Savage Love




MESSAGES: I think Dan’s advice is good, but I’d come down slightly on the side of blocking him. Calling this a “quasi-relationship” kinda implies its less than you want. Besides, you’re indulging his kink, and having (some) fun doing so, but it’s not your kink and you’re left frustrated. You’re also kinda sorta wasting the time of guys you date unless, of course, you are indeed fucking them (you didn’t actually say), and they’re into no-future hookups with a distracted woman.

PERV: Perv is a fine word, but personally, I like some variety. How about Kinkster? And depending on your kink, there’s an abundance of words to play with. I’m a Spanko, for example.

TWAT: that reminded me of the people insisting there’s no point in getting a Covid-19 shot because you can still catch the disease. I had prostate cancer in my mid-40s after decades of regular sex and masturbation. Them’s the breaks. Don’t give the wankers an excuse to stop!

HOTDAMN: That lesbian didn’t want a man to do chores around the house in exchange for a handjobs or blowjobs. That was Dan’s suggested solution to her wife’s dislike of non-reciprocity. Also… I’m shaking my head, and hoping that Dan made up your sign-off. It makes you sound like the poster boy for last week’s heated discussion about straight men deluded about lesbians.

Dan’s lawyer probably gave him a spanking after he tried to help Mike Scott arrange threesomes with bi-females at the end of 1999. I wonder how Mike made out?

In reply to TPFA, Dan wrote "guy trouble can derail a wanted hookup”. I’m familiar with the euphemism “girl trouble” but this is a new one for me. Maybe he’s referring to prostate issues?

Dan has mentioned that he edits letters for brevity, and maybe that’s why ALPHA’s letter made no mention of the crucial detail that he seeks out gay guys who fantasize about /unavailable/ straight jocks. The absence of that point is what had me calling ALPHA an abuser rather than a service provider.


"...he is really into cuckolding. He wants to hear about the dates I go on, the other men I have sex with, how they fucked me, etc. It’s fun to tease him and make him jealous by texting him"

It seems here like you (and Dan) are missing the point that that he's not teased or jealous, he's turned on by it; you're performing a free sexual service for him which you go on to explain is impacting you negatively.

"said that one way to get over a crush is to masturbate about it until it passes"

Dan said that? Um, it kinda works the opposite for some of us sooner rather than later. Most I bet.

Aaargh this came up again.

1) Just because something unwelcome happens a lot to us all, doesn't mean that someone with a program of doing it is not doing anything wrong to anyone.

2) "He seeks out gay guys who fantasize about masculine, domineering, and unavailable straight jocks...he’s only fucking with the heads of guys who get off on having their heads fucked with in exactly this way and by exactly his type"

Underline Dan in the list of people who hasn't read the published letter carefully enough. If he had, he'd see that ALPHA's letter did not tell us who ALPHA interacts with. (Other than that he presumably says he's straight [and after all that is sometimes used as bait on hookup apps even by gay men], and contacts ["seeks out"] guys with a big ass.) It simply paraded ALPHA's internal dialog/rationalization/fantasies about people for whom his behavior /is/ welcome...and a few are willingly inferring that ALPHA (despite being a homophobic jerk and a half) was honorable enough to limit his contacts to them. (I already said all that better and fresher a couple weeks ago, and this is just what I recall I said and am retyping only because I'm effing pissed, but I'll be damned if I care to say it as well again at this point, once is enough for me when it appears to not get through the first time.)

It was (I also recall saying) such a weirdly written letter that if one paid too little attention one could think that ALPHA's odd parading of his inner dialog /was/ telling us something about who he interacts with, but it has been pointed out that it didn't. Yet a few people seem fixated on assuming it did.

Dan is still acting like the letter said things that maybe it did say pre-edit for publication, but none of the rest of us have any idea whether it did, so none of us have no reason to agree with Dan.


@2 edit please make the final words
"none of us have no reason to agree with Dan."
read something like
"none of us have ANY reason to agree with Dan."


@Fubar 1 (congrats on the firdt, btw) I definitely agree with you about the first letter -- the LW doesn't say why she and the dude broke up, and it could just be because one of them was moving to another country (as they now live in different countries,) but it seems like either he broke up with her or they broke up because she wanted to be more serious than him. She is clearly not happy that he just texts her to sext, but (she suspects) wouldn't be texting her just to talk, if not for the sexting. Also, not only is she not into the cuckolding thing and just participating in it for him, this is clearly preventing her from connecting with other men. Dude is essentially cockblocking her from another country (technically come-blocking, I guess) and she needs to block him and move on.


Very pragmatic response to MESSAGES, Dan, though you left out the emotional connection LW1 appears to still have with her ex.
LW1, I recommend you close the ex down, all together. He is interfering too much, or your feelings for him are, with you being able to enjoy the sexting and to leave it at that. A bit of extra fun for nights you’re self pleasuring.
No, it’s not like that. To cultivate connections with your new & in the flesh lovers, let the ex go.


@1 fubar: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Congratulations, fubar, on scoring FIRDT! honors for this week's Savage Love: Quickies comment thread! Savor your hotly vied for numeric riches and bask in your envied timely glory. :)

@2 Curious2: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's SECNOD numeric honors! Revel in being among the first (firdt) three commenters in this week's Savage LoveL Quickies comment thread and savor your newfound accolades. :)

@4 Snowflake: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's Savage LoveL Quickies vied for THIRDT! honors and being among the first three commenters in the thread. Savor your numeric honors and bask in the glory. :)


CUT: "I'm going on 2.5 years. I had surgery in 2019, and I'm still obsessed with my surgeon."

My advice is to direct your masturbation thoughts towards something/someone else, while not beating yourself up if your surgeon slips into your thoughts at some point.

Without the masturbation angle, one of my unrequited crushes lasted for a decade, and he still pops up in my dreams in weird ways. But it definitely got better once we were no longer seeing each other daily (about year 4 of my crush). So I would give it time, and in the meantime get yourself out there to meet and crush on other people. Don't wait until the crush fades!


I also disagree with Dan's advice that masturbating about someone is a good way to get over an unrequited crush. I am also surprised that he suggested seeing a therapist to figure out why or help CUT shift the object of their masturbatory fantasies. I would think that an obsessive masturbatory fantasy is somewhat akin to a fetish, and that knowing "why" isn't particularly useful information.

Interestingly, today's "How To Do It" column (in Slate--and the porn star Stoya is the advice-giver) also deals with how to get the thoughts or image of someone you don't want to come while thinking about. Here's the letter and Stoya's answer:

"Dear How to Do It,

I have a peculiar problem about 20 years in the making. I used to watch Friends a lot as a teen, so much that I remember most of the dialogue, especially the scene where Ross and Chandler discuss their size and girth, and then Chandler goes on to say how sometimes when having sex, he has flashes of imagery—of his mom in particular. That brings me to my problem. I see flashes of imagery, too, maybe like everyone else: the hot runner I see on my route, my husband eating me out, road trips … spaceships. And then boom—enter my parents and sibling! It’s nothing sexual about any of them, just random memories, but I am freaking out about this. I don’t know if this is some repressed sexual thoughts or what. I had an awesome childhood, and my parents are amazing (my relationship with my sibling could be better, but it will do for now). Then why this? It happens every single time we have sex. I am now scared to the point I want to avoid any possible sexual scenarios with my wonderful husband, who has mentioned I seem “away” sometimes during sex. I do not want to tell him this, lest he also is cursed with the Chandler Bing syndrome. Please do not suggest therapy—I am already surrounded by them (my entire family except me are working in mental health so if I seek therapy they would wonder why I didn’t even take their counsel instead). How do I get rid of my families’ faces and instead see, like, naked orgies in my mind?

—Chandler Is the Worst

Dear Chandler,

“Chandler Bing syndrome” is getting pretty close to magical thinking. If you’re being a bit silly for effect, that’s one thing, but if you truly believe you’ve caught this from a TV show and could transmit it to your husband by telling him what’s going on with you, sex is a far lower priority than seeing a qualified psychiatrist, despite your protestations. Here, I’ll proceed as if it’s the former.

