CVIndependent

Sat01182020

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

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 have a question about porn, and I can’t think who else I can ask who will give me an intelligent, educated answer. In modern porn, anal on women is gaining popularity. I’m a fan of anal with my boyfriend. However, in porn, it seems like the gaping asshole is a thing—a sought-after thing, a desired thing. And I guess my boyfriend and I don’t get it.

We can get quite vigorous when we have anal sex, but MY butthole never gapes open like that—my boyfriend assures me that when he pulls out, it goes back to its cute little flower-like effect. Why is the gaping asshole so popular? I promise this is not a frivolous question or just for titillation. We really do wonder: What gives?

Gaining Anal Perspective Entails Serious Question

It’s funny how a chief fear about anal sex—that your asshole would gape open afterward, and poop would fall out while you walked down the street—became eroticized. (The asshole-gaping-open part, not the poop-falling-out part.) Did I say funny, GAPESQ? I meant predictable—because a big part of the collective human subconscious is always at work eroticizing our fears, and the gaping-open, just-been-fucked, completely “wrecked” asshole many people feared inevitably became something some people found hot. And as more people began experimenting with anal sex—as anal went mainstream over the last two decades—people realized that the anal sphincter is a muscle, and the secret to successful anal intercourse is learning to relax that muscle. Situationally, not permanently: You could relax, get loose, gape after, post the video to a porn tube, and then tighten back up.

Now, not everyone thinks a wide-open, gaping asshole is desirable. And not everyone, in the immortal words of Valerie Cherish, needs (or wants) to see that.


Honest question: If you, being a homosexual, don’t die from HIV, will you need to wear a diaper before the age of 42? Optional question: What does a prolapsed rectum look like? I bet you can describe it without doing an image search.

Sickening Homosexuals Are Malignant Errors

Honest answers: I know you meant this to be hate mail, SHAME, but I’m just thrilled someone out there thinks I’m not 42 yet. Also, I’m HIV-negative—last time I checked—but even if I were to seroconvert (go from HIV-negative to HIV-positive), a person with HIV who has access to meds can expect to live as long as a person without HIV. Also, a person with HIV who is on meds and has a zero viral load (no trace of the virus can be detected in their blood) cannot infect another person. So even if I were to contract HIV after all these years, SHAME, I would likely live long enough to die of something else, and once I got on meds, I couldn’t pass HIV on to anyone else. And quickly: I’m way past 42 and not in a diaper yet, thank you very much. And while some people think a prolapsed rectum looks like a rosebud, I happen to think a prolapsed rectum looks like a ball of lean hamburger. And the first one I ever saw—and, no, I didn’t need to do an image search, because it makes a real impression—was in straight porn, not gay porn.

P.S. If you can’t think about gay men without thinking about our poops and the diapers you hope we’re wearing and our meaty prolapsed rectums, SHAME, that says a lot more about you than it does about gay people.


My significant other wants me to delete any NSFW pictures of my exes, but I don’t feel comfortable with that. I don’t have an emotional attachment to my exes or really look at these photos anymore, but I feel that old pictures saved on old computers aren’t doing any harm, and deleting them won’t fix my partner’s insecurity.

Personal Images Causing Strife

Accommodating a partner’s irrational insecurity is sometimes the price we pay to make an otherwise healthy and functional relationship work, PICS, as I recently told another reader. But one possible workaround—one possible accommodation—is telling your insecure partner what they want to hear, even if it isn’t true. Telling a partner who is concerned about safety that you’re using condoms with others when you’re not isn’t OK, of course, just as telling a potential partner you’re single when you’re not isn’t OK. But telling a partner that you deleted photos you never look at on a password-protected computer they can’t look a t… yeah, that’s a lie you don’t have to feel too awful about telling.


How long after using an oil-based lubricant do I have to wait before I can safely use latex condoms? Not right after, presumably. Next day? Next week? Next century? I’ve been experimenting with oil-based CBD lube for hand/toy stuff, but I’m worried about the timing relative to penetrative sex.

Oily Inside

“Oil and latex condoms do NOT mix, period,” said Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke, an online condom shop, and a condom expert. “Using an oil-based lubricant with a condom can cause the condom to leak and/or break. And unlike water-based lubes, oils do not evaporate readily. While oil is absorbed over time, that absorption rate likely varies based on many factors, including age. Oiling up internally? Now we’re talking vaginal versus anal absorption rates! The bottom line: We have not found sufficient studies to issue a reliable recommendation on what an overall safe time frame might be. So here’s the deal: Oil or condoms—choose one.”

I would add only this: Condoms made out of polyurethane are more expensive, but you can safely use them with oil-based lube.


