This Week in the Mercury

Before the Blenders


Before the Blenders

Jimmy Buffett and Portland's Euphoria Tavern

A Clog in the Pipe


A Clog in the Pipe

Environmental Rules Snare Plans for Propane Terminal on the Columbia


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dear Dirty Bird: Fill Out the Mercury's Sex Survey!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM


HI‚ PERVERTS! My name is Bri Pruett (local funny lady and author of the popular Mercury blog column, "Let's Do It by Bri Pruett"), and I'm honored to be the author of this year's Portland Mercury sex survey. I will be your Cock Cousteau (or if you'd prefer, Jacques Coust-HO), setting off on an exciting sexploration into the murky darkness of Portland's coital depths.

If you've never filled out a Mercury sex survey before, rest assured that it's completely anonymous—so don't be shy! (God knows I'm not.) Simply fill out the form linked below by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24... and be honest with yourself (and me!). You can fill it out alone (or with a horny friend)—but really think about your complicated sexuality, your sexual relationship with yourself, why you choose the sex partners you do, and, as always... butt stuff. We'll have all the results for you in our HUMP!/Sex Issue on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5—so have fun, and LET'S GET DIRTY!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Let's Do It: For God's Sake... Just DATE!

Posted by Bri Pruett on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 2:31 PM

  • Image by Erica Moen

“I'm so excited to hang out with you. Let's hang out really soon.”

Right, yeah, let's do that.

“No I'm just so into you, I just really want to hang out with you, like all the time.”

Good. Yes. Let's do it.

“I just like you a lot, so I hope you want to hang out with me.”

Cool.... How about tonight?

“I... uh, now's not a great time, but like I said, I'm really into you.”

What the fuck is going on here? A fascinating, new phenomenon, wherein a supposedly interested party evades a physical meeting. Perhaps it is a person who is more comfortable texting, maybe it is a person with anxiety or agoraphobia? Perhaps it's good old-fashioned fear of intimacy. Whatever the case, it's been my experience in dating lately and some of my friends have reported similar experiences in their personal lives and THIS HAS TO STOP.

Here's the thing about dating or romantic get-togethers of any nature, THEY HAPPEN IN SPACE AND TIME, IN A SHARED REALITY, IN THE WORLD (unless of course you're Joaquin Phoenix living in a high-waisted, ice cream-colored, future world). “Dates” are dates... like on the calendar. That's where the word came from. And if you are a modern person you probably don't have a lot of spare time hanging out on your calendar. If you want to get romantically tangled up with someone you must make a date. Crushing from a distance is cute, but long-distance adoration isn’t going to get you into a satisfying relationship. If you like someone, don't tell them, show them by spending time with them.

Arranging a date is like any other kind of social engagement. People gotta know when the hell it is and it's gotta work with everyone’s schedule, but don’t be overwhelmed! You’re producing a little event for 2 people (or more… I support you poly folks!), It shouldn’t be too hard. Let me show you the moves...

Step 1: Set that date...

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SL Letter of the Day: The End is Near

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I am a 31 year-old gay man in my first monogamous relationship, now going on 3.5 months. My boyfriend is 45. For the first two months of our relationship, our sex life was great: it was frequent (about 3 times per week), spontaneous, and incredibly hot.

Then, it began to wane. He mostly stopped initiating, and many of my attempts have been met with excuses about how he was tired or had to work. I've talked with him about it several times, offering to work with him in terms of timing, schedule, ways of initiating, etc., and though he has been receptive to these conversations, it seems little has changed. In fact, we're now having even less sex than before (once a week if I'm lucky, but sometimes I can get him to lie with me while I jerk off, which was advice I adapted from another column you wrote.)

He says he is attracted to me and loves having sex with me—and this is evident while we're doing it—and yet he claims he has a low libido and also some difficulty feeling "needed" in certain ways due to an emotionally (though not sexually) abusive childhood. He has also said that he tends to think of sex in a relationship as "exceptional" (versus routine.) In the times between us having sex, I feel little sexual desire from him in terms of comments, compliments, flirtation, etc.