There are “intrusive” thoughts (which are a symptom of psychological distress, involving unwanted and distressing thoughts that usually repeat) and what we can call “passing” thoughts (which are not a symptom of psychological distress and are experienced by many people without neurodiversity). It sounds like you’re dealing with passing thoughts, and that’s pretty typical. Personally, everything from my grocery list to what nails go with which lingerie will pass through my mind randomly throughout the day, including during sexual activity.

So what do you do? Turn your thoughts purposefully back toward what you want to be focused on—your husband, or naked orgies. When the distractions return, turn your thoughts back to your husband again, calmly. That’s the hard part: simply returning your focus to where you want it without getting frustrated. Meditation practice, or even mindfully breathing, outside of sexual interaction can help bolster this skill. Good luck."


nocute @8 thank you for sharing that exchange! This part was so weird: "Please do not suggest therapy—I am already surrounded by them (my entire family except me are working in mental health so if I seek therapy they would wonder why I didn’t even take their counsel instead)"

I mean, what?? The rest of my family are professionals in a particular field where people are trained in good boundaries and not taking friends/family as clients, and so they would wonder why I hadn't turned to them? I mean I guess CIIW didn't claim to be a therapist, so it's somewhat plausible that she doesn't understand the training, but still! Weird!


To the gentleman with prostate cancer, you are unfortunately another victim of your own anecdotal evidence causing you to question the validity of factual evidence.
Anti-Maskers/Vaxers seem to be of the same sort. I hear often, "My neighbor, brother, mother, etc got the vaccine and still got Covid!".
I use the seatbelt defense, seatbelts we're supposed to make us safer in moving vehicles, but people die everyday in vehicle collisions wearing a seatbelt, so let's all not wear seatbelts.


To elaborate on my @2, I think I recall Dan's advice being the opposite of 'masturbate to get over someone'. But maybe CUT is right, since Dan seems to agree.

But as I and notcute said, I think it's wrong.

I draw an analogy to primal scream therapy, which was once mistakenly thought to help people get over anger. Wrong. It turned out to be practice. It reinforced their anger response.

In the same way, a practice of masturbating about an ex will not eliminate, in fact it will practice/reinforce, that which one is trying to get over.

Oh, if you must go ahead and do it a bit. A time or two. But let go of it. And don't ever think it's helping you get over the feelings you're reinforcing.


@CUT: THREE follow up surgeries?? Ouch! Aside from your 2.5 year crush on your surgeon, I think you need a second medical opinion.


Is it just me, or is anybody else wondering what body part got the (repeated) surgeries, leading to this apparently unfulilling relationship?


@13 slomopomo: I was wondering precisely that, too re CUT.


"what body part...?"

I sure didn't wonder, but since you are, maybe you're onto something, and it was pussy surgery and he was her pussy surgeon.

Not that I've ever heard of pussy surgery, but is that what you're thinking?


@13 slomopomo & @15 curious2: CUT has my sympathy. It sounds like she (he?) has an incompetent surgeon (THREE follow up surgeries??).
I successfully had a full bilateral hysterectomy a year ago last summer. The internal body parts I had removed (uterus, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes) had routinely caused me nothing but four decades of the most unbearable monthly misery. The only internal reproductive organ remaining is my cervix, and I'm otherwise physiologically better than I have been in years.


I nominate “Pussy Surgery” as a fantastic name for a band. Please send me royalties when you make it big.


Q1 and A1 are both over 200 words long; perhaps Quickies refers to time spent on the reply?

A2: "Affectionate"? We may need to see the poll numbers on that one. I'll also doubt that any form of debauch has surpassed debutante, though I suppose that's what Mr Savage was trying to do by making it "debbies". Pitcher/Well.

Q4: General question: are surgeons generally prone to arrogance? The profession seems sufficiently well tied in that it's hard to tell the chicken from the egg.

A5: It certainly does annoy when people think being on the short end of the odds disproves odds entirely. If LW5 played bridge at all decently, he would not have written that letter.

A6: Should there be a pool for the thread number of LW6's first comment?

A7: This should have been left at one paragraph. Barring information edited out of the letter, that is not what SDLW is doing at all. He is casting his net and seeing who wanders into it, then doing his thing. He could well be capturing a good many innocent young gays who do not get off on having their brains and hearts deliberately mangled. And it does not help that they have been socialized to think that unreciprocated service of straights is objectively hot. Mr Savage is understandably attached to the idea of utilizing homophobia as if that could end homophobia, but that just spreads it. Now, if our orientations made us all different colours and SDLW were approaching men who as straight servicers and degradees were teal blue, then maybe it could pass into the realm of no harm/no foul, as nobody deep purple would be inconvenienced.


MESSAGES knows she’s being manipulated and should take it as the lead for dealing with the long distance guy. That said, I wonder what the etiquette is regarding telling him what she does with others. Is their consent needed in this case? Is it ok if she only mentions the acts without getting too descriptive of the people involved? Is describing the partners a mutual thrill?
Asking for a friend.


@15 Curious - not exactly, since the letter is unclear on what genitals the writer might have, nevermind where the surgery was on their body. Could be a nose job for all we know. Could be quadruple bypass. But then again, this is Savage Love comments, so the odds somebody from here went there are pretty high.


@19 CMD, you may be on to something there. Perhaps she could post several of the texts in here, just so we can have a clearer idea. Purely for advice purposes.


DK @17, not so sure that works as a band name, but maybe a slang term for something, a la "brain salad surgery" would work.


What am I missing? Crowley’s has been closed for more than 20 years. And I doubt a department store ever sold e-stim and sounds. Is there a joke here that I’m not getting?


@Griz 6. Thanks! I've never posted so early -- thrilled with my thirdt award!
@Curious 2 and Nocute 8 (and did someone else weigh in? Bad w/ numbers) -- I agree with you both -- I am very confused as to how thinking about someone while masturbating could possibly help anyone get over said person. That makes zero sense to me.


PERV: The word you want is "kinkster." Dan, surely you know this word? Sorry it's two syllables.

Anyone get the feeling SYO is a paid ad?

I can't believe TWAT got to age 78 without understanding the concept of probability. TWAT, if you got to 78 before you got prostate cancer, that masturbating probably helped.

HOTDAMN, I think CMD is in the queue long before you, and would probably do a better job, given that they'd be equally motivated by the cleaning opportunity and the blowjob.

Dan, you and your buddy Alexander are in a small minority in not thinking ALPHA is leading these dudes on. Indeed, just as TPFA has tried to tell you, if indeed ALPHA is presenting himself as a hot, unavailable, straight jock, then he's doing nothing wrong. But it seems he was presenting himself as a hot, AVAILABLE, straight jock, who was up for meetups in return for twerking videos, and that is unethical, I don't care how many Grindr users do it.


Fubar @1, MESSAGES says "sometimes ... I can't come with others because of how distracted I am (by him) and how disconnected I feel (from them)." Sounds like she is having some form of sex with them. I thought Dan's compromise was a good one -- she is definitely doing herself and these other men a disservice by splitting her attention the way she describes. Unless she can find men who are turned on by playing the "bull" role and can participate in this dynamic with her. But if she's attempting to date monogamously/vanilla-ly, I agree she should tell him he's preventing her from moving on, and block him.

Good point that the household chores were Dan's suggestion, not TSCR's. Cue the comments getting flooded by thirsty, deluded straight men, indeed.

Re TPFA, Dan said "gut trouble," not "guy trouble" -- I guess this is the gay male equivalent of being all ready for a hot date and getting your period unexpectedly. And indeed, Dan, if you edited out the bit where ALPHA was open about getting off on teasing and seeking out men who wanted to be teased, please print the whole letter, as that would change the entire premise.

Also, I'm glad you survived prostate cancer!

