CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Hey, everybody! We had our first Savage Love Livestream event last Thursday night, and I had such a blast! A huge crowd of Savage Love readers and Savage Lovecast listeners got together on Zoom for a live online Q&A that raised more than $14,000 for Northwest Harvest, an organization that supports food banks in my home state.

I got more questions than I could answer in our allotted time, so I’m going to answer as many as I can squeeze into this week’s column. Here we go …

Is it a red flag or sign of deeper attachment or commitment issues if your long-term partner never tells you he loves you?

I’ve heard people describe relationships that were three months old as “LTRs.” Assuming you’re not one of those people—assuming you’ve been with this guy for more than a year—and you’ve already said “I love you” to him, and he hasn’t said it back, well, that’s a bad sign. But I wouldn’t describe it as a red flag. Early warning signs for physical or emotional abuse are red flags; not hearing “I love you” from someone you’d like to hear that from does suck, I know (because I’ve been there)—but it’s not a sign that you’re in danger, girl. It’s also not proof your partner has attachment or commitment issues; he just might not be interested in attaching or committing to you. But whatever the case might be, if you’re unhappy being with someone who can’t bring himself to say “I love you,” then you shouldn’t be with that person.

Is there a safe way to date/be slutty now? Will there ever be again? I’m poly but live alone, so I haven’t had sex in 12 weeks. HELP!

While health officials in most places are urging all to only have sex with people we live with—mom and dad excepted—over in the Netherlands, health officials are advising single and horny Dutch people to find “sex buddies.” One sex buddy per person, and ideally someone who isn’t interacting with too many other people. If you can find someone you trust—and if you are someone who can be trusted—you could go Dutch.

My fiancé has an ex-girlfriend who just can’t let it go. He’s blocked her on social media, but his mother still follows his ex and is friends with her, and they interact at least monthly—likes, comments, etc. Can I address the issue with his mom, or is that just somewhere you don’t go?

Why are you monitoring your fiancé’s ex-girlfriend’s social media? I mean, if you weren’t lurking on her Instagram, you wouldn’t know your future MIL is liking and commenting on her photos. Your fiancé’s mom is an adult, and she can follow anyone she likes on Instagram. And if you don’t want her to think you’re the toxic one, you won’t address this with her. Be the change you wanna see in your fiancé’s ex: Let it go.

I’ve always wanted to know more about your history with circumcision.

My history with circumcision isn’t that interesting: I was present at one circumcision (my own); I’ve never performed a circumcision (that I recall); and I’ve encountered both circumcised and uncircumcised dicks in the wild (and enjoyed them all).

My wife and I are lesbians who just found out we’re having a baby boy! We’re super excited but had some penis questions. My wife wants to circumcise our son, because she says that if he’s uncircumcised, he’ll get made fun of in the locker room. Does this happen? How often do boys look at each other’s dicks growing up?

The circumcision rate among newborn boys has been falling for decades, and now only a little more than half of boys are circumcised at birth. So even if boys were comparing their dicks in locker rooms—and they’re not—your son won’t be alone. For the record: the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend the procedure, and the supposed health benefits—a lower risk for urinary-tract infections and a lower risk for some sexually transmitted infections—aren’t a convincing argument in favor of the routine circumcision of male infants. While the complication rate is low (1.5 percent), those complications can range from easily treatable infections to “amputation of the glans,” “necrosis of the penis” and “death.” Risking your son’s life and most important limb to spare him a moment’s awkwardness in a locker room seems unreasonable to me—particularly since your son can’t consent.

My partner wants me (F) to peg him! Hooray! Any advice? He is very hot! Thanks! You rock!

He should douche! Plenty of lube! Take it slow! Film it for HUMP!

I’m a bisexual male in California. When is the right time to tell someone I just started dating that I’m bisexual? And how?

