CVIndependent

Wed08052020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

My wife asked me to write to you about our situation. We’ve been married for 15 years. I am 50 years old, and my wife is a decade younger. We are a heterosexual couple with kids. I am a submissive male, and I like to play with my ass using different-sized dildos. I enormously enjoy being penetrated with sex toys.

A few years ago, I introduced the idea of an FLR—female-led relationship—to my wife, and she accepted it. We are a happy couple! My wife is more on the traditional side of sex, and I respect that. We have PIV sex twice a week, and I try to give her pleasure as much as I can. Looks like everything is OK, right? But recently she complained that I have stopped ejaculating when we have sex. And it’s true: When we engage in vaginal penetration, I no longer ejaculate. I like it this way, because I don’t lose my sex drive, and I can continue. But she doesn’t like it. For her, my ejaculate is the “cherry on top” of the sex, and my coming during sex is important for her pleasure and satisfaction. My wife thinks that I stopped ejaculating because I developed the habit of pleasuring myself with dildos and butt plugs in the shower. My wife thinks the toys are distracting me. Do you think it’s true? If that’s the case, what should we do? I love my wife, but I also love my butt plugs and dildos.

Spouse Unpleased By Husband’s Un Blasts

You should come in your wife.

If your wife is in charge—you proposed a “female-led relationship,” and she accepted—then she gets to give the orders, and you’re supposed to do what she says. (Within reason, of course.) So when she says, “Come in me,” you should say, “How high up your vaginal canal would you like me to come?” Even if you weren’t in a female-led relationship, SUBHUB, refusing to come in your wife when you know it is important to her pleasure is a weirdly literal kind of withholding behavior—and considering how GGG your wife has been, SUBHUB, refusing to come in her so you can “continue,” presumably without her, isn’t something a loving submissive would do. It’s something a selfish asshole does.

Your wife doubtless suspects the same thing I do: You aren’t coming in her because you’d rather blow your load in the shower. She sees you when you slip out of bed to go cram sex toys in your ass and blow your load down the drain instead of finishing in her. And if that’s what you’re doing—and I’m pretty sure that’s what you’re doing—then you’re treating PIV sex with your wife as foreplay, and the time you spend alone with your ass toys as the main event. If I were your wife, SUBHUB, I would find that annoying, too. And however much you love your plugs and dildos, I would hope you love your wife more. At any rate, you aren’t submissive to your plugs and dildos—you’re submissive to your wife, who isn’t made of silicone and who has needs and feelings that have to be taken into account.

At the very least, SUBHUB, your wife’s pleasure should be your first priority during PIV sex—and it’s not like you can’t combine PIV with a little butt play. You can always shove one of your beloved plugs in your ass before you have PIV sex with the wife. And if you didn’t refrain from ejaculating every single time you had PIV, SUBHUB, if it was something you were allowed to once in a while with your wife’s permission, she might be willing to accommodate your desire every 10th time you have PIV.


I am a 53-year-old guy. Since I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety all my life, I’ve never been in a situation where sex was a possibility. I’m really dying to know what it’s like. I’ve gotten much better over the years, and the women who know me think the world of me. But they aren’t in a position to help me out. Other women seem to want someone much more outgoing and confident than I am or ever will be. Confidence comes from experience, and I don’t have any. My one girlfriend could not hide the fact that my inexperience offended her. Other people on blogs and such have recommended a prostitute. But that’s not really what I’m looking for. It’s about more than sex. I want someone to care for me as I am. Is there hope for me? Or has the world just left me behind?

Very Inexperienced Relationship Guy In Need

I know it’s not what you want to hear, VIRGIN, but I agree with other blogs and such: I think you should find a sex worker. Find a nice, patient woman who does sex work, and be completely upfront about why you’re seeing her: You’re so painfully self-conscious about your sexual inexperience that you find it hard to date. It may take some searching, VIRGIN, but there are sex workers who want to help their clients grow and heal.

“Many people have the stereotypical misconception that all sex workers are disconnected, uncaring and only there for the money,” said Ruby Ryder, a sex worker and sex educator. “While money is indeed a part of it, many of us understand that human beings need touch, connection and acceptance. We provide an opportunity for clients to be vulnerable, whether it’s fulfilling their kinky fantasies or simply having sex.” And while the relationship you have with a sex worker you might see regularly for a year or two is certainly transactional, VIRGIN, it’s still a relationship and about more than sex.

I’m not suggesting you see sex workers exclusively for the rest of your life (even if I’m not not suggesting that either), VIRGIN; I’m only suggesting you see a sex worker to find out what sex is like, gain a little self-confidence, and maybe feel a little more hopeful for your future.

Ruby Ryder is on Twitter @Ruby_Ryder and online at www.peggingparadise.com.


