Savage Love

University of Wisconsin-Madison

More than a thousand people showed up for a recent Savage Love Live event at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It goes without saying that the students at UW submitted more questions than I could answer in 90 minutes. As promised, Madison, here are some bonus answers to questions that I didn't get to during our time together...

Can an open relationship work if it's this type: dating two people, separately, both serious, neither relationship is the "primary" one?

Define "work."

Most people define "work"—in the context of a relationship—as "a loving, lasting, long-term relationship that ends only with the death of one or both parties." But I define "work" as "a loving relationship that makes the people in it happy, whether that relationship lasts for the rest of their lives or whether both parties—or all parties, if we're talking about a poly or open scenario—decide at some point to end the relationship amicably." So, yes, I do think the relationship you've described can work. Whether you'll be in this relationship—or these relationships—for the rest of your life remains to be seen. You may wind up getting more serious about one person, or you may move on from both and find someone else—or a couple of someone elses—but if you're happy right now, and if they're happy right now, then your relationship is working.

I know you lived in Madison for a while. Got any great Mad Town stories?

Savage Love got its start in Madison: I wrote my first columns on a computer in the back office of Four Star Fiction and Video, where I worked as a night manager/VHS-tape-slingin' clerk. I did other things—after-hours things—in the storeroom of Four Star. Those things are known only to me, an insanely sexy guy named Roger, and one of the bartenders at the Plaza who one night overheard us talking about the things we'd just done to each other in that storeroom.

What would you say to Ann Coulter, who said that if her son told her he was gay, she'd "tell him he was adopted"?

Parental rejection of a gay child (which doubles a gay kid's already quadrupled risk for suicide), the implication that adopted parents are less emotionally invested in their children and that adopted children are loved conditionally—only Ann Coulter could pack so much hatred, malice, and emotional violence into a single "quip." I'm not sure what I would say to Coulter—I've never had the pleasure of meeting her—but I can't imagine that any child of Coulter's, gay or straight, would be on speaking terms with her anyway, so I'd probably tell her that her feelings about her hypothetical children are irrelevant.

I have been treated badly in several past relationships. I am now in a great one, but I have a hard time believing/trusting that nothing bad will happen. How can I get over this dread?

Something bad is going to happen—believe it. Hopefully the bad that happens won't be as bad as the bad you experienced in the past relationships—no physical or emotional violence, no unforgivable betrayals, nothing that requires you to end this relationship—but your new partner will behave badly toward you at some point. And you will behave badly toward your new partner. There's some bad even in the best relationships. You'll experience less dread if you can accept that.

How and when is it good/best to use whipped cream?

We've covered this before: Whipped cream is NOT A SEX TOY. Two minutes after you put it on your nipples—or two minutes after you fill your belly button or ass crack or armpits with it—you begin to smell like baby puke. It's not sexy. And it's not like you're not getting enough dairy in your diets, Wisconsinites. If you want to lick something off your partner, work up a sweat and lick that off 'em.

My friends and I have a weekly tradition where we read your column aloud, wear bathrobes, and drink whiskey. What would you add to this already awesome ritual?

Remote-control vibrating butt plugs, of course, each one set to go off at a different time.

Facials: degrading or sexy?


Do you have any bisexual friends?

"Dan has bisexual friends, and I am one of them," says Eric Olalde, a yogi, a hottie, and a close friend who happens to be bisexual. "He has seen me shift between male and female partners at different stages of my life, and has even made brunch for me and my ex-girlfriend. Dan has never shown me anything but support and true friendship."

My partner lives far away, and we can't live together for at least two years. He says I can sleep with whomever I like. I want to tell him the same thing, but I am kinda jealous and insecure. I told him to just not tell me, but he doesn't want to lie. What to do?

Withholding information at your request—holding that info back until you're ready for it—doesn't make your partner a liar. It makes him a considerate partner. Tell him to do what he needs to do, but to spare you the details.

Okay! Thanks for a great event, Madison, and I hope to come back soon. We have one more letter this week. It wasn't a question asked at the talk I gave in Madison, but it does have a Madison connection...

I met you briefly in Madison, Wisconsin, a long time ago. As a physician, I'm usually impressed with your savvy advice and medical accuracy. And your It Gets Better Project is a major contribution to the mental and physical health of adolescents and young adults.

Now for a quick medical comment: I agree with your suggestion that doctors give "flared-base" advice to patients who use anal toys. But there's a simple way for a person who didn't get that advice to remove an object that is stuck in the rectum. They should squat—do a deep knee bend—stay still, relax, breathe, and voila! The item will pop out onto the floor. No probing or uncomfortable procedure necessary. After learning about this technique from a very wise woman physician (who recalled the history of women giving birth in that position and applied the same principle to relaxing the rectal muscles), I used this with young adult patients who would come to my clinic in an embarrassing predicament. The result was simple and comfortable for both patient and physician. Feel free to pass this advice on to others who might benefit!

Best Advice Simplifies Exit

Thanks for sharing, BASE!

*Sometimes both at once!

@fakedansavage on Twitter


Comments (126) RSS

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Looking for a friend to get to know if u want a relationship willing to go that path. Need friend very lonely my number is 262 822 0658 give me a call will answer thanks love Michael aka moni
Posted by Michael aka moni on April 28, 2013 at 12:10 AM · Report this
Troy from IN 125
Just remembered this, been over two months and I still haven't heard from Dan's bisexual friend.
So, Eric, if your reading this contact me at
I really want to know what we aren't hearing about Dan Savage.
Posted by Troy from IN on April 3, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Troy from IN 124
Wow, Dan really has a bisexual friend, I guess he can't be biphobic.
Just like I can't be racist because I have black friends.
BTW, can I have Eric's contact info, I have some questions I'd like to ask him…
Posted by Troy from IN on January 26, 2013 at 12:44 AM · Report this
@116 PC sucks.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 8, 2013 at 11:12 PM · Report this
Morning Vista is you watching your neighbors' Morning Glory through the veil of lacy curtains.
Posted by ELWB on January 8, 2013 at 3:30 PM · Report this
Morning Vista is you watching your neighbors' Morning Glory from behind the veil of a lacy curtain.
Posted by ELWB on January 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM · Report this
PC is a bridle.

