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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Savage’

Dan Savage’s HUMP! Tour Takes DC

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 13.24.15Saturday, FishbowlDC had the pleasure (not like that, y’all) of attending HUMP!, the amateur adult film festival (that we previewed Thursday). The fest was created by love and sex advice columnist Dan Savage in 2005 as a sex-positive and creative outlet for amateur pornographers, and is currently touring the country.

Boy were we in for a surprise!

The screening featured a variety of submissions, including “Mythical Proportions,” a mocumentary that detailed the taboo love of humans and centaurs; ‘Fun With Fire;’ and ‘Magic Love.’

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Dan Savage on his HUMP! Tour, Sex in DC, and the GOP

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 13.24.15Earlier today, FishbowlDC had the opportunity to speak with love and sex advice columnist Dan Savage, in advance of the DC stop of his amateur adult film festival, HUMP!. The show premiers tonight and runs through Saturday at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

HUMP! films take a nuanced approach to amateur adult films by using parody, documentary themes, animation, and more to give viewers an artistic look at the genre. The festival was created in 2005 by the “Savage Love” author as a sex-positive and creative outlet for amateur pornographers.

Eight screenings are planned for its visit to DC, including Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21 at 8 and 10 pm and at 4, 6, 8, and 10 pm Saturday, March 22. Tickets may be purchased at The festival’s DC stop is presented by the Washington City Paper, which runs “Savage Love” weekly and online.

Read on for our Q&A with Savage on the origins of the tour, what we can expect, and naturally, his answers to Push/F@#k/Marry with Fox News’ Bret Baier, CNN’s Jake Tapper, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

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Fishbowl Five with Ben Wikler

Ben Wikler

Photo courtesy of

Progressive activist and newly-minted DC resident Ben Wikler ( is launching a podcast tomorrow that will, in his words, ”give a behind-the-sling-shot view of David vs. Goliath battles for progressive change.”

The Good Fight, with Ben Wikler mixes comedy, activism, and interviews with progressive newsmakers -all with a dash of the satirical wit that you might expect from an Onion alum. The show is the successor to the The Flaming Sword of Justice, a show founded in 2012 by Ben Wikler and the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz. The new show’s website is and you can also find it in the iTunes store by searching for “The Good Fight.”

Fishbowl DC talked with Ben earlier today over the phone and got him to answer a few questions for the Fishbowl Five.

How’d you come up with the idea for The Good Fight?

I worked for 6 years in activism and politics in ’08 elections,, and till last year -and I met all these  activists around the world and in the US who are leading giant fights on things like marriage equality, immigration reform, but their stories weren’t really being told. At the same time, I had the itch to do something creative. So as a side project I started a radio show called The Flaming Sword of Justice with a friend of mine, Aaron Swartz.

He and I moved to new York in 2011 and had this idea for a show that would combine storytelling, activism, and comedy -showing people the thrill of battle, I guess, that activists get to experience when they work on something that’s going to change the world. We worked on that show together till 2012, when he passed away at the beginning of the year. I left around the same time. Then I realized this would work much better as a podcast, where we can meet our guest wherever and whenever, build in comedy segments, and distribute it on the Internet. So The Flaming Sword of Justice is being reborn as The Good Fight, with a new format. Its going from a five-days-a-week radio show to a once-a-week pre-recorded podcast

What other podcasts do you like?

I like This American Life, I love 99% Invisible, storytelling podcasts, WTF with Marc Maron… I have been jumping around to a lot stuff recently, a lot of Slate stuff, comedy podcasts. Oh also, have you listened to the Savage Lovecast? (Nope.) It started as a radio show [Dan Savage] had for a really long time. Its a combination of sex advice, sometimes politics, activism. And it makes you laugh pretty often. That’s definitely an inspiration for our show. But with more politics, less sex.

So how much sex will there be in your podcast?

You’ll have to listen to find out.

You’re supposed to be a comedy/activist podcast, but how do you make activism funny? We liked Margaret Cho’s comedy, for example, until she got too activisty and preachy. How do keep the preachy from stepping on the funny?

