I visited Halifax, Nova Scotia, last week—for my geographically illiterate fellow Americans, Halifax is the biggest city on Canada's Atlantic coast—to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Coast, Halifax's kick-ass alternative weekly newspaper. The paper brought me to town to do Savage Love Live. I took questions for two hours in the auditorium of a brand-new Halifax high school that has a full bar. (First you have socialized medicine, and then marriage equality, and now bars in high schools—what's not to love about Canada? Oh, right: Stephen Harper, tar sands, porn laws.) The place was packed, the audience was rowdy, and things got dirty. Here's a selection of Halifax's questions and my answers . . .
QCurrent celebrity crush?
AJorge Mario Bergoglio.
QMy boyfriend broke up with me ten times over the last two years. But this time, he says he's committed. Am I stupid?
AYou may or may not be stupid (impossible to tell from a short question written on a green index card), but you do meet a popular-if-somewhat-annoying-but-sometimes-eerily-accurate definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again—doing this boyfriend of yours over and over again—and expecting different results. Tell him this chance is his last, and don't take him back a 12th time.
QMy partner is obsessed with Shania. He's gay. Is this normal?
AIt's gay normal. Sometimes it's a Shania, sometimes it's a Cher, sometimes it's a Gaga or a Madonna or a Rihanna. My gay husband is currently obsessed with a Katy Perry. Maybe you and I should start a support group?
QAnal rose budding videos—your reaction?
QMarried straight lady. My husband recently told me that he is bisexual. I couldn't imagine something hotter! But he is also extremely monogamous. Suggestions? I want to have fun with this!
AStrap-ons—like the ones they sell at Venus Envy, Halifax's education-oriented sex shop and bookstore—are fun. Or, hey, you could push your husband to adopt the "gay normal" definition of monogamy: if you two have threesomes only with each other and one additional hot bi guy, then all your threesomes are extremely monogamous.
QI'm a kinky, poly guy who meets awesome kinky, poly girls on the Internet. Everything is great, except I never know when or if to go in for a first kiss. With my girlfriend, it took me six months to build up the courage! Thanks!
ANone of the kinky, poly girls I've met in Seattle, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Madison, Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago, etc, are what you would call shy. So I bet if you told the kinky, poly girls of Halifax during your premeeting, Internet-enabled conversations that you prefer to let the KPGs you're with make the first move—including going in for that first kiss—you won't have to worry about making the first move.
QWill you tell us about your first sexual experience?
QIs it weird that I, the girl, want to have sex more than my boyfriend?
QIs it inappropriate for me to flirt and attempt to have an affair with a married coworker?
AYep. Affairs with married coworkers are hot in theory and messy in practice. I would urge you to be careful—and considerate. Maybe this guy is dying to cheat on his wife, maybe he's looking for someone to cheat with, but if you sense that he really, really wants to stay faithful and your flirtatious attentions are (1) torture for him but (2) harder and harder to resist, do him, his wife, and your karma a favor and go fuck someone else.
QWhat ground rules should be set for a friends-with-benefits situation?
AThe most important ground rule: be friends. Too many people are pointedly unfriendly to their FWBs because they don't want their FWBs "getting the wrong idea," i.e., they don't want their FWBs to think they might be interested in something more serious. The result? Lots of FWB situations are all B and no F. No friendly gestures (friends sometimes give each other gifts), no friendly assistance (friends sometimes help each other move), no friendly concern (friends are there for each other during a crisis). Don't want your FWB to get the wrong idea about your intentions? Use your words to tell your FWB that a serious romance isn't in the cards. Then make a good-faith effort to be a friend to your FWB.
QHow can I go about financial domination in a smart way? (I'm a 19-year-old girl and I'm looking to dom.)
AMost men who submit to financial domination—making cash gifts to a dom—expect a little something in return: some attention, some pictures, maybe a Skype session now and then. Be warned: once your images are out there, they're out there. And an angry, vindictive "sub" might post your pictures online, or a careless sub could lose his computer and someone else could steal and post your photos or web chats.
QAny plans to retire?
AGive up an advice column? No way. It's too sweet a gig. They'll have to pry my column from my cold, dead hands just like they pried Ann Landers's column from hers.
QHow do I make cum taste better?
A "Cum" is not a word. We don't have three-letter alternate spellings for other four-letter words that have sexual and nonsexual meanings. You wouldn't write "I know this guy who sucks and he's a mean dick, but he's so fucking hot, I want to suk his dik." So there's no need to misspell "come" to give it a sexual connotation. The proper spelling works just fine. But in answer to your question: come is an acquired taste. No one likes Guinness the first time they drink it, right? But soon you're happily knocking back pints of the stuff. Same goes for come.
QMy partner is a neat freak and a control freak in everyday life, but in bed she's a whore. Is this normal?
ANope, but it sounds awesome—dirty sex is always more fun in a spotlessly clean apartment.
QIs it true that some men like a finger in the butt during a blow job?
AIt is true that some men like a finger in the butt during a blow job. Some men like two fingers, some like more. Some men like it in the butt generally. How to determine if the man you're blowing likes a finger in the butt? Take his dick out of your mouth and ask.
QWhat's the best place to make love?
AIn the butt. (Individual results may vary.)
Thanks, Halifax, for such a great evening. And congrats to Kyle and Christine and everyone at the Coast on 20 great years!
Download the Savage Lovecast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.