Savage Love Letter of the Day: Is Her Ex-Boyfriend Biphobic? (Her Ex-Boyfriend Would Like To Know)

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I’m a straight male. My ex is bi. She has a lot of shame about her sexuality. She said I was the only person she ever felt safe enough with to discuss it. She won't even talk to her therapist about it. She only recently admitted to herself that she’s bi and has never had a relationship with a woman.

There was a period when she really struggled with the shame. Since I was the only one she felt comfortable talking to about it with, it became a common topic of discussion. I asked if she thought she could find an LGBTQ support group, but she said no. I was happy to listen to her, but I knew that I could never understand what she was processing. One night, I asked if she felt that being in a relationship was stifling her ability to process her coming out. I know it’s possible for a bi person to be open, shame-free and to have only had heterosexual encounters. Given that we were monogamous and moving quickly I wanted to see if she felt this was best for her. She said the relationship wasn’t stifling her but wondered if I felt that way since she had been talking about it more. She said she would feel the same way.

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Something To Read While the Senate Votes On Repealing Obamacare and Killing Tens of Thousands of Americans Annually

This Frank Rich piece in New York Magazine back in March is worth a second reading...

There’s no way liberals can counter these voters’ blind faith in a huckster who’s sold them this snake oil. The notion that they can be won over by some sort of new New Deal — “domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance),” as Mark Lilla puts it — is wishful thinking. These voters are so adamantly opposed to government programs that in some cases they refuse to accept the fact that aid they already receive comes from Washington — witness the “Keep Government Out of My Medicare!” placards at the early tea-party protests.

Perhaps it’s a smarter idea to just let the GOP own these intractable voters. Liberals looking for a way to empathize with conservatives should endorse the core conservative belief in the importance of personal responsibility. Let Trump’s white working-class base take responsibility for its own votes — or in some cases failure to vote — and live with the election’s consequences. If, as polls tell us, many voters who vilify Obamacare haven’t yet figured out that it’s another name for the Affordable Care Act that’s benefiting them — or if they do know and still want the Trump alternative — then let them reap the consequences for voting against their own interests. That they will sabotage other needy Americans along with them is unavoidable in any case now — at least until voters stage an intervention in an election to come.

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Babeland Sold to San Francisco's Good Vibrations

Rachel Venning (L) and Claire Cavanah (R).
Rachel Venning (L) and Claire Cavanah (R).

The news broke yesterday that Babeland, the online/brick-and-mortar sex toy shop with locations in Seattle and New York City, has been sold to San Francisco's Good Vibrations. Babeland—originally Toys In Babeland—was founded in Seattle by business-not-life-partners Rachel Venning and Claire Cavanah in 1993. Rachel had just graduated from the University of Washington's MBA program, Claire was working in publishing in Seattle, both were lesbians active in the women's movement.

They opened their first store on Pike Street, not far from the Stranger's offices, and it was an instant hit with people who wanted sex toys but didn't want to slink into a dark and dingy porn store with a damp and smelly video arcade/public sex environment at the back. Christine Wenc, one of the Stranger's first editors, reviewed the store when it first opened:

The place was tastefully decorated and roomy, the staff was friendly, helpful, and very knowledgeable. Everywhere were dildos of all shapes and sizes and textures (one very funny one shaped like an ear of corn); dildo harnesses; all kinds of vibrators; butt plugs; little strings of beads to put up your butt and pull out again; bottles of lube; lots of books. I was entranced by all of the nifty gadgets, many of which I'd seen in the Good Vibrations catalogue before. And there was also a little room in the back with a mirror and a comfy chair for testing the products. Everything was laid out for inspection, with power source available if necessary, so you'd know exactly what you were getting. It was great fun.

Babeland was a revolution when it opened and quickly became one of Seattle's sex-positive institutions, along with things like the Center for Sex Positive Culture, SEAF, HUMP!, pride, naked cyclists at the Fremont solstice parade, and the late, great, and much-missed bondage/leather shop SIN, C-SPACE, and the Lusty Lady. So I was delighted to learn, when I spoke to Rachel and Claire by phone and via text yesterday, that Babeland isn't going anywhere. We also talked about why they're selling, their best and worst customers, and what the future holds for them. After the jump...

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Some Are Cracking Under Pressure of Peak TV, Pop Culture References, and the Normalization of Obsessive Fandom


It's true: movies can't kill you. Score one for the mountains. In other news... the trailer for Stranger Things Season 2 is out...

