Savage Love

Don’t Give Up

Comments

1

FIRDT?

2

My first thought, reading SADASS' letter, was that he suffering from the age-old problem of not finding what/who he wants, and blaming it - as one does - upon his particular orientation/kink combination.

SADASS, if you're reading, please arrange help for your suicidal ideation. And get on Fetlife. I know people in the same boat as you, and they make it work. Do the work, and give it time. Someone will want to top you, possibly like you, and then who knows? Of course, things are weird right now, with munches on Zoom, but life will get better eventually.

If you're in Toronto (even if you're not), and feel like talking, hit me up at ahoyfubar@gmail.com.

3

"most of the guys on there are not my style and the two that were blew me off"

That's pretty much standard. It's a numbers game. Keep trying.

4

Hi there. This is SADASS. I'm grateful to Dan for both printing and answering my letter. My initial words have been edited a wee bit, but the gist is definitely still there.

fubar suggests above that I look into Fetlife. To be fair, I've been on Fetlife and Recon and CollarMe/CollarSpace for a very long time. The problem (as I see it) is that I can get two out of the three things I'm looking for, but that's it. I can have (and have had) a partner who is cool with the romance and asexuality, but is wigged out by the D/s. Or I can find a Dom who wants to use me in many ways, but will never love me. I've played out these varying scenarios a thousand times, such that it feels like a sad, faggoty Groundhog Day. And gurl, the burnout is real.

Added to the chronic, long-term unemployment (those words were removed) and some pretty shitty health stuff that's effectively removed me from the dating pool, I just feel busted and done. I've spent so much on therapy -- even with sex-positive counsellors -- that it feels like FinDom in itself. And while I appreciate the humane instinct to suggest a suicide hotline, my experience with them has been pointless, if not dismal.

I'm trying. Dan's words reminded me of the last scene from "The History Boys" where the gay character Posner describes his future life. "I'm not happy," he says. "But I'm not unhappy about it". Perhaps that's the goal. Maybe by putting the sadness surrounding singlehood and its miseries aside, other things will fill the void. Or not.

I'm just not sure. I'm not wholly convinced. And that makes ending it all sometimes seem like a rational, viable choice.

Regards from BC.

5

OFH: Did he vote for Trump in 2016, or did he (pre-)vote for Trump in 2020. There's a massively important difference here. Was he stupid then, or is he a complete fucking immoral, sociopathic idiot now?

6

Mr Sad - I've been in quite a similar place. Even though I always found the exceptional smallness of my own pool to be an advantage (even during the worst times), I am familiar with the sense of just not being able to maintain the routine any more. I'm afraid that our ways of thinking are too different for any concrete advice to be of any value, but it is possible for the crushing weight suddenly to stop. I wish I could say how, or that it were possible for deliberate actions or choices to make it stop. The point about lengthy therapy's feeling like FinDom was rather good.
xxx
Mr Savage has so many useful Guest Experts that he really ought to have at least one for this sort of situation, as the Coupled-Single Divide really makes some things just impossible to hear or to say in a way that will translate well.

7

@1 fubar: WA-HOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Congratulations on scoring both this week's Savage Love column, Don't Give Up and highly coveted FIRDT and SECNOD honors! Bask in the glory of leading the comment thread. :)

8

@2 fubar: Would you ever want to talk to me online, too? If so, I'll share with you my email address. I have been going through a rough period all of a sudden.

9

Perhaps Mr Alan can divine exactly how LW2 thinks being gay instead of bi would improve his situation, as we could change his B to a G and omit the last sentence; the letter would be just as credible. There are certainly peculiarly bisexual problems, but the problem LW2 presents is doubtless afflicting at least some of his gay colleagues to the same extent. It wouldn't necessarily change his taste in potential partners. It could alter the range of his appeal, but, as is the case with moves on a chessboard, taking control of certain squares will yield control of others.

10

L3 just makes me wonder where Mr Savage draws the rest of the boundaries, which line would be the hardest to draw and whether there is any ground the right wing can gain by taking a stance of apparently greater tolerance.

11

@SADASS: First and foremost, continue to get help for your suicide ideation.

Get specialized help with someone trained to help people with suicidal ideation and suicidal thoughts. That is priority #1.

You can live without sex. You can live without being partnered. You can find improvement in your life. But all ends if you take your life.

Addressing that dark cloud over you will give you the time and space to address all the rest. Take it one day at a time.

You are worth it.

@OH FUCKING HELL: As fubar wrote, did your partner vote for the enemy of the people in 2020?

Perhaps you can forgive him if he voted that way in 2016, if he has had a change of heart since then. Many people were duped by him. Many people lapped up his santorum.

But if he voted for the abomination in 2020? DTMFA. Tell him exactly why you are doing so. Be clear and concise. Make it crystal clear that he totally blew it. He and his mushroom are unworthy of you.

12

@10: In many ways, it depends.

Just because someone is conservative, does not make that person intrinsically bad--although in the current environment, there is a lot of overlap in a Venn diagram between "conservative" and "evil."

Think of historical figures such as Jack Kemp. His adherence to voodoo economics notwithstanding, he attempted to take a conservative approach to the issues of the day in ways that mostly weren't dreadful. He was generally good on issues of race and not terrible for the time on issues of gay rights.

Think of conservative lawyer Theodore Olson, who has done a great deal of work on behalf of gay rights.

Think of Mitt Romney. He actually marched in a BLM march one day! He also voted to convict the enemy of the people on one count of the impeachment.

Think of John McCain. He worked productively with people like Senator Biden. He kept Obamacare alive.

Speaking of Obamacare, it is a conservative creation! It came out of the Heritage Foundation. A version of it was Romneycare in Massachusetts. It wasn't until Obama took it up, that the conservatives in Congress all turned on it.

The enemy of the people is as much a symptom of a cancer in our society, as he is the problem. After all, he would not have been elected, had millions of people not voted for him; he would not still be in office, had even just a few Republican Senators joined Mitt Romney to vote their consciences to remove the evil one from office; and he would not have a chance of being reelected, without having first been renominated by the minions and opportunists in the party then having millions of lemmings ready to vote for him again.

Many truly conservative people are appalled at all of this. Just look at all the conservative and Republican (and former-Republican) anti-Trump groups such as the Lincoln Project.

That's why many true conservatives are hoping that the election next month will be a blowout for the Democrats. They want the enemy of the people and his minions sent packing, and Trumpism destroyed and discredited.

After all, the enemy of the people is not a true conservative. He is an opportunistic faux-populist wanna-be dictator kleptocratic kakistocrat.

Conservatives may disagree with Biden on many issues, but they recognize that he's not a loose cannon with hundreds of thousands of needless deaths on his hands and millions of dollars lining his pockets.

There will be a reckoning. Do the leaders of the Republican Party want to be in the wilderness? Or do they want to backtrack from the orange blind alley, purge themselves of the wacko-birds (as William F. Buckley did with the likes of the John Birch Society decades ago), and attempt to be a worthy conservative party?

A great deal depends on the events of November 3rd.

VOTE!

Oh--and please tell all your Republican friends to vote on November 4th. ;-)

13

LW3
This may cost me on this site, but why would you end an otherwise great part-time relationship with someone over their political affiliation, which I assume so far didn’t cause any problem?
You say the guy is “smart and funny and the sex is very, very, VERY good” and he also helped you getting out of a miserable relationship. I can understand your disgust with trump, but did you ever initiate a conversation about politics and laid your point/s as to why his vote would be so unsexy for you?
Maybe you can change his mind, maybe you can find ways to navigate this differently, laugh together and leave it at that. You already have plenty going on and it will be a shame to toss it all out.

14

If he voted for Trump in 2016 but has since realized what a fool he'd been for voting for that orange-frosted idiot, that's one thing.
If he's still planning on voting for Trump, or he has already voted for Trump this year, that's another thing entirely.
If the first, give him a chance. If the second, dump him now.

15

@13: I agree with you. I know we all rightly despise Trump, but it is really difficult to find someone.

16

Finally! - something I completely disagree with Dan on..
Cutting people out your life because you disagree with them on something that is opinion based is.. not wise ..etc.
Politics is opinion based, fact supported (but who's numbers do you trust?), with so many variables, it's very confusing.