I’m a longtime reader who’s never had a question that your archives couldn’t answer. But there is something I wanted to share with you and your readers! My wife and I have incorporated virtual reality (VR) goggles into our sex life with great success, Dan, and they could be the answer to a range of questions that you get at the column. They’re so useful, in fact, that your failure to mention them is starting to look like a glaring omission!

Let’s say someone writes in who wants to open their relationship or explore a cuckold fantasy (like one of last week’s letter-writers!), but they’re worried about the emotions involved, potential STIs or COVID-19. VR goggles! While the offerings for female POV VR porn is pretty paltry, I’ve never seen my wife come harder than she did with me inside her and a pair of goggles on her face giving her the perspective of a man getting fucked by a beautiful trans woman. I love the idea that this turns her on, and I actually think she looks hot with goggles on! Besides the cost of a subscription to a VR porn site, the financial barrier is really pretty low—most people can use their smartphone and a $20 headset to get started, which is much cheaper than seeing a sex worker and much less time-consuming than engineering a consenting affair. And there’s no risk of STIs or COVID-19!

Just wanted you to consider VR as a possibly overlooked tool for your otherwise always-outstanding advice in the future!

Very Recent Purchase Optimizes Reality Nicely

Thank you for writing in, VRPORN, and you’re right: VR porn sounds like a great way for an adventurous monogamous couple to have a little virtual variety—whether that couple is monogamous by choice or monogamous for the duration of this stupid pandemic. In addition to the technology, of course, you’ll need a partner who not only knows you fantasize about other people (like they do, like everybody does), but who’s also excited about helping you explore those fantasies. Thanks again for sharing, VRPORN!

Listen to Dan and comedian Jay Jurden on the Lovecast: www.savagelovecast.com!

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Published in Savage Love

I’m committed to my male partner, and he’s committed to me. (I’m a woman.) But we both understand we need to flirt and that we will both want to sleep with someone else at some point. We live together; we have a dog; and neither of us believes in marriage. We plan to purchase a house in the coming months.

Here’s the issue: He met a woman at work. He’s not sexually attracted to her at all. She, however, would love to blow him. She’s in an unhappy marriage and has no friends. They exchanged numbers when my partner was transferred, and now she texts him constantly. It doesn’t totally bother me. But not only does she text him at all hours of the day and night; she continuously tells him he’s the hottest man she’s ever met. She sends him nudes, which I’ve seen, and wants to suck his “huge dick.” (It is huge.) But even though I know he’s not sexually attracted to her, I’m still feeling threatened. I have extremely low self-esteem right now, and I’m struggling with depression. I’m speaking with a therapist, and I’m on meds, but the meds have made me gain about 50 pounds, which doesn’t help with the depression.

I get the need and desire to flirt. But right now, I’m not confident enough to be OK with him being sexual with another person, even if it’s just texts. And I feel this way knowing he has no plans to be with her! He continues to tell me he has no desire to spend his life with anyone else but me, yet he’s suddenly hesitant to buy a house. I guess I’m asking: WTF should I do?

Dinging Phone Really Exacerbating Semi-Serious Depression

You say it doesn’t bother you—it doesn’t totally bother you—that this woman texts your partner day and night, DPRESSD, which strikes me as odd. Because that shit would drive me up the wall. Blowing up someone’s phone at all hours of the day and night screams, “I HAVE NO BOUNDARIES! I AM INCAPABLE OF BEING CONSIDERATE! I HAVE NO SELF CONTROL!” Even if you were in a place where you felt better about your partner getting some attention elsewhere, the shit this woman is pulling would still be annoying, unsettling and totally bothersome.

And this shit should be disqualifying—meaning, your partner should’ve shut this woman down already. He should’ve told this woman to knock it off, and if she didn’t knock it off, he should’ve told her to fuck the fuck off and blocked her number. If he tried to shut her down and she kept texting him, DPRESSD, then I have to wonder why he hasn’t blocked her number already. Assuming he’s telling you the truth about not being attracted to her—and it sounds like he is—he may have allowed this to go on, because he enjoys feeling desirable, and/or he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. If it’s the former, make it clear to your partner that you wouldn’t have a problem with him finding someone else to swap flirty sext messages with, so long as it’s someone who can sext in moderation and at appropriate times. If it’s the latter, DPRESSD, make it clear to your partner that this shit is hurting your feelings, and as his partner, you expect him to prioritize your feelings over his former co-worker’s feelings.

All that said, DPRESSD, even if the thought of your partner going off to play with another woman didn’t make you feel insecure, you wouldn’t want your partner getting blown by this particular woman. Even if your partner has never said, “Don’t text me at all hours of the day and night,” that’s no excuse. No one wants their phone or their partner’s phone blowing up at 3 a.m.; that’s not a boundary anyone should have to articulate to set, and articulated or not, no one with any common sense would do that. (And, holy crap, if this is how this woman behaves in pursuit of your partner’s big cock, how is she gonna behave after she gets a taste?)

