CVIndependent

Sat10242020

Last updateMon, 24 Aug 2020 12pm

Borrowing Gen Z’s love for labelling everything: I’m a 46-year-old homoromantic asexual Canadian faggot. For me, that means I’d like to love and be loved by another man, but I’d hate having sex with him. To add a vexing complication, I also need some sort of power imbalance. Ideally, I would fall somewhere between being a man’s sub and being his slave. I’ve been searching for this since I came out in my early 20s. I’ve tried everything—online, bars, hobby groups, friends, hookups. Vanilla relationships, single Masters, dominant couples, sex workers. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on both men and therapy, but here I am, busted, miserable and alone. The point is that no one—and I mean absolutely no one—wants what I want. My dream dude doesn’t exist.

It’s easy to tell someone to move on, that there are other fish in the sea, etc., but sometimes your sea is a puddle, and you really are the only guppy.

I’m considering ending my life before the end of the year. I can’t shake the deep sadness, disappointment and misery that I feel—and this isn’t even touching on my current unemployment or newly chronic health issues.

What would you do if you were in my shoes? How does one switch off the built-in romantic drive?

Sought A Dom Accepting Sad Singlehood

I’m sorry you haven’t found your ideal man, SADASS, or the right dominant couple, or a vanilla guy you could love and a dominant sex worker you could see on the side. Not everyone finds their ideal mate/position/situation, despite our best efforts, which is why it’s important that we build lives for ourselves that are rich and rewarding while we look for our dream dude(s). Because then even, if we’re unhappily single—or we find ourselves unhappily single again—we would still have meaning and pleasure in our lives. And that makes it easier for us to live in the hope that, should all the planets align, it could still happen for us or happen for us again. (Please note: I’m qualifying “single” with “unhappy” here not because all single people are unhappy—which is absolutely untrue—but because this single person, SADASS, is unhappy.)

I have to assume it has happened for you once or twice, SADASS. While none of your relationships with any of the vanilla guys, single Masters, dominant couples or sex workers you’ve met along the way turned into long-term connections, there had to have been some good times and real—if not lasting—connections over the years. Instead of seeing those relationships as a string of failures because they all ended, SADASS, you should see them as a long series of successful short-term relationships. And while you may regret that none lasted for years or decades, there’s nothing about being partnered that immunizes a person against regret. If you were still with one of those vanilla guys, you might always regret not meeting a Master; if you were with a Master or a dominant couple, you might regret—from time to time—not having a more egalitarian relationship.

Although you say you are not interested in having sex, SADASS, your interests are erotically charged. If your erotic-if-not-sexual fantasies are causing you distress—if you want to switch off your built-in romantic/erotic drive—anti-depressants often lower and sometimes tank a person’s libido. For most people, that’s an unwelcome side effect, but you may find it a blessing—at least for now, SADASS, while you’re dealing with your health and employment issues. It’s an extreme move, but it’s far less extreme than the one you’ve been contemplating, so it might be worth discussing with a sex-positive, kink-positive, reality-aware therapist.

Finally, please don’t end your life. The world is a far more interesting place with you in it. And while finding a romantic partner is never the solution to our problems—it’s only the start of a whole new set of problems—I’ve heard from countless people over the years who found something close to what they were looking for in their 50s, 60s and even 70s. But it can’t happen for you if you aren’t here for it.

Crisis Services Canada maintains a 24-hour suicide-prevention hotline: 833-456-4566. In the United States, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.


I’m bisexual man who works on a military base with so many hot men. But how the hell do I even get a quick cock to suck without getting fired for coming on to the wrong guy? Or beaten up? How do I approach someone who could be interested? It’s been forever since I’ve had a guy!

Don’t tell me to try Grindr. I already did, and most of the guys on there are not my style, and the two who were blew me off. I wish I was totally straight or totally gay, because the bisexual world is really depressing!

Basically I’ve Got Unfulfilled Yearnings

Totally gay guys get blown off on Grindr and Sniffies and Recon all the time. Totally straight guys get blown off on Tinder and Farmers Only and Christian Mingle all the time.

I’m not minimizing the unique challenges bisexuals face—biphobia is real—but everyone faces rejection, BIGUY. And while some gay guys don’t wanna date bi guys, you aren’t looking for a date. You’re looking for a dick to suck.

So get back on Grindr. When you see a hot guy on the street, on the subway, or on your military base, quickly open Grindr—or Scruff or Sniffies or Recon or all of the above—and if they’re on there, too, send them a message. If they’re interested, they’ll write back. If they aren’t, they won’t. And if you’re worried a guy won’t let you suck his dick if you tell him you’re bisexual, and you don’t mind blowing guys who might be biphobic, don’t disclose your bisexuality on your profile; stick to, “Sup?” and “Looking?” when you message them.

And you know … back when men picked each other up in bars … you had to make eye contact with a lotta guys before you locked eyes with the right guy. If you made eye contact with a guy who wasn’t interested—if you weren’t his style or his type—he wouldn’t make eye contact with you again. That’s essentially what a guy is doing when he “blows you off” on Grindr: He’s taking a quick look, deciding you’re not for him, and looking away—the exact same thing you’re doing to guys who aren’t your style or type. Guys who left the bar after two guys looked away never got to suck a dick, BIGUY, so don’t give up after a couple of guys blow you off on Grindr. Just keep looking around.


I’m a 60-something straight woman. A few years ago, a longtime male friend and I, both in very unhappy relationships, did what I’d never done in my life: We cheated on our partners. We both ended our other relationships, and the resulting two years have been wonderful. My guy is smart and funny, and the sex is very, very, VERY good. We don’t live together and see each other on weekends.

Now for the problem: I think he voted for Trump. While he’s a political conservative, he’s not crazy, and he has some reasonable viewpoints that I can tolerate, even if I disagree. But not Trump. I don’t think a good person votes for Trump. Practically speaking, it doesn’t matter, because we live in solid blue Washington state, and all our electoral votes will go to Biden, but I’m not sure I can fuck someone who voted for Trump. But if I end things with him, there’s a good chance I’ll never have sex again. I don’t think there are many opportunities for 65-year-old average-looking women, even ones with healthy libidos. Thoughts?

Update: Before I could even hit send on this email, Dan, I found out that, yes, he voted for Trump. I’m sickened that this person I care for voted for Trump! Do I end it?!?

OH FUCKING HELL

Yes you do, OFH, and you tell him why: Elections have consequences. Better a trusty vibrator than an unworthy Trump voter.

This week on the Savage Lovecast, Andrew Gurza on sex with disabilities: www.savagelovecast.com

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I was dumped in August by a guy I was seeing for 10 months. He told me that he wants to work on himself and “needs to be selfish” right now. Since then, we have spoken every day, shared numerous dinners and gone on hikes. Our friendship is killing me. With him, I hold it together. Away from him, I cry all the time. I’ve started seeing a therapist, and I’m on medication. I’m trying to be mature about the breakup and match his level of “coolness,” but it’s destroying me. My friends tell me that I should stay away from him; allow some time to pass; and reassess. But the thought of losing him is almost as bad as the thought of keeping him in my life.

I should also mention that I ended a 10-year relationship for the opportunity to date him.

Simply Heartbroken And Talking To Ex Really Extending Depression

“Hey, Dan, what I’m doing is making me miserable—should I stop?”

Yes, SHATTERED, you should stop. Your friends are giving you excellent advice: Stay away from this guy for at least a year—don’t talk on the phone (with him); don’t share meals (with him); don’t go on hikes (with him)—and then see how you feel after you’ve talked, shared meals and gone on hikes with other people. It’s always nice when exes are friends, MTP, but it’s not an easy pivot, and it can’t be executed instantly. And the transition to friendship is always much harder for the person who was dumped—because of course it is—and it’s even harder when a selfish dumper accepts or demands the kind of attention and emotional support from the dumpee to which the dumper is no longer entitled.

Oh, and if you ended a 10-year relationship to date someone—if you ended it for a romantic prospect, not a romantic certainty (and there’s no such thing as a romantic certainty)—then that 10-year relationship needed to end. If your ex-boyfriend implored you to end that 10-year relationship, and 10 months later dumped you to “work on himself,” and then did everything in his power to keep you all to himself even after dumping you, that “friendship” needs to end too. At least for the time being.


