Savage Love Aug 20, 2019 at 4:00 pm


Joe Newton



Griz is just in time for a quickie!


Thanks again, Dan, and bless you for "emission accomplished".


UDT should score this week's Lucky @69 Award.


UPSET, after giving your boyfriend and best friend the green light, what did you expect, celibacy?


@3: Sorry--make that @Ultimate Package Deal = UPD.


@4. There's a bro code that says you don't bang a woman your buddy is dating or has recently dated until all the smoke has clear. I believe we'd call it the "ho" code here and I think the friend was wrong to bone the dude her bestie was sorta dating regardless of the sorta hall pass. It's not a good look. (But now that the boundary has been crossed, is he a decent lay?)

ED Guy. Yeah, all of us past about 50 have been there, and it's even worse if you're on meds. The key here is to find the perfect amount of V or C that gets you good and hard YET allows you to cum. Personally, I break a low dose in half. If I take a whole dose the side effects are horrible and I can't cum. You're welcome.


Jizz theory: it never appears in sexy talk, but only in tales of humiliation, e.g., “The one and only performance of ‘Oklahoma’ my parents come to and I skip because I had jizz on my costume.” (This jumped to mind as the last time I heard it.)
As for those who find humiliation sexy, I dunno.


Internet porn has made West Coast regionalisms (inter)national in the same way that mass media did (because the majority of content production across media is centered in Cali, though for a minute in the 90s, everyone on TV sounded Canadian thanks to Vancouver offering incentives for filming there), but for sexual slang. Both spellings - jizz and jism - are of unknown etymology and related to "jazz", originally slang meaning "energy", which developed in the 1800s.

I prefer Dan's orthographical convention for come/cum (who knows if we'll ever see it in the MLA Style Guide or Chicago Manual of Style): "come (to one's climax)" is a verb, while "cum" (semen or, less frequently, vaginal fluid or female ejaculate) is a noun.


So cute, Ultimate Package Deal talks about cuddling with his best buddy while on Molly but immediately adds the disclaimer, "We're both straight." There are no hard and fast rules that say if you're buddies, you can never show closeness or affection to each other. Loosen up and enjoy the closeness you feel for each other. However, be aware that becoming sex buddies (with a female in between) could awaken new feelings for each other. Finally, how would you feel if the lady said that she's turned on by watching two guys fuck, and wants that as part of the arrangement. Would you be up for that. Keep in mind, fantasies sometimes take off in directions you didn't foresee. If you're still GGG, I'd say go for it and enjoy whatever happens as it might open new horizons.


Dream Girl's Dreamer: "She has made it very clear she wants our first time to be a fairy-tale evening, so we have yet to take things past mild foreplay." But she'll engage in sleep sex she doesn't have to directly take responsibility for. She's either an abuse victim or very hung up on sex or in expensive (emotionally or otherwise) territory of fantasyland looking for "fairy-tales." Or two or all three of the above. Run. To a good therapist, or just run, but run one way or the other.


@8 "Cali" not spoken here.


UPD- what a het man thinks isn’t always a het woman’s fancy. That said, I see the potential and suspect some qualified commenters could give you more qualified clues.

PILL- I’m surprised the bigger load concept is new to a late 50’s man, as I still practice it since my early teenage masturbation days.

Dan- Push Up Pills,PUPS, should be copyrighted as soon as before big pharma steps in.

AA- I didn’t know STIs can be transmitted through eye contact, as I only thought of cum/come/jizz/spunk in the eyes as nothing but discomfort.
This is very valuable information.

If face is on the menu one can still wear glasses, maybe even ski goggles, while also covering their mouth with a respiration mask of some sort.
A properly protected person or an animal mask can also be an option, provided it works for all involved.

I would have interpreted your verbal approval and early retirement on the couch as a neon green light.


Speaking of a big load, we had 7 letters this week, no reruns as far as I can tell, all are quite interesting, all are followed by great advice.


UPD, whip up a joint dating profile! But don't be surprised to run into plenty of women that aren't attracted to /both/ of you.

SPUNK: Wait, isn't it "cum" (not "come")?


p.s. Come on now, "come" already has a perfectly good meaning.


So does cum curious.
The word round here is come.


I've long suspected The Beatles "Come together, over me" is all about bukkake.


@18 CMD: That sounds about right. What I find particularly eerie about the Beatles' 1969 song, Come Together from Abbey Road is John Lennon's repeated two word phrase in the intro, "Shoot me".


Hunter @9: Cum is the ejaculate, or ejaculated substance (excuse me, you have cum on your leg). Come is the orgasm (Oh god, oh god, I'm going to come).


Fun trivia: The Beatles' "Come Together" was originally written by John Lennon as a campaign song for Timothy Leary in his short-lived run for governor of California.


I was recently in a situation that led me to think about the same question as HORN. Eventually I settled on "male unicorn."


Bro code is stupid and from what I know, women don't really have something like that. You don't fuck your friend's partners, but this gal had permission so...

@10 Yes I guess that's possible and something to keep in mind, but since these guys discussed fucking women and did nothing sexual, I'd think the drugs just removed the inhibitions so that they could bond and show friendly affection for one another- something women in most places and men in other cultures do without any consider for the emergence of hidden feelings.

@11 could be? I don't know about sexsomnia but if it's a real thing (and Dan's the expert here so I assume he knows what he's talking about) then why pretend it's something she's faking?

As for the fairy tale first time, it's not my cup of tea, but it seems no more harmful/crazy than any other preference or sexual expectation. If someone wrote in saying their partner had a stocking fetish and wanted to put off sex until they bought the appropriate stockings, we would be called sex negative to say they need to seek therapy. And yet always with "fairy tale" type stuff it's eye-rolling and batshit. In any case, sure it sounds like dude might wanna pay attention to what he's getting into- it's not run of the mill sex and he should have his eyes open as he would with anyone who had specific preferences.


@23 EmmaLiz: It's a real thing that I've done a couple times. I'm a sleepwalker in general, though. I'd be surprised if somebody experiences only sexsomnia without any other sleepwalking type issues.


EmmaLiz @23 - I have to say that when I read "she wants our first time to be a fairy-tale evening" I thought "fairy tales get pretty dark! She might get more than she is expecting."

If I had the LW here, I would ask him -- so have you talked about what fairy-tale aspects, she has in mind, and why it can't happen, say, this weekend?