I’m a straight guy who loves the female body—the look, touch and smell. I’m in my mid-30s; I’ve never had a serious relationship; and I don’t know if I’m capable of falling in love. I’m exclusively into trans women, and I’ve kept it a secret, because it’s nobody’s business. If I were in love, I’d make it public, but that hasn’t happened. I can’t help but feel like this is an addiction, and I’m ashamed of it.

I’m sure I’m not the first straight guy who’s into trans women who’s written to you. Where do I go from here?

Straight And Struggling

While dating someone in secret isn’t impossible, SAS, it rarely leads to long-term love. Being kept hidden because you’re trans (or you’re gay or you’re big), and the person you’re dating hasn’t gotten over their shame about being attracted to trans people (or members of their own sex or bigger people) … well, it sucks to be someone’s dirty secret. And a healthy trans (or gay or big) person—the kind of person you might be able to fall in love with—isn’t going to put up with that shit.

So it’s a catch-22: So long as you keep the women you date a secret, none of them are going to stay in your life for long. They’ll be either so damaged that you want them out of your life, or not damaged enough to want you in theirs.

On the Lovecast, the truth about human trafficking: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 29-year-old gay man living in California. Why are most tops such assholes? I have had plenty of sexual partners ranging in age, ethnicity and expressed sexual orientation. But what unites them all is a general callousness toward bottoms or even a delight in the knowledge that it is they who get to “use and abuse” bottoms.

Is this a cultural artifact? I find the notion of putting someone else in pain for my pleasure so repulsive that I have yet to top anyone. I’m starting to think that pleasurable sex is for tops alone, and bottoms are supposed to just shut up and take whatever they can get out of it. Help me square the messaging that bottoms are not as valuable as tops, and the nonchalance that accompanies the orgasm gap, especially in gay sex.

Tell Me I’m Wrong

“I feel for this guy, I really do,” said Ty Mitchell, a gay porn star and writer. “But where does he get off? No, really, where in his body? Because it doesn’t sound like he gets off on butt stuff, or even believes anal pleasure is real.”

Mitchell, whose handle on Instagram is “probottom,” definitely gets off on bottoming and other butt stuff, TMIW.

“Getting penetrated feels great for me, way better than topping,” said Mitchell. “Much to my chagrin, most of the guys I wish would fuck me seem to feel this way, too. But the guys who do fuck me want to know they’re making me feel good. Even the ones who fuck me like I’m scum do it because I’ve asked them to, because sometimes that turns me on.”

Mitchell suspects bottoming has been a consistently terrible experience for you, because either being penetrated isn’t something that feels good for you, or you aren’t advocating for your own pleasure in the moment.

“TMIW may need to communicate more with his partners about what does and doesn’t feel good for him,” said Mitchell. “And if he finds no pleasure in bottoming, he should stop bottoming and get off some other way.”

As for what may be going on culturally, TMIW, Mitchell definitely had some thoughts.

“A lot of men are bad at attending to their partners’ pleasure, because we live in a fucked-up patriarchy,” said Mitchell. “From childhood on, men are systematically taught that sex is a matter of instinct instead of intention, and that our dicks are magical wands that bring people satisfaction just by showing ’em off and sticking ’em in people who don’t have one or aren’t using theirs. Gay men aren’t immune to these messages, and even reward men who are loyal to straight-passing masculinity.”

But we both want you to know there are good, attentive, compassionate gay men out there who can fuck the shit out of a guy while at the same time checking in to make sure the guy they’re fucking is enjoying the experience, too. The minute a guy says or does something that proves he isn’t one of those guys, TMIW, show him the door. Showing someone the door is one of the most effective ways we can advocate for our own pleasure; the sooner you show someone who doesn’t care about your pleasure out, the sooner you can show someone who does in.

And Mitchell thinks a quick tweak to your search criteria will help you find yourself a good guy: “Flip on that ‘vers top’ filter (on the hookup apps), and stick to guys who at least have some empathy toward the anal experience,” said Mitchell.

Follow Ty Mitchell on Twitter @TyMitchellXXX (where you can find his porn work) or @TyMitchellxo (where you can find his rage and writing). You can find Mitchell’s essays at probottom.substack.com.


Gay male here. Every so often, I call an old-fashioned phone-sex party line to get off with strangers. Usually, the talk is pretty standard stuff about what we would be doing to each other if we were together. Sometimes I like to pop into the older/younger room, and more than once, I’ve found an older guy who likes connecting with younger guys (me). That’s fine, but as this guy phone-fucks me, he starts slipping into some disturbing comments. Specifically, he’ll go from talking about how much he likes fucking me—a consenting, over-18 male—to talking about how much he’s enjoying fucking underage girls in his own family.

