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For 14 years now, Dan Savage—the newspaper editor, sex-advice columnist, author and pundit whose Savage Love column appears in each edition of the Independent—and his associates have produced the HUMP! Film Festival, a traveling, curated selection of short (i.e., five minutes or less) pornography films.

Yes, you read that correctly: It’s a porn film festival. However, it’s not that kind of porn. Well, OK, it is … except when it isn’t.

Make sense? No? You have questions? So did we, and Savage graciously agreed to answer some of our queries.

Before we get to those queries, here is the back story: HUMP! started in Seattle back in 2005, and the national tour of HUMP! began several years later. Anyone can submit films for consideration, of any sort, as long as they’re related to pornography—and the HUMP! producers take extreme steps to make sure these films never make it onto the internet (unless the filmmakers decide to put them online themselves).

Tell me about bringing HUMP! to Palm Springs. This is the first time it’s going to be here, correct?

It is. It has played in Los Angeles, but it’s never played in Palm Springs—even though a couple of Palm Springs residents won the HUMP! Best in Show award a few years back, for a film called Glory Hole. (Laughs.) … I think the folks there will really dig it.

To people who are unfamiliar with HUMP!—and, I admit, to some people like me who are familiar with HUMP!—it may seem a little weird to go and sit at the Camelot, where they have all sorts of wonderful events, with a bunch of people from my community, and watch porn. Describe to me why that isn’t so weird.

Because it’s a different kind of porn. When you’re watching porn at home alone, you are clicking only on porn of, well, immediate utility, if I may put it that way.

(Laughs.) That’s a perfect way to put it.

What HUMP! is, is a collection of shorts, five minutes or less, with pornography as the theme. Sometimes the pornography is explicit and hardcore; sometimes it’s softcore; sometimes it’s animation. There’s even a documentary about pornography this year at HUMP!, with people recalling when they first encountered porn, in the pre-internet era. There’s a musical number in this year’s HUMP!. … It’s not the kind of porn where you sit with a coat in your lap, and masturbate, or sit with a roll of paper towels at the ready. It’s porn that you enjoy for its artistic merits. You also get to see what really turns other people on, and that may not be what turns you on. It’s a window into other people’s passions.

When we started HUMP! we were curious whether we would get submissions, and whether anyone, particularly when it was only in Seattle, would make a porn short to be screened in the community where they lived, even with the promise that it would never go online. We got a lot of great porn, and then the question became: Would people come and sit in a movie theater, in the dark, next to strangers, and watch pornography the way their grandparents did, when their grandparents went to see Debbie Does Dallas or Behind the Green Door? And the answer is yes—a lot of people would. Not people who wanted to masturbate in their seats; these were people who wanted to really celebrate sexual diversity, and diversity of gender expression.

Certain people express squeamishness, for lack of a better word, about types of pornography or visuals that aren’t their thing. I know a lot of gay men act squicked out by female body parts, and I know a lot of straight guys who would never in a million years watch gay porn supposedly. So, how is it that you’ve managed to put all sorts of different types of porn together in HUMP!?

That’s magic of HUMP! It really is. You have audiences full of straight guys watching gay porn, and gay guys watching cunnilingus, and vanilla people watching hardcore kink porn, and cis people watching porn made by trans people to accurately represent themselves, not made by trans people to appeal to cis people.

We watch the audience … to make sure no one’s taking out a phone and taking a photograph or a video clip. There’s this thing that we see at packed screenings where at first, everybody’s thrown back in their seats by what’s not theirs—"not my kink,” “not my preferred gender partner,” “not my body type,” “not the age range I prefer.” At first, all anybody can see is what’s different and not theirs. But about a third of the way through, everyone is clapping and cheering for every film. No one’s having the wind knocked out of them anymore. There’s this moment where you can really see the audience’s perceptions shift. … Because in each film, the passion, the vulnerability, the sense of humor—all that is the same, and the humanity is the same.

It’s really kind of beautiful. I’m a gay dude—who 20 years ago or so would have been squicked out by women’s genitals—and I sit there, with my eyes open, and I watch cunnilingus on the big screen, and I don’t flinch. … What I’m tapping into is not their bodies or their genitals, really, but their passion.

That’s another part about HUMP! that’s really great: These are films made by friends and lovers. So nothing’s faked, and no one in the audience has to worry if somebody up there on the screen was doing it just for the money, or under duress. Everyone is up there because they wanted to share this side of themselves, and it’s really kind of magic.

Over the years that you’ve been doing this, what have been the biggest surprises in terms of taking this on tour?

They tried to shut us down in, I think it was Philadelphia, by getting us kicked out of the theater that we had booked. (Editor’s note: It was actually the Pittsburgh suburb of Dormont, in 2014.) What was so hilarious about that was everyone … has a cell phone. This idea that you can take pornography out of your community by keeping pornography out of a movie theater is ridiculous. That was very amusing.

What’s great about the tour is that we get many more diverse submissions now. It was in Seattle alone for a few years, and then just Seattle and Portland, (which is) not really a racially diverse part of the country, although it is sexually pretty diverse. Now that we’re touring, we get more different types of people, which is great.

But the biggest change is, in the first couple of years, we got a lot of submissions where people were trying to ape the conventions of commercial porn, mainstream porn, and audiences just didn’t respond to that. You almost got the sense over those first few years that audiences were editing the festival, letting filmmakers know by voting for the best films from the festival what they wanted to see more of; now we really don’t get those films where people are just trying to make a knock-off of some commercial porn they saw on Pornhub.

Is there anything in this year’s festival you find particularly interesting or unique?

There is a five-minute musical comedy set in the bathroom of a gay leather bar.

Oh my.

I promise you, you’ve never seen anything like it—on Netflix, on the networks, on HBO. It’s the sort of thing you could only see at HUMP!

That sounds either brilliant or horrifying, and I’m not sure which.

Well, it’s one of the award winners this year. Audiences thought it was pretty brilliant.

The HUMP! Film Festival takes place at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8; and 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Camelot Theatres at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 E. Baristo Road, in Palm Springs. Tickets are $24.49 (with fees included). For tickets or more information, visit humpfilmfest.com.

Published in Previews and Features

I’m a 40-year-old guy with a 30-year-old girlfriend. We’ve been together a year, and I can see a future with her. But there are problems. This girl comes after two minutes of stimulation, be it manual, oral or penile. As someone who takes pride in my foreplay/pussy-eating abilities, this is a bummer. She gets wet to the point where all friction is lost during PIV, and my boners don’t last. It’s like fucking a bowlful of jelly.

Part of me is flattered that I get her off, but damn it, I miss a tight fit! (Her oral skills aren’t great, either, so that’s not an option, and anal is a no-go.) I love to fuck hard, and that’s difficult when I’m sticking my dick into a frictionless void. Is there a way to decrease wetness? Help, please.

Can’t Last Inside Tonight

First things first: She’s not doing anything wrong, CLIT, and neither are you—at least you’re not doing anything wrong during sex. (When you sit down to write letters to advice columnists, on the other hand … .) She can’t help how much vaginal mucus she produces or how much vaginal sweating your foreplay/pussy-eating skills induce, any more than you can help how much pre-ejaculate you pump out. (Her wetness is a combo of vaginal mucus and vaginal sweating—the latter is not a derogatory expression; that’s just the term for it.) And all that moisture is there for a good reason: It preps the vagina for penetration. In its absence, PIV can be extremely painful for the fuckee. So the last thing you want to do is dry your girlfriend up somehow.

