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A coworker and I share a huge amount of sexual energy. The primary issue is that he’s 17 and I’m closer to 30. My attraction to him is likely related to a (mild) distrust of men, an issue I’m working through with a therapist. I’m not interested in a relationship, and I’m sure, at 17, he’s just looking for excitement and experience. Still, I would make sure we understood each other before anything happened. The age of consent in my state is 18, but all the information I’ve been able to find talked about older men and girls. Nothing about almost legal, just-graduated-from-high-school guys, paired with older women-with-issues. Is this something I should leave alone?

—Hot Over Totally Tempting Youngster

I didn’t discuss your problem with a therapist, HOTTY, but I did share your letter with my lawyer, along with an early, much different draft of my advice for you. Ahem: As an officer of the court, my lawyer strongly advised me not to advise you to do anything illegal with him. Until this boy is 18, it would be illegal for you to GO AHEAD AND FUCK HIM, so it would be irresponsible of me in the extreme to advise you to GO AHEAD AND FUCK HIM, even if I think it’s highly unlikely that anyone would be harmed if you were to GO AHEAD AND FUCK HIM. No doubt some people out there reading this are outraged that HOTTY would even consider sleeping with a minor. So let me come to HOTTY’s pre-emptive defense: An older person can, in good conscience, sleep with younger person, provided the older person obeys The Four Big “Nos” of Sleeping With a Young, Inexperienced Person: 1. Tell no lies. 2. Transmit no diseases. 3. Make no babies. 4. Break no hearts. By making sure they understood each other before anything were to happen, HOTTY is obeying No. 1. She isn’t letting the boy believe a meaningful, long-term relationship is possible. If HOTTY obeys the other three “Nos,” however, she and the boy can have a meaningful, short-term relationship. Meaningful short-term relationships don’t get much press, and a lot of people aren’t even aware they exist. But exist they do, and when pressed most people can recall having at least one when they were young—I know had one. (Yes, Tommy, I’m thinking of you.) While I’ll admit that rule No. 4 is tricky—despite the older person’s best efforts, the younger one can still wind up with a broken heart (and, yes, Tommy, I’m thinking of you)—if the older person observes “Nos” numbers 1, 2, and 3, then the older person can’t be condemned if No. 4 is broken. Finally, my lawyer wanted me to add a fifth “No” to the list: Break no laws. So in conclusion, and at the insistence of my lawyer, let me emphasize again to you, HOTTY, that you shouldn’t initiate a meaningful, short-term relationship with this boy until he’s 18. I hope I’m making myself clear: You must wait until this boy turns 18 before you GO AHEAD AND FUCK HIM. Do we understand each other?

I have a weird fetish. I find childbirth sexually arousing. I watch TV programs that show childbirth (they’re on The Learning Channel) while masturbating. I don’t think I have a problem, since I am not attracted to the babies. Are there any other people out there like me?

—Wanting Others Masturbating (to) Birth

Sorry, WOMB, but as compelling/revolting as your problem is, I just can’t concentrate on it. You see, I’m simply too giddy about the big score I made yesterday. No, I didn’t go ahead and fuck some hard-bodied 17-year-old. What’s put me on cloud nine is something I bought yesterday: I got . . . I got . . . a desk! A used desk! A really old, beat-up desk! It’s covered with ink stains and pieces of Scotch tape, the veneer is peeling, and it’s even missing a drawer. But it’s not so much the used desk itself that I’m giddy about but the person who used it: Ann Landers. Items from the estate of Eppie Lauderer, aka Ann Landers, were auctioned off last week, and when I learned that Ann Landers’ desk was going on the block—the very desk where she sat and wrote her advice column!—I got my ass on an airplane. And I got the desk.

While it’s highly ironic that the world’s smuttiest advice column will now be written at the same desk where the world’s most mainstream (and most popular) advice column was once written, I intended no disrespect in purchasing Ann Landers’ desk. I’m not mocking Ann Landers, her column, or her memory—far from it! This is going to make me sound like a huge softy, but the truth is I bought Landers’ desk for sentimental reasons. I started reading Landers’ column shortly after I learned to read, and I continued to read her column until the ones she filed before her death ran out. A life-long fan, I bought Ann Landers’ desk because I wanted to keep it in the advice business. While the advice I’ll be giving from Landers’ desk it isn’t the same advice she would’ve given (see my response to HOTTY, above), that just demonstrates the beautiful thing about advice. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, advice is just one person’s “opinion about what could or should be done.”

People who wanted Ann Landers’ opinion wrote to her; people who want my opinion write to me. Everybody has got opinions, and the only qualification you need to give someone advice is being asked for it. (An opinion for WOMB, who did ask for it: You say you’re not attracted to the babies, but how do you propose to have sex with a woman as she’s giving birth and avoid the baby?) In conclusion, I want to emphasize that I am delighted to be the proud, non-ironic, no-disrespect-intended owner of Ann Landers’ desk. When Savage Love is pried from my cold, dead hands, I hope that Ann Landers’ desk will be passed on to a fourth- or fifth-generation advice columnist. In the meantime, I hope the ol’ gal will peer over my shoulder every once in a while as I work on Savage Love sitting at her desk.

Confidential to George W. Bush: Ann Landers advised presidents and now that I own her desk, I’m gonna start: So Saudi money may have financed the 9/11 attacks. Can we go ahead and invade Saudi Arabia now and get it over with, please? If we’re serious about halting the spread of Islamo-fascism, I think we should fight the problem at its source—or sources, plural, I should say. America’s dependence on oil enriches the Saudis, who turn around and spend the money—our money!—promoting fanatical hatred of the United States all over the world. Here’s a thought, Mr. President: Let’s shitcan the tax cuts for the super-wealthy and invest the money in alternative fuels, wind and solar power, and the development of affordable electric cars. This won’t stop Islamo-fascism, of course. We’re still going to have to fight these bastards; unlike some of my lefty pals, I’m all for fighting the bastards. But I don’t think it makes much sense to fight Islamo-fascism and finance it at the same time.

Dan Savage’s new book, Skipping Towards Gomorrah (Dutton), is on sale now, and it makes a great holiday gift for the all the Republicans on your list. Send your Savage Love questions to mail@savagelove.net


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