Savage Love

Power Tripping

Comments

1

firdt?

2

I don't know — maybe something's not working with the comments loading on my computer or something... that firdt felt too easy.

But anyway... I'm kind of surprised and worried about the advice given to ALPHA. While gay men have been forced to accept that ghosting is, unfortunately, part of online dating, that's not exactly the same thing as "consenting" to it. (You can't exactly "consent" to something when you have no choice about whether it happens or not.) Judging from what we gay men say to each other offline, ghosting can actually do a fair bit of harm — especially in the midst of a pandemic when loneliness is getting really harsh for some people. And especially given that ALPHA's preferred type is thick feminine guys, who, quite frankly, are a type that get disproportionately mistreated and toyed with on apps, and (based on the random sampling of guys fitting that description who I've talked to — and I've talked to a lot, because I'm attracted to such guys) they really don't like it, and feel hurt by it. (I know I can't speak for all thick feminine guys, no one can, but trust me that when thick feminine guys get together, this is one aspect of their lives that they generally talk about not enjoying at all.)

Yeah, sure, there are guys who are turned on by degradation, humiliation, dom worship, sexual withholding, etc... but aren't those all things that Dan would normally say you have to get consent for FIRST? Like, BEFORE you get deep into chatting with someone who you know you're going to ghost because that's what you get off on, shouldn't you tell them where you're envisioning this going and see if you can get consent for that? Otherwise, aren't you actually getting off of deceiving them, raising their hopes and then dashing them? Aren't they, by flirting with you and making plans to meet up or whatever, letting you know that what you're secretly planning on doing to them is something they actually DON'T want? And how are you therefore being anything but asshole-ish?

I don't know if you're reading this ALPHA, but my take would be, yeah, there are some gay (feminine, thick) guys in the world who would get off on you doing this thing you want to do, but that absolutely does NOT give you the right to just go ahead and do that thing to random people on gay dating apps, the vast majority of whom do NOT want the thing you're doing to happen to them. If you want to find people who do want what you want, you're going to have to put in some work, and accept that you're not going to get what you want some of the time, once you've been honest about what it is. If you're not willing to do that, then yeah, as a gay guy myself, I think you may in fact be a straight guy who gets off on hurting gay people, and I think you need to fucking stop.

3

Where is everyone?
(Actually, I hope Venn is away this week; this letter might give him a heart attack.)

I see SO MUCH that is wrong with ALPHA's obsession! He should imagine if he were a woman doing this to straight men. He'd be outraged. If ALPHA is implying he's interested in meeting these guys, which it sounds like he is ("I don’t go through with the meetup"), he's being a cruel tease. How is that being an ally? Puh lease. If, instead of tormenting horny guys on Grindr, he set up an OnlyFans or a virtual Dom website where he made it clear all he's offering is pics and demands for twerking videos, no harm no foul (except perhaps for this bizarre attitude that he must "earn" his heterosexuality by debasing "inferior" gay men, ewww. How about "earning" it by fancying women?). ALPHA, you're not just personifying a homophobic asshole, you're being one. Either find a way to practice this kink ethically or work with a therapist until you can find some empathy for the gay men you're teasing this way.

break -

Huh, I wrote my answer before reading Mr Cheves's, and I'm struck by just how different they are! So I throw it to the gay/queer men of the board. Is it ethical to imply to men on Grindr that you're interested in meeting if you're not at all interested in meeting? Is it ethical to imply this on mixed-gender sites like Tinder? Would it, in fact, be perfectly ethical for a straight woman to interact with men on Tinder, implying or even directly stating she wants to meet but has no intention of doing so, but each of them are getting their masturbatory jollies? To me, it doesn't seem ethical to present yourself as someone with an interest in meeting in person if you aren't, but then again, I do suppose that the majority of exchanged messages on dating/hookup apps don't result in an IRL meet. It seems like ALPHA's kink is his own ego. I suppose there are plenty of people out there who get off on being worshipped, so as long as the parameters are clear, as a cis female I should withhold my judgment on whether ALPHA is being homophobic by having these clearly mutually enjoyable exchanges.

Hmm, Letter 2 is just a recap of some of the comments from last week. Guess that's why there are tumbleweeds so far. Perhaps I should use this week to get some projects done?

4

Bouncing, congrats on the firdt, and thank you for confirming my instinct that ALPHA is being an asshole.

5

ALPHA: Let me know your reaction to the following letter:

"I’m a 26-year-old femme lesbian who loves exploiting the fantasies so many straight men have about lesbians. When a straight guy is into me because I look like his lesbian-porn dream, it’s a power trip like no other. It’s always a specific type of straight dude I seek out when I get on Tinder: a short, pudgy, balding guy who looks like he spends more time playing video games than dating. And I always follow the same script: I send my nudes, I make one of these lonely boys want me, and I tell him to send me a video of him twerking like a stripper for me. But I don’t go through with the meetup. I’ve experimented a few times and have gotten cunnilingus from a few guys, but I have no interest in dick or fucking one of these dudes. I don’t want to harm anyone or live a lie, but I don’t feel straight or bisexual at all. I actually feel like I’m “earning my homosexuality” when I do this. It’s like I’m proving to myself just how gay I am by teasing these straight guys. And in all honestly, I feel like I’m doing them a service because a lot of straight guys are looking for that rare, mythical thing—the lesbian who makes an exception for his dick—and I can play that role. But on some level, this all seems pretty fucked up and I don’t know why I do this and sometimes I’m confused by it. I also worry this comes from a place of misguided feminism. (“Look at this dumb dude, he’s so stupid and obsessed with pussy he’ll do whatever I tell him to, I’m the bitch in charge.”) And I guess it is misandrist because when you remove the intensity and power trip of being the woman in this scenario, I just have no interest in guys at all. I know this was heavy. Sorry. But please answer my question."

(I think I know Guts's reaction: "yeah, so what, that's all women." So he can spare us.)

6

Wow, I call BS on the first response.

LW1: I’ve been into humiliation play too, but this isn’t it, at least not consensually. “I’m a straight guy who likes to humiliate gay bottoms. Let’s talk…” that’s consensual. “Let me tease you and lead you on by saying I might meet up with you so that you’ll perform for me and let me degrade you for it…” no. Doesn’t pass the smell test. LW, you’re an asshole sadist, like a guy picking bar fights just because he wants to kick some ass. Embrace your sadism but find someone(s) with matching urges and play with consenting partners…those who consent to your negging, not those you trick into following your commands. Quit being an internet asshole.

“If you were a real sub, you’d get down on your knees right now.” Says the pretend dom on the internet.

7

LW#1: You need to get control of yourself. This is bad karma for you and one day you might trigger the wrong person, who might kill you.

8

I doubt that any real straight man would have the inclination to get on Grindr, just one that has issues.

9

Candy @8, straight men with issues are very real.

10

Yeah, I'm with bouncing, BDF and everyone else who's commented about ALPHA. I was totally floored by how different the response was from my take on the letter. Also, did I miss something or is Dan's personal opinion conspicuously missing from the response?

My take on it fwiw is this is a messed up way to treat people. There's almost too much to unpack there but ok, you want to do this? You have to say you want to do it up front and you have to do the work to find people who say they want to do it up front. Otherwise you're throwing your hurt bombs out into the world without caring what damage you actually do. That's not being a Dom. That's being a jerk.

11

Lulu @10, yes, that is a notable absence. Surely Dan, a gay man, is himself qualified to comment on gay male app etiquette/ethics? Perhaps he views straight-worship as "not my kink" so deferred to someone who does have this kink. Perhaps he thinks that if ALPHA is identifying himself as straight, that should be enough to signal to the men he's approaching that he's not interested in IRL hookups? If so, I disagree and think ALPHA needs to specify that he isn't interested in meeting up, since it seems a lot of straight-identified men on Grindr are.

12

Bouncing nailed it @2. Letter 1 is a case study in non-consensual abuse. The idea that because some people like a thing, it's okay to inflict that thing on everyone, is complete rubbish. Dan outsourced the reply to this letter, but it's not up to his standard and reflects poorly on the column.

13

@ALPHA
I hesitate to tell you that you're a piece of shit, because I suspect that you made up this letter so I would. And I've got better things to do than dignify it with another second of my time. But first...

@Cheves
"But unless he calls himself gay, he’s not gay"

(Out of the context of this letter writer,) As a general statement that's irrational.

Identification and orientation are different things which we call upon our language for. In other words, it's perfectly possible for a person to have gay behavior regardless of whether they "claim oneself as part of [y]our tribe".

Of course we absolutely respect whatever someone's ("tribe" )identification is, but that needn't rule our private thoughts and ability to speak (which we on this board regularly have need to) about what is objectively true about an individual's orientation. FFS. (You're a "famed...writer"?)

Try this: if I tell you I'm a rutabega, do you automatically make your brain believe it?

/Break/
For some reason, this week's column went up at https://savage.love/savagelove/2021/09/21/power-tripping/ at least 8 hours earlier than here (at 9:37 pm Pacific Time per the time stamp above, well after some of us had gone off duty; this is AFAIK a new record, and perhaps intended to draw attention to the new site; but of course what will * really * do that is to debut Commenting functionality there, and turn it off here).

BDF@3
"I hope Venn is away this week"

Yes exactly, it hurt my heart to imagine Venn reading that (fake) letter (by that jerk).

14

Okay, I’m 99.8% sure that ALPHA is actually a gay/bi dude writing out his straight dude fantasy, and 100% sure he’s writing this left handed and for his own, umm, gratification rather than a desire to seek advice.

He’s giving away a service a lot of gay guys want and would actually pay for, but even so, a model flashing her tits at a guy who doesn’t want to see them is still a harasser regardless of whether most men would pay to be in his shoes. Consent is the key. ALPHA is pretty good at the porny script. If he exists, IF he makes his deal explicit in his profile then he’s good to go. If he doesn’t he’s just an a-hole using the people with no consideration for anyone but himself. Exploiting and humiliating dudes who don’t want to be exploited this way is pretty crap. If this guy exists and is as hot as he thinks he is, he should really monetise this crap only OnlyFans. He’d have an even bigger audience and would get money for this

15

BDF @3 "(Actually, I hope Venn is away this week; this letter might give him a heart attack.)"

