Columns May 16, 2012 at 4:00 am

Shady Ladies


Wait, I'm IS he getting arrested?
In a brief discussion elsewhere Grey was summarized as a virgin is introduced to the joys of sex with a handsome, wealthy, older, sexually-experienced gentleman. They listen to the lyrics of Coldplay together.

No, I do not intend to read it.
In reference to the first guy: This falls into what people can tell you are doing in public. If you can be discreet enough for them not to notice, it doesn't matter. If the gasps and moans from the stall give it away--whether there's one or two of five of you--then people have the right to be put out that their presence is being actively drafted for your sex act. As near as they can tell, being in public and forcing them to listen is part of the thrill for you.

So while the guy spying through the door should have just turned around and gone to another floor, assuming he wasn't suffering diarrhea which doesn't seem to be the case, SPANK fails on sufficient discretion. Because sometimes someone whose lunch is about to come up is going to need the restroom, and they can't make it somewhere else and shouldn't have to listen to you having sex eighteen inches away.
Actually canning sounds like fun - bondage/mummification plus exhibitionism, possibly with a medical angle, to be used with appropriate air tubes, of course. Only it would be a rather expensive kink.

I've rubbed one out HUNDREDS of times in my Wall Street Firm. Those masc married suits are HOT!! And anyone who's good at it knows to listen for the door opening and then cover quickly, just in case any pervs try to stare in. Your guy just needs to be a smarter 'bater. Lastly, I wonder if seeking out an out-of-the-way restroom was his downfall. That's where the creepy Larry Craigs of the world go for under-the-stall action. Ick. Better to use your usual mens room, take your time, keep business papers on the floor so it looks like you are working while taking a power dump (admirable) and - if someone comes in, stop and cover. The edging alone will make it great. How do self respecting 'baters not know all of this????

I've rubbed one out HUNDREDS of times in my Wall Street Firm. Those masc married suits are HOT!! And anyone who's good at it knows to listen for the door opening and then cover quickly, just in case any pervs try to stare in. Your guy just needs to be a smarter 'bater. Lastly, I wonder if seeking out an out-of-the-way restroom was his downfall. That's where the creepy Larry Craigs of the world go for under-the-stall action. Ick. Better to use your usual mens room, take your time, keep business papers on the floor so it looks like you are working while taking a power dump (admirable) and - if someone comes in, stop and cover. The edging alone will make it great. How do self respecting 'baters not know all of this????
Just wanted to add something about the reason it sometimes takes women longer to find our kinks. I didn't feel comfortable exploring till my 30's b/c I had a lot of negative experiences when I was younger. I actually think that part of the reason I'm into bdsm now is b/c I want to have a safe place to release those bad experiences from the past and power play is a creative way to work through the trauma. Like many people often do, I think I've sexualized my trauma as a way to heal it.

I was an early developer so I had to deal with it a lot of attention way before I was ready to handle it. I don't think that a man can ever truly understand the fear factor that many women feel about exploring their kinks- we get objectified enough as it is. I simply didn't feel safe enough to even think about my own sexuality till I was in my 30's. For a long time I only understood my libido in terms of men and not in terms of my own desires.

Personally, I've had too many bad experiences with men to list. But here's a small sampling: my best friend and I almost got molested when were 14 at bible camp by some pastor's sons with wine coolers. At the tender age of 14 I had to be tough enough to get us both home safely, b/c my best friend was too drunk to respond. I had to calmly tell her to put her clothes back on and yell at those assholes for them to take us home. We were only lucky we didn't get raped and my best friend was damned lucky I was sober enough to get us out of there.

When I was 15 I got sexually harassed at school and failed a math class because of it. When I was 16, a 23 year old started a sexual relationship with me. When I was 18 I worked at a very large gym and regularly was sexually harassed by both members and staff- my uniform at the gym was baggy sweats and I still got comments about my tits and ass all the time. A coworker thought I was flirting with him when I was actually politely humoring him and he stuck his tongue down my throat without warning- I refer to that incident as the "tongue raping". I regularly got harassed on the street when I lived in a big city, regardless of what I was wearing. I've been groped in a bar too many times too count- and not just an ass grab, but I've had my breasts grabbed by strangers in bars and once in broad daylight at a store. Many of my female friends have similar or worse stories. Just because I haven't technically been raped doesn't mean that I haven't been traumatized.

Even though I did have some mild interest in power play in my 20's, none of the kinky guys I dated ever brought it up with me in a safe way, and I was nowhere near ready to ask for what i wanted. One guy mock-choked me without telling me first that he was interested in bdsm. I only figured it out later b/c of the books he suggested I read (all books about bdsm)...obviously I never went out with him again, because he scared me. Another date took me to a bdsm club as a surprise. As someone who's had a lot of bad experiences, a "surprise" like that only pushed me right back into my shell. Then, when I was ready to try again at age 29, I got a "surprise" varsity level ass-beating without warning instead of an erotic spanking. A lot of "dom" guys are just assholes who have no interest in their sub's erotic desires.

At 35 I've done some exploring online, b/c it feels safer to me. But after seeing what men are capable of doing, I'm genuinely scared to open up again. I'm tired of being treated like shit. I think that's why I want to be degraded in a safe space, b/c then I can at least control the scene. But it has to actually be a power exchange where I have some input into what happens in order for it to be cathartic. I'm not going to be able to feel safe until I find a kinky guy who is willing to listen to what I want and not just demand that I do what he wants. Many men hear "submissive" and assume it means that I'm up for anything, which simply isn't true. I haven't met anyone who actually cares about my limits though, so it's really difficult to feel safe enough to give up control.
50 shades of no thank you.

