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Monday, November 24, 2014

Ferguson: Why Announce the Grand Jury's Decision at 9 PM?

Posted by on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

This is insane:

The St. Louis County prosecutor's office said Monday afternoon that the grand jury deliberating whether to charge Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting had reached a decision and it would be announced later in the day. The decision will be announced at a 9 p.m. ET press conference.

There's only one explanation that makes sense: this is an attempt by authorities to ensure chaos and this to justify a draconian police response—a police response that will be carried out under cover of darkness.

Announcing the grand jury's decision at 9 PM after dark all but ensures rioting. The crowds in Ferguson have been waiting all day for the decision, they've been getting bigger with each passing hour, tension have mounting as they wait for word. And many whites—particularly those whites who are paid to run their mouths on Fox News—will interpret the now inevitable rioting as proof that Michael Brown's murder was justified. ("Look at what these people are like!") The rioting will stand in the minds of many whites as a retroactive justification for Darren Wilson's actions. Wilson won't be indicted, Brown will.

And, yes, this post assumes there will be no indictment. Because if the cops who shot John Crawford III didn't get indicted—and they didn't—then Wilson won't be indicted either.

UPDATE: No one could've predicted...


SL Letter of the Day: Sticking to the Point

Posted by on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Having been away from the online world for the past week, I didn't notice until just now that my question was featured (and answered) in this past week's column. I am so honored! I kind of want to show everyone I know... and absolutely no-one at the same time.

Regardless, thank you so much for not only diving in to my question yourself, but also tracking down Dr. Fitzsimmons for an expert opinion from the medical world. I appreciate and trust what both of you had to say. Please thank the doctor on my behalf.

Being better informed will now allow me to sit with that knowledge and mull on what types of risk I'm willing to take when it comes to this particular matter: how much, how often, and how severely (or, if ever again at all). I recognize, of course, that that risk is my own decision, is one that does not hurt others, and one that can in no way can be placed on the shoulders of you or Dr. Fitzsimmons.

Thanks again: I plan to enjoy a life of killer orgasms—not one of killing my orgasmic ability.

Sticking Things In Clit Knowledgeably

My response after the jump...

Continue reading »


There May Be More to That Story About the Woman Who Was "Ready For Ferguson"

Posted by on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 9:25 AM

It's the headline of the day, it's all over my Twitter feed, and it's up on every news blog:

Police: Woman Saying She's 'Ready For Ferguson' Shoots, Kills Self By Accident

Here's TPM's writeup:

St. Louis police were investigating an incident in which a woman waving a gun inside a vehicle and saying she was "ready for Ferguson" apparently shot herself in the head by accident, CNN reported Sunday. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said the shooting occurred Friday night in the city's downtown area. Sources briefed on the investigation told CNN that a police report identified the victim as 26-year-old Becca Campbell.

But we don't actually know if Becca Campbell said that. Or if she was waving a gun around insider her vehicle when she said it. Back to TPM...

Campbell's 33-year-old boyfriend, who was not identified, was driving the car and told investigators that Campbell began waving a gun around and joking that the couple were ready for Ferguson, the sources said. The boyfriend said he rear-ended another car while ducking to avoid the gun, which then discharged and struck Campbell in the head, the sources said. The victim later died at a hospital.... Police were investigating whether the boyfriend's account of the shooting was correct, the sources told CNN.

Yeah. I'm thinking we may need to wait for forensics to weigh in on this one—who was holding the gun when it was fired, the angle at which the bullet entered Campbell's head, whether this unidentified boyfriend had been fighting with Campbell, all that Forensic Files shit—instead of accepting this guy's explanation for how exactly he wound up sitting in a car next to the body of his dead girlfriend.

Friday, November 21, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Profile & Courage

Posted by on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I'm a 31 year old hetero male and I've been with my wife for about 9 years, married for 4. We recently made a mutually driven decision to become poly and have been growing into this for about two months. So far so good.

In my younger years I had an easy time getting attention from girls and so I was blindsided to learn that it's not quite so easy nowadays. In fact it's nearly impossible. That's only part of the problem though. The main issue I think is the disparity between my wife's experience with this new frontier and mine. She has hundreds of men lined up to take her out on dates and is gone most nights of the week. She has a few consistent guys and then is still meeting new dudes. I am happy for her and love that she's having a good time, but I am bored and lonely at home and have no idea how to meet like-minded, young, attractive women.

This disparity has me in kind of a slump and I feel like shit about myself, my ability to attract women and my overall self-confidence.

What Should I Do?

P.S. Here is the link to my OKCupid profile....

My response to WSID—and his response to mine, and mine to his—after the jump...