I have no control over who the system matches me with, and of course, I can click out at will. I also have no way of knowing where this guy is calling from. But I’ve encountered him a few times. Do I have some kind of obligation here?

Perturbed, Horny, Offering No Encouragement

Anonymous strangers on phone-sex party lines—who even knew those were still a thing?—are not mandatory reporters. Meaning, you aren’t legally obligated to go to the police if you suspect someone might be abusing a child.

But even if you did file a report, what would you say? Someone, somewhere is saying some seriously fucked-up shit on an anonymous phone-sex line? You would get shrugged out of the police station. My advice would be to tell the guy, if you ever get matched with him again, that his child-rape fantasies are a huge turnoff, and you’ve thought about reporting him. Then hang up.


My best friend (gay male) and I (straight male) are students in our penultimate year of university. While I and my other friends all do reasonably well romantically, my gay friend hasn’t had anything significant happen in the three years I’ve known him. He’s never had a relationship. It’s always been a bit of a soft spot for him, but recently, after going through an unreciprocated crush on a straight friend, he’s been very down about it. His constant complaint is that all the men he likes always wind up being straight-male metrosexual types who don’t seem to realize they’re leading him on or are outright homophobic/super-hetero dickheads. He’s gotten on Grindr, but still no luck. Conversations about romance or sex almost inevitably end up with him lamenting his fate.

While I’m always there to listen and talk, I’m not sure what I can say or do, other than the generic, “It’ll happen one day” platitudes. He’s definitely attractive and charming and relatively confident, so it really does seem like the issue might just be one of scarcity. Just wondering if you have any advice.

Begging Advice Regarding Ending Bestie’s Elongated Dry Spell

If your best friend is the only gay guy on your campus, and Grindr is actually an empty cupboard, if this is truly a scarcity issue, then your friend has all my sympathy, BAREBEDS. But if he’s one of those gay guys who finds gayness so repulsive in others that all openly gay men are automatically disqualified—if he’s one of those gay guys who’s only into straight-identified boys, straight metrosexuals, and his fellow homophobes—then your best friend has a lot less of my sympathy.

If you’ve seen him pass on other attractive, charming, confident gay boys he could have so he could go moon over straight boys he can’t have, BAREBEDS, then he doesn’t need to hear, “It’ll happen one day.” He needs to hear, “It’ll never happen until you get over your internalized homophobia, dude.” Because even if one of his straight crushes turns out to be just heteroflexible enough to let your friend suck his dick, that guy isn’t going to be interested in more than a few blowjobs and certainly won’t be capable of loving him.

But, hey, if it really is about scarcity, and only graduating and moving away will change things, you can always tell him, “Sorry, it’s obviously not going to happen for you here—but instead of lamenting your fate, let’s talk about all the ass you’re gonna get when you move to New York/London/Berlin.”

On the Lovecast: Did you get herpes for the holidays? Listen in: 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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I am a 60-year-old heterosexual man, and I am being told that I’m normal. I have been to several urologists, and they say I have no medical issues. But I’m having a hard time buying it, because for the last six months, my ejaculate has been extremely bloody. This is embarrassing, especially since oral sex—giving and receiving—has always been my favorite.

The urologists’ explanation is that as you get older, there are blood vessels within the penis that can break during an erection. They gave me some pills to ensure there was no infection, but then they told me that I’ll probably need to use condoms for the rest of my life. My partner doesn’t need contraceptives, so we haven’t used condoms for decades. If I were bleeding out of any other orifice, there would be a team of doctors helping me. Is there really no hope?

Tell Me It Ain’t So

“Hematospermia—blood in the ejaculate—is usually not considered a big deal, in the sense that the vast majority of the time, it’s not a sign of cancer,” said Dr. Ashley Winter, a board-certified urologist, the co-host of The Full Release podcast, and my go-to expert on all blood-in-spunk-related matters. “I’d want to know how much he’s actually bleeding and what they’ve done to check him out. But that said, sometimes a guy with a large prostate will bleed with orgasm.”

For everyone out there panicking because they saw blood in their semen one time a decade ago, Dr. Winter says a one-off bloody load isn’t something to worry about. But if you saw blood in your semen that one time and you have health insurance and you’re a hypochondriac like me, Dr. Winter recommends a visit to a doc for a short consultation and a quick physical exam.

“But in a case like TMIAS’, where the issue is ongoing and the subject is over 55,” said Dr. Winter, “a typical evaluation would include a PSA blood test (a prostate cancer screening test), as well as testing for STIs (such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes), along with a urinalysis to check for blood in the urine and urinary infections. If those tests were not revealing, I would consider doing an ultrasound or MRI of the prostate and surrounding organs, as well as putting a camera up the urethra (called cystoscopy) to check out the plumbing.”

