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Savage Love

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Hey, Faggot:

What is the correct preposition to be used after the word "masturbate"? Does one masturbate "to," "at," "about," "on," or "of" someone or something? I was composing a steamy note to someone and I wrote the following sentence: "I masturbated to you last night." It almost sounds like I meant to send some sort of communication signal by my actions. It's hard not to sound too academic/syrupy/wordy (i.e., I masturbated to my mental image of you last night). None of my dictionaries or grammar references were any help. Which do you think is best? --JW

Hey, JW:

You masturbate "to" porn videos, "on" someone who is lying underneath you, "at" a specific location, and "about" a person, place, or thing. You may think "of" someone while you masturbate, but you don't masturbate "of" them--you masturbate about them.

So, it goes like this: "Last night I masturbated to Jeff Stryker's latest, at home, on my boyfriend, but I was thinking of you the whole time--it was you I was masturbating about."

Hey, Faggot:

I'm a 27-year-old straight girl with an orgasm problem. Orgasms are great, and I can definitely have them with myself, and sometimes with others, but I had a bad experience with an old boyfriend. If it took "too long" to make me come, he would get frustrated and angry with me and claim that I didn't love him enough. I never knew what his frustration threshold was, so I got nervous and it was harder to come, so I ended up saying that it didn't matter, that it felt good anyway and he shouldn't bother. He didn't. I dumped him.

Now I am starting to date much nicer people, but I find that this still makes me nervous. I feel like they get frustrated and don't enjoy themselves if it takes too long for me to come. They deny this, but I can tell it's true. I'm even tempted to "fake it," although this seems stupid. So: Am I destined to only be orgasmic during masturbation, or what?

--Pleasure Girl

Hey, PG:

Is it polite for you to assume that the nice guys you're dating now are as selfish, abusive, and all-around asshole-ish as your not-so-nice last boyfriend? No, it isn't. You need to relax and give these nice young men the benefit of the doubt. If they say they're having fun, they probably are. If they're getting "frustrated" or making you feel like the clock is ticking, dump them immediately--you don't need that shit in your life anymore.

And don't freak out if it takes you a little while longer to come than your boyfriends. Women generally do need more time, and any man who can't deal with that fact doesn't deserve the orgasm you're providing him. Sometimes it can be "frustrating" for a person who's already had his orgasm to keep working on hers (his), but it is his duty, and ought to be his pleasure.

Hey, Faggot:

My boyfriend has recently become fixated on my anus. My anus enjoys stimulation as much as the next erogenous zone, but not all the time. He's also very well endowed, and it can be a bit painful. It seems as if he would rather go "there" than encounter the softness of my womanness. Should I be concerned about his sexuality? He says once my vagina becomes wet it's not as pleasurable, which sounds like a justification for his anal fixation. Don't get me wrong--we have great sex, but I prefer vaginal intercourse to anal. Isn't my love box enough to get his rocks off? --Given the Slip

Hey, GTS:

Apparently not.

As for his "sexuality," if by this comment you mean "Does my boyfriend's fixation on my anus mean he's gay?" then you need to understand this: being gay is not about being fixated on anuses. It's not like we wake up one day and say to ourselves, "Hey, I'm gay! I want me some butt! Boy butt, girl butt, dog butt, sheep butt--any ol' butt will do! I'm gay, gay, gay!" You're a girl. He wants your girl butt. Gay men don't like girl butt--they like boy butt.

Hey, Faggot:

I am a straight 29-year-old male who would like to reduce the amount of body hair I have (legs, arms, chest). Is trimming an acceptable alternative to shaving? Is this too obvious? It's just too thick to be attractive, but I don't want to be a slick, greasy shaved-boy either. Any suggestions? --DTB

Hey, DTB:

Trimming is perfectly acceptable--preferable, in my opinion, to shaving. Buy yourself a professional-quality hair clipper with different-length attachments. Trim your arm, leg, and chest hair to a quarter or half inch in length--leave enough so the hair lays flat. Trimmed body hair that lays flat feels nice; trimmed body hair that sticks straight out feels stubbly, and no one will want to rub up against you.

Hey, Everybody:

Here's an interesting little bit of a letter I recently received. The writer, DF, is upset that I didn't print his letter the first time he sent it to me, and so he sent it again, this time with the following postscript:

"PS: I originally sent you this letter in good faith to spark a meaningful debate among your readers. I'm sending this again as a final test of your courage and objectivity, although I don't think that you would print all of it, because I suspect that you are just a phony, oversensitive dimwit who can't take criticism in its entirety and print this whole letter. If you still decide to employ censorship against my letter, and since I'm against the fascism that goes with censorship and the intolerance of ideas different from the authorities (in this case, you are "the authorities"), I do plan to circulate this letter on my own around the city, and some of its most favorite hangouts, to show your readers what you're really all about."

DF's letter was in response to some advice I gave, and I was unable to run it for a number of reasons: it was too long, it was too late, and it was too clueless. I run responses when they're timely, when I think they have some merit, and when I have the space. Including a threatening postscript, or an if-you-had-any-balls-you'd-run-my-letter sign-off--as so many of my dear readers do--doesn't factor in to the equation. A threat will not move you to the front of the queue. If it did, I would run nothing but letters that included threats, which would get very dull very quickly.

DF, if you're reading this, please know that you are not the only writer I've "censored." I get about a hundred letters a week and can only use three or four. As none of the papers that run my column are willing to devote their entire editorial space to it, I am forced to "censor" 97 or so people every week. So don't feel picked on. Feel free to distribute your letter as widely as you can though--despite my best efforts, it's still a free country.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.

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