Podcasts Jul 12, 2011 at 1:00 am


Wow, sounds like being asexual must be exhausting. All that "working on your identity" and "exploration." Yeah, not everybody figures out who they are in a timely manner, but the way he described it sounds like it's a lifetime of self-help improvement. Why not just say "I am not interested in sex" and live your life?
I'm listening to your conversation with David Jay, and I have to really disagree that you guys hashed out anything, Dan. All you hashed out is that he wants to be intentionally obtuse and pretend that he doesn't know what dating is. He basically said that he doesn't know why someone he is dating would assume that they are dating, and you completely let him off the hook. You should have said, "You know what? If you're not willing to enter into a reality-based conversation, we're done talking. Thanks for your time!"
You guys forget that Dan's guests are paid and have contracts. Dan CANNOT criticize them on the show. I direct you to the hoopla over the "if you can't do female ejaculation then that means you have repressed rape memories" hippie lady.
The link to asexuality.org is misspelled. And that's my anal-retentive comment for the day.
WTF. I'm a sexual person with lots of close, personal, intimate non-sexual relationships. They are called friends. When I date people, I expect sex at some point. Asexuals have the right to pursue all the romantic or nonromantic relationships they want, but they should let romantic partners know that they won't be getting laid...sooner rather than later. I don't understand the controversy here!!!! Good for asexuals for living their lives the way they want, regardless of societal expectations, but I don't think I'm oppressing anybody by expecting to get sex out of my sexual relationships.
Marcus Bachmann needs a few classes with Bob Corff. Okay, make that a lot of classes. But he'll still be gay.

Remember folks, you are not allowed to make any assumptions. So feel free to ask people out on dates and then not show up; instead stay home and watch porn. If they have any beef with that, tell them standing someone up while jerking off to amputee porn is a perfectly valid definition of "dating."
@4 Fixed! Thanks.
@3 Wrong! We do not pay people to be guests.
ha ha ha! LOVE the "second opinion" from Marcus Bauchman"". Hilarious.
Asexuality: yet another debate that illustrates just how absurd all sexual identities are, as opposed to behavioral descriptors (functionally, the best way to know whether someone considers an asserted sexuality, e.g. homosexual, lesbian, straight, heterosexual, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc., as a descriptor is to use the wrong one: if the person views sexuality as an identity, sie will likely react to this as a personal attack questioning the legitimacy of hir self-identification; if the person views sexualities as behavioral descriptors, sie'll likely just correct you and perhaps explain why sie thinks a particular descriptor is better than another). For example, I think "asexual" is a bad descriptor for someone, like the guest, who has sexual feelings and engages in sexual behavior with hirself only (i.e. masturbates, but has no sexual partners - or at least, it's a bad descriptor to claim all his life, as he said he did this during his teenage years, and may or may not still masturbate); I think a more accurate/descriptive label would be "autosexual". Also, calling people who have solo sex but not partnered sex "asexual", literally "not sexual", serves to privilege partnered sexuality/sexual expression (and deny self-directed sexual expression as legitimately or authentically "sexual"), part of the heteronormative social constructs that are such big problems. Of course, if I were to say, "You're not 'asexual', you're 'autosexual'," especially to someone who thought of "asexual" as an identity, a shitstorm would ensue.

Also, I'm entirely confused by the guest's use of the word "romance" or "romantic"; in my understanding, "romantic" describes a particular class of sexual relationships (characterized by emotional intimacy and lots of shared activities/time; perhaps also cohabitation and procreation, though not necessarily) - all romantic relationships are sexual, but not all sexual relationships are romantic. He also describes having close friendships, as distinct from romantic relationships, presumably neither of which are sexual, given his 'asexual' identity. Does anyone know what "romantic" means in his use (because in my use, a "romantic" relationship without the sex describes my close friendships, with men and women)?

For the last caller: I think that was pretty good advice. I suspect what's making her cry is that she has internalized, to a greater or lesser degree, the cultural idea that women owe sex to their boyfriends/husbands/partners whenever (and whatever sorts of sex) the partner wants; even though her boyfriend isn't suggesting that that's the case and pressuring her if she declines, she might still feel like a "bad girlfriend" and/or be triggering worries that she might 'lose' him, displease him, etc. because of social role conditioning. But, hey, my discipline isn't 'hard' science, since the best we can do is correlation, so I may be totally full of shit.
He lost credibility with me with the constant spinning of the questions: Q:"Is X a possibility in objective reality -- yes or no?" A:"Well, we don't like the implications of that, whether or not it's a possibility."

