Ha. Character is what you do in the dark? And who might Character, be? Dad's secretary no doubt. Got some funny name choices in the good ole USA.
And how would this secretary fucking guy know why soldiers died? I'm sure many of those boys very clearly hoped they weren't laying down their lives for such homophobic, secretary fucking guys like this LW .
I hope Jonathan's kids are very careful/good at hiding their private stuff. Poor kids. However, it sounds like Jonathan already has a big long stick up his butt to begin with. There probably isn't room for anything else.
That was an interesting view into the mind of a very rigid parent. Which is something to keep in mind as most of us don't associate or at least don't converse with that section of the population. Alas, they have just as many gay / queer / kinky kids as anyone else does.
Hey Jonathan? You'll feel better if you'll just let your wife stick her pinky up your ass. I promise.
This escalated quickly.
4. Electro-shock therapy.
5. Join the priesthood.

Thank you again for the mot juste. And it's true - every time I have dinner at a household with kids, I *do* wonder where the root vegetables have been!

Oh Wise Troll; you almost got me there.

Butt; you forget; pedophiles hurt people, and that's not nice.

HomoSwexuals sticking stuff up their butts never hurt nobody.

So there.
Hey Jon, if I can be so bold. I'm a mother of sons. And I find your response, reaction so very extreme. Your sons sexuality is his business. And if you burden it with all that crap, he won't thank you. He'll just go underground with his private business.
And if you do assume such a rude stance, I'd bet in 20 yrs, you and your son will not be friends. Because if he starts to hide himself from you as a teen, the gap between you two will just grow.
Kids play as they are discovering their sexuality. With their genitals with their arse.. Connected sexual parts of the body.
And you would contemplate kicking your son out? Shitty move.
Just love your children. Accept how they express themselves.
I'm trying to picture how you raise a child to never put anything in their ass.

It would either suggest "Here is a helpful list of some things people like to do as masturbation, that you may not have thought of yet" or be like those people who condemn homosexual sex in extreme detail that indicates they gave it a lot more thought than would seem warranted for a straight person.

(In fairness, I think the commenters are pretty united that giving sex toys to your minor relatives is creepy. (Also giving sex toys to your parents or grandparents.) At most a talk about sex, mild note that you wouldn't care if they ordered a sex toy, and a way to pay for it discreetly. )
Our soldiers died to make sure you couldn't stick things up your butt? What the flying fuck?

I sincerely hope Jonathan's children grow safely to adulthood despite his best efforts to the contrary. (Actually, I sincerely hope he never has children.)

If he does have children, the odds that he has anything better than a distant, strained relationship with them -- if even that -- once they are adults are very remote.
I'm wondering if Jonathan does any real parenting, or whether he considers raising children to be "women's work."

Saying "because I said so" doesn't fly with my 2-year-old, let alone a teenager. Instead I carefully explain WHY I'm prohibiting something, so that my kid learns how to identify dangers for herself. Of course, that requires me to actually have REASONS for the things I ban-- reasons beyond "because that's what someone else told me." I'm guessing Jonny-boy has never had the courage to ask the questions that my 2-year-old does so effortlessly.
I realllly expected him to start going off about Our Precious Essence and how we must protect our bodily fluids.
I will never understand the logic of this flavor of homophobe. There are far, far more straight people engaging in assplay than gay people. Some gay people don't like assplay, many straight people do. There are something like 25 heteros for every homo on the planet. The arithmetic is pretty simple. Sticking stuff in your ass does not turn you into a gay man, nor is it an activity unique to gay men.
I'm with @4. I think this guy could really use a little butt-loving in his life. Work out the ol' sphincters.
I think if we gave Johnathan an enema you could fit the rest of him in a matchbox.
"They fought to give you the freedom to be a man who lives right and flies straight."

No matter how many times I hear this argument, it never fails to amuse me. Lots of people claim to love freedom, but only if people are using their freedoms in specific ways of which the speaker approves. Obviously this means they don't really love freedom at all; they love conformity and order.

