Savage Love




Drats, looks like I'm landing on the hunsky. So the Lucky 69 definitely belongs to Donny.

Griz, I'm so sorry to hear of your financial predicament. Wishing you a lottery win or a lucky break soon.

Guts @90: "I can think of many reasons why this came about and why it is the best way." If you think it's the best way, why are you complaining about it?

"It is preferable to look like a victim than to look privileged." You certainly seem to think so, and to be doing your best to convince us all that it's men who are the victims. In reality we are all victims of these gendered expectations. So long as you see women as being the privileged ones, when our experience is that we are anything but, your words will fail to strike a chord with any woman who reads them. We will tune anything else you say out because it is not a privilege to be objectified, harassed, assaulted -- all things that happen to us because of our designated role as "objects to be pursued."

"Women can and do drop hints of their interest." Sure, of course they do, since it is not considered seemly to express their interest outright. I fail to see how this is a privilege because men can and do also hint at their interest, to see how these hints are received instead of risking a rejection from someone they have no indication is interested in them. Of course the problem with limiting women to hinting is that hints look different coming from different people, so men have to interpret them. This leads, variously, to some men following a woman home simply because she made small talk at a bus stop (this happened to me), while others stay single for years because they failed to notice hints everyone around them found obvious, and the women dropping them concluding that they must not be interested. I mean, look at how well hinting is working for HINTER. Women's socialisation to always be polite is failing us all.

"Dating apps like tinder and bumble are examples of this. Men may not pursue unless he has an indication of interest." Sadly, men have brought that on themselves, due to so many of them sending inappropriate and offensive messages. Blame bad male behaviour for this (by which I mean the bad ones spoiling things for the rest), not female privilege.

"In fact I think that the "loser/virgin/incel" shaming of men is far more prevalent today than the slut shaming of women." That may be because you spend far more time in incel forums than feminist ones.

"The conversation should be as interactive as possible, with him setting her up to talk about her own life. And women need to understand that this is a difficult thing to do." Having a conversation is difficult? It needn't be. Just think of that woman as a person and it should come naturally. If your conversation is an effort, that means you are not presenting the real you, which will inevitably lead to problems when the real you comes out and isn't what the other person was led to expect. (This is not a gendered observation -- anyone presenting a false self is setting themself up for dating failure.)

"If a genie told a single man that if he pays $50, the genie will give him a magic spoon, and the man has to eat half a pound of dirt. If he does that, he will be significantly more attractive to women that day. A lot of men would gladly take that." So would a lot of women. In fact, many women (and men) go far beyond eating dirt in their efforts to look attractive.

I am glad you are here on Savage Love because you definitely need to read some different viewpoints than those you're finding in the manosphere. If any woman can easily get a (good) man, yet there are huge numbers of single men languishing without a date, who exactly is it that these women are dating? The numbers don't add up. If there are hordes of single men then there must also be hordes of women who aren't dating them. No, it's not easy to go out and get a good man on any given day. Yes, there are many women who have given up and are decidedly single -- they just seem a lot happier about it than the incels. Yes, relationships are hard for everyone -- this isn't a man thing or a women thing, it's a human thing. Seriously, internalise that and watch your luck in dating improve a hundredfold.


Congrats Griz on the hunsky!
Elaborating on @101 - these apps are set up so there must be a MATCH before ANYONE can send a message. So women are in the same boat -- they cannot message a man unless he has swiped right on her. Therefore this is not an example of female privilege, but an example of spam avoidance.


Donny, Bi, Dan, and everybody---I hope nobody blows a gasket on Griz jumping quickly into the fray. As I said in @93, I have had a rough year, and can use all the good luck I can get.
That said,
@100: WA-HOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congrats to Griz on scoring this week's Big Hunsky Award honors! I shall savor the numeric glory and bask in the glow. This weekend is off to a wonderful start. :)

Remember, folks, we're not yet done with awarding the numeric prizes in the Lucky Numbers game should the comments reach @169. Next up is the Double Whammy (@ Lucky 69 + Big Hunsky @100 = @169). Double prizes for the lucky winner! :)


@101 & @102 BiDanFan: Many thanks for your kind wishes. :)


@81. Bi. Here's the key part of the sentence we read in different ways:

[Exchanging nudes] screens for all kinds of expected and unexpected turnoffs (I would guess closer to 50% than the 0.015% you mention curious) ....

Cocky is citing curious's stat for the incidence of micropenises in the male population, but I think by 50% he means the share of times hook-ups find their partner's genitals less, rather than more, appealing than they had anticipated. This makes sense to me, in that if you have in mind a question something like, 'will I be blown away by my date's tackle?', then around half the time the answer will be 'yes' and half the time 'no'. (Alternatively, unless someone's genitals were extreme or shocking, the question might never come up in a casual dater's mind).

