Columns May 25, 2011 at 4:00 am

The Choicer Challenge


Pow! And just like that, Dan strikes another blow (ha ha ha) for equality.

"Suck my dick." Great! Love it! Great job, Dan! Let's put this myth of sexuality-is-a-choice to rest permanently.

(Hmm, but looking at the Christian right's record, maybe he'll take you up on it..)
Stephen Colbert?
Stephen Colbert a choicer?
GHTR, tell your boyfriend what happened with the colleague, and see how he reacts:

A) BF is cool about it -- then maybe the two of you have a lot in common and can get past this patch where your anxiety has caused your sex drive (with him) to plummet.

B) BF gets all clingy and mopey -- it will be easier to accept that you have to break up with him.

C) BF dumps your ass -- better that it happen now rather than after you've moved in together.

If, after considering these options, you're not hoping for A, then you can skip telling him and just dump him. It's over.
"I have no plans to tell the BF, a man I love very much and don't want to hurt."

...Wow, total bitch alert. And no, there's no such thing as "innocent drinks" unless it's with more than one person or someone you can trust not to run along with your less than thoughtful impulses. Obiviously most colleagues don't fall in the latter catagory. Serious sympathy for the S.O. involved.

No one loses in that scenario. Hey, I'd love to watch that video.
BTW, was Stephen Colbert included with the Choicers as a joke? Because most of the mean shit he says is sarcastic, I-mean-the-opposite humor.
Back when I was still an actor, about twenty years ago, we had this little traveling troupe and were doing an AIDS awareness program at colleges around Ohio. One of the things we were dealing with was the whole "choicer" attitude. So we came up with a song, whose lyrics escape me now, but the refrain was, "If Homosexuality is a choice, then choose to be gay for a week." It shut alot of people up.
Like most political whores, Cummins will gladly suck your cock for a substantial campaign contribution.
Funny, 7, I have innocent drinks with my friends all the time. Sometimes in pairs, sometimes in groups. Often with a few exes who I'm still friendly with. Doesn't make me want to sleep with them (at least anymore, as the case may be). It's attitudes like that that make holier-than-thou monogamous people so obnoxious...not only is your partner the only one you can have sex with for the rest. of. your. life...they're the only person of the opposite sex (or same sex, as the case may be) who you can hang out with for the rest of your life. There's a reason why so many "monogamous" people cheat, and from my experience, it's more about suffocation and control than a desire for some strange.
ms. d @12, i would add: the only person you can dance with, the person you must sit next to at dinner parties, the only person you can flirt with, the person you must vacation with--no separate vacations, as that would be WEIRD. after several years of this, i'd be clawing my way out, not renewing my vows.

I think you're mis-reading GHTR. Progressive intimacy with her boyfriend -- the prospect of living together after four whole years of being together -- created anxiety, and she fucked someone else. She's giddy about it, but doesn't want to tell the BF. Dan's right: she's the MF here and needs to split.

Trust me, they do not "have a lot in common" if he's fine with it. Her letter suggests she'll do this again routinely so long as it makes her giddy, but that she'll stay with her guy because ... she loves him? When she finds sa guy else she wants to fuck and also starts to love him, she'll be gone.

That is not a really pleasant way to be, and your advice is giving it implicit thumbs up.

I heart Dan. If Cummins blows you, I might respect him.

Naw, I wouldn't even then....
Johnny D.
Im confused, Stephen Colbert the person or the persona? Did I miss something. Do I have to stop watching the Cobert Report?
Another good way to shut up choicers is this simple fact: if being gay were truly a choice, straight men could kiss their ass goodbye. All women would be lesbians, eventually. It would be hard as shit not to find a woman who has not, at one point or another in life, wished with her whole heart to be a lesbian and free of patriarchal bullshit forever. For reals.
GHTR, have you slept with your bf since then? If so, he has a right to know you're increasing the risk of your relations. If not, you should tell him before you have sex with him, or dump him and don't have sex with him at all.
Ms Erica - What if she likes clingy and mopey? So many clingy and mopey people are partnered, there has to be some sort of market for it.

This letter almost feels like a cousin to the one with all those comments some months ago from the poly woman who was raped and then some months later husband triggered her but her secondary partner made her feel whole and loved and wonderful, doesn't it? Only moving in together seems rather feeble by comparison as the stressor.

