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Ask Me Anything!

Joe Newton

That’s a wrap! Thank you to everyone who joined! All of your Q’s and Dan’s A’s are below.

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Why have you never mentioned menopause even once? I’ve been an avid magnum listener for many years and was completely unprepared to suddenly be unable to have sex, no manner how much lube was used. Are we older women so unimportant that you can’t have an expert on to talk about how menopause affects women’s sex lives? It affects/will affect 50% of the population.

Honestly, it doesn’t come up often — I don’t get asked about it much. That may be because I haven’t talked about it much, or that may be because I tend to get are from sexually-active younger adults who are just figuring their shit out… whereas most women going...

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... much, or that may be because I tend to get are from sexually-active younger adults who are just figuring their shit out… whereas most women going through menopause long ago figured their shit out long ago. But! BUT! You are right. It’s an important topic and I should dedicate some airtime/bandwidth to it. So, after reading your question, I wrote to Dr. Jen Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible and the Menopause Manifesto, and asked her to come back on the show & she agreed. We’ve been having Dr. Gunter on the show for years — to talk about abortion rights, vaginas, women’s sexual health, and more. But we haven’t had her on to talk about menopause. But we will very shorty — thanks to you, DF! Should I cave and let my 11 yo kid get a smartphone? Hold out as long as possible. Any thoughts about marijuana products likely to enhance female libido? They’re the new “glass or two of white wine.” Hi Dan! I’ve thought about calling in this question but am way too shy to do so. It’s more philosophical than anything. I’ve always had a quibble with the argument of people being “born this way,” that people don’t choose to be LGBQT+. It’s often in the context of arguing with conservatives. I guess my problem is that I can’t help but see the subtext as: some people don’t want to be gay but they have no choice in the matter? Maybe my issue with this is personal. I’m a bisexual woman often questioning my bisexuality. I always worry I’m performing queerness rather than actually being queer, that I want to be bisexual so badly that I’m forcing it. Then I’ll come back to, well, what if this is a choice? What’s wrong with that? So, clearly my own psychological hang-ups are involved. What are your thoughts on this? (I hope this question makes sense. I hope it wasn’t offensive to anyone.) I don’t think most people who are LGBTQ experience their sexual orientation or gender identities are a choice — indeed, many of us (myself included) desperately tried to choose a different sexual orientation. I tried to be straight. I absolutely, positively did NOT choose to be gay. But I was and I couldn’t do anything about it. Maybe I wasn’t “born this way,” maybe there are a lot of cofactors that contribute to someone being gay or bi (twin studies certainly point to a genetic component that isn’t determinative), but… like many queer people… it didn’t feel like a choice. It’s also important to remember that “born this way” is a metaphor and a lyric, not a gene. As for performing queerness… that you feel like you sometimes perform it… okay, sure. But that doesn’t mean it’s false or you’re faking it. Gay men camp it up sometimes. We aren’t less gay when we revert to our resting levels of camp. You can camp it up, bi-style, without feeling like you’re forcing your bi-ness. And without feeling like your non-camping-it-up resting bisexuality is somehow false. WHITE LOTUS Q: Do you think Harper and Cameron had sex? Sub-Q: Do you think Ethan and Daphne had sex in their “walk”? Yes and yes. More importantly, I hope so and I hope so. What do you make of the notion of sexual erasure, that is, attempts to remove, bar, or de-normalize the presence sexuality and the erotic from things understood to involve it, however obliquely (if not overtly)? I think this term applies to “kink at pride” opponents, but lots of online and in-person gatekeeping behavior in kink communities (particularly from those who identify as having histories of trauma, asexual continuum identities featuring sex repulsion, and often also Christian Nationalist backgrounds if not current beliefs). Is this a thing? Should we do something about it? What do we do? I honestly don’t know why someone with a history of the kind of sexual trauma that requires other people to be barred from a kink event… or someone whose asexuality features sex repulsion… would go to a kink event in the first place. Perhaps I should say, “someone with unresolved traumas,” because there are lots of people who have experienced sexual traumas and worked through them (for some getting involved in kink helped them heal) who attend kink events. I’m all for reasonable accommodations, but “throw that particular pervert out” is a not a reasonable accommodation at an event for perverts. I’m a proponent of “Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Okay” with common sense exceptions; if your kink is scat, you