Now here’s something you are doing wrong: “It’s like fucking a bowlful of jelly,” “I miss a tight fit,” “Her oral skills aren’t great, either,” “I’m sticking my dick into a frictionless void.” You’re going to need to have a conversation with your girlfriend about this, CLIT. You’ll need to use your words, but you can’t have that conversation—not a constructive one—until you can find some less denigrating, resentful, shame-heaping words.

Again, she’s doing nothing wrong. She gets very wet when she’s turned on. That’s just how her body works. Too much lubrication makes it harder for you to get off. That’s how your body works. And this presents a problem that you two need to work on together, but insults like “bowlful of jelly” and “frictionless void” are going to shut the conversation down and/or end the relationship. So try this instead: “I love how turned on you get, honey, and I love how wet you get. But it can make it difficult for me to come during PIV.”

If you don’t put her on the defensive—if you don’t make her feel like shit about her pussy—you might be able to have a constructive conversation and come up with some possible PIV hacks. If there’s a move (clitoral stimulation) or an event (her first orgasm) that really opens up the tap, CLIT, save that move or delay that event until after you’ve climaxed or until after you’ve reached the point of orgasmic inevitability—if PIV isn’t painful for her when she’s a little less wet.

You can also experiment with different positions to find one that provides you with a little more friction and doesn’t hit her clit just so—perhaps doggy style—and then shift into a position that engages her clit when you’re going to come. And there’s no shame in pulling out and stroking yourself during intercourse before diving back in.

Be constructive; get creative; and never again speak of her pussy like it’s a defective home appliance, CLIT, and you might be able to solve this (pretty good) problem (to have).


I’m a woman in an open relationship of four years. I adore my partner. When we were first dating, it was casual, and there were no ground rules. During that time, I slept with a guy without condoms after he cornered me in a motel room. One of the biggest rules in my current relationship is to use condoms with other partners. My current partner has made it clear that he would consider exchanging fluids with someone else cheating. I’m worried he’ll somehow find out about that night in the motel room, and I feel bad keeping it a secret. If I tell him, there’s a chance that our relationship will end, and I’ll be living in my car. What should I do?

Burdensome Unbearable Guilt Sucks

This thing happened—or this thing was done to you—before you made a commitment to your current partner, BUGS, and before ground rules were established. I’m assuming you got tested at some point over the last four years; failing that, I’m assuming neither of you has developed symptoms of an STI over the last four years. (And condoms don’t protect us from all the STIs out there, so even if you did come down with something, your partner could have passed it to you.) So cut yourself some slack, BUGS: You had unprotected sex under a sadly common form of duress. Fearing something much worse, you “agreed” to unprotected sex—you agreed, but didn’t freely consent to unprotected sex. Too many men don’t understand that kind of fear or the de-escalation techniques women are forced to employ when they find themselves cornered by threatening men—de-escalation techniques that can include “agreeing” to but not freely consenting to sex, unprotected or otherwise.

You’re under no obligation to tell your current partner about that night, as it took place before you established your ground rules, so it’s not really any of his fucking business. And if homelessness is a potential consequence of telling your partner how you were pressured into sex you did not want, then you’re lying to him now for the same reason you went bare with that asshole back then: duress.


I’m a man in love with a woman half my age. We met shortly after I had to leave the city I was living in to escape a toxic relationship. I know this girl has feelings for me. My gut screams it. We also share a strange connection. It’s something I know she feels. She simply can’t help being tied to the energy I’m feeling.

A while back, I hurt her—unintentionally, but it hurt just the same. I was still not over my ex and very leery of ever experiencing that kind of pain in my heart again. The problem now is that this young woman won’t acknowledge her feelings for me. She swears she never had feelings for me. We found ourselves alone one day, and her actions were clearly indicating that she wanted to have sex with me, but her words prevented me from taking the opportunity.

How can I reach this girl? She knows I love her. I know I’m not wrong. She wants what I want. This love is not something I chose, and I’m beginning to resent it.

In Lasting Love

You are wrong. She does not want what you want. Your gut is lying to you. She is not in love with you. You do not share a connection. You need to listen to her words. She is not tied to the “energy” you are feeling. You have got to stop thinking with your dick. She was probably scared out of her wits when you managed to “find” her alone. You cannot reach this woman. She can sense your resentment, and she’s afraid of you. In all honesty, ILL, I’m afraid of you. Just as this poor woman most likely fears becoming one of the many women murdered every year by men they’ve rejected, I fear being the messenger who got shot. But you asked for my advice, ILL, and here it is: Get into therapy. You need help. And my advice for her, if she sees this, is to do whatever you must to protect yourself—up to and including moving away.

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Published in Savage Love

I’m a 19-year-old bisexual woman really into orgasm denial and edging. With the recent Tumblr ban on all NSFW content, I have no idea where to indulge my kinks and find my community. I’ve never needed to go anywhere else to find porn, explore my sexuality, and be surrounded by supportive people—and now I’m at a loss.

A few Google searches have been really disheartening. Clearly, I’ve been spoiled by all the easily found porn made by women, for women, on Tumblr. Hell, I’m used to it being made by bisexuals, for bisexuals. I feel like I’m 15 again, desperately scouring the internet for anything that applies to me. Please tell me where I can find my porn!

You wrote about how this ban harms sex workers, Dan, but please write about how it harms queer and kinky people, too!

Missing My Porn Community

“Many people are scrambling to relocate their fetish communities in the wake of Tumblr’s ban on ‘adult content,’” said Alexander Cheves, a queer writer who lives in New York City. “Porn is more than hot videos—porn creates communities. I wouldn’t know half the gross stuff I’m into if it weren’t for Tumblr!”

Luckily, MMPC, the men and women who created and/or curated the content that spoke to you and affirmed your identity didn’t evaporate on Dec. 17, the day Tumblr’s porn ban went into effect. Many have taken their clips, captions, GIFs and erotic imaginations to other platforms—and some are creating new platforms.

“MMPC should devote some time to scouring Twitter for bisexual women into orgasm denial and edging, some of whom may be uploading their original content to platforms like Just For Fans,” said Cheves. “The creators of JFF are right now working on a more Tumblr-like social-media extension to their site. Other start-ups like Slixa or ShareSomeCome and social platforms like Switter have emerged in the wake of this crackdown. These are corners of the internet where MMPC can find her porn.”

Cheves wrote a terrific piece for Out that connects the dots between Tumblr’s ban on porn and the anti-sex, anti-porn, anti-sex-work, and anti-queer crackdown that was already under way on other platforms (“The Dangerous Trend of LGBTQ Censorship on the Internet,” Dec. 6, 2018). While there’s still tons of porn on the internet, as many people have pointed out (myself included), the crackdown on explicit content on social-media platforms is fucking over vulnerable queers. As Eric Paul Leue, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, told Cheves: “Many people in straight, heteronormative communities don’t understand what the big deal is (about the Tumblr adult content ban), because their lives and cultures are represented everywhere. For those in queer, or niche or fetish communities, Tumblr was one of the few accessible spaces to build communities and share content.”

As long as sex-education programs don’t cover queer sex or kinky sex—and there’s no sign of improvement in either area—LGBTQ youth and young people with kinks will continue to get their sexual education on the internet. And the harder it is to access explicit content, particularly explicit noncommercial content, the harder it’s going to be for young queers to find not just smut that speaks to them, but the education they need to protect themselves.

“More youth will get hurt, and more will get HIV thanks to Tumblr’s content ban,” said Cheves. “That’s not scaremongering—that will happen. Case in point: I grew up in a fiercely religious home on a 500-acre farm in the middle of Georgia with dial-up and a pretty intense parental blocker. I couldn’t access porn—I couldn’t even access articles with sexual illustrations, including sexual health illustrations. When I went to college in 2010, the same year Grindr hit the App Store, I knew absolutely nothing about HIV and nothing about my community. It’s no wonder that I tested positive at 21.”

