I actually read my favorite sex advice columnist, Dan Savage of Savage Love, out of professional interest: many of my divorce and custody clients have “interests” that I would otherwise be unaware of. It’s helpful to know what these clients are talking about–often ashamed about–when we discuss their case.
Savage is a sex columnist for the internet age, an era in which young people are more open about sex and less concerned with privacy. A married gay Seattle resident with an adopted child (sounds like a stereotype, doesn’t it?) who edits his own weekly alternative newspaper, Savage sees himself as a part of a long tradition of advice columnists, actually purchasing Ann Landers’ old writing desk after she died. I admit I also read Savage because I find his column highly entertaining as he dishes out advice to the love and sex lorn of all genders and sexual persuasions (in the culture Savage inhabits there are more than two genders and a multiplicity of sexual persuasions).
Upset over the recent rash of suicides by gay teens who had been subject to bullying, Savage started the “It Gets Better” project in which famous people create short videos aimed at depressed gay teens with the theme that life will get better after high school. Even President Obama created a video for this project.
Part of Savage’s column for the week of February 3, 2011 including his discussion of bathroom graffiti he encountered at a dive bar near the University of Maryland. That graffiti read, “Don’t raw dog a random.” Roughly translated, this is a vulgar, playful and non-sexist way of saying “use a condom when you have sex with someone you just met.” Savage meant this advice as a method of reducing sexually transmitted diseases. As a domestic attorney, I see an additional benefit to following his advice.
Many of my most contentious cases I handle involve custody fights between two parents who have no shared values. While folks who bear children as part of a long-term relationship can have very different values, such discongruity is more common with parents who conceived a child as part of a random encounter.
So don’t raw dog a random. My business would be cut by 20%, and there would be many fewer folks trying to “coparent” with someone they can’t stand, if everyone followed this advice.