can’t expect people to just look the other way while you stink up the room. If you find sex repulsive… okay, great. Stay home. I don’t think the people who go to Pride events and object to seeing kinky people and/or the open expression of sexual difference and/or identities — which is what Pride is all about — or people who go to kink events and object to having to see people enjoy the wrong kinks… are there in good faith or there for the right reasons. I think they’re heading to Pride or the fetish party to raise a stink of their own and that on some level they get off on controlling others. You are going to see kinksters at Pride. You are going to see people enjoying fetishes that might gross you out or freak you out at kink events. If you want to curate the guest list at Pride, have a Pride BBQ in your own backyard. If you want to rule out certain kinds of kinks, host your own play party. Which White Lotus character would you spouse-swap with for a week (characters from both seasons are an option). I would take Ethan off Harper’s hands for a week—ideally, we would arrange for the swap right after one of his runs. And I’m sure Terry would love to hang out with Harper. Dan, often you mention seeing a sex worker, but how does one go about doing that? Feels illegal to google it? Is there an app or way to search twitter that I’m missing? Erotic massage seems to be the only thing easily find-able, and that seems mostly male-4-male if anything. thanks! There are lots of sex workers and sex-worker rights advocates on Twitter. That’s a good place to start. Any chance you’ll have Ezra Klein on YOUR show? (you were fabulous on his!) Ha, I’m going to ask him! I’d have to find three absolutely off the wall questions for him — like the one I just got about ovipositor dildos. I answered that one myself but I should’ve set it aside for Ezra. I think me explaining to Ezra what an ovipositor dildo is and what it does would make great for great radio. Dan, in 2018 after a Savage Love Live in Denver, you answered my question about becoming a sex therapist. https://www.metrotimes.com/… I enrolled in a master’s marriage and family therapy program and I graduate in two semesters. Then I’ll start working toward a sex therapy certification. What are the most pressing needs you see when it comes to sex therapy? What populations are being underserved in this area (queer, poly, etc.) Love your work! Underserved and marginalized groups are the obvious answer—gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, BIPOC, GNC, kinky, poly, etc., etc.—but sometimes I think… sometimes my mail and the calls I get make me think… that it’s really straight people who need the most help. Or maybe it’s straight-identified people who do. At any rate, a world with healthier non-marginalized people would be better for the marginalized. I have your podcast on loudspeaker all the time. My kid is currently eight months old. At what age do I need to get out the headphones to make sure the kid doesn’t hear something they can’t un-hear? Right around the time your kid says their first word. New words come fast and furious after that first one, much faster than you’d expect, and if you don’t want your toddler asking their preschool teacher if they’re a cum dump or a cuckold (or both; not mutually exclusive categories)… better to put those headphones on (on yourself) too soon rather than too late. So Dan, you were a gay guy who was going to nightclubs in Chicago in the 80s. Does that mean you witnessed the birth of house music? If so, what was that like? Ha ha ha. I didn’t go to clubs for the music. I went to clubs despite the music. (Full disclosure: I went for the dick.) If I was in a club where house music was being birthed… I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the music to have any sense of what it was like… other than loud and unpleasant, which is my opinion about pretty much all music. Or at least the music that gets played in bars and clubs, at any rate. Since you travel to Berlin on regular basis, will you be interested in meeting your fans here at some point? If you see me at Folsom… please say hello! How often are you in Berlin? Would you be willing to have a meeting with your fans here once? I mean like an organizing a meeting for a group, not in one of the bars or shops in Schönebeg! Ah, an organized meeting. I’d be up for that, but I’m terrible at organizing things. If someone wanted to take that in hand and make it happen, I would be happy to show up for it. (I love Berlin, I’m jealous you get to live there. It’s the most amazing city in the world.) Why are they called cum gutters and not splooge sluices? The assonance is the same, the syllables are the same. Maybe it’s the hard “r” in gutters? What do you think, Daniel? People know what gutters are. People don’t know what sluices are. My favorite recent viral “why is it called THAT when it could be called THIS” was someone who wondered why we say “blue balls” when we could say and should say “cummy aches” instead. A literal LOL. AFAB person who wants to start giving golden showers outside of the shower but is emphatically not into scat. No matter how much I try to void bowels beforehand, it’s a crap shoot (lol) whether a tiny turd or just farts will sneak out too. You talk about