Posted by Hunter78 on January 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM · Report this
nocutename 119
Oh hi, Seandr.
Posted by nocutename on January 7, 2013 at 10:46 PM · Report this
seandr 118
@EricaP: If I'm rubbing you the wrong way, my rubbing skills probably have room for improvement. Perhaps I should stick to what I know - playing the attention-seeking toddler. Hi @nocutename.

@Hunter78: Language is powerful. It spurns the bridle.
Posted by seandr on January 7, 2013 at 9:24 PM · Report this
UnPC language is powerful.

Posted by Hunter78 on January 7, 2013 at 8:11 PM · Report this
mydriasis 116
I kind of hate that the term "PC" has been coopted by bigots, conservatives, libertarians, etc, to mean "giving too much of a shit about minorities/LGBT people/women, I mean, we're supposed to care, but not TOO much, you know?"

Look, PC was an excellent term that used to mean the status quo of what could be said without offending the general public - often lots of racist and homophobic things have still been "PC" because they're just veiled enough - see 98% of Mitt Romney's campaign.

But now it's been snagged by anyone who wants to be able to hold onto slurs and won't let go for the life of them like a kid holding on to their blankie.
Posted by mydriasis on January 7, 2013 at 4:55 AM · Report this
@seandr, your post @87 bugged me on so many levels, it was hard to engage with it. But I absolutely don't think you have to shut up. I just wish you would not sound like you're the expert providing wisdom to the trans community. They're the ones with their lives literally on the line. So to me, it just makes sense that the rest of us should be somewhat respectful. But if you don't want to respect their struggle, then just keep on doing your thing and I'll speak up when I can't stand it any more.

It just reminds me too painfully of all the people scolding ACT-UP in the early years, or those telling the pro-marriage gays they were bourgeois sell-outs. People in a movement get to have those fights. Allies will have opinions, of course, but would be well-advised to show a little grace and wisdom when expressing said opinions.
Posted by EricaP on January 6, 2013 at 11:03 PM · Report this
seandr 114
@EricaP: Yep. I like open discussion

Interesting. So do I, which is precisely why I don't care for rigid, cultish belief systems, right or left, that have the effect of shutting such discussions down.

The idea that you have a better grasp on what the trans movement needs than they do is ridiculous.

Pffft. That's a cheap take down of a straw man, the implication of which is that I should shut the fuck up, not because of what I'm saying but because of who I am. What was that you said about "open discussions"? You like them, do you?

But, since you mention it, I've as much right as any other thoughtful person to opine on how the trans movement might more readily gain understanding and acceptance from the mainstream. History is full of civil rights movements, some of which have even involved people like me. Anyone can learn from that history, and you can bet the leaders who will inevitably emerge from the trans movement will have learned from those prior struggles, even if they aren't black, Jewish, female, gay, Chinese, poor, etc etc etc.

The idea that science and charm (rather that individuals doing the hard work of coming out) won gay rights is equally ridiculous

These aren't mutually exclusive. Yes, coming out comes first, and my hat is off to those with the courage to take that step. Next comes winning people over to your side. Doesn't matter who you are, you don't win over the public by forming a cult, you do it by correcting misunderstandings and bullshit with facts, and through charming representatives such as MLK, Ellen Degeneres, and Anderson Cooper.

I recommend listening to trans people rather than telling them what to do.

In other words, you recommend that I shut up. I'm getting the impression you're not actually all that interested in having an "open discussion."

Whatever. If ever you're up for having one, do let me know. I've no doubt I could learn from you, but that would likely involve me doing some of the talking.
Posted by seandr on January 6, 2013 at 10:16 PM · Report this
@111 nocutename and @112 EricaP; Thank you both!
Now, for my summoning up the courage to actually
perform this in public......!!

I'll get to working on it. More later.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 6, 2013 at 7:38 PM · Report this
Posted by EricaP on January 6, 2013 at 5:56 PM · Report this
nocutename 111
@110: I think you should do the routine you want to do, regardless of what we think. And you should do the voices you do best. It's your routine.
Posted by nocutename on January 6, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
Okay, everybody----what about a mimicry routine featuring the voices of Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, Janene Garafalo, Bill Murray, Buddy Hackett, and Rodney Dangerfield for starters?

Monopoly and Pictionary? Fun!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 6, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
nocutename 109
@108: Oh yes: a really fun game. I've played it with my daughter and her friends.
Posted by nocutename on January 6, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
Posted by EricaP on January 6, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
nocutename 107
@106: You had me til you got to Monopoly. Maybe it could be combined with Pictionary instead.
Posted by nocutename on January 6, 2013 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Anarcissie 106
I think the idea of remote-controllable vibrating butt plugs calls for the invention of multiply addressable wireless vibrating butt plugs (or other vibrators) which would operate via, say, Bluetooth. A particular vibrator or set of vibrators would be selected and controlled by a device like a TV remote controller; each participant would have a controller and one or more vibrators applied to her / his body. Initial play would be to find out who (and what part of whom) was attached to each number while the target(s) tried to conceal their reactions.