Everyone benefits by surrounding themselves with as many diverse thinkers as on offer, as that is your community, and understanding greases the cogs, keeps everything moving.
Even if you disagree, you must agree to disagree.
Can't believe I have to say Dan Savage sounds too intolerant but, he does.
I will assume it comes from an emotional place because he is so invested in the perceived outcomes. Nobody makes their best decisions from a highly emotional state.
(A good reason for removing personality from politics, focus on quality of decision making, which should be illustrated by direction party wants to go).

People with different opinions on anything, can and should have relationships.
If the the love is true, the truth will win (I hope),
but division leads to intolerance, contempt, etc. which to me is a "classic" far right way of thinking.

tl;dr
you can fuck people who think differently than you
(and they may benefit from being around you too)

17

Hi, SADASS @4, thanks for writing in.
"The problem (as I see it) is that I can get two out of the three things I'm looking for, but that's it." You know that applies to everyone, not just you, right? As Dan says, there's no setting down without settling for. Want to know my solution to this problem? Polyamory! Got a wonderful partner who's fun to hang out with but won't indulge your kinks? No problem, because you can also have a kink buddy. All you have to do is accept that your partner will have other partners too, which admittedly can be easier said than done, but your other option, as you've already discovered, is to be stuck with two out of three for life. I'm sorry about your unemployment and health issues, those seem harder to solve. But please, do stay with us. Things will get better, and unemployed people with health problems are not undateable or unlovable. You are younger than I am, don't throw away a wealth of future experiences we can all look forward to once this pandemic ends. If you still feel suicide is rational, think of how your family and friends will be hurt, and hopefully that will keep you alive until you feel better about staying alive for your own sake. And indeed, listen to Dan - build a life around friends and hobbies, with any partners the icing on the cake. Learn to be happy single; focus on what you have, not what you don't have. And listen to Meat Loaf - two out of three ain't bad.

(Can't believe this is the second time I've quoted Meat Loaf in these comments, goddess help me.)

OFH's letter is written as if this guy still supports Trump. That would be a dealbreaker in my book too. Alternatively, she could develop a kink for ball busting and try to interest him in it... (Another of my not-entirely-serious poetic justice fantasies.)

18

(while I'm here) SADASS! - you got 66% of your needs met from one partner, that's good. Get the 33% from a secondary partner next time. But do that once you've picked yourself up a bit. Work hard, and don't take it all too seriously, it will all be over before we know it anyway.
If you're put here to struggle, fight back, be strong. Don't focus on yourself too intensely.

And that's an interestingly specific combination of requirements you must have to feel fulfilled in a relationship.
I may be way off, but if you have suffered trauma in your past, I would look at talking to people about it and working out how that makes you feel about yourself. Your self worth.

First step is give yourself the love you want to feel from others.
Can't pour from an empty cup and all that.
(my humble opinion)

19

OFH, you seem to have met one smart, funny man who's good in bed when you were only a few years younger than you are now. Why do you think you couldn't find another? You feel "sickened" knowing that he voted for Trump. You know you can't have sex with someone who sickens you. At the very least dial him down to fuckbuddy while you line up your next partner. Perhaps you could join your local Democratic Party branch and get involved there while looking for a new guy.

20

@4. Sadass. You should not kill yourself. People care. People you've forgotten about, even maybe written off, care; you had a positive impact on them, even pleased or delighted them, and they would be sorry to see you go (and would be prepared to help you now). I know about the 'pleased and delighted' bit from your joke about the guppy--but it would be true anyway.

Break down the things in your life into more manageable problems--beginning with your health. Rather than allowing yourself to think you're dying anyway and might as well go on your own terms, turn it round; get so you are not in pain and minimally incapacitated, and see your remaining time as an opportunity to search for a shoot-for-the-moon relationship. Maybe a devotee could roleplay a Dom for you?

You know all the difficulties in finding your ideal combination of kinks so much more than anyone else. Even if the 3/3 might be a stretch, why should the 2/3 with some fantasy and some compromise be unattainable? Would it be true to say that your bedrock needs are to be loved by a man without your having sex? That doesn't sound impossible. You are lovable. You are worthy of it. But you're turning over killing yourself right now, which isn't a sexy place. If you can grant that you're not 'wrong', not 'bad' or morally at fault, that in theory your needs might be met, put your romantic aspirations to one side for now and concentrate on your mental health. Yes, life is hard, your life is very hard, but there's still hope--hope for something better, even for what you've always wanted.

21

OFH, I think more people would consider it a sign of bad character, of selfishness, of self-centered high-mindedness or pride, of antsiness, of caring about things beyond the immediate realities of this world and of people's shared life, for someone to ditch a good lover and partner over politics, than to ditch them for being a Republican.

This supposes that politics happens within normal parameters. (Incidentally, Trump looks like losing because he moved politics outside these parameters, e.g. separating mothers and children at the border).

Anyways--there's a super-easy solution. Tell your lover you'll dump him if he swings Trump again (it's not as if his vote will decide anything) and see what he does.

22

@16 I’m all for thoughtful debate and interacting with, fucking, and even loving folks with different perspectives, but can’t you see that there’s a world of difference between that scenario and choosing to be with a Trump supporter? A person who believes in at least some aspects of the toxic and incredibly harmful ACTIONS that man stands behind. Trumpers’ “opinions” about whether other people from different groups are owed their human rights are thoroughly invalid. Full stop. There is no debate possible there. It’s like debating whether the sun exists, except, here, indulging debate and both side isms can actually result in harm. (Debating the sun won’t cause the sun any problems.) “ I will assume it comes from an emotional place because he is so invested in the perceived outcomes. Nobody makes their best decisions from a highly emotional state.” Really?! Read that again and ask yourself whether you’d make the same statement if it were heterosexual marriage and identity (Or some other privileged identity that you have—I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to presume you have at least one, very few, if any, people without some sort of privilege would be able to write that sentence) were threatened by Trump’s rhetoric and executive actions.

23

Dappled @22, right on. "Oh, you're so EMOTIONAL." Gaslighting! These are basic human rights, basic human LIVES, we are talking about. That's not an agree-to-disagree situation. Voting for Trump says that you don't believe Black lives matter, that women's lives matter, that refugees' lives matter. And that it's ok to not pay your taxes, to lie, to assault women. This is not coming from a place of "emotion" and even if it were, it's still valid. Intolerance is sometimes completely justified and Trump is one of those cases. OFH would be completely justified in dumping someone with such an absent moral compass if that's what she decides.

24

@9. venn. Mr Alan?

@10. venn. Yes--these people are sixteenth-century Puritans or nineteenth-century Scorched Earthers, and just don't see it.

@12. Musicbiker. You see, I would say that 1) fiscal conservatives, and 2) religious conservatives taking a faith-inspired view on abortion, are both deficient in imagination, in the capacity to put themselves in someone else's shoes. Even though I am tolerating them, and grant that they can be consistently good people in their own sphere of personal relations, I am (a little) marking them down morally.

25

I can't decide if the commenter @16 is a troll, or a Trump supporter who wandered into the wrong column.

The apparent gaslighting notwithstanding, I'm leading toward the latter. Is THIS how Trump supporters justify themselves: by pretending it's all just a matter of opinion?

"Dan Savage sounds too intolerant."

Being tolerant does not mean that you have to tolerate everything and everyone, particularly those that would/will have you disenfranchised, and would happily see you murdered.

26

Griz @8: Please do send me an email!

27

SADASS, please don’t kill yourself.

28

@13. CMD. Well said! (I've just come to your comment). The repercussions of Trump's most provocative words and actions have not played out in their daily lives--armed right-wing militia are not stalking the streets of their neighborhood; ICE is not grabbing undocumented workers from their grocery store. Whatever principles he thinks he's standing up for, he doesn't think he's taking a swing at her values and interests. If it's so viscerally important to her, have the discussion.

@15. Roseanne. I'm glad you voiced that perspective. Cue the people in their 30s & 40s telling a 60yo how easy it is to find someone--not a position I could see as big-hearted.

@19. Bi. Good point that she's already met someone and has better odds thereby of finding someone else.

@22. Dappled. You think Trump is bad? Wait for Tom Cotton. Trump is a cynic playing the demographics--which are that an increasing number of people under 44, many before they have families, are adherents of white supremacism able to countenance the violation of Constitutional norms, even the cessation of democracy. I would try to peel off some of these people and give them better lives.