Soldiers died to establish and protect the Constitution, and the Constitution says you can stick things up your butt if you want to. The courts have been very clear on this.
Mmm . . . did anyone take a look at the Fatoosh salad on the Shiraz menu?
Oy. Jonathan's obviously butt-hurt (couldn't resist) that you did not encourage POPS to shame his son.

OTOH, I'm even wondering WHY he picked up the paper your column was in. As far as I know, your column is syndicated to mostly (entirely?) alternative publications. Surely, he could have figured that out without going through most of the paper to reach your column. And then stop reading. But, no. He read the whole thing.

Do you think he perused the sex ads closely as well?
Dear Jonathan,
I can tell you are a concerned and a conscientious parent, so I'll address you seriously.

You gave your hypothetical masturbating-with-anal-play "son" a list of three choices (although you say that choice #2 wasn't serious). Choice #3 was I'll help you find a sensible counselor who will reinforce what is right but who will also listen and guide you through this struggle.

I appreciate that you are willing to help your children find professional help when they need it, but I think that taking your son to see a counselor to help "guide" him through the "struggle" of --what, exactly? Masturbation in general? Masturbation with anal insertion? --is not only audacious, but bizarre and absurd.

Maybe you have never experienced the sensation of prostate stimulation, but it's apparently very pleasurable (I'm a woman, so I don't know first-hand, but this is what I've heard). Enjoying the sensation and seeking it out is normal, and many men do it routinely. That you would think this warrants a trip to the shrink is kind of crazy, and ultimately futile. Surely you remember masturbating as a teenager. If your father had discovered what, specifically aroused you and your technique and then lectured you or threatened to kick you out of the house or force you to see a counselor, would you have stopped finding what arouses you arousing? Would you have altered your masturbatory routine or technique? Could you have, even if you wanted?

Your unstated but pretty obvious fear is that masturbation with anal insertion means your son must be gay. Your reaction indicates that you think that a person can change his sexual orientation through coercion. So I think you should do some research. Many men, gay and straight alike, enjoy prostate stimulation. Liking the feel of things up your butt isn't an indicator of sexual orientation or preference. It just means he likes how it feels. Being gay isn't wrong or bad. It's just a fact. Being gay doesn't rob anyone of Character; it doesn't prevent a man from living with courage, honesty, or dignity. Gay men contribute positively to their families and their fellow humans all the time. All that being gay means is that a man falls in love with (and yes, wants to have sex with) men. That's it. It's really pretty simple. Those soldiers you mention who have fought and died for your and your son's freedom, including the freedom to put things up your butts and to have sex with other men, and increasingly, to marry a man and make a life and a family with him--many of those very soldiers, including some of their commanding officers have been gay. And yet they risked their lives to protect the freedom of you, who, were they your teenage child, would throw them onto the street for simply being who they have been since they were in their mother's womb. Forgive me, but it seems to me that they show more character in that than you do.

I hope you love your precious children, Jonathan, as I do, as Dan does, as the father who wrote this letter does. I hope you can accept them for who they are and help guide them to adulthood in way that teaches them to respect their fellow human beings.

I know it is difficult to consider the fact that you may be wrong about something, but I'd like to think that your desire to be the best possible parent helps you when need to reevaluate.

My first impression was that this letter had to be an Onion-style parody--nicely done btw! ...but on further review, I sadly realize there are parents like this, who would shame & punish their son & make him feel guilty about discreetly discovering his developing body. I really feel sorry for any spawn this particular parent might be "raising".
Many gay soldiers died as well. Jonathan acts like their sacrifices don't exist.
Dear Mr. Keck,

Like most The Stranger readers, I sputtered with surprise and outrage when I read the shocking news about your Employee, Dan Savage. As I type these words, waves of disbelief radiate through Society and Americans everywhere sadly shake their heads and wonder what has gotten into Mr. Savage.

I will not stoop to describe the unspeakable turn his writing has taken in the new October 29 issue of your Newspaper. No doubt others have reported to you the strange goings on. Mr. Savage has spoken favorably on the subject of touching ones Self in a place no decent person even has words to address directly. I'll go no further down this strange path than to note that your man Savage has in a single day added at least a dozen new words to the vocabulary of previously uncorrupted American readers. Words they will never have need use of again, in any circumstances I am capable of imagining.

