Savage Love

Bleach Party

Comments

1
When I leave a tip for the housekeeper I put it someplace obvious, like the middle of the bed, with a note that says "Thank you." They might otherwise not take the cash for fear that it was just left out and that they'll be accused of stealing.

Also, leave a small tip each day as opposed to one large one at the end of your stay. Different people often make-up the room on different days.

At least that's what my mother taught me.
2
"she listens to music I dislike"--oh the horrors! ST wonders if he should "settle" for his super-hot, considerate, caring girlfriend, because the music she listens to bugs him. I thought he would say he's 20, and even then his attitude would indicate immaturity, but he says he's in his mid-30s.

He doesn't deserve her.
3
Dear Second Thoughts,

One of my very favorite Dan moments here:
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=6ObrFwjesno

which specifically addresses chewing with mouth open!

Good luck.
4
Always tip that maid with a sign so she knows the money is for her (and do it daily, as #1 says, because the maid might change from day to day), but if you're leaving a sex-mess on the sheets or anywhere else for her to deal with (or any big mess, for that matter), tip more. Really, $10--is that too much to pay for the great dirty fun you just had?
5
Just admit that this week's column was a yawner. Bloodstains on the sheets? Hmmmm... better make the bed and pretend it was like that when you checked in. Too much common sense, not enough freaks!
6
I used to hang out in gay bars for the music, glitter, pageantry, drag shows, fashion advice, and the grope-free dance partners. When large lesbian ladies used to hit on me I would simply say that I was very flattered, but straight/had a boyfriend (whether I was seeing anyone or not). If you include the word "flattered" that lets someone know that you're not homophobic and you don't find their lifestyle repulsive. Plus, if you're in a gay bar hanging out, then the gay guys there must have some idea that you aren't a homophobe- even though you're straight you're clearly not a homophobe just by virtue of hanging out in a bar full of drunk gay dudes.
7
@4 nocutename
Did you get my message?
8
@2 I think you miss the point. Living with someone who chews with their mouth open and listens to bad music and speaks rudely at the wrong time can be annoying, embarrassing, and a damn dealbreaker for some. And I'm sure there are other annoyances he did not list!
If someone annoys the shit out of you in ways you can't change, it's hard to say you're right for each other.
9
@2 I think you miss the point. Living with someone who chews with their mouth open and listens to bad music and speaks rudely at the wrong time can be annoying, embarrassing, and a damn dealbreaker for some. And I'm sure there are other annoyances he did not list!
If someone annoys the shit out of you in ways you can't change, it's hard to say you're right for each other.
10
Sheet stains- great to know from a pro that what I've always done (wad the mess up on the floor) is the preferred method for hotel maids. ALWAYS leave a tip on the bed and nowhere else; they know it's theirs.
Straight man in gay bar- say this pleasantly: "I'm really flattered you find me attractive, but sad to say I bat for the other team. Thanks, tho." I guarantee that no gay man will be offended, hurt, or put off by such a response and will (as Dan says) be thrilled we've come to a point where straight men spend time with us without discomfort.
11
@8, 9: Perhaps I did miss the point. I understand that people can have disgusting habits or behaviors that are a turn off, and chewing with one's mouth open can be one of them. (But could he ask her to employ better table manners?) Speaking rudely is likewise irritating, though the lw says that she "swears at inappropriate times," which, again, he could ask her to change. Maybe she can change; maybe she can't. Maybe she can, but she doesn't want to.
But really, to think that it would be settling to be with someone because your taste in music isn't identical just seems so childish.

I think our culture encourages us to think of dating as shopping for a new car: we want to get all those features--and only those features--we think are perfect, and drive that shiny toy right out of the showroom. But the reality is that dating is more like buying a used car: there are feature that are must haves, and then there might be features we thought were must-have, but, when confronted with the otherwise great deal that is missing those features, we discover weren't vital after all. There are features we never wanted which are present in the used model, and it may turn out that some of those become valuable treasures we don't know how we ever lived without in previous cars and can't imagine forgoing again. And some of those unwanted features can be ignored. If you didn't want cruise control, and your used car has had it installed, there's no law saying you have to use it.

At mid-30s, I would think that the lw has been on the car lot long enough by now to realize that the brand-new, shiny Ferrari is out of most people's reach, but the pretty-damn good Honda is affordable and gets excellent gas millage and that's not "settling," so much as being damn fucking grateful that he can buy a pretty great car to begin with, when a lot of people have no choice but to ride the bus.

But I'm old and have been playing the dating game with no success for a while now so forgive my bitterness.

You're right: if he thinks something is a deal-breaker, he shouldn't make the deal.
12
@7: I got it and responded to it.
13
Whether it's something I think is childish like swearing at inappropriate times or something I think is huge like being a violent drunk, the way to look at the settling question is not by asking yourself how what you have compares to the mythical perfection that you might have; it's how what you have compares to living alone.
14
Ms Cute - If he overstated her faults, he likely overstated her virtues. On the thin facts submitted into evidence, thus far their deserts seem about equal, though I'm quite prepared to adjust the estimation once her testimony has been cross-examined as well as his.
15
Why does ST have to decide right now whether to marry her or leave her? Give it some time...

Maybe her music will grow on him; maybe she'll blush adorably when he corrects her table manners; maybe he'll get used to her swearing and forget that he used to find it shocking; maybe he'll get over looking for a perfect reflection of himself.

Or maybe not. But maybe some more time together will make his decision more obvious.
16
@13

Okay there, Debbie Downer.

I think that might be a little far on the other end on the spectrum (unless of course you mean 'living alone briefly until meeting someone else' and not 'living alone forever'). Sometimes we have to give up "better than nothing" because we feel it's possible to end up with "good". I've been called "picky" a lot. I prefer "patient". Of course, I'm not in my 30's as the LW is. I assume that scene is a different (clearly depressing) ballgame.
17
"I'm in my mid 30s" So fucking what? Is 40 his expiration date? 45? My thought upon reading that was how would she feel if she knew he felt he was settling? I know that I would tell anyone who felt that they were settling for me despite my multitude of flaws (and I have plenty, as does every other person out there: we are all flawed in some way) to feel free to fuck right off. In short, I would not 'settle' for anyone who felt they were 'settling' for me.

Settle my round white ass. That man pissed me right the fuck off.
18
@17: Yup.
@16: the "scene" from one's 30s is not "clearly depressing." Assuming you're lucky, you'll be seeing that scene yourself someday. Someday, you may even look back with nostalgia.
19
"I once met a guy who was super-hot and caring and considerate, a guy whose libido matched my own and whose long-term goals aligned with mine, and who just so happened to bug the shit out of me.

Here's what I did: I married that motherfucker."

Bless you Dan for reminding me why I married Mr. :-)
20
@14: Mr. Ven, I'd be curious to hear what her estimation of just how far short of perfection he falls.

