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I know this isnít a sexy or even remotely enjoyable subject, but I could really use your advice. Iím an 18-year-old girl, though I can easily pass for 25. Iím pretty attractive (though I think everyone has things about them they would change), thin, and altogether relatively normal, although I graduated high school early. As a result, I have plenty of opportunities to go out with guys. My problem is this: Although Iím not in any rush to lose my virginity, I canít even bring myself to take my clothes off in front of other people because of the long, self-inflicted, crisscrossed scars that cover parts of my legs. Yeah, I know: I should see a therapist. Well, Iím already in therapy and have been since I was 12. Iím not crazy and Iíve been making great progress.

Because I was only around five when I started cutting myself, I never thought about what it would be like when it came time to take my clothes off in front of anyone. Over time, these scars have become incredibly difficult for me to hide, and the few times Iíve tried to explain them to people, Iíve been met with less than understanding words. Given my young age, my family situation (which is a whole other story and probably propelled my cutting), and my terror at the thought of people seeing my legs, Iím incredibly scared of what could happen when I finally show someone.

óSometimes Looks and Speech Hurt

So letís say you show someone, SLASHówhatís the worst that could happen? The guy will freak out, toss around some less than understanding words, and leave. But the guy who freaks and splits is doing you a favor. You wouldnít want to be with someone who couldnít handle it or would react so cruelly anyway, right? More important, only by risking telling/showing people are you ever going to learn that most straight guys are decent and any straight guy that likes you will be a great, big, understanding doll about your scars, SLASH.

And I do think most guys will be understanding about it. People have a way of forgiving and/or overlooking imperfections in people theyíre attracted to. Also, part of dating and mating is making yourself vulnerable to another human being, putting your trust in them, and showing them your literal and figurative scars. Any guy you show and tell will want some reassurance that youíre not cutting yourself anymore, youíve gotten some help, youíre not made of glass, and that youíre looking for a boyfriend, not a therapist. You can provide all that.

You say that youíve been ďmet with less than understanding wordsĒ the few times youíve tried to explain your scars. I would hope that youíre healthy enough now to make a distinction between truly hurtful wordsói.e., malicious commentsóand words that are hurtful simply because the person youíve told is ignorant. Take it from a fag who had to come out to friends and family who were ignorant about homosexuality: You can collapse into tears when someone youíve just come out to about your scars says something ignorant or you can take a deep breath and seize the opportunity to educate someone. But if someone does say something hurtful out of malice, well, then you should take a deep breath and deck the motherfucker.

And finally, SLASH, you never know when you might run across a scar fetishist. . . .

Please tell Stripes, the woman with stretch marks whoís looking for someone with a stretch-mark fetish, that we actually do exist. Iím afraid that Iím happily married, but if Iím into stretch marks, someone else out there must be. Iím also into other minor scarring, as well.

As for Stripes taking care of her kid before running off with a stretch-mark fetishist, at six months her kid might be just starting to really sleep through the night. And, after six months of being a mom, sheís probably ready to indulge in something for herself. All parents can use an outlet, and sex is a fine one in my book.

óStripes Thrill Me

Thanks for sharing, STM.

Iím a mostly hetero male whoís recently been hit upon by a gay male and I donít know how to respond. My problem is that while I am attracted to some men, I love pussy and will eat it at any opportunity. But tonight I was hit upon by a cute male bartender and I donít know if I should go back and see him. I really donít want to lead him on, but I am curious. I donít want to bang a stranger, but I also donít want to lead anyone on. Heís attractive, but I really donít want to get involved without knowing how to present myself without my hetero side showing through.

óConfused in Quebec

The man who hit on you is a bartender, CIQ. A bartender! While I donít mean to traffic in hateful bartender stereotypes, odds are good that this guy just wants to get all up in your ass crack, kiddo, not run off to Boston with you for a big, gay wedding. My advice: You can get to know him as a person, if you like, but heís probably not interested in you as a person. If you want to give gay sex a whirl, tell him youíre curious but not homosexual, experienced, or interested in anything long-term. Based on the gay bartenders Iíve known over the years, itís highly likely this guy will be more attracted to you with your hetero side showing through, CIQ, not less.

Dan, I read your advice to Dirty Old Man about the age of consent, should he feel the need to have sex with one of his 16- or 17-year-old coworkers. While you were right about the teacher/coach thing, you neglected to mention another important branch to the 16 rule: In most states the age of 16 as the age of consent is accompanied by a ďno more than four years olderĒ clause, meaning that the 16-year-old canít have sex with anyone older than, say, 20. Iím not trying to be a party crasher, Dan, Iím just looking to keep DOM out of trouble.

óFuture Lawyer of America

In the state where DOM lives there isnít a ďno more than four years olderĒ clause. But Iím glad you brought up DOMís letter, FLOA, as I should have given greater emphasis to the fact that I was talking to DOM about the laws in his state (which he asked me not to reveal), not the laws in all states. People should look into their own stateís laws before having sex with anyone under the age of 18. A good place to start is www.ageofconsent.com.

And while weíre on the subject of last weekís column: I mentioned a story about a religious couple who didnít know they had to have sex in order to get pregnant. It turns out the story is a hoax. Or as one reader put it, ďCongrats on being the latest fucking retard sucked in by the infertile German couple urban legend. Youíre in good company, Savage, right up there with Fox News!Ē For a full rundown on just how freakiní stupid I am, go to www.snopes.com/pregnant/nosex.asp.

mail@savagelove.net


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