Q I'm a 23-year-old homo who came out one year ago. Life has done good and bad things to me. Good things include success in the intelligence lottery, a full ride to college and now a job with a six-figure income. Sadly, I find that my place in life is different from the place occupied by most other young gay men. When meeting someone, I am often bummed to discover that they are in a state of transience (between cities, between degrees), or bummed because I detect a difference in socioeconomic upbringing/status that will make it hard for us to relate to each other, or bummed because they are not as smart as I am or most often bummed over a combination of all these things. These thoughts sap my interest in new people, telling me that "it just wouldn't work." Am I right to think that and keep looking, or should I do some substantial "rounding up to one" and go on that second date, even though the odds of compatibility seem slim? --Lots Of First Dates
A I'm tempted to tell you not to go on "that second date" with anyone you feel is beneath you intellectually, socioeconomically or status- or upbringing-wise---not to spare you his ghastly company, LOFD, but to spare him the ghastliness of yours.
Look, Gloria Upson, if dating gay men your own age means exposing yourself to guys who are in "states of transience"---completely normal states for dudes in their early 20s---then date guys in their 30s and 40s. Not that dating older guys is a surefire recipe for romantic success: Your snobbery, classism and elitism are so repulsive that most older guys will be blocking your number before you can call about a second date.
Andrew Sullivan wrote a beautiful post at The Dish a few weeks ago about the egalitarianism of getting laid. He recalled dancing all night in a gay club full of African-American guys back when he was a "cute twinky English schoolboy." And Andrew didn't just dance with the black guys he encountered after moving to Washington, DC.
"There's nothing like dating or fucking a person of another background, race or class to help you see the humanity in everyone," Andrew wrote. "How do you get scared of generic young black men when you've danced with them all night long?... In that sense, I've always felt that being gay was a real moral blessing. I could have been so much worse a human being if I'd been straight."
You're young, LOFD, and I'm being hard on you. But if you don't get a grip on your classism and snobbery, you will become so much worse a human being than you need to be. So snap the fuck out of it, OK? And remember: We gay people are a tiny, tiny minority. If you reject as potential partners, friends and fuck buddies all gay men who aren't of your exact same class, education level, social status (ugh) or salary level (barf), LOFD, you won't be left with many guys to date, hang out with or fuck.
Q I recently started dating a 26-year-old female. I was a little surprised when she told me that she gets nothing out of oral sex, as that has been my typical method for getting my past partners off. Eventually, I was to discover that this was because she has no external glans (clitoris hood/head). It's just smooth skin where a clit would be. I was shocked when she showed me. She is probably the easiest person I've ever met to get to orgasm (thank god!), so this isn't a problem, just a mystery. I know that the clitoris is much larger than just the part you can see---the "head"--- and she gets off on the feeling of pressure on and around where the glans would normally be, so I'm sure she has developed nerves and, I guess, has a clit under the skin. She assumed this was common enough, as none of her gynecologists has ever brought it to her attention. Have you ever heard of this? Is it common? --Clitorless Lad In Torment
A "It's pretty rare, but yes it happens," says Debby Herbenick, a research scientist at Indiana University, a sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute, the author of Sex Made Easy (among other books), a frequent guest expert for "Savage Love" and the only woman who has ever chased me around a room with a vulva puppet.
When a woman doesn't have an exposed clitoral glans, "there's usually other genital parts that haven't developed or have developed in atypical ways," says Herbenick. "But there have been a few case reports in which the women had other typically developed genital parts---labia, etc.---while the clitoris alone is missing or very small. Some of these women report erotic sensation in the clitoral area."
Should your girlfriend talk to a doctor about it?
"I haven't seen this woman's genitals specifically," says Herbenick, "but sometimes there is atrophy or even 'coverage' of the clitoris (for example, the hood fuses over the glans partially or completely) due to vulvar skin disorders such as lichen sclerosus. Some children have LS, and often it goes undiagnosed for years and, without treatment, her clitoral hood could have fused over the glans. A dermatologist or gynecologist knowledgeable about vulvar dermatoses could look into this possibility via a very small biopsy."
Q My girlfriend and I have a vibrant relationship. Sex is great, but I have one small issue that clouds up the sexual chemistry and turns me into a somber theologian: Since the earliest days of my childhood, I was told by my family that abortion was a horrible, horrible thing. And that thought has complicated my relationships. I simply don't know how to get past this thought and indulge my partner and myself sexually without feeling uncertain about the possible outcome of our getting funky. I feel awful that my girlfriend has to deal with this moral panic of mine, and I'm sick of putting her through it. Help! —Bummed About Bad Experiences
A Use a hormonal birth control method and a condom and pull out before you come. Don't have penis-in-vagina intercourse---you can stick to oral sex, mutual masturbation and doing her in the butt (if being done in the butt is something your girlfriend enjoys). Deposit a few loads at a sperm bank, keep 'em on ice until you want kids and get a vasectomy. Or, hey, you could learn more about abortion while continuing to act responsibly. Abortion is not a horrible, horrible thing. It is a medical, medical thing.