My name is a variation on “John Smith.” I met a woman, and she liked me, but then she did a cheapo background check on me and found a “John Smith” who had committed felonies—including assaulting a high school principal—and ended things with me. I am not that “John Smith,” and I am innocent of these crimes! She had every reason to trust me; we met at my house, and she viewed the premises without incident. What do I do?

Not That Guy

You had this woman over to your house, NTG, and she viewed the premises without incident. OK … so you didn’t rape or kill her when she dropped in, and that speaks well to the absolute bare fucking minimum of your character. But it doesn’t obligate her to keep seeing you. If you can prove you’re not John Smith, High School Principal Assaulter, and she doesn’t care, NTG, then there’s some other reason doesn’t want to see you again. (Was there a MAGA hat on the premises?) But whatever her real reason is/real reasons are, you’ve been given a “no.” And like everyone else, NTG, you have to take “no” for an answer, even when it feels unfair or arbitrary.


I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost five years, and everything is amazing, except that he sees his ex-girlfriend when I’m not around. He says she wants to meet me, but he never wants to meet up with her when I’m with him. Their “dates” are becoming more frequent. She’s a single mom, and he has expressed to me that he wants to be in her son’s life.

My feelings of discomfort are escalating, and I’m having trouble believing him when he says he wants me to meet her. When I bring this up, he gets angry and says I’m being too emotional. Am I being a crazy jealous girlfriend? I need some help. I want to be a better person. Should I reach out to his ex-girlfriend directly, since my boyfriend refuses to make it happen? Or do I bail on the relationship? I feel that uncomfortable.

Ex-Girlfriend Looms Over Everything

Bail.


I’m in my early 30s, and I’ve been struggling to make new friends. A lot of the people in my extended social circle are polyamorous/queer, and while I identify as queer, I’m in a monogamish relationship that isn’t poly. Lately, I have been finding that I have been getting approached a lot by people who want a romantic/sexual connection. It seems like the only people who want me around lately want in my pants, and they assume because I’m queer that I’m also poly—without asking directly. So people ask me if I want to “hangout,” and I’m often unsure if they mean “hangout” in a date context or a friend context. I’ve ended up on dates I didn’t know I was going on!

My biggest issue is that I don’t understand why people want to date/fuck me, but don’t want to be my friend. I’m pretty average-looking, and I am not overly flirty. So why is this happening?

Noodling On This Problem Over Lattes, Yeah?

There’s nothing stopping you from asking—asking directly—for a little clarity: “Hangout? I’d love to! But do you mean ‘hangout’ as in ‘spend time together as friends,’ or ‘hangout’ as in ‘let’s-go-on-a-date’? I ask, because I’ve wound up on a couple of dates that I didn’t know were dates, and it was awkward.”

As for why this is happening … well, either the poly people in your social circle assume—incorrectly—that all queer people are poly, or you’re much more attractive than you’re giving yourself credit for, NOTPOLY, or some combo of both.


I’m a gay man who, due to extensive BDSM play, has developed very prominent nipples. They’re always erect and very visible through my clothing unless I wear outrageous patterns or tape them down. Yes, I’m somewhat embarrassed by them. I don’t have gynecomastia (moobs)—just really, really, really noticeable nipples. While they are a definite boon between the sheets, they’re a bane on the streets, because I’m very self-conscious about them.

Do people notice this sort of thing on men? Is their reaction negative? Am I being ridiculed behind my back? Mind you, folks universally treat me with kindness and respect, probably because that’s how I approach everyone else, but a little voice in my head keeps telling me there’s this shameful part of my body that’s being made fun of by everyone. Well, everyone except the guys who helped get me to this point. Your thoughts?

Tortured In Tormenting Situations

Only a small percentage of the people you meet will notice your nipples, TITS, and the thought processes for 99.9 percent of the people who do will go something like this: “Big nips. Eh, whatever.” The noticers will immediately file this useless-to-them information about your tits away and never give it/them another thought. (Unless you’re Andrew Cuomo.)

I think you’re self-conscious about your tits because you know why they’re so prominent—extensive and, I assume, highly enjoyable BDSM play, TITS. And you worry other people—straight people, vanilla people, judgy gays—will take one look and realize you’re a kinky motherfucker. But most people won’t make that leap, and the ones who do are either kinky themselves, or if not, they aren’t going to dwell on your tits or hold them against you.

Stop kink-shaming yourself. You earned those tits—you suffered for them—and you should be proud of them!

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I’m a 30-something gay man married to a 30-something gay man. For almost two years, we’ve been seeing another pair of married gay men around our age. They were our first experience with any sexual or romantic interaction outside of our relationship.

The first six months were hot and heavy. We were together constantly and having sex almost every night. After the “honeymoon phase” ended, one member of the other couple (“Roger”) wanted to slow things down. Roger and I had some conflict over this, and I have to admit that I showed a pretty bad side of myself while grappling with insecurity. Eventually, Roger pulled me aside to talk one-on-one. He wanted us to be “friends who have sex sometimes.”

Then, right after the COVID-19 lockdown started, Roger and I had another heart-to-heart on my birthday. After many drinks and a lot of making out, we both said we loved each other. Roger walked it back the next day. “I don’t know what you thought you heard last night,” he basically said, “but I’m not in love with you.”

I was devastated. This isn’t what I want. I am in love with Roger and his husband. I don’t want to be “friends who have sex sometimes.” My husband is OK with just being friends with Roger and his husband, especially since their large friend group has adopted us, and he worries we’ll lose all these new friends if I end our friendship with Roger and his husband. I would really like to talk this out with Roger, but I’m not sure I can get through that conversation without DTMFAing him.

I mean, which was it? Were we a fun sexy fling, and nothing about the last two years mattered? Or was he in love with me but decided the conflict and complication of this relationship wasn’t worth it? Which was it?

Trouble In The Quad

Roger doesn’t want what you want.

That sucks, and I’m sorry. But we’ve all been there. Falling for someone who doesn’t feel as strongly for us as we do for them, whether we’re dating as couples or singles, is always painful. But that pain is an unavoidable risk. And while it may seem unfair that you can only have Roger in your life on his terms, that’s the reality. That’s everyone’s reality, TITQ, because loving someone doesn’t obligate that person to love us back, or love us in the same way that we love them, or want the same things we want. But Roger can’t impose his terms on you. If being “just friends” feels like an insulting consolation prize after what the last two years has meant to you, if that’s not good enough, then Roger doesn’t get to be in your life. You can have terms, too.

Backing up for a second: You seem to believe that if the relationship mattered—if Roger and his husband loved you and your husband, and vice-versa—then it wouldn’t have ended. That’s false. Something can matter and still end. Something can also matter more to one person than it did to another person. (Or couple.) You don’t have to dismiss or minimize what the four of you had because Roger has decided, for whatever reason, that being in a quad with you isn’t what he wants.

And if you’re hoping to get this quad back together … and it’s entirely up to Roger … you’re going about it wrong. If Roger got cold feet due to the “conflict and complication” of being in a poly relationship, TITQ, your best move is to avoid conflict and complication. If you think Roger told the truth on your birthday and lied to you the next day, then you need to demonstrate the kind of emotional maturity that makes you a more-attractive partner to a person like Roger. And provoking a confrontation with Roger—staging a scene where you’re likely to dump a guy who has already dumped you—will have the opposite effect. It will only confirm for Roger the decision he has already made.

Your best bet—your best strategy—is to accept Roger’s offer of friendship and refrain from blowing up at him. You should also tell him, just once and very calmly, that you and your husband would be open to getting back together with him and his husband. Best-case scenario, the quad gets back together. Worst-case scenario, you have some great memories, a whole bunch of great new friends, and maybe, once in a while, a hot foursome with Roger and his husband.

Two last things …

I would love to see video of you showing the “bad side” of yourself to Roger. People tend to minimize their own shitty behavior—all people do it, myself included. If you’re prone to blowing up when you don’t get what you want, well, it’s understandable that someone who dislikes conflict and complication would start getting cold feet once the honeymoon phase ended. I’m not suggesting you’re toxic or unbearable‚ TITQ, only that different people have different tolerance levels for romantic conflict. But if what you want is for Roger to reconsider the decision he’s made, well, you might also wanna let him know you’re working on your approach to conflict. If you don’t want Roger to regret getting the quad back together and then quickly end things again, TITQ—or for the next Roger or Rogers who come into your life to head for the hills after the honeymoon phases end—you should talk with someone who can give you the tools to better handle conflict.

