CVIndependent

Thu11152018

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Dan Savage

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.

On the Lovecast, drinking in moderation—is this even possible?: savagelovecast.com.

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

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.

On the Lovecast, strap it on with Tristan Taormino!: savagelovecast.com.

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

I’m a 40-year-old married straight woman. I gave birth to our first kid in 2015 and our second earlier this year. My perineum tore and was stitched both times. I have not been able to have sex with penetration since having our second child.

My OB/GYN said I’m “a little tighter now” due to the way the stitching was performed. My husband is very well-endowed, and I can’t imagine how on earth I’m ever going to get that thing back in me, let alone enjoy it. We have a history of pretty hot sex, and I really miss it.

I’ve been searching online for some sex toys to help me. I’ve never used sex toys before. I’ve always been able to have thrilling orgasms easily without any devices. I still can with manual stimulation, but I want to have sex with my husband. I’m confused, and I just don’t know what I need to help me open back up and get through the pain. Please help!

Thanks In Advance

“Unfortunately, this situation is very common—but luckily, there are options to help her get her groove back,” said Dr. Rachel Gelman, a pelvic floor physical therapist at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Also sadly common: OB/GYNs shrugging off concerns like yours, TIA.

“I see that all the time,” said Dr. Gelman. “Part of the problem is that the pelvic floor/muscles aren’t on most doctors’ radar. That’s due to many factors—cough, cough, insurance companies, cough, our dysfunctional health care system, cough—but to water it down, it’s the OB/GYN’s job to get someone through pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. And when that’s accomplished, the feeling is their job is done.”

But so long as you’re not able to have and enjoy PIV sex with your hung husband, TIA, there’s still work to do.

“TIA needs to see a pelvic floor physical therapist,” said Dr. Gelman. “A good PT would be able to assess and treat any pelvic floor dysfunction, which is often the primary cause or a contributing factor for anyone experiencing pain with sex, especially after childbirth.”

At this point, Dr. Gelman began to explain that pushing a living, breathing, screaming human being out of your body is an intense experience, and I explained to Dr. Gelman that I’ve had to push a few living, breathing, screaming human beings out of my body, thank you very much. Dr. Gelman clarified that she was talking about “the trauma of labor and delivery,” something with which I have no experience.

“Labor and delivery can have a significant impact on the pelvic floor muscles which can cause a myriad of symptoms,” said Dr. Gelman. Pain during PIV sex sits high on the list of those symptoms.

“The fact that TIA had tearing with the deliveries means she most likely has scar tissue, and a PT would again be able to treat the scar to help decrease any hypomobility and hypersensitivity,” said Dr. Gelman. “A pelvic floor specialist can also instruct her in a home program which may include stretches, relaxation techniques and dilators—dilators are graduated cylinders that are inserted vaginally to help stretch the vaginal opening and promote relaxation of the pelvic floor.”

A set of “graduated cylinders” is essentially “a bouquet of dildos,” TIA. You start with the smallest dilator/dildo, inserting it every day until you can insert it without any pain or discomfort, and then you “graduate” (nudge, nudge) to the next “cylinder” (wink, wink). You can order a set of dilators online, TIA, but Dr. Gelman wants you to find a doc that specializes in sexual medicine first.

“There are some good medical associations that she can check out for resources and to help locate a provider in her area,” said Dr. Gelman. “The websites of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) and the International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS) are where she should start.”

Follow Dr. Gelman on Instagram, @pelvichealthsf.


I’m a 30-year-old woman, and about a year ago, I started taking improv classes to help combat my social anxiety. I met a lot of awesome people in my class, but I took a particular shine to this one guy. He was a gentle soul, very sweet, and really funny. We quickly became friends. Eventually, I developed feelings for him and asked him out. He appreciated the offer but told me that he was gay. I was shocked and disappointed, but I wanted to keep our friendship, so I tried to get over my feelings.

But not only haven’t these feelings gone away; I’m actually falling in love with him. He recently confessed to me that he’s still semi-closeted and dealing with a bad breakup, so I really don’t want to add to his problems. This is such a mess. I found this wonderful guy who I care about, and yet nothing will ever happen because I was born the wrong gender. What can I do?!?

Introvert Makes Pass, Regrets Overture Very Seriously

Nothing.

You can’t make that gay guy fall in love with you, IMPROVS, any more than I could make Hasan Minhaj fall in love with me. Getting over him is your only option, and that’s gonna take some time and most likely some space, too. (I’d recommend seeing less of your crush after this class ends.)

But give yourself some credit for doing something proactive about your social anxiety, for taking a risk, and for asking your classmate out. You didn’t take that improv class to find love, right? You took it to combat your social anxiety—and it sounds like you won a few battles, IMPROVS, if not the war. The takeaway here isn’t, “It didn’t work with him, so why should I bother ever trying again with someone else?” It’s: “I did it—I made a connection, I asked someone out—and I’m going do it again, and hopefully, it’ll work out next time.”


I’m an early 30s hetero-flexible man in an open marriage with a bi woman, though both of us have been too chicken to actually go through on acting on the “open” part. Neither of us are hung up on jealousy, so that’s not a factor here.

I recently confessed to my wife that I have had a long-standing desire to sleep with a trans woman. Yes, I know that it’s immature to not have disclosed all my kink cards prior to marriage, but I have my reasons, and thankfully, my wonderful wife let me off the hook and was very supportive. I expressed to her that I have considered seeing a professional trans escort rather than trying for a “hook up” situation. Her reaction was highly negative, as she has the impression that anyone in the sex trade industry is—by definition—a victim.

Where do I go from here? I am uncomfortable with the idea of putting myself out there to meet a trans woman in my city (especially since I’m not looking for a relationship), but I don’t want to violate my wife’s trust and see an escort.

Don’t Know What To Do

Put yourself on a dating and/or hookup app; say that you’re partnered and only looking for something casual—and add that you welcome responses from trans women.

Some trans women are rightly annoyed by all the cis men out there who only wanna hook up, DKWTD, and never date or be seen in public with them. But trans folks are just like other folks—some are taken; some are looking; some are taken and looking. If you get grief from a trans woman who’s annoyed that you aren’t open to dating women like her, DKWTD, let her vent—her frustrations are perfectly legitimate—while you wait for a response from a trans woman looking to buy what you’re selling.

