Savage Love



I think objectification kink is kind of hot -- at least the way they do it at Dark Odyssey, where the objects are "bed bound," which is to say, only the parts to be used are exposed, and there are clearly posted lists as to what things are acceptable or aren't, and since no one is ever "alone" in the objectification room, the boundaries don't get breached (in principle). DEHUMANE isn't all that unique, then, and there are other people out there into object play that are a little more trustworthy.
Something incredibly sad happened to me today, and I return home to find this column? I almost hope I die in my sleep so that I shan't have to see it again in the morning. To give Mr Savage his due, he was doing incredibly well until the backhandedly shaming ending to L1.

Not every revelation even of what is likely or probably A Fetish Too Far has to be a terminal cancer diagnosis, but the particulars here with the I Cheated and I'm Eager to Cheat Again embroidery make this one sound like it. While LW might win the lottery and find BF in the same place, this feels like way too much work for insufficient reward (Mary Crawford buying William Price's knave comes to mind) and BF dragging himself places he doesn't really want to go.

I'm sorry, I can't continue; I'm too distraught.
While I admittedly can't immediately relate to DEHUMANE's or CRAP's situations, I felt your responses were once again right on target, Dan. Thanks again for such a consistently wonderful and enlightening column on sex advice each week.
Mr. Ven, I don't know what happened, but I hope things improve.
I hope you feel better in the morning, Mr. Ven.
"Go suck a few dicks and see how you feel" is the best advice I've ever heard. For anything. That should be in the bible. Or the constitution.
@venn: Hope you're okay.

LW1: Someone who shaves your entire body just because you didn't explicitly say not to is not someone to be alone with.
Hope you're doing ok Ven.

LW1's boyfriend should DTMFA. Sorry, having a kink doesn't give you a pass to cheat especially when you haven't even tried to be honest with your SO. This guy doesn't seem to give a shit about his boyfriend. I get it, they're young and probably/hopefully not too serious but a little concern for the guy's feelings would have been nice and they were damn absent. Break up with your BF and go have some guilt free fun. Beware of sub frenzy and screen your partners carefully.
How exactly does one allow his body to be completely shaved, which must take at least half an hour, and then suddenly be angry about it? Maybe I missed something, but that makes no sense.
@6 - that's exactly what I was thinking. I would love to bring Ann Landers back from the grave just to read this advice written from her desk. I wonder if she'd agree? I'd like to think so.

Mr. Nominon - Oh I don't know, I think Dan's advice was pretty good. But more importantly, hope things get better soon. Check in and let us know.

Epic fail on Dan. Yes means yes, didn't ask means no.

A good dominant will be especially careful to get positive consent from a first time kink virgin. This dude is not a good dom/master/whatever. Shaving him while he was tied up without having discussed it? Not having safe words?

Dan, didn't you forget your own advice. "I'm gonna X you, I'm Xing you, I X'd you" is something a master can say too, introducing the chance for the sub/bottom/dehumanized to say his safeword or if gagged & bound wiggle his safe gesture with his little finger whatever.

This guy's master totally crossed the line, unless the kink virgin pretended he was an old timer at this stuff and was up for anything that didn't mark him. Plus, safety. Does he know the razor was brand new? HIV doesn't stick around in dried blood but other STIs like herpes and HPV can last for a day or more, so says the new science on sex toys.
@9 I guess that he was gagged and bound so securely that he wasn't able to communicate his unhappiness. Or else he communicated that he wanted the shaving to stop, the Recon guy continued anyway, and DEHUMANE found that exciting even as he recognized it was an asshole move.

My view: it's a bad idea to engage in no-safeword scenes like that -- where DEHUMANE couldn't stop the part he didn't like -- with someone you just met.

On the other hand, people often find it really hot to do things which are dangerous. Not everyone wants to be safe. The Recon guy was a jerk, but, hey, at least he wasn't a sociopathic killer, and in the process DEHUMANE learned a lot about himself and his intense desires and his willingness to take stupid risks in order to satisfy those desires.
Mr. Venn, I'm so sorry for your sad news.
@2: I'm sorry you've had some awful news today. I don't know what you meant by "backhandedly shaming," though?
And I agree that there was no affirmative consent between DEHUMANE and Recon Guy, therefore Recon Guy should have all kink privileges revoked from here on out.

@8: DEHUMANE was probably too scared to reveal his kink to someone he actually cares about, thus looking for the fulfillment with a stranger. And "cheating"? Perhaps you think so, but some people define it differently. To a vanilla bystander, there was no "sex" involved, nothing that would have resulted in STIs. Not saying I agree with this definition, just saying I would much prefer my partner came to me and told me "I indulged a kink I was scared to tell you about with a stranger off the internet" than "I fucked a mutual friend." DEHUMANE's boyfriend will have to make up his mind whether he agrees with me.
CRAP: Oh, honey, I feel your pain. I came out as bisexual at 17, after first seeing this word that explained all the confusing feelings I'd been having about my sexuality. Like you, though, I didn't feel I could be completely certain of my identity until I had sex with a girl -- what if I hated it? -- an event which took nine looooong years to finally come to fruition. I hope it doesn't take you as long as it took me. Kids these days, with their internet, don't know how good they've got it, etc. :) Good Luck!
@11 myself, the rest of Dan's advice was spot on about owning up, people make mistakes, etc.
@12 if you wanna do something dangerous, fine. But if you're an experienced dom and not a sociopath, you have an obligation to teach newbies the ropes. That includes teaching them how to be clear about their boundaries. Subs / slaves / dehumanizeds / whatevs are people worthy of respect too. (I say this as a dom./master type.)
@2 vennominon sorry you've been having a difficult time. Hope things improve soon for you.
I agree with Eudaemonic @7 and delta35 @11, 17 - this is a bad Dom. Even if you want to surprise someone, the way to do that is to ask a LOT of questions so they don't know which way you'll go. Learn the lesson and move on, don't reward bad behavior.