Around here it’s all come. You come and that’s come on your leg. Dan has stated this over and over. Come come come come.


UPD: "we should find a woman who loves to have her pussy eaten and loves to get fucked." In other words, "we should find a woman." Great plan, but if I were to be the lucky one receiving the services of two dudes, I'd expect to come more than twice!

Correction to Dan's last line in his response to HORN: "MEN interested in simply playing with couples aren't anywhere near as hard to find." And since when does "unicorn" mean only women who want triads? I thought it still meant any bi woman willing to get with an OS couple, whether for a night or for a relationship. That said, while equally rare and thus inaccurate, "pegasus" seems a good term for the male equivalent of a unicorn. I think Dan had this question once before from a gay man who liked to join MM couples, and his answer was that these are so common this man would be called a "horse."

SMDG: "She has made it very clear she wants our first time to be a fairy-tale evening." And she's HOW old? This woman has unreasonable expectations, expectations her subconscious seems not to share. Sexsomnia is a weird one. I'm going to disagree with Dan that "initiating skin-to-skin contact" with a sleeping person -- ie, you know, cuddling -- is a violation of consent and a "manipulation" into further sexual contact. Surely he should have stopped her from taking things further. And now that he knows that by doing this, he's essentially tricking her into sex, he shouldn't do it unless they have a wide-awake conversation in which she says she's happy to do what her subconscious initiates.
Also, dude, being blown by someone in their sleep is "every guy's dream"? Ewww. You've both grossed me out now.

UPSET, you told these two it was okay for them to have sex, then you left them alone in the bedroom. How else were they supposed to have interpreted that, other than "I'm too tired to continue things but y'all two go ahead"? Next time, join in!


SMDG, at least I'll give you props for telling her what she did. A lot of guys would keep that secret and keep enjoying the nonconsensual sleep-blowjobs. Ms SMDG, either just buy some scented candles and get to the sex bit already so this won't be a problem, or don't share a bed with your not-yet-sexual partners.


This was a good collection of letters.

I don't know what to say about the sleep blow jobs. He wrote that there has been foreplay but no PIV because she's waiting on PIV. He doesn't say what the foreplay includes but I assume it doesn't include giving head given the phrasing of the letter. I think he needs to help make her aware of the condition. As someone who can get kind of gropy with my partner while I'm asleep (half dream state, half awake--feels a bit psychedelic), I've always been very careful about sharing a bed with other people. And the hotter the room, the more this seems to happen. Sometimes my sleeping advances, sometimes I'm told to roll over and go back to sleep. Often with the latter, I'm told about it in the morning since I have no recollection.


Hunter @9, I agree that Dan seems to prefer "come" in all instances. I agree with John, come is a verb, cum is a noun.

Jon @10, I agree that some women will be adventurous enough to try this, but many would want a threesome to fully involve all participants. I don't think they'd get many recurring partners from this deal. Better would be for UPD to give his buddy cunnilingus lessons. Teach a man to fish (so to speak) and you make him a great lover for life, do his foreplay for him and you teach him that it's OK to be lazy.

CMD @18: Haha! Nocute @21, interesting! The things I learn on Savage Love.

That @22: Perhaps it's calling out for a portmanteau like manbun or guyliner? Manicorn?

The words we use for ejaculate. Cum/come, jizz/jism (I prefer the latter), spunk, spooge. My favourite is spooge because I consider it gender neutral (the excess lube I produce is also called spooge, at least by me). What are other commenters' preferences?


My preference is come. It’s a clean word and purposeful. Come makes babies, let’s not forget it’s true worth. Come hither come now and come make a baby.
A woman makes lubricant, there is no secret power beyond creating a fine slippery path so that come can come.


My second choice is Spunk. Because that’s what those stealth bombers have got.
Otherwise, I don’t like to slag sacred fluid.


Ms Cute - This week's installment of the Austen-influenced dating guide contained regarding Miss A nothing worse than a bad evaluation of Mr Yates, whom the author puts down as being on a par with Mr Rushworth (when he's really an inferior version of Mary Crawford more than anything else). There were some moderately interesting assessments of Willoughby, Frank Churchill, and Henry Crawford. But the author has shown herself to hold a lot of gender essentialist beliefs of the sort she thinks are "enlightened" but just amount to her wanting men (I could give her a major benefit of the doubt and say OS men, but I'm not so inclined) to be gynocentric simps. If you've ever heard a FeMRA going on about how no women really like White Knights (which you likely haven't), this author is the sort of woman who does.


Why on earth are you listing all the terms in your profile, HORN? Simply list yourself as Male/Horse-Based Mythological Creature. Anyone who is aware that a unicorn is a type of bisexual will know what you mean, As a bonus, you’ll be doing your bit to establish your preferred term as the standard term.


Hmmm... I'm not sure how to read the letter from the guy who's dating the sexomniac.

On the one hand, this fits Dan's well-established pattern of getting a letter from a straight man and then immediately assuming the very worst, sans evidence. On the other hand, the wording is ambiguous and Dan's outage might actually be justified this time.

The idea that LW should be faulted for not initially getting express consent before cuddling with the partner he's sleeping next to is fucking absurd. By that logic, my girlfriend has repeatedly violated my consent and has from the very beginning of our relationship. That is a completely ludicrous double standard -- the kind of unworkable position on consent advocated by a minority of feminists who are unfamiliar with how sexuality gets expressed in the real world. If I've routinely cuddled with a partner, I'm not going to shy away from putting my arm around her when she's asleep, just like I wouldn't want my partner to refrain from kissing me while I'm still half-asleep and can't actively consent. Isn't Dan the guy who once spoke of "implied consent"?

I agree he should have stopped his girlfriend if he knew she was unconscious. If you're cuddling with the woman you spoon and sleep next to, and in the middle of the night she starts blowing you, what guy in his right mind thinks, "You know what? I better stop to make sure that she's not a sexomniac." Honest to God, until I started regularly reading this column I didn't realize that was even a phenomenon that existed, and quite frankly, I completely forgot about it until just now.

The LW writes that it took him two nights of them sleeping together before he understood what was happening -- from my perspective, that's totally understandable. (It might have taken me longer.) He then shared what happened with his girlfriend, and doesn't seem to be hiding anything from her. It's there that the letter gets confusing: he notes that "on two occasions" she performed oral on him. On my initial reading, I took him to be referring to the two nights they were sleeping together before he understood what was happening. LW then closes his letter with a generic question about sex with sexomniacs.