Assuming you’ve had all those tests, and your prostate was present on photo day, and the doctors found no sign of cancer or infection, TMIAS, then what the hell is going on?

“Typically, the cause would be something such as dilated blood vessels along the ejaculate exit route,” aka the urethra. Quickly: The urethra is a tube that connects the outside world (and all those piss bottoms) to your bladder; it’s the tube we all piss through. In males, the urethra pulls double duty: Men also ejaculate through it (and some women do, too!)—it runs through the prostate gland, a gland that produces about a third of the seminal fluid. An enlarged prostate squeezes the urethra, which can make urination difficult and uncomfortable, and can also result in—you guessed it—blood in the semen.

One possible “fix” for an enlarged prostate is a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), which basically amounts to “a ‘roto-rootering’ of the prostate,” as Dr. Winter so vividly put it. A doctor shoves something called a resectoscope up your urethra and slices away chunks of prostate tissue.

“The problem with these procedures is that they can cause a person to stop ejaculating at all,” said Dr. Winter. “So if TMIAS has already had a fairly robust evaluation, then either using condoms or just having his sex partner adapt to the presence of blood may be the best solution. And in the absence of an infection, shooting a bloody load into your partner is not dangerous. Couples have intercourse during menstruation without harm, and plenty of F-F couples have sex during menstruation as well.”

But hold on and back up and wait just a goddamned minute: Didn’t your doctors say everything looked normal? Doesn’t that mean your prostate isn’t enlarged?

“A ‘normal’ prostate generally means that it is not cancerous and is normal in size for your age,” said Dr. Winter. “As you get older, your prostate gets bigger. So it’s highly probable that what TMIAS has is a big-ass-but-normal-for-his-age prostate. And bigger prostates tend to have larger blood vessels lining the urethra and are therefore more likely to bleed when he experiences those lovely contractions associated with orgasm. When TMIAS was told that ‘there are blood vessels within the penis that can break,’ I suspect his doc was referring to this and was trying to simplify the explanation.”

While the presence of blood in your ejaculate may not be normal or ideal, TMIAS, it’s likely your normal, and there’s nothing your doctor—or a team of them—can do about it.

“Sometimes a lack of a ‘fix’ is not dismissiveness; it’s just an admittance that a lot of things medical folks do/offer aren’t perfect,” said Dr. Winter.

Follow Dr. Ashley Winter on Twitter @AshleyGWinter, and check out The Full Release podcast, which she cohosts with comedian Mo Mandel, at thefullreleasepod.com.


I’m a woman with a dating profile on OkCupid that states I’m nonmonogamous and only looking for the same. Recently, I had two great dates with a guy who described himself as monogamous on his profile. However, after our first date and a lot of messaging, I intuited that he hadn’t actually read the fine print on my profile. Usually guys bring that up when they’ve read it, and he hadn’t mentioned it once. So I brought it up at the end of our second date when we were having post-dinner drinks at a bar. In retrospect, I should have set up a time to seriously discuss this, not spring it on him while we were drinking, but I felt like the longer it went unsaid, the more “betrayed” he might feel. And boy, did he have a reaction.

He went from, “This is not a deal breaker,” to, “Oh my god, I can’t do this, I should just go,” in 20 minutes, and then rushed out of the bar. We cleared the air the next day, and he apologized for being a jerk and bailing. But clearly, we’re not going to be dating going forward. Maybe this was always how a guy like him was going to react, but when is the right time to bring nonmonogamy up if you meet someone in real life first? Or if it’s clear someone didn’t read the damn fine print on your profile before jumping straight to infatuation? He claimed his meltdown was an emotional response to the conflict he was feeling between (a) the expectation that serious relationships need to lead to monogamy and (b) the great time he was having with someone who turned out to be (gasp) nonmonogamous.

Was there a better way to have shared this information? A time sooner or later? We were really clicking, so his freak-out was a huge surprise.

Read The Fine Print

Dude should have read the fine print on your profile. He should have done his screw diligence—but you should have done yours, too. Or followed through with yours.

You read the fine print on his profile, RTFP; you knew he described himself as monogamous, but you went on a date with him anyway—you went on two dates and swapped a lot of messages—without stopping to ask him the dreaded direct question (DDQ): “My profile says I’m nonmonogamous and only looking for the same, and yours says you’re monogamous. Are you making an exception for me because I’m amazing or did you not read my whole profile?” You should have asked this guy the DDQ—not to spare him the horror of your company and avoid wasting his time, RTFP, but to spare yourself that stupid scene in the bar and avoid wasting your time.

