Savage Love

Tall Order



Fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa fa fa faaaaaa


@1: Better run, run, run, run, run, run, run away?


I always get really into a discussion around Tuesdays, just in time to post long comments which are never seen, because the new week's column has come out. Oh well.


Ha! I was actually "singing" Otis Redding but they're almost the same..


The advice to INVITE is spot on - I only hope the friend was unaware of the climate for her invitee. Perhaps she needs to become better acquainted with the country she plans to visit, and indirectly marry into....


And LW2 - Damn.. Just when I thought 90 Day Fiance couldn't possible invade more of my life...!


INVITE should have an urgent conversation with his friend, who should then have an urgent conversation with her fiancé about his attitude toward LGBTQ people.


Jack @1: I'm a big fan of The Commitment's version of that song.


Dan did an excellent job of unpacking CATMAN's situation. Right on with the steady stream of subs who'd happily negotiate having a couple of bi guys take out their kinks on them.


@7 The LW said "wonderful man," so my read on the situation is that the fiance is not a problem. He just happens to come from a country which is problematic.

Regardless, international destination weddings are always a big ask. Expecting a friend to attend one in a country where they are a crime is a bridge too far. Decline with a clear conscience, I say.


@1 jack chandelier: WA-HOOOOOOO!!!! Major congratulations on once again scoring this week's Savage Love: Tall Order FIRDT Award! Revel in the glorious honors of leading the comment thread (See? It really IS fun, isn't it?). :)
@2 nocutename: WA-HOOOOOOOO!!!!! Equal congrats to you on scoring this week's SECNOD honors. Bask in the glow found only here in Savage Love Land.:)

@1 & @4 jack chandelier: Otis Redding? Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay....? Classic! :)


@1 - Not gonna lie, I did go all WAP. That being said, I have notoriously god-awful taste in men. Still, I'd be down to make that fantasy a reality.


Dadddy @12, to Nocute as well, obviously.

CATMAN, you've only been having this fantasy for a couple of WEEKS? This is not a fetish, it's a recurring fantasy. I have one or two of these which I've kept coming back to over a period of DECADES. If there's no one in my life I fancy, these fantasy people and the script I've written for us keep me occupied for days or weeks at once. Moreover, these are not fantasies that I could feasibly realise because the me in them is a fantasy me. It sounds like you're the same -- in your fantasies, you're a version of you who is a happily partnered, homoflexible, dominant man. You're right that anything this specific would be difficult to achieve in real life because the other people would have their own preferences and boundaries and may differ from the very specific people you've created in your mind. So why not keep them in your mind, or write them down as erotic fiction? This may become your masturbatory go-to, or one of your masturbatory go-to's, for life, or it may fade away when you meet someone you are interested in. We're in lockdown now, dating isn't possible anyway, so enjoy living this alternative reality in your head and see where your libido takes you when other outlets are possible.

If CATMAN does want to realise this fantasy, he should seek two sex workers to play these roles. And/or, he could join Fetlife, post this fantasy as an erotic story, and see if anyone volunteers to help him make it happen. Or, to avoid disappointment and keep the fantasy in its perfect state, just leave it in the wank bank indefinitely.

Dan, LOL at the twin pandemics. Nailed it.

Victorian @10, exactly. There is no reason to believe that the fiancé is homophobic. He left his home country, so there's a large possibility he did so because he's far more enlightened than his average countryperson. Nevertheless, INVITE shouldn't risk his life. Surely travelling to Gambia will be difficult for many, and perhaps the couple could host a reception on US soil after their wedding/honeymoon? INVITE could volunteer to help with the planning.


Nocute @3, I responded to your post on last week's thread.


In addition to Dan's "big city kink scene" suggestion, I would advise CATMAN to look for potential partners in the yaoi or Boy's Love (BL) manga fandom.

Yaoi stories typically feature very attractive young gay male couples, with a dominant, invariably dark-haired top (seme) and a sensitive, giving, fair-haired bottom (uke). There's some sex (sometimes kinky/ BDSM sex), but the emphasis is on romance and homoeroticism. Yaoi is marketed primarily to women, but crosses over with bara (or Men's Love/ML) and gachi muchi manga, which are marketed towards gay and bi male readers, and have more overt sex and BDSM themes. According to wikipedia,

"Although the genre is marketed to girls and women, there is a gay, bisexual, and heterosexual male readership as well. A survey of yaoi readers among patrons of a United States library found about one quarter of respondents were male; two online surveys found approximately ten percent of the broader English-speaking yaoi readership were male."

If nothing else, CATMAN could probably find like-minded people interested in exploring this fantasy in some way. The reality of sustaining a relationship like that is another matter, of course.


If CATMAN continues to have this fantasy, if he finds he's able to morph it over time so that certain details can change but the fantasy remain hot, he could try putting himself out there as a male unicorn for a couple with a bi male switch and submissive woman. These are probably reasonably common. Just avoid anyone whose surname is Falwell, ha ha.


CATMAN's letter is a bit confusing. Considering how many prerequisites he insists on before engaging with another man, I don't believe that MMF is what he's looking for. Shouldn't it be MFM, with both the other M and F being submissive?