As for the house issue, DPRESSD, press your partner to clarify his sudden hesitancy. It may have nothing to do with your relationship; it’s entirely possible that he’s freaked out by the state of the world—because, my God, who isn’t?—and he’s having second thoughts about sinking his savings into a house. Depression often puts the worst possible spin on things; it can lead us to reject a calming truth someone is telling us in favor of an alarming lie we’re telling ourselves. Don’t fall into that trap.

And finally, DPRESSD, please talk to your doctor about switching out your meds. If weight gain is a side effect of the ones you’re on now, and weight gain is making you more depressed, then it doesn’t make sense to keep treating your depression with the meds you’re on now. A different med might give you the same benefits without this particular side effect.


I met someone I connected with during quarantine. We’ve all but committed to screwing our brains out after we’re given the all-clear. But she recently suffered a devastating loss. We will meet, on her terms, most likely very soon. I know I should follow her lead, but should I avoid sex even if she wants to have sex? I don’t know if sex will help or hurt. Is being chaste and supportive the right move? Can sex help in a time of loss? I just don’t want to be the asshole someone winds up writing to you for advice about.

Looking Over Sexual Timing

Follow her lead—that’s a good impulse—and if she wants to have sex after you’ve met in person and after you’ve made it clear to her that there’s no rush, LOST, and if you want to have sex after you’ve met her in person, go ahead and have sex. Some people find sex after a devastating loss to be healing and affirming, and the last thing that person needs is for someone else to decide they shouldn’t be having sex or even wanting to have sex.

As for the all-clear you’re waiting for, well, that could be a long time off, seeing as COVID-19 rates are spiking all over the country. If you decide you can’t wait for the all-clear, please consult the New York Health Department’s safer-sex/harm-reduction recommendations for people who want to have sex during this pandemic. (Google “New York Health,” “coronavirus,” and “sex.”) To quickly summarize: You can minimize your risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 by wearing a mask, not eating ass, using condoms, and using a glory hole.


I’m a woman who has been dating someone long-distance for seven months. I’ve been transparent about my need for an open relationship. Recently, this gentleman asked me to tell him if I slept with someone else. I agreed, because I’m not sleeping with anyone at the moment due to COVID-19. But since March, I’ve been having phone sex with a long-term booty call who lives across the country. Neither knows about the other, and neither one knows I’m bisexual. No big deal, right? I’m a first responder in a male-dominated field, and I put up with enough bullshit without the men in my life knowing I eat pussy. How much of an asshole am I for not disclosing what I don’t need to?

Not Banging (Other) Dudes

You’re being an asshole—to yourself. Hiding your bisexuality from the men you’re dating increases your odds of winding up in a relationship with someone who judges, shames or hates you for being bisexual, NBOD, and why on earth would you want to do that to yourself? Disclosing your bisexuality ups your odds of attracting a guy who fetishizes your bisexuality, of course, but it’s easier to weed those guys out early than it is to leave (or divorce) some guy who reveals himself to be biphobic after you’ve made a huge emotional investment in him.

As for the phone sex … you should disclose that, too. If Mr. Seven Months can’t handle you having phone sex, NBOD, he certainly won’t be able to handle you sleeping with someone else. And if he can’t handle that, he’s not the right guy for a woman who wants/needs/requires an open relationship.

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Published in Savage Love

Viewers of the local news on NBC Palm Springs may have recently caught a short segment on all of the wonderful things Amazon is doing during the pandemic.

“Millions of Americans staying at home are relying on Amazon,” the piece begins, before going on to talk about how “the company is keeping its employees safe and healthy,” and giving its oh-so-safe employees more than $800 million in increased wages and overtime pay.

Unfortunately, this segment is slanted at best—and dangerously misleading at worst.

Oh, and this segment wasn’t news. It was produced by Amazon, and sent to TV news stations around the country via a PR wire service.

Most TV-news reporters ignored it; a few actually called out Amazon for sending out this piece of packaged crap in the first place.

But at least 11 TV stations, according to Courier Newsroom, took the piece and ran with it … including NBC Palm Springs.

And now the truth that NBC Palm Springs “report” was lacking: Amazon is having its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow—and some of those shareholders want to know more about what Amazon actually is doing to protect its employees, because so far, it hasn’t been enough. According to CNBC:

Tensions have been growing between Amazon and warehouse workers nationwide, as the numbers of confirmed cases and deaths at its facilities have climbed. Warehouse workers have called for the company to put in place greater safety protections, including providing paid sick leave and closing down facilities where there are positive cases for additional cleaning.

Amazon has repeatedly declined to disclose how many warehouse employees have died from the coronavirus, but has confirmed eight deaths as they were reported by various media outlets. The company also hasn’t provided a total number of workers who have fallen ill from the virus, though one estimate from Jana Jumpp, an Amazon worker in Indiana, pegs the total number of cases at 900 employees nationwide.