On the Lovecast, Erika Moen’s sex toy gift recs! Listen at savagelovecast.com.

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My husband and I (he’s straight; I’m bisexual) have been married 15 years. We are in our early 40s. When we met, he was inexperienced and crippled by shame from having grown up in an extremely sex-negative atmosphere. I have no hang-ups about sex and was happy to get him involved in some more adventurous stuff—but he quickly became obsessed with kink and shows no sign of slowing.

I’m happy to play along with fantasies and role play, bondage, domination, foot play, anal sex/pegging, going to events, having moresomes, etc. But sometimes I’d like to have gentle and slow “unadorned” sex with an attentive partner who calls me by name, compliments me and does things to my body he knows I enjoy.

My husband has been seeing a therapist for some years. We also went to this therapist for couples’ therapy, and he gave us some “exercises” to try to tone down my husband’s desire for perfectly scripted kink “scenes” every time we have sex. But my husband was either not able or not willing to try them, and I gave up. He now basically can’t maintain an erection without either (1) a complicated script with roles and props and costumes and toys or (2) going through the motions of romantic sex as long as I keep up a constant stream of “in-character” dirty talk, which makes it impossible for me to be in the moment. I’ve urged him to go see a dominatrix or get more involved in the local kink scene without me—but he’s obsessed with this imagined moment where I suddenly “awaken” and fully join him in his obsessions. I find this condescending and stupid. Just because I can enjoy kink play now and then doesn’t mean I’ll ever be someone who gasps with excitement at a woman on a leash being peed on or someone dangling from the ceiling by the clamps on their nipples. It doesn’t shock me or disgust me; it just kind of bores me. It feels like watching someone fill their kitchen with every gaudy, expensive, chrome radish peeler and strawberry diddler when they can’t even boil an egg.

Is there a trick to reducing your partner’s dependence on kink? Or a way to make kink more interesting to yourself?

Bored By Obsessive Kinkster

You must feel like you created a kink monster. But you didn’t! I mean, you did meet this inexperienced, sexually repressed guy, BBOK, and you did encourage him to let go of the shame, and you did give him permission to be a little more sexually adventurous … and 15 years later, you’re stuck with this selfish asshole who’s so obsessed and/or dependent on his kinks that you’ve come to dread having sex with him. But your husband was always the elaborately twisted kinkster he is now; he just needed someone to give him permission to admit to being who he always was—or to get in touch with who he always was—and that person was you.

And now here you are, BBOK, writing to me in the hopes that I can magically cause your husband to become less dependent on his kinks, or can magically “awaken” in you a similarly obsessive interest in the exact same suite of kinks he has. And we both know neither is going to happen, because you’re not going to get kinkier (which is what he wants), and you’ve already tried to get him to rein in his kinks (and that didn’t work). That’s what the couples’ counseling was about, right? Him learning to be a little less selfish and a little more GGG and a better partner … and the selfish sack of shit couldn’t be bothered, could he?

Both of your proposed fixes are basically pipe dreams, as I suspect you already know, BBOK, and I further suspect you’re not really interested in either one. Because what you really want is right here: “Sometimes I’d like to have gentle and slow ‘unadorned’ sex with an attentive partner who calls me by name, compliments me, and does things to my body he knows I enjoy.” (Emphasis mine.)

I don’t think it’s an accident that you wrote about wanting “an attentive partner” to call you by your name and do all sorts of vanilla things to your body that he knows you enjoy. I don’t think it’s an accident that you didn’t use “loving husband” in that sentence, BBOK, because deep down, you know your husband isn’t interested in doing those things. And he won’t be any good at doing those things. And even if he could fake an interest in doing those things for 20 minutes—which apparently he can’t—you probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy his half-hearted attempts at vanilla sex, because knowing he had to concentrate on BDSM sex the whole time—knowing some script was playing out in his head—would make it impossible for you to be in (and enjoy) the moment.

You want to have loving, tender, connected sex with someone who cares about you. You want to have sex with someone who isn’t asking you to be someone you’re not each and every time you have sex with him (or her). And the obvious fix here, the easiest work-around, the reasonable accommodation … well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? You need to have sex with someone else, BBOK, with someone who cares about you. Basically, you need to take your own advice—the advice you’ve been giving your husband, and go find yourself a play partner or two, for vanilla sex, not-kinky sex. If you can find someone who can give you the kind of simple, passionate, connected sex you no longer get in your marriage, perhaps you’ll come to resent your husband less, and your desire for kinky sex with him will rebound.

