Columns Aug 19, 2010 at 4:00 am



Fantastic advice.
POOTER's going to have to do some serious neck-stretching to see the four fingers (of his nine) that are on the same hand as the finger that's in her butt....
I'm really just boggled by women that say their men watching porn "hurts them" and "feels like betrayal." I mean, sure, be pissed if he's kicking you out to yank it over having sex with you, but otherwise, masturbation is part of a healthy, normal adult's life. And saying that porn is cheating is like accusing someone of cheating with the TV remote.
I have the same problem as Fitness Freaking - except not with arm exercises: with hamstring curls and leg raises. It's actually a serious problem, fun though it sounds. You try having an orgasm while holding heavy weights! If you use free weights instead of a machine, you drop them on yourself. And apart from that, orgasms at the gym leave me wobbly and incapable of lifting much else for the rest of the session. Plus I'm embarrassed about the possibility of someone noticing. In my case, the exercises are minor enough that I just don't do them usually, and when I do, I do them last. But if it were all the arm exercises, it would be a bigger issue, since that rules out basically half the muscles you want to target.
"....and is conscientious about clearing his browser history."

Could Fitness Freaking just save the arms for home? You know, invest in some decent free weights and a box of really high quality cigarettes and just do her thing in private (if privacy is a serious concern).

I'm kind of fascinated that it's her arms and not, say, her thighs that cause this reaction - and that it didn't manifest itself until the age of 30! PS: Whatever position she's using, I want to know about it.
Men like porn. Men like porn. Men like porn. How many times must Dan explain this? Pathetic. As long as a guy isn't watching it 10 hours a day and he's considerate enough to exercise discretion; what is it to you? Go get a cat, Nope.
Holy FUCK!!! After last week's (forgivably) half-assed column, Dan is BACK!!!!!!!!
For any women jealous of FF: as part of our fitness routine on my college sports team, we did an exercise called "Hanging crunches", where you dangle from straps supporting your upper arms, with your arms at right angles, hands gripping the straps. Then you bring your knees up to your chest.

Something like 2/3 of my team got orgasms, or at least exquisite stimulation from this exercise. (Sadly, I was not one of them - I just got a 6-pack) So go for it, ladies. Hope it works for you.
A LOT of men like to watch porn, and some women get offended by this. On the other hand, A LOT of women like to use vibrators and some men get offended by that. If your partner does either and you are offended by it, you basically have two choices. Get the fuck over it or move on! Enough said..
Savage, I'm torn. Half of me wants to smack you upside the head for pissing all over ICC and her dyslexia - or whatever the hell it is that mars her written communication. Alas, the better half of me must applaud you.
@11 applaud away. She may not be responsible for her shit-poor education, but in "collage" she'll be expected to be able to "spel"
Dan IS back! And now off to do some weights . . .
Pooter may want to ask her boyfriend to try spankings rather than rimming - see what he's comfortable doing. But a nice long warm-up is a big help. Another help is for the boyfriend to put his finger at the entrance to the hole, with lots of lube all over, and then let her back up onto his finger when she's ready.
@11, dyslexia doesn't prevent ICC from noticing the little squiggly lines under half the words in her email. Any real dyslexic would be well acquainted with spellcheck by age 18. Applause it is.
God Damn! And I say God Damn! Dan is BACK!

It's columns like this that made me fall in love with Dan Savage in the first place!

Simple questions. Simple answers. Snark delivered free of charge.

Thanks Dan... complicated shit and political shit are fine now and then (and even really cool now and then) and it's your column and you should do what you want, but please, I humbly request that you don't keep stuff like this TOO far apart.
Another technique POOTER could try is having her boyfriend grab one of her ass cheeks and "jiggle" or shake it a bit during sex or foreplay. I've found that this motion sends some very nice, subtle vibrations through the rest of the area! I can't say for sure that it would be a good way to work up to ass fingering, but it might be worth a try either way.

And, minor detail, but did WWDD say she was married?
Another 20 reps - brilliant!!!

Hell another 300!!

damn, wish I could have an orgasm from lifting weights... I'd be able to enter body contests...

I suggest weights at home and entering body building competitions....
Dan, is there a reason why you switched NOPE's name to PORN at the end of your response to her?
Choose one:
A) A man who looks at pictures of naked people and doesn't lie about it
B) A man who lies

All of it.
Dan you should receive the Pulitzer price for your answer to NOPE.
and if you get the Pulitzer for NOPE, you should get the Booker's award for your today column.
Study stymied by lack of porn newbies, UPI, Dec. 2, 2009:

"A Canadian researcher said he had to cancel a pornography study because he could not find any adult men who had never viewed sexually explicit material."…
First, I can totally relate to POOTER. Same thing happened to me. Now we're trying to work up to other things. But the orgasm is leagues better with slight anal penetration.

Secondly, I can also relate to NOPE and was surprised by my own reaction. I love porn myself. I have a large old school collection of it since the days of VHS. I used to watch porn with my guy friends in college, etc. No big deal. And I don't have a problem if my bf watches porn when he's alone or talks about porn with me. But in my presence, him watching porn gives me a full-on nervous breakdown sort of response--crying, shaking, horrible. I have no idea why. Oh, and the best part is that this only happens if the porn has women in it (and I'm a lady, obvs)--gay male porn, no prob. My best guess is that there's some sort of subconscious insecurity like "oh-I'm-never-going-to-look-like-a-porn-star-why-am-I-not-enough-for-you" sort of thing that isn't logical or rational or something I experience in daily life. Sometimes, emotional responses are just not within our control, and so I think we should sympathize with her instead of painting her as unrealistic, prudish, or frigid, especially when we don't really know her deal.
@25 Your situation is different. You don't try to prevent you SO from using porn ever, EVER -- you just don't want to see it together. What prevents me from empathizing with NOPE is that she is enforcing a thought-police -- she actually, honestly, believes that it is not okay for her SO to masturbate to the thought of someone else. Which makes her a huge douche, in my opinion.