Continue reading »

This Will Cheer Up Depressed Democrats: "No Republican Candidate Has a Credible Shot at the White House in 2016"

Posted by on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Chris Ladd writes the GOPLifer blog at the Houston Chronicle, and he believes the 2014 midterms were a complete disaster for one of our political parties—and it's not the Democratic Party. Yes, Republicans took the Senate and some governors' mansions and some state legislatures. But a "blue wall" will ensure Democrats hold on to the White House in 2016 and take back the Senate:

For Republicans looking for ways that the party can once again take the lead in building a nationally relevant governing agenda, the 2014 election is a prelude to a disaster. Understanding this trend begins with a stark graphic.

Behold the Blue Wall:


The Blue Wall is block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. Tuesday that block finally extended to New Hampshire, meaning that at the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes without even trying. That’s 257 out of the 270 needed to win. Arguably Virginia now sits behind that wall as well. Democrats won the Senate seat there without campaigning in a year when hardly anyone but Republicans showed up to vote and the GOP enjoyed its largest wave in modern history. Virginia would take that tally to 270. Again, that’s 270 out of 270.

This means that the next Presidential election, and all subsequent ones until a future party realignment, will be decided in the Democratic primary. Only by sweeping all nine of the states that remain in contention AND also flipping one impossibly Democratic state can a Republican candidate win the White House. What are the odds that a Republican candidate capable of passing muster with 2016 GOP primary voters can accomplish that feat? You do the math.

Republicans "control a far more modest Red Fortress," Ladd continues, that comes with just 149 electoral votes. Heartbroken/worried/nervous Dems will want to read the whole thing: Ladd manages to find the blue lining in every red cloud: Democrats hold power in the states that generate the most wealth, efforts by Republicans to suppress the vote are backfiring, voters in red states backed every Democratic ballot initiative (raising the minimum wage, legalizing pot), "personhood" amendments failed wherever they were on the ballot. The list goes on. Ladd ends by tearing into the GOP for focusing on bullshit non-issues that crank up its rapidly aging, ever-whiter base at the expense of the party's future prospects:

Continue reading »


The President's Speech on Immigration

Posted by on Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 8:52 AM


The full text is here. The pants-shitting meltdown is here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Nobody Expects the Nice Girl Inquisition!

Posted by on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 5:42 PM

I hope you will take the time to read this. I have some suggestions that I doubt you will take seriously, along with some very important questions and comments:

1. I thought of a term that you might popularize: "Vanilla Cupcake," to describe an especially sweet and mushy version of vanilla sex, where the couple looks into each other's eyes, and they say things like "I love you" and "you are so beautiful."

2. On to my main question: when and how can you tell a guy that his dick is too small, and you want to use some kind of dildo to help? I just recently started seeing this guy, and as it turns out, I really like everything else about him, the rest of the sex is amazing, and I think he is a wonderful person and I don't want to hurt his feelers by insulting his manhood. It seems too soon to do it after just a couple of weeks, but if I wait too long, I will feel weird for being dishonest. What do you think? And is there a way to say this tactfully?

He must know that he has a small dick, right? Maybe you could advise all the men out there that are not well-endowed to ask their partners if they would want to use something extra. It would sound better coming from you than the lady (or gentleman) that they're fucking.

An aside: I have nothing against small penises, and actually enjoy giving blow jobs more than ever before! And I am considering having anal sex!

The rest of this nice girl's numbered questions—and my numbered answers—after the jump....

Continue reading »

The Co-Founder of the Human Rights Campaign—Terry Bean—Has Been Arrested for Allegedly Fucking a 15-Year-Old Boy

Posted by on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Welcome to the first—and hopefully the last—installment of HRC Co-Founder Watch. Willamette Week via Joe My God:

Law enforcement sources familiar with the case say Terry Bean will be charged with two counts of sodomy in the third degree, a felony, and sex abuse in the third degree, a misdemeanor. He will be arraigned later in Lane County, where the crimes allegedly occurred in 2013. The arrest comes after a six-month investigation that began with allegations Bean secretly made video recordings of men having sex in his bedroom. As WW reported in June, Bean accused a former lover, Kiah Lawson, of attempting to extort him over the discovery of a hidden camera. In the spring, Bean sought to keep the allegations secret and tried to reach a $40,000 settlement with Lawson.

After WW began asking questions, Bean went to the police asking them to investigate his allegations. Bean also handed over to police what he said was evidence of additional illegal activity by Lawson and others. Lawson told WW that early this year he had discovered a hidden camera in a smoke detector above Bean's bed. Lawson claimed he was in more than one video that was made without his knowledge, and that video recording also captured at least a half dozen men “in a state of nudity engaged in intimate acts with [Bean].” At the time, Bean’s attorney, Kristen Winemiller, denied the camera had been used for any illegal or improper purpose, and that it had been installed because Bean had been the victim of theft. Winemiller said Lawson was extorting Bean.