Mention your bisexuality on dating apps—which is where most couples meet these days—and you won’t have to tell someone you’re bisexual after you’ve started dating them. If you meet someone the old-fashioned way (school, work, through friends), tell ’em right away. It’s nothing you should be ashamed of or have to roll out carefully. And being with someone who can’t embrace and celebrate your sexuality is bad for your mental health; the more out you are about being bi, the lower your odds of winding up with someone who has a problem with it. It ups your odds of winding up with someone who fetishizes your bisexuality, of course, but if you had to choose between a partner who disapproves (and polices) and a partner who drools (and wants to watch), you’re gonna way better off with the droolers.

Cis poly woman here. My quarantine sexpod contains me and my two male partners. We’ll call them A and B. My partner B has another female partner that we’ll call C. Since we’re already "connected" anyway, would it change anything for me to have a threesome with B and C?

If B is fucking C and then coming home and fucking you and then you’re running down the hall to A, then C is essentially already in your sexpod. The bigger your sexpod, the more people you’re in contact with, the greater your risk of contracting and/or spreading COVID-19. Ideally, C would move in with you and A and B if you’re all going to be fucking each other. But not having a threesome with B and C while B is out there fucking C won’t protect you and A from whatever B might bring home from C.

Gay black male from New York City here. Two months ago, I lost my partner of 17 years to COVID-19. I have a pretty strong support system, but it’s really hitting me really hard right now, because my partner was very politically active and supportive of the struggles of black and brown people. I’ve been in therapy, but do you have any suggestions or resources for how to deal with such a loss in the midst of all this chaos?

I’m so sorry for your loss—and I apologize for not spotting your question during the show. I’m glad you have a strong support system and that you’re working with a therapist. If you need more support, your therapist should be able to refer you to an online grief support group. And I’ll just add: Grief isn’t something we “deal with,” and then we’re done. It’s something we carry with us. And in my experience, time doesn’t lighten the load. Still, the longer we walk with it, the stronger we get, and the lighter it feels. My heart goes out to you.

Longtime listener and magnum subscriber! We will keep this short: We are in a happy monogamish marriage and have heard one is not supposed to share toys under any circumstances. What are your thoughts on this?

One shouldn’t share a toy one hasn’t cleaned—and one should make sure one’s toys aren’t made of porous materials that are hard or impossible to clean. But if one has, say, a silicone toy that can be run through a dishwasher, well, one can share that toy. A fluid-bonded couple can safely share toys during sex, of course, so long as toys aren’t going from assholes to vaginas between cleanings. You also shouldn’t put a dildo in your spouse and then stick it in your very special guest star. But if you obey those simple rules—clean toys, no ass-to-vag, no used toys in thirds or toys used by thirds in primaries—it’s safe to share your toys.

I’m a 25-year-old lesbian trans woman in Chicago. I had a long video chat two weeks ago with a woman I met at the Chicago Age Players Convention—think International Mr. Leather but for adult babies/diaper lovers—and we really hit it off. It felt like we were about to pull a U-Haul despite being in quarantine. We even discussed a visit. But since then, I haven’t heard from her. I’ve tried texting and calling. My question is: What should I do? How can we reconnect?

You can’t reconnect if she isn’t interested in reconnecting. I know that sucks, but you’ve already done everything you can—you texted, you called. She knows you’re still interested, and you have to accept that you’ll hear only if she wants to reconnect. Hopefully nothing’s wrong, and she’s safe. I don’t think ghosting is ever nice, but a lot of people are struggling right now, and some people who wouldn’t normally ghost are ghosting. If she offers you an apology when she reaches out to you again—if she reaches out to you again—don’t hold the ghosting against her. If you never hear from her again, well, then she wasn’t who you hoped she was.

Thank you again to everyone who bought a ticket to the Savage Love Livestream! All proceeds—every single cent raised—went to Northwest Harvest. If anyone reading this is in a donating mood right now, you can donate to Northwest Harvest directly at northwestharvest.org/donate.

