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Wash It Away

Joe Newton

Dear Readers: We’re rerunning some very early columns while I recover from shoulder surgery. This column is from February of 1999 — back in my “Hey, Faggot” days, and back before the online archives start. Enjoy!

HEY, FAGGOT: I feel dirty. Not dirt that can be wiped away with a Wet Nap, but two-cans-of-Ajax kind of dirty. Alas, no matter how hard I scrub, I can’t get the memory of this man off of me. The urge to grab an SOS pad and scrub my nether regions is almost irresistible. Long story short: I spent the last year ass-over-teakettle for an older man who never made me feel very good about myself. At the time I thought I loved him, but now the mention of his name makes me wish I were one of those aliens on “V” who can shimmy out of their fake human skin.

This is a man who...

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... of their fake human skin. This is a man who refers to a certain male movie star, whom he met 20 years ago in an acting class, as “Robin.” This is a man who — IN ALL SERIOUSNESS — gives that speech about how he’s a loner, so please don’t fall in love with him. This man questioned every positive step I made in my life, in an attempt to keep me in obsessive crazy love with his rickety frame. I’m furious with myself for letting it go on as long as it did, and for ignoring the broken hip, butterscotch pudding, and adult diaper jokes my friends threw at me in an attempt to bring me to my senses. Do not label me “bitter”— that’s too easy. What I need from you is an answer to a simple question. I know that not even Dan Savage can turn back time. I mean, if Cher can’t, you can’t… but I ask you, Dan, is there any way you can un-sleep with someone? Filthy in New York Hey, FINY: On our own, neither Cher nor I have the power to turn back time. And are you even sure you would want us to — and I’m not making any promises here — if together Cher and I could turn back time? Be careful what you wish for, FINY: because if together we could turn back time, you might be doomed to relive the whole nightmarish experience. “Robin,” adult diaper jokes, questions about every positive step you make — all of it. But if un-sleeping with this man is your goal, you don’t want time turned back. You want time to pass, and pass quickly. Because it only takes three to four weeks for your skin, your epidermis, to replace itself completely. Like those aliens in “V,” you’re constantly wiggling out of your human skin — only the process is a bit more subtle and hard to see. But for all intents and purposes, a month after this sorry affair ended, the skin covering your body never touched the skin covering his. You never even shook hands. As for the rest of your body — vaginal canal, esophagus, stomach lining, rectum, and any other organs and orifices that came in contact with his organs or ejaculate — it’ll take more time for the cells comprising those tissues and organs to regenerate and replace themselves. But rest assured: you will, in time, have brand new everythings. The life cycles of various cells range from months to years, but soon enough you’re going to be a whole new woman, FINY, a woman who never touched that creep. So, there’s no need to take an SOS pad to your nether regions, as soon they won’t be the nether regions he touched. They’ll be new and improved nethers. Brain cells, unfortunately, are not regenerated, so you’ll be stuck with the memories forever. You could regard them as having been falsely implanted by an unethical therapist, or, if that’s too passive, you could drink them away. Alcohol kills brain cells, and with a lot of cosmos and a little luck, you may kill the very cells that store the memories of this sorry affair. Be careful, however, that in your efforts to drink away your bad memories you don’t create new, equally regrettable ones. HEY, FAGGOT: No one should take advice from a homosexual. I have a gay uncle who always said I was his favorite relative, which was understandable since I loved him while others in our family wanted him to go away. My fiancé and I met him one morning for coffee. When my fiancé left, my uncle advised me not to marry him: because in my uncle’s opinion, my fiancé—with whom he’d had one cup of coffee!—was a homosexual, and our marriage would surely fail. I never intend to speak to my uncle again. But I know he will see this because he reads your column. I want him to know that my fiancé told me that he experimented with homosexuality in college, plus a few flings afterward, but he stopped a year before we met. Even more important, while he and I are celibate, and will be until we are married in April, we have spent a night together. I’m probably less sexually experienced than most 23-year-olds, but I do know what a man is supposed to do, and he did it all. Once we’re married, we intend to start a real family. When my fiancé heard what my uncle said, he said that one of the main reasons he abandoned what he calls “the brown lifestyle” were all the envious old queens bitter at being denied the fulfillment only normal people can have. I used to believe in live and let live, but now I understand that straights have to defend decency against the homosexual forces that would sabotage it. And we should never take advice from people like you and my uncle, who are on the wrong side in this war. About to be Traditionally Wed Hey, ATW: Here’s your letter, and while I won’t presume to offer advice to you, an engaged breeder, I have some for your uncle, one homosexual to another. When your niece divorces the sorry-ass fag she’s about to marry — which is inevitable — don’t let her back in your life. She may have been nicer to you than other family members, but apparently, she held you in just as much contempt. So, like most gay men, you can spot ‘em, and when you sat down for coffee with your niece’s fiancé, you spotted one. You could have kept your mouth shut and played it safe, letting her marry the big homo. But you didn’t want to see your niece hurt, so you felt compelled to warn her. Telling someone an unpleasant truth takes guts, and I admire you. You did the right thing. Your niece, naïve and inexperienced, apparently thinks a man who’s capable of doing everything a man is “supposed to do” to a woman must be straight. Ha. She doesn’t know most gay men “successfully” have sex with women before coming out, and that it isn’t a difficult a thing to do, especially if one fantasizes about “the brown lifestyle” as one plows away. Additionally, it probably hasn’t occurred to her that the reason celibacy comes so easily to her fiancé is that he doesn’t desire her. If he were a straight guy, he wouldn’t want to wait ten minutes to get at her pussy, much less until April. Again, you were right to point these things out to her. When your niece dumps this cocksucker or gets dumped by him — which will hopefully happen before they start a “real” family — she’s going to come crawling back to you for sympathy and advice. And when she does, promise me you’ll tell her to suck your dick. Send your question right here on Savage.Love. mailbox@savage.love

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