CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 23 Mar 2020 12pm

I’m a 26-year-old bisexual woman with a history of self-harm. It hasn’t been much of an issue for the last few years, but my sex life has improved a lot in that time. I realized that I am quite submissive and masochistic, and I have found a wonderful Dominant partner who I’ve gotten to explore that kink with in a positive and healthy way.

Last night, I watched the movie Secretary, and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character is someone who self-harms, but stops when she begins a Dom/sub relationship with her boss. Obviously this film is flawed and not exactly a great guideline for healthy BDSM relationships. (The power dynamic! The lack of consent! That weird come scene!) However, I did find myself relating to her character and am now questioning my motives for pursuing this kind of sexual relationship. I worry that I may be unintentionally using the pain that I lovingly experience from my partner as a replacement for the pain I used to experience from my bad habits. Or am I using BDSM as a form of harm reduction? Is it rational to even compare these two things?

Seeking Careful Advice Regarding Recent Emotional Discovery

“I completely get where SCARRED is coming from,” said Lina Dune, the creator of Ask a Sub (askasub.com). “You’re discovering your kinks, and then the culture comes in with a not-entirely-accurate film or hot take, and it can taint your self-discovery.”

Dune is known as a “fairy submother” to her thousands of followers on Instagram, where she regularly posts about the D/s lifestyle, and frequently highlights red flags that newbies to the kink scene may miss. (A Dom who insists he “doesn’t negotiate” with subs? Run away.) While still relatively young herself, Dune has been active in the kink scene for many years and identifies as a 24/7 lifestyle sub.

“There’s a difference between self-harm and what SCARRED is doing with her Dom in a consensual, rational, measured environment with safe words in place,” said Dune. “And it’s telling that she didn’t write in to say, ‘Oh my god, I’m using D/s to self-harm!’ Rather, she’s worried she might be unintentionally or unknowingly engaging in some form of self-harm.”

While the fictional character played by Maggie Gyllenhaal stops engaging in acts of self-harm after entering into a D/s relationship with the fictional character played by James Spader, SCARRED, you don’t want to over-interpret that fictional narrative. Meaning: While the film suggested there was a causal relationship between Gyllenhaal’s character entering into a D/s relationship and no longer engaging in acts of self-harm, that doesn’t mean the same is true for you.

“The culture infantilizes us all when it comes to owning our sexual desires—and that’s especially the case for women,” said Dune. “The message is: ‘You don’t know what you’re getting into,’ or, ‘You don’t realize the effect this is having.’ But if there’s one thing SCARRED is an expert on, it’s herself. It’s not like she’s in a trance when she’s with her Dom—no matter what the movies want us to believe about D/s relationships—which means she’s consciously choosing this for herself, and it feels healthy and good. Our bodies don’t usually lie, and I’d be willing to bet that self-harm did not feel that way.”

But even if it turns out you’re right—even if, worst-case scenario, joyful consensual kink in the context of an intimate connection with another person is somehow a replacement for solo acts of self-harm that isolated you—it could still be a good thing.

Dune suggests that you explore your feelings with a kink-positive therapist, and I want to second that. “From my perspective, it looks like SCARRED may have been manufacturing her own version of exposure therapy, which some somatic-based psychologists have suggested is exactly what negotiated, consent-based kink play can provide,” said Dune. “For example, a person with a fear of being powerless may find it helpful to experiment with powerlessness in small, controlled doses in the context of a structured, negotiated BDSM situation. Looking a fear in the eye, and then being able to back away from it at will, and end with a cuddle and a check-in with your play partner, can make you feel more powerful, not less. So if SCARRED can consciously work through this with a therapist and her Dom, this BDSM relationship has the potential to be very healing, just as long as she maintains her autonomy within it.”

Follow Lina Dune on Twitter and Instagram @AskASub.


I’m a 26-year-old straight man, and I haven’t gotten laid in a while. I never actually got much to begin with. I lost my virginity late (age 23, also my first kiss) and had bottled up quite a bit of frustration until then (and I’ve still got a lot of that left over). I also suffer from crippling social anxiety—so crippling, in fact, that I can’t even get to know people online, which rules out online dating.

I have recently come to the realization that the only way for me to ever get better is to stop wanting to get laid so much. Which. Is. Hard. The first step is learning to be OK with things as they are, which I am making progress with. But sex is everywhere: TV, movies, magazines. On the few occasions I do get to spend time with people, sex comes up a lot. People seriously complain to me about not having “gotten any” for two months, and that’s not enough for them. I’ve heard people describe themselves as “late bloomers” because they had their first time at 17 or 19.

I feel like such a freak. I have a male roommate who frequently has women over. I hear them going at it through the wall and get panic attacks because of it.

I need some advice on how to be OK with not getting any, not really having gotten much to begin with, and just generally being nervous and inexperienced and self-conscious and lonely. I know that’s a lot, but perhaps you have some valuable thoughts for me.

After-School Special

Since there’s no way to strip the sex scenes and sexual references from every TV show you watch, magazine you read, or conversation you have, ASS, working on yourself is going to be a far better use of your time than demanding a remade/desexed world. And by “working on yourself,” of course I mean “getting your ass into therapy.”

Whether or not you ever get laid again, getting professional help to address your frustrations and social anxiety is going to improve your life. (It will increase the chances that you’ll get laid again, ASS, but no promises.)

And take heart: For every letter like yours I get from a straight guy, ASS, I get an identical letter from a straight woman. Which means there are a lot of women out there who are just as inexperienced, self-conscious and lonely. Once you’re in good working order—not perfect, just functional—you might be able to connect with one of those women or some other woman. (But no one wants to connect with a guy who gives off a ragey vibe, so please stay away from incel forums.)

Your inexperience makes you less freakish these days than you seem to realize. While 54 percent of high-school students had had sex by age 18 in 1991, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, today, only 41 percent of high-school students have had sex by age 18. Which means there are a lot of “late bloomers” out there, ASS. And while you’ve doubtless heard that confidence is attractive, you most likely haven’t been told that a person doesn’t need to be experienced to be confident. A guy just has to be comfortable enough in his own skin to be open about who he is, where he’s at, and what he’s looking for.

But first things first: Get yourself a good therapist … and maybe a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

On the Lovecast, John Moe of The Hilarious World of Depression: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a mid-20s cis straight man. After my girlfriend and I finished college, she moved overseas to start her job. We’ve broken up twice and gotten back together twice.

We are interested in opening up our relationship, but I have reservations. She wants the freedom to throw herself into her new world without the constraint of having to shut down non-platonic sparks. Also: My girlfriend has brought up marriage several times. While she admits she doesn’t have a good track record with monogamy, she insists marriage will change that.

Another concern: The last time she was in an open relationship, she cheated on her then-boyfriend with me. “No exes” was one of their rules, and I was her ex at the time. (I didn’t know she was with someone else.) Another wrinkle: When I confided in her recently that I had developed romantic feelings for another person, she asked me to choose between her and them, so I aborted this burgeoning connection. That felt unfair, seeing as she wants her freedom. She is also bisexual and wants to have experiences with women. I would be fine with her hooking up with women, but it makes me sick to my stomach to think about her with other men. She would be willing to put her desire for experiences with other women to the side in order to be with me, she says, once we are married.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these things: (1) Whether we should open our relationship. (2) My male/female hookup distinction. (3) How to move forward if your partner is unsure whether they are built for monogamy, but nonetheless wants to settle down in a married, monogamous relationship.

Onto Processing Entirely New Situation

1. Don’t open it. End it. It’s time to put this dumb, messy, past-its-expiration-date shitshow of a relationship behind you. Would knowing your girlfriend is already fucking other people help you do that? Because your girlfriend is almost certainly fucking other people. Already. Because when someone with a shitty track record where monogamy and nonmonogamy are concerned asks their partner for an open relationship while at the same time demanding their partner “abort” any potential “non-platonic” friendships they might have … yeah, that motherfucker is already fucking other people. They just don’t want to give their partner the same freedom they’ve already seized for themselves.