And finally, TITQ, the other two men in this quad feel strangely inert—more like houseplants than husbands. I mean, you have nothing to say about how Roger’s husband feels, and very little to say about how yours does. Is Roger’s husband interested in keeping the quad together? Besides not wanting to lose some new friends, does your husband give two shits? Because even if Roger decides he wants back in, TITQ, and that’s a big if, your revived quad won’t last long if your houseplants—sorry, your husbands—aren’t just as invested as you are.


The man I’m seeing is the first person I ever opened up to about my bisexuality. Over our first year together, we had several threesomes, but we both became uncomfortable with them, and one day, he told me he could not have that kind of sex with a woman he cares about. We quarantined together, and he felt COVID-19 had forced us to rush things. We decided to spend less time together to focus on our careers, which had both taken a hit.

Now we only see each other every two weeks or so. I thought it could be fun to reconnect and do some more threesomes. He agreed but asked me to handle things. I found us some amazing girls—but as in the past, our threesomes led to problems. I feel threatened; he feels jealous. We fight; I cry; he gets angry and acts like an asshole. I’m very insecure, depressed, and have spent years in therapy. The threesomes feel like too much, but we have great sex when we talk about other women.

Is there any way we can make this work?

Lost Into My Emotions

I feel really sorry for the women you two are having threesomes with. Even if you’re doing your very special guest stars the courtesy of waiting until they leave to break down in tears, LIME, and even if your boyfriend is polite enough to wait until they’re gone before acting like an asshole, these women are most likely picking up on the tension and may feel conflicted about the sex after they go. If you’re having these meltdowns and blowups in front of these women, LIME, they definitely leave feeling terrible and may worry they did something wrong when it’s you two who are doing something wrong—continuing to have threesomes despite knowing they never end well.

While I don’t think a woman should waste her time (or pussy) on a man who tells her he can’t have “that kind of sex,” i.e., sex she enjoys, with a woman he cares about, I can understand why you might want to keep seeing this guy. (COVID-19 is making it hard to find new partners.) But you should stop doing the thing that doesn’t work—having threesomes—and do the thing that does work instead: talking dirty to each other about other women. And if you still want to get with women, LIME, do it solo. He doesn’t need to be there for you to enjoy an amazing girl.

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Married guy here. I’m 33; the wife is 31. Our fifth anniversary is next month, but we’ve been together for almost eight years. We’ve recently both come out to each other as bi. She tried to tell me a long time ago, whereas I came to the realization only recently. We’re both interested in new sexual encounters, and this weekend, we met up with a male escort. It was my first sexual experience with a man, and the first sexual encounter between my wife and another man in eight years … and we found it lacking. It was too short and too impersonal.

Is this how it usually goes with escorts? Should we have been more upfront with our interests ahead of time? We don’t want to keep spending the money if we’re not getting the experience we want. We need to stay fairly discreet for most of these encounters due to our careers. Appreciate any input.

Oh, and a shoutout to my amazing wife for going from learning I’m bi to fucking another dude with me three months later!

Basking In Confusion Over Underwhelming, Pitifully Lackluster Experience

Some sex workers love their jobs; some don’t. Some sex workers are good at their jobs; some aren’t. Sometimes a sex worker doesn’t click with a particular client for some ephemeral, hard-to-define reason; sometimes a client gives off a bad vibe—or a bad odor—and the sex worker bails or hurries things along, not because they’re a shitty sex worker, BICOUPLE, but because their client is shitty or smells shitty.

But here’s the thing, BICOUPLE: No sex worker can read minds. You tell me you’re wondering if you should’ve been “more upfront with (your) interests ahead of time.” If you left something important out when you made the booking, well, that could’ve been the problem. No sex worker likes having things sprung on them. A sex worker who doesn’t do kink is going to feel very uncomfortable if there’s a bunch of bondage gear laid out when they arrive; even a sex worker who does kink is going to feel uncomfortable if kink wasn’t discussed in advance. Similarly, BICOUPLE, if you didn’t explain to your sex worker that there were two of you, your sex worker might’ve felt uncomfortable when they arrived.

If you weren’t clear about your wants, and your sex worker didn’t ask or you couldn’t articulate them after he asked, you put your sex worker in the position of having to guess. And your sex worker may have guessed wrong; some clients prefer sex that’s athletic, impersonal or aggressive. And if your sex worker had a bad experience with a husband who got upset when his wife seemed a little too into him, he may have erred on the side of maintaining some emotional distance even as you got physically close.

If what you wanted—if what you were most interested in—was a more intimate and connected experience, then you weren’t just expecting sexual labor from the sex worker you hired, BICOUPLE, but his emotional labor, too. While affection and intimacy can certainly be faked, we don’t typically expect a strong emotional connection when we’re hooking up with a stranger. Being sexually intimate can build that connection, BICOUPLE, but it can take time and a few meetings to get there.

To avoid winding up in bed with another sex worker you don’t click with, I would advise you to take the time—and spend the money—to make a real connection. By which I mean: Go on a date. Find a sex worker you’re interested in, and make a date—for dinner. Pay them for their time; pay for their meal; and if you click, BICOUPLE, if you feel like you could connect, book them for a sex date.


Straight male here, divorced four years ago, just entering my 50s. I recently expanded my dating-app parameters to see everyone in my area. I wanted to check out the competition and possibly give myself a little ego boost. I have a gay male friend who is in his 40s. Mr. Forties has a boyfriend of two years who is in his 20s. They are great together—they vacation together; they quarantined together; Mr. Twenties and Mr. Forties worked on redecorating a home together, etc.

The problem is I spotted Mr. Forties on several dating apps. It would have been perfectly acceptable for him to say “none of your business” when I asked him why. Instead, he told me they were old profiles, implying they pre-dated Mr. Twenties. He lists pets on his profiles that he adopted a few months ago. I have a sore spot about this behavior, because my ex-wife started “auditioning” my replacement before we filed divorce papers. I really don’t like being lied to.

What do I do? Confront Mr. Forties? Mind my own business and hope Mr. Forties doesn’t crush Mr. Twenties by cheating? Help!

Fumbled Into Fraught Terrain Involving Expanded Search

Maybe Mr. Forties and Mr. Twenties have an open relationship. Maybe they have a closed relationship but both regard flirting on dating apps as harmless. Maybe Mr. Forties was charged with finding a very special guest star for a threesome. Or maybe Mr. Forties has profiles on dating apps for the exact same reason you expanded the parameters on your profiles, FIFTIES: for the ego boost.

If it was any of the above—if there was an innocent explanation—why did Mr. Forties go with, “Those were old profiles,” instead of, “We sometimes have threesomes”? Well, in my experience, FIFTIES, some straight people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the kind of non-monogamy practiced by most gay male couples. Hell, some closed-minded gay people have a hard time with it. I can imagine a scenario where Mr. Forties was honest with people in the past and got a bad reaction, and consequently no longer feels safe—much less obligated—to share the details of his sex life with straight or gay friends. So he gave you the answer a lot of straight people and some gay people prefer to hear when they ask pointed questions of partnered friends they assumed to be monogamous: “Of course I’m not sleeping around! Those were old profiles! My monogamous boyfriend would never want me to shove my monogamous dick down his throat while some other dude non-monogamously rearranges his guts! Heavens! We’re far too busy redecorating our lovely home to arrange threesomes! Which we’re totally not interested in having!”

Look, FIFTIES, you put a question to Mr. Forties that he wasn’t obligated to answer at all, much less answer truthfully. So what do you do now? What you should’ve done when you first stumbled over Mr. Forties’ dating profiles: You do nothing. You drop it. The issue you shouldn’t have brought it up in the first place? You don’t bring it up again. Even if Mr. Forties is auditioning replacements for Mr. Twenties—even if he lied to you for a selfish, self-serving reason—it’s still none of your business.