I reached out to Bob McCauley, NBC Palm Springs’ senior vice president, as well as Gino LaMont, listed on the NBC Palm Springs website as the news department contact, to ask them how this happened. As of this writing, I have not yet gotten a response.

So much stuff that’s presented as “news” or “journalism” these days is, well, NOT. Numerous local publications run press releases from various organizations without disclosing that’s what they are, and some even sell stories to groups and businesses without disclosing to readers that they’re actually paid ads. None of that, of course, is right … but that’s how they do it.

But this is unconscionable. At least eight Amazon workers have died.

NBC Palm Springs, you really need to serve your viewers better, and you have some explaining to do.

Today’s links:

• The big news today: Gov. Newsom surprised the heck out of a lot of people when he announced that barbers and hair salons could reopen in counties—including Riverside County—that have moved into the second part of Phase 2. However, other businesses listed in Stage 3—including nail salons—remain closed. 

• Palm Springs business owners, take note: The city will be holding a webinar at 9 a.m., Thursday. May 28, titled “Restaurant, Retail, Hair Salon & Barbershop Re-Opening Guidance for Business Owners.” Get all the information here.

• Other Palm Springs news: The library is opening for curbside pickup. Learn more at the Facebook page.

• Hey, Apple Store fans: The El Paseo location is reopening this weektomorrow, to be specific.

• When full-on Stage 3 comes—which is anticipated to happen sometime in June, but who in the hell knows at this point—that will include theme parks, so says the state.

• Speaking of who in the hell knows … The Washington Post today broke down how truly little we still know about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.

All sorts of people and businesses are suing Gov. Newsom over the shutdown orders. The latest: Patioworld is suing the state, because … uh, outdoor furniture showrooms are essential? Anyway, if you’re so inclined, bookmark this helpful lawsuit tracker, from our partners at CalMatters.

Another stimulus bill is coming at some point in the future, probably, maybe? After waffling, Mitch McConnell now says it’s likely.

• For the first time ever, Twitter has fact-checked something Trump tweeted. The president, of course, reacted to this news in a restrained and reasonable manner. (*Snort*)

• Sad but not surprising: The number of Americans dealing with anxiety or depression has skyrocketed since the pandemic hit.

• Local company Ernie Ball makes strings for guitars and all sorts of other musical equipment—and when COVID-19 arrived, the company started making masks, too. Now, Ernie Ball is making those masks available for free to everyone in the Coachella Valley.

• A whole lot of people who purchased travel insurance have been horrified to learn that pandemics are a common travel-insurance exclusion. The Los Angeles Times looks at the issue—and explains which companies are doing right by their customers, and which ones are not.

That’s all for today. If you’re a fan of our print version, the June edition is hitting streets this week—or if you want it mailed to you for a nominal fee, we can have that arranged. If you value good, honest, doesn’t-run-lying-crap-from-Amazon journalism, and you can afford it, please consider becoming a Supporter of the Independent. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Be kind. We’ll be back tomorrow.

Published in Daily Digest

My ex-girlfriend, whom I dated for nine months, called me two months after we broke up and accused me of giving her HPV. She was going on, telling me how I needed to tell any future person I had sex with that I have HPV. I’m a 38-year-old man, and I’ve never had any signs or symptoms of any sexually transmitted infections. I know HPV is very common, often clears up on its own, and cannot be tested for in men. What are your thoughts? Do I need to tell sexual partners that I have HPV?

Help Person Vacillating

Most people are infected with HPV—the human papillomavirus—at some point in their lifetime; most never develop symptoms; and in most cases, the infection goes away on its own. There’s an effective and safe vaccine that protects people from HPV strains that can cause cervical, anal, dick or throat cancer—and everyone, regardless of age, should get vaccinated. And since people can develop symptoms years after their initial exposure, there’s no way for your ex-girlfriend to know that you infected her. Or that she didn’t infect you. Every sexually active adult should assume they’ve been exposed to HPV, that they have it or have had it, and conduct themselves accordingly.

I’m a gay man, and there’s a guy I see on the bus who I find attractive in the extreme. I can’t keep myself from looking at him. Now here comes the but: He smokes. I’ve been toying with an idea to convince him to quit. I want to slip a note into his pocket or backpack with the following proposal: “Let’s make a deal. You give up cigarettes, and in return, I’ll give you a blowjob once a week for a year. I’m concerned about your health. Please consider.” Other people who ride the bus also smoke, but I’m not inclined to make them the same offer. But it makes me sad knowing this guy smokes, and I want to get him to stop. If this idea is crazy, please say so—it will help me move on.

