Savage Love Episode 328


yeah i cant believe that first caller, bareback with random ppl is a DEF no no....EVERYONE knows that! no excuse!
Hey Dan... listening to your rant about straight guys being stressed about their sexuality, thought you might like this article about guys in Boston who don't really care:…
Any tips about how to correct the death grip? I've been dating someone for a few months who was too hard on himself when he was younger, and though I don't really care that he has to use his hand to get off, he gets pretty worked up about it. He says he's stopped jacking off to try to correct this, but it doesn't seem to be helping. Is it a lost cause?
I want to throw out there that I'm a straight guy, I love musical theater, and I like a fair amount of heavy metal. And I am not depressed. One answer, therefore, may be for straight guys to go ahead and embrace their inner Ethyl Merman loving queen while still loving women.
@3 Get him a fleshlight.
I love your rant about the stress of being straight! From this day on I am going to embrace my own kinky straightness. I often have girls, when first meeting me, ask if I am gay. I used to take offense, but I don't anymore -- to me it means that a girl is interested in me, can tell that I'm different than most guys, and wants to make sure the interest is potentially mutual. As long as you embrace that I think a lot of girls find that being "different" is sexy.
Dan nails it on gender-policing of straightness causing stress/insecurity! Well done, Dan!
You REALLY let the dude in the sexless relationship off the hook for telling his boyfriend about his fling when the boyfriend expressly said DONT TELL ME.

Like a lot of people, I am not perfect/ evolved/ etc enough to really want to hear about my bf getting involved with other ladies, but my rational, intellectual self knows it's not that big of a deal and that he loves me. However, some emotions are just not that easy to control. This guy, who sounds really depressed, knew that about himself. The caller totally steam-rollered over his request for his feelings to be spared.

The truth is this guy asked for a more open situation and broke the ground rules and is now whining about it. And you totally let him off the hook, Dan.
I'm pretty sure you've said this before, Dan, but I think, in addition to your great comments on the subject in this podcast, it may be something to do with straight guys not needing to go through any process of figuring exactly who they are sexually, which a gay guy (or girl) is more likely to have done. Without that process, you tend to go along with whatever is being projected on you by partners, society, whatever.
PS I adore you!
Just wanted to mention that Dan's comments about straight anxiety are indebted to Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's groundbreaking work in _Between Men_ and _Epistemology of the Closet_, two foundational texts of academic queer theory that everyone should read. Dan: Please mention academics? In this climate, it is really important to assert the good work of scholars.
@5 Or a Tenga. They're pretty cool and have much more sensible marketing.
@3: Is he still finishing with his hand when you two have sex? With post-death grip retraining, I'm pretty sure that the idea is to completely deprive his dick of getting off from the hand, whether that means during sex or when masturbating. If that means he doesn't get off AT ALL for a month, that's the price of retraining.
With regards to the gent who finds himself in a sexless relationship, I can totally relate. I've been in a relationship for over 9 years. We've had sex twice in the past four years and not at all in the past two. Unlike the caller, I am the one who battles weight and self esteem issues. I try to correct the weight problem, but every time I make progress there's always something that knocks my dick in the dirt and erases the progress I've made. I want to talk about it but can't bear the thought that he actually finds me unattractive. Shitty way to live but I can't seem to find a way out other than ending the relationship and I'm not even sure he would think that's an acceptable answer to the problem.
@8 Beat me to it. Dan, listen to the call. The guy said he DIDN'T want to know about the extra-curricular sex.

PS, Dan, please stop chubby shaming. Try not to be such a fat nazi. It's my biggest beef with you otherwise I am a huge fan.
No, no no no no sex educator Amy Lang, mom DOES NOT trap her teenage son in the car and then reveal that she's been thinking about his penis and is interested in being involved in it's good working health. And it's bad enough when dad/uncle/bro does it. It's not that kids these days don't know that everyone masturbates. It's that awakening sexuality is something precious to the teen because it's something that belongs entirely to him. All you can do is spoil it by being nosy, or worse, dictating terms.

