You thought Democrats were only arguing about whether tampons alone should be free of sales tax, and whether churches should be forced to have unisex latrines where Trans people could squat right beside children.
But no. The sex life of the modern liberal is far more vexed than that. But Dan Savage is there to help them:
I am a twentysomething, straight, cis-female expat. How long do I have to wait to ask my German lover, who is übersensitive about the Holocaust, to indulge me in my greatest—and, until now, unrealized—fantasy: Nazi role-play? He is very delicate around me because I am a secular Jew and the descendant of Holocaust survivors. (Even though I’ve instructed him to watch The Believer, starring Ryan Gosling as a Jewish neo-Nazi, to get a better grasp on my relationship with Judaism. To be clear, I am not actually a neo-Nazi—just your garden-variety self-hating Jew.) This persists even though we’ve spoken about my anti-Zionist politics. Evidently he was indoctrinated from a young age with a hyperapologetic history curriculum. I appreciate that he thinks it was wrong for the SS to slaughter my family, but it’s not like he did it himself. I know it sounds really fucked up, but I promise this isn’t coming from a place of deep-seated self-loathing. Even if it were, it’s not like we’d be hurting anybody. We’re both in good psychological working condition, and neither of us is an actual bigot. I would try to get to know him better, but we are so different (there’s a big age difference) and I don’t really see our relationship being much more than ze sex.
National Socialist Pretend Party
“Sex writers get all the really good religion questions,” said Mark Oppenheimer. “Can we trade mailboxes sometime soon? I’m tired of dealing with all the questions about why evangelicals support a thrice-married misogynist reality-TV star who never goes to church.”
Oppenheimer writes the Beliefs column for the New York Times
and is cohost of Unorthodox
, an “irreverent podcast about Jews and other people”. I invited Oppenheimer to weigh in because I am, sadly, not Jewish myself. (Jewishness is conferred through matrilineal descent, your mom—or, if you’re Reform, either parent—has to be Jewish for you to be Jewish, so all those blowjobs I gave to my first Jewish boyfriend were for nothing. No birthright trip for me.)
“First off, I think that Die Fraulein should make her kinky proposal ASAP,” said Oppenheimer. “Given the ‘hyperapologetic’ curriculum that her Teutonic stud has absorbed, he is probably going to freak out no matter when she asks him to incinerate—er, tie her up and fuck her. On the other hand, if he’s open and kink-positive, he’ll probably be down for whatever. But it’s all or nothing in a case like this. She can’t win him over by persuading him that she’s not one of those uptight, unforgiving Jewesses who is still hung up on the destruction of European Jewry.”
While your kink didn’t really faze Oppenheimer (it’s not exactly unheard of), NSPP, your discomfort with your own Judaism did.
“In her letter, she assures us that she is ‘secular,’ ‘anti-Zionist,’ and ‘garden-variety self-hating’—then jokingly compares herself to the Jewish white supremacist (played by Ryan Gosling in that movie) who in real life killed himself after the New York Times outed him as a Jew,” said Oppenheimer. “Now, all of us (especially homos and Yids) know something about self-loathing, and I think Jews are entitled to any and all views on Israel, and—again—I am not troubled by her kink. That said, I do think she needs to get to a happier place about her own heritage. Just as it’s not good for black people to be uncomfortable with being black, or for queer people to wish they weren’t queer, it’s not healthy, or attractive, for Jews or Jewesses (we are taking back the term) to have such obvious discomfort with their Jewish heritage.”
And finally, NSPP, I shared your letter with a German friend of mine, just to see how it might play with someone who benefited from a hyperapologetic history curriculum. Would he do something like this?
“Not in six million years.”
I am totally with your German friend, who wouldn’t do Nazi role-play “in six million years.” I’ve been in a similar position—not quite Holocaust level, but not far off. I’m a white British guy. A while back, while living in the UK, I was dating a woman from Bangalore. She revealed—after her face lit up when I dressed in a way that made me “look like a colonialist” (her words)—that her deepest fantasy was to be an Indian slave girl raped by an English imperialist. And then, living in the US a few years later, I was dating a black woman. We got to talking about the kinks of exes. I told her about this one, and she revealed that her own fantasy was to be the slave on a 19th-century plantation, raped by her white owner. How about some advice for the human fetish objects in these scenarios, Dan? I didn’t want to stigmatize these women for their sexual desires, and I wanted to be GGG, but it was, frankly, hard (or not, as it were). Being asked to act out roles I feel guilty about, and to use the kind of racial epithets I make every effort to avoid… the guilt is a boner-killer. Any tips on how a GGG partner can get past this kind of mental block and at least act the role enthusiastically enough to fulfill the fantasy? Or was a subsequent girlfriend’s outrage about my willingness to indulge such socially regressive fantasies justified?—I Might Play Every Role I’m Asked Less Ideologically-Scrupulous Motives
Actors play Nazis in hit movies, British colonialists for prestigious BBC miniseries, and serial killers on long-running television shows. I don’t see why playing monsters in entertainments devised for millions wins Oscars (Christoph Waltz for playing a Nazi in Inglourious Basterds), BAFTAs (Tim Pigott-Smith for playing a brutal colonialist in The Jewel in the Crown), and Golden Globes (Michael C. Hall for playing a sociopathic serial killer in Dexter), but playing a monster for an audience of one should outrage “subsequent girlfriends” or anyone else.
My advice for people asked to play monsters in the bedroom mirrors my advice to a gay guy attracted to degrading “antigay” gay porn: “A person can safely explore degrading fantasies—even fantasies rooted in ‘hate ideologies’—so long as he/she is capable of compartmentalizing this stuff. Basically, you have to build a fire wall between your fantasies and your self-esteem. (And between your fantasies and your politics.)”
If you can build a fire wall between their fantasies and your politics and beliefs, IMPERIALISM, go for it. If you can’t, don’t. —Dan