Podcasts Aug 14, 2012 at 1:00 am


Aww, Dan. Loved your choice of response to this whole CFA nonsense. I may have even choked up a bit (good thing I was listening at home). Family is family.
Did I really hear Dan utter a 'y'all'? He may have been in rural Iowa a little too long.
I think the girl who called in about only liking white men needs to get out, meet more people, and expand her mind. Putting her hands over her ears and yelling "respect my preference!" isn't going to do her any favors.
Oh, sorry, just listened to Dan's answer and it's pretty much exactly what I said. Ignore me.
Dan, you're right, that sweet little face snuggled with Terry is worth the view :) Your family sounds like a cool bunch.

And don't stop saying Twat!
I read a news article on a study a while back that said that women were less likely than men to consider interracial dating. Well, except for Asian women who would consider dating white men at the same rate that they would consider dating Asian men. That indicates to me that our society is pretty good at getting women to want to date within their own races.

I wonder, though, how much of that goes away in the field, as it were. So long as someone isn't brushing off all advances by people of different races, I think it's fine to harbor a preference for the features of some races. On one level, it's like preferring big boobs or strong brows. Sometimes, we fall in love with people who don't meet our initial expectations of what we want.

The Southern girl in New York City should date the people she wants to date, but she shouldn't outright turn someone down due to race. She should let happen what happens, and she should pursue whoever she fancies and just try not to overinterpret her initial thoughts on the subject.
omg, what a satisfying response to the uber sensitive lady caller who doesn't like the word twat! Dan and his brother took the words right out of my head. I do not agree with Dan's sister that cunt is a very demeaning word. I think cunt is a very powerful word. I have a cunt, I love my cunt. Cunt cunt cunt! :)

ps. TWAT!
Listening to last weeks podcast, I walked into Walgreen's -- and was shocked to discover that I wasn't using earbuds, but instead had my iPhone in my shirt pocket, turned up to 11. People turned their heads and stared as Dan's voice boomed out "If your idea of a romantic evening is having your wife plough your ass with a 3" wide dildo, while your dick is locked in a cage. . . ." By then I was fumbling madly at the phone's controls, but nothing seemed to work! I disappeared into the bathroom and got the podcast stopped. It was a long walk back to the front door and out!
I can relate to the caller who challenged Dan on vagina shaming. I had a gay male roommate who was so repelled by female parts that he wouldn't allow me to sit on the same couch with him (I shower daily and wear clean clothes, promise), and he frequently made comments about how terrible vaginas smell and how yucky/undesirable/bad at sex/weak/dumb/useless women are. It did a number on me. Dan's comments don't bother me though, at all, because I can tell it's a reasonable reaction and not misogyny.
Say there was a straight male sex advice columnist with a podcast. Very sex positive, always answers questions from people of all genders and sexual orientations respectfully and honestly. But he has this one quirk, which is that every so often, not every time but enough that you notice it, he will finish a call from a gay man with a reminder that he finds gay sex icky. He's not saying it's icky, just that he personally, as a straight man, finds it icky. Would that get annoying after a while? Would you wish that at some point he would grow up and stop reminding you about this fact, because even though it may be a totally reasonable think for a straight man to think, it really isn't necessary to point it out anymore because we get it?

That guy is you, Dan. I'm not saying you're History's Greatest Monster (and I agree with your perspective about the word "twat", no matter what word you use someone somewhere is going to be offended), but the way you answered that question was kind of glib, and I didn't think you really explored what it means to be constantly reminding the audience that you aren't personally down with vagina and think they're weird.
@8 - Your comment made me laugh so hard! Reminds me of exactly why I listen to the Lovecast in the privacy of my home.
@10. Yep.

Also, why didn't the word vulva come up at any point in this podcast? Or crotch.
I wonder why Dan constantly interrupts his sister, but not his brothers...hmm
Bars where I live are just. . . boring! But there are all kinds of places to hang out at. Coffee shops, volunteering, adult courses, music festivals, art shows, science fairs, hiking trails, etc. Pick a hobby! Go out. Make friends without attachment and see where it leads you.

