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STRUGGLE SESSION: Spotting Luxury Beliefs, Sticking To Dildos, Point-Blanking Cuckolds and More!

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First up, Toldry wanted to let me know that he appreciated my conversation with Rob Henderson…
Thank you for modeling how to have a fruitful conversation with someone you intensely disagree with on “Sex & Politics # 28.”
Thank you, Toldry. While I enjoyed talking with Rob, I’ve been experiencing a little of that l’esprit de l’escalier stuff the French are always going on about. I shared a quote from...

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...ersation with someone you intensely disagree with on “Sex & Politics # 28.” Thank you, Toldry. While I enjoyed talking with Rob, I’ve been experiencing a little of that l’esprit de l’escalier stuff the French are always going on about. I shared a quote from an essay in which Rob complained about non-monogamous people looking down on monogamous people on that episode… What I dislike is when people who live in a polycule act as if their highly novel relationship arrangement can work for everyone, or claim that anyone who isn’t poly is uptight or insecure or squeamish or weird, or try to stigmatize monogamy… …and wish I had pushed back a little harder. ‘ Basically, Rob is annoyed — as I sometimes am! — by very online poly types who look down on monogamous normies. Some poly people react to be told we’re doing it wrong (that’s not love, that’s not commitment, etc.) by tweeting, “No, you’re doing it wrong!” We should all be able to agree that monogamous or non-monogamous, closed or open or poly, no one is doing it “wrong.” People are simply doing what works for them. But open and poly and ENM people are essentially swimming upstream while monogamous folks — which includes some people who will eventually realize they would be happier practicing ENM — are swimming downstream. ‘ Anyway, I regret not asking Rob to consider who’s been picking on whom for most of recorded human history. There hasn’t been one society in the history of the world where morally upright adulterers dragged the sinfully monogamous into dusty villages squares and stoned them to death. Non-monogamy (aka “adultery”) remains a felony in the three states and a criminal misdemeanor in fourteen others. Members of the military who engage in “extra-marital conduct” can be dishonorably discharged and jailed for a year. People have lost custody of their children — to vengeful exes, to judgmental grandparents — after coming out or being outed as poly. Yes, some very online poly people are insufferable twats… but poly people don’t have a long history of persecuting the monogamous. ‘ Still, I’ve found myself thinking about Rob’s ideas since we talked. For instance, all I could think while reading this story in the Washington Post was, “Hey, those food influencers seem to embody Rob’s concept of ‘luxury beliefs.'” Paid to push sugary cereals and ice cream on their followers, the “health nutritionists” and food influencers in this exposé — all of whom appear to be pretty well-off — sure don’t look like they’re eating the foods they’re encouraging their followers to eat… or they’re indulging in the kind of thoughtful moderation they’re being paid to discourage their followers from practicing…. or they have the time — the luxury of time — to hit the gym and work off the rocky road. Seeing as obesity disproportionately impacts the poor and working class, elite food influencers telling their followers that eating Lucky Charms whenever they feel like eating Lucky Charms is healthier than thinking about a balanced diet is an excellent example of a luxury belief: “ideas and opinions that confer status on the upper class, while often inflicting costs on the lower classes.” ‘ Says Harry J. Cook, who reads bell hooks and posts thirst traps for good causes, has been spamming my Instagram posts with this comment… Can you answer me this? You call yourself a “love” expert and talk a lot about “ethical” non monogamy. If that’s the case, do you believe in love for everyone or is it just about fucking around? Cos this is where I get lost: There’s a genocide happening in Gaza right now. And I’m yet to see much “LOVE” from a LOT of y’all who claim to have bucketfuls of it when you’re screwing around yet are silent in times of great need. Just something to think about. Free Palestine. 