What led up to this, Mr. Keck? Did Mr. Savage give no sign that he would in his latest column take this deviant turn? I have faithfully read the Savage Loves column for twenty odd years, cherishing every cookie recipe and insider gardening tip. And yet today, my eyes grow round with wonder taking in references to -- must I say it? -- body parts. Has Savage lost his mind? Is he grievously ill? Could no one have stopped the presses before these rash words stained our shining streets?

Needless to say, please Cancel my subscription immediately, and refund the balance of my payments for all prepaid issues of the Strangerer. May God have mercy on your soul.

Yours in utter confusion,
Jonathan didn't understand that "POPS" is an acronym. And... chosen by the letter-writer.
haha SeattleKim @2 ...well played! ;)
Ah shit. Now everyone's going to think all of us Louisvillians are hard core, republican homophobes. There are plenty of us normal kinksters here, too. Keep flying the flag, Dan!
Jonathan is as fucked up as a football bat.
"Actually, if you could catch my drift, that option is presented to the child almost tongue-in-cheek: almost no teenager would choose to give up shelter, food, support, etc. to live on the street. And no good parent would ever want to kick their child out of the house. It's said with great firmness and intense sternness so that the teenager understands how serious the mom/dad are about his behavior."

No. Either you're saying it tongue-in-cheek, in which case you're not serious about the behaviour, or you mean it, and you're presenting three options. This is not a situation where you get to have your cake and eat it too.

If you're saying it tongue-in-cheek, what do you do when your kid calls your bluff?
In Jon's original letter, when he is "unpacking" Dan's advice, it seems, by his argument #3, that he would require his child to lie, presumably for the dad's sake.
Awww man, someone else suggested the prepaid debit card? I thought I was being so clever. *sigh*
Old men with stodgy worldviews need to fucking die off already.
@26 wins the Internet.

Also, I was originally convinced that this had to be a really clever troll given this sentence: "All the soldiers who have fought and died for your freedom in the last century did not have your personal 'ass fucking freedom' in mind." But alas, given the amount of back and forth, it's probably just some whackadoodle with sexual repression issues. Poor guy.
Putting things up one butt is very good for the prostrate. After a doc told me that I had an enlarged prostrate I started a regular program of sticking things in my butt as I couldn't find anyone to use their fingers. Really helped, last digital examine, normal. So to avoid future prostrate problems, stick things in the butt early and often and don't forget to shot a load; very satisfying.
Jonathan sure loves to talk about butts.
Reading Johnathan's letters made me really, really glad to be an adult. How awful for kids...and so many of us readers were ones once..who are stuck under the thumb of narrowminded idiot and made to feel ashamed for their sexuality. If Johnathan thinks his moral-high-ground guidance is going to make his kids grateful to him, he's in for a rude awakening. After they spend years in therapy undoing the damage he's done, they won't have the money to put him in the "nice" home, nor will they want to spend any time with him.
Reading Johnathan's letters made me really, really glad to be an adult. How awful for kids...and so many of us readers were ones once..who are stuck under the thumb of narrowminded idiot and made to feel ashamed for their sexuality. If Johnathan thinks his moral-high-ground guidance is going to make his kids grateful to him, he's in for a rude awakening. After they spend years in therapy undoing the damage he's done, they won't have the money to put him in the "nice" home, nor will they want to spend any time with him.
"But people have been putting things in their butts for as long as there have been people, butts, and things." - That was a tough week though, when people and butts existed, but things had not yet been invented.
Dear Jonathan,

As a veteran, I can say in all honesty that it never once occurred to me in all my years of service to have even the slightest concern what some teenager wants to stick up their butt. In fact, if anything, I fought for the freedom that all Americans have to get themselves off in any way that pleases them so long as they aren't hurting anyone else.

Sincerely yours,
Nice you called it the Savage Love Family, Dan.
Think guys like this letter writer don't get that you come from an accepting place of love.
@42 You are my hero

I liked this part especially: "Having sound sense is a hell of a lot more joyful than titillating the inside of my colon."

