America’s longest-running sex-advice column!

Struggle Session: Time Capsules

Dear Readers: No Struggle Session again this week — but I’ll be back next week with a new column and a new Struggle Session. We’re going to flash back one more time to the early 90s with some questions from two early Savage Love columns. Reading these is like opening a time capsule — familiar issues, different context.  Back with fresh columns next week! 

November 1991:

HEY, FAGGOT: My husband has expressed a desire to have a three-way encounter. I wasn’t so hot on the idea at first, but we talked it over and I am willing to do it. So we started to talk about who could be the third and the trouble started. Seems the third person can only be another woman. This seems pretty unfair; I mean, he’ll get to have sex with another woman, why shouldn’t I get to have sex with another man? 

Good for the Goose

Hey, Good: Your hubby is...

Want to read the rest? Subscribe now to get every question, every week, the complete Savage Love archives, special events, and much more!

...ex with another woman, why shouldn’t I get to have sex with another man?  Good for the Goose Hey, Good: Your hubby is afraid that if the third is a man he’ll feel like a homo. Could someone please explain to me why so many straight guys think two women making it is so hot but can’t stand the thought of two guys doing it? When I was a lad, I would look at my older brother’s porno mags, and they always had pictures of women making it. The women weren’t lesbians, my brother explained to me; they were pretty, wore makeup and heels. (Lesbians: I have since had a long talk with my brother.) A man would always be watching or arrive to provide the star attraction — Mr. Penis. Much to my dismay, none of these magazines ever featured photo spreads of two men doing it while a woman watched. I couldn’t understand why. So I asked my brother, who seemed an expert on these matters at the time. He told me that guys would never do that, only fags would, fags not being guys, of course. (We’ve also had a talk about that one.) So two women could do it with a man in the room and not be lesbians, but two guys couldn’t do it with a woman in the room without beings fags. But about your husband. Tell him that if you’re expected to go to bed with him and another woman, then he’s expected to go to be with you and another man. If he won’t do it, then don’t you do it. If his straight male ego really can’t handle it, and you want to give in, then you should have the right to go to bed with another man alone. But don’t let him off the hook too easily. Make him sweat. One final thought — safe sex! The rest are from August 1993: HEY, FAGGOT: I’m a seriously kinky breeder guy who’s wanted a slave since before I was pubescent. I long for the deep, intense intimacy that a full-time master-slave relationship would provide. I want consensuality even in my fantasies, and I’d be willing to work a long time to develop and maintain such a relationship. My problem (please don’t laugh) is that I’m absolutely terrified of women. Okay, I’m not terrified of my mom, or my sisters; only of women who might possibly be attracted to me. I’ve had this phobia since an incident at age fifteen when I was led on, then loudly rejected in public; since then, whenever women flirt with me, I can barely manage to make eye contact for a split second and squeak out “Hi.” As a result, my love life has been limited to, as Tom Waits put it, “making the scene with a magazine.” I’m becoming increasingly dissatisfied, and I’d prefer not to die a virgin. Is my shyness doomed to turn off submissive and potential submissive? Can you suggest a way for me to get out of this rut?  Wimpy Dominant Hey, WD: If you know what lies at the heart of your problem, you’re halfway home. Since your desire to have a master/slave relationship goes back before your unfortunate experience with that girl when you were fifteen, we can rest assured your kinky fantasies aren’t abusive revenge fantasies in disguise. So, since you know what the problem is, get some help to get past it or make up your mind to get over it. See a therapist about your fear of talking to women who might be attracted to you, or force yourself to talk to women who are. By not speaking to women who might be into you, you’re rejecting yourself for fear of being rejected — and that doesn’t make much sense, does it? If you really can’t bring yourself to talk to women, try personal ads in Kinky People, Places and Things, a nationwide contact magazine for kinky straight people. Run an ad with your picture, what you’re looking for and what you’re interested in — or respond to ads from women who you might be into. Once you’re in touch, you can write back and forth, or talk on the phone. Then it won’t be so scary when you meet face to face. [Dan here and now: This is how kinky people used to meet — put ads in obscure kink publications, letters would be forwarded to P.O. boxes, more letters exchanged, and finally — maybe — a face-to-face meeting. It took months to arrange a single meeting. Thank God for the Internet (actually, thank the American taxpayer), which is where everyone meets now, vanilla and kinky.] HEY, FAGGOT: I have a new girlfriend. The other night we were having sex and I explained to her that I like to make love, but I also like to fuck! She says she can’t deal with the idea because of her Catholic upbringing. Before I contact the devil for advice, I thought I’d give you a try first. How can I break through this repression and get a good fucking from her? Two-Dimensional Hey, TD: Too many people think lovemaking has to be birds, flowers, bunnies, eye contact and “I luv yous.” That it has to be gentle, tender and slow. Well, it ain’t necessarily so; throwing each other on the floor, going at it rough and fast, getting rug (or rope) burns — all that can be lovemaking too. No matter how two people are having sex, if there’s love, it’s lovemaking. Your mission is to convince your girlfriend that fucking is lovemaking in a hot disguise. Stop telling her that fucking and lovemaking are two different things — tell her they’re two different ways you want to make love with her. And you might want to point out that her Catholic upbringing excuse doesn’t hold much holy water — she’s obviously gotten over what her church has to say about pre-marital sex. She can get over this lovemaking/fucking stuff, too. HEY, FAGGOT: In reference to the letter from Hot Headed Dyke — about het men fantasizing about making love to women as if they (the men) were women — that fantasy is quite common. I’m a sex worker and I hear about it all the time. I’ve stopped telling my clients I’m a dyke because I’m tired of breeder boys wanting to play Desert Hearts with me. Maybe it’s liberal male guilt about being the bad man. Maybe it’s the paranoid fear that women have some major sexual secret that we don’t tell men. I think it may have to do with the get-it-up, keep-it-up anxiety that many men have. Lesbian sex is perceived as effortless and endless. There’s no penis, so what could go wrong? (Let me tell you about some of my dates, boys.) Het male ideas about lesbians sex tend to be gleaned from porno movies and magazines put out by het males for het males.  Like Hot Headed Dyke, I am annoyed by this. Deal with it, boys! You can’t be k.d. You can’t even be Martina. Could we have one fucking thing to ourselves, please, without your trying to co-opt it into a breeder-prick fantasy? A Dyke Who Knows Hey, ADWK: This fag knows plenty of dykes who strap on dildos and go to town. Are they pretending to be men? Making love to their girlfriends as if they were straight guys? If that’s okay, which I’m guessing you’d say it was, what’s wrong with guys pretending they’re dykes and screwing their girlfriends? Fantasies can’t be regulated, and what someone wants to co-opt in the privacy of their own bedroom is between them and the person they’re co-opting with. If straight boys wanna be k.d. lang for a couple of hours and their girlfriends are into it, let ’em; they’re not hurting anybody. [Dan here and now: A lot to unpack here… looking forward to reading the comments!]

Comments on Struggle Session: Time Capsules