Savage Love

Holing Up





"an ER doctor. Do I keep seeing him during this pandemic?... he is bound to be at a huge risk for exposure"

To do so is to share his "huge risk". It's not our place to advise you to do that, but if you want to go ahead. Otherwise, shelter in place /from/ him; if he cares about you he should understand.

"if a room is dark enough for me to feel comfortable getting naked in it, it’s usually too dark for someone else to see me"

I'm surprised to hear that Dan Savage himself is so shy.


@Hunter78, Dan has actually written about how people have a right to make noise when having sex. That said, it doesn't mean everybody has to like hearing it.

You don't have to enjoy hearing other people's sex noises to be sex positive. Sex positive doesn't mean you can't set your own personal boundaries where you need to.


stonesoup @4: Social distancing means the trolls are hungrier and more desperate for attention than usual. Social media distancing is needed.


@5 fubar


Is it possible FRIEND's friend stopped texting her because he's sick?


For FRIEND, let's say you can tell new guy didn't get sick because he's still busy on social media.

You ask "What can I do in the future to avoid this sort of situation?"

Some guys fake friendship to get off, but luckily, they usually let their mask slip after the first sexual encounter. Six months later they get back in touch, but by that point you know what's up.

So if you hold out the possibility of sex in the future, try not to get too attached to these sexy friends until you have that first sexual encounter.


Welcome back, Robin8! Great to have you with us again.

@1curious2; WA-HOOOOO!!!! Congrats on being officially FIRDT in this week's Savage Love comment thread and leading us off. To the victor go the spoils. :)
@5 fubar: Emily Flake, among my favorite New Yorker magazine cartoonists up there with Roz Chast,had a brilliant one framer a while back, of a woman sitting on a bench in Central Park. There is no spoken caption, only what she has printed on her t-shirt:
"Ask me about my break from social media."


Heaven bless you, Dan the Man, for beating me to it: "If anyone is to round up all the reckless idiots they should start with those on the beaches of Florida and in the oval office first." Bingo!
This one gets my nomination for another of the best Dan Savage quotes of 2020.
Kudos, and well done! Dan, don't ever stop.


Hugs and solidarity to PDDD and FRIEND. I am pining for the days when STIs were the only diseases we needed to concern ourselves with when navigating new relationships.


@12 BiDanFan: SO true! Agreed and seconded.

After fully enjoying Good Morning, Vietnam starring Robin WIlliams (1987) in these wee hours, Griz just saw The Cable Guy (1996). Why couldn't I laugh? I couldn't help but root for Matthew Broderick. Ferris Bueller, you're my hero! At least the red wine helped.


Dan's hot. Have you ever seen his arms? Heck. I would meet him in a completely dark room if that was the price of admission, I could, at least, feel his body.


@10, Auntie. I love Emily Flake too. I remember her from my town's free weekly from years (decades?) ago. Thanks for the memories. I don't get the New Yorker (literally or figuratively) but I will start flowing Emily again.


How about drop your clothes at the door and go take a shower--scrub well.
If I'm going to hang out for an evening of sex and food and cuddling in my apartment with someone who I think brings possible covid in my place, that is not too much to ask. Buy 2 nice warm cotton robes that you can both hang out in for the evening and run the clothes and the towels thru the washer/dryer during the evening. Seems like an easy routine to lessen exposure. Both going to want to be clean before and after anyway. But don't shower together, till after.


@16 Beth
Let's be clear that that stuff won't help at all if the other person /has/ COVID-19.
That stuff is what everyone should do now with everyone.


I'm in a similar position to PDDAD, although not nearly as at risk for infection. My girlfriend is a psychologist working with a wide variety of patients all with some kind of disability. She travels all across our state visiting a variety of communities for as much as 10 days a month. She does her best to be safe, using masks, and gowns, and sanitizing things between patients, but she isn't a medical doctor and isn't in a medical facility when working.

We don't live together but it is possible to go from my garage to hers directly so moving from her place to mine isn't a risk to anyone. When she's home we tend to spend every minute together. Since I'm at a somewhat elevated risk, I'm compensating by isolating myself from nearly everyone else (which isn't too hard since I work from home), so I don't infect them if I happen to get sick.


