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I’m a 31-year-old attractive single woman, and I recently went on Match.com and found a guy. Our e-mails and one phone conversation went well, and he seemed kind and was OK-looking in his picture, so I met him for drinks. It was disappointing, to say the least. He looked 15 years older than his picture and was socially awkward to the point of sheer misery. He told me he didn’t want to eat cheese because he “had the craps,” announced to the waitress that this was our first date, yawned when I talked about my job, and said, “I could tell you were really into me the minute you walked in the room.”
Standard bad date so far, right?
Here’s the bizarre part: On the phone he’d said, “The most beautiful sound in the world is applause. I hope I can hear you clap for me sometime.” He is a music teacher, so I thought he was referring to applause after a performance. But when we met in person, he asked me to clap for him, for no reason, in the restaurant! I asked him why, and he said he just really loved the sound of clapping. I ignored his request, finished my drink, and said it was nice to meet him, but I didn’t think this was going to work. I shook his hand goodbye in the parking lot and at this point he asked again for me to clap—but now in a whiny voice, literally begging me to do it. The worst part? I did it, just to shut him up, before speeding away in my car. I’m simultaneously creeped out and intrigued.
Have you ever heard of a clapping fetish?—Clap Off the Clapper
I get letters every day from people asking if I’ve “ever heard of” a particular sex act, fetish, kink, or hang-up before. The assumption, I guess, is that the thoroughly skanky author of this thoroughly skanky column has heard of everything. And that’s fine; I’ve heard of and, er, done quite a lot. But the folks who send these EHO letters aren’t seeking confirmation that they’re not crazy—or in COTC’s case, that this really happened—but some form of absolution, as if my having heard of whatever it is they’re doing, were asked to do, or refused to do makes it—whatever it is—a little less bizarre.
But almost invariably I haven’t heard of the sex act, fetish, kink, or hang-up the authors of EHO letters ask about. Like this clapping fetishist COTC encountered—I’ve never heard of that one before. I don’t doubt COTC’s story for a moment because, hey, if it can be named, performed, swallowed, or worn, someone out there has a fetish for it. So while I can’t offer COTC absolution for the sex act she performed—yes, it was a sex act—in that parking lot, I can offer her the next best thing: bragging rights. Not only did you stump me, COTC, but this is a bad-first-date story you’ll be dining out on for the rest of your life. Congrats! —Dan
I had a kinky inspiration in the shower when I noticed the force with which the shaving cream came out of a new can. Orifice and body-cavity invasion turns me on, and I was inspired to insert the tip of the shaving-cream can into my urethra, pinch it shut, and press the button. I felt some burning. On removing the tip, a narrow ribbon of shaving cream exited my penis.
Pleased, I repeated this a few times. Do you know if what I am doing is dangerous? Have you ever heard of shaving-cream penis enemas?—Cream Dreamer
No, CD, I haven’t heard of shaving-cream penis enemas before. But then I’ve always been lucky in love.
As for the health risks presented by shaving-cream penis enemas, I would ring up one of my medical guest experts if I weren’t (1) on vacation, (2) writing this column over margaritas at Phil’s in Saugatuck, Mich., and (3) unwilling to scream, “Are these shaving-cream penis enemas going to kill this motherfucker?” into my phone, putting everyone else at Phil’s right off their chips and baked-Gorgonzola-with-dried-cherries dip. Sorry.
Here’s my layman’s opinion: At the very least, you risk irritating the very sensitive tissue that lines your urethra; at worst, your friends and relatives are going to snicker all through your memorial service. (“Didja hear? Uncle Walt gave himself one too many shaving-cream penis enemas, and his bladder freakin’ exploded!”) But tragicomic exit strategies are a known risk of orifice, body-cavity, and Iraq invasions. —Dan
I identify as 100 percent gay. Sometimes I surf straight porn sites to see fresh faces. I ignore the girls and focus on the guys. However, I’ve discovered that I get turned on by looking at pictures of cute men eating pussy. Not by pussy, just by the men eating it. Have you ever heard of this before? Is there a secret subculture of gay men who get off on other guys eating pussy? Or do I have unique tastes?
—You Gonna Eat That?
I’ve heard of lesbians turned on by gay porn, straight men turned on by chicks-with-dicks porn, and the odd gay man turned on by standard-issue hetero porn (vaginal/anal). But I’ve never heard of a gay man turned on by images of straight guys eating pussy. Most gay men are too grossed out by pussy—let’s be honest, guys—to linger over images of hetero cunnilingus, no matter how hot the guy. So there’s no secret subculture, YGET, and you are freakishly unique. Congrats.—Dan
I am a 33-year-old male who got back in touch with an old college girlfriend (now married). Long-distance catching up turned to flirting, flirting to planning, and we recently had our first sexual encounter since college. When we were together in college, she told me about being abused by a male cousin when she was a young teen. There was some emotional fallout, but she seemed OK. However, during our recent encounter, she ended the cunnilingus portion of our evening, and the entire evening, saying she never liked that because it reminded her of the abuse.
Have you ever heard of an abuse-related sexual dysfunction manifesting years after psychiatric help was sought? Or is this a way of not admitting to me that she’s having cold feet about out affair?
—Eagerly Awaiting Trusted Homo’s Enlightening Response
Let’s end with something I have heard of:
Yes, EATHER, sometimes abuse-related sexual dysfunction crops up years after help was first sought. And, yes, some people point to past sexual traumas—real or invented—as a polite, face-saving way to bail on consensual sex that they’re not enjoying. (“It’s not you, honest, and it’s not me. You see, lo these many years ago my uncle….”) As it could be either, EATHER, the only way to avoid being a complete asshole—and the adultery already has you teetering on the edge—is to assume she’s telling the truth and back the fuck off. —Dan Savage
Dan Savage’s most recent book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage,and My Family, is on sale now. Send your Savage Love questions to email@example.com. A new Savage Love podcast is available for download every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.