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Monday, November 26, 2012

SL Letter of the Day: Masturbating to Dead People

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 10:29 AM

I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back when the book is finished. —Dan

Originally published March 1, 2007:

Serious question: I have always had a thing for Anna Nicole Smith and frequently masturbated to her Playboy photos. I've always felt some guilt about masturbation to begin with, but since her death, I now feel a little creepy doing it. Do you think it's okay to continue now that she has passed away?

Missing Anna Nicole

My response after the jump...

But not because it's disrespectful—there's nothing you can do to Anna Nicole Smith in death that could possibly outdo the shit Anna Nicole Smith subjected herself to in life. No, the reason you feel creepy about beating off to Anna Nicole's photos now, MAN, and the reason you must stop, is this: Whacking off to the dead violates the hope that masturbation represents. When Anna Nicole was alive and young and beautiful, MAN, a tiny part of your brain somehow managed to convince your dick that your fantasies existed within the realm of possibility. If the right set of circumstances, however improbable, were to occur, you might actually find yourself in bed with Anna Nicole Smith. So long as she lived, MAN, you lived—and whacked off—in hope.

But masturbating to the dead inspires only feelings of hopelessness and despair. Which is why no one beats off to James Dean or River Phoenix or Marilyn Monroe or Mary Todd Lincoln without feeling a little creepy, a little hopeless, and a little closer to the grave himself. Knock it off.

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