Before Undertaking Sincere Tobacco Eradication Deal

While your motives are no doubt pure—there’s nothing in this plan for you, BUSTED, just the quiet satisfaction of putting a beautiful stranger on the path to better health—you don’t know if this guy is attracted to you. But he’s likely to react badly to your proposal even if he is. Because while you and I both know you’re being entirely selfless—you’re the Florence Nightingale of anonymous/no-recip blowjobs—this extremely attractive stranger is going to assume you’re a delusional creep with boundary issues, because slipping a note like that into someone’s backpack or pocket (which would require you to technically and legally assault him) is precisely the kind of thing delusional creeps with boundary issues do. And because delusional creeps with boundary issues do this sort of thing, BUSTED, good and decent guys like you can’t do it without being misunderstood. So absent some sign of interest from this attractive stranger—like him staring back at you—you’re going to do what any normal, non-delusional, non-creepy gay guy would do after seeing an attractive stranger on the bus: leave him alone while surreptitiously checking to see if he’s on any of the gay-hookup apps.

My wife is über-vanilla. She is willing to spank me and peg me, but she won’t “take charge” of the situation. She’s doing it to please me and expects me to signal approval throughout the process. As soon as a spanking gets to the point that I’m flinching and wanting it to stop, she stops. We’ve never gotten more than a few strokes into the pegging for the same reason. I don’t really crave pain per se, but I want and need her to be in charge.

Seeking Pointers About Needed Kinks

One of the top reasons people choose safe words, SPANK, is so that they can scream, “Oh, God! Stop, please! I beg you! It’s too much!” and the person who’s spanking or pegging them knows that since they didn’t hear “collusion” or “giuliani” or “zelensky,” the spanking or pegging can continue. Not using the safe word is how a sub signals their approval throughout the spanking/pegging/whatevering process—or, at the very least, how a sub signals their willingness to endure the spanking/pegging/whatevering to please the top.

My long-term partner and I are in a soft Dom/sub relationship. Neither of us has been sexually or physically abused. I suffer mainly from depression and a little anxiety. Lately, when the sex is great, I end up having a panic attack. If I have an intense orgasm and then he goes to town with penetration, there will be a point where I physically shove him off, and then my body shakes, and my breathing starts getting really fast, and I start crying, and basically I’m having a panic attack. I feel terrible for my partner, because it’s not really his fault. But somehow, the physical overstimulation gives my body the “OK” to have a panic attack. It’s happened a few times, and my partner is now hesitant to have sex. I want to be able to stop these panic attacks mainly for him. However, when I do have the panic attacks, I want to just cry and let everything out. But, of course, my amazing partner just wants to comfort me and get it to stop. Please help.

Problems Around Nookie-Induced Crisis

Panic attacks during sex are something you might want to explore with a therapist or counselor, PANIC. If you’re already seeing someone about your depression and anxiety, please bring these attacks up with your provider. If you aren’t seeing someone, please start seeing someone. As for your partner’s hesitation to have intercourse, well, that’s understandable. But there’s an easy enough work-around: If an intense orgasm followed by go-to-town-style penetration triggers your panic attacks, then either don’t do penetrative sex after you’ve had an intense orgasm, or wait until after your partner goes to town to have your orgasm.

I’ve been in situations where I’m with my better half, rocking her world, giving her an orgasm, coming inside her, and she loves it. The next week, same scenario, she’s moaning and groaning; I explode, and she says to me, “Did you come?” And I’m there thinking, “I thought I was pleasuring her like last time, and she suddenly can’t tell when I exploded inside her?!”

What The Actual Fuck

Sometimes the person getting fucked (PGF) is paying close attention to the person doing the fucking (PDTF). The PGF is really taking the PDTF in; the PGF can see how close the PDTF is getting; the PGF knows just when the PDTF has arrived. But sometimes, the PGF’s eyes roll back in their head, and they float the fuck away, WTAF, because the fucking feels that damn good. The PGF moans; the PGF groans; but the PGF is so lost in the physical and emotional sensations—they’re getting so deeply into the dicking—that it’s not until after the PDTF stops fucking them that the PGF even realizes the PDTF is done fucking them. So it’s not a bad sign that your better half sometimes has to ask if you came, WTAF; it’s a good sign.

On the Lovecast, meet the woman who’s read ALL of Dan’s columns since 1991: savagelovecast.com.

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Published in Savage Love

I’m a heterosexual cis woman in a monogamous marriage. My husband and I have always struggled to connect sexually, mostly because he has extreme anxiety that makes doing anything new or different difficult. He’s been in therapy since before I met him, but it doesn’t seem to be helping much. His anxiety has caused him to shut down every sexual ask I’ve ever made, because he’s afraid he won’t “do it right.” He’s a PIV-and-nothing-more kind of guy, but I’m not asking for varsity-level stuff—just boring things like talking about fantasies, a little role-play, staying in bed on a Sunday just to have sex, etc. All of it is off the table.

