Savage Love

The Boyfriend Experience



Thirst! I mean, flirts!


@1 nocute


"I had sex with this guy for two days straight, but I uhh, I don't know his name or number, because I was drunk, for two days straight... Hey could you make the next check you send me out to cash? I'm just worried it might put me in a higher tax bracket and uhh.. Oh I know I make more money than you, but hey hotel rooms and booze ain't free ya know!!"

P.S. @1 (and everyone else who just shouts first): Cool to be first and all, but maybe post an actual comment?


Oh my, FUCKING! I know your ex very well. It’s bewildering, isn’t it? Dear sweet introspective creative feminist smart funny man is... a really terrible lover? How??? Why??? It makes no sense!!!

Part of it can be depression, I suspect. Depression and antidepressants can both do a number on the libido, and if your libido isn’t working for you then any work you need to put into sex is too much.

Some men are utterly turned off by an assertive partner. If you try to help a reluctant guy out by saying “X is painful but I really love Y” their dicks shrivel up and fall off. You never get Y, and you only get sex at all if it includes X and you shut up about it. I think this is just dumb, but it happens. Assertive people are just not a match for people who are turned off by assertive sexual partners. There’s nothing you can do about it beyond wishing them well and moving on.

I think it’s related to the whole “sex is something that women have to be talked into” thing. Was it Mae West who made that crack about not wanting to be pursued by her prey? If the predator role is what turns him on, you are not a match for him. It’s okay. You aren’t doing anything wrong.


"my pussy and sexual pleasure are aversive to him"
combined with his not being willing to do /anything/ about his issues, is unquestionably (as Dan put it) "disqualifying". And make it impossible and pointless for you to figure him out, so please give yourself a break and stop trying to and end the relationship.

"which equals rape, right"

Or it might equal she didn't want to tell you the details which she said she didn't remember. Your failure to see this makes me suspect you want to blame the other guy, which is misguided. And common: people would rather mis-apply blame than to face directing it at the one they love. But properly directing it can be helpful in processing the conflicting anger and attachment.

@3 jack
That is not the rule or practice of the game. We already know you don't like the game, why not let go of criticising it's practice.
If you're bored, why not find that old friend you bragged to us about secretly poisoning with your bodily fluids and apologize to him for that cowardly hostile attack?


FYI, in comment #6 I typed an at-symbol (@) just before "JSG" and your wonderful addon stripped off the at-symbol. Not a big issue of course, I just thought it might be an easy fix, perhaps in your link-creating code.


@7 p.s.
then in comment #7 I had an at-symbol immediately before your username.
beware everyone, at-symbols which don't precede numbers might disappear for those of us who enjoy addon functionality!


I can't believe I'm going to write this, because now I sound like Hunter, but could it be possible that FUCKING's (hopefully now ex) boyfriend is gay?

I mean, not only does not go down on her, but he won't even finger her or use a toy. It sounds like he has a serious aversion to vulvas. He not only doesn't seem to want to touch her genitals except with his penis, but he couldn't stand hearing her moan in pleasure? Maybe he is deeply closeted, even to himself, but the only way he can enjoy the sex they have is to close his eyes and pretend he's with a man; perhaps hearing the sound of her female voice pulls him out of that fantasy and he is upset.

The bottom line is that it really doesn't matter WHY he has such a strong aversion to her (or maybe to all women, sexually). What matters is that this is no way to go through life. If she wants, she could try to keep him as a friend in her life, because it sounds as if that part of their relationship--the friendship--works, and she should look for a new boyfriend.

@4: gutsgutslifelife, if I had to coerce someone into going down on me by refusing to give him oral until he gave me oral, I doubt I could do it. I wouldn't be able to enjoy the experience knowing that the only reason it was happening was in some sort of tit-for-tat exchange. I wouldn't want someone who was only giving me oral because of some sort of embargo and I doubt that he'd be any good at it under the circumstances. If someone clearly doesn't WANT to eat my pussy, I sure as hell don't want him down there.


@3: Sorry, jack chandelier. If it bothers you that much, perhaps you could either make sure you're the first commentor so you create a substantive comment and no one else can jump in with their claim, or you could avail yourself of fubar's extension and see if you can simply block the first comment.


Yes, rape happens; yes, being too drunk to give meaningful consent is a thing that really happens. But I don't think that's what happened to JSG's (hopefully, soon to be ex) girlfriend. I think she had a fling, regretted it, and is now trying to get sympathy or to keep him.
I mean, maybe it was assault, who knows.

But here's what else JSG says:
1) she's never been with a man before JSG.
2) She's just come out of a five-year marriage.
3) There's a 22-year age difference.

I think it's likely that the woman wants at some level to sow some wild man-oats. She's just come out of a marriage; she is young and may want a variety of lovers/experiences. She wants to give having sex with men a try.
Being in a monogamous relationship with JSG might not be what she wants or needs right now. So she went a little wild, and now she regrets it . . . and this is the excuse she came up with--I mean, she couldn't have been blackout drunk for two straight days, could she? Is that possible? I guess they could have been on a real bender, drinking heavily the entire time, but the two days is where I get suspicious. And what's with him supporting her for the past six months, even though she makes more money than he does? I think she's worried she's going to lose her gravy train and is frantically trying to back pedal--and then the guy wants her to file a police report which she knows would be a lie.

Just the state of mind I'm in.
Grumpy and beyond cynical.


Wait, LW2 or Just Seeking Guidance. Your story doesn't add up somehow. If your GF was raped and held captive for 2 days straight, and prevented from contacting you aka "ghosted", I think the story would be different.

You, not her, chose to frame this as rape.

"She's exhibiting signs of trauma…" that doesn't automatically make her a saint. What signs are these?

"I've been down this road with an ex…" so you've already got a well-developed savior complex and it hasn't worked out well in the past.

"I’m 50 years old, she’s 28 years old…" so there's an age difference. If y'all were getting along I wouldn't say anything but this is messed up.

"I was the first man she was ever with until this rape happened." Are you sure about that? All you know is what she's telling you.

"I'm supporting her financially even though she makes twice what I do". STOP RIGHT THERE. Why are you supporting her if she makes more than you?

I can understand why Dan took a more compassionate road but man, there are red flags to the point where I wonder if this is a fake letter.


LW1, you can still love this man, and stop pretending this is a mutually satisfying sexual intimacy. Be his friend, or whatever you need to call it.
Dan says it, you gave this man enough chances to investigate his sad state, and his pride is bigger than his love for you. His loss and nothing for you to feel grief about. Might wake him up to himself, losing you.
Now, why have you put up with this shit for three years? No fingering? No oral? No way would I have stayed a week. Is he religious or something. Weird for a man these days to think he can expect any sexual woman to put up with this bull. Whatever his problem is, it’s his to work thru.
Good luck with your studies and finding COVID safe lovers who enjoy women’s bodies and groans.


@gutsgutslifelife The man in this story is also making an incomprehensible choice, in staying with a woman he shouldn't be with. Both people are making an equally bad decision, it seems to me.

In regards to letter 3, I engage in chastity play with my partner sometimes, and in the weeks she's not allowed to orgasm the sex we have is still fantastic. It's a really different mindset though, focussing on moment-to-moment pleasure rather than building up to a climax. Or building up to a point and then easing back down repeatedly. So my odd suggestion is that instead of having sex where you can't orgasm, have sex where you can't orgasm. Like, make it a rule. That way, instead of your absent orgasm being a disappointment or challenge, it's an intentional, kinky, hot thing. (That said, this is part of a D/s dynamic in my relationship; maybe it wouldn't work in other contexts.)


@1 WA-HOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Congratulations to nocutename for scoring this week's hotly competed for FIRDT! honors! Savor the glory and bask in the glow. :)

@3: Come on now, Jack---you scored FIRDT! honors last week. Give others a chance. At least you made THIRD. There's always time to score the luscious Lucky @69 if you time it right. :)


@3 jack chandelier: I agree with curious2 @6 and nocutename @10. For someone who initially pooh-poohed the Lucky Numbers game here in Savage Love Land, you seem awfully whiny lately about not coming in FIRDT!. If you want to participate please don't pull a Trump here. There will be no forced recount just because nocutename legitimately won the FIRDT! honors.


wambenger @14
— Yes! Chastity play!

He can even show up to dates in a cock cage to make it really explicit.


FUCKING move on. Not every relationship is destined to enter into happily-ever-after land. VERY FEW do. Consider yourself lucky to have only invested three years (THREE YEARS!) on a man who would not eat your pussy or finger you or use a vibrator or any other sex toys on you. Get your hairy little butt down to a sex-positive counselor and start working on the “why” you value his pleasure so much more than your own.

JSG~ Cynical me says you’re getting played. You’ve been supporting this woman for six months even though she MAKES MORE MONEY THAN YOU? I think she knows you’re a sucker, and this is the way she can fuck another guy’s brains out for two days and still keep the gravy train rolling.

COME~ You say you rarely come “while having sex” but can you orgasm while masturbating? Seems like it’s a mental block due to the “pressure” of trying to please your partner. Get your hairy little butt down to a sex-positive counselor and start working on the “why” you value their pleasure so much more than your own.