What you do is find a good illustrated book about sex written for teens. Do not buy this book from a bible store. Tell him you were listening to a radio show and bought the book on impulse. Hand it to him without ceremony and then change the subject to something you know he likes. A locking doorknob on his door would also be a dandy idea.
so is it a serious no-no to walk up relatively quickly behind a girl at night to pass her? as a faster walking male, i am ALWAYS self-conscious about doing this yet hate being stuck behind people walking slowly on the sidewalks.
Dan, you and the researchers have a hypothesis, not a theory. Please don't perpetuate the misconception that an educated guess is a theory; it's not! It just gives encourages the fundies to deny science.
As a fan of your show who listens every week without fail, I have to say that this show was one of your best. The rant was thought provoking, the points about condoms well taken, and the guests were insightful. Thanks for all your great work, Dan. I'll be listening faithfully.

P.S. I agree with @16 about using books to impart good sexual knowledge to tweens/teens. Can you recommend one? If not, can you write one?
We know this is complete bullshit:…
When are men going to wake up?
I think Dan makes a good point about straight guys being stressed about having to maintain their straightness. He missed the part, though, about the narrow social, professional, and personal roles available to straight men. He almost brushed on it, but seemed to glide right by. And he intentionally ignored and rejected the role that straight women play in the stress that straight men encounter. Gay men and bi men have less stress partially because they don't have to deal with straight women. Gay men, not at all, and bi men only if they feel like it. They have options. Straight men have to deal with straight women if they don't want to spend their lives alone and unloved. It seems, though, that many men who do bother to deal with straight women end up alone and unloved anyway. Women are hard to deal with. Bitches be crazy. They just don't seem to live in the real world. Their expectations of their partners far outpaces what they offer themselves. It seems like most straight relationships I've seen are the woman coralling a man into aiding and abetting her life and her goals while systematically tossing out his own. Collaboration and compromise seems to mean "She gets what she wants, and he learns to live with not getting what he wants" most of the time. The relationship is unbalanced. Add into that that straight women only seem to go for a narrow definition of maleness (although they claim otherwise) and judge men with a strong slant for finances, and you might see why straight men are depressed and anxious. Because NOBODY values us for who we are and often nothing we can do except capitulate and give in to the most average and narrow definitions of ourselves has a chance of bringing us any semblence of salve.

We really need to have a discussion about how straight (and bi, and gay) women treat straight men because they really aren't doing so with value and if we don't address this, we'll keep wondering what happens as more straight men implode, explode, or retreat. Or, you know, we could just dismiss any notion of culpability or responsibility on women's part as misogyny. Because that will certainly help fix things.
Lol I couldn't agree more with #16! I couldn't think of a more mortifying moment for your 12-13 year old kid to have with his mom-trapped in a car no less. People don't need masturbation lessons. Ridiculous.
Disagreed with destination wedding advice (but love the show!). Typically IME the person inviting to a social event pays; if the woman wants him to go she should pay (agreed with Mr. Savage), but I think it would be poor form to ask someone (ie the unemployed boyfriend) to pay for something that he never asked for.

But hey, love the show. Just my two cents.
Everyone, EVERYONE should try female condoms. I'm a gay dude and only tried them when they were in the free basket somewhere. I tried both top and bottom with boyfriend Big Richard, who liked to switch it up. From the bottom's perspective, the condom is stationary, so the sensations you get are of fullness and expansion - the good feelings. The bottom doesn't get the repeated shear force, the rubbing with the in-out, which can be a little too much like scraping. From the top's perspective, the penis moves in and out of a stationary tube, which is the sensation that most guys want - skin getting stroked longitudinally.

All the desired sensation, highly reliable barrier protection against pregnancy, slightly better protection against STI's than regular condoms, no latex to be allergic to... female condoms are genius.

Calling them female condoms made me think they weren't for me and calling them bin liners is unsexy and robs them of their clever design attributes. They are absolutely liberating and feel great. There's a little getting used to them - scrunching up the inner ring and putting it in and the small crinkly noise, so go out right now and buy a few or find the free basket somewhere and have some fun with something sexy and new!
Circumcision is part of death-grip syndrome. In my crazy youth, I did plenty of guys and had a few who had problems, one of whom said, when I started playing with his rock hard dick, "Oh, don't bother, it's just so hard to come." I couldn't believe 23, slightly buzzed and finally rolling around with a comfortable longtime acquaintance and he thought getting off was a disheartening chore.

The guys who still had their foreskins had no such difficulty and those who had remnants from circs of varying executions always wanted stimulation on the bits they still had. I'm circumcised and consider myself to have somehow dodged a bullet in still being able to enjoy sex.

