Savage Love Oct 5, 2021 at 11:26 am





Am I disqualified from the hunsky because I also hit the lucky 69? Glad to bequeath the Hunsky Award if indeed no one else grabs it while I'm typing this comment.

Harriet @53, I challenged you @35 to show me where any straight people claimed that "gay people can't roll with the punches," which you stated was the point you disputed. Your inability to do so shows that indeed, you made this up just to disagree with it. Have a nice day.


Lost @100, it's a good thing I muted JibeHo a long time ago as she said she didn't want me responding to her. Can't bully someone you can't see.


And congrats on the hunsky, glad I didn't hog both the 69 and the 100. Though I do wish someone hadn't stolen it out from under me by bitching about me. I included myself in the "bickering" comment, so I guess I apologise to everyone including myself for calling out our bickering. Um!? See y'all next Tuesday indeed.


Margarita @100:
JibeHo was extremely clear in what she was criticizing, and generous in her explanation. No clarification is needed.

Some have called out "passive-aggressive bullying" this week, but there's been no complaint, other than from me, about the outright hostile, overt bullying that has recently returned.

I have to conclude that's how some people like it.

I'm reminded of a line from the Bobby Darrin song, Simple Song of Freedom... "let's all build them shelves so they can fight among themselves". Perhaps I'll look there for inspiration for a new name for the plugin.

Congratulations on the hunsky!


Apropos of nothing, other than to change the subject, a Texas judge has halted the state's assault on women's health. And here in the Canadian province where I live, the provincial government has hooked up with a major pharmacy chain to provide free menstrual products in all schools.


"Maybe that is why the ganging up and public pronouncements on this board are so triggering for me."

I'm a nerd too, and I got bullied too.

I used to think that this was a self-regulating community, but maybe it's not anymore, because attempts at regulating are futile (the only person who got regulated, the violent banned Sportlandia, will apparently remain forever as Endless_Ork now that he's learned to not admit he's Sportlandia).

And it's beyond futile; when a few people speak up together to try to regulate, it triggers people as 'bullying'. And since regulating is futile, perhaps it now does amount to no more than bullying.

However, it seems that the people who are triggered by a few people speaking up, are not triggered by the the behavior they are speaking up about. For example, the personal attack upthread which Fubar mentioned @93 was "upthread" drew zero pushback.

And I don't like to see any of us attacked by (or trolled by) an individual acting alone, either. (But since the community is fine with it, I have finally gotten the message that no matter what anyone does to anyone, I should do nothing. This makes me sad, but finally I'm resigned to it. Particularly since I obviously suck at trying to do anything about people's bad behavior.)

I really couldn't agree more with you and Margarita about bullying, but something seems off in having nothing to say about individual bad behavior, but only about concerted behavior in response to it.

Probably that's just me saying that something is sad about a situation in which regulation is futile. I spent much of my life trying to protect people; yes, mainly from those with more power, but I don't like to see anyone abused by anyone.

I admit that my feathers were ruffled because I am unaccustomed to being called the c-word, so I directly asked you if you were only talking about others.

Then was relieved and thanked you for clarifying that you were not. And congratulated you on the @69.

So I didn't "bitch ABOUT" you; I simply asked /you/ a question to find out whether you were. But even if I had, how would that steal your @69?

I was not trying to create conflict, I was trying to determine whether there already was conflict. I apologize for being overly sensitive.


Messages, "My issue is, if it weren't for the sexting[], I don't think he would converse with me about life in general." So. What's the harm?
"My issue is that this person is not doing what I want." That's how bullies and the fairly new ignorant sort of Republicans speak. Do you really want to control this person and behave unethically? It would be ethical to make an actual puppet or doll out of nonliving material which you could legally control. Would that help?
Or stop sexting with him and grieve that he didn't turn out to be a great match for you, if he doesn't care to talk about anything else.
Unrequited love is painful. Better to love and lose?

CUT, I'm really surprised Dan advocated for therapy to cure a sex obsession!
Maybe you are attracted to confident guys even if they are possibly incompetent and narcissistic and not physically your type? You could be thinking about him a lot because you need more focus on discernment in service providers? Or because you want to be a surgeon to give people a more competent surgeon, more effective options? Maybe you've discovered a medical kink of yours that you could try practicing with an actual hot respectful guy?

Hotdamn, do people really need to be reminded that lots of straight guys proudly want to devote a lot of energy to bang lesbians?

TooPissedForAcronyms, please calm down. Talk to a therapist? I know that Dan seems to be pushing the idea that all big bottoms on Grindr want unavailable straight jocks. But maybe the guy really was looking for bottoms who wanted to be teased or led on, and that was edited out of the letter. But it does sound like he's saying that Grindr is full of jerk, so being jerk is OK. So maybe he is getting old and confused.

Happy Belated Birthday Dan! You've had a lot of great influence on society in your life!


Fubar@105, thanks for the psa! That good news is much appreciated.


Again, I am going to call out Dan's support for catfishing based on the claims of some arbitrary bozo (Cheves who?) who he apparently elevated to the boss of Grindr etiquette.

Dan: "we should do so knowing that anyone we talk to may have no plans of following through with their PROMISES to meet."

Really Dan? Expecting to get treated with decency is now just for naive newbies? I challenge you to exercise your connections and have an actual poll of a cross section of Grindr users on what I have noticed to be the number one complaint about the apps. In the meantime, let's see where this race to the bottom reasoning ends up: That femboy should know better than complain now because everybody knows that's what happens to a femboy who walks home after midnight, right? Right on!


Oh I get it. By saying that he's straight, he's saying that he's unavailable to the guys he's flirting with. That sort of makes sense. I was assuming that "straight" meant more closeted, since he was using Grindr, which I thought people used to hook up physically IRL. Oops.


Between the straight guy getting off with other guys and the lesbian who badly wants to get a guy off, I am so confused. Peace out.


Ugh, I looked up this Cheves and I'm not surprised. A pretty NYC clone and porn star, a non-fem white male. May I gently suggest that his experience on Grindr is not going to be at all representative of 99% of the guys on Grindr nor of the victims of the particular kind of catfishing he condones, and may I hazard neither is Dan's. I wish these people could take off their blinkers of sexual privilege.


fubar @104

"Some have called out "passive-aggressive bullying" this week, but there's been no complaint, other than from me, about the outright hostile, overt bullying that has recently returned."

Personal attacks can and do run in all directions, sure. I'm not condoning them. I report the really vile stuff, whoever says it.

But ~bullying~ is a very specific term. It only goes in one direction - from those with more social power to those with less. From insiders to outsiders. On internet forums, bullying usually happens when moderators abuse their powers, or when regulars repeatedly pile on the "undesirables".


Phi @110: OH! I didn't think of it that way. Makes sense. Thanks for deciphering Grindr-speak.


@110, philo, "Oh I get it. By saying that he's straight, he's saying that he's unavailable to the guys he's flirting with."

I know it's confusing but it absolutely doesn't follow. Grindr is full of straight-identifying guys who hook up, so that's not an alibi he can use to wash his hands with. In any case we are talking about Dan condoning behavior where guys break actual promises of meeting in person, which is a step further.


I have to say that it is ironic.

While we are in the middle of a national outcry about what the Facebook's products do to young women's mental health, Dan's attitude toward young fem men, an arguably equally vulnerable population, is that they should "man up" because everybody knows they are "asking for it."


"...race to the bottom reasoning ends up"

Kudos on the the multiple meanings there, Cocky!


Margarita @113: You might want to look ~bullying~ up in the dictionary. Social power or insider status are not prerequisites. Persistent abuse is bullying, anyone can be vulnerable to it, and it happens here. Repeatedly insulting other people's humanity is bullying.

Nobody here has any power whatsoever, and there are no cliques that I can discern, unless you characterize a few people complaining about abusive behaviour as a "pile on". I'm also really not sure who the "undesirables" might be. That said, I'm open to the possibility that I can't see the forest for the trees. It's happened before.


I'm reminded of a rightwinger on a political mailing list, who attacked me every time I posted anything. I pointed out that this was discouraging me from participating. It wasn't enough to just say once that he hated me, he insisted on forever bullying me with repetition of personal attacks. Thankfully the members there weren't fine with it, and there was some way for that group to administrate itself.


" the really vile stuff, whoever says it."

It seems that that does nothing.

No matter how many people do it. But the hope was that there was some threshold above which something would be done: that was the goal of concerted action. Which, having proven futile, might as well be abandoned I guess. I'm just saying that there was a reasonable goal to concerted action.

At this point it seems that anyone, let alone just one person, pushing the Report button is ringing a doorbell which isn't wired to anything. Unless like Sportlandia they threaten physical violence.


@119 p.s.
Or perhaps there is a threshold, but we can no longer reach it because too many people have been discouraged from even being on the board anymore, by the abusive behavior we couldn't reach the report threshold on.


fubar @117, you may want to read up about it yourself.

"Social power or insider status are not prerequisites"

In fact most definitions specifically mention an imbalance of power as a prerequisite. Here's wikipedia, but you can find similar on websites of many anti-bullying orgs:

"Bullying is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception (by the bully or by others) of an imbalance of physical or social power. This imbalance distinguishes bullying from conflict.[1] Bullying is a subcategory of aggressive behavior characterized by the following three criteria: (1) hostile intent, (2) imbalance of power, and (3) repetition over a period of time."