@hazmat 12. Yeah the more I read letter two the more this guy seems like a piece of work. In fact I think his characterization of the encounter as a rape MIGHT be a sort of manipulative game he's playing with his GF. Maybe something like this:

"Honey, I'm sorry but just had sex with another guy."
- "Oh, God, how did that happen?
"Uh, I'm not sure. I was really drunk and I don't remember it that well."
- "Oh really? Hmm. Well if you were drunk that sounds like rape. Who was the guy, we should really report him."
- "No, I dont think . . ."
- No. You said you were drunk and don't remember if you fully consented. That sounds like rape. We need to report him. Don't you think you need to report someone who raped you?"

And scene.

Unless I am totally wrong and this woman really was victimized. But even then, he's handling it really poorly.


COME: 66 y/o gay guy here and I've also been inconsistent over the years coming during partnered sex. And while I know it makes other guys happy to see their partner come, I agree with Dan that the pressure to come makes it even less likely that I will. The best thing to do is to be honest with your partner(s). If they enjoy being with you, they'll stop pressuring you and everyone can have a great time. BTW, keep in mind that if you're on any meds, they can also have the side effect of affecting your ability to come.


If last letter is real, it’s a doozy. Not many people would make the leap from “my gf just told me she got drunk and had sex with a guy for TWO DAYS, but she is hazy on the details”, to... “how can I support her through this rape?”

Again, if letter is real, they are both remarkable people. Better apart.

Dan’s response was bizarre to me.


I'm wondering how a sex-positive bi woman ended up in a relationship with a sex-negative straight man in the first place. If the sex is so bad -- and refusal to pleasure someone orally or manually and recoiling at their pleasure is bad sex -- why did she not lose his digits after the second try? THREE YEARS of this? And she wants to be with him only because he "still has feelings for me and still wants to us be together, exclusively"? Lots of people want to be with you -- people you haven't met yet. Yes, dating has to wait until the pandemic is over. Find someone to cam with? The fact that FUCKING felt obligated to stay with a terrible lover and is now feeling guilty for moving on suggests that she'd benefit from therapy, which, hurrah! she can also do online. Fixing this guy is not your responsibility. Let him worry about fixing himself and you fix you.

JSG, you're barking up the wrong tree. You shouldn't be thinking police, you should be thinking AA. Is the drinking unprecedented? My guess is that it's not. She makes twice what you do and you're supporting her? Like Mr FUCKING, Ms JSG is not in good working order to date. She does need help, but not legal help. Is she willing to get it? Y/N. Are you an asshole for dumping her? Perhaps make staying after she cheated (if she's not calling it rape, neither should you) conditional on her getting off the booze. If she blows this chance, you can end it with a clear conscience.

COME, if you've explained that you don't come during partnered sex and these men keep pressuring you, they are the assholes. If they can't take your word that you are satisfied even without blowing a load -- and it's odd that they haven't encountered this yet -- they aren't worth your time. Go stallion for some other couple who can accept you.


@LW1 FUCKING, agree w/Dan, please make this break permanent. If a person makes you feel shame for (what should be) a very standard sex act, let alone the one it takes to get you off... They're not worth your time. Eating pussy is, in my varied and luscious experience, a lot easier than sucking dick and, IMO, more fun. DTMFA
@6 @10: gotta say, I don't think I normally agree with @3's opinions, but as someone who's been lurking the comments section here for many years, I've noticed that it's really hard to jump in with an actual opinion or add to the conversation because it gets so off-topic and personal that a newbie/non-regular usually gets ignored. LWs seem to respond a lot less than they used to and Dan almost never engages, or even acknowledges, the comments anymore.
It would be impossible to be first, or "firdt", or whatever, and to come in with a relevant comment because, by the time you've read the article and formulated an opinion, there's already games, in-fighting, etc.
I don't personally give a fuck about the numbers game, and get why it's probably fun for the handfull of people who regularly comment here, but think y'all might not realize that it's part of why others don't come in very often. This column is syndicated internationally. If I'm here, not commenting for years at a time, there's thousands of other who just won't bother.

I always try to at least skim the comments before I attempt writing one myself, but anything after about 20 and you can't possibly expect an LW to want to engage the way y'all have carried on the last 5-7 years.
I realize this observation will get a lot of hate from regulars, but by and large it seems like you're very decent people. So I hope it at least puts it in the back of your brains. You treat this like a club. You'd rather fight with the asshole who comes in to troll you most weeks than give a newb the time of day.
Y'all seem to know A LOT about each other, but if someone doesn't stick it out for a year and read EVERY comment SL posts, they're just a rando.
I'm not saying the "FIRDT" stuff is the problem, but it is part of what's off-putting to those of us who have been reading Dan's column for decades. IMO, this has become a two-sided echo chamber when it used to b an actual decent resource. Let the hate commence...


Guts @4, please keep coming back. You'll see a lot of female motherfuckers that men need to be advised to dump. To paraphrase someone I hope I never see again, I'm going to bang the drum every week that these are human problems, not men problems or women problems, until you start to see it. You've really never known a man who couldn't see he needed to dump a toxic woman? You don't understand women like FUCKING but you do understand the men who pine and pine and pine? Aren't they both the same thing -- holding on to someone you can't see is bad for you? First step in understanding women: they're people. This person, I agree, her actions seem incomprehensible. The usual reason for this is low self-esteem. Perhaps, indeed, women are more likely to have the sort of low self-esteem that tells them, "You are obligated to stay with someone who loves you." The "you can fix him!" trope is pervasive. She feels guilty for dumping him because women have been socialised to not hurt people's feelings; she doesn't feel she deserves better because she has low self-esteem. Is that something you can understand?

Curious @6 re JSG, bingo. JSG (speaking of men who can't see they're dating motherfuckers, ahem) doesn't want to consider the possibility that he's dating a CPOS, so he reasons the sexcapade must have been nonconsensual. Guts, this is exactly what women do when they blame the other women for their husbands cheating. We are all the same.
Re Jack Chandelier, I've muted him. Thanks, Fubar!

Nocute @9, I agree both that it's possible he's gay and that it doesn't matter from FUCKING's perspective. Unless this theory can help her see this relationship can't continue. I also agree that a juvenile approach of "if you won't go down on me, I won't go down on you" is unlikely to fix things. If someone doesn't like to go down, I can't see how their doing so reluctantly would be enjoyable for either of you, and isn't sex supposed to be enjoyable for both of you? If that's important and they won't do it, don't retaliate, move on.

Nocute @11 / Hazmat @12, I agree. I'd add 4) she married at no more than 21. I think JSG is jumping to rape as an explanation because denial and because of his ex's experience. The "signs of trauma" sound like a guilty conscience. As a former alcoholic, I understand that it can indeed be traumatic to think back on what one did while drunk. Ideally, these "signs of trauma" would be a kick up the arse for her to do something about her drinking. JSG is not going to help her by enabling this behaviour by blaming it completely on someone else. Hazmat, there are people that gullible, particularly when they are in the thralls of NRE with a younger person who they feel they are lucky to get. I completely believe this letter.

Griz @16: Ha! Excellent takedown of this week's resident whiner.

Ens @20, good to see you back. You always see angles other folks don't. Yes, we're all focusing on the probable scenario where the sex was drunk but consensual. But you and JSG are correct, rapists do in fact prey on women who've had too much to drink so perhaps this was rape, which Ms JSG, like so many victims, is too shaken to clearly see. If so, JSG is handling it wrong. If the victim does not want to go to the police -- and there is good reason for that; look how quickly most of us presumed the sex was consensual, that's going to happen in court too -- he should drop it and take -her- lead on how to support her. But I agree there are too many red flags here. If she fools him twice, shame on him.

Joe @23, not many people would, but someone who had an ex who was raped would be more likely to be in that category. It's called projection. And also, as Curious said, denial. He doesn't want to believe that his girlfriend had a drunken affair, so he looks for an alternate explanation. Either she's an alcoholic who needs help or she's a clever sociopath who found an ideal patsy.


Yeah actually, as a former alcoholic, one can blame alcohol for having sex one later regrets. But the "two days" thing seems fishy. At some point you sober up and think oh god, what did I do? And you don't continue doing it for a second day. She cheated and confessed and is remorseful, these are the facts JSG should be looking at. Is she likely to do this again, Y/N. Forgive her or don't, but don't deflect blame to this mysterious unknown third party.


LW2 is over twenty yrs older than this woman, Dan, and you don’t mention this as a issue?
Find a woman closer to your own age, LW. Someone who doesn’t go on weekend benders, fuck a stranger then try to cover herself by pleading too drunk. And why are you supporting her? Sure, you’re old enough to be her father. Yes. Dump her so she can enjoy the rest of her twenties without some old guy freaking her about about police and probably causing trauma for her.


I won’t block you Jack, though you do seem a little tight arsed.
Oh, he said something that upset people. So now, Well, see you’re blocked. Naughty naughty boy. Do I need to keep my whip handy?


