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I am a 26-year-old heterosexual European man. I have been for four years in a monogamous relationship with my girlfriend. Recently she cheated on me. When she told me what she did, I felt a very strong pain, even stronger than I expected. After a few days of pain, however, I found that the sexual attraction for my girlfriend, instead of decreasing, increased after her adventure. In particular, I am now having a cuckold fantasy.

I am quite the follower on social media—Facebook and Twitter in particular. I make no trolling comments, no #MAGA hashtags; I just look with my male gaze. Like Laura Mulvey says, the male gaze is only natural. I’ve lost interest in pornography, so I use everyday pictures of women, typically selfies. It helps me to know the story behind the face and body. None of these pics are pornographic—just feel-good selfies by young women posted on social media. I don’t communicate with these people, because that would be creepy. I’m not worried about whether this is abnormal.

Dear Community Alliance for  Public Education:

Every year we hear about this “opting out” business. We aren’t big fans of standardized tests, but we don’t want our child to lose out. It says on the opt-out form that we will be missing “valuable information” about our child’s progress if she doesn’t take the test. 

Would I be preventing her teachers from knowing how she’s doing academically? 

Sincerely, A Curious & Cautious Parent

Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” I’ve always lived by that view. Today is no different.

And today is the sixth time I’ve been sworn in to a four year term as Lane County commissioner for the South Eugene District. I’ve also been sworn in twice as Oregon state senator and sworn in three times as Lane Community College board member. I’ve been privileged and honored to be called to public service.

We each bring all our past, including childhood traumas we have been working to heal from, to every experience we have, every day. Being arrested adds an intense fight or flight physical and psychological response that brings all of who you are into sharp focus. At least it did for me. As a child who’d been beaten with leather belts by an abusive father, I felt much of that same terror as an activist blocking oil trains from refineries in Washington state last May on the morning the police arrived in a military assault fashion at dawn, while our camp slept.

About a year ago, I was pretending to read my boyfriend’s mind and jokingly said, “You want to put it in my ear.” Since then, I have seen references to ear sex (aural sex?) everywhere! There’s even a holiday (“Take It in the Ear Day” on December 8), and I was reading a book just now in which the author mentions how much she hates getting come in her ear. So while I am honestly not trying to yuck someone’s yum, I do have two questions. First, is this really a thing? And second, how does it work?

One goal of Oregon’s statewide land use program is “citizen involvement,” providing opportunities for public participation in all phases of the regulatory system. Public awareness and engagement are essential to a functional democracy.

When statewide goals and the regulations meant to support them have been corrupted, and when, as a consequence, the health, safety and welfare of the public and the environment are endangered, it is incumbent upon injured parties to seek redress through formal judicial procedures and/or by initiative petition.

Just to be clear about my biases: I despise The Oregonian editorial board because it despises public employees and it misrepresents Oregon political reality because of it. And I’m also a retired Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) parasite, as my friends refer to me.

Ever since Oregon Democrats won control of both chambers of the Legislature in 2007, The Oregonian incessantly accuses Dems of monolithic control of the state without Republican input. That’s pure bullpucky! 

My partner and I have been playing with male chastity devices. We’ve been considering going to a strip club while his cock is caged up and getting him lap dances. Is there some etiquette for this with the dancers? Do we let the dancer know before she is on his lap? Or do we not mention it? Is it rude to get a dancer involved at all? I’ve not yet found an etiquette guide for this situation.

Letting Our Cage Kink Show

The natural world has its regular rhythms disrupted by natural disasters like ice storms, much the way human environments change.

Incense cedar trees have proven much more susceptible to damage from an ice load than Douglas fir. The recent ice storm brought down incense cedar branches in much greater numbers than Douglas fir. The incense cedar’s ecological adaptation to the warmer end of the forest zone allowed them to evolve into a species with weak branches. They are not resistant to snow or ice. Key elements to surviving a disaster seem to be adaptability and resilience.

A recent audit of Business Oregon, the state’s economic development department, will likely generate more local debate about economic development incentives. I spent about 15 years working for the state economic development department and, after learning about the state audit, my first reaction was: It’s about time. 

While I know from experience that incentives are an important business recruitment tool, in my time at Business Oregon I saw a lot of abuse of incentives and very little accountability. The audit was right on the mark. Let’s hope that it does some good. Accountability for incentives has been way overdue at Business Oregon. 

Republicans Donald Trump and Dennis Richardson do not lack chutzpah! Both the recently elected president and the recently elected Oregon secretary of state were already making headlines prior to their coronations. 

