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Struggle Session: Predatory Preachers, Deleterious Dating Apps, Ass Toys of the Ancients, Muppet-Faced Thai Actor Boys and More!

Hey there, Magnum Subs! Welcome to this week’s Struggle Session. Thank you for your comments, your emails, your DMs, and — this week — your YouTube links to insanely hot trailers for insanely gay Thai television shows starring insanely hot actors. Let’s get to it…

Andy emailed me about my opening rant on last week’s Lovecast…

Just one more of the thousands of creepy youth pastors out there. I live in NZ and unfortunately it’s rife here too. Love the Lovecast!

I rattled off the names of a half a dozen youth pastors, pastors, and priests who had either just been arrested or had already been convicted for raping kids in the previous seven days at the top of last week’s podcast. If a half a dozen drag queens had molested children in the previous week — the same week the very pretty governor of Tennessee signed an anti-drag bill into law allegedly to protect the kids — that would have been a national news story. But there are stories every damn day about preachers and youth pastors raping kids… and while these stories make local news, there are no...

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... previous seven days at the top of last week’s podcast. If a half a dozen drag queens had molested children in the previous week — the same week the very pretty governor of Tennessee signed an anti-drag bill into law allegedly to protect the kids — that would have been a national news story. But there are stories every damn day about preachers and youth pastors raping kids… and while these stories make local news, there are no front-page “concerning trend” stories in national publications, no legislation to protect children from these actual predators, no one on cable news shows connecting the dots for viewers, and no To Catch a Preacher Predator specials. (UPDATE: Oh, look, as I was writing this: Another rapey youth pastor arrested, this time in Texas. And what is Texas trying to restrict right now? Drag shows. UPDATE TWO: And before I could post this… a pastor in Illinois was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping a child.) Regarding the hypocrisy of Republicans who’ve done drag and are now trying to ban it, Charles Blow nailed it in the New York Times… Not long before Lee signed the bill, a 1977 yearbook photo surfaced showing him dressed in drag when he was in high school. The howls of hypocrisy came quickly. But I don’t think people like Lee see that as hypocrisy. They see hilarity in straight men donning women’s clothes to mock femininity but see obscenity and perversion in (usually) gay men doing the same (only better!) to celebrate femininity and find a sense of affirmation and self-realization. Says Josie… Hi Dan and the “evil youth” or whatever that lady called them — she had a sad question but LMAO at that! (Sorry!) As I’m sure you know, there is the gun violence archive which chronicles the daily mass shootings. Is there a similar site for clergy sex abuse? If not, there SHOULD be. Maybe Freedom From Religion Foundation or the Satanic Temple could help, if there is none? Joe “JoeMyGod” Jervis does a great job of tracking clergy sex abuse, and there’s an r/PastorArrested subreddit. But where are the big stories on the front pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, Seattle Times, SF Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, et al? Where are the CNN specials and MSNBC roundtables? Where are the Netflix and Hulu documentaries? JPW has some thoughts — building on my conversation with Magdalene Taylor — about dating apps… I think it would be quite helpful if we talked more about how dating apps affect people’s decisions around dating. The illusion that the possibilities are infinite really messes with people and how they choose partners. How many dating-app romances are nipped in the bud after the first coffee date? People schedule a boring and predictable first date… and then they decide not to see the other person again because the date felt boring and predictable! Those feelings of connection and intimacy can take a little while to kick in, and they’re more likely to kick in if you’re doing something fun and active together. I don’t think people should lower their standards, but I think the apps are causing a lot of people to apply those standards too fiercely and too quickly. The coffee date is to screen for crazies and unsafe people. If the first coffee date was lukewarm but there weren’t any red flags, maybe try a second date and see how it goes? My joke about dating apps is that they’ve done nothing to improve dating…but they’ve sure improved the rejection process! I actually do think people need to lower their standards — and I’m not alone. As I’ve always said (and I was saying this long before dating apps came along), there’s no settling down without some settling for. Savage Love reader Rick emailed me about my response to the gay man in his fifties who blamed ageism in the gay community for his difficulties finding dick… Dan, you wrote: “I’m always a little suspicious when a guy in his 50s — and that’s my demo — starts to complain about ageism in the gay community…. because I’ve heard from too many middle-aged gay guys whose complaints about ‘ageism’ boiled down to, ‘Guys in their 20s and 30s don’t wanna fuck me, and I don’t wanna fuck guys my own age or older.'” I’m at the end of my sixties and also have complaints about the lack of opportunity. The answer you give, though, is only part of the problem. If, like me you prefer men your own age, well, there are a fair number of men my age out there who aren’t interested in me because I’m not three or more decades younger. Demographics is also a problem. I was 27 in 1981. I’m sure you know what happened to my cohort over the next 15 years. So, while I’m still open to possibilities, I have built a solo life. Unfortunately that old homophobic business about ‘if you’re gay you’ll end up alone’ has proven true all too often, even if not for the reasons the homophobes said. We should all build solo lives for ourselves that are fulfilling — whether we’re single or partnered. Colin — also via email — wrote in about my favorite two-word phrase in the English language… I recently had a big sneeze that I could feel coming on for like 30 seconds, and I realized I was experiencing the sneezing version of “the point of orgasmic inevitability.” The sneeze was a relief, but not nearly as fun as an orgasm, unfortunately. More on the similarities — and dissimilarities — between sneezing and orgasm here. And the myth isn’t true: you