Savage Love



Could I be first? And my pick won? Best day I've had all month.
Woo! Love the saddlebacking definition. As it should be.
Perfect definition.
Just a niggly little question: does anal sex with protection count as saddlebacking? (could happen.) Or is it just the unprotected kind?
No, Heather, you would be the saddlebackee.
My GF is very adamant that *I* use the vibrator on her. She talks about how hot it is and how different it is when I'm in control instead of her. In short, she makes it very obvious that it's ME who's making her cum. Not her. Not the toy. And that makes sense; I mean guys know that a handjob from their partner is a totally different experience than doing it yourself. Sometimes it's how you frame the request that makes all the difference.
1st, 2nd, getting this into common usage is most important here.
Yeeeaah, love that definition!
Dan... you rooock
The most important thing about this whole idea of a vibrator or a dildo being "competition" for someone with an actual flesh penis is... vibrators are not people!

As much fun as they may be, they aren't going to comfort you when you have a shitty day at work, they aren't going to surprise you with a trip to your favorite restaurant, they aren't going to tell that you are sexy when you wake up in flannel pajamas with a bird's nest in your hair.

Beyond that, the sexual experience itself isn't the same. You can't scratch a vibrator's back or bite its neck or grab on to its hair. If you call it a dirty slut in the heat of passion, it won't respond. A vibrator can't give you a good open-hand slap on the ass.

I've never had the desire to cuddle with my vibrator after sex. Conversely, I've never had the desire to shove my partner in a drawer after sex. There really is no comparison.
10 could possibly be the absolute best web site i've ever seen! so clean and simple... straight to the point! thanks dan!
I must playfully disagree with Mizz Blau. Vibrators or their cousins, dildos, can provide great comfort after a shitty day at work! While they can't take you out on the town, they don't care what you look like, what you're wearing or whether or not you've put on a few pounds. They require much less maintenance than a man (their hobby is certainly less the price of batteries to a mid-life crisis sports car!) and they don't care what you call them. Finally, I have had a partner or two (or more) that I would have been pleased to have stuffed in a drawer when I was done with them!
damn, I posted the link to on SLOG hours ago... no appreciation here? Ah, whatever, I'm just glad it's out! You rock Dan!
You don't explain why so many porn movies inexplicably do have the stars wearing shoes and socks. I thought it must be an OSHA requirment for employee health and safety. You must have porn stars and producers reading this. Who knows?
Nothing (other than my boy friend's touch with a vibrator)gives me MORE pleasure than imagining Rick Warren's stunned face when he reads the definition on It even references his church. LOVE IT. love dan.
Thanks everyone that voted for 5.
We love you!
This is long overdue for a name! Thank you, Dan I have experienced this act first hand years ago.

My first girlfriend was a Southern Baptist who wouldn't have vaginal sex but gave great blow jobs and liked to saddleback.

While she eventually lost religion and gave up her objection to traditional penis-vaginal sex. But for a year I had a helluva fun time saddlebacking!
I am so happy that this phenomenon finally has a name (as I talk about it almost ad nauseam with friends)!!! Yay!
not a marketing link, one to urbandictionary, search for 'saddlebacking' there and positively review the definition we have set forth. Then be evangelical convincing others to be live (and use) the definition.
I love it, and it's the definition I voted for, but I have one nit I want to pick:

The PHENOMENON of Christian teens having anal sex to preserve their virginity is a noun.

The ACT of having anal sex to preserve one's virginity, presumably out of adherence to Christian morals or pledges, is the verb.

The definition you have up on needs to be expanded. (I also love that you have a website with just the definition... it's a thing of beauty that I've already linked on my facebook.)
Hi Dan,

I sent this letter to Betty Bouwer back on 15 June 2004. It relates to saddlebacking.

Piet de Best, from Amsterdam, The Netherlands writes:
I know that anal sex can be a way for good Christian girls to have their fun and still retain their virginity (at least technically). But what advice do you have for a young gay boy who wants to keep his virginity but still doesn't want to lose his boyfriend because he won't "go all the way"?
Thank-you in advance for a Christian answer!

Betty's Reply:
Anyone who engages in anal sex is going all the way. All the way to Hell.

It was a wise-ass question, and I got a wise-ass answer.

Dan – Regarding your response to letter three: I’m noting a little inconsistency here. You always say that the solution for couples in which one partner wants sex more frequently than the other is to have sex less frequently than the more desiring partner wants and for the less-desiring mate to “milk” his/her partner between bouts of sex. This has always confused me, because I (a straight person) always considered all the suggested acts of “milking” as sex. Now you are admitting this, too. So, really your prescription for when there is a discrepancy in sexual desire within a couple is for the couple to have as much sex as the one who wants it more desires.
Dan - you need to post your definition on Urban Dictionary.
I call RULE 34!

