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I was honored to appear with Esther Perel at the Orpheum Theater in Vancouver, BC, a few weeks ago to discuss her new book, The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. Questions were submitted on cards before the show — some for me, some for Esther, some for both of us — and we got to as many as we could during the event. Here are some of the questions (mostly for me) that we didn’t get to.


Last May’s Eugene 4J school board elections were the most contested in recent memory. Community Alliance for Public Education (CAPE) appreciated the deeper level of debate and analysis that took place. Mary Leighton, Jerry Rosiek and Maya Rabasa met last week to discuss their thoughts as runners up, running as outsiders.  

There is a major business “recruitment” project going on right now in our community, it’s called Project Titan, and I have absolutely no clue about who or what it is. Oh, I’ve tried, well, sort-of tried, to find out. I asked around, here and there, even chatted with a former colleague of mine. But regardless of who it is, it will play out the same, in secret meetings behind closed doors, out of public view. 

I’m a 40-year-old bi man. I’ve been with my 33-year-old bi wife for three years and married for one. When we first met, she made it clear that she was in a long-term (more than three years) “Daddy” relationship with an older man. I figured out six months later that her “Daddy” was her boss and business partner. He is married, and his wife does not know. I struggled with their relationship, since I identify as open but not poly. Eight months later, she ended things with him because it was “logically right” for us (her words).

There is nothing like three days of hard rain to signal the proper end of summer and the beginning of the rainy season, aka our winter. We celebrate rain and cloudy skies for at least the next month or so. By February, many will tire of mist and drizzle, but for now we are happy to walk in the wet. The forest fires that have ravaged the nearby hills have been quenched. Deep pockets of coals will yet burn a while but the serious threat is over.

I am a pretty handsome gay (I have been told) and I am dating a gorgeous man. I am 34, and he is 31. I am bottom only, and he is top only — so it’s a good match. He seems sincerely interested in me and we are talking about being together. But here is the thing: He noticed that I have a rather small penis. I am under the average, and his dick is quite big and long. Since he discovered this, he fancies about “humiliating” me about my “small pee-pee.” He would even like me to show it to his friends.

Many Eugene Weekly readers will remember that the two of us were opponents last year in the most contested City Council race in Eugene’s recent history. Now we’re coming together today on a common cause: We urge Eugene voters to get out and vote for Measure 20-275 on the Nov. 7 ballot.

In a frank exchange early in our courtship, I told my girlfriend that I have no kinks. As a faithful reader of Savage Love, I’m obviously not opposed to kinks — but I’ve never had any inclinations in that direction and am probably a typical hetero vanilla. As a result, I’m damn near clueless in that area. Last night, my girlfriend placed my hands around her neck and asked me to choke her. My instant reaction was to say no, not out of any objection in principle but because I thought it might be dangerous in my inexperienced hands.

Berwick Hall, the new home of the Oregon Bach Festival, is an elegant building — small, modern, light-filled, with a performance hall that can seat up to 140, perfect for small-ensemble performances such as were given at the public reception on Oct. 8 celebrating the building’s opening. Windows abound — from virtually every desk in the office, light floods the space.

That, sadly, is the only transparent thing about the festival these days.

My only child is 16 years old. He was curious about sex from a very young age and very open with me, so his interest in sexual matters gave me ample opportunity to talk with him about safety and consent. He went through a cross-dressing phase when he was small — mostly wanting to wear nail polish and try on mascara — and I felt like I navigated those waters pretty well, but his father made attempts to squelch those impulses. (He and I are divorced. He has since remarried and is less involved.) That’s the background.

I’m a 25-year-old woman currently in a poly relationship with a married man roughly 20 years my senior. This has by far been the best relationship I’ve ever had. However, something has me a bit on edge. We went on a trip with friends to a brewery with a great restaurant. It was an amazing place, and I’m sure his wife would enjoy it. He mentioned the place to her, and her response was NO, she didn’t want to go there because she didn’t want to have “sloppy seconds.” It made me feel dirty. Additionally, the way he brushed this off means this isn’t the first time.

Two years ago I wrote that it was the worst fire season ever. Each succeeding year has been worse, with the current fire season simply devastating. Although a few rainy days ended the horribly smoky air in the southern Willamette Valley, the fires in the mountains will likely smolder through this month. I fear that our usual reliance on September being a good month for hiking the high country will fade into the past. More years like this one may keep the Three Sisters Wilderness closed to back country users through September.

