Savage Love Nov 23, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Get Out

Joe Newton



Test of Mirroring: Comment entered on site.


Er, wow, I just realized that has given up on Disqus this week! (Yes, embarrassingly, I posted @1 without thinking.) I like this format better, so I'll suggest we all just abandon commenting on
Here's what I posted there hours ago:

"add the number 13"

FFS, that sounds like a Freudian slip, since the well-known 'rule' is plus 7 (not 13).

While dumping your extremely unhealthy BF, you might do him a favor and suggest he get help, perhaps by doing vast amounts of work in therapy. For the sake of him having healthy relationships with others in the the future. (Do not think it will help with you, both because one should never expect anyone else to change, and because the relationship roles you two have established with each other are like wagon wheel ruts it would be close to impossible to break out of.)

You should also seek therapy yourself, to get over what caused you to put up with this for a year. There are many reasons people accept or even seek dysfunctional relationship patterns. (For just one example, some people seek damaged people out of fear that they'd be less likely to leave; a therapist specializing in self esteem might help such a person.)

(I should put this answer to FAILURE in my .sig or something; I'm getting exhausted by how many times I've said the same thing.)

For a success story, read "He Cared About Me, So I Broke Up With Him" at


There were some nice things about Disqus, though (every dark cloud has a silver lining), such as editing and formatting.


OMFG! You’re back, Dan. Yeah…


Curious@1; the mirroring was about using the same format, not the same responses.
I did join disc- confusin, except I got iCloud wrong in my sign up & when I was asked to verify they couldn’t because I’d misspelt my email. That it is such a weirdo format I took it as a sign not to try to rectify.


"the mirroring was about using the same format, not the same responses."

False. One the Nov. 8 column the Disqus Comments were identical on the two sites, as announced when fixed by the Mod at


Oh ok, curious. Forgot my name? Call
Me by my name!
I didn’t see mirrors in the answers.. and you know mate, not gonna fight with youse. Ever.


The letter from the 65 year old was strange. Is he really worried that a 40 year old woman is too immature to consent to sex with a 65 year old man? Like she will just be overwhelmed his maturity, and lose her senses?

Big age gaps of that sort will raise eyebrows, but more in a gossipy way than a predator-judging way.

The pc boilerplate response was not very helpful.


@6 p.s.
Mirroring is a technical term, which means what it sounds like it means. I was using it in private to speculate that it was the plan even before Rob Crocker confirmed that the plan was for mirroring, in other words that the Disqus comments on both sites for each week's column be identical.

We shall see if this week on the old format on the old site is temporary while they figure out how to properly mirror (before Rob's fix TheStranger had mirrored to the /previous/ week on the new site) Disqus, or whether it means that it's been decided to abandon the mirroring plan.

In any case, being on Disqus seemed to harm the vitality of the commentariat. And even with this old format back, having another site that's commenting on Disqus may split the energy of the already dysfunctionally long-waning commentariat.


I read the first line of Dan's reply to FAILURE and thought 'Good! Nothing like an unequivocal DTMFA right off the hop.' And then I read "...leave them on your side of the bed, take your shit and go," and for a brief but glorious moment I thought Dan was counseling FAILURE to literally TAKE A DUMP ON THE BED on her way out.

When I realized my mistake I remembered that advice like that would be unprecedented in Savage Love. Still, I can't imagine a better candidate for a steaming pile than FAILURE'spartner.


@10 saxfanatic hahaha! I had to reread that sentence myself. Thought I somehow missed a key detail in the letter.


LW2, let’s call it as it is written by WHO , after 65
we are termed elderly. It’s a hard one, I know, I just hit 70, so I’m elderly plus 5.
If you can find a woman who wishes to step out with your elderly self, go for it.


FRIED: "Even without the trans part, it’s not easy to be a 30-something single man in a liberal college town."

