On the first Thursday of every month I host “Sack Lunch,” an online hangout exclusively for Magnum subscribers to the Savage Lovecast. I take questions, invite listeners to answer them with me, and we have a blast. I’m giving this week’s column over to some of the questions we didn’t get to during this month’s Savage Lovecast Sack Lunch…
Q: My son is straight, cute, accomplished, 25, and has friends. He’s never been kissed. I suspect he’s terrified. I can’t talk to him about it. Should his dad talk to him? Should he go to a sex worker? Would this undermine his confidence?
A: Your son has friends and that’s a good sign. Not only does it mean your son has social skills, mom, it means he has people in his life that he can confide in about his sex life and ask for advice. You can and should ask him if there’s anything he would like to talk about—keep those lines of communication open—but it’s entirely possible that your son has no interest in sex (he could be asexual) or that he has an active love and/or sex life that he doesn’t wanna talk with mom and dad about for reasons, e.g. he’s someone’s rubber gimp or he can only get it up in a fursuit or he’s in a polyamorous triad that he’s not ready to tell you about. If he’s happy, let him be.
Q: Is there a safe way to enlarge a clitoris?
A: Allow me to Google that for you. Hey, turns out there’s a Wikipedia entry for that (“Clitoral Enlargement Methods”), as I suspected there might be, and it lists three methods to grow a clitoris: the use of creams containing testosterone (applied directly to the clit); testosterone supplements (administered by injection); and the use of clitoral pumps, i.e., suction cups. Testosterone injections are the most effective way to enlarge a clit — as any trans man can tell you — but it has other “masculinizing effects” that you may not want. Clitoral pumps, much like penis pumps, can enlarge the clitoris temporarily but overuse or too-enthusiastic use of a pump — on a dick or a clit — can damage erectile tissues.
Q: I am familiar with demisexuality — the idea that some people cannot develop a sexual relationship without an emotional or a romantic bond first — but what about the opposite phenomenon? I lose interest in people who get to know me and my desire to hook up is quickly replaced by a desire to just be acquaintances.
A: Not only is there a term for people like you — people who lose desire after getting to know someone — there’s also a pride flag because there can never be too many pride flags: “Fraysexual, also known as ignotasexual, is a sexual orientation on the asexual spectrum,” says LGBTA Wiki, “[describing] someone who only experiences sexual attraction towards those that they are not deeply connected with and lose that attraction as they get to know the person.” Your pride colors are blue, cyan, white, and gray. (There are so many pride flags out there these days — and they come out so damn fast — that I suspected someone created an online pride flag generator. And I was right: myflag.lgbt.)
Q: What would you say to someone in a poly relationship who had their heart broken as a third?
A: It gets better.
Q: My husband (gay, age 29) has continually accused me of cheating and other similar activities over the course of our six years together. It wasn’t too bad at the start but it got worse. I now feel so much resentment toward him that it’s destroying us. I feel like a prisoner in the relationship. He’s tracked my phone to make sure I’m not going anywhere “unapproved” and if I don’t tell him everything I’m doing he gets upset. At this point I hate being intimate with him. I don’t even want to touch him. We’ve started seeing a couples counselor but it’s not helping with my resentment. How do I get over this resentment? Or do I do what my brain is telling me and divorce him?
A: DTMFA — divorce the motherfucker already — and you’ll not only be doing yourself a favor you’ll most likely be doing your ex a favor as well. Because the pain of getting dumped is the only thing that motivates jealous and controlling assholes like your husband to get the help they need.
Q: What does “being in good working order” mean in practice? I’m struggling with depression (got diagnosed 18 months ago) and I still don’t have a handle on things. I feel like I can’t date because I can’t even tell potential partners what brand of chaos to expect with me because I don’t know myself. My friends say I’m being too hard on myself. What do you think?
A: I don’t have a handle on things. Not all the things. I have my own struggles and I bring my own particular brand of chaos to the table, the bedroom, the play party, etc. But I like to think I’m in good working order — or good enough working order. I realize this is circular logic but one of the ways I know I’m in good enough working order to sustain a relationship is that I’m in relationships I’ve somehow managed to sustain. So if someone decides they wanna be with you — someone who has a choice about staying or going — then that person believes you’re in good enough working order. That’s a “yes” you can and should take for an answer but it’s not a “yes” you’re ever gonna get if you never allow yourself to date. At some point you have to take a chance — probably more than one chance — to find out whether or not you’re in good enough working order. I think it’s a good sign that your friends — people who know and love you — feel like you’re in good enough working order to get out there and start dating. (I realize that the ability to sustain a relationship isn’t, in and of itself, proof that a person is in good working order. Some relationships are toxic, abusive, codependent, etc. Getting out of a bad relationship, staying in a good one — either can be evidence that a person is in good working order.)
Q: Long distance relationships…. how do you choose between moving overseas to another country, uprooting your life for a relationship, and staying close to family and friends and the familiar? I moved to the U.K. before the pandemic hit and I’m trying not to blame the relationship for a shit year where I wasn’t able to leave home or make new friends in a new country. We were together for one year before I moved here. I miss home and friends, I lost my dad, and I’m terrified that this relationship might fail at some point after we’ve started a family. And then I’ll be stuck in this country to be near my children. Yes, I’m in therapy. But I think I need a Dan Savage reality check.
A: I’m so sorry for the loss of your father. I would advise you to take a deep breath — several dozen a day — and give it another year. Once you’re able to get a job and make some new friends you’ll gain some clarity. If things are still good and you’re feeling more at home, great. Stay in the U.K. But if you’re still miserable and full of doubt, well, then you might want to end the relationship and head home. In the meantime you’re going to wanna stay in therapy and make sure you’re using the most effective form of birth control method you can get your hands on — which is available free from the U.K’s National Health Service. (And I don’t want to be a downer here or tip the scales… but there’s no way to eliminate the risk of a relationship ending or failing after you’ve started a family. Or before you’ve started a family.)
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