When we see saddleback porn. That's when it will stick in the public subconscious.
Dan, you are so action!
I suspect that porn stars wear socks because they think that their feet are so fugly that the mere sight of the corns and calluses and bunions and what-all will kill the mood.

By the way, LOVE the definition of saddlebacking--perfect!
Can we have "Saddlebacking" translated into other languages please?
Could be a straight guy who wants to double penetrate his partner. Been there and done that and it was REAL good
I'm not a chick, but I can't imagine giving my a-hole before my pussy. I guess that points up the absurdity, right?
Brilliant! I will try to use saddlebacking in a sentence every day for a week!
To Rick

Yes a vibrator is a great comfort but Mizz Blau is right, fucking a human is so much better than fucking a piece of vibrating plastic, and even better than that is to have the human and the vibrating plastic. If you want to stuff your partner in a drawer when you're done, you're fucking the wrong kinds of people.
I had a thought about the guy with the strap-on. I haven't attempted this, but it occurs to me he might be intending to double-penetrate a female partner. I don't know if, physically, that would actually work. But it's also possible that he didn't know yet, either.

That, or he's the guy from a few weeks ago who intends to wear it on his nose....
Cowboy up! Too bad I never was offered the ass for any reason in my teen years...I'm still kinda jealous of all these teen Christian (saddlebacking) virgins, but the word and its definition is an instant classic. Thanks Dan!
There is a saddlebacking page up on Wikipedia but it's already being considered for deletion. Comments in support of it would be helpful.
Hi Dan

Just one suggestion: could you fix the spacing between the last and next-to-last lines? Needs to be shrunk a bit...

Your eternal fan and layout fascist here in Nara...
@Greenbandit: That's what I thought too. I've seen harnesses meant for men that also come with a strap-on attachment, meant for DP.

Vote up the new definition and vote down the one that is simply wrong.
Note about the strap-on - also has a use in hetero sex to allow double penetration with just two people.
just an irreverent thought, but - if it's ok for women to insist on their male partners using a vibrator, even though it makes them uncomfortable, surely that means it's ok for the male partner to insist on being able to watch porn during sex, even though it makes the female partner uncomfortable... right?

just checking. i mean, fair's fair!
I think you should change the example sentence to say: "After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because HE'S saving HIMSELF for marriage."

That crazy-think infects boys too, y'know.
Dan, it is very, very rare that oral, at least performed on a man, is a consolation. Especially if your lady/dude is good at it
The man with the strap could've easily been a heterosexual male with an average endownmnet that wants to give his woman double penetration - anal and vaginal intercourse at the same time.
Hey Dan, how about calling out the douchebag who is talking about strap-ons on a fucking airplane? Oh yeah, we're all so hip and sexually adventurous and wokka wokka wokka - how about some common damn courtesy? Am I the only one who noticed this? Where's fucking Emily Post when you need her?
I was someone who originally voted for definition #1, but now I quite agree #5 was the way to go. It's too hilarious.
I agree - is perfect in its simplicity. Just one small detail - the pronunciation guide should say /'sæd-dl-bæ-kiŋ/ - the /a/ symbol represents the sound in caught, not in cat (which would be /kæt/). Sorry about the nitpicking, but it might help get the word out better.
Actually, the most obvious answer to the question posed in the second letter is that it was something completely unrelated to sex. Though the term "strap-on" will make Savage Love readers think of a particular accessory in particular, there are no doubt countless other accessories for different hobbies that this person could have been referring to. Which would explain why the person had no qualms about expressing his excitement about it in a crowded plane.
Not everyone can please everyone everytime. So I was fine with Rick Warren speaking at Obama's inaugeration. I think that was a good gesture on Obama's part.
I have to agree with Dabe. The thing that stood out in letter #1 was the caller telling his friend he had to go because he was getting the "stinkeye". This would imply the letter writer was in the wrong for noticing a distinctly personal conversation had not only in a public place, but in the forced intimacy of an airline isle. Why didn't you call him out on that Dan?
I heard, what could possibly be just good gossip, that originally men wore socks in porno because the floors in the shooting locations were filthy.
Re M: had the caller been referring to a non sexual strap on of some kind, I doubt he would have referred to the writer noticing his remarks with "stinkeye". Example, I am an avid horse enthusiast. I would not hesitate to refer to riding "bareback" in pubic no matter the audience and it would neither occur to me that someone might notice the phrase or that anyone might be offended by it. It simply would not occur to me (as a straight woman). The caller noticing the writers look and considering it to be judgmental and his rude dismissal of it points to him being an inconsiderate, rude ass with a sense of entitlement.
Well, I guess that explains what "saddlesore" is.
Oh Dan! You rock! is pretty nice idea. Sombedy is going to be pissed!!!! He he
The only problem with this definition is that very few people will actually be using it. I for one am neither a Christian, nor a teenager. (I suppose I could be considered a virgin, in that I am a gay man who is a Kinsey 6 -- a perfect score.)

