1. Bri says

    My criticism of Dan is his preoccupation with body image like so many other gay men. Sorry we don’t all want abs, and don’t want to go to the gym 24/7.

  2. Mike in the tundra says

    @ knock – It sounded as if he was saying “gay, married”, not “gay married”. In other words, they were two different adjectives. It would have been better if he had said, “gay and married.”

  3. Zlick says

    Um, he said “gay married … folks.”

    There was a pause – which, to me, sounded as if he realized in mid-sentence he should not be saying “gay married” as in “gay lunch” or “gay dentist appointment,” and then added “folks.” But the truth is, I can’t read his mind, so let’s go by his actual quote, i.e., “we are gay married folks” (as in married folks who are gay).

  4. Zlick says

    More to the actual point, I think it’s a shame you’d have your bona-fides or suitability as a parent questioned if you were seen at the Folsom Street Fair or some such … but I think it’s fair to say that question would be applied to straight parents as well as gay parents.

  5. MateoM says

    It was definitely “gay-married”.

    Either way, you lose me here, Savage.

    You’ll be losing “Terry” down the road.

    When you don’t value what you have, you won’t keep it indefinitely.

  6. You're so right. says

    “When you don’t value what you have, you won’t keep it indefinitely.”


  7. J Y says

    “I didn’t want to put this in my book as I was a little embarrassed about it, but here’s a video of myself explaining just how embarrassed I was.”

  8. Rexford says

    I personally don’t have a problem with the expression “gay married” in this context, and agree with zlick’s interpretation. And for the record, he’s used it before and typed it with no comma:

    From a December 5, 2012 tweet:

    “Pot & marriage legal at 12 AM… Get gay married then high? Get high then gay married? Get gay high married? Get married high gay?”

  9. Mary says

    I can understand Dan’s position in being reluctant to admit that he went to any kind of fetish anything. But he’s right that its best to be honest about these things or there’s a chance they will be used against you by opponents. While its true that most people don’t like to hear of anyone who’s a parent doing anything “kinky”, its also true that Dan and Terry have been together for years and clearly have a stable relationship. It is this kind of stability that you need to raise a child.

    Peter LaBarbera, mentioned here, probably attend these festivals not for any kind of cheap thrills, but so that he can honestly say that he was there and that his version of events is not just based on a second hand account. I doubt he’s turned on by what he sees. A homophobe who is turned on by anything gay would probably just avoid the whole subject of gay rights. But Pete’s group “Americans for Truth about Homosexuality” has changed its name to “Americans for Truth.” A sign of how hard it’s getting to keep homopobia respectable, even within conservatism.

  10. Edward says

    What’s the point of getting married then? What’s the point of even having a relationship? At some point it needs to become an “us” instead of a “me.”

  11. Adam says

    The Folsom Street Festival is for perverts. It started off as a festival for homosexually inclined male perverts but then got taken over by sleazy straight guys and their bisexual fremale enablers.

    Whenever promiscuity and sleaze are appropriated by men who interact sexually with women, it creates a bisexual double standard wherein women are expected – and indeed rewarded financially – for performing lesbian acts for the benefit of straight guys. If this is the natural progression of the gay rights movement, I’m bailing out.

    As for Dan, face it, Dan – you’re a man. You’re horny. You go to Folsom and IML for the same reason straight guys ogle women’s boobs.

  12. dumbnhung says

    If I saw Dan and Terry getting it on at Folsom I’d probably whip off a few shots myself! Studs!

  13. Rrhain says

    Since they go together, how is that not “us”?

    Some people don’t seem to actually listen to Savage.

    Question: Suppose you like to play cards but your partner does not. Is it an “us” vs. “me” thing for you to go to a card gaming group without your partner?

    “But, playing cards isn’t like having sex!”

    Indeed, it isn’t. But for many people, sexual activity, while a form of intimacy, is not a threat to their emotional commitment to each other. You let your partner have their own friends, yes? You aren’t intimidated by the fact that your partner may confide in their friends, are you?

    If you and your partner wish to engage in exclusivity in your sexual dealings, then that is something you need to discuss with your partner. But don’t presume to be able to tell others what is or is not a sign of “commitment.”

    And on top of that, you’re assuming that they even play around at Folsom and IML. Just because you go doesn’t mean you attend the play parties. And even if you do go to the play parties doesn’t mean you play with anybody other than your partner.