Perhaps the game could be combined with Monopoly or strip poker.
Posted by Anarcissie on January 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM · Report this
*(rather than
Posted by EricaP on January 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
"certainly more tolerant of the more overbearing strains of liberalism"

Yep. I like open discussion, and I look forward to John Horstman's comments. The term "PC" shuts down conversations. It's like the term "Stalinist." When someone labels a comment "PC" I gather that they have no substantive counter-argument, but want to shut down the original comment anyway. I like serious thought about difficult cultural issues a lot more than I like this:

>>I think trans people would benefit from moving discussions to a more realistic, honest, and less polarizing place. Consider, homosexual rights weren't won by name calling and denying the truth, they were won with science and charm.>>

The idea that you have a better grasp on what the trans movement needs than they do is ridiculous. The idea that science and charm (rather that individuals doing the hard work of coming out) won gay rights is equally ridiculous. I recommend listening to trans people rather than telling them what to do. If you want a good read (she doesn't speak for everyone, but she opened my eyes to some important issues), try: Julia Serano's Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity.
Posted by EricaP on January 6, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
seandr 103
@EricaP: The politically correct label was a commentary on some the less productive contributions that tend to show up in discussions of trans and humor in general (e.g., John Horstman's comment). It wasn't directed at you.

I'm curious what you think my use of that phrase says about me. To me, "political correct" captures a certain humorless, Victorian, hyper-moralistic mindset that feeds on judging and condemning others for falling short of its ideals. Think Dana Carvey's Church Lady armed with a different bible.

I don't register any of that from you. You seem more the open-minded and compassionate sort who seeks common ground, certainly more tolerant of the more overbearing strains of liberalism than I.
Posted by seandr on January 6, 2013 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Marcus Bachmann, hus to Michele B, unsuccessful gop pres cand, is a religious gay conversion therapist. He's a typical over-compensating closet case. Zealous anti-homos often reveal as self afflicted. He is constantly surrounded by gay males in intimate conversation. His being straight in this life condition is like the proverbial snowflake in hell.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 6, 2013 at 6:57 AM · Report this
To bad the old cunt (Ann Cunter) took the advice from the doc and sidelined it. I would think that getting something out of your ass is more important than Ann girls roll of bullshit and hot air. Just saying.
Posted by flipx on January 6, 2013 at 6:49 AM · Report this
Texas10R 100
"Feel free to pass this advice on to others who might benefit!"

..Nice word play on the topic of ass play.
Posted by Texas10R on January 6, 2013 at 6:23 AM · Report this
Wait a minute---maybe Lisa Kudrow, Mira Sorvino, and Janene Garafalo??
They were hysterical in Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion (1996).

I'll get back to everybody on this.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 5, 2013 at 8:30 PM · Report this
@91: Uh-oh.......have I lost a potential audience due to my coming from an older generation?

Nobody in this thread is familiar with the hilarious old movies "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World" (1963), and Caddyshack (1980)?

Maybe I should try impersonating Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller?
Or would they threaten to sue? Sorry, gang---I don't know of anyone else.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 5, 2013 at 8:26 PM · Report this
nocutename 97
@96: Ha!
Posted by nocutename on January 5, 2013 at 7:27 PM · Report this
No; Mr B was cut from the team during the first round of tryouts. Perhaps that's why he's so bitter.
Posted by vennominon on January 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM · Report this
There's a difference. Markus Bachman is homo. Ann Coulter only looks tranny.
Posted by Hunter78 on January 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
I had to look up eric olalde.
Posted by Lady of Eagle Lake on January 5, 2013 at 12:24 AM · Report this
seandr @87, I don't mind being labelled "politically correct," since the term reveals more about the user than about the target.

I agree that people are often right when they guess the gender history of a person walking down the street. But they are sometimes wrong, and I wasn't sure everyone knew that.

"likely many more than I'm aware of."

Posted by EricaP on January 4, 2013 at 7:50 PM · Report this
@89 Precisely.
Posted by chicago girl on January 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM · Report this
@67 & @72: My best comic impersonations are of comedians Buddy Hackett, Jonathan Winters, Bill Murray, and Rodney Dangerfield. Imitating Buddy Hackett's voice seems the easiest.
And YES--frighteningly, I am a heterosexual woman!
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Ms Erica - That's possible; I was more concerned with how the LW came off. One might well infer that she'd expected Ms Cute to remember her at once. This would not quite have put her in the class of Heather Badcock meeting Marina Gregg for a second time in The Mirror Crack'd, but I am certain that Ms Cute says resonant things on a regular basis, and don't think WKBFM meant to imply otherwise. It just seemed nicer to ask LWs to take pity on us and provide chapter and verse rather than the other course.
Posted by vennominon on January 4, 2013 at 3:08 PM · Report this
seandr 89
@86: I guess I just don't see how insulting Ann Coulter by calling her a tranny really fits into this mold

Perhaps it fits the mold of "insulting" Markus Bachman by calling him a homo?
Posted by seandr on January 4, 2013 at 2:15 PM · Report this
seandr 88
Oy, "one" -> "won".
Posted by seandr on January 4, 2013 at 2:03 PM · Report this
seandr 87
@EricaP: many of the women you label as transwomen may actually be ciswomen who just appear male by your standards.

You're right that whether or not someone is trans is none of our business, other than when it comes to defending their right to be that way.

That said, it's not clear to me that denying the obvious realities of transexuality as it exists today is the right defense.

I live on the hill, where I regularly see m2f who were quite obviously born male*. This has nothing to do with mine or anyone's "standards" - sexual dimorphism, and our innate sensitivity to it, was nature's decision, not something dreamed up by bigoted white men. Besides, if these standards were illusory or irrelevant, there wouldn't be any trans people because sexual assignment wouldn't matter.

I think trans people would benefit from moving discussions to a more realistic, honest, and less polarizing place. Consider, homosexual rights weren't one by name calling and denying the truth, they were one with science and charm.

And as someone who considers humor to be among the sacred things that makes life worth living, I believe knee-jerk politically correct attacks on it take us all backwards, not forwards.

*For the record, I've also seen trans people who "pass", likely many more than I'm aware of.
Posted by seandr on January 4, 2013 at 1:44 PM · Report this
@75 The way to do it is to pile on the insults, because one's just not going to cover it.

