Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Thursday, July 26, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Massive Generalization Alert

Posted by on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I have a boyfriend of two years. At the beginning of our relationship I caught him cheating on me. Not physically cheating, but he was talking to girls and they would send him pics. We worked everything out and now we trust each other. But a few weeks ago I caught him watching porn. He doesn't know I know. It doesn't bother me that much but I was wondering if it could lead him to cheating on me again?

Sent From The Savage Love App For iPhone

My response after the jump...


All men watch porn. Some lie and claim they don't, some are so stealthy they never get caught, but all men watch porn*. If watching porn lead to cheating, SFTSLAFiP, then all men would cheat. But not all men do cheat. So it's clear that porn viewing doesn't cause men to cheat. Because all men watch porn. But not all men cheat.

Thank you for playing "Savage Love."

* Okay, okay: a handful of men don't watch porn. But their numbers are so small that the average girls' chances of ever meeting one of these guys—let alone dating one—are so small that we don't need to factor them into our equations.


Comments (57) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Asparagus! 1
This is your letter of the day? I have more interesting problems than this.
Posted by Asparagus! on July 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
She should watch one of Louis CK's standup routines if she'd like to learn a bit more about fellas.
Posted by gloomy gus on July 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
seatackled 3
Wait, are you saying that Mitt Romney watches porn?
Posted by seatackled on July 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
very bad homo 4
Porn probably keeps him from cheating.
Posted by very bad homo on July 26, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
I thought Savage Love was for at least sophomore level questions on sex and relationships. Are we also going to entertain questions like "Can I get pregnant from oral sex?" or "My boyfriend listens to Lady Gaga, is he gay?"?
Posted by Lynx on July 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 6
@ 5, it's the letter of the day. Relax.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
I suppose "porn causes men to cheat" is a step up from "porn causes men to rape" which is what I grew up hearing... UGH.
I really wish the "all men watch porn" message would get out there more, because as it is we have so many people freaking out over nothing--girlfriends and wives catching their partners and thinking the relationship is doomed, children finding the browser history and thinking their dad's a perverted sex offender, parents dragging their teenage sons to therapy because he's a sicko. It's just sad, and completely based on confusion about what everyone else also does.

I would add: all women either watch porn, or read erotica (so many romances count), or at least fantasize about people other than their partners. Also so normal that it's the people who don't that are abnormal.
Posted by smoakes on July 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
Zebes 8
"Dear Dan Savage Love, I'm 19 and everything I know about love and sex I learned from books and movies I have only a myopic recollection of. Is this going to cause problems for my relationships in the future?"
Posted by Zebes on July 26, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 9
she should dump herself already
Posted by Max Solomon on July 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 10
How is babby formed?

How is babby formed?

How girl get pragnent
Posted by Urgutha Forka on July 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
biffp 11
Is getting a happy ending cheating? I know some married guys who think it's more reflex than sex.
Posted by biffp on July 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
TortoiseTurtle 12
@10, they need to do way to instain mother> who kill their babbys. because these baby cant frigth back? it was on the news this mroing a other in ar who had kill her three kids . they are taking the three babby back to new york too lady to rest my pary are with the father who lost his chrilde ; i am truley sorry for your lots.
Posted by TortoiseTurtle on July 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM · Report this
brandon 13
Straight guys, how can you even want to stick your penis into that level of stupid?
Posted by brandon on July 26, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Keekee 14
With dipshits like this out there, Dan need never worry 'bout job security.
Posted by Keekee on July 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
@12 - what?
Posted by daphne24 on July 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Posted by TortoiseTurtle on July 26, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
If looking at porn leads to cheating, looking at the dessert cart at a restaurant leads to chowing down on a slice of cheesecake.
Posted by The fag on July 26, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Pick1 20
Wow, isn't there a phrase about the only dumb question is the one that you don't ask?

Given she might've gotten her answer by going through the archives, but at least she seems to have asked the right person instead of some sex-hating columnist.