"Nobody here has any power whatsoever, and there are no cliques that I can discern, unless you characterize a few people complaining about abusive behaviour as a "pile on"

It doesn't surprise me that you don't see it.


I love to see you JibeHo. And you too, cbu. And yeah to you, cbu, for challenging Dan & guest. Much better representation coming from a gay man re wtf is going on here. Straight dating sites are weird enough for me. And remember Dan is an older gay man.. who lived thru another pretty horrid pandemic, and the rest.
It’s good to hear gay men fight for emotional care. Things are changing with younger men.
I went to listen to music & this group of young people dancing in front of men, straight kids. One couple & a few stray male mates. The boys were jumping around with each other, not worrying about touching each other’s bodies. There was an ease of intimacy there physically and no self consciousness about it. I know with my youngest son, who is just on twenty four, there are no issues gay/ straight/ cis/ trans.
I find the SL blocker is offensive & divisive to the thread. And people popping in & out of convos as it suits. If some want private little group chats, fb is the place for you. Nobody expects all to interact, I scroll thru the blockers that I know of, glancing only at content, because why? Except to be devisive to an ongoing discussion. I got blocked because my ideas offended.
Raindrop? Harriet? Yeah, real vicious people.


Projection, curious, you need to watch it. The abuse/ collusion comes from you and others in your blocked group. It’s rude & it needs to stop. Bitch on elsewhere. Please don’t gaslight us, I’m dealing with enough from Govt here.


That definition includes the PERCEPTION of power, and states that that perception can be BY THE BULLY. In other words, real power is /not/ a prerequisite in that quoted definition. Particularly since the perception can be the bully's own subjective one (which might be why certain lone bullies on their own practice "repetition over a period of time.").

I think I've heard that 'mean girls' do bully in packs. But all the overgrown male bullies that tormented me when I was very young were solo sociopaths. Isn't that the norm? I can't even envision the bellicose jerks I encountered being social enough to team up.


Mr Balls - I'll dispute "pretty" but agree with the overall assessment.


Perhaps Ms Cute's strategy will work for her and for Team J; I hope it does. It just wouldn't work for me and mine.


Did I miss something while I was in hospital/rehab? It's a little disconcerting to see so many among the assembled company assigning M?? Harriet to Team G instead of Team GQ/GNC. It ties in to what I mean in various respects, as I doubt being lumped together by anyone else does either of us any good.


There have been some interesting comments about medical specialists, though I do still wonder which is chicken and which egg. Do brain and heart surgeons become arrogant because of how closely they deal in real life and death, or are arrogant medical students drawn to specialize in brain and heart surgery?


Margarita @121: "It doesn't surprise me that you don't see it."



Apologies Harriet ,/ & thanks for the pick up, Mr Venn,/ I realize I had done short hand, in my description of you.
I must admit, I haven’t stayed with all of how you are evolving, so I went with you talking of gay sex, with authority, re this question. The one Dan needed more ‘chewing over’ done.
Male sex baffles me, more so the older I get. It is different from a distance, from less needy places, more enjoyment & curiosity. Oh, some men behave that way when together.
I got myself all the tales of the city books, recently. I feel like I’m a little late getting into them.


@Curious 95 -- thanks! I will start looking up some images and either email some choices to you or beg you for help finding one, depending on how the search goes.


I am not passing judgment re the veracity or sincerity of any poster’s opinion on these boards. Personally, I think that everyone has the right to comment on any subject – whether their opinion comes from personal experience or simply our shared humanity. The weight afforded that opinion will be judged by each of us individually based on our own life experiences and quite often our estimation of the commenter.

We should all feel free to disagree as vehemently as we want with one another; disengage or refuse to engage in debates with posters we find obdurate or obtuse; mute or block posters that trigger us – these are all valid options.

My specific objection is to the increasingly common tactic, employed by a subset of the most prolific posters here, of playing the SlogBlocker card in what seems to me to be a thinly disguised attempt to color the opinions and reputations of other posters. Reinforcing that opinion is the fact that when it happens, there is commonly a pile on.

We are all intelligent adults here. We all read (I hope) most, if not all, of the comments on this board before we jump in. Allow us the respect we deserve to form our own opinions about the integrity, sincerity, morality, and humanity of our fellow posters.

If you feel that someone is making specious or malicious comments, trust that that poster is making their true nature obvious to everyone. Also realize that what you might find offensive or abusive might not be the universal opinion.

LostMargarita gets it. I’m not sure why it isn’t obvious.


I’ve debated mentioning it, but here’s some background… I’ve been on this board for years, many of the people who were regular posters at the time many many moons ago, when I was the target of a pile on and near universal dismissal, are still here. I’m not sure if anyone else remembers it, but it curtailed my posting forthwith. The pile on culminated in one of the posters (still around but not as prolific) proclaiming that I was nothing but a bitter alcoholic lesbian. Based on zero evidence mind you, besides of course their distaste for my opinion on the subject at hand. It still hurts.


curious2 @124 I'll take the bait.

How about frat bros? Or is hazing not a thing anymore?

Street gangs? Primarily a male occupation right there.

The priesthood? Taliban? Al Qaeda? Oath Keepers? Proud Boys? Incels?

I know I'm missing a bunch, but I'm just spitballing "male-dominated bully groups" here...


Oh yeah, and Gamergaters! How could I leave them out?

I really should have taken more time with my list - I've come up with a whole bunch more. Put your thinking cap on and I'm sure you can guess most of them.


Last post for the time being. Here is my recommendation for the post that should go at the top of the weekly comments. Anyone can post it.

Just a reminder – fubar has developed an awesome tool for this message board that enhances the user experience. You can download it here:


▪︎ Block or mute individual posters.
▪︎ Move the signature to the top of the post, to save you a little scrolling.
▪︎ Move the page buttons to the top, and save you even more scrolling.
▪︎ Highlight the writers you most like to read.
▪︎ 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 posters without one, or replace one's you don't like.


Oh JibeHo, sorry to hear you were called that. Rude person.
I don’t read thru all the comments, especially when they attack me. Those people expose who they are.
Pile Ons, particularly nasty group behaviour. Then this here is a micro of our culture, same battles going on.
Thanks for sharing, JibeHo. I hope you speak up more in the future.


JibeHo @129: LostMargarita relates to your experience of being bullied, and denies that mine qualifies - lobbing a parting insult as if to drive home the point. I assumed that insult was intended to wound, rather than to colour the opinions of other posters, but I'll take that under consideration.

It's not uncommon that when someone feels attacked and hits back, they're criticized for doing so, often for the way they hit back. And what you call a pile on, others call being supportive.

@130: I do remember an episode, but have no way to know if it was the one you're referring to and can't find it now. Those kinds of words are not okay, not uncommon here... and they're what I'm talking about.

@131: The difference between frat boys and mean girls is that once you've been hazed, you're in. In my experience, when boys inflict relentless bullying on one another, it's one on one, albeit not without an audience. And it's physically brutal, rather than psychologically.

@132: I had to Google "gamergate", and it sounds exactly like mean girls. So yeah, perhaps times have changed.

@133: I'd move highlight 1 down two lines, and I don't need a credit. But either way, I don't think you'll get much uptake.

I'm still looking for a new name, but I probably won't update it until it's clear the comments section will make it to the new site.

Hey.... how about calling it the savage.plugin?


Edit @135: I didn't express that well. Physical bullying has a profound psychological effect too.


@ fubar 135:

"In my experience, when boys inflict relentless bullying on one another, it's one on one, albeit not without an audience. And it's physically brutal, rather than psychologically."

I question this. I recently stopped being a middle school teacher in a challenging urban school. Peer-to-Peer bullying is way down, which is great. It does exist, and it is much less overt, and a lot has moved online. Student-to-Teacher bullying has gone way up, and it can be downright savage because kids know that there very likely won't be any consequences. This is the main reason why I decided to stop teaching.

The boy-to-boy (B2B) which does exist is often very blunt, with an audience, and about a physical characteristic: fatness, skinniness, skin tone, perceived lack of success with girls.


Hey you're right!

While not the archetypal male solo bullies like playground bullies and my dad, all of those are examples of men teaming up to bully.

Including frat hazing, which is a weird example, in that the price of admission is/was being bullied oneself. In a way, that could be worst of all, in it's implicit justification. But in a way it's not as apt as the other examples, because they mainly bully new members; er, until adulthood when they go into corporations and bully everyone.

Nice draft! I hope people will post it as a public service, because thank you, I hate mentioning the addon only at the unfortunate times I'm reminded to.

"the savage.plugin"

I like also getting Slog out of there (since I don't see how it's a blog), but a plugin name needn't include the word plugin, if we edit the advertising text to call it

"an awesome plugin"
instead of
"an awesome tool"

I think BDF got it right with "enhancer"; I suggest:


Supportive, fubar? We are on a thread.. nobody is physically attacking anyone else here. Just words.
And the pile ons are not about support, they about how humans are so easily led by bullies. And they do that because they fear they might be next attacked. It’s how abuse continues. Scared & easily led people never standing up to the fascists & bullies.