LW, okay, first let me say that I'm not unbias on this subject, since many of my family and friends are doctors, nurses, pharmacists etc. Like Dan said, it is a cost/benefit situation for you. If this man is a casual friend with benefits, I'd say you probably might not want to take the risk of getting infected through him, because he is right on the front line seeing hundreds of patients each day - even if he doesn't get any symptoms, he might still be able to infect you.

But if he is a close friend/lover whom you want to have a lasting friendship with even after you stop having sex together, then you should make a major effort to keep 'seeing' him. Even if you don't meet up in person, you can have phone sex, Skype sex etc. AND also be there as a good friend for him through this very difficult time, when he is working so hard to help others at great risks to himself. Be someone he can reach out to for support, someone that he knows really cares about him. Call/text - check up on how he is often, listen to him talk about what he is facing, his frustrations and worries; try to help him through the stress, be a loving and generous friend emotionally. Send him food and necessities, funny movies, music, books, art, things he likes - he probably doesn't have much time to shop right now, lots of doctors, nurses, etc. are working long hours and double-shifts; they are so short-handed with up to half out sick.

Being a doctor (or nurse) can sometimes be very lonely, on top of very stressful - always being responsible for people's lives, it's hard not to feel guilty when treatments don't work. People forget they are also human, and have the same fears and needs as the rest of us. We expect them to take care of everyone always, and forget they are not superhumans, and also need care and rest.

If you have underlying health issues or compromised immune system, then definitely don't see him until this is under control. Right now there is no treatment for COVID-19.

Also, contrary to what the Liar-in-Chief say, it will take 18 months to get a vaccine to market, AFTER they have developed one for trials; that is, assuming the best scenario where they can find one - we still have no AIDS vaccine! Can your relationship restart after that long of a break?


I figured there would be a Savage Love on the pandemic - good job, Dan. And lots of thoughtful comments here so good job Sloggers as well. Let's get through this together while apart, and show some compassion all around.


If LW1 lives in an area where "shelter in place" has been ordered, then I'll be blunt:

No, you may not visit friends. (Or lovers.) You have to keep 6 feet of distance from anyone whom you don't live with.


Sex in the time of Covid-19 and detailing the available options should be discussed openly by public health officials and also in the media.

People should be encouraged to use the different technological means available nowadays to avoid viruses of any kind.
Another thing that may work for some is masturbating together while keeping safe distance; WA State gov recommends 6 feet.


@22 CMD
"WA State gov recommends 6 feet"

Depending upon where a guy is aiming, it might be necessary to make that twenty feet.


If the LW is really going to just be quarantined at home and is not going to see anyone, it's totally fine to see her ER Doc friend. She may be more likely to get the virus but she has astronomically low chances of having anything other than a minor reaction. She's not going to spread it at all because she isn't interacting with anyone (gets groceries delivered etc.)

Different question entirely if she's going to be taking care of her grandma every other weekend. Then she should probably stay away.

I wouldn't worry too much about getting it if I were her and there was no elderly person in my life. We're all going to get this at some point. The vaccine is a year away and people aren't going to realistically social distance themselves that much (and the economy can't take that level of disruption). We're buying time for medical supplies to be stockpiled (far too slowly because Trump is a two year old) and to make sure everyone with a bad case doesn't hit the hospital at the same time.

Fuck away.


@15 pwjeeps: Emily Flake is wonderful., isn't she?The New Yorker magazine had a Cartoon Department Takeover issue on December 30, 2019, devoted to all past and current contributors and I treasure it.
Emily had an illustrated feature, "Parent: as a Verb". Although I, myself don't have any children and my reproductive years are heading towards the sunset, I found it very funny, touching, and deeply thought provoking, particularly during these uncertain times. Parents everywhere would be nodding their heads, saying, 'I know, right?'


Everybody join Griz and friends on Facebook at 7 pm to 7:05 pm in a singalong of
Louie, Louie, by the Kingsmen.

Happy healthy social distancing, and everyone stay safe and sane.


Louie, Louie.....ohh, gotta go. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.......

For those of you who missed or could not join our Facebook singalong of Louie, Louie by the Kingsmen, I recommend downloading or streaming it on YouTube (or your favorite song of choice), and, like the Italians, singing through your open windows, into the streets.

Music is the universal language; may it never die.


@24 larry
"she has astronomically low chances of having anything other than a minor reaction...Fuck away."