That's what I was thinking also. Was this letter chosen specifically to trigger mr. Venn?

16

Lulu @10, revising my agreement with you. Dan does give his own thoughts, interspersed with his guest experts'. Paragraphs two, four, six and eight represent Dan's own thoughts. I remain surprised that he didn't call out the non-consensual nature of this humiliation.

Curious @13, I agree that was an odd remark. As a queer person, I interpret it as "if you aren't going to identify as gay, you are not part of the LGBT+ community." Which is fair enough. I too believe that ALPHA is not gay, nor even bi, because he says he's not attracted to men and has no interest in having sex with them. In fact, he can only tolerate the sight of them in a sexual context if they look like women from behind. So there's my evidence that ALPHA isn't gay, rather than the fact he says he isn't.

17

fubar@12
"it's not up to his standard and reflects poorly on the column"

+1

18

BDF@16
""if you aren't going to identify as gay, you are not part of the LGBT+ community." Which is fair enough."

Agreed 100%. Saying that respects their choice to not be part of the community.

RE@15
"Was this letter chosen specifically to trigger mr. Venn?"

Or maybe the goal was more generally to increase readership via outrage.

And perhaps for reasons like BDF implied @11 Dan, went totally overboard on not being appropriately judgemental.

And maybe the wish to not get called on this poor letter/response was related to an 8 hour delay in the availability of Commenting.

19

Dan calling this Mr. Cheves a "famed writer" is right up there with his claims that Peter Staley "has literally saved millions of men's lives" (ludicrous) and "gay people make up 5% of the world's population" (Ibid). When I googled this Cheves clown, I found a photo of him sporting a hideous nose ring and a review in google books that says he is "a self-avowed slut committed to kink as his new religion." My question is, how much of Dan's salary went to him for writing the majority of this week's column?

20

Everything about LW's behavior, indeed all of the toxic so-called "alpha" behavior in general —the apparent need of so many to constantly "prove" their manhood— screams pathological daddy issues. It's a cascading system of abuse that motivates much of American culture and all of the Republican party. And it's a bit of a closed bubble: Those who are raised to obey this system can't see its pathology, are drawn in deeper by their identification and validation with, among other things, the cult of competition, and many of its victims eventually experience a crisis later in life (Remember the neighbor-father in American Beauty?). It's akin to the "brain zap" Dan refers to among women who believe they must defer to men's judgement and to doubt or criticize themselves first. It plays itself out masquerading as "strength" through self-hatred, but it's really a cry for help.

This sad brutal pathology of toxic masculinity (how 2019, right?) is often found among traumatized "macho" cultures all over the world, but less so among those more enlightened cultures that are more secure and have learned lessons from their pasts. America has some deep cultural issues and is in desperate need of counciling.

PS: Why, oh why, do people use the term "thicc"? What is possibly gained by misspelling a word that already exists? Is there some significant meaning or shade of nuance added by swapping a "k" with a second "c"? I know "overweight" has negative implications, but didn't the German/Yiddish term "zaftig" already cover this terratory?

21

“Gay” is an identification.

In public health, they restrict themselves to talking about “MSM,” or “men who have sex with men.” If you target only gay men with your “Free HepB Vaccine!” campaign, you’ll miss a lot of MSM who need it.

22

As someone who has used the internet to seek sex from men, I very quickly learned that photos and sexting were out. If the guy wants photos and sexting, he’s going to beat off and the interaction will end until the next time he wants to beat off. There will never be a meetup. Men are notorious fantasists and flakes. (Maybe women are too but I can’t speak to that.)

If you want to meet a man for sex, for goodness’ sake do NOT send him a twerking video.

So I have mixed feelings.

• If everyone with six months’ experience or more knows what I know about men, the internet and masturbation, then by sending a twerking video they are consenting to a no-meetup interaction.

• If the LW is exploiting the low self-esteem of men who are routinely passed over, then he’s being abusive.

And then there’s the question of what “I never go through with the meetup” means. Everyone seems to be interpreting that as ghosting, which is an asshole move but not abusive when you’ve never met.

I read it as, “I scheduled the meetup but didn’t go.” Abusive.

23

I haven't gotten a chance to dig through all the comments yet, but I am enormously relieved that everyone seems to be unanimously horrified by the shit advice to LW1. I thought I was taking crazy pills when I read this week's column.

24

Alpha is an asshole, and I cannot believe Dan let him off so easily. It seems that the commenters agree with me. Do some gay men get off on being teased and humiliated? Sure, some. But you cannot assume that people want that. Just like some women like getting street harassed, doesn't mean you should do it.

BiDanFan: Yes, the lesbian in your hypothetical situation is also an asshole. You might say she is more of an asshole than Alpha is, because it is harder to believe that there are many heterosexual men who get off on being teased and humiliated. Another consideration is that the dumpy man in your hypothetical would be a fool for actually believing that the lesbian was genuinely interested in him.

No, I do not believe that all women are teases. Definitely not. However, I will say that women are more likely to be teases because A) men are definitely more interested in getting busy with the majority of women who are also interested, and B) Women are more able to attract men. There are some women who could tease multiple men every single day with their eyes if they felt like it. I have come to realize that whenever a woman is brazenly flirting with me, it is almost certain that she is unavailable and is just teasing me.

I think that teasing is like the female version of street harassment. Why do men street harass? Because it makes them feel masculine, her feelings don't matter. Why do women tease? Because it makes her feel desirable and feminine, his feelings don't matter. Not all men street harass, not all women tease. Some men are called creepy when they don't deserve it, some women get called teases when they don't deserve it.

25

Like most of the spot-on comments so far, I was bewildered by the advice given to LW1.

It pains me to think that LW1 and others like him will read the column and now feel they have permission to treat unsuspecting human beings that way.

26

Why, would any well-adjusted person feel they needed to "earn" or "prove" their sexual preferences or sexual identity?

27

Alison @22, if by "ghosting" one means "stopped replying," then yes, I saw what ALPHA is doing as more harmful and purposeful than just dropping the thread of an online exchange because one lost interest. I also thought "I never went through with THE meetup" meant that a meetup had been, if not scheduled for a specific time and place, at minimum discussed as a thing that both parties intended to happen. It reads like the promise of a meeting is part of how he "makes these thicc bottom boys want him," so he's extracting these videos under false pretenses. Perhaps, as you say, that's par for the course online, but it's still unethical. The first time meeting up is mentioned, ALPHA should specify that he's not interested, and he certainly shouldn't make any concrete plans.

Pretty @25, yes. In fact, this is such spectacularly bad advice that I think I will write directly to Dan instead of just chatting amongst ourselves. Thanks for the prod.

Ens @26: Bingo. ALPHA isn't a well-adjusted person. I'm also of the opinion that anyone who refers to themself as an "alpha" has deep seated problems, as Gaspar @20 describes well.

28

Alison@21
"“Gay” is an identification."

Since the snails in my backyard know that, I wonder if you mean it's /only/ an identification and not also used to describe an orientation. If so I think you are wrong about that.

Alison@22
What did you do to produce bullet points?

29

BDF@27
"anyone who refers to themself as an "alpha" has deep seated problems"

I think it's one of those things one can't accurately call oneself. (Like "a philosopher".) Only other people can accurately call one those things.

30

BDF@27
"I will write directly to Dan"

If you get a reply, see if you find a clue that it was written by someone who has locked Dan in the basement.

31

Spectacularly poor advice for a spectacularly implausible letter. On the outer-banks chance that LW1 is sincerely asking: Leading people on and getting them to jump through hoops for you is unethical and unkind, full stop. There are so many other ways you can get this kink satisfied virtually without fucking with people's feelings in reality. And to Mr. Cheves's statement that shadiness and fuckery happens on the regular on Grindr: Well, yeah, welcome to online hookup/dating sites. But just because bad behavior is abundant doesn't mean that you should add to it.
PS: "Earning your heterosexuality"? Are you serious?

32

morgan@31
""Earning your heterosexuality"? Are you serious?"

Hear hear. I could barely stand to read the damn thing the first time, and I don't wanna look at it again, but christ on a cracker, that makes it sound like being straight is some grand accomplishment by the loathesome asshole.

33

'Don't tell us you're an alpha, we'll tell you. And you're not. You're a ballsack in need of a boot.'

34

• Like Curious @28, I want to know how the bullets were achieved.

• in the link community, a guy calling himself an alpha is a sure sign of an asshole.

35

'This could be his inlet...' An inlet is a cove, a little bay. This could be his rivulet. His marshlands. His estuary. His rill.

A generational chasm divides me, on one side, and Alpha and Mr Cheves, on the other. I see this twink-teaser as gay. Why would he do this were he not queer in some shape or form? Nor am I an outsider in saying this; I like to be taken up my fat ass, and have no problems with being addressed degradingly (using homophobic language) by any power top able (or willing) to do this. But the guy, ALPHA, has an investment, no? I agree with Cheves' point that being gay is a self-identification with a political dimension; being 'gay' is agreeing to stand up and be counted. At the same time, self-representation has to swing on identity. No one has ever said all gays have to be the same: that some can't be straight-ish or straight-presenting. This is the point of 'queer'. I think the guy is deflecting from asking whether he's homosexual by asking whether he's homophobic.

Anyways, I like the answer. I also wonder why Dan threw this one out to Alexander Cleves.

36

@35 Harriet - why Dan brought in Cheves - most likely because Dan likes Cheves' writing and wants to help promo Cheves' new book.

37

• Bullet
• Bullet

I just copied them, I still don't know how to make them.

38

Good Lord!! All these prudish comments on ALPHA, let him have his fun, and the dudes he meets. Nobody's getting hurt here.

Nobody.

39

He does meet with a few, and for those he doesn't they have his dick pics.

Oh, the humanity!