I guess it's the mis-matched tastes in music thing that really gets my goat. It seems so childish and petty--and insignificant over the long run (unless the loved one insists on playing or blasting said detestable music ALL THE TIME). I once met a man who left his wife--with whom he had two children--because her musical taste hadn't continued to progress, because she still listened to the same radio station and the same bands as she had when they'd met 14 years earlier! He claimed to have ended a marriage over that. I couldn't believe it.

My ex-husband once bought me an album of music by a band I loved and he detested, with the provision that I only play it when he was out of the house. Likewise we had a deal wherein I only had to put up with a favorite album of his once every blue moon. And when he really wanted to listen to it, I just gritted my teeth for the duration.

I understand mydriasis' point about being choosy, but there's discerning and discriminating, and there's absurdity. And the music thing borders on absurdity to me. Mr. Ven has Retired from Romance, a condition I think I'm about to share, but while I don't share Crinoline's feelings, exactly, not liking one's partner's taste in music does seem pretty trivial when compared against all the positives in a relationship.
21
Ooops that should have read "what her estimation IS of just how far short of perfection he falls."
Sorry
22
Wonderful! Thanks for the Straights Rights update Dan! Peeps, do join the march in every state's capitol on April 28. www.wearewomenmarch.net It's for the fellas and ladies because they are literally taking away our rights as they realize it's a losing battle to take away gay folks' rights. JOIN! www.wearewomenmarch.net
23
@20. Gee, nocutename, now you've made me curious. Just what were those 2 albums of the other that you each hated. Since I took 6 credit hours of music appreciation in college in 1983 I feel competent to let you know who was "right":)
24
@23: Oh, no. Not if you took 6 credit hours of music appreciation! Not going to go there!

It's best if you use your imagination, anyway.

In 1762 Laurence Sterne published volume vi of "Tristram Shandy," and introduced the character, the Widow Wadman, whom he called the most concupiscible creature ever coveted. Rather than describe her, in chapter 38 he wrote:

"To conceive this right,--call for pen and ink--here's paper ready to your hand--Sit down, Sir, paint her to your own mind--as like your mistress as you can--as unlike your wife as your conscience will let you--'tis all one to me--please but your own fancy in it."

So I take a leaf from Sterne and tell you to think of an album by your Best Group Ever in place of the one I could play only when my former husband was not in the house, and to think of what you consider the Most Overrated Album Of All Time as the one I put up with hearing. Please but your own fancy in it.
25
***In case anyone might be inclined to wonder, the post below is never more than half serious. I tried to go to sleep but couldn't, and hope having written this will finally let me get a bit of rest.***

As for NOCLUE, who seems a perfectly decent person, why must glorification of the heterosexual be the only method or sign of improvement?

Things will be better when we don't have to give a flying fig what straight people think. Things will be better when we have as much full and free choice (with no inherent worse consequences) to live a straight-full or straight-free life as we choose as they do in reverse. Things will be better when the reaction to learning someone isn't homophobic isn't to do with how it's Good For Us, but how it's Good For Him.

Had Mr Savage phrased his answer as Gays Are Gaining Respect instead of taking pot shots at gays while loading box after box of cookies onto straight men for nothing more than being decent human beings, I should not be annoyed. I might wonder what would happen, though, if the number of straight men in gay bars were to grow so exponentially that before long they made up more than half the clientele. It reminds me of why I don't think a post-orientational world will work the way the post-gays think it will for very long.

This reminds me of why, while I empathize with and respect feminists and generally think their goals more a good than not, I doubt I'll ever be able to trust them fully. Of course they'd eradicate male homosexuality if they could, and, looking at it from their point of view, I don't blame them. Men as the beneficiaries of the oppression of women (not to mention the prime oppressors) are bad enough. Men who can't be controlled by making them pay in one form of currency or another for sex serve no useful purpose whatsoever - unless they're good consultants about things one finds important.

The last paragraph was not meant to disparage anyone here. If anything, I consider it a point of empathy. I get as tired of being under straight people as many women do of being under men. Would I really resort to eradication? If I had to be serious, I don't think I could really eradicate anyone, but I can understand the temptation.

Perhaps (and, just to be clear, I have been in a bar fewer than a dozen times in my life, probably fewer than ten) what we would really need for bars if unstraight bars became so mixed that it became bad form to approach strangers who might be straight would be a KinseyMeter at the entrances that would measure people's Kinsey scores and display a holographic image of the number on their faces while they remained in the building. It would be great fun, if I were feeling mischievous, to program the machine to give slightly off scores.
26
I think if your dealbreakers are compatible music tastes, chewing with your mouth open and inappropriate swearing, you're never going to find someone that's "good" enough for you. And the fault isn't everyone else's -- it's yours for being such a shallow, narcissistic wretch.

I'm with Dan on counting your dealbreakers on one hand and the rest are negotiables or "prices of admission" as he puts it. Things like integrity/honor, reliability, intellectual curiosity/interest in personal growth, generosity (of heart, spirit, time, etc.), wants to be a parent (provided you do too). Those are frickin dealbreakers -- not compatible musical tastes!

For a dude in your mid-30s, you sound incredibly emotionally immature and lacking. I hope that's not a deal breaker for the hot, libidinous, caring gf because she's in for a major uphill battle with such a childish, narcissistic guy. You don't deserve her.
27
Uh, @22, if there's a march on the state capitol on April 28, that's the same day as the Procession of the Species, in Olympia, when 20,000 people will be there, many of them dressed as aspects of nature (bees, wolves, butterflies, rain drops...). Hmm. That could be quite the confluence!
28
Great column, Dan! Yes, I am definitely supporting big D come November. With the embarrassing exception of accidentally voting for the wrong candidate without doing the reading up first (for some reason, absentee ballots were mailed out WITHOUT party affiliate listings that year!)

I say we wage War on Pigs!
29
@ 25 - Uh, Mr. Vennominon, what? I know that was meant mostly tongue firmly in cheek, you posted that disclaimer..but reading that bit about feminists wanting to do away with male homosexuality made my head spin. I'd best chew on that for a bit before saying anything too feisty, as I have a ton of respect for your writings here. Said the feminist with the many gay guy friends. (Not like Cameron ones or Santorum ones, real ones.)

I approve of Dan's answer to the straight bar-goer's question. Your whole response, Mr. V, - I get that too. But change doesn't arrive in blasts, more like gentle waves ebbing into the shore into the shore. One state with marriage equality here, one state there, until DOMA will make no sense. One letter to the editor here, one person coming out there, until everyone knows someone LGBT & discrimination makes no sense. & one straight guy here at the gay bar, one over there - yes, that is part of how it occurs, too.