people with the ability to fully clear out their colon through body awareness and a high fiber diet, I consider myself to be above average in both categories and use a bidet every time, never leave skid marks, but it also seems like I’m constantly full of literal shit. I poop 4-5x per day on average, generally around the middle of the Bristol chart, that no matter how hard and long I squeeze it out, even when wiping clean, it feels like there’s still a little bit left (not a hemorrhoid). I’ve tried enemas, which work fine for anal sex, but then I have a similar issue with a tiny bit of poo 💦 that always seems to be retained after evacuating most of it. Is it possible to learn how to pee while keeping the sphincter clenched? Am I putting too much water in the enema bag, or doing it too late? Help prevent me from accidentally engaging in non consensual scat play, thanks! People release and relax when they pee… and with all that releasing and relaxing, most people fart (or come close) when they pee. I imagine that people who sit to pee are even more relaxed when they pee, so more accustomed to farting. For some, learning how to release and relax your bladder without at the same time releasing and relaxing your sphincters—developing that kind of control—takes time and practice. So, stand up in the shower, alone, and practice, practice, practice. You can use too much water and douche too deeply, and then when you stand… and walk around… and fuck around… gravity does its thing and that extra water works its way down. You only want to douche the rectal cavity, not up into your colon. There’s tons of good info on douching online; most of it written by gay men for gay men, but it applies to AFABs too. What are your favorite Broadway musicals of all time? Right now it’s a four-way tie between A Little Night Music, Cabaret, Chicago, and Pippin. What’s your favorite bird? To eat? Duck. To look at? The hummingbirds that swarm our house in the summer. What was it like doing the Ezra Klein pod? I was so excited to see that show up in my feed and it was a great episode! It was pretty nerve-racking, to be honest. I’ve been a fan of Ezra’s for YEARS AND YEARS, and I listen to his podcast. When he emailed me and asked me to come on… I thought, “If he’s asking me, then he’s finally run out of smart people to talk to,” and, “I’m not worthy.” He’s a great interviewer — prepared, generous, thoughtful, probing. Interestingly, he asked me to turn off my camera right before we started speaking and he turned off his. He thinks it helps him and his guests listen to each other more carefully. I’m glad you enjoyed the episode! Where do we go when we die “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” What are the best apps for daddies searching for (age-appropriate) younger? I heard Dan mention they exist beyond Grindr, Scruff etc. on this weeks show but didn’t give specific recommendations. Armistead Maupin met his husband on DaddyHunt.com — Maupin, of course, is the brilliant author the Tales of the Cities books. He’s also the person who first wrote about having a biological family and a logical family. That’s often attributed to me, even though I’m careful to credit Maupin every time I say it. More on how Maupin met his husband here… https://www.advocate.com/news/2008/10/08/love-stories-armistead-maupin-and-christopher-turner How did you get yourself in “good working order” and be open sexually after being raised Catholic? Ha, a lot of thinking and reasoning—thinking it through, having doubts, asking questions—and lucking out in the first few boyfriends department. But I may have been just… generally lucky, disposition-wise, in some important sense. I met two kinds of gay people when I first came out… gay people who thought there was something wrong with them and gay people who thought they were fine but there was something wrong with the people, family members, churches, and politicians who were telling them gay people were sick and sinful. And I didn’t leave my Catholicism entirely behind. I think, culturally, I’m still very Catholic. And some of that Catholic stuff—including some residual guilt—actually helps to keep me in good working order. I’ve heard you casually mention that you’d don’t like fetlife but I don’t think I’ve heard why. There are plenty of reasons to not like that burning dumpster fire but at the same time I don’t know of other sites with the user base and local organizing on them. Is it truly bad? Or is it just like the rest of the internet: a mix of yeah, meh, and blech. I’ve never personally been on Fetlife. Whenever I’ve recommended it without qualification, I got a lot of push back from people who’ve had terrible experiences on it. It doesn’t take much Googling to find critiques of Fetlife’s management and allegations that Fetlife doesn’t do enough to police users behavior or remove/ban bad actors. That said, I will tell people to go to bars and… there are shitty people in bars. People need to use their common sense, watch out for themselves, and watch out for their friends. So many people who are just getting into kink, though, are doing it on the DL and are particularly vulnerable. No one to confide in, no one to get a gut-check from. That’s why educators like Lina Dune at @AskASub are so important. Any suggestions