By the way: The trans escorts I know—women who freely chose their jobs—will be surprised to learn that they’re victims, at least according to your highly opinionated and woefully misinformed wife.

On the Lovecast, Is there a urologist in the house? Yes, yes there is: savagelovecast.com.

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

Hi, Dan: I am a homosexual young adult seeking advice about kitten play. I find it very intriguing, and I’m wondering where to start. It’s a turn-on when someone calls me kitten, but I’m not sure how to express my kink or desire for kink play to the person or persons I am into. Any advice would be appreciated.

Constructive Advice Thoughtfully Sought

Hi, CATS: I am a homosexual not-so-young adult without much advice to offer where kitten play is concerned. I’ve encountered plenty of gay puppies in the wild—at various leather/fetish events—but I’ve seen only one fetish kitty in my lifetime, and she was a queen. (A female cat is called a queen; a male cat is called a tom; and a group of cats is called a glare. #TheMoreYouKnow!)

But Amp Somers, who hosts the kink-friendly sex-ed show Watts the Safeword, assures me that gay kitties are definitely a thing.

“Kitten play is a subcategory of the ‘animal role-play’ or ‘pet play’ kink,” said Somers. “It is a form of domination and submission in which someone gets into the head space of an animal they are role-playing and takes on its characteristics—be it with gear (masks, tails, collars) or by acting out the mannerisms of their animal. Most importantly, and this goes for all proper pet players, there are no actual animals involved in this play.”

Puppy play is the most common form of pet play—by far—and it’s very popular among younger gay kinksters. (Please don’t confuse gay pups or kitties with gay bears or otters. The former is about role-play and fetish; the latter is about body type, affirmation and community.) But what accounts for the popularity of pet play among younger kinksters?

“This sort of play allows someone to get into kink easily with or without a partner, and in a playful manner,” said Somers. “Pet play allows players to get their feet wet in the BDSM world without having to visit a dark dungeon, get tied up or engage in anything a newer kinkster might find intimidating. It’s a great entry-level kink.”

As for expressing your kink, CATS, that’s something you’re going to have to work out on your own.

“I imagine CATS already has an image of what kitten play looks like to them, and I bet it differs from what I might imagine my own pet play would look like or even from what readers imagine a kitten player to look like,” said Somers. “Is CATS a domesticated lazy kitten who lies in the sun? A curious, well-trained, docile cat responsive to cuddles and treats? Or are they a rambunctious, bratty, independent stray?”

To find your way into the kink scene, Somers recommends getting online.

“That’s how I first found pet play,” he said. “Sites like kitten-play.com offer in-depth written pieces by players, links to resources, and forums where people like CATS can educate themselves. Other sites like FetLife or Facebook provide more private groups to ‘meet’ others, ask more in depth questions, find local get-togethers, and make friends to socialize with. Or if they prefer video content, YouTube has a number of creators (like ‘Scream Kiwi’) who talk about their kinks in a fun, educational and personal way. And once CATS feels comfortable in their own identity and has defined what they want out of this play, they will be able to really communicate to their partner(s) what they’re into and what they want out of kitten play.”

Check out Amp Somers’ show—Watts the Safeword—at youtube.com/WattsTheSafeword, and follow him on Twitter @Pup_Amp.


I’m a gay male, and one of my good friends has put me in a strange position. The friend has been married to his husband for 15 years, and they are allowed to “play.” I have no desire to be in an open relationship, and I don’t think my boyfriend does, either.

I occasionally go over to this friend’s house right after work to buy weed, and he’s always alone when I come by. He joked about answering the door naked and then did it. (He told me he was going to, but I honestly didn’t think he would do it.) I was extremely uncomfortable, and he knew it. The last time I went over, he was naked again—and this time, he jerked off to completion in front of me. He asked me to join in, and I told him I couldn’t, because I hadn’t discussed anything like this with my boyfriend.

I’m supposed to go over again tomorrow, and he asked me to come by early, because his husband would be getting home from work early that day. This leads me to believe that the husband would not be OK with this. I haven’t said anything to his husband or my boyfriend, because I don’t want this to become a huge mess, and I hoped my palpable discomfort would put an end to it.

Any thoughts on how I should handle this nicely to make it stop without hurting his feelings?

Undressed Naked Friend Really Is Engineering Needless Drama

Your “good friend” is an asshole, UNFRIEND. He’s violating a whole bunch of social norms—chiefly the don’t-jerk-off-to-completion-in-front-of-other-people-without-their-enthusiastic-consent norm (aka the Louis C.K. Career in Comedy Memorial Norm)—and relying on your adherence to other social norms (avoid being rude; defuse don’t confront; spare others’ feelings) to get away with violating you as well. This asshole is sexually harassing you, and you haven’t told him to stop in unambiguous language.

The only reason you’ve given him for not whipping it out yourself is that you haven’t “discussed anything like this with (your) boyfriend.” He has self-servingly interpreted your reason for not joining in like this: “He wants to, and maybe he will after he has a ‘discussion’ with his boyfriend.” I’m sorry, UNFRIEND, but you’re going to have to be blunt: “You have to knock this shit off. It’s disrespectful; it’s nonconsensual; and it’s pissing me off.” Don’t worry about hurting his feelings—he obviously doesn’t care about your feelings—and find a new weed dealer.


I have a follow-up question on your advice for JACKS, the gay manager who ran into an employee at a JO party. Alison “Ask a Manager” Green told him he couldn’t go to these parties anymore. A distinction was made between sexual-situation encounters between bosses and those they manage in “private clubs” (the JO club) or at “public events” (Folsom Street Fair). My question is about Grindr/Scruff/Growlr/etc. Are these more like “private clubs” or “public events”?

In part, my question stems from being a professor and having seen students and colleagues on these apps. I feel like I should not be reading the profiles of students in my department (who are mostly graduate students). I am also troubled by my colleagues appearing on these apps—from the perspective that this seems to be a sexually oriented space, and there is the power differential between faculty and students.

