAT PISS'S ME OFF IS THE COMMON SENSE OF NO GOVERNMENT ARGUEMENT FROM THE GAY PEOPLE ON TALK SHOWS OF HOW JUSTICE IS SUPPOSE TO BE BLIND??????? ASK YOURSELF WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!! CAN A WOMEN VOTE?? WHY?? CAN A BLACK MAN VOTE?? WHY?? CAUSE IN THE UNITED STATES IT CAME TO TERMS WITH ITS SELF THE ALL MEN AND WOMEN ARE EQUAL??? WHEN YOU GO BEFORE THE JUDGE HE CAN NOT SAY YOU ARE MALE OR FEMALE BLACK OR WHITE ONLY JOE CITIZEN!! THATS RIGHT YOUR A U.S. CITIZEN!! AS A CITIZEN YOU ARE ABLE TO GO TO A GOVERNMENT OFFICE AND GET A MARRIAGE LICENSE AND THAT CAN'T ASK IF YOUR MAN OR WOMEN BLACK OR WHITE GAY OR WHATEVER!! ITS THIER JOB TO BE AS JUSTICE IS BLIND TO HAND JOE CITIZEN THEIR LICENSE FOR BUILDING PERMIT OR MARRIAGE PERMIT!!! IN THEIR EYES ITS ONLY A GOVERNMENT FUNCTION AS THEIR JOB!! ONE MORE THING BEFORE I GO!! WHEN YOU GO BACK ON REAL TIME I WANT YOU TO ALSO EXPRESS THAT DEMOCRATS DON'T HAVE TO BE FOR ABORTION!!! ALL THEY HAVE TO SAY IS I DON'T LIKE ABORTION!! BUT AS THE BUSH'S SAID AS REPUBLI=CONS SAY WHEN THEY HAVE FAMILY MATTER'S ITS FUCKING A PRIVATE MATTER BETWEEN THE HUSBAND WIFE AND THEIR DOCTOR!!!!!! THE REPUBLI=CON PEOPLE ARE LIKE SOAP OPERA MOMMA'S THEY WANT THEIR NOSE IN PEOPLE'S PRIVATE LIVE'S AND WHEN YOU GO ON REAL TIME AGAIN YOU NEED TO PUSH THAT MESSAGE!!! ITS PRIVATE PRIVATE PRIVATE!!! BUT JUST LIKE IN BILL CLINTON THAT CAN'T HELP THEMSELVE'S THEY ARE SOAP OPERA MOMMA'S SORRY FOR ANY SPELLING ERROR'S OR THE GRAMMER BUT I WORK OFF COMMOM SENSE NOT OVER EDUCATED
Posted by kevin on November 20, 2008 at 6:42 AM · Report this
59
The problem with SHEESH is that he assumed that his Mistress was so stupid that She wouldn't know to clean a dildo before using it again. THAT is why the session was stopped. That is the epitome of 'topping from the bottom'.
Posted by Prof. Domme on November 20, 2008 at 7:14 AM · Report this
60
Hands up, everyone, who routinely ignores posters who use all caps?
Posted by georgetirebiter on November 20, 2008 at 7:23 AM · Report this
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Let us say you are right, Dan, and that SHEESH is "an insufferable controlling twat," and "managed to annoy the fuck out of her".
SO WHAT? This is why he is PAYING her for her time! Sure she has the right to terminate the contract, but he also has the right to demand a clean dildo. This isn't a lovey-dovey snuggle-fest. He is not her boyfriend. We are talking about a business arrangement. If she isn't able to accept that the people who need to pay for sex generally have issues, then maybe she is in the wrong business.
And before someone jumps on me for generalizing about people who pay for sex: nothing personal, we all have issues. If you are paying for sex, odds are your issues have to do with sex. That's all.
Posted by Catskinner on November 20, 2008 at 7:30 AM · Report this
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@prof domme, Dan, thread:

I thought sub/dom was supposed to be a trusting relationship, with the sub's safety and security in mind?

no one should have to apologize for protecting themselves against possible FUCKING STDs on a dildo that could have been up some stranger's ass. no matter what the "scene". when health comes into play, everything should stop.

Whether she's pro or whatever, if their relationship was all it's cracked up to be, she should have been willing and caring enough to give that peace-of-mind to SHEESH, and then promptly returned to abusing him and treating him like shit or whatever else it was he got off on.

Dan, is there something else in the letter you're not sharing with us that caused you to respond so harshly?

also, maybe he wrote you to get some advice so he would know what to expect from the next Dom he subs with? not necessarily a passive-aggressive play to get you to dress Her down in your column.
Posted by always a sub on November 20, 2008 at 7:46 AM · Report this
63
If SHEESH is paying for dom services, doesn't he at least get the privilege of having a clean one shoved you-know-where? SHEESH!
Posted by rayy on November 20, 2008 at 7:58 AM · Report this
64
Wow, Dan. Every once in a while I see something that makes me want to stop reading your column. Your response to SHEESH definitely fits that description.

What an awful thing to call him, first of all. Since you made assumptions about his motivations, I'm going to make one about yours: it feels very attention-getting for the sake of attention-getting. Very "Oh look, I'm Dan Savage and people pay attention when I say extreme things." For shame, Dan. You say some wonderful things. That op-ed you wrote for the New York Times was brilliant. This response was not.

