Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: Should she listen to her gut and leave her boyfriend with the anger issues? How should he react to the news that the woman he repeatedly cheated on is now cheating on him? What should she do about the boyfriend who doesn't want to have sex with her (but does want to masturbate) and refuses to talk about it? And how should she feel about finding proof that her mother was sleeping with her own father, a man who also happens to have abused her? And, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.

Distrusted And Mulling Nervously wrote in after her letter appeared as the SLOTTD...

Thank you so much for advice, I really appreciate it and am taking it on board. I was pretty upset when I wrote to you, so maybe I didn't accurately explain how wonderful he is normally, and that these baseless accusations have occurred maybe four times in the last three years, so it's not like it's constant. At the same time, reading your rely and the commentators helped me understand this has the potential to get bigger and worse, and I shouldn't ignore it. I'll bring it up with him, and push for counseling. I know he'll be resistant to it, but I hope he'll understand that this is a way we could improve things for the future. I really appreciate you taking the time, and I wish you many years of happiness. — DAMN

Thanks for writing back—it's always great to hear from folks whose letters I've responded to—and one last bit of advice: If he resists seeing a counselor about this, tell him that without counseling there is no “future.” And mean it.

Regarding WOOD, the man who was on edge about disclosing his edging fetish on a first date...

Dan. Dan. Really? That was the letter you replied to? For realsies? WOOD either punked you or just needed a big stroking. And ego stroking. And you fell for it. You decide if you do some other stroking. As Iliza Schlesinger said in Elder Millennial: what ever will I do with these giant breasts and thin legs!

I don't know if WOOD is for real... I don't know if any of you are for real... I can't say for certain that I'm not trapped in the gay-sex-advice-columnist version of the Truman Show here... but the guy who claims to be WOOD wrote back to thank my for my advice and to let me know I was right about something...

You're right, Dan! I was in fact incredibly stoned when I wrote to you that. So thank you for the callout and quick feedback!

A conversation I had on someone else's podcast got me a new listener and in turn I helped get that listener off...

I recently started listening to your podcast after hearing you on Cameron Esposito's podcast. I'm really enjoying it. My new year's resolution had been to start masturbating because I'm 32 and I don't actually masturbate. I'm Irish (as in Irish Irish, not Irish American) and female masturbation was something I never heard about growing up. I never discussed it with friends and it was only in my late twenties speaking to friends that I discovered other women masturbate. So listening to your podcast was like being in this lovely sex positive bubble that encouraged me to follow through with my new years resolution and everything is going swimmingly. Really enjoying the podcast. Thanks!

Regarding TIGHTHOLE...

When I read TIGHTHOLE’s letter, it sure sounded familiar—his experience matches mine pretty closely. Assuming he genuinely wants to give this another try (one should really want it, not just want-to-want it) here's a tip that helped me: It’s natural to think that the receiving partner needs to be as passive as possible but I only had consistently good experiences getting fucked after learning that I should be actively pushing out. Right when it seems like it’s just not gonna happen, that’s when you need to give a flex as if having a BM. That tells those otherwise confused/defensive muscles what needs to happen, and from there, it’s allll good.

Okay, okay... it's unanimous: my advice on the Lovecast for the guy who wanted to ask out his doctor sucked:

I'm a bit late to the party but just wanted to say NO NO NO NO about the caller who wanted to ask out/have sex with his new physician. I am a family doctor and I am also quite welcoming and smiling but never, in any way shape or form, would it be appropriate for a patient to ask me on a date, or make any sort of assumption that I am acting in that particular patient's special interest by being welcoming and friendly. The advice you gave to tell him to ask her out but say 'if you say no I hope this doesn't jeopardize our patient-doctor relationship' was not great. The fact of him even asking out means that that patient-doctor relationship is now over. He would need to FIRST find another family doctor, then have a final appointment and say he is 'firing her' because he is attracted to her. Once that relationship is dissolved then MAYBE there could be room to talk about what the intentions are of both parties.

Another response from a reader whose letter I responded to this week: WOE writes...

Thank you so much for answering my letter, Dan! It means a lot to me. You know I honestly thought you might say something like, yeah maybe they were in love and maybe that’s ok. Quite frankly I think some part of me wishes that were true... that it wasn’t really so bad. Thank you for the perspective on the wrongness of what he did. My head was really spinning when I wrote you.

I haven’t watched the Leaving Neverland movie.... I’ll try to work up the strength to do it. It’s helpful to hear of the reality-warping, devastating effects of this type of manipulation and abuse. It’s like weaponizing love. I’m not angry with my mom, and my thoughts of bringing it up are not about confronting her, but about understanding her and her experience before those memories die with her. Still don’t know if I will... I guess I’d say I’m choosing not to for now but that may change. If I do talk to her about it, it won’t be as a confrontation.

I also don’t want to burn the photos... for now. I grew up in a world of secrets, where the consensus reality is that my grandfather was wonderful and the other stuff just wasn’t seen or spoken of, and the only evidence to the contrary was a fleeting memory and a handful of dark conversations. It’s affirming to finally have some concrete proof of the sickness at the heart of the family. I didn’t make this up. I didn’t exaggerate. Here it is. This happened.

Oh and on repressed memories—I actually do have some reason to think that more happened to me than what I remember—possibly when I was to young to remember. But I really feel like it either did or it didn’t, and that’s ok. No need to chase it down. I saw the worst of the repressed memory craze in the early 90s when a hypnotherapist who couldn’t hypnotize me said that my memories were so deeply buried, I might have been a victim of ritual abuse! Yeah, I let go of trying to uncover memories after that. As you said, what I actually do know is certainly enough.

One final thought: You and many of the commenters called my grandfather a monster, and certainly he was. Everyone who actually knew him called him a wonderful man, and there’s truth in that too. The difficulty is in somehow holding and understanding both of those truths at the same time.

Thank you again, Dan. I’m very grateful for your response.

You're welcome, WOE, and I wanted to second what Elmsyrup had to say in the comments thread: "[WOE] is incredibly good at expressing herself. One of the clearest, most well-written letters to Savage Love in a long time." Best to you, WOE, and I wish you peace.

Okay, that's it! Thanks to everyone who wrote in with their thoughts and thanks to DAMN, WOOD, and WOE for writing back. It's always great to get responses from the letter writers themselves. And we're going to close out the week—and mark International Women's Day—with these two video clips...


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

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