Savage Love

Aaron The Side

Comments

1
Dan, and everybody. Please forgive me. I--fucking---VOTED for Hillary and Klein, and to save the planet from the gluttonous fossil fuel industry, salvage our democracy, LGBTQ and women's health issues, and the environment for future generations. I DID! I agreed with Senator Bernie Sanders, but immediately switched over to Hillary Clinton once Sanders conceded the Democratic ticket. I attended a local neighborhood campaign to re-elect our state governor (who thankfully won, by the way).
I feel sorry for a dear friend who once lived in my town (born and raised) but recently, for reasons of her own moved to a deeply red southern state where she is surrounded by Trumpists. We'll see what happens to them during next year's hurricane season.
When I am able, I will again read this week's Savage Love, as it remains among my favorite weekly columns. Right now, I feel puking sick. My own country has betrayed me---and the rest of the world. I am calling the VA Crisis Hotline to talk to someone. I will be going to my therapist again, tomorrow.
To LavaGirl and everyone outside the Divided Police States: I am truly sorry that a gloating, rugheaded, xenophobic shitwipe is about to stink up the Oval Office as of January, 2017, and the idiots who ecstatically elected and / or bought his way in will see the error of their ways when they have no voice anymore, their rights are stripped, they can't get federal aid in a national crisis, and the U.S. is a plutocratic hellhole that could have been prevented altogether. The majority of Americans obviously didn't learn shit after 16 years.
And all because too many male chauvinist pigs who can't get laid and their bimbos just can't stand the idea of a capable woman ever serving as 45th U.S. President.
Dan, and everybody, please email me soon. I just feel like all nationally (at least there's hope in our state!) is lost forever, and the 1 %ers are laughing their ugly asses off.
2
Thanks Dan, for nailing it about dating (re SHALLOW): "...dating is a hellscape..."
I'm suddenly desperately fumbling with how to navigate the pending national hellscape
of what the U.S. will be like after what has to be the single most disastrous election
since Gore vs Dubya in 2000.
3
@SHALLOW - Just to offer some counter advice: passion is definitely important, but it's also something that can fizzle quickly once the 'new' wears off. My fiance and I didn't start out with the greatest love life, in fact he was downright terrible in bed, while my previous BF had been a sexual dynamo. But, my fiance is a 'solid and kind' guy who was as devoted to my pleasure as I was to his. It wasn't easy. There were a lot of heart-felt talks about our needs and desires, and a lot of learning along the way for both of us. It took time and work and effort and a lot of trial and error, and we're still figuring some stuff out, but we're miles from where we started. It's still not the *best* sex I've ever had, but it's pretty damned great, and it's always loving and considerate. Best of all, it just keeps getting better. We had to build our sex life from scratch instead of having things just snap together like a kit, but maybe that's the way to make sure you have a strong foundation first?

Point is, if Mr. Solid and Kind is the kind of guy who can listen to you and makes your pleasure a high priority, you can work with that. If he's pig-headed and unwilling to change up his style, drop him like a hot rock, but if he seems really sincere about doing whatever it takes to fan your flames, why not give him a good chance to do it?
4
Okay. I'm off my soapbox. I need some sleep.
I'll return to this week's Savage Love, more carefully read the letters & responses after I see my therapist.
5
I really like the "brown M&Ms" analogy. Thanks for that, Dan.
In other news I guess there's nothing left to do but take up the violin so we can fiddle as Rome (and the rest of the world) burns.
6
@5 BiDanFan: I am already playing piccolo, C & alto flutes, and piano. No better time but the present to keep playing and composing.
I just can't fucking believe it, Bi---I voted for Hillary! I live blessedly in a blue state that is luckily among the few to stay blue with our Democratic governor re-elected.
I guess tomorrow is a good day to be in therapy.
7
I voted for Hillary too! I'm going to change my residency to the red state where my mother lives, I could have made more of a difference voting absentee there. But still not enough :(

Hah, I guess therapists are going to be the only ones benefiting over the next four years!!
8
Oh Grizelda. Hope you sleep well and good you have therapy coming up. I am in shock, this is just such a sad sad outcome. Email me if you want to.


9
America is great. A powerful country where so many of it's people are strong and brave.
10
There are enough people in the world not named Aaron, Erin, Aron or some homophone of it that the name rule isn't that tough to follow. I wonder if your resistance to it is the corollary to the brown M&M rule - that you'd buck up in the face of any restriction to your freedom, no matter how trivial. So suck it up, be mature about it, and follow the rule as the price of admission for the Erin you're currently with. (Though it wouldn't hurt to have another talk about it just to be absolutely sure she understands your feelings on the matter.)
11
NAME – Let's see...your wife allows you to fuck other women and you're whining about not being able to bone about .01% of the population? Good god man. If it makes her feel better make this TINY concession. Relationships = compromise, and this really isn't even close to being a compromise. Entitled asshole.

