Savage Lovecast

Hey there, and welcome to your Savage Lovecast recap and review for the week of May 8.  Let’s get right into it.

You can listen to this week’s episode here.  You can read this week’s Savage Love column here.

Dan’s opening rant is about sex workers and incels.  Dan was accused of suggesting that we should, as a society, use sex workers to sort of head off violent incels (misogynistic “involuntary celebates” who have been responsible for multiple mass murders lately) at the pass.  This is the opposite of what Dan really wants to do, which is ensure that sex workers, like all women, are safe at work.  Sexual deprivation is real and painful, Dan points out, but you never hear of women shooting up a gym to kill all the hot guys who won’t sleep with them.  Indeed, the whole incel thing is a combination of deprivation and noxious toxic masculinity.  Putting up sex workers as a shield to protect us from incels will not work.  We need a wholesale culture change, one that involves not teaching our boys and men that they are entitled to women’s bodies and one that sees sex workers as people.  The way that this could interact, Dan believes, is that men who are sexually and psychologically deprived should be able to seek out sex work without the cultural stigmatization that comes with it.  But if they’re already incel, it’s too late.  Dan ends with a plea to everyone to see all relationships as kind of a commodification – we all pay for it in one way or another.  He’s trying to decrease the stigma of paying for sex work, but this stuck out to me as kind of an incel way to look at things.

On to the calls!  A 23-year-old woman has a long-term boyfriend of about a year and a half.  She enjoys the orgasms she gives herself more than the orgasms she has with her boyfriend or other sexual partners in the past.  Is this normal?  The good news, Dan points out, is you don’t have to choose between masturbation and partnered sex.  But it could be that our caller is edging a bit during her masturbation sessions, and she could incorporate that into her sex sessions, if she uses her words.

A 27-year-old gay man has made some new friends in his liberal city.  The friends are very sex-positive.  Our caller is a virgin, thanks to some issues coming out, which he’s working on.  The issue is that the friends make fun of virgins sometimes.  It’s tough for our caller to talk about this, and he feels like he’s back in the closet.  Should our caller tell his friends the truth?  Dan points out that sex positivity entails respecting and honoring people’s choices and experiences, and the lack thereof.  If your friends are engaging in virgin-bashing, they’re not being sex positive.  Dan has an explanation for why they do this: virginity is exalted in the culture, so these people are just trying to take a run at them, kind of like how gay people sometimes take shitty potshots against straight people in an effort to even the scales.  Dan says our caller just needs to open his mouth and say his truth, and his friends, if they aren’t assholes, will be more than accepting and apologetic.  Dan’s right, but he sells short how much courage this might take, especially I think for our caller.

A woman wants to know if she’s “staying married and staying sane” or is just a cheating asshole.  She’s in her mid-30s, been married to her husband for 10 years, and they have two elementary school children.  This summer, the husband told our caller that he didn’t love her and never would.  That led to two realizations: he realized, as a full-time student and stay-at-home dad, that he has it pretty good, and she realized she doesn’t want to be married anymore.  She’d get a divorce, but she’d have to pick up child care, a new place for the husband, and pay spousal support.  The husband wants to stay married, but refuses to go to counseling.  In the interim, she’s found a man who is in a similar situation with his own wife.  The other man won’t leave his marriage for her, and our caller won’t leave for him.  What says Dan about this arrangement?  Dan says: not a cheater.  Our caller is not cheating the husband out of anything he wants.  She doesn’t have to tell the husband about the other man, but perhaps a conversation where they make clear that they are partners and parents in a companionate marriage is in order.

A woman’s husband has a fetish of watching women poop.  She’s found videos – he’s never told her.  A couple days ago, she discovered a hidden camera in their bathroom.  What can she do about this?  She loves him very much and doesn’t want this to break up the marriage.  Dan says that she might be willing to give this a pass, but what if he’s done this to others?  That could mean prison and a place on the sex offender registry.  Our caller needs to confront the husband with this violation.  Dan won’t go so far as to tell her to leave, but she needs to make it clear that forgiveness will not come easy here.  She needs to know precisely what else he’s done.  Are there other hidden cameras?  Where did those videos come from?  She needs to make it perfectly clear to him what risks he’s put his family in to satisfy his kink.  A kink-friendly couples counselor can help with this too.  If he is really sincere and contrite and honest, our caller can decide on the future of the relationship.

A woman’s boyfriend cheated on an ex-girlfriend four years ago, and it’s really affected his confidence and sex drive.  Our caller was involved with the boyfriend before this happened, so she’s seen the before and after.  He’s struggling with his libido, and the sex is infrequent.  How can she help?  For what it’s worth, this has happened to her friend as well.  Dan doesn’t buy the correlation.  If cheating made men impotent, we’d hear a lot more about it.  These two anecdotes seem like men trying to make their ED or low libido nobler, or at least more explicable.  The boyfriend sounds like a project, a guy who doesn’t have his shit together.