Give her some credit.
Posted by Pick1 on July 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
CubOnFire 21
I think y'all are being awfully mean to this LW. I usually love reading the comments on here but why are we being so vicious to someone who is probably new to this whole Savage Love thing. Maybe they are from the bible belt and they just discovered Mr. Savage recently on MTV and is trying to open her mind. Do we really want people to think that this is what awaits them if their letter gets chosen for the letter of the day?
Posted by CubOnFire on July 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 22
@13, THANK YOU!!!
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
If she thinks relationships are complicated now, just wait until she graduates high school!
Posted by suddenlyorcas on July 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 24
I'm w/ 21. Yeah, it's an elementary question, but Dan's getting a lot of new fans every day. Not all of the people asking him questions have been reading since 1996, or whenever. ;) She sounds young; we weren't all wise sex gurus when we were younger.
Posted by Eva Hopkins on July 26, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Since the porn viewing "doesn't bother her that much," maybe she could be encouraged to talk to her bf about sex and porn and their respective fantasies. I see potential here for them to open up to each other and build a fantastic sex life together. But maybe that's just my rose-colored glasses.
Posted by EricaP on July 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
Dan, if this were physics or engineering, your damn equations would have resulted in burn up on re-entry. But it's not. It's biology, so, yeah, carry on.
Posted by STJA on July 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
@3, Utah has about the highest porn consumption in the USA. Apparently, those "magic underpants" aren't protecting them against the desire for porn.
Posted by SeattleKim on July 26, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 28
@ 13/22, you're implying that gay guys never fuck stupid gay guys? LOL

For the record, the girl who wrote this doesn't sound dumb. She sounds young and not very experienced. She strikes me as worried but not controlling. She wrote for advice instead of accusing BF of something he hadn't done. If she's attractive, why WOULDN'T I stick my dick in that?
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 26, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
ScienceNerd 29
Two things:
1. I don't think watching porn is a problem, but you best not lie to me about it. That is equal to cheating in my book.
2. Guys never want to watch porn with me, even though I insist I enjoy it. I have only watched porn as a couple when I was dating a woman. I don't get that...
Posted by ScienceNerd on July 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Pick1 30
@27 The statistic is for online porn consumption. When adult movie stores and pay per view are factored, Utah drops to like 6 or 7 since they've banned the storefronts.
Posted by Pick1 on July 26, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Note to Boyfriend of SFTSLAFiP:

Posted by parisimo on July 26, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Wait. Why on earth did you not give this writer sh*t for her "he was cheating because he talked to girls," thing? This sounds like my parents--the minute you're in a relationship you are to have no contact with the outside world and especially not with people of the opposite gender. The woman needs to chill out generally. Or rather, she needs a GSCUTA. (good stiff c*ck up the . . .) to relax
Posted by DeanP on July 26, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
mwdean 33
Ease up, folks. Not all people who think porn equals cheating can be cured, but none of them can be cured if nobody acts.
Posted by mwdean on July 26, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
Fistique 34
Is there any kind of public education we can do to kill this idea that sexual attraction to someone other than your partner = cheating? I will hand out pamphlets outside the grocery store if you think it'll help.
Posted by Fistique on July 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 35
@ 29, "equal to cheating"? And other lying is not because...?
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
sirkowski 36
Bitches gonna bitch.
Posted by sirkowski on July 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM · Report this
zachd 37
I for one will join @34's bold crusade.
Posted by zachd on July 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM · Report this
I agree with 20, 21 and 24. The girl sounds naive and is probably a newer SL reader. I think those of us who have been reading Dan for ages can sometimes forget that not everybody has been ingesting his weekly/daily diet of sexual enlightenment since the Clinton administration. And even if she took a quick browse through the archives, she may have missed any letters that addressed the issue of porn and men's consumption therof. I second 20's point that at least she's writing to Dan as opposed to Prudie or (shudder!) Amy.

Also, the notion that the very act of being attracted to someone other than one's partner (whether acted upon or not) constitutes cheating is probably indicative of toxic levels of exposure to the wrong kind of religion. You know, that whole "Whoever looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart" mentality. I'm 37, and it took until my late 20s for this Irish (recovering) Catholic to even begin to emerge from the noxious cloud of sex-negative bullshit in which I'd been raised.
Posted by Snoopy The Cat on July 26, 2012 at 4:10 PM · Report this
seandr 39
@29: I don't think watching porn is a problem, but you best not lie to me about it. That is equal to cheating in my book.

I'm utterly confused and intrigued by your comment. Do you regularly ask your boyfriend if he's viewed any porn lately? Do you keep a log? And if you aren't punishing him for consuming porn, what possible motive would he have for lying about it? If he lies about rubbing one out while fantasizing about a woman, is that cheating, too?

