CVIndependent

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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

I’m a 36-year-old straight woman. I was sexually and physically abused as a kid, and raped in my early 20s. I have been seeing a great therapist for the last five years, and I am processing things and feeling better than I ever have. I was in a long-term relationship that ended about two years ago. I started dating this past year, but I’m not really clicking with anyone. I’ve had a lot of first dates, but nothing beyond that.

My problem is that I’d really love to get laid. The idea of casual sex and one-night stands sounds great—but in reality, moving that quickly with someone I don’t know or trust freaks me out, causes me to shut down, and prevents me from enjoying anything. Even thinking about going home with someone causes me to panic. When I was in a relationship, the sex was great. But now that I’m single, it seems like this big, scary thing.

Is it possible to get laid without feeling freaked out?

Sexual Comfort And Reassurance Eludes Dame

It is possible for you to get laid without feeling freaked out.

The answer—how you go home with someone without panicking—is so obvious, SCARED, that I’m guessing your therapist has already suggested it: Have sex with someone you know and trust. You didn’t have any issues having sex with your ex, because you knew and trusted him. For your own emotional safety, and to avoid recovery setbacks, you’re going to have to find someone willing to get to know you—someone willing to make an emotional investment in you—before you can have sex again.

You’ve probably thought to yourself, “But everyone else is just jumping into bed with strangers and having amazing sexual experiences!” And while it is true that many people are capable of doing just that, at least as many or more are incapable of having impulsive one-night stands, because they, too, have a history of trauma, or because they have other psychological, physical or logistical issues that make one-night stands impossible. (Some folks, of course, have no interest in one-night stands.) Your trauma left you with this added burden, SCARED, and I don’t want to minimize your legitimate frustration or your anger. It sucks, and I fucking hate the people who victimized you. But it may help you feel a little better about having to make an investment in someone before becoming intimate—which really isn’t the worst thing in the world—if you can remind yourself that you aren’t alone. Demisexuals, other victims of trauma, people with body-image issues, people whose sexual interests are so stigmatized they don’t feel comfortable disclosing them to people they’ve just met—lots of people face the same challenge you do.

Something else to bear in mind: It’s not unheard of for someone re-entering the dating scene to have some difficulty making new connections at first. The trick is to keep going on dates until you finally click with someone. In other words, SCARED, give yourself a break, and take your time. Also, don’t hesitate to tell the men you date that you need to get to know a person before jumping into bed with him. That will scare some guys off, but only those guys who weren’t willing to get to know you—and those aren’t guys you would have felt safe fucking anyway, right? So be open and honest; keep going on those first dates; and eventually you’ll find yourself on a fifth date with a guy you can think about taking home without feeling panicked. Good luck.


This is about a girl, of course. Pros: She cannot hide her true feelings. Cons: Criminal, irascible, grandiose sense of self, racist, abstemious, self-centered, anxious, moralist, monogamous, biased, denial as a defense mechanism, manipulative, liar, envious and ungrateful. She is also anthropologically and historically allocated in another temporal space continuum. And last but not least: She runs less quickly than me despite eight years age difference and her having the lungs of a 26-year-old nonsmoker. Thoughts?

Desperate Erotic Situation

If someone is criminal, racist and dishonest—to say nothing of being allocated in another temporal space continuum (whatever the fuck that means)—I don’t see how “cannot hide her true feelings” lands on the “pro” side of the pro/con ledger. You shouldn’t want to be with a dishonest, moralizing bigot, DES, so the fact that this particular dishonest, moralizing bigot is incapable of hiding her truly repulsive feelings isn’t a reason to consider seeing her. Not being able to mask hateful feelings isn’t a redeeming quality—it’s the opposite.


My boyfriend and I love each other deeply, and the thought of breaking up devastates me. We also live together. I deeply regret it and am full of shame, but I impulsively went through his texts for the first time. I found out that for the past few months, he has been sexting and almost definitely hooking up with someone who I said I was not comfortable with. After our initial conversation about her (during which I expressed my discomfort), he never brought her up again. Had I known that he needed her in his life this badly, I would have taken some time to sit with my feelings and figure out where my discomfort with her was coming from and tried to move through it. We are in an open relationship, but his relationship with her crosses what we determined as our “cheating” boundary: hiding a relationship.

How do I confess to what I did and confront him about what I found without it blowing up into a major mess?

Upset Girl Hopes Relationship Survives

Snooping is always wrong, of course, except when the snooper discovers something they had a right to know. While there are definitely less-ambiguous examples (cases where the snoopee was engaged in activities that put the snooper at risk), your boyfriend violating the boundaries of your open relationship rises to the level of “right to know.”

This is a major mess, UGHRS, and there’s no way to confront your boyfriend without risking a blowup. So tell him what you know and how you found out. You’ll be in a better position to assess whether you want this relationship to survive after you confess and confront.


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Amateur filmmakers, porn-star wannabes, kinksters, regular folks and other creative types are hereby invited to make and submit short porn films—five minutes max—to the 14th Annual HUMP! Film Festival.

The 13th Annual HUMP! Film Festival is currently touring the country—go to humpfilmfest.com for more info—and the next HUMP! kicks off in November. HUMP! films can be hardcore, softcore, live action, animated, kinky, vanilla, straight, gay, lez, bi, trans, genderqueer—anything goes at HUMP! (Well, almost anything: No poop, no animals, no minors.) HUMP! is screened only in theaters; nothing is released online; and the filmmakers retain all rights. At HUMP! you can be a porn star for a weekend in a theater without having to be a porn star for eternity on the Internet!

There’s no charge to enter HUMP!; there’s $20,000 in cash prizes awarded to the filmmakers by audience ballot (including the $10,000 Best in Show Award!); and each filmmaker gets a percentage of every ticket sold on the HUMP! tour.

For more information about making and submitting a film to the best porn festival in the country, go to humpfilmfest.com/submit.

On the Lovecast, Mistress Matisse explains the horrifying SESTA-FOSTA bill: savagelovecast.com.

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Published in Savage Love

I visited Royal Oak, Mich., for Savage Love Live at the Royal Oak Music Theatre. I didn’t get to all of the questions submitted by the large and tipsy crowd—a crowd that skipped the Stormy Daniels interview on 60 Minutes to spend the evening with me (so honored, you guys!)—so I’m going to race through as many of the unanswered questions as I can in this week’s column. Here we go …

Is there a way of breaking my cycle of being totally sexual and into someone for the first six months, and then shutting down to the point that I don’t want to be sexual with them at all? What’s wrong with me?

Breaking a long-established pattern may require the aid of a therapist who can help you unpack your damage—if, indeed, this is about damage. Because it’s possible this could be the way your libido works; you could be wired for a lifetime of loving, short-term relationships. While our culture reserves its praise for successful long-term relationships (think of those anniversary gifts that increase in value with each passing year), a short-term relationship can be a success. Everyone get out alive? No one traumatized? Were you able to pivot to friendship? Then you can regard that relationship as a success—or all those relationships as successes.

How common of a kink is it to enjoy seeing your significant other having sex with someone else?

Common enough to have numerous different ways of manifesting itself—swinging, hotwifing, cuckolding, stag-and-vixen play—and an entire porn genre dedicated to it.

Cis, female, 33, poly, bi. I bruise easily, am into BDSM, and love to swim in my condo’s shared pool, where there are many seniors. Any advice for hiding bruises or getting over the embarrassment?

Don’t assume the senior citizens in the pool are as naive and/or easily shocked as our ageist assumptions would prompt us to believe. Someone who became a senior citizen today—who just turned 65 years old—was 35 in 1988. I happen to know for a fact that people were doing BDSM way, way back in 1988.