@79 I do think that just about everything is open to mockery, including myself (hell, especially myself)...but I still think it's unkind and counter-productive to compare trans people to Ann Coulter or vice versa (it amounts to the same thing). Dave Chappelle (who I'm also a fan of) has managed to create comedy where nobody has the upper hand; everyone is ridiculous and everyone gets called out on it. This is both hilarious and actually beneficial to our culture (although, believe me, I do not mean to suggest that something has to be "good" for society in order to have merit). I guess I just don't see how insulting Ann Coulter by calling her a tranny really fits into this mold--it's not clever, insightful satire and it's not even very funny--, and why we should, at this point, want it to. A comedian like Dave Chappelle is able to be insightful and brilliant because time has passed and integration has progressed. It's annoying if people use racist slurs in earnest or think that "woman" is a sincere insult, but it's much easier to overlook and mock this way of thinking because these groups are far less threatened now than in the past. Even most virulent racists have accepted the fact that minorities really aren't going anywhere, so all they can do is bitch while fewer and fewer people give a damn. Trans people aren't there yet, and they have it hard enough as it is--they've come a long way towards acceptance, but the unfortunate reality is that most people are at best a little creeped out by them. Trans people aren't like blacks or Asians or homosexuals--they aren't all over the damn place, for a start, and they're still considered uniquely alien by a huge portion of society. They're fighting an uphill battle-can't we be nice and not compare them to Ann Coulter?
Posted by chicago girl on January 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM · Report this
AFinch 85
@83 - you know, I do actually know a few transwomen - some who've even had SRS. That list was HILARIOUS though...and Joan Rivers does kinda make my point about self-parody :-). I don't follow enough pop-culture to pick all those out, but Winona kinda scares me in that picture. Esp. when contrasted to Ashley.

I do think it's great they're working to identify trans kids well before puberty to make for more visually satisfying (for the individual, not the viewer) results.

You're also right: I don't try to confirm my guesses - it's only relevant if I'm gonna sleep with the person.
Posted by AFinch on January 4, 2013 at 12:30 PM · Report this
AFinch 84
@81 - you're right, I don't notice them, and I am sure I (having little to no 'gaydar') often make very mistaken assumptions about who is straight and who is queer - even when they consciously adopt conspicuous (misdirection?) affectation.

I also think people would still make fun of Ann Coulter in the same way - mainly because it's really about attacking her based on her looks - and many fans consider her a hottie - not about disgust with transwomen.
Posted by AFinch on January 4, 2013 at 12:18 PM · Report this
@79, also, presuming you don't actually confirm your assumptions, many of the women you label as transwomen may actually be ciswomen who just appear male by your standards.

See "Women Who Look Like Men Trying to Look Like Women"
Posted by EricaP on January 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Posted by EricaP on January 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
@71 and 74, googling WKBFM and "Dan Savage" brings up the column:…

@79 Of course, you don't notice the transwomen who do look like ciswomen. I believe people are being allowed to transition at puberty these days, so in the future, we won't have any way to know who is trans, unless we're intimate with them. Which is good, because it's none of our business.
Posted by EricaP on January 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Wiki says that Coulter has never married, and was born in 1963 (or 1961). That means she turns 50 some time this year (or did already if she was born in 1961), which means that she's too old to give birth. So we don't need to worry about her spawning and/or damaging said spawn.
Posted by Barbara on January 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM · Report this
AFinch 79
@73 - I understand what you are saying, I just disagree: to me everything is pretty much fair game for mockery, including myself. Many transwomen - however they feel inside - still look like genetic males - that's irony and contrast, which is part of humor. It's the brain's way of dealing with conflict and scary things:…

I think Dave Chappelle is hilarious, as an example.
Posted by AFinch on January 4, 2013 at 11:41 AM · Report this
I wonder if Ann Coulter realized that her comment acknowledges that she believes gay people are born that way? Hmmm.
Posted by valparaiso on January 4, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
nocutename 77
If that doesn't work, try this:…
Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM · Report this
nocutename 76
Well look what just showed up in my news feed:…
Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2013 at 9:52 AM · Report this
@70 I agree that insulting another group in the way of insulting another achieves nothing.

As far as specifically insulting her though; I can say that to me Ann Coulter just seems to be the epitomy of hateful conservative bullshit, like she just appeared on earth as a manifestation of all their horrible, shitty ideals. Sort of like the slime in Ghostbusters II. But I digress. For her I would normally just go with my old standby: "I hope she gets incurable cancer and dies a long slow agonizing death" but that would be somehow too good for her; as many lovely people get cancer. So instead I'll just hope she dies in a fire.

Oh, and will someone please burn the nest so we don't get more of her?
Posted by Starmartyr on January 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM · Report this
nocutename 74
@69 (WKBFM): Thanks for the feedback.

I'm so glad to think that something I wrote resonated with the original letter writer. When people write here on the comments thread it becomes easy to distort or misinterpret the lw's point or attitude, even the actual events, and we're all playing armchair Sherlock Holmes here. Plus of course, in some couples-related cases, we only get one side of the story. And then all individuals have their own agendas, which color the way they see things. But I find much here to be written in the true spirit of helpfulness. (Mr. Vennomimon was right; I had to scroll back through a lot of posts to find the letter and its subsequent comments. But computers make that relatively easy).

I hope that with your new-found clarity you were empowered to direct your life the way you want it to go, whatever form that takes. There were/are lots of possible ways to play out many of life's scenarios, and very few of them are empirically more "right" than others; there is often only what is "right" for each one of us. Best of luck to you.
Posted by nocutename on January 4, 2013 at 7:59 AM · Report this
@72 I still don't think it's a good approach to insulting her--it's giving validity to the idea that being black or gay or trans is somehow bad in and of itself even if that's not really what's intended. From my own experience, if someone says that a person is irretrievably stupid and irrational by virtue of being female, it bugs me, and it doesn't really matter who is being insulted and in what context. The idea that being female is inextricably linked with certain negative qualities pisses me off, and only using those kinds of slurs in reference to those who would use them themselves doesn't help the issue at all. I really, really don't see how insulting Ann Coulter by calling her trans could ever be appropriate or useful. Try to squeeze as much nuance into it as you like, but you're still using "trans" as an insult and keeping that insult alive in our culture. There's no way to justify that.
Posted by chicago girl on January 4, 2013 at 7:50 AM · Report this
AFinch 72
@66 - Keep at it! Find a comedy club and go for open mike night! Who cares, so long as you have fun, be able to laugh at yourself, whether you are good or bad.