40

@31 morganatic agree bad behavior on apps is not good. If someone is "only looking" or "only chatting" they can say that, I do in my profiles when I'm on the apps but not looking to hook up. In the goode olde tyme days of Craigslist, I could weed out not serious types by putting some asks up front (like, tell me what you're interested in in your first reply and then pics) and if the person ignored I could rule them out. On apps, so much more time wasted before figuring out who is serious and who isn't.

41

Apparently on Windoze if you have a numeric keypad on your keyboard, with numlock 'open' (which maybe means off?), you can hold Alt, type 0149, release Alt and get a bullet.

I can't test due to not having a PS/2 port on a Windoze machine.

42

@ regular commenters - I hope Griz is OK. Usually she is a regular here especially day 1 or 2, and shared she was going through a rough time fiscally.

43

@41 Curious2 all your mentioning of the b* word for highlight points is triggering me!

(that was a joke) - but seriously, congrats! recently I tried less than and greater than signs / angle brackets and SLOG redacted the material between the brackets, to be able to get a bullet in a post is fun!

44

@22 Alison on men sexting / photos = guys just masturbating, indeed. My @40 on apps was in reference to men-seeking-men. Maybe CL was more effective than the apps for hookups, because it was asynchronous and not so useful for wankers. So to speak. I'm old enough to remember personal ads and mailed letters forwarded from a PO Box.

45

Oh, without agreeing with every dotted i and crossed t, I so much prefer Cheves' response to the zealotry of people who aren't even gay bottoms. Like, so much. Have some sympathy with the culture, (dare one say?) some knowledge of the culture, and think whether your zealotry might be misapplied. Bottoms with a thing for abjection live on scraps. It's partly something that can be incorporated in the kink, partly something genuinely pitiful and thin and painful. How often are we chosen by the strict Dom (if that's our thing), how often by the proficient service top? (which is more modest, not really kinky or specialised, and (when I was younger) would have been more mine?) How often are we first (rather than, say, fourth) in line? The guy ALPHA is offering his own twist on that experience of penury, but it's not anything we can't live with. It's a punch we can roll with. We don't require special protection.

I do think that it would be better if there were some up-front negotiation of terms, even implicit, on the hook-up site. But, in one way, the negotiation of terms on dating sites is the needy person (e.g. the het guy approaching straight women) puts it all out there, and can have the rug pulled from under his feet any time. These are the rules of the game, and to want anything there is, in principle, to be prepared to short-circuit consent.

46

@36. Delta. That was kind of him. Props to Dan. But he can't have hated the answer or he wouldn't have printed it.

47

It seems there are quite a few ASCII characters one can paste into (or create with the Alt-numbercode trick) a Comment:
(In case I ever want to, I've created a .txt file)

ASCII code 129 = ü ( letter u with umlaut or diaeresis , u-umlaut )
ASCII code 130 = é ( letter e with acute accent or e-acute )
ASCII code 131 = â ( letter a with circumflex accent or a-circumflex )
ASCII code 132 = ä ( letter a with umlaut or diaeresis , a-umlaut )
ASCII code 133 = à ( letter a with grave accent )
ASCII code 134 = å ( letter a with a ring )
ASCII code 135 = ç ( Minuscule c-cedilla )
ASCII code 136 = ê ( letter e with circumflex accent or e-circumflex )
ASCII code 137 = ë ( letter e with umlaut or diaeresis ; e-umlauts )
ASCII code 138 = è ( letter e with grave accent )
ASCII code 139 = ï ( letter i with umlaut or diaeresis ; i-umlaut )
ASCII code 140 = î ( letter i with circumflex accent or i-circumflex )
ASCII code 141 = ì ( letter i with grave accent )
ASCII code 142 = Ä ( letter A with umlaut or diaeresis ; A-umlaut )
ASCII code 143 = Å ( Capital letter A with a ring )
ASCII code 144 = É ( Capital letter E with acute accent or E-acute )
ASCII code 145 = æ ( Latin diphthong ae in lowercase )
ASCII code 146 = Æ ( Latin diphthong AE in uppercase )
ASCII code 147 = ô ( letter o with circumflex accent or o-circumflex )
ASCII code 148 = ö ( letter o with umlaut or diaeresis ; o-umlaut )
ASCII code 149 = ò ( letter o with grave accent )
ASCII code 150 = û ( letter u with circumflex accent or u-circumflex )
ASCII code 151 = ù ( letter u with grave accent )
ASCII code 152 = ÿ ( Lowercase letter y with diaeresis )
ASCII code 153 = Ö ( Letter O with umlaut or diaeresis ; O-umlaut )
ASCII code 154 = Ü ( Letter U with umlaut or diaeresis ; U-umlaut )
ASCII code 155 = ø ( Lowercase slashed zero or empty set )
ASCII code 156 = £ ( Pound sign ; symbol for the pound sterling )
ASCII code 157 = Ø ( Uppercase slashed zero or empty set )
ASCII code 158 = × ( Multiplication sign )
ASCII code 159 = ƒ ( Function sign ; f with hook sign ; florin sign )
ASCII code 160 = á ( Lowercase letter a with acute accent or a-acute )
ASCII code 161 = í ( Lowercase letter i with acute accent or i-acute )
ASCII code 162 = ó ( Lowercase letter o with acute accent or o-acute )
ASCII code 163 = ú ( Lowercase letter u with acute accent or u-acute )
ASCII code 164 = ñ ( eñe, enie, spanish letter enye, lowercase n with tilde )
ASCII code 165 = Ñ ( Spanish letter enye, uppercase N with tilde, EÑE, enie )
ASCII code 166 = ª ( feminine ordinal indicator )
ASCII code 167 = º ( masculine ordinal indicator )
ASCII code 168 = ¿ ( Inverted question marks )
ASCII code 169 = ® ( Registered trademark symbol )
ASCII code 170 = ¬ ( Logical negation symbol )
ASCII code 171 = ½ ( One half )
ASCII code 172 = ¼ ( Quarter, one fourth )
ASCII code 173 = ¡ ( Inverted exclamation marks )
ASCII code 174 = « ( Angle quotes, guillemets, right-pointing quotation mark )
ASCII code 175 = » ( Guillemets, angle quotes, left-pointing quotation marks )
ASCII code 176 = ░ ( Graphic character, low density dotted )
ASCII code 177 = ▒ ( Graphic character, medium density dotted )
ASCII code 178 = ▓ ( Graphic character, high density dotted )
ASCII code 179 = │ ( Box drawing character single vertical line )
ASCII code 180 = ┤ ( Box drawing character single vertical and left line )
ASCII code 181 = Á ( Capital letter A with acute accent or A-acute )
ASCII code 182 = Â ( Letter A with circumflex accent or A-circumflex )
ASCII code 183 = À ( Letter A with grave accent )
ASCII code 184 = © ( Copyright symbol )
ASCII code 185 = ╣ ( Box drawing character double line vertical and left )
ASCII code 186 = ║ ( Box drawing character double vertical line )
ASCII code 187 = ╗ ( Box drawing character double line upper right corner )
ASCII code 188 = ╝ ( Box drawing character double line lower right corner )
ASCII code 189 = ¢ ( Cent symbol )
ASCII code 190 = ¥ ( YEN and YUAN sign )
ASCII code 191 = ┐ ( Box drawing character single line upper right corner )
ASCII code 192 = └ ( Box drawing character single line lower left corner )
ASCII code 193 = ┴ ( Box drawing character single line horizontal and up )
ASCII code 194 = ┬ ( Box drawing character single line horizontal down )
ASCII code 195 = ├ ( Box drawing character single line vertical and right )
ASCII code 196 = ─ ( Box drawing character single horizontal line )
ASCII code 197 = ┼ ( Box drawing character single line horizontal vertical )
ASCII code 198 = ã ( Lowercase letter a with tilde or a-tilde )
ASCII code 199 = Ã ( Capital letter A with tilde or A-tilde )
ASCII code 200 = ╚ ( Box drawing character double line lower left corner )
ASCII code 201 = ╔ ( Box drawing character double line upper left corner )
ASCII code 202 = ╩ ( Box drawing character double line horizontal and up )
ASCII code 203 = ╦ ( Box drawing character double line horizontal down )
ASCII code 204 = ╠ ( Box drawing character double line vertical and right )
ASCII code 205 = ═ ( Box drawing character double horizontal line )
ASCII code 206 = ╬ ( Box drawing character double line horizontal vertical )
ASCII code 207 = ¤ ( Generic currency sign )
ASCII code 208 = ð ( Lowercase letter eth )
ASCII code 209 = Ð ( Capital letter Eth )
ASCII code 210 = Ê ( Letter E with circumflex accent or E-circumflex )
ASCII code 211 = Ë ( Letter E with umlaut or diaeresis, E-umlaut )
ASCII code 212 = È ( Capital letter E with grave accent )
ASCII code 213 = ı ( Lowercase dot less i )
ASCII code 214 = Í ( Capital letter I with acute accent or I-acute )
ASCII code 215 = Î ( Letter I with circumflex accent or I-circumflex )
ASCII code 216 = Ï ( Letter I with umlaut or diaeresis ; I-umlaut )
ASCII code 217 = ┘ ( Box drawing character single line lower right corner )
ASCII code 218 = ┌ ( Box drawing character single line upper left corner )
ASCII code 219 = █ ( Block, graphic character )
ASCII code 220 = ▄ ( Bottom half block )
ASCII code 221 = ¦ ( Vertical broken bar )
ASCII code 222 = Ì ( Capital letter I with grave accent )
ASCII code 223 = ▀ ( Top half block )
ASCII code 224 = Ó ( Capital letter O with acute accent or O-acute )
ASCII code 225 = ß ( Letter Eszett ; scharfes S or sharp S )
ASCII code 226 = Ô ( Letter O with circumflex accent or O-circumflex )
ASCII code 227 = Ò ( Capital letter O with grave accent )
ASCII code 228 = õ ( Lowercase letter o with tilde or o-tilde )
ASCII code 229 = Õ ( Capital letter O with tilde or O-tilde )
ASCII code 230 = µ ( Lowercase letter Mu ; micro sign or micron )
ASCII code 231 = þ ( Lowercase letter Thorn )
ASCII code 232 = Þ ( Capital letter Thorn )
ASCII code 233 = Ú ( Capital letter U with acute accent or U-acute )
ASCII code 234 = Û ( Letter U with circumflex accent or U-circumflex )
ASCII code 235 = Ù ( Capital letter U with grave accent )
ASCII code 236 = ý ( Lowercase letter y with acute accent )
ASCII code 237 = Ý ( Capital letter Y with acute accent )
ASCII code 238 = ¯ ( Macron symbol )
ASCII code 239 = ´ ( Acute accent )
ASCII code 240 = ≡ ( Congruence relation symbol )
ASCII code 241 = ± ( Plus-minus sign )
ASCII code 242 = ‗ ( underline or underscore )
ASCII code 243 = ¾ ( three quarters, three-fourths )
ASCII code 244 = ¶ ( Paragraph sign or pilcrow ; end paragraph mark )
ASCII code 245 = § ( Section sign )
ASCII code 246 = ÷ ( The division sign ; Obelus )
ASCII code 247 = ¸ ( cedilla )
ASCII code 248 = ° ( Degree symbol )
ASCII code 249 = ¨ ( Diaresis )
ASCII code 250 = · ( Interpunct or space dot )
ASCII code 251 = ¹ ( Superscript one, exponent 1, first power )
ASCII code 252 = ³ ( Superscript three, exponent 3, cube, third power )
ASCII code 253 = ² ( Superscript two, exponent 2, square, second power )
ASCII code 254 = ■ ( black square )

