On Thursdays I respond to comments and criticisms from my readers and listeners. These posts are exclusively for Magnum Subs. If you’re already one of my subs, thank you and read on! If you’d like to become one of my subs, make it happen! Magnum Subs get the Magnum Lovecast (more guests, more calls, no ads), the Maxi Savage Love (more Qs, more As), the Sex & Politics podcast, Struggle Session, and bragging rights: you’ll be one of my subs!
Says John via email…
Not a question; however on a recent episode a caller asked if people should have their babies tongue ties released to provide potential benefits to their sex lives later on. I wanted to direct you to a recent article in the NYT about the growing prevalence of these procedures and the sometimes devastating effects they have on babies. I can’t remember exactly what your response was, but I want to...
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...="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/12/18/health/tongue-tie-release-breastfeeding.html?unlocked_article_code=1.HE0.4pmz.bARqU047nMMf&smid=url-share">a recent article in the NYT about the growing prevalence of these procedures and the sometimes devastating effects they have on babies. I can’t remember exactly what your response was, but I want to echo some of the feedback you received on this one: people should not put their baby through procedures that will definitely cause them pain, may not offer any benefits, and may end up causing them sever complications.
I wish this story came out before I responded to that caller’s question. I did a little digging before responding — because of course I did — but everything I read advocated for the procedure. Now, thanks to the NYT, I know why…
One well-known dentist in Manhattan takes in millions of dollars a year from his tongue-tie practice. Lactation consultants who refer patients and assist dentists get paid, too. And companies that make lasers are also jumping on the trend. It is difficult to tally the volume of surgeries, which are often not covered by insurance. But by all accounts the numbers are soaring.
Our obscene for-profit healthcare system once again proves it’s obscene.
I haven’t re-listened to my response to that caller, but breastfeeding infants wasn’t her chief concern — if I remember correctly — but rather the cunnilingus skills of adults. Considering the potential downsides to this procedure, as laid out in the NYT, I don’t think getting an infant’s tongue “released” because it might improve — however slightly, decades later — someone’s ability to perform oral sex is a valid reason to put an infant through it.
Says Kellie via email…
This is in response to the guy who called about his kid potentially seeing his penis piercing. Dan! You are the master of sex positivity and I am forever grateful for what you bring to the world. But you’re apparently NOT the master of body positivity! It’s okay to see your parents naked, Dan. Most humans have for most of human history. Bodies are normal and natural. Taking great lengths to hide them from our children has the potential to create unhealthy relationships with our own bodies and for our children with their own bodies. Just be normal about it and the kids will be too. (This advice is coming from a fellow cultural and recovering Catholic who has overcome lots of complex body shame brought on by lots internalized complex religious messages. It takes one to know one, my friend.)
Kids definitely see their dads’ dicks. I think your Catholic upbringing is showing. There are so many, everyday situations — bathroom, urinal, gym, swimming pool, etc. — where a child can and likely will see their parents naked. And most parents don’t close and lock the door every time they change, shower, or use the toilet. Dicks are seen! You cannot truly be sex positive if you are not body positive. Genitals are not sexual until we as humans do something sexual with them. I am not a nudist and neither is my husband, but we do not go out of our way to hide our bodies from our kids. They will always be allowed to shield their bodies if they would like to and we will certainly change our ways if they have an issue when they get older. Glad you never saw your dad’s dick, Dan, but — good grief — stop being such a prude!
Okay, okay! You guys are right! I’m wrong!
But while I’m willing to concede the point — there’s nothing wrong with seeing your dad’s dick — do I really need to turn in my Sex Positive Card because I’m glad I made it out of childhood without seeing my dad’s dick? If having one tiny little hangup about one tiny little thing (or one absolutely massive thing; like I said, I’ve never seen my dad’s dick) disqualifies a person from being considered sex positive, can any of us truly be considered sex positive? I mean, don’t we all have hangups? Are we not — each and every one of us — a mass of contradictions?
LW2 in this week’s Quickies column couldn’t get hard during a hookup and has been struggling with boner-killing performance anxiety ever since. He was “so in [his] own head,” he wrote, that he could barely get it up anymore. I advised him — briefly (quickies column!) — to get his hands on some ED meds. Says Athari…
Perhaps we shouldn’t be throwing meds at people who don’t need them. To get out of your head, you need stop focusing on yourself. This is sex, don’t overthink it. Do what you find pleasurable, do what your partner finds pleasurable. If you focus on pleasure, arousal is bound to follow. (Also, dildos exist, and they aren’t just for solo play.)
Where ED meds are concerned, performance anxiety qualifies as a legitimate need. Yes, sex is more than penetration — I’ve been banging that drum for 30+ years — but if PIV or PIB is what someone finds most pleasurable (or if it’s what their partner finds most pleasurable), advising that person to focus on what they find pleasurable when they’re aroused but not hard… isn’t the fix you think it is.
Dr. Ashley Winter, urologist and frequent Lovecast guest expert, recently tweeted about using ED meds to boost (or restore) confidence: “Erectile dysfunction can be caused by sexual performance anxiety,” Dr. Winter wrote. “[Someone] can use PDE-5is (like Viagra, Cialis) to help gain more confidence and have then wean themselves off of it. [These medications have] a real effect of amplifying the pro-erection signals in the penis, which helps overcome the anti-erection signals from anxiety.”
