are known far and wide as an arbiter of all aspects of sex
and especially definitions of sex, so we are hoping that you
can give your definitive opinion on an interesting conundrum.
My wife and I were recently regaling each other with anecdotes
from our past, and she easily had the most interesting story:
It seems that when she was a young woman in college, a fellow
student invited her over for lunch. It turns out that he thought
she was lunch. He quickly had her clothes off and was kissing
her, although he was still dressed. Then he brought out a
vibrator. He applied the vibrator, she had an orgasm, and
then she called a halt to the proceedings. They went back
to school, and that was the beginning and the end of their
Did she have sex?
Now, I think any time you have an orgasm you’ve had sex, and
if someone else is present, even if they’re clothed, you definitely
had sex. My wife’s view is that since he never got his clothes
off and she never saw his cock, she really didn’t have sex.
We would like your opinion on this.
Essential For Intensely Novel Experience
say you and I met in a bar, DEFINE, while the wife was out
of town, and we hit it off. And let’s say I took you home,
stripped you naked, made out with you, sucked your dick, ate
your ass, spanked you, tossed you in a sling, fist-fucked
you, and then—with my right arm buried up to my elbow in your
ass—slowly stroked you with my left hand until you blew a
massive load all over your stomach, chest, and face.
Now let’s say I taped the whole thing and e-mailed a copy
to your wife. I think it’s highly unlikely that your wife
would turn to you after watching the video—remember: I don’t
get naked, you never see my dick—put a hand on your knee,
and say, “Well, I’m glad you didn’t have sex with Dan Savage.”
Your wife clearly regrets going to that guy’s room; she regretted
the moment she came, just as you would probably regret going
home with me. These feelings prompt her to round this experience
down to Not Sex, to minimize it, to exclude it from her sexual
history on a technicality: He didn’t get naked; she didn’t
get fucked. Your wife can attempt to rationalize away the
sex she had in that dorm, DEFINE, but she had sex with that
guy—and that guy’s vibrator—whether she wants to admit it
I’m writing to you to let you know that a huge fan and
reader of your column has been in a coma since Saturday, Sept.
5. He had a bad motorcycle accident and has a severe brain
injury. His name is Jon Broom, and he’s my boyfriend, the
love of my life, and my best friend. Even though he still
hasn’t woken up, I’ve been reading your columns out loud to
him so that he never misses one. I know you’re a busy man,
but I thought I’d take a chance and ask if you could pass
on his Facebook support group at “Get Well Jon” in one of
your columns (www.tinyurl.com/m3ngc3). I think it would be
awesome for him to look back and see your column when he wakes
up and is able to function again.
We appreciate your writings and support for the people who
ask for your advice. Here’s to hope, faith, and community.
Penny, I’m so sorry. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
If you’re on Facebook—and who isn’t?—please join Jon’s support
I just had to share with you my first reaction at reading
this headline: “Santorum dips toes in 2012 Iowa waters.” My
first thought was “Ewwww,” followed quickly by “Is that even
possible?” After all, santorum is something that is dipped
into, not something that can dip. And then I remembered that
before “santorum” meant santorum it actually designated a
person, a senator. But it took me a few seconds.
Congratulations on a job well done. I expect I am not the
only one who had this moment of cognitive dissonance upon
reading this headline.
Smith at Politico reported last Tuesday that Republican former
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum plans to run for president. Political
Wire linked to Smith’s post and added that “Santorum has a
serious Google problem.” Truthdig linked to Political Wire’s
post and spelled out Santorum’s Google problem: “The former
senator’s rampant homophobia inspired sex columnist Dan Savage
to launch a campaign to usurp the conservative’s name. The
result: If you type ‘Santorum’ into Google, you’ll find that
it refers not to a former senator, but ‘that frothy mixture
of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of
From uppercase Santorum making the news with the announcement
that he intends to run (runs?) for president to the full definition
of lowercase santorum—in just three steps.
And who deserves the credit? Not me. The credit is yours,
dear readers. It’s thanks to you that SpreadingSantorum.com—a
blog that I haven’t updated since July of 2004—remains the
number-one hit on Google when you search “Santorum.” It was
a Savage Love reader who first suggested that we usurp Rick
Santorum’s name, another Savage Love reader who suggested
the “frothy mixture” definition, and Savage Love readers who
chose the winning definition in a free and fair election.
Well done, gang.
We can’t take credit for Santorum losing his seat in the U.S.
Senate to Bob Casey by 18 points. That was Rick’s doing. But
we helped to make him ridiculous—there were so many headlines
during his failed reelection campaign with “froth” or “frothy”
in them. And for a politician, being an object of ridicule
is a problem, which is why SpreadingSantorum.com and the “frothy
mixture” definition of santorum are going to be a problem
as Rick runs for president.
it’s time to start updating Spread ingSantorum.com again,”
writes Savage Love reader P.B., “now that Rick is running
I couldn’t agree more, P.B., but I’m a busy guy these days.
Back when I was writing for Spread ingSantorum.com, I had
only the column on my plate. Now I blog every day at thestrange
r.com/slog, I do a weekly podcast, I’ve got a bad case of
talking headism, and I’m working on another stupid book. So
I just don’t have the time to give SpreadingSantorum.com the
attention it needs.
But maybe some Savage Love readers do?
If SpreadingSantorum.com is going to remain Google’s top hit
when you search “santorum”—and it should—then the site needs
to come back to life. So I’m looking for a few folks who want
to torment Rick Santorum by following every twist and turn
of his sure-to-be-disastrous run for the White House on SpreadingSan
torum.com. (I may dip in every once in a while and post myself.)
It would be helpful if one of the people posting to SpreadingSantorum.com
was in Iowa, and it couldn’t hurt to have someone in New Hampshire,
but you don’t have to live in either of those states. It would
be labor of love—read: a nonpaying gig—but you’ll have the
satisfaction of knowing that you’re driving Rick Santorum
and his supporters absolutely batshit (batshittier?).
If you think you’re the right person for this gig—if you think
you’re right for Spreading Santorum.com—write me at email@example.com.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.