Dear Dan: Why am I such a slut? — Girl, Corrupted
Dear GC: Are you a slut? Or are you a woman who loves sex, has a high libido, and has consensual sex with a lot of willing and grateful partners? Those are all traits for which culture wouldn’t conspire to leave you feeling conflicted or compelled to slap a pejorative label on yourself — if you were a dude, gay or straight.
Don’t buy into the sexist double standards, GC. So long as your sex life isn’t negatively impacting your relationship(s), your health, your friendships, your family life, your classwork, or your career, GC, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Don’t let shitty, sexist people make you feel like you have to slap a shitty, sexist label on yourself for the crime of enjoying sex while female.
Have fun out there, GC, be thoughtful, be safe, be considerate of the feelings of others and of your own. And remember: What works for you now — slutting around in the sex-positive/reclaiming-the-shit-out-of-that-word sense, i.e., a lot of healthy and rewarding sex, a lot of happy sex partners — may not work for you always. Don’t look back on this part of your life with shame or regret if or when you elect to downsize your sex life, i.e., less sex, fewer sex partners/a lot of sex, one sex partner. Do what’s right for you, eliminate the risks that can be eliminated, mitigate the risks that can’t be eliminated, and don’t worry about what other people think.
Dear Dan: I’ve been reading your column for years, and I feel like I should know your answer by now, but I’m stumped. I’m a man. Recently I discovered Omegle, the online chat site that allows you to “talk to strangers,” and I’ve had some fun posing as a lesbian. I would talk to women my own age (mid-20s) about life, love and, of course, sex. Many times, like 99 percent of the time, these chats included role-play or sexy chat. We would both be masturbating on our respective ends, and from what I can tell, I am pretty good at writing this stuff. I want to be clear that this was just chatting. I wouldn’t trade pics, since I’m missing the goods the women I’m chatting with are interested in, and it’s certainly not fair for me to accept pics without being able to provide them. I don’t keep in touch with my chat partners after our chat is over, and I am pretty sure everyone is satisfied.
Here is my question: Am I an asshole for doing this? I made a post on Reddit to some real lesbians, and they clearly feel like I am an asshole. One woman told me I need help. So, believe it or not, I stopped. I do not like being an asshole. But I can’t help but wonder: Was this really that bad? It’s the Internet, for goodness sake, and for all I know I am chatting with other straight dudes who are pretending to be lesbians. Isn’t some lying to be expected? And if I’m not trying to pursue these women in real life, where’s the harm?
— Don’t You Know Everything, Savage?
Dear DYKES: Loathe as I am to contradict the Lesbians of Reddit — which sounds like the title of a ’50s lesbian pulp-fiction novel — I don’t think you’re an asshole, DYKES.
If you created fake personal ads, if you actively misled lesbians who contacted you, if you sent women pics that weren’t yours in an effort to trick them into believing that you were an actual lesbian, if you strung lesbians along via e-mail for weeks or months — if you were doing any of that shit — then you would be an asshole. But spinning out a few masturbatory fantasies on a site designed to facilitate one-on-one conversations between people who are never going to meet? That’s not asshole behavior. You found a way to enjoy your wannabe-lesbian fantasies without doing harm to any actual flesh-and-vulva lesbians.
And yes, DYKES, most of the “lesbians” you chatted with on Omegle were other straight dudes.
This week on the Savage Lovecast, Dan speaks with Daniel Bergner about foot fetish shame at savagelovecast.com.
Send questions for Dan to email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @fakedansavage.