Savage Love Sep 27, 2017 at 4:00 am

At the Palace


I don't know who @Tim Gunn is, but my vote is maximum side-boob.
Some lines that got my attention:
“When she complains about him, I want to say fuck him, he's a dick”
Continuing my last week’s rant: “Fuck” as punishment, and sing genitalia as a reference to a person you don’t like.

“marijuana to help women have better sex”- Dan is right about trying a smaller dose. Also try a different strain, Indica vs. Sativa and so on. BTW, marijuana also helps dicks.

“I want to try the new cannabis lubes” - I think Dan is wrong to assume that cannabis lube will get anyone high as this is not the purpose of this product and I doubt it has such an effect. It is more on the easier operation/ pain relief side of things.
That said, she should be informed and agree to use it before you drip any on your thingy. Don’t be a dick, be an honorable penis.

As for parents eager to tell their kids about their new and improved sexual horizons, “not tell them what they don't want to hear” is a very good advice.
I have no comment except a little brag that I was at your show in SF and it was awesome! Before and after the edible took effect. Feel free to come to the Bay Area anytime.
Letter #3 in which the LW's friend is seeing Controlling Jealous Guy and Affair Guy-- The likely outcome is that Controlling Jealous Guy finds out about Affair Guy and becomes violent bloodying or killing Girlfriend and possibly Affair Guy too. Optional: Murder-suicide. LW's responsibility is to to notify Friend of this likelihood, to offer safe space, to research counseling and women's shelter possibilities and not to give up on this friendship. If everyone's lucky Controlling Jealous Guy will become more controlling and more jealous in increments such that Friend can get out of the relationship safely.
Letter #4 in which a straight couple wonders how much public display of affection is permissible in a gay bar-- What are they doing in a gay bar in the first place? Serious question. In the late 70s, as a single straight female, I used to go to gay bars to dance and relax and not get hit on, and it was a statement of friendship and support for the gay community. Now I wouldn't go to a gay bar because I'd feel like I was intruding. I realize the LWs shouldn't be kicked out or harasses because that's mean, but I have to wonder why they go anyway. What's the appeal in going as a couple? Unless they're trying to pick up a 3rd?
L1: A good friend of mine describes first dates as "fact-finding missions," which seems even more appropriate now in the age when first dates are typically with people you've never met. "Serial first daters" are just people who can't be sure whether they're attracted to someone until they meet in person, or people who are very picky, or people who are ambivalent about being in a relationship. Nothing wrong with any of those things.

L3: You can still tell your best friend "fuck him, he's a dick." Her affair doesn't change that. It just makes her a dick too. Oops, sorry CMD -- "asshole," not dick. :)

L4: Good answer -- but they may be in these gay bars with gay friends. FWIW, I agree with him. Flaunt your heteronormativity anywhere but the gay bars, please.

L5: Don't worry. If it's a "new relationship" and you're already married, your friends will get their schadenfreude soon enough. Mwahaha.

L7: I got married for the best sex of my life. Don't ruin it like I did!

L11: Keep that bubble butt in your fantasy world only. Do not sexually harass your colleague, because make no mistake, that's exactly what telling him this amounts to.
Fichu @4: Good point, if a sobering one.
Fichu @5: Noooo! Do NOT go to a gay bar trying to find a third for your hetro couple! I think the only thing creepier than being hit on by a man as a woman in a gay bar, is to start flirting with a woman, and then once you think it's going well, to get "so would you also like to suck this random dick I've got with me?" Nonononono! Stick to swingers clubs.

Cheating gf with controlling bf: Maybe she's slagging her bf to try and justify her cheating. Regardless, respond with "so what are you going to do about it?" and "do you think that's fair/right?" repeated until you're sick of it, then go "look, I really can't hear more about bf today - can we talk about those subjectchangers?"

My-friends-resent-my-wedding: Oh come on! Bridezillas are an urban legend created for reality TV ratings!

Lipstick Police Bride: ... I rescind my earlier comment about bridezillas.

Should-I-Do-Something-Sexual-To-My-GF-Without-Asking-Because-I'm-Worried-If-I-Ask-She'll-Say-No: WTF, guy? NO! Dan, thank you for coming down on the "ask and disclose first" side.