But yes please to the work wank. Sometimes you just need to get off. I can't believe that more people don't rub one out in the lav at the office.
I haven't read 50 Shades of Gray either. But didn't Willard Romney say he enjoys canning people?
*sigh* I haven't read Fifty Shades either, but the sad thing is that there's actually GOOD Twilight fanfiction that was heavily based on S&M. Good as in the author actually did something like research into the S&M community and created a story with believable characters who had jobs, families and lives in addition to all that kinky sex. It was called "The Submissive."

(50 Shades was originally Twilight fanfiction.)
Canning: gives a whole new meaning to "Ball Jars, wide mouth, 1 doz."

You, too, can come in quarts.
Heh. Maybe they ARE fapping to being canned by a rich guy. The sequel: 50 Shades of The Apprentice :D
Better to use your usual mens room, take your time, keep business papers on the floor so it looks like you are working while taking a power dump
I'm not sure which grosses me out more: the term "power dump" or the implication that you scoop those papers up from the floor of the stall afterward and take them back to your desk.
Probably the worst column you've ever written. Who the hell is this trying to help? Are you drunk again?
If Mr J tried that last line on Mrs J, that would float about as well as the lead coffin in which he might end up.

While I accept the framework because clearly Mr Savage has the experience to back it up, the conclusions seem to leak all over the place. Can't young women just know they're vanilla? (It's a little reminiscent of young bisexuals. Some change and that's fine, if not always convenient, but the ones who don't really can't be expected to order their lives on the expectation that they will at some point.) And it seems as if vanilla men aren't entitled to any dealbreakers, however much their women might swear down hill and up Dale that they won't in 15-20 years start inflicting dealbreaking demands left and right.

If I had any stake in the matter at all, it might depress me that the overall effect is to wonder whether 8, 10, 12 or 14 years is the ideal time for heterosexual couples to divorce in order for the benefit enjoyment in the relationship to be approximately level. But, as it is, I might sleep better, which, given that I usually lose sleep on Tuesday nights, will be most welcome. I thank Mr Savage in advance.

fuck, I wish I had WHIP's advice 3 years ago...

Believe me when I say that happiness in a marriage is something not many people are able to totally achieve. In fact, right now, I am really to slit my husbands throat for gulping down a big glass of water, coming up for breath, and then downing another glass of water. It's like there's no self control! Don't even get me started on the sex life... Take Dan's advice.
Pressure cooker or water bath method?
Given what WHIP's acronym implies, who does she want on the business end of that implement?

Hubby is entirely within his rights to say "Use that thing on me and you will regret it." By way of example, I was someone who got beat up a few times on the way to school. Having eventually attained sufficient age, strength, and size, I now get to say that nobody gets to hit me, ever again, regardless of reason, period, end of story. For the same reason -- emotional safety boundaries -- he wouldn't be out of line to refuse to use it on her, saying, "That may sound exciting to you, but the idea of dealing out pain makes me feel fucking awful."

Second example: Trust. Many, many years ago, my girlfriend at the time put me in fur handcuffs. She then proceeded to leave the room, greet some friends (?!?), and there was a distinct hint that I might be subjected to an embarrassing reveal. This was an unpleasant surprise to me (that was not discussed as a possibility, nor was the concept of a safeword; stupid, naive 21 yr old). I wriggled out of the cuffs (they were fur, after all), and while she was lucky that I didn't leave them cut up in strips on an empty bed, she summarily lost that privilege with me. If there's a point to that story, it is: does he have some reason to mistrust the situation? (Or mistrust you specifically? Speaking of which, " husband is a dud." Srsly? Congrats on making sure that you don't dare show him this letter. )

On the other hand, if he isn't willing to even try out some unusual positions for intercourse? Not even oral? C'mon, ya lazy bastard. At least make an effort at attaining some skill at stimulating your wife's ladybits. Some of the more acrobatic positions can be entertaining, even if you aren't actually wearing an acrobat suit in order to carry them out.
Thanks man? Good glory..... try a little harder- the man laid out his career for an issue that you champion! Thanks man?
It's more difficult for a lot of women to rub one out at the office discreetly. Most of the women I know can only get off quickly (ten minutes or less) with a vibrator. Doing it by hand takes a while. And a vibrator is NOISY.

At least that's why I've never tried.
Is it really fair to assume that WHIP was biased against kinky people in her dating?

Wow! I can relate somewhat to WHIP--although I have yet to read Fifty Shades of Grey, or get canned. I'm definitely NOT into Shitt Romney.

20 years ago I married a boorish, sexual dud too, being sexually inexperienced. Eleven years later, I'm divorced but at least I know better now.

Good luck WHIP! It is indeed payback time! Happy canning You should be able to enjoy what turns you on!!
What odd advice Dan gave to WHIP. Setting aside the fact that time machines haven't been invented yet, the point isn't that she ought to have married a kinky guy, it's that she ought to have married a GGG guy.

A kinky guy can still be selfish and inflexible - in fact we've seen the partners of these guys write in about this a fair bit ("Dear Dan, I enjoy indulging my husband's diaper fetish but it's become all he ever wants to do and my needs never get met!" kind of thing). Not saying that all kinky guys (or girls) are selfish, just that being a bit of a freak in one particular way doesn't guarantee that a person is open to anything.

And anyway, who wants to have to use emotional blackmail to shove a guy into doing what you want (as per Dan's example) when a GGG guy would gladly try the thing solely because you're interested in it?

Plus, y'know, we have no proof that this chick ever dumped any "nice kinky guys" just for being kinky.

I'm kinky myself - and obviously in favour of not being dumped over it - but Dan's rant comes off to me like he's venting about some old psychological scar of his own and completely missing the point.
Has anyone done a good snark/takedown of that 50 Shades of Grey book yet? I'm morbidly curious about how Coldplay lyrics and schlocky BDSM and Twilight fanfiction come together but like hell am I going to actually read it.
@2 -- The police spokesman says that the guy doing the wanking is fine and the guy who spotted him would get in trouble. Dan's saying that the reality is that that cops would bust the wanker and ignore the peeper.
I never understood the vanilla-lady-who-discovers-kink-in-her-30's cliche. I did all my (run of the mill) kink experimentation before I turned 18, and my highschool friends were mostly super kinky (the friends I have now? not so much).

