Issue November 13, 2012

Advice: Savage Love

Hug a straight

Q: Reading you over the years has absolutely changed my mind on gay marriage. I wanted to let you know that. I also live in Maryland, and, as you know, we voted last week to allow same-sex couples to legally marry. I was excited I got to vote for marriage equality in my home state, Dan — even I agree it’s fucked up that people get to vote on the civil rights of LGBT people at all. Thanks for all your writing over the years — it’s really made a difference in my love and sex life. And congrats to you and all gay people in the United States for the big wins last week in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington State.
Just Some Straight Guy

A: There’s something I want to say about the votes — and about the voters — in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. But first I want to say this to all my fellow queers: We built this. The breakthroughs we saw last week, which included the election of the first openly gay person to the U.S. Senate (Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin), we made that. LGBT people came out, fought back and changed the world. We have a fuck of a lot left to do, but LGBT people have made tremendous progress. It has gotten better for us because we fought to make it better.

Now here is what I want to say to straight people: Thank you. I know so many straight people in Washington State, where I live, who worked unbelievably hard on the campaign to win marriage equality for their gay and lesbian friends, family members and neighbors.

Gays and lesbians are a tiny percentage of the population. And while we laid the groundwork for the breakthroughs, we didn’t build it on our own. The majorities in the state legislatures in Maine, Maryland and Washington that voted to make same-sex marriage legal? Straight. The governors who signed laws making same-sex marriage legal? Straight. The overwhelming majority of people who voted in favor of marriage equality in all three states after anti-gay bigots forced public votes on our civil rights? Straight. The majority that voted against writing anti-gay bigotry into Minnesota’s state constitution? Straight. And the president who took a huge political risk and came out for marriage equality? Straight. It has gotten better for us — better, not perfect — but it hasn’t gotten better for us in a vacuum. It’s gotten better for us because straight people have gotten better about us.

Rights are rights. They shouldn’t be put up for a vote. And we shouldn’t have to say “thank you” when they’re recognized. But here’s the happy fact: We didn’t have to fight this one alone. Thousands of straight people fought for us. We had help. And that’s what we should thank the straight people for.

Last week on my blog, I floated the idea of having a big party for all the straight people who came through for us. But all those straight people wouldn’t fit in a single ballroom. But we can fit them on a single Tumblr page. Queers, if you know a straight person who donated money, phone-banked, went door-to-door, or took a political risk on our behalf, take your picture with that straight person, write a few words about what they did, and post it to straightupthanks.tumblr.com. Because we literally couldn’t have done it without them.

Q: My wife and I have been together for 20 years. I love to receive oral, but my wife has no interest when I try to return the favor. She claims it does nothing for her. We celebrated Obama’s re-election with a bottle of wine in the bedroom. When I made a move downstairs, she didn’t stop me. However, she said it tickled her like crazy. Is this common? Is there something I can do to make this experience less hilarious for my wife?
What’s So Funny?

A: Some women struggle with hang-ups or body issues that make it difficult for them to relax and enjoy being on the receiving end of oral sex. But some women who don’t struggle with hang-ups or body issues simply don’t enjoy receiving oral sex. If your wife is generally comfortable in her own skin and with her own body, WSF, you may have to take her word for it when she says oral does nothing for her. But if it truly does nothing for her — “nothing” would include “annoy” and “turn off” — maybe she can lie back and enjoy what it does for you.

Find the “Savage Lovecast” (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.