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I’m writing this letter because I feel I need to talk about what is going on at the University of Oregon right now, perhaps echoing other people’s concerns. 

I am a 40-year-old woman; I came out when I was 16. When I was 17, I met M and we dated for eight years. M was a horrible human being—emotionally and occasionally physically abusive. M still sends me the occasional (creepy) e-mail, wishing me a happy birthday or giving me updates on people I don’t really recall. I don’t respond. A few years back, I got an e-mail saying that M was now “Mike.” I think it’s important to use the pronouns people want you to use for them. But Mike wasn’t Mike when he was in my life.

With the city’s most recent proposal for a new Downtown Urban Renewal District (DTURD) Plan Amendment, councilors are on the verge of destroying any lingering hope that they serve the public rather than the economic elite. That hope will be replaced with profound distrust if they resurrect the DTURD after vowing to end it.

OK, you won’t read this until after the Oregon primary results are in, and I’m submitting these notes on the Monday before the election. As I’ve mentioned before, turnout in Oregon’s primary will be another opportunity to read the tea leaves in this sci-fi political year as we move toward November.  

Over the years, I have consumed what I believe to be an average amount of porn for a 44-year-old hetero guy. I have never paid for it, and I am now facing a troubled conscience for that fact. I could obviously just subscribe to some site or other now, but that would benefit only one company and/or set of performers. Is there a Dan Savage–approved charity relating to the adult film industry to which I could donate?

Seeks Penance And Needs Knowledge

I see all 19 loyal readers of this senile soliloquy heeded my request last column to quickly register to vote in the May 17 Oregon primary. In fact, between new motor voters and locals who switched parties to vote in closed primaries, the R-G reported that 12,000 Lane County residents received two ballots in the mail! 

Straight male, 48, married 14 years, three kids under age 10. Needless to say, life is busy at our house. My wife and I have stopped having sex. It was my decision. I get the obligation vibe combined with a vanilla sex life, and it just turns me off. We’ve had many conversations about it and we want to find a balance. But it always defaults back to infrequent and dull, making me frustrated and cranky. For the past two months, I’ve tried to just push sex out of my mind. We live mostly as parenting roommates.

The leaves of the cottonwood trees are now all expanded. The crown is full and gradually changing shades from a bright spring green to a tough, dark summer green. The heron nests I have been following seem to be doing well. They are now hard to see in the foliage; careful binocular study was necessary to be absolutely sure the four nests are still in place. The leaf cover doesn’t allow me to see much activity in the nest. I just have to imagine nestlings having their fish dinners delivered on a proper schedule.

“To Bern, or not to Bern?” asked Matthew Keating, a Sanders campaign organizer, eloquently introducing Sen. Sanders before an adoring crowd of thousands in Springfield on Thursday, April 28. “To vote, to Bern. To Bern, perchance to dream. Ay, there is the rub.”

I’m a 31-year-old straight woman. I have a good job, great friends, and average attractiveness. I’ve dated close to 30 men at this point, and I can’t wrap my head around this: I’ve never had a boyfriend or dated anyone for more than a couple months. It’s really starting to wear on my self-esteem. I don’t believe anything is wrong with me, but the more time goes on, the more I think I have to be doing something wrong. The guys ghost me or things fizzle out or we’re not at the same point in our lives.

I am a trans man and I have no love life. But I did just hook up with a friend two nights ago. It was the first time I’ve had sex in more than a year. My problem is that it was a “one-time thing.” I was hoping to be FWB at least. I’m furious with myself for giving that away for what amounted to a hookup, and thoroughly sorry for myself for it being a “one-time thing,” because it nearly always is. I feel thoroughly unlovable and dejected right now. I was raised a Boston Irish Catholic, and I have PTSD from my parents being difficult.

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork. — Edward Abbey

I confess I may have too much time on my hands as a geezer/retiree. These days, instead of plowing through unemployment cases as I did in my last 12 years with the state appeals board, I’ve gone back to enjoying some of my favorite desert rat ecologists. 