Workplace Harassment Guy: No. No sexually harassing your coworkers. Bad.
Traffic @8: I don't think Fichu @5 was suggesting that the couple should go to gay bars to pick up women, or men (which is unlikely, if they are both straight), but speculating on why they'd be in a gay bar in the first place. My thought was they were going with their LGBT friends. Or perhaps their local just happens to be a gay bar that plays great music and has excellent drinks specials.
Elope? If the couple can't get along enough to plan a wedding, they might want to either (1) both get some therapy and put off the wedding until they're healthy enough to plan a wedding, let alone live a life together, or (2) simply break up now for both of their sakes. In other words, perhaps planning a wedding is demonstrating how well one or both of them can pass the test of being in good working order.
#10, @Curious2 -- I agree. Planning a wedding is a test of your ability to compromise and problem-solve together. If the two of you CAN'T compromise and problem-solve together reasonably well, then you have no business getting married. Get couples counseling or take some classes/workshops that teach clear and respectful communication.
Curious/Corylea: Or just continue living in sin -- sexy, sexy sin -- until you get bored of each other. Sex alone will not sustain a lifelong commitment. What is behind their need to make one?
Perhaps it would help LW's #5, #6,and #7, the ones having to do with friends who aren't friends after the wedding, lipstick shades, and fighting over wedding plans, if they viewed their disagreements in terms of how much everyone has been duped and manipulated by the Wedding Industrial Complex. A lot of people would be out of jobs if everyone who got married just wanted to have a meaningful ceremony and throw a nice party for the people who love them. Even guests who get involved with the etiquette of gift giving and attending are influenced by the competition game and weird rituals that aren't traditions. Don't see it as people disagreeing on wedding planning. See it as businesses disagreeing on how best to manipulate customers into spending more money on staging a bizarre performance that ultimately no one enjoys.
Fichu @ 13
“….Wedding Industrial Complex….how best to manipulate customers into spending more money on staging a bizarre performance that ultimately no one enjoys.”
Great observation. Wish it was the only such “complex” that manipulates us to do things and buy stuff we feel obligated to, despite the fact that no one sees the need for it nor wants in the first place.
To the person worried about their fundie kids, I grew up with very fundamentalist parents and one really sane, intelligent, and anti-fundamentalist grandparent. That grandparent was one of the main adult figures in my life who helped me see other ways of thinking and living, but as far as I know he didn't say much (if anything) to my parents about religion or how they were raising us. He was a good, stabilizing influence who helped inject some hope of future sanity into an insane world. There's no telling how the grandkids will turn out or what they'll cling to, but if you toe the line for a while you will have a shot at giving them a positive view of things they may otherwise be poisoned against.

He didn't speak directly to me about religion until shortly before he died. He asked me if me and my siblings were into all that religious stuff, and I was happy to report that none of us had bought into it. He gave a perfunctory nod, but it really looked to me like he was deeply relieved and it seemed to be one of the things he wanted to not worry about before dying. LW, if you can be that quiet influence without rocking the boat too much, the kids just may be smart enough to pick up on that. Don't lose that chance.
LW 4: Your question wasn't nearly as dumb as some responses to it may lead you to think, nor your presence in a gay bar so unreasonable as to be a faux pas. When my partner (a queer woman) and myself (an ostensibly straight male, but occasionally flexible) go to gay bars, it is usually because we have out-of-town friends staying from places where they don't have gay bars (or there is, like, ONE). Since they want both to see us and go to gay bars, we will go to 5 or 6 in a night.

We've never been made to feel unwelcome, but we aren't exactly sitting around shoving our tongues down each other's throats either. Typically we just keep ourselves busy dancing in a group with our friends or making new friends at the bar, and it works. My answer (FWIW) mirrors BDF's: enjoy the space, don't be an asshole, keep the PDF to a minimum, and you're fine.
I suppose I should clarify that those out of town friends are queer.
LW4 - As a gay man with my fair share of experience in gay bars, my opinion is that normal, casual amounts of affection and PDAs are fine, but don’t let it get to be too obnoxious. By that I mean: I’m not bothered by quick pecks, touching a little longer than friends would, etc. But too much comes off as defensive, like “I don’t want anyone to think I’m here because I’m gay.” By the way, I’m speaking about typical gay bars like you’d find in the Castro. Some of the “darker” hookup kinda bars more likely in SOMA ... don’t do it. Don’t even go. Unless it’s a fundraiser or special event. But if it’s their typical kind of night, then why there? San Francisco has more liquor licenses per capita than any other city in the country. There are thousands of straight bars and dozens of gay bars where you won’t make the gay patrons feel like they’re on display in a zoo.
curious2 @10 and Corylea @11 - I agree, but would add that eloping sometimes IS the compromise and/or solution. :) My husband and I planned our own very small wedding, and seriously considered eloping simply because neither of us wanted to deal with the hassle of making arrangements or arguing with relatives who didn't think we were doing it right. I can see how it would be a relief to just decide "Screw it, let's just go to Vegas and have a good time!" and not have to think about all that any more.
I've gone to gay bars with my husband or with other straight friends over the years for the following reasons: with gay friends who were going there, best dance club in the area, and (for a couple of years) it was literally the only bar in close walking distance of my apt and one of the bartenders was a friend. I agree with Fichu that the bar/club scene feels different now- I thought it was because I've changed and not that the scene.

The gay bar by our apt for example, I was a bartender then (in a straight bar) in the same general neighborhood- it was a community of musicians, artists, students, gay people, immigrant families and most of us worked in the restaurant industry and lived within a few blocks of one another so it felt totally normal to be in and out of each other's establishments. And yes, I'm referring mostly to the more party type dance bars like Kevin mentions. I just assume this is what it's like for young people in hip urban neighborhoods now too, but perhaps not since the cost of living in cities has soared since then.

