Savage Love

Rape Relief

Comments

1
BTDT got it spot on. It's good to know all the options, from methods of birth control to methods of sexual expression.
2
OMG. Dan, Please do a podcast or something to help me deal with the horrific news just out today. The voters in California and the CA supreme court are so ignorant, stupid, lame. Why is it that people still believe the myth of "separate but equal"? Gay domestic partnerships in the back of the bus, same old, same old bigotry..
3
Right now the link is going to parenthood.org, not plannedparenthood.org. It's very wholesome, but offers no birth control effectiveness chart.
4
Hey, the link to plannedparenthood.org is split, so it instead takes you to parenthood.org, which has an eerie god-bother vibe to it. Funny mistake, but you might want to tidy it up?
5
AHHH SO CLOSE! But Depo Provera is A BAD IDEA. It's terrible for you (bone loss etc.), and was tested on poor minority women without their knowledge or consent, was used in an attempt to cull the 'poor minority' population, and we ship it to Africa by the boat load. It was also used as a way for women to reduce their sentences in court!!
Depo is BAD for women.
6
I wish there were more birth control methods out there, for both men and women. Currently, for women, there's the pill (hormones), different kinds of pills (different kinds of hormones), the patch (a patch hormone), depo-provera (a shot hormone), the ring (a ring hormone), hormone IUDs, other hormone devices... the problem is, it's all just "the pill" but with different amounts/kinds of hormones.

So realistically speaking, the only forms of birth control are: 1) female hormones, 2) male barrier, 3) female barrier. If hormone devices don't work in one form, they're not likely to work in any form. Thus, barriers are the only recourse, and since female condoms are strange and difficult, there is really only one choice left: condoms.

Birth control is a fickle bitch.
7
@ 3 & 4:

Thanks—it's been fixed.
8
Re: BTDT, the sponge is back on the market. SPONGEWORTHY!
9
i have to say, the ring is a good solution, and i've tried many pills and condoms. it affects me the least and you don't have to worry about remembering to take it everyday.
oh, and heroin harms you, uses up precious seratonin, DA, etc... Being gay is not harmful at all unless you act irresponsibly, like driving without a seat-belt.
10
@ Urgutha Forka : you forgot about nonhormonal IUDs, which BTDT mentions having, and which Dan talks about on this week's lovecast. I guess they're back, better than ever before, which is good news for those of us who don't like messing with our horomones.
11
You missed the boat with DRUGS Dan. Heroin use isn't in the same category as homosexuality because heroin use is not an individual choice. Oh, sure, someone might be high-functioning, for now, but the second something goes wrong in the heroin user's life, they're going to be doing anything they can to feed their habit - stealing from their friends and relatives, stealing from strangers, whatever it takes. No matter how raging of a homo you are, what you do to your boyfriend's cock isn't going to affect anyone other than you and your boyfriend. Heroin use doesn't work that way.
12
I appreciate the education on birth control, but remember the original poster was a teenager. I still think she absolutely needs a condom no matter what else she is using. And, learning how to be assertive now and let a guy know he has two choices -- "in with one" or "not in" is a valuable lesson.
13
Waitwait... shouldn't it be the other way around? Heroin use is a choice you make, and gayness is something you're born with, ie Not A Choice?

And the religious right would beg to differ with you on the "not hurting anyone" point. Won't you think of the children? (sarcasm, btw)
14
regarding the IUD in some states it is only available for women who have had their cervix breached, meaning had a baby or an abortion because they can be related to other kinds of bacterial diseases that can lead to infertility and no one wants to be responsible for giving a teenager, who may want to give birth later, a problem with her cervix ... so talk to your doctor, do your research, ask lots of questions...for me when i entered a relationship it took a year to find the right form and WE continued to use condoms until I decided which was right for me
15
I agree with biggie. Drug users affect everyone else around them whether they like it or not; just ask the families of those addicted to drugs. Oh, sure, people claim that they can use drugs responsibly ("No really, I can!"), but illegal drugs can cause all sorts of bizarre and frightening side-effects and reactions, like that recent news story of a PCP-user who ate his son's EYES out. Or the kid who smoked pot and realized too late that mental illness ran in the family. After all, no drug user PLANS to be a messed up crack-head.

If you're gay, there's no 'weird reaction' that causes harm to yourself or others. You're not tempted to steal to feed your gay habit if times are hard. Being gay can't KILL you if you take too high a dose accidentally. So damn not comparable.
16
Oh dear, PILL: get really, really informed about various birth control methods. I know tons of women with horrific experiences with the shot, various pill, various patch and IUD's. Which is absolutely NOT to say they are not good ideas, but that you should make sure to get informed, talk to doctors and other people you know who use birth control methods and then try around for what works best for you.
17
Cats vs. Twitter – this clears up everything for me.