LVG @25, you didn't address me personally, but as a regular I presume I am included in your critique, so I'll take the bait.

Can you show me an example of a newbie who had something valuable to contribute, but was ignored?

I post my thoughts first, then respond to others'. Like putting on a lifejacket. I respond to newbies and regulars alike. But the regulars come back to engage with my replies. The newbies don't, so it's not surprising if they're less likely to get a detailed response they're probably not going to read. I've been here for probably more than five or seven years and I've seen newbies arrive, quickly become prolific and valued commenters, and in some cases disappear again. There are no membership fees in this "club," nor is there a requirement for attendance. As for trolls, I for one am glad Fubar has created his Slogblocker plugin so I can just block or mute them rather than have to face the temptation to respond, which is exactly what the troll wants. Lava may deem all commenters equally worthy of being read but I do not! ;) So, yes, this is a club, but instead of asking the regulars to stop being regulars, how about joining the club by coming back to check and see if your (general you) post has been responded to? Soon enough you'll be spending hours a day here, like the rest of us saddos.


@bidanfan @30, You're right. I honestly can't cite a specific instance without the risk of mis-quoting/mis-remembering the specifics. Y'all seem to be an intimidating amount of Adept at Internet. I have no clue as to go about about finding quotes from SL's past, or blocking certain users who's main goal seems to be incendiary.
Yes, you are one of the ppl I see here most (I tend to agree w/you amongst a few others, whatever that's worth).
Real talk: I'm salty and projecting my saltiness onto potential scrollers/would-be commenters. I have no hard evidence to back my claim, just years of anecdotes.


I've read in this column and elsewhere many instances of a woman failing to leave a man who punches her teeth out. Those didn't make my jaw drop the way FUCKING's letter did. The incomprehensible elements seem way more incomprehensible in this one. With conventional abuse, there's the fear that keeps her from walking away. When there's good sex, the attachment comes from misplaced love. FUCKING tells us that he showed love in many ways and that he's not a bastard. I'd need more evidence to believe that.

Or maybe I should scratch that. Maybe he's not a bastard. Maybe he's deeply troubled. He has ED problems. Like nocute says he could be gay. Like Dan says he could be a necrophiliac. He has depression and anxiety which we all know are disorders where one of the symptoms is that of paradoxically making people have trouble seeking treatment to get over. His ED could have to do with antidepressant meds. Point is, he didn't write asking for advice. FUCKING did.

FUCKING's question is how to stop beating herself up and feeling guilty. I can't tell from the timeline how long ago she broke up with him. If it's been less than a year, I recommend this:

Stop trying to be friends with him. Stop all contact, even polite contact. Don't call to see how he's doing. Don't take his calls other than to tell him that you've decided it would be better for you if you didn't see him for a while. Unfriend him on facebook.

Pursue other relationships. This will be hard during the pandemic, but do what you can safely. If nothing else, wait it out for the next several months until we've all gotten vaccines and can all go out on dates with some semblance of normalcy.

Those are the 2 basic things we all do to get over break-ups. If this has been going on for over a year without progress, if you're still confusing feeling bad because of circumstances with feeling bad because of guilt, then seek some therapy to help you get the issues untangled in your own head.

Before you think I'm being flip by suggesting therapy for you when he's the one who's most fucked up, this is exactly the sort of thing that therapy is great for. You have a much greater chance of success than he does. There are things we are responsible for, things we aren't, irrational emotions that we deserve sympathy and understanding for. All of us at some time may need some help figuring it all out. Good luck.


Ivg @25, I'm sure you'll get much offended pushback from the regulars, but FWIW I agree with you. This forum is pretty cliquey. I'm not too fond of the group culture here, so I only comment from time to time, and don't bother coming back when I feel the group politics kick in. But many of the regular commenters are articulate and tend to have an interesting take on things, so I still lurk the comment section (though less so in recent years - SL as a whole seems to be on its last legs as Dan seems to be winding things down for his retirement).


LVG @31, thanks for admitting you're just in a foul mood and were looking to pick a fight. Our nerves are all frayed due to The Situation (tm).

Regular commenter Fubar has created a plugin for blocking and/or muting users (muting means you can see that they've commented, but the post itself is hidden -- this is useful because you can un-mute them at any time):
You can also highlight users, but I haven't used that feature myself.

Anecdotes -are- evidence; what you have is an impression. :)

Fichu @32, FUCKING says they are "on a break" which means they haven't even technically broken up yet. So that's her first step! I agree her letter was screaming out for therapy -- for her, so she can understand why she can't see what all her friends and now, a room full of strangers, do.

Margarita @33, I'm sorry you feel this way. I always appreciate your comments.


@ 20 - I'm with you, LW is trying to pressure her into admitting that she wasn't raped, she just had a sexy fling. He's playing manipulative games, and also trying to manipulate Dan and us - "gee, honey, all the people in the comments say that you're playing me, that can't be right, can it?"

As for "firdt" - I'm a regular reader, infrequent commenter. I don't play the game, as it's not the kind of thing that appeals to me, but why should I care if those who like it play it? Decent comment sections become communities, and communities have ways they like to have fun.

And there is a reason regulars tend to not engage too deeply with newbies, and it's not about being unwelcoming. As BDF says, newbies tend to drop in, make their comment, and never come back to read responses. Not everyone knows or cares that some comment sections online are conversations rather than billboards for splashing one's opinion unchallenged.


l-dub 1, stop being a doormat.

l-dub 2, stop being a doormat.

l-dub 3... stop being a doormat.


Agony @35, wait, what? I think you've got it backwards. Ms JSG isn't claiming that she was raped. Ms JSG literally said she got drunk and had a two-day fling, which she can't remember much of (which is probably code for "I don't want to share the details with you"), but she can remember that they didn't use condoms. It's JSG who took that and said "you were drunk? That means it was rape, call the cops!" Why would he need to play a manipulative game to get her to confess to cheating when she already did confess to cheating? He's the one who's convinced she's the victim and that he's obligated to support her. Just because his ex was raped while drunk doesn't mean that all women who have sex while drunk are raped. I think he is trying too hard to be a Good Guy here, but he needs to trust his instincts, which are telling him to take her at her word.


Correction, "I’ve been down this road with an ex" doesn't necessarily mean that alcohol was a factor in his ex's rape. Apologies for the flight of fancy there. But he is jumping to a conclusion that the last apple was an apple, therefore this orange must also be an apple. If she took Plan B today, then this -just- happened, so perhaps he needs to mull this over while awaiting the STI results and try to see the orange for what it really is.


LW#1: This man has very deep issues he is not dealing with. He may be closet gay or he may have been molested orally as a child. Break up with him and take his calls later if you feel sorry for him, but you need to move on, and examine why you put up with this treatment, for three years.


@25 yeah, totally.


Bi @24 Maybe the sex positive bi woman was a childhood victim of sexual assault. *

Regarding LW2 - Maybe the only reason the 28 year old is in a relationship with a man 22 years older than her (who makes half as much as she does) is because there's some kind of sugar daddy thing going on? Or perhaps he's insecure about the age gap (and her bisexuality) and so he showers her with money as some sort of power play or simple bribery?

(I'm curious how that observation made you feel as an outspoken sex positive bi woman. I'm not sure you remember when you made a similar observation regarding a lesbian (and then her lesbian partner!) with absolutely no basis in the text of the letter, and then doubled down on your POV when I took offense... Conjecture for me, but not for thee is how I remember that exchange)


In letter #2, the girlfriend's drunken escapade is a red herring. He's buried the lead which is here: She's fragile and he's been supporting her financially for the last 6 months which is weird since her job pays twice what his does. It is also as long as they've been together. Also, she's 28, and JSG is 50.

Come on! What we tell someone who just wrote the few lines above? We'd say that whether the girlfriend means to be manipulative or not, whether she sat down and planned it or it just turned out that way, she's got a sweet deal. She's emotionally unstable. Her fragility is working for her. It means men (or this man, at least) pay her way, and she gets to do whatever she wants.

Question, JSG: Is this relationship working for YOU? I think not. I think at the very most, you're getting a sense of superman do-goodism. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's nice that most of us want to do good in the world, want to help people out, especially when we've seen them vulnerable and naked, shared some good times. I get why you want to be supportive. I also get why you feel a mixed-up sense of responsibility when it's become obvious that all the support in the world can't save this remorseful hot mess.


Jibe @41: "Maybe the sex positive bi woman was a childhood victim of sexual assault." Maybe she was. It's pretty common. Wait, was that supposed to offend me? Sorry. I do remember your "jaw dropping" when I suggested that in reference to a previous LW, and I do remember being perplexed as to why you were further shocked that I didn't change my mind as a result of your reaction, which I must say I still don't understand. And I'm glad you've brought this up again, since you were on my "to block" list and I can now do so. LVG, one less recurring feud to annoy you.


Honestly, my first thought on FUCKING's boyfriend was that he might be asexual (maybe sex-averse ace) who's forcing himself to try and perform because that's what society and his family conditioned him to think he's supposed to do, if that makes any sense. He could also be gay, but either way I definitely get the impression that he's trying to force himself to go through the motions while attempting to detach himself from the experience.