2. It seems like a silly distinction to me, OPENS—one that comes from a place of insecurity. (And a “no other dick” rule would make most gay open relationships impossible.) But sometimes, working with your partner’s insecurities—accepting them, not fighting them—is the key to a successful open relationship. And since many bisexuals in monogamous opposite-sex relationships often ask to open the relationship, because they want to act on their same-sex attractions (or, indeed, have their first same-sex encounter), keeping outside sex same-sex—at least at first—isn’t an entirely unreasonable request. But this is irrelevant in your case, since your girlfriend is already fucking anyone she wants.

3. Your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend is hilarious. People who are bad at monogamy don’t get better at it once they’re married. If anything, people who were good at monogamy tend to get worse at it the longer they’re married. If your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend isn’t bullshitting, if she isn’t bringing up marriage and monogamy to complicate and extend your conversations about opening up this doomed relationship, then she’s deluded. And if your girlfriend cheats because she gets off on risk, danger or deception, getting married—which would obviously make cheating riskier and more dangerous—could make cheating more appealing to her, not less.


I’m a bisexual man married to the most beautiful trans woman. I can’t keep my hands off her. But why can’t I fuck her anally like we both want? I can’t seem to push past the gates, which sends a signal to my brain that I’m doing something wrong, which makes me Mr. Softee. Every other thing we do in bed is smooth as silk. Help!

Limp Isn’t My Preference

I’d have to see video to guess at what might be wrong—not an ask, LIMP; don’t send video—but it never hurts to use more lube, engage in more anal foreplay, and sometimes do butt stuff without even attempting anal intercourse. And when you do go for it, maybe instead of you trying to fuck her/push past the gates, LIMP, you could lie still and let her take charge. In other words: Don’t fuck her with your dick; let her fuck herself with your dick.


I’m a 20-something bi man in a loving relationship of three years with a straight woman. Last year, we opened up our relationship. At the beginning, we set some ground rules. One of her rules was that I could get together only with women, no men. It bothered me at the time, but it was the only way she would be OK opening up, so I didn’t press her on it.

Fast-forward to a couple days ago, when I brought it up again. She eventually admitted she’s afraid I will leave her for a man, and that’s why the idea of me being with other men makes her uncomfortable. She knows these are stereotypes, but she says she can’t get over it.

I ended that night angry and hurt. Now I don’t know what to do. To be honest, if we weren’t in an open relationship, I wouldn’t be bothered by the fact that I can’t be sexual with men. But now that I know she is not OK with me doing so because of these bi stereotypes, it drives me nuts. I’m not going to end our relationship over this, but how can I get her to understand my bisexuality is not a threat?

Bye-Bye Bisexuality?

“BBB obviously isn’t going to leave his girlfriend for the first man he sleeps with,” said Zachary Zane, a “bisexual influencer” and a sex writer for Men’s Health. “All bisexual men are not secretly gay. But this is a lie—a vicious stereotype—that BBB’s girlfriend has heard countless times. So even though she knows this logically, she still can’t shake that concern. Fear often isn’t rational, and it can override logic. She’s simply insecure.”

And while accommodating a partner’s irrational insecurity is sometimes the price we have to pay to make an open relationship work, accommodating your partner’s insecurity—one so clearly rooted in biphobia—isn’t going to be sustainable over time. You’re already angry and hurt, BBB, and you’re going to get more upset with every dick you have to pass up. So what do you do?

“The key to helping BBB’s girlfriend understand that his bisexuality isn’t a threat is for him to reassure her often that he’s not going to leave her for a man,” said Zane, “and to tell her and show her how much he loves her. He might also ask if there’s a way she’d feel more comfortable allowing him to be sexual with a man. Maybe they have a threesome. Maybe she prefers that it be someone she knows, or someone she doesn’t know. There’s a lot to discuss.”

But eventually, for your own sanity, you’re going to need to insist that your girlfriend get over her biphobia. She can’t just throw up her hands and say, “I can’t help it!”

“Perhaps I’m giving BBB’s girlfriend too much credit, but it sounds to me like she’ll come around in time,” said Zane. “And while BBB is angry—and validly so—the anger shouldn’t be placed on his girlfriend. It should be placed on a society that has ingrained in her the belief that bisexuality isn’t valid, and that bi men will always leave their wives/girlfriends for another man if given the opportunity.”

And if she never comes around, BBB, then you can show her how silly and irrational her fears were by leaving her for another woman.

Follow Zachary Zane on Twitter @ZacharyZane_.

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My roommate is a gay man who is into getting fisted. A lot.

We were FWBs until he moved into my place, at which point we agreed it would be better for us to not have sex anymore. It’s worked out fine, and he’s been here for a year. Here’s the problem: About two years ago, he got into fisting, and he has someone over every night to fist him. As soon as he comes home from work, he spends a good hour in the bathroom cleaning out, and then some guy comes over to fist him. Every single day.

My roommate is a very attractive guy who doesn’t think he’s attractive at all. I’ve talked to him a few times about whether he’s being sexually compulsive, but he just laughs and says, “Well, you suck a lot of dick.” (I have a healthy but moderate sex life.) I am concerned that all of this ass play is not healthy. As a friend, I want him to seek help for his sexual compulsion, his low self-esteem and his social isolation. As a roommate, I am tired of all these strange men coming into my home and the high water bill.

Frequent Insertions Sincerely Trouble Someone

“Fisting is a healthy and safe sexual activity so long as the participants are sober,” said Dr. Peter Shalit, a physician and author who works with many gay men. “There is a misconception that fisting damages the anal sphincter, loosens it, and causes a loss of bowel control over time. This is absolutely false.”

Devin Franco, a gay porn star who’s been getting fisted on a weekly basis for many years, backs up Dr. Shalit. “People who are only used to vanilla intercourse are sometimes shocked,” said Franco. “People will leave comments on my videos asking if I was in pain, even though I’m clearly always enjoying it. Fisting is actually the most pleasurable sexual act I’ve ever experienced—and seven years in, (there have been) no negative health consequences, and everything down there works just fine, thanks.”

But exactly how does that work? How does someone like Franco get a fist and/or a ridiculously large sex toy in his butt?

“A skilled fisting bottom can voluntarily relax the anal sphincter in order to accommodate a hand up to the wrist or further,” explained Dr. Shalit. “A skilled fisting top knows how to insert their hand—it’s actually fingertips first, not a clenched fist—and how to do it gently, taking their time, and using lots of lube. And, again, after the session is over, the sphincter returns to its normal state.”

Which is not to say that people haven’t injured themselves or others engaging in anal play with large sex toys, fists or even perfectly average cocks—people most certainly have. That’s why it’s crucial to take things slow, use lots of lube, and go at it sober.

“Fisting isn’t for everyone,” said Dr. Shalit. “In fact, most people are unable to relax their sphincter in this fashion.”

But to figure out whether fisting is for you—to determine whether you’re one of those people who can relax their sphincter—first you gotta wanna, and then you gotta try.

“It actually took about two years for me,” said Franco. “That’s from the first time I did anal play, thinking, ‘Maybe I can get his whole fist in there,’ to the first time I actually got a fist in my ass. Two years.”

And while fisting isn’t for everyone, FISTS, like Dr. Shalit said, it’s very clearly for your roommate. But enjoying the hell out of a particular sexual activity—even one that seems extreme to those who don’t enjoy it—isn’t by itself evidence of low self-esteem or sexual compulsion.

