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Late in the 19th century, we discovered and began to burn crude oil rather casually, as if an epoch-marking discovery of an incredible energy source was a routine event.

I’m a woman in a straight relationship. I woke up this morning, and my BF wasn’t in bed with me. He felt ill in the middle of the night and went to sleep in the spare room — where he found a condom in its wrapper behind the nightstand. Now my BF thinks I’m cheating on him. I haven’t cheated on him and have no desire to. I have an IUD and we are monogamous, so we don’t use condoms. But I used to keep condoms around to use on an old sex toy that I liked but was allergic to.

Located in the heart of Central America, Honduras has in recent years experienced some of the highest levels of corruption in Latin America. Hondurans are characteristically warm and peaceful. But evidence of the Honduran Social Security Institute’s embezzlement of more than $300 million that was used in part to fund the campaign of President Juan Orlando Hernández has united the country against corruption and impunity.

I’ve been reading your column for a while, and you always advise kinky people to go seek the same within the kink community. But in my experience, the kink community is very “sex right away, get to know you later”–oriented. So I have two questions. First, as someone who’s a bit of an old-fashioned romantic, is there somewhere I can go to find sexually compatible people who are willing to let me get to know them before we fuck? And second, it’s very difficult for me to come in vanilla situations, which has caused some awkwardness in the past.

This year August is set up with a glorious week of stargazing. The Perseid meteor shower will send hundreds, maybe thousands, of shooting stars across the sky during the second week of August. Peak shower activity will be August 11-13. The best meteor watching will be in the hours before dawn, when the constellation Perseus rises from the northeastern horizon. What makes this year’s shower likely to be spectacular is that nearly moonless nights coincide with the peak streaking.

Through the Hoffman Report, it has recently come to light that the American Psychological Association (APA) — the governing body of psychology — in collusion with the Department of Defense, used its power to support the use of torture. 

I’m proud of my peeps. You know who I mean, all of us who are lesbian/ gay/ bi/ trans/ intersex/ two-spirit/ asexual/ pansexual/ queer/ questioning and allies who have been living, working and fighting for our full equal rights and the freedom to — don’t be shocked by this — be ourselves.

Does a person who acts loving only when high on weed really love you? My live-in boyfriend of three years acts sweet, loving, and caring when he’s high, but when the weed runs out, he’s mean, angry, hurtful, and horrible to be around. I’ve asked him when he’s stoned to still act like a loving person when the weed runs out, but of course that never happens. He just dismisses that he’s mean and hurtful, and he blames me for why he’s angry. I’m so confused! Without weed, he’s intolerable.

I have always wanted to have a girls-only sex party, but I’m not sure how I feel about actually organizing one. What’s the etiquette if I do organize one myself? Do I need to provide the dildos for people’s harnesses? Or just the condoms and lube? And how do I find people who want to attend? Do I just tweet out an invite? Is there a better way that makes me seem less sketchy?

No Snappy Acronym

The Southwest plane taxied on the runway as “Good Lovin’” blared through the sound system. The flight attendant playing with us, asked if any of us were here to see the shows and the passengers let out a collective hoot and holler. We were officially welcomed to Chicago. The Grateful Dead was the main attraction in the city of big shoulders, my birthplace, over Independence Day weekend. Last week I returned home with my 27-year-old son (born on the Fourth of July) and my brother and his oldest high school friend, almost 39 years to the day of our first Dead show June 26, 1976 at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater.

Donald Trump’s final outrage against the Republicans in his campaign for president will be to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Why do so many homeless people have dogs? This question comes up a lot in our town, where many people hang around downtown with their animals.

The first answer is a simple one: Homeless people have animals for all the same reasons housed people have them. It’s a great feeling to be loved and accepted without judgment, to have a warm companion to hug when you are feeling sad, and a friend who is always ready to walk with you—no matter how far you have to go.

My wife and I have been together for more than 10 years, practicing some kind of nonmonogamy for more than seven. We tried different things—open, dating others, FWBs—but after a bi threesome with another guy a year ago, we knew that was our thing. For a while, everything was great, but roughly a month after that defining threesome, I came down with a bad case of mono. In a couple of months, we resumed our bi sexdates with our FWB, and I noticed I had a hard time getting horny and even had a hard time getting (and staying) hard.