And it is also related to Dan's advice to WWDD. What Dan should have mentioned (and didn't, because he said it many times before) is that the whole mind-cheating thing is total bullshit! A person should never feel guilty about *wanting* someone else -- such a desire is both good and natural. As long as you don't act on these feelings, they are nobody's buisness...
@26: Yeah, but it sounds to me like WWDD is in love, or at least in need of some serious deep dicking...
The advice to ICC sounds good on paper, but in my experience there are a whole load of physical problems with it in real life. For a start, everything down there tightens up a bit when a penis is hammering in and out of my vagina; I'm used to lazily rolling my clit around by myself, and that's difficult to do during penetration because the loose folds of skin around the clitoral hood seem to get stretched out and disapear. Everything then is just way too taut for me to touch myself without discomfort.

And there's also the problem of getting your clit pinched between your fingers and his thrusts. Ouch. I've not yet found any position that completely avoids that risk.
Also, NOPE might find porn a bit less disgusting if she tried watching gay porn - it worked wonders for me. Turns out the thing I really found disgusting in mainstream porn was the relentless focus on wailing chicks.

I think it's true that once you have a relationship with porn yourself, you are more likely to understand how your partner relates to porn and so stop being bothered by it so much. That's why the more mainstream advice that couples should try watching the man's favourite porn together is so off base. Making even their partnered sex revolve around the male participant's private fantasy life? Yeah, that doesn't really sound equitable or mutually fulfilling.
Sorry but a woman who thinks porn is cheating is just as insane as the guy who thinks his girlfriend just talking to a guy constitutes flirting. Neither of these things are rational, and demands that they be accomodated are simply unreasonable. You know how many men use porn SO? ALL of them. That's not an exageration. A study was once attempted to see how men's use of porn affected their views on sex. They wanted a control group of men who didn't watch any porn. They couldn't find any such men.

Your dad watches porn, so does your brother, your boss (if they are male), your uncles, your grandad, the nice guy at the grocery store, the sweet elderly widower next door. You have a choice to make. Either they are all disgusting or your view of porn is untenable.

Dan often says that people need to get themselves to a place where they are capable of being date material. If you find watching porn to be equivalent to cheating, you are not in a place where you can be with men. The only kind of guy who you can be with is the kind who can lie effectively. I disagree with Dan on this; he should not be unleashing someone onto the dating pool who will go into full meltdown, freak-out at something this trivial.

Otherwise you need to relax and find a guy who you can sit down and explain that porn repulses you. Then you DO NOT demand they not consume it but DO demand that a very strict Don't ask Don't tell be enforced and they will keep any consumption private and discreet. That's as good as you're going to get.
Re: WWDD... why not just tell the significant other and use this attraction within the current relationship? My SO and I do this. If one of us is attracted enough to another person outside the relationship, we talk it through and bring it into our sex life as role play/fantasy, or just dirty talk. Works wonders! The outside attraction still exists sometimes, but the obsessive bent is gone. Good Luck!
I have the same issue as Fitness Freaking, only with lower abs (which physiologically makes more sense to me, but I guess bodies are just weird). I thought I was the only one, and then I read the comment about the woman whose team did hanging crunches (which is exactly the sort of thing that would trigger that for me!)

Bodies sure are weird.
HOT - Can you get your boyfriend off with handjobs or oral (or a combination), or anything else for that matter? If you don't feel like getting 'jackhammered', when he gets close get him to pull out and jerk him off, or suck him off or use both your hands and mouth to finish him. Or let him finish on your breasts, or your face. Hell, do whatever works.
My advise to WWDD is to get to know the guy better. For me, nothing deflates an infatuation as much as getting better acquainted with my crush's personality. The real person gradually replaces the fantasy person in my mind, and the real person is virtually always less attractive than the fantasy.

Your mileage my vary.
In terms of NOPE -- I also felt like vomiting, at age 18, when I noticed my first serious boyfriend's porn collection. How could this awesome, feminist, gay-friendly, totally-into-me guy be interested in cheezy, demeaning shit like that?

Ten years down the road, I've got my own porn collection and realize that such things have nothing to do with respect or politics but that it's just FUN. Porn is fun. Getting off is fun. I would wager (and hope) that NOPE is in her teens, and that given a few years she'll mellow out.
I agree with @28, the advice to ICC sounds good on paper, but it can be quite difficult for some folks to do the same things during PIV sex that one does by oneself. Also, giving direction can be difficult if you really can't accurately describe the subtleties of what you do.
I suggest ICC get comfortable enough to show her partner by actually going solo in front the partner. And I'm willing to bet some of her partners, if not most, will REALLY love it when she does.
In terms of NOPE -- I also felt like vomiting, at age 18, when I noticed my first serious boyfriend's porn collection. How could this awesome, feminist, gay-friendly, totally-into-me guy be interested in cheezy, demeaning shit like that?

Ten years down the road, I've got my own porn collection and realize that such things have nothing to do with respect or politics but that it's just FUN. Porn is fun. Getting off is fun. I would wager (and hope) that NOPE is in her teens, and that given a few years she'll mellow out.
HOT- May be obvious, but kegels?
Dan wasn't that snarky with ICC it was appropriately chastising, that girl, collage attendee cannot spell. Vagional Lol! If european women put out more the demand for porn would be a trickle compared to what it is now. As it is now, monogomous, white women masturbate to porn also, and their partner probably does too! Get together people! Or is it just easier to come to orgasm alone sometimes?
I know "all guys" watch porn, but keep in mind that there are exceptions to every rule. Also remember that before porn was widely available most men managed to subsist just fine without it.
Ha -- when I was reading the fourth letter a utilities worker was literally jackhammering the sidewalk across the street. It was a nice, rough touch.
Man, my husband fucks me like crazy and I have asked him to use porn so I could have a guilt-free break but he won't!
#39, way to make fun of someone for not knowing how to spell, and then misspell "monogamous."
...I think it has to do with the fact that he masturbated all the time to porn without having sex for years before he met me, and now that he has a partner, porn feels like a gip ... I need my girl on girl and boy on boy action tho ... so he'll tag along for the ride, however begrudgingly ... or sometimes, I will blow him will he looks at it.

