Savage Love

No on Prop. 8


Dan, I love how you try to get people out of audience apathy and into participating. Speaking as a fellow Norseman of ethics.... I was collecting gay marriage signatures for cassm in SF in 1999. Your help goes far beyond your advice. I wish you would write a book for gay teens and their struggle.
Second Norseman's suggestion of Dan writing a book to help kids cope. Not every kid is going to find Savage Love who needs it, and not every parent is going to sift through years of columns to find helpful advice, but a brightly colored How-To book in Border's might help immensely.
The "cake fart fetishist" happens to be a 61 year old amateur porn star going by the name "Zoe Zane" like that poor girl who was murdered. She just went on the Stern Show to plug her shit. She not only farts for a living, but she's also proud of herself farting on cakes. Using a dead porn star as her username just shows you how pathetic she is. Just ignore her and her ilk
Right on to your advice to DAD. I`m a submissive and I would not want to live any other way. My friends tend to react the same way DAD does though, have you asked your theropist about this? And if my parents knew about it, well, they would think it was some kind of self harm that I was doing. I think you are right, if you aren`t ready for something then don`t snoop.
Dan, you've been mentioning drinking often lately in your columns. You're not letting this turn into a problem, are you?
To Blowing Smoke: They make a variety of flavored lube packets that are specifically intended for blowjobs. You can buy them in your favorite adult shop. Buy a few brands and flavors and try them out. I have had experience with dry mouth interfering with blowjobs, and they really work well for us. Good luck!
After all that, you really want DAD to sit down and ask his adult daughter to explain her turn-ons to him? God, what an uncomfortable conversation that would be. I sure as hell wouldn't tell my parents what I get up to. It's none of his damn business what they are doing in the privacy of their own home. What he ought to do is unreservedly apologize for snooping into her sex life and ask her to forgive him. And not let his son-in-law walk the dog again.
To Taryn(one comment above me), DAD is not a male. Men do not typically snoop in their childrens homes. They are typically happy to be in the dark. And I think DAD gets what she karmically deserved for snooping into something that was none of her business.
The SIL should also apologize for mishandling the dog. If anyone did that to my dog, I'd show him some BDSM alright.
I second the comment to DAD - he doesn't need to ask about his daughter's turn ons, just confirm that whatever happens is consensual and let her know that if it's ever not, he's there for her. He might want to look up the number for the local domestic violence hotline on the off chance that she does admit that there's some non-consensual stuff going on, but not give it to her if she seems happy, because then it'll just look like he doesn't understand or still thinks he's abusive even after she's had this awkward conversation with him.
I'm a girl who likes a little spanking and a touch of kink. I'm not a pervert, freak or deviant. I'm a socially responsible citizen who enjoys her kinks in private, with consenting adults (or with my vibe, thx.). People who snoop get what they deserve: to be haunted with a lifetime of images they wish they could burn from their mind's eyes, but, for the love of God, never will.

Also, DAD should thank the SIL for walking the dog and for keeping his dog safe. If SIL didn't pull on the leash and keep DAD's dog away from a stranger's dog, it's possible that DAD's dog could have suffered injuries from a dog fight instead of suffering only a tug on the leash. DAD says that the SIL "violently" pulled the leash, but the way he characterized the incident is most likely in congruence with the unfortunate way he now views SIL, after learning of his softcore BDSM preferences. Had the snooping never happened, DAD may not have thought anything whatsoever about the incident.

Finally, I agree with the reader who advised that dad take a look at a few hardcore BDSM will take about 3 or 4 mouse clicks to learn that a little spanking and bodage is actually quite tame, compared to the freaky shit some people do (not that I'm judging).
Better advice for BS: Eat it, don't smoke it.

Also, I'm with shiraz: the SIL also owes an apology, bigtime.
Gee, with a father that controlling I can't IMAGINE how she became submissive...
"Everyone who makes a donation of $25 or more by October 16 gets a personal reply to their question from yours truly."

Wow. I don't think I've ever seen someone pledge to put so much effort into fund raising for a cause. After the number of personal replies he'll have to write ($25? that's less than the lowest preset amount on the site), he'll either have a lot of former fans pissed off that he wrote a one-line response, or he'll need to hire someone to whom he can dictate full replies so he won't end up with carpal tunnel.
Yet even more advice for BS:

vaporize it, clean, quick, no drymouth if you keep the temp low, I'd reccomend a volcano-style model with a digital temp readout.
I think DAD was secretly turned on by what she saw and feels embarrassed to admit it, so she's reacting defensively as a way to repress her real feelings. Meanwhile, she goes home, straps the leash around her own neck and imagines her son-in-law yanking her chain all over the bedroom. It's a classic case of mother-daughter sexual competition and envy. She needs to find her own master (if Mr. DAD isn't in the picture, since he's not mentioned) and get him to take her for a long walk.
Ummm...How do we know it isnt his/her daughter swinging the SIL around on a leash? Either way...when you snoop and find things you dont like, you have no one else to blame for your woes but your self and I hope it now leads to a life of misery and loneliness and many grandchildren who never get to interact with them as a consequence.
Cant help but think this isnt the first time they've snooped and found something they didnt like. This person would no longer be welcome in my life.
It's a touchy subject with DAD...

