Savage Love: Why are there so many serial first daters these days?

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Is it just me, or is everybody always looking for the next best thing? Getty Images/iStockphoto

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?


Back when people primarily met at parties, bars, clubs, etc., we established baseline physical/chemical attraction before learning someone’s name and long before a first date. (We eyeballed ’em, we said hello, we made a moment’s small talk.) With apps, however, we can’t establish baseline physical/chemical attraction until our first face-to-face meeting—until after that “first date,” which itself comes after we’ve swapped flirty messages, sent additional pics, and made a plan to meet. Since apps mean more “first dates,” it feels like we’re meeting a lot more “serial first daters” these days. We aren’t—it’s just that now we have to meet up with people to eyeball ’em, say hello, and make small talk. Don’t think of that first meeting with someone you met via an app as a “first date,” think of it as the preinterview before the first date.

What is the appropriate amount of side boob?

This is outside my area of expertise/giving a shit. So I’m going to pass this question on to Tim Gunn. I’ll let you know what Tim has to say should he respond.

My best friend is in a relationship with a really jealous, controlling guy. He guilt-trips her constantly and gets passive-aggressively mad whenever she tries to hang out with people besides him. When she complains about him, I want to say fuck him, he’s a dick, except… she’s having a full-on affair with another guy and seems not to feel bad about it! I don’t know what advice to give or how to make sense of the situation. What’s my responsibility to her? To her boyfriend?


Maybe your best friend’s boyfriend is jealous and controlling because he senses—or because he knows—his girlfriend is cheating on him. Or maybe it didn’t occur to your best friend to cheat on her boyfriend until after he accused her of cheating for the millionth time—maybe she figured she might as well commit the crime since she was already being punished for it. Or maybe they’re both terrible people who deserve each other and neither is your responsibility.

My partner and I are a straight couple in our 20s/30s. We’re curious about straight PDA in gay bars. She feels it should be kept to a minimum, but a little is okay. He feels it shouldn’t happen, as it may make people uncomfortable. Thoughts?


I think this is something you and your opposite-sex partner should discuss over drinks in one of the thousands of straight bars in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I feel like all my friends resent me for getting married. How do I make them feel less insecure about my new relationship?

Ask yourself which is likelier: All of your friends—every single one of them—are so petty and insecure that they resent you for getting married or you were a megalomaniacal bride-or-groom-or-nonbinary-zilla and behaved so atrociously that you managed to piss off all your friends? If it’s the (less likely) former, make better friends. If it’s the (more likely) latter, make amends.

My brother’s fiancée told my mom that she doesn’t like my mom’s usual lipstick color and asked my mom to wear a shade she picked out for the wedding. My mom is 75 and wears cute pink lipstick. Is it wrong if both my mom and I wear the pink in solidarity?

You should absolutely wear your mom’s shade in solidarity—and send me a pic of you two at the wedding, please! (Hey, person who asked the previous question, did you pull this kind of shit? Did you order your friends around the way this woman’s future DIL is ordering her around?)

Since my man and I got engaged, we’ve been fighting about wedding planning. We never fought until now. How can we move forward with the wedding without ruining our relationship? Best sex of my life, BTW.

Elope. For your own sake, for the sake of friends and family members who will inevitably be sucked into your conflict about your wedding plans, for the sake of all that excellent sex… just fucking elope.

We are two lesbians in our 20s and ready to start a family. Will you be our sperm donor?

Nope!

You’ve recommended marijuana to help women have better sex. I’ve tried it, but I often get so high that time seems to fracture. When that happens, I worry I’m missing orgasms. What should I do?

Less!

I want to try the new cannabis lubes. Should I tell my girlfriend first or just do it? It’s expensive, and I’m afraid she’ll say no since she doesn’t smoke the ganja.

Do not dose your girlfriend without her consent. If it’s smoke she doesn’t like, ask her how she feels about experimenting with pot edibles and spreadables. And if the answer is no, the answer is no. Spiking your girlfriend’s twat with pot lube without her consent is not an option—it would be an unforgivable and very likely criminal violation of her bodily autonomy. DO NOT DO IT.

You are always talking about adult children coming out to their fundamentalist parents about being queer, poly, kinky, etc. But how should older adults handle coming out to their batshit fundamentalist adult kids, especially when these kids control access to grandchildren?

Just as an adult child’s presence is their only leverage over their parents, your presence is your only leverage over your adult children. (Unless you’re sitting on a large family fortune, of course, and you can threaten them with disinheritance.) And just as queer kids are sometimes forced to lie to their parents—they sometimes have to tell hateful parents what they want to hear in order to avoid being cut off or thrown out—you may have to tell your kids what they want to hear (or not tell them what they don’t want to hear) in order to avoid being cut out of your grandchildren’s lives. It sucks, and I’m sorry—but once your grandchildren are grown, you can say whatever you like and tell your batshit fundamentalist adult kids to go fuck themselves.

When is the best time to tell my married, ostensibly straight coworker that I want to have sexy gay times with his bubble butt?

Hmm… maybe once you’ve updated your résumé, seeing as your gay trouble butt may get fired after you grab his straight bubble butt?

What are some ways to overcome shyness and tell your partner what you want?

Think how soon you’ll be dead (soon!) and how long you’re gonna stay dead once you’re dead (forever!). Then tell your partner everything. Do it in an e-mail if you can’t do it face-to-face—but do it! Donald Trump is president and we could all be dead tomorrow. Don’t delay!

Savage Love Live is coming to Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 6! For ticket info, go to facebook.com/dansavage.

On the Lovecast, Eli Finkel, author of The All-or-Nothing Marriage: savagelovecast.com.

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