My husband is a sweet guy who is very good to me. But he is also a gun-toting right-wing conservative, and these days, that feels like an insurmountable difference. We have been together for seven years and married for two. No kids yet. I love him—and the thought of leaving him is terrifying—but I honestly don’t know if this is going to work.

If you’re afraid to leave him because of those guns, you need to get out. If you’re afraid to leave him because you love him and couldn’t live without him, you might be able to stay. I wouldn’t be able to stay, personally, but you might—maybe if you make “no political discussions about anything, ever” a condition of remaining in the marriage.

When you are entering into something new, how do you differentiate between infatuation and real feelings?

Infatuation is a real feeling. Only time will tell if other real but more-lasting feelings—like, like like, love, lasting love—will surface when those feelings of infatuation inevitably fade.

I can easily have an orgasm with toys, but I can’t have one with my boyfriend. What gives?

Your boyfriend could give you orgasms if you handed him one of those toys, showed him how you use it on yourself, and then guided his hands the first few times he used it on you.

Why does my girlfriend enjoy anal sex more than I thought she would?

Because she does. Because anal is hot. Because the clit is a great big organ, and most of it’s inside the body, and anal penetration may stimulate the backside of your girlfriend’s great big clitoris in a way that’s new and different and highly pleasurable and—hey, wait a minute. You aren’t disappointed she’s enjoying anal more than you thought she would, are you?

Donald Trump has been impeached, and you get to decide the punishment. What sex toy gets used on him, and who gets to use it?

Trump doesn’t deserve a sex toy. Sex toys are for good boys and girls. All Trump deserves is a lump of the coal he loves so much shoved far enough up his ass to serve as a gag.

Is there EVER a healthy way to partake in sensual parties while in a monogamous marriage?

Yup.

The Dirty Sanchez—actually a thing?

Nope.

I’m married and finishing my Ph.D. while working full-time. As a result, I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like with my wonderful husband. I know you’re a workaholic as well. How do you manage to make your husband feel he is getting the attention/time he deserves?

When I’m totally stressed out and working on several projects, and I don’t have the bandwidth to give my husband the attention/time he deserves, I take a moment now and then to reassure him that things will settle down soon, and we’ll have more time together. I’ve found he’s most receptive to this message when it’s delivered immediately after I’ve taken a few minutes to blow him.

Do you recommend specific prostate massage toys? Besides dick.

Forearm.

How do you approach people about a three-way without ruining friendships?

I think close sexy friends and the-sex-was-great-but-everything-else-sucked exes make the best “very special guest stars.” But if you’re worried about ruining friendships, well, don’t hit on friends. Hit on strangers. (And remember: A stranger is just a friend you haven’t had a three-way with yet. Or something.)

Do you think it’s unwise to give and/or receive gay oral sex without a condom?

When we speak of gay oral without a condom—which is almost all of the gay oral out there—we speak of ones that sucked not wisely but too well.

Are anxiety-induced orgasms a thing? They must be, because I have them.

I’m glad there’s at least one person out there who’s managing to enjoy the Trump era.

I’m a 21-year-old, queer, poly, cis girl who recently got into this whole thing with a co-worker at my shitty fast-food job. Long story short, we were having a rad time fucking around in the freezer … until he bashed International Women’s Day on Facebook. I stopped getting him off by the frozen meat without an explanation, and I quit my job to go bind books instead. Is it too late to reach out and tell this dude that I dumped him because of his misogynistic online life? And how bitchy can I be?

The world would be a better place if (1) women refused to sleep with right-wing assholes (to say nothing of marrying them) and (2) women told right-wing assholes that right-wing assholery is the ultimate cock-block, and they have only themselves to blame for it. So it’s not too late, and you should be as bitchy as you can be.

Thanks to everyone who came to Savage Love Live in Royal Oak—and to everyone who attended my shows at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis and the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wis., over the same weekend.

On the Lovecast, how to pack your dildo … politely: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

Published in Savage Love

I’m in a D/s relationship. I’m not submissive around the clock, but my partner owns my cock. We’ve purchased several male chastity devices, but I can pretty easily get my cock out of them. My partner did some investigating and learned that the only effective devices work with a Prince Albert piercing—a ring through the head of the penis that locks into the device, preventing the sub from pulling his cock out.

My partner now wants me to get a PA. I don’t want to get my cock pierced, and I’ve said so, but I haven’t safe-worded on it. I would very reluctantly do it to please her. My partner made an appointment for a piercing three months from now, on our second anniversary. She told me that we can cancel it if I can find an effective chastity device that doesn’t require a piercing.

Do you or any of your contacts in the fetish world know of any devices that are inescapable?

Piercing Appendage Unnecessarily Scares Eager Sub

“I’ve never come across a standard male chastity device I couldn’t pull out of,” said Ruffled Sheets, “so PAUSES’ partner has obviously researched regular chastity devices well.”

Sheets is an IT consultant who lives in the United Kingdom with his partner of 15 years. Male chastity devices have fascinated him for more than two decades, and as of this writing, he owns 37 different kinds of cock cages. His partner frequently keeps his cock locked up for weeks or months at a time—and if there were such a thing as a commercially available male chastity device that was inescapable, Sheets would know about it.

“However, all is not lost,” said Sheets. “Piercing is one of two ways to ensure the penis cannot escape. The other is a full chastity belt. Now, full belts aren’t without their drawbacks—they are generally more expensive, are harder to conceal under clothes, and take longer to get used to, especially at night. But they are secure. I have three custom-fitted chastity belts, and once properly fitted, they’re inescapable.” Sheets’ chastity belts were made for him by Behind Barz (behindbarz.co.uk) and Fancy Steel (fancysteel.com.au).

But if most commercially available male chastity devices aren’t inescapable, what’s the point? Why would a person bother to wear one?

“You can only partially escape,” said Sheets. “It’s possible to pull out the penis but not remove the device,” which is anchored around the balls and base of the shaft. “And a partially removed device is awkward and uncomfortable.”

For many male subs and their Doms, the symbolism of a male chastity device is what matters most, not its inescapability. And as with other forms of sex play and most aspects of healthy relationships, the honor system makes it work.

“As in any negotiated relationship, you can cheat,” said Sheets. “But why cheat? They’re easy to keep on if you’re genuinely interested in submitting.”

Fun fact: Locking a guy’s cock in an inescapable device doesn’t prevent him from coming.

“A device can be locked in place with a belt or a piercing, but orgasms are still possible,” said Sheets. “I’ve yet to discover any kind of device that can prevent the wearer from achieving orgasm if he’s holding a powerful wand massager against it, especially after weeks without coming.”

So if your Dominant is locking up your cock to prevent you from coming, PAUSES, she’ll also need to lock up her vibrators.

There are two other things Sheets wanted you to be aware of as you begin to explore male chastity, PAUSES.

“Lots of men are shy about being submissive,” said Sheets, “so they’ll say things like, ‘I’m normally dominant in real life,’ kind of like PAUSES opened his letter by saying he isn’t submissive ‘around the clock.’ I just wanted to make sure he understood that chastity is a long-term game. For most of us in chastity devices, it’s a 24/7 affair—literally around the clock.” If you said you weren’t submissive around the clock because you didn’t want to admit that you are, in fact, submissive around the clock, PAUSES, chastity play won’t be a problem. But if you meant it—if you’re not capable of remaining in a submissive headspace for more than a few hours—you’ll need to ask your partner, before the padlock clicks shut, just how long she intends to keep your cock locked up.

“Being locked also has another side effect that you wouldn’t perhaps anticipate,” Sheets added. “Whenever you become turned on, you feel your cage or belt against your penis. It can be anything from a gentle reminder to a vice-like grip, depending on your arousal level. And whenever this happens, your mind automatically turns to your key holder, even if they’re not around.”

Ruffled Sheets blogs at ruffledsheets.com, where he reviews male chastity devices and other sex toys. Follow him on Twitter @ruffledsheets.