I wonder if that's something that's not actually that common and is kind of overblown.

P.S. I heard that book was AWFUL.
24-Cowgirl-- You put into words what I was trying to get to. Dan's answer to WHIP didn't sit right with me, and I was having trouble figuring out why. Are guys with minor kinks rejected so often that there are zillions of them running around, or is it more likely that there aren't that many of them comparatively, rejected or not? Certainly in my experience (admittedly not huge), I ran into more boring duds than kinksters. Or maybe the kinky guys didn't admit their kinks to me. (While I'm still friends with many in a facebook sort of way, I'm in no position to ask.) Dan's answer to WHIP is good in the last paragraph, but leading up to it, he places a lot of blame on someone who I can't see deserves it.

Here's the more interesting question as far as I'm concerned: This bit about sexual peaks. How are we defining that? I can see that a teenage boy might be able to come more often than a middle aged man, but other than that, I can't figure it out. I'd guess that men become better lovers as they older just as women do. Or do they?

"I'd guess that men become better lovers as they [get] older just as women do. Or do they?"

Um, what?
There's someone at my workplace who, when using the ladies' room, drapes streamers of toilet paper over the cracks around the stall door. (I know this because she doesn't take down said streamers when she leaves, so the rest of us get to puzzle over them later.) I always wondered why anyone would be so paranoid about getting peeped on in the women's facilities. The only thing I could think of was a transsexual woman who fears discovery and possibly violence. Maybe now I have another possible answer!

Dan, what are you trying to say about "no-hands-on-the-back-of-the-head oral"? It IS possible to be an adventurous, giving lover, while still wanting to have control over how much one's gag reflex is pushed. Puking all over some guy's dick is not my idea of sexual adventure.

It's possible to use your hands on someone's head gently - sort of a 'here's the speed/rhythm I like' guidance. It doesn't have to be forceful, although some people don't mind that either.
I don't think it was the wanking that got SPANK noticed, it was taking two elevators to a relatively deserted floor to use the restroom. Yes, that looks suspicious.
Now, maybe in Mr. Savage's enthusiasm for publishing his slightly inapposite answer, he cut the letter down too much, but I would be interested in knowing what the letterwriter actually said to her husband and what deals she offered. (Marriage is a negotiated, dynamic state, folks, not a static one.) Her letter skips right past the narrative regarding her efforts, and simply declares she has tried everything.

Oh? Really? Everything?

Given the lack of details about her efforts to communcicate and "sell" her new interests, I grimly suspect this letter is her first step towards the following: "...and that is why my affair with that other guy was perfectly justified. So naturally I get custody of the kids AND alimony."
Don't you reckon the security guard was cruising what is surely known around the building as the wankroom?
I read 50 Shades of Grey in order to review/dissect it for a BDSM-oriented zine. It didn't take long for me to deeply, deeply regret taking on the assignment. Much like Twilight (which I foolishly started to read out of morbid curiosity, but gave up because it was execrable), it might have been an okay if slightly lame book if it were about 50% shorter. But oh my god the whining and longing and overthinking. It's a tiny little romance novel in an enormous tedious package.

The one and only thing I can say about it is, silly as most of the story is, I do think the author did some research, or at least talked to (and more importantly, listened to) some real kinksters. The "Dom" character is a real person (a fabulously rich emotionally tortured real person with chiseled abs, but still). He doesn't spend the entire book being aloof and sadistic, he's actually occasionally goofy and silly. Like a real human being who happens to be kinky.

There's a lot of talk about negotiation and hard limits, and the tiny tiny oh my god I read 300 pages of moping for this one slightly hot scene? play they do is realistic--not overly elaborate, and she gets to yellow out if she wants to. I'm not saying that made the book good or believable, but a soccer mom who reads it will get a much better grounding in BDSM than those of us whose first literary forays into wiiwd were The Marketplace or the Sleeping Beauty books (which are far more wankable--even in an office bathroom--but not something you could build a real relationship on).

The hilarious part is his list of hard limits. In additional to the standard hard limits like scat, children, and animals he includes knifeplay, fire, and electrical. And if I recall correctly, watersports as well. And needles, but I do know a lot of folks who are squicked out by needles, so I;ll give him that. But really? Knives? I think at least cutting someone's clothes off is sort of SM 101a. And fire and electrical are pretty bog standard as well. Maybe not everyone's thing (I've dated one very, very kinky person who couldn't even top with a violet wand in case she got accidental shocks), but putting them on your "I will not even consider this, not even if you bake me cookies and ask very nicely" list seems . . . unlikely. Just sayin'.
This is not the first time Dan has offered the time travel "solution," and it's both useless and unfunny.

For one thing, setting aside the fact that while anyone writing to Dan Savage may reasonably expect a fair amount of snark and to get called on her b.s., people are writing with what to them are real problems, problems that they'd like help addressing. So to blow of the problems of a middle-aged woman with an absolutely unwarranted assumption about what kind of decisions went in to her dating process 20 years ago (unless part of the letter that made that clear got edited out), suggesting that her current unhappiness is karmic payback, and furthermore to not even give suggestions about how to address that payback except to berate her younger self for her presumed prejudices . . . well, what is that all about? Maybe he thinks he's being entertaining. Maybe he's trying to use her as a cautionary tale for the 20-somethings that might be reading.

But nothing in the letter gave him a reason to expect that this woman turned down a number of kinky suitors in her younger, single days. And even if such a phenomenon was true or was as common as Dan suggests (and btw, I have come across far more kinky middle-aged men in my own kinky middle age, than I did when I was young and, though vanilla in practice, would have been open to kink had it ever been introduced. Men may know what they are turned on by when they're teens, I guess--though I like to think that there's always room for growth and greater self-knowledge in all of us--but they may be too inhibited or shy or embarrassed or ______ to act on those interests when they're just entering the dating world), flippantly telling an advice-seeker to get into a time machine and marry a kinkster whom she may never have met, is not exactly workable advice.