Shortly after getting the news that he was HIV+, Cheves started an educational queer sex blog. “I answer sex questions from anyone who writes in—I stole the idea from you, Dan, to be honest,” said Cheves. “I wanted to reach those kids in the middle of nowhere, kids like me.”

While Cheves writes professionally today—you can find his advice column in the Advocate and his byline in other publications—he still updates and posts new content to thebeastlyexboyfriend.com, his original queer sex blog.

“Sites like my blog are needed now more than ever,” said Cheves. “If MMPC wants to help her community survive, she may no longer have the option of being a passive consumer—she might have to start a website or blog, wave a digital flag, and find others. The internet is so massive that censorship will never be able to keep people with niche fetishes from congregating, digitally or otherwise. It’s just going to be a little harder to find each other.”

Follow Alexander Cheves on Twitter @BadAlexCheves.


My new partner is a swinger. Being GGG, I said, sure, we can go to swinger parties, even though I have often been uncomfortable in swinger spaces.

Then I was nearly assaulted at a swinger party with my new partner. If I hadn’t kicked the shit out of the guy, I would have been assaulted. After being appropriately upset about the situation, I was told by one of the organizers: “Well, that is why you should bring a spotter or a couple of friends to a party. You have to protect yourself.” Nowhere on the website for this party was that listed as something I should do. No other articles about swinging that I’ve read (or swinging podcasts I’ve listened to) suggested bringing “spotters” to ensure safety! So what is the standard of consent in swinger spaces? Is bringing a spotter just a given that nobody told me about? I want to be clear about the seriousness of the problem: What happened to me was not a touch on the leg to see if I might be interested in another joining in. It was someone trying to stick an unwrapped cock in me without asking if I would be OK with that!

Unhappy Nervous Swinger Absolutely Fucking Enraged

I’ve strolled around a half-dozen straight swinger spaces—more than the average homo—and the standard for consent at each one I visited can be summed up in four words: Ask before you touch. My visits to straight swinging events/spaces/parties were strictly for research purposes, it should go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway: I went only to observe. And at one party, I observed a man attempt to enter a scene he hadn’t been invited to join—by placing his hand on a woman’s leg. The leg-touching creep was promptly ejected for violating the club’s rules about consent, which all attendees were informed of in advance and agreed to adhere to once inside the club.

That’s not just the way it’s supposed to work in swinger spaces, UNSAFE; that’s the way it must work in any swinger space, club or party that hopes to survive. Because bad actors—almost always shitty men—make women feel unsafe. And when women feel unsafe in swinger spaces, they abandon them. And it’s difficult to host a successful straight swingers event without women.

From the sound of things, UNSAFE, you had the misfortune of attending a shitty party run by shitty people. Someone attempted to violate you in a space where respect for boundaries, consent and the bodily autonomy of other individuals is (or should be) paramount. And, no, you were not at fault for failing to bring a “spotter.” The club was at fault for not emphasizing its own rules—and then, when a bad actor broke the rules and left another attendee feeling violated and unsafe, the club compounded its failure by blaming the victim.

I wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to attend a swinger party with your new partner ever again—especially if your new partner stood by silently while you kicked the shit out of that asshole—but you shouldn’t return to that particular swinger party again. The sooner Club Bring a Spotter goes out of business, the better.

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Published in Savage Love

I’m a 30-something straight woman married for 16 years. Eighteen months ago, I met a man, and there was an immediate attraction. For the first 15 months of our relationship, I was his primary sexual and intimate partner, as both sex and intimacy were lacking in his marriage. (My husband knew of the relationship from the start and is accepting, for the most part.) After my lover’s wife found out about me, she suddenly became very responsive to my lover’s sexual and emotional needs. My lover has told his wife that he will not let me go. He has also told me that he is not willing to let his wife go. She isn’t happy about being in a triad relationship, but she allows him to continue seeing me with limitations.

I am no longer his primary sex partner, and I have been relegated to the back seat. He claims to love us both, yet his wife and I both struggle knowing the other exists. Recently while out shopping, my lover asked me to help him pick out a Christmas gift for his wife. I got upset, because I am in love with him, and I have made him my priority (over my husband), but I am not his priority.

I love this man, and we feel we are soul mates. My lover has said that if we fall apart, he will have to find a new secondary partner, because his wife can never give him the soulful fulfillment he needs. Should I continue in this relationship?

Soul Mate Avoids Choice Knowingly

You complain about being relegated to the back seat, SMACK, but it’s your husband whose existence only comes up in parenthetical asides. You also describe this relationship as a triad when there are four people involved (you, your lover, your lover’s wife and your husband), which technically makes this a quad. And from the sound of things, only one member of this messy quad seems happy—your lover, the guy who refuses to make you a “priority” over his wife.

While you’ve convinced yourself that your lover feels as strongly for you as you do for him—“we feel we are soul mates”—it kindasorta sounds to me like you may be projecting, SMACK. Because in addition to asking you to pick out Christmas gifts for his wife, your lover and alleged soul mate regards you as expendable and replaceable. And he’s told you as much: He intends to “find a new secondary partner” if you two part, because his wife doesn’t “give him the soulful fulfillment he needs.” That’s not how people talk about their soul mates, and it’s certainly not something a guy says to someone he regards as his soul mate. Soul mates are typically told they’re special and irreplaceable, but your guy sees you as one of many potential seconds out there, and therefore utterly replaceable.

Here’s what you ought to do: You aren’t interested in being your lover’s secondary partner (nor are you much interested in being your husband’s wife), so you’ll have to call your lover’s bluff. The only card you have to play—and it’s a weak hand (all hands with just one card are)—is to dump your lover unless he leaves his wife for you. Success rests on the outside chance your lover was bluffing when he said he’d replace you, but I suppose it’s possible he regards you as the irreplaceable one, and only said those hurtful things to make you think he wouldn’t choose you when you are the one he would’ve chosen all along. If it turns out that this was the case, SMACK, you’ll wind up with your soul mate … who happens to be kindasorta cruel and manipulative.

Calling your lover’s bluff—ending a relationship that, in its current form, brings you no joy—is your only hope of having this guy to yourself. But the likelier outcome is that you’ll be left alone (with, um, your husband).


My boyfriend and I met at a bondage party a year ago. He’s not into bondage. (He tagged along with a kinky friend.) We hit it off in the chill-out room and started seeing each other. He told me it was OK for me to keep going to bondage parties and seeing some guys I play with one-on-one. Then right after we moved in together, he said he doesn’t want me playing with anyone else, because we are in love. Which means I can’t get tied up at all anymore, because he has zero interest in bondage. He can’t see why I’m upset, and I’m not sure what to do.

Boy In New Drama

So now that you’re in love, and now that you’ve signed a lease, and now that you’re trapped, BIND, now—NOW—your vanilla boyfriend yanks back the accommodation that convinced you to date him in the first place? There’s only one thing you can do: DTMFA.


I am 30 and male, and I have been with my girlfriend for five years. For a slew of reasons (we have almost no interests/hobbies in common; our personalities are completely different; we aren’t sexually compatible), I have decided to end it. She’s a good, smart, well-educated person for whom I wish only the best.

