DAN.jpg

The last week's letters-of-the-day: How can he help the rent boys of Grindr, how should he calm his boner, and her new boyfriend canceled plans with her to hang out with a friend of his with stage 4 cancer. Also: last week's column and Lovecast.

I said what I had to say. Now readers, listeners, and slut-and-porn-and-non-monogamy-shamers get their say....

On PWP:

PWP doesn't want young guys feeling trapped in survival prostitution (cause it's dangerous, icky, coerced by their poverty, etc?). He could make survival prostitution a little more safe and less icky if he were a responsible consumer of said services. And, after a hook-up or three, make suggestions to the sex worker how to improve their life (fewer, better, more generous clients; get treatment for medical, mental and drug problems; avail themselves of social services, etc). The 18-22 year old on the streets, if they were kicked out of their home, probably doesn't have great life skills and obviously doesn't have the support most of us do to secure a mailing address, references, and medical care. The LW could help with those. Even more so, the 14-17 year old sex worker—although paying for their services is far more problematic, legally and morally. But you could take them out for lunch and give them $50 as you talk about your very different lives.

UPDATE: The first commenter today was right to chastise me for posting the above without comment. I wasn't endorsing this letter writer's comments, just allowing a reader to have their say after I had said mine. But for the record: Paying a minor for sex isn't legally and morally "problematic," it is legally and morally impermissible. As for sex workers of legal age, some people come to sex work from a place of desperation—that is, some engage in sex work because their circumstances left them feeling as if they had no other choice. Most potential clients I hear from—men and women—don't want to employ a sex worker who has been coerced into doing sex work either by another person or by their personal circumstances. But whatever brought someone to sex work, all sex workers should be treated with compassion—and contra this letter writer, not all sex workers will welcome suggestions on how they can improve their lives.

On the Savage Lovecast:

I would like to comment on Episode 563, about the preteen who wanted to wear a dog collar, because my experience doesn't really match what you said.

I am a 35yr old transguy writing in from Berlin. Looking back at growing up as a preteen girl (in the Netherlands), I notice that the inappropriate attention started when I was preteen (11,12) and became less when on the one hand I became older and wiser (30) and on the other hand when I started dressing more punk. My conclusion is that the men that act out in these inappropriate ways are purposely baiting extra young girls for their naivity. The girl in Episode 563 could already be experiencing this and is starting to dress in a way that tells people around her to 'keep distance'. I know I did, and it really helped me!! My teen rebelling was not aimed at my parents but at society. Also: I never associate dog collars with BDSM unless the context begs that. I always associate it with punk.

Also:

I'm writing in response to episode 563 to the call in response to episode 562. I am a public school Kindergarten teacher and the call saying that a dirty house is not neglect and should not be reported made me instantly sick to my stomach. A dirty home can certainly rise to the level of being reportable to child protective services. It can be an indicator of neglect and/or mental illness among other things. It can be a big indicator that a child and/or family is in need of support. A dirty home can lead to chronic lice, bedbugs, and fleas. It can mean exposure to cockroaches, rodents, and other creatures that carry dangerous diseases. The children in that home and any other children they come into contact with on a daily basis are then being put at risk.

My main concern was with him saying it was unfair to subject that family to the "hell" that happens when a family is reported. Every state differs, but in my personal experience it takes incredible amounts of evidence and documentation to prove abuse or neglect and get help for those children. Child Protective Services has experience with researching and determining if a claim is valid or not. That is their job. It is not the job of anyone else to determine if a claim is valid or not. If you are concerned, make the report. You have no way of knowing if a neighbor, teacher, and/or relative has already made claims and yours will be the one that finally gets that child and family the support they need. You don't have the whole picture, you only know what you saw/experienced. Child protective services needs that information so they can have the whole picture.

He also seemed to insinuate that being reported or having an unclean home equates to being a bad parent/having bad children. A claim being made means someone cares about your child and wants to ensure they are safe. I have seen many cases where an overwhelmed parent was embarrassed to reach out for support or did not know who they could turn to for help. Once a claim was made and investigated they received the supports they desperately needed. They were not penalized or punished in any way, they got the help they needed and their family is now safe and cared for. That is the true goal of the system, to provide education and supports to keep children and families safe.

