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Forget her Dan! I will always have a secret (oops! I told!) crush on you.

So screw Debra! She isn't good enough to have a crush on you. And if for any reason I turn into a gay man, and Terry turns into a woman.... maybe I have a chance? Hahahaha. Riiight. =D

Posted by Monique | April 2, 2007 10:09 AM

Dan, I find it incredibly endearing that you care about the reaction you invoke from your readers.

For every Debra out there there's at least one Carollani who keeps reading, and telling other people to read, your column. Keep up the great work and never get so jaded that you stop caring!

Posted by Carollani | April 2, 2007 10:10 AM

Good job, Dan. Makes you wonder if Debra did read all of your columns; her sign-off indicates that not being a diaper fetishist apparently means you're "repressed."

Posted by Gloria | April 2, 2007 10:20 AM

I don't understand this letter at all.

Diapers are the final straw? Really, because there have been plenty of freakier things in your column than that.

And when have you ever asked or expected your readers to indulge the fetishes of complete strangers? Never, that's when.

Oh well, this is Debra's and her lover's loss, not yours.

Posted by Sean | April 2, 2007 10:22 AM

Hah! Probably a convoluted sort of payback over the Garrison Keillor imbroglio. Tough break, Dan; you can kiss goodbye that delightful Salon tote bag, complimentary subscription to Mother Jones and that free copy of Joe Conason's book.

Posted by Gully Foyle | April 2, 2007 10:29 AM

My best friend recently called you "our generation's voice of truth". She also said "What he has to say often isn't pretty, and sometimes he messes up, but he also says clearly the things everyone else pussyfoots around."

My personal "awww" story: about two years ago, I started dating my longtime friend, who I knew was a virgin. Early in our relationship, I stumbled across a substantial collection of pornography he'd collected during his long years of self-stimulus. If I hadn't been a devotee of your column, I might have been totally freaked out by the existence of the porn itself, and I *certainly* would have been spooked by the contents, which were many and varied and included some curveballs ("there are chicks with dicks here! surely he's gay!").

But because I've read your column so faithfully, I know that all men use porn, that at least a passing interest in chicks-with-dicks is pretty common in straight men, and that because his porn collection was mostly vanilla, he was probably not a fetishist but just a man with catholic tastes. So I didn't freak out and end the relationship early.

And surprise surprise, after a couple initially awkward encounters, his attentiveness and eagerness to learn quickly made him the best lay I'd ever had--completely attuned to what *I* like, no "bad habits" left over from former lovers. We're married now (and we did tithe to after the wedding just like you've suggested). Our sex life is probably 95 percent vanilla, but when he wants to wear my underwear or when I want to be tied up, neither of us bats an eye. This is a gift *you* have given us. So thanks, Dan. Don't let the Debras get you down.

Posted by Shannon | April 2, 2007 10:41 AM

dan, did you also publish this response in salon so that the readers there didn't get the wrong impression of your advice?

Posted by ellarosa | April 2, 2007 10:46 AM

You are far more tolerant than I, Dan. Because I think DD deliberately left out your reply so she could misrepresent the nature of your column.

The subtext of her essay is pretty evident - she's got hangups about sex and is trying to blame you for feeling uncomfortable about being judgemental and reactionary. She enjoys your column in a vouyeristic way, but is upset by how you present deviance from the norm without universal condemnation as something to be hidden in shame. Because deep down, she favors shame and repression.

It also doesn't take much analysis to see who she thinks should be shamed and repressed specifically. Let's behonest, DD is a bit of a phobe. She's hinted at this in a previous essay, and the way she flings around the terms here is, to me, a giveway.

Posted by softdog | April 2, 2007 10:53 AM

Debra Dickerson is absolutely the worst writer Salon has ever deigned to employ, so don't feel too bad.

Posted by laterite | April 2, 2007 10:53 AM

Well, aside from the fact that her inherently terrible writing misrepresented your own, don't feel too bad.

Posted by laterite | April 2, 2007 10:56 AM

Dan, you rock. End of story.