The block I’d like to see introduced here, is a limit on number of times each week a commenter can comment. Then maybe the few who dominate, week after week like it’s their private chat page, will get an idea of what a shared conversation looks like.


Guts @137: I defer to your (and JibeHo's, and Margarita's) more recent experience with modes of bullying. I am old. I'll just end by saying I consider gratuitously, pointlessly, and relentlessly insulting other commenters is not what I'm here for, and I consider it the worst kind of bullying here. I'm okay with being "wrong" about that.

Curious @138: Good points about the name. I've been thinking that something based on a pun or an acronym, especially with a sexual connotation, would be fun.


Savage Love certainly is acronym nirvana.


Curious2 @142 rephrase:

Savage Love is certainly acronym nirvana = SLICAN


Savage Love Usability Browser Extension?


Savage LUBE!
It enhances your pleasure every moment in the Savage Love Comments.

(I'm impressed. I could't make an acronym to save my life. Whoever write's Dan's is as a god to me.)


fubar @135 It appears I still haven’t cracked the nut. There are a couple of issues here it seems to me, so if I take a detour, please hang on until the end of my post before you jump to any conclusions.

It seems that you are bothered that Lost Margarita and I are focused on the SlogBlocker issue rather than the bullying you felt subjected to. I think you're missing our point. It’s never acceptable to lob personal insults. My objection, since I won’t presume to speak for Lost Margarita, is that the public pronouncements that a specific person’s viewpoint is so offensive that one feels the need to announce to the assembled company that they aren’t even worthy of one’s consideration and shall henceforth BE BLOCKED! (or muted, as BDF so kindly reminded me @102) is hurtful. Feel free to do what you need to do, but the rest of us really don’t need to know, and some of us find it triggering. Think back to your childhood. For me, the two most cutting things someone could say to me (in a certain context) were “who cares?” and its ugly stepsister “so what?”. I find it ironic that censoring someone for comments or attitudes you find offensive or hurtful would require a public statement intended to offend or hurt the offender.

And here is where I might lose you… It seems you took issue with Harriet calling you a straight moralist. I completely understand why you felt demeaned by that, and I support you in your belief that that comment rose to the level of bullying. If you felt bullied, I accept that. My interpretation of Harriet’s use of that sobriquet was to emphasize first that you are straight – which you are – second that you are a moral person, which you seem to be - and finally that your moral code is anchored in the context of male/female relationships. I didn’t see it as an insult at all. What straight man wouldn’t want to be called a straight moralist? If the letter at issue was about a straight man doing the same thing as ALPHA is doing to unsuspecting straight woman on Tinder, I can’t imagine that you’d be insulted or feel bullied if curious2 or BDF called you “straight moralist”.

As a lesbian, I can’t speak for gay men, but in my lo so many years living in major cities across the US with gay male friends, there are certain things I know for a fact. First, in every city I’ve ever visited, there was at least one men-only gay bar reserved for NSA hookups, both public and private. If the city lacked that bar, they had a bathhouse. The other thing that every city, no matter the size, also had was local cruising grounds – usually a park. Every city had one without exception. Of course, this was the 80’s and 90’s so there was no Grinder alternative. Guys would wear colored bandanas tucked into the back pocket of their jeans to signal to other gay men their sexual preference – top, bottom, dom, sub, etc…

Straight people (and lesbians) don’t operate that way. Never have, never will. My point is, there is a definite gay male subculture that is impossible for those not in it to understand. Doesn’t mean that ALPHA isn’t most likely a huge dick (no pun intended), but to be fair, Harriet conceded that point many times…


Fwiw, I appreciate it when curious or fubar point out when a commenter is playing mind games that I am at risk of falling for.
That's how I see it anyway.

Also: fubar... Savage LUBE, that is a hell of name. lol. I love it. (I didn't have a problem with slogblocker tho)


"Savage LUBE, that is a hell of name."

It is! Dan should market some /actual/ lube with that name! (In partnership with the browser extension, would that be called co-branding?) Who wouldn't get off on
* /s a v a g e/ * lube?

"Fwiw, I appreciate it when curious or fubar point out when a commenter is playing mind games that I am at risk of falling for."

(Great description, "mind games".)

I'm glad someone appreciates that. I wouldn't've been surprised if absolutely everyone but me was sunk into a boredom-coma by it! (But just in case, I put in links to document.)

I'm resolved going forward to only do a bit of it. (And to do so calmly. Since I now see it as an end in itself as the only viable goal.)

Any more than a bit of looking at mind games isn't fun, any more than riding one of those playground things where one holds on as it spins around in a circle. Both eventually make me dizzy. And not in a fun way, in a head-explode-y way.

I can see most wouldn't want to much, but those of us who do might take turns.

Speaking for myself, it is kinda fun in a way that reminds me of something this old man was was good at a thousand years ago when still in school.


I think this forum got a bit (more) weird and insular when SLOTD ended and there was nothing for the regular commentators to do but talk amongst themselves for a week.


@100 JibeHo: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's Big Hunsky (@100) numeric honors! Savor your newfound numeric good fortune and bask in the glory.

For all Savage Love: Quickies commenters participating in this week's Lucky Numbers game, there are more numeric prizes yet to come as the Double Whammy (Lucky @69 + Big Hunsky @100= Double Whammy @169). draws nigh. Good luck everyone!


In other news:
slomopomo @ 21
Maybe one day those sexy texts will appear on dikileaks.


Griz - I didn’t “score” the 100th post, although I was mentioned in it. Pretty sure no blessings will flow from any of this.


@152 JibeHo: No ill will was intended from me. You landed on @100 fair and square.


@fubar 144 fantastic! Maybe the tech savvy youth could make Savage LUBE an official browser extension download for


"JibeHo...You landed on @100"

Actually, that was Lost Margarita!

"he tech savvy youth could make Savage LUBE an official browser extension download for"

They could do better than that, they could build it's functionality directly into the site. (Tangentially, that reminds me that I wonder if the extension works on non-Savage Love comment pages of The Stranger; in that case maybe it's a Stranger LUBE?)

And comments section upgrades were, IIRC, promised after the site survey some months back. But one imagines any upgrades will occur on the new site (on which Comment functionality does not exist, but hopefully will). I don't think I've suggested they consult Fubar; though I think I did suggest he approach them so the site itself would mention the extension.


@curious2 155 and @fubar 135 I had completely missed the new site launch even though several SLOGers had mentioned it a few weeks ago. Just went there I don't see any comment functionality on columns or podcasts. Either it's been disabled or it is not nearly as prominent as on thestranger. But Dan said his readers can connect on the comments.

Seems like Dan is branding his business more separate from The Stranger, even though site is still copyright the parent company Index Media.


"the new site...I don't see any comment functionality"

Yes. But I don't see any reason they couldn't've been eager to get the columns up (which happened simultaneously with the release of Dan's new book) there, and still be planning to add Comment functionality. It seems to me that Comment functionality wouldn't be all that integrated into what's been implemented thus far, but would be relatively (in what I think is computer program jargon) 'modular'.


JibeHo @146:

I really appreciate the thoughtful response. I will try to answer in kind.

My mention of having blocked Harriet was not intended to mean - did not mean - that their viewpoint is offensive or unworthy. I understand how you would hear it as “so what?” or “who cares?”, but that’s not what I was saying.

I read in someone else’s comment that Harriet had called me a "straight moralist”, that is, another straight person moralizing about things queer. That is classic Harriet trolling, dismissing me as unqualified to comment, an outsider, and trying to force me to justify myself. If I take the bait, it turns into Harriet’s cat and mouse game.

To be clear, I have been through this with Harriet in the past, with them making insinuations about me, and relentlessly pressing for details about my children, after I made the mistake of defending my participation by mentioning one's gender identity and the other’s sexual orientation, and getting sucked into sharing more than I wanted to… which was still not enough for Harriet’s game.

You may not recall that episode, and you may not recognize their modus operandum, but others do, and each calling Harriet out on it, in my view, is not “piling on” and it’s not censoring them for comments or attitudes that are subjectively offensive or hurtful. It’s refusing to be sucked in.

Writing “SlogBlocker yay!” was me responding to Harriet and saying "Pfft. Nice try.”

And yes, refusing to be sucked in could be done silently. Given that people have trauma around exclusion, as you’ve described so patiently, I hope people will refrain in future.

This is separate from the conversation about bullying, which I’ll come back to. Harriet’s comment was demeaning, but I took it as baiting, not bullying (as I’ve written above).

Your description of me and my morality is kind, but incorrect (as Harriet knows). My life experience and moral code are not at all anchored in - and certainly not limited to - the context of male/female relationships, And Harriet did not mean "straight moralist" as a compliment. On the contrary:

"I can tell any sucked-lemon straight moralist unhappy with Dan's answer that Grindr ... is hell.” @30

I’d be happy to share with you (via email) details of my bona fides with respect to giving advice to ALPHA, but wasn’t about to do it in response to Harriet, and I won’t do it here. Lots of marginalized people have had to justify claiming space. I don’t think the solution to that is to require white, male, straight people to do the same. That’s just payback.

