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STRUGGLE SESSION: Swift Justice, Defining CPOS Down, Very Special Guest Stars, and More!

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

I wasn’t lying when I said I like Taylor Swift at the top of the Lovecast this week — I love how she’s out there encouraging her followers and fans to register to vote — but I don’t listen to her music. “Basically,” I confessed, “if it’s not a song from a musical or wasn’t recorded by a female vocalist before 1974, I’m highly unlikely to like it — and that is a Me Problem, not a Tayler Swift problem.” Another me problem: Not checking with someone who does listen to Swift’s music before...

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...#8220;Basically,” I confessed, “if it’s not a song from a musical or wasn’t recorded by a female vocalist before 1974, I’m highly unlikely to like it — and that is a Me Problem, not a Tayler Swift problem.” Another me problem: Not checking with someone who does listen to Swift’s music before making the observation — and it’s not exactly an original observation — that Swift didn’t seem to realize that she was “the common denominator in a lot of failed relationships.” A listener who preferred to remain anonymous reached out via Instagram to say… As a Swiftie, I’d like to offer a rebuttal: She’s aware! The albums have grown with her and now that she’s had more relationship experience, her songs — when they are about relationships — are way more balanced, focusing on beauty and the end of a chapter and not pointing the finger. Most of her music now is about her own personal journey and growth to the point where her song “Anti-Hero” includes the lyrics, “It’s me. I’m the problem. It’s me.” You’re not wrong that some of the older songs are problematic and reflect the kind of attitudes that can become as self-fulfilling prophecies. A person with “men/women are trash” mentality will inevitably fuck up their relationships to prove their own point. I don’t know if Taylor ever was that kind of person — the kind of person who would rather be right than happy — but, if we’re judging by her music, she’s not that person anymore. Says Laela via email… I was very surprised how fast you referred to Swift as the problem in every relationship she had been in based purely on what you had heard from the misogynistic reports on her music, since you admit you don’t listen to it yourself. Yes, when she was a teenager and young 20s, she wrote songs about relationships she had been that weren’t ideal, but when growing up, who hasn’t had poor breakups? Her relationships just happened to be the subjects of songs that those who stereotyped her called her obsessive and boy crazy. She’s since matured and so has her music along with it. The last three of her ten albums have been stories or about her own problems as well as fictional characters. She’s even made references to burying the hatchet and being friendly with those partners she’s previously written about. I don’t think it’s fair to judge a person solely on what you think you know about their relationships from ten years ago. I’m admittedly a “Swiftie,” but the growth over the years is what’s solidified that the most. Just a thought! Says LunaRose via Instagram DM… Have you listened to her music though? It’s really not just complaining about exes. Many of her lyrics are universal and can apply to so many different situations. Her songwriting is deep and much more than “complaining about exes.” Your take is pretty misogynistic tbh. A woman can be nothing more than a scorned ex. It wasn’t my impression that Swift was a scorned ex; my impression was that she was the one doing the dumping, if not the scorning. But that take was a shitty one and my apologies to all the Swifties out there. I really should’ve run my comments about Swift past an actual Swiftie or two before recording them… and seeing as I live with an actual Swiftie or two… there’s no excuse for my failure to do so. “I’m the problem,” as someone or another once said, “it’s me.” SloMoPoMo isn’t ready to move on from last week’s Savage Love… I’m still wondering how Regards From The Netherlands doesn’t qualify for plain CPOS. RFTN might qualify for CPOS… but she might not. Since I coined CPOS (“cheating piece of shit”), I get to define CPOS, and by my definition — which is the only one that matters around here — a “CPOS” is a habitual cheater, a serial adulterer, someone who isn’t considerate or discreet, someone who isn’t (say it with me, everybody!) doing what they need to do to stay married and stay sane. We don’t have all the info we need to slap the CPOS label on RFTN. She said believes she has her husband’s “tacit approval” and — yeah — that could be a self-serving rationalization on her part. (As I said in my response). But it’s possible Mr. RFTN knows and long ago made peace with his wife’s infidelities. For every married person out there doing what they need to do to stay married and stay sane there’s probably .25 married people out there who know their spouses are fucking around and no longer care and/or never cared. (We also need to factor in those spouses who are relieved.) And in some cases there’s an unspoken agreement not to ask questions or seek evidence that might upset the status quo, however imperfect it might be or seem to outsiders. A spoken agreement is always preferable to an unspoken one — of course — and if Mrs. and Mr. RFTN had a spoken agreement, Mrs. RFTN wouldn’t have to guess as to whether Mr. RFTN approved, tacitly or otherwise. The talk we all agree Mrs. RFTN and Mr. RFTN ought to have might feel too risky right now — an honest conversation about opening their marriage and/or Mrs. RFTN informing Mr. RFTN that she opened their marriage unilaterally years ago — because they have children and one or the other or both of them don’t want to risk a conversation that might end their marriage and break up their home. Yes, I know: the cheating itself was a risk that could’ve broken up their home. But you can’t un-suck a dick… what’s done is done… and if having adventures made it possible for Mrs. RFTN to stay married and sane then not having affairs could’ve ended their marriage years ago. Summing up, people are terrible and marriages are complicated and abandon hope all who enter here. Is it rude to open a bottle of poppers without asking? I said yes in Savage Love last week and Adam Zmith, the man who literally wrote the book about poppers, agreed. Says Alex over at