Plus, and assuming everything Dan said is true (barring the existence of time travel technology), there are other reasons for either choosing or discarding a partner besides kink qualities possessed or not.
@24 and 29

I could be incorrect, but that whole bit about the time machine, I felt, was more advice to other younger women to not get themselves in that position. And let's face it, any sex positive or sexually open men (or women, for that matter!) are looked at like kinksters by a lot of people. I felt the spirit of that response was that WHIP's situation is due much more to societal pressure and repression, and his message was to other women not to let that sink them into something that leaves them no option to get creative later, even if they don't want to now! The last paragraph wa the only bit that was truly just for WHIP alone.

Also, I see other people thought that was harsh, and that the man is in his rights to refuse. Well, of course he is! He is no more obligated to comply if he's avidly against it than she would be. HOWEVER, that does mean that neither of them is getting what they want, which means some unhappiness. They should definitely make an attempt to work things out, via conversation, negotiated infidelity, or counseling, but should all that fail, then she should DTMFA. (As an expression, not saying anything negative against him, as we don't know him/their real situation.)

So...ease up, guys!
@24 perversecowgirl: exactly! Sometimes Dan gets carried away making a point that doesn't necessarily have much to do with the actual letter writer.
@37 AnathemaT

Thanks a lot for your opinion on "50 shades" - so far I've only enjoyed reading the snarky, scathing reviews, which I'm sure are well deserved, but you raise an important point about a possible benefit of the book. Not that I'm going to read it now, but still...
@29: As I understand it, 'sexual peak' refers to the period of most frequent/intense desire for sexual activity, the period of greatest ease of orgasm, or both.
Oops: should read "to blow OFF the problems of a middle-aged woman," there in that second paragraph. Sorry.
I'm very much with avast at 19: There is nothing wrong with deciding that causing and receiving pain are deeply disturbing to you and not something you're okay with, and no one's GGG card should be revoked because the idea makes you teary rather than hot.

And with cowgirl at 24: GGG is a lot more important than kinky, and Dan's advice seems to go off the ranch there. We have indeed heard from many a frustrated person whose once GGG kinkster has decided he wants nothing but adult baby play all the time.
I really dislike the way Dan brow beats people for making poor decisions early on in life. It's not at all helpful - shaming people is good for massaging your ego, but not for helping them. And if what he wants to do is really send a message to younger generations, then he needs to do that, rather than using this poor woman as a vehicle for his little morality play.

I really hope WHIP's response was something like: "Please go into a time machine, go back 20 years, and tell yourself not to be an arrogant prick to every adult who is in a bad situation due to poor choices earlier in their life. Also, you assume WAYYY too much about my previous dating history, since we've never met, so please tell your past self to not grow up to be a presumptuous asshole either."
@43 I think the point is that the individual receiving the 'pain' is way more turned on than hurt. Maybe they can opt out of certain toys (I know someone that rushed a frat and had a really awful experience with paddling, I doubt he will ever want a paddle brought into the bedroom) but hopefully the receiver can express well enough that while it hurts, it feels great. Aside from some select traumatic incidences, I really don't think you can call yourself GGG if you aren't willing to do a little spanking. To me, that kind of S&M-lite is the foundation of GGG.
Forgot to add, the important thing is the people working together to help the giver to separate a little slap and tickle in the bedroom from getting the pulp beat out of you, and that is the responsibility of both parties.
Well, I wish my husband were more adventurous in the bedroom, but the kinks Dan described sound so fucking stupid and unsexy that I'd still not be into any guy that came to me with those fetishes.

There is some middle ground between boring vanilla and weirdo kinky, and I'll bet that's more of what the wife is looking for. A guy who likes, say, having discreet spontaneous sex in a public bathroom or having rough sex once in a while.

This is the sort of advice where Dan shows he's kind of clueless about women's sexuality.

It's all relative, I guess. To me a woman who "likes, say, having discreet spontaneous sex in a public bathroom or having rough sex once in a while" is not kinky. She's vanilla.

I refer to myself as vanilla because I'm not what you call "weirdo kinky", or as other people call it, "kinky".
@47 Other people's kinks always sound stupid and unsexy. But insisting on a perfect match leads to its own problems. If you show disgust, guys will hide their icky kinks until they can't any more. So you may have a perfect match... and wake up after a decade to realize you are no longer a perfect match. GGG is designed to provide another approach to relationships.
#48, Well she said her husband won't try anything but missionary or doggy, so I'm guessing public sex or rough sex would be exciting to her. That'd be plenty exciting for me.

I think all the kinks Dan mentioned would appeal more to people who are already into BDSM scenes or kink scenes, not your average woman wanting to change things up a little.
#48, Well she said her husband won't try anything but missionary or doggy, so I'm guessing public sex or rough sex would be exciting to her. That'd be plenty exciting for me.

I think all the kinks Dan mentioned would appeal more to people who are already into BDSM scenes or kink scenes, probably not your average woman wanting to change things up a little.
@16 Mr. V

As the first anniversary of our celibacy approaches I am confident that the death of sex has been the salvation of our marriage. All that sturm und drang, complete with "things have to change" ultimatums, accomplished nothing but hurt feelings. Life without sex may seem (to borrow your image) like a voyage in a lead coffin, but it's life with My Love, which turns out to be all that matters to me.

Many people live in sexless marriages. It's not the end of the world.…
Your response to WHIP is just terrible! How do you know she turned down kinky guys in her twenties? Also, as someone who has been involved in the BDSM community, I know plenty of young women who are aware of their kinks (hell, I knew I was into BDSM before I knew I was in to women).