Second, I don't think it's manipulative to believe so strongly in your right to know the situation you're in is safe and ask for what you need to make that happen, that you want to write a public letter about it.

I think if the domme felt uncomfortable with his request, given their relationship, she should have ended the scene and then negotiated with him a healthy way to navigate something like that in the future. Since that's not her style, it sounds like this wasn't the right domme for him. But that does not make him a piece of shit.

Posted by are you kidding? on November 20, 2008 at 8:23 AM · Report this
65
As big a douche as LBJ was, he basically strong-armed segregationist senators into not filibustering desegregation. It'd be nice to see the new administration do something similar (but more diplomatic and less apt to lose the dems the southern states again) and say, "Look, marriage rights for gay people is inevitable. We can be cutting-edge and make it happen, or we can look like rearguard douches by being one of the last governments to oppose it." And then say that any gay marriage anywhere is recognized by the federal government, esp. the IRS.

As for dildo-guy.... Dan, don't you think you were hard on him? Yeah, it's crappy that he's all, "And she reads your column," but anonymous sex is risky enough - someone who refused to reassure me that her sex tools were hygienic would lose my business anyway. Seems to me that if you're in the sex trade, you should be willing to go out of your way to demonstrate your extra care - because that, not extra kinkiness, would attract more business.
Posted by Kate on November 20, 2008 at 8:24 AM · Report this
66
Wow, Dan. Every once in a while I see something that makes me want to stop reading your column. Your response to SHEESH definitely fits that description.

What an awful thing to call him, first of all. Since you made assumptions about his motivations, I'm going to make one about yours: it feels very attention-getting for the sake of attention-getting. Very "Oh look, I'm Dan Savage and people pay attention when I say extreme things." For shame, Dan. You say some wonderful things. That op-ed you wrote for the New York Times was brilliant. This response was not.

Second, I don't think it's manipulative to believe so strongly in your right to know the situation you're in is safe and ask for what you need to make that happen, that you want to write a public letter about it.

I think if the domme felt uncomfortable with his request, given their relationship, she should have ended the scene and then negotiated with him a healthy way to navigate something like that in the future. Since that's not her style, it sounds like this wasn't the right domme for him. But that does not make him a piece of shit.
Posted by dg on November 20, 2008 at 8:36 AM · Report this
67
@Just Me

I do not think it was the fact that the request was made, JM, but moreso the fact that he violated the terms of their contract and refused to give up on it.

Pretty much this is what it comes down to: before entering into the scenerio it is important to make sure the person you are hiring is clean and responsible BEFORE beginning your session. This isn't your average "hire a prostitute" situation. This man was hiring a woman, under contract, to dominate and humiliate him. So once that gear is on, once that door is closed, those are the terms you must abide by. Have any doubts? Want to make sure she cleans all her tools? (because, frankly, a dildo is not the only dom-gear that can spread infections) ASK HER BEFOREHAND. And don't give me "I didn't know it would come up". You should have properly researched how these things worked before jumping in if that is the case.

If she were to stop what she was doing to reassure him of whether or not her dildo was cleaned it would have completely destroyed the atmosphere of control. The session would have been compromised. So it was either her doing what she did, or giving up her power- which is what her entire point is.

This guy was a douche. Not because he wanted to be clean, but because he didn't even think to ask about her cleaning habits or how responsible she was BEFORE signing that contract or winding up in that situation.

She had every right to do what she did. And this is coming from someone who thinks being responsible and safe in sex-play is of the highest priority. I don't wait until after the guy fucks me to ask "So hey, got any STDs?" I ask BEFOREHAND.
Posted by MarsAttack on November 20, 2008 at 8:37 AM · Report this
68
(oops, sorry for the double comment. it disappeared and then reappeared.)
Posted by dg on November 20, 2008 at 8:37 AM · Report this
69
AnnoyedJackMormon,

I don't think the Mormons have been as careful as you think. They instructed members via an hour-long message that went out to churches in Utah, Hawaii, and Idaho as well as California to contribute money directly to assist Prop. 8 and to volunteer.

I suggest you take a look at http://www.mormonsstoleourrights.com/
which looks more closely at this issue, and determines that at the very least the church failed to comply with even minimal reporting requirements, and absolutely violated the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law.

No matter how careful you think they are by not violating the letter of the law, I would not be surprised if it was there violating the spirit of the law that will be enough to undo them.
Posted by mike on November 20, 2008 at 9:20 AM · Report this
70
Dan,

Even before Prop. 8 you were getting sloppy on calls to the podcast, forgetting important details and not even bothering to go over the details again when formulating your answer, and in some cases even criticizing callers for not including information they clearly stated in the beginning of their calls.

As someone that only recently started listening to the podcast, I caught up by listening to all of them over the period of about a week, and there is a noticeable drop in your level of interest over the last several months. Now I think your disinterest is just turning to hostility.