Having been in a physically abusive relationship *before* becoming a sub with my current boyfriend (not abusive), I can understand his concern. I agree with Dan's advice - in part. Certainly asking if the daughter is in an abusive relationship is a good start. But simply assuming that BDSM = abuse isn't right on DAD's part.

I have never been in a happier relationship than I currently am, with my first Dom, who doesn't get off on spanking me because he doesn't understand why I like to be hit. But he gladly obliges, because he knows it makes me happy. DAD - who knows, your daughter might be the same way!
"DAD is not a male" -- you're the one in the dark. Plenty of dads take the lead on snooping. I know mine did. He would toss my room and turn out my pockets on a regular basis when I was a teenager. He paid a surprise visit to my house just yesterday to badger and pry. Your gender revision is completely baseless.
My comment to DAD - maybe if you weren't so strict with your daughter and maybe if you didn't resort to spanking when you daughter was a child - maybe she wouldn't have a fetish for spanking. Also -- how can you be sure that the SIL is a dom. Maybe your daughter is a domme?

Please include "No on 4" in your answerable columns. This is CRITICAL!!!!

I went to the site for Christian Domestic Discipline, honestly I could not figure out if it was a very tongue in cheek BDSM site or an actual christian site?!?
Also bear in mind DAD that it is ENTIRELY Possible that when your SIL views spanking porn and ligatures he is envisioning experiencing those things himself, not inflicting them on your dear GGG daughter.
Uhh... Potential problem. What's to stop someone from donating a skrillion dollars or whatever and writing in "HEY DAN, I'VE GOT A PROBLEM TOO MANY HOT BITCHES WANT MY COCK LOL WHAT SHOULD I DO?"

Sure, it may be costly for a stupid prank, but you know how eccentric rich folk can be...
Bullshit. DAD is a snooping she-bitch and needs to learn a lesson. AND, her dog is probably horrible - one of those that jumps up on you with muddy paws and she giggles, "Oh, he likes you!" I'd spin that dog around too! Maybe her daughter likes the structure in her life that was lacking with her parents??
Trish, I think it's a serious site. It is so much more perverted than anything Mapplethorpe could have come up with.
DAD reminds me of my dad, I also kind of don't talk to him as much as I would like because he freaks out on my boyfriends for apparently no reason. (But if he has been snoopin in his porn maybe that would explain it). I try to take it as a compliment that he cares about me but after awhile it just gets too much. It's just father's instincts to his daughter and there isn't much use trying to reason with those types.
Aaand anyone who says DAD is female has never met a real woman in their lives. First off, wouldn't it be "MOM" second of all a female would just be passive aggressive and would drop hints at her daughter, not directly confront the son-in-law (!!!) unless she's part Amazon.

Women don't have as strong of protective instincts toward their daughters' sexuality. That's the father's job (or the brothers), unless he is the feminized New Age kind of guy. In some ways it's a good thing but in some ways it can get annoying if he can't let go of his princess even when she's grown up, haha.
To Dan(not savage): a less edited version of DAD's letter can be read over at the onion's AV Club. It does seem like DAD is male.
I'm with the first two commenters. If there's anyone who should write a book for gay teens, it's Dan. I knew enough poor, terrified people in high school to know it's something that's very much needed.
I'd say that the way he treated the dog and the fact that his daughter reactions first with it being none of his business are clear warning signs, and as a parent and someone who loves her, he has a right to be concerned. The porn is not the issue. How his SIL treats the people and animals around him is.
Most people who abuse animals eventually abuse people. But Daughter is an adult, the dog is DAD's dependent.

DAD should apologize for snooping, SIL should apologize for overreacting with the dog, and it probably wouldn't hurt for DAD to tell Daughter that if SIL overreacts with her, he (or she) is there to help.

I'm with Shiraz... somebody who yanked my dog around would not be welcome in my home.