A 7th grade teacher in South Carolina encouraged her students to look up causes to support.  Included in that list were It Gets Better, Black Lives Matter, and No One Is Illegal.  The district won’t approve the websites for classroom use, saying it’s not age-appropriate.  What can a teacher do?  Dan tosses it out to listeners for their advice, but his advice would be to insert something in the curriculum that encourages the students to find other social justice causes.  This allows the students to raise the issues that matter to them.

A 26-year-old man has never had a problem getting girls, but he’s noticed something.  When he identifies someone as a potential long-term partner, he puts more effort into communicating, and he gets rejected.  On the other hand, if he just wants a hookup, the girls seem to be more into him.  What gives?  Dan calls back and gives our caller advice: slow your roll, dude.  Our caller is scaring off dates by coming on too strong.  Or, to use Dan’s metaphor, set down bread crumbs, don’t chuck hams at people.  Sure.

A caller wants to know what else big data has on us and how to protect ourselves.  Anthony Hecht is on to help with this question.  He says Facebook probably doesn’t know what porn you’re watching, unless they do (if you interact with any site using Facebook, maybe).  If it’s on the internet, and it’s stored somewhere, it could be hacked.  Hecht doesn’t have really good advice here, because your ISP knows where you’re going, even on incognito mode.  Dan uses this opportunity to say that the safety net we should be looking for is not unhackable or untraceable internet usage, but the knowledge that we’re all in this together.  The second would tamp down the outrage and shame over potentially compromising internet activity.  That is way idealistic, even for Dan, and even more pie in the sky because of the work that (especially) Republicans have done to make us more fearful, more individualistic, and less societal.

A 16-year-old straight male has a girlfriend, and they both want to have sex.  Her family is very religious, and so she doesn’t have access to birth control.  Is there a way they can get birth control without the parents knowing?  You can buy, without a prescription and at age 16, both condoms and emergency contraception (plan B).  Use condoms, and if there’s an issue with the condoms, use the plan B.  Planned Parenthood has a section on their website about correct condom usage, and condoms have a low failure rate when used correctly.  That includes, but is not limited to, pulling out as you’re coming so that there’s no leakage.

A bi woman is getting involved with someone who is asexual.  He’s not stuck on monogamy, but is she being unrealistic?  Dr. Laurie Brodo is on to help with this.  Dr. Brodo defines asexuality as lacking sexual attraction.  It’s not the same as sexual dysfunction, in that asexual folks are not bothered by the lack.  Many asexuals do have an interest in romantic relationships, however.  And there are asexual folks, her research has found, who do engage in sexual activity, either by themselves or with others, for reason other than sexual gratification, such as having an itch to scratch.  For those who do masturbate, there is a wide variety of fantasies they might engage in.  Getting back to the caller, Dr. Brodo says she’s being unrealistic if she’s expecting that it will be easy to navigate this.  He fundamentally thinks about sex in a different way than she does.  If they are upfront and honest about what they expect from each other, including any openness, they might make it work.  The critical issue here, says Dr. Brodo, is that the guy will be having sex that he doesn’t want to have (which doesn’t make it nonconsensual).  Dan has hope for this couple because the guy is open about his asexuality.

A 20-something trans guy has a boyfriend with a big dick, and our caller’s vagina is really small.  He can usually take a 7.5 inch dick with warmup and a lot of lube, but not always, and it always leaves him sore.  The boyfriend is wonderful and patient.  What can our caller do?  PIV is something that is in the mix, but not an everytime thing for this couple, says Dan.  Our caller will have to make a soreness-benefit analysis, just like everyone, in sex and in life.  Not being up for penetration all the time does not make you broken.

A 25-year-old woman and her live-in boyfriend of four years just got a new dog.  She’s started to look at the boyfriend as a potential father, and she’s getting worried.  Especially when he’s been smoking pot, which is for chronic (heh) pain, the boyfriend can be lazy and clumsy.  Last night, he jumped onto a pile of blankets that the dog had burrowed underneath and almost squished the dog (the dog wasn’t hurt).  Our caller is worried now.  How can she go forward now that she sees this boyfriend in a new light?  There are two ways to look at this blanket incident, Dan says.  One is to see it as a disqualifier, the other as a lesson on the way to parenthood.  Dan would go toward the latter, unless the boyfriend never learns this lesson.  Things almost happen all the time.  Then Dan goes after the caller to chastise her for disparaging the real victim of this story – marijuana.  We fucking get it, Dan.  Just because someone expresses concern about the side effects of pot doesn’t mean they’re a reefer madness shrew.

Caller feedback!  To people with sober partners, it gets better.  Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to donate to Planned Parenthood.  Hold men to the standards you want to be treated, and don’t settle for less.

Thanks for reading.

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