Savage Love

Pretty Little Hippie

Comments

1
Great call on FIS, Dan. Bingo!
2
Enjoy your vacations, Dan. I enjoyed the column.
Now, regarding DARE, I think Dan is OK. The little fella is playing a dangerous game that might become dangerous if he doesn't 'own it'. He's playing with peoples feelings and insecurities to feed his own ego. He wants to believe he's beyond all and everything but he is not yet beyond his own issues.
3
If only there were some word for people who are attracted to both sexes. And imagine if they weren't attracted to every single member of either gender, but only select individuals or types... How weird would that be?
4
Where does it say that the woman in the third letter was willing to cheat? Flirting isn't cheating (at least not usually) and we have no way of knowing that she's willing to consumate the flirting or that she wouldn't dump the old dude before making a move..

On the other hand, don't really see that making a big difference in the advice given.
5
@1: I second that!

DARE truly sounds like he's got horns.
Good call too, on ANEMD.
Bravo, Dan! Enjoy your well-deserved time off!
6
I think DARE is just a straight up tool.
7
DARE sounds like he might not identify as 'male' but as something else, which makes identifying 'gay' or 'straight' not really fit because these terms imply male+male or male+female. What's a 'sort-of-male' + a woman? There's no term for it and DARE may be using sexual terminology to understand what's really a gender issue.

As a person who finally realized my gender identity, not my sexual orientation, was unusual, and is and always has been a non-gendered female, not a woman, I've been there...
8
DARE sounds like he might not identify as 'male' but as something else, which makes identifying 'gay' or 'straight' not really fit because these terms imply male+male or male+female. What's a 'sort-of-male' + a woman? There's no term for it and DARE may be using sexual terminology to understand what's really a gender issue.

As a person who finally realized my gender identity, not my sexual orientation, was unusual, and is and always has been a non-gendered female, not a woman, I've been there...
9
I've been thinking about DARE's letter since I saw it on the SLAPP. The wording of this letter reminds me very much of a man I dated for a very shot time. In retrospect I realized he was a narcissistic sociopath. He also sexually assaulted me. I remember how flowery his (bad) poetry was (he also spoke this way too). Granted he was beautiful but I've never heard anyone without a shred of a humility say and really believe "GOD, I'm so beautiful" before. Definite red flag. So when this guy goes on and on about how much of a pain it is that these guys he doesn't consider "beautiful at all" (how sad) pursue him despite his "innocent" flirtation "so to speak". I witnessed him flirting with men and women while he was with me and wasn't so offended, but later recognized the behavior as a compulsion to flirt with anyone who would give him the attention/confirmation he needed. The fact that DARE tries to pass off his behavior as something seemingly harmless "I JUST like to confuse people" makes me even more concerned about his actual intentions. (From my experience someone like this does not care about how the consequences of their actions effect others).

My point being... If anyone runs into this "all-is-love hippie" type.... RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION... FAST.
10
Hmmm.... I think Dan's response to FIS could be accused of being knee-jerk anti-woman. Ok, maybe this girl is strategizing on how to keep her job by flirting with the soon-to-be-boss, but, if she's really lazy, doesn't give a fuck about the customers, and is making dumb mistakes, maybe she just doesn't give a shit about the job? And flirting with a boss isn't a free ticket to not getting fired. It can also get you fired faster. Say, for example, a flirtatious young woman might get fired by a dude who has recently been promoted and wants to protect himself from problems down the line. Which, when you think about it, makes Dan's advice fairly lame, since he's suggesting that the dude, who has been flirting up a storm himself, lay preemptive groundwork with a supervisor about firing the girl..because of the flirting. Also, maybe the girl really does want to fuck him? Why do we assume that she has an ulterior motive involving her paycheck? Seems plausible enough that she could be enjoying the adulterous flirtation for its own sake.

If someone should be called on their shit, I would say it should be FIS himself, for saying he's found "everything I want in a partner" with someone he also describes as lazy, rude and making dumb mistakes. He obviously doesn't actually LIKE this girl, she's just hot. And maybe there are hot girls elsewhere who'd come with fewer complications. And if he does want to have sex with a hot underling who he doesn't even like, well, then, sorry, he might be putting himself in a bad position re firing her later. Life is not perfect.
11
@10 I don't see how the advice given to FIS is anti-woman. FIS should have distanced himself professionally as soon as he got the promotion, especially if she can't perform properly as an employee and he as her supervisor is responsible for her conduct. As for his description of her behavior; that's how she's acting on the job. I know people who are the complete the opposite of their workplace persona. And who the hell tries to get FIRED? You can leave with a recommendation, bridges intact instead of going out like a self destructive jerk.
12
#10 - Very well said and spot on! I think Dan got the first letter perfectly but the third one he went bitter and projected a lot of sloppy thinking and "what ifs" onto a simple situation. I've been on this Earth for a LONG time and I can tell you that I've never met a woman who is THAT manipulative (cue a string of misogynists to tell the world about all the women who've burnt them. Save it! You get what you put out to the world so if you hate women then all you'll attract is women AND men to "hate" so again, save it) #10, I think your assessment covered just about all there was to cover and yes, the simplest answer is usually the "right" one. FIS just thinks she's "hot" and couldn't care less about her as a human being. It is very sinister that he'd think she is such great girlfriend material when he speaks of her in such a degrading manner. I remember back when I was that age and as confused as this guy about liking myself as a person and I described some guy I was seeing in less than glowing terms and the person sitting across from me asked, "are you talking about your boyfriend because it sounds like you don't like him very much." Yep, FIS just wants to get laid and needs to grow up. He can knock off the flirting and focus on his job since he puts it in such high regard anyway. He sounds like a self-righteous prick who would drop this woman the milisecond after he's fucked her. She ought to be writing in rather than him because that guy is creepy as hell. Dan could have told him that the fact that he can't stand her but wants to fuck her should be a moment to look in the mirror and wake up. Geesh. Work flirting goes on everyday in every country on Earth but to turn that flirting into: "that person is rude, lazy, can't do his/her job properly AND would cheat on his/her partner and I think they'd make a perfect partner" is quite confused, indeed.
13
"has been queered by ..."?