Sheldon High School is a world away from the streets of Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore or Tulsa. But when soccer players from South Eugene High School took a knee during the national anthem last week, they demanded attention and invited controversy into their community.

As the first notes of the anthem played for the boys’ game, one athlete on the South varsity team took a knee. He was joined by one teammate and then another, until six other South players knelt alongside him. The anthem ended, the whistle blew, and the game was played. The boys left the pitch, each with his own reasons for choosing to kneel or stand.

I’m a 22-year-old straight male dating a 23-year-old woman. This is by far the most sexual relationship I’ve been in, which is great, except one part is freaking me out: I recently “caught” my girlfriend masturbating with her roommate’s panties. (She knew I was coming over and wanted me to catch her.) It turns out she has a habit of sneaking her roommate’s worn underwear, masturbating while smelling them (or putting them in her mouth), and then sneaking them back into her roommate’s laundry basket. She has also used her roommate’s vibrator and dry-humped her pillow to orgasm.

My biggest fears from a presidential election gone horribly wrong are coming to pass. 

For me, the major issue for a president has always been appointments to run the federal agencies. Our current president is doing what I expected him to do, appointing people who will gut the agencies everyone relies on to protect their health, safety, and the environment. It’s been one horrible appointment and executive order after another. Clean air and water regulations go out the window to provide profits to polluters.

I had a blast hosting Savage Lovecast Live at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. Audience members submitted questions before the show, and I consumed a large pot edible right after the curtain went up and then raced to give as much decent sex advice as I could before it took effect. Here are some of the questions I didn’t get to before my judgment became too impaired to operate a sex-and-relationship-advice podcast.

 

I’ve been on the dating apps a while. What’s up with serial first daters?

Kindergarten: It’s German for “children’s garden.”

Kindergarten is traditionally based on playing, singing, story-time, creative activities and social interaction. Not in the “corporate model” education era, however. Now, during their first three weeks of school, Oregon’s 40,000 kindergarten kids are given standardized assessments in math, literacy and interpersonal skills.

How on earth did we get from the “children’s garden” to the Oregon Kindergarten Assessment (OKA)? House Bill 4165 (2012) established early learning standards for children age 3 to 5. It empowered Oregon’s Early Learning Council that “supports practice-based evidence and data-driven decision-making and accountability for realistic, measurable outcomes for children...”

I am a 35-year-old straight guy. I met a nice lady through the normal methods, and we hit it off and have grown closer. I think we are both considering “taking it to the next level.” We are on the same intellectual wavelength, enjoy the same social experiences, and have a lot of fun together. So what could be the problem? My friend decided it was the time to inform me that she is transgender, pre-op, and will not be having gender-reassignment surgery. This was quite a shock to me. I’m not homophobic, though I’ve never had a gay experience.

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 17, PBS will present a 10-episode, 18-hour documentary, The Vietnam War, by noted filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Coming 50 years after a pivotal year of escalation of both the war and the anti-war movement, the filmmakers say they hope the documentary will serve as a catalyst for long overdue reconciliation and healing of the deep divisions that war created among Americans.

My teenage daughter just came out to us as gay. We told her we love her and support her. As a heterosexual, cisgender mother, how do I make sure she gets good advice about sex? I don’t want her learning from other kids or porn. Do you know of any good, sex-positive advice books for lesbian teens?

My Inspiring Daughter Deserves Lesbian Education


The solar eclipse in August was a rare and spectacular event, predicted with the same accuracy as the timing of the equinox this month (1:02 pm, Sept. 22). A hurricane like Harvey is a rare and spectacular event but predicting hurricanes is much more complicated than calculating the timing of celestial events. It is remarkable that people who accept the prediction of celestial events even when they cannot fathom the math behind them are willing to challenge scientists who predict climate change.

I’m a lady considering taking on a foot fetishist as a slave. He would do chores around my house, including cleaning and laundry, and give foot rubs and pedicures in exchange for getting to worship and jack off to my model-perfect feet when I’ve decided he’s earned it. Am I morally obligated to tell my roommates? Technically the guy would be in their common space too. I will fully vet him with references and meet him in a neutral location at least once — and anything else you might suggest I do for security’s sake.

I like to float rivers. That’s a huge understatement. There is almost nothing that I would rather be doing than floating on a river. 

My brother just broke up with his girlfriend for the second time in eight months. They had been together for two and a half years, and she became pretty discontent when she finished college and my brother entered law school because all his time and attention weren’t revolving around her. In January, she staged this bizarre, soap-opera-esque situation to make my brother jealous, and then broke up with him when he reacted predictably.