Racoon entrails are good for the dry mouth thing.
I don't know, talking to the daughter might be a good idea. I found out my dad is a kinky submissive at a young age (snooping will get you every time). I was going to therapy at the time for other things and we sat down and talked about it. A third party might be good for these guys this time. Still, it was much better to talk it out then let it hang over our heads for the rest of our lives.
How does he know the toys belong to the boyfriend? When my BF beats the crap out of me, he does it with MY stuff which I've owned for years. I keep it in a duffel bag next to my bed. And once I broke a wooden hairbrush on his ass.
Dan, is this a joke or do you have information you can't reveal? That DAD letter could only sound more fake if it was signed "Todd Palin".

A parent of an adult (married) child who vehemently disapproves of BDSM writes to YOU? And he/she had a moment of clarity after the SIL pulled the dog's leash to hard? I was half expecting the letter to mention peanut butter and falling asleep naked on the couch. Devoted fan and all, but I hope you've got reason to believe this is real.
Snooping and such a judgmental attitude may both be wrong, but I still feel like Dan's answer doesn't do justice to the protective feelings that this situation may nonetheless arouse in a parent.

BDSM may be something that's just "in bed," that doesn't extend to the rest of our lives. But when one learns of such things in a loved one's life, isn't it at least understandable that he may interpret those things as indicating something more generally about the relationship?

DAD's reaction may be illogical, close-minded, or unfair, but on an emotional level, it's not incomprehensible. At least give him or her that.
I'm switching from diet coke to diet pepsi!
I third the comment about not asking about his daughter's turn ons. It's already creepy enough that he snooped enough to find porn and ligatures (most people don't just have those lying around). If my dad asked me that after having snooped, I'd think he was a perverted creep getting off thinking about his daughter. Not to mention, he already sounds possessive of her to begin with.
Dan Savage, you are so awesome. You just accomplished more with one column than I did working 12 hour days for four months straight on a similar campaign in Alaska in 1998. We lost so bad, it wouldn't have made any difference if I'd spent that time selling cappuccino at the mall instead. If we win in California, I'm gonna cry from happiness and relief.
As a pet parent, I would suggest DAD get over his issues w/ his daughter's sex life but have a conversation about how to handle the poor golden retriever!
Remote possibility: the dog holds a grudge against the son-in-law and bites him at next opportunity. Son in law enjoys it, becomes confused about whether or not he is "dominant", and another letter to Dan is born.
"Blowing Smoke"'s problem reminds me of a hilarious (fake) commercial from GTA: Vice City. It was for a product called "Salivex" that was designed to solve just this problem.
"accidently discovered while snooping" It doesn't get better than that.
I don't think this DAD thing is just about sex. I think he knows or has suspected for some time that the son-in-law is an abusive shit, and that's why he's upset. It's probably also what led him to snoop in the first place.

The dog was a trigger event perhaps, but also an reasonable indication that the son-in-law has a tendency to (unaccetable) violence. Did that dog have a safe word?

People that are violent to animals, particularly a gentle animal that they know, should be of serious concern to us all. No wonder this guy is worried for his daughter. Scroll forward a few years and imagine how he might try to restrain his kids in a similar fashion.
The daughter should have the conversation with "DAD", and work on getting respect from your parents as an adult, not their little girl. Give "DAD" some credit for caring about your well being, and helping you to stay safe, but exert your right to privacy too. Finally, the daughter's gotta change the locks on your home--how did "DAD" get in? Maybe keep some locks on parts of the house that aren't for everyone, when you have snoopy guests.
ok, I know I'm late to the party here, but I just want to say that I've often been going downtown and thought, "why don't they make mouth-lube?" I get dry mouth from drinking too much and this can ruin a hot late-night bj session. I guess there are fruity flavored lubes on the market but I've never really wanted a mouthful of those... Attention: Marketers - there may be a new product opportunity here!
Commentator "outrider" stated he felt his activism on gay marriage in Alaska was a failure. I felt the same way working on the CASSM campaign. We were even attacked by "lefties" who said we should shut up and just accept domestic partnership in CA. You gotta lay the foundation, no matter how unpopular or useless it seems at the time. The constitution does not say congress shall impeach an illegal president when it will keep them elected or seems strategic.
And all this time I thought a ligature was the doohickey that secures the reed onto the clarinet mouthpiece. Now I know that those clarinet players were really talking about BDSM sex!
Second Opinion, Northern California
Brilliant advice. I wish the comments were as good.

I would have thought the readers of this column would be less likely to believe in bullshit gender stereotypes than right-wing fundamentalist nutjobs, but apparently some do.