SHALLOW – After 20+ years of dating women who were great in bed but not a good match for me in other aspects, I finallly found someone who really matched up well in personality/goals/etc but the sex was so-so at best, downright boring at worst. "Well, it's just a small part of the overall picture," I thought, "She'll get better with a little coaching," I thought. 14 years later the inevitable divorce happened. The sex just got even MORE boring (when we had it) and part of the lack of frequency was my fault...I just couldn't get interested in yet another routine roll in the hay with someone who obviously wasn't into it in the slightest. That lack of closeness and attraction carried over into the rest of the relationship. You're right. You're too young to settle in the passion department. Holy shit, you're only 26! I know you're generation is conditioned for instant gratification, but practice patience. Look at your choices and make necessary adjustments to your dating approach if something isn't working. Throwing a Tinder dart at random women and expecting a bullseye is like reaching into a ten gallon bucket full of marbles while blindfolded and expecting to pull out the one red one.
12
"your" generation not "you're". One of my top grammar pet peeves and I used it. Aaargh.
13
Gamebird @10: I'm willing to bet the actual name is not "Erin." Something more common. Jo/Joe perhaps? Chris? Alex?
14
I am really surprised by the response Dan and his colleagues gave to NAME. I expect that women who would let their boyfriends sleep with other men AND women are vanishingly rare. He should be willing to put up with plenty to maintain that arrangement. And what a tiny restriction! Surely less than one percent of the population is named Aaron/Erin. So this guy has a setup that's 99% perfect, and is bitching about the 1%. Whiner.
15
@13 Probably, but even the commonest name would still be a tiny fraction of the potential dating pool.
16
It's important to me to be the public face of my partnership and wouldn't want another 'Erin' confusing who was who when my boyfriend talked about his weekend to his friends. I wouldn't be super happy about a '"Erin" got drunk when we went to this club' type of story when it wasn't me and I was working that night. Maybe that's the issue?
18
Dear American friends, I am deeply sorry. Don't give up the fight. <3
19
It's time to deploy the Lysistrata solution. The following people don't get sex for the next four years:

# People who voted for DJT
# People who didn't vote
# People who voted for Gary fucking Johnson

If you have a partner who matches these criteria, my partner and I will gladly fuck you
20
I have had to reject other Aarons/Erins several times over the last couple of years.

Several? Over the last couple of years? How many Aarons and Erins can there possibly be?

I think Hunter @17 is right. Odds are that this is really about specific people they know.
21
NAME worried about their partner calling out in the middle of coitus and worried that it might be the other Erin/Aaron/A Ron (Hubbard)? Now you can see my problem as an atheist when my lover starts screaming "Oh God!"
22
Dear all, greetings from a previously silent lurker. I'm just a happily married guy in London who likes to read Dan and be reminded that intelligent people still have a voice (great point about the brown M&M's, for instance).

Brits like us are already reeling from the madness of our referendum result, and we have been shell shocked by the progress of the US election campaign.

I know this though: in the UK 50% of kids now go to university (it was less than 10% in my day) and young educated people voted overwhelmingly in both our referendum and your election for liberal values. When my daughter's generation get into power, the right will whither. I just hope that the crazies don't raze the place beforehand.
23
@19. TP605. What a perfect idea.. Or voted for darling Jill.
And so kind of you to offer to help out.
24
Welcome EnglandsDreaming.
25
@21 – Ha!
26
SHALLOW -- I agree with Jade Margery @3. If you're ready to dump him, you have nothing to lose anyway, so there's nothing wrong with a little coaching. Frame it not as something he's doing wrong, but as there are things that you particularly enjoy (and ask him for suggestions for his side as well). I know I'm old-fashioned but I can't imagine having a great sex life with someone after only "a few months." It takes me a couple of months just to figure out whether someone is a psychopath or not, and then another couple months to get used to each others' rhythms and preferences.
27
Donny @15: Oh undoubtedly, I think it must have just been a couple of coincidences. Some names are more common than others.
Holmes @21: Good point! If both your partners had the same name, there would be less chance of calling out the wrong one. I nearly called one partner by the other's name... thankfully not in bed!
Englands @22: Hello, neighbour! :) I hope you are right -- although people tend to get more conservative as they get older. I haven't though, so perhaps there is hope.
29
@28: From what he's stated on race relations, I don't doubt it.

@19: It'll do as much for the political landscape as boycotting the Kochs has done for their wealth and influence.

Besides, all it'll do is make bros lie to get laid even more than they already do.
30
@3: You had an excitable "spark" and so-so sex.

A person doesn't start with no spark and suddenly have it happen.
31
@3 I am with you. I dont believe in relationships that have no spark becoming passionate later. Either there is a powerful sexual attraction from day one which means the sex gets better each time or we are just friends.
32
I would only risk bondage with a great vanilla lover, I dont care how many expensive gear you have if I dont have confidence on your vanilla skills there is no way I would want to be tie up. I think bondage it is the equivalent of champagne not to be offer on the first few dates.
33

How to explain what happened on November 8th?

Part of the answer is in "Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?" a 2016 book by Thomas Frank about how the American Democratic Party changed to support elitism instead of the working class.
34
I'm confused about Dan's answer to NAME (LW1). After stating that he thinks NAME's partner Erin is being silly and really needs to get over it, he hauls in two guest experts who say that Erin is a) fearful of being just one Erin among many, or b) worried about public embarrassment regarding one of those other Erins. (Who knew there were so many, and most of them up to no good!) Both experts agree with Dan that Primary Erin really needs to get over it. But then Dan spends two additional paragraphs expounding the Van Halen Brown M&M Theory, explaining why Primary Erin may have valid reasons for setting a standard about All Those Other Erins. Sorry Dan, not one of your better answers. I side with those who think that NAME is the one who really needs to get over it, and honor his primary lover's sole request for maintaining a happy poly relationship.