I don't want to be a nag by bringing this up again, but I'm not seeing much change after three weeks. Are our needs just too different? How long should I give this to change before I break up with him? It's very painful for me, as sex is a major way that I like to express and receive love, and my sexual appetite is still ravenous.

Sexless And Sad

My response after the jump...

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Why Are All My Straight Boyfriends Fucking Dudes?

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I'm a 37-year-old bisexual woman. In my previous relationship of three years I often discovered my "straight" boyfriend contacting m4m postings on Craigslist. I brought up what I had found and he said that he was curious but would never act on it. Well, that's sure not what it looked like from the emails I read. I'm not bothered by bisexuality. I'm not a hypocrite. I'm bothered by lying, sneaking, and likely cheating.

We've since split (for other reasons) and I'm dating someone new. He uses my computer and I saw the same thing happening in the history. He actually created a CL post while sitting next to me on his own laptop. Me, being creative, saw the listing and created an email address to respond to it. I needed proof, I guess, that it was what it looked like. Oblivious, he answered my email while sitting across from me at my kitchen table and made plans to meet me. I guess I have proof. I, as the fake responder, cancelled the plan (I felt bad he was going to be stood up lol) and he stayed the night with me. We did not have sex, though he clearly wanted sex thirty minutes earlier.

Anyway, I'm not upset about him wanting to be with a man. Again, it's the sneakiness (which I'm clearly better at) that offends me. We've only been together for 6 months. I don't expect to know all of his secrets. I didn't even want to. It just presented itself to me!

In your opinion, are all of my boyfriends gay? Or this normal for "straight" men to do? Should I tell him that I know? Should I be upset?

Take This Freaking Nonsense

My response after the jump...

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Contacting an Asshole Ex

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 10:29 AM

When I was seventeen I dated a 29-year-old guy. One time he tied me up (nekked) and blindfolded me, and—without saying anything—took some photos of me on his phone. At 17 I was less confident about the world so I didn't mention that I had heard the photos being taken. We never mentioned it again and I DTMFA'd him soon after (for he truly was an asshole).

Now it is seven years later and I just thought about those pics whilst reading your "Round Up column. I know one of his friends was convicted for having a lot of child porn on his computer and considering the age gap in the relationship I am worried he may have done something with the photos. I figure I have two options: 1. Forget about it. He probably has forgotten all about them. Move on. 2. Contact him. Ask if he still has them. If so, ask him to delete them.

Thing is, Dan, after I DTMFA'd I didn't really want to contact him and he probably has forgotten all about it anyway.... right? Or not right? I know I was a fool not saying anything at the time, but I was a young messed-up-in-the-head fool. Also: I am a trans* guy and at the time ID'd as a girl so him having those photos is fucked up.

Older & Wiser

My response after the jump...

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Gentlemen! Some Dating Advice

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Hey bro. Did you make your lady mad by arriving late to your tea date again? Here's the hottest of tips for you:

Nothing calms the waters like a... like a... well, like a whatever the hell that is.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Move On

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I am on vacation. Please enjoy this golden oldie from May 1, 2013.

I am a 23-year-old straight male. My ex-girlfriend and I started dating in high school, when we were both 17, and continued dating until I broke up with her the summer after our freshman year in college because things felt too serious. We continued to have sex, but I blocked out all my feelings for her, while she was open about still wanting to be with me. She started dating someone else sophomore year. I realized then that I still wanted to be with her, and I broke down emotionally and made both our lives difficult while she was dating this new guy. I was a very unattractive person then.

I also found out other details by snooping. I know that during the time we dated, she faked orgasms with me. She didn't have one with me until she introduced a vibrator the year I was having emotionless sex with her after the breakup. This made me feel inadequate. Since then, we have forgiven each other and tried several times to rekindle our romantic relationship. Unfortunately, while for me there is a sexual attraction, she says she is no longer attracted to me. I'm sensitive, fashionable, and artistic, and she tells me she's more attracted to the "all-American-man" type. She is currently dating someone long-distance, and they have been together for seven months. But we still talk about "us," we still cuddle, and she'll say things like "When I think of growing old, I imagine doing so with you." She views our intimacy as "friendly," while I view it as more romantic. I try to be a good friend, but hearing emotional crap about her relationship makes me want to scream, "WTF are you doing? No guy will ever clear your bar, because I set the bar!" Do you think there is any chance that we will be together again? Am I nuts to still want this girl?