I started seeing a man four weeks ago who keeps telling me he can’t sleep with me, or can’t sleep with me yet, because of some all-consuming fetish that he can’t (or doesn’t want to) do with me. He also has sexual issues due to having survived testicular cancer and no longer having testicles. As a bisexual woman, I don’t have an issue with that and am happy to have non-penis sex. But even that is not forthcoming, because he always tells me his fixation on this fetish is interfering—while remaining totally incoherent about what the fetish is and why he can’t do it with me. No one is required to sleep with me, but it’s upsetting to go to bed with him and then, after he plays along for a little while, have to listen to him tell me another totally incoherent version of whatever his fucking problem is.

I value this person for the other parts of our relationship, but I’m getting fed up. I don’t see how we’ll ever get along in bed if I’m just trying to have fun while he’s being as tormented, confusing and complicated as possible. Should I just walk away? Is this bullshit or not?

Drama Is Boring

Unless this ball-less mess is climbing up the fire escape and slipping into your bedroom uninvited—which I’m guessing you would’ve mentioned—he keeps turning up in your bedroom because you keep inviting him. Stop that, DIB. Tell him you’re happy to keep seeing him, if you enjoy his company that much, but you’re not “seeing” him anymore, which means he’s not welcome in your bedroom. So there’s no need for him to bring up his fetish or any other sexual issues with you,

As a general rule, a person really shouldn’t mention the fact that they have a kink or fetish to a new partner unless they’re ready to share what it is. You don’t have to be ready to act on it—lots of people have fetishes and/or kinks they enjoy as fantasy-only, or are ready to share but want to take the doing a little slower. But telling someone you have a kink/fetish that’s so all-consuming you can’t be sexual unless it’s a part of the action, and then refusing to name the kink/fetish, and then adding that you wouldn’t want to do it with the person … well, that’s not just bullshit, DIB; it’s disqualifying assholery and some truly next-level negging. Don’t walk away—run.

On the Lovecast: Lock him up! All about chastity cages: savagelovecast.com.

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My ex-girlfriend, whom I dated for nine months, called me two months after we broke up and accused me of giving her HPV. She was going on, telling me how I needed to tell any future person I had sex with that I have HPV. I’m a 38-year-old man, and I’ve never had any signs or symptoms of any sexually transmitted infections. I know HPV is very common, often clears up on its own, and cannot be tested for in men. What are your thoughts? Do I need to tell sexual partners that I have HPV?

Help Person Vacillating

Most people are infected with HPV—the human papillomavirus—at some point in their lifetime; most never develop symptoms; and in most cases, the infection goes away on its own. There’s an effective and safe vaccine that protects people from HPV strains that can cause cervical, anal, dick or throat cancer—and everyone, regardless of age, should get vaccinated. And since people can develop symptoms years after their initial exposure, there’s no way for your ex-girlfriend to know that you infected her. Or that she didn’t infect you. Every sexually active adult should assume they’ve been exposed to HPV, that they have it or have had it, and conduct themselves accordingly.

I’m a gay man, and there’s a guy I see on the bus who I find attractive in the extreme. I can’t keep myself from looking at him. Now here comes the but: He smokes. I’ve been toying with an idea to convince him to quit. I want to slip a note into his pocket or backpack with the following proposal: “Let’s make a deal. You give up cigarettes, and in return, I’ll give you a blowjob once a week for a year. I’m concerned about your health. Please consider.” Other people who ride the bus also smoke, but I’m not inclined to make them the same offer. But it makes me sad knowing this guy smokes, and I want to get him to stop. If this idea is crazy, please say so—it will help me move on.

Before Undertaking Sincere Tobacco Eradication Deal

While your motives are no doubt pure—there’s nothing in this plan for you, BUSTED, just the quiet satisfaction of putting a beautiful stranger on the path to better health—you don’t know if this guy is attracted to you. But he’s likely to react badly to your proposal even if he is. Because while you and I both know you’re being entirely selfless—you’re the Florence Nightingale of anonymous/no-recip blowjobs—this extremely attractive stranger is going to assume you’re a delusional creep with boundary issues, because slipping a note like that into someone’s backpack or pocket (which would require you to technically and legally assault him) is precisely the kind of thing delusional creeps with boundary issues do. And because delusional creeps with boundary issues do this sort of thing, BUSTED, good and decent guys like you can’t do it without being misunderstood. So absent some sign of interest from this attractive stranger—like him staring back at you—you’re going to do what any normal, non-delusional, non-creepy gay guy would do after seeing an attractive stranger on the bus: leave him alone while surreptitiously checking to see if he’s on any of the gay-hookup apps.

My wife is über-vanilla. She is willing to spank me and peg me, but she won’t “take charge” of the situation. She’s doing it to please me and expects me to signal approval throughout the process. As soon as a spanking gets to the point that I’m flinching and wanting it to stop, she stops. We’ve never gotten more than a few strokes into the pegging for the same reason. I don’t really crave pain per se, but I want and need her to be in charge.