Words for vulvas are... well, it's hard to find one that doesn't have a negative connotation in modern society. The one thing that does annoy me is when they are called vaginas! It's like refering to a car as a "leather seat". The leather seat is part of the car. It is, however, not the entire car. A vagina is one part of the vulva, which is the entirety of a cis-female's exterior genitalia.
All that said, I don't get it when people use genitals as an insult... not computing. Genitals are for happy fun times. MY happy fun maker does not resemble anybody's abusive grandma.
Agree with the female caller that vaginas should be respected. I think that she is being too sensitive about Dan's comments about vaginas. I would not expect a lesbian to say that she thought dicks were attractive. What annoyed me the most was her comment about the word twat. What is so wrong with having slang for vagina? I don't particularly find the word cunt offensive. I personally adore the word twat as a British person and think that it should used in other countries. Thanks, Dan for propagating the use of English slang!
Dan, I thought the glibness with which you and your siblings dismissed and ridiculed the idea of male privilege was off-putting. Have you been paying even a little bit of attention to the behavior of the opposition presidential candidate? Privilege blinds the privileged. He doesn't get how he has been given advantages in his life, and with your little "canned ham" digs, neither do you.
To the 22 yr old female caller who has never been on a date:

I think Dan was being more polite and gentle with you on this call, perhaps because he was in the presence of family, than he would normally have been in print.

Here are questions I think he would normally have honed in on which I think are valid, and that you need to ask yourself and your friends:

1) You call yourself "overweight", which is usually a PC term for "fat". How "overweight" are you? To what degree - 10lbs, 20 lbs, 30, 50, 100lbs overweight? More? This is critical and I'm perplexed Dan did not address this given his very strong views when it comes to fatness. Guys in this society, as every "overweight" girl knows, are brainwashed from birth into thinking that thin is the only desireable body type. Young guys especially, even if they don't mind you not being thin, are oftentimes insecure and don't want to be seen with a fat girl and so will pass you by. However if you are more on the obese side, there are guys who are specifically into big girls, too. The problem comes if you're somewhere in between, as most women are, ie on the chunky to fat side, ie maybe 20 - 35+ lbs overweight, but not quite obese, ie 75+ lbs overweight.

2) You say you carry the weight well, and also comment that you "don't think it should be an issue". Again, given Dan's views on weight, I was doubly perplexed at his lack of response to this. He most certainly has featured in his column, numerous times, letters from both women and men whose spouses or sig others have put on excess weight and as a result, are no longer attractive to their partner. He has spoken very bluntly in response to this, that it is indeed most definitely an "issue" for many people. I'm afraid it's naive to think otherwise. It's one of the things I both value and sometimes find painful about his advice, ie that it is the blunt, no bs male perspective, even if it sucks to hear it, even if it's "unfair".

My point is that YOU may feel that you 'carry it well', but the truth is, that doesn't matter in the romance stakes. If you're straight, what matters is if GUYS YOU ARE TRYING TO ATTRACT think you 'carry it well'! Period. End of story.

Yes. It sucks that there is so much emphasis placed on appearance, especially for women, but that doesn't stop it from being reality.

3) People generally can't be objective about themselves, so you absolutely need to ask some friends, and/or family members or coworkers, preferably straight male friends or your more blunt female friends, to be absolutely dead honest with you in this area. Stress to them that they are not doing you ANY favors if they're being polite and hence, not being truthful.

4) The same would go for your friends telling you you're "pretty". Ask them to assess you here, as well, and determine if there are things you aren't doing that could increase your attractiveness in this area - the way you dress, makeup, hair, etc. If it turns out they were being honest, remember that beauty is currency, as the saying goes. If you're both young AND beautiful, or at least "pretty", you are fantastically fortunate. Use these things! Both are fleeting! I'm betting you don't want to wake up and you're 27, or 33, and still single.