Curious @2: "he's not teased or jealous, he's turned on by it; you're performing a free sexual service for him which you go on to explain is impacting you negatively." Yes. She's teasing HERSELF by participating in these sext sessions that only satisfy him. I believe she must be turned on by them, too -- but she wants them to lead to sex, and they never will.

Re CUT, I agree. I don't remember that advice and I think it's bad. I agree that masturbating obsessively about one's crush just prolongs the frustration. Isn't a better way to get over a crush to find someone else to masturbate about? Ideally someone impossible, like a celebrity, not another unattainable acquaintance that will just transfer the frustration and potential drama.

Snowflake @4, yup. She caught feelings, he caught a boner. She wanted a relationship, he wanted a fuck buddy. MESSAGES, time to move on.

Nocute @8, that's much better advice! I think what's happening to Ms Chandler is a self fulfilling prophesy. At some point, she was about to come and the thought of her family popped into her head randomly. She found this distressing, and memorable. So now when she's about to come, she associates it with that awful moment her family popped into her head and whaddaya know, there they are again -- every time. So I'd have started my response by telling her this is normal and nothing to panic over, just brush them out the figurative door and get back to thinking about something sexy. Perhaps she can retrain her brain by picking something that particularly does it for her, and anytime she thinks of Mom or Bro she can think of that instead.

Curious @11, damn! So I have to stop screaming after frustrating phone calls with bureaucrats? ;)

Slomo @13, not exactly -- I was wondering whether the surgeon had hypnotised this person to fall in love with them while they were under the knife.

CMD @19, very good point. These men might feel violated if they knew she was sexting with another guy -- particularly if she's interrupting things with them to tell him about what they're doing! Another reason that if she wants to continue this, she should find dudes who are also into it.

Slomo @22, ok, I know "brain salad surgery" is an album title but what's it slang for?

Joe @23, I did wonder if a department store would sell such things. I thought perhaps Crowley's was a reference to Aleister and that this was no ordinary department store.


I got the department store joke! It's similar to Dan's cheeky advice to TSCR to try something called the internet, perhaps she's heard of it. Of course the answer to SYO's question is "on the internet, duh." Dan is trolling SYO by telling them to go to a long-closed store that wouldn't have sold such things in the first place, because ask a 90s question, get a 90s answer.


nocute @8 ("Chandler"):

Maybe that LW could try concentrating on an external stimulus to prevent unwanted thoughts popping into her head. Some arousing picture, or a paragraph from an erotic novel perhaps?


I also thought of 'kinkster' and speculated that Dan didn't provide the word because of a perception that so-called 'kinksters' are proud and clannish.... Or that to be a 'kinkster' for one particular kink--even something as all-purpose or under-defined as a 'sub'--it needs to occupy a large part of your identity (possibly to the exclusion of your having sex, for preference, in other ways--?), or you have to have a lot of experience having sex in this role. The LW clearly said they were coming to enjoy the 'perverted' side of their identity more in their sex life, without its being an identity or absorbing avocation for them.

With MESSAGES, I have to think this is someone who lacks the confidence to propose the changes she'd like to see in her relationship texting this ex. If she wants their communication to be about more than sex, she should propose this (even to the extent of saying e.g. 'if you can't take an interest in me as a friend, knock off the opportunistic sexts'). If she wants to dial back the cuckolding chat, she should say this--and give the appropriate explanation--'I can't always be in the moment with guys if I'm thinking of how I'll describe the experience to you'.

I can't help imagining that she has these problems because she has more of an emotional attachment for her ex, now overseas, than she does for the guy(s) she's currently fucking. If her ongoing sexualised communication with the guy is preventing her from bonding with anyone new, she is entitled to cut him off (and, in fact, this is what she should do). But the more salient point to me is that she can do what she likes, consistent with decently making her wishes known to her ex.


I commiserate with TWAT on having prostate cancer and hope that his surgery has sent the cancer into remission. If he's calling Dan a 'twat' for his inaccurate advice (in his case), it's funny (well, I find it funny) but not really warranted: Dan only said there was a correlation between jerking off and a lower cancer incidence, not--obviously enough--that masturbation was sufficient for helping someone to dodge the cancer bullet in itself. Further, one could add that perhaps TWAT's frequent masturbation helped him to avoid getting prostate cancer until he was in his 70s. Good luck to TWAT in his recovery and congratulations, of a sort, in rubbing them out dry.

Apropos PISSED: I agree with everything PISSED says, but am delighted that Dan has doubled down in his citation of our man Cleves and in his reflections on the ubiquity of 'leading on' particularly on gay chatsites. Re this advice, I can tell any sucked-lemon straight moralist unhappy with Dan's answer that Grindr (for a fiftysomething sissy / bottom / female man / NB like me) is hell. You think (e.g. I have made the mistake of thinking) that everyone is online nowadays and that a site will enable the microspecification you need to find a suitable casual partner / get laid safely and relatively happily, and you are drawn into endless wanky / teasing / desultory interviews where you are rejected for your age, your unavailiability emotionally, minutiae of your role in sex (in ways you might not even understand), your minuscule dick (though you've made clear dick is what you're looking for), your unattractive photos, and so on and so on. I think last time out gay men well described what flirting on the site was like. It would be very difficult for a bottom to suppose that any messages he was getting promising facilely ready satisfaction were not somehow inflected with another kink (e.g. bottom-baiting, teasing, some sort of slut fetish).


"...find someone else to masturbate about...Ideally someone impossible, like a celebrity, not another unattainable acquaintance that will just transfer the frustration..."

I'm intrigued that Dan doesn't relate to this approach being important.

I imagine it's another way in which the uncommon strength that Dan has and demonstrates, and was part of what originally attracted me to his column back in the day, makes him the rare person who simply does not need this advice to get over someone. With this strength he hits important home runs. And it sometimes causes him to miss pitches. Which is better than being average at least as long as a Commentariat exists.

"because ask a 90s question, get a 90s"

Good work, now I get it!


@5. Lava. Yes, in the round I would think your advice to MESSAGES is right. Good to read your pithy posts again.

@8/9. Thanks to Nocute for sharing a diverting letter. I do not think the 'please do not suggest therapy' line, or plea, in any way surprising. Someone could have any number of reasons to say this, from sheer over-exposure in her family or personal life; to being treated ineptly or damagingly by professional therapists in the past, to fear that her problem will be medicalised or pathologised in a way that grates or diminishes her. All these reasons, to me, are good reasons not to go to therapy. (They may also be reasons to get a better or more congenial therapist; my point is not here about 'therapy: good or bad?'). I also think that many people write to advice-givers precisely because they want reasonably well-grounded advice that isn't from a therapist.

I'd say 'don't suppose you think of your family during sex because you have some sort of obscure erotic investment in them'--just try to refocus, as the Slate advice says. And maybe tell your husband that your mind is released and thoughts are wandering, but this doesn't mean that you're not into the sex you're having. I wouldn't avoid sex because you have these unbidden thoughts.

@18. venn. Funny about 'quickies' and quick answers. I have always taken it as read that jocks are assholes; that was my socialisation into being something other than straight. In the cases that straight-appearing jocks have proved something other than assholes, including when I was young, and (incidentally) we are talking about milk-of-human-kindness stories here, not anything sexual or about servicing, I was surprised. I do not think young gay subby men should be socialised as straight-chasing or straight-fetishising any more than you do.

@19. CMD. The describing her more recent sexual encounters to him isn't really a 'cucking' thing, because he isn't rightly in the situation where he's her primary partner any more. He's not there to be cucked. I'd think some of her dissatisfaction comes from his assuming this primary role, despite having gone away and only having a predominantly sexual interest in her I'd have thought she can stop this--simply by saying that having to give him a run-down gets in her head when she wants to devote her attention to the new guys.

I would think she enjoys giving him the reports as much as he does receiving them.