SHALLOW (LW2), if you are 26 and don't feel a spark, it ain't gonna happen. Yes, you can train your man to love you better than he currently does, and your sex life will doubtless improve with each experience as you learn each other's ways - but that's very different from genuine sexual chemistry, as you already know from past lovers. Only you can decide whether his good character and your mutual compatibility will allow you to maintain your love and respect for him over the long term, despite less-than-stellar sex. Once again I disagree with Dan here - it depends on the individuals involved, of course, but many monogamously-inclined couples manage to live very happy lives without the need for Disney-caliber fireworks in the bedroom. Shared values and interests are often equally important, and for some people a shared world-view is more important than sexual compatibility. YMMV.

NBB (LW3): You are one more shining example of how investment in a professional education (and in this case, professional-caliber equipment) is the very best way to invest in your own future. On this dismal post-election day, I take heart in your message: Go wherever you want and ignore the haters! Great advice for all of us, as Dan pointed out. So as I figure it, he's 1 for 3 this week.

35
Finally someone who understands how to explain why bands use riders. Usually these M&M stories are told about rock stars being rock stars, but really most people have an aversion to reading, so it's crucial to know what's been read.

I think SHALLOW needs to get down with some kind but blunt communication. Talk about the ways that there could be more sparks and see if that helps. Sometimes partners need a little help. And maybe the partner is holding back for some reason: trying not to be a macho asshole can sometimes lead to things being to vanilla.

I am going to try the head in the sand trick regarding this election and see if that works for a while.
36
On reflection (and re-reading the column), since NAME and Primary Erin are apparently both invested in finding a good work-around for the blanket Aaron/Erin ban, I amend my previous recommendation that NAME just get over it already. Advance trigger warning to game-o-phobes, my proposed solution is pretty geeky. If Name finds an Aaron/Erin who is too good to pass over according to the standing house rules, he could notify Primary Erin and with her as witness, role a six-sided die to see if he can waive the rule on this particular occasion. Prior to the role, Primary Erin gets to declare the one number that will give NAME a hall pass for this particular Other Erin. Of course they are free to set additional conditions on the deal, or modify it to their own mutual satisfaction.
37
Erin's request seems reasonable to me, especially if it's relationships and not short-term hookups without social aspects. As @16 (polynurse) said, being the public primary could be important, which is easier when names aren't shared. I wouldn't like my partner involved with another Ankylosaurus. If NAME is concerned about one-sided restrictions, maybe *neither* of them can be involved with any Aaron/Erin, or he could pick another for her like Jordan, Taylor, or Bailey.
38
Amos @33. Then get politically involved.
Change the Democratic Party. Start working towards the future elections.
It's on now, Trump and his cronies with their vanity, greed and hate.
39
Surfrat @35: "maybe the partner is holding back for some reason: trying not to be a macho asshole can sometimes lead to things being to[o] vanilla."

Wow, that's a monumental leap of guesswork there. I think Fifty Shades' popularity is leading some to conclude that all women want a Christian Grey, when all this particular woman said was that there was a lack of chemistry. Guys, if a woman hasn't said she is submissive, you shouldn't assume so. Ask her! Trust me, nothing is worse for a dominant or a vanilla feminist than men incorrectly assuming you want him to pull out some mild SM moves without first ascertaining whether you're into that. Guys, please continue erring on the side of not being "macho assholes" unless otherwise instructed.

(My thought was, maybe he's just not very attractive, and that's why there is little chemistry.)
42
Hunter @40 - Seriously? You have never watched that classic soft-porn toon, "Minnie Does Minneapolis" ? ;^}

In retrospect, I probably could have chosen a more appropriate metaphor. Did not intend to squick anyone out.
43
I work in the music business, and the "brown M&M rule" is bullshit. Tour groups have road managers and tour managers and at least a couple of very savvy tech crew. Big venues have professional staffs and crew leaders whose job it is to communicate with the tour groups and get the important stuff handled. Some stupid catering whim doesn't have anything to do with the professionalism of the stage staff. At best it's a distraction.
44
All I can say is that when January 2017 rears its elephant's butt-ugly head, and to all DJT supporters suddenly feeling the shock of their social programs cut of and redistributed to
the 1%, don't come crying to me. I voted for Hillary, and what was left of our benighted country's democracy, and am glad I did.
45
@7 BiDanFan & @8 LavaGirl: Will any women, U.S. citizens and from elsewhere, be able to sleep well after the next inauguration, if ever again?
Amazingly, my therapist revealed that she----(!!!)-----voted for Donald Dick, "because of all the corruption in DC"! Like DJT and his henchmen aren't?! And she advocates for women and U.S. veterans?
This has been an exhaustingly horrific week, politically. I feel like I got hit by a semi and it backed up over me again.

In better news, my beloved VW is winterized, and while my blessed VW guru has retired, I have found another auto mechanic who specializes in maintenance of vintage VWs; my piano is being tuned as I write this, my rent & bills are currently paid up to date, and our theatrical group has another orchestral rehearsal tonight.
46
@BiDanFan: You are misreading my comment or I wasn't clear or a bit of both.

I wasn't saying that women (all or some or a few) want rough sex. I'm saying that from my personal experience of not trying to come off as an aggressive asshole, I have sometimes come off as a bit too laissez faire about the sex. Luckily I have had good communication with partners when the relationships are good and they've been able to say things like: "I'd like you to take more control" (again, not in a BDSM way but be a bit more aggressive more generally--this could initiating certain sex acts, this could be initiating when sex happens, etc). I can say 100% that my passivity in these instances is a product of not wanting to come across as being overly aggressive about sex. Of course the vanilla/boring/passionless sex that the LW describes could just be plain old chemistry, which is hard to manufacture, but maybe the reason the sex is boring is because the guy is too much in his head and needs to be told to be more active/aggressive/forthright/choose your own non-BDSM term.