Nowadays, I stick to my local pub, and even when I'm traveling, I avoid clubs now b/c I like to hear the person I'm with. So I can't imagine why I'd seek out a gay pub when there are so many straight ones, but I suppose that if I were out looking to dance or party, sometimes the gay bars are still the places to go. But if you can't read a scene to tell how much PDA is appropriate and have to consciously plan ahead of time how much to make out with your straight partner in a gay bar, then my guess is you are looking to be conspicuous.
I'm all for freedom of speech and choice and liberty and all that, but if there were one federal dictatorial restriction on individual rights that I'd support, it would be to completely ban large well-planned expensive weddings. Everyone should either elope or do a very simple afternoon ceremony- in a church, in the park, in someone's backyard. If catering or designers or gift registries or custom invitations or table settings or seating charts or any of that shit takes place, then the bride(s) and/or groom(s) should immediately be locked up in taking-yourself-too-seriously prison and forced to donate the amount of money they were going to stupidly spend on the fancy party to a medical charity or to pay off someone's college debt or whatever. No one likes going to fancy expensive event-of-the-year weddings. Why do we keep doing this shit to each other? If your fiance wants to spend ten thousand dollars (or more!) and eight months (or more!) planning and paying for an even that everyone is going to hate, then you should not marry that person. And if YOU want this monstrosity too, then you need to look yourself in the mirror and repeat "I'm not that special" until you finally understand it.

Also if you can afford a fancy wedding, then do yourself and the future of your marriage a HUGE favor and go on vacation instead. If your wedding costs what an average wedding costs these days, you probably could set that money in a "marriage investment fund" and use it for vacations and/or romantic getaways with your spouse for the next ten years. I promise you that when the gears of life attempt to grind your marriage to dust, a fairly regular weekend away to reconnect and fuck is going to do much more for you than looking at the photo album of the stupid party you spent 20K dollars on.
EmmaLiz@21 ~ Amen, sister!
Regarding the last LW- about overcoming shyness and asking for what you want. I know Dan has answered this before in different contexts, but he just sort of blew the person off here. I know these rapid responses are just for fun, but I appreciate it when he goes more into detail about how to use our words. It's easy to say "use your words". It's a lot harder to do it in relationships when you fall into patterns and habits.
The funny thing about manipulation is that when it's done right, the manipulated doesn't realize what happened. The bride who's concerned about the pink lipstick shade her mother-in-law usually wears? She thinks she came up that herself. She doesn't know how she's been influenced by a magazine ad or something her friend said about her own wedding pictures. That friend was likely channeling something she overheard from a photographer.

The manipulators may actually believe they're only doing the right thing by their clients when they suggest budgets for fireworks and butterflies. Because once manipulation gets going, once there's this idea to capitalize on the idea that everyone believes their own relationship is special (mine sure feels special to me, though all y'all probably would say it was ordinary) and deserves special and public expression, then there's no stopping where it goes. Once you've bought into the idea that it's your day and that you want everything to go smoothly and that there's a regular order as to how things should go, then it makes sense that the families and guests are actors who can be dressed the way the costume designer says they should be dressed and should behave the way the script writer wrote their lines. One sort of follows from the other.

Once I've decided to spend that much money on the spectacle, it makes sense I want good photographs to record the event. Once I've spent that much money on photographs, it makes sense I don't want someone wearing a blue jean suit ruining them, and I don't want someone dancing with me on the dance floor in a way that makes me look more sexual than romantic, and then I can complain later to my friends because that's what friends are for, to share life's disappointments with. While I'm complaining, my friends are thinking, hmmm, to prevent that, I better tell people what to wear and how to dance, and even they're not aware of where the manipulation came from.

But back to my point. I'd bet that the bride who dreamed for years about her perfect wedding didn't even know how much her dreams were influenced, maybe by a Friends episode. (The One With Ross's Wedding where even his sister is telling him how important the perfect wedding is despite everyone knowing he's marrying the wrong woman and the parents are arguing about who has more money and should pay for what.)

I could go on. This subject pisses me off.
Research has shown an inverse relationship between the amount of money spent on a wedding and the length of the marriage. In other words, I couldn't agree more with EmmaLiz and Fichu.
My gf from school asked me to be her bridesmaid, it wasn't a natural fit. The to be husband's sister threw some scene about hair, and I remember I was somehow caught up in it.
I can't remember the details. I wasn't a fixated white wedding girl and that experience decided for me that I'd never chose any ceremony which could get loopy. I got married in a registry office.
I got married in a field on top of a Bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. In Minnesota. In October. It was 80 degrees two days before and 50° that day. We froze our nipples off. but it makes for a good story now. Three other friends/couples got married that year. We all had the same wedding band because they were SO good!
My partner and I are a straight couple in our 20s/30s. We're curious about straight PDA in gay bars. She feels it should be kept to a minimum, but a little is okay. He feels it shouldn't happen, as it may make people uncomfortable. Thoughts?

Dan says:

I think this is something you and your opposite-sex partner should discuss over drinks in one of the thousands of straight bars in the San Francisco Bay Area.

WHAT BULLSHIT! What are you saying here, Dan? I'm straight and personally I don't give a damn about what anyone else wants to do or be sexually. Knock yourself out. It interests me how a 2% group (if that) of the total American population seem to make such a stink about themselves. What's that you say? It's because you've been so persecuted and denied your right to be yourself for so long? Okay, okay, I get it...personally, I'm a live and let live kinda guy. But what are you saying with this response Dan? That straight couples showing affection for each other should only do it in straight bars?

Pretty hypocritical. Only do "gay things" in gay bars, and "straight things" in straight bars. Nevermind developing attitudes of openness and understanding of other points of view, eh? Nope, this is "our place", and if you want to (fill in the blank) go to your own place and do it.

