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COLUMN

Savage Love

>My 13-year-old son came out to us this morning

As for dating and sex …

“Treat your son with the same awkwardness you would your other kids,” Byard says. “I’m speaking as a mom myself now. Make sure he has access to all the health and safety information he needs. (Sitting down to watch reruns of Will & Grace together won’t cut it.) I have two daughters and want to be absolutely sure they have access to all the information they need to make smart and healthy – and potentially life-saving! – decisions. Make yourself available to talk whenever he needs and welcome his boyfriends inside the house the same way you would if they were girlfriends.”

I’m into BDSM and my safe word is “safe word.” It’s short, memorable and unmistakable in its intent. Someone recently told me that “any serious BDSM player” would laugh me out of the community if I used that. Is she right? Is she just being a dickhead? Should I have to say something silly like “grapefruit” in order to get my point across?

Grapefruits Aren’t Good

I may not be the best person to adjudicate this dispute, GAG, as my safe word is “popcorn.” (And, yes, I cross my arms over my chest when I use it, as demonstrated here: tinyurl.com/safewordpopcorn.) But in my opinion, the woman who informed you that you would be laughed out of “the community” for your choice of safe word is being a huge dickhead. In fact, it sounds like she has a bad case of You’re Doing It Wrong.

YDIW is a social-skills disorder that members of the BDSM community are at particular risk of acquiring. (Others at heightened risk: religious conservatives, sports fans, advice columnists.) BDSMers with YDIW feel they have a right to inform other BDSMers that they’re doing it wrong – whatever it might be – even if the “it” being done wrong poses no risk to the YDIW sufferer or anyone else.

BDSM players should speak up, of course, when they witness other BDSMers doing something dangerously wrong. BDSMers who observe dangerous or nonconsensual play at public parties have a responsibility to speak the fuck up before someone is seriously injured. The secondary, tertiary and quaternary goals of creating a BDSM community were the sharing of skills, the promotion of good play practices and the holding of dangerous or malicious players to account, respectively. (The primary goal? Getting BDSMers laid.) But some BDSMers confuse a responsibility to speak up when they witness dangerous play for an invitation to critique other people’s kinks, sexual interests, preferred fetish roles, safe words, etc.

YDIW in BDSMers – and social conservatives – can be treated and cured through the application of “NO ONE GIVES A FUCK WHAT YOU THINK, ASSHOLE.” It should be applied liberally whenever YDIW flares up.

I enjoyed your pieces and posts aboutmonogamish couples. However, it’s time for a Savage Love column or two dedicated to people who are in successful monogamous relationships! I have been with my partner for 10 years. Sure, we’ll both flirt with a cute waiter and dance with hot guys at gay clubs, but we always go home together. It pisses me off when people assume that, because we are gay, we’re having sex with every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Couple Of Compatible Keepers

That’s a wonderful idea, COCK.

People in successful, long-term monogamous relationships – even those of you who aren’t but think you are – are invited to send in their stories. Letters from monogamous sufferers of YDIW will not make it into the column, however. If you can’t write about your monogamous relationship without disparaging those in nonmonogamous or monogamish relationships then, um, you’re doing it wrong. (I told you advice columnists were at heightened risk of YDIW.) Tell us why monogamy works for you, how you’ve made it work and what the upsides are. But please refrain from telling everyone who isn’t doing it the way you do it that they’re doing it wrong. That’s my job.

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