Savage Love

Take a Hike


Wow, first comment!

Great column, as always... I eagerly await each week's installation.
as always great stuff
Dan... as usual you are spot on with your advice. I just wish we could get the all the schools to teach sex as openly and honestly as the advice you give in your articles. I'm so thankful that I was turned on to your advice column by the "love of my life". You're GREAT... don't change a thing!!! xoxo ljl
Dan... as usual you are spot on with your advice. I just wish we could get the all the schools to teach sex as openly and honestly as the advice you give in your articles. I'm so thankful that I was turned on to your advice column by the "love of my life". You're GREAT... don't change a thing!!! xoxo ljl
I think there is a BIG distinction between a "gratuitous media sex scandal" and the situation with Sanford, Ensign, Craig, and Vitter. All of these figures have spent their time and energy CONDEMNING loving and committed gay couples, and for that matter, anyone having sex without marriage. In other words, being assholes who "dictate" to the whole country what is good and bad about sex.

Republicans who have used their political voice to gain power, through the condemnation and grandstanding about how Godly they are and how evil everyone else is for our own private sexual matters, need to GO DOWN.

I think that these recent guys need to be immortalized "a la Santorum/Saddleback", and I think they should be skewered and shamed forever. NOT for the stupid affairs or restrooms they participated in, but for their cynical and bad faith efforts to destroy the lives of others. This is Karma.
I think your position on 'cheating' is really interesting, but it's harder to figure out the larger message. When, and under what circumstances is it okay? Does wanting to stay in a relationship, but also wanting to cheat give you a good enough reason to do it?
And to be fair, I must include Spitzer in that group, as he spent his career nailing prostitutes, before he....nailed a prostitute. But at least he came clean about his duplicitousness and hypocrisy.
Love your answer to NSA. Her current boy will probably be staring in WONDER at how her ex treats her in bed, and be more amazed that she likes being handled so roughly. Maybe after he sees she isn't made of glass and enjoys being roughed up, he'll feel more confident that he isn't hurting her. At least, not in a way she dislikes.

The When and Circumstances depend on the primary couple. Couples can set ground rules as to under what circumstances cheating is allowed, and the rules as to safety, place, privacy, evidence, whether or not they want the juicy details, everything else.

Honesty between couples is what's required, and a little open-mindedness, and a LEEEETLE leeway in opening the relationship. Hell, most people probably do it because it's taboo. Lose the taboo, adultery will probably drop like a brick.

Or not, in which case no problem because people are okay with it. Win-win.
I love the first reply! Every word of it.
#1... now, I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but... what kind of guy jumps at the chance to sleep with his girlfriend of a few months' ex-boyfriend? I have to say, I hate to stereotype, and I don't think every timid gorgeous guy isn't into women, but... this pinged by gaydar. Just a little. But mostly I just hope there are more hot straight/bi guys out there willing to do guy/guy/woman threesomes.

Also, #3? I don't give a shit who politicians screw. But if they insist on preaching about what goes on in Americas' bedrooms and wedding chapels, and which relationships are sacred and which ones aren't, they're sure as hell going to get it when they cheat.
@6 it really seems like Dan would see cheating as being ok under pretty proscribed circumstances.

personally, you need to either be in a relationship where cheating is openly ok or you need to be 100% certain they won't find out and you won't be giving them any STIs and you have to make sure you're still giving your spouse as much attention as before.

i.e. either it must be completely ok within the relationship or not something that could possibly affect the relationship
To the writer of the last letter: it would help our culture deflate the drama of extramarital affairs if we stopped making euphemisms out of them, wouldn't it?

Practice what you preach, even if your target is a hypocritical conservative windbag.
@6, 12: it's only 'cheating' if you're breaking the rules.

The by far easier-to-swallow (no pun intended) portion of Dan's philosophy is that relationships should not be monogamous by definition, but that parties in a relationship need to define the sexual limits of said relationship realistically for themselves, explicitly and with each other. From that point on, cheating is only what falls outside those bounds.

That's also where it becomes harder to stand behind Dan. I'm still not sure what to think about his sometimes advice to go behind a partner's back to fulfill sexual needs that the partner won't. I've always thought that as long as the unwilling partner can think about the possibility of loosening rules without getting insanely jealous, the partner with needs should try to uphold the 'only if we both agree' idea that forms the basis for the above modern, harmonious sexual relationship.

Maybe it's not reasonable to believe that people in romantic relationships will react in such a logical way to such an emotional problem. Whatever; strive for honesty and openness tempered with compassion for your partner, and everything should work out fine, right?
Our culture is far too accepting of cheating. If you are considering it, you should end the relationship or try to get what you need from the person you're with. Trying to have both is insanely greedy and prickish.



This was a really great column. I do want to say, regarding the HPV vaccine...there are at least 100 different strains of HPV out there and the vaccine only prevents 12 of them from effectively attacking the body and/or causing reproductive cancers. FYI. There is a lot of really good information about HPV at The CDC Website.
If you are a woman older than 26 or a man, the doctors would not administer vaccine for HPV to you.
jjp: How is cheating "insanely greedy and prickish" to anyone if everyone involved knows about it and is okay with it? An open attitude toward outside relations can sometimes be the best thing to happen to a relationship...
ASK: An open relationship doesn't equate to cheating. Cheating implies a lack of honesty and disclosure.
Hepatitis B gets around a lot easier than other STD's, which is why kids get vaccinated. Chronic hepatitis B is a problem in Asia and shared utensils, pre-chewing of kids' food, and breast feeding are thought to contribute to this. (Hep B has also been transmitted via microscopic breaks in a surgeon's glove after tying knots when sewing shut an incision - yikes.) Casual household contact with a Hep B carrier or actively infected individual is considered a risk factor for transmission and vaccination is recommended for those individual.

