Columns Jun 11, 2014 at 4:00 am

Hopes and Dreams


SIM: If it smells funky, it's been somewhere funky. I can't help but think about Cheech and Chong's skit:…
I was totally one of the ones mumbling DTMFA to HELP.
Oh and Dan, wrt SIM, they smell like crème brûlée.
Ha ha! the last letter. Seriously though, kinda happened to me recently, only smelled a bit on the skedank side... Any other possibilities? Any chance a guy crotch would ever smell anything like a girl's?
A guys crotch smells like a girls when they've been in close conact.
LW#1, this is your 54-year-old self telling you that you will have ENDLESS (ENDLESS!!) opportunities to have sex your whole life. You will be rejected and you will be welcomed. You will be doing both the rejecting and the welcoming as well. You will find sex to be creative and intimate and annoying and messy all at the same time.

And while having sex in your teens and 20s will be a blast, you will really hit your stride by your mid-to-late 30s. By the time you're in your 50s and having sex nearly every day with your hot lover who thinks you're both brilliant and beautiful, you will never stop counting your lucky stars. But you probably won't get to this point without a bunch of rejections, starting now. Be smart and develop a brave attitude, because if he does reject you, there will be others. Many others. Hang in there! Be brave!
I just lol'd at the rumble comment. Great column Dan, quite hilarious. Yes, sometimes gas station coffee smells like 'tang. Odd, but true.
Cute hipster beards....well not exactly...can I keep what my wife terms my "wannabe mountain man" beard?
@8: If it looks like a Duck Dynasty beard, shave it off!
@2 Lexy: I second that! I was, too.

HELP--really. Listen to Dan and those among the millions of us loyal Dan fans (myself included) mumbling it under our breaths: DTMFA.

SIM's situation reminds me of a long past Savage Love column letter & comment session focusing on "What do our juices taste like?", printed in Dan's Savage Love compilation from 1998.

@6 Thanks, Sarah in Olympia! I couldn't have said it better to DIGS.
DIGS---congrats on finishing high school, and all the best in entering the adult world.
@9 Ashley Amber: For the WIN!
There seem to be two lesbians in HELP's relationship.
@6 Sarah in Olympia This is your 67-year-old self telling you that it gets even better!
LW1-First congrats on graduating and joining the adult world. Second,if you are warm for this boy's form, ask him, don't be shy. It can be wonderful or awful but you will get a story out of it. Also, if you find that you are not able to hookup right now, college will provide oodles of opportunity to explore sex with a partner. When I was your age I was still a virgin and since it was the early 90's I thought I was a freak. I also crushed on a boy for 6 years in school. I moved away for 2 years to attend a school in another part of my state. I had to change schools to a local school midway through my education because of family issues. Well imagine my surprise when I ran into my school girl crush. We decided to have lunch and though we spoke for years, I had never share a meal with him before. OMG!!! I don't know if I changed, out grew him, or was just blind to our differences but not only was he slightly stupid and fox newsy, but his table manners were horrific. I had a salad while he inhaled a bagel, soup and I think my napkin. I'm not sure because he spoke with his mouth full and I had more of his food on my glasses then he swallowed. As I scrapped his leftovers off my glasses, he grabbed and kissed me, which was just awful and then said he wanted to see me again. By this time it was all I could do not to stabb him with my fork. I politely thanked him for his interest but stated I was already living with someone. Then I went home to my gay best friend and we giggled like idiots at what happened. BTW, at that point I had already explored my sexuality with more that one parner and was quite comfortable with who I was.
OMG DAN! You are so:

LW!- Sensitive

LW2- Insightful

LW1: First, congratulations on your graduation and best of luck with ypur future plans. Maybe I'm the only one, but I'd encourage you to not be in such a rush to get your virginity over with. Waiting for "the one" may not be a priority for you, but I can't help but think that some day you'll wish you'd at least waited for someone a little more special than crush-guy. You're special and worth more than a random first time.

Maybe it will happen your first week of college, maybe it will happen with a guy who takes you out a few times, maybe it will be with the love of your life or your first serious boyfriend. Maybe it will be with crush-guy.

Whomever it is, though, I hope he treats you with respect and kindness. And I'm not sure asking a guy to bang you for graduation is a way to experience that. Like earlier posters said, you have a whole lifetime of great sex ahead of you. I'd recommend making sure he first time is one to remember. Whatever that looks like for you. Just don't feel pressured to meet anyone else's timeline.
Re - HELP: There is one other option. Clearly your girlfriend thinks it is perfectly okay to hit on and make out with other people that she finds attractive, while she is in relationship with you, possibly even in front of you. Feel free to emulate her.

