CVIndependent

Wed11132019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

My boyfriend and I met online to explore our kinks. We’d both been in relationships with kink-shaming people who screwed with our heads. Since we weren’t thinking it was more than a hookup, we put all our baggage on the table early and wound up becoming friends. Eventually, we realized we had a real connection and started a relationship where we supported our desire to explore. I’ve never been happier.

The only issue is how he gets down on himself if I get more attention than he does. After the first kink party we went to, he would not stop trying to convince me that no one looked at him all evening. I tried to boost his confidence, and I also brought up things like, “You were on a leash, so maybe people assumed you were off-limits.” No dice. I couldn’t get him to even entertain the notion that anyone even looked at him. He’s a cross-dressing sissy who loves to be used by men—heterosuckual—and he has a lot of baggage with every last one of his exes citing his cross-dressing as a reason to leave him for a “real” man. To make things worse, we have had issues with guys coming over for him, finding out there’s a Domme female in the picture, and switching focus to me. I feel like I wind up avoiding kinky sexual situations (which I love!), because I’m so concerned about protecting his ego. I’ve tried using my words, and we generally communicate well, but he is unwilling to entertain any interpretations that don’t mesh with his theory that he’s obviously undesirable.

The breaking point for me was this past weekend. He encouraged me to go to a swingers party with a friend, and I had a blast. It was super-empowering, and all I wanted to do was tell him every detail—the way he will when he services cock—and he was so jealous that I was able to effortlessly get so much attention that he wasn’t ready to hear it. It made me feel the same sex shame I felt with my ex. It also made me feel like he was insinuating—how could I get so lucky?—which hit all my chubby-girl self-conscious places hard.

Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!

Seeking Insightful Stress Solution, Yup

Tell that sissy to get over herself.

Your boyfriend is making you feel guilty about something you have no control over: Women get more attention at mixed-gender sex/play parties than men do. And as far as your respective kinks go, SISSY, there are always going to be more people out there who want to get with Domme women than guys who want to get with/be serviced by submissive heterosuckual cross-dressers. Your boyfriend will always attract less interest than you do at a kink party, just as someone who goes to a BDSM play party hoping to do a little knife play will attract less interest than someone who’s looking for a little light bondage.

Instead of counting the number of guys who approach you at a party and then trying to ruin your night for getting more attention than he does, your boyfriend has to make the most of every opportunity that comes his way. And if some guy approaches him at a play party only to realize he’s on a leash, SISSY, isn’t that guy supposed to turn his attention to the Dominant partner? If your boyfriend could resist the urge to spiral down at those moments—if he could resist the urge to make himself the center of negative attention—those men would probably turn their attention back to him at some point, particularly if you encouraged/gave them permission to do so. (You could and perhaps should also make it clear to anyone who approaches you at some-if-not-all kink parties that you’re a package deal: You play together, or you don’t play at all. But even then, your boyfriend has to accept that you’ll be leveraging your desirability on both your behalves, and be at peace with it.)

Usually when I advise readers to “use their words,” it’s about making sexual needs clear, i.e., asking for what we want with the understanding that we may not always get what we want. But what you need (and you need to use your words to get), SISSY, is for your boyfriend to knock this petty, hypocritical slut-shaming shit off. (He’s essentially shaming you for being the slut he’d like to be.) It might help if you got him to recognize and grieve and accept not just the reality of the situation—women with more mainstream kinks are more in demand at mixed-gender kink parties than men with niche kinks—but also the risk he’s running here: His insecurities are sabotaging your relationship. Him setting traps for you—like encouraging you to go out and play, only to make you feel terrible about it afterward—and making hurting insinuations about your attractiveness is making this relationship untenable. Tell him that you’re going to dump him if he can’t get a grip. And then ask him what will be worse—being partnered with someone who gets more attention than he does in kink and swinger spaces, or being a single male in those spaces? (It’s a trick question, at least partly, as many of those spaces don’t allow single males.)


Straight woman here with a penis question: My current partner is uncircumcised, which I am completely fine with. However, his foreskin is so tight that it can’t be pulled back over the head of his penis. I did my research and discovered the issue is phimosis. I asked him about it, and he said it’s always been this way and that sometimes it is painful. None of his doctors have seemed to notice it during exams, and he’s never brought it up. Oddly enough, this is something that I’ve come across with two different partners—and in both situations, they had issues with maintaining an erection. Is this a thing?

My Boyfriend’s Penis

Phimosis is definitely a thing, MBP, and when it makes erections a painful thing, as it often does, erections are going to be harder to obtain and sustain. And unless a doctor was examining your boyfriend’s erect penis, it’s not something a doctor would notice. A good doctor will ask their patients about their sexual health and function, but—based on the mail I get—it seems very few people have good doctors.

Looking on the bright side: Phimosis is easily treated, if you can persuade your boyfriend to ask his doctor about it. Smearing a steroid cream on his cock could stretch and loosen the foreskin. And if the cream doesn’t work, then a full or partial circumcision will do the trick.


I love my boyfriend, and he knows I like women, too. Our sex life was OK, a little boring and routine and always “doggy style.” And he hardly ever goes down on me—like, at all. I can count on one hand the number of times he’s done it in four years! So I agreed to have a threesome to spice things up, and we bought condoms. When we got down with another woman, he decided to have sex with her after me … and he also decided to go down on her. You know, the thing he never does for me.

I’m so upset now that I can’t even have sex with him. I feel like it was a betrayal of my trust for him to eat out a woman he barely knows when he won’t do that for me. He also didn’t use the condoms—he says he “didn’t have time.” He said it meant nothing. But it’s really got me upset.

Now Overlooking My Need Of Munching

Not only would I have been upset during that threesome, NOMNOM; I would have been single very shortly after it. Dude doesn’t eat pussy—dude doesn’t eat your pussy—and can’t find the time to put a condom on when he wants to (gets to!) have sex with another woman in front of you? DTMFA.

On the Lovecast, sex workers’ rights advocate Elle Stanger: savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

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

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

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

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

Angry Confidant

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

“What’s the issue between you guys?”

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

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

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

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

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


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

Have I done wrong?

