Hey there, and welcome to your Savage Lovecast recap for the week of February 6. One of my other favorite writers and advice columnists, Mallory Ortberg aka Dear Prudence, is transitioning. No word yet on what the transition is ultimately leading to, or what pronouns Ortberg will end up using, or any of that stuff, but it is always good to root for people in their next chapters. Go forth and prosper, Mal.
You can listen to this week’s episode here.
Dan’s opening rant is about assholes on planes, including assholes who bring fake emotional support animals on planes. Then he pivots to the assholes in Alabama who suspended a high school girl for asking her girlfriend to prom at a talent show. The lesson, as always, is that discriminating against queer kids causes a bigger disruption than the queer kids ever could on their own.
On to the calls! A college student is organizing an orgy among friends, some of whom are monogamous couples. How can she plan it to make it positive and fun with no awkwardness? There’s no way to avoid awkwardness, says Dan, but our caller might be pouring gasoline on the fire. First of all, “orgy” implies everyone with everyone – she might want to call it a sex party or a play party so nobody hits on the monogamous folks. As for the unavoidable awkwardness, address it and lean into it. Have everyone go around at the beginning, say who they are, what they are into, and what they want to do that night. Other rules of thumb to consider: No cellphones. No drugs and alcohol. Make everyone empowered to say “no” and make sure everyone is prepared to hear “no.” Make clear rules around safe sex.
A 34-year-old straight man had his first MMF threesome with his wife. It was really intense, and our caller feels invigorated and confident now. He is so invested in making his wife happy that he would suck the guy’s dick if she asked him. Is there a word for this? Sexually adventurous with a dash of heteroflexibility, says Dan. Sounds right to me.
A woman has lived with her roommate for two years, and has noticed that the roommate’s dating style is starting to hurt her. The roommate likes to fuck guys, but she won’t elevate any of these relationships when she starts to develop feelings for the guys, and this hurts her. The roommate ultimately wants a relationship (or so she says) but the roommate feels that men won’t want her if she’s sober or doesn’t put out. How can our caller help? Dan points out that some people (though probably not this roommate) really don’t want relationships and lie about that fact to their well-meaning friends out of shame. Dan points out that the roommate can’t be drunk 100% of the time in a relationship. And any guy who doesn’t want to be around you sober and not fucking is not someone you want to be in a relationship with anyway. Instead of fearing rejection, our caller’s roommate should instead realize that she is rejecting herself 100% of the time. This is Dan’s standard advice for this kind of situation, and logically it makes perfect sense. What Dan never does is explain how we can transform our fear of rejection into weaponizing it for our own good purposes. Maybe it is as simple as telling yourself that, but speaking personally, it took me a long time to calibrate my head that way, and it’s still far from a finished product. Finally, Dan says the caller is a good friend, and tells her to offer to be a wingwoman or a double date partner.
A gay man has an etiquette question. His friend swiped right on a hot guy, who happens to be the caller’s Facebook friend. The first friend asked the caller if she should ask the other guy out. In vouching for the guy, should the caller disclose that the other guy is a trans man? Dan’s advice would depend on what kind of a trans man this guy is. There are trans men who are “stealth,” who live as their true gender and do not acknowledge their transness. However, more and more people identify and live as trans folk. Our caller could state that fact to his friend if other guy openly identifies as trans. But in that case, other guy would likely bring up that fact very quickly without our caller’s help. If the other guy does not identify as trans, our caller should not disclose.
A woman’s husband is an active duty service member, and he has picked up the habit of smoking cigarettes. This is a big problem for our caller. He’s been hiding it from her, but she caught him smoking. He says he needs them to relieve stress. Dan, of course, hates cigarettes and considers them a dealbreaker. He encourages her to make it clear to the husband: it’s cigarettes or me.