Seeking Pointers About Needed Kinks

One of the top reasons people choose safe words, SPANK, is so that they can scream, “Oh, God! Stop, please! I beg you! It’s too much!” and the person who’s spanking or pegging them knows that since they didn’t hear “collusion” or “giuliani” or “zelensky,” the spanking or pegging can continue. Not using the safe word is how a sub signals their approval throughout the spanking/pegging/whatevering process—or, at the very least, how a sub signals their willingness to endure the spanking/pegging/whatevering to please the top.

My long-term partner and I are in a soft Dom/sub relationship. Neither of us has been sexually or physically abused. I suffer mainly from depression and a little anxiety. Lately, when the sex is great, I end up having a panic attack. If I have an intense orgasm and then he goes to town with penetration, there will be a point where I physically shove him off, and then my body shakes, and my breathing starts getting really fast, and I start crying, and basically I’m having a panic attack. I feel terrible for my partner, because it’s not really his fault. But somehow, the physical overstimulation gives my body the “OK” to have a panic attack. It’s happened a few times, and my partner is now hesitant to have sex. I want to be able to stop these panic attacks mainly for him. However, when I do have the panic attacks, I want to just cry and let everything out. But, of course, my amazing partner just wants to comfort me and get it to stop. Please help.

Problems Around Nookie-Induced Crisis

Panic attacks during sex are something you might want to explore with a therapist or counselor, PANIC. If you’re already seeing someone about your depression and anxiety, please bring these attacks up with your provider. If you aren’t seeing someone, please start seeing someone. As for your partner’s hesitation to have intercourse, well, that’s understandable. But there’s an easy enough work-around: If an intense orgasm followed by go-to-town-style penetration triggers your panic attacks, then either don’t do penetrative sex after you’ve had an intense orgasm, or wait until after your partner goes to town to have your orgasm.

I’ve been in situations where I’m with my better half, rocking her world, giving her an orgasm, coming inside her, and she loves it. The next week, same scenario, she’s moaning and groaning; I explode, and she says to me, “Did you come?” And I’m there thinking, “I thought I was pleasuring her like last time, and she suddenly can’t tell when I exploded inside her?!”

What The Actual Fuck

Sometimes the person getting fucked (PGF) is paying close attention to the person doing the fucking (PDTF). The PGF is really taking the PDTF in; the PGF can see how close the PDTF is getting; the PGF knows just when the PDTF has arrived. But sometimes, the PGF’s eyes roll back in their head, and they float the fuck away, WTAF, because the fucking feels that damn good. The PGF moans; the PGF groans; but the PGF is so lost in the physical and emotional sensations—they’re getting so deeply into the dicking—that it’s not until after the PDTF stops fucking them that the PGF even realizes the PDTF is done fucking them. So it’s not a bad sign that your better half sometimes has to ask if you came, WTAF; it’s a good sign.

On the Lovecast, meet the woman who’s read ALL of Dan’s columns since 1991: savagelovecast.com.

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I’m a 40-something gay male professor at a small college. I try hard not to get attracted to students, and I usually succeed. But it’s tough to resist temptation when you’re surrounded by hot, smart, fun, horny young guys in a rural area with not many other options.

Over the past several years, I’ve ended up having sex with several students. None of them were students I was currently teaching or likely to teach, and two had graduated. I’m not actually violating college policy, which only bans faculty from getting involved with students they’re currently teaching. I haven’t ever done anything on campus or made the first move—and when one of them starts trying to hit on me, I’ve usually mustered the willpower to ignore him. On rare occasions when I’ve ended up letting my cock do the thinking, I’ve treated my younger partners with kindness and respect, and I have observed your campsite rule. All of these younger guys solemnly swore to keep our extracurricular activities secret, but still, word might leak out, and I don’t want to become known on campus as one of “those” professors. Most important, I don’t want my queer male students—many of whom look to me for mentorship—to think I’m grooming them for sex after I’m no longer teaching them, and I don’t want my female and straight-male students to feel like second-class citizens. On the other hand, I’m a sex-positive person who believes that happy, consensual banging has its own intrinsic value. I tend to be attracted to younger guys, and I think part of the attraction is that they’re less jaded about sex and more excited. Fucking them feels less transactional than the typical hi-bang-jizz-wipe-bye Grindr hookup that seems to be the norm with gay guys in their 30s and older.

I’m struggling with how I should feel about these off-campus romps. We’re all adults, and we’re not breaking any rules. Obviously, the behavior is professionally risky for me, probably foolhardy. But is it immoral? Above all, what should I do when future opportunities present themselves?

