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


Hey Dan, I think you have a typo up there that is a pretty important thing to fix. You wrote "I agree with Mistress Matisse and Jay Wiseman: choking is safe, and people shouldn't do it."

Shouldn't that be "choking ISN'T safe", rather than "choking IS safe"?
re: TRAIN and the response

The issue with TRAIN (as well as "Jane") is that they acted out, in as explicit way as possible - that they're entitled to other people's bodies because their own good looks merit it. Who knows what they feel about the careers/livelihood/etc of these other meatsacks - I wouldn't want either to be my manager. As people frequently say - sex isn't about sex, it's about power. So while these two guys don't have to walk in fear of meaningful sexual violence on the reg, they're as vulnerable to interpersonal/emotional violence as anyone else. I wouldn't expect someone who so freely co-opts another person as a living breathing body pillow to gracefully accept "no thanks" for an answer.
All the happy people who got to write and tell Dan off for something
Maybe he's sad in part because his readers tell him off all the freaking time
He is your advocate, not your punching bag
I miss the days when he felt free to say what he thought without qualification
or punctuation ;)
or being accused of contributing to the marginalisation of everyone who wants their victimhood acknowledged
Was the introduction of comments when he lost the freedom to speak freely?
Yeah, no. Mopey white dude. These two cooks at my job pinned me between them to make a dark-horse sandwich.

It wasn’t awesome. It wasn’t validating. It was frightening.

If you grab my ass as I walk by, I will make sure YOU don’t have any equipment left for you to mope over.

Because it is MY goddamn body. MINE. You wanna ride that ass? And I have a fine ass, you stop, smile at me, and ask consent.
@1 I was wondering that too. But I like the fuckup: Yes, choking can be "safe," but it isn't SAFE. Don't do it.

Accidental nuance. Gotta love it.
And another thing. This is why RACK isn't good enough. It isn't enough to be "aware" of risks. No, no, you must be safe, sane, and consensual. Anything else, and I'll cheerfully judge you on this: You're doing it wrong.
@1, 5,

I actually read it thinking it wasn't even a typo. I mean, of course choking is hazardous, can potentially be fatal and should be recognized as dangerous to any thinking individual. But I'd imagine the number of deaths, or even serious injuries, is absurdly small compared to the number of choking incidents experienced by the human populace on a daily basis. And maybe that's kinda what he was doing there?

Likely is/was a typo though. Be safe, ya'll!
@7: I also read it as "it's can be safe, but DON'T ANYWAY."
I didn't listen to that episode of the podcast, but I'm very uncomfortable with the idea that sexual assault is about men as the default aggressor and women as the default victim. I'm a woman and personally I've been harassed by more women than men. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Neurology and trauma have been my specialties as a medical doctor.

For #7 to say that death or serious injury is “absurdly small” caused me to sit up and yelp “Wait....what the...?!”

What is your source for your absurd comment? At least once a week I am asked to consult on a young man or woman who has suffered a paralyzing, debilitating stroke from pressure on either the carotid or vertebral-basilar artery(it’s entwined in the bony vertebrae of the neck) from “rough” sex(what the typical MD calls any sex that Mike Pence wouldn’t do with ‘Mother’), auto erotic choking or more commonly chiropractic manipulation.

ONE 22y/o male paralyzed on one side, no speech, and drooling is ONE TOO many! I see them and then know they are put in homes. I also read peer review journals that give the statistics of the “absurdly” low numbers who are warehoused. They are NOT low! There are entire hospitals filled with folks on ventilators from massive strokes from lack of oxygen. 3 minutes without oxygen can leave a human in a vegetative state...on a ventilator until they die.

Easily the most depressing thing you will ever see. Row after row of ppl-vegetables-on gurneys turned and suctioned every hour. Comatose or semi-comatose all you hear is the whoosh and click of ventilators. No one comes to visit.

The police used to have a sleeper hold—cuts off the oxygen. Now illegal (still “ok” if used by a white cop on a black man it seems)

LEAVE THE NECK ALONE! No hold or manipulation is safe. Period!
Regarding being groped etc. (Hey it must be okay if Mensa member Jose Canseco likes it!)

#4 is spot on. Keep your damned hands and comments to yourself! I don’t care if you’re Charlize Theron or Brad Pitt-stay away and shut up.

This may be off topic but one of the most reprehensible comments in our uuge prison population is how people will think rape is just a “normal” part of being locked up!

Yet jokes are ALWAYS made about throwing certain ppl into gen pop and “letting the inmates give him jailhouse justice!” That’s horrific!

Japan had the most compassionate prisons for non violent offenders. Crimes had logical 40 yrs for grams of crack!

You serve your sentence-with 4-6 other similar prisoners and adequate staffing with well paid, well trained guards. Actual rehab such as learning trades or degrees. Placement in jobs, support. ZERO rape/sexual activity except for conjugal visits.

ALL humans MUST be treated w respect. Period. That includes the “least of us.”
A sixteen-line correction of a single-letter typo (yin)? Did we -- who knew it was a typo -- really need to read all that?