Basics Of Sexual Spaces

Dating apps are the new gay bars—more than 75 percent of same-sex couples met online—so telling gay bosses or college profs they can’t go on dating apps because their gay male students or underlings might be on them means condemning gay bosses and profs to celibacy. Bosses and profs shouldn’t flirt with their students and underlings, of course, and it might be a good idea to block ’em when you spot ’em—so you won’t be tempted by their profiles/torsos, and they won’t be tempted by yours—but gay bosses and profs are free to look for dick on dating apps.

On the Lovecast, where do kinks come from? Dr. Justin Lehmiller on the science of desire: savagelovecast.com.

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

I have a secret: For the past three months, I’ve been attending a local jacks club (a men-only masturbation event). As someone recovering from sexual abuse, I find the party to be safe, therapeutic and just sexy fun. I feel like I need this!

Unfortunately, I spotted one of my employees at last week’s event. Although I’m openly gay at my workplace, being naked, erect and sexual in the same room as my employee felt wrong. I freaked out, packed up and departed without him seeing me (I hope). I’m his manager at work, and I feel that being sexual around him could damage our professional relationship. It could even have dangerous HR consequences.

I realize he has every right to attend jacks, as much right as me, but I wish he weren’t there. I want to continue attending jacks, but what if he’s there again? Frankly, I’m terrified to discuss the topic with him. Help!

Just A Cock Kraving Safety

“I hate to say it, but now that JACKS knows his employee attends these events, he really has to stop going,” said Alison Green, the management consultant behind the popular Ask a Manager advice column (askamanager.org) and the author of Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work.

And why do you have to stop going to your beloved JO club?

“In an employment relationship where he’s in a position of power,” said Green, “JACKS has a responsibility to avoid any remotely sexual situation with an employee.”

Green also strongly advises against pulling your employee aside and working out some sort of shared-custody agreement—you get jacks to yourself every other week—because initiating a conversation with a subordinate about when and where he likes to jack off would be a bad idea. She also doesn’t think you can just keep going in the hopes that your employee won’t be back.

“If he continues to attend, and it got back to anyone at their workplace, it would be really damaging to his reputation—not the fact that he was at the event to begin with, but the fact that he continued to attend knowing an employee was also participating,” said Green. “It would call his professional judgment into question, and it’s highly likely that HR would freak out about the potential legal liability that arises when you have a manager and a subordinate in a sexual context together.”

It seems crazy unfair to me that you should have to stop going to parties you not only enjoy, JACKS, but that have aided in your recovery. And Green agrees—it isn’t fair—but with great power (management) comes great responsibility (avoiding places where your employees are known to jack off).

“It’s never going to feel fair to have to drop out of a private, out-of-work activity just because of your job,” said Green. “I’m hoping it’s possible for JACKS to find a different club in a neighboring town. Or he could start his own club and offer a safe haven for other managers hiding out from potential run-ins with employees—Jacks for Middle Managers or something!”

While I had Green’s attention, I asked her about other sorts of gay social events that might toss a manager and an employee into a sexual context—think of the thousands of men who attended the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco last month. Gay men (and others) walk around in various states of undress or dress up, and a lot of flirting, groping and more goes down. Should gay men in management have to skip events like Folsom, lest they run into men they supervise?

“Public events are different from private clubs,” said Green. “A private club is more intimate, and a public event is, well, public. And it’s not reasonable or practical to expect managers to entirely curtail their social lives or never attend a public event. But a private club that’s organized specifically and primarily for sexual activity is in a different category.”

However, gay managers who run into employees at events like Folsom or circuit parties shouldn’t ogle, hit on or photograph their employees.

“If someone who reports to you is in a sexual situation,” said Green, “you should keep moving and give them as much space as you reasonably can.”

I’m going to give myself the last word here: You’ve been attending that JO club for months and saw your employee there only once, JACKS, so I think you can risk going back at least one more time. I would hate to see you deprived of release (and see your recovery set back!) if your employee was there only that one time.

Follow Alison Green on Twitter @AskAManager.


My husband and I are visiting Italy right now. We decided to try out the local hospitality and have had two bad hookups. Both of us knew early on in the encounters that we weren’t enjoying it, but we didn’t know how to extricate ourselves.

What is the proper way to end a failed hookup with minimum insult/hurt to the third person?

Texans Seeking Amore

1. The unvarnished truth: “We’re sorry, but we aren’t really feeling it.”

2. The little white lie: “Oh, my goodness. I think the clams we ate earlier were off. I’m so sorry; we’re going to have to call it a night.”


My wife recently came out as bisexual after spending time with a woman who awakened her feelings. I suspected for a long time that my wife was probably bisexual, so I had no issues telling her to explore this side of her sexuality. My only caveat for opening our marriage was that I wasn’t comfortable with her entering into a relationship with another man. This pissed my wife off; she told me I was being irrational; we fought about it, blah blah blah.

Fast-forward a few weeks. My wife swiped right on a guy on Tinder and then checked in with me to see if the boundaries had shifted. I have a hotwife-type fetish, so I gave her the OK to swap sexy texts, and we agreed on a possible threesome. It didn’t pan out; my wife was bummed; we moved on.

She has started chatting up other guys on Tinder. Nothing has happened yet between them, but I feel like I’m being pulled ahead of where I’m comfortable in exploring an open marriage. I’m not opposed to simple hookups, but a separate relationship with a man? The intimacy and affection parts bug me.

How do you acclimate to this kind of adjustment? Or do I throw the brakes on and reverse?

Personally Feeling Fearful Today

So you gave your wife permission to explore her bisexuality—with other women—and she jumped on Tinder and started swiping right on men? Even though you’d told her that wasn’t something you were comfortable with? And it now appears that your wife doesn’t just want to have sexual experiences with women and men (but mostly with men), but relationships with other women and men (but mostly with men)? And she only checks in with you about your boundaries to see if they’ve crumbled yet?

