Is this what it looks like when people send things to Penthouse on spec?

"I never thought this will have maybe happened to me."
@1, amaaazing.

Man, this guy. Strikes me as one of those kids who tries to live just in his head. The rest of him's fed up and starting to break itself free. If he's lucky life's about to get a whole lot more interesting.
what rich and full lives we live.....
Here, here, dan. From what I can tell, the "post-gay/anti-label" bullshit song always seems to be sung from the heights of privilege. It is very off-putting. OHBOY might want to keep that in mind before he he sticks his foot in it expecting his beau to be oh so impressed with how label-averse he is.
I bet he'd be a lot more nervous if the guy he is attracted to hadn't accepted the label of gay.
My fakey senses are tingling ...
@4 good point. Though it seems like OHBOY is theoretically okay with being out with beau... As long as he doesn't get labeled bi? (Actually how does that work?)
People who claim labels are unimportant are either straight ... or they're gay or bi but wish to remain closeted...

Or they consider themselves to special snowflakes who's sexuality is far too unique and magical to be captured by mere words.
(sweet jesus, please don't let tumblr social justice read this, you just know some poly-whatever will be seething)

I tend to agree though, there is a time for labels, especially when you are running away from one out of fear. And while some people just don't fit into a lable, some people they fit just fine thank you very much.

This letter is rather cute. So sure of his convictions, and then suddenly, a boy. The way he's writing (the voice he's using?) strikes me as YOUNG, like just pulled the plastic off it young and I hope as he grows up he will cling less rigidly to the labels stance he's taking.

People are just people, brotha. Some of them make you swoony, some of them don't. Holding tight to the idea that you can resume heterosexuality post this boy might be a little off putting to the boy who's making you so twitterpated. So, maybe watch that. Otherwise, hooray for college and the experimental years!
One thing I'd warn the LW about, from the wisdom of my forty-odd years, is that often when you find someone incredibly attractive and they're immediately, intensely attracted to you too, it's not what it appears to be. (Sometimes it is as perfect as it seems, but in my experience that's quite rare.)

There are charismatic people out there, who can turn on the charm and make you tumble head-over-heels. They look in your eyes, and you can tell they feel the same way. Except that they don't. They're just using you for a short while, before moving on to the next candidate.

So, just a word of caution that when things move very quickly, be aware that charmers can be assholes after they get what they want. Not all charmers turn out that way, and I don't mean you have to refuse those intense connections, but just try to keep your wits about you, and don't rely too heavily on promises made by a charming stranger.
OHBOY, a lot of people aren't 100% straight or 100% gay. Maybe you're 99% straight, and this guy tweaked the 1% gay part of you. That's fine. It's all good.
"So rejecting labels isn't brave and it isn't interesting—it's not even a rejection of labels."

Perfectly stated.
Ms Erica - You're framing LW as the probable injured innocent when he actually states an intention to be The User.

The experience LW wants might do him some good, but it would likely do the poor object of his infatuation a good deal of ill. I hope the unlucky recipient of his advances runs miles in the contrary direction; try as I might to give LW points for his attitude, I just can't make myself like or approve of him enough to hope the encounter goes through.
He spends all this time talking about how he's so glad he doesn't need to be "cast" into any label, straight, bi, or gay, but then he says THIS shit:

"I feel like I can explore my feelings without having to be labeled as gay or bisexual"

So... he's not rejecting ALL the labels, just the ones that make him feel icky and perverted. He's just fine retaining the "straight" label by default.

Just another homophobic twatwad. Move along.
@14. They're both young. They'll both learn something. Hopefully they'll both enjoy the process.
This reads like the beginning of a lost chapter of The Rules of Attraction, with LW playing Sean, and the gay guy playing the gay guy. I can't wait until the gay guy actually realizes this douchebag is "straight" and won't want sex.
@15 I don't think he's a homophobic twatwad; I think he's a "recovering Catholic" who's working very hard at rationalizing away any restrictions his Catholic upbringing has tried to force on him.

