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Savage Love

Good/funny/subversive drag is a burlesque on what it means to be male, not a denigration of what it means to be female.


Are you a slut?

Or are you a woman who loves sex, has a high libido and has sex with a lot of willing and grateful partners? Those are traits for which culture wouldn't conspire to leave you feeling compelled to slap a pejorative label on yourself — if you were a dude.

Don't buy into the sexist double standards. So long as your sex life isn't negatively impacting your relationship(s), your health, your friendships, your family life, your classwork or your career, you aren't doing anything wrong. Don't let shitty, sexist people make you feel like you have to slap a shitty, sexist label on yourself.

Have fun, be thoughtful, be safe, be considerate of others' feelings and your own. And remember: What works for you now might not work for you always. Don't look back on this part of your life with shame or regret if you downsize your sex life. Do what's right for you, eliminate the risks that can be eliminated, mitigate the risks that can't be eliminated and don't worry about what other people think.

I am a gay man. One of my friends — I'll call him Jerry — helped me out of a jam last summer. I received notice that I had to vacate my apartment while I was overseas, and Jerry volunteered to pack up my stuff and put it into storage. I am extremely grateful, as Jerry has saved me a huge amount of money and hassle. Recently, though, I was house-sitting for Jerry, and I found some intimate items of mine — a cock ring and a bottle of lube — that I thought had been lost in the move. Me and Jerry have fooled around before, but I find the fact that he took these items very strange. Do I confront Jerry, or leave the items as "payment" for helping me move? Or should I take them back without saying anything and let him figure it out?

Unsure In Canada

Two gay men in the same city and with similar sexual interests (including an interest in each other) could wind up owning identical bottles of lube and cock rings. It's unlikely, of course, and it's even less likely that Jerry owns the exact same lube and cock ring as the ones that went missing when he packed your place up. But seeing as Jerry helped you out of a jam, you should either give him the benefit of the doubt or turn a blind eye to what amounts to harmless perving. Lube isn't that expensive, and that cock ring wasn't from Tiffany's — was it? — so replacing them isn't going to ruin you.

P.S. Assuming Jerry didn't leave your intimate items in plain view, that means you snooped. If you have the kind of friendship where you can confront him about his theft, admit to your snooping, and have a laugh about it — and maybe put the lube and cock ring to good use — leave him a note where you found your intimate items: "I see you like my cock ring. Let me know if you want to see me in it."

I'm a man. Recently I discovered Omegle, the online site that allows you to "talk to strangers," and I've had some fun posing as a lesbian. I would talk to women my own age (mid-20s) about life, love and, of course, sex. Many times, these chats included role play or sexy chat. We would both be masturbating. This was just chatting: I wouldn't trade pics. I don't keep in touch after our chat is over, and I am pretty sure everyone is satisfied.

Am I an asshole for doing this? I made a post on Reddit to some real lesbians, and they clearly feel like I am an asshole. So I stopped. But was this really that bad? It's the Internet, and for all I know I am chatting with other straight dudes pretending to be lesbians. If I'm not trying to pursue these women in real life, where's the harm?

Don't You Know Everything, Savage?

Loath as I am to contradict the Lesbians of Reddit — which sounds like the title of a '50s pulp-fiction novel — I don't think you're an asshole, DYKES.

If you created fake personal ads, if you actively misled lesbians who contacted you, if you sent women pics that weren't yours to trick them — if you were doing any of that — then you would be an asshole. But spinning out a few masturbatory fantasies on a site designed to facilitate one-on-one conversations between people who are never going to meet? That's not asshole behavior. You found a way to enjoy your wannabe-lesbian fantasies without doing harm to any flesh-and-vulva lesbians.

And yes, most of the "lesbians" you chatted with on Omegle were other straight dudes.

Is drag done by cisgender straight men problematic? I thought drag was mostly about humor. I am acquainted with a bi trans woman who thinks this is offensive; at risk of further offending her, I haven't asked why. Maybe you know? Haven't we come a long way if straight men are comfortable enough with their sexualities to dress as women?

Not Feeling Offended

Freedom means freedom for everyone," as a huge asshole once said. That means straight guys are free to do drag, and bi trans women are free to take offense.

For the record: Good/funny/subversive drag is a burlesque on what it means to be male, not a denigration of what it means to be female. And there are straight guys who do it right. Instead of arguing with a friend who wants to police the gender expression of others, get your hands on the DVDs of An Audience With Dame Edna, and invite your bi trans friend over to watch.

This week on the Savage Lovecast, Dan speaks with Daniel Bergner about foot-fetish shame at

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