@61 - I am sorry for the put-down, but I hope you can see some of the humor.

@70 - the point of that insult and it's resonance with Ann Coulter is that she is one of those people who view sexual minorities and non-conformists as worthy of contempt...whereas the commentariat here, is for the most part, not.

In all honestly, I suspect she may not personally feel the way she appears to about all sorts of things, she simply enjoys - for profit - being a mouthpiece for hate. The AIS thing is interesting - I'm dealing with a parent who has a lifetime 'disability' and I'm continually amazed at how poorly they have adapted - particularly in terms of self-acceptance. I don't know that AIS is a disability as such, other than it is an unchangeable life-long physical "difference". Who knows, maybe Ann is just lacking in self-acceptance.
Posted by AFinch on January 4, 2013 at 6:43 AM · Report this
Ms Kick @69 - I am glad you found Ms Cute's commentary resonant, and sorry that your letter had to coincide (and therefore compete for attention) with the beginning of the Great Poly Debate.

To other LWs in Ms Kick's position - please don't assume that any of the regulars in the comment section will recognize your acronym. Take pity on us, and at least provide the week your letter ran.

Rereading that week of posts, I like what Ms Cute said, although it occurs to me that there is one thing missing from comments that delve into the murky waters of How Women Are Socialized. I wish such comments came with a little number at the end measuring how much the commenter wishes the reader to infer that only women are so socialized. In many, maybe most, comments, it does not make a great difference to the merits of the comment. But, as a male whose response to about 90% of Women-Are-Socialized-to-Z comments is So Was I, I'd find it useful to have some instant means of judging whether a comment is meant to excuse women (and only women) who perform behaviour Z or meant to support Zedders who happen to be primarily women.
Posted by vennominon on January 4, 2013 at 4:54 AM · Report this
@63, I'm going to have to concur with @64 and @65. Those things are insults because there are people who think that black people, trans people, gay people, etc are worthy of contempt simply because they belong to one of these groups. Arguing that anyone--even an evil she-beast like Ann Coulter*--is somehow horrible enough to warrant the use of these insults really makes no sense. Call her a soul-sucking monster, or a sadistic cunt, or a hypocritical sack of shit who wouldn't recognize critical thinking if it fucked her in the ass...the list is never-ending. So let's rely on insults that actually only insult her, because that's what the bitch deserves.

*I also don't get why you think she's the only one deserving of these insults. She has many colleagues who are equally, if not more, destructive to our society. Think about Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and any fucking Republican who talks about "legitimate rape." Those fuckers deserve the best of our contempt, too.
Posted by chicago girl on January 4, 2013 at 1:36 AM · Report this
@nocutename - this is WKBFM, I just wanted to say thanks, your advice a few weeks ago really resonated with me, I appreciate it.
Posted by WKBFM on January 3, 2013 at 11:56 PM · Report this
If just squatting doesn't work, there is the salt water flush. Not much fun, but still better than a drip to the doctor/emergency room.…
Posted by ithaca on January 3, 2013 at 10:39 PM · Report this
nocutename 67
@66: Auntie G, who are your best impressions of?
Posted by nocutename on January 3, 2013 at 10:30 PM · Report this
@54 AFinch: Yeah, you're right-- it is a bit too long for an effective acronym.
I was unsuccessfully trying again to be humorous. Sigh.
Maybe I should just stick to mimicry. I'm still contemplating
doing stand-up some day, provided I finally get the courage.

So, everybody----here's a 2013 confession:
I, auntie grizelda, am a closet mimic!
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 3, 2013 at 9:48 PM · Report this

"She is all bad things."

Pretty much, yeah. But @6 didn't call her a "hot tranny mess". Just "not cisgendered." Actual polite terminology. As if trans itself were inherently insulting enough to make a hilarious jab against her.

Not being cis *isn't* and *shouldn't* be an insult, so Coulter's abhorrence doesn't somehow exempt using it as one from being offensive.
Posted by diatryma on January 3, 2013 at 9:34 PM · Report this
"She is all bad things" where "bad things" includes people, trans people, and sharp-faced, big-jawed men. Uh, you really don't see how you just insulted all those OTHER people, and failed to successfully insult Ann Coulter for any of her actual bad qualities whatsoever?
Posted by Eirene on January 3, 2013 at 9:23 PM · Report this
Let me get the obligatory disclaimer out of the way: I am as sensitive as the day is long, including on trans and genderqueer issues.

However, I'd like to propose a singular, permanent exception to the PC rules which covers the singular example of Ann Coulter.

Posited: Ann Coulter is a singularly vile excuse for a human being, and it should never be out of bounds to call her (and her alone) ANY insult, on ANY level, in ANY language.

One can be the most loving and open-hearted humanitarian on Earth, unwilling to harm a living soul - and still relish calling Ann Coulter ANYTHING that springs to mind. And we, as loving and caring human beings, should not stand in anyone's way when they want to engage in this edifying pursuit. She is the n-word. She is a hot tranny mess. She is a sharp-faced big-jawed man in really bad drag. She is all bad things, and all good people should shun her.

Can someone second this suggestion, and submit it to the Board of Governors? I assume Dan is on the board, or at least knows all of them.
Posted by Pope Buck I on January 3, 2013 at 8:59 PM · Report this
mydriasis 62

We're with you :)
Posted by mydriasis on January 3, 2013 at 7:09 PM · Report this
Thank you Savage Love readers for defending trans. It's hard enough for me to live as trans and feel good about life. Hearing someone use trans to put others down doesn't help me feel good about life.
Posted by moonrise on January 3, 2013 at 7:02 PM · Report this
seandr 60
@32: Misogyny and transphobia - sure you don't want to add a little racism and hit the gay-male-privilege-stereotype trifecta?