My girlfriend of four months has unofficially moved in with me. We began as a long-distance thing; I live in New York City, and she lived in the Deep South. What began as her visiting me for the holidays ended up with her staying with me indefinitely. She comes from a very poor family, and going back home means sleeping in her grandma’s living room. Things are going well, but we are moving fast.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I’m loving it and loving her. On the other hand, I feel like she could be using me. She has found part-time work. She hasn’t pitched in for rent—I also have a roommate—but she has pitched in for groceries.

Do I ask her for rent money? Do I send her back to her grandma’s place? I don’t know what to do, because I feel like I am housing a refugee.

She’s Here Indefinitely Now

Instead of ending things now to protect yourself from retroactively feeling shitty about this relationship if it ends at some point in the future, SHIN, you should have a convo with your girlfriend about rent, reality and roommates. Tell her that it can’t go on like this indefinitely—living in your apartment rent-free—as it’s unfair to your roommate, and that kind of support is too much to expect from someone she’s been seeing for only four months. Tell her you appreciate the ways she’s kicking in now—helping with groceries—but eventually, she’ll need to start kicking in on rent, too. Then set a realistic date for her to start paying rent.

You should also encourage her to think about getting her own place. Not because you want to stop seeing her—you’re loving it and loving her—but because a premature commitment (and cohabitating is a commitment) can sabotage a relationship. You also don’t want her to feel so dependent on you that she can’t end things if she needs to. You want her to be with you because she wants to be with you, not because she’s trapped.


You ran a letter from a man whose wife wouldn’t let him spank her. I’m a woman whose husband won’t spank me.

I found a man like WISHOTK, and we meet up for spanking sessions. Neither of our spouses know. It’s only spanking, no sex. How bad should I feel?

Really Erotic Dalliances But, Um, Married

Very bad. In fact, REDBUM, I think you should be spanked for getting spanked behind your husband’s back—then spanked again for getting spanked for getting spanked behind your husband’s back. And then spanked some more.

On the Lovecast, the urologist is IN: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

Published in Savage Love

I’m a 26-year-old cis queer woman. My best friend has identified publicly as asexual for the past two years. She constantly talks about how since she doesn’t “need” sex, this means she is asexual. She does have sex, however, and she enjoys it, which I know isn’t disqualifying. But she also actively seeks out sex partners and sex. Again, she insists that because she doesn’t “need” sex the way she presumes the rest of us do, she is asexual.

I have an issue with this. I’ve never had partnered sex and never really felt the need or desire for it. I’m plenty happy with emotional intimacy from others and masturbation for my sexual needs, and I do not particularly desire a romantic or sexual partner. My friend gets offended if anyone questions her label, which occurs often in our friend group, as people try to understand her situation. I usually defend her to others since she’s my friend, but as a person who is starting to identify more and more as asexual, I’ve grown annoyed at her use of “asexual” as her identifier, to the point that this may be starting to affect our friendship. I’ve kept silent because I don’t want to make her feel attacked—but in the privacy of my own head, I’m calling bullshit on her asexuality. I don’t particularly want to come out as asexual to her, given the circumstances.

Am I just being a shitty gatekeeping asexual? Do I need to just accept that labels are only as useful as we make them, and let this go?

Actually Coitus Evading

Asexuality—it’s a real thing.

“Several population-level studies have now found that about 1 percent of individuals report not feeling sexual attraction to another person—ever,” Dr. Lori Brotto writes in The Globe and Mail. Dr. Brotto has extensively studied asexuality, and the data supports the conclusion that asexuality is a sexual orientation on par with heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality. “(Asexuality) is not celibacy, which is the conscious choice to not have sex, even though sexual desires may endure,” Dr. Brotto writes. “Rather, for these individuals, there is no inherent wish for or desire for sex, and there never has been. They are asexuals, though many prefer to go by the endearing term ‘aces.’”

Asexuality is a point on a spectrum, and it’s a spectrum unto itself.

“There is a spectrum of sexuality, with sexual and asexual as the endpoints, and a gray area in between,” says whoever wrote the general FAQ at the Asexual Visibility and Education Network website. “Many people identify in this gray area under the identity of ‘gray-asexual’ or ‘gray-a.’ Examples of gray-asexuality include an individual who does not normally experience sexual attraction, but does experience it sometimes; experiences sexual attraction, but has a low sex drive; experiences sexual attraction and drive, but not strongly enough to want to act on them; and/or can enjoy and desire sex, but only under very limited and specific circumstances. Even more, many gray-asexuals still identify as asexual, because they may find it easier to explain, especially if the few instances in which they felt sexual attraction were brief and fleeting. Furthermore, (some) asexual people in relationships might choose or even want to have sex with their partner as a way of showing affection, and they might even enjoy it. Others may want to have sex in order to have children, or to satisfy a curiosity, or for other reasons.”

As for your friend, ACE … well, according to the Protocols of the Elders of Tumblr, we’re no longer allowed to express doubt about someone’s professed sexual orientation or gender identity. So if Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig of Idaho gets caught trawling for dick in an airport bathroom—which he did in 2007—and insists it was all a misunderstanding, because, you know, he’s 200 percent straight, well, then he’s straight. (And if Jeffrey Dahmer says he’s a vegetarian … .) So even if your friend pulls the cock from her mouth and/or the pussy off her face only long enough to shout, “I’M ACE,” before slapping her mouth back down into someone’s lap, then she’s ace, ACE. Maybe in the same way Larry Craig is straight, your friend is asexual—or, hey, maybe she’s asexual in the “gray-a” sense, i.e., under certain circumstances (awake, aware, conscious, alert, sentient), she experiences sexual attraction. Or maybe she’s not a gray-a who identifies as ace, but an actual asexual who is having sex for “other reasons.” A person doesn’t have to be celibate to be asexual or to identify as asexual, ACE, and until there’s an asexual accreditation agency—which there never will be and never should be—we’ll just have to take your friend’s word for it.

But just as asexuality is a thing, ACE, so, too, is bullshit. Denial is a thing, and sex shame is an incredibly destructive thing. Like the guy who has a lot of gay sex but refuses to identify as gay or bi, it’s possible your friend is just a messy closet case—a closeted sexual, someone who wants sex but doesn’t want to be seen as the kind of person who wants sex, since only bad people want sex. Some people twist themselves into the oddest knots so they can have what they want without having to admit they want it. But even if it sounds to you (and me) like your friend’s label is suspect, you should nevertheless hold your tongue and allow her to identify however she likes. Ask questions, sure, but challenging her label will only damage your relationship (or further damage it) and make you feel like a closeted, gatekeeping ace.

And if you find yourself getting annoyed when your ace-identified friend starts in on how she doesn’t really “need” all the sex she’s having, ACE, do what I used to do when I had to listen to guys I knew for a fact were having tons of gay sex (because they were having it with me) go on and on about how they didn’t really “need” cock: smile, nod, roll ’em over and fuck ’em in the ass again. (Feel free to swap “change the subject” for “roll ’em over” and “leave the room” for “fuck ’em in the ass.”)


Settle a dispute between friends: I’m a straight man who gets hit on fairly often by women, mostly at the gym. I usually respond with a variation on: “I would be interested but I’m married.” Some of my friends argue that by saying, “I’m interested but I’m married,” I’m telegraphing an interest in some sort of affair. That isn’t my intent. I mean it as a compliment. What I’m trying to communicate is: “You’re an attractive person who put yourself out there, and I don’t want to crush your spirit with a curt ‘No.’”

What is your take, Dan?