Married Asshole Refuses Intercourse To Affectionate Lady

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


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

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

Serious Heartbreak Over Relationship Travails

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

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

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

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

Published in Savage Love

My little dick has always held me back. I didn’t date in high school, because I couldn’t stand the thought of girls discussing my tiny manhood. That said, I’ve adapted fairly well and have become skilled with my tongue and hands.

The biggest problem is that my dick is just small enough that the head pokes straight forward and can be seen through my pants. I never tuck in a shirt because of it. Because I am always in oversize shirts that hang past my waist, I never look professional. I’ve tried stuffing with socks, and it didn’t work.

Do you know of anything that can mask a pathetic johnson? I’d love to move up in the world.

Physically Embarrassing Nub Isn’t Sufficient

Have you considered packing? Trans men, drag kings, butch dykes and even straight cis women experimenting with gender expression will sometimes pack—that is, wear “packing dildos” that create the appearance of a masculine bulge. Packers are modeled on soft cocks, not hard cocks, and they come in a range of sizes and colors. And so long as you don’t engage in false advertising, PENIS—so long as you make it clear to new partners that the bulge in your pants is not a prologue—there’s no reason why you couldn’t pack, just as there’s no reason why you and other guys with small dicks can’t strap on a regular dildo when your partner wants a deep dicking.

I’m a mid-20s straight woman, and there’s a pattern in my life that I’m trying to break: Since high school, I’ve repeatedly ended up being friends with wonderful men who I shared an obvious sexual tension with at the start of our “friendships.” (Our mutual friends often noted the sexual tension.) Not a single one has ever turned into more than a one-off drunken kiss. Maybe it’s who I’m picking, but I’m starting to think that I’m the problem. An ex of mine (who I met on Bumble) told me that I give off “don’t touch me” vibes. Looking back, I can see that all my relationships started in settings where romantic interest was implied—apps, blind dates, etc.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with a classmate of mine. We get along well, and he’s hot and single. How do I (for lack of a better term) seduce him?

Dreading The Friend Zone

Don’t seduce; ask. Don’t put the moves on someone; use your words—or think of your words as your move, DTFZ. Since you give off “don’t touch me” vibes (that’s some valuable feedback from an ex!), and since we’ve asked men to do a better job of perceiving and respecting a woman’s “don’t touch me” vibes, you will have to make your interest clear and unambiguous: “Hey, classmate, we’ve been spending a lot of time together, and I was wondering if you might be interested in going on a date sometime.”

I have had a very hot, sexy bodybuilder friend with benefits for many, many years. He’s Dominant and into really intense bondage and SM, and it’s fantastic. The harder he goes on me, the more aroused he gets. Sometimes he comes three times in one session, always with me in super-intense and painful bondage positions. It turns him on so much—and it turns me on, too.

The thing is, he hates my dick. We have so much fun during our sessions, but he won’t touch my dick and won’t let me touch it, either.

Bodybuilder Is Neglecting Dick

Ignoring your dick and not letting you come and then seeing you crawl back for more abuse is most likely part of the power trip that turns your hot, sexy friend on, BIND, and he’s unlikely to start lavishing attention on your dick on my orders. And since it sounds like he gives you plenty of hot JO material for after your bondage sessions, it’s not like there isn’t something in it for you, right?

I am a public-school teacher in the United States. I love teaching, and I want to teach for the rest of my career. I am very good at it, but unfortunately that doesn’t affect my pay in the slightest. After 10 years of poverty, I’m getting tired of going without.

I thought perhaps I could do some sex work on the side to help pay off my student loans and get some more money for classroom supplies. Thanks to de facto segregation, all of my students are one specific ethnicity and very poor, so I think I could easily avoid accidentally servicing a parent or relative of a student. But how on earth does someone safely and discreetly embark on sex work as a side hustle?

Need a Second Job That Actually Pays

Someone you work with, someone you went to school with, someone you used to date, someone who lives in your apartment building—it’s not just parents and relatives of your students you need to worry about, NASJTAP. Vindictive exes and small-minded, sex-negative busybodies of all stripes can be a problem for sex workers. And since the consequences of being outed as a sex worker are always swift and severe for someone who works with children, you’ll want to find another side hustle. You should also get out there and support—we should all get out there and support—Democratic presidential candidates who are calling to forgive or cancel student-loan debt, like Elizabeth Warren and/or Bernie Sanders. And, yes, it’s possible to support more than one candidate at this stage of the political process.

My girlfriend and I have been going strong for almost 10 months. She told me that in the past, she dated only older men—her teachers, her boss, a police officer, and other older men who were, in her own words, “flat-out wrong for me.” (Two of them were married.)

I am interested in your take on why she is dating me now. I’m a couple of years younger than she is—she is 30, and I am 28. She says she sees a future with me, and I’m unlike anyone she’s ever met. Can what someone likes change in this way?

The Younger Man

You may be the exception—the rare younger man your girlfriend finds attractive—or it could be that she was never attracted exclusively to older men. Just because someone dated a string of one type of person (older, younger, taller, shorter, maler, femaler), it doesn’t follow that someone isn’t interested in other types, too. Someone realizing they’re attracted to more types of people or acting on long-standing attractions to other types of people doesn’t mean they’ve changed, TYM; it means they’ve grown.

I’m a 21-year-old woman. Yesterday, I talked to a 26-year-old guy who won’t do cunnilingus but loves to get blowjobs. My friends judged him harshly. Does this go against the rule that people should be able to do what makes them feel good in bed without being judged? Guys who refuse to give oral sex but want to receive it make us feel as if our pleasure is not as important as theirs. Please tell me what you think.

Desperate Clitoris

I think there are enough women out there who don’t like having their pussies eaten—some struggle with insecurity and shame; others simply don’t enjoy the sensation—that there’s no reason for this guy to inflict himself on women who do like having their pussies eaten. And if making your partner feel good doesn’t make you feel good—if giving pleasure as well as receiving pleasure doesn’t make you feel good—then you’re a lousy fucking lay.