Thanks!
18
Knowing the available types of birth control is always good, especially for those in monogamous relationships but many of those types don't prevent STDs.
19
i'd like to comment that i've been using fertility awareness method successfully for nearly 5 years. there are other options besides simply hormones or other hormones.
20
@ Biggie and BB,

I agree with Dan on this one. Drug USERS can function without necessarily harming anyone. I mean, think of all the people that consume alcohol recreationally, or maybe ecstasy at raves or pot at home, most of them don't automatically begin robbing their friends and murdering people to feed their habits. Drug ADDICTS are where the real problem lies, like gambling addicts, alcoholics and bulimics their use has major consequences for everyone in their lives. I would contend that the number of such addicts is and always will be a fraction of the number of users. Now, although I agree heroin is a much stronger drug, as is meth-amphetamine, there are probably people that can tolerate it. There are many people on methadone treatment that lead relatively benign lives for instance.

All drugs should be legalized and we should use the resources for the "War on Drugs" on treatment of and research into addiction and harm reduction efforts for the addicts that can't handle their drugs.
21
How do you know you're fertile, Nicole? There may be other reasons that method has worked for you.
22
I agree with Trying to Help that PILL's main issue should be dealing with the fact that her teenage boyfriend (they were 17 right?) won't use a condom. Sure he likes it better without, but come on, she needs to tell him to wrap it up or put the pants back on. He must learn sometime that this is how it goes. And all those other birth control methods won't protect from STDs.
23
Most teens CAN'T get an IUD. Docs reserve them for women who are in long-term, monogamous relationships. If you're changing partners frequently, like many teens do, it can increase your chances of coming down with an STD.
24
I agree with 12 and 23. No, we don't want the teen getting pregnant, but we also don't want her getting an STD. All of Dan's methods kept her free from disease as well as pregnancy. I will get my daughter whatever birth control method she wants, as long as she promises to always use it with condoms.
25
I think there is no comparison to be made between drug use and being gay. It's apples and oranges, so it's not even on the same spectrum. Being gay doesn't affect mental functioning, emotional stability or cause DUI's.

Can a person be a recreational user? Of course it's possible. It's a slippery slope, though. There are only a few places to go from recreational use: addiction, jail, DWI/DUI, overdose/accidental death, or quit before it becomes an addiction. I would say that for 99% of people those are the choices available.

I was a recreational drug user during my misspent youth, so I'm not saying that there aren't people who use on an experimental basis and then move on with life. I did. My best friend and I used to go out clubbing every weekend, smoke weed and also take the occassional x pill or do a line of coke. But I know from watching other people around me with problems that not everyone was able to quit as easily as I did. Many people have serious consequences from drug use.

As it turns out, my best friend had some kind of undiagnosed mental problem that doesn't mix well with drugs. She's the kind of person who gets crazy/psychotic even on pot. Everyone else in the room would be chill and sedate and she'd get irritable and high strung. I can't tell you how many times I had to clean up after her or watch out for her safety when she was high. I almost had to call an ambulance for her, because I couldn't get her to wake up. Long story short, her substance problem continued well into her adult life. Over the course of our friendship, she stole $100 from me to buy coke, killed a dog and a cat on separate occasions while intoxicated, and is a super scary person now. I haven't spoken with her in 3.5 years because her alcohol/drug abuse scares me.

The problem is that drug use is a serious gamble with your life/health. You don't know if you will become an addict or have serious problems until after you start using. It's unpredictable. The fact that there are functioning addicts is not evidence that drugs are safe. I recently saw a statistic about addicts stating that 75% of all addicts have jobs. Addicts aren't just junkies living on the streets- they are also high-functioning users who think they have it all under control and that the rest of society just doesn't understand.

26
RIP_Thurgood --
Unfortunately the purview of the CASC was only to determine the eligibility of Prop 8 to be inserted into the CA Constitution. Since CA has its stupid proposition system.... Prop 8 is legal. It's a horrible, ignorant thing, but don't go blaming the CASC for it. Their job was to determine whether the dumb@ss voters of CA could insert that POS into their Constitution. And they can.... dumb@sses!

Personally I find it deplorable that ignorant @ssholes want to take any Constitution, state or Federal, which is essentially about liberty and justice and use it to exclude people from liberty and justice.
27
Actually Dan's methods don't necessarily keep her 100% STD free. You know a lot of STDs can be transmitted by skin touching (ala Herpes or HPV) or kissing even (oral herpes anyone?). It is all about risk management versus pleasure. Most people dont want to be wrapped in saran wrap from head to toe every time they have sex so we take risks. But please don't imply everything but penis in hole is 100% guaranteed to keep you clean because it isn't.
28
Hate to break it to you guys but outercouse and blowjobs can give you STDs. Some diseases transmit with skin contact (herpes and HPV) and you can get pretty much anything in the mouth you can get on your genitals (say oral herpes or syphillis). They are safer than unprotected sex but not 100%.
29
I agree that the "War on Drugs" needs to be ended and I am in favor of licensing the sale of drugs of recreation - but I doubt it will ever happen in this country. For such drugs to be available "over the counter" would call into question the need for a prescription for any drug at all and requiring a physician's prescription for these drugs would be largely ineffective as few physicians would be willing to prescribe recreational drugs.

