I'm a 19 year-old straight lady. I've been reading your column since I was thirteen, and, until this last weekend, I'd never had sex. I don't have any questions for you, since the whole experience was so wonderful. And, for that, I'd like to thank you.

I grew up in a rural part of the South, where, as you know, attitudes regarding sex are... not good. Your column got to me before the abstinence-only, vaginal intercourse-only school sex education began. Your column taught me that sexual relationships can be satisfying outside of marriage, or even outside of a committed relationship, which is what happened my first time. Your column taught me not to be an idiot about birth control. Your column taught me to move at my own pace, and that anyone trying to make me move faster than that is not someone worth having sex with. Your column taught me to be assertive, to say, "Hey, this is what turns me on," and to be receptive when my partner says the same. And, perhaps most importantly (in my experience last weekend, at least), your column taught me that sex isn't necessarily all sunshine and roses and glorious orgasms, that it can be awkward and messy and sometimes a bit painful, but that those awkward, messy, painful, real experiences are just as important and good and enjoyable as the sunshiny, rosy, orgasm-y moments.

So, thank you, Dan Savage, for writing your column. Thank you for giving a girl in rural Mississippi a more liberated attitude about sex. Thank you for all the advice you've given over the years, which helped me and countless others have good experiences. Thank you.

Lost It In Mississippi

My pleasure, LIIM, and congratulations.