America’s longest-running sex-advice column!


Joe Newton

1. I’m 53-year-old straight woman. I’ve been talking with a guy online for three years — text, voice, video. I am in love with him. He is my daily companion and says he loves me. He lives 269 miles away. He doesn’t want to meet me, although he isn’t married, and lives alone. I’ve tried going out with other people, but I am stuck on him. I definitely want more. Do I leave him or keep trying?

Can you leave someone you’ve never met? I’m not sure — but you can do the next best thing(s): block his number, block him on socials, block his email.

2. I have a disgusting and embarrassing problem. I have chronic IBS, and every time my husband and I want to have PIV doggy-style, my butt smells and he loses his erection. I know: cringe. I have tried a number of things: changes to my diet; a treatment for SIBO; a colonoscopy/endoscopy; even using a...

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...have PIV doggy-style, my butt smells and he loses his erection. I know: cringe. I have tried a number of things: changes to my diet; a treatment for SIBO; a colonoscopy/endoscopy; even using a bidet. Nothing has helped. The gastroenterologist proposed not having doggy-style sex, but that’s my favorite position! Please help. You’ve tried everything — including a bidet (a sign of true desperation) — and nothing has worked. So, maybe it’s time to think outside the healthcare/health interventions box. My suggestion: get your husband a rubber hood and gas mask with a long breathing tube — hell, get his & hers full rubber gimp suits and gas masks — and your husband can fling his breathing tube over his shoulder or get a longer one that runs down to the floor. You won’t be able to have doggy-style sex spontaneously if you need to get dress in full rubber before you get started — but it’s your favorite position, so why not make it an occasion? P.S. Insensitive response, I realize, but my way of tossing this one to the commenters. Someone out there have any relevant experience here? Any suggestions? (That said, some people do find full rubber gimp suits and gas masks hot and going on new adventures together is important, IBS or no IBS.) 3. I’m in love with my sex worker. Can it ever be more than it is? It could — if feelings are mutual and you’re not one of those guys who expects “his” sex worker to quit her day job. Remember: you’re dating her, not taking possession. 4. How to survive going long-distance — suddenly and temporarily — at the beginning of a relationship? Lean into the big dirties — dirty texts, dirty pics, dirty video chats — and give DADT a chance. 5. Recommendations for other sex advice columnists with a female perspective? I’ve been reading your stuff for years, lots of value, but I need a fresh perspective and I know my specific questions would piss you off and I wouldn’t get good advice. The outline is that I, a cishet woman in her late thirties, have recently concluded that I don’t LIKE men. At all. I’m also still a virgin. I don’t know where this leaves me. I’m not asexual. The idea of fucking a stranger literally makes me feel ill with anxiety. But I don’t want to build “an emotional connection” with a man. Too much bitterness and mistrust. So, anyone you’d care to pawn me and my problems off on? My recommendations: Lori Gottlieb, Carolyn Hax, Damona Hoffman, E. Jean Carroll, the collected works of Xaviera Hollander, and — still, always, forever — Judith “Miss Manners” Martin. 6. Please share these pronouns with your readers, listeners, and followers: She/He/Shay; Her/Him/Shem; Hers/His/Shems; Herself/Himself/Shemself. My thought is that these gender-free pronouns could be used rather than using plural pronouns. They could ultimately replace gendered pronouns for everyone. Thank you for sharing these gender-free pronouns with the world! Shou’re welcome? P.S. The supply of gender-free/gender-neutral pronoun options outstrips demand: we’ve already got ve/ver/verself, xe/xem/xemself, per/per/perself, fae/faer/faerself, ze/zir/zirself, to say nothing of neoproouns that are impossible to conjugate (or take seriously), and only they/them is in wide use. I think that’s because people who use gender-neutral pronouns prefer they/them — not despite its association with a plural meaning, but because of it. (“I contain multitudes, bitches!”) Anyway, tossing your idea out there, per your request. P.S. “Your” is a pronoun that can mean just one person or a group of people — so, wrapping our heads around “they” having both singular and plural meanings doesn’t seem like an impossible task. P.P.S. As a million people have pointed out, there’s nothing new about the singular “they.” 7. What do you call a sibling’s child who uses they/them pronouns? Merriam-Webster is musing about nibling, which feels weird but might be the answer.  