All that said, I agree that people should be able to do what makes them feel good in bed without being judged. But if what you’re doing in bed—or refusing to do in bed—makes other people feel bad about themselves or their bodies, well, then you should be judged harshly.

On the Lovecast, Dan enlists straight-boy help from Michael Ian Black: savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

I am a guy in my 40s, handsome, more financially successful than most, and a classic sexual scoundrel—I cheated on my ex-wife and every girlfriend I’ve ever had.

I’m currently dating a woman in her 20s. We are both each other’s ideal type. She has as scandalous of a past as I do, but has “accomplished” more in a shorter time. We met via a hookup app. Then we had another meeting. And another one. We enjoyed each other’s company from the moment we met, and the sex was great. (We share a few not-easy-to-match kinks.) Most of her stuff is now at my house. We’ve had many deep dives into our respective pasts. We cringe now at how we met and why we’ve hooked up with so many random people.

Here’s the issue: After 12 months together, with too many breakups to count, we have no idea how to move forward. We cannot establish trust. We are in love, and everything’s great … so long as we have our eyeballs on each other. Once out of direct sight, we both turn into possessive assholes. So many phones have been stolen and thrown away, I can’t count. How do two sluts find peace?

Can’t Part Over Sex

You’ve cheated on everyone you’ve ever been with, and your girlfriend has presumably cheated on everyone she’s ever been with. (That’s what you meant by “she has as scandalous of a past as I do,” right?) But instead of embracing the cheats and sluts you both know yourselves to be, and thanking your fucky stars for bringing you together, CPOS, you felt obligated to disavow your past behaviors—some of which sound legitimately terrible—and slut-shame yourselves and each other. And for what? You are still the people you were before you started theatrically cringing about how you met.

She doesn’t trust you not to cheat on her, and I don’t see why she should. You don’t trust her not to cheat on you, and I don’t see why you should. So why promise not to cheat? Why waste time and emotional energy policing each other for evidence of what you both know to be true? You’re going to cheat on each other. That you can trust in. So instead of making promises you can’t keep and then having meltdowns and stealing each other’s phones and breaking up and getting back together, CPOS, make a promise you can keep—not to be faithful, but to be considerate. And discreet. Promise not to do anything that makes her feel like she isn’t your top priority, even if you do fuck around occasionally, and ask her to make the same promise to you. Then you can move forward as honest sluts and not lying cheats.


I am in love with a happily married woman. I was the “other man” almost 20 years ago, before she was married but when she was living with the man she’s with now. We fell madly in love, but we didn’t end up together.

In the intervening years, we both married and had children. We’ve reconnected a couple of times over the years, and it became a sexual relationship again. Here’s the tricky part: My then-wife was an undocumented immigrant. My marriage was unhappy, but for my child’s sake, I couldn’t leave my wife, for fear of his mother getting deported. This year, she got her green card, and we divorced. Then I reconnected with my ex again.

We desperately want to get married, but she is scared to end her marriage. She’s in a relatively happy marriage, and divorce will be a bombshell. She worries about the shock and destabilizing effect on her children, who are still young. She fears that nothing short of admitting she’s in love with someone else could end her otherwise-happy marriage, but admitting that she’s been unfaithful will make co-parenting impossibly hard going forward. We agonize over this situation but can’t bear the thought of not being together. We understand that pain will have to happen, but we just don’t know what the best course of action is.

Pensive And Incredibly Nervous

If you two can’t wait until her kids are a little older before you marry, PAIN, then there’s no way to avoid the most painful possible version of this shitshow. But your girlfriend’s husband deserves the whole truth right out of the gate—even at the risk of complicating their co-parenting arrangements in the short run. Letting her soon-to-be-ex-husband twist in the wind wondering why his decent, loving, seemingly stable marriage suddenly collapsed would just be cruel—and pointlessly so, as he will inevitably learn the truth. You two don’t plan to marry in secret, right? This means her soon-to-be-ex and their kids are going to find out about you, the new husband and stepfather, at some point in the very near future.

The whole truth, all at once. Don’t draw it out. Inflicting pain on the installment plan won’t assuage your guilt.


I’m married to a loving, handsome man. For the first several years of our relationship, we had amazing sex. At some point after moving in together, my interest in having sex with him decreased significantly. This has been a pattern in every long-term relationship I’ve ever had: Living together seems to diminish my attraction to my partner, which is hugely problematic when I am in a long-term monogamous relationship.

The second problem is that my kink needs are not being met. My husband is aware of my kinks and is GGG in theory, but he lacks the skill to deliver what I’m interested in.

Before I met my husband, I spent many years as a member of a very active kink scene in a big city. I miss the friendships and experiences I had when I was able to share my kinks. Unfortunately, in addition to living in a place without access to these kinds of events and workshops, my husband is monogamous without compromise. He is unwilling to co-top me alongside another Dominant partner and unwilling to let me bottom for others solo, regardless of whether sex is involved. Within the past several years, this frustration has led me to seek out the occasional experience with others, which is always discovered. My sex drive seems intact when I fantasize about hot, rough scenes with other people, but I experience very little desire for my husband.

I’m at a loss. I adore this man, and haven’t ever felt like it would be worth it to leave him just so I could get my kinky needs met, but we are at an impasse. Is it even possible to find a compromise?

Sex Alacrity Diminished

Knowing what you do about yourself—your attraction to a partner craters after moving in together; you have a powerful need to explore your kinks with casual play partners—you shouldn’t be cohabitating and/or making monogamous commitments. But you are, and you have, SAD—so what now? There’s no middle ground between an uncompromisingly monogamous marriage and the kind of freedom to explore your kinks that you need to feel fulfilled, partnered or not. But your husband caught you fucking around—or kinking around—and has presumably forgiven you, seeing as you aren’t e-mailing during your divorce proceedings. So perhaps if given a choice between letting you and losing you, SAD, he would let you. And who knows? If all your long-term relationships have been monogamous, and they all resulted in the end of rough and adventurous sex with new partners, well, perhaps that’s what is cratering your desire for committed partners—the limitation, not the cohabitation. And who knows? If you were free to fuck around with other people—if your husband didn’t symbolize the end of sexy adventures—maybe you’d still want to fuck him. But if he does give you the freedom to fuck around, and you still don’t want to fuck him, SAD, do your husband a favor, and leave him. And then no more monogamy or cohabitation for you, got it?