Would he not be better off approaching partners from that perspective, especially if he's only interested in cuddling and non-penetrative activities with the other man. And he should definitely take his IDEAL physical requirements off the table. He could really learn a thing or two by attending a BDSM workshop where he'd see (and perhaps learn to appreciate) people who aren't conventionally attractive all the way to the other end of being plain or homely. It might open his eyes to the value of people who aren't just ticky boxes on a shopping list.

OTOH, if he's not willing to find sex workers who fit his category, he may want to mentally cast his ideals from RL actors, and use their still and moving images to flesh out his fantasy.


I bless Mr Savage for using that LMB-inducing term and thereby probably killing it off before the end of the week. May it reduce his time in Purgatory by seven years and seven quarantines (to borrow from Loitering With Intent).

I could have wished that LW1 had found a better way to phrase it than "loving gay couple", but the length and particularity of the laundry list were sufficiently generally daunting. Well played, Ms Helenka, about LW1's encountering Real People.

This is where we could use a term like "egalisexual"; LW1 would need to be a bit closer to a Kinsey 3 for this to establish itself properly.


I am almost tempted to give LW2 a Rubin Award for being such a massive toady and actually considering embracing third-class-human status. As for F2's being "wonderful", I'd guess that that assessment is LW2's own rather than a mere repetition of FF2's, but it does not seem that LW2 knows F2 well. The "invitation" seems informal. If memory serves, Gambia has at least lately been in the second tier of anti-gay African countries. But it's irritating to have to calculate how bad place X is, or how bad it would have to be for it to be reasonable to expect someone who lives in the world to be aware of it.

I suppose it could become an overall positive moment. FF2 could become aware of having been careless of late, and could do better in future. On the whole, though, if I had to guess, I'd likely suspect that FF2 is the kind who likes her gays to be toadies.


The worst part of LW is that the person must really physically attractive. Like not just attractive but panty dropping attractive. That's just a ludicrous must have and begs the question "Is the LW that level of attractive?" If not, then he's super unlikely to get that one checked off. If he is, then it might be worth mentioning since being ridiculously attractive might make getting everything else he wanted possible, people do really dumb things for the super hot.

The whole really attractive thing makes me not like him. Saying someone must be physically attractive is one thing-- attractiveness is subjective and its reasonable to want someone who you get hot for. Wanting someone really sexually attractive is basically saying that you want other people around you to know that you're with someone attractive, it's outwardly facing and about how you appear to others. This guy seems like a vain, self-obsessed douche. On that basis, I'm not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the "taking out kinks" comment like Dan does.


Larry @21, yes, that's one factor that gave me the impression that this is an unrealisable-and-there's-nothing-wrong-with-that fantasy. In my recurring fantasies, my partners are also way out of the real me's league! Masturbating to extremely attractive (by one's own standards) partners is reasonable. Expecting to actually date them, not so much.


L-dub 1... life is a series of compromises... or an interminably long stretch of celibacy. Good luck!


@15: BiDan, I just wrote you a book-length response over there, as well!


Did the last caller identify as queer but proceed to talk about her relationship with a guy?


Light @25, queer includes bisexual.


LW2, I'm gay, and have traveled extensively to all sorts of countries. I've even accidentally ventured into a war zone. So my risk tolerance is pretty high. It is sometimes difficult to judge how safe a country is for gay travelers.

There are sites that advise on the laws in foreign countries for LGBT travelers, including the US State Department website. But that only gives part of the picture. Some places have draconian laws, but are rarely enforced, while others have much more active enforcement, and that can change based on the whims of whoever is currently holding office or in charge of enforcing laws at any given time.

Saint Lucia, for example, is a very popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. Gay sex is punishable by 10 years in prison, at least according to the law. However, that law hasn't been enforced in ages, and lots of gay tourists visit every year without any problems. Several states in the US still had sodomy laws until 2003, though they were rarely enforced. So you not only have to check on the prevailing laws, you also have to somehow get a feel for how active enforcement is.

I'm very out in the US, but I'll travel closeted sometimes if I feel it is necessary. How open I am varies from country to country. I do try to be out and to support pro-LGBT tourist businesses whenever possible.

All that said, there are certain countries where I simply will not go. Any country that executes LGBT citizens is definitely on my no-go list. So, no, I wouldn't go to Gambia at all, under any circumstances.

I'm sure your friend will understand if you decline. In reality, anyone who holds a wedding in a country half way around the earth cannot realistically expect a large wedding party, LGBT or otherwise. Few of her friends will have the money or time to go, regardless of draconian anti-gay laws.


CATMAN - It's unusual to lose your desire for your partner and not be able to talk about it with your partner, and really unusual to try to stay with that partner anyway. His last gf seemed to be pretty submissive, although she did insist upon sex, it was only once or twice a month, and only because they were apparently going to break up if the situation didn't improve. So I don't think he's missing a submissive partner since he didn't appreciate the last one, I think that he is just feeling too vulnerable with the pandemic to stay open to love as well. Like, caring about someone else's happiness sort of love, not lust.. he seems to be ok with solo lust with his very specific fantasies. Perhaps if he can figure out why he wanted to stay with his ex even though he stopped wanting to fuck her, it might help him figure out what he really needs, and what sort of desires he is willing to fulfill. He seems willing to make out and trade oral with men and have reluctant penetrative sex with women.. Maybe he only feels safe being romantically vulnerable with guys right now, even if he has the advantage of the power dynamics.. he's willing to have a limited but reciprocal relationship with them, so I think that's ok.. He doesn't seem to be concerned by women's sexual fulfillment the same way, so I wonder if he really needs to have het sex.. maybe he just needs occasional pure PIV, fully consensual bdsm hookups with women to fulfill the rest of his sexual needs, I don't see why his partner must be involved.. just open to nonmonogamy..

