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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

I am a 22-year-old Italian man—100 percent straight, sensitive and sporty. I have been reading Savage Love for years in Internazionale. I have one question for you: Why do I always fall in love with lesbians? Why do I instantly fall in love with girls who have that something more in their eyes? Something melancholy and perhaps insecure? Girls whom I’d rather protect and embrace than take to bed?

The last three girls who fit this description all turned out to be lesbians. The last girl with whom this happened told me it was my “Red Cross” mindset that made me fall in love with girls who are insecure/sad/melancholy, so I have a sort of selection bias that excludes most straight girls I meet. I do not believe this, because the world is full of straight girls who need saving. So why then, Dan? WHY?

I have a girlfriend. I truly love her. Since September, we have been living in two different cities, because she went away to study. I am afraid that one day, she is going to tell me she’s gay, too. She always talks with me about a new super-cute female friend. Is she a lesbian? I have recently met another girl, super empathetic. She is gay, and I knew it after an all-night conversation in my car listening to (the band) Cigarettes After Sex. Why do I always fall in love with gay girls? Can I love two people at the same time? This is the fourth time that this has happened. Is my girlfriend gay? Why do I find lesbians so attractive? I’m freaking.

Increasingly Tormented About Lesbian Yearnings

There’s a lot going on in your letter, ITALY, so I’m going to take your questions one at a time …

1. Maybe you always fall in love with lesbians, or maybe this was a series of coincidences—by pure chance, you fell for more than one woman who turned out to be a lesbian—and, hey, since you’re probably going to love a few more women over the course of your life, ITALY, that “always” seems a bit premature.

It’s also possible you find women with a certain degree of masculine energy and/or swagger attractive, and women with that swagger are somewhat likelier to be lesbians, slightly upping your chances of falling in love with four girls-who-turned-out-to-be-lesbians in a row.

Personally, ITALY, I’m attracted to guys with a certain degree of feminine swagger, and needless to say, these guys are likelier to be gay. While almost all effeminate guys are gay—so stigmatized is femininity in males (even in the gay community)—masculine swagger in women is less stigmatized and therefore somewhat less likely to correlate as strongly with lesbianism. Women with masculine swagger and men with feminine swagger are also likely to be self-conscious about their gender-nonconforming traits, particularly when they’re young and/or not yet out, and that can read as melancholy and/or insecurity.

2. Women—straight or bi or lesbian—don’t need “saving.” They need respect; they need to be taken seriously; they need bodily autonomy; and they need loving partners and political allies.

3. Your girlfriend may be a lesbian—anyone could in these highly fluid days, even me. But if your girlfriend isn’t straight, ITALY, she’s likelier to be bisexual, seeing as there are roughly three times as many bi women as there are lesbian women. And if she seems gayer now than when you met, that could be because you landed a straight girl who had been suppressing her masculine swagger—which many men don’t find attractive—and she’s consciously or subconsciously come to the realization that she doesn’t have to play the girly girl around you to hold your attention. Quite the opposite, in fact.

4. It’s entirely possible to love more than one person at a time. Just as we are capable of loving more than one parent, child, sibling, friend and television show at a time (you know I love you both equally, Lady Dynamite and The Crown), we can love more than one romantic partner at a time. But we’re told that romantic love is a zero-sum game so often—if someone wins, someone else loses—that it has become a self-fulfilling/relationship-destroying prophecy. It’s a myth that harms not just people who might want to be with two people, but partnered monogamous people as well. A person who is convinced he can feel romantic love for only one person at a time will doubt his love for a long-term partner if he develops a crush on someone new. He’ll say to himself, “I couldn’t possibly feel this way about this barista if I was still in love with my partner of 10 years.” But those feelings can exist side by side—stable, secure, lasting love for a long-term partner, and an intense infatuation (most likely fleeting) for a new person.