If you don't care about the people that call and write to you anymore, at least have the decency to not hurt them.
Posted by mike on November 20, 2008 at 9:25 AM · Report this
71
Dan, While you were sitting beside him, did you mention to Anderson Cooper that visibility is the best way to combat homophobia and the biggest role he could play would be to come out?
Posted by Vin on November 20, 2008 at 9:52 AM · Report this
72
No one should ever be dumped as a client because of an insistence on hygiene. Particularly in the disease-strewn age we live in, it's the only sensible thing to do. His domme was clearly in the wrong if she refused him on that basis. If he was being a dick about it, she should have told him that's why she was dumping him so he didn't get the wrong idea. Being a good top is about being responsible for your bottom and making sure they are kept safe.
Posted by Adrasteia on November 20, 2008 at 10:40 AM · Report this
73
I agree with henri. A clean dildo is just common sense. Being the sub shouldn't put you at any health risk. Yeah maybe you got him off by humiliating him, good for you... but i don't see any issue with his request. Part of the dom/ sub contract is respect for the sub as much as the other way around. Where is the sex worker's scruples?
Posted by Z on November 20, 2008 at 11:07 AM · Report this
74
BBIB - Next time you're having the conversation about the Bible's rules, ask to go over the specific passage that dictates marriage is only m-f. And then ask about the other rules in there, like not eating meat and dairy together. And how about shellfish? I'm never satisfied with the answers I get.
Posted by allisun wunderland on November 20, 2008 at 11:07 AM · Report this
75
yowza, dan... pretty harsh on SHEESH. even if he is a manipulative piece of shit, you're making it seem like it's not okay for someone to look out for their own health. don't let your column give other people in similar situations the wrong idea--even the douche-baggiest have a right to be disease-free
Posted by mais non on November 20, 2008 at 11:23 AM · Report this
76
I have an idea. The States and the Federal Gov't should all cease being in the marriage business in favor of Civil Unions for ALL. Then, let the various church organizations decide who they will "Marry" or not.
Posted by Just me on November 20, 2008 at 12:17 PM · Report this
77
...yawn
Posted by ribs on November 20, 2008 at 12:21 PM · Report this
78
Battling Bigots should check himself - he has no "right" to time with those kids as their uncle. He has the exact same legal status as anyone else in the world who is not their parents - he gets to see them at the sole discretion of the parents, revocable at any time for any reason. So why antagonize the MIL? She's got more clout with her daughter than you do. And the mother of those kids may well be able to win on a "I'm not comfortable with all the drama, let's not invite your obnoxiously political fight-picking brother this time" argument with your brother. Why not just chill out? The MIL knows you don't agree with her. That's done. Any further discussion is just about your ego, IMO.
Posted by Cat on November 20, 2008 at 12:41 PM · Report this
79
If I was being paid to dildo people I would make sure that each person had their own dildo. I would keep it clean and everything but they would be assured that the only dildo they were getting was theirs.

.... cue full metal jacket with dildoes ....
Posted by James on November 20, 2008 at 12:42 PM · Report this
80
Honestly, I would want to know if the dildo in my ass was recently in someone else's'. Politics aside...its just polite.
Posted by whiskey fighter on November 20, 2008 at 1:08 PM · Report this
81
I think you were way off base with SHEESH, Dan. Anyone at ANY time has the right to be concerned about their sexual health, particularly when there's a strong chance the object in question has been used with multiple partners. People are told they should make sure to watch a tattoo artist open a fresh needle in front of them, but suddenly it's not alright to ask someone to bleach a dildo? Whether or not he asked in an assholish, topping from the bottom manner, he has the right to make sure that it's clean. Period. He's well shut of this particular domme.
Posted by Double Doc on November 20, 2008 at 1:33 PM · Report this
82
As a long time reader I am very put off by your response to SHEESH, so what if that dumb bitch he was complaining about reads your column (and aren't you a little high and mighty on yourself for assuming that she reads you) your responsibility - such that you have any - is to the person that wrote to you.
Posted by Psilly Cybin on November 20, 2008 at 1:42 PM · Report this
83
I agree with some of the others here - SHEESH was right and their employee for the moment was WRONG. Period! That person should be named and other clients who care about their health and safety should be warned.
Posted by Sarah Palin Hater on November 20, 2008 at 1:44 PM · Report this
84
I agree with "Just Me." SHEESH was totally correct in requesting her to clean it.
Posted by jules on November 20, 2008 at 2:31 PM · Report this
85
Dan, I generally love your column, but I'm appalled by your response to SHEESH. Safety comes first, and the dom introduced the dildo midway through the scene. What you seem to be so pissed about is that the guy wrote to you. Did it occur to you that the guy might not be trying to "manipulate" the dom, but instead be trying to (a) make sure that he, as a sub, is in line in asking for a clean dildo, and/or (b) make sure, for the sake of the dom's future clients, that the dom knows that a client's request for a clean dildo is a reasonable one? You've got a lot of influence, Dan, and your answer just might have made for a nice new little crop of STDs and AIDS among subs who will now hesitate to ask for a clean dildo.

You should have said something along these lines: "SHEESH, you should always negotiate such requests in advance, and this issue was foreseeable. But given that the dom introduced the dildo in the middle of the action, you were reasonable in asking for a sterile one. Sounds like you and the dom are not on the same wavelength, and you're better off parting. And dom, next time, use a condom, or take steps in advance to assure your client you're being safe."