He gets it instinctively, that it's okay to be "straight with one exception," that sexuality can be fluid, but he was raised in a religion and a vernacular which forbids that. He's just trying to reason his way towards what he knows emotionally to be true.

I give him credit for not reflexively hating himself for falling for this one guy.
I think he's a self-important narcissistic little prick and hope he grows out of it.
Fake? If not, I recommend a time machine to rescue Cecil here and his writing from the nineteenth century. Jesus Christ! Haughty, overwritten--I couldn't make it past the second paragraph.
It's almost always the "bisexual" (or worse "bi-curious") guys who reject labels. Why? Because they are gutless cowards too scared to admit they are gay - or even bi.

Even if you really are bisexual, come OUT about it. Closets are for cowards. Christ, this country would evolve a lot faster if people just accepted who they are and come out of the goddamn closet about it.
Mr Clayton - I just hate to see such lopsided benefit.
I think the fact that it's a college kid makes a big difference in the whole "no labels" debate. A 35 year old who is "beyond labels" sounds kinda douchy. A college kid might just be acknowledging that he's not going to stress out about picking a name for his sexual orientation. He's just going to listen to himself and see what happens. One would assume that in 5 years, he'll have lived enough to know who he is.
For those who don't read unregistered comment, @ 5 wins the thread (so far) :

"I bet he'd be a lot more nervous if the guy he is attracted to hadn't accepted the label of gay. "
As I've always said, people don't really hate labels. Every person who says they hate labels uses them constantly.

People hate having a label applied to them that they don't feel fits.

Oddly enough, the best way to avoid having an incorrect label applied to you is to apply the correct one to yourself.

And yes, anyone who doesn't want to label themselves sexually as something other than straight is, by default, letting themselves be labeled as straight.
OHBOY, I'm gonna go ahead and label you as "97% straight". Labels can be important. Nobody's going to buy a can of food at the grocery store if it has no label on it. Call yourself whatever you want, and don't have any shame about it.
I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and take it that he actually meant that he doesn't have to let worrying about labels paralyze him... Although the sentence, "I just want to hook up with a guy and then resume my life and date women with no stigma attached to me and without any limits being put on the heterosexual dating game" makes me think he didn't.

That sounds like "I'm afraid to admit that I could possibly be bisexual because then if I were open about it I'd have to face prejudice." Not even the Catholic thing. Am I wrong?
"liking this boy means nothing."

Well, my Dear, it means "something." Ouch.
Not afraid of gay sex, just afraid of being called gay.

@28 - he said he's worried about limiting his hetero dating pool. If he wants to marry a good virginal Catholic girl, the whole hey I dated a guy thing might be an issue. I can't imagine it would limit his dating pool much if he was dating liberal women, especially if they also happen to read Dan, but I guess the world is shy on liberal Catholics.
@11: "Oh Anna, if only there was someone out there who loved you.”
@31 Congratulations, you win the thread. :)
This letter is bullshit
I'm glad I'm not the only one who picked up on the "nothing". As in, the sexual encounter - if it should go that far - will ultimately mean nothing. As will the object of his unwilling-to-acknowledge bi-curious attraction. But, hey, as long as it's/he's nothing, then the LW's orientation remains unblemished. Sorta, kinda like "saddlebacking" preserves virginity.
It's cool and all that he's getting over the Catholic baggage. more people should. But, "I just want to hook up with a guy and then resume my life and date women with no stigma attached to me" makes me worry about any woman he might marry. I know straight wives in traditional marriages who only later found out their husbands strayed in college, tried to buckle down, marry, and fuck pussy instead, but, unsurprisingly, strayed again. And again.