WHIP's response was really judgmental, and only marginally helpful. Maybe this is her high school sweetheart. Maybe she's really annoying, and this was the only guy that would have her. Maybe she *was* with kinky guys before, but they were douchebags. You don't know what her history was, and rather than give her good advice, you ranted about how she turned people down. WTF?
Sorry to harp on WHIP, but I continue to be bothered by a distinct lack of the obligatory "I love my husband, and we are so perfect in so many other ways, BUT..." Of course all the standard disclaimers about short letters apply, but this still strikes me as conspicuously absent. Instead she goes straight to "my husband is a dud." If he's just a dud, why are you still with him at all? If he's more than a dud, where is the appreciation for what he does bring to the relationship? It almost sounds like WHIP wants to parlay a basic atmosphere of marital contempt into a full-blown domme-sub situation. I can easily imagine Hubby thinking to himself, "What do you suddenly need with a leather corset and a riding crop NOW? It's not like you haven't been letting your inner bitch out for years now."

All of which is a snarky way of saying that I agree with Dan that the two of you are going to have to have some serious discussions to resolve this. I suspect, however, that you are going to have to back way the hell up and start with the basic relationship dynamic. Going straight to negotiating a new set of sexual games will be putting the cart before the horse.
Every so often, Dan really misfires. Today's answer to WHIP was obviously one of those times. 90% rant and 10% "tell him he's not satisfying you anymore". That's not even remotely sufficient to get out of a rut, and by the way, a decent percentage of men will tend to feel hurt and defensive around the notion that they're not pleasing their wife/girlfriend sexually. Taking that approach could really backfire.

I don't know you, but I presume you were reasonably satisfied with your vanilla sex before you read 50 Shades? So keep it positive and let him know that while you were reading it, you were surprised that you got super turned on by some of the things that MaleCharacter and FemaleCharacter (sorry, I didn't read the book) did. Tell him you want to read some of those parts to him out loud, seductively, and naked. Most men would be game for that.

Then read whatever it was that turned you on. Tell him what really excites you to try. Ask him seductively if he'd do these activities with you (sorry, I have no idea what even happened in 50 Shades. If memory serves, some simple bondage and impact play? Some mild humiliation, perhaps?). Tell him how much you want to try and that you'd make it worth his while. Then make it worth his while.

That's my take on it, anyway. There's plenty of discussion out there on how to request your vanilla partner to participate in some kink. Most of it is geared toward men trying to engage with their vanilla wives, but I see no reason why you couldn't use the techniques in reverse. Do some googling and see what approaches might make sense in your own relationship.
It's a good thing that the bathroom stalls in the place where I work are completely shut off when the door is closed.
love your column this week Dan! very enjoyable and entertaining 5 minutes of my life. And I also don't like 50 shades of gray. and I am a 32 year old female. I find it very limiting in terms of how it depicts a BDSM relationship. I can already see women trying to recreate all the scenes to the tiniest detail and being frustrated for not getting it right.

love your column this week Dan! very enjoyable and entertaining 5 minutes of my life. And I also don't like 50 shades of gray. and I am a 32 year old female. I find it very limiting in terms of how it depicts a BDSM relationship. I can already see women trying to recreate all the scenes to the tiniest detail and being frustrated for not getting it right.


Get in a time machine and go warn your younger self not to make the same mistake that so many women make in their 20s. That is, dumping guys with relatively harmless, easily indulged kinks—the foot fetishists, the guys who wear panties, the guys who want their girlfriends to wear superhero costumes while they peg their ass—because kinky guys are "weird," "not normal," or "probably gay."


So, um yeah, unlike the rest of the commentariat, I heartily applaud Dan's response. Really, in the practical sense, there's nothing more she can do than the 'talk to your SO' bit.

As a very nice, good, stable, decent, intelligent, friendly and all around moral (atheist) good guy with some kinks who's been dumped many times over them, I just want to say thank you so much.

Oh, and here's my take on why this changes, and why the 'peak' is correlated: testosterone makes you a horny kinky freak. Estrogen does not. When men are in their late teens, the T is at it's all time high, and it begins to taper off from there on out...hence the 'limp' middle-aged men out there. Women, on the other hand, start to have their estrogen taper off in their thirties, and it stops masking the testosterone. Plus, they're done obsessing over the 'perfect' model to breed with, and are now interested in living a bit with a real person, not a Ken-doll-partner-by-forty.

@38 gets it right; this is not advice for WHIP, but for other readers:

"I could be incorrect, but that whole bit about the time machine, I felt, was more advice to other younger women to not get themselves in that position. And let's face it, any sex positive or sexually open men (or women, for that matter!) are looked at like kinksters by a lot of people."

Amen. And...@48 & @49 for the tag-team win on driving the nails in the "weird kinky" coffin. Sex in the stall is not really kinky and expecting people to never change at all is naive at best; most likely just juvenile.

I think this week's column was excellent.
We all know that there's nothing wrong with masturbating, nothing wrong with masturbating in a bathroom stall during a scheduled work break, and that there's nothing illegal about masturbating in that bathroom stall during the work break.

We can guess that the security officer in the elevator and the overheard "see that guy" comment are irrelevant coincidences that have nothing to do with the peeping tom you encountered.

But ... office gossip can be a terrible thing. When people get the idea that you're weird for whatever reason (even if you're not, really), when people decide that you're doing something wrong (even when a Seattle police spokesperson says there's nothing wrong with it), trouble can follow. For that reason, I recommend being especially discreet in the coming months, and if anyone questions you about the incident, or even jokes about it, become affronted while you say that you prefer stinking up the bathroom on the more isolated floor. If pressed, you can say that you did notice someone peering into the stall, then wince, shake your head, and roll your eyes.
i am now using fuckadoodledoo whenever possible!
Whoever allowed Dan Savage to give an opinion on women's sexuality must be punished. Misoginy and ignorance at his best is what his advice is based on.
So Dan's advice to WHIP is that she should have to put up with a guy whose kinks do not align with her own so that he is then obligated to put up with hers? That sounds so sexy!
Some columns are ok, but someone should really ban you from speaking about straight women's sexuality. Misogyny and ignorance at their best.
Dan, Dan, are the Christian Dan-bashers getting you down or something? Please don't take it out on people like WHIP. That was a nasty response you gave her, and unless you cut something out of her letter, she didn't deserve it.

