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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Sex columnist is honest with Northern

It’s not very often that Northern students gather to discuss fetishes, virginity and lube.

Dan Savage, author of the sex column “Savage Love,” spoke at Northern Tuesday, March 24. He answered anonymous sex questions that students had written on index cards before the speech.

Since 1991, Savage has written his column for “The Stranger,” an alternative weekly paper in Seattle since 1991 and hosts a podcast called “The Savage Lomhcvvecast.” Savage is often a guest on Chicago Public Radio’s “This American Life.”

Jumping into the questions quickly, Savage first fielded: “How often is it normal to masturbate?”

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“If it makes you happy, you’re doing it enough. If it’s making you unhappy or leaving welts on your genitals, or occupies all of your time and you’re failing all of your classes, then it’s not good,” Savage said.

As a gay man who has often spoken out for homosexual rights, Savage offered advice to rural gays.

He said a good way to find acceptance and a wider choice in sexual partners for gay people is to move to cities, where there tends to be a larger population of homosexuals.

Savage said that the gay population in the U.S. often lives in cities, which is like a collection of islands.

“I call it the urban archipelago for gay people. It’s not a country, it’s a chain of islands with a sea of morons often in between,” Savage said. “The number of islands are growing and the size of the islands are growing.”

Savage said he is glad he’s not straight because straight men often are forced to assume a certain role where they are restricted to act a certain way.

“What makes you straight is that you’re not a girl and you’re not a fag,” Savage said. “So anything that girls do or like, or fags do or like, is forbidden if you want to maintain your straight guy bona fide.”

He talked about how these stereotypes are incorrect and “you like what you like.”

Savage said he receives letters from a number of straight men who explain odd things they do to turn themselves on and ask Savage if they are gay.

“How sad to be a straight guy and have all this world closed off for you,” he said.

Another question that was addressed was what type of underwear men prefer for women. Savage, acknowledging that he wasn’t the best person to answer that question, said that he likes it when his boyfriend wears a certain type of underwear.

“Those are the tiny, ‘I-love-you’ compromises, gestures that you should be willing to make, as long as they don’t destroy you,” Savage said. “It’s not like I’m into amputees, and I want him to cut off his left arm; I just want him to wear tighty whities because they’re hot.”

When asked how to politely ask your partner to lose weight, Savage acknowledged that popular opinion would be to not say anything, but he believes that people have a responsibility to their partner to maintain their own appearance.

“‘I’m more attracted to you physically at your previous weight’ is a legit concern if part of what you expect out of your long-term relationship is life-long sex,” Savage said.

Another thing Savage said women need to accept is that most men have fetishes. He said the extremity of fetishes range in intensity and interest, but all men have a fetish.

“If you’re a straight girl, the odds that you are going to end up with a boyfriend or husband who has a terrifying collection of kinks (is) 100 percent,” Savage said. “All men are kinky, all of them. There is something inherently kinkifying about male sexuality.”

He said fetishes should not be frowned upon but accepted, because women often become interested in fetishes around their sexual peak, which is in their early 30s.

He talked about a woman who made the mistake of dumping her boyfriend for having a foot fetish.

“Dump the honest foot fetishist, and you will marry the dishonest necrophiliac.”

Meredith Gasco, a sophomore English writing major who attended the speech, said she was glad to see a modern gay icon come to Northern, and learned a lot of future relationship tips. She said that having people like Savage visit Northern makes an inevitable step forward for acceptance of homosexuality.

“I definitely think there’s progress to be made still,” Gasco said. “(But) overall we’re definitely moving toward a greater campus environment.”

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