Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: A gay kinkster wonders whether he should sound off online about a pair of inept tops or contact them directly? Should this guy tell his Tinder date about the drowning risk his kink presents? She cheated… now what? And: "My future husband is wonderful but his mother is destroying our lives." And, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.
I've upset the vegans:
I have to call you out on your petty and mean-spirited reply to the vegan who wrote in asking you to change up your "With Extra Lobster" with something that didn't condone eating animals. You could have simply not printed that reply and let it go but instead you had to do what all meat eaters love doing—shaming vegans for their over the top desire to live in a world where other sentiment beings are treated with the same respect we humans demand for ourselves. I get it, you're a meat eater and its totally your "right" to incarcerate, torture, inhumanly transport and ultimately (pay other people to) kill animals cause I'm sure you're not out there hunting that free-range food yourself. Maybe next time instead of showing yourself to be an ass you should just let it slide and keep the witty Fuck Offs to yourself.
Even better you could do some reading about the links between large scale animal agriculture/fishing and the loss of clean water, biodiversity and climate change. If its people you care about maybe take a look at the the amount of food used to feed livestock and the amount of people starving on the planet and if you're really just a self centred carnivore you could take a look into the link between meat based diets and cancer.
I'm actually trying to eat less meat for all the reasons you mention—I frequent not one but two (TWO!) vegan places for lunch most days—so my "fuck off" wasn't motivated by wah-wah-wah-don't-make-me-feel-bad-about-meat. It was the language policing that motivated that particular fuck off. Even if we eliminate meat eating (or radically reduce it), we're not going to be able to eliminate expressions like "bring home the bacon," "hotdog," "chew the fat," "bigger fish to fry," etc., from the lexicon, and it seems like a waste of time and energy to try. Want to argue with people about what goes into their mouths? Sure, I'm with you. Arguing with people about what comes out of their mouths—and shaming and scolding them—is, IMHO, a counterproductive waste of time that deserves a "fuck off."
What’s with the Bill O’reilly-esque kick-down of the vegan letter writer? I just gobbled a steak (literally) within the last hour so I would hardly consider myself a vegan sympathizer, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect their opinion, or have vegans and vegetarians in my life that I care about. Frankly, I can appreciate the person’s argument, however shrill the presenter may have been. Not to get all philosophical, but if you’d said “let’s call it ‘with extra dog/cat’” there’d be a furor, but that’s only because the convention of our time says it’s ok to eat lobster til we puke, but it’s not ok to eat dog meat or cat meat. It seems to me that rather than listen to and engage with a minority opinion (your forte), this person’s comment cut a little too close to the bone (so to speak), and your kneejerk reaction was to use your pulpit to shut down debate in the same way as the MAGA douchebags you rightly condemn. As a long time fan who’s never written in before, I’ve gotta say, I’m disappointed.
Don't know how you get from telling one vegan to fuck off to "that guy hates all vegans." How many times have I told gay guys to fuck off? And I'm a gay guy!
And speaking of fuck...
Long time reader here in Eugene, OR. I enjoy your articles always, in the Eugene Weekly. I just read your (Extra) Lobster article and am surprised and disappointed with your 'F' word usage. You're better than this. I know it's 2019 but the F word is not necessary. You're better than this. Please refrain from the F word, this is a small town and folks like myself do not appreciate this. Just my 2 cents. Thank you for your articles, and keep up the great work!
Longtime reader, you say?
On the dishonest gay brother-in-law:
All the kids need to be told is their father has been having an affair for four years and mother is tired of it. If they want details, they can ask dad.
More for DGBIL:
I wanted to give some additional thoughts to your response to DGBIL as someone who has been there. I was married for twenty years, and my ex-wife and I have two amazing kids. Nearly five years ago, I was caught having an affair with a man. One I had unintentionally fallen in love with. I was quickly forced to tell my kids and my family after my ex threatened to out me. And then she did so on Facebook anyway. She's a real peach.
I don't disagree with the bulk of your advice to DGBIL but I would add some caution. As you know, marriages fall apart for a lot of reasons. Maybe BIL was having an affair because he is gay, or maybe because he was so unhappy in his marriage with DGBIL's sister that it was an outlet. We aren't in his head. The idea of outing BIL to his kids is inappropriate both for DGBIL (as you said) and even for his sister. When BIL is ready to present his side of the divorce to the kids, if ever, he will. And he may lose them or hurt them in the process. But it is his news to share and his problem if he alienates his kids in the process.