I have no issue with Dan's position on sex with sexomniacs and think it's important to stress the issue of consent. But he should have elicited more info before laying in on the LW. It's still not clear to me what actually happened.

If I were Dan, I would have stressed the issue of consent, but then urged the LW to talk to his girlfriend to find out wtf she thinks about all of this.


@17 LavaGirl
"So does cum curious."

Oh, right. But that one's barely used thankfully.

"The word round here is come."

That's a shame. Oh well, one must live with usage.

Personally any usage other than "cum" sounds childish to my ears.


@23: Sexsomnia is very much a real thing. I've experienced it, myself, but it's literally only one of the extremely weird things I do when asleep, so knowing that it's an issue sometimes, I warned my bf that it was a possibility, and he in turn asked me if it's something I'm okay with doing, which was a non-issue for us after that.

The problem with sexsomnia (ESPECIALLY if it's dark) is that you could be reasonably convinced that your partner is awake AND aware of what they were doing. I've only discovered that it's a thing because I've woken myself up that way a couple of times, which is why I don't risk falling asleep next to someone who doesn't know and/or who I don't trust.

She doesn't seem to believe the LW, and that makes the consent issue even more imperative. The LAST thing I hope he'd want for her is for her to feel violated. He definitely needs to readdress the issue, and be sure that she feels comfortable with him reciprocating. More than that, he needs to be VERY anything off-limits? Is intercourse okay? Be VERY certain of that consent before you proceed with anything, and be sure of just how far that permission stretches!!


@34 yeah. When I read that one, my first thoughts were definitely... wait where's the problem here? Cuddling leads to sexual activity. Dude puts 2 and 2 together. Says something. Everything looks like it checks out to me.


I feel like Dan needs to google bukkake a bit more, only way that is staying away from ones eyes completely is if you wear goggles or a mask.


@37 him saying something isn't the same thing as her giving consent though. Pollyc is right, now that he knows this is a thing he needs to clearly defined what is and isn't ok, and since she "barely believes" him it doesn't sound like he has it. Sure, skin to skin cuddling is standard in most relationships but most doesn't mean all. Most friends drink together from time to time but that doesn't mean you should spike your alcoholic friend's drink.

He unknowingly violated her consent the first time he assumed she was awake for sex. Maybe the second time before he realized what was up. Anything after that is sexually assaulting his unconscious girlfriend unless he knows for sure she's ok with him doing _ while she's asleep.


Seriously the number of people in this comment section who seem to think having sex with an unconscious person just because they were cuddling with you is disturbing as fuck.


@40, BabyRae: and that kind of scary-ass mentality is exactly why I don't go to sleep around just anyone.

I actually thought of something else that's EVEN more important: with sexsomnia, it can start and stop at any time. You might not even get to finish. The afflicted person literally might just climb off, roll away into another position, and just as comfortably go back to peacefully sleeping, and if/when that happens, LW, you need to be just as okay with them seperating from you and maybe you're left blue-balled for the night. That kind of pre-determined consent is tenuous, so when THEY stop the action, YOU stop the action.

If they really got you going, the least you could do then is wake them up, tell them what just happened, and tell them that they were doing some pretty exciting things and see if they want to maybe finish what they started. If they don't, leave it the hell alone, and if they repeat this process, that's when you know it's time to take your ass out of the room and sleep it off on the couch for the night.


@25 Erica, yes exactly. They should talk about what this means and plan a date.

I don't want to make assumptions about sexsomnia (thanks Ankylo, Surfrat) but assuming she's being honest here, could there be some personal repression involved - like she's horny and denying herself so it comes out in her sleep walking?

Since sexsomnia is a thing (which blows my mind already but humans are weird), then it does not seem weird to me that it would include blow jobs. For one thing, we have ample evidence that people who have had their drinks spiked with rape drugs do perform oral sex with no memory of it - alternating wakefulness and grogginess. So if the brain can do that on drugs then it can probably do it in some medical condition.


Regarding the fairy tale sex ("how old is this woman"), I think the important distinction is if her thing is fairy tale sex (my guess is romantic and sweet) or if she expects a fairy tale relationship. If this woman's thing is roses and candles and being pursued with sweet nothings (or whatever), and she tells the dude she wants that for their first time, then I think he should decide if he's willing to play at that and I don't think it's any more unreasonable for her to ask for that and expect it (from time to time) than it would be if she told him she were into BDSM. And I'm sick of the idea that this is eye-rolling and unreasonable while other things (cucking, role play, bondage, any other thing) is not.

On the other hand, if she wants a fairy tale relationship and sees the fairy tale sex as part of that, then this is a red flag - just like if someone wrote in saying they wanted a sub really meant they wanted that person to be subjected to them in all aspects of life, etc. In my mind, it's a similar problem with some violent or degrading role play- how much of that is someone playing out their real perspectives about their partners or about sexuality or about gender, and how much of it is fantasy? Same with romance IMO- how much is an expectation that your one and only love really will be like a fairy tale? They will have to work this out between them.

Pythag, etc: I don't know. I agree that your response would be better, but I think Dan was responding to the guy's words here. He says if he puts his arm around her while she's sleeping then she will give him a blow job without knowing it which could be any man's dream. I think that word choice does sound a little alarming, and Dan responded to it appropriately whereas your word choice would be more appropriate to someone who wrote in describing the situation the way you did. Generally though, yes he should talk to her about how she feels about it.

Regarding this LW in general, I think the bigger red flag is not the sexsomnia nor the desire for fairy tale sex but rather the expectation that a man she is not fucking cuddle with her and sleep with her all night which just seems really repressed and unreasonable to me. Is this a thing that happens in yalls' experience? I mean with adults here (these people are in their 40s not high school). That request COMBINED with the sexsomnia COMBINED with the desire for fairy tale sex seem like a possible hot mess to me, even though any of those things individually might not.

But if she just means she wants sappy pursuit and romance in her sex life from time to time especially in the first time they fuck, then I suggest the guy buy some candles and lay down some rose petals and whatever the hell else that means- as Erica said I think it could become really fun if they move it into the world of role play. As I've mentioned before, those "romance books" can get really raunchy, it's soft porn and it seems no more eyerolly to me for Fabio to save a lady from being ravished by bandits then for hot teacher to hold you after class until you bend her over the desk. Why is one stupid and the other is expected consumption?