My boyfriend and I first heard the terms “sexual monogamy” and “social monogamy” on your podcast. They describe us: not sexually monogamous, but we present that way socially, and most people in our lives assume we are. Including my mother. We’re both from very Republican families that struggled to accept us. My attitude is that if my brothers don’t have to tell our parents about their kinks, I don’t have to tell them about my threesomes. (Both of my older brothers have confided in me about their kinks, and I wish they hadn’t.) But it got back to me via my sister that my Trump-worshipping, Obama-despising mother only accepts me and my boyfriend because we are “good” gays. Good because we’re monogamous, like good straight people, and not promiscuous, like bad gay people.

Now I feel like I should say something. But what?

They Really Underestimate My Proclivities

“Good people can be ‘promiscuous,’ Mom, and awful people can be monogamous. Take Donald Trump. That asshole has been married three times and cheated on every one of his wives. Barack Obama, whom you despise, has been married once and has never been caught cheating. Which means Obama either doesn’t cheat, or like everything else he’s ever done—from being someone’s husband to being our president—he’s better at it than Donald Trump.”

On the Savage Lovecast, learn a thing or two from power sub Lina Dune: www.savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a straight man who’s been dating a woman for not quite four months. In the beginning, things were light—but things started to get heavy quickly.

Two weeks in, she revealed her very serious abandonment issues and then began asking me whether I really loved her, demanding reassurance that I wasn’t going anywhere and that she wouldn’t be “just a single chapter” in my life. After a month, I met her 7-year-old son, her parents and her ex. Then we had a pregnancy scare. She told me that if she were pregnant, she would keep it, because then I would have to stay. That alarmed me. I voiced that we’d been dating for very a short time, and this wasn’t a good time for either of us to have a child. She wasn’t pregnant, luckily. Even before this incident, my body had started to manifest signs of anxiety—upset stomach, sleepless nights, loss of appetite, etc. So, I summoned up all of my courage (conversations like this are extremely difficult for me) and told her that I couldn’t do this anymore. She started to cry and begged me to give her a second chance. I wound up spending the rest of the weekend at her place and agreed to stay in the relationship. But I didn’t feel good about it. When I finally got back to my place, I felt anxious, confused, hollow and hopeless. I tried to end things again after speaking to my therapist, but she won’t take no for an answer and constantly brings up the promises I made her about really loving her.

I hate this, and I feel terrible for her son. Any thoughts on how to dismantle this thing? Or do I just need to run?

Passionate Reassurances Extracted So Soon Undoes Relationship Exit

As I explained to a reader in a similar situation: “We need someone’s consent before we kiss them, suck them, fuck them, spank them, spoon them, marry them, collar them, etc. But we do not need someone’s consent to leave them. Breakups are the only aspect of our romantic lives where the other person’s consent is irrelevant. The other person’s pain is relevant, of course, and we should be as compassionate and considerate as possible when ending a relationship. (Unless we’re talking about dumping an abuser, in which case safety and self-care are all that matters.) But we don’t need someone’s consent to dump them.”

Voice that it’s over, PRESSURE, and then refuse to get drawn into negotiations about whether it’s over. It’s over. If she needs to cry on someone’s shoulder, she’ll need to call a friend. And if she brings up the promises you made after she “revealed” her abandonment issues weeks into this relationship, apologize for not being strong enough to resist her obvious—if possibly subconscious—efforts to manipulate you. She shouldn’t have asked you to swear your undying love after you’d known each other for such a short time, and you shouldn’t have made the promises you did. You failed her and yourself by not telling her it was too soon for that shit—too soon to say “I love you,” too soon to know whether she would be a chapter in your life, too soon to meet her son (!), her parents (!!) and her ex (!!!).

Demands for premature reassurances of everlasting love, like all demands for premature commitments, are intended to make exiting the relationship more difficult—not for the person making the demands, of course; they’re always free to go. They make it more difficult for the person those demands are being made of. While I’m not calling your girlfriend an abuser, demands for premature commitments are often red flags for abuse; being asked to make a premature commitment after a few weeks or months—by moving in together or adopting a dog or (God forbid) getting married—makes it infinitely harder for a person to leave once the mask slips, and they see the abuser lurking behind it. Again, I don’t think your girlfriend is an abuser, but she weaponized her insecurities (“It’s nice to meet you; now let me tell you about my abandonment issues!”) to extract what amounts to a premature commitment from you. And she involved her son in that effort, which is really unconscionable. While that’s on her, PRESSURE, not you, you should’ve refused to meet her son so quickly and seen her desire to introduce you to him as a red flag.

Learn the lessons, PRESSURE: When someone you’ve only recently started dating says, “Will you love me forever?” the correct answer is never, “Of course I will!” The correct answer is always, “I think you’re a wonderful person, and I want to keep seeing you, but we can’t know—at this stage—what the future will bring.” If they respond by saying, “You know what? You’re right,” keep seeing them. If they respond by melting down and bringing up their abandonment issues, well, they’ve just demonstrated that they aren’t someone you would want a future with.

And finally, I’m #TeamAmanza on the issue of meeting a new partner’s children from a previous relationship. You should be seeing someone for at least six months to a year—you should be well out of the honeymoon phase, if not quite into the farting-in-front-of-each-other phase—before being introduced to your new partner’s kid(s).


I’m a 32-year-old straight man dating a 31-year-old straight woman. We’ve been seeing each other for eight months and became “Facebook official” (if that’s still a thing) in June. We are both in our first serious relationship after being divorced from relatively long marriages. (Me: eight years, two kids. Her: 10 years, no kids.) My question is: When does suspicion—suspicion of cheating—become something you should bring up? I tend to spill everything that’s going on in my life, which she says she appreciates but isn’t used to doing. She’s a very independent person, which I’ve never experienced before. It’s refreshing to know that my partner has her own friends, but there are moments when I get stonewalled. Sometimes I get vague answers or no answers about where she is or who she’s with. She often tells me she “accidentally” turned off her notifications. Sometimes she will say she’s staying in, and then I later find out that she went out.

Maybe I’m taking things way too seriously, considering the amount of time we’ve been together, but I feel I have to take things seriously since kids are involved.

The Absent Girlfriend

The uncharitable read: Your hunch is correct, and your new girlfriend is being cagey about where she’s going and who she’s with, because she’s cheating on you.

The charitable read: Your new girlfriend is 31 years old; she was married for 10 years; and you’ve been dating for eight months. Math has never been my strong suit, but assuming her marriage didn’t end five minutes before you met, TAG, your girlfriend married very young. Which means she spent her entire adult life—most or all of her 20s and possibly a chunk of her teens—having to answer to a spouse. She only recently begun to experience the kind of autonomy most of us get to enjoy before we marry and settle down (if we marry and settle down), TAG, and she may be reluctant to surrender that autonomy so shortly after achieving it.

She may also have different ideas about what being “Facebook official” means. Does that mean you’re monogamous? If it does, does she define monogamy the same way you do? Some other questions: Was going “Facebook official” your idea or her idea? Did you ask for a premature commitment? You’re only eight months in—is it possible you involved your kids too soon?

You obviously need to have a conversation with your girlfriend—if you can get her on the phone—about your expectations and definitions. If you expect her to let you know where she is at all times and who’s she’s with, TAG, make that clear. But if that is what you expect, well, here’s hoping she dumps you. Because even if you lived together, even if you were married, even if she wanted to spend the rest of her life with you, your girlfriend would still be entitled to a little privacy and her autonomy.

This week on the Lovecast, America’s favorite mortician: Caitlin Doughty! Find it at www.savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 29-year-old straight woman in Pennsylvania. My question has to do with choking and consent: I’ve had two experiences in the past six months or so where someone has tried to choke me without my consent.

The first time this happened, I coughed immediately, but he tried multiple times during sex. I was caught so off-guard that I didn’t say anything until the next morning. I told him I wasn’t OK with that, and that it was too much. The second time, I shook my head as soon as he put his hand on my throat, and he stopped immediately. I told him, “That scared the shit out of me.” He apologized for startling me and said he wouldn’t do it again.

My question is: Why is this a thing? The fact that this has happened to me more than once in a short period of time kind of shocked me. And what is the appropriate thing to do when this happens? What should I do with the person who does this?