Of course, this will prove to be wasted advice, as nocutename once pointed out. They never take the advice.
Sorry I didn't come back this morning, but I decided to undertake a major project today during the tennis coverage in hopes of getting my mind to a better place. It didn't really work. I will let the letter sit for a bit longer, but I have been berating myself all day about yesterday's incident.

This will seems silly to most of you. Yesterday I happened to receive a personal compliment. (This is an extremely rare occurrence, and I hope I am the first to acknowledge the fact.) I was trying to do a maximal amount of shopping in a very narrow window of time, and just thanked the compliment payer, though in a voice that had all the audibility of a first-rate parlourmaid's (as in, barely any). He repeated the compliment; I made my thanks louder, smiled and moved on.

At the time, I didn't think much of it, except to reflect vaguely that I must have been in unusually young looks to be called "dude" by someone who seemed to be about age 22 (vastly more pleasant than being called "sir" but that's neither here nor there). You will all doubtless recall how Mr Bennet attributed good humour to his future wife because that is the impression so often given by youth and beauty; this person's youth and open manners were enough to give the impression of beauty even though I didn't take a particularly good look. He was the sort of young man whom it cheers me up to see coupled with just such another; one invisibly salutes such a pair, wishes them well, and goes about one's business. But one doesn't take particularly good looks at such people at my age; that would feel rather rude, as if one were manifesting pretensions belonging to a station of which one had long been deprived. Presuming to pay a compliment in return would have been the sort of error that one would expect from the old lechers in one of Mr Davies' new series in the UK with a title about produce (bananas or cucumbers or the like).

As the afternoon and evening progressed, though, I did get the impression that he was definitely SS, though I don't know why I think so. What has struck me as so sad (and I was practically in tears for most of my forty-minute commute home last night) was his repeating the compliment. Someone that young and reasonably pretty ought to be going around with other Bright Young People and not repeating compliments to aged relics. I've since gotten a strengthening cosmic vibration that I could have done him some good had I not been so distracted by my shopping concerns. I might not even have had to venture outside of my proper place.

Oh, dear. I am depressing myself about this all over again. Maybe I'll be up to trying to cope with the letter tomorrow. Sorry if this seemed silly.
Agreed that the dom went too far, but I really think that "newbie" presented himself as an old pro. I strongly suspect that he had some or even many warmup runs before the main event happened, (chat, skype, etc.). I imagine he was so turned on by getting shaved without permission that he didn't have any regrets until he was home and his biggest orgasm ever had faded, and maybe only after he blew another wad seeing himself in his bathroom mirror did he have an oh-crap moment. It seems like even though his teammates are over being put on display, he could have a ton of hot fun with his boyfriend doing that, and might be an easier path to getting his bf on board. Maybe something like, "how about you sell me at the Halloween party..." and see where it goes. I'm guessing, (hoping lol), that he is fairly attractive so other people would see play like that as a joke and no need to advertise that it's a kink.
Venn @20, don't be so hard on yourself. It's ok to be taken aback by an unexpected compliment, but I hope you won't always assume it's unearned or you're not worthy. You likely have charms of which you're not aware.
Venn, you seem to be reading an awful lot into this compliment. Why not just accept that this young guy thought were rocking that day and not turn it into a tragedy about how he was only noticing you because he had no one else to love?
@20 Ven, I've been reading this column for years and you're my favorite commenter. I think you're brilliant. Now seemed as good a time to mention it as any.
@20: "Someone that young and reasonably pretty ought to be going around with other Bright Young People and not repeating compliments to aged relics."

People like what they like, man, and "ought" seldom has much to do with it.
@2 vennominon: I don't know what happened, like nocutename, StillThinking and Eudamonic said (@4,@5, and @7), but I hope things get better for you soon. Hang in there.
@6 Eli_A: I second that!
Yes, Ven is great, and I think that kylecheez @21 should also get some recognition.
Some here may have been too harsh on DEHUMANE’s dom. It is possible the he did signal envelope pushing and received an ok of some sort for the acts in question: boundary crossing and a wholesale shave.
Yes, it is an extreme maiden voyage to take a novice through. But as Mr. Cheez pointed out, DEHUMANE’s lingo and thinking suggest that while he may not be a pro, he is at least a fairly serious amateur.

@26: This site needs a like button!

@20: Perhaps you should go shopping again soon .
Oh this site definitely needs a "like"button.

