Savage Love | Opinion | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Savage Love

You don't have to come out to friends and family about the stuff that turns you on.

I am a 21-year-old male and a senior at an Ivy League school. Despite my academic success, I've battled a lot of stuff in the past few years: anxiety, depression, substance abuse and porn addiction. It's a load of shit to wade through, but I'm getting better.

About sex: Before I even knew what I was really doing, my fantasies involved being subjected to the erotic whims of a powerful female. I've tried to hide my interest in "submission" from everyone, including potential and sometimes briefly sexual partners. Only recently have I begun to address this directly. I feel it is, broadly, an issue of sexual orientation that requires something like a "coming out" process. But while there are resources out there for gay people who are coming out, I have no road map. I have told a few friends but don't think it's necessary to reveal all this to my family.

I cannot have a fulfilling sexual experience unless my desire to have a tilted power dynamic is understood and indulged. But when do I bring it up? I have this dread of that moment on a date when things are becoming unambiguously physical. WTF do I say? Should I try to get involved in a BDSM "scene"? Date "normal" people? Online personals?

Seeks Understanding Baba

Generally, SUB, if it's something that gay, straight or bisexual people can all do — like erotic power exchange (bondage, D/s, BDSM, etc.) — then I consider it a sexual activity, not a sexual orientation.

Which is not to say that submission and/or BDSM can't be hugely important to an individual. But you don't have to come out to friends and family about the stuff that turns you on.

Now, I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't tell people other than the women you date that you're submissive. You can be as open as you wanna be, but the only people who absolutely, positively need to know about your desires are your sex partners.

So how do you find a partner? Date vanilla girls? Trawl online personals? Get involved in the BDSM scene in your area? Yes, yes and yes. Get involved in the BDSM scene and take out a kinky personal ad, and maybe you'll meet a nice, dominant girl who wants a sexually submissive — and Ivy League-educated — boyfriend. At the same time, date girls you meet during your daily life, like any other single guy. After she gets to know you, but before she's too invested and/or smitten, discuss your kinks. This is not a tearful confession: Your kinks are something that makes you a more interesting sex partner. If you open up to a vanilla girl after a few weeks — and some good vanilla sex — and she runs screaming, she wasn't the right girl. (And if she blabs to her friends about you, you may get a call from a friend of your ex who is the right girl.)

Don't marry the first dominant woman you play with, or bail on the first strictly vanilla girl with whom you hit it off. A dominant woman you don't enjoy spending time with outside the bedroom isn't someone you can spend the rest of your life with; a vanilla girl who really likes you may discover that she gets off on being in charge — if you're patient and attentive to her sexual interests.

Finally, if you do want to come out to friends and family about being kinky, here's a great short video on the subject:

I am a 21-year-old gay male. For the past six months, I have been having an affair with a man in his mid-40s. After our first hookup, he told me he was married and had three children. I was shocked. However, we continued to meet. I have come to the conclusion that I am fine with this man keeping me a secret. I have fallen for him and he has fallen for me, but I have no desire to break up his family. He also tells me that if I were to quit our sexcapades, which happen to be the best sex I have ever had, he would find another man, or other men. We hook up in discreet locations where he would never get caught. I don't plan on telling anyone. I am torn, because we both acknowledge that, if the situation were different, we would make excellent life partners. I just want to know if I should continue our relationship.

His Secret Love


I love your advice and first wanna say thanks for supporting the monogamish. I'm one of the many who is happier with a little freedom — and the occasional threesome or foursome — but who also values ground rules, respect and honesty. So thanks for so many years of great advice. But ... WOW!

Sometimes you really show your limits as a gay man. Someone writes to you about having sex with his girl during her period and what to do about the bloody sheets they're going to leave behind in their hotel room, and you don't even mention the Instead Softcup! No woman has to bloody sheets or towels — or her man or her lady or her toys — just by sticking a cup up there!

Maybe I should go easy on you, because most ladies are unaware of this awesome option. (Most ladies aren't sex columnists, however!) It tucks up inside, it works for 12 hours, and you can't feel it when you have sex. (My man is hung, and we tried all sorts of angles, speeds, pressure, etc., and he can't tell it's in there.) Put one in and you don't get messy!

Stainless In San Francisco

Sometimes my readers learn from me, sometimes I learn from my readers. This is one of the latter times. Ladies who want to learn more about the Instead Softcup can go to the website: Thanks for sharing, SISF!

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at

Comments (0)
Comments are closed.