Savage Love Letter of the Day: Reader Advice Round-up


Speaking of the Savage Lovecast, is the Savage Love app getting updated to run on iOS11?
Damn, Dan's husband is a hottie. Hide more photos on Instagram!
a little update for CLICKED:

I used to babysit for a woman in the ID. She was wild. This was the 90s and she had a fast computer so she allowed me to play video games on it while her kid (3) was asleep or whatever.

She also had a program called "jpegViewer" on her desktop. Being a young computer person, but also being mostly pre-WWW (we dialed into BBS's in those days), I didn't know what a jpeg was, and opened it. It was a standard gallery app for viewing pictures.

As it turns out, they were pictures of this woman (the mom) engaged in hardcore sex acts with multiple men. I never mentioned it to her or my mom (of course), and honestly I forgot about it. I was probably the same age as that kid. Life will go on for all of them. If I could get over hardcore sex (remember, this was pre-internet, when if you were lucky you might be able to look at a playboy or catch some scrambled boobies while surfing the UHF channels), this kid in 2017 can get fully over some boudoir shots.
@2: How dare you objectify Dan's husband like that!
Dan, I think your advice that gender non-conforming people should date bisexuals IS ideal! We like both genders, so we're the ideal dating pool for individuals who exhibit characteristics of both genders. We're also queer, so we'd fulfill the caller's desire to date someone "gay." Sure, some bisexuals like masculine men and feminine women, but if you're looking for someone who's not bothered about what genitals you have and whether you wear dresses or suits, why not focus your search on people who already know we like both? (Some other good advice: date other trans people! There are, in particular, a glut of trans lesbians who should take their own advice, see [other] trans women as women, and give them a chance, instead of seeking out only cis lesbians and trying to convince them to accept penis.)
"I don't like private gun ownership in any shape or form, but the term "weapons of war" draws the line pretty effectively between a rifle intended for deer hunting and a AR15 with a bump stock. It's a baby step."

The first of many, I am sure. I am unaware of any war where an AR15 with a bump stock was a significant factor so the phrase is disingenuous at best and a lie about the commentator's ultimate plans at worst. The commentator might ask the people of Ferguson, Missouri and countless other communities how benign *government* gun ownership is.
Just to be clear:

"A man impregnated me" is active voice, not passive.
"I was impregnated" is passive.

"I was impregnated by a man" is still passive.

If you get this terminology wrong, you're in good company--even the famed Strunk and White book fucks this up, too.
"I was impregnated by a man" is accurate, especially if said man did not use the birth control options available to him (and presumably he didn't or she wouldn't have used that language). Condoms plus withdrawal mean guys have the same efficacy as a woman would on the pill (and that's w/ average use for all methods, i.e. not using them 100% of the time, screwing up, etc). Combine this w/ fertility awareness w/ a regular partner (guys can use this too) and it's down to 2% chance of impregnanting someone a year, or similar to an IUD or a pill, and that's w/o bringing in the woman's birth control method at all.

Somehow it seems like a lot of men aren't either aware of this or willing to do it. Maybe men don't feel like it's their responsibility at all? Why is that? Without sperm in a vagina it's 100% impossible for a pregnancy to occur, and I don't know that it's women that are so wed to PIV sex to male orgasm. I kinda think men are far more motivated to cause that to happen. Sex where a guy never orgasms inside you when you aren't trying to get pregnant is probably living the dream for a lot of women.

The dismissal of men's role in the creation of a pregnancy (100% impossible w/o sperm in a vagina - but who put it there?) and 100% blame on the woman (shoulda kept her legs closed if she didn't want to get pregnant!) is a typical MRA viewpoint and it's off base.
Re: Oops - the original letter makes me think "impregnated by a man" is in fact the right term because he sounds abusive. Pressuring her to abort is a major red flag, calling it wrong if she doesn't is a major red flag. He does not sound like an ok guy. To not be using condoms in month one of a relationship is also a problem, from the sound of it I'm thinking that was his idea, since she has never been willing to abort and is somehow actually considering this guy's viewpoint as more important than her clearly stated and strongly held own. "Do I have the right to continue with this pregnancy?" is not the question of someone who is in a non-abusive relationship. "He left me because I wouldn't make a decision within a week" also sounds like the action of a deeply shitty human.
I want to thank you so much for your rant at the top of recent podcast RE sexual harassment and the "ask."

I was one of those shameless pigs I think you were making reference to, Dan.

But I'm also one of those whose personal life has been crippled, forever, by crippling levels of reticence. I've offended far more women by NOT making a move (almost always realized after, and not in the moment) than by making a move.