Mr. Ven: I think you sell yourself short. People are attracted to whom they're attracted to; age, appropriateness, availability, and some other word starting with the letter "a" often have little to do with it. Many of us here value your wit--and I'd love to see your legs. I don't know exactly how old you are, but from your references, I'd guess we're near contemporaries---and I am far from being hung up on the shelf.

At the very least, some young man admired something about you. That is a nice thing. It doesn't mean he isn't also attracted to someone closer to his age; perhaps he recognized some sort of kindred spirit. Remember that Aunt Emily was older than Davy Warbeck, and they were very happy togerher. It's definitely not worth being upset about, either on his behalf or on your own.
I totally understand Venn's melancholy and how the compliment triggered it. This too shall pass, Venn; maybe read some Marcus Aurelius in the meantime. (But I don't know what "SS" means. Anyone?)

I likewise think that LW1's current relationship is most likely headed for terminal problems; this developing scenario probably will not be greeted by the current boyfriend as a glorious opportunity for shared erotic exploration, though (sadly) he won't want to lose a hot gymnast bf either and will suffer awhile first before LW1 heads off to let his narcissism graze in greener pastures.

LW2 will work everything out with more experience, as he himself realizes.
If I were writing to DEHUMANE I'd say:
Why have you never told your boyfriend about your interest in being objectified and dehumanized? Why did you decide to skip that step and go straight to cheating? Did you assume that he wouldn't be into your fantasy? Had you already brought it up and he had already signified his discomfort or distaste for the kink? Were you ashamed of it and didn't think you could share it with someone you cared about?

Because the answers to those questions matter and they signal how best to move forward.

If you have not yet told your boyfriend about your kink, I think you should, whether you admit to the cheating or not. It's too important to you and it's not shameful or dirty or wrong or bad, nor need it necessarily be embarrassing, particularly if you have as conventionally a hot body as a competitive gymnast does.

If you have, and he is repulsed by your kink, you should break up. You're sexually incompatible, and, as a college-aged guy, you (and he) are too young to settle for someone whom you're not compatible with.
But he might surprise you.

In any case, I am more concerned that you thought that cheating apparently before even letting him know of your kink was the way to meet that need.

As to the Recon guy who shaved you, he violated a trust. When you said you didn't want to be marked, and then gave examples, he should easily have inferred that you didn't want anything on your body to indicate that you'd been with someone else. If he knew he wanted to shave you, he should have made that clear. I get that it was hot, but it also suggests that he doesn't respect you at all and as at your age and with your body you should have no trouble finding someone to objectify and dehumanize you, I'd suggest starting with someone who will honor you and be receptive to your desires. Next time, I think you should have a more in-depth conversation about what being dehumanized means to both of you and what each of you expect, what your boundaries are. But I wouldn't see this guy again: you want the illusion, the fantasy of being dehumanized, but you want the reality of being respected and listened to. You want to be assured that your needs or requests will be honored in the spirit, not merely the letter of the law.
Cheer up, Ven. It's Canada Day! Party like a Canadian Rock Star. Preferably one not named Justin Bieber....
Appreciate the props @28 CMDwannabe his letter didn't really hit me as total newbie amateur to the dom/sub scene. Sounds like he did way, way more homework and research than most would have, and I'm sure his drained prostate was more than grateful. In any case I think the advice to gently try to work his kink into his relationship is spot on. No need to horrify, (or bore to death), all the sordid details of his jacking off since 13 to being a piece of meat on display to this or a future partner. Something else occurred to me earlier, very pretty people, especially in how our current social norms reward a high standard of beauty, run a real risk of turning into sociopath assholes without some really good parenting. It is entirely possible that he had that good parenting and truly understands that smarts and deeds are way more important than looks alone. But when the lights go out… etc… wow. I also disagree with how bad he was to "cheat" with this dom, this is a strong pull and he went all the way out there. But now it's time to decide how to work his kink into his relationships in a constructive manner.
Mr. Ven, you are one of my favorite commenters as well. As I have always gotten along better with people a bit older than myself, and have been with someone twenty years my senior for the past 15 years, since I was young and pretty, let me say that there is more to attraction than appearances. Or maybe it is only that one's positive inner attributes enhance appearances, but I frequently compliment the beauty I see in people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. If you are feeling strong cosmic vibrations that you were supposed to do something for this young man, perhaps you will interact with him again. It has been my experience that everything that is meant to happen does and we can't force the timing. I do hope your melancholy lifts and you find yourself in improved spirits.
Ms. Cute, I really like your profile pic. I find the reference to Where the Wild Things Are very apropos.
Mr Venn, for what it is worth, I am 50, married and straight and I have been reading your contributions to this in silence for years, but this morning I really feel I must speak out. It has often occurred to me, based on your years of articulate, intelligent and often highly perceptive remarks, that had I been gay, to have you as a partner would be something to value greatly and I have often speculated that whomsoever your partner may be, he must feel himself blessed to have you in his life.