If that's your idea of "Gay Pride", you can keep it.
Nasty controlling boyfriend + affair: seems like a lot of people cheat as an ejector seat. They don't like their relationship, but they don't have Official Cause To Break Up, so they cheat to create cause (against themselves but whatever the job is done). Maybe this is that, among other possibilities.

But it's never a great plan, and it's potentially dangerous here as @4.
@28: HA HA HA HA HA. You're hilarious.

@15: That's a beautiful response. I hope the LW sees it.
@28 ~ I hear ya! Don't keep that shit separate. Why, here in Minnesota we just had a college football game played in a baseball stadium! So, you can see that kind of open-minded thinking works for all us live and let live kinda guys!
@ fellow wedding bashers
Weddings are only small part of the big commercialization of our life under a super capitalist regime (may I offer ‘Corporocracy’?).
While a wedding is supposedly a once in a lifetime event, assuming one figured out the bs if having more, holidays keep coming yearly and get more and more commercialized. For decades now the entire US economy is measured by how much junk we buy for Christmas. I miss the old Hanukkah spirit, and luckily managed to avoid some obnoxiously way over produced bat/bar mitzvahs.

That said, I myself may be part of the problem: next time someone like Lava’s friend needs a bridesmaid I’m likely to be available, hair scenes and all.
Kalakala @28
Speaking of live and let live, you may want to look into reviving the now fading trend of celebrating bachelorette parties in gay bars.
Straight pride it is.
@4: No, it is not the likely outcome that the boyfriend goes on a killing spree. It happens too often, but it's not the most common result.
@ 28 - You seem unable to see the larger picture : spaces where straight people can safely display their affection to one another abound. Not so much for the gays. Leaving the very few gay spaces to the gays would be a sign of good manners, at the very least. Perhaps that's all you're lacking. Perhaps.

That's your response as some kind of leader of the gay community in Seattle? Look, I'm just an average middle class straight guy, looking from the outside in. If my next door neighbor wants to paint his house the most hideous shade of purple imaginable, I don't care. It's his house. I'm not going to try to burn it down, I'm not going to get in his face, it's his house, his life, and as it turns out, he really likes purple. I'm not going to say a word to him. If he wants to wave signs that say "LOOK AT MY PURPLE HOUSE!!" I'll smirk, shake my head and go about my business. I don't care.

BUT. If he actually knocks on my door and asks me if I like his purple house, I'm going to tell him it's about the most god-awful thing I've ever seen. I may not identify with a gay lifestyle (How can I? I'm not gay!) but I certainly wouldn't have an opinion that anyone should be judged as such. That being said, if I'm in a so-called "straight" bar and see what is obviously a gay couple openly showing affection for one another, know what I'd do?


Look, no one wants to go to their local watering hole and see anyone engaged in a heated bout of tongue wrestling. I trust that's not what we're talking about here. It's PDA with emphasis on the "A", n'est pas?

What I take issue with is the implication of your response that we should only go to places where "people of our kind" should go. These seem to be explosive times we live in. I admit, I'm a bit long in the tooth but I can't remember a time when the American culture has been so divided in so many ways. Not only are we building walls amongst ourselves, but we have a President who wants to build walls between us and our neighbors to the South. Is that the answer? Gays over there, straight people over here? Isn't that the EXACT thing that our gay community wants to tear down?

It's about acceptance, it's about tolerance. It's about our Constitutional right to seek happiness. I may not agree with what it is that you have to say but I will defend to the death your right to say it. As a veteran of six tours in Afghanistan from 2007-2017, I have defended YOUR RIGHT DAN to be the person you are and shout from the rafters your joy and happiness of being gay.

And you call me hilarious.

As an outspoken advocate of a gay lifestyle and a lightning rod for the gay community, be careful who you want to wave the dirty end of your stick at. I seldom post here, but I've brought up a legitimate point and only those too blinded by their smug liberalism can't see it. As I have had to submit my personal email address in order to post this message, please feel free to contact me to explain why I just can't grasp your response.

My post speaks from the standpoint of a whole lot of people whom you live amongst, people that might only need a touch of enlightenment, people who really don't give a shit about the gay community until they see something just like what the original poster of the message had to ask and they totally freak out.

Is your answer saying that if you don't want to see gay people showing affection to one another, don't go to gay bars? Sorry, I don't buy that. I don't give a damn if you're gay, straight, trans, black, white, or purple.

For that matter, if a bar is open to the public and it caters to a clientele that may not include me, tough shit. If I don't like what I see, I'll drink my drink and leave. I tend to do that when I go to a bar that allows "families". I don't like to drink Scotch amid screaming children. But to imply that gay bars are for gays and straight bars are for straights, well...

When I walk in the front door, sometimes I just don't know the difference and know what? I have a good time, no matter the clientele because I get along with just about everyone.

Just as long as they have good Scotch.

Kalakala above. What's got your engine cranking. Dan was responding to a specific question asking if putting on a public display as heteros in a gay bar was an ok thing to do. And no it's not.
Going to a gay bar just to put on some sort of sexual performance? How pathetic is that.
The fights round here don't usually start till a bit later on in the tread. Maybe you could come back then?
Don't fucking elope. Grow up, talk to each other, and learn how to say no to family or friends who are making demands that turn this into the kind of wedding you don't want.