Posted by disappointed in you on November 20, 2008 at 2:33 PM · Report this
86
My Mistress says the way his Dominatrix should have handled this is she should have made him wash the dildo under her watchfull eye.
Posted by Herboy on November 20, 2008 at 4:01 PM · Report this
87
Dan:-

Kudos for your appearance on Anderson Cooper 350. Not only did you articulate the legal case for freedom of marriage perfectly (yes, Loving v. Virginia as a perfect example of the Court's existing to overturn tyranny by majority), but I loved it when Tony Perkins had to resort to kvetching about you interrupting him. What? He thought he'd get fewer interruptions from Ann Coulter?

Here's a question about the "kids need a mother and a father" argument. When my grandmothers were widowed before their children were grown, should the government have stepped in and split up their sons and daughters among foster families headed by married couples? And would it have been appropriate to remove them from any of those settings in the event that Mom or Pop Foster met an untimely end?

Sincerely,
Audrey Rasmusson, Esq.
Pittsburgh, PA
Posted by Audrey Rasmusson, Esq. on November 20, 2008 at 5:19 PM · Report this
88
The response to SHEESH seemed a bit harsh to me, too. However, I can see that it might be insulting to be asked to be WATCHED washing the dildo.

He missed a step... one that includes diplomacy... perhaps asking about her sterile proceedures for her sex paraphernalia.

I can see how she would be insulted. By not asking if the item was sterilized, and instead asking to watch it be sterilized, it implys that he wouldn't have taken her word if she simply told him the dildo would be (or had been) sterilized.

Posted by shellgirl on November 20, 2008 at 6:12 PM · Report this
89
Re SHEESH: I've looked to others for opinions when I'm wondering if I was out of line in my actions. Maybe that's all he was doing too.

Ouch.
Posted by Trayfiz on November 20, 2008 at 7:13 PM · Report this
90
Mistress, permission requested to scrub that dildo with bleach?
Posted by easy on November 20, 2008 at 8:39 PM · Report this
91
What self-respecting sex professional would accept her professionalism being so rudely called into question ? "Of course it's clean !"
Posted by Blether on November 21, 2008 at 7:33 AM · Report this
92
As a unitarian, I see same sex marriage as a 1st amendment issue. Marrige is a scared rite, so the Government shouldnt pass laws that shows favortism to one faiths practicing of this rite over another faiths. While some people want to address it as a civil rights issue (not saying its not) the relgious freedom aspect should shut most conservative fundies down.
Posted by nkdpagan on November 21, 2008 at 7:58 AM · Report this
93
MarsAttack wrote: "Want to make sure she cleans all her tools? (because, frankly, a dildo is not the only dom-gear that can spread infections) ASK HER BEFOREHAND."

Bullshit. They hadn't discussed dildo training in the preliminaries; she sprang it on him. Cut this guy a break; he just wanted to be safe. You can quibble that his reaction wasn't exactly the right ettiquette, but the fact that she sprang this on him in the middle of a scene and then got all indignant with him means that she's the asshole, not him.

And Dan: You over-reacted. Just because he says the Domme reads your column doesn't mean he was being all passive-aggressive. He may have partly wanted to reach her, but so what? I mean, he was still asking a legitimate question. How many other sex advice columns could he have gone to? Jeeez!
Posted by SpankThatDom on November 21, 2008 at 9:30 AM · Report this
94
I can state with authority that Kinky Coed has zero chance of making a living as a non-nude bondage model. Her chances would increase slightly if she were willing to pose nude, but even then, her chances are low. Yes, you can find non-nude bondage photos around, some of them nicely done even. But most of those models do it for kicks; few of them get paid anything. There are far more kinksters out there willing to pose than there are photographers willing to pay for it.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on November 21, 2008 at 9:39 AM · Report this
95
Chalk me up to the "too harsh on SHEESH" team. Jesus Christ, dude. What's gotten into you? It certainly sounds like we can assume that this particular issue was not foreseen and thus not outlined in his contract, and of course he has a right to his personal safety! What happened to your passionate support of safe sex in all situations? Why were you such an asshole to this poor guy? I'm totally baffled.
Posted by WTF? on November 21, 2008 at 10:42 AM · Report this
96
Dan,
You were great on Anderson Cooper. It's so important for Americans to be exposed to a counterbalance to the right-wing pro-prop 8 talking heads. Thanks for presenting a logical, rational, well-reasoned argument in such a cool-headed manner.
Posted by Meghan on November 21, 2008 at 11:41 AM · Report this
97
Dan, you are waaay off in your response to SHEESH. He may well be a controlling twat, but dildo sanitation is as non-negotiable as getting a brand new needle from your doctor or dentist. Being vigilant about your health does not constitute topping from the bottom -- it just makes you an informed consumer. In sex work, like in all fields, there are sloppy practitioners who cut corners and/or engage in unethical practices. SHEESH is lucky to be rid of her.
Posted by str8grlknowsbest on November 21, 2008 at 12:42 PM · Report this
98
Maybe the problem was the suggested method of cleaning the dildo? From what I hear, bleach is some nasty shit. You don't want that up your ass. I'm betting you don't want to pay for a new (expensive) silicone dildo after the bleach has ruined it, either.