It has also been my experience that the older we become the more our character is expressed in every detail of our appearance, I imagine that this has something to do with this young man's response. In the words of Colonel Vladimir's Landlady in the BBC production of Le Carre's Smiley's people, 'Nice to be fancied, eh dearie?'
Justin Beiber is in Oz at the moment, at some religious hand clapping conference.
Hey Tim, hope you and yours are going well.
Sorry to hear you've had bad news Venn. Glad to see/ hear the world is loving you.
Haven't got to watching the Tennis yet Venn, I hear that Aussie boy is a bit of a hot head, smart arse. Let's hope he closes that down soon.
Thank you, tachycardia!
Ms Lava - Mr Kyrgios reminds me very much of a discount store version of Marat Safin. His main positive would seem to be his fondness for large stages. His slightly younger friend Mr Kokkinakis seems less brash, but has shown a good deal more in fifth sets.
My thanks to all for the kind words. (Let us hope we can push this thread over the century mark - perhaps an iffy proposition given the US holiday in combination with a good many of the OS posters traditionally taking Mr Savage's annual Q* Week - doesn't it feel like a penance? - off.)

As for my concluding thoughts on The Repeated Compliment, I am quite certain that it was not a compliment of attraction. I took it to be one of those Team Homo style Random Acts of Kindness that one sees in our youngsters of the better sort. I missed at the time that what it really was might be likened to the famous letter written by Ms Lisicki to the AELTCC in 2011 (after her ranking had dropped due to injury) saying she loved Wimbledon so, so, so much and would they please, please, please give her a wild card (which she rewarded by reaching the semifinals, and she's reached at least the quarterfinals every year since). I missed my chance, and can only resolve to do better next time. (Even just giving the Team Homo Super Secret Special Signal as a sign of recognition might have been enough.)

I suppose it's a good sign that i'm back to being agitated by things. This morning I saw an incredibly annoying and condescending admonition to gay men getting married that they should not not NOT sign prenuptial agreements because that would undermine decades of feminist efforts *to protect women* (shades of the Midsomer Murder Four Funerals and a Wedding, in which Team Gyno's most ardent young member is disgusted by the possibility that anti-discrimination laws might in one particular instance help men too). For those of you who recall my recent prediction that, post-marriage-equality, there would be a serious move to kick G out of the LBT community; I am now rather inclined to think that the primary, if not only, reason that won't happen (assuming it doesn't) is that the Ls, Bs and Ts won't be able to reach consensus about how to do so and how to order themselves without us.
As someone very well versed in kink and kinky people, red flag. I didn't say you couldn't cut off all my hair, but that doesn't mean you can. Boundaries in kink aren't some kind of negatives only trick question, screw it up and you deserve whatever happens to you. It also isn't a tit for tat - you don't have to trade things you don't want for things you do. A real top understands that actually, the bottom is ultimately in control. You can negotiate for things you like as a top but the bottom's boundaries are to be treated with the utmost respect. You violate them and you could damage someone, emotionally or physically, and at the very least you deserve to have your toy taken away. It is a privilege to be trusted.

DO NOT play, especially with strangers, without a safeword. Never never never. And certainly don't play with that one again. You can easily find another, and that kind of disrespect for you and a very obvious boundary (no marks means no evidence) is a toe-dipping in the "how dumb is he?" waters. I shudder to think what might happen next. It doesn't even matter if it got you off. Being jerked off might get you off, but if you haven't consented to it, it's still a violation. You can find and will find someone who is excited to help you navigate the world of kink, respectfully and to your hot little object desires.

Come clean with the bf. Many people have kinks and yours isn't even difficult. Rather hot, actually. If he's not into it, let him go. You're too young to give up important pieces of your sexuality for a relationship.
@21 yeah, quite possibly the dom did feel out and got clear consent before shaving, and the newbie gave consent but regretted after the fact and is re-constructing history.

@vennominon, you said the young dude repeating a compliment in the store yesterday left you feeling quite sad for some considerable time after, almost in tears, due to your thoughts about what might be going on in his life... and still you are melancholy today? those of us who are naturally attuned to feelings tend to spend a lot of time reflecting, sometimes too much for our own well being! hope you can just enjoy the flow at times, as the Buddhists and cognitive therapists recommend!
@Vennominon, I would also like to know what SS stands for. Surely you were not convinced that this young man was Nazi storm trooper.
SS = Same-Sex, aka, 'gay'.
I mean secret police and sorry about the MA (missing article).
Thanks Sanguisuga. Is there a SLAG somewhere? (Savage Love Abbreviation Glossary)
And what does "LW" stand for?
@50: LW= letter writer.
I picked up the usage of SS and OS from author Robert Farrar; it helps one to be bi-inclusive and at other times specific when one uses the S, L or G word.
Delamirandola @ 37, you have no idea how happy seeing a reference to "Smiley's People" just made me! One of my most favourite books and TV series. Thanks for that.
vennominon, What on earth is "Mr Savage's Annual Q* week"??
Venn @43 - I'm curious what blogs or websites you frequent - perhaps you could give me a hint? Of course there are idiots in all quarters of our society, and anyone who suggests that gay men shouldn't sign prenups because feminism? They are patently ridiculous. The thing is, I can't help but detect an undercurrent of animosity towards women in some of your posts. That is, when I can manage to decipher all of the references to British dramas...

