The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:05 AM
hamwater hamwater is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Dan Savage for Dummies

I have seen Dan Savage's name mentioned here before and thought he might be an author I'd like I was at Barnes and Noble and looked him up but they had none of his books in stock so I will be getting them online. Since I won't be able to flip through them I was hoping some of you who are familiar with him would offer your opinions of what his best books are, or if I should start in the order that they were written.

Can you also tell me a little about him and his writing? I love David Sedaris and Bob Smith, is Dan Savage a similar writer?

Thanks.

Hammy
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:16 AM
tim-n-va tim-n-va is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Dan Savage is primarily known as a syndicated sex advice columnist. He is gay and has adopted a child with his partner. As far as I know all of his books are non-fiction dealing with various aspects of his life and/or collections of his columns.

His recent project, in response to suicides of gay teenagers, has been the "It Gets Better" series of commercials, articles, etc.

From that perspective, I'd recommend you read a few of his columns (available online in many places but i generally read them in the Onion's AV Club section. For the books, I'd pick one that the subject seems intersting versus reading in any order.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:17 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
I love his columns but found his books intensely boring, sorry to say. If you care about the mundanities of lives then they might be interesting, but it was a mistake for me to pick them up.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:18 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Dan Savage is a sex and relationship advice columnist who produces a regular written column and audio podcast called "Savage Love". I am a fan of his but if you're not familiar with his work you should be warned that a lot of it is extremely explicit - he addresses everything from basic dating questions to the technical details of fisting.

I haven't read his books but based on his other writing if you like David Sedaris you'll probably like them. He's got one about the quest (Savage is gay) to adopt a child. Savage is also responsible for launching the It Gets Better project, aimed at helping gay teens survive bullying and family abuse, as well as the whole "santorum" thing which I'll let you Google (warning: icky).
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:22 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
You can also read his column in The Reader, if they have it in your city. Not sure if they carry him on their website or not.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-09-2011, 10:54 AM
Knorf Knorf is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Living the Dream
Posts: 8,583
I enjoyed Skipping Towards Gomorrah.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-09-2011, 11:03 AM
miss elizabeth miss elizabeth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
I read his column every week, but I've only read one of his books, Skipping Towards Gomorrah. I did really like it though. I would certainly pick up another one, I just haven't, yet.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-09-2011, 11:06 AM
GrandWino GrandWino is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
You can also read his column in The Reader, if they have it in your city. Not sure if they carry him on their website or not.
He's based in Seattle and his flagship paper is The Stranger, though he's syndicated in independant papers all over (including The Reader). I believe if you go to The Stranger's website, you can find archives of his column.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-09-2011, 11:07 AM
GrandWino GrandWino is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Yep, here's the Savage Love archive. Enjoy.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-09-2011, 11:20 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,236
His weekly podcasts are great. Check them out.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-09-2011, 11:58 AM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 24,163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ducca View Post
He's based in Seattle and his flagship paper is The Stranger, though he's syndicated in independant papers all over (including The Reader). I believe if you go to The Stranger's website, you can find archives of his column.
Actually, I think he's also the editor of The Stranger (although apparently I can't go to the website while I'm at work).
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-09-2011, 01:03 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
Actually, I think he's also the editor of The Stranger (although apparently I can't go to the website while I'm at work).
The Editor of The Stranger is one Christopher Frizzelle. Dan Savage is not on the masthead, ie, has no editorial role whatsoever.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-09-2011, 01:06 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 24,163
As I said, I can't get to the website while at work, but the Wikipedia article says that he was the editor from April 2001 until September 2007.

Actually, now I can get to the site. He's listed as editorial director.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 06-09-2011 at 01:07 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-09-2011, 01:14 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
As I said, I can't get to the website while at work, but the Wikipedia article says that he was the editor from April 2001 until September 2007.

Actually, now I can get to the site. He's listed as editorial director.
Um, okay, nevermind.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-09-2011, 01:25 PM
Enderw24 Enderw24 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: KC. MO -094 35.3 39 4.9
Posts: 10,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post
The Editor of The Stranger is one Christopher Frizzelle.
That's just his Snoop Dogg name.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-09-2011, 02:46 PM
QuarkChild QuarkChild is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
There seems to be two different Dan Savages. I've read two of his books (The Kid and The Commitment). I liked both those books. However, they seem nothing like his columns. His columns are very confrontational and explicit. His books are like, "So then Terry and I had breakfast, and Terry made me delete the next two sentences." There's nothing explicit, and while occasionally the books seem to present an agenda, they aren't nearly as in-your-face. I suspect this might be Terry's influence--maybe Dan is trying to respect Terry's privacy--but for whatever reason, the books seem very toned down, and therefore less entertaining than his columns.

Just my 2 cents.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-09-2011, 08:15 PM
jayjay jayjay is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuarkChild View Post
There seems to be two different Dan Savages. I've read two of his books (The Kid and The Commitment). I liked both those books. However, they seem nothing like his columns. His columns are very confrontational and explicit. His books are like, "So then Terry and I had breakfast, and Terry made me delete the next two sentences." There's nothing explicit, and while occasionally the books seem to present an agenda, they aren't nearly as in-your-face. I suspect this might be Terry's influence--maybe Dan is trying to respect Terry's privacy--but for whatever reason, the books seem very toned down, and therefore less entertaining than his columns.

Just my 2 cents.
That's probably correct, since Skipping Toward Gomorrah, which ISN'T about his life with Terry and their son, is closer to the style of "Savage Love".
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:12 PM
Fuzzy Dunlop Fuzzy Dunlop is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enderw24 View Post
That's just his Snoop Dogg name.
I love this post.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:20 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
+1 for reading his columns.
If you have a cell phone you can download the Savage Love app, and it archives a LOT of his columns, complete with clicky words relating to the post you just read in case one of them appeals to you and you want to find more on that subject.