On the Lovecast, Simon Doonan on the endurance of drag: savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

I’m a Seattle local who basically grew up reading your column. I think you’ve always given really sound advice, so I’m reaching out. My boyfriend and I have been together for two years. We started out poly, but I was clear from the start that when I fall in love with someone, I lose all attraction to anyone other than that one person. I fell in love with him, and we decided to be monogamous. But I know he’s still attracted to other people, and it makes me feel like ending the relationship.

I love him like I’ve never loved anyone else, but because he doesn’t feel the same way I do on this subject, I don’t believe he loves me at all. I don’t feel like I can bring it up with him, because it will just make him feel bad for something he probably can’t control, and I don’t think I can make him love me. But I also feel like I’m wasting my time and living a lie. Help!

Heartbroken Over Nothing

This thing about you—how being in love with someone renders you incapable of finding anyone else attractive—that’s pretty much a unique-to-you trait. The overwhelming majority of even the blissfully-in-loves out there still find other people attractive. And you should know that if you grew up reading my column. You should also know that a monogamous commitment doesn’t mean you don’t want to fuck other people, HON; it means you’ve promised not to fuck other people. We wouldn’t have to make monogamous commitments if sincere feelings of love extinguished all desire for others.

Since no one is ever going to love you in precisely the same way you love them—since no one else is ever going to meet the impossible standard you’ve set—every person you fall in love with will disappoint you. Every potential love arrives pre-disqualified. You meet someone; you fall in love with them; they fall in love with you; you are not attracted to others; they still are; you have no choice but to dump that person and start all over again. Lover, rinse, repeat.

Zooming out: People who create impossible standards for romantic partners—standards no one could ever hope to meet—usually don’t want to be in committed relationships but can’t admit that to themselves. We’re told good people want to be in committed relationships, and we all want to think of ourselves as good people. So someone who doesn’t want a long-term commitment either has to think of themselves as a bad person, which no one wants to do, or has to redefine for themselves what it means to be a good person, which can be hard work. But there’s a third option: set impossible standards for our romantic partners. And then, when all of our romantic partners fail to meet our impossible standards, we can tell ourselves we’re the only truly good person as we move through life breaking the hearts of anyone foolish enough to fall in love with us.

So while my hunch is that it’s not your partner who is incapable of loving you, HON, but you who are incapable of loving him, you’re free to prove me wrong. One way we demonstrate our capacity to truly love someone is by believing them when they say they love us. That’s step one. Step two is accepting that someone’s love for us is legitimate, even if they don’t experience or express love in precisely the same way we do.


My father passed away recently. I received a contract to sell his house, and I’ll soon have to clean the place out. My question is this: What should one do with a dead relative’s porn? I don’t want to keep it; I don’t want to waste it by just putting it in the trash; I can’t donate it to the library. There’s nothing especially collectible in it, so eBay is out. Maybe someone would buy the lot of it on Craigslist, but I’m not entirely clear what the legalities are for selling secondhand porn out of the back of a car, let alone what the potential market might be. I mean, how many folks are looking to buy a deceased elderly man’s former wank bank?

I’m certain I’m only the most recent in a long line of folks to find themselves in this situation. Any advice for finding the porn a new home, or is it a bad idea to even try? Added difficulties: smallish town, Midwestern state, and I’m his only living family member.

Rehoming Inherited Pornography

You would be in the same predicament if you had lots of living family members. I have an enormous family—lots of aunts and uncles, countless cousins—and, “Who wants the porn?” isn’t a question I’ve ever heard asked at an elderly relative’s wake. And that can’t be because none of my elderly relatives had porn stashes; the law of averages dictates that at least one and probably more dead Savages (R.I.P.) had massive porn stashes, which means whoever cleaned out the apartment or house quietly disposed of the porn. And that’s what you should do.

If you’re concerned about your dad’s porn “going to waste,” dispose of it in a conspicuous manner, e.g., drop it off at a recycling center in open boxes or clear bags. Maybe a worker or someone else making a drop-off will spot the porn and decide to rescue it from the pile.

And, hey, my condolences on the death of your father.


I went on Grindr just before Christmas last year; this handsome dude messaged me, and we ended up hooking up at his place. It was apparent from the get-go that this was no regular hookup. We didn’t even have sex. We just kissed and talked and cuddled for six straight hours. Sounds perfect, right? Well, at about hour five, in the middle of this surprisingly deep conversation, he said something that made my head spin. I asked him how old he was. “Twenty-one,” he replied. Holy shit. He asked how old I was. “Fifty.” Neither of us had our age on Grindr. He looked about 30 to me. He said he thought I was in my late 30s. It was basically love at first sight for us.

After nine months of trying to keep a lid on our feelings, he moved away and found a guy close to his own age, which I strongly encouraged. Before they became an official couple, we went on a goodbye walk, which was full of love and tears. We agreed to do the “no contact” thing for one month. (He thought three was extreme.)

But here’s my issue: I’m in love with him. I’ve been incredibly sad since we last spoke about three weeks ago. It’s a week until the agreed-upon day when we can say hi if we want to, and I don’t want to. I can’t. I have to let him go. I know he’s going to want to talk, but I’m afraid if I have any contact with him, it will set me back, and I won’t want to stop. It’s taken all my willpower to not contact him so far. My question: How do I let him know I don’t want any further contact without hurting him?

Impossible Love Sucks

Call the boy, ILS; ask him to meet up, and tell him you made a mistake. Yes, you’re a lot older, and the age difference may be so great that you two aren’t going to be together forever. But maybe you’re perfect for each other right now. A relationship doesn’t have to end in a funeral home with one person in a box to have been a success. If you have three or four great years together before the window in which your relationship makes sense closes, ILS, then you had some great years together. People get it into their heads that they can’t enter into a relationship unless they can picture it lasting “forever,” when, really, nothing is forever. To quote the great James Baldwin: “Love him and let him love you. Do you think anything else under heaven really matters?”