And maybe the son-in-law doesn't know how to handle a dog, but then again, maybe he does. When my dog was 13 and weighted 60 pounds, he was still a hell of a lot stronger than I was and tended to go 'visit' any passing dog. The son-in-law may have protected the dog from escaping and/or from an attack from the other dog.
i could care less about prop 8, but if it'll make dan happy i'll send out some good vibes california's way.
To Blowing Smoke- I highly recommend a glycerine mouthwash. The brand I am able to find is Oasis. You also get to cover up a little bit of the smoky smell with some minty freshness.
I am a Dom female with a Sub male boyfriend. I read DAD's Concerns for his daughters well being and I must say that even though our lifestyle might seem "Weird" that it is in fact still very loving relationship. I would never hurt my boyfriend and if he was uncomfortable or in fear that I would hurt him all he has to do is say "stop". Most likely though as in our relationship even though I am the one that is labeled as a Dom, it is the sub that holds all the power. I treat my submissive boyfriend with respect and do not treat him like a cheap play thing. I am sure this is the case with DAD's daughter. So DAD should yes of course say he is sorry and tell her that if there is ever any actual trouble he would be there for her.
Hey, just wanted to thank "Outrider" for helping the cause. I don't think those efforts are ever really wasted if we learned something about it-even if how not to waste more effort. When "Outrider" looks back on his life, will he (or she) really wish he had spent those four months in a mall making cappuccinos for 'the man?' THANK YOU OUTRIDER!
Dan, I've often thought about writing to you but hesitated to send my letter off into cyberspace, perhaps never to return. When I read your column this week, I thought, "Great! For a $27.03 (Canadian)donation to a good cause, Dan promises to answer my letter." And there's my problem: Foreign nationals are not allowed to donate to No on prop 8. Canadians have problems, too, Dan - and not just that Stephen Harper could form a majority government on October 14.
Hey, how'd you like to hear a story about a woman and a priest? It's at a parish in Chicago. The woman and the priest are old boyfriend and girlfriend and the priest actually says he will give up the priesthood (and its subsequent pension) to marry the woman! The woman knows it's a big joke and boy, is she giving the poor fellow the hee haw. When someone bullshits you, you can never take them seriously! The two of them have a conflict of interest, you see, and God only knows how it is going to end! Their story may well be submitted to the Reader, a Chicago underground newspaper. Then again, maybe it isn't worth it. It's just a temporary close encounter.
The reaction to the dog leash incident was overblown by DAD (mom). She had been waiting in the wings to pounce on her daughter ever since she snooped. If it wasnt that it would have been another incident. Such as a light hearted pat on the ass.
Um, snooping around your child's house automatically disqualifies you from using the term "accidentally".
Thanks for putting in that sneaky link to christiandomesticdiscipline, it was hilarious...and rather scary.
Ooh, Christian Domestic Discipline is hot.
I wrote to Salon once to coin the term 'snoople' for accidentally stumbling across an opportunity to snoop: sitting down at a computer that has an indiscreet email open, say. But, snoopling has a nasty habit of leading to full-blown snooping expeditions which, children, we all know, are very very bad.
To D and D- as an almost 36 year old female who is a devoted sub in a BDSM relationship, with 2 very vanilla parents, I have to advise you of the three non-negotiable rules of ANY relationship but, especially the dominant/submissive- 1) safe, 2) sane and 3) consensual. I will assume your daughter is sane or you'd intervene as a well-intentioned parent. The other two areas are within your right as a parent to ensure, not within the bounds of the dominant/submissive form of the relationship but- as a concerned parent for your child. All relationships have power struggles and no one should be subject to another's whims- particularly where safety is a risk. Assure your daughter that you are there for her as a parent, and that if she ever feels threatened or unsafe, then you will welcome her with open arms and no questions.

On another note- SHAME ON YOU!! Unless you had a very good reason to fear for her safety, or other issues you didn't address, you had no business snooping, and letting on your awareness of your daughter's very personal life may potentially violate the future of your relationship. So- when having this conversation about your availability- BY NO MEANS should you let on your that you snooped. Forget all about what you found out- that is not your business.

And, the tenets of the BDSM sub-culture (safety, sanity, and consensus) are relevant to life, not just the dominant/submissive lifestyle. Though, the terms are signatures for the lifestyle, and may hint your awareness- that is enough to show you are there for her no matter what. Getting tied/bound and balled- hard, turns me on! But- by no means do I want my vanilla, Roman Catholic parents who've been married almost 40 years to know this.
I just love how DAD states he "I accidentally discovered that my son-in-law is into BDSM sex" because he/she "snooped in their home and found his ligatures and spanking porn." That's not an accident, that's a deliberate violation of their privacy! What did he expect to find by snooping, pictures of fluffy kittens? He found exactly what he was looking for, an excuse to despise his son-in-law.
Dan, you should post your responses to all questions online somewhere, for those of us who would like to read them all.