I mean, this all still adds up to "is not in Good Working Order and needs professional help," but that was my read on it.


Really appreciate responses to LW2, it was one where I was feeling uncomfortable, but couldn't quite articulate why upon first read. Agree with those here that LW put the "rape" label when it didn't seem like GF ever said anything of the sort. Believe women, don't put words in their mouths.
Lost Margarita @33 Thank you, very much appreciate your input and have enjoyed your takes in the past, btw. Agree that ppl here are generally articulate and have interesting takes. If I'm being fair, that must be why I keep coming back, however sporadically.
BiDanFan@34 Thank you for the link. Can't seem to get it to work on my android, but will try from my computer.
Yes, I'm feeing combative and generally a little nostalgic (a dangerous mindset in it's own right, if not tempered by realism). However, there have been many times in recent years where an argument breaks out between a regular troll and a regular-regular, and it eats up dozens of comments on the first page while getting weirdly personal and specific. Yes, that might seem like an impression (not an anecdote) since I'm unwilling to name names and specific arguments. Call it like you see it, I won't refute. I'll admit; it's why I get ever so slightly annoyed by "FIRDT" etc, etc, because IMO, it contributes to the burying of relevant comments and the general vibe of an "in-crowd" or clique.
Projecting? Sure.
Taking umbrage with the most innocuous side of my beef? Fuck yeah.
Is there a relevant point? Probably not.
Am I contributing to exactly what I'm complaining about? Most definitely.
Anyway, LW3, you sound delightful and sweet. I think Dan's response could've been filtered down to just "COMMUNICATION" though.


LW1 - grief, sure - it's unfortunate when someone with a clear disqualifier scores so highly in other areas. Ms Fan seems to have addressed the guilt question adequately. The example that came to mind is that old RC standby Father What-a-Waste, the priest one wishes were Episcopalian because he'd make someone an ideal husband. BF1 is ruled out; maybe it's a real and serious shame, but he's ruled out and it's certainly not her fault.
L2 looks so much like a case of CMY.
LW3 might want to combine Mr Savage's rounding up with Mr Ramsay's Alphabet of Thought (in To the Lighthouse). It's nice of LW3, who seems perhaps to be C3's .8, to want to become what they'll rate at .85 or .9. Switching over to Mr Ramsay, who had arrived at Q in his Alphabet of Thought and was always trying to reach R, not that many people arrive at Q. The quest for R ought not to knock one back to L or M.


@18 Donny
"FUCKING move on."

/Superb/ use of LW acronym in a sentence! (I love that kind of wordplay.)


@ 37 I dunno, maybe I'm imagining it, but there is just something about this letter.... Maybe I've got a dirty lens, but I know people who use the guise of being very sympathetic to uncover your lies. Like when you cancel on a date by pretending to be sick, and they insist on driving you to the ER until you have to come clean and admit that you lied.

So in my scenario, he knows darn well she was not that drunk and just wanted to have a fling. But instead of addressing that, he goes overboard into "It must be rape, you must report the rape!" And then when she finally goes "OK, OK, I wasn't drunk, I just wanted to get laid by someone who wasn't you!" he can be all sad and wounded and have all the moral high ground.

It's a tactic of people who are invested in being martyrs, and the part about him supporting her financially even though she makes more money fits that, too.


@49 agony
You're forgetting that it wasn't his GF he told he thought it was rape, it was us that he told. We have no reason to think that telling it to us is a way to get her to admit she lied.


@20 Oh I read it very differently. It seems super likely he's being taken advantage of. He's already being manipulated financially. If you made me bet my house, I'd bet that she decided to blow off some steam and made up the "I was too drunk" concept all together. This guy is looking for trauma and is seeing what he wants to.

The problem is that even if it's only a 1% chance that she actually was assaulted that weekend, it's still a real possibility. I think extricating yourself from the relationship as long as you don't do it in an asshole way is okay. Maybe talk to some of her friends on the way out so that someone else can take over the role you played - she clearly doesn't need you financially.


@many It's weird how many people feel the need to talk about blocking people. It's the equivalent of in grade school when one kid tells another kid "I'm not talking to you anymore." Like why say that? So their feelings are hurt? If this person is the unmitigated jackass you think they are, that's not going to do anything. If they aren't and they are hurt by it, that suggests you may be in the wrong. Either way, you accomplish nothing.

If you want to block someone, just block them. No one else needs to know that Mommy and Daddy are fighting.


LW1 was hard to read. The weirdest part was "he is not a bastard". What does his parentage, or her ideas of name-calling or shaming have to do with it? It's like she's calling him a bastard, because no one else did. Maybe she is hooked on playing the victim of a "bastard'? Therapy yesterday (or 3 years ago).

LW2 is trying to keep a relationship although neither seems to love the other.. they seem to be using each other for status (young gf), money, maybe security blankets.. Maybe neither can really love and appreciate others, so it's a good fit? Of course he is "allowed" to break up with someone who cheated on him, even if she feels bad about it! It's always better to do it with compassion and without blame, if possible..

LW3 just needs to hear that he's well within the range of normal and accept that he rarely comes without touching himself (I think, he wasn't very specific). Either trying to get comfortable masturbating with others, or telling his partners that he dislikes trying to come with others, seems like it would work. Not everyone will like this, but it's not going to be a big deal for most people, I think..


Bf1 and gf2 are made for each other, at least they are cut from the same cloth.. At least bf2 can say he has an extremely young gf, guys seem to compete with each other this way... I don't get why gf1 has such with bf1 at all.


Has stuck


How'd that happen? I had no choice! It's not my fault, it's the drinking, the depression! Don't pay attention to the person behind the curtain!

Personal responsibility is good, taking responsibility for others' choices is not.


BiDan-34-- Right! On a break, not broken up. I don't know how I skipped over that. It's another of those ambiguous terms I have trouble with.

In that case, FUCKING can skip my longer post earlier and skip directly to:
Breaking up is hard to do-ooo.


@Fichu #42 “Come on! What we tell someone who just wrote the few lines above? We'd say that whether the girlfriend means to be manipulative or not, whether she sat down and planned it or it just turned out that way, she's got a sweet deal. She's emotionally unstable. Her fragility is working for her. It means men (or this man, at least) pay her way, and she gets to do whatever she wants.

Question, JSG: Is this relationship working for YOU? I think not. I think at the very most, you're getting a sense of superman do-goodism. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's nice that most of us want to do good in the world, want to help people out, especially when we've seen them vulnerable and naked, shared some good times. I get why you want to be supportive. I also get why you feel a mixed-up sense of responsibility when it's become obvious that all the support in the world can't save this remorseful hot mess.”

Hmm. Methinks the boomer doth protest too much.

Your post is full of strong reactions, you are clearly jealous. “Come ON! How dare she have such a sweet deal!”

What, precisely, is the issue with a woman having a sweet deal? This is a theme in the comments. My guess is this is a group of older folks, and no shade, but the world has changed.

It’s ok for women to have a sweet deal.

In fact, at 50 and 28, it’s apparent to me that he has the sweet deal by having the opportunity to be the one to exclusively date and support her for 6 months. He knows this. You are upset about it... why?

Furthermore, for the commenters calling her “sociopathic” lol. She told him about it! She was honest about something she didn’t have to be, and a less scrupulous person wouldn’t be.

It is ok for relationships to include love, care, and support, of various forms that don’t fit your worldview or your outdated ideas of right and wrong. I can think of many examples. We treat people with love by giving them what they want and need. He wants to bang someone half his age. She wants support, emotionally and financially.

Calling it a “gravy train” exposes your and others sexist and whiny views on this.

Dan’s response was perfect. He should stop pressuring her, and if he wants to continue the relationship, appreciate her honesty and vulnerability.

What evidence do you have of this woman being a hot mess? The insults further reveals your envy. She got drunk, fucked a guy for two days, and admitted to it? Oh, the horror! How will this woman ever turn her life around?! No one here has ever done such a thing, or much worse!


Mythic @44, ace is another possibility, good call.

LVG @45, I definitely agree with your observation about slanging matches breaking out between the regulars and the trolls, neither of whom want to cede the last word. It was the ignoring of newbies charge that didn't resonate with me. Fair point and well taken that it diminishes the experience for the non-regulars. I will try to avoid getting sucked into such exchanges, though I admit to a "protective" instinct and do often jump in to defend fellow regulars whom I see being unfairly attacked.

@49-@51, I agree that while she confessed, which counts for something, she doesn't seem like she is willing to take full responsibility for what happened. Agony @49, I see where you're going with this being an either-or, black-and-white scenario that she's painted as grey. Either she is completely to blame for cheating, or she is blameless because she was raped; her explanation is that yes she did it but there were mitigating circumstances, namely that she was drunk. Or, as you say, that she's fabricating the drunk bit in hopes that this will make her actions more forgivable. I dunno. I'll give another either-or: either she was influenced by alcohol to do something she wouldn't normally do, in which case she seeks treatment for her drinking problem, or she was fully compos mentis and claimed drunkenness as an excuse. To some, "I was drunk" would make the situation worse, not better. I think JSG needs to look at this in the context of their whole relationship, which it sounds like he's doing -- hopefully he'll reach the right decision.