However, if such legalization WERE to happen, I would be one of those at the forefront insisting that those who choose to partake of "recreational" drugs also sign waivers declining their right to state-sponsored healthcare for any health condition linked to their drug abuse. I already feel this way for cigarettes - it drives me mad that there are those with conditions predicated on their use of cigarettes who require extraordinarily expensive healthcare and expect the taxpayer to cover the cost. So please, smoke/inject/swallow all the heroin you want. But please do not expect anyone else to cover the cost of any conditions that might arise as a result of your drug use.
30
Another good choice for PILL is to have a menage-a-trois (in the sense of a sustained three-way relationship) with her bf and another girl, who is okay with birth control pills, and he can just come inside her. It's important to understand all your options.
31
Fertility awareness is a great way to get more informed about your body and your cycles, but if you're in your teens or early 20s it's pretty likely that your cycle will still vary too much for it to be effective. (It's also more subject to momentary lapses of judgement than more obvious physical methods of birth control.) I'd only recommend it if you're prepared to have an abortion or a baby... I tracked my cycles for several years in my early 20s, I learned a lot and was very careful, but eventually got pregnant anyway.
32
@ #9: how is being gay analogous to driving without a seatbelt??
33
I find it funny that with IUDs people always bring up the risk of infertility. People should realize the risk of infertility with an IUD is lower than the risk of DEATH from Hormonal birth control.
34
I think a more essential point for BTID is that PILL was dating someone who was clearly not very mature. If he "doesn't like condoms" well he better get used to it, because not every woman will want to take the contraceptive burden on themselves; also, condoms prevent STIs, and "I don't like condoms" will not cut it on a one night stand. Pill's boyfriend needs to grow up before they're ready for intercourse.
35
Dan -- I'm listening to the podcast and you're explaining GGG to us again. Two items:
1) expand it to the world in general... this planet needs some more GGG in a general capacity. Sheesh, does it ever.
2) http://www.acronymfinder.com -- everyone should bookmark it!!! (somehow your definition only ranked #7 in the GGG list, go figure.)
36
@23 and others: You say it's important for a teenager to use condoms because they could be changing partners a lot and methods like IUDs are intended for long-term, monogamous relationships. I agree ... except PILL's problem was not with condoms, but with her PARTNER'S problem with condoms.

PILL, if you change partners, use condoms, poof!
37
@ #32 rumblebee:

Really?? Do you need your hand held that much?? Your reading comprehension skills are dwarfed by your ability to add extra punctuation!!!!!!!!
38
@29, ok so does that mean obese people would have to sign that waiver too? How about people with highly physical/dangerous occupations? These are all choices we make that affect our health. Who, exactly, is worthy of state-sponsored healthcare?
39
Dan, you have just earned a place in the simile hall of fame (which I hope does not actually exist) for the phrase, "gay is like Cats, while heroin is like Twitter"
40
I have a feeling that DRUGS's question was really just a trap for you to fall into, trying to make you write something stupid or hypocritical, and yet Dan you handled it flawlessly
41
Prop 8 decision: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/doc…

Read it for yourself!
42
@6, you're neglecting the surgical options. Vasectomies are cheap and effective (Planned Parenthood has been known to sponsor discounts for them). For the huge numbers of guys I've met who do not want kids under any circumstances, vasectomy is an option. It's just that most guys are pansies about doctors messing with their junk under any circumstance.

There's the copper IUD for women, which is extremely effective and reversible, but not for those at high risk of STIs. And of course women also have surgical options for birth control.

Not for everyone is every circumstance by any means, but surgical options do work for a lot of people.
43
@38 - Dangerous occupations are not the same as drug use. Society needs someone to work dangerous occupations. Society doesn't need any heroin users. If everyone chose to NOT work in mines, for example, society would be in trouble. But if everyone chose to NOT do heroin, society would be just fine. So we cover the health care of people who step up and work the dangerous jobs, but shouldn't cover the health care of those who make the purely selfish choice to do heroin.
44
@38. Actually yes, I happen to think that if you are obese and desire state-sponsored healthcare, you should have to agree to strictly monitored exercise and diet plans in order to receive healthcare sponsored by taxes. Highly physical/dangerous occupations? It depends on the benefit of that occupation to society - if society is paying for the results of an accident on the job, I think society should benefit from that job in some concrete, tangible manner. Thus firefighter, police officer, construction worker? Yes to state sponsored healthcare for accidents on the job. Professional wrestler or professional stuntman? No.