If “nibling” weirds you out — perhaps due to its homophone (“nibbling: to bite gently; to eat or chew in small bits”) — you could go with the gender neutral expression my aunts and uncles used when referring to me and my siblings and our dozens of cousins: “that little shit/those little shits/you little shits.” 8. I’m with someone who cannot take even the slightest bit of criticism. If I say, “I’d like if you consult my schedule first,” or, “Can you do that more slowly” — or faster, or to the left, or whatever it might be — he melts down and acts like he’s a total failure, everything is over, etc. I try to be incredibly gentle with anything I say, but he’s so sensitive we can’t really talk about anything at all. And of course, if I were to say that to him, he’d have a break down. How do I walk around these landmines? A partner who can’t take gentle criticism without having a self-lacerating meltdown may be less terrifying than a partner who flies into a furious rage at the slightest criticism, but in both cases the goal (conscious or subconscious) is the same: to reduce their partners to nervous wrecks. Meltdowners and ragers alike want their partners walking on eggshells at all times. You can stay with a pathetic meltdown type — someone like your partner — on the condition they get 1. professional help and 2. a grip. But those more dangerous and damaging ragers won’t seek help until they’ve been dumped for the hundredth time. 9. My lover and I have a weird push/pull dynamic. He reaches out for me — he texts a lot — and if I don’t respond right away he keeps texting these very sweet, very sincere messages about how concerned he is about me. But once I get back to him, I can’t get him to talk about anything going on with him. He’s great at listening, not so great at talking. I tell him everything, but I know next to nothing about what’s going on with him, despite my questions about his life. What can I do to get him to open up? No clue. 10. I’m a bi AMAB 26-year-old enby who moved back in with my verbally abusive mom after college. Things with her came to a boiling point, so I moved in with my partner of six months. They’re 100% supportive and caring, but I’m worried about putting too much pressure on our new relationship. It’s the best relationship I’ve ever been in, and I don’t wanna ruin it, but I can’t afford my own place and I can’t move back in with my mom. What do I do? Six months is too soon to move in with a new partner — but what other choice do you have? If there are no sublets or roommate situations you can afford in your area and you can’t go home, you’ll have to accept your new partner’s generosity. Find ways to take the pressure off by spending time with other friends, giving your partner plenty of space and plenty of head. 11. Me and my wife are in this cycle where the sex drops off from once a week to once a month due to her not feeling sexy due to body image issues. We talk, I reassure her, we go back to having sex once a week, and then the cycle repeats. Any advice on how to break the cycle? If body image is the issue, offer regular reassurance — not just when the sex drops off —and make sure your wife has time for solo activities that make her feel comfortable in her own skin. And broadening your definition of sex to include non-PIV options and/or asking your wife to help you have a wank once in a while (without any pressure to upgrade to intercourse) and/or offering to go down on your wife (ditto) might also help. 12. I hooked up during a lunch break. While I was sucking on a dude’s titties with his encouragement, he started sucking on my neck. I shook him off as soon as I realized what he was doing, but an hour later my office bathroom mirror revealed a prominent hickey. This is a major party foul, right? Like, a borderline consent violation? How pissed at this random dude do I have a right to be? I’m reluctant to slap the “consent violation” label on this — no need to get the authorities involved — but giving an adult a hickey is inconsiderate and juvenile, and you have every right to be pissed. 