I’m thinking of breaking up with her sometime this week—or halfway through next year. I know you believe someone should tell a partner about these sorts of feelings ASAP to avoid robbing them of time they could have spent fixing the situation or moving on, but something inside me tells me that my case is different. My girlfriend is a graduate student in a non-tech/STEM field (read: hard-to-find jobs) and has a decent amount of school debt. We also have a dog. We live in a city where the rents are high, and it’s harder to find a place that will allow dogs. (She will definitely be taking the dog.) The thing is, she would almost certainly want to move out immediately if we broke up. I’m worried that if she tried to absorb the financial hit of a breakup, it might torpedo her education and life plans.

I am at a loss for what to do. She’s leaving in a week to visit her family for a month. Should I dump her before then so she can lean on them? Should I wait until she graduates but dodge questions about where I’m willing to move if she gets a job offer somewhere else?

Deciding Ultimately Means Pain

As a general rule, one should never drag out an inevitable breakup. We should break up with people promptly to spare our exes the humiliation of thinking back over the last few months or (God forbid!) the last few years and recalling every painfully ambiguous or deceitfully upbeat conversation about Our Shared Future. Another good reason to break up with someone promptly: A person (not the person) your ex could spend the rest of their life with might cross their path two months from now—and if they’re still with you then or still reeling from a very recent breakup, they won’t say yes (old-fashioned) or swipe right (newfangled).

But there are exceptions to every rule, DUMP, and I think your case qualifies. As with many exceptions to many rules, your exception honors the spirit of the rule itself. Both reasons I cite for breaking up with someone promptly—to spare your soon-to-be ex’s feelings, to get out of the way of your soon-to-be ex’s future—are about being considerate of your soon-to-be ex. And that’s just what you’re doing: You want to end this relationship now, but you’re going to wait six months, because you don’t want to derail your soon-to-be-ex girlfriend’s education or career prospects. So out of consideration for her, DUMP, you should coast for a bit longer.

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Published in Savage Love

I’m a kinky single woman who keeps attracting the wrong men for me—specifically, submissive guys into face-sitting.

I’m submissive myself, and face-sitting is not a turn-on for me. But the vast majority of men who hit on me have this fetish. I think it’s a size-related issue—a my-size-related issue: I’m a full-figured/curvy woman with a big butt. Granted, it’s a fabulous butt, but my butt sends the wrong signals, apparently.

I’ve tried several times to word my FetLife and other dating profiles so that I’ll attract dominant men, but the messages from submissive wannabe face-sittees pour in. Dating when you’re not thin is hard enough. Help, please.

Baby Got Back

You’ve worded your dating profiles to attract Doms, BGB, but it doesn’t sound like you’ve worded your profiles to repel—and crush the hopes of—submissive wannabe face-sittees. Let’s fix that: “I get a lot of messages from submissive guys into face-sitting. I’ve got a great butt, I realize, but I’m a sub, I’m not into face-sitting, and I only want to hear from Dom guys.” Some submissive guys will message you anyway—guys who will be letting you know they have a hard time taking no for an answer, BGB, so not guys you’d ever want to meet up with IRL. Delete their messages, and block their profiles.


While having sex one night with my girlfriend, I pulled out a vibrator for the first time. She asked whether I (a guy) had used it with a previous partner (another woman). I conceded that I had. She refused to let me use it on her on the grounds that it had already been inside someone else. I pointed out that since I am not a virgin, her objection did not seem principled: My penis has been in someone else, and she lets me put that in her. Nevertheless, she remained adamant.

Do you think she was being reasonable?

Very Interested Boyfriend Enquires

I do not, VIBE, but since you don’t want to stick your old vibrator in me—presumably—what I think is irrelevant. When it comes to who gets to stick what in our bodies, we’re allowed to be arbitrary, inconsistent, capricious and even illogical. That’s why, “But my dick has been in other women and you let me stick that in you!” isn’t quite the slam-dunk argument you think it is. So toss that old vibrator, and get yourself a new one—but save the packaging so you can pass it off as new with your next girlfriend.


My cousin was a victim of revenge porn. A bitter ex-boyfriend of his sent several videos they’d made to everyone on my cousin’s contact list, including me. I’m a straight woman who prefers gay male porn, and my cousin and his ex are beautiful men—they’re both dancers—and I couldn’t help myself: I watched the videos, more than once, before deleting them.

So how bad of a person am I?

Sick And Wrong

You’re a better person than the asshole ex who sent those videos to everyone your poor cousin knows, SAW, but a worse person than those who deleted the videos without wanking over them first.


Your life is a monstrous affront to God, and your life’s work, your ridiculous “advice” column, encourages people to act on their worst impulses. Advice column? Take the “D” away! You write A VICE column!

I was involved in the gay life once, Mr. Savage, but the love of Jesus delivered me from homosexual sin. Embrace Christ, and you, too, can be delivered. I pray for you every day. Someone has to.

By the way: I have read what you’ve written about your mother, who you claim to have loved. Your mother died relatively young. I’m not suggesting God punished you by cutting your mother’s life short. No, your mother died of shame.

Christ Even Saves Savages

You pray for me, CESS, and I’ll gay for you—because all the delicious dicks you left behind when Jesus raptured you out of homosexual sin aren’t gonna suck themselves, are they?

“Jesus is love,” my Catholic mother liked to say. If she was right, CESS, he surely finds the things going into my mouth less offensive than the shit coming out of yours.


I’ve been toying with the idea of having a sub provide domestic services, but all the potential subs I’ve met with haven’t seemed like a good fit for various reasons. Last night, I had a first meeting with a man who is a good fit on paper, but who turned out to be an obnoxious asshole in person—a misogynistic, mansplaining frat-boy type. Can someone be too much of a dick for you to let them do your laundry?

Sub Is Subhuman

If you wouldn’t be in a vanilla relationship with someone, SIS, why would you want to be in a D/s relationship with them?


I’ve been in a lesbian relationship for about two years. Recently, I was listening to your podcast, and you were talking about the Big/little kink. I remember thinking my girlfriend could be into that. Today, my girlfriend texted this to me: “I want you to hold me like a child, rock me to sleep, and tuck me in and kiss my forehead.” I almost asked her right then if she was into Big/little play, but then I realized that I’m not sure what I would do if she said yes. If she came to me and said, “Hey, I’m into this stuff!” I would consider it. But I am not into this stuff—not independently—or at least I don’t think so. My question is this: If you suspect your partner is into something that you’re not into, should you leave it alone? I feel like maybe the GGG thing to do is to ask her and offer to explore it if she says yes.

Wanna Be GGG

Are you sure you’re not curious about Big/little play, aka age play? Because it sounds like you might be. If you are, don’t project your interests/kinks onto your girlfriend. Just ask her if she might be interested. If you aren’t into Big/little play but think she might be, the same advice applies: Just ask her.


My boyfriend of three years has not left his wife for me, even though he says he will someday. He doesn’t want to hurt her. He feels a duty to her. But he loves me more and swears he will leave her someday. In the meantime, we carve out half an hour a week for sex, and it’s super hot.

Two questions (and please answer honestly): He’s not going to leave her, is he? And I’m a cliché, aren’t I?

Don’t Understand Men

No, he isn’t. And yes, you are. DTMFA.

On the Lovecast, sex-toy expert Erika Moen discusses strap-ons for men: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m straight and married but not boring, and I am heading to my parents’ house for our first family Christmas since my asshole MAGA brother “stumbled over” the Tumblr blog where the wife and I posted about our sexual adventures. (Pics of MMF threesomes and cross-dressing/pegging sessions, plus some dirty “true enough” stories.) My brother has always been an angry screwup, so he leapt on the chance to make me look bad by sending the link to my parents, siblings and even some close family friends. Our Tumblr blog is still up, because we aren’t ashamed. Any advice?

