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Struggle Session: Making the New York Times, Disappointing the Bis, Changing the Underpants, and More!

Welcome to Struggle Session, a weekly roundup of comments, DMs, tweets, and critiques from Savage Love readers and Savage Lovecast listeners. And this week — as promised — a hot guy with a Muppet face.

But first and perhaps most importantly…

It’s always an honor to appear in the New York Times crossword puzzle. Having a single-syllable, three-letter first name comprised of three of the most commonly used letters in the English language certainly helps. (But don’t call me “easy,” Paul!)

Says Heather via email…

Long-standing Magnum subscriber and fully paid up member of the war on cars here in London. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that Dan was willing to use his platform to highlight the evils of cars and car lobbyists past and present to an audience outside the usual active travel bubble. A super interesting and insightful...

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...language certainly helps. (But don’t call me “easy,” Paul!) Says Heather via email… Long-standing Magnum subscriber and fully paid up member of the war on cars here in London. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that Dan was willing to use his platform to highlight the evils of cars and car lobbyists past and present to an audience outside the usual active travel bubble. A super interesting and insightful conversation with Daniel Knowles. Thanks again for all you do with the podcast. I’m glad you enjoyed my conversation with Daniel Knowles. I enjoyed reading his book — Carmaggedon: How Cars Make Life Worse and What to Do About It — and you can and should purchase a copy here! While Knowles’ book confirmed a lot of my priors, I learned a lot reading it. And it’s so entertainingly written that I’m planning on passing copies out to friends (and husbands) whose priors differ from my own in the hopes of maybe prying a few of them off their priors. So, in last week’s Struggle Session, I responded to a reader who thought my response to a listener in Episode 860 was mildly biphobic. (Or insufficiently biphilic?) That reader, who is bisexual, seemed to be universalizing her experience of bisexuality; while she could fall in love “with literally anyone no matter how they identify,” that’s not true of all bisexuals, as some bisexuals are heteroromantic — and the bisexuality of het-romantic bisexuals is just as valid as the bisexuality of homo- and bi-romantic bisexuals. I think it’s good for het-romantic orientations to be a part of the conversation for all sorts of reasons… and cited one. BiDanFan thought that example was — you’ll never guess — biphobic: “And for the monosexuals… particularly the gay and lesbian ones out there… it can really suck to be dating a bisexual person who only realizes, after you’ve fallen for them, that they’re heteroromantic.” And for the bisexuals, it can really suck to be dating a bisexual-identified person who only realised, after you’ve fallen for them, that they’re heterosexual. Or for anyone of any gender who only realises, after an opposite-sex partner has fallen for them, that they’re gay. Sorry, Dan, but this is not a problem only gays and lesbians suffer at the hands of us cruel, confused, and/or game-playing bisexuals, and while I thought you handled the lesbian question well, you’re digging yourself a hole here in the follow-up. And isn’t risk of getting one’s heart broken by catching feelings for someone who just wants a hookup a risk no matter who you’re sleeping with, not just bisexuals? Come on, Dan! I didn’t accuse bisexuals of being cruel, confused, or playing games. I made it clear that I was talking about people who only realized they were heteroromantic after they began dating a same-sex partner. Which is a thing that sometimes happens, just as — yes — someone realizing they’re gay after entering into an opposite-sex relationship. (I can’t imagine its common for someone to realize they’re straight after entering into a same-sex relationship — but, hey, anything’s possible.) But BiDanFan is right: getting one’s heart broken is a risk we all run, regardless of our sexual and romantic orientations. Underpantsgate continues to rage. Says Delta35… Twice a day for socks and underwear! Queer/pan/whevs cis male here. Uses wet wipes if away from home bidet as well! What is wrong with people — socks, underwear — change at least daily! Minimum! Yuck to those who don’t. Hands and other bits that can pick up dirt/feces. Wash after each use! Sex? Shower BEFORE and maybe after! Is it cultural? Hookups with guys from Asia — often we shower together right before the hookup starts. So much nicer when it’s a vanilla scene. (A piss play / raunch scene is a horse of a different color.) Changing your socks and underwear once a day minimum seems excessive to me. I mean, if changing your underwear and socks once a day is the minimum… the lowest bar… the least a guy can do… what’s the average? What’s the mean? What’s the reasonable number of times a guy should change his underpants and sox on any given day? Three times? Four? And what’s the maximum? New socks and underwear every hour on the hour? Via DM on Instagram… Dan! Here’s a real statistic for the caller from last week’s episode about how often penis havers change their underwear. Germans, even! Shocking! Almost all the German guys in that clip claim to change their underpants once a day. Hm. I gotta say, I think there’s some unterhosetugendsignalisierung going on in that clip. (Unterhosetugendsignalisierung — “underpants virtue signaling” — is one of those German words that’s just a bunch of smaller German words all crammed together to make one enormous German word. In the case of unterhosetugendsignalisierung, I crammed those German words together myself — and I didn’t wash ’em first.) Nathan is still reeling… I am NOT okay with this. It’s been 24 hours since I learned this and I’m shaken. Y’all, change your drawers. Marcello weighs in via email… I’m a man who doesn’t change his underwear daily because I sell my underwear to my followers and they would be disappointed if my underpants don’t stink when