Conundrum

Read my blog long enough and you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Dan Savage. Not just in a sqeeing fanboy way, but because I think his column and podcast make the world a better place for humans who have sex (read: all of them, excepting perhaps asexuals). I have a great deal of respect for him.

Last night, he sent me a DM on Twitter asking if I’d be on his show if a related question ever came in. I assume he was talking about male chastity. My initial and visceral reaction was fuck yes! But…

First and foremost, you may recall I gave my son a subscription to the Savage Lovecast when he turned 16. I have no idea if he actually listens to it, but he may. Imagine hearing your dad talk about his sex life in public unexpectedly when you were a teenager. Ew.

Second, there are a ton of people I know who listen to Dan’s show and by going on it I’d be “outing” Belle and I and what we do in the bedroom (and what I do by myself and with Drew and that Drew exists, etc.). That doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the first thing, but Belle’s been very cautious in the past with regard to protecting our mild-mannered identities.

Oddly, she was all for me going on the show (if the opportunity ever came up). Enthusiastic, even. I reminded her about the kid and her attitude was something like he’d find out eventually anyway. That was a surprise. One, no, he may not. And two, I mean, ew.

This presented a real “money where your mouth is” kind of moment for me. If not for the kid, I’d absolutely do the show. Even though it’d mean friends and probably other family members learning all about what Belle and I do and what I do and what I have in my pants. I do believe in the right of other people not to know those things, but I don’t think doing something like the Lovecast is like wearing a t-shirt that says “ASK ME ABOUT MALE CHASTITY!” I won’t lie and say the prospect of being outed like that makes me a nervous, but it’s who I am and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it at all. As with other kinds of outings, I think living on the other side of it would actually be better and/or more fun.

I’ve told Dan that I think being on his show would be a blast but I worry about the kid. That’s where it is. I don’t see a way past that, so I don’t know what will ever come from the offer. However, I am pleased as punch that Dan put it out there and more than a little honored. Dan nearly always has really smart, really knowledgeable people on and to think he’d give me the chance to be one of them is really great.

Funnily enough, I’ve often wondered what I’d ever call-in or write to Dan about. What sexual conundrum he could help me solve. And here’s one he helped create.

28 thoughts on “Conundrum

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to go on anonymously. We recently got asked about a more public thing too and we had to turn it down because with hubby’s job and young kids it’s just not something we could do. I think it’s fantastic that he offered you that. You are definitely a wealth of information.

    1. I assume I’d be “Thumper” and not _________ ________. But my voice is distinctive enough.

      I’m tempted to say fuck it and talk to the boy preemptively in general terms about it if it ever happens so he has an option not to listen. But I’m still pondering.

      1. Personally, it’s just your voice, I think you should do it 🙂 Maybe chatting with him first would be good, though, you seem to have an open enough relationship with him. If it was a television interview (our offer involved being in front of a camera) it would be much easier to turn down.

        A big part of me is screaming to you to do it! 🙂 but I totally get the anonymity part too.

  2. Oh, wow, if Belle is into it, I’d do it (opportunity arising etc, etc) Your voice your voice (I’ve seen an old video) but once it has been through a phone line and mixing desk and a compressor much of it will disappear into a more generic sound.

    If you were in the studio I would be a different matter. (although do it once as everyone sounds like honeyed amazingness through a properly set up radio studio.

    The other thing you’ve got in your favour is peoples ability not to not make massive leaps.

    Will listen out. 🙂

      1. Yeah. Kinda. Oddly enough, a lot of people I don’t know know me personally from my voice. That’s all I’ll say. [mysterious emoji]

  3. Personally, I have really mixed feelings about Dan Savage – I used to be an avid listener, but his history of fat-hating makes me hesitate to endorse or support him in any way at all anymore.

    Definitely expect to be recognized by some people who know you – my ex actually called in on that same podcast 6 months after we broke up, and I could totally tell it was him.

  4. Your son may be savvy enough to understand your and Belle’s sexuality. Does he tell his sister if she asks? I wonder if his classmates and friends are as au courant. They will tell their parents. The parents will be calling you and Belle. New phone numbers for the whole family. Well, new phones too just because.

    Would your son want to cope with being the kid of The Thumpers at college? As a lower-division student I think even the thought of having parents is difficult enough. To think that they fucked to spawn them is eeew. Because they’re OLD.

    The conundrum. Do you want to hang with Dan and be on a podcast? Do you want to spread the word about male chastity? Do you want to become more known? Do you want to become a relationship and sexuality counselor, a la Savage? What’s the need that’s causing an itch?

    Can the itch be scratched in any other way? Maybe a way that steers widely around your kids?

    1. I have to disagree with you, Diane. I think you are discounting youth today and the effect that this would have from one voice over show. My advice to Thumper would have been or is that if Belle is fine with it, and I guess Drew and Axel as they can also be traced (not sure if they should be a factor though) then the kid who may or may not even hear it should be less of a concern, especially given that we already know he and Thumper are close enough to have discussed his own sexuality. Just my four cents becaue this is not something anyone but him can solve.

      1. @Submichael Read carefully. I did not give any advice to Thumper. Notice the number of question marks in my post?

        I don’t discount kids. Early college years are about SEX! Sure The Calculus and James Joyce are rolling around in the mix. All it takes is ONE kid who hears the podcast and figures it out.

        I’m all for American culture catching up with more enlightened parts of the world where parents and kids understand that sex is. And that there are endless varieties of sexual expression. And getting our needs met and meeting the needs of our SOs(s). We don’t live there yet. Should Thumper’s son be on the front lines of Everybody’s Kinky, Get Used to It?