This isn’t how someone opens up a marriage, PFFT, unless that someone isn’t interested in staying married. So you’re going to need to hit the brakes and get some clarity from your wife. You’re willing to open your marriage up to allow for outside sexual experiences, preferably ones you get to take part in (hot-wifing scenes, threesomes), but you’re not interested in polyamory—that is, you don’t want your wife to have a boyfriend. If a boyfriend is what she wants, and she’s unwilling to compromise and can’t negotiate with you in good faith, you don’t want to be her husband.

On the Lovecast, cartoonist Ellen Forney on dating with bipolar disorder: savagelovecast.com.

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I was involved with a straight man who enjoys cross-dressing and taking explicit photos. The problem is that the props he uses belong to his three children, all under age 12.

For example, he dressed up as a slutty schoolgirl and wore his daughter’s backpack. He dressed up as a slutty cowgirl and posed with his son’s stuffed horse. He even had the horse eating his “carrot.” I told him he should not use his children’s things as props. He believes that his children will never see the photos, so no harm will come of it. I’m horrified at the thought of these kids (perhaps as adults) stumbling over these pictures. He posts them on Instagram and Facebook, so they aren’t private, and he can’t control where they go. It’s one of the reasons I ended the relationship.

Is there anything I can say to him?

Canceled Definitely Promising Relationship Over Photo Sessions

You told him what he’s doing is wrong; you explained the enormous risk he’s running; and you dumped him, CDPROPS. You could take one last run at it and try to explain that his children finding these photos isn’t one of those “low-risk, high-consequence events,” i.e., something that’s unlikely to happen but would be utterly disastrous if it did. (Think of the super-volcano that is Yellowstone National Park erupting, or a deranged, racist billionaire somehow managing to win a U.S. presidential election.) Nope, if he’s posting these photos online, at least one of his children will stumble over them—or one of their friends will. (“Hey, isn’t this your dad? And your backpack?”)

Your ex needs to knock this shit off, and will most likely need the help of a mental-health pro in order to do so.


My parents were married for almost 40 years—and on paper, things seemed fine. They rarely fought and were an example of a strong, monogamous marriage until the day my mother died.

Recently, I found writings by my dad revealing he had several casual encounters with men over the course of their marriage. Do I tell him I know? We are close, but sex isn’t something we usually discuss.

What should I do with this information, if anything?

A Deeply Upsetting Lie That Scalds

When you say their relationship seemed fine “on paper,” ADULTS, what you mean is their relationship was decent and loving. Well, now you know it wasn’t perfect—but no relationship is. Your mother is dead (I’m sorry for your loss), and either she made peace with this fact about her husband long ago, or she never knew about it. Either way, no good will come from confronting your father about the handful of dicks he sucked decades ago.


I’m a 47-year-old virgin straight man. What advice can you give me on losing my virginity?

Wanting And Hoping

There are lots of 40-year-old-and-up women out there who are virgins—they write in, too—so putting “middle-aged virgin seeks same” in your personal ad wouldn’t be a bad idea. Find someone in your same situation, WAH, and treat her with kindness, gentleness and patience—the same as you would like to be treated.


I’m married and poly, with one partner in addition to my husband. My partner has a friend-with-benefits arrangement with a woman he’s been with since before we met. The FWB is not poly, but she’s always known my partner is. She has always insisted they’re not a couple, but he knows she would be hurt if she found out he was with someone else, so he has avoided telling her he’s now also with me.

I don’t like being someone’s secret. My husband knows I’m with someone else and is fine with it. If my partner’s FWB felt the same, I wouldn’t see a problem. But this feels oddly like I’m helping my partner cheat on his FWB, even though they’re “not a couple” (her words). So it’s not cheating … is it?

Pretty Obviously Lost, Yeah

It’s not cheating—it’s plausible deniability. Your partner’s FWB would rather not know he’s seeing anyone else, so she doesn’t ask him about his other partners, and he doesn’t tell. Accommodating his FWB’s desire not to know about other partners—doing the DADT open thing—does mean keeping you a secret, POLY, at least from her. If you’re not comfortable with that, you’ll have to end things with your partner.


I’m scared of two things. 1. I’m scared that if I break up with my girlfriend of four years, I will be throwing away the best thing I will ever have, because I’m scared that I don’t love her in the way she deserves (in the way people say you will “just know” about), or because we have normal relationship problems and both have our own mental-health issues. 2. I’m also scared that if I don’t break up with her, I am keeping her in a relationship that is not good because of my fear of never finding someone as good as her, and we would both actually be happier with someone else.

Scared Of Being Alone

1. Nobody “just knows,” SOBA, and everyone has doubts—that’s why commitments are made (consciously entered into) and not some sort of romantic or sexual autopilot that kicks in when we meet the “perfect” person. We commit, and recommit, and forgive, and muddle through—but when we’re asked about our relationships, we tend to lean on clichés like, “It was love at first sight,” “I just knew,” “The One”—clichés that often fill others with doubt about the quality of their own relationships.

2. Get on iTunes, and download the original Broadway cast recordings of Company, Follies and A Little Night Music. Pay particular attention to “Sorry-Grateful,” “The Road You Didn’t Take” and “Send in the Clowns.”


If I write you a letter asking for advice and don’t want it published, even anonymously, will you answer?

Keeping It Confidential, ’Kay?

While I can’t respond to every letter I receive, KICK, I do sometimes respond privately. Just one request: If you send a letter that you don’t want published, please mention that at the start. I will frequently read an extremely long letter—so long that I start making notes or contacting experts before I finish reading it—only to discover “please don’t publish this” at the bottom. If a letter isn’t for publication, please mention that at the beginning. I promise that doing so increases your chances of getting a private response.

On the Lovecast, adult babies explained, finally: savagelovecast.com.

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Is it even possible for a couple that stopped having sex to start back up again?

My girlfriend and I (we’re both women) have been together for four years, and we haven’t had sex for two. I thought the sex was good before it stopped, but apparently she was going through the motions. She’s a sex worker, and it took her a while to figure out she was not being present, and she wanted to stop having sex with me until she could figure out how to change that. I get that and respect it. We have an open relationship, so I started having more sex with other people. And while it’s fun, I do find myself wishing I could have sex with someone I actually care about—and I only care about her.