But a section of the left seems to want to execrate all Trump voters, rather than address why the non-college-educated working class is drifting towards rightist authoritarianism.

29

It’s been a very hard time for so many people, SADASS.
Suicide ideation is serious stuff, so do you think you need to go to a hospital and commit yourself, for your own protection?
I can’t offer you glib answers to your problems, and therapy doesn’t seem to be working for you. Meditation? Listen to spiritual Teachings?
Finding the perfect or close to perfect partner happens for the special few, SADASS. Most compromise on some of what they’d prefer in a lover/partner/ spouse/ friend/ family member.
Your letter leaves me feeling concerned and hoping you find a new way of thinking about life, SADASS, and about your life.

30

@25. Fubar. usernamesigninremoved? said that she (?) agreed with Dan Savage about everything else.

31

SADASS, you focus on what you don’t have.. the person who ticks all the boxes, etc, so look to what you could feel grateful for. How any of us face adversity, depends on how we think about it. Not letting the negative thoughts be in charge.
What are your skills? How could you find work which fits these skills and your health status? Many people have chronic illnesses, modern life and all. Go join groups, find other enlightened gay men who talk with each other and share, authentically.
I’m not a gay man, and I find it hard to read the culture men create with each other, well, because I’m not a man.
Human to human, hugs to you, and please don’t kill yourself.

32

Voting for tRUMP is bad, but is only one aspect of the problem. Does it mean the guy is an idiot who enjoys bucking the “system” and is star-struck by celebrity? I MIGHT hold my nose and fuck him anyway if the sex is really that good. But if he too is a racist, homophobic, misogynistic, self-centered, lying, cheating, climate change denying, head-in-the-sand anti COVID mask wearing, bankrupting, hypocritical asshole and admires Trump because they are birds of a feather, then no matter how good the sex is, you’re just fucking a giant, squishy piece of shit. No amount of rationalizing mouthwash is going to get THAT taste out of your mouth.

33

Thanks very much for your comments above. I appreciate them. And you know, I think there's something very important for me take away from them : 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

From all my experiences, I think the most important element to me is the loving-and-being-loved aspect. If that's there, I could probably flex on the asexuality, although that presents a challenge in itself. Anal sex has never interested nor worked for me, and -- bear with me -- getting my dick sucked is pretty much the worst thing in the world. I know, I'm such a broken toy. But I guess I could learn to be a cocksucker for someone I loved and who loved me in return.

The D/s part, I find, has been a lot harder to integrate with love. My experience has been that single and coupled men want a primary partner for all the positive aspects of relationship-building and then want a nasty, almost contemptible thing on the side to act out all their kink shit upon. And that's sad, because while there can be beautiful, creative and encouraging sides to male sexuality, I've often been the kink object of some intense, selfish and aggressive men.

Here are just two examples that were particularly soul-crushing. One was a married university professor and his physician husband, both approximately my age. Another was a recent medical school graduate with a long-term partner in an open relationship. All these men were intelligent and caring people towards each other and the outside world. Curious and liberal-minded and socially-engaged. But they saw me in a different light. They didn't reciprocate my love, let alone my "liking" for them. I was just this thing to be used and exploited. And when they got the most of what they could out of me, they dropped me from their lives.

Even recently when I went back to them and told them that I'm struggling, I've been met with a wall of silence. And that, to be honest, really stings. In dissuading me from taking my life, some of you have said, "But people care!" Well, I know for a fact that these men don't. They just keep on going about their own partnered, productive and successful lives. Everything I did or gave of myself for them was for nought.

So yeah, the D/s component is the most disposable. It's brought me nothing but pain, damaging me in some pretty profound ways. (Thanks for the intestinal flukes, Joël P!) And I don't cite those two examples above in isolation. They're just two from a whole slew of demeaning and dispiriting encounters spanning decades.

Unemployment's not great. Confronting unemployment alone combined with chronic health problems is even worse. If there were some means of Men-In-Black-style zapping away my crippling past memories, I'd jump at the chance. But since there isn't, my challenge is to accept that they happened, to integrate them into who I am now and to try to move forward.

That ain't such a big ask, right ?

34

@31 Thanks for your kind words, LavaGirl.
Human to human, you seem like a very thoughtful, empathetic person.
I agree that these times are challenging for many people. I'm not the only one by far.
I often think about going into hospital, but then I recall the prior ineffective treatment that I've received from mental health professionals. If this is to be turned around, it probably rests upon my own shoulders. Acceptance of, meditation upon and integration of my past into my present and future.
One of the joys of my medical reality is that I now have a barely-controlled clotting disorder. I don't need to do anything dramatic to end my life. I just need to stay in bed for a few days, not eat or drink or move, and I'm gone.
It's scary how passive it is. But because it's so low-key, it flies under the radar of conventional suicide prevention methods.

35

SADASS @4: Thanks for commenting and clarifying.

You mentioned "a partner who is cool with the romance and asexuality, but is wigged out by the D/s" and "a Dom who wants to use me in many ways".

I must admit - and not to pry, but - I wonder how your particular asexuality and submission go together? Does asexuality mean celibacy? Does submission mean you're dominated in non-sexual ways?

It's not my cup of tea, and perhaps it's not D/s per se, but I know folks in the spanking scene that don't fuck. Quite a few are married to other people, yet they beat one another black and blue.

As others have suggested up-thread, perhaps a combination of partners could work for you? Not exactly polyamory, and not exactly monogamishy if you're celibate, and perhaps not exactly what you want... but most of us have had to compromise in order to round up to happy.

36

M?? Harriet - Mr Alan (AlaninMt, or something similar) has not been around lately, though I'm fairly certain he has posted this year, but he's the closest thing to a Resident Expert for L2. I could make second-hand-experience-backed guesses, but I'd rather go to someone who may have been in the same place or somewhere close.
xxx
Back to L3, while one could certainly take the position that we all have boundaries and it's largely just where we draw them, I'll avoid the temptation to speculate on how Mr Savage's answers to letters might change if he found the writers to be Trump supporters and just remark that he is rather playing into the stereotype of the L (leftist for some, liberal for others and many can't distinguish the difference) presented by the WalkAway crowd. One of this year's notable converts, Karlyn Borysenko, took about two or three months to go from voting for Mr Buttigieg in one of the early primaries to wearing full Trump regalia to hotels for the enjoyment of triggering people. She attended a Trump rally to see if his supporters were really as scary as all her friends had said, but found that "Republican rallies were fun instead of Democratic gloom and doom" and the Trump supporters she met in the queue "were nice, and accepted her doubting mind set where it was" as opposed to how her knitting circle had recently expelled people for wrongthink. (It may have helped that her small business was on the lucky end of Mr T's tax policies.) Or another "Why I Left the Left"er of this year is Mr Savage's Guest Expert Ms Scarcella; shall we expect not to see her called upon again to represent All Things Lesbian?

As far as that goes, were I not Retired from Romance, I could easily make a case for not dating either a Trump voter or a Biden voter, although it does make an enormous difference when one lives in a state where votes basically don't matter - that there are perhaps ten states where they do is abnormally high this time around.

37

@SADASS, I would very much like to talk to you or at least be a listening ear (or an inbox you can vent to), if you'd like. I'm a straight woman who is romantic and has a high libido and although I'm only a tiny bit kinky--and don't want a 24/7 D/s dynamic in my life--and am in good health, I relate to your letter and your predicament more than you might imagine.

If you would like to write, my address is nocutename2020@yahoo.com

@auntie grizelda, if you want to correspond as well, I look forward to hearing from you. I'm sorry to hear you're going through a difficult time.

38

SADASS, disregard my comment @35. I was typing while you posted @33. It sounds like you've encountered some prize asshats in the scene.

In my experience, people who treat their play partners that way get a bad reputation quite quickly. This is where the community aspect of Fetlife is so valuable.

There are also really amazing kinky people in the scene. Lots of them.

I'd encourage you to try again, join groups, participate in discussions, get to know people as friends and allies, and keep trying. Keep the lessons you've learned in mind.

39

SADASS,

Apparently these guys discovered that you weren’t the relationship/play partner they were hoping for. They broke up with you. When you asked them for comfort after the breakup, they set boundaries. This is normal. It’s not evidence that they are terrible people or that they despise you.

A suicidal asexual sub with a strong romantic drive is a very needy partner who isn’t offering much in return. A sane, functioning, ethical partner who wants that is a Big Ask. You might find him, but it’s going to take a while.