Sexual happiness matters and circumcision is definitely a detriment to it. The claims about avoiding disease are questionable and there are other ways to avoid disease besides removing body parts.
Just have to say that I'm a straight woman and I find it really attractive when my boyfriend crossdresses. In fact, for Valentine's day I'm getting him some cute boy panties with ruffles and bows. :) I've never really questioned his sexuality either; just judging by his porn preferences it seems pretty obvious that he likes women more than men.

I have been in a relationship with someone who admitted to not being into women (after which we broke up) but we never had a very satisfying sexual relationship and so it didn't come as much of a surprise.
Dan, your top-of-the-show rant is way off. As an open minded but 100% straight guy, I can assure you that the problem isn't security with ones sexuality.

The problem is securing sex.

As an intellectual and academically focused guy, (GEEK) the issue is that hot fantasy girls that are young are looking for the frat boys, the rich guy, experienced older guys, anything other than a young geeky boy who hasn't found his flirting groove.

Look at the mass-shooters... these guys are the ones that are young, dorky, strange, but what is the common theme? Getting no action.
The cure for straight anxiety: Lots of out gay men. In middle school and high school, I was bullied as "gay." Some of it had to do with not being masculine. Some with being the youngest in my grade. Some with the strict upbringing of my grandmother that told me I should not have a girlfriend until I was at least 16. Some beacuse I wore out-of-fashion clothes (Yes, bullies will claim ANYTHING is gay!)

Then I went to Large Public University in the Fall of 1987. Lots of very out gays and lesbians. One, I wasn't dating any of the guys, so it made it pretty clear I was straight. Two, it became a matter of, "So what if you think I'm gay?" because "gay" was no longer this strange boogeyman that everyone accused each other of being while also arguing that no one could really be crazy enough to be gay. "Gay" was now Chuck and Steve. And a few professors. Eh, big deal.
I worry that someday I'll end up in the same situation as the caller with the overweight bf. Between school, working part-time, and a sick parent on the other side of the country, he has a lot of stress that's affecting his libido, so I'm hopeful that things will improve once his schedule is a little lighter. But he also struggles with his weight even though I tell him he's sexy as hell (and most of my friends agree).

I also agree with the person that said he violated the rules by telling his partner about his encounter. But I'm also annoyed that someone would consent to opening a relationship and then get upset that his partner had the gall to follow through with it.

@14 Not be a dick, what are you waiting for? Four years is a long time to avoid confronting an issue that's obviously taking a toll on you and your partner. It's nearly half the time you've been together. Why not consult a therapist?
Overall liked the show, but I have to push back a little on your condom rants in the last two podcasts. Particularly I took issue with you claiming men who say condoms make them feel less are lying. I can assure you as a fellow dick-haver that at least some men do have a harder time staying hard and feeling as much pleasure with a condom on. And I don't think your point about people not always noticing when their condom slips off proves otherwise as you seem to think. What I find is that the closer I am to orgasm, the more sensitive my dick is and the less having a condom on matters. If I'm not as close to coming, it can make a much bigger difference, even to the point of losing my erection. So if my condom slipped off when I was really turned on I very well might not notice.

Now mind you, I don't think this means anyone should feel pressured to compromise their own health and safety by allowing their partner to not use a condom, and any man who says otherwise is being a selfish jerk. I just don't think it's helpful to deny a real phenomenon exists. All it will do is hurt your credibility with men who do experience a difference with condoms on, and help create more communication problems between men and women if some women actually believe you. I think the rest of your advice was much more useful, where you reiterated the risks of unprotected sex, and gave some tips on how to overcome the problems some men have with condoms. Particularly I have found that using a good fitting condom, masturbating sometimes with condoms, and putting some lube on the end of my dick before putting the condom all help a lot.
@18 There are two definitions of "theory," the colloquial and the scientific. Both definitions are valid, depending on the context. We shouldn't let fundies take away the multiple meanings of words for the sake of simplicity.

@22 You are bottom-dwelling trash. Take your weak bullshit elsewhere.
love your balanced view ;-)
Yep, echoing @32's response to @18 - "theory" has a different, looser meaning in casual discussion. I find it useful, so I use it. I'm a career scientist and I pretty much never use that word in its formal scientific context, even at work.

