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  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

It takes three

Questions about threesomes, the good, the complicated and the bad.

Q: I am a 36-year-old straight man, blissfully married to my 34-year-old soul mate. We have explored and enjoyed each other for a decade now, and we recently started exploring BDSM and D/s fantasies. Everything was going great sexually — until last night. Two years ago, my wife expressed an interest in an MMF three-way, where I was the Dom guiding the action between all three of us. I planned this event, play by play, reviewing in my mind everything that was to take place. There were many conversations about expectations, stipulations, etc. All bases covered, I went into the event mentally prepared and gleefully excited. Magic happened for about two hours — passion, love and dirty, dirty sex. Almost every kinky kind was being had and enjoyed save vaginal intercourse.

Then my wife was vaginally penetrated by our friend.

It was as if all the air in the room was sucked out through my soul. I instantly lost my bone, gone forever (I thought), and I felt angry and nauseated. I had to stop the scene. My friend and my wife instantly tended to me during my breakdown. The sorrow of disappointing my wife hurts the most, even though she calls me brave for this. I don't feel brave. I feel confused. I had planned how everything was going to happen. I even gave the fucking command (literally) for my friend to enter my wife. Crushing emotional pain followed.

In the morning, my wife woke me and made love to me, tenderly and healingly. So at least the dick works. I am still beset by all manner of doubts and insecurities. Is my dick big enough? Am I good enough for her sexually?

I feel scared and trapped in a land that I have never visited before, a land called Insecurity. —Heartbroken Dom

A: You're clearly in pain, and I want to be sensitive to your pain ... but ... your overwrought prose style has me wondering if you're enjoying this drama a bit. Maybe that's just the way you talk — maybe you always sound like a Brontë sister after a three-day bender — but there's a self-dramatizing, self-aggrandizing tone to your e-mail that gives me pause.

I'm not saying that your distress is an act or your pain isn't sincerely felt, HD, but your meltdown effectively ended a scene in which all attention was focused on your wife and started a new scene in which all attention was focused on you. As you wander the heaths of Insecurity, I'd encourage you to examine your own subconscious for evidence of drama queendom.

That said, HD, sometimes three-way reality is a lot more emotionally charged and challenging than three-way fantasy. Let your experience be a lesson for others: If there's a sex act — say, vaginal intercourse — that holds huge symbolic importance for you or your partner, it might be best to take that act off the menu. Take things slow the first, second and third time, invite your guest star to participate in some lower-stakes or lower-significance sex acts, but reserve the main event for yourself.

Perhaps you didn't realize how shattering it would be to watch this man bone your wife until the moment that he — at your command — boned your wife. Like they say: Hindsight is 20-20 (and sex-advice columnists are a bitch).

How do you get past this, HD? Only the passage of time will lead you out of Insecurity. You'll come to believe that, yes, you are good enough for the wife sexually because you're going to keep having great sex. You'll come to believe that she's content with you when you close your relationship and she isn't chomping at the bit to fuck other guys.


Q:
I have a rent-boy etiquette question. Recently, a client of mine, who lives in another state, invited me to join him at a resort where he was meeting up with friends. This included a nice-looking man who lives near me, whom I will call "Three." My client has been lusting after Three for a long time, and my job was to act as bait to lure Three into a three-way with my client and me. Things went really well, and the desired three-way happened on Saturday night and again on Sunday morning.

Here is the problem: I don't think my client informed Three that I was there in a professional capacity. So from Three's perspective, I sought him out, flirted shamelessly, and had really hot sex with him — twice. So it would be pretty jarring to him that, the very next day, I'm suddenly not interested in him. It goes against whore protocol to "out" a client, and I suspect my client did not want Three to know I am a rent boy because that might have been a deal-breaker.

I would feel pretty stupid if I thought a man was really into me, only to later find out he was just doing his job. Three's feelings are bound to be bruised. I don't know what to do. I want to be respectful of my client's confidence, but I don't feel comfortable tossing Three aside like a used tissue. There is a real possibility that I will be seeing him in the future, since we move in similar circles, or the next time my client comes to town. Is this my client's faux pas, or is there some rent-boy protocol I should have followed? —Awkwardly Socializing Soon

A: If Three didn't know you were a rent boy, ASS, and that you were being used as bait, then Three's consent was obtained under false pretenses. That's not OK. And as you knew going in that you were being used as bait — that it was your "job" to get Three into bed — you were an active participant in this deception.

You're a rent boy, ASS, not a rent bot — you don't have to do everything a client asks. You could have agreed to flirt with Three, but you should have insisted to your client that your employment status be revealed to Three at some point between flirtation and fellatio.

Considering the circumstances, ASS, I think you can be released from the bonds of strict client confidentiality on this occasion. If you run into Three, and he seems hurt or confused, let him down gently. Tell him he's an attractive guy, tell him you enjoyed the hell out of those three-ways — then tell him you were on a job and you're sorry for not telling him sooner, i.e., for not telling him that weekend, before anything happened.


Q:
I'm a straight girl who made a resolution to seek out a couple for a three-way. With my boyfriend's full support — he's the kind of unicorn guy who thinks three's a crowd — I perused options online.

One gentleman caught my eye because he proclaimed on his OkCupid profile "Dan Savage is my rabbi," he described himself as "GGG," and his lady friend was also a Savage lover.

We met up last night, and it was a beautiful, well-orchestrated event. Boundaries and excitements had been discussed beforehand, and three fun, sexy, fit twentysomethings had awesome sex. It was a perfect girl-girl-guy three-way. Great communication up front, great communication during, great communication after.

Thanks, Dan! Thanks for your column and your positive impact on the sex lives of people around the world. —Satisfied Girl

A: My pleasure, SG, and thanks for sharing!

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