The parties I throw are kinda what I hope bars will be like someday. There's straight, & gay, a coupla lesbians, & a few bi folks like me, & different races, some kinky folks & a few long-term poly relationships amongst my friendsgroup. I'm super lucky to have such a diverse crowd.

Mebbe someday there will be no gay bar. We'll all have to walk up to whoever & talk to them before making assumptions. The horror. ;)
30
RE:STAIN, really?? Where is the common sense here? While one housekeeper may think it's just dandy to shit the sheets, unless those sheets are vinyl, it's going to fucking soak through. If god-willing there's a mattress pad, then you're talking about removing the pad too. If not, you can toss the mattress too--or, more likely, assume that the rest of us get to sleep on your shit/blood/splooge-stained mattress. Use a freaking towel.
31
Regardless of having made a mess or not, I ALWAYS strip hotel beds. Having to make bed after bed after bed is an ergonomic nightmare for hotel employees, and if we can all halve that effort, we can make people less likely to sustain painful injuries without compromising any jobs.
32
thanks dan! my caring boyfriend is great in many ways but he bugs the shit out of me! i needed some guidance. i can't believe i have to frequently ask a grown man to chew with his mouth closed!
33
Great column Dan!! your reply to Second Thoughts reminded me of something you wrote sometime ago, which can always stand repeating.

"A successful marriage is basically an endless cycle of wrongs committed, apologies offered, and forgiveness granted, all leavened by the occasional orgasm"

I have passed this fine piece of wisdom on to many friends, and most of them were grateful...
34
@venominnon:

This reminds me of why, while I empathize with and respect feminists and generally think their goals more a good than not, I doubt I'll ever be able to trust them fully. Of course they'd eradicate male homosexuality if they could, and, looking at it from their point of view, I don't blame them . . . Men who can't be controlled by making them pay in one form of currency or another for sex serve no useful purpose whatsoever - unless they're good consultants about things one finds important.

No. Just . . . no. Yes, with enough digging you can unearth some radical second-wave feminists who argued that male homosexuality was a pathological manifestation of extreme misogyny. (Andrea Dworkin is probably the most notable example of this, although I think she eventually changed her stance.) But antipathy toward gay men is by no means a standard feminist sentiment. I don't claim that everyone who identifies as a feminist is a shining beacon of perfect enlightenment, totally purged of any and all prejudice, because this is very obviously not the case. But I honestly do believe that any randomly selected feminist is probably more likely to be accepting of male homosexuality than any randomly selected non-feminist -- after all, homophobia plays a key role in reinforcing the prescriptive gender roles that most feminists are committed to dismantling.

Also, speaking as a woman and a feminist, I am not looking to "control" men through sex or any other method. If I want to win people over to my viewpoint, I don't play Lysistra; I vote and write letters to my elected representatives and participate in the marketplace of ideas, just like anybody else. If I want nice things, I don't wheedle them out of some poor lust-addled man; I go to my job and work so I can buy them for myself. I have every respect for the women (and men) who choose to be sex workers, but the mere fact that I have a vagina does not automatically make me one of them. And I sure as fuck don't look at gay men as defective cash cows who refuse to be properly milked by my vagina.

Are there women out there who do think this way? Of course. Some of them probably even identify as feminists (although I would argue that feminist women are on average less likely than other women to buy into the toxic view of heterosex as a commodity that men "take" and women "give" in exchange for compensation). But for fuck's sake, don't go around claiming that the perception of women as sexual gatekeepers (or, more accurately, sexual toll booth operators) is a core feminist principle, and that the desire to eradicate male homosexuality is therefore an inevitable corollary of feminism. It's just not true.
35
There was a great article in the Huff Post addressed to straight men who need to get their act together and realize this war on women's health is a war on their health too. Pretty ace.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glenn-w-sm…
36
Wow you "settlers" are real pessimists... I see so many people, mostly women but men too, in my life and circles who go on and on about finding the right guy and "not settling" and you know what happens? They cross off perfectly really wonderfully compatible people for really weak small superficial reasons... and later regret it. I have NEVER heard of someone crossing off a person for a superficial reason who was happy about it later, unless they simply didn't want to be in a relationship.

I'll give an example. One of my best friends, about 10 years ago, dumped what most anyone would call A Perfect Guy. He was HOT, great in bed, had a steady stable job, was articulate and smart... but he was fine with his job and wasn't aspiring further. He didn't read books. And she felt that at 26 he really should be shooting for higher things still, that couldn't POSSIBLY be all he could do? (He was a desk editor at our major metro city's newspaper! It's not like he was night manager at Publix!) So she dumped him.

10 years later she has yet to have another serious relationship because frankly the guys all suck compared to him. No shit. She really, deeply, strongly regrets dumping him and feels it was extremely childish on her part. Mmm hmm. So sometimes it's settling... and sometimes, it's being a picky asshole.

There's this idealized relationship dogma out there people buy into about finding a soul mate, a perfect match, and no one ever mentions your perfect match might be a swamp ogre.
37
Sex shops sell waterproof sheets that are:

1. light, easy to pack
2. can be wiped clean
3. don't feel like plastic or sound crinkly (nice soft touch material)

I don't know the brand but I've seen them on the beds at piss parties in a local dungeon and they're great. If you have really messy hotel sex that might stain the mattress under the sheet -- why not be kind to the environment and the maid and bring your own easy to rinse sheet that won't foul your own luggage or result in excess use of chemicals?

38
vennominon I have no idea what you're on about. Last I checked feminism was about equality not wiping men out. And while there may be feminists who feel that way I think they're missing the point.
39
@18

I was referring to the "dating scene" since people appeared to be implying that the older you get, the less choosy you're allowed to be.

So no, if I'm lucky, I won't ever see that scene.
40
@36 wendykh
I agree. Soul mates are not "found." They are built. Waiting for one to fall out of the sky wrapped in pretty paper for you to open is delusional. It ignores everything one should understand about life --growth, changing environment, crisis and catastrophe.

Look to be swept away by new relationship excitement. Then see if you can evolve into soul mates. Be realistic about how extremely difficult that will be in a society that makes it trivial to bail out anytime you are tested.
41
Dan, wtf's up with you today? "Second" should break up with his girlfriend immediately so she can end up with a decent realistic guy who'll appreciate her instead of this pathetic twit.
42
@8 - Very good point. I'm also in complete agreement with @36 - far too often people mistake "not settling" for expecting perfection, which you aren't going to get.

I think the trick is to strike a balance - and to make sure you can live with the 'can't stand' parts. I could not tolerate the mouth smacking while eating. Drives me nuts the way dogs and cats licking themselves clean seems to drive all my girlfriends crazy.
43
16-mydriasis-- Nah, I wasn't being a downer. I know terrific people who are living terrific lives without a significant other in them. They have exciting jobs, exciting travel opportunities, have lots of long term friends, are never at a loss for company, are really leading fulfilling wonderful lives. (That includes volunteering and making contributions to the community, not even selfishness here.) And every time they run into a partner's annoying habits, they ask themselves if they'd be better off alone and it turns out they would be. Alone doesn't mean lonely.

