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Thursday, September 20, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Doggy Style

Posted by on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

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

Originally published November 6, 2008:

I'm a 32-year-old female engaged to a 34-year-old man. Some months ago, when we were both drunk, he "got up the nerve" to show me some bestiality porn and tell me how much the thought of me with a dog turns him on. He was absolutely terrified that I would leave him over this but said he couldn't hide it anymore. I was pretty inebriated at the time, and I didn't say much. We continued to watch dog-on-girl porn, which I can't say turned me off, but mainly because it turned him on so much.

Since then, he has brought up this subject when he's inebriated. I've told him that as long as this remains a fantasy, I won't make an issue of it. I also told him that when I am sober it makes me fairly uncomfortable and that it exploits the animal involved. He argued what I'm sure a lot of people into bestiality believe: It isn't cruelty or abuse if it's a male dog doing what comes instinctively to that dog. He also told me that he once had a girlfriend who allowed a dog into their sex life, him as a voyeur, her as a participant in full-on sex with the animal. At that point I changed the subject and we had good old vanilla sex with no more talk of dogs, but he was really turned on. I love this man a lot and in every other way our lives are wonderful. We have also both cut back on drinking in the past month—this is a commitment we have made to each other.

The questions I have are these: Is just the fact that he is/we are watching this kind of porn animal abuse? Can this really remain just a fantasy for him, or will he seek this out again, especially since he has had it before? Bestiality is one of the fetishes you disapprove of, Dan, but I have no one else to ask about this.

Dog Day Shafternoon

My response after the jump...

Yes, DDS, I disapprove of bestiality—because, well, ick. And that, as anonymous dog-fuckers have pointed out to me repeatedly over the years, is the same logic homophobes use to justify their bigotry. But when I go on the record about bestiality—and I'm always con—I go out of my way to throw the animal lovers a bone: If I were a sheep, I'd certainly rather be screwed than stewed.

But still. Ick.

Seeing as I'm biased against bestiality—particularly dog-fuckery, as I don't understand how people even keep dogs as pets—I'm going to recuse myself for a few paragraphs.

"In most cases, the animal is willing and able," says Martin Weinberg, a professor in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University who has studied zoophilia. "It is difficult and dangerous to try and force an animal to do something it doesn't want to do," adds Weinberg. "However, bestiality is against the law in many states, even though I do not see it as abuse unless the animal is physically forced."

And then Dr. Weinberg makes an important point, one that your fiancé needs to take to heart, one that you might wanna have tattooed backward on his forehead the next time he blacks out: "But if the girlfriend isn't interested in watching it (or in actually participating in the act), the man should be informed that trying to force her into doing so is (to me) partner abuse." (Emphasis added.)

Catch that? While your boyfriend's interests may not qualify as animal abuse—and many would debate that point—hounding you about it endlessly does qualify as girlfriend/fiancée/wife abuse.

"The man this woman is talking about, as far as we know, has never had sex with animals," says Dr. Hani Miletski, author of Understanding Bestiality & Zoophilia. "He just likes to watch, which is very common. There are numerous sites online that feature bestiality, and many curious people visit them often. For some, it's just curiosity."

And for some, it's so much more.

Will your boyfriend, in Dr. Miletski's opinion, be able to let this fantasy remain a fantasy? Or will he seek it out again?

"It's always difficult to predict what the future will bring," says Dr. Miletski, "but my guess is that he will always use the idea of bestiality as a part, probably a major part, of his sexual fantasy. He will probably try to get his current girlfriend to act it out... but if she doesn't feel comfortable with that, she should continue to do and say what she has already done and said."

I know what I would do and say: If my partner could only get it up while images of dogs fucking my ass danced in his head, that would be a deal breaker. But you're more compassionate or tolerant or indulgent than I am, DDS, and you sound inclined to stay with this guy. And when drunk, DDS, you sound like you might be tempted to give your fiancé what he wants. ("I can't say [it] turned me off, but mainly because it turned him on so much," "when I am sober it makes me fairly uncomfortable.") So here's how things are gonna play out if you stay with this dude: He's going to bring this up again and again, and his commitment to cutting back on booze will be undermined—perhaps fatally—by what booze allows him to do, i.e., lower his inhibitions enough to go there, and by what booze allows you to do, i.e., contemplate fucking dogs with some level of comfort.

I'm not saying you shouldn't stay. But you gotta know what you're signing up for: At the very least, you will be indulging him in dog-on-girl—or dog-in-girl or dog-in-you—dirty talk on a regular basis. And he will live in hope that, if you talk about this long enough, if he gets drunk and begs you often enough and can manage to get you drunk enough, you will, one day, go there.

Don't say you weren't warned.

