Dan Savage on Slog
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM
My husband and I have been married for 20 years and both also share our lives with additional life partners. We recently moved in with my life partner and our relationship tree is complex, as it so often can be when people are allowed a bit of freedom to love.
Rather than spend a lot of time dishing about what we are up to, who and how we love, and how fortunate we feel, I'd like to get right to my plea for support that I know you could offer. I want freedom. I want the freedom in my life that I want for you, the freedom that I vote for, and demand for anyone anywhere: to be able to live and love and talk about your actual life without being afraid that it could cost you your job, your kids, your family.
Having to live in the closet about who you really are is difficult and fearful and it takes something out of you. It hampers relationships, it stifles your life. I cannot say that it is as difficult for us as it is for someone who is LGBT. Truly that isn't where I am coming from at all. I did not know I was "Poly" as a kid. I never felt like I didn't fit in for that reason growing up—and I happen to agree with you that this is a relationship structure issue rather than something similar sexual orientation. There may be people who always knew they were poly and people who do it to please a partner and people who come to it later and wonder how they ever lived without it. It really does not matter, anyway. This isn't a contest about who suffers more, or where these things come from. For me this is simply about freedom, the ability to be honest and genuine about who we are and have it be OK so long as no one is getting hurt.
I know you caught a lot of flack from the Poly community over the question of orientation vs. structure, and I want to make a public plea that we all just agree it doesn't matter. Instead I think we should ask ourselves if we stand for the same things and if we can become a part of a movement toward freedom and equality for everyone even if some of the ways we choose to live and love are choices and some are not. Can we be added to the acronym, please? I have seen the P added but it is very rare and there seems to be a divide between the communities. Perhaps we honor could the differences with an ampersand?
I don't think you are the emperor of acronyms.... but maybe you should be, and that is why I am starting with you. What do you think of LGBT&P?
Thanks, Dan. Seriously, thank you. The progress we have made together toward a more tolerant world gives me hope that perhaps, one day, we could be next in line.
Privately Polyamorous Person
Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 9:26 AM
The Pope doesn't know anything about economics, argues a Fox News columnist, so Pope Francis really should shut his mouth about youth unemployment or income inequality. Currently digging through the columnist's archives to see if he objected to the previous pope commenting on abortion, birth control, adoption, and gay sex—also not areas of expertise for elderly celibates.
Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 8:59 AM
It's Day Four of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis vs. Pearl Jam vs. Slog Holiday Charity Challenge! The challenge continues until we get a definitive answer to this very important question: Whose fans are the best fans? Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's fans? Pearl Jam's fans? Or Slog's fans?
The answer depends on whose fans raise the most money for YouthCare's Orion Center, which provides food, shelter, safety, and alternatives to homeless teens right here in Seattle. And the Orion Center really does save lives:
@fakedansavage @PearlJam @macklemore @strangerslog Thanks Dan. This place saved my life as a kid. Makes me miss Seattle so much seeing this
— Nina Locachona (@NinaLocachona) December 5, 2013
For 40 years, YouthCare has been sending its employees out to the streets, bridges, and parks where homeless young people congregate. They offer these youth a chance at a stable life: daily hot meals, a clothing bank, shelter beds, GED classes, job training programs, and help finding permanent housing. These are our city's exploited and forgotten young people: About 74 percent of those that YouthCare sees were physically or sexually abused at home, while 40 percent left home or were kicked out because of their sexuality. YouthCare and the Orion Center do important work—they save lives—and you can help save the Orion Center by making a donation to the Holiday Charity Challenge!
TOTAL $$$ RAISED SO FAR FOR THE ORION CENTER:
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans have donated: $9,182.00
• Pearl Jam fans have donated: $5,202.00
• Slog fans have donated: $2,450.00
TOTAL $$$ RAISED OVER FIRST THREE DAYS: $16,834.00
Because Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Pearl Jam are so awesome, they're each offering two VIP tickets to their shows in Seattle this week! (Slog hasn't offered up shit—yet! Slog shit is coming soon!) Pearl Jam play at KeyArena tomorrow, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are at KeyArena December 10–12. Donate to the Orion Center right now—any amount counts!—then forward us your receipt with why it's so very damn important you're at the show. Donate and forward by 4:30 pm today to enter. Winners announced here tomorrow morning!
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Pearl Jam fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Slog fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
The fans that raise the most for the Orion Center by December 24th WIN the title of the Best Fans of the Best Band Ever!