Mutual Attraction Rarely Results In Erotic Dalliances

Which is it, MARRIED: “I would be interested, but I’m married,” or, “I am interested, but I’m married”? Because there’s a difference between “I would” and “I am” in this context. When you say, “I would be interested, but I’m married,” you’re shutting it down: We could fuck if I wasn’t married, but I am, so we can’t. But when you say, “I am interested, but I’m married,” that can be read very differently: I’m down to fuck but—full disclosure—I’m married. If that’s OK with you, let’s find a stairwell and do this thing.

Would be politely shuts the door, MARRIED; am opens the door a crack and invites the sweaty woman at the gym to push against it to see if it’ll open all the way.

On the Lovecast, Alana Massey on the misguided Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org.

Published in Savage Love

I’m a 33-year-old woman from Melbourne, Australia, dating a 24-year-old man. We’ve been dating for about eight months; it is exclusive and official. He’s kind and sweet, caring and giving—and his penis is divine.

The thing is, he confessed to me recently that he doesn’t really “feel.” The way he explained it is: The only emotions he feels are fear and anxiousness that he’ll disappoint the people he cares about. He says he’s never been in love. He said his dad is the same way. The only time I see him really “feel” is when he’s high, which he is semi-frequently. He uses MDMA, and he comes alive. He seems the way a “normal” person does when they’re in love, but when he’s sober, it’s like he’s trying to mimic the things a person in love would say or do.

I confessed I am falling in love with him recently and told him I wasn’t saying this with any expectation of him feeling the same; I just wanted him to know. He responded that he cares for me a lot—but that’s it. I’m now worried that he’ll never love me. I don’t want kids, so time isn’t critical for me, but I don’t want to be with someone who won’t ever love me. 

Lacking One Vaunted Emotion

You didn’t use the P-word (psychopath) or the S-word (sociopath), LOVE, but both came to mind as I was reading your letter. Someone who isn’t capable of feeling? Isn’t that textbook P-word/S-word stuff?

“The fear with someone who doesn’t ‘feel’ is that they may be a psychopath or a sociopath, terms that are used interchangeably,” said Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry. “And lots of the items on the psychopath checklist relate to an inability to experience deep emotions—like ‘shallow affect,’ ‘lack of empathy’ and ‘lack of remorse.’ However, I have good news for LOVE! This line: ‘The only emotions he really feels are fear and anxiousness that he’ll disappoint the people he cares about’ is the critical one. Psychopaths do not feel anxiety. In fact, my favorite thing a psychologist said to me about this was: ‘If you’re worried you may be psychopath, that means you aren’t one.’ Also, psychopaths don’t care about disappointing loved ones! All those emotions that relate to an overactive amygdala—fear, remorse, guilt, regret, empathy—and psychopaths don’t feel them.”

So your boyfriend’s not a psychopath. Not that you asked. But, you know, just in case you were worried. Anyway …

My hunch is that your boyfriend’s problem isn’t an inability to feel love, LOVE, but an inability to recognize the feelings he’s having as love. (Or potentially love, as it’s only been eight months.) What is romantic love but a strong desire to be with someone? The urge to be sweet to them, to take care of them, to do for them? Maybe he’s just going through the motions with you—a conscious mimic-it-till-you-make it strategy—or maybe the double-whammy of a damaged dad and that toxic masculinity stuff sloshing around out there left him blocked, LOVE, or emotionally constipated. And while MDMA can definitely be abused—moderation in all things, kids, including moderation—the effect it has on him is a hopeful sign. MDMA is not an emotional hallucinogen; the drug has been used in couples counseling and to treat PTSD, not because it makes us feel things that aren’t there (in the way a hallucinogen makes us see things that aren’t there), but because it allows genuine feelings to surface and, for a few hours, to be felt intensely. So he can feel love—he just has to learn how to tap into those feelings and/or recognize them without an assist from MDMA.

Jon Ronson had one last bit of advice for you, LOVE: “Marry him and his divine penis!”

I agree with Jon, of course, but a long, leisurely engagement is definitely in order. You’ve only been seeing this guy and his divinity dick for eight months—don’t propose to him for at least another year, LOVE, and make marriage conditional upon him seeing a shrink four times as often as he sees his MDMA dealer.

Follow Jon Ronson on Twitter @jonronson; read all of his books (So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed? is urgently required reading for anyone who spends time online); and check out his amazing podcast, The Butterfly Effect. To access all things Jon Ronson, go to JonRonson.com.


My boyfriend of 1.5 years shared (several months into dating) that he has a fantasy of having a threesome. I shared that I had also fantasized about this, but I never took my fantasies seriously. Right away, he started sending me Craigslist posts from women and couples looking for casual-sex partners. I told him I wasn’t interested in doing anything for real. A few months later, we went on vacation, and I said I wanted to get a massage. He found a place that did “sensual” couples massage. I wanted nothing to do with this.

During sex, he talks about the idea of someone else being around. This does turn me on, and I like thinking about it when we are messing around. But I don’t want to have any other partners. I’m like a mash-up of Jessica Day, Leslie Knope and Liz Lemon, if that gives you an idea of how not-for-me this all is.

When I say no to one idea, he comes up with another one. I would truly appreciate some advice.

Boyfriend Into Group Sex I’m Not

Short answer: Sexual compatibility is important. It’s particularly important in a sexually exclusive relationship. You want a sexually exclusive relationship; your boyfriend doesn’t want a sexually exclusive relationship—so you two aren’t sexually compatible, BIGSIN, and you should break up.

Slightly longer answer: Your boyfriend did the right thing by laying his kink cards on the table early in the relationship—he’s into threesomes, group sex and public sex—and you copped to having fantasies about threesomes, BIGSIN, but not a desire to experience one. He took that as an opening: Maybe if he could find the right person/couple/scenario/club, you would change your mind. Further fueling his false hopes: You get turned on when he talks about having “someone else around” when you two have sex. Now lots of people who very much enjoy threesomes and/or group sex were unsure or hesitant at first, but gave in to please (or shut up) a partner, and wound up being glad they did. If you’re certain you could never be one of those people—reluctant at first but happy your partner pressed the issue—you need to shut this shit down, Liz Lemon-style. Tell him no more dirty talking about this shit during sex, no more entertaining the idea at all. Being with you means giving up this fantasy, BIGSIN, and if he’s not willing to give it up—and to shut up about it—then you’ll have to break up.


I’m an 18-year-old woman who has been with my current boyfriend for a year, but this has been an issue across all of my sexual relationships: In order to reach climax, I have to fantasize about kinky role-play-type situations. I don’t think I want to actually act out the situations/roles because of the degrading/shameful feelings they dredge up, but the idea of other people doing them is so hot. This frustrates me, because it takes me out of the moment with my partner. I’m literally thinking about other people during sex when I should be thinking about him!

What can I do to be more in the moment?

Distracted Earnest Girlfriend Requires A Different Excitement

Actually, doing the kinky role-play-type things you “have to” fantasize about in order to come would help you feel more connected to your boyfriend—but to do that, DEGRADE, you need to stop kink-shaming yourself. So instead of thinking of those kinky role-play-type things as degrading or shameful, think of them as exciting and playful—exciting because they excite you (duh), and playful because that’s literally what kinky role-play-type things are: play. It’s cops and robbers for grown-ups with your pants off, DEGRADE, but this game doesn’t end when Mom calls you in for dinner; it ends when you come.

So long as you suppress your kinks—so long as you’re in flight from the stuff that really arouses you—your boyfriend will never truly know you, and you’ll never feel truly connected to him.

On the Lovecast—a sexy toy review that will send you packing: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @FakeDanSavage on Twitter; www.ITMFA.org.

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I’m an 18-year-old cis hetero girl from Australia, and I’ve been listening to your podcast and reading your column since I was 13. Thanks to you, I’m pretty open-minded about my sexuality and body. Having said that, I do have a few questions. I started watching porn from a youngish age with no real shame attached, but I have some concerns.