“If FISTS thinks his roommate has low self-esteem,” said Dr. Shalit, “he’s done the right thing by telling him he should seek help. But that’s the end of his responsibility. Whether or not his roommate seeks help is up to his roommate. And it’s hard for me to agree that his roommate is being sexually compulsive based on what’s in the letter. Many men have sex every day, and the roommate’s sex life doesn’t seem to have any negative consequences, except that FISTS doesn’t like it.”

While Franco also doesn’t think getting fisted daily is proof that your roommate is out of control, fisting isn’t something he does every day. “Doing it daily sounds exhausting,” he said. “The act requires a lot of physical exertion. I personally need a little recovery time between sessions. But I do know guys who do it every day—maybe not a fist every day, but they play with large toys every day. But I couldn’t, and I don’t.”

All that said, FISTS, two of your cited reasons for not liking what your roommate is up to—strange men in and out of your apartment (and your roommate), and all that douching driving up your water bill—are legitimate complaints that you shouldn’t be shy about addressing.

“To not have a lot of strangers in and out of the apartment is a reasonable ask of a roommate,” said Dr. Shalit. “But if the roommate sees a steady stream of FISTS’ hookups coming over, it could seem like a double standard. And I suppose he could ask for extra help with the water bill, but I’m skeptical that ‘cleaning out’ for fisting would actually cause a significant increase in the bill.”

Dr. Shalit recommends Anal Pleasure and Health by Jack Morin to anyone who wants to learn more about anal intercourse, fisting and other forms of anal play. “It’s the bible of anal sexuality,” said Dr. Shalit.

Follow Devin Franco on Twitter @devinfrancoxxx, and check out his work at justfor.fans/devinfrancoxxx.


My husband of nearly 20 years came out to me as bisexual about two months ago. He assured me he has no intention of looking outside our marriage for other sex partners.

We’ve always had a kind of barrier sexually, and it seemed to fall away after he came out. We’ve since done all manner of things, including my using a dildo on him. (Thanks for all the tips over the years about anal!) It has been a fun and empowering experience overall.

There is one thing I am having trouble with. He mentioned that he’d like me to peg him using a strap-on. I mean, of course he would, right? He’d like to actually feel my body against his. That would doubtless make the whole experience better for him. But I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it. Does this require me, even if temporarily, to change my body? I’m feeling really vulnerable and insecure about it, like it means there’s something wrong with my body. I get panicky just thinking about it. (My husband has not done or said anything to make me feel bad about my body.)

Using the dildo is no big thing, and I don’t understand why this feels so different and difficult.

Pegging Feels Different

You don’t have to do anything about this right now, PFD. Your husband only came out to you as bisexual two months ago! Your husband’s honesty pulled down that barrier you’d always sensed but could never name, and that’s wonderful and exciting. And you’re already exploring anal penetration with him on the receiving end, which is something many straight men also enjoy. If covering your genitals temporarily with a strap-on makes you feel awkward or unwanted, you don’t have to do it—not now, not ever. But I can’t imagine you think there’s something wrong with the bodies of lesbians who use strap-ons with their female partners, just as you don’t seem to think holding a dildo means there’s something wrong with (or inadequate about) your hands.

If covering your vulva with a strap-on makes you feel negated or undesirable, there are dildo harnesses that strap on to your thigh, not your crotch, and could provide your husband with body-to-body closeness during penetration while still leaving your vulva and clit accessible for digital stimulation.

On the Lovecast, are people actually using dental dams? (Spoiler: No.): savagelovecast.com.

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I don’t listen to your podcast religiously, but as soon as I told my best friend this story, she said, “That’s a question for Dan Savage!”

Backstory: I have a monogamous partner I live with. It’s a heterosexual relationship, but we are both bisexual. That little inkling of homosexuality really drew me to him when we first met. He also told me early on about his previous girlfriend, who looked like a “suicide girl” (tattoos, short skirts, dyed black hair, heavy eye makeup) but had serious issues. (They had sex only 10 times in three years.)

I’m by no means a suicide girl. I’m pretty average-looking with natural hair and no tattoos. I don’t wear makeup, and I have an affinity for baggy T-shirts and jeans. I love having sex, but rarely do I present myself as “sexy.”

Recently, I learned that my boyfriend follows hundreds of women on Instagram, and 95 percent of them look absolutely nothing like me. (Remember the hot suicide-girl girlfriend? They mostly look like her.) It made me really upset. I felt insecure about myself. I felt distrustful of his positive comments about how I look, like he doesn’t actually think I’m sexy. It certainly doesn’t help that I want to have sex way more often than he does. He’s always “tired.” I was angry at him and instantly craving to go back to a sexual relationship with past partners who thought I were the bee’s knees. He has no idea why I would be upset. He says he feels like he’s supporting these women and that they feel “empowered” by all the men leaving comments like, “Show me your boobs,” and, “I wanna shove my cock in you.” He says he deleted his Instagram just to make me happy, but I still feel shitty about the whole thing.

Am I being oversensitive? Is he being insensitive? Could we be sexually incompatible? At this point, I’m ready to look outside of our relationship for sexual interactions.

Your Very Ordinary Instagram Girl

I don’t listen to your podcast, either, YVOIG, so that makes us even. (I assume you have a podcast. Everyone does these days.)

Zooming out: If we’re going to tell people they shouldn’t be so shallow as to date only their “ideal” physical types, and we’re going to tell people they can learn to find a broader array of people attractive, and we’re going to tell people they can find a person’s insides so attractive that they warm to their outside—and it’s mostly men people we tell these things, as women people seem less hung up on/entitled to their physical ideals—then we also need to tell people not to freak the fuck out when they stumble over evidence that they aren’t their partner’s ideal physical type. Additionally, we need to tell people that just because their partner has a particular type, that doesn’t mean their partner isn’t also attracted to him/her if he/she isn’t that particular type.

Zooming in: You don’t have a great sex life with your boyfriend, YVOIG, as you seem to have mismatched libidos—and one partner “always” being tired isn’t a problem that gets better over time. These are both signs that you probably need to end this relationship. (Already looking outside your monogamous relationship for sexual interactions? Another sign.) But you can end things without having a meltdown about the fact that your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend was also or usually or, hell, even exclusively with one notable exception (YOU!) attracted to “suicide girl” types. Instead of telling yourself that every compliment your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend ever gave you was a lie, you could tell yourself that while your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend definitely has a type, he also found you attractive. Because you are attractive. You’re so attractive that you caught his eye despite not being his usual type.

In other words, YVOIG, you don’t have to feed your self-esteem into a shredder as you end this relationship.

By the way: Your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend may have deleted his old Instagram account, but I promise you he quickly created another one. And here’s hoping your soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend only directs “empowering” comments like, “I wanna shove my cock in you,” at the kind of people on Instagram who regard those types of comments as “supportive.” They’re out there—men and women—but there are fewer of them out there than too many men, gay and straight, seem to believe there are.


I’m a 28-year-old straight guy with one kink: I want to be collared and on a leash. That’s it. In private. Basically, I just want to curl up at my girlfriend’s feet with the leash in her hand. Just me on the floor next to the couch while she watches television, or me on the floor next to the bed while she reads.

I’ve had three serious girlfriends, and all three laughed in my face when I told them about this. I’m dating a girl now that I like a lot, and she actually asked me if I had any kinks, and I couldn’t bring myself to tell her. I’m worried about her laughing in my face, too.