Plus ... never wanting to rub naughty bits and exchange bodily fluids with another person? Eww!
Jesus, Dan, where was the straight talk like this in, say, 2002? What I remember of the column back then, when I could get it, was all about pissing and anal and what have you. Nothing that was so clearly instructive about how I should have broken up with my girlfriend right then instead of sticking it out and trying to make it work for another six wasted years.

On another note, I feel like you blew it, just a little, on the asexuality question. I mean, I know you wanted a platform to talk with that asexual community rep, I get that, but the girl's call never really addressed whether or not she felt any desire, or masturbated, or wanted casual or anonymous sex, or perhaps just had a very strong fetish. All she said was that, so far, she couldn't really see herself in a relationship. I feel like there was a lot to cover before you agreed with her internet self-diagnosis of asexuality.
I really like your show, Dan, and your column.

But two things:
Referring to Marcus Bachmann as the "first lady" in an attempt to emasculate and discredit him comes across as really sexist.

Telling the bisexual man in the really unfortunate situation with his fiancee that it might just be "a postpartum thing" and that he should "wrench her out of it" does a huge disservice to every woman has suffers, has suffered, or will suffer from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a legitimate illness and is really traumatic for many people who deal with it. Brushing it off as something that someone can be "wrenched out of" is incredibly insensitive and offensive. So stop it. You're better than that.
If anyone's looking for a tutorial on how to bully gay people, I recommend they listen to the Bachmann-related segments of this podcast.

Not that it wasn't funny, Dan - at least for the first couple of minutes. After that I just felt bad for effeminate gay men everywhere.
I just listened to this podcast...and the asexual guy just sounded...kind of pathetic.
1-You could literally hear him hyperventilating into his phone. Why was he so nervous?
2-He dodged all the questions, and made every question more complicated than it actually was. Why could he never give a simple, straight answer?
3-On occasion I find myself in an internet community oriented towards various 100% unrealizeable fetishes. A large minority (10-20%) in that community call themselves "Asexual" -- but they have explained that they are asexual because they only get off while looking at pictures of pokemon (pokemon, i kid you not, not antropomorphized pokemon, just plain old regular pokemon) or dragons, dinosaurs, or what have you. Some of them have boyfriends/girlfriends, but do not have sex with said person--they just both online chat with each other about being dragons or pokemon and jack/jill off while sitting at separate computers. I do think that's a sign of modern times. I don't think that's asexual, though -- it's just fixation, and refusal to adapt to reality.
@14 How many more people would have gotten onto his case if he didn't mention the possibility of it maybe being postpartum depression, of her irrational reaction to the stress of a new baby and of a wedding and lifelong commitment, etc... if he simply said dump the mother already and didn't say mayyybe it's postpartum and you need to (Dan's version of "get her to talk about it..."), he'd do a much less sensitive, more offensive service to the caller. Just because you would put frilly bows around the wording doesn't mean it's going to be ANY easier for that guy when he sees his little boy.

What I DO wish is that Dan had maybe referenced, oh, Sarah Hoffman or something, who has had to deal for years with an effeminate son who loved frilly clothing and pink... who is now into purple and pokemon... who had to help him be himself through this bizarre idea of what is masculine when HITLER is who made pink "bad" as even women's journals prior to that horrific time period considered pink a masculine color. To force the dad to be masculine is denying her SON the right to be genuine, authentic, and whoeverthehellhewants. THAT is the biggest worry I have, not whether Dan's language was real and got to the heart of it or danced around it like a freaking Bachmann--really, who would you rather have the advice come from, realist with a potty mouth or closet case with a tthhhongue made ofth l-l-l-lacethhh?
Dan, I think I was one of the asexuals who yelled at you at some point, but I think the points made here are alright. Disclosure is very important. Personally, I've always disclosed before the first date. I think David Jay was going into a lot of complications with disclosure, but that's because he thinks a lot about the details, not because he's trying to make excuses.