@Polly just out of curiosity (and none of my business if you don't want to answer), do you behave different sexually when you are experiencing sexsomnia than you do when you are awake? I mean- different things you'd do, different inhibitions? Like for a lot of people, they are different sexually when they are on substances than they are sober. I have nephew that sleep walked seriously when he was a child but he would behave almost exactly the way he'd behave awake- it didn't change his personality. It's just that he would act out his dreams- thought he's chasing our dog or playing a game at school, though less coherently. So I wonder if it's the same thing, just that since you are an adult in a relationship, the things you do include sex?


@39 Saying something is the start of figuring out what's up. Now they figure out what's up and agree to a standard. I see no consent violations here. Sometimes wires get crossed under rare circumstances. That's not a consent violation. That's people figuring out how to get along.

I mean you are literally requiring this man to read her subconscious mental state to determine that her actions occurred in a state between sleep and wakefulness. That's absurd. It happened twice. He brought it up. Now they can deal.


11 #rockyboy 24 #Ankylosaurus: my sexsomniac ex, who also sleep-walked, had a seizure disorder. I have to admit that when he would initiate sex while asleep, I added his obvious desire to the execution of behavior and felt that equaled consent. He obviously wanted it, on whatever plane of consciousness. If anything, I was the one who might have faced some difficulty calling a halt.


@EmmaLiz: The few times it's happened to me (the few times I've done it? my sense of personal agency in sleepwalking is weird, sometimes I have no memory of it later and other times I know what I'm doing at the time but it's in a warped dream context that doesn't jibe with reality), I behaved the same sexually as I would when I was awake, and it was with a regular partner where everybody felt they were giving and receiving consent. Even if the explicit consent was retroactive: "oh dang it that started as sleep sex, we all still good? ok cool".


@44, EmmaLiz, nooot really. I'm pretty liberal and sexually impulsive, anyway, and I'm not very inhibited, but the awkward thing about sexsomnia is it doesn't HAVE to be partnered and it can be friggin AWKWARD if you have platonic housemates. I guess my out-of-character-ness comes from starting/stopping, and maybe starting again. But for some people, they can get REALLY out of character, and become extremely sexually aggressive, and it's such a random thing, it might be somewhat frequent or almost never.

Now, for me, my out-of-character behavior comes into play in that I can be very violent. I've punched people and things, I've slapped people and things, and so on, and some, but not all of this relates to a dream that felt intense or even life and death. The reason I'm mentioning this is people are guessing that sexsomnia has to do with sexual abuse/sexual repression...and...maybe, but it can literally just be brought on by periods of high anxiety and stress. There ARE triggering moments, but no definite, one-size-fits-all explanations.

I do feel afraid of hurting my partner, I would feel very bad if I hit him unconsciously (though he doesn't mind the idea), but at no point so far that we have slept in a bed together have I gotten violent. Can that change? I'm not sure. I HAVE experienced sexsomnia with him, and I can only say for myself that repression doesn't play any sort of role between us. I did wonder if it's maybe tied to hypersexuality, but it seems just about as probable an explanation as repression or abuse. It's like anything can be different for everyone. However, it typically goes hand-in-hand with other sleep disorders.... I think I read that maybe 11 percent of people at sleep clinics are sexsomniacs, but really it's not that much different from other parasomnias--except for the extremely grey areas between violation and consent. I've also read that SOME sexsomniacs might perform sex acts next to/to WHOEVER they're sleeping next to...they don't have to be romantically involved at all! That seems extremely dubious to me, but if there's any truth to that, how potentially scary and shocking for both people involved!

Sorry for the lengthy explanation, hope it answers some of your questions!


@44, @49, just to clarify, the aggression is seperate, and I'm definitely into BDSM and all, but it can get overboard and really intense and be directed at anything. Ever punched a metal headboard in the middle of the night or woken up beating the hell out of your lamp? OW. But as far as sexsomnia goes, everyone equating that it equals desire for that specific can that be really true if they A) don't even remember that you are there, because they are truly asleep, and B) some people could just initiate some form of sexual acts or exploration on someone next to them or themselves and possibly not even remember it at ALL? Idk. I think if you're aware that they're truly asleep, and this opportunity comes up, give it a miss until you've discussed it when they are awake, and aware, and can define their personal boundaries verbally themselves. I agree with BabyRae...that is NOT the same as informed consent, any more than if you were to have sex with someone on a date-rape drug who were fully present during the ACT, but not consciously aware of it, or even able to really remember much, if anything, about it later.


Anyone else think Dan came down way too hard on SMDG? Granted, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, but it sounds like the first time he was confused by her blowing him then having no memory, then it happens a second time and he realizes it isn't a one time thing, that she has sexsomnia, he informs her but she doesn't believe him, so he's coming to Dan asking where this falls with consent.
Or imagine what it would look like if he was being a real shit. We'd be hearing about how this had happened not twice, but many times, he never told her about her sexsomnia, had tried to trigger it every chance he had, and he was writing because she finally woke up during one of these sessions, she's furious, and instead of asking Dan about consent SMDG was asking whether she was right to be furious.


JFC, Dan, I've been a regular in the comments for how long? Second LW--PILL--I hope you are reading this. Take high-dose fish oil. Speeds up orgasm. For the science behind it, read my book The Orgasmic Diet. Or not, I do not give a hoot. It will work, especially if you avoid other things that slow down orgasm like caffeine.

Dan, you're at the age now where you might benefit yourself. Try my diet for a couple weeks, and you can determine if I'm full of baloney or not yourself.

I should have goddamned cashed in on the flibanserin, but NOOOOO, I wanted people to be able to do it without a prescription.


@50, given the LW's tone, I don't think so, as I said above to Pythag who raised the same concern as you. He's responding to the way the man described the situation as much as the situation itself. The dude sounds a little confused to me too, and the fact that he's asking for advice indicates that he is probably not a real shit, but on the other hand, he did in fact say that if he puts his arm around her while she's asleep she will give him a blow job and then not remember it or believe she did and that this could be every man's dream situation should he be concerned about consent. I mean, that's what he said, not hey I'm confused about this. My own opinion is that he was joking a bit with the every man's dream thing and that he actually does care about her consent or else he wouldn't have told her about it and wouldn't be writing the question in the first place, but the joking-about-consent tone is what triggered Dan's consent-is-serious response, not the specifics of the situation, which yes did only happen twice and yes he does appear to be honest about it and confused.