Planning a wedding and learning how to work together as a team on something difficult is the best pre-marriage chance you'll get to see how you'll actually deal with difficult crap throughout your lives. If you can't even plan a party, you'll have a terrible time buying a home, parenting, and all the other stuff that might come along.
Kalakala @ 36
I’m all for good Scotch myself and yet I get the sense that you’re only here because you hope to provoke “some kind of leader of the gay community in Seattle,” which is truly a hilarious line.
Your assertion at the end that you “get along with just about everyone” reminds me the discussion we had here recently re nice guy vs. Nice Guy.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. WHAT?

"Leaving the very few gay spaces to the gays would be a sign of good manners".

Whoa. What am I missing here? It must be me and I'll admit that's a possibility. Microsoft people should live in Redmond? Amazon people should live on Beacon Hill?

You use "the gays", a few too many times. Am I just a bit to idealistic? You say I might not see the "big picture". Well, my big picture is that as long as you're here legally, pay your taxes, are a contributing member of our city, vote when given the opportunity, then you are recognized to live your life as you see fit as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others.

I'll go to a gay bar knowing it's a gay bar anytime I want as a straight guy. If it's an establishment that has a liquor license that requires it to serve the public, I'll go right in there any time I fucking please. And I'll take my wife. We'll hold hands, and maybe I'll even give her a kiss from time to time. Just like I would expect to see from any gay couple. I may be dim, but if I'm in a bar and see two guys or girls being "affectionate", I clue in pretty quickly.

If I don't like what I see around me, I'll get up and leave. It's that easy. But that's NOT what Dan's saying and why I'm posting on The Stranger for the first time. Well, not the first, but close.

My "Big Picture" is the Golden Rule. Think of where we'd be not only locally, but nationally and globally if we embraced that one concept as the path forward. Yeah, I'm idealistic but six years in Afghanistan will do that to you. I tend to go the route of The Beatles.

All you need is love. Fuck, if you can't embrace that idea I don't know what to do for ya.
Kala @28 @36 @38, I'll give it a try. I am assuming that you are genuinely upset about Dan trying to create a straight-gay division in society where one does not need to exist. I tend to think the best of people, until they prove otherwise.

No one here, including Dan, is saying that straight people and gay people should maintain bar apartheid and not cross those lines. Straight people are certainly welcome to visit gay bars and dance, drink, and party to their heart's content, if that's their preferred scene. I've yet to have anyone in a gay bar demand that I produce a passport certifying that I am gay, or even a straight ally. The original question was how much straight PDA is *socially acceptable* in a gay bar, and Dan's somewhat glib answer (that they discuss the matter in one of the many thousands of straight bars in SF) was meant to underscore the fact that there are very few spaces, even now, where gay singles and couples can relax and know that a public gathering place is completely accepting of their sexual preference. In that context, straight folks in a gay bar should not engage in any more PDA than is socially acceptable for gay couples in the vast majority of our clubs, bars, and public venues - which, by default, are considered "straight." Hand-holding, slow-dancing, occasional brief kisses, OK; making out, feeling up, twerking - not OK. It's like you're shouting: "Look at me - even here, in a gay bar, I can do whatever I want, because I'm straight. I'm here, I'm straight, and I'm mashing up my equally straight lover because that's what I want to do right now. Don't you wish you could do whatever you want with your lover, wherever you happen to be in the world? But awww, you're gay, so this little bar is where you get to play, instead of the entire world. Too bad, so sad! Only straight people get to hang all over their lovers anywhere and everywhere they go. Don't you wish you were straight like I am - nyah nyah!"

In other words, it's not about segregation. I agree with you, as a fellow veteran, that the last things we need in today's world are more artificial me-vs.-them barriers and petty divisions over trivial differences among our citizenry. But the issue here is more about being polite, by tacitly acknowledging that a gay bar is one of the very few spaces in our society where being straight is the exception, rather than the rule. It's more or less equivalent to learning and using a few basic French words when you visit Quebec (after which they will likely continue the conversation in good-to-excellent English), rather than rudely shouting English words at them (after which they may pretend to not understand a word you say).
@kalakala: You know, when Dan is in his live show format, it's all about quick, snappy, and funny. It's actually not the best time to ask a question you want a thoughtful, considered answer to; it's more of an entertainment atmosphere. So perhaps you might want to look at archived columns to get a better sense of his reasoned response to questions like the one asked by a member of the audience or the one you posed.

I can't speak for the gay community or even for the straight community; I can only speak for myself, a straight woman. But here's my take: straight people in a gay bar are in a space that is not really meant for them, but which they are graciously being allowed to visit. It's therefore incumbent on them, as visitors, to behave in ways that won't offend their hosts. Now, I don't mean that showing straight PDA is offensive to gay men, but that doing so violates the norms of the environment, which is a homonormative one.

