Sad Sack

Savage Love 

Sad Sack

Dear Dan:

I'm a straight guy and I'm really into having my balls sucked — it's one of my favorite things and just thinking about it turns me on. But whenever I've had my balls sucked, it hurts, and ball pain is not a kink of mine! It hurts enough to override any pleasure, and I have to tell my partner to stop. Is this normal? Does ball sucking hurt for everyone? Is there something I can do to make it less painful?

She Can't Roughly Osculate Trouser Eggs

The next time you find yourself in an argument with a proponent of "intelligent design," SCROTE, lay this one on 'em...

There's this muscle called the cremaster that attaches a man's balls to his abdominal muscles. When a man is cold, the cremaster contracts, lifting his balls toward his body so those little darlings stay nice and warm; when he's hot, the cremaster relaxes, dropping his balls away from his body, keeping the little darlings cool. Putting this in language the average "intelligent design" proponent can understand: Your cremaster is Goldilocks and your nuts are a delicious-looking bowl of sperm-cell porridge. Cremasterlocks doesn't like sperm-cell porridge that's too hot. Cremasterlocks doesn't like sperm-cell porridge that's too cold. Cremasterlocks likes sperm-cell porridge that's just right.

And here's the cruel twist, SCROTE: Our cremaster muscles don't just contract when we're cold, they also contract when we're aroused. So the better it feels to have your balls sucked, the more turned on you get. The more turned on you get, the more your cremaster contracts. And the more your cremaster contracts, the more it hurts to have your balls sucked!

You can call a system like that a lot of things — crazy painful, deeply ironic — but it can't be called "intelligently designed." (In defense of the cremaster: It's pulling your balls up toward your body so they don't get hurt during intercourse; but if humans are smart enough to create a car that knows when its door is open, then an intelligent designer would be smart enough to create balls that know when they're being sucked, right?)

So the problem here, SCROTE, isn't ball pain, it's muscle strain. And there is something you can do about that.

"This guy should get himself a set of short ball stretchers," said Stephen "Ox" Lane of www.oxballs.com, an online sex shop that specializes in toys for men.

"We have a good selection of ball stretchers, most made of silicone so they are nice and soft. He should get in the tub, soak in warm water, and let his sack relax and sag, then gently put one ring on. Then he can play with his balls for a while, stroking them and his dick, and if everything is feeling good, add another ring."

At least for now, though, Lane doesn't recommend that you leave the ball stretchers on when you come.

"His balls will pull up as he's getting ready to shoot, and that may cause pain," said Lane. "For the time being, he should use his ball stretchers as a warm-up. Over time, his balls will get used to the feeling and his sack will stretch."

And not just your sack, SCROTE, but your cremaster, too. And a slightly looser, more elastic cremaster will mean less painful ball sucking.

Good luck!

Dear Dan:

I'm an 18-year-old male about to head off to college in the fall. I'm not the best-looking guy — skinny, pale, some acne — and I'm afraid that I'm going to be one of those college freshmen who aren't getting laid. What can I do to help make my potential college sex life better? I'm a smooth-talking guy in some ways, Mr. Dan, but it doesn't work a majority of the time and I don't understand why.

College-Bound Boy

First, CBB, "it" doesn't work for a majority of the people a majority of the time. It doesn't matter how smooth a guy's talk is, how tight his abs are, or how fat his wallet is, most of the people he meets won't wanna sleep with him. I'm not going to lie to you: Smooth talk, tight abs, and a fat wallet improve a guy's odds considerably. But for reasons that run the gamut from religious to logistic to simple miscommunication, most people won't want to fuck a given person, however smooth, tight, fat, etc.

The trick is to keep working it until you find someone who does want to fuck you. And there will be plenty of skinny, pale, and spotty girls at your school, as well as girls who can see past those things. Your odds will be better if you can look past 'em, too.

and saying, "Good morning, beautiful." But there will also be days that begin with your girlfriend rolling over and farting. The trick is to fully appreciate the moments that rise to the level of your romantic ideals ("Good morning, beautiful") without obsessing about those moments that disappoint (split shifts, ripped farts). Good luck!