1. I get off really quickly to lesbian porn, but it never feels like a “good” orgasm. My guess is that subconsciously, I think it’s inauthentic and therefore degrading.

2. I really enjoy and have the best orgasms to vintage gay male porn and trans FTM porn, which seems odd to me, because I’m so far removed from the sexual acts that these kinds of porn movies portray, but I always feel satisfied after getting off to them.

3. I get off to tit-slapping videos, but it screws with me morally. I understand why I like these kinds of videos: I have quite large breasts, and I feel resentment toward them. It seems both morally wrong toward the progress I’ve made toward accepting my body and also to the message being sent about violence toward women.

Care to weigh in?

Concerned About Porn Preferences

1. There are gay men who watch straight porn, lesbians who watch gay porn, and 18-year-old hetero girls in Australia who watch lesbian porn and vintage gay porn and trans FTM porn. So many people get off watching porn that isn’t supposed to be for them—so many people fantasize about, watch and sometimes do things that aren’t supposed to be for them—that we have to view these quote/unquote transgressions as a feature of human sexuality, not a bug.

2. Lesbian porn gets you off, and vintage gay porn and trans FTM gets you off, but you feel conflicted after watching lesbian porn because it seems inauthentic. That’s understandable—a lot of so-called lesbian porn is inauthentic, in that it’s made by and for straight men and features non-lesbian women going through the lesbian motions (often with long and triggering-for-actual-lesbian fingernails). Some gay porn features gay-for-pay straight male actors, of course, but most gay porn features gay actors doing what they love; the same goes for most trans FTM porn, which is a small and mostly indie niche. I suspect your orgasms are just as good when you watch lesbian porn, CAPP, but the sense—suppressed when you were turned on, surfacing once you’re not—that the performers weren’t really enjoying themselves taints your lesbian-porn-enhanced orgasms in retrospect. The solution? Seek out lesbian porn featuring actual lesbians—authentic lesbian porn is out there. (I found a bunch with a quick Google search.)

3. We sometimes overcome the negative messaging our culture sends us about our identities or bodies only after our erotic imaginations have seized on the fears or self-loathing induced by those messages, and turned them into kinks. Take small-penis humiliation (SPH). Before a guy can ask a partner to indulge him in SPH, CAPP, he has to accept (and kind of dig) his small cock. So the acceptance is there, but the kink—a turn-on rooted in a resolved conflict—remains. It can be freeing to regard a kink like SPH or your thing for tit-slapping as a reward—as the only good thing to come out of the shitty zap the culture put on the head of a guy with a small cock or, in your case, a young woman with large breasts.

So long as we seek out other consenting adults who respect us and our bodies, we can have our kinks—even those that took root in the manure of negative cultural messaging—and our self-acceptance and self-esteem, too.


I have a deep-throating fetish. All the porn I watch is nothing but rough, sloppy blowjobs. I would love nothing more than to watch this kind of porn with my boyfriend, so we can add it the bedroom excitement, but I’m embarrassed to share this as a straight female.

How do I go about sharing a fetish I have? Do I tell him over a candlelit dinner? Do I just turn some deep-throating porn on and see what happens? Help!

Deepthroat Queen

There’s never really a bad time to tell someone they won the lottery, DQ. Over a candlelit dinner; pop in some porn; send him a singing telegram—however you decide to tell him, DQ, the odds that he’ll react negatively are pretty low. Of course, watching someone deep throat and doing it yourself are two different things, DQ. You won’t be able to go from disclosing your kink to realizing it during that candlelit dinner. Take it slow; maybe watch a few how-to videos in addition to the porn; find the positions and angles that work for you, etc., and work your way up to taking him all the way down.


I’m a 32-year-old male. I recently met a hot older woman, age 46, who has told me she finds me equally hot. I’ve always preferred older women. I just love their confidence and their comfort in their own skin. They’re just so much sexier than my age cohorts. The problem is that I take a serious interest in feminism. I think I do pretty well with the overt stuff: I don’t mansplain; I call out peers who ignore sexism; and I don’t objectify women, even when I do find them attractive. (Small steps, but steps nonetheless.) But when I see this woman, and we flirt like mad, my brain just shuts off, and all I can think about is her hot bod and the many hours I want to spend with it. However, I worry that she’s spent her whole life relying on her looks to gain validation from men, and that my brain-dead, loins-alive attraction is only perpetuating her objectification.

Is that so? Or am I just overthinking things?

Man, I Love Feminism

At the risk of dansplaining …

There’s nothing feminist about slagging off younger women to justify your attraction to older women. You like what you like, and you can own that without implying that younger women lack confidence and aren’t comfortable in their own skins. The same culture that put the zap on CAPP’s head for having large breasts—her breasts attracted unwanted attention, and she resented her breasts and now gets off on erotic images of breasts being punished (even though she now knows her breasts weren’t the problem)—put the zap on your head. Men, young and old, are supposed to be attracted to younger women. You’re not attracted to younger women; you’re attracted to older women, Instead of accepting that, you feel compelled to justify it by comparing younger women to older women and declaring—again, by implication—that there’s something wrong with younger women. You sound like one of those gay men who can’t tell you why he’s attracted to dudes without also (or only) telling you what he dislikes about women.

As for objectification, MILF: The problem with objectification is when the person doing the objectifying isn’t capable of simultaneously seeing the object of their affections as a three-dimensional human being with desires, fears and agency of their own. Technically, MILF, we are all objects—“a material thing that can be seen and touched”—but unlike, say, Fleshlights or vibrators, we feel joy and pain and have wants and needs. You can’t help being drawn to this woman’s externals; there’s a huge visual component to human attraction, and as your thing for older women demonstrates, there isn’t one universal standard of beauty.

So long as you’re can objectify someone while at the same time appreciating their full humanity—so long as you can walk that walk and chew that gum—you don’t have to feel like a bad feminist for objectifying someone. (Particularly when that someone is clearly objectifying you!)

On the Lovecast—Finally! Porn that makes consent SEXY: savagelovecast.com.

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I recently stumbled on an Instagram account of a young woman who’s a “knife play” enthusiast. I consider myself sex-positive, but I must say I was disturbed by the images. I was also shocked that I didn’t know this was a thing! But of course it’s a thing, cuz everything is a thing, right?

I don’t want to outlaw it, and everyone has a right to their kinks, I guess, but I’m so wigged out! I guess I don’t have a question here besides wondering what you think about it. Ick!

Can’t Understand This

Everything is, indeed, a thing, CUT, and intimidating things like knives—objects that symbolize power, danger and control—are far likelier to become things (fetishized objects) than nonthreatening things like waffle irons or useless things like moderate Republicans.

As for what I think about knife play: Well, it’s definitely not for me. But if someone wants to incorporate knife play into their sex life safely, responsibly and consensually, and package it in a manner that doesn’t violate Instagram’s terms of service, I don’t have a problem with it.


I’m a first-time dog owner. I LOVE my dog, but here’s the thing: He sleeps in my bed with me, and would probably whine and bark at this point and wake up my roommates if I kicked him out of the room.

Is it wrong to masturbate when my dog is on my bed? He’s not always sleeping. Could this damage my pup in some way?

Conundrums Are Tacky

Dogs have been watching humans fuck for 30,000 years. So long as your pup is a passive observer and not (ick) an active participant, he’ll be fine, and you won’t go to jail.


About three years ago, my wife declared an end to sex. (We are in our late 60s.) However, she insists on “taking one for the team” once a month. She makes it clear she derives no enjoyment from sex, but I cannot refuse to participate without a huge fight.

I find that I have developed a sexual attraction to other men my age. Every man I encounter in gay bathhouses considers oral sex safe, and no one wants to use a condom. Most of these guys seem very experienced and are not worried about STDs from oral sex. Should I be worried?