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

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My son has always liked handcuffs and tying people up as a form of play. He is 12 now, and the delight he finds in cuffing has not faded along with his love of Legos. He lobbied hard to be allowed to buy a hefty pair of handcuffs. We cautioned him strongly about consent—he has a younger brother—and he has been good about it. In the last year, though, I found out that he is cuffing himself while alone in the house—and when discovered, he becomes embarrassed and insists it’s a joke. I found him asleep one night with his wrists cuffed. I removed the cuffs and spoke to him the next morning about safety. Then recently, when returning home late, I saw him (through his window, from the back of the house) naked and cuffed with a leather belt around his waist, which seemed attached to the cuffs. This escalation was scarier. I haven’t spoken to him about it.

My concern about the bondage stuff is that there are some risks (like escaping a fire), particularly if he gets more adventurous (restricting breathing, etc.). This is something he is doing secretly and alone. He is a smart kid, an athlete, and a fairly conscientious scholar. He has friends but sometimes feels lonely. He is going through puberty with its attendant madness—defiance, surliness, etc.—but he is also very loving and kind. He is also quite boastful, which I interpret as insecurity. I can’t help feeling that this bondage stuff is related to these issues, and I worry about self-esteem and self-loathing. We are considering getting him some help.

Any advice for us?

Completely Understandable Fears For Son

When a concerned parent reaches out to an advice columnist with a question like yours, CUFFS, the columnist is supposed to call in the child psychologists. But I thought it might be more interesting—I actually thought it might be more helpful—if I shared your letter with a different class of experts: adult men who were tying themselves up when they were 12 years old.

“This boy sounds a lot like how I was at his age,” said James “Jimmy” Woelfel, a bondage porn star with a huge online following. “I want to reassure CUFFS that the discovery of things like this, even at a young age, is extremely common. We may not know why we like this stuff at the time; we just know we do.”

Jimmy is correct: Many adults who are into bondage, heavy or otherwise, became aware of their bondage kinks at a very early age.

“The vast majority of BDSM practitioners report that their sexual interests developed relatively early in life, specifically before the age of 25,” Dr. Justin Lehmiller wrote in a recent post on his invaluable Sex and Psychology blog. “Further, a minority of these folks (7-12 percent across studies) report that their interests actually developed around the time of puberty (ages 10-12), which is when other traditional aspects of sexual orientation develop (e.g., attraction based on sex/gender).”

While an obsession with handcuffs at age 6 isn’t proof a kid is going to grow up with an erotic interest in bondage—lots of kids like to play cops and robbers—a boy who’s cuffing himself in the throes of puberty and doing so in the nude and in secret … yeah, that boy is almost certainly going to be into bondage when he grows up. And that boy is also going to be embarrassed when his parents discover him in handcuffs for the exact same reason a boy is going to be embarrassed when his parents walk in on him masturbating—because he’s having a private sexual experience that he really doesn’t want to discuss with his parents.

As for your son’s insecurities and loneliness, CUFFS, they may not be related to his interest in bondage at all. They’re more likely a reaction to the shame he feels about his kinks than to the kinks themselves. (And aren’t most 12-year-olds, handcuff obsession or no, insecure?)

“People do bondage for various reasons,” said Trikoot, a self-described “bondage fanatic” and occasional kink educator from Helsinki, Finland. “It’s not always sexual, and it’s almost never a symptom of self-loathing—and a counselor will not ‘erase’ a taste for bondage. Too many kinksters had young lives full of shame and hiding, only to accept themselves years later and then discover what they’ve missed out on.”

In other words, CUFFS, parents and counselors can’t talk a child out of his kinks any more than they can talk a child out of his sexual orientation. This stuff is hardwired. And once someone accepts his kinks, whatever anxiety he feels about them eventually evaporates.

All that said, however awkward it was for you and mortifying for him when you found him asleep in his handcuffs, Jimmy thinks there may be an upside.

“I was extremely embarrassed when my mom caught me,” said Jimmy. “She didn’t know how to respond, and neither did I at the time. We merely went on as if it never happened. But it was somewhat comforting to know there wasn’t going to be a major backlash. It was better than living in fear.”

Now that you know what you know about your son, CUFFS, what do you do? Well, with the burden of knowing comes the responsibility—not just to educate and warn, but to offer your son a little hope for his future.