And yes, I've met some asexuals who appeared to be running away from a sexuality which scared them. Not too common though, and I don't think it looks like what outsiders think it looks like. I figure asexuality is a much healthier place to go than the priesthood.

"Asexual" does not mean "not sexual", it means "not experiencing sexual attraction". Asexuals who masturbate are asexuals with sexual behavior. It is confusing, but there you go. I don't like identifying by "autosexual", which immediately emphasizes how much I masturbate, go figure. Also, some people experience romance as more than just close friendship plus sex, but if that is how you experience it, that's cool too.
Let's just say asexuals are some kinda fag and call it a day.
Asexuals do not lose their jobs because they are asexual. They are not refused a marriage license. They are not refused accommodations because they are asexual. They are not called pedophiles, or kicked out of the military, or refused communion, or, well, I could go on for days.

Pardon me, but boo hoo. I'll take you on in a discrimination competition any time.

I don't remember where anyone said asexuals are discriminated against, JJinAus? Way to put words in other people's mouths. Don't fight imaginary enemies.
With regard to the crazy-controlling-bitch, you left out your standard insight (for this kind of call) that this behavior usually comes from people who are feeling guilty because they are cheating or are likely to cheat.

I was in one of these relationships back in college. One piece of advice from that experience--if someone shows you the scars on her wrists and seems proud of them, it is definitely time to DTMFA. (In my case, I was a recent-ex-virgin and had very low self-esteem. I was an easy mark at the time to put up with her crap because I honestly felt like no one else would have me. The crap also included picking viscious fights during sex over my not doing it "right," thus reinforcing my fears.)
Re. the bi guy's dilemma: From what I've seen, women often take a hard right-turn when they have their first baby. My brother's (now ex-) wife, for example, turned into a right-wing Christian bigot when she started having kids.
Thing I don't understand about the bi guy's dilemma is that no where in his question does he talk about any other individuals. He mentions no threesomes nor does he mention anything extra-monogumal.

So, what's the problem? What, exactly does the wife want him to DO? or stop doing?
Dear Dan,

I'm a 27 straight female who has been single and has had my fair share of dating and a few different long term relationships.

I thought you were a little harsh calling the first guy's girlfriend a pyscho and an abuser without even hearing her side of the story.

Out of respect for each other women are expected to be courteous when hanging out with each other's boyfriends. I would first make an effort to get to know my boyfriend's female friends and then hope that they started to act more respectful around him. But there are some slutty women who don't care about making friends with women and just want male attention. If these women were acting inappropriate to my boyfriend to the point that I feel uncomfortable hanging out with them I would be pissed. I'm not saying the girlfriend is right in this scenario, but I think this is a common complaint for women and who knows the way this guy acts in public. It is hard to judge this situation either way, but it would have been refreshing for you to touch on what "good manners" are, because there are some people out there that really need it!
@25, you're right that there are women out there like what you describe, but I don't think your point is useful in this case. The caller said that he and his girlfriend have fights about her jealousy every time they go out. That can't be the result of a few individual women who lack respect and courtesy. That's a glaring pattern, and the common denominator is the caller's girlfriend.

She's a controlling, manipulative asshole who needs to retract her talons.
Uh....holy crap. That David Jay was a trip. I loved the bit where he made asexuals sound like aliens from straight out of a high-larious movie, who don't understand human interaction. "What. is. a. date. What. is. the. definition. of. romantic. attraction." If he would've just been candid and stopped dodging questions, he would've gotten his point across better.

I could tell Dan was being VERY selective of his words in fear of an asexual lynchmob...though if David Jay is supposed to be a representation of the asexual community, then I gather that they don't feel feelings, including anger. Zoinks.
@24: I think she wants him to stop enjoying pegging, to stop wanting to suck her "cock" when she's wearing a dildo. Mostly, it sounds, to stop being kinky and having an erotic imagination. I'm wondering if there's also a hidden message of, "I want you to be more stereotypically masculine."

