You might be familiar with Dan Savage. He’s the author of America’s premier sex advice column, Savage Love, which he’s been writing for 20 years. The column is wildly popular and Mr. Savage has become influential: frivolously, when he got his readers to redefine the word Santorum in response to (former) Republican Senator Rick Santorum’s comments regarding homosexuality; more seriously when he started the It Gets Better project as a way of sending hopeful messages to LGBT teenagers following a series of suicides among that group. You know you’ve arrived when Barack Obama records a video for you.

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was this article in Washington Monthly magazine, which takes a very serious approach to the Savage Love column and attempts to boil it down to the fundamental ethical position that it puts forward. It’s a really good and open-minded overview, and there’s a great twist about two thirds of the way through when you discover the profession of the article’s author. I found myself agreeing with most of it: Savage Love is really strong on sexual ethics but when it comes to more general relationship advice it tends to allow sex issues to dominate most others, for instance sometimes assuming too easily that someone will cheat if all their sexual desires are not met within their relationship. But it’s worth reading the whole thing; please do.

And, uh, since you may well be reading this part way through your Monday, I’d advise that it may be NSFW but only if your employer is particularly prudish.

(Article link via Arts & Letters Daily).

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