Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: He fucked a coworker who lied to him and to HR about him—should he tell the truth about her? He's the only one she wants—now—so why can't she be the only one he wants now? Hanging out pantsless with your ex—what could possibly go wrong? And her boyfriend won't have PIV if his daughters are in the house—what the fuck? And, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.

First, for the boyfriend who won't have PIV if his daughters are in the house:

We had the same problem when we combined families. They need to get a platform bed frame, the kind that sits flush on the floor, like the ones most hotels use. They are super cheap, like $100.00, quiet, and they make a world of difference.

And no dust bunnies under them!

On pedophiles and people who manage to keep their shit together...

Dan! I love you! You’re amazing, a true gift to humanity. I am so sorry that I am emailing you now, when I disagree... but the idea that a guy is not an acting pedophile because he copes well in other areas is just wrong. To get access to kids you need to seem together. It takes months or years of work and grooming of kids, families, communities. Schoolteachers can be pedophiles. Priests can be pedophiles. Dan, you’re a Catholic. You know that. In my high school a very important judge ran a club for boys called “Lancers,” and there were stories about him, but nobody really believed it. He was such an important guy, so together, he gave so much. He got some people into Harvard. When they found out what he’d done, he shot himself. When did they find out? Decades later. How many boys did he hurt? Nobody knows because nobody talked about it. A pedophile often tries to be a pillar of the community to get access to kids.

Dr. Michael Seto, a leader researching into pedophilia, observed—and his observations are backed up by research and carefully compiled data—that someone (pedophile or not) who demonstrates "low self-control... including addictions, problems holding down a job, problems in adult relationships, unreliability, and criminal behavior" is likelier to act out sexual as well as non-sexual impulses. If BFD's best friend's dad is generally stable, the research indicates that he's less likely to behave inappropriately even if he's attracted to children. Observing that something is less likely ≠ stating that something is impossible.

Your observations are valid: offending pedophiles will sometimes spend years grooming their targets and can appear to be upstanding members of the community. These observations aren't necessarily in conflict with Dr. Seto's observations. Some people who keep their shit together offend against children and sometimes people who appear to be upstanding members of the community—people who appear to have their shit together—have addiction issues, problems maintaining relationships, etc.

BFD's best friend is in a better position to know whether his father demonstrates poor impulse control in other areas of his life—and he may have demonstrated poor impulse control in ways that aren't obvious or known to people outside his immediate family. The same could've been the case with the man you cited.

Can you expand "not everyone who sexually abuses children is a pedophile". I get the nuance of just because you have attraction doesn't mean you'll act on it etc, but what exactly do you mean? Like some people are just perpetuating abuse they experienced but they are not pedophiles? But how would you distinguish between being a pedophile or not, if you perform an act of pedophilia?

People who aren't sexually attracted to children—people who aren't pedophiles—can and do sexually abuse children. Some people who're attracted to adults will sexually abuse children because they have access to and power over children, while some pedophiles with access to and power over children don't ever abuse children. David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes against Children Research Center, unpacked the distinction at length in this interview.

A long commentary about an offhand comment made long ago...

I have a dear friend who absolutely loves your work. He sings your praises on the regular and brings up various commentary that you have shared often in our conversations. Every time he does so, I have to remind my friend that... well, I don't like you. Let me clarify: I think you have done incredible work for the community. However, there was one time that you had a platform and I struggled with how you presented your opinion.

You came to my campus (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and had a full house of young queers on the edge of their seats to hear you speak. During the Q&A section, there were index cards where people had written anonymous questions.
One of the questions was rather innocuous. "What is your favorite flavored condom." Your response was something along the lines of "Who the hell uses flavored condoms??"

A lie would have been optimal.

I struggled with this response because the audience was jam packed with young, sexually active queers that were already engaging in plenty of destructive behaviors. Perhaps our opinions differ regarding sexual wellness/practices. I'm a gender non-conforming, biologically female person. I don't know what it feels like to receive a blowjob with a condom on. I do know that I have been shamed/shunned for pulling out barriers and rubber gloves with people I've hooked up with. It's not ideal, but it's safe.

I bring this up because for the umpteenth time, my friend mentioned you and he prefaced by saying... I know you don't like him, but Dan Savage said this incredible thing... and I decided that rather than continuing the banter, I would reach out and tell you. You have an even bigger platform than you did some time between 2008 and 2011 (when you came to my campus). The reason why flavored condoms exist is for safe oral sex—if I'm not mistaken.

Now the ask. You always have to have an ask. Perhaps you can address this issue once more (it's possible you already have) and offer a different take on this issue. Obviously, it's your call. I've had various STD scares, and ended up being suicidal while waiting on results. My entire life revolved around my orientation—and thus sex—for many years. It's possible that the only reason why I'm still here is because of those silly barriers and rubber gloves. Suffice to say, several sexual partners were not honest about their status.

In looking for a contact email address, I happened upon your podcast. Regardless if you address this with a response of any sort, Dan, you count me in as a listener. Your material is on point and fascinating. I'm excited to dive in.

Thanks for writing. I've most likely addressed the topic of flavored condoms—which are, of course, designed to be used during oral sex—at some other point over the years. But my position hasn't changed. At the height of the AIDS Crisis, when contracting HIV was a death sentence, very, very few gay and bi men used condoms for oral sex. I recall hearing guys say they'd rather die than suck a cock with a condom on it. And luckily for all involved/implicated/imbibing, oral sex, while not 100% risk-free where HIV was concerned, presented a much, much lower risk for HIV infection than anal intercourse. Most of the men I knew who used condoms for anal sex religiously didn't use them for oral—and most never got infected with HIV. (So odds are good you would still be here even if you hadn't used those "silly barriers" for oral sex.)

Ironically, despite my flippancy at that event, I was one of the very few guys out there using condoms for oral sex—during the early 1990s, right after I arrived in Seattle, at a time when HIV/AIDS deaths were still rising. I only used them for a brief time. Just long enough, in fact, to get comfortable with the idea that risk was inherent in all sexual activity and that while taking reasonable steps to mitigate for those risks made sense, using condoms for oral sex, by then known to be a very low-risk activity where HIV was concerned, wasn't reasonable. The risks (of infection) were low, the reward (in pleasure) was high.

Anyway, I'm not sorry I said it and I'd probably say the same today—I'd definitely say the same today, now that we can factor effective treatments for HIV and PrEP into our risk/reward calculus. But if I were asked the same question tonight I would mention that oral gonorrhea and oral syphilis are definitely concerns—and they're much more significant risks where oral sex is concerned than HIV; antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is a particular concern.

But if gay men who were literally watching their friends and lovers die couldn't be persuaded to use condoms for oral at the height of the AIDS Crisis—at a time when we didn't know whether oral sex spread the disease—young queers aren't going to start using them for sex today to protect themselves from the less terrifying threats of gonorrhea or syphilis on my say so.

Another perspective on Used Male's tale:

UM is telling the story from HIS perspective, making himself the protagonist. But did these two really have a conversation about non-monogamy like adults or was she acquiescing to his desires under pressure? And when her real self came out... did he continue to try to contain her in the tiny little box that was his comfort zone? No wonder she felt threatened by him and deceived him! This guy's discourse sounds right out of the incel or MGTOW playbook. He takes NO responsibility and casts himself as 100% the victim. I read it as a jealous, insecure man trying to control a non-monogamous woman in a borderline abusive way.

And finally... two tweets about the risks of listening to the Savage Lovecast...

Signal boosting and endorsing your tweet, High Anonymous, but why just millennials? I would hope that my Boomer, Gen X, and Gen Z listeners are thinking for themselves too.

Okay, that's it—have a great weekend, everybody. And if you're not already following JeffreyMixed on Instagram...

...you're missing out. See you Monday!


Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

Impeach the motherfucker already! Get your ITMFA buttons, t-shirts, hats and lapel pins and coffee mugs at www.ITMFA.org!

Tickets to HUMP 2019 are on sale now! Get them here!