Slight Christ­mas

Fam­ily sucks but porn on Tum­blr didn’t. Plus: Age is just a num­ber, but a num­ber not worth ly­ing about.

The Coast - - SAVAGE LOVE -

QS­traight and mar­ried but not bor­ing, and head­ing to my par­ents’ house for our first fam­ily Christ­mas since my ass­hole MAGA brother “stum­bled over” the Tum­blr blog where the wife and I posted about our sex­ual ad­ven­tures. (Pics of MMF three­somes and cross-dress­ing/peg­ging ses­sions, plus some dirty “true enough” sto­ries.) My brother has al­ways been an an­gry screwup, so he leapt on the chance to make me look bad by send­ing the link to my par­ents, sib­lings and even some close fam­ily friends. Our Tum­blr blog is still up be­cause we aren’t ashamed. Any ad­vice? —To­tally Un­cool Ma­li­cious Bas­tard’s Lame Re­veal A Your Tum­blr blog isn’t go­ing to be up for much longer, TUM­BLR, as the com­pany that owns Tum­blr—Ver­i­zon—is ashamed of your blog and the mil­lions of others like it. Tum­blr an­nounced last week that all “adult” con­tent is banned as of De­cem­ber 17. And the def­i­ni­tion of “adult con­tent” is pretty broad: “Pho­tos, videos, and GIFs of hu­man gen­i­talia, fe­male-pre­sent­ing nip­ples and any me­dia in­volv­ing sex acts, in­clud­ing il­lus­tra­tions,” although they will al­low gen­i­tals and those wicked “fe­male-pre­sent­ing nip­ples” in im­ages of clas­si­cal art. (No con­tem­po­rary junk or lady nips al­lowed.)

This is not just a blow to peo­ple who use Tum­blr for porn—and that’s most peo­ple who use Tum­blr—but also to the sex work com­mu­nity. Sex work­ers had al­ready been driven off most other on­line plat­forms by anti-sex-work cru­saders, and now sex work­ers are be­ing driven off Tum­blr as well. Forc­ing sex work­ers off the in­ter­net won’t end sex work, the stated goal of anti-sex-work cru­saders, but it will make sex work more dan­ger­ous—which tells us every­thing we need to know about the mo­tives of anti-sex-work cru­saders. While they claim to op­pose sex work be­cause it’s dan­ger­ous, they push poli­cies that make sex work more dan­ger­ous. Sex work­ers weren’t just ad­ver­tis­ing on­line, they were or­ga­niz­ing— in ad­di­tion to hon­ing and mak­ing the po­lit­i­cal ar­gu­ment for de­crim­i­nal­iz­ing sex work, they were screen­ing po­ten­tial clients and shar­ing in­for­ma­tion with each other about dan­ger­ous clients. Just like anti-choice/an­tiabor­tion cru­saders, anti-sex-work cru­saders don’t want to “pro­tect” women; they want to pun­ish women for mak­ing choices they dis­ap­prove of. (As a gen­eral rule: If what you’re do­ing makes peo­ple less safe, you don’t get to claim you’re try­ing to pro­tect any­one—it’s like claim­ing you only set houses on fire to drive home the im­por­tance of smoke alarms.)

Any­way, fuck your sex-sham­ing/ smut­sham­ing brother, TUM­BLR. As for the rest of your fam­ily, you and the wife should slap smiles on your faces and act like you’ve done noth­ing wrong—be­cause you haven’t done any­thing wrong. Your ass­hole brother is the bad guy, and any fam­ily mem­bers who wish to dis­cuss how of­fended they were by your Tum­blr blog should be di­rected to speak with your brother, as he’s the one who showed it to them.


I’m a gay man in my mid-20s, and I’m get­ting more se­ri­ous with a guy I met a few months ago. I was sur­prised to even­tu­ally learn that “Michael” is in his late 30s, since he eas­ily passes for my age. I’m com­fort­able with the age gap, but I’m strug­gling with how to present this to my par­ents. Re­li­gious and con­ser­va­tive, they were cor­dial but dis­tant with the last guy I dated (who was my age). I’m afraid the age gap with my new boyfriend will cre­ate even more dis­com­fort for them and that Michael will sense it when he comes along to visit for the hol­i­days. I’m con­sid­er­ing ly­ing to my par­ents if Michael’s age comes up. I’ve chal­lenged my par­ents’ at­ti­tudes for many years—but at this point, I’m will­ing to trade hon­esty for the chance to be treated even a lit­tle bit more like a “nor­mal cou­ple” at Christ­mas. Is it self­ish to ask Michael for per­mis­sion to lie about his age? I’m ner­vous to even share my feel­ings with him, for fear it will give the im­pres­sion I’m em­bar­rassed by him. —Awk­ward Gath­er­ings Ex­pected Given Age Pe­cu­liar­ity A Tell one lie to make your re­la­tion­ship seem more ac­cept­able to your par­ents, and you’ll be tempted to tell them more lies—and I don’t know about you, AGEGAP, but not hav­ing to lie to mommy and daddy any­more was one of the rea­sons I came out of the closet. And if you want your par­ents to be com­fort­able with Michael, if you don’t want them to think there’s any­thing wrong with their son dat­ing an older man, de­ceiv­ing your par­ents about Michael’s age is a ter­ri­ble first move. That says you think there’s some­thing wrong it—and you won’t just be say­ing that to your par­ents, AGEGAP, you’ll be say­ing it to Michael as well.

And let’s say things work out with Michael. The lie you told that first Christ­mas will only serve to make things more awk­ward af­ter you fi­nally tell them the truth about your boyfriend’s age. And if your par­ents are like other mildly or wildly ho­mo­pho­bic par­ents: They’re in­clined to re­gard the man who sodom­izes their son as a neg­a­tive in­flu­ence in his life, they may not believe the lie was your idea. They’ll think this creep­ily youth­ful older man—this man who showed up in their home wear­ing a suit made out of the skins of younger gay men—en­cour­aged their son to lie to them so they wouldn’t ob­ject to the re­la­tion­ship in the early stages, when their ob­jec­tions might have had the abil­ity to de­rail it.

Fi­nally, AGEGAP, if your older boyfriend is con­cerned you may be too im­ma­ture for him— not all young peo­ple are im­ma­ture and not all im­ma­ture peo­ple are young, but this shit does cor­re­late—telling him you’re still in the lie-to­mommy-and-daddy stage might prompt him to end this re­la­tion­ship.

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