LIVE, LAUGH, AND LEARN... welcome to the co.

The Savage Love Cast

As many of my peers, I spent many of my teenage years, falling asleep while I listened to Dr. Drew and Adam Carola dish out relationship, substance abuse, and sex advice on Love Line. Due to the inadequate nature of Sex Ed in schools, most of us learned about sex through this show (and of course whatever was on our TV, movie, or computer screens). I used to think the show was great, it was funny and very informative.

Around the time I went off to college, I stopped listening to the show just because I stopped listening to the radio all that much (thank you Napster et al.). As I graduated and moved into a job in the "real world," I started podcasting at work. I listen to a lot of NPR and am a religious follower of This American Life. Dan Savage, a contributor to the show, has to be one of the more insightful and entertaining people on the show (see his segment in What I learned from TV). Through the show, I learned that Dan was a sex advise columnist for The Stranger. He writes a column called Savage Love and does a podcast as well.

After listening to every episode he has posted up until now, I have found that his Savage Lovecast, as he calls it, is as insightful and even funnier than his appearances on This American Life (thanks to the FCC rules not applying to podcasts). Dan's liberal views on sex and relationships are more down to earth and realistic than you will here on most advice columns. The one thing I have come to realize is that when you compare the two shows (Love Line and Savage Love) the differences are much like the views on sex between liberals and religious conservatives (bare with me here, I am about to make some generalizations). The conservatives say to stay away from birth control, abstinence is the only way and no one should be having sex. The liberals on the other hand say, abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy or STDs, but if you are going to have sex, use protection. Love Line tries to draw a distinct line of what is acceptable and what is not as well as what works and what doesn't (much of it dictated by Dr. Drew's own clinical views) He often says to stay away from non-monogamous relationships and other situations that he is not familiar with. Dan, on the other hand, tends to give his opinion on the issue but then take the approach of, "well, me saying don't do it is not going to stop you, so if you are going to do it, here is how to keep yourself safe both physically and emotionally." If that wasn't clear, here's an SAT example:

Love Line : Savage Love :: Conservative Christians : Intelligent Liberals

Being a homosexual male who is active in his community and promotes a sex positive environment around him allows Dan to tackle subjects comfortably that other advice columnists might shy away from. Dan is able to talk about things without becoming uncomfortable and his high threshold for what many people might consider taboo allows him to interact comfortably with people about their situation and make them feel somewhat normal, or at least human.

To try to sum up Savage love is next to impossible (in fact I think the SAT analogy says it all) so I would definitely recommend podcasting him and taking a listen for yourself. While some homophobic people might find it uncomfortable to listen to at first, I would encourage you to listen what he has to say, who knows, maybe some of his intelligent views might get through that thick skull of yours.

**Edit (5/31)
My friend mentioned I was maybe a little unfair on Dr. Drew. I personally enjoyed listening to Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla for many years and do believe that they provide a great service to the youth of America. I think that Dr. Drew has probably helped countless amounts of people, especially when it comes to drug addiction, STDs, and sexual abuse. I think he has a loyal following that really listens to the positive things he has to say. I guess as I have grown and changed, my tastes, opinions, and views have as well. Besides, Dr. Drew is no Dr. Laura, now there's one crazy lady. Ok, enough of the hate, on to other things.