Her Ideal Mate

My response after the jump...

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: That's Gotta Sting

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I am on vacation. Please enjoy this golden oldie from August 22, 2012.

I am a college-age gay male. Last year, I dated two guys. The first—let's call him Mitt—I dated for five months. He broke up with me, and it hurt as much as breakups do, but I got over it. A few months later, I dated another guy—let's call him Paul—for a month. I really liked him, but he broke up with me, too. Then I found out that two days after breaking up with me, Paul started going out with Mitt. They knew I had dated each of them. It was the end of the school year, and I quickly left for vacation. The school year starts back up soon, and I am still pissed and hurt that they are dating. Do I have a right to be? Should I just get over myself? Should I just do my best to avoid them?

Exes Became A Couple

My response after the jump...

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Another Thank You Note

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Days after reading a rare "Thank You Note" in the "SL Letter of the Day" I was having a sexual encounter and I thought, "I have Dan Savage to thank for this!" So here is my thank you note!

My fiancé and I have been together four years. We are a straight couple that met in college. Disgustingly wholesome, I know. After two years of listening to your podcast my fiancé worked up the nerve to confess that he fantasized about cuckolded. We were already doing some bondage but the combination of bondage (heavier now!) and cuckolding (regularly now!) is amazing. The other detail: I was struggling with being monogamous and I was worried that I would cheat sooner or later (as I had on past high school and college boyfriends). So when fiancé's confessed I was like, "Yahtzee!" (Learned that expression from you!)

We are now happily non-monogamous and we are having a blast and we are being safe and we are communicating well and we are being really careful with our feelings and our safety and with birth control (because we don't want this to happen to us!) and we are also being really considerate of the feelings of our two regular play buddy and we have you to thank for all of it.

So thanks!

Loving Unconditionally, Cuckolding Knowingly, Yeah!

P.S. I've enclosed a picture take the night I thought to myself, you know, I really should send Dan a thank you note! That's my fiancé on the floor at the foot of the bed in our hotel room mummified by me and my regular play buddy. And that's the bed where I was "cheating" on him twenty minutes after this picture was taken! Feel free to share it with your readers but please blur out his cock!

My response—and the pic—after the jump...

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Monday, October 6, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Hard to Swallow

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Please enjoy this golden oldie from September 19, 2012

Healthy straight male here. The problem is twofold: My girlfriend doesn't like come in her mouth and she feels that doggy-style is objectifying to women. Therefore, we don't do either. She says she wants to get more comfortable and try these things. But they never seem to happen-and when I bring them up, it turns into a touchy discussion. These are #1 and #2, respectively, on my list of favorite things to do in the bedroom, and I'm not okay with not doing them indefinitely. The sex is otherwise great, but I do think there's a double standard at work here. She had an ex who refused to go down on her. When I said, "He needed to man up and take one for the team, even if he didn't like it," she readily agreed with me. So why can't she "take one for the team" and swallow my come? I would feel bad if she were doing something she wasn't comfortable with, but it disappoints me when she takes my dick out of her mouth and points it at my stomach when I start to come. I think she has a double standard.

Really Anxious Not Doing Yearnings

P.S. We've been dating only about three months, so I understand there is plenty of time for her to get more comfortable. I love being with her, I can't get enough of her, and I can see this becoming a lifelong relationship. But I don't want to have to miss out on my bedroom favorites for the rest of my life...

My response after the jump...

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Friday, October 3, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Sarcasm Uptake Inhibitors

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I am a 40 year old, heterosexual female. I've been with my heterosexual boyfriend, age 42, for 9 months. We met and got together rather quickly, we'd known each other 3 weeks before we began having sex and at first everything was fine.

