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Struggle Session: Birthday Months, Royal Blowjobs, Cake Recipes and More!

On Thursdays I respond to comments, emails, DMs, and tweets from my readers and listeners. Struggle Session posts are exclusively for Magnum Subs. So, if you’re already a Magnum Sub, thank you and read on! If you’d like to become my sub — which gets you access to the Magnum Lovecast (more guests, more calls, no ads), the Maxi Savage Love column (more Qs, more As), special events like Savage Love Live, the Sex & Politics podcast, and Struggle Session — subscribe here!

The first LW in this week’s column is from MILES, a man whose girlfriend is never satisfied — and it’s not the sex that disappoints her, but literally everything else. Says Coolie:

I was married to someone like LW1’s partner. It is exhausting, I was constantly ducking and covering for fear that I was dancing in the minefield. It never got better, I never did a good enough job, I was never a good enough...

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...d to someone like LW1’s partner. It is exhausting, I was constantly ducking and covering for fear that I was dancing in the minefield. It never got better, I never did a good enough job, I was never a good enough father/partner/lover/breadwinner/on and on. Any “mistake” lead to a week of coldshouldersilenttreatment. I finally realized I would die in this state of shell shock if I didn’t do something. I could feel the heart attack coming on. Literally the next day after I moved out, the clouds lifted, and life has been grand ever since. As an interesting coda SHE is happier now too. So, in a way it WAS me, or maybe the problem was us. I, of course, don’t know the details of her current relationship, she may be emotionally abusing and gaslighting him too, or maybe he’s just better at hitting the marks than I was. Zoftig was wounded by the P.S. at the end of my response to MILES… Dan, you’ve positively wounded me! My mother-in-law gifted me with the idea of the birthday month and I adore it! My birthday is in early December, so my birthday month is from Black Friday (apropos because black has been my favorite color since early childhood) and ends the on the 23rd. It’s a glorious birthday month since I also love all the holiday trimmings. Just for you, Zoftig, I’ll walk that postscript back… While I don’t think birthday months are or should be a thing (oxymoronic!), and while a Venn diagram of people who celebrate their birthday months and people who make insane demands on friends and family when they’re getting married is a nearly-perfect circle, I don’t think every person who celebrates their birthday month is an intolerable and/or unfuckable narcissist that a sane person should run screaming from… which my P.S. to MILES strongly implies. But… If you’re with someone who requires perfectly executed grand romantic gestures to be happy and they’re never happy because your grand romantic gestures always fall short… and if that same person also demands their birthday celebration go on for a whole month… you’re being setup for failure. Instead of merely being disappointed on their actual birthday, your impossible-to-please partner is going to be disappointed every day for an entire month. So, if that describes MILES’ girlfriend — never satisfied and wants her birthday month celebrated — then MILES should take my advice: run. I thought it — for a second — but I knew better than to write it down or say it. Truthlemonade went ahead and wrote it down: MILES: She calls herself non-binary, but the behavior you described seems uniquely female. I have a hard time imagining a man demanding a partner perform the emotional labor of grand gestures which you describe. She might have a few qualities which seem more masculine (doesn’t everyone have some traits which seem like the other gender?) and rounds that all the way up to non-binary. Truthlemonade’s post and responses to it go off in an interesting direction. Check out the thread. Building on Truthlemonade’s comment, Sir Tainley writes… Let me say something which might be unpopular… but some people are playing difficult with the gender identities because it gets them attention, and they weaponize it to make other people feel insecure and be more considerate around them. I mean, that seems like the underlying personality trait of the partner in the letter… and I’ve seen it elsewhere too. Men and women are nice broad categories of existence that encompass a whole lot of ways of being. And, to be clear, I don’t doubt there are people who are born as one but properly need to be identified as the other. But there also seem to be people who need to have their special snowflake status reaffirmed at every turn. And it’s tiresome. Sir Tainley’s comment elicited this very interesting response/reflection from Yurilover: As a now (outwardly) feminine cis woman who once identified as nonbinary, I was afraid of looking like — and would probably have looked like to someone with your mindset — a transtrender who couldn’t commit to the bit. I eventually ended up realizing I had cis privilege and not enough of a trans lived experience to claim the label, but when I did I was trying to communicate a complicated relationship to masculinity and my wish for the brotherhood of my male friends (and envy, actually, of the cis male experience, which by the nature of “cis” one can’t identify into, and my love of pink would be kryptonite to anyway) rather than looking for attention (unless the desire to discuss the topic of gender in general counts as “attention”). It was real at the time. It was real at the time — beautifully said, Yurilover, and I don’t doubt you. We took a call on this week’s show from a guy who was into men and women sexually but only women romantically. Says Inspired Desires… For the possibly bisexual-but-heteroromantic guy: Look into the bi-cycle. People’s desires ebb and fade, and it’s extremely common for bi people to be more attracted or less attracted to one gender at one time or another. Doesn’t make you any less bisexual. A YouTuber named Verilybitchie has a video all about it. Ebbing, flowing, has an opposite-sex partner, has a same-sex partner, bi-romantic, hetero-romantic, homo-romantic… if you’re sexually attracted to men and women — or people of all genders — you’re bisexual. And as I could see way back when and frequent Lovecast guest Diana Adams pointed out today, bisexuals are the overwhelming majority of LGBT people. And speaking of bisexuals… Alex! I talked about Red, White and Royal Blue at the top of the show. In addition to all the things the film got right about sex (“the moment of insertion“), I thought it got the orgasm gap right, too. Alex was mostly having straight sex and was still straight-identified when he met Prince Henry. And the first time Alex and Henry George Edward James Hanover-Stuart-Fox have sex, Henry sucks Alex off… and Alex doesn’t even offer to reciprocate. Now, Jo says things didn’t go down like that in the book… Spoiler Alert for Red, White and Royally Blue: concerning