Back to “bullying”: part of the difficulty in talking about this may have been that word, with one side accusing the other of bullying by talking about blocking, the other side (me) arguing that they’re blocking bullies, and then everyone arguing about the word's definition.

I can see that Harriet’s M.O. is not easily recognized as bullying. I could have been clearer.

An example: some time ago, the letter under discussion was about DD/lg, and I mentioned that I once had a sub who liked to call me Daddy during sex. One of the regulars implied that I am a pedophile. I don’t believe that is a “viewpoint” worthy of consideration. It’s nothing but a personal insult. That particular regular makes a habit of insulting and demeaning others. And nobody ever objects.


Curious @157: "I wonder if the extension works on non-Savage Love comment pages."

It could, but it limits itself to the Savage Love commentary.


@fubar: I understand you and I'm sorry I haven't been more vocal in your support. Several months back, I was the target of an unwarranted internet attack in a Facebook private group I was part of, based on a supposition about me that was wholly untrue. Only two of my friends came to my defense; others wrote to me privately saying that they knew what I was being accused of was not true, but that they didn't want to be dragged by the mob. Shit got so toxic that the entire group imploded and I lost one of my closest friends--a friend in real life, not just on Facebook--because she apparently believed I was capable of doing something that is anathema to me. It fucking hurt.

So I get it.

All I can do is say I know you're correct in your assessment of how you've been treated via those statements which I recall.

And I can vow to not interact with people who do so in bad faith--even though from time to time I slip and take the bait.

@curious: I have only occasionally reported someone besides the obvious spammers, whom I report all the time, lest this place be infested with them, but each time I have, the comments have been removed, and eventually the two main people I reported were bounced from the site. One of them was Eudaemonic--and if you arrived after his time, count yourself lucky. So I do believe that the mods are paying attention. They may just be more inclined to let things slip which some of us think aren't kosher. I think the comment needs to be very clearly and unmistakably abusive for a moderator to take it down, and I used to assume that only those who were multiple repeat offenders would get kicked off, but I know otherwise in at least one person's case. I don't understand that one. Like you, I would have hoped that the offending person be given a warning or an explanation from The Stranger or Savage Love, but I also know that that didn't happen in the case you and I are thinking of, and I admit to being utterly mystified by that whole deal.

@Savage Margarita and Jibho: I appreciate your contributions so much, and I can see why you'd object to people telling others that they've blocked them. I mostly think it's unnecessary and can come off as childish and even as something a bully would do. I also don't think that one person's bad behavior should be met with retaliatory bad behavior. The only explanation I can come up with is to explain to someone why one isn't responding to a comment they make make directed towards that person (e.g. person A insults person B; B blocks A, but doesn't tell them; A continues to goad B or tries to engage with B and doesn't understand why B isn't responding. If B says to A, "btw, I'm blocking you," than A doesn't wonder why B isn't responding). But that seems sort of unnecessary to me, and if someone has behaved so rudely or hatefully to someone as to inspire that person to block them, they can probably infer the reason the other person isn't continuing to engage with them.

As I've said, I don't block, though I frequently scroll past some comments. I can quickly scroll down to look at the signature of those people who don't have an avatar to identify them, but I have learned to distinguish most regular commentors' writing styles, too. And I think it is a bit rude to repeatedly mention that there is a blocking function; I think most of us know that by now, and any newcomer would figure out how to navigate the site for themself, as we all did once upon a time. I am pretty sure that a lot of people scroll past me or block me, and that knowledge doesn't bother me a bit.


Here’s my view of the whole Slogblocker issue.

I think it is perfectly reasonable for Fubar to set up the Slogblocker, especially to protect himself from trolling, insults or personal attacks.

I think it is eminently ethical for Fubar to inform those he is blocking of his actions, so they know they can’t hurt him.

But where I get a little uncomfortable is when he and others hold forth extensively on the merits of this invention. Repeatedly. Because when this happens, you start to wonder whom he is blocking? And why? Fubar’s defensive reasons for blocking are unquestionably justified. But he and others also praise many ancillary uses for the blocker that have nothing to do with self-defense. We are also told it can help us “choose to read what may or may not be a useful post” (BDF @73) or “highlight the writer you most like to read” (Fubar @84). Now there is nothing wrong with using a tool that allows you to do these things. But if you’re an insecure type, reading this again and again can start a little voice in the back of your head to whispering “maybe they’re blocking you. Maybe they’re muting you. Maybe they don’t find your posts useful. Maybe you don’t belong.”

Now, one might reasonably respond that anyone so full of self-doubt that they wonder whether people they’ve never met like what they have to say on the internet should probably stay offline. Still, I can see what Jibeho and Lost Margarita are talking about.


fubar @158 and nocute @160 To be honest, I dreaded looking at this thread today, worried that I'd inadvertently disrespected or discredited the intensity and/or validity of anyone else's feelings in my clumsy attempt to explain my own. I'm glad my words were understood as I intended them.

fubar - I completely get where you are coming from. I have endured the same frustration and distress of having my credentials questioned and my opinions dismissed by a different member of the commentariat. Each time it happens it hurts, and then I am always surprised that no one else recognizes it or offers either a comment in my defense or support. I guess what I'm trying to say is, unless you are (or have been) the target of that treatment, it doesn't seem to register as harassment or abuse. I feel your pain.

Regarding other regulars who tend toward incivility and insults, as I mentioned, I don’t read every comment because I check signatures first. And I have reported comments as abusive in the past – without announcing the fact.

Back to the elephant in the room - I hope that Harriet has been reading this thread. Given the strong feelings you and others have articulated regarding their commenting style and how it affects your emotional well-being, I would hope that they would endeavor to engage in good faith debate in the future. Rather than declaring that you don't have the credentials to opine on a subject using crude language to dismiss your opinions, they should instead provide cogent arguments supporting their viewpoint. People would be more receptive to their input if they focused on the issue at hand. In fact, I think everyone should try doing that, including me. Convince others with reasoned arguments; refrain from dismissing other points of view; let go of the need to be the victor in every exchange and having the final word; and most importantly - don’t make it personal.

Clearly there are exceptions to every rule – I don’t have any relevant insights into penis-having, or conversion therapy, or DD/lg for example. But our personal definition of moral behavior is certainly something we can respectfully debate, while understanding that none of us can, nor should, demand that anyone else conform to our views on the matter. (That’s what organized religion and the GOP are for!)

Over the years, commenters here have revealed bits and pieces of their personal histories - usually when explaining why they feel a certain way about a particular issue. I apologize if I've mischaracterized you fubar. I really should have a cheat sheet somewhere with at least the basic backgrounds of the regulars - along with translations of Venn's many acronyms. And you’re right, in the context of @30, straight moralist was way over the line. I don’t know how I missed the sucked-lemon bit. I apologize.


"straight moralist was way over the line"

Thank you. It was * /f a r/ * from the most vile personal attack directed at me this week, but I do appreciate it very much.

"Allow us the respect we deserve to form our own opinions about the integrity, sincerity, morality, and humanity of our fellow that that poster is making their true nature obvious to everyone"

Of all the many wonderful things Jibe has posted this thread, this worked best to make me feel less despondent about the status quo.

The next thing...I'm sorry I forget who said it: someone(s) observed that people sometimes scroll past, and even if they didn't, feel disinclined to address attacks lest they make themselves a target.

So while one may very well find that they get attacked and no one says a word, I resolved coincidentally even before Jibe@129, to "trust that that poster is making their true nature obvious to everyone". Since there appears no more to be done about it, one has no healthy alternative.


YIKE-Os!!!! Griz's BUST! First, to the deserving recipient, who rightfully landed on @100:
@100 Lost Margarita: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Heartfelt congratulations on hitting the highly celebrated Big Hunsky honors for this week's Savage Love: Quickies comment thread! However belated your recognition, savor the honors and bask in your rightfully deserved good fortune. PLEASE forgive my unintentional blunder in belatedly awarding this highly vied for numeric award! :)
and @JibeHo: Although you didn't actually land on @100, I am still awarding you the prize with Lost Margarita @100 in a tie for my unintentional goof up. :)

@155 Curious2: Thank you for catching that. I didn't realize until going back to Page 1 and discovering my mistake. Good grief, Charlie Brown! I guess Griz saw so much in the comment thread about JibeHo. I had JibeHo on my mind while reading through the comment thread and wasn't paying attention. :o
I guess I have my mind more lately on music writing and playing, my beloved VW in seasonal storage awaiting window seals, and upcoming cardiological tests.

Double Whammy anyone? Tick...tick..tick...


fubar @158

"Lots of marginalized people have had to justify claiming space. I don’t think the solution to that is to require white, male, straight people to do the same. That’s just payback."

That's not how I see Harriet's and Venn' comments on the ALPHA discussion. I don't think anyone was saying that people are not "allowed" or "qualified" to comment on issues relating to another demographic. But I can see why people from marginalized groups might be asking outsiders to moderate their voice and do more listening and less impassioned talking when discussing these issues. It's about knowing when to sit back down, and I think it's a fair point. I cringe when I see well-meaning white people holding forth on race issues and talking over POC. Last week I got that same cringing feeling when reading certain comments by non-gay non-men in the ALPHA discussion. Anyway, I know you get it when it comes to women talking about women's experiences, so why not in this case? Is it because it was Harriet who brought it up?