🇵🇸 I’ll answer you that, Harry. ‘ Backing way up: I was for the Iraq War for reasons that seemed sound to me at the time. (Among them: The US had encouraged the Shiites to rise up against Saddam during the First Gulf War and we abandoned them to be slaughtered by Saddam’s Sunni forces after they rebelled. That seemed to me like a wrong that needed righting. After what we did to the Iraqi Shiites in 1991, and after what Donald Trump did to the Kurds in 2019, I don’t know why anyone, anywhere takes a pledge of support from the US seriously. You too, Kiev.) At the time, a lot of people told me to stick to dildos — being no expert on the Middle East — and I should’ve listened. They were right, I was wrong, should’ve stuck to dildos. ‘ Getting the Iraq War so catastrophically wrong, I concluded at the time, disqualified me commenting on armed conflict(s) in the Middle East and elsewhere. So, while I have thoughts about what Russia is doing to Ukraine, I haven’t shared them on my show or on social media. I declined an invitation to appear on Bill Maher’s show in 2015 because Syria was one of the topics and, while I had thoughts about what Obama didn’t do, again, I felt (and still feel) disqualified from sharing them. ‘ But for the record: I have called for a ceasefire in Gaza on my show and in this space. (I didn’t include a gym selfie with those calls, Harry, so maybe the the algorithms didn’t deliver them to you?) I’ve also called for the release of the hostages. I want a ceasefire, I want Netanyahu out of the prime minister’s office, I want Hamas out of power, I want to see the implementation of the two-state solution Yasser Arafat foolishly rejected twenty four years ago, and I don’t want Donald “Finish the Job” Trump and Jarod “Clean It Up” Kushner anywhere near power ever again — two of the many reasons I’ll be voting for Joe Biden this November. ‘ Jill in London weighs in on the sex-repulsed (at least when it’s her mom having sex with her new boyfriend) fifteen-year-old girl… I love your compassion and thoughtfulness, Dan, but the question from the guy about the 15-year-old daughter of his partner really bothered me. Good for him and his enthusiastic sex life. He sounds enormously pleased with it. But this girl has got the ick, and when children and young people get the ick (or the creeps), we need to talk about it with respect, even if we disagree. To see her as “petulant,” as throwing a tantrum, is to close down the discussion — and there might come a time when that young girl needs to talk about something serious that’s giving her the ick and she will have learned the adults in her life found her instincts childish. You suggested that they didn’t need to be angry — why would that even be an option? The cherry on top of this horrible cake was the guy’s unpleasant ruminations on her sexuality: probably a virgin but likes a racy book and a dirty joke, and — oh god — is “very mature for her age.” That is a phrase that induces anxiety. Girls are trained so hard by society to do what they are told, and that they are just being silly when something makes them feel queasy. I don’t need to tell you the results of this — you hear about the results of that training every week on your show. Excellent points, Jill. I shared adolescent experiences that shaped my response to that call in last week’s Struggle Session. But I have long pointed out that women are socialized to defer to men — women are, indeed, trained so hard to defer to men — and the sad results of this training can be seen and heard, as Jill points out, in over the calls and letters I receive every week. So, at the very least I should’ve given this kid some credit — and maybe her mom some credit (she raised her right!) — for her refusal to do what she was told. ‘ Says Tzeitel Rodriguez… I don’t know why the mother and boyfriend need to have sex when the teen daughter is home. Teens go out. Do it then. I wouldn’t even be able to stay aroused if I knew my kid could hear me. Here’s the thing about teens who go out (which fewer teens do these days): they come back. Almost every time I overheard my parents having sex… and almost every time I heard my mother having sex after my dad left her… I was away from home when it started but back before it ended. And to everyone who pointed out that the kid is fifteen and will be moving out in a few years… maybe not? ‘ Says Lance… Oh man. For the caller who had the molly-fueled three-way: As soon as the guy brought up his current sexual dissatisfaction and put the blame at the feet of his current partner, that was the red flag that he was cheating. People who are in happily open relationships don’t lay out these kind of subtle manipulation tactics. They don’t plant the seed in your head at the start of an erotically-charged scenario (like a night on molly) that they are sexually suffering because of their partner. That’s what people who are cheating do, in hopes that you’ll agree to fuck them in spite of their partner. Excellent point that I failed to make, very grateful to Lance for making it! ‘ Says TedtheBellhop… FIBS — this scenario sounds somewhat familiar, so I may be projecting. I think there is a slight possibility that your BF has a cuckold/hotwife kink