Misogyny, racism, transphobia - I'll need confirmation from the judges, but I'm pretty sure you've hit the self-righteous, pious, identity politics trifecta.

Not bad, but I think you could have worked in an accusation of homophobia for the superfecta.
Posted by seandr on January 3, 2013 at 6:59 PM · Report this
seandr 59
Whipped cream is NOT A SEX TOY


I'll never forget the time my college girlfriend brought a can of whipped cream to bed and proceeded to lick little dollops of it off various places on my body, gradually working her way to my cock, staring mischievously into my eyes with each lick.

It was really, um, terrible.
Posted by seandr on January 3, 2013 at 6:35 PM · Report this
mydriasis 58

People with androgen insensitivity syndrome present as female.

Ann Coulter, on the other hand..
Posted by mydriasis on January 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM · Report this
The secondary advice to BASE's advice is that you shouldn't relax that sphincter if you're going to do squats for exercise instead of excising.
Posted by EclecticEel on January 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM · Report this
@46 I don't see what's so bad about Prudie's response. She could certainly be open to the idea that the relationship could have more of a future than the LW assumes and she ends on the assumption that the LW will eventually settle in a "traditional" relationship, but she's fairly relaxed about the whole scenario and advises the woman to keep up the relationship. Perfect advice? No, but not bad advice either.
Posted by chicago girl on January 3, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Principessa Diannessa 55
Ann Coulter has Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome…
Posted by Principessa Diannessa on January 3, 2013 at 12:18 PM · Report this
AFinch 54
@50 - a valiant effort, but a little forced...sorry.

@49 - I'd agree with you, but since it appears that he started the business of opening things up and she clearly is not comfortable with it, I'm dubious. I think he gave her a hall pass she didn't ask for to create an obligation for her to give him the same...and he's insisting on doing it in his way which makes her uncomfortable. Sure sounds like he's trying to passively breakup by creating obstacles too big for her to tolerate.

I'm reading an awful lot into the letter and making a bunch of unprovable assumptions, but it just reads that way to me...I'm inclined to agree with @27 and @51. I will say: I've certainly encountered the type you're talking about: people who write checks they can't really cash. If I'm wrong and she initiated opening things up (asked for the hall pass) then Dan's advice is spot on and you (@51) are absolutely correct that BF is right to tread softly.
Posted by AFinch on January 3, 2013 at 6:52 AM · Report this
To LW4:

Everything ends, and usually badly.
Posted by Howlin' Jed on January 3, 2013 at 5:32 AM · Report this
Ms Cute - If we accept the hearsay evidence of an interested party as being entirely accurate, I'll agree with you, especially if the BF brought up the issue of other people and played the SWOP card in a manner clearly angling for an exchange (the way some people play the ILY card). I can work up about an equal sense that the LW is driving the relationship totally without consideration for the poor horses, and am half inclined to blame whichever of them used the word LIE, especially if we can determine what constitutes lying for the user.

It's as interesting a word choice as PARTNER. It could range from meaning that BF will feel burdened if he does not voluntarily and out of the blue disclose that he and Rickie (a salute to Wilson Cruz) boinked to meaning that he won't be able to say that he and Rickie went to a movie because LW's mind will immediately turn that into a boink. We know way too little about the forms of communication between these two, and how directly or indirectly they ask each other things. Bah.

But you get a Nonheterocentric Point regardless.
Posted by vennominon on January 3, 2013 at 4:57 AM · Report this
@27 is right. LW Is using the excuse of not wanting to lie about getting it on with others during the extended time apart as a way to passively break up and make it so that it's not his fault the relationship ended.
Posted by WestSeven on January 3, 2013 at 3:11 AM · Report this
re @47: Or was that too dumb?
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 3, 2013 at 1:01 AM · Report this
Prediction: If the boyfriend in the LDR sleeps with another woman, it will almost certainly result in the relationship ending, probably in a drawn out dramatic way. Not because LDR don't work or because nonmonogamy doesn't work, but because the LW is clearly against the latter and not particularly happy with the former. She'd rather they lived together and be happy lovebirds like all the other couples she sees every day. The boyfriend is right to be hesitant. The girlfriend is writing checks her emotions can't cash. At the very very least, they should learn how to have a successful (by the first letter's definition) LDR before adding extracurricular activities into the mix.
Posted by wxPDX on January 2, 2013 at 11:43 PM · Report this
You don't have to ever worry about Coulter's kids. She would eat them before they could talk.
Posted by randomobserver on January 2, 2013 at 10:34 PM · Report this
@45 Hunt: here's possibly one acronym suggestion, however long:

Another Nauseating Nutcase Causing Offensively Ugly Legislative
Turbulence Encouraging Rightwingers = Ann Coulter
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 2, 2013 at 9:51 PM · Report this
@34: Ugh, Prudie. She's aptly named.
Posted by hurrdahurr on January 2, 2013 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Damn! Where are the handy acronyms?

LW Live away partner,

Not wanting to know is a common desire in many relationships. Sounds like he intends to tell you, disrespect you. He may have some desire for cuckoldry.