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Dating with Busty Baggage

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I'm newly on the dating scene and I'm trying to understand the mind of a guy with an extreme fetish since that's what I am. I have natural size 38T boobs and the rest of my body is relatively regular looking (google Milena Velba for a visual). I completely bungled my first attempt at dating someone ridiculously into my particular body type, although I suspect the issue was more on his end since he kept talking about how I was his dream girl, I'm so rare, blah blah blah, and now he's engaged to a woman with fake size B boobs (and keeps bothering me every once in a while, because, well, people are complicated and sexuality is confusing).

My first husband really loved me for who I am on the inside, which was definitely awesome, but he didn't have a thing for big boobs, which became kind of a bummer. For husband #2 I would like to try to find someone who loves me for who I am on the inside and is really attracted to me. But I think I'm struggling with novelty fuck syndrome—guys who want to fuck an extreme fetish once (yay! I reached the top of Mount Everest!) but don't want to be with me long term (ugh! no one wants to climb Mount Everest every damn day!). Is this something that I'm just missing about the psychology behind fetishes?

TLDR: I'm a pretty cool girl with mega boobs and I'd like to figure out how to have a healthy relationship with someone who likes mega boobs. Maybe there's a book that you can recommend?

Boobs Impress Guys

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: She Found Out About Her Fiance's Affair Two Months Before the Wedding

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In less than two months, if all goes according to plan, I will marry my long-term boyfriend “Jake.” My best friend “Ivy” will be my maid of honor. The two of them are my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. They see me, with all of my flaws, and still believe I'm a brilliant human being. Everyone should be so lucky as to have people like them in their lives.

Seven years ago, not long after I began dating Jake, I was out of town for Ivy's annual birthday bacchanalia. I suggested Jake go on his own to get to know my friends better. He did, and he and Ivy got so drunk that they ended up sleeping together. I found out last week. A third-party was aware of the tryst and, after falling out with Ivy, told me. Neither Jake nor Ivy remembers much about the encounter. Both were horrified when they awoke the next morning and swore never to speak of it again. They have told me it was the biggest mistake either of them has ever made. I believe them.

I like to think that I'm realistic about monogamy. It's what I want in a relationship, but it's a struggle, and one affair doesn't outweigh years of monogamy. So I'm surprised at how sad this revelation makes me. Sometimes I'm inexplicably angry; most of the time though, I'm just really, really sad.

When I look at my relationships with Jake and with Ivy, years of acceptance and love and support, it's obvious that one instance of drunk sex is the anomaly. I don't blame them for keeping it a secret. I'd have been happier if it remained that way. Why can't I stop being sad then? Why do I feel like a fool? Why can't I shake this off as something that happened in the past and has had little bearing on my life until now?

I don't want to lose these relationships (I think). But these insidious thoughts are dragging me down in. I'd be eternally grateful for any advice or insight you can offer. Am I being an idiot?

Bitter Reality Incites Dreadful Emotions

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SL Letter of the Day: Cheater No More.

Originally posted on June 3, 2015.

I'm a 35-year-old divorced man. I've been on plenty of dates since my marriage ended, but I invariably get asked this question on or before date #2: "Why did you get divorced?" This is where everything goes to shit. I'm honest: "We got divorced because I cheated on my wife. A lot." This usually catches my date off guard because I'm "not the kind of guy I'd have thought could do that." But I can hardly get past date #2 after this, because this information is "too much to handle." Sometimes my dates will admit to having cheated too. Not even other cheaters are interested in seeing me again. I was a good husband and father for seven years. But after four sexless years of marriage, I strayed. Crying myself to sleep every night took its toll, and I self-medicated with casual sex with attractive women. Two years and 20 women later, I got caught. I don't hide the facts; I own my mistakes. I've grown and learned from my mistakes. But it's hard for most women to see past "cheater." In my mind, anything less than complete honesty would validate the belief that I'm still a lying cheat. But complete honesty is kicking my ass and ruining potential relationships.

Forthright About Cheating, Then Silence

My response after the jump...

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Savage Love: Come Again

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Joe Newton
I'm a 35-year-old straight woman, recently married, and everything is great. But I have been having problems reaching orgasm. When we first started dating, I had them all the time. It was only after we got engaged that it became an issue. He is not doing anything differently, and he works hard to give me oral pleasure, last longer, and include more foreplay. He's sexy and attractive and has a great working penis. I am very aroused when we have sex, but I just can't climax. It is weird because I used to very easily, and still can when I masturbate. I have never been so in love before and I have definitely never been with a man who is so good to me. Honestly, all of my previous boyfriends did not treat me that well, but I never had a problem having orgasms. My husband is willing to do whatever it takes, but it's been almost a year since I came during vaginal intercourse! Is this just a temporary problem that will fix itself?