@80. Fantastic. The huge drawback I see against the nude-swapping is that women's/girls' nudes, esp., could be circulated as a way of humiliating or shaming them. Let's say there was an un-hackable technical fix--like an unhackable Snapchat (pics disappeared after ten seconds and could not be copied or forwarded). I think I'd like the idea, because:

1) it would imply sex was abundant. Either having it or not having it with any prospect was no big deal;

2) it would routinise and take the sting out of rejection;

3) it would clarify that who you wanted to be friends with, to hang with, to have a romantic relationship with and to have sex with were all different things. Straight life, if the pic-swapping caught on and was practised responsibly, would become more like gay life. At the moment, shockingly large (to me) numbers of straight people (and really everyone) are having their sex lives determined (and typically crimped and confined) by no-longer-compulsory notions of romantic and life-compatibility.

I should say that I have no idea whether young DS people dating are exchanging pics in the way Cocky mooted. And my ideas could be utopian.


@82. Donny. I look forward to looking your dating stories up!


@90. Guts. Essentially you think 'it's women's privilege not to have to initiate'. First, this wouldn't be seen as a privilege in other walks of life--e.g. Don is being acceptably bullish and go-ahead in running for President, Hillary worrisomely forward. Then ... is it even a privilege in dating? Het guys would seem to have their pick of the women they address (and who accept them), while het women would seem to have their pick only of the guys that put themselves forward.


For the first time in thankfully long, I've found myself thinking about, and feeling sorry for, Sporty today.

"The western idea of romance is essentially men performing emotional labor for entitled women."

It's so sad that someone who dates women, feels this way about them, and about relating to them. It sure doesn't sound like they like them, let alone love them.

Sporty of course has told us and demonstrated as much countless times.

""It is frustrating how many heterosexual women are immediately turned off when I tell them I am bisexual.""

This is another thing that Sporty has told us many many times; so many times that it appears to be under his skin.

Another thing we know about Sporty is that he is black and lives in the USA. We also know that African American sub-culture is even more homophobic that the rest of the country. (An understanding of why, it that in a sub-culture which is itself subjected to discrimination which tries to make them feel small, people seek to belittle others to make themselves feel bigger.)

Who knows if Sporty knows it himself, but I think he is attracted to men. In US culture, it takes a great deal of bravery to admit this to oneself, let alone to be out publicly. Even more so in US black sub-culture.

It's easy to see how such a man might hate women, for not being who he loves; for only being who he is brave enough to be with. It's easy to see how such a man would also hate women for needing to hide his bisexuality.


"Sporty has told us many many times"

Ooops, to clarity, Sporty never related this in the first person!
He only said many times that it is true that most women feel that way.


@93 Griz - first, congrats last week on firdt! Secnod, so sorry to hear you are at risk of being homeless. I hope things pull up for you. This is a harsh world indeed even in a blue state, and all too often the nicer parts of it are horrifically expensive. If I remember you had mentioned being a veteran, perhaps there are some organizations that can help you, or your financially successful brother could be guilted into some wealth redistribution.


"...soon...a cost prohibitive rent increase. When that happens I could very likely be broke and homeless."

griz, I'm so sorry about this!

And I'm surprised. Around here the combination of pandemic joblessness and virtual academics have cratered the rental market. My landlord dreams of the day he can again charge what he was charging before. Now landlords around here can expect half that. (Not that my rent controlled rent has lowered.) How on Earth can rents there be going UP?

Maybe there, like here, there are now great rental deals to be had since google tells me that you I believe live in a university city. I hope so, because no one should be made homeless.

Even if so I sympathize, since I honestly can't imagine the project of moving because of my medical issues. But I've lived in a lot of (let's just say) * extremely * non-luxurious rentals, and I can't say I was any less happy in them than in the truly wonderful place I also (not now, unfortunately) lived in.



I think we are more on the same page than you think.

Society expects men to pursue and women to attract men and to accept or reject their suitors. I think this is inevitable. That is how it works pretty much throughout the animal kingdom with a few exceptions. I can also rattle off some reasons how this came about and why it is the best strategy. However, I also believe that people should question gender roles and resist them whenever possible. I do not want people to be rigidly in line with gender roles. I encourage women to initiate with men. You do, and that is cool.

Passivity is female privilege: Many women say "I don't ask out men because men don't like it!" You have heard this before I am sure. Women who clearly initated with me have said it to me. When they say this they are claiming victim status. However, I think a more honest reason is, "I don't ask out men because I prefer not to and I consider that to be the man's job." They don't say that because that makes it look like they are privileged and are perpetuating gender roles.

Dating apps depend on both people swiping right. The man can't do anything until the woman does that. That has been true since day 1 of tinder.

Loser/Incel/Virgin shaming: I have a side job at a bar. Last night a very large man told his smaller friend, "...That's because you don't get any pussy." That happens all the time. I have also seen women, completely out of the blue apropos of nothing loudly and publicly loser/incel/virgin shame men. I do not believe that slut shaming is anywhere near as blatant and damaging as that. Also, in 2021, it is much easier for slut shamed women to just own it more than men in the other situation can.