What's bothering me now is that I get the impression I am not a sexually desirable partner for him. I used to dress up in stockings for him (his biggest fetish) and he would love it, but I got burned a few months ago on my 40th birthday. We got a hotel room for the night, I'd told him I basically wanted to sex it up for my birthday, so I dressed up in an outfit with stockings, lace and pigtails (his fetish) and nothing happened. He sat and watched TV and drank for hours until I gave up trying to engage him in taking video or photos or just having sex. When I got dressed he got mad.

I've tried to point out sexy outfits for me to wear, and he avoids me and starts talking about something else. He has dissed me several other times, and this whole situation has made me very insecure; it doesn't help that he prefers brunettes and I'm a little redhead. I no longer attempt to dress up for him and he never asks me to. He gets defensive when I try to talk to him about it now, so I've given that up, too. He says I'm making up stuff or that I'm just being insecure, but the reality is I was fine with myself and my sexuality before. I was looking forward to having a relationship where we could explore our sexuality, and I now feel trumped at every attempt.

He says he's attracted to me and that he loves me and wants to marry me. I wonder if I'm making too big a deal out of it, but it hurts my feelings and has killed my sex drive.

Suppressed And Disappointed

My response after the jump...

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Taking it Easy

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I'm a 41-year-old heteroflexible female. Eight years married, the last two years have been nonmonogamous. We swing, host orgies, dabble in tantra, and get kinky with power exchange and sensation play. We are poly and each have a significant outside relationship. It sure ain't always easy, but we feel good in our conscious relationship choices and sexual openness.

You, Dan, have been a huge influence in our journey. Thank you!

A Complicated Life Is Terrific

P.S. Here is a pic of my husband's cock.

Thanks for the lovely note, ACLIT, and for the equally lovely pic. (Want me to share the pic with folks by adding it to this post? Let me know, ACLIT!) And while I wouldn't normally post a thank-you note as the SLLOTD, responding to yesterday's SLLOTD just about killed me. So I'm taking it easy today.

Another letter from the taking-it-easy file—an update from a recent SLLOTDer—after the jump...

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Least Favorite Question

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Until about 24 hours ago, I was celibate for over two years. (I'm a guy.) Despite some rare and brief moments of loneliness, I really didn't mind it; I'd get high, ride my bike, write music... I was fulfilled in ways I never had time for when I was dating, in a relationship, or regularly trying to hook up online or in bars. Recently I stopped smoking weed in order to pass an upcoming preliminary drug test for a job and, as a result, I've been going out drinking more often.

Last night, I had plans to meet some friends for karaoke but they couldn't make it, so instead I made my way to another bar, this one closer to my apartment. I ate half a Xanax and drank two beers before I left on my bike, then proceeded to drink Tom Collins until last call (I think I totaled five), chatting with a gay former marine eight years my senior. It wasn't until my second to last drink that I really started to feel intoxicated, and I probably shouldn't have ordered that last one but the bartender makes the best I've had in this town.

We stepped outside to smoke and the marine mentioned going somewhere and cuddling. I said, "Fuck it, why not?", and we walked to my apartment. I could barely push my bike, let alone ride it, but we made it back safely. I locked my bike up in the basement and we crept quietly into the apartment so as not to wake my roommate, who, despite my protests, prefers to sleep with his bedroom door open. I led him to my bedroom and then went to take a piss. When I came back, he was sprawled out on my bed in his underwear. I stripped down to mine and crawled beneath the sheets, inviting him under to be the big spoon.

He placed his hand on my crotch and remarked how hard I was, then led my hand to his erection. It wasn't long before his dick was in my mouth.

The rest of this epic letter—which ends with my least favorite question—after the jump...

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Foot Licker

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 10:59 AM

I'm 25, I'm virgin, and I find quite difficult to relate with girls. My main problem is I can't accept my sexuality and I have never had the chance to explore it. I'm into fetish SM. But it seems like there are two parts of me. The first part of me wants to lick women feet, likes humiliation, and longs to be being humiliated. The second part of me can't accept the first part and I just want to love and to be loved by the girl I am with.

I would say there was nothing wrong if I could just feet lick to get the relationship a bit more "spicy," but the problem is that I think I can't excite myself with the "traditional way." I had few girlfriends in the past and when was the time to penetrate I got instantly limp.