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with Joan Price about senior lovin’: savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

We brought Savage Love Live to the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, and the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, over three nights. As is always the case, the crowds had more questions than I could possibly answer. So in this week’s column, I’m going to tear through some of the questions I wasn’t able to get to.

How do you feel about relationships that have a time frame or defined end point? For example, one person is going away for school or a new job?

I’m fine with relationships with seemingly set end points, as relationships don’t have to be open to being long-term or become long-term in order to be a success. (Did you meet a nice person? Did you have some good sex? Did you part on good terms? Success!) And the world is filled with couples that met at a time in their lives when school or work commitments meant they couldn’t be together—and yet, years or even decades later, they’re still together. You never know.

If you use food for vaginal play, is there any type you should definitely avoid?

Lasagna makes for a lousy insertion toy. (Food doesn’t belong in vaginas; there could be bacteria on the food, even after washing, that results in a nasty infection. #FuckFirst #EatAfter)

Is it OK that I always seem to hate my partners’ mothers? Is this normal?

It isn’t, and it’s not. When you’re the common denominator in a lot of high-stress, high-conflict relationships, you’re most likely the problem.

Why do straight guys like anal so much?

Superhero movies, bottled beer, watching sports—there are lots of things straight guys like that I just don’t get. But I get why they like anal: Done right, anal feels amazing. And not just for the person doing the penetrating. When it’s done right, it is also great for the person being penetrated. And sometimes the person being penetrated is a straight guy.

After a year of dating, my boyfriend told me he is polyamorous. I don’t know how to proceed. Any tips?

If he meant, “Polyamory is my sexual orientation, and you have to allow me to date other people, and you can’t break up with me over this because that would amount to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” that’s bullshit, and this relationship is over. But if he meant, “Polyamory is a better relationship model for me than monogamy,” that’s not bullshit, and the conversation is just getting started. If you prefer monogamy, but you’re willing to consider polyamory to be with him, i.e., if that’s a price of admission you’re willing to pay, it could work out. But if you aren’t open to polyamory, and monogamy isn’t a price he’s willing to pay to be with you, it won’t work out.

I work in secondary education, and I’m in an open marriage. My job is awesome, but I’m so afraid of a student or a parent seeing me when I’m out with a different partner. What should I do?

You could continue to make out in public with your other partners—or whatever it is you’re doing in public that makes it clear you’re fucking/dating someone who isn’t your spouse—or you could be discreet. Since antidiscrimination statutes don’t offer protections to people in open relationships, and since people regularly freak out about teachers having sex at all, you really have no other choices besides discretion (when out with others) or shouldering the risk (of losing your job).

My poly friend has started bringing her flavor-of-the-week partners to social events instead of her awesome wife. How do I tell her I’d rather hang out with her and her wife than her and her (usually boring, always temporary) new fling?

Maybe your poly friend’s wife doesn’t want to hang out with you. Wait, I can say that in a nicer way: Maybe your poly friend’s wife is an introvert who would rather stay home, and she’s only too delighted that the flavor-of-the-week is willing to escort her wife to the box social. But if you miss your friend’s wife, maybe give her a call and invite her to lunch?

My former lover cheated on his current live-in girlfriend with me. She has no idea. Should I tell her what a narcissistic cheater her boyfriend is?

Vengeful former affair partners don’t have much more credibility than narcissistic cheaters—indeed, people view both with similar contempt. But you do you.

My husband and I are swingers. For him, it’s who he is. For me, it’s something I do (and like!). We argue over how often we go out or have sex with other couples. Any suggestions for finding a happy medium?

More often than you’d like, and less often than he’d like—call it the bittersweet spot.

What tips do you have for lesbians in long-term relationships who want to keep sex fun and interesting?

My advice for lesbians who want to keep their LTRs hot is the same as my advice for gays, straights, bis, etc., who want to keep theirs hot. At the start of the relationship, you were the adventure they were on, and they were the adventure you were on. That’s why it was so effortlessly hot at the start. But once you’re not each other’s sexy new adventure anymore—once you’re an established couple—you have to go find sexy adventures together to keep it hot. And that requires making a conscious effort. Explore your kinks; buy some sex toys; have sex someplace other than your bedroom; invite very special guest stars, etc.

How do I create a sexier bedroom for even better sex?

Bedrooms are overrated, if you ask me (which you did), whereas basements, office stairwells, clean single-seat restrooms in upscale restaurants, dark corners of public parks, the space underneath banquet tables in hotel ballrooms, etc., are all underutilized.

Can you explain why male chastity is such a popular kink? I’m not offended by it, just curious about its sudden widespread popularity.

“I think a big factor is that people are enjoying the heightened mental connections that tend to develop with chastity play,” said Christopher of Steelwerks Extreme, makers of the Rolls-Royce of male-chastity devices. “Frequent business travel and long-distance relationships also make chastity an increasingly popular kink, as the cage-wearer and key-holder can maintain a playful dynamic without needing to be in the same room.”

I’m 99.975 percent sure I don’t want kids. My boyfriend of almost four years has a vasectomy scheduled for the end of the year. Should we go through with it? My boyfriend is really fucking sexy, hence the .025 percent doubt.

Vasectomies, like pregnancies, are reversible. Your boyfriend could also go to a sperm bank and put a load or three on ice.

Female, 32, straight, and very pregnant. I’m about to pop! Do you have any postpartum sex advice?

Explore outercourse for a while, and try to have (or try to fake) a positive attitude about it.

Your thoughts on transmasculine folks who don’t necessarily identify as men using the word “faggot”?

Fine, so long as they put the emphasis on the second syllable.

Thanks to everyone who came to our live shows!

On the Lovecast, love your curvy body, with Elle Chase: savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

I met a guy right around the time my boyfriend dumped me. I met him on a dating site, but he was really only interested in my boobs and me giving him head. I really like having him in my life, and he’s very attractive, but he won’t do anything with me other than let me give him head while he watches porn. I’m very insecure, so I feel like part of the reason this has been going on for so long is because I’ve never had someone so attractive be into me.