Larry @52, all I'm hoping to accomplish by talking about blocking -- which is a brand new feature in SL -- is raising awareness that it can be done, which may make a lot of people's lives happier.

Phi @53, I agree that if "he's not a bastard" is the nicest thing FUCKING can think of to say about her partner, she needs to end this yesterday.
I think COME has accepted himself, it's his lovers who need to accept that he's normal.


LVG, are you kissmybutt @58 seeking to prove your theory? ;)


I used to get irritated with the "first/firdt" stuff and the rest of the numbers game, but given the state of (waves vaguely) all this, I'm inclined to let people have their harmless fun. I don't think it's the most hilarious thing in the world, but neither is it especially troublesome. Like, I don't like pumpkin-spice lattes, but I don't see the need to denigrate people who do. In case no one's noticed, life is extremely stressful and traumatic these days, what with a deadly pandemic raging, and the rise of authoritarianism world-wide, and armed rioters trying to take down the U.S. government, incited by the now-former president and a couple of congresspeople and senators and apparently with the approval of the majority of the Republican party. Climate change-related fires devastated Australia and then California and Washington and Colorado, while much of the northeast is freezing even more than usual. So if a bunch of people want to take up comment thread space writing "flirts!" or some such nonsense, why not let them have their benign 4 seconds of fun? It's easy enough to skip such an obvious comment, which rarely sets the tone for the entire comments section for the week.

As for infighting, etc. Join the fray. I haven't blocked anyone, because I have found that even the people whom I usually don't agree with or whose usual style I find distasteful, sometime have a really good insight or make a very interesting point. I try to not get into fights, but if someone insults me, I generally stand up for myself, trying to do so civilly.

And I would love to see a greater diversity of commentors. There are a lot of voices I miss, as the pool of commentors--whether regulars or occasionals--has shrunk. I think that's a shame, as I feel enriched from the opportunity to see something from a different angle. I've learned a lot over the past decade-plus that I've been reading this column, and much of that comes from the comments section, rather than the column itself. Because the nature of the column from Dan's perspective is to be informative and entertaining (and to sell papers), he doesn't have the time (or perhaps the interest) to mull things over and chew them to death as we do. Sometimes that devolves into squabbles, and often we argue because we project a lot of ourselves and our own experiences onto these letters and the characters in them. But often we see things that Dan hadn't or we respond to things in a way that's different from Dan and which might be valuable to either the original letter writer, or someone reading the column and thread. One of my favorite things is when we leave the individual letter and the specific problem in it aside, as we get more theoretical and abstract. This space gives some of us space to explore--maybe to expand--our thinking about things that I think are vitally important, but which almost never get discussed or thoroughly examined in ordinary social spaces.

I wish many of the departed old-timers were back, and I have typically enjoyed hearing what newbie commenters have to say, since their words are free of any negative associations I may have formed about a commenter I'm familiar with. Everyone was a newbie once, and I think most of us felt welcomed enough to continue posting comments. I'm sorry that Ivg has had a negative experience or feels that the clique has excluded them. Welcome, Ivg--I look forward to reading your opinions.


@32: Fichu, you said, "I've read in this column and elsewhere many instances of a woman failing to leave a man who punches her teeth out." I don't want to make you or anyone else go back through the archives, but "many times?" I can't remember a single letter in which a woman had her teeth punched out by a man, though my memory can be faulty, or maybe I didn't read the column those weeks, but "many" instances of toothless women staying with the man who knocked their teeth out would, I think, be the kind of thing that would stick with me.

Perhaps you were being hyperbolic?


62-Nocute. Yes. Hyperbolic. Not literally teeth punched in but generally being treated in an abysmal fashion.


@63: Oh, yes, I agree that a lot of people seem to tolerate being treated abominably.
And I'm relieved to see that my memory isn't yet so degraded that I'd forget a bunch of toothless women!


Ivg@25~ "...You'd rather fight with the asshole who comes in to troll you most weeks than give a newb the time of day..."
Not entirely true, I think for the most part "we" appreciate the newbies and welcome their thoughts, and respond to the interesting ones as much as they want to keep posting... the "assholes" are easy to "fight" with because they have a contrasting opinion, so, of course, they generate more back and forth than posts that mirror the prevailing sentiment.

"...this has become a two-sided echo chamber..."
I agree that the Commentariat is dominated by a select few...Personally, I rarely post more than 3-5 times, unless I really have something to add. But "free speech" ya know. I think by post 50 the LW, if they are reading has got the idea, but some read on and have responded thanking "us" for our feedback. So, you get out what you want. The games and conversations are easy to skip over if that's not what you're looking for. I also subscribe to the "Don't Feed The Troll" ethos for the really obnoxious commenters.

Please keep posting. You're more than just a "rando", you're a voice, and you never know who is going to hear you.


I will answer FUCKING's two questions directly:

1) You give. The person in your situation gives. You can't take it any more. You give and you love and you care ... and the person you're with is unable to address his problems, so deeply unable it makes no odds whether he (we'll say 'he') is, at bottom, unable or unwilling. He can't address why he finds your sexual pleasure aversive; he doesn't go down on you; he's anxious, depressed and not dealing with his mental health challenges. Maybe his problems are fundamentally with himself, but they affect you, too. The classic dynamic is that you care for him, become bound to him, more and more because he has these problems; and it's become your place to love self-sacrificially, without hope of gratification, especially in bed. But this is a bad form of codependency; and when something gives, I think it's usually the 'caring' partner who can't take it any more.

2) You stop beating yourself up over leaving him when you find someone you care for who loves going down on you as much, or almost as much, as you love or want it. Who does it as a matter of course. Who can have straightforward, non-neurotic and not-pressurised conversations about when to do it, and what to do and whether to do this or that. About kinks, and things that wouldn't even qualify as kinks, like oral. When you've found this, you'll look back and find your ex sad--and certainly you may feel sorry for him--but it's also possible you'll find him more unreasonable, even outrageously unreasonable, than you do now.


@philophile Because it's harder to leave someone you love if by your standards they haven't done anything wrong. Being a nice person outside the bedroom is clearly enough to qualify for that.

I wish she would think about this in the longer term. So she loves this guy, but can she put up with no sex she enjoys and not having to make a sound, for the rest of her life? Is that it, then? she is basically his sexual service, not his sexual partner.


Harriet @66, I certainly hope FUCKING stops beating herself up long before she finds her perfect new lover. One, that may take some time; two, if she's still beating herself up for dumping an ex who she wasn't happy with, she won't be the Best Self she should be ready to present to prospective new partners. If you're looking for a third party to cure your issues you're not in good working order to date. She should deal with her misplaced guilt on a therapist's couch, or at minimum in talks with her friends, not look to a lover to fix her.

I take your point, when she's having good sex she will look back and wonder why she spent so long putting up with bad sex. But she can and should stop beating herself up long before that epiphany.


By definition, newbies don’t have the connections or history that old-timers do. Old-timers don’t know a newbie’s frailties or hobby-horses, how thick their veneer of civility is or how long they’ll stick around.

There’s a standard rule for kink events (may they return) that says you shouldn’t expect to get play just for showing up once. Plan to show up consistently for six months; learn the rules; engage by volunteering until you meet people and can engage with them personally. After that if you still think that group is cliquy and exclusive, beat it. it’s not going to change.

Fortunately online fora have a MUCH lower barrier to entry than kink events (!!!) but developing a presence and a reputation still takes time.

lvg, you’re doing well. You’ve already begun establishing your reputation as someone who takes feedback well and will stick around for the back-and-forth.

I’m a teeny bit skeptical that you might be using that manipulative fishing trick of opening with “you won’t like me” to elicit the “of course we like you!” response, but only a teeny bit. Will watch and wait.

You make a valuable point that when we open with the apparently harmless silly games we make this space seem more cliquey than it is. I’ve been in and out for many years and I just ignore them. I can do that easily because I have a history and assign a low weight to the games. A newbie can tend to assign the same weight to everything.

There is not nearly as much conflict here as there once was, by the way. I wonder if a higher level of conflict would give the impression to new people that a diversity of expression would be ok, or at the very least that if they said something dumb it couldn’t be nearly as dumb as what that other person said so sure, why the hell not post.


@11. Nocute. I prefer your speculations in the second case to those in the first. It's very plausible that the lw's gf is just sowing some man-oats. The lw frames the episode as rape or rape-y, but this is primarily because he thinks she's been traumatised. He should probably defer to her in whether the incident is conceptualised as rape; and, in thinking whether to go on in the relationship, should ask her why she went off and had sex with this guy; or, if she was in a state where her consent was hazy, why she got drunk with and got so close to him. If the answer is common-or-garden e.g. 'I just wanted to find out what it was like to fuck another man', 'I wanted to find out what nsa sex was like a guy', then he should not traumatise or re-traumatise her by making her lapse into something it wasn't.

