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This week's Savage Love Letters of the Day: A reader was distressed by the condition her sheets were left in by houseguests; another reader was distressed by just how badly she wants to fuck a guy she gets to fuck; a polyamorous demisexual with a new baby wanted some tips on talking his wife into opening up their marriage; and she didn't want to have sex and her body language was clear but somehow he didn't get it. And, of course, this week's Savage Love and this week's Savage Lovecast.

First up, my response to FASH...

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I'll put in (as a Jew) that, assuming FASH is the bottom, it's far less problematic for FASH to engage in real-life consensual and negotiated kink scenes with a Jewish or queer person than to download images of Nazi porn, which, among other things, subsidizes people who create Third Reich paraphernalia and cosplay. Literature—which she confesses is the thing that turns her crank—is another story. If written child porn is off-limits, so, too, should be Nazi porn. I don't want to equate the two. World War II-style Nazis have become to some degree stock figures, while sexual abuse of minors is a real and present danger—but it's definitely a troublesome gradient with our hydroxychloroquine snorting Fürher in the White House. It is far more ethical to play with your own power dynamics, or play with someone who is playing with their own power dynamics, than to consume pornography of unknown provenance.

As I said in my response to FASH, "being told 'that shouldn’t turn you on' has never made a problematic or transgressive kink less arousing." Also, FASH isn't interested in realizing her fantasies with actual sex partners, as she made clear, so "find a Jew who's down" isn't useful advice. And while I agree it's far more ethical for people to play with their own power dynamics, being told you're not allowed to play with someone else's power dynamics creates a taboo and a lots of kinks are about violating or transgressing against taboos and so this advice is highly likely to backfire. The best someone with a problematic kink can do is figure out how they can live with it (and enjoy it) without doing harming themselves or anyone else. I recall a conversation I had once after a speaking gig with a woman who was worried about her husband's kink: he liked to be pegged while being subjected to homophobic verbal abuse—he got on off on his wife calling him a dirty faggot while she fucked his ass—and she was worried what her gay friends would think. I advised her not to tell your gay friends about it. So long as they didn't know, they didn't have to think about it.

Regarding my advice for HARSH...

I'm a fan of yours because I think that you usually give topnotch advice. Also because you've been instrumental in convincing me that my kinks and relationship desires don't make me a bad person. Also because you're very clever. Also because I am super inspired by how you are willing to change your beliefs based new facts and announce your previous wrongness to the world. In short, I think you're awesome and my life would probably have a lot less pleasure without your writing.

And I think you messed up when you respond to HARSH about her attempts to say "no" to her boyfriend using body language. It's possible that saying "no" in such an ambivalent way was a form of self preservation for HARSH. She writes that the next day he was upset about being "rejected." Someone who is upset about rejection might be violent. There's an even greater chance that they'll be violent in the moment while drunk and trying to get sex. Saying "no" is a crucial consensual sex skill. And there are times when it does not feel safe to do so. We should be listening for our partner's verbal "no," but we should also be aware that we might be pushing them past the point where they feel safe saying no.

I don't think it was a terrible thing for him to drunkenly come onto her, and for him to take an uncomfortable amount of time to read her body language. I think that it WAS terrible for him to complain about being rejected the next day. He is explicitly telling her that he is not okay with her "nos." And I think she heard that message the night before which explains why she said "no" in a way that was so vague that had plausible deniability about the whole thing.

Regarding my advice for SINS...



And some good advice for TIED...

Your advice for TIED, whose sheltered-in-place partner was willing but not able to tie him up, was (as always) excellent. Two other suggestions: 1) leather. Most people who cannot tie knots well can buckle a strap. Lots of different kinds of equipment are available on-line from custom makers on Etsy. You can even order bondage gear from that large South American river. 2) The way I communicate my desires to my partner is by making a ironic negative statement that means the exact opposite, such as, "You better not tie me up!", "Don't you dare strap down my arms!", "Please don't gag me!", etc. Safewording takes care of any real needs!

Regarding a recent column...

I really loved your response to this loser. I wondered if his email was completely made up. Who thinks like this?

The particular letter/loser this reader is referring to isn't relevant—and they've taken enough grief for being imperfect and unintentionally hurting someone, so I'm not going to link back to that column. (Who amongst us is perfect? Who amongst us hasn't hurt someone?) I just wanted to address the "made up" thing: I don't make up the letters. I'm too lazy for that. And while there's no way to stop someone from sending me a fake question, I've never lost sleep over the thought of a fake making it into the column. Every question in the column is just a good hypothetical for every reader save one. If every once in a while a question is a good hypothetical for every single reader, well, is it really the big a deal? Obvious fakes get deleted, of course, along with cumblebrags. But a good question is a good question.

Always nice to get a note from longtime readers who aren't having problems...

Hey, Dan!, You often say that you don't receive many letters from people in happy relationships. Maybe this will stick out. My wife and I have both been reading Savage Love since we were in our late teens. We are in our 40's now. We have been together for 25 years and are approaching our 22nd wedding anniversary. I just wanted to tell you what a great influence you and your advice seekers have been on us through the years. We've never had any major problems in our relationship. There have never been any incidents of infidelity. We have an incredible sex life. We have a Unicorn (an actual unicorn!) as part of our relationship. We handle that by alternating between having encounters in hotel rooms/resorts/BnBs, then having "debriefing" dinners to check in and make sure everyone is still on board, feeling safe, still consenting, and still comfortable. We also have a transgender teen who we are fully supporting through their transition, legally changing names, providing pro-trans counseling and medical care. My wife and I are both laid back, compassionate people and maybe that has helped too. But I believe the issues and ideas that you introduced us to over the years have had a significant influence on our outlook on all things relationship, marriage, sex, parenthood, gender, acceptance, etc. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you, and any of your readers who wonder if it's possible to pull off a long-term healthy relationship, that it totally is and it's worth it. Thank you from the bottom of our straight-ish, cis, breeder hearts for everything you do.

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Okay, we're going to leave it there! I hope everyone has a great weekend—and a safe one—and we'll see you back here on Monday!


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