There are really two separate issues here: that of PDA and straight people hanging out in gay bars.
The second first: Gay bars are by definition gay spaces. Straight people have the rest of the world; they don't need designated spaces in which they are the majority. It's similar to the issue of women's colleges or historic black colleges--those places are relevant and to a certain extent, still necessary, because the rest of society defaults to systems which privilege men and white people. Also straight people. Thus, you don't need to have a designated straight bar: a bar is presumed to be hospitable to straight people. But not all bars are hospitable to gay people. it's right and appropriate that gay people have their own places. When straight people are present, they're present at the goodwill of their gay hosts. So you shouldn't rub your straightness in their noses.

Next, PDA: I am of the belief that, gay or straight, pdA is one thing and if the affectionate gesture tips too much into the "wow, am I ever attracted to you" territory, it should probably be get a room" time. But that's a subjective call. What makes one person uncomfortable barely registers with another and turns yet another on in a welcomed way.
Regardless, it would seem to be a good idea to refrain from more than the occasional chaste kiss or waist-squeeze, when it doubt of its likely reception.

My bottom line is that I don't think anyone should ever do anything that they have good reason to suspect would disturb the people around them.
@41: Capricornius, I took so long composing my comment that I missed yours, but it was very well said.
In an earlier post I questioned the likelihood of getting high while using a cannabis-infused lubricant during sex. An ad for this product that appeared on this page addressed the question:
“Not unless you use it anally or orally (you’d need to eat a LOTof it to get high). These body parts absorb cannabis directly into the bloodstream, while vaginas don’t.”
Any users who are willing to testify?

My questioning is based on checking out a similar product. Few months ago The Stranger’s David Schmader was hosting five cis women and offered them to use “cannabis-infused vaginal suppositories designed to provide daily and monthly relief.”…
After mentioning it to a friend I was instructed to insert one in my rectum and report back.
I reported back that it didn’t do me much beyond a slight itch in the area that may not even be related.
I was instructed to insert another one and find out (it came in a 3-pack).
Not even a slight itch.
What I did have was some sort of an orange discharge that was also reported by the cis users who did it right.

I like these post-public appearance columns. Questions and answers are brief and the answers are full of wit and wisdom.
What a rude woman asking her future mother in law to change her lipstick shade for the wedding.
Setting the line of authority, the poor man.
LW , I'd have a word with your brother, check if he's sure he wants to marry this woman.
Now I'm curious (like fubar@1) to learn Tim Gunn's opinion on sideboobs.
Dan the Man, your spot on, rapid-fire, one-word responses just continue to kick serious ass and take names! Please keep it up.
LW6's brother's fiancee really does sound like Bridezilla!

Lava, the original poster spoke of a PDA. A Public Display of Affection. Not a "sexual performance". Brush up on your acronyms.


C'mon. Dan makes a damn good living from his postures on a national media level and of course, the entire gay community looks at him as a "voice". Are there others? Sure. But Dan fully exercises his First Amendment right as he should as not only a voice of a specific community, but also utilizing the press. Perhaps I shouldn't have used "in Seattle", but this is where he lives and thrives as a celebrated part of the gay community.

And yeah, it's got my engine cranking because gay rights or civil rights or women's rights or labor rights all boil down to the same thing. Being treated fairly and with dignity.

I'm no liberal, far from it. But even I can see this far. Is someone telling me where I should and shouldn't go based upon sexual orientation?
@41 - Capricornius and @ 42 - nocutename

Thank you, excellent thoughts and I appreciate your way of articulating them. I think what stuck with me was Cap's use of the term "glib". I think that's what I take exception with in Dan's response. The topic being asked didn't deserve a glib response from Dan in my humble opinion. We now live in a society where we are too many times being forced to take sides and it's resulting in wiping out any progress that our culture has made since the 60's. When we cast aside the need for tolerance and understanding of one another, then woe to us all. I simply feel as a reader of the Stranger and Dan's column in particular, as a journalist he didn't give his response a whole lot of thought as how it might come across to the people that the bridge of understanding needs to be built to connect to.
Yeah @49, Kalakala, as if someone is going to waste Dan's time asking if a peck on the cheek is ok at a gay bar. Sounds to me like the intention would be leaning closer to sexual performance, dipshit, that's why I wrote it.
Brush up on your good manners.
34-- Clashfan-- Thanks for catching me in exaggeration. As you say, murder is not the most likely outcome. I still maintain that jealousy and controlling behavior (add alcohol for the trifecta) are giant red flags.
@kalakala re: "I'm no liberal, far from it. But even I can see this far. Is someone telling me where I should and shouldn't go based upon sexual orientation?"

No you're being told to stop being such a self-centered baby that demands everything be about them. In an ideal world, none of this would matter, but we don't live in an ideal world. Pretty much all mainstream media is focused on heterosexuality. Gays can't be openly affectionate in most bars (or generally in public) without being at risk of kicked out, beat up, or worse. They've got a tiny limited number of places that they can relax and not worry about that, and you're here whining "OMG what about meeee! I mean, yes, 95% of everything is already about me, but you poor bastards that have just barely scratched out a 5% for yourselves - why aren't you making more effort to ensure that 5% is also about me? Allow me to write pages upon pages of rambling pseudo-progressive dreck about how when worrying about discrimination, it's the minorities that really should be making more effort to ensure the majority doesn't feel left out."