Bean's ex—Kiah Lawson, age 25—has since been arrested on the same charge:

The former boyfriend of Terrence P. Bean was arrested early Thursday on sex abuse charges stemming from the same alleged 2013 encounter with a 15-year-old boy at a hotel in Eugene. Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, was arrested at 1:15 a.m. at the Portland Police Bureau's Central Precinct and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center shortly after 2 a.m. He's accused of third-degree sodomy and third-degree sexual abuse.

I'm on an deadline today—gotta get two columns out today because of the Thanksgiving holiday—so I don't have time to write this up. I'll have more to say about it tomorrow. Suffice it to say: fucking minors is wrong. It's a crime and if Bean and Lawson are guilty of the crime they've been charged with... I hope they both go away for a long, long time.

Gay blogs and writers are not ignoring this story—Joe My God is all over it, Towleroad is all over it—and I'm not ignoring it either. It just hit on a day when I had to be offline.

More tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: You've Done Nothing Wrong

Posted by on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 6:07 PM

I am a bisexual male in my early twenties who until recently was in the closet. I have been exploring my sexuality for only the past year or so and I didn't want to label myself and open Pandora's box of oppression in the American south before I knew who I was for sure. I learned through my exploration that I have a few kinks and I have been acting on those kinks for about a year now, seeing what I am and and not into. It appears I may have been too trusting because someone I interacted with decided that he was having none of me and that he disapproved significantly of one of the kinks that I tried briefly, but decided wasn't for me.

This person took it upon himself to find all the info he could about me, both regarding kink as well as my career and other aspects of my life, and compile it on a website. He then sent links to several of my friends, taunting me, though he never actually gave any explanation for why he was doing this.

My family has been very supportive and the few friends who I've spoken to have been great. I am curious, however, how I should go about talking to these other friends the next time I see them. My life is out in the open now and although I am trying my best to roll with it and become more comfortable with myself, it is a struggle. These people are close to me and I value their friendship. I don't believe they think poorly of me, but I am uncomfortable knowing that they have seen a part of me that I was trying to keep somewhat compartmentalized. How can I approach the situation without making it more uncomfortable and awkward? And how do I go about asking them to keep this to themselves so I can come out in my own time?

Outed And Unsure

Continue reading »

Elephants to Go Extinct in Seattle

Posted by on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 3:53 PM

News from Woodland Park Zoo:

Woodland Park Zoo announced today that it will phase out its on-site elephant program and continue to move forward with its mission of saving animals and their habitats through conservation leadership.

“We remain committed to putting the welfare of our elephants first. After several months of working to implement the recommendations of the Elephant Task Force, we have found that adding to the herd of our two aging elephants is not realistic in the foreseeable future. It is in the best interest of Bamboo and Chai to live in a social, multi-animal herd in a healthy environment,” said Woodland Park Zoo’s President and CEO Dr. Deborah Jensen. “This can best be accomplished by relocating them to another accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums facility that is held to exemplary standards of care. Having only one or two elephants at the zoo for the long term would work against the broader social welfare of Chai and Bamboo and we are committed to following the recommendations of elephant health and welfare experts.”

The zoo has two elephants—47-year-old Bamboo and 35-year-old Chai—and hopes to have them placed in an Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) facility sometime in 2015.

Marriage Equality Comes to Kansas, South Carolina, Montana

Posted by on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

It's been a good week for marriage equality—and it's only Wednesday. Freedom To Marry:

This is the 54th court ruling since June 2013 in favor of the freedom to marry. Just four courts - most notably, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit - have upheld marriage discrimination. Plaintiffs from the 6th Circuit cases, out of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, are now seeking review from that out-of-step ruling from the United States Supreme Court.... Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson said today:

"Montana’s same-sex couples and their loved ones want what all families want: joy, protections, security, and respect – and that's what the freedom to marry is all about. This ruling, in keeping with nearly every other court that has ruled in more than a year, brings us to 35 states with the freedom to marry — but we are not done until we end marriage discrimination in all 50 states. It’s time for the Supreme Court to affirm the freedom to marry nationwide and bring our country to national resolution for all loving and committed couples in every state."

For years I closed my Slog posts on marriage equality with this: "We're winning." I would tack those two words on at the end of posts even when we lost—when a court decision went against us, when voters approved an(other) anti-gay-marriage amendment. Because even on the worst days, even when the losses were particularly painful, it was clear to me that we were winning the argument. We were losing battles but winning the war. The "winning" arguments made by opponents of marriage equality were just so transparent, so ridiculous, and so appallingly heterophobic (marriage is how we trick irresponsible heterosexuals into taking care of their children!) that I knew they couldn't possibly carry the day.

Slog's resident trolls would erupt every time I ended a Slog post about marriage equality with "We're winning." They LOL'd at my delusions, they sneered at my efforts to buck up supporters of marriage equality, they trolled a little harder. They called me a cockeyedmouthed optimist. That was then. This is now: 35 states, motherfuckers. And, thanks to a "loss" before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit—the only U.S. Court of Appeals decision that hasn't backed marriage equality—we're headed back to the Supreme Court.

