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Monday, October 6, 2008

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on October 6 at 12:57 PM

I get more letters at “Savage Love” than I could ever hope respond to in the column or in print. But until October 16 you can get a guaranteed response by going to, making a donation of $25 or more, and sending me your question along with your donation confirmation email.

I donated money to No On 8. Cool idea to set this up; thanks for taking the time to read and answer this.

I’m a 21-year-old gay guy. I used to think I had a clear type of guy I was into: small, twinky, feminine, boyish bottom. I’ve been dating a guy (my first BF) that fits this bill for the last few months and the sex has been mostly great, though lately he’s been enjoying it more than I have. (I’ve started giving him head, which I didn’t think I’d be into. I also fuck him, and he never fucks me.)

For the last few weeks my tastes have been changing. I’m now into more traditional-looking guys. Even bears sometimes. And I don’t always think of being the top, as I used to—sometimes I even think of being the bottom! It used to be easy and clear. The problem is I’m worried I won’t be able to find one guy I want to have sex with the rest of my life, because I don’t have one clear type he can fit into—I’m attracted to a bunch of guys, not just one type.

Thanks for answering my question!

Bright College Days

Welcome to your all-grown-up-now sex life, BCD.

Like billions of men and women before you, BCD, you’ve discovered—now that you’re out there dating and fucking—that whatever it was you thought you wanted back when we were beating off in your parents’ house doesn’t really do it for you, or isn’t the only thing that does it for you. Do not despair. Everyone’s first sexual experiences involve some testing of presumed preferences in body types and looks—our “type”—against reality. Some find that they’re into bigger, meatier, even fatter folks than they thought they would be; others discover that, despite beating off to images of, say, muscle jocks all through adolescence, that slender guys do it for them.

So are you just not into twinks? Can’t say. You may be into your Twink Boyfriend, or his type, but you’re rapidly losing interest in him sexually because your dick wants to explore other types. And your dick knows that only way its ever gonna get to do that is if you end things with Twink Boyfriend, so your dick is actively sabotaging your relationship. Damn dick.

So what do you do? If there’s a time in your life to be single and out there exploring your options and discovering what it is you really like in bed, it’s when you’re young and 21 and in college. So you might want to think about breaking things off with Twink Boyfriend. You could also propose opening things up; seeing other people, and other types of guys, perhaps together. I’ll betcha there are lots of beefy, traditional-to-bearish looking guys at or around your school that would love to have a crack at you and your boyfriend together.

But you’re very likely to learn, as you conduct your explorations, BCD, that you’re attracted to twinks and jocks, bears and girly boys, topping and bottoming, and that there isn’t “one type” of guy or sex that does it for you 24/7/365. Even if you were into just one type of guy—let’s say girly twinks—you’re still going to find yourself attracted to other guys, other girly twinks, in addition to the twink in your bed at home. You’ll also find, as you meet other adult gay men, that most gay men in successful LTRs allow their partners to have some safe, controlled, occasional, and limited outside sexual contact. Some gay men are in monogamous relationships—or relationships they believe to be monogamous—but most gay male couples recognize that a frustrated desire to be with others—other twinks, other types, whatever—can be more destabilizing, and a bigger threat to the survival of their relationship, than the occasional threeway or piece on the side.

Got a question? Make a donation today at and get an answer!

RSS icon Comments


He didn't say he was getting into fatties, just "traditional-looking"

Being into fatties requires self projection of worth, and it sounds like this one actually has some.

Posted by Non | October 6, 2008 1:06 PM

I can't be the only who noticed that the letter as printed doesn't contain a question.

Even a Yale undergrad should have spotted that.

Posted by Tom | October 6, 2008 1:07 PM

I can't say or think of anything that you haven't already said. I mean I can but it would be retarded.

Solid advice.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 6, 2008 1:15 PM


They're not looking for an answer, they're looking for advice. They've supplied everything they've come to discover, and they're clearly looking for guidance, as their tastes are changing and those tastes obviously don't fit in to what one would normally term a typical relationship. It doesn't take more than a high school dropout to spot that.

And then there's the whole /SL letter thing you might have missed.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 6, 2008 1:22 PM

This conversation is making me horny. Bye.

Posted by Vince | October 6, 2008 1:28 PM

Yeah, I regretted my snarky post right after I clicked "post." Sorry all.