Laughter Erases All Sexual Hopes

People often have knee-jerk, sex-negative reactions to kinky requests—not because they necessarily think peeing on someone or leashing someone is hopelessly perverted or disqualifying, LEASH, but because they’ve never imagined themselves peeing on someone or keeping a boyfriend on a leash. The request conjures up a mental image that conflicts with a person’s self-conception—they never thought of themselves as the peeing-on-other-people or keeping-the-boyfriend-on-a-leash type—and nervous laughter is a common response to that particular brand of cognitive dissonance. It would be better if people didn’t have this reaction, of course, but you should brace yourself for it, laugh/shrug it off, and then proceed to explain why this is such a turn-on for you and what’s in it for her. (It sounds like a pretty easy way for her to crank you up when she’s feeling horny.)

If the reactions of the last three girlfriends left you scared and scarred, LEASH, tell your current girlfriend via text. (“Hey, remember when you asked if I had a kink? I do: being on a leash.”) Then, if her first reaction is to laugh, you won’t be there to hear it. You might get a “LOL, what?” in response, but don’t let it shut you down. Keep texting; keep it light and playful; show her that you have a sense of humor about it … and you could finally end up on that leash.


I’m a 43-year-old woman who has been enjoying the company of a much-younger man. (He’s 24.) His energy, enthusiasm and straight-up bravery in the face of the current horrors of the world are giving me a renewed sense of purpose. Plus, the sex is phenomenal.

What’s giving me pause is that my generally sex-positive friends are deeply creeped out by this relationship due to our age difference. He lives on his own; he has a degree and a career; and he supports himself—so this isn’t a “sugar mama” situation. I have no authority over him in any capacity. I also have no delusions of this lasting forever.

Am I really so wrong for enjoying this while I can? My friend circle includes all manner of kinky and queer folks, so their reaction is really throwing me for a loop.

This Older Woman Needs Youth

My hunch is that your sex-positive friends have made two assumptions. First, they’ve assumed you have more power in this relationship, because you’re older (as if youth and maleness don’t confer their own powers!). And, second, they seem to have assumed you have to be abusing your power somehow. It’s a legitimate concern—power is so often abused, and we should all be thoughtful about it. But “often abused” does not equal “always abused,” TOWNY, and in no way are you abusing this grown-ass 24-year-old man. If your sex-positive friends give you any more grief about the age difference, give them grief about their ageism and misogyny.

On the Lovecast, we take on money AND vaginas: savagelovecast.com.

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I took Molly with my best bud. We wound up cuddling and telling each other everything. We didn’t mess around—we’re both straight guys—but one of the things I told him is that I would much rather eat pussy than fuck, and one of the things he told me is that he’s not at all into eating pussy and pretty much only likes to fuck. I think we’d make a great team: We’re both good-looking, athletic dudes, and we should find a woman who loves to have her pussy eaten and loves to get fucked. I would go down on her and get her going (and coming), then he steps in and dicks her down (and gets her off one last time). What say you?

Ultimate Package Deal

I would say, “FUCK YES!” if I were a woman, UPD, which I’m not. And while I can’t promise you every woman will have the same reaction I did, some women most definitely will.


I’m a male in my late 50s. I went to a urologist for my erection problem, which was helped with ED medication. But orgasms are very hard to achieve, and the ED medication does not seem to make orgasms any easier to have. My girlfriend appreciates the erections, but I would also like to climax. This is very frustrating. Any advice?

Pills Inhibiting Lusty Loads

Tits and dicks both sag with age, which is why push-up bras and push-up pills were invented. And while ED meds do make it easier for a guy to get an erection, they can also make it more difficult for a guy to climax. Upside: You last longer. Downside: You may sometimes have sex without climaxing. Or you can shift your perspective and try to see this downside as a secret upside: Sometimes you get to enjoy sex without climaxing—and next time, when you do climax, you’ll blow a bigger load.


I am a bisexual man who’s active in the sex-positive community, and I love playing with couples. I was updating my Feeld profile to reflect this desire, but I realized there’s no consistent term for a male unicorn. So I listed “Male/Stag/Stallion/Minotaur/Pegasus,” various terms I’ve seen people use. WTF, it shouldn’t require a whole line in my profile to run through all the terms! As the person who famously crowdsourced “pegging,” I was hoping you could work your magic and get everyone to agree on a nonbinary term that works for all sexual identities.

Having One Reliable Name

What’s wrong with “unicorn”? Unicorns—the mythical beasts—can be female, male, or, I suppose, genderless or genderfluid. They can be anything we want them to be, HORN, since we made them up. And while the term first came into use to describe bi women who weren’t just open to having sex with an established, opposite-sex couple, but open to committing to a couple and forming a poly triad, there’s no reason men and/or nonbinary folks who are interested in the same—hooking up with and forming relationships with established couples—couldn’t identify as unicorns, too. But are you a unicorn? People began to call those bi women “unicorns” because they were hard to find, and everyone, it seemed, was looking for one. People interested in simply playing with couples aren’t anywhere near as hard to find.


I’ve recently begun to experiment with a few kinky friends. One of them is a voyeur who is super into bukkake. I’d be open to a group bukkake scene, but how do I avoid contracting an STI?

Anonymous Assistant

“On me, not in me” was a safe-sex message crafted in the earliest, darkest, most-terrifying days of the AIDS crisis—and a bukkake scene, which involves multiple men ejaculating on one person, is all about “on me,” which makes it relatively safe. So long as you’re careful not to get anyone’s come in your eyes (ocular gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia are all things) or on your hole(s), you won’t have anything to worry about.


Is there a regional difference between people who use the word “come” versus people who use “jizz”? I personally only use the word “come” and rarely hear anyone use “jizz.” Do people not use “jizz,” or do they just not use it where I live?

Seeking Pretty Unnecessary Niche Knowledge

I’ve seen maps that track regionalisms like “soda” versus “pop,” SPUNK, but I’ve never seen one tracking “come” versus “jizz.” Seems like something a sex-positive linguist might want to jump on.


I’m a 46-year-old man, and I recently met a 31-year-old woman. We have not had PIV sex yet, but we have enjoyed several nights of cuddling, spooning, etc. as the relationship progresses. She has made it very clear she wants our first time to be a fairy-tale evening, so we have yet to take things past mild foreplay. Plot twist: After two nights of us sleeping together, I realized she’s a sexsomniac. She had no idea until I told her, and she barely believes me. But if I put my arm around her to cuddle when she’s asleep, she immediately sexually responds to the skin-to-skin contact. On two occasions, she’s performed oral on me. I’m not complaining, as this is quite possibly every guy’s dream. My question is around consent when dealing with situations like this.

She’s My Dream Girl

Unless your new girlfriend gave you permission to initiate skin-to-skin contact in the middle of the night—unless she not only didn’t have a problem with the first blowjob you accidentally triggered but explicitly gave you the go-ahead to trigger more—you have already and repeatedly violated her consent. If she doesn’t want to do more than cuddle or spoon when she’s awake, you shouldn’t be manipulating her into blowing you when she’s asleep. Most people who are partnered with sexsomniacs prefer not to have sex with their partners when they’re unconscious, but some do—with their sexsomniac partner’s prior consent. It’s a gray area, because an unconscious person can’t offer meaningful, enthusiastic, ongoing consent. But unless there are details you’ve omitted—details like your partner saying, “I blew you in my sleep? Really! Neat! I’m happy to keep doing that!”—stop initiating skin-to-skin contact when she’s asleep, or stop pretending you care about consent. (You should care about consent, and you should stop.)


I’ve been seeing a guy. We’re not really “boyfriend and girlfriend,” and we’re not exclusive. Last night, him and my best friend and I were all hanging out in his bedroom. After a while, I went to sleep on the couch in the living room and left them in the bedroom. When I woke up, they were having sex. I had told them both it was OK for them to have sex with each other, but I didn’t expect them to do it when I was just in the other room.

Unwelcome Personal Surprise Enraging Totally

You’re not exclusive, UPSET, and you gave this guy and your best friend permission to fuck, and … they fucked. But you got something out of it, too: You learned an important lesson. Namely, no one can read your mind. If you give someone permission to do something with someone else sometime, and both those someones are sitting on a bed, you need to bring up any and all additional conditions before falling asleep on the couch in the next room.