We're winning. We were winning then, we're winning now.


Savage Love: Sticking Points

Posted by on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM


I am a 30-year-old trans guy, on T since college, happy and comfortable with my sexuality. However, I can't find any helpful health info on a fetish I've developed: I insert needles directly into my clit, maybe an inch and a half in. I'm not talking through it, like a piercing, but into it, going in at the head and moving down into the shaft. There are lots of porn/BDSM sites that discuss piercing all sorts of "female" anatomy, and many that cover the excitement of needles inserted into the glans of the penis, but few go into details about putting needles directly into the clit itself—and none that I've found cover safety. As a trans man, this is a particularly tempting practice because, well, my clit is huge and I have a constant legal supply of safe, sterile needles. Still, I want to know if I am potentially causing permanent nerve damage. I'd like to keep my clit healthy and happy for future use! If one of your connections in the medical world has a sense of this, I'd love to know.

Sticking Things In Clit Knowledgeably

Yours is the kind of letter that gets me in trouble, STICK…


White House Releases Live-Action Trailer for President Obama's Announcement Tomorrow

Posted by on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Republicans hate this trailer just as much as Paul hates that trailer for the upcoming Peanuts film. NYT:

President Obama will speak to the nation in a prime-time address on Thursday, asserting his authority to protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation, the White House said, and setting in motion an immediate confrontation with Republicans about the limits of a president’s executive powers. In a video posted on the White House website Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Obama said that he would deliver the 8 p.m. speech from the White House to announce “steps that I can take to start fixing our broken immigration system.”

Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush all made similar moves during their presidencies—halting deportations of particular groups of immigrants, legal and illegal. Obama may wind up getting impeached for doing the same thing other presidents have done because... well, for the exact same reason that Romneycare is a market-based reform and identical-to-Romneycare-in-every-way Obamacare is a socialist attack on our sacred freedom as Americans to watch our children die of toothaches. Because it's not okay when the black guy does it.

Is Viagra for Women a Sham?

Posted by on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Sure looks that way:

It’s been more than 15 years since Viagra first hit the market, changing the world of male sexual health — and the world of cringe-worthy commercials—for good. Since then, numerous other sexual function drugs for men have been approved, but none for women. Two campaigns, #WomenDeserve and, have been fighting for that to change. The video above, a Viagra parody commercial and part of #WomenDeserve’s campaign, cheekily presents its claims of disparities for men and women seeking treatment. But in an LA Times op-ed published late last week, two prominent professors argue that the campaigns are using the language of equality to misconstrue the truth about female sexual dysfunction—and hide the campaigns’ ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The op-ed reports that both sites were developed by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, which has been seeking FDA approval for its female sexual dysfunction drugflibanserin.

The astroturf Viagra parody/protest ad above suggests that what men with erectile dysfunction need is help feeling randy. But the problem isn't that some men aren't horny; men don't take Viagra or other ED meds to feel horny. The problem is that some horny men can't get or keep erections. These men want to have penetrative sex, but they can't get it up or keep it up. That's where Viagra comes in. And here's how Viagra works:

Viagra does not cause a man to be sexually aroused. Viagra is only effective if you are sexually aroused. To understand how it works you need to understand the mechanics of how a man gets an erection. When you get sexually stimulated, the nervous system in the erectile tissue of your penis releases nitric oxide (NO). The nitric oxide stimulates an enzyme that produces something called a messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The cGMP relaxes the smooth muscle cells. One result of this is that the arteries in your penis dilate and the blood can flow into your penis more easily. Another result is that the erectile tissue itself fills with blood. Both of these process result in an erection. Viagra works by maintaining the level of cGMP in the smooth muscle cells. If you are not turned on, your brain will not stimulate the release of any nitric oxide and you will not produce any cGMP.

Women have erectile tissue too; the clitoris—all of it, not just the exposed glans—is mostly composed of erectile tissue, same as the penis. But the issue for women isn't erectile dysfunction* or insufficient cGMP levels. It's low sexual desire. They're not sexually aroused. Which is why throwing Viagra or similar drugs at women—drugs that act on erectile tissues—hasn't proven effective. They don't treat the problem. Because the issue isn't horny women who aren't capable of having sex. The problem is millions of women who are not horny and consequently don't want to have sex.

Back to the article...

[There] are medications approved to treat sexual dysfunction in women. “There are lots of drugs for treating pain during sex and vaginal dryness—it’s not like we have nothing out there,” Herbenick told Yahoo Health. Sexual dysfunction doesn’t only include desire and arousal, but also things like lubrication and discomfort, she added. “But for some reason when this 26-0 campaign was created, they suddenly made the definition of sexual dysfunction very different, and I think that’s just disingenuine and misleading.”
Herbenick also underscored that there are no sexual desire drugs for men or women currently on the market.