Like everything else in like, the hepatitis B vaccine is not 100% effective and there are some non-responders, despite getting a few rounds of vaccines.
I worry about the boyfriend in the first letter. If he's a timid fellow, did he agree 'right away' to have a threesome with his girlfriend's ex out of timidity (or because he's gay, as someone suggested) or because he's really up for it? He should be afraid of losing his girlfriend if they fail to make it work in the bedroom, but I hope he's not consenting to something he doesn't really want to do. Maybe some more conversation before jumping in the threesome sack would be a good thing. And like Dan wrote, why the hurry? Let the dude - and his girlfriend take some time to find their groove.
Anne in NJ's letter and your thoughtful response should be read by the entire nation. We're ridiculous creatures and we need to learn to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves so seriously about these things. But I do love it when a self-righteous scumbag like Sanford gets caught out.
Re: NSA,

Good God, people!

What real man - auditioning to be a dominant man, no less, but really any man unless he's got a cuckold fetish - wants to stand by and watch his new girlfriend getting fucked - fucked and abused - by her ex????

You may get a cuckold out of this whole scenario, but the last thing you're going to get is a dominant man. Dollar to a donut you're going to despise each other when this is done.

Admittedly, worst-case scenario their relationship falls apart anyway, but still ... gross-o-rama.
@ #11
This isn't that unlikely a story. I've been the ex-dom invited back for a threesome to teach the new boyfriend how to do it right, and I've heard other reliable accounts similar to this one. It just means that even though the relationship was doomed for other reasons, the sex rocked, and girlfriend wants the best of both worlds: the old sex with the new and exciting boy. This is a good thing, as long as the new boy is actually trainable, and not holding back because he's submissive too.

Sorry, but Mr. Savage's erection shut off his brain. How many times have we been warned that opening up a relationship requires time and honesty? This gal is going straight to 11 on that amp, after a few months and (it appears) one conversation. Reverse the genders, and we would get Mr. Savage's customary warnings about how we should not be badgering the woman into a threesome without making sure she is into it or otherwise ready.

"I'm a 25-year-old straight female. I've been dating my boyfriend for a few months, but we fell in love fast and I want to make this last. However, he doesn't turn me on."

He doesn't turn her on? SO WHY IS SHE STILL FUCKING HIM?!?!?

But because he is gorgeous (your jealous girlfriends' envy is great, isn't it?) and, I am guessing, doing okay financially (money often helps women get over that whole no-turn-on thing), she is saying to her new 'love', "hey, let's have you watch me bang my ex-boyfriend, because he fucks me the way I like. You don't" His alleged response: "Yeah!"

Maybe. But I'm VERY doubtful The cuckold fetish porn on the web should not fool anyone--guys like that are rare, much like supermodel nympos into pimply World of Warcraft players are rare.

Maybe selfish bitch needs to rewind the tape a minute and think if the conversation really went something like this:

SB: "I would like you to be rougher during sex."

B: "Um, okay, is there anything in particular..."

GF: "Hey, I know, let's have you watch me fuck my ex, like I was before I met you a few months ago! Then I can have the gorgeous, safe boyfriend who makes me feel warm and happy, AND the "treat-me-like-a-cum-dumpster" thrilling sex I got from that guy."


B: "Uh, if that is what you want, I could try it, I suppose..."

GF: "Great, I'll call ram mcstud fuck tomorrow so he can bang my box the way I really, really need." (dreamy look coming into her eye) Then you can take me to meet your parents after he leaves to go back to his "job" as a lousy punk rock guitarist.

Hey, selfish bitch, here are two thoughts. First, YOU didn't mention what he liked. [full stop] What are you going to do in exchange for getting him into your fantasy fuck scenario, which he agreed to without complaint?

Second, maybe you should just go back to ram mcstud fuck and let this guy go find a woman who isn't getting into all this shit at a few months. Because if he doesn't turn you on, he doesn't turn you on. Dan would have told you that if he wasn't too busy wanking over how ram mcstud fuck was going to ream your boyfriend during his dom session.

But hey, if the guy *really* is into watching you fuck other guys (doubt it!), who am I to say?
Most of the above advice is awful. Hepatitis B vaccine isn't precisely 100% effective. At least in the UK you have two or more doses and your antibody count is measured after each one. After the first booster they refuse to give you any more - basically that's as good as it gets, depending on your own personal biochemistry.

I would run very far and very fast away from the NSA scenario. This isn't about 'teaching her boyfriend how it's done' - it's about her wanting a good fuck : no more, no less. Watching another guy fuck her and abuse her is not going to make him any happier - if her partner can't understand simple words like 'hit me harder' seeing someone else do it will not fix things. What about watching porn instead?

She may 'win' - probably by ending the relationship and finding someone else to fuck. He might be scarred for life/months. Shame on you Dan.

Frankly I wonder if NSA has even tried. There are too many subs out there that think it's the responsibility of the Dom(me) to do everything, and too many Dom(me)s that think the sub always has to do exactly what they say (clue : not without proper discussion, and always provided it's not hurting the sub mentally or physically in The Wrong Way).
I have a question. Wouldn't you be concerned about bringing in an ex to "spice" up the bedroom. What happens if the ex brings back the old feelings and she leaves her boyfriend. What if it freaks him out seeing them together. I'm no prude but there are videos for him to watch.
LMAO @ "Brotherhood of Amalgamated Male Sex Advice Columnists Who Are Men (Local 609)" VERY funny Dan...