Maybe he's 97% straight. Maybe he's bi. Maybe he can persist in label-less limbo for decades. However, if it took this special guy to notice his gay side while having enough Catholicism left in him to need an opposite-sex marriage, then that doesn't end well for the STBX wife and kids. It might not be only this guy once he gets past cringing (his word) at the thought.
Here's an idea — Do you think Bisexual people would be out more if there was a better alternative than the word Bisexual? By that I mean, how one can identify as either Gay or as Homosexual. How many people really say "I'm homosexual" anymore?

Considering there was a study years ago that found that people accepted gay equality and gay social justice more if it used the word Gay rather than Homosexual, I think the word Bisexual is similarly loaded. (Maybe when straight people hear "Gay" they think of a person, and when they hear "homosexual" they think of sex acts and get squeamish?)

Bi is an okay alternative, but a little too oblique I think, especially in verbal language.
@29, @34 I think he just meant it means nothing bad. Associating being labeled by others (or apparently by himself) as bi or gay as being a bad thing with bad consequences for a Catholic man. I think as he seems to have already found some flexibility with his own interpretation of what being Catholic means, he might get more mileage out of bringing some other Catholics he knows to a more humane and modern way of thinking about things. If they are already up to speed, what consequences is he talking about? Does he really want to marry someone who would judge for being who he is? Sounds like a sad option. There are liberal Catholics out there. Isn't he one, or trying to be one?
Ugh. Glad some other people picked up on the fuck-and-then-leave-and-never-think-of-this-meaningless-thing-again attitude.
Dude, if you want to overcome your Catholic guilt and be open and accepting, maybe consider the possibility of dating this dude rather than just one quick fuck to get it out of your system before going back to the ladies?
"I just want to hook up with a guy and then resume my life and date women with no stigma attached"

Then tell gay boy that, and do it before you two set a date to put him in your bed. Not wanting others to judge you for your sexuality is fine, but wanting to use a gay college kid isn't. Cards on the table.
@19--Oh, he will. He's in COLLEGE. He sounds like a freshman. He's in college and he's so nervous about taking his shirt off that he talks about it as if he were writing in an alien language ("I would love to pull my sweater over my head to expose myself to him"). Every time I read something written by a college kid, it's like reading a dispatch from another planet that I forgot existed. He'll be fine.
@29 and @34, I thought the same thing.

This may mean nothing to OhBoy, but if it happened it would probably be more than nothing to the poor, out gay boy who is the object of their attention.

Sure, people experiment in college, and that's all great. But not every gay guy, even college age gay guys, want to be some straight boy's experiment.

If OhBoy pursues this guy he needs to be up front about both where he is coming from, and that when it is over it will have "meant nothing" to him and not lead the gay boy on by letting him think there may be some possibility of more than just an experimental fling involved.

Assuming that the gay guy even has any interest in this guy anyway. Just because OhBoy is attracted to gay guy doesn't mean that gay guy has any interest in that way in OhBoy.
The one who says it means "nothing" is usually the one to whom it means the most. It's called denial, and this kid is denial incarnate.
He doesn't mean the boy means nothing; on the contrary, the boy means a lot to him. He says: "liking this boy means nothing. I like this boy" (emphasis mine), which to me, in keeping with the rest of his letter, means he doesn't want to be labeled, by himself or anyone else, as gay because he has this thing for this one boy.

I'm not sure how many boys he has to want to consider himself at the very least bi.

For someone claiming to be beyond labels, he seems anxious not to eschew the "straight" identifier. It appears to be very important to him not to shed that particular label, even though he wants desperately to be with this one boy. I don't think that this is a case of a very young college kid being pretentious and trying to get past labels; I think this is a kid who's trying hard to reconcile himself to his attraction to a man--or men--and who doesn't want to give up his straight label, because he wants the privileges that come with that, including being able to court and eventually marry the "right" type of straight woman.