She says she wants to start having sex with me again, but we don’t really know how to do that. Everything is kind of terrifying and awkward. She said it’s hard to go from sex with zero intimacy into sex with the intimacy turned up to 11. We’re very romantic with each other, and there are other forms of physical affection like kisses and snuggling, but no making out or humping. I love her more than I knew I could love a person, and if we never do figure out how to have sex together, I’ll still stay with her. But for two people who are both highly sexual and want to have sex with each other, we sure are perplexed at how to make this work.

Sex Or Romance Dilemma

“Let’s cut to the chase: Yes, it is possible for a couple that has stopped having sex to start having it again,” said Dr. Lori Brotto, a clinical psychologist and a sex researcher at the University of British Columbia.

You ended on a note of despair, SORD, but Brotto sees two good reasons for hope: You and your girlfriend are completely open and honest with each other, and you’re committed to staying together whether or not the sex resumes. Your communication skills and that rock-solid commitment—neither of you are going anywhere—are the bedrock on which you can rebuild your sex life.

“There are two aspects of SORD’s question that jump out at me: One, the reference to wanting to be present for sex, and two, the description of the situation as terrifying and awkward,” said Brotto. “SORD’s girlfriend likely perfected the practice of ‘going elsewhere’ during sex while at work, which meant that it became almost automatic for her to do this while having sex in her relationship. This is classic mindlessness, and it is why mindfulness—the state of full awareness to the present moment in a kind and compassionate way—may be a tool for her to consider implementing.”

Mindfulness is the subject of Brotto’s new book, Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire.

“Mindfulness has a long history in Buddhist meditation, and it allowed monks to sit with their present experience, including pain and suffering, for hours or days—or sometimes weeks and months,” said Dr. Brotto. “In more recent years, mindfulness has been reconceptualized as a tool that anyone can use and benefit from. It doesn’t rely on having a Buddhist orientation or a cave to retreat to.”

So how does this ancient mindfulness stuff work where modern girl-on-girl sex is concerned?

“The practice is simple,” said Brotto. “It involves deliberately paying attention to sensations, sounds and thoughts in the present moment—and noticing when the mind gets pulled elsewhere and then gently but firmly guiding it back. Mindfulness is also about not berating yourself for finding it challenging or judging yourself for the thoughts you have.”

In her practice, Dr. Brotto has seen research subjects successfully use mindfulness to cultivate and/or reignite sexual desire, calm anxiety, and relieve the awkwardness and fear that some people experience with sex.

“Suffice it to say,” she said, “there is an impressive body of research that supports the practice of mindful sex, and people who otherwise may believe that their minds are incapable of staying still can effectively learn to fully engage their attention to sex and the person(s) with whom they are having sex. It doesn’t matter if you are skeptical about whether mindfulness works or not—if you are willing to learn the skills and apply it to sex, you’re likely to benefit.”

If you’re nervous or scared that it won’t work or that you’ll never reconnect sexually with your girlfriend, SORD, Brotto wants you to know that those feelings are perfectly normal.

“The uncertainty surrounding what will happen when they try to reintegrate sex can be terrifying for some couples,” said Brotto. “What if it doesn’t work? What if neither of them has desire? What if the sex is just plain bad? If SORD and her partner are worrying about the anticipated sex, or even catastrophizing over it—a jargony term meaning they imagine it ending in disaster—that can make it damn near impossible to remain in the present. The good news is that mindfulness can help with the tendency to get lost on the thought train.”

So here’s what you’re going to do, SORD: Order a copy of Dr. Brotto’s new book, and read it with your girlfriend. And while you wait for the book to arrive, you’re going to try a mindful touching exercise called “sensate focus.”

“She will invite her girlfriend to touch her from head to toe, minus the genitals, for 15 minutes—without the goal of triggering arousal or desire,” said Brotto. “SORD’s role is to pay attention to the sensations emerging, and curtail any thoughts by redirecting attention to the here and now. And relax. After 15 minutes, they switch roles so SORD becomes the giver, and her girlfriend is the receiver. This is not foreplay. It is not manual sexual stimulation. It is a mindfulness exercise designed to teach a person to remain in the present while receiving sensual touch.”

There are solo mindfulness exercises, SORD, and some good, commercially available apps out there that can walk you through them. But if your goal is reconnecting with your girlfriend, Brotto strongly recommends that you two work on mindfulness together.

“My view is that a couple-based mindfulness exercise like sensate focus will get them to their goal of mind-blowing, mind-knowing sex,” said Brotto.

Follow Dr. Brotto on Twitter @DrLoriBrotto.


CONFIDENTIAL TO AMERICAN CITIZENS EVERYWHERE

Furious about Brett Kavanaugh? Me, too. That’s why I donated to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Our only hope of protecting a woman’s right to choose, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, the environment and organized labor—our only hope for blocking Trump’s anti-everyone-and-everything agenda—is to take back the U.S. House and Senate this November. If the Democrats control the House come January (which looks likely), they can impeach Kavanaugh; if they control the Senate come January (a longer shot but within reach), they can put Kavanaugh on trial—and that means a full investigation into all the allegations against him, including the numerous ways in which he perjured himself during his confirmation hearings. It would take a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict and remove Kavanaugh, and Dems likely won’t take that many seats—but if a trial uncovers proof that Kavanaugh committed the crimes he’s been accused of and lied to Congress, perhaps enough Republicans can be shamed into voting to remove him. (Republicans feeling shame? That may be the longest of long shots.) Go to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee website (dscc.org); click “contribute”; and give what you can.

CONFIDENTIAL TO CANADIAN STUDENTS IN ONTARIO

Thank you for walking out of your classrooms to protest the scrapping of Ontario’s sex-ed curriculum by Doug Ford, your newish (and thuggish) premier. Every student deserves an up-to-date sexual education that covers reproduction, pleasure, consent, tech, sexting, sexual abuse and LGBTQ issues. Watching students stand up against Ford’s reactionary, bigoted, sex-negative assholery has been truly inspiring. Keep it up!

On the Lovecast, are sugar babies sex workers?: savagelovecast.com.