My Orgasms Are Now Shy

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Donald Jr: When Will This Nightmare End?

Donald Trump Jr (R) and Eric Trump (L) are miserable too.
Donald Trump Jr (R) and Eric Trump (L) are miserable too.

The Hill:

Donald Trump Jr. is reportedly "miserable" and can't wait for the next four years to end. A friend of President Trump's two adult sons told People that Trump Jr. and Eric Trump "never wanted this."

So it's unanimous then: we're all miserable and desperately want Trump's presidency to end. Hopefully it won't take four years.


SL Letter of the Day: Am I Bi or Not?

Originally posted on July 1, 2015.

I'm a 26-year-old guy. I had a fling with an awesome bisexual girl, and I told her about the fantasies I've always had about men. She suggested I was bisexual, and it started to make a lot of sense to me. So like an idiot, I came out to my parents. They don't seem to believe that I'm bisexual, despite my father being a trans woman. I've never been very macho, and they think I'm confusing that with being bi. Some days I don't feel the urge to have sex with men at all, and I feel silly for coming out. I worry that this is something to do with my feelings about my dad. But I've cybered with a few guys on Gaydar, etc., and I've really enjoyed it. So am I bi or not? Or does it even matter? Was I stupid coming out? I am in a rural area far from the LGBT community, but I'm planning a weekend in the city soon, and I'm hitting the gay bars in the hopes that if I at least make out with a guy, I will get some clarity.

Can't Retract And Panicked

My response after the jump...

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California to Address Housing Crisis By Cutting Neighborhood Groups Out of the Process

Part of the solution (multi-family dwelling) replaces part of the problem (single-family dwelling).
Part of the solution (multi-family dwelling) replaces part of the problem (single-family dwelling).

You'll find this in the "housing" section of Mike McGinn's campaign website:

The future of our neighborhoods must be determined by the people who live there—renters, homeowners, and small business people.

In fairness to McGinn, everyone running for mayor has said something similar. They all pay lip service to neighborhoods having more control over development. In response to a questionnaire from Seattle Fair Growth (SFG), an anti-development/NIMBY org, all the mayoral candidates save Durkan (who didn't respond) endorsed bringing back neighborhood councils. These councils were dominated by old, white homeowners who oppose rezoning, multi-family housing, new apartments, mother-in-law units, etc., and will be again, if revived and re-empowered.

Nikkita Oliver was asked at a forum hosted by SFG if she "[believes] current Seattle residents, in Seattle's diverse neighborhoods, should have more say over land use and zoning issues in their neighborhoods." Oliver responds: "Absolutely." Bob Hasegawa responded to a FSG question about density with this: "Neighborhood residents should be empowered to decide how to accept their fair share of density and growth that is inevitably coming."

Neighborhood control sounds nice in theory—the "neighborhood" gives us all warm and fuzzy feelings—but in practice "neighborhood control" has meant blocking the creation of new housing units. This creates scarcity, which drives up housing prices, which benefits the kind of old, white homeowners who dominate neighborhood councils. The policies backed by NIMBY orgs like SFG would make housing more expensive and lead to more displacement, not less. SFG split their endorsement between Oliver and Hasegawa. (They also endorsed SECB-backed Jon Grant.)

Anyway... I was thinking the "future of our neighborhoods [being] determined by the people who live" while reading about the steps proposed by lawmakers in California to address that state's housing crisis. Which mostly involves stripping "neighborhood groups" (read: older, whiter homeowners) of their ability to determine "the future of [their] neighborhoods" and give them less say, not more, over land use, zoning, and development. From today's NYT:

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The C Is for Crank Endorses Jessyn Farrell

Jessyn Farrell
Jessyn Farrell

Former SECB member Erica C. Barnett, who blogs at "The C Is For Crank," is backing Jessyn Farrell in the mayor's race:

The 2017 mayoral election comes at a pivotal time for the urbanist movement. The most contentious parts of outgoing Mayor Ed Murray’s keystone achievement, the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, remain unfinished, and conservative anti-density advocates have made common cause with anti-gentrification activists on Seattle’s far left, a potent alliance that could thwart efforts to address the city’s housing shortage.