For example, why do you thinks Ls want Gs to leave the LGBT umbrella? When I was a younger woman (29 actually) newly arrived in Mecca (aka SF), I was struck mostly by how little regard Gs had for Ls, not the other way around... In fact, I encountered fairly frequent and open hostility if I ventured into the "wrong" bars. At that time, SF still had 2 or 3 women's bars, while men had maybe a couple dozen.
Love, love, love Joe Newton's illustration! Makes me laugh each time I see it.
Mr. Venn:

Hugs! You somehow manage to combine the beautiful sensitivity of Clifford Pyncheon with the eloquence and intellect of Madame De Stael. I offer my hope this melancholy proves to be as transient as the virtue of Becky Sharp.
Ms Jibe - I can see why you'd think that, but my animosity is vastly more orientation-based. I think just as little of men as I do of women in general; it just shows up less here. In honest company I present as "usually pro-feminist", which of course is nowhere near feminist enough for many people and far too feminist for many others. Combined with a tendency to cross-examination, well...

If it cheers you any, I had quite a good record during my activist days. It was highly gratifying at the time (as a leader of one of many local units of a national organization, about the 20th largest of 200 or so) to note that ours was the largest chapter with more than 1/3 women; we were over 40% my whole time and only two other chapters of the forty largest were more diverse. I did see some of what you instance, but thought we did okay (though I accept that argument that okay is never really okay) with it at our local level. I gave up activism when the complaint became common on a national level that it was too white and too male, the sort of complaint which would make itself true if necessary, and I didn't mind at all for more than five minutes. It was the right thing to do.

(Perhaps the most cheering bit of history was that my one attempt to qualify for the US Open was in mixed doubles, always my specialty discipline.) In a way, you're probably right, as there's almost certainly an immutable core that had to be built up to get through conversion therapy.

As a non-assimilationist, I didn't at all mean my speculation as a criticism. It actually mirrors what Mr Lowder over at Slate is thinking, only he phrases it that married white gay men will jump ship. As I have already seen for several months now occasional references to "the LBT community" popping up here and there, I just suspect the impetus will come from the other side because Gs are too close to patriarchal for comfort. Also, as I estimate human nature rather low, I suspect there will be a natural impulse to be inclined to cashier the closest thing to alpha. But it's probably a good thing if the Alphabet Soup community goes under a number of small umbrellas instead of cramming more people under a large one. I recall the discussions when it was being considered whether to add the B or not. It may have been necessary at the time, but not as a permanency. We should all get on much better if we were much more loosely allied, and not constrained to be speaking with so close to one voice all the time.
Mr Alan - You are so kind. Today was not a good day, though for other reasons, but you have done me honour, more so than I deserve.
@60 vennominon and everybody: Bless you and big hugs.
Happy, Safe July 4th!
Ms Jibe continued - It occurred to me in the night that I didn't really address the first part of your comment. I've been reading a number of articles by people who perhaps don't regret marriage equality, but had to be wheedled into not attacking the idea from the left. Naturally, as this is close to my own position (originally I thought that marriage equality, while a solution to many problems, would be selling low and that we same-sexers [I am tempted to give myself a Sigmund Award for just now typing "sane-sexers" - ha! - but, as the M and the N on my keyboard have become completely rubbed out, I don't think it properly counts] could do better; I was actually less antagonistic towards the We-Love-You-But-Please-Not-Marriage crowd than the-no-longer-among-us Ms Driasis until it became abundantly clear that the WLYBPNM set had no interest at all in how SS lives should be ordered and very little in making any contribution towards solving our problems), I have to be quite severe on articles of that stamp. The ones I've seen mourning the death of a revolution aren't all bad if read as lyrical dreams. The one with the No Prenups portion was one of a handful of of primers on How to Marry While Remaining Progressive. My instinct would be to admit one is selling out and sell as high (and visibly) as possible. (If, for instance, one among us were to be courted by someone who required as a prerequisite to matrimony, say, a 180-degree shift in one's public political stances, I'd advise accepting on condition of squeezing out a massive settlement - the first idea springing to mind being a collection of diamonds that could have lured Zsa Zsa Gabor into permanent membership on Team Lesbo.) Post-gay people frequently irritate me more than anybody, and this author's No Prenup "suggestion" was the most post-gay thing I'd seen all June.

I'll admit also to thinking almost as little of What About Teh Wimmenz as the Ironic Misandrists think of What About Teh Menz, and occasionally to providing returns in kind.
In case anyone is wondering, the reason Ms Gabor (ZZ) came to mind was that I learned yesterday that my oldest bridge player, who was almost exactly one year younger than ZZG, had died. We hadn't seen her since May, and she'd gone into hospice on her own terms. I shall have to rewrite my will soon, as I left her a wool sweater she always admired because she said it gave her a good reason to stay alive.
So rimming is on the list of normal sexual activities now. Sheesh, that takes away half the fun ( but good to see its not just me).
I do regret that Mr Savage is on leave just when that group Catholic Vote has put out that offensive Not Alone video. I do hope this doesn't fall through one of Mr Savage's cracks.
Hi Lava! Everyone is fine here in the Midwest. We have our usual Hot and humid summer so the Zyrtec I take for the hives has dropped my libido to zero. Our "outdoors cat" has gone missing, and may need to find a new feline.
Mr Ven: Hope you are OK, love your comments too.
@37 It is still nice to be fancied, even if it is my cash that is the appeal!
Happy 4th of July everybody.
Ms Fan - (Finally getting back to the letter!) I do think Mr Savage kinda-sorta shames BF in the conclusion.