On the Lovecast, when your twin brother is a white supremacist: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a straight white woman in my early 30s. In theory, I’ve always been into men of all races—but in practice, most of my exes are Latino and white.

In September, I met this really handsome Chinese-American guy, and I feel like he rewired me. I’ve been exclusively attracted to Asian guys since. I’m not writing to ask if this is racist, because I’m not asking these guys to, like, speak Korean to me in bed or do any role-playing stuff. We just date and have sex—same as my past relationships. But if any of these dudes saw my Tinder matches, they’d be like, “This woman has a thing for Asian guys.” Which I do, but it’s pretty new.

Is this normal? Do people just change preferences like that? Also, can you do a PSA about Asian dicks? In my recent but considerable experience, they run the gamut from average to gigantic. If small Asian dicks were a thing, I would have encountered at least one by now. That shit is a myth.

Asian Male/White Female

Here’s my general take on race-specific sexual preferences: So long as you can see and treat your sex partners as individuals and not just as objects—we are all also objects—and so long as you can express your preferences without coming across as and/or being a racist shitbag, and so long as you’ve interrogated your preferences to make sure they’re actually yours and not a mindless desire for what you’ve been told you’re supposed to want (i.e., the currently prevailing beauty standard or its equally mindless rejection, the “transgressive” fetishization of the “other”), then it’s OK to seek out sex and/or romantic partners of a particular race.

I ran my general take on race-specific sexual preferences past Joel Kim Booster—a writer and comedian whose work often touches on race and desire—and he approved. (Whew.) I also shared your letter with him, AMWF, and Booster had some thoughts for you.

“It doesn’t sound like her newfound preference for Asian men has anything to do with the uncomfortable fetishization of culture,” said Booster. “It’s good that she’s not asking them to speak Korean or do any sort of Asian role-playing—something that’s been asked of me before (and it’s a bummer, trust). Her interest in Asian men seems to be mostly an aesthetic thing, which you certainly can’t fault her for: There are a lot of hot Asian dudes out there.”

Booster also had some questions for you.

“It’s not uncommon for people later in life to discover that they’re attracted to something they’d never considered sexy before—full-grown adults are out here discovering they’re bi every damn day,” said Booster. “But she went 30 years before she saw one Asian man she was attracted to? And now this guy has ‘rewired’ her to be attracted only to Asian men?”

He said that he would like to see a picture of this magical guy, AMWF, and I would, too.

“If she was chill about it and just started adding Asian men into the mix, this wouldn’t seem like an issue,” added Booster. “But from what I can gather, she has shifted to exclusively fucking Asian guys and feels the need to write a letter about it. That feels like a red flag, and yet I can’t pinpoint why.”

Maybe you’re just making up for lost time—maybe you’re getting with all the Asian dick you can now to make up for all the Asian dick you missed out on before you ran into that one impossibly hot Asian guy—and your desires/preferences/Tinder profile will achieve a racially harmonious equilibrium at a certain point. But whether you remain exclusively attracted to Asian guys for the rest of your life or not, AMWF, make sure you don’t treat Asian guys like you’re doing them a favor by sitting on their gamut-running dicks.

“I’m weary of people with a specific racial preference for Asian men. And it’s less out of a fear of being fetishized—though that’s certainly part of it—and more because of the implicit power imbalance that exists in those relationships,” said Booster. “It’s all artificially constructed by The Culture, of course, but I’m acutely aware that society views Asian men as less masculine and therefore less desirable. And I’ve learned that guys who have a preference for Asian men sometimes bring a certain kind of ‘entitlement’ to our interactions, i.e., ‘You should feel lucky I’m paying you this kind of attention.’ And that’s gross! It doesn’t sound like she’s doing that, but something about this letter makes me feel like she wants to be congratulated for being woke enough to consider Asian guys. She’d do well to keep this stuff behind the curtain—no one wants to feel like someone was into them only because of some witch’s curse a hot Chinese-American guy put on them at a bar.”

Follow Joel on Twitter @ihatejoelkim, and visit his website ihatejoelkim.com.


I’m a guy. I’ve been with my wife since 2006. She’s my sexy Asian babe. (Yeah, I’m that white guy who married an Asian woman—I’m a stereotype, but she isn’t.) In the bedroom, it’s great. I’m still madly in love with her two kids later, and she’s as sexy as ever. But she doesn’t like to give blowjobs—always been this way. When we were dating, she’d say I could go get blowjobs from someone else, but I always took it as a joke.

At 35, I’m hornier than I was at 25. And my sexual tastes have changed over the years—or they’ve expanded, maybe, since I now want to see what it’s like to get head from a guy. How do I convince my wife to agree to this? She’s afraid I might like it; I obviously hope I do. There’s nothing I want more than to get head on the way home and then be able to tell her about it and fuck her later that night. How can I convince her to let me do this while also being able to tell her about it and be truthful?

Horny Married Man

I’m not lumping your question together with AMWF’s in order to create some sort of hot-for-Asians-themed column. No, I’m including your letter—which arrived the same day—because it illustrates a point Booster made in his response to AMWF: “Full-grown adults are out here discovering they’re bi every damn day,” as he said, and you’re apparently one of them.

I can only assume that by “she’s afraid I might like it,” you mean you’ve already asked the wife, and she said no. You can ask again—maybe she’ll change her mind—but if the answer is still no, HMM, then the answer is still no. Maybe if this were a sexual adventure you could go on together, it might be more appealing to the wife. And it is, because just as there are dudes out there who love blowing straight married men, there are dudes who are up for blowing straight married men in front of their wives. So if you haven’t already proposed doing this in the context of a hot sexual encounter with a bi guy who’d also be into your wife, maybe you should.

As for your label, there are straight guys out there who can close their eyes and think about women while dudes blow them, i.e., straight guys capable of making the mouth-is-a-mouth leap. But you’re turned on not just by the idea of getting an enthusiastic blowjob; you’re specifically into the idea of getting one from a dude. That does make you bi, HMM … but for marketing purposes? Yeah, you’re going to want to go with straight.

On the Lovecast: Musical-theater nerds rejoice, it’s Andrew Rannells! Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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I'm a gay guy in my late 40s with a straight sister in her early 50s. She’s been married for a bit more than two decades to a guy who always registered as a “possible” on my average-to-good gaydar. But I put “BIL,” aka my brother-in-law, in the “improbable” bucket, because he actively wooed my sister, was clearly in love with her, and fathered four boys with her, all in their late teens now.

I’m sure you already saw this plot development coming: It turns out BIL has been far more “probable” than I thought. He has a boyfriend but is still very much closeted and denies he is gay. My sister has apparently known about this arrangement for four years, but has kept it a secret for the kids’ sake. But she recently filed for divorce and told our parents and me what’s been going on. Their kids have been informed about the divorce, but not about their father’s boyfriend.

BIL needs to gay-man-up and admit the truth to himself and the rest of his family and start the healing process. That’s obvious. Unfortunately, there’s no way I can talk him into it (we’re not close), and my sister is left holding this terrible secret while her bewildered kids watch their parents’ marriage crumble with no clue why. I think the kids deserve the truth, and that neither my sister nor the kids can start to heal until that happens. If BIL won’t do the right thing, my sister is going to have to tell them the truth.

What can I do to help her with this? She’s awfully fragile right now, and I don’t want to pressure her. I can’t tell the kids without causing a big stink. But dammit, Dan, someone needs to start speaking some truth in that house.