You have completely ignored Dan’s suggestion that you consider antidepressants as an alternative to suicide. Appropriate antidepressant therapy can help in two ways: 1) it can reduce suicidality, which gives you the opportunity to create a more interesting life for yourself; and 2) it can blunt your neediness, which will let you develop more reciprocal relationships.

BC has a public medication insurance plan, so if you can afford psychotherapy you can afford meds. (If you aren’t getting anything out of therapy you have my permission to ditch it. Once you’re on appropriate antidepressant therapy, your relationship to psychotherapy is likely to change though, so try to keep an open mind.)

Look, I’ve been there. I have my own version of the Big Ask. Whatever you’ve been doing clearly isn’t working for you. If you choose medication to tweak your sense of self so that you can give yourself a more interesting life, that’s you making use of the resources available to you. It’s admirable.

40

fubar @35

I lived and worked in Europe for many years. Part of the time I was in the UK, and there I completed valet training and cooking school. For a couple of years after that, I was the in-house valet, cook and PA for a busy managing director. I speak seven languages and have certain admin skills, so I was useful to him in both his international career and domestic life.

(I'm not saying any of this to brag. I come from a humble, diverse background. I've just tried to educate myself while serving men along the way.)

Anyway, it was a platonic arrangement. He had some same-sex inclinations, but not towards me. In fact, the closest that he ever came to touching me would be after I'd prepared, served and cleaned up after the Sunday roast. He'd call me into his study, ask me to lie down on the floor and then he would use me as his footrest as he gave me my assignments for the week. And that was that.

I don't respond to pain. And I don't enjoy being the recipient of sexual pleasure. I don't mind servicing men, but I find anal sex to be dirty, degrading (to me) and a lot of work. If I regard oral sex as serving a man's needs, I can process it. But it doesn't do anything for me sexually. That said, I can get very attached to a man by caring for and serving him. In that way, I'd say that generous actions are my love language.

If I could combine those serving behaviours with non-sexual touch, I imagine that would be ideal. For instance, with the university professor, he was (for some reason) obsessed with rubbing my lower belly. It had been a long-standing fetish for him, and that was his primary way of interacting with me physically. Well, that and keeping me under his desk at his feet as he worked. But that's a great example of how one can be submissive and asexual at the same time.

Bottom line is that I love to be hugged and held. And I love to take care of a man. But the combination of asexuality and submissiveness is generally hard for most gay partner-seeking men to wrap their minds around. Again one complication might be manageable, but not both.

41

@39

I have tried antidepressants over an extended period of time and under medical supervision. They didn't work for me. Dan's advice was noted, but not ignored. Thanks, tho.

And good luck with your own Big Ask.

42

@33. Sadass. You are completely lucid about how you could kill yourself. With your clotting, you could just stay in bed. That clarity is a sort of gift; because you know what you could do, know what your enemy is.

The two guys who Dommed you were wretchedly selfish as Doms. I don't think anyone should try to tell you they value you as a person, when you have proof to the contrary. I'd still think there are people who want you to stick around, who would be wounded were you to go--family? friends? old workmates? Sometimes we create great, lasting impressions in what for us are the most passingly inconsequential encounters.

It sounds as if the mental health professionals you've seen have been little use. I'd disregard the drift of anyone who has wanted to know e.g. 'why do you need to be Dommed?' or 'why can't you have sex?'. These are practitioners who are not sex-positive, nor 'reality-based', in Dan's phrase. Where you start is with the reality of your as-yet-never-fulfilled desires and with your health condition and depression. It may be that your mental health can be separated, to a degree, from your disappointments in love and life more broadly. That is, it might be possible for you to find yourself in a place where you don't think your prospects are so hot for love, but where you love yourself, accept yourself, don't want to kill yourself. That would be a good, indeed necessary, first step for anything else.

Why would you say you wrote to Dan? To give the world one last chance, before you went? For hope? For validation? Because you thought he would be better than the unsatisfactory suicide line helpers and health professionals?

@39. Alison Cummins. What you say is a good reason to try to stop SADASS from being suicidal. 'Asexual romantic gay sub' is not so big an ask at all.

43

@36, venn. My sexuality-politics view is one you take as either inimical to, or incomprehending of, yours, that anyone queer has a good rationale to vote Biden.

On politics more broadly, I don't think the average metropolitan professional/qualified Democrat understands the median Trump voter. "It means 'you think Black lives don't matter' ". As if suburban moms are carrying round placards calling for police officers to shoot more unarmed African-American men! The Trump moms think that shooting Black men is wrong and then don't want a riot in their neighborhood.

44

SADASS @40, thank you for this window into your life. That sounds like an almost perfect relationship for you. It's no wonder everything you have had since pales in comparison. It sounds like you are describing the role of dog or puppy, as dogs serve their masters but also receive affection from them. Actual canine touches such as being walked on a lead or drinking from a water bowl optional. I'm not an expert on this but it might be something to think about? Would you want your Master to forsake sexual partners, or would you be happy serving someone with a dating/romantic life in addition to what you would bring him?

45

Harriet @43, you're right that I don't understand the Trump voter's mentality. The closest I can come to processing it is that Trump hates the same people they hate, therefore no matter what he does, so long as it riles the libs, it's fine with them.

By the same token, you don't understand my view. "As if suburban moms are carrying round placards calling for police officers to shoot more unarmed African-American men!" This is not what I meant by that. What I meant was, indeed, that they don't care about Black lives, they only care about their suburban enclaves and keeping those inconvenient protesters out. That's what I meant by Black lives not mattering, not an active desire to see Black men shot -- though I don't doubt that some Trumpists secretly harbour that desire. Indeed, I've seen many comments that George Floyd deserved what he got, that if only he wasn't breaking the law he'd have been safe. Which, one, isn't true, quite a few Black people who are completely innocent have been shot, and two, would seem to indicate a view that death by pre-conviction firing squad is just deserts for petty criminals.

46

@42 Harriet

You ask an interesting question: Why did I write to Dan?

Right off the bat, you answered it yourself. On the one hand, I am disappointed with the medical and psy fields, both personally and professionally. And I have many data points upon which to base that opinion beyond those described above. I'm not being glib, just honest.

But on the other hand, besides being another middle-aged gay man, Dan comes across as someone who I'd like to have been: intelligent, empathetic, authentic and competent. He's integrated all his pathos, personal history and interests into something both productive and admirable.

While I've been reading his columns since my late teens, I know that he doesn't know me. However he's seen a lot of gay life. And I thought he would have some insight into being a homoromantic, asexual sub without necessarily being one himself. I guess I just needed a virtual hug from him.

There's also an element of last chance/hope involved. I can't deny that.

47

she said :
- a longtime male friend , (good enough character to know for a long time)
- we cheated on our partners. (worth cheating for)
-We both ended our other relationships and the resulting two years have been wonderful. (sacrifices made, and positive value attributed to those sacrifices)
- guy is smart and funny (intelligent, therefore perhaps rational, and reasonable man)
-sex is very, very, VERY good. (GGG/open minded?)
= he voted for Trump

I was not gaslighting when i said "Nobody makes their best decisions from a highly emotional state."
Those in favour of dumping THIS Trump supporter, are not looking at the facts.
Their opinions are emotionally based.

Blanket intolerance of a group of people is a classic far right attribute.
On this occasion, I feel Dan is wrong.
If you can argue this point without attacking me, then please go ahead

48

(p.s. - I'm not privileged, hetero, married, gaslighting, or a Trump supporter.
I find it ill fitting that "liberal" people would make personal attacks their first response to someone making a point they disagree with.
And if this comment section is only for one type of person then perhaps you could put a sign at the top saying who's "Not Allowed" in)

49

@44 BiDanFan

I don't make demands upon the sexual lives of the man or men I'm with. I know that it's okay for partners or Masters/slaves to want different things. For the married men I served, I was happy to stay out of the inner relational nucleus that they had created for themselves. For single men, it's taken many different paths. The British company director I described in @40 dismissed me when he decided to get married to a woman. But that was his choice, and I accepted it.

Despite what one might think, I'm flexible, considerably open-minded and not particularly needy. It's just the years and the multiple iterations of these various and sundry arrangements that have essentially worn me down.