Huh, that hasn't been my experience at all. Granted, I live in a major city with several universities, while "college town" here might refer to a smaller town centered mostly on a college/university, but it has been my experience that dating became much easier in my thirties as compared to my twenties. Once I hit my thirties, I received a rapidly INCREASING amount of romantic attention from women in both their 20s and 30s, and midway through my fourth decade, I'm a year into my current relationship, and it's going well.

"but he doesn’t want to be the kind of 30-something perv who dates people in their twenties."

Ah, I see, the current infantilizing moral panic that positions 20-something adults as incapable of making informed decisions about their sex lives is inflecting this. We should probably throw me in prison for dating a 27-year-old woman at 34; I'm clearly a predator who exploited the naivete of a working counselor with a master's degree, who couldn't possibly have the life experience or cognitive development to make an informed decision to date someone older. eyeroll

Ah, I see Dan's not a fan of the sex panic either. :-P

FAILURE: Your boyfriend sounds like he has extreme revulsion reactions to body fluids, especially blood (this is a real psychological condition; my girlfriend, for example, can't watch movies or TV with any sort of blood, even if it's minimal or fake-looking). What might indicate patriarchial issues is the not touching yourself, but of course two things can be true: your boyfriend may have a real, overwhelming aversion to body fluids that limits possible sex acts AND he may well have internalized patriarchial bullshit.

Continually pressuring someone to do something around which ze has set clear limits can be abusive, and it's best to avoid doing so. Instead, take people's limits, boundaries, etc. seriously the first time, and then make decisions about whether to continue a relationship based on that. Since you're clearly unhappy with the situation, breaking up is a good idea.


Agreed that TM1 seems to be making excuses for not dating twnety-odds, and it's nice that Mr Savage has become a little less aggressive about those who aren't matches for Early Disclosers.


I'll defer to the women of the assembled company (such as it is) on how afraid a woman in her prime would be of a man past his, but A2 is another brick in the case for establishing varied standards for consent.


I'll disagree with Mr Savage to th extent that LW3 seems quite capable of doubting her own sanity even without the patriarchy, but she may have been different prior to being with ABF3. Maybe ABF3 is bi and will meet a straight-chaser with whom he can enter a CMY. Now there's a happy ending worthy of Humpty Dumpty.


"I guess the bottom line is that these days I find myself attracted to younger women."
I laughed out loud at this and at the response.


I’m joining all others expressing relief to see the old format is back. I found the new one to be annoyingly non-linear to the point of giving up.

Regardless of how passable LW1 may be, he should direct some of his outings and volunteering time to venues and events that cater to queer and trans folks. This way he is signaling who he is and also mingle with people that will be much more open to dating him.


FRIED~Excellent advice from Dan on this one. Especially the "get it out in front right away" part. If you're going to get "rejected" get it done while the stakes are practically nonexistent. And, as always, wallowing in self-doubt and pity is a turn off! If you can't boost your confidence by yourself, get some help from friends, counselors, Toastmasters, Dale Carnegie meetings (do those still exist?).

AGES~ Again, Dan's right on the money. Date whoever you want, but you'll be more likely to succeed with women closer to your age unless you're willing to pay for it with a pro or a sugar daddy situation or unless you lower your standards way down. Not saying its impossible, but don't believe all the "daddy" porn you're watching. IT'S A FANTASY.

FAILURE~ You know that there are OTHER guys out there that can give you mind-blowing sex without being a 500-gallon douche, don't you? Follow Dan's advice, he's smokin' hot this week.


I dunno, I was just starting to like the formatting and embedded replies to comments on Disqus. Change is always hard, and a LOT of commenters haven’t/hadn’t made the switch, so that was disheartening.


I never figured out how to comment on Disqus. I have no idea why the old commenting format was restored to the The Stranger's version of the column. But if you guys want to keep it, I'll ask the powers that be.


Aging Gentleman, you’ve got the rule wrong. (BiDanFan corrected me on that a few weeks ago.) Anyway, it looks like you’re fishing in the wrong pond. Go hang out at the senior center or other retired people’s forums. I have heard the ratio favors het men although many of the women might be like me and no longer have a sexual interest. You mention “older women” not going anywhere. Do you mean older than you, or older than 45? Give older than you more time.
As for younger than you, yes, at our age, about 90% of the population is younger. Don’t be a creep and understand that much younger women are unlikely to be attracted to you. If “younger” is your thing, consider a sugar baby arrangement.

