Savage Love

Round Up


First comment! Excellent column this week, Dan.
Great stuff Dan but I have to say I'm a bit uncomfortable with the beating to death with a baseball bat scenario.
@2 I'm not!
Apologies for my post in #4. That was unintentional.

I admitted to myself a while back that I'm comfortable as a straight man dating an MtF transsexual. It occurred to me that I would experience serious issues if an LtR developed and I'd have to worry about disclosure of the fact that she's an MtF transsexual vis-a-vis my wacky religious family. I wondered if it's fair to keep ask that aspect of her history be kept secret indefinitely just for my own selfish reasons.

The reason I can wonder so idly is because I have the luxury of living in a world where the chances that I'd run into such a woman are slim to none. My conclusion thus far is: You'll cross that bridge if you ever come to it.

Still I agree with Dan's advice, if this guy is having second thoughts, it's one thing, but if in the end he doesn't think you're worth all the trouble and all the issues he might face- you deserve to be with someone who thinks you are worth it.
@2 I imagine you're uncomfortable with most things humorous...
Speaking of smugly married ...

"A Christian leader and prominent neuro-psychiatrist who co-founded the Family Research Council with evangelist James Dobson took a ten-day European vacation with a callboy he met through and was caught in an airport with the escort by a Miami newspaper.

The escort said he had met George Rekers, professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina, on

According to Penn and Thorp, the slender, 20-year-old escort's profile advertises his "smooth, sweet, tight ass" and "perfectly built 8 inch cock."'s profiles are not indexed by Google."

ahhh the joys of both hypocrisy and karma.

Please Dan, rip this tard a new on in a column
Thank you, Dan, for reminding me that no one is really sure about how long their relationship will last. I wish society would stop perpetuating these myths that just fuck with our heads.
Alright, admittedly I was "sure" I wanted to marry my husband within say...a month of knowing him. That doesn't mean that I didn't have my doubts as to whether or not it was a swell idea. In fact, we both admit now that on our wedding day we still weren't entirely confident that we'd last - but were willing to give it a shot. Seven years down the road, I'll admit without shame that even though we've been happy so far, I'm still not certain we'll be married in another five, ten or fifteen years and I'm okay with that. I never thought that relationships had to last forever. I always just thought you were supposed to find someone who made you happy and enjoy the ride while it lasted... what's wrong with that?
Great letters, great answers.

And I liked your "threatening, but nice" script for VIDEO'S arsehole "friend".

Also, you can beat someone with a baseball bat so long as there's no head shots involved, I think.

(In before the "I can't believe you guys would SAY that about other human beings" whiners.)
I agree with #2, I'm uncomfortable with a baseball bat beating. It might ruin a good bat. I say a simple used 2x4 is good enough for this douche.
Hrm. I am in the first 4 months of a relationship that I'm confident will last into marriage and well beyond, because we've already discussed long term plans and we're both very interested in one another in "that way".

I can't come back here in 10 years and let you know how it went, but I think it's relevant to point out: not every nascent couple is plagued with endless doubts and insecurities.
Dan, the syrup suckers were talking about using your toll free number. It doesn't work in Canada so they can't call you toll free.
@12: Well of course you're sure at 4 months. That's why we call infatuation.

At 12 months, will you be so sure? No. Hopefully, you'll be sure enough. Which is as much as most of us ever get.
Dan, when the Canadians say they can't call you, it's not because they don't have phones. The syrup suckers probably can't access your toll free number from Canada, because most of the U.S. toll free numbers advertised as toll free North America - aren't.
I clearly need to listen to your podcast more often as I only NOW get the idea behind the tech-savvy t-shirt.

As a Canadian I had to chuckle at "There are no phones in Canada?" so thank you for making me giggle. (I would call in but I haven't come up with a burning question...)

And lastly - thank you for the response highlighting the fragility & hope of relationships. You take what you have. You decide you have faith in it, and you go forward with what you have. Or not. (I think I'm currently falling into the latter.)
I am so infatuated with Dan Savage! I KNOW he's gay, and I KNOW I am a married mother of ten, but I think we are soul mates. He is so funny, and the advise is right-on. I'm your new fan!
Was that first one a SLLOTD or have I lost it?
@12, best of luck to you two, and I agree that not every couple has doubts. But you know things at 2 years that you don't know at 4 months. At 2 years, some of the initial butterflies have died off and you can step back and think about whether the relationship is going forward or stagnating. I had to do that at one point and while the relationship did clear that hurdle, I'd be lying if I said I _never_ had any doubts. I don't now, but I did.

