Savage Love Letter of the Day: Straight Uncle Offers Trans Nephew A Summer in the City (But Mom Says No)

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My wife and I live in a big city. We have two very small kids. We have lots of friends in the LGBTQ community. My sister (and her ex-husband) live in a small town. Their biological daughter—at age 16—has just come out as trans. He has done some amazing things, like get his high school to install at least some gender-neutral bathrooms and consider changing overall bathroom regulations. But I don’t think he has a lot of exposure to other folks in the community. We were thinking of inviting him to come and stay with us this summer; we’d pay all the expenses, give him his own room, help him find a job or internship (one of our LGBTQ friends has already agreed, if he’s willing, to give him part-time work at a local activism organization.) The problem is that my nephew’s parents don’t want us to do any of this, and say that we’re interfering. They say that their child may still be just “in a phase.” I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but my argument is that we have to support the person my nephew IS right now, not the person he may or may not become (or have been). Obviously, we can’t make the summer plan happen without parental approval since my nephew remains a minor, but my sister has asked me not to even mention the offer or any of the surrounding issues to my nephew. I feel like he may need the support and I want him to know that whatever he’s going through, he has a loving family here in the big city to depend on and that accepts him.

Don’t know what to do, ethically/morally/logistically.

Uncle Recommends Bringing Along Nephew

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Dan Savage Went To Austria to Escape the U.S., But It Was Still Trump Time, All the Time

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GEORGE PFROMM

I'm walking through Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on the last day of January, looking for someplace to get tea. I realize my dark-blue passport is still in my hand. I slide it into my pocket. I'm not embarrassed to be an American. But right now, at this particular moment in history, I am embarrassed for America.

I executed the exact same move—quickly sliding my passport into a pocket, hoping no one would spot it—once before, a long time ago.

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Longest SLLOTD Ever Posted

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I'm sometimes sent long letters that read more like drafts of forthcoming and often ill-advised/conceived memoirs. I usually pass on these letters because, you know, the print column has a word count and looooooooooong letters are tedious and boring and, good God, get the point, people, and I don't want to risk using up the Internet on a single question. But I'm making an exception for today's "exceptional" question.

To help you (and myself) get through this NeverEnding Story, I'm going to respond to the letter writer as we go along, as opposed to waiting until the end.

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White House Bars NYT, CNN, BBC & Other "Fake News" Orgs From Press Briefing

NY Daily News:

The White House ramped up its war with the press Friday afternoon, barring multiple outlets including the Daily News from getting to ask questions as it let in a select few for a briefing from Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Among the many outlets barred from Spicer's office: CNN, The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, RealClearPolitics, BBC, and The News. Others—the conservative Breitbart and One America News Network—were given the nod and allowed in, as well as Fox News, ABC, NBC and the standard rotating "pool" of reporters who are allowed in to every public event. The move came just hours after President Trump promised to "do something" about the "fake news" during a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference — and after Spicer angrily scolded reporters Friday morning for recent coverage of the FBI's reported investigation of ties between Russia and Trump's team.

This could be designed to distract us from this impeachable offense. Time and AP boycotted presser in protest—which makes you wonder what the fuck is wrong with ABC and NBC. (Hey, news orgs? If you were invited into that presser and/or you went to the presser, you're doing your jobs all wrong.) Oh, and Trump's press secretary promised back in December that they wouldn't bar critical/mainstream media outlets. Take it away, Jake Tapper...

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Being A Couple & Sleeping in Separate Beds Is Cool, Too

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My girlfriend and I have been together almost three years and we've always had trouble sleeping together. Not intercourse, but restful sleep. We share a queen size bed on nights we spend together and neither one of us is blameless. We're both sleep talkers. She has occasional night terrors. Despite sleeping naked with only one blanket, I wake up drenched in my own sweat 50% of the time when I'm alone and 99% of the time we sleep together. We don't live together now but we're at the point in our relationship and our lives that we're ready to move in together.