Me, I don't have half their resources. I put up with a wonderful man who helps me, makes love to me, puts up with me, shares with me, supports me, and annoys me every day. He's constantly leaving lights on in the basement and the closet doors open.

As for ST, he (she?) doesn't say what his girlfriend's thoughts are on the matter. Does she want to marry? Would she rather wait for Mr. Perfect? Does she like things the way they are?
44
Many points: nothing wrong in being single. Not settling is also a valid choice. I didn't settle in my 20s, was single throughout my 30s and finally met someone compatible in my 40s. Did I wonder about my single status? Yes, occasionally. When I was not busy having a kick-ass career that took me to over 40 countries.

Feminists hate gay men because they can't be manipulated with sex? Sorry, not all feminists are looking to manipulate men with sex. Some of us have adult relationships with men and can fend for ourselves using our brains and non-sexual skills.
45
It occurs to me that having sex in the shower, instead of in the bed, could be another solution to the "stained sheets" issue.
46
*I really have very little clue how serious any of this post is. I am still in largely the same frame of mind.*

Mesdames Hopkins/Kurage - Now I admit that I have had the influence of Cecilia Williams and others like her, but I was attempting to describe, not core principles of anything, but a mood. Have neither of you ever had the occasional mood in which you think to yourself, "Men!" in a tone that clearly implies that Men are (at least in that temporary mood) The Enemy? Or even better - "Men, Men, Men!!!" in the exact tone in which Jan Brady famously whined, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!!" Do you never get Sick of being Oppressed by Men? Have you never given in to the temptation and thought, "If only there were no men in the world..."

Now this is where the similarity differs, because the LGs at least have no immediate stumbling block in the whimsical thought of If Only There Weren't Any Straights. The bisexuals could replenish the population, and then we wouldn't be oppressed any more. My temptation therefore I see as a bit more lasting than yours.

You right away run into the hard block that most feminists are straight, so that the wholesale removal of all the men in existence would deprive the majority of women of their preferred sex life. So you can't sit with the tempting thought as long as I can. But you might think, if you were angry enough with your oppressors, that Men Are Only Good For One Thing. And, while you were still in that mood, you might remember that Some Men Aren't Even Good For That, and then I suspect that I might soon become as headless as Anne Boleyn - actually, more so, if thoroughly executed (sorry for the puns).

Additionally, I suspect that I might frequently annoy those who are not like Ms Hopkins - just by being myself rather than simply because I need straight men less than straight women do and might therefore, in their bitter moods, raise a moment of Envy. I can easily imagine people thinking that a world without me would be improved. And, taking the Poirotlike view, the journey from the elimination of one to the elimination of many is but a step.

Ms Kurage, did you follow the thread about the husband who wants other women to want to have sex with him, given the great demand there's been among other men for his wife? That bit about Men Always Paying One way Or Another was inspired by what Ms Erica was saying in that other thread, but it actually came into my head and turned into a complete mythology. Thinking of it as science fiction, if feminists could eradicate male homosexuality, they would require not only scientific means but also political clout, and in my SF universe where they had this clout it would have come to them out of a conscious decision to be sexual gatekeepers. (If I am not careful, I shall plot out a whole novel about the Great Feminist Convention during which that plank would get put into the party platform, loosely basing the main antagonists on Ms Erica and Ms Kurage. Therefore I'd best move on at once.) Doubtless you would answer the question of how to reach that point differently, but does the framework help?

Now, here comes the part of this post in which I agree with Ms Kurage. On a thinking level, I entirely agree that feminists are much more accepting of the concept of male homosexuality than non-feminists. I shall even venture a guess as to part of the reason. Non-feminists are far more likely to view gay men as Straight Chasers and therefore threats; it's like the converse of the Jimmy Beck Theory (two gays together means two women going spare, but two lesbians together means two men going short) with the emphasis shifted to there just being that many more people Trying to Steal My Man. Can I blame this on Pageants - especially the ones for toddlers - please, please? This feels like a time in the post when I ought to blame something and it gives me the opportunity to mention the Miss Boston Barmaid competition as my justification.

But now, sadly, comes the part where I disagree with Ms Hopkins, which I don't particularly enjoy doing. Your Ideal Bar sounds charming, but with some thought leads me to conclude that, because it would not be intentional, post-straight could turn out to be more oppressive of post-gay than holds for the pre-post varieties. Consider. You and I are in such a hypothetical situation; even more hypothetically, we are there with the purpose of Approaching Men. Just using 10% because it's a convenient figure, 90% of the men you approach will let you through the Right Gender gate. 10% of the men I approach will let me through. This is going to work out a good deal better for one of us than for the other. If you have ever tried browsing for gay literature in a post-gay bookstore (even though apparently now Bookstores Are Dead), you may know how absolutely frustrating it could be if you were looking for new works by anyone other than an actual personal friend. And thus post-gay culture creates the need for gay culture. I know you mean your ideal kindly, but do you really want to deny LG people access to the sense of being among those with whom they would be considered at least potentially generally desirable?

It's rather unAmerican, I suppose. You can give us full legal equality. But for social equality, we have to be separate to be equal. Unfortunately, I feel pushed by this statement into a counter-ideal in which Q bars have as many straights as there are Qs in the general population. As I haven't the time or inclination to work this out now, I shall have to leave it there. Make of it what you will.
47
Regarding the Straight Rights Watch... any advice for Pennsylvanians? Our democratic senator is anti-choice. Up until recently, this didn't effect the way he legislated. Senator Casey has been mostly surprisingly great, which is not something I'd expect to say about a member of congress. And he did defeat (then-incumbent) Santorum by a 17 point margin, which was a beautiful moment for Pennsylvania (and hopefully foreshadowing for the nation). But now he's one of the three democratic senators who crossed parties to vote in favor of the Blunt amendment. How do we publicly shame him and make sure our displeasure is known... without hurting his re-election chances? (Pennsylvania is always a swing state, one of the reasons I still live here... where I know my vote really matters).
48
For lw#1, here is an old prostitutes tip. For shark week, take a piece of natural sea sponge, about as big as ones fist (found in the paint dept.) of Home Depot, or the like. Wet it, put in microwave to sterilize, let cool, wring it out,wad it up and shove it inside. Takes on the heat of the body and is undetectable. Afterwards, rinse in sink, microwave again or let dry.
For Vennominion, remember, feminists love their gay sons, too.
49
Another idea for STAIN-- Bring your own stainable sheets or towels from home. Pack and wash yourself, or toss in a dumpster on your way to airport.