He asked me to sign a “contract” that requires me to drop everything and send him pictures whenever he asks. I’m not allowed to have a boyfriend, but he can have as many girls as he likes. I do a lot of stuff for him, and he doesn’t do a single thing for me. I should have said no, but I was feeling very shitty about myself and thought I had nothing to lose. He currently lives a two-hour bus ride away, and he won’t pick me up. He’s also only available on weekdays. He keeps telling me to come out to see him, but I can’t justify a two-hour bus ride with nothing in it for me.

I almost cut him out completely after an older co-worker touched my butt—I confided in this guy, and he told me it would be hot if I showed my co-worker a photo of my boobs. That he would say something like that makes my blood boil, yet I still haven’t cut him off. Maybe I’m just overreacting and expecting too much of him, as he’s told me multiple times that he doesn’t like sex, and he never wants to see my lower half.

Don’t Understand My Behavior

Stop seeing this guy—or stop servicing this asshole, I should say. This piece of shit swooped in when you were obviously feeling vulnerable (right after your boyfriend dumped you), and he’s been leveraging his good looks against you ever since. And it’s not just head he’s after, DUMB. He gets off on seeing you debase and degrade yourself—he wants to watch as you feed your self-esteem into a shredder—maybe because it affirms how attractive he is, or maybe because he’s just that sadistic of an asshole. And while you may think you have nothing to lose, this asshole clearly sees what you have to lose: your self-esteem, which he is disassembling bit by bit.

I know people with similar blow-and-go arrangements; they provide what’s called “no recip” oral to selfish and sometimes sadistic tops. But they do it for the right reason—they do it because it turns them on. If being this guy’s on-call cocksucker turned you on and got you off, DUMB—if this was a thrilling adventure for you and a break from your regular routine, a brief/erotic escape from the person you knew yourself to be (sexy, attractive, valued, etc.)—this could be a healthy and playful release. The guys I know who do this—and they’re all guys—don’t have any illusions about the men they’re servicing catching feelings for them. And most importantly, they get off on it. It turns them on to be treated this way, to play this role, to have this kind of cocksucker-on-call arrangement with someone who plays the role of the selfish, domineering top.

But this doesn’t turn you on, DUMB; it makes you feel terrible about yourself. And I can tell you where this is headed: This guy’s assholery is going to escalate over time.

Cut this guy off now.


I’m a 26-year-old woman in a two-year relationship with a 32-year-old man. I love him, and we live together. He recently revealed that he thinks the word “vagina” is disgusting. He likes the word “pussy,” but “vagina” turns him off, and he hates when he hears the word. I think this is ridiculous, immature and, honestly, a bit insulting.

I am proud of my vagina—I love it, and I love what we do with it together. I don’t have a hang-up with names for parts. He assures me he loves my pussy, but vagina is a word that grosses him out. Am I crazy to be a bit upset about this terminology conflict?

Vaginas Always Love Useful Erections

“First of all, VALUE is correct,” said Dr. Jen Gunter, an ob-gyn and author. “There is nothing disgusting about the word vagina. However, to many people, the word vagina has this connection, because telling people that vaginas are dirty or gross or disgusting is a core tenet of the patriarchy. Vulva and clitoris have sadly been along for this societal shame-driven ride. I can see how a heterosexual man might have trouble with the word vagina, because he has received that messaging since birth.”

But just because we can see how your boyfriend might have developed a problem with the word, VALUE, doesn’t make your boyfriend actually having a problem with the word OK.

“There’s an issue when a grown man finds the word vagina disgusting,” said Dr. Gunter. “I am curious if her boyfriend’s inability to say vagina is a ‘bedroom-only’ phenomenon or an ‘everywhere’ phenomenon. If it’s bedroom-only, maybe she can help him work up to using the word by introducing it more. Exposure therapy! However, if his disgust at the word is an ‘everywhere’ phenomenon, then I can appreciate how that is a sticking point for VALUE. I wrote a whole book, The Vagina Bible, for this very reason. If he read it and appreciated how not saying the word vagina has been oppressive for women, maybe it might help? Again, exposure therapy!”

Follow Dr. Jen Gunter on Twitter @DrJenGunter. The Vagina Bible is on sale now—and on The New York Times best-seller list! Congrats, Dr. Gunter!


My husband likes to give and receive enemas during sex. I was very inexperienced sexually when we met in our early 20s and very much in love. He introduced me to enemas, and I went along at first and almost enjoyed the novelty. But in time, it started to feel less appealing. After we had kids, there was less opportunity for this sort of thing, and I eventually realized I didn’t like anal play. The enemas began to feel physically and psychologically violating. He introduced anal plugs as an alternative, but I still felt violated and frightened whenever he put one in me.

I went to a sex counselor who told me I had the right to say no. My husband began pursuing his anal interests alone. Now we’re both 68. My sexual drive has waned, but his has not. I don’t want to give up on the experience of PIV intercourse, but he doesn’t seem to understand that at this stage of life, sex for me is more about closeness and feeling loved and being held than about intense sexual pleasure. He is disappointed that I am not receptive to his need for anal stimulation. I have told him he is free to find people online who will do this, or if it is so important to him to have a partner who does this, we can separate. He would prefer that I be more accommodating.

Absolutely No Anal Love

You can and should continue to say no to any and all sex play—anal or otherwise—that leaves you feeling violated and frightened, ANAL. You can also say, “I’d like a divorce,” to a man who has proven himself incapable of taking “no” for an answer decade after miserable decade. And while your offer to allow him to find anal playmates online falls under the “perfectly reasonable accommodation” header, ANAL, I’m more concerned with your unmet need for love and tenderness than I am with your husband’s unmet needs. To that end, I think you should go find a tender lover—right after you find yourself a kick-ass divorce lawyer.

On the Lovecast: Why are bi women blazing so hard? Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

I’m a 35-year-old bisexual man in a long-term relationship with a man. My question, however, has to do with my parents.