Posted by Tom | October 6, 2008 1:35 PM

most successful gay couples have some form of non-monogamy sexual encounters? really? you pulled that out of your ass, savage. without even getting into the semantics of what constitutes a "gay couple" (sexual, financial, spacial, emotional, etc.) there is no study or reputable survey that says "most successful" gay couples are open. i'm not saying it's wrong to have an open relationship, but lying to someone looking for advice to make the world conform to your viewpoint is pretty fucking pathetic.

Posted by hmmmm | October 6, 2008 1:47 PM
In his book, The Soul Beneath the Skin, David Nimmons cites numerous studies which show that 75% of gay male couples are in successful open relationships. He makes it clear that whatever you decide as a couple you should be up front, direct and honest about what the contract of your relationship is on both sides.

A researcher at the University of Windsor, Ontario, conducted a fascinating study examining gay male monogamy. What he found was that:

Monogamous value systems were most often present in:

*Younger gay couples
*Men new to gay relationships
*Men whose younger years were spent in cultures with little exposure to same-sex life

More common was an “allegiance” to masculine values of adventure and autonomy, and this extended to sexual life. Non-monogamy was often an assertion of sexual self-determination.

Blah blah blah.

Posted by Dan Savage | October 6, 2008 2:16 PM

most gay couples i know have some form of an open relationship. many are monogamous for the same reason straight couples are monogamous: pure lazyness.

Posted by max solomon | October 6, 2008 3:24 PM

Excellent advice! Wish you'd been around to write to when I was 18.

Posted by James | October 6, 2008 3:53 PM

Max @9 is absolutely write. Me and my bf have been monogamous for 17 years. We're also the laziest two fags on the planet!

Posted by Providence | October 6, 2008 4:12 PM

So Dan, I'm in a supposedly monogamous m/m relationship. Does that mean that I should be inherently suspicious because they don't exist?

Posted by Non | October 6, 2008 4:50 PM

Just cause Terry is screwing around on you when he's out on his own doesn't mean every gay relationship is open.

Posted by chris | October 6, 2008 5:13 PM

Gettin' some catty ones up on Slog today, huh?

Posted by Greg | October 6, 2008 5:22 PM

Well, #14, I think it's getting kind of old. First Dan says that, for most people, committed partnerships traditionally haven't been considered as important or as worthy of respect as marriages. Now he's saying that more often than not, the basis of many successful gay relationships is due to a degree of openness.

He's right, but that doesn't make it any less annoying to read.

Posted by Tracy | October 6, 2008 5:43 PM

Honesty will only hurt your partner when it's the honesty about last night. So obviously, you should talk about these things before you declare a relationship. It's called dating.

If you didn't think you would want to see others during dating, it's better to be honest about what you're feeling now instead of bottling it up and then having to be honest about that last night I mentioned above, where you'll hurt your partner more than anything. It's called not being a shithead.

If you met someone you really like--like a lot, but you know there are things you'll have to BS and hide in order to make that relationship happen, then you're just a creep.

Relationships are (usually) only hard when people are selfish and riddled with double-standards. Wouldn't you be happier if you played The Game the right way? M-hm. But if you're anything like me, you only learn through your mistakes. M-hm.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 6, 2008 6:34 PM

Wow, Mr. Poe wins most insightful.


Posted by Will in Seattle | October 6, 2008 11:27 PM

16 gas GOT to be a sock-puppet


Posted by Non | October 6, 2008 11:55 PM

Re: #1 It sounds that you're saying that people into fatter people lack self-worth? I think that you're wrong.

Posted by Dan | October 7, 2008 6:59 AM

I think Dan's advice is right-on.

I'm in a long-term relationship with a man that I love deeply. Are we married? Nope, can't do that in this state. Yet, all our friends (gay and str8) say we're the most married couple they know.

Monagomous? Yes and no. Sometimes we have a three-way or play with another couple. We agreed to this from the very beginning. We both enjoy it and have never exhibited any jealousy during it. Come on guys, it gives you a chance to experience different things and kinks than you normally would at home. We don't play without eachother although we have both said we wouldn't be bothered if the other did. I will admit to being tempted but I can honestly say that my partner means too much to me to do that. Above all, I respect him and wouldn't want him to question my love for him or to hurt him. It just isn't worth it.

Hopefully, Mr. Bright College Guy will do his exploring now and then someday be mature enough to have a relationship based on respect and honesty. It sounds like he at least has a shot. I've sure met a lot of guys who never seem to figure that one out.

Posted by Rich | October 7, 2008 11:30 AM

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