Of course he's free to dump her 1) because she cheated on him; 2) because she's much younger and not versed in the ins-and-outs of het relationships. Or for any other reason.

@20. Ensign. He thinks he recognises the signs of sexual trauma. If he's manipulating her, I don't think it's conscious.

It could be that the 'rape' scenario is a whole projection he's thrown up to console himself for having been cheated on (or to avoid dealing with it). His unconscious may need this in that he's cast himself in a savior role--in being the one to break the logjam of her gay marriage; in being the first guy she's slept with; in paying for her--and her cheating might give this savior role the lie.

@22. JonBalz. For a lot of my life, prostate orgasms were more common than penile. And the worst thing about not spurting forth was not the lack but the concerned sexual partners wringing their hands over it--'did you enjoy it? You didn't come...'. Your answer and Dan's are right. The lw should just tell his partners he's usually anorgasmic.

@24. Bi. Yes. Wanting to be in a relationship and wanting to make the relationship you're in work are cultural norms that have a lot to answer for. Maybe they bite on women more than on men (don't know). The guy could be wonderful and fascinating in some ways, but he was never boyfriend material. The answer to 'what gives?' is rarely 'he overcomes his misogynistic sex-negativity'.


@27 BiDanFan: “she cheated, confessed and is remorseful, those are the facts you should be looking at.”

If I were LW2, in the fact list I would replace “is remorseful” with “is evading personal responsibility by blaming alcohol”. I might consider adding “she is using you for money” to the list, but that one isn’t quite so factual. He should bail.

If I were LW2’s gf, the list would be “He is channeling his anger at you into some weird woke savior vibe, and is probably also an idiot.” She should also bail. But then she would have to give up the money.

Sigh. This letter made me cranky. Maybe it was a right-wing troll letter. Although that is also irritating.


@68. Bi. I was addressing when she 'will' or 'is likely to' stop beating herself up, not when she should.

I think this may have been her first relationship--three years, and she's off now to grad school, so this is something that could have begun her sophomore or junior year. She's signed herself 'FUCKING' because she thinks this is what fucking is--not getting eaten out, and bad and uncomfortable sex, with someone who is loving outside the bedroom. It's not. Relationship sex can be far better than she's so far experienced (as I surmise). I know the handles are often written for contributors, but my read would be she's come up with 'fucking' herself: 1) she's read a fair bit of SL and is entering into its spirit; 2) why would anyone come up with 'kinks'? She may have kinks or not; but she tells us nothing about them. Neither cunnilingus nor sex with women is a kink. This awful guy has given her so little she half-thinks getting eaten out's a kink.


@25. lvg. I'm a relatively new commenter, and I find the opinions (when they can be dug out) a valuable resource. The value of the comments to lws will be in getting a spread of responses to their issue.


@lvg, Regarding the difficulties of diving in here as a newbie, I have some thoughts. I read this forum for years and never, ever thought I would have the gumption to actually join in. One thing that enabled me to do so was the overall tone of acceptance and compassion that pervades here. Of course not always, with all commenters, but mostly. I do sometimes get exasperated with some of the cyclical arguments and inside-jokes, but consider: Some of the people on this forum have been here for a decade. They are all old friends, of a sort. Or sometimes old adversaries. For me to jump into that dynamic and expect to feel part of the flow would be unrealistic, especially when those here have such markedly different experiences and backgrounds from my own. Most times, I’m happy enough if no one responds to anything I might say, because it means I haven’t pissed anybody off. Or maybe it just means I’ve been blocked?

Anyway, I have generally enjoyed being a commenter around here for the last little while and continue to appreciate the exchanges.

P.S. – Like Nocute, I too miss some of the Old Stalwarts who’ve disappeared. I’m sure you all know who I mean.


I wouldn't think JSG's gf either an alcoholic or a sociopath; she's more likely someone who needs the disinhibiting effect of alcohol to go to bed with 1) a man, and/or 2) a hookup. Maybe she just drunkenly wanted to know what it was like? It would have been much better if she had said something like, 'um, I've just come out of a precipitate marriage and feel I've gotten into a monogamous set-up too early' and asked JSG's permission to explore her sexuality. But she didn't; she went ahead and cheated. Maybe she doesn't know what she wants; maybe their communication is bad--but she isn't necessarily a bad person.


Maybe JSG has a need to be a hero/savior.


Harriet @72: "It could be that the 'rape' scenario is a whole projection he's thrown up to console himself for having been cheated on (or to avoid dealing with it). His unconscious may need this in that he's cast himself in a savior role--in being the one to break the logjam of her gay marriage; in being the first guy she's slept with; in paying for her--and her cheating might give this savior role the lie." Perfectly said, bravo!

Harriet @75: But she didn't ask when, she asked, "how do I stop beating myself up for hurting his feelings...?" She is looking for advice on how to feel less guilty about this. "Get over him by getting under someone else" does not seem the most helpful advice in her case. Nor may it be effective -- she may feel even more guilty for hurting him if she takes another lover while thinking of him still alone. She has to sort this out in her head, not in her bed.
"She's signed herself 'FUCKING'" -- we don't know this. Dan might have signed her FUCKING. If she did sign herself, we don't know that she had any motive beyond creating an acronym that spelled out "fucking." We can't conclude that she thinks sex equals PIV or that oral/vibrators are kinky, unless these ideas are supported by the body of the letter, which they aren't. We can only conclude that this sign-off is allowing us to type the word FUCKING a lot. :)

Ens @77, indeed, there is more motive to post when one disagrees with a comment than when one agrees. One of the reasons I'm so garrulous here is that I do try to make a point of noting when I agree with people instead of just debating points I disagree with.

Harriet @78: "she isn't necessarily a bad person." Hold up -- did I say alcoholics are "bad people"? Of course they aren't; they're people with problems. It's plausible, to me at least, that she has a drinking problem and is genuinely contrite about having cheated while under the influence. She can prove this true by getting help for her drinking problem. If they stay together and she regularly cheats and blames the booze, then we are getting into bad person territory. JSG sees "signs of trauma," which I think are his misinterpreting her beating herself up for this awful mistake she made. This is the maximum benefit-of-the-doubt reading, of course. Perhaps these "signs of trauma" are acting on her part. I agree with Nocute that her desire to sow wild oats has overruled her commitment to fidelity. Perhaps she shouldn't have committed so soon to an exclusive relationship post-divorce. If the booze was a cover for the oat-sowing, she should accept that she's not ready to settle down and either break up or ask to open the relationship. In the best possible light, this is a wake-up call for her. She may be a good person who did a bad thing -- she did come clean, which isn't nothing. What she does next will tell JSG whether she deserves his forgiveness. But first he has to accept her guilt.


If JSG has enjoyed dating her and thought they had a future, then he might ask her if she thinks she bears any responsibility for the ghosting & sex.

Her answer (and the steps she does or doesn't take, to address any issues she recognizes) will probably help him decide whether to stick around.

I agree that he should in any case stop pressuring her to report it.

kissmybutt @58 "She was honest about something she didn’t have to be, and a less scrupulous person wouldn’t be. It is ok for relationships to include love, care, and support, of various forms that don’t fit [other people's] worldview."

Well said.


Dadddy @69 - congrats! :)


I was thinking the same thing Nocute, or that maybe BF is some flavor of asexual as he doesn't seem that invested in his own pleasure either.

But I'm with Donny. The question LW needs to ask isn't 'why won't my boyfriend fuck me', but 'why am I am putting up with such bad treatment'?

If it is his sexuality that's something he needs to work out with a sex positive therapist. Making his girlfriend feel shitty isn't going to solve his problems.

And yeah despite being all in on believing women when we talk about our trauma there are a lot of things in LW 2 letter that send up red flags for me. The who situation seems manipulative and strange but I'm sure who is manipulating who.


Hey, FUCKING: It is OK to feel bad about the breakup causing your ex-bf pain. You care about him. You see that he’s dealing with some serious mental health and sexual difficulties, and you are powerless to help. Seeing someone we care about in this state is a very difficult thing to watch. So feel your feelings, as they say. Be sad for him. If some time goes by and you feel it is advisable, offer him support. But your friends are right. “Beating yourself up” and “being wracked with guilt” is overkill. That doesn’t mean you can’t have sympathy for him.


JSG: How does one get drunk enough to fuck a stranger all weekend without sobering up? Asking on behalf of my bullshit detector.


Jack @3: We have a long-standing tradition of proclaiming first, or firdt, or flirts or whatever. Don't like it? Be first and post an "actual comment".