As an adolescent/teen, I was a snoop (as I think most of us are, looking for dad’s porn stash, etc.). I was probably 12 or so when I found evidence of my dad being a cross-dresser. There were pictures of him in makeup and women’s clothing, and correspondence (under an alias and to a separate PO box) with other men interested in cross-dressing. As far as I could tell, he did this alone in hotel rooms while on work trips. Two years ago while on vacation, it came up while my mom and I were at dinner. She had recently found evidence, and she needed to take a short break to visit a friend out of state to process. She suggested I bring it up with him (I guess) because I’m queer, and she knows I used to help host pansexual play parties. My dad is a devout Republican and comes off as very masculine. I see them only a couple of times a year.

Should I try to bring this up with my dad and let him know that I’ve known about his cross-dressing for more than 20 years and offer my knowledge about kink and alternative sexuality? Or just let him do his thing, and we all retain the illusion of ignorance? My parents are still happily married—and whether it is more companionate than lusty, they love each other and have been married for more than 40 years. Your take would be appreciated.

Son Of A Cross-Dresser

Why does your mother want you to talk to your dad about his cross-dressing? Does she want you to talk him out of it? Does she want you to convince him to include her on his cross-dressing trips? Does she think he would benefit from attending a pansexual play party with his adult bisexual son?

Unless your father is in some sort of emotional distress, or your mother is in some sort of danger, I really don’t see the point of this conversation, SOACD. It doesn’t sound like your dad is struggling with shame. If your dad had to abuse alcohol or smoke a crate of meth in order to give himself permission to cross-dress alone in a hotel room, you surely would have mentioned that fact. And if your father was having unprotected sex with the other straight male cross-dressers he corresponded with, you surely would have mentioned that, too.

From the details you included in your letter, SOACD, it sounds like your dad has successfully integrated cross-dressing into his life without harming himself or neglecting and endangering your mom. You could say your parents had a long and loving marriage despite the cross-dressing … or you could say it’s possible your parents’ marriage is an ongoing success not despite the cross-dressing, but because of it. If dressing up in women’s clothes and occasionally escaping the confines of masculine performance helped your dad feel centered and emotionally whole, having this escape and having some people he could be open with about it—some straight male cross-dressing peers—could have made him a better husband and father. (It’s too bad it didn’t make him a better person politically, but you can’t have everything.) While it might have been better for everyone if your dad had been open about his cross-dressing with his wife and kid(s), that ship sailed a long time ago.

I don’t see what this convo—coming 20 years after you discovered his cross-dressing and two years after your mother discovered it—will achieve other than embarrassing and humiliating your father. Even a married person has a right to some small degree of privacy, and each of us has a right to a small zone of erotic autonomy. Your parents’ long, loving, successful marriage coexisted with your father’s cross-dressing for four decades, and I don’t see why it can’t continue to coexist with it now. And if your mother is sad that your dad never shared this with her and wants to reassure him that he didn’t need to hide this part of himself from her and that she loves him just the same, she doesn’t need to deputize her bisexual son to initiate that conversation. If she thinks it would be a relief and not a torment for her husband to know she knows and that knowing hasn’t changed how she feels about him, she should tell him.


I’m 25 years old and polyamorous. I’m in a relationship with a 28-year-old man since August 2018. It was just him and me when we first started dating, and then his old flame came into the picture. This whole time, he had said he was not interested in having kids and a home and a primary partner. Since he got surgery in June and is now unemployed, he’s had a lot of time to think, he says, and now he’s decided he wants kids and a home and a primary partner. He knows I do not want any of these things, so he says his old flame is the person he’s going to do this with. He has made jokes about being an “alcoholic” since I first met him, and I thought it was just a joke. But now he’s spending money he simply does not have on alcohol. It worries me.

Do I hang in there? Do I throw in the towel? I love this man very much, but I’m so confused.

Previously The Primary

I’m so sorry, PTP, but it would appear you’ve lost the unemployed guy with the drinking problem to another. But take heart: You’re young enough to meet someone else, someone who wants what you want and doesn’t want what you don’t. I’m certain that after meeting this person—or even long before you meet them—you’ll be able to recognize that your ex did you a favor. Sometimes we dodge the bullet, PTP, but on rare occasions, the bullet dodges us.


My 19-year-old younger brother is doing financial domination online. He maintains a Twitter account that’s mostly photos of him giving the finger and looking smug. He also posts pics of his feet, videos of him urinating (no penis visible, just the stream), and lots and lots of “bitch shots,” i.e., crotch-height photos looking up at him from below. He uses a lot of homophobic slurs in the tweets that accompany these images. I would have exactly zero fucks to give about this if my brother wasn’t still a teenager and wasn’t posting photos of his face. I warned him that the internet is forever, and facial-recognition software is a thing, and people who don’t understand the role-play aspect of his use of hate speech will think he’s a bigot. This could come back to haunt him socially or professionally. Complicating matters somewhat: My little brother is a straight boy, and I’m gay. He’s not making a ton of money doing this, but he’s making enough that my parents are wondering how he’s buying all those super-expensive shoes. What do I tell him? What do I tell them?

By the way: I know about this because he told me—I didn’t stumble over his Twitter account.

Falling Into Nefarious Doings Of Male Sibling

You’ve already told your brother the internet is forever and that the low-key, low-stakes pseudo-sex work he’s doing could come back to haunt him, FINDOMS. Beyond that … well, there’s really not much more you can do. Your brother is an adult, as are the men paying “tribute” to him, as they say in FinDom/FinSub Twitter, and he’s free to make his own choices.

As for your parents, why is explaining where your brother is getting all those new shoes your problem? If your brother is old enough to set up his own Twitter and Venmo accounts, he’s old enough to come up with a plausible lie about those shoes.

On the Lovecast: Mob Queens! Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

My son has always liked handcuffs and tying people up as a form of play. He is 12 now, and the delight he finds in cuffing has not faded along with his love of Legos. He lobbied hard to be allowed to buy a hefty pair of handcuffs. We cautioned him strongly about consent—he has a younger brother—and he has been good about it. In the last year, though, I found out that he is cuffing himself while alone in the house—and when discovered, he becomes embarrassed and insists it’s a joke. I found him asleep one night with his wrists cuffed. I removed the cuffs and spoke to him the next morning about safety. Then recently, when returning home late, I saw him (through his window, from the back of the house) naked and cuffed with a leather belt around his waist, which seemed attached to the cuffs. This escalation was scarier. I haven’t spoken to him about it.

