READERS: A crowd of smart, engaged students packed a theater for Savage Love Live at Centenary College of Louisiana last week. Centenary is a terrific liberal-arts school in Shreveport. Centenary students submitted more Qs than I could possibly A in the 90 minutes I had with them. So here are some bonus answers to questions I didn’t get to during my time there.
How does a young person learning to accept their sexuality come to terms with losing the unconditional love of their family?
I am a liberal parent. I raised a daughter who is bi and poly. I always thought that I could accept anything that parenthood might throw at me. I knew that I could embrace my son if he were straight, gay, bi, trans, etc. If there is a controlling consciousness of the universe, it has a nasty sense of humor. Putting it bluntly: My son is sexually attracted to Pokémon. He dropped hints that I didn’t really pick up on. But over the last few years, I have stumbled across evidence of his browsing habits that left me pretty clear about his proclivities.
I have a slowly terminal disease and don’t have more than five or six years left. I haven’t told my wife, which brings me to my problem. We had lived together for seven years when she cheated on me the first time. We worked things out, we got back together, but we continued to live separately. Then I cheated on her. We got back together again but continued living apart. After a year of therapy, we got married, but again we kept our households separate.
Straight female with a question. It’s about something that sometimes happens to me that I’ve never really told anyone about because it’s so weird and gross. It involves my bowel movements, so it’s not very sexy. (No offense to scat lovers, but I have zero interest in “poop play.”) After I have a normal bowel movement, I pull up my jeans. When I do that, the crotch seam presses on my clit as I begin to close the zipper, and I get what I can only describe as an intense mini-orgasm.
I’m 21 and still a virgin. I also have depression. I’m not bad-looking. I work out and generally keep people laughing. I got a lot of female attention in school, but I was hopeless and still am. Most of my friends have girlfriends, so I don’t understand why I haven’t had a girlfriend since I was 10. I feel myself becoming increasingly violent, to the extent that I have tried to provoke a fight that wasn’t necessary and I try to intimidate other guys when I’m out.
I am a straight male, married to a woman for 25 years. Our marriage started to go sour about 14 years ago. Sex was infrequent and stultifying. Finally, when the kids were old enough, I made plans to separate. When my wife got wind of these plans, she finally agreed to work on our relationship. We had long and heartfelt conversations. Things got better. Sex got more frequent, if not more exciting. Then I saw a letter referencing cuckolding in your column in the Coast, the weekly paper here in Halifax. I mentioned it to my wife. She asked me to read it to her.
I am an 18-year-old pansexual girl. I’m currently in a relationship with a guy. He is a bit younger, though mature for his age. We get along great, our friends like us together, yada yada yada. He wants to do the waiting until marriage thing for sex. I’m cool with that, less pressure in the relationship. He wants to do this for religious reasons, which I mostly agree with. We met in youth group, after all. Here is the real kink. I lost the big V about a year ago.
What is the best way to sanitize a latex dildo? At least I think it’s a latex dildo. I actually don’t know. I had a yeast infection a few months ago, and before I knew what was up, I used my toy. Now I’m afraid to touch it until I know it won’t reinfect me!
I’m what was once quaintly called a “woman of a certain age” who started reading your column to broaden my horizons. As a result, some curiosities peeped their heads over the boundaries of my once happily repressed existence. I summoned the courage to join an online BDSM dating site. I got a response almost immediately from a man who decided to fill me in on how things worked. He proceeded to tell me my name would henceforth be Sub, advised me that he was to be addressed as His Majesty King Something, and ordered me to phone him.
I’m a straight 24-year-old female, and I just recently lost my virginity. I’ve had sex only three times (not with a monogamous partner) and have found each time to be incredibly painful—even when the guy’s just using his fingers. I’ve always been extremely sensitive. In the past, I’ve had guys run their hands over my jeans, and even that hurts. I brought this up when I went to my first ob-gyn appointment, and my doctor assured me that everything was normal down there.
My friend is in her late 20s and married, and she has two little kids. Her husband had a rough childhood and has some issues. Since their most recent child was conceived, they have not had sex. He says he believes there is a difference between a lover and a mother, and he refuses to have sex with his wife now because he thinks of her as a mother to their children and not as a lover. She is struggling with this and doesn’t know what to do. Any advice?
Is there a term that is preferred to “transgendered”? I recently wrote an article that described a MTF person I know as transgendered. The article was positive about transgendered persons I have known (she is one of many). Upon seeing a draft prior to publication, this person flipped out so hard that I felt compelled to cut off all contact with her. I also killed the article. One of her complaints was that I used the word “transgendered” to describe her, and she identifies as something other than that.
I’m a 34-year-old straight female. I am morbidly obese and have been for most of my life. I have never dated. I’ve been on a couple of dates, and only when I asked the guy out. From reading your columns and books, I am aware that some men are attracted to fat women. But since I never received any real sexual attention as a teen/twentysomething, I don’t know how to deal with men in a sexual way or in a way that would develop into a relationship. I also think my (lack of) experience has caused me to become bitter toward men.