I was interested in the recent news article saying that one of the main things the housekeeping staff in hotels wanted in the way of benefits, in addition to higher wages and medical insurance, was panic buttons. Something as simple as being able to summon security when they feel threatened by hotel guests.

As for leaving a tip, I always do. But I await for the hotel industry to go the way of restaurants and museum coat check desks. The cycle goes like this. Waiting tables is a relatively low paying job. Diners know this and tip. Waiting tables becomes higher paying. Management knows this and figures out a way to get their hands on the tips. This takes the form of insisting the servers tip the hosts, busboys, bartenders, and in some money grabs, the cooks and dishwashers.

In other words, management uses the tips to pay the staff. Waiting tables becomes low paying again. Diners tip higher. And so it goes. Laws are put in place both to tax the tips and to forbid management from grabbing too much. The last I read, the effort was to keep the tips to the front of the house. That is, only to servers, busboys, hosts, and bartenders, not the cooks, cleaners and dishwashers. But I predict this will be a losing battle.

I also predict that hotel management will figure out a way to get the tips left for the maids before the maids do. I'm cynical that way.
50
@46 vennominon, I have never thought, "If only there were no men in the world." As a feminist, I consider religious people the enemy. More specifically, people who worship the god of Abraham are the enemy to me.

I like gay people generally. It's just a preference. I'm never in the market for fashion tips or cattiness over martinis or any of that sort of fag haggery I see in movies and television shows. It's not like that at all. I just like the kind of company gays tend to be. Also avid readers and Scottish people. But, with teh gheys, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The mood of feminism isn't man hating. Women are just as likely to be anti-feminist. On the other hand, it has aided my determination knowing I will never have trouble finding a man who thinks my strength and will are hot as hell. I married one of them.

I don't think there are all that many feminist women singing "I hate men!" from Kiss Me Kate any more.

Maybe this jpeg will help you understand what we feminists are really all about (NSFW)

http://thehayze.com/htgb/wp-content/uplo…
51
@46, Mr. Vennominon - serious or not, you've clearly given this whole concept a lot of thought.

I, for one, as a bi lady, am *not* looking forward to the potential demise of The Gay Bar. You're not suggesting that straights shouldn't go to gay bars, are you? You said you've been to one less than 25 X, Mr. V., I've been there about..I don't even know. I bounced at the door of a lesbian bar back in NJ (several addresses ago, went dancing with an ex-GF at others & gosh, I'd have no way of estimating. More than 200, less than 500? It's not like I'm this massive partier, just, if you want to meet your local LGBT tribe, that's the most efficient way of doing it, in a new town..head off to the local watering hole. From the first ones I went to in NJ, the Den & Feathers (yes really), to alt nights at clubs in NYC, to the Velvet Rope in the York area of PA to Tilt in Rochester, NY & various clubs I've gone to w/ friends - just the fastest way to find the local Q's wherever I'd moved to. But I think even if marriage equality happened in every state, overnight, in a huge thunderclap, there'd still be gay bars. Simple issue of supply & demand. If nothing springs up to take its place, they're not going anywhere. My description of the Benetton-ad bar above, where you'd have to ask, is an idealized situation, not likely to occur anytime soon.

Sure, there's been some days where I throw my hands in the air - "men!" (I'll intone). But when I am picturing some men disappearing from the world, it's usually neo-cons who are suppressing my rights, & those aren't just men. A whole bunch of the recent anti-woman legislation rolling out of the GOP has female sponsorship. & thinking that the world would be better off w/ no men isn't a thought I've actively harbored since high school or so, when it became abundantly plain that some women were just as likely to be anti-woman as some men were.

*shrug*

As for thinking that women pay for support, etc, in our relationships with sex..sigh. I've been in relationships where it was 50-50 financially; a couple of times my partner was unemployed or made way less; one time, the shoe was on the other foot, & my partner made way more than me, & so I was a hausfrau for a bit. None of these choices was me paying for things or upkeep w/ my magical wonder ladybits. FWIW, that dynamic in does exist - but I've seen it in some gay guy couple friends, too. Is it a feminist/woman issue then?

& what you say about bookstores = I has a sad. My mom owned a used bookshop for awhile, & I had a 14-year career in publishing that's under shift due to the changing print paradigm.

I'll end this in the spirit of humor..there's never a reason needed to hate toddler beauty pageants. WTF, world.

52
Oh! & to LW STAIN: thank you for tipping the maid! They work very hard for very little pay. I was astounded it was such a topic of debate last time Dan posted about it. When possible, hand it to the maid of the day directly (if you are around). Daily tips = yes. If only a large tip is left at the end, sometimes a disreputable manager will come in before the room is serviced & take it.

If you think the mess is gonna be truly epic, I *would* bring a towel or something from home, but that's just me. Either way, do what Dan says & bundle those sheets up.
54
Concerning Second Thoughts,

In "Good Will Hunting" the Robin Williams character wistfully retells a litany of the kinds of things that can bug the shit out of a person as "People call those imperfections, but no, that's the good stuff.".  

That's the good stuff.  When you can't look away, when your ears strain to hear, when you decide for a lifetime of trying to get your partner to turn the damn lights out when they go into the garage, there you go.  My wife has a raucous bray of laughter that I sometimes feel I would kill to hear, when I'm really feeling down.  Needless to say when I first got to know her, at first it was an intolerable grating, until I learned to associate it with the state where she is almost glowing/vibrating with happiness.  Funnily enough, that's when I found myself glowing as well.

@39 mydriasis-san,

Just remember that perfection quickly becomes boring.  Adapting to the imperfect, customizing your fit, is not a bad place to start.

Peace.
55
Tip the maid.
Chew with your mouth closed.
Make your sex meaningless.
Make your relationship meaningful.
That is all.

beenaroundtheblock
56
That "sad mattress" image could be applicable to so many topics.

@53 The problem is that we all have "little things" that inevitably grate on our partner's nerves. I bite my fingernails, and my wife hates it. She says it reminds her of a dog biting its fleas. For my part, it disgusts me that she farts so much, and so freely. Is divorce in our future? I don't know. Maybe if more of those types of things accumulate. Maybe I stop trimming my nose hair and that's the last straw for her! However, in general, I don't think these are the kinds of things that cause divorce. If my nail biting and her farting become representative of a systemic disregard of each other's feelings, then that leads to divorce--but it is our overall lack of caring, not the little things themselves, that bring about the divorce.
57
Chewing with your mouth open is annoying.fine. Why should she not listen to music because you don't like it? Is she tying you down and forcing you to listen too? Oh, and who gets to determine when or if swearing is appropriate? You sound like a major asshole.