@23. Ordinary Joe. 'Crowley's' will be a Midwestern in-joke. Substitute 'Bloomingdale's'--I find that funny. As if 'you try before you buy' with these things--though that might be quite sexy too.

@25. Bi (probably not reading, but I'll make general points). The difference has devolved onto one point of fact, which is how far he indicates to the guys he messages that he's actually unavailable.

Beyond that, I would think, there are different points to choose to emphasise; and yours is 'consent is consent, and is a sacrosanct principle, whatever the ways of a sexual subculture' (which of course I agree with), and mine 'it is 'off' for straight allies to tell the members of sexual minorities, or historically sidelined groups, that we can't roll with the punches'.


Mr. Venn @18:
I once shared a houseboat on Dal Lake for a week with a 747 airline pilot. He was a blowhard. I generally take that as a sign of insecurity, but he explained that pilots are trained to be confident so they don't fall apart in a crisis. Perhaps surgeons receive similar training?

slomopomo @20:
The letter is unclear on what genitals the writer might /still/ have.

Joe @23:
Not being familiar with Crowley's of Detroit, I assumed Dan was giving routine advice. I did pause at the thought of a department store selling e-stim devices and urethral electrode sounds, but remembered that I purchased a Hitachi Wand, masquerading as a massage device, at Walmart some years ago.

Dan made a joke. Not a bad one at all, really. Belated chortle.

BiDanFan @26:
I must have leapt to writing my reply to MESSAGES before reaching the end of her letter. Regardless, I do agree that she's doing herself and these other men a disservice.

Re. TPFA, Dan wrote "guy trouble" and then someone corrected it!


RE @28, good idea. Or perhaps her husband could talk dirty to her as she nears orgasm, to give her something else to focus on. I hope she can find some way to retrain her brain.

Harriet @33, not many posts today so I took a peek at yours. I would like to (a) remind you that I am far from straight, and (b) ask where any straight person's summation of the ALPHA dilemma was "gay people can't roll with the punches." It was Bouncing, a gay man, who first referred to the psychic harm being teased the way ALPHA described can inflict on thicc bottoms -- and he allowed that some of the bottoms involved would, indeed, roll with the punches. I can't recall any straight people claiming that gay people are too fragile to survive being teased, if that's what you mean by "can't." I simply recall a general consensus that people -- including but not limited to gay ones -- shouldn't be punched like this in the first place, that it's unethical for ALPHA to practice this kink without consent, as you yourself seem to agree. If your disagreement is with the idea that straight people think that gay people, unlike themselves, can't survive being treated unethically, I think you made that up just to disagree with it.


P.S. @32: The column at still says "guy trouble".


Hmm. Is it possible CUT misinterpreted Dan, that his advice was "one way to get over a crush is to masturbate [about SOMEBODY ELSE] until it passes"? Because that makes a lot more sense.


Fubar @34, guess the Stranger has better sub editors than!

I'm wondering whether the arrogant surgeon is a cosmetic surgeon. Seems more, erm, "logical" to develop an attachment to someone who has made one beautiful? And that this kind of work would be more associated with arrogance than, say, a gastroenterology specialism. Hmm.



Lest the sub-thread later be mis-diverted off on that, I will pre-emptively note that (as previously observed), it is a mere hypothesis that ALPHA limited his contacts to bottoms.

From the letter, we just know he targeted men with a big ass.

(To pre-empt a bit more given past diversions: let alone bottoms who are submissives, let alone subs who are into humiliation.)

That was a very helpful and much-appreciated comment by Bouncing. Though what it gave evidence of was I thought already obvious enough.

"The column at still says "guy trouble""

Very interesting forensic work!

"The letter is unclear on what genitals the writer might /still/ have."

True. And it might have been "cock surgery", I just made an assumption to make a joke (that really wasn't as funny as it sounded in my head at the moment).

"explained that pilots are trained to be confident so they don't fall apart in a crisis. Perhaps surgeons receive similar training?"

I have noted that most doctors are irrationally confident, and assume that medical school imbues them with that arrogance. (Presumably so patients will trust their authority.)

I didn't realize pilots also got trained to be arrogant. But I do remember when I was an FAA Air Traffic Controller; one needs to learn to make a great number of extremely consequential decisions, which requires moving from one to the next quite quickly. (Not that it affected me when off duty. OTOH, I think men are socialized to be confident.)


I know (but I see I didn't say so @2 that) I recall Dan giving THAT advice before.


Curious @39, I was merely using Bouncing's language. I agree it seems that ALPHA targeted a physical type rather than a preference, but I think it's likely that tops with big bottoms would quickly decline what he had to offer. And even if he did seek out men who identified themselves as bottoms or subs, that does not imply a desire to be humiliated and/or ghosted. But yeah -- happy to drop this tangent, we've already discussed ALPHA and are in agreement.

Re whether doctors are arrogant -- perhaps this is partly a US thing, as doctors in a privatised-healthcare country are incredibly well paid? I'm just trying to think of whether I've encountered a "doctors are arrogant" stereotype. I have heard many stories of doctors overriding patients -- particularly female ones -- when it comes to their own experience; that certainly seems arrogant. But as you say, that might be down to plain old patriarchy and men dismissing what women say.


Thanks Harriet @32, I enjoy your comments, too. Not sure I always follow your points… the word poetry though, like with Mr Venn, flows.


The arrogant doctor--more specifically, the arrogant surgeon--is so common as to be a stereotype, and perhaps one that is grounded in a bit of reality. I have several friends and relatives who are doctors, and they all note that surgeons tend to be arrogant. One relative--a general practitioner (I suppose now she'd be known as a primary care physician)--once said that she's observed that more specialized the surgeon, the more arrogant they are. She said in her experience, hand surgeons tend to be about 300 times more arrogant than general surgeons. A friend of mine who is an ER / trauma doctor says that he thinks the part of a body a doctor specializes in helps determine the level of self-importance. I remember he said he's never met a brain surgeon he likes personally, and that the most down-to-earth doctor-people he's ever met are proctologists and urologists. In his words: "It's hard to have a swelled head if you spend your professional life looking at people's junk." I asked if, by that logic, podiatrists were nice people, and he thought about those people he knows and said, "as a matter of fact, yes, they are--and also very humble."


There seems to be an argument being made that only gay men are qualified to give advice or even have an opinion about something a gay man writes in about. That's ironic, given that the original idea for Savage Love was that a gay man would give straight people sex and relationship advice (though I seem to remember that the questions were much more about sex than relationships once upon a time). While that may have started as a joke, Dan seems to be pretty good at giving straight/bi/lesbian/ people advice most of the time.

And since ALPHA is a cis and ostensibly straight man--though I don't think he is as straight as he wants us to believe he is--perhaps the only people who should weigh in on his letter/issue are cis straight men.

I have no interest in rehashing ALPHA's letter, but I'm reading things that seem close to statements that there is a different set of morals or ethics for gay men than for others. Perhaps there are different moral codes for all orientations? Of course there are different norms and practices from community to community and in different subsets of communities, and I have no doubt there are different norms and practices in the gay community; but I would expect that the idea of obtaining consent is common across cultures and subcultures. However, just as with women, as I argued in comments relating to last week's column, there is no monolithic gay attitude or even gay culture. And if there is, who is the arbiter, even here? Is it Dan? His expert? Bouncing? Mr. Ven? CBU? Harriet? Furthermore, I think that assigning different moral dicta to different groups (not to mention positioning one already-stigmatized group as having moral norms that others would likely see as unethical) sets up arguments from the intolerant majority calling for the extinction of such groups.