Dishonest Gay Brother-In-Law

Secret second families—and a secret boyfriend of four years counts—aren’t secrets that keep. So your nephews are gonna find out about dad’s boyfriend sooner or later, DGBIL, and sooner is definitely better. Because in the absence of the actual reason why their parents are splitting up—in the absence of the truth—they’re likely to come up with alternate explanations that are far worse. And when they inevitably discover the real reason, your nephews’ anger at having been lied to or left in the dark will reopen the wounds.

Backing way the hell up: Seeing as BIL actively wooed and “was clearly in love with” your sister, and seeing as he successfully scrambled his DNA together with hers four times and remained married to her for two decades, DGBIL, I don’t think BIL is a closeted gay man. My money’s on closeted bisexual man.

I shall now say something that will delight my bisexual readers: I’m sure you’d like to live in a world where everyone is out, DGBIL, or, even better, a world where no one ever had to be in. But in the world we live in now, bisexuals are far less likely to be out than gays and lesbians, DGBIL, and the belief that a guy is either gay or straight keeps many bisexual guys closeted. Because if a bisexual guy who’s married to a woman knows he’s going to be seen as gay if he tells the truth—if no one will ever believe he loved his wife or wanted all those kids—he’s unlikely to ever come out. So you can’t fault BIL for not being out, DGBIL, when it’s attitudes like yours that keep bi guys closeted in the first place.

I shall now say something that will piss off my bisexual readers: A family-minded bi guy can have almost everything he wants—spouse, house, kids—without ever having to come out so long as that bi guy winds up with an opposite-sex partner. Coming out is a difficult conversation, and it’s one many bi people choose to avoid. And who can blame them? I wasn’t thrilled by the idea of telling my mom I put dicks in my mouth, but it was a conversation I couldn’t avoid. Faced with the choice between telling my mother the truth and possibly being rejected by her and thereby losing her, or cutting her out of my life in order to keep my secret and definitely losing her, I chose to tell her the truth. If I’d been, say, your average hetero-romantic bisexual man instead of a huge homo—if I enjoyed sex with men and women but only fell in love with women—I could’ve avoided coming out to her and very well might have.

Back to your nephews, DGBIL: They should be told the truth, but you shouldn’t be the one to tell them. Their parents should. Sit down with your sister, and make the argument I did above: Yes, your kids are upset about the divorce, and it will add to their upset to learn their father is in a relationship with a man. But they’re going to be angry about being lied to when they inevitably find out. And if she’s keeping this secret solely at BIL’s request, well, he can’t ask that of her if doing so will damage her relationship with her kids. I don’t think she should immediately out BIL, but she can and should let him know that she will need to tell the children if he doesn’t.

You should have a conversation with BIL. Open it by telling him that life is long; marriages are complicated; and you know he loved your sister. But to stick the dismount here—to end his marriage without destroying his relationship with his kids, he can’t hide from them. If he doesn’t want to tell his boys about his boyfriend because he fears he might lose them, DGBIL, then he’ll have to cut his kids out of his life—and that means losing them for sure.

And then butt the fuck out.


I’m a 24-year-old lesbian, and I’ve been dating my girlfriend for three years now. She’s incredible, but she isn’t completely out of the closet yet. I’ve been out since 2010. She’s only come out to a couple of her really close friends. I understand that everyone is different, and it takes some people longer than others, but I can’t help the fact that it hurts my feelings.

I don’t express this to her, because I don’t want to be the reason she does something she’s not ready to. But at the same time, it’s killing me, and she doesn’t even know it. We are compatible in every way possible: sexually, emotionally and spiritually. But I can’t help but feel she’s ashamed of me. I know that sounds selfish, but I want someone who will scream my name from the rooftop.

I bring her around all my friends, family and co-workers. She’s fully a part of my life, and I feel like I’m never going to be fully a part of hers. What do I do? Set a time limit? She makes me so fucking happy, but I’m starting to resent her for this, and I don’t want to feel that way. Your thoughts, please!

Being A Secret Hurts Every Day

Two thoughts …

1. Your girlfriend is keeping a secret from her family and friends, BASHED, and she has to hide you to protect that secret. You’re keeping a secret from your girlfriend: Being hidden, being treated like her dirtiest secret, is making you miserable. Tell her how you feel about being hidden—because she needs to know being hidden is making you miserable.

2. “Don’t date closet cases” is one of my rules for out folks, BASHED, but there are exceptions to every rule. If an out person meets someone on their way out or someone who, for good reasons, can’t come out this minute (they’re dependent on bigoted parents) or possibly ever (they live in a part of the world where it’s too dangerous to be out), an out person can date a closeted person. But dating someone who can be out and isn’t and has no plans to come out? They’re not dating you; they’re dragging you back into the closet. Just say no.

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with Johann Hari about the depression epidemic: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a recently divorced single mom and full-time student. I’m really beginning to hurt financially and have decided to start working as an escort. I am at a point of great emotional stability, happiness and confidence—all reasons that led to my decision—and I’m surrounded by people who love me and won’t judge me. (Not that I will be telling most of them.)

I’ve been seeing a man who I like, but I’ve made it clear that I am not committed to him and can see him only once a week. I’ve explained that I don’t think I can ever be monogamous, and I do not want a relationship. He has struggled with this and told me early on he was in love with me. We have AMAZING sex, and I think this causes him to have a hard time understanding why I don’t want a relationship.

I do not want to tell him I am escorting. I feel the fewer people who know, the better. And I don’t know him that well, as I have been “seeing” him for only six months. I know he would want to know, and a huge part of me feels that the right thing to do is be honest with him if I am going to continue seeing him. I also know that cutting him loose would hurt and confuse him, especially without being able to give him a reason.

How do I handle this? What is the right thing to do? My site goes live in three days, and what’s keeping me up at night is not how best to verify clients; it’s what to do about the man in my life whom I respect and love, even if I am not in love with him.

New To Escorting

Let’s set the escorting issue aside for a moment. You don’t want the same things (he wants monogamy and a defined relationship; you don’t want any of that shit); you don’t feel for him the way he feels for you (he’s in love;, you’re not); and you’re a busy single mom and full-time student—all perfectly valid reasons to end a relationship, NTE. You aren’t obligated to tell him that something you were thinking about doing but haven’t yet done, i.e., escorting, factored into your decision to cut him loose.

While I definitely think people have a right to know if their partners are escorts, I don’t think people have an absolute right to know if their partners were escorts. So if the sex is really good, and you think there’s a chance you could one day feel as strongly for him as he does for you, and you’re planning to escort only until you get your degree, NTE, you could tell him you want to take a break. Explain to him that you don’t have the bandwidth for a boyfriend just now—kid, school, work—but you’re open to dating him after you’re out of school if he’s still single and still interested.


I’m a 30-year-old single monogamist, and I recently realized I’m bisexual. I feel much happier—except I recently crossed a line with a very close friend of mine, a man I’ll admit to having some romantic feelings for.

After he broke up with his ex, I started getting random late-night text messages from him. And a couple weeks ago, we hooked up sans penetration. We acknowledged that we both have feelings, but neither of us is in a good place. He’s still dealing with the end of his LTR, and I am only just coming out as bisexual.

I love this person, and our friendship is important to me, but I can’t stop thinking of the possibility of us being together. I’m confused by the timing, and I wonder if this is real or just something I’ve allowed to distract me—or both! Also, what would this mean for my bisexuality? I’ve been to this rodeo before—meaning opposite-sex relationships—but what about the part of me I haven’t fully explored?

Between Every Thorn Solitude Yearns

You describe yourself as a monogamist—so, yeah, entering into a committed relationship with this man would prevent you from exploring your bisexuality. And the timing feels off: He may be on the rebound, and you’re still coming to terms with your bisexuality. So don’t enter into a committed relationship with him, BETSY, at least not yet. Date him casually, and keep hooking up with him, with the understanding—with the explicit and fully verbalized and mutually consented-to understanding—that you will be “exploring” your bisexuality, i.e., you’ll be getting out there and eating some pussy.


