Playing the Long Game, Marrying the Sea Captain, Coming Across Assholes — Reader Advice Roundup!

Africa Asia Australia Business Canada Europe Health Latin America Middle East Science Seattle News Tech UK Uncategorized USA World

This week’s Savage Love Letters of the Day: her fiancé is down to dominate her the way she likes to be dominated but it doesn’t work for her; his primary partner doesn’t have a problem with him seeing other people so long as they they don’t have the wrong first name; his wife can’t contemplate his bisexuality without running to the bathroom and puking her guts out. And, of course, this week’s Savage Love and this week’s Savage Lovecast.

First up, some advice from my readers for BDSMERR


See a doctor face to face—from your couch. VideoCare™ connects you to a remote ZOOM+Care provider.

It is said that you can’t tickle yourself because you know exactly when the tickle is going to occur, and thus your brain suppresses the tickle response. However if there is some sort of delay introduced between you initiating the tickle and your being tickled, then you can tickle yourself. Perhaps the same sort of thing would work for BDSMERR. She wants her boyfriend to do X. He is happy to oblige. But when she has to tell him to do X that kills it for her. She could tell him that she wants him to do it “soon.” He simply agrees that he is going to do whatever in the next couple of days—but he surprises her with when. Perhaps the delay will knock out the “I asked for this so it isn’t really what I want” response. I am personally very big on enthusiastic consent. I need to hear that what I am doing is what my playmate wants, not simply what she is willing to permit. It took me a while to navigate that sometimes she wants me to simply “have my way” with her.

The Savage Love Commentariat (SLC) took me to task for failing to address two significant details in BDSMERR’s letter…

Rachyk: Mid-20s, together for “about two years,” her first sexual partner, she’s kinky and he’s not, and they’re engaged? Um, hoping this is a years long engagement so they can work this shit out and actually get to know each other before they make a “lifetime commitment”. Their brains aren’t even done fully developing yet. That engagement is the bigger issue here.

Pretty young to be getting married and engaged before basic sexual compatibility has been established… I noticed those things when I read BDSMERR’s letter but I wanted to give her some hopeful advice—hopeful, not irrational, as I’ve met many people who grew into kink after falling in love with a kinky person. And I trusted that SLC would be all over the marrying young and marrying despite sexual incompatibility angles. There’s no guarantee BDSMERR’s partner will grow into kink, of course, as demonstrated by experience of one commenter who’s been there, married that…

Something Else: My experience says don’t marry this dude no matter how good all the other stuff is unless you are both pretty open to an open marriage at some point and even then maybe not. I’ve been down the road of talking through the kind of stuff I like, having it be really hot the first few times because I’m stoked to be getting any kink and he’s happy that I’m happy. But in my experience – since he’s just doing it for me – it always reverts to only vanilla after a while. And the next talk you have about it has a little guilt on his side and a little resentment on your side and goes a little less well, and the next time there’s crying, and the next time there’s anger. Until you’ve been married to your best friend for 20 years but also kind of hate him because you only have sex outside the marriage so you haven’t had sex at all since the lockdown started, which is going on two months now. So that was maybe a little specific, but is a real possibility from someone who started out in a similar place.

While Something Else’s partner didn’t grow into kink—or they never found a way to make kink work in their marriage—that doesn’t mean BDSMERR and her partner can’t possibly make it work…

The fix for BDSMER’s problem can be summarized in one sentence: They need a non-explicit cue to initiate kinky sex, such as her acting like a brat—which, to judge from the tone of her letter, she quite possibly is already. Kudos, though, for your advice to BDSMERR about playing the long game with her partner. Once upon a time, I, too, was pretty vanilla, but having really good kinky sex tends to make one crave more good kinky sex.

Regarding my advice for FAM, the gay guy who moved to the states from Brazil and was wondering if he should come out to his family…

The “loud and proud” way of being gay is uniquely American, and it’s not the only way to be gay. You’re using American culture as a measuring stick for FAM, who exists in two cultures at once. He (and you) might try reading Tacit Subjects by Carlos Decena, a book about how gay immigrant men of color living in the US navigate their sexual identities.

I don’t think the loud-and-proud way of being gay is all that uniquely American. And perhaps it’s a cultural bias (or privilege), but I think loud-and-proud is better than quite-and-closeted while at the same time recognizing that for some loud-and-proud isn’t an option. Regardless, FAM lives in the United States with his American boyfriend and he asked me—a loud-and-proud American type if ever there was one—for my advice. And FAM wrote back to tell he appreciated the advice and planned to take it…

Thanks so much for your insight. My BF and I talked about it and we’ll tell my parents. I had a deep feeling in my guy that I’ll have to come out at some point. It’s not easy. And yes. We’re Catholic too—but for them it’s all about appearances and what not. But at the same time I live in Miami. They’re in Brazil. I guess it’s a matter of waiting for the right time. I love my family. But I love being gay as well. LOL. My bf’s family is amazing and accepting. Thanks for the solid advice.

