Savage Love Dec 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Slight Christmas

Joe Newton



"The wife and I are on Tumbler cause we're sex positive. Everything we do, we do together. Tell me again, Bro, why were YOU on Tumbler? Does your wife know?"


My husband is 13 years older than I am. It's not a problem unless you make it one or allow it to be one. By your mid-20s (the age I was when Mr. P and I started dating), you're old enough to decide who you want to date without needing permission from your parents, so act that way. You don't have to make a big deal out of it - you don't have to mention the age gap if it doesn't come up organically - but neither should you try to pretend it doesn't exist. "Yes, he's older, but we're happy together, and that's what matters" is a perfectly reasonable reply if the subject comes up.


I feel like "cordial but distant" is actually pretty good behavior by one's parents. Warmth should come from an actual connection, which builds over time (or doesn't).

Michael already knows your parents are religious and conservative. I recommend letting him know that you two can leave whenever he wants, for a short break, a day trip somewhere else, or just to go home if you've had enough. Keep the lines of communication open with Michael, and let your parents feel whatever they end up feeling, as long as they stay polite.


I'm with Erica here, AGEGAP — the relationship you should be thinking about protecting is the relationship with Michael. Make sure you build lots of checking-in with him into your trip to see your parents, and give him opportunities to reach out to you if things get stressful for him (also, make sure you reach out to him if things get stressful for you). Your parents may take years to come around, and this visit may be only the first of many small steps. The two of you can have a good time together even if the parental relationship shows signs of strain.

(PS I'm older than my same-sex partner, and I know he stresses sometimes about how his family might see that. So we talk about it when we need to, and it feels good to talk.)


@1 Yeah I also get the feeling that the asshole brother isn't getting much action in the bedroom




I haven't been on Tumblr for years, so can't remember what kind of search function it has. Could Mr. MAGA (ugh) have been looking specifically for MMF or other unorthodox blogs???


P.S. I have a straight male friend who says he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body. What do you think of this?

When I was young, my family had a guinea pig trapped in a man's body. It was nice to have a pet, in a way, but it got really annoying because his cage took up most of a room and his squealing sounds were REALLY loud.


I'm guessing the asshole brother guessed or overheard that the OP & Mrs. OP were on TUMBLR, and went looking for them. Just seems in character.

Standing O to Dan for his answer to GITMS. In my experimental, beer-fueled 20s, I spent a lot of time in public houses catering primarily to women of the lesbian persuasion, because I preferred their company to others. We never did decide on the appropriate term for such guys. Plenty of terms for straight women who hang out with gay men. I finally decided there just wasn't enough demand for the term to generate one.


When my daughter was 20, she dated a man who was 30. As long as she was happy, I was happy. Parents who can't be happy for their ADULT kids don't deserve to be a part of their life. Once your kids reach adulthood, you are guests in their life. Misbehave and they are free to evict you.


Dan, welcome back from your vacation! Must have been a good one, because your answers this week are all spot-on. How to deal with one's family expectations and drama, while staying true to yourself and your partner - we've all been there at one point or another.
LW1, TUMBLR: Give yourself and your partner a pep talk before the family gathering to make sure you're on the same page and at the top of your game. If you're not ashamed of what you are sharing online about your life and interests, there will be no fun for others in shaming you for it. If they persist in trying, reflect their interest back onto your brother as Dan suggests. Seriously: your ostensibly grown-up brother ratted out your sex life to your parents and other relatives? What's up with that, and who's the sicko in this scenario?
LW2, GITMS - When I was a college student during the height of the second-wave feminist era, the most radical groups would criticize and sometimes kick out heterosexual women from their circles because they were "sleeping with the enemy." I would have expected that many decades later, that silliness would have died a rightful death - but here we are in 2018, and your sisters appear stuck in a previous era. Tell them you are a 21st century feminist, and just keep on loving the people you love. You don't have to justify any of your sexual choices to your sisters, in fact it's none of their business. Tell them it's like ice cream: some people love mint chocolate chip and others hate it, but everyone gets to choose their own flavor, and there's no virtue in it - just personal taste. Likewise, being a "free sexual woman" doesn't mean you need to seek out same-sex encounters for political identity reasons, when your primary sexual attraction is for men. In fact it's not really ethical - you would be objectifying any woman you chose for a fling, just to show what a free sexual being you are. Regarding your "gay man in a woman's body" feelings, is it possible that you are actually androgynous aka genderqueer in nature, yet sexually attracted primarily to opposite sexual parts? I realized my own androgyny long before puberty, but others come to the realization later in life.
LW3, AGEGAP: I totally agree with Dan that lying or trying to misrepresent Michael's age to your parents is likely to backfire. It's unlikely to even come up until the two of you get more serious in your relationship, and if you do, it will be very hard to walk back that initial fudging of the facts. You're all grown up now, at least chronologically, and if you haven't yet graduated from your parents' oversight and scrutiny, it's time to fake it 'til you make it. If they ask about Michael's age, tell them the truth; if they don't ask, don't tell.


@1: Portland scribe for the TUMBLR WIN!! Bravo!
TUMBLR: You and your wife have my deepest heartfelt sympathy for being stuck with a MAGA Asshole brother.
@5 kylecheez: TUMBLR's MAGA asshole brother doesn't deserve any. I would guess he's sick with jealousy.


Welcome back, Dan--hope you had a kickass vacation.

Keep kicking ass, GITMS. Who cares what your sisters think? I have just recently adapted that rule with mine and they have backed off amazingly. All the best.


Spot on advice from Dan this week, that is the restorative power of time off.

TUMBLR, your brother didn’t just happen to find your sex blog on Tumblr, he was there looking for MMF porn, images of cross dressing, and videos of pegging. So the truth is that you and your brother share some sexual interests. And remember that while he’s (being as asshole) airing your sexual history to family and friends, he’s probably deeply ashamed of his sexuality and probably never has (or ever will) get to explore his fantasies like you and your wife.