Okay, I am kidding. I only suggest that in order to force the issue, because it's a safe bet that she will burst a blood vessel the first time you make out with some hot woman in front of her. Either she will dump your ass, or you can dump hers, if her being a fucking hypocrite on top of everything else is finally enough to open your eyes that she really isn't as wonderful as all that.
@12: Ouch!
could be smelling his own sweat.
DIGS-- Add something to your thought processes/fantasies. Imagine that you do make that pass at Crush, that he does respond and says he'll fuck you, that you do, and that it's awful. Imagine being there naked and that he knows nothing about how to turn you on and that you're not turned on and that the whole experience is nothing like you imagined it. Imagine that at the moment it's all going sour that you find yourself suddenly faced with not knowing how to get out of the situation because you're the one who came on to him and don't feel like you can say suddenly whoops changed my mind while leaving him hard, disappointed, and quite likely angry.

With that in mind, I'm going to suggest modifying Dan's advice a little. Do take note of the way social media has of making us all, if not depressed, wistful. (I hadn't thought of that and think it's brilliant that Dan did.) Do express your interest to this guy. (I also hadn't thought of the value of taking the risk for the experience of (possibly) learning to handle rejection with grace, another good thing to learn young.) But instead of going straight to wanting to fuck him, how about asking him out, seeing how that goes, and then saying you want to kiss him or make out a little? See how that goes, and take it from there.

You don't say what sexual experience you have, but from the sound of your letter, I'm guessing it's little or none. Even at the advanced old age of 18, it's OK to start slow. (And I applaud you for being clear on the difference between a crush and true love. You're doing fine.)
Can anyone point me to the columns where he has advised women on selling their panties? I am a female and kinda want to do that but not sure how to get started. Are there websites you can sell to customers through?
Awesome response to the first letter. But there is a lot of middle ground between waiting and grabbing the first opportunity to pop your cherry.

DIGS - Why do you want to jump to penis in vagina? If it's the hymen, you can get rid of it yourself. If it's the experience, or for pleasure, why not jack and jill off instead?

I'd suggest the pass be to make out, then deciding at each step if you're enjoying yourself and want to take the next step, rather than an initial offer of whatever kind of sex this guy wants. You might find that the way he kisses you feels too slobbery to get into, or the way he touches you does nothing or hurts, or he acts like a baby if consent is withdrawn.

I'm a little confused about why using your hand until you develop a relationship to explore sexually is a rejected option.

Also I hope you educate yourself about how to make responsible sexual decisions and develop reasonable expectations on Scarleteen's website.
Ms Crinoline - Perhaps half the value of the advice comes in recognizing the difference between sex-directed interest and relationship-directed interest. DIGS' expressions of interest are entirely one-sided, and that's quite all right. There are certainly plenty of adults who have added to the quantity of grief in the world because they didn't distinguish between one sort of interest and the other, or communicate that distinction clearly to a partner.

[Oh, why couldn't the editor(s) have just removed the "-girl" from after "teenage" and before "crushes"? What a missed opportunity.]
"But I'm running your letter in the hopes that otherwise-cute hipster boys will be inspired to shave off their ugly fucking beards to escape justified or unjustified accusations of infidelity."


Please make this one of your causes. Invent a word, do the thing, I beg you.
LW1 - (DIGS): I was a jock and fairly popular in high school, but I had no "moves" at all and was afraid to ask out girls for fear of rejection. Years later at my 20th high school reunion, I had more than a few women say to me, "I was dying for you to ask me out" or "I wanted to go out with you so badly" and it blew me away that these women were actually interested in me! Good looks coupled with low self esteem got me nowhere. You have to have confidence! So, what I'm trying to say is that the guy you are crushing on may be crushing on you too, and he's too afraid to say anything. Maybe, maybe not. But you'll never know if you don't try. You might feel the temporary sting of rejection, but that's way better than a lifetime of regret. Go for it!

Oh yeah - CONDOMS, CONDOMS, CONDOMS. Don't let your first experience be ruined by an unplanned after-effect.

LW3: my girlfriend once accused me of smoking pot prior to having supper at her parent's house. At that point in my life, I was a non-smoker, so the question was absurd to begin with. However, I had recently switched shampoo and apparently the new one made my hair (and beard) smell like pot smoke. Weird. Sadly, I'm not aware of "Gee, Your Beard Smells Pussyriffic" shampoo.
Beards are cute on some people. Long beards never are.
That kind of straight woman is called a "closeted lesbian."

I think it can also be a straightish woman who wants all the straight guys in sight to find her hot. Particularly given how public her fooling around with other women seems to be.

I'm reminded of a letter from a while back where the wife was very overtly sexual in public ("You know me, I am such a slut!" delivered to male acquaintances) and completely uninterested in sex in private with her partner.