Oh, and I am in CA, registered, and will definitely vote no on prop 8.
I see no reason why the mother's snooping should lead to block that bitch from my life comments. So be it - parents are like that. A wag of the finger and slap on the wrists would suffice. The best solution, all around, would be a sit down with all parties and discuss the situation. Couldn't think of a better chance to go out of your comfort zone for a good reason - would result in massive injection of personal growth for all parties. Would bring them all closer as a family.
Dear Dan, I may have unfortunately opened up a stunning reviewer of genus libilious...

libel suit alert alibel suit alert.... argggg!!!!
Dan, (not Savage), you've never met my dad.

"Men never Snoop." And men never cry, or wear dresses, either.
DAD had no right to snoop through his/her SIL's stuff. The only reason parents would ever need to know about their kids sex life is if they're pregnant. I am sure the SIL knew the difference between a dog and a human especially if he is into BDSM

I think that Dan Savage should write a book about LGBT teens and their struggles too. I've been reading Savage Love since I was 12 (I am 21 now) and I think a lot of the LGBT kids I work with would love reading it so I tell everyone about it constantly. Keep writing Dan!!!
Dan writes some fab advice.( and I'm a therapist)While the teen book is a great idea, He also has a life. How about a callaborative effort maybe of Dans web pages on a subject. We all write the letter we wish we had gotten,as a parent,little sister, teen, adult, to understand the world we/they are entering.
I found out My bro was gay via my sisters trashing of him.He had kept it from an adoring little sis. Luckily I went to a gay frien of a friend who explained he could be happy.I wish I had had a source.
To Blowing smoke: I don't know if anyone suggested this already (I haven't read the comments), but before giving a blowjob, take a sip of water, swallow it, and take another sip and hold it in your mouth. With your mouth half-full of water, take your boyfriend's dick into your mouth and swish the water around. It's a trick I've used many times, always to rave reviews. It works best with water that's ice cold, but warm or room-temp water works too.
I agree that 'DAD' sounds much too much like a snoopy mother who doesn't much like her SIL. But, I also agree with the research that shows that BSDM is usually a sign of greater mental imbalances within both parties and should be attended to with professional therapy.
He was right about DAD! I have 4 daughters all under 10, and love them dearly. But, I know one day they will have lives and desires outside of my wife's and my lives. I can only hope we will respect thier privacy enough as well, and be there if the need should come up. Thanks for this site, man! I'm Christian and all, but I can respect and learn from other peoples' issues in a non-judgemental way- like it should be.
I too am a pot smoker and blow-jobber. I've solved the lack of moisture problem two ways: 1) lube - doesn't even have to be flavored and 2) once his dick is hitting the back of my throat, the mucus membranes come to the rescue. BTW: If you gag, learn to suppress it as I have. It's not fun for the guy to think he's choking you.
Dan, you fucking rock. I just moved to CA, so I get to vote No on Prop 8. There's a poop load of NO signs in the Bay Area.
Dan, you fucking rock. I just moved to CA, so I get to vote No on Prop 8. There's a poop load of NO signs in the Bay Area.
Dan(not savage) you wrote that "men do not typically snoop in their children's homes". That is an untrue statement. I've seen it too many times to count. It is silly to make an assumption that the person is female just because your own limited experience.
I've seen both men and women "snoop" in equal measure.
Dan, you missed the real issue in DAD. The problem is that the jerk hurt the dog. The daughter is a consenting adult; she can leave if she doesn't like his behaviour, but the dog is an innocent victim of cruelty. This asshole needs to be jailed for animal cruelty. If the daughter condones his cruel behaviour to the dog, the parents should not allow her in their lives anymore. The health and welfare of their dog should be their first priority.
Your daughter can make decisions on her own. She might actually like a little submissive behavior or she could be the dominant one. It is harder for dads to accept their daughter in those types of behavior because she will always be your little girl and you will have that instinct to protect her. However, the more you try to push her away by not accepting her husband, the more she will pull away. If you cherish her, you will also cherish him. Forget what you know about their sex life, just work on your relationship with him. Lots of people are into that sort of thing and it is healthy. You can read up more on fetish information at
Maybe the dad need to loosen up and pick up so bondage toys for himself to explore the other side. lol…
the only issue left is that your son in law hurt your dog badly ...the rest is not concerned with you and just leave it on your daughter. each men has his own fantasy about the sex..