I used to feel threatened by porn when I was younger but then I started watching/reading it myself and also, when I had this relationship with a man who wanted so much more than sex from wasn't threatening my entire sense of worth...
@40: "Also remember that before porn was widely available most men managed to subsist just fine without it."

Before? There was such a time?

I snark. But I can't really think of a time when "most" men subsisted without some kind of pornography (except perhaps before the invention of the printing press). Keep in mind that the definition of "porn" differs from period to period and culture to culture. What we find tame now and here could be pretty pornographic or at least served a pornographic *purpose* at some other time and in some other place.

And I think we're all pretty aware there are exceptions, but the *point* of aggressively asserting that guys look at porn is to accept that it's common and natural and plenty of relationships are completely healthy and fulfilling in its presence.

If a guy really doesn't look at porn, good for him. Really. I totally believe such men exist. But such a guy is rare enough that it's unproductive to obsess about his type unless your partner watching pornography just completely DESTROYS you (*even* on his own time, even if he's satisfying you completely).
Some more advice for ICC from an old hag. Don't feel bad, the older you get, the easier it will become. I didn't think I'd ever orgasm during sex, although I continued to enjoy it a great deal! Finally had my first orgasm with another person (orally) at 24. Still had to wait another 3 years to have one during vaginal sex, on my knees and 6 months pregnant. But by the time I was 35, I could get one every time, so just remember, some things really do improve with age!
i'm a straight female with a boyfriend who doesn't watch porn. he regularly masturbates to a variety of fantasies (generally vanilla but sometimes kinky) and has an average libido-- but he does not enjoy porn, has never sought it out, and when i convinced him to watch a little with me, in a nice situation with lots of other stimulation, he still found it distasteful.

his (estranged, crazy) father showed him some porn movies at an early age in a misguided attempt at male bonding. he has a horrible association as a result, and never goes near the stuff.

so yeah, there some guys out there who don't like porn but it probably doesn't have much to do with an all-consuming monogamous bond with their significant other.

I totally agree that almost all men look at porn, that it's good and healthy to do so, and that it's quite obviously NOT cheating. Still, it took me a while to get to that point. When my husband and I were 15 and I first discovered that he looked at porn I was horrified and offended. Really, I was heart broken. It took a while before I figured out that he meant it when he said that it was just fun and didn't mean that I wasn't "enough."

Now here I am, a disgusting number of years later, and I watch porn on my own sometimes, I know he does too, and we've passed a number of lovely evenings watching porn in bed together. That said, I still sometimes get a twinge of discomfort when we watch porn together or he mentions something he saw. Truth be told, I have actually become incredibly nauseous when watching porn with him on occasion, usually when watching a fetish video (fisting, pegging with incredibly large toys) even though the videos depict things we incorporate into our sex life!

When it happens I just focus on a spot above the screen, and pretend to watch, or go down on him as a means of escape. I'm trying to be GGG here, and I would never ever ask him not to watch porn (not since I was a 15 year old idiot anyway)but my point is, even with the best of intentions, it's not always as easy as "just get over it, men watch porn." I wish it was!

Now I'm gonna go find some porn I think is hot for tonight.
Do none of these porn hating women read romance novels??? men are simply more visual and prefer a visual media. get the hell over it!
@40, porn has pretty much always been around, from crude drawings in a cave to Pompeii and Rome, to now. It's a lot like prostitution that way. We are just highly sexual beings. It's one of the reasons that many religions like to repress it, it's a good way to control the populace. Remember, Roman culture was extravagantly sexual, then christianity came along and made us feel guilty about it.
I completely agree that it's extremely silly to feel threatened by a partner's porn. But I also think it's extremely silly to say that absolutely ALL men like porn.

I am in a relationship with a man who doesn't really like porn. I believe him when he says this for a number of reasons: 1) He knows I wouldn't care if he did. 2.)We're not monogamous anyway. Just as I fuck other men sometimes, he fucks other women sometimes. It would be a very strange man indeed he feels the need to conceal his partiality to watching videos of other people fucking but not his partiality to actually fucking other people from his partner, for fear of her feeling threatened or jealous. Particularly when she's got similar inclinations.

But his feelings about porn or really pretty similar to mine. We're both visually stimulated, we've both watched porn ON OCCASION, we both would be totally open to porn if porn weren't so ridiculous. But watching bored-looking women screaming unrealistically and then sit there waiting for the money shot with their mouths wide open like they're at the dentist (and looking like they're enjoying themselves about as much as if they actually were) is just not very sexy. Waste of a great concept.

So yes, Dan. There are men who don't like porn. And not all of them are under the the thumb of some controlling shrew who has them so thoroughly brainwashed that they feel the need to anonymously report their lack of interest in porn to strangers. You've got some seriously problematic assumptions here, about women as well as men.
If there was ever motivation for doing weights, this is it. Gotta go.
Fitness freaking... if only the rest of America had your problem, we wouldn't be the fattest nation on Earth!

Bout's a crazy nugget for you. I'm a porn-loving woman in love with a porn hating man. He doesn't know about my habit, because we're in a long-distance thing. I think he believes it's demeaning to women, and therefore to him if he watches it. Plus, he has a daughter. I do think that factors in.

Mostly, I look at things I'd probably never do, like threesomes, DP, that sort of thing. But with all the searchable things and urban dictionary definitions for sex acts, there's one thing I can't find, and I crave. I love to see a woman having her pussy licked while she's getting fucked. It's a rare find, especially to see it with two men performing it on her. Anyone know where I can A. Find more of this, and B. find the name of this act?

the perfect way to find a guy who doesn't watch porn?

not care if the guy you're with watches porn.