 

Comments (30) RSS

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1
This is one of those letters where we really need an update.
Posted by jzimbert on September 20, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 2
hounding you about it endlessly

Zing!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
3
tell him he is welcome to let the dog fuck him.
Posted by that was easy.... on September 20, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
TVDinner 4
@1: YES! I am dying to know how this one turned out. Did she or didn't she screw the pooch? SLOG POLL!
Posted by TVDinner http:// on September 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
I like the letter where a woman writes that she fell asleep on the floor, nude, and woke to a screaming orgasm as her dog licked her pussy. Good reading!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
6
Animals cannot consent. Period. I'm very disappointed in this response. A sociologist is your expert in animal intelligence/behavior/ethics, Dan? Really?
Posted by PsychoLinguist on September 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
7
@6, if dogs cannot consent to sex, where do puppies come from? Or is a dog perfectly able to consent to sex with a dog (say, by voluntarily mounting it with an erection) but completely unable to consent to sex with a person (say, by voluntarily mounting it with an erection)? And when a dog tries to fuck my leg, am I raping the dog because it can't, as you've established, consent to mounting anything other than another dog? What about the stuffed monkey toy my mom's chihuahua fucks behind the couch? Is the inanimate stuffed monkey toy forcibly raping the chihuahua? Poor traumatized chihuahua. Constantly raped by shins and beanie babies alike.
Posted by charlie on September 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
8
@6 Yah, but dogs also can't consent to medical procedures, being put to sleep, or whether they are made into pets, stew, or a nice coat. Nor when and how they are bread to other dogs.

Consent is a meaningless term when it comes to animals like dogs. They simply do not have the brains to conceive of such a thing nor a developed enough psychology or sense of self to see sex as peoples do.

Fucking a dog is gross gross gross though and certainly outside of the bounds of any reasonable expectation of being accommodated in a relationship. Just watching porn with this guy is above and beyond so he should count his fucking blessings that she did not dump him right then and there.

But at the same time grossness is not grounds for legal sanction so to the extent the animal is not harmed it should be legal. Plus then it is less likely I'll have to hear about some dude getting banged by a horse in Enumclaw.
Posted by giffy on September 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
9
@7: With humans, smartass.

@8: Except that we generally only do those things (or ethically, SHOULD only do those things) when they're necessary. It's never necessary for a human to fuck a dog or get a dog to fuck them.

And my entire point is that consent is impossible to get from an animal because they don't have the faculties or ability to do so. Pedophilia doesn't always hurt children (even though it does hurt many), and yet we consider it wrong because children are NOT ABLE TO CONSENT, even though they can verbally do so.

If a child starts humping you, wouldn't you stop them? Wouldn't it be fucked up of you to allow the child to continue, even though they initiated?
Posted by PsychoLinguist on September 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 10
Yeahhh. I'm gonna go with the parallels to children's rights. They can't consent to medical procedures or decide whether they go to school or not themselves, because parents/adults (excluding bad parents and the kind of adults who rape animals) know better than the kid how to CARE for the kid .

Note that you should never rape children; that is illegal for good reason. How hard is it to extrapolate this to our pets? Care for your animals. Do not rape them.

Seriously, this guy wanting to get off does not trump the animal's rights. It is not always about your orgasm, guys. Shocking, I know.

Posted by femwanderluster on September 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 11
@Consent

People keep animals as pets without their consent, and it's arguable whether they're "better off" being in captivity or not. A longer lifespan and better health versus freedom and autonomy... definitely arguable which one equals "better off."

I'd say if someone is trying to force a dog to fuck, that's abuse. If the dog does it on its own, that may be many things, but abuse? No.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
12
@9 I do things to my dogs all the time that are not necessary for them but benefit me. I train them do stupid tricks, I lock them in cages, I make them sit by me when I want some company, etc. The best part is that they want to do these thing simply because I want them to. That's how dogs work when they think your the leader. I have little doubt that with the right training I could get my dogs to preform all sorts of sex acts with humans because to them its no different from anything else. They are dogs. Sex is not special to them.

So it is not consent that matters with animals like dogs, but harm. It is not ethical to cause an animal harm except when necessary, e.g. medical treatment. So to the extent that fucking the animal does not cause them harm, and in the letter's example it certainly would not, then it is still gross, but not unethical. To the extent that you are hurting an animal for your own gain, then that is wrong.

With kids it is a whole different ball game. It is pretty easy to tell which sex acts would hurt a dog and which would not because harm to them is almost entirely a pain pleasure kind of thing. A dog cannot be 'violated' or develop a fucked up sexuality. A kid can.
Posted by giffy on September 20, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
13
@10 There is something kind of offensive about comparing the rape of a person to an animal. While physical harm often results from rape, it is not really the reason it is such a heinous crime. Its the psychological effects that it has on the victim that are so damaging. To compare something that to an animal is no different from any other kind of experience to rape is a pretty big stretch.

Posted by giffy on September 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM · Report this
14
And what happens later to that dog sexualized to a human woman?

How long will it be allowed to live if it -- literally -- tries to hump women? Goes beyond the usual dog nose to woman crotch?

My thought: not long before someone brings it to the pound, where the chance of adoption is slim to none.