INVITE - So she is such a great friend that she feels that she can invite you to spend a lot of money to witness her wedding in Africa, but you are not such a good friend that you can tell her that you are deeply offended by the politics of the country she wants to adopt, at least for her marital legalities. Confusing. I think Dan's suggestion would work, although it seems abrasive to do send her a receipt for donation in her name rather than politely decline and talk about why.. but also INVITE might want to try to be more of a friend to her and talk to her about what Gambia marital law is like and make sure she's not stumbling blind into some other weird foreign laws. Idk what Gambian marriage is like. But I think that if they settle down in the US, state marital laws apply instead.. And I think it's wise to consult with an immigration attorney if you're thinking about marrying a non-citizen.


And I thought this week's column had very thoughtful responses. I was impressed.


Re LW2: Anyone who has a wedding on a different continent than all their friends shouldn't expect them to go. In fact, I'm of the opinion that they probably shouldn't /ask/ them to go, either. Most people don't have that kinda money/time to throw down, even for a friend they love.

@Phi @29:
re: "It's unusual to lose your desire for your partner and not be able to talk about it with your partner"
I'd say it's exceedingly common.


victorian @10, BiDan @14: No doubt the fiancé is a "wonderful man," that they've dated and been engaged for a long time, and talked about all the things there are to discuss. But LW should definitely not visit Gambia, and should let his friend and her fiancé know why.


Ok I looked into the Gambia and the punishment for homosexuality is not execution. The punishment is up to 14 years in prison. The rule also states that oral and anal sex, and insertion toys are equally unlawful. The law doesn't seem to be enforced, the last president talked about cutting off the heads of homos but when Hillary Clinton questioned him about it, he claimed he had never arrested anyone for being gay. So, Gambia doesn't seem to be much worse than some American states were a few decades ago, some states still ban sodomy. Why not just talk to his friend and her fiance about it? He still doesn't have to go to another continent for their wedding if he doesn't want, whether because of the expense or because he dislikes travel, I'm sure most of her friends will just be sending gifts. Now I think he should send something other than a somewhat snarky donation.


Larry @21, I assumed CATMAN probably was very conventionally attractive, based on this part of the letter:

"In general, I've led a privileged sex life. I've never been broken up with and it's rare for me to experience any form of rejection"

I mean, how many average-looking cis het guys in their 20s can really say that? Sure, maybe this LW only had a couple of relationships, all with women who were super smitten with him, and thus he's never been broken up with and never experienced rejection. Or maybe he's super rich or super confident or a member of a royal family or something. But I'm definitely getting a shallow pretty boy vibe from this letter.


Reverse @28: Like you, I've travelled extensively to all sorts of countries, and aside from crackpot dictatorships, I'd say government policies like the Gambian death penalty for gays are often not far out of line with their people's attitudes. When I visited Uganda years ago, it had a law similar to Gambia's, and that law was not unpopular.

I have been surprised at the regressive attitudes of some people who've come from around the world and appear to have assimilated. Many continue to describe themselves as "socially conservative."

Two years ago, we elected a Conservative provincial government here. They promptly rolled back the sex ed. curriculum for secondary schools to 1995, in large part at the behest of that constituency, removing all mention of sexual orientation, gender identity, and so on, because they don't want people teaching children that stuff is okay.


I thought Dan’s responses to both letters were spot on, though I’m not yet completely sure about the readily available women who “went all WAP”
and wait in line to be picked up by two men in order to be “used and abused.”

Fubar, who’s very likely to be more knowledgeable than myself on that matter, assures us of the abundance of such women. Lost Margarita touched on assumed-Japanese lit erotica on the subject, catering mostly for women, though it seems to be more if not exclusively on the “romance and homoeroticism” side of things.
Some women here noted in the past the hotness of threesomes with two men who are also into each other, though I’m not sure it was framed in a strict DD/s context as LW meant it. And while it’s possible that some have experienced it with some aspect of DD/s, it sounded like it was probably too limited a scope as far as LW may desire.

I have experienced such scenario in a reversed manner couple of times. They were certainly lots of fun yet challenging to put together and not all were sexual in terms of full genitalia action.


Ciods, I'd say sexlessness is a common relationship problem, but I wouldn't say that sexlessness is common in relationships, no. Especially when the man is reluctant or unwilling to have sex. Sexless marriages are a minority. Although I might believe that a habit of avoiding confrontation is common, not just among women anymore..


The first thing I'd say to CATMAN is that he isn't something he's unaware of, something possibly awful or shamingly bad, because he has a peculiar, irresistibly compelling fantasy. No--his fantasy is just a fantasy, and would be recognised as arousing by many men and women.