@27 re: NSA - I'm inclined to agree - besides, there are so many other things besides sex that are supposed to make a relationship (or potential marriage) work. What kind of person worth anything gives up a good looking partner just because things sexually at 3 months aren't EXACTLY what they want? Whatever happened to letting things build over time?
My take on NSA is that even if you say that it won't damage the relationship, it definitely won't make him the dominate one in bed. The act that NSA wants requires submission from her boyfriend. Bringing in her ex to fuck her is not just going to give her the humiliation/abuse she wants, it's going to humiliate and abuse her current man. As others mentioned, it's more of a cuckold scene than a dom scene. On some level, they both will be submitting to the ex-dom. If she wants to experiment with having her new guy dominate her, she should hire a professional to help. Not necessarily for a threesome, but to help her timid boyfriend get into it. She needs to explore the new relationship without dragging in the baggage from her old one.
Saying "people aren't wired to be monogamous" is a lot like saying "people aren't wired to be gay". Sure, some people are, but the majority aren't. If we were seriously "not wired" to be with one person, do you think marriage as it stands would still be in use to this day? I'm not going to say that everyone should be monogamous; I think that you should be in whatever relationship makes you happy. But giving the "people aren't supposed to be monogamous" excuse is flat out weapons-grade bullshit.

People who cheat are bad people. Not because they want to fuck someone else, but because they took their own temporary pleasure over their supposed *significant* other. If you wanna fuck other people, be single, or find someone who is into open relationships, or make some friends with benefits. Don't walk all over another person's desires, and more importantly, don't be dismissive with them just because they're different from yours.
NSA was dating an asshole so she had to dump him. Then she hooked up with a pussy who does not turn her on. Thus, in order to alleviate the situation she is bringing in the asshole as a stunt cock. The new guy probably agreed because he is a pussy, even though he most likely hates the idea. It is only a matter of time before this situation implodes, and her "GGG" boyfriend will not be the one to DTMFA so she is going to end up having to do it herself.

I highly doubt this timid boyfriend is going to suddenly be into being a rough top by watching his girlfiend's ex fuck her. This will turn into the type of threesome where one party is pretty much just the voyeur.

NSA needs to dump this dupe and find a rough top who does not treat her like an asshole outside of the bedroom.
I adore you, Dan, but Noway's advice (26) to NSA was more realistic and better thought out than yours. Hilarious, too! I guess we'll find out which of you was right when NSA sends that full report.
@31 absolute best response here. Could not agree more. And actually, from what I've heard from Dan over the years, it seems he would be in agreement too. Thank you thank you for stating it so clearly.
Uhh, 33, and Dan if you're listening, have you ever noticed that EVERYONE tells Dan they'll give him an update, but NO ONE ever does?

Or is it even just a bit pervy of Dan (bless him!) to keep prying that way?
I echo the calls for caution on NSA. Agreeing to something couched as a lesson right after being told you don't satisfy your partner is a world away from really being okay with watching another guy beat and screw your partner while you, most likely, can't keep up with the action. It sounds like a situation that could turn to real violence, even from a normally calm and peaceful guy. It could work out great, just like she imagines it; or it could be horrible and scarring for everyone. If he needs to be trained, she's the one who should train him.
@31 isn't that a very black/white way of looking at things? I agree that by and large cheating is unethical, but there are some situations where it is better to cheat on a partner than to ruin a long standing relationship where one partner can't/won't satisfy the other.
It's not something that should be done lightly or carelessly, but there are cases where cheating is a healthier option than divorce.
Am I the only one who's reminded of that South Park episode where Satan couldn't choose between Saddam Hussein and Chris?
Best evidence shows humans are diverse, some of us are wired for monogamy, some are not. I won't doubt your preference for multiple partners if you won't dismiss my desire to stay with one.
Am I the only one who's reminded of that South Park episode where Satan couldn't choose between Saddam Hussein (who really turned his crank but treated him like shit) and Chris (who was gentle and utterly dull)?
@40, it was the first thing that popped into my head and I think G-d gave much better advice on this one.
@ 26, spot on advice
What is the big deal? NSA talked about it with her bf already, he agreed pretty enthusiastically. Why is everyone shitting all over it? He's probably fine with it because they aren't a terribly serious relationship yet, still being 3 months in. Would everyone relax.
Being cheated on was the worse experience ever. It took a sad story; "she did not love me as much as I her" and made it a something all together worse. The story matters because they are are children involved and the infidelity will forever be part of the story. There is no way for cheating to not be personal and nothing more cruel except killing the children that she could have done to me. If you re not happy sack up and leave.
I hate it when folks call open relationships "cheating." My husband and I played around a lot - but openly and above all, honestly. We never "cheated." We were open and honest and had a lot of fun until his unexpected death from poisoning.

During Monicagate, when the whole world was getting into the Clinton's marriage, I was yelling that it was none of our business. The only people concerned were Bill and Hilary - and it seems they worked it out. Their marriage is about more than 100% monogamy. My hat is off to them. (Go Hilary! Become President!)

As to Sanford, Craig, etc. - it is their hypocrisy that annoys me - not their sex acts. Whether they have sex with people who are not their wives is of interest only to their spouses as far as I am concerned. EXCEPT when they are giving speeches AND voting on laws that put down others - especially gay people (Craig). Then the hypocrisy must be addressed. And Sanford's Clinton-karma hypocrisy is fair game too. But their sex lives? That is between their spouses and them. I could care less.