I will certainly pick up Skipping to Gomorrah myself.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-09-2011, 11:57 PM
Improvisor Improvisor is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
He was on a 'Live' episode of This American Life a few years back here in Seattle. He told a really great story about his own life. Well worth the 15 minutes to listen to it. It gives you a sense of what he is like outside of his sex column persona.

You can listen to it here (Act Four. My Other Dog's A German Shepherd):
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radi...rom-television
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-10-2011, 08:56 AM
GrandWino GrandWino is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuarkChild View Post
There seems to be two different Dan Savages. I've read two of his books (The Kid and The Commitment). I liked both those books. However, they seem nothing like his columns. His columns are very confrontational and explicit. His books are like, "So then Terry and I had breakfast, and Terry made me delete the next two sentences." There's nothing explicit, and while occasionally the books seem to present an agenda, they aren't nearly as in-your-face. I suspect this might be Terry's influence--maybe Dan is trying to respect Terry's privacy--but for whatever reason, the books seem very toned down, and therefore less entertaining than his columns.

Just my 2 cents.
I think there might even be a third Dan Savage, the one on his podcast. He's not nearly as snarky as he is in his column, and comes across a lot more empathetic and kind. He's not pushing the humor as hard as he is in the column and it creates a great balance.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-10-2011, 09:22 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
He's also very clear in his podcasts that he has an agreement with his partner/husband (they were married in Canada, IIRC, but that doesn't count in WA) that he discloses very little about their sexual life. I don't think there's a conflict between "Dans" here - he obviously respects Terry's privacy and wishes, and is being a good husband. He mentions often that people will have something that is "the price of admission" for being in a relationship with them, and that usually these are fine, as long as it is disclosed upfront, or negotiated when possible.

And yes, he can be snarky in the podcasts, but then he'll get a call from some depressed/devastated person who needs help, and you can hear the concern in his voice. I've had tears come to my eyes frequently during calls like that.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 06-10-2011 at 09:25 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-10-2011, 09:41 AM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,465
I've been a big fan of Savage for quite a while now. He's got a great, sometimes snarky, attitude and he gives really good advice. Occasionally I think he'll get on a soapbox now and again, but I think that comes with the territory and he typically has some interesting insight when he does get into this mode.

I thought one of his funniest columns was when he related the advice he gave to everyone within the context of the move Starship Troopers. Fortunately for everyone, I was able to find it! This thing is still brilliant over a decade later.

I do have to call BS on Savage for one thing, though. He had one column where he described his first time with a woman. He mentioned that when he got done something came out of the woman's vagina and he freaked out and determined that he would never put his penis into something that excretes something odd like that. Uh Dan, ever see what comes out of a butt?
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-10-2011, 10:27 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 25,236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intergalactic Gladiator View Post
I do have to call BS on Savage for one thing, though. He had one column where he described his first time with a woman. He mentioned that when he got done something came out of the woman's vagina and he freaked out and determined that he would never put his penis into something that excretes something odd like that. Uh Dan, ever see what comes out of a butt?
I read that column, and I took his tone as one of total irony.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:34 AM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
I read that column, and I took his tone as one of total irony.
You may be right. I have to re-read that column if I can find it.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:41 AM
MsWhich MsWhich is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Was that the same column where he described female genitalia as looking like "a canned ham that has been dropped from a great height?"

I laughed so hard when I read that the first time, I thought I was going to rupture something.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 06-10-2011, 12:47 PM
Moe Moe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Improvisor View Post
He was on a 'Live' episode of This American Life a few years back here in Seattle. He told a really great story about his own life. Well worth the 15 minutes to listen to it. It gives you a sense of what he is like outside of his sex column persona.

You can listen to it here (Act Four. My Other Dog's A German Shepherd):
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radi...rom-television
I was actually coming in to mention his appearances on TAL in general. Here are the search results for him there.

I've never read his books but he's a great speaker and I prefer his spoken stuff to his columns.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 06-10-2011, 04:06 PM
Enderw24 Enderw24 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: KC. MO -094 35.3 39 4.9
Posts: 10,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intergalactic Gladiator View Post
I do have to call BS on Savage for one thing, though. He had one column where he described his first time with a woman. He mentioned that when he got done something came out of the woman's vagina and he freaked out and determined that he would never put his penis into something that excretes something odd like that. Uh Dan, ever see what comes out of a butt?
I believe he wasn't talking about semen, but of queefing.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 06-10-2011, 04:13 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
I saw a great talk by Savage when he came to IU. He's a very funny guy. I used to listen to his podcast religiously.

He is very pro-gun, which I like.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 06-10-2011, 04:16 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intergalactic Gladiator View Post
I do have to call BS on Savage for one thing, though. He had one column where he described his first time with a woman. He mentioned that when he got done something came out of the woman's vagina and he freaked out and determined that he would never put his penis into something that excretes something odd like that. Uh Dan, ever see what comes out of a butt?
Not blood, usually.

Then again, I'm the proud owner of a pair of red wings, so I'm not the one to talk.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 06-10-2011, 07:27 PM
hamwater hamwater is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Oh wow, thank you all for the replies!

I will definitely go online and read some columns and listen to the podcasts. I listen to "This American Life" whenever I can anyway so I will check that episode out too.

I will probably go ahead and order Skipping Toward Gomorrah as well since that one was mentioned the most. I read online a lot (probably at least a couple of hours everyday just here), but there is something I really like about actually holding a book and reading it...

Thanks again you guys.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.