The circular reasoning is fun, sure, but what grabs me is that he basically admits that he would find exploring his colon pleasurable if he could unclench enough to try.
So now we know SB's first name is Johnathan.

@26 - Well done sir.
@45: Lawl, he does sound like any one of the nameless anontrolls we get here that stick around like Slogherpes.
And Jonathan, if only your were as empathetic as your were obsessed with what teenagers do with their butts. They'll grow up one day, you never will.
Jonathan never adequately explains why sticking things in your butt is bad. He just jumps off from the assumption that it is bad and says that Dan is bad for suggesting that POPS allow his son to do a bad thing.
Wow. We've got an "always knock before we enter" rule with my teenage son's room. I've told him the basics and told him what he does in the privacy of his room is is own business, we love him no matter what, but reading this exchange wants me to be more explicit in a lot of ways...
Tongue-in-cheek! Great choice of words, Jonathan.
I'm from Louisville (loo-a-vull as pronounced by the backass white trash who inhabit the area). This guy is garden variety and plenty more where he came from. Look up 'Louisville brain drain' and you'll get a better idea.
My question is: what makes drooling social conservative idiots like Jonathan the drooling social conservative idiots they are? Fox News has maybe 2 million viewers and we'll assume the rest of the conservative shitfest has a total of 8 million (of course there is overlap). Is it the Southern Baptist Church? Just the culture they are in? And how can we get them to STFU and not vote ever again short of an extinction-level event?
Hopefully this guy doesn't have kids. He'd be a fairly rotten parent. He's already a fairly rotten person.

Dan was polite in suggesting that he merely try putting things up his butt. I would like to be more specific, and suggest that he start with his scare quotes. Dan's advice was good, but bad advice is still advice. Dan is still a man even if he doesn't comply with Jonathon's idea of how a man should act. Jonathon's all trying to act moral and upstanding and manly while being snide and bitchy and vicious. And cowardly. Of course he'd kick his son out of the house. He just doesn't want to admit it. This guy is the opposite of loving parent. Rigid in his ignorance, foul-tempered and doesn't like his worldview being questioned (not so great qualities for raising teenagers who are developmentally disposed to do that very thing), alternately aggressive and passive-aggressive. Plus he has some serious, uneducated misperceptions on the nature of freedom and the purpose of our military.

All-in-all, a complete tool.

But Dan, don't ya know, the world was created 6000 years ago so it is lies, lies that dildos are 25000 years old?!

Amazing how the Jonathans of the world mix up butt play, morality, freedom (WTF), gay sex, and eating poop. What is it with this Xians? And I'm guessing he's a creationist Xian. They seem to have a real poop fixation. Very Freudian.

Probably hits his child as well because, you know, old testament.
@52 They are creating the extinction-level event, with their votes for Big Oil and Big Coal.

Sadly we won't be around to enjoy the irony.

Thanks to gerrymandering in the House, the Senate giving empty states in the middle same weight as CA, NY and MA, and the design of the Electoral College, and the Koch brothers, a small minority of the population is able to consistently block anything progressive.

Or even control national govt.

Founding fathers -- your democracy was pretty good for 13 colonies of landed farmers bearing muskets, but it's a tad ill fitted for the challenges of the 21st century. Too bad we don't do as Jefferson recommended and revisit the constitution every generation.
Comment #18 wins the thread.

I've got a kid...I've thought really hard about what could possibly make me send him to live with wolves. Nothing. I got nothing here. And I've got lots of fears of how he might develop, too; but, throw him out? No.

When soldiers give their lives for freedom, they don't determine what freedoms they are fighting for. Freedom is freedom, Jonathan. POPS' son has his own freedoms, like putting stuff up his ass, and his dad has the freedom to ask Dan Savage for sex and parenting advice and not you. Teens sexuality won't ever affect your own freedoms, only perhaps enhance and amplify them.
@52, I think it's more fundamental than that. It's based in the idea that our children belong to us, that parents are the ultimate authority for a child, that Father is the Head of the Household.