I’ve been the president of Oregon Roads, a leasing and finance company in Eugene, for 26 years. I’m married, have a son, daughter, daughter-in-law and a grandson. I have board-member and board-chair experience with corporations, nonprofits and municipal entities. I’ve been appointed to Eugene City Council committees and served on Lane Transit District’s steering committee. I volunteer my time as a habit. I believe that I have the qualifications to govern, so I humbly ask for your vote.

Off a major thoroughfare, the freshly painted storefront sits at one end of a well-lit parking lot, next door to a busy Dari Mart. A graying couple exits their parked Corolla, license plate registration sticker current. They hold hands, gold wedding bands glinting, as they cross the tarmac and push open the lobby door. They’re greeted by a friendly receptionist and ushered into the sales room.

I’m a 49-year-old gay man. I’ve become friends with a 21-year-old straight guy. He’s really hot. He’s had to drop out of college and return home. I know he needs money, as he hasn’t found a job yet and has resorted to selling off old music equipment. I would love to have some sweaty clothes of his, namely his underwear, but I’d settle for a sweaty tank top. Is it legal to buy someone’s underwear? He’s a sweet guy, and I don’t want to freak him out by asking something so personal. How do I broach the subject?

April is one of the two busiest months of spring in the Willamette Valley. The native wildflowers are blooming in greater and greater profusion, the peak burst extending into May. With the abundance of flowers, butterflies and other pollinators become increasingly visible.

I am a twentysomething, straight, cis-female expat. How long do I have to wait to ask my German lover, who is übersensitive about the Holocaust, to indulge me in my greatest—and, until now, unrealized—fantasy: Nazi role-play? He is very delicate around me because I am a secular Jew and the descendant of Holocaust survivors. (Even though I’ve instructed him to watch The Believer, starring Ryan Gosling as a Jewish neo-Nazi, to get a better grasp on my relationship with Judaism.

I have lived in Israel for more than seven months now and I struggle to reconcile many residents’ opinions with current events and accounts of history. Eager to find opposing viewpoints — and not apt to withhold my own — I’m familiar with the proverbial “you’ll understand when you’re older.” Perhaps. Or perhaps one man’s naiveté is another’s objectivity. I keep wrestling with these arguments, nonetheless.

It’s mid-October and I’m on The Nature Conservancy’s 9,000-acre Staten Island, part of the 46,000 acre Cosumnes River Preserve, in California’s Sacramento River Delta. Owned by the Conservancy, the island is all farmland, farmed for the benefit of migrating birds. I’m looking over fields of harvested wheat, corn and potatoes as hundreds of 5-foot-tall greater sandhill cranes jump and dance in the fields. As I watch, hundreds more arrive with their haunting, gurgling call.

I’m not one to usually complain. I typically see both sides of the equation. But this nonsense of raising the minimum wage to $13.50 an hour! How come I didn’t get a vote on this? 

Wolf update: Gov. Kate Brown signed HB 4040 into law on March 15. Opponents of the original de-listing (and this bill) believed the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) previously broke the law when it removed state endangered species protections from gray wolves; so they sued. They contend de-listing was premature and not supported by independent scientific review: bad science, bad bill.

I was honored to speak at JCCSF—Jewish Community Center of San Francisco—last week as a part of their “Uninhibited: About Sex” lecture series. The audience submitted questions on cards, which were ably put to me by Jourdan Abel, who was wearing a wonderful uterus-themed sweater. (Check out my Instagram account—@dansavage—to see Abel’s sweater!) Here are some of the questions submitted by the uninhibited JCCSF audience that Abel and I didn’t manage to get to during our conversation.

 

It was one of those moments when I felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room. I had entered the Growler Underground in anticipation of meeting several friends and hearing lots of great music at the weekly open mic on Main Street in Springfield. As soon as I walked in, someone handed me the latest issue of Eugene Weekly and said, “Look what they did to Springfield.”

OK, enough about Oregon’s February legislative session. Nothing happened except the minimum wage increased and Oregon banned coal as an energy source. Democrats bragged about those issues and about fixing Portland’s affordable housing crisis. In their press releases, Republicans described February as “the most destructive month in Oregon legislative history,” and predictably bragged about their obstruction and attacked the “one-party” Democrats. Whatever. I’m still pissed that the Democrats used a Trojan Horse bill to make Canis lupus a sacrificial lamb. Bad biology, governor.