To go back to nocute's question @48 "And which gay men do we listen to?", the answer is, of course, ALL OF THEM. If we're only listening to other groups when their opinion aligns with our own, we're not really listening, no?


Lost Margarita - I completely agree. I was struggling to say something similar but couldn’t find the words. Thank you.


I sometimes worry that there is a whole wide world out there that we are missing because somebody is wrong on the internet.


"I don't think anyone was saying that people are not "allowed" or "qualified"..."

I understand why you would think that, because Lulu@147 is right that it is easy to fall for Harriet's mind games, which are designed to be subtle to try to avoid being noticed and challenged (how brave). So of course Harriet wasn't so direct as to say what is "not "allowed". But here's the recipe which Harriet did assemble:
"The thing I'd want to say most strongly is how unwelcome I find..."
"the zealotry of people who aren't even gay bottoms"
"broad-brush moralists intrusive"
"sucked-lemon straight moralist..."
"...straight moralists (of whom the examples on these threads have been curious and fubar)"

  • Er, so we're qualified and allowed but 'most strongly unwelcome intrusive sucked-lemon zealots'? *

Speaking of mind games, as I wrote @54 "absolutely all myself and Fubar did was speak up for" what Harriet eventually flopped and called a "given" @53 (consent).

The worst mind game, is how Harriet sought to and apparently tricked some people into believing Harriet's umbrella invention that ALPHA was only interacting with a specific sub-sub-sub-sub culture. Please note that this mind game sought to limit the subset of commenters with standing to not be most strongly unwelcome to, uh, only Harriet I guess. (Incidentally, more power to anyone who was tricked, because not being tricked by Harriet demands very time-consuming focus on a dizzying display of goalpost-moving and other mind games.)

Remember, as I repeatedly pointed out, all we know from the letter is that ALPHA advertised himself as straight (though this is inferred; and incidentally as we know is not even something only straight men do on gay sites) and contacted men with a big ass (which is easy to mis-conflate with the sexual practice of being a "bottom"). Here's a list of Harriet's made up inventions (capitalizing upon the weird letter writer's easily confusing inner dialog) of who Harriet wrongly claimed that ALPHA limited his interactions to:
"feminine bottoms"
"people with a humiliation kink..."
"the subculture of groveling before sadistic straight Doms"
"humiliation fetishes...sub"

Yet a gay man with a big ass, responding to a man claiming to be straight, cannot be assumed to be that list of things, thus cannot be assumed to be consenting to behavior invited by that listed sub-sub-sub-culture.

What I'm exercising here is simply logic, not outsider ignorance. No one is more eager than I am to listen to people who I can learn from because I am unlike them. Except maybe people who play mind games: I don't think I want to listen to them. Simply breaking down their mind games is painful. And troll-rewarding.

I totally get that Jibe has been triggered by people challenging individuals who misbehave/troll/attack. And I /totally/ appreciate that Jibe is also showing concern for the people doing that challenging.

Margarita was right to point out that in challenging them I got pissed off and behaved badly (as I've said, I obviously suck at challenging so I should stop; and after all I see now that the Report button and challenging are pointless) but Margarita is wrong to limit herself to that, to only oppose the people speaking up against bad behavior. That is not being part of the solution, so as the saying goes it makes it part of the problem. I don't know why she wanted to believe that in doing so badly I didn't even have any good intentions. But I do get now that some appear triggered by the the reactions to bad behavior but not to the original bad behavior.


@30, Harriet, "Grindr is hell."

Yes! And it would be cute if someone did a Matt Groening with that :)

Maybe it is no all bad. I have the impression that more gay guys are returning to real-life spaces. Let's be honest, dating has always been hell, but hooking up has always been much easier and efficient in real spaces than online. As with everything else, computers have never saved labor, always increased it.


Here I discover that if I put a pair of asterisks both before and after a sentence, it results in and indented, bulleted sentence with one asterisk after it.


Two asterisks then a space then a sentence, the sentences will then be bulleted and indented:

  • Sentence One
  • Sentence Two

curious2 @168 By taking only a part of Lost Margarita's comment out of the full context of the comment itself, it seems you've lost the nuance of the thought.

FWIW, I regularly see various other posters to this board claim the mantle of "expert on the subject at hand" while dismissing other viewpoints as less qualified. It is frustrating I agree. But I think you have blinders on if you think the tactic is the sole dominion of Harriet. Perhaps it is because those other "experts" couch their recriminations in more civil language that you don't see it.

Please don't take this personally, but from my vantage point, you seem to be fixated on Harriet, given the way you relentlessly take them to task on a fairly regular basis. Maybe you should ignore them? And Harriet - quit mentioning fubar and curious2 (or anyone else whom you know will be triggered by your characterizations of them) in your posts.



It seems to me that fubar and curious are being called out for carrying out an anti-Harriet campaign, and I am being called out, as a straight woman, for weighing in on a letter written by a homophobic "straight" man who is interacting with gay men.

So I will try to do better.


"Maybe you should ignore them?"

I'd love to, and I've said I will mostly. Only mostly because we have heard appreciation and that's it's needed, including from Luis.

Honestly, since it's become clear to me that there's no solution I would love to selfishly refrain from trying to do anything about how anyone treats anyone. And I selfishly will mostly refrain.

(Even though it seems to me that Harriet's mind games have been emboldened by hearing I planned to stop illuminating those mind games. But fine, it's the last job in the world I want.)

I (and I think we) are all now making the unpleasant sacrifice of for a moment /not/ ignoring problematic members (I hope not only Harriet) right now for the purpose of having a metadiscussion, which you have constructively raised, to try to make list dynamics more constructive.

Speaking for myself, I think that's really important because the way things are might have already resulted in a situation where there are so few people participating here, that we could all press the Report button and not achieve a threshold of any kind of action on any kind of behavior. Along with just having sadly few people participating here; which might mean we don't have enough to attract more. All of which I see no solution to, and see I'm terrible at doing anything about, so I'm now resigned to.

And, I admit, I let myself get pissed off about it a month ago; it just took me a few weeks to reach resignation.

"it seems you've lost the nuance of the thought"

I promise that the parts of the comment that I didn't quote were understood. I just think that the thing I did quote called for a response.

I look forward to this metadiscussion being over so I can settle into the ease of mostly not doing anything about how anyone treats anyone. I will cherish the free time. I was trying to help others, but now see I was blind to both how shitty at it I was, and how pointless on all levels it was.


curious, you say you're exercising logic, but what you seem to be missing is that consent here is kind of a dynamic concept, which relies on two-way interaction every step of the way. I mean, how do you imagine these big-assed men - who we cannot assume to be subs, bottoms, straight-chasers or humiliation lovers - get from "hello" to sending ALPHA their twerking videos?

I can tell you that when I get cold-messaged by "straight strict Dom tops" online, I usually do one of three things - block, ignore, or say "thanks but no thanks", depending on the rudeness of that opening message. It's not a demographic I'm interested in, so there will be no further sexual interaction, regardless of how much he likes the look of my ass. If it's someone I AM interested in, I might continue to chat, but if they then push for humiliation play or anything else I don't wanna do, the chat will probably end there. I will not be making a demeaning twerking video for some random guy when it's not my kink. Does this sound logical to you?

I do see how a young, inexperienced, or insecure person might feel pushed into an online interaction they're not entirely comfortable with - either because they assume that's what they're meant to do, or because they feel that they can't do any better. Some of the other posters have said that ALPHA's preferred demographic has a high percentage of young, inexperienced and insecure guys, so I understand THAT concern. But on the whole, it doesn't seem like a huge stretch to assume that the men who willingly send ALPHA their twerking videos have a thing for straight jocks and humiliation play.


Margarita @165: Without reading what others appear to have written in repy to your comment, I’m going to first reply myself.

Thanks for the thoughtful response

“That's not how I see Harriet's and Venn' comments on the ALPHA discussion.”

When I wrote "That’s just payback” I was referring to the previous Harriet experience I’d just described. But I do think the “sucked-lemon straight moralist” remark qualifies. I wasn’t implicating Mr. Venn in any way because, to be honest, I hold him in great regard and find it easy to trust his motives.

I was also referring to not wanting to have to reveal intimate personal details of my life and lived experiences in order to take a seat at the table. But maybe that’s just the price of admission?

I completely agree with everything you wrote about outsiders moderating their voices. I’m fortunate to be welcomed in a number of spaces where the only thing I’d ever say is, "I’m sorry that happened, and I hear you.” As a well meaning white person, the only issue I’d hold forth on with any insistence is that it’s an us problem.

"I know you get it when it comes to women talking about women's experiences, so why not in this case? Is it because it was Harriet who brought it up?”

I’m not sure what you’re asking. I hadn’t seen anything that Harriet had written about ALPHA, other than the insults lobbed this week at me and Curious. I haven’t written anything about ALHPA this week, other than concluding @1 and @66 that Dan had omitted a detail from the letter.

