America’s longest-running sex-advice column!


Joe Newton

1. How does one tell the difference between when someone says they love you in a Platonic way and when someone says they love you in a romantic way?

One asks a direct question: “That’s nice — but do you mean that platonically or do you mean that passionately? Like, do you just wanna hang out or do you wanna hang and fuck and hang out some more and fuck some more?”

2. What is the best body-safe material for pegging toys that’s compatible with silicone-based lube?

“Normally my top choice for pegging is 100% silicone toys but we usually recommend only using them with water-based lube,” said Searah Deysach, the owner of Chicago’s sex-toy shop Early to Bed. “But silicone-lube-compatible toys like glass, hard plastic, and steel are not ideal for pegging with a harness as they have no flexibility. So, you have two options if you’re wedded to the idea of silicone...

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...d. “But silicone-lube-compatible toys like glass, hard plastic, and steel are not ideal for pegging with a harness as they have no flexibility. So, you have two options if you’re wedded to the idea of silicone lube. You can roll an unlubricated condom over your silicone toy to protect it from the lube or you can do a small patch test of your preferred lube on your silicone toy to see if it affects the surface. But be warned! Some toy warranties are void if you use silicone lube on them!” (More on why you shouldn’t use silicone lube with silicone sex toys here.) 3. I have a would-be lover. We’ve talked. We’ve texted. But we haven’t acted on anything. It’s been so long that I’ve had a chance to do anything like this — I spent decades in a sexless marriage — that I’m afraid I don’t know how to do this anymore. And given that I’m in menopause, things don’t quite feel the same in that area. Any tips to get me back in the saddle? I think you would benefit from reading Dr. Jen Gunter’s invaluable book The Menopause Manifesto. Also, I would urge you to explore that area solo — your vulva, your clit, your vagina — before acting on anything with your would-be lover. And by, “explore that area solo,” I mean, “masturbate like crazy, using toys and lubes, and discover what feels good and works for you now so you can share that with your would-be lover when the time is right.” 4. what does it mean if you straight and you gay friend seduces you and you like it that means you gay too right could mean you gay or could mean you bi or pan or flex but doesn’t mean you can’t still identify as straight if straight comes closest to reflecting your usual desires, erotic targets, romantic attachments, etc. 5. I recently began dating a man who likes choking me as much as I like being choked. A few days after some rough choking, I developed a severe sore throat. Could this have been caused by the choking or is it a coincidence? Additionally, what are the risks if I let him choke until I pass out for a second? The risk for you: not waking up. The risk for him: going to prison. Look, choking is dangerous and choking “play” should only involve simulated or symbolic choking. The kind of throttling that leaves you with a sore throat days later — to say nothing of being choked out — is extremely dangerous. Please stop. 6. Young couple with two kids, married five years, now talking divorce. Will opening up the marriage help? If opening the marriage is the only other option on the table — if it’s that or divorce — then opening up the marriage is obviously the better choice. But if opening the marriage doesn’t resolve some key conflict (say one person is done with sex and the other person isn’t), divorce is probably inevitable. 7. I’m getting mixed signals from someone who runs hot and cold, and I don’t know how to interpret some of the things he does. He used to want sex all the time; now he doesn’t as much. He doesn’t initiate much, save for hugs. How do I get him to be clear about whether he wants to be with me or cut me loose? Cutting him loose yourself will make something clear to him — namely, that you’re not thrilled with the trajectory of the relationship — and his reaction to being cut loose will provide you with the clarity you need from him. 8. I’m in a sexless but otherwise wonderful marriage. Hubby knows about and supports my outside sex life. Recently, to my dismay, I contracted herpes. What are your thoughts about my obligation to tell potential sex partners? Most of them won’t wear condoms. Does your answer change if I’m on meds? Does your answer change if I’m with one person as opposed to a sex club? The two people I did tell ran for the hills. Your thoughts? People who have casual sex with multiple partners — one at a time or one right after the other in a sex club — are volunteering for herpes. And while I think you should disclose, I can understand why you might hesitate, given the irrational reactions you’ve received from people who really should’ve known (and reacted) better. 