and he hates himself for it. It’s possible that the anger over this is being projected onto you. If this relationship is worth salvaging — and I’m not sure it is — perhaps you can pull the kink out of him and you guys can embrace it together. Maybe ask him point blank if it secretly turns him on that she fucked and came with a guy who has a bigger dick. TallCanadian jumped into second Ted… I came here to say the same thing. What kind of guy constantly brings up during sex his partner’s past infidelity and the fact that the affair partner had a bigger dick? A guy who totally gets off on the humiliation. This would also explain why he only chooses sexual positions that don’t work for her. I once had a brief fling with a guy once who could only come if I was mocking his “tiny” dick size (in reality, his dick was not at all small), and this letter just brought back memories. Hm. ‘ I’m inclined to side with John H (“FIBS’s boyfriend is an abusive monster”) and Curious (“break up with him”), but Ted and Tall might be onto something. Even so, FIBS should not ask her boyfriend point-blank if he’s a cuck during their next round of shitty sex. Even if he is a cuck — even if Ted nailed it — we can’t rule out the possibility that FIBS’ deeply conflicted boyfriend will react with anger. I once made the mistake of assuming a guy who sucked me off in his dorm was gay… because he had just sucked me off… and he flipped out on me. He was definitely gay — I ran into him years later in a gay bar in Chicago — he just wasn’t ready to admit it. (Not even to a guy he had just sucked off.) So, even if Ted and Tall are both right and this guy is a cuck, that’s no guarantee he’ll react with a spontaneous, hands-free orgasm should FIBS confront him. There’s a chance he could react violently. So, if FIBS sees this and wants to bring this up because she thinks, contra most of the commenters, that this relationship is worth saving, I would urge her to do so during a session with a carefully-vetted sex-and-kink positive couples’ counselor, not during sex. ‘ A caller in an open marriage flirted with a man who didn’t notice she was wearing a wedding ring. She thought it was his responsibility to 1.) notice her wedding ring and 2.) ask whether her marriage was open or not and she interpreted his failure to do either thing so as a willingness on his part to fuck a married woman behind her husband’s back which would make him not the kind of guy she would wanna fuck with her husband’s okay. A lot of reaction to that call. Says Jonathan… Rings — is anyone really expected to notice or treat that as binding now, especially when the wearer is actively flirting with them? But beyond that, no, sometimes people aren’t that observant. When I was getting to know a friend in grad school (bars, eating together, doing problem sets), he at some point referenced a job he had in high school, which is how he injured his hand. Injured his hand? He was missing a finger. I didn’t notice until that conversation. Says Thingamajig… I usually don’t comment until I’ve listened to the whole thing but I want to go ahead and drop this one here. Like Dan, I think the caller who wouldn’t want to sleep with a guy who is willing to participate in non-ethical non-monogamy is drawing a perfectly reasonable line in the sand. But I think she can give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Not everybody notices rings (or shoes or clothes or hair). I certainly don’t. Says Snowflake… It was the caller’s responsibility to tell the dude that she was married but ethically non-monogamous. It was not the dude’s responsibility to notice a ring. That caller was super annoying. Meanwhile over on early morning Twitter… B walks downstairs to me listening to @fakedansavage “Nothing like facefucking advice at 8am” 🤣 — TommiLC (@tommiLC) April 9, 2024 I can think of only one thing better than facefucking advice at 8 AM. (Remember: #FaceFuckFirst then have breakfast. Don’t have breakfast then facefuck.) From the Dept. of Always Read the Comments at Savage Love: Great advice from Mathis and Lea for callers with questions about oral sex and anal play. Okay, that’s it for this week’s Struggle Session. Just one more thing to do before we go. Our Muppet-Faced Man of the Week is… We don’t have one — at least not yet. But if there’s a Muppet-faced man out there you wanna nominate, send ’em in and I’ll add them to this post! UPDATE: I’m going to go ahead and name this guy — who seems to be the main character on Twitter today — our Muppet-Faced Man of the Week. No idea what his name is and no idea why this guy thinks anyone who likes him (likes him at all? like likes him?) is “beyond saving,” as this guy is as dreamy as he is Muppet-faced. And such strong opinions about classical music! SIGH.

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