My sense of him is that he's aware of his privileges as a predominantly straight white man--someone rarely rejected i.e. so attractive the women he asks out usually say 'yes', and so broadly acceptable a bf and good a lover that he's the one to initiate breakups. How he speaks of his last gf, in particular, suggests to me he may never have been painfully, forlornly, helplessly in love.

I think he could well try to move towards enacting his fantasy. But he will have to do so deliberately. He will have to sound out his prospective bi partner, first of all, at every turn. The relationship--with the gay/bi guy--is taking form in order for him to live out this fantasy; that has to be explicit, negotiated, from the outset. He can't get into indeterminate dating, flirting, chatting situations with men or women, and count on his good looks, charm and historic success rate to parlay them into his platinum-grade wank fantasy. Everything, from choice of websites to allowing-a-polite-exit approaches, has to be thoughtful, thought-through. And he needs just to steel himself to rejection as the overwhelming norm.


CATMAN: Dan and the others here have done a good job of assuring you that your kink is totally fine and perhaps even achievable, and also that you may want to interrogate it just a little to see if it is an avoidance mechanism. I was drawn to your characterization of your last relationship as one in which you avoided sex unless your girlfriend insisted upon it, and gave in as rarely as possible. Could this have been the result of the same avoidant behavior? Perhaps not, and in any case Dan and the gang are surely right that it shouldn’t prevent you from trying to realize your kink now.

Also “sometimes when sex is scary we obsess about fantasies that are impossible to realize or partners who’re impossible to find because it allows us to avoid partnered sex.” Very much this. In fact, I’d go further and say that, for people who have anxiety about it, there are all kinds of ways of avoiding partnered sex – manufacturing disputes with your partner, convincing yourself that you need to lose a few pounds first, inferring rejection where none exists, ruminating on past failures, etc.

Finally, in your telling this kink/fetish/obsession seems to have emerged fully formed from nowhere. Is this a pattern for you? Or were you thinking about it for a long time? If so, is it possible that, consciously or unconsciously, it sabotaged your last relationship because you were unable to broach it with your partner?


Hot discussions still going on over at last week's thread, for those iterested.


Re LW2: my first thought concerning destination weddings in general: who is paying for it?

In one instance, I was invited to one in which the couple paid everyone's travel and lodging costs.

Most are not that way.

So, unless I had a burning desire to visit Gambia, or the bride or the groom were someone truly special to me, I would probably say no to that wedding invitation, irrespective of the issue at hand.

Re LW1: I made it only partway through the letter. It's hard to read when your eyes are rolled that far back into your head. Kudos to Dan for being able to keep his eyes on it to give a cogent answer.

BTW, I loved Dan's commentary on the Savage Lovecast. Maybe Falwell Jr. will introduce Dan to some pool boys?...


ciods @31

"Anyone who has a wedding on a different continent than all their friends shouldn't expect them to go. In fact, I'm of the opinion that they probably shouldn't /ask/ them to go, either. Most people don't have that kinda money/time to throw down, even for a friend they love."

Um. What about this Gambian man's friends and family? Do they have the time and money to throw down to travel to his wedding in the US? I mean yeah, twin ceremonies and parties on both continents would be the most accommodating solution, but maybe this couple couldn't afford that, and made this decision as a compromise. I don't think it's unreasonable of her to ask a few better-off friends to come with her for support. They're not obligated to come, of course, but it's not wrong to ask. And this particular friend doesn't mention finances as a deterrent.

I just think a situation like that is a wee bit different from couples who pick a picturesque destination wedding for the hell of it and expect everyone to fork out for it.


@Lost Margarita @42: I'm not biasing towards her family over his--I'm not saying she should have a wedding in the states. I'm saying she shouldn't ask people to fly to Africa.

I get a bit snippy (not at you, at weddings) because I think the wedding industrial complex has caused people to forget that /wedding ceremonies are optional/. You can get married without one. You can elope. You can get married with a very small ceremony involving only your immediate family. You can get married in a courthouse with two witnesses pulled off the street and a year later have a party with your family and friends in place x, and another one a year after that with your partner's family and friends in place y. There are many possibilities. Given that this LW didn't say this was his best friend ever, and yet he's wondering if he should fly to Africa, I'm assuming the woman in question opted to have one big wedding--the normal thing, and in this case, I think, an inconsiderate option. There's no way you can get a round-trip ticket to Gambia for under $1k--much more is likely--and that's assuming you live in NYC already and don't have to connect. Even then just getting there will probably take over 24 straight hours in airports/airplanes. That doesn't count any travel on either end.

I agree that the reasoning for the decision may be different than people who choose to have destination weddings, but unless they offer to pay for people's flights, or run in a very monied crowd, the effect on their friends is the same.


Phi @33: That was some good fact checking!


I was never in favor of big weddings to begin with, let alone destination weddings.
A similar issue to that of LW2’s friends hit home not too long ago, when a close family member announced their wedding plans here in the US.
Since a parent of that person was born elsewhere and still has an extensive family at that place, that parent went home with the young couple and helped facilitating a family gathering in their honor few months prior to the local ceremony.