We openly acknowledge this challenge and we've discussed our future cohabitation and sleeping arrangements. We both like the benefits of separate beds (more restful, uninterrupted sleep) but we both enjoy the intimacy of sleeping together. Our sex life is great and sex before and/or after sleep is something that is important to both of us.

Is there any way we can train our bodies to be happy sharing a bed or should we get used to spending our nights like a couple in a 1950's sitcom?

Sleep Loss Enough2 End Partners Enjoying Rest

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NewsDrugs

White House: Yeah, We're Going To Go After Legal Pot

Politico:

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that he expects states to see “greater enforcement” of the federal law against marijuana use, a move that would be at odds with a growing number of states’ decisions to legalize it. Spicer, taking questions from reporters at the daily briefing, differentiated between the administration’s positions on medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.... Spicer suggested that the administration is opposed to encouraging recreational marijuana use and connected it with the crisis with opioid addiction in some areas.

Instead of going after the pharmaceutical companies that are driving and profiting from the opioid epidemic—and buying members of congress with the profits—the White House and Justice Department are going to dust off the "gateway drug" argument and go after legal recreational marijuana. Legal pot has been linked to fewer opioid prescriptions and didn't cause the heroin epidemic and may help end it, German Lopez writes at Vox.

But the same assholes who insist that millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary and that Trump's inauguration day crowds were bigger than Obama's and that Melania doesn't despise Donald aren't going to let reality stop them.


Savage Love: Fantasy Scenarios

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Joe Newton

I am a straight married man. My wife and I have a 4-year-old and a 3-month-old. We've just started having intercourse again. For Valentine's Day, we spent the night in a B&B while grandma watched the kids. We had edibles, drank sparkling wine, and then fucked. It was amazing. After we came and while we were still stoned and drunk, my wife mentioned she was open to inviting others into our sex life. I asked about getting a professional sex worker. She said no. But maybe if we were in a bar (we're never in bars) and met someone (a unicorn), she might be into it. Anal came up. She's always said she's up for trying anything once. I have a desire to experiment with anal. (Not just me entering her, but her pegging me as well.) I asked if she would use the vibrator we brought on me, just to experiment. She said she was too high to do anything. I felt let down. I feel she unknowingly teased me with fantasies I have, not knowing I actually have them. We have a good sex life, and I'm willing to write off the fantasies we discussed while high and drunk. It's the teasing that drove me crazy.

Having And Realizing Desires

P.S. I'm in no hurry. We just had a baby, and I don't want to pressure my wife right now. My fear is that she may only like the idea of exploring our sexuality together and not the reality of it.

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Reader Advice Round-up

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I'm often give some other rightwing fuckwad the Santorum treatment—redefine their last name—but I demure because the santorum campaign was something special and it would be hard to replicate. (I dedicate a chapter in my last book to how it came together and why it worked.) Somehow, though, I wavered that conviction last week on Blabbermouth and got kindasortamaybe got behind the idea of redefining Rep. Jason Chaffetz's last name. Chaffetz is a Republican from Utah, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the dude who launched an investigation every time Hillary Clinton farted, but he's downplaying Flynngate, refusing to investigate financial conflicts of interest relating to Trump, couldn't care less about Russia, and is pushing the lie that the people showing up at town hall meetings are paid protesters. Chaffetz is ripe for Santorum-izing—he's disgusting and, like Rick, his last name sounds like something disgusting—and now I'm tempted. And so are all of you:

Chaffetz: menstrual blood that dries and forms clots in one's pubic hair, making walking and other forms of movement painful. Much Love from a teacher who has been a loyal magnum subscriber ever since you created the magnum subscription, and who suffers from chaffetz now and then!

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Trump Scraps Protections for Trans Students

NYT:

President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind. In a joint letter, the top civil rights officials from the Justice Department and the Education Department rejected the Obama administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice....

The question of how to address the “bathroom debate,” as it has become known, opened a rift inside the Trump administration, pitting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against Attorney General Jeff Sessions... Mr. Sessions, who has opposed expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, pushed Ms. DeVos to relent. After getting nowhere, he took his objections to the White House because he could not go forward without her consent. Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, the Republicans said, and told Ms. DeVos in a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he wanted her to drop her opposition. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the alternative of resigning or defying the president, agreed to go along.