I wish she hadn't signed herself the way she did; it would have been interesting to see if there were any appreciable difference between comments from people reading GHTR as male from comments of those reading GHTR as female. Mr Savage really ought to put out a quiz book along that loine; as his letters probably have less bias towards straight and towards female than those of his contemporaries or near-contemporaries in the mainstream, he's by far the best positioned to do so.
@12,oh, yeah. i reconnected with an old college lover recently. i hadn't seen him in 20 years or more, but after having drinks after work twice, his 'tightly wound' wife put the kibosh on it. so, no drinks after work anymore, no friendship because of her insecurity.
Dan the advise to GHTR was spot on. Why move in with him if you are no longer attracted to him? You stated that you are feelings giddy and no guilt for having had sex with a colleague! Are you planning on having more sexual encounters with this colleague? Would it always be guilt free sex? Would you rather have sex with anyone else besides having sex with your boyfriend? Are you and your boyfriend interested in having an open relationship where you both live together but have sex with other people? If the answer to these questions are YES NO and MAYBE then Why prolong a Doomed Relationship? Spare him and yourself the Future Heartache and emotional Pain and make a clean Break NOW!
I like the point he makes, only an ignorant moron would try to convince someone that being gay is a choice. The end was the best. I took a biology class and learned more about evolution and mutations. My hypothesis is that being gay could be a mutation to prevent over-population.I don't understand why people attack gay people so much? There are way more important things in the world to worry about then my sexuality. Take care ps don't get offended it's just a hypothesis.
I forgot to add - what I'd put in the B slot along with or, depending on taste, ahead of clinging and mopey would be if he "forgave" her in such Obvious Quotation Marks that she knew she'd be paying for it indefinitely.
I think this article is accurate. Savage has quite the balls to tell that fucker to suck his dick. Any person that tries to convince society that being gay is a choice is an ignorant moron. I currently took a bio class the last part was over evolution and mutations. This is where I formed my own hypothesis and it might not be accurate but it doesn't sound nearly as ignorant. Could being gay be caused by a mutation that occurred through evolution to prevent over-population?
Not surprisingly, I think Dan is leaning a bit biased towards the husband here. How about we switch the perspective: Say this woman's husband had a bout with testicular cancer and is now undergoing estrogen therapy. He thought his understanding wife, per their agreement, would be avoiding any ideas of threesomes while he recuperates physically and emotionally. But then he accidentally? finds out she's been busy corresponding with likely women (or men), telling them her husband is eager to perform.

OK? What's your take on it now, Dan? Just a little harmless flirting or proof she has little empathy for her suffering spouse?

Personally, I think C&H deserves a big apology from her husband.
Choicers are gay and bisexual men and women who "choose" not to be gay. Sucking cock will prove nothing except that they are gay or bi. I want to see if this guy can actually get it up for his wife without thinking of his days on the high school wrestling team. How do you prove that without mind reading abilities?
@2, 4, 9, 16, Shut up and play along. I want to see Colbert put Dan Savage on notice for chosing to be gay. That's just win all around.

@20, You can't honestly believe that drinks alone with an old lover is appropriate behavior for either a husband or a wife. That's just tempting fate. People are weak, and repeatedly putting yourself in a position like that is dumb. If you guys are such good friends that you want to keep in touch, then your spouses should be hanging out with you.
I'm so confused, why is she the MF? Maybe GHTR needs a mongamish relationship...? She said she loves her bf and that it is stress. She's an MF for being a CPOS, but how about opening the relationship?
About choice: I think that the choicers see it this way:

choice # 1: "be gay" - have the urges and attraction toward same-sex foolin' around and go ahead and do it, and

choice # 2: "not be gay" - have the urges and attraction toward same-sex foolin' around and suppress those urges for whatever reason.

If you define "gay" in terms of actions instead of intentions, then it is a choice. It's a choice between living a lie and living in accordance with what your nature demands. It's a choice between being free and driving yourself mad by denying what you want.

Of course, I'm biased by my liberal opinions. To be fair, you can define pedophilia as a choice in the same way: To be a pedophile is to abuse children in accordance with your sexual desire to do so, and not to be a pedophile is to feel those same desires but deny them. What Dan calls a "gold-star" pedophile would not be a pedophile by this definition. Interesting semantic discussion, but it doesn't change the point that even if being gay were a choice, it would be a choice that doesn't harm any of the consenting adults involved so why not let them make the "choice"?
@17 In the same vein as your statement and sentiment. If being gay were truly a choice. Then all men would gay and free of the silly ass games a lot of women play. Men don't expect their partners to read their minds and don't usually get upset if their partners don't just "know" what they want or need. Women stress the importance of talking (usually about feelings), but seem incapable of simple declarative statements. Is it really that hard to just tell someone what you want (assuming you even know what it is) instead making them guess.
Just so's y'all know, the Conservative Party of British Columbia has been wandering in the wilderness for decades. They might as well not exist. I'm not saying that makes his statements any less rock-fucking-stupid, but we in BC generally leans pretty left in its provincial politics. Just sayin'.
"lean pretty left in our politics" (was typing too quickly)
Awesome as always, Dan.

... but what's this about Colbert being a choicer - say it isn't so!
@25: Nope, still don't buy it. It's not like the husband in your case is going to actually be asked to perform while he is unready. Meanwhile, what you are asking of the non-incapacitated spouse is to sit and twiddle their thumbs patiently, and not even _fantasize_ over very same things that both of them were _acting_ on, a few short weeks previously. In other words, you are expecting to have control of your spouse right down to what is allowed to turn them on or off.

In case you missed it, the rather obvious implication of "You probably wouldn't have said, "YOU ASSHOLE! You weren't even supposed to be LOOKING until I said so!" " is that you would be the one being an asshole if you actually said that.
@17 - At first, I was smiling mildly at the light-hearted joke you were making.