the orgasm gap, just because it’s not happening on screen doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not happening. At least in the book, Alex insists on returning the favour, giving his first ever blowjob, quite successfully with some cum-filled kisses afterwards. Also, after the Polo match, Alex realizes he has a thing for uniforms. The book is actually pretty kinky for a novel mostly aimed at young people. I’d wager you’d like it even more than the movie! … but it was clear in the film that Alex did not reciprocate. Henry opens Alex’s shirt and pants, he begins to go down on him (moving out of the frame), and then we cut to the moment after the blowjob. Alex is leaning back on the couch, his shirt and pants still open, while Henry sits beside him, still fully clothed, tie still tied, etc. Alex looks happy satisfied, Henry looks pleased and proud — and he should! blowjobs are hard work! — but it’s obvious, at least in the universe of the film, that the royal dick was not pulled from the royal trousers the first time Alex and Henry had sex. Alex doesn’t seem the least bit concerned about getting Henry off — or even aware that it might be polite to at least offer to get Henry off. Now, I don’t think that’s a ding on bisexual guys; it’s certainly not my experience of bisexual guys. But letting someone get you off and then not offering to reciprocate… that’s something lots of straight and/or straight-identified guys are guilty of. It’s why there’s an orgasm gap. And, I’m sorry, but the Prince Henry of the Royal House of Hanover-Stuart? No, no, no. FAR has been taking care of a chronically ill partner for 10+ years and misses sex. I advised her — as she knew I would (no one writes to an advice columnist they haven’t been reading) — to discreetly meet up with a lover or hire a sex worker. Ted doesn’t think that advice, which, again, was clearly the advice FAR was hoping to get, was workable: Dan, I’m sorry but you completely missed the mark on this one. It’s not the sex, or at least not only the sex. When this happens it’s about no longer having a partner. The caretaker role has taken away the companionship. That can’t be fixed with a side piece or an escort. FAR made me tear up because I’ve seen it in my own life. I had a relative lose his wife after 40+ years of marriage and 20+ years of being the caregiver. I thought he would “play the field” a little bit. He’s a tall, good-looking, educated, smart professional who makes a solid living. He was dating within a few months of becoming a widower and engaged just over a year after her death. His kids were very upset, and I understand. But as much as they saw their dad in the trenches, I don’t think they understood the emotional toll. Looking at my advice for FAR… It wasn’t realistic to suggest FAR hire a sex worker; most sex workers are women, and outside of independent films, male sex workers who see female clients are rare. (Interesting to note that Emma Thompson‘s character in that film does the “right thing” and waits until after he husband dies to see a sex worker.) But my first option for FAR — discreetly seeing a lover — doesn’t preclude companionship. Finding a lover may not be easy, but if FAR can find someone who understands that her time is limited… maybe someone in a similar situation… something the Internet has made easier… FAR could find the sex we can assume she wants (she wrote to me) and the companionship she may also need. She may not be able to see her lover on daily or even weekly basis, but she should be able to get away at least once a month. And meeting up with someone who understands what she’s going through — perhaps because he’s going through the same thing — can’t be dismissed as an entirely selfish act, as it will most likely make her a better caregiver. As for your friend’s kids… they lost their mother the day her illness finally took her, but their father lost his romantic partner twenty years earlier. They’d only begun to process their grief, whereas their father long ago grieved what his wife’s illness had already taken from them — from him and his wife — years earlier. He was much further along in the grieving process by the time his wife died than they were by the time their mother died. I hope they can see that now and that they’ve apologized to their dad. We got a call about a woman who wants to sit on a cake — sit on it naked — on the podcast a few weeks ago. Not a great idea, I said; a listener suggested going for it while wearing Lorals. Another suggestion came in via email… I’m surprised no one called in to suggest cake alternatives, or at least none were aired.  One potential alternative would be to make icing out of plain yogurt (emphasis on plain) with honey, and perhaps using a sponge under it to get that cake feel when sitting on it. Ok, now I know you are thinking “but food in the vagina!”  So here are a couple of references to studies that used yogurt and honey as a cream to treat yeast infections in vaginas; there are even more in their references.  I should note that I am not familiar with the quality of these particular journals, and would suggest checking with a health professional about the impacts of it on healthy vaginas. And finally… another satisfied customers: I (cis woman in my early 40’s) have been happily partnered for the past five years with my cis-het partner, who happens to have a very high sex drive. He introduced me to your podcast and I’ve been a huge fan + magnum sub for a couple years now. Over the past six-ish months, my libido has dropped, leaving us having sex “only” 3-5 x per week on average. We’ve always been on the vanilla side of things and happily monogamous, but intellectually curious about kink & ENM. We were recently on a road trip and we always tend to talk about our relationship, listen to old episodes and debrief them. On this trip we talked about sex. A lot. After hours of open discussion, we agreed to spice things up by doing some role playing, looking into the local swingers scene, finding & visiting a dungeon, and opening up our relationship enough to allow me to explore my bi-curiosity. We patted ourselves on the back for our good emotional intelligence skills and loaded up Episode 695, featuring Dr. Wednesday Martin, in which she shared her research about women’s libido dropping like a stone somewhere between years 1-4 of a long term relationship. My jaw nearly hit the floor as she explained her research, and followed it up with suggestions of how to spice things up, like exploring beginner kink & BDSM, role play, bringing porn and fantasy into your sex life. Since that trip, we’ve set and enjoyed a role play scene based on a fantasy, incorporating light BDSM, have been having sex once or twice a day again, and this evening I’m going on a first date with a bi woman. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for amazing content every week. Listening to that episode, at that moment, gave me so much validation that my feelings are actually normal and that we can find fun solutions!

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