AGEGAP, I assume you’re about 24-26 and Michael is 37 or 38, so there is about 11-14 years between you. While that is a widish gap, it is hardly that significant, especially ar the lower end of that range. My parents were 12 years and grandparents 14, and I’ve dated women any where from 8 to 20 years younger. Simply put, you’re not 18 anymore, and adults date people over a wide range of ages.


LW 1: If it's brought up, be like "why the fuck are you creeping on my dirty pictures? Can't you find some porn of people you aren't related to? It's a big internet out there, you know."

LW2: Just be like "look, people don't get to choose their sexual orientation - now drop it. It's just the way I am."

LW3: Frankly, if they're ok with your being gay, I can't see why they'd be bothered by you dating a guy in his 30's. I mean, maybe if he's late 30's and doesn't have a proper job or other "grown up" milestones under his belt (is he still trying to make his band work?) but otherwise, I wouldn't worry.


I third @10 Capricornius and @13 Sublime Afterglow--spot on advice again this week, Dan the Man! Kudos for steadily whacking it out of the park.

Here is one interesting paradox, folks: It is currently 1:20 am PST and Griz is, after a kickass flute choir concert featuring one of her own composed pieces for flute choir and piano, as Roger Waters would say, comfortably numb. Why does Griz type so infinitely much better after a belly full of red, red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)? Does the band, UB40 have a legitimate point?


When will people learn never to put anything on line that is illegal (videos of underage drinking parties, boy scout leaders destroying ancient rock formation), can be used to harm you, or come back to haunt you (Kyle Murray's homophobic tweets, there goes his NFL career, nude photos). Being GGG and sex positive are fine and good, but use some common sense (no facial photos). It shouldn't matter, but sadly it does in world that we live in


You got this one wrong Dan...

Tumblr is shutting down porn precisely because 1) Congress made websites liable for prostitution conducted through their websites 2) All the other websites got shut down so the sex workers moved to Tumblr 3) Tumblr shut down porn to avoid being liable for all the sex workers who showed up.

End result is exactly as intended: Because we can rely on sex workers to move on to the next-most-pornographic website each time the website they are currently using to conduct sex work gets rid of porn to eliminate liability for facilitating sex work, the ultimate result of this law is not only chasing sex workers to less and less safe ways of conducting sex work, but in the process, shutting down websites that host nudity.

Today it was Tumblr.

Tomorrow it's PornHub, or FetLife, then Tinder. (And if you don't think there's prostitutes on Tinder, try swiping in Vegas.)

The question is, should we ask sex workers to stay on Tumblr and just stop posting nudity, or should we let them keep getting websites shut down until all those Incels in Mississippi don't have anywhere to get their porn anymore?


Excellent answers, Dan, particularly to AGEGAP. He is projecting if he thinks his parents will be bothered by this, and if I were in Michael's shoes (which I frequently am) I'd be hurt. Either AGEGAP isn't as comfortable as he claims -- he was surprised to learn Michael's age, which suggests he finds it a bug rather than a feature -- or he is still placing too much emphasis on Mom and Dad's approval, which indicates that he is not mature enough for Michael, not that Michael is too old for him. Why would Mom and Dad ask his age, anyway? And why would a 13-15 year gap be the straw that breaks the camel's back of his "challenging his parents' attitudes"? AGEGAP, you've only been with this guy a few months; that's too soon to bring him home for Christmas anyway, IMO. Go home solo this year, and by next year, either you'll be a solid enough couple to bring him home proudly and not care what they say, or you'll have broken up for maturity-difference or other reasons.


Slomo @8: May I ask your sexual orientation? The reason I ask is that in my queer female experience, straight men frequenting lesbian bars would not be particularly welcome. We would tend to presume them pervs who believed lesbians just hadn't found the right dick (their dick of course) yet, or were after luckless bi women. Gay men of course were presumed harmless. This is not the case with straight "fag hags" who are not generally perceived as a threat to gay men (though Venn will differ).
Did no one come up with the term "dyke tyke" for a straight man who was somehow able to convince lesbians his intentions were innocent?

Traffic @14: Best answer to the GITMS question.
Anyone else feel sorry for her sisters' partners? Think about it: they appear to be with these women not because they like pussy, but because they hate men. Their sex lives must be terrible. If they are queer, hopefully at some point they will realise that they didn't choose to be, and GITMS cannot choose her sexuality either. So they need to learn to live and let live, thus showing how unlike their political enemies they are.


Why did it only 'eventually' emerge that Michael was ten (or so) years older? Was it because things started casually? E.g. he was sleeping round in his 30s, as AGEGAP was in his 20s? Does 'eventually' in fact mean a trivial amount of time, like one, even two, months? Did the two of them talk about interests e.g. they're both Arianne Grande fans, but not work for a while? I feel the 'age' issue is a placeholder for other questions AGEGAP has about the relationship. He should ask Michael how he sees things between them developing, rather than fretting about his family's reaction to his bf's age. What if the answer is that Michael typically has 1-2 year love affairs with younger guys?

With the 'straight male lesbian', I think there's a further question of this person's gender orientation beyond the LW's characterisation of him (them). In terms of a cross-gender identification, 'he' could walk the walk more than she imagines--be queer or genderqueer in his dating or politicking. If 'he's' not, or he's making his remarks in sympathy with her sexual and other politics, then Dan's answer ('detoxify heterosexuality as a straight!') is fine.


@10. Cap. I'm pleased someone else also raised the possibility of GQ apropos the friend.

@17. Biggie. It seems Dan got almost everything right. The reason, for you, that Tumblr are shutting down sexual images isn't that they are ashamed, but that they're legally compelled. Otherwise Dan is right.