Posted by Hunter78 on January 2, 2013 at 7:13 PM · Report this
If you want to combine food and sex, try get some really really good chocolate, just before you come, put it in your mouth and melt it. The heightened sensations make the chocolate taste even more wonderful.
Posted by JJinAus on January 2, 2013 at 6:06 PM · Report this
mydriasis 43

I'm sorry, since when do cosmo readers = pretty girls?
Pretty girls suck at sex? How are those grapes tasting? A little sour, huh...
Posted by mydriasis on January 2, 2013 at 5:43 PM · Report this
It's Ann Coulter. I always assumed by the level of misogyny that she couldn't be a woman of any kind, cis, trans or otherwise. I figured she was drag queen parody of the right wing.
Posted by JudT on January 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
@5 That's why whenever I get my hands on Cosmo or similar (waiting rooms, etc.), I like to write actual sex tips, and mock the ones already on offer, or at least cross out words to make them more... palatable. Works for the beauty and love advice too.
Posted by gnot on January 2, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
Ann Coulter is 51, so adoption would be the likeliest scenario if she wanted a kid. However, we now know that she views adopted children as less lovable, so I suppose we don't have to worry.
Posted by chicago girl on January 2, 2013 at 3:48 PM · Report this
I like this idea of a Savage Love ritual. I love the column (I read it in The Onion), and I don't know anyone who couldn't use a little down-to-earth sex advice.
Posted by CleverJohnBull on January 2, 2013 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Wow, since when did not wanting to be in an open LDR mean you were jealous an insecure? "I want him to be able to do something that I don't want him to do" always ends up badly. Just tell it straight instead of fucking yourself up by trying to add to your GGG street cred. It works for some people and not others. Oh, and, LDRs do work for the monogamous too, yannow. 4+ years for myself and married.
Posted by Mini Lo on January 2, 2013 at 2:13 PM · Report this
How about conflating two questions? Whiskey shots from the navel.
Posted by Mistrixx http:// on January 2, 2013 at 2:09 PM · Report this
@25 & @31: I third it--@23 wins the thread!!

@33 avast2006: I agree with nocutename. Breakfast at your place sounds good! I make a mean Denver scramble with bacon, ham, cheddar and cream cheeses, and chopped red or green pepper and green onions myself.
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 2, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
nocutename 35
@33: Can I have breakfast at your house?
Posted by nocutename on January 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
nocutename 34
In other news, Prudie keeps getting the twin letters:…
Posted by nocutename on January 2, 2013 at 12:53 PM · Report this
"How and when is it good/best to use whipped cream?"

Over crepes filled with blueberries and topped with a sprig of fresh peppermint leaf, the following morning at breakfast.
Posted by avast2006 on January 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
John Horstman 32
@6: Misogyny and transphobia - sure you don't want to add a little racism and hit the gay-male-privilege-stereotype trifecta?
Posted by John Horstman on January 2, 2013 at 12:42 PM · Report this
AFinch 31
@23 FTW indeed!

@25 Don't be so harsh on @6 - I have to agree that I have a smaller adams-apple than Mann Coulter even if @12 is right and she's a GG.
Posted by AFinch on January 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM · Report this
@27: Or it's possible that "I wouldn't want to lie" could be Boyfriend's way of saying "You're really sure your jealous/insecure side isn't going to call that cheating and lying about it, if that's what I do and you end up finding out?" For very many jealous/insecure types, having sex and not telling about it would indeed be considered lying by omission.

It's pretty clear she is uncomfortable with the idea of him sleeping with other people at all. "Just don't tell me about it" carries a pretty heavy connotation of "Don't be thinking I'm actually okay with this at all." He's not wrong for trying to clarify.
Posted by avast2006 on January 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Doesn't Dan mean:

"Bisexual friends, Dan has, and one of them I am," Eric Olalde says.
Yogi, he is, hottie, and bisexual close friend happens to be.

Oh, wait a moment, that was a bi yogi. Thought Dan said bi Yoda.
Posted by delta35 on January 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
AFinch 28
Ha! I knew there had to be a 'what goes in must come out' solution...glad this Dr. chimed in!
Posted by AFinch on January 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
nocutename 27
Is it possible that the letter writer's boyfriend who "doesn't want to lie" is using that "virtue" to force a break up so he is free to not just sleep with, but get emotionally involved with someone else? Upon a second reading of the letter, it sounds as though he was trying to break up with the lw, who, wanting to keep the relationship, is trying to offer a compromise, even though said compromise is not one that appeals to him/her. The bf suggested that the lw can "sleep with whomever [s/he] like[s]," but the lw doesn't want the bf to do the same, owing to insecurity and jealousy. S/he has no choice, but say s/he doesn't want to know about the bf's extra-relationship sexual activities. To which the bf replies that like George Washington, he cannot tell a lie. Even though the lw has said explicitly that that knowledge would be very painful.

I think the bf is trying to break up and is taking a passive approach.
Posted by nocutename on January 2, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this
"I've never had the pleasure of meeting her"

wouldn't 'displeasure' but a much more accurate word?
Posted by Cha Ling on January 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Skye Blu 25
23 wins the thread! 6 take note: abusing another sub-group of humanity to prove how you dislike one member makes you just as much a pig as the person you are trying to dis. However the animal kingdom is wide open and full of all sorts of gruesome analogies- plus insects have no limbic system which would explain the utter lack of empathy.
Posted by Skye Blu on January 2, 2013 at 11:14 AM · Report this
nocutename 24
I pity any and all future children of Ann Coulter, gay or straight, adopted or biological, male or female, cis or trans. We here at Slog should all start contributing money for the eventual therapy for those hypothetical children--if they ever come to exist, they're going to need a lot of it.
Posted by nocutename on January 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM · Report this
Ann Coulter can't have children; her species eats their own young...
Posted by lishthadish on January 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM · Report this
I am in an open relationship with my husband. When he and I were dating my rule was do what you are going to do but don't tell me about.

That did not work. My brain came up with tons of crazy ideas about what he was doing when we were not together. I nearly drove myself crazy.

Now that we are married I instead have a policy where he tells me he is seeing someone but no details until I ask. He is very transparent about what he is doing but only if I ask. That way I control how much info I get but I also can stop my imagination from coming up with crazy ideas.
Posted by nuit on January 2, 2013 at 10:23 AM · Report this
@5 alguna_rubia #11 is correct that the correlation is not to "pretty".

