CVIndependent

Sun12152019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

I’ve been faithfully reading your column in the Chicago Reader for years, and now I’m reaching out to you about my own problem. I’ve been dating this guy for almost a year. Everything is great, except one thing: He wants me to kick him in the nuts. It really bothers me, and I’m not sure what to do. He’s very serious about it, and he brings it up every single day. It makes me really uncomfortable that this is some sort of fetish of his, and I need help taking steps forward.

By the way: I play soccer, and I kick hard.

To Kick Or Not To Kick

It’s a kink called “ball busting,” TKONTK, and as long as you don’t kick him full force—or even half force—you’re unlikely to do permanent damage. That said, childless guys who are into ball busting are often advised to freeze their sperm just in case. And while it’s not a hugely popular kink, it’s common enough that ball busting porn exists, and ball busting Tumblrs, ball busting blogs, etc. Take it slow at first, particularly if your guy has only fantasized about this and not experienced it.

By the way: A guy who brings up his kink every single day deserves to be kicked in the nuts—unless he’s into ball busting, in which case he doesn’t deserve to be kicked in the nuts.


My husband and I were married in Toronto, Canada, in 2005, before marriage equality came to the United States. Does the U.S. government recognize our Canadian marriage, or do we need to remarry in the U.S.? Can you find out from one of your legal friends?

Does Our Marriage Apply?

“The U.S. government does recognize your marriage,” said Robbie Kaplan, one of my legal friends—and the attorney who represented Edith Windsor before the U.S. Supreme Court and won. In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government was required to recognize legal same-sex marriages, thereby gutting the Defense of Marriage Act. “We did the same thing,” Kaplan added. “We were married in Toronto in 2006, and the U.S. recognizes our marriage. No need to get married again here.”


Hi, Dan. I am getting in touch because I thought you might be interested in the following article: “Getting to the Bottom of Pegging.” For open-minded people who are open to butt play, pegging is a great way to spice things up in the bedroom. But what exactly is pegging and why is it a thing now? Sex and relationships expert, Tami Rose, knows how important it is to try new things in the bedroom. She would be able to provide an article explaining what pegging is and tips for your more adventurous readers who want to give it a go. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

(Redacted) PR Agency

Pegging? Never heard of it. Wait—what’s that, Wikipedia? “Pegging is a sexual practice in which a woman performs anal sex on a man by penetrating the man’s anus with a strap-on dildo. … The neologism ‘pegging’ was popularized when it became the winning entry in a contest in Dan Savage’s Savage Love sex advice column (in 2001).”


I’m in a six-year relationship with a guy you will probably deem DTMFA-worthy, but I deem round-up-able to The One. My kids already regarded him as their stepdad before we moved in together about eight months ago. That’s when I learned he’s an addict: He drinks, smokes weed and jerks off to porn for about two hours every day. He has been this way for more than 20 years, and I have zero delusions he will change for me. Recently, he told me he has very little sexual desire for me, that he knows my pussy in and out, and that it’s boring, but he loves my companionship.

How do I deal with this so we can move forward together as an incompatible couple?

Sex Addict Partner

A romantic partner who says something as cruel and negating as what this man has said to you, SAP, either wants out of the relationship or is grooming their partner for much worse treatment to come. If he wants out of the relationship, the verbal and emotional abuse will escalate until you finally leave him. If he doesn’t want out, the verbal and emotional abuse will escalate a bit more slowly, so that, like the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water, you don’t realize exactly how bad it’s getting and how much damage it’s doing to you—and your kids.

I know it’s not what you wanted to hear, SAP, but I’m going to say it anyway: DTMFA.


I’m a competent in-person lover, but I’m the worst at Skype/FaceTime/WhatsApp sex. I can’t get the angle right; I don’t know what to wear; I feel shy; I don’t know what to say; I can’t get off; I giggle like a 15-year-old girl getting her first French kiss under the bleachers. I’m going to be away from my guy for most of the summer, and I need to figure this out. Any advice or tips?

Struggle Keeping Yonder Penis Entertained

A 15-year-old girl may giggle the first time she gets French-kissed under the bleachers—or she may not—but a girl who giggles the first time probably isn’t going to be giggling the 50th. So just keep at it; try to relax and enjoy yourself; and ask your partner to take the lead, i.e., if you don’t know what to do, ask him to tell you what he’d like you to do, SKYPE—but only follow the orders you’re comfortable following.