Sure, this guy is homophobic, but it's probably not more than the garden variety homophobia that was standard in our culture not all that long ago - some of its base in Christianity, but much of it just in the old misogynistic macho bullshit. These days homophobia is very religion focused, but back when Jonathon and I were kids, contempt for the "fairies" was just something red blooded men had, it was part of what made them red blooded, along with their contempt (veiled, a bit) for the wimminfolk.

You still see a lot of parents, though, and spread across the political spectrum though concentrated more on the conservative end, who adopt a "my house my rules" attitude to their children, and who have no clue that most of their authority comes with the consent of the governed. That if their teen chooses to disregard them, they actually do not have any recourse but throwing him out.

This guy is a very bad father, but my experience is that a majority of fathers are very bad fathers. They may love their kids but have no idea how to exercise their authority, and, more important, how to relax it.
@26: I salute you.

I concur. Even I know better than to ask where did the black/brown lines that appeared one night on my 6-year-old kid's wall came from. I mentioned "washing them off because it looked dirty" and that had him in giggles for about one hour.

No doubt kid Jonathan loved to talk about urine, ass, poo, farts. But somehow, adult Jonathan here has been convinced it's not honorable... and, amazingly, he then goes on to link honor and no ass play to soldiers and war.

Has he ever been on a battlefield, as a military or a civilian ? Has he ever read an uncensored account about one ? From what I've read on WWI, the horror of disseminated meaty/bony human parts is nothing compared to the horror of disseminated human intestines - and the shit stench coming from them can only be overpowered by the rotting cadaver stench. I don't think Jonathan would actually like much nor find very honorable that part of soldiers' life.
It's perfectly normal for a boy to stick his sister's tampons up his butt. Anybody who suggests otherwise is a drooling social conservative idiot. A sick, twisted tea-bagger.
@61: That's exactly what we're telling you, yes. It's normal to experiment with that sort of play (and awkwardly choose bad objects based on what's at hand) when you're young.

Apologies for your damaged self.
Obvious troll is obvious, #61.
@63: The rhetoric he uses with his usual Glenn Beck /Mars Hill buddies is intended to shame us, I guess? He may sincerely not know that he's the messed up person in this scenario.
Yeah, I thought @18 was a pretty cool comment, too.
Agony; so true. Bad Fathers. Seeing a good Father is almost like seeing a mermaid- the wonder and awe I feel. Though, there must be lots of good fathers round, right?
It is a tough job, parenting. My 17 yr old, his father and I split when he was 13. I had him late, the other kids well on their way to maturity. My husband had been a very inconsistent father to our other children. They showed some scars of parents with different styles.
My son pretty much just rejected his father, for good cause- he had been punitive with his brothers thru adolescence. And this boy, now a man of 17, I steered thru with the help of his siblings. We had no big fights, his creative self just soared, thru filmmaking. He reads all sorts of books- off his own back! As well as being on the web etc. no drugs. Little alcohol at parties. Got a sweet girl.
Basically, due to the family upheaval and being so sick of hearing masculine authority used badly, I just loved this boy thru this time. His own power of growth did the rest.
@66 Lots of bad mothers, too, but they seem to be a bit less tied to the "I am the Authority!" BS.

I've worked with kids one way or another for the past twenty years, raised a couple of my own. And I know that it is possible to teach children good manners, self discipline, a work ethic, and empathy without beating it into them (both literally and metaphorically). I've done it, I've helped other people do it, and it's not that much harder than totally fucking your kids up with authority BS. You just have to let go of the idea that controlling another human being's life is admirable. It's necessary, when they are very small, but that part is temporary, and should be well past by their teens.

Raising a kid is kinda like driving a standard. You have to be able to decrease your control and increase their autonomy smoothly and according to road conditions. You might stall if you're a little jerky, but that's not the end of the world.
Oh, Jonathan, thanks for your confession. The act of judging strangers only reveals the truths of the judge.