48

RE bullets:

I compose all those looonng, wordy comments on my iPhone. To make a bullet character, tap the “123” key; hold the “-“ key; and select the “•” character.

I think in Windows it was option-8. On my Mac I think it’s shift-cmd-7 or some such. Use the keycaps guides in your OS, whichever platform you’re using.

49

RE gutsgutslifelife2 @24:

“You might say she is more of an asshole than Alpha is, because it is harder to believe that there are many heterosexual men who get off on being teased and humiliated. Another consideration is that the dumpy man in your hypothetical would be a fool for actually believing that the lesbian was genuinely interested in him.”

Ha ha. Hahahahahahaha. Ha.

There are many many many heterosexual men who get off on being teased and humiliated. The profession of humiliatrix is well-paid. The following kinks are so popular among heterosexual men that they have trouble finding women to fulfil them:
• T&D (tease and denial);
• SPH (small penis humiliation);
• CFnm (clothed female naked male);
• cuckolding;
• chastity play.
As a rule, heterosexual men believe that lesbians are interested in them. The exception is heterosexual men understanding the meaning of the word “lesbian.”

50

Interesting. I put a “1. “ and a “2. “ before the paragraph after the Ha. The formatting ate them.

51

1) Parentheses
2) Work

52

RE those who think it’s unethical not to say you’re only up for sexting:

Men are fantasists. Maybe they shouldn’t be, but they are. There are conventions. “Dear Penthouse Forum, You’ll never believe…” is one. It’s fantasy presented as fact. Maybe it’s unethical of Penthouse Forum not to explain that their letters section is paid writing and should be assumed to be fiction, but this seems to be the format the audience wants.

Have you ever compared Nancy Friday’s “My Secret Garden” (women’s sexual fantasies) and “Men in Love” (men’s sexual fantasies)?

MSG:
“When I smoke some hash and walk around the house naked I have this fantasy that a long chain of yellow caterpillars are walking into my cunt.”

MIL:
“When I was sixteen my mother took me for a walk in the woods. She had firm breasts, a transparent skirt and a loving smile. When we came to a gate she climbed over it and I could see her bush. […] She took my virginity.”

[approximated and summarized from reading at least forty years ago]

When I was on WebPersonals then LavaLife I would regularly get messages from men who were independently very wealthy and who would fly their personal plane from Iowa to Montreal to visit me and take me to fancy hotels. And from men sending me pictures of their 18” cocks, of course. Was I really supposed to believe them? Was I expected to take these as anything other than invitations to sext? Really?

On FetLife there are men talking about their search for a Mistress who will keep them locked in her closet forever. I believe this fantasy is very hot for them, but I don’t believe that once they have ejaculated they still think they want it. Other men talk about how their old mistress kept them locked on her closet for a year and they are looking for that experience again.

There are websites dedicated to straight men’s kinks that are supposedly created by women but that are clearly by men, for men. (Google FLR, female-led relationships).

I am not saying men should express their fantasies this way. I’m saying they do, and anyone who spends time listening to men talk about what turns their cranks can reasonably be expected to know this.

We also know that men use their computers to help them masturbate. Right?

We know about refractory periods and how men are less horny after they masturbate than before or during. Right?

If a guy asks me for sexy video, I assume that they want to masturbate, not that they want to take me to a hotel or meet me in a dark alley or whatever. Any talk of meeting would be just for purposes of scene-setting.

Yes, in a perfect world men who only want to chat will say so explicitly, in words. In our less-perfect world they say so explicitly, in actions.

notallmen #ihavenoideaaboutwomen

53

As I said before, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand it’s easy to figure out. On the other… so many men find it impossible to figure out.

(Remember when the sex-positive line on pornography was Of Course I Know The Difference Between Fantasy And Reality? There’s no “Of Course” about it.)

On FetLife women are constantly explaining to men that the hot 18-year-old who randomly messaged his empty, pic-less profile declaring her love for him and wanting to text on a paid platform is a bot.

I have no trouble telling the difference between a person and a bot. Lots of men do. (That’s one of the reasons I encourage men to go to munches, where there are no bots to distract them on their way to living their best lives.)

So… is assuming that men understand men’s sexting conventions too much to ask? Victim-blaming? Exploitative?

As always, #notallmen #ihavenoideaaboutwomen

54

Alison Cummings:

I think that the kinks you are describing is quite a bit different from the behavior Alpha is describing. I, and many other commenters, are skeptical that gay men enjoy Alpha's behavior, and I think that heterosexual men are even less likely to enjoy it.

I also disagree that most heterosexual men think that lesbians are interested in them. I for one, do not think that lesbians are interested in me. I also think that the type of man BiDanFan described "straight dude I seek out when I get on Tinder: a short, pudgy, balding guy who looks like he spends more time playing video games than dating" are very unlikely to think that lesbians are interested in them. In fact, the unfortunate truth of the matter is, men like that probably think that hardly any women are interested in them, and they are very often right.

Perhaps apropos of nothing: I have a side job as a barback in a dive bar with a dance floor. One night, I was walking around with a bus bin collecting empty glasses. Two conventionally attractive young women started feverishly making out against a wall. I have to admit I was into it. It seemed very unexpected. I have never been the kind of guy who says, "Ooh, lesbians are hot." Even at age 14 or so. I have never sought out lesbian porn, nor will I now. But I did think that was hot.

55

Regarding the first letter, I echo everyone here who hopes that Mr. Ven doesn't read this week's column. I felt triggered on his behalf.

I also defer to the voices of gay bottoms here. It's entirely likely that this is acceptable behavior in the gay community in general and on Grindr in particular, and the general consensus is "no harm, no foul." Both *Harriet and raindrop agree that no one is being hurt here, and that's true.

But I really do agree with all those commentors who took issue with ALPHA's letter, attitude, and behavior, and I was shocked and appalled at Dan's answer.

Towards the end of his letter ALPHA says, "But on some level, this all seems pretty fucked up and I don’t know why I do this and sometimes I’m confused by it. I also worry this comes from a homophobic place. (“Look at this dumb twink, he’s so stupid and obsessed with dick he’ll do whatever I tell him to, I’m the alpha.”) And I guess it is homophobic because when you remove the intensity and power trip of being the straight male in this scenario, I just have no interest in guys at all."

This to me suggests he knows it's shitty behavior AND he knows it's grounded in homophobia.

So he knows it's wrong, and in my opinion, it's not wrong because he leads these guys on and then is a no-show; it's wrong because it's grounded in the impulse to belittle someone else who hasn't consented to being belittled as a way to get off (“Look at this dumb twink, he’s so stupid and obsessed with dick he’ll do whatever I tell him to, I’m the alpha.”). Unless the men he's interacting with WANT to be thought of as "dumb twinks, so stupid . . . that he'll do whatever I tell him to," then I can't see this as harmless because the guys have fun in the moment. Because I think that motivation counts for something. Maybe the men that ALPHA is jerking around (yes, I used "jerking" deliberately, and it's not just in the masturbatory sense, but also because in my opinion, ALPHA is being a jerk) don't know what ALPHA's motivation is, but he knows.

ALPHA derives his alpha status from feeling superior to other men and the way he establishes his superiority is in being straight to their gayness.** This is straight-up homophobia, plain and simple. If he's doing this with men who themselves fetishize straightness and are masochistic subs rather than straightforward bottoms, that's one thing, but no matter how "feminine," "thicc," or "pretty" he claims to find the men he engages with, he's coming at these encounters from a place of contempt for them, and unless they want to be part of a humiliation scene, it seems unethical to me. And ALPHA certainly knows this. He knows it's wrong enough to feel bad about it.

As far as needing to feel alpha through a lesser man's** willingness to make himself vulnerable to oneself so that one can lead them on and tease them in order to feel potent--well, that sounds like something I would hope most of us outgrow by the time we're finished with the 8th grade.

And how the hell is leading some men on and gloating about it "earning" one's "heterosexuality?" Really, that is some twisted thinking, and it suggests that ALPHA might be protesting his unshakable Kinsey Zero-ness just a bit too much, methinks. I think he's deeply conflicted.

I also think there's a good possibility that this is a "Dear Penthouse" kind of one-handed writing exercise.

But I wonder if Gayland is just so very different from Straightsville, given that most of us who find the "official" answer appalling aren't ourselves gay men.

*I know that Harriet's identity is something more than simply that of a gay man, but for the purpose of their response, they've taken that role, so I'm following suit.