I do have have an opportunity to mention the santorum on occasion.
Saddleback Definition:
I agree with the above comment that could benefit from elaboration. Specifically the part about being "saddled ... with religious hang-ups and serious misconceptions about sex". To me, this is what makes a simply funny definition profound.
I wondered if the man was talking about something non-sexual and thought he was getting the stinkeye for being a rude jackass who talks loudly on his cell on the plane. Which would be deserved (although the letter writer was just glancing over, not glaring), regardless of the conversational content.
Now we need a meaning for "coulter" or "ann-coulter". She really deserves to have something named after her.
Re. Stink-Eye In 12E. A reason that Dan did not mention for a man to wear a Strap-on instead of his penis is that maybe he cannot use his penis for one reason or another. I've worked in adult stores, and I will always remember the man who came in because, as the result of a serious accident, his penis was perminately damaged. He bought a Strap-on so that he could feel more like a man and to satisfy his wife.
I'm going to have to disagree with you about the socks, Dan.

Seeing a pair of socks on a guy while he screws some willing body really does it for me. It's that little bit of something hidden... especially ankle socks.

Maybe it's not intentionally done as a foot fetish thing, but it does it for this rather mild foot fetishist.
A few months ago, I stumbled across a report on brain scans of people reaching orgasm (…). It included the following finding:

"The experiments also revealed a rather surprising effect: both men and women found it easier to have an orgasm when they kept their socks on. Draughts in the scanning room left couples complaining of "literally cold feet", and providing a pair of socks allowed 80 per cent rather than 50 per cent to reach a climax while their brains were scanned."

I think about this now whenever I see some guy in a porno wearing socks.
I must say, I'm surprised at how quickly someone has put this up on wikipedia (I know Dan, you hate wiki... but, I guess your fans don't...)
Some strap-ons come with two "circles" (pardon my ignorance for the correct word). The penis can go through one, the dildo secured in the other. This permits DP of a partner.
Greenbandit said:
"I had a thought about the guy with the strap-on. I haven't attempted this, but it occurs to me he might be intending to double-penetrate a female partner. I don't know if, physically, that would actually work."

It works.
One other use a straight man has for a strap-on--which is, wearing so it sits above or below his own home-grown hard-on, to allow for double penetration (anal & vaginal) of a woman. My boy and I do this occasionally (when I'm not using it on him), and it's mighty fun.
already the number one hit on google. I am so proud of everyone!
Men are in competition with vibrators, a tiny bit. Not any man in a relationship so much, but the NSA sex that so many desire, is done a real disservice by them. Selfish i'm-only-here-to-get-myself-off sex really doesn't compete. A vibrator gets that job done a lot better than a one night stand. Sure vibrators don't call you on your birthday, comfort you when you're sad, etc etc, but neither does some NSA fuck buddy. So what else have you got?
I love the definition... the way you worded it - however, to me - makes it sound as though it does indeed preserve virginity... maybe it needs a little clarification in.. with the illusion of preserving virginity...

Dan, my FB always wears his socks during sex (he wanted to be a porn star when he was younger), but I suspect his feet are cold. And yes, he was excited by having me try out a strap-on on him and still does. I am female and he is a 53 year old hetero male.
I would like to suggest a different use-it-in-a-sentence for saddlebacking:

As Matt saddlebacked her, Kelsey admired her purity ring and thanked God that she had an understanding boyfriend who was willing to wait for their wedding day.
Re SEI12E: he could be talking about a dildo harness which is meant to be worn over a chastity belt (see > Chastity > Hi-Tech).
Re SEI12E: there are also strap-ons which are meant to be worn over a chastity belt.
Dan, as a logophile, I feel obliged to point out that the definition on indicates that "saddlebacking" is a verb. It's not. As defined ("the phenomenon…"), it is a noun (technically a verbal noun), though it could also be a form (present participle or gerund) of the verb "to saddleback." Also your sample sentence illustrates the verb, not the headword noun. If you want to keep this as a definition of "saddlebacking," I suggest you mark it as a noun and change the sample sentence to something like: "After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill devoted the whole night to saddlebacking, because she's saving herself for marriage."
I'm so impressed. Saddlebacking is already the third google hit for the word. I'm guessing it'll be a while before "saddleback" gets you the new definition.