Everyone had an opportunity to meet and the previously not-related side of the couple also got to tour that country for the first time.
From what I hear all went well and everyone is happy.


y'all in the comments AND you Dan Savage are RACIST in your responses bout the invite to the wedding in Gambia!!! Do you not know that this country is one of the main exporters of homophobia in the world? i'm sorry, i mean did you know that WHITE americans are some of the most virulently homophobic ppl in the world and, through over 400 years of colonization (esp thru missionary work which continues unabated to this day), have exported and imposed homophobia on cultures and peoples that didn't subscribe to patriarchal binaries in the first place before y'alls white asses arrived? patriarchy is the white mans invention. @ fubar please read this article, since u bring up uganda to justify ur vilification of a country that you've never been to and which is full of thousands of different cultural groups and people (surely some of whom would call themselves "gay") whose belief systems are as varied as yours and mine : .

not to mention... isn't there a country where trans women, in particular Black trans women (of the famed lgbt community), are being murdered at epidemic levels? and isn't there a country that is very publicly grappling with its history.. with its present.. of state murder against Black people of all sexual orientations? @ lost margarita , considering all this, would u say its safe for a gambian to travel here? and do you balk at being associated with the explicit, murderous homophobia, transphobia, and racism of this country? if so, you should rlly think abt ur position in society and how ur perspectives , however implicit, might reify and impose oppressive structures on folks u might like to align yrself with as a "liberal" or whatver u identify as. (liberal was just a guess). Either way, if ur not black, consider doing some anti racsim self-work! esp try to center the experiences of black femmes and gnc folks in your anti-racism education. and make sure you pay your educators, even if you're just reading articles on the internet abt implicit bias, white supremacy, or the GLOBAL phenomenon of anti-blackness.. . and pls, DONT read any anti-racism texts by white ppl. anti-racist texts by white ppl don't exist.

anyways, idk where y'all are living at, but IM living under an historically oppressive regime, in the middle of a mfking UPRISING that i thought was grasping hold of u and your readers consciences for a moment... pls yall, give me some hope that i will make it out of this year alive, and stop it with the holier than thou attitude abt how and where homophobia shows up in the world. pls stop regarding africa, or african countries, as more homophobic than the country u live in.. it's racist .. africa is not a monolith, gambia is not a monolith, and u should do better yall no cap


I read and enjoyed your end posts from last week nocute, because I forget days Dan puts up new column because youse all are behind us, and here I am checking for first time and already there’s a gallop on.


@hmartking @46: No one said Africa was homophobic. People have been responding to the point the original LW brought up in his question, namely, the fact that Gambia in particular has serious laws relating to homosexuality. So do some parts of America; in such cases the safety of gay folks depends a lot on how actively the laws are enforced; all this was pointed out in some of the comments--check out Phi's post @33. The fact that such laws often, if not always, are reflections of the general feeling about the subject in the population, as fubar points out, is hardly controversial. I wouldn't encourage a gay person to travel to Saudi Arabia or much of Russia either; race has nothing to do with it.

The fact that a particular culture's tendency towards homophobia may have historical roots in another culture is interesting, but not really relevant to the question at hand, which is: is flying to Gambia a reasonable thing for the LW to bow out of? Feel free to point it out, if you like, but don't act like our failure to do so makes us racist.


I gotta side with hmartking here. Many of the comments take it as given that Gambia is more dangerous for LGBT people than the U.S., that the fiance is a likely homophobe because he's Gambian, etc.

One could easily imagine people from other countries having this exact conversation about the U.S. -- don't travel there, it's dangerous; make sure your sweetie who is from there isn't a gun-toting homophobe racist; etc. And that view would be to some extent justified!

It's not that the LW is wrong to be wary. It's the implicit comparison to the U.S. as a supposedly safer saner place that's offensive.


hmarkting @ 46
You made some good points, thank you, and I want to believe that you are legit, as this is your first comment ever and we have ongoing issues with trolls and sportlandia mutation.

I assume most commenters are fully aware of most if not everything you touched on. Yet the question in hand came from a gay man who’s worried about going to Gambia, a country where homosexuality is punishable by law regardless of history, and responses followed accordingly.

I assume the reason the couple decided to have their official ceremony in Gambia is probably because this is likely to be very important for the groom and his family and sadly, as you may have alluded to, his family members aren’t likely to be granted a visa to the US just to attend a wedding. Unjustified economic disparity may be another.

I think that couple’s ultimate solution would be the opposite of what I described in my previous post: have the ceremony and main party in Gambia with only the bride’s immediate family in attendance, and a reception/lower key event in the US either before or after.

We’re in agreement that trump ran for office on the platform of maintaining white, patriarchy, straight rule and that has been his main focus along with trashing US image all over the world and hand Europe to Russia. We should all keep it in mind and put our other disagreements and nuances aside before the upcoming election.


Not sure what's the Gambian future-husband status in the US is, yet for safety reasons the couple should have a US court documenting their marriage prior to departing. A wedding ceremony in Gambia is not likely to be sufficient enough to admit the guy back in, and our local authorities are almost certain to throw at them any obstacle they can.
In any case, Mazal-Tov!


