I regard this column, gentle readers, as a sacred calling and I would never intentionally do anything that would cause you to question my judgment. Sound judgment, after all, is the professional advice columnist's most precious commodity.
Nevertheless, I have -- once again -- stupidly auctioned off the right to give advice in this space. Every once in a while some do-gooder gets me shitfaced and the next thing I know I'm raising money for some dumb-ass charity. (This week's column is feeding the homeless -- you know, in addition to clothing them.) Auctioning off the column is a risky business, because what if the winning bidders are assholes? What if they spew bullshit? What if they cruelly abuse readers seeking my counsel?
And what if they're better at all of that than I am?
Because being an asshole, spewing bullshit and cruelly abusing readers is my goddamn job. And it's not in my best interest to create the impression that just anyone can do this shit.
Meet the winning bidders: Steve Lippman and his lovely wife, Marla Russo. Steve is a 37-year-old Jewish dude who does advocacy work for a socially responsible investment firm that I'm not allowed to name in my skeezy advice column. Marla works in public health and was raised Catholic. For the sake of the folks whose letters they're responding to, I'm hoping Steve and Marla are good at this. But for the sake of my own job security, gentle readers, I'm hoping Steve and Marla totally suck.
I hope you post this note as a warning. I recommend that everybody stay away from Craigslist. When I started looking at the personals on Craigslist, I was fascinated (there are some freaks out there), but I was also looking for pictures with bare female flesh. After I exhausted the pages for cities in the U.S., I started looking at ads posted in other countries. That's when I noticed that the same hot babe in Finland posted the same picture in six different U.S. states and four different countries.
She wasn't the only one posting the same ad in many different places. When I realized that all these offers for NSA sex were scams, I lost interest in even looking at the pictures. Your readers should know that hot anonymous sex is unlikely to occur -- at least through Craigslist -- and focus their efforts elsewhere.
Don't Be Fooled
STEVE: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. On the Internet, that applies to: (1) offers for creams to help men "grow extra inches"; (2) chain e-mails claiming that if you forward them, you'll get cash from Bill Gates, or a big pharmaceutical company will give free drugs to a poor kid with cancer; and (3) Craigslist ads for no-strings-attached sex posted by women with pictures that look remarkably similar to porn stars or Lindsay Lohan.
But there are real women on Craigslist. Some of them post for NSA sex in the Casual Encounters section, and many more post in other categories, like Women Seeking Men, Women Seeking Women and Missed Connections. I know this because five years ago I met my own "too good to be true" wife by answering her Craigslist ad (which I want my in-laws to know was NOT a posting for NSA sex).
MARLA: SA sex is fun, too.
DAN: OK, that wasn't too bad -- although it would be nice if Marla would shut the fuck up and let Steve get a word in edgewise. But Steve and Marla weren't nearly abusive enough to DBF, who comes across like a total douche. A true advice professional would call attention to DBF's total douchebaggery. Grade: B-.
I'm sure you've answered a question like this before or have refused to answer on principle, but ... where can you find down-to-earth, laid-back gay men? I'm trying to avoid the online-dating thing because it's not really romantic, but trying to meet guys in a large room with a remix of a remix bouncing in the background isn't working either.
Little Or No Effort
STEVE: In less than five minutes of Internet searching, I found the Steel City Skiers, a group for gay skiers and snowboarders in Pittsburgh; Gapers Block, a Chicago book club for gays and lesbians who read books about the Windy City or by authors from that area; Bottom Dwellers, a gay-and-lesbian scuba-diving club in Seattle; and OUTdoors KC, "a gay-inclusive club for those interested in biking, hiking, walking, camping, and other outdoor recreational activities in Kansas City." Point is, even if you don't like online personals, with little or no effort you are only a few clicks away from finding a group of gay men who live near you and like whatever scene you do.
MARLA: Nice job, Steve.
DAN: Blah blah, Marla! Let the man talk! But Steve really pounds his point home -- and even works LONE's sign-off into his response. B+.
I'm hoping you can give me some advice. I'm a happily married 27-year-old female. The problem is that I've never been able to have an orgasm. I had several relationships before my husband and none of those men were able to get me to orgasm. I've tried to masturbate several times, but am not able to reach orgasm. Are some women physically incapable of having an orgasm? Do you have any advice for me? This is upsetting my husband, and he feels like he's failing.
Not Coming Around
MARLA: It's a commonly cited statistic that 70 percent of women don't orgasm from intercourse alone, so one question is whether your husband and previous sex partners have provided you with enough clitoral stimulation with their hands, mouths, plush toys, etc., for you to orgasm. You haven't given yourself much clitoral stimulation, either, if you've only masturbated a few times.
Putting pressure on yourself with expectations from you or your husband isn't going to help the situation any. But putting pressure on yourself with a Hitachi Magic Wand or other vibrators may help a whole lot! Vibrators are so popular these days that it's only a matter of time until Apple comes out with cute white iVibes that let you listen to music, make cell-phone calls, send e-mail and watch YouTube videos all while stimulating your clitoris. Until then, there are great options available online at www.babeland.com and www.goodvibrations.com. Take some time to experiment on your own with what feels good. If that works for you, you can incorporate it into sex with your husband.
STEVE: If you still can't orgasm, you should talk to your doctor because there are a few hormone disorders, medications you may be on or other medical conditions that can prevent orgasm. Some might say to start with this step, but quality time with a new vibrator is more fun than talking to your doctor about this issue, and might just be the cure. Plus, you can get a vibrator delivered to your door faster than you can get an appointment with most HMO doctors.
DAN: Marla and Steve's joint response to NCA was exhaustive, helpful and informative. Hell, I learned a thing or two. A+. But their response lacked the bile, invective, profanity, tangents and poop jokes that are the hallmark of a true advice professional at work. My job is saved!
For more from Marla and Steve -- Marla explains why breastfeeding is the "best" birth-control option; Steve and Marla lay into one total douche -- go to www.thestranger.com/savage/guests.
A new Savage Love podcast is posted every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.