“Consent and safety are two of the most important universal issues in bondage, and CUFFS has wisely addressed both of them,” said Trikoot. And you should stress both in a follow-up conversation. “There are boundaries that should never be crossed, such as solo breath play, which regularly kills even experienced adults. But dabbling with wrist and ankle restraints while being within shouting distance of the rest of the family is not a serious safety issue.” (Sleeping in handcuffs, however, is a serious safety issue—they can twist, compress nerves and damage the delicate bones of the wrist. He should not be sleeping in them.)

Now for the tricky and super awkward and what will definitely feel somewhat age-inappropriate part: At some point—maybe in a year or two—you need to let your son know that he has a community out there.

“When done safely, bondage/kink can be an extremely rewarding experience as he grows into adulthood,” said Jimmy. “Some of the most important people in my life are those whom I’ve shared this love with. It is nothing to be ashamed of—though at his age, it is unfortunately inevitable. How you react can help mitigate such a reaction.”

Oh, and stop peeping in your son’s bedroom window at night. That’s creepy.

Follow Jimmy Woelfel on Twitter @for_heavy and on Instagram @heavybondageforlife. Follow Trikoot on Twitter @trikoot.


My 12-year-old son wants us to buy him a vibrator. He apparently had a good experience with a hot tub jet and is looking to replicate that “good” feeling. He has tried replicating it, but is feeling very frustrated. (I always wanted an open and honest relationship with my kids so, um, yay for us?) Additional information: My son is on an SSRI.

My husband feels uncomfortable buying my son a sex toy, but I find myself sympathizing with my son’s frustration. But I would be more comfortable if he were 15. We are hoping to figure it out without devices. Are we being reasonable or squeamish?

Entirely Mortified Mom

When this issue has come up in the past—usually it’s about a daughter who wants a vibrator—my readers have endorsed getting the kid an Amazon gift card and getting out of the way, i.e., letting them get online and buy themselves something and not scrutinizing the purchase once it arrives. You could go that route, EMM. Or you could make an end run around this whole issue by installing a pulsating shower head in your bathroom or getting your son an electric toothbrush. (Also, antidepressants—SSRIs—can make it more difficult for a person to climax, so you may not be able to “figure it out without devices.”)

On the Lovecast, are men and women equally kinky? Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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

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Let’s say my kink is edging, and I edge myself for a few days leading up to a date. Is it my responsibility to tell my potential partner?

There are a few variables here that are important to note. This is a first/Tinder date, and it’s just a coffee date, but she and I have talked about our expectations, and there will likely be a physical aspect in whatever potential relationship may ensue. I understand that it’s never cool to involve someone in your kink without their consent, but what are the rules here? On one hand, if I don’t divulge this information, I could see how my production of an unexpectedly large amount of ejaculate could be upsetting, depending on the circumstances/activity. But on the other hand, at least some amount of come is expected, right? If I randomly had massive loads every single time through no effort of my own, would I be responsible for letting a partner know? Perhaps it would be the polite thing to do. I guess I’d feel comfortable saying, “Hey, by the way, I produce very large loads,” if sex was imminent. But when you add the kink factor into the mix, I think something like that should be talked about before sex is “imminent.”

So what responsibility do I have to divulge this information? And if I do have a responsibility to divulge this, when would be the appropriate time to bring it up? I feel like it could be sexy to be so open about a taboo, given that we’ve already discussed the desire for a physical aspect to the relationship. But at what point between sex being “not off-limits” and “my parts are going to be interacting with your parts as soon as our clothes are off” is the right moment to disclose my kink?

What Ought One Do?

Let’s say … you blow that load. I can’t imagine your new friend will be shocked. Blowing loads, after all, is what men do* with their penises**, WOOD, and most people who are attracted to men are aware of this fact. And anyone who’s slept with two or more men is aware that some men blow bigger loads than others. Volume varies. Volumes vary between men, and the volume of an individual man’s loads can vary naturally or as the direct result of an intentional intervention, like edging.

