I hope you enjoyed today’s epic AMA… and that you still have room left for today’s Struggle Session.
A listener thinks I’ve painted too rosy a portrait of open relationships, at least when kids are involved. It’s a heartbreaking letter, and I hope it’s not representative of parents in open relationships. But I think this reader/listener has an important perspective to share…
I’m responding to the women at the top of the show asking about having an open marriage when you have children. I’m a kid of an open marriage. I thought I would share my story because I’ve been listening for a while now and I haven’t heard my experience shared before. Where to start… my childhood was hell. Lots of different factors were at play but some factors that are relevant here are that my parents kept it from me. I would walk in or witness either my mum or dad in bed or in the act with other people. I would then be taken aside and...
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...Lots of different factors were at play but some factors that are relevant here are that my parents kept it from me. I would walk in or witness either my mum or dad in bed or in the act with other people. I would then be taken aside and told what I saw was not real. It really messed with my reality. Our house was a very sexual place with lots of porn around in the open. I believe this is partly why I was sexually abused by my oldest brother. I wanted to share because I wanted people to be aware of the environment they create for their children. You said in the podcast the main harm of open/Poly marriages is the stigma. As a child who grew up in that environment in my experience the harm was that my parents were more interested in getting off than my well-being. My advice to parents is wait till your kids have left home or do it outside the home always.
First and most importantly, I’m really sorry that you had such lousy parents and that you were abused by an older sibling.
I didn’t bring it up in my response you mentioned, but in the past I have emphasized the need for parents to prioritize their children’s well-being and sense of security—and sometimes that means waiting to open your relationship, even if that’s what you both want. No decent parent in an open relationship would ever gaslight their children and/or make them feel like their needs were less important than their own desire for sexual fulfillment. The advice you share—keep it outside the home and/or wait until your kids are grown and have moved out—is the approach most open/poly parents take. That’s good advice… that good parents won’t need and bad parents won’t take. Also, most parents, whether they’re in an open or closed relationship, have the good sense not to leave porn and sex toys scattered around. Even if you know your kids are going to find your porn and/or sex toys (and they are), putting them away makes an important statement about privacy (even as your privacy, as a parent, is being violated), appropriate boundaries, and simple consideration. There’s so much more to say about this topic and I will do a better job of addressing the ambiguities and the absolute need to put kids first the next time it comes up.
About Hugh Grant’s recent admission, which I talked about at the top of this week’s Savage Lovecast…
I was fascinated by your analysis of Hugh Grant’s “safe WORD” rather than “SAFE word” to support your hypothesis that he was just fucking with us by claiming to be into S&M. The phenomenon of shifting the stress to the first word of a phrase has been labelled “backshift” by the eminent linguist John McWhorter. For example, once people got the idea of writing on a black board, it became a thing in itself and got the pronunciation “BLACKboard.” I promptly wrote to John to let him know that some of his Henry Higgins powers had apparently been picked up by you. He replied: “So perfect! Except actually Brits don’t backshift as much as we do. We need to check how other Brits into S&M say it.” I can’t think of anyone in a better position than you to research this question. If you put it out there on the Lovecast I’m sure both John and I would be fascinated by the results. (BTW, John has a delightful podcast himself called “Lexicon Valley.” He’s also the author of the 2021 bestseller “Nine Nasty Words,” which includes, of course, a chapter on “fuck.” He’d be a great guest on your show!
I know for a fact that John McWhorter would be a great guest on the Savage Lovecast… because he was such a great guest when he came on the Savage Lovecast! He was on the show in July of 2021 to talk about “Nine Nasty Words,” which I absolutely loved. I enjoyed our conversation and your email reminded me that it’s been too long since I had John on the show. I will invite him back.
Some suggestions from a longtime reader for Close To Doing This, the straight guy who—after eight sexless years—was thinking about cheating on his wife…
CTDT’s letter doesn’t mention whether he knows why his wife has been uninterested in sex for eight years. If it is because intercourse in painful, their marriage may include sex again after treatment from a Pelvic Health certified physical therapist. Many women have untreated birth injuries that can make intercourse painful. Of course, there are other sources of injury, too. Pelvic Health certified physical therapists can help with many other problems for both men and women—incontinence for one. I have received and benefitted from pelvic health PT, as has my daughter for painful intercourse and menstruation after a car accident in her 20s. Before CTDT, who loves his wife and is willing to be discreet, etc., begins having to lie about where he is to meet his sexual needs, his wife getting evaluated and treated may renew their relationship and avoid complicating his life. Thank you for your honesty, humor, and addressing real people’s issues.
CTDT didn’t say why his wife wasn’t interested in sex, whether she experienced pain during intercourse when they were having it, or whether she had seen a doctor after the birth of their last child, but he did say his wife refused to “do anything about it” the sexless state of their marriage. I have to assume that if she was experiencing pain during intercourse… that she might be motivated to do something about that. But your point is well taken: there are too many women out there with untreated birth injuries. But there are also women out there… who just aren’t interested in sex and/or aren’t interested in sex with their husbands and those women are likelier to refuse to “do anything about it,” as there’s nothing they really can do about it.
Comments keep coming in about the woman who called into the podcast about her boyfriend and the boyfriend of her best friend, both of whom stink and both of whom refuse to wear deodorant…
@fakedansavage Not sure if you even check in here anymore, but for the woman who has a boyfriend with BO issues, here’s an excellent podcast coving the topic of deodorant, antiperspirants, and aluminum. https://t.co/o0O0L688bK
— New Year’s Revolution (@Tekweenie) January 13, 2023
Or… hear me out… don’t date someone who doesn’t practice good personal hygiene. And anyone who doesn’t respond to “use a little deodorant/brush your teeth/wash your junk” by immediately buying some deodorant or brushing their teeth or jumping in the shower isn’t mature enough to be in relationship at all.
I’ve been trying to make Feast of the Ass happen and it’s nice to know at least one listener decided to pull out the stops. Or lube up the stops and gently insert the stops and then slowly pull the stops back out before applying more lube to the stops and very slowly reinserting them…
Been listening to you for years, it’s been a lovely experience so thank you for being you. My partner and I have a wonderful sex life but we have been wanting to try out butt stuff for a while and just never made the time for it. Well, on Saturday (Feast of the Ass day!) we spent HOURS in bed, playing, trying new things, and we both got off in such a wonderful way and proceeded to burst out laughing, holding each other. Thanks for being the catalyst in that connection!
Feast of the Ass discourse is always an excuse to post a picture of an ass, so…
The takeaway here is… keep sending me comments about Feast of the Ass if you want to see more ass pics in this space.
It’s always nice to hear from a satisfied customer…
Comment, not a question…I have been listening to you for 30 years. And when I speak of you, I talk about your decency and morality. I often refer to you when speaking with my brother, my daughters, people I love, especially about The Price of Admission. Thanks for your work.
And it’s always nice to hear from a brand new one…
Can you please replace your rude, crude ‘fucking’ with “making love” please?
— Donna Marie (@moon737beam) January 17, 2023
Those rude, crude “fuckings” are what made Savage Love great, Donna, and I’m going to keep ’em coming.
And finally… if you didn’t get enough of me this week… check out my interview on Damona Hoffman’s Dates and Mates podcast and my interview/intervention on Man Thinkers with George Collins and Dan Finkelstein.