Three candidates in the race for mayor—Jessyn Farrell, Cary Moon, and Mike McGinn—like to be considered urbanists. But only one, former state legislator and ex-Transportation Choices Coalition director Farrell, has a record of translating pro-transit, pro-housing urbanist values into policy. From her advocacy as TCC director for policies that changed the way the state thinks of road “capacity” (not just for cars anymore), to her work leading the 2008 campaign for Sound Transit 2, to her successful efforts to secure $500 million for Seattle during the debate in Olympia over Sound Transit 3, Farrell doesn’t just talk—she makes things happen.

"Seattle hasn’t had a female mayor in nearly a century," Barnett continues. "This isn’t a bit of historical trivia; it’s a stain on our 'progressive' city." But Barnett doesn't think Moon (too inexperienced) or Durkan (too establishment) are the right women for the job. And she really doesn't think Nikkita Oliver is the right choice:

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: An Australian Feels Guilty about Their Stoned Vacation in Colorado

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I'm a 30-ish-year-old female from Australia and I recently traveled overseas, including a week in the States—specifically Colorado. I basically spent the whole week high as shit on weed and didn't do much besides watch TV and eat. I'm now going to visit my folks and extended family for a few days, and no doubt they'll ask me about what I got up to. I've mostly changed the subject when they've asked up 'til now, but I can't really do that for much longer.

I've never talked about drugs with my parents so I'm not sure what they'd think. I have to imagine that they would know that recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado though. I think my mum would be okay with it but my dad is a bit more conservative, and I really don't know what my extended family would think. I'm not a great liar but I'm not sure how else to handle it. However, if I omit the weed of it all, since I didn't do much else I don't really have anything else to say.

I know it's just weed, but it still isn't legal here. I can also see admitting to using weed would open up a whole other can of worms because I'm pretty confident that my parent would therefore (correctly) assume that I use other drugs too. Any suggestions?

Paranoid Over Truth

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Sex

Week of Action Targets "Crisis Pregnancy Centers"

The Texas State Legislature in April of this year...

You know what comes next isn’t going to be good, right? No sentence that starts with “The Texas State Legislature” has ever ended well. Not for women, not for people of color, not for queers or kids or the poor or the environment. “The Texas State Legislature” is never followed by "voted to fully-fund education programs," "raised taxes on the wealthy to pay for healthcare," or "gives truly excellent head."

Anyway...

In April of this year the Texas State Legislature cut millions of dollars from clean air programs and redirected those funds to the “Crisis Pregnancy Centers.” Texas Observer:

Texas lawmakers voted Thursday to double funding for the state’s Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) program by taking money from environmental initiatives, a move that fed Democrat’s accusations that Republicans are more concerned with health inside the womb than out... [Lawmakers] tentatively approved by a 93-52 vote the addition of $20 million over two years to the program that largely funds controversial crisis pregnancy centers, which counsel women against having abortions. The funding is taken from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) air quality assessment and planning program, which monitors air pollution levels. “This is not a pro-life amendment, this is a pro-birth amendment,” said Representative Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas. “After that, you’re on your own, you’re going to have to breathe dirty air.”

If you don’t know what a pregnancy crisis center is, Caitlin Bancroft’s piece at Huffington Post (“What I Learned Undercover at a Crisis Pregnancy Center") sums it up pretty well:

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: He Really Needs to Come Out (As A Dom Top)

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I am a gay male. I have been with my partner for 3.5 years. We are both in our late twenties. We have lived together for the past two years and I have always imagined we will get married. My boyfriend is an egalitarian vanilla versatile/bottom in the sense that he likes standard stuff, expects reciprocation when he pleasures me, and prefers to bottom (he finds it physically more pleasurable). I have always primarily derived pleasure from sex from the power dynamics. When I think about sex, I tend to think about one partner being in control/dominating the other. I have tended to think of myself in the dominant role.

I mostly fantasize about being with sexually submissive guys who derive pleasure from pleasing me. In general, this means I think about guys who are entirely focused upon making me come and doing what I desire, and are not interested in coming themselves. I fantasize about being with a guy who likes to give blowjobs without reciprocation. I like the idea of never having to see/touch my partner's dick, or with putting my partner in chastity. I think about being with a guy lies there during anal, letting me do what I like to them e.g. choking, spanking, ass-to-mouth.

My partner and I traditionally had standard top/bottom sex i.e. I rim him, he suck me, I penetrate him. I found this reasonably pleasurable at the start of our relationship but I now find it stale and no longer look forward to it. We have tried experimenting with other stuff. We've tried some very mild BDSM stuff but it feels forced.

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