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One of my best friends at college is gay. I'm a straight female in a committed relationship of my own. However, my friend's parents are incredibly conservative. When his older brother came out, his parents cut off all funding for college and excommunicated him from the family, so my friend is understandably terrified.

When his parents come into town to visit, I am sometimes asked to tag along on "dates" with him to "meet the parents." It's a free meal, so it's mostly cool with me, but it feels a little dirty to lie so blatantly to his mom and dad.

Moreover, my friend is coming to my house in California this summer. I had said I would love for him to come visit -- as a friend. But his parents think he's going to be staying with his girlfriend, and they're thinking of tagging along so they can finally meet their future in-laws. I feel like this is getting way out of hand. How far should we take this act?

I Should Win An Oscar

 

When you feel bad about lying, remind yourself that you're doing God's work every time you pass yourself off as this boy's girlfriend. You're lying to his mean-spirited, emotionally abusive parents, who deserve so much worse than simply being misled.

When they excommunicated their older son after he came out, they essentially put their younger son on notice: The consequences of telling the truth would be severe. So he lies to them because -- for the time being -- he must.

You should ask him to do three things to secure your continued cooperation in this deception. First, he has to make a solemn promise that he will come out to his parents the day after he graduates. Second, if his brother can be trusted to keep his secret until then, he has to come out to his brother. Third, he has to break up with you at the end of the school year.

The course of true love never did run smooth, as someone or other once said, so a painfully messy June breakup with his college girlfriend -- right before summer break! -- not only makes your friend's Potemkin heterosexuality more credible, it also gets you off the hook for this summer visit. Then when September rolls around, you two crazy kids get back together. Repeat as necessary: Be "on again" every once in a while when his parents are in town, be "off again" when your parents are in town, over summer breaks, holidays, etc.

And help him look around for his next girlfriend -- perhaps a lesbian student with similarly batshit parents -- because he can't expect you to be his beard for your entire college career.

 

I am a gay male teen-ager. I'm curious why I relate more easily to my straight friends and am increasingly uncomfortable with my gay friends. Specifically, I have a lesbian friend who often makes jokes about "how gay I am." When she makes these statements, I am often offended. In your opinion, are statements like that offensive (even considering the source)? Or am I still uncomfortable with myself? I am not shy, but extreme campiness makes me uncomfortable. 

Lost And Disillusioned

 

It's good to have a sense of humor about yourself, LAD, whether you're gay or straight or whatever. Shrug off your lesbian friend's comments if they're not funny, laugh along with her if they are.

As for your preference for your straight friends: There are a lot more openly straight kids in your life than there are openly gay kids. That means you're drawing your straight friends from a much larger pool, and you're able to be more selective about the straight people you hang out with. Right now, you can't be as selective about gay friends because (1) most gay kids your age aren't out and (2) gays and lesbians are a tiny percentage of the population. You won't meet lots of us until you get to one of those places where gays and lesbians cluster, i.e., large universities and big cities. Then you'll be able to forge friendships with gays and lesbians whom you have something in common with besides your sexuality.

In the meantime, don't write off all gays and lesbians as potential friends just because the few you now have to choose from aren't your best friends.

 

I am devoting all my mental resources toward grad school and am not interested in dating. Thus, I bought a Real Doll so that I may enjoy fantastic masturbation during this loveless period. Unfortunately, while my parents were visiting, my mom discovered it and reacted very, very badly.

You see, my mother is a feminist. She believes the doll is an indication that I have lost all respect for women. I honestly do not feel this is true at all. I view myself as a feminist, but I also believe that I can masturbate with a rubber woman and still have respect for everyone. My mother and I, however, haven't had a civil conversation since. I am hoping you can give me some perspective.

Dolled Up

 

My perspective: Your masturbatory routines are none of your mother's fucking business. 

Your options are pretty limited. You can apologize to your mother and tell her what she wants to hear ("I'm making an appointment with a therapist now, Mom. I'm donating my Real Doll to sex-starved grad students in Africa ..."). Or you can tell your mother to fuck off. ("It's my dick, Mom, and I'll stick it in whatever I want. You remember that 'my body, my choice' stuff, right?")

That said, your claim that you bought a Real Doll so you could "enjoy fantastic masturbation during this loveless period of my life" doesn't quite pass the smell-of-day-old-spunk-moldering-in-the-lifeless-orifice-of-a-silicone-dummy test. Most guys manage to tough out loveless periods with porn, their own hands and real, live sex workers. Guys who opt for insanely expensive ($5,000) life-size, hard-to-hide sex dolls very often do have issues with women -- though most are plagued by feelings of inadequacy, not superiority. You may want to entertain the possibility that your mother might be right.

But even if you do have issues with women ... they're still none of your mother's fucking business.

 

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

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