Maria in Argentina sounds like a romantic lover from the emails. And I hate Larry Craig for giving away the T-room tap dance! LOL
I'm with #43. Why are we making all these assumptions? Why not give this couple the benefit of the doubt that she asked respectfully and he's genuinely into it?
FWIW, there are far more cuckold-oriented guys than 'noway' seems comfortable admitting. Spend some time on forums and non-story cuck sites or chats and you'll meet many of them - many of them are 'real men' who have the fantasy for one of a hundred reasons. Whether that applies to NSA's man I can't say, but the tone of the letter (which is the only evidence we have and is what Dan was responding to) seems to imply something else - a truly GGG guy who is willing to expand his own horizons to please his woman and is otherwise secure enough to do the threesome (watch the twosome). Maybe seeing exactly the way she likes it will allow him to push beyond his own fear of hurting her. Having been a somewhat reluctant top in the past, sometimes your own perception of what is 'too much' doesn't match your partner's idea. Watching it and seeing your partner actually getting off on it may make all the difference. Video may not substitute. Dan's advice responds directly to the scenario as it was presented to him - the rest of the supposition in the comments assumes things that aren't in evidence. We have to trust that NSA, with Dan's advice, can make a good decision based on the true facts.
So, monogamy is kind of like bipartisanship?
A small lesson in reading comprehension:

Sexually open relationships --NOT EQUAL TO-- Cheating

- cheating involves deceit or breaking a commitment. If your partner understands the relationship to be monogamous, and you know this, and you sleep with someone else, it's cheating. If your partner understands that you will sleep around (and is comfortable with this), then sleeping around is not cheating.

"people aren't hardwired to be monogamous" --NOT EQUAL TO-- "people are hardwired to be polyamorous"

- Dan's statement doesn't imply that we ALL want to sleep with many people, just that there is no natural reason we should ALL be bound to lifelong monogamy, when it clearly doesn't work for a number of people. This is like the statement "people aren't hardwired to be attracted to the opposite sex" : this doesn't mean EVERYBODY is gay, it just means what it says: not everyone is straight (i.e. it's not hardwired in all of us).

If you read what he says (and not what you think he says before you finish
reading and processing it), he's not saying anything particularly outrageous.
cheaters are assholes. No, its really not ok to return someones love and devotion with lies and deceit. If you think you have a good reason to cheat you've got a better reason to to end the relationship. have a nice day : )
@17: the vaccine (Gardasil) does not prevent 12 strains, it prevents 4. The two most oncogenic and the two most wartogenic.

@18: doctors won't refuse to give Gardasil to men or women >26. However, it would be an off label use, and you'll probably pay for it. I'm a male who was vaccinated at 33 and each of the 3 shots was about $250.

@21: Yes, thanks, the vaccine for HBV is not 100%. What is?? Some people are vaccine nonresponders, and there's probably waning as time goes on. It is highly effective and exposure risk declines with age (generally; depends on behavior). And nevermind HPV getting around condoms; anything can get around condoms. They have a breakage rate even when perfectly used. Such is life, and luckily, most STDs are relatively hard to catch, especially HIV, for which the transmission rate for a needlestick is 1/200 (sexual risks vary by act and semen load and presence of other stds, etc).
Okay, I haven't read all 50 comments, so I apologize if this has been covered. I wanted to let you know regarding your answer to the second letter from DBTR, Dan, that the HPV vaccine is only approved in women UP TO age 26.

It's bullshit.

I had HPV and the "almost cancer" that can come with it, and had the bad cells burned off my cervix. Now it's gone, but I'm a bit afraid to get it on again. . . that was a very unpleasant experience, and I don't EVER want to go through it again. Unfortunately for me, I'm 31 and apparently the FDA or the makers of Gardisil (the HPV vaccine) think people over age 26 don't have sex lives.

It's bullshit! So unless DBTR's lady-friend is 26 or younger, she's as out of luck as I am.
I dunno, dude. NSA may find her new man freaked out. If he's too timid one on one, he's not gonna feel comfortable in a three way. I suspect he agreed so he'd still be GGG.

But ya know, if it goes south they were likely never meant to be.

(Personally I'd have suggested he apprentice with a Dom first.)
I already posted this, but it never went up, so:

I know this has been slightly covered already, but regarding your answer to DBTR, unless his lady friend is 26 or younger, she probably can't get the vaccine. No one will give it to me.

It's bullshit.

I had HPV and the "almost-cancer" that can come with it. Then I had it burned off of my cervix (literally), and now it's gone--I'm HPV free. But to be honest, I'm a little afraid to start having sex again. . . the whole thing was a very unpleasant experience that I don't EVER want to go through again. Unfortunately for me, I'm 31, and apparently the FDA or the makers of Gardasil (the HPV vaccine) don't think anyone over the age of 26 still has a sex life.
the only sentence I needed to hear to die a happy man is:

"great, I'll call ram mcstud fuck tomorrow."

Thank you 26

I'm gonna go one step farther than AINJ: I think Mark Ensign should keep his job. I find his social politics to be repugnant and his financial ones to be nearly suicidal. He lied to his constituents and staff, broke his marriage vows, abandoned his state, and revealed himself to be a very high-profile and deeply ingrained hypocrite. But he shouldn't lose his job for his private life or because he's an asshole. No one should. After all, he's the asshole they voted for. Assuming he didn't do something dumb like use otherwise appropriated state funds, he should keep his job, because, no matter how much I hate him, that should just be how politics works.

