Savage Love Letter of the Day: On Dating — And Dumping — Someone With Depression

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Originally published November 27, 2013.

I recently ended a relationship that lasted a year and five months. While I loved this woman, for much of the relationship she was, to varying degrees, depressed. I tried to be as helpful and patient as possible, with the hope and expectation that she would get better. I got her into counseling. We went to couples counseling together. She got on medication. I encouraged her to eat well (I cooked her many healthy meals) and exercise daily (which she was never able to do). I tried to get her out into nature. I tried to listen and practice strong communication skills. I encouraged her to explore the benefits of a fulfilling and GGG relationship, but our sex life faltered because of the depression and her low libido. I kept helping and waiting, but she was simply unable to assert herself to make healthy changes (both physical and mental). I felt trapped dating someone who couldn't take control of her life, and the patterns kept repeating. I eventually ended the relationship, which was the right decision for me, but she was crushed. I'm hoping we can be friends in the future. Do you have any advice for dating someone with depression? Can relationships and depression work? I found it to be soul-crushing.

Serious About Depression

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Trump Judicial Nominee Grilled by Republican Senator


Damn.

That's a Republican senator grilling one of Trump's unqualified judicial nominees. Maybe seeing Trump's approval ratings and the ineffectiveness of his endorsements (see: Virginia, Alabama) is having a disinhibiting effect on Republicans who hope to be in office after Trump is impeached, 25th'd, resigns, claims political asylum in Russia, or finally has the heart attack his diet (garbage) and exercise routine (non-existent) are setting him up for. #TeamCholesterol


Savage Love Letter of the Day: Reader Advice Round-up

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Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: Lesbian bed death, the difference between romance and stalking, Savage Love welcomes a new reader, and micromanaging other people's monogamishamy. Also, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.

On the nerve of me answering a question about lesbian bed death...

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The Morning News: GOP Tax Bill a Done Deal, Roy Moore an Unhinged Loon, New Seahawk a Rich Man (And Under Arrest)

The face of the gleefully cruel.
The face of the gleefully cruel. WIN MCNAMEE / STAFF

HOUSE AND SENATE REACH TAX DEAL: "The day after suffering a political blow in the Alabama special Senate election, congressional Republicans sped forward with the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades, announcing an agreement on a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and individuals and signal the party’s first major legislative achievement since assuming political control this year," the New York Times reports. There's a word missing from that lead: "a final bill that would cut taxes for businesses and CERTAIN individuals." The bill slashes taxes on the wealthy, does away with the inheritance tax, raises taxes on the poor and working class, and will add $1.5 trillion to the federal debt. It screws over blue states voters, young people, grad students, people who rely on Medicaid, people don't have health insurance and people who do have health insurance. Vox explains it all for you here. Read it and weep.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Zombie-eyed granny starver may step down as Speaker after his obscene tax bill passes — the passage of which will force Republicans in Congress to slash entitlements earned benefits. That was the plan all along but Republicans, now anticipating a blue wave election, are moving on slashing those earned benefits sooner than anyone expected and they would've liked. "House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America's deficit," the Washington Post reported earlier this month. "'We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit,' Ryan said." Republicans are arsonists. (The great Charles Pierce long ago dubbed Paul Ryan a zombie-eyed grannie starver.)

GRIFTY-EYED KIDDY DIDDLER WON'T CONCEDE: "Abortion, sodomy and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," says Roy Moore, and that's why he won't concede his loss to Doug Jones. Or something. Moore goes on to say that there isn't not "a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and Democrats." Jill Stein/Roy Moore 2020!

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Micromanaging Other People's Monogam(ish)y

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My roommate and her boyfriend of one year made a "monogamish" agreement over the summer: They are allowed to sleep with other people if it comes up, but they aren't supposed to "seek it out." Importantly, they've agreed not to tell one another if anything happens. She has never acted on it and I think she believes he hasn't either. I recently found out that he is sleeping with other women actively and that he has basically had a second girlfriend (who thinks he is in an "open relationship") for the past few months. They go on dates, kiss in public, etc. I think this violates the terms of the monogamish agreement and I am considering telling her. She has been very adamant about not wanting to know anything, but I don't think this is the level of infidelity she imagined when they made the agreement. What is appropriate here? Should I confront her or hold my tongue?