BlueSky… Reading this week’s column, I feel validated in my approach: asking about whether people feel comfortable or would like to share poppers in text, before meeting up. No judgement with their responses, but definitely more communication is preferred to none. You’re one of the good ones, Alex! So, I suggested that FAST — the bi guy who gets off on being seen as a premature ejaculator — should find a long-term partner who was willing to play along and pretend he had a problem in front of thirds during threesomes. Says Ankylosaurus… This is a specific flavor of threesome (a hot one!) but treats people as interchangeable orgasm providers. Don’t assume all Very Special Guest Stars are going to be into it. I, for one, only sometimes want to view people with pity and/or contempt and would be pissed if they intentionally sprung it on me if we hadn’t talked about it in our original conversation and agreements. Says Volein… I also felt uneasy about this paragraph, both because of the “interchangeable orgasm providers” assumption, and the non-negotiated springing of a D/s scene mid-threesome. If I was the VSGS in this scenario, I’d be pissed too, since a) humiliation play is not my kink and b) I don’t like couples who play head games with their thirds. I’ve certainly never suggested that thirds should be treated like “interchangeable orgasm providers!” We’ve covered how to treat thirds extensively — thirds are not props, they’re not objects, their feelings, needs, wants, and comfort matter, don’t play mind games — in previous columns and on previous shows. Indeed, I raised the subject of how to treat thirds during my recent conversation with sex therapist Claire Perelman about threesomes even though “how to treat the third” wasn’t part of the question. My longstanding and frequently repeated advice to couples about how to treat thirds — which includes involving a potential third in negotiations about what will happen during a threesome — wasn’t negated because I didn’t cover it in an aside at the end of a longer response. If FAST and some future partner wind up playing with a third, they shouldn’t “spring” a D/s scene — or anything else — on their third mid-threesome. The possibility that FAST might prematurely ejaculate could be disclosed prior to the threesome; FAST and his partner should ask — in advance of the threesome — whether the third would be comfortable (or get off on) with FAST being subjected to a little humiliating or degrading dirty talk. A DM from John on Twitter… Repent and come to God. Stop promoting sodomy, Dan. Divorce your boyfriend and renounce the lifestyle or face the ultimate penalty in the next life. Oh, wow. No one has ever put it to me quite like that before — not my dad, who became an ordained Catholic deacon when the Church revived the Permanent Diaconite in 1972 (after 1000 years!), not my mom, the Catholic lay minister, not my grandparents, all fervent Catholics, not the nuns who educated me or the priests who heard my confessions until I was a sophomore in high school… at which point I decided to stop because I couldn’t confess my actual sins (which I didn’t think were sinful) or make shit up (because lying was a sin). But hearing it from you, John, some rando on Twitter, has convinced me to divorce my husband and get myself right with God. (I can’t divorce my boyfriend just now, as we’re not married, so I get to keep sodomizing him on a technicality?) Thumper — over at BlueSky — asks… Not sure if it’s new or if he’s been doing it a while, but noticed @dansavage.bsky.social signed off the latest episode of the Savage Lovecast with mentions of his Bluesky and Threads handles, but *not* Elon’s cesspool. New and overdue! And speaking of Elon’s cesspool, a listener reached out to me there to say… I know sometimes you revisit news you covered when more info comes to light. I remember when this guy was fired and you (and almost every other writer) thought his employer should reinstate him and his termination was wrong. In this article he admits to broadcasting to hundreds of people on a public site, having an exposure kink, broadcasting his name/address/phone number, talking about where he works, writing his news station call letters on his chest, and specifically telling his hundreds of viewers about wanting his boss to fuck him. Obviously, the person who sent pics to his family is a piece of shit but I can’t imagine any job not firing a person who brought their employment into a public arena like this. Yeah, hard to see how you keep your job after that. But like I said when I addressed the Susanna Gibson controversy at the top of a recent show, I want to live in a world where what we do on the Internet — sex tapes and porn performances included — stays on the Internet. But we don’t live in that world as of now. And even if we did live in that world… dragging your employer into a porn livestream would still get you fired. (And probably means you wanna get fired.) A cis man called into the Lovecast to share his newfound love of “feeling beautiful” in women’s clothing and make-up… but his brother was giving him grief. Was he pushing his “cross-dressing” (his brother’s word) on the rest of the world by going out in public like this? My followers on Facebook thought that brother – and the rest of the naysayers out there — should go to Hell. Says Deborah… Like I said to my 6 year old nephew when he saw his first gender queer person: we don’t care how people look, it’s what’s inside that matters. He understood the concept instantly. NBD. Wear whatever you want. No one else gets a say. Says Amy… I’d MUCH rather hang out with the guy dressed joyously and enthusiastically in women’s clothes than with his judgmental, controlling, discriminatory brother! Says Jesse… Interesting how caller’s brother doesn’t appear to fret about offending anyone with his unsolicited opinions. Okay, that’s it for this week — hope you’re all having a good one! No one nominated a Muppet-Faced Boy of the Week this week, sadly! Dan, Nancy, and the Tech-Savvy At-Risk Youth are backatcha next Thursday with another edition of SAVAGE LOVE LIVE! If you’re a Magnum Sub, you’ve already scored your invite. (If you’re not a sub, what’re you waiting for??) So mark your calendars — next Thursday, October 12 at 12:00n Pacific / 3:00pm Eastern — and plumb the depths of your sex lives for that burning Q you need Dan to answer for you. Our phone lines are open, record your Q now!

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