A Savage Love reader with the same issue as LW2 — pretty standard-issue performance anxiety issues — took my advice and got some ED meds. He took a pill, got hard, fucked; took a pill, got hard, fucked; took a pill, got hard, fucked. And then he forgot to take a pill, got hard anyway, and fucked. Thanks to the confidence boost the meds gave him — thanks to erections becoming something he began to expect again (and even take for granted) — he was able to wean himself off ED meds, like Dr. Winter said.
Dan, I like your advice to the frustrated “switch” and her desire to be dominated more often than being the Dom all the time. When I was younger I was seen as a bitchy dominate female in day to day social exchanges with friends and co-workers. Glad to report I gradually grew out of that to a fair degree according to my friends and husband. Yet I’m sure many of them would be a little surprised that my natural tendency is to be submissive. On occasion, though, I like to switch the situation and turn on my angry bitch. To the caller: Beautiful sister! Dan is right. Barter. Kind of like the girl comes first and then the boy. You get dominated first, then they can beg forgiveness and submit to you!
Says Ted the Bellhop…
Dan acts like “switches” are a myth sometimes. I think there are more of us out there than he realizes.
When did I ever say that switches were myths?
I’ve frequently observed — and it’s not an original observation on my part — that subs make the best Doms. Additionally, the fact that subs greatly outnumber Doms… is a truth universally acknowledged in kink circles. If subs weren’t switching — if they weren’t topping — kinky people wouldn’t be getting laid as much as they do. Also, if subs weren’t switching, no one would know they make the best Doms. Lots of Doms like to switch it up too, of course, as few kinksters are 100% Dominant or 100% submissive. Basically, on any given weekend, in any given dungeon, at any given play party, there’s a whole lotta switching going on — and lots of kinksters identify as switches!
Dr. Nicole Pause came on the Lovecast to talk about the creepy #NoFap movement lying to unhappy straight men about the supposed physical and psychological benefits of not masturbating. (Spoiler: convincing unhappy men not to beat off doesn’t make them any happier.) Says Thingamajig…
I don’t think No Nut November is all that different from Locktober. The #NoFap people may use it as a recruiting drive, but for the most people who engage with it (not I) it’s the same kind of playful self-denial. I also think it’s used by younger guys as a way to talk about and acknowledge to their friends that they masturbate. By talking about not masturbating. Because guys are dumb. I think the #NoFap connection to Dan may be based on the times he’s recommended various forms of moderation as a treatment for Death Grip Syndrome. Not saying it’s a fair charge, just that I suspect that’s where it comes from.
I’ve never advised men suffering from Death Grip Syndrome to stop masturbating. Quite the opposite:
The way you grip your dick when you beat off? And the way you allow your girlfriend to grip your dick? No more gripping your dick like that, HARD. From now on, whenever you masturbate, you’re going to jerk it with a light touch and few drops of lube. And if you can’t come using that lighter touch and a few drops of lube, then you don’t come. At least for now.
My advice for men suffering from DGS has always been to keep masturbating — but with a lighter touch, a little lube, and perhaps a masturbation sleeve or insertion toy. Back to my advice for HARD:
Basically, HARD, you gotta cut your dick off — um, let me rephrase that: You gotta stop serving up the kind of stimulation your dick has come to expect — the death grip — because the only way your dick will ever come to appreciate the subtler and damper sensations that vaginas provide, HARD, is if you give your dick no choice. Give your dick what it’s used to, HARD, and your dick will be forever dependent on it. Drive your dick (and yourself) to desperation, and your dick will find new ways to get off. Your dick will adapt.
That’s not #NoFap, that’s #GoFap!
About the motherfucker [the caller who chatted with a man who claimed he fucked his mother on vacation]: You’d be surprised how many people invent stories to get their rocks off. I’ve come into enough contact with chronically online cuckolds that I estimate a third of Reddit relationship advice posts to be cucks satisfying a need for humiliation. Seriously, read 3-4 “my GF cheated/is pregnant by somebody else” posts with that lens and things quickly click into place.
There’s a real supply-and-demand problem for cuckolds: there are way more guys who wanna be cuckolds than there are women willing to cuck them — and Reddit forums aren’t the only place frustrated cuckolds spam with fake questions.
I briefly mentioned — or briefly snarked about — fictosexuals in this week’s Quickies column. (In response to LW14.) Says Kindness Is Key…
Fictosexual is interesting to me. It’s basically attraction to fictional characters. I think having its own identity doesn’t quite make sense, but when used as a subset of asexuality, I can at least understand that. Also the idea of being attracted to fictional characters when that seemingly contradicts your sexuality fascinates me. I had previously heard of asexuals who were only attracted to fictional characters, as well as lesbians who were only attracted to men if they were fictional characters.
While I was being snarky about fictosexuality, I certainly wouldn’t kick Aladdin or Xandir out of my bed.
Okay, that’s it for this week’s Struggle Session! Please enjoy — and go follow — our Muppet-Faced Man of the Week: actor and shaggy-haired hottie Elijah Olachea!