Hopefully that's more clear.
47
Let the fucking revolution begin. Choke on it, Trumpists.
48
And since there isn't an edit function on this forum. Just to reiterate: I started out by saying that she should talk with him about what is not working for her and see if that helps. If she can explain why there's not a spark and he can try to change in some way then perhaps there is more chemistry. But if he tries to change and there's still not spark then that should tell her something. if she doesn't say anything, though, then she's always going to be unhappy because he thinks everything is good.

As for him being good looking or not, well she should move on if she's not attracted to him. He's not going to get better looking as he ages.
49
I am still reeling upon the discovery that my therapist actually voted for DJT.
Continuing to see her for military PTSD issues is now leaving me feeling
hypocritical.
50
Surfrat: I completely agree with the first half of your advice. Talk to him. Tell him what she wants.

Your clarification helps; "perhaps he's not showing enough enthusiasm" is quite a different hypothetical than "perhaps he's not enough of a macho asshole, and too vanilla." The way your original comment was worded implied that the most likely solution, or at least the only one that sprang to your mind, was "he should be more dominant" -- and that smacked of either projection or stereotyping, or some combination of the two. Yes, perhaps the issue is that she'd like him to be more dominant. Perhaps he's too dominant. Perhaps he's a bad kisser. Perhaps he doesn't go down, or perhaps he does but she's not into that. Perhaps he's really quiet in bed. Perhaps he sweats a lot. Perhaps she doesn't like his cologne. It could be anything, and to jump straight to "he should be more of a macho asshole" seemed really presumptuous.

And you're still projecting; you refer to "the vanilla/boring/passionless sex that the LW describes" when she never described it as either vanilla (which you automatically label a bad thing) or boring. "Boring," perhaps, was implied; "I'd like to be kinkier" never was.

Sure, we all project around here. I just wanted to make sure you knew that was what you were doing.
51
Griz @49: Any way you can get a different therapist? This one hates women and therefore isn't fit to practice.
52
As someone who had been dating (for 2 1/2 years) someone with the same first name and last initial as my husband I think the GF needs to suck it up and learn to deal. There are so many things that go into making poly relationships work, someone's name should in no way be any sort of issue. I am not buying the brown m&m concept in the least.

....And yes, all the time people joked how I "don't have to worry about calling out the wrong name during sex"... Something I actually found really fucking offensive. They are not even remotely similar in bed, one of the many joys of poly is the sexual variety.
53
While not much talked about, dying penis-having soldiers last jolt of blood is often directed at their penis. As a result many on the battle field die with a massive hard on.
Once realized it’s a false alarm I still had to do something about the side effect, so here I am.

Capri @ 42
Years ago the city of Savageville launched a campaign to attract film and TV productions. One of the back then only mildly criticized slogans of this campaign read, “Debbie could have done Dallas in Seattle.”
As the nowadays poet laureate used to say, “The times they are a changing.”
We shall overcome!
54
I hate each and every one of the smug assholes who posted here a few weeks ago that they proudly vote third party. You Stein-voters got Trump elected. If those votes had gone to a candidate that mattered, she would have won two key battleground states.
55
@43, I'll defer to your experience on the "brown M&M rule" in the musical context, but it was a great metaphor (analogy?) to illustrate Dan's real advice, which is that sometimes when somebody is giving up control over an aspect of at relationship, they may want to set an arbitrary rule just so that their partner is agreeing that they're not giving up all control.

So, it was a cool story to wrap around some good advice. It may not really matter whether it is a wise practice for touring bands or annoying for the staff of the venues. Dan doesn't really offer serious advice about contracts in the music industry.
56
SHALLOW should be kind and solid in return, let the guy know it's not working and move on. Instead of dumping him months/years down the road when he's more deeply invested in the relationship.
57
@45 Griz, A person who is suffering doesn't need "help" from a delusional paranoid conspiracy-theorist. That therapist will never be able to help you. A person that out of touch with reality cannot competently counsel anyone, let alone someone traumatized by the election (by a minority of voters) of a hateful lying narcissist con man to lead our formerly great country.

Washington and Oregon, I know many of you like to gripe about Californians, but we'll make a more stable country if all three of us secede together. Let's invite Hawai'i too. What do you say?
58
RIP Leonard Cohen, dead at 82. The chorus from "Anthem" seems particularly appropriate as Americans brace for the election of Donald Trump as our next President:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Thank you Leonard for sharing the insights from your own lifelong depression to inspire so many of us to find renewed hope during the darkest times in our lives. We will miss you, but your exquisite music and lyrics will live on for many generations. Olav Ha-sholom.
59
Ugh, no, I don't see how you could trust a Trump-voting therapist. Look, I do know someone who voted for Trump who I think is no more bigoted than I am. He got suckered, it happens, and eventually I could forgive the stupid fucker. But the lure for him was the story about fixing blue-collar economics. A therapist didn't bite on that lure. What reasons would he have that aren't asshole reasons?

Californians are fine as long as they don't all move here at once. And Hawai'i has some wonderful people. But fuck seceding. There are more of us than there are of them, and they'll die faster.
60
@58 oh damn. I'm sorry for our loss, but his music is a blessing. Playing it now.
61
@51 @57 et al. Holy shit, that was a logical leap into the abyss.