DEAR READERS: Sophia Wallace, the NYC-based conceptual artist behind the amazing Cliteracy project, was a guest on my podcast recently. (To hear our conversation, go to savagelovecast.com and look up episode 371.) During our chat, Wallace told me that a column I wrote years ago about the importance of the clit had a big impact on her as a teenager — in fact, she still had the copy of the column that she had clipped out of the newspaper.
I’ve talked to my girlfriends, my mom, and his mom, but I need some unbiased advice. I’m a 28-year-old woman in a relationship for 3.5 years with a wonderful man, also 28. I hit the jackpot: He is loving, sweet, kind, driven, active, handsome, generous, etc. We’re very committed to each other and planning our future together. We’ve lived together for 2.5 years. Life is so great! Enter the issue: We’ve been discussing marriage since January of this year. Until May, he was opposed to it.
I’m a straight woman who loves my boyfriend, but sex isn’t a priority for me. His sex drive, on the other hand, is ridiculous. He gets very upset when I don’t have sex with him and accuses me of not being interested in him anymore, which isn’t the case. I just can’t fuck on demand! Most people would probably say that my boyfriend is an insensitive asshole for pressuring me for sex. Except this was a switcheroo exercise: I, the girlfriend, want more sex. He, my boyfriend, doesn’t see sex as a priority.
I’m a bi woman in my mid-20s in a great monogamish relationship with my straight boyfriend. We occasionally invite other women into our sex life, which is really enjoyable for both of us. He isn’t threatened by other women, only by other men, which isn’t an issue since I’m not interested in any other men. So on the occasions when we find a lady we’re both into who’s also into us, anything goes, and it’s awesome. We’ve hooked up with both friends and strangers, but always as a couple because it makes us both feel safe.
I recently ended a relationship that lasted a year and five months. While I loved this woman, for much of the relationship she was, to varying degrees, depressed. I tried to be as helpful and patient as possible with the hope and expectation that she would get better. I got her into counseling. We went to couples counseling together. She got on medication. I encouraged her to eat well (I cooked her many healthy meals) and exercise daily (which she was never able to do). I tried to get her out into nature. I tried to listen and practice strong communication skills.
I’m a heterosexual guy in my early 20s. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for about six months, and we’ve been having some fights recently. The problem: I have a high sex drive in comparison to hers. I want to be intimate on a weekly basis (at least!), and she’s told me that she’s more of a once-every-three-weeks-or-so person. I’m trying not to put pressure on her. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable — she’s a virgin (no penetration), and the thought of the pain of that first time scares her a bit.
Or are you a woman who loves sex, has a high libido, and has consensual sex with a lot of willing and grateful partners? Those are all traits for which culture wouldn’t conspire to leave you feeling conflicted or compelled to slap a pejorative label on yourself — if you were a dude, gay or straight.
I am a kinky, youthful 72-year-old guy. I grew up in the Pleistocene era, when there was virtually no way to meet a kinky woman. I’ve had two vanilla marriages, and three months ago I ended a four-year vanilla relationship with the best woman I’ve ever met. I just couldn’t take not being a BDSM person anymore, and I broke up with this wonderful woman so I could do BDSM. I’ve had some fun, but no candidate for a possible LTR has come along. In the meantime, my most recent ex (I’ll call her “Mel”) and I have both been bereft over our split.
Two years ago, I found a letter in my sister’s car informing her that the blood she gave during a charity blood drive had tested positive for HIV. I didn’t say anything to her at the time, because it was a really bad time, I wasn’t supposed to find out, and I didn’t know what to say. In the time since, there were a couple times that it sounded like she came close to telling me, but never did. I worry she never will.
My girlfriend always responds positively when I initiate sex with her, but she hardly ever initiates sex with me. I’m a no-beat-around-the-bush kind of guy, but I realize that this can be a sensitive topic, and I don’t want to scare her by saying, “Please initiate sex more often!” So I do small things to coax her and let her know that I want her to initiate. I will lotion up in front of her after we shower.
My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and we live together. Recently, his ex was killed in a car accident. They were not on good terms, and he often made scathing statements about her. I made the mistake of saying the following several days after her death (after offering him my sympathy on numerous occasions): “I don’t know how to help you grieve in this situation because you didn’t like her.” Obviously, that was a stupid, careless thing to say. I apologized numerous times, and he said that he forgave me. Fast-forward two weeks.
I visited Halifax, Nova Scotia, last week — for my geographically illiterate fellow Americans, Halifax is the biggest city on Canada’s Atlantic coast — to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Coast, Halifax’s kick-ass alternative weekly newspaper. The paper brought me to town to do Savage Love Live. I took questions for two hours in the auditorium of a brand-new Halifax high school that has a full bar.