Savage Lovecast

Hey there, and welcome to your Savage Lovecast recap for the week of January 23. I’m trying something a little different this week and making the recap its own standalone thing, with additional discussion of Dan Savage’s incomparable column and discussion about anything else you want to talk about in the comments.  Let me know what you think.

You can listen to the episode here.

I recently went on a date to a little pop-up “Instagrammable ice cream art exhibit” in my town. It was a little pricey, and I would have liked to have seen more attention paid to the artists themselves, but it was pretty good for a first date spot. You get to move around, take pictures, everything’s fun and sweet. I’d recommend little things like that for your next date night.

Dan’s opening rant is about something he saw at the Hump Film Festival ( – “the claw” (putting multiple fingers in someone’s mouth) being utilized in many scenes. The name of this maneuver was given by “Grace” in her piece on regarding her account of her experience with Aziz Ansari. Dan is in the weird position of agreeing with a lot of things said by people on both sides of this debate. He agrees with Barry Weiss that the date was bad sex – aggressive and selfish. Weiss argues that women need to be more verbal about their desires, including simply saying goodbye. Dan also agrees, however, with Lauren Duncan, who argued that the reason Grace made the nonverbal cues she did is because of a well-placed fear of male rage if she were to reject him outright. There is often a huge disconnect between what a man thinks he’s doing (which he can perceive as non-threatening and able to be rejected) and how a woman can interpret those actions, drawing on her past experiences. Some men understand this and create a safe environment where the woman reject, and some men understand this and maliciously use it to manipulate women. And then there are those men who are oblivious to the dynamic. Dan thinks Ansari falls in this last category, and he thinks that the clueless and the manipulators make up the majority of men overall. Dan argues that this socialization of the culture of violence colors everything in this arena, and we have to recognize that. It hurts both women and men, because a culture where women cannot verbally assert themselves deprives generally well-meaning dudes (which Dan thinks Ansari is) from learning about how to do this better. After all, there are many men who become victimizers who are horrified that they are upon learning it. I went deep on the rant today because there’s a lot of stuff in it, and we can discuss the Ansari situation and the general toxic masculinity culture. I think there’s a lot here to chew on.

(Speaking of toxic masculinity, I saw My Favorite Murder over the weekend, and it was just as delightful to see them as listeners of the podcast would expect. It was hilarious to see the women’s restroom line snake around the corner while the men’s room had no line at all.)

On to the calls! A 24-year-old bi woman has two casual sex partners who have put their hands around her throat during sex. She likes it, but she didn’t give them permission or any cues to indicate that she would. What is her education responsibility here? Dan says, just like with faking orgasms, it is incumbent to educate your partners so they can be better in the future. Dan errs on the side of explicit consent, but the partner got lucky due to the circumstances present here (accurate read, light touch near the throat). Anyone who reacts defensively to education is someone who you probably don’t want to see again.

A 23-year-old woman was broken up with via text last week. She was heartbroken and ashamed. He told her he did it that way to organize his flustered thoughts, put everything out there, and be available for discussion later. They had been dating for four months, and they may continue to be friends with benefits. Is it ever okay to break up via text? Dan notes sardonically that the epidemic of ghosting makes breaking up via text seem downright courteous. That said, it might be appropriate if the other party is abusive or manipulative. Dan thinks the ex’s rationale in this case is valid as far as it goes. But other than that, Dan thinks it’s better to tell someone face to face, or at least calling.

A woman living with her boyfriend thought their small apartment was cluttered. The boyfriend didn’t think so, so they agreed that she would buy the space savers and pay for them herself. Now they are both happier and the boyfriend acknowledges that they were needed. She won’t ask for half the cost, but should she demand that he put in for future home improvement projects that he doesn’t think are necessary in the future? Dan wonders if the boyfriend is a nickel-and-dimer – if yes, then demand that cash. But overall, these kinds of things tend to come out in the wash. Being an absolute stickler on expenses is a quick way to put a major strain on a relationship.

A 25-year-old straight woman has been chatting with a guy for a week on FetLife. He’s a dom, she’s a sub, they have overlapping kinks, and everything seemed good. But she just found out that he’s not that experienced as a dom and he’s only 5’6”, both of which are turn-offs. How does she cut things off nicely? Dan says the guy gave her two possible outs. She can tell the guy that she was looking for someone with a little more experience, but let’s stay friends and keep in touch. The height part is an absolute no-go. Before he signs off, though, Dan reminds the caller of a comeback used by a short dom – how tall are you when you’re on your knees?

