Savage Love: At what point is it "safe" to have an open relationship?

Dan goes to college

Higher education

I dropped by four large universities last week to do "Savage Love Live," the college-speaking-gig version of my sex-advice column. People submit questions — the ones they don't want to be seen asking — on three-by-five-inch cards at the events. Sadly, I couldn't get to everyone's questions. Here are answers to some of the questions I missed.

At what point in a relationship is it "safe" to have an open relationship?

There's no standard gestation period for an open relationship, no set period of time that you have to spend in the exclusivity pod. In my experience, however, the most successful open relationships I've witnessed — with "success" here defined as "long-lasting," which is kind of arbitrary (can we all get behind the idea that a relationship can be short-lived and still be a success?) — were sexually exclusive for at least a year, sometimes longer, at the outset.

When asked, "How do you make anal sex more comfortable for women?" by Marie Claire magazine, Dr. Drew Pinsky said, "Don't do it. Your butt will leak when you're old." (I am paraphrasing.) My question: Is Dr. Drew homophobic?

Dr. Drew isn't a homophobe. He's an asshole-o-phobe-and a BDSM-o-phobe, a premarital-sex-o-phobe, a three-way-o-phobe, etc. Basically, when it comes to human sexuality, there's not a lot of daylight between Dr. Drew and Pope Benedict XVI. And I'll let you in on a little secret: Odds are good that your ass is going to leak when you're old, anyway, so you might as well enjoy it while you can.

I'm a 24-year-old male, and I've been into this guy "Joe" for several years. We recently started hooking up, and it's amazing. But for some reason, I can't stay hard. I don't know what's wrong with me. Do I have ED?

If you're not having trouble keeping it up when you're alone, and you didn't have trouble keeping it up with other guys, you're probably just nervous. You like this guy, and a little routine performance anxiety is chasing away your boners. If Joe is continuing to hook up with you despite your inability to keep it up for him, well, then he's not only a hot dude but a patient one as well — and a dude who's into you, too. So take a deep breath, try to relax, and enjoy.

How do you become a nationally syndicated sex-advice columnist?

I'm not telling. Because one sure way to stop being a nationally syndicated sex-advice columnist is to create a lot of competitors.

We are a couple in a long-term committed relationship and have casually considered the possibility of a three-way. It would have to be with someone neither of us knew (or saw) to reduce any chance of an emotional attachment. Good idea?

Three-ways with complete strangers are kind of difficult to arrange — unless you're willing to go the rent-a-third route. But if you want to have a three-way with someone trustworthy and safe, you're better off doing it with an acquaintance or an ex.

I'm a lesbian, and my girlfriend is bisexual and wants to have a three-way with a man. This makes me nervous. What should I do?

Get yourself a refillable Xanax prescription, or get yourself an actual lesbian girlfriend.

If she hasn't orgasmed yet, will she ever?

Yes, but probably with someone else.

Did Sarah Palin ever get back to you about your offer to be her gay friend?

No, she didn't — but the offer is still on the table. I'm here for you, Sarah.

My primary mission when I do these events, of course, is to undo in an evening the damage done by abstinence educators over the course of many years. But the events are always a blast. If you want me to come to your school, get in touch with Keppler Speakers at [email protected].

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