9. My boyfriend comes in me frequently, but I’m not concerned about that. I have an IUD. However, I love to cum before and after penetration, and he will not finger me after he comes in me, fearing he will “push the sperm in deeper” and increase my chances of pregnancy Can you help clear this up for us? I don’t think your boyfriend is actually worried about your IUD failing — IUDs have very low failure rates (something he could’ve googled for himself) — I think your boyfriend, like many men, not only rapidly loses interest in sex after he comes, he’s a little grossed out the same fluids and activities that were turning him on immediately before he came. Maybe instead of asking him to put his fingers back inside you, you could ask him to use a toy on you instead. 10. My boyfriend likes to be tied up and left alone when there are other people in our apartment who don’t know he’s tied up in another room. Is this a consent violation? Yes, but it’s a minor one, and I will allow it. To have a clearer conscience, let your friends know your boyfriend is in the apartment but he’s working on something and in the zone or not feeling well and under the covers — either way, he won’t be coming out to say hello. Lies, yes, but very white ones. (For the record: Leaving someone alone in bondage is dangerous. If you’re going to do this dangerous thing — and I’m officially advising you not to do this dangerous thing — please follow the safety tips laid out in this post.) 11. MM spanking. I want it. I know other boys are getting it, as I see their pics and videos all over Twitter. Why can’t I find it? “There’s a great app geared toward the MM spanking scene called Whappz that I’ve had some luck with,” said The Spanking Boy, a gay spanking enthusiast who’s had a more luck finding play partners than you and posts the proof on Instagram and Twitter. “But I’ve personally had a lot of luck just using Grindr and with the ‘spanking’ tag, a hot profile pic, and a bio that’s straight forward about what I’m looking for. A lot of men are into spanking and don’t even realize it — so, you just have to bring it up and see where it goes. With spanking and other kinks, it helps to be direct with what you’re looking for. And when I’m lucky enough to be talking to a real dad, I’ll say something like, ‘So, as a dad, do you think I deserve a spanking for showing off my bare bottom on Grindr and Twitter?’ The answer is almost always yes.” 12. What do you search for when looking for domination and submission? Take Spanking Boy’s advice and ask for what you want. If you’re a gay or bi man seeking D/s play, get on Recon. If you’re straight or bi woman seeking D/s play, get on Fetlife or Feeld. But you can be out and kinky on “normal” dating apps, too, and being honest and direct (and unashamed) with people you meet offline about your kinks is always a good strategy. (Remember: the people you meet in vanilla spaces assume you’re vanilla… and you’re not. They might not be either.) 13. I’m a gay male and I’ve been with my husband for 35 years. The sex has stopped. He has Crohn’s disease and feels a bit — to say the least — uncomfortable stopping sex to go take a shit in the middle of sex. I’m ok with it, but he uses it as an excuse to avoid it. Maybe I need to look outside our “love nest” for sex? You’re old like me, Dan. What would you do? If my partner wasn’t feeling up for butt stuff — especially if there was an underlying medical issue that made butt stuff impossible and/or uncomfortable and/or depressing — I would pivot to oral or mutual masturbation or an artfully deployed toy. He may not be able to get fucked right now or anymore, but he might be able to put a Fleshlight between his legs and squeeze his thighs together, which would pretty effectively simulate penetrative sex. But if your partner has a chronic health problem that makes ass fucking impossible and you define sex as fucking your partner’s ass, well, then the sex is going to stop unless you get creative. 