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Savage Love 

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I am a 17-year-old girl who doesn't believe in casual sex. While all of my friends are relishing the thought of doing it at college, I've made the decision not to have sex until marriage. I've had the opportunity to have sex many times and have rejected all of them. I'm not asking for advice or approval, but I would like your readers to know that women (or men) who hold out for sex don't just exist in a convent. It doesn't mean I don't want to, either. Can I be assured that there are others of my kind out there, or am I part of a dying species?

--Diamond in the Rough

First, the only thing duller than someone who brags about how much sex they're having is someone who brags about how much sex they're not having.

Second, virgins are not as rare as diamonds; rest assured that there are others like you. In fact, it seems like every newspaper I pick up these days has a feature story about religious organizations promoting virginity and abstinence, stories that usually include short profiles of young men and women who, like you, have "made the decision not to have sex until marriage." If feeling like the only virgin on earth saddens you, start reading a daily newspaper.

Third, the young men and women profiled in stories about hip young virgins are often the subject of unflattering follow-up stories. It seems a lot of kids who make a big public show of their virginity wind up either getting knocked up or knocking someone up. My advice: You're better off being as casual about not having sex as your friends are about having sex, otherwise you're simply tempting fate to mess with your life. If you run around making grand pronouncements about your abstemious intentions, fate may not be able to resist sending a very sexy boy and a very broken rubber your way.

Although my husband is aware that I like to have my navel played with, he doesn't know that just seeing an adult M or F navel excites me. The fact that he rarely fulfills my fetish is another story. By being on-line I met a few others who have this fetish. Maybe if this letter is printed in your column others with this fetish won't feel alone. --Belly Button Babe

First, oh lord.

Second, no, I certainly wouldn't want any belly button fetishist to go to bed tonight feeling isolated and alone (any more than I want miserable 17-year-old virgins to feel alone), so here's your pathetic letter, BBB.

Third, your husband can't meet needs he doesn't know you have. If you don't have the guts to tell the man you married about your harmless fetish, don't come cryin' to me about feeling alone or unfulfilled. Your fetish, as fetishes go, is thoroughly low stakes and certainly not something you should be shy about sharing with your husband, your friends, or your neighbors. Hell, a thing for belly buttons is something you could tell your mom about! If you're feeling miserable and alone, BBB, it's because your own chickenshittedness is making you miserable.

Hi. I am a straight guy with a girlfriend and a problem. My cock is decent sized--perhaps a little too decent. So decent, in fact, that all seven inches won't fit in my girlfriend's pussy. Is there anything I can do about this?

--Desperate

Wow, seven whole inches? Jesus, man, you need to get that decent dick out of your girlfriend and in front of the cameras! The porn industry hasn't seen a seven-incher since Moderately Long Dong Silver pulled his pants up and left town. Seven inches, man, wow! But hey, if you don't wanna be a porn star, then you'll have to stop dating little women with little pussies and find yourself a woman who can handle all seven--count 'em, seven!--inches of your a-little-too-decent-sized cock.

What do you call single men who do not want to marry but want to act like swingers and be with as many women as possible, preferably all at the same time, and use safe-sex practices? It's kind of a natural approach, without the mud of mankind's institutions. --Rick

If they're poor, men who never want to marry but want to be with as many women as possible--preferably all at the same time--are called "dreamers." If they're rich, they're called "clients," though occasionally they're called "Mr. President."

I found your response to the 15-year-old girls looking for vibrators to be grossly negligent. You failed to mention the drawbacks of using a vibrator, the most important of which is loss of sensitivity. By the time these girls are ready to "settle down," normal sex will feel as if they douched with Chloraseptic before getting their groove on with their mate. A little more info, please. The cons are just as important as the pros.

--San Bruno

Concerns about "loss of sensitivity" are a common straight-boy objection to women using vibrators, an objection that stems from a fear that flesh-and-blood cocks--even seven-inchers--just can't compete with the buzz vibrators supply. Well, since every other dildo pusher in North America has weighed in on the vibrators-for-15-year-olds debate, I shared your letter with Claire Cavanaugh, cofounder of Seattle's Toys in Babeland and longtime dildo pusher. Here's what she had to say:

"Considering that he's misinformed, San Bruno sure sounds confident. Many first-time vibrator buyers express fear of loss of sensitivity and 'vibrator addiction.' This is a reasonable fear, but someday fear of 'losing sensitivity' from masturbating will go the way of fear of going blind from it. Think of it this way: How many of us have awakened to a little soreness after a night of very hot sex? We never think of swearing off hot sex in those moments, no matter how raw our tender spots. Instead, we take it easy for a day or two, explore other ways of getting off, or take a break from getting off altogether.

"It's the same thing with vibrators. Sure, you can use them until you feel numb, but that numbness is not permanent, or even lasting. We are organic, and we heal. Do what feels good for as long as it feels good. You will find your own limits through experimentation. Don't heed warnings from a sex-negative culture, and don't be afraid to do it till you're numb! All you'll be sacrificing is tomorrow's orgasms, if that. And there's always the next day to rack up some more."

Confidential to Thigh High in Saint Louis: If you want to make money off your attractive, in-shape bod but don't want to show "full T & A," then don't bother applying to work in a strip club. There are seven or eight Hooters in Saint Louis--why not be a Hooters girl?

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611 or to letters@savagelove.net.

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