(What is "well beyond" marriage? Do you plan to divorce later and shack up?)
LTR's are only that way because neither person left. Everything else is just BS and psycho-babble.
VIDEO must tell his girlfriend's friend about the video. She has the right to know that before she decides to fuck that piece of shit again.
I'm a Canadian fan, Seattle transplant. :)
@21: Yes, I'm suprised Dan hasn't mentioned that. The one who slept with the douchebag must be informed of his actions.
TAC, a lot of women don't want to get married and have kids: about 1/3 of them according to the World Health Organization. You should know better than to dump us all in the same box.
TAC, a lot of women don't want to get married and have kids: about 1/3 of them according to the World Health Organization. You should know better than to dump us all in the same box.
VIDEO - please beat him to death. I would be FURIOUS if I found out I had a video taken of me.

TAC - I hate when people do this. My best mate is currently going through it. What Dan said is right, and don't take it personally if he does decide not to go ahead. There are people who are accepting of this out there, and if he can't, you will find someone who is. Don't settle for less. You are worth more than that.

CF - how are they at risk working for Dan? Do you know what kids get up to? Or do you live in a hole.

Actually, I think it's a hole since you don't have a phone.
Oh and @ 14 - my Aunt and Uncle ran off to South Australia after dating for 3 months to get married at age 17 (Western Australia wouldn't allow the marriage without parents permission) and they've been married for 35 years now without a hitch. As rare as finding a diamond in shit, a know, but they have gone through so much (I won't bore you with the details but soap opera worthy) with their own health problems, infertility, major family problems, money, etc, things that break down most couples, so I don't know how they do it. Maybe they're both really GGG, I should ask... But point is, there can be an exception. But Dan is right, most of the time when people say that it's bullshit. I did say that about my partner with out any doubt at the 4 month mark but considering we were mates with each other for over 8 years before we started officially dating it doesn't count as we already knew each other quite well and the only thing that changed was we started to have awesome sex and anything else we feel like trying out.
VIDEO "heard" something existed, then later "heard" it was deleted. Never saw it, never had the alleged video shooter say he took it or deleted it. Rumors should be ignored.
Just a minor point, on TAC "doing what he must" and this from a guy who got a "marry me or else ultimatum". TAC is indeed like any other woman and before ending a relationship with a guy she really likes she has to ask herself if being the little wife with the house and 2.4 children is the only path to happiness. Everybody has the right to be lonely if they demand more from a relationship than they are willing to give.
@28 Sounds like you're the kind of jerk who'd take a video or picture without consent. If VIDEO confronts him in the way Dan suggested, there will be no issues.
Seems to me the biggest problem w/TAC's bf is his discomfort w/his "peers" learning about her postop status. If he can't be comfortable w/that, they shouldn't be dating. She's better off being single & only dating guys who don't have a problem w/it.
TC your guys sounds like a million others, he doesn't want to commit. The only difference is instead of saying "It's not you, it's me" he's found another excuse - one that is personal and hurtful to you.

Follow Dan's advise and move on
Right with you, Wayne. As a 28 year old trans woman who transitioned in her teens and mostly 'blends in' well, I am highly aware of the dangers of being 'stealth'. It's one thing if you often don't tell people (as with being gay, it's your business, not theirs) and quite another if you can't tell them. That leads to secrecy, lies, fear of being 'discovered', shame, negative thoughts about yourself... Whilst you don't have to be a poster-child, it's really important to be able to be proud of being trans, for it not to be a 'dirty secret.' It's all very well for him to be 'thinking about moving on' but if he can't be proud of her, if he can't manage to celebrate her, rather than just shamefacedly 'accepting' or 'tolerating', then she's the one who should be dumping the motherfucker already. Of course it's hard to take the risk of upsetting the prejudices of the world around you, especially if you're a straight guy who hasn't had much practice at this kind of thing, but she managed it, and with a vengeance, whilst she was still little more than a kid. If he can't show a bit more strength of character, he's not good enough for her.
Great column Dan - especially about "couples smug bullshit". I'm happily engaged to my man and tying the knot in 2011 and you know what? I always have doubts. These usually crop up when I'm tired/pissed off/irritable or at the end of a nasty day at work.