I understand he has a right to veto sex acts, but isn’t this all pretty basic, run-of-the-mill stuff? He’ll still get his PIV; I just want there to be other elements before the PIV starts. It’s still a no. Talking to him about this sends him into a depressive episode where I then have to spend hours telling him he’s not a bad person, so I’ve stopped bringing it up. I’ve tried to talk to therapists about navigating this issue, but most change the subject. One actually told me that it was good that we don’t have good sex, because if we did, we wouldn’t have good communication in other areas. (I never went back to that one.) This has gone on for so long that I’ve lost all interest in sex. My libido, which used to be very high, has vanished. Whenever he wants sex, I do it—but I dread it.

Do you have any ideas on how I can navigate this topic with my husband so he doesn’t shut down? How can I make him understand that it’s OK to experiment sexually—and it will be OK if it’s not perfect?

Lost And So Sad

You’re going to have to call your husband’s bluff, LASS, and power through the predictable meltdown. That means raising—again—your unhappiness with your sex life; explaining your need for some pre-PIV intimacy and play; informing him this is no longer a desperate request but a non-negotiable demand; and then refusing to shift into caregiver mode when his depressive episode starts.

I’m not suggesting your husband’s anxiety and depression are an act, LASS, or that being made aware of your unhappiness isn’t a trigger. But if depressive episodes get your husband out of conversations he’d rather avoid—and if they allow him to dictate the terms of your sex life and treat your pussy like a Fleshlight—then his subconscious could be weaponizing those depressive episodes. And if you shift to caregiver mode every single time—so long as you’re willing to spend hours reassuring him that he’s not a bad person—then your grievances will never be addressed, much less resolved. So even if it means spending an extremely unpleasant evening, weekend or few weeks with him, you’re going to have to raise the issue and refuse to reassure your husband. Line up whatever support you think he might need before you make your stand—you could also make your stand during a couples’ counseling session—and give him maybe one “You’re not a bad person, really!” and then refuse to back down.

And when he shuts down, LASS, it will be his therapist’s job to pry him back open, not yours.

And the sex you’re currently having? The sex you dread and don’t enjoy? The sooner you stop having it, LASS, the sooner your husband will come to understand that he’s going to have to give a little (so very little!) if he wants to have sex at all. If and when he does, then you can borrow a page from the varsity-level kinkster handbook: Take baby steps. In the same way people who are turned on by, say, more intense bondage scenes (suspension, immobilization, etc.) start with lighter bondage scenes (hands behind the back, spread-eagled on the bed, etc.), you can start with something small and easy for him to get right, like 20 minutes of cuddling in bed together on a Sunday morning before progressing to PIV sex.


I’m a bisexual trans woman living in Europe. A couple of months ago, I began an amazing relationship with a woman who works as an escort. For a while, everything was as good as it gets—until I said something inconsiderate about her job, and she took offense. We were having a conversation about “what we were” (girlfriends? lovers? partners?) and any rules we’d like the other to observe, and I said I’d rather not see her after she’d been with a client; I’d rather wait until the next day. She took this as me thinking her job was “dirty,” which was absolutely not my intention. I explained that I’d spent 10 years in open relationships, and it was just a habit I was used to. (If you sleep with someone else, go home; take a shower; sleep off the emotions; see you tomorrow.) She said that her clients were not lovers; it’s completely different; and it would make seeing her complicated, as we work different hours. I immediately realized how she was right and said so. She was aloof for a few days afterward, and she eventually told me that she didn’t feel like she could be with someone who understood so little about her job. I pleaded with her to give me a second chance and told her that I’d never even met a sex worker before, so there was a learning curve for me, and she agreed that we could carry on seeing each other. But she remained distant, canceling plans and not replying, until she eventually told me that she was just too scared of getting hurt, because it’s happened so many times before.

I was absolutely shattered. I spent the next few days drinking in bed and licking my wounds. I was falling in love with this woman, and I ruined it with my big mouth. After a couple of days, I started going about my life again. And soon enough, she started texting me, asking me how my day was, casual stuff—and it’s just really painful. I don’t know how to reply to her. If she has changed her mind, then I’ll date her again in a heartbeat, given how freaking amazing she is. But if she’s just (kind of inconsiderately) making conversation, then I can see myself getting my heart broken all over again. I’m torn between asking her to stop texting me and carrying on with the casual texting to see if anything comes of it. Any advice?

Tearful Escort’s Ex Getting Really Lonely

If you two couldn’t handle a simple misunderstanding, TEEGRL, how are you going to resolve a serious conflict? Or forgive a profound betrayal? You know, the kind of shit people in LTRs do?

Actually, I’m being unfair: You seem perfectly capable of handling this misunderstanding, TEEGRL; it was your ex-whatever-she-was (girlfriend? lover? partner?) who wasn’t able to handle it. But in fairness to her—I need to be fair to everybody—sex workers are often shamed by romantic partners who pretended, at the outset of the relationship, to be fine with their jobs. Your comment about not wanting to see her after she was with a client could reasonably be interpreted as whorephobic. But your explanation—it was a rule in all your past open relationships—was reasonable, and your ex-whatever-she-was, if she were a reasonable person, should have been able to see that.

