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Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: This letter-writer has got to stay in the game, an affair partner pulls out, a serial snooper can't stop snooping, and affairs and their aftermaths. And, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.

For ASSHOLE:

Word up on your answer to ASSHOLE. I think I have the opposite problem... I can't poop, like, anywhere unless I can immediately jump in the shower and cleanse. My family has gotten used to my post-Thanksgiving showers, but I have been known to clog toilets after road trips, have actually bought new showerheads for girlfriends' bathrooms, and think the handhelds should be mandatory for hotel rooms... and I'm not even into ass-play.

And:

I started to put moisturizer on my toilet paper while wiping to help with chapped asshole in the winter. I found that dry paper could nowhere near clean as adequately, and now I always use a dab of moisturizer when I wipe. I didn't realize that my asshole wasn't "clean" until I used something that actually worked better. Life changer.

About these kinda requests...

Fairly avid reader of your column. Is this the right avenue to get some advice of my own? Don’t know what the procedure is for letter publication is, so this may be stupid to say but I would not want it published.

I get a lot of emails from people who don't want their letters/problems published. I answer as many as I can, I do, but it's a tiny percentage—I'm only able to respond to a tiny percentage of the letters I get from people who actually want them published! I wish I could respond privately to everyone who doesn't want their letter published because it's too personal, because their friends/lovers/family read the column and they'll be recognized, etc., and to everyone who does. But it's not possible. And, hey, as a courtesy: If you don't want your letter published, please mention that fact at the start of your letter, not at the end. It's a little frustrating to read someone's 5K email only to find "please don't publish this in your column or online!" lurking in a postscript.

Regarding HARLOTS:

No, Dan. It is never okay to cheat on your spouse. If you feel like you need to go outside the marriage, you TELL the person and let them choose if they want to leave or stay, given that information. It is never okay to help someone cheat on their partner. Come on, Dan.

Person A is married to Person B. Person B is chronically ill, bedridden, and unable to have sex. Person A, who is Person's B's primary caregiver, asks Person B's permission to go outside the marriage for sex. Person B says no, absolutely not. Person B can't leave—bedridden, chronically ill—and Person A, to their credit, won't abandon Person B. But Person A, for their sanity, needs sexual release. So Person A discreetly seeks sex outside the marriage without Person B's permission.

This isn't a hypothetical. I have corresponded with multiple people who found themselves in Person A's position. Getting their sexual needs met outside the relationship made it possible for them to continue being their Person B's spouse and caretaker—they've done what they needed to do to stay married and stay sane and what they did was in Person B's best interest, even if Person B couldn't recognize it.

That's an extreme example, I realize, but life is long and complicated and it's easy to pretend there's no gray area when it comes to cheating—which often isn't planned, but happens on impulse. And then you wake up one day and your neatly ordered black-and-white world is suddenly looking ashy, oyster, pearl, battleship, or some other shade of gray.

On the whole "coming on command" controversy:

I was catching up on some old episodes, and I ran across your “coming on command” disbelief. I don’t know if anyone else has contacted you, but wanted to let you know that I am married to a man who was originally dominant when I met him, and was the first man who made me come during intercourse ever. We developed a relationship in which he was able to make me come on command, usually augmented by some kind of touch, not necessarily sexual.

However, then, we switched roles and I have been dominant for about seven years. I have actually been successful in making him come on command during intercourse. He doesn't come until I tell him to. It’s not quite the same thing, but these things are possible.

Your sub isn't coming on command—he's delaying orgasm, edging himself while he's inside you, carefully tiptoeing up to "the point of orgasmic inevitability," as it's known, and then slowing down/backing off. That's not exactly what people mean when they talk a sub who "comes on command." What they mean is a Dom snaps his fingers—and it's almost always a male Dom who claims to have this power—and his sub, with no other physical stimulation or build up (this command isn't "augmented by any kind of touch"), instantly climaxes on command. The sub wasn't perched on the edge of orgasm waiting for the okay to come. We're supposed to believe the sub went from zero-to-sixty—from unaroused to shattering orgasm—instantaneously.

It would be interesting to test these claims in a lab—orgasmic contractions can be monitored—but I doubt we'd get a grant. I also doubt that any male Dom who makes this sort of claim would be willing to show up in a lab with his sub to have it tested. He won't like having to admit what he secretly already knows: she's faking it.

Am I neglecting the gays?

Hey Dan, I'm curious about something. Who chooses which questions get published? I used to love reading your column, it got to the heart of the gay lifestyle and answered a lot of deep questions for me an many others. But recently, 95% of your column is dedicated to straight people, mostly women, why the abandonment of the gay community? Did gay men stop writing you or have you switched to a different demographic for advertising dollars? I mostly skip your column completely now after a quick scan of the beginning lines.

I get letters like this one about as often as I get letters from straight people—straight guys, usually—telling me the column has gotten too gay. Two recent SLLOTDs were about gay relationships and this week's column has a letter from a gay dude and last week's column had two questions from gay dudes. So I haven't abandoned the gay community. Trust.

And:

Been a reader since I was a gangly teenager. Now I am a big bear with a receding hairline. Was on the podcast, and all that other shit. (Decided instead of being in the marines, to have a marine in me). I have recently been made aware that I was one of many exes of someone in the local leather scene. And while the other two exes have a degree of relative trauma, I jumped out of that early. And I realize that I dodged a bullet. Thanks to what I learned listening to you, I spotted a few red flags with him and ended things early. And saved myself a bit of trauma for it. I've also channeled my inner Dan Savage a few times. Stopped folks from hurting themselves, helped folks stop others from hurting them.

The Obama era faggots are a lot healthier than the Bush era ones. And while I am a bit jealous, I wanted to thank you, a Reagan-era faggot, for helping me dodge a few mistakes he and others made.

Thanks for the lovely note! But I like to think of myself as a era-transcending faggot. I came out early in the Reagan era and I've remained engaged and active and full-throatedly out during the Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama eras. And I intend to outlast the Trump error too.

Finally, on not using the word "crazy":

Instead of using crazy to describe people we date who engage in assholery, I think toxic might work. It's the word I use to describe a twisted fuck I used to date. Twisted fuck also works, except for the too many syllables issue!

Keep up the good work and thank you from the bottom of my heart for informing me (and many millions) about the Global Gag Rule many, many years ago. Which, by the way, the human stain occupying the White House is taking to an even deeper, horrific level thanks in part to Mike Pence. #ITMFA


Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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