I'm kind of conflicted about what it would be like to be your boyfriend. On the one hand, this all seems rather intrusive and controlly. On the other hand, I have to admit I'd be touched that you'd take such an interest in my masturbation habits. If I told my significant other "hey, honey, I had an especially great beat off session with a pigtails and knee socks site I found last night", her response would be "that's nice, dear, your snowboard gear has been sitting in the hall for months now, could you please move it into the attic?"
Posted by seandr on July 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
balderdash 40

Posted by balderdash on July 26, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
I'm reminded of Henry Tilney thinking very highly of the understanding of all the women in the world, especially those, whoever they might be, with whom he happened to be in company - a statement which he amended to an acknowledgement that nobody thought more highly of the understanding of women than he did; in his opinion, nature had given them so much that they never it necessary to use more than half.

But now that I have cheered up Ms Cute, I shall cheer up the rest of the women by maintaining that the LW is male. A female LW would have specified OTHER girls. Anyone who so chooses is free to maintain that the understanding of women is superiour to that demonstrated by the LW.

The answer then depends on whether what the BF was watching was or wasn't mixed. If not, he was just looking for tips. If so, dump him for his bad taste.

Posted by vennominon on July 26, 2012 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 42
That was interesting. Thanks, Dan.

Now, back to Carrie in College Rules...
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on July 26, 2012 at 6:03 PM · Report this
@32: "Why on earth did you not give this writer sh*t for her "he was cheating because he talked to girls," thing?"

Because running and responding to personal ads (for dating or hook ups) and exchanging pictures and flirty e-mails is defined as cheating by a lot of people. Or as too close to lining up a person to cheat with to count as innocent, even if the guilty party swears up and down that his/her words were lies, all lies, just playing around, I totally didn't mean we should meet while you are at work, dear SO! I swear!

Especially because of the implied failure to mention to the official SO (whether new relationship, old spouse, or something in between) that one has an active "I'm available, give me a shot!" profile on multiple sites.

And seconding everyone that people are allowed to be new to SL and ask some basic relationship questions. I appreciate every rerun of advice to teenage boys, for example.
Posted by IPJ on July 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM · Report this
mtnlion 44
Yeah, people forget that Dan Savage has recently BLOWN UP to a whole new generation of new fuckers (and I mean that literally). He's now famous with a bunch of youngsters whose issues are not in the piss & diapers & polyamory arena (yet).

Let them discover their sexuality safely with the guidance of a mature, well-seasoned Dan Savage. Maybe the way you did. I learned a lot from reading Savage during my formative years, and I hope you all give them the chance to do the same.
Posted by mtnlion on July 26, 2012 at 8:25 PM · Report this
Interesting point. But if the LW was male, wouldn't he have specified what kind of porn? And would he really have sounded so surprised that his boyfriend was looking at porn at all?
Posted by migrationist on July 27, 2012 at 6:02 AM · Report this
@40 - thank you. I really needed a laugh!
Posted by SunshineandPuppies on July 27, 2012 at 8:46 AM · Report this
mwdean 49
#47: Well, as a rule I think we all get that the girl is insecure and controlling. The rest, honestly, is details.
Posted by mwdean on July 27, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
Ms Gration - I was mainly cheering up Ms Cute, but it was also practice for the month of August, during which period I shall be assuming bisexuality or homosexuality with every letter on which I comment unless a LW comes out as an admi - sorry, open heterosexual.
Posted by vennominon on July 27, 2012 at 7:40 PM · Report this
Mango_Kitten 51
Build a Savage Fundamentals section for newcomers containing these gems that I'm OVER as a long-time listener/reader:
Oral sex's last name is 'sex'
All men watch porn
Ease up on the death grip
Present your kink as a fun little surprise
Campfire rule
Focus on getting your future self laid, inexperienced teenager

Posted by Mango_Kitten on July 28, 2012 at 5:49 AM · Report this
@51 the Savage Commandments perhaps.
Posted by funkster on July 28, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
mwdean 53
I'm betting there's no Savage Love FAQ for a reason. A FAQ basically says, "If your question resembles one of these, then don't ask it." For a column that relies on reader input that would be a bad idea. Besides, sometimes people come up with some really interesting permutations of standard questions.
Posted by mwdean on July 28, 2012 at 7:18 PM · Report this
@48 I can't help but question the veracity of that number. I would be interested in the sample size, the demographics, geographic displacement, etc. But my bullshit detector goes off when I think about how many men get married precisely because getting laid ain't easy. Look at all the single men out there hitting the bars and clubs cruising for a lay... Most go home with only their hand to keep them company. Yet I'm supposed to believe more than half of married men are such studs they can find a mistress on the side?