I'm a guy. I've been with my girlfriend for almost two years. I love her, but in the last year, sex has been an issue. I feel attracted to her, but I find myself easily distracted these days, kind of worried during sex, which has resulted in me either coming super fast or losing my erection altogether. As a result, she does not orgasm at all. It's gotten to the point where I'm afraid to be intimate with her for fear of letting her down. I have gone to see doctors to try to understand if my medical conditions—severe sleep apnea, elevated blood pressure—might have something to do with it. I'm in treatment for these things and I've started going to a therapist, too. I am thinking of buying some sex toys to use while I work to overcome my problems. My girlfriend doesn't own any, and she says she doesn't masturbate because she tried it once and never came. How do I approach her with the idea of using sex toys during sex? Should I? I just want her to experience an orgasm even if I need to get some extra help from a vibrator.

Devil In The Details

Incorporating some adult toys—vibrators and dildos—into your sex life isn't just a great way to maintain your sexual connection while you work on your physical and mental issues, DITD, it's also a great way to take the pressure off your dick. Performance anxiety and worries about leaving your partner unsatisfied can combine to create a hugely destructive, dick-deflating negative feedback loop. As for your girlfriend...

A woman who doesn't masturbate—because she tried it once and it didn't work—has hang-ups, DITD. And a woman with hang-ups is much likelier to forgive a partner for having purchased some sex toys than she is to give a partner her advance permission to go and purchase some sex toys. So find a good local or online sex-toy store and buy whatever you think looks like fun.

I've been with my boyfriend since I was 15. I'm 20 now. In all the time we've been together, I've never had an orgasm. For a long time, I wanted to get a vibrator, but my boyfriend hated that idea and never wanted me to get one because he says he already feels like crap that he can't get me off. Recently, I thought, "What the hell — I want to see what happens!" So I bought one on my own. The very first time I used it, I got off in two minutes. Now I feel stupid for not buying one sooner. My question is...How do I tell him? Should I tell him? He always wanted to be the first person to give me an orgasm, and as far as he knows, I still haven't had one.

Couldn't Wait Forever

Tell your boyfriend you bought a vibrator, CWF. If the boyfriend has a sad about your purchase — and your ability to climax (congrats!) — tell him that some women require the kind of intense, focused stimulation that only a vibrator can provide in order to get off, and, as it turns out, you're one of those women. And he can still be the first person to give you an orgasm: He can give you one with a vibrator in his hand. And if he acts like an insecure bitch about it, CWF, if he blows up or melts down, well...New vibrator, newly orgasmic—maybe it's time for a new boyfriend, too?

CONFIDENTIAL TO EVERYONE: Make porn! Details on HUMP!—the annual porn festival that I host in Seattle and Portland—are here: www.humpseattle.com. Films are limited to five minutes in length, they don't wind up on the internet, and you don't have to live in the Pacific Northwest to submit to HUMP!. And this year's grand prize is $5,000!

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

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Dear Dan:

I'm a gay man and a hunter with a gay boy who's a vegan. But he likes how I look in my camo, holding a rifle, so it works. Last fall, I went to Idaho and shot a black bear and a 13-point buck. A taxidermist mounted the buck's head, which hangs above my bed, and made the bear into a rug. Most people don't know this, but the head on a bearskin rug is entirely fake except for the fur. The skull, teeth, and tongue are plastic, and the eyes are glass. That bear's hardly a bear, if you catch me.

So we got the rug, and he liked it. Even wanted me to screw him spread-eagle on that rug — until he walked in while I was doing it with the bear. I rigged up the mouth with one of those Fleshlight things, pretty much as a joke, but my boy freaked out when he saw the bear giving me a blowjob of sorts. Called me sick and disgusting, and ever since then, he won't let me tie him up or beat him or anything. He says he's afraid I will kill him and then screw him. I keep telling him it was all just a game, but he won't believe it. What can I do?

Bear Grinned Anyway

What can you do? You mean besides send video of you and your bear in action to prove this isn't the most entertaining fake letter I've received since Michelle Obama invited me to dinner at Sarah Jessica Parker's apartment?