can’t sneeze your way to an orgasm, says Snopes, so you can put the pepper shaker down. Says Daniel via email… You have to have Dr. Evan Goldstein on more often! He’s THE BEST. Every time you have him on, I learn so — so, so — much. He’s one of your best guests EVER. Couldn’t agree more! To the caller who was wondering whether she should reach out to a former affair partner who was recently diagnosed with cancer — a former affair partner who wanted no contact after the affair ended — Savage Love listeners were unanimous: don’t do it. Lots of comments on my Facebook page. First up, Aleatha says… Under the circumstances I would send my love and support through a mutual friend. If the friend felt comfortable I would ask the mutual friend to ask if there was anything you can do for your sick friend. Whatever he is going through his family is also going through. This situation needs sensitivity for his sake and his wife’s sake. Tanya says… Feel however you feel. That’s fair. You’re entitled to feel whatever emotion comes up. However, you’re not entitled to act however you want because of those emotions. He made his wishes clear and that is what is called a consequence/cost of the affair. Michael says… My first wife, a spectacularly wonderful person, developed an aggressive cancer and died after a few months of illness. The people that understood boundaries were immensely helpful. Those that did not, including some family, made things SO MUCH HARDER. These difficult people still color the memories of our experience. While I sympathize with the losses the LW is experiencing, and while I favor reconciliation, particularly over sexual matters, on balance I’d stay away and accept that this is going to part of the caller’s grieving process, particularly if her friend dies. Thank you for your insight, Michael, and I’m so very sorry for your loss. Notorious PhD took to what’s left of Twitter to praise my response to CHARADE… This answer on emotional cheating is supportive and covers all the bases in terms of options — great advice, Dan (from one who’s been there) — @NotoriousPhD (@NotoriousKBJ) February 28, 2023 And CHARADE herself joined the chat to say she appreciated my advice and the advice Savage Love readers shared — as well as all the moral support Savage Love readers offered her — in the comments thread. “Don’t read the comments” is good advice just about everywhere else (there’s even a Google browser extension that hides all comment sections!), but the commenters are Savage Love are smart, funny, compassionate, and insightful. Always read the comments here. Some feedback about HUMP! 2023, which is now on tour (get your tickets now!)… We have gone to Hump for many years, and seen lots of great films. This time there were four films we liked a lot: The Boy with the Tighty Whities, The Cannoli Brothers, Ménage a la Fromage, and It’s  Mr. Yam Face. I get that there is a huge amount of diversity of people’s preferences in porn. But this year there was a lesbian sex overload. I think it would be great if future programs have a balance of stuff: gay sex, trans sex, lesbian, group sex, with humor incorporated in all of the above. I had to close my eyes for a few of the films, especially the bloodbath. I also think that the following should be left out: no blood, no puke (you already don’t allow bestiality, pedophilia, and scat films). I’m not a prude: I have had my share of orgies with men and women, drug-enhanced sex play, CBT, etc. I worked as a nurse for 15+ years and saw some crazy gross stuff and took it in stride. On the plus side, thumbs up for online voting. Bottom line, keep it a good variety of stuff for the range of sex kinks and interests that humans have. One year, about a decade ago, there were no films in HUMP featuring lesbian sex — or woman-on-woman sex — and people complained. But here’s the thing: we didn’t get any submissions from lesbians that year. We urged lesbians and bi women and enby AFAB folks to make and submit more films the following year and really brought it. This year, well, the lesbians really brought it again — as did the bisexual women and the non-binary AFABs. That happens sometimes; we’ve had gay-heavy years and kink-heavy years, etc. We always try to balance gay/straight/bi/pain/trans/cis/vanilla/kink/newbies/pros, etc., but some years one group dominates the submissions and, hence, the festival. Hopefully folks who didn’t see what they wanted in HUMP this year, or didn’t see enough of what they wanted, will be inspired — like the lesbians were a decade ago — to really bring it next year. Thanks for your feedback and thanks for supporting HUMP! (And to the one person who asked: No, we are not going to lift the ban on films featuring scat play.) A reader email about that 2000-year-old Roman dildo I mentioned at the top of the Lovecast recently… It’s not a dildo. At first archeologists claimed it wasn’t a dildo, now archeologists admit it’s a dildo. Now, along comes Linsey Duncan-Pitt of Telford, Shropshire, who says it’s not a dildo, but a “dealgan or farsadh, a type of drop spindle,” of cheeky Roman design. Can’t it be both? A dildo and a spindle? I mean, human beings have been enjoying pervertables — “normal, everyday objects that, when properly cleaned, can provide some form of sexual satisfaction” — for as long as human beings have been using tools, to darn and otherwise. (The wonderful Kate Lister — whose podcast I absolutely adore — weighs in on ancient dildogate here.) And finally… a DM from a listener via Instagram… I think it’s very important that you look up the Thai actor First Kanaphan. He has exactly the kind of smile that I think of when you describe guys with Muppet mouths. He’s also a BL actor, so he sometimes makes out with dudes. Added bonus. I had to Google “BL actor.” Given our concurrent, overlapping, and intertwined moral panics about grooming and age-gap relationships — and so much else — we might want to retire “BL” in favor of “gay love stories,” which is what people mean by “BL stories.” Anyway, First Kanaphan is not a boy; he’s a 24-years-old man, which makes perving on him — excuse me, which makes enjoying his extensive body of work — permissible… but only for Savage Love readers under the age of 30. Please do not question the new age gap rules, as questioning the new age gap rules is against the new age gap rules. A “child” is now defined as anyone more than five years younger than you are. So, if you’re under 30, you are free to enjoy the clips featuring First Kanaphan below. If you’re over 30 and you enjoyed the clips below anyway, you can come sit by me. (And, yes, he definitely has a Muppet face!)

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