I agree with Ricardo @42.
@ 43 - And I totally agree with you. You've pretty much nailed it (except that he is, generally speaking, a tad pretentious... like most college kids).
Congratulations, Dan, your column has averted one more homophobic reaction. This young man would have reacted negatively and probably violently, if you had not softened him up and allowed him to forgive himself. Good on you both!
OHBOY is clearly a 1 on the Kinsey Scale. He's mostly straight, but every once in a while he does something gay, like wanting to kiss another dude on the mouth.
The Kinsey Scale. Outdated? Sure. Still useful in some cases. Hell yes.
From here it looks less like OHBOY has bought into homophobia, than that he is instinctively aware of straight privilege and is not ready to surrender it, while not having the tools or self awareness to fully articulate that.
"I just want to hook up with a guy and then resume my life and date women...without any limits being put on the heterosexual dating game."

I know that feeling: not wanting to be kicked out of the opposite-sex pool by dating same-sex, and vice versa. It's called being bi, some people aren't going to get it or dig it, but if you accept it others will too.

And Salmon @36 has an excellent point.

Heterosexual : Straight :: Homosexual : Gay :: Bisexual : ??

We need that word. Any suggestions?

@48: Easy?

Ok, ok, low-hanging fruit, I know.
Fortunate, @26 you say: "anyone who doesn't want to label themselves sexually as something other than straight is, by default, letting themselves be labeled as straight."
But the point is that OhBoy really, really wants that straight label. He's not just allowing himself to keep it by default; it's vitally important to him that he keep it. Thanks to Dan, he may not be virulently homophobic and therefore self-hating, but he doesn 't want to have to admit the truth to himself, in the appropriate language, either, and he damn sure wants to make sure that everyone else keeps applying that straight label and its attendant privilege to him.

As for a less off-putting synonym for "bisexual," how about "inclusive?"
Homo ... Gay

Hetero ... Straight

Bi ... Flex
@ 50

Would make him an Innie?
Bless me Father for I have sinned... I kissed a boy last night, and the night before that and the night before that.

Once you go Bi keep giving it a try.
@ 48 - Flux? Fluid? Versatile? Or would we maybe be better off with a word that isn't in common use?
@ 54 - Versatile is already taken (a gay man who tops and bottoms).
Ms Cute - "Inclusive" has a faintly judgy vibration to it - (rather like "straight", which had the ill fortune to be so firmly associated with Boy Scouts at their worst, or even "open and affirming", the common phrase du jour for NALT Christians). The first word that comes to mind that has a different flavour of aura to it is *diversified*, but I'm not wild about it.
I am actually not sure I understand what the issue is with "bi". I'd appreciate an explanation from any of the out bi folk here.
As a (sorta) bisexual, I'm not terribly fond of the word "bisexual." Bisexual is useful only if you are attracted to cismen and ciswomen. It has a nasty consequence of erasing trans-, intersex, and non-gendered people from someone's attraction pool. I don't like using the term bi for myself because I'm definitely attracted to cis- and transmen and women, but I shudder at the use of pansexual, which, for one, implies I'm potentially attracted to EVERYTHING (wombats?), and/or tends to be used by the sort of person who believes in the healing power of crystals. In absence of a better label, I've resorted to the purpose-defeating umbrella label of queer. But if someone's got a good word that's not trans-erasing, I'm all ears.
You could say "Oh, I find myself attracted to all along the gender spectrum." Seems to me that unless you're painting a protest sign, there's enough time for a whole sentence (and more) of explanation, not just a one-word term.
Edit to first sentence of 59 --
@58: You could say "Oh, I find myself attracted to people all along the gender spectrum."
Bombardier @49 you are going to Bisexual Hell [it's full of stunningly attractive asexuals] for that one, but I chuckled.

nocute @50, "inclusive": I exclude people all the time.

Kwodell @51, "Flex": I kinda like Flex. One syllable, slangy and doesn't have a usage in the dating/fucking context as far as I know. Also the rhyme with sex is fun, and it can be kind of butch or femme.

Kitty @54, "Fluid": implies movement or transition, which is perfect for some, but my sexuality is pretty solid.