(tru story sis)

You're right and it makes me want to puke. The culture says that lesbians are just in need of a "deep dicking" all the damn time, but in a relationship between two lesbians, it's pretty easily laughed off. In a situation like this though... it's kind of true. Which, like I said, PUKE.

When you hear messages all the time that as a woman, you could never really meet a female partner's needs, and all that crap is confirmed in your relationship, it can cut you way more deeply than if sexual orientation weren't a factor. It doesn't make the bisexual women involved bad people or anything like that, but it sucks that lesbians are labeled biphobic if they admit that their partner's leaving them for a man, or cheating on them with a man, hurts more. In our Almighty Cock enshrining culture, experiencing something like this is castrating. Or the female version thereof... I'll let you ponder why there's no common word for that.
Whoops. I meant @27.
The other thing that might help us understand NOPE's distress is getting a clearer idea on the kind of porn her guy is watching. It's not all the same.

I'm totally into squirt porn and anything where the women involved seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. But there's plenty of porn out there that makes women's pleasure not simply irrelevant but positively anathema to the guy's satisfaction. Now, let's be clear - I often get off on being tied up and choked until I orgasm. I'm not talking about images of BDSM. I'm talking about porn that represents a pervasive, normalized attitude of casual violence towards women. I'm talking about porn that effaces the subjectivity, the personhood, of the woman being fucked.

Surely we can discriminate here? After thoughtful conversation I'd be likely to break off a relationship with a guy who wanted to watch aggressive ass-to-mouth action for example, but I'll happily enjoy some pre-fucking mutual masturbation while watching porn in which all participants seem to be getting their needs met. But, if women have only seen their lovers watching the porn that renders women's active desires unnecessary and distracting, is it any wonder that they have reactions of visceral distress?

OK - all that, simply to point out it might help NOPE to get some advice that's less judgmental. No need to react to her with the kind of reflex criticism she's currently dishing out to her lover.
Not all men like porn. And I'm one of them!
Wow #58. It must really, really suck to not have any internal fantasies, no sex drive, and no mental images that you call up to get aroused.
Perhaps women will become more comfortable with porn once the same guys watching it stop harassing women on the street (the assuming they should be flattered), calling older women over the hill (assuming women's looks are all that matters), stop assuming attractive women have all fucked their way to the top, that all women with rich men are golddiggers, that women who put out are whores, that women who make themselves up are at least partly asking to get harassed or assaulted, that porn stars and other sex workers are subhumans and 'unrapeable,' stop going to find whores and child brides in foreign countries because American women are all 'spoiled'...

I am generalizing, of course. But it's not as if porn is made or viewed in vacuum (insert fleshlight joke here).
"Wow #58. It must really, really suck to not have any internal fantasies, no sex drive, and no mental images that you call up to get aroused."

Wow, #59. It must really suck to lack the basic imagination necessary to picture hot things inside your mind instead of getting them spoon-fed to you by a magazine or computer screen.

I've had several partners who weren't especially into porn; they preferred their own fantasies, which unlike porn are custom-made and can be called up anywhere, anytime, at a moments' notice.

When guys say that every guy watches porn, that strikes me as self-justification. All guys do not watch porn. Most do, probably, but not all.
#61 Can you read at beyond the elementary school level? If he states that he doesn't utilize porn, and I then point out that it must suck to not have any internal fantasies, I am simply pointing out that his internal fantasies _are_ porn.

I wonder why you don't supply the same hatred towards the non-erotic literary and multimedia industries. After all, they also supply things so that your imagination does not have to do all the work itself. It, of course, couldn't be because you are sex-negative.

Since any erotic imagery of any kind, whether produced purely inside your brain or seen through your eyes, is porn, then yes, any human with a basic, functional sex drive utilizes porn.

@60 Your argument assumes that there are men who do not utilize any kind of erotica/porn/internal mental imagery. Since this is nonsense, your argument is also nonsense.
I hope the girl with pounding boyfriend reads this: You do NOT want this idiot to damage your Bartholin's gland ducts (Google it!). If you start getting Bartholin's gland abscess, you WILL wish you were dead! They are more excrutiating than anything on Earth. I had a boyfriend who would just rudely cram it in there, and I have had trouble ever since. Make him jerk off. Don't permanently damage yourself!
On the advice to NOPE: Actually, most major internet browsers now support "private browsing sessions", which keep bookmarks, histories, etc. keyed to specific, password-protected user profiles, the idea being that if multiple people use the same user-account on the same computer, you can still make sure the kids (or wife or girlfriend or whoever) aren't finding those problematic link/bookmarks/history entries. You should also set your browser to automatically delete the browser cache on close if you have privacy concerns.

As for ICC, "vagional" is an understandable typo, as o is right next to i on QWERTY keyboards. The other ones, not so much, particularly when most major browsers (and mobile devices) support inline spell-check. Additionally, most people in this country do not know "standard" prescriptive American written English. In fact, many of my college PROFESSORS regularly confused 'who' and 'whom' (this is a REALLY simple rule - 'who' is a subject and 'whom' is an object, always, no exceptions), and 'which' and 'that' (and 'that which'), among many other errors. Hell, Dan switches 'me' and 'I' all the time on the podcast (not in his writing; he has an editor, I presume), so he's hardly one to talk. Still, that was a notable number of spelking errors, but all of that is going to have more to do with the abysmal state of education in this country than individual ability.

So take heart ICC: maybe you can improve your spelling skills AND sex skills as college progresses. The masturbating-with-the-other-person-in-the-room thing is great idea: it will help you figure out whether you can't cum because of nerves or some other psychological block, or whether it's a matter of figuring out and effectively communicating the mechanics of the types of partnered sex that will get you off.
#62: Yep, I can read just fine, thank you. In fact, I just read Mirriam-Webster's definition of pornography:

1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2 : material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

Do one's internal fantasies amount to the same thing as pornography? Pretty much, at least from the "both of these things constitute getting off to people other than one's partner" standpoint. But the word pornography specifically refers to pictures, films, writing, etc.