14. Eating butt — how clean does it need to be? For safety? Sparkling. For taste? You’re gonna want a little sweat — not fecal matter, not filth, just a little clean sweat from the gym or the club or the run. 15. Open/poly/married. We’re both talking to and flirting with the last people we were with before we met, fell in love with each other, and got married. Should we go for it? People are gonna want me to say something along the lines of, “What could possibly go wrong?!?,” thereby implying something will almost certainly go wrong. But in my experience, non-toxic exes who like your current partner (and are supportive of your current partnership) make great very special guest stars. Rule of thumb: if they were at your wedding, that’s a good sign. 16. I’m almost four years widowed and miss sex. But I’m feeling too fragile for the app scene. I’m so sorry for your loss — and I hope you don’t mind that I’m answering your question in a Quickies column. If it had been four months or even a year, I would tell you to listen to your gut and wait. But at four years… you’re need to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Remember: you’re not obligated to meet up with anyone. And while you’re setting aside one gut feeling (still feeling fragile), you’re not de-activating your gut. If someone or something doesn’t feel right, you can and should listen to your gut and bail. But it’s time to start taking risks again. I’ll be rooting for you. 17. My boyfriend of eight years has a thing that happens every once in a blue moon, and I would like to know if it happens to any other men out there. Every so often his dick appears to “molt” and in the process seems to grow a little. Like a snake shedding its skin. This has happened three times and he’s gotten noticeably bigger each time. Since we met, his cock went from 8 1/2 inches to almost 9. Have you ever heard of this? So, what you’re saying is that lizard people are real — they’re not just another lunatic rightwing conspiracy — and you’ve been fucking one since Donald Trump came down that escalator nine years ago. Coincidence? There are no coincidences. 18. I am a 42-year-old married mother of three. My husband has a heart of gold, is loving, committed and present for me and my family… and I’ve never been that sexually attracted to him. Now, almost twenty years in (and monogamous the entire time), I want to fuck other people. He tries in bed, but I am not satisfied. What do I do? I want to stay married, and I feel frustrated that I can’t resist the attentions of a hot guy. Well, as I’ve repeatedly said, if you’re married to someone for decades and you only cheat on them once or twice, you were pretty good at monogamy. Not perfect, but good. So, as you approach the two-decade mark, I hope you continue to be good at monogamy — and if your husband finds out you weren’t always perfect at monogamy, well, here’s hoping he’s tolyamorous. 19. No question. Just wanted to thank you. Listening to you gave me the courage to be honest with my girlfriend. So, it’s thanks to you, Mr. Savage, that I have a wonderful fiancée now who understands that, even though I’m straight, only a gay man can suck my cock the way I need my cock sucked. You’re welcome! Now, tell your fiancée I said, “Congrats!,” and tell your gay cocksuckers I said, “You’re doing us proud, boys!” 20. Me: not using doxy pep, exclusive/not sleeping with other people. Him: using doxy pep, and open/sleeping with other people. Am I still at risk for the STIs doxypep counteracts? “I’m a huge fan of DoxyPEP for prevention of particularly syphilis and chlamydia (70-74% success rate in early studies) and less so gonorrhea (40-50%),” said Doctor Carlton, a California-based gastroenterologist and gay sexual health advocate. “So, with these numbers, your reader is obviously still at risk from these STIs — and others DoxyPEP doesn’t cover — as it’s not 100% protection, even when taken properly. Nonetheless, it’s better than nothing if you’re having non-monogamous condomless sex!” 21. How do I stretch my foreskin? With as much force as you can muster in one go — really, just one powerful yank is all it takes. 22. Are gay tops not interested in their partners’ dicks? Most gay men, tops and bottoms, are into dick. That said, there are tops out there who don’t care whether a bottom even has a dick. And while it’s fashionable to condemn these guys for being selfish, they make great sex partners for some gay trans men and for gay cis men who get off on their partners ignoring their cocks, e.g., guys who like caging and chastity and aren’t lying when they look into the camera and say, “I’m just a hole, Sir.” Got problems? Email your question to Dan here! Or record your question for the Lovecast here! Follow Dan on Instagram and Threads @DanSavage. Follow Dan on BlueSky @DanSavage. The best porn film festival in the world opens in Seattle on February 8th before touring cities across North America and Europe! Go to HUMP! Film Fest to check out the new films and get your HUMP! 2024 now!

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