Odds and ends 

Q: Please settle a difference of opinion that stumped our small group at the coffee shop: Why do guys wear socks on their feet in porn? I say it's a tradition. My friends claim it is a foot-fetish thing. My credibility rides on this, so thanks for answering. —Socked In Denver

A: Socks in porn a tradition? Sorry, SID, but no. Socks on feet in porn — as opposed to socks on cocks? — are like zits on butts in porn or track marks on arms in porn. They're incidental, not traditional. And unless someone licks socked feet or the socks are removed and used as gags, they're not a "foot-fetish thing." So it appears that neither you nor your friends have any credibility on porn attire, SID.

I was recently on an airplane seated next to a man talking on his cell phone. The man stated that he "was excited to use his new strap-on tonight!" It made me wonder why and how a guy would use a strap-on. Wouldn't he just use his own penis? When I glanced over at this guy, because I wasn't sure how a man would use a strap-on, he told his caller he had to go as he was getting the "stink-eye" from me. I wasn't disgusted, just curious because he acted like this was a normal toy for guys, not to mention an appropriate conversation to have on an airplane. All my gay friends were stumped too. I was wondering if you could solve this mystery. —Stink-Eye In 12E

A: The most obvious answer: The strap-on was a late Christmas gift presented to him to be used on him, not by him. A slightly less-obvious answer: Some small-dicked men — ones who are not at all insecure — use strap-ons on partners who enjoy a "filled-up" feeling from time to time. The least obvious answer: The man on the airplane was a female-to-male transsexual who, like a lot of forward-thinking FTMs, declined to get an expensive phalloplasty during his transition and the pretty much nonfunctional penis a phalloplasty "endows" an FTM with. Instead, he invested in a high-quality, looks-like-a-prick, feels-like-a-sneaker strap-on.

If your gay friends couldn't come up with any of these answers, SEI12E, you need smarter, more insightful, more credible gay friends.

Longtime reader, first-time writer. In last week's column, there was a letter from JON, a young, just-out gay kid who is not ready for anal sex. Please excuse a question from a naive but well-meaning, curious straight guy, but ... what other kinds of gay sex are there? Just hands-on and oral, kind of like what us hetero folks do? Or are there other things that would blow my plain-vanilla-sex mind?
Dumb-Ass White Guy

A: You mean straight people haven't heard of ear-holin' and nose-bangin' and socket-fuckin' and piss-slittin' and ann-coulterin'? You gotta get out more, DAWG.

Actually, there are no mysterious gay sex acts, nothing that we can do that you can't do better. And there are things we can't do at all. We can call it "boypussy" and "mangina" all we want, but two gay men aren't going to do vaginal intercourse as well as a hetero couple, and lesbians who want to snowball have to resort to cream-cheese frosting cut with a little skim milk. The only pronounced difference between gay and straight sex — besides the hotness — is that most gay folks regard "hands-on" and oral as "real sex," not as disappointing consolation prizes we're handed when "real" sex, i.e., fucking, isn't in the offing.

Straight people — particularly straight men — would do well to emulate queers in this regard. The more things you consider "real" sex, and the more things you consider hot sex, the more real, hot sex you'll be having.

Dan, your advice to LIMP — the man who was reluctant to use a vibrator on/with his wife — was right on! I'm a 34-year-old woman who needs a vibrator to get off, and for years I felt "defective." My husband didn't exactly help at first, but he eventually asked me to show him how I did it. He wanted to try. Bingo — the look on my face was all he needed; he was a convert from that moment on.

One of his issues with the vibrator, though, was the phallic shape; he felt like it was replacing him. Many men don't like vibrators for that reason. It's bigger, harder, and lasts longer — all of that can intimidate a guy. But you can buy tiny vibrators that are just a couple of inches long, egg-shaped ones, and butterfly-shaped ones. LIMP should visit his local adult-toy shop with his wife and pick out a silly one that doesn't compete.

Bottom line: She has been brave enough to share her needs with you. Would you prefer it if she faked it for your entire marriage and quietly took care of herself in private?
Nothing Beats A Good Buzz

A: Thanks for sharing, NBAGB.

Saddlebacking defined: The votes are in, the people have spoken, our democratic ideals are renewed. But first: Anyone who picks up the Jan. 24 issue of The Economist — I pick it up every week for the "Page 3 Boy," sudoku puzzle and horoscopes — will find this lead paragraph to a story about Barack Obama's inauguration.

"Any decision Barack Obama makes can cause a stir. He invited Rick Warren, a popular pastor, to say a few words at his inauguration. The aim was to stroke conservative Christians, thereby fostering a warm feeling of national unity. But some of Mr. Obama's gay supporters were appalled. Though hardly a fire-breather by the standards of Southern Baptists, Mr. Warren holds old-fashioned views about homosexuality. Bloggers lamented Mr. Obama's 'betrayal.' Dan Savage, a gay columnist, urged his readers to protest by coining a new meaning for 'Saddleback' — the name of Mr. Warren's church. Many of the suggestions were unprintable."

Many of them were unprintable? Not true, Economites. I printed all of them right here in this space. So it's not that the suggestions themselves were unprintable — there's not one single profanity in the lot — it's that you poofs just don't have the balls to print them. That's very different.

And now... without further delay... the winning definition of "saddleback"... by a gaping margin... definition No. 5.

"Saddlebacking: the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities." After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she's saving herself for marriage.

Here's why this definition is perfect: Saddlebacking, like barebacking, involves one person riding up on another's backside. But in this case, it's not the bare-naked cock-in-ass that's the most important feature of the ride, but the fact that the person being ridden has been saddled — thanks to the efforts of the Rick Warrens of this world — with religious hang-ups and serious misconceptions about sex. Like the barebacker who casually tosses away his health — or his partner's health — because he believes, quite erroneously, that "risky = sexy," the saddlebacker offers up her ass because she believes, quite erroneously, that she can get fucked in the ass — vigorously, religiously — and still be considered a virgin on her wedding night.

I've set up a website — www.saddlebacking.com — to popularize the new definition. (Get to work, Google bombers!) Spread the URL far and wide, please, and let's get this term into common usage as quickly as possible.

Download Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage

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