Women dropping subtle hints: I made that point to say that women are a lot more active than people might think. Women are not condemned to being completely passive and hoping that the guy the like makes a move.

Dating is hard work: A lot of men overdo it on dates and think they must bombard the woman with cool conversation to win them over. A lot of that is because they get so few dates they think they must make it work out. I used to be bad like that, but now am much more relaxed. I thought I made that clear in my last comment. That said, it still very much so is incumbent on the man to impress the woman. Women expect men to guide the conversation. To deny this is to deny female privilege.

Genie with the magic spoon: Women essentially have the magic spoon: makeup, shoes, hair, clothes, and all the rest of it. Men do not. There is a young man in my building who wants to meet women. He is smart, funny, a great musician, and has his act together much more than most men his age. Unfortunately he is not physically attractive at all. He would love the magic spoon. I do not know how to advise him to improve his appearance. I wonder if anyone can.

Damn near every woman can get a date: You ask "who are these women dating?" Some men do exceedingly well and date and fuck an outsized number of women. This leaves a lot of men in the dust. And a lot of women who CAN get a great guy to date tomorrow are just choosing not to, which you acknowledge.

The dating scene is like Hollywood and we are all actors and actresses. Every date/hookup/relationship is like a role in a movie. The vast majority of actresses can be working actresses, but don't take all the roles they can take. Some men are seriously in demand and their mailboxes are overflowing with offers. They take the Oscar-bait movie roles, as well as the Burger King commercials. Most actors struggle to get roles, and many actors are desperately trying to get that extra role in the Burger King commercial, but have no realistic chance and will continue to wait tables (masturbate and pine) forever.


@110 delta35: Thank you for your kind wishes of support. I am fortunate to be on veterans disability compensation covering my living expenses. To clarify--and my apologies if I have been misleading--there has been no word yet on any actual rent increases or eviction where I live. But it has been about 2 years since my last rent increase just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and Delta variant. I just sense the other shoe dropping soon in the form of a rent hike. It will be big and I'm currently not financially prepared to offset the cut in my currently available monthly funds. Sadly, I am not holding my breath for my brother to help me with financial assistance. He lives 1,200 miles away from me when he isn't further away, traveling. I am lucky to hear from him once or twice a year.

@111 curious2: Thank you for your concern and kind support. To clarify, and sorry if I was misleading--my rent hasn't been raised and I haven't been given any eviction notice...yet. I do live in a nice neighborhood of single family homes, with my apartment building (originally a hospital in its early days) since grandfathered in as a multi-family rental housing complex. I am a bit panicky right now because I have had no paying performance gigs or commissions for composed music in over a year and a half, and not enough back up savings to cover an extra month's rent if push came to shove. Through the launching, maintenance, and expansion of my website I had hoped to generate steady income. It hasn't happened yet. Fellow musicians tell me that it takes a while to gain recognition. My website has been active 8 years since July 9, 2013. Some of my very best composed music has been produced over the last fourteen years since the premiere of my first symphony. Like the company of my beloved VW, cats, and the wonderful people in my life, I need to remain active in music. It is therapeutic and works wonders to calm my service connected PTSD, whereas being stuck working two shifts cashiering because two people just walked off the job, or suddenly there's a rush of customers and---everyone else went on a "break" is nothing but needlessly stressful and draining.

There is no way that I will ever go back to working low-paying service jobs. That is all there is in the community where I live, other than gig work through local community theatre (which I hope opens back up for me again soon) or what I can independently generate, myself. What little money earned elsewhere isn't anywhere near enough to support myself, let alone pay the rent. The environment in which I had worked in housekeeping / food service / retail / assembly lines trying to make ends meet while in college was often tepid to hostile at best, or like a demilitarized zone at the worst; no benefits, no paid time off, no pensions or retirement savings, and working conditions were most often anywhere between hazardous and unhealthy to downright unsafe.
To this day I have a permanent dent in my scalp that required seven stitches in the local ER after an obsolete dinosaur of an overhead computer monitor crashed on my head because a wire, suspended from above, snapped. I got compensation, paid medical care (back, shoulder, and neck massages, physical therapy, etc.) and back pay for lost wages from Washington State Department of Labor and Industries upon their finding that it was the employer's negligence (the suspended computer monitor was at least twenty-five years old; a lot of the equipment should have been hauled away, replaced, & upgraded a long time ago but wasn't back then in 2008. The business has since been sold to a firm in California). The years from 2008 through 2010 were weird times for me. That particular accident at work happened just two months after my mother died in 2008. I had to put my cat to sleep in 2009, and my father joined my mother a year after that in 2010.
At this point in my life I would honestly rather die than ever again short change myself signing my life away on the dotted line of someone else's W-4 form.


"What little money earned elsewhere isn't anywhere near enough to support myself...I would honestly rather die than... someone else's W-4 form"

I don't want you to die, so best wishes on your prospects changing. Perhaps some alternative plan might be executed to to provide an alternative to death until your night job bears more fruit?