Your stat sounds more like a way to sell magazines or increase pageviews.
Posted by briavael on July 29, 2012 at 7:57 AM · Report this
@54 very likely, however you have to factor in the 'desperation quotient'. if i have no lovers, or only one long-term, i hardly get any offers. and those i get are not ones i'm interested in... however, the more lovers i have the more likely i am to get hit on - if i have absolutely no room in my heart or life for more sexual partners, then i can hardly turn around for options. this is not just how i'm 'feeling' about things, this is the difference between one or two offers a year(which i may or may not want) and offers every time i go out. the rate also definitely goes up when i'm out _with_ a lover/partner, and goes up again if i'm out with more than one.
so... my theory is that sexual success is attractive. and that partnered people will have more sexual offers, as a rule, than singles. and also that desperation ruins your chances...
Posted by sappho on July 29, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
@54 & 55, don't forget the studies that have suggested that women tend to be more interested in a man if he's already with someone than if he's single. Apparently, the fact that he's in a relationship "vouches for" the fact that he's relationship material. I don't particularly understand this mentality, given that the man's willingness to cheat on his relationship partner would seem to negate the idea that he's "relationship material," but from what I've heard, husband-poaching is a very real phenomenon.
Posted by Snoopy The Cat on July 29, 2012 at 6:47 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 57

@13- Stupid people are easy to manipulate, which is why some people (jerks) prefer to date stupid. Some people are stupid and don't notice they're dating another stupid person, they're just glad no one is asking them to read a book.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on July 29, 2012 at 7:38 PM · Report this
Registered European 58
don't forget the studies that have suggested that women tend to be more interested in a man if he's already with someone than if he's single. Apparently, the fact that he's in a relationship "vouches for" the fact that he's relationship material.

This. The job market works more or less the same: it's easier to find a new job if you already have a job. Also, the longer you are unemployed, the lower your chances of finding a job become.
Posted by Registered European on July 30, 2012 at 4:43 AM · Report this
nocutename 59
Look at any personal ads. Go to Match, OkCupid, even craigslist. You will find the most articulate, interesting, even physically attractive men are married already.

Why? I don't know.
But on Slog we've established a kind of truism for straight people (with many exceptions): For men, it's easier to find a relationship; for women, it's easier to get casually laid. This leads to members of each group lamenting how much "easier" the other has it (only to realize that the other is getting what you want but they don't necessarily want, while you can "get" something you may not want, but which is what the other is searching for!)

Yes, not every straight man wants to just get laid, and some who are looking for a relationship can't find one, and some straight women are happy with casual sex, which they can't seem to get, etc. But the generalization still holds true for the majority.

Married men understand how to "do" relationships-at least superficially. That's how they got married to begin with. Men who are less socially adept often end up single. That's a less desirable trait.

Also, read those ads. Married men on dating sites (and especially those on craigslist) don't tend to be looking just to get laid: they're often looking for passion and romance, and lots of sex, the things that have fallen by the wayside in their long, stable, marriages, which husband-poachers should know, they don't want to leave.

Any man who has mastered social skills enough to date, form a relationship with and marry one woman, has the ability to do it with another. Some of the single straight men post 35ish are seriously lacking in social skills. The stereotypical guy living in mom's basement with his action figures and video games is a common stereotype for a reason . . .
Posted by nocutename on July 30, 2012 at 7:27 AM · Report this
Posted by seatackled on July 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Quote: Wait, are you saying that Mitt Romney watches porn?

Don't you mean Adam Smith the congressman.... The Advocate of Cheating and Watching Porn
Posted by harasnick on August 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Posted by seatackled on July 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Quote: Wait, are you saying that Mitt Romney watches porn?

Don't you mean Adam Smith the congressman.... The Advocate of Cheating and Watching Porn
Posted by harasnick on August 2, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy