Hola! Wonkette is pleased to present a Live Chat with Dan Savage, the Patriot who effluviated Rick Santorum’s name so that now he is unGoogleable in Polite Company. Also, he once licked Gary Bauer’s knob! Also too, he is a gay guy who has been helping straight people fumble their way up and down each other’s bodies for like 75 years now (by our count, Dan Savage is 89 years old, as he had to be at least 10 years older than us when we were 22, but then, weirdly, 11 years later, we were 33 and he was 32? Anyway, now we are 40, so he might be 17. Oh well, MATH). Also the third, he and his husband, Terry, started the It Gets Better Project, which is that thing that made you cry. And also quadrupled, he has a new book! The first seven chapters of it are great!
You can ask questions via the comments section if you are a certified commenter (which you aren’t) or via tips at wonkette dot com! Let’s start this bitch!
Dan Savage: My age is officially 34, but actually 48. My sex is AMAZING. And I’m in Seattle, in my office, sitting at Ann Landers’ desk.
Wonkette: I KNEW you were only 34! You used to be like 10 years older than me, but then you were two years younger and it bummed me out!
First question, from “Anonymous”: My massage therapist is like 24 and gorgeous — mix of sexy Middle Easterns — and I think he is trying to fuck me. I have had many massage therapists, and I have NEVER thought any of them might be trying to fuck me, which is why I think he might be trying to fuck me.
Basically, verrrrry sensual (combined with good deep tissue stuff) and he is like breathing in my ear while he massages me; he is very fast and loose with the sheet; and he does so much inner thigh work he pretty much is within millimeters of having a fistful of muff like half the time he’s rubbing me.
Also, I peeked when he was basically reverse teabagging me (he stretches his body all the way across my back, from my head) and he totally had a bone.
So I am okay with it if he is trying to fuck me! But he probably can’t be like, wanna bone? Because I could complain to the spa and get him arrested. And I can’t be like, wanna bone? Because I figure massage therapists get insulted when people assume they are sexworkers. But maybe it is different for guys? They don’t assume you assume they are a sexworker? Or something?
So I was like “what would Dan tell me to do?” (for real) and basically just started mmmmming and ohhhhhing a lot and being sort of flirty and shit. Also, basically ACTUALLY WAVING MY ASS AROUND IN THE AIR.
And then it was over.
So I figure if he has not tried to fuck me, he probably just wants a good tip from the businesslady entrepreneuress?
Savage: i have always been a fan of the direct question, gracefully constructed — meaning, a nice, face-saving out. forgive the shitty dialogue:
“Your technique is so sensual. Much more sensual than most. So, yeah, maybe I’m misreading cues due to your particular style—and forgive me if I’m way off base here and if this question upsets you I’m apologizing now in advance—but do you want to fuck me?”
you’ll know one way or another pretty quick. and knowing is better.
Wonkette: Here is a question from my little brother: Why did my libido go away when I turned 30/stopped doing drugs? Will it return?
Dan Savage: Libido… well, the tide rolls out, the tide rolls in. Sometimes something else is going on in your life when the tide rolls out and you think, “Hey, this must be the reason my libido tanked.” And maybe it is. But it could be a coincidence. So let’s not chalk this up to 30 and knocking off the drugs. You’re making big changes and your body is taking a break and taking it easy on you. It’s probably a relief that, with everything else going on with you right now, you don’t have to worry about your dick and his needs at the moment.
Have your hormone levels checked and if they’re normal… don’t stress out about it. Trust that the tide will roll back in.
And, hey, if you’re missing the intensity of the drugs-and-sex combo, there’s always hardcore BDSM. I have a good friend who swapped the endorphins and highs of meth-fueled-disaster sex for beatings-fueled-kinky sex. He’s happier now and his teeth aren’t falling out.
Wonkette: So, Dan, the first seven chapters of your book are fantastic. Funny, tender. I love your explanation that close relationships with your mom are a PERK of being gay, and I love the way you look at the Church.
Can you maybe summarize chapter eight for us?
Dan Savage: Chapter 8? I haven’t looked at the book since it went to the publisher. Which chapter is chapter 8?
Wonkette: I don’t know!
Dan Savage: You summarize it for me, I’ll summarize it for you. Deal?
Wonkette: Well I only started it last night, and then I was tired.
Dan Savage: Grabbing a copy of the book now…
It’s the Pete La Barbera chapter
Wonkette: Ooooh, he’s fun! Is he still trying to fight you?
Dan Savage: Peter isn’t trying to fight me. What Peter does is hateflirt with me. He hates me soooooo hard. And every morning he rushes to his computer to get on Twitter and tell me just how haaaaaaaaard he haaaaaaates me. I actually enjoy my online interactions with Peter. All of our enemies should be so transparent and ridiculous.
Dan Savage: Oh! Chapter 8: “Folsom Prism.” It’s about the International Mr. Leather Contest and the Folsom Street Fair and the rightwing religious conservatives who obsess about these big gay kink and fetish events. They’re not entirely gay anymore, but they’re still pretty kinky and outrageous. Rightwing nuts like Peter LaBabera sneak into IML and Folsom—which are open to the public, which makes the sneaking easy—and take pictures that they share with their followers and readers. They say, “SEE?!? They say they want marriage and family but what they really want is depraved sex and fetish wear!” I argue that there’s nothing about kink or leather or fetish gear that prevents a person from wanting—or having—marriage and family.
Terry and I go to IML every year, and we have a blast. I write about that. And I advise straight people to be more like gay people in this respect. So long as you define marriage and family as the end of sexual adventure, you make marriage and family life less appealing. You can have it all! We certainly do.
Wonkette: So let us get back to Chapter One, which I TOTALLY READ.
Dan Savage: Chapter one… yes.
Wonkette: You talk about your connection to the Church, and how you still miss it, mostly for your mom, and the spaces you shared.
And how she was a righteous American Catholic, which is to say kickass.
So. What do you think of New Pope?
Dan Savage: Yeah, my mom was pretty amazing. I think she would’ve liked New Pope. She hated the Benedict, a.k.a. the Dowager Pope, and couldn’t help but roll her eyes when his named was mentioned. She wasn’t a fan of JP2 either. But the new pope’s willingness to talk about social justice, his refusal to go in for the pomp (he blew off some silly concert being held in his honor), the way he doesn’t hammer away at the queers (even if it’s clear he’s not that into us)—all of that is positive. I’m curious to see where he takes the church—if he isn’t murdered. (Remember JP1? Some think he was offed.)
Wonkette: Oh I hope he is not murdered. Official Wonkette Editorial Policy is that we are hoping for a new John XXIII (even though we are aware he is not that into you, and we are sorry). But our commetners go BATSHIT with anti-Catholic stuff every time we write New Pope Nice Times.
Dan Savage: I think that chapter in the book will surprise people who think I’m some sort of rabid Christian hater. The Family Research Council and Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (Peter LaB’s outfit), and NOM have all worked hard to promote the whole “Dan Savage hates Christians!” thing. I don’t hate Christians. I hate hypocrites—you can tolerate legal divorce as a Catholic but not legal gay marriage? You point to Leviticus but I’m not allowed to point to the other shit in Leviticus? I have a problem with that shit. Not with Christians. I call myself culturally Catholic. And I am.
A question from commenter “wordsaladnation”: DAN SAVAGE, AHOY: I am a junior high school teacher in a fairly progressive New England state. Over the summer, I have been tasked with creating several “diversity” lessons to be taught to students across all of our grades. I know that you usually talk about the sexy-time, so this question might be “verboten,” as Darrell Issa would say, but, if you had to choose five topics about which young people should be informed that are related to “diversity,” what would they be?
By the way, I think you’re great, but who doesn’t? (Darrell Issa, trick question!)
Dan Savage: I’m bad at this kind of question. Diversity is not so hard. You don’t need to cover five topics. You just need to cover this one topic: Don’t be an asshole.
People are all sorts of different. There are religious differences, sexual differences, gender is a spectrum, etc., etc. The way you are isn’t the only way to be and so long as someone isn’t trying to force you to live their way, leave them the fuck alone. Don’t judge, don’t hate, don’t fear—don’t be an asshole. It’s pretty simple.
And you have nothing to fear from people with different family structures, different sexualities, different gender expression(s). So don’t waste the time. Being an asshole—being Peter LaBabera—takes a lot of time and effort. And for what? All of Peter’s fuming about the gays hasn’t kept a single dick out of single gay man’s mouth. It’s a waste of time. Being an asshole is a waste of time. The time you’ve wasted being an asshole is time you could’ve spent sucking a dick. Teach that!
“Callyson” asks: Hi Dan, Do you have any priorities for the 2014 elections? Any politicians you especially want to elect or defeat?
Dan Savage: I think our top priority going into 2014 has to be… voter registration. We got a great decision out of the Supremes this week on gay marriage. We got an awful decision out of the Supremes the day before on the Voting Rights Act. They killed the Voting Rights Act. Republican-controlled state legislatures in shitty, shitty states are moving right now to disenfranchise African American voters and Latino voters and poor voters and young voters. People are going to need help getting their birth certificates and the IDs they need to vote. We have to work on that. We have to defeat the motherfuckers in the GOP—and the motherfuckers on the Supreme Court—who want to take us back to Jim Crow.
If you didn’t catch Rachel Maddow on this last night, go watch it. It’ll make your blood boil.
And I’m supporting Wendy Davis for Supreme Allied Commander.
“Maman” asks: How do you not fuck up teenagers so they spend all their adulthood in therapy while trying to protect them and maintain appropriate boundaries when it comes to sex.
Dan Savage: I wish I knew.
Sex fucks us up, not our parents, not our sex ed or lack of it. Ultimately what fucks us up about sex is sex itself. It’s bigger and stronger and more powerful than we are. Sex is in charge. It’s 250,000,000 years old—sexual reproduction is—and our species is 200,000 years old. That’s why sex always wins.
I think what we tell our kids is that sex is big and powerful and fun and awesome and there are risks that are built in and there are risks we can control for and mitigate. And don’t make the mistake of having a “dialogue” with your kid about sex. You perform a monologue for your kid about sex. You download what they need to know—and you say it out loud (you talk about birth control and masturbation and consent and rape) even if your kid is telling you he/she knows and begging you to shut up. You tell them anyway.
And then you give yourself a break. There’s no such thing as a perfectly healthy person when it comes to plain ol’ health—why do we expect there to be perfectly healthy people when it comes to sex? Sex is messy, we’re messy. You’re messy, your kids will be a bit messy.
Wonkette: a lady has a question about sexing people who aren’t her husband, and I ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER BECAUSE IT WAS BEFORE CHAPTER EIGHT.
Anonymous asks: My husband and I have been married for a very long time, but he refuses to have sex with me anymore. We have not had sex in more than 5 years. I am not even 50, so a celibate life seems pretty dismal, but I don’t want to end my marriage, either.
The other thing is I would like to try sex with a woman. I have fantasized about it for a long, long time. My husband is the only partner I’ve ever had, and our sex life was never that great. I don’t want to misrepresent myself as being in the market for a LTR, I would just like to have a fling with a woman. Or even just a one night stand, to start. But I don’t even know where to start. Do I need to tell my husband? I feel like he’s cheated me out of part of our marriage, but he won’t even discuss it. Where do I find a nice lady who might give me a trial run and teach me the ropes?
Dan Savage: Here’s where you find a nice lady, Anonymous: on the Internet. The Internet was invented to bring people together. Say what you’ve said here—don’t misrepresent yourself—and you’ll meet someone who wants what you’re offering, or is in a very similar situation.
And… fuck your husband. If he’s abandoned you sexually and refuses to discuss it and it’s been fives years, you are not obligated to discuss this with him or get his consent. The sexual aspect of your marriage is over. You’re free to get your needs met elsewhere. If you want to stay in the marriage for reasons other than sex, that’s your right. And isn’t that what your husband is doing?
Oh, one more thing for the lady with the jerk husband: I get TONS of letters from people in your situation—men and women. You may think it’s pathetic and that no one will want to be with you under the circumstances, but someone who is in your exact situation could make the ideal fuck buddy. Be honest, put it out there, put yourself out there. You shouldn’t have to live a celibate life. So don’t live one.
Anonymous asks: How do I tell my lovely boyfriend that I think it would be cool if we could screw other people once in a while without shocking him/hurting his feelings/thinking I’m getting ready to break up? I just think it would add some zest.
Dan Savage: You could give him Christopher Ryan’s Sex at Dawn and Daniel Bergner’s What Women Want and ask them to read ’em both. And then tell him what you want. And if he doesn’t want what you want, and the relationship ends as a result, isn’t that for the best? Knowing what you know about yourself and your desires, being with someone who wants a sexually exclusive relationship isn’t going to make you happy. So it it ends over this issue, if it ends because you asked, that’s a good thing, that’s something to embrace. Because then you’ll be free to find someone who wants what you want and he’ll be able to find someone who wants what he wants. Everybody wins.
“BLUEb4sinrise” asks (and others have variations on this question for some reason): Dan, is obsession with “My Little Pony” a sign of depravity? Yes, really asking for a friend.
Dan Savage: An obsession with “My Little Pony” is desperate bid for attention—and one that shouldn’t be rewarded with attention. Shrug it off, don’t be an asshole about it, trust that the person will grow bored with MLP once they realize that their obsession doesn’t make them an object of fascination. But if they never outgrow it… so what, right? It makes them look silly but it doesn’t harm anyone else.
Lowkey3888 asks: Okay, so, a while ago, I missed a chance with a woman I was crazy about because I was in a convenient relationship with a woman I just liked. I decided that I was going to grow up a bit, and wait for Mrs. Wow. Now it’s been over 2 years, and I’m starting to get a little neurotic about the state of my sexual abilities. Do you think I should find someone to knock the dust off with (I’m not a prude, but honestly, meh), or should I have some faith that Mrs. Wow won’t bolt if I need a couple of times to find my groove again?
Dan Savage: I think you should admit being rusty to Mrs. Wow. Be honest and the awkwardness evaporates. Try to cover it up—or run out and fuck some other people to paper it over—and it gets worse. If Mrs. Wow is ready and available, practice with her.
“Vulpes82” asks: With the striking down of DOMA, do you worry, as I do, that the “powergays” — urban, white, well-to-do — who mostly live in states with gay marriage and are now federally recognized, will start shrugging their shoulders at the rest of us and become the Republicans they were destined to be?
Dan Savage: There have always been some clueless fucking idiotic gays out there who are Republican—and they’re not all white. The first gay Republican I got to know was a black dude. And let’s not forget about Mary Cheney, pussy-munching, card-carrying Republican and Dickspawn.
I would hope that gay men will continue to see the link between anti-gay prejudice and other forms of discrimination, particularly those that are tied to a person’s freedom to control their own bodies and make their own sexual and reproductive choices. Most gay men see that link and there are enough of us out here willing to remind the ones who forget that I don’t expect to see gays voting GOP in larger and larger numbers.
But are some gay people selfish, clueless assholes? Yes, some are. Just like some straight people are. I don’t expect gay people to be any better than straight people—hell, I expect gay people to be a little worse. So I’m not going to fall to the floor and curl up in the fetal position each and every time I hear about some dumb gay idiot doing something dumb and gay. Dumb gay idiots do what dumb gay idiots do.
“FZsdaughter,” on maybe a related note: Hi, Dan! I have alot of gay friends who have been gay and out almost all their lives (from NYC and Montreal, not small towns), and they don’t feel they need to participate in gay cultural events or get married. Now some of their gay friends treat them like Jews who don’t want to defend Israel, say they are “self-hating” etc. What’s your opinion?
Dan Savage: Tell your gay friends that they MUST get married. Now that gay marriage is legal, it’s compulsory! Just like all straight people have to be married by age 25 or be shipped off to a moon colony for medical experiments. A single life is no longer an option for anyone.
ShyPixel asks: Rebecca, are you tremendously disappointed at our complete lack of germane questions? Like we didn’t even do the homework?
Dan, are you going to forever lurk the Wonkette comments now? Because you totally should.
Wonkette: I OF COURSE am never disappointed in my Terrible Commenters, Who Are the Worst. As to the second question?
Dan Savage: I will forever lurk in the comments, yes!
[American Savage at Amazon. The first seven chapters are great!]