I'm not going to do my weekly "Reader Response Roundup" today, as there was only one SLLOTD on Monday. There was a new Savage Lovecast on Tuesday and a new Savage Love column on Wednesday but I wasn't able to post new SLLOTD after Monday because, well, I'll spare you the gory details. But I got really ill on Tuesday morning and spent the rest of the week in bed. But I did get a response letter this week that I wanted to share today...
I just finished reading all 3,689 of your archived letters. It's taken me a little over two years, while keeping up with each new letter that's posted. Here's what I've learned from you, in a (few) nutshell(s):
1. SEXUAL COMPATIBILITY MATTERS!!! If you and your partner are not currently sexually compatible, you won't magically align even if "everything else is perfect and [you] love them so much!" Don't marry someone who doesn't like fucking you or who you don't like fucking unless you've had several long, detailed conversations about ethical non-monogamy.
2. Chill the fuck out about monogamy. Sure, if you choose it, it can be great! It's definitely the right relationship model for some. But just CALM DOWN about it! Finding a Person Other Than Your Partner attractive is not cheating. Thinking about a POTYP is not cheating. Talking with, dancing with, crushing on or even kissing a POTYP doesn't have to be cheating. Your relationship will be happier and healthier and last longer if you can accept the existence of other attractive humans in your own and your partner's life.
3. Chill the fuck out about cheating. It doesn't necessarily have to end your relationship. It doesn't necessarily mean you don't love your partner/your partner doesn't love you. It can, and it does sometimes, but it's up to you and your partner to decide what it means for you and your future together.
4. Ethical non-monogamy is real and can be the best/healthiest relationship model for some people. Be honest with yourself about what you want and need from a romantic partnership and find someone who wants the same things. See #1 and #6.
5. Kinks are incurable. Make peace with that. At least learn to live with them, at most learn to ethically and consensually enjoy them. And, again, see #1 and #6.
6. Honest and open communication with your partners and yourself are NECESSARY for happy/healthy romantic and sexual relationships. Learn who you are. Learn what you like. Learn how to talk about both of those things and look for people who can do the same.
That about sums it up. Thank you for filling all the downtime of the past two years of my not-very-time consuming job with your words of wisdom. I grew up home schooled and super religious so my sex-ed was basically non-existent. Now I'm a happy non-monogamous non-religious queer in the most functional relationship of my life and I attribute at least some of that success to you. So, thanks!
Savage Love Expert
Thank you for the close reading all of my columns, SLE, and congrats on your successful, non-religious, non-monogamous queer life. While I've long said that if you put all of my columns into a pot and boiled them down to their essence you'd be left with "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," I very much enjoyed your more extensive analysis and I think you pretty much nailed it/me. I frequently hear from adults who were home schooled and basically got no sex education before finding their way to my column and podcast. While I don't think Savage Love is a good substitute for comprehensive, inclusive, pleasure-centering, consent-hammering sex education, people can and do get worse sex ed in worse places. Thanks for reading, SLE!