Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Savage Love

I feel like someone told me to listen to Savage Love (Dan Savage's podcast). So today I did. And it made me angry. I couldn't even finish it. Now, I'm getting to be more open-minded about relationships and sex and whatnot. Here's what bugged me. Someone called in saying that one, their husband had health issues and sex wasn't really possible, and second, that she wasn't attracted to him anyway, that she just saw him as the father of her kids. Her friend is the one calling, and said she frst admonished her for wanting sex elsewhere and leaving the kids with the dad if she left, and then started to wonder how she could help. Well, Mr. Brillianthead said that cheating was a great idea. She should find someone to cheat with who is having the same problem. It would apparently help her stay in her marriage if she got her freak on elsewhere. I'll explain my feelings about this after I talk about the next caller.

This other woman called in and said her sex life wasn't what it used to be, and that she has tried for years to help him figure out what she likes, and nothing has worked. Well, she's started cheating on him and I guess she's all happy with this man. She wants to leave him and stay with this guy. I feel for the woman, I really do. It may not have been sex, I wasn't doing that, but I do understand that sometimes it's frustrating when no one listens to you. For example, I hated being treated like I'm delicate. If you're going to kiss me, KISS me, for heaven's sake. I suppose not every time has to be exactly the same, but that's something I like. I'm not breakable, I'm not delicate, and if you go there, I get bored very quickly. However, when I was in that position in a relationship, I was not about to go out and cheat on this person with someone who listened to my likes and dislikes. He said to "throw a bomb at his feet" and just leave him. Perhaps maybe they should have a conversation first?

Now, even though I'm totally 100% monogamous, I know there are people who aren't. That's fine, I'm not here to tell them they're wrong. But that's different than cheating. Polyamorous people discuss things with one another. If there's communication, and the husband says OK sure that's fine, that's one thing. If she cheats, that's a violation of trust.

There was a couple on there who hadn't had sex for religious reasons. I did think that (I have my own personal reasons now), and I'm pretty sure I'll date someone who thinks that. I can live with that. In fact, when L pointed out that I might not feel pressured to offer my body to them just because I thought it was all they wanted (my ex kinda used my body for his own agenda, never asked if it was OK, and didn't think it had any effect on me and in fact thought he was being the best boyfriend EVER), I was thrilled. YES! For once, I'm NOT feeling pressured to do ANY of the things I don't want to do. This is something I need to work on with someone who will be there with me for the long haul. But that's another story. This girl called in with a question about her fiance. He was having, well, lasting issues (I may be open minded about things but I'm still not good at using actual words). He basically yelled at her and called her names for waiting, called him names, said it was utter bullshit for anyone to wait until marriage, and told her over and over to go over there and demand he give her sex. I'm sorry, what? Again, you need to have more discussions with your partner. So OK, it might mean their marriage starts off with needing to have several long talks about their love life, but what marriage doesn't? He didn't even try to keep the disdain from his voice.

Talk, people. One of the best relationship things I've ever learned. Be open. Having an open relationship could be good for some people. Cheating (implying secrecy) is never good. It's not unforgivable, and it's something I feel I might be able to work through if a partner cheated on me, but it's still cheating. And while it may bring up some issues to wait until marriage, it's not bullshit, and it's not an invitation to be berated for it. Telling someone to give it up and have sex when they already said they didn't want to doesn't even make sense.

Has anyone else listened to him? What do you think? I've only heard one episode, but that was enough.


Anonymous said...

i've only listened to his show a couple times - i kinda like it, but i probably only agree with him about half the time (sometimes, "what the fuck are you thinking, moron!" is *exactly* what someone needs to hear).

i'm so with you on cheating, though. it fucks people up, and makes future relationships harder (like many other things). but, as i try to explain to everyone i know (in an effort to make my friends less of judgmental bitches, and blow the minds of the little teenagers a bit;) cheating is, by definition, breaking the rules. cheating does make you an asshole, but what, exactly, the rules *are* is up to the folks in the relationship, and not up to anyone else!

granted, my relationship has pretty traditional rules, but the assumptions piss me off anyway ;)

Leo MacCool said...

I've never listened to Dan Savage's podcast, though I read his columns from time to time. Sometimes I really like his take, sometimes not. He's good about calling the straight dudes on their nonsense, has a reasonable take on kink/fetish stuff & consent issues, and gives really touchingly sweet advice to confused gay kids from time to time. But, he does have a weird judgmental streak imho, and occasionally his takes on women are way out there.