Mr. ven @56, "diversified": too hedge-fundy.

Bombardier @57, as Salmon @36 pointed out there is a measurable difference in the way people feel about "gay" v. "homosexual." Is it the "-sexual" or the syllables? Who knows?

We have the words heterosexual, hetero and straight, as well as the homosexual counterparts, but no term that refers to bisexuals that compares.

I can't even put my finger on it, but a word like "flex" feels easier and more apt to me. Maybe it is because to identify my orientation to others I wouldn't have to so directly refer to my sex-life, something I eschew in most company.

persimmon @58, I know others are more particular about such things, but I don't think of "bisexual" as trans-erasing. I like men and women whether cis or trans. A cis-man is a man after all. Some of the trans and gender-queer folk I know would say I am pansexual, but I too think that is a clunky and overly suggestive term.

Erica @59, when asked if I was gay or straight, I used to say, "I'm somewhere in between," but that started to sound wishy-washy or transitional or something, so I went back to bi. I think a common usage syllable is superior to a nuanced statement [that's for pillow talk].
@Ophian: I like "flex," for all the reasons you gave. It almost makes me want to change my placement on the Kinsey scale so I could get to use it about myself.
@51 kwodell: "flex" -- great idea!

Of course, it implies a certain level of physical fitness that might not apply. After a session on my knees, I find my middle aged self saying "dude, can you give me a hand up?"

I like it because it includes the heteroflexibles and homoflexibles who might not like "bi" because that sounds too 50-50.

gay isn't a contraction of homosexual (that would be homo), straight isn't a contraction of heterosexual (het); bi is a contraction. flex is a great affirmative non-contraction.

Tech savvy at risk youth -- pass it on to Dan for the savagelovecast!
To the LW: if this one boy makes you swoon, why do you think it's a one time only thing? Why would you want to limit the rest of your life to just women and never have the lovely swoon again? And why limit it to a hookup? Maybe he's the one in all respects.

If women don't make you swoon, then maybe time to rethink the st8 dating thing.

But if they do too, why not be open to being flexible in the future, and being honest with any female partner and finding one who is open to you not shutting out this part of you?

Also, consider re-thinking the monogamy thing that the Catholics have taught you. Some people are wired up to be monogamous and you can be flexible and monogamous. Some people aren't, but there's nothing immoral about non-mongamy if you're open and honest about it.

Immoral is cheating and lying to your self and to others. That's the real message of Catholicism. Study the history, much of what you learned as God's true doctrine was developed for political expediency or happenstance by a very human and at times corrupt bureaucracy.
@58: As a not-sorta bisexual trans person, like @61 says, the term bisexual does not exclude all trans people, because trans women are women and trans men are men. The only people who technically aren't included in "bisexual" are are non-binary identified (anyone who does not identify as a man or a woman) people such as myself. The vast majority of people identify as men or women, so it's not surprising that most people aren't even aware that people outside that frame exist, and therefore that bisexual is a more common term than pansexual. I personally do not assume that when someone identifies as bisexual that they are deliberately saying they are not attracted to non-binary people. Hell, I usually call myself bisexual unless I have reason to believe the listener already knows what pansexual means. As far as supporting trans (binary and non) people goes, there are many more worthwhile things to do than police people's terms for themselves.

"Everything" is a different term, which is "omnisexual". I've never met someone who actually identifies as an omnisexual, though.

(I still think "flex" is a cute term.)
Ah, this letter takes me back. The majority of my college sex life was hooking up with guys doing some version of this I'm-totally-straight-but-can-I-blow-you? bit. And it was a blast! No one ever had to sit me down and explain that a relationship was not in the cards because they were only interested in dating women -- that much was obvious, and a huge part of the appeal. I loved the intensity of being the secret experiment, and emotional relationship intimacy was the most terrifying thing in the world to me at the time, so it was a perfect fit!