Really? Why's that the verb we needed?
15
I think I dated DARE - it sucked.
16
Where does #12 live that there are no women who are "that manipulative" ? Because in my four decades I've met plenty. Including my own family, which taught me how to spot them. Maybe it's the low wages of the mountain west rural areas. Frederica wrote a tome. I think Dan was spot on especially since the woman described has a boy friend already.
17
I think I work with DARE. I agree, egotistical narcissistic, not really socipathic, just doesn't have a clue that he's not all that.
18
Hello everyone. This is DARE. I wrote the letter.

I have pondered the possibilities a few commenters brought up before. I have wondered if I have 'gender' issues but came to the conclusion that I do not. I have no biological gender issues. I am testosterone dominant as are most men born with testicles. Any other aspect of 'psychological' gender you may be referring to I consider largely a social construct. Basically, gender is bullshit. Just because I care about people and am nurturing, it doesn't mean I have gender issues.

Also I have wondered if I am a narcissist. if perhaps I am nice to people only as a way to control them. My conclusion? Everyone's a narcissist. Dan writing his column I consider a narcissistic behavior. I bet it arouses him every time he sees his name in print, andwhen he sees how many loyal readers and commenters he has. Who are you to judge? Egos rule us all, expressed differently.

I feel like I genuinely empathize with people. When I see someone in pain or suffering it breaks my heart. So there has got to be a good aspect of me. You never know. Maybe next time you fall through thin ice, I will be the first one to dive in after you. Without hesitation.

But this would be a narcissistic move. Even Jesus was probably aware how much impact his disregard for self preservation would have on the world. And I find suffering horrible because it makes me feel uncomfortable. When I see a bum on the street with no legs my heart goes out but only perhaps because he is a distraction from my pursuit of hedonic bliss, a distraction I can not ignore even after the bum is out of sight. The world is full of people that aren't even given a fighting chance and I can't keep my concentration on bedding lovelies very well when I know there are women and children being 'accidentally' blown up by USA flagged missiles made by Hewlett Packard.

My point? I don't know. But I do like being nice. I like making eye contact with everyone I meet and seeing their soul. I like to hear everyone's story, their frustrations and trials. Perhaps it is some sort of morbid sadistic tendency, but I think it might be more along the lines of genuine childish fascination with life and the world. Life itself I consider sacred and beautiful. Man, woman, child, dog, tree, bird. So much beauty. I feel like a baby staring at everything. Not everything equals sex. A sensual aspect pervades. I love to pet dogs and flirt with them, because dogs are beautiful creatures, not because I am a closet animal fucker or because I NEED attention.

So when I hold eye contact with macho men and they seem to get the urge to call me a faggot, perhaps the issue does not originate from me. I have wondered if I toy with insecure guys to control them. But I really think that when I look into their eyes, I try to see their soul, whatever a soul is, and understand them, because it make me uncomfortable when people don't understand each other. I just want everybody to get along. But it seems I make enemies when I try to make friends.

Like I witnessed someone say at a sports bar when football player and model Tom Brady came on the screen, "I just want to punch him. He's too pretty."

Oh and Dan I do flirt with attractive, secure guys too, I suppose. But I consider this friendship. You see eye contact does not become awkward when the person I am speaking to doesn't feel intimidated. It 'goes both ways' though. I recognize this behavior in myself. There have been times in my life when highly charismatic individuals have inflicted 'upstaging' anxiety in me. I wonder, did that happen because I was attracted to them, or attracted to what they represent, to their potential. Now that I am self confident, I do not get uncomfortable or nervous around handsome men.
19
#14

Hello, this is DARE.

Sissy? I like to wear wigs? Please stop projecting your issues onto others. Please.

I enjoy doing both manly things and feminine things. I consider myself balanced. I can fight and also nurture. Get over your gender bullshit, please. And no, even if I was born with ovaries I hope I would not be into cosmetics and hair styling. NOT SEXY.

A message to women: there are guys, me included, out there that find your natural odor and arm pit/leg hair a turn on.
20
#14

Also, god damn. I fuck women to 'deny my gayness'. All these replies are laughable. No one likes to use the words 'beauty'. Maybe I like to touch and feel and be intimate with women, uh, like, because they are beautiful creatures, dude?

This reminds me of the 'Don Juan' accusation. That guys who get laid a lot might be actually 'gay' guys who are trying to fuck the gayness away.

I have pondered this too. In Woody Allen neurotic fashion I actually enjoy applying Decartes' tenet 'De omnibum dubitandem est'. EVERYTHING is to be doubted.

Conclusion? I actually enjoy being with women! I had fears of their mystery earlier on, and felt intimidated by them. I used to prefer hanging out with men, because I didn't feel sexual tension around men. But as I came to understand the plight of women (this world still tends to be very male dominated, I love women, but do not envy the obstacles they face), I dropped my guard and began to appreciate them for more than just a pair of tits. I stopped objectifying them, fucking them, and started to see them in their complexity, and make love to them.

21
@ Hunter

"sissy queer"?

Geriatric poster is geriatric.
Seriously, what decade are you living in?
22
@ DARE/fish

I don't think you understand what "flirting" is?
23
Honestly, I can totally sympathize with DARE. I rather identify with just about everything he is saying from the getting involved with women who are not available to the flirting and toying with men. The only difference is I have no problem teasing openly gay and attractive men. I am definitely not a masculine man, I have always been and continue to be quite effeminate. I am routinely addressed as "Miss" and I've been mistaken for a girl my entire life. I care about looking pretty, and smelling nice, and I love my beautiful long hair. In fact, there are many women who tell me they're jealous of my hair!