That particular letter fell in the category "Okay, she behaved like this through seven years of dating, and after you married, and then throughout 10 years of marriage, and you're mad she never turned into a completely different person?" So learn from that: whatever her issues are, one of them is a complete lack of interest in having sex with you. It doesn't matter who she flirts with, makes out with, or claims to be in public: it matters how she actually treats you. She's shown you who she is: believe her.
Re beard odor, I have heard of it for some type of Asian soup. (Can't remember which, but this is not the first time pussy-scented beard has arisen on the internets.) This comes down to trust: sometimes things look weird and nothing is going on, sometimes vice versa. If he's otherwise convinced you he's a great guy, allowing one weird lunch assumption is better for your peace of mind.

1) It gets sexier.

2) Dan's advice to be sober enough to notice (in detail even!) what your partner is doing to you and how they're responding to what you do to them is dead on.

3) The internet version of people is a highly-edited one, mostly free of fact-checking, which is crafted to produce a particular effect. Usually "My life is super awesome all the time! And so am I!" Even a scrupulously honest and self-deprecating poster is putting forth a small, carefully curated version of their life.
Intolerance is what's ugly, Dan, not beards. Beards are wonderful. I wouldn't date a man without facial hair, and I wouldn't shave mine for anything. You'd be handsomer with a beard, and you'd probably be a nicer person too.
The sweet, healthy kind of pussy? You mean Maru?

I'm going to make a bold, controversial statement to the effect that, while there are moderate variations in smell from pussy to pussy generally, they all smell approximately the same after sitting on your beard for an hour or two. And while a lovely-dirty-secret and something to assist the daydreaming at work, they smell not at all like crème brulee. And my wife can spot the scent at 10 paces.
We have an OLD apple cinnamon candle in out house that smells like pussy to both my wife and I.
There was a column a while back with the same "my-partner's-beard-smells-like-pussy-and-could-it-possibly-be-anything-else." People wrote in with all kinds of things that they thought left a pussy-like tang afterwards. Check the archives.

So SIM is left with how much she trusts her fiancé, and that comes down to a lot of factors about their relationship: what their personal and coupled history is, what she knows about him and his character, and what her own background is in regards to cheating or having been cheated on, and how much she is inclined to trust men in general.

While I would like to see this as a PSA to get anyone with a too-full, bushy, or straggly, scraggly beard to shave it and hide his infidelities (short, small, well-trimmed or maintained beards or short close-clipped goatees can be cute), I might also use it as a quick-and-easy IQ test: Anyone stupid enough to get extra-curricular pussy on his beard and not wash thoroughly before returning to his girlfriend/boyfriend/fiancé/fiancée/wife/husband deserves to be caught--think of it as a sort of Darwin Award for bearded, cunnilingus-loving cheaters.

DIGS: Perfect advice, Dan.
HELP: Over the sub-dermal rumble of Savage Love readers mumbling 'DTMFA' under their breath, you might have heard a roaring, echoing, wall-shaking howl saying the same. That was me.
SIM: Whether the smell is pussy or pussy-adjacent: dude, hygiene.


The ad for Teatro Zinzanni: When Sparks Fly on this site features someone who either is or looks exactly like Robert Blake circa Lost Highway, and it's freaking me the fuck out.
@18: Ouch indeed. The list of my posts I wish I could delete grows ever longer.
SIM: Lots of things might have that smell. For instance, Pad Thai fish sauce is almost a dead ringer (Recipe found here, though not with the Sri Racha:…)
I recently saw a survey of college students that were asked if they had sex the past week and to estimate the percentage of the student population that had sex in the past week. Only about 10-15% of students had had sex, whereas the average estimate given was about 70-80%. Quite a big difference between what is perceived and what actually occurs.
@lolorhone: The ad for Teatro Zinzanni: When Sparks Fly on this site features someone who either is or looks exactly like Robert Blake circa Lost Highway, and it's freaking me the fuck out.

That guy has been in several Teatro Zinzanni shows. His name is Yevgeniy Voronin and he's a creepy-looking Ukrainian illusionist, who always performs absolutely silently with a total dead-eyed, blank stare. He does very good sleight of hand, and he's also good at gliding rather eerily around the stage. He's not one of my favorite characters at a Teatro Zinzanni show, but he's a memorable-looking one. He's meant to freak you the fuck out.
LW3: Oh Ross from friends, maybe you guys should have a 3some! Then while they're together you could go have a sandwich.

LW1 you could, like, just start out by making out with the guy. That's pretty fun.
LW3: I'd accused a former bf of smelling like 'tang before and it turned out he'd switched to some musky smelling soap. Could be totally innocent.
@25 - I had a somewhat similar post-high school realization. I wasn't exactly the most popular, but well-liked and just maybe a little quiet/reserved. And I have heard repeatedly from female classmates in the almost 15 years since that that they (and many others) wanted to date me. And for me it wasn't just that I didn't have game - Apparently there were even several that were practically throwing themselves at me, and I was just too oblivious to notice, and they just assumed that I wasn't interested.