Clearly we're painting with broad strokes here, but of course all of this is IMHO.
45
Personally I don't want a nanny-state, but it seems I am in the minority these days in America. So if you want a nanny-state that regulates your healthcare, you should prepare for a nanny-state that monitors your lifestyle choices that will affect the cost of that healthcare. If you think government sponsored healthcare will turn out that different than healthcare monitored by insurance companies, you have your head in the sand. Both have a tendency to think about people as widgets and costs associated with maintaining the health of individuals in terms of risk/cost vs. benefit.
46
Personally I don't want a nanny-state, but it seems I am in the minority these days in America. So if you want a nanny-state that regulates your healthcare, you should prepare for a nanny-state that monitors your lifestyle choices that will affect the cost of that healthcare. If you think government sponsored healthcare will turn out that different than healthcare monitored by insurance companies, you have your head in the sand. Both have a tendency to think about people as widgets and costs associated with maintaining the health of individuals in terms of risk/cost vs. benefit.
47
huh, so being gay is exactly like doing heroin ? who knew.
48
Hmm.

I have a terribly dangerous job working on energized powerlines that provide electricity to all of your little laptops, and I have private insurance.

That being said, DRUGS isn't saying that using drugs is like being gay. He's asking Dan if the feelings of hiding something are analogous to being in the closet, and then Dan answers him in typical Savage Love fashion. Sheesh, why the eff does everything have to come down to "for" or "against" anything? I mean, come on, we're all individuals... sure you can shuffle me into many different boxes (handsome, witty, male, humble) but we're really an accumulation of our experiences and choices. DRUGS is doing a little introspection and wondering about if his situation is unique to him, or if maybe he has something in common with a sex columnist's demographic.

And PILL, use condoms. Period. I didn't use one ONE EFFING TIME and ended up married with a kid. No pregnancy scare, nothin. If the guy says "but I can't stay hard, baby" then put on your panties and DTMFA.

49
There are lots of condom options out there, too. My partner couldn't stay hard with the brand that are given out free by our students' union, but a $7 investment in a different brand that had a different size and shape available was well worth it. There's tons out there- before exploring different birth control (though not STI prevention) options, why not shop around the various kinds of condoms? It'll be a fun scientific experiment for PILL. And well worth it.
50
There are lots of condom options out there, too. My partner couldn't stay hard with the brand that are given out free by our students' union, but a $7 investment in a different brand that had a different size and shape available was well worth it. There's tons out there- before exploring different birth control (though not STI prevention) options, why not shop around the various kinds of condoms? It'll be a fun scientific experiment for PILL. And well worth it.
51
DRUGS: Becoming a well-adjusted gay person includes: 1. accepting yourself completely in your own heart and 2. learning to navigate the reality of a disapproving society. It's really hard to do either of those things alone, so an essential part of the gay 'experience' is finding other gays for support - a community. In the bad old days those communities kept underground. Today's gay liberation 'happened' because of hard work and organized action. So I guess a question you might ask yourself is - are there others like you? Do you believe in your cause enough that you'd be willing to work to create a world where you would not have to hide your heroin use?
52
Most addicts I've known think they are on top of their drug use, even after numerous crises that should have let them know they are not. There's always an excuse, a reason why it wasn't their fault. In addiction, denial is the name of the game.

RE Legalizing all drugs: One problem with letting folks decide what they will do with their bodies is that many folks who opt for drug use also drive. If someone wants to zone out at home that's one thing but do we really need more folks on the road under the influence? Are people who have made the questionable decision to use heroin, meth, etc. likely to be responsible enough to stay off the road? Look at the national track record for drinking and driving. And yes, there are already illegal drug users on the road--Do we need more of them?



53
Most addicts I've known think they are on top of their drug use, even after numerous crises that should have let them know they are not. There's always an excuse, a reason why it wasn't their fault. In addiction, denial is the name of the game.

RE Legalizing all drugs: One problem with letting folks decide what they will do with their bodies is that many folks who opt for drug use also drive. If someone wants to zone out at home that's one thing but do we really need more folks on the road under the influence? Are people who have made the questionable decision to use heroin, meth, etc. likely to be responsible enough to stay off the road? Look at the national track record for drinking and driving. And yes, there are already illegal drug users on the road--Do we need more of them?



54
Most addicts I've known think they are on top of their drug use, even after numerous crises that should have let them know they are not. There's always an excuse, a reason why it wasn't their fault. In addiction, denial is the name of the game.

RE Legalizing all drugs: One problem with letting folks decide what they will do with their bodies is that many folks who opt for drug use also drive. If someone wants to zone out at home that's one thing but do we really need more folks on the road under the influence? Are people who have made the questionable decision to use heroin, meth, etc. likely to be responsible enough to stay off the road? Look at the national track record for drinking and driving. And yes, there are already illegal drug users on the road--Do we need more of them?



55
Most addicts I've known think they are on top of their drug use, even after numerous crises that should have let them know they are not. There's always an excuse, a reason why it wasn't their fault. In addiction, denial is the name of the game.

RE Legalizing all drugs: One problem with letting folks decide what they will do with their bodies is that many folks who opt for drug use also drive. If someone wants to zone out at home that's one thing but do we really need more folks on the road under the influence? Are people who have made the questionable decision to use heroin, meth, etc. likely to be responsible enough to stay off the road? Look at the national track record for drinking and driving. And yes, there are already illegal drug users on the road--Do we need more of them?