Harriet @20: I've heard "I'm a lesbian in a straight man's body" from enough straight men that I don't think there's any cause to jump to a gender identity query without further evidence. Generally, the men who say this are either men who find themselves more often attracted to lesbian or bi women, or, as Dan says, woke dudes who are painfully aware of how problematic other straight men/straight male hegemony is, and want to distance themselves from that toxic straight masculinity. It's the male equivalent of "I'm not like other girls."


@18. Bi. Let's say his parents hold out the homophobic hope that their son's homosexuality is 'a phase'. His dating an older man might dash that. Good. And good i.e. it would work out well for AGEGAP. Maybe they'd be reassured if he found someone older to look after him? Why should this worry him--to the point that the age difference is the focus of his letter? Perhaps he does not want to settle down with Michael? He needs to dig into why his parents knowing the age gap is such an issue for him.


@22. Bi. The reason I thought more evidence could usefully be called in in this case was the ingenuous tenor of the LW's thoughts (on something even more basic) re primary sexuality.


Ms Fan - Actually, I will not differ with your point as stated. F* h*s are not generally PERCEIVED as a threat to gays.

As to whether they actually are, the easy answer would be to say you've obviously never read Robert Rodi's debut novel (actually titled F* H*). More seriously, they are not likely to succeed in forcing themselves upon us. But I'm thankful to be my current age. If I still had an active social life, in the current climate, I'd be about as cautious in declining a crude advance from a woman as one reads of women's being in declining crude advances from a man.


Going for brevity:

1: Boring.

2: LMB.

Fry. (or Maupin) (or Wilde)


Where did my 3: go? Oh, well.

The brief response to L1 was just following the general principle that LWs' first positive or negative general statements about something's or someone's "being X" or "not being Y" are generally misrepresentations. If LW1 and W1 are lucky, the rest of the family will side with the horrible B1 and cut them off, and then they'll be rid of a large number of unpleasant relations (going on the safe general presumption that a majority of non-chosen relations are unpleasant) without having to do any of the unpleasant off-cutting themselves.

People just can't let the exclusively SS have ANYTHING all to ourselves, can they? LW2 and the male described probably feel that accounts of how gays in her case and lesbians in his appreciate and regard each other resonate more than accounts of OS attraction. That is just the thinnest edge of the wedge, though, which they take to be the whole. Wrong.

As for Mr Savage's concluding paragraph in R3, I might not have been able to do that better myself. Bravo, good sir. That far outweighs the ding for assuming BF3 to be the sodomite.


TUMBLR's letter is juicy. The brother found dirt in a place where, like Frank Strang spotted at the porn flick, if he'd really been all that high, mighty, and pure, he shouldn't have been to start. He'll need a good excuse to explain why he was perusing tumblr, and checking the printing on their posters won't cut it. I like Dan's answer. Seems to me the whole thing rests on how much the rest of the family is like the angry asshole screwup brother. (I had to look up MAGA.) If deep down they agree with the angry asshole twisted morals, then TUMBLR and his wife can smile when the subject comes up and leave the angry asshole twisted holiday gathering. If deep down they don't, then I can see a hilarious conversation ensuing baiting the brother to tell them everything he knows about tumblr and what else he's found there.


You "eventually learned" that he's in his late thirties? Unless "eventually" means the second or third date, then there's a pretty big flag about Michael's openness and honesty with you. Since he "easily passes" for mid-twenties, that's likely not an accident and due to significant effort on his part. Sounds like the uneasiness about age you need to be concerned about isn't your parents and is your boyfriends.


@29. Ordinary Joe. A 36yo gay man who passes for 28 goes to the gym and is interested in standard gay culture topics.


Of course Dan's right when he says people don't choose to be straight, but I had a different take on GITMS's letter. I saw it as the inevitable end when people want a label for everything that would otherwise take full paragraphs-- and poetry -- to describe. I'm straight meaning that I'm sexually attracted to men, but I have close friendships with women and find them beautiful, and I often think I'd get along living with a woman romantically given how much I fight with my boyfriend; that would make me homoromantic, but I'm romantically involved with a man which means I'm straight, though I often like to imagine myself a man having sex with a man, but I'm pretty sure I'm not trans except for the odd fantasy ... My hope with this is to bore everyone reading in order to make my point. There's no label for that.

I get the idea that GITMS is trying to put her political views into a single label for the purposes of justifying them to her sisters. Like saying "I'm straight-- but still sensitive! and not an asshole like those other straight people." Maybe this is all Dan was saying in the first place.


Venn @27: I think that even the use of the archaic word "sodomise" implies that this is what a homophobe's parents will think, not that this is Dan's presumption. See also: "creepily youthful" and "skins of younger gay men."

Fichu @28: "He'll need a good excuse to explain why he was perusing tumblr." Oh, I don't know -- this is the first I've heard that it's predominantly for porn. Although that is a good gotcha. "What were you doing searching for MMF threesomes in the first place, Bro?"

Ordinary @29: I agree with Harriet, some people do just look younger than their age. People I meet are usually surprised to learn that I'm a decade older than they would have guessed, and no "significant effort" to deceive is in play, aside from not putting my year of birth on my Facebook profile! I find that many people, including myself, just assume people they meet to be "about my age" unless they look particularly old or young. It could simply be that AGEGAP made a similar assumption and it took a few dates for age to come up. I see no reason to think that Michael was trying to be deceptive. If he was, then perhaps that's where AGEGAP's wariness comes from.


Color me 0% shocked that the same folks who talk about inclusivity and not judging are incapable of understanding someone's sexual desires when they don't line up with their own preferences and/or are politically inconvenient. If only GITMS sisters could extend as much grace to their own flesh and blood as they expect from society, they'd be decent people. Instead, they're garden-variety judgemental haters, just in a queer body (and perhaps now I understand why the ideology only holds that whites/mens/straights can be judgemental pricks, it makes a convenient mask)


“the mess straight people (mostly white, mostly men) have made of the world“ is aimed wrong here. Heteronormativity is the root problem, and no more male than female-caused. No clue if whiteness is related either, but people of color seem to have less accepting subcultures than the ones I’m in.