Backing up for a second: Edging entails bringing yourself or being brought to the edge of coming over and over again. It’s about getting yourself or someone else as close as you can to the “point of orgasmic inevitability” without going over. Draw out the buildup to a single orgasm for hours or days—by edging yourself or being edged by someone else—and the resulting load will be larger than normal for the edged individual. But even so, an edged dude’s load can still be smaller than the load of a guy who just naturally produces more ejaculate.

In answer to your question, WOOD: No, I don’t think there’s a pressing need to disclose your kink to your date. If it gets sexual, she’s going to expect you to produce ejaculate at some point. And even if the load you wind up blowing is enormous, you’re not going to drown her or wash out her IUD.

Frankly, WOOD, your letter reads like you got baked out of your mind and sat up half the night trying to come up with an excuse to tell this woman about your not-that-kinky kink, and “I should tell her as a courtesy” was the best you could do.

If you want to tell her, go ahead and tell her. But since there’s no need to tell her that you sometimes like to stroke for a bit without climaxing, there’s a strong chance she’ll react negatively to your “courtesy” disclosure. Even if she’s made it clear there could be “a physical aspect in whatever potential relationship may ensue”—even if that’s not just dickful thinking on your part—she’s going to be scrutinizing you for signs that you aren’t someone she wants to get naked with. She’ll be looking for red flags at your first face-to-face meeting, and if you come across like a creep with piss-poor judgment—and a needless conversation about how much ejaculate you produce and why you produce so much ejaculate will definitely come across as creepy—then she may decide not to ensue with you.


I’m a queer man who usually tops with men. A bad first try at receiving anal at age 16 led me to not bottom for years. After seeing the looks of delight on my partners’ faces, I decided to give bottoming another go. I followed your advice—lots of lube and relaxation, a little weed—and tried lots of different positions and dick sizes. But no matter what, I never seem to get past the pain and into the pleasure zone. I enjoy being fingered and using a prostate massager, so I know my prostate is in there.

How many times should I try bottoming before I decide it’s not for me?

Twentysomething Into Glutes Had To Have Orgasms Lustily Elsewhere

There’s no set number of times a queer person has to try bottoming before deciding it’s not for them, TIGHTHOLE. A person—queer or straight—can make that call without ever having tried bottoming. An exclusive top who isn’t afraid of his own hole, i.e., a queer guy who enjoys being fingered and using a prostate massager, doesn’t have a hang-up; he’s just a guy who knows what works for his hole and what doesn’t. And that’s more than most people know.


A few days ago, someone broke into my house. Everything of value was taken—including my two dogs—but they left my clothes and stuff of that nature.

Last night, my boyfriend and I were getting ready to fuck, and I went to the drawer I keep all our sex toys in, and they were all gone. I’m not only upset because hundreds of dollars of toys were taken; I also feel violated. This person has not only violated me by coming into my home and taking things, but by taking something so personal and intimate. I survived rape and molestation by a family member who is in jail for his actions, so sadly, I know what it feels like to be violated. This has brought that violation back and makes me feel like that same vulnerable, helpless child I was so many years ago.

My boyfriend is being supportive, but I just feel so horrible and I do not know how to cope with this.

Thief Has Exhumed Family Trauma

I’m so sorry this was done to you, THEFT, and it’s perfectly understandable that this final violation—the theft of your sex toys on top of the theft of your other belongings and your dogs (!!!)—would dredge up painful memories of past sexual violations. I can’t offer you much beyond my acknowledgment of how awful this is and my sympathy. But if you’re having trouble coping, if you’re reeling from this, schedule a few sessions with a good therapist, someone who can help you process those feelings. I also think you should consider moving to a place that won’t be haunted by this violation, if possible, and your boyfriend should—when you’re ready—take you out and treat you to a few brand-new sex toys.

On the Lovecast, we got punked! Listen at savagelovecast.com.

* Not all men have penises; not all penises have men; not all men blow loads; not all loads are blown by men, etc.

** Not the only thing men do with their penises; some men don’t do that thing with their penises; some penis-havers don’t do that thing as men, etc.

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

Published in Savage Love