I've dressed up as a girl almost every halloween since the age of 10, and people have told me that I wouldn't wear skirt or wouldn't paint my nails or do something like that and I do quite enjoy proving them wrong.

People also automatically assume I'm gay because I have an appreciation for elegance. I love women, though I've messed around with men I don't particularly like it... so much hair and masculinity which definitely doesn't do it for me.

The question of gender issues is an interesting one. He says he doesn't, I don't really think I do, but I would bet money that he has doubts as I do. I don't want to be a woman; I don't think I'm a woman, but a love being beautiful, I love being elegant, I love soft silky fabrics, and smooth skin.

Do I enjoy traditionally feminine things more than masculine things? Absolutely. Do I enjoy being effeminate as opposed to masculine? Certainly. Does that mean I deep down want to be a woman and not a man? To be honest, I don't think so, but I'm not really sure.
24
@18:
Wait, you "flirt" with dogs? ...Wha?
25
@19, your response is exactly what we would expect from a narcissist. Exactly. It's not putting yourself, your work, your talents, your personality, or even your looks out there that makes anyone narcissistic, it OBSESSING ABOUT WHAT IT ALL MEANS ad nauseum, and believing we all really want to read another dissertation into your soul to reallyreallyreally understand you. You're not as interesting to everyone else as you are to yourself.

And I have known people who aren't ruled by ego. I married one of them. I was advised by another in grad school. They're fantastic. They make the best friends, and the best support, and it in no way undermines their talents.
26
Wow. A comparison to Jesus? Suggesting Dan get's off to his name in print. An essay long response. I agree with 25. Eerily narcissistic.
27
@10, I definitely agree that the woman in question may actually be interested in FIS, but I don't think that Dan's response is inherently "anti-woman". He didn't say she's definitely trying to keep her job by flirting, just that it's a possibility. And if she's all the things FIS says she is, its not hard to make the connection that she could be trying to use her looks to keep a job she doesn't want to work hard at.
And, yes, many people are VERY different outside of work than they are at work. However, if I meet someone who is entirely unmotivated and lazy at work, my concern would be as much about whether this person was capable of holding a job as it would be about whether or not they had these qualities in day to day life.
28
#23

I am not into grooming, hair, shaving, any of that shite. Luckily I have little body hair though. I think I would be unhappy if I grew a lot of chest and arm hair.

I do not enjoy wearing women's clothes. I think high heels were invented by ugly men to keep beautiful women from running away. Short dresses convey 'easy access'. I find women who dress very feminine or skimpily I tend to pay more attention to their bodies. Women who have more of a practical approach to fashion I believe have higher self esteem and I tend to value them for their faces and minds and conversation more.

Of course, every rule has exceptions. My point is, I do not relate to you in your gender definitions. I will marry a tom boy, an independent woman who is strong willed and has masculine traits, (but knows when to defer to natural leadership).

I do not have any gender issues because I am biologically a man. I am dominant, alpha, a good leader, and know how to take charge in situations of danger and duress. However I am great with children as well. I always seek balance in life. Dichotomous distinctions began with Aristotlean logic. Eastern philosophies do not seek to designate labels into separations like gay/straight, male/female. They seek to unite. Part of making love to women as I perceive it is the harmonization of opposites.

Psychologically I have both male and female traits, but I think everyone does. Binary, polarized gender I believe was socially constructed as a way to control populations.

29
I have to add to FIS: someone who's lazy and rude to customers isn't going to be a good person to live with. You know how people are advised to watch how someone treats the waitstaff on a dinner date? Same principle applies: watch how your love interest acts around people they don't want to impress, because that's how they'll end up acting around you.
30
#24

Yeah see, I am a closet Zoophile. I like to touch dogs, I like the way they feel. I like them to lick my face...wait, confusing sexual with sensual again...

#26

I used Jesus as an example of narcissistic behavior. Achilles would have served as s similar example. People sometimes self sacrifice because they sense their name will live on in legend. Jesus probably knew how much brand recognition his name would have for time immemorial, Perhaps that was part of his motivation to allow his own capture. He could have escaped.

And yes, I think Dan Savage has a robust ego and self interest. Famous people enjoy the attention. Seems logical eh?
31
My understanding is that a narcissist is someone who in times of trouble will cash in -- so to speak -- a dollar's worth of someone else's well being to harvest a few pennies worth for him- or herself. This could be in the form of causing misery for someone else for the gratification of the control. This is in contrast to a sociopath, who will not wait until times of distress, but instead take every opportunity to do so.

As far as this can be done thoughtlessly, OBSESSING ABOUT WHAT IT ALL MEANS isn't a qualifier. Instead, what is a qualifier is the victim(s) the suspect leaves behind. It only seems weak to harass people for the victims they haven't made.
32
"You're not as interesting to everyone else as you are to yourself."

Actually, people tell me pretty regularly how interesting I am.
33
#31

Thank you. I believe I am a genuinely nice guy. I like to help people and I hate to see people in distress.
34
I just want to say that I have just read for the first time Savage Love!!! I LOVE it!!!! Great to see someone being honest, thank you!!!! From VividChik77
35
@9: yeah, this reminds me of a couple of people I've known, and "narcissistic sociopath" pretty much sums it up.

Or, "child". This is possibly excusable if he's under about age 20.
36
DARE,

I agree that it's a bit of a jump to diagnose you with something extreme like narcissistic personality disorder from an anonymous few letters. But you have the narcissistic/arrogant personality trait. Why? You accept no blame for your problems and refuse to own them.

What seems to be the primary problem is that you KNOW what you are doing affects others negatively and you KEEP doing it. The mature adult acts, gets a negative response that they don’t like, and STOPS or MODIFIES their actions and then LEARNS something from it.

If you didn't like the results of your actions you would stop. You have not. Therefore the only conclusion is that you LIKE or ENJOY it, or have no mental self-control or an alcohol problem.

