Q Over the years, I have consumed what I believe to be an average amount of porn for a 44-year-old hetero guy. I have never paid for it, and I am now facing a troubled conscience for that fact. I could obviously just subscribe to some site or other now, but that would benefit only one company and/or set of performers. Is there a Dan Savage-approved charity relating to the adult film industry to which I could donate?
— Seeks Penance And Needs Knowledge
A "Porn performers almost never get royalties for their scenes when they work for big studios," said Conner Habib, a writer, activist, and porn performer. "If you buy into the trickle-down theory of things, then more money for the studio should mean more money for the performers. If you don't buy into that — and not everyone does —there are other options."
To get your money directly to the performers whose work you're currently enjoying/stealing, SPANK, you can patronize smaller studios run by performers, book time with independent webcam models, and purchase porn created by performers on sites like Clips4Sale.com.
To atone for your years of freeloading, SPANK, you can and should make large donations to two organizations.
"The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) (apac-usa.com) is the largest performer-based organization in the world, and its membership is made up entirely of performers," Habib says. "Full disclosure: I'm the vice president, but no donation money goes to me or any board member. It all goes to the organization, which works to improve the working conditions, quality of life, and safety of performers, as well as to fight anti-porn laws and stigma."
Habib also recommended donating money to the Sex Workers Outreach Project (swopusa.org).
"This isn't a porn-specific organization," Habib says, "but it works to protect and fight for the rights of all sex workers. Since many performers are doing other forms of sex work, donations go a long way to help porn performers."
Habib will be hosting an online lecture/seminar about the upside of porn on Sunday, June 5. His talk is titled "Pornworld: Why Pornography Is a Healthy Part of Our Culture," and you can find out more about it by searching "pornworld" at Eventbrite.com. You can, and you should, follow Habib on Twitter @ConnerHabib.
Q I didn't talk to my nearly 70-year-old dad for most of my 20s. Now that I'm back trying to maintain relationships with my parents, I am struggling. My dad is the king of the overshare. He makes creepy comments about women who are about 30 to 40 years younger than him — including women who were kids when he met them but are now grown-ups. Not something I want to hear. I don't think he is abusing anyone, just being creepy, but I desperately want him to stop with the inappropriate comments. He makes about one creepy comment per phone conversation. If he were a person at work, I would be able to stand up for myself and say, "That is not appropriate." But when he says creepy stuff, Dan, I'm a deer in the headlights. I go silent, it's awkward, and I keep hoping he'll understand how weird he's being. I would say something, but bringing up things that anger me causes him to act overly sorry, and that routine is annoying too. I asked my mom (they divorced a long time ago), and she had no suggestions. She was just like, 'Yeah, he's like that.' Any suggestions on what to say?
— Seeking Help Regarding Unpleasant Guy
A "Dad! It creeps me out when you make comments about women you wanna fuck. I realize you're a sexual person, and I honor that, and blah de blah blah blah. But these are thoughts you share with friends, Dad, not with your adult children. There's no need to go into your oh-so-sorry routine, Dad, we just need to change the subject."
Q My husband and I have been married for 16 years. We have been polyamorous for the last five years. We are a bit mismatched sexually in many ways. Polyamory was our solution. For much of this time, my husband had a girlfriend. Before I go on, let me say that I adore my husband in all ways except sex. We are raising a child together and are a good fit otherwise. I no longer have any desire to have sex with my husband. Lots of men and women write in to complain about their partner's low libido. This is not the case. My libido is fine. I just don't want to have sex with my husband. Whenever we would have sex in the past, I would get anxious and try to avoid it. We each have our issues. He feels insecure and has trouble maintaining erections. I always felt desexualized — not by him, but when I was younger. Being a poly woman dating in my 40s has been incredibly empowering and sexy. But my husband's experiences have been different. He is frustrated because it is hard for him to meet women, and his frustration is made worse by the fact that I don't want sex with him either. When he had a girlfriend, our sex life wasn't as much of an issue. What should I do? He's unhappy. I'm frustrated. Neither of us wants to divorce. Should I force myself?
— Lady In Baltimore Isn't Desiring Obligatory Sex
A It is a truth universally acknowledged — in the poly universe anyway — that a married poly woman will have an easier time finding sex partners than a married poly man. Some men in open/poly relationships present themselves as dishonest cheaters rather than honest nonmonogamists because women would rather fuck a married man who's cheating on his wife than a married man who isn't cheating on his wife.
Anyway, LIBIDOS, the answer to your question — should you force yourself to fuck your husband? — depends on your answer to this question: How badly do you want to avoid divorce? Because if your husband can't or won't pretend to be cheating, LIBIDOS, and if women won't fuck him because he's in an open marriage, your refusal to fuck him could wind up incentivizing divorce.
So to save your marriage, LIBIDOS, you might wanna fuck your husband once in a while. Forcing yourself to fuck someone is tiresome and dispiriting, I realize, but you can always close your eyes and think about someone you'd rather be fucking — a time-tested stratagem employed successfully by millions of people in loving, stable, and sexually enervating/dead marriages.
And since you're off the hook when your husband has a girlfriend, LIBIDOS, you might wanna do everything you can to help him find a new one — a stratagem employed by tens of thousands of women in poly relationships. You don't want your husband stewing alone at home while you're out fucking your boyfriend(s), LIBIDOS, because that ups the odds of your resentful/unfucked husband asking you to close up your relationship again or asking you for a divorce. So help him craft messages to women he contacts online, go to play parties and poly mixers with him, and vouch for him to women he's interested in.
But between girlfriends, LIBIDOS, you'll probably wanna fuck him once in a while. Lube for you, Viagra for him, pot for you both.
Jillian Keenan, author of Sex with Shakespeare, on the Savage Lovecast: savagelovecast.com.
@fakedansavage on Twitter