I'm going to a therapist now. in my past there were issues with parents divorced in a very horrible way and a violent father who did physical and psychological violence. My therapist she said there is Oedipus complex in the air and I could be freed if we work on this. So this is why I hope going away from home things will get a little better. I want to have sons with my future loved woman and, finally, to have sex. Fetishists are considered perverted and mocked in the country where I live in, so it's really difficult to find girls interested in this stuffs to try and explore.

Thanks for your attention and your answer.

Fetishist Exposes Entire Troubles

My response after the jump...

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Monday, September 29, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Too Much Work

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Please enjoy this golden oldie from May 8, 2013.

I'm a 24-year-old straight, married female. I have been religiously reading your column in the Portland Mercury since I was 16. Thank you for explaining things that my parents wouldn't and for helping me clear the hurdles of adolescence!

I turn to you now for advice. Five months ago, I married the man of my dreams. He was driven, hardworking, loving, and happy. We had amazing, cosmic, and connected sex, and we enjoyed pleasing each other. We have been together for a little over a year. I realize now that it was WAY too soon to get married, but I let my romantic side get the best of me, and so here we are. We are miserable. Now when it comes to sex, it's the furthest thing from my mind. When it does happen, it's very one-sided. I rarely get off, and if I do, it's on my own after he finishes because "it's too much work" to get me off. That's problem one.

Problem two is that on our wedding night, he broke his foot and couldn't work as a result. After his foot healed, he quit his job. He told me he "didn't want to do that kind of work anymore." So now I work an exhausting full-time job, support both of us on a salary barely big enough for one, and come home every day to a filthy apartment. Here's what my husband does all day: plays video games and jerks off to porn. Every time I broach the subject of him getting a job or picking up after himself, all hell breaks loose. I have brought up marriage counseling, because lately neither of us is the best at respectfully communicating, and his response is "You can go, but I'm not going." I thought about withholding sex until he finds a job, but I don't know how big of a threat that poses as we have sex MAYBE once a week as it is. I would appreciate any advice you have for making this work, as I am not ready to give up.

Too Soon To Quit

Continue reading »

Friday, September 26, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Down the Road

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 10:59 AM

I am a 23-year-old lesbian who has been in a monogamous relationship for the past three years.

The problem is I am very happy being in a monogamous relationship while my partner wants an open relationship. She wants to sleep with other people but says she is not interested in any kind of emotional relationship with other people. I love this girl and want to make it work but I don't know if this is possible. I know it's unrealistic to be in a monogamous relationship for a life time but thinking about her fucking other people while I play the sucker girlfriend waiting for her to come home makes me sick. I want her to be happy and to be able to fulfill her needs, explore, and grow, but this really breaks my heart. I know that if she doesn't do this she will probably resent me but if she sleeps with other people I will resent her. We've thought about taking a break for a while so she can try and fulfill her needs but I'm not sure it would work. I am desperately in love with her but thinking of her being with other people really gets under my skin. I want this to work soo much and so does she.

Is there any hope of making this work or should I wake up and realize we just want different things from a relationship?

Wishing I Wanted An Open Relationship

My response after the jump...

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

SL Letters of the Day: We Are All Piss Drinkers Now

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 10:29 AM

As a scientist who studies water cycling on this planet, I would suggest that your answer to PISS's query regarding the consumption of of your urine, which ran in this week's column, may have been a tad inaccurate. It is likely that at least a little bit of water that was once in your body has since evaporated and been partially transported to a watershed in which the fetishist in question inhabits, especially as Minneapolis is often downwind of Seattle. Indeed the real question is how to avoid drinking other people's piss: the answer to that is simple only drink water that has been in a confined aquifer, or under a large ice sheet such as Antarctica or Greenland. May this enlighten rather than ruin your day.

Pee Haitch Dee

I don't have much to add, and this isn't really a question anyway, and I'm reeling from the news that we are all—every last one of us—piss-guzzling piss freaks who drink piss. (Some of us get closer to the tap than others, of course, but still!) But this is definitely the letter of the day.

A couple of other responses from readers... after the jump...