Not everyone who supported Trump hates women. Or is racist. Or whatever. Some are reflexively Republican, just like there are people out there who would gladly hand power to Josef Stalin if he had a (D) next to his name. Some people really hated Hillary. Some people don't pay much attention. Some people have pet causes that they think Trump will support.

If you don't have the imagination to figure out why a reasonable person might end up voting for Trump, reluctantly, or even enthusiastically, then you have no business getting anywhere near a polling place yourself because you clearly fail at basic citizenship 101.

That's not to say you should endorse their thinking, merely that you strive to understand it. The fact that so many Democrats are reacting in precisely this way is precisely why Clinton lost. The sooner you figure that out and take steps to fix your thinking, the sooner Democrats will start making some actual progress towards power and influence.

And this is really important too: politics isn't everything in the world. It's not even a blip. The basic things that will keep you and your friends and family happy and healthy are largely things that you yourself control.

My guess is that was the point that the therapist was trying to make; if so, s/he's damn right. Hell, in her place, confronted by a drama queen in a tizzy over an election, of all things, I'd probably have lied and said I voted for Trump too.

If you're going to turn responsibility for your own sanity and happiness over to the ballot box then you're a bigger fool than any given resident of a West Virginia trailer.
62
Oh and NAME? Holy fucking shit, your girlfriend puts that minor of a restriction on who you're allowed to fuck outside the relationship and you pull this shit? How about getting down on your knees and thanking your lucky stars that you have this Erin in your life who is willing to let you fuck around at all!

Show some freaking gratitude for fuck's sakes.

And Erin, if you happen to be reading this, and happen to recognize this guy, my advice to you is to DTMFA. He clearly doesn't appreciate what he has in you.
63
SHALLOW, I'm going to deviate just an iota from Dan's otherwise solid advice. Sex is an important part of a relationship, especially when you're young and the romance is new. But it's not everything as your letter points out.

When it comes to marriage, you want someone you can depend on, especially once you have kids. You want someone who'll provide for the household materially. You want someone who'll you'll ideally have by your side for the next 50, 60, (hopefully!) 70 years. You'll want someone who'll be your best friend. And you'll want someone you'll really love dancing with when your daughters and sons get married.

All of those things are at least as important as sexual compatibility. And you're going to end up compromising on some if not most of them somewhere along the line because nobody's perfect.

If you've got someone who's scoring As and Bs in all of those other departments while coming up C- in between the sheets, well perhaps C- is something you can live with. As a 45 year old, I can tell you that while I still appreciate great sex, I'd much rather have all that other stuff you were talking about, given the choice. Your 45-year-old self might be nodding along with me.
64
LavaGirl @38
In my State, we voted for Hillary 65 Percent to the T-word guy, 30 Percent.
It is the people in the less enlightened States that need to get involved.
65
@51 BiDanFan and @59 Mtn Beaver: I have support from a great veterans counselor at the local state employment office downtown (Navy just like me), and he's just as stumped about my therapist's defending DJT as I am. I am also blessed with a public service advocate and rock-solid U.S. Marine veteran who so graciously helped me with getting awarded my VA Disability Compensation. It's a mixed bag---my therapist seems confident she can get me a higher % rating, although I'm just grateful for what I've already got. My advocate is supportive of my therapist's pursuit of upping my VA %, and said to bring my therapist's report to her to forward to the VA.
I just don't understand why my therapist could support DJT---when she has published books out on treating military-related PTSD.

@57 dcp123: I have another once-monthly session with her, again, in four weeks. She was highly recommended by several of my friends, and my financial advisor--all of us veterans. She's a good person, I'm just surprised by some of her expressed viewpoints.

@61 Corydon: Have you ever been sexually harassed--at work---and /or in the military? Have you ever endured a bunch of obstructionist naysayers blocking your every step, hellbent in preventing you from proficiently doing your job, then tell you to "just shut up and do your job" when you went through the chain of command to file a warranted grievance? Have you ever been raped? Donald J Trump has openly and proudly bragged publicly about his penis size, boasting that he'd fuck his own daughter if she wasn't his daughter! His shameful mistreatment of women alone should prove how unfit he is to become the 45th President of the Divided States. I don't give a rat's ass who you or your friends are and what defenses you all offer on behalf of Donald Trump--such a monster will never get my respect--or my vote.
66
@54 Gou Tongzhi: Damn straight, and I appoint you as winner of the thread.
This disastrous election turned out like Al Gore vs George W. Bush, proving how many U.S. voters obviously forgot on Tuesday while casting their ballots about how Election 2000 turned out.
@8 LavaGirl: Hugs, VW beeps, and an email coming your way.
Thank you and so many others for your kind support.
67
Dear Aunt Grizelda

For many people Trump was a candidate of despair and rage, who have felt betrayed and ignored (rightly so) by the elites. Trump is their revenge. BTW that is how Hitler came to power in Germany (gross simplification). The establishment conservatives thought they could control him (sound familiar) If you have any complaint direct it at the 90 million who did not vote (mandate to govern, what mandate) or more importantly those people who couldn't be troubled to participate in the nomination process. Then again, they may have felt what's the point, nothing ever changes. Who knows what their reasons were. The Repubs had better tread softly lest they give the true silent majority reasons to participate.

