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I’m a gay man getting off on homophobic porn. Is there something wrong with me?
by Dan Savage
I am a twenty-five-year-old gay man. I consider myself very gay-positive and self-accepting. Although I have always accepted my homosexuality and never really felt bad about it, recently I have been going through a hard time psychologically because I’m exposing myself to very graphic homophobic online content. There are blogs, online groups, and websites that cater to gay men who like to be abused and degraded by “straight” men. These websites have content that is extremely degrading. Some people write extensively about how all gay rights should be rolled back.
I am very disturbed because I am actually aroused by content that shows supposedly straight men degrading gay men. I have spent hours reading these homophobic posts and staring at graphic homophobic pictures, and I always come away feeling disturbed, insecure, and unhappy. But when I’m horny, I go right back. The worst feeling comes from knowing that a lot of those people don’t seem to recognize it as just a fantasy, but instead believe in the homophobic views they express.
I was never disturbed by BDSM-type fantasies or BDSM porn, as it never seemed to be related to homophobia at all. But this type of dom/sub thing is very disturbing, as people don’t seem to be “just playing” and it is playing with a real-world violent and powerful hate ideology. Is it okay for me to just view this as another harmless fantasy or is this something I need to control or get help dealing with? Secondly, are the people who contribute, participate in, and produce such gay-bashing sexualized content just indulging in a version of acceptable BDSM/kink or is it dangerous to use a prevalent hate ideology in sex play?
— Not An Inferior Faggot
You’re not inferior, NAIF, and you’re not alone.
In fact, you have lots of horny soul mates out there — think of strong feminist women with rape fantasies, think of faithful Jews with Nazi fetishes, think of empowered African Americans who get off on master/slave role-play scenes. And think of all the gay men out there turned on by those vaguely threatening male archetypes. I mean, come on: all those cliché gay male sex symbols — truckers, skinheads, marines, cops, firemen, gangbangers — don’t exactly represent the kinds of people or professions that have historically been associated with tolerance.
A person can safely explore degrading fantasies — even fantasies rooted in “hate ideology” — so long as he/she is capable of compartmentalizing this stuff. Basically, you have to build a firewall between your fantasies and your self-esteem. (And, just as importantly, between your fantasies and your politics.) Once you do that, NAIF, you’ll be able to enjoy your “straight men abusing fags” fantasies without feeling devastated immediately after you come. In fact, successfully building that firewall and then enjoying your fantasies without shame can leave you feeling stronger and more empowered for having these fantasies in the first place. Call it the sub’s paradox: a D/s sub who can enjoy his fantasies without being shredded by them is in control, not being controlled — regardless of how things might appear to a casual or misinformed observer.
But it doesn’t sound like you’ve been able to build that firewall yet, NAIF, due to feelings of shame rooted in a perceived disconnect between the person you know yourself to be — a proud gay man — and the scenarios that make your dick hard. But there is no disconnect, NAIF. You don’t really hate yourself any more than the feminist with rape fantasies really wants to be raped or the Jewish guy with Nazi fantasies really believes that Germans are the master race. (Could a people who routinely wear sandals with socks be the master race? No, they could not.) It might help if you reminded yourself of that before, during, and after you rub one out — it also might help if a sex-positive counselor reminded you of that during some regular sessions over a period of months.
You know what else might help? Finding a nice, out, proud gay man who gets off on this shit, too, NAIF, a guy who wants to explore these degradation fantasies with you in real time — safely, respectfully, and consensually. Cuddling after a hot, crazy, kinky D/s sex session with the “straight” guy who five minutes ago was “degrading” you for being a “worthless faggot” — and then getting dressed and going out to grab some fro-yo and chat about Glee — would go a long way toward helping you see your fantasies as something that brought intimacy, companionship, and connection into your life, instead of self-loathing and self-recrimination.
But don’t start exploring your fantasies with a boyfriend until that firewall is well under construction, NAIF, okay?
Three months ago, I started a fuck-buddy relationship with an old friend. As we are both not seeking a serious romance, I thought it would be a good idea. My assumption was that the relationship was “open.” But when I asked him how he’d feel about me dating another guy, he got defensive and said that if I fucked other guys, he would “never” sleep with me again. I asked him if he was sleeping with other girls, and he said no. I don’t know whether to be happy (he likes me enough to be monogamous) or freaked (at his leotarded communication style). I do have feelings for him, and the sex is progressing from good to great. Any advice would be helpful.
— Confused Canadian Chick
I would advise you to have a convo about upgrading your frequent-fucker cards from fuck-buds silver to boyfriend/girlfriend gold. The latter designation gets closer to the facts on the ground: you have feelings for him, he has feelings for you (however poorly articulated), the sex is great, the relationship is exclusive. You two may not have been seeking romance, CCC, but it looks like romance found you.
I’m a straight male in a committed live-in relationship. My girlfriend and I have sex once a week, usually on Saturday mornings. During the week, she is either too tired or too full after dinner. She often says she wants to have sex, but come 9:30 p.m., she’s ready to get in bed and watch TV until she falls asleep. She asks me on a daily basis if I’ve masturbated in her absence. If I say no, she accuses me of lying. She has demanded to smell my hands to see if she can smell lube on them. I resent feeling interrogated and guilt-tripped over this. When I do masturbate, I always clean up after myself and I’m doing it before she gets home or after she’s gone to bed. So, again, why the guilt?
— Browbeating Okay, Meat Beating Another Story Totally
I don’t know who’s crazier, your controlling, psychotic, hand-sniffing girlfriend, BOMBAST, or you, for sticking around and putting up with this bullshit. There’s nothing wrong with having a low libido; it’s not a crime to want sex only once a week. But terrorizing a higher-libido partner about whether or not he is making ends meet by masturbating now and then — and demanding to smell his hands! — is borderline abusive behavior. DTMFA, BOMBAST, and be so kind as to pass this bit of advice on to your soon-to-be ex-girlfriend: if you want a companion animal you can castrate, lady, get a dog. Not a boyfriend, not a husband. A dog.
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