There's no Spanish fly in the wings to be approved. Not for men, not for women. These campaigns are about pharmaceutical companies bullying the FDA into approving drugs that don't treat the problem—which is most likely boredom—by making the lack of an approved "pink Viagra" look gender discrimination. Which it isn't.

* Unless a woman is trans and has a penis.

Christian Sex Toy Store or Missing Spice Girl?

Posted by on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Christian sex toy shop:

Welcome to Covenant Spice! We are a Christian sex toy shop and romance site for married couples, offering high quality, feature-packed products that enhance lovemaking—at unbelievably low prices. Our goal from our inception has been to offer sexual aids for Christians that help foster intimacy and strengthen relationships within the bonds of a healthy marriage.

I e-mailed Covenant Spice to ask how they verify that a couple is married before shipping one of their $32 handblown glass candy cane dildos—part of their Christmas Spice line of sex toys—out to a customer. Also, can the same-sex couples getting legally married today in South Carolina buy candy cane dildos at Covenant Spice or do they sell candy cane dildos to opposite couples only? I didn't ask this question, but I should have: When exactly did oral sex—which is not open to procreation (or only very, very rarely)—stop being sodomy?

I'll let you know when I hear back. (Thanks to Slog Tipper Jamie!)

UPDATE: Lael from Covenant Spice responds to my questions...

Hello, Daniel. Our site is meant to be a place where Christian couples can buy products to spice up their love lives in a porn-free environment that honors Christ and marriage and doesn't degrade women. Any adult can place an order, it's on the honor system.



My Christmas shopping is done!

Honduran Beauty Queen Murdered by Her Boyfriend

Posted by on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 9:01 AM

This depressing story out of Honduras...

A missing Honduran beauty queen, María José Alvarado, and her older sister, Sofía, have been found dead, their bodies buried in the sand of a riverbank near where they disappeared, the police in Honduras said on Wednesday. The sisters had not been seen since Thursday, after they attended a birthday party for Sofía Alvarado’s boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, at a resort near their home in western Honduras. He was arrested Tuesday, and the police told local news media that he was the leading suspect in their investigation. María José Alvarado, 19, had been scheduled to leave for London on Wednesday to compete in the Miss World contest.... The director of the National Police, Gen. Ramón Sabillón, said during a news conference that Mr. Ruiz had shot Sofía during an argument after she danced with another man at the party.

...reminded me of this—well, "comedy bit" seems wrong in this context. Let's say it reminded me of this trenchant and depressing observation from Louie C.K.:

Halfway through the new special, C.K. starts talking about how dating is an act of bravery for all involved. “The male courage, traditionally speaking, is that he decided to ask” a woman out. (Note the careful caveat, “traditionally speaking.”) And if the woman says yes, “that’s her courage.” That kind of courage, he says, is beyond his imagining. “How do women still go out with guys, when you consider that there is no greater threat to women than men? We’re the number one threat to women! Globally and historically, we’re the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women.” A moment later he adds, speaking for all men, “You know what our number one threat is? Heart disease.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Advice Privileges Suspended

Posted by on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 4:49 PM

A lot of people thought my advice yesterday for "Embargoed Goods" sucked ass—including my own father—so I'm taking a one-day penalty. In place of today's SLLOTD are a couple of letters that don't require a response from me and one that does. But I'm not going to give advice to the third LW. You guys are. Enjoy and see you tomorrow.

Continue reading »

Why Am I So Intolerant of the Duggars?

Posted by on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Right Wing Watch:

Tomorrow, the Family Research Council and its Arkansas affiliate will join with Rick Scarborough’s Vision America to hold an anti-marriage-equality rally in Little Rock. Among the speakers at the rally—which follows the state supreme court’s decision to take up a marriage case—will be Arkansas native Josh Duggar, the TLC reality show star and the executive director of FRC’s political arm.

Legally married gay and lesbian couples aren't trying to ban Duggar marriage—or amend state constitutions to limit the number of kids an opposite-sex couple can have. We're perfectly willing to tolerate/put up with legally married Duggars. The Duggars, on the other hand, won't tolerate legally married homos. (Please note: To form an opinion about someone—even a low one—does not mean you're intolerant of that someone.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Ex-Primary Screwing Up Next Primary

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 5:32 PM

I'm a 30-year-old, straight-ish, poly guy. I need help figuring out a situation with an ex.

About six months ago, my primary and I broke up. We'd been dating on and off for about two years. My ex is brilliant, fun, and usually kind to her friends. I was very much in love with her. Unfortunately, in private, she regularly treated me abusively. She isolated me from my friends, refused to come to my apartment (except on rare occasions), made fun of what I wore and ate, regularly yelled at me for imagined slights, interrupted me at my office when she wanted to talk about relationship issues, but never had time to talk when I wanted to, etc. I'd broken up with her twice, and both times I'd allowed her to talk me into getting back together. One day, she was following me around my house yelling at me, and after asking her several times to leave the house, I eventually had to call the police to get her to leave. After that, she broke up with me. She suggested being friends, and I told her I'm open to that if she acknowledged that the way she treated me wasn't okay. She hasn't been willing to discuss it, so we haven't had much contact.