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

I’m a 62-year-old woman. I was married for 33 years and left five years ago. We hadn’t gotten along for years, but he never stopped wanting or valuing me for sex—in spite of treating me like a household appliance and cheating on me regularly. Not long after the marriage ended, I met a guy online (my same age) who ticked nearly every box on my partner checklist—one of which was an ongoing interest in maintaining sexual relations. In the beginning, things were hot and crazy—but they cooled after a few months (going from once or twice a day to maybe once a month). Other than that, the relationship continued to grow, and we enjoyed being together.

I tried to carefully broach the subject, but he was not forthcoming. I’m not proud of it, but I checked his internet history. Big surprise: LOTS OF PORN. No animals or children, but pretty much everything else, with an accent on trans. Eventually, I admitted my sleuthing and asked if his viewing habits were an indicator of his interests or the reason he had turned away from me. After the anger subsided, he explained that he had been single most of his life and had more or less gotten used to taking care of business solo. Also, he said that the women he had been with who floated his boat sexually had been bad (crazy/unstable) in the partner department, and the good partners (me) had been less than satisfying for him in bed.

The bottom line is that we are compatible in most every other area and have built a comfortable life together. We have intercourse every four to six weeks, and maybe once in between, he will pleasure me. I enjoy both, and also take care of myself once a week. The struggle for me is more ego-driven. I’m no raving beauty, but I am reasonably fit and attractive for my age, and (used to) enjoy feeling desired and valued sexually. Can I get to the place of letting go of that and enjoying the rare occasions of physical congress?

Sex Advice Please

“Good for her for getting out of a marriage where she was treated like a ‘household appliance’ and getting back in the dating game,” said Joan Price, author of the books Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex and The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50. “But her new relationship, while it sounds comfortable and affectionate, doesn’t sound sexually fulfilling.”

This relationship doesn’t just sound unfulfilling sexually, SAP; it sounds infuriating generally. You entered into this relationship under false pretenses. You let your partner know that “an ongoing interest in maintaining sexual relations” was a priority for you, and he allowed you to believe it was a priority for him. In fairness to him, SAP, he may not have known himself to be incapable of sustaining a strong sexual connection, seeing as he’s been single for most of his life. But even if he wasn’t aware he couldn’t meet your needs then, that doesn’t change the fact that you aren’t valued/fucked the way you want to be valued/fucked now.

“I think her best option is to stay friends with this guy but start dating and having sex with others,” said Price. “She could continue to have occasional sex with this man if they both agree to a nonexclusive, friends-with-benefits arrangement. Or they could become platonic pals, if that’s better for them. But it’s imperative that she talk candidly with him.”

You write that you tried to “carefully broach the subject, but he was not forthcoming,” but Price wonders whether you were forthcoming yourself. “‘Carefully broach’ usually means ‘I was vague,’” said Price. “Suppose, instead, she said, ‘I really value you, but I don’t think we’re well-matched sexually. How can we adjust our relationship so we’re not putting sexual pressure on each other, and we’re both free to find other sexual outlets?’”

Your partner has an outlet that works for him and pretty much meets all his needs—porn and his own hand—but you don’t have an outlet that provides you with the feeling of being desired and valued sexually. Watching porn and/or “taking care of yourself” isn’t going to meet your needs. So the question is this: Do you have to exit this loving relationship to get your needs met, or can you stay with your current partner, a man who meets your emotional and social needs, while getting your sexual needs met elsewhere?

“SAP deserves a partner who matches her sexually,” said Price. And I agree.

If you’re telling yourself that you’ll have to settle for someone who claims he can’t perform for you because you’re not unstable enough to turn him on—you do realize that compliment he paid you (you’re so good!) was actually a dishonest bit of blame-shifting/responsibility-dodging, right?—then you’re selling yourself short.

“I know from personal experience and from the swelling of my inbox that many of us find hot, fabulous sexual partners in our 60s, 70s and beyond,” said Price. “It’s never too late. She shouldn’t settle for sex that’s less than satisfying, and neither should he. If that means she looks for new partners and he returns to his solo pleasure with the porn he prefers and the hand that knows him best, they might both be happier.”

Follow Joan Price on Twitter @JoanPrice. She blogs about sex and aging at NakedAtOurAge.com.


I’m a transgender woman married to a cis woman. Is cuckolding strictly a male-being-humiliated-by-his-woman-partner thing? Or does it apply to all couples?

Cuckolding Holds Erotic Allure That Satisfies

A man can cuckold a woman, CHEATS, and a man can cuckold a man, and a woman can cuckold a woman, and an enby can cuckold an enby. But women who are into being subs in a cuckold relationship—women who get off on being cheated on and erotically humiliated by their partners—are called cuckqueans, not cuckolds.


When I was younger and more stupid, I let my husband have intercourse with me or have me blow him or jack him off while I was on the phone with my sister. It was not something that I wanted to do, but I wasn’t strong enough then to resist his pressure.

For the last five years, I’ve asked him to respect me and not do this. He was good about it for a while, and I thought that we were on the same page. Now he has resumed pressuring me to do this. When I am on the phone with my sister, he will come in and harass me, grope me and attempt to remove my clothes. So I get off the phone. This makes him mad. If I say no, he emotionally withdraws, stops conversation about it, and tells me, “No sex, no marriage.” We do have a sex life that does include some of his kinks.

What is your opinion about using unwitting people on the other end of the phone for sexual satisfaction?

Persistent Husband’s Obnoxious Needs Enrage Spouse

The imperfect, doesn’t-always-apply adage, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you,” applies where your unwitting sister is concerned. So long as she doesn’t know you’re multitasking during your phone conversation, PHONES, no harm is done to your sister. But you know it’s happening, and you don’t like it, and your husband knows you don’t like it, but insists on doing it anyway. And when you shut him down—which is your absolute right—he gets angry, engages in emotional blackmail, and threatens to leave you (“No sex, no marriage”). But you are having sex with your husband—sex that includes some of his other kinks—so what he’s really saying is, “All the sex I want, however I want it, whenever I want it, regardless of how you feel about it, or I’ll divorce you.”

My advice: Divorce him yourself.