As always: Give at least $25 to the Orion Center right now, forward us your receipt and your commenter handle, and we'll give you a commenter tag on Slog that says SLOG FAN, MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS FAN, or PEARL JAM FAN! Your choice!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 6:04 PM
I recently reactivated my OK Cupid profile after a hiatus from the site while I was in a relationship. The good news is that since going back my profile had been getting lots of attention and I've been able to make a few dates. The problem is that I setup dates with two different women and only after making the plans did I discover that they both teach in the same small department at the same small university here in town. The dates are on different days, but the same weekend.
What's the etiquette here? Since they're first dates and the assumption with internet dating is that you're probably seeing other people until you have a conversation about doing otherwise, my inclination would normally be to not say anything. My hesitancy is that I stand out like a sore thumb in the community where we all live and I feel like it would be pretty obvious that they were talking about the same person if they turn out to be friends and have a simple conversation about the dates they went on this weekend.
Should I cancel one of the dates or at least postpone it further out? Is it appropriate to disclose or should I just see how it plays out?
My response after the jump…
Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM
This video demonstration of an artificial hymen...
For potential hymen purchasers worried about the mechanics of operating a hymen replacement, the site offers a helpful step-by-step guide. “Insert the Artificial Hymen into your vagina carefully. It will expand a little and make you feel tight. When your lover penetrates, it will ooze out a liquid that appears like blood, not too much but just the right amount. Add in a few moans and groans and you will pass through undetectable!”
...is the creepiest, saddest, and most depressing thing I've seen on the Internet in weeks. Jeremy Wilson at The Kernel unpacks the creepiness:
If ever there were a reason to be horrified at the tentacles of the historic patriarchal oppression of women’s stubborn hold on modern day life, this is it. In a world where we’re constantly being told of technology’s potential to drive positive social change, it’s galling to see it being used to appease the infantile fantasies of backwards cultures. Depressing, really.
But... wouldn't an artificial hymen that works in the palm of your hand also work in your someone's ass? Anyone's ass? Seems to me that a girl could subvert the shit out of the patriarchy by sticking one of these in her boyfriend's ass and pegging the shit—and just the right amount of a liquid that appears to be blood—right out of him. And any gay men out there hymen envy could order a few. And, hey, a couple—gay or straight—could order a crate and spend a long, sensuous evening busting all sorts of hymens. Pegging hymens! Blowjob hymens! Handjob hymens! Buttsecks hymens! Tittyfucking hymens! Wet-willy hymens! The patriarchy-subverting possibilities are endless!
Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM
A Richfield woman fatally stabbed her husband in the heart for "wanting to bring another woman into their bedroom," according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. Amreya Rahmeto Shefa, 40, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree murder in the Sunday slaying of her husband, Habibi Tesema, 48.
The couple has two small children.
Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Pearl Jam. Slog. Whose fans are the best fans? We're finding out RIGHT NOW.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Pearl Jam have combined forces with Slog this holiday season to raise money for the Orion Center*, which houses homeless teens right here in our city. YouthCare needs $100,000 to keep the Orion center open seven days a week, providing food, shelter, safety, and alternatives to Seattle's most vulnerable population over the next year. Together, with the strength of all our fandom, we can do it!
We're on the third day of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis vs. Pearl Jam vs. Slog Holiday Charity Challenge. Whose fans have raised the most money so far?
TOTAL $$$ RAISED SO FAR FOR THE ORION CENTER:
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans have donated: $7,447.00
• Pearl Jam fans have donated: $4,502.00
• Slog fans have donated: $2,255.00
• Seattlish fans have donated: $0.00**
TOTAL $$$ RAISED SO FAR: $14,204.00!
Have you given yet? Now is the time for fans of these awesome musicians and America's only blog to step up and DONATE to the Orion Center. These vulnerable kids need our help! Show your support for homeless teenagers and your favorite musicians and/or America's only blog by donating now!
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Pearl Jam fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Slog fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
Tweet it out! #TeamMac #TeamJam #TeamSlog The fans that raise the most for the Orion Center by December 24th WIN! Let's do this! Come back to Slog later today to learn about PRIZES!
And if you give at least $25 to the Orion Center right now, then forward us your receipt and your commenter handle, we'll give you a commenter tag on Slog that says SLOG FAN, MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS FAN, or PEARL JAM FAN! Your choice!
** Seattlish is a blog that isn't Slog that is nevertheless accessible to readers in the United States—a clear violation of the royal charter that created Slog. (What part of "America's only blog" don't they understand?) But in all fairness to Seattlish fans... there's no landing page where Seattlish fans can donate as Seattlish fans, and it's possible that many Seattlish fans are also fans of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis or Pearl Jam or Slog or all the above. But still: zero dollars from Seattlish fans?!? A real Seattle blog would care about homeless teenagers in our area and they wouldn't sit around waiting for someone else to create a landing page where their readers can donate. They would find a way to GIVE!
