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06 Dec 2017

Savage Love: What Happened to the Fun, Smart, Helpful Dan?

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Editor’s note: Before we get on with the column here, two things:

1. I’d like to welcome Dan Savage and his well-known and much-loved column, Savage Love, to the pages of CVIndependent.com. Welcome, Dan!

2. Readers: For those of you unfamiliar with Savage Love … consider this a warning.

This is a sex- and relationship-advice column. It’s a popular column, one that’s been in papers across the continent for more than 25 years now.

However … this column is not tame. It is NSFW—not safe for work—and, at times, it is rather graphic. So … if you are offended by sexually graphic content, do not read this. Really. Don’t. I’m not kidding. Also, Dan is quite the social liberal, so if you don’t like liberal politics, you may want to read something else instead.

But if you can handle graphic sexual content and liberal politics, then by all means, read on.

The column, and Dan, have done a whole lot of good over the last 2 1/2 decades—first and foremost the It Gets Better Project, something that has unquestionably saved the lives of many bullied, confused and hurting teens.

So … the choice on whether or not to read on is yours—and whether or not you do, I thank you for reading the Coachella Valley Independent. —Jimmy Boegle


I used to be a fan of your column, Dan, but something happened to you. Maybe it’s stress, the current political climate, or some other issue—I don’t know. I used to look forward to your columns because they were fun, smart, and helpful—but I don’t enjoy what I’m seeing now. If something did happen to you, reach out for help. You’re on the verge of losing a loyal reader.

Reader Enquiring About Dan’s Enervating Responses

I’ve been getting letters like yours—What happened to you, Dan? You used to be more fun?—at this time of year, every year, for the last 25 years, READER. Maybe I get moody when the weather gets gloomy, and that spills into my column annually. And perhaps the current political climate—a rather reserved way to describe the destruction of our democracy—is making my seasonal grumping worse. Another possible factor …

I don’t know how long you’ve been reading, READER, but I’ve been writing this column for a long time. And back before the Internet came along and ruined everything for everyone, I used to get a lot of how-to/what’s-that questions about sex acts and sex toys. A column explaining butt plugs to readers who knew nothing about them—and lacked easy access to butt-plug info—was as much fun to read as it was to write. But every sex act and every sex toy has its own Wiki page now, which means I don’t get to write fun columns about butt plugs anymore, READER, and you don’t get to read them. Now the questions all revolve around someone being deeply shitty or someone deluding themselves about how deeply shitty they’re being. Columns filled with questions about and from people behaving badly are never going to be as delightsome as those butt-plug columns of yore.

But thank you for writing in to share your concern, READER, and rest assured that nothing truly terrible has happened to me—besides Trump, of course, but Trump happened to all of us, not just me. Still, I don’t want to lose you as a reader, so I’m going to make an effort to sunny things up a bit over the next few weeks.

OK! Let’s see what else came in the mail today! Hopefully something fun!


My significant other and I rarely have sex. A while ago, I had a sexual encounter with her daughter. We continued to have sexual encounters for some time. Now my significant other and I may be getting married. Her daughter and I broke it off, but it started up again after a week. I am attempting to break things off with my significant other’s daughter again, but I’m having a hard time. Please advise.

Restraining Urges Is Necessary

Ugh. Do you see what I mean, READER? It’s hard to come through with jokes, erudition and uplifting words when you’re responding to questions like this one.

OK, RUIN. Marrying a woman whose adult daughter you can’t keep your dick out of … yeah, that’s a bad idea. (And her daughter is an adult, right?!? You’re not Roy Moore-ing it, are you?) Sooner or later, your significant other is going to discover what’s been going on, and your relationship with both of these women will be destroyed. You’ll be able to move out and move on, RUIN, but your former significant other isn’t going to be so lucky—because while you won’t always be her SO, and hopefully won’t ever be her husband, her daughter is always going to be her child. So while you may get out from this relationship with some light scarring, your ex and her daughter will be left with open, gaping wounds for the rest of their lives.

My advice: Pull up your pants; cancel the wedding; and get as far away from your SO and her daughter as possible.


I’m a middle-aged married dude. The sex life with my wife is good, but I also masturbate because, you know, I’m a person. Sometimes, I masturbate while surfing through pictures on Facebook of attractive women I know. These aren’t stolen nudes off of someone’s phone; they’re public pictures.

I’m progressive when it comes to politics and gender issues. Face-to-face, I’m respectful and would never do anything to make these women—or any other woman—feel uncomfortable. I don’t leer, and I’m not a creeper. I know what I’m doing is pervy, but is it pervy bad? Am I crossing a line?

Peering Is Creepy, Sometimes

This one’s a little better, READER. It’s a little squicky, sure, but it’s not boil-your-eyes-after-reading squicky.

OK, PICS. Masturbating to someone is fine; masturbating at someone is not. (To be clear: Masturbating to thoughts of someone without their knowledge is fine; masturbating at someone who does not wish to be masturbated at is not.) Our erotic imaginations are free to roam—and that includes roaming through Facebook. No one needs our permission to fantasize about us or anything else, and we can’t control when, where and how the pics we share on social media will be enjoyed. Provided you aren’t doing or saying anything to make your Facebook “friends” uncomfortable (no supposedly-friendly-but-transparently-thirsty comments; no tongue-hanging-out emojis), you’re doing something no one wants to think about, PICS, but you’re not crossing a line.


A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were engaging in mutual masturbation when she squirted all over my hand—a large amount—and she was completely mortified. It was the first time it happened for her, and it’s happened several times since. She is upset.

I’ve been with a couple of other women in the past who squirted, and I am absolutely fine with it. I love it, in fact! I did my absolute best to reassure her that I think it’s great and there’s nothing to be ashamed of, but she’s really embarrassed every time. The last time, she was close to tears with fears that she’d urinated.

My question: There’s so much great writing about female ejaculation around, but rather than bombard my GF—who is the most amazing, incredible person—with links to article upon article, how can I help her feel OK about this?

Sincere Questioner Understands It’s Really Terrific

This one’s pretty good, READER. It’s an old-school, pre-internet Savage Love question, sexy and playful—charming, even.

OK, SQUIRT. You can help her feel OK about this by continuing to use your words (“I love this; it’s so hot!”), by sharing those articles with her (she needs to hear from and about other women with her superpower, not just from her boyfriend), and by lapping that shit up. Swallow, SQUIRT.

And so what if it is piss? (And many argue it isn’t.) Piss isn’t sterile, as Mike Pesca took time out of his day to explain to me on the Savage Lovecast back when alleged human being Donald Trump’s alleged pee tape was all over the news. (Goddammit. Our current political climate snuck up on me. Sorry about that, READER.) There are a lot more bacteria and whatever else in saliva, and we dump spit into each other’s mouths like it’s maple fucking syrup. If you guys are swapping other fluids regularly, why not swap a little of this one, too?

And remember: It’s only been two weeks—it may take her some time to learn to love her new superpower. Maybe watch some X-Men movies (it’s a superpower, not a mutation!), and keep being upbeat and positive about the way your girlfriend’s body works. Good luck!

On this week’s Lovecast, comedian extraordinaire Cameron Esposito. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; @fakedansavage on Twitter; ITMFA.org

1 comment

  • Comment Link JC Friday, 08 December 2017 11:54 posted by JC

    Thank you for the trigger warning, but I didn't clutch my pearls once. Great addition to the CV Independent!

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