@Polly and Ankylo- thanks that is really fascinating stuff. Also I guess this would affect how you consider all sorts of things in life, extra measures to take to protect yourself and others, wow. As to your question about specific people, Polly, I don't know of course, but I was thinking about how supposedly hypnosis doesn't make people do things that they wouldn't ordinarily do anyway though honestly I don't know if that's true or not. The mind is a fascinating and sometimes terrifying place. I agree it's not consent, unless a blanket consent is given as in Ankylo's and Kittymama's situations. I've had sex with my husband during which time he knew I was waayyy too drunk to know what I was doing or even really remember it, (more times than is probably healthy given my tendency to drink too much when I do) and certainly I don't think he's violating my consent in these situations. If anything, he's indulging me as I'm certainly persistently horny when I'm drunk and also very sloppy. I feel sort of lucky to have someone who can have fun with that rather than someone who is annoyed by it- this is blanket consent.


To the bukakke person, make sure your don't have any cuts or open sores on your body during this scene!


Questions for @20 and those others touching on the come vs come question.

So, what would you call the stuff “Mary” used to style her hair in the movie, “There's Something About Mary”? Should there be a neologism for cum as hair gel?


EmmaLiz @43, it would depend on whether the words "fairy tale" are hers or SMDG's. I agree, if what she actually means is "I want our first time to be romantic," then I have no quibble with that. But if she's literally using the words "fairy tale" then she has unrealistic expectations, whether she's talking just about the sex or about the relationship itself.
I don't know enough about sexsomnia to say definitively, but it certainly sounds like her subconscious wants things her conscious isn't allowing herself to admit she wants. She may also be finding this hard to believe because none of her previous partners -- assuming she had previous partners -- told her anything of the sort, and she doesn't want to think that they were enjoying sleeping blowjobs without being decent enough to tell her. I wouldn't want to think about that either!
I agree completely that the phrase "every guy's dream" make this guy less sympathetic and the harsher words from Dan seem more justified. I'd also note, regarding your reply to Pythag, that he DID talk to her about it. But it has to be an ongoing dialogue which includes waking her up when she does this, so that she'll believe she's doing it and they can decide how to proceed.
I agree that this woman is being naive if she expects to cuddle with men in bed, non-sexually, and that 100% of them will respect her boundaries. Unfortunately, quite a few will not. That's not to blame the victim, it's realism. Ms SMDG, read this letter -- men are pigs. She's 31 (he's in his 40s), but that's too old to be this naive.
I agree that there is nothing wrong or silly about her wanting romantic sex.

Unknown @50, I don't know what your point is. Imagine if someone wrote in who, instead of cheating on their partner, murdered them. That's kind of the hypothetical you're putting out there. Because he "only" violated her twice, he doesn't need to be told definitively that it's wrong? Sure, on the surface he did what a reasonable, ethical person should do. Again, it's the "this is every guy's dream" comment that makes him seem a bit creepy.

JFC, Marrena @51, you've been spamming the comments section about your book for how long?


RE: SMDG's and the surprise BJs. The first time is a surprise. The second time a possible confirmation of sexsomnia. After that it is both his and her responsibility to discuss and address what to do.

For her benefit, he might consider assuring her that there is no need to feel shame or embarrassment. If she continues to be reluctant to admit that it happened, the onus would be on him to do his best to avoid it (pajama top and pants come to mind). Perhaps, he should consider, if she continues to state that she is not ready to engage in any sexual activity he should, as @40 states, WAKE HER UP!


RE: @54

Cum vs come (damned autocorrect!)


Why not spoon with your sexsomnia girlfriend with a (silk?) sheet between you (under one of you, then over the other)? No direct skin contact, and the sheet is a barrier to anything she might not want to do in her sleep, but you still get to spoon.


@55 over ten years now. Let me be clear--I do not make any money off of my book sales at this point. You can buy it used for


weird, my comment got cut off.


Word @58, interesting, I wonder if he would get the same results if he was cuddling her through a sheet or pajamas. I suspect it's the cuddling rather than the feel of skin that inspires her nocturnal amorousness. But yeah. He knows that this is something she would not be doing if she were awake and capable of making a decision. Would he wake her up if she was about to use the stove in her sleep, or was walking towards a flight of stairs? Same thing, dude. Wake her up and stop her.


@52 I agree with your assessment.

@39 "He unknowingly violated her consent the first time he assumed she was awake for sex"

Just so we're clear: I agree that it is immoral to take sexual advantage of people who are in an unconscious state -- including so-called sexomniacs.

But I take pretty strong issue with this idea that a guy who, for understandable reasons, doesn't realize the woman who is performing oral sex on him in the middle of the night is asleep, has somehow "violated" her "accidentally."

I'm sorry, maybe it's just a poor choice of words, but that seems absurd to me -- it assigns a moral failing in a way that strains credulity. A person who accepts oral sex from a partner while operating on the reasonable assumption that the partner is awake has done absolutely nothing wrong. (Again, if placed in that situation, I don't know if it would even occur to me that the woman mouth-fucking me might be asleep.)

If this same woman sleep-cooks a pizza and winds up burning down the house, the oven is not the one responsible. It's the woman who is performing these actions. If anything, in this scenario, the woman's condition has caused her to violate herself.

Of course, once the man becomes aware that she is unconscious, his moral responsibilities set in.


@45 reading her mind would be assuming she's acting out of sexual repression or denial and that she does want to be having sex. I'm saying he should do the opposite. Bringing it up is the start of the conversation, not the end of it. If they had talked about it he would already have his answer. The fact that he's asking Dan about whether it's ok to have sex with his unconscious girlfriend when she doesn't know she's initiating is bonkers

They need to have a conscious, sober conversation about where her limits are and if it's ok for him to proceed when she unconsciously initiates. Until then, the easiest solution is to make sure she's actually awake before putting his penis inside her, or to sleep on the couch. Either of these would likely drive home the reality of the situation to her.

Sleeping in the same bed is not consent to sex, even in a relationship. Having sex with an unconscious person is sexual assault, even in a relationship. Yeah, the first time was a misunderstanding, probably the second time too. But now he knows and he can't unknow.