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: The Boss of Him

Posted by Dan Savage on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I'm a bisexual lady, 22 years old. I'm also pretty hardcore into Femdom. I can't get aroused by the thought of being in a sexual scenario with a man if I'm not a Domme. For whatever reason, I can be with women without a domination component (though it's obviously preferred). I'm constantly worried about how to relate to potential boyfriends because of this, since the amount of male subs seems to be... lacking in comparison to female ones. Do I just spring it on them on the first date to weed out the ones who can't handle it? It seems wrong to just toss Femdom into the conversation immediately, but it's such a strong part of my sexual identity...

Nervous Domme

My answer after the jump...

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Raising Awareness of "Lopsided" Bisexuality During Bisexuality Visibility Week

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Charles M. Blow, an opinion columnist with the New York Times, had a very moving and much discussed piece on the cover of the SundayReview section of the paper over the weekend. It opened with Blow revealing that he had been a victim of rape as a child and closes with his complicated journey to self-acceptance and self-awareness as a bisexual man:

After my wife and I split, I decided to give male intimacy another try. The male attraction was still there, running alongside the female one—not equal, but there. I assumed my first failure might have been the result of youth and nerves and a mixed match. But now, again, my body sometimes failed to respond. Other times I was able to engage more fully, but almost always with the aid of copious amounts of alcohol, which left me barely able to remember the encounters and often wanting to forget them. This felt fraudulent to me, and opportunistic, and dangerous.

Still, no matter how much I drank, no matter how altered my consciousness, I couldn’t completely rid myself of the unease of being intimately close to another man’s body, hard and hairy and muscular and broad at the shoulders, more stem than flower—too much like my own. In those moments I was acutely aware that I missed the tug of the female form, the primary sensation and the peripheral ones. The look of soft features and the feel of soft skin. The graceful slopes of supple curves. The sweet smells. The giggles. The thing in me that yearned for those sensory cues from a woman wouldn’t quietly accept a substitute.
I had to accept a counterintuitive fact: my female attraction was fully formed—I could make love and fall in love—but my male attraction had no such terminus. To the degree that I felt male attraction, it was frustrated. In that arena, I possessed no desire to submit and little to conquer. For years I worried that the barrier was some version of self-loathing, a denial. But eventually I concluded that the continual questioning and my attempts to circumvent the barrier were their own form of loathing and self-flagellation. I would hold myself open to evolution on this point, but I would stop trying to force it. I would settle, over time, into the acceptance that my attractions, though fluid, were simply lopsided. Only with that acceptance would I truly feel free.

Blow's "lopsided" brand of bisexuality—romantically and sexually attracted to opposite-sex partners, only sexually attracted to same-sex partners—is common (particularly among bi men) but it is rarely discussed or acknowledged. It's not very visible. And as Blow's piece makes clear, writing "lopsided bisexuality" out of the bi experience, the constant and often smug framing of bisexuality as the capacity to be sexually and romantically attracted to both men and women equally, excludes men like Blow and makes it harder for men like him to accept themselves as bisexual. Men like Blow walk around believing that they're either not really bi (like this guy who wrote me at "Savage Love"), or that they're bi but defective or broken.

But bisexual guys like Blow aren't broken. That may be the case for some; there are some bi men out there whose homophobia prevents them from falling in love with other men. But after getting letters from men like Blow for years and years (two decades!) I'm convinced that most of these guys aren't damaged or defective or self-loathing. They are "bi-sexual but hetero-amorous," as Charles Pulliam-Moore put it, and there's nothing wrong with that—so long as guys who know themselves to be bisexual but hetero-amorous don't turn around and misrepresent themselves to gay men who may be after something more than sex. (Don't misrepresent themselves by commission or omission.) As I wrote in response to Pulliam-Moore...