Is it logical for someone to act gay around homophobes if they wanted peace and as you say "I just want everybody to get along.”? I agree that homophobes are disgusting, but you are obviously antagonizing people on purpose. Only an idiot would act gay around homophobes and expect something besides degust and anger.

Healthy mature adults realize their faults and learn to deal with them in order to be accepted by the people they care about and most of society. You demonstrate poor self-awareness by blaming ALL of your problems on everyone else. If your actions cause problems, you are at least partially at fault. You and everyone else possess faults and flaws, and the sooner you realize yours and deal with them, the happier everyone else around you will be. Stop blaming the shit that happens to you on everyone else; anyone who has studied conflict knows that BOTH PARTIES HAVE RESPONSIBILITY.

So in conclusion; yes, of course the homophobes, cheating women, and countless other people you have encountered have problems, but you are also half the problem.
37
Maybe DARE just wants more nonsexual involvement than most people are able/willing to handle without panicking. It takes maturity and self-confidence, and practice, to enjoy flirting.

Also, when I said DARE may have gender issues, I didn't mean that he is transsexual. I meant that, as he admits, he's unconventionally gendered. Perhaps his bigendered style and attitude (excuse the generalization) makes other people uncomfortable who repress them and try to conform to only one set. - Aquamarine
38
The problem with people like DARE is that once they happen upon you, you can't get rid of them - they'll just blab on and on about their view and philosophy... Yawn... Suggestion to DARE - why don't you start a blog and get the fuck out of this column? Those who find you interesting and want to be your friends will visit your blog, so the rest of the world and Savage Love readership can take a little breather from your empathy and niceness.
39
#36

Good points, and I agree, I press people's buttons. But what it comes down to I believe is the inherent competition in human dynamics. Perhaps instead of 'changing my behavior' as you reccomend, to suit others, I should just accept that I will be regarded, and regard others, as competition. I should let go of the naive hippie 'all is love' wishful thinking and learn to compete better.

My approach I suspect with homophobes should be not to get all confused when they assume I am gay, but rather to play into their insecurities MORE. In improvisation there is a rule. ALWAYS AGREE. Always say yes.

Saying yes holds more potency than 'no'. Saying yes can actually say 'NO' in a better way, through sarcasm and irony. "What are you, gay?' Reply: 'Oh yeah dude, I'm up to the rims of my glasses in anal cavity. Been wearing a tampon up my ass all day and never felt better.' People would be like WTF?! Saying yes with sarcasm conveys more confidence and security.

Blah blah blah. I digress. I don't think I should change my behavior as much as become a better competitor. I should stop obsessing about making friends and accept that I will always have enemies.
40
#37

Yes. Bigendered, with masculine dominance overall.
41
"Inherent competition in human dynamics" DARE?

What happened to "why can't we all just get along"?

Dan pegged you as a narcissist, but your comments on this board are more suggestive of sociopathy.

(((shudder)))

I feel sorry for anyone who is young/weak enough to get caught up in your bullshit worldview and superficial charm. "I'm pretty! I'm sensual! I'm nice! It's all about love, dude!"

Get some therapy.
42
@41

oui. I personally can feel it coming out of the screen.

Or in other, perhaps more appropriate terms: I can feel your vibrations, brother, and they're not good.
43
Three for three!
44
That DARE guy is beyond in functional denial about being gay. It's too bad that he can't deal with it and takes it out on everyone else by being a deliberately-confusing idiot, but such is life.

D.A.R.E. / Pretty Little Hippie is as gay as the day is long.

The fact that he comes off as a self-hating, grandiose, full-of-shit, manipulative, side-winding, no-good, repressed motherf***er only underlines the fact that he is gay, and is trying with all his might not to be.

Join up with an unstable Scientologist, D.A.R.E. . All those details, all that trying..

You're Gay, D.A.R.E..

Bet you don't "D.A.R.E." tell your family or, gasp! Your girlfriend, or wife.

Own up, D.A.R.E.. You're Gay.
45
Also, I love that DARE is convinced he's a nice, caring person who can't stand to see people be hurt... while he seeks out married women to fuck/fuck with.
46
Wow, these comments are depressing.

Look, people, DARE is probably pretty young, thoughtful, unconventional enough to raise eyebrows, but he's not particularly strange or unique. I went to a small liberal arts college and met many kids like that. There's an entire culture of people obsessing about who they are, what they're like, and what it all means. Especially artsy or dramatically-inclined people. It's mostly harmless, if incredibly annoying.

He flirts/plays games with people because it's interesting, and young, thoughtful people like to experiment. He goes after women who are "taken" for the same reason everyone else lusts after unattainable things. The only problem here, really, is that most people are incredibly intolerant of uber-thoughtful people that they perceive to be out of touch with reality. Also that he's somewhat naive and immature, but eh. Odds are he'll grow out of it, eventually.

The sheer negativity of these reactions is absurd, especially the amateur, bizarrely hateful 'diagnoses'. That's not how mental illness works, people. What's going on here is actually more like how witch-hunts work. Tone it down.
47
DARE, I'm glad that you actually came around to engage here, but your continued commentary on yourself is, yes, overly egotistical in nature.

Just above, your behavior was questioned and you reframed it as an issue of human competition - the problem isn't anything YOU are doing, but rather what society is asking of you. Look, I relate to this massively as I think a lot of societal constructs here are BS. But based on the information you've provided about yourself, I have to agree with others that you're overly self-absorbed and your overthinking about yourself always leads you to find something outside yourself as the cause of your troubles.

I'm non-traditionally gendered also, so props to your non-conformity. However, too much ego is pretty repelling no matter how otherwise lovely the person.
48
#44

Oh yeah, so gay. So so gay. But help me. You see I want to own up to it, but when I have wet dreams, it is always about pussy, and the site of young, ovulating women makes me hard. Help, I'm so confused! I know there's no such thing as bisexuals, and that sexuality never changes over time depending on environmental factors. But I have not had a good gay man in my life to show me the ropes. Care to volunteer?