@114 p.s.
Ooops, so sorry I unthinkingly called your career your "night job". (I was thinking of a terrible song.)

Best wishes on your career and your great talent and your dream bearing more fruit!


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@114 curious2: I have tried people I have listed as film and television industry contacts when I was just starting to branch out scoring film clips. Now that I have a more presentable website and can produce mp3s and mp4s it's like I loaned these same people money. What gives?
I'm open to suggestions other than "well, I guess you'd better go back to the service work". There is ample reason why there is such a severe labor shortage in this area.
@115 curious2: No apologies necessary. When I compose and do computer work, it usually is at night when things are usually quiet in my building. I am currently finishing the score to my second Stephen King novel-based ensemble piece, out of about seven in my latest series. Then my next step is to do sound editing before bouncing my final product to an mp3 sound recording. Thank you for your heartfelt best wishes.


@ Fan -- thank you for all of your responses to Guts!! Well said.


Guts @112, I think one thing we are both doing is conflating 1950s stereotypes with 2021 reality, when the two are not exactly the same.

"Society expects men to pursue and women to attract men and to accept or reject their suitors. I think this is inevitable." I don't. I think we can learn to see each other as people, and if Person A likes Person B, they approach them. Their respective genders shouldn't matter.

"Many women say "I don't ask out men because men don't like it!" ... When they say this they are claiming victim status." How is that being victimised?
"However, I think a more honest reason is, "I don't ask out men because I prefer not to and I consider that to be the man's job."" Why do you think these women were lying? I said upthread that some men I have approached haven't liked it. A minority, sure, but my personal taste in men lies outside the mainstream. If a percentage of men I like don't like being approached, why is it a leap to conclude that a higher percentage of traditionally masculine men don't like women approaching? You yourself said that a society where men approach women is "best." I don't have any reason to believe those women were lying to you, wanting to be victims, or making excuses. I legit believe that they were rejected, and therefore stopped taking the initiative, falling back on their default role.

"Dating apps depend on both people swiping right. The man can't do anything until the woman does that." Nor can the woman. With the exception of Bumble, there is no difference in rules for the different genders. If you haven't swiped right on me, I can't message you.

Incel shaming vs slut shaming, I am happy to accept that slut shaming isn't as much of a thing in 2021 as it once was. Doesn't mean it does not exist -- and in some circles more than others. We forget at Savage Love that many segments of society still adhere more strictly to 1950s stereotypes than we do. Of course it is wrong to shame anyone for having had too few partners or too many partners. But "incel" is largely a self-applied label, with bitter single men joining incel forums where they can find a community of men who hate women as much as they do.

"Women are not condemned to being completely passive and hoping that the guy the like makes a move." I never claimed they were, so there we are on the same page -- except that you think it's better for men to keep this as their privilege.

"Dating is hard work." For everyone.

"Women expect men to guide the conversation. To deny this is to deny female privilege." Yup, I deny both those things. I can confirm some stereotypes, such as women preferring men who are tall (this is indeed a thing), or who have good jobs (which doesn't make them gold diggers; nobody wants to financially support a man-child). But hand on heart, I have never once heard a woman complain that her date didn't "guide the conversation." That he was incapable of making conversation, or that he dominated it, sure. But take my word, women really do not expect or want men to take the lead role. We are happiest when the conversation is a two-way street.

And yeah, female privilege isn't a thing. Patriarchy just disadvantages each gender in different ways. (And queer and gender non-conforming people in other ways still.)

"Women essentially have the magic spoon: makeup, shoes, hair, clothes, and all the rest of it." Hahahaha! You think that is MAGIC? This takes effort every single day! Women have to work to comply with the expectations placed upon them, no, not by individual men, but by the advertising industry that tells us how we have to look in order to be considered attractive. Another way that passivity is not a privilege is that if we are not the hunters, if we are gathered, we have to stand out from the crowd so that we will be the ones picked. This sets women up as competitors and does huge amounts of damage to our self-esteem. Add therapy to the costs of dating for women.

"There is a young man in my building who wants to meet women. ... Unfortunately he is not physically attractive at all." Like women, he could become more physically attractive. He could get a better haircut, tailored suits, join a gym, or grow a beard to hide unattractive facial features (something women cannot do). I know at least two couples where she is gorgeous and he is, well, fugly. One is a Jessica Rabbit type situation: he makes her laugh. Your young friend may not do well on the apps that rely making snap judgments based on a photo, but now that Covid restrictions are easing he should be able to go out and socialise again, and have better opportunities to impress women with his personality and accomplishments. He could also try adjusting his own standards: if he wants to meet beautiful women, it's no surprise he's not having much luck.

"Damn near every woman can get a date" ... with one of these incels you mention, who hate women. Yup, I'd choose singleness over dating someone who resented me just for existing. If your point is that women are lucky they can date awful men, well, that's not lucky. Damn near every man can also get a date too, he just needs to pay for it. And no, if you look round at society, it is not comprised exclusively of polygamous families of a man with several wives, and single men. The vast majority of women want monogamy, they do not want to share an "alpha" with several other women.