Regarding my advice for In The Shallows

I started reading your column when I was just a little baby grunge teen in Seattle in the 90s and have read it consistently throughout my adult life. I’ll be 40 in a couple of weeks. I have found humor and titillation in your columns over the years, but also real, searing advice that I have taken to heart. This week’s column was different. Because I’ve been that person the letter writer is talking about. Usually the other person a letter writer talks about is abstract, fetishized, or clearly a ghoul. Not this one. This one felt like it was written about me. And I want to sincerely thank you for telling In The Shallows that his wife “deserves the chance to find someone who’s sincerely attracted to her.”

I was in a marriage where my body changed after a baby and my porn-addicted spouse told me he would still be into me if I looked like I used to when he met me. (I was 24. LOL.) I peaced out six years ago, moved back to the west coast, and now I’m less than a month from my wedding date (postponed due to COVID19 unfortunately) to a super sexy sea captain who’s six years younger than me and thinks he won the lotto every time he sees my boobs. The difference in how I feel about myself when my partner can’t keep his hands off me is way more significant than I ever could have imagined. I see myself as a complete person now and I’m really grateful that my ex didn’t try to hang in there despite finding me repulsive.

Every single person deserves the chance to be with someone that’s into them. Even if that means ending a marriage. Seriously, Dan, thank you. Somewhere some teenager is reading your column like I did and they will absorb that little bit of wisdom and use it to keep themselves away from a lifetime of heartache.

Thank you for the very kind note and congrats and best wishes to you and your super sexy sea captain! But not everyone liked that particular column…

You wrote this: “For the record: What’s on the inside does count. It matters. If you met a woman who was more conventionally attractive—if you were with someone who was your idea of hot—and over time she revealed herself to be an asshole (if she was rude to waiters, if she was emotionally abusive, if she was a Trump supporter, etc.).” Fuck you, you stupid cock-sucker. I’m a Trump supporter and you’re the only asshole I’ve come across online today.

I can’t recall the last time I got online and encountered just one asshole. So if I was the only asshole you came across on the Internet the day you read my column, Mr. Trump Supporter, I’d say you had a pretty good day on the Internet. Thank you for reading and I’m sorry my little parenthetical hurt your precious fee-fees, you lil’ MAGA snowflake you. No wait. I’m not sorry. To borrow a phrase: fuck your feelings. And fuck your president. And fuck you.

Regarding BARFO

At the top of last week’s podcast I observed that there are a million widely-used and instantly-recognizable slang terms for semen—come, spooge, spunk, jizz, etc.—but there isn’t one for “vaginal secretions.”

Since you’re a gay man, it makes sense that you would avoid talk about vaginal secretions. Us straight men, however, use terms such as: Clitty Litter, Lady Juice, Pussy Juice, Pussy Nectar.

Excuse me, but I don’t “avoid talk about vaginal secretions.” The subject comes up on my show all the time. I mean, I was literally talking about vaginal secretions in the episode that prompted you to send this email! But thank you for sharing your short list of slang terms. While I don’t think anyone would know what you meant by “clitty litter,” and while I don’t think comparing vaginal secretions to the gravel cats shit in is very nice, your other suggested terms are perfectly serviceable. (I once had to read a dirty story—for work—where a “straight” guy referred to the vaginal secretions all over his dick as “pussy snot” in an effort to convince the other straight guy in the room—whose girlfriend he’d just fucked in front of him—to do a very un-straight-guy-like thing and suck his dick. If recall correctly… it worked. This is not an endorsement of “pussy snot,” which may actually be worse than “clitty litter.” I’m just sharing.)

Regarding my advice to Chronically Aroused

Just wanted to add a note to your reply to Chronically Aroused in the column this week. I’m no expert, but I’m prone to vaginal yeast infections. Personally, I find that the associated swelling in the vulva area causes feelings of constant arousal for me. The soreness CA is experiencing may not be entirely from masturbating, but is another symptom that could be from a yeast infection. So yes, CA should definitely get to the doctor, but should be aware there may be a simple diagnosis and fix to her issue. I hope you can pass the message along!

Support The Stranger

Some good news about HUMP!

Finally, a positive from all this. Thank you for giving us HUMP! outside the US! As fans, dedicated Magnum subscribers, and frequent beneficiaries of your sage-like wisdom, Dan, we’ve toyed with the idea of crossing the pond just to attend the festival, but it’s kinda hard to justify. But now HUMP! is coming to us and you’re even giving us our own porn-appropriate European show times! Thank you for this and for everything else you do! (The world is in a terrible place but HUMP! streaming online isn’t the only positive development for us. !e’re two dedicated solo-livers who’ve discovered, after making the tricky “lockdown together or alone” decision, that, for now at least, we want to be together full time to look after each other. And we still want to fuck. So, y’know, silver linings!)

A reader revamped, revised, and revitalized his vintage, limited-issue (because we’re not making and selling them anymore) ITMFA t-shirt…


And finally…

Okay, we’re going to leave it there! I hope everyone has a great weekend—and a safe one—and we’ll see you back here on Monday!


Stuck at home? Got weed? Check out HUMP!’s sister film fest SPLIFF! It’s a brilliant collection of films created by the stoned, for the stoned! Stream online anytime at!

Leave a Reply