1. Reading "SavageLove" is obviously one of your "extremely guilty" pleasures. Enjoy, dear.

2. You know absolutely nothing about sex, and are clearly curious, but afraid to ask and learn.

3. Your rigid stereotypes and assumptions about the world mean that you've yet to leave the safety, familiarity and comfort of the place you were born and actually go out into the real world to experience it and yourself.

I guess we should be thankful that you weren't born in a pasture of cows; you'd be running around eating grass, mooing and shitting in a field.

All who do not wonder are lost.

Reason indeed.
I think everyone is missing the major point here; the teenage boy needs to be taught. GOOD HYGIENE PRACTICE.

Don't stick things in your butt unless its clean! Because ultimately, if he thinks it's ok to retrieve the item from inside with faeces all over it then ultimately he will think that's ok when another person joins in to cover their penis or finger with his shit
@69: The assumption was that they were unused beforehand.
@18 & 26: Bravo!
Thank fucking god I'm an adult, this letter has tones of home in it for me. Tongue in cheek threats of homelessness and destitution, now that sounds like fun. Don't parents like this have even an ounce of empathy for their children?
Dear Jonathan,

It must be a terrible shock to discover, at your age, that not everyone is just like you.

Take a Valium and call me in the morning.
@2 "However, it sounds like Jonathan already has a big long stick up his butt to begin with."

Raising the important, reoccurring Savage Love question, "How'd That Happen?!"
Threats of child abuse are a form of child abuse. Throwing your child out of your home without providing a new home that cares for your child's needs is child abuse. So, let's be explicit here, Jonathan is recommending that if your child engages in a masturbatory habit you do not approve of that you reply by abusing your child to try to frighten your child into no longer doing so.

I will again state my general heuristic, fear is what you use when you can't earn someone's respect. This is basically a statement that Jonathan feels his argument needs to be made through fear, because his argument is weak and his children do not respect him. It's also an argument that the correct response to a less common masturbatory exploration is to shame and abuse a child.

I think it's important to name it for what it is. If Jonathan has any children, I sincerely hope he is not involved in raising them. If he is, I sincerely hope they get helpful therapy when they are older. My sympathies are with them. But many people do survive abusive parents and lead wonderful lives. Also, it isn't true that people who were abused as children usually become abusers themselves. So, don't be afraid of turning into an abusive parent, just foster your empathy and compassion for others, as everyone should.
Uncreative, the use of fear is also the lazy parents knee jerk reaction. Something their child does confronts them( behaviour that is not dangerous to anyone, or different ideas), and instead of stepping back and looking at the behaviour, feeling ones own discomfort about it( ie processing it), a lazy parent will lash out to get the kid not to do it.
I suspect too, that using fear to control others comes from envy. Especially towards young people. Envy of their potential, their life force.
@48 Types like Jonathan presume that morals are known a priori, so it never occurs to them to make the case for their moral stances, nor to see if others share them. They go straight in on the assumption that everyone already agrees with them, and they just have more integrity. This guy thinks that Dan is "compromising" his morals because he can't even conceive that Dan might not share his moral viewpoint.

@52 Simply put, some people are not trained to develop critical thinking skills, and have a hard time distinguishing between "moral disgust" and "eww, gross." If it grosses them out, they assume it's immoral and that everyone understands and shares that viewpoint. They do not grasp the degree to which disgust triggers are highly personal and cultural. The key, of course, is to promote critical thinking and the understanding of perspectives outside of one's own.
@77 And types like Jonathan apparently assume when talking about obvious right and wrong, sticking something up your ass is wrong and child abuse is right. That's the part I really have a problem with.
I could not help imagining Jonathan's letters being read out in a Sam the American Eagle voice.
@18 - Isn't that a Hitchens quote about Jerry Falwell? Citations, my good man. Not quite cricket.

@26 - Masterful. Hats off.

Lastly, did anyone else get the idea that Jonathan is Colonel Fitts from American Beauty, come to life?
Yes, I too was thinking of American Beauty throughout.

But surely Jonathan was only bluffing, using his rant as a clever way to work in a plug (no pun intended) for his pals Ata and Azar at Shiraz "Mediterranean" Grill.

While the website's unappetising shouting orange background offends my sense of morality, I am even more affronted by its description as a "Mediterranean" grill.