The "partial truth" approach would be spot-on for someone who had yet to act on the fantasies being revealed with an outside party; great for pre-cheaters. For post-cheaters, the presentation ought to be a bit tamped down, which exposes a difficulty of the PTA. It's one thing to decide never to speak of The Straying when it's a one-and-done situation, but, especially if one is going to be interacting again with a not-entirely-trustworthy Partner in Cheating, an overly enthusiastic air in the opening discussion could boomerang. Then again, how much toning down is in keeping with the spirit of a purportedly pre-exploring discussion? A bonus for Mr Savage at the end of the paragraph, gently reminding LW that this is about BF as well. (I wonder if there's a faint hint in the letter that BF doesn't, shall we say, possess all the exceptional qualities that would fetch a high bid at a sorority fund-raising auction?)

The paragraph addressing BF was quite reasonable as well. We do know that, "If you can find it in your heart to forgive him..." is Savagecode for, "You all know what I think about people who claim they'd take a bullet for someone but can't get over a single act of infidelity." But here this is tempered by Mr Savage's acknowledgement that this matter is more than just a single act of straying but the indication of something permanent.

In the start of the last paragraph, Mr Savage does seem to have caught LW's way of taking the experience in regard to being tricked. LW almost seemed admiring of the ingenuity involved; it was a bit unnerving. The conclusion, and it may be only I thinking this, seems to carry a hint of being What a Really GGG Person Would Do and shaming anyone who wouldn't be so inclined (especially anyone with a Hot Gymnast BF?). It sort of undoes the bit late in the first paragraph about initial negative reactions and this being about BF's desires as well. Of course, it's possible that the whole could be just a description of a winning lottery ticket, but it does have the feel for me of being in keeping with Mr Savage's general frame of thinking.

If I were BF, I'd certainly forgive LW and okay future such adventures without me - and then I'd walk around expecting to be dumped, although personally it's largely because this kink sounds rather antithetical to most of what I liked to do but could live without.

The really saddening thing to me about the letter was LW's energy, and how BF is the only real drag on that energy, even more than whether LW could trust the Trickster. Unless this is a lottery-winning situation, I don't see how the poor BF isn't toast one way or another in the very near future. Oh, dear.
I generally really liked the advice this week. It's interesting that so many different things stuck out to different people in the first letter. For me, the most inaccurate was He didn't hurt you, he tricked you. When is tricking someone accidental and not intended to hurt? Also, DEHUMANE does sound hurt as his trust in his (secondary) partner suffered. And lying to your primary partner about your present sexual conduct is pretty non-accidentally-hurtful too, I don't think that part was addressed well.

Venn - I'm glad that the charms which regularly brighten this comment section were noticed and complimented by an attractive person irl. I hope that you find a way to manage the melancholy and find satisfaction.
LW1, sounds like a real tool to me. Mentions his boyfriend way after telling of his adventure. How could one not feel one's body was being shaved?
A Tool is an object.
Hey sb53, sorry to hear about your cat. Loosing cats is hard, I love cats.
So that's it, you guys just call 4th of July, 4th of July? No fancy name..
Happy one for you all.
Ms Phile - That's gracious of you; my thanks.

The tricking/hurting thing reminds me of the thread which got Dr Sean and Ms Erica the #3 ranking on the Power Couples list. Dr Sean was relating his style of presentation to possible extra-relationship partners of being a man who lives in the moment and how his wife knew what he was like when he married her. Ms Erica appeared to give high approval to such a posture. We have seen evidence of people preferring a cheater to someone with permission to stray; LW's attitude seems to be in something of a similar line.
Re @ 70. Losing cats. Losing. Losing. Losing.
I find that a weird habit of yours Venn. Talking of people who no longer comment here, defining them in a way.
Sean seems to have left the building.
Ms Lava - You'll feel for me on this one. I had to go out for several hours just as Ms Williams (S) had evened the second set at 4-4 and seemed to be on her way to a routine win. Good on Our Heather to make such a fight of it.

As much as I'd like to see another Grand Slam in my lifetime, I really am hoping at the moment for the final to be between Ms Kvitova and Ms Williams (V) - a rematch of the best women's match of last year. I'm so irritated by the lack of appreciation for Ms Graf's Grand Slam (especially at Wimbledon, where she had to rally from a set and a break down to end Ms Navratilova's 48-match Wimbledon winning streak) that I've decided to hope the next Grand Slam comes on the male side, though preferably not until the current Golden Age is deemed concluded.
Venn. Ms S Williams, she can do no wrong, and now NAdal is out, I'm not much fussed with it all. Roger no longer grabs my attention.
Longtime reader, first time poster. I also joined just to tell Vennominon this: I'm thinking of you and I'd like to join the Venn fan club. I'm educated on paper, but I can't understand 1/2 of what you write. I wish there were footnotes to explain what I don't understand. :(

What I do understand, I love. It interests me or entertains me or makes me think/feel. You rock!

I suspect that you are on over 50 South Indian who has relatives in Britain. That said, you're probably just a white, well-read American. I wish you had a website of your own. I'm so curious. Beyond my curiosity, I wish you well. Please cheer up and when life drags you down, know that we're here to pick you up.