56
Most addicts I've known think they are on top of their drug use, even after numerous crises that should have let them know they are not. There's always an excuse, a reason why it wasn't their fault. In addiction, denial is the name of the game.

RE Legalizing all drugs: One problem with letting folks decide what they will do with their bodies is that many folks who opt for drug use also drive. If someone wants to zone out at home that's one thing but do we really need more folks on the road under the influence? Are people who have made the questionable decision to use heroin, meth, etc. likely to be responsible enough to stay off the road? Look at the national track record for drinking and driving. And yes, there are already illegal drug users on the road--Do we need more of them?



57
The drug question was totally a strawman argument. One simple question:

Would you allow a homosexual to babysit your dogs/kids/plants? Sure, I'm past that particular prejudice.

Would you allow a heroin user to babysit your dogs/kids/plants? Ummmm...NO!

Using heroin regularly means you habitually alter your reality in ways that can be very dangerous to yourself and other living things. Being gay doesn't alter anyone's reality (except for religious right fruitcakes and republican congresspeople).

Now the real question is...would you allow someone on hormonal birth control to babysit???
58
@8: The sponge is fantastic! I used it, very carefully and steadily, with my last BF. Totally comfortable and easy to use. The only downside was not being able to receive oral sex while it was in. Well, until I got pregnant after 4 weeks. Having an abortion was a definite downside. Use the sponge only as an added measure of protection or at least make sure he pulls out if it's your only method of birth control.
59
As I read the letter from DRUGS I am struck by the "introspective" nature of the question(s). In this world, and deepsixed economy...thank you Generalissimo Bush...the legalization of most 'recreational' drugs would seem to solve a part of the deficit. We would see a lowering of the turf wars, as once you filed for a peddler's permit and set up your stand, the police would be helping you instead of whupping on you...the cartel killings and general slaughter in Mexico would slowly stop as they would no longer be forced to find mules to get past the border...of course, this would also equate to, as state run lotteries, slots, and casinos, a tax on the poor...those who can ill-afford yet another tax...if one only looks at history, which very few people are guilty of, the disparity between the prosecution of selling cocaine and crack...which settled out among all of those lovely racial/socioeconomic lines...now for those readers that didn't tune out...

The desire to take drugs has no relevance to the reality of one's sexual orientation...this is coming from a hetrosexual married male whose best man and a groom's woman at his wedding were homosexual, as well as two of the bride's maids...who but a jealous, insecure yogurt would care if two people that loved each other wanted to get married, and they had the same genitalia...who would choose to not have basic civil rights...who would choose to live in a city with no representation...no one except a brain dead republican...the truth be told I am not surprised by the California decision...this is the same state that elected Nixon, and Swartznager...Swartzcoff...you know...Ah'Nold...

And to the teenager PILL...as my beloved mother told me when I was younger..."No condom, no sex! I am too young for you to be knocking up some girl and bringin' home a grandbaby!" Mutual masterbation, oral, striptease, you and your partner...all can be very satisfying. And as you will find out, hopefully, a real man takes care of the birth control...every time!
60
Does anyone "like" condoms?

I have not met one person - male or female - that prefers sex with condoms to sex without. The use of condoms (and they can be used for oral sex, which everyone seems to be forgetting) remain a great choice for people willing to be mature about their sexual health and are not in a monogamous relationship.