What’s the fairest way to determine who should get tied up?

Bondage Bottom Boyfriends

Whoever was tied up last time does the tying up this time, and vice versa.


Do you ever wear panties, Dan? Would you post a picture of yourself in panties online? I think you would look good in panties.

Panties Are Nice To You

While I have no particular aversion to wearing panties, PANTY, and while I will not deny the allure of the models at xdress.com, I’ve never worn panties and have no plans to start. As a consequence, I won’t be able to post a picture of myself in panties online to delight you and horrify everyone else.


How much sex is too much sex?

Numb Over Numbers

“Enough is as good as a feast.” —Mary Poppins.

On the Lovecast, Dan and the lesbian panel: savagelovecast.com.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; read the Savage Love Letter of the Day on Slog: thestranger.com/slog.

Published in Savage Love

When residents of the Coachella Valley joined many, many thousands of visitors from around the globe last year to celebrate Greater Palm Springs Pride, the mood was decidedly mixed.

On one hand, the year 2015 had brought us arguably the greatest LGBT-rights legal victory ever: full marriage equality in all 50 states.

On the other hand, we were reeling from the news that just days before Pride—mere feet from the site of the Pride enclosure on Arenas Road—George Zander, a prominent LGBT-rights activist that so many of us knew and loved, had been gay-bashed along with his husband, Chris, after leaving Hunters Nightclub.

Fortunately, George’s prognosis was good, although he faced a lengthy and grueling rehabilitation process after injuries including a broken hip.

As 2016’s Greater Palm Springs Pride approaches, the mood of locals and visitors alike is decidedly less joyous than it was a year ago.

In the months since last year’s Pride, the LGBT community has found itself under attack. Horrifying new laws in some states are targeting the rights of transgender men and women to simply be able to go to the bathroom safely. The Republican presidential ticket has come out staunchly against the nationwide marriage equality we all celebrated so joyously when we gained the right a year and a half ago. And most horrifically of all, a shooter—perhaps conflicted by his own sexuality—killed 49 revelers, and injured dozens of more, late one June night at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

As for George Zander: Many of us gathered earlier this week in downtown Palm Springs for a candlelight vigil to mourn his passing last December. That good prognosis we all clung to with hope during last year’s Pride turned out to be woefully incorrect. 

As we get together for Greater Palm Springs Pride 2016, we’ll deal with all of the emotions of the last year—sadness, mourning, anger and, yes, joy, too—with the help of art, just as our fellow humans have done for millennia.

We’ll march. We’ll play and listen to music. We’ll dance. We’ll revel in art. We’ll act and become engrossed in story at the theater.

And we’ll hope that by the time Greater Palm Springs Pride 2017 rolls around, we’ll have a lot less to mourn—and a lot more to celebrate.

Published in Editor's Note

As I watched thousands of the faithful cheer ecstatically at the release of Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis, I felt both revulsion and empathy.

If I’m being honest, the revulsion and the empathy were not in equal parts.

To be clear, my empathy is with the faithful—not Ms. Davis, nor the politicians using her gambit for their own electoral power grabs. I believe that, for many, religion is a balm, something that provides genuine comfort and guidance. I honor and respect that. I also happen to believe that, for some, religion is a convenient cloak behind which bigotry in its most virulent forms finds justification.

Ms. Davis is a four-times-married, fairly recent convert to Apostolic Christianity. She is also, paradoxically, a Democrat—although we shouldn’t be so surprised. Southern Democrats have been their own rare breed for decades now, so it’s no surprise she is not part of the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing of the party.

When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in June making marriage equality the law of the land, Ms. Davis, who was elected to her post last November, decided unilaterally that her savior’s word carried more weight than judicial fiat and, as such, refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In what one can only assume was a public-relations effort to avoid being branded a complete bigot, she also stopped issuing licenses to opposite-sex couples. “She is not going to violate her conscience,” her attorney and overalls-clad second and fourth husband (the same guy) responded repeatedly after she was jailed for contempt of court.

The logic here seems ridiculously clear: If you are elected to office and refuse to perform one of its most fundamental job functions, you are unfit for said position. Period. Unfortunately, as an elected official, she cannot be fired. She could be impeached. She should resign. If your convictions preclude you from doing your job, you have broken your promise to the electorate. She is not being discriminated against because of her religion. She is being properly admonished for not doing her job.