Allison @71

"There’s a standard rule for kink events (may they return) that says you shouldn’t expect to get play just for showing up once. Plan to show up consistently for six months; learn the rules; engage by volunteering until you meet people and can engage with them personally"

I would say that online discussion forums are social spaces which are less like a kink party and more like a munch. If a newbie showed up to a munch where they were ignored while the "old timers" only talked to each other about some personal beef that an outsider would have no frame of reference for, then that newbie would be fully justified in thinking that the munch was cliquey and unwelcoming, and not worth going back to. Nobody in the scene expects new people to "pay their dues" for 6 months before the oldsters deign them worthy of talking to. I host a local munch that tends to get a mix of new and experienced people, and the insider back-and-forth is definitely something I keep an eye on, and try to redirect the conversation to more general topics that everyone can contribute to. In internet forums, this job usually falls to the moderators, who can step in and ask feuding commenters to "take it to the DMs" so discussions don't get clogged up with off-topic personal attacks.

This comment section is different, as there's no active moderation and the comments aren't sorted or nestled in any way, so it's not so easy to skip over the random back-and-forth sniping and tangents. Sometimes, letter-related comments from non-regulars just get completely swallowed up in the fray, because the regulars are too busy with their SL spat of the week. I also think that maybe things were a bit different a couple of years ago, when Dan was actively enouraging his readership to look at the comment section, and doing the whole Reader Advice Round-Up every week. This may have driven more traffic here, different voices, more interesting discussion, etc. Or maybe I'm just misremembering through nostalgia-tinted lenses.

"There is not nearly as much conflict here as there once was, by the way. I wonder if a higher level of conflict would give the impression to new people that a diversity of expression would be ok, or at the very least that if they said something dumb it couldn’t be nearly as dumb as what that other person said so sure, why the hell not post."

That's a really good point and something I've been wondering about, too. When you remove dissenting voices, you reduce conflict and in-fighting, but also create more of an echo-chamber effect. A few of my regular online haunts have been moving in this direction, and I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad thing overall. Not that Sportlandia and Hunter didn't deserve to be kicked out (I wasn't around for the banishments, but I gather one was removed for really OTT threatening behaviour and the other for some sort of pedo comment? Ugh.)


I've been a general Savage Love reader since the '90s and a reader here on slog for most of the last decade. I'm not sure when I started adding my own occasional comment, a few years ago I think. I've been spending significantly less time in the comments because I find more of them tiresome than before and I lost patience to deal with skipping past that stuff every time.
That's my personal experience as somebody who used to be part of the pool of commenters and now often skips reading them altogether.


@11: "she couldn't have been blackout drunk for two straight days, could she? Is that possible?"

@85: "How does one get drunk enough to fuck a stranger all weekend without sobering up? Asking on behalf of my bullshit detector."

This is plausible. I can't say that it's what happened, and I'm frankly skeptical, but it is possible.

The father of a grade school friend was a binge drinker. He could go for months without a drink. But if he had one drink, he could not stop. He literally could start off having a cocktail in, say, Seattle, and wake up a week later in Bangkok, having no idea how he got there or what happened in between. (He also had the financial resources to be able to pull off such a bender.)

My guess, though, is that JSG would have already noticed if his gf is this kind of binge drinker, unless she's never had a drink in front of him.

Chances are that it's more like what Dan suggested: she just had a lot more to drink than usual, she has a more routine drinking problem, or she rounded up to try to use it as an excuse.

She could have been raped, or not, but it's not JSG's place to decide what happened to her or dictate what she should do about it.

As for JSG, he does not have to get too granular about this to make a decision. But he should change his attitude about the relationship, the fact that he is trying to force his gf to do something she doesn't want to do, and more.

He could choose to break up with her, if for no other reason than he wants to be monogamous with someone.

He could choose to remain with her. He could do as Dan recommends: refer her to counseling, then let it drop, but be emotionally supportive of her. But he should probably stop financially supporting her, unless there's some other aspect to her life that isn't mentioned in the letter.

As for the other two letters:

Maybe FUCKING can take comfort in realizing that the two of them are a mismatch. Maybe he can find a woman who is content with giving lots of fellatio and receiving emotional love and a little bit of PIV in return. I hope she can find someone who will give her both emotional love and satisfying sex. She can take comfort that she "gave the relationship my all and I know that my soul couldn’t stand any more one-sided sex."

As for COME, Dan summed it up. They probably just want to be attentive lovers, but don't realize the pressure they're putting on him. As Dan so often says: "use your words."


Lost Margarita @87 Nailed it on the head a lot better than I did with this whole paragraph (only quoting first sentence to save space):
"This comment section is different, as there's no active moderation and the comments aren't sorted or nestled in any way, so it's not so easy to skip over the random back-and-forth sniping and tangents..."
Well, fuck. You changed my mind. It's the FORMAT that bothers me most (that never would've occurred to me) as it does lend to a specific dichotomy of engagement. i.e. diehard regs and (less prevalent, but SO LOUD) diehard trolls. Games/in-jokes and fights take up a lot of body.

That's no one's fault and yeah, if regs are committed enough to stay engaged in this style of internet convo, numbers are gonna reach stasis and not a lot of new blood will stick around. Hence the increasing vibe of an in-group, and the trolls who love them. Especially without Dan giving a regular boost by directing LWs and new readers here.

In a perfect world, the Stranger would have enough $ to update that (nestling and sorting would be so amazing), but it's a local alt paper in 2021 soooo...

I wouldn't have been able to get to this conclusion on my own, as I am old enough to miss the pre-Facebook-ubiquity levels of engagement in spaces like this, but not tech-savvy enough to articulate why. I'm glad I jumped in with my salt, because it was exactly the type of convo I was complaining about not seeing as much in which:
a.) someone (me, in this case) who isn't a reg got to jump in to the fray and was engaged with thoughtfully
b.) views (mine, haha) were changed as a result.

If I want to lurk a Reddit-style debate with a lot of newcomers, I'll go there. I do find value here, so I'll continue to lurk and jump in sporadically. There is an r/dansavage, but looks like it never gained any traction. Would anyone here be interested in joining a subreddit discussing Dan's column and podcasts?

@Bidanfan no, I didn't create a new account to prove my point ;) that ain't me and if it isn't clear, I don't have the patience required to go to that length. This has taken me all day to type up (I internet in 15-30 minute increments)

Someone else suggested that I might've come just to fish for responses (apologies for no @, lost track who) and again, that ain't me. I can see why they said it as a small aside, and remember thinking positively about the rest of their response, but I've skimmed back thrice and just can't find it. My brain is mush. But yeah, If I'm guilty of anything mildly shady, it's a desire to shift my opinion and admit to doing so... Not a humblebrag, it's fucking exhausting for me and those around me IRL. I wish I could organize my thoughts in a manner that's less nebulous. When I have a (usually negative) feeling about something (usually innocuous), I'll occasionally throw it out there wanting a more articulated argument/counterpoint. Again, kinda dumbfounded that it happened. So kudos, everyone? Thanks?

TL;DR no more complaints from me re: FIRDT


Ankylosaurus @88, Hey! I remember when you started jumping in with some relative frequency bc I loved your handle and your responses, which always seemed a particular kind of measured, sane and on-topic. I wanna say that was around 2015? Could be mistaken.
Devoted DS reader myself since 2000, infrequent lurker since 2012, occasional comment/ more frequent lurk since 2016 . This is why I wish there was an updated format here. I wish I could DM to thank you for that input. Or at least have a nestled (opt-in view) reply. Again, contributing to the thing I was griping about.


Guts @47 et al, as to why FUCKING would tolerate terrible sex: People in general, and women in particular, are often socialised to value other aspects of relationships with sex being a secondary consideration, if it's considered at all. Many people would feel they were being shallow to dump someone just because the sex was bad. Guts, keep reading, you'll see many letters from men who've spent years and decades in sexless marriages. Incomprehensible, for sure, but many women, and men, do it.

And I had a thought re JSG's financially supporting his girlfriend though she earns twice what he does. He didn't say at whose behest this arrangement exists. I know I've been on dates with men who insisted on paying for everything because they were The Man. JSG is old enough to be her father, and The Man, and clearly has a hero/saviour thing going on. It may be he who insisted on paying for everything, invited her to move in rent free, etc. And she, a recent divorcée, accepted his largesse in order to let him feel good about being The Man. Now that he's realised it's weird, he should indeed stop. This may have contributed to her feeling infantilised, and people who feel infantilised often respond by acting immature.

Margarita @87, you're correct about what happened to Sporty and Hunter. I don't want an echo chamber. I want to learn from this comments section, and I'm not going to learn anything if everyone's just saying the same things I am. Dissenting voices are good but these were attacking voices. Differences of opinion are just that and should be able to be voiced respectfully, and received respectfully. Personal experiences should be able to be shared without others taking them as a personal insult. I'm glad we all proved LVG wrong by not attacking them, as they expected, when they attempted to start a flame war. (Is that term still in circulation?) It was clever to use "let the hate commence" language, as we were all then so keen to prove how wrong you were about us! :)

LVG @90, I didn't literally think kissmybutt was you, it just seemed an extraordinarily coincidental example of a newb troll jumping in to attack one of the regulars, and therefore an opportunity to see whether the response patterns you'd identified would happen. Of course, by identifying these behaviours you likely prevented them; my initial instinct was to refute kissmybutt, but if I'd done that, LVG would have just gone, "See!?" So thank you, you inspired me to ignore that troll, who, as noted, probably won't come back to check on the effects of their stink bomb anyway.