If one thinks of dating as acting, then yes, of course one is going to fail. Because nobody wants an actor. Once the mask falls the person will walk away. The people who are successful at dating are the ones who are, in fact, BEING THEMSELVES. If you're genuine, the person you meet will want to keep you in their life. They will like you for you, not because you jumped through some 1950s version of a hoop because you thought of them as a prize to be won. It is indeed 2021 and ain't nobody got time fo'dat.

This has been interesting but I do need to let this be my last word on the topic. Really, the proof of what I am saying is in the pudding. Men with this adversarial attitude to women are single because they view women as adversaries, simple as. It is not rocket science. Just treat us as people, as human beings who have our own struggles in life, offer sympathy for those struggles, and watch your dating life make a 180.

And thanks, Snowflake @118! Peace out.


Sorry, last one: Also, what is wrong with masturbating? It's enjoyable and good for one's health. When you talk about men (I presume you mean only men, though women masturbate too) who "masturbate and pine forever," aren't you engaging in the same incel-shaming you deplored earlier?


BDF, thanks for clarifying. If SMALL glossed over the fact that her lover got her off or at least satisfied her with oral, it's a whole different letter. It changes from "I didn't like getting pressured to have sex I didn't enjoy except for maybe the first couple moments" to "I had orgasmic sex but I didn't like reciprocating". The answer to the first, I hope you are agreed, is that she should stop sex if she isn't horny or enjoying it next time. If he acts whiny and "sensitive", or insistent and "entitled", he's acting harmfully, it's unwise to condone. The answer to the second depends, does she want a one night stand or the possibility of a steady lover? If she just wants one night stands, reciprocating isn't so important, but honesty and self advocacy is essential. If she does want a steady lover or sexual relationship, it's nicer to only accept sexual favors once she's sure she'd enjoy reciprocating.. which seems to mean that she needs to get a good idea about his genitals as soon as sex starts.

Guts, Why are you announcing your assumptions about women and men, and your particular belief system here? You don't seem to be helping the letter writers or anyone here or asking for help or explaining anything interesting about yourself, so what are you trying to do? I don't agree with your opinions but I'm not sure what benefit this debate could have here.


I'm a day late and a dollar short here, but I don't think SMALL was all that bad. She never said anything unkind to the guy, but she doesn't want to see him again and wants to let him down gently.


@Malevolent Al: Sure, I don't think that anybody thinks that SMALL did the man in the story wrong. She didn't "let him down gently," she got him off in some way.

It isn't about that guy, but about future guys. The question is, after a man goes down on a woman and then reveals his micropenis what is the protocol?


@BiDanFan: I am a heterosexual man, you are a bisexual woman. I think that both of our perceptions are influenced by our orientations. I think I am right and you think you are right. I see a lot of blindness in your comments, and I am sure you feel the same way about me. You are getting weary about this and I am also reaching that point. If we discussed this until the end, I like my chances. Somehow I think that we will have a new discussion after the next Savage Love article.

Inevitability of male proactiveness: That's how it works out throughout the animal kingdom with a few exceptions (emus, look it up). Yes, I think that Person A should say something if attracted to Person B. But I think that men are just plain a hell of a lot more likely to have crushes, especially crushes strong enough to act upon. I think it is inevitable that most women will have multiple men interested in them, and most men will have to hustle to get any interactions.

Very Quickly why this might be the best way: It is like democracy, I guess it is the best way, but there are obvious flaws. 1.) If women are proactive, men might just say "sure" without being sincerely interested. Yes, it is possible for women to manage this, and yes this still happens when men make the first move. 2) If women are proactive, only a small minority of men will be picked. Society is already moving toward this direction now. 3) Since men are just more motivated to initiate, a stigma naturally arises toward women who initiate. This is wrong, but I find it inevitable. Wasn't it you who pointed out the "Lesbian Sheep" thing? If so, I don't know why you are fighting this point.

Women claiming victim status with passivity: If a woman says, "Men don't like it when we ask them out," she is essentially saying, "I would ask men out, but they don't like it when we do." That means she would do something, but she is restricted by gender roles and is punished when she does do that. I really am surprised I have to explain this. No, I don't believe women really mean this. Women do have a habit of having traditional beliefs and finding ways to blame men for them. I can give examples if you or others want. And I must correct you on something, if a woman is rejected, that is not necessarily evidence that men do not like being asked out. Perhaps he just isn't attracted to her. Once a woman strongly asked me to ask her out so I did. She later told me that men do not like being asked out. Her evidence? She had sent 3 messages to men on OkCupid and 0 responded. That is NOT evidence that men do not like being asked out. When women ask men out, the man might be really thrown off guard and it ends up being really awkward. Just like if a baseball manager asked the pitcher and catcher to trade roles, the result will be awkwardness since neither is accustomed to that role.