And I will probably have doubts until the day it's all over (either by the "death do us part" or other parting methods....).

The trick to staying together for me is this - that the doubts are mitigated by the smile I see every morning when I roll over in bed, the neat and quirky things he does each and every day, and of course the FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC SEX we have!
Well baby, I could stay this way forever,
Just passing time at ninety-nine degrees.
'Cause loving you's my favorite kind of weather.
Oh, forever let the flame burn down in me.

And I'll not prepare my heart for the change of season.
And I'll whip old Winter Wind there if she blows, if she blows.
@TAC - It actually sounds to me like your boyfriend DOES know you're the one (or at least a good possibility), he just never reckoned with having to deal with the stigma of dating a trans. He's taking time off to think about whether he can deal with it. It's unfortunate because he sounds like a good match.

There are basically 2 options here, which I think you should confront him with: 1) He can join some kind of trans rights/support group, develop friendships with people that won't care and may do some good in educating the bigoted masses, but mainly find enough support for his relationship for you that he can ditch those of friends that can't accept it or 2) Not mention it to anyone. He's lived a year this way and it's not disingenuous, he didn't really know what loving a trans woman was until he met you and he didn't understand the confusion his own internalized bigotry might cause him until he did fall in love. It's not really anyone's business anyway but some people just need time and experience to work through their internalized shit before they can come out on the other side not caring about other people's bullshit.

He's only had a year at this, you've had your whole life, 28 years, and I bet you had to go through some confusion and frustration and other people's non-acceptance too. Tell him you want to move it to the next level and no one "decides" that they've worked out their inner demons, it's a process of experimentation to change, and you'll help him through it without pushing him to open up to his friends about you right away. It will give them a chance to know you as a woman first anyway. If they ask why you didn't tell them right away in the future tell them you were afraid that the bigoted stigma of dating a trans might hurt your boyfriend's self-acceptance.

So Dan, I disagree with you on this one. She needn't move on right away if they're doing well otherwise. She should help the boyfriend get over his internalized trans-phobia though. Part of good relationships is helping the other person to grow, challenging them a bit to learn how to be a better person. Not for you, but for themselves. (Although being a better them invariably seems to have good consequences for others around them).
@18. It's from the blog. Apparently Dan doesn't get enough letters, so he has to recycle.
Hmm I suppose it make sense if Dan thinks that was as especially great piece he would want to publish to a wider audience. But dammit, I'm a fucking savage love addict and I need new material! Gimme gimme I neeeed I neeeed!
TAC: From "any other woman" to another, not all of us want a husband and children.
Thank you for the comment re:smug married people (SMP). I'm almost 3 years into a great relationship, heading towards marriage. I feel sure that this is where I really want to go (with a few normal doubts thrown in here or there), until I hear some such SMP comment on how certain they always were, and I start to question whether we love each other enough, are compatible enough, and on and on. Glad to hear that they likely just have selective memories, and I'll try to remember not to pull that SMP crap five years down the road.
@38, If it's an issue of a wider audience, then he could put up a link in the weekly column to the letter in the blog. Hell, maybe even get more regular readers for the blog.

Like you, I require a regular fix of savage love and repeats are a bummer.
really . . . could we have a little more fag-mail please?
@ 40 - i was one of those SMP (smug married people) almost 18 years ago who thought she'd met her true match ~wow~ we meshed so well, there were no doubts in my mind when i married him.

Fast-forward to 2000, and i found myself having to beg for sex, with him preferring to abstain a great deal of the time. Since realizing this horrid situation, we had "the talk", have been in counselling, to no avail.

After years of blaming myself, i realize that he duped me at the outset. I've done a lot of investigating, and have come to understand that he is asexual. This, unfortunately, does not lessen the pain i feel at being stuck in a marriage that is without intimacy or sex. Why stuck? Because we have 2 young children, and i am financially dependent upon him. If i leave him, i'll be one of those bag ladies living under a bridge.