The problem with that position is that it gives the homophobes ammunition. I understand that not everyone sees complete assimilation as a desired goal--hat tip to Mr. Ven--and I agree with the need for appropriate separate spaces. But since Savage Love is a column for everyone to read--and comment on--and since all kinds of people write in asking for advice, this doesn't seem to be one of those exclusive spaces, but rather an all-encompassing, comprehensive one. I also understand that not every gay man wants to emulate or adopt the straight social "ideal" of monogamous marriage with children (nor do a lot of other, non-gay, non-male people for that matter), but especially in a time when Evangelical "Christians" want to eradicate all civil rights and liberties that have been gained for LGBTQAI people, it strikes me as not the best time to be making a stand for a version of "separate but equal." It may rankle, but one of the campaigns that helped LGBT people get the right to marry (and even if one doesn't want to marry, oneself, and even if one thinks that gay people shouldn't even WANT to emulate this old, patriarchal institution, one should be able to recognize the legal and social benefits of that right's being achieved) was the one-two punch of the "born that way" argument, and a lot of highly-visible, fairly boring and unremarkable gay and lesbian couples doing all the usual and boring things that straight couples do civically, socially, and familial-ly. Because even if one spends all one's time in a dungeon being suspended from hooks inserted in one's back, or one's typical Saturday night routine is to go to a bathhouse with glory holes or a gigantic orgy or whatever else any of us does that isn't in alignment with "traditional family values," and even if we can agree that people should be tolerated, accepted, and even embraced for who they genuinely are, atypical sexuality or orientation included, most of us understand that given the current political climate in the US, and given the importance that the church has in influencing many people's attitudes, it is politically expedient to emphasize the ways in which being LGBTQ aren't really so different as being straight.

As a member of another minority who is extremely concerned about the increase in hate speech and hate crimes and where those things may lead, I would argue that this is the time to stress how much we all have in common, how alike we are, and importantly, what values and morals we all hold in common, rather than push for greater divisiveness.


I agree, Harriet, re LW1 being insensitive to her new beaus. Texting her ex while out with them, is acting out a real situation with this man, yet it’s unreal. He’s in another country. It’s all in their heads. The proof of how powerfully the ex is still in her head is she can’t orgasm with these new lovers. Guilt in there perhaps, she knows the game is rude behaviour to these men.
Still with the old question. Dan is a baiter. That old sexist poem I learnt as a child, boys & puppy dog’s tails, still rings true for me, because of how some men conduct their sex lives often seems more animal than how women do it. Or how I’ve done it. After reading Dan for years, I stand back a bit when gay men talk.


They say it’s your birthday, Daniel Savage. 🎉Big Love for a wonderful day.
Ordered your book in time to check it out round your bday.


It’s the 7th, down under.


@45: LavaGirl, I agree that if I want to know what gay men think about something or what is generally done in the gay community, I should listen to gay men. But do you think that only gay men are capable of giving advice to other gay men? And if so, why do we think it's okay for Dan, a gay man, to give advice to straight men or women or lesbians or bisexuals? Since Dan is cis, it is inappropriate for him to give advice to trans people or non-binary people?

And which gay men do we listen to? Harriet's take on ALPHA's letter was very different from bouncing's, for example.


All dating sites are suspect, and surely if they go ahead with making vids of themselves they know this guy is toying with them, & maybe that’s what they are after. The erotized punishing father. He never got consent either. Doesn’t mean I agree with this behaviour & I hope this LW got the message. Get on kink sites with that shit. Find his audience.
/ Not at all nocute. I’ve given advice to gay men, here. Emotionally there seems to be issues, as some gay men here have spoken of. I have sons, and to me, despite my efforts, there are emotional blockages in male culture/s which needs attention.
Luckily Dan is such a well rounded human, when he goes off into gay land, that’s when I step back & listen.


You got diverted to motherhood, nocute. These people, cis men, never do. No bleeds. No pills/ injections to stop the bleeds.
As a post The Change woman, I can tell you which path I might have taken, given the choice.


@50: I'm not feeling great today, Lava, and didn't have any coffee this morning, which may be why I didn't understand this comment. Would you mind elaborating? I don't understand what motherhood, menstruation, contraception, and/or menopause have to do with anything I've said. Apologies if I'm being dense.


Ms Cute - Push commonalities if you like, but in the end it will likely just get you Christian and male "solutions" that are worse than your problems. Aren't there still times you don't want to be equal? If you've abandoned that line out of fear, then you have all my sympathy.

s for my team, I've already accepted that we are going to get steamrolled, and I am looking for when we re-emerge as we've done before.

I think it's a question of knowing and acknowledging when one is a tourist, at least to some extent. In a better world, I could declare myself a tourist on straight>gay degradation, call it distasteful personally and let Mr Savage make his case. Unfortunately, I have been treated by many straight men just the way that LW interacts with anyone into MM, and I see far too many gays being socialized tp think straight men are hotter than we are. This is ultimately the path to disaster. Back when gay publications still existed (now they've all gone diluted and inclusive in order to survive, which is just a reality), it was shown that real gays were rarely put on the covers because straights sold better. How do we thrive in such an atmosphere? Thinking of a hypothetical publication (apologies if it happens to be real), would your perspective be as it is now if Christians were on eleven of twelve covers a year of Judaism Today?

If we go back to consent, as I've said before, numerous women among the assembled company, yourself included, have made an eloquent case for basing laws related to female consent on standards that recognize women's psychology and socialization. Okay; fine. If women need Enthusiastic Ongoing consent, by all means have it - for women. Just don't go One Size Fits All and impose the same rules for MM - from the outside. If gays get along best with Affirmative consent, we should not have to be on he end of dictation from those who have nothing to do with MM interactions.

I do think the women of the assembled company often have valuable contributions to make on gay issues, and happily the occasions on which women would dominate the conversation and speak over gays on gay issues have diminished here considerably of late. I'll give a couple of examples from YouTube, where, for one thing, the prevailing opinion of Call Me By Your Name consists primarily of women or girls calling a legal 25/17 MM relationship pedophilia. I have commented numerous times that, when I was 17, though not active myself, it was much safer to be active with someone 25, as being with a peer likely meant being expelled. Doesn't matter. These are not people I want making rules for me, and I am sure you can think of many men you don't want making rules for women. The other thing of the moment is that there are a number of presenters who have a running theme of declaring what is and what is not Good Gay Representation. Some of them at least have the grace to use a more general term when they mean it more generally. Most of the presenters calling certain MM good and other MM bad are women. Of the male presenters I've seen this year, there are more straights than gays. This is out of control and getting worse, as "I'm not gay but appreciate this piece of G representation," is blending into "I'm not gay but THIS and ONLY this is the right way for gays to be."

I am pushing hard for recognition/acknowledgement of differences because of the growing bad consequences of being mistaken for someone else assumed to be in my box. The politics of straight-chasers (at least in my experience) are generally bad and often horrific. They want such different sorts of lives that it is counter-productive to count them with the G. Every day I see more and more fundamental differences between groups that are often clumped together while commonalities become more threadbare and lose utility.

While anyone can advise anyone, I can't do it full justice now and may return to this later.

I need a nap now, but shall close by thanking you for acting in good faith. You are not offering pretend concern in an attempt to glean advantage for yourself by tricking other groups. That's relatively rare.


@35. Bi. First, the 'consent is sacrosanct' point is a given; and, second, as well as agreeing with you and everyone else re consent, I also agree with venn that we should guard against supposing that thicc apparent bottoms 'fantasise about masculine', arrogant 'unavailable straight jocks' as a matter of course. We should rather conceive of these straight-fetishists as an unrepresentative subset or sub-kink among gay men, and for clear political reasons not 'indulgently' (or in whatever way) eroticise straight-fetishising as a norm for subby gays.

You do understand why, in going in to bat against for Mr Cleves, Dan noted 'Grindr user' Alexander Cleves, don't you? I would think it disingenuous of anyone to affect blankness on this score. It's that Cleves uses Grindr, and straight moralists (of whom the examples on these threads have been curious and fubar) don't; and, in consequence, the non-Grindr users will be less reliable when it comes to contextual judgments of what is understood and implicit (hence where the line between 1) manipulation and 2) signalling your participation in a kink falls). (I don't think there's any disagreement that a straight-out misleading bait-and-switch in this case (soliciting twerking vids) is wrong, nor (perhaps) with the contention that consent is often contextually implicit, and wanting to make it explicit a la Antioch rules either unnecessary or passion-killing). Let's consider something that has nothing to do with straights nor with moralism, a scene or relationship marked by 'consensual non-consent' or 'consensual coercion'. I would think that an outsider with a concept of consent formed only in contexts having nothing to do with this kink would misrecognise what was consensual and what violated a limit. Further (unless they were very careful in granting that they were observing a practice that was foreign to them), their description of the acts that, for them, violated consent would potentially end up stigmatising a subculture.