Now she’s out of jail after 4 1/2 days during which she was apparently sustained by reading the Bible. I’m glad she was able to find solace. Skeptically, I can’t help but think that she’ll be viewed as a martyr, at least for a little while. She’ll make a boatload of money from personal appearances and book deals and the like—and then she’ll disappear, and the right wing will find another poor, beleaguered, put-upon soul whose Christianity has been allegedly impugned by the big, bad leftist elite.

The real evil-doers in all of this are the professional pilers-on. Fox News, of course. Ted Cruz. And, most annoyingly, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. At various times during this circus show, the good Reverend has compared Ms. Davis to Abraham Lincoln and current California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Really?

Lincoln spoke out against the 1857 Supreme Court Dred Scott decision which held that African-Americans were not full citizens. Newsom, when the mayor of San Francisco, performed same-sex weddings for committed couples to extend civil rights to a maligned minority. (It should also be noted that he stopped doing so when so ordered by the courts.)

Ms. Davis, on the other hand, is defying the law to withhold rights, not to extend them. The case has been settled. After protracted legal battles, a veritable sea of blood, sweat and tears, and a successful advocacy campaign to win the hearts and minds of a solid majority of the American people, marriage equality is the law. Don’t like it? Vote for people who will rewrite discrimination into the Constitution.

On second thought, please don’t.

Huckabee sure knows how to rev up a crowd. And that’s just what he did in Grayson, Ky. Throwing raw meat at the lions to bolster his own hapless presidential campaign is his stock in trade. That’s where my revulsion comes in: He knows better. Separation of church and state is not tyranny toward Christians. It is a bedrock foundation championed by the Founding Fathers who knew a bit about a tyranny themselves.

Huckster Huckabee is the worst kind of charlatan—grabbing handfuls of cash and consolidating power by fear-mongering to the faithful. It’s appalling. People of sound mind and clear judgment will continue to ignore him and his ilk. Sadly, though, it appears that the entirety of the Republican Party is tripping over itself to portray themselves as BFFs with Jesus. Their tactics don’t strike me as very American. Nor Christian. But, God Bless Them.

While this silliness will undoubtedly continue, I’m heartened that it will attract fewer and fewer converts as time goes on. There will always be shrill, bloviating politicians. But eventually, they’ll have to answer to a higher power.

Published in Community Voices

Ron Celona says films like Uniquely Nasty, which document the persecution of LGBT Americans, are important—because you never know what the future may bring.

“Anything is possible when it comes to the presidential election and that turn of events,” says Celona, the artistic director of Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre. “In individual states, they’re still trying to overturn (laws protecting LGBT rights). There are still discriminatory things happening.”

This why Celona worked so hard to bring the film Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government’s War on Gays to town, for two showings at CV Rep on Wednesday, Sept. 9. The 30-minute documentary, narrated and reported by Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff, tells three stories that show how the U.S. government persecuted and discriminated against LGBT Americans in the 20th century.

The screenings at CV Rep will be followed by panel discussions featuring locals George Zander, of Equality California; and Andy Linsky, a member of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation board. They’ll be joined by Isikoff and Charles Francis, the president of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. 

It’s the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., that catalyzed the making of the film, says Lisa Linsky, an attorney with McDermott Will and Emery, in New York City; she’ll be the moderator of Wednesday’s panel discussions. (Side note: She’s also a friend of Celona’s from high school; their recent re-connection, long story short, led to these Palm Springs screenings.) Linsky’s firm has been doing pro-bono work for the Mattachine Society—an “archive activism” organization focusing on LGBT history—for three years, obtaining historical government documents to tell forgotten and/or under-publicized stories about the U.S. government’s discriminatory treatment of LGBT citizens going back to the 1940s. Some of this research was used for an amicus brief that was submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court as the nine justices considered the recent gay-marriage issue. As we all know, the court ruled 5-4 in June that marriage equality was the law of the land.

Back before that historic decision, in January, Linsky took part in a program that showed off some of her firm’s findings for the Mattachine Society. Isikoff was in the audience.

“He expressed fascination, and said he wanted to do a documentary about the work,” Linsky says. “Two weeks later, the documentary was green-lit by Yahoo.”

The documentary was posted on Yahoo News in June, shortly before the 5-4 decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case was announced. Linsky says the documentary has received well more than a million views thus far.