50

Hey Dan,

Thanks so much to you and all of The Stranger staff for your support throughout the pandemic. I can't thank you enough for amplifying the #LoveIsNotTourism movement and spreading the word. Thanks in no small part to you, I am reunited with my love and you all really moved that mountain for us. Thank you so much. King County received and processed my ballot today, so being here didn't stop me from voting either.

Thank you for making this possible for us. It means the world. We will pay it forward. And yes, don't give up. Hold on to your love.

51

lastly, few of you noted that I rarely have a point to make because, I mostly agree with Dan's rational, broad, accepting, loving, way of thinking.
The guy means a lot to me and I was not far from Sadass's way of thinking 10 years ago.

2am, 3am, 4am, I would listen to Dan on my own in complete distress at my own life but clutching at the fact that it felt like there was one other rational voice in the world..
So, Sadass, yeah, it does get better, not a whole lot better. Just lower your expectations and play the game till the end as best you can.
(and let the past stay where it belongs).

I'm not going to acknowledge any more personal attacks as I would like to stick on point as to why it is considered rational to cut an otherwise normal+ person out of your life over one of their personal opinions,
As far as I understand it, this only pushes people further apart, creating more extreme behaviour and misery for both sides.

52

It should to be so simple to separate 'your own' acts from the acts that you are willing to let happen on your behalf. I'm not talking about acts that you had no reason to believe would happen. I am talking about actions that, having 4 years of precedent, you should fully expect.

Regardless of 'how racist/misgynist/homophobic/xenophobic/etc' a Trump voter is "themselves", a vote for him is cosigning everything that Trump and this administration has done and advanced. If you don't agree, chances are that you feel relatively safe in relation to the danger his reelection poses. The idea that supporting Trump "hasn't caused a problem so far" is intellectual dishonesty to the point of denial, in my view.

53

gah. "It should not"

54

@ 43 I think a lot of us understand the Trump voter very well. Many of us have them in our families. We understand them well enough to take seriously the danger they pose to the USA and the world. Understanding them as we do, we conclude the best use of limited time and resources is to do all in our power to defeat them at the polls, rather than try to pry one or two convincibles from the cold, dead hand of Trumpism.

55

@4 SADASS: Please don't kill yourself. There are a lot of us here along with Dan Savage who care---and have been there (I certainly have). Be comforted in knowing that you are not alone.

@8 fubar: Thanks so much. I am emailing you now. :)

56

OFH the real question is does he plan on voting for Trump AGAIN? If he voted for him and regrets it give him another chance, if he's going to do the same thing again dump him.

57

username @51: "I would like to stick on point as to why it is considered rational to cut an otherwise normal+ person out of your life over one of their personal opinions."

Do you really think that endorsing and supporting the litany of horrors wrought by Trump is simply a matter of innocuous, harmless, personal opinion?

People are dying in droves. America is about to see Obamacare, Roe V. Wade, and marriage equality overturned. And that's just scratching the surface.

I for one would not engage in a romantic relationship with someone who was pro-Trump.

58

@26 fubar (re @8): I emailed you. Thank you in advance.
XO,
Griz

@57 fubar: Spot on for the WIN.

59

I've read Mr. Savage's column for years and tend to agree with him on most of his relationship advice; but I do not agree that we need to cut people out of our lives because they hold different political views. Even if someone believes something that to others may seem abhorrent, do you think denigrating them and cutting them out of your life is going to make them change? Maybe if LW3 sat down and had a civil conversation with her SO, she'd find out that he's not evil, he's just sick of the status quo and to him Trump seemed the best option. I refuse to believe that approximately half the country are just evil people. That doesn't seem rational to me; and denigrating them is, I believe, part of why Trump got elected. They're tired of being stomped on, dumped, or dismissed by people who have no interest in their issues. I did not vote for Trump in 2016; I voted for Johnson. But the absolute derangement I've witnessed since then has caused me to decide that I'm voting for him this November. I have never been a conservative, I am a libertarian, but I am fed to the teeth with the left's four-year-long tantrum, and I'm not the only one. Now, other readers of this column, you may proceed to call me all the names you like, but guess what, a Trump voter reads Mr. Savage's column and will continue to do so. And I'll wager I'm not the only one on that point either.

60

OFH says, "But if I end things with him there’s a good chance I’ll never have sex again. I don’t think there are many opportunities for 65-year-old average looking women, even ones with healthy libidos." Um, I'm a 67-year-old average looking (and fat) woman. I got on OK Cupid, and found several partners (long-term ones, not hookups). If you are a woman of any age with a healthy libido, you will be in demand.

61

M?? Harriet - Whoever wins, this election has proven the absolute and abject failure of Blue No Matter Who, which produced, of all things, a DOMA pusher. Perhaps the extenuating circumstances can be considered sufficient by some to constitute justification. But after this cycle, anyone ever trotting out BNMW again deserves to be called Not a Good Person.

It may well be in the best interests of the Q to vote for Mr DOMA. The biggest anti-gay rollbacks will come if there's a Democratic landslide, which will be taken as a massive mandate for appeasement, and we all know a Democrat's favourite form of appeasement is to throw the gays to the Republicans.

Again, I'm just massively thankful that so few states really matter.

62

@ 59. I agree. Half the people in the USA are not evil. Only 30-39% are. The rest of the half are just too ill-informed to know the difference between a refreshingly iconoclastic, hard-headed businessman and a charlatan. And by the way, you didn't vote for Anderson in 2016. You voted for Trump by proxy. Now it seems you've decided to eliminate the middleman in 2020.

@61 I am intrigued that you are ready to declare a Biden administration a failure before it has begun. I remember him from the 80s and 90s too, but I'm willing to credit the interpretation that sees him as smart enough to know the ground has shifted since then, and he needs to shift with it, as Obama himself did. We shall see. But I would be surprised if the Dems ushered in a massive anti-gay rollback.

63

Edit 62. I meant Johnson, not Anderson. Not that it (or he) matters

64

BADASS @34, I’ve had close experience with a suicide attempt that was turned on a dime. It is others who love you, they would notice, however you might choose to do it.
Yes, mental health units will give you medication and not much else, unless you pay private. Yet, you need to address your suicidal thoughts, and find strategies.
Yes it’s on you, it’s on all of us to keep saying yes to life, because death comes soon enough. Have you got friends, family you confide in, who could help you move past these feelings?

65

Funny. Calling you badass/ guess that’s what you can look to be? I think many of us admire Dan’s courage and optimism, SADASS, his tenacity his empathy his good looks and his hot husband.
You sound an intelligent and caring man yourself, SADASS, and those qualities are attractive.

66

When my eldest son died suddenly, SADASS, a heart attack, a young man, during the first year the grief for me was overwhelming. Constant pain, like knives in my heart. I’d often have sudden images appear in my mind, of pointing a gun to my head and ending the torture. What stopped me was my other five children, and my Buddhist mind training.
I had to go with the pain, he was my beautiful son, my grief had to be felt. At the same time, I could remember my thoughts and feelings are not me, they are fleeting and it’s me who runs my show, not random thoughts rushing in and causing trouble.

67

SADASS wants to be a live-in butler or nanny, for someone with whom he's compatible and effectively becomes part of the family (that's where being loved without sex is possible - he'll have to cycle through jobs until he finds a man with whom he clicks). His problem is that he's approaching this primarily from a dating/sex perspective (which is especially unhelpful when he's asexual - looking for non-sexual, loving companionship on hookup sites/apps or with sex workers is utterly contradictory) rather than as a more general lifestyle that can be linked to employment rather than dating. A formal aristocracy would serve him particularly well - he should look toward a positions serving members of the British nobility.

I don't really think cutting everyone who voted for Trump out of one's life is an effective political or social relational strategy - and if I was going to consistently cut out everyone who has voted for candidates who have perpetrated unconscionable material harm on large groups of people, I'd have to cut off all Democratic voters (which includes me on many occasions), too, because the Democratic project has been psychopathically pro-imperialist and antithetical to even minimal state socialism for fifty years now (or since forever on the imperialism count). I can't imagine dating a Trump voter not specifically because ze voted for Trump, but because I can't imagine a Trump voter holding values I don't find odious, including those who bought into his bullshit scam pitch (where it's less about discordant values and more about the kind of person/worldview who is susceptable to bullshit scams because they credulously believe politicians, propaganda news media, etc.).