@16: I have tons of nude photos and videos on the internet, and I'm not ashamed of them at all. In fact, I hope that someone I know finds them and recognizes me, and uses my images to enhance their pleasurable activities.

The only way we're ever going to get over the stigma, and not have so-called "adult" material come back to "haunt" us, is by folks like me and TUMBLR posting ourselves, in all our nude glory, for the world to see. In fact, with all the sexting going on now days, I think there will soon come a time when it will be weird that a person DOESN'T have nude selfies online.


Only thing I'll add is that a straight guy saying "I'm a lesbian trapped in a man's body" isn't always an indication that he's woke or thinking at all about gender politics. Rather, I've heard this from men my entire life and it's usually something they say because they think it sounds funny. That's all. If we dig even a little deeper, they just mean they are attracted to women and they either think it's hot to imagine two women together or that they think it's funny to talk about lesbians. For a lot of people, any mention at all of being gay is funny and/or shocking- so you are reading more into this a lot of time if you go looking for the punchline or deeper meaning.


I love the answer to GITMS, especially all the parentheticals like "(which he can't do), (which you shouldn't have to do), (because he is), and (because you shouldn't)."


Most people I think would be more shocked by the brother sharing the images than the existence of the images themselves, and I'd like to think that if someone in a family says "here are sex videos of your son/nephew/cousin" then the most typical response would be not to look. If someone brings it up, I think it's appropriate not just to pass the issue back onto the brother where it belongs, but rather to pointedly ask the person why they are looking at sexual images of their family member? Incest is still a much greater taboo than just about anything else, so it would be pretty easy to shut down the conversation by asking them why they are looking at those images in the first place.

Regarding the age, it seems less important after 30 and seems to not really get important again until late 60s or so (later if a person has good health) so I don't think it's so odd that they did not know one another's age. I don't tend to ask people how old they are until something comes up in conversation- like if they talk about using the internet in high school or something and I realize they are younger than me. Also he says they MET a few months ago, not that they've been dating that long. Could've been casual or just in the same social group for some time and only recently became serious enough to start having real conversations. I just wouldn't jump to manipulation as the reason.


Griz @15: "after a kickass flute choir concert featuring one of her own composed pieces for flute choir and piano"

Congrats! That sounds like a fabulous experience!

@ BiDanFan, EmmaLiz, Harriet, etc. -- Re men saying they're lesbians -- it can also mean he prefers sex acts that don't involve his dick, whether because of some dysphoria or performance anxiety or just a simple preference for cunnilingus and strap-on play.

Roma @7 - lol


It's not often that a letter writer is as irritating to me as GITMS.

"I am a free sexual woman."
As opposed to an enslaved sexual woman? A free asexual woman? A free/enslaved/(a)/sexual non-binary person? What the fuck does this phrase mean?

"[A]lthough I am a free sexual woman, I still prefer men as sexual partners." WTF again.

"Sometimes I even imagine my sexuality as a gay man's sexuality in a woman's body."
"I have a straight male friend who says he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body. What do you think of this?"

I think: What the actual fuck?

"A gay man's sexuality in a woman's body": so she's a woman who is sexually attracted to men. In other words, a straight woman.

"A lesbian trapped in a man's body": so he's a man who is sexually attracted to women. In other words, a straight man.

I get it: the lw wants us all to know that, to quote Elaine Benes on Seinfeld: "I'm not a lesbian. I hate men, but I'm not a lesbian."
And her straight male friend wants her to know that he's sympathetic to the Plight of Womankind; he's that rarest of creatures, a Woke Dude. Full marks to him!

The only people more insufferable than GITMS and her male lesbian friend are her two sisters, who think that being a lesbian is a political gesture, as opposed to a true sexual orientation. That because of "all the awful sexual inequality in the world," any self-respecting woman would make the choice to no longer be sexually attracted to men, but would instead be sexually attracted to women.
Funnily enough, there was a movement of this type in the 1970s (it still persists, but it's infinitesimal now): women who "became" lesbians as a subset of being feminists. In many cases, though, they couldn't force themselves to be actually sexually attracted to women, no matter how much they hated men, and so for all purposes, have been celibate.

The only good thing about this letter is that it made me grateful for my friends and siblings. I need to take an aspirin now.


I'm a bit sad about Tumblr canning pornography - my husband started a Tumblr a while ago now (which only I follow) on which he shares stuff he likes, and I can see what he's following. For both of us it's been a way of exploring many of the desires he's found too difficult to articulate and I've had time to look and think about things, many of which a few years ago I would not have been open to, before deciding to incorporate it into our sex life.

I'm not sure that there is an obvious replacement for this online.He's deleted his Tumblr in anticipation of it being deleted for him!


@41: busy_quilting: I'm so sorry; this seems like an excellent use of Tumblr. I hope you and your husband find a good replacement.


@39 EricaP: Many thanks! It is both gratifying and humbling to have some of one's own work performed publicly. Interestingly, I was originally playing the alto flute part. A sudden change had to be made as a fellow choir member who had the piccolo part asked to switch because of having no piccolo to actually play it (I do). So I ended up getting the big feature solo (musically emulating a bird) along with our group performance. It was very well received. We plan to play all four short seasonal pieces for flute choir and piano next spring.


@15/43: auntie grizelda, I must have missed your original post. Congratulations! It's wonderful news and I'm so glad the concert was so well-received (and that you got to play the featured solo)!
Here's to more of your compositions being performed in 2019!


@40 nocutename: In my comment @12 addressed to GITMS ("Keep kicking ass...") I only meant for the LW to just be herself and not worry about what others thought. The LW's mention of her sisters caught my attention, however briefly. I felt I could relate somewhat to that part after a lifetime of learning to assert myself to others and not care what they thought of me.
But yes, GITMS's letter was otherwise a hard read for me, too.