Yes some bugs can be prodded away. But every difference between you and your lady isnt a defect (bug) on her part, you nit. Have you bothered asking about or observing your own "bugs"? You might start with being self absorbed and reality challenged. Perhaps she should be the one writing. Or leaving. Then you wont have to see or hear your considerate caring hot high libidoed girlfriend chew. And she wont have to suffer you.
58
I sometimes use coarse language, but I do tip the maid and the attendant who fills the tank (we can't self-serve here) of my car. Maybe, those two balance things out?

People who are comfortable being found attractive by people of other shapes, sizes, and genders tend to make great friends. I think that is an attractive quality in a person.

@ Mr. vennominion,

I'm inclined to see people through the character they reveal. I also love men. The world would be less colorful without them. Hence, I have no desire to bleach the world. (Although, I do confess their are several vocal individuals, especially professional politicians and proclaimed religious leaders, who I wouldn't mind duct taping their mouth shut for a spell.) And, you, are a delightful part of this little SLOG universe. I hope you know this.

And, to be sort of on topic...

Strip the bed, STAIN. Kudos on leaving a generous tip.
59
Chewing with your mouth open is annoying.fine. Why should she not listen to music because you don't like it? Is she tying you down and forcing you to listen too? Oh, and who gets to determine when or if swearing is appropriate? You sound like a major asshole.

Yes some bugs can be prodded away. But every difference between you and your lady isnt a defect (bug) on her part, you nit. Have you bothered asking about or observing your own "bugs"? You might start with being self absorbed and reality challenged. Perhaps she should be the one writing. Or leaving. Then you wont have to see or hear your considerate caring hot high libidoed girlfriend chew. And she wont have to suffer you.
60
It's ST writing. I think it's funny that you've all assigned me male pronouns.
61
ST Writing. I think it's funny that you've all assigned me male pronouns
62
And so here's the thing. I recognize and appreciate her good aspects, and am grateful for her. The trouble is, that I'm not enjoying the time I spend with her, which prompts my writing. If it wasn't something I was struggling with, I wouldn't have written in.

Thank you to those with considerate feedback.
63
Christ, actually, if anything actually displays my narcisism and immaturity, it's weighing in on comments from strangers which damage my ego.
Please disregard my comments.
64
Re: annoyances/relationships: can't help thinking Seinfeld ...
65
@ 62: If not enjoying the time spent with her overall, that's a much different letter than, overall being happy with one or two little things that get on your nerves. I'd end it if you're not happy but looking at the clock when you are with her. (Regardless of gender of either party. ;D ) To do otherwise is a waste of time. As well as, it's not fair to her to just go on while you're secretly thinking how much you're unhappy or bored. She should be w/ someone who delights in her company. As should you.

I don't think mid-30's is so old you have no other prospects. But that shouldn't be the driving decision in whether to stay or go.

I'm firmly in the better to be alone & content then w/ someone else & mostly unhappy - or mostly not enjoying your time - camp.
66
@60-62 (calvinball): I apologize for assuming that you were a man--I guess it's that old hetero-normative thing that makes Mr. Vennominon bristle at work!

Here's the deal as I see it:

I happen to think that your objections are fairly small-potatoes. I also think that it is impossible to find perfection and that sometime loves lies in the very imperfections.

BUT, those are my feelings and my attitudes. Only each of us knows what bugs her beyond what is worth putting up with. Something I might find a dealbreaker might be no big deal to you.

I think that if you're holding out for perfection, you may want to re-think that romantic ideal, but I also think that if you're "not enjoying the time [you] spend with" your girlfriend, you should break up. "Settling" shouldn't mean that you're settling to be unhappy.

Sometimes someone can appear theoretically or on paper to be everything we say we want, and then it becomes hard to justify leaving a "perfectly good relationship." But if you don't feel it, you don't feel it. If her annoying habits or tastes don't feel like things you're willing to put up with because she's so great, but they're rather the things you can put a label on because you don't know why you can't just love and commit to this wonderful person, then she really isn't the person for you.

But then don't turn it into "she chews with her mouth open," because the reality is that if you really loved her, the chewing with her mouth open would still bug you, but it wouldn't make you reconsider the relationship.

She is great, but you aren't in love with her; it's that simple.
67
@60/61: Basic demographics/statistics/probabilities.
68
Had the sheet stain thing happen on vacation, twice. It was unexpected, because GF's cycle had shortened when we first started dating. We tipped well, but did not know exactly how to handle the sheets. Now we know. I think putting them in the tub instead of the floor is better- that is what I see posted to do with dirty towels.

Once it happened in a cabin, which did not have daily maid service. That was a little more problematic.
69
@62: If you aren't enjoying your time with her, then it's better to not stay with her. You may or may not be able to find someone who has all of those same positives, but it's very likely that you will find someone whose company you enjoy more. If you're really not happy with the situation, don't beat yourself up for not feeling what you think you should feel. Give yourself a break, and move on. And do so with compassion for both yourself and her.

And it's the better thing for her as well. She deserves someone who enjoys her company and who doesn't think of being with her as settling. I know this, as someone who spent years with a person who considered being with me "settling". It's no fun. I'm happier alone, and looking forward to meeting someone who recognizes the catch I am, not just intellectually, but with true, unreserved appreciation.

Best of luck.
70
Bad advice to the straight guy getting hit on at the gay bar. Just say, "no thanks", and if asked why, say "you're not my type/I'm just here to hang out with my friend, I'm not looking for anything else". If asked what your type is, say "not yours/none of your business". I'm a gay guy who gets hit on by gay guys, and I hate this idea that I owe an explanation of my sexual tastes or reasons for not having sex with someone in order to protect their feefees.

I can't believe it when guys interrogate me with multiple follow up questions. I get shot down plenty of times, and I have never once asked why. Actually, I think knowing would make me feel worse. And by "shot down", mostly I mean they avoid returning eye contact which is enough to let me know not to even bother approaching to them.

My advice to the straight guy is that any guy who has made a pass at him when he hasn't given any signals that he is interested yet is a jerk with no awareness of or respect for boundaries, and making face saving excuses for your lack of interest is just going to subject you to more of their manipulative behavior. Don't give them any information about yourself or you may find them trying to use it against you somehow.
71
I see now that I failed to specify an important point. When I spoke of eradicating (all) homosexuality, I did not mean eradicating (all) homosexuals, which is quite different. The same goes for my own occasional temptation to long for a worl without heterosexuality. The nice people of the group would just wake up one day and find themselves, like Clive Durham, magically converted, and then the nasty ones could meet whatever fate one liked.

Ms Hopkins, I am quite sorry about your mother. I always loved bookstores, though the post-gay ones got to be quite irritating at times.

