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March 13, 2009

A few nights ago Maria and I went to see Sex Advice Columnist, author, radio personality and Consummate Fag, Dan Savage give a talk at the U of I, of which, it turns out, he is an alumnus. He had many interesting and serious things to say and was hilarious in how he said them. For one, he aroused deep sympathy in both Maria and myself for the heterosexual male. Those poor bastards are so constrained sexually by our culture. Basically, if they have the slightest feminine urge, they’re called fags, if they have the slightest warmth for their male friends (let alone sexual feelings) they’re called fags. And of course, being called a fag, oy god! that’s baaaaad.
I’m lucky enough to know a lot of straight guys who don’t fall into that sorry cultural trap, but I also know a hell of a lot of straight guys who do. For them, really, my heart aches. They could probably have a lot more fun than they feel allowed. And when people have real, true fun, they are happier. And when people are happier, they tend to be nicer. When people are nicer I know, sans equivocation, that the world is a better place.
Two other things that Dan talked about interested me greatly because they are conclusions to which I have recently arrived on my own. One is the fluidity of sexuality. But according to Mr. Savage (and studies show), it is basically only women for whom sexuality is truly fluid. For myself I have realized that my own sexual feelings are in constant flux. Many kinds of people interest me at different times for different reasons. And sometimes no one interests me at all. Savage claims that for men, they rarely waiver from rather fixed (but often kinky) desires, that they want something and that’s pretty much it for life.
The other item had to do with open relationships (which it seemed he claimed relationships need to be to keep them truly alive.) It wasn’t a week before seeing him speak that I thought that, really, the only way to have an open relationship is to have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. And those happened to be the exact words he used. Though it hasn’t worked well with gays in the military (thousands of people have been kicked out at great cost and no benefit), I can see how it can work with relationships. I have personally tried the full disclosure approach in the past and for me, well, let’s just say, it sucked. But! If something can make your loved one happy…So, I wondered if the shadow of knowledge might not be more palatable than full knowledge. Dan strongly averred that this is so. This is not to say, at all, that one should be dishonest. “Arrangements” should always be worked out before such things are pursued.
I personally wish there were more dialogue about sexuality. I think most of us really aren’t in tune with our own desires and our culture is NOT pointing us in that direction. Why not?! Tell me, what is so scary?
If you’re unfamiliar with Dan Savage, look him up. He has many wise things to say, very to the point. You don’t have to agree with him, but he’s a good voice for human sexuality. Nothing is off limits to him.

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