@44 nocutename: Thank you so much! I was a little nervous, hoping I wouldn't go shrill in Passages I. Whispering Trees, but everyone was together and the melody and chord progressions were just as I had envisioned. One of the best parts was being in sync with the 1st flutist in one phrase where we went up the F major scale together in thirds. Passages, my series for flute choir and piano, offers seasonally themes, starting with fall, then winter, spring, and finally summer. Our choir director is planning our spring 2019 concert to be Flute For All Seasons. I'm thrilled to be able to contribute.


Erica @39: Yeah, I can see a man saying he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body as meaning "I love to give cunnilingus." Agree with Emma, it's always said with attempted (and usually failed) humour.

Griz @15: I missed your post too, so congratulations on that nerve-wracking but exciting experience! Go you!


@47 BiDanFan: Thank you so much, Bi! I think that was the best I've ever played on piccolo. Now, if I could just grab the attention of the director of a prestigious Seattle film school about my latest orchestral work and somehow make my way into the film / TV industry. If only I had $1 million to enroll in the one year master's program for film scoring....sigh
I don't know---I can hear my local VA representative admonishing me about the fine print regarding private and / or for-profit specialty schools (like the Art Institute of Seattle, way back when on my Montgomery G.I. Bill---and getting nailed by additional student loans).
At least our concert last night was a warmly welcome pick-me-up, dedicated to a departing bass flutist in hospice after a battle with cancer.


Ms Fan - That was actually my original thought, but Mr Savage could easily have phrased it that way and didn't. Therefore, I kept the ding.


Ms Fichu - It reminds me a little of the people I met in Amsterdam (when I got my GGGM) who called themselves "erotically straight but culturally queer". Most of them were quite pleasant.


Ms Quilting - That is exactly what I was trying to explain to Ms Lava back during the thread about the university LW who was being blackmailed by a non-binary queer person, and I suggested he no-pronoun his blackmailer. Thank you for providing such a fitting example.


Ms Cute - That was a strong cross-examination of L2.


vennominon @ 51 I'm so sorry, I don't have any idea what your comment means. Have I thoughtlessly transgressed?


@NoCute 40

I have before wished I were a gay man. It's for a combo of reasons- one sex seems simpler; two I'm into guys; three being a guy seems easier in general; four gay sex in porn is hot. When I fantasize that I'm a gay man, I can go to gay places and cruise all the very gorgeous guys, pick the ones I want, have uncomplicated hookups with zero consequences, etc.

Realistically thinking, I know that this is all projection and envy and simplification. If I actually believed these things, it might become resentment- you hear straight men all the time saying shit like straight women have it easier (can find partners easier, get attention) etc. Saying I wish I were a gay man is the straight woman's version of the same thing. We all romanticise an other, and when you have a particular problem, the imagined problems of others seem less urgent in comparison. There are problems with straight relationships, so she's wishing she were in those problem-free easy and hot gay relationships.

Though I do agree with BDF and Erica that when guys say this, they mean they are really into pussy- not just fucking. An older generation would instead say "I'm all for women's lib. I mean, I really love women." Currently it's the same with the "I'm a lesbian in a man's body"- they probably really mean it. They are interested in being with women, around women, women's sexuality, women's relationships, - but as they perceive them.

The LW and her sisters seem a bit annoying because they seem to be so serious and not understand how ridiculous they are being. As if anyone needs it- a good review of the power of a sex drive and sexual orientation throughout centuries of human history- people have frequently acted against their own self interest, even at the threat of their lives and the loss of their families, under all sorts of oppression or risk to health, in order to have sex with the people they are into. As if gay men haven't been gay at the risk of imprisonment, castration, labor camps, etc. As if women have not pursued sexual relationships with men despite the threat of pregnancy, imprisonment, being stoned to death, etc. Like, do these people really need to be told that sex drive is a thing that has been motivating human beings to keep on in the face of constant danger for literally all of their existence?

So yeah, shit sucks out there for women right now. I wish things weren't this way but what can I change about that? I'm into men and I don't want to wish men out of existence because that's what I like. So the stupid and easy alternative is to wish that I was a man too, only I'm still going to want men. Therefore, I'm a gay man in a woman's body.

Only I'm aware that this is delusional and silly, and I would never say something like that out loud or actually believe it. And when I hear other people say shit like this, even when I know where they are coming from, yes it makes me cringe in the same way as @40. They should know better.

As for the sisters, I think it's more than that though. I'm pretty sure there's an element of self-congratulations and satisfaction there. THEY are among the enlightened people, the ones who don't have to deal with any of this straight nonsense, and who are all these idiots who persist in being straight? Fuck them, there's assholes everywhere, and sibling rivalry is a real thing. They may not even believe it and just say this shit to work the LW up in that special way that only siblings can do.


It's none of my business if a woman who likes men thinks of herself as a gay man in a woman's body. And none of my business if a man who likes women thinks of himself as a lesbian in a man's body. I have no standing, and you have no standing, to speculate about it or criticize it or approve of it.


@15 So now we know what Dan was doing on his time off.


@54: EmmaLiz, funny: my straight female friends and I often lament that we're not lesbians or sexually attracted to women! Not that we hate men à la Elaine Benes, necessarily, but because we often find that women get us and we get them in ways that it seems men never have or do or will. But there's that pesky fact that we're only sexually attracted to men.

I realize that my reaction to the letter is harsh. I just find it incredibly irritating. I do agree that the lesbian in a man's body, could be a signal to liking to give cunnilingus, but I also see it as a way to signal sympathy/empathy, and ally-ship.

And I have more than one now-lesbian-or-bi-identified female friend who formerly identified or was seen by the world as straight who, knowing that I am not-terribly-happily single, has suggested I date women. When I protest that I'm not attracted to women, they imply I'm narrow-minded and suggest I won't really know until I try and that what have I got to lose. It's kind of the inverse of straight or bi men who, upon hearing that a woman is a lesbian, take the information as a challenge: he and his magical dick will be the one to straighten the lady out.
Both cases strike me as displaying arrogance and obliviousness.