FAILURE, yes, your boyfriend is inattentive to your needs and has weird hang ups about blood. But even without all that, his refusal to go down on you is grounds for DTMFA. Didn’t Dan decree “oral is standard” long ago? Not for people like me who don’t care for it, but for most everyone. Your boyfriend, if he were GGG, might be a good match for a menopausal woman who doesn’t like oral, but not for you.
If the boyfriend were GGG, I might suggest other means of reducing blood risk. Female condoms, hormonal birth control, a blindfold for the guy, etc. But all that is moot if he doesn’t go down.
I wish Dan had taken the opportunity to reinforce the oral rule as part of a standard GGG attitude.


FAILURE, I am a cis woman who spots a lot, and my cis male partner also strongly dislikes blood (faints when he has blood drawn, etc). When we first started having sex together, this was a tough issue for us. The difference between my situation and yours is my partner was willing to work with me to figure out ways for us both to have a wonderful, satisfactory sexual experience when I was bleeding. And after enough time passed and he got used to the idea, he became okay with having intercourse when I was spotting a little bit. Your boyfriend is being a huge asshole and is using this bleeding thing as an excuse to deprioritize your needs and pleasure. It’s total BS that he won’t play with you when you’re spotting. Let me assure you, if he held you and played with your nips while you used a vibrator, there would be absolutely no blood in his experience. Hell, if he rubbed your clit with a little lube there wouldn’t be any blood. He’s being a total jackass. DUMP HIM YOU DESERVE BETTER!!


Yes please Dan , keep this format for The Stranger.
Disqus is a dog’s breakfast.
Was it changed because too many hit the report button, is a thought I had. The tech people got a little overwhelmed by that?


"I’m joining all others expressing relief to see the old format is back. I found the new one to be annoyingly non-linear to the point of giving up."

Yes that was the worst thing about it.

That non-linearity made finding new replies far too tedious and demanding. For example, starting with the 4th level (a Reply to a Reply to a Reply), they get no narrower, so to tell which were Replies to 3rd level Replies, and which were 5th plus level Replies, one would need to read the date stamp on every one.

I asked 'em to somehow highlight new replies, but who knows if they ever will.

So when I could occasionally work up the motivation, I took to using browser search on the word hours to automate finding the new replies.

Disqus is often fine for new articles one stumbles across and makes a one-off comment on. But for a highly-engaged commentariat, it was not conducive. (Though I loved the editing and formatting.)

I hope (almost all of) those who departed will find their way back. Olly olly oxen free!

"...if you guys want to keep it, I'll ask the powers that be."

1) Yay!
2) Dan isn't the power than be?


Yay for the old format being back! :)


Failure: I am so disappointed when I read letters like that, and they are not uncommon in this column. How can these women not realize that there are so many men who will gladly have a more equitable sexual relationship with them? Do they not read this column and therefore know that Dan, or anyone else in the world, will tell them to dump him? Of course she is not "being abusive"!

I wonder what attracted her to him, and why does she love him?

Women: Of that man's "sexual restrictions," which one is the most intolerable, and which is the most understandable? I am a heterosexual man, and I would speculate that him not wanting anal is the most understandable (or at least the one most women would accept), and not going down on her while expecting oral himself is the most intolerable. Why does sex only happen when he initiates? Because he will rebuff any of her advances? Even if he was also in the mood? If she offers a blowjob would he really decline because he is so turned off by a woman's advances?

Fried: I also think it is weird that he fears judgement for dating women in their 20s. He is "in his 30s." Ok, well, a 39 year old dating a 20 year old is entirely different from a 30yo man dating a 29yo woman. I do not think that too many people think that 30 something men who date women in their 20s are necessarily, or generally "pervs."