Concerned Older Man Enquires

You can get all sorts of things from giving and receiving oral sex: gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, etc. My advice: Stop having sex with your wife so long as you’re seeking out men in bathhouses. I suspect your wife is only fucking you once a month to keep you from straying (which you’re already doing) because she believes—incorrectly—that if you aren’t getting sex at home, COME, you’ll leave her to go get sex. That’s obviously not the case—you’re getting sex elsewhere without her knowledge (or her consent and putting her at risk in the process), and you aren’t leaving.

Tell her you’re also done with straight sex (the “straight” can be silent); have one last huge fight; and then go suck some dick.


Gay and married here. My dad got on Instagram, followed me and some of my friends, and then requested to follow a friend whose account is private. My friend stupidly approved my dad’s request without realizing it was my dad. There were some R-rated photographs of my husband and me having some pretty kinky (and pretty great) sex with our friend on his account. My dad called me screaming about how he and my late mom were faithful to each other for 42 years, and that’s what marriage means, and my husband and I shouldn’t have gotten married at all if we were going to be having sex with other people.

Just before my mother died, she confided in me about an affair she’d had and asked me to retrieve and destroy some letters and cards, which I did. I’ve had three screaming fights with my dad about monogamy in the last two weeks. Can I tell him his marriage wasn’t monogamous?

Son Blows Friend, Dad Blows Gasket

No, SBFDBG, you can’t. Your mom isn’t around to defend herself, and absent proof of the affair, your dad will think it’s a spiteful (and incredibly) hurtful lie. And even if you had proof, SBFDBG, telling your father about your mother’s affair would be an act of grotesque cruelty.

You have every right to be angry—your dad is being an asshole—but poisoning his memories of his marriage isn’t a proportionate response to his assholery. Instead, tell your dad your sex life is none of his business and that you refuse to discuss it with him any further. If he brings it up, hang up. Repeat as necessary.

Your mom wanted to take this to the grave, and you promised her—on her deathbed—that you would help her do just that. Don’t betray her.


I’m a 52-year-old woman who has been in an open relationship with my partner for 2.5 years. Great sex, intense connection, best friends! Early on, he expressed a desire for me to play with his ass. At first, I did, but I was never comfortable with it. I’m not into anal myself, and doing anal with him turns me off. Over the course of the 2.5 years, he’s become very frustrated. I tell him to go find a woman or a man who enjoys ass as much as he does and play with them. We are in an open relationship, after all. He claims he has no time to date anyone else.

We are at a crossroad in our relationship. He’s suggesting that I play with his ass or we go our separate ways. It’s ludicrous to me that it has come to this. Any words of wisdom?

Ass Play Or Else

Your “best friend” is a petulant, manipulative asshole. DTMFA.


The idea of spanking my wife really captures my sexual imagination. I don’t want to inflict a lot of pain, but seeing her over my lap with a bit of pink on her ass is the hottest thing in the world to me. My wife indulged me once—it was incredibly hot for me, but she found it degrading and refuses to do it again. By her own admission, I treat her with respect in our day-to-day lives. I would be ecstatic even if we only did this rarely, say, once a month. Again, no dice from the wife—it’s degrading; end of discussion. Otherwise, our sex life is fantastic. I believe that Dear Prudence would side with my wife: if you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. My view is that it’s a small inconvenience that brings your husband an incredible amount of joy, so of course you should do it! What are your thoughts?

Wife Is So Hot Over The Knee

If I were your wife, WISHOTK, your argument would carry the day—but I’m not your wife. Your wife is your wife, and she gave spanking a try, found it degrading in a non-sexy way, and doesn’t want to do it again. And that’s the not-the-least-bit-pink end of it. Being treated with respect by our romantic partners—literally the bare-ass minimum—doesn’t obligate us to indulge our partners in sex acts we find unpleasant, degrading, or disgusting. So you’ll have to settle for that otherwise fantastic sex life.

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with Robby Soave on the dangers of teen sexting: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m an 18-year-old female. I’m cisgender and bisexual. I’ve been in a monogamous relationship with my cisgender bisexual boyfriend for about a year.

I’m currently struggling with a lot of internalized biphobia and other hang-ups about my boyfriend’s sexuality. I don’t know if I’m projecting my own issues onto him or if I’m just being bigoted towards bi men, but either way, I feel truly awful about it. But when I think about the fact that he’s bi and is attracted to men, I become jealous and fearful that he will leave me for a man, or that he would rather be with a man. (I’ve been with men and women in the past; he’s never been with a man.) I know it is unfair of me to feel this way, and he’s never given me any real reason to fear this. We have a very engaged, kinky and rewarding sex life! But I worry I’m not what he really wants.

This situation is complicated by the near certainty that my boyfriend has some sort of hormonal disorder. He has a very young face for an 18-year-old, a feminine figure, and not a lot of body hair. He orgasms but he does not ejaculate; and although he has a sizable penis, his testicles are more like the size of grapes than eggs. He struggles a lot with feeling abnormal and un-masculine. I try to be as supportive as possible and tell him how attracted to him I am, and how he’ll get through whatever this is. But he can tell his bi-ness makes me nervous and uncomfortable. I think that because he appears more feminine than most men and is more often hit on by men than women, I worry that he would feel more comfortable or “normal” with a man.

I don’t want to contribute to him feeling abnormal or bad about himself. How do I stop worrying that he’s gay or would be happier with a man? I feel horrible about myself for these anxieties considering that I’m bi, too, and should know better.

Anonymous Nervous Girlfriend Seeks Tranquility

“Many people who encounter us Bi+ folk in the wild just project their insecurities onto us with impunity and then blame us for it,” said RJ Aguiar, a bisexual activist and content creator whose work has been featured on Buzzfeed, HuffPo, Queerty and other sites. “As someone who’s bi herself, I’m sure ANGST knows this all too well.”

So if you’ve been on the receiving end of biphobia—as almost all bisexual people have—why are you doing it to your bisexual boyfriend?

“This hypothetical so-and-so-is-going-to-leave-me-for-someone-hotter scenario could happen to anyone of any orientation,” said Aguiar. “But maybe because the potential ‘pool of applicants’ is over twice as big for us Bi+ folk, we get stuck with twice as much of this irrational fear? I don’t know. But here’s what I do know: Most Biphobia (and jealousy for that matter) is projected insecurity. Built into the fear that someone will leave you because they ‘like x or y better’ is the assumption that you yourself aren’t good enough.”

And while feelings of insecurity and jealousy can undermine a relationship, ANGST, they don’t have to. It all depends on how you address them when they arise.

“We all have our moments!” said Aguiar. “But we can turn these moments into opportunities for open communication and intimacy rather than moments of isolation and shame. That way, they end up bringing you closer, rather than driving this invisible wedge between you. The key is to understand that feelings aren’t always rational. But if we can share those feelings with the person we love without fear of judgment or reprisal, it can help create a space of comfort and intimacy that no piece of ass will ever be able to compete with—no matter how hot they are or what they may or may not have between their legs.”

As for the reasons you’re feeling insecure—your boyfriend might be gay and/or happier with a man—I’m not going to lie to you, ANGST: Your boyfriend could be gay (some people who aren’t bisexual identify as bi before coming out as gay or lesbian), and/or he could one day realize that he’d be happier with a man (just as you could one day realize that you’d be happier with a woman). But your wonderful sex life—your engaging, kinky, rewarding sex life—is pretty good evidence that your boyfriend isn’t gay. (I was one of those guys who identified as bi before coming out as gay, ANGST, and I had girlfriends—and the sex we had was far from wonderful.)

And now I’m going tell you something you no doubt already know: Very few people wind up spending their lives with the person they were dating at 18. You and your boyfriend are both in the process of figuring out who you are and what you want. It’s possible he’ll realize you’re not the person he wants to be with, ANGST, but it’s also possible you’ll realize he’s not the person you want to be with. Stop worrying about the next six or seven decades of your life—stop worrying about forever—and enjoy this time and this boy and this relationship for however long it lasts.