**I assume that ALPHA considers effeminate gay men to be lesser men than he is--this isn't my opinion.

I am reproducing the letter for easier reference:

"I’m a 26-year-old masculine straight guy who loves exploiting the fantasies so many gay men have about straight men. When a gay guy is into me because I look like his straight-masculine-jock dream, it’s a power trip like no other. It’s always a specific type of bottom gay dude I seek out when I get on Grindr: a very feminine “thicc” guy with a pretty face and physical features begging for a dick. The kind of guy where from the right angles you can’t tell the difference between his big ass and a thicc chick’s big ass. And I always follow the same script: I send my dick pics, I make one of these thicc bottom boys want me, and I tell him to send me a video of him twerking like a stripper for me. But I don’t go through with the meetup. I’ve experimented a few times and have gotten head from a few guys, but I have no interest in dick or fucking one of these dudes. I don’t want to harm anyone or live a lie, but I don’t feel queer or bisexual at all. I actually feel like I’m “earning my heterosexuality” when I do this. It’s like I’m proving to myself just how straight I am by teasing these gay guys. And in all honestly, I feel like I’m doing them a service because a lot of gay guys are looking for that rare, mythical thing—the straight and strict Dom top—and I can play that role. But on some level, this all seems pretty fucked up and I don’t know why I do this and sometimes I’m confused by it. I also worry this comes from a homophobic place. (“Look at this dumb twink, he’s so stupid and obsessed with dick he’ll do whatever I tell him to, I’m the alpha.”) And I guess it is homophobic because when you remove the intensity and power trip of being the straight male in this scenario, I just have no interest in guys at all. I know this was heavy. Sorry. But please answer my question."

56

delta35 @44,
Good call RE advantages of asynchronous platforms!

curious2 @51,
Thanks for the tip!

57

Penthouse is explicitly entertainment and isn't hurting anyone by not being transparent about it being fantasy. Speaking of Penthouse, LW1 absolutely sounds like someone whacking off to their own writing.

The issue here is that LW1 is lying to get something that he wants at the quite possible expense of another person. He's a sociopath for lying and not feeling bad about it... or he's not a sociopath and everything else in the letter is really about him feeling bad for lying.

That people lie to other people to get what they want is not okay just because a lot of people do it. I don't think LW1 is a monster simply for lying on grindr. He's just being a jerk, and we - Savage, Cheves, society - shouldn't give a free pass to be a jerk. We already have too many taking up space on this planet that we share.

The rest of it - the kink, the role-playing, all good with me as long as it's two consenting adults. But I don't see how lying fits into consenting when one party doesn't know they're being lied to. Just because some people might get off on not knowing whether it's a fantasy, doesn't make it okay.

57

gutsgutslifelife2 @54,

When I was a very out short-haired dyke in baggy pants and a thick belt with a set of keys clipped to it, most straight men didn’t seem to recognize me as a lesbian. Any lesbian would have known immediately but straight men not so much.

If it came up in conversation you could almost hear their dicks going SPROING. About half the time that was followed by a proposition.

Like I said, #notallmen. But my lived experience gives me information that you and I would prefer not to believe.

58

@56: Alison, a couple of weeks ago, I was frustrated baffled by the seeming arbitrary numerals in a list that were disappeared when the comment was published, despite being visible in the preview box, and I did a little experiment. Here are my comments from then:

Curiouser and curiouser (no relation to you, Curious2; rather a shout out to Lewis Carroll): if the numeral with a period and a parenthesis is in the middle of a sentence, as it was in #129, it seems to have worked. Maybe it's only when it's used to start a list that it's an issue.

I'm going to to be all scientific and test:

Did this come through? (numeral followed by a period)

1) How about this? (numeral followed by a parenthesis)

1 or this? (just stand-alone numeral, with nothing else)

1.) finally, this. (numeral followed by period and then parenthesis)

And . . .

What if it takes place in the 1.) middle of a sentence? (numeral followed by period and then parenthesis)

What if it takes place in the 1. middle of a sentence? ((numeral followed by a period)

What if it takes place in the 1) middle of a sentence? (numeral followed by a parenthesis)

What if it takes place in the 1 middle of a sentence? (just stand-alone numeral, with nothing else)

So okay, here's the answer:
If you place a numeral in the middle of a sentence, either with or without a period or a parenthesis or both, it will remain.

If you try to create a numbered list, the one way the numeral will not show up is if it's followed by just a period.

Voila! Isn't the scientific method wonderful?

59

nocute@55
I don't know when I've ever seen, and appreciated, a more thoughtful comment. Kudos!

"in my opinion, it's not wrong because he leads these guys on and then is a no-show; it's wrong because.."

I agree it's /more/ wrong because of all the other stuff, but I think it's /also/ poor behavior because of /that/ practice. I agree with others upthread who already went into that.

60

PrettyInPink @57,

“The rest of it - the kink, the role-playing, all good with me as long as it's two consenting adults. But I don't see how lying fits into consenting when one party doesn't know they're being lied to.”

I don’t believe the guys who say their previous mistress kept them in her closet for a year. I don’t think they’re lying, either. I think they are expressing something they wish were true, the way a four-year-old does.

IF we accept that men stating their fantasies as if they were true is simply a well-understood masculine storytelling convention, it’s not lying and it’s not unethical.

IF we think that a nontrivial portion of their audience takes them at face value and believes them uncritically, then it’s an unethical form of storytelling even if it isn’t “lying,”

+++ +++ +++

My list of straight men’s humiliation kinks was a counter to a straight man’s assertion in a comment above, that straight men don’t like being humiliated. I wasn’t trying to say it’s ok to nonconsensually humiliate gay men.

61

Alison Cummings:

I believe your lived experiences, but it seems that your lived experiences are with men who actually say something. Based on your description of your past self, I think I would recognize you as a lesbian, and most straight men would as well. Maybe you were hanging around particularly oblivious men.

This reminds me of when women discuss their experiences with men on dating apps. Yes, I believe your lived experiences, but most men get damn near nothing on dating apps, so women's lived experiences with men on dating apps might not be representative of heterosexual men.

I remember working in a bar about 10 years ago, and the manager was a lesbian with very short hair, who definitely presented as a lesbian to me. She was kind of cute in a boyish manner, and as a former child actress, definitely put effort into her appearance. I saw her having a conversation with a male customer, and apparently he left his phone number on his receipt. She said to me, "What part about me does not scream lesbian?!" I told her, "Sure, but you probably seemed empathetic and attractive enough, and he thought it was worth the small risk of leaving his phone number. A lot of men are super desperate."

Also, at that bar, there was another manager who was exceedingly large, and I don't know if she could look more butch. One day, she popped out of nowhere, and said to me, "I would never go for a guy like you because I like more masculine looking men." I was shocked because A) that is very unprofessional, and B) I was shocked she would even be remotely interested in men, and C) I find it hard to believe that any man would not prefer a more feminine looking woman.

Perhaps this story is also apropos of nothing. Or perhaps a lot of super desperate men see lesbians as super open minded, and more down for whatever than most heterosexual women. To be honest, your average frustrated chump might think he has a better chance with a lesbian presenting woman than a conventionally attractive heterosexual woman. And perhaps hooking up with a lesbian he is not attracted to is more appealing and brag-to-your-friendsable than hooking up with a conventionally unattractive heterosexual woman.

62

47 and #58 melted my brain (at least the left side of it).

Delta @32. I too was a little worried about Griz. I thought for a moment she might have had trouble finding the column after the format change, but then I recalled that she was on last week. Let's hope it is just that she's got better stuff to do.

63

It seems that some defense of ALPHA goes a bit like this:

"Everyone is an asshole. Especially men. Extra-especially men on hookup/dating apps. So since ALPHA is behaving like everyone else and everyone else is an asshole, too, he isn't being an asshole. Everyone should expect nothing whatsoever from anyone they encounter on a dating or hookup app--you should assume that they're lying about themselves; you should assume that they're just planning to have a wank with you in mind; you shouldn't expect to actually meet any of these people."

Not only do I disagree, but I think that that's kind of a sad way to think about people.

64

With regard to "lived experience," I think one of the best things about this comment board--when we're being civil--is that the people on it come from so many different backgrounds and we all bring our vastly different lived experience to bear on our takes and responses to the letters. Sometimes I believe there is rather too much projection, but mostly, I am grateful to see such a multiplicity of experiences/backgrounds/orientations/viewpoints all considering the same issue. I know I generally come away with a more nuanced, developed perspective on any issue after reading the offerings both of those who share a background with me and those whose backgrounds or approaches are just about as different as can be.

Vive la différence!

65

Again, I don't speak for all gay people, and I'm not personally a feminine thick gay guy, though I spend quite a lot of time with groups of people who are.

The idea that everyone on the apps is just there for a wank is absolutely wrong. Sure, some people are, and that's fine if they're upfront about it. (And it's real easy to be upfront about it! All you have to do is put in your profile "I'm just here for a wank." Lots of guys do have that in their profile!)

But a lot of gay guys are on the apps to find friends and long term partners. I've found both there, and so have most of my gay friends. A lot of gay guys use the apps because it's the only safe way to meet people, if they don't live in or near same-sex-safe locations. Sometimes people are on apps because that's the only place where they can safely be partially out of the closet. Some people just use apps because they hate bars (SO many gay people hate bars). Some people are young and not ready or confident enough to make passes in person. And of course, this past 1.5 years, a lot of us used the apps because we were quarantining, which for a lot of us meant "alone" (or even worse "stuck at home with straight family members we don't get support/community/love from").

That doesn't mean we're naive about the fact that yeah, sometimes you meet someone on an app who's lying. But meeting a liar (especially in a place where intimacy is implied) is still an unpleasant experience, and lots of us have had it and really didn't like it. And I promise you, among gay men, the subject of how much we DON'T like these experiences is a topic of LOTS of conversation.

Generally, after commiserating, which means after a few hours (or sometimes longer), we're able to basically forget about it. Sometimes we say something like "I guess I only have myself to blame." A few people I know have made solo monologues about these experiences and performed them at Fringe Festivals, primarily to crowds of gay folks who have found them cathartic as fuck.

Basically I would say to anyone, if that's the way people are feeling after sexual interactions with you: you're doing something seriously fucking wrong and you need to stop.