I imagine the staff of "Women's mags" really don't expect their crappy advice to be taken; this is porn for the type of woman, think mid-western housewife (although the category is much broader), who can't tell that this is shitty advice.
Posted by Bodice Ripper on January 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM · Report this

*Some* people would *probably* like that?

Come on now. Butt lovin' is so widely popular these days that a non-zero number of your coworkers probably come to work with a plug in their butts every Friday.
Posted by gromm on January 2, 2013 at 9:39 AM · Report this
@6 I agree with @12
Posted by Marrena on January 2, 2013 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Ann Coulter is morally repugnant and intellectually bankrupt, but I would totally bang her. Most of the Fox blondes have decent bods.

I wouldn't cuddle after, though.
Posted by Bazinga on January 2, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
I was at that show. It was great. Carry on.
Posted by drjones on January 2, 2013 at 9:12 AM · Report this
The "drinking whiskey in their bathrobes with vibrating anal butt plugs" question reminds me of the tea party scene in "The Rebel Angels". When I first read it, I thought it was the weirdest shit I'd ever heard of, but now after years of reading Dan, it's just "Oh, yeah, some people would probably like that".
Posted by agony on January 2, 2013 at 8:36 AM · Report this
Good point, Ms Erica. What I wondered is how much of it is the partner's own thinking that incomplete disclosure equals a lie, or if there's some point of communication between them at which point the LW is, however consciously or otherwise, calling for what could be considered the start of the lie.
Posted by vennominon on January 2, 2013 at 6:03 AM · Report this
I picture the unfortunate boyfriends of Cosmo readers, imagining that after the Krispy Kreme is eaten things will move into more interesting territory, instead being thrown back down on the bed, more Krispy Kremes applied, and told to hold still, damn it, this is sensual.
Posted by IPJ on January 2, 2013 at 5:04 AM · Report this
'nother suggestion for the away partner, to avoid things like "But where is he, I can't reach him!" issues and the like.

Have the partner say something that is true but incomplete (like "I'm going to be hanging out with a friend tonight"), the jealous partner can feel free to conclude that it means "One of the guys is coming over to watch the football game" even if it actually means "I have a hot date tonight"...

Or something.
Posted by Melissa Trible on January 2, 2013 at 2:45 AM · Report this
@6: It's not very nice to trans people to imply that Ann Coulter is one. Just sayin'.
Posted by alguna_rubia on January 2, 2013 at 1:15 AM · Report this
@5 How do you know they're pretty? Just because the women depicted in the magazine are pretty does not mean that the women who write for the magazine are.

In addition- pretty women can get good at sex, same as anyone else.
Posted by alguna_rubia on January 2, 2013 at 1:14 AM · Report this
What would you say to Ann Coulter, who said that if her son told her he was gay, she'd "tell him he was adopted"?

"Well of course that's what happened. It _had_ have been either adoption, blackout drunk sex, or a trip to the sperm bank, because I can't imagine a normal, loving partner being able to stand being close to you and your wretched, hateful, bigoted, spiteful, vile, pathetic asshattery long enough to actually manage to procreate."
Posted by avast2006 on January 1, 2013 at 11:22 PM · Report this
@8 *promise that you'll
Posted by EricaP on January 1, 2013 at 9:02 PM · Report this
For the person whose partner lives far away, I would make this suggestion. As Dan suggests, ask him "to do what he needs to do, but to spare you the details."

But in return, promise that you're reconsider that request if you find yourself eaten up by anxiety every time you can't reach him immediately. Your partner may be right that it would be easier for you to live with some knowledge than with no knowledge.
Posted by EricaP on January 1, 2013 at 9:02 PM · Report this
If Ann Coulter were my mother, I would pray I was adopted. Being born without a heart or a brain might be hereiditary.
Posted by portland scribe on January 1, 2013 at 8:38 PM · Report this
As an adopted gay man, I just want to say that Ann Coulter is a cunt.

PS: Of course she'd have to adopt. Only cisgendered women can birth children.
Posted by FuryOfFirestorm78 on January 1, 2013 at 8:18 PM · Report this
Thanks for the whipped cream clarification. Whipped cream in lady bits nether regions also introduces sugar to an area with certain flora that, when provided with extra food, will cause all kinds of mayhem (vaginal yeast infections and UTIs are NOT sexy).

And Women's mags (Cosmo?) pretty much have me convinced that pretty girls suck at sex. Because all of their "mind blowing tips" involve stupid advice that is either ridiculous (have sex on the #16 bus during rush hour!) and the kind of thing even eight graders know (touch his penis! They like that!)
Posted by MinnySota on January 1, 2013 at 8:06 PM · Report this
Great Q's and A's from U Wisconsin Madison!
Dan, does Madison have a Four Star Fiction & Video
Hall of Fame, in honor of its being what lead you to
Savage Love?

@2 inbed: I personally agree on not bodily applying food during sex!
Anyone else who loves it, and is into it, dive in and go to town!
Posted by auntie grizelda on January 1, 2013 at 7:51 PM · Report this
"Women's mags" are stupid, to the point that I wish they weren't even considered "women's mags." They ought to just be called "Stupid Mags."

Food sex (and any kind of sex) isn't going to appeal to everyone. Nothing wrong with that. I don't like mixing the two either.
Posted by Damn Magazines on January 1, 2013 at 7:43 PM · Report this
I'm so with you on the whipped cream thing. Women's mags are always telling me i should be smearing various food stuffs on "my guy" then licking it back off. This just seems to introduce unwanted pubic hair into perfectly good food. (if you, however, are into public hair eatin', go to town.)

mathematically expressed: eating = good, sex = good, eating and sex at the same time < eating and sex separately.

happy new year, friends,

Posted by inbed on January 1, 2013 at 6:43 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 1
is this roger of roger's rubber shorts fame?
Posted by scary tyler moore on January 1, 2013 at 6:34 PM · Report this

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