One story told in Uniquely Nasty focuses on Wyoming U.S. Sen. Lester Hunt. In 1953, Democratic senator’s son was arrested and accused of soliciting sex from an uncover male police officer. Republicans, including notorious red-scare Sen. Joseph McCarthy, threatened to publicize the arrest if Hunt didn’t decline to run for re-election and resign his seat. At first, Hunt refused the demands of his opposing senators—but he later became so distraught over the matter than he took his own life, on June 19, 1954.

Linsky says the goal of the documentary is to educate young people, and hold government accountable for its past wrongdoings.

“Our overarching objective is to inform people about this work (by the Mattachine Society), the nature of the work, and why it’s significant,” she says.

While the country seems to be definitively moving in a direction toward widespread LGBT acceptance, that does not mean there won’t be setbacks, especially when it comes to the actions of local, state and federal governments, Celona says—and that’s why it’s important to learn about the history told in Uniquely Nasty.

“How do we deal with what the future will bring?” he asked.

Screenings of Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government’s War on Gays, followed by panel discussions, take place at Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre, 69930 Highway 111, in Rancho Mirage. A public screening takes place at 6 p.m., with a by-invitation screening at 8 p.m. Admission is free, but seats are limited and will fill up. To RSVP, call 760-296-2966, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Watch the film at Yahoo News, or scroll down to the Media section below.

Published in Previews and Features

On this week's straining-to-be-memorable Independent comics page: Red Meat has problems sleeping in a new bed; Jen Sorenson ponders the right's rights; The K Chronicles begs people to stop the hate; and This Modern World pays tribute to Jeb Bush.

Published in Comics

On Valentine’s Day, I did something that, at one time, I never thought I’d be able to do: I married my boyfriend.

When I first started dating the man who is now my husband, some 12-plus years ago, same-sex marriage was not legal anywhere in the United States. My, how times have changed: As of this writing, same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states, as well as the District of Columbia—and even the staunchest same-sex-marriage opponents concede it’s probably only a matter of time before it’s legal throughout the United States.

The rate at which same-sex marriage has become accepted and legal has been simply stunning; after all, it has been less than 11 years since it first became legal anywhere in the U.S. (in Massachusetts). And look where we are now.

Unfortunately, legal change on other important social issues has not been so swift. This brings us to a recent Independent story, by Sacramento-based writer Melinda Welsh, on the right-to-die movement. (It's the cover story in our March print edition; you can also read more from Anita Rufus on the local angle here.)

Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act was approved by voters in 1994 (and it went into effect after an injunction was lifted in 1997)—yet today, physician-assisted death is legal only in three states, period. This is despite the fact that 70 percent of Americans say physicians should be able to “end (a critically ill) patient’s life by some painless means” if the patient so desires, according to a 2014 Gallup Poll.

However, the legal tide may be about to change, thanks in part to Brittany Maynard. Last year, the California resident was forced to move to Oregon in order to die with dignity after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She made her situation very public—and got a lot of attention in the process, before passing away on Nov. 1, 2014, at the age of 29.

In the wake of Maynard’s crusade, progressive lawmakers around the country are reintroducing death-with-dignity legislation. Welsh’s story looks at the situation in California. It’s a fantastic piece; you really should check it out, if you haven't already.

As always, I encourage you to let me know your thoughts; my email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Editor's Note

Siouxzan Perry, a graphic designer and website developer, was the manager of Tura Satana, the lead actress in the 1965 B-Movie classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

“She passed away in 2011 on my birthday,” said Perry.

Perry was devastated by the loss of her client and close friend. At Perry’s home, Tura Satana is in every room in some way—paintings, photographs, film props, movie posters and even some of her personal items.

While Perry has always been open about the fact that she’s a lesbian, she was in no rush to date. She explained that past romances have included drama, ex-girlfriend issues, and other things she didn’t want to deal with.

Then Helen Macfarlane entered her life.

“I met Helen on Facebook through a friend. I do something called ‘LP of the day.’ I’ve been doing it for five years now: I put up an LP everyday that’s absolutely hideous, and I just let everybody go with it,” said Perry.

Macfarlane, a commissioned artist and language interpreter, felt immediately connected to Siouxzan after reading her Facebook page.

“We just started to have contact. I knew she was a real person, and it wasn’t a catfish situation,” said Macfarlane.

There was only one problem with their online romance: Macfarlane, a native of New Zealand, was living in Austria, and had been for 30 years.

Perry was hesitant at first to meet Macfarlane.