And perhaps she is reasonable, TEEGRL. Maybe she started texting you about casual stuff, because she feels bad about pulling away and sees now that she overreacted. To determine whether that’s the case—and to determine whether she’s still open to dating you—you’ll have to risk asking the dreaded direct question: “Hey, it’s great to hear from you! I’d love to pick up where we left off, if you’re still interested. Are you? Please let me know!”

On the Lovecast, shy lady doms rise up! With Midori: savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

I am male. A close female friend was raped by an old acquaintance of mine.

I knew this guy when we were tweens. I didn’t really care for him as we got older; so it goes. It turns out that a few years ago, he raped my friend in an alcohol-blackout situation. I don’t know more than that. She says she considers the encounter “not strictly consensual” and confided that this guy didn’t react well when she tried to talk to him about it. This isn’t something she’s “out” about.

My feelings toward this guy are pretty dark. Now he’s moved back to town, and I see him around, and some good friends of mine who stayed in contact with him invite him to stuff. I don’t know what to say or how to act. I know I don’t want to talk to him or be his friend. I would like to tell my other friends about this guy so I don’t have to see him, but I can’t, because it’s not my story to tell. I would rather just skip social events he’s at. But without an explanation, I doubt my friends will understand, and it feels like I’m surrendering my friends to someone who assaulted a dear friend. I told someone once to please not invite him to something, or I would skip it. They were confused, and it felt like an awkward ask.

What should I say to my friends about this guy? What can I do to keep him out of my life?

Angry Confidant

“I don’t like hanging out with Chuck and would appreciate it if you didn’t invite him to the party/show/bris/whatever.”

“What’s the issue between you guys?”

“Look, we go a long way back, and it’s not something I want to discuss. It’s just awkward for us to be in the same place.”

That’s the best you can do without outing your friend—without telling a story that isn’t yours to tell—and it’s likely your mutual friends will be confused by the ask, AC, but you’ll just have to be at peace with that. You could add something vague that omits identifying details (“He did a shitty thing to a friend”), but any details you share—however vague—could result in questions being put to you that you can’t answer or are tempted to answer. Even worse, questions will be put to “Chuck,” and he’ll be free to lie, minimize or spin.

My only other piece of advice would be to follow your close female friend’s lead. You describe what transpired between her and Chuck as rape, while your friend describes the encounter as “not strictly consensual.” That’s a little more ambiguous. And just as this isn’t your story to tell, AC, it’s not your experience to label. If your friend doesn’t describe what happened as rape—for whatever reason—you need to respect that. And does your friend want Chuck excluded from social events hosted by mutual friends, or is she able to tolerate his presence? If it’s the latter, do the same. If she’s not making an issue of Chuck being at a party, you may not be doing her any favors by making an issue of his presence yourself.

If you’re worried your friend tolerates Chuck’s presence to avoid conflict, and that being in the same space with him actually upsets her (or that the prospect of being in the same space with him keeps her from those spaces), discuss that with her one-on-one and then determine—based on her feelings and her ask—what, if anything, you can do to advocate for her effectively without white-knighting her or making this not-strictly-consensual-and-quite-possibly-rapey thing Chuck did to her all about you and your feelings.

It’s really too bad Chuck reacted badly when your friend tried to talk to him about that night. If he’s an otherwise-decent person who has a hard time reading people when he’s drunk, he needs to be made aware of that and drink less or not drink at all. If he’s a shitty person who takes advantage of other people when they’re drunk, he needs to know there will be social and potentially legal consequences for his behavior. The feedback your friend offered this guy—the way she tried to hold him accountable—could have prevented him from either fucking up like this again (if he’s a decent but dense guy) or taking advantage like this again (if he’s a shitty and rapey guy). If he was willing to listen, which he wasn’t. And since he wasn’t willing to listen … yeah, my money is on shitty and rapey, not decent but dense.


I’m a single straight man. A friend recently told me her 20-year marriage hasn’t included sex for the past six years. Kids, stress, etc. I offered to have sex with her, but only if her husband approves. If I were her husband, I would want to know. But I think it’s unlikely her husband would approve our coital encounter.

Have I done wrong?

Married Asshole Refuses Intercourse To Affectionate Lady

If discreetly getting sex outside her marriage allows your friend to stay married and stay sane, and if she doesn’t get caught, and if the sexual connection with her husband should revive after their kids are older—a lot of ifs, I realize—then the condition you set could result in your friend and her husband getting divorced now, which would preclude the possibility of their sexual connection reviving later. (Although we shouldn’t assume that sex has to be part of a marriage for it to be loving and valid. Companionate marriages are valid marriages.) That said, your friend is free to fuck some other guy if she doesn’t like your terms. Finally, MARITAL, unless you’re brainstorming names for a My Chemical Romance cover band, there’s really no reason to use the phrase “our coital encounter.”