But I'm not all ideals. Frankly, if he keeps his job -- if he reveals what a fork-tongued, stubborn, backpedaling liar he is and keeps his job -- it will be the biggest FUCK YOU and the worst PR possible for his views, his party, and every sex-phobic asshole out there who thinks that the limits of his own erotic imagination should govern public policy for everyone.
@45;"We were open and honest and had a lot of fun until his unexpected death from poisoning."

ROTFL! Wasn't this a story on Dateline?
52: You can pay for it yourself, but the reason it's only funded up to 26 is because the FDA *does* think that people have a sex life! And the vaccine only works if you HAVEN'T already been infected.

It really sucks, but - the vaccine isn't going to work against the HPV variety you already have. You could still pay for it if you want, and get immunized against the other 3 varieties it works on?

Basically, this won't protect our generation against HPV, but it might protect the next...
Uh, yeah, I do "comprende." But the thing is, I don't have it anymore. Your body can completely purge it from your system after a LEAP (look it up). The infected cells are ONLY on the cervix. I've been checked two times and I don't have it. So IT WOULD WORK for me.

I get the feeling NSAs current boyfriend is going to be her ex-boyfriend pretty soon.

I was once a young man who was STUNNED by how rough my girlfriend liked sex. However, after a month or so, I got pretty into it, and the tipping point was when she confessed that she'd kissed another guy the night before. Suddenly I felt OK being very aggressive. We'd already agreed on a safeword, so safe, sane, consensual, emotional, passionate, angry, wild sex ensued. And kept happing for about a year and half. Sadly, the other parts of the relationship didn't work out so well.
NSA might be selfish, but there's nothing about her that says she's a "bitch", except for the studies that show even assertive women find other assertive women bitchy. Are you an assertive woman, Dan? I'm so confused.
I agree with the "everyone calm down" voices so far. Being a former writer to Dan ("Bi Bi Bridie," from about 14 months ago), everyone needs to keep in mind what I learned when I saw my letter printed - Dan edits for clarity and only includes absolutely necessary plot points. There was probably a lot more detail in NSA's letter that wasn't essential to answering the question in the column.
If she's 25, and her boyfriend's of similar age, then they're not kids in their first relationship. Maybe she has perfectly *nice* sex with her BF, just not "leaves you limp, sore, and melting with endorphins" sex.
All you "she's dating a pussy/closeted gay guy" people don't know either of them. You don't know why she's not with the ex anymore, you don't know what kind of ground rules she and the BF may have discussed, you don't know anything other than what's in the letter.
So laugh, offer your snarky opinions, whatever, but why be so quick to judge so harshly? If these were situations that had simple, easy solutions, people wouldn't be writing to a sex columnist about them.
And regarding the "no one ever follows up with Dan statement," here you go: My then-fiance, now-husband, understands that "I can't live without pussy" (Dan's words, not mine). But I also understand that he doesn't want me to have sex without him. And we haven't found the right woman to be our third - a close friend is too much drama, a stranger is too risky, has to be someone he's also attracted to, there's a lot of moving parts in this. So it hasn't happened yet, much to my frustration. But us having an honest relationship with open communication is more important than me scoring some pussy outside of the relationship. And we're intending to be married for a long time. It's been 4+ years now since my last female partner, but I'm committed to my husband.
So good luck to NSA. Hope you're not waiting this long for fulfillment; hope your relationship stays intact after (if) you get it.
I find the idea the human beings might be wired to monogamous, polygamous, serially monogamous, whatever, to be completely silly. Dan Savage of all people ought to know that each individual's sexual needs are different, and their emotional needs even more so. I feel very much "wired" for monogamy. I have no interest at all in sex with anyone but my husband. That doesn't make me a better or worse person that someone who feels "wired" for polyamory, but please, Dan: Speak for yourself.
My god enough with all the euphemisms, we dont need a euphemism to explain every situation.
I don't particularly care that Sanford had the affair -that's between him, his wife, his mistress. But that he left the country and couldn't be reached - and he didn't put the lieutenant governor in charge - that's deriliction of duty. What if an emergency had come up? That's why I would say he's unfit for office, not the affair.

#31 is the best post on this board. Cheaters are assholes. And I'm not referring to people in open relationships-- they're their own business and if sex is that important to them that one partner can't satisfy-- then have at it. But if you're in a committed relationship and you're that unhappy that you're considering cheating, get some balls and leave. Don't put the other person through that, and don't be a slimeball and do it behind their back. The fantasy to have sex with other people will always be there, but that's what PORN is for, people. The notion that cheating behind your partner's back is OK in the event it might "save" your current relationship is kind of ridiculous. Have some willpower or get the F out of there and find someone who's into open relationships.
reading these comments leaves me with the impression that even the forward-thinking readers of this column are painfully emotionally fragile. yes, we want healthy and stable relationships; yes, we have a broad range of sexual needs and attractions; yes, our culture has indoctrinated us with the idea that these two facts mix disastrously; no, our culture has not provided a satisfactory way of addressing this conflict other than repressing our own thoughts and desires and/or keeping them secret from our partners. we need to be candid and honest about our needs with those close to us, and the growing process may be taxing. but for the love of god, we need to overcome our contradictory attitudes about love and sex, individually and culturally - and sanctifying relationship- and sexual anxiety is only holding us back.
Hey, Professor of Sex Advice But Not Anthropology? "Human beings are[n't] wired to be [X]" isn't your area of expertise.

Sex? Yes. Sex-related issues, emotional complexity (when it comes to sex) - yes, you are an expert.

