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Struggle Session: Divorce Is an Option, Chatbots Are a Puzzle, Asses Are for Feasting

I’m thinking about retiring “Reader Roundup,” which sounds a little sinister (cops roundup suspects, cowboys roundup cattle), and going with “Struggle Session” instead. What do you guys think?

After reading my advice for Close To Doing This in this week’s Savage Love (or was it ChatGPT’s advice?!?)—CTDT is a married man whose wife won’t fuck him, won’t work on it, and won’t give him permission to seek sex elsewhere—Zoftig the Magnificent weighed in…

I think that a guy who’s not yet forty is likely married to a woman who’s not yet forty, which means he shouldn’t secretly cheat to stay sane while staying married but should lay down the ultimatum that since it’s been eight years of fifteen years, he not going to stay chaste and if she can’t live with that, then she can make her own choices about what happens next. Is this guy really want to coast in this sexless and not really open relationship for the next 40...

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...e and if she can’t live with that, then she can make her own choices about what happens next. Is this guy really want to coast in this sexless and not really open relationship for the next 40 years? Or does he want the chance at finding another good relationship that includes sex? And this way there is always a chance that the wife will either try harder to find if there is any fixable reason for her lack of sexual interest in her husband or officially open the relationship. I know they have kids, but if his cheating eventually blows up his marriage, it’s not like his kids are going to want to hear, “But I didn’t divorce her, I just got my needs met elsewhere, so that I could stay married and stay sane.” And BiDanFan added… He should talk to some long-divorced people. They will no doubt say they are much happier now that the marriage is over—even if the divorce itself was a painful experience. People are capable of moving on. Obviously divorce is probably the answer. But the CTDT ruled divorce out—kinda, sorta—in his letter. He said he didn’t want to get divorced but that he can’t go on living like this. (Of course lots of people who don’t wanna get divorced wind up divorcing.) With getting a divorce and remaining sexless both off the table, the only other option—the option I floated or ChatGPT floated—was for CTDT to tell his wife he won’t go on living like this. He’s not going to remain celibate for the rest of his life and if Mrs. CTDT can’t live with that… well, then she’ll have to “make her own choices about what happens next,” like Zoftig said. She’s obviously free to end the marriage. Which might be for the best. But CTDT did say they have a good relationship otherwise (and kids, which matters) and maybe the jolt of the ultimatum will move them toward an honest, healthy, companionate relationship. As for what the kids may or may not find out someday… just as lots of kids get over the pain of their parents divorcing, lots of kids are able to forgive a parent for cheating, particularly once a kid is old enough to understand that adult relationships are complicated and messy. So, which answers in this week’s column were written by me and which ones were generated by ChatGPT? Hermes laid out their best guesses: FIRST QUESTION: Married and sexless. Answer 1– Dan Savage with his usual pitch for “stay married and stay sane” and arguing that cheating is not automatically bad. Answer 2 – ChatGPT being a prude asshole. Let’s hope that AI is never given actual powers over humans. SECOND QUESTION: The cross-dresser who never fucks but likes to get fucked. Answer 1– ChatGPT spinning meaningless, non-committal nonsense. Answer 2 – Dan Savage at his fucking best. THIRD QUESTION: Pee drinking. Answer 1 – Dan Savage going straight to the point. Four words, the last just to bring a bit of humanity. Answer 2 – Another fine example of artificial stupidity. Another reader wasn’t impressed by the answers they’re guessing were written by a bot… Someone call me when they can program realistic sex bots to fuck “in the style of.” Though, based on this performance, I’m not real impressed with an AI’s ability to imitate anything. And why the fuck did it seem so judgey?? I don’t think that was necessary, lol. — Alex (@Onlyhere4terry) January 10, 2023 Looks like Ezra Klein finally ran out of people to talk to. How else to explain me being a guest on his consistently amazing, consistently fascinating podcast this week? My two favorite podcasts collided this week! Your conversation with Ezra was thought-provoking and wonderful. All of your listeners should seek it out. What did he say, when you inevitably asked him to answer caller questions on the Lovecast? In regards to my interview on the Lovecast with Jason Roeder, author of Griefstrike! The Ultimate Guide to Mourning… It took me a while to respond to the Griefstrike segment. I needed to hear the humor of dealing with that loss as my husband passed away a few months ago and at the end I had a very cathartic cry. I remember the times I would read your columns in bed to him. How I would share the podcast with him. How listening to you helped me deal with a newly opened relationship where he gave me permission to fall in love with another man while loving him and being a caregiver as his health started to fail. In the end he wasn’t as comfortable as he thought but he had the grace to understand being in love with two men made me happy and left me with a support system. Knowing I am not alone with these feelings helps every day. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m in awe of your late husband’s grace. While the debate about whether “Muppet-faced” is ever a compliment continues to rage—at least one hot (and now award-winning) Muppet-faced porn star thinks it is—one of the hottest Muppet-faced men of all time passed away this week: Um…https://t.co/LLs8W1CQjP — Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) January 11, 2023 Regular guest and listener favorite Dr. Barak answered a question on this week’s Lovecast from a woman feeling sexually neglected by her doctor-in-training partner who is currently in his residency. Dr. Kent Tisher was listening and shared his thoughts via Instagram… Just listened to this week’s podcast. I had a perspective on the relationship issues that arise during residency. My one significant relationship broke down during residency, and I think in part because the roles shifted from partners to caregiver/needy. Residency is so demanding (and frankly abusive) that it’s easy for a resident’s partner to shift into caregiving mode, which can set up a parent/child dynamic that makes it difficult to sustain desire. As Esther Perel says, no one wants to fuck their family. In regards to my comments about the death of Pope Benedict at the top of this week’s podcast… What the vicar of Christ thinks or believes about my sex life means nothing to me. Excepting church members,* the world should ignore any Pope’s pronouncements on the issue. But the Catholic Church’s protection for pederastic priests is evil. Any community that doesn’t prosecute child abuse is evil. Agreed. But it’s not just the Catholic Church that has been protecting child rapists. Connor DMs… Dude, not that you’re not worth it, but I’ve been reading Savage Love for free for 25 years. And now someone is asking me to pay for it? I miss alt-weeklies! I’m sending you a free sub, Connor, to thank you for reading my column for the last 25 years. But I gotta say… two-thirds of the paywalled column is still available to read for free. And since the column is about a third longer today than it was back when it ran in all those free alt-weekly newspapers (most of which sadly no longer exist), people who read the column on savage.love without subscribing—people who read for free—are getting as much Savage Love as people who were reading the column when it ran in alt-weekly newspapers. And finally… Happy Feast of the Ass to all who celebrate! As I explained at the top of the Lovecast this week, Catholics stopped celebrating the Feast of the Ass four centuries ago. And since they’re not using it anymore… I figured we could go ahead and appropriate Feast of the Ass from the Catholics the same way they appropriated Cervulus from the Romans. So, me, Nancy, and the tech-savvy, at-risk youth wish you—and all who celebrate—a very joyful Feast of the Ass.

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