Ages: I often wonder why some people even bother to write to Dan. This is an example. I wonder why Dan felt the need to tell Ages about how women often do not outright say "No" to dates. The man is 65 and twice married. I am sure he has asked out women before.

"women are taught to prioritize men’s needs over their own." Is that why women do not say, "No, I will not go out with you as I am not attracted to you."? Or is it that that is just really blunt and rude? Failure is a clear example of a woman who prioritizes a man's needs over her own. But regarding Ages, we are explicitly discussing a man trying to court women, and one can easily make an argument that in that situation, men are taught to prioritize women's needs over their own.


I researched my mother's family back to 1608 and my father's family back to 1696. Over the years, there were dozens of older man/younger women marriages (mostly about 10 years younger) and ONE marriage where the woman was ONE YEAR older. I guess you could say they were farmers looking for younger stock.


Marilyn: Were the majority of your family's marriages between an older man and much younger woman? You say "dozens" but over the course of 4 centuries, "dozens" can still be a small fraction of the marriages.

Why do you think there were so many? I would think that men had to prove themselves worthy of marriage by acquiring some land or some other source of income.


What puzzles me is who are these 40 year old women who would want to date a 65 year old?
Is gerontophilia that widespread - or is that heterosexual men are so awful liver spots and old man smell are the least of your worries?


@Dan 19. This comment section seems WAY easier than the Disqus thing to me!
@ Guts 25, regards which of that asshole boyfriend's sexual restrictions are the worst -- the first thing that jumped out at me was the LW saying that they can't have sex unless he initiates -- I had to read that a few times to even figure out what she meant, and then concluded that he insists that he is the one to initiate all sex -- and that seems super fucked up. Like absurdly sexist. By the time I got to his refusal to go down on her, I was so done. So undecided on which of his restrictions is the worst, because I'm just getting selfish, sexist asshole from the whole thing.


Also, my avatar worked! Thanks for finding it for me and walking me through posting it, Curious!


@28, yes, I would suggest that all that, plus courteousness and good manners, outweigh your own BO, dirty butt, bad breath, and poor stamina in bed.


This webpage has (at least for now) been marooned from the column. This is a test of whether it remains possible to comment on a marooned TheStranger comment page.

Since Dan said there that he'd try to get TheStranger off Disqus, hopefully it's return to Disqus is only temporary (until Dan gets in touch with the tech staff) that it's back on Disqus.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!


Well done curious finding this page! Let’s hope Dan gets it sorted. The Stranger must be losing a lot of traffic.


I'm glad to see that the old messaging format is back. Although I like the idea of the threading in Disqus, I wasn't interested in registering for it.

Re FRIED: Some people are transphobic. I hardly have to say that to this audience. However, other people may be, for a lack of a better term, trans-not-interested. They may be supportive of you as a person, but not interested in you as a romantic and/or sexual partner. There is a difference, even though rejection still stings. But they may know someone who would be a better match: maybe a friend who is pan, or another friend who is flexible, etc. Keep your options and your connections open.

Also, re the age difference question: meet people, and see how they react. If you're in your 30s, and someone in his or her 20s is interested, why not explore the possibilities? If that someone in his/her 20s doesn't express an interest or is hesitant, then be chill and/or move on. Finally, as others can say with experience (I can't, since I don't use them), be forthright in your dating apps.

Re AGES: what Dan wrote, plus what others have written about 1/2 + seven years. But even then, it really depends on the persons in question, as long as it's legal. If a 65 year old were to meet a 29 year old, and they hit it off and they treat each other well, why not? A 65 year old and a 40 year old? Sure!

This particular twice-divorced 65 year old man? Who knows?

@28: I like it when someone finds someone else with whom he/she is compatible. As long as it's legal, why not?

Let's face it: an older man and a younger woman, is far more common than an older woman and a younger man. But both are okay in my mind. The primary issue in some relationships can be whether or not the couple is physically capable of bearing children, if starting a family in that manner is a priority. But that often is not the case.