The advice about sitting in a bar reading a book is entirely passive. Especially if you're pretty, for god's sake, don't be passive! That doesn't sound like it's worked for you, considering you have now gone through all of high school AND college without a single date. Approach guys you find attractive! Again, why on earth this wasn't suggested by either of the men giving advice is baffling. Smile, be friendly. Role play with friends at first. If you're shy, practice small talk at first. It's scary, and you'll make mistakes, but will learn quickly and get better at it the more you do it. I think most guys would agree that they love having the pressure taken off of them ie approaching somebody/making the first move.

If, however, it turns out that you aren't particularly pretty but are more on the "plain" side, as they used to call it, AND you are chunky/fat/whatevah, even given your youth, (which is an enormous advantage in the attracting men stakes), sitting in a bar or coffee shop sewing or reading a book, even if you're a regular customer, generally speaking isn't going to draw men. It's a common male fantasy for them to be approached by a hot girl. It's likely to be less successful for a fat, plain girl to approach guys and show interest. (You might have more luck if you're looking for an older guy - at least 10 yrs older than yourself - that's where your youth will help.) So if you are indeed more on the plain side and want guys in your own age group, I'd say the taking classes/joining up stuff where you directly interact with people is the way to go. You will be relying more on winning guys via your personality/having stuff in common/being a generally awesome and interesting person vs sitting in a bar being all hot and pretty and passive.

5) Ask your friends to honestly assess your personality and general interesting-ness. Are you doing things that drive potential mates away? How do you come off in social situations? Are you relaxed and confident? Do you make conversation easily and do people find it interesting? Do you seem like a jerk? Like somebody with zero self esteem? Like a boringass, goody-goody, only-interested-in-marriage type? Obviously if you hear negative feedback from your friends, especially if what they're saying is consistent, you wanna work to eradicate or at least minimize that shit.

6) By the same token, if, with time, you're finding (or you suspect, or are told) that the weight is the thing that is standing in the way of attracting the types of guys you want to be with, you may want to consider working on that by joining a gym or doing the equivalent.

One of the best overall pieces of advice I think Dan's ever given can be found in the August 8th column - the third paragraph down beginning with "worry less", which is a reiteration of general ways to make oneself a more interesting and therefore attractive person via reading, volunteering, doing stuff, etc.

Best of luck to you.
Have to say I also thought it sucked how Dan kept interrupting his sister, but then I hate it when he interrupts people he talks to when he calls them up during the podcast, which he does all the time. Dan, you're an educated, well raised guy. Quit interrupting people for fuck's sake.

Re the 'canned ham' thing ... I remain perplexed that people are upset about this, and for the record I'm a lifelong feminist. He's a gay guy for fuck's sake - by definition, he does and will find female genitalia unappealing. I thought the canned ham thing was pretty spot-on, and funny, and blunt - all the reasons we like Dan. Had it been a straight guy saying this, that would be a totally different story. If a lesbian unfavorably described male genitalia, I don't think people would bat an eyelash. So chill, people.

One more post: I can't stop myself! Thanks for the mention, Dan, of Inga Muscio's book "Cunt". I read it back in '99 and it was fairly life changing. Like with you, I don't agree with everything she says, but it's an awesome and thought provoking read, regardless.

Vagina, cunt, twat, pussy, snatch... call yours whatever you'd like, but don't get upset that a gay guy isn't into it. Aren't plenty of straight men creeped out by other men's penises or straight women by other women's vaginas? Get over it.
What @10 said. Dan, use all the slang you want, but your jokey "ew, vaginas are icky" lines are just not as funny as you seem to think they are. It's like the uncle who tells the same tired, vaguely sexist joke at every single family gathering: he thinks he's being funny, you smile through gritted teeth because you know he's a product of his times and has memory problems, but you really just want to tell him to shut the f*ck up.
I want to know how the "cheating-is-cheating" bi girlfriend reconciles the claim that her female hookup couldn't possibly be as much of a threat to the relationship with the fact that this person is also characterized as her "Ex." Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Beyond that, I want to know what she is hoping to accomplish by insisting that his was the greater transgression. For both of them it was a one-time thing, and it's over, so neither represents an _actual_ threat. So why is she hanging onto this "yeah, well yours was _potentially_ worse!" attitude? It doesn't sound to me like she is nearly as interested in reconciling as she is in prolonging the fight.