5. Cigarettes After Sex were on a boat in the Arabian Sea—they sent the pics to prove it—when I reached them about your dilemma. Drummer Jacob Tomsky said: “About loving more than one person at the same time, a Gabriel García Márquez quote from Love in the Time of Cholera comes to mind: ‘My heart has more rooms than a whorehouse.’ Your heart will surprise you with its duplicity.” Or its capacity. Keyboardist Phillip Tubbs wanted to share a Morrissey line with you: “’Cause I want the one I can’t have and it’s driving me mad.” Lead singer Greg Gonzalez declined to comment.

6. Maybe it’s not an accident that you keep falling for lesbians. There are lots of straight men out there who have a thing for dykes. It’s entirely possible that you aren’t worried your girlfriend is a lesbian, ITALY, but secretly hoping she is.

Good luck!


My boyfriend and I have been together for five years. We have had an open relationship from fairly early on, but it’s only in the last six months that he’s started using various gentlemen’s apps for meeting new guys. We don’t share apps or have threesomes; our dalliances are solo affairs, and that works for us.

I snuck a look at his phone and I was horrified—the dick pics he’s sharing are terrible: Poorly lit and with bad angles, they completely do not do justice to his cock. His face pics are great, but I really feel like he’s underselling what else he has to offer. How can I help him take better junk shots without revealing that I’ve been looking at his phone?

Doesn’t Instinctively Capture Photographic Instant Classics, Sadly

You could tell your boyfriend you made a joint appointment with a photographer—perhaps as a Hanukkah/Solstice/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Ramadan present—because you thought you should both have Sears-Portrait-Studio-quality-or-better dick pics to share with your prospective hookups, DICPICS … or you could let your boyfriend’s hookups be pleasantly surprised when your boyfriend drops his drawers.


Are you really whining about having a president you don’t like in office? Is that so terrible that you have to get little digs in every week? That’s the problem with you liberals—you’re a bunch of wimps. Man up, dude.

Make America Strong Again

Gee, I don’t recall any whining from you right-wing he-men back when a black guy who didn’t collude with a hostile foreign power and wasn’t poisoning our air and water and didn’t undermine our Democratic norms and wasn’t surrounded by a cadre of deeply corrupt sycophants was president—you guys were so stoic during the Obama years, so he-manly. You ova’d up; you didn’t whine or moan; you didn’t spread wild conspiracy theories or march on Washington waving signs that proved you were every bit as misinformed as you are illiterate.

(Wake up, dude.)

Give the gift of the magnum Savage Lovecast at savagelovecast.com!

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Published in Savage Love

As the Desert Daze festival has continued to grow, so has its profile and, therefore, so has the quality of the lineup. Well, the 2017 lineup was announced today—and it’s downright fantastic.

Desert Daze announced that Iggy Pop would be the festival’s headliner. The Joshua Tree festival will also feature performances by BadBadNotGood, Ty Segall, Sleep (performing the album Holy Mountain in its entirety), The Gories, and Cigarettes After Sex.

This year’s Desert Daze will take place Thursday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 15.

These additions to the lineup joined already-announced acts including Spiritualized, John Cale, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and Eagles of Death Metal, among many other well-known acts.

Shortly before the announcement, Desert Daze founder Phil Pirrone spoke to the Independent. When asked whether booking the festival is getting easier as it grows, he hesitated.

“I don’t know if it’s ever going to be easier,” Pirrone said. “What happens with the headliner search is that whoever is worth headlining, you’re not the only one who wants them. You have to get lucky with schedules and the stars aligning.

“I guess to a certain extent, with every year that we do this festival more and more, people are going to know about it, and agents will want to get their bands on it. In some areas, it will be easier. I think that there will always be some degree of difficulty of getting a headliner like Iggy Pop.”

Desert Daze will also feature a performance by Eagles of Death Metal. The Coachella Valley natives became a worldwide name after the group survived the attack in November 2015 at the Bataclan theater in Paris.

“After all that’s happened to them, this is going to be in Joshua Tree, and that’s going to be a beautiful moment,” Pirrone said. “We’ve been trying to get them to play for the past few years, and we’re glad it’s finally happening.”