The poster who said he's not into pornography is therefore stating that he's not into pictures, films, writing, etc. that graphically portray sex. When you accused him of not having any kind of sex drive, etc., I naturally assumed you were asserting that anyone with a sex drive must need to look at sexual photographs, movies, or writing in order to get off. If you were trying to make the point that fantasies and pornography are basically the same thing, you could have said "fantasies and pornography are basically the same thing". You know, in your outside voice.

"I wonder why you don't supply the same hatred towards the non-erotic literary and multimedia industries. After all, they also supply things so that your imagination does not have to do all the work itself. It, of course, couldn't be because you are sex-negative."

Please show me where I said that I hate pornography. It seems you're the one with the reading difficulties...
@62: "Since any erotic imagery of any kind, whether produced purely inside your brain or seen through your eyes, is porn, then yes, any human with a basic, functional sex drive utilizes porn."

You are really stretching the definition of porn here. I think it is pretty clear that when most people talk about being anti-porn, they are referring to something which has actually been produced - video, photos, writings, etc. - and not something which was simply imagined as part of a fantasy. And I doubt that most people who say "I don't use porn" or "I don't enjoy porn" are saying "I don't use (or enjoy) sexual fantasy."

Wow: another pornography-related barrage. Didn't we just have one of these?
Maybe not *all* men watch porn. Maybe porn is constructed in your very own head. Dan's very valid point is that she can't be the thought police. Either she gets the fuck over it, she leaves in search of the rare man that doesn't like porn, or her partner (whether current or future) learns to hide his porn from her and she doesn't go looking for it.

She doesn't say that her bf asks her to watch the porn with her and it doesn't sound like she objects to the specific kind of porn, DomnaNico, it sounds like she regards any consumption of porn on her bf's part EVEN IF HE DOES IT IN PRIVATE to be an act of infidelity. (Does anyone else remember Jimmy Carter's confession of "adultery" as having "lust in his heart" for women other than his wife?!)

She talks about "the pain caused by our partners' use of porn" and decides her choice is to be in a relationship and continue to feel as hurt and betrayed as if her bf were cheating if he watches porn, or not "meet [her] emotional and sexual needs if [she] decide[s] to opt out of relationships with men entirely."

I don't like porn. It makes me a bit nauseous. But as long as my partner doesn't want me to watch it with him, and as long as his porn-and-masturbation routine doesn't take away from what he gives me, I could not care less how much or what kind of porn he watches. Everyone's entitled to "lust in his heart."

NOPE has got some serious issues to work through.

OMG the PORN thing, AGAIN?!? WTF ladies, we don't complain when you read romance novels (PROVEN to be the same in terms of brain chemistry as actually having a new relationship....cheating) by the box (pun intended)! Most women are not so visually stimulated, men are period. Please just give us a break. or at LEAST don't bust out the oh so tired 'You don't love me!'
No I am not a woman hater, just frustrated with the same old thing, like 20 years worth. Pa-lease.

And just one more word, spellcheck.

It's the best that I can do...…
@60: I'm not sure how sincere your post is, but the key problem with your equation is that it's not "the same guys watching it" who are doing those things. If you hold all men accountable for the actions of some, you're actually working AGAINST feminist causes...because like it or not, if you want to make any further progress towards women's rights, you need men to be on board. Phrasing things the way you did in your post leaves them no reason to do that, or even to particularly care about women's rights or well-being, since it's basically typical "As far as I'm concerned you're a piece of shit until we get feminist utopia and abolish the patriarchy, then we'll talk" rad fem rhetoric that accomplishes nothing and goes nowhere.
POOTER could try investing in a small buttplug. Take all the time that's needed getting comfortable wearing it, and only then proceed to vaginal penetration. I'm willing to bet this would be even better than a finger. Sodomy is best!!!
@64 Yes, there were a number of "spelking" errors.

As a college PROFESSOR, I have occasionally relaxed the rules of grammar when corresponding with certain students. (We all know that sometimes using "whom," avoiding a split infinitive, or shirking a dangling participle makes a sentence awkward, and thereby confusing to some).

Maybe your professors were idiots, or maybe they didn't respect your intelligence enough to correspond in the manner they would with their colleagues. Or maybe they were human. Just a thought.

Even so, "who/whom" and "which/that" errors are in an entirely different class than not being able to spell words at a 2nd grade vocabulary level.
HOT, there "may not be anything wrong with your boyfriend's dick" as Dan says, but on the other hand, there most likely IS something wrong with it - the fact that half of it was cut off when he was a baby! When he was circumcised (and by your description of his "jackhammering," not to mention the fact that few American men now in their thirties escaped the knife, it's a no-brainer that he WAS circumcised), he lost about 20,00 specialized nerve endings, lost the protective covering for his glans which would have kept his glans smooth, moist, and sensitive instead of dry and keratinized (which is only going to get worse as he gets older), and he lost the gliding action which also would have prevented the drawing out of lubrication during intercourse.
You cannot alter form without also altering function. A circumcised penis works differently from and intact penis, and most circumcised men have to hammer away; more so the older they get.
You also cannot remove such a large amount of nerve endings (and build up a callus over those that are left) without losing sensitivity.
"Is there a way to bring his dick back?" Yes, it is called "foreskin restoration." It is a long, slow process but thousands of men have had incredible results and are now enjoying "slow, sappy," MUTUALLY SATISFYING sex with their wives and girlfriends. Good luck to you and your boyfriend!
(The good news is, these days about 2 out of 3 boys in the U.S.A. are actually allowed to keep all their genitals, so in 20 or 30 years far fewer women will have to hold onto the headboard, grit their teeth, and endure the jackhammer, and far fewer men will have to go around with tension devices on their dicks for a few years to try to recover what was taken from them without their consent.)
If men watching porn is cheating, women watching romance movies is cheating. It's the same fucking thing.
There's this one killer gym exercise where you "sit" against the wall as long as you can. One minute is a really long time. Total thigh killer. First time I tried this I damn near had an orgasm after I stood up because of all that blood flow to the exhausted muscles. Didn't quite achieve one. It's interesting that others have noticed the same thing. I never quite had the discipline to hold this pose on my own for that long while masturbating furiously…
I was in the same situation and ended up having an affair with the guy last month, which I admit was a betrayal and incredibly hurtful. My life's essentially chaos now, so I am getting what I deserve in many ways. But there is a small part of me that isn't sorry it happened because I discovered that I need to have more sex with men. That said, if you really want to preserve your relationship, you need to stop spending time with this guy. Your feelings will likely just get more intense if you continue to see him.
I think that a lot of the problem with ladies who get jealous/freaked out at their guy watching porn (and I used to be one) is plain old insecurity. Maybe they're worried that they aren't as skinny or good-looking as the girls in the vids. Or that their boyfriend will expect them to act like porn stars. Or that his watching it means that he is gearing up to cheat.