Two weeks ago, I led by acknowledging what Bouncing had written regarding ALPHA. I mentioned that in the kink community, someone calling themselves an "alpha" is a sure sign of an asshole. I did offer some support to Curious, who was was supporting nocutename, and was upset by Harriet and Raindrop supporting ALPHA, but I didn’t join in beyond a minor preach about consent. I've written more in this one comment than I wrote about ALPHA. What am I not getting?


I said I /might/ rename the browser extension, but given the unintended feelings about the name, I went ahead and did so.

I had planned to call it the Savage Love Usability Browser Extension (SavageLUBE), but the build process created files named savagelube-extension, and yes, I am that pedantic.

So with a nod to BiDanFan’s SlogEnhancer suggestion @97, we have… drum roll… the Savage Love Usability Browser Enhancement.

The SavageLUBE extension can be downloaded here, by clicking on the latest release link.

Please note the special upgrade instructions if you have the old extension installed.


"Perhaps it is because those other "experts" couch their recriminations in more civil language that you don't see it."

That's part, but only part, of it. As I was saying, it's more than simple crude overt language (that gets hidden in oceans of flopping words, and Harriet wouldn't be doing so much of were Harriet not emboldened by the pushback on the pushback). It's also the stealth mind games designed to not be noticed.

As I was saying, I am fervently curious to learn from others things I can't know. But in the thread in question, Harriet only pretended there was any such thing. All Fubar and I were putting forward was a principle of consent that, countless flops later, Harriet conceded was a given, thus agreeing with us.

Harriet argued for a principle (which, goodness love Venn he would embrace as separatism) which had no practical relevance to the letter, requiring Harriet to make up things not in the letter which would say there were things we couldn't address.

But there were no such things, as Harriet agreed. Margarita put forth an eloquent discussion of the pedestal I place such things on whenever there's a hint of such things. I'm sorry I didn't praise her for that, but I've been pretty busy and she hasn't been even-handed with me either.


Margarita @175: I agree completely that "consent here is kind of a dynamic concept, which relies on two-way interaction every step of the way."

ALPHA never wrote about those interactions, or Dan left them on the cutting room floor, so we're left projecting our own experiences into that gap.

"I do see how a young, inexperienced, or insecure person might feel pushed into an online interaction they're not entirely comfortable with - either because they assume that's what they're meant to do, or because they feel that they can't do any better."

Or perhaps because they've caught feelings, or worse, hope.


Cocky @169: Congratulations on the double whammy!


Thank you for the smart, kind, and important point; I haven't noticed it get the right play before.

"what you seem to be missing do you imagine these big-assed men...get from "hello" to sending ALPHA their twerking videos?"

I admit that I am so averse to imagining (I'm kinda obsessed with sticking to evidence), that I've been considering their getting inconvenienced by his initial contact shitty in itself, and felt no logical need to imagine further.

In other words, it appears that he's making a practice of behaving poorly with individuals long before he starts steering contacts towards filming the videos.

And I concede that it's probably a factor that nearly all of the messages I get on apps are wasting my time; they're nearly all from bots, scammers, and fakes. I'm infuriated by all those who waste my time on apps, as nothing is more valuable than time to an old man. So I think wasting people's time on apps, despite the size of their ass, is wrong. Not Jeffrey-Dahmer-level-wrong, but still wrong. From the very first message they write in response.

If ALPHA had told us that he let people know in his listing or first message that he'd be serving domination or humiliation, I'd be all for it, because as I've said before he'd be doing good (and I think that good actions, regardless of his intentions, are good). But given his character, I don't want to assume the best of him.


Curious2 @178 It isn’t my intention to embolden Harriet with my “pushback on the pushback”. If they’ve read my words closely, they would understand that. Nor am I trying to silence any voices or quash debate. If you feel the need to point out what you feel is abusive behavior - please do.

I think my entire point can be boiled down to this: Consider the irony (excuse me if I’m pulling an Alanis here) of calling out abusive behavior by being abusive. That’s it.

I speak as someone who is often reminded on this board that my comments are being muted. It happened in this very thread. Believe me, I got the message the first time. The repeated reminders now strike me as deliberately hurtful. I truly don’t care if anyone doesn’t want to read my comments and I don’t blame people for not coming to my defense. We are all strangers after all. (Having said that, I’d like to drop that particular subject - nothing good can come of it)


I just want add that, by the time someone is recording a twerking video, I certainly would not presume to have an opinion on whether that implies openness to domination or humiliation. (In fact if someone demanded I guess, I'd say it did.) I would be at the head of the line to hear others' opinions on it.

It's just that I didn't feel need for my mind wander that far into the interactions, since all I ever said was wrong was his practice of wasting people's time, and it appears that was happening long before he gave contacts information to allow them to opt out.

I do imagine that humans are all more similar than they are different. At least as far as not assuming we want our time wasted.

I simply am not ready to assume, given his character, than he was responsible enough to properly respect people's time, and establish somehow that they'd be open to disrespect of it (for examples, through domination or humiliation).

Am I influenced by how much I hate my own time wasted on the aps? Absolutely. But at least I'm speaking from experience.

Am I influenced by how much of a jerk it appears that ALPHA is? Yes, but that seems fair.

"If they’ve read my words closely, they would understand that."

You are so right. All the credit in the world to you both for opening up the metadiscussion, and for then listening. I am so happy you are with us, Jibe.

"the irony...of calling out abusive behavior by being abusive"

Well done. I regret behaving badly, and thank you (and Margarita) for helping me see that, and how it hurt you in particular.

"excuse me if I’m pulling an Alanis here"

You are welcome to. As far as I'm concerned, the technically 'wrong' use of the word ironic is far more useful that the actual definition. So as a person who believes that communication is the only goal of language, rock on! (Personally this weird situation makes me extremely reluctant to even use the word, because as much as I'd like to use it the most useful way, I'm not eager to be called wrong for that.)

Er, not that I remember whether Alanis' use was either of the above.


@54. Curious. There is no dispute between us on the point of principle in this case. If the lw is cruelly teasing guys he has no intention of meeting, signalling availability then designedly whisking it away, he's an asshole--and almost certainly has issues of his own. The people like Alexander Cleves, Dan, alison cummins and me who have seen something else going on have different perceptions of the facts, not different values.

As I remember, I was the person who said to nocute that straight-chasing / fetishising bottoms were a far more specific and limited population than just subby gay bottoms solicited by tops on Grindr.

Just to clarify one thing, I have 'no problem being addressed degradingly' in casual sex--which I have with decreasing frequency--but I do not have any kind of thing for humiliation play with acquaintances e.g. small penis humiliation, which I find baffling, rather than a turn-off. Being humiliated by someone I know, or have known for years, would interfere with my getting into subspace. This combination, of being bottom-y but resistant to humiliation in social settings, is, I would think, fairly common--common enough for me to bring it up to shed some light for others on 'queer typology'.

'The Antioch Rules': Antioch College devised an anti-sexual harassment policy which supposedly required people thinking of making a move on crushes to submit a written request to them in advance. This rule (possibly strategically misinterpreted by the enemies of 'political correctness') was widely mocked. If the Antioch rules were justified, consent would not count as consent without being written in advance and submitted to the person(s) hitting on you.

@56. Nocute. Mr Venn doesn't even think I'm a gay man, and nor do I, actually. I doubt there's a single gay male scene for any gay male to be an authority on.

@65. Venn. I thought that the angle that cis straight men would bring to the unavailable straight guy playing on chasers' fetishising him would be that straight men are led on, frustratingly led on, all the time on the web--i.e. as het guys trying to sleep with women. I thought the points that Alison was sort-of making--that the internet was a place of frustration for men, and was further bent out of shape by fantasy--would be taken up more widely--by people saying (to women), 'and what do you think it is like dating y'all on OKCupid? Is there no breadcrumbing, no ghosting, no ambivalence, no mixed messages, no having the date pulled at the last moment in straight man-straight woman dating?'


@75. Lava. It's more that Bi /hasn't/ gotten into an argument with me over the letter, and has in fact declined to get into an argument with me, just instead dismissing what I said as 'bait'.

There has been no engagement with my substantive points or even what I offered as 'talking points' of general interest. She might just as well concede, 'I can't win an argument with you; you come up with subtle positions I can't really take exception to, and indeed what you say is almost all the time, even in basic reaction or impulse, the same as what I say. But rather than sharing the floor, so that I can go on holding court with people who have taken against you and who look up to me, I will categorise your subtlety and balanced positions as such as trolling and provocation, and so get out out of (what I presumably most fear as a contributor) being worsted in debate'.

Of course, the board is more properly about trying to give helpful advice than about debate.

In the forlorn hope, I would guess, that somebody, anybody, will engage with the substantive points, I will restate them in simple form:
1) that insiders of a subculture are likely better judges of implicit, contextual consent than outsiders;
2) that the optics of emphatic straight men deploring a stigmatised subculture, that of gay straight-fetishists, are bad,
and--more a talking point--
3) that there is a tendency for woke men to think that patriarchy makes the lives of women and sexual minorities intolerable, rather than simply vexatious or inconvenient.

I take your points about my ideas sometimes being hard to follow and will sometimes make an effort to state them simply in bullet point form (when I think there is some real difference being dodged or misstated).