But the "patriarchial" part doesn't ring true to me. As a straight girl who has mostly dated guys with healthy attitudes towards women, I haven't had to deal with much patriarchial b.s. in my relationships. I HAVE had to deal with it in the wider world of school, work, sports, etc...but lesbians deal with that kind of b.s. just as much as straight women. When I have wished to be a lesbian, it is only because I imagine that it would be easier to relate to someone who deals with similar body issues (like a biological clock) or has been socialized and communicates in a similar manner. Of course, I have only to look at my lesbian friends to realize that they have plenty of relationship problems and don't live in fairy-tale couplehood either.

@30 - it's hard to figure out your tone. Are you saying all that in reaction to @17, to show her the silliness of her statement by holding up a mirror? If so, then I'm with you - an effective ploy.

But if you really believe what you wrote, then yikes! You really gotta read some Deborah Tannen before you get even more bitter toward women. Seriously - go look up "You Just Don't Understand." It will turn you into a mind-reader of women. It will help you WAY more than any of those dating coach idiots who teach you to treat women like prey.
"I have innocent drinks with my friends all the time. Sometimes in pairs, sometimes in groups. Often with a few exes who I'm still friendly with. Doesn't make me want to sleep with them (at least anymore, as the case may be)."

#12 Yeah, but those are people you can trust. People who know you and were you're coming from when you go out drinking. I'm sure if you were too drunk to think rationally and about to do something you would regret or face serious repercussions for they would stop you. GHTR throws out the fact that she was drinking like an excuse for her poor behavior (as many people do) when in fact she probably wanted to do exactly that when she was sober, she just didn't have the courage.

And I couldn't care less about monogamy, but if you're in a LTR you should be up front from the start about what kind of person you are and what you're looking for in a LTR. You should also communicate about when you're facing issues in your relationship. Not be monogamous for 4 yrs, become bored, fall off the wagon, and fucking shrug it off like it's nothing. THEN to top it all off not take responsibility for it under the guise of "I don't want to hurt them!". Because it's too late, you did what you did so you own up to it, discuss it, and decide TOGETHER where to go from there.

And btw, maybe it's your "enlightened" attitude that makes what is probably a very good perspective on LTRs, sex, and friendship sound so snobish. If you want people to realize they have hang ups you should meet them half way.
ellarosa @13 Ummm ... none of those rules apply to my husband and I. Are you listing rules to a hypothetical confining marriage to make yourself feel better?

@12 - Call me old-fashioned, but I agree that going out to get drunk with one person of the opposite sex -- or same sex, as the case may be -- is asking for trouble. Then again, I haven't stayed friends with ANY of my ex's either. Everyone has different boundaries, the important thing is to be *aware* of your boundaries, which GHTR clearly isn't.
@14 >> Her letter suggests she'll do this again routinely >>

If she hasn't cheated before this, I'm willing to take her at her word that this may be a temporary crisis. The LTR sex has gotten boring, and this other guy touched her in ways that made her feel alive. If she can awaken that kind of excitement in her LTR, they might be able to get through this.

>> your advice is giving it implicit thumbs up. >>

My advice is to not take one screw-up as determining the fate of the LTR. If they love each other, and if she can be honest, they can get through it. Otherwise they can't.
About the Human Rights Act:
Section 8 b says:
A person must not... discriminate against a person or class of persons regarding any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public because of
the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or class of persons.

Religion is a choice, marital status is a choice, family status is (often) a choice... Even if sexual orientation WERE a choice there are ALREADY other choices in the Act that are fully protected.

I am no longer surprised at how many people ignore science and reason by believing that homosexuality is something you could choose. Though it befuddles me, their attitude does not really bother me. What does bother me is people acting as if it is a BAD choice, simply by virtue of making it.

Would anyone stand for any politician regulating the "other" choices protected by the Act? Why only attack politics for wrongly BELIEVING that sexual orientation is choice when they should be attacked for wrongly BEHAVING in a way that limits the choices and freedoms of the citizens they should represent?
Politicians who (will likely always) believe it IS a choice should have to defend why people shouldn't be allowed to make it.
Thank you Dan for acknowledging the pain of miscarriage. For both of them. Ours was the most painful experience I've had (I'm I guy).

CnH and hub could do with looking after each other - these times can drive a wedge of isolation and difference between the two.
@17 "It would be hard as shit not to find a woman who has not, at one point or another in life, wished with her whole heart to be a lesbian and free of patriarchal bullshit forever."