Feeling Relationship's Illicit Explorations Need Discussion

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About The Wildfire That Destroyed Mansions in Bel Air

The Guardian:

Authorities have revealed the wildfire that razed homes owned by LA’s wealthiest residents was started in a homeless camp inhabited by its most downtrodden. After the Los Angeles fire department announced on Tuesday that the Skirball fire began life as a cooking fire under a freeway about 20 miles from downtown, the homeless services community took a sharp intake of breath. “These kind of reports are never good for us in general,” said Laurie Craft, a director at Hope of the Valley, which runs the only winter shelter in the area where the Skirball fire started.

Maybe fewer people would be living under freeways if the wealthy didn't invest so heavily in driving down tax rates, ramping up income inequality, and destroying the social safety net. Don't want people living under freeways? Spend more on housing and social services and access to health care and addiction programs. Don't want to spend more money on any of that? Then maybe put in a sprinkler system.


Savage Love: What Happened

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Joe Newton

I used to be a fan of your column, Dan, but something happened to you. Maybe it's stress, the current political climate, or some other issue—I don't know. I used to look forward to your columns because they were fun, smart, and helpful—but I don't enjoy what I'm seeing now. If something did happen to you, reach out for help. You're on the verge of losing a loyal reader.

Reader Enquiring About Dan's Enervating Responses

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Welcoming a New Reader to the "Savage Love" Family

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Originally posted Oct 31, 2014.

While waiting for my lunch to be prepared at Shiraz, I casually opened up Leo Magazine and stumbled on to your page.

What a way to ruin my day. Your advice is the epitome of stupidity and foolishness. Your counsel to the parents concerning their kid who is putting tampons and other objects up his ass makes me want to ram a steel post right up your ass until it hits your brain—perhaps then you'll be able to think with some sense. Your complete disregard for common sense, history, traditional and sensible values, ethics, and morals is despicable. Either you are not a parent yourself, or you are a spineless, enabling jellyfish of a parent who doesn't have a clue how to raise a child right.

Let me summarize your "advice":

1. It's OK that your teenage boy likes to put objects up his butt.

2. As a parent, you have no right to ask him about it in a confrontational way. (Further added to by your smarmy, derogatory use of "POPS" throughout the article)

3. You should not force him to have to lie; instead you should buy him a sex toy/butt plug object thing (which you describe in grisly detail with your "open and enlightened," smarmy tone) for him to carry on his pleasures.

4. And a final, universal objective statement: "Buying sex toys for kids is a hurdle most parents can't clear." The implication is that this hurdle ought to be cleared and that parents ought to be able to get over this!

Here's what your advice should have been:

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New Randy Rainbow: She Was Sixteen Going On Seventeen (Roy Moore Was 32)


Randy Rainbow is going to get us through this with our sanity intact.


Savage Love Letter of the Day: The One That Got Away (But Gave Me Her Name and Enough Info That I Was Able to Track Her Down)

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I am 48 years old and straight and I met this amazing woman leaving a pub after our respective work end-of-year parties. We had this great conversation. Flirted, even hugged, cuddled and took selfies, all in the street outside the pub. I felt so happy being near her, and I think at least, her smiles indicated she felt the same way too. But I was a bit drunk, very tired and failed to even offer my number or ask for hers. And it's been driving me crazy. I am so angry with myself. I fear it was one of those moments that make or break you. But she did tell me her name and she did tell me she worked for an online sex product store. So I Googled her and now know what company she works for and all the contact info for the company is right there on the site.

Here is the question: can I email the store where she works and say, "Hi, does Haley work there? I met her the other night and was wondering that if she wanted my number can you send her this email?" Is that an email I can send? Or would this be embarrassing for her or — worse yet — stalker-type behavior? Do I give it a go or take the life lesson? Is this romantic? Or is this stalking?

Potential Stalker

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Maybe Universities Shouldn't Put the Work of Student Journalists on the Internet

So this op-ed by an administrator at Williams College...

I recognize myself in [today's students]: intellectually adventurous, skeptical, newly aware of life’s injustices. They’re also different from me in many ways: less Grateful Dead and Dead Kennedys, much more technology. That’s the important bit. Because for all of the supposed liberating power of their digital devices, they might as well be wearing ankle monitors. Technological connectedness has made it much harder for them to make mistakes and learn from them. Today’s students live their lives so publicly — through the technology we provide them without training — that much simpler errors than mine earn them the wrath of the entire internet. Usually, the outrage is over things they say, for example a campus newspaper editorial that grapples with balancing free speech and appropriate behavior.... [Students] deserve the chance to try out ideas. When they do, sometimes they’re going to botch it — sometimes spectacularly. And that’s why we have learning spaces.

