Savage Love: Sluts 'n Stuff 

Dear Dan —

Why am I such a slut?

— Girl, Corrupted

Are you a slut?

Or are you a woman who loves sex, has a high libido, and has consensual sex with a lot of willing and grateful partners? Those are all traits for which culture wouldn't conspire to leave you feeling conflicted or compelled to slap a pejorative label on yourself—if you were a dude, gay or straight.

Don't buy into the sexist double standards, GC. So long as your sex life isn't negatively impacting your relationship(s), your health, your friendships, your family life, your classwork, or your career, GC, you aren't doing anything wrong. Don't let shitty, sexist people make you feel like you have to slap a shitty, sexist label on yourself for the crime of enjoying sex while female.

Have fun out there, GC, be thoughtful, be safe, be considerate of the feelings of others and of your own. And remember: What works for you now—slutting around in the sex-positive/reclaiming-the-shit-out-of-that-word sense, i.e., a lot of healthy and rewarding sex, a lot of happy sex partners—may not work for you always. Don't look back on this part of your life with shame or regret if or when you elect to downsize your sex life, i.e., less sex, fewer sex partners/a lot of sex, one sex partner. Do what's right for you, eliminate the risks that can be eliminated, mitigate the risks that can't be eliminated, and don't worry about what other people think.

Dear Dan —

I am a 24-year-old gay man living in a major urban center. My question has to do with etiquette. One of my very good friends—I'll call him Jerry—helped me out of a huge jam last summer. I received notice that I had to vacate my apartment while I was overseas, and Jerry volunteered to pack up my stuff and put it into storage. Needless to say, I am extremely grateful, as Jerry has saved me a huge amount of money and hassle. Recently, though, I was house-sitting for Jerry while he was on vacation, and I found some intimate items of mine—a cock ring and a bottle of lube—that I thought had been lost in the move. In the interest of full disclosure, me and Jerry have fooled around before, but I find the fact that he took these items very strange, and I don't really know what to do. Do I confront Jerry about the items, or just leave them as "payment" for helping me move? Or should I just take them back without saying anything?

— Unsure In Canada

P.S. Your work is one of the big reasons I was able to come out to my friends and family in eighth grade. I just wanted to thank you.

Two gay men living in the same city—two gay men with similar sexual interests (including an interest in each other)—could wind up owning two identical bottles of lube and a pair of identical cock rings. It's unlikely, of course, and it's even less likely that Jerry owns the exact same lube and cock ring as the lube and cock ring of yours that went missing when Jerry packed your place up. But seeing as Jerry helped you out of a jam, UIC, you should repay his kindness by either giving him the benefit of the doubt or turning a blind eye to what amounts to a little harmless perving. Lube isn't that expensive, and that cock ring wasn't from Tiffany's—or was it?—so replacing them isn't going to ruin you.

P.S. Thanks for the very sweet postscript!

P.P.S. Assuming Jerry didn't leave your intimate items out in plain view, UIC, that means you snooped. If you have the kind of friendship with Jerry where you can confront him about his theft, admit to your snooping, and have a laugh about it—and maybe put the lube and cock ring to good use—leave him a cheeky note in the drawer where you found your intimate items.

Dear Dan —

Is drag done by cisgender straight men for "humor" problematic? I thought drag was mostly about humor. I am acquainted with a bi trans woman who thinks this is offensive, and at risk of further offending her, I haven't asked why. Maybe you know? Haven't we come a long way if straight men are comfortable enough with their sexualities to dress as women?

— Not Feeling Offended

"Freedom means freedom for everyone," as a huge asshole once said. That means straight guys who want to do drag are free to do drag, NFO, and bi trans women who want to take offense are free to take offense.

For the record: Good/funny/subversive drag is a burlesque on what it means to be male, not a denigration of what it means to be female. And while gay men seem to have an innate affinity for drag, there are straight guys out there who do it and do it right.

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