Posted by judybrowni on September 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM · Report this
Elsewise 15
Y'know, there's people who actually get paid to jerk off animals to collect their semen. Does consent matter in that situation? Would consent suddenly start mattering if the person doing it secretly enjoyed it?
Posted by Elsewise on September 20, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Irena 16
Why the hell are we talking about dog abuse? I'm with the doctor; pressuring your partner into sex with an animal is human abuse. I feel abused just reading about it. Gah!
Posted by Irena on September 20, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
17
14

When the Israelites conquered Canaan they were often commanded to destroy the animals.
Posted by Izaak on September 20, 2012 at 6:53 PM · Report this
18
@14: Y'all aren't around dogs much, are ya?

I don't know how many dogs I have known in my life that humped anything that moved. The number of times that habit resulted in a trip to the pound for the little pervert is exactly zero.

Be a little more careful about what you exaggerate about, if you don't like being laughed at.
Posted by avast2006 on September 20, 2012 at 8:04 PM · Report this
19
@avast:
I've grown up among dogs (we had quite a few), and I only remember one of them trying to hump me once. And he was still a puppy.
Where do you find all these dogs with severe behavioural problems?
Posted by migrationist on September 20, 2012 at 9:18 PM · Report this
Megaera 20
I know of two cases where kids were (effectively) sexually abused by dogs. One case is a friend-of-a-friend situation, and I don't know a great deal about it, other than that her neighbour's large dog tried to have sex with her when she was a kid. In the other case, it is someone I personally know very well and have known for many years. As a child, he was knocked down by a large dog he didn't know, and the dog mounted him. It was a frightening experience for him, even though he was very familiar with dogs and had a pet dog himself. He remembers that the dog came all over his raincoat.

The question is, I guess, is this normal dominance behaviour in a dog, or is it something they learned? If it's learned behaviour, then that would be a strong argument against bestiality. And the lesson, of course, is that dogs should never be allowed out unsupervised. Especially dogs who have not been doctored.
Posted by Megaera on September 21, 2012 at 2:23 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 21
@Giffy, I was comparing how one should CARE for one's pets: as you would a child. Feed them, shelter them, give them love, do not rape them. Don't really see the problem there. Straightforward really.
Posted by femwanderluster on September 21, 2012 at 6:17 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 22
Folks in this thread are really invested in arguing FOR bestiality.

Why?
Posted by femwanderluster on September 21, 2012 at 6:19 AM · Report this
23
So we're having a back and forth about whether having sex with animals is alright? Really? It's unethical and sick. Nuff said.

Discussions like this make it seem that liberals have NO morals at all.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on September 21, 2012 at 7:04 AM · Report this
24
I'm repulsed by the pressuring of the partner. Also, the use of alcohol to 'permit' the lowering of inhibitions is a problem. There's a lot of stuff I might do if around the right people, but it doesn't require me consuming booze, mushrooms, or anything else. Anything that I might do ONLY if drunk is a thing I really want to avoid doing.
Posted by LaSargenta on September 21, 2012 at 7:26 AM · Report this
25
Continuous, whiny pressure from a partner to do ANYTHING (sexual or not) is a deal-breaker for me.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on September 21, 2012 at 7:42 AM · Report this
BEG 26
RUN.
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on September 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
smajor82 27
@10 Dogs aren't children. People who treat their dogs like children tend to be terrible owners.

@consent You don't have to ask a dog if he wants to fuck you - the boner he sticks in your vag will pretty much give it away.
Posted by smajor82 on September 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 28
@27 see 21
Posted by femwanderluster on September 21, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
29
@23

Your "morals" are a just an excuse to treat harmless people like shit.

As Dan said...

Icky /= immoral

Every affront to freedom is built on this same basic idea. The idea that if you personally don't like it, it must be wrong. Though Dan does this too... Pitbulls?

Posted by mage on September 21, 2012 at 3:27 PM · Report this
30
@23: The thing about ethics is, if you don't go through the trouble of hashing out WHY you (and/or society at large) think something is unethical, you're perpetually standing on quite shaky ground in terms of supporting and defending your ethos when challenged. "It's unethical" isn't an argument; it's an opinion. People must discuss these matters in order to have informed and developed ethics and avoid the trap of unquestioned morality (which tends to veer toward fundamentalism).

Bestiality is (IMO) gross, and a desire to engage in it likely speaks to some psychological imbalance in the individual experiencing that desire. Does the act harm the animal? That's much more difficult to establish; as has been noted, the reason sexual assaults between humans are considered so heinous is because of the psychological damage they inflict, which can have a tremendous impact on the rest of a person's life. It seems fairly disingenuous to imply that a dog or other animal would experience the same trauma. Further complicating things is the common use of sex in the animal world as a means of establishing dominance, in addition to the fact that one of the most intelligent animal species on the planet (dolphins) is known to occasionally force sex with swimming humans. If we unquestioningly consider animals' inability to consent to be identical to minors' inability, we should be convicting every swimmer this has ever happened to of rape, even if the actual situation would be more accurately described as the dolphin raping the human.

I don't advocate for bestiality, but I want the opponents thereof to have stronger arguments than "it's gross" and "animals can't consent." Neither holds up well enough under close scrutiny.
Posted by Tap TR on September 22, 2012 at 1:13 AM · Report this

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