If it is any consolation, Trump et al are having a hard time (gross understatement) finding people who are capable and willing to serve as the minions who interface with the bureaucrats who actually run the government.

Poor planning on their part no doubt (dripping sarcasm intended). Normally there is a shadow government of elitist minions who are there to be plugged into various positions when there is a change in government. Trump has alienated them and is paying the price (hee hee hee). The same was true the last time a true outsider was elected President, Jimmy Carter (Nixon's revenge)

It is ironic that the party that preserved the union may be responsible for it's demise It is amusing (not really) to consider how Trump's rabid supporters will react when they realize that Trump can't deliver on his promises and Repubs in Congress don't really care about them.

So much for my venting
68
16 years???
8 of Bill
8 of Dubya
8 of Barack
69
My rapidly dwindling optimistic streak theorises that a lot of the votes for Trump weren't actually votes for Trump, but votes against Hillary. I know that in most of the elections I've ever voted in, I was voting against the worse candidate rather than voting for someone I believed in. (Obama and Sanders being exceptions.) It's sad and perplexing that so many people viewed Clinton as the worse evil -- anything negative that was said about her also applied to Trump, and so much more, for chrissake! -- but people have had this irrational hatred of her since the 1990s. I wish more of the "I can't support Hillary" crowd had just stayed home instead of voting at all, but there you go. Now, unfortunately, just like here in Britain, where people had reasons other than xenophobia for voting Leave, the racists and sexists will take Trump's victory as a sign that their abhorrent views are the norm.

Never have I been so relieved that I left that country.

Still though, just because someone voted for Trump because they hate Hillary, they can't have not known what they were endorsing. Rape. Immigrant bashing. Homophobia. Black lives ceasing to matter. If you voted Trump, you are not a good person. You are a person with zero empathy for your fellow human beings and I cannot condone that, whatever excuse you offer up. So Griz, forget what you thought you knew about your therapist. She is NOT a good person and I hope you get in a good punch or two before you sack her.
70
I will enjoy (bad of me) when Florida sinks under the waves. Can you say global warming
71
Back to the sex stuff:

As a poly person, to those who say "NAME should just be grateful that his partner lets him fuck other people," well guess what? He's showing that gratitude by letting HER fuck other people. It's not as if she's getting no benefit from the open relationship. To bring it back to a political analogy, this is kind of like saying "why are women complaining about lower wages, they should be grateful to be allowed into the workforce in the first place."

If this were Erin's one quirk, I'd be with the "let it go" crowd. But NAME refers to "one of the rules she mandated." "Rules", plural; "she mandated." My theory is that NAME met another Aaron or Erin and at that point Primary Erin seized on the same name issue as an excuse to veto. I am wondering what the other rules are, whether they seem to arise on an ad hoc basis, and how comfortable Erin is with an open relationship in the first place. I've known a few people who gave lip service to being non-monogamous but then seemed to baulk at every one of their partner's other lovers. Wondering if Erin is one of them.
72
Damn all those people to hell who thought there was no way Trump could win and they could safely vote their "conscientiousness" and it was safe to vote for Gary Johnson. Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona if you add in Jill Stein could've flipped. 76 votes in the electoral college
73
Ultimate rethug wet dream. DJT walks away before the inauguration
74
SHALLOW -

RUN! If you can't run, fly!! — Richard Pryor

@63, I respectfully disagree. After 20 years we're off one mind on money, child-reading, politics, travel - great partners and complements. We spend all our argument time, as we have since we got engaged, trying to understand and get past the fact that I like having sex and she doesn't.

Marriage will not make this better; contest to what someone upthread wrote, I've never met face-to-face anyone who'd had bad sex before marriage that improved. "Ever since we said, 'I do,' we don't." — Lucy Ricardo
75
I am an European reader, also very shocked by the results, by the way.

My question, however, relates to the last letter of this week's letter: can somebody tell me the episode of Savage podcast where Dan discusses about the handcuffs vs. full gear? Or provide me with a transcript? I would like to listen to it! Thank you and...hang in there
77
Corydon @63: Missed that post until Steeeeverino commented on it.

You seem to be assuming, based on the fact that SHALLOW is a 26-year-old monogamous straight (or at least straightish) woman, that she wants marriage and children. This may or may not be true. While unlikely, SHALLOW may instead be looking for Mr Right Now; less unlikely, she doesn't want kids. I am also 45, unmarried (okay, formerly married) and happily child-free. I have my own home and my own business. My primary reason for even seeking relationships is, indeed, sex. Good sex. Great sex. Great sex has been the reason behind any relationship longevity I have enjoyed. I'd rather have a new partner every 10 years and the sex be good than the same partner who was a meh lover for 70 years.