@82. JibeHo. Well, I guess a 'firdt' link to the Slogblocker would give new readers a preview of the tone of the board.

Why don't the people using the blocker set up their own private, invitation-only community, perhaps asking The Stranger for a link to their 'curated' space? Is the reason they don't do this the playground gratification for them of saying, 'you're awful, and, by the way, I won't be around for your reply, because I've blocked you?'. Anyone commenting on The Stranger board could commit, in principle, to being exposed to views they found objectionable, provocative, badly-expressed, offbeam or boring. And (probably) they would pass them over if they were too much any of these things? I think there would be a 'free speech' argument in favor of blocking the blocker. I've said before that I think being able selectively to mute anyone, or the representatives of any group, community or belief-system, goes against the ethos of Savage Love.

(I would in fact couple the 'blocking of the blocker' with much more vigorous moderation and enforcement of breaches of site rules concerning abusive and violent language).


While it's not officially a lucky number, Curious, I've often thought that @181 ought to be the non-recip equivalent of @69, as in, one ate one.


Apropos @87: how do these people using the Slogblocker know how those they have blocked with said Slogblocker (as they have so frequently declared) characterise their contributions? Does someone phone them up with the juiciest epithets? Do they have some sort of side-channel going? If I knew I was talking to these people, I would be more constructive or emollient in tone (rather than briskly summarising their viewpoints to those still reading). Though, of course, my most avid readers, most likely, are those titivating themselves turning the blocker on and off, not reading in virtuous indignation, then convincing themselves e.g. they have a civic duty to read e.g. to warn other (poor) readers off some supposed provocation. Really, this is ridiculous.

@90. JibeHo. I once asked Fubar a series of direct questions to which he gave (feeling persecuted) a series of (to me, unsatisfyingly) boilerplate answers. He then said that my questions were imputations he had some sort of sympathy for men's rights activists. I was taken aback. I couldn't understand why he couldn't answer a question with some statement of what he actually felt about a situation (described in a letter) at hand.

I have to say I was also bullied at school (I was an American at an English boarding school, so natch), and what I recall was that bullies' and followers' psychological mechanism was typically to claim that I was provoking them. The word 'trolled' didn't exist; but their thought-processes seemed to go something like this, 'we are good people, we have feelings, therefore we are susceptible to being trolled, and therefore we sometimes lose our temper and say immoderate things and act together as an expression of intense group-feeling and shared values'. That is, they were bullies because they were good people. All the provocation (like my accent, like my not knowing the small change of the culture they'd grown up with) was either venial or projection, in their heads.


@122. Lava. Of course the Slogblocker is 'divisive'. And yet its proponents think it is more reasonable to ask The Stranger to highlight it, than to set up their own 'gated' discussion communities e.g. establishing their own personalities for anyone who wants to read them, and to ask The Stranger for click-through links to these pages. It's very striking to me how far from an ordinary norm of what is reasonable, proportionate, fair, people's views can move in concert with each other. Like when the description of a view as that of a 'straight moralist' is inflammatory, and 'shit coming out of' someone's 'mouth' not worth remarking, or maybe an understandable response to sustained pressure.

@125. Venn. As a young man I was socialised into gay male subcultures, but even then always had the question before me of how female (a bit more than 'fem') to present myself as. Of course I'm GQ rather than gay male.

@129. JibeHo. Yes, exactly. It's a 'some of it rubs off' strategy; casual readers may readily grant that someone like curious is given to immoderation, but the fact of his not being ignored or slapped down by other frequent commenters may have the effect of making people think there may be something in his personal attacks. I think many others do 'get it' and are turned off by it (or maybe rather groupthink and cliquishness in more general forms), actually stopping reading the comments (gay men, probably, are the more noticeable group to be commenting less in the few years I've been reading through these threads).

@140, Lava. What I'd say about the Slogblocker is this. The times (I'd think) when the comments are most useful to a lw are when a clear issue gets framed, and people take up the two sides consistently and in dialog with each other, developing their positions and looking for agreement. This happens very rarely (typically because the letters are open-and-shut 'DTMFA'-style cases); but is the richest and most interesting type of thread. Now, if someone is blocking one or more than one individual commenter, that person blocking cannot see the whole argument on the thread develop. They are either cutting themselves off; or, if they have a following or run in a group, preventing a commenter from shaping or participating in a discussion. And I can't see this being the ethos of the column or site.


It's too bad everyone has such distinctive writing styles. Otherwise we could all just start over with new account names and try again. As it is, I think the historical backlog will continue to interfere with fluid conversation.

For what it's worth--i.e., akin to nothing--I will say that I have never thought any of the current players was a troll or even trying to be particularly provocative. I don't think anyone is playing mind games, although I know several commenters I respect do think so--well, maybe they see things I don't see, or maybe we just disagree, and that's fine. Disagreement is baked into the structure of the situation in any case. A few people tend to get angrier faster than others and there's the occasional name-calling and bickering, which I find unpleasant, but seems to me (if you'll excuse the stolen phrase) the price of admission to participating in any anonymous internet discussion. I also think that given the long history of many of the commenters here, we mostly do an admirable job of trying to understand each other and trying to be courteous. Things appear to me to have gotten a bit more strained this last year, and I think the lack of the SLOTD and the fucking pandemic have probably both contributed.

But I for one love the variety of people and opinions that exist in this space, even those I find baffling and those I think are bullshit. And I try to remind myself that probably some of you find the things I post to be obvious bullshit. We all speak from our experience, and our experiences are diverse.

Diversity is a strength, right? But it's also uncomfortable and disorienting. That's why mostly people don't sit very long with it, and tend towards policing each other and making little tribes. The fact that we all sometimes manage to live with it is unusual and fantastic. Props to us.


@169 cbu: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Heartfelt congratulations, cocky balls up, on scoring this week's highly envied Double Whammy honors offering double the numeric prizes! Savor your newfound riches and bask in the glory. :)

@186 fubar: That is very clever! If we were to implement a "One Ate One" (@181) numeric prize starting this week, the first honors would go to curious2. Gold star for your clever idea!
This would also offer Lucky Numbers game participants an extra shot at a numeric prize. :)

The Double Hunsky is next! Tick...tick..tick...


M?? Harriet - I thought Ms Cummins was turning a straight explanation into an anti-gay excuse, besides which the position was the other way around from most of the explanations we've seen from women who have appeared to act as that LW does, though I'll allow the likelihood that there may we;; be women in the dating area acting on very similar motives (though I doubt the level of malice is equivocal.

I'll agree that gays are too various for any one voice to speak with full authority. As for you status. what would you say to being considered the Resident Expert on (though not limited to) MM "straight homosex"?


Ms Lost - Things have at least partly improved; appropriation seems on the decline. On the Target Audience question, my own experience suggests that one needs to have been through a fair number of rodeos before being able to cope with people like that LW. I escaped rather lightly from being cajoled into doing humiliating things in 1988, and at least the cajoler wasn't straight (although in a way that may make it worse); I don't want the Sweet and Innocent (shades of Mr Osmond) contingent on Team G subjected to people like that before they are ready, especially given how they're being socialized to think they're supposed to find people like that and humiliating themselves hot.


fubar @176

"...What am I not getting?"

Ok, maybe I misunderstood. On the first page, you brought up "not being allowed" to comment three times:

"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."

"anyone who has anything to contribute in good faith really ought to be allowed a voice"

"The theme of the week seems to be people telling others what they're allowed to comment on"

Who or what was that in response to? Who is saying that you're not allowed to comment? Given the context, I assumed this was a creative interpretation of Harriet and Venn asking outsiders not to moralize quite so vehemently about MM sexual dynamics they have no experience with. IME, privileged people often sniffily retort that they should be "allowed" their say when told to pipe down and let others speak. I was surprised to see you making this argument, as I know you get it in other contexts - I could only assume you were being dismissive because it was Harriet who first brought this up. But now you're saying that you haven't read anything Harriet has written, and have no beef with Venn's comments, so I'm doubly confused!

FWIW, I don't remember you being gratingly moralistic in the ALPHA thread (though some other comments did seem that way to me). But it's gay men who should be the arbiters of this.

Who or what was this in response to?


@147. Luluisme. Another way to say 'falling for' 'mind games' or claims or whatever is 'agreeing with' someone. If you can't say why it's wrong, or see or say why it's 'mind games', it isn't, for you--you just agree with it. Anything else would seem to be dogmatism--'I'll agree with the person who says it, not with what they say'.

@146. JibeHo. 'Moralist' was intended to mean someone who perhaps too inflexibly applies moral principles to complex and uncertain cases (rather e,g, than allowing rules of thumb to emerge from the cases). It meant more than 'moral person' and less than 'moral absolutist'. 'Straight' only meant 'straight' i.e. someone possibly without familiarity with a gay teasing/humiliation kink. (I would hope we're a long way away from a world where a non-straight person can toss the word 'straight' around like an insult). I do think my words are held to a different standard of acceptable invective and vividness than anyone else's--e.g. Lava's calling curious 'entitled' and 'arrogant'; how is 'moralist' worse than that?

