Rally round the PFLAG 

Q: Please tell the closeted gay man in Canada to contact Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). PFLAG provides a place for parents to meet with other parents, hear their stories and learn by asking questions and seeing that other families remain in loving relationships after they learn that their child is gay. There are chapters in Canada. The National PFLAG number in Washington, D.C., is 202-467-8180 and it is on the Web at www.pflag.org. His local chapter can provide literature and reading lists for him to present to his parents when he comes out. —Iris S. Blumenthal, past president, PFLAG, Long Island

A: Thanks for sharing, ISB.

Q: Hi! I'm a straight guy, but I have a lot of stereotypically "gay" qualities: I'm sensitive, caring, I like shopping, cooking and Madonna. I developed a lot of these qualities because they're what I thought women wanted in a man. But ever since I can remember I've always had problems attracting women. I've only had one serious girlfriend, and I haven't had sex in more than 18 months. What can I do to attract more women? —Tired Of Being Around Guys

A: What could you do to attract women? For starters, you could stop acting like such a faggot. Look, women love sensitive, caring, shopping, cooking, female-vocalist-adoring males — but as friends, TOBAG, not boyfriends or husbands. When it comes to love and sex, most women want guys who can at least pass for straight, a guy who's masculine and maybe a tiny bit rough around the edges. Most women like to feel like they bring out their boyfriend's/husband's sensitive side; a woman likes to feel that her love made you a better, more sensitive straight guy. So if you're already a weepy bag of slop when you show up for that first date, well, you're not giving her much to work with. So what's a faggy straight guy to do? Well, if you could cultivate a host of stereotypical "gay" qualities to attract women, you should be able to uncultivate those same qualities. You don't have to turn yourself into a belching, farting, Mountain Dew-drinking, Limp Bizkit fan to get yourself some pussy, TOBAG, you just need to butch it up a little bit. Shop a little less, care a little less, and listen to Madonna a little less. Good luck, girlfriend.

Q: I was without a girlfriend for a couple years, during which time I had escorts come over about a dozen times. There were some great experiences, along with some mediocre ones. There was no kissing and I wore condoms for everything, so it was safe. Now I am seeing someone, and this someone believes very strongly that prostitution is degrading to women. "Susan" and I were talking about a strip club that had recently closed down in her neighborhood when she asked me if I'd ever had a prostitute. I said that I didn't mind if others did but that I'd never been to one myself. My feeling is that it's all right to lie to protect my privacy, even from someone who's getting pretty close to me. Then again, put it that way and it doesn't sound so good. What do you think? Should I feel guilty? —To Tell The Truth

A: Only a woman who wants to be lied to tells you she thinks prostitution is degrading to women and then asks if you've ever paid for sex. When someone puts you in a position like that — "Tell me a lie or I'll break up with you" — they can't expect to hear the unvarnished truth. Should you feel guilty? Yeah, you should feel bad, bad, bad about telling your girlfriend a lie. But so long as you aren't still going to prostitutes, TTTT, I don't think you need to feel all that bad.

Q: Suppose Confused, the woman who divorced her husband over their fights about blow jobs, didn't like getting urinated on and her fiance/husband enjoyed it and kept pushing the issue. Would you have recommended that she get over it and learn to like golden showers? —L.S. in San Francisco

A: I don't think blow jobs can be compared to golden showers, LS. When it comes to sex acts that one partner digs and the other doesn't, some gentle persuasion, some begging and pleading, is permissible. Pressure, tantrums and emotional blackmail, on the other hand, are not. That said, most modern men and women regard oral sex as a given (that's why the terrorists hate us so much), and most expect to give and receive in long- and short-term relationships. While oral sex may have been an unspeakable perversion three generations ago (it used to be considered sodomy — even when straight people did it!), today oral sex is akin to intercourse and French kissing. It's something sexually active adults take for granted. Which is why I was inclined to think there was something wrong with Confused, particularly after she wrote that giving blow jobs "terrified" her. Who on earth is terrified of oral sex? Indifferent? OK. Not into it? Fine. But terrified? Confused clearly has a hang-up, and when she asked me if she was being unreasonable, I said yes because it seems highly unreasonable to me not to confront and overcome a hang up in order to save a marriage. You could argue that Confused's ex-husband should've gone without blow jobs to save the marriage, but it wasn't Confused's ex-husband who asked if he was being unreasonable.

Q: Dan, you really blew it this time. As the father of three daughters I was quite pissed off to read your remarks to Confused. Don't suggest that the poor lady do something she doesn't enjoy. I'd kill any doofus male who had "do it and keep me happy" expectations of any of my daughters. Any man who verbally abuses, emotionally badgers, argues, coerces or twists a woman’s arm into doing something in the bedroom is not only a selfish prick, but also a controller. I don't want my dick sucked by someone who just isn't into it or not liking it. My daughters read your column (which is why I'm writing). Confused shouldn't let herself be bullied. Stand your ground! —Patrick

A: Well, I hope your daughters enjoyed reading about the circumstances under which their father likes to have his dick sucked. A special moment for the whole family, no doubt. That said, I agree with you about people not being coerced, badgered, or abused. But if they're like most sexually active adults, at some point in your daughters' lives they're going to end up in bed with someone who enjoys sex acts they may not. When that happens, their sex partners may attempt to talk them into trying something new and different; men may attempt to seduce them into experimenting, beg them or subject them to a little gentle prodding. When that happens, I hope your girls don't freak out or say no because that's what daddy wants them to do. There are times when a sexually active person shouldn't stand his or her ground, times when a person gives in and discovers that — hey! — she likes giving head or spankings or pegging some guy in the ass or whatever. People who don't let themselves get talked into something new every once in a while have dull, dull, dull sex lives. So, girls, be open to new experiences. If the guy gives you the creeps, or he's an asshole about it, show him the door. But if the guy is nice and seems trustworthy, well, it might be a good time to try something that you should never, ever tell your father about.

Contact Dan Savage at mail@savagelove.net

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