But evolved psychology as evidenced by fMRIs, long-term data on primate relationships, and absolute requirements for the human psyche? No, Dan. Your readers know that those things are future-ware. We may be able to say something cogent about them, but not right now.

"Wired to [x]" is an easy, pop-science, preachy thing to claim, and you're above it. Advise away! Just don't insult our intelligence. And don't make us think less of yours.
About rough sex... I have a distinction I like to make. Others may like it too.

The line between Hurt and Harm, between Pain and Injury.

Pain is just a sensation. If a person likes it, so what if you inflict it! Harm or Injury, not to be done; and it's bad karma -- eventually it will bite you back.

You can smudge the line if you want. A bruise is a small injury. So is a hickey. You and yours decide.

Just sharing a thought.
Hey, to all those people saying that the woman looking for a threesome is "cheating" on her boyfriend:

The boyfriend is going to BE THERE. In the room. Participating.

Even if you somehow think he doesn't already know about it (what with the agreement and all), don't worry. I think he'll find out.

And 32: Where does it say her ex is an asshole? Maybe he was an ok guy, but had horrible table manners that were no longer worth their great sex life. Or maybe their interests outside of the bedroom were too different. Or any number of other things. Nobody has to be an asshole for a couple to break up, especially if they've stayed on good enough terms for this threesome to be an option.

And the new guy isn't necessarily a pussy. Maybe he just needs to see her enjoying the abuse with his own eyes before he feels totally right with the idea of doing it. Or maybe he does have a cuckhold fetish.

And 68, I think what Dan is saying is that we aren't, as a species, strictly wired to any strict sexual tendencies (such as monogamy). The real existence of such varied sexual interests is proof of this enough. If we, as a species, had evolved to be strictly [X], then we would be, and these ever-varying sexual preferences wouldn't be such a prominent reality.
@ 52

I had the same procedure done and its really no big deal. I'm in a loving relationship now with my boyfriend (monogamous for health reasons more than emotional ones). I go back every year for a checkup and it has broken out since.

You have to make sure you
a. Eat well
c. Use condoms. I still do with my boyfriend.
d. Get regular pap tests. Many women forget to do this and wind up getting in trouble.
I have to agree with Dan. It would be much easier to disclose things like this if everyone didn't treat HPV like it was fucking Ebola. I had a girl once look at me and say that she'd rather have AIDS than have HPV. It just goes to show that people are insanely paranoid about STIs and it doesn't always make it easiest to disclose. Sure, I've had a few assholes dump me after I've disclosed but so what? You're better off without them. Running away from you doesn't mean that they're running away from HPV. Look at the stats.

Anyway I'm rambling on.
NSA- sounds like you've found an awesome new GGG boyfriend. Good for you for expressing what you need and not giving up, and good for him for trying to make you happy. And thank you for all the new visuals running through my brain....
@ 52

I had the same procedure done and its really no big deal. I'm in a loving relationship now with my boyfriend (monogamous for health reasons more than emotional ones). I go back every year for a checkup and it has broken out since.

You have to make sure you
a. Eat well
c. Use condoms. I still do with my boyfriend.
d. Get regular pap tests. Many women forget to do this and wind up getting in trouble.
I have to agree with Dan. It would be much easier to disclose things like this if everyone didn't treat HPV like it was fucking Ebola. I had a girl once look at me and say that she'd rather have AIDS than have HPV. It just goes to show that people are insanely paranoid about STIs and it doesn't always make it easiest to disclose. Sure, I've had a few assholes dump me after I've disclosed but so what? You're better off without them. Running away from you doesn't mean that they're running away from HPV. Look at the stats.

Anyway I'm rambling on.
everyone is so quick to say that NSA's bf doesn't actually want this. i'll give her the benefit of the doubt when she said he "agreed right away". There is nothing wrong with wanting a good fuck, and getting it. it doesn't make her a bad person, esp since she's being honest and the bf's on board.
hopefully it all works out! Although even if he learns to treat her as roughly as she wants the real question is if he enjoys it or not. my ex and i experienmented with some BDSM and even though i could beat him properly, it didn't really get me off. but i guess being "rough" is different than BDSM, so it'll prolly work out, right? uh..maybe.
Wow that bf sounds like a pussy. If my girlfriend asked me to do that I would dump her on the spot. I mean, I can take constructive criticism, but hearing "let my ex show you how its done"... OUCH! I can't think of a more emasculating thing to hear from your girlfriend.

Maybe he's GGG, or maybe he just doesn't have any self respect...
No, NO! Don't ruin hiking the trail for those of us who like to REALLY hike the trail! But I laughed my ass off at the thought!
@52, 59: anonymous--you coulda read 51, but hey. Anyway, GO GET your vaccine if you want. STOP complaining. *I* wasn't eligible for it because there weren't studies for males my age, so it wasn't covered and I paid for it. Insurance companies are RIGHT to deny coverage for stuff that ain't proven. Case in point: BMT for breast cancer. Congress got involved, it was a political disease, they forced insurance to cover the experimental therapy, and whoops, we found out later it cost 40 billion and wasn't helping the patients.

As for your specific case, you had one or more HPVs. You don't know if it/they was/were the kind in the vaccine, or not. Nor will you ever. You MAY have eliminated HPV from your body, or you may not have; it's hard to prove that ALL HPV is gone from a folded, recessed body cavity. If there is benefit to be gained by vaccination of the type you had/have, that is unclear; if you still have it, its a waste; if you HAD it, you may well be immune, since you were exposed to those HPV antigens similar to the way the vaccine would expose you.