My concern about the bondage stuff is that there are some risks (like escaping a fire), particularly if he gets more adventurous (restricting breathing, etc.). This is something he is doing secretly and alone. He is a smart kid, an athlete, and a fairly conscientious scholar. He has friends but sometimes feels lonely. He is going through puberty with its attendant madness—defiance, surliness, etc.—but he is also very loving and kind. He is also quite boastful, which I interpret as insecurity. I can’t help feeling that this bondage stuff is related to these issues, and I worry about self-esteem and self-loathing. We are considering getting him some help.

Any advice for us?

Completely Understandable Fears For Son

When a concerned parent reaches out to an advice columnist with a question like yours, CUFFS, the columnist is supposed to call in the child psychologists. But I thought it might be more interesting—I actually thought it might be more helpful—if I shared your letter with a different class of experts: adult men who were tying themselves up when they were 12 years old.

“This boy sounds a lot like how I was at his age,” said James “Jimmy” Woelfel, a bondage porn star with a huge online following. “I want to reassure CUFFS that the discovery of things like this, even at a young age, is extremely common. We may not know why we like this stuff at the time; we just know we do.”

Jimmy is correct: Many adults who are into bondage, heavy or otherwise, became aware of their bondage kinks at a very early age.

“The vast majority of BDSM practitioners report that their sexual interests developed relatively early in life, specifically before the age of 25,” Dr. Justin Lehmiller wrote in a recent post on his invaluable Sex and Psychology blog. “Further, a minority of these folks (7-12 percent across studies) report that their interests actually developed around the time of puberty (ages 10-12), which is when other traditional aspects of sexual orientation develop (e.g., attraction based on sex/gender).”

While an obsession with handcuffs at age 6 isn’t proof a kid is going to grow up with an erotic interest in bondage—lots of kids like to play cops and robbers—a boy who’s cuffing himself in the throes of puberty and doing so in the nude and in secret … yeah, that boy is almost certainly going to be into bondage when he grows up. And that boy is also going to be embarrassed when his parents discover him in handcuffs for the exact same reason a boy is going to be embarrassed when his parents walk in on him masturbating—because he’s having a private sexual experience that he really doesn’t want to discuss with his parents.

As for your son’s insecurities and loneliness, CUFFS, they may not be related to his interest in bondage at all. They’re more likely a reaction to the shame he feels about his kinks than to the kinks themselves. (And aren’t most 12-year-olds, handcuff obsession or no, insecure?)

“People do bondage for various reasons,” said Trikoot, a self-described “bondage fanatic” and occasional kink educator from Helsinki, Finland. “It’s not always sexual, and it’s almost never a symptom of self-loathing—and a counselor will not ‘erase’ a taste for bondage. Too many kinksters had young lives full of shame and hiding, only to accept themselves years later and then discover what they’ve missed out on.”

In other words, CUFFS, parents and counselors can’t talk a child out of his kinks any more than they can talk a child out of his sexual orientation. This stuff is hardwired. And once someone accepts his kinks, whatever anxiety he feels about them eventually evaporates.

All that said, however awkward it was for you and mortifying for him when you found him asleep in his handcuffs, Jimmy thinks there may be an upside.

“I was extremely embarrassed when my mom caught me,” said Jimmy. “She didn’t know how to respond, and neither did I at the time. We merely went on as if it never happened. But it was somewhat comforting to know there wasn’t going to be a major backlash. It was better than living in fear.”

Now that you know what you know about your son, CUFFS, what do you do? Well, with the burden of knowing comes the responsibility—not just to educate and warn, but to offer your son a little hope for his future.

“Consent and safety are two of the most important universal issues in bondage, and CUFFS has wisely addressed both of them,” said Trikoot. And you should stress both in a follow-up conversation. “There are boundaries that should never be crossed, such as solo breath play, which regularly kills even experienced adults. But dabbling with wrist and ankle restraints while being within shouting distance of the rest of the family is not a serious safety issue.” (Sleeping in handcuffs, however, is a serious safety issue—they can twist, compress nerves and damage the delicate bones of the wrist. He should not be sleeping in them.)

Now for the tricky and super awkward and what will definitely feel somewhat age-inappropriate part: At some point—maybe in a year or two—you need to let your son know that he has a community out there.

“When done safely, bondage/kink can be an extremely rewarding experience as he grows into adulthood,” said Jimmy. “Some of the most important people in my life are those whom I’ve shared this love with. It is nothing to be ashamed of—though at his age, it is unfortunately inevitable. How you react can help mitigate such a reaction.”

Oh, and stop peeping in your son’s bedroom window at night. That’s creepy.

Follow Jimmy Woelfel on Twitter @for_heavy and on Instagram @heavybondageforlife. Follow Trikoot on Twitter @trikoot.


My 12-year-old son wants us to buy him a vibrator. He apparently had a good experience with a hot tub jet and is looking to replicate that “good” feeling. He has tried replicating it, but is feeling very frustrated. (I always wanted an open and honest relationship with my kids so, um, yay for us?) Additional information: My son is on an SSRI.

My husband feels uncomfortable buying my son a sex toy, but I find myself sympathizing with my son’s frustration. But I would be more comfortable if he were 15. We are hoping to figure it out without devices. Are we being reasonable or squeamish?

Entirely Mortified Mom

When this issue has come up in the past—usually it’s about a daughter who wants a vibrator—my readers have endorsed getting the kid an Amazon gift card and getting out of the way, i.e., letting them get online and buy themselves something and not scrutinizing the purchase once it arrives. You could go that route, EMM. Or you could make an end run around this whole issue by installing a pulsating shower head in your bathroom or getting your son an electric toothbrush. (Also, antidepressants—SSRIs—can make it more difficult for a person to climax, so you may not be able to “figure it out without devices.”)

On the Lovecast, are men and women equally kinky? Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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

Published in Savage Love

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.

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

Published in Savage Love

Page 1 of 10