I’m a straight 45-year-old man. Good-looking. Three college degrees and one criminal conviction. Twice divorced. I’ve had some intense relationships with women I met by chance—one knocked on my door looking to borrow an egg—so I know I can impress women. But online dating doesn’t work for me, because I’m only 5 foot 7. Most women online filter me out based on height. The other problem is that I’m extremely depressed. I’m trying to work on the depression (seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist), but the medications don’t seem to do much for me. This is probably due to my alcoholism.

I’d love to start my online profile by boldly proclaiming my height and my disdain for shallow women who disregard me for it, but that would come across as bitter, right?

Serious Heartbreak Over Relationship Travails

There are plenty of 5-foot-tall women out there, SHORT, women you’d tower over. But there are very few women who would respond positively—or at all—to a man whose online dating profile dripped with contempt for women who don’t want to fuck him. Rejection sucks, I know, but allowing yourself to succumb to bitterness only guarantees more rejection.

And first things first: Keep working on your depression with your mental-health team, and please consider giving up alcohol. (I’m sure you’ve already considered it. Reconsider it.) No one is looking for perfection in a partner—and no one can offer perfection—but if dating you is likely to make someone’s life harder, SHORT, they aren’t going to want to date you. So get yourself into good working order, and then start looking for a partner. And since you know you have better luck when you meet people face-to-face, don’t spend all your time on dating apps. Instead, find things you like to do and go do them. Maybe you can pick a presidential candidate you like—one who supports coverage for mental-health care?—and volunteer on their campaign.

On the Lovecast: A drug that cures heartbreak? Seriously. Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

April is, in my mind, the weirdest month of the year in the Coachella Valley.

April is a series of contradictions. It’s the craziest month of the year in terms of visitors, thanks to Coachella, Stagecoach, The Dinah and the White Party … yet the snowbirds are starting to leave, and we know May will all of a sudden bring relative calm (and blazing heat). The hotels are all full … yet during Coachella, in the west valley, the nights are fairly quiet.

Here at the Independent, if it’s April, that means it’s time for our annual Music Issue, and that means Brian Blueskye has been crazy-busy working on all of our extra coverage. This year’s issue, however, is a little different from previous Music Issues: Rather than focusing exclusively on the two big festivals, Brian decided to tie things to the local music scene, including the increasing popularity of Latin music. Read all of Brian’s fantastic coverage in the print edition and/or here at CVIndependent.com in the upcoming days.

Our coverage, of course, isn’t all about music; as always, our great columns, news stories, food coverage and arts writing are here, too—and I’d like to draw your attention to one story in particular, because it’s near and dear to my heart.

A couple of weeks ago, we published a story from our partners at CALmatters about the mental-health crisis in California. At the heart of the story is the heartbreaking tale of Elizabeth Brown, a brilliant, gifted college student who killed herself last year. The piece, in gut-wrenching detail, illustrates how our medical system often fails to properly care for people dealing with mental illness, and examines (so far futile) efforts by the state government to fix the problem.

This story hits close to home for me, because I suffer from depression. (What I have to deal with, thank goodness, pales in comparison to the severe problems Elizabeth Brown had.) My life serves as a perfect example of the insidiousness of depression and other mental illnesses: On the outside, things are going well for me. I have an amazing husband, great friends, an exciting social life and a rewarding career with purpose. Yet there are days when it takes every ounce of willpower I have to get going.

I bring this all up not because of me—I am fine, thanks to an amazing support structure, the fact that my illness is not that severe, and access to medication if needed—but because of you: If you often feel down, or anxious, or if you tend to isolate yourself, please get help. Talk to someone. If things get really bad, please use the resources mentioned at the end of the aforementioned story.

If you don’t feel down or anxious … well, someone you love probably does feel that way. Make sure you’re there for your depressed friends and loved ones—and understand that depression often just happens, no matter how things seem to be going in a depressed person’s life. Like I said, mental illness really is insidious.

As always, thanks for reading the Coachella Valley Independent. Email me with any feedback you may have, and be sure to pick up the April print edition, hitting newsstands this week.

Published in Editor's Note

On this week's summit-level weekly Independent comics page: The K Chronicles pays tribute to the late Anthony Bourdain; This Modern World quizzes Rudy Giuliani on constitutional law; Jen Sorenson looks at the New World Order; Red Meat deals with some cattle problems; and Apoca Clips heads for Mars.

Published in Comics

On this week's delightfully refreshing weekly Independent comics page: Jen Sorenson worries about modern online discourse; The K Chronicles spends a few days as a single parent; This Modern World examines the thing that ate America's brain; Apoca Clips checks in with Trumpy and Li'l Kim; and Red Meat deals with depression.

Published in Comics