For reals, indeed. For me it's once a week at least. Damn my unswerving desire for hard cock, despite that.
@ 39: YES, YES, YES! An excellent point.
@35 Got it one Although to be honest, there is a degree of truth in complaints of patriarchal BS and female mind games. Sad stereotypes that are unfortunately too often true.
@35 Got it in one Although to be honest, there is a degree of truth in complaints of patriarchal BS and female mind games. Sad stereotypes that are unfortunately too often true.
And some head banging frustration arising out of personal experiences with women (family, friends, and lovers)

Men are relatively simple, straight forward creatures. Feed them, rub their tummies, pat them on the head now and then and they happily wag their tails and roll over(Oh wait, that's for dogs Never mind :-)
Satisfying/placating a mother (when you are an adult) can be such a joy (but that is true whether you are a male or female) It may also be more of a generational and/or ethnic thing. Hoping that is changing over time, but sometimes I do think that it is the motherhood jeans :-)
As a father of a somewhat adult (age wise) daughter, you really don't want to know what I think about or am inclined to do (with a sharp knife and no anesthesia) to patriarchal, predatory assholes. Hot tongs and branding irons also play a prominent role. I guess I'm being patriarchal now, but then I also have similar urges with respect to pedophiles and my teenage son. Both are decidedly hetero, but I wouldn't have any issue if my kids were LGBT except for the grief others would inflict on them. That would greatly sadden me.
Oh dear God, the thought of Stephen Colbert sucking your dick in character has really made my day. Make that week.

This heterosexual fangirl thanks you, Dan!
@35 I'm all for reducing gender polarisation and increasing understanding - Tannen's work is good like that. So when I read @17's comments - which I think were humorous, and intended to illustrate the choice point - I was reminded of the nasty inhumane feminist BS ideology my wife was infected with at one point, and brought into the bedroom - the opposite of GGG - which nearly wrecked our marriage. I'm told that was 2nd wave stuff and it's now all equality and that. I found it equally polarising and obnoxious as the patriarchal equivalent.

At one point, I did think I'd be better off gay, and no, it's not a choice.
If 80% of her relationship is great with her boyfriend except the sex, should GHTR split over that one issue? What are the odds of her finding a 100 percenter?
If her or his relationship is only about sex, then they should split up.
22,24, simplecomplicatedme-- NONONONONO! Imagine howling in indignation. The only thing worse than biblebelters refusing to teach the facts of evolution and natural selection is not teaching them well enough to prevent misconceptions like yours. I don't know where your class was or who was teaching it, but since I can't go there and slap your teacher upside the head, here's what you need to know:

Natural selection is RANDOM. It has no eye to the future. You can't have a mutation that works to prevent over population because the mutation doesn't know what over population is. Mutations give rise to non-adaptive forms all the time in totally random fashion. The environment changes which means that what was previously adaptive might not be from one instance to the next. Totally random. The same mutations and non-adaptive forms arise all the time. Totally random. It's not a matter of natural selection working once and then not having to do it again. Natural selection continues to hone and refine, then hone and refine again. Sometimes the same non-adaptive form shows up many times. Natural selection continues to weed it out. Sometimes new ones pop up. There's no sense or strategy about it.

This applies to homosexuality and everything else that results in disproportionately fewer offspring. There is a temptation to start referring to adaptive as "good" and non-adaptive as "bad," but be careful not to do that. (I wish I could tell the far right idiots not to do that too.) Evolution and natural selection are entirely judgment free. There's just which individuals have more surviving grandchildren.

I'm looking for a good short book or essay that can explain this better than I so I can recommend it when I run into people who, like you, think they understand how evolution and natural selection work but don't. In the mean time, look at Steven Pinker and Stephen Jay Gould.
"I went out for innocent drinks with a colleague and ended up back at his place."

Give. Me. A. Break. So when she was taking a shower, shaving her legs, putting on her sexy underwear and checking her birth control options prior to going out for innocent drinks, she had nooooooo idea where it would all lead? During the cab ride to his place, she had no idea? When she was taking off her clothes? No idea. At least cop to what happened. She did not just slip and fall on top of this guy's dick. She went out to get it. And she got it.

"I love my boyfriend, but I'm still giddy from the hot sex with my colleague. I'm confused! Especially because I don't feel guilty—I feel great!"

Um, great. A low-level sociopath who does not consider how this would impact her boyfriend, whom she "loves." /scoff That pathology plus the endorphins from the affair make her a real prize right now.

"I have no plans to tell the BF, a man I love very much and don't want to hurt."

When she fucks other people, she doesn't tell him. Out of love. Holy mother of christ what a piece of shit this gal is.

"What do I do now?"

Apparently whatever the hell she wants. Why change? She clearly don't give a rat's ooxzing asshole about other people's feelings, especially ones she claims to love.

My prediction: She is going to keep fucking New Man, and not tell the Safe at Home Backup, mainly because Safe at Home Backup is what makes New Man so sexy.

She only wrote to Savage hoping someone would say, "You go, girl! You get what you want, before the eternal abyss of death takes you."
@48 - Stephen Colbert might be the only "Republican" that Dan could convince to "choose to be gay" for a week. Wouldn't that be awesome?

I'm really surprised the number of people who took Dan's mention of Colbert being a choicer seriously. Stephen Colbert frequently references gay being a choice on his show when the topic comes up, but it is OBVIOUSLY part of his satire of the right, and Dan is poking fun of that here.
@39: Thank you! Why waste time arguing that being gay isn't a choice to people who will never believe it? The thing to do is challenge the "choices don't have to be protected" notion, which is always sort of taken as a given in this debate. Where is it written that choices don't need protection? If you're at a job interview, it is illegal for the interviewer to ask you if you're married or if you have children. Getting married is a choice, as is having children, and those choices are protected as hell.
#25, I completely agree. I don't understand why Dan is sensibly able to acknowledge that the miscarriage was a terrible experience for both of them, while simultaneously imagining that the husband's sex life wouldn't be affected and thus should be able to go on as regularly scheduled. As a result, Dan is ignoring some crucial details about what happened here.