He should have asked for it to be boiled or disinfected by some other means, and it definitely should have been used with a condom.
Posted by pepper on November 21, 2008 at 6:17 PM · Report this
99
I thought when you got a chance to speak on Anderson Cooper you were good. However, AC was not a good moderator and let Perkins dominate the conversation. I bet if you count the air time, he had more. I felt AC could/should have done better and wonder why he didn't. Oh wait, it's CNN, for gosh sakes. Anyway, I'm a straight 53 year old dad and my 19 and 22 year old daughters love your column.

Best

K
Posted by Spacedad on November 21, 2008 at 6:19 PM · Report this
100
When I came across your column it was informative and educational enough that I went back and eventually caught up the missed articles. What you said to SHEESH may be the meanest thing you've said in the column to anyone. Not only did you offer no advice nor educate; not only was the situation a gray enough area that a detail had to 'tip' your opinion to judge him wrong; but you then say he is a piece of shit. Wow. I've witnessed people do some pretty lousy crap to another, and yet rarely if ever would I write a person off completely in such a way. You know almost nothing about SHEESH. Your response makes it clear your opinion about him was basically a guess, so how about showing a little respect for a fellow human being. If you are too frustrated with other things to do that, maybe it would be better to take a short break from the column.
Posted by Lucas Licksya on November 21, 2008 at 9:55 PM · Report this
101
Dan Savage says "twat" like it's a bad thing.
Posted by t w a t on November 21, 2008 at 11:36 PM · Report this
102
Dan I saw you on Tony Perkins.You were so angry that you came across as very childish, more so even than Perkins. You're not going to win the debate by being pissy. Your impatience with that bigot reduced you to an ineffective advocate. Do better next time.
Posted by ari on November 22, 2008 at 12:39 AM · Report this
103
Dan,

I am beginning to worry about your readership. Perhaps ironic sarcasm is beyond the grasp of some. I thought you response to SHEESH was funny and appropriate, you nagging witty faggot. Now get back to work before I have to come over there and punish you for being a bad bad boy.
Posted by Paolo on November 22, 2008 at 5:09 AM · Report this
104
In the Anderson Cooper interview, Tony Perkins mentioned some BS about comparing the banning of same sex marriage to not being able to "marry a close blood relative". I would just like to point out that marrying first cousins, along with other kinds of cousins, is legal in the majority of our states. http://marriage.about.com/cs/marriagelic…
Posted by jL on November 22, 2008 at 10:13 AM · Report this
105
I'm fairly certain that Dan wasn't objecting to SHEESH's original request for a clean dildo as much as he was objecting to the letter.

SHEESH knows that he's right about this request, but all he really wants to do is publicly humiliate the woman who he knows reads Dan's column. That's the disrespectful, etc. piece of shit part.
Posted by Alex on November 22, 2008 at 11:24 AM · Report this
106
How can Mormon families afford to donate? They have so many kids and refuse to let Mom work, so Dad has to work three jobs just to feed and clothe everybody.
The "Church" as an entity is probably officially staying out of it, but I can bet there were several talks at meetings emphasizing the importance of 'traditional' marriage.
Posted by FormerMormon on November 22, 2008 at 1:17 PM · Report this
107
When Her Dildo Highness refuses a reasonable request for proper hygiene in a situation where the lack of it could kill the sub -- that's past kink and into criminal culpability. And there's no way he could trust her not to use a dirty implement when he's in role, so he's better off without her.
Posted by Canadian Skeptic on November 22, 2008 at 2:35 PM · Report this
108
Fuckin' christ, did anyone bother to look up whether or not bleach kills hepatitis OR HIV? 'Cause the only thing that is certain to kill both is an autoclave. Bleach used to be certain to kill all diseases, which is why drug treatment clinics used to tell addicts to wash their syringes in a bleach solution, however, this practice isn't used as often. Bleach often doesn't kill hepatitis or the relatively fragile AIDS virus. (I'm getting this from the BME wiki, http://wiki.bmezine.com/index.php/Steril…)
Posted by theo on November 22, 2008 at 5:04 PM · Report this
109
"SHEESH knows that he's right about this request, but all he really wants to do is publicly humiliate the woman who he knows reads Dan's column. That's the disrespectful, etc. piece of shit part."

Alex, how can she be "publicly" humiliated if no one but she knows who she is? It's not like her name or photo was in the column. (And in any event, Dan's the one who chose to publish the letter instead of answering the guy privately.) What she'd get is a heads up from Dan saying "Yo Dom, whatever role you're playing, it's always OK to demand safe sex." And that's what she should have received.
Posted by disgusted on November 22, 2008 at 6:22 PM · Report this
110
Here's a tale of another manipulative piece of shit:

"So in the middle of fucking this girl I decided to take the condom off and shove my cock up her ass. And she was like, 'No, put the condom back on.' And I was like, 'Fuck you bitch, this was a foreseeable circumstance. I'm insulted that you would think I would put your safety at risk by not making sure I was disease free before I decided to stick my cock in your pooper.' And she was like, 'Well, I really like you, but I don't want to put my safety at risk.' So I kicked the bitch out of my apartment, but not before stealing her credit card number and using it to rack up a $40,000 bill. Serves her right, trying to top from the bottom."
Posted by Jonathan Swift on November 23, 2008 at 5:27 AM · Report this
111
I think the Domme's problem is SHEESH was unwilling to trust her. If you don't trust your domme to use a clean dildo on you maybe you're not a good match.
Posted by Clea on November 23, 2008 at 5:31 AM · Report this
112
To BBIB: Watch the documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So," either by yourself or with your brother's mother-in-law. It shows how you can be a devout Christian without believing that the Bible condemns homosexual relationships. Share the film's arguments and information with your relative, but don't expect too much of her.
Posted by jolie on November 23, 2008 at 9:09 AM · Report this
113
I agree with Dan, SHEESH was being a miserable little dick. The dom was pissed that he didnt trust her, and if he doesnt trust her, they are not a good match. She saved herself many future headaches, and possibly lawsuits from the little bastard.