I’m a 37-year-old woman married for eight years to a wonderful man. We’re happy and GGG to the point where his kinks have become my kinks, and vice versa. However, he loves anal sex, and I cannot do it. No matter how much lube we use or how slowly we go, it’s not just uncomfortable—it’s red-hot-poker-in-my-ass painful. Can you give me any concrete, practical advice to get to a point where I can enjoy anal?

Also: Do some women actually enjoy anal? After my experiences, I find that really hard to believe.

Beyond Uncomfortable Tushy Trauma

If you’re still interested in exploring anal after all those red-hot-poker-in-your-ass painful experiences—and you are by no means obligated to explore any further—focus on anal stimulation, BUTT, not anal penetration. Try rimming; try a vibrator pressed against your anus (not shoved into it); try running his lubed-up dick up and down your crack (across your anus, not into your anus); and try all of these things during masturbation, vaginal penetration and oral sex. Having a few dozen orgasms—or a few hundred—while your anus’ sensitive nerve endings are pleasurably engaged could create a positive association between anal stimulation and sexual pleasure.

It’s going to take some time to create a positive association powerful enough to supplant the negative association you have now—an association with echoes of regicide (google “Edward II and red hot poker”)—so your husband shouldn’t expect to get his dick back into your butt anytime soon, if he ever will at all. Some people, for reasons physiological or psychological or both, just can’t experience pleasure during anal intercourse. If you’re one of those people, BUTT, your husband will just have to grieve and move on.

As for the other question: I find it hard to believe that a woman could possibly enjoy, say, a Donald Trump rally. But some women do, BUTT, and we have video to prove it. The same could be said about anal.


I am a 30-year-old hetero woman. Any ideas on how a person can build up to healthy intimate relationships again while recovering from trauma? I’m afraid in normal sexual situations. How can I get to a point where I can have sex for fun and not in a way where I’m triggering my fight-or-flight response? Yes, I am seeing a therapist.

Traumatic Experience Nullifying Sexual Energy

Here’s an idea, TENSE, but please run it by your therapist before giving it a try: Find a guy you like, and propose a different kind of friends-with-benefits arrangement. You will be in charge—you will do all the initiating—and while he can say no to anything you ask, he isn’t to ask for or initiate anything himself. You set the menu; you make the rules; you give the orders. He’ll need to be someone you trust, and it’ll help if he’s someone who thinks following orders is sexy—and trust me, TENSE, those guys are out there. You said that normal sexual situations aren’t working for you … maybe an abnormal one would?

On the Lovecast, what evangelical Christianity does to women: savagelovecast.com.

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I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about myself, my sexuality and my romantic self.

I can log on and easily find someone to fuck. I’m a bear-built top guy. There are ladies in my life who choose to share their beds with me. I can find subs to tie up and torture. (I’m kinky and bi.) What I can’t find is a long-term partner. The problem is that after I fuck/sleep with/torture someone, my brain stops seeing them as sexual and moves them into the friend category. I have friends who I used to fuck regularly, and now, it’s a chore to get it up for them. Sure, the sex still feels good, but it’s not passionate. And when it’s all said and done, they’re still in the “friend” category in my brain. Some of them have suggested being more, but I’ve recoiled. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they’re friends, not potential partners.

I’m 32, and my siblings are married and having kids, and the people I grew up with are married and having kids. And here I am not able to find a long-term significant other. Am I broken? Should I just accept that, at least for me, sexual partners and domestic/romantic partners will always be separate categories?

Always Alone

What if you’re not like most everyone else? What if this is just how your sexuality works? What if you’re wired—emotionally, romantically, sexually—for intense but brief sexual connections that blossom into wonderful friendships? And what if you’ve been tricked into thinking you’re broken, because the kind of successful long-term relationships your siblings and friends have are celebrated, and the kind of successful short-term relationships you have are stigmatized?

If your siblings and friends want to have the kinds of relationships they’re having—and it is possible some do not—they will feel no inner conflict about their choices while simultaneously being showered with praise for their choices. But what are they really doing? They’re doing what they want; they’re doing what makes them happy; they’re doing what works for them romantically, emotionally and sexually. And what are you doing? Maybe you’re doing what you want, AA—maybe you’re doing what could make you happy. So why doesn’t it make you happy? Maybe because you’ve been made to feel broken by a culture that holds up one relationship model—the partnered and preferably monogamous pair—and insists that this model is the only healthy and whole option, and that anyone who goes a different way, fucks a different way, or relates a different way is broken.

Now, it’s possible you are broken, of course, but anyone could be broken. You could be broken; I could be broken; your married siblings and friends could be broken. (Regarding your siblings and friends: Not everyone who marries and has kids wanted marriage and kids. Some no doubt wanted it, AA, but others succumbed to what was expected of them.) But here’s a suggestion for something I want you to try, something that might make you feel better, because it could very well be true: Try to accept that, for you, sexual partners and domestic/romantic partners might always be separate, and that doesn’t mean you’re broken. If that self-acceptance makes you feel whole, AA, then you have your answer.

I might make a different suggestion if your brief-but-intense sexual encounters left a lot of hurt feelings in their wake. But that’s not the case. You hook up with someone a few times; you share an intense sexual experience; and you feel a brief romantic connection to them. And when those sexual and romantic feelings subside, you’re not left with a string of bitter exes and enemies, but with a large and growing circle of good friends. Which leads me to believe that even if you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing, AA, you’re clearly doing something right.

By the way … another option if you do want to get married someday: a companionate marriage to one of your most intimate friends—someone like you, AA, who also sees potential life partners and potential sex partners as two distinct categories with no overlap—and all the Grindr hookups and BDSM sessions you like with one-offs who become good friends.


I knew my little brother had an odd fascination with rubber that would likely become sexual. He would steal rubber gloves and hide them in his room, and there was a huge meltdown when our mother found a gas mask in his room when he was 12.

My brother is in his 30s now and has a closet full of rubber “gear” that he dresses in pretty much exclusively. (When he’s not at work, he’s in rubber.) All of his friends are rubber fetishists. When he travels, it’s only to fetish events where he can wear his rubber clothing publicly. He will date only other rubber fetishists, which seems to have severely limited his romantic prospects, and he posts photos of himself in rubber to his social media accounts. I read your column and I understand that kinks aren’t chosen, and they can be incorporated into a person’s sex life in a healthy way. But my brother’s interest in rubber seems obsessive. Your thoughts?

Rubbered Up Baby Brother’s Erotic Rut

If your brother were obsessed with surfing or snowboarding and built his life around chasing waves or powder—and would date only people who shared his passion—you wouldn’t have written me. Same goes if he were obsessed with pro sports, as so many straight men are, or Broadway shows, as so many gay men are. The only “problem” here is that your brother’s obsession makes his dick hard—and to be clear, RUBBER, the problem is yours, not his. An erotic obsession or passion is just as legitimate as a nonerotic one. And even if I thought your brother had a problem—and I do not—nothing I wrote here would result in him liking his rubber clothes, rubber buddies or rubber fetish events any less.


I’m a 28-year-old straight man married to a 26-year-old straight woman. My wife and I were watching a video about sex and the female orgasm, and they were talking about how, unlike men, women don’t have a refractory period after orgasm. We were confused, because we are almost the complete opposite. I have never experienced drowsiness, lessened sensitivity or quickened loss of erection after orgasm. My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t even like me kissing her bits after orgasm. She says they feel tender and sore afterward, and this feeling can last for hours. Is this normal?

Newlywed’s Orgasms Rarely Multiply

What you describe isn’t the norm, NORM, but it’s your norm.