Creep.

Le sigh. Still waiting for a postmodern revolution.
49
I wrote a long post explaining exactly how DARE/outofwater is proving himself to be a narcissist - and then I deleted it all. Because, like trolls, narcissists thrive on attention and only stop when people stop paying attention to them, and I didn't want to give him something more to latch onto so he can talk more about his favorite subject.

note to #31 - what you defined in your post is an opportunist - quite different from what is being discussed here. A narcissist is someone who is obsessed with him or herself. The word comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a beautiful young man who was incapable of love until he saw a reflection of himself.
50
#46:
"He goes after women who are "taken" for the same reason everyone else lusts after unattainable things"? What a load of crap. Flirting with someone who is taken is one thing. Routinely bedding married or partnered women is another.

You may have been around a lot of young people who "like to experiment", but I think you are confusing them with some who "likes to experiment" with other people's feelings. He also can't seem to keep his line of reasoning straight. One minute he saying, "I have been with quite a few women who are in relationships, or married" the next it's "When I see someone in pain or suffering it breaks my heart". How do these two things line up? Answer: they don't. DARE likes to project the image of someone who cares about people's feelings while carrying out the actions of someone who clearly doesn't.

And then there's the "I always seek balance in life" line, followed by "Perhaps instead of 'changing my behavior' as you recommend, to suit others, I should just accept that I will be regarded, and regard others, as competition." He says he seeks balance and love, but then scoffs at the suggestion of changing his intentionally provocative behavior so as not to provoke discord.

Of course none of us can diagnose. DUH. I can only speak for my comment, which was that DARE's behavior is "suggestive of sociopathy" and I (yes, rather rudely) told him to get some therapy. Who knows if he is beyond help? Point is, his attitude and behavior are douchey and potentially destructive to anyone who allows him into their life.

That much is crystal clear.
51
I agree with 44. It all sounds like desperate rationalization because this wonderful one could not possibly be gay. DARE actually brought to mind a pretty young man who was killed by his homophobic flirataion-targets. Careful there, dude.
52
@46, yes, I live in a small Ivy-league town where DARE's type runs rampant among the student population, although they are mostly immature entitled self-obsessed rich WASP girls who drive around in the Audi convertible daddy bought her and keeps going on like this at the next table in the restaurant until everybody around just wants to whack her. It is extremely uninteresting and annoying to everybody else, which makes some of the responses understandable.
53
#49

Nail. Head.

Signing off.
54
"Please stop projecting your issues onto others. Please."

outofwater/D.A.R.E.: Why not practice what you preach, man?

You go out of your way to compound the details and the cover because you have too much to lose (or so you probably have been raised to believe) by Being A Man and admitting that you're actually gay.

All the self-help gibberish and "Oh, I am so nice to people..." is just a bunch of bullshit.

You are so accustomed to being a bullshit merchant that you now believe the very lies you try to get others to believe about you.

It must suck to be such a tall, manly-looking guy and yet wishing to be a foot shorter, with more feminine features... Ooh! Your luscious eyelashes! Your eyes that done dare (no pun intended) meet with anyone else's for long, because you (rightfully) fear people reading you for who and what you are: a sociopathic, self-centered, delusional, narcissistic, overly-analytical jerk.

I'm gay myself and I never wasted my time going to the ridiculous lengths someone like you goes through pretending that no one suspects you're gay.

You're Gay, outofwater.

Or, as someone I used to know who turned out to be a terminal asshole once said, "You're a HOMO."

Dan has a kinder heart than I do. Maybe you send him naked pics of yourself posing in front of a pair of closet doors to entice the likes of Dan to give you your attention you so insatiably crave.

You talk too much, you provide too many details and all of that goes to show that you're trying so, so, so hard to deflect from your real issues: you hating the fact that you're not only GAY, but that you are so lost in your own bullshit plot that you have no semblance of humanity, or, respect for anyone else: namely, their intelligence.

Don't you envy me, baby? Out and proud, 5'9" with a rather attractive face that can sometimes border on almost feminine, with a good shave...

You're so full of shit, D.A.R.E./outofwater.

If you have problems at this point in your life, then they are all on your shoulders: not your family's, not your wife's: no one elses.

As my father used to say: Dress up shit in a three-piece suit and what do you still have at the end of the day?

Shit.

Go start an off-Broadway production for your attention fix. You're as gay a rainbow.

Especially an August rainbow ;) .

Douchebag.
55
"DARE sounds like he might not identify as 'male' but as something else, which makes identifying 'gay' or 'straight' not really fit because these terms imply male+male or male+female. What's a 'sort-of-male' + a woman? There's no term for it and DARE may be using sexual terminology to understand what's really a gender issue.

As a person who finally realized my gender identity, not my sexual orientation, was unusual, and is and always has been a non-gendered female, not a woman, I've been there..."

Are you kidding me? DARE's a homophobic and inconsiderate wreck of a straight/cisgender.
56
You dream about ANAL PUSSY, outofwater.

Your dalliances with women are to compare makeup tips for applying blush to the apples of your cheeks as well as reenacting girl sleepover fantasies that you never had when you were a younger, closeted (still) gay little thing.

You are an asshole, and what makes it even funnier actually is how blind you are to that very fact.

Good Riddance.
57
@18: "Also I have wondered if I am a narcissist. if perhaps I am nice to people only as a way to control them. My conclusion? Everyone's a narcissist. Dan writing his column I consider a narcissistic behavior. I bet it arouses him every time he sees his name in print, andwhen he sees how many loyal readers and commenters he has. Who are you to judge? Egos rule us all, expressed differently."

Nice to see the sociopath guess ring true, I suppose.
58
@46

"I went to a small liberal arts college and met many kids like that."

Um, exactly?

