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Love & sex > Savage Love

Family trouble

Don't let those family members grind you down

MT Illustration: Robert Ullman
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More from Dan Savage

Getting cuckold feet (10/6/2010)
Jealous lovers, screaming partners and a noble online project

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Hope for the future (9/22/2010)
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Published 7/22/2009

Q: I'm a straight guy, and my first girl was very experienced — she was proud to say she'd been with at least 30 guys before me. When all was said and done, she said that I was the most well-endowed of any man she'd seen before.

In all my subsequent experiences, the women I've been with have noted that I am a well-equipped dude, though none of them expected it. A couple of times, this fact has come up in conversation (that first lady made a point of passing this news on to friends), and most people's reaction is to say that I'm just so unassuming that they wouldn't expect that from me. It's true; I'm rather shy. When it comes to women, I am the complete opposite of cocky.

So here's my question: Should I be advertising my "gift"? Am I supposed to be sharing my size with the world with the hopes that it pays off? Can it help me with the opposite sex to be sharing this fact early, or am I better off just letting the surprise kick in once it's time to get naked? —Huge Hugh

A: It's better to be a nice, unassuming guy with a surprise in his briefs than it is to be another douchebag always going on about his cock, HH. And it doesn't sound like you really need to talk up your cock: At least one of the women you've slept with is doing that for you. Good word-of-mouth is the best advertising, HH, so chill.


Q:
I just got off the phone after another long-distance fight — I mean discussion — with my mother regarding her godson, my cousin "A." I am sure (and my brother and father agree) that A is gay, like his dad (long story). He talks incessantly about finding A Nice Christian Girl and Settling Down (although he doesn't even date). It makes me want to vomit. Unfortunately, A has absorbed his mother's reactionary religious dogma. I say he should get some therapy and try to have a happy and fulfilled life as the person he really is. My mother says he is "asexual." I say he was scarred by his childhood (his father left his mother for a man and later died of AIDS). This argument has been going on for a decade.

I'm not close enough to anyone in my extended family to feel comfortable bringing this up with my cousin directly or with any of his immediate relatives, but I feel miserable watching from afar and seeing A waste his potential for happiness. What I want (and the source of the basic argument) is for my mother to talk to him — she and A are very close — but she is convinced that he is "just not interested" in sex.

Can you think of any loving way to resolve this? —Wishes There Could Be An Intervention

A: Want an intervention? Stage one yourself. Intervene already and stop trying to make your mother do it. If you're not close to your cousin or your extended family, WTCBAI, then you have nothing to lose. Confront your cousin, make a scene, save a life.


Q:
I am a 21-year-old bisexual female. I've never really been close with my mum, and since I moved away from home three years ago, it's gotten worse. I know that she loves me because I'm her daughter, but I don't think she likes the young adult I'm growing into. Yet she insists I visit her and stay at her house for weeks when I have time off from college so she can talk me out of liking anything she hates. When I'm with my friends, I'm quite witty and outgoing, particularly about sex. But when I stay with her, my personality becomes crippled and stunted by her authority. I seem to just end up not saying anything at all for fear of offending her. Last year I stupidly told her that I like watching porn, now it's something that she's always bringing up. For example, I got into a conversation with her about a recent breakup and asked her if all men were like my cheating ex. She told me that she thought his cheating was my fault — because I watch porn, she said, I must have been sending out subliminal messages that I approve of women being sexually exploited.

She raised me to be a feminist, but I can't bring myself to ask her if she would kick up this much of a fuss if I were a 21-year-old man who watched porn. I don't know what to do to make her happy, short of having some sort of aversion therapy. I feel really conflicted: Away from my mother, I feel like a confident, empowered young woman in my social life and my sex life; when I'm with her, I feel like this mute, angry, introverted little victim.

I know exactly what I'd do if this were a relationship, but how should I resolve a difficult mother-daughter relationship? —Can I Dump My Mother?

A: If hanging out with your mother makes you miserable, CIDMM, don't hang out with your fucking mother. You're a 21-year-old adult — not a young adult, not someone "growing into" adulthood, but an adult already — and you're in no way obligated to spend all of your free time under your mother's roof. Head off with your friends over college breaks, travel, watch porn. (Or better yet: Make some porn — see thestranger.com/hump for details!) Head home for the holidays if you must. And since your mother is inclined to use the details of your personal life that you share with her against you, don't tell her anything about your personal life. Visit with your mother when you're home, don't let her depose you.


Q:
Could you tell me what the fuck is the deal with those "Jonas" Brothers? I mean, really: They look like three shrimps! —What's The Appeal?

A:I don't know what the deal is with the Jonas Brothers either, WTA, but I'm not an 11-year-old girl, so I don't think I'm supposed to see the appeal of the Jonas Brothers.

I don't think it's legal for me to see their appeal.

And this probably wouldn't be legal, but they would sell a lot of DVDs: I think the Jonas Brothers should lose their hyped-and-pimped virginities to the Hanson Brothers. It's not just the perverse symmetry of it all that appeals — two boy-bands-of-brothers coming together — but that the Jonas Brothers are now what the Hanson Brothers were then, and the Hanson Brothers are now what the Jonas Brothers are destined to become. They were made — manufactured — for each other. They belong together. A Hanson-Jonas six-way would bring the country together.


Q:
Help me figure this one out: Why are men such douche-drizzling ass-holes? —Wish I Ate Pussy Instead

A: The only reason you think men are assholes — douche-drizzlers at that — is because you fuck men, WIAPI, and so it's men who have hurt your feelings and fucked you over. If you ate pussy, you'd be fucking women and women would be stomping on your heart and you'd quickly come to hate women. And if you were a straight man, you'd be complaining about women; and if you were a fag, you'd be complaining about men; and if you were bisexual, you'd be complaining about everyone and everything.

So try to have some perspective and cut men some slack and hang in there, OK? They drizzle douche, for sure. But so do you — so do we all.

Download the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Send letters to mail@savagelove.net.

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