Concerned Hetero Over Kinky Entitled Dumbasses

“I would also love to know why choking has become a thing,” said Dr. Debby Herbenick. “And it is a thing, especially among young adults.”

Dr. Herbenick is a professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health and the author of numerous books on sexuality and sexual pleasure. She’s also the lead author of a study published earlier this year in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, CHOKED, that looked at the sort of behavior you’ve been encountering recently: People engaging in spanking, choking, face-fucking, etc. Though some of this is no doubt consensual, much of it is not.

“We found that 21 percent of women had been choked during sex, as had 11 percent of men,” said Dr. Herbenick. “We also found that 20 percent of men and 12 percent of women had choked a partner. But choking during sex was much more common among 18-29-year-olds—almost 40 percent of whom had choked or been choked—leading us to believe that choking has really changed in the U.S., over probably the last 10 to 20 years.”

Men who choked women were the biggest single group of chokers, CHOKED, followed by men choking men, women choking women, and trans and gender non-binary individuals choking and being choked. Straight cisgender men, perhaps unsurprisingly, were the least likely to report that partners choked them during sex. Trans and gender non-binary participants in Dr. Herbenick’s research more often reported that their partners established consent prior to choking, but across the board, there was still a great deal of nonconsensual choking going on.

How did we get here?

“Probably porn,” said Dr. Herbenick. “We found that many people into choking remember growing up and watching porn with choking in it—and in a country where porn stands in for sex education and family conversations about sex, some young people do what they see in porn.”

And some people—mostly male people—do it because they think the other person wants or expects it. This was dramatized in an episode of Euphoria, the terrific HBO show about a group of high school students, when a boy suddenly starts choking a girl during their first hookup at a party. The girl is scared and confused—she thought the boy liked her—and the boy tells her he does like her; he grabbed her throat because he thought she would like it, not to harm or scare her. Although shaken, she makes it clear she expects him to ask first.

It is scary to be suddenly choked by a sex partner. When asked if something scary had ever happened to them during sex, numerous women Herbenick surveyed for a different study cited someone choking them without asking. Even if you were into being choked, CHOKED, which you’re not, suddenly being choked by a new sex partner would still be scary. Because if someone chokes you without asking first, they’re essentially saying—they’re clearly saying—that they have extremely shitty judgement (and didn’t think to obtain your consent) or that they’re an extremely shitty person (and didn’t care to obtain your consent).

“Now I’m not one of those people who says explicit verbal consent is needed for every hug or kiss or breast/chest touch,” said Dr. Herbenick. “I’m well aware that sex often involves verbal, nonverbal and other shades of asking for something. But no one should choke another person without their explicit verbal consent.”

That goes double/triple/infinity for aggressive and/or high-risk kinks, not just choking.

“And choking is really risky,” added Dr. Herbenick. “Even though people call it choking, external pressure on the neck—like from hands or a cord or necktie—is technically strangulation. In rare cases, choking/strangulation causes people to pass out, leading to probable mild traumatic brain injury. And choking/strangulation sometimes kills people. Even if the person who was choked consented to it, even if they asked to be choked, the person who did the choking is often legally responsible in the event of injury or death.”

I’ve interviewed professional Dominants who will literally stick needles through men’s testicles—sterilized needles, consenting testicles—but who refuse to choke clients or engage in other forms of breath play. These professionals aren’t refusing to choke clients because it’s too extreme (remember the needles?), but because it’s too dangerous.

“There is truly no safe way to choke someone,” said Dr. Herbenick. “As part of my research, I’ve sought advice from several kink-positive physician colleagues, none of whom feels confident in a ‘safe’ way of choking, as there is too much that can go wrong—from seizures to neck injury to death.”

So what do you do the next time some dude grabs your throat? (And there will, sadly, most likely be a next time.) You immediately tell them to stop. Don’t cough; don’t deflect; don’t prioritize their feelings in the moment or worry about ruining the mood and derailing the sex. Use your words: “Don’t choke me; I don’t like that. It’s not sexy to me, and it’s not safe, and you should’ve asked.” If they apologize and don’t try it again, great. Maybe you can keep fucking. But if they pout or act annoyed or insist you might like it after you’ve just finished telling them you definitely don’t like it, get up and leave. And if someone tried to choke you during sex, and you shut it down and they pivoted to mutually enjoyable sex acts, CHOKED, be sure to raise the subject up after sex. Make sure they understand you don’t want that to happen again and that you expect them to be more conscientious about consent the next time—if there is a next time.

Considering that this has happened to you twice recently, CHOKED, and considering how popular busting this particular move seems to have become, you might wanna consider saying something about choking to a new sex partner before you have sex for the first time.

“I would be very up front about it from the get-go,” said Dr. Herbenick. “When you’re first talking with someone or moving things forward, say something like, ‘I’m not into choking, so don’t try it,’ or, ‘Whatever you do, don’t choke me.’ If you can both share your hard limits, you’ll be better prepped for good, fun, exciting, pleasurable sex—not scary stuff like non-consensual choking.

“And for everyone reading this, seriously: Stop choking people without first talking or asking about it. Just stop.”

Follow Dr. Debby Herbenick on Twitter @DebbyHerbenick.


I hope you’re getting a lot of mail from people uncomfortable with your response to DISCORD, the woman whose cheating husband blew up when a man she was merely chatting with forwarded their correspondence to her husband.

My first question was whether the sadistic creep who baited her into telling him she’d had an affair wasn’t actually her POS husband playing some sick game. I mean, 30 minutes is an awfully quick turnaround from her messages being forwarded to his blow-up. And seeing as DISCORD’s husband has already established that she will put up with his tantrums, withholding of sexual intimacy, strangulation, lying and affairs, it’s also possible that he’s engineered her financial dependence.

I would advise her to at least talk to a professional who could paint an objective picture of her financial options. She might also benefit from the advice of an advocate for domestic-violence survivors. Strangulation is usually not an isolated violent act.

Rarely Disappointed Reader

Thank you for writing, RDR—thank to everyone who wrote. I’ve reached out to DISCORD privately and will forward your emails on to her. I should’ve pushed back when DISCORD ruled out divorce as an option. Here’s hoping DISCORD takes your advice over mine.

Meet the author of The Vagina Bible on this week’s Savage Lovecast: www.savagelovecast.com.

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I’ve been married for 30 years to the same man. I have dealt with his tantrums, his screaming and his fits. He’s always had anger-management issues. He strangled me once a few months after our son was born and never did it again. I would have left otherwise. He’s had relationships with other women but always swore it was just online.

Then, a few years back, I got into an online relationship with someone. I never actually met this person, just as my husband claimed he’d never met the women he was talking to online. I had opened up to this person about our troubles, and I talked about my husband’s anger issues and some other private things. This person encouraged me to have an affair with someone else, but I kept putting him off. Finally, I told him I'd done it—I had an affair; it was great, etc. It wasn’t true, but it seemed like that’s what he wanted to hear. About 30 minutes after I told him, I got a call from my husband! This person had sent it all to him—all of our conversations, everything, every detail! My husband flipped out, but we worked it out and moved on.

Then a few months ago, right at the start of the pandemic, I found out that my husband has been speaking to other women. I also found out that he’s been meeting other women in hotel rooms in other cities—and all this time, I believed him about never meeting with anyone in person! He claims he has erectile dysfunction, but it was clear from the messages I saw that he is having sex with these other women. So he’s somehow fucking other women despite the erectile dysfunction that prevents him from fucking me?!?

I’m beside myself, because over 30 years, we built a life together, and now I don’t know what my future is going to look like because of this. I can’t provide for myself monetarily. I still work full time, but if I lose this job or retire, Dan, I will have nothing. We both have medical issues. I don’t want a divorce, because a secure future for both of us really does hinge on us remaining together. I know for a fact that he’s still seeing these women while forbidding me from having even online conversations—to say nothing of relations—with another man.

Neither of us can make it on our own. I don’t know what to do. Why wouldn’t he want an open relationship?

