Dan Savage, Sex Columnist, Responds to My Critique


A few days ago, I posted a link to an essay on Dan Savage's view of ethics. I was struck by the final comments from the writer (a Lutheran minister) on Dan's advice to a young man who had a girlfriend he loved, with whom he clearly enjoyed an extraordinarily good sexual relationship, but who said he was beginning to crave some sexual variety and wondered what he should do.

Dan told him he should tell his girlfriend and accept that the relationship might end over it but that was better than being a creep and cheating on her, as he undoubtedly would.

Both the Lutheran Minister, and me, were struck by how improbable that advice is, given the supply of women who actually exist in the world: a young man looking for a woman who gives him all this woman gives him--and also won't mind some side sexual relationships--is going to be pretty lonely for a long time.

I suggested that Dan Savage's view of the world is influenced by his personal experience: he's a gay man. Finding another gay man who will accept that kind of deal may be hard, but it's not nearly as hard as finding a woman like that.

Applying gay male sexual ethics to opposite sex relationships is likely to result in some pretty bad advice--because women are different than men.

Dan responded to this mild little blog post pretty strongly. He's not known for restraint of language so don't go read it if you are easily offended.

A high point from his response:

"The possibility of taming one's sexual desire for the sake of another most definitely exists within the Savage moral imagination." [glad to hear it!]

But there's a lot more ... like this:

"Not knowing what women are like [deleted] has never stopped the Pope from offering his unsolicited advice to women—no birth control, no abortions, no oral, no anal, [deleted]—and it's hypocritical of you to suggest that I'm not qualified to advise women, since I won't **** 'em, without first telling that old *** in Rome to [shut up] already.