Diagnoses or no, certain kinds of mental illnesses and/or traits/problems are more common among certain populations. That's like me saying "your daughter isn't anorexic, I know lots of ballerinas that eat like that". If you don't understand the reference, go ahead and google where you'll find the highest rates of anorexia.

I wouldn't diagnose the guy but it's pretty obvious he's somewhat narcissitic (I'm not saying narcissistic personality disorder, that's different).
59
@56: I doubt it's a http://www.theonion.com/articles/why-do-… situation, he knows exactly what he's doing. He just enjoys fawning over the attention and apparently gets angry when they reciprocate the attention.

@20: "I have pondered this too. In Woody Allen neurotic fashion I actually enjoy applying Decartes' tenet 'De omnibum dubitandem est'. EVERYTHING is to be doubted."

Oh my stars, ponder yourself a hole in your head so we don't have to listen to this faux-intellectual trash any more. It's absolutely insufferable.
60
DARE needs the services of a therapist not a sex columnist.
61
Am I the only person who thinks ANEMD sounds annoying? She primarily wants a boyfriend, but she'd be cool with a few chicks hanging around as disposable, non-threatening threesomes. Chicks like that are the reason I can't identify as bi on Craigslist without eight thousand couples pm'ing me under the assumption that all bi chicks want to be a living sex toy for a couple's one-night fling :P
62
[Me] "My understanding is that a narcissist is someone who in times of trouble..."

[@49] "note to #31 - what you defined in your post is an opportunist..."

No, not even if what I said was wrong.
63
@61: It does seem like she's focusing on her (fairly conventional, as far as "fantasies" go) sexuality as why someone should be interested in her more than her personality.

I'm betting that people aren't saying no because she's just "too perfect", as people often claim.
64
I definitely agree with #38; DARE's biggest prob is diarrhea of the mouth, which he shows in both his letter and his subsequent posts here. Yawn.

And, I'm a bit confused: what exactly does Dan mean when he says "So basically, ANEMD, you're 26 years old and you're still single. Where do I send flowers?" Does he mean flowers as in mazel tov, or flowers as in I'm sorry your life seems so dead? I can't seem to get a reading on this.
65
@64: Flowers as in a slightly sarcastic "condolences", I read it as "not everyone pairs up with a lifemate at 21 and there's plenty of life ahead for you."
66
I take "I'm every dude's dream, right?" not as a literal appraisal of herself as all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips, but as a wry comment on how a bi woman up for threesomes is supposedly the hit-the-jackpot universal fantasy of all red-blooded American males.

That said, if every single one of them tires of it after a while, I would say there is something about the way you are going about it that maybe leaves the guys feeling rather less 'primary' than you think (or than they want to feel). You say you want a primary partner, but are you clear on what it means to BE a primary partner?
67
The only thing outofwater really needs is a hand mirror.
68
hey, outofwater! get on out to seattle and i'll show you a good time (wink wink nudge nudge). no, i'm not a pretty young woman, but ya know what? once you've had fat, ya never go back, baby!
69
A comment for DARE:

For someone who sees beauty everywhere, you place a number of value judgements on a woman's appearance and choices. Wearing a skimpy miniskirt versus wearing a long flowing skirt, shaving one's legs or armpits, natural odors, etc, these choices often function as signals of social group (i.e. punk, hippy, sorority girl, genderqueer, etc) rather than true signposts of a woman's confidence, security and self respect. Confident and empowered women who are comfortable in their own skin come in all stripes and guises. Likewise, insecurity can manifest itself in tight clothing, baggy clothing, or perfectly tailored clothing.

Men also, are sorted into categories in your writing - homophobes, gay, confident straight guys, etc. You are not immune to this sorting and labeling. Everyone may be beautiful but everyone is also just a little bit (or even a lot bit) ugly too.

Know yourself, love yourself for your flaws and your strengths, do the same for others, regardless of category - if they treat you as an equal and worthy of respect.

Also, this sexually confident, feminist woman finds the phrase "make love to a woman" repulsive, and I'm sure I'm not the only woman out there who thinks the same. It focuses the act of lovemaking on your sexual prowess and objectifies the woman. If you must use the phrase "make love" then please make love "with" the woman rather than "to" her.
70
@18, I'm just going to point this out before I get caught up in the rest of your hilarious comments and forget: TOM BRADY IS NOT A MODEL. Playing football is the only job he's ever had, and endorsements do not count as modeling.

Minor point? Yes. But shit, respect for the Pats.
71
A comment for outofwater:

For someone who sees beauty everywhere, you place a number of value judgements on a woman's appearance and choices. Wearing a skimpy miniskirt versus wearing a long flowing skirt, shaving one's legs or armpits, natural odors, etc, these choices often function as signals of social group (i.e. punk, hippy, sorority girl, genderqueer, etc) rather than true signposts of a woman's confidence, security and self respect. Confident and empowered women who are comfortable in their own skin come in all stripes and guises. Likewise, insecurity can manifest itself in tight clothing, baggy clothing, or perfectly tailored clothing.

Men also, are sorted into categories in your writing - homophobes, gay, confident straight guys, etc. You are not immune to this sorting and labeling. Everyone may be beautiful but everyone is also just a little bit (or even a lot bit) ugly too.

Know yourself, love yourself for your flaws and your strengths, do the same for others, regardless of category - if they treat you as an equal and worthy of respect.

Also, this sexually confident, feminist woman finds the phrase "make love to a woman" repulsive, and I'm sure I'm not the only woman out there who thinks the same. It focuses the act of lovemaking on your sexual prowess and objectifies the woman. If you must use the phrase "make love" then please make love "with" the woman rather than "to" her.
72
@69: "It focuses the act of lovemaking on your sexual prowess and objectifies the woman."

All his depictions of women are objectified. The letter here is a bit edited, he said in his opener "I have always been attracted to females."

FEMALES.