Divorce Invites Serious Consequences Or Real Distress

Your husband doesn’t want an open relationship, DISCORD, because he doesn’t want you to have the same freedom he does. And while he doesn’t want to be sexual with you for reasons that have nothing to do with erectile dysfunction, he doesn’t want you seeking sexual attention—much less sexual fulfillment—in the arms or inboxes of other men. Which means your husband sees you not as a human being like him, i.e., a person with needs and feelings and agency, but more like a car he keeps in his garage and refuses to drive—and won’t let anyone else take for a spin.

You’re not a car, of course, and you’re not his property. You were also faithful to him even as he cheated on you—even after he assaulted you—and you stayed in this marriage despite being deprived of sex and other forms intimacy. But even if you guys had been fucking on a daily basis for the last 30 years, DISCORD, even if your husband wasn’t an abusive asshole with anger issues, you would still have every right to indulge in sexual fantasies that don’t involve your husband, and every right to explore those fantasies on your own time. Partnered or not, monogamous or not, we are all entitled to a zone of erotic autonomy.

You say divorce isn’t a viable option for you, DISCORD, so I’m gonna recommend a different d-word: detach. Make peace with your circumstances and the best of your living situation. Don’t go searching for evidence that your husband is cheating on you; just accept that he is. Don’t feel the need to confront him about his fucking hypocrisy; just accept that he’s a huge fucking hypocrite. And then, DISCORD, just like your husband, go and do whatever and whoever you want. You don’t need his permission to seek attention elsewhere. And if being honest about the attention you get elsewhere upsets your husband—if being honest about swapping dirty texts with other men makes your husband and your home life unbearable—then don’t be honest about it. Just as he made an effort to be discreet in order to hide the scale of his cheating and his hypocrisy from you, DISCORD, you can be discreet in order to avoid conflict and drama.

Get back online, DISCORD; go make a new friend. Just because that last guy turned out to be a sadistic asshole who drew you out in order to blow up your life, that doesn’t mean the next guy you meet online is going to be a sadistic or vindictive asshole. Billions of people get online every day to chat with strangers, and millions of people share explicit fantasies with strangers every day. While revenge porn is definitely a thing—and definitely a crime—it’s almost always jilted IRL lovers who lash out like that asshole did. If it was even remotely common for people to be exposed to their spouses the way you were exposed to yours, DISCORD, if it happened even .01 percent of the time, we would hear about constantly. We don’t, because it isn’t.

But to be on the safe side, DISCORD, you might to keep it anonymous. Don’t share your real info with someone you only wanna swap hot fantasies with and never intend to meet in person. And when your husband is being an asshole or just generally getting on your nerves, DISCARD, you can fantasize about the statistical likelihood that you will outlive your husband by many years. Because orgasms aren’t the only sweet release.


I just read your advice for CATMAN, the person who asked if there was a name for his specific and newfound fetish: He wants to marry a submissive bisexual guy and then pick up and dominate submissive women together with his guy. As I read it, I wondered: Is this a sexual fantasy, or is it a fetish? Then I wondered what the difference is between a fantasy and a fetish. Is there one? Does it matter?

Knowingly Investigating Newly Kinky Yearnings

What CATMAN described—what CATMAN was looking for—was a relationship. He was fantasizing about his perfect partner and wondering if he was out there somewhere. Since literally everyone does that, KINKY, I wouldn’t describe fantasizing about a perfect partner/partners as a fetish or a kink. Be it vanilla or mildly kinky or wildly kinky, we all want that perfect match, i.e., a person or people whose sexual desires and/or relationship goals parallel our own. A lucky few manage to find someone who comes really close.

People don’t just fantasize about sex, of course; people fantasize about dream jobs, dream vacations, dream weddings. (Wedding fantasies aren’t about who you’re marrying but how you’re marrying them, e.g., a destination wedding, a traditional wedding, a non-traditional wedding, etc.) But when it comes to sex, KINKY, fantasies are best understood as scenarios or situations that incorporate important elements of a person’s sexual desires—desires which may involve kinks or fetishes, or may not. Think of fantasies as sexy little movies we screen for ourselves in our heads, and kinks or fetishes as optional plot points and/or props.

The natural follow-up question: What’s the difference between a kink and a fetish then? While people often use those terms interchangeably, KINKY, they mean different things. Dr. Justin Lehmiller recently unpacked the difference on Sex and Psychology (www.lehmiller.com): "Kink is a very broad concept that encompasses pretty much any form of sexual expression that falls outside of the mainstream. This includes the eroticization of intense sensations (such as mixing pleasure and pain), playing with power differentials, deriving pleasure from inanimate objects, role playing, and more … (whereas) fetishes involve heightened attraction to certain objects (like boots and shoes) and/or body parts beyond the genitals (like feet and armpits).”

So, all fetishes are kinks, but not all kinks are fetishes. I hope that clears things up!

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I’m a 35-year-old woman. I recently discovered I’m a size queen. (Is it OK for me to use this term?) This has been brewing for a while as I have dabbled with purchasing larger and larger cucumbers and fucking myself with them after a good wash. I use a condom and tons of lube, and it’s been amazing.

Are there any safety or health concerns I should be aware of? I’m moving away from fucking produce and purchased my first sizable toy. I see safety tips online for men who like large toys in their butts, but I wanted to know if there is anything I should be aware of as a vagina-haver. I mainly partner with men but am expanding to date women, and I’ve been fisted only once by a woman and absolutely loved it.

Finding I Lately Love Enormous Dildos

So long as you’re taking it slow, FILLED, so long as you’re using lots of lube, so long as you’re playing with toys that have flared bases and were designed for insertion play, and so long as those toys are made of body-safe materials like silicone, then you’re doing everything right. And yes, FILLED, you may use the term “size queen” to describe yourself!


I’m a longtime fan of your column and your podcast. A discussion recently came up on Facebook, and I was curious as to what your take on the situation was. It was about diaper play: A group of people seem to think that enjoying this kink is the same thing as being a pedophile or engaging in “pedo-lite” behavior. Another group—myself included—believes that it is simply an expression of a kink between two consenting adults, and therefore isn’t the same as pedophilia at all. I was curious as to what your take on the situation was, or if you had any suggestions on how to approach this topic with the first group. Thank you; wishing you all the best!

Wandering Ethical Terrain Of Nappies Employed Sexually

Does fucking someone who’s wearing a dog collar count as bestiality? Of course not, WETONES, because dog collars no more turn consenting adults into dogs than diapers turn consenting adults into infants. And the disapproval of strangers on the internet not only won’t stop an adult who wants to wear diapers from wearing diapers, WETONES; that disapproval makes wearing diapers all the more arousing, because the transgression and “wrongness” of wearing diapers makes wearing diapers arousing—not for everyone, of course, but for most people who are into wearing diapers. Which means your disapproving friends are playing right into the pervy hands/crinkly rubber shorts of all the diaper lovers out there. And while it’s true that some people who are into age play are also into diapers, WETONES, it’s not true that everyone into diapers is into age play. For most people who get off on diapers, it’s the humiliation of being a diapered adult that turns them on, not the fantasy of being a child.


My husband and I recently watched the fantastic ’70s porn Alice in Wonderland: An X-rated Musical Fantasy. (We got to it by watching Meatballs.) It was everything I’ve ever wanted in a porn. Perhaps you or your readers could recommend something similar to put in our rotation?

Likes To Watch

Check out Caligula. This intermittently pornographic 1979 film probably isn’t as lighthearted as the version Alice in Wonderland you stumbled over, LTW, but it doubtless has a much more interesting backstory and far bigger stars—a young and sexy Malcolm McDowell as the mad Roman emperor with Peter O’Toole (!), John Gielgud (!!) and Helen Mirren (!!!) in supporting roles. Even better, this amazing train wreck of a movie is based on a screenplay by Gore Vidal. (Got a ’70s porn recommendation for LTW? Share it in the comment thread!)


Here’s a quickie: If a woman is attracted to cis men and nonbinary humans (who can have either a penis or vagina), but that woman is not attracted to cis women … would that woman be bi or pan? Labels are not super important to me, Dan, but I’m calling on my friendly neighborhood sex advice columnist for help just the same!