The Oregon Legislature fizzled to a halt as expected. Now the real fun starts. You think paid sick leave for workers and carbon emission standards will not exact a price at the ballot box in 2016? The lack of compromise and the partisan fights over a transportation package and the minimum wage now spill over into the next initiative season, and it’s going to be an expensive ride. 

I have been happily married for 12 years. I’m deeply in love with my wife—she’s amazing, very sexy and gorgeous. I used to be jealous, but about six years ago, I lost my feelings of jealousy. In their place, I developed a strong desire to share my wife with other men. It’s my only fantasy. She knows about this, but she says it’s wrong. I never asked her to actually do it. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

A Shamed Husband, A Marital Erotic Deadlock

I submitted this column at 9 am Monday, July 6. I just got off the phone with Val Hoyle, who has not been recalled … yet. As of 9 am the Oregon Legislature has the capability, but not the will, to be done. 

I entered into a civil union with another woman in Vermont in 2000. My ex and I were together until 2003, when we decided to go our separate ways. It is now 2015, and my new partner (who happens to be male) and I are expecting a baby and talking about getting married. We live in Texas. I know that there are ways to dissolve my civil union in Vermont, but I can’t get ahold of my ex (ex-wife? Ex-CUer?) to sign any of the forms. Neither do I want to, because frankly it was an abusive relationship and I still bear emotional scars.

Our city has a serious housing problem that the Eugene City Council cannot continue to ignore. When I got on the council in 2009, 40 percent of Eugene’s households were considered “rent-burdened” because they were paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Since then the situation has only worsened; yet during the same period, the council has granted millions in tax breaks for upscale student housing projects that did nothing to address our most pressing housing needs.

The tension in Salem at the end of any legislative session is attractive if you’re an unrelenting sociopath who loves pain and heartbreak. With the preceding five months of plodding public process behind them, partisan legislators will finally cast their votes in stone in early July. The game will only finish when the budgets are decided. It’s one of the things I miss most about being out of the Legislature for the past 12 years. I loved counting votes.

June 26, 2015, 6:30 am. I drift into wakefulness, my darling Wifey asleep beside me, the window air conditioner whirring in its valiant effort to keep our bedroom cool overnight. The cats are still curled up, too early even for their breakfast yowling.

This is going to sound like bragging, but my appearance is intrinsic to my kink. I’m a gay male gymnast. Most of the guys on my college team are annoyed by the kind of objectification we routinely come in for. (We actually don’t want to be auctioned off at yet another sorority fundraiser, thanks.) But I’ve always been turned on by the thought of being a piece of meat. I’ve masturbated for years about dehumanization. Being in bondage, hooded, and gagged—not a person anymore, faceless, nude, on display, completely helpless.

Oregon’s 30-year “Ancient Forest War” has seen scores of lawsuits, big and small, yielding hundreds of court opinions and orders. From Judge Dwyer’s iconic 1991 spotted owl bombshell (“The argument that the mightiest economy on Earth cannot afford to preserve old growth forests for a short time, while it reaches an overdue decision on how to manage them, is not convincing today. It would be even less so a year or a century from now.”) to lesser-known injunctions that have protected the rare plants and invertebrates that make up the forest’s web of life, the courts have said unequivocally that environmental laws mean what they say.

In the heat of the day, we found relief standing in shallow water. Seven of us remained after a tour of the farm and the forested edge of the McKenzie River. Parent conversation roamed across trade-offs between herbicide use and the spread of invasive weeds, climate change and personal change, how to be a good father, how to be a good neighbor. Meanwhile the kids swished scoop nets in the ponded side channel, wowing over tadpoles, boatmen, mosquito fish and dragonfly larva. The air continued to warm, and with it the number of adult dragonflies zig-zagging around us increased as well.

I’m a little nervous here, a little distracted. But don’t worry, I’ll cover the slug-like inactivity of the Oregon Legislature in a moment. 

Frankly, a bigger issue looms at the moment. We may be headed for a global theological/scientific Mongolian clusterfluck — not to be confused with climate change or global warming or the Sixth Great Extinction. This is much seriouser! I can see the donnybrook coming.