#34, it's not true that the husband is being asked not even to fantasize. The problem was not that he was watching porn with threesomes or something, the problem is that he contacted real people and spoke FOR his wife. He said his wife was actually excited about THIS person in question, when she is not, and when there's no clear timetable on when she will be ready. Dan misses all of this. In short, the husband took on some of her agency in this matter, and singlehandedly set a timetable for resuming relations relatively soon. So HE is being the controlling spouse here, and I agree with #25 that he owes his wife and apology.

It's also totally reasonable to expect that, in this case, the husband "sit around and twiddle his thumbs patiently" for a while. The miscarriage, which was a result of pregnancy they both wanted and created through their sexual union, was THREE WEEKS ago. And the go-ahead for sex from the doctor must have been even more recent. What's wrong with people who, in this short a time frame, are immediately focused on the interruption of his "needs"?

oh hai!
you found one.
#27, I completely agree that drinks alone with a former lover is inappropriate when you're married. As you say, "if you guys are such good friends that you want to keep in touch, then your spouses should be hanging out with you."

#20, who's decided that the wife is "tightly wound", and on what grounds? Did you decide that just because her spouse wants to have drinks with a former lover but isn't willing to invite her along? If so, you're wrong. Did he decide that, and you're just taking his word for it that he was totally honest with her and that she has no reason to be worried? You're sure his intentions were totally innocent? You're sure he's always been rock-solid faithful to his wife? For that matter, you're sure you're intentions are so pure, when you seem disappointed to have the drinks discontinued, but I don't see you asking for a casual lunch with old flame and his wife together, since the "friendship" is so nice to rekindle? Somehow I wouldn't blame any of this on her supposed "insecurity."
@ 3: "Looks like we need a new acronym -- MFDHA: MotherF--ker, Dump Him/Her Already. ... I think it's needed in the lexicon. Not quite as catchy, though..."

Good points.

How about JLMF. Just leave, motherfucker.
@48 - Stephen Colbert might be the only "Republican" that Dan could convince to "choose to be gay" for a week. Wouldn't that be awesome?

I'm really surprised the number of people who took Dan's mention of Colbert being a choicer seriously. Stephen Colbert frequently references gay being a choice on his show when the topic comes up, but it is OBVIOUSLY part of his satire of the right, and Dan is poking fun of that here.
@57, he himself characterized his wife as tightly wound, and it sounds like you're quite familiar with that state of mind!
Right, why did he call his wife "tightly wound"? And how would she feel about him describing her this way to you, a former lover, over drinks alone?

And now because I'm asking some critical questions, you insult me as tightly wound too? Okay, never mind, maybe you and her hubby really are a good match and should keep having those drinks.
I think you have it right. Even if desire is innate, a fair reading of "choicers" is that people choose whether to act on their desires or not.

Clearly, the consensus here is that homosexual sex is not immoral. Among those who find it immoral, however, the more reasonable among them argue that the sin is not the desire, but acting on it.

As far as I can tell, the entire dispute is over whether homosexual sex is immoral. I see no other difference between Rick Santorum's position on homosexual acts and Dan Savage's notion of "gold-star" pedophiles.
The odds of a first time dick-sucker getting you, Dan Savage, multiple times dick-sucked, off, are pretty low. So I can't imagine him swallowing your load.
@50: I'm not defending her, clearly she still HAS a sex life with her boyfriend, but I'm married to a man who is 100% perfect except that we do not have sex and he has zero attraction to me. We've been married two years, and he kept assuring me things would get better, but they have only petered out. Is our relationship only about sex? No. But is sex a crucial fucking factor? You betcha.

@52: Come on, Jesus. What an imagination(and what a waste of mental energy!). It's clear that she decided to cross the line at some point, but there's no reason to believe that the decision was made beforehand, particularly since she did say the drinks were innocent to start with. I didn't hear her excusing herself with alcohol even a little- I would expect that people who do that would at least claim to feel a little bad. Why not believe her?

GHTR needs to dump her boyfriend sooner rather than later for both their benefits. The only alternative is facing up to their issues promptly and seriously, with professional help, in hopes that she could regain attraction to him.
@55, I completely agree. The red flag for me in C&H's letter was that the husband was making physical plans now in these emails for threesomes- asking when and where they could meet. To me, that doesn't say, "making plans for the hazy future when wifey is ready again", that says, "back to business sooner rather than later".

The most charitable explanations are that he misunderstood his wife when they discussed putting off threesomes, or that he is under the sincere yet misguided belief that hot bi sex will take her mind off the miscarriage.