PILL needs to dump the little boy and find a nice young man. Men use condoms; boys whine about them.
61
All the comments are about the drugs and birth control letters. No one cares about the Raped Boyfriend letter? Dan, you had that nailed. It does sound like the "no sex, good home" boyfriend might be totally scamming him. At the least, the guy withheld significant information. "No sex -- that's not monogamy, that's celibacy" is perfect. I wish more people would get this distinction early in their relationships, so they don't end up celibate-but-partnered. Oh, and if this guy was my friend, AND the rape story was proven, I'd tell him to require the bf to get counseling or the relationship is over. Someone who doesn't have sex AND refuses to get help is requiring their partner to be celibate. I've been there and it sucks!
62
Dan you've been duped. DRUGS wasn't interested in your take on the legality of drugs but wanted to put you in a position of defending homosexuality. It's a typical ploy by those gay-haters to try and make being gay look like it is some kind of sickness that can be cured and gay people should be shamed for their weakness. Read again what he says and I believe you'll see that he's mocking you (and all gay people).
63
Dan you've been duped. DRUGS wasn't interested in your take on the legality of drugs but wanted to put you in a position of defending homosexuality. It's a typical ploy by those gay-haters to try and make being gay look like it is some kind of sickness that can be cured and gay people should be shamed for their weakness. Read again what he says and I believe you'll see that he's mocking you (and all gay people).
64
Don't know where exactly the "nanny-state" and health insurance got thrown into this mix but here's my two cents. I've never smoked, don't drink, haven't done a single illegal drug since college (30+ years ago), exercise daily and don't have a weight problem. I was never much in favor or supporter of universal health care even before it was a buzz phrase. Mostly I guess because I always had a job with health insurance. Eighteen months ago I lost that job but was fortunate enough, because of my health history, to secure reasonably, or at least affordably, priced insurance. Seven months ago it was discovered that I have a rare, but treatable, cancer - one however that requires a very expensive treatment that my insurance company does not cover because "they" feel it is experimental. I also was told by my insurance provider that they would no longer accept me as I was now, due to the cancer treatment that they refused to cover and which I was using my retirement savings to pay for, considered too high of a risk. So, at age 55 I am without health insurance and, seemingly unable to obtain insurance in the future because of my current condition. So I guess because anyone (myself certainly included) determines that universal health care is contributing to a nanny-state and only necessary for those who haven't been responsible enough to provide for themselves they might want to take a step back and think that no matter how much they think or believe that it couldn't happen to them they are absolutely wrong. I thought I did everything right yet I'm now in a position where I'm probably never going to be able to obtain health insurance thus resulting in my inability to seek medical treatment except when I can afford it or, as many others have done, use the emergency room as a doctor's office and then skip the bill (resulting in higher costs to those who can pay either privately or through their insurance provider).
65
Dan, Are you giving us permission to inhale your boyfriend's pheromones? Sounds like fun!
66
Regarding the Raped Boyfriend, IF the story is true, it seems really weird that the guy would choose a person who looks "exactly like" his rapist. That alone should tip one off that it's baloney. I can't imagine having anything but a horror reaction to someone who looked like the person who raped me. IF it turns out to be true, ANB should dump him anyway because the guy has serious problems.
67
BTDT's absolutely right, but there is the STD issue too, which is reduced by non-vaginal intercourse to at least some extent but not at all by other strictly birth control methods.

As for DRUGS, I don't have very well formed opinions on this, but I think it is important to recognize that heroin is so incredibly addictive (it literally supplants your brain's natural neurotransmitters, even to some extent in the beginning, and thereby makes consumption of heroin a necessity for survival). Even knowing that, you can't really prescribe (no pun intended) any concrete course of action without getting into all sorts of "foundations of ethics" debates, but, if you're going to talk about the "freedom of choice"/"rational adult" angles that I think argue persuasively for legalizing non- or minimally-addictive drugs, you might say that they don't really apply, since a heroin user's free will and rationality can be easily hijacked by the drug. This is why, for instance, courts have ruled that cigarette companies can be held liable for marketing to young kids, who may not have the fullest idea of the potential consequences of smoking are.

Look, I think Dan's right: complete criminalization doesn't seem to fully recognize these freedoms (even with heroin) and doesn't seem effective in controlling dangerous behavior, but I think drugs like heroin go to the very core of some of our ethical assumptions and raise questions that we do need to consider.
68
Difference between Being Gay and Drug Use:

Being Gay is not a choice, but drug use is, just like religion.
69
I love these "nanny-state" hand-wringers. I'd like to see 'em having to dig their own wells to get their water. And if some large corporation buys land nearby, pumps the water-table dry (or just poisons it by dumping toxic sludge nearby) & sells it back to you for $5/gallon, well that's just good market sense, and it's your fault for not having the money to stop them. Long live Libertarianism!
70
The "society needs it" may work for miners, but it doesn't work for mountain climbers, skiers, athletes who overdo it etc. etc. etc. A better way is to internalize (through taxation) the costs of caring for the side effects of things. In fact smokers already pay back to the state several times what the state spends on their smoking-related health problems. There's no reason a similar approach couldn't work for other drugs - they would still be less destructive than in their current illegal status.
71
The whole universal health care debate is dumb. Do we want to be a civilized nation, or a nation of dog-eat-dog animals? Access to health care is about human dignity. PERIOD.
72
@ Goldilocks: I prefer condoms. I'm a woman, and frankly, I find it too messy without them. I figure my junk is subject to the campsite rule: pack it in, pack it out.
73
Hey y'all, this is unrelated to any previous post, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice or links to articles, etc.

My nine-year-old niece was shocked and somewhat appalled to hear rumors that her American Idol favorite, Adam Lambert, was gay. I overheard her talking to a friend about it, and asked her later what was wrong with being gay. At first she said, "Are you kidding me? *What's wrong with being gay?* Oh my God."

She maintained that gay people are weird, and not okay. I know my sister (a single mother) did not raise her with these values--she is an openminded, liberal, accepting human being and parent--so I attempted to change her mind about it.

She has red hair, and I pointed out that statistically, more people are gay than have red hair, so she's actually weirder than gay people. She thought that was pretty funny, but I'm still worried that someone out there--I'd assume classmates in our fairly conservative town--is feeding her bigoted values.

Does anyone out there have experience or suggestions as to how I should handle this? My niece already told my sister about the conversation, so I know she knows too. I don't want to be too pushy, as I know she has a strong, intelligent parent taking care of her, but at the same time I'd hate to see my niece grow up holding onto these misguided opinions.

