Savage Love

Savage Love: Quickies

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Last week, I spoke at the Wilbur Theater in Boston and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Audience members submitted their questions on tiny cards, allowing them to remain anonymous while forcing them to be succinct. Here are some questions I didn't get to at both events.

Dear Dan,

My girlfriend wants to explore her sexuality with another woman but be "heterosexually exclusive" with me. She wants me to have equal freedom but doesn't think it's fair for me to be with another woman. I am a heterosexual man. How can we achieve sexual equality?

An open relationship for her but a closed-on-a-technicality relationship for you? Yeah, no. Want to achieve sexual equality? Explore your sexuality with other women — as a single man.

Dear Dan,

I am a 50-year-old queer man who never really came out — except to people I'm cruising or fucking. Oh, and to my wife. Is there any social or political value to coming out now, in the shadow of a Trump presidency?

There's tremendous social and political value to being out, whoever the president is. There's also social and political risk, whoever the president is. If you're in a position to come out — and you must be, otherwise you wouldn't be asking — not coming out is a moral failing.

Dear Dan,

I'm a 31-year-old straight female. I have an intermittent sexual relationship with a married polyamorous friend. Each time we hook up, he says he regrets it. But several months later, he will contact me and we will hook up again. Should I say no? What do you think is up?

Your friend's head is what's up — up his own ass. Stop letting him stick his dick up yours. (P.S. His regret has me wondering if his marriage is actually open or if he's cheating on his wife. If you've never discussed their polyamorous arrangement with her, that's probably what's up.)

Dear Dan,

Why are liberals okay with people self-identifying their gender but not their race? Aren't both considered social constructs?

"If race and gender are both social constructs," Evan Urquhart writes at Slate, "and if both have been built around observable biological traits, then what is the crucial difference that makes a felt gender identity a true one, but a felt racial identity fraudulent? The short answer is that most trans people and their allies suspect that transgender people are born that way."

Dear Dan,

We just legalized weed here in Massachusetts! Yay! How can I, as a consumer but industry outsider, help to ensure more diversity in the legal selling business?

Before the shops open, get in the face of your elected officials to make sure licenses are made available to pot entrepreneurs of color. Once legal weed shops are open, go out of your way to patronize pot shops owned by people of color and insist all legal weed shops employ people of color and pay a living wage. And once the profits start rolling in, demand that pot activists and shop owners stay in the fight to demand that people convicted of possessing or selling pot in the past — primarily POC — get full pardons and restitution.

Dear Dan,

Please elaborate on your suggestion that an open relationship could save a marriage.

Here's an example: married couple, together a long time, low-conflict relationship, good partners. Spouse #1 is done with sex — libido gone, no interest in taking steps to restore it — but Spouse #2 isn't done with sex. This can play out two ways: (1) Spouse #1 insists on keeping the marriage closed, and Spouse #2 opts for divorce over celibacy. (2) Spouse #1 allows for outside contact — they open the marriage up — and monogamy is sacrificed but the marriage is saved.

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