@55: ECarpenter: but the lw made it our business (or at least Dan's) by not only writing in to an advice columnist with a known active commentariat, which invites input and opinion, but she explicitly ASKED for a response ("What do you think of this?).


Tell your MAGAt brother «Honi soit qui mal y pense.» which is the motto of one of the oldest institutions in the English-speaking world. Tell him that freedom—for those who've had it—is what has made America great. Tell him to remove the log from his own eye before criticising the speck in yours.

Or tell him that Prudery is a conspiracy of the coastal elite globalist progressive socialist lizard people from the Tenth Dimension, and why does he hate Murrrka?!


BiDanFan @19 -- straight cis male. And yes, that was the default context until proven otherwise, even in San Francisco in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It helps if you're a regular. But it's a lot like being a regular anywhere -- buy a round now and then, and don't be an asshole.


and no, "dyke tyke" never came up.


At least, I don't think it did. There's a lot from those days I didn't remember the next day, nevermind forty years later.


Venn @49: Just because you don't understand the nuances of Dan's humour doesn't mean the rest of us don't either! "Dinging" someone for making a joke you didn't get seems an invalid use of a ding.

Emma @54: "If I actually believed these things, it might become resentment- you hear straight men all the time saying shit like straight women have it easier (can find partners easier, get attention) etc." YES, THIS. Glad you're aware enough to realise that being gay, like being female, is a double edged sword, which some men refuse to accept about "lucky" women. Bonus, their resentment leads us to feel even less lucky that they're the gender that wants to date us.

Slomo @59-61: Thanks. Dyke tyke just seems so obvious!


32-BiDan-- You are correct that I don't know about tumblr. My guess on its being mostly was based on this column, nothing else.

50-Venn-- I do like "erotically straight but culturally queer." That sums it up about as well as anything. Back in my day we called that being supportive, but somehow that sounds like one's involvement extends only to checking a box. I do sometimes think there needs to be a word for "straight, but I want you to think of me as edgy and cool."


Fichu @63: "Straight but not narrow" is a phrase I've used to describe heteros who are other-orientation-friendly.


Ms Fan - I got what he MEANT; the ding was partly a mild version of the considerably greater annoyance I express when he says or writes "lay" but means "lie" and partly a subtle suggestion that it wouldn't be any better if it were known to be the other way around.

But I thank you for providing me with the opportunity to use a new Austensplain:

Recall, in Pride and Prejudice, Mrs Bennet's complaints to her husband whenever she saw Mr Collins with his fiancee:

"Indeed, Mr Bennet," said she, "it is very hard to think that Charlotte Lucas should ever be mistress of this house, that I should be forced to make way for her, and live to see her take my place in it!"

"My dear, do not give way to such gloomy thoughts. Let us hope for better things. Let us flatter ourselves that I might be the survivor."


Ms Quilting - Do you recall seeing a letter from a young man at university that kept referring to another person as "zir"? That was the letter in question. To recap (roughly):

A young gay man had a closeted bi boyfriend who occasionally posted pictures of their kinky escapades on Tumblr. A female-appearing but non-binary-presenting contemporary declared herself triggered by the pictures, demanded that BF delete them, and threatened to out BF otherwise.

The unique part of my take was that LW should simply de-pronoun the blackmailer. LW throughout the letter used zed pronouns for that person. I contended that a blackmailer had forfeited the right to such respectful treatment. To avoid the general offence of mis-gendering someone, I suggested that LW should simply refuse to use any pronouns at all when referring to the blackmailer and use that person's name instead. That such a manner of speaking would likely be conspicuous struck me as a feature rather than a bug. Some of the assembled company (it reminds me of Alice and the reasoning of the King of Hearts that anything with a head can be beheaded) declared that that would still be mis-gendering.

My side track during the thread arose when Ms Lava wondered why anyone would post pictures of their kinky escapades on Tumblr. She found all my explanations unsatisfactory, but, then, it was not a practice to which I ever resorted personally. You have now provided what would likely have been just the explanation I wanted, and I thank you for it.


Ms Fichu - Twenty years ago, it was rather sweet. It had an air of, say, wanting to be guests in our house rather than in another house which seemed to have greater advantages. Today, there's often more of an hint of intending to move in and take over.


@39. Erica. There's something in your suggestions, but lesbians aren't known for being penetrated anally. (Of course, people of all descriptions will enjoy activities of all kinds). The friend seems to have got confused, as a newbie to these distinctions, between 'lesbian' and 'female'. It could be he enjoys straight activities he finds feminising.

I think EmmaLiz is right that the remark is often a mildly risqué thing for straight guys to say (and is harmless and/or tiresome on that basis).

I would take a strong line that a GQ identity doesn't always have to manifest physically all (or most of) the time. In some cases, a GQ guy / person with some latent inclination to transition won't come onto his gender orientation by experimenting with clothes, makeup, deportment and so on, but through sympathy and identification. But probably the political imperative with male-presenting male 'women' is to reclaim heterosexuality from the heterosexists, not to claim a new gender category.


@55. ECarpenter. Supposing that you're a gay man, or that one is a gay man or a lesbian, it's sort of your business, because the archaic formulae, 'a woman in a man's body', 'a man in a woman's body', have been historically used in a pejorative spirit to indicate the sadness and the impossibility of homosexuality.

The last one, used of lesbians, 'you're a man in a woman's body', has been particularly iniquitous, given that women had fewer professional opportunities. It's supposed that all lesbians are mannish (versions of the 'butch'/'femme' distinction have existed as long as the 'wrong body' trope) and has been misogynistic to boot.


Mizz Liz - I'm curious about what you leave out of the retelling, because the fantasy goes up to a fork where the encounters tend to become either (this is the most delicate phrasing that occurs to me at the moment) opposite-body-coded or same-body-coded.