  14. jason says

    I’m sorry but Folsom smells. It’s a breeding ground for STD’s. What a charming face we show the world…not.

  15. jason says

    I’m sorry but Folsom smells. It’s a breeding ground for STD’s. What a charming face we show the world…not.

  16. Ken says

    Oftentimes now I wish we weren’t living in a society that demand we share EVERY. PERSONAL. THING. I guess I am turning into my grandparents.

  17. AriesMatt says

    @Rrhain , totally agree with you. IML and Folsom and Southern Decadance/Mardi Gras can be spectator events or you can join in, with or without a partner.

  18. gb says

    It’s a side of you that you can’t deny. In the pre-marriage era it would mean nothing. In the married era it becomes something that really goes to the core of what turns you on. No one can relate to what turns others on, unless they share it. It’s a private thing, but can become that embarrassing reality about you, that ultimately could drive your partner away. The nice part of pre-marriage was that you could satisfy yourself in your way — and it would ultimately become boring believe it or not.

  19. Sargon Bighorn says

    @Bri, What are you preoccupied with? Are you a spiritual pilgrim searching for nirvana? Are you a writer working on the great American novel? Are you preoccupied with something? No? Yes? Please do something. Anything. But stop bitching when others are “preoccupied” with what interests them. Gay folk like you tear down, destroy, up root, and otherwise bring evil into the world. How about for a change you let those preoccupied with what ever they want be allowed to do so? Just a thought. We’ll let you be preoccupied with your pet issue. No one gets hurt.

  20. kdknyc says

    Bri, speak for yourself. I don’t necessarily go to the gym 24/7, but work hard to make myself look as good as I can with what I have to work with. I do this for myself, not for anyone else.

    If you choose not to do that, mazel tov. But don’t be angry at those of us who do. If that makes me or others who choose this shallow or somehow not a weighty person, big deal.

  21. anon says

    @Rrhain…. I feel sorry for someone in a relationship who refers to the couple’s intimate love making as “sexual dealings”.

  22. says

    Of course it shouldn’t be illegal, but can we just speak the truth here? Leather is about not feeling your “man enough” which for gay men is based in continued self-loathing no matter how out you are …..or a symbol of pride like Savage. (And, yes, lesbians into leather just demonstrates their self-loathing as women that they have to imitate male symbols of power.) And the origin of the name for the various “Eagle” – “Eagle’s Nest” bars was Hitler’s mountaintop retreat at Berchtesgaden. How proud or even neutral should we be of that?

  23. MateoM says

    Whoever posted as me on the first page was a troll using my name. I hold the opposite of that fake MateoM’s views.

    I love me some Savage. I would have caught my fake alias sooner, but I was too busy taking my final exams.

  24. melvin says

    Jesus you bitches need to write your own columns. I am more convinced than ever that internet commenters consist almost entirely of people that think they and no one else should be writing the New York Review of Books.

  25. PSHank says

    Re the “gay married” issue: Gay is an adjective moderating married, just like straight married would be an adjectival phrase. So Dan did not misspeak, but rather spoke grammatically correctly.

  26. Zeta says

    PShank, I think the point is that marriage and married should just be marriage and married without any qualifiers such as ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ in the first place? because using such qualifiers lessens what you describe, makes it ‘other’ and ‘not normal’.

  27. TomTallis says

    @ Zeta: We’re not there yet, I think, but I hear you. When California and Illinois jump (back) on the bandwagon, then we can have that discussion, because then more than 1/3 (100 million people) of the US population will be living in equal marriage states.

  28. MateoM says

    Lol, someone really must love/hate me to keep posting under my name. BTW, It was a politics exam. Which I aced.

  29. Bri says

    @Sargon Bighorn, I was preoccupied with body image, and fitting in. I suffered from eating disorders and depression. I do not “tear down, destroy….” Mental well being and acceptance of myself is my struggle. The judgments of others haunt me still, and perhaps have made me bitter.

  30. VanninCentralTX says

    “Peter LaBarbera, mentioned here, probably attend these festivals not for any kind of cheap thrills, but so that he can honestly say that he was there and that his version of events is not just based on a second hand account. I doubt he’s turned on by what he sees.”