But on the Bell Curve, I am a wacky one on the excessive reticence scale of male heterosexual (well, mostly in my case) behavior toward women. This gives me a peculiar viewpoint on this matter, and again--your opening rant was spot-on in explaining to me just how much my own peculiarity in this regard is NOT in accord with the experience of virtually every woman on the planet.
No @8/@9: The original letter stated "A man impregnated me," laying the blame for the pregnancy solely at the man's feet (or other body part). For this to be accurate, I would imagine a scenario where she asked him to use a condom and he refused. Under any other set of circumstances, they share the responsibility for the pregnancy.

I agree that not using condoms in the first month of a relationship is a red flag, but as CMD pointed out in the original comments, we don't know whose idea it was to not use a condom, or whether a condom is used (pregnancy can occur while using condoms, although I think the chances in this particular instance are slim). Based on her eagerness to keep and raise a baby with a near stranger ("we'd make great parents" -- what??), it's just as likely, in my view, that she wanted a baby, was careless or maybe even sabotaged the birth control, then tried to obligate a brand-new boyfriend to co-parent with her by blaming him ("he impregnated me"). And in his shoes, if someone got pregnant quickly, didn't even consider having a termination, and started telling me I'd make a great father, I'd run too! There's at least one red flag here, but we don't know who's waving it.

I have never experienced a man using a condom AND pulling out. Anyone that determined to not have kids probably got the snip.

Atheism @10: Ironically, I would say 10% of men come on too strong, thus giving the rest of the men a bad name, but 75% of men don't come on at all. You are far from alone in erring on the side of having to be hit with a clue-stick to know a woman is interested! :)
@11 amendment. "Under any other set of circumstances, they share the responsibility for the pregnancy" -- with the exception that if she poked holes in the condom, the responsibility is 100% hers.
@BiDanFan: thank you for your kind words of support.

I'm working on this stuff. Trying to emerge from my shell. My terror of being rejected is diminishing, and it just kind of bums me out that Harvey and all that has ensued in the wake has made my new-found and still tentative courage even a bit scarier to try to break free of.

Golly I know how to take no for an answer! The slightest bit of disinterest and I deflate utterly. Nonconsent is my biggest turn-off, and I have a horror of being thought impertinent or presumptuous, to say nothing of being anything like a horror.

My behavior, honestly, is and always has been highly honorable in regards to women. Too cowardly? YES. But never too pushy.
I don't want to break free of a little courage, I want to break free from excessively low self-regard and make an honest attempt out there.

My meaning was probably clear in context, but wanted to clarify since that's my way.
@11. If you are a guy having sex w a women who is potentially fertile and she says "if you use a condom I will refuse to have PIV sex with you" (this is what you mean, right?) and you as a guy think, sure, she'll never get pregnant when I am ejaculating inside her, I am not sure how to 100% blame the girl here.

The chance of getting pregnant using condoms is about 20%. They fail all the time, usually from leakage at the base. Sperm are good swimmers. As with women, if you haven't gotten someone pregnant by your mid thirties it's highly likely you have a fertility problem.

Condoms plus withdrawal is great and I highly recommend. If you are trying not to get knocked up and can't tolerate or don't want to be on hormonal bc and you aren't terminally married, best way to go. You PIV fuck for however long you want and then free the dick to go wherever else it may wish to wander.

I read her "we'd make great parents" + no abortions thing as being sign of a religious background. Not a rare combo, perfectly normal in that frame - you just wouldn't have see with someone who you wouldn't think would be a good parent. I mean, isn't that kind of a good rule for LTRs anyway?

Honestly, thinking about it, if you can't abort, you'd only fuck guys you could see having a kid with.
@11 isn't making a guy you're with finish in a condom every time kinda mean? I get it if you're doing the six months to a year you need to do to get past the std risk window, but otherwise... Seems harsh. I'm just surprised.
@15 not necc best way to go, I should be clear. Non hormonal iuds are an option but not everyone is able to use them, also diaphragms are a thing but you gotta be ok w spermicide. Not options a guy can use though.
Question - if there are two people in a relationship and one is willing to have children and the other isn't, who is most responsible for birth control?

If we swap genders to this question, do we get a different answer as to responsibility/blame?

In a hetero relationship, since pregnancy barring a tubal, vasectomy, or menopause is always on the table at any time, who is primarily responsible for being the one who brings up abortion as a topic to discuss before PIV?

Is the greater responsibility on the person who has control of whether an abortion happens or not or is the greater responsibility on the person who is able to walk away?

If both are conservative and religious is it is a reasonable assumption on the part of the woman that the guy is against abortion? If we switch genders, same?

If someone is willing to have PIV sex with you with no protection or precaution on their part does that reasonably imply they are willing risk getting you pregnant?

Position on willingness to abort can change with emotional entanglement or over time. It can change after learning you are pregnant. In these cases, where do you put blame?