Vaccine or not you ought to use condoms and keep getting paps. If you do, your cancer risk should be negligible.
Was listening to loveline yesterday, and I know exactly what Dr. Drew would have said to NSA: you like to be dominated due to childhood trauma or abuse, and do not under any circumstance bring in a third because it'll ruin the relationship.
@77-- I DO know which kind ("nor will you ever"???) Umm, my gynecologist showed me exactly which cancer-causing strain I had (and it IS one of the strains in the vaccine). And I'm pretty sure it's GONE. Do your research! I DID. And I will complain. It's wrong not to cover older women as well. It could prevent deaths. And again, I say do your research, because it's very possible to contract HPV even though you wear condoms (which OF COURSE I wear). And I get paps. I guess if you haven't been there, you really don't understand why it's a big deal. Either way, it's a big deal to ME.
@77--And by the way, I've gone to 3 different doctors trying to get the vaccine and offering to pay outright (including Planned Parenthood), and no one will give it to me. Glad you got someone to give it to you, but that didn't work for me.
Oh Pleeeeeeaaasssseeee print any follow up story on that three way!
@78: How do you know NSA was traumatized during her childhood just because she likes to be dominated?

@81: Yeah! I want all the updates on the three-way, too!!
Dan--as always, top notch--right-on-the-mark response to NSA.

NSA---YOU GO, GIRL!!!!!!
Regarding the first letter, NSA:

Dan, I love your column; I love what an opinionated asshole you are most of the time. This is not one of those times.
First off, 3 months and you're not boning each other like sex-crazed teenagers? What in the hell is the honeymoon phase for anyway?? I won't say that all great relationships start out with amazing sex all the time, but I do stand tall on my soapbox that if you're having to make important compromises within the first trimester, you've got one bad relationship on your hands. Throw that one back into the lake honey.

My other beef is with your urging of this girl to engage in a threesome with someone she is confident can pleasure her, but she is no longer attached to, and another person who cannot pleasure her, but she is supposedly attached to. WTF?? Why not just buy them tickets to the next taping of the Ricki Lake show right now? (I know it doesn't exist anymore, but hey, who can resist referencing Ricki Lake?) Point is, I can understand you urging this girl to commence threesome action because of your own, clearly illustrated thoughts that a threesome is the solution in this matter. However, if she really loves this guy, and he's really as not ready to be dominant as she says he is, then a threesome with the dude who previously entertained and fulfilled her domination fantasies is not going to do any more than cause a lot of upset that could be better had over coffee and an otherwise regular "I need you to kink me up" discussion.

Shame on you, mister sex columnist
I love Dan Savage :) Seriously, I trust that Dan has more back story than everyone in the comments as far as NSA's back story (like, whether everyone was friends first, or whether her current guy was attracted to ex anyway, or how long it's been since she broke up with her ex, etc. All of those factors change the equation a lot, people. Each of those is a good indicator of where your headspace actually is.)

In any case, giving NSA the benefit of the doubt, because she actually sounds pretty sane, I'll say that getting your needs met and having hot sex in the bargain is pretty win-win.
And to borrow from the Rude Pundit, "Going down to Argentina" should be a new euphemism for cunnilingus...
@79, If you've already had that strain and cleared it from your system, you already have antibodies, and the vaccine is unlikely to do you any good. THAT's why doctors don't want to give it to you, they don't want to waste your money.

The point of the vaccine is to help you develop antibodies before you get exposed, so that you are more likely to clear the virus before it can cause cancer. The reason for the 26yo cut-off is that that's an age after which most people have been exposed. I tested negative recently, and if I became single (non-monogamous, and at-risk) I'm sure I could talk a doctor into giving me the vaccine, despite being closer to 50 than to 26. But once you test positive to a virus, the only point of a vaccine would be by way of a "booster", if your immunity was wearing off. Seeing as how you had a really serious case, odds are that either you are now immune or else you don't develop immunity well to this virus. In either case, the vaccine would be a waste of money. Vaccines are also not entirely risk-free, there's other stuff in them along with the killed viruses. You really don't want to go getting vaccines that won't do you any good.
@79 - Umm, my gynecologist showed me exactly which cancer-causing strain I had (and it IS one of the strains in the vaccine). And I'm pretty sure it's GONE. Do your research!

I have done my research (I've been treated for the anal cancer the HPV caused) and all that your procedure does is get rid of the dysplasia. It does not get rid of the HPV. Your current good pap smears don't mean you don't have HPV. Pap smears don't test for HPV. Pap smears test for dysplasia.

There is some small evidence that some people can become negative for HPV after having been positive. However, there is no current way to induce that change. You'd just have to be one of the lucky ones.

BTW - my experience is one of the reasons I was really pissed when they didn't originally consider boys a good target audience for Gardasil. The tissue around the anus is relatively the same as the tissue around the cervix. Therefore, HPV infection in this tissue can lead to the dysplasia and "anal cancer" that are somewhat equivalent to cervical cancer. The "cure" is roughly the same as well. Remove all the skin around the area. Scar tissue there isn't any fun. Now, I'm not saying all boys will take things up the butt and get HPV infection, but a significant number are at risk (a finger up the butt during sex you straight boys?) and therefore boys should be vaccinated before it's too late.

@80 I'm stunned no one is helping you... you seem like such a reasonable, personable, easy person to deal with...


I'm 28 and I've spoken to three GPs about whether or not I ws eligible to get the vaccine during the last two years. All said yes, but if I'd already been exposed it wouldn't help. This was an informal survey — I already had the vaccine, but they didn't know that. Stop whining and assuming everyone but you is foolish, and keep trying if you really want the vaccine.
Dear 75: ("bf sounds like a pussy ... I would dump her on the spot ... I can't think of a more emasculating thing to hear").