on ways to kick start my sex life? It has been non existent for almost 25 years. It used to be exciting and great. Suggestions that might get me in trouble — try some pot? Book a session with a sex worker? Find a sex toy you think looks amazing and kick-start your sex life with some really amazing solo sex? (That last one won’t get me in trouble.) For the longest time you wouldn’t talk about your and Terry’s sex life,  explaining that early in your relationship Terry said that “you could  write about Terry and your sex life or you could have a boyfriend”. For a while now it seems like you’re talking much more openly about your  person sex life and relationship with Terry. What has changed? How did  that change come about? Terry has changed. I’d love to hear about the evolution of language used, and advice given, on the column. For example, was it controversial when you used to start your letters with ‘Hey F****t’? (As a hetero dude, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to spell it out these days! What are the rules!!!) And what was the piece of advice that got the most pushback or criticism or controversy from the normies out in normieland? I so admire how you’ve become a fixture of American culture, advocating your own system of ethics without taking yourself too seriously, but in the process affecting how many of us think about sex and relationships. As someone who came here from another country, I think the nation is better for having had you! Well, when I started writing Savage Love in 1991 (which has always been the name of the column), Queer Nation was a big thing, and the idea of reclaiming hate terms — by using them ourselves — was an ongoing argument/discussion/movement. The idea was, if we called ourselves faggots and dykes and sissies, etc., then they (straight people) couldn’t use them as insults. Seemed to me that… well, if we were going to actually reclaim them and make them not hate words anymore, we needed to see or let straight people use them too. So the salutation was a winking nod to that debate. After about eight years, Queer Nation had faded and it felt weird to start every letter in every column with a reference to a decade-old political debate in the Queer community (as it came to be called, by queers and straights alike, so that one worked). The most pushback from normies… has to be when I tell people to go ahead and cheat. I don’t think it’s the best option and shouldn’t be the first option (or even the 44th option), but when all other options have been exhausted… there are just times when cheating is the lesser evil. What have been your favorite musicals of the last 5-10 years? How do you feel about the state of musical theatre today? I wish I lived in New York, so I could see more musicals! My favorite recent musical is still Book of Mormon, which was more than ten years ago now. Do you ever get tired of answering the same kinds of questions over and over? I’ve been doing this for so long that I have to remind myself that the person who is asking a question I’ve been asked before… might not have been sexually active (or an adult, or even born yet) the first time I answered it. Also, I pick up new readers and listeners who may not have read/heard that Q&A before. When Emily Yoffe stopped writing Dear Prudence for Slate — and she was the best IMO — she said that she had answered every question she could possibly answer. And that was after 10 years. I’ve been doing this 30+ years. I don’t mind answering the same Q again (and again), so I’ll keep doing it. Dan, what books are you reading right now, anything good? We’ve heard enough about what’s IN your bedside table, now tell us what’s on it Right now I’m reading Sex and Punishment and by Eric Berkowitz. It’s… harrowing. About to start Lotharingia by Simon Winder. Do you get recognized a lot in public? And if a fan should see you, do you prefer not to be approached or is it ok with you to say hi? Ugh, I’m not famous enough for this to be a real problem. But I have observed… and talked with some people who are really famous about this… and there’s a self-selection problem at work here that complicates things. Cool people, people you might want to talk to, see you out with your husband or wife or your kids and they think, “Oh, I love their work, they’re having dinner, I’m going to leave them alone.” People who aren’t cool, people you probably don’t want to talk to (or talk to for long), they see you having a serious conversation with your spouse and they think, “I’m going to ask for a selfie.” So, you get a little flinchy with the people who approach you. You assume they’re not cool and things might be awkward… because just by approaching you, they’re letting you know odds are higher they aren’t someone you might enjoy interacting with. That said, I’ve had some great conversations with people who introduced themselves to me and I wouldn’t want to live in a world where people never felt like they could say hello or — god forbid — pay me a compliment. The coolest ones are the folks my BF dubbed “non-stick fans.” They see you and as they’re walking past they’ll say, “Hey, love your work,” and then they KEEP WALKING. They don’t stop, they don’t ask for a photo. That’s lovely.

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