by Dan Savage
on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 1:53 PM
I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back October 1st, when the book is finished. —Dan
I'm a 34-year-old straight woman living with a 32-year-old straight man. His daughter is 2, and I am the only mother she has ever known. (Her real mother is a crack whore somewhere.) My boyfriend tells me he loves me, but it doesn't feel like he wants to spend any time with me. I pay the rent and am the only person in our household with a full-time job. When I get home, I want to relax. He wants to go out because he has been sitting at home all day. If he hasn't been at home, he has been running around with his friends. This pisses me off, and I am not afraid to tell him so. His response? "You're just jealous because you have to work!" Damn right I'm jealous! Also, I do all the cooking and don't get any help with cleanup or housework.
Other factors include my 13-year-old son, who has had trouble adjusting to a baby in the house; my boyfriend's outstanding warrants; and the fact that I have desperately wanted another baby for 10 years. What on earth should I do?
Back Against The Wall
My response after the jump...
Here's one occupational hazard of the advice-column bidness: If you're not careful, if you're not constantly on your guard, you can fill your column with letters like BATW's. Your column fills up with letters from people asking, in essence, "DTMFA?" and you're forced to respond, "Yes, for fuck's sake, DTMFA." (For those of you just tuning in: DTMFA stands for "dump the motherfucker already.") You may be helping people, sure, but your column quickly becomes a tedious slog, people stop reading, and then you have to get a real job at an auto plant or a hedge fund or a daily newspaper.
But there is one good reason to run DTMFA letters: You can dispose of the letter quickly—keep the baby, if at all possible, BATW, and DTMF'ing freeloading, inconsiderate piece of shit—and move on to more interesting topics.
For instance: A new study out of the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center found that "anal sex is on the rise" among straight teenagers and young adults. According to a heavy-breathing report from ABC News, straight kids are having butt sex "to please a partner, to have sex without the risk of pregnancy, or to preserve their virginity."
I'm old enough to remember when getting fucked in the ass was considered a sex act, something that virgins, almost by definition, shied away from. But that was before kids were subjected to religious indoctrination masquerading as sex-ed. Abstinence "educators" emphasize the importance of virginity—but they only talk about vaginal intercourse because they figure if we don't tell kids about anal sex they'll never figure out what brown can do for them. But they do figure it out. And lacking accurate info, kids aren't just concluding that anal sex isn't really sex. ("Otherwise it would've been covered in our sex-ed classes, right?") Kids are telling researchers that anal intercourse, unlike the premarital vaginal intercourse they were warned about (STDs! Pregnancy! Eternal damnation!), carries no risk of disease. (I can't wait to tell all my dead friends!)
I wanted to scream and yell about this study—and a DTMFA letter leaves plenty of room—but then I figured, you know, fuck it. I've been ranting and raving about the idiocy of abstinence education for 10 years. Obviously I can't beat 'em, so I might as well join 'em. All my life I've had to listen to fundamentalist Christian bigots like Pat Robertson and Rick Warren—Rick Warren, Obama?—fume about all the terrible, no good, really bad sodomy gay men get up to. But I haven't been sodomizing the boyfriend all these years! I've been preserving his virginity.
I've been preserving the shit out of my boyfriend's virginity for 14 years now. If my boyfriend ever decides to marry a woman—miracles can happen!—he'll be able to wear white at his wedding. Hell, he's so pure he can wear Saran Wrap at his wedding. And his wife will have me to thank for delivering him to her with his virginity intact. (Unfortunately, the boyfriend can't preserve my virginity. As a teenager, I had actual vaginal intercourse, under duress, with an actual female's actual vagina.) But until the boyfriend meets the right girl, I'm going to keep preserving the living shit out of his virginity. His virginity isn't going anywhere—not on my watch.