Mediterraneans come from countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. The owners of Shiraz explain that they immigrated from Persia (now Iran) in the late 1970s. While there has been plenty of cultural crossover and cross-pollination throughout the region Persia has not had a Mediterranean port for centuries.

Shiraz is therefore a Middle-Eastern restaurant. It is WRONG to refer to it as Mediterranean. Any son of mine who WRONGLY referred to a Persian restaurant as Mediterranean would be dealt with sternly and with extremely tough love.
@22 You're exactly right. The LEO is an alternative weekly, plenty of ads for sex and escorts and strip clubs. And, because it's Kentucky, a recurring ad for a local gun range seemingly targeted (pun intended) at pregnant women, or brides, or both. I expect this guy picks it up in order to find something to be offended and self-righteous about.
Anyone who thinks it's abnormal to stick their sister's tampon up their butt is damaged. What can be done about this kind of person? Is there any remedy for their outrageous defectiveness?
Wow Jonathan, you have some serious issues to over come. But something I noticed. No offense to Dan on this one but strictly from a medical perspective. Shoving random objects in your ass comes with a few medical concerns. Do I expect him to be shoving barbed wire baseball bats in his ass? I certainly hope not, but in the interest of safety I think your advice was spot on. If this child decides to put something dangerous in his ass (and I have been around people in the medical field long enough to know the "I slipped on it" shit) can happen. Having a proper toy and a father that doesn't scold him serves two purposes. 1: The obvious anal toys are safer then say a cucumber and 2: If a problem ever were to present itself then perhaps the child would be a little more free to report the issue rather then hiding it. Certainly if the boy scrapes, cuts, or does any damage, he wouldn't want to report it to dad because well Murica! Anyway, Just my two cents. My apologies if it were a little too graphic.
Reminded me so much of Chris Cooper as homophobic Col. Frank Fitts in "American Beauty," telling his kid: "You can't do just everything you FEEL LIKE!" just before (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) going next door and trying to fuck Kevin Spacey.
Dan isn't a parent? He knows better than anyone that you can't change the flavour of ice cream that the kid likes best, no matter how much pistachio offends your sense of honor, patriotism, or right to be a white anglo-saxon protestant.
So, in the letter writer's opinion, a "man who knows how to live with courage, honesty, and dignity; [without] an internal heart of secrets and impropriety" equals the teenaged male who hides and lies about his natural physical desires because he fears his parents' judgement and punishment.

There's a logical flaw in there, somewhere.
As a Louisvillian who occasionally also had lunch at Shiraz, I apologize for Johnathan. And I'll be looking around at who is reading the Leo to see which of my neighbors needs a good ass-pounding.
Me thinks he doth protest too much. Butt I'm stating the obvious aren't I?
Holy crap, I don't know why Dan would respond to this poxed asshole of a human being. Still, he got a article out of it and thus made some change off this pricks assholery so I suppose that's a win.
I'm a 53 year old successful professional bisexual man. I usually enjoy reading your columns but I have to admit, this time I didn't. I would have appreciated not seeing this kind of «letters». I have to admit I did not read the whole thing as it brought back too many unpleasant memories. Having been raised by this type of man was painful enough. I haven't spoken with my father in over 25 years and have no intention to do so any time soon. I always hope that this kind of parenting is something of the past and that children these days have better and more understanding parents.
As a bisexual, 24 year Army Veteran I can assure Jonathan that there have been plenty of men and women who enjoy anal sex/play who have fought and died for his freedom of speech; but we'd wish he'd keep it to his bigoted self.
Hmmm... Give g your child a sex toy might be awkward, but is it any less awkward than giving your kid porn? There are lots of dad's that do that once they realize their kid has started looking. Porn is just another toy/sexual aid. I don't think it's any more or less weird than giving your kid a butt plug to experiment with safely.
One reason to buy your kid a sex toy-- save yourself an emergency room trip to remove a Lego piece, Hot wheels car, deodorant stick, or similar. I'm not saying it's the RIGHT answer, but if you're looking for a reason, there it is. Another plausible response is to talk factually with the son about how to not hurt himself if that's how he rolls. Dan mentions that parents can't micromanage their teens' sexual development, and that's right. In fact, developmentally speaking, as kids enter and proceed through adolescence and into young adulthood, you can't really micromanage ANYTHING. As teens shift their referent group from parents and other adults to their peers, to remain relevant, parents must pick their battles, and shift from directing to being co-thinkers, mostly. It's tempting to ask Jonathan "How's that workin' for ya," a la Dr. Phil. But Jonathan wont know the answer to that for a few years, and then it will be a hard road back to having a relationship with his son -- which Jonathan will probably be too rigid to undertake. Sadly for him and his kids.
This guy just seems unbelievable. Are there real people like this? I live in a relatively conservative part of the country and am a bit befuddled by this clown. Completely oblivious.
The thought of getting my kid a sex toy has crossed my mind. He is 14, has come out as gay, and if his internet history is any indication (oh man, the shit I can't unsee - all the sudden it became VERY clear to me that he needed his own log-in on the famly PC) he will be frolicking through the pokemon furry cons in due time.

