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A friend of mine is setting up a Web site with some of her friends for feminist (mostly queer) porn. I’m straight, and she asked me if I wanted to be in it, with or without my boyfriend of two years. After we clarified that I wouldn’t be making porn with people I didn’t want to do it with and that I like it a lot rougher than would be traditionally considered “feminist,” she said that anything I wanted to do was fine.
I discussed this with my boyfriend, and he is more than willing to do it—but he said that it is my decision. I’ve taken a lot of naked/sexual/whatever pictures of myself for him, and I’m not particularly self-conscious about being photographed naked or even in sexual situations. I certainly enjoy my fair share of porn, and I’m not averse to giving back to the genre. I also think that the risk that someone would stumble across a predominantly lesbian porn site and associate me in everyday life with some girl with a nipple ring getting face-fucked is slim to none.
Despite all this rationalization, I still feel uneasy. I am 20 years old and have no intention of running for public office, so if there is any time to do something like being in porn it is now. However, I still feel like something as permanent as pictures taken by other people for other people will end up where I don’t want them to be. I don’t feel like my friend and boyfriend are pressuring me to be on the site, but I do feel that since they have no issues with making porn for public consumption, there must be some repression that is holding me back. Or maybe they are the ones being ridiculous and I am being sensible. What do you think?
—Pondering Over Revealing Nudity
I think you should shut the fuck up, that’s what I think. Blah blah fuckin’ blah! By the time you finish talking about whether or not you’re gonna splash your tits all over your friend’s feminist/mostly queer porn site, you’re going to be so old that no one is going to want to see your tits. It’s abundantly clear that you’re not comfortable with the idea of doing porn, PORN, and your reasons are rock-solid. Pictures are permanent; lesbian-action fans, most of them straight men, will find their way to your friend’s porn site; your pictures will end up on dozens or hundreds of other Web sites. So don’t do porn! Save those naked photos for your boyfriend, drop the whole tortured-undergrad routine, and go back to being one of the tens of millions of anonymous porn consumers out there.
And finally, kiddo, consuming porn doesn’t obligate a person to “give back” to the genre—and thank God for that. If everyone who consumed porn “gave back,” we would have to wade through mountains of porn featuring pudgy, middle-aged guys before we found anything even remotely hot. Eesh.—Dan
I broke up with this woman recently because I could not stand to kiss her. I couldn’t stand for her to stick her tongue in my mouth, because her saliva had a bad taste. Saliva is supposed to be tasteless and odorless. I know why this woman’s saliva had a bad taste. She had bacteria in her mouth, a lot of it, due to bad oral hygiene. I will not date, kiss, or make love to a woman who does not take care of her mouth! Call me anal, but I brush at least twice a day, I floss at least once a day, and I use a mouthwash at least twice a day. Kissing somebody is more intimate than fucking, and it’s not pleasant if your partner has smelly spit. I brought this up to her as delicately as I could, but she got pissy and defensive about it, so I broke up with her. I don’t want some woman’s smelly, bacteria-laden tongue in my mouth. Yuck. Right or wrong?—Only Rinsers Allowed, Ladies
Right, I suppose. You aren’t required to kiss anyone whose oral hygiene doesn’t entirely meet with your high standards, ORAL, and if a woman’s failure to brush twice a day, floss at least once a day, and use mouthwash is a deal-breaker for you, then it’s a deal-breaker for you. I don’t see how my opinion matters much. I would, however, challenge you on one thing: Saliva is not tasteless and odorless. People, like soda pop, come in all sorts of flavors. If you’re holding out for a woman whose saliva tastes like bottled water, ORAL, you’re going to be one lonely dude.—Dan
As someone working in the mental-health field, I can’t tell you how impressed I was with your response to “Wrapped Up.” You will recall the obviously troubled young woman who weighs 103 pounds and who is “repulsed” by the sight of her own body. I wasn’t as impressed by your sensitivity to the boyfriend’s want of an entirely naked love object as I was astounded by your cruelty to this woman. You called her a “nutcase,” remember? A mere glance at a body-mass-index chart will tell you that she quite probably suffers from anorexia nervosa, and her extremely negative perception of her own body possibly qualifies as body dysmorphic disorder. Just so you know, these are two very complicated and potentially life-threatening mental illnesses. I have no idea why this person sought you out for the help she needs. After all, you’re a homosexual. Until 1973, homosexuals were considered “nutcases” according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Prior to 1973, sex columnists such as yourself—not bound, apparently, by any code of ethics whatsoever—could have referred to you as a “nutcase” simply for being gay. Technically, you are no longer a “nutcase,” but I can call you a “dipshit.” There, now. How did that feel?—Psychiatric Social Worker
Eh. I’ve been called worse.
But let’s not dwell on our disagreements, PSW. Let’s focus on our shared professional assessment of Wrapped Up: That nutcase has problems, we both agree, which is why I advised her to “get her ass to a shrink already.” I did not simply call her a nutcase and leave it at that. This nutcase needs help, and I told her to go get help. And, yes, I called her a nutcase, PSW, but sometimes a nutcase needs to be told she’s nuts before she’ll go and get help. Some nutcases need a kick in the ass, PSW, and not some mewling pussy—excuse me, “someone working in the mental-health field”—drooling empathy all over her lap.
I am glad you wrote in, however, because your letter gives me an opportunity to remind the handful of empathetic sissies among my readers of something important: The people who send me letters read my column. Ka-duh. They know that my advice doesn’t come premasticated. If I were swiping Carolyn Hax’s mail, or Amy Dickinson’s, and beating the shit out of people who weren’t seeking my advice, well, then you’d have a beef. But people who write me? They know what I’m like, dumbfucks.
As for the qualifications issue, this is an advice column. When you look up advice in the dictionary, it says “opinion about what could or should be done.” The only qualification you need to give advice is having been asked for it. If WU wanted to ask some useless, prissy clenchbutt for his opinion, then she could have asked someone working in the mental-health field what he thought. She didn’t, though. She asked me.—Dan Savage
Dan Savage’s new book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, goes on sale Sept. 22. Send your Savage Love questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.