Today, every one of those guys (that I didn't lose track of) is married to a woman, and I eventually got interested in having partners that had actual relationship potential, so it all worked out. I do sometimes wonder if I'm the awesome memory to these guys that they are to me, or if I'm a dark, troubling, repressed secret...

But to bring it back to the LW -- yes, some parts of this letter are a little off-putting/embarrassing, but he's young -- his heart seems to be mostly in the right place. Hopefully they have some fun and It'll probably all work out here too.
Flex has a certain sass and openness to it which suits Mr O and a portion of his cohorts. But don't stop at one word. I'm sure there's plenty of room for at least three.
Mr Hart - Why doesn't the object of LW's intentions deserve better? If he's like you, enjoys being an experiment and is not interested in a relationship at this time, that's all FTWL-worthy, but I'd like to hope that the young exclusive same-sexers of today and even the multi-sexers have gotten beyond having to claim total Wainthropp. LW has learned enough from Mr Savage to be able to live with himself if the pair has a romp or several, but he doesn't seem up to being able to treat a partner in a same-sex romp the way young same-sexers deserve. The two most likely paths for this seem to be either that LW gets serviced a few times and then goes on his merry-presenting-as-full-Kinsey-zero way and treating the other boy like the plague, or this actually deepening into something that turns the other boy into LW's social worker - again, something the other boy has every right to like and for which to settle, but the young and the out of today deserve so much better.
This letter writer sounds like a real self-obsessed, arrogant, douche nugget.
@69: And that he's at a university, so I think we can round that down to "normal."
The new bi-sexual label. How about "SWB" = swing both ways.
I'd like to put in my vote for "flex". Concise, precise and intriguing. Hell, I might even consider walking on the wild side for a bit if it allowed me to call myself flex. That's a label I could live with.
OMG "flex" is fantastic. I am incorporating it immediately.
Isn't Flex the name of a gay porno movie star? It if isn't, it sounds like it should be.
@68: yeah, I basically agree. If the guy the LW writer is crushing on is not into just being a fling, he should pass. I just think it's possible he could be just as into that as the LW is, so we shouldn't necessarily jump to the conclusion that he's doomed to a bad experience here.

And my experience wasn't so long ago that I wasn't also reading Dan Savage at the time, which was probably crucial in these experiences happening at all. If I didn't have that voice in my head, I probably would have said to myself "I can't hook up with these experimenting guys, it must be self-destructive, internalized homophobia, etc." Instead I said "this guy seems hot, could be fun, let's see what happens", and I ended up ultimately feeling good about all of the experiences that ensued, though occasionally it did lead to the guys being a bit crazy.

But, college. Going to the dining hall or doing my laundry also sometimes involved dealing with crazy.
Mr O and Mr Alan - Don't forget you still need a new word for, say, all those bisexual wives locked into OS marriages whose lives have about as much flexibility as an ironing board. (To any bisexual wives locked (or not) into OS marriages who do have flexibility in your lives, this is not about YOU.)

And, as long we're sloughing off outdated words, I'm so tired of being associated with middle school derogation that I'm contemplating a new term myself. I do rather think South Park (along with similar offerings) and its admirers seem to have ruined "gay". At the moment, I'm leaning towards Bolero, if it's sufficiently obvious. As my definition of sufficiently obvious would go down well on Only Connect, though, I am wary of pronouncing.
@ 67 - "But don't stop at one word. I'm sure there's plenty of room for at least three."

I love this.

I'm personally not too crazy about "flex" simply because it sounds a bit too much like "hetero/homo-flexible" to me and I'm more of a Kinsey 3. (And also because it's a verb and that just kinda bugs me. Bi is something I am, not something I do.) But since a lot of "mostly straight/gay" people don't seem to want to identify as bi, it seems like a really great idea to have a word for each set of them, too.
Mr. ven @67: "I'm sure there's plenty of room for at least three [words]."

That's why I like flexible or Flex. As delta @63 put it: "I like it because it includes the heteroflexibles and homoflexibles who might not like "bi" because that sounds too 50-50."