WHIP, if you want your husband to spice things up, you need to start small, and you need to inspire him. Figure out what's a teeny baby step in the direction you want to go. Rent some porn featuring that activity and watch it with your husband.
To SPANK: Sometimes a little offense is the best defense. Contact HR and tell them that, over the past few months, someone that you haven't been able to identify has been standing outside your stall door, tapping his foot a la Senator Craig. And although you've taken to using another facility in the hopes of giving him the slip, he's found you again. Better yet, forget HR and ask around the office if others have been similarly approached.

To Dan: I wish the world were as insightful as your SPD spokesperson. It would put a stop to all those fundies straining to catch a peek (or an earful) at what goes on in various adults' bedrooms (or wherever) in the hopes of being morally offended.

Now, I don't know what SPANK rubbing one out sounds like. If its screams of "Ohhh {name of deity}!" you might want to rethink your choice of sanctuary. But in my years working at a little local aviation firm (which shall remain nameless), I've heard some of the rudest and most suspicious sounds coming from adjacent stalls. I just write it off to the increased effort needed to get the peanut butter out of a shag rug, so to speak. Or the few extra shakes one must employ to detach that last drip. And the moaning could just be a bad case of constipation.
I thought this week's column was good. Dan reads a lot of mail from both straight men and women. He travels the country meeting people all the time. He has a responsibility for writing columns that are helpful for the 2 people involved, but primarily helpful for the hundreds of thousands of people who read his column every week. His response to WHIP might prevent thousands of marriages from disintegrating into resentment over decades.
@45: I put pain in there with rape scenarios: You don't need to have been violently raped to get a GGG pass to turn down that fantasy in real life. You can just find it makes you sad and fearful rather than aroused. You ask your partner for what you want, they consider it, sometimes it's yes and sometimes no, and vice versa. Not just applying to sex, but to how things are negotiated in other areas, too. The partner who is GGG about where to move doesn't have to move wherever you want at whim, they just have to honestly consider your preferences and try to accommodate them.

I think GGG has much more to do with being honest and willing to consider things, than it does with any particular act. (Much less agreeing to try anything except feces three times.) To use an S&M example, someone mentioned a sub who was into a lot of stuff but no flicking water on the face. Do you say "Well that's a silly place to draw the line, that's not scary! Do it or no GGG card for you!" or "Okay, no water on the face"?
LYME ALERT- Dan thanks for your show, I am more often than not bed ridden, with Lyme Disease and co-infections. Your show is always um, interesting, educating, funny…great… …okay so I am a Scorpio. And old like you 52 hahaha, okay you aren’t that old.
This is in response to episode 291. The lady was talking about how “primal” she became and how excellent the sex was after she found out her hubby was cheating. (after they reconciled) Like, she was reclaiming him or something. She was interested in getting back that exciting, crazy, primal, sex. You told her to get inventive, and have sex other places than in their bed or shower.
I would like to add a word of CAUTION, to some of your ideas. North America is in the throws of a Lyme Pandemic. The ticks injecting (into humans and other mammals) this bacteria and other co-infections like Babesia (recently coined north American malaria), and Bartonlla a parasite, are exploding in numbers.
We used to be able to joyfully have woodland sex (hahaha, like my Mom didn’t know we were having sex, I was a walking advertisement with pine needles ground into my back, dirt,leaves…ahahhah) was one of the pleasures I was able to enjoy with my husband of 30 years, (back in the day) no more is this the case. The ticks are everywhere, not just in the forest, or tall grass! The buggers are hitching rides on songbirds and dropping into your freaken backyard. They are being found in green spaces in cities.
A serious word of CAUTION for outdoor SEX….or even walks.
Get informed Sex lovers in the woods (or tall grass, or your backyard throw-downs),‘cause Lyme and Co-infections will take all the Sex out of your life.
Valuable information: If you have Lyme as a woman, and you get pregnant your children will have Lyme, if I give blood, Lyme Bacteria survives in blood products, (I am allowed to give blood in Canada even after disclosing I have Lyme) they are still fighting about sexual transmission of Lyme.
Check out for the international group leading the way for helping folks with Lyme…on all levels.

Lyme and co-infections will take your life away (if not treated in the first month of being infected). By life I mean your job, your mind, your friends, your love of life, yourself. The leading cause of death with people infected with Lyme is suicide! Here is the rub because of politics and HMO’s and the board that sets the protocol for treatment of Lyme in the United States (many of 12 people sitting on board that sets protocol) are pay rolled by these institutions. They will not change the protocols to actually cure or help people to get better in the chronic stages.
They are hoarding information, from each other, from vaccines to treatments that actually make you better. There are only 8 states where peeps can be treated without their Doctors being sued or have their licenses taken away.
In Canada where I live not ONE doctor is allowed to treat chronic LYME. Nobody will treat us! So I have to travel to the States for treatment. Without the cash to be treated, people just decline end up in wheelchairs and die.

Key Points:
1) Find out where ticks hang out- Dan's
Podcast is world wide, get on the net
2) CDC reports, 4x more common than HIV/Aids
3) Leading Cause of Vector born illness
4) 50% people don’t remember tick bite
5) Find out the symptoms
6) Get treated quickly
7) Frequently misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia,
MS, Bi Polar Disease, Lupus, Chronic
fatigue, as it mimics these.
8) Use (I am not
affiliated with theses folks) to
remove Ticks, not any of the tweezer
Check out my website for more info, and links, on youtube, and in the media.