A high school friend of mine married a woman 14 years his senior. That was considered quite unusual at the time. Several decades later, they're still happily married. Having children wasn't part of the package, but they love their nieces and nephews. Kudos to them. A different high school acquaintance married a woman 29 years his senior. That was a real outlier. Friends of mine tried to dissuade him from marrying her, right up to the night before the wedding. I was not party to any of it, and I have no idea how any of them are doing, but maybe the couple is still happily married?

Another friend of mine has been happily married for over twenty years, to a woman 27 years his junior. She first asked him out, not the other way around, and she first suggested that they marry. They are both divorcees. Her first husband abused her. Her current husband, my friend, treats her very well: he loves her, he supports her in her career, he gets along well with her family, etc. And vice versa.

So, where are these 40 year old women who would date a 65 year old man? They're all around us, depending on the woman and the man in question.

Finally, re FAILURE: ugh. First of all, the sobriquet saddens me. She is not a failure!

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate, and try to give him the benefit of the doubt, whether or not it's deserved. Please read the following in that context.

It's possible that he was reared in a context in which menstrual fluid is considered unclean, such as in certain religions. For him, having sex with menstrual fluid present could be a religious issue in the same way that, say, eating shellfish could be, or eating meat on Fridays, etc.

It's also possible that he is one of those who faints at the sight of blood.

If she spots, I wonder if there is any possibility that she could adjust or change her medication to reduce or stop the spotting. (Remember: Devil's Advocate!) Or maybe they could use a dental dam or equivalent to give him a barrier?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with him not liking anal. That is his right. It's also his right not to like giving oral, although he should make up for its absence in other ways.

The deeper into the letter I read, the more challenging it is to be the Devil's Advocate, but I'll try.

Maybe he's a bad multitasker, so he needs to devote his attention to one thing at a time?

Okay, I hit my limit when he insists that it's her problem, not his. Nope. It's their problem.


Hey Musicbiker, I’ll read thru your comment in a moment.
I just dropped back to tell Dan I said to my eldest son, 36, earlier
‘ Do what you have to do to stay sane.’ Liberation to say that to him, for both of us. It has no moral aspect to it.


Age differences, Musicbiker, @34; te AGES, yes, all around us.
It was the tone of the letter people here reacted to. It’s still a twenty five year difference, and a forty year old woman has pick of younger & older men.
He needs to check what he’s got going for him, and not try to be a younger man.
Yes, there’s women out there who have a range of wants, and happily mate with much older men. As your examples have shown, Musicbiker.
As an older woman myself, I get where he’s coming from. I’m not interested in men around my age.


@35 con’t; correction, there is a moral aspect to that sentiment. It’s take care of one’s core first. Stay Sane.


Dan the Man @19 - that would be amazing. I will absolutely stick around and comment in this format. Disqus is dizzying.


Thank you Curious for creating this rabbit hole back to a more sane, user-friendly format!


Hi Lava. Yeah, I completely agree about the tone of the letter from AGES, and the question of what that particular 65 year old has to offer. I also thought of Dan's oft-told advice to go to the gym and start working out, and improve oneself in other ways. I started to address those, but my post was already pretty darned long, so I excised it, and left behind just: "This particular twice-divorced 65 year old man? Who knows?"

Now, he could be a youthful, handsome, dynamic, outgoing, appealing 65 year old. Could be--but probably isn't. He probably needs to do some work on himself, and some self-reflection (as we all do at certain points in our lives).


Hey Mrs Fox, good to see you back. Disqus is Dizzying.. that’s a good one.
Yes Musicbiker, the young have youth on their side to attract others.
The LW could well be in great physical shape, have a nice home & comfortable nest egg. A library full of interesting books & paints in his studio in the garden. Where he grows organic vegetables.
Security is a big turn on for some younger women, which is fine, and this man has to look to what he has to offer & trust attraction will occur organically. No tricks, no lies & be comfortable in who he is.


I just saw that Disqus is back in the most recent Savage Love column.


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