Columnist Brings ‘Savage Love’ to JU

Dan Savage broke the ice with his thoughts on monogamy.

“If you’ve committed a single act of infidelity and you are sure that it will never happen again, should you tell you’re partner? No,” Savage said. “Studies show that your partner probably doesn’t want to know.”

Some 200 students filled Jacksonville University’s Kinne Center Feb. 19 to listen to and interact with syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage in a presentation titled “Savage Love Live.”

The 48-year-old media pundit and his husband, Terry Miller, have one adopted son, 14-year-old DJ. Savage snapped a picture of the crowd to send to DJ to prove to him that people actually listen to what he has to say, Savage said.

Savage is known not to hold back in his column, and this event was no different. “That’s not my style,” he said.

From clitoral stimulation to the “trashiness” of wearing a tongue-ring, Savage bluntly expressed his convictions on a number of matters, while sprinkling in just enough humor to leave listeners charmed.

While living in Wisconsin in the early 1990s, Savage befriended the co-founder of the parody news organization, “The Onion,” Tim Beck. Savage convinced Beck about the importance of an advice column. After reading one of his work, Beck offered Savage a job. In 2006, Savage began writing an advice column titled “Savage Love” for Seattle’s alternative weekly paper, The Stranger.

The JU event was similar to those on MTV’s “Savage U” in which he visited 12 universities around the country.

Savage spoke about the myth that oral sex is not sex.

“Oral sex’s last name is sex,” Savage said. “Michelle Obama isn’t who you think of when you hear the name Obama, but she is an Obama. Oral sex isn’t what you think of when you hear ‘sex,’ but it is sex.”

Savage’s presentation included many clever analogies that made it easy for the students in attendance to relate.

“I like that he doesn’t sugar-coat anything,” 19-year-old student Jamie Richards said. “He is consistent and I really agree with his opinion on most topics.”

Monogamy and infidelity, and how the two affect relationships, were common themes.

“We are designed for adultery,” Savage said. “I’m not saying adultery is good or betrayal is good or people should cheat on each other. There are people out there who find monogamy comes very easily to them. God bless those people. Those people should find each other and live happy lives. Others do not find monogamy so easy. Those people should understand who they are and find each other. Serial adulterers should find and marry other serial adulterers. Construct your relationship to best fit you and avoid betrayal.”

Savage closed the evening talking about the role of sex in our lives.

“Sex is about pleasure, it’s about release, and it’s about intimacy. Religion rushed into the void to explain sex before we knew anything about sex, or the alignment of the planets, or the movement of the ocean’s tides,” Savage said. “Religion has since been proven wrong about the movements of the planets and the tides and has ceded to scientists’ and experts’ findings. Religion has not yet ceded sex to scientists and those who actually know what sex is really for. They are going to have to — they are losing the game.”