Loves All Bodies Except Ladies

While bisexual was once commonly understood to mean “attracted to both sexes,” the Human Rights Campaign’s online glossary now defines bisexual as “emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity.” That same online glossary defines pansexual as, “the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender.” While on the first read there doesn’t seem to be much daylight between those two definitions, LABEL, there actually is some difference between being attracted to “more than one (gender)” and being attracted to “people of any gender.” And while a lot of people use bi and pan pretty much interchangeably these days, the bi label is probably a slightly better fit for you, LABEL, seeing as your libido disqualifies all members of one gender—your own—from emotional, romantic or sexual consideration.


I’m a queer man who’s starting to bottom again after 10 years of being on top. I have a butt plug that my anus keeps pushing out, even though I’ve tried relaxing and lots of lube. It feels great when it’s in, and then there it goes! I need tips! But not just the tip, please.

Exciting XXX Toy Or Projectile?

The butt plug you’re using is too small. Like other recovering tops before you, EXTOP, you made the mistake of purchasing a small plug, because you didn’t think your ass could handle a medium or large one. But butt plugs are held in place after the widest part slides all the way into your ass, past your anal sphincters; then your sphincters close around the neck of the plug, aka the narrow part before the flared base. But if the wide part isn’t much wider than the narrow part—if you bought a plug that looks more like a finger than a lava lamp—then the anal sphincters will push the plug back out. Or, even worse, they’ll send the plug flying across the room when your sphincters contract at the moment of orgasm. Do yourself and your wallpaper a favor, EXTOP, and get yourself a bigger plug.


I am an avid reader, and I incorporate much of your advice in caring for my patients. I have tremendous respect for you and your column. Nonetheless, I must raise a concern about a small comment on in your response to COVET, the woman who was wondering about getting together with a new partner for sex despite social distancing: “Life is short,” you wrote, “and this pandemic is going to be long.” The lockdown is indeed difficult, Dan, but the concept that “this pandemic is going to be long” leads too many of us to feel as if the pandemic will never end. Impatience is driving some people to risky behavior that can be otherwise avoided.

With attention to safety measures, we can reduce our risk of infection, as well as emotionally survive until a vaccine is available. Patience with the pandemic is analogous to the perseverance that Londoners used to get through the bombings of World War II.

Practice All Necessary Deeds Especially Masks Isolating COVID-19

Thank you for sharing, PANDEMIC!


I got into my Lyft at 6 a.m. this morning to go to the airport. My driver was an older man with a southern drawl. The Savage Lovecast was playing on the radio when I entered his car, and I thought he was going to turn it off when he realized it was still on, and I was already planning to ask him to turn it back on if he did. I’ve had some heartfelt beautiful and rich conversations with my Lyft drivers, and I thought we would bond over our shared love of your show. I was literally sitting in the backseat thinking, “This is so great; we are so different, but we have at least one thing in common. I wonder how long has he been a listener, and could he be a Magnum subscriber, too?” Then I realized the episode playing was the one I was listening to the previous night as I fell asleep ... and then I realized my phone was connected to his car’s Bluetooth. Oops. Love you, Dan!

Sheryl In TEXAS!

Thank you for sharing, SIT, and thanks for turning a new listener on to the Savage Lovecast! This week, it features Dr. David Ley on sex addiction vs. kink; www.savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 38-year-old bi woman who has been sleeping with a married male co-worker for the last eight months. We’re a walking cliché: I’m a nurse; he’s a doctor; and one night, he ended up spilling a lot of personal information about his marriage to me (sexless; non-romantic; she might be a lesbian) before asking if he could kiss me. I declined.

Three months and many text messages later, I met him for drinks. The next thing I know, we are falling in love and spending as much time together as we can manage. Even though he is married and has kids, this has been one of the best relationships of my adult life. He loves me in ways I never thought possible. (He even savors my COVID-19 curves.) The obvious problem here is that he is married, and his wife allegedly doesn’t know about his unhappiness in their marriage. We have to arrange our dates around his work schedule and his lies to his wife. I find myself becoming increasingly jealous of the time he spends with his wife and his inability to spend more time with me. I want him to confront the issues in his marriage, and I want him to at least attempt being honest with her so we can figure out if it’s even possible for us to move forward.

My question is this: How do I have this conversation with him without it seeming like an ultimatum? I adore him, and I don’t think he’s lying to me about his marriage. But I long to have more freedom in our relationship. I love that I finally found someone who treats me so well when we are together, but my heart is breaking, because our love exists in the shadows. It’s a win/win for him—he gets his marriage, his kids, his “real life,” and me, too. But I can’t even text or call him freely, and I certainly couldn’t rely on him in an emergency.

I want this to work. I don’t necessarily want him to get divorced, Dan, as I fear it would cause him to resent me, but that would honestly be my preference. What should I do? 

Outside The Home Exists Romance

What are you willing to settle for, OTHER?

If you can’t live without Dr. Married, and you can only have him on his terms—terms he set at the start, terms designed to keep his wife in the dark—then you’ll have to accept his terms. You can only see Dr. Married during office hours; you can’t call or text him; and you’re on your own if you have an emergency outside office hours. But agreeing to his terms at the outset doesn’t obligate you to stick to his terms forever. Terms can be renegotiated. But unless you’re willing to issue an ultimatum, OTHER, Dr. Married has no incentive to renegotiate the terms of your relationship.

Zooming out for a second: I get letters all the time from women who ask me how issue to an ultimatum without seeming like they’re issuing an ultimatum. I don’t get many letters from men like that, for good and not-so-good reasons: Men are socialized to feel entitled to what they want; men are praised when they ask for what they want; and consequently, men are likelier to get what they want.

To get what you want, OTHER, you’re gonna have to man up: Feel entitled; act entitled; make demands. And you’ve gotta be willing to walk. You have to go in fully prepared to use the leverage you actually have here—your presence in Dr. Married’s life—or nothing will change. His circumstances have required you to live in the shadows if you wanted to see him, and maybe that worked for you once. But it doesn’t work for you anymore, and Dr. Married needs to understand that if his circumstances don’t change—if he doesn’t change them—then he’s going to lose you.

There’s a middle ground between divorce—your preferred circumstance—and things staying exactly as they are. Dr. Married’s wife is surely aware that her marriage is sexless and non-romantic—assuming he’s told you the truth—and if his wife’s actually a lesbian, well, perhaps she’d like the freedom to date other women, too. (Or date them openly, I should say; for all we know, she’s been getting some pussy on the side herself.) If they want to stay together for the kids—if they have a constructive, functional, low-conflict loving partnership—and it would be possible to daylight you without anyone having to get divorced, maybe you could settle for those terms.


I’m a bi man in a straight marriage. We have two young children. My wife and I have been working through some relationship issues. Because of these, she has not been open to sex with me, and for 18 months, our marriage has been essentially sexless. I’m not happy with this, but we are working on things.

Since we stopped having sex, I have been using my wife’s used panties to masturbate. I work from home and do a lot of the household work, including laundry. Every couple of weeks, I will take a couple of her panties from the laundry. I rub myself with one pair and sniff the other one. I enjoy the way the fabric feels and am turned on by knowing that they’ve been rubbing up against her pussy. It makes me feel very close to her. I finish by ejaculating into her panties, and then I rinse them out and wash them. I’m very careful not to stain or damage them. This is something I do to feel more connected with her sexually. I don’t get hard thinking that she’s wearing panties I came in; I get hard thinking about coming in panties she’s worn. But I worry that I’m violating her—which is not something I want to do. I know that if I were doing this with a stranger’s panties, or with the panties of someone I knew but was not in an intimate relationship with, it would be, at best, creepy, and, at worst, a sex crime. But she’s my wife, and although we are in a hard place right now, we’re trying to find our way back to each other.

So, is this an acceptable way for me to get off while we work on our relationship? Or is it a violation?

Wonders About Nuzzling Knickers

I’m torn, WANK.

If you and the wife were fucking, WANK, she might enjoy knowing that, however many years and two kids later, you’re still so crazy about her that you’re down in the laundry room perving on her dirty panties. But you aren’t fucking, and things are strained for reasons you didn’t share. So you need to ask yourself whether this perving, if your wife were to find out about it, would set you two back. If you think it would—if, say, your wife isn’t fucking you because she feels like you don’t respect her opinions, her boundaries, her autonomy, etc.—then the risk (further damaging your marriage) has to outweigh the rewards (momentarily draining your sack.)

