‘Is it okay that I always seem to hate my partners’ mothers? Is this normal?’
We brought Savage Love Live to the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, and the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis over three nights. As is always the case at live shows, the crowd had more questions than I could possibly answer in a single night. So in this week’s column, I’m going to tear through some of the questions I wasn’t able to get to.
Dear Dan: If you use food for vaginal play, is there any type you should definitely avoid?
Lasagna makes for a lousy insertion toy. (Food doesn’t belong in vaginas; there could be bacteria on the food, even after washing, that results in a nasty infection. #FuckFirst #EatAfter)
Dear Dan: How do you feel about relationships that have a time frame or defined end point? For example, one person is going away for school or a new job?
I’m fine about relationships with seemingly set end points, as relationships don’t have to be open to or become long-term in order to be a success. (Did you meet a nice person? Did you have some good sex? Did you part on good terms? Success!) And the world is filled with couples that met at a time in their lives when school or work commitments meant they couldn’t be together—and yet, years or even decades later, they’re still together. You never know.
Dear Dan: Is it okay that I always seem to hate my partners’ mothers? Is this normal?
It isn’t and it’s not. When you’re the common denominator in a lot of high-stress, high-conflict relationships, you’re most likely the problem.
Dear Dan: Why do straight guys like anal so much?
Superhero movies, bottled beer, watching sports—there are lots of things straight guys like that I just don’t get. But I get why they like anal: Done right, anal feels amazing. And not just for the person doing the penetrating. When it’s done right, it is also great for the person being penetrated. And sometimes the person being penetrated is a straight guy.
Dear Dan: After a year of dating, my boyfriend told me he is polyamorous. I don’t know how to proceed. Any tips?
If he meant, “Polyamory is my sexual orientation, and you have to allow me to date other people, and you can’t break up with me over this because that would amount to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” that’s bullshit and this relationship is over. But if he meant, “Polyamory is a better relationship model for me than monogamy,” that’s not bullshit and the conversation is just getting started. If you prefer monogamy but you’re willing to consider polyamory to be with him, i.e., if that’s a price of admission you’re willing to pay, it could work out. But if you aren’t open to polyamory, and monogamy isn’t a price he’s willing to pay to be with you, it won’t work out.
Dear Dan: I work in secondary education and I’m in an open marriage. My job is awesome, but I’m so afraid of a student or a parent seeing me when I’m out with a different partner. What should I do?
You could hope people would mind their own business and continue to make out in public with your other partners—or whatever it is you’re doing in public that makes it clear you’re fucking/dating someone who isn’t your spouse—or you could be discreet. Since antidiscrimination statutes don’t offer protections to people in open relationships, and since people regularly freak out about teachers having sex at all, you really have no other choices besides discretion (when out with others) or shouldering the risk (of losing your job).
Dear Dan: My poly friend has started bringing her flavor-of-the-week partners to social events instead of her awesome wife. How do I tell her I’d rather hang out with her and her wife than her and her (usually boring, always temporary) new fling?
Maybe your poly friend’s wife doesn’t want to hang out with you. Wait, I can say that in a nicer way: Maybe your poly friend’s wife is an introvert who would rather stay home and she’s only too delighted that the flavor-of-the-week is willing to escort her wife to the box social. But if you miss your friend’s wife, maybe give her a call and invite her to lunch?
Dear Dan: My former lover cheated on his current live-in girlfriend with me. She has no idea. Should I tell her what a narcissistic cheater her boyfriend is?
Vengeful former affair partners don’t have much more credibility than narcissistic cheaters—indeed, people view both with similar contempt. But you do you.
Dear Dan: My husband and I are swingers. For him, it’s who he is. For me, it’s something I do (and like!). We argue over how often we go out or have sex with other couples. Any suggestions for finding a happy medium?
More often than you’d like, and less often than he’d like—call it the bittersweet spot.
Dear Dan: What tips do you have for lesbians in long-term relationships who want to keep sex fun and interesting?
My advice for lesbians who want to keep their LTRs hot is the same as my advice for gays, straights, bis, etc. who want to keep theirs hot. At the start of the relationship, you were the adventure they were on, and they were the adventure you were on. That’s why it was so effortlessly hot at the start. But once you’re not each other’s sexy new adventure anymore—once you’re an established couple—you have to go find sexy adventures together to keep it hot. And that requires making a conscious effort. Explore your kinks, buy some sex toys, have sex someplace other than your bedroom, invite very special guest stars, etc.
Dear Dan: How do I create a sexier bedroom for even better sex?
Bedrooms are overrated, if you ask me (which you did), whereas basements, office stairwells, clean single-seat restrooms in upscale restaurants, dark corners of public parks, the space underneath banquet tables in hotel ballrooms, etc. are all underutilized.
Dear Dan: Can you explain why male chastity is such a popular kink? I’m not offended by it, just curious about its sudden widespread popularity.
“I think a big factor is that people are enjoying the heightened mental connections that tend to develop with chastity play,” said Christopher of Steelwerks Extreme, makers of the Rolls-Royce of male chastity devices. “Frequent business travel and long-distance relationships also make chastity an increasingly popular kink as the cage-wearer and key-holder can maintain a playful dynamic without needing to be in the same room.”
Dear Dan: I’m 99.975 percent sure I don’t want kids. My boyfriend of almost four years has a vasectomy scheduled for the end of the year. Should we go through with it? My boyfriend is really fucking sexy, hence the .025 percent doubt.
Vasectomies, like pregnancies, are reversible. Your boyfriend could also go to a sperm bank and put a load or three on ice.
Dear Dan: Female, 32, straight, and very pregnant. I’m about to pop! Do you have any postpartum sex advice?
Explore outercourse for a while and try to have (or try to fake) a positive attitude about it.
Dear Dan: Your thoughts on transmasculine folks who don’t necessarily identify as men using the word “faggot”?
Fine, so long as they put the emphasis on the second syllable.
Thanks to everyone who came to our live shows! Savage Love Live comes to Toronto and Somerville on October 11 and 12. For info and tickets go to savagelovecast.com/events.