One of the things you can do is alternate. Somethings are just straight comedy and somethings are straight politics. Sometimes they blend together quite beautifully. But some things are just not built for a joke and trying to squeeze one out of it will get you a bad joke. If its not working don’t force it.

Here’s the thing, a lot of the show is story telling, it’s interviews with people about the fights they’ve been involved with. And those stories, sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re just emotionally powerful, sometimes they’re just fascinating. But they aren’t  necessarily comedic in themselves.

But then, on first show, we also have a fake ad for NSA Backup, which is  a free universal backup service that  stores your personal data online. (lolz.) But that ad isn’t requiring activists to be funny. It just stands on its own. That’s the mix were going for.

You used to work for The Onion, how do you feel about the discontinuation of the print edition?

I think its a death blow to the written word. It’s a cruel tragedy. But I guess now people will just have to listen to podcasts.

For more about Ben Wikler’s work, check out these interviews from, here and here.

Morning Chatter

“No, I told you I don’t watch the news. … I don’t watch the news.”Rachel Jeantel, star witness in the George Zimmerman trial during cross examination, discussing how she knew this was thought to be a “racially charged event.”

Defending Glenn Greenwald

“The smears against @ggreenwald begin: Glenn has not been kind to me in the past, but these attacks are disgusting.” — The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza, who links to this story.

Advice for NPR

“#NPR pull on your Big Boy Pants. Declare independence from federal handouts.” — WTOP VP of News and Programming Jim Farley.

Phew! Glad that’s settled!

“To be clear, I’m not editorializing, I’m asking questions out loud. I don’t know the answers.” — The Guardian‘s National Security Editor Spencer Ackerman.

Dan Savage reacts to DOMA decision

“Human rights are universal, marriage is a human right, gay people are human, we exist in this universe. #NotThatComplicated.” — Syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, who was recently in Washington for a book signing at the W.

Reporter complains in Paris

“Hey, Paris: I was cool with McDonalds, sorta OK with Starbucks. But SUBWAY? Get it together.” — Yahoo! News’ Olivier Knox.

Hey Bolt Bus: What the hell?

“Dear @BoltBus: can someone please explain to me why I’m on I-97 towards Annapolis right now? This is worst route to DC I’ve ever seen.” — Reason mag’s Preston Cornish.

Dedication is…

“NOTE: your pooler explored the possibility of an in-flight pool report via a call from Air Force One. But by the time we were preparing to make the call, the transcript of the previous exchange with Carney was already being sent out to the list.” — NYT’s Michael Shear in a White House Pool Report en route to Africa.

And decency is…

“Congrats to @newtgingrich, @stefcutter, @VanJones68 & @secupp: new hosts of new Crossfire. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. #CNN” — CNN Contributor Paul Begala.

Black bear in Maureen Orth’s hood 

“So this is the black bear that was running around my mom’s neighborhood this AM in #DC Red Panda started trend.” — NBC’s Luke Russert. Orth writes for Vanity Fair. By far the worst response to Luke’s tweet came from retired San Diego-based “white liberal guy” Bob LaPolla, who wrote, “@LukeRussert it was your dad reincarnated.” WTF planet are you living on, LaPolla?

Dan Savage In the Flesh Is…Shy?

Broach the most difficult topics in the world with sex columnist and author Dan Savage –we’re talking every kind of sex imaginable including the kinds that involve animals, children and feces (seriously, this exists) — and he has no problem talking about any of it.

Just so long as he’s behind a computer screen or telephone receiver. “I’m very brave behind my computer,” he says.

But ask if any of the tens of thousands of questions he has received over the years have ever given him an idea in bed and suddenly he’s…shy? And seriously turning various shades of crimson. “I get all freaked out,” he says of people confronting him in person on personal matters. “I’m shy.”