Most men temporarily lose interest in sex immediately after climaxing. It’s called the refractory period, and it can last anywhere from 15 minutes (for teenagers) to 24 hours (for old-timers). It’s a hormone thing: After a guy comes, his pituitary gland pumps prolactin into his bloodstream—and prolactin blocks dopamine, the hormone that makes a dude horny and keeps him horny. But some men release very little prolactin and consequently have short refractory periods; a handful of men have no refractory period at all and are capable of multiple orgasms. You don’t mention the ability to come again and again, but you do sound exceptional in that you don’t lose your erection after you come. Your wife also sounds exceptional, NORM, since most orgasmic women are capable of having multiple orgasms—but most women ≠ all women. (I’ve always loved what groundbreaking sex researcher Mary Jane Sherfey wrote in 1966: “The more orgasms she has, the more she can have—for all intents and purposes, the human female is sexually insatiable.” Emphasis hers.)

But again, NORM, there’s nothing wrong with either of you. It’s just that your norm isn’t the norm—and that’s only a problem if you choose to regard it as one.

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

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Longtime Savage Love fanboy with a bit of a conundrum—and it’s your fault! I’m a bi man in my 30s. To use Charles M. Blow’s word, my bisexuality is “lopsided.” This means that I fall in love with women exclusively, but I love to have sex with men occasionally. My current girlfriend not only approves; she likes to join in.

We have a great kinky sex life, and at times, we invite a hot bi dude to join us. You keep saying that to counter bisexual erasure, it is the duty of every bisexual to come out of the closet. If I were a “proper” bisexual, i.e., romantically interested in men also, that would be no problem—my family and work and social circles are extremely liberal. However, your advice to us kinksters and people in open relationships is that we probably shouldn’t come out to our parents or colleagues, since when it comes to sex, it’s advisable to operate on a need-to-know basis. While I agree with this completely—my mother doesn’t need to know my girlfriend pegs me—the rule keeps me in the closet as well: Since I’m only sexually interested in men, wouldn’t I be revealing facts about my sex life if I came out as bi? I also wouldn’t want to mislead gay men into thinking that I’m available for romantic relationships with them.

So which rule is more important: the duty to come out as a bisexual, or the advice to operate on a need-to-know basis when it comes to your sex life?

Bisexual Leaning Out Warily

There’s nothing improper about your bisexuality, BLOW—or Charles M. Blow’s bisexuality, or the bisexuality of other “lopsided” bisexuals. While the idea that bisexuals are equally attracted to men and women sexually and romantically used to be pushed by a lot of bi activists (“I fall in love with people, not genitals!”), it didn’t reflect the lived/fucked/sucked experience of most bisexuals. Like you and Blow (hetero-romantic bisexuals), many bisexuals have a strong preference for either women or men as romantic partners. My recently “gay married” bisexual friend Eric, however, is one of those bi-romantic bisexuals.

This popular misconception—that bisexuals are indifferent to gender (and more highly evolved than all those genital-obsessed monosexuals)—left many people who were having sex with men and women feeling as if they didn’t have an identity: not straight, not gay, and disqualified from bi. But thanks to bisexuals like Blow coming out and owning their bisexuality and their lopsidedness, a more nuanced and inclusive understanding of bisexuality has taken root. That nuance is reflected in bisexual activist Robyn Ochs’ definition of bisexuality: “I call myself bisexual,” Ochs says, “because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted—romantically and/or sexually—to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”

Lopsided or not, BLOW, you’re a proper bisexual, and if you’re in a position to come out to your family and friends, you should. And rest assured, telling people you’re bi doesn’t mean you’re divulging details about your sex life. You’re disclosing your sexual orientation, not detailing your sexual practices. You can tell someone you’re attracted to men and women—at the same time, in your case, if not in the same way—without telling them about the hot bi dudes you and the girlfriend bed together. And if you and the girlfriend are perceived to be monogamous, and you want to keep it that way, you can allow people to continue to make that assumption.

Finally, BLOW, most gay men are aware that bi guys usually aren’t romantically interested in other men. And that’s fine—so long as hetero-romantic bi guys don’t mislead us, most gay men are down to fuck. (And gay men who won’t date homo-romantic or bi-romantic men? You guys are missing out. My friend Eric was a hot, hung, adventurous catch. Congrats, Christian!) And since you’re partnered and presumed to be monogamous, you’re also presumed to be unavailable. But if you’re worried a gay friend might hire a hit man to off the girlfriend so he can have a shot at your heart, come out to him as hetero-romantic at the same time you come out to him as bi.


Bi married man here. I was always out to my wife, but two months ago, I came out to our tight circle of friends. Everyone has been supportive, and I’m glad I took this step.

But on three different occasions, my wife’s best friend has loudly asked me whose cock I would most like to suck out of all the other guys at the party. My birthday is coming up, and I don’t want her there. My wife doesn’t want to offend her oldest friend, and she makes excuses like, “She was drunk,” or, “She was only joking.” I told my wife that I wouldn’t be coming to my own birthday party if her friend was invited, but she invited her anyway “by accident.” (She sent the invite via group text.) She doesn’t want to confront or disinvite her friend, because that would be awkward. What do we do?

Her Unthinking Buddy Bad Yucks

Here’s what you’re going to do, HUBBY: You’re going to ask your wife how she would feel if a friend of yours was sexually harassing her, and you made excuses for that friend (“He was drunk!”) and then “accidentally” invited that asshole to her birthday party. Then if she won’t call her friend and retract the invitation, you do it. It will be awkward, that’s for sure, but your wife’s friend shouldn’t be spared that awkwardness. Lord knows she made things awkward for you—don’t hesitate to return the favor.


I am a 23-year-old bisexual woman, and I have two questions for you: (1) Is it possible to fall in love differently with women than with men? I think I am bisexual, because I have been in love with some women, despite never getting past a kiss. What I find strange is that whereas with men I feel immediate attraction, with women, the attraction rises after a deep friendship is formed. (2) Is it possible that I was in love with two different people at the same time? I always thought that I could be in love with only one person at a time, but during that short span, I was in love with both a guy who made me suffer and my best friend, a woman, who helped me with that guy. After I found a new boyfriend, I stopped thinking about anyone else, because our relationship is closed. But I don’t know if that’s just because I avoid thinking about others or because I wasn’t really in love with the two people (despite my surprisingly real heartbreak).

Bisexual In Need And Inquiring Finally

1. See my response to BLOW, above.

2. A person can love more than one parent, more than one child, more than one sibling, more than one set of tit clamps, and more than one romantic partner. Telling people they can feel romantic love for only one person at a time isn’t just stupid; it’s harmful. Let’s say Bill is partnered with Ted, and Bill believes romantic attraction/love is a one-at-a-time phenomenon, because that’s what he was told. Now let’s say Bill develops a crush on Sandra. If Bill doesn’t question the one-at-a-time bullshit he was taught to believe about romantic love, Bill is highly likely to think, “Well, I must not be in love with Ted anymore; otherwise, I couldn’t feel this way about Sandra,” and then he may dump tried-and-true Ted for shiny-and-new Sandra.

I’m not arguing that everyone should be poly—most people want only one partner at a time, and that’s fine. But telling people they can’t experience romantic attraction or romantic love for more than one person at a time sets long-term relationships up for failure. Because while stable, lasting love feels amazing, it’s less intoxicating than shiny, new, cum-drunk love. And while almost all stable, lasting loves were shiny, new, cum-drunk loves early on, very few new loves become lasting loves. If we don’t want people tossing lasting love overboard every time they develop feelings for someone new, people need to know that, yes, you can be in love with two different people at the same time.

On the Lovecast, the author of Many Love, Sophie Lucido Johnson: savagelovecast.com.

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