I simply don't believe people who claim that their Right-wing relations are fine (from the perspective of Left-wing values) except for their voting patterns - the values and psychological frameworks that inform voting behavior also influence everything else about someone's behavior - so my conclusion is inevitably that the people making the claim are much more Right-wing than they recognize. I have a similar view on people who claim that their "suddenly" racist/sexist/etc. partners didn't show signs of that from the beginning - it not that there weren't red flags galore, it's that the red flags were ignored because they weren't recognized as such, because the kinds of racism/sexism/whatever they expressed is normative and reflects bigotries that the person making the claim also shares to some degree (for example, people often don't take 'jokes' that hinge on sex essentialism or gender overgeneralization, or gendered slurs or support for gendered social roles, as red flags for sexism, but they're very clear indicators, it just happens to be the case that a majority of people hold sexist beliefs because they are normative).

OFH should resolve her internal contradiction and she'll have her answer about what to do. Is she ignoring the other ways this guy's awful values (or blinkered view of society that would lead him to believe someone like Trump is actually fighting for the dispossessed) are expressed because she's in lust? She should break up. Is she actually relatively Right-wing herself and mostly objects to the crudeness or bluntness with which Trump does shitty things, as opposed to when Democrats generally or Republicans from eras past do shitty things, or is she a party identitarian who cares far more about the Democrat/Republican label than material policy impacts? Then she should stay with him and adjust her self-image to better reflect reality.

68

And I think you’re a bit arse over tit, SADASS, worrying about finding someone to love you when you don’t love yourself. Others don’t bring us happiness, we bring happiness to ourselves and share with others. We love ourself, faults wrinkles smelly farts and all, first. Enjoy our stupidities and memory losses. See others, and know they too struggle to keep it going, bloody hard though it can sometimes be. Choose Life, as I remember some ad saying.

69

As an exercise, let's replace all instances of "hold political views" with "explicitly approve of the known actions of the current administration". The softening of what "holding a political view" means is wholly a tool to preserve the status quo. Political views have more impact–ESPECIALLY when expressed via casting a vote–than simple opinions like "no pineapple on pizza". People are harmed by these decisions and actions. Implying or pretending that they don't is disenfranchisement. Votes matter at both the societal and personal level.

70

@16 I’m coming out of lurkdom to quote an author named Robert Jones who said, “we can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression, the denial of my humanity or my right to exist.” For many people (women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, undocumented immigrants, etc) a vote for Trump is evidence of exactly those things. There’s no “agree to disagree” when it comes to a belief in my humanity.

71

Congratulations, transfixed @69, on landing on a good fortune number.
SADASS, you feeling better talking here? Talking helps so much and it is a part of gay culture I notice is a little cold ish, re sharing true intimacy, past all the show.
The stiff upper male lip, not all of course, a feeling I have about some aspects of gay male culture.
What are your interests and passions? Do you read and gain help from writers thru their skilful storytelling? Do you pick up a pastel or paintbrush and express you ? Listen to music? Play music? Or write a poem?
Relationships are part of us, sure, not all of us. Our inner lives and abilities to keep ourselves stimulated, are important, even if others stare blankly at us. So much in life beyond other people. And intimacy and human warmth comes from others too, not only lovers.

72

SADASS- Just like just about all the other commenters I am touched by your plight. Overcoming your depression and suicidal thoughts should of course be your number one priority. Because I have no expertise or experience dealing with either one of these very serious problems, I’ll offer advice on a subject I’m more familiar with.

Like you, I’m also a submissive, albeit a male heterosexual male one. Even though male submissives are in much greater supply than female dominates, I am now in a predominantly femdom relationship with my wonderful wife. While she is comfortable being dominant, it isn’t a lifelong need like my submissiveness is (although she did ask me out on our first date). Like you, I wanted more than just a dominant. I also wanted a kind, loving woman. If I had insisted all all three traits starting out, I might be still looking. Because they were more important to me, I was able to prioritize kind and loving and look for a woman who wasn’t completely submissive. I was added in my ability to get most of what I want in a relationship by the fact although my need to be submissive was strong, it wasn’t extreme. I didn’t want to be humiliated or tortured. Like yours is, apparently, my submissiveness is more being of service. Usually, the major problem with getting someone who loves you to dominate you is if they perceive that as being mean to you. Requesting being allowed to do things for them because it makes you happy isn’t much of an ask. I would be remiss, however, in failing to mention my obvious love of spanking, which falls out parameters of just service. Spanking came later in our femdom relationship as an act of kindness to me to reaffirm my submission ( it’s always to establish dominance, not for punishment). Anyway, I hope this translates somewhat to gay relationships. Because your submissiveness doesn’t seem that extreme, perhaps try to introduce that if you find a romantic, asexual one.

I have to admit, just like BiDanFan@17, my first thought on hearing of your inability to get all three of choices was the song “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad.” Although every time I remember it, it’s in Meatloaf’s voice, I like to think of it as Jim Steinman’s song, as I don’t think songwriters get the recognition they deserve. Anyway, keeping with my habit of getting my philosophies of life from song lyrics, I think “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) might be useful advice. It also includes the lyrics, “you just might find you get what you need”.

So I wish you well, SADASS, in overcoming your depression and suicidal thoughts, and if you’re successful, I hope after that you get what you need.

Much love from a fellow submissive. Stay alive.

73

SADASS I have to ask are you really okay with never having a great cup of coffee again, never hearing your favorite song on the radio, never seeing how the series you like ends?

The thing about death is that it's on of the few things in life that is permanent. You can't change your mind a few years in and decide it's not for you.

Also maybe I'm being naïve but you're asking a lot of a single person. I think BiDanFan has the right idea to look for an open relationship where you can both get your needs met through other people. Or I would recommend sticking with the loving boyfriend and outsourcing your kink. See the Dom a few times with his blessing.

I mean yeah it sucks your boyfriend can't be you Dom and your Dom doesn't want to be your boyfriend, but maybe you should lower you expectations. This doesn't mean take anyone that will have you, it means accepting that no one can be all things to their partner and that you have to a have tolerance for human frailty if you want to have a relationship.

And that may mean accepting that something you want isn't part of it, so you have to find another way to enjoy that thing.

74

I don't classify approving of Trump or voting for him as a political difference.
If someone supports Trump by voting for him, they are supporting bigotry, stupidity, vindictiveness, corruption, misogyny, anti-Semitism, sexual abuse, Islamophobia, homophobia, racism, deceitfulness, a contempt for truth, honesty, law, or sense of duty, and willful ignorance.

The difference between me (and most everyone I know) and a Trump supporter is one of morals and values, not merely one of politics.

I don't know about OFH, but there's no way in hell I could want to be friends, let alone lovers, with someone who supports any of those things, much less all of them.

I'm also surprised that OFH is only now thinking that her bf is or has been a Trump supporter, as they've been in an intimate relationship for the past 2 years, and supposedly were friends for a "longtime" before becoming lovers. I'd think that a difference that great would have manifested itself long before now.

It might be great sex, and I am not nearly as sanguine as those who blithely tell OFH that she'll be able to replace this boyfriend and the great sex he brings so easily. On the contrary, giving him up will be a sacrifice. But I don't know how she could live with herself if she didn't. As far as I'm concerned, it's a choice between sacrificing sexual satisfaction and morality.
OFH, you'll feel better when you look in the mirror once you've cut this toxic presence out of your life. Unless you can convince him to see the error of his ways.

75

@13: You asked "...[]W]hy would you end an otherwise great part-time relationship with someone over their political affiliation, which I assume so far didn’t cause any problem?"

It's a fair question, to which there are a bunch of fair answers.

Here's mine.

This is not like voting for a run-of-the-mill Republican, pre-2016. It's not even like voting for someone relatively anodyne, like Lamar Alexander or Mitt Romney.

By voting for the enemy of the people, the partner showed either that he supports the policies and actions of this white supremacist, misogynist, corrupt, kleptocratic, wanna-be-dictator kakistocrat, or the partner is not adequately squicked out by the Orange One to vote against him.

Does the partner support separating children from their parents as a means to dissuade legal asylum filings? Does he support the dismantling of Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic? Does he look the other way while the pandemic rages and people die? Does he support official corruption by the Orange One, his evil spawn and minions?

Does the partner support the dismantling of democracy in America?

His vote says yes.