@63 Reads like a lot of back flips to imply I'm in the wrong when I wrote the same thing you just did. Whatever.


@BDF It's true I'm assuming she means "romance in the bedroom" and we share the same concern about her mixing up fairy tale sex with fairy tale relationships (the first is fine since it's fantasy play, the second is a red flag since fantasy is not reality).

But for devil's advocate, what if her thing was dressing up like a princess and having him ride in on a pretend pony and climb and pretend tower and rescue her then carry her outside and fucking her in the bushes? Or cosplaying little red riding hood or the seven dwarves or any other fairy tale? That's not my thing and it sounds like a lot of work, but I don't see how it's any more harmful or odd or negative or red flaggy than someone with a blueberry fetish or who wants to wear diapers and pretend to be a baby or who wants to do daddy/son play or who wants to tie up / slap around their sex partners, or any other of the many scenarios we discuss all the time without saying the poster's expectations are unrealistic.

It's far more likely she's not talking about cosplaying fairy tales but rather wanting to be pursued and swept off her feet and made to feel extremely special in a romantic setting which, assuming they discuss it first, is totally realistic and if he's going to be GGG with her (assuming he wants to be with her) he should put just as much effort into this (from time to time, and with reciprocation) as we'd expect someone who indulges any partners' myriad preferences.

@pythag I agree with you as well. I interpreted BabyRae's words to mean that he participated in a sex act with her to which she had not consented but he did not know this (hence the "unknowingly") and therefore is not at fault here as you explain. But the fact that he is not at fault does not change the fact that she did not consent. I think the problem is in using the word "violated"- you can't violate someone without intent.

But I agree with Baby Rae's response to you- now that he knows (and he didn't the first time, maybe not even the second since it's a confusing situation and takes a while to understand what's going down, especially since she doesn't believe it which would further confuse the situation)- now that he knows, he is actually asking Dan if it's a violation of her consent to keep going at it, even though they clearly haven't discussed it. Which is why (again) I think Dan took the consent-is-serious tone with him. The answer should've been obvious to him- no you can't get your gf to blow you while she's asleep when she doesn't know or believe she's doing it. But he wrote asking about it anyway which is weird.

BTW I think it's also really fucking weird that this woman keeps cuddling up with a guy all night that she's not having sex with, so I'd say the dude might want to consider stepping back altogether, or if he proceeds with her, they need to sit down and have a really honest talk. Her denial of his recounting of her sleep blow jobs is also a red flag.

Sleeping in the same bed is not consent to sex, absolutely. But it's also an unreasonable expectation, in my experience, to ask someone to sleep with you and cuddle you all night when you aren't even having sex with them. Is he supposed to just lay there with a boner? Jack off in the bathroom first? Have no natural sex drive? It absolutely does not mean he's any right to sex with her, but I'd say he should tell her no and go home.


I don't really think the sleep-sex boyfriend had done anything wrong (yet) other than an ill-advised joke.

On another note -- I don't understand why you would touch anyone knowing they're asleep. Is this a common thing? If someone put their arm around me when I was asleep, it would wake me up. Both of my parents are insomniacs, so growing up I learned that sleep is sacred. In my family, you never do ANYTHING that could possibly wake anyone up unless it's an emergency. The only times I was allowed to wake anybody up as a kid was when I wet the bed or barfed.

This cuddling-while-asleep thing is just so foreign to me. Something to keep in mind if I ever have a boyfriend. I can just imagine it -- boyfriend puts his arm around me in a gesture of affection, and I jump up, startled, yelling "Aah! What's the matter?! What's happening?! Why did you wake me up?!"


nocute @ 21
Very interesting, thanks!

ww @ 58
The sheet you propose is likely to be a safety hazard, and at the very least causing some discomfort like sweating.

EL @ 65
“but I don't see how it's any more harmful or odd or negative or red flaggy than someone with a blueberry fetish”
According to a blueberry farmer I talked to awhile ago those berries can enhance sexual performance. Wonder what Marrena has to say in this regard.


Calli I've shared a bed for a very long time and while everyone is different, I'd say it's extremely common to get used to one another and not be awakened by them so easily. You might be different of course- and I know couples who sleep in separate rooms even due to the fact that they wake each other easily. The weird thing is, I'm so used to my husband's comings and goings (and he is with mine) that we don't wake one another up at all, though if someone else comes near my bedroom, it does wake me up. I have no idea how this can be the case- I think my subconscious mind is registering smells, sounds, etc? Is that a real thing? I have no idea.

Anyway, again I'm sure there are preferences and habits of physical contact as well whiel someone is sleeping, but I'm pretty sure it's very common for partners to snuggle up, even if the other is asleep already. At least that's the norm in my relationship. Also to initiate sex even when one of us is already sleeping- I don't know how common this is, but we do it pretty frequently (one of those personal blanket consent things again). I love being woken up this way and my husband too. Sometimes I can't even say how awake I get- it's like I'm dreaming turned on and horny and pleased and then I'm in real life turned on and horny and pleased and then I'm dreaming again, some satisfaction and sleep in between. You get used to people's bodies and habits when you've been together a long time.


EmmaLiz @ 43 and 65. I agree that there might be something going on with her, when you take all of this combined. It might be nothing, or it might be some fairly major sexual hangup - shame at her own desires so she can only accept being sexual if all the tests are passed and then her own body taking over in her sleep. Or, again, it might be nothing, and she's fine.

The way to find out is to really talk to her, as everyone else here has been saying.


@3: What was I thinking? After all my years in the U.S. Navy. UDT = Underwater Demolition Team (Navy SEALs). I meant UPD = Ultimate Package Deal.
And here Griz is now a DAV = Disabled American Veteran.
This sounds like a scene from Good Morning, Vietnam:
Airman Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams, to Lieutenant Steven Hauk, played by Bruno Kirby, regarding a public broadcast of former Vice President Richard Nixon visiting 1965 Saigon):
"Excuse me, sir--but since the former VP is a VIP shouldn't mention of his visit be on the QT? If it ever leaks out to the VC, the VP could end up RIP and we could all end up on KP."
@6: I'm not a bro, Tim. I thought you knew that. :)
@21 nocutename: I didn't know that. Thank you and CMD for sharing about the Beatles' Come Together.
@69 WA-HOOOOOO!!!! Major congrats to EmmaLiz on scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award! May luscious decadence come your way very soon! :)


BabyRae @63: "Yeah, the first time was a misunderstanding, probably the second time too. But now he knows and he can't unknow." I think we are all on the same page here. And I think EmmaLiz @52 is probably right about the "every man's dream" quip being a joke. Sometimes men, and/or people who've never been or feared being sexually assaulted, don't understand just how unfunny it is to joke about that sort of thing. But he can't go back in time and stop her those previous two times, so it's up to him to take this more seriously and work with her to find a solution for the future. Safest thing seems to not share a bed until they are sexually active and she accepts her condition and verbally consents in advance to any sleep sex. Because it is expecting a lot to expect someone to not cuddle their partner in bed, or to stop sexual activity they didn't initiate, particularly when they may be asleep themself.

