by Dan Savage
I am a 26-year-old straight male interested in ballbusting. At a party, I met a lesbian who goes by "Buck." She's 20, dresses like a boy, and made it clear that she hates males and their anatomy. Before agreeing to play a friendly game of Truth or Dare, she specified that she would not "do anything" with a boy. My friend Kelly asked, "Would you punch a boy?"
"Where?" Buck asked.
My friend Kelly knows about my fetish, so you can guess the "where" she had in mind. So a few minutes into the game, this beautiful butch lesbian punches me in the balls! Then she tries to get someone to dare her to do it again! Someone dares her to punch me in the balls again, and again, and she keeps talking to me, making sure I'm okay with this, and that I'm not mad at her for doing it—and also making sure that I'm not enjoying it.
There's nothing I'd like more than to be abused by Buck again. But I don't think I can ask without freaking her out. If she hates boys and wants to hurt them, I'm a willing victim—but I've had years to come to terms with my odd fetish, and she hasn't. Can you advise me?
Craves Ballbusting Tomboy
Assuming Buck is a butch dyke and not a retarded one, CBT, she knows damn well that you were getting off on her busting your balls. I mean, come on. Would any man submit to being punched in the sack repeatedly during a "friendly" game of Truth or Dare if it didn't turn him on? And the fact that Buck paused between punches to make sure you weren't enjoying it indicates to me that she strongly suspected you were enjoying it. Otherwise, why seek your reassurance to the contrary again and again?
And she was enjoying it too, CBT, otherwise she wouldn't have egged people on to dare her to do it again. But clearly she needed some cover, some plausible deniability, some excuse that allowed her to engage in a technically nonsexual but highly charged—and totally public!—erotic encounter with a man without risking her man-hating dyke cred. Which is ultimately why she extracted all those public and, no doubt, barely credible denials from you. ("Nope, hating this! Ow! Really! Do it again!")
So should you come clean and offer Buck your balls for more abuse? OF COURSE. Yes, you risk freaking her out—but if Buck really is so naive as to believe that this was just an innocent game of ballbustin' Truth or Dare, CBT, then only a good freak-out will prevent her from stumbling into nonconsensual sexual encounters with strange men in the future. ("Sure, I'll let you massage my feet/trim my pubes/drink my piss—but only if you're not enjoying it, okay?")
Finally, CBT, what have you got to lose? Buck hates males and their anatomy, so it's not like there's a friendship on the line here. You risk nothing by coming clean and stand to gain regular bullbustings. Go for it.
My girlfriend has a bit of a hygiene problem. As much as I love to go down on her, sometimes there's a little extra flavor, and then, sometimes, when I flip her over, an aroma comes my way. I don't know how to bring it up without adding to her insecurities and risking a meltdown. I've casually suggested we take a sexy shower—especially after a long day stewing in our respective cubicles—but even that turned her off. How should I address this?
Something Makes Each Lick Tangy
Directly, SMELT, like a grown-up. Anyone in a relationship with a fully functioning adult should be able to say—cheerfully, without judgment, without fear—"You stink, honey, let's go jump in the shower." If she can't hear that without a meltdown, well, maybe she needs a meltdown the same way Buck might need a freak-out. Make up your mind to treat your partner like an adult, SMELT, and one day she'll start acting like one.
I'm writing about the advice you gave last week to PREG, the woman faced with the prospect of raising her baby alone. I agree with you, Dan: PREG's letter is a heartbreaker. You suggested a trip back in time: "Then nine-months-older-and-wiser PREG could order nine-months-younger-and-dumber PREG to have an abortion or, better yet, to not have sex with that unemployed asshole at all."
It's not that I object to either of those two options, it's just that there's a third option that you failed to mention. Why didn't you include "begin planning for an adoption" among PREG's options? Adoption is still a viable choice for PREG even now, although clearly a difficult one to make this late. Adoption is rarely discussed as a viable option for smart, capable, educated women who may not be in a position financially or personally to raise children. The only people you ever hear talking about adoption are right-wing "anti-choice" ignoramuses!
Why do so many pro-choice advocates see abortion as the ONLY choice? There are others! When a woman today chooses adoption, she will find, as I did when I made that choice, an entire support network available to her every step of the way. It's not an easy choice, of course, but neither is abortion for many women. And women need to know that adoption today isn't the guilt-soaked affair that it once was. It doesn't have to end in heartbreak. It can end in the creation of a new family, with parents who have made a careful, conscious choice to create a home full of the love and support a child needs and deserves.
I don't want to lecture; I know that your family has personal experience with adoption, although I don't know the details. I was just confused why you would fail to mention adoption. Surely adoption in PREG's case is as good, if not better, an option than traveling back in time and not having sex at all! Advocating abstinence before adoption? Can this really be the advice of the Dan Savage whose column I know and love?
Happy, Healthy Birthmom
Damn. I'm an idiot. After I wrote last week's column, HHM, I went home to my boyfriend and our son. Our son's birthmom's phone number is on our fridge; her picture is on our mantle.
Can the bias against adoption be so firmly entrenched that even an adoptive parent—an idiotic one, but still—neglects to mention it as a viable choice? Sadly, yes. Which is why I'm glad you wrote, HHM. You've given me the smack I deserved and the chance to tell my female readers that, indeed, adoption is no longer the guilt-soaked affair it once was. Every sexually active woman today should be aware that she can place a child up for adoption with a family of her choosing and have lifelong, ongoing contact with her child. These adoptions are called "open adoptions," but here's hoping that one day they're known simply as "adoptions" because it's how all adoptions ought to be done.
You can read more about open adoption at www.openadopt.org,the website of Open Adoption and Family Services, the agency that pioneered the open-adoption concept. They also brought my son's two dads and his birthmom together. And we're still together, all four of us.
Thanks again, HHM, for your letter and your choice.
A new Savage Love podcast is available for download every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.