Recently, I've become interested in someone new. This new person has made it clear that she's interested as well. The problem is that she's friends with my ex. She has a rough picture of why my ex and I aren't talking, but sees us both as good people, and doesn't want to take sides (not that I'm asking her to). She isn't comfortable dating me while my ex and I have unresolved issues. She thinks it would be unethical and jeopardize their friendship. Now I'm worried that this is going to be a common problem. Most people I'd consider dating seriously are involved in a particular, close-knit subculture, and many are friends with both of us. Is there a way for me to date mutual friends without jeopardizing their friendship with my ex? Should I just give up on dating the people in my current circles?

Embargoed Goods

My response after the jump...

Continue reading »

Sacred Sanctity of Opposite Marriage Watch

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Charles Manson is getting married—and it's a traditional marriage: one-mass-murderer/one-woman, just like God intended.

Manson is 80 years old, his bride-to-be is 26. The couple will not be able to consummate their marriage, according to the AP, because lifers don't get to have conjugal visits in California. Social conservatives must be fuming. Marriage is about procreation, they say, it's about uniting a child's biological mother and father. Allowing Manson to marry but not allowing him to father any children—why, the California prison system is making a mockery of marriage. The National Organization for Marriage will surely protest.

We're Counting HUMP! Ballots

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 3:43 PM

HUMP! 2014 is history.

Nearly 20,000 people got HUMPed in Seattle, Portland, and Olympia over the last two weeks. There were marathon screenings at Seattle's On the Boards, Olympia's Capitol Theater, and Portland's Cinema 21. No cell phones were seized this year—yay!—and the Christians who threatened to "spoil" HUMP! were no-shows. Your exhausted HUMP! crew limped out of Portland's Cinema 21 after the final screening last night with just one final task...

Count the ballots.

There are $10,000 worth of prizes awarded by HUMP! audiences—including a $5,000 grand prize—and every member of the audience got a ballot, and every one of those ballots got stuffed into one of our insatiable HUMP! ballot boxes. Audiences voted for Best Kink, Best Sex, Best Humor, and Best in Show. We used to count all those HUMP! ballots by hand—a process that took three staffers the better part of a week—but the vote counting is going much faster this year thanks to science! Did you watch the video at the top of the post? That's our brand-new optical motherfucking scanner, motherfuckers, and it's counting the ballots so fast that we're going to know who won HUMP! before the end of the day. (Thanks, Science!)

Want to know who won? Pick up the print editions of The Stranger and the Portland Mercury on Wednesday!

P.S. We loved our beautiful new HUMP! T-shirts this year and HUMP! audiences did, too: The T-shirts sold out on the first weekend of HUMP! Didn't get a T-shirt? We ordered some more and you can order your HUMP! T-shirt here!

It's a Savage Lovecast Christmas

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Rachel Lark performing "For the Boys" at Bawdy Storytelling in San Francisco. Lark premiered the song at the live taping of the Savage Lovecast in Vancouver, BC, earlier this year.

We're having a very special live taping of the Savage Lovecast at the Neptune Theatre on Friday, December 5. It's our fourth live show at the Neptune—we love doing live shows—but it's our very first Savage Lovecast Christmas Spectacular! Here's the info...

The Savage Lovecast returns to the Neptune for a live taping of Dan Savage's popular sex-and-relationship-advice podcast! Join Dan, Nancy, the tech-savvy at-risk youth for "Is Christmas Sexy? An Investigation!" Singer-songwriter Rachel Lark will be there along with Santa and Mrs. Claus and Adult Baby Jesus. Marvel at the Human Menorah, enjoy the sexy Solid Gold Christmas Dancers, and get all your sex-and-relationship questions answered before the holidays! Past live tapings of the Savage Lovecastat the Neptune have sold out quickly—get your tickets now!

Rachel Lark will be premiering some new songs—sexy songs—and we'll have some Christmas-themed slash fiction, and a conversation/intervention about those ill-advised "sexy" Christmas-themed pictures that pop up on people's personal ads this time of year! Plus: toys for grown-up tots courtesy of Oxballs. (Just to be clear: We're giving adult toys away to audience members at the show!) The whole night is going to a blast. Be there!

Come to the live show and help us answer this age-old question: "Is Christmas Sexy?" (My money is on "No, it's not," but we're going to let the audience decide!)

Tickets and info here.

