America’s longest-running sex-advice column!

Struggle Session: Playing It Straight, Making It Big, Updating Your Heartthrobs, and More!

Struggle Session is a weekly post where I respond to comments, emails, DMs, and tweets from readers and listeners… or ex-listeners, which would appear in the case with at least one of the people whose comment you’ll find below. These posts are exclusively for Magnum Subs. If you’re already a Magnum Sub, thank you and read on! If you’d like to become a Magnum Sub — which gives you access to the Magnum Lovecast (more guests, more calls, no ads), the Maxi Savage Love column (more Qs, more As), and special events like Savage Love Live — you can subscribe here.

I didn’t have much patience with or sympathy for PANNED, the first LW in this week’s column, and Cinderellaafter40 objected:

With all due respect (because I love you and your opinions/advice), I think you may have missed the mark on your response to LW1. Anyone who takes 20 syllables to self-identify is...

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

...>Cinderellaafter40 objected: With all due respect (because I love you and your opinions/advice), I think you may have missed the mark on your response to LW1. Anyone who takes 20 syllables to self-identify is clearly leaning into LGTBQ allyship, and LW didn’t say he had a problem with the labels as they pertain to his sex life, or ever call himself straight, just that he was tired of other people labeling him outside of his sex life without his consent (or nuance or even complete accuracy, in this case). I agree with you 100% that our barricades desperately need more soldiers, but it’s possible that some of the reluctance to join the fight can be traced back to the fact that some of the self-appointed generals (his poly-gf, for example) run their troops more like entitled dictators than enlightened leaders. If you don’t believe someone outside of you should get to label you, maybe don’t insist they accept your labels… and the belief that you are “right” about the label or [you can label someone else in the service of] some higher cause (sound like some crazy right wingers we know!) doesn’t make this judgment or bad behavior okay. I agree and disagree. I agree that PANNED can label himself however he likes — and I said so: “Actually, you can do that — that is, in fact, exactly what you have been doing.” I don’t think he should do that, but that doesn’t mean he can’t. But PANNED isn’t someone who needs “20 syllables to self-identify” and can therefore be seen as “leaning into LGTBQ allyship.” He’s someone who self-identifies as pansexual and has sex with men — he prefers sex with men — and, I’m sorry, but that’s not being an ally, that’s being a queer. And PANNED isn’t against people labeling him outside of his sex life or against being labeled by people he doesn’t involve in his sex life. When it comes to sexual orientation, people are presumed to be straight and perceived as straight unless they self-identify as something other than straight. So, by allowing the label that comes pre-affixed to remain in place — the default assumption, i.e., straight (not an unreasonable assumption, as most people are straight) — PANNED clearly doesn’t object to being labeled. He wants the benefit of being perceived to be queer when he walks into a kink club to take dick, and the benefit of being perceived to be straight literally everywhere else. Yes, he never used the word straight — but he said he doesn’t ID as LGBTQ for a very silly reason (he doesn’t fall in love with men), and if he’s not LGBTQ (with B here doing double duty for “bi” and “pan”), that leaves… straight. “I think “LGBTQ” labels identify who one loves, whereas to me it is simply a description as the types of sex I enjoy.” The level of cognitive dissonance to not be able to stay consistent within a single sentence. — Christopher Marsland (@ChristopherMars) June 6, 2023 Reacting to the same question — a cock-loving pan man who has sex in public wondering how much privacy he’s entitled to — Angela wrote in to say… Zero. Zero privacy. If you’re fucking in public places, other people are not consenting to seeing you fuck. So don’t cry when people stop and stare without getting your consent to watch. (See? This is why I’m not an advice columnist. Lol!) An advice columnist’s first job, Angela, is to carefully read the letter before popping off. PANNED is having sex in kink clubs — so, he’s having sex in “public places” in the sense that “public sex environments” are public (open to the kinky public), but he’s not having sex in “public places” in the sense that, say, a public park or a public restroom or a city bus or a booth at Burger King is a public place. Everyone in a kink club has consented to seeing other people fuck! Dr. Leila Wood dropped into the Lovecast to offer her expertise on victims of sexual trauma healing through healthy sexual activity. Matthew had this to say: Thank you for this discussion, Dan. My younger sister has been involved with an abusive man for two decades, and I somehow — intuitively— stayed connected with her, even though I could barely be in the same room with the guy. She hasn’t left him, but somehow she has stayed strong, and knows that I’m always here for her if she needs to escape. It’s such a hard situation. I’m sorry your sister is in an abusive relationship, and here’s hoping she leaves this man someday — whatever she ultimately decides to do, I’m glad she knows she has you in her corner. Todd wanted to share a link… Hi, Dan. I’ve