Help please!
74
Dear DRUGS,
Dan did not mention this, but if you feel the need to constantly hide your drug use, YOU ARE AN ADDICT!
75
Oh heavens you anti-drug pro-gay folks. it is perfectly clear that one can use drugs responsibly and safely and one can have sex safely and responsibly. (Well, most drugs. PCP is an exception, perhaps. But heroine is not. One of the most important professional philosophers of the 20th century - and not a french artsy philosopher, but a math-related analytic one - used heroine every weekend for over a decade. Had one of the greatest careers in one of the intellectually hardest fields in history.) One can do either irresponsibly and dangerously. Of course there are sex addicts and of course they affect the people around them. If you compare reasonable, responsible sex with out of control addicted drug use, of course the latter look bad. And at least please remember that cigarettes and alcohol cause vastly more death than all illegal drugs combined. (by a factor of about 100.)

As for danger, should we get out the waivers for driving - which at its best is far more dangerous than illegal drug use - or motorcycles, or bicycles, or walking around in polluted cities, or playing football, or ocean swimming, or ... All add more to health costs than drugs. Or why don't we just stop hassling people for things they do that don't affect us, and have national health care like any civilized country.
76
@ 74

Maybe she is too old for this book, but it's worth a shot!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_Tango_M…
77
Anyone considering Depo should read patient accounts readily available on the internet. There are far more enjoyable ways to lose hair, severely damage your emotional health and suddenly gain large amounts of weight... any combination of which can be a great birth control tactic in itself. Depo should be less legal than heroin, if that's even possible.
78
To BB (#15),
That is exactly the kind of information that people use to scare people off drugs. Drug use effects people very differently. Instead of likening it to being gay, how about comparing it to alcohol? There are functioning full-blown alcoholics who have figured out how to hold down a job without endangering others. There are also people who drink occasionally, get a buzz and then won't touch it again for a month. Both are functioning "users" of alcohol. You can't use the extreme cases (alcohol poisoning at a frat party, perhaps?) to discount cases where people have figured out themselves and their methods of happiness well enough to live fulfilling lives. Some people run up $50k of credit card debt, some drink a fifth of Jack. Which one is more destructive?

It all comes down to peoples responsibility and accountability. If we used the scare tactics of the drug campaigns towards car crashes and the _huge_ cost of money and life to society, would that change things? Freedom and autonomy can be as much of a high as a drug hit, no?
79
I agree with dan's advice for the first problem. That guy is totally giving him a snow job instead of a blow job. Verify story, and probably start looking around for someone a little more reasonable.
80
@ego Well said. I think that would also make a great tattoo ;)
81
Dan I normally think your advice is honest and fantastic, but I kept waiting for you to rip PILL's pouty little BF a new one. A teenage boy who "doesn't like" condoms? Big surprise! I've yet to meet anyone who thinks sex feels better with a latex tube over their penis, but it beats no sex at all. While I agree that young women need to be informed about all of their birth control options, sexual responsibility lies with both partners, and "I don't like condoms" doesn't fly as an excuse not to use them. Perhaps PILL's boyfriend should prepare for another widely-prescribed birth control option for teenagers: abstinence.
82
Right on, BTDT!!
83
Inhaling Dan's boyfriend's pheromones?
Sounds like one helluva party!
84
Ah, I love the smell of idealism in the morning... smells like... pheromones. Sure, some folks can control their heroin, but they are in the small minority. At least be honest and admit that it has a MASSIVE propensity for uncontrollable abuse.
85
To all the sexual assault and domestic violence survivors out there:

Date who you feel comfortable with, have sex with who you feel comfortable with and respects you. Or don't date or have sex. Don't listen to that bull about not dating until you're completely ready to handle it- if you have PTSD you could be waiting forever. Go live your life and keep yourself as emotionally safe as possible. If you're with someone who doesn't want to wait or can't handle what you've been through and how you choose to deal with it, that's their problem.
86
@74
How 'bout talking with your sister? It's her daughter after all and together you are more likely to find a good way to handle this.
Also, it might help to remember that for kids and teenagers, lots of things that aberrate from the perceived norm are new, shocking, weird and make them uncomfortable and most kids don't bother with political correctness but simply reject what makes them feel bad or insecure (that's why kids can be such mean little brats to other kids and still grow up to be awesome adults).
So don't force the issue down her throat.
Actually, I think your reaction was pretty cool, and your niece's reaction - first "What? You kidding?" (meaning that someone asking for *reasons* was probably new to her and that she herself might not be entirely "normal", statistically, was likely food for thought as well) to her talking about the conversation to her mother means, that she's thinking about it, that the wheels in her head are turning.
So let her think. If she wants to know your opinion, she'll ask and you can talk to her in a situation, where she wants to hear what you have to say (versus lecturing her or going after her with all the missionary zeal of a pushy liberal with a mission).
If she's a smart girl, and she kind of sounds like she is, she'll compare your reactions and explanations to those around her and draw her own conclusions.
I don't think you can do much about the general opinion in your hometown, though.
Well, apart from being a friendly, decent person yourself, of course.
~Alice
87
Dan, according to one of your books, you have also taken ecstasy, once, at Los Angeles Pride.