To say something that I'd admit may be a bit more contentious, I would think that certain 'allies' (het allies of queer people and male allies of feminism) respond to their dismay, perhaps to their shame or regret, at how people of their persuasion have historically acted to sexual / gender minorities and to women ('political' minorities) by identifying more with the pain that being marginal (or 'minoritised') has inflicted on them, than with how being marginal is in fact livable. To me, this is a bit like last week's debate about whether women deferred to men because they were terrified of them, or because they wanted, all things considered, to avoid unpleasantness. I would think 'woke' men, just through the emotional engagement of identification, would on average over-weight 'fear' and under-weight 'convenience'. To my mind, something similar has gone on, in the discussion of the straight-fetishist-teaser, with fubar and curious's iron-clad, not-contextually-specified definitions of consent. At the very least, the optics look bad, to me--it looks like two confident straight men dominating a thread about (if you take it from the other end of the telescope) gratifying a kink that's, in part, developed to make playful and bearable an experience of rejection, marginality and sexual penury (gay subs fetishising straight masculine jocks).

@45. Lava. Well, I'm at least pleased that people would have to concede that Dan's baiting them, more than I'm baiting them. Apropos MESSAGES, why does this guy have such a hold over her that she's prepared, with very little other interaction, to sext him the details of her sex life? I think she prefers him to her current guys; but it may be he has a hold over her because he assumes this, in getting her to text.

@44. Nocute. For me, the point is not at all that only gay men can comment on something that concerns gay male dating. It's that an outsider is more likely to be wrong than an insider on where the line is drawn concerning implicit consent in a subculture.


"the 'consent is sacrosanct' point is a given"

It is? Then should we assume you were trolling when you started out two weeks ago by going no further regarding ALPHA's apparent lack of consent for his behavior than to say of consent that

"I do think that it would be BETTER"

And if you now agree that it is "a given", why did you say

"...straight moralists (of whom the examples on these threads have been curious and fubar)"

when absolutely all myself and Fubar did was speak up for that "given" (consent)?

"we should guard against supposing that thicc apparent bottoms 'fantasise about masculine', arrogant 'unavailable straight jocks' as a matter of course"

And yet Harriet is the only one who has /not/ guarded against that.

Who in fact was soon spinning at Nocute, Harriet's own invention that ALPHA was only interacting with submissives into humiliation.
(For example with )

That's certainly an honorable way to participate in communication with a community trying to help people.

Of this invention, particularly given that other gay men spoke up against ALPHA's behavior, it seemed that Harriet was happy for them to be subjected to it because unlike others, Harriet personally has

"no problems with being addressed degradingly"

I'll probably desist again now. It can occasionally be sport, but I have little patience for the Sisyphean task of trying to untangle the unclearly communicated bowl of spaghetti that is Harriet's 'argument' faster than Harriet can further tangle it.

"a la Antioch rules"

Somehow it's a lot more fun for everyone when Mr. Venn intentionally communicates things in a way that others won't understand.


Curious @54: Thanks for the reminder that the SlogBlocker was time well spent.


Well, I bow to Harriet's and Mr. Ven's authority.


I've been trying to follow along, but it would be great if someone who's taken notes could write up a list of who is allowed to comment on what.


@16: However I am now going in over the next two months for cardiovascular testing and monitoring after a recent trip to the local ER for severe chest pain. I agree with actress Michelle Pfeiffer:
"What scares me isn't how short life is, no, it's the pain, all the pain. I don't understand why there has to be any pain."
----Michelle Pfeiffer as Sookie Ridgemont, in The Witches of Eastwick, 1987.

@17 DonnyKlicious: lol & WA-HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! That, my good man, earned you the AACK-OOP! Award here in Savage Love land. Berkeley Breathed's iconic Mr. Bill the Cat is a notorious party animal. Here's to your royalties. :)

@24 Snowflake: You're most welcome. :)


@58: Said the very wise pianist Schroeder of Charles M. Schulz's classic comic strip, "Peanuts" fame:
"Musicians have a hard life."

Okay--who's hungry for this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors?


Agreed and seconded with LavaGirl @46 and @47, a day ahead of us in the States:
Happy kickass birthday, Dan the Man! Keep on rocking the house. :)


Descent into bickering already, by Wednesday!? Sad. I knew I shouldn't have peeked at Harriet's posts. Sorry about that, y'all. Great way to mark Dan's birthday. Happy birthday, Dan -- hope you're doing something more fun than reading these comments!
Anyone have any substantive comments on this week's letters, or shall I just say, See You Next Tuesday to you see-you-next-Tuesdays? ;)


Gold star to Griz for her relentless efforts to keep this board a cheerful and friendly place! Big hugs to you, Auntie Griz, and I hope your health improves.


@62 BiDanFan: Thank you and bless you. I am feeling much better but have been advised by my doctor not to overexert myself (I'm puzzled, though--I haven't really been doing much of anything really strenuous). I'm off to my bookstore to look into Neil Gaiman's books, and have started my fourth of seven pieces musically set to Stephen King's 2013 novel, Joyland. I did more work on the score tonight. I know I'm onto something when I get emotional. More soon.
Big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps! :)


Ms Cute - I was not trying to beat you into submission, just hoping to show how your answers don't work for me. I hope your response was not made in the spirit of Elinor Dashwood when she agreed with everything Robert Ferrars said because she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.


Skr Curious - As I think I've related before, back when I was composing acrostics I always thought they were far too easy.


Perhaps some among the assembled company noticed at the time that I recently deliberately avoided saying a fair amount about the rounding lesbian LW and was instead content merely to drop a hint and defer to the SS women. I was more interested in what the inside line would be than in trying to advance an outside line of my own (I don't have a settled line on rounders; I'm close to agreeing with Ms Fan or Mr Savage but see some complications).

For the record (amd I almost said so at the time but was too tired for proper framing, I thought on the S>G degradation letter that Ms Cute had a particular and unique standing as a degradee, which I am decidedly not and which M?? Harriet (though being a member of an enemy team) isn't either, though having a higher tolerance for it. Now I can see how those with most standing to address LW could have been cis straight men, but the question would have had to have been different - something like, "Does this mean I'm gay?" (shades of all those letters we see from from women who ask if their husbands' liking X is a sign of homosexuality and how there are often many comments from the straight men among the assembled company who like X to their wives' delight)


Mr. Venn @65: "those with most standing to address LW could have been cis straight men".

With the LW trumpeting his straightness, there was certainly ample space for straight men to comment, but also men who have struggled with and escaped from their straight jackets, and people of all stripes who've experienced humiliation at the hands of another, whether they enjoyed it or not.

I'm confident that the letter included details indicating the thicc bottoms were indeed into unavailable Steve Stifler types, edited out by Dan for brevity (the evidence being that he doubled down this week), but who knows?

Either way, there was enough in that letter on its face, as in most letters, that nobody can claim the topic to be entirely within their own personal purview and, really, anyone who has anything to contribute in good faith really ought to be allowed a voice. I for one enjoy the variety of perspectives I often read here.

Happy Birthday Mr. Savage!


Mr. Venn@65
"on the S>G degradation letter...the question would have had to have been different - something like, "Does this mean I'm gay?""

It is true, that wasn't what ALPHA asked. (Not that the best response to a letter is always to answer what is asked; but in this case it wasn't that either.)