they arrive in the mail. It’s just sweat and a little piss as I don’t (yuck) sell underpants with skiddles in them. (Some guys do!) I’m a clean person and when I first started guys complained that underwear I’d only worn for a week (!) arrived not smelling like they’d been worn at all. So, now I wear a pair for ten days before shipping them. If my underwear barely smells after a whole week of wear, I think they’re still clean after a single day! P.S. I had been mailing my underwear to a guy who lived a few blocks from my apartment and I offered to drop the next pair off personally (for an extra charge) and he turned out to be handsome and funny (and employed) in addition to being a huge pervert. I asked him out (on a walk — it was the height of the pandemic) and now we live together. He’s in charge of shipping my dirty underwear to other pervs like him and is just generally the best boyfriend a guy in my line of work could hope for. And we share a sub, Dan! My sub BF is one of your Magnum subs! Three years and going strong! (Love you, babe!) Says Luke via Instagram… Really missing the sex success stories at the top of the show! Reading Marcello’s postscript — which is a success story — makes me want to bring ’em back! Some listeners didn’t like my advice for the woman in Lovecast Episode 861 — a woman who was thinking about making porn with her husband and another couple — but the caller did: I am the caller! I did not feel that his advice was bad at all. I will say I was listening to the episode at work when it aired and I was literally almost giddy after the advice to me. So, I definitely did not feel “pressured” to say yes. I can see now how that could come across though. The two of us have been taking it slow though so we make sure we are all comfortable. Our husbands have been the camera men as we have started to explore. For me having my husband’s approval for this is super important to me because we have been strictly monogamous for the last eleven years, so changing this I wanted to make sure we are all on the same page! I do appreciate [the comments of those who disagree]! But thanks, Dan, for giving me a little confidence to explore! The way I framed some of my advice — going through with it might be awkward but not going through with it might also be awkward, so why not opt for the potential awkwardness that included some hot sex? — wasn’t great, I will admit. But I’m glad the totality of my response to this particular caller was helpful for this particular caller, per this particular caller. Says ListeningTooHard… Longtime fan and listener, Dan, but I was bummed to hear you call a caller a bitch. Especially when you refer to yourself as a dick later in the call, just call her a dick too! (She was being a dick/asshole, so the reprimand was deserved,) Bitch is just really sharp with misogyny and felt oddly pointed. I just recorded an interview on an Australian podcast — It’s a Lot — and the host, the wonderful Abbie Chatfield, was calling people “cunts” left and right. I told her I don’t use the c-word on my show… because the c-word lands differently in the United States. Anyway, I’ll add the b-word to the list of letter-of-the-alphabet-hyphen-word-words I don’t use on my show. (I’ve been binging season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race over the last few weeks, which means I’ve been hearing the b-word used a lot lately.) The fake questions in this week’s Savage Love were a hit! Says Bashe… It would be great, Dan, if you published fake letters like this every six months or every year or so. I found these fake letters–and your responses–to be absolutely fascinating, and I hope this isn’t the last time you head down that road. One of the fake questions last week concerned FLR and forced feminization, which I suggested — or which I stated — were usually the husband’s kinks and not the wife’s kinks. CMDs disagreed: Men are not the only ones interested in feminization, voluntarily or not, and/or FLR. I’m very fortunate and truly honored to have met some of them. And as one may recall, some 11 years ago we had a question here from a woman who wanted to crossdress her man and contemplated how to go about it. Nobody called her fake. This book is for her and her likes. Unfortunately, the eleven-year-old column does not show the comments. The original comment thread on that eleven-year-old column can be found here. Says Subhubby… As happens from time to time, the same question gets posted to different advise columnists. Check out Captain Awkward’s response to the recent body odor post that Dan answered last week. Years ago, the same letter appeared in Savage Love and Dear Abby — actually, it was decades ago. (In print!) More recently (and not for the first time), a letter appeared in Dear Prudence and Savage Love: a woman caught her husband (of 30 years) sexting with one of his female cousins. My advice for that particular LW is here, Prudie’s very different advice for her can be found here. (And the original comment thread on that column is here.) So, yeah — the same letter appearing in more than one advice column is a thing that sometimes happens. While sending the same letter to multiple advice columnists used to involve more than one envelope, stamp, and usually hand-written letter, the barrier to multiple entries (or entreaties) is much lower today. Just copy, paste, enter a new email address, and hit send. And for the record: it doesn’t bother me when a reader of mine shares their question with other advice columnists. Getting a second or third opinion is a good! And… considering my body of work over the decades… it’s not like I can demand exclusivity from my readers, right? Okay, I promised you a Muppet-faced boy at the end of this week’s Struggle Session, and here you go. This Muppet-faced guy can be very funny. BUT. I’m not a fan of his fatphobic bits or his rape jokes. To be sure. That said, no one does cringe homo-panic-homoeroticism better than he does. I think his gay panic stuff is too Dadaesque to find offensive — or be aroused by — but your gay mileage may vary. Watching his stuff with the sound off is always an option, as is not watching his stuff all.

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