Dan Savage joined Bill Maher on Real Time Friday night to talk about what people are asking the “Savage Love” sex columnist while in isolation.
Savage said that the #1 thing people want are permission slips: “People want to carve out an exception that applies just for them, to sneak out of the house, to leave the people there that they’re quarantining with, and go f**k somebody. … And that’s just too risky.”
Savage told Maher that he understands the request because he’s a 50-something man who went through the AIDS crisis and he took risks at that time, but “back then if you went out and took a calculated risk and had anal sex with somebody, you didn’t go home that night and have anal sex with your mother. So the risk was all yours. … [In coronavirus] you’re putting everybody else in your orbit, everybody your sheltering with, at risk as well and that’s not right or fair.”
Savage said that he thinks the stigma attached to online sex is falling away and more and more people are doing it.
“I know cyber sex is not IRL sex it’s not real life sex, it’s not skin to skin contact sex and that is what people need but in the absence of that it kind of is the next best thing,” Savage added. “Cybersex. Sex is in the name. It’s not what you think of when somebody says sex but I still think it counts.”
Maher asked Savage if he thinks we’ll have in-real-life sex again.
“We will have actual sex,” Savage continued. “And, until about a half an hour ago I was going to predict that the golden age of glory holes might return because initial tests showed that there wasn’t virus in semen or vaginal secretions. So if you could carve a hole in the wall and get people together and then power wash that wall with the hole in it between uses maybe people could get together and have sex that way and glory holes would come roaring back and they just wouldn’t be for creepy closeted priests in truck stops anymore.”
“But a new study just out of China actually did find the coronavirus in the semen of people who have recovered from infection,” Savage continued. “So the jury is still out on whether swapping fluids even with people who have recovered from coronavirus is going to be safe.”
“You’re the expert, but I’m gonna pass on the whole glory hole thing,” Maher replied.
Maher went on to ask Savage what’s happening with relationships in quarantine, whether it’s better to be a lonely person or in a couple who are driving each other crazy.
Savage pointed out that China, when quarantine was lifted, didn’t see a baby boom as many had expected, but instead saw a rise in divorces.
“One of the things that makes a relationship work is time apart built into that relationship,” he explained, and couples who have developed that system have suddenly been thrown together and are wrongly interpreting the stress of that situation as a sign their relationship isn’t working.
As for his own relationship, Savage said it works with his husband Terry because they are skilled at being “alone together,” meaning they are in the same room but doing separate things.