my boyfriend and I broke up, one reason being his lack of
initiative in calling me. After we broke up, I spoke with
several of my girlfriends and found out that they, too, have
similar troubles with their boyfriends or guys they are seeing.
Some of these women are in serious, long-term, loving relationships.
It seems to me that this is a blight on modern relationships.
Women want to get phone calls from our significant others
because it lets us know we are cared for, but men seem to
be indifferent, even after it’s been brought up and discussed.
Are we women asking for too much? Or are men being thoughtless?
Me A Call
been racking my brain for hours, GMAC, in a desperate effort
to recall if I have ever—everevereverever—received a question
that interests me less than yours. I get a lot of really insipid
questions from people about piddling bullshit, and yet the
only letters I can recall that even come close to yours are
the ones that pour in from straight women worried that their
boyfriends or husbands are secretly gay. Here’s a sampling
from some of those actual letters (and my actual responses):
likes to wear bright colors. Is he gay?” (No, he’s not. If
he liked sucking my cock, maybe.) “My boyfriend really gets
off on eating my ass, which he’ll happily do for ages. I enjoy
it, and he certainly enjoys it. But I worry: Is he gay?” (No,
he’s not. If he got off on eating my ass, maybe.) “My husband
has a really close male friend. They go to games together,
and sometimes even to the gym. Are they gay?” (No, they’re
not. Sometimes even straight guys go to the gym.)
Okay, GMAC, on to your letter: Straight women want to get
phone calls from their significant others because it lets
them know that they’re cared for, but straight men seem to
be indifferent to making those kinds of calls, even after
it’s been brought up and discussed. So are women asking too
much? Or are men being thoughtless? Can’t the answer to both
questions be yes?
Yes, straight women are asking too much, GMAC. Stereotypical
straight men, as every woman knows, don’t like to gab away
on the phone. A straight guy would rather show you he loves
you by, say, fixing your car or coming all over your face.
If you’re attracted to straight guys, a lack of initiative
in the phone-call department and the occasional facial are
part of the price of admission. Want someone to call you up
just to talk? Get some girlfriends or stop paying off your
Yes, straight men are thoughtless. Stereotypical straight
women, as every man knows, like to get little calls, you know,
just ’cause. If straight guys were more thoughtful it might
occur to them that a direct correlation exists between the
number of little calls a girl gets and the number of facials
she’s willing to sit still for.
Finally, GMAC, do me a favor. If you ever find yourself dating
a guy who calls you constantly just to let you know how much
he cares, please don’t write me a letter like this: “He’s
always calling to check in, ask me how my day is going, and
tell me he loves me. He’s so considerate, Dan! Do you think
he’s gay?” Because we both know the answer to that question
I’m 19, in the army, and in the closet. My best friend,
call him “Basra,” works with me, and is exactly my type. Since
we’re in the army, we’re pretty close. We sleep in the same
room, we take joint showers, etc. I’ve sent him a few signals—as
much as I dare, because I’m afraid to expose myself in case
he isn’t gay. He’s also sent some signals, but that’s probably
just wishful thinking. I have no idea what to do. I can’t
stop hanging out with him because we’re in the army, and I
can’t risk exposing myself to him because if he isn’t gay
he’d probably tell his friend “Baghdad,” who would beat the
crap out of me.
Love Yet Afraid
awareness that my advice, if bad, could get you killed, ILYA,
is kind of inhibiting. If I order you to send less-subtle
signals and it turns out that Basra isn’t gay, and Basra tells
Baghdad, then I’ve got blood on my hands/keyboard. Even if
Basra is gay, how can we be sure that only Basra will pick
up on your less-subtle signals? In those communal showers
and sleeping quarters, I imagine less-subtle signal sending
could get you guys both killed. So I’m going to punt. A lot
of dudes in the armed forces read Savage Love for the freak
factor and I’d like to invite you guys—gay or straight, homophobic
or homophile—to weigh in. What the hell should ILYA do, guys?
The intro to your column about losing your virginity—it
went into the birth of Jesus—was craptastic. Did you have
to go there? Did you have to degrade Jesus and Mary?
Before you write me off as a Fox News–watching, Wal-Mart–shopping,
Bush-supporting Bible thumper, please note that I am a liberal
Democrat living in a blue-collar city in a blue state. I voted
for Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, and Kerry. But I also try to live
a Christian life. Your statements were sacrilegious. Jesus
and Mary deserve a little respect.
don’t see how it’s disrespectful, degrading, or theologically
incorrect to point out that if Mary was a virgin when she
conceived, and if you don’t buy off on the Virgin Birth (the
idea that Jesus somehow passed out of Mary’s uterus and down
through her vaginal canal without disturbing her hymen), then
Mary’s hymen broke when the Kid was born. Isn’t the whole
point of the Jesus Thang that He was the Word made flesh?
And if Mel Gibson can portray His death in detail so gory
it bordered on the pornographic, how can an aside about the
mechanics of His birth be off limits?
And finally, to Rob in Albany who felt my aside was proof
of my intolerance and hypocrisy: Joking about Christianity
isn’t evidence that I’m intolerant—hell, I’m perfectly willing
to tolerate Christians. I have never, for instance, attempted
to prevent Christians from marrying each other, or tried to
stop them from adopting children, or worked to make it illegal
for them to hold certain jobs. I don’t threaten to boycott
companies that market their products to Christians, and I
don’t organize letter-writing campaigns to complain about
Christian characters on television.
It would indeed be hypocritical for me to complain about fundamentalist
Christians who’ve done all of the above to gay people if I
turned around and did the same thing to Christians—but, again,
I’ve done no such thing. Intolerant? Hell, I’m a model of
tolerance! Oh sure, I joked about the Virgin Birth because
I think it’s silly and sexphobic. And I’m free to say as much,
however unpleasant it is for some Christians to hear. Fundamentalist
Christians, for their part, are free to think homosexuality
is sinful and unnatural, and they’re free to say so, however
unpleasant it is for me to hear. But fundamentalists aren’t
willing to just speak their piece, Rob. Nope, they seek to
persecute people for being gay, and that’s where their low
opinion of homosexuality—which, again, they have an absolute
right to hold—transubstantiates into intolerance.