I agree that the format of this comments section is basic and rudimentary. I'm grateful to Fubar for creating the plugin that at least allows blocking. Nested comments would be fantastic as well. Not everyone is me, works from home and has the ability or desire to check in multiple times a day and I can definitely see how it would be off-putting to have to plow through dozens of comments, most of which are bickering over some semantic point. Fubar, if you're reading, a great feature would be "hide comment" rather than "mute user." Or if people are using the @ convention, "hide all replies" could enable folks to hide full threads without having to mute the individual commenters, whom they might enjoy reading aside from when they go off on tangents. Not to create more work for you, but I have absolutely zero skill in this area!


I just assume I’m blocked by all, my comments often not taken well by some, many, all. Yes furbar, let’s have more ways to block and hide comments. Obviously way too hard for some to scroll past, must have issues with their fingers.
Yes Fan, we all know how often you chat here, answering all, critiquing those who stand outside the party line. . If anyone blocks you, two thirds of the comments would disappear. Not that I assume you read my comments anymore, Fan. If Jack can get blocked for being Jack, I’m sure I’ve failed too.


Ah, Sporklandia; yes, Dan said oral comes standard. Though some don’t like oral. So please ask before assuming.


Geez Ivg, think of this column as a weekly therapy group. The regulars, push each other’s buttons and turn away saying. I’m not listening to you.. scroll, scroll, block block. If you can’t stand the heat, don’t come in the kitchen,
You’re free to comment and others are free to ignore you. Happens to me all the time, so give it your best shot and keep saying what you want to say.


i've been reading dan since the mid-90s, and this comments section for 15+ years i would guess. once upon a time, this was a place where people would say crazy outrageous shit. it had that old school gay takedown w/ a 'snap-snap' and a head wobble at the end kind of vibe. now, this comment section is about defining, expressing and enforcing a women-centric sexual orthodoxy.

dan used to be a hell of a lot more fun too. i remember once picking up a Weekly ora Guardian in SF in a laundromat right when i first started reading Dan, and it was a full column on the mechanics of fisting. totally blew my repressed ex-catholic 20 year old mind. afterwards, i remember thinking... 'thanks so much dan! now, i wonder if you could clear up gerbiling for me too.' the next time i picked dan up, it was an exhaustive... and i mean EXHAUSTIVE description of what gerbiling would have to entail and why it was exceptionally improbable that anyone had ever done it. dan went into detail about insertion, the need to tear off the gerbil's lower jaw etc. etc. etc. it was fucking amazing. a work of perverted art.

those days are gone. dan has aged into another ex-catholic scold, struggling desperately to coddle a younger generation he doesn't respect to maintain his career. all these young people, with all the labels they put on themselves. dan enabled a lot of that. but back then, we flew our freak flags high and proud. now, dan's average overtherapized letter writers have a list of predilections and diagnoses 2-pages long, and all they want is to be thought of as normal and have a house in the suburbs. i suppose that's progress, but it's a hell of a lot less interesting.


Lava @ 93 - "let’s have more ways to block and hide comments. Obviously way too hard for some to scroll past, must have issues with their fingers"

It's because of sarcastic comments like these that I'll never block you.


Lava @93, I haven't blocked you, though you seem to be asking me to? Why not just block me then, if you don't want to interact? Or stop commenting, if your goal is for people here to stop interacting with you? Why are you personally offended if some people don't want to read the posts of others? Sure, some people are going to block me, I don't care. I'm pleased that -anyone- cares to read my thoughts, I certainly don't expect everyone to be interested. You folks are strangers to me, I am not going to take it personally if someone doesn't want to read what I have to say. I'd much rather someone blocked me than attacked me, a la Sporty or JibeHo. And yeah, I'm with Ricardo @97 -- block you, and give you the satisfaction? Fat chance! :P


Thanks for the bug report, @Curious2 @7 @8. I shall endeavour to get that fixed!


BiDanFan @34: Thanks for the SlogBlocker mention. My current favourite feature is the comment linking. You can click on the @34 to see what someone is writing about, then hit the back button to resume reading.


Curious2 @7 @8: I've uploaded a fix. Now the @ symbols @ here, @ there, and @ everywhere are preserved.

I see I hit the hunsky. At the risk of pissing off the critics, I shall punt the glory to the next on-topic commenter.


@100 fubar
Congrats on the (I remember the name of this one) hunsky!

@101 fubar
I'll install it, hope it wasn't time-consuming!

If the punt comes to me, I hereby re-punt to whoever hates the game most!

@92 BDF
"Or if people are using the convention, "hide all replies" could enable folks to hide full threads without having to mute the individual commenters, whom they might enjoy reading aside from when they go off on tangents."

Are you suggesting that fubar's addon acquire the functionality to hide sub-threads? (That would be extremely sophisticated AI, too much to ask of a browser addon I think.)

I've been enjoying the meta-discussion. It's been so well done I haven't had much to add.

Except that I did relate to a comment about it being impolite to announce one's blocking. (Actually I'd say it's impolite /not/ to announce one's initial blocking, but repeating it then becomes impolite.) The only exception I make is WRT someone who has literally /requested/ that I block them; in that case, mentioning it is to speak of something welcome, not saying something unwelcome.

Re: non-regulars feeling ignored. I admit that I usually don't have time to read every comment. And I am much more likely to read a regular's comment (if it's a regular who I interact with; as this constitutes a kind of relationship). OTOH, as someone (BDF?) said already, if an infrequent commenter says something, I feel like there's less chance that they will see let alone reply to any reply I might make which disincentivizes me since I value substantive interaction.

I can see how if someone felt compelled to (and had/made the time to) read every comment, that tangential sub-threads and the camaraderie of games might be problematic for them. But for the structural reasons observes above, no amount of wishing it otherwise will work. So if you don't like what you're reading, let go of any sense of compulsion to read it, and skip/skim 'til you find something you do want to read. Use a speed-reading approach (one finds that drawing one's eyes quickly down a column of text allows one to pick out enough words to get as much of the gist as one wishes as fast as one wishes).

I miss the heck out of EL, but unless she was talking to me, I rarely did anything but scan her long long comments. (Which, amusingly, was exactly what she said she couldn't imagine anyone doing anything other than!)(To digress even further, her departure was occasioned by her realizing that--as I mentioned in the previous Break--people saw (and what makes me most sad is that she said she didn't) our long-term interactions as a kind of relationship. (I believe she did too, but in telling us she didn't was only revealing she was unaware of that, which hurt to hear her say.)


Lava @ 98 - I think you misconstrued my comment. If I'm not blocking Lava, it's because I enjoy her sarcastic comments. I feel I could have a fun conversation with Lava IRL, just two old bitches bitching and having a laugh.

(Please note that I consider "bitch" to be a genderless compliment; I used to proudly proclaim myself the queen of the bitches - and pretty much everyone who knew me then agreed.)


I don't understand why Dan tells JSG that the details of his girlfriend's hotel activity are "details you aren't entitled to." Uh, what? For six months she's been his girlfriend (and financial sponsor, which most likely means she started seeing him for his sugar daddy status), and the details of her cheating on him are none of his business? Really?


Oh Ricardo, I love you too.. As you can imagine my tongue in real life, does cause some issues. And it gets sharper once I run out of smoko. As I have now.
What I hate about this dumb blocking, Fan, Is it gives no chance to heal issues. Take me and Erica. Best of buddies now, unlike how it was several years ago.
And this is a public thread, if you put out your opinions in public then people responding is part of that. This blocking bull stops that flow, that truth. The flamin’ conversation.
You speak your truth to others, and I saw you gave Sportlandia as good as you got.
None of us like to be critiqued or attacked, sometimes it’s what we need to hear about ourselves. And if it doesn’t resonate at all, then throw it off as others’ projections. It’s a jungle out there.
/ You there Mr Venn? We are having the Australian Open, in a couple of weeks. The international players have had to do two weeks in hotel isolation. Which a few have been horrified by.
We explain to them, “ It’s not you, it’s the Virus.”


Wayne @104, yes, really. What could forcing her to reveal the details of her affair accomplish? She has told him what he is entitled to know -- that she had sex with another man, that they didn't use condoms. That's enough information to base his decision on, yes? He's entitled to dump her; he's entitled to forgive her; he's not entitled to the details of a private encounter between people who aren't him. If he's a cuck who gets off on hearing the details of her fucking other men, that's a different matter entirely. He's still not entitled to them, but they could negotiate that she consensually shares them with him.

Lava @105, exactly. I speak my truth. So what's up with this crack @93 about "the party line"? I'm not spouting a party line, I'm giving my opinion. If others agree with me, my opinion is still my opinion, not a "party line." If everyone else agrees with me, that just means I'm probably right.
You've made your views on blocking amply clear. Simple solution, don't block people. Some conversations should be stopped. That's why the Stranger has a "report post" function. The block function just allows people to block users without getting Stranger staff involved. If you want to think that not blocking anyone makes you a better person than others, then you just think that. Others may disagree.