A 31-year-old woman has been married to a wonderful man for 12 years. They are pretty GGG, and they have long enjoyed anal as part of their sex life, despite it taking a while for her to warm up to it. The issue is this: when she comes from anal play or intercourse, which can occur pretty quickly, she is done, and she loathes any further sensation after that. Anything she can do? This is a common thing, says Dan, because the orgasm contracts the sphincters that everyone has spent so much time opening. Plus, the lube has probably not been reapplied in a while. Dan’s advice: when you want the dick out, it gets out, and he should time himself better so that he’s close to coming when she’s ready for him to get out. The power bottom advice: when she comes, he stops thrusting, and she breathes and consciously re-relaxes the sphincter.
Can you be at risk of HIV if you’re not on PrEP and you have sex with someone on PrEP? Someone who is taking PrEP is HIV-negative by definition, but people may lie. Use condoms, says Dan.
A 21-year-old identifies as genderfluid. They have never dated anyone that identifies as male. They are pining for one guy they met on an app, who went silent when the caller offered to get coffee. Should they keep on going after this guy? Dan says this brief interaction is the modern equivalent of making eye contact in a bar. If it drops after a bit, you move on to the next. That said, you can send another message – why not?
Erika Lust is on to talk about a disturbing new trend in porn and AI. Robots are now creating porn that puts realistic faces on porn stars’ bodies. The consequences of this could be catastrophic. Of course, this wouldn’t be as big an issue if we didn’t have the shame around sex that we do, but there’s still the issue that the fake porn would depict people without their consent doing things that they may not want to do. Erika asserts that, under current laws, the only people who could sue to prevent this are celebrities whose images would be used for commercial gain. The first line of defense, Dan and Erika agree, is that we will have to be skeptical of videos just as we are skeptical of photoshopped images. And don’t forget, this will be used to blackmail politicians in lots of ways! Hooray!
A woman recently got diagnosed with chlamydia. What does she have to clean, and how? It couldn’t hurt to wash your underwear, diva cup, and sex toys, so go ahead and do it, STD diagnosis or no.
A man’s wife is giving birth in a few weeks. Whose last name should the baby take? Hyphenating seems like a cop-out. Dan gave his son his mother’s last name, and being a family of three last names hasn’t really made a difference. It doesn’t violate progressiveness to give the kid one parent’s last name as the last name and the other’s as the middle name. Go with what you both can agree on.
(A note here: the next call contains discussion of Larry Nasser.)
A man has been talking with his girlfriend about Larry Nasser, the USA and Michigan State gymnastics team doctor. He says Nasser was playing on his power by making the gymnasts feel pleasure by inserting his fingers in their vaginas. His girlfriend says that’s impossible because girls don’t get off by having fingers in their vaginas, they need clitoral stimulation. I’m going to hop in here and say they’re both wrong (he far more so than her) and both callously and cruelly missing the point. Dan, his voice dripping with contempt for this caller, lays it out straight – Nasser was raping these gymnasts, and this monster was not concerned with others’ pleasure in the least. This was a long pattern of awful violation. Our caller should be ashamed of himself, if you ask me. (Ironically, in Dan’s lecture to the caller about how the caller needs to actually read about what Nasser did to his many victims, Dan misstates the prison sentence that Nasser was sentenced to.)
A 50-something gay man has a close friend. They’ve been friends for a long time, since the friend was in the closet and married to a woman. The caller and the friend have shared some memories on the friend’s journey to where he is now. The friend married a man over a year ago, and our caller feels disconnected from him and sad that he can’t consider himself his best friend anymore. The friend is not returning calls and is not making the caller a priority in his life. Should our caller end it? Dan acknowledges that it hurts that the friend doesn’t need the caller in the same way that he used to. Dan suggests writing a letter telling the friend that he values the time they used to have, and he misses him. Married people sometimes put their friends on the back burner for a bit while they figure out that they can’t rely on their spouse for all their friendship needs. Don’t get bitter about it, and you’ll have a good shot at being able to pick it back up.
Caller feedback! It doesn’t make sense for a loving God to forbid doing something that is good for you. Stop using the word “love” to describe your crush on your brother-in-law. Accept how your clit works.
Thanks for reading.