...was a few pages/clicks away from this piece by opinion columnist Frank Bruni:

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: One Dead Lesbian in a Bed

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Lesbian Bed Death isn't a thing for me, but it is for my wife.

I'm happily married to my wife. We've been together for almost eight years and have a ten-month-old baby together. We get along great and have an easy ying/yang partnership. Sex has been an issue — it's been our only issue — from the get go though (four months into our relationship), and it's actually better now than it ever has been, even despite the addition to the family. However, I'm super sexual and she is not. I love to fantasize, incorporate games, try new things in the bedroom, watch porn, etc. She could have sex three times a year and be happy. She tells me she doesn't really fantasize and sex is not really that important to her. She also doesn't like to add new stuff to the bedroom activities, prefers to always do it in bed because anywhere else is too dirty or cold or takes too much energy, etc...

We've had a lot of discussions (and fights) on it and have found that scheduling sex once a week on the weekends down to the time is the only compromise that works for us both. The problem is that six out of the seven days in the week I am left to contend with my own sex drive, imagination, and desires. I try to talk to her about my fantasies but she rarely finds them sexy and is quick to tell me that she is turned off by the things I find sexy. I feel like I have all of this sexual energy and no where for it to go. I miss flirting, I miss feeling sexual energy between two people that intensifies with certain talk or activities or play. I miss feeling like someone craves my body. I'm super attracted to my wife. I don't want to sleep with anyone else but I'm just not sure how to manage my own sexual energy without her being part of it. I touch myself regularly but, although that fills a sexual physical need, it does little to quell the need I have to exchange sexual energy with someone. I usually fantasize about the chemistry I had with all of my exes.

I've read a bunch about this and all of the article say to use that energy in other ways like exercising and art. But I feel like that's just putting a band aid on something that I have a deep need for in my core. And unless that art is writing erotic fiction or drawing naked women fucking, I'm just out of ideas! I would appreciate any advice you have on this.

Basic Erotic Desires

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Sometimes a Stupid Joke is Just a Stupid Joke

I've read this story twice... and I don't see it. So as much as I hate coming to the defense of a conservative politician (albeit a Canadian one), I find myself siding with the chief human resources officer in Canada's House of Commons: this wasn't a case of sexual harassment. It was inappropriate, it was crude, it was stupid. But it wasn't sexual harassment. It certainly doesn't seem like something that should bring a person to tears six months later.

Backing up: Tory MP James Bezan was getting his photo taken with Liberal MP Sherry Romanado during a public event with an unnamed third person. They weren't alone in a room, Bezan wasn't blocking the door, no one was trapped. They were at a public event with other people around, including a photographer. Take it away, Globe & Mail...

"While standing for the picture, I made an inappropriate and flippant comment by saying, 'This isn't my idea of a threesome,' which was intended as a partisan comment about being in a photo with a Liberal member of caucus," Mr. Bezan said. "I realized that this comment was inappropriate and attempted to apologize the following day, but was not afforded that opportunity."

It happened in May. Bezan apologized the next day, according to numerous reports, he apologized again two times after that (including once in writing), and voluntarily took a sensitivity training course after an investigation by the chief human resources officer found no evidence of wrongdoing, recommended no sanctions, and closed the case. Romanado went public about the remark this week — six months after it was made — and called it "inappropriate, humiliating and unwanted." Back to you, G&M:

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Reader Advice Round-up

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Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: A toddler doesn't come out, a Tinder date slaps, a teen clicks on sexy vacation pics, and an implausibly complicated situation ends with a completely bogus question. Also, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.

Regarding OOOPS:

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Al Franken To Speak From the Floor of the Senate at 8:45 AM Seattle Time

UPDATE: Al Franken has resigned from the U.S. Senate.

You could pass the time until Franken's speech starts by reading this morning's hottest/viraliest news story — it's about a morgue employee accidentally cremated by coworkers in Texas (and totally not true) — or you could better spend your time by reading this piece by Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight. He argues that Democrats are right to push Franken out and should've acted sooner:

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