read & listened to your work and appreciated how much good you bring to the world. I came across this person telling their story. They were responding to the homophobia/transphobia that often takes the form of, “Yeah, people can be what they want but why do we have to let kids see it? Can’t we just let kids be kids?” I felt it was powerful and wanted to send it along in case you hadn’t already seen it. It’s wonderful and very moving — thank you for sending it along! I recently recommended taking a quick whore’s bath to anyone out there who didn’t have access to a bidet. Althaea, who wrote in via email, heard something else… I listened to your recent podcast and your advice to penis-havers everywhere to at least take a horse bath in the sink if they were hoping to get their dick sucked. This sort of made sense to me — like horses are too big to fit in a tub, and horses can have dicks, right? Went to ask my boyfriend, who laughed at me. Okay, got it, not “horse bath.” But I’m going to call it that from now on anyway. Since I know you love coining neologisms, I thought you might enjoy having accidentally having created a new one.  I’m going to call it that forever. I’m sure “whore’s bath” is problematic for some/all sort/sorts of reason/reasons, so I’m going to call it that forever, too. Thanks, Althaea! Another satisfied customer… Honestly, between the NHL jersey rant — it shouldn’t be a controversy to make hockey less homophobic — and old men with babies — it’s weird for 80-year-old men to have new babies (is this actually an odd opinion to have?) — to the Mother’s day “cancellation” call — no one cares if you send flowers to your mother (some people have shitty mothers, or drug addicted mothers, or dead mothers) — I expect better takes from you. Your Mother’s Day comments were particularly maddening. Mother’s Day should be between you and the moms in your life, not a performative celebration to the world. That’s it. And hearing you signal boost that people are trying to “cancel it” shows such a lack of empathy about what people are actually saying. It’s another straw man, pushing down this caller’s argument of what people are saying, instead of what they are actually saying, like it can be shitty to remind a kid in foster care that actually your mom didn’t love you. Not that I expect you to care. I do care — and for the record: I’m all for hockey (and other things) being less homophobic, I just don’t think forcing homophobes into hockey jerseys and making martyrs and heroes out of them for the anti-gay right is the right way to do it; it is weird for 80-year-old men to father children, but we can’t criminalize things consenting adults wanna do with other consenting adults (including having kids) just because it’s uncommon/weird and/or make us uncomfortable (that’s not a standard the gays would wanna to be held to, is it?); and I hadn’t heard the objections you raise about Mother’s Day — that it’s hard on people who don’t have moms or have shitty moms — and was reacting to the objections I had heard, e.g., that Mother’s Day enforced the gender binary, erased non-binary parents, etc. I’m not sure what to do with or about that — I don’t have the authority to cancel Mother’s Day — but I’ll try to be more sensitive going forward. Says David… I’ve listened to a few recent podcasts where Dan wasn’t sure who to reference as a male heartthrob. Channing Tatum and Ashton Kutcher NO LONGER cut it. I would propose that Tom Holland and Timothee Chalomet for the younger women, Jason Momoa for the more adult women, and Chris Pine and Pedro Pascal for the nerdy women into the “daddy” type. I’d also encourage Dan to google the Tom Holland performance of Umbrella for a great performance. Hm… I don’t think it’s fair that women get Holland, Chalomet, Momoa, Pine and Pascal all to themselves. Searah Deysach, from Chicago’s Early to Bed sex store, dropped by the Lovecast to set me straight: I thought it was safe to use silicone lube with silicone sex toys. Searah — who knows her sex toys — recommended water-based lubes instead. Den from Atlanta writes… I think you were right and your guest was wrong! The Square Peg people have a Q&A about the silicone lube/toy thing. Silicone lube: safe for silicone sex toys or not? Teach the controversy! Again I ask… why isn’t pegging in the OED already? If your husband has the “perfect cock,” how easy would it be to monetize that perfection on OnlyFans? (Cock only, no face.) That was the question from a woman who called into the Lovecast, and my followers on Facebook had some thoughts. Says Tina… I would think that to make any money, he’d have to be offering something unique. Something you can’t see for free on a million different sites. So, short answer: no. Says David… “Everyone knows it”? “Other people think it’s hot”? How many photos and videos has he already distributed to friends and family? Says Anderson… I personally find videos with no face boring AF no matter how nice the d*&$ is, but that’s just me. Says John… There’s always money in the banana stand. Says Eva… Well, since the average only fans account generates about $50, I’d probably diversify into similar ventures. Decide how much of your income will go to Mega Millions and how much will go to scratch offs. A question for the ages… What exactly constitutes a “perfect cock”? — Jemison Thorsby (@JThorsbyEsq) June 6, 2023 And finally… and randomly… …no gay man would ever buy a car that color.

Comments on Struggle Session: Playing It Straight, Making It Big, Updating Your Heartthrobs, and More!