Oct 15, 2021 • 57M

Podcast: Savage’s Sexual Politics

Sarah Barmak on the contributions and controversies around the famed sex advice columnist

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‘Dan Savage in 2013 (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage)

I’ve been reading “Savage Love,” Dan Savage’s sex advice column, for nearly 30 years and have found it almost always entertaining, frequently enlightening, sometimes astonishing and at times annoying. Over at Slate, L.V. Anderson wrote a nuanced and profound profile of Savage that both gives him due credit for the way he’s changed how millions talk about sex and also justly challenges many of  the careless comments he’s made over the years about bisexuals, trans people, and Black people.

Anderson’s profile convinced me that Savage’s career—in many ways a barometer of 30 years of arguments about sex—is worthy of a retrospective analysis. To help me think through both Savage and the profile, I turned to my friend Sarah Barmak, author of the excellent book Closer: Notes from the Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality. As expected, Sarah was a great tour guide through the world of sexual politics. 

(Podcast produced by Julia Elinore Peterson; post edited by Emily M. Keeler)

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