Dating Apps: Yes, nobody can start a conversation unless both sides swipe right, so an indication of interest from both sides. My point was that women aren't really expected to be passive either online or in real life. If she likes a guy in real life, she can and probably will drop hints. Or she can just be passive and see who makes a move. Men rarely have it like that and have to hustle to get anything. Most men get few matches online, and most women can definitely count on them. And when a match happens, most women sit back and wait for the man to make his move, even on Bumble women's first messages are rarely more than some variation of "hi."

loser/virgin/Incel vs. Slut Shaming: I NEVER said that slut shaming does not exist, but I think that LVI shaming is more prevalent, more damaging, and harder to respond to. Sure, it is generally incels who use the word incels, but that doesn't mean that loser/virgin/incel shaming does not exist. That is why I included all 3 terms. When slut shaming happens, I wonder how often the word slut is actually used? I think that LVI shaming is much more overt and constant than slut shaming. And yes, a lot of LVI shaming is directed from men to other men, usually when women are not present. Just like slut shaming usually happens only between women. However, I think that it is unlikely for one woman to follow another woman around and repeatedly call another woman a slut.

Women expect men to guide the conversation: You say you never hear women say those words, sure but they expect it. Just like the only people who use the word "cuckold" are men who have that kink. Doesn't mean the concept does not exist. When people match online or in real life, women absolutely expect the man to propel them toward a first date. When on the first date, I think they are not out of that stage yet. Women expect the man to guide the conversation. As a bartender, I have been privy to a lot of dates and that is absolutely the impression that I got. Very often when a woman says, "He can't carry a conversation," she means he can't craft an interesting conversation between them. That is emotional labor assigned to men. Nobody ever says, "she can't talk to girls," people say the opposite all the time. Yes, I know that people like being in two way street converations. That is why I said women want men to guide the conversation, not dominate it. That is why I said that when women say they want funny men, they want a man more like a late night talk show host than a comedian. the comedian experience is one sided, the talk show host experience is two sided. The conversation is interactive, but the host is guiding it.

Perhaps the most honesty comes from women who are not romantically involved with the man. I have had multiple female friends straight up tell me it is my job to guide the conversation. My sister is the same way. She recently told me, "I like it when you call, but it seems like you only call when you have something major to tell me." I said, "Sure, but it seems like you never ever call me." She sputtered something out because she can't very well say, "Well, you're the man!"

Magic Spoon: I admitted that female grooming requires money, time, and comfort. Women have to expend a lot more than men. However, men would love it if they could be more attractive by expending more of those things. Hence the magic spoon which is expensive and requires eating dirt which is time consuming and uncomfortable. More men than women would take the magic spoon. It seems like you forgot what I was talking about. I don't think you are putting much thought into this conversation.

Ugly young guy in my building: He did join a gym, but I wonder how much that will help. The guy is very unattractive and I think he must shop in the children's section. He wouldn't do well online, but I doubt he would do well in public. I don't think women realize how difficult it is for men to even have the opportunity to speak to a woman in real life. I am quite handsome and I dress well so I have more opportunities. Way more in the past.

Actor/Actress Analogy: You're extending it a lot more than I intended. Yes, in the dating scene, everyone is like an actor/actresses trying to land roles. It doesn't mean we are performing during our dates. If someone says "There are plenty of fish in the sea," do you tell them how problematic it is to compare people to fish and dating to fishing?


@Guts 124 -- I know I should not even be engaging in this conversation AND I feel that Fan very articulately addressed every ridiculous claim you have made, but I am working online at a bar (outside) and am now slightly drunk (not much work today, but have to be available) and you just keep going! I don't even know where to begin at this point -- (or why I'm trying,) but dude, our culture is WAY more judgmental of women's physical appearances than men's! This "magic wand" you speak of is more of a cultural expectation! If you want to use solely anecdotal examples, do you know how many overweight male friends/acquaintances of mine have said in my presence that they weren't interested in a woman who is clearly interested in them because she is fat? Do you know how often said woman has appeared to be in relatively better shape than the man rejecting her for her weight? Let's just say a lot. Do you know how often I've heard men complain that they hooked up with a woman that didn't shave her pussy? And that this was a turn-off and that they won't be hooking up with her again? A lot. Do you know how many times I've had one night stands where the man felt that we were done once he got off, although I had not? A lot, until I grew up and stopped letting that happen, by announcing that the dick was not allowed to come out until I had an orgasm. (I should not have to do that!) Do you know often I have to worry about being sexually assaulted? I could go on, but I am wasting my time, I know.

BTW, I am a hetero, not-passive, slutty woman, and I get slut-shamed all the time and rarely care.


I believe both Bi and gutsguts are describing the realities they interact with as best they understand them. And I think there's some truth on both sides. But I gotta go with Bi on a few points here--or rather, I would add my "um, no" voice to gutsguts on a few:

Who the hell are these women who expect men to guide conversation? This feels like it must be some socioeconomic or subculture statement. I believe they exist, I believe that to guts they seem common, but I never in my life met such a woman.