I do feel a little sorry for Saddleback College and Saddleback Maine (and really anyone in the Saddleback Mountain range).
regarding men and strap-ons - not just too-small dicked guys, but too-big ones, and ones who don't last as long as their partners like.
Aww.... that definition of saddlebacking brings a tear to my eye. In a good way.
Doesn't it seem plausible that guys wear socks in porn for the same reason that people wear socks when they're not doing porn? Socks keep their feet warm. I bet porn shoots are often cool, drafty places.
This is from a week or so ago, but worth noting:

Yeah, taking the "tool" approach to vibrator use may be the way to go. Has anyone ever heard a carpenter say "I stood around all day while my hammer banged in nails and my jigsaw cut some wood"? Of course not. (But you should almost never use a jigsaw in sexual play.)
The Economist? Really? Well Whoop-de-Fuckin-Do! So what? No one reads the Economist. Never heard of it. Oh well. I guess you'll take what you can when your a small potato columnest compared to Dear Abby and Ann Landers. Let us know when Saddlebacking makes it into Time, Newsweek or even the USA Today.
holy shit, the power of Savage Love readers! it's less than 24 hours since the column was posted on the web and i just googled "saddlebacking" and got more than 10 sites that have the definition up. Dan, speak and it will be done!
i think you should alter (or add to) the website to say "saddleback (verb)" rather than just "saddlebacking"--b/c when people do a search for rick warren's church, they won't be searching for "saddlebacking", they'll be searching for "saddleback"--& we want your site to be the 1st one that comes up in their searches!
Re the second writer: Perhaps there are "strap-ons" that aren't fake penises? Maybe he has strap-on bicycle panniers or something.
You know, I don't have a problem with Rick Warren at the inauguration either now. Not after the Rev. Dr. Lowery made him look like a pathetic hack. :)

Regarding men watching porn during sex, I personally wouldn't have a problem with it occasionally, but it's a different thing. Asking your partner to use a sex toy ON YOU to get you off is quite a bit different than telling your sex partner you want to use them as a sperm toilet while you focus on and pay attention to someone else(s) entirely.

A more appropriate analogy would be a guy who asks his partner to use a masturbatory aid on him, or dildo for the prostate stimulation, because that's how HE gets off.
Dan, should include your commentary, too, to give context about this particular type of barebacking: "Saddlebacking, like barebacking, involves one person riding up on another's backside. But in this case, it's not the bare-naked cock-in-ass that's the most important feature of the ride, but the fact that the person being ridden has been saddled—thanks to the efforts of the Rick Warrens of this world—with religious hang-ups and serious misconceptions about sex. Like the barebacker who casually tosses away his health—or his partner's health—because he believes, quite erroneously, that "risky = sexy," the saddlebacker offers up her ass because she believes, quite erroneously, that she can get fucked in the ass—vigorously, religiously—and still be considered a virgin on her wedding night."
I concur with "glen keenan" regarding site, it should be "saddleback [v]", saddlebacking is a gerund...the grammar police will have to issue you a conjugation citation!!
Well I hate to say this but porn seems to be rushed so maybe they are rushed to take their pants and drawers off and forget to take their socks off.
Socks on feet.

The reason that people wear socks on their feet in porn is that the soundstage that porn is filmed on is made of black stuff that rubs off on feet easily. My friends who have been in the biz always roll their eyes at seeing "porn star feet" - a girl is on her back, she's perfectly made up, but the soles of her feet are black. This means that she was walking around on set, outside the dressing room, in bare feet (instead of in the flip-flops the girls are supposed to use). It's a mark of an amateurish production or performer. Guys wear socks for the same reason, and occasionally they forget to take them off, that's all.
The google-bombing won't work as well if "saddlebacking" is the keyword. When people google "saddleback" looking for the church, we want them to find "saddlebacking." Google looks for those two terms separately, so we need to tie the search term "saddleback" very very closely to the URL.

Also, personal aside... my husband has had the same qualms about vibrators. He's over it now. Apparently, when I orgasm with my vibrator, I clench his cock hella harder than when I orgasm without. Handy, that.
As a previous critic of the new definition of saddlebacking, I've come around to it, at least for its implication, which is is as Dan puts it here:

"But in this case, it's not the bare-naked cock-in-ass that's the most important feature of the ride, but the fact that the person being ridden has been saddled—thanks to the efforts of the Rick Warrens of this world—with religious hang-ups and serious misconceptions about sex."