“Before I knew it, she came out to visit, and she fell in love with the desert—and with me! She went back, and it took about two years to make preparations to bring her here,” said Perry.

Then came June 2013, when U.S. Supreme Court rulings struck down much of the Defense of Marriage Act, and reversed Proposition 8 in California, again legalizing gay marriage here. Macfarlane was out of the country and in the process of returning to the United States when Perry called her with the news.

They decided it was time to make that leap themselves.

“We want to be married, not just because we love each other and we know that we want to be together, but also because it will help with Helen with getting her green card and getting sponsored so she can work here,” Perry said. “Right now, she’s here on a six-month visa, and everything is going through Austria. It’s a pain.”

They are having two weddings: They enjoyed a small ceremony on Dec. 26, and early in the new year, they will go all out with a Hawaiian-themed event, featuring Hawaiian food, Hawaiian music and tiki-related items.

Meanwhile, the gay-marriage rush has led to good times for local LGBT wedding planners and officiants.

Richard Cadieux of Palm Desert, known as the “Wedding Professor” (right), said that he couldn’t be happier with the boom in business. He said he’s performed more than 900 wedding ceremonies for couples both straight and LGBT over the past 13 years, and he’s enjoyed the increase in business since June.

“On Nov. 22, I did 27 (weddings) back to back in Palm Springs under the Marilyn statue,” said Cadieux. “In November, I did 47 total. In December, I did 18. Ever since July, my business went up 400 percent.”

Cadieux said many couples rushed to tie the knot before the year’s end.

“There’s a thrust of people who are beating the clock before Jan. 1 because of tax purposes—and there’s been pent-up excitement,” he said. “The first year, I know, is going to be the heaviest year; the second year will trail down, and the third year will tail off from there.”

Still, there is the potential for Palm Springs to become a gay-wedding hub, of sorts, Cadieux said.

“We hope as a tourist destination that people come from states where it’s too cold, even if (marriage there is) legal or not, and that we develop a tourist destination for weddings here,” said Cadieux.

Cadieux has noticed trends developing regarding LGBT wedding ceremonies—some of which have been surprising.

“The ones who are spending the most money are girls,” he said. “Recently, there were a couple of women from Long Beach who were taking over the Farrell Compound. It was probably a $40,000 wedding.”

The first wave of same-sex couples who are getting married has included many couples who are older and have been together longer—25 to 50 years or more, in many cases. The Rev. Lisa Phillian, of Rainbow Weddings—she prefers to be known as The Reverend Lisa—provided one example of an older couple she married earlier this year.

“There was a gentleman—his name was George,” she said. “… He came with his oxygen tank and his partner. We made a makeshift chapel in our living room and married them in front of it. A month after they were married, his husband, Kenny, called me and said George had died. I send out 150 Christmas cards each year, and six have called me this year to inform me that their partner has passed since their weddings.”

At the same time, The Reverend Lisa has witnessed more elaborate weddings that have included the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and hot-air balloon rides in Temecula—and there was even one on a helicopter pad at a Beverly Hills hotel.

“What we try to promote to our clients is romance,” she said. “Every couple I have ever married has said they’re just doing it for the taxes, and it’s a piece of paper. Out of 150 couples, at least 125 of them have stood and cried, so it’s not just a piece of paper.”

Both Richard Cadieux and The Reverend Lisa offered some advice to couples considering taking the leap.

“A wedding is more than just flowers, cake, a venue and a reception,” said The Reverend Lisa. “Hire a good planner, and allow your event to be pleasant. Your day should be special—whether it’s small or large. … The right planner makes a difference. Also, do it in reverence. We sometimes jump at something because we’re afraid it’s going to leave. (Gay marriage) is not leaving this time.”

Richard Cadieux emphasized the importance of the wedding’s attendees.

“Talk to your partner about the guest list,” said Cadieux. “Get realistic so that feelings don’t get hurt. … I knew Harvey Milk when I was living in San Francisco, and he said, ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are!’ My experience is when there are a number of straight guests who have never been to a same-sex wedding, they see who we are. … If (people getting married) can invite some people who have not seen love in a same-sex marriage, it will affect their consciousness, and we will gain our rights across the country faster.”

Below: The Reverend Lisa: “I send out 150 Christmas cards each year, and six have called me this year to inform me that their partner has passed since their weddings.” Photo by Jehd Tienzo.

Published in Local Issues