Though in the process of looking at that homophobic jerk's case, it did, naturally, come up in passing.


"Descent into bickering already, by Wednesday!? Sad. I knew I shouldn't have peeked at Harriet's posts."

When I do it, it's part of "bickering", but not when you do it?


Curious @68, oh, I was definitely participating in the bickering. In fact I was acknolwedging my role in the bickering by taking Harriet's bait, when I know better.
But at least I get the lucky number to compensate for that jibe of yours, so nyer. ;)


Thank you, and congratulations on (to my mind, because of it's universality) the best lucky number of all!

We know better too, and are trying our best to do our best.


I use the SlogBlocker to help me be my best, but it doesn't work if you peek!

Congratulations on the lucky number, BDF.


"it doesn't work if you peek!"

It can. If I just peek for a fraction of a second before the top of my head blows off.


Fubar @71, yes, I know! There are some people who get blocked, and some who only get muted, so depending on my mood I can choose to read what may or may not be a useful post. And yeah, mostly I just peek and re-hide, but this week a comment was addressed directly to me so I responded. My bad!


While I have opinions on the substance of the letters this week, I don't have a particular dog in the fight - yet.

I am just jumping in to express my disgust at all the talk of blocking and muting. FFS - just block and mute. Announcing blocking and muting is bullying and frankly why this place has turned into an echo chamber. This isn't middle school.


Nocute @51, sorry I do get obtuse I know that.
What I mean is our experiences in life as cis men & cis women are very different to each other.
We, cis women, for several decades, live in our fertile bodies, pregnant or periods. Or medical intervention to stop these.
Cis men don’t have these experiences, and now that I no longer have these experiences I can see why life that cis men have is so different & so much easier on that physical level. That when cis men talk of their lives, those lives are way different to how cis women live their lives, because fertility.
The women here have different perspectives on how we are women, just as the men do. Last column had guts trying to deny what a lesbian felt/ thought re her life her experiences. I see that as no different to Fan getting into an argument with Harriet, a gay man , about his reading of that consent letter, and he was just echoing Dan & his guests’ responses. Gay men not freaking out about Mr Non consent, yet here’s cis women saying these men’s responses are wrong?
Yeah you SL blockers, stay in your lane. If you have to behave like five years olds, go for it. If the adults here aren’t scared to have an open conversation going, you can’t jump in & out of that.


Hi JibeHo, hope you’re going ok.


Cis men have their own fertility/ body issues, however they don’t include monthly bleeds, for bloody decades, or growing like a house & birthing humans. Or interfering thru drugs with body integrity. Western intervention in human fertility has only happened in my life time, so pretty recently that cis straight women weren’t destined by biology, to reproduce. And those bloody Catholics not allowed to use French letters.


In conclusion nocute, I think the behaviours/ attitudes/ emotions in cis men get confusing to many cis women because we thru these middle fertile years, are more vulnerable.
Afghan, god I want to smash those fearful
men’s heads in. My Buddhism fails me here.
Get a women’s army together from all over the world & liberate those girls & women.
Why don’t they liberate themselves? Get close to those barbaric animals, pretending to be human men, and during one night right across the country, each woman kills one of the T- men. Why don’t they fight back? Seduce & kill?
Because they are mothers, close in with their babies, vulnerable.


Do you prefer dysfunctional endless pointless threads stoked by violent and malicious trolls?

Fubar donated his skill to the community to create a tool help with that. Because the site isn't publicizing it, some of us link to it occasionally to create awareness of it.  Since many of us benefit from it, we occasionally take a little bandwidth here to have a little user group, and to help avoid aforementioned untenable dysfunctionality.

Now, I do try to avoid crowing about blocking. Except for example when my temper got the best of me and I mentioned blocking because I had been asked to block.

I'm just noting that the talk you are objecting to is a reaction to something problematic that we're trying to be free of (ignore), not unlike that you're trying to be free of that reaction (which you could perhaps ignore a bit of?).

I know that the situation seems different to everyone, but we're doing our best.  I know and honor that you are doing your best to share our joint responsibility for leadership in this self-regulating community.

(And I honor your principle. The principle I try to hold to, is to not take the initiative to say a word to someone about them being blocked, unless I happened to be in the middle of interacting directly with them at the time, and even then only one mention ever to save them from wasted effort.)


You’re a joke, curious. We’d like an adult level conversation. Something you’re yet to aspire too.
Out of all here I find you the most arrogant entitled offensive & biggest crime, boring.


No, biggest crime is the superiority & divisiveness, & ithat’s not just on you, curious.
JibeHo is right, we are not in the playground playing groups. Tough boys & Mean girls.
Yeah sure it’s fun to see all nakedly acting out our patterns. Some restrain is also needed.


Curious2 - I don't consider Harriet to be a violent or malicious troll. And before I read a long post (where I can't see the signature line because of the length, or I don't recognize the avatar) I simply scroll to the signature line to decide if it's worth my time.

But if the post is by a regular that I know and sometimes gain insight from, I'll read that post. If that post then contains blocking or muting pronouncements, it's too late. I can't unread it.

How about this. Whoever claims firdt "honors" posts a link to the SlogBlocker. That way we can get it out of the way up front and not use it as a cudgel wielded by the kool kids.

"Firdt! Remember, there is a tool you can download to block posters you don't like, here's the link:"


"I don't consider Harriet to be..."

I was referring generally, not to anyone specific.

"How about this..."

I thought about some similar convention!
Though I thought that first, we might ask the webmaster to add it for us.

I agree it doesn't feel good to advertise it ourselves when reminded to by ill circumstances. Thank you, Jibe, for the kind and polite contributions.


JibeHo @82: The SlogBlocker doesn't just block or mute. You can ignore that feature.

▪︎ It can move the signature to the top of the post, to save you a little scrolling.
▪︎ It can move the page buttons to the top, and save you even more scrolling.
▪︎ It can highlight the writers you most like to read.
▪︎ It can turn @ tags into hyperlinks, so you can click to read tagged comments, and hit back to return to where you were.
▪︎ Don't see an avatar? It lets you add one for those that won't, or replace one's you don't like.

All of that without blocking anyone.

I'm not a kool kid. My official designation is Geek. And in fairness, it takes two to tangle (pun intended), and responding to someone lobbing insults by blocking/muting (with or without mentioning the blocker) is better than taking the bait and getting hooked.


Fubar - Thanks for the clarification - but it's called SlogBlocker. Perhaps a name change is in order? Although those are nifty functions, I don't really need them, so I respectfully pass.

All I'm asking is that we stop mentioning blocking and/or muting in the middle of the comment thread. It's a little disingenuous for one to claim that they are "just trying to be helpful" by posting a link to SlogBLOCKER, when it's clear who is being blocked and/or muted. The peer pressure pile ons are what I object to. Mention the tool every week in your first post and then leave it alone. It's passive aggressive and disturbing - to me at least...


Thank you for clarifying, Lava.


JibeHo @85: I'm quite happy for anyone to pass. No worries. I'm not getting royalties, or even a discount on HUMP tickets. It was presumptuous of me to assume you'd want to avoid all the scrolling you mentioned it takes for you to navigate the comments, but you announcing that you're going to (respectfully) pass on using the add-on sounds like the very thing you're objecting to. Kinda sorta.

If you don't like the name SlogBlocker, you'd hate its original name. I'm not opposed to renaming it, but have come up short on something catchier. Perhaps we'll have to have a contest. But... that would require mentioning it.

It appears I was guilty of the first mention this week, after someone called me a "straight moralist". Personally, I feel my (passive aggressive, if you say so) brush-off is better than getting hooked - as I have been in the past - by a troll whose specialty is mischaracterization.

I'm unable to find a comment where someone claimed they're "just trying to be helpful" (quotes yours). Perhaps it was a different week? Or perhaps I have them blocked, lol.

If I said I'm going to duck out and wait for next week's letter, would that be passive agressive too?

The theme of the week seems to be people telling others what they're allowed to comment on or mention in their posts.


