I was honored to speak at JCCSF – Jewish Community Center of San Francisco – last week as a part of their Uninhibited: About Sex lecture series. The audience submitted questions on cards, which were ably put to me by Jourdan Abel, who was wearing a wonderful uterus-themed sweater. (Check out my Instagram account, @dansavage, to see Abel's sweater!) Here are some of the questions submitted by the uninhibited JCCSF audience that Abel and I didn't manage to get to during our conversation.
How do you combat homophobic remarks in a culture that condones and promotes homophobic tendencies?
You combat homophobia – and misogyny, its big sister – one terrified middle-schooler at a time. Bearing in mind, of course, that "terrified middle-schooler" is a state of mind, not an age bracket.
Got any advice for a bi girl, formerly submissive, who wants to start dominating men?
Move to San Francisco – oh, wait. You're already in San Francisco. Leave the house – get involved in local kink orgs, if you aren't already involved, check out local sex-positive events (bawdystorytelling.com is a great place to start) and let people know what you're looking for. There's no shortage of submissive guys in the Bay Area, and no shortage of dominant women up for mentoring women who are curious about topping.
What do you do when you can't make your partner come?
Me? I hand him back his dick and go get myself some ice cream – but you shouldn't do what I do when you can't make your partner come. Here's what you should do: Keep trying, ask your partner what they need, and encourage them, if need be, to "finish themselves off" (without pouting, without laying a guilt trip on them about how they've made you feel inadequate and without treating them like they're broken). Cheerfully offer to hold 'em or play with their tits or eat their ass while they finish themselves off – or, hell, offer to go get 'em ice cream. Whatever helps!
Porn is so accessible today. How has it affected society?
One positive effect (among many): Porn's wider accessibility forced us to stop pretending there's one kind of sex – heterosexual, man-on-top – that absolutely everyone is interested in. Thanks to the Interwebs, we can track what people are actually searching for (it's not all hetero), where they're searching for it (a shout-out to the great state of Utah, which has the highest porn consumption rates per capita in the nation!) and how long they're lingering over it (long enough to finish themselves off).
One negative effect (among many): The ubiquity of porn coupled with the general lousiness of sex education – in the United States and Canada – has resulted in porn doing something it isn't designed to do and consequently does not do well. And that would be, of course, educating young people about sex. If we don't want porn doing that, and we don't, we need to create comprehensive sex ed programs that cover everything – hetero sex, queer sex, partnered sex, solo sex, gender identity, consent, kinks, and how to be a thoughtful, informed and critical consumer of porn.
What is the one thing that concerns you most about the current political climate/election cycle?
Donald Trump getting the Republican nomination. I'm not at all concerned about the potential destruction/implosion of the GOP – those fuckers have it coming – but with the likelihood of political violence. I'm concerned that black and brown people – Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans – will be subjected to more political/social/economic violence than they already are. People will die as a direct result of Trump getting the GOP nomination. This is a terrifying moment.
What kind of sexual fluid or act would you name after Donald Trump?
Trump, as I pointed out in a previous column, already has an alternate/more accurate meaning. There is no authority higher than the Oxford English Dictionary, and here's what you'll find under "trump" at oed.com: "in reference to a sound like a trumpet ... the act of breaking wind audibly." So remember, kids, when you see Donald Trump standing in front of a microphone ... Trump isn't talking. He's trumping.
What is the etiquette when it comes to social media and open relationships?
It all depends on the preferences of the couple/throuple/quad/squad in question. If a particular couple, etc., wants to maintain the appearance of being monogamous, if they want to avoid stigma, judgment, freaked-out parents, etc., then they're not going to want evidence of their open relationship popping up all over Facebook and/or Instagram. If there's internal disagreement in a particular couple/throuple/quad/squad about keeping things quiet on social media, not outing the person(s) who want to keep things discreet may be the price of admission their other partners have to pay.
What was your favorite aspect of the orgy held in honor of your 50th birthday?
The fact that I wasn't invited. #NotAnOrgyFan
Uninhibited: About Sex continues through the end of May. Upcoming speakers and events include Esther Perel, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Nicole Prause, Jules Howard, films, poetry readings and live musical performances. For a full schedule of events: jccsf.org/arts-ideas/uninhibited.