Larry, she says nothing about whether or not she is at risk (for example, immunocompromised or respiratory issues), so your advice is wildly irresponsible.


I agree, curious, @28. Medical staff are at advanced risk because they may be subject to more and more viral loads shedding from patients. Though I did read where one Dr, a father, with many kids, didn’t want to leave his husband alone with kids, so he gets home strips to his briefs on the verandah/ porch and the clothes go straight into the machine and he jumps in the shower. No doubt scrubbing down with some ethanol mixture.
What price love is the question to ask oneself.


Yes Grizelda.. music is life. Hope your sing along went/ goes well. I’m listening to the Tedeschi Trucks Band at the moment. Great great musicians. I get inspired by listening to disciplined musicians. Sort of like a gentle kick in the bum to do something productive.


Beth @16, if you're cuddling someone who has Covid19, showering is not going to help you.
Advice is to stop doing exactly what you're thinking of doing, namely having dates in each other's homes.
I know this sucks mightily - I'm in the same boat - but unless you are otherwise completely self isolating, best practice is to defer sexytimes until after this pandemic is under control.

Coolie @18, sounds like you're doing it right. My situation is similar. I live alone and work from home. One of my partners is very high risk and has been self isolating from the get go, so that's completely off the table. My other partner is an essential worker, who wears a mask and gloves at work and travels by Tube. I don't have physical contact with any other humans but him, so seeing me is not going to increase his risk at all. If it's decided he's no longer essential, we'll have to make the tough decision of which is worse, being cooped up together 24/7 (while I attempt to continue working from home) or not seeing each other at all. (What about my risk? I am pretty sure I have already had it. So I am a Covid dead end.)

Larry @24, I wouldn't be so cavalier about PDDAD's likely outcome if she catches Covid19:


BDF @31 - Please don't assume that you are a 'dead end' if you have already had the virus and recovered. There have been reports of people getting re-infected and from what I understand, the underlying damage is cumulative.


@32 sanguisuga
Because these things mutate, that is plausible. And it's just too early to know for sure.


BDF @31: It's not safe to assume that you had it. Even if you were tested, it's possible the tests aren't reliable (apparently that's a thing with other respiratory viruses), or that immunity is short-lived (like the common cold). Besides, we're not testing... which is both confusing and infuriating, given the ridiculous amount of money this is costing our economies.


curious2 @33: It has already mutated.


I have some spare time, so I'll chime in.

For the last LW, it's always worth at least considering the common denominator. She seems clearly bitter about her experiences with men, which is bound to act as a repellant. I've never ghosted someone I've hooked up with (that rubs me the wrong way), but I have definitely dropped communication with women I was talking to and thinking about hooking up with who would make bitter, disparaging remarks about straight men. I would not be the least bit surprised if her getting ghosted is preceded by remarks about how women are inherently kinder than men, etc. (Just switch the genders around and ask yourself if you would want to hang around men who made those kinds of remarks.)

And weirdly, I find myself in a freakishly similar situation to the first LW. No, I will not be moving in, but over the weekend I will be making the 1 1/2 hour walk to her apartment at the other side of the city, and I can't wait. I've gone two weeks without any in-person contact (I live in Europe), and it's taken a toll on my mental health. These kinds of connections are important.


@35 fubar
"It has already mutated."

One: Thank you fubar!
Two: God damn it!


@35, 37, of course it has. That's what viruses do. But the article doesn't really match the headline (imagine that!). There may or may not be significant differences, and it's only based on a little over 100 samples as of that writing.



Dan the Man: I know that this is from another thread (Updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic), but I clicked onto the link of the Rotterdam Symphony Orchestra's streaming of the finale from Beethoven's 9th (Ode to Joy) and wept. SO beautiful! Thank you and bless you for sharing.
Everyone, if you want to hear something breathtaking, give it a listen.

We need music now than ever before. Music is the universal language---may it never die.


Ms Grizelda - Don't forget dance, which is, after all, not only one of the first refinements of polished societies but also has the advantage of being in vogue among the less polished as well (every savage can dance, as Mr Darcy reminds Sir William Lucas).


Pddad, The threat now is not so sex-based, so I find it easier to ask people how many other people they are hugging, where I would be shy asking how many people they were having sex with. I think it's perfectly fine to ask the ER doctor how many people he is hugging as well as how he handles his safety at, to, and from work, to gauge whether you want to covid bond with him.