That said, WANK, if perving on your wife’s panties—without damaging or staining them—is helping you remain faithful during this sexless period of your marriage … and sustaining your attraction to your wife though this difficult time … well, an argument/rationalization could be made that your wife benefits from this perving. And these aren’t stolen panties—these aren’t a stranger’s panties or a roommate’s panties—these are panties your wife hands over to you for laundering. That you derive a moment’s pleasure from them on their way from laundry basket to washing machine could be self-servingly filed, I guess, under “what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

But if you feel like your wife would regard this as a violation—and I’m guessing you feel that way, WANK, since you’re asking me about it and not her—then you might wanna knock it off.


Quick question: Why get married? I’m a 29-year-old lesbian who got married to a woman at 26 and divorced at 28. We had a pretty low-key wedding, but we still stated to all of our friends and family that we were in it for the long haul; people wished us well, bought us gifts, gave us money. When I realized it was a huge mistake (we rushed into it; we ignored huge incompatibilities), I felt terrible for all the usual reasons involved a breakup, Dan, but I also felt like we were letting down our friends and family, and all gays everywhere. I’m jaded right now, I realize, but seriously: WHY DO THIS? Why get married? Why do this thing that adds so much stress and pressure to leaving a relationship that might have run its course, as MOST relationships eventually do?

Marriage-Averse Dyke

Quick answer, MAD: People get married for love—ideally, at least these days, and it was not always thus. (Suggested reading: Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage, by Stephanie Coontz.) But sometimes, I think people marry for the same reasons you think no one should, MAD: The stress of ending a marriage—the pressure to stay in a marriage—often prompts a couple to work through a rough patch. Of course, that pressure can keep two people together who really shouldn’t be together anymore—or never should’ve been together, MAD, like you and your ex-wife—but sometimes two people stick it out to avoid the embarrassment, expense and drama of divorce, and eventually get to a place where they’re genuinely happy to still be together.

Maybe a wedding isn’t a promise that two people will stay together forever, MAD, but rather a promise that two people will have to think long and hard before parting.

On the Lovecast, it’s Millennial vs Boomer with Jill Filipovic; www.savagelovecast.com.

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

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I’m a gay guy who’s involved with a guy I met a few months before COVID-19 took off. He’s a great guy—smart, funny, hot, healthy and easy to be around. It started as a hookup, but we have chemistry on several levels, and without either of us having to say it, we started seeing each other regularly. We both live alone and decided to be exclusive due to the pandemic. I honestly don’t know what we’re doing here. It’s some combination of friends, fuck buddies and married couple all at the same time.

I wanted to just keep a good thing going, but he just threw me a curveball that I need help figuring out how to handle. Out of the blue, he told me he’d held back telling me about his foot fetish. He says he’s had very bad experiences with guys who weren’t into it. He’s been keeping it to himself and looking at stuff online. I’m pretty vanilla and not into it, but I know kinks are a thing for a lot of guys, and I’m willing to help out a good guy. I’m a longtime reader of yours, Dan, and being GGG is important to me. So I asked him to tell me what that means and what he wants to do. He wants to massage, wash and kiss my feet and suck my toes. OK, that’s not hot to me, but it’s probably doable once in a while. He thankfully doesn’t need me to do anything with his feet.

But there was more. I can’t believe I’m writing this: He asked if I would let him paint my toenails sometimes! WTF? He could barely say it and looked kind of sick after he did. We’re both conventional cis men. Neither of us are into fem stuff. He claimed it’s not about making me femme. He says it’s just a hot thing for him.

I know there’s no explanation for why people have kinks, but do you have any ideas what this is about? I didn’t respond at all, and we haven’t talked about it since. I’m not proud of that. I’m freaked out by this and not sure what to make of it. I don’t want to ask him directly if this is the price of admission, because that seems too big of a price to pay, and I really don’t want it to be his price.

Freaked Out Over Terrific Person’s Erotic Revelation Vibe

From your panicked response, FOOTPERV, you’d think this poor guy wanted to cut your toes off and masturbate while you bled out.

Dude. He just wants to paint your toenails—and as prices go, that’s a very small price to pay for smart, funny and hot.

Yeah, yeah: You’re both conventionally cis and presumably conventionally masculine. Since we’ll never know what caused him to have this particular kink—kinks really are mysteries—let’s just run with that: He thinks this is hot—or his dick thinks this is hot—because guys like you aren’t supposed to have painted toenails, and guys like him aren’t supposed to paint toenails, FOOTPERV, and this small transgression against gender norms makes his dick hard, because it does. While it’s not always the case with all kinks, in this instance, the most obvious explanation is the likeliest explanation. Moving on …

You say he’s a great guy; you say you enjoy being with him; and you say you’re a longtime reader. So you had to know that I was gonna say this: Buy some fucking nail polish already, and leave it on the nightstand where he can see it, and let him paint your fucking toenails.

And if you really hate it, FOOTPERV—if it freaks you out to have polished toenails—or if your masculinity is really so fragile that it shatters under the weight of toenail polish, then you don’t have to do it again. But I also gotta say … as off-the-wall sexual requests go, this is a small ask. If you were claustrophobic and your boyfriend wanted to mummify you, FOOTPERV, or if he wanted to use you as a urinal and you weren’t into piss, I would totally give you a pass. Some sexual requests are big asks, and the third “G” in GGG (“good, giving and game”) has always been qualified: “game for anything—within reason.” Some sexual requests are huge asks; some prices of admission are too steep; and some desires can only be accommodated by people who share them. But this request—what your COVID-19 spouse wants to do to you—is a small ask and a small price, FOOTPERV, in no way comparable to being turned into a mummy or used as a urinal.

If I sound a little impatient, FOOTPERV, I apologize. We live in a deeply sex- and kink-negative culture, and our first reaction when a partner discloses a kink is often a knee-jerk negative reaction to the idea of kinks at all. In the moment, we can fail to distinguish between the big ask/steep price and the small ask/small price. And I hope you can see the compliment this great, smart, funny, hot guy was paying you when he asked. He felt safe enough to share something with you that other guys have judged and shamed him for. Take the compliment; buy the nail polish; pay the price.


I am a 37-year-old female who, almost three years ago, got out of a six-year toxic, violent relationship with a man I believe I loved. After I left him for good, my life started to improve in so many ways. However, it seems that my once very healthy sexual desires have died. Ever since we broke up, I haven’t felt any sexual needs or attraction toward anybody. I honestly think there’s something wrong with me. I can’t even picture myself having intimacy again.

A year ago, I went out on a couple of dates with a man younger than me. He was cute and very interested in me, but I just didn’t feel the connection. I really don’t know what to make of this situation. Any advice is profoundly appreciated.

Just Another Gal

Could it be a coincidence? Besides ridding yourself of a toxic and abusive ex—and that’s harder than people who haven’t been in an abusive relationship often realize, and I’m so glad you got away from him—did something else happen three years ago that could’ve tanked your libido, JAG? Did you go on meds at the time for depression or anxiety? Could an undiagnosed medical condition that came on at roughly the same time create a libido-tanking hormonal imbalance? Did you go on a new form of birth control in anticipation of the sex you’d soon be having with other, better, nicer, hotter, kinder men?

If nothing else is going on—if you aren’t on meds for depression or anxiety; if you’ve had your hormone levels checked and they’re normal; if a new form of birth control isn’t cratering your libido—then the most obvious and likeliest answer is probably the correct one: Three years after getting out of an abusive relationship, JAG, you’re still reeling from the trauma. And the best advice is also the obvious advice: Find a sex-positive therapist or counselor who can help you work through your trauma, and reclaim your sexuality. Even if you were to get your hormone levels checked, adjust your psych meds or switch to a new birth-control method, I would still recommend seeing a counselor or therapist.

And even if the thought of being intimate with others causes you stress and makes you anxious, JAG, you can still explore solo sex. You don’t have to wait for the right hot young man to come along in order to reconnect with your sexuality. You can read or write some erotica; you can splurge on an expensive sex toy (have you seen the new clit-sucking vibrators?); you can watch or create porn. Really enjoying yourself may be the first step toward enjoying others again.

This week on the Savage Lovecast, Mistress Velvet schools us all; www.savagelovecast.com.

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

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