On men and sexual assault, yes, men get sexually assaulted. No one is claiming they don't. Men don't live in fear of sexual assault. It never occurs to men, for instance, that a woman might not want to listen to music on a bus because she doesn't want to be unable to hear an assailant approaching. Those kind of street assaults don't happen to men, and they rightly live blissfully free of worry about them.

I hope the TRAIN critic read the comments, to see just how many men disagreed with him. "You shouldn't do something to someone without their consent" isn't "fundamentalism," it's basic human respect. Besides, high school kids kind of get a pass for immaturity. Grown adults should know better. (TRAIN critic, why not hire a sex worker to come find you on a train and rub up against you, if this interests you so much?)
Queen @3: People have ALWAYS written in to Dan to express their disagreement. It's only recently that he's started printing their critiques.
Gee Helen, that's all a bit depressing. True I know. Especially the neck injuries. I hate anything tight around my neck.

Poor unloved white guy, who remembers the bum pinch from decades ago; No, some woman violating you on the train would be no different to how you are being treated now, by your wife. Or how you seem to think of yourself.
If your wife no longer fancies you, then talk with her about changing the boundaries of the marriage. All that self pity is not attractive. Do things to build your self esteem up, thru activities, gym, groups etc. Sitting in a dead marriage is your doing, so shake things up a bit.
Re the letter about ITALY, he left out independent.
Unavailable, and independent of ITALY's Italian charm.
@9 I've also been harassed by women, but in my experience the default offender is almost always a man. Not trying to invalidate your experience, only saying men have been far more aggressive towards me than women. Personally, less than 5 women have harassed me vs literally hundreds of men. If that sounds like a crazy number, it's because I'm including all the times guys made me feel unsafe as they harassed me on my daily jog, walk to the train, or the random gropers at parties or bars. Plus the creepers at work, school, in my social circle, etc. Most of my female friends have had similar experiences with men being the default offenders. Very hard for me to understand, but I accept in theory that in rare cases there might be women who are as bad or worse than men.
@16 I'm not a huge magnet for harassment from men, I don't know why, maybe because I'm tall and kind of masculine. I'm not what people call "conventionally attractive." I know my experience isn't typical and men are the most frequent offenders, but I often feel like anything other than the men vs women story is swept under the rug. I'm sorry you have been targeted so much and it's unfortunate how many of my female friends have experienced this.
@10: " At least once a week I am asked"

Is there a reason why you pretend to be a doctor, though?
Dr. Helen: “all you hear is the whoosh and click of ventilators. No one comes to visit.” Ever considered publishing your poetry?
You called @7 for lack of statistics, yet never offered any yourself beyond mentioning “peer review journals” as your impressive sources.
As for your once a week consultation on a young person with a brain damage as a result of practicing rough sex, I assume that means older folks must have figured ways to rough it up in a safe manner that don’t require the doctor’s attention.
Or maybe they’re already in one of those “entire hospitals filled with folks...”

Dr. Helen, re jails:
Jails were always a business in the US. Cities fought to have the state jail in their vicinity; no one wanted the state university.
With present day pvt jails for profit it is no wonder laws have been tweaked, such as three repeating minor offenses and you’re in jail for life, in order to ensure occupancy and long terms profits. All in the name of “free market.”

I really don't think the autistic letter writer, in saying "I'm not broken" meant "I'm not gay". I don't think she sees gay people as broken. What I think she meant was that autistic people are not broken, despite the fact that many neurotypical people think they are.
@18 I thought #10 was a doctor though. That's what was said on the first line of the post, at least.
Does DS ever follow up with a LW?
@22: "Helen Nuschler" (if that's a real name) claims to be a physician. Many readers have doubts.
Damn BDF, but you and Lava Girl really are prolific commenters. I've been a member since 2009 and I've only made 445 comments. LOL Quality over quantity? No, both of you are quality as well as prolific commenters. (Not that my opinion matters)
@25. There, S&C. A real sting in the tail. Thanks anyway for the backhanded compliment.
Lava girl@26 Nothing backhanded about the compliment intended, just an attempt at humor (color me envious and appreciative) Time constraints make posting comments a hit or miss proposition, mostly miss for me. (It's just like dating LOL) I don't talk just to hear the sound of my own voice and I loathe pointless small talk.

I always enjoy intelligent chat even though I'm not always articulate or erudite. (time of day, lack of sleep, low blood sugar among other things negatively affect my memory, ability to think clearly and ability to communicate cogently and coherently. I have many flaws, but try not to be a pompous, pedantic jackass.

and succeed most of the time
Elmsyrup @21: The LW said "I'm not disabled, I'm not broken." Not "I'm not gay, I'm not broken." Gay people never entered the equation. I don't think LW meant to imply that disabled people are broken, but I can see how someone might interpret it that way.

Skeptic @25: Yeah, these boards have become a bit of a hobby for me, I suppose. Being bi and poly and somewhat kinky, I seem to be able to identify with a large proportion of the LWs. And the others, I have learned much from. Whatever is going on here at SL is usually more interesting than work ;)
BDF I wish I had more time to indulge this guilty pleasure. I read some of these letters and I am ever grateful that I lead a relatively drama free existence.