After 20-plus years as a sex advice columnist, author, and LGBT activist, you would think Dan Savage would have earned the right to relax a little. He hasn't.
"The asshole tech people make it impossible to just take the time to be a writer anymore," says Savage during a call with City Pages this past week. "It's hard to find the time to write when you've got a column and a podcast, then people want you to be active on Twitter, and now there's Instagram, and apparently I have to be on fucking Vine now. It's crazy."
Despite the increasingly busy schedule, Savage found the time to release his new book, American Savage, earlier this month. A collection of essays combining his completely unfiltered outlook on relationships, religion, politics, and, of course, sex, the book is Savage's first solo effort since 2005's The Commitment.
To celebrate the release, Savage will be stopping in the Twin Cities for a very special discussion at Macalester College in St. Paul Tuesday night where he'll share his always insightful and entertaining thoughts on pretty much anything you can think of.
Congratulations on the new book. How does this one compare to your past works?
It started as just a collection of my essays that I'd been writing and revising over the past few years, but as new data started coming out to support some of the things I've written about in the past it became a whole new book.
The GGG Spot, for example ("good, giving, and game") is something I've talked about for some time, but I was called a sexist pig because of it. Now new research is coming out to support that idea, and it's very gratifying to be able to say, 'I told you.'
Since the last time you visited Minnesota, the political landscape has changed quite a bit. What's your take on some of the excitement that's been happening here these past few months?
That's right; this will be the first time I've been back since same-sex marriage passed, which is a campaign that Terry and I made a personal $5,000 donation towards, so I'm glad to see that investment paid off. It's also the first time back since Bachmann announced that she's packing up her bullshit circus, which I'm also thrilled about. I don't really know what she's going to do now though; maybe go torture more closet cases with Marcus?
Speaking of conservative political leaders, in this book you present what has to be the greatest challenge ever to Hermain Cain and John Cummins. You say that they can prove that being gay is a choice, provided they do something for you.
Right. I said that if they want to prove being gay is a choice, then meet me somewhere and put my dick in their mouths. Put my cock in their mouths and keep it there until I ejaculate. Then, the next time they're doing an interview and they're asked about how you can choose to be gay or straight, they can say that they've chosen to be gay before. It's simple. I mean, it might take me a while because those two aren't really my type, but I'm willing to give it a try if they are.
I'm guessing that challenge hasn't been accepted?
Not just yet. It's funny because conservatives will make horribly offensive comments and remarks about being gay, but the second someone like me offers up an equally offensive retort they just completely shut down. Not only do they shut down, but they're completely shocked that you'd dare punch back. It's my belief that violence is always wrong, except in the case of self-defense. Me telling those guys that they can suck my dick is my self-defense.
When you wrote your last book, your son was pretty young. In this book, you talk more about what it's like living with an adolescent. Does he read your writing? How does he feel about being included in some of it?
The Kid is laying around the house, which is obviously all about him, so he knows I've discussed him in the past. For the most part though, his life is off the record. My husband Terry and I are experiencing the drama of living in a house with a teenage son going through puberty, and he's developing his own personality that can sometimes be combative of his parents, just like other teenagers. Once we all got to this phase I decided to stop writing about his life. Maybe I'll write a book on parenting once he's 30.
IF YOU GO:
Kagin Commons at Macalester College
6:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 18
**Advance tickets available at Common Good Books in St. Paul, free with purchase of American Savage. Limit two per customer. All remaining seats are free to the general public, first come first served. Click here for more details.
1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, MN