Recently he hauled his bedding in to be washed and neglected to remove a giant clay dong from the pile. Just... so much clay. His dad told him to make sure he hadn't left his DS or anything like that in there, to save the kid the knowledge of knowing that we know.

Anyway, ever since, when the knowledge of the object comes lurching into my mind, all I can think about is that he is going to give himself an infection somewhere after lodging years-old well-used (prior to puberty) clay into his parts.

And that he really needs something else.

Alas, buying him his own plaything is not a hurdle this parent can clear.

But the prepaid credit card may become more appealing as he gets a little older.

Dan, I don't think telling Jonathan about dildos from 23,000 B.C. and Porn from 33,000 B.C will sink in as Jonathan seems like the kind of person who believes the earth was created only 6,000 years ago!
That's what happens when an ultra conservative freedom lover turns off Fox news and reads something.
@96 Sounds to me like you should do the prepaid thing as soon as possible. Clay is terribly permeable, and will not get clean. So it's either a bunch of condoms so he can wrap that puppy up, or make his dad embarrass the hell out of him by dragging him through an adult toy store and picking something out.
@70, I think @69 meant that the kid's butt should be clean before inserting anything, which is a good point.
Dear Johnathan,

I understand your tone. In fact, I've been the son on the receiving end of that. I was 16 when my parents threatened to throw me out of the house, because I was not acting the way they had raised me to. I was terrified. I had no idea if they were joking or not, so I told them exactly what they wanted to hear so I wouldn't end up on the street. I spent 2 years in counselling, seeing people who told me that my behaviore was abnormal. But at the end of the day, it didn't change what I felt inside. What it did do was cause me to hate my family.

We were lucky. Eventually they realized that they could either disown me, and all the love would have been for not. Instead, they realized that their son is THEIR son no matter what. It broke my heart when my father passed away and I wasn't able to introduce him to my partner. It broke my heart when I sat with my mother while she cried and apologized to me for what they had done to me. I forgave them though. They were just trying to do what they thought was right. They were just trying to do what they had been told was the Lord's work. It took a long time for them to see that the Lord's work is just to love your children.

I don't think that I am going to change your mind, but I do hope that the next time you think about this, you would pause and think about how this will really affect your relationship with your children. Will your action actually bring them in line with your thoughts, or will you force them away.
@ 94, yeah, by the time they are 14 or so a parent should be more or less shifted from "boss" to "consultant". I was there to talk things over with, give perspective, ask questions they didn't have the life experience to ask themselves, that kind of thing. Call them on their bullshit when their bullshit got too deep.

And it worked well. My kids are now young adults on their own in the world and functioning well.
"All the soldiers who have fought and died for your freedom in the last century did not have your personal "ass fucking freedom" in mind."

Says that man. Although I didn't die, I have in fact fought for your freedom, asshole.

And ass fucking freedom is pretty fucking important to me.

So maybe you should go fuck your ass or whatever other orifice you prefer. I don't give a damn. It's your freedom and your choice. You're welcome.

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