Professor Horn-Dog

Can we please not describe one adult subtly and perhaps unintentionally telegraphing their attraction to another adult as “grooming”? That term refers to adult sexual predators insinuating themselves into the lives of minors, slowly gaining their trust and the trust of their family members, so they can abuse them sexually. It means something very specific, PHD, and we shouldn’t confuse or cheapen its meaning by applying it to your behavior—which, while not criminal or immoral, is incredibly stupid.

Yes, these relationships are permissible, in the sense that the school where you teach permits them. They aren’t against the rules; those young men were all consenting adults; and you’re honoring the campsite rule. (Leave them in better shape than you found them.) But this is an advice column, PHD, and you’re not asking me what’s permissible, but what’s advisable. And what you’re doing is crazy inadvisable for all the reasons you cite: the risk of promising and hot gay-male students misinterpreting your interest in them as sexual; your straight students feeling like they may not be getting the full benefit of your attention; and your mediocre and not-hot gay-male students—sorry, your mediocre and not conventionally attractive gay male students—interpreting their failing grades as sexual rejection.

I, too, am a sex-positive person who believes in happy, consensual banging, and I don’t think what you’re doing is immoral. But it is incredibly reckless at this particular moment on any American college campus. Power and consent are minefields that students, professors and administrators are tiptoeing through, PHD, but you’re humping your way across them. Becoming known on campus as one of “those” professors—because you are one of those professors—could wind up being the least of your problems. What if your college revises its rules while you’re balls-deep in a student? What if you have a falling-out with a student you banged, and he files a complaint? What if you want to move to a different school that has different rules, and your reputation proceeds and disqualifies you?

Finally, PHD, it’s fine to be attracted to younger guys. But if all your experiences with guys in their 30s have been dispiriting and transactional, well, it sounds like you were the common denominator in a lot of meh sexual encounters. Speaking from experience, I can say that plenty of guys over 30 are excited about sex and good at it. If every guy over 30 that you’ve been with has been underwhelming, well, it’s possible they were picking up on your lack of enthusiasm/attraction—and reflecting that back at you.


I’m a 33-year-old woman in a nine-year LTR with another woman. Our relationship hasn’t been great in the intimacy department for a long time. We’ve talked it to death, with no real significant change.

I started talking to a woman online a few states over who is married and in a similar situation with her husband. Things are great between us, but neither of us envisions a future where we would leave our partner. My partner is chronically ill, and I support her financially; my online GF and her husband have young children.

I’m wondering if you know anything about sustainability in a relationship with someone online. I’ll admit that sometimes it’s torture to not be able to be with her in real life. But then there’s the question of our significant others. Is it OK to keep this secret if things are good otherwise?

Making It Last Forever

Your significant others aren’t questions, MILF; they’re people—and you don’t intend to leave your person, and your online girlfriend doesn’t intend to leave hers. So if you want to spare your chronically ill partner the anxiety of worrying you might leave her for this other person, then you’ll keep the online GF a secret. But you need to ask yourself—and your online GF needs to ask herself—if this online relationship/emotional affair is making you a better, more contented, and more emotionally available partner to your IRL partner. If it’s making you a better partner to the person you’re actually/technically/physically with, then great. But if it’s a distraction that’s causing you to neglect or resent your IRL partner, MILF, then you’ll have to end it. If it’s harming your IRL relationship, and you don’t end it, then you’re engaging in shitty, dishonest, slo-mo sabotage.

As for the sustainability of online relationships: There are people out there who’ve maintained online connections—intense friendships, romantic and/or sexual relationships—for as long as people have been able to get online. Sometimes online relationships run their course and come to an end, just like offline relationships and sometimes the online platforms they began on. (There are people out there who are still involved with people they met on Friendster and Myspace.) But offline or on, MILF, there are always challenges and never guarantees.


I’m one of your straight male readers. I’ve been seeing a professional Dom for the last year, with my wife’s OK, and it’s been very good for our marriage. I thought I could “give up” bondage when we got married, and then I found myself feeling resentful of my wife, even though it was a choice I made freely. This outlet—a wonderful pro that I see just for bondage, not for sex—solved our problem and even improved our sex life.

I’m writing to say thank you. I don’t think we would have been able to discuss this calmly if we hadn’t been listeners of the Savage Lovecast. And, yes, I’ve told my wife if there’s ever anything she wants that I can’t do for her, she only has to ask.

Grateful Reader In Nevada

Thanks for the sweet note, GRIN!

On the Lovecast, gender-reveal parties—annoying, and now … DEADLY: savagelovecast.com.

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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.

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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.

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