Hello! It has been an age since I’ve posted anything, which I guess is proof that I have a life outside of the internet. Good to know. But now, at long last, I’m back and, as usual, full of thoughts about quirks and oppression in pop culture.
Last week I received an email from a friend that contained three words and a link: “ugh, dan savage.” For anyone who knows me or has spent more than five minutes perusing this blog, you’ll know that “ugh, Dan Savage” is a common reaction in my life. The self-proclaimed (and self-aggrandizing) spokesperson for the LGBTQ+ communities and writer of the Savage Love sex column is perpetually on my shit list.
But wait, Dan Savage is a gay man trying to increase visibility of LGBTQ+ peeps. Don’t you support him?
[TW: discussion of oppression and survivor-blaming]
Funny you should ask. No, absolutely not. In fact, I think Dan Savage should shut up and get out of the public eye ASAP. He has a long history of being incredibly biphobic, trans*phobic, racist, anti-asexual, misogynistic (among other nasty, oppressive qualities) and mocking survivors of rape. Whenever he’s called out (which happens frequently), he becomes defensive and attacks the people who’ve criticized him. So no, I don’t support him. If you are unfamiliar with these incidents, may I suggest Google:
You clearly don’t have to type very much before you’re well on your way. If you want even faster results, a record of various shitty incidents and commentary can be found at Fuck No, Dan Savage! Beyond perpetuating a swath of oppressions, I think Savage gives really terrible, shaming sex/love/relationship advice. On the occasions I’ve read his columns, I’ve usually wound up feeling ostracized on behalf of the people who’ve sought his help. Not good.
Consider the article that my friend sent me, thereby prompting this post:
“I no longer believe that most bisexuals wind up in [“opposite-sex” relationships] because you’re all liars and cheats, or that you’re all dying to access societal perks reserved for heterosexuals, or that you’re all cowards and it’s hard out here for a homo. I think most bisexuals wind up in heterosexual relationships because most bisexuals are mostly hetero. You may be physically attracted to both sexes, but most of you can only fall in love with an opposite-sex partner.
“…before angry bisexuals start pounding away at their keyboards, consider this: My current position on bisexuals winding up with opposite-sex partners (you’re mostly straight) is a hell of a lot more charitable than my previous position (you’re cowards, liars, cheats, etc.).”
Excuse you…WHAT?! Some things:
- What are “opposite-sex” relationships? There can’t be opposites if there are more than two options. Casual reminder that intersex folks exist.
- Thank you, gay individual, for asserting that you know more about bisexual folks’ experiences of their sexuality than they do.
- “Angry bisexuals”–yes, anyone who calls you out for invalidating their identity is simply angry and their concerns should be written off.
- “My new disgusting stance is more charitable than my old disgusting one” is not an appropriate or convincing argument. He’s openly admitting that his views are shitty, but isn’t remotely apologizing for them. He’s simply moving onto new biphobic accusations.
- Yet again, bisexuals apparently need external validation before their sexuality can be considered authentic. Thank goodness Dan Savage is here to give a stamp of approval…or not.
But wait, isn’t Dan Savage kinda a tiny bit right? Some bisexuals are probably in relationships that appear straight because it’s more socially acceptable!
I mean…yeah. That’s most likely true. So? Bisexuals certainly aren’t the only people who choose their partners based in part on social acceptability. Like, not at all. Furthermore, your partner(s) are your business and you could have any number of reasons for choosing them. As long as you aren’t being actively shitty/oppressive to marginalized groups, I don’t care all that much. My #1 goal isn’t for every LGBTQIAP+ person to come out publicly. Being out looks different for different people and is a highly personal decision. I’m far more concerned by people like Dan Savage who–out or not–are doing a lot of damage to other members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as to folks of color (cuz POCs are totally more homophobic than whites and their homophobia is totally a bigger problem than racism *vomit*).
Why did I originally start writing this post?
Believe it or not, my original goal was not just to chew out Dan Savage and his politics. After discussion of the initial article, my friend asked if I had any suggestions of better sex columnists. I must admit: I don’t read much sex/love/relationship advice online or off, so I don’t have an extensive list to provide right off the bat. That being said…
- Scarleteen covers a wide range of topics from sex “how-to”s to sexual health, relationships, navigating doctor’s appointments, and more! Geared toward young people.
- Early to Bed is “Chicago’s first women-owned, women-oriented, boy-friendly, queer and trans-positive sex shop.” The website and blog also include a ton of sex advice.
- Early to Rise is an online affiliate store, geared toward men. More sex advice and tips abound. I’m not as familiar with this site, because most of it’s not relevant to me/my relationships, but I trust the Early to Bed folks, so I’d give Early to Rise a look.
- My Sex Professor: I know one of the bloggers, so I’m mostly familiar with her pieces. The site has a lot of great info, but as I was looking through contributors’ bios, I noticed that almost all are white women. Just putting that out there, as it’s bound to affect content at some point.
- Good Vibrations: Good Vibes is a toy store, so you guessed it–much (but not all) of their advice section pertains to sex toys.
- What else?
This is not my area of expertise, but I’m sure some of y’all have great suggestions. Have you found helpful blogs/vlogs/books/magazine columns that address healthy sex, sexuality, and/or relationships? Please comment with your recommendations. Spread the resources!
Last, but certainly not least: no sex-related blog post would be complete without a totally unoriginal, but oh-so-necessary reference to Salt-n-Pepa. So here I go: