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Monday, April 16, 2007

Dept. of Homeland Security

posted by on April 16 at 13:40 PM


It looks like I have to weed my t-shirt collection.

This morning my son walked into the kitchen, where I was downloading email on my laptop, and said, “Go to, dad.”

Excuse me… what? Why would a nine year-old want to go to How would a nine-year old even know about, the “largest provider of medical toys, products and apparel for the medical fetish, nurse fetish and the medical BDSM scene on the web”?

It took me a split second to realize that I was standing there in my black t-shirt. The nice folks that run the nation’s premiere medical fetish website sent me a couple of t-shirts after I mentioned them in a “Savage Love” column a couple of years back. My kid assumed it was a toy store—a toy store that specializes in toys for, you know, playing doctor. And it is. But it’s for adults that want to play doctor with speculums, medical restraints, catheters, etc.

My t-shirts are two of my favorites. But it looks like they have to go. There’s no end to the sacrifices we parents have to make.

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There’s no end to the sacrifices we parents have to make.

You can say that again. I still remember the horror/hilarity of the first time my girl started to sing "I love you / You love me / Barney gave me HPV..." Whoops, looks like we need to watch what we do around her. And yes, I know that's probably not funny to someone with HPV.

Posted by Matt from Denver | April 16, 2007 1:50 PM

Or anyone who was fucked by Barney.

Posted by The_Pope_Of_Chili_Town | April 16, 2007 2:03 PM

See, you are a good parent. And conservatives think that fags can't raise a good kid.

Posted by Faber | April 16, 2007 2:03 PM

that intimate portrait of the Savage household is adorable...

Posted by michael strangeways | April 16, 2007 2:13 PM

Hmm, I guess Garrison Keillor had a point after all.

Posted by chris | April 16, 2007 3:10 PM

Censoring violence is obviously good for kid's emotional health. And no kid wants to hear details about his parents' sex life.

But, honestly, is the knowledge that other people get off on medical devices harmful to kids? If so, how?

Kids find out about this kind of stuff anyway, and if they happened to be tipped off by their parents, so what? I'm not aware of any science, or even any anecdotes, suggesting that kids are harmed from learning about legal sexual practices.

Posted by Sean | April 16, 2007 3:28 PM

He's nine. Even I think that's a little earlier to find out that some people get off on having speculums stuck up their butts.

Posted by Dan Savage | April 16, 2007 3:35 PM

Sean: It would probably cause some harm if Lil Danny told his teachers how his gay daddies showed him how to get off a coma patient with a stethoscope (or whatever).

Society might be in the wrong here, but I think it's fair to give society a pass in cases like this.

Posted by jamier | April 16, 2007 3:36 PM

Now that my son is reading I only read the stranger on my laptop. We used keep a paper copy around the house, but I don't want to discuss what he may read in Savage Love or Last Days (two of my favorite columns) with my 5 year old.

For that same reason we have put many books on the high shelves of the bookcase. But, he can climb if he wants to. What do people do with adult reading material (i don't mean like porn that you'd hide or something - just regular adult stuff) when they have children?

Posted by eemie | April 16, 2007 4:37 PM

#7: Dan - sure, I wouldn't want my kids seeing that either, but is that about my values, or would my kids really be damaged by it? I've listened to moms say your paper should be banned because any 9 year old can pick it and see the escort ads. Still others label gay pride videos of dancing men as offensive content not suitable for kids. My point is only that the line people draw here seems kind of arbitray, and is often politicized.

#8: I'm hip to the fact that Dan, as a high visibility gay dad, is under extra pressure to be a "model parent", and that it's in the interest of all gay parents that he keep on playing that roll as well as he has.

Posted by Sean | April 16, 2007 4:41 PM

We have the Stranger in the house and he doesn't pick it up -- he's just not interested in newspapers, not even mine.

Posted by Dan Savage | April 16, 2007 4:47 PM

Maybe he's just bored with Viaduct coverage?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | April 16, 2007 5:23 PM

specula ;)

Posted by glasspusher | April 16, 2007 8:02 PM

If you had a Red Hook T-Shirt, you wouldn't stop wearing it if your kid asked for a Red Hook, would you? I would hope that you'd just say that Red Hook isn't appropriate for a nine year old.

I think it would be a good "teaching moment" to explain to a child that words have different meanings. There are kids toys, adult toys, car toys - you get my drift.

Perhaps I'm totally off-base on this. I don't have a kid. But my folks - who were most certainly NOT hippies - were always honest about things like that.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | April 16, 2007 8:23 PM

I am happy that you realize that you can't be slutty forever. At some point you have to realize that you must be a positive influence in your child's life. Congratulations on recognizing your wake up call. Beautiful. (You have probably figured out that I haven't acknowledged this for myself, but I will one of these days.)

Posted by good job | April 17, 2007 2:47 AM

#10- I think kids below a certain level of maturity just don't have the cognitive tools to handle some sexual knowledge, no matter how carefully and thoughtfully its explained, and will be pretty freaked out. (Some adults don't have that level of maturity, come to think of it.)

Posted by Kuzibah | April 17, 2007 6:14 AM

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