EmmaLiz @65: We nearly agree. Even "fairy tale sex," in my experience, seems unrealistic because the first time with a new partner is more likely to be awkward than magical. And I'd say she's setting herself up for MORE awkwardness by putting this expectation on him. But that's a side point, so I'll move on.
"Sleeping in the same bed is not consent to sex, absolutely. But it's also an unreasonable expectation, in my experience, to ask someone to sleep with you and cuddle you all night when you aren't even having sex with them. Is he supposed to just lay there with a boner? Jack off in the bathroom first? Have no natural sex drive? It absolutely does not mean he's any right to sex with her, but I'd say he should tell her no and go home." Absolutely, thank you!

Calliope @66: "I don't really think the sleep-sex boyfriend had done anything wrong (yet) other than an ill-advised joke." Perfectly said, gold star.
As for cuddling someone while they're asleep, it depends on how sound a sleeper they are, I guess. I recently spent the night with a new partner who fell asleep with their arm around me, and couldn't be moved easily, leaving me sleepless for the whole night! Fortunately I told them I cannot sleep while being bodily connected, and it hasn't happened again. Whew! I believe that I sleep soundly enough that someone could, for instance, spoon me and not wake me, and I've done that to partners who've carried on sleeping. I also think it's natural to toss and turn in your sleep and there's a risk that you'll roll over into your partner. I think what you're imagining won't actually happen once you're in REM sleep. Certainly, Ms SMDG isn't waking up!

CMD @67, hahahaha. Gold star for you too!


@65 EmmaLiz and @67 CMD: Blueberries can naturally enhance sex drive? Thanks--I learn something new every week reading Savage Love. :)
@73 BiDanFan: No gold star for Griz?


Sorry, not -quite- moving on yet! It's because she said she wants their FIRST time to be like a fairy tale that I think she's being unrealistic. If she said that generally, she likes sex to be romantic, or even that she wants to cosplay being Rapunzel, fine. Enjoy! It's the "first time" expectation that's striking a sour note with me.


@75 BiDanFan: I was just teasing. :) I can see why you have developed a sour note regarding the LW's expectations. Few of us have absolutely fairytale / explicit romance novel-level "perfect" sexual experiences the first time.


Griz, comments crossed! Gold star for your continued management of the Lucky Number awards, and for being Firdt on this thread!


Ms Fan - I almost entirely agree about the first-time fairy tale expectation. I might take it deeper and say that, defending on the particular fairy tale involved (if one exists), anyone whose potential partner has such an expectation might be well advised to consider that the encounter proposed will involve great derring-do on one side and Very Little Indeed on the other.


@77 BiDanFan: Thank you and bless you. It is truly an honor to be firdt and in charge of the lucky numbers! I had to have another movie night. In honor of the lovely Meg Tilly, Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Noble Willingham, and J.T.Walsh I viewed The Big Chill (1983) followed by Good Morning, Vietnam. Sad to find that J.T.Walsh only lived to age 55 when Google searching his biography. I remember Walsh best as Lieutenant Colonel Markinson from A Few Good Men (1992). He died in 1998.
As for Griz's first time, the man who took my virginity was hung like a horse. I couldn't walk right for two days. Oof.


I love when Dan does "Quickies" for his column. I don't want them too often, but jusssst a bit more often would be nice.


BDF Got it- you are focusing on the first time part, not the fairy tale part, sorry. I think it would be unreasonable as well in any other preference, like we haven't fucked yet, but I'm not going to do it until you are on board with carrying out my fantasy or doing this very specific thing that I prefer. Yes don't build up the pressure around the 'first time'- usually it's not the technique nor play that is special about the first time but the new passion and mystery which covers the awkwardness, and they won't have that the longer they put it off.


@78 Venn I think this is generally true any time one person indulges another's kinks or fetishes. The role play, prep, finding other partners, purchasing the stuff, etc- it's all a bit of work and if it's not your thing personally, you are just doing it for someone else. That's why I said "with reciprocation". I don't think quid pro quo is exactly healthy in a sex life, but if he's expected to plan a big romantic encounter from time to time, then they need to talk about HIS fantasies too and see what she's going to do for him other times. And yes, generally communication seems a problem here so who knows what he's actually getting himself into- he doesn't seem very curious to just go along with this "lay in bed and cuddle but no sex" stuff which seems really weird for people in their 40s.


I could maybe understand the desire for a perfect first time if these two were much younger. It just seems unrealistic, and slightly wacky, though.


@73 BiDanFan. And thank you for the gold star. ^_^


Also, I gotta say I love the illustration this week. The bunnies! Let's hope they don't get into the garden, though.


Though, this year in my family's garden, it has been a groundhog that has decimated it. (Yes, vennominon, I'm using "decimated" that way. :p) I snapped a picture of the bugger yesterday. Hefty fellow. I hope he enjoyed all the kale.


It's not my preference, but I see nothing wrong or weird or foolish with someone who wants the first time they have sex with someone to be romantic, tender, and sweet with some extras like candles or rose petals. I assume that's what's meant by "fairy tale," and it exposes the biases of those of us here who wouldn't think twice about someone's saying that they want to have sex while wearing a PVC catsuit or that they want to be sounded.

To me,"fairytale first-time sex" doesn't mean that it won't be awkward; it means that there will be romantic music, an unhurried pace, with lots of foreplay and expressions of affection (no dirty talking), maybe champagne and flowers, candlelight. Basically, sex out of a Nicholas Sparks movie. This strikes me as a perfectly acceptable request, even if it isn't mine.


I read "fairy tale evening" the same way you did nocute, cheesy but not unreasonable. No more unreasonable than any other kink at least. But the only person who really knows what she meant is her... and hopefully the LW if he plans on having sex with her. Just ask her what she wants and plan the damn evening already.


I > 1 number of my female friends identify as "Unicorns" but none of them intend it to mean "woman who has threesomes with straight couples". This is very confusing.


Fairy tales do come true. The prince was always into fancy shoes and fondling feet.


Ms Cute - What you call Fairy Tale Id just call Romantic. In my book (yours differs, which is fine), anyone who wants to start at Fairy Tale (of either gender, so that nobody will take this as any sort of dig) has every intention of being the Princess in the relationship (which is probably LMB-worthy), or else the Prince (which could be worse).

My PLB had some rather outlandish ideas in this area. They were rather sweet coming from him, in much the same way that Mr Weston was able to get away with imperfect manners. But I was afraid we'd end up reliving the fifth season of Cheers. I even thought about learning to faint at will just in case of emergency, such as a public proposal.


Sporty @90, what DO they mean then?


NoCute @87, I also take a dim view of anyone who wants kinky sex the first time. See if you're compatible on the basics, and THEN spice things up! Unless of course you met on Fetlife because you were both into the same specific thing, or something. I do have a PVC catsuit but I have to get to know someone a bit better before zipping it on.


@94 unique/distinct/awesome.


@34 and @37, I'm with you on this. I thought Dan's answer was off-base. If you're cuddling somebody before you both deliberately go to sleep in the same bed and nobody says "no cuddling after I fall asleep," the consent to cuddle continues after the eyes close. I also think the letter at least implies that he initially didn't realize she was asleep when she started blowing him. That is 100% believable. It's not exactly the first thing that would jump to mind if a partner initiated sexual contact in the middle of the night.

People sometimes get horny in the middle of the night. Sometimes it keeps them awake. Sometimes they decide they want to do something they didn't want to do when they were tired and fell asleep.

Full disclosure: I guess in the very broadest sense, I might be a bit of a sexsomniac. I've had reports (from a girlfriend who liked to cuddle when falling asleep) that I would occasionally reach out a paw (her term) wrap it around her waist and drag her back against my stomach. At first she didn't know that I was asleep and may have been a bit annoyed about being woken up to serve as a human blanket. She also mentioned that I did a little grinding, but she didn't find that startling or noteworthy. What surprised her was that I could find her, grab her and tug her up against me all without waking up. She was not hurt or traumatized, had no objection to what I was doing in my sleep, and did not feel the need to wake me to confirm that I consented to the dry-humping I was doing to her. I am not suffering from any trauma at all over this and do not consider myself the survivor of sexual assault.

That same girlfriend also liked gentle stimulation in her sleep (nipples as I recall), so she woke up wet, horny, and eager to fuck. So does my wife.


BDF @95, what about a little anal play? Honestly, when I was dating, I would almost always explore receptivity to anal play on the first sexual encounter. I'm just so wrapped up in that that I can't really be sexually compatible with someone who completely rules it out, so I needed to know to avoid wasting both of our time.

I don't actually need PIA sex very often at all. I just need it to be on the table. If you find that unappealing, I'll understand. I see it as a manifestation of my dominant side and I know dominant behavior from men isn't really your cup of tea.


...and the Big Hunsky winner this week IS.........


Attention, penis havers: The Big Two Hunsky is still up for grabs in last week's Savage Love, Shrinkage. As for this week's Big Hunsky Award, Griz would like to award that prize to commenter @101 by default. I already made first post. But I'll willfully arm wrestle for the Double Whammy. :)


Sporty @96, perhaps you should show them a few SL columns so that they can see how they might get themselves easily misinterpreted, and wonder why they have all these couples hitting on them.

DCP @98: "BDF @95, what about a little anal play?" Nice chat-up line ;) What I would suggest is that before getting into bed, you lay this kink card on the table, as Dan would say. Personally, no, I would not think of anal as a first-date activity. (For one thing, size might make it an absolute no-go, and I have no idea before we have sex what size you are.) If you want me to get out my strap-on, you'll have to show me vanilla compatibility first. But yeah. During that, "hey, are you into anal?" "Sure, I have strap-ons in a variety of sizes!" "Er, no, I meant receiving." "It's not really my thing, but occasionally I'll make an exception" conversation, you'd see we weren't sexually compatible, and we could go our separate ways without too much of a sunk cost or traumatic/unsatisfying experience. So no. If you have no idea whether she's into anal, attempting to stick your dick into her ass is not the way to ask, IMO. (At the very least I hope you're "exploring receptivity to anal play" with a very tentative finger?)


Ms Cute - I can hardly believe that I forgot to point out how amusing it was that, despite your having had so much more sex than I've had with so many more different people, here I was being the Marianne to your Elinor, your fairy tale wealth being my mere romantic competence.


@Mr. Ven: For what it's worth, I don't know that I've ever had sex like that I tried to outline, and I wouldn't describe anything as "fairytale"-like. But those are the words the lw says his gf uses, and that's my best guess of what she means by them. I hardly think she means that she wants one of them to be enchanted into something else or to be set a complicated task involving sets of threes.

HOWEVER, after having been dubbed a Jane Bennet, I'll very happily agree to be Elinor as opposed to Marianne (I'll even take Anne Eliot). Just please don't ever cast me as Miss Bates.


@43 BDF
"the bigger red flag is ... the expectation that a man she is not fucking cuddle with her and sleep with her all night which just seems really repressed and unreasonable to me. Is this a thing that happens in yalls' experience? I mean with adults"

I have cuddled up and slept next to several guys I wasn't dating, including a few who were gay. We specifically negotiated it. I really love falling asleep in someone's arms, feeling safe.

Of course, I only did that with guys I trusted. It probably was naive of me. None of them expressed any indication they felt I was unreasonable.

It also takes around 3 months to get comfortable having PIV sex with a new partner. We do kink, mutual masturbation, oral sex, and other forms of sexy touch.

I was molested as a child. So, I need to build trust enough to be able to handle penetration (PIV or fingers). I also need love and commitment, which take time to develop.

The guys I have slept with, both literally and figuratively, have all been incredibly caring, empathetic, and respectful of my boundaries. I also negotiate kinky pick-up casual play without any anal or genital contact (giving or receiving), and haven't had any issues.

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