Totally Uncool Malicious Bastard’s Lame Reveal

Your Tumblr blog isn’t going to be up for much longer, TUMBLR, as the company that owns Tumblr—Verizon—is ashamed of your blog and the millions of others like it: Tumblr announced last week that all “adult” content is banned as of Dec. 17. And the definition of “adult content” is pretty broad: “photos, videos, and GIFs of human genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations,” although they will allow genitals and those wicked “female-presenting nipples” in images of classical art. (No contemporary junk or lady nips allowed.)

This is not just a blow to people who use Tumblr for porn—and that’s most people who use Tumblr—but also to the sex-work community. Sex workers had already been driven off most other online platforms by anti-sex-work crusaders, and now sex workers are being driven off Tumblr as well. Forcing sex workers off the internet won’t end sex work—the stated goal of anti-sex-work crusaders—but it will make sex work more dangerous, which tells us everything we need to know about the motives of anti-sex-work crusaders. While they claim to oppose sex work because it’s dangerous, they push policies that make sex work more dangerous. Sex workers weren’t just advertising online; they were organizing—in addition to honing and making the political argument for decriminalizing sex work, they were screening potential clients and sharing information with each other about dangerous clients. Just like anti-choice/anti-abortion crusaders, anti-sex-work crusaders don’t want to “protect” women; they want to punish women for making choices they disapprove of. (As a general rule: If what you’re doing makes people less safe, you don’t get to claim you’re trying to protect anyone—it’s like claiming you only set houses on fire to drive home the importance of smoke alarms.)

Anyway, fuck your sex-shaming/smut-shaming brother, TUMBLR. As for the rest of your family, you and the wife should slap smiles on your faces and act like you’ve done nothing wrong—because you haven’t done anything wrong. Your asshole brother is the bad guy, and any family members who wish to discuss how offended they were by your Tumblr blog should be directed to speak with your brother, as he’s the one who showed it to them.


How can I explain to my sisters that although I am a free sexual woman, I still prefer men as sexual partners? My sisters are both involved with women, and they cannot understand how, with all the awful sexual inequality in the world, I can still be primarily attracted to men. Sometimes I even imagine my sexuality as a gay man’s sexuality in a woman’s body, and I try to explain it to them in this way.

I’m not a secret right-winger or someone kidding around by asking this question. This is a real issue.

By the way: I have a straight male friend who says he’s a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. What do you think of this?

Give It To Me Straight

People don’t choose to be straight—some poor motherfuckers are born that way—any more than hetero-romantic bisexuals choose to be hetero-romantic bisexuals. You can’t help who you’re attracted to, GITMS, primarily or otherwise, and the contempt of family members can’t change a person’s sexual or romantic orientation. Your sisters should understand that, since they most likely wouldn’t be with women if the contempt of family members had that kind of power.

As for describing yourself as a gay man trapped in a woman’s body and your straight male friend describing himself as a lesbian trapped in a man’s body … Unless the two of you are trans—in which case you could be homos trapped in the wrong bodies—your friend is just another straight guy mortified by the mess straight people (mostly white, mostly men) have made of the world. You’re also mortified by straightness, GITMS, or at least the sexual inequality that often comes bundled with it. But instead of your straight male friend opting out of heterosexuality (which he can’t do) or you framing your attraction to men as a gay thing to get your sisters off your back (which you shouldn’t have to do), your friend should identify as straight (because he is), and you should identify as someone who doesn’t give a shit what her sisters think (because you shouldn’t).

If good straight guys and “free sexual women” in opposite-sex relationships don’t identify with heterosexuality and/or hetero-romantic orientations, GITMS, all the shitty straight people will conclude that they get to define heterosexuality (which they don’t).


I’m a gay man in my mid-20s, and I’m getting more serious with a guy I met a few months ago. I was surprised to eventually learn that “Michael” is in his late 30s, since he easily passes for my age. I’m comfortable with the age gap, but I’m struggling with how to present this to my parents. Religious and conservative, they were cordial but distant with the last guy I dated (who was my age). I’m afraid the age gap with my new boyfriend will create even more discomfort for them and that Michael will sense it when he comes along to visit for the holidays.

I’m considering lying to my parents if Michael’s age comes up. I’ve challenged my parents’ attitudes for many years—but at this point, I’m willing to trade honesty for the chance to be treated even a little bit more like a “normal couple” at Christmas.

Is it selfish to ask Michael for permission to lie about his age? I’m nervous to even share my feelings with him, for fear it will give the impression I’m embarrassed by him.

Awkward Gatherings Expected Given Age Peculiarity

Tell one lie to make your relationship seem more acceptable to your parents, and you’ll be tempted to tell them more lies—and I don’t know about you, AGEGAP, but not having to lie to mommy and daddy anymore was one of the reasons I came out of the closet. And if you want your parents to be comfortable with Michael—if you don’t want them to think there’s anything wrong with their son dating an older man—deceiving your parents about Michael’s age is a terrible first move. That says you think there’s something wrong it—and you won’t just be saying that to your parents, AGEGAP; you’ll be saying it to Michael as well.

And let’s say things work out with Michael. The lie you told that first Christmas will only serve to make things more awkward after you finally tell them the truth about your boyfriend’s age. And if your parents are like other mildly or wildly homophobic parents, i.e., if they’re inclined to regard the man who sodomizes their son as a negative influence in his life, they may not believe the lie was your idea. They’ll think this creepily youthful older man—this man who showed up in their home wearing a suit made out of the skins of younger gay men—encouraged their son to lie to them so they wouldn’t object to the relationship in the early stages, when their objections might have had the ability to derail it.

Finally, AGEGAP, if your older boyfriend is concerned you may be too immature for him—not all young people are immature, and not all immature people are young, but this shit does correlate—telling him you’re still in the lie-to-mommy-and-daddy stage might prompt him to end this relationship.

On the Lovecast: RealDoll brothels?! Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 59-year-old man in good health. For basically my whole adult life, I’ve had a problem during intercourse with a woman of, one, being very quick to come, and two, having a too-intense, “cringey” sensation when I come. This has led to often going soft at the prospect of intercourse. This too-intense feeling makes me stop moving when I come, which is not satisfying at all.

It doesn’t happen with hand jobs or oral sex—they feel fine and good. Is this a known phenomenon? Most importantly, what can I do to get to a point where I can enjoy intercourse? This seriously messes up my enjoyment of sex and my confidence with women. One time, and only one time (out of many with a particular girlfriend), I had intercourse, and it felt fine when I came, still thrusting, so I know it’s possible.

I have been practicing with a Fleshlight, but it’s still painfully “cringey” when I come. It is not fun and rather depressing.

He Always Really Dreads Penetration And Regrets This

I shared your letter with Dr. Ashley Winter, a urologist in private practice in Portland, Ore., and the co-host of The Full Release, a sex, health and relationship podcast. Dr. Winter wanted to note that her comments are a general discussion of a medical topic and NOT individual medical advice. She wanted me to emphasize this point—which she also emphasizes at the top of her terrific podcast—because Dr. Winter is a responsible doctor and not a card-carrying member of the Amalgamated Advice Columnists of America. (Membership in the AACA entitles advice columnists to say pretty much whatever they want.)

“There are three issues at play here,” said Dr. Winter. “First, the pain or ‘cringey’ sensation only associated with vaginal and Fleshlight penetration. Second, being too quick to come. And third, erectile dysfunction. HARDPART insightfully suggests his ED may be related to his performance anxiety as well as anticipated pain, and I would agree with this. I would add that his quick ejaculation is most likely also caused by a mix of ED and pain—the body adapts to pain and erection loss by letting the swimmers off the hook early.”