I would add to the great advice from others that not only should you use a CONDOM, this time and EVERY time, but you should learn how to use one correctly. Don't assume the guy will know how to put it on. Condoms, if used correctly, are very very effective. Don't let confusion over how to use it keep you from using one.
@DIGS: I'm going to draw off 16 and 20 here.

Kudos for not thinking you're in love with someone you have almost never (never?) talked to. Before you decide to bang him, do talk to him. See how that goes: right now so much of what you know about him and what it (any it) would be like with him is based on fantasy and not experience of him as an actual person, like yourself. If talking is great see how kissing goes. Don't talk yourself into having to go through with it because you said you would, even if your gut starts telling you to stop.

It's an excellent idea to have your first time with someone you trust to still want to talk to you the next day. Which grows out of knowing more about them than how unspeakably hot they are.

38's statistic sounds dead right. I'll just add that I have heard a depressing number of women say something along the lines of "I started having sex at 16, started enjoying it at 19." For those 3 years they pretended to absolutely love sex, because they knew they were supposed to and they didn't want to seem weird.
I'm a gay man and I love beards!

Men, keep your body hair. It is intrinsically definitively masculine. Please.
@40 (Katia): LW3: Oh Ross from friends, maybe you guys should have a 3some! Then while they're together you could go have a sandwich.

Ab*So*Lute*Ly Perfect.

Thank you.
Closeted lesbian bed death is a thing?
nocutename @39: Thanks for the info. I have no doubt the man is talented, but I think I'll be avoiding the show. Being simultaneously reminded of David Lynch and real-life murder is a bit much.
lolorhone: I completely understand. Although the aerialists are pretty impressive . . .
@36: Self-censor? Perish the thought! You made me laugh and frankly that's all that matters.
I think the advice to HELP was fantastic and yeah, like halfway through, it was obviously a DTMFA. Heck, even my now-lesbian ex-girlfriend consistently gave it the college try and fucked me a lot, just to make sure she really was a lesbian, HELP's GF is just selfish.

@SIM: I don't have a beard anymore (gee, following the first comment, it seems like there's a pun in there...maybe "now that I'm not a beard anymore"?), but I do know that Hot and Sour Soup and Tom Yum are two concoctions that remind me of healthy sweet vajayjay. And when I had a beard, soups, esp. thin brothy soups, tended to get in there. Still, personally, I wash my face a lot, and certainly after oral sex.
HELP I think the real question here is why are you putting up with this? Whether your girlfriend is gay or not you're not happy in this relationship and she's shown no signs of caring about your needs. Why are you so desperate to hold on to someone so uninterested in you?
@26: "Beards are cute on some people. Long beards never are."

Indeed. Beards are cute on SOME people. SOME.

But only if they are trimmed, and the guy has made at least some effort at grooming.

Unfortunately more and more I see guys who simply decided to stop shaving or grooming their facial hair at all.

Even if someone has an otherwise decent beard face, hair growing down your neck or up to the tops of your cheeks doesn't look good on anyone. Werewolves may be the in thing in movies and TV, but in real life the Wolfman look just doesn't work.
@6, I couldn't agree more! DIGS, I was 30 when I lost my virginity. Yep, 30. And I had the same left-out feelings you have. Now, though, I'm 37 and having mind-blowing sex with my amazing fiance. I wouldn't go back and change a thing!
HELP, DTMF! Tough as I know that feels, and scary as it is, you can DMTF and still be friends, still share some love, just not have the weight of sex in your relationship to fuck it all up. If you're not getting any, there's a reason. Get free, find somebody else, let her become herself, and stop hiding behind you.

SIM, that sucks.. Ask him! Gauge his reaction accordingly and carefully. Otherwise you'll be thinking about it for ever, and will get all jealous and suspicious, and start fucking your relationship up anyhow.

To join the beards or not beards debate, I always hated them, until recently. Now I am dating a guy with a nicely trimmed goatee, they're great!! I am a convert, at least, to a nicely trimmed neat beard, on somebody that's meant to have one and looks good with it, not on some hipster asshole that has a face full of what looks like pubic hair. Yuck.. Real men, real beards, HELL yes..