Her business will be short lived if she doesnt wash toys, a great argument for letting karma take its course instead of being a sniveling, passive-aggressive piece of shit. Kudos, Dan.
Posted by danisrightthistime on November 23, 2008 at 9:36 AM · Report this
114
Hey Dan,

Love your articles. I wish you'd rethink boycotting Utah, What Utah needs is a huge influx of politically motivated gay people to help those of us who live here. Salt Lake is full of gay people who have very few rights. Come to Utah and help us fight for our rights. The Mormon church will notice MUCH more if you come and help. Martin Luthor King didn't boycott Alabama, he brought the fight to the source. Don't punnish all of Utah for what the Mormons did, we're only 63% Mormon. Gay Utahns need your help, not your boycott.
Come to Utah to Fight for Gay Rights!
http://apps.facebook.com/causes/158670?m…
Posted by Mike Walton on November 23, 2008 at 2:47 PM · Report this
115
Dan's coming to a symposium at the University of Iowa, hooray!!!
Posted by Arch on November 23, 2008 at 8:16 PM · Report this
116
I don't see how BIBB's relative is a bigot. Her only objection to homosexual marriage stems from her faith, not from personal intolerance. If it becomes legal, she will help BIBB find a husband- how could you then label her as intolerant? She not only tolerates but embraces the openly homosexual men she knows. Most fundamental Christians interpret the Bible as anti-homosexual unions; are they supposed to stop being Christian because they're uncomfortable with one tenet? Or are they supposed to keep their faith, but only espouse the pieces they feel comfortable with?
Posted by MBK on November 23, 2008 at 9:52 PM · Report this
117
I wonder why the dom didn't just pull out every dildo in the house and MAKE the sub wash each and every one in bleach. And then wash them again after use. And so on and so on.

SHEESH, isn't that what doms do?
Posted by jojoranting on November 24, 2008 at 9:23 AM · Report this
118
Just another example of a crap domme. Being a good domme is not as simple as the sub simply doing what they say. A good domme understands the needs of the sub and reassures them whilst still maintaining dominance.

If the sub says something inappropriate it's important that they understand why it's inappropriate but that their fears are allayed nontheless.

The price of someone submitting to you is that you take care of their needs and leave them in a better state than they were. If you fail to do that, you are a crap domme.
Posted by NW on November 24, 2008 at 10:22 AM · Report this
119
Re: SHEESH. I think we all forget that Dan edits emails that he prints. Maybe he removed names/details to protect the depraved/not so depraved? (I am using "depraved" in the sex poz sense.) Not that it would change the advice he dispensed, but it could change our perception of the emailer and his beef. Maybe Dan removed more passive-aggression??
Posted by devilish advocate on November 24, 2008 at 12:12 PM · Report this
120
pg,

You need to reread Section 501(c)(3):

"no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation"

and IRS Publication 1828 Page 5:

In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying).
Posted by mike on November 24, 2008 at 2:01 PM · Report this
121
Regarding the Dominatrix and the commenters implying SHEESH was in the right, I don't know any sex worker of any kind that doesn't clean their tools. Perhaps it was beyond the "topping from the bottom" situation. He disrespected his top by suggesting she's sloppy and doesn't clean her things after each session, which I doubt is the case if she is in fact a professional. And it was further rude of SHEESH to write about it.
Posted by Katie on November 24, 2008 at 4:11 PM · Report this
122
Another dissent on the crossdresser in question- yes, he might be overreaching by requesting that she clean it *in front* of him, her reaction seems way more the red flag than his. The fact that she's being so rigid about him setting reasonable conditions around an activity that *she* suggested strikes me as odd behavior for a professional- she's the dom but he's still the client.

I know all the "Her" and "She" capitalization is an annoying habit of many submissives, but it doesn't invalidate the entire story. The favorable ratio Pro Dommes enjoy makes it all too easy for them to extend their bitchy persona from roleplay (where it belongs) to negotiation, which should be done in a professional manor. Just because she can get away with it doesn't mean she should.

But I agree that he shouldn't try to dress her down in your column. That's what review sites are for.
Posted by bear cub on November 24, 2008 at 6:55 PM · Report this
123
Dan once-again, seems to have caught on *brilliantly* to the subtext in SHEESH - and well, SHEESH may well be as manipulative as the post, and Dan's call out, implied.

But Dan, you fumbled the catch.
You might have caught the subtext, but many of your readers/new players won't have - and therefore won't understand why you disagreed, when it *is* a perfectly reasonable request to ask to use your own dildo, or a clean dildo, in dildo play. It was the subtext that was the callout (and old-player info, like - bleach maybe being bad for silicone toys, that as a Dominatrix, she was offended that a Sub wouldn't trust her to properly sterilise a dildo - if he doesn't trust her, he shouldn't be subbing for that sort of thing).