The amusing part was, "pick the ones I want", as the women who imagine that would probably be the most disapproving of a real-life Brian Kinney if they ever met one. It also reminds me of the radio play version of The Pale Horse when, not being sure whether there's anything genuine and sinister behind Sybil's psychic prattle, a group of people wonder why everyone who claims to be reincarnated was always a great notable in one's past life and not a servant or peasant, and Ginger jokes that the lower classes couldn't afford the fare.


67-Venn. Precisely. I was trying to describe why I would never go into a gay bar now despite my doing it often in college. Back then, gay dance clubs were great for straight women. I could dance all night, let loose, not worry about getting hit on. The guys ignored me or were kind. Now I'd feel like I was intruding on the private space of people who don't get a lot of private space. I could imagine gay men moving on to the bar the women hadn't discovered yet in an effort to get some peace.


@slomopomo they are called "fruit flies" if you want to be gender neutral and if you want to male specific they are called "fag stags" vs the usual fag hag


As usual, I find myself seconding most of the things BiDan, EmmaLiz and NoCute have posted re: GITMS’ statement that she “...sometimes I even imagines (her) sexuality as a gay man's sexuality in a woman's body...” which I think wins the mountain-out-of-a-molehill award for adding a thousand unnecessary implications to a simple fact, “I am a woman who likes dick.” Lesbian sisters apparently discount the possibility that that is even an option that might result in happiness, which seems like an unbelievably ignorant thing to say from someone who presumably puts a huge amount of emphasis on society (and family) embracing their own sexual preference(s). For GITMS to go to such twisted lenghts to justify her fondness for trouser snake just shows what a politically-correct morass of bullshit our society is descending into. Fuck all the people who think they have the right to tell you what you have to believe.

Oh. By the way. I see myself as a hermaphroditic dungeon master with FOUR vaginas and seven penises of varying length and depth, kind of a Swiss Army Knife of a fuck machine, but CHOOSE to present as a het monogamous male for simplity’s sake.


Harriet @68 - leaving aside stereotypes, many women enjoy anal penetration done to their tastes, and women with prostrates (such as a lesbian in a man's body) probably like it more than average.

BiDanFan @47 -- in my experience men use humor to touch on issues they have anxiety around (such as erection quality, size, & duration). I try to notice the truth hidden in those jokes.


...and congrats, Harriet for landing on this week’s lucky 69!


Erica@75~ Anxiety about my erection quality!? What? Badges? I don’t need no steenking badges! Past recipients of my golden dick give it a solid two-out-of-ten rating on the Trump Dick Scale (doubling the Official POTUS rating!

Uh, oh.

Avert your gaze. That WASN’T dick-related humor!


You are a star Grizelda.
I think some of you are being a bit harsh and hypocritical re GITMS. She is obviously a young feminist and needs encouragement, not mockery. So what if she feels like a gay man in a woman’s body. Aren’t we supposed to respect how others feel about their own identities?
GITMS, your sexuality is your business and tell your sisters to mind theirs. If you are attracted to men, that’s just how it is and no words or screwy feminists’ attempts to brainwash that out of you will change who you are aroused by. Feminism, to me, involves each woman feeling her authentic self, and acting from there.


I’ve been reading some feminists are now saying ‘cis’ is a slur word. To them there are women and trans women.
Think for yourself GITMS, because feminism is a very broad church, and some of it is reactionary bs.


@69 Congrats, Harriet, for scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award! May incredible good fortune smile your way soon in time for an extra happy holiday season.
@77 DonnyKlicious: No dick-related humor, but I think we can all agree that Donald Jackass Trump is indeed, the World's Biggest Dick, exponentially surpassing Tricky Dicky.


I took LW 2 and her sisters to all be under the age of 22 and hope they will grow out of it. Reminded me of several letters in the last year or so about young people struggling to find "unique" gender/orientation identifiers. I don't remember specifics but wasn't there at least one woman who defined herself as asexual but liked to have sex with men?

In my experience, "lesbian trapped in a male body" was typically a stupid (meant to be funny) response to transgender people becoming more visible in pop culture in the 1970s and 1980s, but I haven't heard anyone use it in years.


Ms Fichu - It's even worse for lesbians, from what I've been seeing. Over-assimilation, perhaps - the Barnes and Noble experience expanded.


@78 LavaGirl: Many thanks. Big hugs right back.


Thanks for the explanation @66, vennominon. That makes more sense now, I don't remember that letter!
I should add, we haven't posted our own exploits on Tumblr. For us it's been like a giant (and sometimes alarming) reference library of pornography to mull over and then share if we like it. I've never even taken a selfie, let alone a nude one!


“A lesbian trapped in a man’s body” is a phrase I toyed up with few years back. It was used while attempting to describe attraction to women despite wanting to be one to some degree or another.
It wasn’t a sum up of myself and I was aware that it is not likely to be a fair term in the eyes of some certified organics.

The only other times I’ve heard it came from het men who thought it was funny, some of them protesting the “absurdity” of today’s rich terminology.
I never heard it being used as an indication of one’s appetite for cunnilingus, though acknowledge that no one ever offered it to me as a sales pitch.


Donny @74: ROFL!

EricaP @75: Agree with your point to Harriet. I think Harriet has misinterpreted the idea that a man might claim to be "a lesbian trapped in a man's body" because he likes being pegged as meaning that lesbians like anal, rather than that lesbians like -strap-ons-, which some do and some don't. And yes, surprise! Some lesbians like anal, just as some straight men do. The more you know.

Re your second point -- agree also with your interpretation of the use of humour. Perhaps it's because I was the audience for some of these quips, but I often found an element of "you like women? Try me, I'm a lesbian too!" to them, which may be part of why they fell flat.