But, I also wouldn't mind if he shaved. Beards are a new thing to me in terms of sensation, and that rocks. You can do interesting things with beards, that I wasn't really previously aware of.
I've thought of something else that might help DIGS navigate the difference between doing something, being glad you did it, and talking about it on facebook. Imagine a situation where you had a choice between having sex with your crush and never being able to talk about to anyone or not actually doing it but being able to brag about it all day long. Real life isn't like that, but consider it as a thought experiment. For the sake of argument, those are your only 2 choices. It's either a sex life with no bragging rights or the bragging rights with no sex. Can you see now how some of those facebook friends (most? all?) are alone in their unhappiness? They're learning to write fiction, running around with all image and no substance. Back in the days before social media, there were girls who made sure they kissed guys in public in front of other girls. They were doing it for the status. They were doing nothing with them alone.

I've been interested in the comments from the guys saying that at their high school reunions they learned that their were classmates who were interested in them, but they were too oblivious to notice. I wonder if there are women who get together at their high school reunions saying they thought they were the only virgin and are surprised to learn that there were so many.
I think Tom Kha Gai soup tastes and smells like pussy in a good way. Maybe the LW's fiance was eating some Thai soup and his beard fell into it? That seems like an incident he would be able to remember and provide as explanation.
I told a girl who I'd had a crush on forever that I'd had a crush on her forever at our end of school dance. I knew she was straight, knew it probably wouldn't lead anywhere, but just knowing I'd had the courage to do it made me really proud of myself (as an 18 year old virgin at the time). She was really nice about it. So DIGS - go for it! And of course there will be plenty more D for your V in future (or V for your V if you want that too).
The pussy-beard letter is like, five years old. Dan must have enjoyed all the speculation (Durian dipped in peach juice? Clams casino? Thai chicken curry crossed with chocolate pudding?) and wants to read more.
Oh and PS I know I'm in the minority, but I love me some full on caveman beard.
@24 I'm with you! Those nasty, nappy, smelly, stupid looking, bacteria infested beards have got to go!!!
We need Dan to invent a word!!!

DIGS, I too was eager to rid myself of my virginity on the night of my high school graduation. Always a kinkster and a bit of a sex obsessed freak, I bided my time so that my sexlife would not interfere with my focus on the goal of graduating high school. I only participated in oral exchanges before accepting that diploma. The night of the graduation I ended up at a party where the parents of the host-kid provided the beer and wine coolers and took everyones' car keys at the door. I didn't have a specific boy I was after. I had been crushing on several boys in my class, and guarding my virginity until I was sure I would not ruin my educational aspiration.(I 'd correctly predicted that once I popped I wouldn't stop) as in non-stop pursuit of sexual satisfaction with many of my other priorities neglected. After 2 or three wine coolers at this graduation party, I flirted with the hottest boy at the party, and suggested that I'd like to go somewhere private. We had some of the hottest sex I've ever had. and I say this now at 38 years old and having had a VERY active and adventurous sexlife particularly in my 30's. I don't regret that decision one bit. I feel that I would have regretted not having done it since I always would have wondered how that would have gone. Throwing out conventional frigid expectations and breaking out of my shell had a positive impact on my life. Its not the worst thing in the world to be horny and know it. Not all of us can be satisfied by our own hand beyond 16 or 17 years of age. Some of us need to express ourselves sexually so as not to lose our minds.

In response to SIM it was most likely animal pussy. Common mistake. Judging by the fact that she said it was clean pussy it was most likely a sheep or a duck. With the rise of safe sex awareness a number of men have begrudgingly taken note prefering the often cleaner animal pussy to wearing a condom. As well it is condoned by the church of satan so I really don't think she has anything to worry about. Another possibility is that he is perhaps the proverbial sucka mc who is in fact reputed to smell of the labia and ironically has no business in the kitchen.

SIM - had he just eaten some sushi?
@6, @54, @61 all reference that women hit their sexual stride in their 30s. This is so contrary to my experience. I was running it by the guys in the hockey league tonight and they all agreed. The hot sex was in college/20s. Maybe it's marriage and/or children that are to blame, but it seems the phenomenon of women's sex drive plummeting with age is a lot more common than it peaking.

Of course, the common denominator could very well be me....
@64: Okay Tim Horton, for you, the best set was in your college/20s; for some, it's their 30s; mine was in my early 40s. We're all different, and our lives follow different trajectories.
Mr Savage - I daresay that I'm reminded of a passage from Lady Chatterley's Lover whereupon the damsel in question finds herself in a fit of pique (the sort she is wont to find herself in) but the resolution is one where no one truly finds either satisfaction, or remorse.

HELP's protestations to the contrary, I believe he (or is it she?) may find solace in simply revealing the nature of their desire to roll out in a courtly fashion, and accept the love (or lack thereof) for what it is worth intrinsically.
64: I was having great sex in my 20s, but didn't start experiencing vaginal orgasms till well into my 30s.
@64, hard one, eh? Female desire.. The domestic story of kids, can very well tone it down- but it can bubble right back up. Desire stays with a woman a long long time/ just like it does with a man.. Imagination.. A woman's desire can respond real well, if the man has a little imagination.
I'm a 38 straight man. I don't often grow my beard or goatee out, primarily because it's itchy as hell and looks like crap (beard only).

