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As a 36-year-old straight woman with autism, I am often misidentified as lesbian because my social signaling must read as masculine. I am not bothered by this. However, it is annoying when someone who should know better thinks I would hide it if I were LGBTQ. I’m very direct and honest—sometimes to my detriment—and the idea that I would hide something so fundamental about myself is abhorrent to me. I don’t consider myself disabled; I am different than most people but not broken.

What is the sole water source for Eugene? 

I didn’t know the answer either, and I actually live on the McKenzie. Like you, I know now: the McKenzie River. 

Dec. 21 marks the solstice, the traditional beginning of winter. In most of the northern hemisphere this means a quiet, cold time of the year, but in western Oregon it signifies the beginning of our alternate growing season. All the plants that require watering by rainfall begin their peak growth period; lichens, mosses and liverworts are the most prominent.

My son Chris recently gave me a poster from the 1973 movie The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, as a couple of conmen in the 1930s who pull off a complicated con on their mark, a ruthless gangster played by Robert Shaw.

It’s one of my favorite movies, and it’s a nearly perfect parable for my time in the Governor’s Regional Solutions Center. 

I used to be a fan of your column, Dan, but something happened to you. Maybe it’s stress, the current political climate, or some other issue—I don’t know. I used to look forward to your columns because they were fun, smart, and helpful—but I don’t enjoy what I’m seeing now. If something did happen to you, reach out for help. You’re on the verge of losing a loyal reader.

Reader Enquiring About Dan’s Enervating Responses

I’m a straight man in a live-in relationship with a beautiful woman. There are no sparks in bed, and it’s been more than a year since we’ve had sex. She says, “I’m sorry, but I’m just not interested.” Sometimes she asks me if I’m disappointed, and I say something like “I miss sex.” And she says: “Maybe someday. But the important thing is we love each other, right?” Before my last birthday, she asked me what I wanted as a gift. I replied, “A soapy handjob.” That would’ve been the most action I’d had all year.

If you know me you know that each year in November

I like to take time to take stock and remember

That Thanksgiving means: Giving thanks for it all

For the things that are great and the things that are small

I’m a twentysomething straight woman. About a month ago, I had a really vivid dream in which I was at a party and engaging with a guy I had just met. We were seriously flirting. Then my fiancé showed up—my real, flesh-and-blood, sleeping-next-to-me fiancé—who we’ll call G. In the dream, I proceeded to shower G with attention and PDA; I was all over him in a way we typically aren’t in public. I was clearly doing it to get a reaction from the guy I’d just spent the last dream-hour seducing. It was as if it had been my plan all along.

I’ve had an exciting couple of months since we last visited. It’s been nice to be away from politics for a while. I did an enjoyable Eugene City Club gig with Jack Roberts. And I attended my 50th high school reunion in Roswell, New Mexico. What a hoot! I was adopted from Ireland at the age of 3 and didn’t become a naturalized U.S. citizen until I was 7; so I was technically a Roswell alien for 4 years. Classmates said it explained my political path later in Oregon.

I was honored to appear with Esther Perel at the Orpheum Theater in Vancouver, BC, a few weeks ago to discuss her new book, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Questions were submitted on cards before the show — some for me, some for Esther, some for both of us — and we got to as many as we could during the event. Here are some of the questions (mostly for me) that we didn’t get to.


Last May’s Eugene 4J school board elections were the most contested in recent memory. Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) appreciated the deeper level of debate and analysis that took place. Mary Leighton, Jerry Rosiek and Maya Rabasa met last week to discuss their thoughts as runners up, running as outsiders.  

There is a major business “recruitment” project going on right now in our community, it’s called Project Titan, and I have absolutely no clue about who or what it is. Oh, I’ve tried, well, sort-of tried, to find out. I asked around, here and there, even chatted with a former colleague of mine. But regardless of who it is, it will play out the same, in secret meetings behind closed doors, out of public view. 

I’m a 40-year-old bi man. I’ve been with my 33-year-old bi wife for three years and married for one. When we first met, she made it clear that she was in a long-term (more than three years) “Daddy” relationship with an older man. I figured out six months later that her “Daddy” was her boss and business partner. He is married, and his wife does not know. I struggled with their relationship, since I identify as open but not poly. Eight months later, she ended things with him because it was “logically right” for us (her words).