Ordained Minister Who Works as Professional Wedding Planner in Phoenix, AZ, Turns Away Lesbian Couple

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Susan Latimer hasn't been arrested, she isn't being sued, the couple she turned away isn't filing a lawsuit or attempting to press charges, and the City of Phoenix's anti-discrimination law specifically allows discrimination against LGBT people by "religious businesses." But Latimer—the wedding planner/minister who isn't being sued, charged, or forced to marry anyone—is nevertheless claiming that she's being persecuted:

"There is a war on those who believe on Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit and the WORD of GOD. Why is my freedom being taken away? Where is the tolerance for our way of life? God ordained marriage between man and woman. I feel same sex marriage is wrong and have every right to believe in what GOD's WORD says."

American Christians: persecuted when they're forced to marry gay couples and persecuted when they're not forced to marry gay couples. (Confidential to Susan Latimer: A special exemption from anti-discrimination law that allows you to discriminate against gays and lesbians amounts to "tolerance for [your] way of life." It really does.)

Youth Pastor Watch: ChurchSnaps—What Could Go Wrong?

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 9:42 AM


ChurchSnaps allows users to "create private albums away from social media" where invite-only users "can add their own photos and make comments." Hm. I can't think of a single good reason why youth pastors might need a private network for sharing photos. But investigators might want to start checking rapey youth pastors' phones to see if they've downloaded ChurchSnaps, what kind of pictures they've been sharing, with whom they were sharing them.

FLORIDA: "Larry Michael Thorne, pastor of Abundant Life Church, was arrested Friday on charges of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl.... The investigation included forensic interviews and “a controlled telephone call between (Thorne) and the victim." During the call, the victim confronted Thorne 'numerous times' about the acts.... When the victim asked him directly if she caused what happened by 'leading him on,' he answered yes and told her she 'should not have hugged him that way.' According to Abundant Life Church’s website, Thorne began as a youth pastor in 1985 and became pastor in April 2007."

PENNSYLVANIA: "A former local pastor and junior-high basketball coach will serve at least 30 years in prison for sexual abuse of a 13-year-old boy. Jonathan Masteller, 24, was recently sentenced in Lancaster County Court to 30 to 80 years in prison for the sexual assaults, which he also photographed and videotaped.Masteller pleaded guilty in July to 12 counts of sex abuse and faced a mandatory 10-year prison term.... Masteller knew the victim through his positions as coach and youth pastor, court documents show."

VIRGINIA: "A Chesterfield youth pastor charged by Christiansburg Police in an undercover investigation will spend two decades behind bars. 31-year-old Deric Peacock pleaded guilty to two counts of procuring a sex act by use of a communication device. A judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors say Peacock thought he was chatting with a 12 year old girl online earlier this year but he was really chatting with an Internet Crimes Against Children investigator."

NORTH CAROLINA: "A former youth pastor at a Kannapolis church is locked up and accused of raping a teenager 16 years ago. Police arrested Michael Jolly Thursday night. Detectives said his accuser came forward a few months ago to report the sex crimes that he said happened in 1998.... The accuser said he was just 15 when Jolly made him watch pornography and raped him. For at least four years, Jolly worked as a co-youth pastor at Unity United Methodist Church, in Kannapolis. But that quickly changed when the Rev. Tim Whittington learned detectives were investigating him."

Friday, November 14, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Give Up Already

Posted by on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 5:20 PM

My wife has been reading a lot about open marriages and she recently decided that it was the best move for our marriage.

Quick background: we have been married for over ten years. During this time I have cheated on her numerous times. It started with online sex chats and running up hundreds of dollars on credit cards. She first found out about it by finding the charges. We had been married only 1 year at this point. She told me I had a problem and needed to get help. I told her I could stop and apologized over and over. I didn't get help and several years later she finds out I have been doing it again. At this point we started to see a counselor. We worked on things for a while, but slowly we stopped going and I ended up back where I was before. When she caught me the third time, about two years later, we went to a new counselor. She admitted that she had at this point cheated on me with someone. We both wanted to stop and we continued seeing the counselor together as well as me seeing one on my own. Again, this lasted for a while, but at some point we stopped going. This past April she found out I had been talking with someone for a while and meeting up with her. She confronted me and I said I would stop. I did and although I didn't get help, I continue to have no contact with the woman and haven't had contact with anyone new.

Just last month, I happened to see a strange message on her phone. I found out then that she was seeing someone else and things quickly snowballed from there. I confronted her and she told me she wanted an open marriage. I was shocked but I should have seen it coming. As we talked about things I found out she was actually seeing two people. One had been ongoing for three years. I told her I didn't want to do this and I was going to get the help I should have gotten ten years ago. I started by seeing a new counselor. I now realize I have issues I need to work on in order to be a better person.