Dan Savage, you're the very bestest, too!
"an" not "on". I hate typos. :(

Also, and in an effort to get you past 100 posts, I forgot to offer my biggest hugs to you, V.

I'm a former tennis player and a tennis fan. I shall always think of you now when I watch. Enjoy!
SATURDAY 4th here. Our music show on our ABC,rage... is doing as many songs about the USA it can find. Just had the Boss, of course.. Born in the USA.
Now it's the Eagles, Hotel California.
Kim Wilde, Blondie, David Byrne etc already been on. It's a feast.
Dan let the dom off way too lightly. Don't care if the LW1 presented as an "old hand" or not. Full body shaving is a body mod & a fairly major one with a small but serious health risk. (i've chatted with guys whose shaved hairs always end up infected--not a few, all of them. one damn near died.) In short, he may or may not be hot, but he's definitely an asshole to do that on a first date without negotiation. Don't go back.
As for your kink, you're in a great position to act on it. Vet your Doms more carefully. i'd have no compunction asking for references playing in this arena. Objectification is one of those things that sounds like it would be simple and relatively low-risk but is actually very complex and you can go tumbling into a psychological minefield you didn't even realize was there. Don't think with your dick.
CMD, so USA in Soccer finals with Japan. That should be a good game to watch. Go USA.
Ms Lava - Is it easier for you that it's not USA-England? I'm reminded of the Stich-Becker final in 1991 and how it made many German fans extremely uncomfortable, because they couldn't root for Boris to crush a non-German opponent, as they had done the three previous years during the Becker-Edberg finals (the last of which was by far the best, with BB claiming that he lost the first two sets and eventually the match mainly because Katarina Witt attended - according to him, he'd already dumped her).

I tend to back non-US teams or individuals when I've no particular interest in the participants, as we win more than is good for us as it is. It's not a hard and fast rule; I'd likely back a US contender in something dominated by another country.
@70: Technically it's called "Independence Day" (like the Will Smith movie), but no one seems to use the formal name.

One of my favourite jokes:
Child: "Do they have the 4th of July in Canada?"
Teacher: "Of course not!"
Child: "What do they do - go from the 3rd to the 5th?"

Happy beer and fireworks day to my ex-patriots (forgive the lame pun).
I knew that Fan. It's just funny to call it by the day. Maybe lots of Americans have memory loss from all that legalized dope they ingest?
Venn, I wouldn't barrack for England. They are Soccer Central- almost. And you know, I'm an honorary American, of sorts. Turning Japenese; cause I love Japan as well.
M? Fan#2 - It's nice to see the effort of most posts being redone multiple times rewarded - a little bit of pressure as well, but, as Mrs King (BJ) says, Pressure is a Privilege.
Ms Fan/Ms Lava - I forgot to mention one piece of good news - "cisgender" has made it into the OED (too bad there was never an alternate spelling with a zed - which reminds me that I recently heard the unsurprising fact that a zed only scores one point in the Polish edition of Scrabble, but I forgot to look up how many zeds there are in the set).
Venn, we can say ciZgender , if we want.
Happy July 4th, hope it's a Good one.
Mr. Venn, thank you for making me laugh. It's no wonder that a zed wouldn't score highly in Polish Scrabble, as the letter is so ... common, especially as there are zeds with a dot and zeds with an accent as well (also compound double consonants). I feel a tad bereft in comparison, with not a single zed to denote my roots, though three of my five names do contain a "c", pronounced "tseh".
Ms Helenka - The answer appears to be five, tied with N for the most common consonant. The zed with a dot scores five points, while the zed with an accent is the big kahuna and scores nine.

It appears there is no Hawaiian version (not surprising, given the small alphabet), although I did discover a crossword-style Hawaiian word game called Hulo containing 120 lettered tiles, the most common consonant at 14 being K.
Say what Hunter? You giving out points now. Zed. Zed. Zed. Zed. Zed. Zed. Zed. Zed. ZZZZZZZZZ.. Whichever way one says it, it's a beautiful Letter.
I'm surprised nobody's borrowed from Ms Dolezal and called me a trans Brit.


Hasn't *anybody* seen that Catholic Vote video yet? Dressing up a No True Marriage message as a "coming out" video is just too precious. (It makes me wish I had an Award for excessive preciousness; if twee were close enough, I'd give this an Ashley Award after Laura Ashley, the High Priestess of Twee herself.) This appears to be the flip side of the businesses concerned about freedom to practise their religion, which want to be closeted about their attitudes and just have customers they refuse to serve slink quietly away with their tails between their legs; this group feels oppressed about having to be in the closet about their views while feeling equally fearful that, once their secret is found out, people will think (as one of them says), "She's not welcome here."

I wonder how far back we'd have to go for the video this group of people would have made to be centred around the message that their poor, sinning, misled-into-evil-choices gay friends needed to go straight or burn. That elephant no longer flies. But one would think that never before had anyone held religious reasons for thinking that Wye and Zed could not enter a true marriage while still being able to coexist with the couple socially and societally. They could take a page from the rank and file of those religiously opposed to interracial or interfaith marriages.

