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Well, the summer has slipped past the equinox without much fanfare, as usual. All we need is for the rainy season to begin and fall will be here. When the bigleaf maple loses its leaves, the licorice ferns uncurl on its branches. Or, as they say in Alaska, “when the fireweed goes to cotton, the summer’s soon forgotten.”

You don’t have to be a fundamentalist, evangelical, Catholic Christian or an ancient Jew to wonder whether we’re in a “culture of death,” “the sixth extinction” or some kind of universal cataclysm.

I’ve been dating this guy for almost two months. It’s been pretty good, except the sex isn’t really the best. I have this other male friend who has had a crush on me. Long story short: My friend made a move on me the other night. I told him I couldn’t, and he knew why, but to be honest, I was insanely turned on by his forwardness. He apologized, but a week later we hung out, and I told him that it really intrigued me, and we ended up having crazy cool sex — satisfying in all the ways the guy I’m dating isn’t.

I’m a 26-year-old single bi woman. Sometimes my roommate/best friend and I have drunken threesomes with men. We’ve had some great one-night stands (less scary with a friend!), but recently we slept with a man I’ve been (drunkenly) sleeping with over a period of months, my “friend with benefits.” I shared my FWB with my roommate because she wanted to have sex, and I shared my roommate with my FWB because he wanted to experience a threesome.

As back-to-school season arrives, parents and their children are excitedly filling their school supply lists and checking out the latest fall fashions at the mall. Parents, though, often have many important decisions to make regarding their children’s education.

An open letter to Springfield Councilor Dave Ralston: I was elected this year as the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Formed in 1929, LULAC is responsible for the formations of the American GI Forum and Head Start schools. It also helped pave the way for the Brown V. Board of Education ruling.

The Oregon Legislature got out of Dodge quickly, leaving a lot of unfinished business. No transportation plan, no real plan for higher ed funding, no minimum wage reform, no affordable housing — all left on the table. Some blame Senate President Peter Courtney, some blame Speaker Tina Kotek. 

Eugene is the first city in the country to consider ways to keep travelers out of its downtown.

My son, who is almost 30 years old, was married four years ago. He just shared with us that for the last three years, he and his wife have been practicing polyamory. They are committed to their relationship but have each had relationships with both men and women. We are trying to get our heads around this, as we come from a more traditional background (we’ve been married 40 years in a loving and respectful relationship), and we find ourselves feeling very sad. We are accepting and nonjudgmental, just trying to understand how he came to this decision.

September is usually the best month for hiking in the Cascades. The trails are free of snow, and both tourist and mosquito levels have diminished. This year has become a down year for hiking, however, with the extended drought bringing on our worst fire season ever. Ever! We all hope that the rainy season will begin soon after the equinox instead of its usual start sometime in October.

With wildfires raging across Oregon, it has become even more urgent for Gov. Kate Brown and U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to oppose the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and pipeline proposed for our state by a Canadian energy company. 

The Stouts Creek fire, one of the largest current blazes, is impacting at least 17 miles of the route the Pacific Connector pipeline would take to bring LNG from Canada and the Rockies to Coos Bay for export to Asia.

Is it legal for a man to procure the services of a dominatrix? In the kind of session I have in mind, there’s no nudity or sexual activity or contact involved. There’s not even any whipping or flogging or caning or hardcore BDSM stuff. I just want to see what it would be like to be bound and gagged. That’s it. So is it against the law to pay a woman to tie me up?

Boy Into Nonsexual Domination

It’s a bit odd that in America’s thoroughly corporatized culture we have no national day of honor for the Captains of Industry, and yet we do have one for working stiffs: Labor Day! Where did it come from? Who gave this day off to laboring people? History books that bother mentioning Labor Day at all usually credit President Grover Cleveland with its creation: He signed a law in July 1894 that proclaimed a holiday for workers in Washington, D.C., and the federal territories. 

I’m confused about my sexuality. For many years, I thought I preferred hetero-romantic asexual relationships. Exposure to select reading material—thanks to my gender-studies classes—has me convinced I’m an asexual t-type (i.e., “top,” but I prefer not to use such connotative terms) female who is attracted to slight and feminine men. I do not want to take off my clothes or engage in oral, anal, digital, or vaginal sex.

Please do a public-service announcement about the Ashley Madison hack, and request that NO ONE look up information on ANYONE other than their own spouse. I’m a former AM user. I’ve been married to my wife for 20 years. We met when we were both 20 years old. Seven years ago, I made a selfish decision to have an affair, and five years ago, my wife found out. She hated me for a while, but we worked things out. I have been faithful since then, and our marriage is better than ever. Since my wife already knows everything, I have no worries about her finding out.

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