But why do you experience this pain only during penetrative sex? What is it about PIV (penis in vagina) or PIF (penis in Fleshlight) that causes those painfully cringey feelings?

“If he thrusts more during these activities than he does during oral or hand stimulation, I would expect that either pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction or a nerve issue related to the lower spine could be causing the flares,” said Dr. Winter. “If he were my patient, I would want to know if he has less pain when his partner is on top, which would mean his pelvis is moving less. Also, does he have chronic low back pain? Bowel or bladder issues?”

Dr. Winter and I continued to generally discuss the medical topics raised by your question, HARDPART, and we generally discussed—this is not, again, individual medical advice, but a general discussion—two things someone with your particular issue might want to think about doing. First, a guy with your problem could try taking Viagra—or a related drug—while also using a penis-numbing spray. And a guy with your problem should also have his pelvic floor checked out. A urologist can help a guy with a problem like yours determine if there’s something wrong with the complex web of muscles and nerves that crowd together around your junk, and if it is a pelvic-floor issue, refer him to a pelvic-floor physical therapist.

Finally, a suggestion from me, the person with the AACA card: A guy with a problem like yours—a guy whose dick works a certain way and has worked that way for decades—could save himself the hassle of physical therapy and the side effects of Viagra by accepting his dick and the way his dick works. There are women out there who prefer oral and outercourse to PIV, HARDPART, and you could bed those women with confidence.

Follow Dr. Ashley Winter on Twitter @AshleyGWinter, and check out The Full Release podcast, which she cohosts with comedian Mo Mandel, at thefullreleasepod.com.


I’m a mostly straight guy in my 40s, and I’m married to a woman. I don’t know if it’s a midlife crisis or what, but I’ve decided that I want to get fucked in the ass once in my life. I will be visiting Hamburg soon, and it’s my understanding that sex work is legal in Germany. I want your help sorting out the legal, ethical, and practical issues.

1. Legal issue: Paying for sex in Germany is legal, right? But even if sex work is legal, that doesn’t mean every sex worker is doing it voluntarily. I prefer people closer to my own age, and I imagine a 40-year-old sex worker is less likely to be exploited, right? What else can I do to ensure that I’m not with a trafficked individual?

2. Ethical issue: After many years and many near-divorce situations, my wife and I have adopted a more-tolerant (or more-apathetic) posture toward each other. She has on several occasions told me that she doesn’t care who I fuck. While I haven’t acted on it, she has said it often enough that I believe her. We’ve talked about an open relationship, but she wasn’t enthusiastic. My best guess is that she doesn’t want to know if I do anything “gay,” while also not wanting me to form any emotional attachments. Do I ask her again if she really doesn’t care who I fuck? Or do her previous statements suffice?

3. Practical issues: Is a condom enough protection? How do I avoid things like herpes and crabs? Other than emptying ye olde bowels, what other steps should I take before asking a male German escort to fuck me in the ass? And how do I ask? Google Translate suggests “fick mich in den Arsch,” which is an unappealing thing to say. Maybe there’s something sexier?

Legal, Ethical, And Practical

1. Sex work is, indeed, legal in Germany. You can minimize your chances of hiring someone who may not be doing sex work of their own free will by avoiding agencies and finding yourself an independent escort. But since you’re looking to hire a male in his 40s, LEAP, your odds of hiring someone doing sex work under duress are very, very low.

2. The wife who lovingly and apathetically tolerates your soon-to-be-fucked ass has already told you—and told you more than once—that she doesn’t care who you fuck. She also doesn’t want to know if you fuck someone else. Asking if she meant it immediately before flying off to Hamburg—double-checking to make sure she really doesn’t care who you fuck—would basically mean telling her you know you’re going to fuck someone else in Hamburg (and fuck them all “gay” and shit), and she’s already told you she doesn’t want to know. Taking her at her word, i.e., allowing her previous statements to suffice, is the right thing to do.

3. A condom offers highly effective protection from HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. For added protection, LEAP, ask your doctor about getting on PrEP, aka Truvada, before your trip. It’s a daily pill that, once built up to full strength (roughly a week), provides highly effective protection against HIV infection. While condoms do provide some protection against herpes, neither condoms nor PrEP will save you from crabs. To make sure your one-and-only ass-fucking goes well, empty ye olde bowels and then douche ye olde rectum. Since most German escorts, like most German everybodies, speak English, LEAP, there is no need for an English-to-German dictionary. Just say, “Fuck my ass, please.”

On the Lovecast, the Atlantic’s Kate Julian on why the kids aren’t having sex: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a recently divorced single mom and full-time student. I’m really beginning to hurt financially and have decided to start working as an escort. I am at a point of great emotional stability, happiness and confidence—all reasons that led to my decision—and I’m surrounded by people who love me and won’t judge me. (Not that I will be telling most of them.)

I’ve been seeing a man who I like, but I’ve made it clear that I am not committed to him and can see him only once a week. I’ve explained that I don’t think I can ever be monogamous, and I do not want a relationship. He has struggled with this and told me early on he was in love with me. We have AMAZING sex, and I think this causes him to have a hard time understanding why I don’t want a relationship.

I do not want to tell him I am escorting. I feel the fewer people who know, the better. And I don’t know him that well, as I have been “seeing” him for only six months. I know he would want to know, and a huge part of me feels that the right thing to do is be honest with him if I am going to continue seeing him. I also know that cutting him loose would hurt and confuse him, especially without being able to give him a reason.

How do I handle this? What is the right thing to do? My site goes live in three days, and what’s keeping me up at night is not how best to verify clients; it’s what to do about the man in my life whom I respect and love, even if I am not in love with him.

New To Escorting

Let’s set the escorting issue aside for a moment. You don’t want the same things (he wants monogamy and a defined relationship; you don’t want any of that shit); you don’t feel for him the way he feels for you (he’s in love;, you’re not); and you’re a busy single mom and full-time student—all perfectly valid reasons to end a relationship, NTE. You aren’t obligated to tell him that something you were thinking about doing but haven’t yet done, i.e., escorting, factored into your decision to cut him loose.

While I definitely think people have a right to know if their partners are escorts, I don’t think people have an absolute right to know if their partners were escorts. So if the sex is really good, and you think there’s a chance you could one day feel as strongly for him as he does for you, and you’re planning to escort only until you get your degree, NTE, you could tell him you want to take a break. Explain to him that you don’t have the bandwidth for a boyfriend just now—kid, school, work—but you’re open to dating him after you’re out of school if he’s still single and still interested.


I’m a 30-year-old single monogamist, and I recently realized I’m bisexual. I feel much happier—except I recently crossed a line with a very close friend of mine, a man I’ll admit to having some romantic feelings for.

After he broke up with his ex, I started getting random late-night text messages from him. And a couple weeks ago, we hooked up sans penetration. We acknowledged that we both have feelings, but neither of us is in a good place. He’s still dealing with the end of his LTR, and I am only just coming out as bisexual.

I love this person, and our friendship is important to me, but I can’t stop thinking of the possibility of us being together. I’m confused by the timing, and I wonder if this is real or just something I’ve allowed to distract me—or both! Also, what would this mean for my bisexuality? I’ve been to this rodeo before—meaning opposite-sex relationships—but what about the part of me I haven’t fully explored?