Here's hoping you clarify in the next column.
Posted by Elysum on November 24, 2008 at 10:20 PM · Report this
124
Dan, you were too rough on SHEESH. His request was reasonable. Even if he's a total jerk the rest of the time, and that's why his domme banished him from her client list, the issue he's writing in about seems pretty straightforward.
Posted by mary on November 25, 2008 at 9:34 AM · Report this
125
Right on, Elysum. I think Dan got caught up in his Incredible Power to Spot Subtext & ignored what was in front of him: A chance to educate about dildo play, about dom/sub roles, and the proper etiquette of both. Instead, he spent all his time looking under the hood instead of changing the damn tire already.

Yes, we can argue about his attitude, intentions, etc, but the REAL obvious issue is simple sex etiquette, which Dan ignored.
Posted by George Tirebiter on November 25, 2008 at 10:45 AM · Report this
126
If two gay men were sharing a dildo without a good cleaning inbetween I think you would be singing a different tune. Your advise in this case is dangerous. I commend the bottom guy for looking out for his own health. No one else seems concerned.
Posted by Colorado Tim on November 25, 2008 at 1:27 PM · Report this
127
The mormons are all about the cash! Go forth and make as many babies as possible...one woman, two, three, 10, it doesn't matter. It is all about the tithing! That is where their opposition kicks in; less homo kids, less tithings. Pretty much the same for all churches. Sad to say. The more kids, the more money in the collection plates, the more BILLIONS of dollars in the bank. Billions. Magic underpants along with the Jesus is an alien thing has somehow taken hold. All from their twisted scripture. AND yes, they are rich.
Posted by ko on November 25, 2008 at 5:51 PM · Report this
128
Your indication that the sub in the first letter is anything other than completely within reason to request (and expect complete compliance with the request) that any toys used internally be disease free is completely out of bounds, Dan.
A PROFESSIONAL Dom shouldn't have to be asked, and frankly he's well rid of her if she's unwilling to do a small thing like protecting someone's LIFE... you know, in order to keep her customers? Usually you're right on, but not this time.
Posted by ke'Chara on November 25, 2008 at 8:42 PM · Report this
129
What self-respecting sex worker would refuse a request to make sure a dildo is clean?

MY EX!
Posted by Frank on November 26, 2008 at 10:55 AM · Report this
130
SHEESH should have discussed the issue politely with his domme outside of any scening, expressed use of a dildo used by others as a hard limit, and negotiated.

No domme wants the sub telling them what to do. It kinda blows the whole point of the deal. But any responsible domme should in fact respect the hard limits of their subs.

Personally, as a sub, I'd have requested that the domme select the size, shape, brand etc. that she wanted to use, and allow the sub to pay for a pristine one that would be used only on that sub. That's not an unreasonable request, it leaves control and the decision-making with the domme.

But of course, we don't know the whole story here. Maybe the domme wanted to use some reasonable-sized dildo and the sub (like many guys who think they want to be pegged) had eyes bigger than his arsehole and wanted to get the model bigger around than a Coke can and longer than the average arm, and tried to push the issue under the guise of "one sub, one dildo".

And there may very well have been a whole slew of other issues that meant these two were not a good D/s match, the domme realized it, and kicked SHEESH to the curb.
Posted by Drifa on November 26, 2008 at 2:49 PM · Report this
131
Add me to team "You were an unreasonable dick to SHEESH." He had the right to request a clean instrument, she had a responsibility to see that he got one. End of story. If she had the spur of the moment great idea to tell him she'd be penetrating him with something he hadn't seen new and in the package, then she should have damn well had the spur of the moment creativity to make HIM wash it in front of HER.

I've been reading your column religiously (no pun intended) since I was a teenager, and tell people you're not just a shock-jock ass who likes to say inflammatory and explosive things because you like the sound of your own voice and enjoy telling people off. Please don't make me wrong.
Posted by Danielle on November 26, 2008 at 4:00 PM · Report this
132
The SHEESH thing is a little more complex than Dan or the people slagging Dan's response give it credit for, IMO.

Things like safety precautions (and dildo training!) should be negotiated before a scene. It is BOTH the Domme and the sub's responsibilities to make sure that that happens. It's bad form for a Domme to introduce something that hasn't been negotiated - but it's also bad form for a sub to make a demand that's as complex as "wash the dildo in bleach in front of me" when a simple "Would Mistress consider putting a condom over the dildo?" would probably suffice - chances are that was the plan anyway - NO sex worker I know would fuck someone with an unprotected/unclean dildo, and they'd probably be equally insulted by the assumption that they would.

The dynamics of a Pro scene are different from the dynamics of a couple practicing BDSM in the context of a relationship, because in this case the Domme is HIRED by the sub. It can be a tricky thing to navigate, given the nature of the services the Domme is being paid for, but they are still being paid. If the Domme in question doesn't want to be patient with the safety concerns of her subs, perhaps she should not Domme for money with multiple clients. And if SHEESH wants to be able to make complex and difficult requests of his Domme, perhaps he should find a nice kinky girl who is willing to tolerate breaking in the middle of a scene for negotiations and date her.