Posted by Suz | April 2, 2007 10:57 AM

Following Shannon #6's lead:

My wife and I were having the old "incompatible libidos" argument, and the ensuing standoff was threatening to last for days, maybe even weeks.

Then, your "Chocolate City" column showed up. We both read it, smiled, and within hours were back in bed.

Thanks, bro!

Posted by Sean | April 2, 2007 11:03 AM

I've read your column for years and about 99.9% of the time agreed with your advice.

But what really made me love you was the recent advice you gave to a girl...she was young and in love with someone who was perfect in every way, except for the raging jealously when another man said hello to her, followed by not speaking to her. Your advice was to DTMFA, because he would surely end up hitting her one day, as his behavior was classic controlling behavior. Once again, you don't bullshit, and gave advice that may be hard to hear but was true. None of the "seek counselling" crap.

You rock.

Posted by Dianna | April 2, 2007 11:22 AM

Her argument is so lame, I don't really believe she has a huge problem with you or your advice. More like she had a huge problem with a looming deadline. She even admits she'll continue to read your column, so what gives? She's hoping to stir up some attention, that's all. Boring.

Posted by Kristi | April 2, 2007 11:46 AM

Dan, please go back to blow job advice for bush bunnies. When you try and get all philosophical on us, its boring. You are best when talking dicks, other than that, your puddle is too shallow and inbred to support any life form.

Posted by rufus | April 2, 2007 12:21 PM

Rufus, if all you want is blow job advice ad infinitum, go read Cosmo. And then hurl, if you have any self-respect at all.

Posted by Megan | April 2, 2007 12:51 PM

Dan, I've been off and on the Salon responses to DD's article today, and they're linking to your response, reading and responding to it. I applaud what you said - it's kind, human and funny - and I'm glad Debra's article made me more aware of what you're doing. I'll be checking back in for sure.

Posted by wyndy | April 2, 2007 1:17 PM

Man, I thought her article was insipid (and somewhat dishonest), but the poor woman! She is getting seriously spanked in the comments at Salon.

Posted by sniggles | April 2, 2007 1:56 PM

Sniggles, she certainly deserves it. She absolutely is the worst writer in the history of Salon--David Horowitz excepted, perhaps--and deserves every bit of derision that gets heaped upon her.

More to the point: I wonder how Dan Savage reacts to being called a "faggot" by DD? I don't care how hip you are to gay people, or Dan Savage in particular--let's leave reclaiming that word to the intended targets, huh?

Posted by THobbes | April 2, 2007 4:23 PM

I've been reading your column for more years than I can count (my best friend was even nice enough to mail them to me while I was in the army.) Beyond opening my eyes to what kinks/ fetishes exist, you also taught me how to say "no" if it was over my line (read: I actually ran into a poop fetishist).

Your column also made me realise that I wasn't a freak because I had no idea if I was gay, straight, or bi. I had no one I could talk to about that while I was in the army (thanks to don't ask, don't tell), so your column was the only avenue I had to explore those feelings.

I really don't understand how Debra could misinterpret your column like she did. You are doing the public a service. Don't ever stop, don't ever change.

Posted by Shea | April 2, 2007 4:27 PM


You do realize/remember that Dan's column used to begin with "Hey, faggot!," right?

Posted by keshmeshi | April 2, 2007 4:59 PM

Could of used a "Read the rest after the Jump" about halfway through that one, Dan.

Posted by treacle | April 2, 2007 4:59 PM

Why the hell did Salon think "One Woman Gets Scared" was worth printing?

And, forgive me for treading on your territory, but it kinda sounds like talking about diapers touched something that Debra can't admit to herself..

Posted by Noink | April 2, 2007 6:12 PM

There is only one explanation for DD's article. She is a repressed Baby Girl. And thatīs what makes her a diaperphobe. Let's hope she will come out someday...

Posted by Vladimir | April 2, 2007 6:44 PM

That's weird. Most people stopped reading the Savage Love column because they found it boring.