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SL Letter of the Day: Played Out

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I'm a longtime reader, and I need a gut check. I'm a straight gal in my mid-40's, in an open 20-year marriage that's been open for nearly a decade. The sexual aspect of my marriage is just not there these days, but we are very compatible as friends and co-parents and life mates, so, whatever, this works for us. My problem is with my Other Guy. We met online about 8 years ago, and clicked strongly, immediately. The sex has been consistently fantastic. He's also a successful professional in my field, and has been a valuable source of career advice. I knew he was/is unfaithful to his wife (he's deceiving her, unlike me), and soon after we met I learned (from him) that he was also cheating on his then-steady extramarital relationship with me. After several months, he broke off with the other other woman, and eventually, we found ourselves in a (I know this sounds odd) monogamous extramarital relationship. It has been a very good connection for both of us for a long time.

Last month, my hubby mentioned casually that he'd spotted my boyfriend on a kink forum, looking for a specific type of partner that I happen to know (but hubby does not) Other Guy has been curious about for a long time. I was devastated! I confronted Other Guy, and got massive, groveling apologies, and assurances that had his feeler gotten any hits (this type of partner is not that common and can afford to be very choosy) he would have told me; he described his ad as no more "real" a betrayal than perusing porn, more of a message in a bottle than a serious effort to find a playmate. He deleted his account on the kink forum immediately, and said it meant nothing to him compared to keeping me in his life. The sad part is that I'm really pretty GGG: as my Other Guy knows, if he found such a person and told me, I would have been ok with it, either fooling around all three together, or else sending him off to explore. I feel I can hardly ask for monogamy from him, but I do want honesty.

I don't know what to think. I see a bright line between porn and online forums—am I wrong? I feel betrayed, and I don't feel like I can entirely trust him now. Am I a fool for thinking that I could ever trust a guy who started out by cheating on his mistress with me? It's been a lot of years, and closeness, and I value this connection. I also feel like it would be more work to replace him than I'm in the mood to invest—he's great in bed, and a lot of fun when we're not in bed. But I hate being played—am I being played?

Can't Help Enquiring About This

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Monday, September 22, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Here's the Letter You Wrote Me Today and Here's the Letter You'll Write Me in Eight Years

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I am madly in love with my boyfriend. We have been together two really amazing years (so far!) but the only problem is.... the sex lacks spark, passion and orgasms (for me). When I met him I wasn't a virgin but he was. I've tried so hard to "train" him in order to not only get myself off but to make sex better for him too. My sex record is up to fifteen but I'm still his first, and even though I try so hard to tell him what to do without hurting his feelings he just doesn't listen and I still can't orgasm. The only times I can orgasm, and I mean really fantastically, mouth dropping, heart pounding orgasm is when I'm with someone besides him.

I've been honest and open and I confessed to him that I'd slept with someone else and he told me to stop, he told me he'd change and become a better sexual partner, but things HAVE NOT changed. I'm still faking it, and he doesn't even notice. I don't want to hurt his feelings because I love him so deeply but I'd have an easier time getting off to the fucking Teletubbies.

WHAT DO I DO? I'm horny all the time and he can't please me sexually.

Orgasmless Sex Fiend

My response after the jump...

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Friday, September 19, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: The Wronged Party

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I had an experience I wanted to ask you about. I had just broken up with a girlfriend and decided to have a MFF threesome to celebrate. I called the number of an escort site that had a photo of two women kissing on it. They said $250 per girl and I said yes. Sixty minutes later two hot babes were in my apartment. I paid them up front we got into bed and they asked for $300 each to have intercourse with me. When I said I had no more money they got up and walked out the door. I was already naked so I did not have the ability to run after them. I called them back and they did hung up on me. I called the site that it is advertised on and they said they could call them and tell them about my complaint. That was all they could do for me. What did I do wrong?

Escort Etiquette

My response after the jump...

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Spanking Is For Adults

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 9:44 AM

America's most prominent spanking fetishist—Jillian Keenan—doesn't think parents should spank kids:

Spanking is a sex act. It has been for a very long time—probably even longer than it’s been a parenting choice. A fresco at the Etruscan Tomb of the Whipping, which dates back to approximately 490 B.C., depicts an erotic spanking. In Francum, a 1599 epigram by John Davies, includes one of the most explicit descriptions of sexual masochism in Renaissance poetry. In Victorian England—well, there are way toomany examples to list them all, so suffice it to say that spanking was a constant focus of Victorian erotica.