When the world (or heck, even the country) is safe for gays to be openly gay in public, gay bars won't be as big a deal. But until that's the case, stop feeling butthurt that the few places safe for gays aren't focused on you.
Why on earth do homophobes read columns written by proudly gay men? Kalakala, your post @28 WAS hilarious. What you are missing is that straight PDAs are acceptable EVERYWHERE, while same-sex PDAs can get gay couples beaten up or worse. It's not about gay PDAs in gay bars, it's about straight people who can hold hands and kiss wherever they want coming to gay bars to remind gay people that straight people can hold hands and kiss wherever they want, while gay people still can't. If you truly have respect for gay people, you'll recognise that not every space is safe for gays, even in 2017. You may be "on the outside looking in," but are you listening?

Clash @34: "Domestic violence" and "killing spree" are not the same thing. There are few Elliot Rodgers in the words; there are many more Chris Browns.

Lava @46: Weddings make people weird. My otherwise very progressive sister asked me to change my hair colour for her wedding -- despite the wedding colours being purple and lavender! (Fortunately, we were able to arrive at a compromise that didn't involve wigs, but also didn't involve me appearing in any of the wedding photos. Thank goodness, as I ended up looking like a Robert Palmer video extra.)

Kalakala @49: No one is telling you where you should or shouldn't go based on your sexual orientation. Dan, a gay man, is telling you that you shouldn't make out with your girlfriend in a gay space, as it's rude. Not a difficult concept for even a far-from-liberal (really? I wouldn't have guessed *eyeroll*) to grasp. All of Dan's answers were "glib," that's the format of a Q&A. Hope we commenters have been able to elaborate to your satisfaction.
*in the world, not in the words...

I don't know what the world is coming to when a red-blooded golden-rule-following man can't peck his wife on the cheek in the local gay bar without liberals getting worked up about it. I mean, America hasn't spent the last 15 years dropping bombs on Afghanistan just so that rich gay writers can crack jokes about where straight people drink and make out. If watching sweaty scantily-clad lithe young men grind against one another makes me want to make out with my wife, that's my right and it should be taken very seriously. If you try to stop me, I'm going to have to crank the fight for equality up a notch, put on some leather and demand equal attention at a gay-man-only fetish party. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a women's-only movie screening I must protest.
EmmaLiz @56: ROFL! You win! :-D
Thank you TrafficSpiral.@53. Cis straight white (?) male sense of entitlement, daring to reference the sixties, perfect case study right here.
I was wrong. Good manners is most definitely not the only thing that kalakala is lacking.

Thanks TraffisSpiral and EmmaLiz.
Yeahhhh, someone doth protest too much, methinks.
Too much PDA anywhere is bad taste. I don't want to see someone sticking their tongue down someone else's throat, except in a porn movie.

And, now that I'm thinking of things that are gross, my favorite line from Cheers:

[the gang are trying to think of stories that will totally gross out Norm]
Woody Boyd: How about someone coming in from the field who's been working all day while you're sitting down at the dinner table and they got no shirt on and their chest hair's all matted down.
Norm Peterson: That's kind of unpleasant, Wood, but it's not really gross.
Woody Boyd: That's because you never met my Grandma.
Before I offer a handshake, a very manly nano-second hug (with an instant pat on the back to signal, “This is enough”) and move on to Scotch:
That “bridge of understanding” should be a two ways road at the very least.
Please don’t forget where Dan and many on the other side feel about all those still on-going years of demonization, incitement, and potentially deadly cynical manipulations during election campaigns and beyond.
@CMD, Fichu, other wedding-industrial complex posters: 100% agree. Weddings (and while we're at it, diamond engagement rings) are one of the many ways our society completely manipulates us into spending money. Over the last few years I've become more and more aware of how much is manipulated by capitalism. (Even daylight savings time! I mean, c'mon! That bummed me out.) Trying to extricate yourself from that part of life is tricky and yet (for me) totally worthwhile. I saw a quote the other day--unfortunately I can't find it right now, so this is a paraphrase without attribution, apologies--but it went something like, "In the Soviet Union, capitalism overcame communism. In America, it overcame democracy."

@kalakala: The conversation isn't about rights, it's about manners. One has the right to do all sorts of things which are nonetheless rude.
I have never regretted eloping. All of the weird family stuff worked itself out within a year.
@62 DonnyKlicious: Leave it to Woody Harrelson to be grossly hilarious. Thanks for sharing and offering me a good LOL this week.
@66: ...or should I say hilariously gross?
Congrats ahead of time to this week's Savage Love magic number winner!
For those wondering about ciods @ 64 “Even daylight savings time” comment:
Candy companies in the lobbied for years to extend daylight saving time beyond Halloween in order to allow more safe time for kids to roam around and collect junk, hence forcing potentially embarrassed adults to buy more of their stuff.
They got it some 10 years ago.…
" the US, lobbied..."
And no need to congratulate. While I embrace multi tasking while cooking, doing so in the bedroom is not my forte.
Congratulations anyway CMD. It's a good luck heading your way sign, on SL.
@69 CMDwannabe: Even daylight savings time....I never thought of that (I admit that when I was a kid Halloween was all about the candy--chocolate in particular. Guilty as charged).
By the way, I'm with LavaGirl (@71). Congrats on being this week's lucky SL winner, and all the very best! After my recently unintentional twice-in-two-weeks twofer, I'm glad to see the well deserved honor go to another commenter, and you're a perfect candidate.
@CMD, @69: I also read recently that the original practice was adopted in order for it to be lighter longer after work, so people would shop instead of going straight home. This despite all the things it screws up, e.g. most agricultural activities as well as everybody's circadian rhythms.
by god i've found the long-winded comments section!