I don't know what he could be thinking, sending these emails KNOWING that his wife is NOT eager to fuck these chicks. Dan's thesis is quite plausible, if he were only flirting and not making plans. I am a little concerned that he might try to pressure her into it, which is- say it with me, kids!- coercive sexual abuse!
I saw a lovely bit of film once: On-the-street interviews. First question: Do you believe that being gay is a choice? Second question: When did you choose to be straight?
I have a tough time actually thinking the hubby really does give a damn about the miscarriage. Maybe he's 'grieving' by returning to familiar fun w/o regard for where the wife is in all this? Yeah, right.

Or maybe he didn't actually want a baby, the growing of which will surely affect other hot, bi, 30-somethings wanting to play with them?

Plenty of men take a miscarriage emotionally seriously. From her letter, I'm not getting that this guy is one of those. Dan's being way too generous.
John Cummins is a washed-up has-been ex-federal politician who is leading a party that traditionally gets less than 1% of the vote in BC (the BC Conservatives are not linked with the federal Conservatives). He is not worth the amount of ink you just wasted on him.

My own response to those who say gay is a choice is, so what? Even if it IS a choice, it still doesn't mean we should be discriminated against. Bisexuals, in fact, do have a choice when they pair up with the same gender, but they have as many human rights as anyone. In fact, if I had the choice, I'd still choose to be gay. So, who cares if being gay is a choice or not? It's moot. Even those who choose to be gay, if that's possible, deserve just as much protection as those who choose to be Christians or Mormons.

As Dan knows, people can choose to be or not to be Catholic, so if religious people get human rights protections, so do those who "choose" to be gay. Choice isn't the issue. The argument won't be won until that's acknowledged. It's not like we've been born with some disability that we're all down on ourselves about. Let's just pretend it's a choice and say "SO WHAT" live and let live.
@ 22 I read a book once called sperm wars, and in one chapter the author presented a hypothesis that being gay is a genetic mutation. His hypothesis was that being gay started out as being Bi, which was advantageous for men and women because they became better at sex and relationships, and thus had more oppurtunites to pass thier genes, and the Bi gene along to thier offspring. His hypothesis for the gay gene was it was two much of the Bi gene. Thats the basic argument.
amanda@37, no that is definitely not my marriage, or yours, i'm happy to hear. it is, i'm afraid, a whole lot of other marriages i've witnessed, either in the media or in person. it would appear to be "the oprah standard," as i've come to think of it. i never meant to imply that this was the monogamy HAD to be, only how a whole lot of americans seem to interpret it.
oh, and btw, @22 et al., there is so far as i know no evidence for gayness being genetic. rather, the science so far would indicate that it is something that happens in utero--basically, it's fetal environment, not genes that determine sexual orientation.
Where is "confused & hormonal" hubby finding all of these great hot, bi 30ish girls? Been looking for 2 years now!! I don't want sound like a ass though. You guys will be fine! You should talk to him again and again about any feelings with the miscarriage. Keep a open line!!!
@57/61 - I agree with you that scary tyler moore's ex-lover's wife shouldn't be categorized as "insecure" or "tightly wound" for objecting to them repeatedly going out for drinks without her.

But I would amend your first sentence to: "Having drinks alone with a former lover is inappropriate when you're monogamous." My husband encourages me to have drinks and more with my lovers of the past and present.
@64 - What do you think explains your husband's disinterest in sex? How old are you both? Has he always been this way? What do you know about his sexual history?
@74, it's complicated. He comes from an anti-sexual family, where the belief was that sex is unloving; he has a very unusual fetish; and he's coping with depression, managed by medication that kills what libido he's got. The entire time we've been engaged and married, he has ejaculated twice. We are both in our late twenties, and I know his sexual history intimately since I was his first girlfriend and we've talked about this in great detail. He hasn't always been this way, and I think without the medication issue he could have faked his way through, but at this point the very idea of sex together is unbelievably stressful for both of us. I believe that we could explore his fetish together with great success, if nothing else were complicating this. He has this underlying belief, too, that because he early chose to reject sex as a motivating factor in his relationships, he's a better and more ethical person than those of us who think sex is important. So, it's incredibly difficult, and it feels like a huge slog even without my emotional issues laid on top.
@17 Holy shit. So true.
One of my male friends (whom I've known for decades, entirely platonic) is not even allowed to friend me or any other woman on Facebook because of his girlfriend's crazed jealousy. It's absolutely bizarre. When he tried to explain it I asked him in some confusion if we'd ever had a fling that I'd forgotten about, that she would be so insecure. Nope. She's just crazed.
@64/75, forgive me, but he does not sound like "a man who is 100% perfect except that we do not have sex." Your husband is ill, and sanctimonious, and more fucked up by his family than most of us. Why do you see it as your lot in life to be married to him? Also, I'm curious whether he would let you take care of your sexual needs elsewhere, since they are so unimportant to him.

