again, Savage Love is given over to letters from readers who
made the largest donations to the campaigns to preserve marriage
equality in California (www.noonprop8.com), protect same-sex
couples in Florida (www.sayno2.com), and defeat Stephen Harper
in Canada (better luck next time). I neglected to ask readers
to send dough to the campaign against an anti-gay-marriage
amendment in Arizona, too (it’s not too late: www.votenoprop102.com),
because I am a bad, bad man. OK, on to this week’s top donors
. . .
When I met my girlfriend, she had recently quit smoking. She
knew from the very beginning that smoking is a deal breaker
for me, but despite the encouragement from me and all her
friends, she keeps having “lapses.” I haven’t dumped her over
this because we live far apart at the moment. However, I feel
very firmly that we can’t take the next step—one of us moving
to be with the other—until she kicks this habit for good.
She has always insisted that she wants to, and she knows how
much smoking bothers me. But at what point will I know if
she has finally quit? My fear is that there will always be
another “lapse” coming. She is so great in every other way
that I don’t want to blow her off prematurely, and I want
her to quit for her own health, too. Am I being an unreasonable
Not Use My Name
my bought-and-paid-for advice, DNUMN: Beware the smoker who
stops—or “quits”—just long enough to convince you that her
smoking days are behind her and then, once you’re living together
or married or otherwise hopelessly entangled, suddenly experiences
one final and everlasting “lapse.” Be clear and up front,
DNUMN: Smoking is a deal breaker if she moves across the country
to live with you, it’s a deal breaker if you marry her, it’s
a deal breaker now, it’s a deal breaker forever.
I don’t have a question. I have a story to share.
My parents had an unusual strategy for sex education. Instead
of picking a day to have a birds-bees discussion, they first
explained all the mechanics of the penis/vagina/uterus/ baby
when I was 6 months old. This was to give them practice. Then,
as I got older, any question I asked that was moderately related
to sex resulted in me getting the whole of the penis/vagina/uterus/baby
Fast-forward to sophomore year. While playing a drinking game,
people were asked to retell the story of when they got The
Talk. But I never got The Talk because I grew up with it.
So on winter break, I demanded The Talk from my dad. He came
up with a few quips—sex is easy, sleeping in the same bed
is hard. But the next day my mother pulled me aside.
I understand that you and your father had a conversation yesterday,”
my delightfully WASP-y and cheerful mother said.
want you to forget everything he said and remember this. Whatever
you’re doing, do it slower. Whatever you’re doing, do it softer.
And whatever you’re doing, ask more questions.”
She turned around and walked away as I picked up my jaw from
don’t want to contradict your mother, J., but for the record:
Some folks like it fast and hard, and prefer the barked orders
to the thoughtful questions. But it’s a sweet story, J.; thanks
for sharing. . . .
I am a bisexual woman in a nonmonogamous marriage with
a lesbian. We met one Sunday afternoon through an ad in our
local alternative newsweekly. It was supposed to be a booty
call, but Jennifer is so smart, witty, and just plain good
that I had to have some more of her and her milky-white breasts.
The sex started off fantastic—for the first six months, every
time we got down was the best sex I’d ever had. Eight years
later, we’ve had lots of sex toys, some gents and ladies on
the side, a few sex parties, and we are just as passionate
and creative in bed as ever. We respect each other’s sexual
autonomy and our other partners, as well as our own relationship.
Domestically, we are very compatible and even agree on how
to spend our money: good causes, traveling, and a Tempur-Pedic
bed. Things are fantastic.
My question: How can I be any more smug?
stumped me, Holly. But thanks for sharing both your fortune
and your good fortune.
I’m an American man but I’m writing from Canada, where
my husband and I live. Please remind everyone that even though
defeating Prop 8 is vital, getting rid of the federal “Defense
of Marriage Act” is equally important. My hubby cannot live
there with me until DOMA is repealed no matter what happens
in California or any other state. Many people don’t get that
state and federal marriage laws are two different things.
OK, here’s our pressing question: What is the proper threesome
etiquette once the good times are over? What do you do with
your third? I say we should roll over and make room in the
bed, while my husband thinks we should (nicely) toss the guy
out. What says you?
and Gay In Canada
with your partner, MAGIC, unless . . . it’s pissing rain outside
or freezing cold, you live in a neighborhood that’s unsafe
to stroll through alone at 4 AM, or your third ditched his
friends—and his ride—to come home with you and the husband.
Then, MAGIC, you should offer the third to stay the night.
But no third worth inviting back will accept. A good third
knows to say thanks and get out—or eat it and beat it—so that
his hosts can decompress, check in with each other, and resume
the open, flagrant, unself-conscious farting that characterizes
all long-term relationships.
Could you mention my recycled T-shirt website, Teecycle.org,
in the column? Here’s how the site works: Every day I post
a new (used) shirt. Each one costs $7 and a dollar of that
goes to restoring urban rivers.
don’t see the connection between urban rivers and used T-shirts,
Tim, and I think urban rivers are in serious trouble if we’re
restoring them one- dollar-per-used-T-shirt-sold-via-website-at-a-time,
but thanks for the donation and here’s your plug.
hey, that was fun! But next week I’ll be selecting letters
using my tried-and-true method: sit in a bar, have a few drinks,
read a few hundred e-mails, respond to ones I find interesting/
appalling/nauseating. And a word to the hundreds of folks
who made donations and are waiting on personal responses from
me: I’m a bit overwhelmed. Perhaps I should have made the
cutoff for advice $100, not $25. I’ll get to everybody, I
swear, but it’s going to take a week or two. But everyone
who made a donation will hear from me before we all go to
the polls on November 4th and vote for Barack Obama.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.