The vote for the enemy of the people betrays a serious character flaw, one that I would personally find intolerable in a partner.

I could forgive him, if the vote happened in 2016 and the partner atoned for it. But in 2020? Unacceptable.

Plus, as Dan has said using different words, voters for the enemy of the people do not deserve to get laid by any of us.

76

I was going to chime in on the 'banging Trump voters' issue, but nocute @74 said everything I was hoping to express. Other than that...

@59
Anyone who listens to the podcast and browses the comments is already well aware that while most of Dan's fans are nice, well-intentioned people, some of them are absolute garbage. Your existence does not shock me.

77

Dragonrose36 @59: You're voting for Trump and, to borrow the words of nocutename @74, "supporting bigotry, stupidity, vindictiveness, corruption, misogyny, anti-Semitism, sexual abuse, Islamophobia, homophobia, racism, deceitfulness, a contempt for truth, honesty, law, or sense of duty, and willful ignorance" because the left threw a well-deserved tantrum in response to the non-stop shit storm?

As a libertarian, I guess you already support the overturning of Obamacare, environmental protections, efforts to improve life for the poor, and so on, but Roe V. Wade and marriage equality too? I'm not sure where libertarians stand on BLM vs. white supremacy, but your vote won't differentiate.

But never mind me. It's just a political opinion, a different point of view.

78

subhubby @72: I like what you wrote. And I'd like to underscore something for SADASS: submission is a gift, and a dominant that doesn't see it that way, and treat you accordingly, is full of shit.

79

Ms Cute - To welcome you back in true Austenian spirit, I am tempted to compare Mr Darcy's (and Miss Bingley's) Accomplished Woman to Mr Elliot's (and Anne's) Good Company. Mr Savage normally tends to lean towards Anne's side in his political standards for good company, occasionally to such an extent that what he and Anne call good is what Mr Elliot would call the best. Now this time around, such a way of thinking seems more warranted than usual. While I would allow that less than half your catalogue is quite sufficient to put Mr Trump on someone's Never List, I may come down on Elizabeth's side about your Untainted Voter, wondering not that you might know only six but marveling that you knew any so completely free of those faults (or a few others just as bad that don't happen to be in that particular group).

Will we ever get back to a time when, as Admiral Croft would put it, one person's ways might be as good as another's but we would each like one's own best?

80

@67

Is the British nobility known for their warm hugs and a loving, inviting atmosphere ?

81

Mr Bar @77 - I can supply an answer for you on one point. Libertarians support what they call marriage equality. Their version is generally that the government will treat everyone equally with regard to marriage by having nothing whatsoever to do with the institution. As that option is never on the table, they have a fair amount of flexibility when voting on propositions put before them. I've seen libertarians who like us say they don't think the government should have any say in who is or isn't married but we should be as married as DS couples and therefore they vote for us, and libertarians who dislike us say that voting to expand the rolls of those whom the government considers legally wed is such an evil that they have to vote against us, nothing personal.

82

@71 LavaGirl

I'm so sorry to hear about your son. Losing family members is always hard. One's children, perhaps more so. Again, my deepest sympathies. It's not easy to process something like that. :-(

To answer your and some other people's questions, here are some things that I'm working on to try to turn things around for myself.

1) I'm working my way through a book called "the Mindful Way Workbook". It's an 8-week program for approaching depression and distress.

2) Before this pandemic hit, I used to attend a Sunday Sitting Group near where I was for companionship and mindful meditation. That was really useful.

3) There's a balloon artist who makes cool little photos with puppets and/or balloons with messages like "Stop shrinking yourself to make other people feel big" or "No longer available for things that make me feel like shit" or "You're not too old and it's not too late". I printed them out in colour and put them around my living space where I can see them. You can check them out for yourself here : https://archatlas.net/post/623271126249996288

4) With my languages and all, I'm trying to re-skill as a linguistics-focussed data scientist. A long-term stretch goal would be to get a part-time PhD in German & Russian literature. And a stretch, stretch goal would be to somehow turn the pain I've gone through into prose. To do any and all of that, I'd reckon I'd need not only some Dan-Savage-level-moxie-&-drive, but some supportive hugs along the way.

5) I've been hired as an election worker in the upcoming BC provincial elections.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm really trying to pull myself up and out. I can really tear myself apart when I look at my wrecked self in the mirror every morning or fixate on my body's many scars. But I'm trying to make it not so much about me, to engage in the outside world and to hope that some compassion for myself and kind, meaningful interactions with others will do the trick.

Lastly, there's a quote from Stephen King that sits above my desk. It reads :

"You can, you should, and i've you're brave enough to start, you will."

To me at least, that says so much. :-)

83

@78 fubar

I fully agree.

84

@82 Sadass:

You're clearly brave and clever; hang in there, even if you can't stand your body at the moment, you're probably doing the right things in trying to stay in the world, oriented to people and thoughts.

85

If OFH relationship is really as great as she describes it then there should be no reason why she wouldn’t be able to have a conversation with her lover re his voting record and what voting for trump again may mean for her. BDF, Sixo, nocute, and many others provided plenty of pointers for her to bring up.
It’s possible the wonderful, smart man wasn’t fully aware of what many of the actions and rhetoric may mean for others, and he definitely needs to hear them. FOH should reassess their relationship after that conversation and take action accordingly, but to tell her to dump him on the spot is not the right advice.

The way I see it she should rethink their relationship regardless. While what she currently has is seemingly much better than previous ones she also sounds as if she’s worried she won’t be able to find new partner/s if ending this one, which may hinder her decision.
I’m also surprised that in such a heated, polarized political environment the two of them never discussed who they intend to vote for. We only know the man voted for trump four years ago, but not a word about this upcoming election which should be the real issue.

86

SADASS, I will check the balloon artist out. Great things you are doing and such a mind you have.
My trick around body image is to lose a mirror. Age can be a real problem in mirrors, so I go with how others react to me. If they like my energy, I sense that, because I’m not self conscious about how I look because I don’t use mirrors. Except to apply lipstick. Nothing worse than some old bird and her lipstick is not on perfect. Ly.
Do you go into the bush, the trees, rivers, oceans. I get fascinated by all the shades of green nature has. wow man, cool colours.
Yes, touch is important. You sound a lovely man, SADASS, and please check in with us here and let us know how you’re doing.

87

OFH: You're not really going to dump this guy because Dan want's to see him punished, are you? That's pathetic. Do what makes YOU happy.

FWIW, I think the country would benefit more from you staying with him than leaving him. We need more cross-pollination between the two media bubbles, and more separation between the political and the personal.

88

Dan-Savage-Level moxie and drive, one wonders how he does it, SADASS. The Catholic in him shines thru and he looks after others so well and clearly. Then he’s off, tweeting about something or other. Looking after others, does take the mind off oneself. Have you a pet, SADASS?
Why not turn your pain into prose? Bit at a time. A poem, maybe. Isn’t that how we’ve gotten so much amazing art in all its forms, thru the years. Pain being transformed into art. Into music, sculpture, writing, dance, plays, movies. etc.
I’ve read multiple books over decades on the mind. Freud, what a character. Intense, and it seems he had a long affair with his sister in law. Buddhists have been studying the mind for centuries.

89

YOU DON'T FUCK NAZIS.

This isn't like having sex with someone who supports a different sports team. This is not a fucking game. This isn't just a difference of opinion on the ideal marginal tax rate. Trump and his supporters are fucking Nazis. If you vote for Trump you are supporting putting children in cages and separating them from their parents. You are supporting allowing 250,000 people (and more) dying because they are undesirables, because Trump and his buddies can make a profit off the chaos. You are supporting Supreme Court justices who don't believe that black people and homosexuals have human rights. You are a goddamned Nazi and no one should ever fuck you or touch you or talk to you again.

90

(And women being denied their rights as human beings too of course: If you fuck a Trump supporter, you are fucking someone who supports rape and the enslavement of women.)

91

For those people who think women don't pay for sex, I refer to OFH's letter.

Trans @52, typo aside, that was an excellent post and hopefully shows the doubters that one can be completely dispassionate and still reach the logical conclusion that good people are under no obligation to tolerate Trump supporters. We would like to think that we can influence people out of their way of thinking, but sadly that seems to happen rarely, and it's no individual's obligation to fight this futile battle.

Fubar @57, agree. Support for Trump shows that this person you may have thought was "otherwise normal+" really isn't.