In 2016, Desert Daze moved to October from the spring, and changed locations, moving from the Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca to the Institute of Mentalphysics in Joshua Tree. 

“I guess the short answer as to why is, ‘Lots of reasons,’ Pirrone said. “I guess the most positive answer is that the venue in Joshua Tree is so amazing. We were in Mecca for three years, and we thought it had run its course. We were on the lookout to find a new spot to expand and have more of a workable environment. As soon as we laid eyes on the Institute of Mentalphysics, we knew it would be the perfect place for the festival. We actually found it a couple of years before we moved the festival there. It had kind of been a dream of ours.”

Sunset Ranch Oasis, while nice and scenic, is an out-of-the-way location—with an occasional wind and dust problem.

“It’s night and day. No offense to the Sunset Ranch, but it was pretty rough there,” Pirrone said. “This new venue is beautifully maintained, and there are really lovely walking paths, labyrinths, water features and little ponds, and lots of beautiful prehistoric desert wildlife. It’s a really amazing property. There are indoor spaces, an indoor diner, and two performance halls that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son … and we use those. There are places to get out of the sun. It’s very different from when it was in Mecca.”

Last year, Desert Daze featured performances from The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Primus, Television, The Sonics, and the Black Angels. The event was a success, even though the mega-event that was Desert Trip was happening down the hill. 

“We didn’t feel any impact from Desert Trip taking place, other than there being a lack of hotels and some other resources like that. I think Desert Trip was this mega, once-in-a-lifetime dream concert, and I wish I could have gone,” Pirrone said with a laugh. “But that thing sold out, and I think there are plenty of people who wanted to go to something like Desert Daze who weren’t going to go to Desert Trip. Desert Daze was traditionally always during Coachella during the spring, and I think they are different enough to where they can do their thing without impacting the other. It goes without saying that we’re a blip on their radar (compared to Goldenvoice’s big festivals). But I found being in the fall has had a lot of benefits, weather-wise. With all that said, I can’t say I’m disappointed there isn’t a Desert Trip this year, because it makes things easier. It’s always nice to have some breathing room.”

I asked Pirrone about his favorite festival-production moment thus far.

“I have to say it’s still Tinariwen back in 2013. That represented a turning point for us: It was the first time we produced the festival outdoors at a ranch, the first time it was like a real project,” he said. “It wasn’t, ‘Let’s do a show at a venue.’ It was the first time we had to get a permit; it was the first time we had to hire security and bring in our own bar company, and catering company, and organize everything. We did it and we got the permit. … We convinced this band from Africa to come over and play, and they got there. They played; people had actually paid to get in to where we had money to pay them; nobody got hurt. … It’s like a family restaurant (had) started with my wife and best friends, and when we succeed, we really feel it. During Tinariwen … nothing will ever top that.

“But who knows? Iggy Pop is playing our festival this year,” he continued. “That’s just going to be unreal.”

Last year, some people had concerns about a large music festival taking place at the Institute of Mentalphysics. Pirrone said attendees left the venue in pristine shape.

“I was very impressed with our audience and their respect for the venue,” he said. “When you’re there, you don’t feel like littering, because of the environment there being so beautiful. I like to think we put a lot of love into it. People cleaned up after themselves and left no trace. The Institute of Mentalphysics was very impressed with the cleanup. We also encourage people to carpool and keep fewer cars on the road. We work with Global Inheritance and ZeroHero to run recycling and green programs during the event, and they helped us divert 10,000 pieces of recycling from the landfill. We’re making a lot of efforts to be a positive festival in that regard.

“We love it in Joshua Tree, and we hope to be there for many years. We’re doing our best to be good neighbors up there.

Desert Daze will take place Thursday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Institute of Mentalphysics, 59700 Twentynine Palms Highway, in Joshua Tree. Passes are $229 to $450. For tickets or more information, visit desertdaze.org.