In short, it sounds like they are BOTH well rid of each other. What a pair.

Oh, and FYI, most high-quality dildos are made of non-porous materials such as silicone. Non-porous materials don't need to be cleaned with bleach to be sterilized, as they don't absorb bacteria. Simply washing them with, say, dishsoap and hot water will do the trick.
More...
Posted by Laura on November 27, 2008 at 12:00 PM · Report this
133
Job security in real estate is questionable, but I see your point.
Posted by ha! on November 28, 2008 at 7:36 PM · Report this
134
shouldn't that be part of the pre-scene discussion about safety. There was an episode of CSI this season where they tracked down participants thru saliva left on equipment left in a special customers only room in a club. I thought that there should have been clean up between parties
Posted by fordsparks on November 29, 2008 at 9:18 PM · Report this
135
Thanks, Laura! Good response.

This was the correct response to SHEESH, not Dan's little hissy-fit. As I wrote above, he should have gone into detail as to the proper etiquette, which you did a very good job on. Dan owes you 1/3 of the income he got from this article.
Posted by GeorgeTirebiter on November 30, 2008 at 1:59 PM · Report this
136
I could see how Ms Dom would have been offended by her sub telling her to do the dishes. Too bad she did not think to tell him to do the cleaning him self. Perhaps gagged and while being whipped would have made everyone happy.
Posted by CleanerIsBetter on December 2, 2008 at 9:04 AM · Report this
137
As a former Pro-Domme, I have to disagree with you Dan on your advice to SHEESH.

The Domme in question was way out of line, regardless of how whiny, manipulative or topping-from-the-bottom this guy may have been. Emphasis on 'may'.

SHEESH had the right and the obligation to protect his health from a potentially contaminated sex toy. The Domme had a moral and professional obligation to protect him as well.

It's entirely possible SHEESH is feeling emotionally battered in a no-fun kinda way. Perhaps he simply needed some validation that he was right to take a stand.

And it wouldn't hurt to have this 'professional' Domme put on notice that a respected sex educator such as yourself is appalled by her actions.
Posted by Sex Positive in a Bizarre World on December 2, 2008 at 12:03 PM · Report this
138
If you're "straight" then Saddam Hussein was the milk man. You are a faggot, whether the cock be real or rubber. Why don't you get a life? Go be queer somewhere and stop this absurd bullshit with strangers. Personally I think folks like you are why aliens from outer space have pretty much 86'd earth.
Posted by Dead Corn on December 2, 2008 at 11:07 PM · Report this
139
Dan--If SHEESH hadn't framed his question that way--If he'd simply asked whether it was out of line to ask a partner of any type to make sure her toys were clean, you'd have agreed he was well within his rights.

I'm sure of it, and I'm fairly sure you are too.
Posted by Metro on December 3, 2008 at 1:03 PM · Report this
140
Any truly professional DOM would have shown her sub a dildo with a condom over it, and then punished him for his impudence in assuming she did not know enough to do so.
Posted by thewendy on December 6, 2008 at 3:11 PM · Report this
141
Dan-

I just watched the clip of you on AC360 w/ that douchbag. I just wanted to let you know that you're so well spoken and you're a such a great mouthpiece for this issue. I stand behind you 100%!

-Shaunna
Posted by shaunna on December 12, 2008 at 3:19 PM · Report this
142
Frankly I dont care if John and Bill get maried or not, it dosnt affect me one bit do I care no, do I want to care about someone else's lover or boyfriend, no. But what does bother me is that anything not considered progresive or doesnt fall in with the far left train of thought is called bigotry. So what would you say to a trangendered lesbian who dosnt support gay marriage and has been with the same woman for well over ten years, I know one and we have talked about this many times. Frankly to me you are the bigot, you want every one to hear you roar, you want every one to bow down to you and kiss the ground you walk on and you will slander someone in a heart beat as well as scream "We must have tolerance, we must have tolerance", but you dont show any tolerance, nor compasion, all that you show is that you are acting like the sixteen year old brat that did not get her baby pink Mercedes SUV and comences to throw a temper tantrum because moma and popa got her a dark pink one instead. The last time I looked this was America and every one was free to think what they wanted and not have to worry about being crucified for it wheather we agree with it or not. I have several gay friends myself, and I am even considering the transgender life style but will I ever support gay marriage, no I will not.
Posted by Allison on December 17, 2008 at 11:27 AM · Report this
143
MIL should keep his big mouth shut. One's own mother in law hardly counts as a family member, and the mother in law of a brother certainly does not count as the kind of close family member who one is ethically obliged to engage in personal debate. It is not easy to host multiple family members for the holidays, and he should remember that his brother and sister in law should not be punished for taking pains to include him as well as her mother. It is possible that her mother will be the family member "dumped" if this turns into a nasty fight, but it will more likely be him. After all, he's the one who wouldn't leave the issue alone, characterized the other party as a 'bigot' and aired the issue in a publication.
Posted by big sister on December 30, 2008 at 10:11 PM · Report this
144
LOL at "She's not Tony Perkins; she's a human being." THIS is why I love your column, Dan!!!
Posted by Shonnerick on June 5, 2009 at 6:53 PM · Report this

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