Between Every Thorn Solitude Yearns

You describe yourself as a monogamist—so, yeah, entering into a committed relationship with this man would prevent you from exploring your bisexuality. And the timing feels off: He may be on the rebound, and you’re still coming to terms with your bisexuality. So don’t enter into a committed relationship with him, BETSY, at least not yet. Date him casually, and keep hooking up with him, with the understanding—with the explicit and fully verbalized and mutually consented-to understanding—that you will be “exploring” your bisexuality, i.e., you’ll be getting out there and eating some pussy.


I’m a 37-year-old woman married for eight years to a wonderful man. We’re happy and GGG to the point where his kinks have become my kinks, and vice versa. However, he loves anal sex, and I cannot do it. No matter how much lube we use or how slowly we go, it’s not just uncomfortable—it’s red-hot-poker-in-my-ass painful. Can you give me any concrete, practical advice to get to a point where I can enjoy anal?

Also: Do some women actually enjoy anal? After my experiences, I find that really hard to believe.

Beyond Uncomfortable Tushy Trauma

If you’re still interested in exploring anal after all those red-hot-poker-in-your-ass painful experiences—and you are by no means obligated to explore any further—focus on anal stimulation, BUTT, not anal penetration. Try rimming; try a vibrator pressed against your anus (not shoved into it); try running his lubed-up dick up and down your crack (across your anus, not into your anus); and try all of these things during masturbation, vaginal penetration and oral sex. Having a few dozen orgasms—or a few hundred—while your anus’ sensitive nerve endings are pleasurably engaged could create a positive association between anal stimulation and sexual pleasure.

It’s going to take some time to create a positive association powerful enough to supplant the negative association you have now—an association with echoes of regicide (google “Edward II and red hot poker”)—so your husband shouldn’t expect to get his dick back into your butt anytime soon, if he ever will at all. Some people, for reasons physiological or psychological or both, just can’t experience pleasure during anal intercourse. If you’re one of those people, BUTT, your husband will just have to grieve and move on.

As for the other question: I find it hard to believe that a woman could possibly enjoy, say, a Donald Trump rally. But some women do, BUTT, and we have video to prove it. The same could be said about anal.


I am a 30-year-old hetero woman. Any ideas on how a person can build up to healthy intimate relationships again while recovering from trauma? I’m afraid in normal sexual situations. How can I get to a point where I can have sex for fun and not in a way where I’m triggering my fight-or-flight response? Yes, I am seeing a therapist.

Traumatic Experience Nullifying Sexual Energy

Here’s an idea, TENSE, but please run it by your therapist before giving it a try: Find a guy you like, and propose a different kind of friends-with-benefits arrangement. You will be in charge—you will do all the initiating—and while he can say no to anything you ask, he isn’t to ask for or initiate anything himself. You set the menu; you make the rules; you give the orders. He’ll need to be someone you trust, and it’ll help if he’s someone who thinks following orders is sexy—and trust me, TENSE, those guys are out there. You said that normal sexual situations aren’t working for you … maybe an abnormal one would?

On the Lovecast, what evangelical Christianity does to women: savagelovecast.com.

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I’ve always wanted to tie girls up, but I can never convince a woman to let me. Lately, I’ve been exploring “bondage singles” sites online, but I’m totally new to this.

How do I know which ones I can trust? There are hundreds of profiles, but it’s hard for me to believe I can really just answer an ad, meet a girl in a hotel room, and tie her up. It can’t be that simple, can it?

The Internet’s Enticing Dates

It can’t be, and it isn’t, TIED, because no woman in her right mind is going to let some man she’s never met before tie her up in a hotel room. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen or hasn’t ever happened, but women stupid enough to take that risk are rare—and it should go without saying that any singles website promising to provide lonely guys with an endless stream of stupid women is a scam.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Justin Gorbey is a bondage practitioner and educator, as well as a professional artist and tattooer. Gorbey ties up a lot of women, as you can see on his Instagram account (@daskinbaku), and he doesn’t think you’re going to find someone on a “bondage singles” site, either.

“I would recommend this person step away from the dating sites and step into some educational group meet-ups or ‘munches,’” said Gorbey. “TIED or any new person should focus on groups that match their own desires/interests, and connections will develop organically with time and effort—with a lot of fucking time and effort!”

Kink social and education groups organize online but meet up offline—face-to-face, IRL, in meatspace—at munches (educational talks, no actual play) and play parties (actual play, hence the name). To find the kink organization(s) in your area, TIED, Gorbey suggests that you create a profile on FetLife, the biggest social network for kinky people, and start connecting with other like-minded kinksters at munches.

“Going to munches will not only give TIED a chance to meet people,” said Gorbey, “they’ll give him a ‘guide’ for how to act—most groups generally go over house safe words/etiquette/rules and consent/risk awareness at the beginning of a munch—and they’ll also give what I call a ‘visual vocabulary’ of what a real-life scene looks like. Porn and fetish fantasy often distort our perceptions of what is plausible or even possible for real people in a real-life scenario. Just watching others play helped me identify the things I found attractive as both a top and a bottom.”

There are lots of men and women out there who are interested in bondage, TIED, and the organized kink scene is the best place to find safe and sane play partners. You’ll be able to interact with kinky women at munches and parties—women who will be a lot likelier to let you tie them up after you’ve demonstrated you’re safe and sane yourself.

“There are hours of intimacy before and after the moment captured for an Instagram photo,” said Gorbey. “These relationships require trust, vulnerability and communication. These acts require a lot of hard work and commitment, and they expose a person to risk. That’s why the only responsible answer to TIED’s question is to seek education first, and play partners second.”

Justin Gorbey teaches workshops and intensives on a number of subjects centering on bondage and power-exchange dynamics. To see his work and learn about his workshops, follow him on Instagram @daskinbaku.


I’m a monogamous woman in a committed relationship with a nonmonogamous man. I try to be cool about his other relationships, but I’m trying to figure out how to bring some fire back into ours. I miss oral sex, but that’s not on the table, because he “doesn’t like” how I taste. I’ve suggested bondage and anal, but he says he’s “too tired.” He can make plans with others to have exciting new experiences, but he doesn’t have any energy for me.

I’m at a loss. Counseling is not an option for us, because he doesn’t believe in that stuff. Any suggestions?

Seeking Adventurous Monogamishamy

Yes: Stop doing his laundry or paying his rent or preparing his meals—stop doing whatever it is you’re doing that your shit boyfriend values and is reluctant to give up, SAM, because it’s clear he doesn’t value you. DTMFA.


I’m a 44-year-old straight woman. I’ve been married for 14 years to a husband I love very much. We have two small children. Early in our courtship, I discovered his interest in bottoming during fem-Dom pegging sessions. I GGG’d his desires, and we explored them. He bought a variety of dildos, strap-on harnesses and kink ephemera, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the few times we’ve done this. But I’ve grown less interested over the years.

We both work; there are kids to look after—and when we have sex, I just want to get it over with and move on with our day, not deal with the pageantry of dress up, stiletto heels, collars and cuffs, lubricating buttholes, graduating to bigger dildos in a session, etc. The vanilla-leaning sex we have is great, and we are both into it, but I know being bound and pegged is his fantasy, and he is less fulfilled by not having it on the menu.

How do I get more motivated to indulge him? Do I have to give him a pass to seek out a pro-Dom to indulge this? (Not sure how I feel about that.) Ultimately, I don’t hate indulging his fantasy, and it really does it for him. Not sure what to do.

Frequently Evading My Dude’s Obsessions Mostly

You discovered your husband’s kinks during your courtship—an unspecified period of time prior to the wedding, the kids, etc. And while you say you’ve GGG’d his kinks over the 14-plus years you’ve been together, FEMDOM, it’s hard to square that claim with this: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed (pegging him) the few times we’ve done this.” Indulging someone a few times over 14-plus years hardly counts as GGG’ing their desires.