66

@62/@42 - auntie grizelda is just fine, just saw her in PM slog making her usual colorful and disparaging comments about Republicans.

67

A side note: ALPHA refers to the people he does this to as "dumb twinks" (admittedly he wrote that in a parenthetical remark that was meant to be a self-critique — like, "here's the worst way to interpret my feelings about these guys").

So, I don't know if ALPHA really knows what "twink" means — it usually means somebody thin. It also usually implies somebody young, and in some way immature... (I don't want to say "inexperienced," because a twink could be a person with a lot of sexual experience...)

So, it's worrisome that ALPHA would target not just feminine and thick guys, but also ones that he perceives as somehow young, naive, clueless. It suggests that he specifically ISN'T looking for experienced kinksters who can state that they want the thing he's offering.

I don't want to read too much into this word choice of his (because, again, I don't think he fully knows what the word "twink" means). (Also, I want to make sure I say that not all young people, and certainly not all people identifying as twinks, are inexperienced / immature / naive / unable to handle the world. For that matter, not all older people are experienced / mature / able to handle the world.)

But I do know some young, feminine, thick gay gays who have gone on the apps because they were already hurting from the really really toxic combination of homophobia and fat-shaming and femme-hating they encountered in even the most "enlightened" parts of the gayest cities in the US, and then some asshole on an app played them, and they got hurt, some more. Yeah, it was just another "normal" thing that happens in a world that's already pretty consistently shitty to them, and it sucked.

So, yeah, if ALPHA keeps doing what he's doing the way he's doing it, given that this seems to be his EXACT target audience, he's going to hurt someone. It would be very surprising if he hasn't already.

68

Griz is late in the game this week. I bought Dan's latest book: Savage Love: A to Z, with equally kickass illustrations by Joe Newton. Kudos, Dan, Joe & company for another excellent and spot on read.

@1 bouncing: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Congratulations on scoring our most hotly vied for numeric honor--the FIRDT! Award for this week's Savage Love column!! Savor the glory of leading the comment thread and bask in the glow.:)

@2 bouncing: Spot ON response to ALPHA! Agreed and seconded.

@3 BiDanFan: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congrat's on scoring this week's SECNOD honors, and being among the first three commenters for this weeks Savage Love comment thread. Bask in your newfound accolades and savor the numeric honors. :)

@6 Squidgie: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Congrats on scoring THIRDT! honors, being among the first three commenters leading his week's Savage Love column thread! Bask in your numerical glory and savor the riches. :)

@42 delta35 and @62 Ens. Pulver: Thank you and bless you both for your concern.
I have indeed been struggling, lately, despite my most diligent efforts to remain healthy and maintain a good diet free of gluten protein and am watching my sugar intake. There is some good news from my doctors' offices (I am at least COVID and cancer free). I am experiencing recurring sharp chest pain, and my physicians and VA PTSD therapist suggest this can be due to nerves. Although I am admittedly not as financially bad off as a good number of other people are currently, I have very little in savings as any source of "what if" financial back up. I have been doing what I can to expand my website in promoting my music. If anyone in the film industry (it doesn't have to be an exec from Columbia Pictures offering a million dollar contract) had anything small--an ad jingle, an animated short, a documentary, up to a feature film, so I could work my way up. I have been working remotely even before the onset of the COVID pandemic. So at least I have my beloved VW (currently in fall / winter hibernation getting window seals replaced), musical instruments and DAW. Seasonal depression relating to the return of cold, stormy weather and my putting my car, an emotional support vehicle to a T----is a growing concern. Continued musical activity is what is keeping Griz going. I must have my VW, music, cats, and all the lovely people in my life. Some days are easier than others.
In addition, I am grateful to have the VA Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline available
1 (800) 273-8255, and recommend this toll free number to call for those who are distressed or have thoughts of suicide.
Sending hugs, positrons, and VW beeps to all. Thank you, Dan, delta35, Ens. Pulver, and everybody for letting me vent and express my thoughts, loves, and fears.

How is vennominon? Has anyone heard from him lately?

WOW--about time for this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors again!
Tick...tick...tick....

69

@66: Ahem. This is Savage Love, not SLOG AM, Elmer.

70

nocutename @63,
See my comment @60. It’s not clear to me that they are being assholes… or that they aren’t.

bouncing @65,
No, not everyone is there for a wank. The ones who want sext and videos right off the bat are, though. That’s why I’m hesitant to think of it as “lying”; it’s so transparent.

71

Alison Cummins @70

I mean, you're right that wanking-disguised-as-something-deeper is usually quite transparent on an app, that's a very valid point... and encountering it regularly is a price we pay for using the apps, and most of us know that and learn to navigate it, hopefully with the help of a community. (And honestly, it's not always traumatic! I don't want to make it sound like ALL gay people, or femme / thick / young / etc gay people, are wandering into these apps in a state of trembling fragility! Sometimes it's just "oh well, guess I helped some dude get off tonight, whatever.")

But that just means that the most gullible / desperate / inexperienced / innocent / community-less / vulnerable people are the ones who do fall for it. So the transparency of it doesn't make it much better, it almost makes it worse. (Especially because then those people who got played will feel like it's their own fault, or get told it's their own fault, for falling for it.)

And sometimes (speaking from my own experience) it's really not transparent at first... it only becomes transparent once you've invested a lot in it. Which, again, is harder to bounce back from when you're already vulnerable for any number of reasons.

I know somebody whose husband had a stroke, and while he was recovering, and not fully in his right mind, some unscrupulous internet scammer got him to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to Africa to help somebody he believed existed. I bet this scam was "transparent" too, but the guy in recovery from a stroke didn't see it, and it ended up wrecking his entire family.

Also, if we adopt the principle that "it's hard to call it lying when it's so transparent", I'm not sure how we'll be able to make any sense of Republican politics...

72

nocutename @58
What seems to be stripped by the commenting system is:

1) HTML
2) Markdown

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown for a description of Markdown.

73

@69: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! By accepting this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors I, Griz, willingly decline all following lucky numbers for this week's Savage Love column. I am adding this well timed honor to my upcoming October 16, 2021 celebration. The Big Hunsky @100 is next up for grabs for those participating in the Lucky Numbers Game. :)

74

Harriet @35, yeah, you've convinced me that this guy is on some level queer. He doesn't mention anything about women and what, if any, interactions he has with them, online or off. But he isn't looking for round-arsed women to twerk for him -- and if he's as attractive as he says, he should be able to find some. He is only pursuing gay men to fulfil this kink for him. Sorry dude, you've un-earned your heterosexuality by engaging regularly with gay men.

Alison @52, thanks for your thoughts. Plenty to mull over here. I remain grateful that OKCupid has the option to hide one's profile from straight people, reading about all the BS I've missed!

Nocute @55: "ALPHA derives his alpha status from feeling superior to other men and the way he establishes his superiority is in being straight to their gayness.** This is straight-up homophobia, plain and simple." NAILED IT award for you -- this is exactly what's problematic about ALPHA's behaviour, and would be problematic even if the humiliation were explicitly consensual. This is exactly what Venn finds so offensive when it's expressed the other way round, by gay men who have placed straight ones on a pedestal. ALPHA knows these guys exist and feels like he's "doing them a favour" -- but he's not doing it for them, he's doing it for his own gratification, and doesn't actually seem to care how they feel about it, given that he's employing some level of pretense to get them to interact with him. Indeed, he's not seeking out men who have expressed a desire to be humiliated; as Bouncing said @2, "feminine, thicc bottoms" are not in demand, so in essence what he is doing is mocking and bullying men who have fewer dating options available.
I prescribe several rounds with a dominatrix to put him back in his place. (Kidding)

Alison @57, your experience mirrors mine as a queer woman. I get LESS male attention if I present as straight.

Curious @59, agree that both the false promises and the homophobia are wrong.

Alison @60: Yes. There are straight men (and gay, and bi men) who are into all of the humiliation kinks you listed.
There are also straight men (and gay, and bi men) who are lonely and have low self-esteem.
It's okay to humiliate the first group of men. It is not okay to humiliate the second. ALPHA needs to learn the difference.

Thanks for the SECNOD award, Griz @68! Late posting means I got in early! :) And congrats on your own well-earned 69! Hope it brings you good fortune, sounds like you could use some.

Bouncing @71, good point that even if Alison is right about the time-wasters (time-wankers?) being easy to spot, they're not easy for the new or gullible -- or wishful thinkers -- to spot, and that these may be exactly the type of men ALPHA is targeting. And that yeah, these guys are going to feel even worse if they think they should have seen it, pardon the pun, coming. ALPHA, just be a little clearer about what you are offering and, whether or not you remain a homophobic asshole for thinking of gay men as inferior to yourself, you at least are limiting the damage you will do to those gay men who share your view.

75

@74: Not homophobia BiDanFan, it's fantasy role playing of "sexually worship my dick, you silly faggot" - there's a difference.

76

LW1- Guys who "earn their their heterosexuality" with other guys, rather by showing interest in real women, seem sort of misogynist to me. Or closeted. Are you more worried about what gay guys think of you or what women think of you? Girlfriends will generally expect you to be honest about your hookup apps and who you get head from or who you kiss even, whether man or woman, just like boyfriends expect.

LW2- She may have been vindictive, but I think she had some duty to communicate that his advances were unprofessional. Specifically that he shouldn't suggest treating his crushes and/or lovers like clients, and he shouldn't have been straddling the boundary between service worker and friend in the first place. You are definitely vindictive, you had no duty to show your disapproval of her shock or her question to Dan. You don't seem to understand or value the boundary between service worker and friend either, it's mysterious why your letter was published. The guy basically said, "I have a crush on you, do you still want me to charge you for massages? I understand if you don't." I disagree this should be treated like a normal advance as you suggest and think he should learn why this is inappropriate and caused her excessive confusion and discomfort.

77

BDF@74
"I get LESS male attention if I present as straight."

That is so messed up! For all the reasons that it's offensive that so many guys seem not to understand the word lesbian.