Dragon @59, you've witnessed four years of derangement and you're voting for four more!?

Thank you, Free Spirit @60. Good to hear it from the horse's mouth, as it were.

Lava @65, I agree SADASS is really a badass! He's intelligent and articulate, and if nothing else these comments are showing he needs to stick around to vote for Biden. Ha ha. SADASS, you've shown a group of strangers you're a worthwhile person. If your presence is a credit to this comments section, think how much you bring to the people around you.

John @67, good idea for SADASS. Looking for a butler/domestic position could tick two of three boxes, servitude and employment. His employer need not know the servitude is a kink for him, since he won't be trying to incorporate sex. Reminds me of Dan's example of a shoe salesman with a foot fetish. Out of working hours he could seek poly men as cuddle buddies.

Sixo @70, exactly.

Nocute @74: "I am not nearly as sanguine as those who blithely tell OFH that she'll be able to replace this boyfriend and the great sex he brings so easily. On the contrary, giving him up will be a sacrifice. But I don't know how she could live with herself if she didn't. As far as I'm concerned, it's a choice between sacrificing sexual satisfaction and morality." Well said. I hope I didn't imply that it will be easy, or guaranteed, that OFH can find another good lover. I was just hoping to challenge her firm belief that she won't.

Fubar @78, amen.

SADASS @80, no, but you get your hugs outside of work. Remember, two out of three ain't bad; holding out for three out of three is literally driving you to an early grave.

SADASS @82, I'm so happy to learn you are working on yourself and you haven't given up. Think how much you could learn and enrich yourself by doing a PhD. I think you should go for it. You're also a very good writer. Perhaps you could turn your kinks into fiction and have an outlet - perhaps even an income-generating one - that way? I wish you all the joy and success that's possible.

CMD @85, you're correct that I'm assuming from the way her letter is written that Mr OFH's mind is unchangeable. You're absolutely correct that she should have a conversation with him and attempt to show him the damage his vote for Trump would do. But if you or she expects that to change his mind, I don't think that's realistic; she should expect the outcome of the conversation to be "well in that case I can't be with you anymore." Miracles are few and far between these days.

Dadddy @87, do you really think OFH would have written to Dan if she were neutral on the subject? She said his vote for Trump sickens her. She knows Dan's politics; she's asking him to affirm her decision to DTMFA.

Lava @88, great suggestion that SADASS get a pet. Let's not have the dog versus cat debate again. ;)

92

I love how Trump does intolerable things, his opponents say we won't tolerate those things, and we're the ones who have "caused division." Eyeroll emoji.

93

SADASS - Man, can I relate to your letter - I find myself, at 47, gay, single, unemployed, newly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and a cardiac arrhythmia and living in rural New South Wales. I've also had a suicidal ideation since I was 15, so thoughts of taking up arms against the sea of troubles, and in opposing, ending it, as the Bard said, are not new to me.

The first thing I will note is that the thought of killing yourself is terrible advice that you would be very unlikely to give to anyone but yourself. I've found it quite helpful to remind myself of that whenever the thought crops up - there is absolutely no reason to treat myself with less compassion, kindness and love than I would treat others, and there is no reason for you to do so, either.

Secondly, unemployment sucks purely from a financial perspective. Otherwise, that we are failing to have our labour exploited to make more money for the already wealthy in no way reflects on our value as human beings. Perhaps, if we are very lucky, this wretched pandemic will at least help more people realise that our entire economic system is exploitative, unjust and unsustainable, and demand that it be rebuilt to benefit the many, not the few.

There's not much I can add on the topic of relationships, except to say that, from experience, there are worse things than being single, as hard as being single can be sometimes. I cope, to the extent that I do cope, by trying to be good company for myself, making sure that I'm doing for myself things that make me feel good, indulging myself when I can and reminding myself that, ultimately, I am the person who makes the difference in my life, not some fantasy man who doesn't exist, nor some hypothetical future partner who I may or may not meet. Honestly, it's not that much comfort, but the consolations of philosophy are what they are, and we must work with them. Stay strong, man, and, as a coked-up Evita wannabe recently bellowed, remember THE BEST IS YET TO COME.

94

OFH - If your wonderful fuck buddy voted for Trump four years ago, it's probably forgivable - sure, he seemed like he'd probably be an awful president, but in many ways, so did Hillary. If he's planning to vote for Trump this time, DTMFA.

95

OFH, you've found someone who you click with sexually and generally. So, he supports the identity based oppression of fascism and you prefer the economic based oppression of neoliberalism. Don't worry, they're both taking us to the same end. Just by different paths. Enjoy the sex and companionship you've been lucky enough to find while the world burns.

97

I have an opposing viewpoint and you surrounded me like a group of hyenas going in for the kill. A distraction on this side, a nip here, a lunge there, (oh it's safe to go for this one)
The most disturbing things I've seen on this planet happen when groups of people become fearful, hysterical, mob-like.
I don't know why I'm disappointed. I don't know why I expected more, here.
You're willing to sacrifice too much to win one election.

Fine. Shunt the people with differing views out your villages, don't listen to what the heathens have to say, especially don't engage in dialogue with them, lest you be shunned too aye??!!

Good luck. Once you've created two distinct groups of people who despise each other on principle. Who never talk to one another. Find common ground where they can. Agree to disagree... where they can't...

There's only one way this leads, what a shame none of you enjoy history.
BYEEEEEE

98

User @97, don't be ridiculous. One person said they couldn't tell whether you were a troll. Please point out any more "personal attacks" because I haven't seen any.

99

Username: We should be able to agree to disagree.
Other commenters: I disagree.
Username: No! You're not allowed to disagree!
Another eyeroll emoji.

100

@45. Bi. The white suburbanites who don't want Black demonstrations in their neighborhood care more about their own families, their children's wellbeing, their livelihoods, even their peace of mind, than they do about Black folk's just being alive. Sure. But is this necessarily racist? Doesn't everyone care about what is close to them, and less about what's further away? If someone is working two jobs to tread water, if their work is so wearing they lack the time or the bandwidth to read the news, isn't it more likely the police killings of Black people won't impinge on them? Even more likely that they will see society as a zero sum-game, where any gain for Black equality comes at the expense of their security? That we know what we do about police brutality towards minorities is a function of our having well-paid professional jobs and leisure.

If government made these people's lives better, easier, at the same time as driving racist attitudes from the police, then the Trump-voting suburbanites might take a different view towards BLM.

@46. Sadass. You said what I feared you'd say.

Would you grant, intellectually, that there's no more reason for you to kill yourself now than there has been when you've been feeling less awful? That in the past, however much of an impossibility, an odd fish, you've felt yourself to be sexually, there have still been reasons for living--partly because there have been so many other besides sex in the world--friendship, family, food, music, travel, clothes, intellectual interests? If your mind can see that, I'd urge you to get onto antidepressants, prioritising your mental health, doing stuff like getting into a routine so that, with your health condition, you won't just drift away in a surrender to your sense of hopelessness. Your loss would be a loss--don't you think?

101

@54. Ensign. When you talk about tactics for defeating Trump (i.e. do we aim to peel off the median voter, or do we aim to drive turnout?), you open a question I wasn't addressing. Whatever you say might be the best tactics for defeating Trump might well be right.

Is it your view that every legacy Republican voter (including fiscal conservatives, rural Second Amendment single-issue voters, faith-based right-to-lifers, and instinctive libertarians) are all terrible, bigoted people? Even hateful, hatefully selfish people? I don't think they are. I wouldn't even call the low-information voter, struggling to get by, only thinking they're putting their family and bank balance first, necessarily a terrible person.

And are these people going to go away when Biden wins? Is blue-collar white grievance going to simmer down? When Trump is no longer there to ginger it up? They're not going away, and it's only going to curdle further. Illiberal, anti-democratic white suprematicism will only seem to more and more the only way to protect their interests, and secure a modicum of a decent life. The political imperative is to make these people's lives better--along with those of those groups, esp. Blacks and Hispanics, agitating for the full award, at last, of their civil rights. Like, I almost feel the survival of the Republic depends on it.

@97. Username. Actually, not one single person said (what I would take to be Dan Savage's view), 'peremptorily dump any 2016 Trump voter'. Everyone either disagreed, said something more nuanced or set conditions. You're not seeing when people are agreeing with you.