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 5:12 PM
My wife and I have been married for eight years and we have to daughters. A few nights ago my best friend, who is a woman, told me she loves me.
Let's back up for a minute. Rachel is my best friend and has been since high school (we're all in our early thirties now). I realized I was in love with Rachel when I was 18 and brushed it off as a crush or lust or infatuation. But as years passed my feelings grew. I never acted on them and she never gave me any sign that she felt the same so I suppressed my feelings so as not to ruin our friendship. Time passed. We dated other people. She had a son and moved out of state for a few years. I got married and my girls were born. When she moved back I was mildly nervous but she, my wife and I got along so well that I thought I had nothing to be concerned about. Her son and my daughters get along and we all have a nice time together.
A point of contention between my wife and me is that I smoke pot. Andrea, my wife, has never said more than a few words about it which basically amounted to she didn't want me smoking all the time but otherwise it didn't bother her. She's not into it but doesn't mind that I am. About six months ago we were talking about the legalization in WA and CO and she said she didn't agree with that, I said I did and that I enjoy it and don't have a problem with it. That has bothered her since. After our second daughter was born five years ago I believe Andrea was depressed, although she vehemently disagreed. (I've dealt with my share of depression over the years so I recognized the signs.) The tension between us was so thick I felt like I couldn't breathe at times when we were around each other. So our relationship became almost non-existent. No sex, hugging, kissing hand-holding, etc. We didn't even sit on the same furniture for months and months.
Things slowly got better but the physical relationship has not returned. This has been going on for about five years. I've told her more than once that I need intimacy between us, and not just sex, but physical contact and emotional support. I don't get any of that and she tells me she just isn't interested in that anymore. I also had a vasectomy around this time. Andrea did not object until after the procedure, and that has been a problem for her since. Fast forward to a few nights ago when Rachel told me she loves me. She and I usually get together about once a week and play games at her place, watch movies, etc. We have many similar interests, especially in books and sense of humor so we enjoy each other's company very much.
The night Rachel told me she loves me, Andrea and I had a frank discussion about our relationship. My wife—Andrea—told me she thinks I should be with someone who makes me happy and that she knows she isn't that person. To complicate things further, Andrea told Rachel that she thinks I'm cheating on her. Andrea told me she thinks I have slept with Rachel and that I might currently be sleeping with her. I absolutely have not slept with Rachel. But all this coming together: Andrea's suspicions of cheating, our lack of intimacy, her dislike of my pot use, Rachel's confession of love, my suppression of that love—it all leaves me with an overwhelming whirlwind of emotion. I am utterly lost. I've suppressed my love for Rachel for so long because I never believed we would be together. But I'm human and I still wanted an emotional connection so I eventually got married.
I don't want to hurt Andrea or our children but how do I turn my back on a love that I have desperately sought for so long?
I've read your column for a long time so I think I can guess what you might say: that I'm in for a lot emotional conversations and some hurt feelings no matter what I decide. I guess I needed to tell someone. I could probably go on for days but I think you get the idea. Thanks for listening.
Love Is Complicated
Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 1:03 PM
Only 42% of Asian Americans are Christians. Only 24% of Asian American voters supported Mitt Romney in 2012. So maybe Republicans, who are currently seeking ways to expand their non-white voter base, should stop demanding that people should say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays."
Most voters are Christian, so a pro-Christmas position seems like it should be popular. But Republicans don't understand how their anti-outsider messages aggregate. Most voters are straight, so opposition to gay marriage shouldn't be an electoral problem. Most voters aren't Mexican-Americans, so they shouldn't be too bothered by thinly-veiled (or unveiled) anti-Mexican messaging on immigration. Add these things all together, and you get a political party that looks like it's engaged in interest group politics for straight non-Hispanic white Christians. That's not too appealing to the increasing share of voters who aren't straight non-Hispanic white Christians.
I know plenty of straight non-Hispanic white Christians who don't find the GOP's attacks on gays, immigrants, and non-Christians to be at all appealing. The t-shirt that prompted Barro's advice for the GOP has been yanked from the National Republican Congressional Committee's online shop:
The National Republican Congressional Committee appears to have removed a t-shirt from its website that advocates against saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas." In a tweet last week, the NRCC promoted the t-shirt, which reads “Happy Holidays is What Liberals Say” in a Comic Sans font on the front and “Merry Christmas!” on the back, for Black Friday.
But not to worry, assholes, the RNCC has other shirts for the assholes on your Christmas list:
As of Monday, the shirt looks to have been removed from the NRCC website. The online store is still selling a t-shirt milder version that says “Not Afraid to Say ‘Merry Christmas.’”