Don't let Lyme and co-infections mess with your life!

Wendy in Canada
Hahahahahah I got post 69, yayyyyy!!!! Am I lucky, or what?????
What the hell is this rant on women not dating kinky dudes? Dan gives lipservice to patriarchal brainwashing and then blames women for not having the foresight of future kink and marrying someone she was compatable with at the time. Damned if you play it safe, damned if you don't.

Give me a break and give this woman some real advice.

Dan, your response to WHIP was totally unfair. She came to you for advice and your response is to say "you fucked up and your only option is a time machine." That would make sense if she was a cheating POS who had been caught having an affair and wanted to know how to get her husband back, but she is asking a simple and reasonable questions of "what do I do about my husband indulging my newly discovered kinks?" Furthermore, you insinuate that this is payback for her having dumped guys with honest kinks in the past. She never mentions that in her letter, so why are you flogging her over that? One of your (fortunately rare) misfires in the advice.

As for the advice to whip, Dan was right that she is entitled to be more assertive in asking for satisfying sex. However, since the difference in sexual interests has only popped up after 19 years, she may have to accept that he may not ever be able to get into the kinks she has recently developed.

Yes, WHIP's husband should be GGG, and I would highly recommend that the two of them look over Dan's columns and pod-casts for the stories about the success people have had indulging their partners kinks. But if that does not inspire him to explore, then I would argue that after nearly two decades of mutually satisfying vanilla sex (unless complaints of that were dropped from the letter), WHIP needs to accept her husband's disinterest in kinks.

maybe the vanilla dude isnt vanilla but the dud wife has killed any attempts at anything fun or weird. MOST chicks will kill anything remotely interesting FAST out of cultural norms. Youd be surprised how many wont even go along with oral.

After a while one has to choose between a sexually boring chick with various flaws or a sexually interesting chick with various flaws. and you have to choose on balance.
@68 Great point. GGG means respecting boundaries. If my partner says no, I respect that completely, don't diminish his feelings, and never make him justify them. If there is no mutual respect, there is no trust, and there is no GGG.

When my boyfriend (who later became my husband of several decades, I know, I know) revealed more or less from the start of our relationship that sex wasn't ever going to be particularly important to him, I thought that perhaps I needed to "spice things up" to engage his interest. I gently suggested things like, for example, a new position. I tried kissing him when he didn't expect it. Serious vanilla-only stuff ("French vanilla"?). Did it work? Oh, no, not at all. It offended him. He thought I was sick and "needed help."

Now that that particular relationship is over and done with, it seems obvious to me that some people, men and women, are only now waking up to the fact that there is more than just the very most basic set of sexual activities available to them. I think it might be helpful to have much more material out there, of different kinds, for people to peruse. Even if it's of the "50 Shades of Grey" type. And hey, if thousands of middle-aged women discover that there is life beyond French vanilla, doesn't it seem like the world might be a better place?

76… will tell you just about everything you need to know about 50 Shades.
And for anyone who has been curious about Twilight, all you need to know about it is that at one point the sparkly vampire character basically tells the girl he's supposed to love

"I used the full force of my vampire powers that I've developed while living for over 100 years more than you to make you forget me. HOW COULD YOU FORGET ME?!?"

There's a third way: just because you have a kink doesn't mean you have to make it happen. I was a sexual early bloomer, and most of my (mildly) kinky experiments (peepee and poopoo--my high-school boyfriend's kink, oh joy--threeways, bondage, anal, a little spanking) happened before I was twenty. I probably have more of an affinity for women than my one kiss one time with my roommate would indicate, but I always had a boyfriend and never got to explore it. And you know what? That's OK.

Now, in my 30's, I've been single for a few years and as I masturbate I'm starting to discover some kinks in my attic. And I'm fine with just thinking about it. Making my fantasies come true would be prohibitively expensive even if I could find like-minded kinksters to help me out. With all due respect, I'm getting tired of people making a civil-rights issue out of their kinks. Same-sex marriage and trans rights aside, our fondest sexytime wishes are a lot more like other kinds of consumption than we care to admit. I might never, for the sake of argument, peg a red-headed seminarian while his superior sleeps in the same room or tie my high-school algebra teacher to a chair and rub Vicks on his junk, just like I might never fly around the planet or live in a restored factory with twelve of my best friends, but will that be the end of my world? Hardly. We're taking our kinks way too seriously, when they are really just predilections like a preference for mangoes over bananas. Time for a little perspective.
Wrong. A young woman with shaky self-esteem is told by the most perfect man she ever met, a man who is literally a magical creature that Fate itself has ordained her to see as the most beautiful man in existence (i.e. unimaginably out of her league), that he doesn't love her. She believes him and then he asks her why that is since his self-image is such that he thinks she is out of his league.

Oh, yes, and totally not the point of the story. I'm not surprised you missed it though seeing as how love is not a topic about which deep appreciation is in evidence on this forum.
Fuck in A.

How can there be this many avid advice column readers that don't get that all the responses are written for the fucking audience, not the letter writers.

@59 - AFinch, this is ABW from last week's column. Are you in Seattle?
It pisses me off that after giving a straight and correct answer, you turned around and made light of the fact that the guy was innocent. I say, the guy who was watching, was the security guard...and if he blabs at all, he should be brought into the H*R department and put on probation!
Seriously. Marry a good, kind man who has some kinks. Obviously some things are still off-limits: I told my husband there would be no excrement, animals, dead people, or children. Everything else is negotiable. I'll try anything once. We either have fun or we don't (and when isn't sex like that) and I have a pretty happy husband if I do say so myself.
@17 It sounds like your husband has diabetes.
37, Dan writes the column as much for the readers as for the letter writers. For those 20-year-old readers about to marry a vanilla man and the sex is already boring, please take my advice and don't.
Dan's reply to SPANK the wanker was really confusing. But yeah, having sex with yourself or anyone else in a remotely public place, even a toilet, is making yourself vulnerable. I wonder whether the peeper was someone who's noticed SPANK's pattern of using the lonely men's room and hoped to get in on the action?