My last comment was something like #50; the weekend happened; with some intervening substantive comments from others like Philophile (let's say this accounts for 30 or so); I jump back in at #180 or so, and find three (or, actually, two) people have made around 50+ (?) comments with me as the theme or subtext. Surely it is clear their conversations are projective--that they, at bottom, have nothing to do with me? Don't they have anything better to do? Like, even, say something of substance about SL letters?

@158. Apropos Fubar. Oh, I do not care about your children. Of course I wish them well, but I have no interest in their age, sex, gender etc. etc.--they are not part of your SL commenting persona in any shape or form; they are off limits, they are entitled to their personal privacy. We should all respect that. I did not have a clue you supposed I had any interest in them, or was 'relentless' in putting personal questions about them. This is projection.

It is shocking that anyone would suggest that someone in a DD/lg relationship is a 'pedophile'. Thank heaven you don't think that it was me who implied that.

@162. JibeHo. I do engage in any argument in good faith. My emotions in seeing fubar's and curious's denunciations of ALPHA at the head of the thread were to do with how dispiriting it was to see (as could be inferred) all-purpose moral commentators engage in (what ended up as) deploring a gay kink. You don't take this feeling (which had a certain indignation to it) into account (if fubar must be granted his emotions and aversiveness in relation to me, surely I can be given a certain weariness and certain primed responses in relation to people denigrating me?), nor do you take into account the difficult situation of having to think how to engage someone who repeatedly says he's not reading me--then turns out to be reading after all? It's hard to know what tone to strike with someone who denies being engaged.

My belief about the Blocker now is more or less that I don't believe in it. It should not be possible for anyone to troll someone who has blocked them--the blocker forfeits their right of response, and attains a degree of inaccessibility; but it is clear this is not how the Slogblocker works: it's merely a device for people aggressively to say they're not reading someone, while going on reading them.


@173. Nocute. But of course you can weigh in on any topic that attracts your interest.

@162. JibeHo. How is 'any' 'sucked-lemon straight moralist' pinned specifically to curious or Fubar? It's addressed to people who see something deplorable in the set-up of unavailable straight Doms denying straight-chasers. I agree that I did have fubar in mind as a 'straight moralist' in relation to ALPHA's letter, but in that phrase I was clearly generalising beyond the expression of one ad hoc opinion.

The other thing to say is that (probably more than fubar, but I don't know his personal history or relations to this subculture) of course I have wished at times in my life that gay bottoms didn't fetishise withholding straights; that we could all aim to be a bit more vers, and for bottoms to find some erotic frisson in other bottoms. That's a political feeling one can't not have--more, it seems to me, than Mr Savage admits to having, or flaunts. But it seems equally gay-affirmative to say that straight-chasers with a denial kink can have hot fantasy and flirting lives. This is something we haven't heard at all on the thread, with the exception of from Alexander Cheves: some expression of pleasure or fellow-feeling in the experience of the men getting off on their correspondence and inevitable dashed hook-up with the however-appalling lw.


@168. curious. You are sure of the facts in ALPHA's case, and I am not sure of the facts. The circumstance of Dan and Alexander Cleves taking the facts to be different from what might be considered the surface reading of the letter makes me more unsure of the facts, and less ready to come down hard on ALPHA for the bait-and-switch of setting up apparently in-good-faith meet-ups.

A comment that is 'unwelcome' is precisely one that the person making it was 'allowed' to make. Remember Voltaire: 'I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it'.


@169. Cocky. I agree about hooking up in meatspace--not least for reasons of social solidarity.

Apropos @176. Fubar. I was never supporting ALPHA. I think he's probably confused and bigoted. I was defending Dan and Alexander Cleves's counterintuitive and subculture-supporting / kink-affirmative response to his letter.

@178. Curious. I did not argue for a cultural separatism. Is this misunderstanding of my whole line strategic? I said that consent was consent, but that insiders might see where a blurred or smudge-y line of consent fell better than outsiders.

@191. Venn. I have no interest at all in any further subdivision of queer people into ever more baroque, bespoke or one-man's-inspiration categories. Most of the sex I've had that seems most 'straight' to me is with het married couples, where (a good 20+ years into being sexually active) I have topped the women. However, this has been something like 20% of my notionally het (and, anyway, how het?) interaction, and 80% has been my getting pegged by both husband and wife (or topped by the guy, pegged by the wife). The sex I have had with a man in a 'marriage' where I presented as female (but how female?) did not approximate to straightness in my mind (and this was not really about my anatomy. My weight, my physique, my signalled pre- and post-op (top surgery) body changed a lot over the course of this relationship). None of it felt straight. Also, I do not like the idea of experts and specialist subjects.


This thread has been hijacked long ago. Otherwise well-intended contributors may have given it an unintended legitimacy.


Fubar @105, thanks for sharing the good news!

Curious @106, I agree with your thoughts. It's like people have picked their sides and once you don't like someone, what they say is "bullying" or "doubling down" but if you do like them it's "calling out" or "standing up for oneself." To clarify, MARGARITA got the hunsky. My words @103 were in response to her, not to you. And I agree, she singled me out for "passive-aggressive bullying," but wasn't her response to me, if calling out bad behaviour is "bullying," plain old aggressive bullying? To me, bullying implies an imbalance of power, and there is no imbalance of power here. So there may be calling out (if you agree the behaviour called out should have been), or being an asshole (if you don't agree, or if they've used personal insults), but there cannot be bullying. I was annoyed by your stopping your quote of my comment right before the "Sorry about that, y'all," which clearly indicated that I was in fact including myself among the bickerers and apologising for my role in the mélee. My comment expressed frustration, it was not "bullying" of anyone, passive, aggressive or otherwise. And again, the winkyface indicated I was not seriously calling anyone a name -- I just happened to notice that the day of the new column, Tuesday, led handily to a "see you next Tuesday" which is often used as a cheeky abbreviation. However, I admit that by @103 I was beginning to feel as if I'd fallen into a den of bullies myself, so I walked away -- which is always an option.

I dislike the idea that when one commenter agrees with another, it's "ganging up." If something has been said by one person, it can't be said by another, even if they share the opinion? In this instance, one commenter is being pulled up on behaviour they can't seem to see is happening, and the hope, I suppose, is that if several people describe the same trend then perhaps the person may see the original commenter had a point? I know I'm more likely to reconsider my behaviour if more than one person has pointed it out. This isn't ganging up, it's corroborative evidence.

Cocky @109, thanks for your perspective.

Margarita @113, I agree with Fubar that "reporting the really vile stuff" does nothing. Of course, perhaps it does make YOU feel better, so if that's the important thing, keep reporting. It also gives the advantage of having done something that doesn't escalate the argument. And often gets comments removed, but almost never the commenters themselves.

Curious @124, but weren't the lone sociopaths supported by the laughter of bystanders (who didn't want to become the next victim)? In my experience, they were.

Venn @125, Harriet assigns themself to teams per their own purposes. During the ALPHA debate they assigned themself to Team G, opposing the "straight moralists" who dared to speak about an app they themselves have never used.

Wam @149, I agree. That's why I pointed out how unusual it was that we had descended into bickering by day two, when it usually takes several. When there were SLLOTDs we'd moved on before we got annoyed with each other. Dan, what about this return of the SLLOTD?

Nocute @160: "any newcomer would figure out how to navigate the site for themself, as we all did once upon a time." How? SavageLUBE is not officially part of this website. It is not possible to find it by clicking links or searching the Stranger FAQ. Newbies can only find out about it if regulars share the link. I too am unbothered by the idea of people ignoring, muting or blocking me. I would rather they did than (a) let me grate on them if that's the case, or (b) hurl personal insults my way.

More later.


Apropos @198. Bi. There is an 'imbalance of power' in the basic sense of there being three people, sometimes more, depredating my contributions as 'bait', trolling, provocations or insincere. There is also a disparity in behavior, in that while I may express substantive disagreements with the three of you, or suggest there is something politically unfortunate in people of a mainstream sexuality or gender identification appearing to want to rule so decisively on subcultures, I would never programmatically run down curious and Fubar's views as insincere.

I disagree that once a person has picked a side, they are unable to see the ordinary merit of a comment from someone on the supposed other side. Apparently someone suggested that an older man called 'Daddy' by their lover during sex (in a Big/little relationship, no less) is a pedophile. I have to hope anyone would find that outrageous, whether the person defamed is notionally 'friend or foe'.

I never claimed to be G to cast doubt on other commenters' credentials for commenting. Anyone can comment. Contra the Slogblockers, I believe in free speech. It does seem to me very much (I am not sure whether Bi is reading, but I will put this out there as an honest perception) that your moral compass has gone seriously awry if you now think participating in drive-by s is above-board. I would suppose, maybe, that curious and Fubar will always be liable to reading a personal subtext into my comments; but you are more able to observe distinctions between points at issue and personalities; and, further, we have engaged civilly for something like four years without personal characterisation or smears being perpetually at hand. I would think the honourable thing to do in your case would be to say to curious and Fubar (when it's true, and when it's appropriate) that 90% of what you say is what I say, and that we're eminently in a position to find common ground. This would have the effect of bringing the thread back to particular issues and away from the wearing and directionless debating of personalities.

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