But I am glad we're more in agreement than we seemed at first. I suspect assimilation/separatism to be a sort of tide, and don't really see one ever vanquishing the other. Thank you, also, for recognizing that I think a lot about all sorts of trivialities. It's why I sleep poorly, and on Tuesday nights, when I get in late, often hardly at all. If I could get to sleep without reading SL at that time, it would probably do me good to hold the column until Wednesday, but I've tried and I just lie awake wondering.

To the feminists who seriously think I think feminism is about man-hating, I am sorry I did not get my point across strongly enough that I took it as a MOOD similar to my own impulse to fume about straights (obviously not ALL straights but the ones who always seem to be speaking for the entire group or wish they were). After all, I know parents who admit to moods of hating their own children. It does interest me, though, that I spend some time elsewhere at more explicitly feminist places where quite a few posts suggest that, if it weren't for wanting to sleep with men, quite a good number of women would do very nicely without them. I thinks that's really where I developed the sentiment, from what I read elsewhere. Obviously in such an environment, I have a good deal less to say, which does me good but may make me more chatty over here.

And I do see that the payment angle was too specifically directed as Ms Erica, as that was really her idea in the other thread, where I wish more of you would have had something to say about it, as it rather distressed me, not to mention the charming Mr J, who ventured a rare disagreement with Ms Erica and found not a lot of support. People should support Mr J, who is nearly on a par with Ms Kim, when they can.
72
These discussions always make me think of this Onion classic...
73
62-calvinball- ST

Here's a question for you. Is your girlfriend the only one with the little habits that annoy the hell out of you? Are there folks you work with or casual friends who do the same? In other words, when you analyze the situation, does it come down to something about her, something about the relationship with her, or something about you that just makes you irritable and annoyed by people in general?

For me, it's that last category. People bug the shit out of me, and yet I'm a basketcase when left to my own devices for too long. I treasure my solitude, then reach out for human contact when some threshold has been reached. For that reason (and out of dumb luck), I found a guy who isn't big on large crowds either and who doesn't bother me too much. We get along well with each other.

But you're saying you don't enjoy the time you spend with her. I'd guess that there's something wrong with the relationship first, and the little things start to bug you second. That's different from thinking there's something wrong because of the little things.

What does she say when you talk it over with her?
74
Wait -- some people don't tip hotel maids?? What are we, savages?! This is by far the most shocking thing I have ever read in this column.
75
@Married

I don't think anyone is perfect. Another thing is, the things I find attractive/desirable are sometimes the opposite of what's traditionally found appealing by straight women.

And honestly? What's so bad about boredom? I think that most successful marriages are a little bit boring. For emotionally mature human beings, mild boredom isn't the end of the world. Based on my life history and interpersonal relationships boredom would be a blessing. But that's me.
76
Being opposed to free birth control pills for all is not "against access to contraception" and being opposed to tax dollars being given to Planned Parenthood is not "against cancer screenings".

Funny how the left is always claiming they want to improve public discourse. But the ridiculous attempts to knowingly mis-state facts just demonstrates how desperate they are to re-elect this failed president.
77
STAIN is what we call a "poseur". With all the remarks about his "gloriously kinky and GGG wife", "we both just want to be present while one of us is banging that outside crush", and we don't want to refrain from sex just because my wife is on her period!", his is just displaying his complete juvenilism.

I thought "monogamish" is recognizing that while you strive to remain true to your partner, sometimes we slip and healthy couples should recognize that. What this guy describes is not being "monogamish", it is being a cuckold.

78
I would never consider myself a feminist but admittedly some of what vennominon said really made me bristle.

From the discussions I've had about feminism, I would expect feminists to be the LEAST likely to dislike when they can't use sexuality to get what they want. That seems contrary to the notion of feminism which seeks equality based on skills rather than gender.

And who hasn't been exasperated by a large group of people based solely on the actions of an individual(s) at some point or another? I don't think it could be considered a serious notion that the world would be better without them. From where I stand, it sounds like you are thinking of the often-bitter "man haters" that call themselves feminists rather than true feminists. It is unfortunate how those two different groups are bunched together.
79
@75 mydriasis-san,

I am absolutely certain that you are the one and only arbiter of consequence in the matters of your heart. I just wanted to suggest that ideals are not necessarily the most interesting option. I also want to state that it doesn't suck to be 30, 40, 50... I hope you enjoy the journey, I have.

Peace.
80
My uncle recently deemed my straight husband a "Fag Stag" because he spends so much time at gayish venues and events with me, our friends, and family. My husband has totally embraced it and has declared himself to also be a "Lesbro". It's ok to be straight, NOCLUE. :)
81
@62, 63, calvinball,

I hope for your sake this isn't one of those horrible situations where you're in love with someone you don't like.

If at first you don't succeed...

Peace.
82
Dear Dan,
at age 42 I met a wonderful, brilliant, considerate, feminist, sexy GGG man who's great in bed and thinks I'm the bee's knees. We've been (mostly) very happy for going on 6 years. Yet I just can't get past the fact that he (truly) LIKES Duran Duran. Should I DTMFA?
84
@79

Thanks for the well-wishes!
86
@Married-san, who wrote:
Just remember that perfection quickly becomes boring. Adapting to the imperfect, customizing your fit, is not a bad place to start.


Indeed, and were I in one of my better moods, I'd probably agree with that. Discovering the Other is an endless adventure, a path to Wonderland via Hell and back, a roller coaster ride through Narnia, etc. But (to take Mr Ven's words), for some reason I find myself in a less optimistic mood about people and their feelings.

It used to be said that marriage (read: relationship) is a lottery. I think of it more like a card game. You have some leeway to decide what to do with your cards, and if you know enough about the math and about how to read the other players, you may increase your odds considerably. Except that, in the case of relationships, the player you really have to know well is yourself.

The problem being that we usually don't really know what we want, or then we think we do but soon find out through sour experience that it wasn't the case. (Nocutename's car metaphor is quite apt here.) Rejecting candidates that, in retrospect, might have deserved more investment (as wendykh relates) can be seen as learning about oneself. (Probably the most unexpected aspect of relationships, especially romantic ones, is how much you learn about yourself through your partner's reactions; you also learn about yourself, though less and less obviously, by looking at the ones you rejected.)

The mother lode of rejecting-for-stupid-reasons is probably Seinfeld, in which all main characters are thoroughly guilty of this sin. Since the show was never supposed to have a reflexive aura ('no character development' was its law, just as in the deeply missed Lexx), we never get to see what might be learned by that. (Allie McBeal, before it jumped the shark, may have given some ideas.)

So, in the end, if you find yourself experiencing increasingly stronger negative feelings, you're entitled to believing them -- even if the cause is as trivial as food frequently stuck between teeth, the wrong kind of laughter, or the wrong taste in reconstructed protolanguages. Of course, as wendykh points out, the best catch is only visible in retrospect, so you may have to make your peace with the idea of remaining alone.