You can do this: You can draw a distinction between what was going on in that bear's mouth when your boyfriend walked in and what was going on in your head. When a man beats off, two things are kinda sorta happening simultaneously: what the man is doing with his dick and what the man is imagining he's doing with his dick. Guys who beat off using a clenched fist, for example, generally aren't clenched-fist fetishists; they're just horny and their fists are there and, say, Sarah Jessica Parker isn't. Fists provide necessary friction; imaginations provide sexy scenarios.

So your boyfriend walked in and saw you fucking the face of a dead bear. That's gonna look bad, BGA, even to a boyfriend who isn't vegan. So how do you fix it? By patiently explaining to your vegan boyfriend that while, yes, you were face-fucking a bear when he walked in on you, you weren't thinking about face-fucking a bear. Tell him you were thinking about him, and the bear's mouth was just a convenient place to wedge your vegan-boyfriend-substitute — i.e., your Fleshlight. Tell your boyfriend you don't entertain any murderous fantasies, tell him you only long to fuck living things, and tell him that Homo sapiens are the only animals you find attractive. Tell him all of that, even if not all of that is entirely true.

Dear Dan:

I'm a 17-year-old male, and I'm currently in a relationship with a girl who was sexually active before we got together. Me being a virgin, I think you can understand why I might be nervous when things get heated. I would like to engage in the act with her eventually, but I don't know if she wants a virgin fumbling around in bed with her. And it's not particularly manly to go to someone and basically say, "I'm not going to be good at this for a while." I feel she's ahead of me in experience. What's the best advice you could give me on the subject?

Nerves Entirely Wrecking Boy

If your girlfriend is close to you in age, NEWB, the odds that she's any good at sex are vanishingly slim, her prior sexual activity notwithstanding. Some people have a knack for sex, of course, but almost all teenagers are lousy at sex.

Now here's my advice: Chill the fuck out. Presumably, your girlfriend likes you and knows you're a virgin. Which means she knows you'll be a little nervous the first time you two have sex and that there's probably going to be some fumbling. But you wanna know a secret? Even sexually experienced adults — even adults who are really good at sex and have had tons of it — still get nervous, and there's no such thing as sex without some fumbling.

As for your concerns about seeming less than manly: You're bringin' the dick, NEWB, so you're the man. Your nerves won't render you dickless. If you're worried about displaying a manly confidence, well, you can still do that: Go into your first sexual experience confident that your girlfriend is into you and confident that she wants you, and be honestly and unapologetically who you are. Being yourself is far more manly than pretending to be someone or something you're not.

One last thing to do before you lose your virginity: Watch a weekend marathon of 16 and Pregnant on MTV. That show will inspire you to use condoms religiously and correctly, every single time, no matter what.

Dear Dan:

Following up on the letter about masturbating in the privacy of a public toilet stall: Guys are being banned from Multnomah County libraries in Portland, Oregon, for wanking in the supposed privacy of locked bathroom stalls. Facilities security officers peep through spaces between stall doors and write up reports that go into detail about "shiny liquids" spotted on offenders' hands, and those who are caught are excluded from the libraries for a year. I thought "sexual activity" required a partner and masturbation wasn't a crime if practiced in private — but tell that to the peeping uniformed officers working in the Central Library, aka "Portland's Crown Jewel." You can't go to a locked bathroom stall and rub one out, on pain of landing on the Excluded Patrons List as a masturbator. Victorian prudery lives.

Wanking In Private Environs

The letter writer who got caught wanking in a public toilet had taken pains to find an empty men's restroom on a deserted floor of an office building. He wanted to have his midday wank without disturbing or unnerving others. I don't think the same could be said for the men who are rubbing 'em out in the toilets of Portland's Central Library.

Look, I'm familiar with Portland's Central Library, WIPE; I wrote huge chunks of two of my books there. The toilets are crowded, and there's no way you can beat off in one without disturbing others. I don't have a problem with people rubbing 'em out — hello — but guys who get off in public toilets because they get off on public toilets are forcing other people to serve as props in their masturbatory fantasies. And that ain't cool.

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