And butts aren’t just culturally sexualized; they’re biologically sexual, too. Nerve tracts that pass through the lower spine carry sensory information to and from both the butt and genitals. Some scientists speculate that these nerves can stimulate one region when the other is provoked. There’s also a blood vessel in the pelvic region called thecommon iliac artery. When blood rushes to a child’s butt—because, say, you’re spanking him—blood rushes down that artery. But the artery splits. Some of it directs blood to the genitals. So when you cause blood to rush to a child’s butt, you’re also causing it to rush to his or her other sex organs. The other time this kind of genital blood engorgement happens is during erection or arousal.

Keenan is reacting to the Adrian Peterson scandal. Peterson, of course, is the NFL player who had admitted to whipping his four-year-old son with a switch. A lot of pixels have been spilled about Peterson after he was indicted on child abuse charges. Here's all I gotta say about his case: If I had whipped my son with a switch when he was four—leaving broken skin and bloody lash marks all over his legs, butt, and scrotum—it wouldn't have inspired a national conversation about spanking and cultural differences. It would've inspired the authorities to put my kid in foster care and me in prison.


Way back when Terry and I were about to become dads I was shocked by the number of people who asked us—out of the blue—if we intended to spank. "Of course," I always replied. "But not the kid."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Can't Live If Living Is Without You

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM

I'm 32, and I've been with my live-in boyfriend for eight years now. He's bipolar, on SSI, and undergoing treatment—and he's doing much better in the last year than he ever has before. However, he still depends on me for a great many things, such as paying bills, taking care of the house, and making and remembering doctor appointments, stuff like that. We've had more than our fair share of problems, many of them due to his bipolar issues, but I care deeply about him, and I want him to be happy. However, even though he is now doing better, I'm not really attracted to him anymore after all the shit that's happened. I still put out, but it feels like an act. It's been that way for maybe three years now. He's totally oblivious.

To complicate things further, I recently started sleeping with an ex of mine. I trust him and the sex is incredible. I kind of forgot what it was like to have that, and I don't want to give it up—but I feel like a total asshole because I don't know how to leave my boyfriend without destroying his life. (My boyfriend has made it clear that he doesn't want an open relationship, by the way.) So can I have a pass? Can I keep seeing my ex on the side while I continue to provide my live-in boyfriend with the support he needs? I know it can be arrogant and presumptuous to assume that someone "can't live without you," but trust me, this would completely crush him.

What Do You Think?

My response after the jump...

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HUMP! 2014 Deadlines and Dates

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 9:44 AM


The deadline to submit short films for HUMP! 2014—the Pacific Northwest's biggest, best, and only amateur and locally-sourced porn festival—is approaching! The five-minute-max films that appear in HUMP! run the gamut from hardcore to erotica to animation to comedy. Straight, gay, bi, lesbian, trans, genderqueer, vanilla, kinky, solo, coupled, grouped, and unclassifiable—all are welcome in HUMP! The deadline for submission for this year's HUMP! Film Festival is September 30. Click here for all the information you need about making and submitting a film for HUMP! click here. One of last year's winning submissions was made a week before the deadline—so there's still time to get started on your HUMP! submission! In other HUMP! news...

We've added another $1000 prize to HUMP!: The Jury Award. This prize will be awarded to a film chosen by the HUMP! jury. The complete lineup of HUMP! prizes...

Jury Award: $1000
Best Humor: $1,000 First Prize, $250 First Runner-Up
Best Sex: $1,000 First Prize, $250 First Runner-Up
Best Kink: $1,000 First Prize, $250 First Runner-Up
Best in Show: $5,000 Grand Prize
HUMP! audiences will continue to award Best Humor, Best Sex, Best Kink, and Best In Show prizes by secret ballot.

We're also ready to announce the dates for this year's HUMP! festival:

SEATTLE November 6 -9 and and 13-15. All screening at On the Boards.
PORTLAND November 13-16. All screenings at Cinema 21.
OLYMPIA November 15. Screening location TBD.
Tickets for HUMP! 2014 go on sale Wednesday, October 1, at 10 a.m.!

More info here!

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