words of wisdom on girlfriends, boyfriends, and spouses who
claim to be GGG, but systematically take away much of what
they give by making it clear that they are not “into it” even
as they fulfill their lovers’ fantasies?
For years my wife has indulged me; however, she nearly always
prefaces fetish sex play with a statement that makes it clear
that she is doing so only grudgingly: “I really don’t feel
very creative right now, but here goes . . . ” “This isn’t
what I really like, but okay . . . ” The result? Either aborted
sex play or sex play that highlights the fact that only one
of us is taking any pleasure in it. (As every fetishist knows,
the other party taking open or tacit pleasure in indulging
the fetish is an important element in fulfilling almost every
conceivable fantasy). Is it passive-aggressive revenge? Hostility
toward me generally? A self-conscious person needing to relieve
some anxiety, clumsily but not hostilely expressed?
Interested Participation Means Everything
strive to be fair and balanced, WHIPME, but lately some Savage
Love readers have accused me—me!—of gender discrimination.
It’s no coincidence that I tend to come down on the pro-fetish
and fantasy-realization side in most disputes, my critics
contend, because men are likelier to be fetishists. I’m just
another voice out there telling women there’s something wrong
with them if they don’t cater to a man’s every whim.
This criticism is wholly without merit. In my defense I would
point to the countless times I’ve advised straight men—ordered
them!—to cater to their female partners’ needs. I’ve advised
straight boys to: eat pussy joyfully and frequently; happily
incorporate their women’s vibrators into the action; wear
strap-ons if their dicks are small and their women occasionally
long for that “filled up” feeling. Shit, I’ve all but offered
to come over and strap down straight boys who were reluctant
to submit to the aspiring peggers in their lives. Gender bias?
As noted feminist Mary Poppins once said: Pish-fucking-posh,
But to prove that my pro-kink, pro-fetish, pro-fantasy-realization
stance has nothing to do with my dick, I’ve asked Midori—famous
sex educator, author, feminist, and full-fledged, lifelong
female—to grab the Savage Love reins for a week.
she use guilt-tripping and passive-aggressive statements at
other times?” Midori asked after she read your letter, WHIPME.
“The same statement can come from a person who feels they
lack technical confidence or a person who harbors resentment.
If it’s passive-aggressive behavior, you have more issues
around basic communication then you do around your fetishes.
Perhaps a couples counselor?”
If you determine that she’s not passive- aggressive—and you’ll
have to ask the wife to determine that, WHIPME—what does Midori
next time she says she’s not feeling creative, smile and tell
her how much you enjoy what she has done and you enjoy her
gift to you. The next time she says ‘this isn’t really what
I like, but okay . . .’ ask her what she’d like and figure
out how to combine both your needs. Maybe she’s feeling that
her needs are not met and hasn’t been able to express that.
I have seen many eager fetishists focus so much on their own
fantasy fulfillment that they leave their partner feeling
unheard. After a while, feeling unheard can lead to seething
I’m a straight, 26-year-old, relatively kinky male. I met
a woman I’m crazy about. We connect on so many levels. However,
she’s opened up to me and told me that a man raped her when
she was a teenager. She says she still has trouble dealing
with this. What struck me as odd was that she told me this
after the millionth time she asked me to “rape” her, tie her
up, hold her down, call her foul names, etc. I thought I was
helping the woman of my dreams get off, but now I feel a little
weird. Does she have this fetish as the result of being raped?
Is there a sensitive way to bring this up with her?
person’s kinky sex fantasies of ravishment and objectification/humiliation
are not necessarily about some repetition of past traumas,”
says Midori, “so the real issue here is that you feel confused.
It’s not your job to fix her, but you can understand the situation
so you can decide how you feel. Here’s the sort of thing you
might want to say to her. ‘Sweetie, our sex life is just totally
amazing—wow. And I’m crazy about you. I am also touched that
you shared with me what happened to you when you were a kid.
You know I’d never want to harm you, so I’m a bit gun-shy
about the sort of kinky sex we have. I don’t want to be the
bad guy in your nightmares. So maybe could you tell me about
how you feel with those fantasies?’ ”
I am a teenage straight boy with a strange attraction to
bestiality. I feel that bestiality is wrong, and that no person
should ever force an animal to do anything. However, I just
can’t stop thinking about horses or dogs fucking the bejesus
out of a woman. I’ve never gone farther than masturbating
to bestiality porn. I realize I have a problem, and I don’t
know what to do.
Into Troubling Erotica
of people fantasize about things they’d never do—and a person
can have this fantasy for his entire life and never act upon
it,” says Midori. “I think a lot of Greek mythology about
people and animals having sex must have come out of such fantasies.
And, hey, do you ever fantasize about being that dog or horse?
Then it would be fantasy role-playing and not bestiality.”
Oh, and an observation from me, BITE: You say bestiality is
wrong because “no person should ever force an animal to do
anything.” Um, what about women? Unlike mainstream porn, almost
all of the women who appear in bestiality porn were forced
into it. A little less concern for dogs and a little more
for women might help you work through this.
I’m with a great guy, and our sex life is awesome. Here’s
the but: He’s asked me to try dominating him. I want to fulfill
his fantasies (I even bought some killer props and scary stilettos),
but whenever we do any role-playing, I find it ridiculous
rather than sexy. Do you have any advice on how to avoid bursting
out laughing when he says things like “Oh, please don’t spank
me, I’m a good boy”?
ahead and laugh,” says Midori, “and then pull him over your
lap for making you laugh, and while you’re laughing, spank
him!” Midori also felt—and I agree—that you need to rethink
your notion of how a dominant behaves. “Forget the grim, dark,
dour Mistress stereotype,” she added. “You gotta find your
own style! I’ve got some advice for finding your dominance
style in my latest book. You might want to check that out.”
Speaking of: I just finished reading Midori’s latest book,
Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink (Daedalus), and anyone
who enjoys Savage Love should check it out. Oh, and Midori
and I chatted about a couple of other letters that we didn’t
have space for here. Go to link.thestranger.com/midori to
read the extras.
Dan Savage’s new book—The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage,
and My Family—is out now.