Trump at the RNC:

“As president, I will do everything in my power to protect LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”

He didn't say anything about protecting LGBTQ citizens from hateful domestic ideologies, as Barney Frank pointed out after the Republican convention:

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: What Does “Vanilla” Even Mean?

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I've been single now for a little over a year and a half, after getting out of a ten-year marriage. For most of this time I've been low-key FWB with a super hot and reasonably kind and communicative guy friend of mine. Now I've moved to the West Coast and I'm beginning to really date for the first time since I was a teenager. I've slept with a couple of men since I've moved, and both have made me feel weird about what I want in bed. Is a little dirty talk, spanking and mutual masturbation not vanilla? Is it wrong for me to ask for what I want within the first couple of times having sex with a new partner? Are straight men delicate sex flowers? What is vanilla? I'm new to dating and need some guidance. Help me, Guru Dan!

Here's A Light Problem

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NewsBoom

CHS: Developers Are Going to Tear Down the QFC on 15th!

We cant let them build a four-story building in front of that four-story building!
We can't let them build a four-story building in front of that four-story building!

Capitol Hill Seattle reports...

[Another] big real estate deal appears primed to remake part of the neighborhood. CHS has learned that property on a key block in the heart of 15th Ave E’s strip of shops and restaurants recently hit the market and already has a prospective buyer with plans for a multi-story, mixed-use building stretching from the site where the 15th Ave E QFC stands today to cornershop ShopRite.... According to people familiar with the deal, the property has been sold to a developer for $12 million. Gary Eng, UW’s senior asset manager, tells CHS that the gifted Moore family property is under contract with a buyer and should close “by May or sooner.” The real estate broker on the deal said there are “several long term leases in place” which will need to be worked out before any development can move forward. According to the broker, the plans include a new grocery store in the development.

Look, I shop at that QFC, I get my haircut at that Rudy's, and I've picked up the odd item at ShopRite. I don't want to see those businesses go but I won't be sorry to see those buildings go. I certainly won't be sorry to see the shitty eyesore that is QFC's parking lot replaced by storefronts and apartments. QFC and Rudy's hold two of the long-term leases that could put the brakes on the redeveloping this stretch of 15th. Kroger (owners of QFC) and Rudy's have leverage here and they should use it to benefit all the current tenants—including the people who live in the apartments above Rudy's and ShopRite.

But unlike a few friends who texted me in a panic after the news broke, I'm not going to mourn the passing of the shitty concrete box that houses QFC, the unremarkable building next door, those narrow sidewalks, the void created by QFC's anti-urban design (a long, ugly wall along 15th; doors that open onto the parking lot, not the street). If we're never gonna rezone Seattle's precious single-family neighborhoods, then we're gonna have to build where can. And current zoning rules allow for four-story buildings along that stretch of 15th. To say we can't build a four-story building on QFC's parking lot because "neighborhood character!!!" when there's a four-story building right behind it on 16th... is to vomit up some seriously disingenuous NIMBY bullshit.

We need housing and city streets shouldn't have suburban-strip-mall-style parking lots in the middle of them. Tear that fucker down—oh, and for the record: I support rezoning all of Capitol Hill for multi-story, multi-family housing. The whole fucking neighborhood, every single block, including my own.


Randy Rainbow: "You're Making Things Up Again, Donald!"


He's so good—musical comedy parodies and bitchy gay political commentary? Swoon. it's like someone went into a lab and genetically engineered him just for me.


Two Milo Reax Reax—One Long, One Short

Journalist Laurie Penny was embedded with Milo and his collection of Lost Boys just as the wheels were coming off his "Dangerous Faggot" tourbus. It's a long, furious, and furiously intelligent piece. Go read the whole thing. I wanted to respond to this paragraph...