@34 I'm an average looking guy in my mid-30s and I've never been broken up with. I tend to recognize when something isn't working and pull the trigger on it. I haven't had anyone really hate me in the aftermath either so I don't think I'm acting like too big of an asshole. So it is possible.

You could be right though, maybe this guy is super hot. I think he's also kind of confused about his sexuality though, maybe that plays a role in him not facing rejection. Maybe he hasn't really put himself out there all that much as a result? Just a theory.


@51 True that. And even then he should be careful. A friend married a guy from Pakistan shortly after Douchebag Trump became president. They went to Pakistan to do that part of the wedding and he couldn't get back in the country for like six months. Almost cost them their house because he wasn't able to work. Fucking Trump.


Well speaking of "1. Sensitive, giving, easy-going, and an all-around good guy and 2. Very physically attractive", as it turns out he's just described Michael Hutchence -- just replace "very" with "EXTREMELY", of course. Just finished watching "Mystify: Michael Hutchence" documentary so I'm a little distracted, sorry. Superb movie. Unbelievable tragedy. If you ever liked the guy, I urge you to watch it -- whatever you thought he was about, especially during the last years of his young life, you didn't know the half of it. Genuinely good fellow human on the planet, and so fucking beautiful.


Phi @29, I think it's extremely common to lose desire for one's partner, or to experience any sort of sexual difficulties, and not be able to talk about it! I think the person, the couple, mature enough to rationally talk about their sex life is rare. And I think it's very typical for a problem to arise but the partners in a relationship to stick it out at first, in hopes it will go away or be solved -- "early 2020" to their breakup is only a few months, correct?

CATMAN says he lost his libido in early 2020. What else happened in early 2020? The Covid pandemic. An obvious explanation for a previously healthy 20something losing his mojo is anxiety and depression brought on by the Covid situation, particularly if it affected him personally or anyone close to him. We also don't know whether he lived with this now ex-girlfriend; once or twice a month might be the frequency they saw each other, particularly if they were self-isolating to comply with lockdown rules. So I wouldn't conclude the girlfriend was submissive; on the contrary, she "insisted" they have sex. (Which we would all see as problematic if the genders were reversed, right?) Also, a submissive personality does not mean submissive sexually. I agree he's probably devised this nigh-on-impossible fantasy to protect himself from the possibility of real-world emotions. Which is fine for now, since dating/hookups are a no-go anyway. These fantasies are recent and I would say a good sign of the return of his mojo. As for his emotional state, I don't think there is enough in the letter to make a judgment. Pandemic-related anxiety and depression are 100% normal, and may vanish as quickly as they appeared. If not, he could seek further help.

"It seems abrasive to do send her a receipt for donation in her name rather than politely decline and talk about why." I read that as an "and," not an "or."

Margarita @34, good catch. Perhaps he does feel confident, and realistically so from his experience, that he could get a super hot guy.

CMD @36: 'I’m not yet completely sure about the readily available women who “went all WAP” and wait in line to be picked up by two men in order to be “used and abused.”' Why not? You're submissive. If a Dominant lesbian couple approached you in a bar and proposed a kinky threesome with you as sub, you'd no doubt be turned on by this idea, so why wouldn't a submissive woman? Remember that any non-consent is consensual in this fantasy, as it should be if he makes it a reality. Why wouldn't you believe the women who themselves are saying "hell yeah"?

Phi @37, your initial post read as if when sex in a relationship stops, it was the not discussing it that was uncommon, with which she and I both disagree.

Ciods @43, standing O.


I don’t think I’d see that as a problem Fan @55, if the genders were reversed. Twice in a month for people in their late twenties... I think whoever was insisting twice
over a month would be restraining themselves. Unless the LW had explained himself, which doesn’t sound like he did. A man with such a check list.. sounds like healthy intimacy is not his forte.


@55 BiDanFan: Agreed and seconded.

@43 ciods for the WIN! So well said.

Griz just saw The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and Carrie (1976) cocked and fully loaded with cabernet sauvignon. I don't think I'll ever be able to fully forgive Nancy Allen, acting role or otherwise (as evil Christine Hargenson). Burn, bitch, burn!
At least the Devil is finally out of Griz, after 43 years of misery.


Opposition to homophobia and support for gay rights in a universalist sense has been conscripted, in a cheap talking-point kind of way, by the neo-liberal post-Samuel Huntingdon 'Clash of Civilisations' agenda. The argument supposes that certain non-Western cultures have an intrinsic opposition to gay rights, or rather that the concept of gay rights on Enlightenment grounds is foreign to them; and that there will therefore invariably be opposition between these nations and the Jeffersonian democracy of the US.

We should not fall for this specious argument. hmartking has outlined the basic reasons--that non-Western cultures are as plural as Western.

Neo-liberals are not genuine friends of gay people, nor comfortable with the genuine pluralism of positions of power being open to people of a variety of social, cultural, racial, economic backgrounds.

A further point is that cheap appeals like this, which swing on many Americans' ignorance of Africa and Asia, should warn us against the limitations of all forms of culturalism, which are as prevalent on the left as on the right. I'm taking this, roughly, as the view that the people who agree with you, and whom you can support, are like you, are of the same kind of you culturally.

The liberal-left's coalition is too small to win if this is true.