Finally, ANGST, on the off chance your boyfriend hasn’t spoken to a doctor about his symptoms—because he’s an uninsured/underinsured/unlucky American, or because he’s been too embarrassed to bring up the size of his balls and quality of ejaculations with his parents and/or doctor—I shared your letter with Dr. John Amory, professor of medicine at the University of Washington.

“An 18-year-old male with testicles the ‘size of grapes’ indicates an issue with testicular development,” said Dr. Amory. “The reduced testicular volume, in combination with the other features such as his feminine face and sparse body hair, also suggest an issue with testicular function.”

It could simply be delayed puberty—some people suddenly grow six inches when they get to college—or it could be something called Klinefelter syndrome.

“Klinefelter syndrome occurs in one out of every 500 males and is associated with small testicular volume and decreased testosterone,” said Dr. Amory. “This diagnosis is frequently missed because the penis is normal in size and the men are normal in most other ways, although about half of the men with Klinefelter syndrome (KS) can have breast enlargement (gynecomastia) that can be seen as feminizing. Bottom line: Small testes at age 18 means it’s time for a doctor’s visit—probably an endocrinologist or urologist—to take a family history, do an examination, and consider measurement of testosterone and some other hormones. This should help him understand if he ‘just needs to wait’ or if he has a diagnosis that could be treated. There is a real possibility that he has KS, which is usually treated with testosterone to improve muscle mass, bone density and sexual function.”

Follow RJ Aguiar on Twitter @rj4gui4r.


I’m a 27-year-old woman whose boyfriend recently broke up with her. Along with the usual feelings of grief and heartbreak, I’m feeling a lot of guilt about how I handled our sex life, which was one of the main issues in our breakup. My now ex-boyfriend was interested in BDSM and a kink-oriented lifestyle, and I experimented with that for him. I attended several play parties, went to a five-day-long kink camp with him, and tried out many of his BDSM fantasies. The problem became that, hard as I tried, I just wasn’t very interested in that lifestyle, and parts of it made me very uncomfortable. I was game to do the lighter stuff (spanking, bondage), but just couldn’t get behind the more extreme things. I disappointed him because I “went along with it” only to decide I wasn’t into it, and I unfairly represented my interest in his lifestyle.

Did I do something wrong? What should I have done?

Basically A Little Kinky

All you’re guilty of doing, BALK, is exactly what kinksters everywhere hope their vanilla partners will do. You gave it a try—you were good, giving and game enough to explore BDSM with and for him—and sometimes that works, e.g. someone who always thought of themselves as vanilla goes to a play party or a five-day-long kink camp and suddenly realizes, hey, I’m pretty kinky, too! But it doesn’t always work. Since the alternative to “went along with it” was “never gave it a chance,” BALK, your ex-boyfriend should be giving you credit for trying, not grief for supposedly misleading him.

On the Lovecast: Dan chats with rival advice columnist Roxane Gay: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 24-year-old nonbinary person living in Florida. I have two wonderful girlfriends. One, I have been with for four years. (We live together.) The other, I have been with for a year and a half. They’re both brilliant, interesting and kind. Both relationships have their issues, but they are minor. They know each other but aren’t close. Neither is interested in people besides me right now, although my longer-term girlfriend identifies as poly. They have both said that they see a future with me, but something doesn’t feel right.

I’ve been having fantasies about leaving them both. It’s not about wanting to find someone I like better—if I met someone I really liked, I could pursue it. I just feel like neither relationship can progress while both exist. My other friends are getting married. I don’t think I want to stay in this setup indefinitely. Even if my girlfriends liked each other, which they don’t, I don’t want sister wives or two families. But I also can’t imagine choosing between them.

I feel like a scumbag for even thinking about it. I’ve talked to them, and they are both having reservations about the current situation. Neither of them wants some kind of three-person family structure, either. The only thing I can think to do (besides running away) is wait and see if one of these relationships fizzles out on its own.

Are my fantasies of escape normal? Is wanting to be with “the one” just straight nonsense?

Engaged Now But Yearning

“The one” is nonsense, ENBY, but it’s not straight nonsense—lots of queer people believe that “the one,” their perfect match, is out there somewhere. But despite the fact that there are no perfect matches, people are constantly ending loving relationships that could go the distance to run off in search of “the one” that doesn’t exist. As I’ve pointed out again and again, there are lots of .64s out there, and if you’re lucky, you might find a .73 lurking in the pile. When you find a serviceable .64 or (God willing) a spectacular .73, it’s your job to round that motherfucker up to “the one.” (And don’t forget that they’re doing the same for you—just as there’s no “the one” for you, you’re no one’s “the one.” Everyone is rounding up.)

Zooming in on your question, ENBY: You say what you have now—two girlfriends who can’t stand each other—is working. Are you sure about that? While fantasies of escape are normal—we all spend time thinking about the road we didn’t take, the door we didn’t try, the ass we didn’t eat—it’s odd to hear someone with two girlfriends wish for one or both to disappear. Perhaps it’s not who you’re doing that’s the problem, ENBY, but what you’re doing. The kind of polyamory you’re practicing—concurrent and equal romantic partnerships—may not be right for you. I’m not trying to YDIW you here (“You’re doing it wrong!), but if you’re envious of your friends who are settling down with just one partner, perhaps you’d be more comfortable in an open-not-poly relationship (sex with others OK; romance with others not OK) or a hierarchical poly relationship (your primary partner comes first; your secondary partner[s] come, well, second).

Finally, ENBY, it could be the stress of having two partners who don’t like each other that has you fantasizing about escape and/or one of your partners evaporating. Each of your girlfriends might make sense independently of each other, but if having to share you doesn’t work for them … it’s never going to work for you.


I’m 27 years old, and I’ve been married to my partner for two years. I’m facing a conundrum: A relative sexually abused me when I was younger. It happened a handful of times, and I’ve never told anyone other than my partner. I’m now struggling to decide not whether I should tell my parents (I should), but when. The abuse fucked me up in some ways, but I have been working through it with a therapist.

The problem is my siblings and cousins have started having their own children, and seeing this relative—a member of my extended family—with their kids is dredging up a lot of uncomfortable memories. I see this relative frequently, as we all live in the area and get together as a family at least once a month. I don’t have children of my own yet, but my partner and I have already decided that this relative will never touch or hold the ones we do have.

So do I tell my parents now? My extended family is tightly knit, and I fear the issues that sharing this secret will inevitably create. Am I starting unnecessary drama since I’m not even pregnant yet?

My Family Kinda Sucks

Your kids may not yet exist, MFKS, but your young nieces, nephews and cousins do—and your abuser has access to them. So the drama you fear creating isn’t unnecessary—it’s incredibly necessary. And since you were planning to tell your parents eventually, the drama is inevitable.

But let’s say you wait to tell your parents until you have children of your own—how will you feel if you learn, after the curtain goes up on this drama, that this relative had sexually abused another child in your family (or multiple children in your family, or children outside your family) in the weeks, months or years between your decision to tell your parents and the moment you told them?


My partner does phone sex work. A lot of the calls are from “straight” guys who ask to be “forced” to suck cock. (We assume the forced part is because they think there’s something wrong with being gay.) We’re wondering if there is a sex-positive word we should be using to describe these guys. If not, your readers should coin one, so all us straight dudes who love dick can take pride in our desires. Fill in the blank: “_______: a 100 percent straight guy who also loves sucking dick (and perhaps taking it in the ass).”

