Savage Love

From The Village Voice's "Savage Love" column, December 12th, 2006

Savage: 'Freaked-Out Girl' Is So Gonna Get It

by Dan Savage
(ed: This followed his visit to Cornell, where aides passed notecards to the audience to write questions we'd like answered by Dan Savage. Most of the Risleyites in the audience asked him if he'd like to come to Porn Nite. When he asked where Risley was, and someone shouted, "It's the castle on the hill!" he said, "Oh, like Rocky Horror!").

Q: I'm a 20-year-old straight girl. For six months I was dating a guy I thought was nice and normal. One way my boyfriend showed he cared, or so I thought, was by massaging my feet after work (I wait tables to pay my tuition). Then he confessed that he has a foot fetish. He wasn't rubbing my feet to be sweet or tender or considerate, but for his own selfish reasons. I dumped him. He was very upset and is still begging me to take him back. We had been talking about marriage, but that's over now. I don't want to be with someone who has a fetish. How can I know if he wants me back or just my feet? I know a lot of freaks write to you, and I enjoy reading about freaks, but I don't want to date a freak. Where can I find a normal man?

A: I owe you an answer, FOG, considering the number of new assholes I've ripped you since your letter arrived in September. At speaking gigs around the country, I've held you up as a shining example of sexual selfishness. Your most recent asshole dates from my talk at Cornell two weeks ago, where I spoke to a few hundred students about politics, dungeons, butt plugs, and you. (Sorry I couldn't make porn night, Risley, and thanks for everything, Lauren.)

On to your question: Where do you find a normal man? I have no fucking idea, as I've never met one. Kink and variance seem to be a natural, intrinsic aspect of male sexuality. And while most men, like your ex, fall on the mild end of the mild-to-wild continuum, if you can't handle the odd non-normal sexual interest, FOG, I urge you to stop dating men, get a vibrator, and pack it in. But here's what I really want to say to you: Those foot rubs were fine-they were wonderful!-so long as you believed your boyfriend derived no pleasure from them. The moment you learned he enjoyed those foot rubs too-my goodness, they turned him on!-you were no longer capable of deriving any pleasure from them yourself.

You know what, FOG? You suck. You are the worst kind of sex partner: judgmental, selfish, and cruel. Should your boyfriend have come clean about his foot fetish sooner? Sure, maybe a month or two earlier. But not because you had some right to know what a freak he was, FOG, but because it would have spared him from getting more emotionally invested in a freakishly petty and sexually immature dumb fuck. I predict-no, I guarantee-that this is going to come back to haunt you. There is a Karmic Rule of Kink (KROK), FOG, and it goes something like this: "Dump the honest foot fetishist and you will marry the dishonest necrophiliac." Break up with a guy over his relatively tame fetish-and a foot fetish is about as tame as they get-and KROK will make sure your next boyfriend is some lying corpse-fucker who tells you only what you want to hear. ("Honestly, honey, I only like live girls!") Only after you've married the corpse-fucker and had a few kids-once extricating yourself from the marriage becomes a hugely complicated ordeal-will he ask you to lie in a tub of ice until you're good and cold.

And when you're lying in that tub of ice- and odds are you will, FOG, because you won't want to put your poor kids through a divorce- you'll remember that sweet, harmless foot fetishist whose heart you broke back in college, the man you could have married. And your heart will break.

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