Dude is a PUA with a pansexual poet-gimmick. But, aside from a community college sociology class and perhaps a trip to Burning Man and an unopened copy of The Ethical Slut on his nightstand, he's your average misogynist popcollared fratboy.
73
@71 - Exactly.

Similarly, his phrasing @28 bugged me: "I will marry a tom boy, an independent woman who is strong willed and has masculine traits, (but knows when to defer to natural leadership)."

Strength in a woman makes her "a tom boy," with "masculine traits"? And god forbid she should challenge your natural leadership?!
74
I should stop obsessing about making friends and accept that I will always have enemies.

DARE, are you Richard fucking Nixon? Enemies??? Most people accept that not everyone will like them, but making enemies is usually an activity confined to political/professional arenas. What exactly do you DO when you're socializing?
75
@73: He wants a girl with a pixie haircut who won't talk back, and he's willing to trawl every gay houseparty/club in the city until he finds her.

@74: "What exactly do you DO when you're socializing?"

Mindgames, the sort of things that predatory people do.
76
@75, right on.

Seriously, if DARE hadn't mentioned not having a lot of chest hair and possibly wearing glasses, I would have sworn I dated him. Everything else is to a TEE.
77
@32 is when my head exploded. Srsly, dude?
78
Dear DARE,

I don't think your situation is all that unique. I have a straight friend who sounds a lot like you. Several, actually, but there's one in particular who sounds so much like you that I kept trying to read between the lines in your original letter to look for clues that you might be the same person.

My friend is straight, but he often gets pegged for gay not only because he's sensitive and kind -- and flirty -- but also because he works and hangs out in a gay bar (albeit one with a fairly large lesbian clientele as well). That's how my group of friends met him. He also gets laid (with women) constantly, as there's a steady stream of bi women and gay-guy's-straight-female-best-friends coming into the bar. Women like that he's cute, friendly, sensitive, and not uptight hanging out their gay friends.

But one of the more endearing things about him is that his flirtatiousness is not about making jerks uncomfortable but also about making his gay friends more comfortable. When he comes in, he gives us all a hug *and* a kiss. (We generally don't even kiss each other, just hug.) When he pauses to chat with us, he'll casually rest his hand on our shoulder or back. He looks us in the eye when talking to us. He knows we find him attractive and it doesn't bother him -- twice I've managed, on a dare, to get him to play a stripping game *in public* down to his underwear. (In a place where he wasn't worried about getting in trouble, I doubt the underwear would be an obstacle, especially if there were also cute girls at least watching.)

Anyway, my only suggestion from your original letter is to also be friendly and flirty with nice gay guys, too, not just uptight homophobes.
79
he's kind of a Big Deal down at the asshole factory
80
"Anyway, my only suggestion from your original letter is to also be friendly and flirty with nice gay guys, too, not just uptight homophobes."

Nice gay guys are "ugly" and try to "suck his dick", which he's like totally not into!

He flirts with homophobes because he gets to prove how sensitive he is in front of prospective (female) sexual partners, and they won't flirt back. It's an angle, just another macho outlet.
82
@81: Spam somewhere else, you put your shitty site in every one of your posts.
83
Dude. I can't even begin to care about this asshole. @outofwater, you basically fail at life. You are not as cool, deep or nice as you think. Mostly you just seem like a self-centered dick. I feel bad for the women who fuck you.
84
Any defense of an accusation of narcissism that contains the phrase "even Jesus himself" is pure gold.
85
Dare is a scum sucking piece of shit who leaves chaos in his wake. I'm surprised someone hasn't put him down like people do with ever other feral animal. He certainly doesn't act like he is part of the human race, but then I'm extremely biased when it comes to shit like him. Personally, I'd gut the SOB and stake him out so the scavengers could feast on his entrails. Although the could poison the poor scavengers and could be considered as an act of cruelty to towards animals. Rape the cows and shoot the women.
86
Oh, DAREfish.
Let me give you a TL,DR on your... everything you've written: "I keep doing this thing to people that makes them unhappy and uncomfortable, but I enjoy making them react. What's wrong with them? Why are they so insecure?"

Because it's creepy. Overtly, repeatedly, and unrepentantly sexualizing/eyefucking people who don't appreciate your interest is rude. Male, female, other, don't care. You breach the social contract by imposing your flirtation and objectification on people who don't like it.

I don't care how beautiful a hippie thinks my eyes/tits/unshaved legs are, if that person keeps staring at me in a sexually suggestive and unwelcome manner, I will probably be unhappy. And your so-sensitive self will is responsible for that in your victims. You make people feel bad. They get mad at you. If you a) don't want them to feel bad, or b) don't want them to be mad at you... change your behavior.

If you want to be able to flirt with people and not have them get mad, use the same cues everyone else does to figure out if someone is cool with your flirtation. It's not rocket science. You don't get to redefine the interpretation of your behavior ("It's just eye-contact!") by the general population. Just like you can't redefine verbal communication to be understood differently by the rest of the population ("When I said, 'Die, you narcissistic hippie,' I meant, 'You are beautiful like a star.'")

Also, you cannot see the soul of anyone by staring at any organ, and you definitely can't figure out anything deeply meaningful about a person when all you do is deliberately offend, irritate, and goad them. You want to be able to flirt with straight guys? Build a relationship where that behavior isn't going to be perceived as aggressive, irritating, or creepy.
87
@74 Of course Dare makes enemies. He keeps on poaching women in committed relationships without any intention of having anything, but sex with these women.
88
Oh my fucking god, DARE/outofwater sounds just like this guy I met a couple of months ago, right down to the pretty eyes and the gratuitous post-modern-gender-theory posturing.

If you don't feel gay around gay people, you're not gay. There was a great episode of Sex and the City in which Charlotte is embraced by lesbians in the arts community until one of them asks her the question they've all been wondering about (is she's gay?) to which she responds, "No, I'm not. But I do so enjoy the company of all these women. Everyone's so smart and funny. After spending too much time and attention on men...it feels like such a safe, warm environment. And while sexually, I feel that I am straight...there's a very powerful part of me that connects to the female spirit," to which the woman replies, "Sweetheart, that's all very nice. But if you're not going to eat pussy, you're not a dyke."