Cocksuckers Need Noun

The kink you describe already has a name—forced bi—and a forced bi scene usually goes something like this: A guy who would never, ever suck a cock because he’s totally straight gets down on his knees and sucks cocks on the orders of his female dominant. Since this totally straight guy sucks cock only to please a woman, there’s nothing gay and/or bi about all the cocks he puts in his mouth.

It’s one very particular way in which male bisexuality is expressed—think of it as male bisexual desire after hetero fragility, gay panic, denial, religion, gender norms, and football get through kicking the shit out of it. Paradoxically, CNN, by the time a guy asks a woman to force him to suck a cock, he’s allowing himself to suck a cock and therefore no longer in denial. (And, yes, guys into forced bi are free to identify as straight—indeed, they have to keep identifying as straight, since identifying as bi would fatally undermine the transgression that makes their perfectly legitimate kink arousing.)

But what to call these guys?

Well, CNN, some people into BDSM call themselves “BDSMers.” But “forcedbi’ers” doesn’t trip quite so easily off the tongue—so maybe we go with “cocksuckers”? It’s an emasculating slur, one that straight-identified men throw around to get, um, a rise out of each other. (Call an out-and-over-it gay man a cocksucker, and all you’ll get in return is a: “No shit.”) But while “You’re a cocksucker” may be fighting words for a straight guy, they’re highly arousing ones for a straight-identified guy into forced bi.

On the Lovecast, a scientific study on gay cuckolding: savagelovecast.com.

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How does one get into the gay BDSM bottoming and leather scene?

Seeking Answers Concerning Kink

One shows up, SACK.

“Eighty percent of success is just showing up,” someone or other once said. The adage applies to romantic/sexual success as well as professional success, SACK, but showing up easily accounts for 90 percent of success in the BDSM/leather/fetish scene. (Being a decent human being accounts for the other 110 percent*.) Because if you aren’t showing up in kink spaces—online or IRL—your fellow kinksters won’t be able to find or bind you. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

“The leather scene is a diverse place with tons of outlets and avenues, depending on how you navigate your life and learn,” said Amp from Watts the Safeword (wattsthesafeword.com), a kink and sex-ed website and YouTube channel. “When I was first getting started, I found a local leather contingent that held monthly bar nights and discussion groups that taught classes for kinksters at any level. It provided an easy way into the community, and it helped me meet new people, make new friends, and find trustworthy play partners. If you’re a tad shy and work better online, these contingents have Facebook groups or FetLife pages you can join. And YouTube has a channel for everyone in the kink spectrum, from gay to straight to trans to nonbinary and beyond!”

More advice: “Recon.com is a great option for gay men,” said Metal from the gay male bondage website MetalbondNYC.com. “It’s a site where you can create a profile, window-shop for a play buddy, and ‘check his references.’ Even better, if you can, go to a public event like IML, MAL or CLAW, or to a play party like the New York Bondage Club, where you can participate in a monitored space with other people around, or just watch the action. Don’t forget the motto ‘safe, sane and consensual,’ and be sure to have a safe word! And if you do want to explore bondage, take precautions. Never get tied up in your own home by someone you don’t know. If you go to his or her place, always tell a trusted friend where you are going. And when hooking up online, never use Craigslist.”

Yet more advice: “Be cautious,” said Ruff of Ruff’s Stuff blog. “There are people out there who view ‘kink newbies’ as prey. Anytime anyone—top or bottom—wants to rush into a power-exchange scene, that’s a red flag. Always get to know a person first. A good-quality connection with any potential playmate is achieved only through communication. If they are not interested in doing the legwork, they’re not the right person for you.”

Follow Metal on Twitter @MetalbondNYC; follow Amp @Pup_Amp; and follow Ruff @RuffsStuffBlog.


I’m a 28-year-old bi-curious female, and I ended a three-year straight LTR a month ago. It’s been tough—my ex is a great guy, and causing him pain has been a loss on top of my own loss, but I know I did the right thing. Among other things, our sex life was bland, and we had infrequent sex, at best. Now I want to experiment, explore nonmonogamy, and have crazy and fulfilling sex with whoever tickles my fancy.

I met a new guy two weeks ago, and the sex is incredible. We also immediately clicked and became friends. The problem? I suspect he wants a romantic relationship. He says he’s open to my terms—open/fuck-buddy situation—but things have quickly become relationship-ish. I like him, but I can’t realistically picture us being a good LTR match. I’m hoping we can figure out something in between—something like a sexual friendship where we enjoy and support each other and experiment together without tying ourselves down—but I have found very little evidence of such undefined relationships working without someone getting hurt. I am sick of hurting people! Any advice?

Hoping Open Peaceful Experiences Feel Unlike Loss

If “someone might get hurt” is the standard you’re going to apply to all future relationships—if it’s a deal-breaker—then you shouldn’t date or fuck anyone else ever again, HOPEFUL, because there’s always a chance someone is going to get hurt. The fact that hurt is always a possibility is no excuse for hurting others needlessly or maliciously; we should be thoughtful and conscientious about other people’s feelings. We should also remember that no one is clairvoyant, and that someone can hurt us without intending to. But there’s no intimate human connection, sexual or otherwise, that doesn’t leave us open to hurting or being hurt.

So fuck this guy, HOPEFUL, on your own terms—but don’t be too quick to dismiss the possibility of an LTR. Great sex and a good friendship make up a solid foundation. You’re aware that nonmonogamous relationships are an option—and couples can explore nonmonogamy together. If you can have this guy and have your sexual adventures, too—this could be the start of something big.


I’m a mid-20s, above-average-looking gay dude into spanking guys. The weird thing is, the only guys I can find to spank are straight. It’s not that they’re closeted—most of them go on to have girlfriends, and that’s when we stop—and they make it clear they don’t want anything sexual to happen. No complaints on my end! But why don’t they want a woman spanking them?

Seriously Perplexed And Needing Knowledge

How do you know their new girlfriends don’t start spanking them when you stop? And how do you know they aren’t closing their eyes and imagining that you’re a woman when you’re spanking them? And how do you know they’re not bi—at least where spankings are concerned? (Also: There are tons of gay guys out there into spanking, SPANK. So if you aren’t finding any, I can only conclude that you aren’t looking.)


I’m wondering about the application of the term “bear” to a straight man, such as myself. I’m a bigger guy with a lot of body hair and a beard. I love that in the gay community, there is a cute term for guys like me reflecting body positivity. For us straight dudes, however, being big and hairy means getting thought of as an ape—big, dumb, smelly oafs. While I can be dumb, smelly and oafish at times (like anyone), I’d also like to have a way to describe myself that is masculine yet attractive. Bear is a great term, but I’m concerned about being insensitive in appropriating it.

I haven’t asked my gay/bear friends about it (though they’ve referred to me as a bear on occasion), because I’m afraid I won’t get a straight answer (no pun intended). Would it be OK for me to refer to myself as a bear, or—as a highly privileged straight cis male—do I need to accept the fact that I can’t have everything and maybe leave something alone for fucking once?

Hetero Ape Inquiring Respectfully, Yup

“If you want to be a bear, BE A BEAR!” said Brendan Mack, an organizing member of XL Bears (xlbears.org), a social group for bears and their admirers. “DO YOU! There isn’t anything appropriative about a straight guy using the term ‘bear’ to describe himself—it’s a body type; it’s a lifestyle; and it’s celebrating yourself. Gay, straight, hairy, smooth, fat, muscled—bear is a state of mind. It’s body acceptance. It’s acceptance of who you are. So if you want to be a bear, WELCOME TO THE WOODS!”

Matt Bee, the promoter behind Bearracuda Worldwide (bearracuda.com), seconded Mack. “The term ‘bear,’ like any other animal descriptor, is a pretty playful one to begin with. Please, by all means, use it and any other well-meaning word to describe yourself!”

On the Lovecast, the robots are making your porn!: savagelovecast.com.

* Math is hard.

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