Personally, I don't recommend solitude, for all the reasons Married-san beautifully evokes. Maybe I was lucky: by all reasonable measures I clearly won the lottery (or collected all the chips). I find myself with a wife whom I admire on many levels, who is open to my differences and puts up with them as admirably as I someday hope to do with hers, and who gave me (us) a daughter I dearly love. I can see her sleeping now from where I sit, and the simple rhythm of her breathing is enough to make all those little things that sometimes get so much on my nerves seem rather meaningless.

And yet, like Neil Gaiman's Yvaine, sometimes I watch the stars.
87
Or, to put it shortly, and address it directly to the LW: you have to find out what you like, what you can live with and what you can't. Of course this will affect your chances of happiness, probably to the worse; but if you don't, then you'll find yourself living in hell sooner or later.

It's difficult to know what one wants. It seems to change from decade to decade, and is never quite expressable in a few words. (And when it is--take it with a grain of salt, or perhaps a few.)

A friend of mine once said enlightenment is not about Nirvana or escaping the Wheel of Maya and suchlike; it's about finally seeing in all its splendor What You Really Want, and the huge surprise you'll have when you get there. (And how now there's almost no time left to make it happen.)

Meanwhile, if you can't live with her, then drop her. It's not her fault, but it's not yours either. Even if you live to regret that.

88
Mr. Ven,
This is a tad late to the discussion, but for what it's worth, I consider myself a feminist, and aside from a few occasional moments of exasperation with an individual man, I've never wanted to rid the world of men of any sexual orientation. I enjoy the company of men, even (and maybe especially) when I feel like we're members of different species. Most of the time, we seem more similar than different.

And although I do like men for sex, that doesn't mean I have no need/use for men who aren't going to be potential sex partners. Sex isn't all I like or want men around me for, and I don't feel that my sexuality or sexual favors are a currency which I use to "buy" them so they can buy me material things I want or need or give me the intimacy I want. I find the kind of man-hating feminist you seem to be thinking of to be not only tiresome, but thankfully pretty rare.

I think the world would be a poorer place if were to be too homogeneous. To that end, I want it to contain both hetero- and homosexuality, as well as men and women. Vive la difference!
90
@76
You won't need free birth control pills to go fuck yourself. See what I did there? I improved the public discourse. You're welcome.
91
@76

People like you are the reason your country is in the shitter and you have a lower quality of life and human rights standard than any other developed country.

You know that right?

P.S. that contraception comment was some willfully ignorant bullshit!
92
Mr. Ven--A question: What is a "post-gay bookstore?"
I probably missed something in an earlier exchange, but I can't figure that one out.
93
ST- Don't settle!!! You are probably treating her like you're settling as well, either way... no good. I wouldn't want to be in a settled relationship. Let someone who can appreciate those small things enjoy her. You go find someone who BETTER suits your likes. You may just find that person and so might she and you will both be better off and all the more happy.
94
@11
I think our culture encourages us to think of dating as shopping for a new car: we want to get all those features--and only those features--we think are perfect, and drive that shiny toy right out of the showroom.

I think you're generally right about that. I also agree that wanting to date someone who shares your taste in everything is a young person's affectation, which most of us (hopefully) grow out of.

However, I personally consider terrible taste in music a total dealbreaker (and I'm in my 30's, by the way). A lot of people who are bookworms won't date someone who hasn't read a book since high school, or who only reads Twilight novels, or whatever, and that seems to be considered a normal enough stipulation. How is a music lover wanting a partner who appreciates good music any different? I'm a musician and all-around music lover, and I don't especially want to share my life with someone who can't appreciate and share at least a little in what I spend large amounts of my time doing. Does that make me childish?

(Note: I understand that what constitutes "good" and "bad" music is entirely subjective; that doesn't change my argument.)
95
My son and I have always been close, especially after the divorce. I came out to him when he was 12 and he's been fine with it. When he went to college and was involved in theater, he'd get hit on by the gay guys in his cast. Well, he's tall, gorgeous and very straight. He asked me what to do when that happens. I told him to be honest and tell his friend that he was flattered being hit upon, but that he's straight and not really interested in being sexual with another guy, but also that he was still happy with being friends. Well, he got the greatest reactions from the guys who hit on him: they were totally surprised by his answer, and he gained some very good friends as a result.
96
@36 regretting shit like that is stupid. She might very well have been right to dump him and is now idealizing him from the distance of 10 years. You do what you do, you can't live your life trying to avoid regret.

Also, if many of your SO's little habits annoy you, it might just mean that you are not attracted to them that much, and so shouldn't really settle. When you're really attracted to someone you tend to overlook superficial stuff, but when there are some underlying problems every little thing is excruciatingly annoying.
97
ST: If you have to wonder if you're settling, you are. Find someone who makes your socks go up and down even as she's hocking loogies into the toilet. Trust me.
98
@94: For me, it's the difference between "doesn't like my music" and "doesn't like music". We can each go outside our musical boundaries, maybe hear something we like, look at each other and say, "Yeah, I can see why you might like that, but I'm not as big a fan because..."
99
A relatively cheap shower curtain works wonders for Hotel Sex. When finished, fold, rinse off in the shower, hang dry, problem solved. Just be careful not to drip any on the floor.
100
When my wife started listening to Jason Mraz I divorced her and turned gay. Now I listen to REO Speedwagon but can't seem to attract any dudes. It's a total drag.
101
Who cares what kind of music said perfect GGG mate listens to? If you have kids, you're all going to wind up listening to fucking Barney and the Wiggles. So suck it up, fuck the GGG mate, and have fun.
102
My wife and I hate 75% of each other's music.

When we first met she was uncomfortable about how much I swear because her previous boyfriend had been abusive.

We are incompatible in a million little ways.

Tomorrow is our 16th wedding anniversary.

If the good stuff is good enough, you can live with the bad stuff.
103
@94:
I guess it depends how important music is to you; each of us has her own dealbreakers or must-haves. I think if the letter had said "I'm a musician (or music is vitally important to me) and I can't stand my gf's taste in music (or she doesn't appreciate the music I play or listen to or write)," I would have attached a greater importance to this complaint. As it was, the writer didn't identify herself as being particularly interested in music and furthermore, the music complaint was sandwiched in amongst inappropriate foul language and open-mouthed chewing. It seemed like a petty reason under the circumstances.

As it happens, I am a literature professor, and while I would love to date only men who care as passionately for books as I do, a man's reading tastes or frequency matters little to me, when compared to some bigger-picture issues. I guess I believe that compatibility is a pretty rare commodity, and if other things were in place, it's not all that important. I can always discuss books with my friends, book group, and colleagues, after all.

The bottom line is I don't think music per se is not important; I just didn't think it sounded all that important in the context of the letter.
104
@ 55 & 56 I'd like to shake both your hands.