Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: Bonus poopgasms, a letter writer fell in love with one guy but wound up with another, a guy wonders how bad would it be for him to hook up with the former stepdad of a woman he briefly dated, and a man saw something very disturbing on the internet—now what? And, of course, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.
About something that came up on last week's Lovecast:
Listening to this week's episode where a nanny calls in concerned by the child she cares for masturbating herself, wondering if this is a sign of abuse, you advise the nanny to talk to the mom in case the daughter is being abused. Unfortunately this falls prey to the societal expectation that people who commit sexual assault when in fact anywhere from 13% to 40% of sexual assault is committed by women. Please talk with someone who knows more about options to investigate potential child sex abuse then contact the nanny again.
I totally agree with your advice to AA, but in your focus that the problem could be with society's relationship reward system rather than with him, you might have overlooked an important component of his situation. Even though his relationships have positive outcomes, something about the tone of his letter leads me to infer that he might feel the need for a more deeply satisfying connection with someone that he's neither getting from his friendships or his sexual encounters. So my question for AA is this: are YOU finding fulfillment in your friendships and sex life? If so, rock on! If not: Dan, how would you suggest AA go about finding whatever else he might be looking for?
My answer included a suggestion that didn't require AA to rewire himself or regard the way his sexuality and/or romantic attractions currently function/functions as a Problem That Must Be Solved Before He Can Be Whole:
Another option if you do want to get married someday: a companionate marriage to one of your most intimate friends—someone like you, AA, who also sees potential life partners and potential sex partners as two distinct categories with no overlap—and all the Grindr hookups and BDSM sessions you like with one-offs who become good friends.
Advising someone to work with who they are and what's possible for someone who works the way they do—sexually, romantically, and socially—will put them on a more successful and far less frustrating path, IMHO, than telling someone they'll never be happy until they remake themselves, something they may not be able to do and may not need to do in order to be happy.
Blue quicksand. https://t.co/F1Kdr1Vkw2— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) November 14, 2018
A brief email exchange about what I've called blue quicksand—it wasn't a blue wave, it was blue quicksand and Republicans just keep sinking into it—with a reader who felt I'd overlooked someone on election night:
Small (possible) correction, Dan. Noticed you said Colorado elected the first openly gay governor last Tuesday. But Kate Brown of Oregon is also openly gay and she was elected governor of Oregon. It looks like Colorado elected the first openly gay MAN as governor. Love your show. Love your politics. Love your love of love.
Kate Brown is openly bisexual. If I called her openly gay I would get (and deserve) so much grief for bisexual erasure!—Dan
Okay, you're correct, sorry for the quibbling. Also, is "gay" a term just used for men who love men? I thought gay could be used for anyone who isn't hetero.
Queer is the accepted term anyone who isn’t hetero (and for some heteros too—poly and kinky straights sometimes identify as queer. But for your records: gay almost always means homosexual men, although some lesbian women will use it too.—Dan
Thanks for the schooling, Dan. Again, love your show. I wish I had the courage to call in!
Oh my god JUST FUCK HIM ALREADY
Nothing wrong with them hooking up. But it is a goddamn crime if they don’t send pictures.
We’ll need video from when it happens. Because it’s going to happen.
Video would also be acceptable. And:
*fans self* ...I'll be in my bunk.
In defence of the "one penis policy" (or at least people's right to define relationships how they like):
Your spot-on advice (here) for PFFT seems to have sparked a number of negative references from commenters to so-called "one penis rule" poly-relationships... including one reader who (strangely) called them both homophobic (even though phobia means fear) and transphobic (even though they were the one who brought penises, rather than gender, into the discussion).
Here's a bit of advice for all these commenters coming down on PFFT (or others) from their "enlightened" high-horses: Just because you've come up with a clever-sounding name for it, doesn't mean you should make assumptions about how or why these relationships work (or don't) - and in particular whether or not they are valid. Are these rules rooted in a deep-seated insecurity or injustice in some instances? Of course. But lots of relationships have such problems, one-penis-policy or not. And plenty of (all?) functional relationships have some level of inequality if you choose to look at them from a checklist point-of-view. There could be plenty of good reasons - ranging from brown m&ms and taking it slow to (statistically valid) concerns about disease transmission to simply recognizing that men are not women... and a myriad of things that I'm sure neither of us have thought of. Given you come from a community that's suffered so much from the prejudice of others you could sure be a lot more... open.
And in regards to "dickful thinking," my term for those times when desire or arousal clouds a man's judgement, a reader has an alternate (and pretty genius) suggestion that is at once a synonym (for "dickful thinking") and a homonym (for something else but something related):
And I'm hosting HUMP! tonight in Portland and all through the weekend. Come see me, PDX, and even better: see a whole bunch of amazing, hilarious, moving, and inspiring short porn films!