Either that or she wants to maneuver him into a position of inferiority within the relationship, which is a recipe for failure. There is no way to change what happened. Either you find it in your heart to forgive and move past it, or you don't and move out. But if you try to predicate the continuance of the relationship on one party eating dirt and the other holding it over their head, the one in the inferior position is eventually going to get sick of the perpetual subliminal punishment, and walk out.

Third possibility is that she is angling for the "I'm allowed to cheat because I'm bi, but you aren't because you're straight" line of bullshit. (This is what the 'your cheating was worse" sounds like to me.) Don't fall for it. If it's possible for someone to be just a fuck buddy to her, then it's possible for someone to be just a fuck buddy to you, and the thing that makes them just a fuck buddy as opposed to real relationship material is not their genitalia.
I loved the Savage Love family edition. What an entertaining bunch of siblings Dan has.
Just want to give a shout out.. as a chick, I like 'twat'. Makes me giggle and grin. Twat-on!
To the never-had-a-date girl, I have on suggestion: get a dog. Granted, not every lifestyle is dog-friendly, but if you can accommodate one it will broaden your social horizons greatly. I can't even count the number of cute guys who have hit on me while I was out with my dog. If you don't like bars, and you don't want to join a coed singles-only quilting bee, get a dog. Or walk a ferret on a leash. Anything that gets you out in the world and can open the door to conversations with cute strangers will get you a date. Promise.
A) Loved the family edition. You should do it, or something like it, more often. (Maybe drag Terry on to tell all about you.)

B) I never insult anybody by calling them by the name of a fun body part. It is an insult to the fun body part. I like my fun body parts and I like a certain subset of other fun body parts. So why should I associate them with some person who is a jerk?
I had almost no problem with Dan's response to the girl who was upset about his attitude towards vaginas and his use of the word twat--personally, I've never found Dan's vagina comments to be frequent or jarring enough to be annoying and, it's true, women have a wide variety of opinions on which words are acceptable and you can't please everyone. I'm personally not particularly bothered by the word "twat," and, in general, I think Dan is a good friend of feminists and women.

I say ALMOST no problem because I was deeply disappointed by his contemptuous, dismissive attitude (and his brother's) towards her use of the term "privilege" and, it seemed, the entire concept of it. Dan, do you deny that our society gives certain people unearned advantages based on their race, gender, sexual orientation etc? From many other things you say, it certainly doesn't seem that you do. What word are we SUPPOSED to use to discuss that phenomenon? Are we not supposed to talk about it at all? I would agree that some people overuse the word, and, obviously, some people (usually the most privileged) respond allergically to it, but I don't see why you feel the need to ingratiate yourself with those people. Those of us who feel that it's important to discuss the role that privilege plays in our society get enough ridicule without you jumping on the bandwagon just because it's easy. So...you want to say twat? Fine, no problem with that. I'm gonna keep saying privilege. because it matters.

@13: I hope it's just because his brothers are older and his sister is younger. He doesn't have an older sister to interact with, so it's hard to know, but it's plausible so I'll give him the benefit of a doubt.

And ditto to #22. You summed it up very well. It also reminds me of those commenters on internet sites who, every time something about a woman comes up, whether sexual or not, like to put in their two cents about whether she's hot or not and if they would/would not bang. It's not all about you and your penis. Dan, we already know you're gay and love you for it. Keep up the good, sex-positive work, minus some of the "ew, vaginas" comments.
@velvetbabe: I think you're focusing way too much on her weight. If she's unlikely to lose it (which she is, given the stats on long-term weight loss), I think she shouldn't really worry about it. There are enough men in the world who actually like a little fat that it doesn't really matter if she's overweight.

