Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: this woman's son asked his mom for a Fleshlight (on his birthday!), this kid is using the family plunger as a dildo (and that ain't right!), this woman's boyfriend is using a dirty dildo on himself and neglecting her (also not right!), and this gay guy's most-likely-closeted coworker is acting like a dildo (and annoying the shit out of his friends!). And, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.
Regarding my advice for WOE...
I really appreciate your response to, and the writing in of WOE about her story. You were spot on about noting the insidious damage done by the predator can be disguised for years as something like love, cuddling, or relationships. But a sexual predator commits violence against vulnerable children, and it is so hard to hear these survivors of the abuse still struggling to even come to the reckoning about that predator’s actions.
One thing I noticed, from personal experience, is the tendency even in language to maintain this denial. I would encourage WOE to try to clean out those dustbins full of misnomers. She mentions that her father had a "sexual relationship" with her mother. The assault she experienced by her gfather is called a "cuddle session." The father is described as a "pillar of the community." And while I understand there was that perception in the past, it may be helpful to clean out those phrases and replace them with more accurate language.
My mother was a target of a sexual predator, in full view of her family. My grandfather lured me into a sexual assault. My grandfather was a sexual predator and pedophile, who practiced violence against his family and many other children.
Your advice to Whirlwind of Emotions was spot on in your piece Sins of the Grandfather. I’ve worked with victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, even with the truth staring them in the face, some people will still defend the abuser... case in point Michael Jackson. When I heard a 50 year old man living in a mansion with many bedrooms admitted to sleeping with young boys that was enough for me. Case closed. Thank you for opening some eyes.
I just wanted you to know that your article about "fucking manipulators with a gift for making their victims feel loved and special" really hit me hard. I was raped when I was 14 by someone I thought was my friend. From then on I was terrified of men (and still am). The guy I was dating tried to force me to talk about it. When I refused, he told me that I was lying. When I finally, after five years of his mental abuse, left him, he told everyone that I had lied. A lot of people believed him. The response you wrote to WOE was intense to read, and I want to thank you for using your entire page in River Front Times for her. Thank you for validating these emotions.
I'm so sorry that one asshole raped you and that other asshole disbelieved psychologically abused you. I hope you're getting the help you need and deserve. My heart goes out to you.
This mom wanted to strongly second my advice for Sex Positive Mom...
We have a 15-year old daughter who recently purchased a toy on her own. When the topic came up, yes, she was embarrassed. But we responded positively and supported her decision. And why not? A toy does not carry STDs, etc., and does not cause pregnancies! We couldn't ask for a better solution to our main concerns about a sexually-active teenager.
Parents advocating for the use of toys would have a positive impact on our kids' understanding of their bodies, their minds, and their relationships. Further, parental support for the use of sex toys by curious teenagers could reduce the sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy rates among our teenagers and young adults.
It is unfortunate that in today's society sex, sexuality and human behavior is still considered taboo and too uncomfortable to address. Imagine if parents advocated for their children to have a healthy understanding of their bodies, of sex, of sexuality! The negative side of sex is in the media everyday. (Rape culture, the #MeToo movement, women-shaming, slut-shaming, Trump.) Mainstream society does not want to talk about healthy sex, sexuality and "norms" or advocate for realistic sex education. No one wants to address that it's okay to be unconventional. No one wants to discuss that it's okay to explore sexuality. No one wants to discuss that it's okay for teenagers to explore their bodies and their sexuality. But your column most certainly assists your readers in getting over that hurdle and having those conversations. Keep it going!
Twitter also had a lot to say about my advice for SPM...
Bite the bullet and buy it for him. It's part of sexuality and she can't make it seem dirty or shameful. It's just masturbation. It's not a Japanese sex doll he wants to set at the dining room table each night for family dinner.
— Atagahi (@Atagahi) March 11, 2019
OK, but given that it's nearly impossible to convince teenaged boys to clean their bodies, their clothes, or their teeth without constantly reminding them, how does one get them to clean the toy? Because I don't want to check that to make sure he's washing it.
— Sarah (@souriceaux) March 12, 2019
Moments like this are why god invented the "gift certificate".
— Jo March ❌❌ (@Gojotv) March 11, 2019
I rather suspect he said that to be a jerk to his mother, and would be horrified if she actually presented him with one. Maybe she have a nice big family party and give him a gift wrapped one in front of everyone.
— Հովհաննես (@Jagopovich) March 11, 2019
At least one reader was deeply affected by my response to DLDOS...
The mention of debris didn't distress me as much as the letter writer using "effected" when she meant "affected." Shouldn’t you fix such raw errors of language or at least flag as (sic)? If I were dating a woman whose use of language was so careless, I’d feel rather cool, too.
And finally a crafty reader wanted to share this relevant bit of cross stitch with everyone out there who was horrified by that boy using a plunger as an anal penetration toy...
Happy Friday, everyone, I hope you have a great weekend! And in case you missed it...