Just because the societal and cultural expectations for your desires and behaviours as a straight man don't match up with how you experience and express yourself as a straight man, doesn't mean that you're gay. If you see a beautiful guy and you have the impulse to push your face into his groin, then you might be bi, or maybe you're just one of those straight men who likes to fuck around with guys sometimes. But who knows? From everything you've laid out above, it seems to me that you're mostly just a flirt who overthinks and has WAY too much time on his brain.
89
outofwater:

So, do you look like James Maslow or not? I'm dying to know!
90
Can someone please tell me what it means to "feel gay"?

My wife and I agree, we just feel like "me".
91
I now feel like this chihuahua.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYy9LysXA…
92
If only DARE could of started zer massive comment with "My point? I don't know." It's called a thesis statement.
93
@88: "Just because the societal and cultural expectations for your desires and behaviours as a straight man don't match up with how you experience and express yourself as a straight man"

i just don't see how he is expressing himself as anything BUT a straight man. it sounds like he's wearing a costume

even his hitting on men is reduced to situations where he's exploiting it to scare off potential "competition"
94
LOL, 91! Right on! Who doesn't love a South Park reference!
95
"As a person who finally realized my gender identity, not my sexual orientation, was unusual, and is and always has been a non-gendered female, not a woman, I've been there... "

Aquamarine, could you explain your gender identity a little bit more? I'm trying to parse it and am not getting it. Thanks.

96
@87, well, yeah, but didn't you get the impression that he was talking about more than just the dudes he's cuckolded? Like he's just so intelligent and deep and caring and awesome that tons and tons of people are, like, totally threatened by him and become his enemy the moment he starts trying to look into their souls? Actually, now that I think about it, Nixon doesn't deserve the comparison.

And DARE's comment about how people are always telling him he's interesting is priceless. Everyone here on slog thinks you're interesting, dude, we just don't mean it as a compliment.
97
The armchair psychologists have diagnosed narcissism, but from DARE's comment in 18, I'm getting schizophrenia. It's the way the rambling almost makes sense but doesn't really. It reminds me of a dream state, the way the mind gets when it's almost asleep or when on drugs. The information is there, but there's no sense to it. Metaphors become real. Poetry gets taken as seriously as prose. And then there's that reference to Jesus.

Yes, yes, I'm an armchair shrink too, and yes, I have no business making a diagnosis that grave from across internetland. But DARE, if you're listening, talk to a professional, one with a PhD, not a social worker. Strides have been made in treating mental illness whether it's a personality disorder or more serious. Have you been hearing voices that no one else can hear?
98
@97: I don't think it's insanity but trying to wax philosophical to impress everyone he encounters. I'd put his age at ~23 from all the pseudointellectual garbage and cuckold shit-stirring.
99
Mr. Savage's assessment of DARE was his usual mix of insight and snark, but some of these comments were harsh. I can't blame DARE for coming in and pointing out that he has good qualities as well. I think a lot of people on this thread were projecting too much onto parts of DARE's personality that were not addressed in the letter or Mr. Savage's response to it.

And gender is not bullshit. It is a biological reality to which society has reacted in many interesting ways. Does that mean that men with feminine traits aren't real men? Heck no.
100
At the moment, Dare/outofwater is coming out of this looking a lot better than the dialup psychoanalysts. This blog gets a higher-than-usual incidence of correspondence from people who *actually* need therapy. I'd think you'd all be a little better at telling the difference.

Oh, and if 'reminds me of my asshole ex' = 'in need of legal, medical or spiritual intervention,' I'd be performing exorcisms on every skinny redhead zombie enthusiast I saw. And in Boston, that'd take a long time.
101
DARE, you genuinely sound like a beautiful person - for some reason you have the right mix of neurotransmittors flowing through your brain -however that came about, good on you. I have seen and met enough people in my life to recognize purity, truth and intuition in people, and in my opinion you possess these traits.

Now, surely you should have realised that putting yourself out there on this type of "forum", would subject you to the dark side of human nature - sadly, most people enjoy tearing down those that shine an inner light a little brighter than their own, similar in fact to the anger or confusion that your positive energy incites in certain persons you look straight in the eyes. It's not only about sexuality, it runs much deeper. Actually, this is pretty important point - it is not only about the sexual energy between people, it is much more....

These people are living in pain - whether they realise it or not - in my opinion partially a consequence of (don't excuse me, while I hop on my soapbox), our socialization and the reality of the "American" lifestyle we are born into and raised to accept (without having much of a choice). They live in a "world" that is disconnected from the reality of the problems on this planet - and perhaps this is the cause of their pain and distress. These are the people that are horrified and pained by a little puppy getting maltreated, but eat animal flesh and wear animal skins, the people that can close off the killings and suffering caused to other humans by their government's armies in far away lands. They are intelligent and know and surely even feel somewhere deep inside what is happening, but they are unable to connect the dots and just go on living this disconnect which causes stress and pain. Consequently, they will not be motivated enough to take any action. It's very stressful for all intelligent people in all modern societies worldwide lving in this era, having at a click of your mouse, this information, yet living a life that basically perpetuates the suffering, or at least does little to change things.

If there were more little bright lights, like yourself, the world would be better. So, this perhaps is a suggestion if you are looking for more depth and meaning in your life. I dont know what it is, but as you go on your journey, continue to listen closely to your intuition and you will find it.

Peace little brother,
102
Uh, yeah, DARE is an insufferable twit who is way, way too interested in himself. Uh, DARE? Your parents said you were the greatest thing since sliced bread, because they're biologically programmed to think that. It doesn't mean you really are. Quit imposing your self-absorption on the rest of the world, shut the fuck up for a decade and see what you learn. You're really not that special.