Sometimes these fears are justified. Most of the time, they are about YOU and YOUR FEARS and are totally irrational.

And I'm not putting the blame on the woman in the relationship totally either. I mean, society tells us gals that men cheat because we don't give them enough sex or because we gained weight. It's fucked up. It's also untrue.

Ultimately, we as women need to get into a better headspace, become more secure in the relationship and in ourselves. And we need to translate that security into a demand that media outlets stop perpetuating these destructive social messages.
There's something that gets conveniently overlooked in this rush to declare porn as completely "normal" and ok to consume. Many of the people (especially the women) involved in making porn aren't doing it out of their own free will. There are degrees, of course - not everyone is trafficked or forced to perform with a gun to their head. But the number of people who have drug problems, a history of abuse, and/or fucked-up family situations is astounding. And then there are those who see it as the only way out of sheer financial hardship in a world where a women gets "valued" more for her cunt than for anything else she could offer.

If you think these women are all self-empowered sex-positive entrepreneurs you are seriously deluding yourself.

If you don't and would rather not think about it you're a scumbag who has forfeited any right to ever buy free-range eggs again. Go fuck a responsibly farmed salmon.

If the very real-life degrading of women is part of what you enjoy about porn (even secretly), the word asshole is too good for you.

@78: "There's something that gets conveniently overlooked in this rush to declare porn as completely 'normal' and ok to consume."

The issue here isn't whether the porn industry is ethically run, but the very concept of using visual stimulae for sexual gratification. Nobody's "overlooking" this issue because it isn't really relevant. We're arguing about whether a woman should feel betrayed by her partner's porn consumption -- unless you feel that "you're supporting an exploitative industry!" is a way to justify hurt feelings.

As you yourself point out, this isn't an *inherent* problem of porn. Lots and lots of industries suffer from some degree of exploitation -- coffee, bananas, clothing, pets (yay, puppy mills) cleaning services, whatever.

I'm not going to tag my enjoyment of everything -- be it coffee or a clean toilet at work or porn -- with a "oh by the way I acknowledge that some people are forced into/exploited by this."

It isn't "convenient" or a delusion to not mention these problems every single fucking time. It's having some common sense.

"If the very real-life degrading of women is part of what you enjoy about porn (even secretly), the word asshole is too good for you."

And seriously? I have a difficult time thinking there are enough assholes out there getting off on poor employment standards to get outraged.

"If you don't and would rather not think about it you're a scumbag who has forfeited any right to ever buy free-range eggs again. Go fuck a responsibly farmed salmon."

Please froth at the mouth elsewhere.
What NOPE should do is get a decent camera or find a decent photographer that does glamour shots and get some really good nudes done. Then she can give these to her potential beaus and BE the porn!
@40 Back then, everybody just watched each other do it in real life.

@42 I'm jealous. It's not that I have the opposite problem--it's not that my bf watches porn instead of effing me. He just likes to eff about 3 times a week and views softcore porn stills about once every 15 days. Sigh.

@80 I hate to say it, but that doesn't actually work. He'll look at the pics of her, enjoy them--then look at the pics of the other girls, too. Most likely. Personal experience.

As for WWDD, a friend and I were discussing this last night. Once we both accepted that having crushes on other people didn't mean we didn't love our partners, we didn't feel so much of a charge about them. Because your crush is male and you're in a lesbian relationship, your crush might have extra charge because it's got you questioning your sexuality, which is a part of our very identity. Feeling this gets you emotionally riled up, so it's hard to let go. Allow yourself to have a crush, take away the guilt and understand that straight, bi, transgendered, gay, lesbian people have all kinds of crushes for all kinds of reasons on all kinds of people and it possibly says absolutely nothing about your sexuality or your current relationship, and see if you still feel so overwhelmed by it. Also, when you're in an LTR, it doesn't feel so charged after a while, so crushes can feel a lot stronger in comparison. They're often like mirages, though. Beautiful and glittering from a distance, but there's nothing there when you get there.
@79 Let me clarify: I have no problem with pornographic paintings, drawings, literature, anime, computer games, whatever. I don't mind "real people" porn if it's done by amateurs and/or people genuinely enjoying themselves. However, I'd be surprised if that represented the majority of porn consumed and produced today. I have no statistics for this, only anecdotal evidence from a friend who was involved in the "industry" for quite some time.

The issue of women feeling threatened by their partners' use of porn is indeed something different, which a lot of people have addressed here already, so I didn't bother going into it. If you care to know, I have absolutely no problem with my partner getting off to the sight and thought of other people. I do too.

What I do have a problem with is the cavalier attitude that many pro-porn people seem to have about those "poor employment standards" you mention. Is there a "euphemism of the year" competition?

My point is - yes, life sucks for other people too, but at least there is some consumer awareness, there are fair trade products, free range chicken, responsibly farmed salmon.