Trump’s carnival of cabinet picks and the UN-Israeli ruckus speak volumes about what we’re about to hear under Republican control in Washington, D.C. for the next two years. Breitbart News reports that Trump now intends to appoint El Chapo as the next head of the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Here at home, Dennis Richardson is demonstrating why he is the first Republican elected to statewide office in Oregon since Abraham Lincoln, according to Breitbart. I love fake news. Actually, the last Republican elected to statewide office in Oregon was U.S. Senator Gordon Smith in 2002. But you have to go back 36 years to Norma Paulus to find a Republican secretary of state.

My brother is a virgin and turning 30 in a few weeks. He said he wants to hire an escort just for drinks and conversation for his birthday, but he doesn’t really know how to tell what’s a reliable service or what criteria he should be looking for to tell whether an agency is legit, reliable, etc.

It is difficult not to lament the fate of the University of Oregon in light of the inept administrative response to what should have been seen, at worst, as a teachable moment gone awry. 

On Halloween a respected scholar, in the privacy of her own home, attempted to open a discourse about white privilege using props consisting of a blackened face, a stethoscope and a white coat.

I’ve taught interpersonal communication to college students for 20 years and I thought Gayle Landt’s viewpoint, “Difficult Conversations” [EW 12/8] gave excellent advice. But part of me thinks we’re in danger of re-fighting the last war. 

I agree we need to listen and de-escalate conflict, and that’s blue-chip advice for successful communication. But 2016 also points us toward radical steps to reinvent our habits.

I have two New Year’s resolutions I want to invite others to join.

Earlier this month, we recorded our Savage Lovecast Christmas Spectacular live at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon. The audience submitted questions on tiny cards before the show, which allowed questioners to remain anonymous and forced them to be succinct. More questions were submitted than my guests and I could get to, so I promised the crowd I would answer as many of their unanswered questions as I could in this week’s column. Here we go…

There is an old story about a village that dedicated itself to pulling children out of a river, until one day one of their members left the project and began walking up stream. “Where are you going?” someone asks. “We need you here!”  

The deserter replies, “I am going to find out who is throwing these children into the river!” 

I am one of those who fancied going upstream to stop the growing tide of homelessness, but I am increasingly finding that I must devote my time to pulling people out of the river. I cite just this one example from the day I write this, Dec. 8.

Dear reader, I’ve missed you. We each made our own decisions prior to Election Day regarding what we might do based on the outcome. I voted by mail and chose knee replacement surgery before the election. My doctor then placed me on planet Norco 5, otherwise known as Vicodinville, for eight weeks of recovery. Apparently, something big happened while I was gone.

I’m having an issue with my boyfriend, and I don’t know if I am the crazy, paranoid, controlling party here. We have been together for more than a year and a half. We had troubles early on because he has a low sex drive. It made me very insecure, and I think that’s why, at the time, I became extremely jealous of his friendship with his very attractive intern. I fully owned up to my irrational jealousy and decided on my own that it was my responsibility to overcome that. She eventually stopped working with him, and they haven’t been in contact for over sex months.

Local democratic control over education has been under assault for three decades. Sometimes this takes the form of federal mandates to use “Common Core” curriculum and high stakes standardized tests. These have been implemented largely without regard for local feedback and by using empty threats to school funding to silence parent and teacher objections to these policies. 

Perhaps you’re not the best person to ask, being a cis white man, but as a queer woman of color, the election had an extremely detrimental effect on my relationships with my white partners. I love and care for them, but looking at those results has me wondering why the fuck they didn’t do better in reaching out to their shitty relatives? I’m sick of living at the whim of white America. I’m aware this is the blame stage of processing, but it’s left me unable to orgasm with my white partners.

So the holidays are upon us — and it is likely we will be spending time with people who understand the world very differently than we do, as evidenced in the divisions of the recent election. As The Beatles famously sang at the end of their Magical Mystery Tour album: “All you need is love!” 

I’m a 37-year-old gay man who just got out of an abusive relationship. We were together five years, moved to Portland together, got married three years ago, yada, yada, yada. He suffered a traumatic injury earlier this year, which led to PTSD, which led to a nervous breakdown, which led to our savings being depleted, which led him to leave me in October. He moved back to the other side of the country, and I’m broke and on my own in a strange city.

Gray whales are headed south this month and most of next month, led by females keen on giving birth in warm lagoons along the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Whale watching is not as good as during northward migration in spring, when whales move more slowly and closer to shore. But more whales per hour pass Oregon points in winter than in spring. Seeing whales is almost guaranteed. Looking from a high vantage point helps. The West Shelter close to the observation lookout at the top of the St. Perpetua Trail in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is an excellent spot.