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with Lizz Winstead of The Daily Show: savagelovecast.com.

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I am newly divorced and have started a relationship with a man I’ve known and deeply cared about for decades. The sex is amazing—from start to finish, I feel better than I ever did, even in the best moments with my ex. And in the most intense moments? He makes me see stars. He is a very generous lover—he turns me on like crazy, and I regularly come while sexting with him. But I have yet to have an orgasm with him.

In the past, I have had an orgasm with a partner only from oral—or very occasionally from digital clit stim. My ex-husband was not skilled at oral, so I always had to fantasize pretty hard to get there (and regularly chose not to bother). My new partner has amazing moves and amazing oral skills, and he is willing to keep at it for as long as it takes—but regardless of how amazing I feel when he’s going down on me, every single time, I eventually hit a wall where I am just done. I haven’t had a single session with him where I’m left feeling unfulfilled, despite the lack of orgasm. In contrast, any sex with my ex that didn’t end in an orgasm left me feeling frustrated or, worse yet, bored. (There were also times when I’d ask my ex to leave the room so I could masturbate after sex.)

Do you have any ideas as to why I can’t get over that hump? I wonder if I just need him to be more boring and repetitive so that I can focus. But if that’s the case, is it even worth it? Why would I want to make the sex worse to make it “better”? Or should I just be satisfied with the mind-blowing sex I am having, even if it means I don’t have an orgasm? Is it OK to give myself permission to give up on partner-based climaxing?

No Orgasm Possibly Ever

Beware of those self-fulfilling prophecies! If you sit there—or lie there—telling yourself that being with Mr. AmazingMoves means giving up on “partner-based climaxing,” NOPE, you’re increasing the odds that you’ll never have an orgasm with this guy or any other guy ever again.

Here’s what I think the problem is: You had tons of shitty sex with your ex, but you could climax so long as you focused, i.e., so long as you were able to “fantasize pretty hard.” Your ex provided you with some half-assed oral and/or uninspiring digital clit stim that didn’t interfere with your ability to focus/fantasize. In other words, NOPE, with your ex, you were able to—you had no other choice but to—retreat into your own head and rely on your own erotic imagination to get you there. You may have been physically present during sex, but you were not emotionally or erotically present.

Because Mr. AmazingMoves’ moves are so amazing—because he turns you on like crazy, because whatever he’s doing feels great, because sometimes you see stars—you aren’t able to retreat into your own head. For years, you had to figuratively leave the room so you could focus/concentrate on whatever it was you needed to focus/concentrate on in order to come; sometimes you even asked your ex to literally leave the room. You created a powerful association between going to a private, safe, sexy place—pulling away from your partner emotionally, erotically and sometimes even physically—and climaxing.

You aren’t able to pull away from your current partner in the same way. Nor do you want to. And, hey, wanna know why you come when you sext with him? Because sexting is assisted fantasizing. You’re alone when you’re swapping those dirty messages with Mr. AmazingMoves, NOPE, kind of like you were alone when you were having sex with your ex.

It’s going to take some time to carve a new groove, i.e., you’re going to need to create a new association—one that allows you to be fully present (emotionally, erotically, physically) during partner-based sex and able to climax during it. The trick is not to rush it and, again, not to box yourself into negative self-fulfilling prophecies like the one you ended your letter with. So instead of telling yourself you’re never going to come again during partnered sex, tell yourself that your orgasms will come again. It may take some time, sure, but trust that your body and your brain are already hard at work carving that new groove.

One practical suggestion: The next time you have sex with Mr. AmazingMoves—the next 10 times you have sex with him—tell him in advance that you’re going to ask him to stop eating you out long before you hit that wall. Then stimulate yourself, either digitally or with a vibrator, while he holds you. If you need to lean back and close your eyes, lean back and close your eyes—but do not retreat into your own head. Maintain physical contact and ask him to say dirty/sexy things to you while you get yourself the rest of the way there, so you’re always aware of his presence. A couple of dozen self-administered orgasms with both of you in the room—in the room emotionally, erotically and physically—will speed that new-groove-carving process along.


I’m a straight man, and I recently got out of a relationship with a woman who would monitor my internet use to make sure I wasn’t “masturbating to the wrong things.” (My kinks are nothing too outrageous: feet and mild FemDom.) I’ve been dating a new woman for three months, and it’s time to lay my kink cards on the table. But I’m really afraid to open up, thanks to my kink-shaming ex.

My new girlfriend and I read your column together—so if you publish my letter, I’ll be able to gauge her likely response if I decide to disclose.

Help A Guy Out?

My pleasure, HAGO, but be careful: Sometimes people react negatively to any mention of a kink, not because they’re necessarily turned off or grossed out, but because they assume their partner is. So don’t panic if your new girlfriend’s first reaction is negative (“Ew, gross! Feet and FemDom!”), because it may not represent her true feelings and/or openness to your kinks. To learn how she really feels, you’re probably going to have to make the disclosure you’re trying to sidestep.


I’m a 24-year-old woman, and three weeks ago, I got out of a long-term relationship with a guy in his mid-30s. Over the last few months of the relationship, I started falling for someone else and began dating the new guy pretty much immediately after the breakup.

When should I tell my old boyfriend? We agreed to stay friends, and we still talk and see each other at least once a week. I want him to hear it from me, but I’m not sure how much time is appropriate/respectful.

Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole

Meeting up too soon after a breakup has a way of keeping emotional wounds open and fresh, DWBAA, particularly for the person who was dumped. (I’m assuming you did the dumping here.) And once-a-week meetings definitely qualify as too much, too soon. That said, if you think your ex-boyfriend is likely to hear about your new boyfriend from mutual friends, telling him yourself (and soon) is obviously the right (and difficult) thing to do. But if your ex is going to find out about your new boyfriend from, say, your Instagram account, encouraging him to unfollow you and letting some time pass—enough so you can fudge the start date of your new relationship—would be the right (and ego-sparing) thing to do.

On the Lovecast: Dan can’t do it alone this week! Hola, Papi! savagelovecast.com.

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

I am a gay man in my late 50s and have never been in a relationship. I am so lonely, and the painful emptiness I feel is becoming absolutely unbearable.