I'm surprised that nobody else cringed at HOTDAMN's sign-off.


IIRC, I glanced at it early Tuesday morning and honestly decided I had no standing to have an opinion on that.


fubar - Ugh. This is why I hesitate to comment anymore.

Kinda sorta? That's some tricky whataboutism right there. I understand that you created SlogBlocker, so I'm sorry if you took it personally when I said that I don't need it. I didn't mean any offense at all. But let's be real - my comment that I don't personally have a need for your plug-in is not even in the same ballpark as calling someone a troll and then announcing to the rest of us that you are henceforth not even going to deign to allow their comments to appear on your screen.

If you don't like someone's point of view or disagree with their opinion to the point that it triggers you, don't read them! Or use SlogBlocker! I think it's on you if you can't control yourself and you get "hooked" as you say.

I don't know if you've ever been bullied in your life, but I have lots of experience with it - from middle school especially. There was one girl in particular who was the leader of a clique who one day decided to make my life a living hell. Before that day I'd never spoken to her so I can only guess that she singled me out because of my looks. She then enlisted her crew in her mission. I never used the bathroom at that school again. Maybe that is why the ganging up and public pronouncements on this board are so triggering for me. I guess I need to work on that.

I commented on the name of your plug-in because while it does many useful things (really!), the name doesn't clearly convey that. I have no suggestions for alternate names.

I wasn't trying to tell anyone what they can or cannot say in their posts. Pretty sure you know that I'm a lesbian, and yet I somehow managed to keep my trap shut last week when all sorts of people were weighing in on my tribe. I can't articulate my feelings any better right now. Maybe I'll be able to explain why I find the blocking/muting talk so odious when I've had a chance to think on it some more.


@Fubar/Curious -- I can't remember -- doesn't one of you help people with avatars? I don't have one mostly because I have zero idea how I would add one, but would totally add a snowflake picture if somebody told me how.


@ Lavagirl 75

This column didn't move me to comment. But if you are going to mention me and misinterpret me, I feel the need to address it.

I wasn't denying the experience of a lesbian. This is what happened:

Lesbian: I present as a lesbian, and when I straight up say it, very often heterosexual men are clearly aroused and start hitting on me.

Me: That's weird. Maybe they are thinking yadda yadda yadda.

I was speculating on the weird behavior of heterosexual men. At worst my speculation is wrong. I am not denying her experience. If anything, as a heterosexual man, I have the right to speculate on the behavior of other heterosexual men.

Sending dick pics is another weird thing heterosexual men do. If I speculate on why some men do that, I am not endorsing that behavior nor denying that it happens.


JibeHo @90:

Thanks for your thoughtful response. Sincerely.

I didn’t take it personally. I honestly don’t care if anyone uses or does not use the plugin. I created it for myself, to block someone who was hateful attacks on me, and then added navigation features. I published it when people asked if they could use it (yes, after I mentioning I’d blocked the person it was inspired by and named after). I renamed it first. I've written bestsellers. This is not my best work, and I have no feelings about it at all.

Not liking someone’s point of view or disagreeing with their opinion is not what it was about. I was sick of the personal attacks. And if you look upthread, they’re back, albeit not explicitly directed against me (yet).

Or maybe it /is/ about not liking someone’s point of view or disagreeing with their opinion... does it actually qualify as a point of view or opinion to label someone a misogynist, or associate them with paedophiles, or call them weak, or a "boy", or boring?

To be clear, this predates the Harriet episode, which also was not about their point of view or opinion, but rather about their relentless, intrusive, harassment. Perhaps calling me a “straight moralist” in this week’s commentary qualifies as a valuable contribution? I took it as trolling. I’d be happy to leave Harriet alone if they’d leave me alone.

Getting “hooked” is not about not being able to control oneself. That tight feeling in the throat and chest is unpleasant, and when the purpose of being here is to try to offer snippets of follow-up advice to letter writers, dealing with these people makes it painful.

I have been bullied in my life, and much of the above reminds me of it. But the abuse I experienced as a young boy was nothing compared to that endured by my eldest daughter in middle school. She was ostracized by one girl who held some kind of power over all the others. They obeyed her, fearing they’d become the victim, and made my daughter’s life a living hell. They were too devious to be overtly abusive, in the way boys are. As an example, those girls would invite everyone in the class to a birthday party, except my daughter.

She talked with me about it. I found the book “Queen Bees and Wannabes”. But being able to contextualize and understand what was happening wasn’t much use to a 12 year old girl. She became friends with the other outcasts, and she did, and got though it, but she was and is scarred by it.

She also grew up to be a spectacular human being that cares about people and society. Some of the bullies here claim the space she occupies. I struggle with that.

What I tried to do with my browser plugin was to shield myself from those bullies, not to remind you of yours.

If I’ve contributed to taking you back to that experience, I apologize. Truly.


Snowflake @91: That would be Curious. He's good at avatars.

Guts @92: It seems we've all completely misunderstood where you're coming from, maybe mixed in with a little bit of you listening and learning. Either way, welcome to the melee.


That's me. I've been happy to help people with avatars. (Thank you for being willing to ask! An avatar is a kindness to others.)

I've helped at all the stages:

1) Find an image online. (I've done this for others, but they changed their mind.) You might like to find one for yourself.

2) Then if you put it's URL in a comment (or email it to me at curious784523 at gmail dot com , or just attach it to an email), I would be very happy to do any trimming you wish to pick the part of the selected image, and size it to be optimally visible in the little avatar box. Then I can post or email a URL to the resulting .JPG

3) Then, one needs to go into their Stranger account. Getting there differs between mobile and desktop. Sitting here on desktop, one's account icon is below the red "CONTRIBUTE NOW" button near the top of the screen, between the magnifying glass on the right, and the words "SUPPORT THE STRANGER". Click on the icon in between, choose Account, then below Profile Picture click on Change Your Picture. You then get a popup with tabs to upload a file, or enter the URL, of the photo.

It's a little different on mobile, let us know if you want help for doing it on mobile.


Fubar @93 As I live on the East Coast it’s approaching my bedtime and since I’m more coherent in the morning, I’m going to respond in the morning. I appreciate your civility. I will endeavor to respond in kind.


Fubar @84, I agree the SlogBlocker does much more than allow blocking - being able to easily hop from one comment to another makes it worth installing on its own - so maybe a new name is in order. SlogEnhancer? SlogPlus? I'll have a think and let you know if I come up with any catchy names. And thank you again for developing it and sharing it with us.

Fubar @88, I tend not to pay much attention to the signoffs as we don't know who makes them up. I agree now you mention it, HOTDAMN is cringeworthy and unlikely to have been chosen by Dan.

Fubar @93, I will eat my hat if you didn't mention your plugin in response to a statement by someone else, possibly me, lamenting the lack of ability to block users on SL the way we can on Facebook and other platforms. I agree nobody has to use your plugin. But it seems odd to criticise people who do. I completely support your decision to not want to make your day unpleasant, or worse, trigger traumatic memories, by reading hurtful comments. Life is too short and this board, for me anyway, is about entertainment and learning, not trying to prove you're better than other people because you can take more insults. Like ALPHA's targets, it's not about whether we should or shouldn't be able to roll with the punches; we shouldn't get punched in the first place, and the SlogBlocker tool ensures those missiles will always miss their mark.


@69 BiDanFan: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors! Savor your much envied accolades and bask in the well deserved glory. :)

I hope Dan the Man had a kickass birthday.

Holy Smokies! Are we already close to the Big Hunsky?
Baby needs new shoes!


....and the lucky winner of tis week's Big Hunsky honors IS (see what I did here?)......


JibeHo, thank you for speaking up about this. FWIW, I'm in complete agreement with everything you said.

Fubar/ BDF, I think it's very clear that JibeHo wasn't criticizing your use of the Slogblocker. She was criticizing your bitchfest @61-73, which was indeed passive-aggressive bullying.