Kids don't need to know every explicit detail of why their parents are divorced. And we don't know all the reasons that this couple split. What if the marriage broke up because the sister was so horrible that BIL finally gave up and sought comfort in the arms of another? Should BIL act on his desire to tell his kids that their mother is emotionally unavailable or unstable or who knows what else? Or should he consider some age appropriate way to not disparage his kids' mom, but honestly explain that not all marriages work? And if the kids are unsatisfied with the explanation, one parent can encourage these teenagers to ask their other parent about it.
I agree with your advice that DGBIL should talk to BIL. But my tack would be a little different. I would warn BIL that SOMEONE (not necessarily the sister) will tell these kids something if he doesn't. Or they will overhear something (like the sister talking on the phone or the grandparents whispering on the sidelines of a soccer game). The news of his affair with a guy is out. The toothpaste is out of the tube and you can't put it back. So if he wants his narrative presented to his kids, he needs to do it. Whatever he wants it to be. No one should be asked to lie to the kids. But if his narrative does not disclose anything concerning his sexual orientation (which, by the way, he may be struggling to discern), that is his business and everyone, including the sister, should respect it.
More on DGBIL:
Ok, Dan, I’ve been reading you for years and attribute most of my sexual education to you. But wow was I surprised by your take on the brother-in-law who’s marriage is over and nobody will tell the kids why response. You dismiss the gay brother-in-law’s idea that his brother-in-law was gay and say he’s likely bi. I would assume you’ve met many, many men who were married to opposite sex partners, had children and then came out. I’ve known many, an my husband and I are among them. We both married women, had relationships and children (4 children between us). He was married for two decades and I for about 4 years.
When we explain our history to people, as we’ve been doing for the 13 years since we came out, it’s that it’s more nuanced than that. We loved our wives. We had sex with them. We fathered children. But we weren’t bi. We were closeted gay men trying to live the life that society expected.
When I first came out I was skeptical of bi people ... because of my personal experience. Your column is one of the reasons I came to learn there absolutely is a spectrum and there are definitely bi people. That said, over the last dozen years I’ve met lots of formerly married men and women to opposite sex couples and none of them, like me, considered themselves bi. Some for a bit, but none for very long. I’ve met lots of bi people, and they tend to be people who are open with their partners about being bi, or single and confident they are bi.
So I was disappointed to see you say that this guy was likely bi. I wish you instead would have said that he could be bi or gay. He could be bi ... for all the reasons that you mentioned, but it’s also certainly possible that he was just deeply closeted like many people who have been in opposite sex relationships but were actually gay and just terrified of the consequences of coming out of the closet.
Based on the info DGBIL included in his original letter, I put my money on closeted bi. DGBIL wrote back and gave me some additional info...
DGBIL here! Thanks for publishing my letter in this week's Savage Love! I'm hugely honored! I'll follow your advice as best I'm able (events are moving fast). But I've got a follow up question on your "probably Bisexual" opinion of my BIL. History is littered with men who—for various reasons all directly related to homophobia—have attempted straightness, gotten married, had kids, and then later left their female partners and identified as capital-G Gay. I slept with women and went through short phase of identifying as Bi in my youth, and you've written about similar experiences you've had, and we both identify as Gay today. So clearly prior heterosexual activity alone doesn't automatically land anyone in the Bi camp.
My soon-to-be-ex BIL hasn't been intimate with my sister for about eight years (according to her), has demonstrated no attraction to any other woman, has only been caught with (per my sister again) "gay stuff" (porn, hook up apps, boyfriend), and his only other serious prior-to-my sister girlfriend dumped him because he refused to have sex with her.
Now you didn't have that info when you formed your opinion of BIL's identity. Knowing now what I know, do you still believe I should think of him as "probably Bi"?
Nope, with all that info I'm moving my money to "closeted gay man." Thanks for writing back, DGBIL!
Some thanks from a BI man!
I just came out as a bi man (married to a woman) and I thought I should write you to thank you for encouraging guys like me to be who we are. This has been one of the strangest and most wonderful experiences of my life.
Please don't ever suggest that someone in an abusive (or likely abusive) relationship go to couple's counseling with their abuser. All of the experts agree on this too. Abusers use the setting to further abuse their victims. Individual counseling (for both parties, if he's willing, for LW certainly, if he's not) is the way to go.
Dan, you dropped the ball on your recent column to DAMN on Facebook about addressing herpes stigma. Please point out to people that herpes and cold sores are practically the same virus which just presents in different locations of the body. @fakedansavage #savagelove
— Ro Nicolaides (@RoNicolaides) February 21, 2019
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