@74: Some of us have more to say.
It warms the cockles to see the regulars reach consensus re:nuptials. A nice reminder as to why I generally love this comments section eventhough I haven't had time to lurk in a few months.
I've never heard a single person say "man, I sure regret not having bigger, fancier, more expensive wedding."
Having recently proposed, we can't decide between a fun rock'n'roll party (no big ceremony, no flowers, no cake. Just a reception with pizza, booze, local bands and all our favorite people) and just plain eloping. We love throwing parties, but I wonder if weddings haven't been ruined forever by people like that lipstick jerk.
I had a backyard wedding with 100 people, and a reception where we danced till midnight. He is extremely lucky to have family members we love very much, and we are both lucky to have friends who are like family, so the guest list added up very quickly.

We got a caterer because neither of us can cook and we sure as heck weren't going to make our families cook for that many people. We ended up with a buffet with delicious BBQ and the best tofu I've ever had. We had the money to do it (partly because we didn't care about going on a honeymoon, so we could spend money on the food and band).

It was a blast, and even the old dogs, little kids, and 80-something grandmas hit the dance floor. At the end of the night, because it was held on the same day as the March for Science, we carried pro-science posters around the dance floor, and I gave my bouquet to my mother-in-law to honor her contributions to science (she's a kick-ass researcher).

I am a treehugger who works at a thrift store - I am pretty anti-consumerist and I certainly wasn't doing this because I care about what people think. We just wanted to throw a party because we are so darn happy and thought it would be fun to have some of the people we love there to celebrate our lucky. Plenty of people have tiny weddings or elope and it's a wonderful choice for them, but ya know... Not All Big Weddings.
You know, it's possible to have a big old wedding and not be a bridezilla or an asshole about it. I had a big wedding with the flowers and the dinner and the DJ and the fancy dress, and I told my bridesmaids to pick out what they wanted to wear and my husband's sister had just gotten engaged and I didn't throw some weird jealous ft, and we had a great time and I'm glad we did it.

That said, it cost a lot of money and I think that money could be spent on something more lasting than a giant party, which is, let's face it, what a big wedding is.
From Friday's Carolyn Hax chat:
"As my favorite T-shirt reads: I spent $20,000 on my wedding and all I have to show for it is this lousy husband."

As a counterpoint to Nocute @78, when I turned 40, a friend whose birthday is a week before mine and I threw a huge bash. Bands, DJs, magician, cake, open bar. Six years later, no divorce, unlike when I actually did get married! So if you want to have a giant party, have a giant party. If you want to make a lifetime commitment, make a lifetime commitment. Don't make a lifetime commitment just so you can have a giant party.
@BiDan: I think your party sounds like a blast.
To be clear, I was neither advocating for nor counseling against big weddings with all the trimmings. I was saying that I had one and I've always been glad I did. I didn't make what I thought at the the time was a lifetime commitment so I could have the giant party; at that time in my life and considering my social background, it hadn't occurred to me that you could really make a lifetime commitment without having the giant party, unless you went to a drive-thru wedding chapel in Las Vegas or something. Fichu would no doubt say I was sold a bill of goods by the Wedding Industrial Complex, and maybe I was, but it was a pretty drama-free bill of goods, and I didn't make ridiculous demands on my guests or family. It was also very important to me to celebrate my happiness and the coming together of two families with as many members of those families being present as possible.I don't regret having had it, even if the marriage didn't last.

I was just saying that at this point in my life (and given my current financial situation), I would not want to spend that amount of money on a single event.
@79 BiDanFan: LOL---hahahahahahaha!! I LOVE it! Ohhh--isn't Carolyn Hax great? And just as delightfully sassy as Dan the Man.
If nothing else, my wedding was a simple one at my folks' beach house and we kept it simple with a honeymoon in Seattle way back when. But that t-shirt is an instant classic!
Thanks, Bi--you and my first week of Fall Semester grade of an A- in Orchestration 1 made my day.
Nocute @80: You were clear; I don't think anyone who is questioning the need for expensive weddings was attacking you personally.

"it hadn't occurred to me that you could really make a lifetime commitment without having the giant party"

I hope younger generations can see this. I suppose, with millennials in the cash crunch they're in, more may opt for simple weddings or, with greater legal protections for unmarried couples and less stigma against unmarried ones, opt not to get married at all. Again, not that there is anything wrong with choosing marriage; but it should be one possible choice, not, "We love each other, now we have to get married because that's The Done Thing."
Griz @81: Congratulations on the A-!
@83 BiDanFan: Thank you so much. I checked on my other Berklee online course in SCoring for Film and Television 101---two A's on a quiz and Assignment 1. This is very encouraging, and ought to keep me out of trouble for a while.
Re controlling guy and cheating:

Having been in a domestic violence relationship, it's not always easy to leave. She may be cheating and not feeling bad bc it's a temporary escape and safe haven from someone who treats her very wrongly. Maybe she could use support rather than side-eye.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.