13. How to get over feeling self-conscious about poop during anal when my partner doesn’t care? It’s a butt — as I’m sure you’re aware — and regular butt stuff (it’s an exit) sometimes derails irregular butt stuff (it’s an entry). Take fiber supplements, douche sparingly, only have anal when you feel like you’re good to go. And if the worst should happen… jump in the shower and pivot to something else. 14. Best way to loosen tight ass for anal? Poop may be the biggest PR problem anal sex faces, but tension is its deadliest real enemy. So, before you engage in anal penetration, experiment with anal stimulation — that is, anal play that doesn’t involve anything going into your ass. Lubed up fingers slipping around, not in; rimming as the main event, not foreplay; placing a vibrator on your hole, not inserting it. Having a few dozen orgasms during non-penetrative anal play creates a powerful association between anal stimulation and pleasure, decreases anxiety — it’ll relieve tension (which tightens you up), while ramping up anticipation (which opens you up). Good luck! 15. Do you think masc/masc is a toxic gay identity? Not necessarily. Some masc guys — gay and straight — are insecure, overcompensating assholes, of course, but a masculine gender presentation isn’t always an act or an attack. Just as femme can be a guy’s authentic gender expression, masc can be a guy’s authentic gender expression — and just as someone can be genuinely attracted to femme-presenting partners, someone can be genuinely attracted to masc-presenting partners. 16. Have you ever ejaculated hands-free? Hands-free orgasms are rarely stim-free orgasms — unless you’re talking nocturnal emissions, which I’m guessing you’re not. Hands-free orgasms typically come after a lot of edging, build up, and play; one dude uses his hand to gets himself near the point of orgasmic inevitability and then lets go while the dude fucks him right over the edge. And yes, I have. 17. We need your reaction to the 20-person-polycule article in the New York Times! Be sure to read the comments! The comments are judgmental and dismissive, which seems foolish and shortsighted on the part of the people who made those comments. Considering the rate at which that Boston polycule is expanding — it’s growing exponentially — everyone on earth is going to be a member of that polycule before the end of the year. The poly-processing sessions are gonna be epic! P.S. Someone needs to re-remake Invasion of the Body Snatchers with a polycule absorbing all of humanity instead of sinister alien pods. Seems like the kind of project Ben Shapiro’s movie studio could get behind. 18. Just opening up our relationship! Any advice? Take copious notes for your inevitable memoir. 19. What are Terry’s thoughts on the new Taylor Swift album? “It’s very long,” said Terry. “I wish pop stars had editors.” 20. Why doesn’t my boyfriend want me to see his butthole? We’ve been in a relationship for almost ten years. He’s not ready to introduce you to his parasitic twin. 21. I’m bored with my sexual interests. How do I find something new? Some people enjoy trying new things for the sake of trying new things. If you’re one of those people, you can find new things watching porn and/or reading erotica. (Come to HUMP!) But for the best results — positive experiences, endorphin rushes, hands-free orgasms — think about sexual things you already enjoy and the kinks that would be natural extensions of them. If you like being held down, try bondage; if you like having your ass slapped, try impact play; if you like having sex somewhere you might get caught, try having sex somewhere you’ll definitely get “caught,” e.g., a sex club, a swingers’ party, a baptism, etc. 22. Your best idea for non-sexual intimacy? Find small, doable things that allow for conversation but don’t require it. For instance, I almost always get up first. I’m not fully human until after I’ve had breakfast, so it’s good that I’m alone in at first. When Terry comes down, he makes coffee… and he’s not fully human until after he’s had his coffee. As soon as he sits down with his first cup, I get up and make him some eggs and let him have his coffee. Sometimes we sit in silence while he eats, sometimes we sit and talk. But we’re together. So, my advice would be… find a small, doable thing you can do for your partner every day — or partners, if you’ve already been assimilated into that Boston polycule — and do it every day. 23. Cunnilingus tips? Twenty percent for good service, twenty-five percent for excellent service. 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. HUMP! Part One is playing in cities across North America and Europe! Go to HUMP! Film Fest to check out the new films and get your HUMP! 2024 tickets now!  

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