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Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: Her newish boyfriend won't have sex with her during her period, a friend with a lot of drama, a bisexual woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and a man who loves the scent of a woman doused in sap. And, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.

On that maple syrup fetish:

I just read the letter from the maple syrup gentleman, and your advice was great. But it lacked something. Specifically, he could burn some maple scented candles, that’s a lot less sticky than syrup behind the ears.

For a different kind of SAP:

I can't believe you printed Joan Price's response. The response just drips of hypocrisy/double standard. If some guy wrote in to say that he was in a new relationship getting hot'n'heavy twice a day but that it settled down to once a month you/Joan would be telling him to have realistic expectations, take matters into his own hands to supplement and deal with it. That things inevitably cool off with most couples (especially in their 60's) and it was unrealistic to assume that level of intensity/frequency would be sustainable and become the norm. But with SAP; it's the guy's fault. The message is: "You can have it all baby, and you deserve nothing less."

You seem to have mistaken me for some other advice columnist. I've advised plenty of men in sexually unfulfilling relationships to negotiate openness agreements with their partners—hell, I've advised men in sexless relationships they can't get out of to stay and cheat. SAP's partner told her she didn't turn him on and that he preferred porn to her and they're having sex once every 4-6 weeks. I don't think SAP should have to settle for that—and I'd feel the same (and offer the same advice) if the genders were reversed.

On sugar babies:

I just had a comment about whether sugar babying is sex work or not and I definitely agree that it is. Also the stuff she was saying about it being a real relationship and not an hourly deal is total bs. All of the sex work I’ve ever done has been directly through her exact website and it’s been of the sugar daddy variety. We’ve never dated and had a “relationship” as such outside of getting one drink then going to a hotel for sex. Either for a set amount of time for set amount of money, or a looser agreement. But either way it was sex for money and I think it’s totally gross and hypocritical that the website is so explicit about not allowing “sex work” when that is literally what the site is for.

And:

Listened to the podcast with the rep from seeking.com. I was a sugar baby for 18 months and absolutely agree with Dan that it is sex work. Their rep spins a story of these relationships that don't have physical contact and my experience could not be more different. I had contact with 75+ men and absolutely every one was looking for physical contact. You need to have a real sugar baby on to tell the baby's side.

And...






Good question:

What does "PIV" mean? I read it in your article about a boyfriend who wouldn't have sex with his girlfriend when she was on her period. I went back over the article, to see if I'd missed something. Still couldn't figure it out. Maybe I'm too old for all the new slang stuff. LOL.

Here—let me Google that for you. The right definition isn't the first result, dear reader, but scroll down a tiny bit and you should be able to spot the relevant one.

For that woman whose boyfriend won't have sex with her while she's on her period:

Hey there, this is for HAB whose bf won't have sex with her while she's on her period. If he's freaked out at the thought of blood I recommend trying a menstrual cup—once inserted correctly it's invisible and you'll be super clean on the outside. No smell, no string, no Tampax-induced dryness (not to mention it's environmentally friendly).

And:

Just read the letter from the woman whose boyfriend won't have sex with her during her time of the month, and it brought back all these awful memories of the days when I used to get periods (and I, like her BF, also used to hate having sex during that time.) Three or four years ago I talked to my gynecologist about getting rid of my periods altogether, and he put me on a special birth control pill that did exactly that. Would you mind spreading the word about this? It doesn't seem to be common knowledge, at least where I live—I don't know a single other woman who uses the pill in this way. When I've brought it up to people I usually get a confused reaction, or the question, "But is that even safe?" (There seems to be this idea that you can get "backed up", like a sewer.) But it is safe, according to my doctor, and it seems like real a shame that more woman don't know this is even possible. Periods can really, really suck.

Obviously everyone's personal medical issues are a factor, but I would love it if more women knew they could ask their doctors about this. Although my "special" pills (Lo Lestrin) are pricey, my gyno told me you can get the same effect with regular ol' cheap birth control pills by skipping the sugar pill days. The first few months weren't great, but now I can't imagine living any other way. No cramps, no PMS, no stained underwear, no bloating, no feeling like I got kicked in the crotch by a steel-toed boot twelve goddamn times a year, no scheduling my life around this thing. Best decision I ever made.

For GAI:

I just wanted to add a second "sober" thought to the response you gave to Going Absolutely Insane (GAI), the bisexual woman who was jonesing for some vag. The last paragraph of your response contained a slightly problematic sentence: "The booze: If you don't keep more than one bottle in the house at at time, GAI, you can't polish two off in a single sitting." If she is seriously struggling with a substance use issue, and has just one bottle in the house as per your advice, and can't find the "off" switch after one bottle—which is common with addiction—then she's heading out to get the second bottle AFTER polishing off the first. Maybe in her car.

Of course, that doesn't imply she should fill her house with liquor so she isn't drunk-driving to get a fix... but I just wanted to point out that it's not quite as simple as limiting immediate access if it's a serious addiction problem. You were totally right in counseling her to consider getting help.

Some thanks:

Such a huge fan, I work in adult sex education at the wonderful Sh!, the Female-run sex shop in London. I think I must mention something you’ve said in every single class I teach, It’s become something of an in joke now with my colleagues. Anyway, I will stop swooning and get to my point. This has probably already been flagged up to you but have you seen Wanderlust, a new TV series that’s just come out here in the UK and I just think it is such a brilliant and positive portrayal of a non-monogamous couple.

Wow, thanks for the recommendation! I love me some Toni Collette—check it out, readers:


And:

A few years ago my sister (we’re both in our late 20s) snooped on our dad’s phone and found out he’s been in a relationship with someone other than our mom for a long time. She called me extremely distraught and angry at our dad. Our parents have been together for about forty years and have slept in separate bedrooms for the last fifteen or so. My sister’s thinking when she called me was on a path that would, at best, have soured her previously close relationship with our dad, and at worst would have blown up our family. But thankfully I’d been a regular listener/reader of yours for years, and because of that I had a different perspective. Our parents clearly have a very functional and loving companionate marriage, but they also clearly aren’t romantic or sexual with each other anymore, and haven’t been for a long time. My dad sees his girlfriend (who lives in a different state) a few times a year. The rest of the time he is a good husband and father. I figure our mom might know what’s up, and if she doesn’t she probably doesn’t want to. Since listening to you made me think differently about what constitutes and successful marriage, and when cheating is the least worst option, I was able to talk my sister off the ledge and into a frame of mind that was more understanding. By the end of our conversation we agreed letting this go, not holding it against our father, and minding our own business (including not snooping anymore) were probably the best ways to proceed for everyone involved, including the kindest thing we could do for our mother.

Anyway, as I said that was all a few years ago. Since then that’s been the status quo. We’re still a close family and my dad still presumably still sees his girlfriend once in a while (I don’t know for sure because I’m not a snoop).

I’m writing you now because my dad was recently in a car accident. He broke some bones and needed surgery, but he’s going to be okay. I’m so thankful that our family is getting through this time together, and I’m not sure that would have happened if you hadn’t given me a perspective other than the “monogamy is the only way/cheating is always an unforgivable offense/anyone who prioritizes sex is a monster” perspective so much of our culture pushes. So thank you thank you thank you.

And...

I am not gay, I've been playing Bronski Beat "Smalltown Boy" on YouTube nonstop for a week now.

You mean you're not gay yet. Keep listening to old Brosnki Beat songs—along with some Pet Shop Boys and Culture Club—and you will be soon.



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