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Savage Love


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I'm a 23-year-old single black female. I live alone with a cat. I have no "real" friends, just acquaintances. The last time I had a date was 1995, the last time I got laid was back in 1993. It's 1999 and I'm beginning to think there's something wrong with me.

I'm not ugly. I'm almost five feet, and 108 pounds. Women are always telling me how jealous they are because of my naturally long fingernails and almond-shaped eyes. But when guys come up to me and try to "get my digits," I get more than turned off: I get violently angry. Mentally I know they just want to know me better, but emotionally I feel as if it's a violation of my privacy.

I am not afraid of relationships. Fear has nothing to do with my problem. It's men that trouble me. Everything they do, say, are, think, look like, feel like, and smell like disgusts me. I don't understand the desire women have for men. Men are great, don't get me wrong, but I can't force myself to become romantically involved with something I don't find attractive in any way.

The problem is this: I don't find anyone attractive. What does this mean? Am I doomed to a life without love?

I don't know if the "bliss" I feel right now from my complete isolation will become a deep depression in time. I don't have the answers and wonder if you can point me in the right direction. --Girl Meets Boy

It's not often I recommend a shrink, but in your case I'm going to make an exception: GMB, you need to get yourself to a head doctor. It's one thing to live alone in blissful isolation; it's quite another to be friendless and violently angry at any man who expresses an interest in you. Reading your letter, I got the sneaking feeling that more is at stake for you during your interactions with men than the simple enjoyment of your solitude. The anger you feel is out of proportion to the offense, and your disgust with men and everything they're about seems, oh, a teensy-weensy bit psychotic.

You're 23 and haven't had sex for six years. That would make you 17 the last time you had sex, and I assume your last time wasn't your first. If you were sexually active in your early teens, and the sex was unpleasant or the men left you feeling used, perhaps you harbor some, oh, unresolved anger. A shrink might help you get to the bottom of your hatred of all things male, and while you may not come to like men any better, with some help you might find some peace about being alone.

Finally, you could be a dyke. Being a dyke isn't about hating men, but if you don't find men the least bit attractive, and you never have, perhaps you're a big ol' dyke and you just haven't realized it yet. With a little help you may discover that it's women you want to give your digits to (and sink your digits into). On the upside, if you're a dyke, you'll get to keep your cat. On the downside, you'll have to cut your fingernails.

I'm a 24-year-old gay man who is a little traumatized. Recently I met a man who was my ideal man: great job, great looking, personable, and a raging bottom.

I went over to his place for a date. I assumed we wouldn't have sex, but we started to get into it. I didn't bring any condoms, and he didn't have any, so we couldn't do "the deed." There are many other things we could do that were hot, and I tried everything short of riding him bareback (I won't do that), but he was really disappointed about not getting fucked. His disappointment turned me off, and I couldn't get myself to come. So we stroked ourselves in silence, he came, and I gave up.

Now he won't return my calls. I can't shake the feeling that I underperformed and that I just couldn't keep his interest. I've never walked away from a sexual situation where the person was not at least satisfied, if not completely rocked. Normally I'd be like, "Whatever." But it's different this time because I really liked this guy! What could I have done differently? --Blue Balls

What are you so traumatized about? You met a guy, you went on a date, you had sex, and he turned out to be an asshole. Whether you realize it or not, by not returning your phone calls your "ideal man" is doing you a favor. If he was upset when you wouldn't fuck him without a condom--upset enough to sulk through what could have been a perfectly delightful consolation wank--then he wasn't the guy you thought he was. Stop wasting time wondering what you did wrong and thank your lucky stars he showed his true colors on your first date and not after you wasted weeks or months on him.

What could you do differently? Well, you could redefine your concept of "ideal man." The first traits you cite as making this guy "ideal" are his job and his looks. There are a lot of great-looking guys out there with great jobs who happen to be great big assholes. I'm not saying that looks and career shouldn't be considerations in mate selection, but they shouldn't outweigh other, more important considerations, like a pleasant disposition or a brain.

I am in my mid-20s, and while I flirt with poverty, I have a respectable and comfortable one-bedroom apartment. The problem is my dad's visits with his girlfriend. When he comes to town, I don't want to make him spend $100-$200 per night for a hotel room. At the same time, I feel really awkward about him and his girlfriend staying in my bed. A couple of times they've stayed in my apartment while I went to a student hostel. I didn't mind being displaced as much as I minded the thought of what was going on in my bed. Once I stayed on the sofa while they had my bedroom, but it was too much and I ended up imposing myself on a very understanding friend.

Talking to my circle of friends, they all agreed that it was too weird or disgusting to have a parental unit copulating in their offspring's sleeping space. I told my dad how I felt and asked him how he would feel if I had my girlfriend over and we stayed in his bed. He took it as a rude comment and now the situation isn't discussed. While I've had other couples stay in my bed, I don't seem to mind as long as it's not my father. Am I being selfish? --Pothead

Yes, you're being selfish, but so what? It's your apartment, and you have an absolute right to decide who gets laid at your place and who doesn't. Don't like to see your dad as a sexual being? Don't want his girlfriend soakin' your mattress? Don't approve of premarital sex? Well, speak up, sonny. Remember that "while you're under my roof you'll live under my rules" line of crap your parents fed you as a kid? Now it's your turn to feed dad that same line of crap. If dad bangin' his girlfriend on your mattress goobs you out, he'll just have to get a hotel room, won't he?

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

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