Sorry, but anyone can (and many do) give a blowjob for reasons other than liking it. Rather, we need to see the old coot on his back with a hard dick inside him, screaming while ejaculating with an erection (I can't believe I'm writing this while eating...).
I think there is some sort of bizarre brain virus that originated in the US and has made its way into Canada. First we elect Harper, now this. It's the apocalypse of sanity.
@3 I propose DtPSA - Dump the Poor Sod Already.
GHTR: Nothing makes a boyfriend feel "loved" more than a girl who is anxious about moving in with him, isn't interested in him sexually but enjoys sex with her friend, and lies to him. I'm glad that she "loves him very much." I hate to imagine what she would do to the guy who she doesn't "love very much."
C & H: Guys don't accidentally leave their email accounts open if they don't truly want their wife to read them. This is a very "guy way" of "accidentally" telling her that he misses their group activities and wants to know if she is ready to get back in the game. If he wanted to step out without her and without her knowing, he would have opened a new untraceable email account
"tightly wound"... I second the commenter above: if you think a man's wife is keeping him on an overly-short leash, there's a decent chance he's done something to lose her trust (or vice versa, happens to both genders). With the infidelity rate quite high by many estimates, you have to accept when there are trust issues in a marriage, it might not just be an "insecure wife" to blame. And the feminist in me is just plain offended by that characterization!

When I read the Colbert reference, my very first thought was "Somebody is going to think he's calling Colbert a bigot." Congrats, you're the somebody.

As someone has probly already mentioned, the quotation marks around Colbert's name mean that Dan was referring to Colbert as the character he plays on his show, NOT Colbert himself.

Thus ends today's condescending grammar lesson.
"Unless you're planning to put your boyfriend painlessly to sleep in the very near future, GHTR, there's no way to avoid hurting him." Oh, Dan.

I didn't want him to suffer.... It was the humane thing to do.

@78: I choose to be married to him. It is a hard thing to keep choosing sometimes, but not only is marriage important to me, but my husband is worth it, in my eyes. He is the only person I have ever loved, or been in love with. I have tried before to change that, when we were broken up, and failed pretty spectacularly; I would not place bets on whether I could be successfully married or in a relationship with someone else, but I do estimate that I will not stop loving him anytime soon.

I know very well that he is struggling with his issues the best he can; the medication in particular is a very difficult thing for him, because he is dependent on it to function. We are in therapy, and I'm trying to focus on the next step rather than bring the whole thing crashing down. I have proposed opening up the relationship to him, because I'm wired such that sex does not in any way make me attached to someone; he is not ready for that, and he's hoping we won't need to resort to that.

This is an incredibly rough time for me and for him, and I can only respond to both our needs with compassion. Judgment and blame has only made this more difficult.
"You can't honestly believe that drinks alone with an old lover is appropriate behavior for either a husband or a wife. That's just tempting fate. People are weak, and repeatedly putting yourself in a position like that is dumb. If you guys are such good friends that you want to keep in touch, then your spouses should be hanging out with you."

That's ridiculous. Why would I want to hang out with my partner's old fling and her spouse? I have nothing in common with them and I don't particularly want to count the ceiling tiles at the bar all night.

If you need your spouse to be the warden of your genitals, you maybe need to see a shrink about developing some willpower.
Ugh, please save the grammer lessons for newsvine and yahoo
Thanks though, I actually didn't remember the quotation marks until I read your comment and scrolled back up.
And no, after the very warm friendly appearances Savage has had on Colbert's show I seriously doubted Savage was calling him a bigot or that Colbert is one.
I'm guessing that Dan mentions "Stephen Colbert" in quotes because he's referring to the right-wing persona of Colbert in his show. Colbert's character is definitely a choicer!
No, Dan, it's a trap! The "Choicers" have a much higher probability of being closet cases, based on the prevalence of gay-sex scandals among their leaders (which makes sense: why would anyone not practicing sexuality as a conscious choice think that it could be a conscious choice?). You're just providing Cummins with plausable deniability for enacting his cock-sucking desires while simultaneously 'proving' (not actual proof in any sense) that homosexuality is a choice (as an orientation; I maintain that they're correct that homosexual behaviors are a conscious choice, though celibacy or fucking people to whom one isn't attracted aren't going to be easy for most people). While I think the "behaviors are a choice, and therefore homosexual behaviors should be banned" position is absurd, because there's no good reason to make sex acts that don't involve coercion, deceit, or direct force illegal, they're not wrong in claiming that it's possible (if extremely difficult for most people) to not have certain/all kinds of sex. Homosexuality qua desire/orientation - not a choice; homosexuality qua behaviors - a choice, though not an easy one.

Really, though, it doesn't matter in the slightest if homosexuality is a choice in any sense, as there's no legitimate basis to deny gay people human rights (other than living), religious or otherwise. There's a religious basis for execution in Christianity and Islam, but not for limited rights in the absence of an execution penalty for male-male sex acts.