My advice for the girl is this: you say you have guy friends. Ask them for help. Where do they go to meet girls? Go there. Is there something about how you look or the way you carry yourself that makes you seem unapproachable? Fix that. Your male friends are an incredible resource. If they're all gay, ask them about their straight male friends.

To the guy who cheated on his bi girlfriend and vice versa, I concur with avast2006 in that she might be working up to ask for an arrangement where she gets to sleep with girls, but you stay monogamous. Unlike avast, however, I think you should seriously consider how you feel about such an arrangement. Sure, it's "unfair", but I'm a hot bi woman who has such an arrangement with my boyfriend, and part of the reason is that it is ridiculously easy for me to get such an arrangement. There are zillions of great people out there who realize that they cannot have both straight and gay sex with me and are willing to let me get the one they can't provide with other people. Why should I bother dating someone who isn't okay with that?
I loved this episode. It was so fun to hear from Dan's siblings, and the Instagram photo of Terry and his niece was just as adorable as advertised.

Thank you as well, @8. Your story brought back fond memories of being eleven and flipping to the back page of issues of YM to read other peoples' embarrassing stories.
I think the answer to the guy with the bisexual girlfriend was pretty off. From my perspective, as a bi girl who does fall in love with both genders, I don't side with the girlfriend, but I think what she means is that her boyfriend got from the girl he cheated on her with something that he could have got from her, whereas she got from the girl she cheated on her boyfriend with something that her boyfriend can't give her.
I think Dan was spot on with the lady who is only attracted to white guys. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Attraction is a personal thing and she's the only one who can determine who turns her on...not her friends. While I listened to her call, I couldn't help but think her friends feel there should be some sort of Affirmative Action in her vagina; like if she doesn't fuck X amount of men who are non-white there is either something wrong with her or that she's a bigot. As she experiences more of life, that may change and that's okay too. Her friends have no business judging her on what she likes.

The lady who has a problem with "twat" seems to be a little overly sensitive. Personally, I'm not a fan of "cunt." I use it sparingly to apply to the lowest of the low and not to describe my genitals (but that's just me.) Twat is cute in comparison. They're just words and people need to stop getting so hung up on them. Don't stop using it, Dan.

I'm not a Instagram user so I couldn't see the picture. But it was nice having a pod cast with your family, Dan.
Hey Dan, I really enjoyed this podcast, guest starring your siblings! Like you, they seem like thoughtful, informed, funny people. I enjoyed their perspectives. Bring 'em back again someday, eh? And your opening bit about Terry and your niece sent me to Google to find the heartwarming image for myself. Very touching.
Dan, you have not had bisexual activists on the show. You had one guy who was (1) a complete freak, and (2) barely capable of stringing two words together. I assume the only reason you had him on was so you could have someone to point at and say "see, I'm not biphobic! This obscure creepy creepy guy I found somewhere says so!" when you said something dumb. Which is exactly what you did on this podcast.
Dan, you have not had bisexual activists on the show. You had one bi-identified dude who was (1) a complete freak, and (2) barely capable of stringing two words together. I assume the only reason you had him on was so you could have someone to point at and say "see, I'm not biphobic! This obscure creepy creepy guy I found somewhere says so!" when you said something dumb. Which is exactly what you did on this podcast.
Three cheers for double posting!
People are people. Isn't love and relationships hard enough to find without adding so many stipulations? *Urg* It just fries my panties!
@10 Totally agree with this comment. What people call vaginas and vulvas doesn't bother me, but women get so many reminders that their vaginas are unattractive or strange to gay and straight men, and straight women, alike. Dan, it's true that you're on our side, and obviously you aren't a misogynist, but just think about this for a minute. If you're on our side, and even you are making these comments, women that aren't yet comfortable with their genitalia are nudged just a little further into unhappy territory.

Moreover, I think it's unbelievably silly for people to hide their discomfort with sets of genitals behind their sexual orientation. Aren't straight women who are afraid of vaginas and straight men disgusted at other dicks kind of ridiculous and immature? Why does it make it any different if the person disgusted at human anatomy is gay? You don't have to say you'd have sex with that set of genitals. But you also don't need to remind us of this, constantly.