Steeeeverino: To ask what Dan would most likely ask, what does your wife think of the idea of your outsourcing your sexual needs?
78
@49 Auntie
I learned that one of my (otherwise-respected) customers (also a PHD-holder) voted for dt. His explanation is EXACTLY the one given by the Prussian elites after their election in 1932:..."It's OK;...we can CONTROL HIM and prevent bad things from happening" . Poof! 100 million people dead within 13 years:... one of them my uncle Roy in a burning B-24.
All I can do about my PHD customer is to recall what Tony Soprano said about a lieutenant of his who broke one of his rules:..."I can't change what you did, but I gotta tax ya". I have had to make some price adjustments for this guy. As for America:..the Universe is going to have to intervene or it will get real bad real fast. It keeps me awake at night:
Congress, the prez, and next the Supreme court.
79
Clueless advice for NAME from Dan, Dossie, and Franklin. Erin's request likely comes down to not wanting to deal with distinguishing between Erins in conversation, as other commenters have pointed out. Having to specific which Erin is indeed "awkward and confusing". Sometimes poly people can be surprisingly tone deaf about basic social stuff. Most people don't go through life looking for ways to feel less special.
80
@79: specific/specify. Damn you iPhone.
81
@54: Three times as many people voted for Johnson as Stein, and a lot of those were probably Republicans who don't like Trump. Don't blame the usual greens for voting the way they usually do (Stein didn't do better than last time so probably didn't get many anti-Clinton Dem voters). Blame Clinton for being a lousy candidate, and the DNC for coronating a lousy candidate instead of having a proper primary. It was her job to motivate people to vote for her, and she failed and as a result the GOP now owns all three branches of government and will likely brigade the Supreme Court. Well done Clinton. You proved that a woman can be just as shitty and uninspiring as Gore or Kerry.
82
@33: Amos101 is right, everyone who wants to understand what happened last Tuesday should read Thomas Frank - both Listen, Liberal and his earlier What's the Matter with Kansas.
83
Sorry everyone, I took 100mg of Seroquel XR at 1 AM on Wednesday and have just returned reality. DJT is still the president elect and not a induced nightmare
84
The reasons why trump won and Hillary lost are much more complex than Hillary not being a star performer. One of them being many of the people who will now suffer the most with that slime ball as President, the young adults, were too fucking stupid to notice it didn't matter what sort of candidate Clinton was,
all that mattered was trump et al had to be stopped.
85
Why oh why didn't Joe Biden follow his son's last wishes and run for President. The democrats would have had a liked candidate to run against the gropenator. When was the last time the democrats denied the nomination to a sitting vice president. (Truman, Johnson, Humphrey, and Gore) Admittedly Truman and Johnson inherited the presidency, but one was chosen as a non-entity place holder and the other to emasculate a rival.

Wishful thinking on my part. No criticism of Biden intended. I understand grief and morning.
86
Yes what the Democratic Party did was wrong and dishonest. Nobody would have found out about it though, except for Wikileaks. No hacking of republicans, and if there had been I'd say they were peddling backwards to close trump down.
All these self important twits, the ones who stayed home or just couldn't vote for Hillary, have been played by Assange by Russia by trump and the republicans and now the whole
world is in danger.
87
@69 The drum beat of right wing radio of the last 20 years demonized Hillary for many people (the non-racist, non-sexist ones)
89
@1/auntie grizelda: I share your disappointment. This will mark the first weekend since last year that I will not be making the subway trip down to Brooklyn to make GOTV calls, recruit poll observers, or answer the voter hotline. And watching the results on election day at HQ was particularly tough. After a year during which it seemed we were all working toward something great, we fell tantalizingly close. I just got off a conference call on which Hillary thanked the many volunteers who participated throughout the campaign. She reminded everyone that the campaign was never about one person or even one campaign, and that it was important for all of us to get back up and continue to work toward the goals the campaign had set. She knew that it will take some time for all of use to get back in the fight, but encouraged us to do so. I hope that you'll get to that point sooner than you think possible now, and that when you do, you'll start working for the organizations and candidates who share your vision.
90
@77 - @BiDanFan - she will not allow me to have sex outside the marriage. To her credit, she realizes it's important and will sleep with me because I want to, and the resulting sex is every bit as exciting as that sounds. She made it clear that she is the only one allowed to not have good sex with her. I should divorce (or keep a few CPOS incidents secret) if I need to have needs met outside the marriage.

Yes, I know, at this point it's my choice. But I don't wish this choice on anyone else who can avoid it.