Ah, "emasculating." Why are you so worried about your masculinity? Sounds like YOU'RE the pussy. Men proving their masculinity is responsible for about 73% of the bullshit out there.

The couple in question has open communication about sex, which is a good sign of emotional security. The time to try a threesome is NOW, before enmeshment and insecurities creep in.
I'm very late to this and admit speed reading most of the comments but I agree with those who feel it is a mistake to bring in the ex-boyfriend. Why not get a professional to come in and do a "tutorial" for the new boyfriend? The pro won't even need to become actively involved if things go right, and the focus can be on the activity itself and not some long-dead issues that are certain to arise.
Great letters (sensible, considerate people, taking sensible, considerate approaches to sex and relationships! Yay!) and great responses this week.

I could care less about Sanford's affair, especially because his wife knew about the affair and it appears the marriage was on the fast track to divorce, anyway, but I do have a issue with a governor (a) was irresponsible enough to take off for five days, with no way to reach him, and (b) was stupid enough to think that no one would notice when he left with no explanation (remember how the "Appalachian trail" explanation was only invented by his staff after a few days?) Such a person should not be in charge of a state.
@87--I mostly agree with you. However, in women the HPV virus lives ON the cervix, and you can get rid of all the abnormal cells and CAN (not always) get rid of the virus after a LEEP. The way my gynecologist explained it to me was that when your body is trying to repair itself after a LEEP, it can actually purge the virus from your system. As for a pap and what it tests for, you're right, it does look for abnormal cells on a woman's cervix, but my gynecologist told me I had HPV BEFORE I ever had an abnormal cells after a pap. And I was told the exact strain I had. That's what I know. I agree with you, boys should be vaccinated too.

@86--I don't think what you're saying about having the antibodies is true. In fact, my gynecologist said I really should get the vaccine after it's approved for women over 26. I didn't just magically "purge" it from my system and then one day test negative. I had a LEEP and burned the infected cells off of my cervex.
Hi Dan,

I just wanted you to know that I recently discovered your Savage Love podcast, and that I think you are doing a great job with it, keep up the great work.
@83: Lighten uuuuuuuuup! Geez!
Another thought for NSA: Consider that her vanilla boyfriend just might be SO "timid" (her word, not mine!) AND just as afraid of losing her as she is of losing him -- that he wouldn't DARE object to a threesome.

I also need it rough, as a consequence and haven't had good sex (or a single orgasm) with my husband of 8 years, who is a medical professional who simply cannot abide the thought of "hurting anyone for any reason." I used to try to explain as gently and obliquely as I knew how that his "pain" is my pleasure, but all that did was push him into a sex-with-strangers dependency (phone, cyber, pros) which took five years of individual therapy (all on my dime) and 12-Step meetings to eradicate.

NSA, if you've enjoyed rough sex before -- as I have, in mnay previous relationships including 2 prior marriages -- use that to fantasize on and enjoy sex with your "timid" bf as an occasion for emotional bonding, not necessarily physical fulfillment. If sex is the only real incompatibility you have, thank whatever you hold holy and understand that you are WAY ahead of most of the rest of us! Please please PLEASE believe me that if you make a shared taste for rough sex the primary criterion for relationship satisfaction you'll soon be having great sex, constant arguments (or worse), and a never-ending supply of OTHER relationship issues to write to advice columnists about!

Please just sign me SEX IS OVERRATED (San Diego)

Dan, as always so impressed with your columns. Thank you for being a haven for the sexually creative in all of us!
Dan, as always so impressed with your columns. Thank you for being a haven for the sexually creative in all of us!
The problem with Sanford is not that he's cheating, it's that he's giving media interviews twattering on about "being in love" like a 13-year-old coming out of the "Twilight" premier. And crying. Let's not forget crying. And my personal favorite, "I asked my wife for permission to visit my lover and she said no." Fuck me, you're kidding - did she really? What exactly did you expect her to say, you pathetic twat! The man does not seem mature, he does not seem stable and he definitely doesn't seem like he's capable of reasonable decisions - not characteristics you're generally looking for in a governor.
THANK YOU @43 and @46!! My feelings exactly!
I don't think the NSA thing is going to work, because her new boyfriend doesn't sound like he has any latent dominant tendencies. It's something he's wearing like a cheap glove to make her happy, and it shows. Just like vanilla sex doesn't turn her on, abusive sex doesn't turn him on and in this sense she is being insanely selfish - just as he would be selfish bringing in his ex to "train" her to enjoy gentle missionary love making. If he is no good at topping her, it's probably because he never tried it before BECAUSE HE HAD NO DESIRE TO. I would think most GGG partners would be open to a little bondage and maybe spanking, but it sounds like she's into the hardcore rough stuff and let's get real - that's a niche market. You either like it or you don't.

If she wants a hot threesome out of the deal, awesome - but I wouldn't expect the BF to magically emerge a dom. More likely he'll just be freaked out. I'm sure there are plenty of dudes out there into BDSM who would give her what she wants and actually get off on it too; no need to traumatize some poor GGG vanilla guy.

And Sanford is an ass, period. It's the popular thing right now to say people are not "wired" for monogamy, but that's bullshit. We are wired simply to enjoy sex; some of us prefer it with one partner and others with the whole defensive line. There's nothing wrong with either, there's no reason in a free country to lie about your individual wiring to yourself or your partner(s), and if you do - you're a giant ass. It's not that complicated.