(Note: I say this even though as I've mentioned, I personally am attracted to bi women but because I find they tend to buy into gender roles less.)
(Note: I assume that you are correcting for other factors like clothing-sexiness-level with this comparison; I find it easy to believe that you can do that after a lifetime of experience.)

"SECNOD award...Late posting means I got in early!"

The best thing about the late posting was BDF having that opportunity!

78

Guts @24, un-hiding your comment since I all but requested it.

"Yes, the lesbian in your hypothetical situation is also an asshole. You might say she is more of an asshole than Alpha is,"

No, she is exactly the same level of asshole that ALPHA is. It is exactly the same letter.

"because it is harder to believe that there are many heterosexual men who get off on being teased and humiliated."

Echoing Alison's laughter at this one. There are loads of hetero men who get off on being teased and humiliated. Most of them find it difficult to get this from women -- particularly for free. But you've missed the point that ALPHA isn't humiliating men who've asked to be humiliated -- the humiliation is non-consensual. Again, no difference gender wise if my hypothetical lesbian had made it clear to her targets that she enjoys teasing and tormenting them, and got their enthusiastic consent for that, as opposed to preying on men who are lonely and desperate -- "so stupid and obsessed with dick/pussy he’ll do whatever I tell him to."

"Another consideration is that the dumpy man in your hypothetical would be a fool for actually believing that the lesbian was genuinely interested in him."

Exactly, just as much a fool as the thicc, feminine man would be for believing a hot straight man would be genuinely interested in him, which is exactly why I chose those descriptors.

So you've reacted just as I thought you would: The scenarios are literally identical, yet you think the woman has behaved worse.

79

“I just have no interest in guys at all. I know this was heavy. Sorry. But please answer my question.”

What question? Dude didn’t even ask a question. He just wanted to play his alpha game with Dan.

80

Zinaida@79
"He just wanted to play his alpha game"

And his (self-loathingly) hateful game...

"I don’t know why I do this and sometimes I’m confused by it. I also worry this comes from a homophobic place...And I guess it is..."

...as he realizes. And proudly parades before us, thanks to the selection of his loathesome letter.

81

BiDanFan:

I think that both Alpha and the hypothetical lesbian you presented are assholes. That was clearly the reaction you wanted people to have. We are enough on the same page here, I think you are being needlessly adversarial.

Yeah, I think the hypothetical lesbian is more of an asshole since there is less chance that heterosexual men will enjoy that behavior. But I think that few people enjoy that behavior, and it seems that most of the commenters agree.

I most definitely did not miss the fact that Alpha is dishing out humiliation without prior consent.

Men and women can literally say or do the same things and one is more of an asshole than the other simply because of gender. Women who work in restaurants/bars/grocery stores frequently call me "honey/sweetheart." A male employee who does that to female customers is more of an asshole. Exact same words coming out of their mouths, but their gender does make a difference. A man who screams "you're hot!" to a female pedestrian is more of an asshole than a woman who screams the same thing to a male pedestrian. To me, your hypothetical lesbian is more of an asshole than Alpha, who is also an asshole.

Who is the bigger fool, the dumpy man you described or the gay men who Alpha is writing about? I think the dumpy man. The men Alpha deals with might reasonably think, "This hot straight guy is probably just looking for some easy head, and I legitimately would be interested in doing that." That does make sense, and in fact Alpha says that has happened. It doesn't make any sense for the dumpy straight man to say, "This lesbian probably just wants me to give her head, and I am legitimately interested in doing that." That has probably happened because there is nothing new under the sun, but it is harder to believe.

82

@55. Nocute. I'll say what I think, starting from its ground zero. ALPHA is writing from a place of pain and perplexity. He worries what he's doing is really fucked up. Of course, his being in a place of pain and perplexity doesn't mean he's not being an asshole, or isn't homophobic or a closeted homosexual. But he puts himself before us honestly--is 'Ally' his name, or is he saying that he's an ally?--and I think this ethically mandates some kind of tender treatment. This is what Cheves kindly and thoughtfully provides, in saying everything could be all right, from the sub's perspective.

The people who might find ALPHA hot fall into a specific category in at least two ways: 1) they're straight-fetishists, something more particular yet than straight-chasers, and 2) they have a humiliation kink. I would hope that the background against which ALPHA messages them i.e. they communicate involves an acknowledgement, on both sides, of these interests. If he's just picking out guys on the basis of physique and his assumptions (and, I would think, desires), and subjecting some guys who don't have a thing for humiliation to non-consensual teasing, that becomes problematic. The population he's addressing, or rather could safely address, is smaller than that of 'feminine gay bottoms' (a group in which I would indeed place myself); and though I can identify with fetishising humiliation on the back of (to my mind) the characteristic experience of being a down-the-pecking-order bottom, not all bottoms want to be used cruelly or high-handedly.

I think the correct minimal answer is a bit different from Cleves's (plus Dan's). I would say that ALPHA needs to make some tweaks and can then do what he wants to do in a way that's above-board. He should say on Grindr or similar sites something like, 'strict Straight Dom looking to have chubby twinks dance for me. My dick pics get your vids. Extremely choosy and all applications subject to severe vetting process'. He can know he's not going to meet any of the subs into humiliation, and they can just get off on being screened and discarded. Interestingly, the thing both Cheves and I were most worried about was not his treatment of the bottoms, but his own identity and disavowal of queerness.

The thing I'd want to say most strongly is how unwelcome I find the moralism of people who have no experience of the subculture. (Or perhaps with no interest in imaginatively entering into the subculture). It's as if people think that they can define the rules for fair engagement in dating and relationships, that they can have universal standards of clarity in communication and in consent, and everyone will stand a formally equal chance of getting ... well, whatever ... but both a fun fuck or a relationship. No--or rather only a formally equal chance. There are always going to be be groups facing feast--perhaps an indigestible feast of the wrong sort of proposition or sex--or famine (people without offers, who would snap up almost anything). It comes over as sanctimonious and hypocritical for the people facing glut e.g. attractive straight women to think their definitions of humiliation could apply universally.

83

There's a pretty balanced profile / interview of Dan in today's Slate. If anyone's interested, here's a link:

https://slate.com/human-interest/2021/09/dan-savage-advice-savage-love-criticism-interview.html

84

@82: Thank you, Harriet, for your input/response to me.

I am very aware that I come from a different perspective/identity/orientation/culture than the men that ALPHA is interacting with (I would say "targeting," but that's a judgmental term, and as I'm being chastised for that, I guess I shouldn't).

Indeed, perhaps the best way for women or men who aren't into straight men is to think of this is as a cultural difference in the same ways that we view circumcision practices over cultures. But while I understand the concept of situational ethics and varying cultural norms and practices, I think there must be some ethical absolutes--or at least ethical absolutes within the broader particular culture.

In this case, I'm classifying the "broader particular culture" as being mainstream American culture. I realize that all sorts of people in that ginormous category belong to various subcultures, but just as a stop sign applies to all drivers, regardless of their personal beliefs, sexual orientation, the scarcity of others like them, or their membership in a subculture, there are practices that are perfectly acceptable--even preferred or mandatory--in some cultures which others find so abhorrent that they take it on themselves to try to end that practice.

Female genital mutilation is an example of this. Although one could say that many other cultures are imposing their values on a culture's practices, most of the world sees this practice as a human rights violation. The United Nations condemns it. Many of us also decry the concept of "honor killings," even while acknowledging that different cultures have different values and place greater emphasis on female chastity (even when the woman who dishonors the family by having had sex was raped).

I realize, of course, that ALPHA's behavior doesn't begin to approach the practices I just mentioned, but my point is that we need to evaluate discrete behaviors by placing them in multiple contexts: the subculture that the participants are members of, and the greater culture. By this method, I find ALPHA's behavior to be unethical, as it's either based in homophobia or (most likely, I believe) self-loathing and closeted-ness.

I appreciate that many men that ALPHA interacts with might not mind what he's doing and some may well suspect and not care or even be turned on by it. I still think that there's a part of it--the part in which he gets off on feeling superior to these men because they're gay and he's straight (does he tell them that?) or "straight'--that is morally reprehensible. Straight men feeling superior to gay men, or worse, feeling attracted and ashamed of that attraction, have caused lots of harm to gay men: literally and physically, through acts of violence, including murder, and also in loudly contributing to pervading homophobia in society, as well as in creating laws that punish and stigmatize homosexuals. It doesn't matter to me that some men might not care, even if they are members of the affected group, while I, as a straight woman, am not a member of the group. This is why most of us would condemn a white person making racist jokes to other white people; because we realize that even if no people of color were present to hear the "joke" and be offended, the culture that makes those jokes, that sees nothing wrong with those jokes, contributes both directly and indirectly to a racist society in which POC are harmed, both actively and passively. It doesn't take a Black person to call out racism, and the argument that because a person is white, they have no understanding of racism and/or no place to thrust their morals onto the person saying the hateful things, is a pretty lame one which most of us would disavow. ALPHA's interactions are grounded in bigotry, and bigotry is objectively wrong.

I guess I will conclude by saying that if ALPHA could be absolutely sure that the men he gets to twerk for him as he judges them as stupid are or would be perfectly on board with that, then okay, I will concede that ALPHA is a poor, misunderstood, mixed-up dude. But I don't have that assurance. And as bouncing has made clear, not all gay men feel the same way about this. It's not a monolithic attitude shared by all gay bottoms. You (universal "you") could say about the men ALPHA interacts with, "what they don't know can't hurt them," and at a certain level, that's true. The person who's being hurt the most, in my opinion, is ALPHA himself, who knows that he's doing something he describes as "fucked up." I believe that wrong is wrong whether anyone but the perpetrator knows what has happened. I can easily believe that ALPHA is a very conflicted man, who well may be struggling with coming to terms with his homosexuality, but I see what he's doing as chipping away at his humanity.

85

nocute@83
Thanks for that URL; I just devoured that excellent long article despite not really being able to afford the time to.

I think most will also like that the author interviewed MYBOD from
https://www.thestranger.com/savage-love/2021/08/17/60442636/savage-love
(To skip to that part towards the end, you can search on "told me about a letter he hadn’t published yet".)