Being “good, giving and game” for anything—within reason—doesn’t obligate us to do whatever our partners want. But if something is truly central to your partner’s erotic self, then being GGG—being a loving partner—means making an accommodation, FEMDOM, and finding a work-around that allows your partner to express this aspect of their sexuality without requiring you to do something you find tedious, a turnoff or traumatizing. That accommodation can be something as simple as cheerfully allowing your partner to indulge their kinks with porn or during solo play (emphasis on the word cheerfully), to something as challenging as allowing your partner to explore their kinks with others, e.g., play partners or professionals.

If your husband isn’t feeling neglected—if he enjoys hurry-up-and-get-it-over-with sex as much as you do and wants to be tied up and pegged only once every five years—then you don’t have a problem. But if he’s feeling resentful, you do have a problem. Resentment has a way of metastasizing into bitterness, and bitterness has a way of curdling into the kind of anger that can doom a relationship.

So check in with your husband, FEMDOM, and be clear about your feelings: You don’t hate indulging his fantasy, but you’re both busy; you have small children; and his fantasies require a lot of prep and setup. Tell him you want him to be happy—and, hey, if he is happy, then great. But if he’s not, then it’s time to talk accommodation. You don’t want him to go without; you don’t want him to see a pro; and you don’t want him to feel bad about the sex you do have and both enjoy. So how about this: You get grandparents or good friends to look after your kids once a year while you spend a restful weekend in a nice hotel pegging the husband’s ass between spa treatments.

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I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about myself, my sexuality and my romantic self.

I can log on and easily find someone to fuck. I’m a bear-built top guy. There are ladies in my life who choose to share their beds with me. I can find subs to tie up and torture. (I’m kinky and bi.) What I can’t find is a long-term partner. The problem is that after I fuck/sleep with/torture someone, my brain stops seeing them as sexual and moves them into the friend category. I have friends who I used to fuck regularly, and now, it’s a chore to get it up for them. Sure, the sex still feels good, but it’s not passionate. And when it’s all said and done, they’re still in the “friend” category in my brain. Some of them have suggested being more, but I’ve recoiled. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they’re friends, not potential partners.

I’m 32, and my siblings are married and having kids, and the people I grew up with are married and having kids. And here I am not able to find a long-term significant other. Am I broken? Should I just accept that, at least for me, sexual partners and domestic/romantic partners will always be separate categories?

Always Alone

What if you’re not like most everyone else? What if this is just how your sexuality works? What if you’re wired—emotionally, romantically, sexually—for intense but brief sexual connections that blossom into wonderful friendships? And what if you’ve been tricked into thinking you’re broken, because the kind of successful long-term relationships your siblings and friends have are celebrated, and the kind of successful short-term relationships you have are stigmatized?

If your siblings and friends want to have the kinds of relationships they’re having—and it is possible some do not—they will feel no inner conflict about their choices while simultaneously being showered with praise for their choices. But what are they really doing? They’re doing what they want; they’re doing what makes them happy; they’re doing what works for them romantically, emotionally and sexually. And what are you doing? Maybe you’re doing what you want, AA—maybe you’re doing what could make you happy. So why doesn’t it make you happy? Maybe because you’ve been made to feel broken by a culture that holds up one relationship model—the partnered and preferably monogamous pair—and insists that this model is the only healthy and whole option, and that anyone who goes a different way, fucks a different way, or relates a different way is broken.

Now, it’s possible you are broken, of course, but anyone could be broken. You could be broken; I could be broken; your married siblings and friends could be broken. (Regarding your siblings and friends: Not everyone who marries and has kids wanted marriage and kids. Some no doubt wanted it, AA, but others succumbed to what was expected of them.) But here’s a suggestion for something I want you to try, something that might make you feel better, because it could very well be true: Try to accept that, for you, sexual partners and domestic/romantic partners might always be separate, and that doesn’t mean you’re broken. If that self-acceptance makes you feel whole, AA, then you have your answer.

I might make a different suggestion if your brief-but-intense sexual encounters left a lot of hurt feelings in their wake. But that’s not the case. You hook up with someone a few times; you share an intense sexual experience; and you feel a brief romantic connection to them. And when those sexual and romantic feelings subside, you’re not left with a string of bitter exes and enemies, but with a large and growing circle of good friends. Which leads me to believe that even if you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing, AA, you’re clearly doing something right.

By the way … another option if you do want to get married someday: a companionate marriage to one of your most intimate friends—someone like you, AA, who also sees potential life partners and potential sex partners as two distinct categories with no overlap—and all the Grindr hookups and BDSM sessions you like with one-offs who become good friends.


I knew my little brother had an odd fascination with rubber that would likely become sexual. He would steal rubber gloves and hide them in his room, and there was a huge meltdown when our mother found a gas mask in his room when he was 12.

My brother is in his 30s now and has a closet full of rubber “gear” that he dresses in pretty much exclusively. (When he’s not at work, he’s in rubber.) All of his friends are rubber fetishists. When he travels, it’s only to fetish events where he can wear his rubber clothing publicly. He will date only other rubber fetishists, which seems to have severely limited his romantic prospects, and he posts photos of himself in rubber to his social media accounts. I read your column and I understand that kinks aren’t chosen, and they can be incorporated into a person’s sex life in a healthy way. But my brother’s interest in rubber seems obsessive. Your thoughts?

Rubbered Up Baby Brother’s Erotic Rut

If your brother were obsessed with surfing or snowboarding and built his life around chasing waves or powder—and would date only people who shared his passion—you wouldn’t have written me. Same goes if he were obsessed with pro sports, as so many straight men are, or Broadway shows, as so many gay men are. The only “problem” here is that your brother’s obsession makes his dick hard—and to be clear, RUBBER, the problem is yours, not his. An erotic obsession or passion is just as legitimate as a nonerotic one. And even if I thought your brother had a problem—and I do not—nothing I wrote here would result in him liking his rubber clothes, rubber buddies or rubber fetish events any less.


I’m a 28-year-old straight man married to a 26-year-old straight woman. My wife and I were watching a video about sex and the female orgasm, and they were talking about how, unlike men, women don’t have a refractory period after orgasm. We were confused, because we are almost the complete opposite. I have never experienced drowsiness, lessened sensitivity or quickened loss of erection after orgasm. My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t even like me kissing her bits after orgasm. She says they feel tender and sore afterward, and this feeling can last for hours. Is this normal?

Newlywed’s Orgasms Rarely Multiply

What you describe isn’t the norm, NORM, but it’s your norm.

Most men temporarily lose interest in sex immediately after climaxing. It’s called the refractory period, and it can last anywhere from 15 minutes (for teenagers) to 24 hours (for old-timers). It’s a hormone thing: After a guy comes, his pituitary gland pumps prolactin into his bloodstream—and prolactin blocks dopamine, the hormone that makes a dude horny and keeps him horny. But some men release very little prolactin and consequently have short refractory periods; a handful of men have no refractory period at all and are capable of multiple orgasms. You don’t mention the ability to come again and again, but you do sound exceptional in that you don’t lose your erection after you come. Your wife also sounds exceptional, NORM, since most orgasmic women are capable of having multiple orgasms—but most women ≠ all women. (I’ve always loved what groundbreaking sex researcher Mary Jane Sherfey wrote in 1966: “The more orgasms she has, the more she can have—for all intents and purposes, the human female is sexually insatiable.” Emphasis hers.)

But again, NORM, there’s nothing wrong with either of you. It’s just that your norm isn’t the norm—and that’s only a problem if you choose to regard it as one.

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