Savage Love

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Dan Savage | Boulder Weekly

Dear Dan: I lost my dad young and I had a bunch of issues growing up. I’m probably gay, I love the idea of light bondage, and I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. I feel like I’ve been on a self-discovery thing over the past year and have caught tidbits that bothered me. I have depression/anxiety and the old “abandonment complex,” and I’m still insecure about a lot of this. Is it reasonable to blame psychological trauma for my sexuality — the possibly gay thing and the kinks?

— Troubled Over Yearnings

Dear TOY: The inclination to blame your sexuality and kinks on your loss is understandable, TOY, but it’s not reasonable. (Sorry about your dad, kiddo.) Because when you think about it — when you apply reason — you quickly come to this: There are lots of gay men out there who are into bondage who didn’t lose their dads at a young age, who don’t suffer from depression or anxiety, who don’t have abandonment issues, and whose childhoods were comparatively issue-free. It’s natural to wonder how you got to be kinky, TOY, but kinks are pretty random and pretty inexplicable.

Dear Dan: Your advice to UGH last week was fine in general — he’s the frustrated man whose wife isn’t interested in sex — and a pretty solid rehash of your standard advice for people trapped in sexless marriages. But I’m writing because you missed something that may have been key: “Currently, she can last having sex for nearly half an hour before feeling exhausted and stopping, regardless of me reaching orgasm or not.” Two things: (1) Half an hour of PIV sex when you’re not feeling it would take a vat of lube and probably still be painful. (2) His wife lies there getting the inside of her vagina sanded off by Jackhammer McGee here and then has the nerve to ask him to stop when it’s too much “regardless” of HIS orgasm?!? What about her orgasm? What about her delicate vaginal tissue getting torn up? Not that he will magically consider her pleasure if he’s blind to her comfort and general well-being, but it might help him put his marriage in perspective.

— Engaged Reader Represents

Dear ERR: Thanks for your e-mail, ERR, and I really should’ve spotted that. We all have our blind spots, and this is definitely one of mine: When someone says they were having sex for half an hour, I don’t think of 30 minutes of PIV/PIB, as I don’t define “sex” as “penetrative vaginal or anal intercourse.” My working definition of sex includes mutual masturbation, oral, fantasy play, and PIV/ PIB. So when someone says, “My partner can only last having sex for half an hour,” I imagine half an hour of oral and mutual masturbation and penetration all jumbled together. I need to bear in mind that not all of my readers define sex the same way I do — indeed, far too many people believe penetration is sex and vice versa. Thanks for the reminder, ERR.

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