And maybe there are hidden security cameras? I mean, no one wants to believe it, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that security could spy on the activities in a bathroom stall.
For all of you who did not read 50 shades: I did. Two books. Don't ask me why... The books are awful. I am "intended audience", but it did not do much for me. It is not even hot - the scenes are "blah" - I am sure Savage readers heard way better stories. The writing is bad and repetitive.
And seriously - if my daughter was involved with controlling creep like the main character, I'd smuggle her out of the country against her will.
Mr J - I shall forego the temptation to speculate about whether you're really Mrs J with access to the account and say that, while I am glad you are able to give such a glowing review of your situation, your post absolutely made no response to mine whatsoever. And there's no need to lecture me, sunshine; I'm sure I was perfectly content with far less sex than any other non-asexual regular poster here, and my Retirement from Romance has been one of the few bright points of my life in its duration.

Now, had you proclaimed yourself offended that I used you as an example of somebody who was dissatisfied with hes spouse's insufficient supply in the romantic department and disinterest in attempting to change, I'd have apologized for doing so without asking permission, though that would not have been practical. You will allow, though, that you have posted on multiple occasions that you were unhappy about being cut off unilaterally with no scope for negotiation.

Mr Savage advised the LW to go to her husband and give him The Ultimatum. I am actually in agreement with you. As I said, your giving Mrs J the same ultimatum would not float, and you report that your attempts to negotiate did more harm than good. The lead coffin was my bit of fancy - not that a sexless life was like living in one, but I imagined that, if you were to try such a highhanded line, Mrs J might hit you with her heaviest garden spade, using sufficient force to land you in your coffin. A bit of exaggeration, as we know so little of Mrs J, but then I would in such an eventuality be able to brief myself for her defence were you to conduct yourself in so outrageously entitled a manner as Mr Savage appeared to be suggesting to the LW.

I shall add that, while I am glad that things have worked out for you, this does not improve my opinion of Mrs J. She got lucky. (Many of us are not so fortunate, particular those who are deprived of the opportunity to manifest continual and constant proof of our affection due to the object ceasing to live.) If she were to remind me of any fictional character on the skimp information provided, I'd compare her to Sir Walter Elliot in drawing a prize in the marital sweepstakes far beyond the merits of conduct and character. That's fine. I can identify with most of your attitude, although my circumstances were different. I suspect we are rather similar in relationships. I commend you for finding your own unique solution and I congratulate Mrs J on her good fortune. Oh, and I shall condone (perhaps even commend) in advance your wanting to condone her conduct and character, but I shan't permit you to commend them (in this instance) without sharp disagreement - barring, of course, sufficient new evidence to justify a reversal of opinion.

As for your other post about love, I think perhaps you should reread Mrs Woolf, who would be good for your marriage and might help you restore what you might have lost. What one reads can be so important at critical stages.

All the best and do take proper care of yourself.
@21 Why hasn't someone invented a quiet vibrator yet? I read a story about whisper-quiet hybrid cars, but all the vibes I own sound like an electric razor or fan motor. Not a big motor, but a distinctive sound nonetheless. I bet Jane Jetson didn't have a noisy vibrator.
@93: agreed. What a buzz-kill. :)
I can empathize with WHIP. I, too, was married to a rather vanilla guy when I was 23. Fortunately, I got out of it, without children, just as I started figuring out my own kinks, right around 30.

She should talk to her husband, though. I am currently dating a sweet and wonderful man who has a natural dominant streak, which I love, but he was suppressing it because he believed it isn't "polite" to be rough and dominant during sex. We have a great relationship and with some communication and encouragement, he is enjoying exploring his dominant side.

You never know until you discuss it.
@93/94, for years I was stuck on my Hitachi magic wand, but I've switched recently to the Eroscillator

It has somewhat less power, and much less noise; I was looking for a way to step down my need for intense vibration, and after reprogramming my clit's expectations, this does the trick.
First story, BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First of all you have to be about 16 years old, for this to make sense. At sixteen it works like this, hard-on, cum. DONE. If you are older than that you know the rules. You know how to control it or get it sucked, even in the bathroom of a highrise. Been there done that!!!!!!!!!! As for the peeper, he seen you and you seen him. Make the arrest, lair.
@96 Have you, or anyone else, tried this one:… ?

Supposedly silent. Not sure if it provides enough power, and the $125 price tag is insane in my book, but anyway, I thought I'd ask. I think that's their cheapest model. Wow.
i agree with #15: terrible column. about as bad as mudede.
No one here has used a Sonicare toothbrush, I guess. Best inadvertent vibrator ever, though do take care to make sure it's not a brush head you ever want to use again for its primary purpose.
@21, i'm a lady and i've rubbed one out in the office bathroom in about 30 seconds. you're generalizing - but jesus, ten minutes with a vibrator? are you maybe desensitizing your clitoris?
Add me to the list of workplace lady-wankers. Hell, I've rubbed one out in my office, with the door and shades closed. How else is a woman supposed to reward herself for sitting through a long boring meeting without touching the donuts? I think another woman saw me once, mid-orgasm, in the bathroom, but I didn't care. I figured, if she didn't want to see it she shouldn't have been peering into my stall, and either way she'll probably get over it.

I will add, though, that my solo flights are strictly manual. I've never used a vibrator and I feel no need to try one. That doesn't sound like the kind of stimulation that would work for me.
Well, I guess everybody sometimes has improductive working days. Dan apparently is no exception. This week's advice was quite a letdown.
@21: Lucky me! I've wanked at work once or twice and can usually get off in <2 minutes if I'm really into it (which I have to be to even think about getting off at work...)

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