However, there is a tertiary reason: it produces odd smells. They're not bad smells, just odd. Mainly it smells like my facial oils, which I didn't know had a smell until the first time I grew out my goatee. This is especially true if I've been stroking it (my beard/goatee) or combing it (no explanation needed, I hope!).

Occasionally when it gets wet, and especially when it gets sweaty (e.g. after a workout) my beard smells, to me, like sweet, healthy pussy. Unlike Dan, I like the smell of sweet, healthy pussy, but it does make me self-conscious. No one has ever commented to about this, so I don't know if anyone else notices, but it does further reduces the desire to grow a beard.

As a final note, the same effect occasionally happens, with much lower frequency, with my body hair. I hope this is helpful, SIM.
I find it odd that SIM's question came up in a search for "pussy scented beard," from a June 2012 Portland Mercury column:… Recycling? What gives?
Mountain dew Mohawk. That's all I have to say about my pussy
I find it odd that SIM's question came up in a search for "pussy scented beard," from a June 2012 Portland Mercury column:… Recycling? What gives?

Pardon posting this twice, but I registered to post a second time so the link will show.
Re: #3

Nobody seems to be presenting the possibility that humans aren't wired to be monogamous, and when we try to conform to social norms of monogamy, it can affect libido over time. Daniel Bergner presents scientific support for the idea in his book "What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire", and frankly, I buy it.

I'm not trying to excuse the repeated violations of trust that are obviously occurring - that sh*t's not ok. However, I personally find dealing with the default expectation of monogamy to be an uphill slog, and am not surprised that many people don't even think to question it, or examine the possibility that it might be a libido-killer.
Re: #3

Nobody seems to be presenting the possibility that humans aren't wired to be monogamous, and when we try to conform to social norms of monogamy, it can affect libido over time. Daniel Bergner presents scientific support for the idea in his book "What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire", and frankly, I buy it.

I'm not trying to excuse the repeated violations of trust that are obviously occurring - that sh*t's not ok. However, I personally find dealing with the default expectation of monogamy to be an uphill slog, and am not surprised that many people don't even think to question it, or examine the possibility that it might be a libido-killer.
Anathema ! Cute hipster boys — please keep your beards !
"millions of readers", Dan...? Really? Perhaps that may be a touch of an exaggeration... no? ha. ha.

If it weren't though, fck ya, great platform to spread the notion to some of those stubborn types, that the beard fad has just about seen its time in the sun....
Regarding #67:

Ah; people must pay attention to spelling. I liked the opening, as it is completely not my style to address Mr Savage (which I rarely do anyway) when making a general point. I shall spare the assembled company a reference to Anne Meredith and nineteen pairs of stockings.
23-Mr. Venn-- Point taken, and I agree. DIGS is doing well if she recognizes the difference between a relationship oriented crush and a sexual attraction one. I didn't understand the distinction at that age. (Which isn't to say that they're always 2 separate things. They can be integrated successfully, and it's nice when that happens.)

I'd draw another distinction for DIGS. Dan does good work when he notes that sexually active is not necessarily the same as PIV sex. The latter is usually associated with female virginity, and that's a shame because lots of women will attest that anal, oral and other sex is better for them. (It's a shame for other reasons too, like the way the religious right has teenagers believing that they can preserve their virginity by not engaging in one particular sexual practice while doing everything else.)

And yet, like DIGS, I put a lot of importance on virginity and that threshold between PIV sex and just petting. I'm not going to try to educate that out of her, not going to tell her that it doesn't matter because, if I remember correctly, it does. This is why I recommend that she spend some time on the thousand years to adore each breast. Coyness is not a crime, but it's not entirely without value either.
I don't think many people get depressed because they spend too much time reading brags on social media. I think many people spend too much time on social media because they're depressed.
@81: It probably works both ways, but how we feel about ourselves does have a lot to do with what we have for comparison. (e.g. Dan's post about fat people surrounded by fat people feeling better than those surrounded by thin people.) If we think we fall outside of what we perceive to be "normal", we notice.

Humans exist in social groups and can't truthfully claim to not care what anyone thinks of them. Someone who truly doesn't notice or bother to abide by social norms sticks out as being seriously impaired.
@Eudaemonic: I don't know if you've revisited it, but I wrote a long and hopefully coherent response to you over at the discussion about the woman who can't orgasm with her boyfriend present yesterday morning.
@67/78 lol

WASH THAT BEARD! Between all oral-sex sessions (illicit or not), and social events. You might think people won't notice, but they probably will.