@39. Ensign. I don't see why CATMAN's unconscious would need this unusual fantasy as an 'avoidance mechanism'. He hasn't been unhappy with the tanking of his libido. His letter wasn't about his loss of desire--but about how he couldn't dissociate his mind from a hot, but also a worrisome or oppressive, fantasy he wasn't sure he really wanted or was realisable. There would be a 'why now?' question I would have about his fantasy if it really does exist to justify or perpetuate his not wanting to have sex.


Lava @56, so someone needs an explanation to say no to sex? If the explanation isn't good enough, they must have the sex anyway? Shudder. It doesn't sound like he did or didn't explain himself, he doesn't give any details. "I'm not in the mood" should prompt a discussion, not coercion. No one has the right to "insist" on sex, regardless of the circumstances.


hmartking @46: I don't normally engage with trolls who show up shouting insults, but the article you linked makes the same point I raised. I won't disagree that it was missionaries who imported homophobia into Uganda (which I have in fact visited, along with several other African countries), but Uganda certainly owns it now.

You're obviously American, as you assume everything is about America. Your country certainly has problems with its treatment of LGBTQ people, and your president, his party, and their supporters are often nasty homophobes. But they're not proposing to kill gay people; at least not yet.


Ms Phile - Thank you for pointing out that almost all the anti-sodomy laws are still on the books, just unenforceable. I've avoided such states for at least three decades, and the only week I ever spent in Texas was in Austin (I'm fairly sure most Northeasterners who have visited would agree that Texas has glorious highways.) The rest seemed a little cavalier, though I may have found it so because I would be a readily recognized target.

I grudge nobody among the assembled company who happened to enjoy a mental image of my being sentenced to fourteen years in prison.

M?? Harriet - [Neo-liberals are not genuine friends of gay people,] I cannot recall when I have been in such agreement. I'd perhaps spoil it by adding, "But who are? I can't name any political persuasions I'd count as genuine friends." You may decide whether you want to be in agreement or at variance and proceed accordingly.


@Harriet, if you're still following, I've responded to you on last week's thread. Surprisingly, I'm (mostly) in agreement with you.


Nobody has the right to force sex, Fan @59. And what did her insistence look like.. once or twice a month. He doesn’t sound traumatised, mentioning it in relation only to him having orgasms. Such a high horse you ride.


LW1 - I am really sorry that Liberty University gig didn't work out for you. I am a little surprised you're trying to trade in Becki quite so soon though.


@Dan, whatever happened to Tommy?

PS: Obviously Psycho Killer.


@66 I think Nikki had a short lived sex podcast? Or was it a cable series?


@66 yes. good sex for others would happily be sacrificed by many, including many here on savage love, to feed their anxiety over and obsession with safety. that is undeniably a trend in our society. pearl clutchers for safety.


Mr Ddy - We could say that LW1's apparent track record with his prior partners may bode fairly well for his capacity to satisfy his future partners, or at least his FFP. His requirements for his FMP in part remind me of Mr Darcy's requirements for an Accomplished Woman, and in part of an old mystery novel described by Alistair Cooke in which it turned out the killer had to be a left-handed dwarf with a knowledge of Chinese who could train a monkey to climb a rope and squirt the poison into the victim's bath.

Mr Savage's suggestion that this might be a phase seems reasonably pertinent as well. It would be a shame for LW1 actually to find his FMP, change whatever has to be changed about him to perfect him and begin his new fantasy with an easier-to-find FFP only for the world conditions to change again and LW1's desires to shift back, giving FMP and perhaps FFP both the axe.

Perhaps the idea is to prioritize the perspective of the person undertaking the biggest ask.


Dadddy @66, I thought the way that was phrased was hot too; he'd already said he wanted to find a submissive woman, meaning that her enthusiastic consent at being the recipient of these kinks could reasonably be inferred.


I have my image for L2. It's perhaps Ms Brenna's best moment in Clue, when Prof Plum asks Mrs Peacock, "What are you afraid of, a fate worse than death?" and Mrs P replies, "No, just death; isn't that enough?" LW2 seems at least willing to bow to the idea that he's only allowed to object to a fate worse than death. Plenty of groups of people are similarly situated, expected to take the loss and put up with all sorts of nasty fates, only being seen as having legitimate grounds to complain if the fate were to reach the level of worse than death. Perhaps we all need to order more lobster, or at least not put up with being the only ones fobbed off with Chicken McNuggets.


@69 vennominon: WA-HOOOOOOO!!!! Major congratulations on scoring this week'sLucky @69 Award! Savor the highly envied decadence found only here in Savage Love Land :)


Ms Lava - And so the US Open starts tomorrow with nearly empty stands and quite a depleted field. It will certainly make it easier to spot egregious coaching. I shan't miss the US crowds - they'd rejuvenate Mr Connors if they could. Weird at this point in the year still having the French Open and the Kentucky Derby to come.


Let's see how many typos Griz has tonight. I had another movie night with an upstairs neighbor friend. We toasted to Carrie (1976). No viewing of The Exorcist (1973) as yet until I hear from my local video / music store. No worries--Griz hasn't levitated, projectile vomited green bile, or had her head spin. In the meantime, it's burn, bitches, burn (i.e.: Chris Hargensen, Norma Watson, and Helen Shyres, ad nauseum). :)

Red, red wiiiiiine........stay close to meeeeee...........(she's BA-AAACK!)