In fact, the best definition I have ever heard for religious indoctrination that says it all is "mind fuck."

I would be overjoyed if saddlebacking was expanded, not just with the context for the original definition, but with a secondary definition that describes the intellectual raping, "the mind fuck," that religious indoctrination represents.

It would expand the use of the word, and produce a definition for the indoctrination that made possible such perversity in the first place, as well as continue with the sexual nature of the original definition.

I must say, the grammar police have gone and dumped me by the roadside, in that I had to examine the definition on to figure out the noun/gerund issue, and then when "conjunction citation" was brought up later in jest, not knowing what a conjunction is almost led me to weep on the spot...

I can't handle this!!!
Hrm... I might be wrong about the google thing... I thought the tense flexibility was only for commonly-used words, but when I googled "saddlebacking," "saddleback" options still came up. There was a different first page of results, but several of them were the same.

In any case, wasn't on the top 5 pages of either search. Thought plenty of other Dan references on the "saddlebacking" search.

Don't forget...a guy can also use his penis and a strap-on a girl at the same time, but in different places.

I know you are going after Saddleback church and all which is why you chose "Christian" but women do this all over the world. This definition needs expanding!

Otherwise GREAT WORD! I'm going to go saddleback a chick right now.
91 is already Favorited. The site is genius in its most concentrated form.
Re. socks: I think burning_waffles and Afreet have it. I read (I think it was in What Wild Ecstasy) that it was common in old porn films for the crew to be working in cold rooms.

@mw: sorry, but there's a major difference. A woman who can't get off without a vibrator pressed against her clitoris has a physical problem (easily solved with the application of the proper tools). A man who can't get off without porn has a psychological problem.

Please note: I'm not saying that watching porn is inherently a problem, just that not being able to get off without it is.

And, just as couples should try to find toys that they're both comfortable with, I think that couples should also try to find porn that they're both comfortable with.
Note to self: Do not piss off Dan Savage, or his readers. No telling how they would redefine my last name!
It already made it to Wiktionary. I went to add it and it was there.
If I cheat on my Christian girlfriend by fucking someone else in the ass, am I sidesaddlebacking? Was Ted Haggard sidesaddlebacking all along?
TC, you have not heard of the Economist? What uneducated rock do you live under? If you have not heard of it, you are the nobody.

It is probably the most influential news magazine published in the English language. NOT the most widely read, but the most influential among people who actually make decisions. Political decisions. Economic decisions. Business decisions. It liberal in the old meaning of that word. It has supported legalization of drugs and gay rights for decades, while at the same time being fiscally conservative. Its average reader earns well over 6 figures a year and is rumored to have been required reading in the State Department for the past four decades -- no matter what party was in the White House. It puts rags like Newsweek and Time to shame.

The Economist is a trend setter. Not in fashion and art, in politics and business. By the time you read it in USA Today it is yesterdays news. The fact that you are reading it in the Economist means that it is about to be news everywhere else.

The folks that write the Economist think themselves too clever by half. The backhanded way the mention Dan and his campaign to name "Saddlebacking" is in fact their highest compliment. They KNOW that their readers are now going to go search the internet and try and find what those "unprintable" definition are, and in fact will be more curious not less by the description they give them. The Economist was very amused or they would not have mentioned it. Kudos to Dan.
So santorum can also be used in the same sentence as saddlebacking? Awesome!
To saddleback? Or not to saddleback? answers the question...
Touche for #5 (Or should I say "do not touche, since you're saving yourselves for marriage, all you under-aged religious freaks...)

The gesture is very educational too; the awareness just might save a few lives in the bargain...(inferior religious freak lives, sure, but lives, all the same...)
Hurrah on definition five's victory and its appearance in "The Economist"!

But, Dan, please amend the term's classification: (as others have pointed out) "saddlebacking" is a noun (a verbal noun or gerund), not a verb. "[To] saddleback" is the verb form.

I agree that "saddleback" should be added to the web page in order that web searches for the church make their way to instead (or in addition to).

Way to go!

P.S. Perhaps the man on the plane wasn't even referring to a strap-on dildo? I mean, how does the writer know he was referring to a sex toy (and in public, no less)? I recently purchased a strap-on heating pad for my back, and I'm pretty sure I said aloud more than once, "I can't wait until the strap-on arrives [in the mail]." Just a thought.