Again, I think all of this is absurd, but I don't think letting the crazies dictate the discourse as one about "choice" (same losing discursive construction as the one around abortion), especially since it constitutes argument by non sequitur, is a good idea. Instead, I'm a fan of something like, "Choice is irrelevant; gay people hurt no one through their behaviors, so passing laws to ban the behaviors or marginalize the group is unethical and frankly vindictive. We are an explicitly secular state, and, as such, your religious doctrines have no place in public policy. Asshole."
@85 - I sympathize with your painful situation. And if you ask me to stop pushing on this topic, I will. But in case my words are of any use to you... You say "We are in therapy" - if you're not already seeing someone just for you, I recommend that, to help you figure out what is important to you in life. How old are the two of you? Do you like him (as well as loving him)? Do you like yourself? What makes you happy?
@85 Following up myself @90 - if you want to take this to email (to keep it going or shut down the conversation), you can reach me on gmail at EricaPSavage.
Drinks alone with old lovers is fraughts with danger. Remember, the conscience is the part of the human psyche that is most readily soluble in alcohol
@86 - have you been in this situation, encouraging your wife to go party with an former lover, or is it hypothetical to you? For most monogamous marriages, it's pretty good advice to avoid tempting fate by combining impaired judgment with familiar (but off-limits) sexual vibes.
hi Dan just confused on why you had to compare people who don't believe the official story of 9/11 to racists and homophobes, pretty lazy and not like you to make such a strange hit and run association. Is this the level of intellectual discourse now, to question a clearly false story and then be compared to jingoistic racists?
Hamish 108 @ 79 is right on. At any given moment there are dozens if not hundreds of straight men down on their knees giving head because that's what they need to do to get by. Heck, I bet that John Cummins is so tied to his political position that he's be happy to go down on Dan if that "proved" homosexuality was a choice.

Unfortunately, those who do not want to believe cannot be made to believe. These days, from climate change to the need to control entitlement spending, we have shown an increasing ability to jettison hard facts in favor of our dogma.
I look forward to the day when I can read the words "Life" and "Choice" and not think it's about abortion.

Heh. I remember American Dad putting the conservative protagonist in a position in which he had to be gay to get what he wanted. He was all, "But I WANT to be gay!" and it didn't work. It's sad when the Fox Network is smarter than a politician.
Erica, I accept your amendment, and would say it's not okay to be meeting old lovers privately for drinks unless you have your current lover's permission.

Humorless, I don't think this demand is the same thing as needing "your spouse to be the warden of your genitals". Rather, it's simply the way to show respect for your spouse's feelings. Spouses should be able to socialize freely with others, and in theory should be able to remain friends with former lovers. These things aren't okay when they come at the expense of excluding a spouse who doesn't want to be excluded, though, or otherwise violating trust. To me, having drinks twice with a former lover, to whom you then complain that your spouse is tightly wound, is really crossing the line. I have to socialize with many married male colleagues at work, and I make a point of wanting to include their wives in social activities when possible, just like I enjoy including my spouse and sharing my social life with him. Something is wrong when that's not happening and the spouse dislikes it.

GHTR who cheated on her bf is just a psycho, though. That goes WAY beyond. I hope for his sake that she moves along. How can you even consider moving in with someone you're blithely cheating on and aren't even attracted to anymore? Sociopath, maybe?
You know Dan, someday the choicer choice is going to bite you in the ass, and you're going to find some closet-case gaybasher of a politician on the end of your cock.

And the very next day, they'll be telling the world about how being gay is this Evil Addiction That Must Be Stopped, just look at how that temptation has led *them* down the road to hell, wocka wocka, and they'll be spouting how being gay is a choice, and, well, infinite loop: n. See: loop, infinite.

Personally, I'd stick with "So is being Christian." Religious rights are equally protected under the law, in spite of the fact that you can change religions as often and as blithely as you change socks, and still have every legal protection for it.
@75 So, it's incredibly difficult, and it feels like a huge slog even without my emotional issues laid on top.

Um, is he your husband, child or patient? I'm having as hard a time swallowing the "innocence" of drinks alone with ex-lovers as I am the line about "not making personal relationships about sex" as a higher moral calling of ascetic and selfless self-denial. I think he's sold you a line.

However, even if that's a deeply uncharitable and wrong reading of your post, I'd still like you to consider: marriage is not a suicide pact (metaphorical or literal). EricaP is quite right that you should be able to have someone to talk to just for yourself. Be nice to yourself too.
Hey Dan,

I think the "Choicer Challenge" you made here iswas a brilliant piece of propaganda, and I'd like to be able to directly link to it without having to instruct people on where in the article to look. Is there any way you could provide a link that gets directly to that portion of the text; it seems like something that would be fantastic if it went viral.
I know that Americans are profoundly ignorant about politics north of the border but one would hope that living in Washington State might make you wiser. The Conservative Party in British Columbia most likely consists of one man. The Conservatives hold no seats in the provincial legislature and are unlikely ever to do so. The parties that count in British Columbia are the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party, both of which have gays in their memberships.
Dan, I just don't get your 'suck my dick' challenge. Any reasonable person knows that a straight guy who chose to suck you off for political reasons would not become gay. Anyone can 'choose' to do things they find distasteful, if it serves some other purpose. Doesn't prove anything.

Choicers deny that some people have an innate valid same-sex orientation; by basically agreeing that gays are just people who choose to 'perform' gay 'acts', you are buying into their frame of reality.

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