I used to dream I could levitate and even propel myself about above the ground with sufficient concentration.


@75 vennominon: One key part of the film, The Exorcist (based on the book by William Peter Blatty) I had missed was that young tween Regan McNeil had been playing around with an ouija board. So that's how the Devil somehow got into little Regan.
Moral of William Peter Blatty's horror novel and highly grossing horror film: don't mess with ouija boards unless you really know what you're doing! :0


@62. nocute. Sorry not to have picked up your comment on last week's thread before. I think we are broadly in agreement.

I think we would also be in agreement in principle about social constituencies or sexual subcultures so small or 'fringe' that they fall below the threshhold of most people's awareness--i.e. I think we would say that members of these self-styled identity groups are entitled to insist they are treated with respect; but that it would be unrealistic for them to suppose that all their interlocutors will work up the same understanding of etiquettes e.g. of addressing NB people as they have for talking of cisfolk.

Notwithstanding this, some styles are surely going to get more and more mainstreamed. By 2150, we will all be bigendered cyborgs. Please scrub that last contentious sentence.

@61. venn. Well, when we use a term like 'liberal', I think we're thinking of some people who are like 'us' (gay/queer) and some cishet people with progressive views on taxation and public provision. Some of the second group merely tolerate us.

I have been told in the past, more or less, that I was the worst possible advocate for egalitarian positions on the economy (because I looked like the sort of person who would routinely adopt left-wing views). But I also have the sense that there are fewer and fewer gritted-teeth liberals.


Mr. Venn @75: I have that dream with some regularity. It always feels entirely reasonable.


M?? Harriet - Thank you for more or less admitting in your address to Ms Cute that you want to push the gays into the closet again (the effect of your Utopic prediction if not the intent). And while some things do get mainstreamed, some don't take. Hence our loss of the Young and the impending evisceration from the right, which I expect to be followed by an even harsher evisceration from the left (shades of Rumpole noting with some amusement the Puritanical streak of his radical ex-pupil Mizz Liz Probert) when power swings, as it is wont to do (if the descriptivists haven't killed "wont" yet). And some things do take but don't stick at the top level - bridge, for instance. Mr Culbertson managed to put it on the cultural map largely by making it sound sexy and (one theory goes, given how he capitalized on the Bennett murder in 1929) providing a feminist angle of sorts, assisted by Mrs Culbertson's being one of the top players. And now we have people - worse, a majority - who think that No Trump is a political statement. Sad.

As for the L word, it's fascinating to see how who's using and who's abusing it keeps switching around. I'm reminded of hearing the claim of Mr Limbaugh that there was no such thing as someone fiscally conservative and socially liberal, that people who claimed such a position were just sinners trying to get passes for their own indiscretions. But who are the admitted liberals these days? It seems that almost the only people claiming the label are Intellectual Dark Web or WalkAway types, apologists for the right whose brand appears to be criticizing the left "from the inside". That seems fairly bankable. But "liberal!" is too tame an insult for the right these days. It's a much dirtier word on the left. The right insists that Mr DOMA (which is what I've decided to call him whether he wins or not) is, if not an actual card-carrying commie, at least entirely beholden to the socialists and wokescolds. What seems to be the predominant strain of leftism these days appears to dismiss most of the right as close enough to Nazis while saving ammunition for blasting wine moms and the never-clearly-defined-for-a-reason "identity politics", which is just their way of policing who gets to sit where on the bus.


Mr Ddy - It was, according to Mr Cooke, a fairly popular branch of mysteries in the 1920's and 1930's of a puzzle variety - quite different from such works as were produced by Patrick Hamilton.


@75 vennominon and @79 fubar: Aside from any projectile vomiting and head spinning(!!!), floating freely in midair does sound comfortingly peaceful. :)



I guess it's just a Talking Heads kind of comments section for me this week.


@84 nocutename: Talking Heads? The only song of theirs I remember is Burning Down the House. I guess Griz had better revisit her 80's music library. :)

Ah, some classics. Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time and the B-52s' Love Shack. :)

Then, for some reason, Griz turned to heavy metal: Welcome to the Jungle, Guns 'n' Roses, and Enter Sandman by Metallica. Nothing Else Matters makes me weep.


There was one song of Guns n Roses, I loved. Now I can’t remember it, though the melody comes back thinly.
Cyndi, she was/ is a marvel. How simple is it to
sing “ Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...
We just wanna we just wanna....” Love that woman.


@86 LavaGirl: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun...I LOVE that song! Cyndi Lauper is so cool! :)


@80. venn. The social constituencies I meant that would be likely too small for mainstream notice would be e.g. the agender or plushophiles, not 'the gays'. Indeed, for me, a good way of acting so as to be treated with respect, for these sub-groups or macro-groups, would be to present themselves--without anyone having really to understand what they get up to having sex--as queer.


@80. venn. You're reinforcing my sense that the left doesn't care about tolerance, the valuing of personal diversity, much any more, insofar as these are the key principles of liberalism. It's gone culturalist--or rather this is what its solidarity or communalism has come to.