Looking back, i can see where i made my mistake. I had rose-coloured glasses on, and believed that i could teach him what he needed to know about sex and he would willingly learn and repeatedly give me versions of that and more. I couldn't have been more wrong. He would not internalize my requests for what i liked during sex; he would do (badly) what i asked for only once, then reverted to his preferred style. All i want is to be fucked well and often. I am a passionate lover, full of energy, i find sex very intense, and i needed him to step up to the plate. Instead, when i asked for more, he stepped back and gave less. When it came down to a quarterly romp, i knew our marriage was over. We now live like roomies, raising 2 children. We are friends, but not lovers.

Moral of story: make sure you are with your soul mate. Make sure you have no niggling little doubts about any of the big issues. Don't discount sex; it is VERY important to be on the same page re: passion, desire, and frequency. If something is wrong now, chances are it will be even more wrong in 5, 10, or 15 years. Don't go into marriage thinking that you can change your partner or teach them what you want. If they don't already know what you want or aren't giving you what you need, perhaps you should move on.
I think Dan's advice to the video guy is great. He should first find out the video existed though, perhaps asking the guy about it.
And he shouldn't be afraid that his girlfriend will be upset the guy did this. If she finds out, and finds out that her boyfriend knew the whole time, he'll look weak.
This is a perfect opportunity for VIDEO to step up and be the knight in shining armor.
Um---there is no toll-free number for dialing in to Dan and the TSARY. It's a 206 number, which is a regular toll call from Canada. And last I heard email was free.

I think that your suitor's main problem may be simpler than you think: when he said he wanted a wife and kids, he was probably thinking about "making" your children, not "choosing" them. Without trying to sound petty, I'll say that I've known more than a few men who became members of the "'Heir' Club for Men" when they broke the 30 year mark, and his sudden ambivalence may have arisen when he realized that none of your potential children would truly be "his". No matter how wonderful your potential relationship may be, he'll probably self-sabotage it if that matter is always laying over his head (his worries about being "outed" may also be formed from a hidden fear that the idea of a young couple adopting children may make the wrong people suspicious). If you talk to him about your relationship, and he admits that he's most worried about the paternity of his children, walk away. There are plenty of men in the world who'd be happy to walk with you, no sense worrying about whether your "soul mate"(*) would have panned out.

(*) No, I don't believe in soul mates. If they did, the world would be a much better place.
@44 To Bluejean Baby:

When it became clear that I was going to have to divorce my husband and support our children, I went to college (with 3 month old twins and a 3 year old), made good grades, got a part time job at the college that paid for books and daycare, graduated and got a good job with health insurance and benefits. THEN I divorced him.

Quit whining and make a better life for yourself, HE isn't going to make your life any better!

@49: Congrats, you're a goddamned super-woman. No one cares because most of us are not tremendous outliers the way you are. Most people cannot handle the physical and mental strain that having a job, kids, a shitty spouse, and classes would have on a person.

That said, I'm sure 44 could find a friend with a spare room and pull some strings to get a good divorce lawyer.
as a trans woman who is currently with an accepting boyfriend, i think that you deserve a guy who thinks you are worth it, do not let him use you just for sex while stay non commital! its bullock.
Great advice this week, Dan. :) See,? I'm not always a troublemaker. Though to pick a nit this week, I'd happily see SL letters of the day die, if it meant all the stuff in the column was new each week..

Especially somewhat painfully spot-on was what you say to TAC. Thanks for reminding us that despite those strong feelings of "They could be the one" nobody's sure, for sure, in a couple, early on. I can't tell you have many times I've seen the Smug Marrieds say things about fate & destiny that generally make those of us still single, dating or too tired to care feel like without our crystal balls or a belief in Soul Mates, we won't be finding The One. Although The One itself is a myth..just, cheers.

@48: Him wanting children with his own genes doesn't *necessarily* mean she should dump him... they could look into surrogacy.
@52 SL Letter of the day don't always make the column, I doubt Dan knows when he posts them whether it will for sure or not. So get over it. I just skipped that question.
I love it when your responses sync up perfectly with my life. I'll be taking your response to the first letter to heart, and give my mind a break from trying to figure him out. I <3 you Dan.

niggling feelings of being unsure plagued my first relationship until i finally pulled the plug; best thing i ever did. now i'm happier than ever with someone else, knowing that i don't have to settlle for all the crap that made me so unsure about the first relationship. dan is right that no one is ever 100% sure, but you should at least be 85%. you'll know.
Hey TAC, you already did something great right from the beginning: You told your man you’re not a GG (Genetic Girl, for those of you not familiar with this term).