(I had a quick Twitter exchange with Dan years ago, and he wished me luck when I talked to her!). She has made it clear that if I
91
Thanks for sharing that SA. Nice she spoke to you all. I think she would have been a fine President.
She absorbed all they threw at her, and having to see her own deceit exposed. And she kept her poise and her strength. Not perfect, I'm not blind to that.
92
Steve, sorry I'm not counting all the Os.
You seemed to taper off there..
It's your call really. If your partner plays all these toxic sexual games with you and you can't live without her, then This is Your Life.
Or you could own your sexuality, and have a frank talk with her.
You could say "It's not working between the two of us sexually, and I'm not going to accept this anymore. I love you, I also love my sexual life energy.. I need that more than I need you.
Either we work out some open marriage situation or I'm leaving you."
93
Hey Steve,
You are right that we make our choices. It's a shame you couldn't have the good partner and the good sex life. You say it's your choice, but love makes people do stupid things. You aren't the first or the last to overlook a glaring flaw in a relationship because you had your rose-tinted glasses on. No settling down without settling for, as Dan says.
94
@89 Sublime Afterglow: Thank you. Very well said, and I urge all U.S. voters outraged by Trumpzilla's Revenge to protest, urge the Electoral College, who has a deadline of December 19th to still cast their votes for Hillary. DJT is not my President and never will be.
What does it take for a presidential candidate, who, among two running is best qualified, and who otherwise wind an election by the popular vote--to actually WIN the election?
95
@69 BiDanFan: First, congratulations on hitting the magic number. Second, I am just curious: how does the political atmosphere in Britain compare to that here in the Divided States (Brexit, et al.)? What is the feeling in the UK about the pending sharp reversal of U.S. international policy?
How many people throughout the rest of the world consider those of us "Dumb Americans"--and will from now on?
@67, @70, @72 & @73 a skeptic and a cynic: You are spot on--it's so true! And watch the people in the Sunshine State get FEMA assistance from him when Florida goes underwater. Good luck with that. I guess they didn't learn after Jeb Bush and voter suppression.
Hawaii's in as much trouble with rising sea levels, too--at least they voted Democratic. You nailed it.
@81 chase: I disagree on your views of Hillary Clinton. No one candidate is perfect, but she was best qualified, and best suited to address the needs of our entire country, not just the male chauvinist elites and their dupes. What will DJT do for veterans? He's a draft dodger and proud of that. How can he make our country stronger financially and economically? He's filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy three times and got bailed out by big banks on Wall Street. His attitude towards women is repulsive and repugnant, and I'm putting it nicely. He's out to screw the common citizen, gloating over how it hurts them. To me, THAT is shitty, and further proof that DJT is totally unfit to serve our country as the next Commander-in-Chief. No, I believe, from the horrific outcome of this disastrous election, that too many are hiding behind "Anyone But a Woman for President"--- and Stein supporters only further fueled DJT's campaign fire as people not for Hillary---no matter how impressive her resume and lifetime of accomplishments for the greater good.
@78 sb53: Exactly what I cannot understand----that supposedly highly intelligent people with PhDs, along with veterans, Hispanics, Asians, women, African Americans, et. al actually voted for DJT. I am just stumped. Trumpzilla will throw every one of them under the bus come January 2017 laughing his rich, corrupt, corporate frat boy ass off.
@94: Ohhhhhhhh, crap. Excuse the typo: I mean ".....and who otherwise wins an election by popular vote...." *sigh* but you all knew that.
96
I'm wondering how long before Canada seals off all the U.S. borders coast to coast, smug about their ability to still prevent climate change. Does this mean that while a lunatic stinks up the Oval Office, Canada's own "loonie" will escalate exponentially in international exchange value, as the U.S. dollar dive bombs?
97
One more thing, and then I'm shutting up and getting off my Election 2016 rant-box:
Protesters, and fellow U.S. citizens just as shocked, appalled, and outraged as I am,
please contact the Electoral College, who have until the deadline of December 19, 2016,
to cast their votes. Hillary can still claim the White House, however slim her chances at this point, but it's possible.

Okay--back to Savage Love and Aaron the Side.
98
post haste, @68 a skeptic and a cynic: I acknowledge that the last three Presidents served two terms each--the limit. What I meant by 16 years was in comparison, 16 years later after Election 2000. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of GWB over Al Gore, who won by the popular vote by a slim margin over G.W. Bush, and there was a controversy over the delays of the Florida's voting because Jeb Bush was governor of the Sunshine State, there were voter suppression issues, and voter ID validity. The same thing happened again in Election 2016--the infinitely better suited candidate with the popular vote still lost to a rigged system.
99
Too true Grizelda.
Hillary has won the Presidency. That's it.
This electoral college bullshit. What is that and who are these people. A mechanism put in place to suit old slave owners back in the day and it's still serving the masters.
100
There's a petition to the Electoral College, who are having a meeting in December, to give Hillary the Presidency on change.org
101
@100 LavaGirl: Yep--and I signed it. I urge everybody here in the Divided States outraged by this hostile GOP takeover to do the very same. The Electoral College can still decide this election.
102
Auntie Griz @95: I hate to break it to you, but the rest of the world has considered us "Dumb Americans" for decades. But only in 2016 did they realise that we were also "Dumb Brits." In fact, we were close to becoming the world's stupidest electorate until America pulled out its Trump card.

The feeling over here? Even most Brexit voters are shocked at the US result. But yes, our election a few months ago revealed the ugly truth that our nation, too, is deeply divided between progressives and bigots in much the same way the US is: older, white, rural, working-class people voted for isolationism and younger, more educated, urban populations voted remain. I am wondering if every country is an approximate 50/50 split between good and evil.
103
@102 BiDanFan: *sigh* Actually, I am quite aware that the U.S. has been considered the country of "Dumb Americans"---basically since Richard M. Nixon was in the White House. Gerald Ford was a major embarrassment after Tricky Dicky's resignation. Matt Groening capitalized on our nation's level of dumbed-down with the creation of Homer Simpson, and is now a globally iconic gazillionaire. What has escalated politically over the past 42 years is the GOP's revenge for the Fall of Nixon. I'm just mortified that our status of national idiocy, bigotry, hatred and unthinkable misogyny has reached this historically apocalyptic proportion.
Monsters who hate everyone else other than the insanely rich, white male elite and will do everything--now that they have absolute power--to willfully hurt as many innocent people as inhumanly possible, destroy the planet in hot pursuit of the almighty dollar, and with no regard to accountability are just revoltingly sick and must be stopped.
So. Where, besides a bloody revolution amid endless protests and petitioning to replace the outdated electoral college with the people's popular vote, do we go from here?
104
I am channelling Michael Moore now.
Dude--where's my country?
105
Hey Busy, how are you going in NZ? Sending much love to all affected by the earthquake.
106
Here is an excellent example of why I return later each week, to re-read the comment thread(s): @19 TP605: I like your thinking. Here's to Trump, Pence, their henchmen, and the rubes who stupidly voted for them, Johnson or Stein not ever getting any ever again, and instead getting psycho-analyzed.