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Savage Love Live at Denver’s Oriental Theater last week was epic. I fielded sex questions in front of a sold-out crowd, singer-songwriter Rachel Lark performed amazing news songs, comedian Elise Kerns absolutely killed it, and Tye—a token straight guy plucked at random from the audience—joined us onstage and gave some pretty great sex advice! We couldn’t get to all the audience questions during the show, so I’m going to race through as many unanswered questions as I can in this week’s column. —Dan Savage
You’ve famously said, “Oral comes standard.” How long before anal comes standard?
How does a week from next Tuesday grab you?
I enjoyed a great sex life with many kinky adventures until my husband died suddenly two years ago. I have insurance $$$ and a house to sell and a dream of using the proceeds to become a sex-positive therapist. Crazy idea? Or something the world needs more of?
Judging by how many people tell me they’re having a hard time finding sex-positive, kink-positive, open-positive, and poly-positive therapists, I would definitely file “sex-positive therapist” under “world needs more of.” Chase that dream!
How do you introduce your inexperienced-but-willing-to-try partner to BDSM?
By starting a two-person book club. Order Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring, and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities by Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge edited by Tristan Taormino, and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman. Read and discuss, and discuss some more—and when you’re ready to start playing, take it slow!
What resources are available—which do you recommend—to share with my male partner so he can improve (learn) oral sex? (Girl oral sex!)
Two more book recommendations: The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus: How to Go Down on a Woman and Give Her Exquisite Pleasure by Violet Blue and She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman by Ian Kerner.
My boyfriend told me that women orgasm only 60 percent of the time compared to men. I said I want orgasm equity. How do I navigate his pansy-assed male ego to find a solution?
The orgasm gap—91 percent of men reported climaxing in their last opposite-sex sexual encounter compared to 64 percent of women (National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior)—doesn’t exist for lesbians and bi women in same-sex relationships. So the problem isn’t women and their elusive orgasms, it’s men and their lazy-ass bullshit. A contributing factor is that women often have a hard time advocating for their own pleasure because they’ve been socialized to defer to men. There’s evidence of that in your question: You want to navigate this problem—the problem being a selfish boyfriend who doesn’t care enough about you to prioritize your pleasure and has taken cover behind the orgasm gap—but you want to spare his ego in the process. Fuck his precious ego. Tell him what you want and show him what it takes to get you off. If he refuses to do his part to close the orgasm gap in your apartment, show him the door.
How do you prioritize sex with your partner when life gets so busy and masturbation is so much easier? My fiancé is down for quickies sometimes but not always.
Forgive my tautology, but you prioritize sex by prioritizing sex. Scheduled sex can be awesome sex—and when you’re truly pressed for time, you can always masturbate together.
How do I come out to my family as a stripper? I’ve been dancing for more than two years and don’t plan to stop. Some of my family members are biased against sex workers, but I’m tired of keeping up the facade (I told them I’m a bartender).
It’s a Catch-22: People are afraid to come out to their closed-minded families as queer or poly or sex workers or atheists, but closed-minded families typically don’t open their minds until after their queer or poly or sex-working or nonbelieving kids come out to them. To open their minds, you’ll have to risk telling your truth. Address their concerns, stand your ground, open their minds.
I keep having sex dreams about Kanye West. What does that mean?
You’re Mike Pence.
Am I doing society a disservice by dating an international drug dealer?
A sexually frustrated international drug dealer is arguably more dangerous than a sexually satisfied international drug dealer—so you may be doing society a service.
Can I want to be monogamous without any reasoning? My boyfriend would probs be in an open relationship, but I’m not interested for no reason in particular.
Speaking with a low-information voter is frustrating because they can’t tell you why they voted for someone; speaking with a low-information fucker—someone who can’t tell you why they’re doing/screwing what they’re doing/screwing—is just as frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when the low-information/low-self-awareness fucker happens to be the person you’re fucking. It’s fine to want what you want—because of course it is—but unless you’re interested only in solo sex, you need to be able to share your reasons.
I dated a guy who said he was in an open relationship. We started working together on a podcast. I got irritated because after two months he never did any preliminary research. When I pointed that out, he deleted all our work and blocked me on FB. Now he’s asking for some stuff he left at my place. Do I give it back?
Yep. As tempting as it might be to hold on to his stuff or trash it, that just keeps this drama alive. If you keep his stuff, he’ll keep after you for it. If you trash his stuff, you’ll have to worry about the situation escalating. If you want him out of your life and out of your head, put his crap in a bag, set it on your porch or leave it with a neutral third party, and tell him when he can swing by and get it.
How clean should a bottom be? A little bit of shit is kinda expected, isn’t it? I mean, you are fucking an ass, right?
My expectations for sterling silver, crystal stemware, and fuckable ass are the same: I want it sparkling.
Zooming out: One doesn’t have anal sex with an ass full of shit for the same reason one doesn’t have oral sex with a mouth full of food—it’s going to make a mess. Making sure your mouth is empty is easy, of course, but it’s not that difficult to empty or clean out an ass. Also, a good, fiber-rich diet empties and cleans out the ass naturally. Yes, you are fucking an ass, that’s true, and shit sometimes happens. The top shouldn’t poop-shame the bottom when it does happen, and the bottom doesn’t need to have a meltdown. It just means you need to pivot to some other sexual activity—after a quick cleanup restores the sparkle.