I also agree with @8 - Dan completely blew it - the blabbing extra-relationship-fucker dropped the ball. You got the golden ticket, and ya blew it.
I thought Dan's reasoning on straight guys' stress was off the mark. But here's an alternative hypothesis, which sounds counter-intuitive at first. I think it has to do with supportive community.

Here's what I mean: if you're straight, yes, you live in a hetero world, but when heterosexuality is considered the default, it fails to work as an organizing principle. In that climate, straight men learn they are supposed to be the agents of that world, the aggressors in relationships, but they are pretty much just thrown in to compete. (i.e., just walking into a breeder bar doesn't give me any special connection or identity with others there like me; if you're gay or lesbian, though, you can find that niche). Like I say, it's counter-intuitive: certainly, the dominant discourse of our world leaves non-straights wanting for a support network to come out, or sometimes, just to survive. But the social practices involved in finding and maintaining that support network would certainly seem to work in their favor. Straight men, expected to be competitive or fail, tend not to have such a network.

It would be interesting to see how this research applied to straight men involved in kink or some other sexual-orientation linked community . . .
This week the comments section of the podcast was brilliant.

1.) the first comment about the guy talking about the female condom: him and his wife must have such an awesome sex life that they fumbled through the awkwardness of trying something new, giggled a little, and now loving fucking so much that he calls your podcast.

2.) the sommelier: a cool angle on people around us inadvertently sharing our hang-ups on that - what often turns out to be - a stressful day.

3.) the guy who had great morning sex: he was really paying attention to his girlfriend. Good for you, man.
I would LOVE to see a study on the occurrence of the death grip between circumcised and uncircumcised guys.

In my personal anecdotal experience (sorry, not slutty enough to amount to a proper study), giving handjob to cut guys = takes for fucking ever, by the time he finishes my hand has gone numb and my wrist and arm hurt.

First time I got my hands (hehe) on an intact penis, the first thing the guy said was "woah! A little gentler please.." I was amazed. And the cut guys had told me that the sensitivity was in one area (frenulum).. so when I asked this guy, he described where he felt pleasure; all around the rim, and the glans, and the frenulum, some down the shaft.. oh and he has two different types of orgasm (one with the foreskin up, sort of a layered friction effect which is gentler, and one with the foreskin retracted which feels more direct) I was like.. WHY do you americans insist on cutting this thing off? You realise that it's really not that different from the most common forms of female circumcision? And as soon as I point this out, people are like "NOOO you can't say that! they're nothing alike!" because they don't want to admit that we've been mutilating our sons baby dicks and violating their right to genital integrity. Nooo, they say, when circumcised women experience sexual problems, that's clearly because they were cut. But when cut guys are more likely to develop the death grip and higher rates of ED in later life, nooo, that couldn't POSSIBLY have anything to do with it...

So when that woman asked how to make sure her son didn't develop the death grip.. I thought.. How about not chopping bits off his dick? That helps. Oh, and before I get some girls bitching that circumcised dick is "nicer" or "cleaner" or whatever.. Firstly you are wrong, and more over, how would YOU like it if guys were saying they prefer circumcised pussy? That should NOT be a factor in deciding wether we chop off healthy body tissue for no medical reason.

Dan, I think you need to do a show on circumcision.
I'd be interested in a show on circumcision, but it might piss off a lot of listeners. My husband is cut, and we got into a huge fight a few months ago over whether or not we'd circumcise any sons we had (I'm not letting it happen, period). He was very upset -- whether at the prospect of being different from his kid, or wondering if his parents made the right choice, I don't know.
@wxPDX, I'm so glad to hear about your not wanting to circumcise future sons.. Lucky boys :) The whole "different" thing is so overblown. If he had a wooden leg or an eye patch, would he insist that his son be forced to look like him, too?

In countries where female circumcision is practised, mothers (themselves cut) also think that their daughters should undergo the same. It's a cycle, and we can't get out of it without offending some people. It's worth it.
Historically, Dan is not very sympathetic to those who try to push back against the pro-circ culture in the USA. He even cites the UTTER BULLSHIT "studies" that conclude that HIV transmission rates are lower for cut guys. Even if those studies were conducted in a way to demonstrate that conclusion (they're not), what sort of sense does it make to advocate dick surgery over a trusty condom? I understand that in HIV-riddled Africa it might be tough to push safer sex practices, but in the USA? It's preposterous to endorse circumcision as a way of decreasing STD transmission.
I need to offer an alternate possibility to the mother of the 11-year-old who is voicing plans to not marry and not have children, and whose tight group of male friends made you exclaim "oh yeah, your daughter is a lesbian!"

She might be a tomboy. Coming up on puberty can be really hard for tomboys: we grew up as boys and kind of planned on growing into men - and then tits come up and there's bra shopping and people smile at you and think you're going to be happy because now you can attract boys! - which, according to the media is the whole point of life for us at this stage. It's really stressful. And to make matters worse, everyone around you notices that you're not into doing your hair and make up, and jumps to the conclusion that you're gay, even your parents. My father thought I was a lesbian until 18 - which was weird because I didn't even like girls. They were a totally alien species to me.

Remember: the majority of transgender boys grow up to be gay, but the majority of transgender girls (which severe tomboy-hood definitely is) do not.

Your advice can be the same, but I would caution that mother about jumping to conclusions about her sexual preference.
Sorry. ^^ posted on wrong week's page.
Regardless of sexual definition straight or anywhere on the Rainbow of Love being secure in who you are is essential to happiness. It's about accepting what color is your perversion and living that. Being yourself.
I'm an alternative straight guy. Artist, actor, cook, parent, gamer, et cetera and I know that what defined a man in my father's eyes was none of these things. My sister thought I was gay because I liked Simon and Garfunkel. It was the '70's I'll cut her a little slack. When her son came out, trust me, it rocked her boat. My brother is so homophobic that he and we don't talk anymore because of my nephew. We had to drop him because it wasn't just a difference of opinion. So I've had my masculinity called into question once or twice. And I know my brother is more stressed about his sexuality than I am, methinks he doth protest too much.
Everyone needs to come out from under societal expectations of who we are supposed to be and be who we are and re-define society. Social evolution is what we need to focus on if we are ever going to heal the divides that cause fear and hate. Sexuality before Victorianism was a wholly different deal and the East was never bogged down in the shame of the body the West has endured. It's not thinking outside the box it is thinking without the box. Peace.
22, you really need to start hanging out with a better class of woman.
Great comments for the most part. GEEK (@28), you are scaring me slightly. Try finding some hot real girls who have no interest in jocks. Sounds like you might do better with women as you mature.

And yes, circumcision sucks. Any women considering circumcision for their sons should at least have sympathy for their future spouses who will have to put up with lockjaw, hand cramp and sore ladybits. Maybe it's an anti-sex measure? Cut bits of your sons' dicks off so getting off with another person becomes such a huge chore it's not worth the effort... grizzle grizzle
I think out gay men are happier simply because they are out. They are openly themselves and the people who are (still) in their lives love and accept them for who they are. Out gay men have tested the bonds and they are strong.

Many people want to be out with something: atheism, not wanting to go to college, smoking, not having kids, anything that isn't "normal" within their set of friends and family. They feel like they have to hide that part of themselves and they aren't sure if their people will accept them if they knew the secret. With out gay men, the secret is out. They have pushed through one of the toughest, scariest barriers in modern society and come out ok. This must give them more freedom to really define themselves and BE themselves. Meanwhile we closeted others keep wondering if we are truly loved and do not define ourselves openly. This is very stressful.
The rant about straight guys being wracked with homo fear is just wrong. Most men don't go under that category, they just don't care, not on any level that is close to their sex drive for women at least. Just no competition at all.

The real reason straight men are more stressed is because yes, they have to deal with women. Like it or not mens sex drive is stronger than womens, so men have to fight tooth and nail for pussy, not something gay men have to deal with, well nothing close at least. Do gay men ever have to wonder did my partner have an orgasm? ;) Think that one over and you will understand. The concept of not ever having or not knowing if you've ever had an orgasm is alien to a mans brain, once you get thats what some men ..the straight ones have to deal with, then you will understand the stress.

Furthermore you've touched on another issue, the issue of feminists pathologizing male sexuality, its the bread and butter of die hard feminist theory, and its seeped into the culture. Bill maher had a bit on how the culture was built around "making women nod".… basically men are saying whatever they need to in order to stay out of the dog house...because women do have the power to ration out the pussy. This is just something gays don't have to deal with, even bi's know they can escape...