    Mary, please. Why would he need his own personal pictures of what is widely available on the Internet. Can you say masturbation fantasies? Attending one event is for information, twice is to determine if you liked it, and more than that is filling that little space in the brain that only comes into focus during erotic dreams or the section which pops open when one is rubbing private portions of the anatomy late at night or in the company of a young man carrying your luggage around the world.

  31. Bollux says

    @matt26 I am with you. He writes a sex column for chrissake. He has never had any trouble being bitchy and brutally honest before. I am sure these two have a “playroom” in their house that is not for this kid of theirs. I am sure the kid has also found their box of adult apparati. Maybe I would take Dan’s concerns to heart if he didn’t splash every detail of his private life across every form of media he can sell it to. Before they went off making a large purchase like a child, they should have realized that they can’t lead the free-wheelin’ gay fetish lifestyle. Most leather guys I know keep a low maintenance pet like a cat.

  32. Paul R says

    Anyone who has attended Folsom Street Fair knows that at least 90% of the attendees are voyeurs. The Dore Alley Fair is more leather oriented (Folsom is more S&M) and perhaps sleazier, but they’ve both become more tame over the years because they’ve become more popular and most people just want to watch. Folsom is more fun than Pride (which has the worst lineup of entertainment EVER this year), and I couldn’t care less about leather or S&M.

  33. ratbastard says

    I have never understood why so many homosexual men are into bondage, leather and whipping. I’ve never been into any of this, and have zero desire to watch. I think dudes wearing leather outfits, having ‘slaves’, etc., is bizarre and questionable psychologically in multiple ways.

    I once knew a guy who was very PC, very into all the usual PC ‘progressive’ political stuff. He even volunteered at a homeless shelter and with a youth group. If you met him, you’d say he came across as mild mannered, ‘intellectual’, the kind of guy who when he sits down automatically languidly crosses his legs. But he had dark side. He would routinely post ads for ‘slaves’, and he was obsessed with having his own ‘slaves’, who he liked to beat and humiliate. I’m sorry if I’m offending some of you, but that’s effed up. This is not a simple harmless fetish. This is a serious psychological disorder. And I distrust any guy or woman who is into it. Hardcore S&M enthusiast are even more effed up. IMO that’s a sexual paraphilia on par with beastiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, the most extreme and psychologically disturbed ‘fetishes’ known, and are usually big, red warning flags signifying an individuals psychological disturbance and instability. But when you casually meet people into sh*t like this, they can come across as very average, even meek, harmless. I find it all very creepy and disturbing on so many levels.

  34. Paul R says

    @Rat: I fully agree. Most of the visuals at Folsom Street are harmless, with people getting spanked being about the worst I can recall aside from people who like to be taped to street lights or something absurd that appeals to few people. It’s essentially a commercial event now, with endless booths of vendors selling stupid things. But the entertainment (bands) can be good.

    I can’t imagine wanting a slave. I’m trying to imagine it, and I have a vivid imagination. But it goes nowhere with that one. I’m letting a straight guy stay at my place for free, and he walks my dog and cleans my house and buys food, and that seems like enough. Even were he gay, I wouldn’t expect more of him, much less abuse him.

  35. johnny says

    As a culture, we’re bound to eventually grow up. From my standpoint, that means eventually things like the Folsom Street Fair will fade away. Let’s face it: there’s no shock value in it any more, so the “rough leather trade” thing is probably going to stop being exciting soon, even for those participating. The only thing that is bothersome is: what on earth will replace such crap?

    Now, for those who think I’m some holier-than-thou queen clutching my pearls in disgust, I’ve experienced just about every imaginable part of that “lifestyle” and ended up realizing I was truly disgusted with all of it.

    Like it or not, Ratbastard is right. At it’s core, when leather becomes a way of life, it’s really a psychological disorder disguised as fetish. Fetish is something that is used during sex play to heighten an experience, not something that you live in 24/7, expose the general public to on a weekly basis and decide you need to “own” people or be “owned” by them. Sorry, people, that’s a sickness.

    And yes, this is the real johnny, not someone posting under my name.

  36. UFFDA says

    Owning a slave sounds cool, so retro. Making Dan Savage lick my boots…shiver. Leather pants made of walrus hide, whipped with cream, Tide with soap, Folsom could be fulsome.