He politely apologizes and explains that his husband, Terry Miller, a hot underwear and swim model, once told him he could write about sex all he wants. Just not about sex with him. Savage wouldn’t answer the question specifically, but said that yes, some questions have made him sexually curious.

Savage showed up to the roof of the W Hotel in downtown Washington Sunday night for an event organized by BrandlinkDC. For three hours he faced a packed room of raging Dan Savage fans to sign copies of his new book, American Savage: Insights, Slights and Flights on Faith, Sex, Love and Politics. “I love low-rise cities,” he says when asked what he thinks of Washington. “I have more friends here than I do in Seattle, Washington,” where he lives.

He says strangers often consult him about sex and he’s faced with pointed questions wherever he goes. “People have asked me questions in urinals,” he explains.

Before we met him, we were told he was “down-to-earth” and “super chill.” All that, in fact, was true. But one thing he isn’t so super calm about, even now, was the time… Read more

Dan Savage Book Signing at W Has Special Perk: a He-Wax or Bikini Wax for Men

On Sunday June 9, the final day of Capital Pride, Dan Savage, the syndicated sex advice columnist who routinely touches on everything from dry humping to closet cross dressing in his weekly advice column, will be at the W signing his newest book, American Savage: Slights and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love and Politics.

The book contains 17 essays that range from assisted suicide, cheating and his three-day quest to get a picture with GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum at 2011′s CPAC. Santorum is notoriously not supportive of gays, having equated homosexuality to bestiality. In the past he has promised to pray for Savage. Savage, in turn, infamously created a new definition for “Santorum” that reads: “The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex.”

To give you more of an idea of the types of things Savage writes about, in a recent column, he counseled a 21-year-old woman who felt an ex-boyfriend may have sexually violated her. In addition to, of course, trusting her own perceptions on whether her boyfriend took advantage of her, he wrote that “Very few boys have achieved complete mastery over their dicks by age 14.”

It’s safe to say children should not attend. Read more

Raunchy Santorum Sex Jokes Abound

There are some things that can’t be unlearned. Like the word “santorum.” Ever since GOP Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum clumped homosexuality together with bestiality and polygamy and declared them all deviant, syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage created an alternative meaning for the politician’s surname. There’s no easy way to do this, so hide the children for a moment and don’t let them near the computer… Santorum: That frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex. (Source: Urban Dictionary).

Last night some Washington journalists couldn’t stop themselves from cracking jokes on the Santorum matter, with the former senator surging and all.

The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza remarked on Twitter, “Note to headline writers tonight: be careful with how you juxtapose the words Santorum and caucus.” And Metro Weekly‘s openly gay White House Correspondent Chris Geidner jumped right in, reminding Lizza, “You forgot ‘three-way’ and ‘from behind.’”

Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter made this keen observation: “If Santorum pulls this out, he’ll dog Romney for months.” Democratic strategist and pundit Paul Begala couldn’t resist. “That would be dog-on-man, no?” he replied.

Also unable to resist the heat of the moment was HuffPost‘s political writer Sam Stein who concluded, “This is, undoubtedly, the first three-way Santorum’s been in #hadtomakethejoke.”

Chubby Chaser Wants Advice, Blames Media

“Savage Love,” the dating advice column from WCP‘s syndicated Dan Savage, is pretty fabulous. This week comes a question we may not be able to relate to, but we can at last laugh (until it seeps into sad territory about body image issues).

The writer, a 19-year-old male, “is only attracted to chubby girls, though I myself am rather skinny.” He has accepted this, though he says admitting that he was into chubby girls was almost as scary as  a gay man having to come out of the closet. The problem, though, is that the girls don’t find themselves attractive, and “that is a turnoff” for the writer, who calls himself “Troubled Horndog In Need,” or THIN for short. Is he doing something wrong to make the girls feel bad about their bodies? Is it the media?

Savage’s answer: The girls are surely having trouble with “all the shit that’s been thrown at them about their bodies,” but THIN may be doing something wrong if the girls leave the relationship feeling worse about their bodies.

Savage never does address that media blame.