I don't see (enough of) a similar movement in porn. Why is that?

Now, "fair trade" porn, there's a thought...
@ 82

I agree. The "sex positive" movement is great in a lot of ways but, in it's attempt to counter sexual repression, it often seems to ignore that the facts of the sex industry, and the porn industry in particular, are actually pretty nasty. To hear some sex-positive activists talk, you'd think that every female porn star is a Smith graduate with a BA in women's studies who just wants to spend some time reveling in her empowered sexuality before she enters a Ph.D program. It ain't so.

However, at least the sex-positive movement has basically good goals, including the goal to make women's sexuality and women's consumption of sexually explicit material more acceptable. Whereas the primary concern of many of the pro-porn posters here seems to be to liberate poor, oppressed men from their ball-busting harridans of wives or girlfriends, with nary an acknowledgment of the fact that plenty of women also like to get off on depictions of others having sex. Oh wait, there has been "Ladies, you have romance novels!" Really, these are are Dan Savage readers here, I'd expect a little less patronizing stereotyping of women as less sexual beings who only want to read about being taken into the manly arms of Fabio and made love to.

Many, I'd say most (whether they feel comfortable admitting it or not) women do get aroused by sexually explicit images. It's human nature. However, many women have other considerations that prevent them from being into most porn, such as the fact that a lot of it is produced under disgusting conditions and that that shows all too well in the fact that the women rarely look like they're having a good time. And, yes, many men also share those considerations. Completely aside from the rights issues involved, it's just not that hot to watch bored, exhausted looking people have highly stylized, unrealistic, passionless sex.

When I can find some porn that is actually hot (read: the people look like they're enjoying themselves, which means it probably wasn't produced under sleazy conditions) than that is just awesome and my partner agrees.

But there are plenty of men that are just turned off by most porn as it exists today, and plenty of women for whom "it's a corrupt industry" is not just a cover for jealousy.
Lady Tenar, I don't think you should speak for "many" women and their attitudes or objections to porn any more than people who say that women's porn is romance novels.

My objections to porn have nothing to do with the conditions under which it is made or the lack of real fun the women are having.

I get repulsed at extreme closeups of genital penetration. To me, it reduces all the sensations and passion of sex to pieces of meat colliding. Maybe if the camera was always positioned in a long shot so I could get a sense of the body parts belonging to actual people, I would like it more, but even then, since it seems so joyless and boring, I don't think I could ever find it arousing.

It's like eating: wonderful to do, but not so much necessarily to see others doing, and, depending on their style, potentially disgusting.

But that's *my* opinion and reaction. I don't pretend to speak for all, most, many, or even some women--just me.

Confidential to Schmooze: Aha! I knew there was a reason for my crush: we're both college professors--and apparently, both English professors. Now I gotta go write some syllabi.
@4 "I have the same problem as Fitness Freaking - except with hamstring curls and leg raises ... orgasms at the gym leave me wobbly and incapable of lifting much else for the rest of the session."

Do the leg curls last...?
For FF my wife has this reaction to a machine at our gym called the Roman Chair, She says that the key thing is keeping her thighs tightly together while she lifts her bent legs upward. Of course this postion cannot be duplicated in our bed, but, just the same hmmm
@81 Great advice for WWDD! I can apply it for myself too, so thanks a ton!
@76 I learn something from your situation also. Thanks!

A bit about my own situation:

I'm a married bisexual woman, and I have crushes on different women that I met in life every once in a while. It's like what they call "fluid sexuality" - there are times I feel very "straight", completely satisfied with my husband, not thinking of women at all; then followed by a period of craving for intimacy with women to the point that I feel very "gay", that I could have multiple crushes on women in a short period of time. In between are the fluid times, sometimes more "straight", sometimes more towards the "gay".

My husband does not know about this. He is a sensitive and kind guy, but sometimes he does express his homophobia mildly. Every time that happens, I try to confront, explain, and educate him about homosexuality. He came from a close-minded small town, so it's not surprising. Over time he has less and less homophobia expressions, and I'm glad about that, but deep down I have no idea how he feels if I tell him I'm bi! So I haven't told him that yet.

As for myself, I have only come to completely accept myself as a bisexual woman recently, although I had questioned my sexuality for years, since I was a teenager. Also the knowledge about "fluid sexuality" has helped me greatly with my confusion - you know, the "straight" and "gay" periods!

All the awareness above help me deal with my periodically crushes on women. I don't have crushes on men, as my husband is all I need in men, and I love him!

I used to be very shaking and overwhelmed with emotions during my crushes on women. As @81 said in his/her post, I was questioning my sexuality and my very identity during those periods. It could lead to depression for days or weeks, and husband felt my sadness but didn't understand why.

Now that I accept that it is the way I was created, that I will just have to welcome those crushes when they come, as a very part of me, enjoy the emotions that they bring to me when they are here, but not to let them take me over. And wait for them to subside.

This is my choice at the moment: I don't deny the "gay" part of me, but I try to keep it under control, and give priority to the "straight" part, because I love my husband, and value our marriage.

Again, it's for the present, and I have no idea what will happen to me in the future. I may come to a point where I, like @76, feel no regrets for realizing that my "gay" part wants to take over. Or not!
Didn't Dan get the NOPE name wrong at the end, calling her PORN instead?
Dude - for WWDD - seriously awful advice. You're essentially telling this woman to suppress her feelings and desires, which (per all your previous advice columns up till now) usually ends in tears and a worse situation. She shouldn't suppress it... she should be upfront and honest with her girlfriend - as you said you would be in your in your relationship. Honesty isn't just for gay men when it comes to sex - we should encourage a healthy dialogue, even if it's horribly uncomfortable; the alternative is so much worse.
@82: "I don't see (enough of) a similar movement in porn. Why is that?"