My wife as agreed to hold off on meeting up with anyone, although she does still want an open marriage. I don't blame her at this point. I don't even trust myself at this point. How can I ask her to give me another chance? She has already said she will probably resent me for forcing her to stop seeing the men she's been seeing. She says I was able to choose when I wanted to do what I did and now I am taking that right away from her. I really don't think she wants an open marriage. I think she landed on this option given my actions. We both do love each other and do not want to end the marriage. (We also have children and don't want to be apart from them.) I really don't want to have an open marriage but at this point I feel I need to give her what she needs.

Please share any advice you have on how to move forward with an open marriage or any suggestions on how to prove to her I really do want to stop.

A Sorry Soul

My response after the jump...

Continue reading »

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Saying It

Posted by on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Originally posted on December 4, 2013.

My boyfriend of nearly a year and I live together and are planning to move across the country in about a month. We have never fought and get along swimmingly. We have amazing sex, we see eye to eye on almost everything, and we are planning a future together. The only thing is, we have never said "I love you" to each other. Is this normal? I know we love each other, but being in a serious, committed relationship of almost a year and not saying those words? Could it be possible that he doesn't love me?

Hopefully Not Unlovable

My response after the jump...

Continue reading »

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Dr. Lori Brotto Steps In

Posted by on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 3:07 PM

I am a regular reader of your column and my wife and I have a problem I hope you can give some advice on.

From the birth of our daughter, my wife ended up with a pelvic floor injury. Since then, she saw various specialists that performed internal massages, she had surgery, E-stim, googled and searched all over the internet for solutions, and was shown various methods to relieve the pain but nothing seems to help. Generally when she has her period she is in so much pain that she is up all night. I'm not trying to sound gross but her sphincter muscles constrict so tight that she cannot go to the bathroom and she is in pain to the point where she can't sleep.

In addition to this affecting her, it greatly affects us, me, and our sex life. This has been going on for seven years and we feel like there are no options for her. I am hoping that with your worldly knowledge you can point us in the right direction. We want to resolve her problem and get back on track to a fun filled life that once again includes mind-blowing sex. Any help that you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Basically Off Balance‚Ä®

My response after the jump...

Continue reading »

Savage Love: Friendship

Posted by on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM

I'm a pretty quiet Midwestern woman currently wracked by a guilty Catholic conscience. My last boyfriend and I were in an open, long-distance relationship. We were together for a year and a half, and things were great fun. We considered each other our primary partners, but I met his other partners and felt fine about most of them, and I got to have some fun playtime back in my own city. Then I finished grad school and wanted to talk about moving to his city. He simply refused to have that conversation, and we broke up. It hurt—a lot—but we resolved to stay friends, and we are still close. A year later, he was diagnosed with cancer. I went to visit him at his request and cuddled him at night as he was wracked by chemo nausea and fatigue. There was some touching (boobs and butts help with nausea, apparently), but mostly I just spooned him and fetched him tea. That same weekend, I met his new, much younger girlfriend (19 to his 28). She is sweet and caring, but she was clearly uncomfortable with my visit, and I belatedly realized that either they aren't doing the open thing or they haven't talked much about it. I suddenly felt a little jealous and a lot like an emotional intruder. Not everyone understands the sort of relationship he and I had, but I'm lost on how to be a good friend/former girlfriend to him now. Am I jeopardizing his romantic life by staying his friend? Is it possible for us to stay close without making his current girlfriend jealous? Did I just help him cheat?

Accidental Home Wrecker

Good on you for going to see your ex-boyfriend, AHW. It was absolutely the right thing to do.

As for his current girlfriend: It's possible that your presence made her uncomfortable, AHW. It's also possible...


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Two Bottoms

Posted by on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 4:44 PM

I recently entered into a relationship with a coworker/friend. The personal connection on both ends was intense. Intense in a super good way. We were quick to be comfortable enough to share many deeply personal things with one another—a strong emotional connection that I rarely feel in relationships. Additionally there was an equally strong physical attraction on both ends. Things were going quite well.

The road block: we are both bottoms. I personally recognized the challenge of that, but was willing to take that risk and see what happens. He on the other hand is deeply conflicted about taking the risk. He has concerns that if the physical relationship becomes a deal breaker down the line (which can always be a possibility), it would be too late to sacrifice any kind of friendship. Now he is debating if that risk is worth it. For him, fear is winning. Yet he acknowledges he has anxiety knowing he is possibly missing out on what could continue to be an incredibly valuable relationship.

What advice do you have for two bottoms who work everywhere besides the bedroom? Ideas to make the bedroom work?

Conflicted Bottoms

My response... after the jump.

Continue reading »



Monday, November 10, 2014





Thursday, November 6, 2014





Wednesday, November 5, 2014





Savage Love: Spank U

Posted by at 11:50 AM in





Tuesday, November 4, 2014



Another Satisfied Voter

Posted by at 9:57 AM in

Monday, November 3, 2014



When Roseanne Was Good...

Posted by at 11:02 AM in

Friday, October 31, 2014







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