Again, I must emphasize, if someone has a concern, they should make a report. It is then up to the state agency to investigate that claim. If a claim is made out of jealousy/spite as he insinuated then they will see that it is unfounded.

These children cannot fight for themselves. The system is in place for a reason. It certainly has it's flaws and fails at times, but it is all we, and these children, currently have. I think it's really dangerous to suggest that someone not make a claim. If there's cause for you to be worried, make the report and let the system do it's job from that point forward.

I thought I urged that caller to report her boyfriend to CPS. No time to listen to the tape just now, but... anyone care to weigh in?

For HARD:

Have you asked her (some time with your clothes on) if she has any sexual desires which are going unfulfilled or under-fulfilled? Maybe you can turn your boner into shared pleasure by giving her a spanking, or going down on her, or scratching her back, or any other physical sensation she loves and doesn't get enough of.

If she really doesn't want more touch of any kind and you feel the mismatch in libido is tolerable, then maybe (privately) think about her thongs and see-through panties as the kink of exhibitionism, where you fulfill her kink by discreetly touching your boner and appreciating her display. That way, in your mind, the two of you are sharing a sexual adventure, even if, in her mind, you're just relaxing and watching TV together.

And finally...

As a gay man myself, I'm totally appalled At your views regarding pornography and monogamy. I've never understood why people think they "need " a sex therapist. It's pretty obvious of what you have to do when your intimate with someone. And NO, the internet was not made for pornography. I'm not going to lie, I have watched pornography but don't anymore. It's sleaze is what it is. Pornography does not send the right message to those who view it. It's a FALSE sense of what sex "should be." Go ahead watch all the porn you want, I don't give a flying fuck. But when it comes down to it, there is much, much, much more to life than sex and porn. Most people don't dictate their life around porn (except you).

Why don't you challenge the REAL problems of life? Too hard for you? Too complex, eh? Aren't you tired yet of telling people that the vagina is where the penis is inserted? Damn, you got a CUSHY job. I also find it DISGUSTING that you promote open relationships. Just drag more complexity into an already (probably failing) relationship. To think people take your SHIT advice makes me sick.

We are living in a country so polarized... politically, racially and socially. America is the most divided it has ever been, and you're promoting things that make it worse. No, I DID NOT vote for the asshole Trump either. NEWSFASH, Dan! The world has much more pressing problems than winning a porn contest! Why don't you put your money where your mouth is and focus on real issues that are dragging this country down. Get a real job, dumbass.

As a gay man myself, madam, I have a great many thanks to return you. Such counsel lays me under an obligation to repay the favor by giving you advice, which also touches your reputation closely; and as I see you prove yourself my friend by acquainting me with stories are current of me, I shall follow so nice an example by informing you of the impressions you make on others. Your prudishness and too fervent zeal are not a good example. This affectation of a grave demeanor, your mincings and mouthings at the slightest shadows of indecency, the lofty esteem in which you hold yourself, your frequent lectures and your acrid censures on things which are harmless—all this, if I may speak frankly to you, madam, is blameworthy in the extreme. What is the good of this prudish exterior?

Additionally, madam, I'm not a sex therapist and have never claimed to be one. Open relationships work for some but not for others; the same can be said of closed relationships. I routinely emphasize the chasm that gapes between the sex we see in porn (kabuki sex, as I like to call it, some of which also gapes) and the true intimacy experienced by two (or more) persons who have come together for the purposes of coming together (gaping optional). If consuming pornography was interfering with your ability to distinguish between kabuki sex and true intimacy, madam, I wholeheartedly support your decision cease consuming pornography. And I am aware that there are more pressing problems in the world today than winning porn contests, madam, which is why I am endeavoring to raise funds for the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the International Refugee Assistance Project.

As for purpose of the Internet...

But you are correct, madam, on this score: I do have a cushy job. Jealous much?