In my early 20s, I hooked up off and on, but it never developed into anything. I have always told myself that’s OK; I’m not a people person or a relationship kind of guy. I have a few lesbian friends but no male friends. I have social anxiety and can’t go to bars or clubs.

When hookup apps were introduced, I used them infrequently. Now I go totally unnoticed or am quickly ghosted once I reveal my age. Most nonwork days, my only interactions are with people in the service industry.

I am well-groomed, employed, a homeowner and always nice to people. I go to a therapist and take antidepressants. However, this painful loneliness, depression, aging and feeling unnoticed seem to be getting the best of me. I cry often and would really like it all to end. Any advice?

Lonely Aging Gay

“In the very short term, LAG needs to tell his therapist about the suicidal ideation,” said Michael Hobbes. “In the longer term, well, that’s going to take a bit more to unpack.”

Hobbes is a reporter for HuffPost and recently wrote a mini-book-length piece titled “Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness.” During his research, Hobbes found that, despite growing legal and social acceptance, a worrying percentage of gay men still struggle with depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.

Loneliness, Hobbes explained to me, is an evolutionary adaptation, a mechanism that prompts us humans—members of a highly social species—to seek contact and connection with others: the kind of connections that improve our odds of survival.

“But there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely,” said Hobbes. “Being alone is an objective, measurable phenomenon: You don’t have very many social contacts. Being lonely, on the other hand, is subjective: You feel alone, even when you’re with other people. This is why advice like, ‘Join a club!’ or, ‘Chat with your waitress!’ doesn’t help lonely people.”

The most effective way to address loneliness, according to Hobbes’ research, is to confront it directly.

“LAG may just need to get more out of the relationships he already has,” said Hobbes. “He has a job, friends, a therapist, a life. This doesn’t mean that his perceptions are unfounded—our society is terrible to its elders in general and its LGBTQ elders in particular—but there may be opportunities in his life for intimacy that he’s not tapping into. Acquaintances LAG hasn’t checked in on for a while. Random cool cousins LAG never got to know. Volunteering gigs you fell out of. It’s easier to reanimate old friendships than to start from scratch.”

Another recommendation: Seek out other lonely guys—and there are lots of them out there.

“LAG isn’t the only gay guy who has aged out of the bar scene—so have I—and struggles to find sex and companionship away from alcohol and right swipes,” said Hobbes. “His therapist should know of some good support groups.”

And if your therapist doesn’t know of any good support groups—or if you don’t feel comfortable telling your therapist how miserable you are, or if you’ve told your therapist everything and they haven’t been able to help—find a new therapist.


I’m a 40-something gay male. I’m single and cannot get a date or even a hookup. I’m short, overweight, average-looking and bald. I see others, gay and straight, having long-term relationships, getting engaged, getting married, and it makes me sad and jealous. Some of them are jerks—and if them, why not me?

Here’s the part that’s hard to admit: I know something is wrong with me, but I don’t know what it is or how to fix it. I’m alone and I’m lonely. I know your advice can be brutal, Dan, but what do I have to lose?

Alone And Fading

“AAF said to be brutal, so I’m going to start there: You might not ever meet anyone,” said Hobbes. “At every age, in every study, gay men are less likely to be partnered, cohabiting or married than our straight and lesbian counterparts. Maybe we’re damaged; maybe we’re all saving ourselves for a Hemsworth, but spending our adult lives and twilight years without a romantic partner is a real possibility. It just is.”

And it’s not just gay men. In Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, sociologist Eric Klinenberg unpacked this remarkable statistic: More than 50 percent of adult Americans are single and live alone, up from 22 percent in 1950. Some are unhappy about living alone, but it seemed that most—at least according to Klinenberg’s research—are content.

“Maybe there is something wrong with AAF, but maybe he’s just on the unlucky side of the statistics,” said Hobbes. “Finding a soul mate is largely out of our control. Whether you allow your lack of a soul mate to make you bitter, desperate or contemptuous is not. So be happy for the young jerks coupling up and settling down. Learn to take rejection gracefully—the way you want it from the dudes you’re turning down—and when you go on a date, start with the specificity of the person sitting across from you, not what you need from him. He could be your Disney prince, sure. But he could also be your museum buddy or your podcast cohost or your afternoon 69er or something you haven’t even thought of yet.”


I am a 55-year-old gay male. I am hugely overweight and have not had much experience with men. I go on a variety of websites trying to make contact with people. However, if anyone says anything remotely complimentary about me, I panic and run. A compliment about my physical appearance? I shut down the profile.

I don’t like being like this. I just believe in being honest. And if I’m honest, I’m ugly. The face, even behind a big-ass beard, is just not acceptable. I have tried therapy, and it does nothing. How do I get past being ugly and go out and get laid?

Unappealing Giant Loser Yearns

You say you’re ugly, UGLY, but there are some people who disagree with you—the people who compliment you on your appearance, for instance.

“I’m not sure I even believe in the word ‘ugly’ anymore,” said Hobbes. “No matter what you look like, some percentage of the population will be attracted to you. Maybe it’s 95 percent, or maybe it’s 5 percent, but they are out there. When you find them, do two things: First, believe them. Second, shut up about it.”

In other words: Just because you wouldn’t want to sleep with you, UGLY, that doesn’t mean no one wants to sleep with you.

“I remember reading an interview with Stephen Fry, where he said that when he first started out as an actor, people would come up to him and say, ‘You were so great in that play!’ and his first response would be, ‘No, I was terrible,’” said Hobbes. “He thought he was being modest, but what he was really doing, he realized later, was being argumentative. Eventually, he started to just say, ‘Thank you.’”

Hobbes thinks you should try to be like Fry, a big dude with a cute husband: “The next time someone tells him they’re into big dudes with beards, don’t argue; don’t panic; and don’t hesitate. Just say, ‘Thank you,’ and let the conversation move on.”

Follow Michael Hobbes on Twitter @RottenInDenmark and listen to his podcast You’re Wrong About ... on iTunes.

On the Lovecast: Wait—why can’t gay men donate blood? 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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