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<i>The Night Before</i>'s Three Wise Men


The Night Before's Three Wise Men

Wait, That Should Read "Three Dumbasses"

Thursday, May 1, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: The Erotic Power of a Troublesome Word

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Reading yesterday's SLLOTD about Sterling being racist prompted me to ask you a question in regards to my sex life. I am a gay man, 24 years old in a relationship with a wonderful guy. We've been together for six months. I'm white and he's half black and half Chinese.

My question is this: My boyfriend has asked me to use "the n-word" during sex. Specifically, he wants me to call him the "n word" in a degrading way. Full on "n-word," -er ending and all. We have only discussed this during salacious conversations—only while we are literally having sex—and I've never been the one to bring it up. We don't ever discuss it when our dicks are soft, but I'm wondering if there's some sort of emotional baggage behind it?

Also, I'm just not comfortable using this word. In my public life or my private life. I want to make my boyfriend happy and I want to turn him on, but I just don't know if I can bring myself to use that particular slur. What should I do? Should I suck it up and use it to make him happy? I cringe at the idea of growing more comfortable with it over time. Should I discuss my qualms with him? Just not bring it up?
I'm confused, Dan! Help!

Won't Use Racist Diatribe

My response after the jump...


One gay white dude advising another gay white dude about calling his mixed-race boyfriend the N-word during sex?


I'm gonna encourage our commenters to debate this one at length, WURD, but here's my POV in a nutshell: there are feminist women out there who get off on being called "bitch" during sex, there are out and proud gay men out there who get off on being called "faggot" during sex, there are Jews out there who get off on being called "Christ killer" during sex. (I dated that last guy.) Degradation, humiliation, verbal abuse—that shit turns some people on.

So your boyfriend isn't alone in his desire to have the bigot's go-to slur for his group hurled at him during sex. But if I were you, WURD, I wouldn't start hurling the particular thunderbolt that is the N-word until your boyfriend can discuss and unpack his desires with you when you're both fully clothed and full soft. It would be foolish in the extreme to risk uttering or mouthing or signing that word until after two or three calm, clothed, and soft conversations about his desires and about his relationship to that word and about why it turns him on to hear it during sex.

Your boyfriend is entitled to his feelings about that word, WURD, and he's entitled to his turn-ons, however transgressive they might seem or be. But you're entitled to your feelings too. If saying that word makes you feel terrible, if it unnerves you, if you fear it could awaken your inner klansmen, you don't have to say it.


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