Don't hide from your past!
88
Dan, according to one of your books, you have also taken ecstasy, once, at Los Angeles Pride.

Don't hide from your past!
89
Bravo Dan,
When we allow a portion of society to dictate what life choices we make, it is a dangerous slippery slope.
Shame on those that pick fights with, say ciggerette smokers, claiming there mortality costs more then anyone else who is doing the inevitable(dieing)Perhaps the medical element of society should own up to the fact that they have out-priced health care to the point where a living wage can't pay for treatment, long term or short...
thanks
smokin a cig at the bottom of the hill...
90
Bravo Dan,

When a small portion of society dictates what life choice to make it is a dangerous slippery slope.
Shame on those who would pick a fight with a ciggarette smoker instead of the medical community that has out priced treatment long term or otherwise for every illness, and treatment. It cost no more for my mortality then it does for anyone else. I can tell you now it is not ciggarette smokers who is blowing smoke up anyones ass, it is the medical proffesionals pretending to make everyone imortal.
Thanks Linda Herron
smokin at the bottom of the hill.
91
fshkit -- as a an ex-smoker of 15 years that lives in a country that hates its own people enough to deny them basic health care I say, fine... smoke... but you should be paying taxes on them to support your inevitable healthcare costs.

I also say as a believer in human dignity that health care shouldn't cost as much as it does.

But as a 6 year non-smoker I say smoking is one of the dumbest things you can do to yourself (and others). Lots of folks who are dying didn't bring it on themselves, like smokers and junkies do.
92
Thank you your advice. I hadn't heard of that book, but I'll definitely look into it, and Alice--you're right. She is a smart girl. I need to be careful not to be too didactic.
93
Thank you your advice. I hadn't heard of that book, but I'll definitely look into it, and Alice--you're right. She is a smart girl. I need to be careful not to be too didactic.
94
IUDs are not appropriate for teens. Just sayin'...
95
Well, while we're taxing fat people, smokers, and drug-users for their supposed cost to health care (which is nonsense anyway since all three die earlier and therefore in the end cost less in total health care costs than those healthy virtuous people who exercise and eat right and therefore spend and extra 20 years of nonproductive life on the planet sucking up more social security and medicare than they ever could have paid), let's also tax basketball, soccer, tennis, and football players, skateboarders, gymnasts, cheerleaders, and most definitely bicycle riders, especially those of the baby boom generation (http://www.cpsc.gov/library/boomer.pdf), whose injuries as a result of their narcissistic pursuit of "fitness" costs billions of dollars every year in medical treatment, long term disability care, and lost work. In terms of health care dollars spent, it's no more "healthy" to ride a bicycle or play basketball than it is to eat a Big Mac. You can do non-impact calisthenics right in your own home or neighborhood park with almost no risk of injury--just like the billions of Chinese who manage to stay fit with tai chi..

So how 'bout it all you self-righteous bicyclists and weekend warriors? I'll pony up my pot smoker's premium if you'll pony up for a reckless exercise tax.
96
Well, while we're taxing fat people, smokers, and drug-users for their supposed cost to health care (which is nonsense anyway since all three die earlier and therefore in the end cost less in total health care costs than those healthy virtuous people who exercise and eat right and therefore spend and extra 20 years of nonproductive life on the planet sucking up more social security and medicare than they ever could have paid), let's also tax basketball, soccer, tennis, and football players, skateboarders, gymnasts, cheerleaders, and most definitely bicycle riders, especially those of the baby boom generation (http://www.cpsc.gov/library/boomer.pdf), whose injuries as a result of their narcissistic pursuit of "fitness" costs billions of dollars every year in medical treatment, long term disability care, and lost work. In terms of health care dollars spent, it's no more "healthy" to ride a bicycle or play basketball than it is to eat a Big Mac. You can do non-impact calisthenics right in your own home or neighborhood park with almost no risk of injury--just like the billions of Chinese who manage to stay fit with tai chi..

So how 'bout it all you self-righteous bicyclists and weekend warriors? I'll pony up my pot smoker's premium if you'll pony up for a reckless exercise tax.
97
Taxes on a pack of smokes went from .31 cents to well over a dollar a few weeks back they want me to smoke, or I couldn't...
98
Taxes on a pack of smokes went from .31 cents to well over a dollar a few weeks back they want me to smoke, or I couldn't...
99
Sorry about the double writing I must have button issues also.
100
I employ a 'high functioning' heroin user. Like DRUGS he believes that heroine is OK as long as he shows up to work, does his job and pays his bills on time. He is weird with my customers and his teeth are rotten. I am going to fire him.

(...and yes, I have mentored him and offered to get him treatment. he doesn't believe he needs either of those things.)