The 70-year-old Obijwe office-worker at my old school used to say, "There's only two things that smell like tuna... and one of them's tuna." Also, Pho's real popular in Minneapolis-- I've never had it, but I bet ya it smells like vag.

The "beard-vs-no-beard" debate is as stupid as the "ass-vs-tits" debate. To each their own. Also, Minnesota is really cold (like, -30) and OKCupid says Minnesota is the state people are least likely to shower regularly in, which probably correlates to not wanting to shave, either. Lots of beards here; most of them unwashed.
Beards are made of hair, all hair picks up scent, so if he sweats and eats something sweet maybe that's what you are smelling. Stop being so paranoid, nobody wants to be with a paranoid chick.
DIGS: I agree with #20 Crinoline, word for word. Having been an (admittedly straight) teenage boy myself, I can promise you that being asked out by a girl is quite a compliment. Even if he's not interested or has a steady girlfriend, the way he responds will tell you a lot about what kind of person he is. And there seems to be a lot of value in having your first be a friend instead of a stranger.

But be sure that you have enough knowledge of what pleasures you and how your body responds to arousal to coach him if you do wind up naked together. Chances are if he's like most teenage boys you'll be doing him a very big favor just by doing that.
In answer to those advising DIGS to wait to lose it in a more meaningful way......I'm a woman in my fifties, and over the last couple of years have had a few conversations with other old women about losing our virginities.

All these years later, few of the "just get it over with" crowd have regrets. When you've seen how it all shook out, for yourself and for your friends, you see that how you lost your virginity has very little to say about how your sex life will go for the next forty years or so. It matters so much less than how you live your life, how you approach sex, how you communicate with partners, in all the years following.

So if you get together with this guy and it turns out to be a mistake, so what? You'll make lots of sexual mistakes over the years. Losing your virginity is not the defining act of your sexual life.

Go for it if you want to go for it, don't go for it if you really don't want to. You'll be OK either way.
@78 - the Anne Meridith reference would have gone completely over my head, but I just read that book last week. I found myself really coveting those stockings....
@65 She has sluttified herself, and to what advantage?
So she learns that sluttifying herself is not the end of the world, that she's the one who gets to decide where an action is sluttish or not, and if she cares. That's a big advantage, to my mind - the knowledge that someone else's idea of what constitutes sluttifying is as important as a fart in a windstorm.
I don't think DIGS should ask him to "fuck"- that can be off-putting to alot of people, especially 18-year olds (and who might refuse and instead spread gossip about her)- just ask him if he wants to "get together" or something a little more ambiguous
@64, 66: damn right we're all different. After 20 years of monogamy together and having two children me and my husband are having better sex than ever. Maybe we were crap at it to start with though! We've certainly learned a lot about each other and discovered a range of fun kinks in the last five years particularly.
@64: My sex drive was fair to middling in college and my 20s, until I mysteriously got teenage-horny at age 29, and got "hot" to men in my 30s (I am a straight woman). So I recently thought, why not find out what I missed about college sex and sleep with a 21-year-old? Turns out, I didn't miss much - he thought his 8-inch dick would get me off after 69 as foreplay and didn't particularly have other skills, though he was convinced that all his partners have always had orgasms. I'm sure there are college guys who are better lovers and women who would love his dick, but with my tastes, the only thing I missed was a lot of non-orgasms.
@61: I'm like you in terms of kinkiness and horny levels, but I don't equate fucking a stranger as a measure of horny. Quite the opposite - I'm not visual, so masturbation has always beat the guy in the bar. Sex with a stranger is like being attracted to tampons for some of us. Most people are wired to be visual, however.
M? Agony - One of the easier problems, certainly so for anyone who's played bridge. The stocking ploy has been one of my favourite traps for decades - an obvious ruse is cleverly avoided and then the subject relaxes.

I, too, was never a fan of hairy guys until I dated one with an awesome beard and the most amazing naturally manscaped chest hair I've ever had the pleasure of gazing upon. I love running my fingers through all of his hair and he enjoys the sensation. Giving him a good beard scratch is relaxing and satisfying in a way similar to petting an affectionate cat.

