Savage Love Sep 21, 2021 at 9:37 pm

Power Tripping




Fox @195, I quite like the column in the Guardian. It's written by Dr Phillipa Perry, and there are often interesting letters and advice - though being the Guardian, it rather lacks in the swearing and snark department ;) (Incidentally, Dr Phillipa is married to Turner Prize-winning "transvestite potter" Grayson Perry, whom I also quite like.)

There was a column a few months ago, which I found quite moving and thought-provoking:


James @196 Sorry you’re getting attack. Some here are always ready to pounce. Many people don’t hang out here anymore as a result, so most weeks the regulars attack each other. They were off to their multi-layered, months-long conflict here again this week until they ganged up on you.

Your original comment was fine and as proven by Holmes @ 174 possible to answer in a kind way or not at all.


Zinaida @202, sure, his original comment was fine. And several of us did answer him kindly, but instead of being appreciative as he said he would be, he asked the impossible and got snippy when we couldn't oblige. C'est la vie.
On with next week's column.


A new column is up at


This is probably going to just be me shouting into a void since a new column is up, but I read James @186 comment "Does anyone know how to exclude the Savage Love comment sections from searches? That would help a lot I expect." as a snarky jab. His explanation though cleared it up for me (this is where writing and not always being able to suss out tone can get hackles unnecessarily up). That being said, that this topic is not ringing any bells of the regular commentariat means that it's either a very old SL letter, or it was a different advice column entirely.

Zinaida @202 - as soon as I saw some old familiar beefs brewing I just skipped over a good third (at least) of the comments this week.


Mrs Fox @205, I didn't read it as deliberately snarky but definitely tone deaf, telling the very people he hoped would help him that excluding their comments would be helpful. Not surprised Fubar responded with snark, and as a newbie asking for assistance, a "sorry" would have been in order, or even ignoring the comment (like he himself suggested, ahem), rather than going on the counter attack. My defending Fubar may not have been necessary, but when did that ever stop me? And I really did rein in the snark!

Hmm, if James does stick around, he'll fit right in.


@200 curious2: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's Double Hunsky honors! Savor the vast riches and bask in your newfound glory. :)


I forget: was I ineliggible for the Double Hunsky because I landed on the Double Whammy (@169)?


@173. Bi. My beliefs have actually been consistent throughout. I haven't known to what extent ALPHA is corresponding consensually, with at least partial understanding of the tease on both sides, with these guys he doesn't go through with meeting.

If the messaging has been marked by vindictive superiority, on one side, and innocence or naivety, on the other, I have to ask how the guest expert Alexander Cleves got a quite different impression.


@191. seventieslilo. I like both Spock and McCoy, but hope I am Spock, in that I feel more of an affinity with him. I think what happened is that curious (who has slogblocked my comments) read in Nocute's remark that I was speaking up for ALPHA, saying what he was doing was acceptable, and, without reading, formed the wrong impression of my point (which was that consent might perhaps reasonably be inferred). Really, if fubar is not going to build James a Savage Love search engine that (blessedly, one might think) skates over the comments, he could upgrade the slogblocker to erase every mention of a proscribed commenter's name in every comment, for instance by replacing it with a random innocuous name.

I may be alone in liking this column, and esp. the answer. The sense I have of what has happened to Dan Savage's broad ideas is that they have 'won', have gone mainstream, with the consequence that they have become both generalised and moralised beyond any point, arguably, that they were intended to reach. In order to feel an affinity with Savage's dicta now it's no longer necessary to be a deviant (usually meaning gay) or part of any subculture. The essential ideas have been boiled down to sub-Christian maxims about reciprocity, consent, willingness to communicate and doing as you would be done by. The effect is that 2021-'woke' SL is now the resort of straight moralists who often, as this week, in detecting some violation of their most general principles, end up expressing distaste for the practices of a queer subculture. The reason I like the answer given by Dan and Cheves is (more than its being necessarily right) that it bucks the assumption of his all-purpose-moralist fanclub. It raises the possibility that one should stay one's habitual judgment when it applies to group practices with which one is unfamiliar. Anyway, if we're all advice-givers (and I guess we are) my advice to Dan is to carry on running more columns that challenge those of his readership who might be inclined to zealotry.


I wandered back into this weeks commentary by accident, only to discover that I've been accused of snark. Clutches pearls... MOI? Never!


Two asterisks then a space then a sentence, is it then bulleted and indented:

  • Sentence One
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