There is nothing like three days of hard rain to signal the proper end of summer and the beginning of the rainy season, aka our winter. We celebrate rain and cloudy skies for at least the next month or so. By February, many will tire of mist and drizzle, but for now we are happy to walk in the wet. The forest fires that have ravaged the nearby hills have been quenched. Deep pockets of coals will yet burn a while but the serious threat is over.

I am a pretty handsome gay (I have been told) and I am dating a gorgeous man. I am 34, and he is 31. I am bottom only, and he is top only — so it’s a good match. He seems sincerely interested in me and we are talking about being together. But here is the thing: He noticed that I have a rather small penis. I am under the average, and his dick is quite big and long. Since he discovered this, he fancies about “humiliating” me about my “small pee-pee.” He would even like me to show it to his friends.

Many Eugene Weekly readers will remember that the two of us were opponents last year in the most contested City Council race in Eugene’s recent history. Now we’re coming together today on a common cause: We urge Eugene voters to get out and vote for Measure 20-275 on the Nov. 7 ballot.

In a frank exchange early in our courtship, I told my girlfriend that I have no kinks. As a faithful reader of Savage Love, I’m obviously not opposed to kinks — but I’ve never had any inclinations in that direction and am probably a typical hetero vanilla. As a result, I’m damn near clueless in that area. Last night, my girlfriend placed my hands around her neck and asked me to choke her. My instant reaction was to say no, not out of any objection in principle but because I thought it might be dangerous in my inexperienced hands.

Berwick Hall, the new home of the Oregon Bach Festival, is an elegant building — small, modern, light-filled, with a performance hall that can seat up to 140, perfect for small-ensemble performances such as were given at the public reception on Oct. 8 celebrating the building’s opening. Windows abound — from virtually every desk in the office, light floods the space.

That, sadly, is the only transparent thing about the festival these days.

My only child is 16 years old. He was curious about sex from a very young age and very open with me, so his interest in sexual matters gave me ample opportunity to talk with him about safety and consent. He went through a cross-dressing phase when he was small — mostly wanting to wear nail polish and try on mascara — and I felt like I navigated those waters pretty well, but his father made attempts to squelch those impulses. (He and I are divorced. He has since remarried and is less involved.) That’s the background.

I’m a 25-year-old woman currently in a poly relationship with a married man roughly 20 years my senior. This has by far been the best relationship I’ve ever had. However, something has me a bit on edge. We went on a trip with friends to a brewery with a great restaurant. It was an amazing place, and I’m sure his wife would enjoy it. He mentioned the place to her, and her response was NO, she didn’t want to go there because she didn’t want to have “sloppy seconds.” It made me feel dirty. Additionally, the way he brushed this off means this isn’t the first time.

Two years ago I wrote that it was the worst fire season ever. Each succeeding year has been worse, with the current fire season simply devastating. Although a few rainy days ended the horribly smoky air in the southern Willamette Valley, the fires in the mountains will likely smolder through this month. I fear that our usual reliance on September being a good month for hiking the high country will fade into the past. More years like this one may keep the Three Sisters Wilderness closed to back country users through September.

Sheldon High School is a world away from the streets of Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore or Tulsa. But when soccer players from South Eugene High School took a knee during the national anthem last week, they demanded attention and invited controversy into their community.

As the first notes of the anthem played for the boys’ game, one athlete on the South varsity team took a knee. He was joined by one teammate and then another, until six other South players knelt alongside him. The anthem ended, the whistle blew, and the game was played. The boys left the pitch, each with his own reasons for choosing to kneel or stand.

I’m a 22-year-old straight male dating a 23-year-old woman. This is by far the most sexual relationship I’ve been in, which is great, except one part is freaking me out: I recently “caught” my girlfriend masturbating with her roommate’s panties. (She knew I was coming over and wanted me to catch her.) It turns out she has a habit of sneaking her roommate’s worn underwear, masturbating while smelling them (or putting them in her mouth), and then sneaking them back into her roommate’s laundry basket. She has also used her roommate’s vibrator and dry-humped her pillow to orgasm.

My biggest fears from a presidential election gone horribly wrong are coming to pass. 

For me, the major issue for a president has always been appointments to run the federal agencies. Our current president is doing what I expected him to do, appointing people who will gut the agencies everyone relies on to protect their health, safety, and the environment. It’s been one horrible appointment and executive order after another. Clean air and water regulations go out the window to provide profits to polluters.