For good or bad, some things are not in your control. And if your potentially-former lover can’t accept you as who you are than I’d second Dan and advise you to move on.

Regardless, you’re a smart and courageous woman and I wish you the best.
Heard you on This American Life....and then bought one of your books. What a gift for wit and expression.
I love your response to TAC's question Dan. What you wrote about the uncertainty of all relationships at their start is a totally normal, rarely validated truth. Thanks so much!
:) Scum bag, VIDEO.
TAC: transgendered, genetic, whatever. Pardon the worn-out expression but he's just not that into you. "Not sure" and "uncertain"? That's classic guy code for "not interested." Cut your losses and make yourself available for a guy who's going to love you unconditionally.
There are some parts of Canada that are so remote they probably don't have cell phone towers or much in the way of deals on telephone service; A call to Canada might be an international long distance charge. Just sayin'.
Really great column this week Dan. This is the first time I've visited you page in a couple of weeks and it was a refreshing reminder of the quality of your advice. Thanks.
Love the advice admitting that most good relationships have those little doubts and moments (as another commenter pointed they shouldn't be having those big, persistent, red flaggy ones of course), that rounding up is good enough and that much goes down the memory hole.

Another reason for the memory loss, I've noticed, is that people are sometimes none too keen to go into the real story of how they met, what they felt etc.

For example, when someone asks "So how did you two meet?" or it's time for the speech at the wedding or whatever, it's just not cool to talk about how you were actually having a semi-discreet NSA relationship with the guy's best friend, which he knew about, when you suddenly realized that you were having more and better conversations and fun times with him than with Mr. Friend with Benefits. So you started dating...

It ends up becoming "Oh, I just knew right away that..." etc.

I know someone who was brutally honest about the start of her relationship. He was seeing someone else and then started seeing both of them and it came down to a shouty ultimatum of "It's her or me. Choose.". They now have seven children and have been married for ages. Certainly not the way I'd want to start a relationship but seems to have worked for them.
This is for TAC's partner, everyone who's ever thought they'd met The One - and everyone who has a sense of humour:…
Life does not have a level playing field. It is all about choices. The choices we make can effect us for the rest of our life.

My bride and I, married for love, 41 years ago. We do not always agree on everything, but we manage. Happiness is different for everyone, but we are happiest together.

We have friends who are gay/lesbian couples. They, too, have been in LTRs. They have the same issues that require love, common sense, compromise, and good choices.

TAC should consider expanding his/her horizons. The sooner, the better.
can someone explain what is a freelancer? what is this barter system and what is this facility?
Dan, I read your column faithfully, and I love it. Generally speaking.

But I have a problem with your advice to the first writer, TAC. Say they get married, and say they're ready to have kids, and he says "I dunno what my peer group is gonna say about this." How is she going to feel about that?

If his peer group is going to have a voice in their decisions as a couple, it seems to me that's a great big red flag right there. If he wants to get married, he needs to realize that means having a new and more important "peer group" to consider.

No matter what else they have going for them (and I loved "close enough to round up to love"), if the peer group is so important to him that he's going to take their advice on who he should marry, then yes, she should move on. Right now.
Maybe a visit to might be good. ;)
Dan! Thank you so much for your aside on LTRs and the disservice to single/dating people. It's something I've never questioned -- I've been too busy questioning myself after hearing married people's stories of the "lightning bolt" -- and your insight is deeply appreciated!
Gee, Dan, I think you were having an off week.

The first one, tran, already said it all. The part about going on to live her life was right, but no ultimatums, just forget him.

The second one, should just get over it. Confronting the guy who did the naughty vid would accomplish nothing, and has several possible ways to go terribly wrong.
@ 52 - I would suggest, then, skipping the SL Letter of the Day when you read Slog. Just scroll right past it.
I disagree about telling the girlfriend's friend about the video of her.

The same thing happened to me and I was absolutely devastated when I found out. I would have rather not known at all.
@ 72 Anne - I can't. ;) Hey, it was a polite suggestion, is all. But we both know I'm gonna be readin' Dawn's words regardless. First read Savage Love..geez. 15 years ago?

I do love getting as many of those choice words in one sitting as possible. I know it's not net-savvy of me, but I'm still hoping for a second collection of columns in book form. (geek!)

They're at risk working for Dan because Dan said so.
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