Flex would succinctly cover a spectrum, indicating "not-straight, not-gay." Whether one is a Kinsey 1-5, Bi, Pan, &c. is for further discussion...just like Top/Bottom/Vers or Fuck/Fall-in-love.

I think the usage is useful, again as delta employed it @64 "why not be open to being flexible in the future, and being honest with any female partner and finding one who is open to you not shutting out this part of you?" Framing it in that way might help the LW to do what he do, and not worry about the pigeon-holes.

Linguist @65: "Hell, I usually call myself bisexual unless I have reason to believe the listener already knows what pansexual means."

More or less same boat here, and there is the problem with "Flex." Common usage. [FWIW, of course I meant to write @61 "A trans-man is a man after all."]

Kitty @77: "I'm personally not too crazy about "flex" simply because it sounds a bit too much like "hetero/homo-flexible" to me and I'm more of a Kinsey 3"

Insofaras the Kinsey scale is useful, I'm somewhere abouts a 3, too. But perhaps we are a hard flex in contrast to a hetero/homo flex, or even a flexible-curious.

I don't see it as not wanting to identify as Bi, but wanting a less clunky, more inclusive/concise tag.

nocute @62 and Alan @73: I have forwarded your assenting votes to the registrar.
Bloomer @72 your vote has been submitted as well.
Mr O - More inclusive? Don't make me faint. (As for Ms Delta's post 63, I found it a teensy bit acquisitive, but didn't want to turn a quibble into a breach.) I'm reminded of the old Benedictine guideline for nuns - "Have as many particular friends as you can, but not one." This is almost a perfect flipped application of that. You didn't like "fluid" for yourself, but why wouldn't some bisexual people find it more accurate than "flex" for themselves? And you want a term that's a conversation starter, but plenty of people want a term that at least conveys an answer to "Might You [Blank] An X?" And there are those who will want a term that clearly takes a lifestyle/psychopolitical side if not a bedroom one. I could go on, but it's way past bedtime again.

You seem to be adopting a very Republican strategy here of cramming together under one umbrella a lot of people who don't want to share with each other. There are variations for other identities here; it's not peculiar to you. I lobby to get straight-chasers a separate designation. I'm sure many poly people here and the patriarchal polygamists would die on a high holy hill about a One Word solution. The key would seem to be making sure that the connection is sufficiently clear. That seems doable; it certainly works for colours. Who can't rattle off at least half a dozen clearly recognized shades of blue?

(I hope somebody will at least tell me at some point whether Bolero is sufficiently obvious; what does one's mind's eye see in association? I'll even give a tiny hint that, if the mind's eye is seeing the right thing, there will be nine of them.)
ven, when you say Bolero, I visualize Bo Derek's iconic poster with the gold swimsuit and beaded braids. If I had to attach a sexuality to that image, it would be teen het male, circa, mid80s.
Mr Alan - I was afraid of that. It could still have some use, though, as a sort of word-association test if not a replacement word. Rather a shame, though, but thanks for the mention.
Mr. Ven: "Bolero" has three associations for me: 1) the same Bo Derek image that Alanmt mentioned, a very short jacket, like a matador's jacket, and a very personal association that you couldn't possibly have been referring to.
And "nine of them?" No idea whatsoever.

That should have read:

Mr. Ven: "Bolero" has three associations for me:
1) The same Bo Derek image that Alanmt mentioned,
2) A very short jacket, like a matador's jacket,
3) A very personal association that you couldn't possibly have been referring to.

And you say my mind's eye should see "nine of them?" No idea whatsoever.
I am only half-satisfied as I'd like to know how OHBOY reconciles his "core values that you broke and encouraged other people to break" to himself as he seems to have broken them himself and also how he reconciles "the idea that so many people did things against my core Catholic values" when he himself seems to doing some of those things. I'd also like to know if he can answer these points without labeling...

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