And speaking of beards and pussies, the sensation of his beard when he goes down on me is absolutely wonderful. I encourage any het male capable of growing a decent beard to give it a try. If you or your partner(s) don't dig it, you can always shave it off.
DIGS, go for it, slowly. Worst that can happen is you find out where you stand and miss out on some regrets. Be safe and live life courageously. If it goes well, great. If he declines, you'll have a bit of a feel for what most of the guys you encounter experience much of the time, and what your sons will be running into. If it doesn't work out with crush boy, go to college and find a grad student for some private tutoring. Or contact HELP; he could use some encouragement to follow the rumbled DTMFA.
@64, In college in our 20's is a time of experimentation which can result in some vey exciting sexual experiences. When women say they 'hit their stride in their 30's' What they often are referring to is the time when she really knows what works for her an is fully comfortable with her sexuality and asking for exactly what will rock her world, often is able to orgasm continuously, and knows how to reciprocate effectively to earn those fantastic orgasms. It's referring to the height of a woman's sexual satisfaction. The sex in the 20's is often better for him than her as she is not yet well versed in her own needs/desires. This is the age that young men in their early 20's should be so lucky to experiment with because the match-up would be near equal in term of libido and the length of the sex session(women who are able to orgasm continuously tend to want to go for hours just like men in their early 20's
@tim horton

From Ovid's "the art of love" , book 2 :

"Nor should it be forgotten that women, who are getting on in years, have experience, and it is only experience that sets the seal of perfection on our natural gifts. They repair by their toilet the ravages of time, and by the care they take of themselves manage to conceal their age.

They know all the different attitudes of Love and will assume them at your pleasure. No pictured representation can rival them in voluptuousness. With them pleasure comes naturally, without provocation, the pleasure which is sweeter than all, the pleasure which is shared equally by the man and the woman. I hate those embraces in which both do not consummate [...] I hate a woman who offers herself because she ought to do so, and, cold and dry, thinks of her sewing when she's making love. The pleasure that is granted to me from a sense of duty ceases to be a pleasure at all. I won't have any woman doing her duty towards me. How sweet it is to hear her voice quaver as she tells me the joy she feels, and to hear her imploring me to slacken my speed so as to prolong her bliss. How I love to see her, drunk with delight, gazing with swooning eyes upon me, or, languishing with love, keeping me a long while at arms' length.

But these accomplishments are not vouchsafed by nature to young girls. They are reserved for women who have passed the age of thirty-five."
@sissoucat: Give it up for Ovid!
@Tim Horton and others:
Seriously, the whole time I was growing up I heard the old refrain that men hit their "sexual peak" at 18 or so, while women hit theirs around 40. In my case, that proved to be accurate. However, if given this is a relatively universal "truth" there are some problems that arise from it.

The first problem is that 40-year-old women, on average, and no matter how artful they are at their toilette, are not as attractive to a 20-year-old man as a 20-year-old women, and even if he's aware of the appeals of a cougar, a 20-year-old man is likely not looking to form a real meaningful and serious relationship with a 40-year-old woman.

The second is that 20-year-old men are rarely attractive to a 40-year-old woman, in any way except aesthetically (perhaps not even then) and for their extremely brief refractory period. Because when talking about men, at least, "sexual peak" refers only to the degree of interest in sex and the ability to achieve, maintain, and quickly re-achieve very hard erections. It has nothing to do with skill.

Many older women are not cougars and don't want to be seen as such things (I find the entire conception distasteful and I don't have enough money to be a true cougar or anyone's sugar mama, myself). And still more are not satisfied by the mere presence of a hard body and an easily-achieved hard cock. They, as much as men, want skill, technique, open-mindedness, generosity. These qualities tend to be acquired in greater amounts over time. I've tried the "younger man" thing a number of times and it wasn't worth my time. I've found that men hit their stride closer to 40 themselves, and maybe even a bit later, but unfortunately, the ability to get and keep that rock-hard cock starts to be compromised, and the refractory period is typically a lot longer as men age (I've been lucky enough to know a few notable exceptions).

So it seems to me to be Nature's cruelest of jokes, and one aimed only at straight people. Two men would have the same interest-level, and physical ability at the same age, and would also have picked up skills by the same age; young lesbians might not necessarily have the most brilliant sex life, but youth and beauty might carry them -- but two 40-year-old women: watch out!

But then you get couples like the one @92 and it seems like sometimes patience is indeed its own reward. I hope you two just keep getting hotter and hotter.

Also, Tim Horton, if you and your friends are in your 30s, it's likely many of you have young children. Young children are great in so many ways and wonderful for so many things, but their effect on their parents' sex life is generally terrible for all sorts of reasons. But young children get older, and older still, and finally leave. If the marriages endure and the rest of the relationship is still good and some baseline level of (even dutiful) sex continues so the couple stills feels sexually connected, you and your friends may be very pleasantly surprised in a few years.
Crinoline wrote: It's a shame for other reasons too, like the way the religious right has teenagers believing that they can preserve their virginity by not engaging in one particular sexual practice while doing everything else.

To be fair to the fundies, that was totally unintentional... oh, and hilarious. "I believe in Jesus. I must stay pure.... So just fuck me in my asshole."
@101( Allen Gilliam): Here you go:…

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