I've never been actively slut-shamed, nor have I ever witnessed any actual incel-shaming. So here I have no data. But I strongly suspect that both exist and their prevalence varies depending on local subculture. I doubt we can impose any strict "this one's worse" or "this one happens more."

As for the magic spoon: women and men have access to the same set of shit. You can exercise, you can spend money on better clothes, better haircuts, etc. Except for outright makeup, men are able do all that, too; there's no "women only" sign at good salons. (Some don't seem to know that grooming/tailoring might matter; this was one nice thing about metrosexuals getting some cultural play. But now I think most people know.) And yeah, none of it helps much if you are just flat unattractive. That happens to women, too, guts.


"I've never been actively slut-shamed, nor have I ever witnessed any actual incel-shaming."

I must misunderstand. I think I am personally prepared to incel-shame at the drop of a hat!


@ Ciods 126 last paragraph -- exactly! For some reason Guts' argument that it is easier to be an unattractive woman than to be an unattractive man is making me lose my shit, it is soo wrong! I would take your argument a step further and say that a lot more "magic wand" maintenance is expected from women than from men -- for example, romantic comedies where the chubby guy who is "funny" gets the woman with no personality but a perfect body are countless, how many are there where the genders are reversed?

Also, in my experience, when a man is "guiding the conversation," I feel like that usually actually means not paying attention to what the woman has to say at all, and I am pretty sure women actually rarely like this.


curious: I just meant that although I believe men shame other men for not getting laid, I've never overheard it; I can't speak to the pressures men feel to have sex.

As for slut-shaming, among my friends you'd be more likely to be shamed for not liking particular foods than for liking lots of sex. But I don't extrapolate; I know slut-shaming is a thing.

The closest thing to slut-shaming I can think of is when an FBI agent asked me if the woman he was speaking to me about was "promiscuous." (I've had to do such interviews a few times; comes with the math-heavy gig.) She was applying for an NSA job, and presumably the government felt that promiscuity might be correlated with secret-spilling. I have no reason to think they don't ask that about male candidates, too, however.

Of course, being a mathematician, I asked him to first define promiscuous.

(Just kidding. Although a friend of mine did say just that, in the same situation, which I think didn't go over too well. I wanted to tell the FBI dude: he's not being snarky, he's just a mathematician.)


"I believe men shame other men for not getting laid"

Aaaaah, I see that's not what I imagined was "incel-shaming". (I figured I was missing context because I don't haven't been investing the time to read Guts.)

The incel-shaming I love to do of course involves shaming incels for being selfish whiny misogynistic negative defeatist cruel empty-souled performative victims.

"I have no reason to think they don't ask that about male candidates"

Yeah but maybe for them it's a plus. (Thanks for the FBI story!)


"I believe men shame other men for not getting laid"

Oh, of course. I figured I had missed something because I stopped reading Guts when I changed my mind and decided I no longer think he's our previous misogynist incel violent rageaholic, Sporty).

All I meant of course is that I love shaming incels for being, oh let's say, whiny wallowing misogynist selfish cruel negative defeatist shallow performative victims.

"I have no reason to think they don't ask that about male candidates"

For them it could be a plus!

(Thanks for the NSA background check story!)


TEST: Is this thing on? I posted a couple comments hours ago that haven't shown up. The second one I retyped from 'memory'. I wondered if they didn't pass a new 'snark filter'. If this appears I'll paste the 2nd one next.


@124 Guts (Sporty? Is that you?): Wow. That's quite a novel for someone likely not getting any.
Macho guys like you are why I'm so happily single and asexual, and don't give a rat's ass about bothering with make up (people can appreciate ME, GRIZ, not something bottled, powdered, or tubed by Maybelline, Coty, Avon, or any other cosmetics manufacturer).
Good luck, Sporto. You're gonna need it.


Guts @124: As promised, I'm not reading or responding beyond your first line, which I'm glad you brought up because I was going to. As a bisexual woman, I have more sympathy for men than you might think! I am also in the position where if I want to date women, I have to be the proactive one. I have experienced the disappointment of messaging a handful of promising women on apps (unlike some men, I do not carpet bomb, I carefully select people I think may be compatible) and none of them reply. I have experienced the frustration of women not being available to me because they prefer to date men. I blame heteronormativity for that, not the men themselves. When we are passed over, we just have to accept it and move on. Women (and men) have every right to be picky, to not fancy me or you. If they're "too" picky (who's setting the bar?), then they just won't get any dates; that trade-off is theirs to make. What is the alternative -- women being somehow obligated to date people they're not interested in? That's what incels think and it's utterly ridiculous to see women this way. Short men, ugly men, unemployed men, may face tougher odds but dating is possible AS LONG AS they don't approach women with this pre-existing resentment of them for having the right to make their own dating choices. That's what's getting incels rejected. Instead of nurturing this hatred toward women by communing with other incels, they should spend more time with friends (of all genders!) and on hobbies, which will both improve their chances of meeting women and make them more interesting to the women they may meet. And see masturbating as an act of pleasure instead of failure.