The insulting part is how they think that a passing mention of their Gay Friends (I am increasingly convinced that some enterprising entrepreneur has cornered this market and is drawing a seven-figure salary as the official Gay Friend of conservatives and evangelicals everywhere - and I'll bet he's not even gay!) and their affection for those unicorns is sufficient to convince their target audience (presumably straight people of faith who weren't opposed to marriage equality and whom they think they can move in that direction if this is dressed up as a War on Truth) that they aren't prejudiced or anything like that. I am willing to pay the great majority of straight people of faith the compliment of believing that they are not that gullible. The depressing thing (or perhaps comforting, in a way) is that I and probably most people here who don't at all agree with the group could think of a dozen ways to make their case much more effectively.
@90: So Hunter, if one has dual citizenship, must they call it a zeezed? Or a zedzee? Please, fill me in on your points system! I'd hate to get it wrong!
Pick on the ZedZee all you want, just don't mess with the Wubya!
Lava- yes, lets hope it's a good game. Some of those finals can be annoyingly slow and careful Oh, and England finally got to beat Germany.
Dear Avatar approval committee:
I found this illustration few days ago and finally uploaded the image last night.
I find it cute and sexy and hope no one is too pissed off. Besides, the nightie/babydoll is a great choice for the hot summer nights we've had here recently.

Hunter- do I get a point?
CMD @97, if I'm on the Avatar Approval Committee, I haven't gotten the paperwork yet, but it works for me. I like it when regulars have an avatar. Saves me the trouble of scrolling down to see who's saying what.
Zee, Hunter. Glad Venn has dropped that one. And of course, with the tennis on, he's British at the moment.
So, by your reckoning me saying thru instead of through, is also pretentious? When in truth it's just me being lazy.
Maybe you don't notice yet, but we are one world now. Zee Indeed.
BabyDoll, love it CMD. It'll be your new nickname now. And yes Zoo, I'm onto finding an avatar. Then I just have to hold down an offspring to show me how to upload it. I can find my way round a bookshop, these new fangled machines are taking me a while to get the hang of.
Hotting up in dear old Oz re marriage equality. Now we've got one of our boys, politician, saying that Asia- cause it's near by- will just find us decadent if we did. Ha.Ha.
These morons, please God in Heaven take them away.
Mx Wanna - I should think that anyone who had the response you mention would deserve it.
Ms Lava - And to think, I felt so sorry for Mrs Court when she lost to Mr Riggs (Mother's Day, 1973). That sympathy has long since been transferred to young SS women like Ms Stubbs who grew up idolizing Mrs C.
OK Venn, I finally googled Catholic Vote and this link is at the top of the list:…

It has a link to both the original anti-gay-marriage video and a parody of that video.

What do I think? I am sick to death of these whining losers complaining that they are being persecuted for their bigoted views. These assholes have prevented friends of mine from getting married for years, with the result that in two cases one partner in each potential legal marriage died before they got a chance to officially marry and that had tax and other consequences for the surviving partner. Not to mention the insult of devaluing their relationship.

Right now I feel really angry, to the point of not having a constructive solution, except this - Parody and Mockery may be the best way to put these insufferable, whining bigots in their place. So I hope people with the talent for creating funny videos that skewer these idiots will create many more.

If you google Catholic Vote, you'll get more discussions of their offensive video.
The US started out so strong like no other team had ever done in a cup final.
Thank you AAC for your support.

Yours in a similar set,
Mx Wanna (yes ven, love it)
Mr. Ven - your handsome lad may have simply guessed that you were feeling a bit down, and wanted to cheer up a like-minded soul. Your initial faint response might have confirmed his hunch, and led to the repetition of the compliment.
I propose that you have a finely tuned sense of what you deserve -- both as a Platonic ideal, and in the "here's how society generally functions, whether I like it or not" sense -- as well as a keen awareness of the gap between the two. Situations like the one that upset you can widen that gap to an apparent chasm. Don't fall in!
I'm among many here who generally enjoy your posts. You even inspired me the one time I've written a "poem" in this forum. Please accept our good wishes and compliments in the spirit they are delivered.
CMD; those goals were pretty darn good. Well done USA..
Ms Thinking - A kind a cheerful interpretation.


Ms Plaid - They certainly don't know how to make a "coming out" video. I scripted two version of a much better one in about three minutes. I've seen it suggested that mockery could be a bit of a trap, that the original response to the video is already pushing neutrals/soft supporters into the anti-equality camp as a reaction against victorious "intolerance". But then again, their incredible false equivalency... I need to think about something else.


At this point, the match I'd most like to see this week is easily a Muguruza-Radwanska semifinal. Ms Radwanska stopped Ms Muguruza's first strong run in a major in Australia last year through simple maturity, without needing all the bells and whistles she showed later in that glorious third set against Ms Shriekarenka. On the flip side, my near-permanent choice for least favourite match (Shriekarenka-Shoutapova) is still quite possible. I have bad luck on the men's draw - all the most interesting matches at this point can only be finals (Murray-Gasquet, Wawrinka-Berdych, Federer-Goffin).
@97 LOVE your new avatar MxWanna
Re sporting sorts: I am sorry but soccer (and especially baseball) fall into the "too-slow-and-boring" category for my taste. But then I complain that the hockey puck is so fast I really cannot see it so there you go.