Posted by Muther Fluffer | April 2, 2007 6:53 PM

Does actually READ Savage Love? I think a lot of people actually never read Savage Love, they simply arouse their sense. It's porn you can read in public. (Ouw, kinky)

Posted by Mokawi | April 3, 2007 2:58 PM

Let's see, if I understand the Karmic Rule of Kink correctly, this woman will sooner or later have a partner say, "You want me to what? No way, that's disgusting!"

Posted by Kuzibah | April 4, 2007 7:09 AM

Dan. Honey. Sweetie.

Ok. I'm still in love with you. Who'm I kidding: you're irrestible. So---forgive a sister?

You're right that I didn't quote your excellent response but only because I thought it clear that I was satirizing and criticizing us vanilla sex types who need training wheels to talk a walk on the wild side. I was going for over the top, Communist reeducation camp-style self-criticism for yuks. Of course, you of all people realize that that pose was necessary to hide behind so I could talk about s-e-x, 'good girl' that I am.

As all writers do,I blame my (wonderful) editor (who made the piece much, much better) for getting me to hit my word count by leaving out "of course, you had her back, Dan". Unfortunately, that deletion linked to your response. But, since we linked to the column, your answer was automatically included; I thought I was covered. But I certainly should have, in hindsight, made sure to point out that you charged to her defense and offered to help her throw the bum out. Not 'cause of his fetish but 'cause of his selfishness. I thought it would be quite clear that you didn't condone the guy's behavior. I should have been more precise.

But I come to praise Caesar, not to bury him.
As I said: It's not you, it's me. I done wrong. Now, I'm the chick who bad-mouths her blameless ex all over creation. Poor me. I mean, poor you.

That column was (or so I thought) a send up of my own fears now that I'm 47, a bitter divorce, single mom of two with lots o' post partum weight three years on facing the scary, scary world of dating and (egads!) sex again. I've started my on-line profile (which you gave me the courage to do) 'leventy leven times and chickened out 'leventy leven times. Your column emboldened me to be GGG (of course, within my own comfort zone), then that particular column scared the bejeezus out of me. I could be that damned GGG and STILL end up with a loser? Or maybe I was just looking for an excuse to stay on the bench. You're the expert, Dan: which is my real fear? No, don't answer that. I can admit now that I don't really wanna know. See? You helped me find my comfort zone.

Anyway, Dan. I had my turn and mucked it up so I'll stop here. I must say, I'm shocked to have gotten such a lengthy and gentlemanly response. I figured on a toss-away line in today's column. I'm all giddy. Maybe spanking ARE fun. Hmmmm.

Flowers? Candy? A threesome? What'll it take to be forgiven?

Still your biggest fan (but don't tell my Mom)
Debra Dickerson

Posted by Debra Dickerson | April 4, 2007 7:51 AM

Dan, I do understand what Debra's saying. Your column is educational, witty and entertaining -- I especially love the political commentary; keep it coming -- but as I've gotten older and had kids, I'm wondering more and more about your letter writers, as in: Are these people really walking among us? Where do they get the time for all this nonsense? Where do they get the energy? I mean, at this point in my life, my main bedroom fantasy -- maybe my only bedroom fantasy -- involves a full night's uninterrupted sleep. Maybe even on clean sheets. Now, THAT's some sexy talk, as far as I'm concerned!
p.s. - my guess is that for every person who writes to you about some odd fetish, there are 100, maybe 1,000, maybe 10,000 like me who are just too tired and run-ragged and distracted to even think about sex.

Posted by oldfart | April 4, 2007 11:13 AM

Wow, this was fun reading Debra's response. I loved yours to her and hadn't read her original colum. And I really enjoyed your original post about diaper guy so I was surprised that she took your response that way. This reminds me of a friend's blog who wrote some stuff that just left me scratching my head. When I approached her with my confusion she explained that she was being over the top, mocking, tongue in cheek, what have you. I had totally missed it.

Posted by Adrienne | April 4, 2007 11:29 AM

Oh my god, that really WAS Debra Dickerson writing to you? It wasn't a spoof?

Posted by Hart | April 4, 2007 11:52 AM

Good lord. That Debra person likes to spank. I just wish she'd spank sex partners, not the English language (and everyone who reads anything she pens.)

Posted by Lori | April 9, 2007 4:41 PM

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