86

nocute@84
"as bouncing has made clear, not all gay men feel the same way about this"

I'm disgusted beyond measure at the insanity and/or troll-hood of not seeing this. Not that I would reward it by letting myself be trolled by an asshole Commenter whose shtick is to try to get under people's skin and play dumb.

"I believe that wrong is wrong whether anyone but the perpetrator knows what has happened."

Right. Decieving a million people into wasting their time still wasted their time even if each might only know to chalk it up to the huge waste of time that generally infuriates me about online apps (which is largely due to bots and scammers so is also not right).

It's the consequences which makes actions wrong.

87

nocute @83 thanks for the link, it was a fun read. And, yes, curious2 @85, it was nice to hear what's up with MYBOD.

Still, I have a couple quibbles with one paragraph in the piece:

"Over the years, Savage honed his philosophy on boundaries—we should all be good, giving, and game for our partners, but we should also accept their hard limits as 'the price of admission.'"

That's not how I would have phrased it. Dan says we should assess whether we can accept a partner's hard limits or whether the limits are an incompatibility. He absolutely doesn't say that everyone has to accept every stated hard limit and stay in the relationship.

And does Dan really stress that one shouldn't use "the small kind [of buttplug] that looks like a finger" when "first experimenting with anal penetration"? As long as one is aware that it may pop out if you're not focusing on it, I don't remember Dan saying that it's a bad tool to use.

88

@86: Curious, I'm not sure that it's the consequences alone that make actions wrong. I think intent has to have some measure of responsibility for making an action wrong.

For instance, murder is an action we all agree is wrong. The consequences of that action are obvious: a person who was alive and had every reasonable expectation of remaining alive is now dead because someone else decided to take the action of murder.

But it's also against the law--indeed, it's a very serious crime--to plan the murder, if by planning, the person who wants the other person dead contacts a third party to carry out the murder. We hear about someone who tried to hire a hitman, only to have attempted to hire a police officer or FBI agent. The charge of Murder for Hire is a serious one, not because the intended victim died, but because the other person attempted to have them killed.

I suppose you could say that the act of trying to hire a hitman is an action, and I can see the logic of saying that intent should factor it could lead one down the slippery slope to thoughtcrime, but it still seems to me that the intent behind the action should count as well as the consequences.

It is clear that Dan, his guest Alexander Cheves, Harriet, and raindrop believe that no one is hurt by ALPHA's actions. But I am more inclined to agree with bouncing--who has all the credentials and thus the credibility I don't have--that some people are harmed by this. It's hurtful when someone I have been flirting with online just disappears. It may not be the worst thing that could happen to me, but when / it happens repeatedly, or after I've made myself vulnerable as the guys who send videos of themselves twerking to ALPHA do, it makes me start to wonder if there's something wrong with me or if I did something wrong. It's easy enough to write people off as assholes, but a lot of us internalize rejection, too.

If I were to be exchanging messages with a guy and at his request sent him a nude (something I don't ever do, because I know how the internet is), and then got radio silence, how would I know that he was privately very happy, that he jerked off to my photo, and now that he's come, has no interest in continuing our interaction, or whether he was disgusted by the image of my naked body and so fled.

In a way, it doesn't matter, because the damage is done, and to some extent, it's the same kind of damage. I am incapable of thinking, "well, I'm glad that I turned that guy on and he is now sitting in a little post-orgasmic cloud, so it's okay that I didn't hear back from him." Even if I masturbated at the thought of the guy getting my photo and being turned on (so it could be argued that I got an orgasm out of it, too, and therefore, why be upset), if I were ghosted immediately after sending that photo, I'd feel used and not in a good way. Maybe Dan et. al. would say that that's on me, and it is. But it's kind of beyond my control: being ghosted immediately after making myself sexually vulnerable hurts my self-esteem; it says that something about me wasn't good enough to warrant a continuation of the connection. But if I were to find out that the reason for the ghosting was the former, that the dude got what he came for, is satisfied and has no reason nor sees no need to behave courteously, I'd be hurt in a far less severe way than I would were I to find out that the reason for the silence is due to the latter reaction--that the guy is repulsed by me. Because I've been hurt before, rejected before, and because I, like many people, am insecure, I know my imagination would steer me to the second explanation. This would continue to add to my insecurity and the anxiety it produces.

If ALPHA wants to feel extra-hetero and smugly superior to teh gayz by having men he finds attractive twerk for him before ghosting them, I'm sure he can find those men who don't mind or get off on that very scenario. From what I've read here about gay/straight non-recip blow jobs, or straight-chasers, or locker-room porn between what seems to be a macho straight man humiliating a gay man intended for gay men's consumption, there must be plenty of men that would happily play along with ALPHA. But as things stand now, he doesn't know which of the men he interacts with have that reaction and which have a bit more insecurity now than they did when he first contacted them, nor how that insecurity will play out or affect that man's future dating/sex/romantic life.

I think that's wrong.

89

EricaP@87
Good points; the article could have benefitted from y'all editing it.

As for buttplug, all I recall Dan saying is to not to not use that kind not because it pops OUT, but because it's at risk for popping IN (unretrievably outside the ER).

90

@myself @88:
Dammit: I thought I had proofread. Corrections:

In paragraph 4, it should read: "I suppose you could say that the act of trying to hire a hitman is an action, and I can see the logic of saying that intent should factor in could lead one down the slippery slope to thoughtcrime, but it still seems to me that the intent behind the action should count as well as the consequences."

In paragraph 5, it should read: "It may not be the worst thing that could happen to me, but when / if it happens repeatedly, or after I've made myself vulnerable as the guys who send videos of themselves twerking to ALPHA do, it makes me start to wonder if there's something wrong with me or if I did something wrong."

91

@Erica and Curious: I've heard Dan say both those things about small or slender buttplugs repeatedly. I believe that the problem of a buttplug being slurped up by the anus is a factor of it not having a flared base, whereas the buttplug that shoots across the room is the result of a too-narrow/small one. In fact, when I helped a former boyfriend buy his first, I paraphrased Dan and pointed him to a somewhat thicker model with a flared base for that reason.

92

Oh, flared bases are absolutely key. I was envisioning a slender butt plug with a flared base, like this: https://www.early2bed.com/doc-johnson-naughty-plug.html/

I wouldn't recommend wearing that out of the house, or during intercourse, but for some focused early experimentation, it seems like a slim toy (with a flared base!) is a good option.

93

But what about the dumpy straight men? Who will defend the dumpy straight men?

94

@gutsgutslifelife2, so many people are disadvantaged in the dating/mating game. Here in the United States, this includes:

Disabled people,
Older women and men who aren't rich,
Not-conventionally attractive everyone,
Black women,
Asian men

The list goes on.

I know we all look at the world through our own individual lenses and to each of us, our own problem/situation seems unique and also more difficult than other people's but we can all hurt from being rejected, and there might be no category of people that faces rejection more than another.

95

bouncing @71,
• Yes to all.

gutsgutslifelife2 @61,
curious2 @77,
• Attractiveness and clothing sexiness are in the SPROING of the beholder. I described myself upthread: “a very out short-haired dyke in baggy pants and a thick belt with a set of keys clipped to it.” I will add here that I wore no makeup or jewelry and wore layered baggy shirts to reduce gazing by straight men. (This worked sufficiently well that straight men regularly mistook me for a man despite my DD cups.) I also described the typical straight-man response: “you could almost hear their dicks going SPROING. About half the time that was followed by a proposition.”

SPROING is not the sound of an unattracted man. I don’t see that any clothing sexiness correction is required.

96

nocutename@87
"I'm not sure that it's the consequences alone that make actions wrong. I think intent has to have some measure of responsibility for making an action wrong."

You are totally right. If someone's actions created (acceptably considered) * unintentional * bad conseqences, they weren't wrong.

I should have said that. But this LW's intentions were absolutely to cause the consequences, so I think that that error was academic this week.

"Harriet, and raindrop believe..."

What a surprise that asshole trolls are siding with ALPHA; they all share an interest in abusing others over the internet, and thus not surprisingly relate to each others' cowardly malice.

I honor those that want to talk to the trolls, but I don't. Just because some people invite what ALPHA does, doesn't mean that ALPHA isn't a piece of shit for doing it without warning to everyone.

Some people might like me to shit in their mouth. That doesn't mean it would be OK for me to shit in Harriet's mouth without Harriet's consent. But it seems that things that Harriet does want, are OK for anyone to do to everyone. In other words there already is shit coming out of Harriet's mouth. Shit subtly devised as always to fuck with people, to get under their skin after which Harriet plays dumb.

I'm pretty sure that most of us just see this behavior and insanity as reflecting bad on Harriet, and feel no call to respond, for Harriet's posts amply self-incriminate Harriet.

97

Most offensive is how Harriet vomits up the red herring of the subculture card in the service of trying to get under people's skin.

Harriet@45
"...the zealotry of people who aren't even gay bottoms...so much. Have some sympathy with the culture...Bottoms with a thing for abjection live on scraps"

Harriet@82
"I'd want to say most strongly is how unwelcome I find the moralism of people who have no experience of the subculture."

Red herring, obviously, because ALPHA doesn't restrict his abuse to people who want it or have consented!!!

Who knows or cares where this irrational insanity comes from. It seems like just because Harriet wants something, Harriet is asserting that ALPHA is welcome to do it to everyone. Under the irrationality is Harriet's everpresent MO of trying to get under people's skin and play dumb.

But to play a subculture card in doing so, is despicable and infuriating, because playing the card like this does the opposite of supporting a subculture the rest of us all support, while in doing so Harriet alone is an embarassment to it.

98

@74. Bi. My very personal take on being sucked off / oral sex would be that if you like people of a certain gender sucking you off, then you like that gender. I know some straight men understand the act as one in which they're pleasured, and in which they can be indifferent to whether it's a woman or man pleasuring them. Sure--the act itself is sexual for them, or in doing it the cocksucker gets assimilated to women (if, say, they're straight). Even then, on some occasions I think the straight guy getting head from the straight-chaser is protesting too much.

99

Segue to one hundred.