Delicious as you might find it to see karma come for Yiannopoulos, what he actually said about gay relationships and child molestation was less offensive than a great many bigoted things he has come out with—in part because, for once, it seemed just a little bit true to his experience. When he spoke about consenting relationships between adult men where there’s a large age gap, he was talking about something that is a real and meaningful part of romantic experience for a lot of gay men—and something that American conservatives seem to have no problem with when the participants are heterosexual or, indeed, presidential candidates. His mangled age-of-consent comments and crass priest jokes are a bridge too far, especially for the conservative mainstream, which has so far held performative racism, transphobia, sexism, and xenophobia as well within the bounds of free speech. Today, absolutely nobody, from his publishers to his former tour promoter, is defending Yiannopoulos’ right to consequence-free speech.

As Penny notes earlier in the piece: It was conservatives, not liberals or progressives, who took Yiannopoulos down. (Or maybe just slowed him down.) Conservative activists circulated the incriminating-but-publicly-available podcast recordings after Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at Wingnutapalooza. As others have pointed out (including the brilliant Roxane Gay, brilliantly), the GOP, CPAC, Donald Trump, Simon & Schuster, et al, didn't have a problem with Yiannopoulos when he was attacking feminists, people of color, immigrants, queers, trans people, individual trans women, Muslims, Leslie Jones, etc.

I don't want to quibble with Penny, but Yiannopoulos wasn't just talking about "consenting relationships between adult men where there’s a large age gap." At times and clumsily, yes, Yiannopoulos was talking about relationships between young men—teenage boys above the age consent—and older adult gay men. But he also said this: "We're talking about 13/25, 13/28—these things do happen perfectly consensually." Challenged on another point, Yiannopoulos described 13-year-olds as "sexually mature" (has he ever met a 13 year old?) and clearly suggested that 13 year olds were capable of consenting to sexual contact with adults. And, of course, Yiannopoulos crudely/jokingly expressed his gratitude to the priest he says molested him when he was 14.

But I gotta say...

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Overcoming Abuse & Finding Partners Who Aren’t Pieces of Shit

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Do you have any advice on how to develop healthy sexual boundaries when you have a long history of people not letting you?

I was sexually abused by a relative starting when I was a child and continuing until I was fourteen. My first relationship wasn't until after I finished college, and it wasn't a healthy one. I've dated a little since then, but not much, mostly because: (1) pretty much no one is interested in me and (2) frankly, I'm not sure I'm healthy enough to be dating these days.

As a fat, disabled, gay trans guy, I pretty much feel like my options are to either not have sex at all or to have casual sex with guys who it often turns out don't treat me well. I don't think there's anything wrong with having casual sex, and it has sometimes been a positive experience for me. Far too often, though, I've met up with guys with whom I've agreed to have one kind of sex only to have it turn into something violent or very different from what I consented to. Yes, rape would accurately describe several of these experiences. Help?

Haunted, Unlucky, Recovering Trans Individual Needs Guidance

P.S. Talking to a counsellor about at least some of this seems like the obvious answer, but that's currently not something I can afford, nor have I ever been able to find someone I could talk to about this stuff who has been helpful instead of judgmental or traumatizing. I live in Vancouver, if that’s helpful to know.

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Ex-Mormon Wants to Come Out as Poly to Mormon Family

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I was Mormon my entire life, Mormon missionary, married a Mormon girl, both families intensely Mormon. For multiple reasons, I left Mormonism about a year ago. One of the more weighty reasons was because of their stance and views regarding homosexuality and how they treat LGBT people.

My wife and I started exploring polyamory 3-4 years ago. The first year was mostly mental exploration. For us, it came from a place of feeling really confident in our relationship, and our ability that love was not a limited resource, even if time was. Then we felt comfortable enough to explore intimate and sexual relationships with others. Polyamory including multiple romantic relationships (not just sex) really seems to resonate with our emotional make-up and has so far been a great enriching aspect to our marriage. To the point, it’s becoming somewhat painful for us to not share that aspect of our life with our very Mormon families. Our closest friends know. My current girlfriend is very polyamorous as well. And came out to her family. That was a mixed bag of awesome, and bad. Her family is significantly more liberally minded for the most part.

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