        I grew up in a place where many of our parents were famous. Some were infamous. You didn’t want to be the kid of either.

    2. I have a hard time imagining that any appearance on Dan’s show would impact the culture sufficiently to follow my son throughout his life.

      1. Which brings the question, to what extent is Dan’s show helping to change the sexual culture? Not just in the U.S., but since it’s a podcast, worldwide. I also doubt that whatever people’s reaction would be to whatever you choose to reveal would follow your son through his life. If he’s college bound in the fall–I’m being all mom-ish here–I wouldn’t want him to have to deal with more than any freshman already has on his plate. If he’s off to two years of backpacking through Europe, whole different bag of bananas.

      2. In 2012, it was getting about 160,000 downloads per episode. In 2014, it was over 200,000. I expect he’s regularly getting north of a quarter million which would make it one of the most listened-to shows out there. I feel his impact on the sexual culture in even just this country has been significant (and much for the better).

        You make it sound like I’m talking about becoming his freaky co-host or something. We’re probably talking about five minutes at most on a show, the timing of which has yet to be determined. Mostly, my issue with the tone of your comments on this, though, suggests strongly that I should be ashamed of my sexuality and hide it in a deep, dark place. Perhaps that’s not what you’re thinking, but that’s how I’m hearing it. As if the absolute worst thing a young man could face in life is the fact that his parents have sex that deviates from the Barbi/Ken missionary paradigme. You’re actually making me want to do Dan’s show even more.

  5. Thumper, your post brought a broad smile to my face when I read it. You sounded like a kid in a candy store almost. I appreciate your enthusiasm for this subject. I can always seem to be able to relate to your enthusiasm (I have a new cage in the mail at this very moment..which might be adding to my joy.)

    I am not certain how “live” Dan Savage’s broadcasts are — and if they are ‘pre-recorded for release in this time zone’. I wonder if the interview could be prerecorded and those portions where you are speaking are electronically ‘processed’ through something like a Witness Protection Program Voice Randomiser and Distortion Maximiser (a WPPVRDMer…). I am not certain if it would work, because part of me thinks that no matter how hard you try to disguise or distort your voice there will always be a potential tell-tale expression, use of words, lifts and lilts — that would identify you. (Thumper, do you have a really bad upper midwest U-Betcha twang?)

  6. I always assume that the media in its constant search for new material ,chews you up ,spits you out and moves on ,not caring about the unintended consequences left in its wake.
    So you get your “fifteen minutes of fame.” What happens when friends or family don’t react in that enlightened way you anticipate ?
    Aren’t some of the things we share with our partners ,best kept between us. Not because we are ashamed/embarrassed , but just because they are no one elses business. Its called privacy.

    1. I don’t anticipate they will react in an enlightened way. I have no idea how anyone would react. And “privacy” is an interesting word to use on a blog where I’ve detailed the nitty gritty of my sex life for 8 years and posted pictures of my junk. I don’t think Savage is interested in exploiting those who come on his show.

  7. Voice distortion…
    Don’t have to sound like Darth V or Stephen H, but just distort it enough.

    1. I thought of the voice distortion thing, but to me that doesn’t seem like an option. Either I’m cool with going on, or I’m not. Hiding behind a distorted voice seems like cheating to me. Like I’m ashamed.

  8. My daughter is a little older than your son, and I happen to know she has a healthy curiosity in matters sexual, including some of the more alternative areas. Not that she seems to have experimented, but she’s having open-minded conversations with people. I’ve often wondered if she would run across my own blog, or some of my writings elsewhere. In the last few years I’ve cut back, so I doubt that she would run across anything that would identify me, but I think that she suspects that her mom and dad are a frisky couple, so I doubt that she’d be too surprised.

    That said, I’d be pretty nervous in your shoes, but it is just voice, and it would be a small segment, and all things considered, it’s doubtful that it would be the one episode segment that suddenly gets all sort of media attention.

    And in some respects, I think that you really should be the one to chat with Dan Savage. You’ve been writing consistently for years, and you lay out all sorts of stuff to think about, and you own twice as many devices as I do. I can’t think of a better representative for the “chastity/OD community” (such as it is) than you. Since Dan, himself, has expressed some ambivalent attitudes on the subject, you’d probably be the one to bring some light into those shadows.

  9. Dear Thumper, I’m in favor of your doing the podcast. I’m in favor and support of you, Belle, your children, Drew, and Axel. I care about you guys. I made one hell of a typo that changed my meaning:

    The typo sentence:

          I also doubt that whatever people’s reaction would be to whatever you choose to reveal would follow your son through his life.
    

    Should have been:

          I also doubt that whatever people’s reaction would be to whatever you choose to reveal ***wouldn't*** follow your son through his life.
    

    I don’t think you should be ashamed of your choices in any way. I’m kinky and I don’t want people to shame me for my choices, but they do. On the whole I think I get more shaming than acceptance. It’s like shaming for something that is an inherent part of oneself, say like eye color. The way your sexuality works for you is the way it works for you.

    It’s a joy reading through all of your journey and it’s been a high reading what is happening recently, having opened your marriage. I sometimes sit at dinner parties eager to take my phone into the bathroom to see if you’ve posted. I’m very sorry that my comments came through as shaming. My life is richer for being allowed to have a glimpse into your life. It’s rare that someone knows himself and also has the gift of being able to express it in elegant, fresh prose.

    I humbly apologize.

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