Probably because porn itself is something you don't buy or use as openly as eggs or coffee or chicken, so people don't -- as commonly -- share their stories, sources about it, so it's harder to get a picture of what exactly goes behind the scenes.

Because porn is a fairly private product, so it's difficult to be open about its facets. I mean, the "ethical labour and environmentally-friendly materials for sex toys!" cry is minimally there, but nowhere near the scale of, say, "fair trade coffee!"

Because porn IS stigmatized, so some people just think, "Oh whatever, you shouldn't be looking at porn anyway and it isn't a real job and only whores do it." Not so with earnest poor Third World farmers, adorable animals, and adorabler (yes) children labourers, etc.

I think you're right -- it should be regulated and protected. Part of the way there is to accept it socially too -- tying into "hey porn is normal and enjoyable." Maybe if more and more people enjoyed porn, they'd eventually care about where it came from too. If people already see it as a social evil, the fact it comes from a socially evil source probably isn't high on their minds. It's like an ethical drug dealer. (Ok, I know a lot of people care how they get their drugs, but give me some leeway here.)

If more women liked porn, maybe more of them would get involved in the industry as more than underpaid, exploited workers -- directors, producers, financiers. That could be a step towards a healthier, more ethical industry.

"What I do have a problem with is the cavalier attitude that many pro-porn people seem to have about those 'poor employment standards' you mention. Is there a 'euphemism of the year' competition?"

That was supposed to be flippant sarcasm. Also, I work for a labour organization with lots of bureaucratic jargon, so that was a very "in" in-joke. Not anyone's fault but mine!

I guess my overall point is that I understand now that you're saying that many pro-porn people don't care, but I was taking offence at an implication that just because you were pro-porn mean you didn't care (*even if the issues were explained to you*, which I found difficult to believe, much less a significant minority of people who get off on the idea of human trafficking and co-ercion). Your remark just seemed out of blue, so I read you as tying it a lot more closely to the discussion at hand than warranted.
@87 Glad I could help.

@82 and @90

I love 90's point. I was thinking about this yesterday in regards to prostitution, which is not currently legal in this country. I was thinking about how a lot of the "progressive" men I know who advocate for making prostitution legal would NEVER want their own wives/girlfriends working as prostitutes. Some men don't mind when their partner is a porn star/prostitute, but a lot of men who claim it should be treated as "just a job" would change their minds if it entered their private sphere. To me, this speaks to a double standard. We say in one breath that sex work should be destigmatized (which could be said of both prostitution and porn), legalized, regulated, and treated like any other job. In the next breath, we essentially admit that it ISN'T like any other job. Sure, some people want to be firefighters and some don't, but the reasoning behind not wanting to do almost any other job compared to the reasons for not wanting to be in porn/work as prostitutes are wildly different for most people. Those reasons aren't just about legality and regulation. They're about the way this society views sex. It's something we don't want to talk about or be honest about. People are taught to be ashamed of it unless it's performed within certain contexts. But even people with progressive views on these issues would never engage in porn/prostitution because that's not what "upstanding" members of the community do. I'll admit it--I LOVE SEX. I LOVE IT. Really, a career counselor would be remiss not to recommend porn as a good career for me (because I love sex, not because I'm hot or anything). But would I be in porn? Nope. Honestly, partially because of what that could do for my future prospects in other career industries should I want to change jobs as well as to relationship prospects. So, honestly, what's to be done?
Excellent advice as always, Dan! Thanks again this week!
Fitness Freakin's delightful problem reminds me of the old joke:
Woman seated on airplane can't stop sneezing. Passenger next to her asks if she's coming down with a cold. "No," she replies, "it's just that every time I sneeze I have this huge orgasm."
"Are you taking anything for it?"
"Yeah, black pepper."
{snip}Also remember that before porn was widely available most men managed to subsist just fine without it.
@#40: Huh? When, pray tell, was that? Porn, in one form or another, from dirty vase etching to shunga to Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems to Viv Thomas (google it), has been "widely available," as you put it, for THOUSANDS of years. And when it wasn't "widely available," people created their own—artistic or literary. that's why it cracks me up when douchebags like Judith Reisman try to crusade to eradicate pornography. Good luck with that, bitch.

For the record, I'm a middle-age woman who LOVES porn. Not all of it, just the stuff that pushes my buttons. And that's the thing: Everyone has buttons that are going to be pushed by some kind of erotica out there. One just has to find the right stuff, or create it if you can't. I was writing erotica for myself at age 14. Perhaps NOPE would prefer a site like
I'm with 47. I'm married to a man who doesn't like porn. I sometimes enjoy erotica (mostly written, not pictures - hey, I'm female) and I wouldn't object to his using porn, but he leaves the room if I watch something too racy. He just doesn't like it. When he masturbates he just fantasizes, he doesn't look at pictures.

So there are men who don't use porn out there. Maybe NOPE could even find one. But it's probably more practical to look for a man who is willing to be discrete about it, and not use porn where she has to be aware of his use.

NOPE, make your own porn. Then at least you know your man will be thinking of you. ;p
@82. If the facts are so obvious, then you'll be able to provide links to properly constructed, non push-poll, peer reviewed studies that demonstrate these facts. If you can't do so, then the facts really aren't so obvious, are they. In fact, if you can't do so, then to claim that you know anything about the conditions in which porn is produced is an outright lie.
Hi Dan,
I thought of you when i did this:…
@26: there's... one scenario where I'd be at least kind of OK with someone asking their SO to never masturbate--and that's one where, well, they agree to give at least a hand job *whenever* their SO wants some.

It's still a little weird and controlling, but at least it's not a case where you're forcing a partner to engage in sexual activity only and entirely on your schedule...
About POOTER's anal dilemma:
Why try to take it slow with more lube? Why not just get your rocks off on what gets your rocks off? My gf comes real hard when I push my finger against (not into) her butthole while she masturbates (the muscle tissue to be precise) - so that it hurts. I say: if it ain't torn, don't add extra-lube.

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