  37. Michaelandfred says

    Hysterical how its usually single, or habitually single, people who tell those in long term relationships how what they are doing will never last. My husband and I, of 27 years, have lived and travelled and partied all over the world, meeting hundreds, thousands of couples in long term relationships. THE single common thread running through all of them, from different countries and cultures and ethnicities, is that they have created a set of rules and perameters that have been created specifically for the two of them. Based in honesty, love and the needs of their individual relationship.

    NOT some fabricated, one size fits all fantasy of what a relationship should be based on romantic novels or romantic comedies.

  38. says

    the most fascinating thing about the comments-section in Dan Savage thread are…..the comments that speak more about a personal beef with Savage, than the content of his words.

    Savage and his husband have found something that works for them.

    It’s not his fault that some of you haven’t found what works for you.

    Wishing him ill won’t make your own lives better, nor will it make his life worse. You can’t drink poison and wait for it to kill someone else, you know.

    Savage raises valid questions about how our culture treats SEX – judge the parents who attend Folsom, together, but don’t judge the parents who…for the sake of argument, spend weekends firing guns together. Just as an example. See what I mean?

    He’s challenging the knee-jerk reactions people have long held in regards to human sexuality. It’s massively ironic – the folks in direst need of digesting Savage’s human take on understanding sexuality are too dedicated to disliking him to listen

    Oh well. not my mess.

  39. says

    Well said, Michaelandfred.

    Single people love to tell people who’ve been in a relationship for years how it will never last because of something trivial like, horrors, seeing some leather men and women on the street. Imagine!
    Those who are freaked out by a fetish event and fear going to one will destroy a decades-old relationship should stay home and worry about their own lives.

    @Zeta: I think it’s common knowledge that different people are different.

  40. FanzyPantz says

    Any gay man who says they work out for themselves and not what others think is lying to himself. And to everyone else. There’s more wrong with pretending that isn’t why you’re doing it than just admitting it and seeming shallow. Who cares if you’re shallow? I think it’s natural to want to be admired. But let’s not pretend that isn’t why you’re doing it. One does not have to be a jacked gym bunny to be “healthy.”

    The only problem I have with Folsom is that somehow we are supposed to accept that as part of the larger gay culture. I don’t. By all means, go get fisted in broad daylight if you want, but don’t argue it’s part of “who we are.” It isn’t. And I’m not going out of my way to defend or promote it. To each their own. But an attack on Folsom is not an attack on gays or an attack on our movement.

  41. Bobby says

    Bottom line is this, it is none of anyone’s business what anyone else does inside or out of their marriage. It’s between the people who are married, period. I know many heterosexual couples who are married and who “swing” or have strange fetishes and I don’t judge them so I’m not about to judge a gay couple for the same thing.

  42. FanzyPantz says

    @little kiwi: Can I get the cliff notes? I’m not opening an unknown webpage to read someone else’s blog.

  43. anon says

    There’s almost an entire alternative reality of sex that mainstream culture does not normally witness. I’m not talking about the activities, I’m talking about the mental states and attitudes. You can get a glimpse of it on tumblr and flickr. It’s much larger than Folsom, Dory or IML, so it’s not going away even if those events do. It would be naive to think what’s going on at Folsom is a proper gauge of this separate world.

  44. Rrhain says

    @anon: I feel sorry for someone who feels they get to dictate what other people should feel. Clearly, you haven’t really paid attention to Savage’s writings or even to my very post to which you decided to respond.

    Hint: Not everybody holds the same opinion about what constitutes “commitment.”

    Bigger hint: Sex is not the same as love.

  45. FanzyPantz says

    @Rrhain: “Sex is not the same as love.” To your own point, not everybody holds the same opinion about that either.

  46. Rrhain says

    @FanzyPantz: And again, you seemingly haven’t paid attention to anything Savage has said or even my own post that started this mess:

    If you and your partner are of the opinion that your commitment to each other includes sexual fidelity, then you go right ahead and do that. I don’t know how much clearer I can make that statement.

    However, just because you and your partner feel that way doesn’t mean everybody else does. And it is inappropriate for any of us to tell another couple that “it ain’t gonna last” simply because they don’t follow the same rules regarding sex that we do.


    I HAVE BEEN PARTICIPATING AT SEATTLE’S Stranger [use of profanity in commentary makes the production of commentary easier]. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH, Dan Savage – I MAY BUY HIS BOOK.