Savage Love

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

P.S. Examples of these websites:,, and

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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Commentarium (28 Comments)

Dec 28 11 - 2:15am

I love that the first guy called himsel NAIF... I don't know if he knows what it means in French but it means "naive" or "gullible"... So cute !

Dec 28 11 - 8:38am

Only a faggot would know a word like that. Now suck my cock.

Dec 28 11 - 10:49am

Oooooh, ees funny becossa de letter was about homophobic fetishes! Ooooh, you so funny, meester!

Dec 28 11 - 10:58am

Yes, it was QUITE funny, me. Perhaps you should loosen up and attempt to understand irony and dry humour.

Jan 01 12 - 7:49pm

I resd this article and wondered why some one would be into degrading themselves, but on the other hand have been known to be kinky in bed.... best advice .... get a straight acting boyfriend and degrade him jk.. really though you should look for other sexual outlits

Dec 28 11 - 2:53am
KC did it!

Bombast maybe u suck in bed? It sucks to have to throw it out there like that, but maybe thats why she's not as enthusiatic as u want her to be. As a woman I'm just offering u a plausible reason (cause who doesnt love a good shagging as often as possible)?

Dec 28 11 - 4:36am

Fair enough.... certainly a possibility but why the accusing and the hand-sniffing.....if he was that bad shouldn't she be grateful he takes care of himself ?

Dec 28 11 - 11:36am

There are plenty of people who don't "love a good shagging as often as possible". I've been dating just such a person for some years now. It's crazy, but it's true: All people are not the same. I might prefer to have sex every day and twice on Sundays, but I'm dating a guy who doesn't. The issue isn't skill in bed or the lack thereof, it's about trying to control how someone else shores up the missing bits of sexual desire.

Also, they don't charge us per letter in these comments, so go ahead and spell out "you".

Dec 28 11 - 11:44am

Please. You're asking for correct grammar and spelling from the Nerve audience? Don't waste your keystrokes.

Dec 28 11 - 4:06pm

That's an unfair assumption. My libido is extremely low. In fact if I had to I wouldn't mind never having sex again. I know, hard to beleive but it's true. That, coupled with the fact that I have vaginismus makes it really difficult to have sex very often. But to get crazy over your boyfriend masterbating is totally nonsensical. My boyfriend can masterbate all he wants. It's his dick and he has a high libido I unfortunately can't always handle. Naif's girlfriend is completely batshit.

Dec 29 11 - 3:27pm
KC did it

Jess dont tell me what to do, and RJ-u rock! Rainy I dont know vaginismus is and dont care to look it up, but if u dont like having sex, I dont envy you.

Dec 28 11 - 4:14am

I looked at the blogs provided in letter one. Something about someone excessively posting pictures of half naked men indicating how "straight" there were (as if heterosexuality was quantifiable by appearance alone) just seemed.. I dunno.. kind of gay.

Dec 28 11 - 12:16pm

Yeah, I checked out the tumblrs, and at least those two are 100% made for gay men by gay men.

Dec 28 11 - 3:45pm
hell yeah

couldn't agree more. closeted self-hating gay men for sure.

Dec 29 11 - 10:08am

maybe not self-hating, maybe their kink just plays out like this. People's sexual imaginations are often fueled by tensions in their "formative years", and awakening sexually in a climate of homophobia can easily cause one to fetishize it.

Dec 28 11 - 10:07am

Solution: Take the TV out of the bedroom. If she wants to go to bed at 9:30, it either needs to be to fall asleep, or she has to find something else to do.

Dec 28 11 - 10:59am


Dec 29 11 - 2:38pm
uncle sticky

+1 as well. TV in the bedroom is a known sex killer. You'll frequently see even mainstream relationship advice columnists list this as a top no-no.

Dec 28 11 - 12:53pm

There are things that are hot in theory or in fantasy that in real life would be an absolute turn off. When you fantasize, you have absolute control of the situation. When you watch porn, you choose what is getting you off. There is nothing wrong with that.

Dec 28 11 - 2:17pm

Heck, even some more mundane sex fantasies are a lot better than real fantasies. Sex on the beach? Sounded hot, so I tried it. Damn that sand gets everywhere. Sex in a hot tub? A sexy fantasy but seems impractical.

Dec 28 11 - 3:09pm

it's not impractical ;)

Jan 06 12 - 3:38pm


Dec 28 11 - 1:03pm

Why not have sex before dinner? Like drink some wine, have sex, make dinner and eat food. This isn't rocket science. But, for the record, you still need to break up with her because she's a selfish boring brat.

Dec 29 11 - 7:21am

Hello, Jess.

I appreciate your thinking, articulate use of the language, and impatience with those who use it improperly.

I also observe from your remarks that, on some days of the week, you might appreciate skillful shoring up of your own bits. If you're in or near New York City perhaps I can help fill up your... calendar.

Dec 29 11 - 3:12pm

BOMBAST, have you even tried talking to her about how her actions and comments make you feel??

Dec 30 11 - 2:15am

"Please. You're asking for correct grammar and spelling from the Nerve audience? Don't waste your keystrokes."
This makes me so sad. Nerve used to have an abundence of literary merit. I guess everything fades over time.

Dec 31 11 - 4:07pm

The woman who wants to smell his hands may freak some out - but she sounds like a classic 'Domina' to me. See if she is interested in controlling when and how he masturbates. He gets a thrill with her slight involvement and the unusualness of it and she gets the control that may turn her on enough to want sex more. Not all control-freaks are bad....they can be hot buttons to push. I used to get all turned on imagingin my bf's masturbating. I wanted to catch them at it. Not sure what I would have done if I did, but the thought were hot as fuck.

Jan 10 12 - 11:43pm

It's definitely time for LW#2 to jizz all over his hands, not wash his hands, and when asked, admit to a normal and healthy need to jack off.