Jc, please stop speaking of consensual sex as a reason to involve authorities.

Friend, it seems like you want someone who will provide a lot of aftercare, rather than someone who can be friendly and attentive beforehand. So maybe it would work better to tell guys that you need a lot of attention after each new step in order to continue to date them. And maybe observe whether or not they keep their word in other ways before trusting that they want more than a one night stand.


Pythag @36, the issue is that the ghosting happened immediately after (cyber) sex. If you knew that someone you were dating had a chip on her shoulder against men, you'd just stop seeing her, right? Not put some time into getting to know her, bang her then immediately ghost her, thus proving that the chip she was carrying was 100% justified.


Apologies, a story I posted above has been debunked.


Yeah there doesn't seem to be much at hospitals besides ventilators if you need. Some trials using the antibodies of recovered patients and I've read of at least one antiviral that's somewhat effective with COVID-19, there's also the possibility of trying a trial. But it is good to call your medical provider or local health department to discuss your symptoms and what treatment and follow up they recommend. I hope you can try to stay relaxed and clean and beat it.


@45: Contact your primary care provider, and hopefully any symptoms you have of CONVID-19 are mild and go away.

Everybody stay healthy, safe, and sane.


Haven't checked comments on last week's Lovecast for a bit, but has anyone weighed in on how long the Virus lasts on a cat's fur? And whether the cat's grooming deactivates it? Asking as an inveterate petter of strange cats.


@ Cat Brother

No science in this response but I believe any animals affected have been dogs, not cats. If you recall how dogs have that unpleasant smell when they've been out in the rain, it's because water reactivates all the dead bacteria. [I know: yuck!] Just another reason why people should bathe their dogs OFTEN.

I've been petting cats for decades and have never had any ill effects. So I do believe that cat saliva does break down most anything it contacts. Obviously, we'll have to wait for someone to do a scientific study!



I'm multiplying her rationalization for wanting to be close to the ER doc times at least a million, with every person giving a reason why they are unwilling and cannot adhere to social distancing.

The longer this lasts, the larger the number will become.


I need to live across the street from the doc who undresses on his front porch.


I don't know if I want to take advice on romance or medicine from someone named eunuch. I'm not judging, I'm just saying.


And I can't seem to post this comment to the actual LoveCast page, so re Tuesday's show -

(Seingeld voice) What is the DEAL with Kitchen Islands - How the F do you actually fuck on one? They're (relatively)WAY higher than the kitchen table, so quite a scramble to get up there. ANd once up there, hard surface, man, mine's butcher block, so a lot of knee grinding. Not a terrible angle to lean someone up against for standing doggie, but the kitchen table, or just having her firmly grip the counter's edge, = better angle, better leverage. Leverage is not to be scoffed at, kids.

Also, I can't be the only one hearing the caller who worried that she was masturbating 'unattractively,' and thought that the sight of a chick with her face mashed into a pillow, ugly-moaning, and totally getting off would be smoking hot?!

Maaan, there's a reason amateur porn is popular - a lot of us can't get by the 'kayfabe' done in standard porn, it takes you out of the moment. Something authentic like the caller described would be jarringly arousing. I say, send him a vid. And pixellate your face, and send the rest of us a copy.Kitchen Islands - How the F do you actually fuck on one? They're (relatively)WAY higher than the kitchen table, so quite a scramble to get up there. ANd once up there, hard surface, man, mine's butcher block, so a lot of knee grinding. Not a terrible angle to lean someone up against for standing doggie, but the kitchen table, or just having her firmly grip the counter's edge, = better angle, better leverage. Leverage is not to be scoffed at, kids.

Also, I can't be the only one hearing the caller who worried that she was masturbating 'unattractively,' and thought that the sight of a chick with her face mashed into a pillow, ugly-moaning, and totally getting off would be smoking hot?!

Maaan, there's a reason amateur porn is popular - a lot of us can't get by the 'kayfabe' done in standard porn, it takes you out of the moment. Something authentic like the caller described would be jarringly arousing. I say, send him a vid. And pixellate your face, and send the rest of us a copy.


@Hunter: I hope you're feeling better and I hope you have a support system in place.