Lava @78: Good point. Young people do a lot of introspection regarding their sexual identities, and it doesn't help GITMS that her sisters are being so judgmental. Who knows, maybe she feels like she's a gay man in a woman's body because she finds gay men more attractive (no shock there) or has fantasies about pegging. "Sometimes I even imagine my sexuality as a gay man's sexuality in a woman's body" -- hell, sometimes I do too, when playing leather daddy with a sub guy. We can play any role we want in our fantasies, but I certainly wouldn't share such private proclivities with my sisters.

Scum @81: Thankfully, in the current climate, trans women need not feel "trapped in men's bodies" and generally describe themselves as just lesbians, or trans lesbians/trans dykes, if they indeed like only women.


@85. CMD. I've always wanted to be a woman (not necessarily to be accepted as a woman, but to be taken as non-normative and self-defining) more than I've wanted to have sex with women. As well as for reasons of shyness, backwardness, being unaccustomed, discomfort with cishet male gender roles etc., this complex has gotten in the way of my hooking up with women. And I haven't minded too much, because it isn't my primary sexuality.

Imv there are problems with a het man (who usually has all the privileges) donning the sheep's clothing of someone doubly disadvantaged. As a very broad identity category, 'queer' is easier, more honest and more habitable. The sex I occasionally have with queer women, usually bisexual ciswomen in some kind of lesbian configuration, would probably be called queer as much as straight.

@75. Erica. I don't understand what I've got wrong for you? Sure, some lesbians like anal. Do we know why the lw's friend identifies as a lesbian? (To me, no; not enough to go on).


Harriet @87: He doesn't "identify as a lesbian." He "says he's a lesbian trapped in a man's body." You're missing the giant grain of salt with which to take this statement; many of us have given plausible explanations for why a straight cis man might make such a statement, and the fact that his tongue is in his cheek for most of them.


"I'm a ---trapped in a --- body" is a not-uncommon phrase. I think it's always meant to be cute or funny or to express a sort of empathy for the opposite gender while still acknowledging one's heterosexual attraction.


BiDanFan @86 "I often found an element of 'you like women? Try me, I'm a lesbian too!'"

Ah -- since I don't date women, that element was missing -- I didn't experience the phrase as a way to hit on me but just as a way to connect and be a little vulnerable. Kind of like DonnyKlicious's little performance at 77. :)

Harriet @87: I said @39 the men in question might like strap-on play (among other things); you replied @68 "There's something in your suggestions, but lesbians aren't known for being penetrated anally"; I replied @75 that many women enjoy anal penetration; and you ask @87 what I think you got wrong.

What I think you got wrong was when you tried to correct me by saying lesbians aren't known for liking anal, so that couldn't play into any man's reasons for saying "I feel like a lesbian trapped in a man's body. I disagree with your correction. Hope that clears up any confusion.


@72 Lenny, thanks. I meant the point to be more specific, as it seemed like a real, but fairly rare thing, for straight men to seek out the company of lesbians, not least because women are understandably wary, but also because they just don't seem to be many such men, overall. Women who like to socialize with gay men, OTOH, seem far more common, even to getting a TV show.
But does anyone call lesbians "fags"? I've never heard of that.


nocutename: @54: EmmaLiz, funny: my straight female friends and I often lament that we're not lesbians or sexually attracted to women! Not that we hate men à la Elaine Benes, necessarily, but because we often find that women get us and we get them in ways that it seems men never have or do or will. But there's that pesky fact that we're only sexually attracted to men.

I doubt that straight men lament that they're not gay or sexually attracted to men but, aside from that, don't you think that men frequently share with women what you wrote: the feeling that the same sex gets us and we get them in ways the opposite sex doesn't?


Anyone up for the HUnksy?


Roma @92, the men I know seem to share their feelings more with female friends than with male friends. Conversely, I share my feelings more with male friends than with women.

Or maybe it's random and any patterns are in our imagination?


Slight digress. I am sorry my words were insensitive and triggering re the old letter from the girl whose ex bf raped her.
Facing Feminism as a young woman is a bit daunting. All over, loud voices saying this is how it should be, this is what we want. The rage against men and the blame game, seems to be a first step for many. Then maybe they start reading a few feminists works from women who have thought things thru a bit. The ol’ don’t fuck the enemy was never a rule I took to heart.


Use your sense when choosing a lover, GITMS, because while all men are not caught by the patriarchy all men have been reared in it.


Roma @92 "I doubt that straight men lament that they're not gay or sexually attracted to men"

Not if you put in those terms perhaps, but I think that many straight men are jealeous of how easy it seems for gay men to get sex.


@88. Bi. I'm not missing the hunk of salt. I agreed with EmmaLiz that 'a lesbian trapped in a man's body' is probably just a tiresomely risqué sally for a straight guy. What nocute says just below you would be completely right, too, in my opinion.

@90. Erica. I don't actually think we disagree, but I don't understand your explanation. Are lesbians, for you, 'known for' enjoying anal penetration? (I wasn't aiming to 'correct' so much as to agree-and-modify).


@92: "Don't you think that men frequently share with women what you wrote: the feeling that the same sex gets us and we get them in ways the opposite sex doesn't?"
Roma, yes, I do.

EricaP's experience aside (and it's a valid perspective), I've often thought that. I think that men experience the world or the world presents itself to them in a way that women do not, and that therefore, sexual orientation is a secondary identifier or sort of secondary criterion that dictates what one's experiences will be, following gender.
I also think that that gay, straight, or bi, the majority of cis-men or trans men using a lot of testosterone look at sex differently than the majority of women do. Exceptions noted of course.


@95: Thank you, LavaGirl; I appreciate it.


Harriet -- I would say lesbians enjoy all kinds of sex that don't involve bio-cocks. I won't use your phrase "known for," because it seems useless to me. (Known to whom?)

So when a man says to me (a kinky, mostly straight woman) that he thinks of himself as a "lesbian trapped in a man's body," I understand him to be expressing a preference for sex acts that don't involve his bio-cock.

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