A woman and her husband have a question about their youngest child, a four-year-old boy. He’s really interesting in putting things in his butt. When is it appropriate for children to experiment with themselves this way? Joining Dan to address this is an expert – no, wait, it’s Sarah Silverman! Dan and Silverman chat about her new show and about her making news by being nice to a person who called her a cunt. Getting back to the question, Silverman says regulating what kids put in their orifices, including their mouths, is kind of what parents do. As long as there’s no shame in it, say “Get that thing out of your butt.”

A 26-year-old gay man has been out and accepted since 2012. He’s more comfortable with his sexuality than he’s ever been, even doing stand-up and talking about it, but he’s still a virgin. He doesn’t feel comfortable talking about this with gay men, and he feels almost like a fraud in the community. How big a deal is this? How does he approach this? And how does he feel better? Silverman says that the caller isn’t violating any truth in stand-up rules, because the caller is gay. She thinks he could incorporate his virginity in his act. Dan agrees and thinks that an audience member may volunteer to change that status after the show. Dan’s larger point is that anyone who would shame the caller for being a late-in-life virgin is not someone you want to fuck in the first place. Be open about it and find the person who’s right for you.

A woman has been with her boyfriend for three years in a monogamous relationship. She struggles with her emotions when she imagines her boyfriend in another relationship or even thinking that another woman is attractive. Logically, she knows that this is natural, and is even open to the possibility of nonmonogamy, but she feels physical revulsion if she imagines it with her boyfriend. Recently, he brought up the possibility of a threesome, and she freaked out. How can she stop being so insecure and jealous? Silverman thinks it’s okay to want monogamy. Dan thinks jealousy can be a good thing sometimes – it acts as a signal that something else is lacking. Dan also thinks that our caller isn’t ready for nonmonogamy, and that’s not a bad thing. Maybe she’ll get there, and maybe she won’t, and that’s all right.

On the first post-Silverman call, a 27-year-old woman has been with her husband for five years. She breast-fed her son, and after that process, she no longer views her breasts as sexual objects. She gets turned off whenever her husband reaches for them during sex, which he sometimes does out of habit (her tits were always part of sex before). Also, she can’t give oral sex because of trauma she suffered. What can she do? Dan says don’t lump the trauma in with the breast-feeding. Don’t beat yourself over this – this will take time. Dan also suggests separate intimate time, where sex is off the table, where the husband holds her and may cup the breasts, in an effort to carve a new groove. (Also, marijuana.)

A 23-year-old bi woman wants to know how to come out to her mom. Her bi sister got a lot of pushback from mom when she came out. Should our caller ruin the holiday trip by coming out to mom? Dan says it’s time to come out to mom. Amen.

A woman has been with her husband for eight years. He has been kind about the fact that she hates blowjobs. She feels so guilty about accepting oral sex knowing that she won’t reciprocate. She was put off from it by a previous relationship, where she was basically raped. How can she and her husband, who does everything right, get to her enjoying giving blowjobs? Dan says it’s fine if you don’t like giving head (despite his general rule of “any model without head is defective”), as long as the partner is content and willing to pay that price of admission. To learn how to enjoy oral, though, the first thing to excise is the thought that every time a dick goes in a mouth, it’s a 15 minute facefuckfest. Do some blowjob-adjacent oral foreplay – licking, nuzzling – to start. Get his hands involved too. Whatever you do, don’t use whipped cream or chocolate sauce.

A gay guy is relationship-oriented, but is really into threesomes. His ideal partner would be monogamish. How does he get the word out – put it in his profile, or wait until a relationship begins? Dan points out that research suggests that most self-described monogamous gay male couples include threesomes. Dan says this is something to save for a few months into a relationship.

A 31-year-old woman is in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend of four years. On his last visit, the boyfriend said he said to take some work calls and texts. He was texting a female coworker more frequently than others, and when our caller mentioned this, he stopped texting the coworker. The coworker has been tagging the boyfriend on Facebook, and the boyfriend is getting the coworker a CD for Christmas. The caller accused the boyfriend of setting up a breeding ground for emotional infidelity, and he accused her of overreacting. What happens now? Dan thinks the boyfriend is fucking the coworker, or wants to. Wanting to isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but LDRs require a little massaging and assuaging to reassure the other party that they are faithful. That isn’t going on here. If she wants to talk about this, she needs to talk about it openly and honestly and say that she needs to be reassured at this point. If that doesn’t happen, pull the plug.

Caller feedback! A fellow Haitian-American thanks Dan for going after Mia Love. The guy who used his girlfriend’s vibrator and jacked off on her mirror and filmed it sounds inconsiderate. Don’t recommend The Sound of Music as a movie.

Whew! This was a bear. If you actually did read this thing, I’m sorry, and thanks for reading.

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