I'd be much more sympathetic if her request was "let's stop picking strange men up on Craigslist when there's a baby in the house."
@10: I totally agree with you on the last point, that she's probably feeling guilty for not putting out. It's easy to feel like a "bad" girlfriend if you have to keep saying no to sex. I also feel like Dan should've told her to give up some of those volunteer commitments, though. It's one thing to be tired from working all the time, but she said she was working and had volunteer projects on the side, and at some point a person has to learn that one can't do EVERYTHING and still be happy. I feel like if she dropped some of her commitments, she also wouldn't have to say no as often.

As for labeling someone "autosexual"- goddamn, why do we have to keep coming up with new words for increasingly tiny portions of the population? I feel like if someone started calling him or herself an "autosexual" he or she would probably have to explain the meaning every time, so I don't really see the point of having the word.

Also, maybe you don't think that there's a difference between romance and friendship, but I can imagine it. Think of a marriage based on companionship. You wouldn't necessarily cuddle in bed every night and entangle all your assets together and raise children with people who are just your friends, but you might with someone you love. People can have love without sex- I'm certainly not one of them, but I think it's possible.
Notice Bachmann said "WE don't have to go down that road." Not "they."
To the guy who's wife wants him to stop being bisexual, she sounds pretty crazy, but it also sounds like you're both a bit confused about exactly what bisexuality is. Neither pegging, nor sucking a strap-on, have anything whatsoever to do with bisexuality. See A beginner's guide to pegging for more information :/
I'm totally NOT okay with spiritual brutalizing of gay kids (I'm gay and was raised Mormon... enough said.) BUT: If Mr. Bacchman is indeed gay but choosing to live a repressed straight lifestyle, doesn't that make him less of a hypocrite? I mean, at least he's doing what he's telling other people to do, rather than some straight guy who can't imagine not being into boobies yelling at gay kids he doesn't understand. I'm not say it is healthy, I'm not saying he's a good role model, but living a tortured repressed life is his (terrible, stupid, misguided) choice.
Regarding Marcus Bachmann, I have to admit I was a little baffled by Dan's remarks. Aren't we supposed to wait until *after* these characters get caught with a rent boy?

Is the idea here that calling Bachmann gay is excusable because the real barb of the joke is that he's a self-loathing hypocrite? If so, no problem.

But I can't help feeling that Dan is calling him gay because it's the only bullet in the gun. It's not like anyone who supports him would be at all fazed by seeing him labeled as homophobic or medieval. That rationale seems a little sleazier.

On a related note, Will Saletan actually made a pretty good case against the application of the "gaydar" studies in this case. The entire sample group of gay men in the studies were openly gay, which as Saletan points out, makes perfect sense. But it also means that the scope of the study doesn't extend to gay men who are in the closet.
@31: A man doesn't have to be bisexual to enjoy pegging - the physical sensation of being penetrated can be pleasurable regardless of sexuality. But it's possible to enjoy pegging because you're bisexual, because it's a safe outlet for a sexual fantasy within a monogamous heterosexual relationship. That was my impression of the caller's relationship: the pegging/dildo-sucking was part of a roleplay expression of fantasy, not simply something for his physical pleasure.
Calling Marcus Bachmann fat, or insinuating that he is overeating becuase he is closeted (4:20), is not a meaningful criticism. The motherfucker is crazy. Stick to that.
My gaydar was all over Bachmann before I ever heard him utter a word. I saw his quotes and his picture online and I said "$100 says that guy has had his luggage lifted more than once."
Where it says "A lesbian and her lady made a commitment to lose weight together",
it should say "A bi woman and her lady made a commitment to lose weight together". It could be argued you're referring to the caller's girlfriend being the lesbian, but the caller never specifies her girlfriend's sexual orientation, only that the caller herself is bisexual.
Just thought you might want to correct that before yet another angry bisexual comes hollering about Dan contributing to "bisexual invisibility." Which , given his wonderful response to the bi man with the bi-denying fiancee, he is clearly not contributing to. :)
I'm a bit disappointed with your advice to the guy with the crazy psycho bitch girlfriend. Though I totally agree that he doesn't need to stay in any relationship that he's finding unfulfilling, she's not exactly begging to be broken up, and she'd probably be genuinely devastated.