You think you can prove yourself right and me wrong, but let me ask you: Can you deny that the -result- of having this attitude toward women is exactly as I have described it?


Edit @134, "I blame heteronormativity for that, not the women themselves." Or the men I suppose. It is just the way the world is and there is no point getting angry about it, that only turns me into a bitter person who nobody is going to want. Self defeating prophesy. It's interesting that there seem to be no lesbian versions of incels, isn't it?


Ciods @126, men can also wear outright makeup! Why not? Foundation to even their skin tone, mascara to bring out their eyes, would barely be noticed if it were worn daily, the way many women do. Goth and metal men wear eyeliner -- and they look hot, if I say so myself. Grab that magic spoon, dudes. Get that Captain Hook look!


Thank goodness comments are working again.
I'm kinda freaked out by how different my retype of @130 was.
So I searched for "magic spoon", and thought about it. I would much rather eat dirt than wear makeup. But I would also not choose to eat a bloody pound of dirt, FFS; being realistic about what I imagine that would do to one's digestive system, that's nuts; I think that one would be in absolutely no shape to take * any * advantage of the Genie's one-day offer!


Curious @137, maybe Guts is suggesting we could eat this?


Griz- I am so sorry to hear about the hard time you're having. May the lucky hunsky rain down great fortune and happiness upon you! Your constant positivity and optimism on this board is part of what keeps me coming back week after week.

Donny - thank you for sharing your blog! I really enjoyed "The Egg Endures."

Everyone - ask not for whom the troll trolls; it trolls for thee.


Bi @136: I also enjoy a man in makeup, but my guess is the crowd gutsguts runs with doesn't go in for that sort of thing. He sounds like he comes from a background with more standard gender roles. I was trying to express that even from that background, all the other stuff is accessible to men as well.


Ciods @140, yes, sure. It seems like on the spectrum of gendered attitudes, I am on one end and Guts on the other. He's seeing the elephant's tail and I'm seeing its trunk. I have no doubt that his views represent the reality he lives, but I'm hoping to express that he doesn't have to see it that way, he chooses to reinforce these stereotypes. For instance, when his sister doesn't initiate phone calls to him (which seems to have little to do with, erm, dating practice), he concludes that women want men to lead conversations, whereas I would conclude that his sister is a bit idiosyncratic.


Wow, it is almost time for a new Savage Love article. I wonder if Dan ever reads the comments.

I do think that severely unattractive men have it worse than severely unattractive women. I am frequently surprised if a man has a girlfriend. I am never surprised if a woman has a boyfriend, no matter how unattractive she is. Someone told me a few anecdotes about her overweight female friends. They can lose weight. A lot of men would love to have such simple advice. And a lot of men would love the magic spoon.

A lot of women are unsatisfied with sex because they do not ask for what they want. And if I have an orgasm, I pretty much have to take my penis out of a woman. To not take it out is really awkward. No one wants that. I can and will do other things for her.

You cannot join the CIA and other agencies if you have a lot of debt. Debt makes a person too susceptible to bribery and corruption. I wonder about sexual bribery. If a man has difficulty dating women, will the CIA reject him because he is likely to be tempted by sexual bribery?


I'm from a conservative culture, and slut shaming is prevalent. Having a high "body count" is definitely considered a negative. I don't think promiscuous men are any better in bed, so I don't see it as a particular plus, although I don't shame anyone for their private affairs.

I'm also someone who only gets pleasure in sex from penetration. Ultra straight? So a micro would be a bust and I'm sure I'd ghost him. I've ghosted men for less.


@139 fantastic_mrs_fox: Thank you for your kind wishes of support. I do hope that something in the form of either a lucky break professionally or lottery winnings will come along soon. My beloved VW has been patient about traveling (or not to travel, depending on the current status of the pandemic and mask mandates).
re: Guts (Sporty?)@124---agreed and seconded. Anyway, I already said what I needed to say in comment @133.
re; DonnyKlicious's Blog, "The Egg Endures". Thanks for the promotion! I can't wait to Donny's latest and greatest of cartoons. :)

DonnyKlicious: Since BiDanFan actually won this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors by default landing on @70 but wants to pass it on to you, I, Grizelda, proclaim the following, however belatedly:
WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congrats to DonnyKlicious in scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award honors! Savor the highly sought after numeric glory and bask in your newfound riches. :)
How do I find your Blog? I would love to read your comics, especially "The Egg Endures".:)


@144: Better yet: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I, Griz, name both BiDanFan and DonnyKlicious in a luscious tie for this week's Lucky @69 Award Honors! You both deserve it! Savor your glory found only here in Savage Love Land and bask in the accolades. :)


Griz - see Donny's link @82 for his blog.


@146 fantastic_mrs_fox: Many thanks for sharing Donny's link @82.

@82 DonnyKlicious: I LOVED reading "The Egg Endures" -----it's hysterical!
Thank you for sharing your blog site link. :)


A new column is up!