Taking it one step further, if all gay men decided to use their orientation as an excuse to say vaginas are gross, then what happens to trans men? It's time for people in society to stop associating genitals with sexual orientation. You can have a preference - that's fine - but they're not inseparably linked.
Okay, Joe, who would you like me to have on? Who can speak for the bisexuals?
ooooh! A post by Dan, look! *challenge extended*

Also, I think some of you are being really overzealous about Dan's squicky feeling about twats. (I'm never using the word vagina ever again, thanks to this podcast.) He never said he was "disgusted!" And Dan empowers female callers every week on this podcast, to prioritize their pleasure, to masturbate, he talks at LENGTH about twats in a very positive and empowering way every podcast! Focusing on his (honestly pretty rare) jokes about them is really short sided. It's disappointing that so many of you would prefer Dan to be so politically correct as to take away all of his wit and hilarity and..."Danness." Don't answer the call, Dan. Please don't.
@40: Would it really be that difficult for you to find a bisexual who respectfully disagrees with you and is capable of offering intelligent commentary? C'mon man, I'm just some illiterate idiot who comments at a weekly newspaper. You're supposed to be the expert, here. Don't ask me to do your job for you.
OMG your family sounds so adorable. And I am loving the Chicago accents...making me homesick over here in Cali!
But I will say, I was impressed by your brother. I found his advice well reasoned and insightful, I would hope you have him back as a guest.
Can anyone on here suggest high quality websites for online stripping? Possibly the gal from the podcast asking about disclosure?
Also, any other relevant info about stripping online will be much appreciated. Thanks!
I love your work, Dan (thank you and keep it up!), but this was a bad idea.

Paraphrasing your sister -- "there's something called a 'fuckbuddy. I heard about it on the radio..."

Holy shit, she had nothing to add. So annoying. And your brother was confident, but not at all insightful. :(
@ alguna rubia: no one is saying that you can't have some kind of arrangement where you go outside your relationship to scratch an itch (i.e. sex with a woman) that can't be scratched within the relationship. But I think it is entirely reasonable to extend the same itch-scratching courtesy to your partner. Having a flexible relationship is not a problem, but a lack of reciprocity is.

I think Dan should have called "bullshit" much more strongly on the bi-girl's "I'm allowed to cheat but you're not" bullshit. Because a steaming pile of bullshit it was.

If both partners are allowed to have fuck-buddies (or have an "open relationship", or whatever picky title you want to slap on it), that's fine. One partner only likes women, but the other likes both men and women? Whatever. I see no reason why the rules have to change. The "fuck buddy" rule can apply, as long as there is mutual consent.

But a one-way deal, where cheating by one partner is automatically out of bounds, while the other partner gets a free pass as long as she cheats the right way? BZZZZZT. Sorry. Nope. And that's exactly what "I can cheat with girls but you can't cheat with girls" is: a self-serving one-way deal.

There is no way I would stay in a relationship in which I was expected to observe certain standards of behaviour which my partner was not also expected to observe. Absolutely no fucking way.
No one's going to mention "pussy"? That's my preference. It's the only affectionate nickname, and my vagina reminds me of the warm, moist muzzle of the tigress. RAWR! 'Course we have to take it back from rappers and porn stars. We can take back twat too, ladies. It's actually really funny, on par with "weiner" when a girl uses it. Eew, weiners, teehee!

But gosh, "vagina" is a horrible word, no better than "penis". Maybe it was a nice word when "Gertrude" and "Agnes" were hot girls' names.

@17, TLDR. Anyone forcing herself into that much introspection is going to HATE her body.
@28, That's more like it! Dogs usually attract healthy, good humored people and give you something to talk about. I'm really soft-spoken and frugal so I literally have to be dragged to the bars on birthdays.
Wow your family was so interesting! I loved how your brother had such intelligent and funny things to say, it made an amazing show with all of you!

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