Honestly, my trouble with this is that I KNOW I have moments of crazy psycho bitchness. When I feel it, I totally hate myself for it. As someone who is simultaneously very emotional and very rational, the only thing that helps is talking/thinking through the feelings. There still there, but I'm learning how to not subject my partner to them in such negative ways. I wonder if there's a way for a person who functions more emotionally to deal with it using those routes?

So where does this shit come from? is it more prevalent in people socialized to to be more emotional rather than less? arg. :(
@20 Asexuals can and have been discriminated against because of their relationships and who they are romantically attracted to. They can be straight, bi or gay just like sexual people.
I dont care for michelle or her gay husband..they both can go to h*ll..she lost me when she stated that blacks were better off as slaves...but, little do she know..her husband probably secretly lusts for a HUGE black man..LMAO
"If every time I said yes to sex I got fucked, I'd say yes less often then I do." Captain Dan you are the best. It's like you just gave me permission (and great rational reason) to ask not to be fucked once in a while and not feel like a bitch because of it. Thanks for all you do!
I know nobody has posted anything here since July, but I recently heard this episode on a long drive home from a meeting (ironically, I was driving three hours home in the middle of the night because I'd had training all morning followed by an evening meeting for my volunteer work, kind of like the lady who was so distraught when she said no.)

The difference is that I just about never say no, and my wife is the one saying no to sex--a lot. Three years ago I was finally willing to stand up and tell her that I was going to do everything I could find to make our sex life come back to life, and if it didn't, I would leave within a year. To her credit, she freaked out, but she also decided that she would fight for our marriage. It's now three years later; our sex life isn't perfect, but it's loving and I know now that she does love me and wants me to be happy. I still have a lot of fear to deal with (that she doesn't find me attractive, that she will someday leave me, that she'll find a spark with a man and decide that she really is very sexual and I'm the problem) but things really are getting better.

However, she's had the same problem . . . . the times when she says no to me, and even when I'm OK with that, she ends up in tears, especially if we try to talk about it later. We've talked for years about why it upsets her so much to say no, and I admit, for a long time my feeling was that if it made her so upset, she could avoid that problem by saying YES. But I used to pride myself on how I would "thoroughly satisfy" her--fucking, fingering, oral every single time she said yes, so she always ended with a series of big orgasms. I thought I was going that extra mile, you know? And I couldn't understand how she could scream and cum and talk about how good I was at all these things and then, the next night, be back to the cold shoulder. Someone suggested back then that maybe the problem was that I was actually doing too much; she actually said something like, "it sounds like sex with you is a great experience . . . . but it's probably exhausting."

I didn't completely understand the point because, as Dan says, I've never been fucked. I don't know what it's like. But awhile after that, I started to try to get my wife to go along with the idea that sometimes it's OK just to get fingered or do a little oral (giving or getting) even if no penis goes into any vagina. I don't know if she couldn't grasp that, or if she thought that I wasn't being honest about what I expected, but it just didn't happen and I gave it up after awhile.

Then this podcast . . . . the way Dan explained it struck me, and I came home and a couple of days later I told her about the call and what Dan had said. And she cried. And she told me that she knew exactly how the caller felt. And I told her again that I may not understand it perfectly, but I think it makes sense and I think we should learn from it. Last night we traded massages, and it was wonderful. Tonight, who knows? Anyway, Dan, thanks for explaining how tiring it can be to be fucked.

Homoromantic asexuals face the same discrimination as homosexual people. Asexual people's existence is constantly called into question. Asexual people are told the same things homosexual people are (it's just a phase, you'll grow out of it, you'll meet the right girl/guy someday, you were just sexually abused, it's just a choice). There's also the whole 'get your hormones checked' thing.

Look, discrimination is discrimination is discrimination. It's not a fucking competition. It's hurtful, it's horrible, and it makes people feel like shit about themselves. Asexuality comes with a completely different set of challenges than homosexuality and a few not so different prejudices. I don't understand why anyone who has faced discrimination would actively devalue another group of people's experiences. If anything, you should be working to make sure that nobody has to feel this kind of isolation.
I'm asexual.
I did not arrive at my "identity."
I behaved asexually and had this orientation/ perspective a long time before the term was ever coined.
So much for the bigotry.
And as for "disclosure"?
It's an individual matter.

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